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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Israeli Police: Bus Explosion A Deliberate Attack; Ecuador: Earthquake Death Toll Approaches 350; Death Toll Rises To 43 After Two Japan Quakes; Life In Rome For Refugees Taken By Pope; U.S. Sending 217 More Troops To Iraq; Man Removed From Flight, Questioned By FBI; President Dilma Rousseff to Give Speech; Obama Facing Increasing Pressure to Support Bill; Rescue Efforts Continue in Ecuador; Tensions Between NATO and Russia are Running High. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 18, 2016 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones standing in for Hala Gorani live from CNN London and this is THE WORLD
We start in Jerusalem, Israeli police say an explosion aboard a bus there was no doubt a deliberate attack. The blast caused a huge fire that spread
through another bus as well wounding at least 21 people. Police now believe a bomb went off, and they are trying to determine who was
responsible for that.
Let's go right to Oren Liebermann live for us in Jerusalem with the very latest. Oren, from the aftermath of this explosion, the remnants of the
bus, it certainly looks like it was a very big explosion. Two buses involved, we understand. What more can you tell us?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police have said this was an explosive device and, yes, we saw the flames there and the smoke pouring out of these
buses, but the mayor of Jerusalem actually said this appears to have been a small explosive device on the back of one of these buses.
According to police, that exploded setting not only one bus on fire, but the bus right next to it and a privately owned car right next to those
buses on fire.
In the end, police say at least 21 people were injured. We've seen that number rise over the past few hours since the first reports of the
explosion. Police also say that at least two of those are seriously wounded, but there are a lot of questions at this point.
If there was, as police say, an explosive device on this bus and we see that from the flames and the smoke, who put it there and how was it
detonated, with what intent?
Those questions police have not answered yet and even police are being very careful here, Hannah. They have said that all avenues of investigation
remain open and that this could be criminal or a terror attack.
JONES: For Jerusalem police, though, and indeed the Israeli defense forces this sort of situation is a nightmare, isn't it? Because you have no idea
of how you can possibly try to protect citizens from these sort of random attacks on public transports.
LIEBERMANN: Absolutely. That was always the fear here. We've seen a wave of attacks over the last seven or eight months against Israelis, but most
of those attacks have been with knives or cars.
Yes, we have seen the police, the IDF, and the Israeli Security Agency busting a few bomb making labs and spotting a few IEDs, but we haven't seen
an explosive device go off.
That was always the fear here, that there would be some sort of an escalation and this could be, could be, that escalation depending on who
plant it had there.
And if we see copycat attacks, more of these attacks, but that was the fear and of course, especially here you know why that's the fear, it's because
it immediately reminds every one of the second intifada in bus bombings tore apart buses.
JONES: OK, Oren Liebermann, we'll leave it there, live for us there in Jerusalem. Thank you.
The Ecuadorian government says the death toll from Saturday's powerful earthquake has jumped to nearly 350 and that number will likely rise.
The quake injured thousands of people and left widespread damage throughout the country, and the lack of water and power is making a desperate
situation even worse. Rafael Romo has more now on the recovery efforts.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: In this city a ray of hope, rescuers pull a 7-year-old girl from the rubble nearly 27 hours
after the earthquake hit. In the coastal city, one of the hardest hit areas, relatives of the victims pleaded with the Ecuadorian vice president.
They are still alive, this man said, pointing to the mounts of rubble all around his neighborhood. Moments later, a woman breaks into tears saying
she badly needs help.
In Ecuador's largest and most populist city rescue crews and passersby join efforts to pull people out of a car under a collapsed bridge.
RAFAEL CORREA, ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The situation is very serious, but we will recover from this, President Rafael Correa said.
The only thing we can't recover are the lives that have been lost. The sorrow is immense.
[15:05:04]THOMAS HOLLYWOOD, CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES: The situation is grave. Six provinces have been declared as an emergency and two of the
provinces most hit are areas along the coast, these are poor and vulnerable areas of Ecuador.
ROMO: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Saturday just before 7:00 in the evening. People were shopping at a busy supermarket when the floor began
shaking and they had to run for their lives with merchandise falling off the shelves and lights going off. This was Ecuador's deadliest earthquake
since 1987 when a 7.2 magnitude trembler killed about 1,000 people. Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
JONES: And we are trying to get ahold of some of our reporters there on the scene in Ecuador. As you can imagine, the communications are
particularly difficult. That window of opportunity is slowly closing to try to find survivors from that 7.8 magnitude quake.
We are hoping to speak to one of our reporters though as the infrastructure and the country starts to rebuild again after it was damaged so badly and
some of these cutoff communities are now finally being reached.
We can hopefully find out more about the situation on the ground and the death toll. As I said, 350 at the moment, and it is expected to rise.
Similar scenes of destruction across the Pacific in Japan. The death toll there from earthquakes on Thursday and Saturday now stands at 43. Search-
and-rescue crews continue to look for survivors in crumbled buildings and in areas hit by landslides. Our Matt Rivers reports now from one of the
hardest hit areas.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're right outside the village of Minamiaso, one of the harder hit places and we wanted to give you an
example of just how bad the destruction from these two earthquakes can be.
Take a look at this house here, up until Saturday when the second earthquake struck. This was a two-story structure, but according to the
owner, what happened here was once the earthquake started the foundation actually started to slide down this hill.
There's a pretty big slope here. We're on the side of a mountain. It started to slide down the mountain. That collapsed the first floor of the
house, and take a look right here.
You can see that the force was strong enough that it ripped apart the asphalt here and actually separated the earth, and in some spaces if you
walk over here with me, you can see how deep this trench here, probably about two meters or so deep.
So really just an incredible show of strength by this earthquake on Saturday, but while homeowners here, the homeowners of places like this now
have to focus on rebuilding their lives, the main focus for authorities has been search-and-rescue efforts.
We spent most of our day on Monday watching one of those rescue efforts, and really the big thing outside and inside this village here have been
landslides. This is a mountainous area. These earthquakes triggered several landslides and then it rained.
So there was very muddy conditions for rescuers to try and save the people that were trapped. They were able to save a few people but their efforts
continue, and that is something that's going to go on for some time.
Really the impact of these two earthquakes in this community cannot be overstated. The negative impacts, frankly, will be felt for some time to
come. Matt Rivers, CNN in Minamiaso Village, Japan.
JONES: Stay with us on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Still to come tonight, bearing the scars of a chemical attack. CNN travels to an Iraqi town where
the effects of an ISIS strike are still being felt.
And a new life after an escape from a nightmare. We speak to a group of refugees taken by the pope to Rome.
Plus, find out why one man is accusing Southwest Airlines of Islamophobia. That's coming up after the break.
JONES: Welcome back to the program. More than 100 migrants have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa after being rescued near the Libyan
Coast. The Italian Coast Guard says the migrants were picked up by a pirate ship after a distress call was sent out on Sunday.
There were also six bodies on the rubber dingy the migrants were traveling in. It is, of course, a reminder of the great length that many migrants
would go to simply for the chance of a better life.
The pope, Pope Francis, took three families with him to the Vatican following his visit to the Greek island of Lesbos over the weekend. Our
Ben Wedeman speaks with them now about their current situation.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The pleasures of daily life are once more within the grasp of 7-year-old (inaudible) and her
family. They fled their home in ISIS-controlled in northeastern Syria, first to Turkey and then to Greece.
Their fortunes changed dramatically Saturday when Pope Francis flew them and two other Syrian families to Italy after his visit to refugees in
Lesbos, Greece. Her father, Ahmed is still in disbelief.
AHMED AL-SINUDEJI, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): We boarded the plane with the pope, he recalls. We sat next to him and not in the back
and twice he came to check on us and welcome us and when he arrived in Rome, he greeted us again.
The atmosphere on the plane back was unreal, says, Cecilia Pani of the Community of Santa Egidio (ph) Catholic Charity tasked with helping the new
arrivals. They ate a good meal of lasagna and the children ate chocolate. Basking in the attention and grabbing our microphone and interviewing her
Her mother relived the nightmare as she calls life in Syria is over, but she recalls a moment of doubt when she was told they were going to Italy
with Pope Francis.
We were afraid, she says. We had heard many Syrians were being expelled back to Turkey. The family was in Lesbos for 50 days. During that time, I
asked her, did any Arab officials visit their camp?
No, unfortunately, not, not one, she says. We're Arabs. This initiative should have come from the Arabs, but the pope was way ahead of them in
doing a good deed.
Adjusting to life in this strange land won't be easy. The family's first visit to an Italian supermarket was confusing enough, and this is only
their second day here.
(on camera): These are the lucky ones. They essentially came to Europe walking down a red carpet rolled out by Pope Francis himself, an important
symbolic gesture, but the problem of the refugees remains.
(voice-over): Hundreds of thousands more are desperate to come to what is fast becoming fortress Europe. Pope Francis can set an example, but he
can't tear down the wall. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.
JONES: A 217 additional American troops are headed to Iraq to help boost manpower and the fight there against ISIS. The U.S. Defense Secretary
Ashton Carter made that announcement on a visit to Baghdad. Those troops will serve an advisory and training roles. Carter also said the Iraqi
government has approved a plan to bring in Apache attack helicopters.
CNN's Arwa Damon is covering the story for us and joins me now live from Baghdad. Arwa, it seems like a small number of American troops, but what
does it mean in terms of the changing role of U.S. troops on the grounds in Iraq?
[15:15:10]ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the key focus for these new advice and assist trainers that are going to be
coming in and added to that, the key focus of the U.S. is going to shift towards trying to help the Iraqi security forces recapture Mosul, the
country's second largest city that has been under ISIS control for about two years now.
The other thing that's going to change now is these advisers are going to be partnered and embedded at the brigade and battalion levels so much
smaller units than the division level that they have been operating at up until now.
This will also potentially place them further forward and also allow them to look more into the details of the operations as they unfold from the
battalion and brigade levels.
Plus the U.S. is also going to be bringing in more of what it calls enablers, so we'll be seeing potentially more air strikes, more artillery
strikes and the use of more of the logistical surveillance support that the U.S. does bring to the table.
All of this, of course, is because recapturing Mosul is a key U.S. and Iraqi strategy. The Americans do believe that if they are able to
recapture Mosul from ISIS that will mean the beginning of the end of the terrorist organization, at least in Iraq -- Hannah.
JONES: And Arwa, from your reporting in the country, I know that you've been unveiling that the devastating impact of is and the tactics that that
militant group uses, what can you tell us?
DAMON: They have been using a lot of suicide bombers wave after wave. They have been using a lot of suicide car bombs and booby-trapping berms
and fighting positions, roads and homes, but there's also growing concern about their use of chemical weapons.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every few steps, Mohamed (inaudible) needs a break. His lungs can't take it. His
body shakes. A month after he was exposed to a chemical attack, he still needs shots twice a day to control the symptoms.
This man was also exposed. He had a small blemish that spread and grew into this. And Little Fatima (ph), the billboard bearing her imageries,
the first martyr of the (inaudible) chemical attack. She came into this clinic alive, the doctor remembers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): She was crying, but she was wounded and the chemical was all over her body like black grease.
DAMON (on camera): The town has been hit by numerous chemical attacks. One of the strikes happened right here and there's still a very distinct
chemical odor, a bit hard to describe.
(voice-over): Hundreds were injured, describing troubled breathing, burning eyes, and blistering skin. Chemical weapons experts say that it
was some sort of homemade mustard gas, possibly combined with something else.
Because of security concerns, this man does not want his identity disclosed. His background is chemistry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look at this book. It's the same one we used in the old Iraqi army for training in how to protect the Iraqi
forces from gases. I found this book in the market and it has very dangerous information.
DAMON: For example, details on the chemical makeup of lethal gases and how to store them. Mustard gas, he says, is among the simplest to concoct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Anyone with a degree in chemistry would know how to prepare.
DAMON: ISIS also has plenty of foreign operatives with expertise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we compare this attack less than a month ago to the attacks maybe five, six months ago, we saw a difference. We see that they
have moved forward with their chemical capabilities.
DAMON: The U.S. has bombed Mosul University's high-tech chemistry lab, but the chemist says there are plenty of other facilities ISIS could
potentially be using and the advance of their capabilities poses a serious threat both here and beyond.
DAMON: And Hannah, even though the U.S. did bomb that facility in Mosul and has in fact targeted other areas, locations where they do believe ISIS
is developing and producing these various different chemical weapons, the extent of the damage that they may have done to ISIS' capabilities at this
stage is unclear.
And it's also unclear and of great concern that no one really knows exactly what their capabilities are and whether or not they may potentially be
exporting those capabilities to carry out attacks in Europe or the United States -- Hannah.
JONES: OK, Arwa Damon, live from Baghdad, thank you.
[15:20:02]We're going to turn now to a story out of the United States, one that some is calling a troubling instance of Islamophobia.
Khairuldeen Makhzoomi seen in the glasses here was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight. Another passenger apparently felt threatened when she
heard him speaking Arabic while the plane was still on the tarmac.
The man was then questioned by the FBI and later released. He says he's yet to get an apology from the airline and he joins me now live via Skype
from Berkeley, California.
Thanks very much for joining us on the program. On the face of it, it seems like a bizarre turn of events. Just walk us through what happened.
KHAIRULDEEN MAKHZOOMI, REMOVED FROM FLIGHT FOR SPEAKING ARABIC: Sure. Thank you, Hannah. I was going to an event on Tuesday, and (inaudible) for
a council in Los Angeles, a friend of mine invited me and I was very pleased to go. I was lucky to ask a question to the secretary-general
about the situation in Iraq.
And when I -- before that I actually called my uncle telling him which he lives in Baghdad and he's a political analyst and usually I discuss these
kinds of things with him.
So my uncle asked me to -- if I had the chance to ask the secretary- general a question and I didn't have the chance to ask him two questions actually so I did just ask him my own question.
On the way back on -- on Wednesday I went to LAX through Southwest Terminal 1. My flight was at 8:10, and I was texting my uncle that I'm sorry I
couldn't ask you a question, I didn't have the time and I will call you when I get into the plane.
Once I sat on the plane, my ticket was A-58 so I was one of the first people to go inside the plane, and I talked to my uncle and I told him
about, you know, the event.
JONES: Yes, and you were you talking in Arabic.
MAKHZOOMI: I was talking to Arabic -- all of the time actually. I didn't speak in English at all because he's my uncle. I'm going to speak Iraqi
with him and one lady, she was standing -- sitting, sorry, in front of me, she turned around and she kept looking.
And at some point I realized that she's looking at me so I told my uncle I would call you when I get there and my uncle was telling me call me when
you land and I told him, God willing, it's a phrase that most of the Middle East people use it. All of the Arabs use that phrase, the Arabs, sorry.
JONES: And this is a word that the other passenger felt threatened by in some way, is that right?
MAKHZOOMI: She left the plane immediately after I hung up -- hung up the phone and 2 minutes later the -- they had to remove me from the plane. One
guy came and said you need to step out of the plane, sir, and I had to leave the plane.
JONES: And then you were questioned by the FBI. What was your treatment like by them? Did you feel threatened yourself?
MAKHZOOMI: Before the FBI, the guy who actually pulled me how the was a little bit disrespectful. He kept saying, look, what you have done, the
plane -- we already have a delay 30 minutes because of you and I told him, it's not me. It's what Islamophobia got this country into.
He said you're not going back to the plane and the police officer reached for his device, which is in his shoulder and said call the FBI. Call the
So we waited for the FBI about 45 minutes, but the treatment that I had by Southwest, by security forces and the police, it wasn't -- it wasn't
respectful. As a matter of fact, it was outrageous to treat me that way.
JONES: Just to clarify, you were speaking in Arabic. Is that where you think the problem lies? If you were speaking in Italian, you don't think
this problem would have arisen at all?
MAKHZOOMI: I actually told my mother I need to learn Chinese because it seems very (inaudible) so when I go to the plane, I will start speak
Chinese next time maybe. Maybe I won't be pulled out of a plane.
JONES: I know you're still waiting as you said earlier for an apology from Southwest Airlines, they have released a statement and want to read it to
The statement reads, "We wouldn't remove a passenger from a flight without a collaborative decision rooted in established procedures." It goes on to
say, "Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. Our company could not survive if we believed otherwise." What's your
reaction, first of all, to that statement?
MAKHZOOMI: Well, I will tell them I am the prime example of your discrimination and actually my message is to the American people that I
wanted to tell them that it is important that we decipher from the ongoing situation of the war on terror and understand the problem is not Muslims
But rather those extremists fabricating the essence of Islam as ground to justify their outrageous crimes and if we keep getting this kind of
discrimination then we will be selling that narrative to these terrorists true --
[15:25:08]JONES: Let me just press you on this one point. Do you believe that it's unfair for anyone to be questioned? I suppose the point is if
any other passenger feels threatened then, of course, it's surely the duty of the airline to at least investigate why they feel threatened. Was it
just the manner in which you were questioned afterwards which is why you're so upset?
MAKHZOOMI: The whole process. This is not the way to question. We're innocent until proven guilty and if there is a security threat, it's not a
way to treat a human being.
JONES: OK. I know you're still waiting into apology, and do let us know if you do receive that from Southwest Airlines. Khairuldeen Makhzoomi,
thanks for joining us on the program.
Now in 65 days, the U.K. will vote to decide its future as an E.U. member. The last time a vote of this sort was held was back in 1975. The cost of
Brexit could be more than $6,000 per British family. That's the warning of the Treasury, however, those in favor of a Brexit say that number proposed
is absurd. Nina Dos Santos has more.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN MONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Kiss good-bye to 6 percent of output and families prepare to find yourselves $6,100 worse off per year.
That's the stark message coming from the U.K. finance minister delivered to voters just ten weeks before they decide on membership of the E.U.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE OSBORNE, BRITISH CHANCELLOR: Britain will be permanently poorer if we left the European Union. Under any alternative we'd trade less, we'd do
less business and there would be less investment, and the price would be paid by British families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTOS: In a report compiled by the Treasury officials predicted a $51 billion black hole in U.K. public finances by the year 2030 meaning a
potential 8 percent rise from the basic rate of income tax to prevent spending cuts.
Now supporters the so-called Brexit says that Britain's economy will boom instead without being beholden to Brussels and they also say that
government forecasts have been wrong before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD JENKIN, DIRECTOR, LEAVE EU: The question here is do you want your country to be bound into the E.U. with its migration crisis and Eurozone
crisis and high unemployment in Southern Europe or whether we should be like other countries outside the E.U. that do very well, thank you very
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTOS: Those who wish the U.K. to remain inside the European Union hope that today's numbers will swing the decision. Those who want out though
say that it's the promise of something better far Britain that people should aspire to. Nina Dos Santos, CNN Money, London.
JONES: Still to come on the program, a multi-billion dollar threat from Saudi Arabia. It's warning of retaliation if the U.S. Congress parted a
controversial bill involving the September 11th attacks.
And CNN's Brooke Baldwin goes aboard the aircraft carrier "USS Harry Truman" where both men and women are fighting ISIS from the skies.
[15:30:24] JONES: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
The headlines, Israeli police are investigating an explosion of border bus in Jerusalem, calling it a deliberate attack. They say an explosive device
went off at the back of the bus causing a huge fire that then engulf to another bus as well. At least 21 people have been wounded.
The death toll from Ecuador's earthquake is now approaching 350,000 have been injured and there is widespread damage across the country after this
7.8 magnitude quake hit on Sunday. A massive search and rescue operation still underway.
A U.N. Envoy says, "Syria's main opposition group has suspended its participation in peace talks." But he says "Opposition negotiators will
remain in Geneva for informal discussions." They are protesting escalation violence in Syria, accusing the government forces of violating a ceasefire
And we're just month away from Olympic in Brazil. And there's a big potential shift ahead of this massive global event. In less than an hour,
the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, is set to give a highly anticipated speech of the nation. It is her first reaction since the Lower
House of Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to impeach her.
Shasta Darlington has more now on the drama surrounding that vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A historic vote. In its shoving and shouting, Brazil's Lower House of Congress voted overwhelmingly, 367 to
137, in favor of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff. No less tension out on the front lawn of Congress. Police erected a barrier to separate pro-
and anti-government protesters.
One side, more like a football fan zone, cheering the downfall of the president they blame for the worst recession in decades and the corruption
scandal that has sneered top politicians from the governing workers party, but hasn't implicated Rousseff.
Frustration and anger from Rousseff's supporters, denouncing the impeachment vote as an institutional coup d'eta, and that bringing down a
democratically elected leader on a technicality breaking budget laws.
The problem for her supporters is that so many of the law makers leading the impeachment drive right here in Congress, have been accused of both
corruption and money laundering.
After Sunday's vote the Attorney General said, Rousseff won't give up.
EDUARDO CARDOZO, BRAZILIAN ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translation): The decision made by the Chamber today will not breakdown President Dilma
Rousseff, nor we let make her stop fighting for what she believes in.
DARLINGTON: The impeachment motion now heads to the Senate where a simple majority is needed for approval which would force Rousseff to step down for
180 days to defend herself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARLINGTON: And while all of this political chaos shouldn't have a big impact on Summer Olympics that kick off on August, they also won't be
highlighting what was supposed to be "Brazil, The Emerging Power" instead they'll be shining a spotlight on all its flaws.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Brazil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: (Inaudible) has the fate as Brazil's president will now be decided by the Senate. By early May, the 81 member Senate is expected to have
reached a decision on whether or not to put Ms. Rousseff on trial. A majority vote is all what would be needed to proceed. So, if more than 41
Senators vote to impeach, Rousseff will be suspended and the Vice President Michel Temer will become the acting president.
The Senate will have 180 days to conduct its trial, if two-thirds of the Senate votes against Rousseff, she will be found guilty and removed from
office. We'll be following that story here on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Now, to a controversy that threatening to overshadow U.S. President Barack Obama's visit with Gulf leaders this week. Just days before he rise in
Riyadh, Mr. Obama is facing increasing pressure at home to support a bill in Congress that infuriate Saudi Arabia, a critical strategic U.S. allied.
Saudi official warn they'll sell off billions of dollars in American assets as the bill process. It would allow victims of the September 11 attacks to
sue foreign government including, of course, Saudi Arabia, for that country has long denied any involvement in the 9/11 attack.
Well, just a short time ago, White House spokesman said, it's highly unlikely that President Obama would sign the legislation as of now, stands,
if it were to get Congressional approval.
[15:35:00] But let's get more in this now from CNN Manu Raju live for us on Capitol Hill.
Manu, the Saudis already said that there are billions of dollars at stake but as far as overall, U.S.-Saudi relation go, what's the stake here?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Quite a bit. Remember, this is already been a pretty tense relationship over the last several years, I
would say. We've seen the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is far over strategy dealing with ISIS with Iran, with Yemen, you name it. You add this to the
mix that really would intensify things pretty dramatic, even President Obama recently was quoted as same to the U.S.-Saudi relationships. It's
pretty complicated at the moment.
Now, what the US is really aligning itself with Saudi, was the White House is, right now, the Obama administration has lobbying aggressively.
Now publicly but also privately, telling the members of Congress not to move forward with this bill because they believe they would have dramatic
ramifications on the United States, particularly, Americans living abroad or actions that America is taking in this war against ISIS.
But there -- in this issue, they're aligning themselves but other Democrats and Democratic leaders of the Senate are -- were joining with Republicans
to push this bill forward over the Obama administration's objections. And if they get support to enact this law, overwriting a possible presidential
veto would only intensify and worsen the relationship between the Saudi Arabia and United States at this critical juncture in history.
JONES: Yeah. Manu, there's a chance we hear that many of the proponents of this bill haven't realize that this could work both ways and that the
U.S. would then possibly be inline from -- for lawsuits from foreign individuals. He also wants to sue the U.S. government for perhaps terror
attacks in the past.
RAJU: That's right. And that's a point that Josh Earnest, the White House, Press Secretary tried to make today in speaking to reporters.
Really, the first time for the White House to started to layout its public teeth against this bill.
But when I've asked proponents about that, that criticism, they said, "Look, this issue is actually very narrowly drafted. It's a pretty
narrowly targeted bill dealing with a very specific issue. Americans being attacked on American soil, why shouldn't they be allowed to bring a case
against the Saudi Arabia, if Saudi Arabia was found to have a connection to 9/11 which of course they have long denied?"
So, we'll see how this goes forward, but it's very difficult politically to be against the families of 9/11, particularly here on Capitol Hill, And
especially, just seeing bipartisan support against the White House's position on this issue.
JONES: Yeah. And, of course, Obama is going to be in the region this week as well. It could be very embarrassing to him, certainly very difficult.
How likely it is, isn't -- rather that, he could veto this bill if they get Congressional support?
RAJU: I think it's very likely based on what the White House was saying today that, look, there's no way that he could sign it in his present form.
I could see a situation, if there's overwhelming supporting Congress for a deal to be cut between the White House and members of Congress. But even
if they did that, it probably would upset Saudi Arabia. So it's a pretty fine line for the White House to walk right now.
JONES: Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Thank you.
RAJU: Thank you.
JONES: Now, everyday Coalition air strikes are pounding ISIS targets. CNN's Brooke Baldwin was given rare and exclusive access to U.S. Navy
aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. She spoke with some of the men and a growing number of women fighting ISIS from the skies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN REPORTER: This is the U.S. Navy's front-line of the war on terror in the Persian Gulf. Lieutenant Commander Kate Baltan
deployed two weeks after the Paris terror attacks and resolve only deepen after the recent bloodshed in Brussels.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER KATE BALTAN, USS HARRY S. TRAUMAN: That is exactly why we're out here. If anything it gives us that much more purpose and
resolved to ensure that we're doing the things, the right way. And then we leave this region better than we found it.
BALDWIN: When you put on your flight gear, was it that feel like?
BALTAIN: It's interesting because it's working now, it's something I do everyday. So, a lot of times I don't think about it, but when I sit back
and think, you know, what this really mean, it's, you know, kind of -- I still get goosebump every time I take it out to pull off.
BALDWIN: Operation Inherent Resolved is by no means a man's mission. Baltan is the Senior Female Aviator on this hulking aircraft carrier, the
USS Harry S. Trauman full of fighter jets ready to strike ISIS.
BALTAIN: This, right here, is a bomb. It's not live. It will just support the HST takeoff, but often times this pilot don't know where the
specific ISIS target is, until they're already in the air.
BALDWIN: Gotten flies an E-2 (ph) protecting those jets. Her aircraft is one of the most essential for carrier operations. The acts like air
traffic control in the skies above Iraq.
For those pilots who are getting the coordinates to drop the bomb, how serious do they take your job?
[15:40:06] BALTAN: We do meticulous planning everyday for whatever mission that we're performing and I know they don't take the responsibility
BALDWIN: Orchestrated, coordinated terrorist attacks happening in the west.
REAR ADMIRAL BRET BATCHELDER, USS HARRY S. TRUMAN: Right. Right .
BALDWIN: Is that frustrating to you, discouraging given everything that's happening out here on the gulf?
BATCHELDER: Yes. I would say it's disappointing. It's disappointing that we have human beings that would do that to other human beings. On the
other hand, it's motivating and is assuring that the mission that we're on is very righteous.
BALDWIN: What is ultimately success or victory look like?
BATCHELDER: Yes. I think it looks like violent extremism being eradicated. And I don't know that we achieve that on this deployment.
BALDWIN: Here on USS Harry S. Trauman, a facility that catch on (ph). There about 90-40 to USS team Thursday, and when you feel this (inaudible),
this jet, let me tell you, it makes your teeth rattle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks very much for staying with us.
Coming up, numerous incidences, involving Russian jet, putting the countries intense relationships with NATO in the spotlight. We'll take a
look at that after this break.
JONES: Welcome back. We told you earlier in the show about the jump in the death toll in Ecuador following that earthquake. Rescue workers are
still trying to find survivors in the chaos. The hardest hit areas include much of Ecuador's coast line.
CNN's Boris Sanchez is witnessing the devastation first hand in the city of Guayaquil.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Part of the problem is with the infrastructure in Ecuador. Some of the hardest hit areas right now are
essentially inaccessible after weeks of pounding rain brought about by El Nino. This earthquake essentially disseminated what was left of the roads
Perfect example is, right behind me, in the city of Guayaquil. This bridge came down during a very busy hour. This is one of the busiest bridges in
the city. It came down on top of a park, killing one person and injuring another.
The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, was actually at the Vatican over the weekend and he flew in immediately on Sunday to try to address the
problems here. About 10,000 soldiers and 4,000 police officers are on the ground right now sifting for rubble, trying to find survivors.
I should tell you this actually is not a deadly as earthquake that Ecuador's have, though it is 7.8 magnitude earthquake. A 7.2 magnitude in
1987 killed roughly about a thousand people. So the hope is that after all is set and done, after the recovery of the Peligrosa (ph). This will not
be as deadly and as catastrophic an earthquake as that one was for the country of Ecuador.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, Guayaquil.
[14:45:10] JONES: Further news now, tensions between NATO and Russia are running high after a series of incident involving Russian jets.
Over the weekend the U.S. Air force condemned the latest one. They said that on Thursday, a Russian jet had performed "aggressive maneuvers" as it
flew within just 15 meters over U.S. aircraft.
Well, that was just a few days after another Russian jet, flew even closer to U.S. Navy Destroyer. Russia for its part, insist it acted in accordance
with the International Law in all of those situations.
Well, moment before the show, I spoke to John Lough, a former NATO Representative in Russia. He is now in Associate Fellow at Chatham House
Think Tank. And I asked him to assess the current ties between NATO and Russia.
JOHN LOUGH, FORMER NATO REPRESENTATIVE IN RUSSIA: Relationship has been very tense, ever since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and
effectively, the relationship brought down after that. So, what we're going have tomorrow is a meeting of the NATO-Russia council. This brings
together all the NATO members states, 28 members of states plus Russia, and it's going to meet at the level of ambassadors.
So this really marks the resumption of official contact off to nearly two years of, let's say, really almost frozen dialogue.
JONES: But the reason that the corporation was dropped was because of Russian aggression. We're seeing Russian aggression again in the last
week. Did you think the meeting will still go ahead?
LOUGH: It's look like the meeting will go ahead. This appears to be an isolated incident in Baltic Sea when a couple of Su-24 Russian aircraft
buzz the USS Cook.
This is not the first time and this US Destroyer has in fact being targeted by Russian aircraft, (inaudible) if I remember correctly in the Black Sea
last year. But on this occasion, it appears to be much more aggressive. It was by all accounts, dangerous because the aircraft is flying so close
to the vessel.
The Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned this as provocative dangerous and even said, the U.S. could have responded by shooting down
this Russian aircraft.
JONES: Yeah. And the White House has come out tonight as well and said that this was provocative action of Russian, of course, saying that they
were acting within international law. What's the game plan here from Moscow?
LOUGH: I think the game plan is to test the result of the United States, to see what is the reaction is and to push it really as far as they can.
But it is a dangerous game. Do you remember what happened on the boarder with Turkey, Syria-Turkey in November last year? The Turks after repeated
provocations ended up shooting down a Russian bomber which then, of course, the massive crisis in bilateral relations.
So they seem to be signaling that the very unhappy that's something that the United States is doing close to the Russian boarder, close to this
exclave called Kaliningrad on the Baltic States. We don't know exactly what was happening at that moment but it seems to be some of sort of coded
single signal to say, "Don't do this near our borders."
JONES: And it's certainly much more than just a war words, isn't it? It's bigger than rhetoric. We're already seeing as we've already mentioned.
The fly by and its power role as well from last week, how close do you think we've come now to a full-blown military conflict?
LOUGH: I think we have not in fact come that close to United States responding in a way that would then escalate the situation very seriously.
I think the commander of the USS Cook showed the necessary restrain, wasn't going to be drown into that sort of game.
But this all is relies on, first all, pilot being extreme skillful because something can go wrong and that has happen, in fact, in the 1960s. And so
with aircraft flew close I believe to a U.S. ship. I mean, that was ended up crashing into water surrounding ship. And the rules of engagement,
thereafter were established because of that incident. We still have those rules of engagement now, and it appears that Russians violated this.
JONES: I just want to ask you one last question about the meeting that just takes place this week between the United States and the Russian as
well. Let's go back to Crimea what happened two years ago. It's not still NATO's priority to try and see power back from the Russian over the Crimea
or is the policy now to try containing Russia in terms of its expansion, its ambitions.
LOUGH: Well, first and foremost, NATO wants to try to stabilized, I think the relationship with Russia. There's a great concern about how the
situation in Eastern Ukraine could develop because the agreement put in place, the so-called minute of agreement to really establish a ceasefire,
and thereafter to try to find a political solution to the problem that seem to be coming on stock. And there is a pretty much hope of implementing
those. So, that's one of the things that will be on the agenda, in fact, at tomorrow's meeting.
[15:50:07] JONES: That was John Lough, the former NATO Representative to Russia speaking to me early on.
Stay with us on "The World Right Now." Coming up, slight change of gear force, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the K9 controversy is over. An apology
brings an end to this so-called "War on Terrier". We'll bring you more on that story after the break.
JONES: Hello. Again, we turn our attention now to an unusual protest in London to call attention to air pollution. Greenpeace activist climbed and
gas masked rather on several monuments including the 52-meter tall Nelson's column. Eight people were arrested in the protest.
London police investigating after an object believed to be a drone struck a plane flying into Heathrow Airport. The British Airways flight from Geneva
was ascending over West London when the front of the aircraft was struck.
The plane landed normally and was not damaged. No arrests have been made, but how much the risk are drones to passenger planes?
CNN's Samuel Burke has been digging into this story for us and joins me now live from New York.
Samuel, most of us worrying to come across or come face to face with a drone, yet, we should probably be prepared for it. So, could a drone bring
down a passenger jet?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Unlikely Hannah, but it's a possibility, that's what the experts tell us. And unfortunately, it's a
growing possibility. We've been pouring over the numbers about incidents between drones and airplanes both in the U.K. where you are in and the
United States, here where I am, and it's growing greatly between August and January.
There were over 500 incidents here in the U.S. between drones and airplanes. And when you look at the numbers, it's up three times last year
to this year. One in three are what they call close encounters. And 11 airplanes had to make what they call evasive maneuvers to try and avoid
Now, at the end of the day, it's much like bird in some ways. And, of course, airports have to work to keep the bird population low, near
airplanes, near airports.
But what's different is that a drone has a lithium ion battery and people don't want to find out what would happen if one of those would go in an
engine. So, that's really a big difference and a big concern that so many people had, and that's why they want to keep drones far from airports.
JONES: Well, with more and more drones though coming into the sky, isn't the congestive skies as well, both measures are currently in place to
control what, where and who controls the airways.
BURKE: Well, one thing we have here in the U.S. that you don't have there in the U.K. is mandatory registration of all consumer drones. But looking
over the story today, I was thinking, what would it matter? I'm sure many people noticed, you said, it was the believed to be a drone.
The police haven't told us that they've actually found it yet. So if they haven't found it, then they don't know to whom it's registered.
The good news is that while technology is the problem here, it might also be a solution companies like DJI which is the biggest manufacturer of
consumer drones in the world, has something called geo-fencing that basically creates a no fly zone for the drones like you're seeing there on
screen. It used a GPS and says, "OK, you're close to an airport, you can't go anymore. Also, we've seen a new line of drones just come out the
Phantom 4 which actually has anti-crash technology. You can try to fly into a wall, into a tree or into an airplane, and the technology will
actually prevent it from crashing.
[15:55:02] JONES: And this, finally, Samuel, is the market then in these consumer drones soaring right now?
BURKE: Absolutely. This is a billion dollar market. And the companies that are doing the best right now are the Chinese companies like the one
that I mentioned, DJI in part, because there is so little regulation in China that they're able to advance and create new technologies that really
move forward. It's a multibillion dollar business already.
JONES: OK. Stay with us Samuel. I want to get your reaction to the following story.
Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have reached the end of their so-called "War on Terrier" saga, heard has been spared of conviction for pet
smuggling after she and Depp illegally brought their dogs into Australia on a private plane last year.
Now, the famous Pirates of the Caribbean and his wife have issued a somber apology on video sneaking their pooches into the country. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS: Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique of plants, animals and people.
JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR: It has to be protected.
HEARD: Australia is free of many pests and diseases that are common place around the world that is why Australia has to have such strong biosecurity
DEPP: And Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.
HEARD: I'm truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important.
DEPP: Declare everything when you enter Australia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, Amber Heard did plead guilty to knowingly producing a false document. But, Samuel, what do you think? Do you think that was sincere?
BURKE: Probably sincere, but it was completely bizarre. It's like carrying a community announcement from somebody who violated the law. It
makes absolutely no sense to me. I think for sure Saturday Night Live and all of those shows will be having a feel day with this. It was really
uncomfortable, don't you think?
JONES: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know. Johnny Depp is a pretty good actor. So, you think he might have been a better job than that but anyway.
JONES: Samuel, thanks very much.
Now, finally, the people have spoken. And they believed this brand new 300 million dollar state of the art ship should be named RRS Boaty McBoatface.
Well, others have joined in. A U.K. train went by Trainy McTrainface. A cheese has been named Cheesy McCheeseface. And yes, you guessed that even
this racehorse has been named Horsy McHorsyface.
But while there is a promise that Boaty McBoatface will in fact become the official name it did to bring the boat a lot of attention as you might
Thanks so much for watching. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next.