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At Least 41 People Killed in Aeroflot Crash Landing; Rocket Barrage and Israeli Strikes Intensify; U.S. Deploying Carrier and Bomber Task Force in Response to Iran Actions; Russia Clashing with the United States over Venezuela; Images Show North Korea Missile Launch as Pyongyang Tests Trump; Trump Renews Tariff Threat Ahead of China Trade Talks; Brunei: Death Penalty Won't Apply to Anti-Gay Law; Speculation Grows about Due Date of Royal Baby; Inside Britain's Elite School for Royal Nannies. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired May 6, 2019 - 00:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A Russian airplane crash lands in flames in Moscow, killing more than half the people on board.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A sudden announcement from the U.S. that it is sending a clear message to Iran, by deploying a Navy carrier and bombers to the Middle East.

ALLEN (voice-over): Also, stocks in Asia are taking a dive after a renewed terror threat to China from Donald Trump.

These stories all ahead, hello, everyone, thank you for joining us, I'm Natalie Allen.

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


VANIER: So we want to begin the hour in Russia, where a fiery plane crash has killed more than 41 people on board.

ALLEN: The Aeroflot passenger jet caught fire as it made a hard emergency landing at an airport near Moscow. Social media videos show what the scene looked like from inside the plane. This footage is difficult to watch.

VANIER (voice-over): The moment of the landing was also captured on camera. The plane bounced off the runway then came back down and burst into flames. Russian news agency Interfax reports that a lightning strike caused a communications failure, forcing the emergency landing. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the horrifying images coming out of Moscow, as videos seem to show that plane from Aeroflot Airlines as it's screeching down the runway after making an extremely hard emergency landing on Sunday.

It then seems to come to a stop and actually seems to go off the runway as it's further engulfed by the flames. There is video from inside the plane that shows that horrible moments as the plane seems to be screeching down the runway with flames outside of the window, very much seeming to engulf the plane from those shots as well.

People are very much in horror as the pilot tries to keep control of the aircraft. The information we are getting is that this plane took off from Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in the afternoon hours of Sunday and shortly after takeoff declared an emergency.

The pilots decided to return to the airport. Upon trying to land at the airport, it made a very hard landing, the plane bouncing into the air and coming down extremely hard. Then we see that billowing smoke and the flames coming from the aircraft as it is screeching down the runway.

The number of fatalities already confirmed in the instance -- the Russian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into what happened. Vladimir Putin has been informed and has offered condolences and also said the investigation will be as thorough as is possible -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Finland.


ALLEN: To talk about this with CNN safety analyst David Soucie from Denver, Colorado.

Thank you for being with us. We know these things are very challenging and difficult to delve into. But just from what we can see the plane appeared to bounce on the runway and then catch fire when it landed again.

What do you think what caused that?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: It looks to me that they are coming in pretty nose down. The aircraft had not flared. The aircraft was supposed to flare before it hits the runway. The nose wheel hits, if not at the same time as the main, possibly even before, causing the nose to bounce up again.

And you can see the pilot trying to force it back down. When it does, it hit so hard, that the landing gear were forced up into the wing, because you can see that, even though the nose of the aircraft once it burst into flames, the nose is intact and is sitting up but the rest of the aircraft is squatted down. And the engines are literally on the ground, which is probably what caused the fire.

And when the landing gear goes up, it goes into the fuel cells. And that would have caused that continually fueled and that black smoke from the jet fuel. ALLEN: The Russia news agency Interfax reported that a lightning strike perhaps caused a communications failure and forced an emergency landing. Apparently, the pilot's radioed that there was trouble but they did not say anything again. Apparently that's the initial information we are getting so --


ALLEN: -- if it was a lightning strike, how dangerous would that be to airplanes?

SOUCIE: Oddly enough, lightning strikes happen on aircraft quite often. It goes right through the aircraft and the aircraft are designed, every single piece of that aircraft, every electronic piece, every metal piece, is extremely well grounded to allow the energy from that lightning bolt to go right through it and to the ground, because the aircraft has no ground. That's what the lightning is looking for, to dissipate its energy into the ground.

The aircraft does not have that. So as long as it is well grounded, it should not cause problems whatsoever. But we don't even know about it when we are a passenger flying.

ALLEN: Indications are that the pilots did not land the plane until a good time after it took off and they indicated a problem.

Is that unusual?

SOUCIE: If they don't declare an immediate landing or an immediate return to base, which they didn't, they said they would like to return to base. But if they had declared an emergency, they would've rerouted all the traffic, the aircraft would have turned right around and landed.

That's not what happened. The aircraft continued to fly, as if they were trying to troubleshoot a problem, as you said. But in the reports that we are getting so far, the communication was spotty at best. It came in and out, so there definitely were some problems with communication.

And they may have just been precautious about how they came back to the airport, assuring everyone was off the runway and before they landed. So it was not a normal procedure but, at that time, it really was not that emergency. It wasn't something to be reacted to immediately, because it was just radios and communications. The flame did not start until after the aircraft hit the ground.

ALLEN: Many people that saw this plane land, saw what happened, it was devastating for people that were there about to board airplanes. We saw, David, some people just walked off from the front of that airplane after they went down the emergency chutes, literally just walking, holding their carryon luggage while others couldn't get out.

It's almost surreal, the normalcy in the front of that airplane as opposed to the loss of life in the back. SOUCIE: It's just horrible to think about this but the fact is, when you get off of an aircraft -- and everyone needs to remember this -- when you get off of that aircraft, you leave. You don't get your baggage or anything. You get out of there because that split second that you may take to do that may delay the person behind you from getting out.

And in this case, the flames were coming from the rear of the aircraft, so the smoke, the dark smoke, get on the ground. Get out of there and get out as quickly as you can. Because every second you waste trying to save your laptop or your personal belongings could cost a life. And in this case, it most certainly did.

ALLEN: We will continue to follow the investigation. David Soucie, thank you.

SOUCIE: Thank you, Natalie.

VANIER: Israel's prime minister says his country's, quote, "massive" attacks against terrorist elements in Gaza will continue. After militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces answered with airstrikes of their own.

ALLEN: The Palestinian ministry of health says 23 militants and civilians have died in Gaza since Saturday morning and Israel counts four people killed. Diplomats from Egypt and the United Nations continue to scramble to restore the fragile cease-fire before violence gets worse. For more, here's Oren Liebermann.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As we stand here in Ashkelon watching a second night of fighting between Israel and Gaza, no doubt this is the sharpest escalation, the most violent fighting we've seen between Israel and Gaza since the end of the 2014 war.

We've heard fighter jets throughout the evening, heard what sounded like massive airstrikes carried out by the fighter jets inside Gaza; at the same time, into this second evening, we get red alerts indicating outgoing rocket fire and mortar fire.

The fighting has continued. At this point, around midnight local time in Israel, more than 600 rockets and projectiles have been fired into Israel. Some smaller range rockets that target the Gaza periphery, others more powerful medium-range that have reached some of the major cities in Southern Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel has carried out a large wave of airstrikes, more than 300 targets struck inside of Gaza. And that started with smaller Hamas and Islamic Jihad military posts, escalated into larger, multi story buildings that Israel says were used as terrorist infrastructure, as well as tunnels underneath Gaza and then a targeted killing of a Gaza official, the first the Israeli military has carried out in many years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu --

[00:10:00] LIEBERMANN (voice-over): -- says the strikes for now will continue.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): This morning, I instructed the IDF to continue with massive strikes against terrorists in the Gaza Strip and I also instructed that forces around the Gaza Strip be stepped up with tank, artillery and infantry forces.

Hamas bears responsibility not only for its own attacks and actions but also for those of the Islamic Jihad, for which it pays a very high price.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): It's important to know that this round of fighting shattered what had been a relatively calm month, even before the Israeli elections, as Israel and Gaza worked towards some sort of long-term agreement being brokered by Egypt and the United Nations. That, at least for now, is on hold.

LIEBERMANN: Egypt and the U.N. are working on the background, mediating between all of the sides here, trying to get them to step back and get back to the cease-fire that had been in place. So far, those efforts to restore a cease-fire have been unsuccessful -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Ashkelon.


VANIER: The U.S. president is throwing his full support behind Israel. He tweeted, "Once again Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100 percent in its defense of its citizens."

ALLEN: Mr. Trump is also telling the people of Gaza that they need to end the violence and work towards peace, saying, quote, "Terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery."

More evidence North Korea just launched a ballistic missile. What we are learning from exclusive satellite images. We will have that ahead.

VANIER: Plus, the U.S. sending a message to Iran. What we know about bombers and warships being sent to the Middle East -- when we come back.





ALLEN: Welcome back.

The United States is sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East in response to what it says are troubling warnings from Iran. VANIER: The U.S. national security adviser John Bolton says the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln Strike Group as well as a bomber task force will be deployed. The U.S. official says this comes after threats to U.S. land and naval forces in the region.

Bolton says the U.S. is not seeking war with Iran but it is ready to respond to attacks against U.S. interests or allies.

CNN military analyst Col. Cedric Leighton is with us, he's a retired U.S. Air Force officer, former deputy director for training at the NSA.

How much firepower is this, that the U.S. is sending to the region?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it's at least 90 aircraft on board the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, including those with fixed wings and rotary wing aircraft, helicopters, plus the bomber task force is going to include anywhere from five to a half dozen or so bombers, perhaps even more.

It all depends on where they will be deployed and what other support aircraft will be in that group. But it is a very large military footprint, designed to send a message to Iran.

VANIER: So very significant deployment of military assets.

What did you first think when you saw this news, that all this is being sent to the Middle East?

LEIGHTON: At first I thought, here we go again. This is something that has been very common during my military career. We spent a lot of time in the Middle East. One of the things always we watched for was Iranian actions and reactions to what we were doing.

And one of the things we have to look out for, from a maritime perspective, is what Iran is planning to do in the Strait of Hormuz. That is one of the biggest oil trans-shipment links (ph) in the world and any attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz would cause the U.S. to get involved in some kind of military action, to prevent that from happening or to do some other measures that would clear that lane for further international commerce.

So that's what we are looking at. There are other possibilities. But my view on this was that this is something we have done before and it looks that there is, in the cycle of events that is going on in the Middle East, this is a time of escalation.

VANIER: Colonel, our sources say that there are threats against U.S. forces, be they land based or naval across the region.

How exposed are U.S. troops in this part of the world?

LEIGHTON: They can be very exposed. In the case of the Navy, they have major facilities in Bahrain, that's the headquarters of a fleet that's stationed in the Persian Gulf. That's 5th Fleet. On land, we have both Army and Air Force assets as well as Marine assets. These are concentrated in places like Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. So these are the kinds of thing that we are looking to protect. The forces are potentially at risk in all of these locations.

Plus, we have the deployed troops in Iraq and Syria and those are also areas of possible contention with Iran.

VANIER: John Bolton made it very clear they are not just trying to deter Iran, they're also trying to deter Iranian proxies across the region, of which there are many.

LEIGHTON: That's true and, in fact, we are looking at entities like Hezbollah, for one; also the Iranian sponsored militias in Iraq. Those all fall under the possible moniker of Iranian proxy groups. So there's a wide variety of potential flashpoints we could find ourselves involved in. And they could involve groups that we don't hear about often but also involve groups that we are familiar with.

VANIER: Col. Cedric Leighton, thank you very much. We found out about this only a short while ago so there still is a lot to find out about this. Thank you very much.


ALLEN: The volatile situation in Venezuela was not calmed by remarks from top officials of the United States and Russia on Sunday.

VANIER: Statements from America's secretary of state and Russia's foreign minister were at odds with each other. The U.S. has refused to rule out military involvement in Venezuela as an option. It supports opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's leader.

Russia, which backs embattled president Nicolas Maduro, warned the U.S. to stay out of it.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We call on all the Americans and all those who support them to cancel irresponsible plans, according to the international legislation, as President Putin said a couple of days ago in a phone conversation with President Trump.

MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I'll tell him the same thing the president told the world, that every country must get out, including the Russians. That's what we'll tell them. We don't want anyone messing around with Venezuela. We want them to be an autonomous, independent, sovereign state, democratic elected officials. This is what we desire for the Venezuelan people.

ALLEN (voice-over): A prayer vigil was held in Caracas on Sunday to honor those who have been killed in the ongoing protests against President Maduro. Roman Catholic priests in white robes led the vigil as some waved Venezuelan flags and shouted "Freedom." (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: It looks like North Korea carried out a new ballistic missile launch and CNN has exclusive images to prove it. This satellite image was provided by Planet Labs and the Middlebury Institute. Analysts say it likely shows smoke from a short range ballistic missile in Eastern North Korea.

VANIER: This comes out after the country's state media reported a strike drill on Saturday. They say leader Kim Jong-un oversaw a long- range rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons. The top U.S. diplomat spoke about the tests on Sunday.


POMPEO: So, we know a couple of things. One, at no point was there any ever any international boundary crossed. That is, they landed in the water east of North Korea and didn't present a threat to the United States or to South Korea or Japan.

And we know that they were relatively short range. And beyond that we know they weren't intercontinental ballistic missiles, either. And beyond that, I'll leave the Department of Defense to characterize this when the further information arrives.

We still believe that there is an opportunity to get a negotiated outcome where we get fully verified denuclearization. Chairman Kim has repeated that. He's repeated that quite recently, in fact.

So we hope that this act that he took over the weekend won't get in the way. We want to get back at the table. We want to continue to have these conversations.


ALLEN: Let's bring in our Paula Hancocks, who is following the details from Seoul, South Korea.

Here we go again. Kim Jong-un, after a long pause, has decided to launch more rockets.

What can you tell us?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, what we heard from the South Korean defense ministry on Sunday is that they believe that the tactical guided weapons systems that North Korea had tried out and tested was, in fact, a new model.

So it appears, at least according to the South Korean joint chiefs of staff, that they are testing new capabilities. So it's not just necessarily a message to the United States or a message to the world that they are able to keep testing but also it would suggest that they are trying to move the program forward.

We have heard from the U.S. secretary of state a fairly positive, muted reaction from the Trump administration. Many experts saying that this was a message to the U.S. president. It is clear that this is Kim Jong-un showing his frustration, first of, the fact that the Hanoi summit ended without agreement and secondly that negotiators are not moving forward.

Kim Jong-un has said himself that he wants the U.S. to change their attitudes. He gave the timeline of before the end of the year or the talks were off. But this is being interpreted as a nudge to the Trump administration that something needs to change although not too much of a nudge that could backfire on North Korea.

ALLEN: What is the reaction there that the United States president, it seems, no matter, continues to indicate to Kim Jong-un, look, I'm standing with you, we are friends, we are going to work this out?

Still, the positivity, although, it doesn't seem like anything is being worked out.

HANCOCKS: It's very interesting, the South Korean reaction. I must point out it came before the U.S. president's positive reaction, saying he was with Kim Jong-un.

We heard from the presidential Blue House on Saturday and they said they were very concerned that what North Korea did on Saturday morning local time actually went against a military agreement that the two Koreas had signed to in September of last year, when President Moon Jae-in --


HANCOCKS: -- was in Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-un. They both agreed that neither would do anything to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The Blue House said this goes against that and it's been calling for North Korea to come back to negotiations as soon as possible.

That's a stronger reaction than we heard from the U.S. president or his secretary of state and that's quite unusual to hear a more condemning message from the South Korean side. We have not heard anything from the South Korean side since the U.S. president's reaction, although it is a public holiday here in Korea this Monday.

But there is a concern among many analysts that this could signal potentially more tests to come, that this may not be just a one-off message for the United States.

ALLEN: All right, Paula Hancocks with the latest, thank you.

VANIER: U.S. president Trump makes a billion-dollar threat and the markets do not like it. Coming up, the possible outcomes of a face off with China.



(MUSIC PLAYING) ALLEN: Hello, welcome back. We appreciate you saying with us. I'm

Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's go through our headlines.


[00:30:14] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. Is deploying warship to the Middle East because of what it says are troubling warnings from Iran. The U.S. is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force. The announcement came from national security adviser John Bolton, who adds the U.S. doesn't want war but is prepared to respond to any attack.

ALLEN: President Trump is once again tweeting about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This time, he reversed course, saying Mueller should not testify before Congress about the Russian investigation he spearheaded. Mr. Trump says, quote, "No redos for the Democrats." But on Friday he said the attorney general should be making that decision.

VAUSE: And Donald Trump is threatening to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods by Friday. And he tweeted Sunday that trade talks between Washington and Beijing are moving too slowly.

ALLEN: Yes, Asian markets are tumbling right now, in the wake of the president's remarks, and U.S. futures are tanking, as well. The Dow is down, as you can see, 2.02 percent; NASDAQ down as well, some 2.30 percent; and the S&P 500 is down about the same.

VAUSE: CNN's Steven Jiang is following reaction from Beijing on all of this -- Steven.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Yes, Cyril, you know, so far there has been no official reaction to this latest development from the Chinese government, and actually, the Chinese state media has not even reported this story. And even on social media, we have seen censors actually delete many posts on this topic.

So, just to show you how sensitive the government probably feels towards this issue, and how taken aback they are by this latest pair of tweets from Mr. Trump.

Now, remember, as recently as last week, when U.S. trade negotiators were in town, both sides were still publicly, at least, citing substantial progress being made and how the talks had been productive. And Vice Premier Liu He of China, the top negotiator from the Chinese side, he was supposed to go to D.C. this week to start the next round of talks starting on Wednesday.

But now, of course, that trip is very much in doubt, with "The Wall Street Journal" reporting that the Chinese government is seriously considering canceling that trip.

Now, that, of course, would not be surprising if you ask analysts, because the Chinese have long said they would not negotiate with a gun pointed to its head. They would not negotiate under threat. And the latest pair of tweets from Mr. Trump is probably perceived exactly as that.

Also, remember, last year when Mr. Liu was supposed to head to D.C. for a round of talks, Mr. Trump surprisingly imposed new tariffs on Chinese imports. That trip was cut off, and trade talks would not resume until the two leaders, Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi, met in Argentina in December to have some sort of ceasefire -- Cyril.

VANIER: Remind us where we were in the negotiations just before these new tariff increases, or threats of tariff increases by Mr. Trump.

JIANG: That's right. As I mentioned, they were saying they were making substantial progress on a number of sticking points, but of course, sticking point remained, including, for example, what the enforcement mechanisms. Because remember, a lot of the pledges the Chinese had made before, when it comes to intellectual property protection, when it comes to giving U.S. firms more market actress, but only to fail to follow through.

So from the U.S. perspective, they really want to see, at this time, different. They want to have them enforce and have mechanisms to -- to have measures to be taken against the Chinese. That's why we were told, for example, the U.S. want to keep the existing tariffs until they can see real progress made by the Chinese, or they want to -- the U.S. have unilateral ability to impose new tariffs if the Chinese is seen -- if the Chinese are seen to fail to comply with the new measures.

So, I think these are, of course, measures that will be very difficult for Chinese officials to swallow, especially under a strong leader, President Xi Jinping. I think these were the sticking points, but they were trying to resolve them in this originally scheduled next round of talks in Washington, starting on Wednesday, with a lot of hints, even from Mr. Trump himself, that this would be the last round of talks before the two leaders could sign a final agreement. That, of course, is very much in doubt now with the latest tweets from Mr. Trump -- Cyril.

VANIER: Yes. That appears to be in jeopardy. Will those talks happen on Wednesday or not? We don't know at this hour. Steven Jiang reporting live from Beijing, thank you so much.

ALLEN: Well, the sultan of Brunei says the death penalty will no longer apply to a new law aiming to punish homosexuality and adultery.

[00:35:02] VANIER: In a message published Sunday, the sultan said it was important for the country to uphold international commitments on human rights. The law and its penalty went into effect in April, and they drew an immediate international backlash, with several celebrities calling for a boycott of Brunei-owned hotels.

ALLEN: CNN's Will Ripley joins us live from Bangkok with more on this story. Perhaps, Will, international outrage had an impact. What more can you tell us about the announcement? WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly had an

impact in terms of the image of Brunei amongst many developed nations, that looked at this interpretation of Sharia law as brutal, inhumane, cruel treatment of citizens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, citizens who could face stoning to death for acting upon their sexual orientation.

I mean, it was just -- it was appalling to people, and that's what you had George Clooney and Elton John leading a boycott of the hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

So perhaps the impact, not only in terms of image but also financial, regardless of whatever the final breaking point was, the sultan apparently bowing to international pressure, saying that the law does remain in effect but insisting that Brunei will continue its, essentially, de facto moratorium on executions. They haven't executed anybody in the country since the 1990s. And the sultan making it very clear that that moratorium would continuous, that this new Sharia law that could punish sodomy and adultery with stoning to death; it could publish [SIC] theft with amputation; it could publish any sort of gay sex act, you know, with up to ten years in prison, saying that, at least in terms of the death penalty, it won't be enforced.

However, the law does remain in effect, the law that many have accused of being draconian. And so therefore, for a lot of human rights activists, this simply isn't far enough for Brunei. They could decide at some point to, you know, reinstate the death penalty if the government decides to do so.

So a lot of activists are responding to this, saying that it's an encouraging step that, at least in the short term, LGBTI people in Brunei will not be stoned to death for living their lives; but they could still be imprisoned for a very long time and face other punishments that much of the developed world considers inhumane.

ALLEN: Absolutely. Even saying the word "stoned to death" is absolutely chilling, especially here in 2019. Perhaps a step forward. A story we'll continue to watch, of course, very closely, Will Ripley. Thank you, Will.

Well, it could happen at any time. You know what we're talking about, Cyril. No telling when the latest royal baby watch will be over.

VANIER: I cannot wait.

ALLEN: I can't either. But some betting houses in Britain believe it may have already happened! We'll have that for you -- so hang on, Cyril -- in just a moment.


[00:40:04] ALLEN: All right, time to talk about it.

VANIER: All right, go ahead. Go ahead.

ALLEN: All bets are off. Some British bookies have stopped taking wagers on the new royal baby's due date.

VANIER: And that is because there is growing speculation that the Duchess of Sussex -- wait for it -- already gave birth. The betting houses could also stop wagers on the name and gender of the baby, after a flurry of people predicted that it will be a girl named Ivy.

ALLEN: I saw that on Instagram. I'm like, how do they know? We don't know yet, whether Ivy or whatever the baby --

VANIER: It was Diana last time I checked.

ALLEN: -- has -- or Diana's a -- we don't know if the baby's been born or on the way. But regardless, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be in the market for a royal nanny, and not just anybody, as you can imagine can take the job.

CNN's Anna Stewart goes into that part of the story.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):: It looks like a scene from a period drama, but these are 21st Century nannies in training.

Norland College has been providing nannies to the rich and famous for over 100 years. Norlander Maria Borrallo is never far from her three little royal charges, easily spotted in her iconic brown uniform.

A Norland nanny is something of a status symbol, and there aren't nearly enough to meet demand. There are seven client requests for every graduate, who earn around $65,000 a year, although it can be significantly more.

The four-year training course goes far beyond childcare.

DR. JANET ROSE, PRINCIPAL, NORLAND COLLEGE: They do skid pan driving. So this isn't to try and escape paparazzi. This is about trying to help our students to drive under, perhaps, more challenging circumstances. And also, of course, the military intelligence officers coming in to give them some cyber and personal security, for example.

STEWART (on camera): So you're churning out James Bond, Mary Poppins?

ROSE: Some people have put it like that. We want to make sure that our graduates are set apart, that they are unique.

STEWART (voice-over): Charles is in his third year of the four-year course. He'll be one of an elite few. Norland's first male nannies only graduated last year.

(on camera): What sort of family are you hoping to work for when you leave here?

CHARLES LANZANI, STUDENT, NORLAND COLLEGE: One that makes me part of their family. I'm not for being just an employee. STEWART: Working in the public eye, is that something that would

worry you, or do you think you'd be OK working in that kind of environment?

LANZANI: I think I'd be OK working in that environment. And also, being a male nanny, I feel like I'm already going to face sort of that press and high-profile demand.

STEWART: Charles, it's starting to rain, and I'm worried about our baby. I think we should head in.

(voice-over): Norland students do placements in schools, nurseries and hospitals, but they're also tested on virtual babies.

(on camera): Right now, we're doing a bit of practical work.


STEWART: I'm told there is a risk at this baby, my child, Emily, might start crying.


STEWART: What are the main reasons this could happen?

BARROW: It's either a nappy, a bottle, a winding or just a cuddle.

STEWART: And if I fail to fix it?

BARROWS: They'll just cry.

STEWART: You fed her?

CHARITY SCHOFIELD, STUDENT, NORLAND COLLEGE: I fed her. I could try doing her nappy again.

STEWART: OK. Well, just before you do, tell me why you decided to come to Norland, other than this.

SCHOFIELD: The appeal is definitely what their training had to offer. It's so widespread, and it covers such a variety of different skills.

STEWART (voice-over): In a couple of years, these nannies will be looking after real children, possibly high-profile or even royal ones.

Anna Stewart, CNN, Bath.


VANIER: Who was crying?

ALLEN: I don't know.

VANIER: They're plastic babies!

ALLEN: Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. WORLD SPORT is up next. We'll be back at the top of the hour with more news.


[00:45:25] (WORLD SPORT)