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Palestinians Clash with Israeli Forces; Russia Expels Diplomats and Tests New Ballistic Missile; Trump White House; Officer Who Shot Alton Sterling is Fired; South Korean Musicians to Perform in North Korea; China's Space Lab to Fall to Earth Soon; Facebook Faces New Crisis with Leaked Memo; Plans in Full Swing for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired March 31, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Palestinians begin a second day of protests. This was the scene Friday, when 17 Palestinians were reportedly killed and more than 1,400 wounded along the border with Israel.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Also this hour, packing up: the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg closes as part of a diplomat spat with Russia.
HOWELL (voice-over): Plus K-pop music and politics. South Korean and musicians singers head to the North to perform some musical diplomacy.
ALLEN (voice-over): Why not throw a little K-pop into the mix?
HOWELL (voice-over): Right, K-pop.
ALLEN (voice-over): Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world, we're coming to you live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell coming to you from CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.
ALLEN: We begin this hour is trouble in the Middle East. A day of mourning for Palestinians.
HOWELL: This, after at least 17 people were killed, almost 1,500 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops on Friday. According to Palestinian officials, it was the first day of what is planned as weeks of protest, called the March of Return.
ALLEN: Palestinians are demanding they be allowed to return to land that is now part of Israel.
HOWELL: Our Ian Lee has been in the middle of all of the protests. He is back now live.
Ian, what more can you tell us about the situation right now?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, yesterday, we were in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. This time, we are in the southern part, east of Kaminis (ph). And if you can see behind me, you have camps.
Camps like this are set up all along the border, they are multiple camps. These are staging points for the protesters. They usually meet there and that's when they start their protest, going toward the border. And there's a fence, you probably can't see it; it's far. But there's a fence and a dirt mound. That is where the Israeli military is positioned.
Yesterday, though, the violence was intense, the tensions were high. We were told by a spokesman from the Palestinian ministry of health that it was the deadliest single day in Gaza since the 2014 war.
LEE (voice-over): The value of land in blood and tears. Earlier, Gazans moved toward the border. Israeli soldiers monitor from a dirt berm on the other side.
First, they fire warnings, then tear gas.
The Palestinians advance, some hurling rocks with slingshots. Then come Israeli bullets and the casualties.
LEE: Throughout the course of the day, we have seen so many people injured that the ambulances have a tough time of keeping up. They drop the injured people off at the hospital; they get back, usually filled up, and they are off again.
LEE (voice-over): The death toll rises, more than 1,000 injured. Overwhelmed hospitals struggle to cope. Still, the tens of thousands rally around the Palestinian flag. They are demanding to return to their lands lost in the 1948 war, which is now in Israel. Hamas urged them to remain peaceful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Of course we feel afraid but we should sacrifice for our land. People should sacrifice for it. But, of course, we feel scared. We are afraid because our children are very important for us.
LEE (voice-over): Scenes like this played out along the border, Palestinians and Israeli soldiers squaring off. For the residents of Gaza, the goal is simple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are ready to cross now over to the border. We aren't waiting. We have crossed it before and we will do it again. LEE (voice-over): Crossing that fence is a red line for Israel's military, blaming Hamas for the day's violence and issuing a warning that the army views with great severity any breach of Israeli sovereignty or attempts to damage the security infrastructure.
Yet still, the young men of Gaza push forward, casualties mounting. The largest protest Gaza has seen in years, met with deadly violence. And this is only day one.
LEE: George, we are going to be monitoring day two. There's not as many people out today as we saw yesterday. We are expecting this ebb and flow over the next six weeks, as long as these protests are called for.
LEE: Friday is typically the day of protests in this region. So on those days, we are expecting a spike.
But also, hearing from the Palestinian ministry of health yesterday, there were so many casualties they are lacking on basic medicines for emergency and supplies. They also say they had a shortage of blood yesterday but were able to get enough people to donate and fill that gap.
Just kind of gives you an idea of the intensity of the situation that unfolded yesterday -- George.
HOWELL: As you pointed out in your report, the value of land, blood and tears. We will, of course, see how things develop today. Ian, thank you for the report.
In the latest move of a diplomatic rift between Russia and the United States, Russia is following through with its promise. It's expelled diplomats.
ALLEN: The staff of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg are leaving the building after Russia closed it down. It all stems from the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the U.K. Britain says Russia is behind it. Russia denies that.
HOWELL: Ambassadors from more than 20 other countries were called to the Russian foreign ministry Friday to be told a number of their diplomats were being expelled; this after their countries kicked out Russian diplomats.
ALLEN: Let's get more about it. Matthew Chance is joining us live from our Moscow bureau.
Hello to you, Matthew, and, first of all, what do we know about these latest expulsions?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know there's been a lot of them, at least 23 countries have had their ambassadors called to the Russian foreign ministry here in Moscow, handed letters by foreign ministry officials and then told a various number of diplomats from each country has been expelled in response to the expulsions for those countries of Russian diplomats.
A number of countries have been left out. But Russia has said it reserves the right to take action against them in the future.
Russia, also, issued a further protest and a further sanction to Britain, saying that the United Kingdom must lower the number of diplomats it has in Russia to the same number that Russia has in Britain.
But we haven't worked it out yet and the British haven't told us yet about whether that means any further expulsions or not.
But, yes, the situation has been an incredibly damaging one. It is still ongoing. More than 140 Russian officials, in fact, 145 diplomats expelled from various countries around the world in response to this Skripal poisoning case, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, of course, in Salisbury in England.
And there's a sense in which it's left Russia more isolated diplomatically than at any time since the end of the Cold War.
The big question, Natalie, of course, is whether this show of international unity or at least the Western unity in the face of this alleged Russian action will be enough to give Russia pause for thought, whether it will cease in what many in the West believe is Russia's strategy of confrontation or whether it will antagonize Russia even further.
Again, it's not clear at this point what the impact of these expulsions and this diplomatic spat will be.
ALLEN: Right. You have to wonder if this is what Vladimir Putin wants. We should be hearing from Sergey Lavrov at some point to comment on these things.
Do we know where any of this will end as far as the tit-for-tat back and forth, expelling diplomats?
CHANCE: It's difficult to say. I think, from the view of most countries involved in this, this is likely to be the end of it. But the fact that there's been more measures issued against the United Kingdom and that they have been asked to reduce or ordered to reduce the number of diplomats here to the same number as in the United Kingdom of Russians could mean that we enter into another round of bilateral tit-for-tat expulsions between London and Moscow.
But, you know, I think the main driver of this is going to be what actions Russia takes in the future. If this diplomatic spat produces the result that many in the West want, which is that Russia ceases to be so confrontational over a range of issues, not just this alleged chemical weapons poisoning, but issues from Syria to Ukraine to various other things in the international diplomacy, then this could very well be the end of it. But certainly, it feels like we are in a very tense moment in
international relations or relations between Russia and the West.
ALLEN: Certainly is a new development and it's worldwide. Thank you, Matthew Chance for us there in Moscow.
Well, just as the diplomatic row is heating up --
ALLEN: -- Russia showed a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
HOWELL: This missile, called the Sarmat, but NATO has nicknamed it Satan 2. As our Barbara Starr reports, Moscow says it can carry multiple warheads and can strike targets around the world.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russia claims this is a test of their new state of the art intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed Satan 2. According to the Russian state news agency, it's the second successful test.
It comes after this recent Russia test firing of what it says is an airborne high speed ICBM. Just weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a flashy display of weaponry, including the Satan 2.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): This new system has virtually no limitations on distance and as you can see from the video, it's capable of attacking targets via both the North and South Pole.
STARR: One Russian video animation even showing airborne weapons attacking Florida, nobody missing the implication that Russia could reach President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
The top U.S. commander in charge of America's nuclear arsenal is watching closely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well nothing he said surprised me. Once again, you know, we have very good intelligence capabilities and we watch very closely, so nothing he said surprised me.
STARR: But the new missile launch comes less than 24 hours after U.S. diplomats were expelled from Russia in retaliation for the U.S. kicking Russians out as part of a global response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Even if there is no link in timing, a former top U.S. diplomat says it's time for everyone to be careful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any link (INAUDIBLE) nuclear deterrents with the current spat is an upgrade that I think one needs to be careful about. I worry about accident in miscommunication, it's hard to know whether we're close or far away from that.
But the mere notion that there's a minor chance of something going awry on the nuclear side should disturb us all.
STARR: President Trump says he's prepared to discuss all of this with President Putin face to face, even though he didn't bring up the poisoning or election meddling in their last phone call.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We could discuss the arms race, as you know, he made a statement that being in an arms race is not a great thing and that was right after the election, one of the first statements he made.
And we are spending $700 billion this year on our military and a lot of it is that we are going to remain stronger than any other nation in the world by far.
STARR: Most of these Russian weapons are years away from being operational, but when they are, what happens then? -- Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
ALLEN: We also heard from the U.S. president on the issue of Syria.
HOWELL: And that, apparently, confused his team. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon. Very soon, we're coming out. We'll have 100 percent of the faith as they call it, sometimes referred to as land. We are taking it all back, quickly. We are going to come out of there real soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: A senior administration official tells CNN they are still trying to figure out exactly what the president meant. Even the Pentagon was caught off guard with the statements. They had just warned the campaign against ISIS was far from over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA WHITE, CHIEF PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON: While the coalition has significantly degraded ISIS, important work remains, to guarantee the lasting defeat of these violent extremists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: What is life without a little contradiction, I suppose. Let's look into it now with Inderjeet Parmar. Inderjeet, A professor of international politics at City University of London, live in our London bureau.
OK, let's talk about this. The U.S. president and military top brass clearly not on the same page regarding Syria, as evidenced by what Mr. Trump said to supporters in Ohio. But the simple fact he announced his plan is a contradiction as well, as the president himself has pointed out in the past. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don't want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is. This is what Obama does. We are going to leave Iraq on a certain day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, he just broadcast to the world his plan.
So Inderjeet, the question, is the president winging it here?
What do you make of these series of contradictions?
INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY LONDON: Well, it's difficult to know exactly what is going on. It could be just rally talk. It's reminiscent of some of the things candidate Trump said during the campaign, that he was going to not meddle in the Middle East so much. But it is a contradiction of his own statements in the past and a contradiction of what appears to be established understandings --
PARMAR: -- in the Pentagon. So it's very difficult to unravel. The only thing I can say with certainty is that, if he intends to carry through this claim, this statement, that they are going to withdraw U.S. troops, about w,000 of them in Syria, then I think that is going to ruffle a lot of feathers within the defense and military establishment, which I think will lose face in regard to the so-called fight against ISIS.
ALLEN: But with regard to the United States and essentially standing by its word and its plans, what does this say to other world leaders, these contradictions, again, coming from the President of the United States?
PARMAR: Well, it destabilizes them. I think they probably got used to off-the-cuff comments and so on. This one may not be so much off- the-cuff. He has said this in the past as well.
But the thing is, the situation in Syria is incredibly complicated. You have got Turkey involved there against Kurdish fighters they claim are terrorists. And some of the people they appear to be allying with are related in some way or another to Al Qaeda and ISIS.
You have the United States with 2,000 troops there, also fighting against the regime and occasionally clashing with Russian troops, thereby treading a fine line between a confrontation between the two most heavily nuclear armed powers in the world.
And you've got the increasing level of kind of land sort of control, if you like, territorial control, by the Syrian regime with assistance from Russia and Iran.
So what you have got is a country which is sort of being interfered with in various ways by outside powers. And I think, if the United States were to withdraw, that would probably allow Syria a much greater level of control of its own territory and may well then allow also Turkey to withdraw and that could actually then restore Syrian territorial sovereignty under the Assad regime.
HOWELL: Let's pivot to talk about the chilly state of diplomatic relations between the United States and Russia. Diplomats being kicked out of both countries and Russia announcing it has a brand new missile capable of evading any defense systems.
Do these moves strike you as the beginnings of a second Cold War?
PARMAR: No, they don't. The key thing is, the situation during the Cold War itself, it now we are probably making it a bit of a romantic saga. Many people regret the end of the Cold War. They like the so- called certainties.
But the fact is that the United States and Russia, Russia has nowhere near the kind of level of power the United States has anyway. This is a diplomatic tit-for-tat. It's lots of credibility and fact to have so many Russian diplomats expelled from a larger number of countries, 25 or so, mainly in Europe.
But this is a show of strength to say we are going to expel an equal number of your diplomats and we're going to show you that, actually, you can't mess with Russia. Part of it has to do with the optics. Russia, Putin are managing their own public opinion.
And these missiles that have been in development for a long time and take many years to become operational, I think it's a show of force to say, well, we are well armed and you can't just push us around.
But I think in the end, I don't think this is a new Cold War. I think it's, yes, it's confrontational. But if you look at the kind of balance of nuclear terror, the balance of nuclear terror suggests that no one is going to win anything. And I don't think leaderships either in the West or in Russia, or China for that matter or North Korea, calculate in that kind of way in any case.
HOWELL: Inderjeet Parmar, thank you so much for your time and perspective today.
PARMAR: Thank you.
ALLEN: We focus next on the fight against police violence here in the United States. Two U.S. cities hundreds of miles apart are dealing with the deaths of two African American men, killed by police.
HOWELL: Plus, Facebook in crisis, again. How Mark Zuckerberg is responding to a leaked memo written by a top company executive. Stay with us.
HOWELL: In the U.S. state of California, the capital city of Sacramento, less than two weeks after police shot and killed an unarmed African American man, pressure is growing for accountability.
ALLEN: Protesters are demanding justice for this man, Stephon Clark. They gathered outside the Sacramento city hall Friday night, chanting, "Black lives matter."
HOWELL: This protest comes just hours after a new autopsy ordered by Clark's family showed that he was shot eight times. Six of the bullets hit him in the back.
ALLEN: The family's lawyers say that contradicts the police version of the shooting that Clark was running toward them when the fired. Ryan Young is in Sacramento for us.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another night of protests in Sacramento. You can see the protesters behind me, letting their voices be heard. Of course, this is a day that had a lot of high emotion because the attorney for the family came out with their own findings and autopsy.
The autopsy shows that they believe in their investigation that Clark was shot multiple times and then six shots hit him in the back and then another in the leg. The father of two, they believe, was on the grounds dying for several minutes before he received help. And of course, ultimately, he died.
Now, you can feel the power of this protest that has been taking to the streets for the last few days. They do plan to have another protest Saturday before the NBA game here. There's been a lot of conversation about what to do next here in the city.
We do know the police department has said they will not comment about the independent autopsy because they do not want to comment before their investigation is finished. What they are doing here, though, is they're standing still right outside of city hall to make sure their voices are heard.
Once again, another protest Saturday, a lot of people wondering what will happen next because people in this community say, they want to have more answers from the --
YOUNG: -- authorities involved -- Ryan Young, CNN, Sacramento.
HOWELL: Ryan, thank you.
In the meantime, there are new developments to tell you about in another police-involved shooting in the U.S. from 2016. On Friday, officials in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, fired one of the officers who shot and killed this man, Alton Sterling. They say officer Blane Salamoni violated the use of force policy. Officials also released four videos from that night.
ALLEN: And here is some of footage of that night. We want to warn you, It is disturbing. It shows two officers trying to get Sterling to put up his hands against a car and eventually struggling with him on the ground. Seconds later, gunshots are heard. Later, the video shows Sterling as he lay dying on the ground.
Another story that we are following, Malala Yousafzai, the 20-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is visiting her hometown in Pakistan's SWAT Valley. She hasn't seen her home since the Taliban tried to kill her in 2012.
HOWELL: Wow, just to see that video, so important for her.
This video, just after she landed, Malala says she is hopeful for Pakistan's future. During an interview on local TV, she praised the rise of activism and the fight for free speech in her home country.
ALLEN: She is one brave young woman.
ALLEN: Coming up here, make pop music, not war. How a girl group is on the front lines of South Korean diplomacy.
HOWELL: Plus, Facebook is scrambling again, this time because of a leaked memo written by a top executive who said he just wanted to start a discussion. Wait until you hear it. Stay with us.
ALLEN (voice-over): Welcome back to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. We are wide awake here. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL (voice-over): I'm George Howell with the top stories this hour.
HOWELL: It is shaping up to be a busy week of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, has just wrapped up a trip to North Korea. He says the country will participate in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
The news comes as the U.S. takes more steps to cut off coal and oil smuggling by Pyongyang. The Security Council accepted a U.S. proposal Friday to blacklist dozens of ships and shipping companies.
ALLEN: Steps forward, steps backward. The U.S. and South Korea will also put on a show of force, the joint military drills like these over the weekend. As those war games kick off South Korean artists will put on a very, very different kind of show. These performers, all of these performers here left for the North just hours ago for a short tour.
The troupe includes a K-pop girl band and rock singers. This is the first time in more than a decade South Korean artists will perform in the North.
HOWELL: Military drills, diplomacy and K-pop. Let's bring in CNN's Alexandra Field, live in Seoul, South Korea, to talk about it.
Here we go, Alexandra, let's talk about the situation here, diplomacy that started with the Olympic Games, now it's a different type of cultural exchange we are seeing. The South Korean K-pop band that will cross the border north to North Korea. Let's take a look at a sample of K-pop for our viewers just so they can see it, for those who are not familiar with it. This is different than what people are used to seeing in North Korea.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look, K-pop is a South Korean cultural export that people are able to see in most parts of the world, if you go looking for it. You will recognize, this is something that is distinctly South Korean. You don't get this kind of access to these kinds of videos in a place like North Korea.
They do, however, have some familiarity with K-pop. There are a couple of K-pop groups actually in North Korea. But this group, Red Velvet, is one of the most famous groups in South Korea and they are taking on some really actually important diplomatic work to a certain extent this weekend, part of a large delegation that flew by charter plane, leaving South Korea this morning, flying into Pyongyang, where they were greeted by North Korean officials. We heard from them about their expectations for the trip just before they took off. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I hope the warm spring day comes in South and North Korea through a performance of the South Korean art troupe in Pyongyang.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is our great honor to perform with veteran singers. As we are the youngest singers, we will do our best to deliver bright energy to the North Korean people. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: And, George, there's obviously a lot of symbolism here that's significant to be sending a large delegation like this over the DMZ, one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world, flying right over that into Pyongyang to put on a show on Sunday night and to also join with North Korean performers to put on another show on Tuesday.
Obviously the symbolism there is important. But this really is a step forward and a significant one at that. You just have to consider it as part of this cascade of diplomatic developments that we have seen in a really condensed period of time.
Look back six months, a year ago, you were talking about tensions reaching some of the highest points on the peninsula. Now you have a group of performers going into North Korea to share a stage.
We saw something similar happen not too long ago when North Korea performers were on stage as part of the Olympic festivities in South Korea. It really all started there with the agreement to send a North Korean delegation to the South for those Olympics. Then the big news of a North Korean-South Korean summit and even bigger news about the possibility still looming of the North Korean leader sitting down --
FIELD: -- perhaps as soon as May with the U.S. president -- George, Natalie.
HOWELL: All right. But right now, we are talking K-pop for sure. Thank you so much, Alexandra Field.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about it now, we are joined live from Seoul by John Delury. He's an associate professor at Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies.
Mr. Delury, thanks so much for talking with us. Let's start with big picture here, first. A girl band heads to South Korea. Kim Jong-un pops up in China. The U.S. and South Korea will launch regular war games. And now we even hear that North Korea is being invited back to the next Olympics in Tokyo and Beijing.
So big picture, what do you make of what's being developed here?
JOHN DELURY, YONSEI UNIVERSITY: Well, you know, I think the real big picture, description would be we are watching a process, where Kim Jong-un is kind of leading his country into the world, you know?
He's obviously ready get onto the diplomatic stage, starting with that surprise visit to Beijing. But we can be sure he will be meeting with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, at the end of April.
I think it's quite likely actually that the meeting will happen with Donald Trump and it just goes from there. So if you combine what is happening diplomatically with these cultural exchanges and openings and doing more with sports, I guess the hopeful view is we are seeing the beginning of actually a really historic process, where North Korea sort of normalizes its relations.
I mean, this will take time but sort of comes into the rest of Asia and into the international community. I mean, I think that's the boldest description of what we are watching.
ALLEN: What was your reaction when you, like everyone else, saw that stealth train pull into China and Kim Jong-un step off?
DELURY: Well, before with we saw Kim Jong-un, I did see the reports of the train and I was highly skeptical. I didn't think it was him, even after I had been told by people who knew what they were talking about that it probably was him. I said, no it can't be him.
So I will openly admit to your millions of viewers, I got that one wrong. But he is surprising me, certainly. And I watch China-North Korean relations very closely. So I think Kim Jong-un made that trip happen. I think it was a standing invitation from Xi Jinping and it was Kim Jong-un's decision about the timing.
So right now, he's a step ahead of everyone. But in a positive way. I think these are constructive steps that we are seeing.
ALLEN: Right. And I hear your sense of optimism and I'm sure many share that because they want this to be something positive.
But what about cautionary steps?
I mean this is a person that the world has taken a hard line with; he's threatened the world.
And is anything in play?
Is he playing anyone here?
I know that's hard to know but what about the cautionary steps or things that we should look for?
DELURY: Yes, I think the big point of caution -- and people are talking about this -- is the meaning of denuclearization -- or not necessarily -- it's not about the definition of denuclearization, it's we have to have realistic expectations of how quickly Kim Jong-un give up parts of that program, start moving in the opposite direction from developing the capabilities to dismantling the capabilities.
He's going to have expectations about what he gets in return and that's where it's going to get really difficult, you know?
And that's where you go beyond just the initial meeting and kind of realizing this is a normal human being and he's well informed and you can talk to him to the real hard negotiations.
And that's always been very difficult with North Korea and there's no reason it's not going to be difficult going into the future. So that's where my optimism starts to fade a bit because I certainly recognize how difficult that's going to be.
ALLEN: Right. Well, in the meantime, we can all appreciate these positive, goodwill maneuvers and steps forward. Thank you so much, John Delury, I'm sure we will talk to you again. Thanks, John.
HOWELL: Australian cricketer David Warner says that he accepts the fact that he may never play for his country again.
ALLEN: He gave a statement to the media in Sydney and tearfully apologized for his role in a cheating scandal. Warner and two other cricketers are suspended over a ball-tampering plot in South Africa. Here is part of his emotional statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID WARNER, AUSTRALIAN CRICKETER: I want to apologize to my family, especially my wife and daughters. Your love means more than anything to me.
HOWELL: Australia's cricket coach has also announced he is resigning.
Still to come, if you look up in the sky and see something a little weird, don't worry. It is the size of a school bus and hopelessly adrift. Details ahead.
ALLEN: Are you kidding?
If I look up and see that, I'm going to worry.
HOWELL: We'll tell you why not to.
ALLEN: An out-of-control Chinese space station is spiraling closer toward Earth. As George said, don't worry about it.
HOWELL: Right, don't worry about it. It's OK. Don't worry about it.
The Tiangong-1 -- it's also called the Heavenly Palace -- lost contact with Earth in 2016. It's been decaying in orbit ever since.
ALLEN: Ivan Watson joins us now with more from Beijing.
The Heavenly Palace is no more, certainly not staying in heaven.
What does this mean, Ivan, for those of us on Earth?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think most experts insist that there's very little threat to any person on the ground. Certainly, that's what the Chinese space agency is saying, that this poses very little threat to aviation or to people on the ground.
It does mark, I think, a rather unexpected end to China's first space lab. It was launched in 2011, the Tiangong-1. Also means Heavenly Palace, tumbling out of the heavens now. I think we can show you a satellite tracker that shows you roughly where it is in orbit, over the Indian Ocean, kind of south of India and Sri Lanka right now, moving at a rapid clip of about, oh, 7.8 kilometers per second.
But more importantly is its deteriorating orbit. It has descended from a height of about 207 kilometers on March 27th to about 189 kilometers on March 30th. And that's been a steady descent. Also worth noting that, yes, it was launched in 2011 --
WATSON: -- but in 2016, it appears the Chinese lost contact with this vessel, which is about the size of a bus. It's about 12 meters long and weighs about 8.5 tons, though the Chinese then waited about 14 months to inform the rest of the world with a communique to the United Nations that this craft was now inoperable. They never explained really why they could no longer communicate with it.
So it is in, now, uncontrolled descent. What that means is, it's possible that, as it enters the Earth's atmosphere, it will burn up and disintegrate. Probably the solar panels, which are pretty fragile, they will be first to go. Some people might see fire balls in the sky and there are chances that some of the debris will actually hit the ground.
It's not the first time that we have seen a space lab or a space station in uncontrolled descent. It happened in 1979 with the U.S.'s Skylab. It happened again in 1991 with a Soviet station known as the Salud 7.
And it's just kind of fascinating to see this piece of technology descending out of the sky and wondering where it may hit next. The predictions are that it could come down sometime between March 31st and April 1st -- George and Natalie.
ALLEN: And that would be like pretty soon, like right now.
HOWELL: Ivan, thank you.
ALLEN: Pressure is mounting on Facebook to sort out how to protect users' privacy.
HOWELL: Now to add to Facebook's troubles, a leaked memo that has created some serious concerns. CNNMoney correspondent Clare Sebastian has details for us.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The controversial memo published by BuzzFeed this week was written in June 2016 by Andrew Budler (ph), a top executive at Facebook.
In it, Budler (ph) argues that the platform should focus on its core mission of connecting people, even if it has negative consequences.
"Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools," he writes. "The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good."
Budler (ph) defended the memo, tweeting, "It was intended to be provocative. This was one of the most unpopular things I have ever written internally and the ensuing debate helped shape our tools for the better."
Well, if the memo was provocative at the time, it may be even more so now. Facebook CEO was supposed to publicly defend his platform for the second time in as many weeks, telling CNN he strongly disagreed with the memo when it was written and that they recognize connecting people --
SEBASTIAN: -- isn't enough by itself. Zuckerberg is already facing a grilling in Congress over why Cambridge Analytica accomplished links to Donald Trump's presidential campaign access and then stored the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
Even before that, he was in damage control mode over Russia's use of its platform to interfere in the U.S. election. In the past two weeks, Facebook's stock has plummeted almost 14 percent. This latest scandal couldn't have come at a worse time -- Clare Sebastian, CNNMoney, New York.
ALLEN: It is family over football for Prince William and (INAUDIBLE) now. The second in line to the British throne will miss a high- profile event to attend an even bigger one, his brother's wedding. Up next here, we are getting ready for Harry and Meghan's big day.
HOWELL: All right, we are getting a taste of royal wedding fever as more details come to light about the big day in England on May 19th. ALLEN: Are you excited?
HOWELL: It's going to be fun to watch.
ALLEN: Prince Harry and his American fiancee, Meghan Markle, are already adding a modern twist to centuries of tradition.
ALLEN: Our Robyn Curnow has our story.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're just seven weeks away from Harry and Meghan's big day. The wedding plans are in full force. The invitations are being sent, elegant white cards with black type and a crest of gold ink. Very royal, indeed.
But you may have missed one small detail that breaks from tradition. Meghan Markle is referred to as Ms. instead of Miss, which etiquette experts say is an acknowledgement that she has been married before.
And even though the guest list has not been released, Kensington Palace gave a few more details this week about who will be there, including 250 members of the armed forces that will line the procession route and the steps of St. George's Chapel.
They'll come from regiments and units that Harry has a special relationship with, including the household cavalry troopers. Another person close to the prince, his brother, William, will also be there, of course.
But the timing of the wedding repeatedly clashed with the FA Cup final, which William presides over. It's said the dutiful brother chose family over football. And for those of you planning to catch a glimpse of the happy couple on their big day, police say security will be like a ring of steel around Windsor Castle with full body scanners, bag searchers and metal barriers to control the crowds, which are expected to reach 100,000 -- Robyn Curnow, CNN.
ALLEN: I hope they can get a glimpse of the wedding dress. I'm sure they will.
OK, we are going to move ahead to the day's top stories in just a moment.
HOWELL: CNN NEWSROOM right back after the break. Stay with us.