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Hawaii Braces for Explosive Eruption as New Fissures Open; World to See North Korea Blow up Nuclear Test Site; Trump Fulfills Controversial Promise to Move Embassy; Threat Attacks Target Christians in Indonesia; Paris Terror Attack, Suspect was on Police Anti-Terror Watchlist; Bernice King Calls For Boycott Of Waffle House; Bernice King Calls for Boycott of Waffle House; China's First Home- Grown Aircraft Carrier; Ivanka Trump And Jared Kushner Arrive In Israel Ahead of Embassy Opening; Controversial Pastor To Attend Embassy Opening; Survivor On A Mission To Protect Kids From Abuse; Tiger Woods Making Tracks; Cavaliers Vs. Celtics Game One Aired 6-7a ET

Aired May 13, 2018 - 06:00   ET



[06:00:14] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: There is concern from residents about this latest lava activity, especially with the cracks that are now forming along highway 132.

Take this time now to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation that may come at just a moment's notice.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It brings up lava and closes the road and we will have a hard time getting to town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the first time in my life, scare me to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is "New Day Weekend" with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

PAUL: Good morning to you. Hawaii this morning is on high alert. The threat of a volcanic eruption is growing by the minutes as there are new cracks in the ground spewing lava. Look at some of these new pictures that we're getting in here. There are dangerous gases as well. We're going to take you there.

BLACKWELL: Also, ahead this hour, an explosive invitation, North Korea says it will let the world watch as it blows up its nuclear test sites.

PAUL: And dramatic video capturing the devastating scene after a series of suicide bombings target Christian churches in Indonesia.

BLACKWELL: And Chinese shows off its aircraft carrier, it's major progress for the country but will it help China challenge the U.S. as the world's may roll superpower. PAUL: And there is a mother's quest to protect kids across the country. How Aaron's law is changing the way your children are learning about some delicate and difficult topics.

We're going to start this morning with you with this breaking news out of Hawaii. There are new threats, new warnings and some terrifying new video out of that state. Overnight, two new cracks opened up in the ground sending lava spewing into the air on the big island.

BLACKWELL: Now, the people there are high alert as officials warn a massive volcanic eruption is coming and it's coming soon. That eruption will likely come with zero warning, leaving little time to evacuate. CNN's Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking right now every development in the severe weather center. Allison, these new cracks, the fissures that they're called, are dangerous in their own, right, but they also have this urgent warning they bring of them of what is to come, right?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I mean, we talk about, you know, there's no warning time. I mean this really to a certain extent fissure warning. This is what to let you know that an eminent eruption is likely.

Now, the thing you have to understand is eminent in geological terms is not necessarily the same that we would say in normal conversation, eminent for geological terms could be anything from hours from now to even weeks from now.

But here is what we know as of right now, two new fissures, number 16 and number 17 have opened up just in the last about 12 to 24 hours. High emissions of sulfur dioxide are still being reported that's the very toxic gas that comes out of those fissures.

We also still have a lot of earthquake activity going on and we are still monitoring for that big explosive eruption that is expected to take place at the summit.

Now, here is a map of all the earthquake activity. Now, here is the Kilauea Summit and this is the eastern -- or this is where a lot of those state communities last week had been evacuated from. It's more of those fissures begin to open up. This is called the East Rift Zone. But that's where more the heavier population is located as opposed to the summit of the actual volcano.

Now, here is a map of all the fissures, hard to tell but just focus on all of the green dots. These are the previous ones, these got all the way up here, 16 and 17. So they are away from a lot of the other ones that poses its own new threats because this is now an area that has not had to deal with the fissures just yet and that most of the roads that have been closed are actually further to the south and west of where this fissure is. So they're likely going to have to go in close a lot more roads around these two new fissures that have actually opened back up.

Again, being a little farther away from it you also have to understand where the flow of that lava is going to go. So they'll have some precautionary areas kind of blocked off in the short term.

Now 16 and 17 they officially opened at 6:45 in the morning, Hawaii Time, keep in mind they are about five hours back Eastern Time. This did produced lava flows at least about 250 yards so far, that lava still continues to flow.

Then, fissure 17 formed just east of 16 several hour after that. And then the communities down slope of that are going to have to be on high guard to potentially have to evacuate at a moment's notice. And when we talk about fissures it's not something they use in everyday conversation, so you have to understand what it is. It's these cracks that break, Chisti, at the surface to relieve some of that pressure of the magna building up and that's why you can end up getting so much lava that end up coming out on to those roadways and yes unfortunately even into homes and businesses.

BLACKWELL: All right, Allison Chinchar watching everything for us. Allison, thank you so much.

[06:05:00] PAUL: Joining us now on regarding what's happening on the ground, Hawaii police spokesman Alan Richmond. Thank you so much for being with us, sir. First of all, as I understand it, you're about a mile from the summit, if I remember correctly. Good to see you again, what have changed if anything for you what you're seeing and feeling there in the last 24 hours?

ALAN RICHMOND, HAWII POLICE SPOKESMAN: Hello Christi and Victor. From the summit, to a large degree, not much, there has been a plume of smoke and steam coming up throughout the day earlier, kind of a black cloud. We had an earthquake just about a minute and a half ago and typically these earthquakes at the summit have been in the range of 3.2 to 3.5 after shocks if you will.

As you mentioned the possibility of steam and the water level meeting down in Caldera of Kilauea are a possibility and there are about 1500 residents that live up in volcano Hawaii, so that's quite concerning for residents here. The National Park has been closed since Friday, which is another indicator of trying to keep people safe, and then rift 16 and 17, that you eluded to earlier opened up today and there is been a splattering of volcanic lava and gases coming up from that and that area that potentially could evacuated.

BLACKWELL: So Alan, this is a story about eruptions and earthquakes but also a story about people. What are you hearing from the people, the degree of concern, of fear, of urgency as these news fissures open?

RICHMOND: Well, the people of Hawaii are really amazing, especially if you live here and are aware of Mother Nature and the possibilities of an eruption. Kilauea has been active, one of the world's most active volcanoes since January 3rd of 1983 and the last time that where was an event like this was in 1924. So it's kind of cyclical as volcanoes go but they're unpredictable and that's the fear factor.

And of course, the Hawaii police department, our job is to serve and protect so we are doing everything that we can in the areas down around the vents in the district to keep people safe and keep people out of there and make sure that the gases aren't continuing threat, although they will be at the top or at the bottom. So we are trying to do our best to take care of people. There are evacuations centers that have been set up in Kilauea and also in the Oahu district.

So people generally are going with the flow, if you'll excuse the theme there. And they are very -- I don't want to say they take it with a grain of salt, but it's very fearful for a lot of them and some of them had grown up on the islands here are just aware that is how the islands were formed from volcanic eruptions.

PAUL: Right. Well, Alan, we know that you're doing everything you can. Thank you so much for what you're doing for the people there, for keeping us informed. I know it's very early, I mean about 1:00 in the morning, I think where you are right now so thank you for being able to let the rest of us know what is happening. Certainly we have been keeping all of you in our thoughts. Take good care.

RICHMOND: Well, thanks very much and we appreciate all the support and the thought and prayers from the people around the world.

BLACKWELL: All right, thank you, Alan.

PAUL: Absolutely. Thank you, Alan.

BLACKWELL: We're now from rogue state to possibly -- just possibly a peaceful partner. North Korea appears to have gone through a significant makeover here. The Hermit state says it's taking technical measures now to dismantle its nuclear testing sites and is inviting a group of international journalists to watch.

PAUL: South Korea is welcoming this news, President Trump himself tweeted this. "North Korea has announced that they will dismantle nuclear test sites this month ahead of the big summit meeting on June 12. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture."

CNN Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson is live with us from Seoul, South Korea. Ivan, is this scene worldwide as that kind of a gesture, gracious and smart?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly another olive branch that North Korea is offering. It pledged last month that it would dismantle this nuclear testing facility. It's a mountain in the north of North Korea where we believe all of its six nuclear weapons tests, its blasts have taken place. The most recent and most powerful one, the sixth nuclear blast was in September of last year. And in this announcement, the foreign ministry of North Korea said that between May 23rd and May 25th there would a ceremony, as it described it for collapsing the tunnels that were used to burrow into the mountains to then set off those bombs inside and it was going to dismantle all the surrounding facilities. And that in fact, journalist from five different countries would be invited to witness this.

[06:10:17] Now, it's interesting that almost exactly a decade ago, this month, North Korea had a similar ceremony when it demolished a water cooling tower that was used as part of its plutonium enrichment process. It invited journalists. CNN was there with its cameras and invited American diplomats but then the talks broke down in the subsequent months and North Korea conducted another nuclear test less than a year after.

There is one more encouraging sign. The international civil aviation organization, Chisti, it says it met with North Korean civil aviation officials in Pyongyang recently and they also pledged that they wouldn't carrying out anymore unannounced ballistic missile launches which as recently last fall were happening and kind of waking up all of the security forces here in east Asia on almost a weekly basis so that is also a welcome signal from North Korea. Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ivan Watson for us there in Seoul is watching everything. Ivan, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Ivan.

So from North Korea to Israeli, the other region where the White House is claiming some foreign policy success.


MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On the world stage, you've seen America embracing our role as leader of the free world -- with action just this week on Iran, North Korea, and on Monday, America will lead the world again when we open our new Embassy in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.


BLACKWELL: Yes, but the move, although fulfilling one of President Trump's campaign promises and being called truly historic happening by Israeli is being seen as a controversial step by many world leaders who are afraid it might spike tensions in the Middle East.

PAUL: These pictures coming to us just a short time ago. There is Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner they have arrived in Ben Gurion Airport in Israeli, ahead of course of the embassy move ceremony that is happening tomorrow. CNN's Oren Liebermann is live from Jerusalem.

Oren, I believe heavy security have been planned for this opening, what are you hearing however about protests?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are very much expected to be a number of protests. In fact, the Israeli military, the IDF has boosted its forces both around Gaza, two brigades there as well as one full brigade in the West Bank. Protests and demonstrations are expected not just here but all throughout the Middle East and perhaps some other countries as well. And that's because in terms of what's happening, there isn't a more sensitive week probably on the entire calendar starting with today. Today is Jerusalem day where Israelis mark what they consider the reunification of Jerusalem.

It involves operative Israeli Jews through the Muslim quarter of the old city, a very provocative parade and that event alone, in and of itself, spikes tensions around Jerusalem. That leads into the embassy opening. That of course is tomorrow, time to coincide with the 78th anniversary of the state of Israel. Israel, very much celebrating, the Palestinian are furious and that's because one day later is, what Palestinian called Nakba Day, where they mark what they consider the catastrophe of the creation of the state of Israel.

On top of all of that, as if that wasn't enough, this is also the beginning of the month of Ramadan. And that alone is a month where you see a spike intention between Israelis and Palestinians. So as we see so often here, you have to two completely different reactions, the Israelis are celebrating, the Palestinians are furious and it is an incredibly volatile week. We will be at the embassy tomorrow, we'll see that celebration but there are so many events that are flash points here, so many different events that are flash points here that could lead to a very troubling week to see how the week develops and how this plays out. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Oren Liebermann, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

And do stay tune for the break of this morning, on the State of the Union with Jake Tapper, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders are going to be joining him that's 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: Bombs exploded in Indonesia this morning, at three churches and you can imagine the melee that happened after that. At least 10 people have been killed, dozens have been hurt. We will have details just a moment.

PAUL: And new details about the suspect in the stabbing spree in Paris this morning. We are learning he was on a police an anti-terror watchlist. We have a live update from Paris for you, stay close.

BLACKWELL: Also, how does China's first domestic made aircraft carrier stack up against American technology? That is coming up later this hour.


[06:18:43] BLACKWELL: Bombers attacked Christians in Indonesia Sunday morning with bombings at three separate churches. The investigators think they were suicide bombers.

Look at this. You see the smoke here. This was the aftermath of the bombing in Surabaya. At least 10 people were killed. Dozens more were injured and sent to hospitals.

Police say, the first attack at Santa Maria Catholic Church was carried out by a bomber on a motorcycle, and there were two other attacks at the Indonesian Christian church in the Pentecost central church. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.

PAUL: We have new details this morning about that suspect that went on a stabbing spree in Paris, killed one and injured four others and apparently he was on police radar placed on an anti-terror watchlist. He was suspected of having radicalized views and did pose a security threat, we are learning. CNN International Correspondent Melissa Bell is in Paris with more details. Melissa, what else are you learning about the suspect?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was very young, Christi. This is a man who was born in 1997 in Chechnya. He had become a French citizen and we're hoping to learn more over the course of the day since his mother and father are now in police custody.

But other than that, details about how he became radicalized, when he became radicalized exactly what he was hoping to achieve when he set out on street of Paris with that knife last night and those remain are the subject of speculation this morning.

[06:20:07] Now, this is exactly where it happened yesterday evening. This would have been a bustling part of Paris on Saturday night. It happened just before 9:00 p.m. We spoke to one man who saw exactly what happened.


OLIVER WOODHEAD, WITNESS: I saw the attacker come just down the street here with blood on his hands and carrying the cutter and with his arms open gesturing to the three policemen who were here. And they managed to sort of encircle him, they tasered him several times to I think missed him. And he managed to isolate one of the policemen and move down the street. And as he went in, the plan shot twice and he fell.


BELL: You can imagine the shock and you heard it in that man's voice, Chisti, of the people who have been around here last night witnessing as they did a stabbing since one man has died, four others were injured. And we're hearing that one of those who was most grievously injured will in fact recover from his injuries. So one dead, who become 249th person, Chisti, to die in terror-related attacks in France since 2015, this is something the country has become all too familiar with but attacks against civilians hadn't really been that common over the last couple of years. We've seen many attacks against security personnel, military personnel and police men and women not so much against civilians. So a huge amount of shock here in the center of Paris this morning.

PAUL: All right, Melissa Bell, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: The daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King is calling for a boycott at Waffle House after seeing this. Employees called police resulting in this video showing a white officer choking and slamming a black man against the restaurant's window and then on to the parking lot. Was this excessive force? And what does this have to do specifically with Waffle House? We will have that conversation next. PAUL: And the U.S. will officially open its embassy in Jerusalem tomorrow. A controversial pastor though is set to give the opening prayer. We will going to ask another pastor, is he the right person for that job?


[06:26:56] BLACKWELL: Waffle House is responding to a tweet from Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Reverend Bernice King calling for a boycott. She tweeted after seeing this video. Look at the screen. It shows an officer choking and slamming a young black man against a wall outside of Waffle House, this is in Warsaw, North Carolina.

The police officer was called after the man Anthony Wall got into an argument with an employee and Wall admits he was wrong for the argument but he says the police officer went too far. And here is the response from Waffle House.

We believe there is more to these stories than the short videos that have been posted might suggest, for example, in the Warsaw, North Carolina incident, Mr. Wall told WTVD-TV in Raleigh that he takes full responsibility for his interaction with Waffle House employees inside our restaurant.

The FBI, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and police are investigating the incident but the mayor who is black has released a video defending the officer involved.

Joining me now is Wesley Lowery, CNN Contributor and national reporter for the Washington Post. He is also the author of "They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement."

Wes, welcome back.

WESLEY LOWERY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, are police explaining, first, how this argument inside the Waffle House by all reports that I've read was not a physical altercation, it was an argument escalated to what we just watched?

LOWERY: Certainly and that remains one of the kind of chief questions about this incident and others, right? Because we remember this doesn't happen in a vacuum. There was -- not only was there -- this incident, there was a second incident in a Waffle House in Alabama, I believe, a week or two ago. And this is at a time where we have seen a number of videos going viral that speak to not necessarily police use of deadly force but police use of force, choking people or slamming people.

And many of them beginning are being precipitated with the idea of someone else calling the police. And so what we still need to know and some leading to figure out in this case is what exactly happened inside of this restaurant that led to the police being summoned in the first place but beyond that what happens in the moments immediately before the video?

We, obviously, see the young man and the police officer interacting very closely. We see the choking and the slamming but there is a question of what happens right before that and I think the police officer, the department themselves, would argue that perhaps there was something about that interaction that we don't know about.

BLACKWELL: So you brought up the incident in Alabama was about three weeks ago. A black woman at this restaurant in Alabama, I think was Saraland was dragged to the ground by police after employees called -- this was an argument over plastic utensils and being charged for them. Is it appropriate, from what we know about these two instances and you already highlight a little bit of the answer to this question, to tag this as a Waffle House incident or are Waffle House employees calling the police when potentially customers get a little rowdy and then what we see is the interaction with police? Not so much Waffle House?

LOWERY: Sure. And I think that seems to be a big part of it, right? Waffle House or any private establishment like this has the right to decide who it wants there and who it does not and if someone is either intoxicated or in some type of altercation with a member of their staff.


Again, not to litigate the specific incidents but they certainly have the right to, you know, try to remove someone or make decisions like that. But it becomes, again, I think it fits within a context of a broader situation not just with this waffle house incident but there's an incident at Yale recently. There's an incident in Oakland, a woman calling the police on, you know, a black men barbecuing in park and in Yale was -- a woman who was studying and sleeping in a common room.

The idea of what should the role of police officers be? What should we be calling 911 for? Because what happens no matter the circumstances once you call 911, you're inserting police officers, people who are armed, people who are trained to interact physically very often and people we know don't always necessarily deescalate situations, that often escalate these situations and create real danger for whomever is involved.

BLACKWELL: Let me get to this tweet from Bernice King. She tweeted out, "Family, let's stay out of @WaffleHouse until the corporate office legitimately and seriously commits to 1) discussion of racism, 2) employee training, and 3) other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes."

Is this call for a boycott resonating who we know -- I know it's fairly new. But also any commitment from corporate to commit to these demands?

LOWERY: Certainly. I haven't necessarily seen any commitment from Waffle House Corporate (ph). Although -- who knows what happens once we get to Monday or (ph) into (ph) next week?

What I do think is interesting to compare this almost to the videos from Starbucks a few weeks ago. The young black men who were working at a Philadelphia Starbucks that are waiting for a business meeting got kicked out. The police came and kicked them out.

What you saw it was Starbucks Corporate while they received some criticism for their handling of this and some questions about how a corporate entity even begins to tackle these types of issues. They closed their stores for a day. They did massive trainings. They changed policies.

There was an idea that this video had gone viral and Starbucks, again, whether you agree with everything they did or not clearly made a decision that, look, we are going to look proactive. We are going to do something.

Waffle House has taken, in some ways, a very separate -- a very different tact where they have essentially tried to litigate these instances. They are saying, look, we don't really think we are at fault here. We think there are some, you know -- we think there are some circumstances.

Look at this interview the young man did here and what happened there. And so what you're seeing here is you're a corporate entity that's kind of putting its back up a little bit, sticking to its guns and saying, we are not apologizing for this.

Again, you can understand why they might do that but what begs this question of what happens when there is another video or what happens when something happens next week?


LOWERY: All of the, Waffle House has become this kind of figure that people can oppose as opposed to, I guess, at Starbucks where they very quickly said, look, we agree this looks bad, let's do something about it.

BLACKWELL: Yes. This statement from Waffle House certainly did stand out where they say there is more to these stories than the short videos might suggest.

Wesley Lowery with "The Washington Post" always good to have you, sir.

LOWERY: Always great to be here.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

PAUL: So China marks a major milestone in its naval might next. How the technology stacks up against the U.S. navy?

Also, the U.S. opening its embassy in Jerusalem officially tomorrow. Jared and Ivanka just arrived a few moments ago. There are some new questions however about who is going to speak at that opening ceremony?



BLACKWELL: The Chinese Navy has just taken a historic step with the trial of its first home-grown aircraft carrier.

PAUL: Yes. The maiden sea voyage is a milestone for the Chinese communist party which wants to build a-- quote -- "a world class Navy." Now military experts tell CNN while it will certainly boost China's naval presence in Asia its technology still lags far behind from that of the U.S.

Here's an example for you. It uses conventional rather than nuclear propulsions.

One of the big things we're watching here the U.S. is going to officially open its embassy in Jerusalem tomorrow. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, it is a -- quote -- "truly historic happening."

BLACKWELL: President Trump will not attend the grand opening but Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, you see here, they just arrived moments ago.

We're joined by special envoy to the Middle East. Now Pastor Robert Jeffress he told "FOX News" the he will also be there and will make the opening prayer. If that is true is he the right man for the job?

I want you to listen to some of his, let's call them controversial statements.


DR. ROBERT JEFFRESS, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF DALLAS: Here is the deep dark dirty secret of Islam. It is a region that promotes pedophilia, sex with children.

Mormonism is not Christianity. It is always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hindus and Buddhist, Islam, cult?

JEFFRESS: Yes, absolutely. Mohammed was nothing but a blood thirsty warlord who beheaded 600 Jews who would not follow him in the battle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is not true.

JEFFRESS: Israeli is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell.

Mormonism is wrong. It is a heresy from the pit of hell.


PAUL: We want to talk about this with pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, Pastor Alvin Gwynn. Pastor, thank you so much for being with us.

(CROSSTALK) PAUL: After hearing some of what we just heard there do you think that he is the right person to give this opening tomorrow?

ALVIN GWYNN, PASTOR, LEADENHALL BAPTIST CHURCH: No, indeed. It's shocking and amazing that we would be hearing from -- quote -- "a Baptist minister" who espouses anti semanticism throughout his conversation and to think that he is going to the most holiest place in the world along with the president is the most immoral leader of this nation and they are going to defile a holy place with their presence is astounding to me.


BLACKWELL: Pastor, I also want you to listen to -- this is mega Pastor John Hagee, founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel. He will deliver the benediction at the opening ceremony tomorrow, now. For people at home who recognize the name, in 2008 then Republican candidate for president John McCain had to reject his endorsement for these comments made in 1990 suggesting that Hitler and the holocaust were part of God's plan.

Listen to Pastor Hagee here.



JOHN CHARLES HAGEE, FOUND AND SENIOR PASTOR OF CORNERSTONE CHURCH SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: God says in Jeremiah 16 -- "Behold, I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave unto their fathers.

Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt for them" -- that would be the Jews.


BLACKWELL: Now we want to read that he said, "To assert that in any way I condone the Holocaust or that monster Adolf Hitler is the biggest and ugliest of lies. I have always condemned the horrors of the Holocaust in the strongest of terms."

But is what he's saying here is that the Holocaust is -- was part of God's plan for this man to go to Jerusalem, of all places in the world. Your reaction?

GWYNN: You know, I've heard Pastor John Hagee down through the years along with Jerry Falwell and many others who espoused that fundamental belief -- fundamental disbelief, rather, that the Jews -- God brought the holocaust to punish the Jews. That's not true. Nazi Germany brought the holocaust to punish the Jews.

The second of all that the Jews are -- the founders really of our Christian faith because we Judeo-Christian, the first Christian church was made up of 3,000 Jews on a day of Pentecost so why is it that they feel they are so separate from the Jews when they are really Judeo- Christians?

BLACKWELL: Well, Pastor, let me ask you this, John McCain had to reject Hagee's endorsement, had to repudiate the comments.

We all remember what President Obama said about Jeremiah Wright and his comments. Why does there appear to be most response, no consequence for President Trump?

GWYNN: Right.

You know, it has amazed me because, number one, President Trump has some moral issues of his own. And the thing that the fundamentalist, Southern Baptist Convention, which is one strict fundamentalist now are adopting and embracing individual with moral deficiencies is amazing to me. They were once very strict construction is when it came to religious doctrine and now they have become apostatized (ph), very lukewarm in their doctrine of teaching.

They seem to espouse the fact that the end justify the means no matter how evil a person might be after the results seem to be OK then we can accept that individual.

PAUL: All right. Reverend Alvin Gwynn, we appreciate your time this morning. Thank you for being with us.

GWYNN: You're welcome.

BLACKWELL: A survivor of sexual abuse is on a mission to protect children across the country. Next, how her story is helping change laws in more than two dozen states. You'll want to see this.



PAUL: All right. Listen, I want to be really straightforward with you here. This is a delicate subject for a Sunday morning or really any morning. But it's a serious, necessary conversation that we have to have.

Erin Merryn reached a milestone this week. Her mission, Erin's Law, was passed in Georgia making it the 35th state to enact a program which mandates sexual abuse and personal body safety education in schools starting as early as pre-K all the way up through 12th grade.

Now some parents may not be OK with this initially. But there are children you may know right now who are being abused and you could be missing some of the indications here.

Erin is very candid. She's very honest about what happened to her and her sister. It's difficult to hear but Erin wants you to know about it.


ERIN MERRYN, ACTIVIST (voice-over): January 7th, 1998. Dear God, Please help me. I can't take it much more. I can barely sleep anymore. The nightmares have me tossing and turning in my sleep.

After school today I got it bad. He trapped me in the basement, held me down on the coach.

PAUL (voice-over): This is Erin Merryn, age 12 as told by her diary.

MERRYN: It went on for almost 15 minutes. All I did was hide my head from looking at him in the face. He looks like a crazy man on a mission when he abuses me. I just wish it would all end. God, hold me tonight, keep me safe, protect me from my cousin, please.

PAUL: This is Erin Merryn today. A wife, a mother and fighter for children vulnerable to sexual abuse and she says every child is vulnerable.

MERRYN (on camera): Parents need to understand 90 percent of the time children are being hurt by someone they know and trust. Not that stranger walking by the bus stop that they don't know. It's the coach, the babysitter, the family member, the youth pastor.

And I'm not telling parents to, you know, put their kids in a bubble and don't allow them to be in sports or go to summer camp. I'm telling them, you've got to talk to your kids about this.

PAUL: Erin says when she was six years old she was sexually abused by her best friend's uncle for two years. Then when she turned 11 her teenage cousin started sexually abuse her.

She said, this happened during sleepovers at her friend's house and her grandparents' home and this is why her children will never go to sleepovers no matter how many moms judge her and make no mistake, they judge her.

MERRYN: I've had parents, you know, look at me and say, you know, you're ruining your children's childhood. I'd rather have my kids in therapy some day because they didn't get to go to the overnights.

PAUL: And she would rather kids understand they have a voice and they need to tell someone if they have been abused because she will never forget why she didn't tell.


MERRYN: I was told from six to eight, I know where you live. I'll come get you. No one will believe you.

And I was repeatedly told that and I believed it. I feared he was going to break into my house at night or was waiting in my closest or under my bed for me. A lot of parents just assume that their children are being abused that they're going to tell them. They don't realize the power and fear they put in kids to keep them silent.

PAUL: She said the only reason she found courage to tell her parents was because her little sister confided that their cousin was sexually abusing her as well. MERRYN: My mother was in tears. You know, instant tears, hugging me, and my dad came home from work and I'll never forget the first thing he said to me as I was sitting there in the kitchen. Why didn't you tell me he was doing this to you? I looked at my dad and said, "because he told me you wouldn't believe me."

PAUL: Not only the people believed her but she has created Erin's Law which mandates sexual abuse prevention and personal body safety education for kids from preschool ages through 12th grade.

It has passed in 35 states. The most recent May 8th in Georgia. Does it work?

So, look at this. After Erin's Law went into effect in Maryland an article in "The Washington Post" tells the story of a fifth grade girl who during a lesson on personal body safety slumped in her chair and stared out the window. Finally, she put her head down on the desk.

When alert educators noticed they asked her if something was wrong. She told them her teacher, John Vigna, was abusing her. He was immediately placed on leave and investigation started and in the end Vigna was sentenced to 48 years in prison for sexually abusing four students over a 15-year period.

Erin reminds parents there are signs we need to watch for.

MERRYN: The person that suddenly wants to spend so much more time with your kids, seeking them out more. You know? That person that suddenly giving your children lots of gifts because predators will use that as a way to silence kids.

Jerry Sandusky did it with multiple of his multiple victims. Silenced them with video games, trips, other things to keep them quiet.

PAUL: But that is what Erin's Law is all about. Making sure there is no silence.

MERRYN: You will be believed and you can use your voice and somebody will believe you that you tell.


PAUL: That is the biggest takeaway she wants us to know is to let our children know that we believe them. There are signs that a child may be abused. If they are having nightmares, if there are mood swings, including rage, fear, anxiety, depression.

Erin is working to get the other 15 states to pass her law. To get more information here about some of those signs what you can do as a parent, go to to learn more and thank you for doing so.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Christi.

After nearly missing the cut on Friday, Tiger Woods is making tracks up the leader board. Andy Scholes will be here with more coming up in this morning's bleacher report.



BLACKWELL: So apparently Tiger Woods did pretty well yesterday at the Players Championship.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more in this morning's bleacher report. He will not say Tiger Wood is roaring.



SCHOLES: -- in the crowd. You have roaring. Things Victor will not say.

Good morning, guys. Happy Mother's Day to you, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you.

SCHOLES: You know, I actually thought I got Doc Brown's DeLorean. It was watching golf back 2002 watching Tiger yesterday.

He is turning back the clock. Looking like the Tiger from 20 years ago. You know, he barely made the cut this weekend at the Players Championship, but since he had to stick around I guess he decided to go out there and make some noise.

On the front nine, Tiger six birdies. He finished the day seven under. He moved all the way from 69th place all the way up to ninth. This easily is Tiger's best round of the year.


TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: Got off to a good start. I birdied the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from there. You know, I hit a lot of good shots today. And it was nice to see a few putts go in. Sixty-five was probably as high I could have shot, which was kind of nice.


SCHOLES: You can (INAUDIBLE) him smiling there. He has to have another amazing round though if he wants to catch Webb Simpson. He is taking a tournament record seven shot lead into today's final round.

All right. The only thing standing in the way of LeBron and an eighth straight NBA finals appearance is those young Boston Celtics.

And I want you to check this out. When Celtics' rookie Jayson Tatum was 14 years old he tweeted at LeBron this picture of the two of them asking LeBron to follow him back on Twitter.

Now LeBron still hasn't followed him back to this day. But pretty cool that they are now facing off against each other in the Eastern Conference finals. And even though this is LeBron's eighth straight appearance in this series, he says he never takes it for granted.


LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: You dream about being able to play in big games in the NBA. You know? When I got to the NBA, that was one of my only goals to be as great as I can be to play in big games in the NBA and be remembered.

And I think I've done that, you know, in my career and just trying to add onto it while I can.


SCHOLES: All right. Finally LeBron's teammate George Hill missed practice yesterday but he had a pretty good excuse. He was busy graduating from college.

Hill receiving his diploma from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis with a bachelor's degree from the school of liberal arts. He played for the Jaguars in 2004 to 2008 before entering the NBA draft and on his Twitter account Hill showing off a Jaguars' tattoo on his left arm. That is dedication right there, guys.

But he's going to make it to Boston in time for tip-off this afternoon. Looking forward to that Celtics-Cavs series. We will see if LeBron can continue to dominate as he has been doing in this playoff.

BLACKWELL: He can't get a follow back? I mean, LeBron won't follow the man back on Twitter?



SCHOLES: He follows -- he follows under 200 people on Twitter so it's a select group if you have that LeBron follow.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: All right. Maybe we are helping a cause there. Thank you, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.