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CONNECT THE WORLD
Tony Blair Responds to Chilcot Report; Protesters Fill Baton Rouge Streets After Latest Police Shooting; Remembering Life of Iraqi Dancer Adel Euro. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 6, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:06:09] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. Former British Prime Minister
Tony Blair wrapping up a news conference in which he was responding to the release of what is known as the Chilcot report.
The long awaited Chilcot report on Britain's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003.
According to that report, released earlier today, that decision was based on flawed intelligence at a time when Saddam Hussein posed no
That is the conclusion of the report. The equivalent of this, a 6,000-page document more than
seven years in the making.
Inquiry head John Chilcot delivered a damning indictment of Britain's role in the conflict, saying it rushed to war without exhausting diplomatic
options and had wholly inadequate plans for the aftermath.
Well, to this day, 13 years after the invasion Iraqis are still living with the hellish aftermath. Hundreds of thousands of people have been
killed since the war began, many of them civilians.
Well, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who led Britain to war was singled out for some very harsh criticism. He responded just a short
time ago as we have been reporting. And we are covering this story from all angles.
Political contributor Robin Oakley joining us from London. He reported for CNN on the leadup to the Iraq war in Britain. We're also
joined by Anthony Seldon who is the author of "Blair," and "Blair Unbound".
Let me start with you, Robin. How did Tony Blair respond to what was the release earlier today of a damning indictment of his failings as prime
minister in the run up to and the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq?
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Becky, I'm not hearing you very clearly, but certainly what we've heard from the inquiry today is
that there was no need, no pressing imminent threat from Saddam Hussein in 2003, that Tony Blair chose to join the invasion before the peaceful
options were all exhausted. And the inquiry says that he made judgments on the threat presented with a certainty that wasn't justified by the
intelligence. He is not accused of falsifying the intelligence, as some have suggested, but they are saying that the
intelligence hadn't established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein could produce chemical and biological weapons.
And essentially they are saying it was based -- the decision was based on flawed intelligence
which wasn't challenged. And that Tony Blair believed he had more influence with President George W. Bush than in fact he had, Becky.
ANDERSON: Antony, knowing Tony Blair as you do, or certainly having studied the character that is Tony Blair as you have, what did you just
make of his performance?
ANTHONY SELDON, AUTHOR: Well, I didn't know whether to feel sorry for him or sad, or angry. I mean there was somebody who palpably is at fault.
And he is like a schoolboy or even a criminal who simply cannot admit that he has made an error.
And you know, it's so sad. Because he is, I have always thought about him, a fundamentally honest, very hard working, very able person. But he
just has this fixed idea in his brain that what he did in Iraq was right. And 13 years later he can't budge from that idea.
If only he was to say he was sorry about so many, many aspects of this. He could still say he believed he was right, he believed he did it
for good reasons, but quite palpably it was a very, very bad decision, very poorly executed, and with disastrous implications.
And if only this man was to have said that he was sorry now, 13 years later, or any time in the
previous 13 years, it would have been great for him as a human being because he would have come to a moment of truth, would have been great for
his fellow politicians, for the building behind me, for trust in politicians in British politics.
So, I think it's very sad -- you know it's very hard to think of an episode of an individual who
clings on to truths which is so obviously wrong.
ANDERSON; A fundamentally honest and hard working person is how Anthony describes Tony Blair.
Ben Wedeman is with us as well, I believe. Have we got Ben with us at this point? Not sure. All right. So, let me stick with you, Robin, just
for the time being -- let me go to Ben. This is important.
Ben, you've heard Robin Oakley and Anthony Seldon there. It is a day -- I'm not sure I have got Ben.
You know what, let's go back to Robin and Anthony.
In the 2.6 million-word report, Robin. Is there anything new? And will anybody be held responsible or accountable as a result of it, for what
happened in Iraq and its lasting legacy in 2016?
OAKLEY: Well, I think what we did see from the report was the constant criticism of the way in which decisions were taken in the Blair
government. The famous so-called sofa government. Not enough decisions being processed through parliament -- and well, and through the cabinet.
And too many conversations with George W. Bush about things which had not been made privy to Blair's fellow ministers.
I think when we heard David Cameron reporting in the House of Commons on the Chilcot inquiry, he was careful to say that he'd set up a national
security council to see that decisions were taken in a different way in future and that there would be much more consultation.
But there is no doubt there is a general feeling the way in which Tony Blair's government took
Britain into the war helped and contributed to that distrust of politicians, which has also been reflected now in the European Union
referendum with Britain choosing to come out because most of the politicians said stay in.
And the Iraq decision has had sort of an effect rolling on into other aspects of politics, Becky.
ANDERSON: Anthony, let me quote Tony Blair here in the last couple of minutes. "The intelligence was wrong. I express more sorrow, regret and
apology than you may ever know."
He also said in his summation -- and it was a pretty long speech, it has to be said, went on for something like an hour or more -- he said, "the
reason I still work in the Middle East is that I want to make things better, that I want to get things done."
A lot of people will say the reason you work in the Middle East, Tony Blair, is because you
make a lot of money there. How do you think that he wants to be perceived after all of this? And how do you think he will be perceived?
SELDON: Well, there are two very different questions. He wants to be perceived as a man of great principle and moral authority who had the
courage to do what he thought was right in the face of many people in this country and around the world who said this was completely wrong. He wants
to be seen as the man who stood up for the oppressed as the good Samaritan figure in politics. That's how he wants to be seen.
How will he be seen? Without any doubt at all, he will be seen as somebody who made a whole series of very, very poor decisions over Iraq.
And then as a man who failed to say adequately that he was sorry. He could still say, I believed I was right, but clearly, many of the decisions, the
way that they were executed, and the aftermath -- there were terrible, awful mistakes.
I think that if he did that it wouldn't take away from his dignity, it wouldn't take away from his historical standing. It would actually add to
it. Here would be a man unfamiliar in American and British politics, a political leader who actually stood up and said, you know, I got it wrong.
I did it for the best reasons, but clearly i made significant mistakes and I am truly and deeply humbled and sorry.
What stops him from doing that? Just a guess. A certain vanity that many politicians have, and a sense that an admission of weakness on his
part would allow all the critics to come in.
Well, you know, the critics have come in anyway. I think that there needs to be a healing process. This was an opportunity for him. And I can
only hope that Tony Blair in the years that remain to him on Earth, that he has inside him somewhere, he can find a voice that allows him to admit
that he did make serious mistakes and that he has damaged not just the Middle East, but trust in British politics, and maybe politics worldwide
[11:16:05] ANDERSON: Antony, and Robin, thank you. Let me get to Baghdad then and
to Ben Wedeman. And Ben, a fundamentally honest and hard working person who will be -- whose legacy, he hopes, would have been that of a principled
man. I have also heard him be described as messianic.
How do people in Iraq today see Tony Blair? And what is the response to this damning indictment in this report, but no accountability to be held
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: the response so far, Becky, has been fairly muted. We did speak to a spokesman for the prime
minister's office who simply said that this report is a purely internal affair for the United Kingdom.
But he added, rather sarcastically, we are busy with other things. Specifically, of course, the
aftermath of that bombing over the weekend in Baghdad that left 250 people -- 150 of which the bodies cannot be recognized.
I think people look at Tony Blair as, really, the junior partner of George Bush in making what Iraq -- what it is today. And, certainly, we
heard him for well over an hour stressing the good intentions he had in terms of pushing forward with the invasion and the occupation of Iraq.
But I think you might want to point out, or we could point out, or I should point out that the
road to hell is paved with good intentions. And certainly what we have in Iraq right now approximates something of a hell for many people
exemplified by the bomb blast over the weekend, exemplified by the fact that 3.5 million people are currently homeless as a result of the war with
ISIS of course is the -- sort of the offshoot of al Qaeda, which rushed into the vacuum created
by the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein, facilitated by the fact that when the U.S. and Britain came into this country they didn't have a plan
for the day after, the day after that so many people warned the United States and Britain was the real challenge, not the actual invasion, which
even the Chilcot report indicates was well planned and well executed -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben, Tony Blair will say and has continued to say, and has been repeating himself today with this one line, that Iraq is better off
without Saddam Hussein. He doesn't regret that. Do Iraqis regret that?
WEDEMAN: Well, I mean -- I hesitate to generalize in terms of Iraqi public opinion. It ranges.
I was up with a bunch of Kurdish commanders a few months ago who were absolutely enthusiastic about George Bush and Tony Blair and said they
wished they were still in power today. Here in Baghdad, I spoke to one person, a Shia incidently, who said look under Saddam Hussein things were
tough. You couldn't step outside certain boundaries. You couldn't talk about politics. You couldn't publicly express any dissatisfaction with the
government, but you were safe. You were safe going around Baghdad. There was no worry about suicide bombings. There were no blast walls, no
checkpoints, no beheadings, no kidnappings. Imperfect as it was, there was law and order under Saddam Hussein.
And when people look around Baghdad today, the mess that it is -- it's dangerous, it's chaotic, it's corrupt as never before. And not
surprisingly, they would strongly disagree with Tony Blair that Iraq is in a better position today than it was under Saddam Hussein -- Becky.
[11:20:09] ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you. Out of Baghdad for you today. As we've been discussing, former prime
minister Tony Blair expressed deep regret over the Iraq war, but he insists British soldiers killed in the conflict didn't die in vain.
Well, the apology will probably do very little to comfort the grieving families of those British service personnel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REG KEYS, FATHER OF SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ WAR: When I look at Iraq on my TV
screens today they have got 200-plus deaths that took place the other day I can only conclude that unfortunately and sadly, my son died in vain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Matthew Jury is a lawyer representing the families of 29 British service personnel who lost their lives. Joining me out of
And Matthew, do you think the findings of this inquiry make you more or less confident that the
families that you represent have a case for legal action against Tony Blair or anybody else involved in the deployment of those who ultimately lost
their lives in Iraq?
MATTHEW JURY, LAWYER: Hi, Becky.
We want to be careful, the families want to be careful about discussing individual culpability and responsibility at this stage. The
report is two and a half million words long. It's going to take weeks to carry out a proper and full forensic analysis of its content and
conclusions. But what we will say is that the families are incredibly relieved that the inquiry has discharged its duty so fully and effectively
and seems to have reported without any fear, favor, or prejudice.
It is an incredibly strong report. It is a very damning. And we'll have to see where we go from here.
ANDERSON: OK, let's talk about this report. What this wasn't was a whitewash in that this Chilcot report is a damning indictment on the
inadequacy of the -- Tony Blair's decision making as prime minister in the run up to and the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. What it doesn't do is
hold Tony Blair or anybody else accountable, as you point out, for a war based on flawed intelligence and a post invasion policy, that was, and I
quote the report, wholly inadequate.
Where does that leave the family members of the dead soldiers that you represent?
JURY: Well, you say the report doesn't hold them to account. I mean, the inquiry was not constituted as a court of law. It doesn't have the
authority to pass judgment on any individual, civil or criminal liability. That will be for the courts to determine if the
families move ahead with any further legal action.
But as I said what that legal action will be, when that will be, and who that will be against is something that needs to be determined.
ANDERSON; How do comments and paragraphs as it were in this report from John Chilcot help or hinder your case? For example, he said, and I
quote, today from 2006, the UK's military was conducting two campaigns, and it did not have sufficient resources to do so. There were other criticisms
-- damning criticisms of the ill-preparedness of the UK military. How does that inform your work?
JURY: Rather than the manner in which this war was conducted in terms of the lead up to war,
that is what makes this issue unique among the Pentagon (ph) wars inasmuch as what is most damning, we feel, from the report are the statements such
as that the manner in which intelligence was presented to cabinet, to parliament, and to the British people was unjustified.
If you want to speculate that perhaps that means Mr. Blair -- can we go so far as to say he
misled cabinet, misled parliament, misled the British public? Mr. Blair will have a different opinion, but I think the inquiry went as far as it
could do within its remit.
ANDERSON: All right. And we have and will continue to play sound from family members today. I know that there are those who are actually
quite pleased with this report in that it wasn't a whitewash they say, but there is so much anger, grief and sorrow. I think one family member
suggested that Tony Blair -- she called him a terrorist earlier on today. Can you just give us a sense of what these families have been through over
the years and where they feel they go next?
JURY: The families have suffered terribly over the years. It's been seven years since this inquiry commenced. That has been a long and arduous
awful wait for them with this black cloud hanging over their head every day not knowing for what, who, and why their loved ones died.
Today, there is an enormous sense of relief, but I think overwhelmingly more a sense of sadness that their family members went to
war for an -- into a war, which was unjust and for no real purpose or cause.
ANDERSON: So this doesn't provide a red line, are you saying?
JURY: A red line in what sense, Becky, sorry.
ANDERSON: Well, put this to bed, as it were, provide some closure.
JURY: No, I don't think it provides a red line at all. As I said, the inquiry wasn't constituted
to be a court of law. There is still a question of if individuals did act in excess of their powers, acted unlawfully, then the families will want to
see them held to account.
ANDERSON: Matthew, thank you.
You are watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson. This is Connect the World. A lot more on this after this short break. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, back to the Chilcot Report. Now, 13 years on, hundreds of thousands of people killed and it's taken seven years to get to
this day to hear the official word on what happened when Iraq was invaded in 2003.
Even with an independent report, people are still asking how did we get to this? Well, here is my report on the lead up to the war.
[11:30:07] ANDERSON: 2001, the then American President George Bush begins plans to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but he doesn't want
to do it alone.
April, 2002: enter British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
TONY BLAIR, FRM. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It has always been our policy that Iraq would be a better place without Saddam Hussein.
ANDERSON: September 2002, Bush demands that the UN get tough on Iraq as Britain releases a dosier detailing Iraq's alleged development of
weapons of mass destruction.
BLAIR: He has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45
ANDERSON: British intelligence later withdrew that central claim.
Meanwhile, protests against the war gather pace. They don't work.
October, 2002, American lawmakers authorize bombing Iraq.
January, 2003, inspectors look for WMDs. For months in, there is no sign.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: We haven't found any smoking guns.
ANDERSON: February, 2003, but Washington insists that they are there.
COLIN POWELL, FRM. U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Iraq be declared 8,500 liters of anthrax. UNSCAM (ph) estimates that Saddam Hussein could have
produced 25,000 liters.
ANDERSON: France, Germany and Russia call for more inspections. Millions fill the streets calling for peace.
Despite strong opposition in his own party, Blair wants to go to war. The British parliament agrees.
BLAIR: This is the time for this House, not just this government or indeed this prime minister, but for this house to give a lead, to show
that we will stand up for what we know to be right.
ANDERSON: March 20, 2003, the war starts. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, 179 British service members were
killed before the UK withdrew from Iraq in 2009.
ANDERSON: Right, let's open up a debate for you, shall we. Chief columnist for The National Faisal al-Yafai was against the war. And in our
Istanbul bureau, I'm joined by Ali Khedry. He served as senior adviser to three heads of U.S. central command from 2003 to 2010 and believed in the
And let me start with you, Ali. It must be painful and quite frankly embarrassing for you today to hear the conclusions of this British inquiry
into the decisions taken by what was a junior partner in this U.S./UK alliance.
Chilcot said, and I quote, policy on Iraq was based -- or was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments, and he said the UK, at
least, went to war with Iraq before peaceful options had been exhausted.
This is damning stuff. How do you feel today as you hear this?
ALI KHEDRY, FRM. ADVISER U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: I'm actually quite grateful for the Chilcot report, and I agree completely with its
conclusions. If I may correct you, Becky, I was actually against the war. But once the decision was made I volunteered to serve my country and ended
up being the longest serving American official in Iraq.
I have to say, though, as you might ask the ambassadors and generals that I worked for, I was quite vocal in my criticism of our policy
throughout my time in government and actually resigned in protest because of our continued failed policies and have since been vocal in television
and in print media on what I continue to believe continues to be a failed strategy.
ANDERSON: Faisal, Ali says he is grateful for this report. I wonder how the rest of the Middle East might respond to its findings today?
FAISAL AL YAFAI, THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER: Yeah, it was seven years and 2.5 million words and it all comes down to an unnecessary war.
This is the takeaway, I think, both for the British and for the Iraqis and for the region. This was not a war that needed to happen. It did not
need to happen in spring of 2003. They could have contained Saddam. The death, the destruction, the mayhem that was unleashed by that decision was
all completely unnecessary. That is a shocking finding.
But it is one that if you look across the Middle East, and particularly if look at iraq, nobody needed to tell the Iraqis this. This
is something they deal with every single day. The idea was that they would go in, the U.S. and the UK, they would go in, topple Saddam and they would
replace this dictatorship with freedom.
And what have they given the Iraqis? Neither freedom nor stability.
ANDERSON: Ali, I wanted to read you a quote from the Arab League chief at the time, Amara Moussa (ph). He warned a strike against Iraq
would, quote, open the gates of hell. Many members of the Arab League opposed the war at the time. You suggest you yourself did. But you did
work in the administration afterwards in what was the post-invasion exercise.
That has been criticized as well by this British inquiry today saying there just wasn't enough
work done in planning. And Amera Moussa (ph) couldn't have been more right, could he? What more could have been or should have been done? What
were you telling people in your administration, the U.S. administration post-2003 about what should happen next?
Because we didn't hear a lot of plans.
KHEDRY: Well, Becky, I believe the Arab League was actually unanimous in its member states recommendations to the United States government, to
the United Kingdom not invade Iraq. And I believe, in fact, that some of the diplomatic cables that have been released publicly that all of them
warned them against the very things that did occur -- Iranian intervention, regional conflict, the rise of
Islamism. And for all of its many, many faults Saddam was, in fact, secular and in fact had no link to al
Qaeda where obviously the situation has deteriorated dramatically since.
I cannot comment on what happened both in our government and the UK government in the lead up to the war because I was not in government at the
time. I was at the Gates Foundation.
But I arrived in Baghdad in June 2003. And very quickly I learned, frankly, that there clearly was no plan. They were very few Arabic
speakers in the building. The country was in chaos. Baghdad had been looted. There was no government. And then all of that was compounded by
Ambassador Bremmer's decision to both dispand the Iraqi army and then create the de-Ba'athification commission, which -- and then he put in Ahmed
Chalabi in charge who used it as a political weapon agaionst his enemies.
It was a mistake after mistake after mistake. And I remember telling Ambassador Bremmer in the fall of 2003 that this seemed to be a quagmire
that could end up being on the scale of Vietnam. Regrettably that is exactly what has happened. You have had, as you said, 180 British soldiers
killed, some 3,600 wounded, some 4,500 American soldiers killed, 35,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, millions displaced, and
obviously the conflict has now turned into a regional ethno-sectarian proxy war, which has dramatic implications on the European Union and on global
security and stability.
It is a fiasco and a Pandora's box, which never should have been opened.
ANDERSON: Right and to that point, Ali, sorry, Faisal, nobody understood, did they, what sort of Pandora's box they were opening. And
quite frankly, nobody cared.
YAFAI: Well, nobody cared. And I don't think actually that it is sufficient to say that nobody knew. There were warnings, significant
warnings from people who said that yes, Saddam was a terrible leader. Yes, he was holding down the Iraqis in the worst, most brutal way.
But there were forces that if they were unleashed would threaten the entire region. Those very force were subsequently released. This
Pandora's Box, whatever metaphor you want. And by failing to prepare, the U.S. and the UK prepared to fail. And the consequences of that can be seen
today on the streets of Baghdad.
ANDERSON: Just after the report was published, Ali, the former Prime Minister Tony Blair who led Britain into the war in Iraq put out a
statement saying this -- let's bring this up -- let me get my producers to bring this up for, quote, "I believe that it was better to remove Saddam
Hussein, and I do not believe that the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world is anything to do with
what I effected.
If that wasn't the cause, Ali, what was?
KHEDRY: Well, these are very, very complicated issues with many variables at play. Hundreds of variables in the equation. Look, generally
speaking I disagree with the former prime minister. I think, as I said, that Iraq -- what happened is the Iraq War destroyed the balance of power
that existed in the Middle East, the balance of power that existed between Iran and Turkey and the Arab states. And when we took out Saddam's regime,
that balance of power has never been restored and the violence and the jihadism and the intervention of the Iranian revolutionary guards and many
other forces is the region struggling to reach to an equilibrium.
But if I may, Becky, for a moment I think everybody has known for a long time that the Iraq War was a mistake. If i may focus on what is
happening today and what is happening in the future, the thing that has concerned me and as we have discussed on your previous shows
is the fact that it seems that London and Washington frankly haven't learned any of the lessons made during the Iraq War and in fact to this day
the United States air force and some 5,000 American troops along with many diplomats and intelligence officers are risking their lives in pursuit of a
We continue to pour billions of dollars and thousands lives into a government in Baghdad, which is deeply sectarian, which is illegitimate in
the eyes of a majority of its population, which is deeply sectarian and very corrupt.
And in the meantime, in neighboring Syria, the Assad regime with the support of the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards, Lebanese Hezbollah and Russia continues to massacre its population. So, until we restore self-determination in Syria and Iraq
and let them rule themselves rather than be subjected to their genocidal governments, this problem will only compound and global jihadism will only
continue to grow.
ANDERSON: I think -- right, Ali, I think a lot of our viewers would say you would say that,
wouldn't you. But you might have thought about that as a member of the administration, or certainly the administration you were working for might
have thought of that 13 years ago and provided a post-invasion plan and infrastructure.
Your response to what Ali is saying.
YAFAI: Look, I do think that the focus has to be on what is happening today in Iraq. Of course that's the case. You can't draw a straight line
from the invasion of 2003 to what is happened today.
But by god there is a background to it, there is a context to it, and by not preparing for it, by not providing a plan, not providing body armor,
of course, it was always going to be the case that people would suffer.
Now look, when you talk about these 2.6 million words, there are hundreds of witnesses -- there was not one of those witnesses to the
Chilcot inquiry who was -- who talked about the situation in Iraq. This is not a far away war a long time ago to Iraqis, it is a war that is happening
today on the streets.
ANDERSON: Faisal is with me in the studio, Ali is with us out of Turkey. To both of you, I thank you very much indeed.
And let me just read you something, viewers, that the charity War Child put on Twitter today just as this report was released. And we
noticed this as a team. And I just want to give you a quote.
It says "one in five Iraqi children at risk of death, sexual violence, abduction, and recruitment into armed groups." Just a fact. Make of it
what you will.
What are your thoughts about the damning findings in that report and Britain's role in the Iraq War? You can learn a lot more about what it
said and give us your thoughts by using the Facebook page. You know where that is. Facebook.com/cnnconnect. Lots of good stuff. The team works
really hard on that. And we really, really appreciate your feedback. So, do get in touch.
Let's get you some of the other news that we are following for you this hour. And Oscar Pistorius has been handed a six year prison sentence
for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It's far less than the minimum 15 years the prosecution had requested.\
The athlete described by the judge as a fallen hero and will serve at least half that sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Turning to the United States, another police shooting is sparking protests and calls for justice. On Tuesday, a man was shot and killed
after a confrontation with police in the state of Louisiana.
Polo Sandoval has the details.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hundreds of protesters taking to the streets
in Baton Rouge after this graphic video circulated on social media of a deadly encounter between police and a man at a convenience store.
According to police, two officers responded to an anonymous call just after midnight on Tuesday. The caller said a man selling CDs outside of
this store threatened him with a gun. The officers attempted to subdue 34- year-old Alton Sterling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the ground. Get on the ground.
SANDOVAL: The store owner says that one officer used a TASER, but Sterling remained on his feet. Sterling is then tackled by an officer over
the hood of a car as officers wrestled to restrain Sterling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a gun.
SANDOVAL: Sterling was then shot several times at pointblank range.
ADBUL MULLAHI, STORE OWNER: I was actually two or three feet away.
SANDOVAL: The store owner says while Sterling lay on the parking lot, he saw officers pull a gun from his pocket. Sterling's family now
MAIGNON CHAMBERS, ALTON STERLING'S SISTER: I really want to know more about what happened, about the whole situation. Because my brother didn't
deserve it. He didn't deserve it at all.
SANDOVAL: CNN affiliate WAFB reports that the officers in question were wearing body
cameras, but they apparently fell off during the altercation. Baton Rouge police have placed the officers on administrative leave.
CPL. L'JEAN MCKNEELY, SPOKESMAN, BATON ROUGE POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is an ongoing investigation. We're going to review the video, we're going
to review the audio. We have witnesses, non-biased witnesses here. We are going to bring them down to our station and interview them.
SANDOVAL: The coroner ruling that Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
MULLAHI: God bless his soul. It could have been handled differently, much differently, on both sides it could have been handled differently.
[11:45:00] ANDERSON: And that was Polo Sandoval reporting.
Within the last hour, the mother of Alton Sterling's son spoke to the media saying the proof of Sterling's innocence is in that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUINYETTA MCMILLAN, MOTHER OF STERLING'S SON: As this video has been shared across the world you will see with your own eyes how he was handled
unjustly and killed without regard for the lives that he helped raise.
As a mother, I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father that I can't take away from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Local media report this is the third fatal officer-involved shooting this year in east Baton Rouge Parish.
Live from Abu Dhabi this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Just ahead, all he wanted was to dance, make it to the United States one day. But terror in Baghdad ended his life and his dreams. We'll have
Adel's story coming up.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why Rwanda, or why are we here? It was a strategic decision of
the company to go global. We are a top ten company in technology, but we are known really
in South America. So, right now we decided to go global and the joint venture to become international arm of this group.
GIOKOS: Positiv has secured a deal with the Rwandan government to sell them 150,000 devices every year, mostly for the education sector.
Because of this, the assembly plant had to get up and running quickly.
How many people do you have employed at the moment?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we started last July. So far we have delivered more than 100,000 units. We have capacity of delivering one
million units, but for that we need more people and more demand. Right now we have direct staff around 50 people. But if you count indirect, so security,
cleaning, the rest we should have created around 120 positions.
GIOKOS: The mostly local staff of technicians were trained by expats to meet Positivo's standards of quality. But the key to this business is
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Now (inaudible) it's about volume. We work with economies of scale. Our margins are very, very low. The average price is
between $250 more or less. But this is big volumes for governments, for private sector and for education.
GIOKOS: Despite the pressure to deliver the high volumes the government is confident they can succeed in Rwanda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the challenges of being in an emerging market, of course. But we are coming from emerging markets. We're coming
from Argentina, we're coming from Brazil. So we know how to do it. And we have been doing it for 100 years.
GIOKOS: Positivo hopes to soon produce other devices like smart energy meters and billing machines in this plant. For now, these Made in
Rwanda laptops will continue to get the white glove treatment.
Eleni Giokos, Kegali, Rwanda.
ANDERSON: Right. In Baghdad, people are still trying to make sense of the tragedy that occurred there last weekend. More than 250 killed in
an ISIS truck bombing. One of the victims was Adel al-Jaffe (ph), a promising young dancer who went by the stage name Adel Euro.
ANDERSON: And to confirm, since we produced that piece earlier today that death toll
has unfortunately risen to more than 250. Jonathan Hollander is the president and artistic director of the Battery Dance Company in New York.
He knew Adel well and is with me to share memories of this young talented man.
Tell us about him. How did you meet him?
JONATHAN HOLLANDER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR BATTERY DANCE COMPANY: We met on Facebook in October of 2014. We started up a conversation. He said he
was a hip hop and break dancer, but wanted to learn more skills. And we had worked in Iraq previously. So word got around that we were people who
were open and interested in communicating.
ANDERSON: What was it like for him dancing in Iraq?
HOLLANDER: It was really, really tough. He was often stopped -- if he was in a public place like a park where he did some of his filming
people who accost him and say he was desecrating the Islamic religion.
He got out of that one by saying that he was doing martial arts, which apparently was okay. It was dance that was profane.
ANDERSON: How talented was he?
[11:55:02] HOLLANDER: This was somebody with talent coming out of every part of his body. He was a self-taught filmmaker, dancer,
choreographer. He just was bursting with creativity. And there was no end to his ability.
ANDERSON: When you heard of the terrorist attack, how did that make you feel?
HOLLANDER: I was devastated and so were my dancers, because we have all interacted with him. We got to go to Amman and get him across from
Baghdad to Amman. And we saw him perform on stage for the first time in front of an audience, an audience that he had been deprived of in his own
And we had all kinds of plans to bring him to New York where he could actually pursue his
creativity. So this was a very alive idea for us. And it was devastating for us when we found out that he was one of the victims of the terrible
bombing in Baghdad.
ANDERSON: So, briefly, if you were to think of a sort of lasting legacy for him, what would it be, as it were?
HOLLANDER: well, he has three brothers. And they all looked up to him, and they all idolized him. I just spoke with two of his brothers and
his father today. And what we have to tell each other is that we have to carry on his legacy, that he was somebody who believed in the passion of
dance and passion of art, to communicate across borders. And we also have to remember that behind all these headlines there are individuals with
precious lives. Iraqis are full of talent. And the young in Iraq just have no opportunity to grow and flourish the way that we do.
ANDERSON: You make a very, very good point, sir, thank you.
HOLLANDER: You are welcome.
Well, many of those killed in Sunday's Baghdad bombings were shopping for Eid, a holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan
which began today. The mood has been far from joyous in many parts of the Muslim world still reeling from deadly terrorist attacks.
This was the scene in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Medina this morning where thousands gathered for the Eid prayer.
And this shot is from across the border in Yemen where a bloody conflict is still raging.
Eid is synonymous with new clothes and hand art known as henna. But this is how some Syrian children enjoyed the holiday, playing in the
The Syrian war is in its sixth year now, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
An Eid embrace in Libya where a power vacuum still exists years after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi. In many parts of the Muslim world
there's one thing in common: a prayer for peace and an end to the bloodshed.
And those were your parting shots tonight.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World from the team who work with me and those who are working with us around the world, it's a very
good evening. Thank you for watching.