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Sudan's Government Faces Intense Pressure to Pardon Noura Hussein; China's Xi Meets with North Koreans Amid Summit Turmoil; Growing Criticism of Israel's Response to Protests; A Rare Look Inside Yemen's Devastating War; Thomas Markle to Miss Ceremony Due to Surgery; 2,000 Pages of Senate Panel Transcripts Released; Spike Lee Slams Trump at Premiere of New Film. Aired 11-12n ET

Aired May 16, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: You are watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Robyn Curnow in Atlanta. Thanks so much for

joining us. And I do want to get right to our top story this hour.

There is a new obstacle for a teenager in Sudan who's fighting a death sentence. Noura Hussein is scheduled to be hanged in just 10 days' time.

Now, I want to show you this picture. This shows her standing next to the man she was forced to marry. Last year, Noura killed her husband after he

raped her once and tried to rape her again. Well, this case has galvanized human rights activists around the world who say Noura clearly acted in

self-defense. Well, now Sudan's government is intensifying a campaign of intimidation against anyone who tries to help her. Including her own

lawyer. Well, with more on all of this is Nima Elbagir. She just returned from the Sudan and joins us now from London. Tell us what's happened in

the last few hours. Particularly in the defense of this young woman.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The lawyers had scheduled a press conference to speak about the broader platform that they

were going to be pushing in terms of trying to put together an appeal. If the appeal doesn't go forward within the next 10 days -- if the appeal

process isn't pushed forward -- that she will find that her sentence will be carried out.

And it's within that environment of incredible pressure on her legal team that the Sudanese state security apparatus raided her lawyers' office. And

have been not only intimidating activists that have been providing the bulk of support for Noura, but also blocking access to her. Those we've spoken

to on the ground say that it has now been two days since they've been allowed to visit Noura. Since they've been allowed to deliver any food or

really help support her in prison.

CURNOW: And as you know, Nima, you were on CNN "TALK" today and you guys focused on Noura's case and we really had hundreds of comments pouring in

from viewers around the world. I just want to take a small sample here. One Nigerian viewer said forced marriage can only be prevented by

education. And then a viewer in Afghanistan says forced marriage is a problem in her country too, and she hopes it will one day be banned around

the world. So, these comments really scoring how widespread this issue is. It's certainly about Noura. But it's touched a nerve elsewhere.

ELBAGIR: And in Sudan especially, I think the reason that it has caused such out roar is that Sudanese society is moving backwards on this issue.

Actually, Sudan's child marriage rates have gone up between 2010 and 2014. The two years in which UNICEF carried out these studies. It really seems

to be linked to economic issues, especially in Noura's situation. This man, her husband -- I think it's fair to put it in quotation marks -- he

was the one who was expending financially upon her family. He was supporting her family.

Can you imagine being a teenager feeling that the entire well-being of your whole family is on you. And for Noura to have done what she did in spite

of the fact that her whole family were relying on her financially. And so, this is one of the reasons I think that it's hit such a nerve. The thought

of a girl -- she's only 19, so I think we can still call her a girl -- fighting back and defending herself with all of that pressure on her

shoulders is pretty extraordinary -- Robyn.

CURNOW: It certainly is. So, the big question is what can be done? She's on death row. I think she could be hanged. Is that the method of

execution? How long does she have? And what kind of pressure needs to be put on the Sudanese government here?

ELBAGIR: If it all went to plan, her lawyers would have the appeal process moving forward. That needs to happen within the next 10 days. Within two

weeks from the original sentencing. But all isn't going to plan. The Sudanese authorities are stymieing this as much as we can. Everyone we

have spoken to, both in Sudan and outside Sudan says, keep doing this. Keep raising awareness, and make sure that the international community uses

that awareness to leverage against the Sudanese. One of the things that the Sudanese government has that they have vociferously been chasing is

normalizing of relations.

The U.S. suspended financial sanctions, and Sudan is hoping that those sanctions will be lifted entirely. The U.S. activists tell us needs to use

that to the advantage of Noura. And their hope is that other countries -- because Sudan receives an awful lot of foreign aid that other countries

also start using that leverage of the money that they're expending on Sudan to fight not just for Noura but other Sudanese girls who are being put in

these appalling situations.

CURNOW: Certainly, and not just her case, but certainly one that garners our attention right now.

[11:05:00] Nima Elbagir, thanks so much. Great reporting there.

ELBAGIR: Thank you.

CURNOW: So, hoping for the best, but preparing for worst. That's the Trump administration's response after North Korea threatened to call off

their historic summit. President Donald Trump is said to sit down with Kim Jong-un in less than a month. However, Pyongyang now says if Washington

demands unilaterally gives up its nuclear weapons there is no point in talking. Well, North Korea also suspended today's talks with South Korea.

It's protesting Seoul's military drills with the U.S. So where do we go from here? How did we get here? Ivan Watson has been following all the

twists and turns and there certainly have been a lot in the last few months -- Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they sure have, because up until about 24 months ago, it looked like things were moving

very nicely. That relations were warming. You have North and South Korea. They were planning another round of high-level talks. And you had the U.S.

and North Korea heading full speed ahead towards a summit in Singapore on June 12th. The first ever of a North Korean leader and a U.S. president.

And suddenly North Korea cancelled the high-level talks with South Korea in a note to written messages that was handed over after midnight -- in the

early morning hours on Wednesday. Not using the brand-new hot line that was established last month between South Korean President, Moon Jae-in

office and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. And then issuing a number of very critical statements with a kind of rhetoric and tone, Robyn, that we

really have not seen in months.

And now the question is, will President Trump respond to some of this direct and somewhat harsh criticism as he is traditionally does when he is

attacked with his twitter account. We have not seen him punch back yet in response to this North Korean criticism -- Robyn.

CURNOW: So, this could happen. Also, broadly the geopolitics of this. Where does China fit into this? There was some suggestion by some analyst

that China didn't like to be on the side lines. In this might be some move involved in that.

WATSON: Well, China certainly hasn't been on the side lines, because you have Mike Pompeo, this top Trump administration official who's met twice

now in Pyongyang with Kim Jong-un in the last two months. But you've also had Kim Jong-un traveled twice to China. His first ever trips outside of

North Korea since he took office some six years ago to meet with Xi Jinping. In fact, there was even a North Korean delegation today meeting

with Xi Jinping face-to-face. So, China very much a part of this.

And President Trump has been speaking, it feels like, almost as frequently with Xi Jinping by phone as he has with America's traditional allies here

in the region, South Korea and Japan. But what China's position is on the warming relations with South Korea and with the U.S., well, we know what

China has said publicly. Which is that it supports denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that it wants to reduce tension here on the Korean


One of the complaints that North Korea had, Robyn, was it was accusing the U.S. of claiming that it would barter away its nuclear weapons for economic

development. And that is one of the criticisms that North Korea had. Saying, that's never going to happen -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And then also, there is the role of John Bolton, the new national security advisor. Some very pertinent and pointed criticism towards his

comments he's just made. And where does all that fit into this?

WATSON: You know, some analysts saying that complaining about the military drills -- which are smaller in size than the joint exercises the U.S. and

South Korea had last month. That that may just be an excuse. Or this criticism of John Bolton -- hard to tell, because the North Koreans don't

exactly answer phone calls from journalists to get clarity on these issues. But their criticism was very stinging against John Bolton, himself, a

foreign policy hawk in the Trump administration. With a senior North Korean diplomat calling him repugnant, and particularly taking issue with

comments that Bolton made on Sunday American political talk shows. Where he kind of compared North Korea to Libya and talked about the Libya model

of disarmament which ended years later and Muammar Gaddafi, the dictator there, being, you know, killed by rebels after a NATO bombing campaign.

[11:10:00] North Korea arguing, we're no Libya, we are a nuclear armed nation, and if the Trump administration is going to continue on this line

then it may not get it Summit in Singapore in mid-June. And again, we don't know if this is a bargaining tactic or if the North Koreans really

are ready to walk away from the table before it's ever actually been set -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, this was never going to be easy. Thanks so much for that reporting. Live from Seoul, Ivan Watson. Thanks, Ivan.

I just want to take you now to Gaza where the fallout of Israel's deadly crackdown on protesters has sparked a diplomatic spat between Israel and

turkey. Now both countries have asked the other envoys to leave for a while in the past two days. And while the Israeli ambassador was leaving

Turkey this happen. Eitan Na'eh was patted down by Turkish airport security in front of Turkish media. Israel described this treatment as

inappropriate and some of the Turkish charged affairs in Tel Aviv for a reprimand.

So, let's get the latest in what's going on in Gaza today. One day after harrowing scenes of funerals there. CNN's Ben Wedeman is live. Ben, good

to see you. What can you tell us? What is it like there today?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today Gaza has been quiet and to the best of our knowledge those demonstrations which have been

happening regularly since the 30th of March along the fence that separates Israel and Gaza have come to a halt, at least temporarily. As far as we

know there are none planned in the immediate future. It's important to keep in mind, of course, that tomorrow morning with the rising of the sun

begins the holy month of Ramadan, during which daylight hours people are not supposed to drink or eat. So, there might not be an awful lot of

energy or enthusiasm --as temperatures rise during this month -- for people to go out and demonstrate.

Nonetheless, there is still anger in what has happened. Monday more than 60 people were killed in those protests along the border. And we did see

one expression of Palestinian unhappiness when one Israeli medical relief group sent to truckloads of medicine for Gaza. But they were turned back

by the Hamas dominated authorities here. We spoke to a spokesman for Hamas who said Gaza does not need medicine, what Gaza needs is a complete lifting

of the blockade that has been imposed upon Gaza since 2006 by Israel -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that live in Gaza, Ben Wedeman. Appreciate that, thanks. You are watching CNN, still to come this hour.


NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We were playing, and the bomb exploded. I get scared now, anyone gets scared of

missiles. And when we hear the word "war" we get scared. Scared of bullet, land mines and missiles.


CURNOW: CNN gets rare exclusive access into Yemen and we'll show you the devastating reality in the war-torn country.


CURNOW: Thanks for joining us. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Robyn Curnow. Welcome back.

Now, over the past few years much of the world's focus has been on the war in Syria. But on CNN and especially on this show, we have time and again

wanting to shed light on lesser-known, but also, equally devastating conflict, the war in Yemen. Well, Nick Payton Walsh joins us now from

London. Nick, you've had some rare and exclusive footage from inside the country. Tell us more.

WALSH: Brazilian photojournalist, Gabriel Chaim has sent us some extraordinary images, part captured by drone, part captured on the ground

of the utter devastation. In one of the cities that has been fought most heavily over in the past months and that's Taiz in Yemen. You can see in

the drone images you are about to see how little is left of that city intact. But also, too the utter horror of what's happening to tiny infants

who are suffering from hunger and disease. I should tell you that in the next ten minutes one child under the age of five will die of preventable

causes inside of Yemen. Here's some of the footage we were sent.


WALSH (voice-over): As the conflict grows with Iran far from the nuclear negotiating tables. The missiles over Syria and Israel here a proxy war

takes a darker, brutal yet unseen turn. This as the Yemeni city of Taiz, where an already ugly war has metastasized and is grinding the ruins of

life into dust. These rare drone images show how barely a wall is left unscathed. Some of this was broken by Saudi Arabian airpower guided and

equipped by the U.S. bombarding the Houthi forces that Iran is backing. Houthi mortars broke parts of the city, too.

And it's chaotic three-pronged fight down and frontline between two militia who were once on the same side and the Iranian backed Houthis. At street

level the snipers the mess, the minds left behind falls to the hardest hit.

Our guide around the city is Mayhoub. He wants to hide his face as aid workers are targeted here. He came from Washington D.C. as a sick mother

needed help. Then the war broke out, he started a charity.

MAYHOUB, GUIDE AROUND CITY: There is a saying in the States that says when life throws you lemon, you make lemonade. And I started it mainly to take

care of the injured. OK. The Houthis are there, by the way. Now, that's the line and that's where they send mortar shells from those hills there.

I would say it's so beautiful, yet the situation is too far from beautiful. The worst thing here, children being injured and in hospitals.

A week ago, there was a mortar shell that came from the Houthis over to that neighborhood. And I just so happen to be in the hospital and a little

girl came in with her heart out. It was very, very difficult to think she was 8-years-old and you can see her heart pumping. It's inhumane. I mean,

who sends motor shells and rockets into, this is the most crowded city in Yemen.

WALSH: Humanity is lack but also perseveres here. In the spirals of dust and torn plastic sheeting that are home for tens of thousands of displaced.

Ready yourself, for the unimaginable toll that hunger and disease can take on an infant girl reduced almost to twigs and bone.

Mailiki, weighs 2 kilograms, but her mother Mariam says, this is apparently an improvement.

[11:20:00] MARIAM, MALILIKI'S MOTHER (through translator): When we came here as displaced, she was normal, and she could eat. Then she started to

have measles, diarrhea and vomiting. She got really skinny. I feel like crying sometimes. She's getting better now. She's eating.

WALSH: They have their family survivors from Mokha, where her husband's brother and son were killed in an airstrike, she says, leaving them with

his six children to feed.

MARIAM (through translator): They were hit by a jet in the market. 25 people were killed. The airstrikes were hitting very close to our home.

WALSH: Those children who are able to fend off disease have other trauma to digest. Shala (ph) accounts playing in the weed grass with his little

friend, Freima (ph). His story of how the mine exploded is patchy, but his pain is clear.

SHALA, YOUNG BOY IN YEMEN, (through translator): We used to play with rocks, he says, she was moving the grass and came back and sat down. We

were playing in the bomb exploded. I get scared now. Anyone gets scared of the missiles and when we hear the word "war" we get scared, scared of

bullets, landmines and missiles.

WALSH: He says he would like to go home but there's still bullets and shelling there. And in Yemen, where the Saudi have enough American support

and resolve against Iran to fight on, nobody is going home until many more lives are lost and broken first.


WALSH: Now, Robyn, what's important to remember is that much of that suffering and hunger has been caused by a blockade of aid. Now the Saudi

Arabian backed Houthi government -- Yemeni government there have been predominantly accused of that by aid agencies. Also, the Iran-backed

Houthis that they're fighting have had their role, too. But what's important to point out it that so much of the stranglehold -- damage that

you see in on civilian areas there has been caused by the Saudi Arabian backed fight to kick Houthis out of some of that territory.

You know, that is bolstered by airpower, which is equipped, which is armed, which is provided intelligence for and even refueled in midair by the

United States military. As a part of their intense cooperation with their regional ally, Saudi Arabia. Interestingly enough, the U.S. doesn't know

exactly where their aid ends up. In fact, their regional head of the U.S. military, the head of CENTCOM, General Joseph Votel, recently asked in

front of Congress about that. He said that after they refueled the plane in the air, they didn't necessarily know where it went afterwards -- a

Saudi plane that is.

And that if they heard a report of civilian casualties they would not be able to tell whether or not U.S. equipped or refueled or even armed planes

that had in fact been responsible for what would have been most likely a Saudi Arabian airstrike. Given now the predominant Air Force in the skies

over that area -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, lots of questions about complicity. Nick Peyton Walsh, thanks so much for that report.

So, Geert Cappelaere, is UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. He joins us via Skype from Djibouti. Which I one how the

trickster s separated, of course, from Yemen only by the Gulf of Aden. Good to speak to you. We know that according to U.N. at least 37,000

refugees have made the journey to Djibouti to escape that war. You've seen, you've spoken, and you've met a lot of them. What are your thoughts?

GEERT CAPPELAERE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA UNICEF (via Skype): Well, the refugees I have met here in Djibouti have fled

indeed the brutal war. Unfortunately, the conditions in which they find themselves in a country like Djibouti, despite the generosity of the

government. Despite the generosity of the Djiboutian people and their conditions are equally very, very difficult. But speaking to fathers,

speaking to mothers, speaking to the children, they are all very happy to be out of that brutal reality they have been facing inside Yemen.

CURNOW: And in terms of getting the aid in and out, Hodeida airport is a crucial entry point for aid. We know that. What is your understanding of

how well it is functioning? Are you managing to get what you need into the country and to those who need it?

CAPPELAERE: Well, first and foremost, it's very important that today in Yemen every single, the 15 million children that are still inside Yemen are

facing acute needs. So what needs to be brought in, in terms of supplies, be it humanitarian or be it commercial shipments is huge. Today, it is

fair to say that we do this by the efforts of all. We are not able to bring in enough supplies. We are not able to bring in the supplies timely,

to save children's lives. Also, the quality of what we are able bring in, is not always what is needed.

[11:25:00] So again, there is pressure still needed to ensure that both true commercial roads, food can come in, fuel can come in. That the

humanitarian actors active in Yemen have unconditional access to those supplies that help making people's life -- that make people survive. Help

children who are facing brutal malnutrition and addressing the famine that is there. The outbreaks we have seen of cholera, dystonia and to address

that, bring in sufficient vaccines, for example. We really need all the parties to step away from any condition that are still imposed upon us.

CURNOW: Are you angry when you look at children looking like that? How many children do you see in looking so emaciated? Does it make you angry?

Do you ask questions about complicity, about the blood on the hands of many of the people involved, and countries involved in what is essentially a

proxy war?

CAPPELAERE: Of course, I am extremely angry when I see so many thousand, millions of children suffering from a senseless war that is not of their

making. Suffering a crisis that is completely man-made. I am extremely angry when I talk to these children and when I hear these children not

willing to talk too much about their suffering but sharing with me their dreams, their aspirations, what they want to become in life. And

unfortunately, not being able always to help them guaranteeing that they get the education, that they get that support in order to meet their

aspirations, to meet their dreams.

CURNOW: Yes, we talk about aspirations and dreams, but I mean, there are some very sobering figures. It's not just the images Nick Payton Walsh is

showing us. I mean, according to you, according to UNICEF, in a country of 20 million people, 7 million Yemenis face severe food insecurity. 3.3

million are acutely malnourished, more than 14 million do not have safe access to drinking water. And as you mentioned, it's caused one of the

largest cholera outbreaks in the world, it's affecting a record 1 million people. We know all of this. This this is all man-made. What is going to

happen to all those people in the coming months?

CAPPELAERE: Well, I can only say that the situation of the Yemeni people, the situation of the Yemeni children is deteriorating by the day. People

are surviving mainly because of the little humanitarian assistance we are still able to be providing. We see families moving into negative coping


Before in the program we talked about Noura, who was married as a girl a woman married as a girl in Sudan. Well, one of the negative coping

mechanisms we see with families in Yemen is to have many more of their girls being married out. Simply because families are not any longer to

cope with the situation and, therefore, try to find a better future for their children even if that is marrying the girls out or getting their

children, their voice to work.

CURNOW: Yes, another aspect that is certainly troubling. Thank you so much for bringing us all of the latest there from Djibouti. Geert

Cappelaere appreciate it.

So, for all of you who want to help those affected by the war in Yemen. You can also donate to UNICEF. Just head to

You are watching CNN. Still ahead we are going to take to you to Great Britain, where health fears for the bride's father are casting a shadow

over preparations for the royal wedding. We're in Windsor next.


CURNOW: Royal wedding fever is heating up across Britain. Take a look at this. Coffee lovers in Windsor now have the chance to sip a portrait of

Prince Harry and his soon to be bride, Meghan Markle. The latte is aptly named the Meg/Harry Chino, cheers.

You are watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Robyn Curnow. Thanks for joining us.

And even with all the excitement it certainly been a turbulent week for the couple leading up to their big day. TMC is now reporting that the father

of the bride, Thomas Markle, will not be attending the wedding due to medical problems. But just a day earlier he reportedly said he wanted to

walk Meghan down the aisle. So, if he doesn't take on that duty, who will? Max Foster now reports.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, he was coming, then he wasn't, then he was. Now apparently, he's not. Meghan Markle's

father has told U.S. website, TMZ, that heart surgery will prevent him traveling to Britain for the royal wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone wants their father at their wedding. So, yes, I think it should be pretty devastated. But the last I heard he was

too ill to come. So, that's a kind of different story. So, fingers crossed for her.

FOSTER: Thomas Markle was supposed to be at Windsor Castle to greet his daughter and walk her down the aisle.

(on camera): If he doesn't show up, the question then becomes, will who will step in for him? Or will she go solo?

(voice-over): The most likely candidate seems to be her mother, Doria Ragland, who'll be driving with Meghan to chapel.

VICTORIA ARBTER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: The two are incredibly close. Harry has actually spent a lot of time with Doria as well. So, there's a

personal connection there. But I think Meghan is the person she is today as a result of her mother.

FOSTER: There's also royal precedent for the bride's mother taking on the role. Queen Victoria did it for some of her daughters. Another option

could be Prince William, Harry's brother who's already lined up though to be best man on the day.

USA NETWORK/"SUITS" VIDEO CLIP: And what about the wedding?

FOSTER: Some betting companies are even offering odds on Meghan being accompanied by one of her former "Suits" co-stars, Patrick Adams or

Gabrielle Macht. Another left field option could be Meghan's friend, Jessica Mulroney, whose sons will pageboy's and daughter will be a flower

girl. It's a question everyone seems to have an opinion on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoever is important in Meghan's life as a male figure. She should be able to choose whoever she wants. If she chooses

not to have him, then she should be able to choose somebody else that is a father figure to her.

[11:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the father can't make it and not that she said that he can't make it that he won't be able to make it or isn't well

enough to make it. Well, she can walk down here, and the father could be there in spirit if not in person.

FOSTER: Whether she walks down on her own or with Prince Harry or with someone else, at this stage we don't really know. And there is no official

word from the palace either. Max Foster, CNN Windsor.


CURNOW: Bianca Nobilo joins us now from Windsor with more on all of that. Bianca, are you there? There you are. It's a very personal decision.

Isn't it? This wedding is public. But what it boils down to that this is a decision Meghan needs to make on his own.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN REPORTING: Exactly. And that's really the sense that I've been getting from speaking to people in Windsor over the last few days

is everybody can relate to that feeling of wanting everything to go perfectly ahead of a big family event or wedding. And the fact that all of

this drama is unfolding on a public stage and being splashed across the world's press is just adding pressure.

I mean, I think it was said many months ago, by both Harry and Meghan, that they try not to look at anything that's in the media or read too much of

it. But it's quite hard to escape. It is definitely a decision for the bride herself. The one she is likely to discuss with Prince Harry too.

But as Max Foster outlined, a lot of potential options there. And it is something which people relate to. I think it makes Meghan just all that

bit closer to the people. The fact that she has this family drama which everyone can understand.

CURNOW: Yes, certainly. Let's talk about the bridesmaids and pageboys. They always provide a cute and often unplanned moment at any wedding. Tell

us about the list, who's going to be there?

NOBILO: So, we know that Princess Charlotte and Prince George will be a flower girl and a pageboy. They'll be 10 of them in total, six flower

girls, four pageboys. The rest of that little part will be made up of god children of both Meghan and Harry. People they know really well and their

children. In that show speaking to a royal wedding planner a few days ago, and he was telling me all these little tips and tricks that they've devise

to try and help keep the cute but quite unpredictable children in line when they walk down that aisle.

Things like making sure that they've got sweets which are messy or sticky. But sweets that they can look forward to at the end of the aisle when they

walked to the chapel. Ways to keep them distracted so that they don't interfere too much with proceedings. But it would definitely be cute even

if they did -- Robyn. You

CURNOW: Yes, exactly. I mean, I think 10 of them though, that's quite a handful. When we look at Meghan, I mean, the whole point of this wedding,

yes, it is a royal wedding. Yes, it's kind of fun to watch all the pomp and pageantry. But Meghan is a very different type of bride. She's

American. She was a working woman. She's biracial. What will she bring to this royal family? And how has that helped in many ways the brand of

this institution?

NOBILO: Well, you just listed there, Robyn, the many way that she shatters precedents. She is a biracial. She's an American. She's a divorcee.

She's a career woman. There are so many things about Meghan which make her, I think, very suited to represent the British Royal family in modern

Britain. And indeed, I think the union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is far more representative of the modern Britain that many of us

know and experience.

Meghan and Harry also seem to have a real comfort with people there. Have a real natural way about themselves when they're talking to people in the

U.K., all around the British Isles as they have been. And that's important. I think bridging that gap between the monarchy and between the

rest of the people in the country is what ensures its survival. And Meghan in that regard I think holds a lot of promise for the royal family going

into the 21st century.

CURNOW: Yes. I think you make an excellent point there. Bianca, thanks so much. We'll speak to you again over the next few days there in Windsor.

CNN cordially invites you to be a part of our special coverage of Harry and Meghan's royal wedding, from the "I dos" to the dress -- can't wait for

that one. We have it all covered. That's on Saturday, right here at CNN.

And just ahead, we are getting the most comprehensive view yet inside that now infamous Trump Tower meeting during the 2016 campaign involving Donald

Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. We'll be live in Washington with the details.


CURNOW: You are watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Robyn Curnow. Welcome back.

Now in the United States we're getting new details of the now infamous meeting of Donald Trump Jr. attended in 2016. That was on the promise of

getting compromising information, dirt, from a Russian lawyer on Hillary Clinton. Well, Jessica Schneider is standing by with the latest on all of

this. She's live for us in Washington. So, what are we hearing? What new information is coming out?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: All right, Robyn, to headlines as we're continuing to sift these 2500 pages of transcript

testimony. All of this from people who were inside that Trump tower meeting at the height of the campaign in June 2016. So, first headline.

We see that Donald Trump Jr. insists throughout his testimony that he never told his father about the meeting and he insisted to U.S. lawmakers that

there were no mentions in that meeting relating to Russians offering to release hacked emails or distribute fake news to aid the Trump campaign.

So, those are the two different headlines there this morning.

So, here's the part in the transcript where Donald Trump Jr. insisted to investigators that he only passed along the e-mail invitation for that

meeting to Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. And never talk to his father about it. So, here it is, the question was, prior to the meeting on June

9, 2016, who did you tell about the meeting or about Mr. Goldstone's underlying offer to pass along information from Russia?

Donald Trump Jr. answered. I believe only Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, I made them aware of it.

Was there anyone else?

No, not to my recollection.

Did you inform your father about the meeting or the underlying offer prior to the meeting?

No, I did not.

And then in separate questioning, this question. Why wouldn't you share it with your father given your response that you loved it, especially later in

the summer? That's referring to an email where Donald Trump Jr. said, he loved the fact that he might get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The answer from Donald Trump Jr., interesting, he said, because they wouldn't bring him anything that's unsubstantiated, especially from a guy

like Rob, before I knew what it was actually about myself.

So, Rob there -- referring to Rob Goldstone, the music producer who arranged this whole meeting, who was the middleman. But another little bit

of detail later on in the testimony muddies Donald Trump Jr.'s insistence that he didn't tell his father. So also. In voluminous documents that

we've been going through, Democrats on this committee, they point to a June 6, 2016 phone call from Donald Trump Jr. to Emin Agalarov. That was the

Russian popstar who went to Rob Goldstone to really set up this meeting. So, that phone call it appeared to be about this meeting itself.

Now immediately after this phone call with Emin Agalarov, Donald Trump Jr. made another phone call to a blocked number and that phone call lasted 11

minutes. Now Donald Trump Jr. was asked, whose number was that? And he said he couldn't recall. But Democrats in these documents are pointing out

that Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager, he had previously said that Donald Trump's primary residence in New York City it

had a blocked number. So, that raises the question. Was this 11-minute phone call to Donald Trump, now the president -- was it to him? And if it

was and it happened immediately after Donald Trump Jr. got off the phone with the Russian popstar. Did he really not say anything to his father

about this meeting?

[11:45:00] So, Robyn, that has been the question throughout this investigation. Throughout all these inquiries both at the level of the

special counsel, as well as on the congressional side. Did Donald Trump himself really not know about this? So, all that we're getting now are the

transcripts. Where Donald Trump Jr. continues to insist his father didn't know anything about it. But again, some of these other details seem to

still cast some questions about that insistence -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And no doubt the Mueller investigators also are looking at this and asking their own questions. Jessica, thanks so much.

So, still ahead here at CNN. He says, nonviolence resistance can bring a lot of dignity, even freedom for his people. At the recent bloodshed along

the Israel Gaza border is challenging his dreams, will meet the man some called the Gandhi of Gaza.


CURNOW: You're watching CNN. Thanks for joining us. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Robyn Curnow in Atlanta. Welcome back.

Now, the main organizer behind the recent protests in Gaza says they're cry for life. A message to the world that Palestinians want to quote, leave

the walls of our prison and not die in silence. The activist styles himself on his heroes including Gandhi. Urging nonviolent resistance. But

Ian Lee tells us how the bloodshed at the Gaza/Israel border is certainly challenging his dreams.


AHMAD ABU ARTEMA, PALESTINIAN WRITER AND ACTIVIST (through translator): What if it weren't for this cursed bullet that poisons his dreams? Why do

we complicate simple matters? A poem punctuated by the pop of gunfire and words that sparked the movement.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ahmad Abu Artema, writer, activists and self-described dreamer. An unlikely leader, mobilizing tens

of thousands of Gazans with a rare but simple idea. Nonviolent resistance.

ARTEMA (through translator): I refuse outright the idea that walls and fences separate the people from each other, he tells me. I believe people

of different cultures and backgrounds should live together peacefully without borders.

LEE: The 33-year-old Palestinian says he's never thrown a rock and feels more comfortable in the library than a crowd. So, of course, he stylized

his movement, the march of return, after his heroes.

ARTEMA: I like the reminiscent of Gandhi. I like the reminiscent of Martin Luther King.

LEE: His philosophy, though, failing to prevent sometimes terrible bloodshed. Young Palestinians tend to bate. Black smoke will never stop a

sniper's bullet. Monday saw 60 die in a single day. The worst violence here for years. But still they come.

[11:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, I'm facing danger by coming here. But what other choice we have? I mean, we under siege we been like 11

years now.

LEE: the Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza limits what comes in and who goes out. But it's not material goods they covet the most.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom, justice, peace, help the Palestinian people no.

LEE: Israel insists Hamas orchestrated this protest movement and deliberately places children in harm's way. It describes attacks on the

border fence as terrorism. The international community strongly condemns Israel's use of live fire on protesters. But the Israeli army insists it

follows the rules of engagement.

MICHAEL OREN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: If they're designed to actually bring about the destruction of the state of Israel. They're

designed to break through the fence to kill Israelis and we have to proceed on that assumption. And our soldiers have prevented it. So, in that way

it is success.

LEE: Ahmad Abu Artema claims no political affiliation and denies ties to Hamas. Bullets, tear gas and blood have tested his call for non-violence.

Still he holds on to his dream, that someday Palestinians and Israelis will live side-by-side in peace.

ARTEMA: We have the seeds to live together. But without occupation. Without apartheid, with equality, with human rights and one democratic


LEE: Ian Lee, CNN, Gaza.


CURNOW: So, in our parting shots this hour. Some pot shots taken by one of America's most famous director aimed directly at the president of the

United States at the Cannes Film Festival. So, this is director Spike Lee unleashing a string of angry words, many of which we actually had to bleep

out at Donald Trump. As his new film, " BlacKkKlansman " has its premier. See it all for yourself.


"BLACK KLANSMAN" FOCUS FEATURES INTERNATIONAL FILM CLIP: There has never been a black cop in this city. We think you might be the man to open

things up around here.

CURNOW (voice-over): Spike Lee's movie "BlacKkKlansman" is based on the true story of an African-American police officer infiltrating the Ku Klux

Klan in the 1970s. The unlikely plot sees the black detective become a member of the Klan. Lee says the film has a message relevant for modern

cinema goers.

SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR, "BLACKKKLANSMAN": We have a guy in the White House, I'm not say his [BLEEP] name. Whose defining moment, it was not just

Americans, for the world and [BLEEP] was given a chance to say we are about love and not hate. And [BLEEP] did not denounce the [BLEEP] Klan, the alt-

right and those Nazi [BLEEP].

CURNOW: Lee was referencing U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial remarks in the after math of last year's Charlottesville riots. We are

white nationalists and other right-wing groups clashed with counter protesters demonstrating against racism and Nazi propaganda.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You also had people that were very fine people. On both sides. You had people in that group,

excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a

very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

CURNOW: One Charlottesville protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a car rammed into the crowd.

The movie's final scenes link past and present with footage and white nationalists rally and Mr. Trump's response at the time.

LEE: This film to me is a wake-up call. Because regardless of the okey- doke walking around in the daze, and stuff is happening. And it's topsy- turvy and stake has been Trumpeted as a truth. So, our job as film-makers, as story-tellers, was to connect this period piece to present day. What's

happening now did not just pop up out of thin air.

[11:55:00] CURNOW: "BlacKkKlansman" marks a return to Cannes for Lee almost 30 years after his film "Do the Right Thing" missed out on the Palme

d'Or, the festival's top prize. This time around, Lee says he doesn't care what the critics say, for him, it's about being on the right side of



CURNOW: A call to action says Spike Lee and critics have plenty of time to weigh in. The film actually won't be released here in the U.S. for few

months yet. But Monday's premier at Cannes, the audience gave it a six- minute standing ovation. That will tell you a little bit.

So, now whether your following news out of the Trump White House or the recent unrest in Gaza, we've certainly got you covered. Had to our

Facebook page, For news from around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow that was connect the world from the team here in Atlanta,

in London, Abu Dhabi and our reporters around the world. Thanks for watching. The news continues on CNN.

"QUEST EXPRESS" is next.