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No. 2 al Qaeda leader killed in Yemen; Ex-Egyptian president's death sentence upheld; Six Irish young people killed in U.S. balcony collapse; Trump announces bid for U.S. president; Child migrants struggling in Sicily; U.S. first lady in London to promote girls' education

Aired June 16, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:12] PAULA NEWTON: Tonight striking a serious blow at the heart of Al-Qaeda.


NEWTON: Second in command of AQAP is killed in a drone strike. What does it mean for the terror organization?

Also an emotional plea; family members of the three women and nine missing children feared to be in Syria plead for their return.

Plus an Egyptian court upholds the death sentence of Former President Mohamed Morsi.

And the First Lady takes London. Michelle Obama visits the British capital with a strong message for young girls.


NEWTON: Hello, I'm Paula Newton, live from CNN, London, and this is The World Right Now.

We begin tonight with the U.S. dealing a major blow to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Now just as AQAP seemed to be using the chaos in Yemen

to regain strength, a U.S. drone strike kills its leader, Nasir al- Wuhayshi.


NEWTON: He had been considered Al-Qaeda's crown prince. Wuhayshi reported inspired loyalty in a generation of terrorist since assuming leadership of

the Yemen based affiliate in 2009. Now before that an extraordinary history.

Now he served as Osama Bin Laden's personal secretary alleged with him in Tora Bora. Now he escaped prison in 2006 and made it clear that he was

targeting America. He cultivated an air of invincibility. Appearing out in the open in a video shot just last year at an unusually large Al-Qaeda

gathering in Yemen.


NEWTON: Now the White House considerers AQAP, Al-Qaeda's most dangerous branch a statement confirming the deputy's death and condemning Al-Qaeda

and its affiliates said in part. "Wuhayshi's death moves from the battlefield an experienced terrorist leader and brings us closer to

degrading and ultimately defeating these groups."

Now AQAP announced Tuesday that its military chief, Qasim al-Raymi will fill that leadership vacuum and for more on this story we are joined by

Elise Labott in Washington.

Elise you know this kind of caught people by surprise especially because of the chaos in Yemen. We have to make it very clear we had no idea what was

going on with that covert drone program in the first place in Yemen. But now with the chaos going on there how significant is the U.S. Government

saying that it is that they were able to strike to the heart of Al-Qaeda even though Yemen is immersed in the middle of the civil war?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right Paula and the U.S doesn't really have any programs on the ground in Yemen, it's closed

its embassy and pulled out most of its personnel and so how are they continuing to operate on the ground? Well the U.S. obviously is calling

this a very big gain, a very big win.


LABOTT: But you see they've already replaced him. It is true that Nasir al-Wuhayashi was supposed to be the deputy to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader

of Al-Qaeda. He was expected to take over as the leader of Al-Qaeda core in the event that Zawahiri was no longer to lead the group. And so they

see it as a very big win. But the fact that they've already replaced the guy with what was seen as really the brains of AQAP at this point says that

Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula will still continue to have leadership, will still continue to have recruits.

Now it's interesting that over the weekend you also saw the leader of Al- Qaeda in the Islamic (inaudible) also killed by a U.S. strike. The U.S. seeing these as very big wins. But the fact is I think in both of these

attempts they didn't necessarily know that these people were going to be there until they struck, Paula.


NEWTON: Yes, which is an important point. At the same time though they are able to strike to the heart of those organizations in both Libya and


Now Elise I'm wondering there in Washington what the view is. I mean Al- Qaeda could in some ways be yesterday's terror group. I mean they're consumed in Washington right now about what to do with ISIS. In that

context how's the statement department and the White House framing all of this?

LABOTT: Well they're framing it as you know Al-Qaeda is definitely on the decrease. Al-Qaeda's yes yesterday's organization and while they're

focused on ISIS I think that's a real danger for the United States.


LABOTT: Because clearly while ISIS is focused pretty much on the ground in Iraq, in Syria, and now you see in Yemen, in Libya, I think the U.S. knows

it can't really take the ball at Al-Qaeda because this is how it all started in the first place right. You had core Al-Qaeda and then these

affiliates as the U.S. took its eye off the ball because it felt that Al- Qaeda was on the waning of (inaudible) and Pakistan. You saw the proliferation of these affiliates throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

And now the U.S. feels it has the same thing with ISIS. But I don't - I think although that core Pakistan Afghanistan Al-Qaeda definitely is on the

wane and almost defunct at this point you still see Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsular has taken advantage as you said of the (inaudible) the political

vacuum in Yemen.


LABOTT: Also ISIS is able to continue in Libya AQIM in Libya. And so even while these groups are operating in a - in a complete political vacuum

they're certainly able to recruit and continue to plan attacks against the United States. I think it would be very dangerous for the U.S. to think

that this is the end of Al-Qaeda.

[15:05:52] NEWTON: Yes, and it wasn't that long ago that they were saying AQAP was the most significant threat to the United States. Elise Labott

there in Washington for us. Thanks.

Now the desperate families of three women and nine children who disappeared during a trip to the Middle East are appealing for help in tracking them



NEWTON: Now the group travelled to Saudi Arabia on an Islamic Pilgrimage on May 28th. Now they are feared to be headed to ISIS controlled territory

in Syria.

Our Senior International Correspondent, Nick Robertson, joins me now live from Bradford, England where the families live. And you know Nick we've

been monitoring this story all day and listening to the families. Of course they're worried and they want help but in terms of the kind of help

they say they are getting, what did they have to say today?

NICK ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's a real level of frustration. They're working with a lawyer here the families are

and the lawyer has been explaining what they're doing. Earlier this morning the two husbands of two of the three wives who absconded with nine

of the children met with the police here.


ROBERTSON: The police say they're limited in what they can do, this is what the lawyer was telling us but they're working. The police say that

they've appealed to Turkish authorities but when I spoke to the lawyer late this afternoon he said that they still didn't have any information from

Turkish authorities what happened to those three sisters and the nine children with them when they got off the Turkish airlines flight in

Istanbul on the 11th June.

So there's a - there is a sense here that more could be done, more should be done. But for the fathers' themselves it's a very emotional time. Raw

emotions were shown during the press conference where they made a very, very heartrending appeal to their wives to come home.

AKTAR IQBAL: Please call me at least I know where are you, are you safe. And especially my three year old son, Ismaeel. And I'm worried about my

daughters, all - both daughters. My whole family and I'd like them to please call me, please.


ROBERTSON: So the youngest of those children that's missing is three, the eldest one, 15. The authorities here in the U.K., I spoke to a local

politician here.


ROBERTSON: She said their real priority is to get the children - get the children back home and safe, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes it's just incredibly heartrending pleas there.

I mean Nick in terms of what happened here how can the families and authorities be sure that this has anything to do with ISIS, that it's not a

family dispute in any way, shape or form.

Did they have evidence that they were lured by ISIS online or otherwise?

ROBERTSON: You know these were some of the questions that were being asked at that press conference. You know while you had the two husbands there;

one spoke for five minutes, the other one spoke for two minutes very, very passionate appeals.


ROBERTSON: There were of course a lot of questions directed at the lawyer because he said only the husbands would just make statements, they wouldn't

take questions. So there were questions like what about the brother?


ROBERTSON: Because the brother of these sisters had reported to be in Syria. Now the lawyer said the brother is under investigation by the

police so he couldn't speak about that. But when he said you know what would you say to this, the brother of the sisters? He said well I would

make it - you know I would appeal to him to if he - if he knows where they are, if he's with them, if they're in Syria to let them come home.

So there's a real sort of sense there that potentially the brother of these sisters could somehow be involved but they're not going into that


There were questions like were they being radicalized here. The lawyer didn't have answers for that. Had they been lured over there by ISIS, he

didn't have ISIS for that. How much money did they leave the country with? He didn't have answers for that.


ROBERTSON: So there's really a lot of outstanding questions and one of them obviously is if they'd gone to Syria, why? And who gave them the idea

how to do it and how did they manage. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, and police here in Britain are saying that they are following this investigation. Our Nick Robertson there for us in Bradford, England.

I appreciate it Nick.


[15:10:06] NEWTON: Now just two years ago Mohamed Morsi was running Egypt as the country's first democratically elected President. Today a court

upheld a death sentence against him. He was sentenced to death last month for his role in a prison break in 2011. Today Morsi was also given a life

sentence for espionage along with 16 other Muslim brotherhood leaders.

CNN's Ian Lee has the latest for us from Cairo.


IAN LEE: Paul Egypt's first democratically elected President has been sentenced to death by a Cairo judge. The case revolves around a 2011

jailbreak. The government accuses Morsi and (scoresmore) of being behind the release of 20,000 prisoners. Over 90 others were sentenced to death in

that case.


The judge sentenced the former President in another case involving espionage. Morsi received life in prison for allegedly handing secrets to

Iran. 16 people were given the death sentence in that case including the head of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie. All these allegations the

Brotherhood and defendants adamantly deny. Their lawyers say they will appeal the verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a public opinion case, no-one can deny this. Consequently we have to take all legal routes to overturn this verdict. We

can only appeal this verdict at the Cassation court. I believe all these verdicts will be overturned by the Cassation court like previous ones.


LEE: The Egyptian government says justice has been served but rights groups have condemned the trial calling it a charade and farce. They don't

believe Morsi could get a fair trial in this politically charged environment.

There are some serious questions that need to be answered though. For instance how two Palestinian men could be charged despite being dead.

Another Palestinian man was found guilty of the jailbreak but he's been in an Israeli prison since the 1990s. The cases are far from over, there are

two chances to appeal. Paula?

NEWTON: Thank you, Ian there for us in Cairo. Now coming up we will be speaking to (Ahmed) who was a former minister in Mohamed Morsi's

government. We want to get his reactions to today's events in Cairo. That's in about 30 minutes from now, stay with us for that.

Next though on the World Right Now. Well birthday party turns tragic in Berkeley California home to the esteemed University.


NEWTON: We'll tell you how a tragic accident killed six Irish students, that's just ahead.

Plus the woman who sparked a national conversation about race and identity in the United States is finally breaking her silence. And Rachel Dolezal

who was born a blue-eyed blond, says she now identifies as a black woman.




[15:14:56] NEWTON: And welcome back. Six Irish students are dead after a balcony collapsed at an apartment building in the U.S. state of California.


NEWTON: Now officials say most of the dead were in fact as I was saying students but a total of 13 people who were at a party fell when the fourth

floor balcony gave way. Now it's still not clear what happened that enabled that balcony to give way and collapse.

Ireland's President expressed great sadness and sent condolences to the victim's families. Dan Simon joins me now live from Berkeley with some

more details on all this.


NEWTON: You know Dan whenever we see accidents like this we try and make sense of it somehow. In terms of people who are seeing the video I mean is

there a sense that there was just too many people on it? That it wasn't constructed in the right way?

DAN SIMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well that's something that investigators are certainly going to have to look at.


SIMON: But you know based upon looking at that balcony and you can see it right there, it's gingerly just sitting on top of the balcony below. It

doesn't look like the kind of structure that can hold all that many people. So you really have to wonder if in fact this was a weight issue. But

certainly that's something structural engineers are going to have to examine very closely. But I would have to say that that is the operating

theory at this point. This happened at just before one in the morning so clearly you had a lot of people at this apartment who were gathering for

this birthday party celebration. My guess is - or at least my sense is is that you had a number of people out on the balcony just celebrating having

a good time and not thinking of the number of people that could get on there and make that a dangerous situation. But again that's something that

authorities are really going to have to examine closely.

NEWTON: Yes, Dan - yes Dan, just looking at the destruction there I mean really leaves you kind of speechless. In terms of had there been any

incidents at this building? I mean people are talking about what had come before, were there any complaints, I mean any warning at all?

SIMON: Not at all, this is a relatively new building, it's a couple of blocks from UC Berkeley so it's the kind of apartment complex that would

attract students. We don't know if these particular students were going to UC Berkeley of if they were just here for the summer working somewhere.

But we're also hearing for the very first time from some people who came across the scene, witnesses, people who were inside the apartment complex

and heard the sound of that balcony collapsing. They say it lasted three or four seconds. And I want you to listen now someone who came across all

the destruction and all the carnage on the sidewalk.


(JASON, STUDENT BERKELEY HIGH): There was one girl on the curb right next to this van, I think she might have hit the van. And there was debris

everywhere and there was blood. I saw some were responding. I think one of them was walking around but I think he might have had like a punctured

lung or something, he was. But there was a good amount of injury.


LEE: Well Paula, we know that there is a news conference scheduled for the top of the hour at Berkeley Police Headquarters where hopefully we'll get a

better sense as to how this may have happened but certainly this is an enormous tragedy here in Berkeley. As you said six people dead, at least

seven others in the hospital and authorities just trying to figure out how something like this could happen.

NEWTON: Yes and I have to say some of those injuries of the people in the hospital are in fact critical. Well Dan, thanks for the update, I

appreciate it.

Now a civil rights activist who set off a firestorm about racial identity in the U.S. is finally peaking directly to the media trying to tell her


Now Rachel Dolezal stepped down as the leader of the Spokane, Washington Chapter of the NWACP after her white parents told reporters their daughter

had been lying about her race.

Now Dolezal told Matt Lauer of MVC's today show that she identifies as a black woman.


MATT LAUER: Your two sons, Izaiah and Franklin are here in the studio.


LAUER: If I were to ask them if you're a black woman or a Caucasian women how do you think they'd answer?

RACHEL DOLEZAL: Well I actually was talking to one of my sons yesterday and he said mom racially your human and culturally your black. And you

know so we've had these conversations over the years. I do know that they support the way that I identify and they support me.


NEWTON: That tells me the debate about that issue will not be over. She did finally speak directly in her own words about the issue.

Now the United States and NATO have voiced their concern after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would add more than 40 new

inter-continental ballistic missiles to Russia's nuclear arsenal.


NEWTON: Now Putin's move comes after the U.S. said it would be increasing its presence in NATO countries in Eastern Europe. The relations between

Russia and the West have of course been strained over Russia's role in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.


[15:20:07]: NEWTON: U2 front man, Bono, is known for his political activism. Now in Montreal the Irish rocker used the concert stage to call

for the release of journalist and activist in Azerbaijan.


BONO: Six friends of ours who tonight are locked behind bars for the crime of expressing their opinion.


NEWTON: Quite an unexpected appeal there by Bono and one of the journalists that he named was secretly shuttled out of the country and into

Switzerland before the opening ceremony of the inaugural European games in Baku.

Now the games started Friday night and the government's crackdown on human rights is now casting a dark cloud over the entire event.


NEWTON: The venues are world class, many of the events are Olympic qualifiers. Azerbaijan wants the first ever European games to be exciting

and relevant. But much of the drama of these games is happening on the sidelines.

On the weekend Switzerland flew an opposition journalist out of Azerbaijan after he had taken shelter in the Swiss embassy in Baku for more than 10

months fearing arrest.

Emin Huseynov was spirited out of Azerbaijan on a Swiss government plan after months of negotiation with the Azerbaijani government. Huseynov is a

rights activist and opposition figure. But the Azerbaijani government accuses him of tax fraud and illegal business dealings.

The U.S. State Department welcomed Huseynov's departure calling him "A courageous proponent of media" and urged Azerbaijan to extend this same

good will to others considered to be incarcerated for civic activism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we announced to the world we have not any political prisoners.

NEWTON: CNN asked Azerbaijan's Minister of Sport and News just days before the European Games began on Friday if as a gesture of goodwill political

prisoners would be released in the spirit of the Olympic games.

This was the response.

EMIN HYSEYNOV: Actually it's not any Olympic charter for the release in political prison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not but it is for freedom, for dignity, all those things.

EMIN HUSEYNOV: Yes, I think that's for the - for the political prisoners it's not a problem. But if there are criminals they have to be waiting for

their courts.

(TARGUT GAMBAR): It just can't be possible that all of the opposition activists are drug addicts, or hooligans are tax evaders, or embezzlers.

What's the logic?

NEWTON: (Targut Gambar) is a student activist and opposition figure who claims the Azerbaijani government has stepped up its campaign of repression

leading up to the European games.

(GAMBAR): The government has created an atmosphere of fear which is an obstacle for freedom of expression in this country.

Anyway of course the situation is quite serious it's that at some point you have two decisions; going to the prison or finding a shelter.

NEWTON: Most have not found shelter or asylum as was the case for Huseynov and rights groups claim there are now 80 political prisoners in Azerbaijan

more than in Russia or Belarus combined.

Activists here say they'd hope the scrutiny of holding a high profile sporting event would put more pressure on Azerbaijan to release prisoners.

But without much if any international pressure from European leaders or the European Olympic Committee activists say the repression to continue long

after the games are over.


NEWTON: Now coming up, a story that probably sounds familiar. Things not looking good right now between Greece and its creditors.


NEWTON: We'll take a look at the key sticking points to a deal that would give Athens the funds it desperately needs. That's just ahead on the World

Right Now.





NEWTON: Welcome back, we want to let you know what's happening in the business world right now. And the Dow hanging on to really some impressive

gains there as you can see up more than 110 points now. On the first day of a Federal Reserve meeting you'd think people would be a little bit more

leery but no there are the gains.

And over to Europe now. I mean in terms of what went on there again you would think that the worries in Greece would have worried people more. You

can see the NASDAQ and the S&P also up. Moving onto Europe here; impressive gains especially on the DAC there and the Paris CAC Franc, FTSE

though black for the day. Again Greece and the Federal Reserve meeting in the United States that goes two days weighing on the markets one way or

another. It will be interesting to see how long this rally can last.


NEWTON: Now as Greece tries to get the funds it desperately needs we were saying it's still a hangover for the market here. More talks between

Athens and European officials are planned for Thursday.

Now negotiations so far have been absolutely fruitless as the country seeks to avoid a potential debt default.

Samuel Burke takes a look at the key sticking points to getting a deal done.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Everyone is using the word final when it comes to Greece, final deadlines, final payment and instead

of digging themselves out, everyone is digging in.

MARIO DRAGHI: The ball lies squarely in the camp of the Greek government to take the necessary steps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out we are arriving at a time that could be turbulent if we don't reach an agreement.

BURKE: Thursday's critical meeting of Eurozone finance ministers could be one of the few chances left but Greece says it isn't bringing any new

proposals to the table, so what progress can be made? Entrenched positions are clear, the only thing unclear now is who blinks first.

LARRY SUMMERS, AMERICAN ECONOMIST: The term Greek tragedy is 2,000 years old and we're going to see one of the biggest one's ever if something is

not done.


BURKE: There are still two sticking points; cutting benefits for Greek pensioners, and increasing tax on electricity with Europe and Greece so far

apart on these two a Greek default looks ever more likely.


GEORGE PAGOULATOS: I would say that the Greek city's inconceivable for the simple reason that it is a mutually catastrophic decision. Clearly Greece

would have much more to suffer from such an event but the losses would be very significant for the Eurozone as well. Something that's disastrous

doesn't have to happen.

BURKE: Much like Eurozone politicians Eurozone citizens can't come to a consensus either. The vast majority of Greeks say they want to stay in the


Their most influential creditor, Germany, half of its people now say it's time for Greece to go.


NEWTON: Now the latest world headlines just ahead.


NEWTON: Plus Yemen's chaos seemed to help Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula but not enough to save its leader from a drone strike.

A former CIA terror analyst talks about operating in war zones. That's up next, stay with us.



[15:30:15] PAULA NEWTON, HOST, AND CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. This is what's happening in the world right now.

The U.S. calls the death of Nasir al-Wuhayshi a major blow to al Qaeda. He had been the leader of the Yemen-based affiliate, AQAP, and the

second in command of the entire global terror network. AQAP has already named its military chief as successor.

An Egyptian court has upheld the death sentence against former President Mohamed Morsi. The 63-year-old was sentenced to death over his

role in a mass prison break in 2011. Morsi was also given a 25-year jail sentence for espionage.

Six Irish young people are dead after a balcony collapsed in an apartment building in Berkeley, California. Officials say most of the dead

were students. A total of 13 people fell when the fourth floor balcony gave way.

There's now a twelfth major candidate for the Republican nomination in the U.S. presidency race. Real estate mogul and reality TV star, Donald

Trump, threw his hat into the ring with an announcement earlier at his lavish Trump Tower Hotel in New York.


DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of

the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.


NEWTON: And we wanna get more now on the U.S. drone strike that killed al Qaeda's number two, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. Many analysts thought

AQAP was benefitting from Yemen's civil war. But, how would U.S. intelligence operate so successfully amid all of that chaos?

Buck Sexton is a former CIA counterterrorism analyst who has worked in war zones, including Iraq. He joins me now live from New York.

You know, I find that this is really puzzling. We - you don't have an embassy there. It is debatable about what they know about targets.

AQAP had been bolstered by a lot of prison breaks that have happened - happened in the last year in Yemen. And yet, clearly, the U.S. is

determined to continue its counterterrorism strategy, especially in the south of Yemen.

BUCK SECTON, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Counterterrorism strikes are gonna continue regardless of what the situation on the ground

is. In fact, the usage of drones, for example, or airstrikes are the go-to for when you're dealing with an area where you can't count on the local


As we know in the case of Yemen, the country's in a state of chaos. There's a humanitarian collapse that's occurred there among all the

fighting, as you pointed out - the prison breaks, some very large - large- scale terrorists' attacks that involved the Islamic state recently, that have involved al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

And so, usually, you're best option is going to be working with the host country - you know, trying to actually use our allies on the ground.

But, in a case like this, you may have to take some sort of unilateral action, just has been the case in Pakistan and other places around the

world where these sorts of actions are taken, because the situation is so unstable.

But it's important to also keep in mind that this is a tactic - it's not a strategy that individual one-off (ph) strikes, no matter how high up

the al Qaeda food chain, aren't going to defeat this group. And, what we've actually seen in the past, for example, with Ayman al-Zawahiri (ph),

when he was leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, which was a schismatic sect from al Qaeda, but, nonetheless, was that there was more violence and more

instability after he was taken out.

So, the ideology and the underlying foundation of the group is, in fact, virulent and can continue on even when this kind of a strike occurs.

NEWTON: Yes, and you make a good point in terms of looking forward to see what is the future of AQAP. At one point, the United States was

saying that it posed the greatest threat to the homeland in terms of a terrorist attack.

Abdul-Muttalib (ph), known as the underwear bomber - he tried to blow up an airplane destined for the United States - it's those kinds of

incidents - those kinds of really close-calls that the United States is concerned about.

But what is the capability that we would see from this kind of group going forward? They've already announced their replacement. Do they

really have a lot left in the arsenal, especially when they're looking at the competing interests of ISIS now?

SEXTON: Just a quick - I met Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (ph) - I'm not sure if I clarified that in the case of al Qaeda in Iraq - but - but going

forward with a group like this - what you can expect is that the succession has already happened. The succession has already put in place somebody who

seems quite well equipped to continue on with this group.

What we are seeing is a sort of battle going back and forth around the world between - or around - particularly around the Muslim world right

now between the Islamic state and al Qaeda for supremacy in this sort of global jihad. And so, when we look at a strike like this, what you can

think is that this may slow down al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in the case of Yemen, specifically.

But it also will mean that the Islamic state is going to see this perhaps as more fertile ground for the expansion of its affiliates and its


NEWTON: Yes, and if I could pick up quickly on something you had said before - you know, you're saying these - these drone strikes or any

really air campaign like the United States is helping with in places like Iraq and Syria, it's not a strategy. These are one-off (ph). Do you see,

though, with this kind of success that the United States is saying, look, this is the most we're going to do on this?

We may send a few token training troops out here and there, but that's it.

SECTON: Yes, of course, there's much lower risk in, for example, a drone strike or an air strike than the moment you put U.S. troops or

special operations forces operators in harm's way. And in the case of Yemen, you're talking about getting in the middle of what is quite clearly

a civil war.

And, so, picking sides becomes a difficult matter, and I mean literally on the battlefield. You wanna make sure that you avoid friendly

fire. And, without boots on the ground, there are limitations to how much influence you can have on events as they - as they play out.

So, yes, the strategy as we've seen in other places has been counterterrorism first as opposed to counterinsurgency operations. What I

mean by that is, we're not gonna deploy the special forces soldiers on this sort of frontlines to engage in ground combat operations. If that does

happen, it would be in a very limited fashion to go after high-value targets.

But the chaos on the ground - the things that we're seeing happening in Yemen - are beyond our capability to control unless (ph) there's a

Saudi-led alliance of Arab countries that are trying to -

NEWTON: Right.

SEXTON: - push back against the Houthis (ph) with airstrikes. They're taking a much more forward role in this than we are for obvious

reasons. It's their backyard. Literally speaking, it's right next door.

And, so, this is the best we can hope for - is sort of limit al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's external operations capability, which is why

they've been considered so dangerous in the past - because they have actually, of course, hit the homeland here before. They're trying to hit

the homeland. That's very high on their list.

So far, the Islamic state has relied on more lone-wolf actors for targets abroad, whereas its main focus has been trying to maintain and

control territory in Iraq and Syria. So, we'll have to see if this is - if this is enough to continue to keep al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula off

balance. I think it's unlikely. I think it's only a matter of time before they strike again at the West. And, as we've seen, that can have very

deadly consequences.

NEWTON: OK. Buck Sexton there for us live from New York - appreciate your insights.

SEXTON: Thank you.


[15:43:29] NEWTON: Now we've been telling you about CNNs Freedom Project and our attempt to shine a spotlight on human trafficking. CNNs

Nima Elbagir has been following the route of young Egyptians across the Mediterranean all the way to Sicily.

Yesterday we told you about young men who are embarking on the terrifying journey. Here's a reminder of Nima's reporting so far.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been investigating the trafficking of teenagers and boys from Egypt to Italy for

several months now - boys forced to work on smuggling ships and then dumped on the Italian coast, many the boats ferrying illegal migrants.

As we finished up the interviews, news had spread that the next stop on our journey was Sicily. Mothers crowded us in the street with pictures

and documents. (INAUDIBLE) this entire village is (INAUDIBLE) smugglers. This has (INAUDIBLE) mothers that have (INAUDIBLE) around us, they say that

their sons were forced on these ships - were forced to man these ships. And now they say that they've been in prison here (ph) in Sicily.


NEWTON: Yes, and what's happened to them? We will move on now to the next leg of Nima's journey. Now, today, she's reporting from Sicily

and showing us what really happens to these children. Take a look.


ELBAGIR: Rocks (ph) by the waves fleeing from ship to ship, huddled together below deck. This hidden camera footage was shot by illegal

migrants crossing from Egypt to Italy. It's a trip so many don't survive.

This is Sicily's boat graveyard. This is where the hulls of the ships that brought migrants to shore here are laid to rest. Each one of

these ships carries with it a tale of human misery - the hold where hundreds were found asphyxiated - the ship found empty, because people, out

of fear, have plunged to their death. These are the wrecks of the vessels that carry people and their dreams here to shore in Europe.

Over the past years, they've brought with them thousands of unaccompanied Egyptian children. The lucky ones are brought here to one of

the many under-age migrant homes dotted across the Sicilian countryside. We've been granted access by Italian authorities, but asked not to disclose

the name of the name the center is based in.

Kareem (ph) is a translator - an all-round big brother to the younger boys here. He arrived from Egypt when he was just 12 years old. He had

already been working since his eighth birthday.

KAREEM (ph), TRANSLATOR (through translator): (INAUDIBLE) not knowing whether you're going to return or not. You kiss your mother

goodbye not knowing whether you're ever going to see her again, because no one knows what the sea can do to you.

ELBAGIR: Too many of the boys' parents, he says, just don't care.

KAREEM (ph) (through translator): Someone manages to send 500 euros home, and his family fix up their house beautifully. Then others will look

at that and say, why don't we send our son? They're convinced that here in Italy money is just thrown about.

ELBAGIR: It's that pressure that has allowed many kids to become easy prey for the networks smuggling them in - trafficking them into a life

of crime.

This young man agreed to speak to us, but he doesn't want to appear on camera for fear of what might happen to his parents still at home. He

was a so-called child captain - one of the children trafficked on board the crew (ph) smuggler ships when he was just 15years old. He said he had no


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I left my home to work fishing. We had been at sea for two days. After these two days, a small

boat approached. They loaded people up - around 170 people. I asked the captain, where are we going? He told me we are going to Italy.

ELBAGIR: He now works with newly arrived Egyptian boys trying to convince them to stay in school and out of the hands of the criminal gangs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Europe is very, very tough for someone as young as these kids are. They run away from school to any

big city. They can't find anything to eat. They don't know where to sleep. They want to work at anything. Anyone who comes and says work for

me, whether it's drugs, even cocaine, they'll work at it, because they don't have any money.

ELBAGIR: Even the sex trafficking of children, I asked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, there's also child prostitution, because they don't have anyone to looking out for them. Some

young kid, 14 years of age, what else are they going to do on the street on their own?

ELBAGIR: But, even here, there is no real respite. A group of the boys from the home agreed to speak to us in the church square. One of them

is just 12 years old. It's clear they carry the burden of the thousands of dollars their parents paid to get them here. I asked them if they call

home and if they tell their parents how tough life in Italy really is.

We can't tell them, one of them says. We can't tell them how difficult it is for us. We chose this. We chose to come to suffer so that

we can help them.

But, is it really a choice?

Francesca Teresi (ph), a Sicilian lawyer, was tasked with representing three migrant children. Three days before a hearing set to

determine their legal status, they disappeared.

These documents are contracts that three of your clients, who are 16 and 17, said they were found on their person when they came in, and these

were contracts between their families and the smugglers?

FRANCESCA TERESI (ph), LAWYER: They decided to escape looking at those contracts, because they had something more important than - that

their life - return money to their family. That's why - because they had to start - they had to start to find the money to return back and to honor

those contracts.

ELBAGIR: For many of the kids, though, Sicily is just an initial stopping off point. Thousands of them have been disappearing out of the

system and making their way by bus and rail to Rome. And that's where, desperate to pay off the debts their parents incurred to get them here,

they had to find work wherever they can.

To find out what happens to them there, we also have to head north to Italian capital.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Catania (ph), Italy.


NEWTON: And tomorrow, as Nima just said, she will continue the investigation in Rome. Tune in to learn about the exploitation these

Egyptian migrant children face very day.

This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up, we speak to a former minister in Mohamed Morsi's government, as the former Egyptian president's

death sentence is upheld in court. Stay with us.


[15:50:47] NEWTON: Let's take you back to a story that we looked at earlier - an Egyptian court's decision to uphold the death sentence against

the country's former president, Mohamed Morsi. Now Morsi was given the sentence for his role in a 2011 prison break. Now, we wanna get some

reaction from today's events from the Muslim Brotherhood.

I am joined from Istanbul, Turkey, by Yehia Hamed, former minister in Mohamed Morsi's government. Thanks so much for joining us today. I know

you have already said that this really represents the death of democracy in Egypt. But I wanna hear from you - does this mean that the people in (ph)

the youth in Egypt who still support the Muslim Brotherhood - will they be back out on the street to protest this?

YEHIA HAMED, FRMER MINISTER IN MORSI GOVERNMENT: Thanks, Paula, for having me and, yes, I believe that the Egyptian people, including the

Muslim Brotherhood, will keep the (ph) on the streets and that peaceful demonstrations that have been there since the coup d'etat of July 12, '13

(ph). What happened today is another example of the Duckius (ph) and Farse (ph) tribes that has been taking place in Egypt since the coup d'etat.

We are having - thousands of people have been already killed, and more than 40,000 people are in prison till now. This is (ph) fabricated

the charges that Dr. Morsi's trial have fallen far below any international low standards. And it proved today that the judiciary system, as the

highest religious bodies, are going into the same line of the cruel and illegitimate regime into ignoring the basic fundamentals of justice as

human rights as well.

NEWTON: But, you know, your group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been complaining about this literally for years now, as he has been in

prison. There has been human rights groups say a further crackdown on any kind of activists - on any kind of independent groups - and yet, the

Egyptian government, led by General Sisi, is getting away with it.

We even had the United States reinstate all that military aid earlier this year. Do you really see anything turning around?

HAMED: I believe that - that the West is sending their own message for a whole generation. We are having in Egypt more than 65 of our people

under 30 years old. Those are the real millions (ph) of people who went in (ph) in 2011. What happened from the states, having the F-16 (ph) being

shipped again to Egypt, what happened from France into the (INAUDIBLE) and the power plants that's happening in Germany, is a message that the West is

saying that we are merely taking care of our interests more than the basic fundamentals.

I believe, if I would really bargain - if I would really bet - I would really bet on the next generation - our - our revolution at the end

of the road whatever the mistakes that all of the people, including ourself have done, will win at the end of - of the roads.

The message that Sisi is sending for everyone in Egypt, we in the Muslim Brotherhood, Paula, is very clear in our code. Our code is

democratic. Our code is open-minded and rejecting all kind of violence. But the message - mainly like what you have presented before our - our

episode - that millions of Egyptian people right now are trying to escape Egypt. Millions of the Egyptian people can be shot with live ammunitions

with the Sisi bullets inside the streets.

So, people are thinking of going other than being a democratically - they are saying that we went for the ballot boxes, and no one is helping us

out. I believe that our goal is for the international community to have its suppress (ph) on Sisi -

NEWTON: But, do you - do you think this is a -

HAMED: - to stop this - this violent -

NEWTON: - no-win situation for you? You just talked about how the West is - is not helping enough. And, not only that, you see people within

Egypt - you know - you have heard them say we want stability. This government, such as it is, has brought stability to Egypt. Do you feel

that you actually have a chance against that kind of an argument - an argument that apparently even the United States is listening to now?

HAMED: Absolutely, absolutely. If you are talking about more than 27 percent unemployment - if you are talking about 40 percent under poverty

line - if you are talking about all these kinds of low insurgency happening in Sinai where mostly 50 percent of Sinai is not under the governance of -

of the regime, then he has falled (ph) even in the stability.

My say is that, if we really want stability, we want democracy and freedom, and then this will bring stability. Dictatorship regimes like

Sisi will never bring stability to the region - will never bring stability to the Gulf area. The Sisi regime is another Franco - is another fascist

regime that the international community, as well as the free people within them, mainly on our free people in Egypt - this has stop and has to has an


NEWTON: Mr. Hamed, I know this will not be the end of the road legally or otherwise. Mr. Morsi and others in the Muslim Brotherhood, we

appreciate your time tonight from Istanbul, Turkey.

And we have much more on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW right after the break.


[15:59:28] NEWTON: U.S. first lady is recalling her own humble beginnings as the way to champion girls' education. Now Michelle Obama

made the appeal to a group of underprivileged school girls in London. But, as Max Foster reports, it's a message she really hopes will spread right

around (ph).


MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: The president's wife is in no way part of life in this neighborhood, which has the highest rate of child

poverty in London. The idea of even meeting a first lady is outlandish enough, let alone becoming one yourself.

But it's that mindset that Michelle Obama is trying to change. She already has rock star status here. And she starts her speech by making a



MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: My brother and I shared a bedroom that was divided in half by a wooden partition giving us

each our own little tiny rooms that fit just a twin bed and a small desk.

I can remember how hard it was to concentrate on my homework, because someone was always talking or watching TV right next to you. I often woke

up at four in the morning when the house was finally quiet just so that I could concentrate and finish my school work.


FOSTER: Then, on to her core message.


OBAMA: I've seen it again and again and again that what our parents told us really is true - that, if we get our education, we can do anything.


FOSTER: The speech wowed the audience, but was as much targeted at girls around the world watching these images on TV.


MATTHEW BARZUN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.K.: When you look at her own life story and the fact is education opened up every door that she was

able to go through, and she wants to see the key, so to speak, given to those 62 million plus girls around the world.


FOSTER: Mrs. Obama was accompanied on her trip by her mother and daughters, Malia and Sasha - stopping by Kensington Palace to meet Prince

Harry and Downing Street for tea with the Prime Minister. The White House used the visit to announce a near $200 million joint U.S./U.K. (ph)

initiative to promote girls' education, primarily targeted at the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This visit has echoes of Michelle Obama's first visit on her own overseas, which was to a similar school in the same part of London. It

inspired her to carve out her own role on the international stage as a champion of girls' education. And that, her office told me, is a long-term


Max Foster, CNN, London.


NEWTON: And thanks for watching us. "Quest Means Business" is straight ahead.