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Turkey Strikes Back at ISIS; Louisiana Theater Shootings; Obama in Kenya; Potentially Earth-like Planet Discovered; Malaria Vaccine Getting Closer

Aired July 24, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:03] HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight Turkey strikes back against ISIS and agrees to let coalition forces use its airbases. I will ask the British

Defense Secretary whether this is a game changer.

Plus police hunt for a motive after yet another deadly shooting at a U.S. movie theatre.

And this hour, a hug for his half-sister as Barack Obama touches down in Kenya for his first time as President there.

And it is the most earth-like discovery yet. Could NASA have found a planet as livable as our own? Is anyone out there?


GORANI: Hello everyone, I hope you are. I'm Hala Gorani, we are live at CNN London and this is The World Right Now.

Could we be seeing a paradigm shift in the fight against ISIS with Turkey becoming more and more involved than ever? That is because Turkey is now

allowing anti-ISIS coalition aircraft to use some of its bases.

Also today, Turkey launched its own air strike in Syria for the first time and the timing is striking of course coming the same week as the deadly

suicide blast right on the border.

Fred Pleitgen has more and a warning this piece contains some disturbing video.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Turkish F16s took off in the early morning hours on Friday arming for the first time what Ankara

says were ISIS targets in neighboring Syria. On their mission the war planes never left Turkish airspace the Prime Minister later said at a press


TURKISH PRIME MINISTER: (As translated) The targets were hit without going into Syrian airspace he said. If there was a need we would have gone into

Syrian airspace as well.

PLEITGEN: Also on Friday Turkey launched a massive anti-terror operation involving thousands of policemen spanning 16 provinces in the country and

rounding up hundreds of people.

The government says the operation was aimed at ISIS but also at militants from the Kurdish workers party, PKK.

Our state will take all of the necessary steps against these organizations President Erdogan said this is a commitment.

The moves could be a sign that Turkey is getting tougher on ISIS which sits just across the border in Syria.

On Thursday a Turkish soldier was killed in a cross-border exchange of gun fire with militants. And on Monday 32 people died in what the Turkish

government claims was an ISIS suicide bombing of an event in Suric also in the border area with Syria.

That attack led to violent protests in Istanbul and other cities as many felt their government wasn't doing enough to combat the ISIS threat.

A NATO allay bordering both Syria and Iraq the U.S. is keen to launch air strikes against ISIS from airbases in Turkey. That could soon happen

Turkey's president saying bases like the one in (Incirlik) could be used by coalition planes "under a certain framework" even though the Turks say

those discussions have nothing to do with the new crack down.

Of course all allied countries have been informed of all the actions the Prime Minister said. But this is a decision made on the basis of national

security and has nothing to do with the opening of (Incirlik) and the negotiations on those issues.

In the face of a growing ISIS threat Turkey is ramping up its military response. Still the government says it will not allow itself to be dragged

into the Syrian civil war.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.


GORANI: Well, the American Defense Secretary headed to the heart of the ISIS fight on Friday.


GORANI: Ash Carter made an unannounced visit to Irbil in Northern Iraq to meet with the Iraqi Kurdish President. He was in Baghdad yesterday of

course you'll remember while he was there in Irbil he prays the Peshmerga, the fighting force has been standing very firm against ISIS, it's made some

pretty noticeable gains as well.

Carter in Syria as well it has to be said Carter has said they can defeat ISIS with coalition help. But how exactly will the coalition beat ISIS?

How long will it take?


GORANI: For that I'm joined by U.K. British Defense Secretary, Michael Fallon. Thanks sir for being with us.

First on this reported deal with Turkey allowing some of its bases to be used for fighter jets to take off in their strikes in Syria and Iraq. What

do you make of that?

MICHAEL FALLON, BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well it's very welcome that Turkey is now fully engaged in striking and hopefully too in sealing the

border with Northern Syria where we've had a lot of issues with foreign fighters crossing.


[15:05:09] FALLON: So Turkey's fuller participation in the coalition is extremely welcome. The whole region really needs to focus now on dealing

with this menace in its midst.

GORANI: But Turkey has reported to have asked for something in return which is the creation of a buffer zone in Northern Syria, a defacto no fly

zone that would allow for refugees to seek a safe haven and also create a buffer between its border and Northern Syria. Do you think that's a good



FALLON: Well, we've had reservations about a no fly zone. I mean what we really need is a no drive zone for ISIL.


FALLON: ISIL isn't flying, I mean what we need to deal with is ISIL on the ground, its commandant control centers in and around Raqqa in Northern

Syria, and the supply routes from Syria through to Iraq.

But let me be clear, we welcome the fuller participation of Turkey in this international coalition to deal with ISIL.

GORANI: Is it your understanding that there will be some sort of buffer zone in Northern Syria at the request of Turkey?

FALLON: I'm sorry I didn't catch any of that.

GORANI: Is it your understanding that there will be some sort of buffer zone created in Northern Syria at the request of Turkey?

FALLON: I'm sorry, I can't hear that.


FALLON: Secretary Fallon, yes, is it your understanding that there will be a buffer zone created in Northern Syria at the request of Turkey?

FALLON: I'm sorry, I can't hear your question.

GORANI: All right, we're going to get right back to Secretary Michael Fallon, the U.K. Defense Secretary. Unfortunately we seem to be having

some sort of technical problem there with the audio. We're going to fix that and once we do we'll get right back to the interview.

Moving on to the State of Louisiana. Police in the U.S. say the man who opened fire in a crowded theatre appears to have acted alone.

BEGIN VIDEO CLIP: The attack left two people dead, and nine wounded. But so far no motive has been established. It's yet another shooting that's

shocked the country.

Our Stacey Cohan has the latest.

STACEY COHAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tragedy strikes in a Louisiana movie theatre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming to a movie on a Thursday night we'd never have expected that we would see a crime scene.

COHAN: Two women were killed when 59 year old John Russel Houser opened fire. The victims are 21 year old Mayci Breaux, and 33 year old Jillian

Johnson. Nine others were injured.

Police describe Houser as a drifter. They believe had only been in Lafayette since July. They say it appears he planned to escape after the


CHIEF JIM CRAFT, LAFAYETTE POLICE CHIEF: The quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theatre at which time he shot himself.

COHAN: Officials found wigs and other disguises at Houser's hotel room.

COLONEL MICHAEL EDMONSON, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE: Here we are in Lafayette, Louisiana in the middle of a neighborhood of a movie theatre.

Why did he come here? Why did he do that? We don't know that.

COHAN: Witnesses describe the horrific scene and the chaos that ensued. Someone triggered an alarm and the entire theater was evacuated.

(KATIE DOMINIQUE), EYEWITNESS: He was standing up pointing straight down, you could see like the light from the end of his gun, you know almost like

a fly.

COHAN: Governor Bobby Jindal says the community will mourn the victims and will get through this together.

BOBBY JINDAL, LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Let's give these families all the love and thoughts and prayers we can. That's what we need right now the most.

COHAN: I'm Stacey Cohan reporting.


GORANI: All right. We are still re-establishing contact with Michael Fallon the U.K. Defense Secretary so stay tuned for that. And next we'll

also look at this story.


GORANI: Barack Obama has arrived in Kenya's capital on his first trip there as President. Our Senior White House correspondent will join me live

from Nairobi.

And we will tell you about the world's best hope against Malaria, and why it just got a big break. Stay with us.




[15:11:35] GORANI: U.S. President Barack Obama is making his fourth trip to sub-sahara in Africa since taking office.


GORANI: But this leg of the journey is especially personal because of course the President's father was born in Kenya.

Mr. Obama arrived in Nairobi about two hours ago, there he is, disembarking. Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Mr. Obama's half-

sister greeted him at the airport. There she is the lady who got that hug there.

Senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta is travelling with the President and he joins me now live from Nairobi.


GORANI: So what's on the schedule in the coming hours Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Hala he is down for the night. I have to say he just wrapped up dinner with his Kenyan relatives

here in Nairobi, that is something that we did not expect, the White House sprung that on us in just the last several minutes. So it just goes to

show you the President is going to have a busy time here in Africa.

And this trip we should point out marks the first visit by a U.S. President to Kenya. Of course the President has deep roots here and Mr. Obama has

visited Kenya before but never as President. So this historic visit is shaping up to become the personal and presidential journey people in Africa

have been waiting for since he took office.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Welcome to the White House everybody.

ACOSTA: He is the President whose biography is known across the world; a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya. And now Mr. Obama returns to

his father's homeland for his first trip as President a visit aids say he is eagerly awaited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's certainly looking forward to his trip to Kenya and giving him a chance to reconnect as President. He hasn't been there

for a while.

ACOSTA: Still the President's plan stops in both Kenya and Ethiopia are not without risk as this section of Africa is still plagued by terrorist

groups like Al Shabab which carried out the Westgate Mall massacre less than two years ago killing dozens.

Senior White House officials saying the strategy for combatting that threat will be high on the President's agenda.

SUSAN RICE, U.S. PRESIDENT SECURITY ADVISOR: Obviously we wouldn't be taking this trip if we thought the security conditions precluded us doing


ACOSTA: He hasn't been back to Kenya since 2006 when then Senator Obama stopped in his father Barack Obama Senior's hometown. Where he encountered

long lost relatives while getting in touch with his roots.

He also journeyed to Kenya as a young man collecting stories that would become part of his Memoir "Dreams from my Father." That painful experience

of being abandoned by his father is now a recurring theme in his efforts to mentor young men of color.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I am a black man who grew up without a father. And I know the cost that I paid for that.

ACOSTA: The President's heritage has also created plenty of political headaches back home. Fuelling bogus claims he was born in Kenya forcing

the White House at one point to release Mr. Obama's birth certificate.

That personal history has left Kenyan's anticipating his presidential trip for years ever since they partied in the streets when Mr. Obama won the

White House.

And maternity wards started filling up with newborns named Barack and Michelle. But as President he's disappointed Kenyans at times choosing

stable Democratic Ghana as his first stop in Africa as President.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well I have the blood of Africa within me. And my family's (applause) - my family's own story encompasses both the tragedies

and triumphs of the larger African story.

[15:15:10] ACOSTA: His message to African leaders back then tamped down on corruption and prosperity will follow.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Africa's future is up to Africans.

ACOSTA: But the President has his critics in Africa who say he's ignored the continent while China spends billions. To counter that argument the

President will keep a busy schedule in Africa with major speeches planned at both business and political leaders meaning a more personal visit will

have to come later.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Visiting Kenya as a private citizen is probably more meaningful than visiting as President because I can actually get outside of

the hotel room or conference center.


ACOSTA: And for logistical and security reasons White House officials say President Obama will not be visiting his father's hometown of Kogelo during

this trip to Africa. Instead relatives of the President will be here in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi as they were here tonight.

And after Kenya the President travels to Ethiopia. He'll be the first President to visit that country as well. Hala?

GORANI: All right, Jim Acosta, thanks very much there reporting on the President's trip to Africa including Kenya the birth country of his father.

Thanks very much.

We, I'm delighted to say, I believe we have fixed our technical issues with British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

Sir, I'm just checking you can hear me now?

FALLON: Yes indeed I can hear you.

GORANI: OK, thank you sir. The question I was asking you when we lost contact there earlier was; is it your understanding that Turkey has asked

for a buffer zone in Northern Syria and will get that in return for allowing some of its bases to be used in anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes?

FALLON: Well Turkey's proposal for a buffer zone is not new. They've been arguing that for some time. But I think it's important also not to get too

bogged down into thinking of zones in Syria.

We've got ISIL there as an enemy with its various bases, its commanding control, its supply routes and that's where the bulk of the strikes I think

have got to be focused rather than looking specifically at different zones in different parts of the country.


GORANI: So would that be a yes or a no?

FALLON: Well, its neither yes nor no. We know the Turks have put this forward before. But militarily I don't think you can start dividing Syria

up into different zones. What's important is to defeat ISIL in its core. And its core in Northern Syria where there are command and control centers

from where its logistics and personnel are moving through into Iraq. There are targets there to be attacked rather than some specific line to be



GORANI: All right, we'll see what the Turks announce. I know that the Prime Minister was saying that they were having a cabinet meeting about it.

Can I ask you about the U.K. involvement specifically?

The government did acknowledge that five British pilots among other British personnel were embedded with coalition forces in strikes against Syria this

despite the fact that the U.K. parliament rejected the idea of a military campaign in Syria by the British military. Why was that not made public?

FALLON: Well we've never publicized our embedded personnel in other forces, that's been standard practice for the last 40 or 50 years. We've

had pilots, aircrew and others embedded with forces, allied friendly forces all over the world and it's not our job to publicize other peoples forces

or other countries operations.

But where we've been pressed for details then yes we have given some details of the embedding that's taken place so far as Syria is concerned.

The vote by parliament by the way a couple of years ago was not on whether or not there should be airstrikes in Syria it was whether we should be

bombing Asad and his use of chemical weapons. It was actually a vote on a slightly different issue.

GORANI: But it was viewed widely as a lack of appetite by parliamentarians in the U.K not to militarily engage in Syria. And you've been criticized,

the government has been criticized for essentially splitting hairs that these embedded pilots participated actively in a bombing campaign and that

British Citizens weren't made aware of it.

FALLON: Well we've made it clear that if there is to be U.K. military action and U.K. military operation and striking in Syria then yes like we

did for Iraq last autumn we would go to the British Parliament and have a debate and have a vote on that action.


FALLON: But these were a handful of embedded pilots in other peoples operations. Like we had them with the French forces in Mali. Like we've

had them serving with American forces all over the world and with other allies so this was not a British military operation, these were British

pilots embedded in this case the United States chain of command, with United States units.


GORANI: And you mentioned going to parliament if indeed there is a plan or a plan that is - that you would deem effective against ISIS targets in

Syria to ask - to seek authorization from parliament to conduct direct strikes in Syria. Is that something the government will do? Why or why


FALLON: Well we have a new parliament now elected just in May so a different situation from the vote two years ago, and it's a different

issue. We've seen the dramatic rise of ISIL since then, the territory they've captured right across Syria and Iraq. And we've seen the fact that

ISIL do not respect this historic boundary between Iraq and Syria. They're carrying out their murderous terrorism either sides of this border.

So in time we want to build the case that it is illogical for British planes to bomb in Syria - bomb in Iraq I'm sorry but to turn back at the

border. And we will start to build that case with the new parliament. We're not planning a particular timetable for the vote but we will go on

pointing out the illogicality of our planes being able to strike in Iraq but not able to strike a few hundred kilometers over the border in Syria.

GORANI: So it sounds like it's something you're looking into, you will build a case.

Finally I've got to ask you about a timetable in terms of the overall fight against these ISIS targets. Because some governments in the region are

predicting a 15 year, 20 year fight. How long is the U.K. prepared to invest itself in this costly military campaign against this group in Syria

and Iraq?

FALLON: Well we're there for the long-haul. I think Secretary Kerry suggested this might take two to three years. We've been striking in Iraq

for a year. We are standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States and the rest of the coalition. I think we've taken one of the highest

shares of the missions and strikes behind the United States. A huge proportion, nearly a third of all the surveillance missions that are flown

to gather intelligence over both Iraq and Syria are being flown by British aircraft. And we've announce we're stepping up our training effort of the

Iraqi army.

I'm sending next month another 125 trainers to help train Iraqi army personnel, we've been gifting equipment. So we are stepping up to this

particular fight because ISIL represents a very clear and present danger to us in Western Europe and indeed to the streets of Britain. This is our

fight and we're not going to walk away from it.

GORANI: All right, Michael Fallon the U.K. Defense Secretary I appreciate your time, thanks for patient with our technical issues there. Thanks for

being with us on CNN.

FALLON: My pleasure.

GORANI: A lot more - a lot more coming up here on the program.


GORANI: Hope for more than 3 billion people; a vaccine is one step closer to helping many of those at risk for contracting malaria. We'll bring you

the details next.




[15:25:29] GORANI: It kills a child every minute, but a vaccine for malaria is one step closer to saving lives. It has cleared a scientific

hurdle here in Europe. And as Isa Soares reports it's a promising new tool but perhaps not a miracle cure.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After almost 30 years of research and millions of dollars malaria may soon get a final shot in the

arm. European regulators have now given the green light to the vaccine known as Mosquirix or RTSS, a drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline partly

funded by the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation.

RAMIL BURDEN, VICE PRESIDENT TO AFRICA GLAXOSMITHKLINE: The Trial have been conducted in seven different countries in (inaudible) Africa and

involved 13,000 children. The children in the trial would have for example they would sleep under bed nets, and they would have access to the best

healthcare if they got sick. So the vaccine is really an additional tool on the gold standard of care.

SOARES: The vaccine works by stopping the malaria parasite maturing and multiplying in the liver after which it would normally enter the patients'

bloodstream and trigger the disease's symptoms.

But the trials are already raising questions over the drug's effectiveness. Results showed the vaccine was most effective in children between five and

seventeen months cutting the number of malaria cases by nearly half.

In babies up to three months though that drops by 27% with the protection wearing off over time and with a need for a booster shot.

DAVID CONWAY, PROF. LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE: It is only a quarter of the people or a third of the people will be protected .

So that - will that benefit be enough is the question. And the booster doses could be done but will they be cost effective in particular

situations in order to reduce malaria. Or will other tools against malaria be more cost effective?

SOARES: This is nevertheless a first big step towards a vaccine and this could be a game changer in Africa where there have been 198 million cases

of malaria and an estimated 584,000 deaths in 2013, mostly among children.

Now it's up to the World Health Organization to give its stamp of approval.

BURDEN: We believe that this is an additional tool, it's not the only answer but it's an additional tool to help tackle one of the world's

biggest killers and infectious diseases.

SOARES: Isa Soares, CNN London.


GORANI: The latest headlines are just ahead.


GORANI: Plus just hours before the latest public shooting in the U.S. the President said his greatest frustration is the lack of progress against gun

violence, this was before the Louisiana shooting.

Plus, she may have to make a swift exit, we look at some of the problems plaguing one of the world's biggest popstars in China.




[15:30:42] GORANI: Here's a look at your top stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GORANI: Turkey says it's cracking down on terrorism. The country has announced that coalition forces can now use some of its bases to launch

airstrikes against ISIS. Now that comes after Turkey carried out its own strikes early Friday for the first time.


GORANI: Also among the top stories, police in Louisiana say the gunman who opened fire in a crowded theatre Thursday appears to have acted alone.


GORANI: They say he is 59 and his name is John Russell Houser, and killed two people and wounded nine, and then killed himself. His motive is



GORANI: The American President, Barack Obama has arrived in his father's homeland of Kenya a few hours ago.


GORANI: His half-sister greeted him at the Nairobi airport, there she is wearing the light jacket hugging him. Also present the Kenyan President

Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenyans lined the streets of the capital to catch a glimpse of his motorcade.


GORANI: The President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, is headed to St. Petersburg to meet with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.


GORANI: Their sit down will come a day before the qualifying draw for the Russian 2018 World Cup. Putin was a strong backer of Bladder during his

recent FIFA election.


GORANI: Well that event comes as FIFA continues to try and shake off the corruption allegations that have been plaguing it. While calls from its

major sponsors to make serious changes grow much, much, louder. And we're talking big names here.

CNN's Kellie Morgan has the story from Moscow.

KELLIE MORGAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well here we are on the eve of the first major event for Russia as host of the 2018 World Cup. But

few people are talking about the preliminary draw and who will be playing who in those early qualifying matches.

All week racism in Russia has dominated the headlines but now that FIFA's executives have arrived in St. Petersburg the spotlight is back on the

corruption scandal.


MORGAN: Not least because of fresh criticism of FIFA by World Cup sponsor, VISA. And during the company's third quarter earnings conference last

night Chief Executive, Charlie Scharf, expressed concern that FIFA wasn't living up to the high standards that VISA expected as a sponsor.

And he went on to say, and I quote "Their subsequent responses are wholly inadequate and continue to show its lack of awareness of the seriousness of

the changes which are needed."

Now VISA also echoed calls from a fellow sponsor, Coca-Cola for an independent commission to oversee reforms at FIFA expressing doubt that the

existing leadership will be able to deliver the kind of meaningful change that is required.

To that end at a press conference in St. Petersburg early on Friday, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke announce FIFA will hold a meeting next

month as requested with all key sponsors to move that reform process forward.

Now this is seen as crucial to restore trust. FIFA hasn't signed a single new sponsor since the Brazil World Cup. Valcke acknowledging the scandal

is taking its toll. Take a listen.

JEROME VALCKE, FIFA SECRETARY GENERAL: Simply the current situation doesn't help to finalize a new agreement. It's a factor and I'm sure that

until the next election, until the 26th of February there will be not a major announcement.


MORGAN: Well during that press conference Valcke was also forced to defend his own record at FIFA. He denied any involvement in the current crisis or

of having any knowledge of any wrongdoing and said he's proud of his legacy which he fully expects to be handing over to a new Secretary General

following that election of a new FIFA President in February.


MORGAN: As for the current President, Sepp Blatter, well he too is in town and will be meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin ahead of the

preliminary draw tomorrow.


MORGAN: But of course his very presence remains the spectacle of the event which Russia had hoped would catch the world's attention, is almost

certainly going to be overshadowed by this ongoing scandal.

Kellie Morgan, CNN Moscow.

GORANI: Well back now to the Louisiana theatre shooting.


GORANI: Authorities say it might have been worse had it not been for a pair of school teachers. The State Governor is hailing their actions as

heroic even as they were both in the line of fire.

[15:35:03] JINDAL: There were two teachers there on just a summer break. You know their last days of summer going to see a comedy, you know get

ready for school. One teacher jumped in front of her friend potentially saving her life. The second teacher said that bullet was coming for her

head if her friend hadn't jumped on top of her.

Both teachers were injured, the second teacher was injured in the leg. She had the presence and mind despite her injury to pull the fire alarm, so who

knows how many lives she saved by doing that.

She was released from the hospital, the second teacher was released from the hospital last night.


GORANI: All right, the Governor of Louisiana there discussing these two teachers potentially saving lives. But yet again the country's having to

deal with this - with what has been plaguing it and it seems to be becoming more common which are these mass shootings.

Ryan Nobles joins me now from Lafayette in Louisiana where this movie theater is located with more on what we know about the suspect, and also

tragically the people who lost their lives Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right Hala and we're learning quite a bit about the suspect. What we don't know right now

is what motivated him to come here to this theatre and open fire killing two other people and wounding nine.


NOBLES: We're learning that he had a pretty long mental health history. One in fact it made is family so concerned that at one point they put him

into involuntary custody into a mental facility to have him evaluated. In fact he had many run-ins with his family. He was estranged from his wife

and daughter. At one point they had a protective order out against him right before his daughter was to be married.

For the most part though he has been a drifter moving from town to town, and it's not clear at all what specific connection he had here to

Lafayette, he had a family member that lived here many years ago but at the present time was not connected to anyone here in this part of Louisiana.

Just about an hour ago we heard from the Sherriff in the Alabama town where he last lived and he talked about a number of different run-ins with the

law that Mr. Houser had.


NOBLES: Some of them were things that he initiated, he called to complain about people, called to complain that someone had stolen his car. But

there was also incidents where he was accused of domestic violence.

None of those ever lead to an arrest, he was never actually put in Police custody. In fact the biggest dustup he had with law enforcement was when

they physically evicted him from a home which he later went back and vandalized.

So for the most part Hala, right now a lot of questions and not many answers as to what led him here last night to commit this crime.

GORANI: All right, yet more answers of course in these cases what motivated the shooter, thanks very much Ryan Nobles in Lafayette,


Now the American President, Barack Obama, says that he's tried and failed to get law makers to take action against gun violence. And he was talking

to the BBC about that very thing. Except this question wasn't asked of him after the shooting in Louisiana but before.

Listen to what he said.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: The one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stagnant it is the fact that the United States of America is the

one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws. Even in the face of repeated mass killings and you

know if you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than a hundred.

If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands.


GORANI: Barack Obama there. Of course these numbers make you think. If on the one hand you can legislation passed to combat terrorism that's

killed less than a hundred people but not to control gun purchases in many states that have killed tens of thousands.

Mr. Obama has had some recent successes with his healthcare program, restoring ties with Cuba for instance, the Iran nuclear deal, not everyone

is a fan in Washington but the White House and the supporters of the deal say this is a major diplomatic achievement.

However, action on gun violence remains out of reach. For analysis we're joined by Jackie Kucinich, senior politics editor, at the Daily Beast.

Jackie Kucinich, thanks for being with us.

You've covered Capitol Hill. I mean the question is with all these lobby and pressure groups that are campaigning actively in Washington DC against

any kind of control on guns can any President make a difference?

JACKIE KUCINICH, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, DAILY BEAST: You know it is an extremely difficult issue in the United States. In part because in some

parts of this country it's not - it's not just handguns. People hunt, people - it's very much part of a culture, so when they start talking about

putting more restrictions on guns, there are lawmakers whether you're a Democrat or a Republican from both sides of the aisle who say OK, wait a

second, this isn't something that we want. It's also part of the - part of the constitution.

[15:40:00] So this is an issue that is just a volatile one in American politics. And it hasn't gotten better since December 2014 in New Town

Connecticut where all those children were shot. Actually there are fewer gun laws in the United States state by state than there were before New


So it really is - it's an issue that is just a very difficult one for people who want more restrictions on guns.

GORANI: Well I understand the Second Amendment but of course the constitution wasn't drafted when you had fully automatic assault rifles, or

even semi-automatic assault rifles that you can buy at a gun show with very little in the way of background checks.


GORANI: And I think internationally people ask themselves the question in the light of so many massacres why isn't the United States prepared to

address this issue because it's clearly linked to the availability of firearms.

KUCINICH: There is not a political will on a federal level to change gun laws, it's just not there. And it's because of all of these pressures and

it just is one of these issues where there is - there is such an ingrained - what's the word I'm looking for - there's just an ingrained thought that

you know, that these gun laws are - these gun - oh gosh, how should I say this, how it's a right. It's a right .

GORANI: . but it's a right.


KUCINICH: It's a right. And so because of that there is a - there is a big hesitance among lawmakers who have made the penalty in the past. We

had an assault weapons ban that was for 10 years and it expired, and they never could get another one. Because so many - in part because so many

lawmakers lost their jobs after they voted for the last one.

GORANI: So I guess Jackie the question is in - if all you're saying is true, there is no political will, gun laws aren't getting more restrictive,

they're in fact becoming looser in some cases despite the fact that in Connecticut so many kids were gunned down.

So should Americans just accept that this is just the way it is? You will routinely have these shootings happen and don't be surprised.

KUCINICH: I don't think that everyone in - and I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think there is that you have a lot of guns so there's a bunch

of mass shootings. I don't think that that is - there's necessarily a link there for a lot of people.


KUCINICH: Because they don't - they don't see - they see the person who has the gun as the problem, the mentally ill person, maybe they shouldn't

be allowed to get guns. I mean we saw in the shooting in Charleston you had someone who had a criminal - who had a federal offence on his record,

and the FBI just messed up and let this guy get a gun.

So there are - they look at the person not necessarily the weapon that's the problem. And it's keeping guns, when you're talking to people who are

gun advocates, they're saying it's about keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people, rather than keeping guns out of everyone's hands. It's a

complicated issue. It really is.


GORANI: All right, it is - it certainly is and it's of interest to many people internationally which is why it's such an interesting discussion.

Jackie Kucinich of the Daily Beast, thank you very much for joining us, we really appreciate it.

KUCINICH: thank you.

GORANI: Well we were talking about President Barack Obama and how most he is "most frustrated" looking at the exact wording there about gun laws in

the United States.

Well he internationally has earned himself rock star status in Kenya as you can imagine. And it's been eight long years since he visited his father's

homeland when he was a Senator.

So Kenyans really glossed up Nairobi to give Mr. Obama a proper welcome. He's Robyn Kriel.


ROBYN KRIEL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is all being done to welcome the man Kenyans call their son. It's the visit that has Nairobi's

gardeners, street vendors, and artists showing off the capital's best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is excited about our son coming back home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's coming back, he's the world's most (inaudible) man (inaudible). So, Obama, welcome Kenya.

KRIEL: This mural celebrating President Obama's 2008 election victory gets a fresh coat of spray paint. You can almost taste the anticipation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where family comes from the (inaudible)

KRIEL: Not everybody's excited about President Obama's visit. This is afternoon traffic in Nairobi and taxi drivers here are already complaining

that life is going to become impossible when the U.S. President entourage hits these streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) most of the roads will be closed especially the ones that have been (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is going to be very serious.

KRIEL: Meanwhile in a bar that's more Nashville than Nairobi a homegrown cowboy named Elvis strums a couple of lines he wrote.

ELVIS OBERO, KENYAN COUNTRY SINGER: Welcome Mr. President, it's an honor to have you back here again. Welcome son.

KRIEL: Robyn Kriel, CNN Nairobi, Kenya.


[15:45:06] GORANI: That's real country right there. I loved it. This is the World Right Now.


GORANI: Coming up the latest planet to be discovered is the most earthlike yet. So is it possible that there is life there too? I'm joined by an

astrophysicist from NASA to find out.




GORANI: Our next story has everyone talking and whether or not about whether or not we are alone in the vast universe.


GORANI: Take a look at this artists rendition of what the most earthlike planet ever discovered could look like. You can see huge oceans of water

and big chunks of rocky land.

Kepler-542b takes around 385 days to orbit its star, compared to our orbit of 365 days around our sun.

It's also just the right distance away from it, so it's not too cold, and not too hot. That all means just like earth it could support life.


GORANI: So can we expect to hear from E.T. anytime soon? Let's try to answer that question. I'm joined now by Paul Hertz, he's the Astrophysics

Division Director at NASA.

Paul, thanks for being with us. So that's the question on everyone's mind. And you know the reason we're doing this story as well is because

online it has gotten the most clicks of any story over the last two or three days because people are so curious about whether or not there could

be life in our vast Universe.

What do you think?

PAUL HERTZ, ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION DIRECTOR, NASA: Well certainly the question of whether we're alone in the Universe is very exciting to

everybody and it drives a lot of scientists and it drives a lot of non- scientists to look up and to wonder.


HERTZ: This particular planet we know that it might be capable of supporting life but that's all we know. It's way too far away for us to

determine whether it does support life. NASA is going to have to launch some more space telescopes which we have in the works to be able to look at

some closer planets around other stars and maybe able to tease out from them some information about whether they support life.

GORANI: So regarding this particular planet is this as much as we'll know? Can we gather more information or is it just too far away?

HERTZ: It's just too far away. It's 1,400 light-years away. We know how big the planet is, we know how far away from its star it is, so we can

calculate that it's rocky like the earth, about the same size as the earth, has about the same temperature as the earth. And so that's why we think

it's the most earthlike planet we've found so far.

But being so far away we can't tease out any more information about it. So we're going to have to look for closer planets to take the next step.

GORANI: Right, Uber won't drive you there for sure. But what is that - how does - how do you run across a planet like this? Is it accidental in

the case of this particular one? Or can you - you know how do you identify at least to know where to go because they're all so far away?

[15:50:05] HERTZ: Well NASA built the Kepler space telescope to answer the question are planets common around other stars or are they rare? And

what the Keplar space telescope did was look at 150,000 stars 24/7 for four years and look for the tiny dips in light from the stars when a planet

orbiting that star would pass in front of it and block some of the light.

So far we found over 5,000 planets with the Keplar space telescope and out of those this is the one that's closest to being earthlike around the sun

that's closest - a star that's closest to being sun like.

And so that's what we built Keplar to do. Now we know that there are planets pretty much around every star and a really good fraction of them,

maybe 20% have rocky planets like the earth.


HERTZ: So now that we know that, we want to go start looking at the closest stars and finding earth sized rocky planets around the closest

stars. `Cause those are the ones we can study with our space telescopes and look for signs of life.

GORANI: OK, I know you don't have a crystal ball but you must have at least in your lifetime do you think, in our lifetimes do you think that

we'll get closer to answering the question everyone has about whether or not life is support on another planet? Do you think we'll ever get there?

HERTZ: Oh I think that that - certainly we'll be closer in only 10 years. We're launching the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite in 2017, and

that's the space telescope that's going to tell us which of the close stars have planets around them.

And then just the next year in 2018 we're launching our next great observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope. It's 10 times bigger - a 10

times bigger area than Hubble, and it will be the one that can look at these planets around nearby stars and start sampling their atmospheres to

see if there signs of life in the atmospheres. Do they have oxygen, and methane, and carbon dioxide, and water, and the other gases that on earth

are indications of biology.

GORANI: All right, Paul ..

HERTZ: So not too - not too long.

GORANI: Yes, not too long. Hopefully we'll all be around to talk about it. Paul Hertz of NASA, thanks so much for joining us, we appreciate your


HERTZ: My pleasure.

GORANI: All right, this is the World Right Now.


GORANI: Coming up the writing on these shirts has created controversy for Taylor Swift in China. I'm sure you can guess why.

We'll be right back.




GORANI: She is one of the highest earning pop stars in the world. Taylor Swift doesn't seem to be able to stop making money or put a foot wrong

except it seems when it comes to China.

GORANI: Her new clothing line there is causing some big waves amongst other problems in that country. Here's CNN's Will Ripley in Beijing.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the biggest hits from Taylor Swift's album 1989 is all about shaking it off, a skill that'll come

in handy in China where the superstar's exploding popularity brings potential pitfalls.

Taylor Swift's initials T.S. could be mistaken as a reference for Tiananmen Square where I'm standing right now. And her album 1989, the year she was

born, is also the year when hundreds of pro-democracy protestors died in a government crackdown here.

[15:55:04] This issue is so sensitive here in China we could actually be detained just for reporting in this location.

Taken out of context the pop stars clothing line could be politically combustible says University of Denver Professor and China expert Jing Sun.

JING SUN, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER: If it turns out if a group of people that will be wearing such problematic t-shirts and they gather together, if that

is the scenario, the government encounters I'm sure the governments will do something about it.

RIPLEY: So far state authorized search engines are not censoring T.S. 1989 merchandise.

SUN: If the government tries to take a heavy handed approach on that it could backfire and I think Beijing knows that.

RIPLEY: Sun says the bigger obstacle facing Swift is places like this, this is Beijing's famous silk market. You can see busloads of people come

here a lot of them Western tourists.

They come by the millions each year for counterfeit versions of the world's biggest brands, openly sold for a fraction of the price.

There are so many people here it's incredible and even though most of what's being sold is fake this place brings in so much money the

authorities, the market supervisors, they just look the other way.

Taylor Swift's clothing line hasn't even launched yet in China but knock- offs are already big sellers on line.

SUN: That is one thing Taylor Swift can be sure about.

RIPLEY: Sun says it's a part of doing business in the World's counterfeiting super power.

How big of a threat is a counterfeit issue to artists like Taylor Swift.

SUN: In fact there will be far more of fabricated items than authentic ones that will be circulating in the Chinese market.

RIPLEY: He says Swift still stands to make massive profits. Teaming up with Chinese E-commerce giants JD and Alibaba. China's insatiable appetite

for American pop culture is a gold mine for the highest paid woman in music meaning Swift will likely be shaking it off all the way to the bank.

Will Ripley, CNN Beijing.


GORANI: This has been The World Right Now, I'm Hala Gorani. Thank you for watching.

Quest Means Business is next.