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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Witness: Sheriff's Car Hit Protester At Stephon Clark Rally; WAPO: With Hicks Departure, Trump's Stabilizing Forces Are Gone; U.S. And South Korea Kick Off War Games; Police Chief: I Think We Prevented A Disaster. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired April 1, 2018 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, we felt is most tense sort of interaction between police and protesters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vehicle accelerated very fast and struck her violently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has decided that he is going to follow his own instincts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump allies are telling the president he doesn't even need to replace her or even have a chief of staff for that matter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end, I think President Trump will be the boss of this oval office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. and South Korea kicking off an annual military exercise as the world waits and see how and if North Korea responds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington is downplaying these annual war games now that President Trump plans an historic face-to-face meeting with North Korea's leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you. Happy Easter. I'm Victor Blackwell.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Dianne Gallagher in for Christi Paul. There are escalating tensions in Sacramento overnight after witnesses say that a woman protesting the shooting death of Stephon Clark was hit by a sheriff's deputy's car and then it drove away.
BLACKWELL: Well, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office in just the last few minutes has released a statement saying the collision with this pedestrian, their words here, happened after protesters began yelling while pounding and kicking the vehicle's exterior and that vandals, as they describe them scratched, dented, and shattered the sheriff's vehicle's rear window.
GALLAGHER: Now CNN has obtained video of this incident. We do want warn you some of you may find it disturbing to watch.
BLACKWELL: Now what we don't know is from this statement, if the sheriff's office is trying to explain or justify what you just saw in explaining that vandals, as we call them, began yelling while pounding and kicking the vehicle.
We are hoping for some follow-up to find out is the sheriff saying that is why this happened or is this a post (inaudible) because of? Hopefully, we get some clarity from the sheriff's office.
But you see in the video here, we see a woman carrying a sign and crossing in front of the deputy's car, signaling for it to stop but then the sheriff's deputy's car appears to accelerate, and we see it hit her. The woman was taken to a hospital. The sheriff's office says with minor injuries.
CNN correspondent, Ryan Young is in Sacramento with more for us.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The protests for Stephon Clark in Sacramento have been peaceful up until this point. We felt the most intense interaction between police and protests. You can behind me you can see police have donned their riot gear after interaction between a sheriff's deputy and a protester.
It appears a woman was trying to stop a sheriff's deputy's car from moving through protesters, and then there was a hit, there was an impact between the two. We are not sure exactly what happened.
But to show what's happening now, look at all the sheriff's deputies and police officers from around the area that have decided to come down here. They're cued just in case anything happens here.
Of course, this is after a day full of protests where nothing has happened but now that tenseness has bubbled up and there is definitely a tense moment, not only between protesters but between the police officers who are definitely trying to protect and maintain the peace.
GALLAGHER: As Ryan was sort of showing you there, police were lined up in their riot gear, 50 to a hundred demonstrators were peacefully protesting. Ryan also spoke with one of the witnesses of that collision between the sheriff's deputy's car and a protester. Take a listen.
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GUY DANILOWITZ, WITNESS: A woman was walking in between the two vehicles, stopped in front of the deputy' vehicle, put up her hand and a stop sign, and the vehicle accelerated and struck her. Accelerated very fast and struck her violently and she fell to the ground and the deputies then sped off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So, obviously, there are more questions that need to be answered. We are told that the investigation into this is ongoing and as we get more details, we will bring them to you.
GALLAGHER: President Trump and the first family are spending Easter at his Florida resort, but when he returns to Washington later this afternoon, a familiar face and a close confidant will be missing. The president said good-bye to his former communications director Hope Hicks on Thursday.
Sources tell CNN that he might not replace her. According to the "Washington Post," President Trump is growing more independent and defiant and wants to call his own shots. CNN's Abby Phillip joins us live from Florida where the president is this morning -- Abby.
[06:05:10] ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Diane. Yes, the president here in Florida for the Easter weekend where he spent it mostly playing golf and sending a few tweets. Once he returns to Washington this afternoon, he is going to be in a mood, according to "The Washington Post," to do exactly what he wants to do.
For the last several weeks, there have been a significant number of senior departures here in this White House but perhaps the most meaningful is the departure of Hope Hicks, who was someone who is a close confidant of the president, who has been around him for a very long time and who, according to White House aides is a guardrail for him and guiding him along in edition decision making processes.
What is left now is a president who doesn't want to slow things down. He doesn't want to seek counsel of aides who have differing opinions. He wants to do exactly what he wants to do. According to "The Washington Post" in a new report, they have reported that the president is increasingly surrounding himself with people whose view the world just like he does.
In the past week, he dined with his former campaign aides, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossy. Lewandowski was almost banned from the White House by the chief of staff, John Kelly. There are reports that John Kelly is increasingly being sidelined by the president.
The president retreating to the residence, meeting with his close confidants and talking to friends in the phone and making decisions in that way. We have seen this publicly in a number of important decisions over the last several weeks.
On tariffs he announced the last week, he wanted to pull out of Syria, catching his Defense Department off-guard. This is a president who is eager to move forward exactly the way he wants to. Later this morning, Dianne, we might see the president going to Easter services here in Mar-a-Lago, which he and the first lady have done in the past, Dianne and Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Abby Phillip for us there near the president's resort. Abby, thank you so much.
GALLAGHER: Also, this morning, the U.S. and South Korea kicking off massive military drills off the Korean Peninsula. The so-called war games typically involve tens of thousands of troops and tanks and bombers and even submarines. It's quite the photo op and ordeal.
But this year, the exercises are taking on a different tone as both the U.S. and South Korea hope to avoid upsetting the North Korean dictator as they negotiate over nuclear weapons.
CNN military diplomatic analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby joins me now. Admiral Kirby, look, these drills will be sure this year. They are four weeks instead of eight weeks long like they were in previous years.
And we know publicly that the Olympics were cited as some of the reasoning for that. That's why they started later, but sources are telling CNN that diplomatic developments on the peninsula is what led to these concessions. Is this a positive sign or something that could be detrimental to the military efforts in the Pacific?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, I think it's both a positive sign, but I don't think at all is detrimental to our military readiness. So, it's much more the former, not the latter. Look, even at one month, if that is what this ends up being, you still have about 23,000 U.S. troops, 300,000 or so South Koreans involved in these South Korean military forces. That is pretty sizeable.
As some of that video you showed, this is a full spectrum exercise. There will not be aircraft carrier, but there will be Navy ships. They'll be testing air and ground forces as well and it will be pretty robust.
But I do think, clearly, that part of the reason that it's a bit scaled down and shortened is to take advantage of this new diplomatic breakthrough that we seem to have on the peninsula and this makes sense.
So, from the U.S. perspective, we get to focus on military readiness and try to make sure that we continue to send strong message about our treaty commitments to the south and the seriousness with which we take the security on the peninsula.
At the same time, we are taking measures that are in keeping with the warmer rhetoric, the reduced tensions that are on the peninsula. I think it makes a lot of sense.
GALLAGHER: Admiral Kirby, so many of the journalists there have said they weren't invited as they have been many years to sort of see this grand finale where they show off at the end of it and it allowed them to get video, allow them to report on this. It appears they are trying to keep it off the front page of the newspapers, not just here but also over there.
KIRBY: Yes, it seems to me like, again, I think there is wisdom here that you don't want to overly provoke Kim Jong-un. What is going to be interesting as we watch this exercise now start to move forward is how the North reacts.
In the past, when they have announced it and they usually announced it in February/March. You know, the North reacts with a bellicose statement and then shortly after usually there are rocket launches.
Last year, one week after the exercise began, the North launched four medium-range ballistic missiles in response. We'll have to see how he reacts. I suspect that they are calculating that he won't overreact and that's probably one reason why they are maybe not being as forward leaning on the media posture as they have in the past. There is no reason to provoke it.
[06:10:09] Remember, too, that you have a potential summit coming up between Kim and President Moon later in April and that is important to make sure that that meeting gets off on a good foot as well.
GALLAGHER: Thank you so much, Rear Admiral John Kirby. Potentially something with President Trump later as well.
BLACKWELL: The president is celebrating construction on his new wall along the border with U.S. and Mexico. We got these pictures to prove it. Problem is, it isn't really new, and this isn't the border wall that he promised. We are fact checking the president's claims next.
BLACKWELL: It's 14 minutes after the hour now. President Trump will be heading back to Washington today with an increasingly smaller team around here. According to a new report from CNN and "The Washington Post" that may be just what he wants.
Joining me now is CNN political analyst, Julian Zelizer, and commentary writer and editor for the "Washington Examiner," Siraj Hashmi. Good morning to both of you.
[06:15:08] BLACKWELL: Happy Easter to you. First let's start with you, Siraj, and you know, the president's supporters for many of them this is what they wanted him to do, go in and shake it up. If you don't need the people around you, get rid of them.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, says the president is in action mood and does not want to slow roll things from trade to border to staff changing. What is wrong with that?
SIRAJ HASHMI, COMMENTARY WRITER, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's probably a lot of things that Donald Trump used to do in his private setting when he operated his own business and you know, multimillion and possibly billion- dollar enterprise.
What is interesting, though, is that he is growing more and more from what many Americans are viewing and reminds you of the movie "Scarface" except for the murders and you know, mountains of cocaine in which Tony Montana became more insularly, kind of alienated the people around him.
So, I have no idea if that is actually true, in which he is alienating people in the White House, but it certainly seems like he is kind of becoming more and more independent.
BLACKWELL: Tony Montana, really? That is what we are doing this morning? That's what we are doing? Let me come to you, Julian. So, on the point of policy and trying to get things done, we may see a president who is trying to move at a pace, obviously, what he is used to in business. This may not have much to do with the president's personality, but his resume. He is not used to moving at the glacial pace of Congress.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, what he calls the glacial pace, others might call the Democratic process. In politics, making progress involves negotiation and compromise and finally, it involves hearing opinions that are different from your own, because that is the way our political system works.
So, the problem is, I think, there is going to be a conflict between the way that he did business or the way that he sees the world and the way that our Democratic processes work. And I'm not sure he is going to be able to change that.
BLACKWELL: So, Siraj, let's take, for instance, the president a few weeks back announcing these tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports coming to the country. Initially, that was across the board and then as the policy took a step further, there were exemptions for the E.U., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea.
I mean, it went on and on to most of them now are at a quota system. I mean, there is still bureaucracy. So, to what degree will these impulses that the reporting from the "Washington Post" and CNN says that the president will now rely on will actually make it to policy?
HASHMI: Well, what is the interesting part about this -- and you know, you talked about the South Korea war games in the previous segment. You know, a lot of people will look at that as kind of, you know, reescalation of tensions wen within the Korean Peninsula and people might attribute that to John Bolton, who is going to become the national security adviser.
However, what's interesting is that President Trump is just doing whatever he wants to do. Right now, by taking away a lot of these people within the White House. You kind of just removing the middleman that people who would just tell him no, when really he just going to do what he wants to do any way.
Of course, the Tony Montana example may not be the best example, but it's interesting to find that the president might be growing more insular in his thinking and I would say that General Jim Mattis maybe the one person outside of the White House, who has the most influence on him in terms of what he do with the $1.3 trillion spending omnibus bill and building up the military really sacrificing funding for the wall. BLACKWELL: Yes, one of those -- many of those stabilizers that people thought were going to come in to help this president are now out. Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster and, of course, Mattis is still there at defense.
Let's switch to another promise the president made during the campaign, Julian, and that is building the wall along the border. The president tweeted out pictures last week of what he says was construction on the new border wall. Turns out this was replacement of old fencing.
The Customs and Border Protection deputy commissioner held a news conference this week. They sent out this press release saying construction is under way of the new border wall. Here is actually what is happening from that acting deputy commissioner himself.
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RONALD VITIELLO, CBP ACTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Calexico where I'm scheduled and on budget to build a new 30-foot border wall as approved by the administration and replaces two miles of the pedestrian barrier. In the Rio Grand Valley, we are building 35 new gates along exiting border wall and replace 47 miles of dilapidated fencing with new wall system and we plan to build 25 miles of new levee wall as well as eight miles of new border wall system in Stark County, Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So, much of that is replacement of existing fencing. Did the definition of new and wall change with this administration?
[06:20:09] ZELIZER: Absolutely. This is Trump rebranding 101, meaning he can't get the wall that he wants so far, so, instead, take other things, such as fixing up existing walls, and brand them as the Trump wall. This is a very important campaign promise to him.
He can't get what he wants. There is the Democratic processes at work. So, he is going to try to call something that looks like a wall, "the wall." He might be successful with his supporters, but I think it's far short of what he intended to do.
BLACKWELL: Siraj, listen to mayors on either side of this fencing that is being replaced.
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MAYOR MARITZA HURTADO, CALEXICO, CALIFORNIA: We all, as a community, want to make sure the people out there in this country know that California is not the beginning of a wall project for the Trump administration. It is completely different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew that it was a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Do the supporters potentially will they buy that this is the wall that they chanted for?
HASHMI: Not if it's coming from CNN. If it was coming from Fox News, probably. What is interesting, though, there are some supporters. True America first policy supporters who understand that this is actually -- who actually believes CNN's reporting on this that actually is not a new wall and its replacement fencing.
The hundred miles of border wall that they are using the $1.6 billion on is really not a hundred miles of continuous wall. It's in bits and pieces along the border. This is not something that they really signed up for. They really wanted the entire almost 2,000 miles of southern border to be reinforced with border security and the border wall and it's not meeting up to their standards.
BLACKWELL: And Mexico is going to pay for that. Siraj Hashmi, Julian Zelizer, thanks so much.
All right. Coming up on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper recently fired VA Secretary David Shulkin and Senator Bernie Sanders will also a guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
GALLAGHER: And still to come, some Parkland shooting survivors are demanding an apology from NRA Board Member Ted Nugent after he called them liars and soulless. We'll have more on that ahead.
Plus, it's Easter Sunday, Pope Francis giving his leading Easter mass, his blessing at the Vatican. We have a live report coming up in just a moment.
GALLAGHER: Welcome back. I'm Dianne Gallagher in for Christi Paul on this Easter Sunday.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.
NOBLES: Police say that a Chinese college student in Orlando made no threats to actually harm anyone.
BLACKWELL: But then after a series of decisions that worried his fellow students and then campus police, he is now being kicked out of the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL (voice-over): The purchase of a rifle, a dramatic change in appearance, holding up inside his room and a pricey shopping spree that included a corvette, a student at the University of Central Florida is being deported to China after the school's police chief said there was red flag after red flag that something bad would happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just saved a bunch of lives. There is no doubt about it.
BLACKWELL: Police started investigating 26-year-old Wenliang Sun earlier this year after he made unusual statements to a school official. They flagged it to the ATF and found out that Sun owned an assault-style rifle and ammunition. When a detective interviewed him, Sun referred to his weapon as a sniper rifle but said he never thought about hurting himself or others.
Days after that interview, Sun bought a second assault-style rifle this one with a (inaudible) and expensive scope. Police were monitoring Sun, but officials said he owned both go guns legally.
But then his visa was revoked due to an issue unrelated to his gun purchases and he stopped going to class.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I think that was a disaster about to happen and we stopped it.
BLACKWELL: Sun is now being held by immigration officials and is expected to be deported soon and he will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for ten years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, campus police say other students who own guns should not be concerned. They say this case was about the behavior of one student whose actions showed that he was in crisis.
GALLAGHER: Harsh words from NRA board member and rocker, Ted Nugent. It happened during an interview on a conservative radio program he called on survivors of the Parkland shooting, he called them liars and mushy brain children. Now when asked how the students are railing against the NRA, he says, quote, "not only is it ignorant and dangerously stupid, but it's soulless."
Meanwhile, outspoken Parkland survivor, David Hogg, is standing up against the criticism that he received from Fox News Host Laura Ingraham after she mocked him in a series of tweets earlier this week and then later apologized.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HOGG, STUDENT, STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I think my biggest takeaway from this is when somebody -- no matter who somebody is, no matter how big or powerful they seem a bully is a bully and it's important to stand up to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: More than a dozen companies pulled their advertising from Laura Ingraham's show after her attacks. She announced that she would be on a vacation next week amid all the controversy, but says it was a preplanned take of leave for this Easter week.
Now joining us to discuss is CNN senior media correspondent and host "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. Good morning, Brian. Let's get to Ted Nugent first.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
GALLAGHER: He said this on a conservative radio program. I want people to see it again, "The dumbing down of America is manifested in the culture deprivation of our academia that have taught these kids the lies. I really feel sorry for them because it's not only ignorant and dangerously stupid but it's soulless."
He is name-calling. He is blaming their education. Some of the students are demanding an apology and it appears that he is a little bit different than Laura Ingraham here because is attacking their education that's why they are in this way that he disapproves of.
Does it help the situation at all?
STELTER: Yes. No. Let's state the obvious.
First of all if you are an adult and you are attacking high school students, you're losing. And I think that is some of what we are seeing in these responses, some of these mostly right wing responses to the Parkland students.
Obviously, in the weeks since the massacre there, there has been a lot of debate about guns and there is a lot of disagreement with these students. Most of these students have taken a position in favor of more gun control.
They are supporting specific steps they would like to see taken. There's law they would like to see passed or changed. And we should be debating those proposals.
But what we have seen, as well, are these really gross attacks against the students David Hogg in particular, Emma Gonzalez in particular, some of the other students have been targeted as well. There have been conspiracy theories against them. There has been name-calling.
And then you have the kind of rhetoric we are seeing from Ted Nugent. It just seems to me really clear that -- somebody like Ted Nugent he is losing the argument so, thus, he is, you know, going in this direction. And we have seen a bunch of that in the past six weeks or so.
Look, what is interesting about teenagers -- we remember being teenagers. You're learning a lot. You're learning. You're figuring out how to go about in this world.
I don't think the students are going to get every single message right every single time but they are trying to figure it out. And to go after their education or as Laura Ingraham did to mock the -- not getting into college that's obviously way too low a blow.
GALLAGHER: So, you know, speaking of Laura Ingraham and David Hogg. She did apologized. The advertisers pulled out of her show. She's going to be off the airwaves. Is it about the actual name-calling though, Brian? Because look I've been with these kids. They're putting themselves out there. We are treating them as experts in the situation.
Is it about the individual meanness of the name-calling or is it about challenging them? Because it does seem that maybe there is a bit of a double standard here. Some of the kids were a bit more conservative. Kyle Kashuv, the Pollack family.
They don't seem to indicate that they don't feel like they are getting the same sort of defense from members of the media and really just the Twitter sphere as well when people attack them for their viewpoints.
STELTER: I think we need -- you know, member so the media and people that want to reasonably engage in this gun debate should consistent. Yes. Absolutely should be consistent.
But when Laura Ingraham goes and mocks David Hogg in this case, I think we all -- I think there was almost a universal sense that that was beyond the pale. Thus you see these advertisers withdrawing.
Look, I think ad boycotts are dangerous and that's -- maybe it's a desperate discussion but when you look at these situations, you mentioned Kyle, one of the other students, there was talk on Twitter about whether, Kurt Eichenwald of MSNBC had been criticizing -- attacking Kyle as a result MSNBC should suffer an ad boycott. Well, actually an advertiser withdrew from MSNBC without knowing that Eichenwald was no longer a contributor. He wasn't on the payroll.
You know, it gets very messy very quickly when you talk about ad boycotts and then Laura Ingraham one is no exception. Now she is on a vacation for a week. FOX said it was preplanned.
I assume she will be back at the end of her vacation but this vacation is a period for everything to cool down. But bottom line these students have incredibly political power and when you see David Hogg announce an ad boycott on Twitter and get more than a dozen companies to go with him that's a remarkable thing.
GALLAGHER: Definitely so. Brian Stelter, thank you.
Be sure to catch him on "RELIABLE SOURCES" today at 11:00 a.m. only on CNN.
BLACKWELL: All right. Here's a look from a few moments ago at the Vatican where Pope Francis is leading Easter Sunday celebrations there. We will take you there live next.
BLACKWELL: Christians around the world are celebrating Easter this morning. It is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Pope Francis has been presiding over mass at the Vatican where he gave his blessing from St. Peter's Basilica.
The pope is welcoming new comers to the faith this Easter including a Nigerian migrant who became a hero in Italy for disarming a thief with his bare hands. His actions echoed in the pope's message urging Christians to act in the face of injustice and to keep their hearts open.
CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen joins us now from Rome with more on the pope's message this morning. And the pope's general message which he led into this holiday with was potentially to have a low-key Easter, in some ways.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Hi, Victor. First of all, happy Easter to you.
BLACKWELL: To you too.
ALLEN: You're right. Pope Francis set a tone of trying to avoid over exuberance at the beginning but, of course, Easter Sunday is in many ways an exuberant day for Christians. It's when they believe Christ rose from the dead.
And so we -- and the pope has two corner stone moments on Easter. One is the mass he leads in St. Peter's Square. The other his Urbi et Orbi address to the city and to the world.
From that central balcony at the top of the basilica it's one of only two times during the year in which he stands in this space. The other is Christmas and, of course, that's the same space where he gives a blessing right after he is elected.
In the mass this morning, we heard the pope talk about God as a God of surprises and how our hearts need to be open to surprise, and also how we need to be willing to get moving, once God does surprise us. Then in the Urbi et Orbi address which is kind of a 360-degree review of the state of the world the pope mentions special concern for Syria, for the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, for the entire Middle East. Also mentioned migrants, the poor, victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Now none of that of course will be a surprise to anyone who knows the pope's agenda but it does indicate that his focus on those subjects is not dimming, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Now, John, on Good Friday Pope Francis said that he feels ashamed of the state of the world. What did he mean by that?
ALLEN: Well, he actually said we all should be ashamed. This was in the context of his meditations at the Via Crucis procession which commemorates the steps of Christ on the way to being crucified on the cross and so it's a very somber moment and penitential moment.
And the pope was basically urging people to pray to God for the gift of what he called holy shame, that we should feel ashamed of the state of the world, in particular, that we are leaving it in such a mess to the next generation, to the young. And that we should also pray for holy repentance --
ALLEN: -- for a chance of heart, meaning a kind of determination to clean this mess up, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Valuable lessons from Pope Francis there on this Easter Sunday, the entire weekend. John Allen in Rome for us. John, thank you.
GALLAGHER: Two fatal crashes in just a month's time from two different types of self-driving cars. Coming up next, should we be worried about this technology?
BLACKWELL: There have been two fatal crashes involving autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles in a single month. "Wired" magazine now reports that Tesla's autopilot was involved in a deadly crash. This happened less than a week after an Arizona woman was hit and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle.
Now should that cause us to worry about the self-driving cars systems? Here is Christi Paul with more.
PAUL: Now before that wreck, I went to New York City for a story on autonomous vehicles. And as we drove in a semi-autonomous car, I asked Dr. Elizabeth Phelps, who studied fear and motion and learning at NYU (ph) -- I (ph) asked her what would happen when you have a death, when a first death from something like this makes the headlines?
So she made an important point. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ELIZABETH PHELPS, PHELPS LAB, NYU: We don't hear about car accidents, right? We don't hear about, you know, everyday car accidents all that often but they happen all the time, right? And yet they are not in our minds because it's just a part of driving, it's a part of everyday life.
Once we realize that humans and machines can have mistakes even though there will be mistakes that maybe less often than human error, we will get more comfortable with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I want to bring in Alex Davies. He is a senior associate editor at "Wired" magazine. Alex, first your take on what she said there. Should we be alarmed about these kind of crashes or do we put them in perspective in the sense that, you know, there are so many thousands that occur every year with human drivers?
ALEX DAVIES, SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR, WIRED: I think we certainly need to look at these accidents, but not to be alarmed, but rather to use them as learning opportunities, especially with the Tesla crash and the Uber crash. It's an investigator's job to look at those and say, well, what went wrong here and how can we use the information to improve the system? But I think for everyday people who are interested in the idea of riding in a self-driving car, anybody who thinks that this technology is a good way is to start cutting down on 40,000 road deaths every year, then alarm isn't the right reaction.
This is technology. You want to keep pushing forward. And the important thing is to learn from what went wrong.
PAUL: How much do you trust the technology?
DAVIES: I trust the technology a fair bit. I've gotten to ride in a lot of these different cars.
I think with technology like Tesla's, which also appears in Cadillac and Nissan and other cars, which are the semi-autonomous systems, I think it's important to keep in mind what the companies will tell you which is that those systems are not that capable and that the human driver is in charge and that you have to remind yourself I'm supposed to be looking at the road.
When you start talking about fully autonomous systems, I think they are not quite ready for the road yet, or they are only ready for very certain situations. But I think that quite soon we will will be at a point I would at least be willing to get in one without a driver behind the wheel.
PAUL: OK. So looking at what has happens thus far, you write that there is a second fatal crash involving Tesla's semi-autonomous system. What do you know about that one?
DAVIES: It's -- we don't have a lot of information on what happened so far. We know that earlier this month a driver on a California highway had his Tesla Model X SUV with autopilot engaged. That is a system that keeps the car in its lane and a safe distance from other vehicles and that for unclear reasons, the car hit a safety barrier that was dividing two lanes.
All we know at the time was that the car was in autopilot and that the driver's hands were not on the wheel. That is according to data that Tesla pulled off the vehicle after the crash. And we do know that in the minutes leading up to the crash or in the hours leading up, the driver had been given several warnings by the car that he need to put his hands back on the wheel.
[06:50:08] PAUL: So when we look at that accident, we look at what happened in Arizona with Uber, how do these crashes and these deaths, how do they affect the industry moving forward? I mean, there has got to be some liability that these companies are concerned about.
DAVIES: I think for Tesla, the liability question is now going to become a much bigger one. This is the second time in the U.S. that we know that someone has died while using its autopilot system. Tesla will come back and say there are a lot of safety gains and I think that is probably true.
But nonetheless when you're creating a system that not fully capable of doing all the driving but drivers might tend to trust more than they should, then you do need to question whether Tesla is doing everything it needs to do to make sure that drivers really understand the system.
PAUL: OK. So with that said, you know, we look at the major players in this game. We have Uber, Google, Tesla, General Motors. They are all trying to perfect this technology.
Do you have a gut feeling or any real insight into who you think is going to be coming out ahead of the game?
DAVIES: I think it's safe to say that when you're talking about fully self-driving cars, cars that don't need a steering wheel or pedals or any kind of human doing the driving, that is where Waymo which is the company that spun out of Google's effort seems to be the furthest ahead. It's been doing this the longest, almost 10 years now, and it's been saying that by the end of 2018 it wants to launch a commercial service in Arizona and it just struck a deal to buy thousands of SUV -- electric SUVs from Jaguar and it says that by 2020 it wants to be providing a million autonomous rides a day. No one else has made that kind of claim.
PAUL: All right. Alex Davies, thank you so much for talking to us.
DAVIES: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Two left. I picked one correctly.
GALLAGHER: I picked this many correctly. I should watch college basketball.
Anyway, the national championship is set. Andy Scholes is in San Antonio going to let us know what to expect -- Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. Yes, the season coming to an end for Sister Jean and Loyola. Coming up, we will hear what the Ramblers had to say about their amazing tournament run.
GALLAGHER: After a march that has truly been madness. Full of upsets college basketball's final four now down to just those two final teams, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes was there. Hey, Andy.
SCHOLES: Good morning, guys.
Yes. The clock is striking midnight for Loyola. Their Cinderella run finally coming to an end here in San Antonio at the final four.
Sister Jean, the 98-year-old team chaplain for the Ramblers was here cheering on her team, her spirit has captured the hearts of the entire world throughout this entire tournament. The Ramblers actually had the lead at halftime and they had not lost a game all year when doing that but Michigan just too much in the second half of this when Sister Jean would leave right before the end of the game. The cheers from the crowd and the Ramblers' coach and players very emotional after their run came to an end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN RICHARDSON, LOYOLA-CHICAGO BASKETBALL PLAYER: It's not going to sink in yet. You know, it hurts to have this be the last one. You know?
This -- we wish that it could ended better. You know, we believed that we could have, you know, gone on.
PORTER MOSER, LOYOLA-CHICAGO HEAD COACH: What they did is very hard to do. They changed -- they left an impact on this school.
RICHARDSON: Despite, you know, going out this way, we are going to never forget this and I think a lot of people remember this run for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: The star of the night was Michigan's Mo Wagner. The 20- year-old from Berlin, Germany, having the game of his life. Twenty- four points, 15 rebounds, only two other players have had a game that good in the semi-finals in their name, Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird.
Now Wagner's parents came all the way from Germany to watch their son play here in San Antonio. And I caught up with them after the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: How proud are you of your son right now?
BEATE WAGNER, MOTHER OF MO WAGNER: Yes, I'm proud, of course. But happy, happy, happy/ Yes.
AXEL (ph) SCHULZ, FATHER OF MO WAGNER: Yes. So happy for him. Yes. Proud of the whole team. BEATE WAGNER: Yes.
SCHULZ: The whole team played their heart off, I guess --
BEATE WAGNER: Yes.
SCHULZ: -- especially in the second half. And we are very proud of the team. And Mo is a good part of it.
MO WAGNER, MICHIGAN FORWARD: Yes, I mean, that was always pretty cool for me because I watched this my entire childhood, this final four every year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: The night cap between one seed Villanova and one seed Kansas was supposed to be a heavyweight bout but the Wildcats came out and punched the Jayhawks in the mouth from the get-go starting the game on a 22-4 run.
Nova hitting a final four record 18 threes in the game. They just could not miss all night. They are moving on to the championship game tomorrow night.
The stage is set. It will be Villanova versus Michigan on TBS tip-off a little after 9:00 Eastern. And, guys, Nova is going to be trying to win their second title in the past three years. Michigan meanwhile is going to be trying to win their first championship since 1989.
But I would tell you what, if Villanova shoots like they did last night, I don't think the Wolverines have a chance. Villanova was just -- was lights out.
BLACKWELL: I picked Michigan. So let's hope not. Andy Scholes for us there in San Antonio. Thank you so much.