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Ethiopian CEO: Report Proves Pilots Did All They Could; Accused Mosque Gunman Charged With 50 Murder Counts; Russian Military Pushing To Control Arctic Region; Experts North Korean Leader May Be Signaling Major Move; South Korea Rolls Out 5G Smartphone Networks; Boeing CEO on Crash: "We Own It"; Brexit Chaos; From Euphoria to Cries of Witch Hunts. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 5, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Boeing promises it is committed to fixing problems with its Max 737 as new report from the Ethiopian Airlines crash draws clear parallels to one in Indonesia.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: More Brexit chaos. Hardliners in the House of Lords are trying to block a move that will give the U.K. an extension.
HOWELL: Plus, a CNN exclusive. We take you to the Arctic to see how Russia's military is expanding in the region. Why?
ALLEN: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: I'm George Howell, live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. This is "Newsroom."
A major admission from Boeing: For the first time, the plane maker says that equipment played a role in two crashes in the last six months, crashes that killed 346 people, those planes owned by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Airlines. The pilots were flying the 737 Max 8 passenger jets and Boeing CEO says a malfunction in its ant- stall system was a link in the chain of events that caused the crashes.
ALLEN: It comes after investigators released an initial report on the Ethiopian Airlines flight. After that crash, regulators around the world grounded the 737 Max fleet. Boeing says it's working to fix the problem to get those planes back in the sky. But, it all seems to point a finger at Boeing and its 737 Max 8.
HOWELL: Right. CNN's Robyn Kriel has the very latest now from Ethiopia.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two things really stand out in this report of doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. One, the desperate and multiple attempts by the two Ethiopian pilots to keep the plane in the air as the machine forced its way into the ground. And two, the similarities between this crash and the Lion Air crash in October of last year.
The pilots on board Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 battled the plane's automated systems for nearly the entire duration of the six-minute flight. According to Ethiopian Airlines preliminary report into the crash obtained by CNN on Thursday, the report includes the timeline that shows how quickly less than two minutes, things began to turn deadly for the flight.
Based on international time standards, at 5:37 am, which is 8:37 Ethiopian time, flight 302 has been cleared for takeoff and is airborne. Only 70 seconds later, a warning tells the pilots the readings for the two angles of attack sensors knows as AOA are not in synched and have deviated substantially.
ALASTAIR ROSENSCHEIN, AVIATION CONSULTANT: -- stands out. It's significant. It's the difference in angle attack indication between the left-hand side and the right-hand side of the aircraft. It's a 60- degree difference. And this feeds directly into the MCAS computer system, the system which forces the nose down in the event it receives stall. This is the same as the Lion Air accident.
KRIEL: The problems on board ET 302 and actions of the pilots as outlined in the report now mirror those encountered on Lion Air flight 610, which operated the same 737 Max 8 model. Unable to stabilize the 737 Max 8 plane even after following the emergency procedures recommended by Boeing, the pilots tried together to pull the jet's nose up repeatedly during the last moments of the flight, the report revealed, but the downward force of the aircraft was too great to overcome.
ROSENSCHEIN: The pilots had control difficulty, the trim wheel which you see here spinning the nose down, if that was to happen, runaway, the pilots would then, according to that training, hit these two stab trim cut-out switches. When they do that, it should allow them to regain control of the aircraft. However, we knew that this did not happen. The aircraft ended up crashing.
KRIEL: Boeing grounded the 737 Max 8 fleet worldwide last month, pending the investigations. It says in a statement it is reviewing the preliminary report and will take and all additional steps necessary to enhance the safety of our aircraft. But beyond the investigation and headlines, shock, pain, and loss are all that remains for the families and friends of the 157 passengers and crew who died that day.
Robyn Kriel, CNN, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
ALLEN: Let's bring in David Soucie. He's a CNN aviation safety analyst. David, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN AVIATION SAFETY ANALYST: Thanks, Natalie. [02:04:57] ALLEN: Let's talk about what we are learning this Thursday, that the findings released in Ethiopia suggest the pilots on the flight initially followed procedures at the anti-stall system malfunction. Then they tried to right the plane, the captain telling his co-pilot three times to pull up. Help us understand what they were dealing with in this very short period of time.
SOUCIE: It had to be incredibly frustrating. Within just seconds after taking off, they knew that something was wrong. They knew that the flight control system was failing, but they didn't quite know what to do about it. They didn't actually command to turn off the augmentation system that we talked about with Lion Air while failing. They did turn it off.
It was off, which is what they had to do to make sure that they can control the aircraft. Somehow during the process, the MCAS still put in inputs, still putting the 'nose down attitude' into the aircraft, and that is what is most disturbing about this second accident.
ALLEN: So the test of the 737 Max have shown that once faulty data triggers the systems, pilots have little time to save the plane. As you mentioned, this flight ended in six or eight minutes. They were also getting incorrect readings over and over about the angle of the plane, fluctuations in air speed and altitude. Is that another complexity on top of what they're already dealing with?
SOUCIE: Actually, that's what triggered the problem in the first place. The angle of attack indicator tells the pilots what angle the aircraft is at. If it's too steep, the aircraft will stall. The air over the top of the wings starts to fall apart and then the aircraft falls. It comes out of the sky. So they try to avoid that by getting this angle of attack warning.
But in this case, it also fed information to the augmentation system, the maneuver ability control augmentation system or MCAS. So by putting that information into the computer, the computer thought the aircraft was going to stall but indeed it was not stalling at all. So the pilots had two kinds of information going on and their computers were fighting against them, trying to push the nose back down when indeed it didn't need to be pushed down at all.
ALLEN: Right. Boeing dismissed concerns about the new anti-stall system on this plane for months, insisting pilots can deal with any problems by following a checklist of procedures. Is that proven incorrect now? Could anyone have saved this plane?
SOUCIE: I don't think so at this point. There's even a manual control that override the trim system that was pushing it down. They tried that. They moved that. I don't think they moved it enough, but they tried moving it and it was just so complex. There was so much going on the additional complexity. This aircraft is already complex to fly.
But then to throw something else in there and for Boeing to say, it's in the flight manual, they have a procedure for that, the can turn it off, that's all well and good when you look at it from an engineering perspective and sitting at your desk. But when you're flying this aircraft and you have near seconds to save the lives of all the people in the back of your airplane, that's not what's going through your mind. What's going through your mind is I've got to pull up, got to get this airplane up and out of here and not just look at the manual and see what's going on.
Boeing really didn't do the right thing by increasing the complexity here for these pilots. It would have been -- I don't think it would have been recoverable for anybody in their shoes.
ALLEN: So did Boeing build a flawed system?
SOUCIE: I believe they did. I believe that they made -- what they really did was make the wrong assumption. When you're doing engineering, you have to have assumptions in order to calculate whether it's a hazard or whether it's something that is just a slight risk or whatever it might be. So you categorize each part of the aircraft, each system within the aircraft.
When they categorize this part, they call it a class B, meaning that it doesn't endanger life. It's not something that would cause a crash and loss of life. So they classified it as a class B. But when they do that, they only have to have single inputs into the computer. They don't have to have redundancy. We talked about redundancy before, about every system that is a flight system or class A system has to have two systems that balance each other out or even three in some cases.
That wasn't the case here. They said, no, we don't think it is this, and so for that reason, it went through the system in a much different way than it had been and had been recognized as a hazardous system, as a class A.
ALLEN: How do they right this wrong? What's the procedure to test these planes now that there have been two catastrophes? And should this plane be put back in service?
SOUCIE: Well, not at this point. The aircraft needs to have what we call a harder direct control for the pilots. The pilots need to be able to hit one switch, hit one thing like they do with the autopilot or runaway trim. There's a button they can hit that says, now, I'm in control. I'm literally flying the flight controls of this airplane.
Until that happens, this aircraft should not be flown. This should not have been done in the first place. A control system that goes into place when the pilot doesn't even know it's there is the wrong way to go about it. It's one of these technological things in advance.
[02:10:00] But what engineers need to ask themselves and what Boeing needs to ask themselves moving forward is just because we can do something technologically doesn't mean we should. We have to always ask that question. Is this something we should do? Are we going to add extra burden to the pilot? Those are things that Boeing needs to readjust.
ALLEN: Yes, they have a lot of work to do on this situation. SOUCIE: They do.
ALLEN: David Soucie, we always appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
SOUCIE: Thanks for having me.
HOWELL: And now to the United Kingdom, the deadline for Brexit is now just one week away and barring a dramatic breakthrough, the U.K. is said to crash out of the European Union without a deal.
ALLEN: The House of Lords is debating a measure that would force Prime Minister Theresa May to request another Brexit extension pass next Friday. But hard-line Brexiteers are trying to block that legislation. Of course, the European Union will have this to say on any further Brexit delay and two of the block's most invested leaders got together Thursday to discuss the way forward.
HOWELL: It didn't go so well. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has this report from Dublin, Ireland.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the focus of the talks between Leo Varadkar and Chancellor Angela Merkel were the very thorny issue of balancing security on the border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, and the integrity of the customs union in single market.
Meaning, how does Ireland as a frontline border state between the European Union and Britain, how does it make sure that unregulated goods don't cross that border into the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the European Union without hard border checks, which in and of themselves could bring about a rise in violence at the border? That was the focus of the discussion both leaders heard from people who live in border communities, both sides of the border.
The German chancellor saying that she was moved by what she heard, they gave testimony of that it was like living during the times of the troubles in Northern Ireland, the violence, the hard border back then. Angela Merkel saying her experiences growing up in East Germany and living in a divided country, she understood all of that.
But Leo Varadkar being very clear when he said, how do you actually regulate and prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit? Impossible to do, he said.
LEO VARADKAR, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: It's not possible quite frankly to have a care plan because there are so many different contingencies and hypotheticals and a lot of it will depend on what the U.K. decides to do.
ROBERTSON: On the issue a political developments in Westminster and London, both leaders seem to imply that they felt a little confident, perhaps, that a no-deal Brexit is off the table. But Angela Merkel also really staying sort of slightly skeptical and indicating, let's just see, wait what happens until Theresa May arrives in Brussels for the E.U. leaders' summit next week.
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: So we do hope that the intensive discussions that are ongoing in London will lead to a situation by next Wednesday where we have a special counsel meeting and where Prime Minister Theresa May will have something to table to us on the basis of which we can continue to talk. We want to stand together as 27. Until the very last hour -- I can say this for the German side -- we will do everything in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
ROBERTSON: Of course, both leaders are emphasizing mutual support for one another and both emphasizing as well the importance and the strength of European unity at this time and that a solution must come from London.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Dublin, Ireland.
HOWELL: Nic, thank you. In the northeast of England, the struggling town that surrounds the dilapidated old steel mill is looking for Brexit salvation.
ALLEN: CNN's Hadas Gold reports on an ambitious plan by the mayor to bring back jobs.
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: It stretches 1,600 acres, double the size of Central Park, the carcass of a steel plant that as the local saying goes helped build the world, empower the economy of Northeast England for decades. It's still holding up global landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
When this plant abruptly closed in 2015, more than 2,000 people lost their well-paid and secure jobs. It played dormant ever since.
MAYOR BEN HOUCHEN, TEES VALLEY, NORTHEAST ENGLAND: It's such a (INAUDIBLE) for community that has been based in steelmaking for more than a hundred years.
GOLD: Thirty-two-year-old Mayor Ben Houchen was born and raised here. Two years ago, he was elected to the newly-created role, overseeing a cluster of cities in a region known as Teesside.
What was it like growing up here?
HOUCHEN: It was an amazing place. It is still an amazing place. We just need to reinvest ourselves.
GOLD: A reinvention, he believes, starts with Brexit.
[02:15:01] Only by breaking up with Brussels, Houchen said, can U.K. government act on his proposal, turning the old plant site and its surroundings into a special tax free zone called a free port.
HOUCHEN: Having a free port based here would mean potentially zero tariffs.
GOLD: Wouldn't it be easier to attract many manufacturers if the U.K. just stayed in the customs union?
HOUCHEN: Well, ultimately, 70 percent of people in the local area voted to leave the European Union. I think one of the reasons was because the government wasn't able to intervene, for example, to stay the local steel works.
GOLD: Houchen said turning Teesside into a free port could generate tens of thousands of new jobs in a region that desperately needs them. Unemployment in some areas of the Tees Valley is more than double the national average.
FRANKIE WALES, FOUNDER, REDCAR AMATEUR BOXING CLUB: You can't possibly take anything else from us because everything is gone.
GOLD: Frankie Wales worked in the steel plant for 15 years. He now runs an amateur boxing gym in the Teesside town of Redcar. For years, he has watched as men of working age were knocked down by factory closures with the steel works delivering the final blow.
WALES: It is quite disheartening to see 55, 60-year-old men who know they will never going to work again. They have been trained to be the finest steelmakers in the world and now make lattes and coffee.
GOLD: A gym rat turned town ambassador, Wales leads initiatives to get young men here in Redcar off the street and into fruitful employment.
Have you heard of this free port idea? What's your take on it?
WALES: It's an opportunity. It's going to bring 10,000 jobs, thousand jobs, hundred jobs. That is better than no jobs at all.
MEREDITH CROWLEY, ECONOMIST, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: The jobs won't arrive on the level at which some of the politicians who support the idea are hoping.
GOLD: Economists like Cambridge's Meredith Crowley say it is unlikely a free port will help Teesside overcome the negative effects of Brexit.
CROWLEY: Where you see big job growth would be in a country like China where you have very, very low skilled workers earning very, very low wages. They are opening a free port. It will create a lot of employment opportunities. But British workers don't have that. They are much more skilled.
GOLD: The U.K. government projected Brexit could shrink the northeast economy by as much as 16 percent. But Houchen is pushing ahead. He said more than 100 foreign firms have expressed interest in the free port site. The consortium of oil companies including VP and Shell had proposed building a clean energy plant.
(INAUDIBLE) promising too much? HOUCHEN: Look, the plan that we have, yes it's ambitious, yes it's hopeful, but the proof is in the (INAUDIBLE) and there is evidence that it's starting to come to fruition.
GOLD: They say that Teesside built the world. The factory town now hoping Brexit will bring the world back to them.
Hadas Gold, CNN, Teesside.
HOWELL: Next here on "Newsroom," from a good situation now to witch hunt -- the words just didn't come out of my mouth -- the White House whiplash on the Mueller report.
ALLEN: Also ahead, Russia to stake its claim in the Arctic by building a military base right life on America's doorstep. We'll have CNN's exclusive report.
HOWELL: That word was euphoria.
[02:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Cries of hopes and witch hunt are again coming from the White House, sparked by reports the attorney general's memo on the Mueller report may have sugar coated evidence of obstruction.
HOWELL: That's not the only headache for the president. Democrats and some Republicans are calling for his taxes to be released. Jim Acosta has this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Now that investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller's office are complaining that Attorney General William Barr's letter on the investigations findings go too far in clearing President Trump, anger is building at the White House. The president tweeted his fury, "There is nothing we can give to the Democrats that will make them happy. This is the highest level of presidential harassment in the history of our country."
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lashed out at news reports about the frustrations inside Mueller's team.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The anonymous sources that allegedly leaked confidential information? Look, I have full confidence in the attorney general in his assessment.
ACOSTA: But up on Capitol Hill, support is building to reveal Mueller's findings with Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley tweeting, "I support release of the Mueller report."
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: There is an easy answer to this, release the Mueller report as soon as possible. And let me just say, the Mueller report will be released, it's just a question of to us it is inevitable, to them it is inconceivable.
ACOSTA: Convinced Mr. Trump is hiding something, House Democrats are also making a historic request for six years of the president's tax returns, a secret he has closely guarded since the campaign.
REP. RICHARD NEAL (D-MA), CHAIRMAN, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: This is likely to wind its way through the federal court system. We want to make sure that the case that we constructed was in fact one that would stand up under the critical scrutiny of the federal courts.
ACOSTA: Asked whether he will release them, the president sidestepped the question.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They will speak to my lawyers. They will speak to the attorney general.
ACOSTA: The president has repeatedly beat back efforts to obtain those tax returns, claiming they are under audit.
TRUMP: I've ordered it every single year. And when it's under audit, you don't discuss anything.
I'm releasing when we're finished with the audit. I have to say the IRS has been very professional.
When the audit is complete, I will release my returns. I have no problem with it.
I'm not releasing my tax returns because as you know they are under audit.
As I've told you, they're under audit. They have been for a long time. They're extremely complex. People wouldn't understand them.
ACOSTA: But fellow Republicans are starting to break from the president on that issue, too.
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: I think all things being equal, I would like to see president's taxes. You know, I wouldn't be averse
to turning over my taxes. I don't have anything to hide.
ACOSTA: The president is backing down when it comes to his warning that he will shut down the border. Now he says he will get Mexico one year to crack down on the influx of migrants crossing into the U.S.
TRUMP: We are going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don't stop or largely stop, we are going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, cars. The whole ball game is cars. It's the big ball game. With many countries, it is cars. And if that doesn't stop the drugs, we will close the border.
ACOSTA: The president is allowing Mexico more time to solve the problem despite calling the situation a national emergency once again.
TRUMP: I hate to see it but at least I can say I was right. I don't -- everybody, this is -- you have a national emergency at our border. ACOSTA: As for the Mueller report, one administration official expressed some frustration with Democratic demands to see as much as possible. The official complaint that the report should not reveal information that is embarrassing about the president, if he is not being accused by the special counsel's office of committing any crimes. This official called that possibility, a word that rhymes with gritty.
Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
HOWELL: Let's talk more about all this now with Elaina Plott. Elaina is CNN political analyst and a White House correspondent for The Atlantic, joining us this hour from Washington, D.C. It's good to have you with us, Elaina.
ELAINA PLOTT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE ATLANTIC: Thanks for having me.
HOWELL: Let's start with the frustration that is reportedly been building among investigators and the special counsel's office. The attorney general's four-page assessment of some 400 pages of their work goes too far in clearing this president. At one point, Mr. Trump praised this work done by this investigator. But now the White House is discounting them as leakers.
[02:24:59] PLOTT: It's, you know, a never-ending saga in terms of who is on Mueller's team and who is not within this White House. Right now, you are seeing the president, as you aptly put it, starts to change his tune of it toward Mueller. We saw his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, go after Mueller's team, saying they are a group of lying, liberal leakers.
And those sentiments continue to build. It will be interesting to see whether public sentiment begins to point closer and closer toward wanting that full report to be released because at this point, it seems as though it is just House Democrats agitating for that, but as soon as the majority (INAUDIBLE) that says that Americans writ large want that, that may no longer be something that Donald Trump nor the Department of Justice can ignore.
HOWELL: Keeping in mind, now we know that the attorney general had access to summaries from the special counsel's findings, and now the House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler, demanding that those summaries be released to the public, why didn't he release their summaries?
PLOTT: Well, I'm told a few different things. Keeping in mind the agendas of each person I've spoken to, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told me that his sense of why Barr was quick to put on his own summary is that you're in a delicate situation as AG in that moment because if you wait a while to craft a summary or try to look through what is and isn't confidential, what should or shouldn't be redacted, as those days progress, you can face a lot of pressure from people saying that you are nervous about what is and there and you're trying to strip as much as you can. So in many ways, perception wise, Barr could've been in lose-lose situation. Quite frankly, we just don't know the answer yet to why Barr didn't do that. His team right now, the DOJ, is saying that there were things that were classified in those summaries and needed to be stripped out before being made public. Sources of course have told both The Washington Post and The New York Times that that is not true. So it really remains to be seen who is telling the true story here.
HOWELL: All right. You know, the growing number, we saw this in Jim Acosta's report, the growing number of Republicans who are now joining Democrats, calling for the release of this Mueller report. Are you surprised?
PLOTT: I'm not surprised at all, especially in the Senate. I talked to so many Republicans and their aides who are in many cases like Democrats, quite tired of this saga. Many staffers and lawmakers alike, whatever their party, are ready to put this behind them. You are not seeing Democrats on the 2020 trail wanting to talk about this. You're not hearing voters asking questions about it at town halls.
Quite frankly, it's something that people in Washington D.C. feel that it's time to put it behind them. They feel the best step toward doing that is just getting the report in the open and letting it answer the question that we still have.
HOWELL: All right. We are also seeing some Republicans -- more Republicans joining Democrats for the release of President Trump's tax returns. Your thoughts there?
PLOTT: It's a complicated question. I was just talking to a Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee earlier this morning actually when I was here at CNN talking about this today, and he said that it's a slim shot. It happens. The only thing that Democrats can bank on right now is saying that because they have subpoenaed the IRS for these records, the IRS has a clear cut demand when it comes to that and they have to follow protocol.
So, it remains up in the air as to whether the White House wants to infiltrate that process or get involved in any way. But in the strictly procedural sense, because they have subpoenaed the IRS, there really is nothing in the law right now that would forbid the IRS from doing that. So at this point, we will just have to see what kind of defence the White House counsel's office mounts in order to stop that from happening.
HOWELL: All right. Elaina Plott, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
PLOTT: Thank you.
ALLEN: Ahead here, CNN gets rare access to a state of the art military base in the Russian arctic, the sprawling facility as part of Moscow's long range strategy to control the polar region and grab its energy resources before anyone else does.
HOWELL: Plus, prosecutors formally charged a man in New Zealand with the murders of 50 Muslims as they prayed. That story is ahead. Stay with us.
[02:31:51] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories this hour. German chancellor Angela Merkel says, the E.U. will do everything it can to prevent a no-deal Brexit. She met Thursday with the Irish prime minister in Dublin. Mrs. Merkel says, she hopes cross party talks between Britain's labor and conservatives will break the Brexit impasse.
HOWELL: WikiLeaks, says its founder, Julian Assange is about to be expelled from Ecuador's embassy in London. The tweet said, the evection could come in days or even hours. Ecuador has declined to comment. Assange just been in that embassy since 2012.
ALLEN: The ousted former head of Nissan will stay behind bars awhile longer. Carlos Ghosn was arrested, again Thursday on new allegations of financial misconduct. Prosecutors in Tokyo will say he will be detained until April 14th. He had been released on bail last month after spending more than 100 days in custody.
HOWELL: For the very first time, Boeing says the anti-stall system on its 737 MAX passenger jet, played a role in both the Ethiopian and Lion Air crashes. The admission comes after a preliminary report, found the automated system repeatedly forced the plane into a dive, and the pilots couldn't regain control.
The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines says the preliminary crash report affirms that its pilots were trained well. In an interview with CNN, he praised the pilots who were killed on that flight, as they fought to try to control the plane. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEWOLDE GEBREMARIAM, GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: We have always been confident on our pilots. We have always been confident to our -- on our training standard, global standard. As you know, we have one of the best aviation academies with the state of the art training technologies, comparable to the rest of the world. And we have always been confident on that.
But, today, we are very proud of our pilots, because it is proved in the preliminary report that they have done, what beyond what they are expected to do. And today was that day, a day light for us to prove wrong all the speculators with false allegations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: He also says that Ethiopian Airlines will be the last to put Boeing 737 MAX 8 back in the air.
The man accused of committing New Zealand's worst mass shooting in modern history was formally charged in court, Friday, the 28-year-old suspect now facing 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.
HOWELL: He's accused of killing Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch, Mosque last month, as they prayed. New Zealand has no death penalty but if convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. New Zealand has some very tight legal restrictions on reporting in this case.
ALLEN: Journalist Blis Savidge was in the courtroom Friday she tells us what she saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:35:02] BLIS SAVIDGE, JOURNALIST, NEW ZEALAND: The alleged gunman appeared in court Friday via on audio visual link. Now, while he was handcuff, generally looks relaxed. Even a little bit uninterested at times looking around the room.
The courtroom, small, full of family members, members of the media, with a large security presence, both inside the court, and outside court. Now, while the hearing was a largely procedural and brief, they did officially announce 49 more counts of murder and additional 39 counts of attempted murder. Making the total 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.
Now, it was such unprecedented case in New Zealand. People want to know, what is the maximum sentence that someone can receive for such a crime, if found guilty. We talked the Attorney General's Office while the Attorney General has no specific comment on the case.
They did confirmed us, that under New Zealand legislation, the maximum sentence that someone can face is life in prison without parole.
Now, while that's still a little bit a ways away, we do have immediately coming up in order for a mental evaluation which the judge wanted to stress was normal and not out in the ordinary for a case such as this. Now, the defendant was remanded back into custody and it's expected back in court on June 14th. Blis Savidge, CNN, Christchurch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We're following the Christchurch mosque attacks. Australia is cracking down on violent on line content. A new law adopted Thursday requires Internet firms like Facebook and Google to stop the spread of violent material on its platforms or face fines and even jail time for its executives.
HOWELL: The Law of Council of Australia says. The Law Council of Australia, I should say, says the measure could have serious unintended consequences. But Australia's Attorney General says the laws is necessary since tech companies failed to recognize the need to act urgently to protect their users.
ALLEN: Israeli's are set to elect a new Government next Tuesday and the spoiler could be marijuana. Recent polls showed, neither major party has a commanding leads. So, the outcome may rest on a small French party that wants to legalize pot.
HOWELL: As if that were on controversial enough the leader of that group also wants to redraw Israel's borders to include the West Bank and Gaza, and pay Palestinians to go away. Our Oren Liebermann has this.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: This is what Israel's anti-establishment vote looks like. A diverse mixed of young pot smoking renegades and older religious voters.
The followers of it, is Zehut Party lead by Moshe Fieglin are the surprise story of the 2019 elections. And they have one big demand, legalizing marijuana. They see weed as the tipoff the libertarian platform. But beyond the bang, is a very different agenda.
Moshe Fieglin entered politics as a religious Zionist fire brand. He's called for building a third Jewish temple on Temple Mount, a site holy to Jews and Muslims were even a slight change to the status quo can spark tensions.
He says Palestinians and non-Jews should have a choice: declare allegiance to Israel or the country will help you leave.
There are plenty of Palestinians, either in the Gaza or the West Bank who don't want to declare loyalty and don't want to leave.
MOSHE FEIGLIN, LEADER, ZEHUT PARTY: So, now you're touching a different point -- a different point -- touching a point of justice. Who this land belongs to? And we know from history, from the basic history of Israel that the land of Israel. Belong to the people of Israel.
LEIBERMANN: And what you're planning to do with those who don't declare allegiance in?
FEIGLIN: They will have to decide.
LEIBERMANN: Feiglin is unafraid to lecture those who don't share his worldview or his interpretation of history.
FEIGLIN: It's a question of security. It's a question of justice, who the land of Israel belonged too? And if you don't --
LIEBERMANN: And that -- and then no one in the international committee has accepted Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank; Judean and Samarian.
FEIGLIN: That's nonsense, that's nonsense.
LIEBERMANN: But, a statement of fact. No one in the international community has accepted Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank.
FEIGLIN: Since -- I'm telling you again, that is nonsense. Check your, you should go back to your history lessons.
LEIBERMANN: The party's platform spans the political spectrum. On the right, they favor a one state solution. A Jewish Israel from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including the Palestinian territories. On the left, they advocate a separation of religion and state. Those different positions could make them equally unpalatable in a coalition to either of the two biggest political parties.
Barely a blip on a political radar two months ago, Zehut has forced itself into the political conversation. They're now polling around five or six seats, and they could decide the next Prime Minister.
Gaza or Netanyahu?
FEIGLIN: Whoever will give us more, that's what's -- with him we'll go.
LEIBERMANN: Feiglin seems to relish the role. But for now, he's focused on Election Day. And making sure his upstart campaign doesn't go up in smoke. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Tel Aviv.
[02:39:56] HOWELL: A Russian army base notably close to the United States. Coming up. CNN'S exclusive access to one of the most sophisticated military outpost ever built above the Arctic Circle.
ALLEN: Tensions are rising in Libya's power struggle after a renegade General ordered his forces to advance on the nation's capital.
HOWELL: That General, Khalifa Haftar, says that he has deployed troops to western parts of the country to clear out militant groups. For years, his parallel administration in the east had been at odds with the U.N.-backed government of Tripoli.
U.N. Security General -- Secretary General, rather, was in the capital as this all unfolded. They're calling for restraint.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: I want to make a very strong appeal, and appeal for all military movements to stop. And they deal for containment, calm, de-escalation, both military and political in verbal de-escalation. And the recognition that in the meeting that I have today with the president of the Council, we share the recognition that there is no military solution for any problem in the world. And there is not a military solution for the problems in Libya.
(END VIDE CLIP)
ALLEN: Guterres there is currently in talks for an international peace deal.
HOWELL: Russia is pushing rapidly into the Arctic with aims to control the polar region before anyone else does. With a modern new base in the Far East, that has just everything to do that.
ALLEN: And it's closer to Alaska than it is to Moscow. CNN'S Frederik Pleitgen got rare access to the facility. Here is his exclusive report.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Racing north across the frozen arctic sea on a Russian army chopper.
The Russians are making a huge effort to upgrade their military infrastructure in the Arctic. Several of their bases are already fully operational. And right now, they're flying us to one of their most modern once.
They call this base, Northern Clover. The Russian army has already deployed costal defense rockets here and specialize Artic anti- aircraft systems, built to perform in the cold.
EGOR OGARKOV, CAPTAIN, RUSSIAN ARMY (through translator): This complex is adapted for much partial weather conditions of the Arctic. It works in temperature as low as negative 50 degrees.
[02:45:02] PLEITGEN: It's all part of Vladimir Putin's long term strategy to dominate the Arctic.
This base has a clear mission to defend and enable rushes interests in the Arctic north. And as the ice here becomes weaker because of global warming, those economic interests are becoming more important.
The Northern Clover base is in a strategic location in Russia's Arctic Far East. It seems remote until you look at the world from the top and see that this base is one of Russia's closest to U.S. territory.
The base can house up to 250 soldiers. Aside from its weapons arsenal, it also has high powered radars to make sure America and its allies don't come close. Russia is pouring major resources into its Arctic endeavor.
It's the only country with a fleet of nuclear icebreakers to open up and control Arctic trade routes that could make trade between Asia and the West much faster and cheaper. And Russia is already tapping into natural resources in the Arctic like liquid natural gas. Even deploying floating nuclear power stations to fuel its Arctic ambitions.
MAJ. VLADIMIR PASECHNIK, COMMANDER, NORTHERN CLOVER BASE (through translator): Our base performs radar control, monitors the airspace, secures the northern sea route, and eliminates damage to the environment.
PLEITGEN: The Trump administration seems woefully in equipped to counter Russia's Arctic endeavors. While Moscow is expanding and fortifying its position in this vital area, America and its allies lack even the same ice breaking power of Russia's fleet. Fred Pleitgen, CNN on Kotelny Island in Russia's Arctic north.
HOWELL: Fred, thank you. There are signs that the North Korean leader could be about to make a major move. He recently made a trip to the area believed to be his father's birthplace.
ALLEN: And experts say that could be a signal that something big is about to happen. Here is our Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To Kim Jong-un, his family and its hold on power mean everything. As do the symbols of that power. Kim's visit to one of his family's most revered sites is generating anticipation that the dictator is about to make a bold move. Kim just toured Samjiyon County, near Mount Paektu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula that may seem pretty innocuous.
But the North Koreans claim Mount Paektu is the birthplace of Kim's father Kim Jong-il, though scholars believe Kim Jong-il was born in the former Soviet Union.
FRANK JANNUZI, PRESIDENT, MAUREEN AND MIKE MANSFIELD FOUNDATION: I think a good way to think about Mount Paektu is a little bit like Camp David. It's a place where the North Korean leader would go to reflect and ponder important moves.
TODD: Moves like purging people in his inner circle including his own uncle.
MICHAEL MADDEN, CHIEF FUNCTIONARY, NORTH KOREA LEADERSHIP WATCH: The most famous instance of Kim Jong-un going up to Samjiyon County was when it was about two weeks before they executed Jang Song-thaek in 2013.
TODD: Kim also went to the mountain shortly after his summit with President Trump last year in Singapore.
MADDEN: What happened in July 2018, is he going up to Samjiyon. In a couple of weeks later, he instituted what we think is a major purge of some very top officials.
TODD: Kim is now about five weeks past his second summit with President Trump in Hanoi which broke down without the two leaders moving forward on a denuclearization deal.
Not long after that, Kim's vice foreign minister said the U.S. had made, "gangster-like demands" and threatened to suspend North Korea's diplomatic outreach with Trump. Analysts say this is a crucial moment.
MADDEN: Kim Jong-un is at a crossroads in terms of strategic policy. On one hand, he can continue reproach men engagement with reproach men efforts with South Korea in the United States. But on the other hand, they can start to begin the preparatory work to continue the research and development cycle around weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. So, he is at a crossroads.
TODD: Another sign that this is a critical juncture, Kim's aides have just wrapped up a series of meetings with Russia's interior minister in Pyongyang. What would it mean for the U.S. if Kim's relationship with Trump breaks down and he draws closer to Vladimir Putin?
JANNUZI: I think there's really no limit to the kind of mischief that Russia might be up to. Even to include a potentially violation of U.N. sanctions in the form of arms sales or other assistance to North Korea.
TODD: Analyst Michael Madden, who consults with US intelligence agencies about North Korean leaders is now watching other indicators. Specifically, concerns about the 35-year-old leader's health. Kim, already known as a serious drinker is noticeably heavier than he was when he took power, and he's frequently seen smoking.
MADDEN: Kim Jong-un looks like he is exceedingly obese. He -- if you look at photographs from the Vietnamese or the Vietnam news agency from when he was in Hanoi, he appears to be jaundiced.
[02:49:56] TODD: And analysts say, concerns inside North Korea over Kim's health could figure into all the important moves at play right now. They say those concerns could determine whether Kim and his aides push to accelerate the nuclear talks with President Trump or to possibly move away from this process altogether. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: Next here on CNN NEWSROOM, a major milestone in the race for 5G.
HOWELL: We'll tell you which country now claims to be the global leader in the ultra-fast network service.
HOWELL: Well, at one point they were considered the world's wealthiest couple. But that's not the case anymore. Now, they are partners in the world's richest divorce.
ALLEN: Think you know who we're talking about. Three months after announcing their split, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and wife, MacKenzie have revealed the terms of their separation MacKenzie Bezos will keep 25 percent of their stock in the company. That's worth a whopping $35 billion.
She says she'll give her husband voting control over her shares along with her interests in the Washington Post and space firm Blue Origin.
Well, South Korea, says it is now leading in the global race for 5G. HOWELL: That nation has become the first country to roll out the ultra-fast smartphone network worldwide, beating out both the United States and China. CNN's Paula Hancocks has this story from Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've been hearing about 5G for years. About how it's going to be more than 10 times faster than 4G. How you'll be able to download an HD movie in a matter of seconds? For South Korea, it's here.
Samsung is launching its Galaxy S10 phone Friday, and it's the first handset here to be 5G compatible. A coup for the Korean tech company and also a useful litmus test for companies around the world to see how many consumers actually sign up.
The largest telecom operator in South Korea S.K. Telecom launched its plan this week saying they're aiming for 1 million subscribers by the end of this year. 85 cities are covered so far with customers paying between $70 and $115 a month for the updated service. S.K. Telecom insists we should believe the hype.
PARK JIN-HYO, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, S.K. TELECOM: Speed that goes beyond our imagination. Latency that exceeds our expectations. I think 5G will provide experiences above and beyond.
HANCOCKS: S.K. Telecom and rival, K.T. are highlighting what 5G can mean to V.R. Virtual Reality and A.R., Augmented Reality. Sitting with your friends at a baseball match without actually going to the match, or even being in the same city as your friends.
The smallest provider here, L.G. Uplus has 18,000 5G units across the country. They're the only ones using technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei, who's currently locked in legal battles with the United States.
The Trump administration has been pushing allies to remove Huawei technology from their networks, claiming the company is too close to the Chinese government. South Korea may be the first, but it's also somewhat of a guinea pig. Many countries around the world will be watching this rollout very carefully to see how many customers actually sign up. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
HOWELL: If the United Kingdom leaves the E.U. next Friday without a Brexit deal in place, the financial consequences could be devastating. Not just for Europe, but around the world.
ALLEN: But, people from Paris to Hong Kong to right here in the United States, don't seem all that worried. Here's a sample.
[02:55:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it seems to be very complex because even British people don't understand what's going on. So, how come could we understand what's going on if even British don't understand themselves?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May seem like a second referendum is on its way, but, no one is actually seeing it -- you know, on the -- on the media or within the elite. But it seems like it's the -- it's the logical thing to do at the moment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still love the U.K., I still want to go there, but I'm afraid they will have a lot of a barrier. Now, to go to the U.K., and if it's more difficult to do to go to the U.K., I think the tourists will go elsewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: England has always represented the a sense of community, sense of integration that can -- I mean, just in England, in Europe, we can see that kind of integration and that kind of things I think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There could be big loss.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big loss for you. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had the pound, so they never felt part of the European. So, for this reason, they always be something different. This is my -- what I think.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But here and now, I wouldn't say the Brexit is really making much of a difference. You know, the firms are busy, financial services are still extremely active here. Albeit, furnaces are slightly less than performance wise. It's not as great as it was. But, here in our bricks, I wouldn't say is having too much we have to say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't intend to work there for now, but it doesn't really impact me that much on a personal level. It's just hearing from friends, are they might have some worries on their end.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, half the country wants to leave the E.U., the other half doesn't want to leave the E.U. That's their problem. You know, this country is enough for our own problems. We don't need, you know, to get involved in theirs.
I mean what the people want, if its majority rules and they vote on it, that's it, and they did vote to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It fix about an economy, fix their livelihood, fix their employment, everything. I think, it actually is a bad idea, personally, that you stay in the Union.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Long term. But I going to -- I going to respect the overall independence for a bit, but I honestly think that just stay.
HOWELL: Those are opinions from around the world. Thank you so much for being with us for NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: We're coming right back. I'm Natalie Allen, our top stories right after this.