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Cross-Party Talks Continue as Theresa May Seeks Delay to Brexit; Actress, Others Pleading Guilty in College Admissions Scam; Meghan Markle, Baby to Be Subject to U.S. Taxes; Voting Kicks Off in Israeli Elections; Purge Underway at U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Aired 12p-1a ET

Aired April 9, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Let the voting began. Polls officially open in Israel, an election widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seeking a record fifth term while surrounded by scandal.

Iran firing back at the United States, after the Trump administration designates Iran's elite military force a terror organization.

And how far will the U.S. president go in his crackdown on illegal immigration? Sources tell CNN that Donald Trump wanted his officials to break the law, to secure the southern border his way.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

It's seven in the morning in Israel. Polls have just opened in an election which looks to be a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He's running for a fifth term but under a cloud of corruption allegations. If he wins, Netanyahu will be on track to become the country's longest-serving prime minister, along the way gaining valuable political capital to fight off a long-running police investigation.

A loss will mean a very real possibility of indictment in three corruption investigations, and at the very least, a stain on his political legacy.

Polls show he's neck and neck with former military chief of staff Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White Party. To counter against his rise in the polls, the prime minister has moved his conservative Likud Party further to the right.

In the face of one of the biggest political challenges of his political life, Netanyahu is playing up his close friendship with the U.S. president, Donald Trump. Under Netanyahu's watch, the White House has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, recognized Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights. And on Monday, the prime minister thanked Donald Trump after the U.S. move to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

Mr. Netanyahu will surely need continued support from the Trump administration if he wants to make good on a last-minute campaign promise. He pledged Saturday to extend Israel sovereignty to West Bank settlements.

Well, for more now, Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst for "The Jerusalem Post," is with us.

OK, so Gil, on Monday, President Netanyahu made this surprise visit to the Western Wall. He also told supporters that this race was so close it might come down to question of turnout. Here's what he said.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The hour is very late. At the moment, we are behind a few seats. Likud and Gantz are leading. The only way to close the gap and ensure with certainty that Likud will form the next government is have a big Likud. Bring all the people.


VAUSE: So I guess to motivate the right and the far-right, it seems what, is there no line this prime minister is not willing to cross? The latest example being over the weekend with that promise to annex the Israeli settlements in the West Bank?

GIL HOFFMAN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANALYST, "THE JERUSALEM POST": John, I wouldn't take too seriously anything that a politician says a couple days before the election in any country.

Netanyahu's been our prime minister for 13 of the last 23 years. He hasn't annexed anything. I don't expect him to annex anything tomorrow, too. In fact, I think that if he wins this election, there's going to be a peace process, working closely, again, with the American administration. And Israel will be giving up settlements, not annexing.

VAUSE: OK, explain your logic here, because this is the first time I've heard that a Netanyahu win could actually revive a peace process which is all but dead.

HOFFMAN: Yes, that is interesting. But no matter who's going to win this election, there is a window of opportunity here, between the formation of the next Israeli government and when the American election gets into high gear, in September/October. This summer will be the time to have a peace process that will be serious for the first time since September of 2008.

There's been a plans that's been worked on by two people -- the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince of America, for lack of a better word, Jared Kushner. And it's going to be revealed. It's going to be a regional approach to solving the Middle East conflict. And we're going to give it a chance. We'll see how it goes.

VAUSE: Your optimism is -- is encouraging.

Those who know Netanyahu say he's actually hoping that, you know, if he's reelected, then that could mean some leverage. That political success could bring into stopping these criminal process which is underway, into the corruption and the bribery cases, which in turn the concern that this election ultimately is about the very survival of Israel's democratic institutions, its traditions and values.

So how would the scenario play out? If Bibi is reelected, how could that interfere with these investigations?

[00:05:00] HOFFMAN: Well, if Netanyahu is reelected, then we'll have a strange scenario where, during the day, the man will be on trial; and at night, he'll be deciding whether to attack in Syria. It's a very serious scenario that we have had to deal with. It will only intensify.

There also could be an attempt -- though Netanyahu denies it -- to make some kind of law that would help him evade prosecution. Or there could be a situation where Netanyahu loses, because the people of Israel want a leader who doesn't have these corruption charges hanging over his head. Anything can happen. That's the beauty of a democracy.

VAUSE: Do you believe with the assessment that Israel's democratic institutions themselves are basically on the line with this investigation?

HOFFMAN: No. I know that that's what his political opponents have been saying. That's a nice thing to say to get votes, that it will become, you know, more like Turkey, or other countries in the region. It's not quite that bad.

If the people of Israel decide that they want more Netanyahu, it's because of his experience, with all due respect. And they've decided that having a good economy, which we do have, and a good security situation, relatively, is more important than whether Netanyahu received cigars or tried to get better coverage in the media that the attorney general said is bribery, breach of trust or fraud.

VAUSE: This election has seen a lot of playing up of the relationship between Netanyahu and Trump. There's a billboard on a Tel Aviv building. It shows Netanyahu shaking hands with Donald Trump. The Hebrew translation is: "Netanyahu, a Different League."

The U.S. president did what many believe was just another pre-election gift, designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

How helpful have these moves been by the Trump administration, with its recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights or the move with Iran Revolutionary Guard? How that played into Netanyahu's chances at the polls.

HOFFMAN: I know a lot of people who that impacted how they're going to be voting that perhaps would have been voting for one of the satellite parties of Likud to advance a new agenda that they have, but they said, "Wait a second. You know, this is Netanyahu, who has this great relationship with the president of the United States. He keeps on getting gifts from him: Jerusalem, the Golan, and the better treatment that Israel's finally getting at the United Nations; now this Iran Revolutionary Guard thing on Monday. Everybody realized that that was because Netanyahu is the prime minister.

There's no doubt that there are people are going to keep voting for Netanyahu, because he's the most experienced and -- leader that Israel has, unless Jesus or Moses comes back sometime today. Because he has this relationship, not only with Trump, but also with Putin. And Netanyahu went to Putin last week in Moscow and also received a present from him, with an Israeli MIA coming back from Syria, which is of course, controlled very much by Russia these days.

VAUSE: Well, it's interesting. Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted out his thanks to Trump for this decision to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. It read, in Hebrew, "Thank you for responding to another of my important requests, which serves the the interest of our countries and countries of the region."

But then later, in English, that line was gone and replaced with, "Once again, you are keeping the world safe from Iran, aggression and terrorism." Netanyahu, it seems, has one message for his audience at home, and is it a different one for the U.S. and the rest of the world?

HOFFMAN: I guess he realized that he went too far in what he said in Hebrew, that he can't really say to the rest of the world -- you know, you don't want to be a sore winner when things are going your way any more than you want to be a sore loser, which Netanyahu was blamed for being when Barack Obama was the president of the United States. You've got to walk a fine line in international diplomacy. And there's no doubt, Netanyahu is the expert at doing that.

But Benny Gantz, his competition, he wants to AIPAC last -- two weeks ago now and was received very warmly by the American Jewish community. And he would be given a chance to start out. Everybody needs a chance to start out. And perhaps he'd be equally successful.

VAUSE: You want to make a quick prediction?

HOFFMAN: No, absolutely not. That's the beauty of this democracy, that anything can happen. And the fact that it -- the race really is neck and neck is what makes it so fun to be a political correspondent.

VAUSE: We'll leave it at that, Gil. Thanks so much. Good to see you.

HOFFMAN: Pleasure.

VAUSE: Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde is a CNN global affairs analyst and the online news director for "The New Yorker" website. He joins us this hour from Washington.

So David, what's the potential blowback here for the United States? And on top of that, what are the consequences of the Israeli prime minister not only publicly thanking Donald Trump for what many see as a pre-election gift but also sort of taking credit for this decision to list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, this is sort of the clearest example of the Trump administration dismissing, I think, decades of American policy. And what it does is it sort of threatens to isolate, I think, Israel more and isolate the Trump administration, in a sense, in that, you know, this bond, this gift that Trump is giving Netanyahu before this election really puts the two men together and isolates them in terms of, you know, European opinion about Israel, of liberals in Israel, and, frankly, liberals in the United States.

[00:10:13] And so it's the two-man sort of binding themselves together, but they could end up, I think, again isolating each other by backing such hardline tactics.

VAUSE: And within hours, Iran countered with what they call reciprocal measures. Here's part of a report from state-owned Press TV. It reads, "Iran's Supreme National Security Council has slammed the U.S. government as supporter of terrorism, designating American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command, CentCom, as a 'terrorist organization'."

Iran goes on to cite the U.S. role in the war in Yemen as an example of terrorist policies.

But in the day-to-day real world, does that move amount to anything more than just tit-for-tat name calling? Is that a threat to U.S. forces in the region? Is that a paper tiger, perhaps?

ROHDE: I do believe it's a paper tiger. You know, American forces are under threat in the region, but there's very few of them. There are several thousand U.S. troops left in Syria, but it's unclear to me how the Iranians would actually, you know, carry out any of these threats.

That doesn't mean there won't be efforts, covertly or other ways for them to endanger U.S. forces. But at this part, it's sort of part of the rhetoric from both sides.

VAUSE: Senior leaders at Defense and the CIA, they were opposed to this move. But the national security adviser and the well-known Iran hawk, John Bolton, he was pushing for it, along with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Listen to what Pompeo said to reporters on Monday. Here's part of it.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This designation is a direct response to an outlaw regime and should surprise no one. And it builds on the more than 970 Iranian individuals and entities that the Trump administration has already sanctioned.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: But it is surprising in many ways, because you mentioned this. Previous administrations have sort of gone down this road, at least partly, and then pulled back because of fears it would embolden the hard-liners in Tehran and, ultimately, would make diplomacy even harder.

ROHDE: It will, and essentially, there -- you know, there's a mention of the regime here. This is another signal that the American goal, or the Trump administration goal is regime change in Tehran. Will that change Iranian public opinion? Will most Iranians suddenly rise up against this government in Tehran?

And the signs so far are no. Obama took a, you know -- you know, a negotiated approach, an approach with an Iran nuclear deal, an idea that kind of embracing Iran and bringing it into the international economy would bring change there. Trump has done the opposite. He's doing everything he can to punish Iran. But I'm not sure that's going to provoke, you know, the change in regime that the Trump administration wants.

VAUSE: The White House put out a news release, and they -- claiming, you know, the terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guard, in their words, will increase the financial pressure and isolation of Iran and deprive the regime of resources it uses for its terrorist activities, and will put other governments and private sector on notice about the nature of the IRGC, which operates front companies and institutions around the world to fund terror."

Right now, the European countries are coming up with ways to work around U.S. sanctions that were put back in place when they withdrew from the Iranian nuclear treaty. When the United States withdrew, that is.

So how are they likely to respond, you know, to this designation of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization?

ROHDE: I think most European countries will sort of ignore -- quietly ignore this designation; I don't think it will change anything. I think that, you know, Europe and other countries want to have trade with Iran. They want to buy their oil and energy supplies. China needs Iranian oil.

So this is really rhetoric, I think, from the Trump administration. It won't necessarily increase Iran's economic isolation, and it's more of this war of words. And it's just unclear where it all leads, like what's the strategy.

I don't expect the Iranian regime, backed into a corner, to suddenly blink and begin, you know, negotiations or anything with the Trump administration.

VAUSE: And just very quickly, just explain the benefits of actually engaging with Iran. What have we seen over the Obama years, compared to what we are seeing now in terms of what Iran's behavior had been in the region when the United States and Europe were actually engaged diplomatically. ROHDE: I think there was a belief that they would moderate, that as

there was economic growth in Iran, that most people there would want change. They would want less isolation once they saw the economic benefits of interacting with the rest of the world.

Now, it's easy for the, you know, autocratic rulers, the mullahs in Iran, to sort of blame the country's economic problems on Donald Trump. That's a -- that's a positive thing for Iran's rulers. They can blame all these problems on Trump and his attacks and his rhetoric. And I don't think you'll see a change in government in Iran anytime soon.

VAUSE: Yes. David, thank you. We appreciate your insights.

ROHDE: Thank you.

VAUSE: One department head is out. Another is leaving. Coming up, there's a lot more than house cleaning under way at the Department of Homeland Security. Officials describe it as a purge.



VAUSE: A full-scale purge of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is underway as President Donald Trump's anger grows over illegal immigration. A day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, the Secret Service director announced his departure.

Jim Acosta reports from the White House.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In one of the biggest shakeups of his administration, President Trump is cleaning house over the Department of Homeland Security. The latest official to go, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, who follows the forced departure of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the sudden withdrawal of the nomination of Ron Vitello over at ICE.

Top officials at Citizenship and Immigration Services and the DHS General Counsel could be next. The Secret Service director told agency employees that he wasn't being fired but had been warned weeks ago that transitions in leadership were coming to DHS.

Nielsen, whose exit was tweeted by the president Sunday, insists she still supports Mr. Trump.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, OUTGOING DHS SECRETARY: I share the president's goal of securing the border. I will continue to support all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis on the border. And other than that, I'm on my way to keep doing what I can for the next few days. I thank you all for being here.

ACOSTA: Before she was forced out, Nielsen was clashing with the president over the influx of migrants at the border, as Mr. Trump told asylum seekers they're no longer welcome in the U.S.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The system is full. We can't take you anymore, whether it's asylum or whether it's anything you want. Illegal immigration, can't take you anymore. We can't take you. Our country is full. Our area's full. The sector is full. We can't take you anymore. I'm sorry.

ACOSTA: Sources tell CNN the president wanted to resurrect the family separation policy at the border as a deterrent, despite Mr. Trump signing an executive order last year ending the practice of tearing children from their parents.

TRUMP: We're going to have strong, very strong borders, but we're going to keep the families together. I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.

ACOSTA: CNN has also learned that top domestic policy advisor Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner, has been acting as the president's ringleader behind the scenes, directing top DHS officials to adopt harsh tactics on the border.

A Trump campaign adviser said much of the blame belongs to the president, adding, quote, "Trump will never find border success until he learns how to govern. The border situation is his failing and his alone. The fact that Trump listen to Stephen Miller on this issue is why it will never get resolved."

Part of the problem, the adviser said, is that the president doesn't understand government policies.


Just last Friday, the president got his facts wrong about a key part of immigration law known as the Flores settlement, saying it was named after a judge, but it was really named after a young migrant.

TRUMP: We've had some very bad court decisions. The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you. Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country.

ACOSTA: The president has tapped a top official at Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, to take over at DHS as acting secretary. That means the Trump administration is run by yet another acting official.

The president has also blindsided the Secret Service, which is dedicated to protecting the commander in chief, even though he has repeatedly praised the agency in the past.

TRUMP: I could not be happier with Secret Service. Secret Service has done a fantastic job from day one. I'm very happy with them.

ACOSTA (on camera): A Trump campaign adviser questioned whether the president actually knows what he's doing as he's cracking down on the border and shaking up his immigration team. As this advisor put it, this is not a Kirstjen Nielsen or Jeff Sessions issue. This is a lack of understanding issue.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: For more now on the firing of Kirstjen Nielsen and the unprecedented bloodletting underway within the Department of Homeland Security, we're joined by CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein in Los Angeles.

So Ron, CNN has been told by one official there is a near systematic purge happening at the nation's second largest national security agency. Historically, purges don't end well for anyone, especially when you consider the Department of Homeland Security. It's responsible about two dozen agencies and sub-agencies. It's responsible for the immigration system, border control, cyber networks, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, I should say. This list just goes on and on and on.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I mean, just think about where we're starting here. Secretary Nielsen, who was the cabinet officer who executed, defended, sometimes lied about the family separation policy on the border, was effectively dismissed for not being ruthless or hardline enough, which you know, kind of gives you a sense of where this is going.

I mean, all of this John, I think, if you look at this in kind of the wide angle, I mean, it just underscores the extent to which opposition to demographic change manifests in hardline immigration policies, from building the wall, through an emergency declaration, to the family separation, to the idea of closing the border, is the absolute -- in the president's mind is the absolute foundation of his political appeal to his base. And Republicans, who have basically kind of enabled this, despite some private grumbling, clearly are in for a ride between now and the election, because the only constraint will be the limits of the imagination of Stephen Miller and what the courts can prevent him from doing.

VAUSE: Yes. One of -- you actually mentioned one of Kirstjen Nielsen's sins as secretary of homeland security was pushing back on a number of demands from the president. This is according to CNN's reporting.

In recent weeks, Trump have pushed for DHS to reinstate the family separation policy, which Nielsen resisted, a source familiar with the discussion says. The president rescinded policy amid scrutiny from the courts.

And then there was the president's push to close at least part of the southern border. Again, CNN reporting that, at an Oval Office meeting two weeks ago, one attendee says Trump was ranting and raving, saying border security was his issue. Senior administration officials say that Trump then ordered Nielsen and Pompeo, the secretary of state, to shut down the port of El Paso the next day, Friday, March 22, at noon. The plan was that, in subsequent days, the Trump administration would shut down other ports. Nielsen told Trump that would be a bad, even dangerous idea. She argued that if you close all ports of entry, all you'd be doing is ending legal trade and travel, that migrants would just go between ports.

According to two people in the room, the president said, "I don't care."


VAUSE: Those two separate words are very telling.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, in that -- in that same report, the president reportedly told Border Patrol agent last week to ignore the law and to tell asylum seekers who had the legal right to request asylum that they could not obtain asylum. And that, you know, detailed list that you gave omits -- it's already kind of moving back into history, the fact that the president has declared an unprecedented national emergency to try to build his border wall after Congress explicitly refused to give him the funds to do so.

I mean, and you know, we can go back a little further: he supported the largest reductions in legal immigration since the 1920s.

This is the essence of, you know, the core of what he believes is what knits him to his voters. I mean, you know, there were the reports during the family separation crisis that he believed that it was popular with his base, when it was overwhelmingly unpopular with the country overall.

And as I said, I think congressional Republicans, there have been some peeps today from Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, about further dismissals at the Department of Homeland Security including people that he is close to. But by and large, Republicans have, you know, registered very little resistance to him explicitly defining the party, the Republican Party, as one opposed to demographic change and certainly opposed to immigration, both legal and illegal.


And now, they have very little leverage to prevent him from continuing to move in this direction between now and 2020, with unpredictable consequences for them at the ballot box.

VAUSE: Republicans had a response. We heard from Senator Ron Johnson, who is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. He's a Republican. He released a statement on Twitter. It read, in part, "I am concerned with a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation."

In the days since 9/11, when Homeland Security was born, as a result of terrorist attacks, there's been very little upheaval, it seems, at that department. So beyond the political consequences here, what are the security risks for the United States? BROWNSTEIN: Right. He's treating, you know -- basically, he's

treating Homeland Security solely as an immigration agency. Right? And judging the administration of the department solely by whether he is getting everything that Stephen Miller can whisper in his ear as the most Draconian policies.

But this level of turmoil is unsettling, given the broad range of responsibilities that the department holds, including on terrorism. And so we don't know.

It is -- there is an experiment underway across the government, with the unprecedented number of acting officials. We don't have a permanent defense secretary for months at a time. We are likely to be in that condition with a Department of Homeland Security secretary, because it's unclear that anyone who will do the kinds of things that Miller and Trump are now demanding can win confirmation even in a Republican-controlled Senate.

So this level of chaos, we've all been patting ourselves on the back in the U.S. about the extent to which our institutions have withstood the unprecedented kind of challenge that Trump presents. But it's not clear they are not groaning at the least, if not cracking, under the pressure that he is putting on them.

VAUSE: There's always this impression out there that Nielsen was a victim of her own morality. Here's a part of a statement from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"The horrific and failed policies implemented during Secretary Nielsen's tenure mark dark days in our nation's history and have emboldened President Trump's increasingly hard-right proposals. The president can replace the DHS secretary as many times as he wants to. However, it will not change the unlawful nature of his policies and therefore, his ability to implement them."

I mean, this is the thing. How many secretaries will they go through? How many people are left that will actually stand up to, you know, the president of the United States and say, "No, this is not how it's done"?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, less and less. Although it is striking that kind of the career officials at the border, you know, after the president explicitly told agents, "Ignore the law," said, "Don't ignore the law. If you do so, you're doing it on your own volition and subject to consequences.

This is a real challenge. I mean, there's no question the institutions are being challenged. And what we are seeing is the limits of the ability of this system to resist this kind of shredding of constitutional norms.

And the key here is that Congress is the institution that has the most leverage to push back. And the Republicans in the House, certainly before 2018 had utterly no interest in constraining or performing oversight on Trump. Senate Republicans again showing very little interest in doing that. And the battle that is brewing on many fronts with the now Democratic- controlled House is going to be enormous.

And heading toward the Supreme Court over and over again, because the White House has clearly sent the signal on everything from the Mueller report to security clearances, to the president's taxes, that they are going to stonewall to the maximum possible extent.

So we have a lot of issues heading toward the -- basically, John Roberts deciding how much oversight we are going to have in the U.S. Because it is only going to be the House that appears interested in doing so.

VAUSE: Yes. When it comes immigration policy, especially family separation, someone wrote the cruelty is the point. Ron, thanks for being with us.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly naming 16 Saudis for their roles in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and effectively banning them and their families from entering the United States. Khashoggi wrote columns for "The Washington Post" that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi officials eventually admitted that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey last October but have always insisted the crown prince had no involvement.

Just three days now before Britain leaves the E.U. And as Theresa May looks to seeks another delay from Brussels, lawmakers in her Parliament could find a way to change her plans.

Also ahead, they never really wanted the U.K. to leave, but Brexit opinions are shifting in Germany. We'll have the very latest from Berlin in just a moment.



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update of the top stories this hour.

[00:32:04] Voting underway in Israel's elections. If Benjamin Netanyahu wins a fifth term, he'll be set to become the longest- serving prime minister in the country's history. His chief rival is former military chief of staff Benny Gantz.

Polls show a tight race, but Netanyahu may have an edge in forming a workable coalition.

Iran is now designating the U.S. a state sponsor of terrorism and American troops in the Middle East terrorist groups, a direct response to the Trump administration announcing it will formally classify Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization.

U.N. has condemned an airstrike on the only functioning airport in Libya's capital, calling it a serious violation of humanitarian law. The Libyan National Army confirm the strike but says civilian planes were not targeted. The rebel faction has been battling the U.N.- backed government for control of Tripoli.

British Prime Minister Theresa May takes her Brexit circus on the road in the coming hours. She'll meet with the German chancellor in Berlin and the French president in Paris to try and secure another Brexit delay.

Back in London, cross-party talks have produced little progress but will continue for another day.

CNN's Bianca Nobilo reports now from London.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Talks between Theresa May and leader of the Labour opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, continued Monday, as did the Brexit impasse, because as yet, there have been not many signs of progress.

It's understood that they've been talking about dynamic alignment of goods, protecting workers' rights, and environmental standards and then the thornier issues of that permanent and comprehensive customs union that the Labour Party have been pushing for but that many within Theresa May's party object to. And this issue of a confirmatory vote on whatever deal these two leaders might be able to agree on.

Also up for discussion is the idea of a lock on any plan that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn agree. That's because it's in the Labour Party's interest to ensure that a future prime minister wouldn't be able to undo any deal that they reach with Theresa May.

It's relevant, of course, because Theresa May has said that, if he manages to get her deal through the House of Commons, that she will stand down and allow another leader to take her place.

Time is running out, because the European Council is meeting for an emergency summit on Wednesday. And that's the day that the prime minister needs to be able to present a plan or a process to find some kind of Brexit resolution in order to justify her request for an extension.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is willing to do whatever it takes to prevent a no-deal Brexit. But as Atika Shubert reports from Berlin, not everyone in Germany shares such warm sentiment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It wasn't so long ago that German politicians wrote a love letter to Britain, published in "The Times," that read, "Britain should know from the bottom of our hearts, we want you to stay." That was then is this is how Germany's minister for European affairs describes the Brexit process now.



GRAPHIC: Brexit is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) show.

SHUBERT (voice-over): "I say that very undiplomatically," he said. "I don't even know if William Shakespeare could have come up with such a tragedy as this."

(on camera): To Brexit or not to Brexit has become an exasperating drama for many Germans. In fact, last week, state broadcaster ARD did a poll, and 74 percent of respondents said they regretted Britain's decision to leave the E.U. But that was also a 5-point drop from when the question was last posed in February, when that love letter was posted.

And on the streets of Berlin, many of the people we asked were simply tired of hearing the word "Brexit."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Long story short. It's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I mean, what else is there to say? Not much. Sorry.

I think they should just call general elections.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think at this point Brexit should happen.

SHUBERT: It should happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And the E.U. and the U.K. have a draft deal. So the E.U. should say, "OK, either you take this deal or no deal."


SHUBERT: "It's really awful," says this woman. "At some point, you have to draw a line. And we will need to need to know where they are going. You simply cannot keep extending and extending," she says.

Whether tragedy or farce, it seems many Germans just want the Brexit drama to end.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.


VAUSE: Well, Britain's imminent departure from the E.U. is being felt across Europe, spiking nationalist sentiment in places, as well as some extremist views.

Barbie Latza Nadeau reports from Milan.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Italy's hardline Matteo Salvini initially kicked off his European parliamentary election campaign today here in Milan.

At his side were likeminded thinkers. There were leaders from far- right parties in Germany, Denmark and Finland. Together, they want to bring the European Parliament towards what they call a common sense Europe.

They're focused on three things. They want to bolster national national security. They want to bolster the borders into Europe. And they want to increase what they call national identity.

They're basically setting out the plan for a post-Brexit Europe, and they want to be the ones who decide where that goes.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, for CNN, Milan.


VAUSE: Well, Academy Award-nominated actress could soon go to prison for her admitted role in a college admissions can. That's next up here on CNN NEWSROOM.

Also, as the royal family gets ready to welcome another baby, they may get an unwelcome surprise, as well. That would be a tax bill from the United States.


VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. Some of the wealthy and famous parents caught in that college admissions scandal in the U.S. are pleading guilty.


One of them, actress Felicity Huffman, not only has apologized but says she's ashamed of what she's done.

CNN's Bryn Gingras has details.


BRYN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Felicity Huffman says that she has guilt, regret and shame over her involvement in the college admissions scheme.

The actress is one of 13 parents who will plead guilty to one federal count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and on a services mail fraud.

Last month, if you remember, Huffman was accused of paying $15,000 to the scheme mastermind, William Singer, to alter her oldest daughter's college administrations test scores. Court documents show she and her husband, actor William H. Macy, considered doing the same for their younger daughter but then decided against it. Macy was not charged in this case.

Here's Felicity Huffman, or part of her statement. It said, quote, "I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college and to their parents you make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly." It's quite a statement.

And she goes on to say that her daughter knew nothing about her actions.

And sources are telling CNN the government plans on asking between six months and nearly two years in prison as punishment for these parents involved. It's unclear at this point what kind of punishment they actually could be facing with this guilty plea.

One coach, to add to this, the former men's tennis coach at the University of Texas at Austin, also intends to plead guilty in this case. His name is Michael Center. He was accused of taking a $60,000 cash bribe from Singer, in addition to other money, in exchange for designating a student as a tennis recruit and helping that person get into the school. So a lot of developments in this ongoing case.

Bryn Gingras, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: When Harry met Meghan -- that's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle -- chances are neither thought about the tax consequences of marriage. Well, they should have.

Here's Max Foster.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are also incredibly honored to welcome the royal highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Harry and Meghan announced their pregnancy last October, all eyes have been on one royal and her emerging bump.

Even the palace accountants are taking an interest. And that's because Meghan is a U.S. citizen. And both she and her baby, the seventh in line to the throne, will be liable for U.S. taxes.

DAVID TREITEL, FOUNDER, AMERICAN TAX RETURNS LTD.: Ultimately, the tax system in the United States, the law says all income everywhere is taxed unless it's exempt. So compensation for personal injury is exempt, for example. A few other things are exempt. But most income over there is taxed. So the baby has income, Meghan has income, they're taxed. FOSTER: That could potentially open up the notoriously private royal

accounts to the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service.

TREITEL: The queen has got to sit there, and her advisors have to say, if you were to, in face, lend Meghan, if you will, have the baby use a beautiful silver rattle that was used by Queen Victoria, how much is that worth? What's the value of it? How much is to be reported to the States? It's a tough question. It's not easy.

FOSTER: There's the wedding ring, gifted by the queen from a nugget of Welsh gold in the royal collection. There's a priceless diamond in the engagement ring from Princess Diana's world famous jewelry collection.

There are also the wedding presents from international royalty and A- list friends. And the biggest gift of them all: the multi-million- dollar, newly-renovated home in Windsor where the couple got married.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope to cook for you next time.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Thank you. Yes. For the whole family next time.

FOSTER: The only way for Meghan to avoid paying U.S. taxes would be to renounce her U.S. citizenship. However, even if he does that, the baby will still be liable to U.S. taxes until the age of 18.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


VAUSE: There you go. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT what Patrick Snell is up next. You're watching CNN.