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Police Hunt for Suspects in Florida Banquet Hall Attack; Battle Over Restrictive Measure Escalating; Tennis Star Quits French Open After Press Controversy; Rivals Seek to Finalize Coalition Deal, Outs Netanyahu; China Will Allow Couples to Have Three Children; Michael Flynn Appears to Endorse Myanmar-Style Coup. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 1, 2021 - 04:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, police say these armed suspects opened fire into a crowd. An urgent manhunt is now under way in the Miami area.

Fans and athletes react after tennis star Naomi Osaka pulls out of the French Open citing mental health concerns.

Plus Benjamin Netanyahu's rivals are finalizing a deal that could end his run as the longest serving Israeli Prime Minister.

Good to have you with us. Well, police in south Florida may be closer to cracking a murder case after this weekend's deadly shooting outside a Miami area banquet hall. Two people were killed and at least 20 hurt when gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a concert venue. The attackers jumped out of this SUV and fled just seconds later. Officials say they found the vehicle in a canal and as they hunt for suspects they warn the months ahead could get much worse. Violent crime is surging in Miami Dade County with this year's homicide numbers already matching the total for 2020. CNN's Leyla Santiago has more.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newly released surveillance video shows three individuals jumping out of an SUV with assault rifles and handguns before opening fire into a crowded banquet hall near Hialeah, Florida just after midnight Sunday. The three get back into their car and take off less than ten seconds later.

MAJ. JORGE AGUIAR, MIAMI-DADE, FLORIDA, POLICE HOMICIDE BUREAU: We have a total of 23 people were shot. Two were deceased on scene.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): All three of the shooters still at large.

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: We need your help. We need information. We need you to come forward if you have information to help us solve these crimes.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Miami-Dade police found the SUV they say the suspects were driving Sunday morning. It was submerged in the Biscayne Canal approximately nine miles from where the shooting occurred. The vehicle was reported stolen on May 15.


SANTIAGO (voice-over): High emotions for those left behind.

CLAYTON DILLARD JR., FATHER OF VICTIM: You all killed my kid. You must burn.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Clayton Dillard Jr. lost his son, Clayton Dillard III, in that shooting.

RAMIREZ: That is the pain that affects our community right there right before you.

MARCUS LEMONIS, CEO, CAMPING WORLD: I just want to try to do my part.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Miami community leader, TV host and Camping World CEO has Marcus Lemonis has pledged $100,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.

Separately, Crime Stoppers and the Miami ATF are offering a $30,000 reward.

LEVINE CAVA: We will bring all those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice, and we will work together to break this cycle of violence.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Miami-Dade County determined to get this cycle of gun violence in their city under control.

MORRIS COPELAND, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY CHIEF COMMUNITY SERVICES OFFICER: We're investing in our young people, particularly those that have been disinvested in and disenfranchised from the process, left behind. None of them are born with AK-47s in their hands. None of them are born killers.

SANTIAGO: And investigators tell us that a lot of this stemmed from an ongoing rivalry between two groups, even that back and forth on social media played a role here. Here at the hospital we are still seeing family members coming and going, just hoping that their loved ones will be OK.

In Miami, Leyla Santiago, CNN.


CHURCH: Well, Monday was memorial day in the U.S. and President Joe Biden issued a warning while honoring fallen service members. During his speech at Arlington National Cemetery he said autocratic rule is on the rise across the world and the best way to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for the United States is to strengthen and protect its democracy.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democracy itself is in peril. Here at home and around the world. What we do now -- what we do now, how we honor of the memory of the fallen, will determine whether or not democracy will long endure.



CHURCH: Republicans and Democrats in Texas are drawing their battle lines over one of the most restrictive voting bills in the country. Democrats were able to block the measure with a dramatic walkout from the Texas House Sunday night, leaving Republicans without enough members to vote. The chair of the Texas legislative black caucus says the bill puts unnecessary obstacles in voters' way.


NICOLE COLLIER, CHAIR, TEXAS LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS: There is no widespread voter fraud in Texas. The fact of the matter is people's signatures can change as they age and so to proactively take somebody off the voter rolls because their signatures don't match is an infringement of their voting rights. There was no opportunity to cure. This is the thing. If you are going to do that, then give them the opportunity to cure these deficiencies that they're talking about.

They had added new things about signing the outside of the carrier envelope, putting their social security number, their last four of your social or driver's license or notating that you don't have one. New measures -- when you start putting on these bureaucratic requirements that make it easy to make a mistake. And so why are we going to do that? We should be making it easier to vote.


CHURCH: Republican Governor Greg Abbott says he'll bring the bill back in a special session at some point and he has suggested he will withhold pay from lawmakers who, quote, abandon their responsibilities.

A shocking move by tennis star Naomi Osaka. On Monday she announced that she is withdrawing from French Open. This comes after she was fined $15,000 for skipping a news conference after her first match. Osaka had said last week she wouldn't participate in media events, citing mental health concerns. One of her on court rivals Serena Williams offered words of support.


SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: I feel for Naomi, I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it's like. So everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. So, you know, you just have to let her handle it the way she wants to in the best way that she thinks she can and that's the only thing I can say. I think she's doing the best that she can.


CHURCH: Tennis great Martina Navratilova also weighed in on Twitter saying: As athletes we are taught to take care of our body and perhaps the mental and emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference.

Well joining me now from CNN World Sport is Alex Thomas, he joins us from London. Good to see you, Alex. Other athletes showing their support for Osaka as she puts a spotlight on the pressures felt by herself and so many others. What's the latest on all of this and how will tennis officials respond to this issue overall in the long term perhaps?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Hello, Rosemary, this is virtually an unprecedented event to have a star of tennis, Naomi Osaka, a very young woman, already with four Grand Slam titles to her name, ranked world number two, just walk out on an event because of the pressures and the stress on her mental health is absolutely astonishing. And certainly everyone is a loser here, the fans, the media, the tennis authorities and Naomi Osaka herself.

Thankfully, we live in an age with problems of mental health have far more empathy from most of us as a greater understanding around the condition than perhaps 10, 20, 30 years ago. You have Pat Cash, the former Wimbledon champion on your show in the last hour who admitted to me privately that he may have killed himself if it wasn't for his kids. Such was the mental strain of elite sport at the highest level, and there was no one to talk to them.

So I think the first thing is that clearly Naomi Osaka needs to go away, look after herself, get the help she needs and everyone is in support of that. There were certainly some mixed messages from her, when she said she wasn't going to do press conferences before the French Open. The tennis authorities took a hard stance, fining her $15,000. The way they would for absolutely anybody on the basis that you can't treat Naomi Osaka any differently but she is quite different. She certainly hit the headlines last year in the right way, being an outspoken advocate for social justice, wearing the names of victims of police brutality in America during her run to the U.S. open title last year.

So she's certainly done lots off the court as well as on it. For such a young lady, It's right that she now steps away, focuses on her mental health and has started that conversation about what tennis authorities could do differently. It was notable that the president of the French Tennis Federation read out a short statement on Monday night but didn't take any questions himself. Shows how difficult it is to face the press and answer those questions at any time. I think tennis authorities need to do more for this unprecedented decision by Naomi Osaka to walk out of the French Open.


CHURCH: Yes, certainly a bold and brave move. Alex Thomas many thanks for joining us, appreciate it.

Well France and Germany say they want full clarity following a report that claims the U.S. spied on several European politician from 2012 to 2014 with the help of a Denmark intelligence agency. Now this comes after reporting on the alleged spying by the Danish public broadcaster. One of the officials allegedly targeted was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She discussed the scandal Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron. He said if true this isn't the way allies behave.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): This is not acceptable between allies clearly and it is even less acceptable between European allies and partners. There is no room for suspicion between us. That is why we expect complete clarity and we have asked our Danish and American partners to provide all the information on these revelations and on past events.


CHURCH: Accusations like this aren't new of course. Germany opened a probe in 2014 on whether U.S. intelligence services tapped Ms. Merkel's cellphone. That came after former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden shared documents with the "Guardian" newspaper.

Israel's longest serving leader could be about to lose his grip on power, but analysts are warning against counting Benjamin Netanyahu out until the fight is completely over. The political tide seemed to turn against the Prime Minister Sunday when fellow right-wing Naftali Bennett threw in with the centrist opposition. That makes for a very diverse anti-Netanyahu alliance which won't see eye on eye on some key issues like the Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Netanyahu says the new coalition is committing, quote, the fraud of the century and he railed against the creation of what he called a dangerous left-wing government. The coalition faces a midnight Wednesday deadline to clinch a deal.

So let's get the latest now from journalist Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem. Elliott, while Netanyahu's rivals work on this coalition deal to oust him he's doing all he can to hold on to power. What is the next step in this historic moment for the country?

ELLIOT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, right now the parties that would form this anti-Netanyahu coalition are still haggling over who is going to get what post, who's going to be in charge of which committee. I spoke with a source who is involved in the negotiations and he told me that there are still some final issues to sort out but nothing insurmountable. Adding that everyone is committed to getting a deal done as soon as possible.

And as you noted the deadline for a deal for Yair Lapid to go to President Reuven Rivlin and say, I've done it, that deadline is midnight on Wednesday Israeli time so 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. And between now and then the various parties will be thrashing out the, you know, fine print, if you like, of a coalition agreement. And after that it falls into the hands of the Speaker of the House.

Now, in theory he could call a vote and it would require the approval of more than half of the lawmakers in the Knesset to approve this governing coalition. He could do it in theory within 24 hours but the Speaker of the Knesset is an ally of Prime Minister Netanyahu and there's every possibility that he could take the maximum amount of time possible, that is one week, before he a allows for this vote to go ahead. And of course, a lot can happen in a week.

We know that a week is a very long time in politics and a lot can happen and in that interim period you can bet that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pulling out all the stops doing everything he possibly can to undermine this incipient coalition agreement. To you know, perhaps make the fissures that are existing between the parties to make them come out into bigger rivets and to try to perhaps pick off any waivers -- especially from the right-wing members of this potential coalition government -- to try to pick them off to get them to change their minds and in his view to see the error of his ways.

But that's the situation right now, but as Yair Lapid, the leader of the opposite said, in one week, within a week or so we could have the end of at least the current incarnation of the Netanyahu era.

CHURCH: All right, Elliott Gotkine joining us live from Jerusalem, many thanks.

And I got perspective on all of this from Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst for the "Jerusalem Post" I asked him if he thought this was the end of the road for Benjamin Netanyahu.


GIL HOFFMAN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANALYST, JERUSALEM POST: Nothing can stop them now. I really don't think that there's going to be someone who is going to rebel at the last minute. It's looking like Yair Lapid will go to the president, either tonight or first thing in the morning tomorrow, tell him that he's got the coalition government ready.


They are doing their last minute bickering but it's a done deal and Netanyahu is done at least for now.

CHURCH: So you don't see any moves left for Netanyahu, the magician as he is known as?

HOFFMAN: I don't think he has any rabbits left in that proverbial hat, Rosemary. He could have a month ago when he had the mandate to form a government, made more of an effort to bring about a rotation with some of his political rivals that he did at the last minute over the last few days, then perhaps it would have been successful.

CHURCH: Now you say this coalition will be successful, 100 percent as far as you're concerned. It's a very diverse unity government, a true unity government for Israel, but how will this work, do you think? HOFFMAN: Well, they're going to have to focus on consensus issues,

which there are plenty of security, Iran, of course, economy, dealing the aftermath of COVID-19 and deal with more controversial issues like matters of religion and state and of course the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They are very diverse but what unites them right now is obviously ousting Netanyahu.

That's not going to change because Netanyahu is not going anywhere. He's going to be the opposition leader. He's going to remain the head of Likud. He's going to remain the most influential figure on that side of the political map, the way that Donald Trump has done in the United States without even holding a formal position. So imagine if Trump had a formal position as the head of opposition in the United States. So that will keep them together as long as the specter of Netanyahu remains there on the sidelines.


CHURCH (on camera): And that was Gil Hoffman, chief police correspondent and analyst for the "Jerusalem Post."

Time for a short break. When we come back China wants more children. Why the government needs to balance out its aging population.

Plus, Donald Trump's former national security adviser apparently endorsing a military coup here in the United States. How his attorney is now trying to walk it back.



CHURCH: Experts say China's decision to allow couples to have up to three children may not actually do much to grow the younger population. They point to the high cost of living and education, but the government is pushing for a younger workforce to drive its booming economy. CNN's Scott McLean has more.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China is hoping that three is a lucky number for families in the world's most populous nation. On Monday, the government announced it will allow couples to have up to three children instead of the current limit of two. The shift in policy comes after census data showed a sharp decline in births low of 10 million last year, compared to nearly 18 million in 2016. And experts say the population in China is getting older. With a smaller number of people in the workforce, the country's economic future could be at risk. Some residents say the changes came too late for them.

WU XIAO, MOTHER OF ONE CHILD (through translator): I think the country should have published this policy earlier. Couples like us have missed the time that we could have another child.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Beijing's one-child policy was in place for decades to slow the growth of China's population and reduce poverty. It was enforced with heavy fines and even forced abortions. But that strict policy relaxed a little bit five years ago, and the government allowed married couples to have two children. But even that failed to boost birth rates. Many couples say it's just too expensive to raise children in cities.

GAN YUYAN, PARENT OF ONE CHILD (through translator): If there are better conditions, then we'd have more kids. Nowadays, young people have to buy a house. This amount of pressure is already huge. And then you have to consider the cost of the child's education.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Chinese media says the policy will come with supportive measures. But few details are available for now. Experts say the extra benefits will be needed to convince people who are under increasing financial strain to make room for one more.

JEAN-PIERRE CABESTAN, PROFESSOR, HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY: Unless the government introduces real incentives, I don't think that Chinese couples

are going to have more kids in the coming years.

MCLEAN (voice-over): A trend that has Beijing worried and looks unlikely to change.

Scott McLean, CNN, London.


CHURCH: A rise in COVID-19 infections linked to the variant first identified in India has parts of Europe on alert. France says it will restrict entry to all but EU nationals, French residents and those traveling for essential purposes. That is bad news for Brits who for months have been looking to June 21st as what's been called "Freedom Day," the day the government had hoped to have all restrictions lifted. A scientific adviser to the government says that date should change over fears of a third wave in the U.K., warning cases are rising rapidly with the potential to explode.

A former top adviser to Donald Trump is facing backlash for his comments at an event in Texas where he appeared to endorse a coup in the U.S. CNN's Brian Todd has the details.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I mean, honestly, it's unbelievable, right?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A man once at the right hand of the president of the United States, with open access to the Oval Office, who advised the president on the most series matters of national security, now appears to say he thinks a coup like the coup in Myanmar that killed hundreds should happen in the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know why, what happened in Myanmar can't happen here. MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason.

TODD (voice-over): Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who before he resigned was briefly President Trump's national security adviser said that in response to a question during a conference in Dallas this past weekend, a conference attended by several followers of the QAnon conspiracy theories.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Flynn's comments are stunning, remarkable.


They are scary. But in the world of QAnon, a possible coup in the United States inspired by what is happening in Myanmar. That's something that QAnon followers have been talking about basically since Trump left office.

TODD (voice-over): An attorney who has represented Flynn denies he was endorsing the military coup in the U.S. At the Dallas conference, Flynn repeated the false claim that has fueled QAnon and other extremists since the November election and through January 6.

FLYNN: Trump won. He won. So what happened? What happened? Well I'll use a military term, we were out-maneuvered.

TODD (voice-over): In addition to believing the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, many of the QAnon movement's followers believed that Trump would be reinstated as president on March 4th of this year, misinterpreting a law passed in the 1870s that gave Washington, D.C. its first municipal government, believing that turned America into a giant corporation, not a country, that every American president since then until Trump was fake.

JULIAN FEELD, PRODUCER AND HOST, "QANON ANONYMOUS" PODCAST: They essentially believe that Ulysses S. Grant was the last American -- valid American president.

TODD (voice-over): Monitors of extremist movement say Michael Flynn had become a hero to QAnon followers whose core beliefs are that the government, media and financial sectors of the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a child sex trafficking operation. They preposterous claimed that Hillary Clinton was part of sex trafficking rings. That Michelle Obama is a man and that a storm is coming to sweep the elites from power.

BETH, QANON FOLLOWER: What's going to happen at some point is there will be arrests and that will include a lot of the lying media and then there'll be military tribunals.

TODD (voice-over): Analysts are concerned about the possibility of someone taking the suggestion of a coup literally.

BENJAMIN DECKER, ONLINE EXTREMISM RESEARCHER: Ultimately, we are one unstable person away from another possible act of domestic terrorism. TODD: And, again, a firm denial from Michael Flynn's camp. Attorney

Sidney Powell who has represented Flynn in the past said that Flynn had in no way encouraged any act of violence or any military insurrection. But she did not explain why Flynn answered that particular question the way he did.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: With anti-Asian hate crimes on the rise some Asian-American communities are taking their safety into their own hands.