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Restrictive Voting Bill Poised To Pass Into Law In Texas; Witnesses In Trump Investigation Told To Prepare Before Grand Jury; A Gunman Kills Two And Injures 20 In South Florida; Remains Of 215 Children Found At Former School. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 30, 2021 - 17:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Eight people from the capsized boat were rescued and two bodies have so far been recovered. Officials fear more migrants will try to make the dangerous trek as Cuba's economic crisis worsens. And we'll stay on top of that.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. Right now, Texas is on the verge of signing one of the country's most restrictive voting bills into law. The Republican-controlled State Senate passed the bill early this morning, and it would, among other things, curb mail-in and drive-through voting, drastically limit voting hours and put the power in judges' hands to easily overturn results of an election.

If it passes the next test in the house, Texas will join 14 other states that have already enacted laws that make it harder for people to vote. That's according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which also found that right now, there are 18 states attempting to push through 61 voter restriction bills all aimed to make voting harder not easier.

In Texas tonight, their new bill moves to the House for a final vote before seeing the governor's desk. And Dianne Gallagher joins me now from Texas. Dianne, this is just becoming a hugely important story. Coal country is watching how this is unfolding right now. Walk us through exactly what's in this bill, what's next?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jin, let's start with what's next. In the next hour or two, we expect the Texas State House to begin debating senate bill 7. Now, they have a midnight deadline to vote on this. And this is the final step of potential approval. If the house votes to approve Senate Bill 7.

Now, they have a midnight deadline to vote on this and this is the final step of potential approval. If the House votes to approve Senate Bill 7, then it will go to the governor's desk. He has indicated that he will sign it. So, Texas already has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country without SB-7.

This bill would add new restrictions, new regulations, and it would add criminal and civil penalties to the voting process. For example, if a public official sends an unsolicited absentee ballot application that would be a crime.

It also prohibits overnight, late night, and Sunday morning voting. It expands access for those partisan pole watchers. It stops drive- through voting something that Harris County used during the pandemic during the 2020 election.

And it allows judges to more easily overturn an election by lowering the burden of proof. Now, Representative Hakeem Jeffries talked to about this today. It is something, again, you mentioned, all across the country lawmakers are looking into it. Here's what he had to say.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, the Texas law is shameful and Republicans clearly in Texas and throughout the country want to make it harder to vote and easier to steal an election. That's the only way that I can interpret the voter suppression epidemic that we see working its way from one state, Georgia to Arizona to Texas, and all across the country in so many different ways.


GALLAGHER: Now, the Republican sponsors of this legislation say that this is about securing the ballot. That this is about uniformity amongst all the counties in the state and restoring confidence in elections, Jim. Of course, that confidence was in great part shaken by the former president's big lie about the 2020 election.

Now, we mentioned, there is a midnight deadline here for the Texas State House. I have spoken with Democrats who tell me that they are going to do everything they can to try and stop this but we should mention that they are outnumbered in the House.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And Diane Gallagher, thanks so much for all the hard work spending hours and hours covering that process in Texas. Just incredible to watch. Dianne Gallagher, thanks so much.

And the elections bill is just one piece of the puzzle in Texas. Here is CNN's Ed Lavandera with the bigger political picture.


UNKNOWN: And I move adoption.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the clock struck midnight, Wednesday, inside the Texas capital, this group of Democratic state representatives celebrated the end of a day-long effort to kill a number of Republican bills. But it was one of the few moments you will find a Democrat smiling in Texas these days.

DONNA HOWARD, STATE REPRESENTATIVE (D-TX): We've really been just steam rolled.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Texas lawmakers are wrapping up a legislative session and Democratic State Representative Donna Howard says she is surprised even by Texas standards by the red meat agenda push by Texas Republicans in the months since the November election.

HOWARD: I think it has a lot to do with what happened in the last election. There is some bitterness there and that they want to see some of the Democrats squirm.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Remember all that talk about Democrats turning Texas blue in 2020? Republicans crushed those dreams. For now.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: CNN projects that President Trump will win the state of Texas.

LAVANDERA (on camera): In 2012, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in Texas by 16 points. In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by nine points. And in 2020, Trump won by five. So you might think that as presidential elections here in Texas get closer and closer, that Texas Republicans would become more moderate. But that's just not what we have seen here in the Texas capital.

(Voice-over): Texas Republicans passed a heartbeat bill banning most abortions as early as six weeks. A permitless carry bill will allow Texans to carry a handgun without a license or training. Republicans are pushing an election overhaul with new voter restrictions. Another bill aims to control how systemic racism is taught in schools.

But bills aimed at fixing the state's power grid system that failed during February's deadly winter storm have not yet passed. Brendan Steinhauser is a veteran Republican strategist in Texas. He says when predictions of the Republican down fall in Texas went up in smoke, Republicans felt emboldened to push further to the right and toward Donald Trump.

BRENDAN STEINHAUSER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There is no real political incentive for those in the State House or in the State Senate who are Republicans to do anything but appeal to the base.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Steinhauser just helped run the campaign of Michael Wood, an anti-Trump Republican candidate in a special congressional election. Wood didn't come close to winning.

Where is the Republican Party in Texas right now?

STEINHAUSER: So we find ourselves having been very successful in the last cycle but also kind of worried about the longterm future of the party.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The signs everywhere that Donald Trump's shadow looms larger than ever over Texas Republicans. And now the state's Republican Party is led by Alan West who is pushing the party to not be afraid of embracing Trump. We caught up with him at a neighborhood fund-raiser with conservative activists.

(On Camera): So you worry that sessions like this --

ALLAN WEST, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS: No. LAVANDERA: -- end up driving away maybe middle of the road voters?

WEST: And you know what my dad taught me, I grew up in Georgia. He said the only thing in the middle of the road is road kill. And I don't want to be road kill.


LAVANDERA: And the political battles here in Texas will only continue to intensify. Later this year, state lawmakers will have to come back to Austin and battle out the new redistricting plans here in this state to set congressional direct boundary lines. This state is set to gain two more seats. So you can imagine how intense those fights will be in the fall. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

ACOSTA: And with me now is senior political analyst John Avlon and CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover. Margaret, what we're seeing play out in Texas right now is happening at a national level. All across the country, Republicans lost the Senate, White House in 2020, yet they are all in on Donald Trump and they are following his big lie into all of these state houses and changing all of these voting laws across the country. I mean, people don't have to live in Texas to care about this issue?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, you don't have to live in Texas to care about the constitution, Jim. That's right. Look, this is really serious stuff and anyone who -- look, there are a lot of Republicans who didn't like Donald Trump, didn't support Donald Trump, and thought the party would kind of snap back to normal. This is yet exhibit D, C, F -- I don't know why?


HOOVER: Z. The party has worsened in Donald Trump's absence. It is continuing to double down on the thing that didn't work. Recall, lost the White House, lost the Senate, lost the House. This is not a winning formula. No party in American history has doubled down on the thing that doesn't work over and over and over again.

And one wonders how many political cycles Republicans are going to have to lose in order to realize that they have to change. But the flirtation with changing the legislature changing the laws that would ultimately then allow for somebody who didn't win the popular vote of the election or the Electoral College in order to change the Electoral College not reflect the popular vote is very scary and extra constitutional, and needs to give responsible Republicans, which there still are some, real pause and real focus that much more needs to be done.

ACOSTA: Yes, John, speaking of irresponsible Republicans, Congressman Matt Gaetz addressed the second amendment in a particularly ridiculous manner recently. Let's listen to that.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): We have a second amendment in this country and I think we have an obligation to use it. The second amendment -- this is a little history lesson for all the fake news media.


The second amendment is not about -- it's not about hunting. It's not about recreation. It's not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.


ACOSTA: John, this comes after a D.C. district judge warned that Trump supporters could turn violent again if they keep, you know, listening to the former president and engaging in this kind of language. And Gaetz is just fanning the flames.

AVLON: He is. He's wrong on the history by the way. The second amendment exists in the context of a well-regulated militia. It's about tamping down extremism and self-defense. And so this idea of second amendment solutions which Donald Trump talked about before Matt Gaetz is part of his drum beat of violence that we have seen preoccupy our politics and lead to the insurrection and the attack on our Capitol.

And anyone that doubts that word, you know, carry meanings which can be translated into action just needs to look at that. And the Republican Party, by also voting to cover up and refuse a bipartisan investigation into the attacks of the 6th, show that the Republican Party is now basically a party of sedition, insurrection, conspiracy theories, cults, and cover-ups.

And that's what Matt Gaetz represents. And that's the opposite of the tradition of Lincoln and Reagan and the things that made the Republican Party a force for good in our past and part of our two- party system. This rot is coming from the inside and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump are part of the problem, but the responsible Republicans have been to coward particularly in the Senate to stand up to them. And that's why that vote, we shouldn't just turn the page on it.

ACOSTA: Yes. And it just sounds like Gaetz is trying to distract from his legal problems. But Margaret, let me ask you about some of this faux outrage that we have seen crop up over a tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris. She tweeted or her account tweeted, "Enjoy the long weekend" in reference to the Memorial Day weekend with a picture of her smiling.

I guess people got upset about this on the right over at Fox where they, you know, manufacture these crazy, you know, faux outrage segments, you know, like they can't do anything else over there? I don't understand. But what do you make of this faux outrage over this tweet?

HOOVER: It is exactly what you call it, Jim. It's okay to say enjoy the weekend and I don't think anybody needs to point out to Kamala Harris we are celebrating Memorial Day. We're celebrating the sacrifice that of the Americans military members who have served this country and those who have fallen.

We're also celebrating Black military members and we're celebrating Black Americans from Tulsa, frankly. That's celebrating and commemorating and honoring, remember the loss from Black Wall Street brings. So, this history, this country's history is getting bigger and expanding as we take into account our full history.

Kamala Harris is part of that full history as the first black woman to be vice president and first woman to be vice president. So, the faux outrage is ridiculous. It's just that.

AVLON: Yes. And look, I mean, you know, the Fox News is teeing off on Kamala Harris because she is the latest bogeyman (ph) they thing they can gain politically off of this one thing. On the other hand, if you want to respect Memorial Day, don't try to pass bills over the weekend in Texas that restrict voting.

Don't try to, you know, oppose a bipartisan commission to investigate an attack on our Capitol. You want to stand for patriotism and any credibility, don't do those things. Just don't cherry pick things to look to fan the flames of division in this country because that's all you've got.

ACOSTA: Yes. And speaking of Memorial Day weekend, you know, I wanted to talk to both of you about Bob Dole. He was on CBS earlier today, then former Republican presidential candidate, long-time senator from Kansas. Let's listen to him and talk about Memorial Day coming out of that.


BOB DOLE, U.S. SENATOR, 1969-1996: You don't have to be with all these policies, but you can't really find someone who is decent and fine. And that's Joe. That's Mr. President.


ACOSTA: Bob Dole there, you know, demonstrating to, I think, the nation there, you know, what decency is all about. You know, long-time Republican. Obviously disagrees with Joe Biden, but considers Joe Biden to be president of the United States.

He's also a World War II veteran. Others like him, including Senator John McCain were sidelined in recent years in favor of Trumpism. What do you think of Bob Dole as we head into Memorial Day, John? Does the Republican Party of Bob Dole no longer exist?

AVLON: There is very little evidence of it although it does exist in people like Adam Kinzinger. It does exist in honorable congressman who've tried to stand up for principles above party. But, you know, what Bob Dole reminds us is the importance of putting country over party.


And the problem with Republicans today is that they seem to hate Democrats more than they love our democracy. And Bob Dole is an example of that deeper tradition that we need to look to on both sides of the aisle to remember what's really important, this Memorial Day and every day.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And we were talking about this yesterday on the show about the importance of remembering the greatest generation and thinking about what the greatest generation would think of us right now and how we are handling ourselves and how we're conducting ourselves in this discourse that's just become so poisonous lately.

And to see somebody like Bob Dole who is a hero and just, you know, a shining example of what a great American is, it was nice to see him on CBS earlier this morning. And hopefully, we will see more Bob Doles in both political parties in the years to come. John Avlon, Margaret Hoover, great to talk to both of you. Thanks so much. Happy Memorial Day weekend. Great to see you.

HOOVER: Thanks, Jim. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

ACOSTA: And we've learned at least one person has been told to prepare to testify before the grand jury that could decide whether to indict former President Trump or those close to him. What this means, next.

Plus, we have brand new aerials out of Congo where hundreds of thousands of people are bracing for another potential volcanic eruption. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom."



ACOSTA: The investigation into former president Donald Trump, his company and its executives is intensifying. CNN has learned that Manhattan prosecutors have told at least one witness to prepare for grand jury testimony, a sign there are already lengthy probe is heating up.

Let's discuss with CNN senior legal analyst and former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. Always great to see you. Help us put this into perspective. How big of a deal is this, do you think?

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Look, you know, it must have been the case that the grand jury was used for some things including the issuance of grand jury subpoenas. That's how those tax returns that were much battled over, went all the way up to the Supreme Court. That's how they were sought.

But I think this new thing, this new phase, according to the reporting of the special grand jury, the specificity with which there has been reporting that three times a week and as you just suggested a moment ago, that a particular identifiable witness has been asked to prepare for grand jury testimony.

That means based on my experience and the experience of people who've been in that office, that there is a substantial likelihood that that grand jury will be asked to consider charges. We don't know yet whether it will be charges against the former president himself.

But given some of the (inaudible) we've seen including the hiring of an outside lawyer to come into the D.A.'s office who has experience in the defense side and the prosecution side, Mark Pomerantz, and a number of other sides including the fact that Cy Vance is not seeking re-election, the primary to replace him is in just three weeks.

It all has the look of an advance phase, an appointed which Cy Vance wants to himself make the determination whether they will be charges or not and not leave it to this successor.

ACOSTA: And when do you expect we will learn more of about this grand jury proceeding. They are usually cloaked in secrecy. Sometimes you get little tidbits that leak out. And what could be possibly on the horizon?

BHARARA: I mean we are not supposed to hear anything about the grand jury.


BHARARA: The grand juries themselves are admonished from speaking about the prosecutors, but as people may not appreciate, you know, witnesses and lawyers for witnesses can tell people that they have been called to the grand jury. So, you know, depending on the standing of particular people who are being interviewed or have been called to testify or being asked for documents, depending on where they stand on the issue they might be coming forward and speaking, you know, for the same reason that we found out about this one witness.

I think we'll probably be hearing about other witnesses coming in. Not necessarily sure of what they are saying, not necessarily sure of what the charges might be. That's left for you and me and people like us to speculate about.

ACOSTA: And apparently, some faulty redactions in a new court filing in the investigation into Trump's ex-lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, show federal investigators seized more than just electronic devices in the raids of Giuliani's office. Prosecutors are looking into whether Giuliani violated lobbying laws connected to his work in Ukraine. What comes to mind when you hear that?

BHARARA: Well, that's another example of, you know, it's a different office, my former office, the Southern District of New York. It is not dispositive that they searched and seized, you know, a number of devices. It doesn't mean that a charge will be forthcoming. There are searches that happen in significant cases and no charges end up being filed.

Again, though, given the status of Rudy Giuliani, both as the leader of that office for a number of years before I was there, and as the former lawyer to the president of the United States, it seems like you don't take an aggressive move like that especially when you have been conducting the investigation for some time and you have a lot of documents and toll records and communications based on searches that you did before that Rudy Giuliani's lawyers are challenging. So you have a bunch of stuff. You are seeking another bunch of stuff.

You know it will be a big deal. You know that Rudy Giuliani will make a big deal out of it. You know now that his son is running for governor and just making this a point in his campaign as governor, I presume.

That you don't take that action unless you have some serious, I think, intent that you will have a case to bring. Again, it doesn't meant, with all due caveats, doesn't mean that will happen, but it's a very, very substantial step to take in this kind of circumstance without having some idea that the likelihood of charging is relatively high.

ACOSTA: And let me ask you, after senate Republicans voted down a bill that would setup a 9/11-style commission into what happened on January 6th. Let's listen to what Republican Congressman Michael McCaul said earlier today on CNN.


REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): Look, it is a dark day in American history. As you know, I voted for certification as my constitutional duty --


MCCAUL: -- once the states certify the ballots.


But also at that time, in the aftermath, I was the first one to call for a DOJ investigation into this. And you know what Jake that happened. In essence, I view this not as an overview of policy like the 9/11 commission did. It's a criminal investigation, a criminal case.


ACOSTA: What do you think, Preet? Is January 6th more of a criminal investigation than an investigation that should be conducted by a 9/11-style commission?

BHARARA: Well, you can have both. You know, they are not mutually exclusive as the congressman well knows and it seems like he's towing a party line now because people don't want a full congressional investigation. There have been a lot of events in our history, recent and in not so recent, where there are criminal prosecutions pursued. But also congressionally agreed (ph) because there are some things criminal prosecutions can't do.

For example, 9/11. You had a 9/11 commission and you had, you know, other kinds of proceedings. Once upon a time when I began as U.S. attorney, the trial of the five people at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was going to happen in my district. That was left to a military tribunal.

ACOSTA: Right.

BHARARA: And it hasn't happened yet, and that's its whole separate story. We can do a whole other episode on that.

ACOSTA: Exactly.

BHARARA: But there is a criminal process and then there is a congressional process. It's happened time and again. Criminal prosecutions don't yield reports. Criminal prosecutions don't yield, you know, action items. Criminal prosecutions only yield criminal charges where warranted.

There might be lots of other folks and systems and practices that deserve to be judged and people held accountable in the public eye, but not necessarily criminally prosecuted. And you don't get -- prosecutors don't bring criminal cases and suggest reforms and recommendations like the 9/11 commission did.

So, you know, the idea that this only can be a criminal investigation even though it's large in size and scope, doesn't make any sense and the congressman, I think probably knows that.

ACOSTA: And you have to wonder whether some of the same people who tried to shut down a January 6 commission would also seek to shut down some kind of criminal investigation as well. I mean, there are just some people out there who don't want to get to the bottom of this. Preet Bharara, thanks so much for your insights. As always, we appreciate it. Good to be with you.

And next, do you recognize this little boy? Las Vegas police need your help identifying him. The details next. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: In Miami, the search continues for the people responsible for a mass shooting overnight. Two people were killed and at least 20 others injured when three men got out of a car and started firing into a crowd. Sadly, it's the second deadly mass shooting in Miami-Dade County in just 24 hours.

CNN's Natasha Chen is there and joins me now. Natasha, I understand emotions are running high, the nerves are raw there in that community. I mean, one can understand that, for sure. What are you learning right now? What's the latest?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, the people who have been coming here trying to find out if their family members are in fact among the victims, you know, they are having trouble getting a lot of answers. There is a lot of waiting around after feeling that emotion, just that frustration and the pain. Really, a lot of unanswered questions at this point.

We have been watching investigators working here for hours now on the ground. We've seen all of these yellow markings showing potentially dozens and dozens of shell casings. We have seen canines brought in to assist, seen them inspecting a lot of the vehicles in the parking lot as well.

And to remind folks, this happened just after midnight and police say that a lot of people were standing outside who were actually patrons of a lounge that was giving a private concert last night. So, a lot of them were standing outside when a white Nissan Pathfinder rolled up. Three people, we are told, got out of the car, used assault rifles and guns and shot indiscriminately at the crowd and then got back in the car and fled.

And so that's why police need help to identify these folks. They did call this a targeted act of violence. Here is the Miami-Dade police director talking about this continuation of violence that we are seeing.


ALFREDO RAMIREZ, DIRECTOR, MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's very disheartening, but it's a trend that you are seeing around the country. Just yesterday on the news we were talking about exempting a violent summer. And unfortunately, Miami-Dade County is not immune to that. The good thing here, our law enforcement community and our community at large are engaged.

We are working very hearth hard, but it's very difficult to stop a small amount of individuals who want to go out there and commit murder. And it takes all of us to stop this. And we really have to put the work in this summer to keep our children and our community safe.


CHEN: So, a lot of pain here today with many families trying to figure out the answers here. Again, more than 20 people who were injured were taken to area hospitals. And from aerial footage that we are seeing from an affiliate helicopter, we can see what seems to be two people covered on the ground over there at least as of this morning.

We haven't seen anyone try to remove those people today thus far that I have seen. And we are expecting a press conference in the morning with county officials that includes the police director to hopefully give some more updates on the investigation, Jim.

ACOSTA: Just awful. All right, Natasha Chen, thanks for staying on top of all of this for us. We appreciate it.

Week after week, really day after day now, gun violence is gaining a stronger grip on our nation, which makes this next story really a miracle. Some good news.


Just yesterday, Senator Mark Kelly and his wife, former congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, welcomed their first grandchild, Sage, to the world. But this was more than just a proud moment. Giffords was gunned down in Arizona, shot in the head ten years ago in one of America's all too frequent mass shootings. Somehow, she survived. Six others in Tucson that day did not. And we

are so happy for gabby Giffords and Senator Mark Kelly that they are able to be with their grandchild on this day. Great, great moment there.

And coming up next, the people of the Congo are bracing for a possible second volcanic eruption as we get an aerial look at the Smokey Mountain there.


ACOSTA: Turning now to a gruesome discovery in Canada. The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, have been found in unmarked graves near a former school.


Some people who attended the school say they are not surprised and that the discovery confirms what they believed and wondered about for years. CNN's Paula Newton has more.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The discovery is astounding. And so, too, the anguish, leaving community members and much of Canada reeling. The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3, buried for decades on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Their deaths believed to be undocumented, graves unmarked. The indigenous community in British Columbia calls it an unthinkable discovery. And yet former students of the school like Harvey McLeod who was subjected to abuse there tell us they thought of nothing else for decades.

HARVEY MCLEOD, FORMER STUDENT: What I realized yesterday is how strong I was, as a little boy. How strong I was as a little boy, to be here today. Because I know that a lot of people didn't come home.

NEWTON: It was one of the largest residential schools of its kind in Canada, but there were well over 100 across the country. Many, like the one in Kamloops was run by the Catholic Church and later by the federal government.

According to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, indigenous children were forced to attend the schools, separated from families, and many neglected and worse, physically and sexually abused, and many disappeared. Their families never knowing what became of them.

ROSANNE CASIMIR, TK'EMLUPS SECWEPEMC FIRST NATION: What they were told was that when children were missing, that they were told they ran away.

NEWTON: And yet, the community here knew that couldn't be true. Survivors and families of the missing children were sure a mass grave would be found. But they were unprepared for the loss of 215 souls. UNKNOWN: It was devastating. It was -- it was actually quite mind


NEWTON: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that it is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country's history. The government's own commission says thousands of children likely died of abuse or neglect in these schools. The legacy now is one of intergenerational trauma for many of Canada's indigenous communities.

While the archbishop of Vancouver and other indigenous societies have acknowledged the abuse, the Catholic Church has never formally apologized. In 2019, Trudeau agreed decades of abuse perpetrated on indigenous peoples amounted to cultural genocide. Now, native leaders say it's time the government step up. 215 pair of shoes are laid on these Vancouver steps. Finally, their souls symbolically are at rest. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


ACOSTA: Incredible story. In the Democratic Republic of Congo families are waiting to hear when they can safely return to their homes as fears mount that a volcano near the city of Goma could erupt again. We are also getting stunning look at the volcano. CNN's Larry Madowo has the latest.

LARY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: CNN has flown above the mountain for the first time and we have captured what it looks like right now. These are from just hours ago. And it shows grayish plumes coming out of this mountain. This indicates, according to a volcanologist that there is collapse in the crater of this mountain.

It shows that the lava like is completely empty. But that does not mean that it is now safe and people can think that the worst is behind them. It just shows that after the eruption on Saturday, the lava lake has cleared out and there is no imminent danger for the city.

It is kind of stunning to see these images at this height because we have been reporting on this for over a week and it is something that the whole world is watching because this mountain is so close to a city of Goma, of 2 million, and it's always looming over them threatening disaster at any time.

We have been speaking to an Italian volcanologist, Dario Tedesco, who's been studying this mountain since 1995. This is what he is says about what we are seeing and reduction in seismic activity.

DARIO TEDESCO, ITALIAN VOLCANOLOGIST: The peak has been reached and now we are going doing. And we are going even very quickly down, but you know, sometimes there is another peak again. So, let's wait. Let's be patient.

MADOWO: There is concern about what's happening here, both here in the east on DRC, but across the border in Rwanda because some of the people that were ordered to evacuate crossed the border into the neighboring country and they just want the come back home. Larry Madowo, CNN, Goma.

ACOSTA: And police in Nevada want to know if you recognize this little boy. Take a look here. His body was found by hikers on a trail near Las Vegas and police have no idea who he is. There was hope briefly yesterday when a woman came forward but police say it was a case of mistaken identity.

Officials do know that he is between 8 and 12 years old and that he's a homicide victim. They are asking anyone with information to please reach out even anonymously.


And there is website set up for that, If you recognize that little boy, please help.

Next, the late night wars. Johnny Carson, but who would replace Leno? First it was Conan, so why that didn't last. That's next, live in the "CNN Newsroom."

But first, we're going to get a new jobs report this week. Christine Romans looks at what's expected.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. It's a short week on Wall Street. Financial markets are closed tomorrow for Memorial Day. But the main event for investors happens on Friday. That's the release of the May jobs report.

Remember, April was a shocking miss. The economy added back just 266,000 jobs. The expectation had been for closer to 1 million. This time the forecast has moderated a bit. Economists predict 621,000 jobs were added back in May and the jobless rate, it's expected to slip to 5.9 percent.

Another big miss on the jobs front would inflame that debate over what's keeping workers on the sidelines. Health fears? Child care issues? And those enhanced unemployment benefits have all been blamed as factors. Economists point out that the pandemic created huge dislocations in the jobs market. It's going to take time to get back to normal. In New York, I'm Christine Romans.



ACOSTA: Tonight's episode of the CNN Original Series "The Story of Late Night" looks at the big bounce made between competing "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: Well, you know, before Conan, I did get the shot on the "Tonight Show" and I killed and I got really excited. So I go over to the couch and Johnny says, "Did you do this? Bad dog! No, you ruined the couch." I was devastated, but then I heard the same thing happened to Buddy Hackett. CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE NIGHT SHOW HOST: If someone said to me, hey,

Conan, describe your comedic philosophy, I would say it's Venn diagram. It's two circles. One is smart, one is silly, you push them partway together and it's that intersection.


ACOSTA: Bill Carter, CNN media analyst and former media reporter for the "New York Times" joins me now. Bill, everybody is having so much fun with "The Story of Late Night."

Let's talk about this. In the early 2000s, Jay Leno is the reigning number late night talk show host, but the network, NBC, knows they have to start planning for his eventual departure so they develop this five-year plan. Tell us about it. I mean, I love seeing these clips of Conan O'Brien. So this fun. But why did it fall apart?

BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, you know, it was really an idea to try to keep Conan because Conan was being wooed by Fox Network at that point. And in order to keep him and he see promise in the "Tonight Show" in five years, thinking, well, in five years, Jay will probably be maybe losing his command of the ratings a little bit, but five years went by and that wasn't the case.

And so they were stuck with a situation where they were not entirely comfortable with losing Jay as the number one guy and -- but they've made this promise to Conan and it was a very complicated situation for them.

ACOSTA: And two big voices in late night on cable, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, amazing talents who are taking on news and politics in a way late night never had before, what kind of impact did that have?

CARTER: Well, that view had an enormous impact, Jim because a whole lot of young people started to look at those shows, the "Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report" as the deliverer of news. Like they feel that was the way to get their news.

And it's very interesting talking to the host at that point because they were like, well, wait a minute, we're comedians. You should at least understand we're doing comedy. But they were enormously influential and they definitely had a point of view and that really brought point of view, I think, into late night.

ACOSTA: Yes. I think about John Stewart during the Iraq war. I mean, that period, he was so influential. And in the early 2000s, late night continues to diversify. You have Chelsea Handler on E! She's amazing. George Lopez, so funny on TBS, Andy Cohen is terrific on Bravo. How did the arrival of more representative host changed the genre do you think?

CARTER: Well, it was, you know, it was pretty monochromatic for a long time in late night, let's face it. You know, a woman could never break through and that, you know, aside from Arsenio Hall, there really wasn't a person of color until George Lopez. And even after this, they only lasted a short amount of time and it

sort of reinforced the idea that America only would accept kind of a white host and namely one from the Midwest or at least with a Midwest approach, to try to, you know, go across all demographics. But it was changing and people saw that you could -- frankly, Jon Stewart was the first Jewish host even. There was an awful lot of doors were opening at this point for late night hosts.

ACOSTA: And, I mean, do you think we could ever get Jon Stewart to come back to do late night television? I mean, I'm somewhat serious about this because I feel like his voice is so missing today, you know. I mean, he just has an amazing talent to boil things down and just make us all laugh.

CARTER: No question about it. And when -- during the entire Trump administration, you had to wonder whether Jon was just pulling his hair out.



CARTER: But he did say when he left, he wanted to just -- he had young children. He wanted to devote a lot of time to them and these shows are very demanding. He is coming back with a new show on HBO and I think it will be interesting.

It won't be the "Daily Show." It'd be something different, but John is an enormously talented guy. And what's amazing, if you look at late night right now, all of the host that he basically brought into the genre, Samantha B and Trevor Noah and John Oliver, they were all were correspondents on the "Daily Show."

ACOSTA: That is so true. All right, Bill Carter, you gave us a lot to chew on. As we watch this brand new episode of "The Story of Late Night" tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.

Thanks so much. We appreciate that. And that's the news. Reporting from Washington, I am Jim Acosta. It's great to be with you on this Memorial Day weekend. I'll see you back here next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. Pamela Brown takes over the "CNN Newsroom" live after a quick break. Good night.