Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Expresses Disapproval of Mexican Pilgrims; Kim Jong-un Appreciates South Korean Talents; Bill Gates' Mission to Help South Africans; Back To Earth; Expedition Antarctica. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 2, 2018 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A march for migrants in Mexico has the U.S. president calling for new action on immigration.

Plus, a time for applause as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un welcomes South Korean pop stars.

And Bill Gates has a blunt message for leaders in Nigeria where he is spending more than a billion dollars. We will bring you that exclusive interview.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from here in the United States and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN Newsroom.

As immigrants are marching through Mexico toward the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump says he no longer supports a legislative compromise to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

You're looking at some of the so-called caravan of more than a thousand migrants from Central America. They are fleeing violence and poverty, and some are planning to apply for asylum in the United States. Activists have organized this pilgrimage in previous years, and the presidents -- president referenced the so-called caravan in a tweet.

He blamed democrats over border security and called on republican lawmakers to pass, quote, "tough laws on immigration." He finished the tweet by writing, quote, "No more DACA deal." The president was then asked about his tweet outside a church in Florida before attending Easter service.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what do you mean no DACA deal?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mexico has got to help us at the border. If they're not going to help us at the border, it's a very sad thing between two countries. Mexico has got to help us at the border. And a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage

of DACA. And we're going have to really see. They had a great chance. The Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance. But we'll have to take a look.

But Mexico has got to help us at the border. They blow right through Mexico. They send them to the United States. It can't happen that way anymore. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: All right. You heard there the president argue many immigrants are coming into the U.S. to take advantage of DACA protections, according to him. But program is actually not accepting new applications.

Our Leyla Santiago has more now on the migrant march that seems to be angering the president.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than a thousand people are making their way north as part of the Via Crucis here in Mexico. It's something that happened every year during Holy Week. Many see it as a sort of pilgrimage or a religious march. But it has become so symbolic that others use it as a way to make a statement.

For this group in particular, they started marching on the southern border of Mexico, right there with Guatemala. And they are heading north as they make statements about immigration, as well as the conditions in their home countries.

Many of these Central Americans from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. And they want people to know they're fleeing violence and poverty from their home country.

So the plan according to organizers, many of them will end up at the U.S./Mexico border. And some of them will be seeking asylum when they do so. Of course, this is something that President Trump tweeted about and said that he is not happy with that.

And in response, the Mexican government has also issued an official statement through the foreign minister. He said, "Every day Mexico and the U.S. work together on migration throughout the region. Facts clearly reflect this. An inaccurate news report should not question this strong cooperation. Upholding human dignity and revised is not at odds with the rule of law." And he adds "Happy Easter."

Now the people that are on this march say that this will be taking several more days. Right now they are near the Oaxaca area, and it could be several days before they make to it the U.S.-Mexico border.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Mexico City.

[03:04:59] CHURCH: And Scott Lucas is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham. He is also the founder and editor of E.A. Worldview. And he joins me now live from Birmingham in England. Great to have you on the show. SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Thank you.

CHURCH: Now, this march of asylum seekers towards the U.S. border appears to have annoyed Mr. Trump. And in a confusing move, he tied the immigrant march to the DACA deal, saying new immigrants want to take advantage of DACA. What do you make of that? Why is the president of this nation confused about this issue?

LUCAS: Well, he is either confused or he is using this as a pretext. I mean, let's be clear. As you report stated, the caravan is not covered by DACA. None of those people will come into the U.S. under that program. And also, we are not talking about people trying to flood the U.S. Instead this is a political protest highlighting U.S. approach to refugees and to asylum.

The reason why Trump is agitated is beyond this. The first is he wants the wall. He wants $25 billion for the wall. Congress is not giving it to him. They will only give him $1.6 billion. He threatened to shut down the government over this. He was told you can't shut down the government because you can't fund the military if you do that.

So, now the second reason. Since Trump agreed to the government budget that was passed by Congress, he has faced criticism from the hard right for being weak. Anne coulter in an interview this past weekend called him an ignoramus who sold out the American people. Trump is very sensitive to criticism. He is also very sensitive to what he sees on Fox and Friends who highlighted Coulter's comments yesterday.

CHURCH: Right.

LUCAS: That's what he then tweeted.

CHURCH: So how risky is this for him, given most polls show about 90 percent of Americans support a DACA deal. Why would Mr. Trump abandon that idea, given there could be some consequences?

LUCAS: Because Donald Trump doesn't operate by the logic or political calculation. It has served him well in the past where he acts on impulse. Here I'm not sure it will. Because remember, down in Florida, he has got no advisers around him. He's got no chief of staff, John Kelly. He's got none of the other pragmatist to say Mr. President, let's think about this.

He's got no Republican congressman to say to him, look, let's see if we can get a bipartisan deal. So Trump lashes out and then we all pick up the pieces when everyone comes back from Easter holidays.

CHURCH: Now you mentioned that the border wall is really at the center of this. It's possibly what triggered Mr. Trump's frustration. How dangerous is the issue of immigration for the Trump administration at this point?

LUCAS: Let's talk about two things. The first is that immigration is not an imminent danger to the United States. The United States has dealt for decades with immigrants. We've face the specific issue of immigration from Central America. The country is not being flooded. Indeed, many people who are immigrants from Central America have contributed to the U.S.

The real danger of immigration is when you raise it up as a political issue. It is a danger to Donald Trump if he forces a shutdown of the U.S. government or if he appears to simply be deporting people who have been here for years.

But most of all, most of all, this issue is a danger to those people, almost 800,000 DREAMers who are in limbo and are threatened by deportation if the courts allow the suspension of the program to go ahead.

CHURCH: Scott Lucas, we thank you for your analysis. I appreciate it.

LUCAS: Thank you.

CHURCH: We have seen North Korea's leader clapping before, of course, often after he tested a new weapon. But Sunday was different.

Kim Jong-un came out for a landmark concert by a group of South Korean artists. They included K-pop stars like Red Velvet. It's the first time South Korean artists have played in the North in more than a decade. Sunday's diplomatic push also included this event.

The South Korean tae kwon do team put on a display for thousands of North Koreans. They kicked, jumped, and even did their own K-pop dance. The shows are a sign of better ties for the Koreas, but they also come as the U.S. and South Korea kick off annual war games. And they will be shorter this year, that is significant, but are set to be similar in scale to past truce like this.

And we have more on this from CNN's Alexandra Field who joins us live from Seoul. Good to see you again, Alex.

So, how significant is this moment in North and South Korean relations when we see pop stars from the south performing for Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, and as leaders of the two nations prepare to meet, possibly there will be a face to face meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.

[03:09:58] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, it's another step forward, one of a number of rapid developments that we have seen in recent weeks and months as these two countries work to have stronger or better relations in advance of that summit that is scheduled for the end of the month.

We spoke to some of the performers who were taking the stage before they left for North Korea. They weren't sure at the time of course if Kim Jong-un would be in the audience. So certainly, that would be a surprise to them, to the rest of the world.

But images of Kim Jong-un in that audience clapping along have now been broadcast by state newscast in North Korea. It's something that some people there will be able to see.

Beyond that, state news has reported that he actually congratulated some of the performers after the show. And even went on to say that he was hopeful that there could be another exchange like this in which North Korean performers might travel here to Seoul for another performance perhaps as soon as the autumn he says.

So certainly a symbolic step forward, as you have seen these two countries take a series of steps that started with the North Korean delegation heading to the Olympics in South Korea, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And as we mentioned, South Korea and the United States began over the weekend their military drills. But they are going to be different this time around, aren't they?

FIELD: Yes. Usually this time of year, we would be seeing tensions rise here on the peninsula. You might be seeing images of these war games at this time of year. These are drills that the U.S. and South Korea continue to contend are critical for their defensive posture here. But every year North Korea objects with condemnation and also oftentimes with provocation.

This year however, you're not seeing new images of the drills. That's because the media here in South Korea has not yet been invited to film any of these drills. And that seems to be part of the effort not to create more tension at this critical time in the peninsula when it seems that diplomatic efforts will proceed forward with the summit that is scheduled for end of the month, and also with the possibility of Kim Jong-un and President Trump himself sitting down perhaps as soon as May.

Other steps were taken to contain the potential fallout of these drills that was to ship the time line here. Typically we've seen these drills start in the beginning of March that would have coincided with the Olympics in South Korea. So the decision was made to delay the drills.

Also, again, as you point out, a condensed time frame lasting just a month now. The U.S. says they're still doing everything that they would need to do, but it would seem that the drills would wrap up around the time that Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in are scheduled to sit down. And certainly it would seem they would wrap up before any potential meeting with Kim Jong-un and president Trump. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Alexandra Field joining us live from Seoul in South Korea where it's just after 4 in the afternoon. Many thanks as always.

Well, China is raising tariffs on more than 100 imports from the United States. The Chinese finance ministry says it's because new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have, quote, "seriously damaged Chinese interests." In order to balance their losses, they say they are leveling a new 15 percent tariff on 120 fruit products and a 25 percent tariff on eight pork products from today. China says its moves are legitimate and based on World Trade Organization rules.

Well, Bill Gates is investing more than a billion dollars in Nigeria, but he says he is unhappy with the country's government.

A CNN exclusive interview coming your way in just a moment. We're back in a minute.

[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, British authorities believe they have a clue that indicates the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy points straight to the Kremlin.

Last week, officials revealed that they think whoever poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia put the nerve agent on the front door of Skripal's home. Now a source briefed on the investigation told CNN they believe a move like that was too sophisticated for a rogue agent and likely need the Kremlin approval.

I want to get the latest now from Matthew Chance in Moscow. So Matthew, what has been the reaction in Moscow?

MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russians have not reacted to that particular allegation yet. We're going to be speaking to them later on to see what their response is.

But of course, it fits in to the general allegation that's already been made by Britain, which is that the Russia -- this was an unlawful act carried out by the Russian state, or at least it was highly likely to have been carried out by the Russian state.

The alternative theory that was pushed be up by the British was that perhaps that the Russians may have lost control of this nerve agent and it called upon Moscow to account for that loss of control.

But it does seem now that obviously the Brits have -- the British have moved more towards this idea that this was something that was sanctioned by the Russian state. And of course, this reporting at CNN suggesting it was from the president's office itself.

Now as for the Russian reaction, well, they've categorically of course denied any connection with this. The latest theory that has been floated in Russian state media is that this was something that was carried out by the British themselves in order to fuel an anti-Russian campaign, that they wanted to lead politically.

And so there has been all sorts of conspiracy theory, alternative narratives put out by the Russians to try and explain what could have happened to Sergei and Yulia Skripal. In fact, the only theory they haven't come up with yet is that indeed the Russian state could have ordered it.

And so we're still at a point very much of diplomatic standoff. There have been expulsions, not just between Britain and Russia, but of course 29 countries have expelled Russian diplomats from their countries over the confrontation on this issue.

And Russia has returned in kind, summering -- summoning ambassadors from those countries and reciprocating expulsions as well. So it's still very much an international standoff over this issue, Rosemary.

[03:20:00] CHURCH: Indeed. And Matthew, to another issue we're watching very closely, what more are you learning about Russia's reported successful testing of an upgraded air defense missile?

CHANCE: This, as I understand it, this is an air defense missile which was basically about defending the Russian capital and other Russian cities from air attack. There is sort of a ringing of anti- missile defenses around Moscow, the Russian capital and other cities as well. And this is an attempt to upgrade that system.

But it falls into a broader program of Russia upgrading its missile program specifically and its military in general. Just recently, the Russians posted video of them successfully test firing their latest intercontinental ballistic missile. It's called the Sarmat missile although its code named the Satan 2 missile quite dramatically by NATO.

And that's kind of, you know, rung alarm bells, set of red lights all over the international community particularly in the west that Russia is engaged in this very dangerous arms race to improve its missile delivery system.

CHURCH: Very unnerving. Matthew Chance bringing us up to date on those two issues from Moscow. Many thanks to you.

Well, the insults are flying between the leaders of Turkey and Israel. They are trading barbs over Israel's response to protests in Gaza. Seventeen Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces on Friday.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Hey, Netanyahu, we don't have the shame of invading. You are an invader. You are occupying those lands as an invader. At the same time, you are a terrorist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Mr. Netanyahu was equally scathing about Mr. Erdogan, tweeting this. "He who occupies northern Cyprus encroaches on Kurdish territory and massacres civilians in Afrin cannot preach to us on values and morals.

Well, tensions, meanwhile, remain high in Gaza following Friday's deadly violence. Funerals were held through the weekend for some of the 17 Palestinians who were killed in the worst unrest in the region in four years. More than 1400 Palestinians were injured in the clashes with Israeli troops. Israel is rejecting calls for an inquiry into what happened.

In Costa Rica's presidential runoff election, the candidate who supported LGBT rights has won decisively with most of the votes counted. Carlos Alvarado has won with about 60 percent of the vote. The election has been called a de facto referendum on same-sex marriage. Alvarado defeated a right-wing preacher who campaigned strongly to

restore what he called traditional values. The election in Costa Rica was seen as an early test of conservative culturalism in Latin America.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy but also struggles with extreme poverty. Faith in the government has been badly hit by recent terror attacks and continuing corruption.

One of the world's richest men, Bill Gates, wants to help turn the tide, funding projects focused on health and education.

He spoke exclusively to CNN's David McKenzie about his hopes for Nigeria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, INTERNATIONAL CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is where Bill Gates is quietly spending more than $1.6 billion of his fortune. His money helping to eradicate the scourge of polio in Nigeria but grinding poverty remains. And for many, an absence of political leadership.

BILL GATES, FOUNDER, MICROSOFT CORPORATION: As a partner of Nigeria--

MCKENZIE: So the once silent partner is speaking out.

GATES: You know, I am saying that the current plan is inadequate.

MCKENZIE: Directed squarely at politicians. The public rebuke is a rare departure for Gates and his foundation. But it comes at a critical time.

Africa's biggest economy is heading into the 2019 election was the continent's largest youth population. Nearly eight million of them are unemployed.

Why do you think that it's good to give hard facts to Nigerian leaders right now?

GATES: Well, Nigeria has all these young people. And the current quality and quantity of investment in this young generation, the health and education just isn't good enough. And, you know so, I was very direct.

MCKENZIE: Out on the streets they say the government is often absent, or present in the form of an official asking for a bribe. Nigeria is rated one of the most corrupt countries.

So, you know, what do you think of the message that Bill Gates is bringing here?

[03:25:00] MOSES UCHANDU, NIGERIAN RESIDENT: Bill Gates is saying the truth.

MCKENZIE: Moses Uchandu works in a bank near the market. He says vendors like this woman selling e-food (Ph) don't have steady electricity and they can't access loans.

All these people are trying to survive. Are they being helped?

UCHANDU: No. People are struggling to survive every day.

MCKENZIE: The government says it has welcomed Gates' message and is working to do better for the people. A population that by 2050 will be bigger than in the United States.

Do you see the potential for Nigeria when you visit people in this country and go out on to the streets?

GATES: I really do think of all the countries I've seen, it really hangs in the balance. If they can get health and education right, they will be an engine of growth not just for themselves, which would be those 400 million people, but for all of Africa.

MCKENZIE: Moses says Nigerians don't need to be given much to succeed.

UCHANDU: We are for success (Ph), yes.

MCKENZIE: If they could just be provided with the basics, he says the talent of Nigerians will shine through.

David McKenzie, CNN, Lagos.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: The threat is over. A Chinese space lab's fiery end as it falls from space. Well will have a live report on its demise.

Plus, South Korea's reaching out to the North with K-pop. But now comes the hard part. What Seoul can actually hope to achieve at an upcoming summit. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we've been following this hour.

[03:29:55] More than a thousand people fleeing violence from poverty in Central America are marching through Mexico toward the U.S. border. The so-called caravan is a symbolic pilgrimage, but some of the migrants taking part in the march are planning to apply for asylum in the U.S.

That march seems to have caught the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump. He tweeted he no longer supports a legislative compromise to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The president called on Republican lawmakers to pass strict border laws.

Hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters have evacuated Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta. The rebel group reached an agreement with Syria and Russia for safe passage. Tens of thousands of people have already fled Eastern Ghouta after weeks of heavy aerial bombardments.

Now for the latest on the story we are tracking out of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea's leader has attended a landmark concert by South Korean artist in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un clapped at the concert and reportedly took pictures with the singers. The musical diplomacy comes ahead of a meeting between Mr. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in that is set for April 27th.

A North Korean summit with U.S. President Donald Trump could also be in the works. Now all this signals better ties on the peninsula, but the U.S. and South Korea are also holding annual war games. They kicked off this weekend, but they're shorter than past drills like the ones seen here.

I'm joined now from Pusan in South Korea by Robert Kelly. He is an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University. Thanks so much for being with us.

ROBERT KELLY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, PUSAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: So the world has witnessed this incredible shift in North and South Korean relations in just a matter of months, culminating in this musical diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula, and all the summits that we're waiting for now and the talks between both sides, both nations, what do you make of how far they have come? And what all do you think could be achieved?

KELLY: Right. I think so far it's been good atmospherics, but not too much more. You know, the Olympics were nice. And the musical troops and the shows and things like that and others has been sort of shared cultural events. All that is great. I mean it sets a mood in it. It gets the ball rolling.

We've had difficult times in the past. Last year we were talking about nuclear war. All this is progress, but it's still basically window dressing. It's still really atmospherics. Ultimately we need to find out what the North Koreans are willing to offer us. One of the reasons why these kinds of things have broken down in the past is because the North Koreans either didn't follow through or didn't offer us enough.

The Americans and the South Koreans are going to see real movement from North Korea. We can't just sort of give the North Koreans concessions. The North Koreans have got to give us something on missiles and nukes particularly. So far in the last three or four months, no proposals have yet been floated. So that is what I think everybody is still waiting for, like, what are they going to offer that they haven't in the past.

CHURCH: Yes. We haven't too long to wait, have we? The leaders of the two Koreas, they will meet on April 27th. And then Kim Jong-un will meet face-to-face with President Trump in May if that goes ahead. Pretty much an unthinkable meeting just a matter of weeks ago. What would you expect to come out of these two historic summits?

KELLY: Actually, my own sense is -- I'm rather skeptical. My own sense is these are probably be a bust, particularly the one with Trump and Kim. I think the Moon one probably stands a better chance only because South Koreans I think are much better prepared for this. You know, President Moon has been working on North Korea going back 25 years.

He was a part of the last liberal administration 10 years ago that pushed the sunshine policy. So I think he really knows these issues and he can get in there and sort of slug it out in detail. I'm actually skeptical that President Trump can do that. I don't know. I just don't know that what the North is going to give President Moon. Moon was only elected with 41 percent of the vote.

I mean he is going to face crushing criticism in the conservative press here if he comes back with a deal that makes him look like Neville Chamberlain or something like that. The North Koreans need to give us something substantial, you know, like access to the sites, a missile count, something real because it's the only way you're going to sell to the hawks here and in Washington who are suspicious of this.

CHURCH: Is there a risk that someone might get played here by Kim Jong-un, specifically President Trump?

KELLY: Well, I'm concerned about that. I mean if you sort of look at the way the president has governed, for example, the chaos that has routinely come out of the White House, if you look at the fact that Secretary of State Tillerson was fired and then adviser McMaster, I mean there is sort of a lot of churn at the top.

It's not clear who the North Korean point person is at the White House or in the State Department. We don't have an ambassador for U.S. here in South Korea. There is not an undersecretary for East Asia. I mean there is a lot of like open spaces.

And the president himself doesn't really know a great deal about Korea. We know he doesn't read a lot. I mean this is what I'm really sort of concerned about, is that Trump is going to walk in there and he is just not ready for this, right?

So my own sense, it would be better if the American one was postponed for six months to nine months and the Americans had time to sort of hammer out a set of talking points and those things were floated in the press and things like that, so at least we have some sense of where we're going.

[03:35:06] In South Korea, I think it's easier because Moon Jae-in has worked on this issue for such a long time and people know what he wants.

CHURCH: Why do you think we are seeing this very different approach from Kim jong-un? I mean, we talked about we thought he was playing Mr. Trump, but do you think there is a possibility that he is shifting who he is or he is just shifting his approach to the outside world?

KELLY: Sure. I think the North Koreans are probably thinking they have nothing to lose by having these summits now because they've probably got the weapons. It's almost certainly clear now. Almost everybody, the technical people, most of them agree now the North Koreans can strike the continental United States with a nuclear weapon.

So now that they got that, why not float around and see what you can get for, right? The days when they sort of needed to sprint for this thing are over. Now they've got it. So why not meet anybody and everybody and see if they'll offer you anything for it? If they don't, you can just go back into a defensive crouch and hang out with the nukes for a while.

But in the interim, I man, they're meeting with everybody, right? They're going to meet with Abe of Japan. They just met with the head of IOC the other day. They met with Xi Jinping. He's going to go to Pyongyang right now. Basically looks like the North Koreans are saying we're open for business. We have these things. What are you going to give us for them? That's actually pretty smart when you think about it. Sorry.

CHURCH: Right. Just very quickly, the U.S. and South Korea military drills that got under way on the weekend, they're going to be different this time around. They're going to be shorter. Does that signal some sort of compromise, do you think?

KELLY: Yes, that's probably the Americans sort of giving Moon some room to move on this. You know, people are obviously in the South Korean conservatives particularly are concerned about the alliance and they're worried that Moon is going to go up there and sort of gamble things away.

Moon has to make sure the North Koreans don't back out at the last minute. They've done that kind of stuff in the past. So this is a way of signaling both I think deterrence but also to give Moon a little bit of space so that he can say, you know, I can cut a deal with the Americans. I can sort of hold them off on X, Y, Z, but you have to give me something real. That's my guess.

CHURCH: Robert Kelly, great to talk with you. Appreciate it.

KELLY: Thanks for having me.

CHURCH: China's out-of-control space lab has met its fiery end. China's space agency says Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace has plummeted back to earth right into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the spacecraft burned up during reentry. It had slowly been falling out of orbit since it lost contact with earth two years ago.

And our Ivan Watson joins us now with more from Beijing. So Ivan, how did this all play out in the skies? And what impact will this likely have on China's space program going forward?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. An ambitious space program and the Tiangong-1, the Heavenly Palace was supposed to be a big leap forward for the space program until 2017 when China informed the United Nations that it had completed its historic mission and basically informed that it had lost contact with the bus-sized spacecraft and to get ready and anticipate that it was going to make an uncontrolled descent.

Now there was a fair amount of speculation, not just from the Chinese- manned space agency, but also from organizations like the European space agency and from tons of space enthusiasts about when and where this craft would reenter the atmosphere because this was an uncontrolled descent.

And in the end, it impacted according to Chinese authorities around 8:15 a.m. Beijing time on Monday morning, burning up most of it in the atmosphere and whatever debris made it through would have crashed somewhere in the South Pacific.

As had been anticipated, of no real threat to human life on the ground. But nonetheless, this was an uncontrolled descent of this space lab, which the Chinese had lost contact with in 2016. It's most likely that the solar panels were the first to go. They're kind of quite vulnerable and fragile. But it's possible some other pieces did make it through.

This isn't the first time that a craft like this has come down. NASA's sky lab came down in 1979. It's many times larger than the Tiangong-1 was. But it is a setback because, Rosemary, the Chinese have big space ambitions. They want to have a space station up in 2023. They're also talking about putting a person on the moon. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Could be problematic. Ivan Watson, joining us from Beijing where it is 3:40 in the afternoon. We thank you so very much.

Some call them activists. Others call them extremists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Green Peace reps have just placed themselves in between the Ukrainian vessel and the reefer, hoping to be able to block the transshipment from taking place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Coming up, how one environmental group is using controversy to fight for conservation.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. CNN is in the Antarctic following Green Peace activists in one of the world's harshest and most beautiful regions. But this is no travelogue. The Green Peace members say they want to protect the fragile ecosystem at the bottom of the planet. Arwa Damon reports on their dramatic, controversial, and dangerous protest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON (voice over): Every day brings to that even more beauty and every shore adventure is magical in its own unique way. Zoe Buckley Lennox is one of the Green Peace activists on board, and she was already determined to protect the Antarctic even before she came.

ZOE BUCKLEY LENNOX, GREEN PEACE ACTIVIST: Yes, to see it definitely feels more intimate and it feels more personal. We could lose a lot of this area, the climate change and this species and those sorts of things.

DAMON (voice over): Perhaps just ask if not more crucial, the Antarctic's waters and its wildlife, especially krill which is a key to our species here, played a vital role moving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean.

Zoe is part of a team that has been tracking the movements of a Ukrainian krill fishing vessel. A lot of the krill fishing happens off the Antarctic Peninsula. And because this area is also the main feeding grounds for the wildlife, Green Peace and others have proposed this as an ocean sanctuary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swing around and keep up with them, Marty (ph). Probably abreast like this, please.

DAMON (voice over): Frank Hewetson is a Green Peace veteran.

(on camera): The Green Peace reps have just placed themselves in between the Ukrainian vessel and the reefer, hoping to be able to block the transshipment from taking place.

(voice over): There is already a Chinese vessel offloading on the other side. Green Peace makes radio contact with the Ukrainians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): We have no intention of taking control of your vessel. Our protest is peaceful.

[03:45:02] DAMON (voice over): But the Green Peace inflatables are no match.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

DAMON (voice over): The team speeds out again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not touch that rope. Do not touch that rope.

DAMON (voice over): Green Peace believes that protecting the krill now in this vital region may help save the planet later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let go a little bit more.

DAMON (voice over): It's about preserving the balance of an ecosystem that we are all reliant on for our survival.

The Green Peace team's new goal is to prevent the Ukrainian vessel from heading back out to the fishing grounds.

Zoe jumps on the rope. The Ukrainian fishermen cut her down. In to the Antarctic's freezing waters. The team needs to find a better location. And they aim for the anchor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bridge, bridge. We have Ronnie (ph) on the starboard side anchor (INAUDIBLE). We must inform the vessel immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good man, Ronnie (ph). Well done.

DAMON (voice over): Krill fishing is not illegal, but the Green Peace team hopes that their disruptive and controversial actions will generate a reaction and bring international attention to protect these waters and wildlife.

Zoe is now on top of the signature Green Peace pod. Activists can actually live in it and this is how Green Peace occupies its targets in extreme conditions. But now the Ukrainians are moving and they are threatening to head out to the fishing grounds full steam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have 10 minutes. After that, I make my speed full ahead, full ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The safety of our people is paramount.

DAMON (voice over): It is becoming too risky. Frank needs to get the climbers and if possible, the pod down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling on you to slow down and give us a chance to remove our people.

DAMON (voice over): The Ukrainian vessel does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). You OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It felt all right. It felt all right. I could just jump in the water, which I did twice.

DAMON (on camera): You seem to be kind of fearless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I internalize my fear.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like the truth is I'm more scared of environmental destruction than I am of a lot of these things.

DAMON (voice over): And in this remote and vital region, the Green Peace message is, we can do something before we reach a crisis point.

Arwa Damon, CNN, the Antarctic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, in some places, you couldn't be blamed for not knowing what season it is. There is a ferocious heatwave hitting Southeast Asia, and snow is forecast for the U.S. Northeast. Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera joins us now to explain what is going on. Ivan? IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Too much snow late in the season. That's what is going on in the northeast. I'll talk about that in a second. It's psychologically depressing as well, even though we're going to melt the snow with warm temperatures. Not as warm as it's been in India. My goodness.

Have you seen these numbers from the weekend? Upper 30s to lower 40s. And you have to factor in the humidity. Because it's humid, just not enough moisture to crank up thunderstorms, but humid enough to make it feel it's in the mid and upper 40s. That is a dangerous heat and by the way continues to build into the next few days.

A problem in India this time of year is the monsoon hasn't started. So we don't have the cooling rains. And we are leading the spring months. And we're going get into some very hot temperatures coming up. In fact, they already have. New Delhi's temperatures in march, it's been the warmest in eight years.

Also in eight years, what we haven't had, zero rain in March. That's the first time since 2010. We are going to have some pre-monsoonal showers and thunderstorms across east (INAUDIBLE) over the next couple days. But it's really not going to be enough to really make a significant change as far as the pattern or cooling off across India.

In fact, the humidity is just going to increase things over the next few days. All right. Let's take you to the northeast. Folks are going to be waking up to some snow. They have been. This is Kansas City, Missouri. Imagine, it's been snowing there. It's done at this point here. What's left is what you see there. It is going to -- I think be heavier across the northeast.

We'll continue to see that into the next few days. In fact, upwards of two, perhaps as high as six inches in some areas. We'll watch that closely. There is the snow beginning to move in. Rosemary, as you can imagine, it's going to wreak havoc for travelers early on Monday morning.

CHURCH: It's going to be horrible. Thanks for the heads-up. Appreciate it, Ivan.

And coming up in just a moment, the incoming U.S. national security adviser really knows how to stand out in a crowd, but will that fly with President Trump?

[03:50:03] We'll take a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: New controversy in the White House, but this time nothing's at stake. It's all about the new guy's facial hair. Jeanne Moos has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The man President Trump wants as his national security adviser must be pretty secure to step on the world stage knowing the first thing people will meet is his mustache.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is John Bolton, by the way. Mustaches don't always tell you everything you need to know about a person, but this one does.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS (voice over): He must be resigned to being portrayed heading to the White House for his first briefing as Yosemite Sam. He is not just depicted as a loose cannon, but one with a mustache. Already the president's hair has been affixed to Bolton's upper lip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Bolton looks familiar to you, it may be because he has been on the captain crunch box for 40 years.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS (voice over): If you believe the reporting in fire and fury, one of President Trump's issues with Bolton initially --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was his mustache. I mean that was the singular focus of derision.

MOOS (voice over): Steve Bannon is quoted as saying Bolton's mustache is a problem.

[03:55:01] Trump doesn't think he looks the part. But more than a year later, the president got over it. And comedians can't get enough of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ambassador Bolton.

MOOS (voice over): When Dana Carvey joined Stephen Colbert, he gave his mustache a name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is general snowball?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the name of my mustache.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS (voice over): Carvey kept making weird noises. And his mustache kept growing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Easy, fellow. No, boy, Stephen friend. Stephen small little feminine man.

(LAUGHTER)

MOOS (voice over): Carvey called his mustache a little engorged. But don't expect Bolton to capitulate. Back in 2016, he tweeted, I appreciate the grooming advice from the totally unbiased mainstream media, but I will not be shaving my mustache. Of course, that was before he was portrayed breastfeeding a puppy? That's enough to make your facial hair stand on end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, sugar buns, here we go.

MOOS (voice over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And that's what we'll leave you with. Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the U.S. And for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Isa Soares in London. Have yourselves a great day.

[04:00:00]