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US Flag Raised over Embassy in Cuba; China Explosions Displace Thousands; Japanese Prime Minister Expresses Remorse for His Country's Actions in World War II; Photographers Use Extreme Tactics to Get Photos of Royal Family. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 14, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET


[15:00:01] HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight a diplomatic milestone.


GORANI: For the first time in more than 50 years the American flag is raised over its embassy in Cuba, we are live in Havana.

Plus thousands of people in Tianjin displaced after massive blasts; now residents say they are worried about the city's air and water.

Also this hour Japan's Prime Minister expresses remorse for his country's actions during WWII. Some say his statement did not go far enough.

And hiding in sand dunes, trekking through forests, the Royal Family reveals the extreme tactics the paparazzi go for images of Prince George.


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

History was made in Cuba today. For the first time in 54 years an American flag is flying over the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The Secretary of State, John Kerry flew in to officially reopen the Embassy. It's a big step forward in the restoration of ties between the


Patrick Oppmann is in Havana.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The three U.S. Marines who lower the flag for the final time in 1961hand over to a new generation.

The stars and stripes once again flying over Cuba. Diplomatic relations and the old Embassy building both now restored for a new era.

People lined the streets to welcome U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, the most senior U.S. official to step foot on the island in 70 years.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: [Video] the time is now to reach out to one another as two peoples who are no longer enemies or rivals but

neighbors to stop being the prisoners of history and to focus on the opportunities of today and tomorrow.

This doesn't mean that we should or will forget the past; how could we?

OPPMANN: U.S. Cuban relations have been chilly at best since Fidel Castro, the Communist Revolutionary took control in 1959.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [video] Castro and his bearded troops were joyously acclaimed following his incredible victory over Batista.

OPPMANN: U.S. placed a trade embargo on Cuba and broke off Diplomatic relations. And soon after launched the infamous veiled invasion, the Bay

of Pigs.

The Cuban missile crisis marked the lowest point in relations between the two countries. The CIA tried to kill Castro multiple times. Then the

Soviet Union placed missiles on Cuban territory.

Although he said he would die in power, Fidel Castro, stepped aside unexpectedly in 2006 due to an illness. His brother, Raul Castro, took

over as President. But Fidel remains an active figure in Cuban politics.

He was pictured Thursday celebrating his 89th birthday with the Presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela. The same day he wrote an article telling America

to repay the "millions of dollars it owes as a result of its long standing trade embargo."

The U.S. has still not lifted its embargo, a next step in the Diplomatic fall that will need the backing of the Republican Party. A step that would

have a much bigger impact on the lives of everyday Cubans.


GORANI: Patrick Oppmann, joins me now live from Havana, Cuba. Patrick, I've got to ask you I mean the average age in Cuba is lower than in many

developed countries. Younger Cubans who don't have a living memory of the 60s or 70s, what are their hopes now that this historic day has taken place

for the future in terms of their countries relationship with the U.S.?

OPPMANN: You know their hopes are sky high because these young Cubans grew up after the Revolution. Most Cubans are actually born after the

Revolution so they've only ever known a leader named Castro.


OPPMANN: They've only ever known economic sanctions, scarcities, most people's youth was shaped by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the

problems that followed that. So for them to drive by this Embassy which is in the center of Havana, see an American Flag, it does seem something like

a dream.

And people here, you talk to young people and some of them think that this new opening with the United States is going to solve all their problems.

And it really has the Government here somewhat concerned because of course the embargo still does exist. The U.S. travel ban does still exist, there

has been loosening of those restrictions but there's still a lot of issues to be worked on and that's some of what Secretary of State Kerry, and

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriquez Parrilla talked about today. But for the youth to go by and see the flag up in front of the Embassy, something

they'd only ever seen in old black and white photos, it is a symbol of something new, something that gives them lots of hope and now it's up to

both governments to follow through on that hope.

[15:05:00] GORANI: Right, I was going to say this is highly symbolic. I mean it's good television, we see the flag going up, we saw something

similar with the re-opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. but the trade embargo remains in place and the problems that Cuba faces are very

deep and longstanding.

How, you know looking forward, how much - it's going to be a lot of work for these problems to be resolved.

OPPMANN: Absolutely, the Chief of Mission here, Ambassador Jeff DeLaurentis, told me in an interview recently that really now begins the

hard work. There's complex problems to solve and that's going to take years. It'll be something of a process where diplomats, and now they'll be

able to with regularity sit down and start talking about the Guantanamo naval base, talking about the embargo, talking about paying back all those

Americans who lost billions of dollars here when the Cuban Revolution swept in and took everything from them.

And these are really the much tougher issues, much more complicated than just raising a flag. And insofar as how much Cuba has changed, it really

hasn't changed very much. It's still a single party communist form of government, there are still issues here between the government and members

of what are called dissidents here, the opposition. But when they tried to stage protests they were not invited to the ceremony this morning, they are

invited to a private ceremony this afternoon.

But you know these are issues that have yet to be remained to work out, and you hear Raul Castro speak of course is 84 years old, really has no plans

on changing much at this point in his life. And he says that Cuba will not change his internal politics in any way, shape or form. That's a very

different message than we heard from Secretary of State, Kerry.

So it's just in many ways a question of who will be right, both sides have made a bet for different reasons on this moving forward with an opening and

it will take probably many years, Hala, to see who is betting on the right side of history.

GORANI: OK, Patrick Oppmann, thanks very much. There's some unhappy people especially among Cuban dissidents but many who are hailing this a

historic and positive day. We'll get both sides on this and we'll continue to cover this story.

Patrick Oppmann is in Havana.


GORANI: Now that John Kerry has visited Cuba, could the President be next? The White House has not ruled out a visit by Barack Obama. Patrick

Oppmann, who we just spoke to there sat down exclusively with the New American Ambassador to Cuba. He asked Jeffrey DeLaurentis how the

President would be received.


JEFFREY DELAURENTIS, CHARGES D'AFFAIRES, U.S. EMBASSY, CUBA: It would be an enormous understatement to say that his arrival would be met with

extraordinary enthusiasm.

OPPMANN: Cuba five, ten years down the road Raul Castro says he will no longer be in power. What are your hopes and your expectations for the

country looking towards the future and that future.

DELAURENTIS: Well it's up to the Cuban people to determine what their country will look like with greater contact and information and so forth.

The message, the American message of opportunity and democracy can be delivered in a voice that will be very hard to silence.

GORANI: Jeffrey DeLaurentis is the Charges D'Affaires in the U.S. Embassy in Havana, the top post because President Obama has not yet named an


DeLaurentis holds an Ambassadorial rank due to previous postings at the United Nations. He served in Havana twice before in the past 25 years.

And of course as we were mentioning there with Patrick Oppmann it's not just about raising flags it's also about lifting that trade embargo from

the United States perspective that is not simple, easy, or something you can do quickly because it does require congressional approval. And in a

Republican held congress of course it would require for the Republican Party representatives to be on board as well.

Just a quick historical timeline review of the strained relations between the U.S. and Cuba; Fidel Castro took power in 1959, two years before

President Obama was even born. The following year the U.S. launched a trade embargo against the (inaudible), which we were just discussing there.

In 1961 there was the "Bay of Pigs" invasion and that was a fiasco; a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow Castro.

Cold War tensions increased with the Cuban missile crisis and the resulting nuclear standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. 1980 some 125,000

Cubans fled to Florida in what came to be known as the Mariel boatlift.

Tensions continued in 2002 during the Bush Administration with the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Now after more than half a century as

we have been reporting the U.S. and Cuba have restored Diplomatic relations and re-opened Embassies in Havana and Washington. A perfect opportunity

now for me to get reaction from the Cuban side.


[15:10:10] GORANI: Carlos Alzugaray, was a Cuban Diplomat for 35 years most notably as the head of the Cuban mission to the European Union, he's live

in Havana.

Thank you very much sir, as I mentioned you worked at the Cuban Ministry from '61 to '66, '61 the year that the U.S. Embassy closed. You

represented Cuba abroad for many years. Did you ever think you would live to see this day?

CARLOS ALZUGARAY, FORMER CUBAN DIPLOMAT: No, if somebody told me that I would be here doing this let's say on December 16, I would have laughed,

but here I am.


ALZUGARAY: I think nothing is impossible.

GORANI: Nothing is impossible indeed. What went through your mind when you saw the U.S. flag raised over the re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana?

ALZYGARAY: Well, I have an (inaudible) respect for the national symbols of every country including the United States. So, but you know I have been

working for this for many years. I started speaking about normalization of relation between Cuba and the United States in 1999. As you said I was a

Diplomat in '96, and '96 I became a professor and one of my first papers was on normalization. And my question was is normalization possible? And

I said yes. You know what nobody has touched that paper since then. It's there sleeping, nobody wanted to publish it. I wonder if I can publish it


GORANI: Well I do wonder maybe if you'd find an audience for it now. Let's talk a little bit though about the political situation in Cuba

because this is all symbolism really. It's not substance yet.

Is Cuba ready for a new chapter? Secretary Kerry said that the people of Cuba would be best served by a genuine democracy. Will there be change in


ALZYGARAY: Well I would - I would - I would challenge Mr. Kerry on the issue of genuine democracy. What is genuine democracy? The American

definition of genuine democracy where (inaudible) plays such a big role? I don't think so.

We are constructing our own democracy. It is true that the conflict with the United States has delayed what some of us thought should happen in

terms of expanding democracy in Cuba but this is happening, and it is happening before the beginning of this normalization process.

Several years ago Raul Castro said let's expand our democracy, let's make any and every decision on the basis of a broad and profound debate about

the different policy options. That is a good definition of democracy. So we are having it. We are having a democracy.

GORANI: But Mr. Alzygaray, you're having a discussion certainly you can - you can find the U.S. Democracy imperfect, many people do, many people say

it has big issues as you said with some aspects of how much campaigns cost. But Cuba is nowhere near really an open democracy where citizens vote for

their leaders freely. Is there an appetite for change there? Real fundamental change?

ALZYGARAY: With all due respect I disagree. We have our type of democracy. Our type of democracy developed in certain conditions which has

paid maybe that we haven't had that whole democracy that everyone wants, but where is it? So, my point is this. Cuba is changing, the Cuban

Government has launched an economic change, a political change when the Cuban government has proclaimed that a new generation of Cuban leaders will

become the leaders of this country after 2018, that's a political change.

Cubans can come and go out of their country right now. Cubans can express their opinion, I am - I am a member of the editorial board of a journal

where we have a public debate every last Thursday of every month. We are in Facebook, we are in Twitter, we are in YouTube, so we have our type of

democracy. Can it get better? Of course, no doubt about it. But that we are far away from democracy, well I would debate that.

GORANI: OK, well let me just ask you a little bit about the young people. Because I think they're the ones who are probably most excited about the

next chapter for their country. They want this new chapter to mean that they will be free, that they will find jobs. How do you think things will

change for that generation?

ALZYGARAY: Well I think they want - of course I think they want first more prosperity, I would say that the main concern now is to have more

prosperity. It's true that at my generation and the generations immediately after me had to sacrifice a lot.

So we want prosperity, we want - but we want to keep what are the main trades of Cuban socialist society right now, which is health - free

healthcare, free education.


[15:15:06] ALZYGARAY: Those things are there, we don't want to lose them. So - and I don't think the young people want to lose it. They want more

prosperity, they want to travel, they want - they want to have internet and we are doing that. The government is doing that, that's - it - I agree

that we should have done long before, I agree with that. But we are doing it.

So, I teach to my students, I teach at Havana University, well I taught till two years ago. My students are eager to learn, they're ready to learn

and they want prosperity but they don't want to enter - and of course they don't want to lose the independence that Cuba has acquired over the last 50

years. We are an independent country now. Not a perfect one, but we are independent.

GORANI: Yes. Are you planning a trip to the United States?

ALZYGARAY: I should be going in November. I have been invited by several institutions to speak there. That's what I was planning to do.

GORANI: Carlos, thank you so much for your time, Carlos Alzygaray, a veteran diplomat, an author and professor joining us from Havana, we really

appreciate your time with us this evening.

And we'll continue our coverage of the events in Cuba later in this show.


GORANI: After all the Embassy fanfare when will that trade embargo finally be lifted? We speak to a U.S. State Department spokesperson about what's


Plus, residents in China are worried about what's in the air they breathe and the water they drink after an explosion tore apart a chemical





GORANI: Smoke is still rising over the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Fire fighters still trying to put out the last of the flames.

But authorities are facing a tougher challenge now. They are trying to calm fears over what toxic chemicals Wednesday night's blast may have

spewed into the city.

Will Ripley has more on the aftermath.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now there are thousands of people who are homeless as a result of the explosions that

have rocked this city. But there's also a tremendous amount of help that's coming in. These are volunteers who are lined up to work the overnight

shift at a shelter, one of 12 emergency shelters set up throughout this city for the thousands of people who are going into the weekend without any

possessions for the most part. They're needing everything from food, and water, and medical treatment to blankets and beds for them and their

children to sleep on.

When you look at the video of the explosion you see how powerful that series of blasts truly were. It's incredible how many people were able to

get out of it alive, even those who were in close proximity. But perhaps the most incredible story is a 19 year old fire fighter who was rescued

earlier in the day after surviving for 31 hours in the blast zone. Listen to what one of the fire fighters says thinks help pull him through it.

[15:20:03] I think it's the strong will which helped him to hold on. When talking with him I could feel his strong inner power and we also kept

pepping him up urging him to hold on and telling him the Ambulance was arriving.


RIPLEY: As he makes his recovery along with more than 700 others who are in the hospital, 33 in extremely critical condition, the search continues

for many of the fire fighters who are still missing and there are many who are missing. 21 fire fighters confirmed dead so far amongst the 56

fatalities so far confirmed in this blast.

There's a team of chemical and biological experts on the ground here. They're trying to figure out exactly what chemicals were in that factory

and if there is any more danger to the public. You have 1,000 fire fighters who are putting sand and foam on the hotspots. But if it rains

here many of the people sleeping in these emergency shelters are fearful. They're fearful that there will be another chemical reaction that perhaps -

that could perhaps contaminate the environment once again.

In fact one mother tells us that she's trying to get her daughter to a safer location.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (As translated) I asked my in-laws to take my daughter home. I don't want them to stay here, I'm worried. I heard it's

going to rain later and that would make the air toxic.


RIPLEY: The owners of the industrial factory where all of these chemicals were being stored they are being questioned and could potentially face

charges if it turns out that there was criminal wrongdoing, that's the word from the Chinese Government.

They want to know why firefighters in the initial response were not aware, they didn't have a list of all the chemicals that were being housed when

that fire first ignited. Some of those chemicals could have had an explosive reaction if water was used in the firefighting efforts, so that

is a key part of this investigation into this tragic event. But the urgent needs right now making sure that all of the people who are homeless, are

cared for, searching for the missing and making sure that the environmental impact is mitigated. They're testing the air, they're testing the

groundwater, and the sea water, wanting to make sure that all of the people who remain here are safe.

Will Ripley, CNN, Tianjin, China.

GORANI: Now to a potentially alarming new battle tactic from ISIS. If you thought it couldn't get worse well apparently it may have. U.S. officials

say they are looking into "credible reports" that the group may have used mustard gas against peshmerga fighters.


GORANI: This footage shows some of the injuries the apparent gas is claimed to have caused. Some Kurdish fighters reported breathing problems

consistent with exposure to mustard gas. But it's important to remember that a diagnosis like that cannot be made by anyone but an expert.


GORANI: And just ahead I'll be joined by a Deputy Spokesman from the U.S. Department of State to ask him how these claims may alter the American

strategy toward ISIS if at all.

Let's turn to Sudan meantime where a court has sentenced a 19 year old Christian girl for 20 lashes and a fine for "indecent dress".


GORANI: Fardos Al-Toum was arrested outside a church back in June for wearing jeans and a long shirt. 10 other girls were arrested with her.

Some of whom have also been punished.

Christians have been the focus of persecution in Sudan before. It is an overwhelmingly conservative Muslim country.


GORANI: Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is expressing remorse over his country's actions during World War II and the profound grief for the

millions of lives lost.


GORANI: In a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war he stopped short of a personal apology however. And he said future

generations should not have to keep apologizing for the mistakes of the past.


GORANI: Coming up. Most of us take our access to the internet for granted.


GORANI: But for people in Cuba, it is still very tough and very expensive to get online. We'll look at whether that's all about to change.




[15:25:30] GORANI: Back to Cuba where despite the thawing relationship with the United States, daily life for Cubans remains quite challenging.

Just 5% have access to the internet in their homes.

CNN's Samuel Burke, joins me now live from New York with more on that.

So there's a lot of social media reaction from Cuba even though so few Cubans have access to the internet what is the exact state of the internet

there for ordinary Cubans?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's definitely excitement in the social media air. I just want to show you,

where the most used hashtag you'll see in Cuba has been KerryinCuba.


BURKE: Kerryincuba and really just people using hashtags like (inaudible) embassy to show just how happy they are for the most part about this news.

But when you think about the internet in Cuba Hala, think back to what your internet connection was like in the early 2000s. Slow. The average speed

is just less than 1mb per second, compare that to neighboring Dominican Republic with more than 5mb per second on average.

The Cuban government says 25% of people have access to the internet but Freedom House says just 5% of Cubans actually have internet in their homes.

So that leaves a lot of Cubans going to internet cafes where internet can cost from $6 to $10 an hour, there are long lines, and that's a lot of

money on a Cuban salary.

Now it's interesting, earlier in your show Hala, I was listening to you interview Carlos Alzygaray, the well-known Cuban diplomat talk about the

editorial liberties that people have in Cuba on the island.


BURKE: But ask somebody like (Juany Sanchez) a blogger who's talked about the censorship that she's faced and she calls it (el internet (inaudible)

internet). The internet without the internet because people like (Juany Sanchez) actually have to upload their content to the internet, typing it

up on a computer putting it on a thumb or flash drive, giving it to somebody else. That person may be giving it to another person and then

uploading it online.

So yes the internet is growing, but it's slow going on the island.

GORANI: I mean where - what is keeping Cuba from becoming more connected and from having internet speeds that are closer to what maybe some Western

countries are used to. How quickly can that change happen in the island nation?

BURKE: Well, definitely it is infrastructure at the end of the day and the investment in infrastructure and the lack of companies from the United

States that have been able to come in there. But actually they're really interesting case studies. I did some reporting on the internet in Myanmar

and how fast it's become because of mobile internet.

So if things keep on going the way they're going it could mean major changes and a lot of it will have to do with what businesses do. And we've

already seen some American businesses moving in and having some success.


BURKE: AIRBNB, is one of the companies that moved in since this historic announcement. And just look, you can see, not a ton, it's not like New

York City but you see homes all across the island, people renting out rooms look at the prices there Hala, $22 for a room in Cuba.

Now a lot of those are .

GORANI: That's like a latte in London.

BURKE: . exactly, I'd be lucky to get that in New York for $22. But what AIRBNB has had to do is actually work with people on the ground to help

give people internet access, bring them to computers if they don't have it.

And then you have companies like Netflix. They announced they are moving in there. But it looks like Netflix is probably more for the Expats who

live there because you have to have an American bank account, which is illegal in Cuba still to get a Netflix account.


BURKE: So if you have fast internet and maybe your Aunt in Florida is willing to give you her username and password or pay your bill maybe that's

how you'll get access to use the .

GORANI: But also you need fast - you need fast internet for Netflix, I mean you're streaming.

BURKE: Even here sometimes in the United States you have the buffering so and we have I think average of 30mb per second here. So with less than 1mb

per second, it is incredibly slow.

GORANI: The dreaded buffering. Thanks, Samuel Burke, have a great weekend see you soon.

BURKE: You too, Hala.

GORANI: After the break what does the re-opening of the American Embassy in Havana represent for the U.S.?


GORANI: I'll speak with a spokesperson from the State Department. Also ahead Britain's Royal Family is pleading with the media why they are saying

the paparazzi attempts to photograph the young Prince George, have become dangerous.




[15:32:09] GORANI: Welcome back, here's a look at your top stories. The U.S. Embassy in Cuba has officially re-opened for the first time in more

than 50 years.


GORANI: The American Secretary of State, John Kerry, was there for the ceremony raising the U.S. flag above the Embassy in Havana, he called it a

truly historic moment.


GORANI: Also among our top stories. In China, fire fighters are attempting to put out the last of the flames from a blast that hit the port

city of Tianjin.


GORANI: But smoke is still rising above the city and many residents are worried about the health impact of the explosion that hit a chemical



GORANI: We are hearing that the U.S. Department of Defense is looking at military jails in the United States to possibly house detainees from

Guantanamo Bay.


GORANI: The Pentagon has notified congress that teams are looking to assess sites in the states of Kansas and South Carolina. There are

currently 116 detainees at Guantanamo. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly blocked efforts to move the detainees to American soil.


GORANI: Japan's Prime Minister is apologizing for the "immeasurable damage and suffering" his country inflicted during World War II.


GORANI: Shinzo Abe also says that future generations should not have to continue apologizing for mistakes of the past. He made the remarks on the

70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

Kathy Novak reports with more.

KATHY NOVAK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a closely watched speech here in South Korea where many people still expect Japan to

apologize for its wartime actions.

Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe repeated many of the key words and phrases of his predecessors referring to Japan's aggression and colonial rule. And

using the word apology.

SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER: (As translated) Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its

actions during the war.

NOVAK: But in an editorial China's official news agency, Xinhua said that by only referring to previous apologies rather than offering his own this

apology was "a diluted one at best."


NOVAK: And the spokesman for South Korea's ruling party, (Kim Jung-Woo) said the statement did not include a direct apology and expressed it in the

past tense.

(Kim) added that it was regrettable that the issue of so called comfort women who were used as war time sex slaves was only mentioned in an

indirect way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honor and dignity were severely injured.


NOVAK: So called comfort women here and elsewhere in Asia are continuing to demand an official Japanese apology and compensation. Prime Minister

Abe offered eternal sincere condolences for those who died and said the devastation of war must never be repeated. But he also said Japan must

move forward and that future generations should not be pre-destined to apologize for the mistakes of the past.

Kathy Novak, CNN, Seoul.

[15:35:12] GORANI: More now on our top story, the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana.


GORANI: Even if you watched it on T.V. you got a sense of history in the making because it hasn't happened, this, the U.S. flag flying over an

American Embassy in Havana since 1961.

It is the latest step in reestablishing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

KERRY: My friends, we are gathered here today because our leaders, President Obama, and President Castro, made a courageous decision to stop

being the prisoners of history and to focus on the opportunities of today and tomorrow.

This doesn't mean that we should or will forget the past.


GORANI: Not all Cubans in the United States are celebrating the re-opening of the Embassy in Havana. U.S. Republican Presidential hopeful, Marco

Rubio, is the son of Cuban immigrant. Earlier he criticized President Barak Obama's foreign policy shift.


MARCO RUBIO, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama has rewarded the Castro regime for its repressive tactics and its persistent

patient opposition to American interests. He has unilaterally given up on a half century worth of policies towards the Castro regime that was agreed

upon by Presidents of both parties.

He has ensured the regime will receive international legitimacy and a substantial economic boost to benefit its repression of the Cuban people.


GORANI: We're now joined by the Deputy Spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Mark Toner, he's in Washington. Thanks Mr. Toner for being

with us.

You heard Marco Rubio say there this foreign policy is rewarding Cuba, it is going to provide it with the means to continue its repression, how does

- how does the state department respond to accusations like this?

MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well look, we've been very clear, the Secretary was clear when he spoke today in Havana and it

was an historic day indeed to see the flag once again raised over the Embassy there.


TONER: But you know 54 years of isolation between our two countries was not working. So this is a policy shift that's not done out of any

altruistic measures. This is in the interests of both countries, it's in the interest of America to get closer ties to the Cuban people. It's going

to bring greater opportunities, greater chances for prosperity, for information sharing and greater engagement with the Cuban people.

And all that said, this does not mitigate all of the challenges that we still have in the relationship.

GORANI: OK, and what's really going to change especially for ordinary Cubans is the lifting of the trade embargo, and that requires Congressional

approval. Is that something that might happen within the second mandate of President Obama?

TONER: Well again, as you said, this is a process and you know we've seen the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in early July. The embassies

re-opening as embassies and now we're looking to see that embargo lifted. But that's really in congress' hands to do that.

We certainly would like to see that because again we want to see those - part of the effort here in the philosophy behind it is to increase

engagement with the Cuban people and the interchange between our two countries.


GORANI: If I could turn now the - or tackle the latest in the fight against ISIS with the American use of the Incirlik Airbase in Turkey.

Are you happy with Turkey's involvement since it started to join the fight against ISIS. It's done a lot more bombing of PKK targets than ISIS

targets. Is the United States happy with the way this has developed so far?

TONER: Well I think it's very important to clearly delineate between PKK attacks against Turkey. We said Turkey has every right to self-defense

against those attacks.


TONER: That's a separate issue all together from our agreement with Turkey to use Incirlik and other bases to really take the fight to ISIL in

Northern Syria. And we're doing that in support of Syrian Kurds, Syrian Arabs, even Turkomen but these groups that are fighting ISIL on the ground

in Northern Syria to support their efforts.

GORANI: Right but they essentially build this as joining the anti-ISIS fight and in the end only a couple of ISIS targets have been hit and really

dozens were PKK targets. The Wall Street Journal was quoting a high level official as saying this was a beaten switch by the Turks with the United

States. Is that something that concerns the State Department?


[15:40:00] TONER: Look, this is a - this is very premature because what's happening here is well you have the Turkish, and my colleagues at the

Pentagon can speak more expertly to this, but what you have is the Turks are working with the coalition now on how they can make sure that they're

orchestrated, their actions, their counter strikes against ISIL are orchestrated with the broader coalition efforts.

It's a very saturated air space right now over Northern Syria and we have to make sure that we're all you know working in the same direction.

GORANI: All right, and what about the safe zone? We know Turkey once went in Northern Syria, the United States is a lot more reluctant to even call

it that, a no-fly zone or a safe zone to keep ISIS fighters out of that particular portion of Northern Syria.

Brett McGurk, your colleague at the State Department said essentially he's happy to call it an ISIL free zone but how would this work in practice?

And does the United States support this idea?


TONER: Well look, one of the reasons we're hesitant to say there's a zone or a haven or anything like that is we're looking to, as with all the

coalition members, drive ISIL out of Syria, and wherever it is in sconce, wherever it finds safe haven we want to drive it out and destroy it.

That's our goal here, that's our broader policy goal here.

So the idea that we're going to stop at some you know pre-determined border to create some zone is just inaccurate. We're going to continue to take

the fight to ISIL.

That said we do and we are on top of .

GORANI: . But Turkey wants it. I mean Turkey is very clear, it wants this zone it's just unclear who would be excluded from it. Would it mean also

YPG fighters, Kurdish fighters, how would you even police it. Would it require boots on the ground?

TONER: Well again, getting way out in front of where we're at in any kind of discussions with Turkey over concerns about its border security and it

does have legitimate concerns. And that's - those are ongoing conversations we're having with Turkey.

What's important though is as areas are liberated that local government autonomy returns to those that is you know - that the people, the local

populations who want to return are able to return. And that there is a government in place that is diverse and accepting of them.

GORANI: So there's no agreement for any kind of zone at the border with Turkey and Northern Syria right now as far as you're concerned?

TONER: As far as we're concerned, no. That's not where we're focused. We're focused on driving ISIL out and as I said for those people who have

been driven out, the local populations who want to return we want to create a safe environment for them to return to.

GORANI: I'll ask you one last question about the outgoing (inaudible) you've done on (inaudible).


GORANI: He said something I found interesting. He said Russia is way more dangerous than the U.S. - to the U.S. than any ISIS threat. Does Secretary

Kerry share this opinion?

TONER: We have challenges with Russia certainly in regards - with regards to their actions in Ukraine, we've been very clear about that. But ISIL is

also a tremendous threat to the West, to all the coalition's certainly those countries in the region and we need to take the fight to them and we

need to as we said degrade and destroy them.

GORANI: All right, Mark Toner, State Department's Spokesperson, thanks very much for joining us from Washington, we appreciate it.

We will take a quick break. We will be right back.




[15:45:20] GORANI: Britain's Royal Family is making a strong plea to the media. Kensington Palace has issued a letter, stating that the Paparazzi's

attempts to photograph young Prince George are becoming more and more dangerous.

Here's Ian Lee.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the pictures Kensington Palace wants you to see, the undeniably photogenic Prince and

Princess of Cambridge, George and Charlotte, quickly devoured by the public.

But that insatiable appetite comes with a price paparazzi doing whatever they can to get the shot and the Royal Family has had enough.

Issuing a letter asking for privacy and detailing the extreme situations. Shooting photos from inside the trunk of a car, using children to lure

Prince George and to view at playgrounds, hiding in fields and sand dunes and pursuing cars leaving family homes. Reminiscent of how William's

mother, Princess Diana died in 1997 after being chased by the Paparazzi.

MARK SAUNDERS, AUTHOR "DIANA AND THE PAPARAZZI": What people tend to forget in the aftermath of Diana's death is how completely out of control

the whole situation was. How many pictures were being published daily. Now it's beginning again.


LEE: What's at the heart of this letter is a plea by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, to let their little Prince and

Princess grow up in a normal life.


LEE: The request isn't uncommon. There's a gentlemen's agreement between President Obama's family and the press to not film his two daughters, Sasha

and Malia outside of official events.

The Metropolitan Police have also warned photographs not to interfere with the royal security detail.

The Royal family is also appealing to the public saying every parent would object to anyone particularly a stranger taking photos of their children

without permission. But this letter also raises the question of press freedom and the right to know.

SAUNDERS: We could go right back to 1981 when a heavily pregnant Princess Diana was photographed on a beach in the Bahamas. And it was a massive

controversy. People were saying these pictures shouldn't have been taken, they shouldn't be published. Other people were saying but this is the

future Queen of England.

This is a woman who is bearing a baby who will one day be the King or the Queen of England, we have every right to see these pictures.

LEE: Kensington Palace is trying to draw a line. But it's unlikely to have much effect on the Paparazzi as they try to get that million dollar


Ian Lee, CNN, London.


GORANI: Joining us with more on this is royal journalist, Roya Nikkah, she's a broadcaster and writer on the royal family and the arts for the

BBC. And she also writes for the Telegraph, The Sunday Times among others. Thanks Roya for being with us.

I've got to ask you and I'm going to be completely candid. I didn't realize that photos of Prince George were in demand to this extent. I mean

to me it's just a baby and you know they release official photos.

It's not like Princess Diana and there were scandals surrounding her at the end of her life.

ROYA NIKKAH, ROYAL JOURNALIST: You'd be amazed there is huge demand.

GORANI: I actually am amazed.

NIKKAH: Particularly internationally. I mean the point that Kensington Palace and the Cambridges' make with this letter, very strong letter, is

that they acknowledge that the British press and large sways of the European press have actually been very good.


NIKKAH: And even if there's demand they've not used these pictures. Where the problem is coming up is in countries like Australia, and New Zealand,

and France, actually where there's huge demand and publishers and using these photos. I know it's surprising we're not in the era of Diana but

there is still a link there and people are absolutely obsessed with getting photographs of William and Kate's children.

GORANI: Do they sell papers and magazines when you have Prince William on the cover holding his son. Is this - this is a helps sales presumably

otherwise these pictures wouldn't be worth as much.

NIKKAH: I think Prince George in the last couple of years, the rare glimpses that we've seen of him officially here, you put Prince George on

the front over a newspaper here and sales rocket.

You put him at play, you know candidly at play behind the scenes on front of magazines abroad and their sales are going through the roof. They

wouldn't use them if there wasn't demand.

GORANI: Yes absolutely. Let's discuss some of the tactics that Kensington Palace says are used by some Paparazzi.

The one I found surprising is that they use other children to lure Prince out of - how does that even work? Is he not surrounded by security and

fences and walls.

NIKKAH: When Prince George goes out to playgrounds with either his mother, his grandmother or his nanny, his peace protection officers are there, but

they're not in his face they are slightly stepped back so that this boy can have as normal a life as possible.

The implication here is that photographers, paparazzi have used other children, either their own children or their friends' children to try and

engage with Prince George, to try and play with him and move him into position.

And if you think about that, this is a two year old boy, that is incredibly sinister.

[15:50:14] GORANI: And then they follow the cars of friends of the parents of his playmates, they hide in sand dunes, they skulk in forests, I mean

I'm chuckling because it's so ridiculous to imagine a grown photographer doing all this to get a shot of a toddler.


NIKKAH: Just last Friday there was an incident where the Duke of Cambridge was particularly furious. His peace protection officers discovered, a man,

a photographer in the boot of a car covered in sheets, shooting Prince George through a hole cut in the boot of his car. I mean you're going to

sort of that level just to get some shots that you can sell abroad.

I think it's sinister, and I think they're very worried that if this is what's happening now .

GORANI: . What's going to happen down the line.

NIKKAH: . down the line and when Princess Charlotte becomes a toddler as well.

GORANI: Well yes, and I'm sure interest in the girl will probably be also when she becomes a young girl as well, much higher.

Thanks very much for joining us, Roya Nikkah, Royal Journalist for joining us on this strongly worded statement by Kensington Palace.

Coming up the letters of the day are HBO.


GORANI: Why some critics say the Sesame Street's move behind a pay wall is a blow to America's equality.




GORANI: Well the famous Sesame Street is moving to a different address.


GORANI: The next five seasons of the children's show will first be available only to paying subscribers of HBO which belongs to Time Warner by

the way, the parent company of CNN.

To watch the show for free viewers will have to wait nine months. That's when the episodes will become available on the U.S. public broadcaster,


Critics say Sesame Street's move to HBO is the latest symbol of income and equality in the U.S. Let's get more from our senior media correspondent,

Brian Settler and he joins us from New York.


GORANI: They have a point don't they? I mean Sesame Street was on PBS for free when I was a kid, I watched it for free. And you know kids of all

income levels and socio-economic backgrounds had access to the same educational show.


GORANI: And now that's no more going to be the case.

STELTER: Yes, that's right. It is a sort of revealing moment about media because this program was available for free for everybody at the same time.


STELTER: There was a very equal playing field for Sesame Street. Now it is unequal, now people will get it earlier if they pay for HBO, they'll get

it later if they don't pay for HBO.

It's a reality check for where media is right now and there's very good reasons why it's happening. The people who produce the show say that

without HBO they were risking not being able to produce the show at all anymore. They said that their financial situation was getting worse, and

worse and worse. And from what I've seen from their financial documents that's true, the show was losing more and more money every year.

So HBO's coming in basically being the underwriter for the show helping to keep Sesame Street on the air but at the cost of having this kind of two

tiered systems for peoples.

GORANI: And what was the - I mean they were using money so obviously they need to generate revenue by appearing on HBO. But appearing on PBS, what

was the problem there? I mean financially it's a partly publicly funded network. Was there no help from the government, from public funds here?

[15:55:00] STELTER: Yes less than people I think generally believe. You know PBS in the United States is supported partly by taxpayer dollars but

that only makes up sort of a relatively small part of the pie that you imagine. Other sources of revenue include things like private donations,

sponsorships, you know endowments and things like that.

In the case of Sesame Street most of the money was coming from local stations that licensed it and here's the important ones, DVD sales. I

hadn't thought about this until yesterday when I interviewed the producer of the show. He said DVD sales were going down every single year because

of streaming. Because people are watching shows online via Netflix and Amazon, and Hulu, and PBS' website instead of buying the DVDs.

So as people were spending less to get access to Sesame Street, the show was having a financial problem.

Essentially HBO will be replacing that DVD revenue stream. So you can see here a historic show, a landmark show having to face the same sorts of

media realities that everybody else on TV is as streaming takes over these shows have to adapt.


GORANI: All right, it's part of all of our - regardless of your age I think if you've had any contact with American television or indeed actually

internationally I mean all the characters are so well-known, big bird and the rest of them.

Brian Stelter, thanks very much. We'll talk to you a little bit later on CNN.

And remember the recent hit song, "What Does The Fox Say?" actually I don't remember that song.

We have an answer for you.


GORANI: In this case, if you do remember that song which not everyone does, the fox says snore.

Twitter users posted pictures of this little fox napping on the second floor window ledge of a home in Notting Hill in London. Apparently the

sleepy animal attracted a number of amateur photographs but the Evening Standard paper says Rachel Johnson, author and sister of London Mayor Boris

Johnson was the first to spot Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Don't forget you can get all the latest news, interviews and analysts from this show on my Facebook page. Find me at

That's the World Right Now for you. I'm Hala Gorani. Up next a special edition of The Lead with Jake Tapper live from Havana, Cuba.