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Parliamentary Elections Set for Saturday; Acclaimed Modernist Architect Dead at 102; Survivors of School Shooting Fight for Change; Prince Harry Accepts Apology and Damages from Photo Agency; "Game of Thrones" Fans Demand Remake of Final Season; U.S. Claims To Have Images Showing Iranian Freighters They Believe Are Carrying Missiles; Sources: Trump Irritated With Aides Over Iran; Trump Unveils Merit- Based Immigration Proposal; Justice Department: Less-Redacted Mueller Report Is Coming; Trump Reports At Least $434 Million In Income In 2018; Huawei: New Ban From Trump Will Affect American Jobs. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 17, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] NICK WATT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, is the United States headed for war with Iran. So far Donald Trump can only say he hopes not.
Plus, the U.S. President boasts his immigration plan will be the envy of the modern world but critics argue his proposal is dead on arrival. And later, could winter come again. More than half a million Game of Thrones fans want and do over on the show's final season.
The U.S. says Iran poses an imminent threat in the Middle East. But the real battle may be brewing inside the White House. Sources tell CNN that President Trump is irritated with the growing impression that his advisors especially National Security Adviser John Bolton are pushing him towards war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, are we going to war with Iran?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Just a few minutes later, Mr. Trump met with the President of Switzerland which represents U.S. interests in Iran. Sources say Trump is trying to open a diplomatic channel through the Swiss. He said publicly he wants Iranian leaders to call him. Meanwhile, the White House is trying to calm some furious members of
Congress who say they've been kept in the dark about the U.S. military deployment and the exact nature of those apparent threats from Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm sure there's a good reason to do what they did. I have confidence in Secretary Pompeo and the national security team. But I'm in charge of the State Department's funding and I'd like to know why we took the action we did. I think there are a lot of senators feel like they're in the dark and they drop the ball on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Now, some in Congress have now been briefed on the latest U.S. intelligence. CNN's Barbara Starr has details from the Pentagon.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials say there are multiple images now showing Iranian freighters with their decks cut out and large gaping areas underneath the decks that are being used they believed to carry Iranian missiles and other munitions and that these freighters have moved in and out of Iranian ports in recent days leading the U.S. to conclude that this is part of the Iranian potential planning for a possible attack against U.S. forces in the region,, that this is very different than Iran's traditional weapons smuggling up and down the Gulf.
There are also smaller Iranian boats known as Dhow that are moving through these waters also with weapons on board. So what the U.S. worries about is that Iran is essentially weaponizing shipping, commercial shipping in critical Gulf waters that rely on very much free, unrestricted travel by commercial shipping which carries billions of dollars of goods in and out of the area every year.
The U.S. very clear it says that it is not looking for war with Iran but the U.S. aircraft carrier strike group, the B-52 bombers are in the region as a deterrence measure to show Iran that there would be a very heavy U.S. military price to pay if they were to enact any plan to attack U.S. troops, U.S. interests in the region.
The U.S. also watching very carefully because it believes there has been a buildup of Iranian maritime forces around that critical choke point, the Strait of Hormuz. Barbara Starr, CNN the Pentagon.
WATT: And we should note that CNN has not reviewed those images mentioned in Barbara's report and the U.S. government has not made public any actual evidence of the ships are carrying munitions. Iranian leaders meanwhile say that they're in no mood for negotiating with the Great Satan. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has reaction from Tehran.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The tensions are still very high between the United States and Iran here in the Persian Gulf region. At the same time, the Iranians once again saying that at this point in time there are not going to be any negotiations with the Trump White House. Javad Zarif the foreign minister said that while on a visit to Japan.
Now, the Supreme Leader of course of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he came out about day and a half ago and said exactly the same thing. He said there's not going to be in any negotiations at this point in time. And essentially what the Iranians are saying is that they believe that this strategy that the Trump White House has of maximum pressure is something that makes it impossible for them to go back into negotiations.
They say they want sanctions ease. They want to be able to sell their oil on international markets again. They want companies to be able to invest here again. And in an ideal world, they would also want the U.S. to get back into the nuclear agreement. Now, of course, at this point in time, that seems like something that the Trump administration would definitely not be willing to do.
And so, therefore, the Iranians continuing to say that they believe that it's the U.S. that's escalating the situation. Here's what the Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:05:16] JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN MINISTER, IRAN: I believe that escalation of tension in the region is not in the interest of anybody but Iran will not be the party beginning escalation but we will certainly defend ourselves in response to any threat against our national security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So the Iranians essentially saying that they are the ones who are showing restraint in this situation. But at the same time, of course, the Iranian government is also very well aware of what seemed to be some of the divisions in the Trump White House.
Of course, there are reports that President Trump believes that some of his advisors are moving too fast towards a full-blown -- full-blown conflict with the Iranians. And so the arraigns really have a dual strategy in all of this. On the one hand, you have the foreign minister, for instance, Javad Zarif who says that there needs to be de-escalation.
On the other hand you have Iranian military commanders who absolutely say that they would be ready for a confrontation, and that a confrontation with the United States if it does get worse, if it does turn into a violent confrontation is something that would be very difficult for the U.S., the Iranians saying that they would not only use their ballistic missiles, but could missiles but could also use some of the militias that they control in this region as well. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Tehran.
WATT: And for more on all this, National Security and Foreign Policy Analysts Ari Aramesh joins me now from New York. Ari, it's difficult to know what exactly is going on here. Who's telling the truth who's not, is this intelligence, are these photos of these ships real, are these ships really carrying missiles, does Donald Trump really want to talk, does the Ayatollah really not want to talk. What do you think is actually going on behind the scenes that we're not seeing?
ARI ARAMESH, NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSTS: It's very difficult to guess what's going on behind the scenes. But based on the evidence, it seems that both sides, now for different reasons but both sides or untrustworthy. On the one hand, you have -- you have chaos within the Trump administration. It's not clear whether key foreign policy decisions are being made at Foggy Bottom or at the National Security Council or by the President himself.
The Department of Defense has been working with sort of a nominal head for a while since Jim Mattis resigned. So you have a this functioning on this functional foreign policy machine yet makes it interesting because it allows the president especially someone like President Trump to make surprise moves and so on and so forth as we saw with the Koreans.
On the other hand, very quickly, the Iranian regime is not one that can be trusted. I mean, they've had they've had their hands in every a major, minor instability in the region since 1979. On the other hand, it doesn't necessarily mean and now during these times of crises when the threat of war looms large, they are going to continue carrying out those sort of activities that might very much jeopardize peace and stability in the -- in the parts of the Persian Gulf.
WATT: And Ari, I mean, back to the Trump White House. I mean, do you think that John Bolton is long for a Trump world or is he going to get whacked?
ARAMESH: You know, you'll never know. We've heard President Trump praise many close senior staff and then they are to later, sometimes a week later they were gone. John Bolton, if he's a smart man and he's a very smart lawyer, he should go along with the president. If he wants the agenda implement, it's better be part of his agenda by not A, leading the president, then none of his agenda by alienating president.
On the other hand, I really would like to believe that President Trump is anti-war in terms of stating to his promise, his campaign promise. I'm not starting yet another meaningful -- meaningless war in the Middle East. So we should see but you know, it is something, something even to today, you know, to those of us who may not be very much on the same page with President Trump on his foreign policy there is an element of hope.
It's Trump, Trump made two years ago, no one would have thought you would make the trip to you know, to Ho Chi Minh City and meet with the of North Korea Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, and no one can predict what can happen. Is this another Nasser goes to Israel sort of moment or Nixon goes to China kind of moment or Trump is going to buckle down and buckle and go down a hard-line road.
WATT: Now, here's one possibility. Now, listen, we all know that leaders have gone to war in the past for domestic consumption. Let's take a listen to what Trump had to say back in 2011 about Obama. Take listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected and as sure as you're sitting there, is to start a war with Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:10:14] WATT: any danger you think that President Trump might start a war with Iran in order to get reelected?
ARAMESH: You know, as much as President Trump loves to indulge sort of conspiracy theories and some of which are ridiculous conspiracy theories, I'd like to stay with them that. I don't know. I hope we don't have sort of a Wagner dog situation here. But if President Trump is really going to stay true to his promise, he won't start a war.
And also, a lot -- I think -- I think a large -- a large sort of part of independence not his base, but some independents who were just fed up with the status quo voted for him because of his very sort of open criticism of these wars especially as a Republican.
Now again, no one knows what the future holds especially with President Donald Trump but if that's going to be the case, we just have to wait and watch.
WATT: I mean, listen. Right now, Ari, both sides are saying that they do not want war but we have also seen wars start kind of by mistake in the past. And you know today, we've been talking about whether these you know, alleged Iranian threats came after perhaps U.S. threats.
I mean, there is a danger that things escalate to a point that whispers escalate to a point that something could happen by accident. I mean is that a genuine legitimate fear that we should be harboring right now?
ARAMESH: Absolutely. And that is my biggest concern. And that -- what you raised it's a fine, fine point. I'm not necessarily worried about a preplanned war or a preplanned or an invasion or massive bombardment. I'm worried about an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf in the Strait of Hormuz coming in contact with an American vessel, firings exchange, rules of engagement are engaged, and then what's next, retaliation, counter-retaliation?
And you see, we got (INAUDIBLE) situation here on hand. Again, I'm not really worried about a conspiracy or a you know, sort of pre- planned mass invasion for war. What I'm worried about is a little trigger and a trigger we're talking about is it could be in the form of you know, a vessel coming into contact with one of our soldiers.
Just to give you a small example. Do you think President Trump would have the same restraint, he would show the same restraint as President Obama showed when American sailors were captured by the IRGC and the waters of the Persian Gulf with about four years ago? So you can see a small -- little spark here could set this powder keg unpack, you know oil tanker unpack.
WATT: Ari, great having you on the show. Thanks for your time.
President Trump has now unveiled his vision for immigration. A broad plank of his reelection strategy, the response from Capitol Hill mostly silence, even Republicans have shown little enthusiasm. The President' proposal would dramatically change the philosophy behind U.S. immigration.
Instead of being based on family ties and humanitarian concerns, Mr. Trump thinks immigrants who have good job skills and who can speak English should move to the front of the line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If adopted, our plan will transform America's immigration system into the pride of our nation and the envy of the modern world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Critics are quick to point out what's not in the plan. There's no mention of the millions of undocumented people already in the U.S. like the so-called DREAMers who came to the U.S. illegally as children nor does the plan address the short increase in illegal border crossings now taking place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It gets to be more of a humanitarian crisis. The more that Republicans -- the administration -- I won't ping all the Republicans with this, where the administration acts in this shameful way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Daniel Lippman is a Reporter for Politico and co-author of Politico's Playbook. He joins us from Washington. Daniel, this new immigration plan seems to me it's a little bit like that conversation that allegedly happened January last year in the White House where the president said he didn't want immigrants from bleep whole countries. He wanted more from Norway. Is that just that plan now down on paper and is this actually going to become the law?
DANIEL LIPPMAN, REPORTER, POLITICO: So there actually isn't that much paper here because Trump just gave a speech and Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son in law have been -- has been working on this but has not shared many details with Capitol Hill. But I think it's fair to say that this is a kind of glossed version of Trump's original horrible rhetoric because he doesn't really want to have the current system where you bring in lots of family members.
[01:15:13] He wants to have a more skilled -- skills-based system where only if you have masters or a top bachelor degrees PhDs can you actually get into the country. And that would go against hundreds of years of American values where we don't want to split up families. We don't want to have immigrants here without the support system. And, you know, in terms of whether that's going to actually (INAUDIBLE) the law, very doubtful, because House Democrats control their portion of the chamber.
WATT: Yes, I mean, the President actually said today in the Rose Garden, you know, we will do it after 2020 when we control everything.
Anyway, moving on to another Trump matter, we heard in the past few hours from the Department of Justice that members of the House Intelligence Committee will be allowed to see a less redacted version of the Mueller report. Is that going to change anything?
LIPPMAN: Well, the Justice Department has long seemed to indicate that they could give some members of Congress that, or at least let them see the less redacted version, but the issue still stands.
Is that Congress and particularly Democrats, want a fully unredacted report, the original report, and the evidence underlying it so that they can make a decision about how to move forward and also kind of account for the millions of dollars that were spent on the Mueller investigation, the -- and all of those people that were charged.
They also want to hear from Robert Mueller about this. And that has not been scheduled yet. And so, those are the bigger sticking points and whether Barr is a fair actor in all this, instead of that narrow question that DOJ addressed today.
WATT: And we had Walter Dellinger on -- he was a former solicitor general, he was on CNN Air earlier, saying that the Democrats are getting all tied and knots about this redaction stuff, but actually, in the already public Mueller report, there is enough there to prove that the President has committed the high crimes and misdemeanors.
Anyway, moving on the next thing we found out about Trump today was his financial disclosure from 2018. He earned more than $400 million dollars, $40 million from that Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. What does this disclosure tell us? And without Trump's tax returns which he still hasn't released, what do we still not know?
LIPPMAN: So, we don't know about all his foreign debts and whether he had them during the 2016 campaign.
A lot of American banks refused and still refused to lend him money. And so, it's down to Deutsche Bank and maybe some rush and entities that were, kind of, supplying him with money, although we just don't know. They certainly have bought numerous condos in Trump buildings, all those rich Russian oligarch types.
But today, we learned that he, you know, he's continuing to make a good deal amount of money from his properties, but it's definitely been hit by many Americans who don't want to go to those properties anymore because of their anti-Trump sentiment.
And so, business is down in Mar-a-Lago and a bunch of other Trump organization properties. They've had to take the name off some of those entities, like the ones in Soho and Panama. But, this is a President who's still raking it in, and he's actually making a lot of money on his Washington Hotel, which is this focal point for people trying to influence the administration.
WATT: And we still haven't seen his tax returns and it doesn't look like we are going to see them anytime soon.
LIPPMAN: No, we can't -- we should not hold our breath for that. Even though he said, oh I'll release it when I'm off audit. But it would seem to think that, you know, he's been under audit for many years. He's never going to get not under audit. And so, you know, this is something that Democrats are trying to pry his tax returns from the IRS and that's going to be a huge core battle as well.
WATT: And I want to move now to the other side of the aisle, there are now 23 people running for the Democratic nomination for president. I mean, that seems absurd. What's your take on this?
LIPPMAN: Well, every single Democrat who has any chance in their head of doing -- of winning a single state, like Bill de Blasio with New York State, even though New Yorkers hate him. You know, he has not been a good mayor for many people.
And so, they are all angling for T.V. contracts and cabinet secretary positions and for one person, maybe a V.P. slot, if there was a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket or Joe Biden-Beto or Mayor Pete ticket
[01:20:09] But otherwise, this is going to make it much harder for Democrats to come together and to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 if they have all these squabbling amongst themselves.
WATT: Daniel Lippman, in Washington, thanks very much for joining us.
LIPPMAN: Thank you.
WATT: Next on CNN NEWSROOM, businesses starting to feel the consequences of the U.S. trade war with China. Ahead, we are in Shanghai to see how companies on both sides of the Pacific are reacting. Plus, Game of Thrones is coming to an end, but some upset fans are already demanding a remake, we'll tell you why, later in the program.
WATT: Huawei says all options are on the table, even legal action, after the Trump administration basically banned them from U.S. contracts. The Chinese tech giant is the world's largest telecom equipment maker. And it believes this move will backfire, hurting thousands of American businesses and consumers.
Meanwhile, China is accusing the U.S. of abusing the concept of national security and urging it to stop imposing "unilateral sanctions of Chinese entities." All this part, perhaps, of that trade war between the U.S. and China. There's no let-up in sight. Billions of dollars are at stake and Chinese and American businesses are feeling the pinch. CNN's Matt Rivers reports from a trade fair in Shanghai. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If you want to talk international trade, this is a good spot, a giant conference in Shanghai, packed with people who import and export food. As the U.S.- China trade war heats up, they're feeling it because most products here are now facing steep tariffs, either from Beijing or Washington.
ANDY HOROWITZ, RESTAURANT OWNER: I'm hoping that it doesn't -- the pork doesn't get much more expensive than it is.
RIVERS: Andy Horowitz runs a restaurant in Beijing, China put a 25 percent tariff on the American pork he sells, so his profits took a hit.
Why then keep buying American pork?
HOROWITZ: You want to support American farmers and what they're trying to do as well.
RIVERS: Most Americans we spoke to here are just trying to ride out the storm until a deal is struck, whenever that might be.
ANDY ANDERSON, WESTERN U.S. AGRICULTURAL TRADE ASSOCIATION: Everybody's going to have a group hug and we're going to move forward. And then, oh, no, sorry, false alarm.
[01:25:06] RIVERS: Just two weeks ago, it did look like a deal was in the works. But the White House says China reneged on commitments, which China denied, but a pair of tweets from President Trump sparked a sudden escalation, and within eight days, both sides announced new tariffs. But no matter who's to blame, the uncertainty is a problem for Americans.
ANDERSON: Chinese buyers are saying, well, you know, I like your product. I would like to buy your product, but tomorrow it might be an additional 25 percent.
RIVERS: Buyers like Liu Yanming, who wants to buy U.S. blueberries, he just can't.
LIU YANMING, BUYER (through translator): The tariff has gone from 10 percent to 25 percent. So, of course, we can't buy from the U.S. We'd lose money. It's irrational.
RIVERS: A set of new tariffs kicks in around June 1st, but a deal is unlikely before then. So, more pain is likely, which some are OK with, if it's temporary.
ROLF HAUGEN, FARMER, WASHINGTON STATE RASPBERRY: I voted for him, I guess, and I believe in what he's doing.
RIVERS: Washington State Raspberry farmer, Rolf Haugen, says even if the trade war hurts a bit now, in the long run, it's for the best.
HAUGEN: If we have to sacrifice a little bit today so that our kids and grandkids have a better life going forward, I'm willing to put up with a little bit today.
RIVERS: Matt Rivers, CNN, Shanghai.
WATT: Australians will choose a prime minister on Saturday, but, neither of the two main candidates are exactly soaring in popularity. What's at stake in that vote? That's ahead.
WATT: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Nick Watt, with the headlines this hour. An American official tells CNN that the U.S. believes Iran is using commercial freighters to surreptitiously move missiles or other weapons around the Persian Gulf.
The assessment apparently based on multiple images of Iranian ships with large areas of their decks removed. The U.S. hasn't provided any concrete evidence if the ships are carrying ammunitions.
President Trump is finally unveiled his vision for an overhauled immigration system. Mr. Trump wants to scrap the current guidelines that focus on family ties and humanitarian needs. Instead, he is proposing points-based system that gives priority to those who speak English and have strong job skills.
Boeing says it's finished developing a software fix for its grounded 737 Max fleet. The manufacturer says it tested the update more than 200 flights for more than 360 hours. The jets have been grounded since March after two deadly crashes killed 346 people.
Australians are gearing up to vote in parliamentary elections on Saturday. Current prime minister Scott Morrison with the center right Liberal Party says that he will keep the country's economy strong, slash public debt, and reduce taxes. His main opponent is opposition Labor Party candidate bill Shorten. He's campaigning to increase taxes on the wealthy and to takes strong action on climate change.
Jamie Tarabay is a correspondent for the "New York Times" in Australia. And she joins me now from Hong Kong.
Jamie -- on the face of it, Australia seems to do election s pretty well. They vote on a Saturday, mandatory voting so turnout is always high. You know, it's not necessarily a binary choice.
It all seems to look good but this looks like a disaster. But this looks like a disaster. I mean no one likes any of the candidates, really. And you've already had what -- five prime ministers in the last ten years. What is the problem?
JAMIE TARABAY, CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES": It's actually been six, so --
WATT: Oh, TARABAY: So that's a big part of why there is so much voter apathy
right now. I was in Canberra last week and no one is listening to the pollsters. Everyone's looking to see who the bookies have.
And they do have Labor with Bill Shorten but not by a landslide. They think it's going to be pretty close. There's so much voter apathy. Everyone is pretty disgusted with the revolving door within the Labor Party and within the liberals that we've seen over the last, you know, six years that Labor has been in opposition. The Liberals have had three different prime ministers.
And essentially, you know, we talk about it's a short electoral campaign season but once Malcolm Turnbull was pushed out of power last summer, everyone has really been campaigning for this day. So it's going to be really interesting to see what happens.
I think one of the things that's going to be ironic for the coalition is that there's going to be a really big youth vote. A lot of the younger people, especially those who were turning 18, registered to vote so they could have their say on the same sex marriage referendum that happened a couple of years ago.
And now ironically they're all already all registered to vote. Climate change is the biggest challenge that they see coming and it's pretty likely that that is where they're going to put their vote.
WATT: I mean that is, to me, extraordinary. I mean climate change is what -- I mean perhaps the biggest issue. And listen, you know Australia -- what -- it was 2018 was the hottest year on record. There's droughts, floods, fires. And I think we just got some pictures today from "Nature Magazine". a load of what was it -- 977,000 shoes and 370,00 toothbrushes washed up on the Cocos Islands.
WATT: I mean, has all of that contributed to Australians perhaps ahead of the rest of us really taking the environment seriously, when it comes to the ballot box?
TARABAY: Australia is definitely one of the canaries in the coalmine when it comes to the environment. We've seen so much extreme weather in the last, you know, several years. There's been Extreme drought. There's been extreme, mass flooding. The Great Barrier Reef has been impacted by heat waves.
You know, it just isn't -- you know, it comes from a lot of, you know -- a big part of that is the fact that Australia is also one of the biggest exporters of coal. And, you know, those fossil fuels aren't doing any good anywhere.
It's definitely a problem and the reason -- one of the biggest reasons why Malcolm Turnbull was pushed out of power last year was because he was trying to push through an energy policy which people within his own conservative coalition did not want.
The current Prime Minister Scott Morrison turned up to parliament one day with a lump of coal. This is a really complicated and very emotional issue for a lot of people.
But, you know, there's a point now with Bill Shorten and the Labor Party, they're coming out very ambitiously with their plans for the environment. And despite criticism from the coalition that it's going to cost a lot of money, his argument is well we pay for it now or we pay for it in the future.
And a lot of the younger people do see that this is their future that the country is gambling with and that has been -- that's their biggest sort of concern, and that's really why they are all going to be turning up.
WATT: Now, over here John Oliver has been poking a little bit of fun on TV, a cavalcade of apparently kind of unsavory candidates. Let's just take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OLIVER, TV HOST: A shocking number of candidates have gone in trouble over offensive social media posts. This one for anti-Muslims posts. This one for anti-Semitic posts. This one for homophobic remarks. This one for a race joke. And this one, Ross McDonald, for a plethora of lewd photos he posted to his own Facebook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: And you know, there's also Clive Palmer (ph) who's being called over here the kind of Australian Trump.
[01:35:00] I mean is it normal in Australian elections to have this kind of sideshow distraction?
TARABAY: I think there's always someone out there in, you know, election season. I think that social media has been the biggest culprit this time around. And maybe that's a sign of our times that if there had been Twitter or Instagram, you know, five, ten years ago we would have seen the exact same thing.
There's always very colorful characters within the Senate. Even just looking at the ballots, you know, recently. There's -- there is, you know -- there's definitely the anti -- there's the anti-Islamophobic, there would be anti-Muslim parties. There's the anti-immigration party. There's the right wing nationalist party. There's the love Australia or leave it party.
There's also, you know, the Australian women's party and the Australian seniors party. And there's the, you know, hemp and marijuana prohibition, or better known as Hemp party.
So this isn't something that, you know, is new. But social media is definitely a danger now that politicians have to be wary of. Something that they really didn't have to deal with, you know, all those years ago.
WATT: Jamie Tarabay joining us from Hong Kong. Thanks very much you for your time. TARABAY: Thank you.
WATT: Now, as Australia gets ready to pick between some of its most unpopular candidates ever, one of its most admired politicians has just passed away. Bob Hawke, "Hawkie" to his mates and admirers died on Thursday just days before Saturday's election. He served as prime minister from 1983 to 1991.
He is remembered for reforming the nation's economy, championing the trade union movement, and women's rights. As well as his colorful personality and sense of humor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: He made Australia stronger through his contribution to public life. He had a great intellect. He had enormous passion. And he had courage. And that was able to sustain him in being the longest serving Labor prime minister of all time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Hawke loved Australia and Australia loved Bob Hawke. But his legacy will endure forever. Bob Hawke changed Australia for the better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Bob Hawke was 89 years old.
Meanwhile, the world has also lost another famous innovator. I.M. Pei, the revered modernist architect died on Thursday at the age of 102. He is perhaps best remembered for designing for designing the glass pyramid outside the Louvre Museum in Paris.
But as CNN's Will Ripley reports, his work also had an impact in Asia and around the world.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I.M. Pei was a Chinese-American architect whose legacy is some of the world's most recognized buildings. Perhaps his most famous -- the redevelopment of the Louvre in Paris.
I.M. PEI, ARCHITECT: For me coming home here is coming home.
RIPLEY: In the 1980s he gave us this masterpiece of glass and metal, a pyramid outside the main museum entrance and the underground galleries below. His modernist vision was fiercely opposed by many at the time.
PEI: I remember people -- an old lady spitting on the sidewalk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really.
PEI: That venomous. They're so unhappy with what I did. RIPLEY: That Paris icon eventually won over even the most fickle
French critics, and now is just as timeless as the treasures inside the world's most visited museum.
In 1935, Pei got on about to San Francisco, and despite not speaking English, he went on to study at both MIT and Harvard. As America changed rapidly in the 1960s, Pei's ground-breaking works changed skylines of his new home.
In the dark days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Pei was chosen for a commission that propelled him into the limelight -- the design of the JFK presidential library in Boston
His work continued to shape a modernizing America, designing icons like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the East Building of the National Gallery of Arts in Washington.
Pei made his mark in the United States and gained global fame in Paris but he won't be forgotten in the city where he lived as a boy. Pei's Bank of China building feels as if it could not be anywhere else but here -- in the center of Hong Kong. A jewel in the city's glimmering skyline, a testament to the legend behind it.
WATT: And that was CNN's Will Ripley reporting from Hong Kong.
I.m. Pei it's also remembered for his good humor, charm, and modesty.
[01:40:02] Next on CNN NEWSROOM -- revisiting the students who lived through a mass shooting at their school and how they have turned their anger into activism.
WATT: All this week CNN has been bringing you stories of people who are trying to make the world a better place. This installment of "Champions for Change" revisits two of the students who spoke out with such force and conviction immediately after surviving the mass shooting at their Florida high school.
Our Alisyn Camerota has their story.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: another deadly school shooting.
I am in Parkland, Florida scene of the latest school shooting.
This is the site of the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since Sandy Hook.
When I got the call that Parkland had happened, that there was yet another school shooting, my heart sank. I have kids that I send off to school every day and I know that they are no safer than the kids at Parkland were. I flew down to Parkland. The next morning we were on the air first thing.
We are joined by two of the shooting survivors.
David Hogg was one of my first interviews and something was different right away.
DAVID HOGG, ACTIVIST: No legislative action has been taken. All we have now is more guns and more chances for things go wrong.
CAMEROTA: A senior at the time, he took cover in a classroom during the shooting and worried about his sister Lauren, a freshman.
He just gripped the whole country's attention.
HOGG: Please, take action.
CAMEROTA: He turned right to the camera. He was already beseeching leaders to jump into action with him.
HOGG: You guys like are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics.
CAMEROTA: Even in the hours after they had been through the most hideous tragedy imaginable they were already trying to change the world.
Lauren -- how are you feeling? And I felt the same way when I met Lauren Hogg.
LAUREN HOGG, PARKLAND STUDENT: Thinking about all those victims, I just know there is a reason why I made it out that day and that reason has to be to make change.
CAMEROTA: The Never Again hashtag cropped up because they didn't want to ever have this happen again.
D. HOGG: We say no more.
CAMEROT: They've traveled around the country. They've met other survivors of gun violence. They got the laws changed in Florida. They are not letting the lawmakers forget it.
[01:45:05] What are we looking at here?
L. HOGG: This is our art installation. As I put up all those hundreds of crosses, crescents and Stars of David, I thought of my friends last year. We wrote things like "teacher", "doctor" to represent not only the people who were taken from gun violence, but taken from society they are in.
CAMEROTA: You wanted to get the attention of lawmakers?
L. HOGG: That is why we did it here. Because we wanted those people while they're walking between breaks and theyr'e leaving work and know that their inaction is leading for our sisters, our sisters, our brothers, our moms and dads to die every single day.
CAMEROTA: When you hit obstacles, how is it that you have been able to stay energized?
D. HOGG: By looking back at the success that we have had. We focused on youth voter turnout and raising youth voice because we know that is not Democrats or Republicans that can solve this issue. It has to be human beings that solve this issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a mother. I'm a fighter.
CAMEROTA: Is it true that the Parkland students were your inspiration to run for office?
REP. LUCY MCBATH (D), GEORGIA: Absolutely. I stood up and decided to run to flip for the federal seat after Parkland. I was devastated that here again we had children that were the same age as my son that were gunned down.
It would be a tragedy if I didn't stand up. And then I would be letting down my son and his legacy and every other family, every other victim that I have cried with over the last seven years since Jordan was murdered.
Each generation culturally has a cause. Sitting at the lunch counters. You know, walking out of classrooms. It is the same thing.
This is the civil rights movement that these young people are fighting for.
D. HOGG: Change is here.
We need a Congress that goes out there and talks about this issue and gives us a deadline of when they're going to actually be able to stop gun violence.
CAMEROTA: David graduated from Stoneman Douglas in 2018. He's taking a year off from his studies to focus on activism and he plans to attend Harvard this fall.
L. HOGG: I feel as though in the last year we have made an abundant amount of progress. Honestly, how young people really have realized their power is the thing that I find to be the most profound.
REBECCA BOLDRICK, MOTHER OF DAVID & LAUREN HOGG: They are change- makers. I see both of them really changing the conversation in this country about gun violence and then going forward and being leaders in our country.
L. HOGG: It is still hard for me to think of myself as an activist because, honestly, I never had that in mind when I started speaking out. I just was a kid who was upset that my friends were murdered in my school.
D. HOGG: I also look ahead to the future. I mean I just can't wait until we pass our first piece of federal legislation. It will all just be an incredibly impactful moment.
CAMEROTA: What has been your greatest achievement?
D. HOGG: Now, that we certainly can lead and we are leading together with other generations, I know we can end this issue.
CAMEROTA: I'm just so impressed with these kids. All of us thought maybe this will peter out. Maybe they'll have to be busy with school. But they haven't given up. They're just as strong a year later. They just are as energized as the day that I first met them.
WATT: And we will keep sharing these inspiring stories all week long. And tune in on Sunday morning at 8:00 in Hong Kong for an hour-long "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" special.
We will be right back.
[01:48:39] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WATT: Britain's Prince Harry has accepted a quote, "substantial amount in damages plus an apology" after the paparazzi went to extreme heights to snap intrusive photos of the country home he shared with his wife Meghan.
CNN's Max Foster has the details.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Prince Harry took the Splash News and Picture Agency to court following an incident on January 9th earlier this year.
And in statements to court, Prince Harry said this. "The agency hired a helicopter. The helicopter flew over their home in Oxfordshire at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area, the dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom."
Those photographs were published by the "Times" newspaper, says Prince Harry, and on other online publications as well. They immediately instructed lawyers, which resulted in this case and ultimately the agency has apologized to Prince Harry and substantial sums in damages have been awarded to Prince Harry.
Now, his argument was this. He said the publication of these photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they were no longer able to live at the property so they had to move out as a result of this invasion of privacy.
This news came to us via a press statement from the Palace. So the other thing we can draw from this is that Prince Harry is putting the message out, if you cross that line, he's going to take you to court.
Max Foster, CNN -- London.
WATT: And now our watch is ending. After nine years and eight seasons the fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" is coming to an end. The final episode airs on HBO this Sunday, but some fans are absolutely livid about the shocking twists and turns of its last few episodes.
Already, more than 700,000 of them have signed an online petition urging HBO to remake season eight with quote, "competent writers". No comment yet from HBO, which is also part of CNN's parent company Warner Media.
Let's talk about all this with CNN media critic Brian Lowry. He joins me now live from Los Angeles. But before we dive in, Brian, just a warning, there may be some spoilers ahead. So if like Junie, one of our writers, you're not caught up, ear muffs.
All right. Brian -- why have so many people got their undies in a bunch?
BRIAN LOWRY, CNN MEDIA CRITIC: Well, that's a good description. Look, the season, you know, with a show like this, I think this is very similar in a log of ways to what happens with "The Last Jedi", the last "Star Wars" movie.
This is a franchise people are very extremely invested in. They've had a long time to think about where they see the story going and when it goes in a direction that they don't like, they are not shy about expressing as much. And you've seen a real blow back against the season.
I would caution that, you know, sometimes the loudest voices on Twitter are not necessarily as representative as many of the fans who may be watching, who may think well, that wasn't, you know, that wasn't quite what it should be but who aren't as outraged as someone who had signed a petition saying let's redo the season.
WATT: Listen, you are a professional critic, what do you think?
LOWRY: I have had problems with the last episode, particularly. I can see some of the criticisms of the speed at which some of the characters have evolved this season. I think that some of the questions about the way some of the female characters have behaved are certainly legitimate criticisms.
Although, I would also add at the disclaimer that there's a famous book called "The Martian" wouldn't say that, which is about a network, you know, saying that a Martian, about the show "My Favorite Martian".
It kind of feels that way to me a little bit when you're saying a woman flying dragon wouldn't do that. You know, it falls under the heading of you're dealing with a fantasy world and therefore you can't always directly analogize that to our reality.
WATT: But people have also just got so invested in the show over the years. I mean --
WATT: -- it's amazing. And actually alluding to what you were just talking about, you know, a number of people have called their baby daughter's Khaleesi -- I mean I know somebody who has -- I know somebody who has done that. I mean -- I mean what happens now?
[01:54:55] LOWRY: Yes. I said when I first saw that people who have named their daughter Daenerys were upset, I said I'm going to have a hard time breaking this to my son, Anakin.
But, you know, I think it's completely legitimate that when you invest six, seven, eight years in a television show, in this case eight years, you become invested in it, and you certainly don't want to feel like it's ending in a way that sort of invalidates all the time that you put in it. I think a lot of people felt that way with "Lost" where it reached the end of the story and they went really, that's all there is.
WATT: I mean --
LOWRY: -- certainly I can understand the anger.
WATT: Yes. but I mean that's the thing. You know, it's hard to do a finale right because people are so invested. For me, the best ones -- I mean "The Sopranos", I know some people didn't like it. I thought that was genius. "Six Feet Under" - outstanding. Veep, which just finished this past weekend, not so much.
I mean what are the good examples you think of shows that really just nailed that landing?
LOWRY: Well, "The Sopranos" is an interesting one because I had a very visceral, negative reaction to it when it first aired. And have grown somewhat softer on it in the time since.
I thought "Breaking Bad" really, really stuck the landing. My argument with these things is, I generally -- 'm not adverse to something being cryptic and sort vague, but I like closure better. I really, really feel like if the writers have spent seven years or eight years telling me a story, I want to know how they want to end it. I don't want to have to fill in the gaps on how I think it ends.
I think "Breaking Bad" is a great example of that. But there are some wonderful -- "Six Feet Under" to me is kind of one for the ages example of that as well.
WATT: Brian, in Los Angeles, thank you very much.
LOWRY: Thank you.
WATT: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Nick Watt.
The news continues on CNN right after this.
[01:57:06] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)