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Tiger Woods' Epic Comeback; Robert Mueller's Russia Investigation Report; Game of Thrones Finale; Widespread Damage Across the Southeastern United States; Mike Pompeo Calling Out Nicolas Maduro; Mayor Pete Buttigieg Jumping Into Presidential Race. Aired 2- 3a ET

Aired April 15, 2019 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Another one for the history books. Tiger Woods has completed an epic and once unthinkable comeback. CNN sat down with the golf champ to talk about his fifth Masters title. A battle is brewing over Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report. It's expected to release any day now, and Democrats say they want the full un-redacted version.

And later, spoiler alert, the stage is set for a wild ride for the -- to the Game of Thrones finale. We will talk about the winners and losers from the season eight premier. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary church here at CNN world headquarters, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Well, Tiger Woods is on top of the golf world once again after clinching his fifth Masters victory and 15th major title. It's his first major title in 11 years, and completes a fairytale comeback for the most dominant player of his generation. The 43-year-old has overcome career-threatening back problems and a high-profile divorce to reach this new milestone.

Many are gushing over his comeback, saying it's good for the game. Tiger even admits this victory was special, especially with his children there to cheer him on.


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 have done in the game prior to this comeback. They only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club, I would end up on the ground, and I struggled for years. And that's basically all they remember.

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


CHURCH: CNN's Don Riddell is in Augusta with more on Tiger's big win.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS: We have witnessed something truly extraordinary at Augusta. Tiger Woods has won his fifth Green Jacket at the Masters. The man who once dominated the sport and who then transcended has been gone for so long, but now he's back. And before he did this, people used to speculate what would it be like, where would he rank in the pantheon of great comebacks if Tiger Woods could win another major tournament.

So many people didn't think it would happen. And we speculated while would be one of the great comebacks in sport, but now that we've actually seen it and witnessed it with our own eyes, it feels like we have seen the greatest comeback of all time. It's his first major triumph in some 11 years. It's his first Masters win since 2005, a gap of 14 years. And it comes 21 years after his very first Masters triumph back in 1997.

Back then, he was the youngest ever Masters champion at the age of 21. And he's now become only the second golfer to win a Green Jacket in three separate decades. Since 2008, Tiger Woods we all know has been through so much. There were the marital problems and the spectacular fall from grace, the DUI, and that awful police photograph, all the problems with his back, the injuries, four operations, risky spinal fusion surgery.

And just 16 months ago, he was ranked almost 1,200th in the world. The body was shot. The confidence was gone. And even his most ardent supporters were starting to lose faith. When he spoke to us at the President's Cup 16 months ago, he said just riding in a golf cart was so painful. He didn't even know if he could carry on playing.

He certainly didn't think it was any kind of guarantee that he could be competitive again on the golf course. But we have seen this resurgence throughout 2018. He was getting better and better, contending at the Open Championship. Finishing second in the PGA championship and then winning the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta just down the road here from Augusta National in Georgia.

And that gave him the confidence. That gave him the belief that he could do it again. Golf has changed so much since he was dominating this sport. There are now so many young players who are talented and successful and who don't fear the aura of Tiger Woods. But they have seen today firsthand with their own eyes what he is capable of, and it is a truly extraordinary day.

[02:05:00] He is 43 years old, the second oldest Masters champion. Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he won his 18th major tournament. And now that Tiger is winning again, the quest is back on. Can he get to Jack's total? Well, he's got three more years to win three more before he gets to Jack's 46. And that is going to be the compelling and dominant narrative in the world of golf and sport this year.

Can't wait, it's going to be another fantastic golf season, and what a day for Tiger Woods, back to you.


CHURCH: Don Riddell with that report. So, U.S. President Donald Trump and a slew of celebrities took to social media to congratulate Tiger on his victory. Mr. Trump tweeted, love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic live comeback for a really great guy. Former U.S. President Barack Obama says congratulations, Tiger. To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

NFL quarterback Tom Brady tweeted, running the numbers on how long it will take me to get to 15. Congrats, Tiger. What a performance. And Nike, one of Tiger's sponsors tweeted, never stop chasing your crazy dream. Just do it. Well, Golf Australia's Mark Hayes joins me now from Jolong in Australia. Good to have you with us.

So Tiger Woods pulls off this stunning victory, his first major title in 11 years. Is this the greatest sports comeback ever, do you think?

MARK HAYES, GOLF AUSTRALIA MEDIA MANAGER: It may well be, Rosemary. It's hard-pressed to find one that is clearly superior. In golf circles, you might find Ben Hogan when he had a near fatal car crash back in 1949, and he returned to win a major championship after (Inaudible) injuries. Maybe a look to Nikki (Inaudible) who had the fiery car crash in the mid-1970s.

Maybe look to Monica Seles, who was obviously stabbed in Germany in 1993. Other than that, I think it's pretty slim pickings to find something that's better than what Tiger has just achieved.

CHURCH: So what do you think this means for the game of golf?

HAYES: Nobody moves the needle like Tiger Woods. I think not only in golf but sport more broadly, Rosemary. I think that he has the capacity to transcend the sport. It puts the game of golf on the front pages as opposed to the back pages of newspapers. And as your report said earlier on, it just creates a narrative that's sort of -- it ushers people into the sport, and they'll be following him fervently for the next few months as he chases this chase that we thought was gone is re-enlivened. And can he get to Jack Nicklaus' 18 major championships?

CHURCH: Yeah, of course. And of course, Tiger Woods has overcome a lot of challenges in recent years. His divorce, all the sorry details that led up to that, along with four back surgeries from a broken back, all putting his future in jeopardy. And now, of course, here he is celebrating this great victory. How did he get to this point? What did it take?

HAYES: Oh, I think the thing that separates Tiger, and it has all throughout his career, is just his fierce will to win. He's one of the more determined athletes that's ever been in any sport. He just didn't want to let it go. And he just believed within himself that he hadn't played his last shot in anger. The third surgery that he had was pretty full-on. And I think most people would have probably turned it up at that

stage. But he's gone back for an even bigger one, the spinal fusion surgery, his fourth one. The downside of that is he may not have been able to walk. It was a lifestyle decision there he had to make. You know, golf was so far from his mind at that stage.

But as soon as he knew that it went well, I think he's had this in him. Just to come back and show -- and we saw late last year when he tapers towards a tournament, he can't do it all now. He can't grind away for 20 or 30 weeks a year like he once did. He's got to pick and choose his battles, but he does it so well.

And when he tapers towards something like a major championship or a tour championship like he did in Atlanta last year, then you know, there is no stopping him when he's on his game.

CHURCH: Right. And that surgery obviously proved to be the right choice, and certainly in his case, so what comes next for Tiger?

HAYES: Well, the major championships are now strung out one every month from April through to the Open Championship in July. I think that primarily his focus will be those four things. And of course, he's the captain for the first time in the President's Cup down here in Australia in December. There was -- he was always going to come as a captain.

Now, I can tell you that down here in Australia, there is going to be absolute fervor about whether he'll be the playing captain for only the second time in President's Cup history.

CHURCH: All right. Mark Hayes, great to have you on to talk about what is an incredible comeback, many thanks.

HAYES: Pleasure. Thank you.

[02:09:51] CHURCH: Well, the White House and Democrats also battling over the southern U.S. border. This, after CNN reported President Donald Trump told a top border agent to illegally block asylum seekers from entering the country, and that he would pardon him if he's charged with a crime. The president denies that claim, but Democrats are also bristling at Mr. Trump's suggestion that he might release asylum seekers into so-called sanctuary cities.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): This just shows the president's contempt for law, another instance of the president's contempt for law. To order that something clearly illegal, namely blocking people claiming 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 if in jest, to someone who would disobey the law at the president's request, this is a -- exactly contrary to the key presidential duty and to his oath, which is to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: Well, sanctuary cities limit how much they 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.

Well, 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.

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 the investigation.


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.

SARAH 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.

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 Washington waits for the Mueller report to be 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.


CHURCH: All right. For more perspective, let's turn now to Scott Lucas in England. He is a professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham. Thank you so much for joining us.

SCOTT LUCAS, EA WORLDVIEW FOUNDER AND EDITOR: Good morning, Rosemary. CHURCH: All right. So let's talk about the imminent release of the

Mueller report. How much of it do you think will be blacked out? And if too much is redacted, how does that reflect back on Attorney General Bill Barr?

LUCAS: Well, only Bill Barr knows how much is going to be redacted at this point. That's the key question, isn't it? Because he stated in his four-page letter on the Mueller report last month when he tried to give cover for Donald Trump, that not only could redactions be made for national security, redactions could be made because of ongoing grand jury investigations.

But he said I can issue redactions over third parties who are not directly facing legal action. Well, of course, that's a sweeping clause. That could cover almost any part of the report that refers to Donald Trump or to anyone in Donald Trump's campaign that is not currently indicted or facing prosecution. And that has been the worry amongst Democrats in Congress and those outside of Washington that Barr could use this to try to, just as he did with the letter last month say, look, there is really nothing to see here.

There is no conspiracy with Russia, and there is no obstruction of justice. And that worry has been exacerbated last week, because rather than addressing this question you and I are discussing, Bill Barr instead tried to turn his fire on the FBI and say this was all a problem because there was a spying campaign against Trump and his inner circle.

CHURCH: Right. So overall, what impact do you think this report potentially might have on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election?

LUCAS: Well, again, so much of it turns on the content. And by the way, Rosemary, anyone that goes out and says, oh, the Mueller report says this. It says that or whatever, wherever they are, just knock them back and say have you seen it, because the politics has tried to frame this report. Now, if the report does present the evidence, which Mueller's team indicates that they had about obstruction of justice by Donald Trump.

[02:15:16] That is a fairly serious claim. And it's one that the Trump people have to deal with. If at the end of the day the Mueller report says that although there is evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump, it is not significant. It is not -- not only not leading to criminal charges but not politically significant. Then, of course, that plays well for Trump in the re-election.

But here's what I suspect will happen, Rosemary. I suspect that the Mueller report, if it is allowed to go forward, will at least have some material, which does put the Trump campaign in a bad light. But as soon as it does, Donald Trump and his people will be out there saying it's all the product of a witch hunt, the same thing that we heard for the two years before the report ever surfaced.

CHURCH: Right. And, of course, it is worth mentioning the attorney general's four-page summary has been out there since the Mueller report was finished. And that summary has already established this narrative of no collusion, no conclusion on obstruction of justice, but also no exoneration for the president on that particular issue.

So how hard will it be for the Democrats to change that narrative? And will they ever succeed in getting the un-redacted version of the report through the courts do you think to even attempt that?

LUCAS: With respect, Rosemary, I think you just illustrated how hard it is to change the narrative, because there are two errors in what we just heard. And the first is, is that Bill Barr didn't say there was no collusion. That is possible knowledge of the Russian intervention or even encouragement of it. He said there is no conspiracy. And that's because conspiracy is a criminal charge and collusion is not.

And secondly, of course, remember that Mueller's own people through government officials said that Barr did not represent what they had put as their own summaries on the report. Instead, he buried those summaries and wrote up this letter that try to not necessarily try to exonerate Trump, but to try to push any question of responsibility to the sidelines.

I do think that if the report is not released in substantial form, if it is not released to the public as well as to Congress, we are talking about this going to the courts. But, of course, the issue there is, is that court action takes months. And by the time we get any court decision, we'll be well into the 2020 campaign.

CHURCH: Yeah. And people might be very tired of this subject by then. Scott Lucas, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective on this issue. Appreciate it.

LUCAS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, a powerful storm system has been sweeping across the United States. It has already brought high winds, tornadoes, and hail. But more destructive weather could still be on the way, and we will have the forecast for you on that. Plus, the top U.S. diplomat visits the Colombia-Venezuela border and sends a strong message to Venezuela's embattled president, that message just ahead.


CHURCH: Well, there's widespread damage across the southeastern United States. A major storm system has barreled through several states, killing at least seven people. Hundreds more have been injured or displaced. The destructive weather has spawned high winds, tornadoes, and heavy rain. And this is how rough things got in parts of Mississippi over the weekend. Monroe County was hit especially hard as two tornadoes reportedly hammered the region.

Mississippi's governor has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas. So let's turn to our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, who has been keeping a very close eye on this. So Pedram, how much longer will this sort of weather still hang around? PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Just a few more hours, Rosemary.

So the brunt of the storm system all moving on now in areas of the northeast really going to see what is left of this system. And radar imagery shows you what is left of it here with the line of thunderstorms, in fact, upwards of nearly 20,000 lightning strikes in the past 24 hours from the southern U.S., now extending on towards portions of the northeast.

And look at this background. Parts of the upper Midwest from Detroit even onto Chicago in the past 24 hours, some wintery weather to be had here with snow showers coming down after temps had climbed into the 60s, and in some areas even the 70s. You know spring is here when you see this pattern with not only spring weather, but wintery weather to be had as well.

But widespread concern here at least the next couple of hours, really the threat diminish between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. across much of this region. So this is just for the next several hours. But let me see you sever storms, often times, you kind of associate it with tornadoes. But the vast majority of this concern is with straight line winds.

Any time you have winds over 58 miles per hour, that's a severe wind gust. Any time you have hail one inch in diameter or greater, that's a severe hailstorm, and severe hailstorms. So that's the concern across some of these regions, but notice the observations in the areas we're seeing. Temperature reports at this hour, Washington 71 degrees into the early morning hours, so plenty of instability to be had ahead of this next active line of active weather.

Saturday, of course, we know all the action across the southern U.S., over 200 severe weather reports, 21 of which related to tornadoes. Work your way on into Sunday, only two reports of tornadoes, but still a significant number of wind damage reports. And that's really what we're watching for the northeastern U.S. here over the couple of hours.

And, of course, when you talk about the spring season, here's what it looks like climatologically. April into May, over 170 tornadoes, what we expect in the month of April, I just counted this for you in the last couple of minutes. And 44 tornadoes so far in the U.S. have touched down in the month of April. But of course, that latter half (Inaudible) really picks up is the (Inaudible) couple of weeks, but here is the perspective.

Wind gusts, that's going to be the big story across the northeastern U.S. here. Wind gusts, as much as 30 to 40 miles per hour. In some areas, maybe up to 50 miles per hour in the early morning hours. But once we get past the late morning into early afternoon, the winds will want to die down just a little bit. But I think disruptions could be widespread as far as air travel is concerned.

And of course, you see how the numbers are shaped up from Sunday into the early morning hours. So far, Monday, we're just a couple hundred flights have been cancelled or delayed so far this morning, but we expect that number to be on the rise as well, Rosemary, as the day builds.

[02:25:03] CHURCH: All right. Pedram, thanks so much for keeping a very close eye on all of that, appreciate it. Talk to you soon. Well, the U.S. secretary of state is calling on Venezuela's embattled president to open his country's borders as the nation's humanitarian crisis drags on. During a trip to the Colombian border town of Cucuta, Mike Pompeo met with Venezuelan refugees and toured a warehouse filled with relief supplies for Venezuela. He vowed to hold President Nicolas Maduro accountable.


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

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


CHURCH: And our David McKenzie has been following all of the developments. He has more now from Venezuela's capital, Caracas.


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 that border, as well as viewing the aid, the considerable aid that is ready to come into this country to help people in the humanitarian crisis.

The secretary of state and other U.S. officials have repeatedly blamed the government of Nicolas Maduro for stopping aid from coming in here to help people with lifesaving support. Pompeo said over this four- nation trip that Russia and Cuba, as well as China, are helping to prop up Maduro's government. He said that more needs to be done to get Maduro out.

POMPEO: We've made clear that all options are on the table. And you watch, 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're going to have that same conversation with the Russians as well.

MCKENZIE: Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, was in the west of the country this weekend, addressing thousands in (Inaudible), a city that has been hit by blackouts and water shortages. But the opposition is saying to us that over the weeks it felt a bit of the momentum slip as they tried 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 said he wants a million more people to join those civilian militia to help prop up his regime. We visited a rally supporting the president, and people had some strong words for the secretary of state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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: 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: Don't think that South America will give up. We will keep fighting until the end, Pompeo. Don't think we are scared.

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.


CHURCH: Well, it may go down as one of those, where were you moments, when Tiger Woods sealed arguably one of the greatest sports comebacks of all time. CNN spoke with the Masters champion about his victory. So join us for that interview next. And Mayor Pete is jumping into a crowded field. What sets the latest U.S. presidential candidate apart? We'll look at that as well, back in just a moment.


[02:32:23] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Time to check the headlines for you this hour. Well, 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. A powerful storm system that hammered the Southeastern U.S. is now moving eastward. The storms have killed at least seven people and let hundreds more displaces, bringing high winds, tornadoes, and hail. U.S. Attorney general William Barr is expected to release a redacted version of Robert Mueller's report on Russian election meddling this week.

Congressional Democrats are demanding the full report and promising a legal battle to get it.

The White House insists that the report exonerates President Trump. Well, the world of golf will be buzzing for quite some time after Tiger Woods stunning victory at the Masters on Sunday. It's his first major title in 11 years and first win at Augusta since 2005. CNN'S Andy Scholes sat down with the golf legend to talk about his monumental win.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: All right, Tiger. You said before it's a miracle that you could even still play golf considering the back surgeries 11 years, nearly 4,000 days since your last major, did you ever think this day would come and how does it feel?

TIGER WOODS, 2019 MASTERS CHAMPION: Yes, I'd -- I did think it would come just because of what I did last year, you know, I had a chance when open championship, I let on going to the back nine on Sunday. I give Brooks a little bit of a run at the PGA I finished second there. I knew it was in me. No. Did I know it was going to be this week? No. But, I had a good feeling that way I was shaping the golf ball that. That I was going to be in the mix.

SCHOLES: You joked before that you're kids think of you as a video game golfer because they never see you in you a major. Your kids, your mom, your girlfriend where they're waiting for you in a team, what was that moment like, when you're son Charlie jumped in your arms?

WOODS: Surreal, you know, I did the same thing to my dad and now I'm the dad with my son doing the same thing so, it's amazing how life evolves and changes, that was 22 years ago. When my dad was there and then now my son is there, my daughter was there, my mom there. My mom was there in 22 years ago. And the fact that she is still around and still kicking, still fighting, goes to show you her resiliency.

It is hard to comprehend right now, I mean, honestly, it's only been a few hours out of winning the tournament.

[02:40:02] I'm still trying to enjoy then try to figure out that I should - I know I have the green jacket on. But it's just, it's still at least I would take a little bit of time for -- to sink in.


CHURCH: And Tiger's victory gives him 15 career major titles just three behind Jack Nicklaus' all-time record. We aired another Democrat has entered the 2020 presidential race. Congressman Eric Swalwell launched his campaign Sunday in his California hometown. In his speech, he had some sharp words for President Trump. Swalwell says if he were president he would believe the words of his own intelligence agencies over Putin and would call out the North Korean leader after the death of an American student. Swalwell also revealed his top campaign priority.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will address with your support the issues that matter to this country, honestly, a politically. Like the former prosecutor that I am. Starting with guns, I will be the first campaign to make ending gun violence the top priority in my campaign.


CHURCH: Well he wasn't the only Democrat announcing a run for the White House. Pete Buttigieg officially kicked off his campaign Sunday. His central message is America needs to embrace a new generation and look to the future. He is 37 years old, just two years older than is required to become president. He is the mayor of the industrial city of South Bend, Indiana. A Navy veteran, who served in Afghanistan.

Buttigieg is the first presidential candidate in a same-sex marriage. CNN's was on hand for Buttigieg's announcement.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER: Pete Buttigieg officially announced that he is running for the president of the United States, he is the Mayor of South Bend Indiana, a midsize city here Midwest of the country. His often pointed to his leadership of the city of South Bend as the perfect executive experience for the White House and he would be a president of many firsts, should he make it to the Oval Office.

The youngest, at 37 and the first openly gay president, take a listen to how he announced that he is now running for president.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-SB): My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I'm proud son of South Bend, Indiana and I am running For President of the United States.


YURKEVICH: From here in South Bend, Pete Buttigieg is going to be heading on to the trail once again right away, now that his campaign is official. He'll be heading to New York on Monday for a big fundraiser and then heading to Iowa and then on to New Hampshire. In South Bend Indiana. Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN.

CHURCH: 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 the whereabouts. 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 driver Alaa Rajab on the left and Syrian driver Nabil Bakdounes on the right.

All three where part of a convoy delivering supplies when they were captured, they were last known to be held by ISIS. And our Andrew Stevens joins us now from Hong Kong with more on this. So, Andrew what are you able to tell us about, what is happening with this situation?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Well just the very latest news is coming out, Rosemary is that the New Zealand Prime Minister has stepped in a -- in a way which looked quite unusual, she is not happy that the name of Louisa Akavi has been released at all, all to her colleagues who were all in the Red Cross. She says it would've been much better to have maintained the secrecy surrounding the abduction of these three because it would be safer for them.

Now, they were - they were abducted in part of 2013 at the town Idlib which is in Northwestern Syria and it's not too far away from Aleppo actually. They were stopped in road stop, they were in a convoy with the Red Cross and a total of seven people were taken by ISIS operatives. Four were released the next day. But Louisa and the two Syria nationals as you say Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes were held.

There have been limited sightings of Louisa Akavi since then, but nothing of the two Syria nationals. And the Red Cross which has been leading the search for them if you like, trying to get them back had up until today kept a very, very, tight veil of silence over the whole thing because the family have been told that if it was publicized that Louisa would be executed.

[02:40:08] But with the retreat of ISIS with the fall -- the downfall of the Caliphate, the Red Cross has decided that they're going to go public to try and get more information out there in the hope that somebody may be able to help and get her released. So, this is what the Red Cross had to say in New Zealand at the press conference a few hours ago.


NIAMH LAWLESS, NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS SECRETARY GENERAL: Our number one 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 as, you know, out of the public eye as possible. The ICRC has taken a lead and we've worked collectively to gather around -- when is there is no right or wrong time.

The assessment is made up with the fall of the Caliphate. That's the risk we really need to see by calling for action whether we can find out more information at this point.

STEVENS: Now since Louisa Akavi was abducted in 2013 there has been three credible sightings of her, they are including one proof of life video. The latest came in December of last year, Rosemary, she was seen in Azusa which is a town in the Iraqi border. And that was just months before the Caliphate finally did collapse, so there were two people who saw her independently, apparently, she has been working for ISIS in ISIS-controlled hospitals and medical facilities.

But at this stage, they are -- the Red Cross are going to detention camps where their former ISIS people being held with pictures of her hoping they can make some sort of connection but as a yet nothing.

CHURCH: Let's hope that all three can be found safely. Andrew Stevens. Thanks for bringing us up to date on that story appreciate it. We'll take a short break here. Still to come. Africa hasn't been a major part of President Trump's foreign policy but his daughter is there announcing some serious investments. What she hopes to achieve with her trip. We'll take a look at that when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:06] CHURCH: Well, President Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, landed in Ethiopia, Sunday, kicking off a trip to Africa. She says she is there to promote women in the workforce. Journalist Robyn Kriel has more on her tour from Addis Ababa.


ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first stop of Miss Trump's African women's empowerment tour began with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. She met with women employed in the coffee industry, one of Ethiopia's top foreign currency earners, and the country's number one exports to the United States.

Alongside, U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green, Ms. Trump presented one female-founded coffee company with a $260,000 business loan. She then, stopped by a female-led textile factory and spoke with entrepreneurs about the challenges they face when growing their businesses.

One of the main themes of this tour is to unpack the legal and cultural barriers many women around the world face in the workplace.

SARA ABERA, FOUNDER, MUYA ETHIOPIA: I think it means a lot. We know it have been a long way, of course, we have been working hard. The Ethiopian art design and myself, have been struggling for the past 30 years, hoping this day will come one day. It's happened today. I'm so happy.

And especially, for our artisan, they have a lot to offer for the international market. They have a lot of hidden knowledge that will be an inspiration for the other fashion designers worldwide, I hope.

KRIEL: While Ms. Trump's African tour might seem in stark contrast to her father's isolationist American first policies, and his supposed forts on African countries in general, if you argue that having an ally such as the president's daughter in the White House could be a bad thing for Ethiopia. The country is in the midst of a historic democratic transition, but desperately needs allies with influence, and perhaps, more importantly, capital.

On Monday. Ms. Trump is due to meet with some of Ethiopia's most famous female leaders, including the only female president on the African continent Sahle-Work Zewde. Robyn Kriel, CNN, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


CHURCH: It is finally back after almost two years. Game of Thrones has returned to HBO, and we will have a recap of the long-awaited season premiere.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look forward to seeing this one. (END VIDEO CLIP)


[02:51:30] CHURCH: Yes, the long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones has arrived. HBO aired the first episode just a few hours ago after an almost two-year hiatus. And this spoiler alert before we move on for all our viewers. This is a scene from the season premiere.


KIT HARINGTON, ACTOR: Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, my sister, Sansa Stark the Lady of Winterfell.

EMILIA CLARKE, ACTRESS: Thank you for inviting us into your home, Lady Stark. The North is as beautiful as your brother claimed, as are you.


CHURCH: Now, OK. So, that was an opening scene from the episode, Winterfell. As you just saw, a few major characters have finally met face to face for the first time. And we do want to mention HBO and CNN share a parent company Warner Media.

So, for a look at the season 8 premiere, I'm joined by Erik Voss. He is a comedian and the YouTube host of New Rockstars and is with us via Skype from Los Angeles. Good to see you.

ERIK VOSS, YOUTUBE HOST, NEW ROCKSTARS (via Skype): Good to see you. Thank you for having me on.

CHURCH: All right. So, I must repeat again for anyone out there who may have just joined us. A spoiler alert, for all those viewers trying to catch up on Game of Thrones' episode.

VOSS: Yes.

CHURCH: So Eric, was the wait worth it? Can this final-season live up to all the hype?

VOSS: I don't know if that's possible because, you know, every nerd out there has their own opinion and their own dream scenario for how they want this series to end. But so far, it seems so good. This whole opening episode has been really fun to break down. That was worth to going even more in-depth than our (INAUDIBLE) weekly podcast and our breakdowns on our YouTube channel. So that we can see how all the little ways that this episode connected to the opening series episode all the way back in 2011.

CHURCH: All right, they're cool. So, what did the opening scene here reveal? And are you any closer to figuring out who might win the game of Thrones?

VOSS: Oh, I got it all figured out. But I'm not going to tell you yet. Because I don't want to spoil anything. I don't want to (INAUDIBLE).

CHURCH: No. We've done a spoiler alert, so what if we clear.

VOSS: We did. And thank you for doing that because you would be surprised how often people yell on this spoilers on YouTube. But, this opening scene reveal quite a bit of (INAUDIBLE) and drama between these characters.

And I love it because you can really analyze just by the expressions on people's faces what they're really masking. And despite their diplomacy and their best intentions on trying to make a good first impression. There is quite a bit of jealousy and readiness to stab each other in the back if that means to happen.

CHURCH: All right. Justice has been all throughout all of the -- for the seasons.

VOSS: Yes.

CHURCH: Now, of course, we have to point out, you don't know how this all ends up, right?

VOSS: No, of course.

CHURCH: You don't know any of this. So -- right. So, what should we be looking out for as we tried to figure out the winners and losers, and what surprises might be in store do you think?

VOSS: I think the characters who are playing the game most effectively are usually the ones who get rewarded at the end. The characters who seem to be caught off guard or making promises they probably shouldn't make might be in store for some -- you know, ugly surprises.

For example, Tyrion Lannister is kind of my pick to win it all. By the end, just because he always seems like the smartest person in the room. And then we saw in this episode that Sansa Stark said, "I thought you were the smartest person alive, but I thought it was wrong if you're trusting your sister to deliver the goods. That doesn't sound like a very smart person."

CHURCH: Right. So, you think Tyrion will be the one that takes the throne in the end?

[02:55:03] VOSS: I hope so. Just because he seems to have the best lines. He's the funniest character on the show. And I always want the funniest one to end up on top. You know, that --


CHURCH: He is a special favorite, isn't he? I mean, you don't -- you don't think there's any chance that they might give for alternative endings?

VOSS: I hope so. It sounds like they shot multiple Indians of this show. That's the only way they could keep the secrets from leaking out. They had to show, probably lots of different scenarios.

If Tyrion doesn't win, my hope just because I kind of have a nihilistic view to all these characters, is I hope that no one wins. You know, Daenerys said a couple of seasons back, she wants to break the wheel. And I kind of want to see that version of a scenario where maybe the Iron Throne doesn't exist in the final image of the show.

CHURCH: Oh, OK. That would be interesting. It just sort of spoil for a lot of people, I think. Erik Voss, thank you so much. We'll keep an eye on it.

VOSS: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. And I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.


HARINGTON: Where do I hold onto?

CLARKE: Whatever you can.