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CNN NEWSROOM

Tiger Triumphs at Masters; Saudi Arabia among Arab States Backing Sudanese Military Government; Barr to Release Redacted Mueller Report This Week; Trump and Dems Arguing over Asylum; Red Cross Searching for Three Kidnapped Staff; Severe Storm Leaves Damage, Deaths in Southeastern U.S.; Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Not Following Traditions for Royals Expecting Baby. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 15, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[00:00:00]

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: For them to see what it is like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that is something they will never forget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): They likely won't. Yes, he is back. Tiger Woods completes a remarkable comeback years in the making, winning the Masters once again.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Sudan military leaders approaching top officials as protesters still crowd the streets, calling for a civilian government.

ALLEN (voice-over): Also ahead this hour, ISIS kidnapped this nurse more than five years ago and the Red Cross thinks she's still may be alive. Now they're making a public appeal to find her.

These stories are ahead here. Thank you for joining us. Live from the CNN Center, I am Natalie Allen.

VANIER (voice-over): And I'm Cyril Vanier. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: All right, we are starting with the world of golf for an obvious reason. Tiger Woods on top of the golf world once again after finishing his fifth Masters win and 15th major title.

VANIER: That is the first in 11 years and it is a fairy tale comeback for the most dominant player of his generation.

The 43-year old has recovered from back problems and a high-profile divorce to reach this new milestone.

Many are gushing over his comeback there, saying it is good for the game, was good for the game when he roared onto the scene many years ago. Woods admits this victory was special and unexpected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODS: I think that -- I think the kids are starting to understand, you know, that -- how much this game means to me and some of the things I've done in the game. Prior to -- prior to this comeback, they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain.

If I tried to swing a club, I'd end up on the ground, and I struggled for years, and that's basically all they remember.

Luckily, that I've had the procedure where that's no longer the case and I can do this again. So, you know, we're creating new memories for them and it's just very special.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: And guess who was there on hand in Augusta to see his triumph?

CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan, it is such an honor to have you.

(CROSSTALK)

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: -- still the dirt of Augusta on my shoes.

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: Just made it back in the nick of time, thank you so much.

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: How was it?

Bring us to the moment it happened.

BRENNAN: This is one of the moments people they will remember where they were in terms of sports and even a cultural moment, because it is Tiger Woods, 43 years old and he hasn't won a major in 11 years. And a year ago he said he could not get off the couch to watch his kids play soccer.

So it was electric and exciting. But of course there are so many contenders, all younger men and inspired by Tiger as they grew up as little boys, and they are all fighting to be him.

One by one, as if the golf gods came down from the heavens and said, this will be the way it is, one by one they fell away, mistakes on par 3 12th and everyone going in one after another and all of a sudden the last man left standing, Tiger Woods.

ALLEN: And the crowds, the people that happened to go this year, can you just imagine.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: -- this is the year that she went and they were there for this. And he had that typical stoic Tiger Woods look throughout. I think when he does this, is he going to jus lose it. And he did. You saw that smile and his arms came up, victory.

BRENNAN: Well, tremendous. Exactly, Natalie. And for those astute followers of golf, in 1997 Tiger Woods won first of his now five Masters and he was only 21. And at that Masters, exactly 22 years ago, he walked off into the arms of his father, his late father, who taught him the toughness of the game and said, you were born to be a champion.

And now 22 years later, he is the father, walking into the arms of his son and daughter and mother and many friends.

So the symmetry of circle there, I think was extraordinary and it added to the storyline and the crowd ate it up. They would still be out there cheering if they could they be.

VANIER: Because all these people know and I want to stress this --

[00:05:00]

VANIER: -- for the viewers who may not -- and you touched on this -- a couple of years ago he could not walk. It is not whether he can play golf but it is whether he can walk.

(CROSSTALK)

BRENNAN: Four back surgeries, the last was spinal fusion two years ago basically right now. And now was the last gasp effort. He was in so much trouble from the swinging so it was this or basically give up the game of golf.

So spinal fusion and six months after that -- a year and a half ago -- that he could not get off the couch and he thought he might be done.

As a journalist everyone would ask me, is he done?

And I thought, you can never count Tiger Woods out. He is so talented and driven, if anyone can overcome this, it is Tiger Woods.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: He has overcome all his issues, his divorce and all of that and then he had trouble with painkillers going through so much, he has been through a lot.

BRENNAN: Well, exactly.

(CROSSTALK)

BRENNAN: Less than two years ago that we saw that mug shot after his arrest on a DUI, which was the painkillers, presumably, when he was parked on the side of the road. That was Memorial Day weekend 2017. And I bet you anyone who saw that mug shot would never have thought this day would come.

It is the power of comebacks and getting that second chance, never giving up, as Tiger Woods said. Also you mention personal problems, very public situation, where his family life was not what we thought it was. It fell apart, all self-induced and that was almost 10 years ago.

But the story of redemption and the story of a comeback is something that I think any audience around the world, certainly U.S. sports fans, anyone listening to us right now, you get that idea of the comeback. The chance to cheer for someone who has fallen from grace and now has come back.

As I said, this is a story the likes of would we have not seen for a long time in sports.

VANIER: One of the greatest sports comebacks I think ever, he has got 15 major championships to his name and the record is 18.

Do you think he can surpass that?

BRENNAN: Of course this was a question for years and it was almost 11 years ago he won his last Major until today. So everyone said no way. I think now it is an open question. These young guys are not going to keel over and let Tiger win everything. And he got lucky today as well as played great.

But the PGA is early; it's going to be next months. And it's at Page Black, where he won the U.S. Open, loves the course. And then the U.S. Open is at Pebble Beach, another course he loves. So you can imagine and expect intense media coverage.

And I'll probably be at both of them and I wasn't necessarily going to be. But I think that is the Tiger effect here and the power of this story.

ALLEN: Well, he put golf on the world map, how many years ago, and --

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: -- he has reignited again and we will be watching and we will be watching you cover it as well. Christine Brennan, it is so nice to have you in the house with us.

(CROSSTALK)

BRENNAN: Great to be here, thank you so much.

ALLEN: We really appreciate it. It is quite the story.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

ALLEN: All right. We are looking at other news that we are following now, this one is from Sudan, where military leaders are cleaning house after they toppled the dictator, Omar al-Bashir. The intelligence chief has been replaced and the defense minister removed.

They have also sacked Sudan's ambassadors to Geneva and Washington.

VANIER: The generals have been busy since they toppled Omar al-Bashir but so have the protesters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER (voice-over): After three decades under Omar al-Bashir they want democracy and they want it now. They are calling for the immediate handover of power to civilian governments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: CNN's Farai Sevenzo is tracking events in Sudan from Nairobi, Kenya, and has filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Palm Sunday, Sudan's revolution seemed to carry on. Those people, the protesters gathered outside Sudan's military headquarters in Khartoum continue to amass there in their great numbers.

In this new age of many technologies, the 21st century ends with such a youthful crowd of protesters. It is overwhelmingly youthful, Sudan's revolution. We can see Facebook links with all manner of social media with people in a festive spirit at that center.

But of course there is a real busy and honest business of politics that carries on. The military transitional council, Lt. General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan, has sent out ahead of friendship and extended the idea that they want everybody. They promise many things: the release prisoners; they've abolished the curfew put in place by Mr. al-Bashir's immediate successor, General Ibn Auf.

But what this brings to mind now, what will happen to the Sudan story.

On Sunday everything moved up --

[00:10:00]

SEVENZO: -- in terms of diplomacy, all those Arab countries around Sudan, indeed, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, they've all been sending great noises and encouraging words to the military council.

Of course this does not leave the actual people on the ground, in the protests, with any clear idea whether what they want their demands for quick movement to civilian rule will actually happen -- Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: So the question is, can the people prevail in Sudan?

We will be talking with an expert and author, Eric Reeves (ph). He will talk about that in the next hour.

VANIER: And the U.S. secretary of state is calling for Venezuela's embattled president to open the country's borders and to end the power struggle there immediately.

ALLEN: Mike Pompeo's comments came with a visit to the border town in neighboring Colombia. It is his last stop of his Latin American tour. He also spoke to Venezuelan refugees and toured a warehouse filled with relief supplies for Venezuela and he vowed to hold the president Nicolas Maduro accountable for this crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Nicolas Maduro is denying food that is sitting here, these are not people that are starving because the country doesn't have wealth. These are people that are starving because of the political leadership, the military thugs inside of Venezuela have destroyed their capacity to produce crude oil (ph). They have destroyed the capacity to grow crops.

They've denied the people aid to the city, right at the border. You saw the bridge today, welded trucks, preventing food. This is horrific. There is nothing else in South America that compares to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: CNN David McKenzie has been following what has been going on and he has more from the capital, Caracas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo made a brief but highly significant visit to Cucuta on the border of Colombia and Venezuela.

He visited with families, struggling Venezuelan families in migrant centers at the border as well as viewing the considerable aid that is ready to come in to this country to help people in the humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of state and other U.S. officials have repeatedly blamed the government of Nicolas Maduro for stopping aid from coming in to help people with lifesaving support. Pompeo said over the four-nation trip, that Russia and Cuba, as well as China, helped to prop up Maduro's government.

He said that more needs to be done to get Maduro out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: We have been clear that all options are on the table and you watch the political and diplomatic noose tighten around Maduro's neck. We will begin to do the same thing. The Cubans must understand, too, that there will be a cost associated with their continued support of Nicolas Maduro. We will have the same conversation with the Russians as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: Opposition leader Juan Guaido is recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries. He was in the west of the country this weekend, addressing thousands in Maracaibo, a city that has been hit by blackouts and water shortages.

But the opposition are saying to us that over the weeks they've felt a bit of the momentum slip as they try to push the military and others to turn their back on Maduro. Maduro himself was addressing thousands of civilian militia over the weekend here in Caracas.

He says he wants 1 million more people to join those civilian militia to help prop up his regime. We visited a rally supporting the president and people had strong words for the secretary of state.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): To Pompeo, take your hands out of here, stop with the conspiracies. Stop with the conspiracies and let us deal with our things on our own.

To the people of the U.S. we love you but we don't want any imperialists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These people are respected, Venezuela is respected. We don't want anyone to get into our internal problems. We are in solidarity with all the countries in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't think that South America will give up. We will keep fighting to the end, Pompeo, don't think we are scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: Pompeo's visit underscores the importance of Venezuela to the Trump administration but even U.S. officials are saying that this could be a long struggle -- David McKenzie, CNN, Caracas, Venezuela.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: We could soon get a look at the Mueller report or at least a redacted version of it. Democrats want the whole thing but the White House says it is time to move on.

We will have that story coming up.

ALLEN: Also this hour the Red Cross is desperately seeking information on the whereabouts of these abducted staff members. More about that as we continue.

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(WEATHER REPORT)

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VANIER: The political battle between the White House and congressional Democrats enters a new phase this week. The attorney general is expected to release a redacted version of the Mueller report on Russian election meddling.

ALLEN: Democrats say they will go to court to get the full version but as Sarah Westwood reports, the White House is ready to close the book on that investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: The White House is bracing for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. Attorney General Bill Barr is set to send a redacted version of that report to Capitol Hill as soon as this week. And Barr has said that there are no plans for the White House to assert executive privilege over parts of that document.

That's a process that could have led to more redactions being included. And the White House has maintained that it wants as much of the report as allowed by law to be released to the public.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday that she expects the report, which she has not yet read, to match Barr's public summary of the document, which includes, according to Barr, Mueller's assessment that there was no evidence the campaign colluded with Russia. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't think it is going to be damaging to the president because the entire purpose of the investigation was whether or not there was collusion. Mueller was crystal clear in the fact that there was no collusion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: That was Sanders speaking on Fox News Sunday. And the president heads to Minnesota on Monday for a Tax Day event as the White House and the rest of --

[00:20:00]

WESTWOOD: -- Washington waits for the Mueller report to released.

Trump and his allies have argued that the release of Mueller's findings should be the end of inquiry into alleged collusion and alleged obstruction. But House Democrats are prepared to continue their oversight into these and many other areas in the months ahead -- Sarah Westwood, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Joining us is Larry Sabato, director at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Larry, do you think that we will end up looking back on the day the Mueller report came out as the day Donald Trump secured his reelection?

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: I think it is possible. A lot of things have fallen into place for Trump. He has never been popular. He is not popular now but he is popular enough to win a second term under certain circumstances and certainly he had to get the Mueller report out of the way, if in fact he has gotten it out of the way.

We'll see what it really says or at least the part that is released.

VANIER: Walk us through that, because one thing we already know for sure when it comes out is that you will get two very different readings of the report, from the Left and the Right, from Trump's supporters and his critics.

SABATO: That is a given. In fact, the president's supporters I don't think would care regardless what is in there. They already accepted the president's line coming from the four-page summary that attorney general Barr released at the time and that is the great advantage.

You see, being in charge means you get to go first and, in this case, going first meant that there are weeks in between part two. Most people have moved on and even some on the Left have moved on.

And it is going to be difficult to get people energized again and interested again in this report.

VANIER: So right now what the Democrats are going to do, once they get the report, they are going to scan through those 400-odd pages for any bit of information that they can use against the president.

Agree or disagree?

SABATO: I agree and there has to be some negative information that Barr has to release.

Why?

Because clearly Mueller had to put something or maybe many somethings in the report not favorable to Trump. And Barr felt obligated to mention in the four-page summary that it is not an exoneration.

So there is plenty in there but again an attorney general has the right to redact lots of pieces of that report. It could be a third or a half. I would not be surprised with anything, I have dealt with trying to get public documents released and I am amazed sometimes.

They will release the document but you will get maybe three lines out of 5,000.

VANIER: Right now the public perception of the Russian investigation is based on the summary of that investigation that was made by the attorney general. So what has started to take hold, I think what has taken hold by now, is the idea that, number one, there was no collusion between the Trump world and Russia. That appears to be established.

And number two, it is kind of messy on the obstruction of justice front. But certainly there was not a clear slam dunk case to charge the president or to indict the president over obstruction of justice. That's the narrative.

Do you think the Democrats can change that?

SABATO: Well, they can probably change the second part of the narrative, assuming that there is enough information in this report that is released to unable them to change the narrative. Because I do think that, at the very least, it was ambiguous, whether President Trump obstructed justice. And I do not fully agree that the special counsel did not gather enough information to suggest that there was obstruction of justice.

It is just that this particular special counsel is a by the book guy, Robert Mueller. And I don't think he would've been inclined to make that decision in any event. He would've sent it up the line to the Justice Department.

VANIER: Ultimately, you are telling us that this conversation and what comes out of the Mueller report, when it is made public, is not going to matter that much politically?

SABATO: It is not going to change the results of the 2020 election. It is not going to generate impeachment because there aren't sufficient votes in the Senate to convict, even if the House impeaches. In the end, it is going to be in the hands of the voters and the smarter Democrats, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have realized that all along. That is why she has not been pushing impeachment.

VANIER: Larry, thank you so much for talking for us, thank you for your time.

SABATO: Thanks, Cyril.

ALLEN: The White House and Democrats are also battling over the border after CNN reported that Trump told the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection to block asylum seekers from entering the country and that he would pardon him if he were charged with a crime. The president denied that happened.

VANIER: And Democrats are also bristling at Trump's suggestion that he might --

[00:25:00]

VANIER: -- release asylum seekers into so-called sanctuary cities. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This just shows the president's contempt for law, another instance of the president's contempt for law, to order that something completely illegal, namely blocking people taking asylum from coming into the country, which is clearly against our law, that that be done is against the law or offering a pardon, even in jest, to someone who would disobey the law at the president's request.

This is exactly contrary to the key presidential duty and to his oath, which is to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Here is a look at the sanctuary cities that we are referring to, which limit how far their local officials will go to assist the federal government on immigration matters. Usually that means they won't hold or prosecute undocumented immigrants just for being in the country illegally.

VANIER: A widespread devastation across the U.S., a deadly storm system has battered several states and it is not over yet. We will have a look at the damage and the forecast when we come back.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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ALLEN: And welcome back to CNN and welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines this hour.

(HEADLINES)

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- career-threatening back problems and a high-profile divorce to reach this new milestone.

[00:30:06] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Sudan's military has sacked the country's ambassadors to Geneva and Washington. The intelligence chief has also been replaced and the defense minister removed, this after the military ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir on Thursday. Protestors continue to demand the immediate handover of power, from the military to civilian rule.

VANIER: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling on Venezuela's president to open his country's borders. His comments came during a trip to the border town of Cucuta in neighboring Colombia. Pompeo met with Venezuelan refugees and toured a warehouse filled with relief supplies for Venezuela. This is the last stop on his Latin America tour.

ALLEN: And 17.7 percent, the center left Social Democrats have won the most votes in Finland's election, but it was a tight race, and the right-wing anti-immigrant Finns Party took 17.5. The next ruling party will need a coalition in parliament.

VANIER: The Red Cross is desperately searching for three staff members abducted in Syria more than five years ago, and they are now appealing for information on their whereabouts.

ALLEN: Yes. They believe Louisa Akavi, a nurse from New Zealand, may still be alive. The Red Cross has never been able to confirm the fate of Syrian drivers Alaa Rajab on the left and Nabil Bakdounes on the right. All three were part of a convoy delivering supplies when they were captured. They were last known to be held by ISIS.

Andrew Stevens joins us from Hong Kong with more on this. What else do you know, Andrew?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this stage, the details are still quite scarce, and it's been interesting, Cyril, there has been a lid on this story for the past six years.

Louisa Akavi was kidnapped back in October of 2013. She was one of seven who was kidnapped by ISIS. Four were then released the following day but Louisa and the two Syrian nationals you mentioned, drivers for the Red Cross, were both kept.

And there have been sporadic information coming that Louisa remains alive, and it was decided by the Red Cross that, after keeping a lid on this information for so long, because the family of Louisa Akavi had been threatened, if there was any publicity, that she would be killed, the Red Cross have been decided with ISIS -- the fall of ISIS and the end of the caliphate, to go public on this.

Just listen to what the Red Cross had to say at a news conference in New Zealand a little earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIAMH LAWLESS, NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS SECRETARY GENERAL: Our No. 1 priority all along has been Louisa's safety, and as you say, decisions have been taken always with that in mind, and one of those decisions was to keep the information as far out of the public eye as possible. The ICRC has taken the lead, and we've worked collectively together around when is -- there is no right or wrong time. The assessment is made that, with the fall of the caliphate, that the risk we need to seek by calling for action, whether we can find out any more information at this point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: Now the Red Cross have said that they had credible evidence that Louisa Akavi was alive in December of last year.

Cyril, it's obviously not just the International Red Cross, the ICRC, involved in it. It's also the New Zealand government has been playing a part, as well. New Zealand's foreign minister, Winston Peters, saying today that there had been a non-combat New Zealand team in Syria several times, on the hunt for Louisa. But at this stage, there is such few details about where she is, whether she's still alive and whether her two Syrian colleagues are alive also -- Cyril.

VANIER: Yes, and her family is also finally speaking out?

STEVENS: That's right. It's been -- you can only imagine that the -- what the family has been through as they waited for any sort of news about -- about Louisa Akavi. They also gave a little press conference in New Zealand earlier. Let's just listen to what a family spokesman had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUAINE ROBATI, FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: We think about her every day and how she feels there and find strength in them. We know she's thinking of us and that she will be worried about us, too. Louisa is an incredibly experienced nurse and aid worker who knew the risks of her job. Our family is very proud of her and of the way she's dedicated her life to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: She's quite an extraordinary individual by all accounts. She has a recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal. Cyril, that is the highest award that the International Red Cross bestows on its people, and it was for showing courage and exemplary performance in natural disasters or for victims of natural war.

[00:35:17] This was her 17th foreign assignment for the Red Cross. She's been in hotspots all over the world in a career that spanned some 32 years. She'd been in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ethiopia, in Bosnia and so on.

And so many news reports, when describing her, talk about her commitment to her job, that all she wanted to do was to care for people in those sort of horrific conditions; and she's now paid for it by being held hostage by ISIS for, as you say, six years.

VANIER: Andrew Stevens covering the story for us from Hong Kong. Thank you so much. We hope for good news. Louisa Akavi, Alaa Rajab, Nabil Bakdounes, all abducted as they were trying to help the civilian population in Syria. Thanks, Steven [SIC].

ALLEN: Well, here in the United States, at least seven people have died from a massive storm system that has been barreling through the southeast.

VANIER: Yes, hundreds more have been injured or displaced across several states. The destructive weather has spawned high winds, tornados and hail, leaving some towns in ruin.

In Mississippi, an uprooted tree fell on top of a house, pinning a woman against the wall of her living room. The governor of that state has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas.

ALLEN: Let's check in with our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri. He's been following this system at his -- has continued to go across the country.

Pedram, hello.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys.

You know, we still have a few more hours of this storm system, still impacting about 60 million people, a pretty expansive area of the U.S. Of course working its way into the most densely-populated corner.

And major disruptions really going into Monday morning for some of the aviation industry across this region.

And just to give you an idea of the impressive air mass we're dealing with across this region, look at these temperatures at this hour into the early morning hours. Washington, D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina, warmer to the north than farther into the state of Florida. Twenty- three degrees sitting there across Washington, D.C. In fact, in New York City among the warmest there, sitting at 16 degrees.

All of this in advance of the system, eventually up through the Northeast. But of course it has had a history of severe weather. On Saturday, upwards of 21 reports of tornadoes, over 200 wind damage reports, numerous fatalities associated with these storms.

And on Sunday, a more minimized event here when it comes to the number of tornadoes. Over 160 severe wind reports scattered about the region. And again, this is the current perspective, the line of thunderstorms pushing right through portions of the northeast.

And we know Sunday over 7,000 flights were either delayed or canceled. Working out way into Monday, the preemptive numbers put it somewhere around 330 plus of flights that have been impacted so far in the early morning hours.

And again, impressive as it comes with this storm, because you look at the lightning strikes so far into the morning hours, almost 20,000 lightning strikes across this region, and the Boston Marathon, guys, taking over the next couple of hours in Boston, and the storm is expected to roll through into the morning hours, as well -- guys.

ALLEN: I hope it's safe, but you know the runners. They'll just run right through the rain, won't they?

JAVAHERI: They will, yes.

ALLEN: Pedram, thank you.

VANIER: Thanks, Pedram.

ALLEN: All right. Well, England's royal family, I think we all know, about to get a new member. And the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren't exactly playing the expectant parents role by the book. We're on royal baby watch next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [00:40:41] VANIER: Royal baby watch. It is almost time for the birth of the newest British royal, or so we think.

ALLEN: We think. We don't know the exact date that Prince Harry and Meghan --

VANIER: Or even the rough date, for that matter.

ALLEN: The rough date the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting. And they're not doing things the traditional way. Here's CNN's Max Foster to explain why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the most modern of royal couples. She is an American former Hollywood actress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, you're pretty.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Good, you hit on me. We can get it out of the way that I am not interested.

FOSTER: He's the one-time playboy prince who's trying to bust taboos around mental health.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: We've never -- we've never really talked about it. We've never really talked about losing a mom at such a young age.

FOSTER: Ever since the couple moved out of Kensington Palace, which they shared with Prince William and Kate, speculation has been rife about what sort of parents they'll be.

BONNIE GREER, AUTHOR: There's a rumor about this sort of vegan baby and gender-neutral. I think that's a little bit over the top.

But she's certainly probably going to cook this baby's food.

FOSTER: Then there's the way the baby will be introduced to the world. The Sussexes aren't in the direct line of succession, so they're not expected to follow every formality.

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: What you'd expect is that they'd observe the traditions that they think are appropriate.

GREER: They are minor royals. This baby has a lot more freedom than, say, George.

FOSTER: So don't expect any of this when the baby is born.

As a direct heir to the throne, Prince George's departure from hospital was a public event, watched on by the world's media. This time around we don't even know where Meghan will be having her baby. It could well be at home in Windsor. Whilst George's birth announcement was placed on an easel at

Buckingham, Prince Harry and Meghan are likely to announce their baby's arrival on Instagram.

In the days that follow the birth, two cameras at most will be invited to Windsor to capture the new family on behalf of all media. In the words of the palace, "Their royal highness have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The duke and duchess look forward to sharing the news with everyone once they've had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."

With their wedding, Harry and Meghan showed the world they understand their place in public life, allowing the media in when they think is justified. But as they enter parenthood, they're making clear that access to their children will be much more restricted.

Max Foster, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: But you can follow on Instagram, you know. They have their own page now. Make sure you do that.

VANIER: I think Max has to keep his phone on for when he gets the call the baby is born.

ALLEN: OK. I hope he does. And he can call us.

VANIER: That's how we'll know.

ALLEN: Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Up next, WORLD SPORT, and we're back 15 minutes after that.

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