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Battle for Fallujah; Kurdish and Arab Forces Announce Raqqa Offensive; Bill Cosby Begins Pre-Trial Hearing; EgyptAir Investigation Continues; Four Deaths on Mount Everest in Four Days; Trump, Clinton Attacks Gain Heat; Belgium's Prison Guard Strike. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired May 24, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:19] LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: Battle for Fallujah: Iraq hoping to take back the city. Can ISIS hold on as it fends off another big push in Syria?

Plus, why did an Egypt air jet plunge out of the sky? We break down the different theories of what may have happened.

And then imagine going to buy groceries only to find this: empty shelves. We'll look at why there's so little going in Venezuela.

Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Becky Anderson. And you're watching Connect the World.

We begin with the fight against ISIS on two fronts. In the last hour, an alliance of U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab forces have announced an offensive

to retake areas on the outskirts of Raqqa in Syria. Raqqa is the de facto ISIS capital.

ISIS also faces an offensive across the border in Iraq.

Iraqi forces continue to push towards -- forward to recapture Fallujah, a city that fell to ISIS more than two years ago. It is a battle the Iraqis

have been preparing for, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is already promising a moment of victory.

Our Ben Wedeman has covered Iraq extensively and joins us now live from Rome. Ben, great to you have with us. We are seeing the opening stages of

this operation to retake Fallujah, but with civilians still in that city, it is complicated, isn't it?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is very complicated. According to the United Nations as well the Iraqi government, there could

be as many as 70,000 civilians still in that town.

Now, the Iraqi government has advised residents, civilian residents, on safe corridors out of Fallujah, but apparently ISIS has set up snipers to

prevent people from leaving.

And of course it's an active war zone at the moment, so fleeing that city is really for many people not an option.

And for those who cannot flee, the Iraqi government has instructed them to put white flags up above their homes to indicate that there are civilians

inside, but that's obviously something ISIS will be able to exploit.

Now, there's another complication we've just heard about, and that is that the provincial council for Anbar province, where of course Fallujah is

located, has requested the Iraqi government to pull back what are known in Arabic as al-Hash al-Shaabi, the Popular Mobilization Units, these Shia-

led, predominately Shia military forces, because according to the provincial council, they are firing upon civilian areas in Fallujah and

killing innocent people. So they want those forces, which are really an important part of the Iraqi offensive, to pull out and leave it up to the

Sunni tribesmen who are affiliated with the Iraqi government as well as the Iraqi army to do the job.

But what we've seen in the past in places like Tikrit and Baiji and Ramadi, which have been liberated from ISIS, that it is that those very forces, the

Popular Mobilization Units, that play a key role in these operations -- Lynda.

KINKADE: And Ben, in Fallujah, of course, is one of only two major Iraqi cities still under ISIS control.

If forces are successful there, will those Iraqi forces then move on to Mosul?

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly that is the next step. The United States has made it clear that liberating Mosul is their priority, but for the Iraqi

government, they have more immediate concerns. In recent weeks, there has been a spate of car bombings in Baghdad, leaving more than 200 people

killed. Fallujah is really just a half hour's drive from Baghdad so they really wanted to crush ISIS there before they look ahead.

Mosul, hwoever, is several hundred kilometers north of Baghdad. It's Iraq's second largest city with a population under normal times around 2

million people. And the concern is that no matter how hard the battle for Fallujah is or the battles for Ramadi, Tikrit and Baiji were, that the

battle for Mosul will be -- to use an old Iraqi term, the mother of all battles when it

comes to this war against ISIS and many are of the feeling in Baghdad that perhaps the Iraqi army is not

quite ready for that task yet.

[11:05:07] KINKADE: OK, Ben Wedeman staying across it all for us live from Rome, thank you very much.

Well, of course, much of the support behind the Iraqi army comes from the United States. The anti-ISIS coalition says it carried out 21 air and

drone strikes in Fallujah since last week. Our Barbara Starr spoke to the U.S. commander in charge of the fight against ISIS and filed this exclusive



BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Protesters invade Baghdad's green zone for the second time. Violence rising as opposition to the Iraqi

government grows. The top U.S. commander running the war against ISIS is watching carefully for the stress mounting on the Iraqi military even now

as it tries to recapture the key city of Fallujah.

GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, CENTCOM COMMANDER: They're having to make decisions in terms of where their force is going, where their priorities are.

STARR (voice-over): But in Baghdad, with the U.S. embassy and military headquarters inside the heavily fortified green zone, does the U.S. have

enough security on hand?

VOTEL: Yes, I do think we have the right security forces on ground -- on the ground from a U.S. perspective to take care of ourselves there.

STARR (voice-over): CNN was the only network with General Joseph Votel, the U.S. commander in charge of the war against ISIS, as he traveled in

Iraq, getting the latest assessments on security and the readiness of Iraqi forces.

STARR: This base, about one hour north of Baghdad, is one of the front lines in the effort to train, advise and assist Iraqi forces. But they have

at least temporarily seen some Iraqi forces being called back to Baghdad for a few weeks to deal with the security situation there in the wake of

the rising attacks by ISIS.

(voice-over): Votel is trying to convince Iraq's military to make certain to station enough troops around the country and not to flood Baghdad with

security forces as the government tries to confront the latest violence in the capital.

VOTEL: They are attempting to create chaos in the capital, they're attempting to divert attention away from other areas, where the coalition

forces and the Iraqis are having success.

STARR (voice-over): This military warehouse just to the south in Kuwait, brimming with more than 25,000 weapons for those Iraqi forces. All are

being shipped out as more Iraqis show up for U.S.-led training.

Even as the training moves full speed ahead, the U.S. is worried that the fighting in Fallujah and the unrest in Baghdad could distract the

Iraqi government from getting their army fully up and running, capable and out in the field.

Barbara Starr, CNN, Amman.


KINKADE: Well, now to some other stories on our radar today. At least 12 people have been killed in a landslide at a jade mine northern Myanmar. A

wall of earth collapsed following heavy rain. It is the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit the country's Jade mining region.

A monitoring group says almost 150 were killed by a series of explosions in Syria on Monday. As many as nine attacks struck two cities, both

government strongholds. ISIS is claiming responsibility.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has replaced around half of his ministers in what's being seen as yet another move to tighten his grip on

power. Key members of country's economic management held on to their jobs, reassuring what were nervous financial markets.

An official with the Cairo morgue said it's still too soon to determine if there was an explosion on board EgyptAir flight 804. The plane went down

in the Mediterranean last week with 66 people on board, but officials still don't know why or how it crashed.

The search continues for the plane's fuselage and those critical black boxes.

Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is following this story from Alexandria, Egypt and joins us now live from there.

And Nic, dozens of families have now given their DNA samples. Just give us a sense of how this identification process is taking place.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the families are in a hotel. The government forensic experts along with government

representatives, legal representatives, have been there. The families have given their DNA, 39 families so far have done that, we understand. There

were 66 people on board the aircraft. And what happens now is that the forensic laboratories at the morgue, that's where the key work is being


And what the experts there say is that they have so far received 15 bags containing human remains. They describe these pieces as being small and

that they are going through them trying to piece them together. But their first line of analysis and the most

important thing that they want to do, they say, is to help identify the dead. They're doing DNA testing to identify whose remains they have.

But they're also saying it's too soon for the evidence that they have to say whether there's been an explosion on board. What they say is to do

that you have to perform tests for residue of explosives. And that, they say, is a lengthy process, and it will be further slowed by the fact that

the bodies -- the remains have been in the sea and that will complicate and slow down the process of doing those more technical assessments.

So, at the moment the focus and emphasis is on identifying who they are recovering so far.

They've also recovered as well, we're told, 18 separate groupings of debris from the sea. So, quite a bit more than the few pictures that Egyptian

authorities have showed so far with just a few items of debris.

[11:11:01] KINKADE: Right.

And we are also hearing the families of the victims in France have voiced concerns about the Egypt investigation. Is Egypt responding to those


ROBERTSON: Sorry, Lynda, I didn't hear the beginning of your question. If you can ask me again.

KINKADE: Sure, Nic. Some of the families of victims from France have complained about the Egyptian investigation, saying they're not too sure

whether they can trust authorities there. Is Egypt responding to those concerns?

ROBERTSON: Well, Egyptian authorities say that they are working, and the vice chairman of EgyptAir said they are working with the French out at sea

as well with U.S. vessels and also they're working with Greek authorities.

So the Egyptians are saying that this is going to be a transparent process, that they're following it to the letter of international law that governs

this type of investigation, where there is an international dimension to it, that they will follow that to the letter of the law.

So, what Egyptian officials are saying is, look, we're doing our best. We're getting international help. And we're going to provide information

on a timely basis, but it's going to be information in accordance with what's laid out with international agreements, Lynda.

KINKADE: OK. Nic Robertson, joining us live from Alexandria in Egypt, thank you very


ROBERTSON: To the crash of EgyptAir flight 804 remains a mystery, as Nic was saying. The investigation is reminiscent of the search for another

missing aircraft, MH370.

Here's CNN's Matt Rivers.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The slow, painstaking search in the open ocean looking for any sign of the plane involved in one of the world's

greatest aviation mysteries. 26 months have passed since MH370 disappeared, 105,000 square kilometers of a designated search zone

systematically cleared with no results.

Only 15,000 square kilometers are left to search of the vast section of the Indian Ocean where experts say the plane is most likely to be found.

Officials say as each day passes, the chances of finding the plane grow slimmer.

But thousands of kilometers away pieces are turning up, debris, officials say, is either probably

or definitively from the plane has washed ashore in several places. The first piece was found on Reunion Island last July, a part of a wing the

Malaysian Prime Minister said was conclusively confirmed to be a part of the plane.

In December, a teen-ager found a piece from the tail section while vacationing in Mozambique. February 2016, another piece was discovered in

Mozambique, this time a stabilizer panel with "No Step" stenciled in it. And in March, two more discoveries, an engine piece found in South Africa

and a part of an interior cabin door on the island nation of Mauritius, all bolstering investigator's broad assumption that the plane crashed somewhere

in the Indian Ocean.

Still, some of the family members of those who were on board the flight hold out hope that their loved ones might still be alive. In Beijing back

in March, some of those people gathered on the second anniversary of the plane's disappearance. This woman's son,

daughter-in-law and grandson were on board.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): All I want have to have my happy family and fulfilling life. But as of now, my life is miserable.

RIVERS: While some family members are imploring the governments of Australia, Malaysia and China to continue the search, time is running out.

Officials say the remaining 15,000 square kilometers will be fully searched by late July or early August. After that, assuming nothing is

found, the search is likely to end.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


KINKADE: Greece is relocating thousands of migrants from a camp near its border with Macedonia. Police started clearing people out at dawn.

Our Phil Black has the details.


[11:15:08] PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For people stranded in the Idomeni migrant camp, the long, uncomfortable days can blend

together with little to separate them.

This one would be different. Today, many here would have to accept they will never pass beyond the metal fence marking the Macedonian border and

never travel north to start a new life in a country of their choice.

In the early morning, a long line of white buses drove through the rows of tents. The operation to move the migrants was only visible at a distance.

Through fences and razor wire. Police and security forces established roadblocks around the site. Their helicopters flew overhead.

Journalists and aid workers were ordered to leave and stay out. There would be no witnesses but the migrants themselves.

MUSTAFA ALHAMOUD, MIGRANT: We just suddenly in this every morning, we saw a lot of armies. They are around the camps, a lot of police.

BLACK (voice-over): Mustafa Alhamoud from Aleppo in Syria sent us this video not long after the operation began.

ALHAMOUD: They said to everybody to go to other camp, (inaudible).

BLACK (voice-over): The people packing and loading their few belongings are among the final 8,000. Once around double that number sheltered here in the

cold and mud.

These were the people who, after crossing the Aegean and traveling through Greece, suddenly found themselves without options. The Macedonian

government sealed the border and enforced its decision with tear gas.

As winter months passed, many of the people in Idomeni moved on to other parts of Greece. Most of those who stayed enduring the grim conditions were

families. The U.N. estimated 40 percent of the recent population were children.

Greek authorities say they hope to find organized, safe accommodation for everyone here but not everyone is ready to give up on the European dream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm staying in Idomeni. No need to go to that camp. I need to stay here in Idomeni. Not a problem. Me police (ph) in Greece need

to open the train, open the train, no problem. I'm staying in Idomeni.

BLACK (voice-over): This muddy patch of ground in Northern Greece became a bottleneck for some of the world's most desperate people, many of them

Syrian. Their homeland devastated by war, the path ahead blocked by fences and tear gas, they have little choice now but to board the Greek

government's buses and somehow continue their search for a reason to feel hope.

Phil Black, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Well, still to come tonight, U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a message about human rights in Vietnam. We'll take a look at his latest

Asian tour.

Also, Venezuela is running low on some very basic household items. We'll take a look at what's behind the shortages.


[11:20:15] KINKADE: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me, Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said Vietnam needs to protect human rights and has called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute over the South

China Sea where Vietnam and several other Asian countries are at odds over territory.

President Obama made his remarks during a visit in Vietnam, part of a tour in Asia, which will also take him to Hiroshima in Japan.

He'll be the first sitting U.S. president to visit that city. Mr. Obama also found time to wind down and eat dinner at a small Vietnamese

restaurant with our very own CNN host and chef Anthony Bourdain.

Well, we have seen many casual moments like that during Barack Obama's presidency. It's also worth noting how he shifted the focus of foreign

policy into Asia. Michelle Kosinski has more on the trip to Vietnam and President Obama's legacy in Asia.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lynda, it is truly remarkable for President Obama and for us to be here in Vietnam, a place where, mind

you, human rights are worse than sketchy.

Human Rights Watch calls them dire in all areas. But the White House says today, you know, it is the people here who will open things up and move

things forward gradually and it is tough to overstate the warmth of the welcome that President Obama got from citizens here, thousands of them

lining his route, cheering for him, taking pictures, jostling for position just to get a glimpse of him.

They know who he is clearly and the White House says they know what he stands for. And they couldn't imagine the president getting a warmer

welcome anywhere. And all of this, of course, an important piece in the president's pivot to Asia that he's been working on for years now. And you

broaden this out to look at what the president has been trying to get done and what he's accomplished

even in his last year in office, normalizing relations with Cuba after decades, the Iran nuclear deal after decades and now again after decades,

fully normalizing relations with Vietnam and lifting the arms embargo.

These are, yes, legacy pieces. The big question overhanging these, though, will they last past the end of his time in office?

You look at the TPP, the Transpacific Partnership, the sweeping trade deal with Asian nations, excepting China, that the White House is still working

on. Democratic candidates oppose it. Donald Trump opposes it. So it still remains very much a question will it get done at all? And even if it

does, will that and some other accomplishments be rolled back by the next administration?

The White House, though, keeps pushing this and other elements saying that these are important

for the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs moving well into the future as well as important counters to the growing influence of China here.

Back to you, Lynda.


KINKADE: And as Michelle mentioned there, President Obama is trying to counter China's growing strength in the region, but so, too, is Indian

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has just spent a couple of days in Iran. And while there, Mr. Modi agreed to develop a port in the south of the

country, it's an investment worth half a billion dollars.

Afghanistan is also involved in that deal. The port is very close to one in Pakistan in which China is investing heavily.

Ravi Agrawal has more on the new deal and the wider impact.


RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's being hailed as a historic deal here in New Dehli, a partnership long in the works between

Iran, India and Afghanistan. The three countries have signed an agreement to develop the Iranian port of Chabahar into a regional transit hub.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is calling it an agreement, which can change the course of history in the region.

Here's what it really means for each of the players. Iran has a clear benefit. It's going to get a line of credit worth half a billion dollars

from India to develop a port that has long been underused.

India and Iran, of course, have deep cultural ties going back centuries.

Now consider what this means for Afghanistan. As it stands, land locked Afghanistans' only way of reaching the Indian Ccean is through Pakistan.

Now it will have a new route through to the seas opening up trade routes with India and the Middle East.

And then you have India. The benefits are pretty clear. India has long invested in the stability of Afghanistan where it's built roads,

consulates, and more recently Kabul's new parliament.

The creation of this new route will now allow India to access Afghanistan without going through its neighbor Pakistan. And that, analysts say, is

the elephant in the room here, the reason why Monday's developments are being seen as part of a new great game in central Asia.

Right opposite Chabahar in Iran is a Pakistani port called Gwadar, which is being developed for the Pakistanis by the Chinese.

So all in all, a very eventful trip to Tehran for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was there for just two days and has come away with a

deal that many at home are cheering. Mr. Modi he will now go on to visit the United States in June, where he will meet President Obama and also make

a rare address to both houses of congress.

Modi came to power two years ago this week. Even as some of his domestic policies have been stymied by the opposition in parliament, he has found is

easier to travel the world and enact a clear foreign policy. It's a frustration he probably shares with the leaders of

many democracies.

Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.


KINKADE: Well, the latest world new headlines are just ahead. Plus, an American comedian once seen as a wholesome father figure faces charges of

sexual assault. But can prosecutors make their case against Bill Cosby stick? We're live from the courthouse next.



[11:30:07] KINKADE: Now, what do you think would happen to a nation's prisons if most of the guards went on strike? Well, that's exactly what

happened in Belgium.

The situation has become so bad that at least ten suspects have been let go because of so-called inhumane conditions.

Erin McLaughlin reports on a situation that's descending into chaos.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The rioters you see here are not criminals, they're the men responsible for guarding them.

Belgium's prison guards trashed the country's justice ministry, part of a weeks-long strike meant

to protest budget cuts and working conditions.

KOEN GOENS, BELGIAN JUSTICE MINISTER (through translator): Our culture of dialogue is being severely damaged.

MCLAUGHLIN: The situation more desperate by the day, compounded by a country still reeling from terrorist attacks.

Inside the prison, shaky cell phone footage widely seen on social media reveals utter chaos. The strikes mean staff shortages. The police and

army have been called in, but guards say they don't know what they're doing.


MCLAUGHLIN: The smell?

ONKELINX: The smell. It's very bad. Our visit, shocking.

MCLAUGHLIN: Lawmakers show us photos of one of the prisons on strike. 10 out of 100 guards remain, charged with the care of more than 1,000


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Normally you have to go out a little bit better than you were. now if you left them in this condition, it would be worse and

radicalism also.

MCLAUGHLIN: Radicalism is now even more of a concern. After all, it was in a Belgian

prison that the key figure behind the Paris attacks is believed to have been radicalized.

Outside the Enden (ph) Prison, the situation is tense. Striking guards stand in protest. They say they're not hopeful.

MARC PEETERS, STRIKING GUARD (through translator): We're on strike because the minister of justice wants to change our way of working. Belgian's

prisons are overcrowded, even the new buildings. This prison is overcrowded by 15 percent. In Belgium, the average is 20 percent. It's


When people began to strike, they were angry, but it's getting worse.

MCLAUGHLIN: Some say this couldn't come at a worse time for Belgium. And it's not just the prison system that's troubled, the police have been

plagued by reports of intelligence failures and the courts are struggling as well.

The president of a Brussels tribunal says the system is overwhelmed and cost cuts are to blame. He says he's worried about the long-term impact.

JUDGE LUC HENNART, PRESIDENT, BRUSSELS COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE (through translator): When there is mistrust in the system, we create more

terrorists. A citizen which does not trust the state will find alternatives like terrorism. It's urgent to wake up the judiciary so that

it functions well.

MCLAUGHLIN: An ominous warning and now a prison crisis Belgium can ill afford.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Brussels.


KINKADE: Well, a lot of items many of us take for granted are running really low in Venezuela. The nation is facing a crisis on nearly every

front -- political, economic and energy. President Nicholas Maduro has declared a state of emergency. Families across Venezuela say they lack

access to basic household goods.

I'm joined now by our senior Latin affairs editor Rafael Romo. Great to have you with us.

You brought in a basket of goodies for us.

Now, Venezuela is suffering one of the world's highest inflation rates. So, how much more are people having to spend to buy basic goods?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, first of all, Venezuela has a system that they call the fair prices system. This is regulated by the

government and so the government tells merchants how much they can sell their items for. And for example, I was taken at the latest prices. A bar

of soap right here, right now on the market is 138 Bolivars. In dollars, that's only 13 cents.

KINKADE: It's not much, but they can't get it.

ROMO: Well, the problem is that even if you have the money, it's so scarce that people have to go to supermarkets, stand in line for hours and hours

and maybe if they're lucky, after four or five hours they can get maybe one, maybe two but not much more than that.

Just to give you another example here, toilet paper has been a big issue in Venezuela for the

last not months but years. The price -- the approved price is 846 bolivars. That's only 80 cents, but again nobody can find it so and so

people are forced to go to the neighbor or go to somebody they know who has some toilet paper and say, hey, if you have toilet paper, maybe you can

give me two rolls and I'll give you a bag of wipes and people exchange that, not only face to

face but also there's apps in Venezuela that people use saying I have sugar, does anybody have aspirin? Does anybody have aspirin that I can

exchange for sugar?

And you see the system now where people are openly exchanging products that each other has.

[11:35:17] KINKADE: And this crisis of course isn't just affecting everyone that lives there, the people, it's affecting some of the world's

biggest companies. Coca-Cola says it can't make Coca-Cola products with sugar in it because they can't source sugar.

ROMO: And we had -- we just had confirmation from Coca-Cola that they have actually stopped production of sugared products. On Friday they had told

us that they were going to continue operations. They had already stopped receiving shipments of sugar, but

they were going to continue until inventories last. Now they're telling us we have effectively stopped

producing Coca-Cola because we don't have sugar.

The problem here is that the government owns all of the sugar producing companies and they are not getting any raw sugar from abroad to process

refined sugar that is necessary in drinks like Coca-Cola. And so that is putting Coca-Cola in a very serious situation right now.

KINKADE: And no doubt it's putting the government in a difficult position and no doubt the

president. There must be question marks over whether he will last his full term.

ROMO: Well, officially there is a recall referendum already going on. It is the very first step of the process. The opposition has gathered more

than a million signatures needed for -- to begin the recall referendum. And right now the government is saying the process was not done right, it

was done late and fraud was committed.

The opposition is saying, well, let's review all the signatures and find out whether this was

true or not. But in any case, it's a process that takes a long, long time and it's not going to happen any time soon.

KINKADE: And in the meantime, it's the people who are suffering.

ROMO: People are suffering. The average Venezuelan is not getting enough basic products -- enough food. They -- even if they have money, they

cannot buy the products, as we mentioned before. And add to that the fact that electricity is a problem. The whole country has three-to-four hour

blackouts. And so many parts, even the Caracas, the capital, do not have running water on a 24-hour basis.

So put all of that together and it adds for a very tense situation across the country.

KINKADE: Yeah, really, thank you so much. Rafael Romo for joining us and for bringing

us all those products. Appreciate it.

ROMO: Thank you.

KINKADE: Dozens of women have accused famed comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault although he's never faced trial. Well, prosecutors are now

attempting to convince the judge they have enough evidence to try Cosby in connection with a 2004 case.

A critical pre-trial is happening right now in Pennsylvania. CNN's Sara Ganim joins us now from live outside the courthouse.

Sara, there are so many women making accusations against Bill Cosby, but the judge today is considering just one case. What do we know about the


SARA G ANIM, CNN CORRESPONDEDNT: Just one case, that's correct. All of the others, the more than 50 women who have come forward in the last

several years, none of their cases are in criminal court because of the statute of limitations in their states. This is the only case, this one

from 2004, in which Bill Cosby could, if he goes to trial, face jail time.

Now, this woman who brought these charges against him, her name is Andrea Constance. She was the director of women's basketball here in Montgomery

County at the university -- at Temple University where Bill Cosby is from. This is his hometown. He is beloved


And she says that back in 2004 he had her over to his house. He gave her some blue pills and

then sexual assaulted her when she could no longer physically stop him. Now, the crux of this case are her allegations, but as this court hearing

has been going on this morning, my colleague who is in the courtroom says that the cross-examination from the defense has been

centered around the fact that they say Andrea Constance continued to go over to Bill Cosby's home after this assault allegedly occurred and

continued to have a relationship with him.

And the defense saying that if she had been assaulted, if this had been anything more than a con

sensual encounter, which is what Bill Cosby says it is, then she would not have continued to see him, Lynda.

KINKADE: And interesting to note that he and this lady reached a civil settlement ten years ago. So why is it now going through the courts?

GANIM: Well, so she did reach a civil settlement. That's a separate lawsuit, it's a separate case.

And what came out of that that was particularly interesting last summer, part of his deposition in that civil case shocked us all when it was

released where Bill Cosby admitted to getting a prescription for quaaludes in orders to give them to women who he wanted to have sex with.

Now, he denies any wrong doing, he denies ever sexually assaulting anyone. He says his relationship with Andrea Constance and any sexual contact

between then was consensual. But that a huge bombshell when that was released.

That's separate, though.

The only way that this has come into play, his defense attorneys have tried to stop this criminal

prosecution in its tracks by saying that the reason that he gave that deposition in a civil suit was because he was promised that there would not

be a criminal case.

The judge rejected that and now here we are today.

[11:40:33] KINKADE: So if this does proceed to trial and Cosby is convicted, what could he face?

GANIM: So criminal statute in Pennsylvania, he could, depending on how the judge lays out the charges, he could be facing somewhere between five and

ten years, maybe more. At 78 years old that, is probably a consideration. Oftentimes you see defendants and their attorneys when they are

significantly later in life say that is effectively a life sentence and it's unfair. That doesn't always work, especially in sexual assault cases,

an especially in high profile sexual assault cases, but that's what the law says if he were to be convicted.

Now, today this is a preliminary hearing. So, we're really far from that point. Today, a judge is just going to decide whether or not this case is

strong enough to proceed, Lynda.

KINKADE: OK, Sara Ganim for us covering what is a very big day for us there in Pennsylvania. Thank you very much.

Well, live from the CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Adele says hello to a

potentially record-breaking deal. Details on that just ahead.


KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with

me, Lynda Kinkade.

To the U.S. elections now where it is becoming clearer that the race for the White House will be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And the

gloves are well and truly off.

A series of new attack ads are getting ugly and very personal. The Democratic front runner Clinton is targeting Trump as a greedy developer

while Trump has posted a video to social media spotlighting the infidelities of her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Trump is the only remaining candidate in the Republican contest heading into Tuesday's Washington state primary. CNN's Phil Mattingly is in New

York and filed this report.


HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to unify the Democratic Party and stop Donald Trump.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton taking a new line of attack against Donald Trump, her campaign painting Trump as a greedy

billionaire in a new ad.

DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I sort of hope that happens, because then people like me would go in and buy.

MATTINGLY: Harkening back to Trump's controversial comments before the 2008 housing market collapse.

[11:45:02] TRUMP: If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money.

MATTINGLY: Clinton swiping at the presumptive nominee on multiple fronts before a union crowd Monday, issuing a warning about Trump's four

bankruptcies surrounding his casino holdings.

CLINTON: He could bankrupt America like he's bankrupted his companies.

MATTINGLY: And sticking with another tried and true assault, Trump's temperament.

CLINTON: the last thing we need is a bully in the pulpit.

MATTINGLY: All as the billionaire continues to hound Bill Clinton's past infidelity, sending one of his top advisers to swipe at Hillary Clinton.

ED BROOKOVER, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: She overregulates, she overtaxes, she overpromises and doesn't deliver.

MATTINGLY: The hostility spreading with both candidates, facing record high negatives in the most recent polls, but Trump is getting new support

from Capitol Hill in the form of Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.

[08:10:03] SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: His approach to foreign policy is something I want to hear more about. I heard more about it today, and I

appreciated that.

MATTINGLY: Though Corker is still downplaying talk that he may be high on Trump's VP list.

CORKER: I'm not angling for any job, I think the best way to not end up in a position like those is to angle for it. But I have no indication

whatsoever that I would even be considered.


KINKADE: Well, British pop star Adele has reportedly signed a deal with Sony worth $130

million. With me now to talk about all this is Lisa Respers France, the senior producer of the CNN

digital's entertainment section. Great to have you with us.

Now, this still has been kept under wraps since Christmas. We've now got reports this could be the biggest deal for a British artist ever.

LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN DIGITAL SENIOR PRODUCER: If it's correct because Sony's not talking right now, Adele is not talking right now, but if this

is true, it would eclipse Robbie Williams' $125 million deal and make her the highest paid British pop star.

KINKADE: Incredible amounts of money.

FRANCE: Big money.

KINKADE: But she was the world's biggest selling artist last year, both her albums have been

incredible. Is it a bargain for Sony?

FRANCE: I think it is a bargain for Sony, because keep in mind that her last album, "25" was released in November, and it still was the biggest

selling album of the year. And it outsold times over the number two biggest selling album by Ed Sheeran. So, I think it is a bit of a bargain.

And it's not a new relationship for Sony, because they had already been distributing her music in

America. But she just had a record deal with her original label XL Recording. So, if Sony signs her, then they get the exclusive rights to

distribute her music worldwide. And I think it's a bit of a coup for them if it's true.

KINKADE: Yeah, Sony would be very happy, no doubt.

FRANCE: She probably already made 130 million already so...

KINKADE: How do these deals sort of work? Because as far as I understand it, most artists who sign these sort of big contracts guarantee that

they'll release X amount of albums but she's taken four years to release each of her last couple of albums.

FRANCE: So, the math for a recording contracts is kind of complicated. Because you know, ordinarily an artist they do guarantee a certain amount

of records, not just that they're going to make, but that are going to be sold, because the record label is putting up the money to start with. And

keep in mind, they charge these artists for everything connected with the production of the album, music videos, so $130 million seems like a lot,

but the record label is also laying out money. And then the artist gets a percentage of everything that sold. And often times that percentage is not

that big.

I mean, look, we have had historic cases with, you know, girl groups like TLC that went bankrupt, and they were the biggest selling girl group at the

time. But it seems like a lot of money, but for an Adele maybe not, because she's the surest bet that you can have in the music industry right now.

KINKADE: And for her is it a good time to move on from an independent record label to one of the biggest company?

FRANCE: Absolutely. Keep in mind when her first album 19 came out, she was very young. So, a small independent label is the way to go. But now

she's a worldwide superstar. I mean, this is a woman that we can't wait for her concerts.

And, you know, that's another thing, she doesn't tour as much as other artists. So, you know, it's a bit of a gamble for Sony to be taking

because you make a lot of money when it comes to touring and endorsements and things like that and Adele has been very open about the fact that she

likes just living a normal lifestyle.

KINKADE: Yeah, she hasn't done many endorsements.


KINKADE: We'll see if that changes going forward.

FRANCE: Maybe we'll get more music now, maybe we'll get music a little bit quicker. That's the thing when you're with a bigger label, there's more

pressure to produce more often.

KINKADE: Lisa Respers France, great to have you with us. Thank you.

FRANCE: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, still to come -- you are watching Connect the World -- the risks at the top of the world for death in as many days at the world's

highest peak. We'll examine the perils of climbing Mount Everest.


[11:51:30] KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.

Well, rescuers are searching for two Indian climbers missing on Mount Everest. It comes after a deadly weekend on the world's highest peak.

Sumnima Udas has this story.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the ultimate achievement, scaling the top of the world, Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters,

almost 30,000 feet. But the deaths of four climbers in as many days has shaken the mountaineering community.

Phurba Sherpa fell to his death while fixing the routes just a few meters from the summit.

Dutch climber Eric Arnold, a triathlete, died from a suspected heart attack. He was on his way down after a successful summit.

Australia national Maria Strydom died from altitude sickness at base camp four, the final stop before the summit.

And on Sunday, Indian climber Subah Paul also died.

Danger is inherent here. More than 250 mountaineers have died since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first official ascent in 1953.

But still every year hundreds are drawn to it, willing to take the risk.

The air is so thin, the oxygen level is a third of what's available at sea level. The wind is vicious, the weather erratic and the terrain deadly.

Kenton Cool is a guide who has climbed Everest 12 times.

KENTON COOL, MOUNTAIN CLIMBER: Winds are very brutal on Everest. And they can make what would be a relatively amenable summit day into something

quite the opposite.

UDAS: Climbing had been halted for the past years after a deadly avalanche in 2014 killed that 16 Sherpas and a devastating earthquake that struck

Nepal in 2015.

A lot was riding on this year's climbing season. The Nepali government hoping to revive

tourism in a country still reeling from the earthquake.

Authorities say some 400 climbers summited Everest this year. But this is a tragic end to yet another climbing season.

COOL: It's not considerably dangerous, it is very, very dangerous. And you do need the depth of experience, you do need the understanding and the

skill set to be able to operate and even survive at such altitudes.

UDAS: A reminder of just how dangerous scaling the highest mountain in the world can be.

Sumnima Udas, CNN.


KINKADE: So, why are people still attempting to climb the world's highest mountains despite those very serious risks?

Well, let's ask a man who is no stranger to the peak, and one you just saw there in that report. Kenton Cool has scaled Everest 12 times and he joins

us now from London.

Great to have you with us.

Firstly, why wasn't one trip enough?

COOL: For me, I fell in love with the mountain straight away. I suppose I have an extra

element to why I go to Everest every year, I'm a professional mountain guide and that's one of the ways

that I earn my living. i fulfill other people's dreams.

But more than that, the mountain is a beautiful mountain. The people of Nepal and of course on the north side the Tibetan people, they're wonderful

people. It's a great adventure. And certainly for myself it's a combination of work but also the privilege and the prestige, I suppose, of

climbing Mount Everest.

KINKADE: So you know these summits better than most people. You know the dangers. As you heard in the report, as you well know, four climbers have

died in as many days, two are missing. why have there been so many deaths of late?

COOL: Well, unfortunately deaths do go hand in hand with every Everest season. We had a particularly good start to the season. There was

multiple summits, many days where people ascended up and down the mountain very happily, very safely. And it did look for a while that Everest would

have a season without any fatalities.

Then unfortunately the first fatality, which hasn't been mentioned was a climber or a Sherpa climbing on a neighboring peak, Lhotse, which is right

next door to Everest. He unfortunately fell while trying to lay a rope, part of the fixing team to allow climbers to climb Lhotse. He was the

first fatality of the season in the middle of last week.

And then since then, there's been an unfortunately not even a trickle, but an avalanche of deaths. As the reporter said, four deaths in as many days,

which is a tragic end to the season.

But these aren't unusual figures for climbing Everest. It may seem particularly bad, but generally every season with Everest with the last two

season being put aside, there's normally three or four deaths on everest. It's a dangerous thing to undertake and people must realize that. You are

climbing pretty much as high as a human being can survive on this planet.

KINKADE: What sort of concerns do people talk to you about when they take on the mountain and they take you as their guide?

COOL: Well, obviously there's all sorts of concerns, not just from the individual but from the

individual's family as well.

One of the questions a family will often ask is why? Why do you want to go to the mountain? We know it's a dangerous place so why do you want to risk

your life in what is essentially a selfish act? Climbing doesn't give us very much. Getting to the summit of Everest is quite a self-congratulatory

thing to do in itself.

And that's one of the strange oddities about mountaineering, there's very little gain from

doing it other than self-satisfaction.

So, when I sit down with a potential client, I talk through the whole thing. They need to understand that there is an inherent danger to

climbing up to 8,000 meters and beyond. It doesn't matter how good you are, how fit you are. The Dutch climber was incredibly fit, a very healthy

triathlete and it succumbed it sounds like a heart attack at just down from the summit.

Altitude is a very leveling thing. You can be incredibly fit and it will still pretty much lay you on your back and unfortunately potentially kill


KINKADE: OK, Kenton Cool, and on that sad note we'll have to leave it there. But thank you for joining us.

COOL: My pleasure.

KINKADE: I'm Lynda Kinkade and that was Connect the World. Thanks for watching.