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Myanmar Frees Journalist Jailed More Than 500 Days; U.S. Warships And Bombers Responding To Iran Warnings; U.N.: One Million Species In Danger of Becoming Extinct; Secretary of State: Ice Melt Is Good For Commerce; Experts: All Is Not Lost, Situation Can Be Reversed. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 7, 2019 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, free at last but why now. Myanmar releases two journalists after spending more than 500 days in jail for exposing the horrors of the Rohingya genocide.

Plus, the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East, a response the White House says to "troubling escalatory indications and warnings from Tehran. And hundreds of scientists released an exhaustive three-year-long study warning a million species are facing extinction. A senior Trump administration probably cheers on climate change saying melting sea-ice would be good for world trade.

We saw this breaking news out of Myanmar where two Reuters journalists jailed for more than 500 days and now free. The men walked out of prison outside Yangon just a short time ago. They had no explanation from the government. They were convicted in September of violating the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to seven years behind bars. The men spoke briefly with reporters outside the jail.


WA LONE, JOURNALIST: Inside in a prison and also around the world, people who are wishing to release us. So I want to say thank you very much for everything. I'm really happy (INAUDIBLE) my family and my colleagues. And I can't wait to go to my newsroom --


VAUSE: Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife George Clooney who served as counsel to the men says it has been an honor to represent the Reuters and the two journalists in this case. I hope that their release signals our new commitment to press freedom in Myanmar.

Ivan Watson has also been following this story. He's our Senior International Correspondent based in Hong Kong. So Ivan, you know, this last month the Supreme Court of Myanmar upheld their conviction. This almost seems like a lost cause despite all the international pressure which have been placed on you know, the (INAUDIBLE) as well as the military rulers at Myanmar.

So I guess the question has to be, do we have any idea now why they're released suddenly today?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A government spokesman has just confirmed to CNN that the two Pulitzer Prize- winning Reuters journalists were released as part of a presidential pardon. So every year the president does release large numbers of inmates from Myanmar's prisons. And in a separate presidential statement today, the President's office said that it released more than 6,500 prisoners.

So evidently these two Reuters journalists were part of that release. However, it seems to have caught some of the people who were negotiating for their release by surprise. That said, there were celebrations in the Reuters newsroom in Yangon, of course, from colleagues and families of these two reporters who spent more than 500 days behind bars.

And I'll read the following statement from the editor-in-chief of Reuters Stephen Adler. He says "we are enormously pleased that Myanmar has released our courageous reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Since their arrest 511 days ago, they've become symbols of the importance of press freedom around the world. We welcome their return.

Yes, their appeals to be -- to have their seven-year jail sentences overturned were struck down by the highest court in the land just last month. They also relieves -- received the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting last month, and perhaps that embarrassment contributed to the decision to set them free.

VAUSE: Just good into the background here because this was a stitch- up for these guys. The law which our challenger, it's a colonial-era law, the secret act, the Official Secrets Act hasn't ever really been used in a very, very long time. The police -- they met with the police and then suddenly they're arrested for this documentation which they received. I mean, tell us exactly what happened here why it was such a setup?

WATSON: They were arrested in December of 2017. They were meeting with a police source for a meal who handed them documents, Reuters says, and then they were quickly grabbed by the authorities and accused of basically being in possession of national state secrets that were sensitive to national security.

Reuters has been arguing that this was a setup and there was actually a police officer who testified to that saying it was and then ended up in jail for a year for saying that. Several months after their arrest, this groundbreaking investigation with their bylines on it came out in February of 2018 and what it alleged was that the military was involved in the massacre, the executions of ten Rohingya Muslims, and their burial in a mass grave and also the torching of a Rohingya Muslim part of a village while the Buddhist Rakhine part of the village was spared that. And Reuters and the defenders of these two journalists have been

alleging that the authorities in Myanmar were punishing these two journalists for unveiling this. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee Myanmar in the last two years to neighboring Bangladesh.

The Myanmar authorities, the military have denied accusations that they've conducted genocidal and ethnic cleansing policies which have been leveled by the United Nations no less, and the implication has been is that these two journalists were punished for their work in trying to unveil these atrocities. John?

[01:05:59] VAUSE: Ivan, thank you. Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson live for us there in Hong Kong. I appreciate it. Last hour, I spoke with Steven Butler, the Asia Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalist.


VAUSE: Stephen, did you have any indication ahead of time that these two reporters would be released?

STEVEN BUTLER, ASIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALIST: You know, there had been rumors and there -- and there was certainly hope that the government would take advantage of these mass releases to let them out of jail. So it's not entirely a surprise but obviously just very happy that they are free, that they are free to be with their families and they're going to be free to resume their work as journalists very shortly.

VAUSE: So explain to us how this works on this particular day of Myanmar. If they were, in fact, part of this general release, that's six thousand something prisoners who were set free, who would have made that decision?

BUTLER: Well, in theory, it's the president. But you have to do believe that in Myanmar, the military signed off on this. And I think that you know, of course, there's why they did that, and I think yes, the -- frankly the international pressure from press freedom groups, from governments. This is a terrible stain on Myanmar as long as these two journalists were in jail.

And frankly, it's a continuing stain the fact that they were held for 511 days on what you know, we believe are completely bogus charges.

VAUSE: You know, these two journalists were you know, doing what journalists are meant to do which made their jailing especially egregious. It also sent a message it seems to reporters in Myanmar, careful what you do, careful what you report. Have you seen evidence of that message has worked as it sort of tamed or calmed any critical reporting from within the country?

BUTLER: Yes. So far as we know, it certainly has frightened journalists away from reporting on what's going on in the Rakhine State. You know, it's also part of an effort by the military to whip up a nationalist fervor among the people in Myanmar and also the journalists you know, to support their visions of what should be happening there.

But yes, we -- I mean -- and I think the damage has been done. It's going to take a long time before people venture out and do this kind of reporting and take that kind of risk.

VAUSE: Yes. Steven, thank you for being with us. It's a good day at least now for their families and for these two guys that we just learned there out.

BUTLER: Yes -- no, we're very happy about this.

VAUSE: Right. Thank you. Good to see you. A U.S. Carrier Strike Group is steaming towards the Persian Gulf in a response to what the U.S. says are threats and warnings from Iran. The USS Abraham Lincoln was already in the Mediterranean. Now it's leading extra warships and bombers to the Middle East.

U.S. officials tell CNN there is specific and credible intelligence that Iran and its proxies are targeting U.S. forces in Syria, Iraq, air, and sea. Here's the U.S. Secretary of State speaking to reporters on Monday.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We have continued to see activity that leads us to believe that there's escalation that may be taking place. And so we're taking all the appropriate actions both from a security perspective and well as our ability to make sure that the President has a wide range of options in the event that something should actually take place.


VAUSE: Well, staying to this story a little longer, we head to Los Angeles and we're joined by the retired Army Major General Mark MacCarley. General, good to see you.


VAUSE: This announcement about the deployment of a Carrier Strike Group was made on a Sunday night by the National Security Advisor John Bolton. In that statement, he said it was intended to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests, all those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.

I tell you on Monday we actually heard from the Acting Secretary Defense calling on Iran to cease provocations saying he'd approve of this move ahead of time. When did National Security Advisors start announcing deployments of aircraft carrier strike groups in such unusual and aggressive language, and I thought these types of deployments were rarely announced in advance. What's going on here?

MACCARLEY: Well let me -- John, let me say two things when you dissect everything that's taken place in the last 48 hours. And I break it into two parts. The first one is we got a whole lot of posturing and blustering. I'll say that again, posturing and blustering.

And the second is what are the facts. So let's start with the facts. The facts are that we have a carrier task force, a strike group Abraham Lincoln accompanied by a cruiser and a couple of destroyers and it is going to the Persian Gulf.

[01:10: 19] Now is this of itself extraordinary? Absolutely not, because since the 80s and the tanker war we have had a carrier task force or strike group in the Persian Gulf or near the Persian Gulf almost every single day. And especially that was true for the Gulf War of 1991 and during the Iraq conflict, the height of the Iraq conflict from 2003 at the invasion all the way to current we've consistently had a group.

And as to the bomber task force that has been identified, there is nothing different about this bomber task force coming into the Middle East than what has happened over the last 20 years with the rotation of bomber task forces from the U.S. into Qatar at Air Base Al Udeid.

So what you have is the opportunity for the administration to make a statement based upon something that is essentially routine and making a statement for the purposes of gaining some sort of strategic advantage with the Iranians based upon on articulated threats.

VAUSE: I want to pick up on that point there because you know, the original request to redirect the carrier group, it came from General Kenneth McKenzie, the new head of United States Central Command. He'd see no intelligence indicating there was preparation for an attack somewhere on U.S. forces.

New York Times adds this. The carrier group was headed to the Persian Gulf in the coming weeks as part of a routine tour. But that General McKenzie's request hastened the deployment -- hasten the deployment from its current location in the East event. You know, it does sound like Bolton is hiding this big time.

MACCARLEY: I absolutely -- I absolutely agree with that. Once again, as I said, there's reality and then there are statements made.

VAUSE: But why?

MACCARLEY: So -- that's the what you would call the million dollar question of why because as you introduce this segment of your program, you talked about the existence of provocations, that there are credible threats from the Iranians, and you know, there has been no -- to use a fancy word, no clear articulation of what those threats happen to be.

The best that those of us who look at this can say without access to deep secrets resident in the Pentagon are to say we have the issue with Hamas and the launching of multiple artillery and rocket fire into Israel, you have the persistent activities of Hezbollah in Lebanon and in Syria, and you have the saber rattling on the part of the Iranians.

But as to a threat that says the Iranians are going to strike, and let's say strike shipping in the across the Strait of Hormuz or in the Persian Gulf, there's nothing that we have heard.

VAUSE: Yes. This is the thing. There's not a lot of hard evidence out there to back up any of these claims of you know, incredible significance which escalatory troubling indications of warnings. That means nothing. And it does indicate that in some ways that the U.S. is picking and choosing the threats that it wants to tackle.

MACCARLEY: Yes, I concur with everything that you said, John. But again, going back to my first statement, when you look at it, the U.S. has consistently had a carrier strike force in the Persian Gulf. No change.

VAUSE: And this is the thing about this deployment. It just seemed incredibly unusual for Bolton to put out this statement on a Sunday night undercutting the Acting Defense Secretary, putting this a man out there, and these are statements which are not usually made, and it just seems to be like you know, I don't know whether Bolton has gone rogue or whatever because there's tensions at the White House apparently between Trump and Bolton you know, over a number of issues and maybe this is just one of them.

But what does this do when we have an administration out there with one part of it making any sort of announcements and out of the ordinary and hyping what is essentially you know, routine exercises or military moves by central command?

MACCARLEY: Oh, my gosh. You know, this is a conversation we had on your program a couple of months ago and it really relates back to General Mattis' resignation. Because as the senior defense official in the administration, it's the Secretary of Defense's responsibility to make those deployment decisions. To see that the National Security Advisor has in fact gone over above and around the Secretary of Defense is really disquieting. It makes for a very uncomfortable situation.

[01:15:10] You can absolutely see how General Mattis decided, based on kind of similar facts, that it was time to go because decisions were made that were not necessarily based on best military advice, which is, in fact, the responsibility of the Pentagon and its leadership. So, here we go again.

VAUSE: Yes, round, what, 28, in all of this, General? Good to see you.

MACCARLEY: You got it.

VAUSE: Thanks for coming in. Appreciate it.

Next up here, on CNN NEWSROOM, call it a final on fire, the -- that's being sounded by scientists right now, a million species are facing extinction, and we are the ones who are the killers. Plus, the wait is over, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, moms and dads. A little later, we'll head to England for details of the newest addition to the royal family.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: Extinct species here, dead coral reef there, rainforests destroyed, a water system turned toxic, individually, it seems these environmental disasters passed practically unnoticed, barely even mentioned.

But it turns out, our way of life, our unrestrained consumption of everything and anything on this planet is reshaping the natural world at a scale and a pace, that an estimated 1 million species of plants and animals are now at the risk of extinction, a million, not a million living things, a million species of living things.

All of this is outlined in a new report from a U.N.-backed panel of scientists who spent three years to reach this big takeaway. We, humans, are currently on a killing spree the likes of which the planet has never seen. But this isn't just global mass murder, it's murder- suicide.


ROBERT WATSON, CHAIR, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PLATFORM ON BIODIVERSITY & ECOSYSTEM SERVICE: There is no doubt that this is certainly the most comprehensive report ever written with an incredible amount of detail. But at the same time, we should recognize the basic message is the same as what the science week community has been saying for more than 30 years.

Biodiversity is important in its own right, biodiversity is important for human well-being and we, humans, are destroying it.


VAUSE: Configure, destroying the biodiversity of the planet with ultimately lead to our own demise, who would have thought? Bill McGibbin is one of the most prominent environmentalist in the United States, he joins us now from Middlebury in Vermont. Mr. McGibbin, thank you so much for bring with us.

BILL MCKIBBEN, ENVIRONMENTALIST: It's good to be with you, John.

VAUSE: on the same day this report was released, we heard from the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, delivering a speech on arctic policy.

[01:20:05] Now, we know where, you know, the arctic were ice is melting at record levels with potentially catastrophic consequences, so now, we listen to Mike Pompeo.


POMPEO: Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade. This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West, by as much as 20 days.

Arctic sea lanes could come before -- could come to 21st century Suez and Panama canals.


VAUSE: Normally, the United States will be leading the world in trying to find a solution to a global crisis like this (INAUDIBLE) Pompeo and many others within the administration, essentially cheerleaders for climate change. And I know your report finishes on an important message, but, you know, can that happen, unless the White House is on board? Right now, this White House is not on board,

MCKIBBEN: Yes. No, I mean, that's the kind of idiot statement that if there's anyone around in 100 years, to be writing the history of this time, we all go look at it and just shake their head at it. It's pretty pathetic to think that someone would say, let's melt the biggest physical feature on the planet so we can get junk from China two weeks earlier in some boat.

VAUSE: Yes. There is this belief, especially on the Conservative side of politics, that a strong economy cannot be environmentally- friendly economy. Here are a few examples from the U.S. President back in 2012, he tweeted, the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non- competitive.

He followed later that year with, let's continue to destroy the competitiveness of our factories and manufacturing so we can fight mythical global warming. China is so happy.

You know, there will be a cost to reaching zero emissions, but critics of that already mentioned the cause of doing nothing. And from the Bank of England who put the price of in action somewhere between $4 trillion and $20 trillion.

A senior executive warned recently by message, very simple, climate change poses significant risks to the economy and to the financial system and while these risks may seem abstract and far away, they are in fact very real, fast approaching, and in need of action today.

You know, just the cost of two wildfires in California, which (INAUDIBLE) like climate change, was more than $19 billion. So for those who choose to ignore the signs, OK, how can they ignore the math, the numbers, the money?

MCKIBBEN: It's only people who are focused on the absolute short term next quarter profit, and those are people who own oil companies and coal companies. And the United States, those people control one of our political parties and kind of intimidated the other one.

That's what's happening here. This is the fossil fuel industry willing to break the planet in order to keep its business model a couple more decades. Mike Pompeo, who you quoted, took more money than any member of Congress, from the Koch brothers, our biggest oil and gas firms.

VAUSE: OK. What about the science here, of this report, because they look at the combined impact, of all the damage we've done and continue to do to the planet. You know, global warming is a part of it, it's a big part of it, but other factors are out there to light the destruction of natural habitats, as well as overfishing of the oceans. Let's listen in to one of the scientists at the (INAUDIBLE) study.


SANDRA DIAZ, CO-CHAIR ,GLOBAL ASSESSMENT: So, if you think of somebody having a really serious disease, which would be the symptoms which is most critical, which of the analysis from the lab will be the most worrying, actually, none, on its own.

All of the analysis together, composes a picture and the whole picture, the whole consistent picture, the way they interact with each other, is the bad news or the good news.


VAUSE: So one thing is, any solution here has to accompass the entire scope of looking at by diversity and we need to (INAUDIBLE) and just, you know, save our favorite species of giant panda, for example.

MCKIBBEN: Yes. Let's be clear here, this is not something that's going to happen in the future, this is something that's happening now. We've lost, literally, one-half of all the wild animals that were on this planet in 1970. The kind of species inferno into which we are entering, is one symptom of the great climate crisis that we're in, but it's also its own horror.

We can talk about all of the things it will do to humans and their economies to live in the world without biodiversity. We should also spare, at least, a passing thought where all the other creatures that were managing, wiped out, not because we don't know what to do.

We do know what to do, because we can't bring ourselves to stand up to them. Handful or very rich people were determined to keep us from doing those things.

VAUSE: I want to hear, again, you know, from the U.N. fighters who do this, this is their message of hope that we kind of started out on, before we go to Mike Pompeo, this is their message that not all is lost. We can still fix this. Here they are.


DR. ANNE LARIGAUDERIE, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, IPBES: Really, what we would like at the end of this report, is to really give the world a real message of hope.

[01:25:05] We don't want that people feel discouraged that there is no nothing that can be done, that we've lost the battle, because we have not lost the battle and you've given the chance, nature will reconquer its rights and will prevail.


VAUSE: Given a chance, you know, for years, of course, you know, think globally, act locally? It seems to way beyond that now. This is a crisis that can only be solved with a level of government action coordinated on a global level, if we're going to fix this, right? MCKIBBEN: We need a change in the zeitgeist. And what the scientists are giving us is a chance, a chance for people to reevaluate how we've been living and come together in numbers, large enough to make a change, possible. I don't know whether we can do that.

We began to see wonderful signs from the school strikes to the extinction rebellion, to the (INAUDIBLE) campaigns, all the other movement that's going on, but it's kind of increase faster because the message that the scientist keep sending us is, this is a time test, get it right soon, or you don't get it right.

VAUSE: What's the world we are leaving our kids?

MCKIBBEN: Well, we're going to be the first generations to leave a world that's substantially worse than the one we were given. That should shame us into action, if anything does.

VAUSE: Bill, thank you so much. We really appreciate you being with us.

Still to come, renewed trade tension between the United States and China, rattling some investors around the world, we're taking a look at how the markets have been performing, that's next.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause, with the headlines this hour. Myanmar has freed two Reuters journalists, jailed for their reporting on Rohingya massacre in 2017.

They spent more than 500 days behind bars for violating the Colonial Era Official Secrets Act. They were apparently released as part of a presidential pardon.

U.N. top scientists say about a million species are on track for extinction because of climate change and other factors. They say all this can actually be turned around but warned any delays or lack of commitment will force the destruction of the animal world as we know it.

U.S. warships and bombers are being sent to the Middle East after threats from Iran and its proxies, targeted at U.S. Forces. That's according to U.S. officials citing specific and credible intelligence. But we've been given no evidence of that. The White House announced on Sunday, a carrier strike group was headed there.

Well, a case of the jitters for investors around the world, brought on by renewed trade tensions between the United States and China. Dow Futures tumbled more than 200 points in the afterhours trading, Monday. And major stocks are mixed as investors wait the Trump administration's threats to escalate tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods by Friday.

[01:29:50] These two sides have been locked in tense negotiations since last year and now the U.S. is accusing China of reneging on some of its trade agreements. It's not clear how all this will impact trade talks which are set to resume on Wednesday.

For more now on these trade talks, which never end, global business executive Ryan Patel. Adam was a boy when they started. Ok. Ryan -- it's good to see you. Let's get back to this threat in China which sort of started all this.

This was the tweet threatening increased tariffs. It came out of nowhere. "For ten months, China has been paying tariffs to the U.S. of 25 percent on $50 billion of high tech and 10 percent on $200 billion of other goods." This is the bit, "These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10 percent will go up to 25 percent on Friday, $325 billion of additional goods sent to us by China -- or the U.S. rather, by Chine remain untaxed. But it will be shortly at a rate of 25 percent." Yada-yada-yada-yada- yada. The cost borne by China.

Ok. This is part of a familiar pattern from Donald Trump -- rattle the tariff sabre, you know, ramp it up, put the pressure on. Find an agreement. You know, wash, rinse, repeat.

It worked with Mexico, the 15th biggest economy in the world. Worked with Canada, the 10th biggest. China -- second biggest. And this isn't just about trade talks. Leaders in Beijing may not be too keen to be seen caving in to Trump.

RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Well listen, actually you have to actually give President Trump some credit for the last month and month a half, two months. He hasn't tweeted anything about the trade war. He has actually been fairly muted.

VAUSE: He's bored with it like everybody else.

PATEL: What was interesting over the weekend I kind of feel like he was kind of pushed internally to say -- I mean at this point with the Friday deadline coming up, right and the trade talks actually going sideways, he had to say something.

I think, also the second piece, where I felt he felt encouraged, is the GDP numbers and economy numbers and the unemployment numbers are actually pretty good as well. So he is feeling pretty good with his leverage at this point.

It is very interested to see the Chinese actually not responding just yet and still having the delegation to come on. So to me, I think the rhetoric has been fairly soft considering it's coming from President Trump. It could've been worse.

He typically goes all after him and I think, this is where I really believe that there is some kind of conversation to go forward. I mean will they get it done by Friday? I'm not sure but President Trump and the U.S. administration have pushed the deadline before. So that means, we are making some progress.

VAUSE: It's a self-imposed deadline which is completely internally movable. It's not a deadline. Here's how a spokesman from China's foreign ministry responded to the Trump threatening tweet. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GENG SHUANG, SPOKESMAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The pressing issue now is that we still hope the two sides would make concerted efforts. Meet each other halfway, and strive to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement on the basis of mutual respect.


VAUSE: How would you like to play poker with that guy? Not a glimmer of hint -- nothing. Nothing, nothing at all about what Chinese side may be talking about or the position they're taking in all of this.

PATEL: You know, I think they have learned from last year. This is not, you can't really go tit-for-tat and really kind of continue to fall into his games. Stay calm. Stay patient. Get to the end -- I mean I think they are close to the end deal.

China knows they need a deal. The U.S. needs another deal. This is not the time to play those kind of games anymore. And I think China realize that they really want to get something done not to play over social media or anything to that degree. Just come to the table and get it done and make it a win-win.

I think Trump, again -- that's why Trump I believe got to social media was because I think he needed to create some awareness and attention that kind of gave him some momentum, to show that he is not backing down.

VAUSE: I want to get back to that tweet by Donald Trump. He claimed these tariffs have helped the U.S. economy. According to the "New York Times" several recent studies have shown modest but growing damage to the United States economy from the trade war. One economist said tariffs have already reduced incomes to the United States by nearly $7 billion and that the total cost to the economy had been even larger because of price increases.

By the end of last year they estimate that tariffs were costing consumers and importers a total of nearly $4.5 billion a month. I mean $4.5 billion (INAUDIBLE) $23 million economy but it's a long way from helping. So where does Trump get this stuff from?

PATEL: I don't know. But you and I are paying for these taxes. It's not going to the U.S. I mean he said this multiple times and you know, we kind of laugh about it. But I've talked, if you see today, Google search social media. Small business owners are very, very vocal. They are the ones who are paying for this.

So for those who are listening, they are buying China goods, some of them because they have to. They are the ones paying for it and then who are they going to pass it down? To the consumers.

And by Friday, if the tariffs go up to 25 percent, you will be feeling it on all products and all goods. And it is the consumer, let me be clear, and the business owner that's paying for it. China is not paying for it. And I know we can joke about -- you know we all joke about what Trump is saying. But I want to make sure that the audience knows that that is who is paying for it.

It is not the other way around. And it will see effects to be able to see it. So I don't know where he's getting it from. I mean he feels good in saying it.

[01:35:05] VAUSE: Almost out of time. Well, we are out of time. But one more -- ring the bell, schools is in. Economics 101. Donald Trump again tweeting, you know, that losing $600 billion to $800 billion a year on trade. With China we love $500 billion. Sorry, not going to do that anymore.

How many times does to have to be explained to the President trade deficits aren't detrimental to (INAUDIBLE). It's a sign of a healthy economy, one that is spending money.

PATEL: Yes. Yu are buying more goods, consumers want to buy that stuff. There is no money to be lost at this point. They're not spending any money.

VAUSE: Ok. Good. Thank you -- Ryan. School is out. Bye.

Well, he was the personal lawyer and fixer to the most powerful man in the world but now Michael Cohen is a prison inmate. Locked up for lying to the man he said he would take a bullet for.

Michael Cohen began serving a three-year sentence at a medium security lockup in New York State. Cohen admitted to blind loyalty and covering up what he called Trump's dirty deeds. The President called him a rat. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax and campaign finance crimes.

Turkey's electoral commission has ordered new elections for the mayor of Istanbul. The main opposition party caused a huge upset, narrowly beating the candidate from the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The AKP Party has raised questions about possible voter fraud. Istanbul's newly elected mayor has hit back accusing the election board of bowing to the president's will.

Regardless, he says he will run again. The vote is expected late June or early July.

It has been a quarter of a century since South Africa left behind apartheid and took its first early steps towards democracy with the historic election of Nelson Mandela as president.

But the enthusiasm and optimism of those heady days seems a distant memory. More than anything these days, many voters seem disheartened. And Mandela's once all-powerful African national congress is losing support and with that its hold on power.

CNN's David McKenzie reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maki Mathebula says she never depended on anyone to survive except herself. She makes and sells atcha (ph) a kind of mango pickle. All along their street, parties in politicians are vying for the Mathebula family vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who are in charge now, they are just making things worst.

MAKI MATHEBULA, SOUTH AFRICAN RESIDENT: The politicians, they get rich. Us, we get poorer. There's nothing to it for help us.

MCKENZIE: Nelson Mandela represented the possibilities of a free South Africa. Voting lines stretched for blocks in 1994. The first democratic elections held the promise of a better future.

Now, millions are born free. South Africans after the apartheid regime ended haven't even registered to vote in this election.

Are you going to vote?


MCKENZIE: 25 years on and around half of young people are jobless. Much of the black majority is stuck in the poverty track, kept there in part by rampant government corruption. By some estimates, South Africa has become the most unequal nation on earth.

WILSON MNENBE, DESIGNER: No, I'm not going to vote.

MCKENZIE: Why not?

MNENBE: I have survived without voting, man.

MCKENZIE: Young South Africans like designer Wilson Mnenbe didn't see apartheid firsthand. Their struggles are with the new South Africa.

MNENBE: Maybe we were promised mansions. I don't know that.

MCKENZIE: Do you have a mansion?

MNENBE: I don't have a mansion.

MCKENZIE: And are you voting this year?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Since I was born, I voted for Mandela. And no more voting again.

MCKENZIE: And until they see real change in Alex (ph) the Mathebulas will never cast another ballot.

David McKenzie, CNN -- Alexandra, South Africa.


VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, a new royal addition for the British royal family . Details on the birth and the credible life ahead tor this new baby, a little boy.


VAUSE: Ok. We don't know precisely where he was born. We don't know him. We don't know what he looks like. We know it's a he, though.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yea, oh yea.


VAUSE: Oh yeah, oh yeah. The town crier of Windsor announcing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcome their first child, a boy. The Prince says both mother and baby are doing incredibly well. However, we'll have to wait a few more days for a glimpse of this newest royal also we'll find out his name.

Max Foster in the meantime reports on the incredibly life ahead of said baby.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We may not know much about this baby yet, but with parents like these, celebrity is assured.

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Don't be surprised if Serena Williams or George and Amal Clooney or Jessica Mulroney are godparents.

FOSTER: Harry famously has an affinity for kids. Always gravitating towards them in a crowd. The couple were talking about starting a family before they were even married.


PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: Not currently, no. Of course, you know, I think one step at a time. And hopefully we'll start a family in the near future.

FOSTER: No surprise then that just a few months after the wedding last year, a pregnancy was announced. Though the exact due date had been kept a closely-guarded royal secret.

Meghan is the first known woman with African American heritage to marry into the top ranks of the British royal family. The palace has been forced to delete hateful comments on royal social media accounts.

And equal rights campaigners fear the trolling could flare up again around the baby.

BONNIE GREER, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: We're going to find something or some reason to pick on her -- pick on that baby. After, all the baby is going to have an African-Americans grandmother.

FOSTER: When Prince William's first baby was born, the world media was invited to capture the first image of the future King George.

Harry's baby is much further down the royal line of succession. So there has been less pressure to create a public event. And having grown up surrounded by cameras, with such a famous mother, Harry has also protected his privacy fiercely.

FITZWILLIAMS: William and Harry essentially blamed the media for what happened to their mother.

FOSTER: This is the defining image of Harry for many of those who remember Diana at the funeral. Perhaps the defining moment of the entire ceremony.

Prince Harry has had a special place in the nation's heart ever since his mother's funeral here at Westminster Abbey back in 1997. So there is a huge amount of goodwill for him as he starts his own family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really happy for them. I think it's sweet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's exciting. I think it's nice that they're expanding on the family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard work but I'm sure they will enjoy it.

FOSTER: The Sussexes now a family of three. And ready to settle into their new home in Windsor, the town where the couple married.

Max Foster, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Let's bring in Sandro Monetti, a formal royal correspondent, current editor-in-chief of "Hollywood International Filmmaker Magazine." I have just a little bit of a cough but I'm glad you're with us.

[01:44:55] There is a great line in one of the reports describing Baby Sussex. Not only is he seventh in line to the throne, eighth great grandchild of Queen Elizabeth. Here's the best bit. In terms of the monarchy, his birth is not especially consequential. Welcome to the world, little not especially consequential.

SANDRO MONETTI, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, "HOLLYWOOD FILMMAKER": Well, What a mood killer, what an intro. Why are we celebrating?

VAUSE: Why do we care? Why are we celebrating. Why do we care?

MONETTI: All hail the earl of Dunbarton or whatever title the kid's going to get.

Well, we are celebrating for a number of reasons. As a Brit, it's great to see something not Brexit off the front pages at last. But yes, here he is, the most famous child in the world.

And here in Los Angeles, of course, they are celebrating. You know, Meghan now lives in Windsor in England. But grew up in Windsor Hills in Los Angeles 5,000 miles away. It is an international royal, no longer just a British story. And well done, Meghan.

VAUSE: How much attention is being paid to the fact this baby, the one that's not especially consequential, is the first multi racial baby in centuries for the royal family?

MONETTI: Well, on social media, and by the way it's the first social media royal baby -- a lot of the chatter has been about the significance. Yes, about especially leading up to the big reveal on Wednesday when we're going to get the first pictures of the first biracial baby.

So this is another reason why we're just so it's so interested in it as well. And it is a boy. We are looking at @Sussexroyal. Now Meghan Markle is the puppet master off the social media campaign here. You know, promoting her royal house.

Of course she first sort of used the power of social media to spring to fame when she was an actress in "Suits" and also a charity worker. She had her blog of course. And @SussexRoyal, the most successful Instagram account so far. You know, the quickest ever to get a million followers. And there was two ways this the royal baby birth was announced. One was on @SussexRoyalTwitter.

And as we saw in the package there, the old boy with barrel, the town crier. "Hear ye; Hear ye. I love it. A mix of tradition, and a new way of doing things.

VAUSE: You know, Meghan is still an American citizen. She is yet to get her British citizenship which means maybe not especially consequential. She could in theory hold two national could have dual nationality. Are there rules for that with in the royal family?

MONETTI: Well, it's going to be interesting, you know. For example, you know, as an American citizen abroad, you know, her baby if he inherits a whole bunch of land titles and money will the IRS want to audit the royals? You know, these are some of the questions that might come out in the future as well.

And what does the future hold? A lot of the chatter has been, you know, will the baby become President of the United States? Well, hold your horses. We don't know what's going happen. And it's fascinating. There's so many questions, you know.

VAUSE: There are?

MONETTI: You know, Meghan Markle -- yes.

VAUSE: I mean -- you (INAUDIBLE) direct question of what this means for the relationship between the two princes and to the two duchesses, you know, Kate and Meghan because on the Instagram page when this birth was announced, it seems you know Kate wanted to redirect all this talk of a rift of, you know, any kind of feud between the two couples with this very warm message.

We're assuming it comes from the Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess Cambridge are delighted with news of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son today and look forward to meeting the latest addition to the family.

It brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it.

MONETTI: Well yes. And there is no p.s. No hard feelings about on following us on Instagram like you did a few days ago.

So yes. I mean that was a real PR gaffe because when there is talk of a rift, don't encourage it like this. But, you know, the royals are the greatest soap opera in the world at the moment, you know. And the young royals are getting so much press.

And there are now two royal houses. I mean you make the great point there about the split. You know, it was always the brothers together. Now it's the brothers and their wives. They are separate royal houses going forward.

You know, you've got Prince Charles, of course, who is first in line to the throne. So yes, the royal soap opera is the most fascinating, intense and intriguing thing.

And you know, I was seeing some comment today. You know, there are some people who think that, you know, in ten years, Meghan Markle will be selling plastic tiaras on the Home Shopping Channel. And others think that, you know, she will be in the White House. So whatever the future holds, for her and her child, it will be fascinating to watch.

VAUSE: Absolutely. And we will be watching it together.

Sandro -- thank you.

MONETTI: We will.

VAUSE: Well, the battle for the iron throne is on. Who has the energy to fight for (INAUDIBLE) without their morning coffee.


VAUSE: Yoga has long been practiced as a way to mend the body and mind and it's part of our special series, "Iconic India". We take you to a place students have recently been flocking. The home of the man who brought Ashtanga Yoga to the mat.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) as the Indian city of (INAUDIBLE). A group of visitors from around the world queue patiently outside what has become one of the top tourist destinations in the area.

For the past five months Patrick Winogrond (ph) a yoga teacher from Canada has been studying here at the KPJ Sala, an Ashtanga Yoga school.

PATRICK WINOGRAND, YOGA TEACHER: When you're coming here, in many ways you're coming to some of the source, the origin, the beginnings of what we now understand modern Yoga to be. This is the home of the late Krishna Pattabhi Jois. The renowned yoga

teacher credited for taking Ashtanga to the world and teaching the likes of Madonna, Sting and Gwyneth Paltrow their moves.

WINOGROND: In many ways, he was a pioneer. Teaching yoga to a larger audience, of bringing yoga to the west.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since his death the reins of the institute have been handed over to his family.

WINOGROND: The Jois family are the lineage of Patthabi Jois. I would say, they are really quite famous. They have been teaching a very long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bursting at the seams nearly 100 people filled the hall for this morning's class. All breathing in unison under the guidance of the Sharmila Mahesh (ph), the granddaughter of Patthabi Jois.

SHARMILA MAHESH: My grandfather would say, practice, practice, practice -- all is coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today it's the visitors who are coming. From as far afield as China students sign up months in advance learn and perfect their yoga practice.

MAHESH: It is one of the oldest institute in the world. My grandfather opened 70 years ago. So it is a legendary institute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The popularity of the Jois family has led to (INAUDIBLE) being recognized as one of the leading yoga destinations in India. Where the streets, houses, and cafes, are filled with yoga students. But this city is more than just yoga.

WINOGROND: It's pretty small compared to the rest of the big Indian cities but you just keep uncovering new layers and new things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Visitors, like Patrick, venture beyond the yoga centers, immersing themselves in a heritage, the philosophy and even language.

WINOGROND: Apart from the yoga, there is just an unlimited variety of classes and learning to do. In many things that you don't have the attention to do at home. And you do it in a way that tends to be a little bit more deep and intense.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A vacation that 's broadened the mind as well as body in a city where yoga is more than meditation. It is a way of life.


VAUSE: The annual Met Gala Monday night in New York was as it usually is, an eye-popping spectacle. The theme of this year's event camp. As you can see they included incredible (INAUDIBLE) of creations worn by the famous and influential n Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, and Paula. Who is carried into the event on the black velvet chaise lounge.

The celebration (INAUDIBLE) Metropolitan Museum's costume -- about that.

It took nearly two years to produce the final six episodes of "Game of Thrones". And with all that time, you would think they get every last detail right. You would be wrong.

Friends of the HBO drama has spotted one problem faster than a three- eyed raven. They spotted one problem.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The "Game of Thrones" gang was guzzling out of goblet toasting out of horns.

[01:55:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the Dragon Queen.

MOOS: When suddenly a Starbucks cup -- see if you can catch it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people get bloody murdered. They stay that way.

MOOS: Sharp-eyed fans --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: they left a coffee cup in the --

MOOS: -- were delighted to spot an icon of the modern world in the way back fantasy land of Westeros.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're drinking, why did you prefer ale.

MOOS: Somebody preferred latte. Twitter exploded with mock-ups of Winterfell, sporting Starbucks signage. A cup was labeled with the many names the Dragon Queen goes by. Enough to make a barista wonder.

How do you spell that? Maybe they were all chugging dragon milk caramel macchiatos. We kept waiting for President Trump to tweet. After all when he warned Iran sanctions are coming, he borrowed the phrase from "Game of Thrones".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winter is coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Winter is coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Winter is coming.

MOOS: And he borrowed, game over, in the wake of the Mueller report. How about though with the coffee cup finally prompted this tweet from the "Game of Thrones" account -- the latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.

I would rank this "Game of Thrones" gaffe somewhere between Grande and Venti. Will it linger in legend, like the watch that movie buffs think they

saw a character wearing during the chariot scene in Ben Hur? Or the water bottles spotted on a mantle in a promo photo for Downton Abbey?

Maybe the Dragon Queen looks so pensive because she was figure out how to order her skinny cinnamon dolce latte in Dothraki.

One thing is for sure. Some of these gung-ho "Game of Thrones" fans don't need any more caffeination.



VAUSE: I Never watched it actually but there you go.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause. Please stay with us.


[01:59:56] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Two journalists suddenly freed in Myanmar. Their daring reporting on a massacre got them a Pulitzer Prize and a prison sentence. And now they say they're ready to get back to work.