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President Obama Speaks On European Unity, Challenges in Middle East; Car Manufacturers Increasing Investment in Chinese Market; Nigeria Steps up Search for Chibok Girls in Sambisa Forest; A Search for Motive in Murder of Eight Family Members in Ohio; USAID Worker, One Other Murdered in Bangladeshi Capital. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 25, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:14] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: European unity was a dream of a few, it became a hope for the many. Today, it is a
necessity for all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: A call for unity. We're live in Germany after U.S. President Barack Obama warns of a danger of a fracturing Europe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Boka Haram do indeed appear to have been pushed back, but their presence lingers. Everywhere you look,
scenes of devastation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Inside the terrorist labyrinth in an exclusive report we take you to the heart of the Nigerian army's battle against Boka Haram and its hopes
of bringing back the Chibok girls.
Mysterious and terrifying: why were eight members of the same family murdered as they slept in rural Ohio? We'll have the latest on that
Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to Connect the World.
U.S. President Barack Obama is now heading home after a meeting in Germany with European leaders. He's expected to depart very soon. The visit marks
the last leg of a week-long tour of Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Obama called on Europe to remain united as Britain debates whether to leave the
He also announced that he's going to send 250 additional special forces to Syria to help in the fight against ISIS.
Let's bring in senior international correspondent Atika Shubert. She's in Germany and joins us
Atika, when the president made a landmark speech there eight years ago at the start of his
presidency, he sort of re-set Transatlantic ties. Now nearing the end of his time in office, what was different?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's in that time, of
course, there's been a lot of ups and downs in the relationship between Obama and various leaders of the EU with in Germany, for example, the NSA
scandal revealed the Obama administration spying on the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
So, there have been strains but overall the relationship remains very strong. And today, President Obama used the opportunity of the speech
today to appeal for European unity, despite Brexit, despite Russian aggression in Ukraine, for example, and despite the refuge crisis that has
overwhelmed Europe in recent months.
Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: These are unsettling times an when the future is uncertain, there seems to be an instinct in our human nature to withdraw to the perceived
comfort and security of our own tribe, our own sect, our own nationality; people who look like us, sound like us. But
in today's world, more than any time in human history, that is a false comfort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: He made a special point of supporting his friend and ally Angela Merkel saying
that she's on the right side of history particularly on the refuge issue with German's policy of giving more asylum to refugees coming from Syria,
coming from those countries fleeing war and political persecution.
So, it was a very emotional and stirring speech today, very sweeping one. But the emphasis really was on keeping Europe united. And that seems to be
how he wants to be remembered here in that appeal to leaders across Europe.
KINKADE: OK, Atika Shubert live for in Assan (ph), Germany. We'll have to leave it there for now. Thank you for joining us.
Well, even as Mr. Obama is now bolstering American efforts against ISIS inside Syria, the
country's civil war seems as out of control as ever. Renewed fighting in the city of Aleppo a long time flashpoint has killed dozens of people
further unraveling Syria's two-month-old cease-fire agreement.
The conflict is increasingly spilling over into Turkey where one person was killed and at least 26 others wounded. In the latest of many rockets in
Syria struck the Border town of Killis (ph) on Sunday. The government blames ISIS.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground for us in Gaziantep, Turkey near the Syrian border. Nick, as I mentioned earlier, U.S. President Barack
Obama has announced plans to send in another 250 U.S. troops into Syria. What are they going to do? And do you know yet where they will be deployed
[11:05:07] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House rhetoric says they will be there to advise and assist and that
ostensibly means they won't be on the front line doing the fighting, they will be assisting the Syrian Kurdish forces and most importantly, Syrian
Sunni Arab rebels in fighting ISIS there, particularly focusing their efforts on the
self-declared ISIS caliphate capital of Raqqa.
Now, that will mean making sure air strikes are more frequent, more accurate, perhaps assisting in the delivery of weaponry as well and making
sure those different disparate forces are more cohesive.
The American emphasis certainly on the Sunni/Syrian rebel side of things, but bear in mind quite how this message was delivered. It was frankly when
most Americans were still asleep, It was aimed at European leaders, some sat in front of him, to a European audience who America have simply said
has to do more to confront the threat of ISIS.
So, much I think of this delivery, long telegraphed by links to the American press, was I think aimed at pressuring European powers to up their
effort for ISIS, which is frankly a more geographically close threat to Europe than it is the to the United States, Lynda.
KINKADE: And Nick, as you've witnessed the Syrian war is now spilling into Turkey.
WALSH: Well, the quiet southern border town of Killis (ph) has for a long time been a simple, peaceful haven for refugees. But in the past few
months, and most specifically in the past few days, escalating there will be a number of rocket strikes that have hit that town killing a total of 16
since January and one just yesterday, part of some strikes that we witnessed.
WALSH: This was day 55 of Syria's cessation of hostilities for those who live in Aleppo. No military targets here, activists said. An inferno. Many
of the 12 dead burned alive.
"Zahir is dead," he says.
WALSH: It was much the same on day 56. Another building in Aleppo hit. U.S. officials troubled the Russian heavy weapons are amassing near the city and
that whatever the cease-fire was is crumbling.
OBAMA: I am deeply concerned about the cessation of hostilities fraying and whether it's sustainable.
WALSH: But Syria's world is slowly crossing the border to one town in southern Turkey. Killis, hit by rockets almost daily in the past weeks,
five from Syria. Probably by ISIS, who were never part of the cease-fire.
This woman sat here when the rockets tore through her roof.
A Syrian family scrabbling out a life on the floor below. This used to be their shelter, their respite.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): The Syrians fled. They're taking refuge here. But bombs are also raining on their head. The government keeps
saying shelter in your homes. But didn't it fall on our home, on our roof? So where are we supposed to go?
WALSH (on camera): It is staggering that during this supposed cessation of hostilities across the border there in Syria that the war is spreading even
to a peaceful Turkish town like this, a haven for refugees that now finds itself pretty much every other day hit by rocket fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
WALSH (voice-over): Fresh rockets have just whizzed over this, the funeral of local plumber, Abdullah Kachan (ph), killed Friday also by a rocket.
Rage is against the government. "Where are they?"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Bombs are falling on everyone's homes. Where are you, President Erdogan? Where are you? A bomb fell on our
house. Is this what you promised?
WALSH: Another rocket strike here. Five Syrian children injured. A shattered place where they once slept. The dust, the rubble are what they
fled. But now it has followed them here.
WALSH: I should point out, Lynda, that since we saw those scenes the Turkish military have stated they've launched a series of artillery attacks
on a particular rocket launcher inside of Syria they say was targeting Killis and they've killed eight ISIS militants, part I think of a response
by the Turkish government here, which you heard from the deputy prime minister in
Killis yesterday to be seen to be doing something.
This has been going on for an extraordinarily long time now. And you saw the anger generated there towards Turkish authorities. But really Turkey
I think facing an increasing number of conflicts on their border there, fully at war, to some degree, with the Kurdish
forces inside their own territory, dragged now it seems into what may be ISIS striking their own towns here and dealing with the huge
refugee crisis a major effort on their border here now for years -- Lynda.
[11:10:09] KINKADE: Yeah. A lot of anger and a lot of emotion. Nick Paton Walsh for us in Gaziantep, thank you very much.
Well, other stories on our radar right now. In Egypt, troops are being deployed to public land marks ahead of planned demonstrations. Protesters
are angry that the president agreed to hand over two strategic islands to Saudi Arabia. The government warns it will take
tough action against protesters looking to, quote, undermine Egypt's security.
Yemeni troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition are reporting a major victory against al Qaeda. They say they've recaptured the key port city of Mukala
(ph) as well as a major oil terminal.
The coalition statement says at least 800 al Qaeda fighters were killed in that offensive.
A report into the fate of 43 students in Mexico has some harsh words for the government. The office claimed the Mexican government stonewalled
their investigation and did not give them access to key information.
Mexican officials say they're reviewing that report.
For decades, Saudi Arabia's economy has been synonymous with one commodity: oil. But all that could be about to change. The country's deputy crown
prince has announced a sweeping reform plan that would wean the kingdom off crude in just four years.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman says the plan would turn Saudi into a global investment power and that up to 5 percent in shares of state oil giant
Aramco could be sold.
Let's cross now over to the region and speak to CNN Money's emerging markets editor John Defterios, great to have you with us. John, live from
Saudi Arabia finally realizing it has to diversify its economy. Just explain for us how sweeping are these reforms?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY; Well, Lynda, I think by Middle East standards this is quite weighty and quite ambitious. I mean, I have the highlights
of it here in a 40-page document. These are jsut the bullet points that the deputy crown prince went into the press conference in Riyadh with
Mohammed bin Salman consolidated a lot of power. He's put forward this plan for the future going to 2030, a bit longer than most had expected. He
had this national transformation plan to go to 2020.
At the heart of it, as you are suggesting here, is dealing with oil. First and foremost, selling up
to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, the surprise today is slightly lower but he wants to take the proceeds and
create a $2 trillion sovereign fund, that would be the largest in the world by a long mile, double the size of Norway's or Abu Dhabi's, both big oil
And finally he wants to double the size of the economy by 2030, to $1.6 trillion. Very blunt language in an exclusive language with al Arabiya, an
Arab broadcaster, suggesting that the Saudi people said the deputy crown prince are addicted to oil and the right of having Saudi Aramco as part of
their constitution. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, SAUDI DEPUTY CROWN PRINCE (through translator): The oil today became like constitution. The holy book, the Sunna (ph) and the
oil. And that is very dangerous. We have addiction to oil in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Everyone has it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: So, with oil hovering, Lynda, around $40 a barrel his father, the king, King Salman, gave him the mandate to do something very ambitious.
Now, the big question mark, can he deliver on the promises? Saudi Arabia's not fantastic at delivering on major blueprints like the five economic
cities. That's something he singled out in this document saying we have to do a much better job. In fact, John Ciafanakis (ph) of the Gulf Research
Center suggested they might want to take a gradual approach because there is resistance already.
They put forward water reform, price reform. They thought that prices were too high. The Saudi people pushed back. he watered it down and actually
fired the minister. So, this will be a push and pull going forward for this new deputy crown prince trying to push through reforms and wean them
KINKADE: It will be a huge challenge.
Of course everyone is looking at Saudi Arabia because it is the biggest in the region, the
world's largest oil producer. But isn't there a similar challenge for all Gulf players to deal with?
DEFTERIOS: It is right now, Lynda. It's a phenomenal point.
The size of the Saudi economy is $800 billion. It dwarfs everything else in this region by a long, long measure. In fact, it's bigger than the five
other Gulf states combined.
So, everybody is looking to see can this 30-year-old prince pull it off, can they deliver on the promise?
Now I spoke to the regional head of the International Monetary Fund who said this is a very
good blueprint, but I asked him is it shock therapy for the Saudi people?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MASOOD AHMED, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA, IMF: Well, I think what's important, the way I see it, is that it's important to lay out an
end game vision. And in that sense, you know, that vision maybe a shock to some people but clearly that is where the Saudi Arabian economy has to go.
That is where a number of other Gulf countries in their own way will need to go also with a very different kind of economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:15:22] DEFTERIOS: In fact, IMF calls it the cradle to grave subsidies of the past that need to be phased out and it comes at a time when the IMF
put out the regional report which as you can see here is quite dismal growth of just 1.8 percent Lynda, with budget deficits remaining very high
for this region, 12.3 percent.
So the long and short of it, the IMF supports the move. Can Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy, make the change going forward? It is the young crown
prince, the young power broker, who is going to try to give it a go and reform this region. Back to you.
KINKADE: We will wait and see how that pans out. John Defterios, thank you very much. Great to have you with us.
Well, still to come, an exclusive report from the front line in the fight against Boko Haram. CNN's Nima Elbagir takes us deep inside Nigeria on
patrol with the military as they search for the Chibok girls.
KINKADE: You are watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well, in the fight against the terror group Boko Haram the front line is in the Sambisa forest. It's where the Nigerian army hopes to find the Chibok
girls who were kidnapped from their school two years ago.
CNN's Nima Elbagir was given unprecedented access to the effort that is going on and went on
patrol with Nigerian troops. Here is her exclusive report.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Monday market in Maiduguri.
(on camera): Two men sowing absolute panic, both suspected terrorists, quickly they say subdued. Normality returned. But it gives you a sense of
the tension here. As Boko Haram have lost their territorial footprint, or much of it, they're growing increasingly reliant on unleashing waves of
suicide bombers into the heart of Maiduguri and beyond.
(voice-over): In a city on edge no one is above suspicion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ELBAGIR: Maiduguri is at the heart of the Nigerian army's campaign to retake Boko Haram territory. Under Operation Lafiodola (ph), "Peace by any
means," spread out across the country's vast northeast, the road to the Sambisa Forest, or what's been cleared so far. Relentless heat bears down
on our heavily armored convoy.
[11:20:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From all the boys, the all boys very vigilant. Over.
ELBAGIR: Soft sand, ideal hiding holes for IEDs. The scout in the lead car directing our convoy on and off the track.
(on camera): Two years ago, when we visited Chibok after the mass abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, parents described to us how they followed the
trail of their daughters to the front gates, to the entry point of the Sambisa Forest, and were unable to move any further. This is the Sambisa.
The Nigerian government has been able to start clawing back territory here from Boko Haram. But the Sambisa Forest, the territory right in the center,
that is still what they're moving towards.
[08:20:34] (voice-over): And this is where some of the Chibok girls are believed to still be held.
(on camera): Say, you're out on a patrol like this, what are your scouts looking for? Are they looking for tracks? Are they looking for -- do they
specifically know that this area will have had heat signals or using thermal imaging? What techniques are you using to get you closer?
BRIG. GEN. B.A. RAGI, 28TH TASK FORCE BRIGADE COMMANDER: I will say the possibility of the necessary multipliers like (inaudible), but we rely a
lot on the Americans that have provided the ISR planes, give some information as to a cluster of groups of persons. We try to search out for
footprints. And sometimes we see children, their footprints on the ground.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): As if on cue a surveillance plane flies overhead, one of the eyes in the sky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, here.
ELBAGIR: Back in Maiduguri, the operation's commander, Major General Leo Irabor, tells us he's proud of his men but they are in need of more
(on camera): Why do you think it's taking so long to find the girls?
MAJ. GEN. LEO IRABOR, OPERATION COMMANDER: The quest of Chibok girls remains a sore point in our history. We're seeing that from the
intelligence the remaining areas that we're walking to, moving to, we want to see if we're able to rescue the Chibok girls.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Irabor is tasked with both following the girls' two- year-old trail and waging war against Boko Haram's brutal insurgency in the face of heightening frustration.
IRABOR: It is a huge challenge, and the mandate is enormous. But currently, we see them very far.
ELBAGIR (on camera): But the threat remains?
IRABOR: The threat remains. Of course, just like in all other areas.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): The commander allowed us to join his men moving east toward the Boko Haram front lines to see for ourselves.
Boko Haram do, indeed, appear to have been pushed back. But their presence lingers. Everywhere you look, scenes of devastation.
(on camera): All the way through our journey cross-country we've seen village after abandoned village, devastated, destroyed. What Boko Haram
couldn't loot, they attempted to burn to the ground. And people are still too afraid to come back to their homes.
But the hope is that the longer the Nigerian military maintain their hold on the territory up here, the more people's confidence will grow, the more
willing they'll be to return and reclaim their lives and their homes.
KINKADE: And our Nima Elbagir joins me live from CNN London.
Some really compelling reporting there, Nima. Thank you so much for joining us.
Just give us some perspective on how big is the Sambisa Forest? How much it territory do they have to comb through and why has it taken so long to
even get there?
ELBAGIR: Well, it is essentially an entire green belt south of Maiduguri and it is -- parts are very dense. And you also saw there with our convoy
having to drive on and off the track.
This really has been the results of that relationship between ISIS and Boko Haram. What has happened is a lot of that know how -- two years ago we
weren't seeing this from Boko Haram this the use of IEDs sewing them across the territory they control.
This is now the ramifications of Boko Haram pledging allegiance to ISIS, that technological transfer is what we're seeing unfold and it's having a
real impact for troops that are already working in very difficult, very hot environments. Now their painstaking such on foot as you saw is being
carried out through heavily mined, heavily IED territory. And they're also having to pick up a very disjointed trail, because initially there was a
real lag in terms of deploying by the former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. They didn't move fast enough.
So whatever evidence they're combing through now is evidence that's essentially two years
old. And they also don't have that much to work with. They're tracking.
This is the most basic of human endeavors to be looking for footprints and being reliant on
American technology and given how much attention this abduction has garnered from around the world. It's really extraordinary for us to see
that on the ground this is how little these forces are working with, Lynda.
[11:25:08] KINKADE: Yeah. I mean, tough conditions, but very slow process.
Nima Elbagir, thank you so much. We appreciate your reporting.
Two Republican rivals for U.S. president are joining forces in an extraordinary move to block frontrunner Donald Trump. The campaigns of Ted
Cruz and John Kasich say they will divide their efforts and focus on different states for three upcoming contests. Their goal: to prevent Trump
from getting the delegates he needs to clinch the Republican nomination.
All of this happening just ahead of five primaries taking place on Tuesday.
CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston joins me now live from our New York studio. Great to have you with us, Mark.
Huge development Cruz and Kasich joining forces to bring down Trump. We've seen them continue to take pot shots at each other. How did this come
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EDITOR: Well, it certainly is an unholy alliance no
doubt. You have two Republicans here in the United States who come from different parts of the Republican Party. Ted Cruz tends to be more of a
hardliner, John Kasich more of a centrist or moderate.
It came about because there is a belief now that Donald Trump is on his way to getting the
requisite number of delegates, the votes he needs in order to become the Republican nomination.
Now Lynda, this comes at a time when there's only 15 more primaries left in this primary season, five of those will be over tomorrow, only ten more
Donald Trump is expected to do very well in these primaries that will take place literally in the Mid Atlantic region on the east coast of the United
States all the way up to the northeast right now.
So Donald Trump did so well here in New York last week. He has a bit of wind at his back. Ted Cruz, John Kasich right now, trying to trade off
some political capital. Ted Cruz will focus all of his efforts on the state of Indiana which will vote next Tuesday.
John Kasich is pulling out of that state. He's putting all of his chips in on the states of New Mexico and Oregon, which vote later in May and in
KINKADE: And Mark, this certainly sounds like collusion. And it's exactly what Trump's team is pointing out.
PRESTON: No doubt. and I will tell you that's a very strong word. It's a word that is fraught with danger in the sense that people don't like to
hear the word collusion. When they think of that, they think of these big companies that get together to try to raise prices here in the United
States, certainly throughout the world. B ut this is collusion for the fact that if they're
not able to stop Donald Trump, that is Ted Cruz and John Kasich, then Donald Trump is going to become the Republican nominee.
So, the old saying is the enemy of my friend is my enemy or my friend or whatever it is because
they're both enemies and friends. They're doing their best right now, Lynda, to try to stop Trump.
KINKADE: Yeah, it's incredible. And incredible turn of events. Mark Preston as always great to have you with us. Thank you.
PRESTON: Thanks, Lynda.
KINKADE: And remember, you can always find the latest on the U.S. presidential race by heading to our website that at CNNpolitics.com. And
we're following every twist and turn on the campaign trail. And breaking down the numbers for you of what each candidates needs to win. That
website again is CNNpolitics.com.
Well live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, heartless, well planned and
terrifying. Why were eight members of the same family massacred in their beds in Ohio? We're there for the latest just ahead.
[11:31:04] KINKADE: Now to some breaking news from Bangladesh, the U.S. embassy says two people were murdered in the capital today, and one of them
worked at the embassy in Dhaka.
Now, Ivan Watson is following the developments from Hong Kong. Ivan, what can you tell us, what are you learning?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bangladeshi police have confirmed to us that two have been murdered on Monday in the capital Dhaka,
that one of the men was a U.S. embassy employee and we've since learned an employee at USAID, the aide agency, named Xulhaz Mannan, another
Bangladeshi, and that they were apparently murdered in his apartment after a group of five or six people disguising themselves as some kind of a
courier service were able to get past a security guard to then move up to the home, the residence of this man, and then murder him
with machetes as well as the second unidentified Bangladeshi in that home.
Now, a statement published by the Facebook page of the U.S. embassy in Dhaka reads the following: quote, "I am devastated by the brutal murder of
Xulhaz Mannan and another this evening in Dhaka. Xulhaz was more than a colleague to those of us fortunate to work with him at the U.S. embassy.
He was a dear friend. We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals
behind these murders.:
And it appears that the target of this attack was well known within portions of the diplomatic community in Dhaka. The former high
commissioner from Britain in Dhaka has tweeted the following saying "horrified and condemn the senseless murder of my friend and human rights
activist Xulhaz. Perpetrators must be brought to justice."
So, reports of a murder ion the Bangladeshi capital that are clearly rippling through the diplomatic community there. Back to you.
KINKADE: And of course as you've been reporting very recently we've seen a spate of
people with secular views being hacked to death in Bangladesh. Do these two murders follow that pattern?
WATSON: Well, that's what's very disturbing about this is we've been following basically
an increase of this kind of targeted deadly violence over the course of 14 months, six atheist bloggers and publishers of secular work have been
killed using a similar Modus Operandi, basically a macheting somebody to death, ambushing them and showing signs of carefully researching and
following that target for some time prior to the ultimate lethal ambush.
And the most recent killing took place earlier this month. It was a young graduate student named Nazimuddin Samad also killed in Dhaka and that
murder was claimed by a group claiming to be part of al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent.
Just last Saturday, another target was killed not in Dhaka, but a university professor in the
provincial city of Rajshahi, and this was a professor of English there, Rezaul Karim Siddiqui. And there has been a claim of responsibility for
that machete murder coming from a web site affiliated with ISIS.
We have been talking with top officials in the Bangladeshi government. They insist that there is
no al Qaeda or ISIS presence whatsoever in Bangladesh and that this work is the work of local homegrown extremists.
But it is clearly creating a climate of fear that is growing within a majority Muslim country
that is supposed to be a secular democracy.
KINKADE: OK. Ivan Watson, we'll have to leave it will, but we will come back to you when
you have more developments on this breaking news story. Thank you very much.
Well, let's turn to the U.S. state of Ohio where a small town is on edge. And investigators are working around the clock to solve the murders of
eight members of the same family.
Now they lived in four different homes and were killed execution style in their beds as they
The motive is unknown, but officials say police found large amounts of marijuana grown at
three of the crime scenes. Although they can't draw a clear link between that and the killings.
Let's bring in our Nick Valencia who is right by where this is all unfolding in Piketon, Ohio. And Nick, there was suspicion of a drug link
when these execution style murders were uncovered. What are you learning?
[11:35:39] NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, make no mistake about this, this was pre-planned, methodical execution that singled out a family
according to authorities. Of course the big question here, Lynda, is why? Why did it happen? Why this specific family?
A potential clue into that may have been revealed over the weekend with authorities announcing a very bizarre twist in the already tragic story,
saying that they discovered three marijuana grow sites at the residences of these victims. And this was not for personal use, this
was a sophisticated operation as is described to me by a source. People here have already long been speculating that this was drug related. That
discovery only fuels further speculation, though officials unwilling to tie the execution style murders directly to it being drug related. But people
here don't need an official to tell them it's what they believe happened.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Over the weekend, a potential clue in the investigation.
MIKE DEWINE, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: We did find marijuana in three locations.
QUESTION: Near the crime scenes or at the crime scenes?
DEWINE: At the crime scenes.
QUESTION: Like bags of marijuana?
QUESTION: Grow operations?
DEWINE: Grow operations.
VALENCIA: Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader would not say if the murders were drug related. Throughout the news
conference they remained tight lipped about the details, but they did make one thing clear.
SHERIFF CHARLES READER, PIKE COUNTY, OHIO: This was very methodical. This was well planned. This -- this was not something that just happened. This
was something that planned. A family was targeted.
VALENCIA: At the nearby Riverside restaurant in Piketon, Ohio, the murders are all anyone can talk about.
DAVID STOCKHAM, TEACHER: One of my former students mentioned it on FaceBook and I said, you've got to be kidding. This has got to be a horrible prank.
You don't put that kind of prank on FaceBook.
VALENCIA: David Stockham taught Dana Rhoden in high school. She's one of the eight people who was murdered on Friday morning.
STOCKHAM: This has shook this county up. I mean we may have an occasional murder, but not -- not a mass killing like this.
VALENCIA: Like most people in this southern Ohio town, Stockham has his theories about what happened. But out of respect for the family, he says
he'd rather not speculate.
STOCKHAM: I told my relatives, I said, ever who did this had a definite purpose, a reason. They're not just going around shooting people. They had
a goal in mind when they shot that family.
VALENCIA: (on camera): They were targeted?
STOCKHAM: Yes, they were targeted. They're not just out just shooting -- shooting up the neighborhood.
VALENCIA: Does that make you feel a little safer?
STOCKHAM: Oh, yes, I do. Yes. I mean, I've got, again, I've got concealed carry and I -- you know, if I was a Rhoden family, I'd be carrying one.
ROBYN BREWSTER, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: Just angry. Just angry about it. I mean, why?
VALENCIA (voice-over): The pain for Robyn Brewster is still overwhelming. She remembering the youngest victim, 16-year-old Chris Jr., and his
brother, Frankie, vividly. She was their elementary school principal.
BREWSTER: I just remember them talking to me and -- and -- when I was principal and -- and that just really, you know -- I just keep replaying
that over and over in my head.
MAGGIE OWENS, DANA RHODEN'S FRIEND: Everybody has their skeletons in their closet. But, I mean, overall, they're -- they was good people.
VALENCIA: For Maggie Owens, the execution-style killings is personal. As one of the Rhodens' best friends, she says they were like family. With
whoever did this still on the loose, she's scared for the Rhoden's relatives. She's scared for her own safety, too.
OWENS: I've been telling my kids, you know, just be -- be careful. Watch over your shoulder. And don't go far. And let me know where you're at. And
just -- I worry. I worry a lot.
VALENCIA: Many people are worried here in this community and for good reason. From the outside appearances, Piketon looks like a pleasant,
normal, typical Midwestern town, a great place to raise your family, really nice atmosphere. But you don't have to dig that deep to find its dark
side. All you have to do is pick up the local newspaper to see that there is a huge drug problem here -- a lot of methamphetamine, a lot of heroin in
this small town of about 2,000 people.
Many people speculating that that had something to do with it. Hundreds of tips have come in
according to the local authorities here. 50 to 60 people have been interviewed. But so far officially there are no suspects. And whoever is
responsible for these executions remains on the loose today -- Lynda.
KINKADE: OK, Nick Valencia bringing us the latest from Ohio, thank you very much.
Well, in 2008, the then U.S. Senator Barack Obama spoke to a rapturous audience of 200,000 people in Berlin. Eight years later, President Obama
was back in Germany on a visit at the twilight of his two-term presidency. Now, with the countdown on to find his successor what can Mr. Obama achieve
in his final few months?
Let's talk more about Mr. Obama's possible legacy. I'm joined by David Tafuri, a former foreign policy adviser for the Obama campaign who was also
an official at the United Nations and the U.S. State Department. Great to have you with us. Now, President Obama is America's first black president.
And in his second term, he has secured some pretty huge deals, some significant policy. What do you think will be seen as his greatest
DAVID TAFURI, FRM. FORIGN POLICY ADVISER TO OBAMA: Well, I think what he has tried to make the centerpiece of his achievements on foreign policy is
reaching out to countries that the U.S. has very substantial problems with. That would include principally Cuba and Iran.
And that was really the centerpiece of his focus from the beginning. He said I will talk to any
country, I will talk to any leader. He has done new agreements with each country, moved forward on
normalizing relationships with each country, and I think he would point to that as having a substantial impact.
As well, he's trying to solidify strong alliances with our friends in Europe and then also he confronts major obstacles in Syria and Iraq and in
the greater middle East in keeping the Middle East stable.
But specifically in Syria and Iraq, it's confronting ISIS. That's been a problem for him. It came late in his presidency. He didn't have a plan
immediately to take on ISIS. He has eight or nine months left in his presidency to show some impact in terms of moving forward and defeating
ISIS. He's taken on a lot of the leaders, taking on some of their soldiers using air strikes, but now he needs to take back their headquarters which
are in Mosul and i Raqqa, Syria.
KINKADE: So Syria and Iraq, definitely two issues for him to focus on. And the migrant
crisis obviously continues to be a major problem. Other areas he promised, obviously, to close Guantanamo Bay. That hasn't happened. And he wanted
to focus on gone control in the U.S. JNJot much has changed there.
No doubt there will be a lot of people willing to criticize him, but where else do you think he could have done better?
TAFURI: Well, I think, you know, you've mentioned some of the areas. He certainly could have moved things further goal control more although it's a
real hot button issue in the United States, Republicans are deadset against any more gun laws. So he faces, you know, a lot of difficulty there.
I think the relationship with Russia has degraded quite a lot. You see, you know -- he was caught flat-footed when Russia moved troops and forces
into Syria. And I think Syria is really sort of the biggest problem for President Obama. Although he says he's very happy with his decision not to
be more involved in Syria, he viewed it as a quagmire, we have to look at the fact that 300,000 lives have
been lost in Syria during his presidency. That's a -- you know, significant tragedy. And this latest announcement of putting in 250
special forces into Syria may show that he wants to do more in Syria in his last eight or nine months.
KINKADE: So, you think that will be his main focus, Syria and the fight against ISIS?
TAFURI: I think the fight against ISIS, Syria, keeping Iraq together, keeping the government
in Baghdad, which is facing substantial difficulties right now together, making progress in terms of the operation to take back Mosul in Iraq and
then alsotrying to prevent the creation of more failed states in the Middle East. Look at Libya, look at Yemen. So, those would also be part of the
focus for this president.
There can't be more failed states -- more failed states at the end of his presidency than there were at the beginning. But it looks like it's
trending that way.
KINKADE: And just looking at the current presidential election. He must be a little concerned
that a Republican candidate could come in and undo his legacy.
TAFURI: Yeah, absolutely. That should be a significant concern.
You know, most of the Republican candidates said that they will rip up the Iran deal on day one
of their presidency. That really makes no sense, even if you were opposed to the Iran deal at the time you entered into it.
Now we've given Iran some of the things we were required to give under the agreement. It makes no sense to rip that up. But that's a substantial
threat. Someone like Donald Trump said he's going to do it. He's ignoring the consequences of that. And so he
has to worry about that.
You know, Cuba as well. Some of the Republican candidates have been critical of his decisions to normalize relations with Cuba before Cuba
improved its human rights record.
I would also look to the Russia relationship. It's unclear what the Republican candidates will do with respect to Russia. They don't really
have a policy,haven't explained what they can or will do with respect to Russia. But that's a really critical relationship at a critical time right
now. We really need to make Russia conform to international law and work with us on some of the biggest obstacles to peace
around the world.
[11:45:04] KINKADE: OK, David Tafuri, we appreciate your perspective on all of that. Thanks for joining us.
TAFURI: Thank you.
KINKADE: You're watching Connect the World. Still to come, the investigation into the death of Prince, as fans continue to pay tribute to
the music legend. We'll take you to Paisley Park next.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN, and this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
The remains of music legend Prince were cremated in a private memorial ceremony over the weekend. Fans have been leaving flowers and balloons
outside Paisley Park, the singer's home and studio in Minnesota, that's where he was found dead at the age of 57.
The cause is unknown and it could be weeks before the autopsy results come back.
Stephanie Elam is at Paisley Park and joins me there now live.
Stephanie, even after death, Prince is still proving to be a chart topper with sales of his albums now soaring.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORREPSONDENT: And it's -- we've seen this with other artists as well, haven't we Lynda, when this happens. A lot of people
going back to reminisce and listening to the artist's music. And in this case, we understand that over 2 million songs have been sold and over
500,000 albums have been sold in the days since Prince has died. People collecting up his catalog
of music and while they're doing that, it's been reported that he has a vault inside of Paisley Park here behind me of music that he never released
before, reportedly thousands of songs. It's still not clear yet if we'll ever hear that music and what the value of that would be and who will be in
control of that. Still not clear on that answer, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yeah, it would be incredible if those songs are released.
His estate, of course, is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Any idea yet of what might happen to it?
ELAM: That is the billion dollar question that everyone wants to know. He reportedly is worth several hundred million dollars. So, what's going to
happen here, whether or not his sister will be in control of that, it's not clear. It's unclear whether he had a will at this point. So, what we
don't know what will happen.
And, you know, I should also mention to you, Lynda, here as well, that we are hearing from
the Federal Aviation Administration that there was a call for an unresponsive male on his plane on a private plane landing just days before
he died here at Paisley Park. This is something we had heard about before, the days before he died, but now we are hearing that the pilot
requested to bring the plane down in Illinois, because of an unresponsive male.
The airport not confirming that it was Prince, but we know it's about the same time early in the morning. And then that plane continued on his
journey to Minneapolis by 11:00 in the morning that day.
So, more clues coming in and more questions about the state of his health in the days leading up to his death, Lynda.
[11:50:28] KINKADE: OK, Stephanie Elam, staying across that for us. Thank you very much.
We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back. Well, the annual auto China show kicked off Monday
in Beijing at a time when economic growth there is slowing down. But that's not putting the brakes on China's appetite for luxury cars.
As CNN's Matt Rivers reports, some automakers are keeping their feet firmly on the gas.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Relentless assembly lines never stop at the Mercedes Benz plant in southern Beijing. They produce 4 different models
here, cars that are driving profits.
HUBERTUS TROSKA, DAIMLER BOARD MEMBER: Over the past years we've put a lot of effort into R&D, IN designing and bringing the right products to China
and this is paying off.
RIVERS: Hubertus Troska is the Daimler board member that oversees greater China. And right now, he's a happy man. Sales were up 24 percent in the
first quarter of 2016, and Mercedes now sells more cars in China than any other market in the world.
And because of that, Mercedes has a lot of incentive to cater towards the local market. So the Chinese version of the GLC is typically used here
more as a family car, think the kids and grandma in the backseat. So they designed the area as such -- more comfortable seats, bigger head rests.
Apparently what the best customers want, they get.
Cecilia Bai is one of those customers. They're young-average age just 36 as a group-they've got more money to spend than their parents' generation.
And they want to spend their wealth on luxury.
She says in the past ten years, the amount of cars like these on the road has increased immensely. This is because China has become more modernized
But Mercedes' record profits come at a time when the broader economy here isn't doing all that great lower GDP growth, slowing exports, lots of debt,
not exactly strong indicators of hearty consumer spending. But Hubertus Troska says his brand is ready.
HUBERTUS TROSKA: In our factories, we look at the projections and keep pace with the overall demand for the product lines and the overall market.
RIVERS; There is some thought that the broader slowdown hasn't yet hit consumers.that waning growth takes a bit of time to affect people's
spending habits. But Troska says even if that's the case, China's growth still far outpaces traditional markets like Europe, simply put, it's a huge
market and people still have money to spend. Plus, a tax break on auto sales set to last until December doesn't hurt. So expect the investment
here to continue and the factory floor to keep humming.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.
[11:55:29] KINKADE: And you can always follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page, that's
Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Among other things, we have a story on a possible yacht of the future one that can fly. You can also get in touch with me on
Twitter, you can tweet me @Lyndakinkade.
Well they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in today's Parting Shots one photographer is looking to redefine how we view that. Justin
Dinwald's (ph) latest series is means Obas (ph), which means white in Latin. It challenges perceptions of the condition considered taboo in some
parts of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It began as an interesting to capture something not conventionally perceived as beauty. I've always been interested in the
unique and what is conventionally viewed as different. I find difference very inspiring. I wanted to create a series
of images that resonate with humanity and make people question what is beautiful.
The series developed into AP exploration of the aesthetics of albinism in contrast to the idealized perceptions of beauty.
The discourse about albinism is generally avoided as taboo in South African context. When discussed, it's usually viewed as a negative (inaudible)
oddity in fashion and art trends. The images are not about race or fashion, but perception and what we subjectively perceive as beauty.
There is a beauty in difference. And I hope to inspire people to embrace this difference and
reinterpret their ideals of beauty.
My name is Justin Dinwald (ph). And these are my Parting Shots.
KINKADE: I'm Lynda Kinkade. And that was Connect the World. Thanks so much for joining us. My colleague Robyn Curnow is up next with an edition
of the International Desk. Stay with us.