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Possible Activity at a North Korean Weapons Site; Chinese President May Skip U.S. Trip; Trump's Contrasting Views on Cohen and Manafort; More Families Added to Separation Lawsuit; Venezuela Recovering from Major Power Outage; Northern Ireland Dissatisfied with Unity Process; Wife of American Hostage in Iran Criticizes U.S. Failures; Netanyahu's Likud Base Backs Him as Charges Loom; Duchess of Sussex Speaks about Female Empowerment; Inside the Epic Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 9, 2019 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A provocative move: satellite imagery appears to show activity at a facility in North Korea.

A new claim by the U.S. president. Mr. Trump says Michael Cohen asked him directly for a pardon.


CHRISTINE LEVINSON, WIFE OF IRANIAN HOSTAGE: My husband is the longest-held hostage in American history.

VANIER (voice-over): The wife of Robert Levinson who was taken hostage in Iran 12 years ago talks to CNN about why she feels the U.S. government has forgotten about her.


VANIER: We're live from the CNN Center. I'm Cyril Vanier. Great to have you with us.


VANIER: Trump says he's disappointed in evidence that suggests North Korea is preparing for a new launch of some type. That evidence comes from experts who examined satellite images of two sites in North Korea.

This new activity could be military in nature or to send a satellite into space or possibly just to send a message to the U.S. after the disastrous summit in Vietnam. Will Ripley is in Beijing.

Will, what do the pictures tell us?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They paint a pretty troubling picture in terms of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, possibly escalating soon. I've spoken with two analysts looking at these images of a facility outside of Pyongyang, known to have assembled both intercontinental ballistic missiles and space rockets.

Based on the activity they have been seeing, there has been assembly taking place of either an ICBM or a rocket. They don't know the difference because these things are carefully guarded. These analysts say whatever was assembled has been possibly put on a train and may be in the process of being taken to some launch site somewhere in North Korea.

If you put that information with what we've seen in recent days, a flurry of activity at the Sohae launch facility, where North Korea has also tested missile engines, is that North Korea has put together some sort of a space rocket, might be taking it to Sohae and could be preparing to launch it anytime.

Places we need to watch closely based on the satellite imagery, the rail station at Sohae. A roof has been up to cover whatever arrives there. But if you see vehicles and movement, it indicates something has arrived and could be possibly taken and public on a launch pad.

North Korea has also reassembled the roof to conceal the launch pad. But it this is going to be a launch, it will happen at Sohae. We should have several days' notice. They differentiate between launching a space rocket, "a peaceful scientific endeavor," and launching an ICBM, which would be considered more highly provocative.

For the United States and the international community, launching a space rocket is provocative because it uses ICBM technology banned by U.N. Security Council resolution. So no matter how you slice it, a launch of any kind has the potential to be a highly provocative act.

VANIER: Another story developing that you're monitoring, the trade talks between the United States and China, where things may have hit a roadblock.

RIPLEY: What Chinese officials watched and are now concerned about are Trump's unconventional approach to diplomacy. When he abruptly ended the summit in Hanoi, walked out of the room leaving Kim Jong-un and their team "bewildered" and humiliated without a deal after having sent their leader -- after having sent both leaders a distance, it now has Chinese officials wondering where Xi Jinping will have the same thing happen to him if he were to accept President Trump's invitation --


RIPLEY: -- to travel to Mar-a-lago to finalize a trade deal end of this month. What we hear is that on the Chinese side they're not planning for Xi Jinping to go to Mar-a-lago until they make more progress on the trade deal, until they feel it is certain that a deal has been finalized and will be signed at Mar-a-lago.

It would be a diplomatic catastrophe for Xi Jinping to travel to the U.S. only to have Trump to walk out on him the way he did on Kim Jong- un. VANIER: Will Ripley reporting live from Beijing, thank you very much.

Trump is at his resort in Florida but he left Washington reeling from another week of turmoil. His former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to just shy of four years for financial crimes.

And his former long-time personal attorney went to Capitol Hill to spill the beans about his old boss. Here's CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After shying away from the subject for days, President Trump took aim at his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, accusing his one-time fixer of lying to Congress.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a stone cold lie. And he's lied about a lot of things. But when he lied about the pardon, that was really a lie and he knew all about pardons. His lawyers said that they went to my lawyers and asked for pardons.

ACOSTA: The president is referring to this comment Cohen made last week under oath, when he testified that he had not sought a pardon for Mr. Trump, even though his own attorneys had done just that.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY/FIXER FOR DONALD TRUMP: And I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.

ACOSTA: The president went one step further, alleging Cohen had sought a pardon personally, tweeting: "Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he had never asked for a pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied. Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said no."

Cohen fired back, tweeting: "Just another set of lies by the president. Mr. President, let me remind you that today is International Women's Day. You may want to use today to apologize for your own lies and dirty deeds to women like Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford," a reference to Mr. Trump's alleged mistresses.

But the president's attack on Cohen could backfire, pulling Mr. Trump into a perjury investigation into his former personal attorney's remarks.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND: We'd love to hear from the president about it. It does seem like one of these whimsical last- minute presidential inventions.

ACOSTA: Contrast Mr. Trump's war of words with Cohen with the sympathy expressed for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is headed to prison, but may receive a pardon of his own, as he stayed loyal to the president.

TRUMP: I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it's been a very, very tough time for him. But if you notice, both his lawyer, a highly respected man and a very highly respected judge, the judge, said there was no collusion with Russia. This had nothing to do with collusion. There was no collusion.

It's a collusion hoax. It's a collusion witch hoax.

ACOSTA: Just before the president viewed storm day in Alabama, the White House announced its communications director, Bill Shine, is resigning. Sources tell CNN Mr. Trump had soured on Shine, questioning his judgment on a number of issues.

Still, the president released a statement saying: "We will miss Shine in the White House, but look forward to working together on the 2020 presidential campaign, where he will be totally involved."

Shine, a former FOX News executive, is the sixth person to take on the communications job, raising questions about the president's commitment to hire the best people.

TRUMP: We are going to get the best people in the world. We're going to use our smartest and our best. We're not using political hacks anymore.

ACOSTA: The president may need a new communications director to help spin the latest unemployment numbers showing the economy only added 20,000 jobs last month.

Still, the president said there's nothing to worry about.

TRUMP: The economy is very, very strong. If you look at the stock market over the last few months, it's been great.

ACOSTA: The president is looking to put Democrats on the defensive, accusing them of going soft on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar after the House passed a measure condemning hate speech, a move sparked by the freshman Democrat's anti-Semitic comments.

TRUMP: The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They have become an anti-Jewish party.

ACOSTA: But the president overlooked his own record.

TRUMP: And you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.

ACOSTA: As for the departure of the communications director at the White House, a source close to the White House said there were growing concerns about the administration's cozy relationship with FOX News, where Bill Shine was recently a top executive.

Shine was partly responsible for the dramatic reduction in press briefings with reporters -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


VANIER: CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein joins us from Los Angeles.

Ron, let's start with Cohen. Trump said Cohen asked him directly for a pardon.

If it is true, why would the president wait until now --


VANIER: -- to bring this up?

Why wouldn't he put that out there sooner to undermine Cohen's credibility?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Good question. There's other questions I think the president perhaps has inadvertently has opened. If he's talking about conversations with Cohen about pardons, what would prevent him from discussing other conversation with other former officials?

Why could he not be asked about Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort?

The other difference is Cohen made his statements under oath. The president is talking on the lawn or in Twitter. And the question of whether in some form he would be willing to testify under oath to these allegations is one we don't know the answer to yet.


VANIER: Would that be a problem in terms of legal exposure for the president if he did talk directly with Michael Cohen about potential pardons?

BROWNSTEIN: The president's pardon power is pretty unlimited. The question becomes whether it would then be seen as a part of a corrupt intent. I'm not a lawyer but as I understand it, the issue would be whether this is part of conspiracy to obstruct justice rather than he has the authority to pardon anybody on the federal level at least.

And as you know, that's one reason why the concurrent state investigations in many of the same players is so important. But I think the question is whether the pardon power was dangled in a way that was to -- to actuate or advance some kind of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

VANIER: Tell me about Paul Manafort. Trump is selling the jailing and the sentencing of his campaign chairman as a moral victory for himself.

BROWNSTEIN: He's using -- this case was about bank fraud and tax fraud and maybe federal taxes. It was not about the core issue of whether Manafort was in any way cooperating with the Russians during the campaign, the judge acknowledged that.

And the president took that and twisted that into meaning there's no collusion. There's a big uproar in the United States about the sentence. The sentencing guidelines of approximately 20 years transmuted into a sentence of 47 months.

You see many public defenders talking about clients who stole $100 worth of quarters from a retail establishment and were given longer sentences. The question of whether this reflects a disparate justice based on your skin color and your level of affluence and so forth, the judge describing Manafort as someone who's lived an otherwise blameless life, kind of an extraordinary statement given the various traits he's been in and the clients he's represented.

So there's a debate about this entirely separate from the question of what the president is saying, which is a clear signal that he will speak positively of those who hold to the code of silence and will unload with both barrels on those he sees as threatening or betraying him.

VANIER: In fairness this gives a powerful argument. His critics have been saying for a long time, your former campaign chairman is going to jail. There's a lot of smoke there, Mr. President.

His answer rightfully so is, OK, it has nothing to do with me. It is about tax fraud and bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts. Nothing to do with me and my campaign, let alone collusion.

BROWNSTEIN: Right but this specific Manafort case does not. And Manafort will be sentenced next week in D.C., where he could get another 10 years. But the information developed through this case and inadvertently releases has been explosive questions about Mr. Manafort's sharing internal campaign polling data with his contact in Ukraine, who has contacts with Russian intelligence.

We don't know obviously the full dimensions of what the special counsel does know. Unless and until that report is available, we won't have a clear way to resolve the issue of what Manafort did or did not do during the campaign.

VANIER: I'm glad you said that. We need to remind viewers, until we see a report, provided we see it, from the final Mueller report, we won't see where it ends one way or another. Ron Brownstein, thank you so much for joining us.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

VANIER: The Trump administration suffered a major blow in a legal battle over migrant families separated at the U.S. border. A judge has ruled that thousands --


VANIER: -- more migrants can be included in a class action lawsuit to reunite families. The ruling comes after a watchdog report found that thousands more children had been separated than was previously acknowledged.

Jussie Smollett is facing new charges. A grand jury indicted him on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct. The police say Smollett provided a false report about being the victim of a crime.

In January he claimed he was attacked by men who put a noose around his neck. But police believe Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack.

Venezuela's worst blackout enters its second day. And power is returning to some areas but thousands are still in the dark. How people there are coping. We'll talk about that next.

Plus Britain's prime minister is fighting again to get her Brexit deal passed. Now a new poll shows constituents in Northern Ireland are not happy with how the process is going. Stay with us.





VANIER: In just a few hours, we expect nationwide protests --


VANIER: -- in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro and his opponent, Juan Guaido, have called on supporters to rally. The country is still recovering from its worst blackout that hit most of the nation.

Venezuela's communications minister said an American cyber attack caused the power outage but the opposition said it was actually from years of neglect. CNN's Paula Newton reports Venezuelans are having trouble getting the basics.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Venezuelans are waking up to a frustrating day after an entire night of no power. This is one of the most profound shortages that Venezuela has ever experienced.

I want to show you the gas lines. Most gas stations are closed in Caracas. This is one of the few that are open. The lineup has already started. The other thing they're lining up for is water. Without electricity, even who had water now do not because the pumps are not bringing water into their homes.

We met one woman actually getting water. She had no idea where it was coming from but she was desperate to get it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't know where the this water is from but our pumps don't work without electricity. I guess it must come from a dam or something.

NEWTON: (Speaking Spanish).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Well, I blame the government in general because the president is Maduro but there's all those that follow him. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: There's other challenges. The metro remains closed. Schools and businesses are also closed. But the main concern is for hospitals. Many hospitals I've been to were already having a problem with backup power, generators that weren't working, backup power that didn't work. That continues to be a concern throughout the country but many doctors and nurses now voicing their concerns that, as the emergencies build up they won't be able to handle it, especially the longer the blackout continues -- Paula Newton, CNN, Caracas.


VANIER: With just 20 days until the U.K. is due to leave the European Union, there's still a lot of uncertainty about how or if Brexit will happen. Britain's prime minister made that point clear on Friday, saying if her deal is rejected in the next meaningful vote, all the worst-case scenarios are possible.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Next week, members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice, whether to back the Brexit deal or to reject it. Back it and the U.K. will leave the European Union. Reject it and no one knows what will happen. We may not leave the E.U. for many months. We may leave without the protections that the deal provides. We may never leave at all.


VANIER: A new poll shows just how disillusioned Northern Ireland is with the whole Brexit mess. Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The people of Northern Ireland are deeply disappointed with the way Brexit is going. Banner headlines in "The Irish Times" reveal startling poll numbers.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The border with the republic to the south is one of the big issues. Two-thirds of the 536 people asked face-to- face say the U.K. should stay in the E.U. single market to ensure no hard border, which is not what Prime Minister Theresa May plans.

This poll is also an effective repudiation of May's Northern Irish allies, the DUP, who prop up her slender majority and have voted against her Brexit plan. Two-thirds of those asked say they have done a bad job representing Northern Ireland, a sentiment we found among Unionist voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, in fact, one of the biggest potential threats to the union is that the --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- their stance. There's a big swath of middle ground in Northern Ireland, who, quite frankly, has no one to vote for.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Indeed, a moment Northern Ireland's more moderate pro-British Unionist politicians, there's concern the DUP hardline stance is doing more harm than good.

MIKE NESBITT, ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY: It doesn't mean a united Ireland is inevitable but it does mean that Brexit possibly could be the biggest stronghold (ph) by unionism in 100 years.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The DUP, unrepentant.

SAMMY WILSON, DUP: We have huge historic links with the rest of the United Kingdom. And those go back hundreds of years. And we're not going to give that up.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): For now, the DUP can breathe easy. The poll shows less than one-third of voters in the North want union with the South, even as polling south of the border of 1,200 people shows a --


ROBERTSON (voice-over): -- significant majority in favor of Irish unity.

ROBERTSON: But all of that is in the distant future. Right now, the Brexit end game is front and center. On Friday the Irish prime minister says the U.K. has to compromise, just as Theresa May said that the E.U. is the one that needs to bend -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Dublin, Ireland.


VANIER: Seemingly forgotten: Robert Levinson has been held in Iran for 12 years and his wife said he deserves more from the U.S. government.

Plus CNN goes to Bibi country to hear from the base that is staying loyal to embattled prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All that and more after the break.




VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers. You're watching CNN. I'm Cyril Vanier. Your headlines this hour.



VANIER: Christine Levinson has waited and waited and waited for answers. Twelve years ago her husband, Robert Levinson, a U.S. citizen, vanished in Iran. She believes he's still alive and so far three U.S. administrations have failed to find him. Erin Burnett reports.


C. LEVINSON: My husband served this country tirelessly for decades. He deserves better from us and from our government.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST (voice-over): The wife of former FBI agent Bob Levinson testifying before Congress nearly 12 years to the day from when her husband went missing without a trace in Iran.

C. LEVINSON: My husband is the longest held hostage in American history.

BURNETT (voice-over): Levinson was working as a contractor for the CIA when he disappeared. According to Reuters, he was investigating corruption among Iranian officials.

For the family it has been agony. For more than a decade, the Levinson family has had no direct contact with Bob Levinson. His wife, Christine, telling me, the unknown is unbearable.

C. LEVINSON: It's extremely difficult. I watch other couples and I wonder why I can't be having a nice evening with my husband. I also watch our grandchildren. A couple of them are 2 and 1.5 and they do such cute things and I know that Bob loves children. And he's missing all of it.

BURNETT (voice-over): The only proof of life they have ever gotten, this video, which they made public in 2011.

ROBERT LEVINSON, FORMER CIA CONTRACTOR: I have been treated well. I need help of the United States government. Please help me get home, 33 years of service to the United States deserves something. Please help me.

BURNETT (voice-over): The family also received these photographs that show Levinson shackled, wearing an orange jumpsuit, holding signs in broken English that read, "Why you cannot help me? Fourth year. You can't or you don't want."

Christine Levinson tells me there's no doubt her husband is still alive and still In Iran even though the prior administration said he left the country.

JOSH EARNEST, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have reason to believe that he no longer is in Iran. And that's why we continue to press for information about his whereabouts.

BURNETT (voice-over): But that has not deterred the Levinson family and both Republicans and Democrats are calling for Bob Levinson's release.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA.: The case of Bob Levinson remains unresolved. The Iranians, I believe, know where he is and they're not cooperating and it's an outrage.

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D): It is unacceptable that the government is not cooperating in locating and returning Mr. Levinson.

BURNETT (voice-over): Bob Levinson turns 71 this weekend. The effort to find him and bring him home has consumed the entire Levinson family. One of Levinson daughters telling me last year...

SARAH MORIARTY, ROBERT LEVINSON'S DAUGHTER: Every moment of every day I think about him in one way or another, how I might get him home.

BURNETT (voice-over): And Christine Levinson is still holding on to hope that she will one day be reunited with her husband of more than 40 years.

C. LEVINSON: Bob, don't give up. We are waiting for you to get home. You have to meet all your wonderful grandchildren and all your new in- laws. Please take care of yourself and make sure that you can come home to us.


VANIER: At least five Americans are currently held in Iran. The United Nations believed the Iranian government is targeting people with dual nationalities, specifically those they believe are tied to Western academic, economic and cultural institutions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no fan of Iran but right now he's got his own demons to deal with. Criminal charges appear to be looming and some right-wing commentators in the U.S. are calling on him to step aside for the good of his country. But he wants to win the April 9th Israeli election. As Melissa Bell reports, his base says he can do it.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His late arrival did nothing to dampen his supporters' enthusiasm. With a month to go until the election, Benjamin Netanyahu may have slipped to second place in the polls nationally but this is Likud country.

In 2015, the party won nearly 40 percent of the vote here in the southern Israeli town of Be'er Sheva (ph). And a week after the attorney general recommended indicting Netanyahu in three separate corruption investigations, most of those we spoke to think he'll win his fifth term regardless.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is charisma and the way speak over the world.

BELL: Who will you vote for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like Bibi. We Bibi.

BELL (voice-over): Our guide through Be'er Sheva is Uriel Gur Adam, a local radio journalist.

URIEL GOR ADAM, LOCAL RADIO JOURNALIST: A lot of people not living in the central of Israel, maybe who live in Jerusalem, have found a place and found someone who speaks their anger and misery.

BELL: Hello, how are you.

BELL (voice-over): Inside the local Likud headquarters, the pile of signs was waist-high, we're told, depleted by activists who came unprompted this year to get involved.

They read, "Davka (ph) Netanyahu," encouraging his vote not just in spite of his legal troubles but because of them, a message not only aimed at voters but also at the media, who Netanyahu accuses of a left-wing conspiracy against him.

ADAM: You cover the indictment and you cover all the police investigations and they are doing OK in spite of that.

BELL: So what the signs say is pay attention to what he's being accused of and get out and vote because he's under attack.

ADAM: And you remember we've mentioned that earlier people do give the benefit of the doubt.

BELL (voice-over): Shimon Boker, who is both the town's deputy mayor and the local Likud Party chairman agrees that far from being put off by Netanyahu's troubles, Likud voters have been fired up by them.

SHIMON BOKER, BE'ER SHEVA DEPUTY MAYOR (through translator): I want to tell you something. He's the Moses of our time. This is the Moses of Israel. The more they torture him, the stronger he'll become. That's written in the Bible. They more they torture him, the stronger he'll become.

BELL (voice-over): Yet even here in Be'er Sheva, Netanyahu spoke in an auditorium that was only half full. To those that did turn up, heavier, the leader left them as impressed as ever and convinced that his natural ability to connect with his faithful would see him through once again -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Be'er Sheva.


VANIER: They're young, brash and just may wind up running the U.S. We're talking about the crop of millennial presidential candidates. A look at whether their youth and attitude are enough to win over voters -- when we come back.

Plus Meghan Markle speaking out for women everywhere. Why the Duchess of Sussex is on a mission. Stay with us.



[03:40:00] (MUSIC PLAYING)

VANIER: The 2020 election is more than a year away and a field of Democratic candidates keeps growing. A dozen Democrats so far have thrown their hats into the ring and two more have formed exploratory committees.

And that's not all. There are more than a dozen others still deciding whether they're going to run. The latest candidate to announce a run is former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. He's made several trips to the key state of Iowa, where he's touted his success as both a governor and a business leader.

Many of those candidates are young. They believe that's precisely what with the country needs, a new attitude. Jeff Zeleny runs down the millennial candidates.


PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), MAYOR OF SOUTH BEND, IND., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People are sometimes, especially here in Iowa, a little too polite to ask the question of why a 37-year-old mayor thinks he has any business being in a discussion about the highest office in the land.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's precisely the question facing Pete Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the presidential race. He's the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, now turning heads as he audaciously eyes the White House.

(on camera): How can you make the argument that you're ready to be president?

BUTTIGIEG: So, I know you don't expect to hear this from the youngest person in the conversation, but my simplest answer is experience. I know there's a more conventional path that involves marinating in Washington for 10, 20, or 40 years. But I actually think we want Washington to be looking more like our best run cities and towns, not the other way around.

ZELENY: He's touting his youth as a virtue and his biography filled with the list of first.

BUTTIGIEG: That fact that I'm a veteran, that I'm young, that I'm in a same-sex marriage, those are important parts of who I am. But that profile just gets you a look. The real question is once people take that look, what do you see and what do they hear?

ZELENY: Democrats are giving him a look, but the challenge is to be seen as a serious candidate on a crowded stage.

He's at the forefront of the new generation of leaders who have little appetite to wait their turn.


ZELENY: Even Democrats not old enough to seek the presidency, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is also influencing the party.

On the campaign trail, Buttigieg is not the only millennial in the race.

GABBARD: I don't know about you guys, when someone tells me to be quiet, I speak up louder.

ZELENY: Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is also 37 and an Iraq veteran, who is building his candidacy around foreign policy.

GABBARD: That is the change that I seek to bring to this country, of bringing these uniquely American ideals of putting service before self, that come from my heart as a soldier.


ZELENY: She's still explaining a 2017 meeting with Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad.

GABBARD: I'm deeply sorry -

ZELENY: And has apologized for what she called wrong and hurtful statement where she worked for an anti-gay group.

Two young congressmen also exploring a White House bid, 38-year-old Eric Swalwell of California and 40-year-old Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, highlighting a divide with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, nearly four decades older. It's become a ready-made punch line at least for the younger candidates.

BUTTIGIEG: I understand the audacity running for president at my age, especially because sometimes downstairs I still get carded when I order a beer.

ZELENY: So Buttigieg, Gabbard and others are part of this new wave of leaders in the Democratic Party. A few Republicans as well who have military service under their belt. They talk a lot about that on the road.

Buttigieg served in Afghanistan. He said his message is not focused on national security as much as it is generational change. He said his face is his message. He also says the issue of age has been settled by the Constitution. You must be 35 years old to run for president. The Constitution says that but voters will have the final say -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: Friday's observance of International Women's Day has come and gone. But the gender equality rages on. Millions of women around the world united for the event protesting domestic violence as well as pay discrimination.

In Istanbul, Turkey, thousands of women marched in defiance of a ban. Police scuffled with demonstrators and fired tear gas to disperse them. In Spain, gender equality is an important issue ahead of next month's elections.

The country's new far right party wants to strap a law on domestic violence against women. And in Brazil, thousands of women marched in Sao Paulo to demonstrate against president Jair Bolsonaro and is policies.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is speaking out on the subject of female empowerment for International Women's Day. As our royal correspondent --


VANIER: -- Max Foster reports, the event gives us insight into how she copes with positive and negative publicity as a woman and as a royal.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: We now know that she doesn't read the papers, she doesn't engage on Twitter. She's there to focus on her public role and the causes she's out to support.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Again, it is our responsibility to make a choice in what we click on, make a choice in what we read, make a choice in what we engage in. That is our personal decision to not feed into negativity, to be more cause-driven and action-based.

FOSTER (voice-over): This comes as CNN reveals the extent of racist trolling on social media, targeting the duchess.

MARKLE: I don't read anything. Much safer that way. But that's just my own personal preference because I think, positive or negative, it can all start to just feel like noise to a certain extent.

FOSTER: Meghan's was appearing on a star-studded panel to mark International Women's Day, including the singer, Annie Lennox, and former Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard and neatly she tied in women's equality with the impending birth of her baby.

MARKLE: We have actually been joking in the past few weeks, seeing this documentary on Netflix about feminism and one of the things they said during pregnancy was I feel the embryo kicking of feminism.


MARKLE: I love that. So boy or girl, whatever it is, we hope that's the case.

FOSTER: The duchess dismissed the idea that feminism was just a fad.

MARKLE: The idea that there's a headline, saying feminism is a trendy word, that's not helpful either. Right?

FOSTER: So the duchess appearing on good form in what is expected to be one of her last appearances before she goes off on maternity leave. The baby due in April. Everyone is very excited about this next chapter in the Sussexes' royal story -- Max Foster, CNN, London.


VANIER: Just a week after deadly tornadoes hit the southeastern United States, there is more intense weather on the way. We have the weather forecast when we come back.






VANIER: Nearly half a century since a human being first walked on the moon but there was so much about that epic space mission that most of us have never seen until now. The documentary "Apollo 11" just opened in U.S. movie theaters and the film's director and producer told us how they gave new life to the decades-old moon landing.


NEIL ARMSTRONG, ASTRONAUT: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

VANIER (voice-over): It was a moment seen by millions, man's first steps on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission remains one of humanity's greatest achievements and yet there is much we never heard, never saw and never knew until now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Countdown for Apollo 11, now five minutes, 52 seconds and counting.

VANIER (voice-over): Fifty years after the historic launch, a new documentary tells the mission's story with new accuracy, pieced together with archival film and recordings unearthed by the filmmakers.

TODD DOUGLAS MILLER, DIRECTOR, "APOLLO 11": We started the project, we had to cast a big net to try to get all the available film footage. What really was the amazing part was several months in, when this discovery of the collection of the 65 millimeter. So it was all large format.

Needless to say, our jaws were on the ground when we saw the first images off the film scanner.

VANIER (voice-over): Among the discovering were thousands of hours of footage that only existed on old reels, much of it uncatalogued, lacking labels or transcriptions.

MILLER: NASA 50 years ago had shot this, developed it, sent it out to the different centers and ultimately it ended up at the National Archives in College Park outside of D.C., and sitting in cold storage all these years.

VANIER (voice-over): Working with a team, the filmmakers sifted through, restored and digitized troves of materials.

MILLER: Once we spent the time researching all of that and then actually made an entire timeline that was nine days long at the mission -- there really is a nine-day version of the film -- we -- we quickly realized that we had something special that we could do it all with archival materials and not rely on current talking heads or other kind of movie trickery to tell the story.

TOM PETERSEN, PRODUCER, "APOLLO 11": I think the all-archival approach really adds to the immediacy of everything. And it was really what we set out to do, was just make you feel like as if you were actually there.

VANIER (voice-over): Without narration, re-creation or commentary, the film uses only original footage to condense the nine-day mission into 90 minutes. It ends with launch preparations and ends with the astronauts' return to Earth, layering new perspectives of all of those involved in the undertaking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you feel as far as responsibilities of representing mankind on this trip?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's relatively difficult to answer. It is a job that we collectively said that was possible and could do. And, of course, the nation itself is backing us.


VANIER: Severe weather is headed to the southern United States even as some states still dig through the rubble from last week's storms. Look at this in Alabama, where at least 23 people died when tornadoes ripped through the state. The coming storms are not expected to be as severe. But tornadoes are still a possibility.



VANIER: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. The news continues with Natalie Allen and George Howell. You're in great hands.