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The U.S. Official Behind The Hard Line On Iran; House Committee Hold Attorney General Barr In Contempt; Senate Intelligence Committee Subpoenas Donald Trump Jr.; China Threatens Retaliation Over Trump's New Tariffs; South African Election Examined; Latest on Venezuela Situation; Uber IPO Discussed; Royal Baby Information. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 9, 2019 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, and thanks for joining us, I'm Rosemary Church you are washing CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, the standoff between the United States and Iran intensified the U.S. responds after Iran walks away from parts of its nuclear deal.

Also ahead here, the United States is in a constitutional crisis. This after lawmakers both to hold Donald Trump's Attorney General in contempt of Congress. And another day, another stunning comeback in the Champions League, a second-half hat trick sets up an all-English finals.

Good to have you with us. So Washington's hardline against Tehran has taken another major step with more U.S. sanctions against Iran. The Trump administration is now targeting Iranian exports of steel, iron, aluminum, and copper and warning other countries not to accept any shipments.

The move came just hours after Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced the government was relaxing its compliance of the 2015 nuclear deal. He said Iran would begin stockpiling enriched uranium rather than sell it to other countries.

Well, President Rouhani's declaration came on the one-year anniversary of the Trump administration walking away from the Iran nuclear deal so why the hard-line response from the U.S. now? For that, we turn to CNN's Michelle Kosinski.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: The US's policy on Iran now seems squarely in the hands of the person who may be the most vocal committed decades-long Iran hawk in this administration, National Security Advisor John Bolton.

JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become solved.

KOSINSKI: That's from back in 2006 as ambassador to the U.N., but it's a stance that has lasted. The Ayatollah Khomeini 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You remember John Bolton.

If anything John Bolton has become more determined that there needs to be regime change in Iran. Regime change. Regime change.

KOSINSKI: In 2015, Bolton wrote a New York Times op-ed called "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran." Two years ago, he told the MEK, a group of Iranian exiled, once branded a terrorist organization by the U.S., that it should be U.S. policy to overthrow Iran's mullahs.

Three months ago he tweeted this video. So, Ayatollah Khomeini, I don't think you'll have many more anniversaries to enjoy. It's rattled other members of the Trump administration at time. Like when Bolton asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran late last year after mortars were fired at two U.S. compounds in Iraq thought to be the work of Iran back groups first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

This week it was Bolton, not the Pentagon that announced the US's latest military move warning of unrelenting force if Iran attacks the U.S. or allies. Exaggeration though and cherry-picking Intel to suit his views are things Bolton has been accused of multiple times including his stance on the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that led to a U.S. invasion.

BOLTON: Well, I think the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, that military action was a resounding success.

KOSINSKI: Now causing some worries that the US's latest news could spark hostilities.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-ME): What worries me is you got Bolton's predisposition and then you've got three or four actions in the last two weeks designed to poke Iran in the eye, I just -- I'm uncomfortable about where this is headed.

KOSINSKI: John Bolton has publicly said that U.S. policy is not regime change in Iran even though we have heard him now publicly advocate for that many times as well as airstrikes. U.S. policy is increasing the pressure on Iran's regime, but of course, it's anyone's guess as to where that ends. Michelle Kosinski, CNN the State Department.


CHURCH: CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd joins us now from New York. Always great to see you.

Good to see you.

CHURCH: So Britain's Foreign Secretary has warned Iran of clear consequences if it doesn't comply with the JCPOA nuclear agreement, talking about sanctions here of course, but Britain doesn't go as far as the United States. Let's just listen to what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had to say on the matter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: Iran's decision to depart from the JCPOA for us mostly is about the decision to work on their nuclear program, to create pathways which might reduce their breakout time. These are the things that are essential for us to continue to work and to observe.

And I am confident that as we watch Iran's activity, that the United Kingdom and our European partners will move forward together to ensure that Iran has no pathway for a nuclear weapon system.


[01:05:23] CHURCH: So Samantha, the United States pulled out of this nuclear agreement exactly one year ago. Doesn't weaken its hand telling Iran to abide by an agreement that the U.S. abandoned itself?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The administration has been unrealistic in terms of what Iran is expected to do ever since they came into office. I actually helped work on the early days of the negotiations with the Iranians. And part of what we did was try to provide them an off-ramp from the maximum pressure campaign that we had laid on them after we discovered another illegal nuclear site under the Obama administration.

This administration has taken a wholly separate approach. And it really makes me wonder whether they actually want Iran to come back to the negotiating table. As you mentioned the administration has said that Iran needs to continue to abide by its commitments under the JCPOA even though the United States violated its commitments and reimpose sanctions.

And the only off-ramp has been provided publicly at least has been a set of 12 demands at Secretary of State Pompeo laid out that covers the gamut from funding terrorism to nuclear activity. So from that perspective, it's unclear to me how the administration could even start to suspect that the Iranians would negotiate if the Iranians thought that we were credible.

The one question I do have is whether the U.K. as you -- as we just showed Secretary Pompeo was in the U.K. today can play some kind of interlocutor role between the Iranians and the U.S. to try to figure out a way forward short of Iran starting this activity to restart its program.

CHURCH: Right. Of course, this is what President Trump had to say about increasing pressure on Iran. Let's just listen to that.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, just today, I felt compelled to authorize new sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum, and copper industries because I hope to be able at some point, maybe it won't happen, possibly won't, to sit down and work out a fair deal. We're not looking to hurt anybody. We want a fair deal. We just don't want them to have nuclear weapons. That's all we want.


CHURCH: OK, so is this strategy of building pressure on Iran going to work talking in terms of sanctions, but especially with the increasing military pressure that we're seeing building in the region or could this potentially backfire?

VINOGRAD: Well, Rosemary, I just have to address the line where the President said that all that he wants is for Iran not to have a nuclear program and that the United States is not looking to hurt anybody. That's just blatantly untrue. The JCPOA which the administration violated when we were through three imposed sanctions was preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

The IAEA and other parties to the agreement agreed that it was preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The fact is the administration did not feel that it addressed the other areas of Iranian malign activity like funding for terrorism which is why we just moved more assets to the Middle East to help protect our forces there, cyber intrusions, missile tests, there's a very long list of items.

But we were preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Trump didn't think that the deal covered these other areas, and he says he wants to get a deal with Iran. And I really wonder based upon his track record with North Korea whether he's really just looking to have a historic moment and to sit down with Khomeini or Rouhani or one of the other leaders that he can say he did things differently without there being any actual substance behind it.

CHURCH: OK, so looking at the situation now, what does happen if Iran starts enriching uranium, stockpiling it, essentially becoming exactly what the U.S. had tried to avoid a nuclear nation, then what?

VINOGRAD: Well, there's a menu of options typically that would be reviewed and prepared in the Situation Room. You often look at covert options which would involve some kind of perhaps hypothetically speaking, cyberattacks against infrastructure in Iran to try to cripple centrifuges and that sort of thing.

So there's a covert branch of operations, then there's what we called call military CONOPS or military planning to try to identify whether a military strike on very specific facilities is even possible at this stage if Iran started marching towards a bomb in resuming these activities.

The preferable route which again the Obama Administration engaged in is the diplomatic route. And that in some respects is going to take the most work because the administration will have to convince the Iranians that were actually credible, that we're not going to go back on our word, and convince the Iranian leadership that they can take another political hit domestically.

This cost a regime a huge amount of political capital within Iran when hardliners basically said we told you so. You sat down with the United States, you made a deal, and then they humiliated you.

[01:10:12] CHURCH: Right. And just -- you did touch on this, but National Security Advisor John Bolton hasn't made a secret of the fact that he would like to see regime change in Iran. Is that where this is all going ultimately, and is that what President Trump wants to see as well?

VINOGRAD: It looks like it's certainly marching that way. The administration has said that they are looking for a change in regime behavior and not regime change. However, there has been a very overt campaign to demonize the Iranian regime and fairly so in a lot of respects, the Iranian regime engages in gross human rights abuses, corruption and economic mismanagement.

But the administration has been quite clear regarding their feelings for the regime. That's overt. As I mentioned previously, we don't know what's happening from a covert operations perspective and it's unclear whether the administration's ultimate goal it's unclear.

It looks more likely that the goal is to get Khomeini and Rouhani and others out of the picture and to give the Iranian people what they rightfully deserve which is free and transparent elections. But again, that's not going to be solved by withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal and putting more economic strain on the Iranian people.

CHURCH: Yes. We will continue to watch this very delicate story. Samantha Vinograd, thank you so much for your analysis and perspective on this.

VINOGRAD: Thank you.

CHURCH: I appreciate it. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says the U.S. is in a constitutional crisis. The comment from Jerry Nadler came late Wednesday after he and other Democrats voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. CNN's Phil Mattingly reports.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, House Democrats making their most aggressive move yet to push back against the White House.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): This is not a step we take lightly.

MATTINGLY: In a clear escalation of weeks of intensifying battles, the House Judiciary Committee voting along party lines to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for not complying with their subpoena for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full unredacted Russia report and its underlying evidence.

NADLER: This is unprecedented. If allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight. As a co-equal branch of government, we should not and cannot allow this to continue.

MATTINGLY: Republicans to crying the panel's chairman Jerrold Nadler decision to decline an opportunity to read a less redacted version of the report and jumping to Barr's defense.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): They're angry to nation's chief law enforcement officer and his deputy, had the audacity to decide the evidence didn't support charges for obstruction an investigation into something the President didn't do.

MATTINGLY: The vote coming just hours after the President asserted executive privilege over the materials the committee demanded. The Justice Department telling Nadler that he made "The assertion necessary by moving ahead with the contempt vote."

NADLER: The administration has announced loud and clear that it does not recognize Congress as a co-equal branch of government with independent constitutional oversight authority and it will continue to wage its campaign of obstruction.

MATTINGLY: Last-ditch negotiations between the Justice Department and the committee to ameliorate the growing crisis completely fell apart Tuesday night, prompting Barr in a letter to Trump to urge the president to make a protective assertion of executive privilege. At the hearing, committee members taking turns deploying rhetorical broadsides.

REP. SARAH JACKSON LEE (D-TX): I can only conclude that the President now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the Constitution of the United States of America.

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): And what does this committee do about the abuses, the attempted coup, it comes in and decides we're going to go after the Attorney General who's trying to clean up the mess.

REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): If it weren't for him being president, he'd be in prison with Michael Cohen today as Individual One.

MATTINGLY: With a singular issue looming throughout the tense hours- long meeting, when and whether the committee will be able to hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself.

REP. JIM JORDAN (D-OH): If you're going to ask the guy who wrote the whole darn document, we're all going to get asking questions. Why don't you hold off on this contempt until at least the guy who wrote the thing spent 22 months and $35 million with a whole bunch of Democrat lawyers putting it together. Why don't you wait asking next week before we do this consent resolution?

NADLER: Because it would be useful to read the material before we have him in front of us.

MATTINGLY: Phil Mattingly, CNN Capitol Hill.


CHURCH: Ron Brownstein is CNN Senior Political Analyst and Senior Editor at the Atlantic. He joins me now from Los Angeles. Always good to see you.


CHURCH: So House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler insists the country is in the midst of a constitutional crisis. If that is the case, why would he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi resist using the tool available to them to address that and impeach the President, and why do you think the White House is goading the Democrats to do exactly that?

[01:15:00] BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think the President is doing that because he has been very effective throughout his career, conflating any attack on him, with an attack on his voters.

And I think what he -- what he hopes is that if Democrats move toward impeachment, he will be able to portray it as, in essence, them trying to tell his voters that this is really not about me, this is about putting you back in your place and coastal elites and all of the, kind of, arguments that he makes.

But that, of course, is not their only option, and in fact, it's not the option that we are going to see, I think, immediately. I think -- I think what we are going to see is, the Democrats moving into the courts.

Because what's happening in the Judiciary Committee, as you know, is only one front of a multi-front conflict where the administration is, in essence, is rejecting the authority of Congress, of Home Oversight on a wide range of issues.

And I think, all of those questions are going to be moving to the courts, I think, in relatively short order.

CHURCH: Yes. So, let's look at one of those triggers. Attorney General Bill Barr was held in contempt to Congress --


CHURCH: -- for not releasing the full, unredacted Mueller report, but didn't care, he responded by advising the President to invoke executive privilege over the whole of that report, so I just want to get to (INAUDIBLE) to see it at this point, but how valid is that move? And did the Democrats play this well or not?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first, you know, we know executive privilege is not an unlimited authority of the President. The Supreme Court ruled against Richard Nixon, during Watergate, requiring him, despite his executive privilege claim, to give up the Watergate tape.

So, we know it is not an absolute. And, certainly, in the case of an independent counsel report, I mean, that really seems like, I think, to a lot of legal scholars, like a stretch, especially when it's put in the context of what we were just discussing, which is the President has basically said that he is going to fight all of the subpoenas.

And, you know, we now have this pattern from the President's taxes, with the Ways and Means Committee, the testimony on the 2020 census, adding a citizenship question, to security clearances at the White House, where the White House is systematically trying to stonewall Congressional Oversight, and, really, denied the basic authority of Congress to perform Oversight.

What you may see, out of Democrats in the house, is that -- is that more contempt citations move forward in various committees, and potentially, all get bundled together on the floor, before going into the courts in one, kind of, unified package, which would be an extraordinary moment in American history that we may be heading for in the next couple of weeks.

CHURCH: The stonewalling seems to be a strategy that's working now, doesn't it?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it works in the sense of buying time, immediately, and there's no question about that, and it works in the sense of forcing Democrats to fight on this terrain. It works, in part, to the extent where ultimately it will work if the courts agree that it works, and if the courts can act expeditiously. If the President simply able to run out the clock, that may be his goal.

The largest point here is that this is a historic attack on the authority of Congress, and what's striking is that Republicans in Congress, who would certainly be at the battlements on this, if it was a Democratic president, are, in essence, aiding the executive, and abetting the executive branches, attack on Congressional authority.

One thing I've learned in covering several decades of increasing partisanship and polarization in Washington, is that any weapon, once it is unsheathed, doesn't go back on the shelf. And the thought that some future Democratic president is going to look at this and just comply in the way they would've in the past, with subpoenas from the Republican Congress, is ludicrous.

And, I think, historically short-sighted front Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans to be so acquiescent on what's happening.

CHURCH: It's not all Republicans, though, is it? I mean, now, we're learning the President's son, Don Jr., has been subpoenaed by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, and this comes despite Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, saying the country needs to move on, case closed, when it comes to the Mueller report.

Clearly, not all Republicans agree with him. What do you think they want to discuss with Don Jr.? What do they want to hear from him?

BROWNSTEIN: You know, it's extraordinary, really, I mean, because -- they really have been no -- until the subpoena, there really have been no Republican voices raising concerns about the kind of the stonewalling that we are seeing.

I mean, Rand Paul even said he was more concerned about Democrats seeing the Presidents taxes than about the President possibly, you know, evading the law, requiring him to provide the taxes.

That committee, that Senate Intelligence -- you know, the Intelligence Committee historically has been something of an island of bipartisanship. It has certainly functioned better than the House Intelligence Committee, in terms of the parties working together, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

And we -- I -- you know, we don't exactly know what they are looking to clear up with Donald Trump Jr., who rather, I think, and politically, attack the chairman of the committee, you know, today, immediately in response to this.

So, it does provide kind of a second front in this, but I think -- at the margin, I mean, the vast majority of congressional Republicans, so far, are acquiescing in this kind of blanket refusal that, I think ultimately, is going to end up before the Supreme Court.

And like many things in American life, it may depend on what John Roberts is feeling, in particular, about his desire to keep the court from being seen, totally, as a partisan institution.

[01:20:03] CHURCH: Right. And you mentioned that. This is what a CNN source, close to Don Jr. said about the subpoena.

Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious P.R. stunt from a so-called Republican senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss, Mark Warner, and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee.

What's your reaction to those comments?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, that is -- look, that is the way they have played this from the beginning, on really, every front, to try to delegitimize any effort at Oversight, from whatever the source.

And, you know, whether it was all of the incidents that Mueller recounted in his report, or the President trying to block the investigation, to the attacks on the courts, whenever they rule against them, obviously, to this kind of systematic opposition to Congressional Oversight that goes far beyond what we have seen from other administrations.

Certainly, there have been arguments about individual pieces of information that Congress has requested. It has not been anything this systematic before, and that is their strategy. And, again, you know, to the extent it works, it works, because so many Republicans in Congress are willing to lock arms around it. And that is something that will -- as clear as anything of the lessons over the last several decades, is that will come around to bite them the next time there is a Democrat in the White House.

CHURCH: All right, Ron Brownstein, always great to have your analysis and perspective on these political matters. Appreciate it.

BROWSTEIN: Thank you.

CHURCH: Now, to a very different story, two dramatic comebacks in two days, from the Champions League, on Wednesday, Tottenham upset Ajax to advance to the final in Madrid next month. They are to face Liverpool, who also came from behind, to secure their spot. CNN World Sports' Kate Riley, recaps the action.


KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Football fans all over the world have been overdosing on the Champions League this season. The drama and the entertainment seemed relentless, after Liverpool's extraordinary comeback against Barcelona on Tuesday. It was hard to imagine that anything else could be as exciting.

But Tottenham managed to (INAUDIBLE) Ajax away from home, close to 3- nil down, with barely half an hour left. But look at Morris scored a (INAUDIBLE) including a sensational win and deep into injury time. It was heartbreaking for Ajax who are desperately close (INAUDIBLE) Tottenham. It was the biggest result in the history of the club.


LUCAS MOURA, FORWARD, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Impossible to explain what I am feeling in this moment. I am very, very happy, very proud of my teammates. We always believe in this moment. We always believe that it was that it was possible, and we gave everything on the pitch. I think we deserved this moment.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, MANAGER, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Thank you, thank you, football. This type of emotion, without football, I think it's impossible to live. And I am so emotional now. I'm thinking of the fans. Thank you to the people that believe in us, from the beginning of the season, to achieve this amazing moment, and I think it's fantastic. I can't describe with words all that we are feeling now.


RILEY: In recent years, Spurs have been one of the most exciting in Europe, but they have nothing to show for it. And it seemed, as though, Wednesday was going to end in anticlimactic disappointment. But now, Tottenham can prepare for a Champions League Final against their premier league rivals, Liverpool, in Madrid, in June.

Given the season we have had, don't be surprised if there are a lot of goals and a lot of plot twists. As for who is going to win, well, only a fool would try to predict that, back to you.

CHURCH: Thanks so much, Kate. Well, just hours before Thursday's critical trade talks, China said it would retaliate against the U.S. if Washington slaps higher tariffs on its imports. Are the trade negotiations doomed or can the two sides still find a common ground? We are live from Beijing, next.

Plus, protest around the world, as Uber and Lyft drivers go on strike to demand better wages. We're back on that, next.



CHURCH: The trade war between the United States and China keeps escalating. On Wednesday, Beijing said it would retaliate if President Trump follows through on his threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday.

During a rally in Florida, Mr. Trump said he was pushed to make the threat after Beijing reneged on some of its trade agreement. Take a listen.


TRUMP: By the way, you see the tariffs we're doing, because they broke the deal. They broke the deal. They broke the deal. So, they're flying in the Vice Premier tomorrow, a good man, but they broke the deal.


CHURCH: The U.S. and China will meet in the coming hours, as you heard, they're to continue their trade talks in Washington. Our Steven Jiang is with us live from Beijing. Good to see you again, Steven. So, of course, the big question being asked now, is how can China and the United States find any path to some form of agreement given these exchange of tariff threats so far, or are these talks already doomed?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, you are right. I mean, they don't have much time, do they? The negotiators are only going to start talking on Thursday, under that line for a new tariffs from both sides now, is midnight, U.S. time, Friday.

So, literally, they have one day to work out all of their differences and bridging this increasingly wide gap before this escalation happens.

So, the best case scenario, at this point, is probably, Mr. Trump, picking up the phone and talking to his Chinese counterparts, President Xi Jinping to agree to another postponement of these new tariffs. Barring, that I think it's very likely we are going to see an escalation in this year long war.

Now, in terms of how we can hear, the Americans, of course, have been saying it was the Chinese who walked back on a number of major concessions or agreed upon commitments in the last round of talks, in key areas -- in areas of U.S. concern, such as, intellectual property protection, market access, as well as enforcement mechanisms.

The Chinese are now pushing back on these claims, with their state media saying it was the Americans who made unreasonable demands that would harm China's core national interests, something the Chinese negotiators simply cannot accept.

So, as their war of words continues, I think, this year-long trade war is also going to be heated up again, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, interesting negotiations underway, there, we'll watch as they continue, many thanks to you, Steven. We are expecting the first results soon, in South Africa's national elections. Still to come, what could stand in the way of victory for the ruling African National Congress?



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back, everyone. You are watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check the headlines for you. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran, this time targeting its exports of steel and other industrial metals. The move came just hours after Iran said it would begin stockpiling enriched uranium. Iran's Foreign Minister said his country is still committed to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. They want him to turn over the full un-redacted Mueller Report and all underlying evidence. Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump asserted a claim of executive privilege over the entire report.

The Champions League Final is set after Totenham upset Ajax in a dramatic comeback. They trailed 1-nil in the first leg of the semifinal but scored three goals in Amsterdam to secure a spot in the finals against Liverpool next month in Madrid.

Well, in Thailand the official election result is in. The county's main opposition party has won the most seats in parliament, but it fell six short of a majority, so it won't get to choose the country's next leader. That decision is made by both houses of parliament and the country's 250 seat senate is chosen entirely by the military. It will almost certainly vote to keep the current hoster (ph) leader in office.

Well, the first results in South Africa's national election could come within the next few hours. The ruling Africa National Congress is fighting to hold onto power amidst scandal, corruption, and a sluggish economy, but as CNN's Dave McKenzie reports, voter apathy may be the biggest problem.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The polls have just closed across South Africa in this critical election. The ruling ANC is facing a key test in enthusiasm for the liberation party. Cyril Ramaphosa, the president, was at a polling station in Soweto earlier on Wednesday. He acknowledge the serious allegations of corruption against the party is recent years.


CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS PRESIDENT: We started deviating from the mandate that our people gave us. Corruption got into the way, patronage got into the, and no focusing on the needs of our people got into the way. We now know what our weaknesses are.

(END VIDEOCLIP) MCKENZIE: A key question in this election is the turnout. Young

voters have stayed away in their droves (ph). Millions haven't even registered. Earlier in Soweto I spoke to a number of South Africans who feel that the change in this country 25 years after democracy just hasn't happened fast enough.

You've been waiting too long?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. It's just that we can't change anything. We must just go on voting until God comes back.

MCKENZIE: Where I'm standing is one of the busiest polling stations in the country says a presiding officer. They'll be counting ballots through the night and the electoral commission says that they should have 90 percent of the vote counted in the first 24 hours. We should have a really good idea of the results of this critical election by the end of this week. David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


CHURCH: Well, the two suspects in the latest U.S. school shooting were in court Wednesday. A law enforcement source tells CNN 18-year- old student, Devin Erikson, took the two guns used in the attack from his parents and both weapons were legally purchased. The second suspect, 16-year-old Alec McKinney, appeared in a separate hearing. One person was killed in the shooting. Eight others were wounded. Kendrick Castillo is being hailed as a hero. Witnesses say he threw himself at the student who pulled out a gun in class. Castillo was killed, but his actions helped save the lives of his classmates. His grieving father calls hi extraordinary.

Well, in Venezuela, a close ally of opposition leader Juan Guaido has been taken into custody by the intelligence agency. Edgar Zambrano is Vice President of the National Assembly. The Maduro government accuses him of being one of the ring leaders in an attempted coo. Guaido, President of the National Assembly, calls the detention a kidnapping. At least 10 other National Assembly lawmakers have been stripped of their immunity. Some have taken refuge in foreign embassies. Well, Zambrano's detention came just hours after Guaido was interviewed by CNN. He spoke with our Paula Newton.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why do you think the Maduro government hasn't arrested you yet?

JUAN GUAIDO, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Because they're scared. Those that try to spread or generate a perception of control are the ones that don't have it.

NEWTON: Can you confirm that you were talking to the Defense Minister himself, Vladimir Padrino?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I've spoken to many officials across the ranks in the armed forces, including from the regime, to achieve the transition in Venezuela. NEWTON: Do you think whoever you were talking to, though, you were talking to in good faith, or do you think you were tricked?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I always start in good faith.

NEWTON: Yes, you. I mean, everybody else.

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Yes, I always start in good faith and with the understanding that we're in a dictatorship. We are always looking toward democracy and the transition, and yes. The majority is praying in good faith and many are afraid.

NEWTON: Yesterday in your interview, you changed your tactic a little bit in saying that military would be the last option. Why would it be the last option?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We, being responsible due to the enormous crisis that Venezuela suffers, has to talk about all the options to be able to overcome this crisis. What have we been doing? What we have been proposing since 2017 where we demanded free elections, so cease of usurpation transition of government and free elections, and this is the option of force. It doesn't have to be foreign. It doesn't have to be international. The military is very unhappy, and that is the option of force. It could be local if it's necessary.

NEWTON: But do you have a timeline? Do you have a timeline in place? How long will this last in terms of our other option?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): There are a lot of Venezuelans that can't take it anymore. They are going to die due to lack of food. What is our timeline? Today, well what needs to be the optimal solution for Venezuela? The one that generates the least social cost, the one that will secure stability in governments that we will be able to tend to the humanitarian crisis and be able to produce truly free elections.

NEWTON: You say you're talking to the Russians. What are you talking to them about?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We're not only talking with the Russians. We talk to everyone who is willing to collaborate with the process of a transitional government and ceasing of usurpation and free elections. And if there's anyone today that knows Maduro has lost, that it doesn't guarantee nothing, that is precisely the countries that have interest in Venezuela.

NEWTON: But so why would - why would Russia speak to you? Do they want Nicolas Maduro to be apart of the future of Venezuela?

GUAIDO (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I think that of there's anyone that has this clear today that there is no future are the Russians with Nicolas Maduro. It's evident because they know that he can't recuperate the oil industry because he has destroyed it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaido, speaking with our Paula Newton. Amanda Knox is returning to Italy for the first time since the ordeal that landed her in prison for the murder of her roommate. The former exchange student said she would never willingly go back. She spent years in prison before an appeals court eventually exonerated her, but now she has agreed to speak at a criminal justice conference in Italy on a panel called trial by media. Knox's case was a worldwide sensation. TV and newspaper outlets dissected the American's every move. A festival organizer says people still believe she's guilty because of her treatment by the media.

Well, as Uber is said to make billions of dollars in its initial public offering, its drivers turn off their apps to protests for better wages. Next I will discuss this with an expert, how effective a strike like this could be.



CHURCH: Uber and Lyft drivers took to the streets Wednesday, but instead of picking up riders, they protested. Drivers are demanding higher wages and better job security. In New York, 500 Uber drivers went on strike during the busy morning commute hours. The ride hailing company says it hardly made a dent on service. These protests come just two days before Uber's public debut on the New York Stock Exchange which could raise about $10 billion for the company.

Ryan Patel is a global business executive and an expert at growing brands. He joins me now from Los Angeles. Good to see you.


CHURCH: So let's start by taking a listen to what some of the drivers had to say to get a sense of why they felt the need to strike.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're making their money. They're not making us. We are making them up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This company was built on the sweat of the drivers, and the drivers feel like they're getting an unfair stake (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I drive 60 hours. I cannot even pay my bills.


CHURCH: So Ryan, these drivers want higher wages and better job security because many are finding it hard to make ends meet. So why aren't they getting that given the money being made by executives at the ride sharing companies and, of course, the projected billons that will be made once Uber goes public?

PATEL: Well, you just mentioned the last two pieces, right? That's why this protest is happening because this is going to be one of the largest IPOs ever in the history of tech pieces, and the riders is - the drivers are obviously the heart and soul of this business, and that's - they're feeling like they need their share of hours. You know, and what is really fractioned about this piece is the gig economy, right? This is what this is all about. If they don't drive, they'll find someone else to drive. And it's those that make this a full-time living. They're the ones who are trying to make this strike and they're trying to make enough noise to show that to the rest of the consumers that this is what they're actually getting paid for and paid enough. And so, I think when you look at the strike today, it was obviously meant to send a message. It wasn't obviously to make you not use Uber and Lyft anymore in the future. It was to send a message to the investor community while the IPOs going on.

CHURCH: Ryan, of course this Uber said in a statement Wednesday if I can just read this. "The drivers are at the heart of our service.


We can't succeed without them. And thousands of people, coming to work at Uber everyday, focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road."

Ryan, no mention here of whether wages will be increased, presumably, not at this stage. These companies have said, "Oh, we didn't feel a thing," when this strike was on. So we can assume there won't be any increases at this point. Is Uber is living up to that statement, given these share-a-ride companies apparently did say this strike didn't have an impact at this point?

PATEL: Well, I'm smiling because, well, that's we're going to say. They weren't going to say anything different than that. And you know, here's the thing, both Lyft and Uber, (inaudible) going to be IPOing here soon, they're both losing money. They're both losing money. And Lyft just announced a billion dollar loss in the last quarter.

So this is - this is a worse time. They're not going to go and pay the drivers more, while they're still losing money. And this is where the rhetoric comes in. Uber, in the past, if you look at what happened, I think it was last year or a year and a half ago, about the DeleteUber hashtag during the immigration reform conversation, they didn't really feel it hit either.

So the only way to make this an effective strike, if the drivers want to make a dent, they need to get the consumers behind them. This is not just about the drivers in itself, and obviously, this was a global strike, but the key here is to get consumers not to use either Uber and Lyft. That is how they're going to make dent.

And like you said, Uber's numbers and Lyft numbers, they're not lying. They're didn't really feel it today. So again, it wasn't - again, my understanding is that it wasn't meant to make a dent in the - in the - in the balance sheet. It was supposed to give a warning. And if the Uber drivers, Lyft drivers want to make a dent here, they have to rally the consumers, like other companies do. CHURCH: All right. So if you got this situation with Lyft and Uber and not making money, they're losing money, you've got the drivers who are not making enough to pay the bills, as far as they're concerned, (inaudible) them as a viable company, right.

PATEL: You know, this is where it is with Lyft and Uber. Who's going to lash each other out? If you look at what Uber's done - I mean if you compare Uber and Lyft, Uber's obviously very global. It's about the investment. They're trying to keep burning money. They keep raising money. And that's part of the reason why Uber has kind of surpassed Lyft, because they can keep raising it, while Lyft can't.

So if you think about Uber, who's behind it? SoftBank, even Alphabet, the Google Alphabet's behind the investment. Even globally, you even got the Qatar Investment Authority behind it. I mean there's a lot of investors behind Uber, continuing wanting to put money into this, until Lyft maybe going out of business, and the Uber takes that share.

But every share - every rider that they're pretty much taking, they're losing money on the business model. And like you said, why are they still in it? Because people are still funding it. This is big deal - this is pretty big deal with Uber IPOs, because they're going to raise a lot of the cash flow, no matter where they are.

CHURCH: Presumably, taxi drivers have benefited from all of us - or will ultimately. I mean they really got stunned when Lyft and Uber came to the market, didn't they?

PATEL: Yes. And you know, this - my whole thing behind it is, I think, this is big signal to legislatures, to Congress, to any kind of local-represented governments, because I feel like they're going to have to get involved in this race, because you're going to have to either come in - come in, either or, if there's a cap (ph) or not in taxi drivers, too.

And this is where the taxi drivers are looking for help as well, from the government. So you know, if this strike continues to happen, and they're going to do more of it, you know, and not reliable for those consumers that are using these kind of ride-sharing apps, it will be the taxis.

CHURCH: It'll be interesting, seeing how this all pans out. Ryan Patel, many thanks. Up next (ph) here on CNN Newsroom, the world gets its first look at the newest British royal and learns his name.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, people from all over the world travel to India for its glittering palaces, ancient ruins and delicious food, but it's also home to rare animals, like the elusive Black Panther. In our series, "Iconic India," we explore the country's native wildlife.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Along the western coast of India, lies an ancient mountain range, the Western Ghats. At the heart of this landscape, this is the state of Karnataka, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

SAAD BIN JUNG, FOUNDER, THE BISON RESORT: You have no idea what's happening in India. You really don't know when you're going to see the next (inaudible) or whether you see or it not (ph). And it might just pop up five feet from you, or it might not never pop up again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Saad Bin Jung grew up in the forest. He is the founder of The Bison Resort located between two of India's premier tiger reserves.

JUNG: We're probably in one of the most beautiful places in the world for Indian wildlife. As far as density goes, the density of tiger, the density of leopard, wild dogs is the greatest in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Descended from royalty, Saad was a professional cricketer, who traded in the sport for another passion.

JUNG: Did my (inaudible) and even played (inaudible). But then (inaudible) when that came in, then I took to conservation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protecting wildlife is a personal mission for Saad, one that he has passed on to his children. Zoha Jung Nambiar is the founder of the Backwater Sanctuary, a rescue initiative for the wounded, abandoned and mistreated horses and ponies and donkeys.

ZOHA JUNG NAMBIAR, FOUNDER, BACKWATER SANCTUARY: This is Savannah (ph). When she first arrived, I really didn't think she would survive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Founded less than a year ago, the sanctuary is home to 15 rescued animals.

NAMBAIR: We're overlooking for forests, as well as looking at (ph) national parks. We've got all the animals wild and free there. I want to sort of mimic that as much as I can over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An extension of The Bison Resort. The sanctuary hopes to raise public awareness of the abuse of animals in India.

NAMBAIR: I mean I think it's always nice to see animals right outside your doorstep, especially horses and donkeys, that people don't really see them in cities too often. So when they come here, it's a nice little added value (ph) that we have here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite the added extras, it is still the safari that pulls in the visitors.

JUNG: And I can see it (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Including a new attraction.

JUNG: Yes, the Black Panther that I have, he comes in for three or four days, and then he disappears for three or four days. And there's sort of a cycle that's evolved. So you want see him, you come spend at least four or five days.

I will always believe that if you want to come to me in India, and if I'm unable to bring the heart and soul of this beautiful country and put it at your feet, then I'll be saving (ph) my country, because India has far more than just a Black Panther or just a tiger or just the elephant, because India has just so many stories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the cameras click, Saad hopes that visitors will leave the region with more than just pictures.


CHURCH: To the United Kingdom now, where, after a lot of guessing and speculation, the duke and duchess of Sussex have revealed the name of their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, he is a cutie.


MEGHAN, DUTCHESS OF SUSSEX: He has the sweetest temperament. He's really calm and -

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: Ready to get back home (ph).

MEGHAN: Yes. And he's been - he's just been a (ph) dream, so it's been a special couple days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who does he take after? Does he look like anyone (ph)?

MEGHAN: We haven't figured that out (ph).

PRINCE HARRY: Well, (inaudible) the baby's changed so much over two weeks, we're basically sort of monitoring how the changing process (ph) happens over this next month really. But he's changing - his looks are changing every single day. So who knows?


CHURCH: A very happy and relaxed couple there.


And the source says they chose a name they liked, instead of picking a traditional royal name. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They used to be two, then baby makes three, and now, baby has a name, a bunch of names. It is official (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

MOOS: But you can call him. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby Archie.



MOOS: Actually, he's not a prince yet. Archie met the queen, but his dad and mom decided against bestowing any aristocratic titles on their son for now. He was introduced to the public at Windsor Castle. Meghan caressed him, while Price Harry picked off lint. Mom described motherhood as -

MEGHAN: Magic. It's pretty amazing, and I mean I have the two best guys in the world. So I'm really happy.

PRINCE HARRY: He's already got a little bit of facial hair as well.

MOOS: Amid all the oohing and ahhing, some offered a reality check. Read one mother's tweet, "Very much enjoying the irony of watching Meghan and Harry talk about the magic of parenting, whilst my 3-year- old screams, 'you're not my mommy anymore,' at me for not painting her nails correctly." And how about these top name six name suggestions for the new royal baby, "I, Do, Not, Give, A, (expletive deleted)."

But you know who gave the baby's name the royal treatment? The ginger-haired comic strip character greeted the news with, "I'm baby." Someone wondered, "How can Archie be the prince when Jughead wears the crown?" It's a lot of name for someone seven pounds, three ounces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

MOOS: Mom and dad reported just liked the name, Archie, while Harrison comes from son of Harry.

JIMMY KIMMEL, TELEVISION HOST: They had the baby on your birthday, and there's a -

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: Yes, that kid stole my thunder.

KIMMEL: Yes, really.

CLOONEY: Happy Birthday (ph).

KIMMEL: You will be the godfather to the child, is that true?

CLOONEY: That would be a bad idea.

MOOS: All this royal baby hooplah, Archie's probably saying, "Wake me up when it's over."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can say that again.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: And he's very calm in the midst of all of that. You are watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues on CNN, right after this.