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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
British Family Denied Flight to U.S.; Amnesty International Claims Russia Kills Civilians in Syria Strikes; Trump Leads Republican Pack; Cartoon Pegged to Cruz Ad Sparks Controversy. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 23, 2015 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: a family turned away at the gate. They say they were denied access to the U.S. on a flight because
of their religion. One British lawmaker tells me it's becoming a pattern.
Then: Russia is accused of killing civilians, not ISIS, in Syria. The details of a damning Amnesty International report.
And Donald Trump tops a new CNN poll. Find out how far behind his closest rival is.
Plus: you can't buy me love but you can listen for free. You'll soon be able to stream The Beatles.
Hello, I'm Max Foster, standing in for Hala Gorani. Live from CNN London this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
FOSTER: We begin tonight in the United Kingdom and there are claims that an increasing number of Muslims here are being prevented from entering
the United States.
A Muslim family from London say they were stopped from traveling to the U.S. for a dream vacation because of their religion. U.S. Customs
officials say a person's religion is not a determining factor in letting them into the country. But Diana Magnay has been following this story for
us and she joins me live from the studio.
Just take us through what you learnt today.
You met the family, didn't you?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I went to see this family. They were two brothers. I talked to the wife, Sadaf (ph), of one
of the brothers. They had brought their seven children to the airport and were going on this amazing holiday to Disneyland. They were going to go to
Universal Studios, they were going to go to Disneyland.
The children were super excited about it. They were writing diaries that I read, showing how excited they are, saying things like, "Tomorrow
we're going to be going to America."
They were due to visit cousins in Los Angeles and they had amazing plans. And they had got their ESTAs, the authorization form that you have
to get under the U.S. visa waiver program and they were at the airport. They checked in their luggage. The luggage was on the plane.
And right at the last minute they were told at the gate that they weren't allowed on.
And we've actually got some cell phone footage that one of the children was filming when they went down to the airline to try to find out
what was going on. We'll just play a bit of that and listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what do I think of that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing racist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I understand that. I'm --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, OK. He's --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's maybe security measures. (INAUDIBLE). I travel a lot.
What are they afraid of the kids?
They're 8 years old, 9 years old. I mean, what I said. They said -- you know what they said to me? Dad, why are we (INAUDIBLE)? Why are being
taken out of the queue?
I said. oh, (INAUDIBLE) treatment because we're a traveling family.
And then they went and took us on the side and everybody said, they're -- why -- they're asking questions that I -- (INAUDIBLE). We've always
brought them up educated and explained to them that we're living in this country, we're here. This is our home.
And all the radicalization, all of the news, we keep (INAUDIBLE). And look, this is not (INAUDIBLE).
When they see behavior like this (INAUDIBLE). And they (INAUDIBLE) alienated. (INAUDIBLE). They're (INAUDIBLE). And (INAUDIBLE) they're
also developing something in their minds. And then -- and then --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) we don't know why you've been taken off the flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) I don't understand that (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE), what did they --
MAGNAY (voice-over): I think that's really important, the point that he says there to these airline officials.
These children, what am I meant to say to them?
They feel alienated by what's happened.
And I asked them whether they feel that it's got something to do with the comments that Donald Trump has been making about a ban on all U.S.
Muslims going into the United States and they said yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MAGNAY: They said, in fact, kind of jokingly, "We've been Trumped," they feel. But they've had no explanation as to why they've not been
allowed in. All their papers were approved, as far as they could tell and it cost them $15,000. And they're not due any money back from the airline.
So I talked to one of the brothers, Mohammed Tariq Mahmoud (ph), about what he said to the children. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED TARIQ MAHMOUD (PH): They wouldn't give us an explanation as to what was the problem.
Because I -- because the kids were asking, what is the problem?
Why are we not going?
So we didn't -- we have to ask them, what do -- what should we tell our kids?
What's going on?
I mean we need to know a bit more than "just a problem with an ESTA" because if we have a copy of ESTA says this is perfectly fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MAGNAY: So they're waiting for an explanation. It's very unlikely they're going to get one.
And I think the key here is the fact that, you apply for your ESTA, it gets approved quite quickly but there are still background checks going on,
which the Department of Immigration may or may not tell you about until you get to the airport check-in desk or to the actual gate, which --
MAGNAY: -- they were and then you find out whether you're going to board. It seems -- it seems unfortunate when there's so much money and so
much hope at stake.
FOSTER: Diana, thank you.
Well, the family's local Member of Parliament has written to Britain's prime minister of the issue. Stella Creasy (ph) has tried to find out why
the family was stopped. Earlier I spoke to her on the phone and asked her if she was getting any help from U.S. authorities about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STELLA CREASY (PH), MP: It's been difficult, because they have not been able or not been willing to give any further information. And that's
the challenge that we face. Nobody is suggesting for one minute that America doesn't have the right to manage and scrutinize who comes into
their country, who leaves their country.
What I'm asking is, given this is happening on British soil, is surely there must be more information that can be given. Because if there is a
concern about these people flying, then surely there must be a concern about them just simply being told to go home, too. And we just don't know
what's happened here.
In that gap, people are making up all sorts of stories, all sorts of theories. I want more information so that we can be confident that
discrimination plays no part in tackling terrorism.
FOSTER: One of the stories you're probably talking about there is that one of the brothers had an issue with entering Israel, was refused
entry there and that one of the children had some sort of links with a pro- terror Facebook page.
Is that the sort of thing you're talking about?
CREASY (PH): Well, let's be very clear. The children have absolutely refuted any connection to this Facebook site that claims that they are a
supervisor at the Taliban. But if these people were actually connected to Al Qaeda, then surely they shouldn't be allowed to leave the airport.
This happened a week ago. The family was simply told to go home. No further contact has been made with them. No explanation has been provided.
They are 9,000 pounds out of pocket for the tickets that they bought. And what I've been trying to do as their MP is get more information.
I have to also say, this is not the only case that I have had raised with me, of somebody traveling to America, being stopped at the last
minute. The cases that I've had are very different people. But the one thing they have in common is the same faith. That's the concern that
people have here.
It's to try to understand what is actually going on, as opposed to all the rumors, all the counter briefing, all the discussion. You ask about
previous travel that the family had made and obviously they've been able to travel since they tried to go to Israel.
But we have no idea whether that was pertinent or not to this because there is no information from American authorities under what auspices they
were stopped. That's what I'm trying to ask.
FOSTER: They don't want to share their intelligence, presumably.
But are you concerned that they're not basing this on intelligence, they're basing it on perhaps this heightened level of concern about terror
threats in the U.S. right now?
CREASY (PH): I'm concerned that when you have a number of cases coming forward, where people are saying the same thing has happened.
They've had their visa applications approved but, at the last minute, when they get to the gate, having checked in, they're simply told their right to
travel is being revoked, that more information is required.
But if people are losing thousands of pounds of money in terms of the cost of traveling, that they're now fearing that they cannot go and see
relatives, that they cannot travel for business, that actually they are owed more of an explanation.
That doesn't preclude any of the decisions being made but it does mean there needs to be greater scrutiny of this process because the consequences
of these decisions are impacting on the U.K. as well.
There are a lot of people now in my local community, who are concerned that there may be some element of prejudice involved in this. And I want
us to be able to dispel that by being able to say, no, this is the way in which the decisions are made. Here's how they can be challenged. Here's
what it means for our future travel process. I think everybody deserves that clarity.
FOSTER: Finally, how are you escalating this?
CREASY (PH): Well, because Parliament isn't sitting I have written directly to the prime minister to ask for his help, both in terms of the
individual case of the family from my constituency and also that wider detail.
What are we doing to monitor what is going on at our U.K. airports?
Although these are American officials, this is at U.K. airports on U.K. soil.
What are we doing to check the information sharing protocols?
So that if there is a concern, if somebody is involved in something that means that they should not be able to fly, we don't end the matter
there. We make sure that everybody is protected, just as we make sure that everybody is treated fairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Stella Creasy (ph) speaking to me earlier.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection had this to say, "CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws but they
enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies.
"The religion, faith or spiritual beliefs of an international traveler are not determining factors about his or her admissibility."
Our Justice correspondent Evan Perez is in Washington for us.
No real explanation there about this specific case, which is what's frustrating the family.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. This is something that obviously this family's very frustrated because we can't certainly
give them any further explanation. The U.S. privacy law prevents Homeland Security from even talking about individual cases.
We do know from talking to officials that not all of these 11 people were barred from traveling to the United States. Some of them could have
But it is not clear, at least from the video that Diana showed at the beginning there --
PEREZ: -- that all these -- that the family members were aware of that. And even if they did, it is not clear whether they would have been
willing to do that. We do know that the U.S. says that there are some 60 different reasons why someone might be refused entry.
We have a couple of them that we can show you, including perhaps a paperwork was not completed properly, documents not matching up to U.S.
records, failure to disclose some of the past travel that they have made -- may or may not have taken, any outstanding criminal charges, for instance,
or health problems that, again, the U.S. would be concerned about.
Again, we don't know whether any of these had to do with this incident, whether these people, you know, were flagged because of this. We
do know, though, that, because of the process, the way the visa waiver system works, that if any of these people were on a no-fly list, they
wouldn't have been able to even buy the ticket.
So something else happened. Something else is part of the checks, which continue, after you apply for the ESTA process, the visa process, as
it were, and between then and the time that they were set to travel, something else was flagged.
And that is the reason. And so, what we expect is, as a result of all this publicity, certainly, this family can go to the U.S. consulate in
London and demand an explanation. And certainly perhaps that will help them get their $16,000, $15,000 or 10,000 pounds back from this airline.
It does seem like something here went wrong that should not have.
FOSTER: I'm joined by aviation correspondent Richard Quest as well.
Thank you to Evan for that.
Will they get their money back, first of all?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: The airline says they're not eligible for a refund. When I pointed out to the airline, to
Norwegian, that fuel prices are down, they made money and they've got new planes that are opening new routes, surely they could afford to return it,
they sort of hummed and hawed, Christmas gesture.
But they said -- what I think they're really saying is they need to know more before they would consider making a refund.
FOSTER: Everyone needs to know more. Don't they? That's the frustration here. But there is intelligence, so that's the sensitivity.
QUEST: It is.
But the first question, to put it crudely, is, was this cock-up or was this actually a valid reason?
Is this a case of mistaken identity?
Or is there something going on in the records that justified this?
Now the prime minister, you heard the MP saying that the prime minister, the U.K. prime minister, David Cameron, has been asked about
this. I'm -- there is a principle of reciprocity of information. The U.K. and the U.S., particularly now with global entry and others, I'm guessing
the U.K. know exactly already.
I'm guessing the U.K. have been told what has transpired here and those in Britain are aware of why this is -- they were refused. There may
be red faces if it was in error.
FOSTER: Lots of talk about the visa.
Why didn't these issues crop up when they applied for the visa, which is quite recently?
QUEST: Six weeks ago. Six weeks ago. Because my understanding is, it's a different set of databases that are looked at. When you're looking
at the data -- you fill in your form, they look at a basic database.
But this is the process. What happens is, once you check in, the entire passenger manifest is transmitted to the United States. There in
Washington it is approved and only once it is approved, with all the passengers, is the plane given the authority to leave heading.
We've had cases, Max, where planes have been on the way to the United States and a passenger has suddenly been denied access. The plane either
turns around or has to land in Canada.
It's not a satisfactory way to proceed. But the U.S. is entitled to set its own rules and that's what it does.
FOSTER: We'll wait to hear more from them. Richard, thank you very much indeed.
Richard with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" next hour.
Still to come tonight, Amnesty International levels very serious accusations against Russia. They involve Moscow's military actions in
Syria. We'll have the details on that and Russia's response in a report from Moscow for you.
FOSTER: It's a damning accusation against Russia over its military actions in Syria. A new report from Amnesty International says Russian
airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians and some may be war crimes. CNN international correspondent Matthew Chance has the details and Russia's
reaction from Moscow.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The report puts Russia's air war in Syria under close scrutiny, focusing on
six bombing raids, on areas where Amnesty says there were no obvious military targets nearby.
The human rights group says it's interviewed eyewitnesses, doctors and aid workers in Syria, who testified that Russian bombs struck homes, a
hospital, a market, even a mosque, indicating what the report calls "serious failures" by Russia to respect international humanitarian law.
Russian officials have not commented on the Amnesty report but in the past have rejected allegations that its raids in Syria have killed
civilians, calling its airstrikes "pinpoint" and "effective."
In a recent interview in Syria, a Russian defense official told CNN it is ISIS and other Islamist groups that are being struck.
RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY REPRESENTATIVE (through translator): Every day we show you how Russian aviation is fighting international terrorism,
destroying by infrastructure in Syria.
CHANCE (voice-over): The Amnesty report also highlights what it says is Russian news of internationally banned cluster munitions and unguided
bombs in Syria. Their indiscriminate and disproportionate use, the report says, should be stopped -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
FOSTER: Now the latest Republican presidential poll is in and guess who tops it?
Here's a hint, it's one of these familiar faces ,the one who keeps making contentious remarks. We'll have the latest numbers for you, coming
FOSTER: A new CNN/ORC poll indicates that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has opened a huge lead over his rivals, despite his
controversial campaign, including his recent incendiary comments about Hillary Clinton.
Trump is surging in the polls. He's now leading the pack with 39 percent. That's more than double the percentage of his nearest rival, Ted
Cruz. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are tied with 10 percent, whilst Chris Christie remains mired in single digits.
Stephen Collinson is a senior reporter for CNN Politics and joins me now from Washington.
We come to the -- towards the end of the year and it doesn't look as though he's peaked too soon, which was the initial accusation a few months
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. If you go back six months ago when Donald Trump launched his
campaign, nobody in the Republican Party, nobody in Washington, no journalist who follows this stuff, would have predicted that Donald Trump
would be leading the polls come the end of the year.
The conventional wisdom that was Trump would fade, he'd fizzle away and a more establishment candidate, the kind of candidate like Marco Rubio
or Jeb Bush, who the Republican leadership thinks has got a better chance of winning the election, would come to the fore.
But Donald Trump, he's still there. If anything, he's expanding his support. He's almost nudging the 40 percent mark of the Republican
You know, one caveat: this is a national poll. It polls Americans across the country. When we get to the first nominating contests in about
six weeks' time in Iowa and New Hampshire, that's when it really matters.
It could be that if Donald Trump doesn't win Iowa, which looks quite likely, he'll come to New Hampshire a week later under a lot of pressure to
prove that he's a viable candidate and he's never been in an election before in his life.
So there's a lot of intangibles about this. But I think it's fair to say that Donald Trump is the undisputed political star of the United States
FOSTER: So, Iowa, New Hampshire, how's Ted Cruz in those crucial two areas?
Is that the time where he could potentially catch up?
COLLINSON: Definitely. Well, Ted Cruz is very popular among evangelical and right-wing voters known as Tea Party voters, who are very
concerned about things like the national debt, for example, and the size of government. And those kind of voters are very important in Iowa, the first
So if Ted Cruz were to consolidate what are his current leads in the state, in the Midwestern state, in the polls and win Iowa that would really
give him a lot of momentum going into the rest of the nominating contest.
New Hampshire, which has its primary election a week later, is a different case. There are fewer evangelical Christian voters there, fewer
social conservatives, --
COLLINSON: -- economics and national security is a bigger set of issues for the Republicans in New Hampshire.
So that's where candidates like Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, Jeb Bush, the former governor, and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida,
the more mainstream conservatives, will be trying to make an impact.
Right now, Donald Trump has a big lead in New Hampshire. If he were to win there, it would really make it very difficult for those
establishment candidates to gain some momentum coming into the southern contests, where, again, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump look like they're going
to be very competitive.
FOSTER: Stay with me, Steve. because we want to talk a bit more about Ted Cruz.
Give you some detail there: he wants to abolish the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Education. But he's making headlines
not because of his views or his polling but because of his ad and one newspaper's reaction to that. Here's part of the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The collection of timeless Christmas classics, read by the trusted conservative leader, Ted Cruz. Favorites
such as "How ObamaCare Stole Christmas" and "Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer."
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: All of the other reindeer couldn't afford to hire Rudolph.
FOSTER (voice-over): And that prompted a cartoon in "The Washington Post;" that paper has since removed it, though it depicts Cruz parading his
children, who are characterized as monkeys. This is how Cruz reacted to the cartoon.
CRUZ: It's not complicated. Don't make fun of a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl. Let's see, everyone expects the mainstream media to be
liberal, to be biased. Folks want to attack me, knock yourself out. That's part of the process. I signed up for that. That's fine. But my
girls didn't sign up for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: But Stephen, since then, Cruz has launched a fund-raiser, hasn't he, based on that instance?
What's your take on that?
COLLINSON: I think it clearly shows the double standards of politicians the world over. They like to involve their families when
they're trying to put themselves across as wholesome family men, you know, in touch with family values, et cetera.
But when the boot's on the other foot, if you like, they don't really like it. I mean, I guess involving two young girls in a cartoon probably
wasn't in the best of taste and perhaps wasn't the wisest decision that "The Washington Post" could have made.
But, you know, Ted Cruz is loving this. There's nothing a conservative likes more than to lambast what they see as the liberal media.
They think most media organizations are biased against Republicans and conservatives.
There's a whole network of websites and TV stations that have grown up to serve the conservative movement. So, basically what "The Washington
Post" did here was play exactly into Ted Cruz's wheelhouse. And it's not surprising he's using it for a fund-raising pitch.
FOSTER: OK. Stephen, thank you very much indeed.
COLLINSON: Thanks, Max.
FOSTER: It's getting more interesting.
Now in just a moment, we'll return to our top story. I'll get perspective from the Muslim Council of Britain about the Muslim family who
was barred from a flight to Los Angeles.
Plus: he's the Russian oligarch who spent a decade in prison and now there's a new international arrest warrant out for him. Stay with us.
MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Welcome back. Here's what's happening in THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
FOSTER: Returning to our top story and that a British Muslim family were barred from a flight from London to L.A. We've got some new video to
show you over the instant the family used a smartphone to record some of the exchange between them and the Norwegian Airlines agent. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they felt that, they should have told us six weeks ago so we would not have taken them out of school, booked a holiday,
got their hopes up. You understand.
So now what do they -- what do we -- (INAUDIBLE) know how much (INAUDIBLE). They have developed memories by coming here and their hope's
been shattered and then they complain that the people (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure, I understand. But I don't know why --
FOSTER (voice-over): Well, a British Muslim family barred from Los Angeles then or going to Los Angeles from London, we're going to speak now
to Talha Ahmad. He's a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.
Now the airline aren't making a big point about them being Muslim and the U.S. authorities are saying that they do not bar people on grounds of
religion or their culture.
So why is it important that they were Muslim in this particular case?
TALHA AHMAD, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN: Well, it's important to recognize that we expect and take U.S.' assertion on its face value, that
they do not discriminate based on religion. The leader of the free world, you'd expect them not to do so.
However, unfortunately, what happened is we know the debates, public debates around Muslim identity in the U.S. And it's been under tremendous
focus since Donald Trump's infamous comments.
So in the light of that, what we do know is that a number of families were denied boarding on flight. They followed the procedure, i.e., they
put their details online, they were cleared and they had all the clearance to go to U.S.
AHMAD: As they arrived for boarding, they're refused. All the cases we know, yes, there are not many but of all the cases that we know, 10, 11,
12, 15, whatever, it so happens that all of them are Muslims. And none of them were given proper reason as to why they're refused entry to the U.S.
FOSTER: Which is the great frustration, isn't it, in the Muslim community, if I can call it that?
AHMAD: Absolutely. Look, nobody rejects, nobody refuses or nobody denies the U.S. has a right to refuse entry to people that it deem not
appropriate. The issue isn't about refusal.
The issue is, on what ground are they being refused?
And should -- is it really befitting for a free country, based on rule of law that the U.S. is and has a glorious history, is it befitting of a
nation like that to refuse entry to people without giving them proper explanation?
And in some cases this family of 11 people, they'll be out of pocket by 9,000 pounds.
FOSTER: Because it's about intelligence, though, isn't it and you understand that they can't share intelligence?
AHMAD: Well, unfortunately, see, everybody appreciates that. But everybody must also have recourse to law. And it seems like all this
intelligence seems to relate to specific Muslim families.
I know a friend, for example, who turned away from the airport. He was a senior lecturer at a university in this country, a respectable man.
Nothing known about him that could possibly question.
So why do you refuse entry to somebody like that?
It tarnishes their reputation in the wider society. It creates fright and fear in the current climate. And so they have every reason to have an
opportunity to challenge any evidence against them in a proper process. So it's for that reason that we need to have it.
And also, if you have intelligence, you know these people are coming. They put their details. You've cleared them.
Why didn't you take that action beforehand?
Why does it have to be right at the gate of boarding?
FOSTER: Yes, and the argument there, as Richard Quest was explaining, was that there are these last-minute checks that the Americans do ahead of
the flight leaving. So there's a separate set of checks which wouldn't have come up when they applied for the visa.
AHMAD: Well, I can understand that. But if people provide details weeks and weeks ahead, knowing the repercussion of it, both in terms of,
yes, there's image in the world, but also in terms of the ramifications for the individual families, one would have thought that it would be an
exception where this happens.
Unfortunately, only this month we have known good few of the people. And there are many who are unwilling to come forward, saying that they have
faced the same fate.
FOSTER: Is that making some people you know apprehensive about traveling right now?
AHMAD: Well, I think there are. I mean, I have relatives in the U.S. And I think my father probably would be a bit skeptical about me wanting to
go to U.S. I don't think he should. But nevertheless it does send the wrong message.
And it doesn't go with U.S.' image.
FOSTER: OK. Tahla Ahmad, we wait to hear more information as to the reason why this family weren't allowed to leave. Thank you very much
AHMAD: Thank you.
FOSTER: The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration is changing its screening procedures at airports meanwhile. Right now passengers can
choose to forego the electronic boarding scanner and opt for a full-body pat-down.
But going forward certain travelers will be mandated to go through the body scanner, even if they request to opt out. The TSA says the mandate is
screening for certain passengers will be, quote, "warranted by security considerations."
The change comes at a time of increasing concern, of course, about security and terror plots.
Now: he's a former Russian oligarch and a high-profile critic of Vladimir Putin. Now Moscow has issued an international arrest warrant for
Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He's accused of organizing the murder of a local politician in 1998 and trying to kill four other people. Khodorkovsky
denies the charges and says they're politically motivated.
Clare Sebastian has more.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the most vocal critics of the Russian government, once again, wanted by Moscow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It doesn't matter where the accused of particularly serious crimes is hiding. In Russia or beyond its
borders, even in Antarctica, it's our duty to take every legal action to bring him to justice.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): The case begins in this remote Russian oil town, Nefteyugansk, once the headquarters of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's oil
giant, Yukos. The exiled former oligarch now accused of ordering the 1998 murder of the town's mayor over a tax dispute.
The investigation was reopened this summer, despite five people having already been convicted of the crime, including others associated with
In a press conference earlier this month, when the charges were first announced, Khodorkovsky said he was expecting this. The Kremlin, he said,
was fighting an order by an international arbitration court in The Hague to pay $50 billion in damages to Yukos shareholders.
And he accused the Russian government of cracking down on his pro- democracy organization, Open Russia, through which he has been calling for regime change.
KHODORKOVSKY (through translator): The activities of Open Russia --
KHODORKOVSKY (through translator): -- the organization I founded, are a source of irritation. There have already been police raids and employees
have been arrested.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And there were more raids this week, police searching Open Russia's Moscow offices on Tuesday, the day before they
announced the arrest warrant.
ROBERT AMSTERDAM, FORMER LAWYER FOR MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY: As the price of oil plunges, Vladimir Putin is left with less and less leverage
with which to go after political opponents, both domestically and externally. So, to many people, this would have been anticipated.
SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in hard labor camps for fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion,
before being pardoned two years ago.
Now based in the U.K., his lawyer says he will do everything possible to defend himself against these charges -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.
FOSTER: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Still to come, modern technology is being used to diagnose Dickensian ailments. We'll look at
why once-conquered diseases are making a comeback right here in London.
And they are one of music's groundbreaking bands and a great holdout in the digital age as well. Now The Beatles are streaming. Details when
THE WORLD RIGHT NOW returns.
FOSTER: Just in time for Christmas a digital gift from The Beatles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WE CAN WORK IT OUT")
FOSTER (voice-over): The talking over, though. Let the streaming begin. That's right. The Fab Four are streaming their songs here, there
and everywhere. The band's website beatles.com says its songs will be available beginning December the 24th, Christmas Eve, at one minute past
That means it's already happening in some parts of the world and you can get the songs from nine different streaming services.
(END VIDEO CLIP, "WE CAN WORK IT OUT")
FOSTER: Joining me now to sort all this out and why The Beatles franchise means quite a --
FOSTER: -- big thing, actually, in the music industry, CNN's Paul La Monica joins us from New York.
The big question is why did it take them so long, Paul?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, The Beatles have been holdouts in the digital revolution pretty much historically.
If you remember, they didn't start selling their albums and songs for digital download on iTunes until 2010, obviously several years after most
other major artists had brought their music there.
I think that you know, in some respects, you do have some older artists who have complained in the past that the music quality of streaming
sites isn't really that good. It's one of the reasons why Neil Young, for example, created his own. So I think that might have played a part as
But we don't have to worry anymore. They have worked it out, if you will, and you've got Beatles songs on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music,
pretty much every major streaming service now.
FOSTER: Which is interesting because the likes of Taylor Swift have signed exclusively deals, for example, with Apple Music.
LA MONICA: Yes. You have seen some exclusive deals like the one that Taylor Swift had. Another legendary British band, Led Zeppelin, actually
had an exclusive deal at first with Spotify and, once that ended, then they brought their music to other streaming services as well.
So I think fans are probably happy that they don't have to just subscribe to one specific service, whichever one they're on, they likely
will be getting Beatles songs on Christmas Eve.
FOSTER: And in terms of -- you described how they offered late to new media, like CDs, like iTunes as well.
Is this because they tried to negotiate the best deal for them?
They're holding out for the best deals?
They just won't compromise in terms of getting onto the latest form of media?
LA MONICA: Definitely. I think that has been the case in the past and obviously it's a little bit more complicated now, when you're dealing
with multiple companies. It was one thing when The Beatles and, you know, EMI and their management company, also named Apple, were just dealing with
the Apple that owns iTunes.
Now you've got Google, you've got Apple, you've got Amazon, you also have Spotify. So many different players, you know, in the negotiations
here. So that makes it a little bit more complex.
But I think ultimately, you know, the people that are still involved with The Beatles realized that this is a great move for their legacy.
There are many younger listeners that are never going to buy a CD, let alone a vinyl album. They're not even doing that, you know, from Amazon or
buying digital downloads on iTunes.
Many people are choosing to not own the music but stream it. And this is a way for new fans, I think, to discover The Beatles.
FOSTER: And this is what The Beatles have done so cleverly, isn't it, over the decades?
They've always managed to stay relevant and they protected their music and their brand so carefully. And that is as much an achievement, many
would say, as the great music that they created all those years ago.
LA MONICA: Of course. It helps that the music is actually extremely good. My 2-year old loves "Yellow Submarine" and "All Together Now." It
would be very easy to fade into obscurity if they had poor music, which they don't.
FOSTER: OK. Paul La Monica, thank you very much indeed.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
FOSTER: Coming up, they've gone from ancient history to our hospital wards. We'll take a look at why diseases of the past such as scurvy are on
the rise again here in the U.K. That's next.
FOSTER: You wouldn't expect to see medicines such as these from the Victorian era.
So why are we seeing the diseases right here in Britain?
Old illnesses are making a comeback. A new report shows that some areas in London have higher rates of tuberculosis than much less developed
parts of the world. I went out to find out more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I haven't got much time.
FOSTER (voice-over): Scurvy, tuberculosis and scarlet fever may conjure up images of a Charles Dickens tale. But diseases of the Victorian
era are re-emerging in modern-day Britain.
JOSIE GARRETT, TB PATIENT: It was, yes, a complete shock.
FOSTER (voice-over): Twenty-four-year-old Josie Garrett is nearing the end of intensive treatment for TB. She's studying for a master's
degree but a year ago was isolated in hospital.
GARRETT: I contracted tuberculosis from my boyfriend. He caught TB from his friend. His friend contracted tuberculosis from his dad. And his
dad first was diagnosed with TB in the '90s after traveling to India. And then it basically re-emerged again as a drug-resistant form of the disease.
Up until this point I was unable to work. I wasn't able to kind of socialize. I wasn't able to kind of live a normal life.
FOSTER (voice-over): TB is one disease often synonymous with poverty, affecting the most vulnerable. But health officials warn that strains of
the disease lie undetected in all parts of modern society and could break out in the future.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bacteria of tuberculosis can infect you and stay in your body latent for a long time. And it becomes reawakened again
and manifests itself as a disease when something happens to your immune level.
FOSTER: Tuberculosis was one of the deadliest diseases in the Victorian era, killing one in four people at one point. And thousands of
victims are buried here at this cemetery.
Of course, the situation isn't as bad today. But there are parts of London where TB rates are higher than they are in Rwanda or Iraq. And a
recent study by Britain's national health service found that other diseases, common in the 19th century, are making a comeback.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Notably there's been a huge rise in scarlet fever, 14,000 cases in the last year, the highest since the 1960s. We have
seen a rise in the cases of tuberculosis. We've seen a rise in the cases of whooping cough. We have seen more measles in the last 10 years than
we've seen in the 10 years before that.
FOSTER (voice-over): In fact, over the last five years in England, cases of scarlet fever have risen by 136 percent, scurvy by 38 percent and
cholera by 300 percent, though for scurvy and cholera the numbers are very small.
So why the resurgence?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do in fact see an uptick, for example, with measles, reduced population immunity, for example, with whooping cough,
increased poverty as well as an influx of migration and malnutrition.
FOSTER (voice-over): Two hundred years later and age-old afflictions, poverty, malnutrition, lack of health care, contributing to the rise of
Victorian era diseases today.
FOSTER: Before we go we want to show you a video of a lucky escape that may send shivers down your spine. A World Cup champion skier narrowly
avoiding being hit by a crashing drone --
FOSTER: -- during competition. Just watch this bit of video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER (voice-over): The remote controlled drone carrying a camera slammed down just centimeters from the Austrian skier, Marcel Hirscher. He
was on his second run in a World Cup slalom race in Italy. The 26-year- old, four-time defending world champion said the incident was horrible. The International Ski Federation has now banned drones at all World Cup
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: And before we do leave, something else falling from the skies. We now know what caused this mysterious sight that set the Internet
On Tuesday evening, people across Las Vegas reported seeing a large meteor-like object. It was also spotted as far west as California. But we
got to the bottom of it. According to U.S. Strategic Command it was actually debris from a Russian rocket re-entering the atmosphere. Nothing
mysterious at all.
That has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard here in London is up next.