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Rockets Fired from Gaza, Israel Responds with Airstrikes; North Korea Test Fires Short-Range Projectiles; Juan Guaido Urges Military to Abandon Maduro; Pelosi to Democrats: Stay in the Center; Thai King Grants Titles to Royal Court; Country House Wins Kentucky Derby. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired May 5, 2019 - 05:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tensions flare in the Middle East, as you can see why right there. Israel retaliates after hundreds of rockets are fired from Gaza. We'll go live on the Israel- Gaza border for the latest.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, Kim Jong-un has an front row seat at North Korea's latest round of weapons testing. Why U.S. president Trump says he supports their relationship.

ALLEN (voice-over): We'll continue to delve into the controversy at the Kentucky Derby. A historic disqualification leads to a new winner.

HOWELL (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: On the U.S. East Coast, tensions are playing out on two fronts on this day on the Korean Peninsula and also in the Middle East. First, the situation that's playing out in North Korea. New weapons testing has put improved ties with the U.S. in jeopardy. South Korea is urging its neighbor to stand down this as the U.S. president Donald Trump seeks to affirm the relationship, saying that he is with Kim Jong-un.

ALLEN: On another front, there's also been a massive flareup of violence between Israel and Gaza militants. They've been trading fire, with deaths reported on both sides. The White House says the president's son-in-law is working on a peace plan. But many fear that Jared Kushner's approach won't be enough.

Let's begin with Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu is holding his weekly cabinet meeting amid the escalating violence there.

A hospital in Israel reports an Israeli man was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an Israeli city. Israel's military says more than 400 rockets have been fired from Gaza in the most recent hostilities.

ALLEN: In retaliation, Israeli airstrikes hit hundreds of targets in Gaza. Palestinian authorities say at least four people died.

HOWELL: Let's go live to our Oren Liebermann, following it all near the Gaza border.

What more do we know about what's behind these attacks?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George and Natalie, over the course of the last hour, we have seen sporadic shooting, certainly nothing like what we've seen over the past 24 hours, from Saturday morning into the evening and overnight hours where, if you stood here for simply 10 or 15 minutes, you would see rocket fire coming from Gaza or an Israeli airstrike or an interception from Israel's Iron Dome.

Let me step out of the way. We're going to go in and show you the border. In the course of the past hour, there has been a red alert indicating outgoing rocket fire. There has also been word of a strike on what they say is a weapons warehouse by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Over the course of the past 24 hours, since this started about 10 o'clock yesterday morning, Israel says there were more than 430 rockets shot into Israel. Some short-range rockets but also more powerful rockets that have reached major cities in southern Israel, indicating an escalation on the part of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militant factions inside of Gaza.

One of the rockets killed an Israeli near his house. That is the first Israeli killed by Gaza rocket fire since the end of the 2014 war and it must be noted, the second overall as well. An Israeli man was killed in Ashkelon in November by rocket fire.

Meanwhile, Israel has carried out a wave of airstrikes, including tank fire and artillery fire against more than 200 targets inside Gaza. That continues. The Palestinian ministry of health says six Gazans have been killed, including a 1-year-old baby girl and her pregnant mother.

Israel denies it was their airstrikes that caused those deaths, saying it was a malfunction or misfire of a Hamas rocket. As for prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he spoke just a short time ago, saying the massive attack on targets will continue until a situation of calm can be restored along the border.

Meanwhile, Israel's forces have been beefed up. There's been an addition of tank, artillery and infantry along the border. George, Natalie, we've been here most of the past 24 hours and we will continue to be here to see how this situation --


LIEBERMANN: -- develops. HOWELL: Oren, the prime minister pointing out that, in defense, reaction, of course, will continue as need be.

Give a sense of timeline here. You've seen this sort of thing play out before. It's unclear what would lead to de-escalation.

From what we've seen before, how long could it take before we see some sense of calm, before we see sides coming together, some stand down?

LIEBERMANN: Well, we know the efforts for de-escalation are happening on the part of Egypt and the United Nations. They have stepped in in the past to make sure there's a de-escalation and stepping back. The U.N. putting out a statement that they're working with Egypt trying to bring all sides together to restore a cease-fire.

So far the efforts have not yet proven successful. Generally the flare-ups last 24 to 48 hours before there is return to a cease-fire.

Will that happen again?

That's impossible to say. We will see over the course of the next hours what direction that appears to be moving.

This all started after weeks of relative calm between Israel and Gaza going back to early April. On Friday afternoon, Israel says during the course of weekly Gaza protests a sniper hit two Israeli soldiers on the border.

Israel responded by striking Hamas military posts. That strike killed two members of Hamas's military wing. That led into Saturday. The escalation we saw all through Saturday brings us to where we are now, seeing which direction this goes.

HOWELL: Near the Israel-Gaza border, Oren Liebermann, we'll see how that plays out.

ALLEN: Our other top story comes from North Korea. Months after a failed summit, the leader may be trying to send a message to the U.S. State media report Kim Jong-un personally oversaw this weapons test on Saturday. They say long range rocket launchers were tested along with tactical guided weapons.

HOWELL: South Korean officials are downplaying that part. They say the projectiles were only short range and crashed into the sea. Still, North Korea is treating this as a victory. Here's how the tests were announced on state TV.


RI CHUN HEE, NORTH KOREAN ANCHOR (through translator): Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers Party of Korea, guided the strength drill of defense units in the forefront area and on the Eastern front which took place in the East Sea of Korea. Watching the drill together with him were cadres of the central committee of the Workers Party of Korea, including Kim Pyong-hae, O Su-yong, Ri Kim-tern (ph) and Cho Yong-won. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The U.S. special representative for North Korea is headed now to Tokyo. That's where the U.S., Japan and South Korea are working together to find out exactly what North Korea launched.

ALLEN: Meantime, as U.S. national security officials meet to figure out what to do, President Trump says he still has faith in North Korea's leader. We learn more about that from Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A stunning response from the White House, especially when you consider the way that President Trump had previously responded to provocations from North Korea.

Remember Little Rocket Man or "fire and fury, the likes of which the world had never seen," this is a much more subdued response from the White House.

Part of it is that the president wants to maintain a good personal working relationship with Kim Jong-un. He believes that, by charming him personally with the promise of economic prosperity for North Korea, he can sway Kim to abandon this generations-long quest to arm North Korea with nuclear weapons.

Some experts believe that is unlikely. Nevertheless, it's what the president is trying to do on Twitter, making a personal appeal to Kim Jong-un.

Trump writing this, quote, "Anything in this very interesting world is possible but I believe that Kim Jong-un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea and will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen."

Despite aggressive steps by Kim Jong-un, President Trump remaining optimistic that he could strike a deal to denuclearize North Korea, though we should pay attention to that portion of the tweet, where the president says that Kim Jong-un knows that he is with him.

It will be curious to see how some of the United States' allies in that region, Japan and South Korea, respond to that statement and also the parents of Otto Warmbier, that American that died, having been returned to the United States after having been held in captivity in North Korea for some time.

His parents have been very critical of President Trump's personal relationship with Kim Jong-un in the past -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


ALLEN: Let's take you live to Beijing. Andrew Stevens is there live.

First, let's talk about what exactly North Korea launched and the timing of it -- Andrew.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: According to the North Koreans, KCNA did confirm that the firings did take place. They talked about rocket launches. They talked about guided tactical systems.

Now we don't exactly know what these guided tactical systems are but what we do know is they fell into the East Japan Sea somewhere between 40 and 200 miles off the East Coast of North Korea, which technically makes them short range if you like.

Certainly experts in South Korea have been saying these clearly are short range missiles. We're waiting for confirmation on what they are considered. South Koreans are talking about projectiles. Missiles brings different connotations.

Trump made clear that one of the key successes of his negotiation with Kim Jong-un is there has not been a missile firing since late 2017. Now the North Koreans, for their part, imposed this moratorium on themselves. But they were talking about long range missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S.

The ones we look like we've seen this time around are short range. Nonetheless, Natalie, it still adds pressure on the president to do something now that Kim has made this missile launch.

ALLEN: The question is, Japan's response. South Korea, they can't be pleased about this. There's always what can China do to try to rein North Korea in.

STEVENS: Well, certainly South Koreans -- no one in the region is pleased about this latest action from North Korea. The South Koreans have had the strongest response, saying that there are serious concerns that the North Koreans are violating a treaty that was signed by the leaders of the two Koreas, aimed at de-escalating on the Korean Peninsula.

Serious concerns coming from the office of the president himself. The Japanese haven't said a lot. There is a lot of telephone diplomacy from Mike Pompeo and the foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan. They've agreed to take a prudent response to what's happening.

As for China, there hasn't been any response at all but China remains a key player in all this. It remains the power that keeps North Korea's lights on. It remains the power that keeps food going into this hermit state. At this point, no comment from China.

ALLEN: Andrew Stevens, thanks so much.

For more analysis, let's go to George.

HOWELL: Let's go to Robert Kelly. He's a professor of political science at Pusan National University joining us from South Korea.

Great to have you with us, Robert.

ROBERT KELLY, PUSAN UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.

HOWELL: So, Robert, given where things stand right now, the negotiations between the two countries stalled for the most part, United States and North Korea. Satellite imagery also suggesting nuclear activity continues in North Korea.

It seems to hinge on the relationship between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. Mr. Trump saying on Twitter that Kim, quote, "knows that I am with him" and that Kim, quote, "doesn't want to break his promise to the U.S. president"

The question is what is the plus-minus of this situation being so personal?

KELLY: I think that's very much a product of the president himself, that Donald Trump doesn't really care for the depth and bureaucratic effort necessary for a traditional peace treaty. When you think of Jimmy Carter and Camp David, it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.

I think the president just doesn't want to do it. He pinned his hopes very much on this relationship with Kim Jong-un. Many people in the analyst community are really skeptical about that. They've only met a couple of times. They don't share a language or something like that. They've only actually sat down and talked to each other alone for an hour or two.

It's hard to argue realistically like that's a meaningful friendship. But I think the president hangs on because he's hoping that he'll somehow guilt Kim Jong-un into not doing these kinds of things.

But that's a woeful misreading because Kim has a domestic audience and local elites he's got to appeal to. So the personal relationship probably won't be enough.

HOWELL: These launches we know do not appear to violate Kim Jong-un's promise not to test missiles. It seems now North Korea is saying to Washington, the ball is in your court.

How important is it now for the Trump administration to get the ball moving, to get continued talks and negotiations in play?

KELLY: Yes, I think the president really wants a deal, then he's going to have to think about what can he offer the North Koreans --


KELLY: -- in exchange for denuclearization. Sanctions relief is not enough. That's certainly made clear at Hanoi, right?

The North Koreans spent a lot of time developing these weapons, something like 50 years, and they're really great as regime security in an area where North Korea is basically by itself. It's a very loathed, detested state. So if you're North Korea, you want to keep these things unless you

get a really juicy package from the Americans and the president hasn't offered enough. It could happen. But Trump will have to offer more than sanctions relief, more aid and other things.

HOWELL: Robert, you write an interesting piece in about what many on the peninsula hope for, which is a unified Korea.

The question though, the divide among people about whether a unified Korea is better off keeping its nuclear weapons. If we could bring this quote up. I want to point this out to our viewers.

You say an here, "Old Korean proverb descriptions Korea is a "shrimp among whales." For a small state surrounded by larger ones, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, possibly stumbling their way into a major confrontation, holding onto nukes is not a bad idea."

Tell us more.

KELLY: Yes. The idea is after unification, this is a far-out right, decades in the future possibly, the idea is that Korea might actually want to keep nuclear weapons because if the Americans and Japanese and Chinese and Russians are going to stumble into a major cold war in this region, it looks like we're going in that direction if you listen to the rhetoric from the Trump administration, if you're Korea, you're stuck in the middle.

You don't want to get caught up in that if you can avoid it. So you might want to pursue like a Switzerland strategy, heavily armed neutralism, where basically you serve -- you stay strong and you avoid allying with anyone.

But that would take place after unification. One way to pursue that armed neutralism would be to retain nuclear weapons. I think a lot of people haven't thought of that. They just assume a unified Korea would give them up to China or the United States. But I think it's a possibility they will keep them, yes.

HOWELL: That is a divide between the right and the left in Korean -- South Korean politics. We'll stay in touch with you and obviously see what plays out with these latest tensions.

KELLY: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: Still ahead here, the heartbreaking breaking fallout from the violence in Venezuela.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): It's the news Jose Hernandez and his sister, Janet, never wanted to hear.


ALLEN: Lives are changed forever after this 14-year-old boy is fatally shot.

HOWELL: Plus, the most powerful woman in Washington has a plan to make sure the U.S. president does not get a second term. The question about that plan ahead. Stay with us.





HOWELL: Welcome back.

Venezuela's national assembly leader is renewing his push to oust the nation's sitting president, Nicolas Maduro.

ALLEN: On Saturday, Juan Guaido tried again to get the crucial support of the military. His supporters rallied at military bases, delivering letters to soldiers, urging them to defect but there was resistance, as you see here. One of the soldiers burned the letter. Here's how one protester responded.


MARIA MARTINEZ, GUAIDO SUPPORTER (through translator): We are not at war. We, simply Venezuelan citizens, are in civil rebellion, which is different, civil rebellion. All Venezuelans are here because we have the need to make our claims. We have a right.


HOWELL: This all came as Nicolas Maduro toured a military training base. He was rallying cadets who are loyal to him.

ALLEN: The rallies on Saturday were a followup to Juan Guaido's uprising attempt last week. At least five people died in the violent anti-government protests that we watched play out.

HOWELL: Among those who died, a 14-year-old boy who was shot. CNN's Rafael Romo spoke to his father and the paramedic who tried to save his life.


ROMO (voice-over): It's the news Jose Hernandez and his sister, Janet, never wanted to hear. Josef Hernandez (ph), Jose's son and Janet's nephew, died after being shot in the abdomen. The 14-year-old student was shot Wednesday during a violent anti-government demonstration in Caracas. His father says he wasn't far and heard the gunshots as well as the ambulance when they rushed his son to the hospital, not knowing the victim was his own son.

This is the moment when Green Cross paramedics take the seriously injured boy into the ambulance. FEDERICA DAVILA, GREEN CROSS PARAMEDIC: It was very noticeable when he, that he was dying at the moment.

ROMO (voice-over): Federica Davila, a medical student and Green Cross paramedic, said first responders tried to save the boy's life but he was bleeding profusely and was already losing consciousness.

ROMO: In what condition was this 14-year-old boy by the time you got him?

DAVILA: Well, when the team got him, he was conscious. And he said to the doctors that took him first, "I'm going to die."

Those were his last words.

ROMO (voice-over): Hernandez was one of five people who died during two days of protest that also left more than 230 injured, according to the United Nations. The U.N. also says that more than 40 people have died in violent demonstrations so far this year.

ROMO: Venezuela has seen several waves of deadly protests over the last few years; during an especially violent four-month period in 2017, more than 120 people died. Then as now, most of the victims were young people.

ROMO (voice-over): After years of clashes with security forces, some young protesters say the stalemate is beyond frustrating.

"They're tossing tear gas bombs at us and shooting against us," this protester says. "We're the ones putting our lives at risk for our country and some other people only come here to take selfies."

The Venezuelan ministry of defense declined comment about the deaths but President Nicolas Maduro has often referred to protesters in derogatory terms, suggesting they're nothing but "vandals."

DAVILA: You're not the same person after you see a 14-year-old kid die in front of you.

ROMO (voice-over): Beyond the political polarization, Federica Davila, the paramedic, says her heart breaks to see young people die, especially when she realizes parents like Jose Hernandez won't get to see their children grow into adults.

ROMO: If you had an opportunity to talk to his father, what would you like to tell him?

DAVILA: I would just like to hug him and say I'm so, so, so, really sorry, that we did the best we could. It was out of our hands.

ROMO (voice-over): Davila says she often wonders how many more young people she will see die in her role as a Green Cross paramedic before peace returns at last to Venezuela -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Caracas.


ALLEN: Our top stories are coming right up.





HOWELL: A warm welcome back to viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.



HOWELL: The most powerful Democrat in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has a plan to defeat the U.S. president in 2020.

ALLEN: In an interview with "The New York Times," she says the Democrats need to win next year's election by such a huge margin Mr. Trump can't possibly challenge the legitimacy of the victory.

So how will that work?

HOWELL: Pelosi says this, quote, "Do not get dragged into the protracted impeachment bid that will ultimately get crushed in the Republican-controlled Senate and do not risk alienating moderate voters who flocked to the party in 2018 by drifting too far to the left. Own the center left. Own the mainstream. Our passions were for health care, bigger paychecks, cleaner government and a simple message."

ALLEN: Speaking of the 2020 election, polls show former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the other Democratic contenders. He's got the big name recognition so far.

HOWELL: However, the crucial state of Iowa, that field is wide open. Our senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny has the story.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's good to be back in Hawkeye country. I'll tell you what, man, it's been a while.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are the far and away front-runners in the Democratic presidential race.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You want to win Iowa, you campaign in Iowa way.

ZELENY (voice-over): Iowa way means one thing for certain: front- runners can be fleeting. One voter after another sharing a similar sentiment. The 2020 race is as wide open as a country highway.

ZELENY: Do you think at this point there is a front-runner in the race nine months before the Iowa caucuses?

JANE CRANSTON, IOWA VOTER: No, I don't think there is. I think right now it's still wide open.

ZELENY (voice-over): Jane and Ed Cranston are following the Democratic primary far closer than most.

Often, the race comes right into their living room. Like when they hosted a visit from Julian Castro.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you all for coming and for this amazing turnout.

ZELENY: They intend to meet and take a measure of all candidates.

After Trump won in 2016, they formed a group with their Democratic friends to get ready.

J. CRANSTON: We called our group the Pot Luck Insurgency because it is an Iowa pot luck but we want it to be edgy, too.

ZELENY: They're in no hurry to pick a favorite, saying they want to watch the candidates grow and be tested.

J. CRANSTON: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. It is who can win and that is a hard thing to judge, especially so early. But that's what everybody is looking for.

ED CRANSTON, IOWA VOTER: It is critical. Bernie got a lot of people excited, so we still need that same excitement this next round.

ZELENY: When Biden visited Iowa this week, Ed was there listening closely and going in for a brief handshake.

E. CRANSTON: So it was good to touch the flesh. I'm impressed. I think he didn't disappoint.

ZELENY: Nine months before the Iowa caucus, the field of candidates now stands at 21, with a mix of old faces and new ones. That speaks to a critical question facing voters.

(on camera): What do you say to Democrats when it is time for some new blood?

SARA RILEY, IOWA DEMOCRAT: Well, new blood that would lose would really be horrible, wouldn't it?

I think Pete Buttigieg is wonderful. But Biden has so much more experience and I want a president who will be ready from day one.

ZELENY (voice-over): Yet not everyone sees a golden lining in experience.

Jen Kerrigan (ph) says he loves Joe Biden but doesn't believe she could vote for him.

JEN KERRIGAN (PH), IOWA VOTER: This is a terrible thing to say, but it is his age. And I know that's wrong, that is not politically correct to say that.

ZELENY: She actually likes Cory booker but is keeping an open mind and attended an organizing session this week for Elizabeth Warren.

Now Senator Elizabeth Warren has more paid staffers on the ground here in Iowa than any other campaign with about 50 or so. Cory Booker has about 3 dozen. Many other Democratic candidates are now just trying to catch up to build that critical organization here in Iowa.

Joe Biden can tell his Democratic rivals how important Iowa is. Of course, his two previous bids for the presidency never got beyond the Iowa caucuses -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Des Moines.


ALLEN: Yes, good old Iowa, the political center of the universe as this political season kicks off. Let's talk about it with Natasha Lindstaedt from Colchester, England, professor of government at the University of Essex.

Judging from our story, it seems it is anyone's game right now in Iowa.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: No, I would agree. It's really too hard to predict what's going to happen because we're just still so early on.


LINDSTAEDT: There's so many Democratic candidates that have thrown their hat into the ring. With Joe Biden, he is the clear front-runner at the moment. He has name recognition and experience and that's something that Democrats like.

The other thing that we have to look at in terms of what is motivating Democratic voters is top on their list is someone that can beat Trump. So it may be that Democrats think their best strategy is to go with someone who they know is more moderate, who is really experienced and really seems to be able to instigate Trump, to push Trump a little bit, to get under his skin.

And that's something Biden can do. But anything can happen. His early attempts at running for president didn't go very well. He tended to kind of go out very, very early, never getting past Iowa, as had been reported. So it's going to be a real test here if he can emerge on top after the Iowa caucuses.

ALLEN: Right. He literally moved into Iowa before but never really got things going beyond the state. We heard that Iowan, a Democrat we interviewed. She made the point, it's who can win. We were talking about beating Trump. She said that's a hard thing to judge, especially so early but that's what everyone is looking for.

So it does seem like it's all about beating Trump. Let's listen to what Biden said on the campaign trail about that in Iowa.


BIDEN: Above all else, we must defeat Donald Trump. Hillary's not running. I've decided to run this time, Jill and I, is because we have to restore the backbone of America. We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth.

This time we're rebuilding the middle class. I promise you, I promise you, we're bringing along everybody, no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, who they love, where they live, whether they have a disability. Not a joke. This is what America is about.


ALLEN: I misspoke; he's there in South Carolina, another state early on that will get lots of visits.

But the question is, how directly will Joe Biden take on Trump and how will that resonate?

LINDSTAEDT: I think he already made it clear with his initial video when he was announcing his campaign that he's taking on Trump directly and try to hit at his vulnerabilities talking about Charlottesville, going after him on a personal front, basically saying to the American public, he's not morally fit to be the U.S. president and the U.S. needs to take a U-turn back to morality.

He's not afraid to go after Trump and that's something some Democrats like. He has to focus on actual issues. He's not going to win the primaries, which are competitive and Democrats tend to vote more progressive and more liberal. If he can't appeal to these voters and energize the base by focusing on actual issues, he's going to have a difficult time.

ALLEN: Let's look at a recent poll. It definitely shows him out ahead. But, again, this is a huge field of candidates and everyone is trying to sort it out. There he is, Biden leading the pack, followed by Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg.

How do these others stake their claim as they try to push through toward Biden?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, a lot of it is because they don't have the name recognition or the experience that Biden has. So they're going to have to focus on other things that they have to offer.

You've seen Elizabeth Warren being very, very clear about what her plan for policies are in terms of education, college education, tuition issues, health care.

You see that Pete Buttigieg has been very successfully traveling around the country doing interviews. When he has engaged people in interviews, he's really made a positive impression because he is incredibly intelligent and articulate and able to articulate his views in ways that make sense to progressives.

We see other candidates trying to focus on what distinguishes them from one another. But at the end of the day they're going to have to appeal to both moderates and liberals because people are voting based on who they think is going to beat Trump.

And if you look at the way the U.S. breaks down in terms of moderate, liberal and conservative, 35 percent of Americans are conservative, 35 percent of Americans are moderate and 26 percent of Americans are liberal.

So in the initial thing that you had said about Nancy Pelosi and "The New York Times" article, her strategy of being moderate is because she knows the reality of the U.S. public at the moment, that --


LINDSTAEDT: -- there are still a lot of Americans that fall in the moderate category. Any candidates is going to have to appeal to both moderates and also energize the progressives.

ALLEN: We appreciate your insights. Thank you so much, Natasha.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: In Thailand a new chapter unfolds in the country's colorful history. It is the first coronation of a king in nearly 70 years.




ALLEN: Cheering throngs taking to the streets because, in Thailand, the three-day coronation of the king is approaching one of its most important events, a grand parade through the streets outside the royal palace.

HOWELL: It will be the moment when the public gets to see the king in person for the first time as he visits several important Buddhist temples.

ALLEN: The carefully planned route will take the king in a long loop through Bangkok. The procession will take several hours and it will take place in sweltering heat. HOWELL: Will Ripley is in Bangkok following all of this.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are waiting for the new king Maha Vajiralongkorn to begin this really extraordinary sight that we're about to see through the streets of Bangkok. He will be carried on a palanquin by a group of soldiers. He will be sitting on a throne, presumably a golden throne, maybe not rock solid but certainly gold enameled and very heavy for these soldiers, who'll be carrying him 7 kilometers through these streets outside the grand palace and around Bangkok over the next 4,5 hours or so, with temperatures close to --


RIPLEY: -- 100 degrees Fahrenheit, over 36 degrees. It's really hot out here. And you see these people. The crowds have grown. People are in their yellow shirts. Yellow is the auspicious color in support of the Thai monarchy.

They are sitting in front of the palace without umbrellas. They're waving their flags, waiting for the kind. The crowds are not as large as crowds that have been seen for previous events with the late king.

But keep in mind, this is a king who reigned for 70 years in this country, who became beloved and a lot of people here, when I was here in 2016 when he died, they said they felt a very personal connection with their late king.

With his son, they're still getting to know him. He doesn't spend a whole lot of time in Thailand. He was educated abroad. He lives in Germany. He spends a lot of his time in much, where he has a large residence there. He just announced this week, surprising a lot of people, his fourth marriage to Queen Suthida, who has been his companion for the last several years.

And so this is a king that people here don't necessarily know and yet they're out here to witness this national moment, this gilded spectacle, the kind of opulent celebration and coronation that we rarely see in modern times.

We did hear from the king in his own words when he gave his first official order yesterday.


MAHA VAJIRALONGKORN, KING OF THAILAND (through translator): I shall continue, preserve and build upon the royal legacy and shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the people forever.


RIPLEY: The king's role is to unite Thailand which is a country that has been extraordinarily divided. They have had 20 constitutions over the course of coup after coup. The last coup was in 2014. They held elections in March and in the next few days they'll release the result of the elections, which could further divide the country. So it's the role of the king to be this unifying figure and that's

part of why we've seen more of these opulent celebrations because it really is a way for him to project the legitimacy of his new position, having ascended to the throne in Thailand and to try to step into that role as a unifier during what could be a very politically divisive time.

HOWELL: At 4:47 pm there in Bangkok, we're seeing live images of people, witnessing this play out in the streets. Will Ripley on the story. Thank you.

ALLEN: We turn now to Pope Francis. He's in Bulgaria, kicking off a three-day visit in the Balkans. This is the pope at a welcoming ceremony outside the presidential palace. His mission is to improve relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

This is a sensitive task. The two church bodies don't get along and Catholics are only a tiny minority in those two countries.

HOWELL: While he's in Bulgaria, the pope will visit a refugee camp where he will meet with Orthodox leaders. Then he will travel to North Macedonia where he will visit the birthplace of Mother Teresa and focus on outreach to the poor.

All right. America's most famous horse race finished in controversial and spectacular fashion. Why this year's Derby was unlike any other in decades. We'll talk about it coming up.






HOWELL: So 145 years of history in the Kentucky Derby horse race in America. And for the second time the horse that crossed the finish line did not win.

ALLEN: We have Coy Wire here. He's been to the race many times.

This has never happened. You have to feel sorry for Maximum Security.


COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the jockey and owners and everyone who bet on that horse as well. But you have one man, one jockey and his horse, thinking they have just reached the pinnacle of their sport and then they are punched in the gut.

This is the crown jewel of the sport, the Kentucky Derby. Never had the winner been stripped of the win due to on-track violations, changing the result of the finish in the Derby. The pre-race favorite, Maximum Security, led the entire race.


WIRE (voice-over): You'll see here the rider is in the pink on the right. Pay attention how close he is to the rail. As they make the final turn, it doesn't look like much but you can see the horse drifts wide, farther from the rail. But nobody watching thought anything of it. Everyone thinking Maximum Security just won.

Jockey Luis Saez never placed higher than seventh there. Owners Gary and Mary West, 40 years in the sport, they had never won it. Trainer Jason Servis hadn't, either, but there was this objection.

Other riders claimed their path was (INAUDIBLE). The outcome of the race altered. The stewards, they watched this replay and determined, should they disqualify Maximum Security? It was an excruciating 22 minutes for riders and fans.

LUIS SAEZ, MAXIMUM SECURITY JOCKEY: Well, you know, the horse, he got scared when he started losing the ground. The ground was screaming and he's a baby, you know. He came over a little on that ground and right away, I stayed straight, you know.

FLAVIEN PRAT, COUNTRY HOUSE JOCKEY: Well, we had a pretty good trip and then, when I came around the turn, you know, I was outside. And then all of a sudden, there was a real move from the inside to the outside.


WIRE: So you had the 150,000 people there standing, waiting in the rain. Millions more watching on television. Millions of dollars of bets on the line and then the decision came. Listen to the reaction from fans waiting to cash in what they thought was a winning ticket.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't like it because I had 50 on the horse, 7 to win and I didn't really agree with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Random tip from a lady at Woodford Reserve. I did a Bourbon tour. And she said, "Oh, I like Country House, the 20 horse."

I said, "Why?"

She said, "Oh, a friend of mine's dad trains the horse and thinks they're going to run great in the Derby. Do a $2 win-place-show bet for me."

And I was like, all right, sure, I will.


WIRE: You have some people losing money, others ending up winning. Country House, 65:1 odds, becomes the second biggest long shot to ever win the Kentucky Derby. We're talking here nearly a $2 million purse for the eventual winner of this race.

ALLEN: Absolutely. And I've watched that --


ALLEN: -- as close as possible, George, I still can't see what happened.


ALLEN: You can't just leave the railing when you're --

WIRE: Yes, it was ever so slight.


WIRE: Yes. I kind of liken it to a football game, my former sport as an NFL player. If you watch this incredible touchdown but then you watch the replay and the guy actually stepped out of bounds, you're like, yes, it was an awesome play. But he did step out of bounds. Those are the rules.

But you're talking about millions of dollars changing hands. And to be able to be a first-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, your life changes forever. You become that Super Bowl MVP, that Tom Brady, the goal of your sport.

HOWELL: To have the winning ticket, to think you won and then you didn't win.

ALLEN: All those beautiful hats --

WIRE: That's right.

ALLEN: Thanks so much. We appreciate it.

WIRE: You're welcome.

ALLEN: One more before we go here. It's about black women making history in America's top beauty pageants. For the first time, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America have all crowned black women as their winners in the same year.

In the past, beauty pageants had completely barred women of color from participating. It's only been in the past 50 years black women have been more prevalent in the competitions although they still face discrimination. With this year's winners leading the way, beauty pageants perhaps on the way to reflecting America's diversity.

We'll end on that one. Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. For viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For viewers around the world, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is up ahead. Thanks for being with us. ALLEN: See you later.