Return to Transcripts main page
Investigators Building Timeline of Nerve Agent Attack; U.S. Treasury Imposes Sanctions for Election Meddling; At Least Four Killed in Florida Bridge Collapse; Mueller Subpoenas Trump Org. Records; Trump to Replace National Security Adviser; At Least Four Dead in Pedestrian Bridge Collapse At University In Miami, Authorities Say; Tiger Woods Wows Again On PGA Tour; Indian Cricket Legend Shares Passion For Golf. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired March 16, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Russian president Vladimir Putin says the U.K. is being destructive and provocative by kicking out 23 Russian diplomats.
In the U.S. state of Florida, at least four people died after a bridge buckled onto a busy street below. We will show you the moment that it happened.
Plus later, thousands flee the besieged Syrian town of Eastern Ghouta as limited aid finally arrives to those who still remain there.
Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
HOWELL: Around the world, good day to you.
Relations between Russia and the West are rapidly deteriorating into Cold War territory. The Russian President Vladimir Putin through a spokesperson now calls Britain's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats destructive and provocative.
The U.K. is taking the action after a poison attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England. Russia's foreign minister said there would be a response very soon. Listen.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I think that the story reflects firstly the despair of the current government of Great Britain, especially in a situation where they cannot fulfill the promises which they gave to their population with regarding exit from the European Union. But there will be an answer very soon. I guarantee it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: "An answer very soon." He says in the meantime, the British defense secretary has this message for Russia.
GAVIN WILLIAMSON, BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY: This is absolutely outrageous and atrocious what Russia did in Salisbury. We have responded to that. Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: There are chilly relations and a lot of messages to be sent across. Let's bring in CNN's Melissa Bell, following the story live in Salisbury, England, and also CNN's contributor Jill Dougherty following the story in Moscow.
Jill, first to you, as we are hearing now from the Russian president what more actions are expected?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can definitely say that they will retaliate for the expulsion of those Russian diplomats from the U.K., that would be an easy one. That would be very predictable that Russia would want to get British diplomats out, especially those who might be involved in any type of intelligence activity, that's kind of tit-for-tat and that is what happens in international relations, diplomatic relations.
But I think what you are looking at now is Russia not really knowing specifically what the U.K. will do when it comes to financial retribution, let's say checking. There are some of the things like checking claims that are coming in from Russia into the U.K., people who -- business people who are coming in, people who live in the U.K., people even whose families are there from Russia.
And it could get very unpleasant for people who keep their money and their belongings in the U.K. I think that is one of the concerns. And as you look at those comments by President Putin, destructive and provocative, that really is a message coming from Russia, destructive because they say that the U.K. is going way too far, did this too quickly. But they're looking at now the solidarity among, you know, the U.K., France, Germany, et cetera, talking about the same thing.
So I think there is concern here and, George, don't forget that this is an important weekend coming up here. You have the election for the president of Russia. Mr. Putin obviously a candidate, the leading candidate.
And this is at a time where internationally this is a problem for Russia, domestically maybe not as much, at least among many of his supporters probably, who think that the United States and the U.K. and everybody else is essentially beating up on Russia with what they call Russophobia.
But internationally it is a real problem.
HOWELL: All right, Jill, pointing out the question here, the financial repercussions.
What might that be from the United Kingdom?
Let us now bring in Melissa Bell, who is following the story live in Salisbury, England.
And, Melissa, you heard Jill's point there, that the question about the financial repercussions, possibly coming from the United States, from the U.K., France and Germany.
But the U.K. has clearly made its move.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George, unequivocally. Theresa May has been absolutely forthright in her --
BELL: -- condemnation of Russia, in pinning the blame for this clearly at Russia's feet and she has done so repeatedly in the House of Commons.
And so it was a real boost to her when she received this really first outright support from allies. She really needed that in the face of questions that have been raised by a number of different countries and cracks that appeared to emerge in a number of different alliances, some people suggesting that perhaps Theresa May had gone a little far.
So it was crucial to her that she received this unequivocal support from France, the United States and Germany, joining her in demanding these answers from Moscow. And she received that support, George, just before she made a long-awaited trip to Salisbury. It was her first since the attack here on the Skripals on March 4th.
BELL (voice-over): It took more than a week and a half, but on Thursday, Theresa May visited Salisbury for the first time since Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found slumped on a bench in the town center.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: Obviously there's still work to do on the investigation by the police, but we're actually looking at the future now and what we can do to help in Salisbury.
BELL: For now though, all source free as hearing is what Theresa May has been telling the rest of the world since Monday that Russia is to blame.
MAY: We will not tolerate the threat to life of British people and others on British soil from the Russian government.
BELL: What remains less clear nearly two weeks on is precisely how and where the nerve agent was administer to the father and daughter. A number of locations in Salisbury, including the restaurant where they had lunch remain cordoned off, but only have to go on for now is the time running. This is Sergei Skripal on the morning of March 4th. By 1:40 pm that day, he and his daughter arrived in the Sainsbury's upper level car park in the center of Salisbury. From there, they went on to the Bishop's Mill pub for a drink before heading to Zizzi restaurant at approximately 2:20 pm.
By 4:15, emergency services received a call that that police officers here to the churchyard where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found on a bench.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a covert and deniable operation. So it's no surprise to me that this broad down we had no arrest. Now, if you look at the arrest that this length for time off to the terrorist attacks in London, last year, we had 23 arrested after Manchester, 21 and 12 in London and Westminster. This just shows the complexity of the attack and also the fact that it was a very professional tradecraft hit by professional hit man.
BELL: But for the people of Salisbury, the cordons and the questions remain, even as the city has become the focus of an international crisis.
MAY: This has had an impact on so many businesses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the people that live here.
BELL: But Theresa May's visit to Salisbury was brief. After speaking to local businesses and to first responders, the prime minister returned to London and to the diplomatic storm.
BELL: This was an important visit. It was a long-awaited visit here in Salisbury because even as this very quiet town in Western England has become this focus of this row, it was crucial, I think, for the people here to get some answers to their many questions and a sense that the prime minister was with them.
HOWELL: Melissa Bell, live in Salisbury, England, and Jill Dougherty, live for us in Moscow, thank you both for the reporting.
And, Jill, stand by. We will be back with you in just a moment after we tell our viewers about this next story of the U.S. president doing something that he almost never does, pointing an accusing finger at Russia.
Donald Trump now acknowledges that the Kremlin seems to have been behind the poison attack in Britain. But yet when asked if the administration now considers Russia's president as a foe, the White House Press Secretary, well, sidestepped the question. Let us listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In simple terms, is Putin a friend or a foe of the United States? SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that's something that Russia's going to have to make that determination. They're going to have to decide whether or not they want to be a good actor or a bad actor.
I think you can see from the actions that we've taken up until this point we're going to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Saying that Russia has to decide whether it is a foe or not. The U.S., though, has finally imposed (INAUDIBLE) on Russian entities on Thursday for interfering in the 2016 election. Punitive measures approved by Congress some time ago. We get more on this story now from CNN's Jim Sciutto.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Trump administration acknowledging that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, interference that the president has repeatedly questioned and taking its toughest action yet, enacting sanctions on Moscow to finally meet a congressional mandate to impose the penalties.
Among the Russian targets on the list, all 13 people and three entities indicted by special counsel Mueller last month for interference in the election, including this man, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has deep ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Also sanctioned, the company that Prigozhin financially backs, the Internet --
SCIUTTO (voice-over): -- Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that produced divisive political posts on American social media platforms to incite discord during the campaign.
Trump initially resisted the sanctions, signing them into law only in the face of veto-proof majorities in both houses.
At the time, he lashed out at lawmakers on Twitter, quote, "Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. You can thank Congress."
The new sanctions also add more weight to Robert Mueller's investigation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The entire thing has been a witch hunt.
SCIUTTO: Which the president has repeatedly dismissed.
TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: The president's been dragged kicking and screaming to this moment. What happened today with Treasury validates the Mueller indictment which the administration was running away from.
SCIUTTO: Today, the U.S. also publicly blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack that left a former Russian spy and his daughter critically ill in Britain, deeming the action a clear violation of international law.
TRUMP: It certainly looks like the Russians were behind it. Something that should never, ever happen and we're taking it very seriously as I think are many others.
SCIUTTO: Despite today's moves against Russia, however, Democrats say the president must do more.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: It's far past time that they did it. There is a series of provisions of the law that are pretty mandatory that the administration has not pursued against Russia on financial institutions on arms transfers and other things. So, there's a much more robust response to be had.
SCIUTTO: The Treasury Department is seeing continued Russian cyber activity targeting U.S. elections but also they're seeing cyber activity targeting other critical infrastructure, including the power grid, nuclear power stations, that shows the extent of Russian attempts to potentially cause damage here in the U.S. via cyber attack.
And it's something that the Treasury Department, intelligence agencies are following very closely -- Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
HOWELL: Jim, thanks for the reporting.
Let us now bring back in CNN contributor Jill Dougherty, live in Moscow.
Jill we just heard the situation laid out there by Jim and, with the presidential election that is taking place there, that certainly is stealing the headlines there. But in the backdrop, these sanctions levied by the United States on Russia, has there been any official response?
DOUGHERTY: You have the president, of course, President Putin saying that this -- that he is very concerned that this is destructive but also provocative. And I think, you know, if you look at the response from Russian officials, it's certainly that, that this is provocative, that there is a lot of what they call Russophobia in the world, fear of Russia, and that the world is try to gang up on Russia.
But I think also you have the response that's not official but coming from people who are involved in this, noting, for example, the Russian media quoting Yevgeny Prigozhin, the man who was noted in Jim's report, who kind of basically mocked this report about the sanctions coming from the Treasury Department.
He said, I could not care less. This man was on the Russian media, I'll stop going to McDonald's. And I do not have any business anyway, with the United States or with Americans.
And so there is this kind of flippant response that you are getting from some Russians but also he does make a point that, in a number of these people who are -- who have been indicted or who were involved in those sanctions or targeted by those sanctions, a lot of them do not have any business interests.
So the direct influence or the effect on them of these sanctions might not be very great but laying out everything that the Treasury Department did, which is interference in the election, cyber attacks and also these -- the infiltration of infrastructure, these are very serious things.
And do not forget you have Robert Mueller and his investigation cranking along. So this is really, we are in the thick of what is going to be going on for quite some time and could get worse. It could be exacerbated by what is going on.
And then, as you pointed out, the political context, President Putin facing this reelection campaign. The vote will be on Sunday the 18th. Just this weekend, so all of this is very fraught, very political and quite serious.
HOWELL: The question is, where does it all go from here?
Jill Dougherty, live for us in Moscow. Jill, thank you for the reporting and we will stay in touch with you of course.
Now to the U.S. state of Florida and a major story we're following there, recovery operations underway after a pedestrian bridge collapsed --
HOWELL: -- in the city of Miami. At least four people were killed when that bridge collapsed Thursday. This bridge near Florida International University was still under construction. But the main section was set in place just a few days ago.
And now we're getting our first look at the moment that it happened. Take a look here. Several construction workers were on that bridge when it collapsed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were working on top and they fell several feet, obviously. And like I said, we had one man who was not breathing. We had one that had a major laceration to his head that was unconscious. And we had two that were just in major shock that we were able to get all of them down and so far, I believe, so good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: We'll have much more from the scene of this collapse just a little later this hour. Still head here on NEWSROOM, it is never a quiet day when the Trump White House. CNN is learning about another high-stakes personnel change that could be in the works. Stay with us.
HOWELL: The Syrian civil war might be seeing one of its largest exoduses ever. State media report that more than 10,000 people have escaped the town of Eastern Ghouta on Thursday.
A government offensive has been hammering rebel-held areas there and there are accusations from both sides that civilians are being used as human shields. The war has now reached its 7th anniversary -- 7th anniversary -- and shows little sign of slowing down.
Aid groups have struggled to reach Eastern Ghouta with aid and people there are in desperate need of relief.
The U.S. national security adviser is not mincing words against Russia or Iran or Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: It is time to impose serious political and economic consequences on Moscow and Tehran. Assad should not have impunity for his crimes and neither should his sponsors.
HOWELL (voice-over): But these may be some of H.R McMaster's final words in this role. CNN has learned that President Trump plans to replace him as national security adviser. The exact timing is still in question but multiple sources tell CNN Mr. Trump wants someone else in the role by the time he meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: This move has been rumored for some time but press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted, an emphatic White House denial that it's not going to happen.
In the meantime, the special counsel of the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller, is focusing in part on the U.S. president's business empire, a source telling CNN that Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for business documents.
"The New York Times" says that some of those documents are related to Russia. Let's get some context on this now with Jessica Levinson. Jessica, a professor of law and governance at Loyola --
HOWELL: -- University, live for us this hour in Los Angeles. A pleasure to have you with us to talk about this. Let us start with
the news about the special counsel now issuing subpoenas into the Trump Organization.
An attorney for the Trump Organization has responded, saying this, "Since July 2017, we have advised the public that the Trump Organization is fully cooperative with all investigations, including the special counsel, and is responding to their requests.
"This is old news," they go on to say, "and our assistance and cooperation with various investigations remains the same today."
But, Jessica, you'll remember, the president has, in the past, offered some insight into where he feels this investigation will have gone too far. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": If Mueller was looking at our finances or your family's finances unrelated to Russia, is that a red line?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would say yes. I would say yes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HOWELL: So the argument there, the investigation should not go beyond a certain scope.
Does the president have a point there, Jessica?
Or do you see the focus of the Trump Organization and anything related to Russia as fair game?
JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: I think it is absolutely fair game. I think Robert Mueller needs to continue doing what he is doing, which is following the evidence and taking it where it leads him.
And for the president, who may ultimately be subject to this inquiry to be drawing lines is frankly inappropriate. So what we're seeing today is Robert Mueller getting one step closer to the president.
It does not mean that the president is ultimately indicted and it means that Robert Mueller's looking at what it appears like. He is continuing to look at, which is the potential of foreign influence, foreign money over the Trump Organization and potentially President Trump but none of that for President Trump to be drawing lines about what is or is not permissible. That is not his role.
HOWELL: All right. Also want to get your thoughts on the turnover of these key members in the White House, the secretary of state, he is out; his chief economic advisor, out.
And now sources telling CNN the president's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, may also be seeing the door very soon. It's a constant changing of the guard, the White House press secretary says there is nothing to see here. Let us listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Vladimir Putin playing President Trump?
SANDERS: Not at all. The president has said in the past that if we can work together to combat world threats on things like North Korea, then we should. But the president has also shown that he's been extremely tough on Russia throughout his administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right, not quite the right sound bite there but basically Sarah Sanders saying, you know, that type of changing of the guard, nothing to be concerned about.
The question I have for you though, what does this constant changing of key members in the White House, what does it say to the rest of the world?
Well, it says that it looks like the Trump administration is not stable, that it's under a certain level of chaos. And I would say to the point of basically nothing to see here, let's move along, folks, it actually is the case that President Trump, in his first year in office, I believe, has had more turnover in his administration that the last three administrations combined.
So there has been an enormous amount of turnover. I understand that McMaster may have actually been on his way out the door except people just felt like it was not good three national security advisors within one year.
And so what it looks like is that President Trump can't get the A-team that he said he was going to get and that there is an inability to find the best personnel and/or that there is an inability of people to work with President Trump.
What we've seen is that he cannot seem to withstand a certain level of criticism or people do not agree with him or are able to work with his somewhat freewheeling style. So I think that we're going to see more of this for as long as the
Trump administration continues.
HOWELL: All right. So you say, you know, the inability to get that A-team in place. Keep in mind there are major important positions that have not been filled yet.
The question, with a possible big meeting just around the corner with the leader of North Korea, what is the danger for this White House not being able to have the full staff, the full ability to prepare for this type of meeting? LEVINSON: People have joked that President Trump has more conditions
about meeting with Robert Mueller than meeting with the North Korean delegation. And I think that there is actually something to that joke, which is, as you said, this is an incredibly important meeting that America may with North Korea.
The stakes simply could not be higher. And what we're seeing is an administration that frankly lacks institutional knowledge. We still do not have an ambassador to South Korea and that would be the person who would be our liaison with respect to these talks.
LEVINSON: So we would be going into these talks with really, I think, some people have perceived, one hand tied behind our back because we just do not have people who have gone through this process before and who can guide the administration with respect to just what protocol, what should already hammered out before there is a meeting.
And so I think that there is a lot of anxieties surrounding this meeting, frankly.
HOWELL: Jessica Levinson, we appreciate your insight today. Thank you for being with us.
LEVINSON: Thanks for having me.
HOWELL: Russia is stepping up its own preparations for an election. The presidential vote is set for Sunday and the president, Vladimir Putin, appears to be destined for another win. He still out rallying supporters, though. Here is what he told the crowd of young voters on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The country will develop together with you. It will be concentrated on the future it will be successful, it will be a state which we will all be proud of. We are proud of Russia and we will be proud in the future. We will ensure its future and we will do it together. Yes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right, for those opponents allowed to run against Mr. Putin, they're also out campaigning. Here is what candidate Ksenia Sobchak had to say on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KSENIA SOBCHAK, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): It is not necessary create a chieftainship organization because if we are against Putin, then we are against chieftainship.
We support a wide coalition of democratic powers.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: The outcome of the Russian election seems all but certain but many of the Russians who dare criticize Mr. Putin are no longer in Russia. CNN's Matthew Chance met some who are living in the Latvian capital.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call themselves the New Latvians, fed up with Putin's Russia and making a fresh start over here.
CHANCE: This is the cafe?
PAVAK (PH), CAFE OWNER: Yes, that's the place.
These are the pictures that you see are the actual -- are real great- grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers and --
CHANCE (voice-over): We caught up with Pavak (ph) at his Babushka Cafe, a little slice of Moscow, he told me, in the Latvian capital.
PAVAK (PH): I just felt that Latvia was better. It was never a feeling about the politics. It was more about economics. I didn't feel the pressure. I feel somewhat uncomfortability (sic). But the thing is, here, it is more predictable. The taxes are higher but you know what they are.
CHANCE: And is that one of the big failures, do you think, of Vladimir Putin in his government, his rule in Russia, that he has not been able to deliver people like you, security, rule of law stability?
PAVAK (PH): I cannot say about, you know, which one of the failures is the -- is the biggest, the biggest failure. I think that definitely the lack of -- the lack of rule of law, the lack normal judges that can produce fair decisions is one of the crucial factors.
CHANCE: For decades, Latvia was itself in the tight grip of the Kremlin. But now this tiny Baltic State has become something of a haven for thousands of Russians seeking a better life abroad.
And as the current Kremlin prepares for presidential elections, that exodus shines a light on some of the problems and some of the flaws in Putin's Russia.
CHANCE (voice-over): Problems like freedom of speech. At the offices of the online newspaper, Medusa in Riga, an entire staff of Russian journalists is covering from afar the presidential elections taking place at home.
They all resigned their jobs in Moscow and followed their editor-in- chief here after she was fired from a Russian news website in 2014 in what she says was a crackdown ordered by President Putin on the independent press.
GALINA TIMCHENKO, EDITOR IN CHIEF, MEDUSA: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's, for me, he is stealing my future because I remember '90s. I remember the smell of freedom, this air of freedom. I remember all these -- all this environment of independent journalism, of new standards, not Soviet, of new Russia standard.
And then something changed and now we have no future at all.
CHANCE: Do you think that future can ever be recaptured?
Do you think Russia will change back, can become free?
TIMCHENKO: I hope. We have some kind of meme here; Russia will be free and Latvia will be happy.
CHANCE (voice-over): But for a growing number of Russians moving here, the new Latvians watching closely as their own country prepares to vote, that hope seems distant -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Riga.
[02:30:01] HOWELL: Matthew, thank you. Still ahead, new signs just ahead that the U.S. President and the North Korean leader may be one step closer to holding talks.
HOWELL: A welcome back to viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. CNN has learned the President of the United States plans to replace National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster. The exact timing still in question but multiple sources tells CNN Mr. Trump want someone else in the role by the time he meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"The Washington Post" say it obtained a recording of the president admitting that he may have some things up when speaking with the Canadian Prime Minister. Mr. Trump was speaking at a fundraiser boasting that he told Mr. Trudeau that the U.S. have a trade deficit with Canada although he, "Didn't even know and had no idea and in fact, there is no trade deficit according to the facts."
North Korea and the United States maybe a step closer to holding talks. Meetings between North Korea's Foreign Minister and his Swedish counterpart in Stockholm are fueling in speculation they're discussing a positive summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Sweden has long represented U.S. interest in North Korea and could end up hosting that meeting. Also, laying some groundwork, South Korean's Foreign Minister, she is in Washington for a three-day visit with leaders including members of the U.S. House and Ivanka Trump. Our David McKenzie is following the story live in our bureau in Seoul, South Korea. David, first, let's talk about the meeting involving Sweden.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. The Foreign Minister of North Korea making a rare trip outside of the county and high stakes meeting it seems with the Foreign Minister in Stockholm. Now, very little coming out of those meetings up until this point but as you mentioned already critical that Sweden is the diplomatic go between for the U.S. and North Korea.
The U.S. of course has no diplomatic presence in the North and so those meetings presumably have something to do with the high stakes announce meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. So the question is as those meetings appear to have been extended into the weekend, will they be laying the groundwork for what those discussions will be dealing with specific? Will they be laying the groundwork for where those discussions will happen? We know very little at this point other than Trump making that surprise announcement that he wants to hold this face to face meeting by May.
[02:35:08] So a lot is up in the air right now but the shuttle diplomacy shows that at least behind closed doors, there are moves to try and make this meeting happen we believe. George?
HOWELL: It seems that we're seeing some of the groundwork as you point out. David McKenzie live in Seoul. Thank you for the reporting. Back here in the United States, recovering teams are working around the clock after Thursday's pedestrian bridge collapsed in Miami, Florida. When it crumbled to the ground, construction crews were on top of that bridge. You see the video here of exactly when it happened. The Florida Senator Marco Rubio says the cables that suspended the bridge were being tightened. Dianne Gallagher has the latest for us now from the scene.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: According to the Fire Chief here they have found the bodies of at least four people in the rubble. They say they're not quite sure just how many still could be in the debris from that collapsed. It's not going to be a quick process as emergency crews maintains. They're working as fast as they can but were dealing with very large pieces of concrete here and they have to be very careful about the way they go about it.
In the hours after the collapsed, the hospital said they received 10 patients immediately because of this. But again, the emergency crew say they've got to keep going. They don't want to put a firm number on anything. This bridge had just really been put in to place five days ago or so. Came in over the weekend, it was something they've been working on for a long time.
Nearly $50 million project that they have been constructing on the side of the road and they sort of swung it into placed with a big rig on Saturday morning. This is something that the community, the university, and the engineers were very proud of and excited about. They put it into place to make it a safer community, a safer university for the staff and the students here so they could get across that busy six lane highway.
At this point now, they're trying to figure out how that 950 tons bridge fell. But again, their top priority right now is making sure that if there is anybody left alive in that rubble, they get them out as soon as possible. Dianne Gallagher, CNN Sweetwater, Florida.
HOWELL: Dianne, thank you. Rescue teams are responding to U.S. military helicopter crash that happened in Iraq. Early reports suggest the chopper was carrying seven personnel and was not on a combat mission. One U.S. defense official says there are, "Likely fatalities involved. The coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq says the incident occurred not far from the Syrian border. We'll of course bring you more information on this story as we get it. Still ahead, Russia's mining region is so rich that, well, sometimes gold bars just fall from the sky. We'll tell you about that. Stay with us.
[02:40:06] HOWELL: Welcome back. And let's talk about our viewers watching in Europe. Chances are you're going to be kind of cold. Let's bring in our meteorologist Derek Van Dam to tell us about this cold weather zero again.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Cold and frustrated because it was just two weeks ago we were talking about the beast from the east. Well, now they've got the many beasts from the east.
HOWELL: How about no more beast?
DEREK VAN DAM: All right. I wish it had to be the very bad news. But unfortunately, it is my job, George, but let's pass on the information to our friends at home and Europe watching because you know what it means when we see that dark shady and purple and pink and as that spreads a little further to the west, it's going to play impact places like France, Belgium, the Netherlands, into Germany as well as the U.K. even as far as south as the Iberian Peninsula.
But when we compare temperatures to what they should be normally it is astounding. We're talking about a 10 degree temperate difference in Celsius. In terms of your low temperatures, Sunday morning. So understand into Monday will be the worst. Well, I should say Saturday into Sunday. Monday will start beyond the upswing and even Eastern Europe and Western Russia experiencing these cold temperatures as well, so cold we'll have snow in London for both Saturday and Sunday.
Not a -- not going to accumulate much but perhaps the highlands of whales and into Scotland could have some minimal impacts due to upwards of 15 to 20 centimeters of fresh falling snow. Heavy or total especially as you travel towards the Alps. Good news for the skiers and snow boarders there. I want to quickly update you on the latest tropic cyclone in fact in Northeastern Madagascar. This is really turning out to be a major rain making for the country.
In fact, rain fall totals in excess of 250 millimeters impacting some of the crops across the region. Remember, there are a lot of vanilla bean and coffee exports coming out of Madagascar. So look out for the potential for -- perhaps even some increased prices because of damage from this particular tropical cyclone. We also have a tropical cyclone in North Australia. This one will bring rain and strong winds to Darwin, so for our friend in Northern Australia, look out for that. But that's a quick view. Lots to talk about.
HOWELL: You know, we're talking about cold weather so you'll be interested in this story that we're going to tell our viewers about because in Siberia, you typically think about snow falling. But we're not talking about snow falling in this particular case. We're in fact talking about gold. More than three tons of gold and silver bars that fell out of Russian cargo plane during takeoff falling right there on the runway. Look at that. It landed several kilometers away. Thursday's incident occurred in the heart of Russia's diamond producing region. An investigation though is now underway to find out what caused that plane's hatch to open. According to local authorities, over 170 bars of gold and silver had been recovered so far. Wouldn't want to be under that? That would be nice to catch what I supposed.
Well, the gold could come in handy especially if you want a trip to Singapore. It held on to its spot as the most expensive city in the world in a new report from the economist. The survey compares the price of items like bread, like wine, and cigarettes across 133 cities while Singapore is slightly cheaper for personal care and household goods compared to other Asian cities.
It is still the most expensive place to buy and run a car. Also on the list are Paris, Zurich, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Oslo, Norway. Thanks for being with us here. For CNN NEWSROOM, I'm George Howell at the CNN Center at Atlanta. World Sport is after the break then I'll be back at the top of the hour for more news around the world. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.
[02:45:27] PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, thanks for joining us. Welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT today. I want to get started with all things Tiger Woods, right now.
Hard to imagine even saying this, just a few short weeks ago. But some rookies now have the 42 year old American as the favorite to win next month's Masters at Augusta National. Just a reset for you, last week, Tiger Woods finished tied for second on the PGA Tour, his highest finish in almost five years. And yet, further evidence we could be witnessing one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.
Tiger carrying on way left off in tamper. As he makes it back to back birdies to move to two under par. This was after just four holes of the day on Thursday, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
Remember there's player who wants confessed doubt as just to whether or he even had a future in the game following multiple back and knee surgeries over the years. This is one huge statement of intent.
Now, nearly blemish on his card to tell you about that came at the third hole, on his 12th of the day. An errant drive out of bounds, actually, ending up. He didn't like just one little bit. Actually, ended up on the edge of someone's gotten what you believe, yet to states three from the tee, he was out of bound, double bogey in the end for golf's 14-time major winner.
Well, it's been so impressive for me, Tiger Woods has been his mental toughness so early in his latest comeback. Many would argue surely now his final comeback. Bear in mind his most recent spinal fusion surgery was held as the last resort in saving of his career. But what about that? 71 footer for birdie, he have three birdies during a four-hole stretch, the smile there. He's in a good place right now, really just speak volumes. And then, the very last a testy nervy putt to save par, this was crucial for him. Is resilient for the referenced, step front and center right there again. And Tiger, remember, this is a (INAUDIBLE) he's already won eight times.
Woods has come a really long way in recent weeks. Actually, made that point to reporters afterwards, as well as he commented on how the focus around him now seems to be centered more on winning rather than playing through the pain. Though that it appear, Tiger, himself is keen to manage expectations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER, 14-TIME MAJOR WINNER: You guys are asking different questions than you did when I first came back. And that wasn't that long ago, that's two months ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
WOODS: And the narrative has completely flipped from how you guys ask me questions, and I just wanted to just remind you guys that it wasn't that long ago that you're asking a different set of questions. And in for me to enjoy it, no, I enjoy just playing again. After what I've been through, playing feels good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: All about perspectives right now for Tiger Woods, he ended the day of four on the par after six days. He's got worked to do, though he's not leading. 21 year old, American Aaron Wise, on a two player, seven on the (INAUDIBLE). Henrik Stenson, the Swede, former British Open Champion who leads the way after a 64. He's at eight on the incredible stretch for him that included seven birdies. Would you believe, in eight holes?
All right, from the United States, we head to Europe now where Italian giants Milan travel to Arsenal on Thursday, in the race for a place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. Now, bear in mind, the Arsenal, ever wants two giants on the European Game went. They winning the confidence biggest price, seven times. Those days, though, have to say they appear to be long gone.
And despite, massive preseason spending, they remain 6th place in so they are right now. And they trail the gunners, 2-0 from the first leg of their own San Siro last week. The Italians set took the lead in this one, but a controversial Danny Welbeck penalty would level the score on the night as we headed into the brave chair. Many feeling that should never been awarded.
The host star went ahead 2-1 on the night, for Johnny Jack as strike that really should have been to say but have to say by the Milan keeper. Welbeck, getting his brace moment from time that the simple header. Arsenal come from behind to win it 3-1, a resounding 5-1 victory on the night. Another compelling storyline that catches our eye here, German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund won champions in Europe back in 1997 when they won the Champions League. But on Thursday, their focus trying to overturn a few one first leg (INAUDIBLE) against Austrian opponent, Salzburg, it wasn't to be though, no goals on the night here. In Austria, the hosts of show, you can see exactly what it means to their players there and the fans alike scenes of joy. That true, Borussia Dortmund, they are out of the Europa League.
All right, here's the look then, at the teams that who made it through to the quarterfinal. Remember that the draw, just like for the one for the Champions League that will be taking place on Friday. We'll have that for you breaking it all down on Friday edition of CNN WORLD SPORT. Winner is important because the winner of this .tournament gets direct entry into next season's Champions League.
[02:50:03] Well, 2018 has already proved to be a year of huge emotion for Romanian tennis star, Simona Halep. After once again, she missed out on her first grand slam title in the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne. She can at least, though, point to the fact she is at number one in the WTA rankings. Even though, she conceded this week the best player in the world, remains Serena Williams in her opinion at the high profile Indian Wells event in California right now.
Halep booking as part of the semis by beating the Croatian player, Petra Martic. That means a last pull clash with Japan's Naomi Osaka, who's one of few fans out this event having pulled-off some big name upset along the way, including the defeat of Maria Sharapova.
And the world number 44 didn't show any signs of slowing down either against the fifth seated Karolina Pliskova, who was looking to reach the semis here for the third strike year, despite the difference in ranking. And I have to say, experience as well, Osaka win through in straight sets, comfortable victory for her.
Only was once a -- one of the most famous and gifted cricketers in world. But Kapil Dev's pretty passionate about something else right now. So, why does the sport of golf mean so much to this iconic cricketing legend?
[02:53:17] SNELL: Welcome back now. If you're a cricket fan, you'll know few countries in the world embrace it quite like India. Simply put, it just dominates the sporting landscape like nothing else. And when it come -- when it comes actually talking about it all, there are few voices which are more revered than the country's legendary former captain, Kapil Dev.
Now, as it turns out, though the iconic all round was also pretty passionate about another sport, as well. He's the host of CNN's Living Golf show, Shane O'Donoghue.
SHANE O'DONOGHUE, CNN HOST: Any tour of its capital, Delhi, would be incomplete without taking in the country's most popular sport. This is West Delhi Cricket Academy.
Very few nations embrace a sport quite as the same way that India has with cricket. It is literally a religion here. And golf, like many other games, has really struggled to come out from under cricket shadow. There are a number of similarities between the two sports. Both were introduced in India by the British Raj. Then there's the tempo, the time taken between shots. There's also the hand-eye coordination of bat or club against fall.
Much of cricket's success in India can be said to be done to this man, Kapil Dev. As well as being the only player in the history of the sport to have taken more than 400 wickets, and scored over 5,000 rams and tents. In 1983, he captions his country to end historic one day World Cup victory over the West Indies.
Now 59, and a king golfer who plays of the single figure handicap, I've joined him for around back at Delhi golf club to compare the two main fashions of his life.
[02:55:09] KAPIL DEV, FORMER CRICKETER, INDIAN: And you played cricket, and you are always depending on somebody. Somebody is running with you, taking the tech, somebody helping you out always. In golf is something rare, you can feel proud about the shot you play. You could dodge shots will really can criticize anybody. You can only look at the caddy and say, "Oh, you given me a wrong club or something.
O'DONOGHUE: Can golf ever compete with cricket in India?
DEV: Its very interesting, though, because golf, you'll needs the land. The cricket, you can play in backyard, you can play in the street. You can play anywhere. This golfer is not so easy to play anywhere. You can't manner what you can do for cricket.
O'DONOGHUE: Capital's athleticism and to competitiveness meant golf was an obvious choice when he retired from cricket. Remarkably, he has represented this country in a number of senior amateur tournaments.
DEV: When you play cricket to the top level, your eye-hand coordination is there. I didn't know nothing about golf, and people whom I start playing this said you got a good swing, which -- you know, you don't know because I have never played that game. Sometimes, when you play a sport, you are natural or you're not.
O'DONOGHUE: It's not an understatement to say Dev is adored in India. But with the same length with approach he displays on the course, Kapil takes stardom in his stride.
Do you enjoy -- you know, being recognized and remembered in such -- in such a way?
DEV: Though I think you feel proud about that people that had recognized me on what you did, but I feel that I don't know in the other life and if people say you done good. You're not going to feel bad about that. O'DONOGHUE: And the sanctuary of Delhi Golf Club, I'm sure is quite important to you too. Get away from everything.
DEV: Oh, I think this is -- this golf course, Delhi Golf Course is beautiful place. If anything happened, you come back to the golf course. Someone hit a few balls, sweat out, enjoy yourself, and I think that's important. So. I feel is very, very -- God is kind to me. Giving me a place so I can enjoy playing throughout my life some sport.
SNELL: Fascinating insight and access there, with Kapil Dev. All right, thank you so much for joining us for the team here in Atlanta. We'll see you again next time. Stay with CNN.