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Calls to Release Charlotte Police Video; Fighting Back Against China's Ivory Trade; Russia to Send Aircraft Carrier to Syria; Trump Supports Stop and Frisk. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired September 22, 2016 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:24] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to News Stream.
Now anger erupts on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina for another night. Protesters face off with police following the killing of an
A powerful reminder of the damage caused by Syria's civil war. We'll take you inside this
abandoned Damascus suburb.
And she's one of the most vocal critics of the Philippines president. And now this senator says she fears for her life.
And we begin with the anger boiling over in the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, over
the police killing of an African-American man. Now people are questioning why officials haven't released video of the shooting yet, which could
provide some answers as to what happened.
Wednesday, there was chaos in Charlotte.
Protesters looting, smashing windows, police firing tear gas. The governor declared a state of
emergency and has called in the national guard.
Until the video is released, we have two very different accounts of what led police to shoot and
kill Keith Lamont Scott.
Now, CNN's Nick Valencia has more on the violence in Charlotte, but this morning his report contains graphic video.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overnight a state of emergency declared in Charlotte. The governor deploys the National Guard.
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA (via phone): We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not
tolerate the attacks towards our police officers.
VALENCIA: Violet protests erupt for a second night. In the chaos, a man lays [SIC] bleeding on the ground from his head. Authorities say one person
was shot by another civilian outside the city's Omni Hotel. That person is on life support and in critical condition. Police descend on demonstrators
in riot gear, firing flash grenades and deploying tear gas to disperse crowds. CNN's Boris Sanchez in the middle of the intense scene.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whoa! OK. They clearly want us out of here.
VALENCIA: CNN's Ed Lavandera also caught in the fray.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's OK. It's OK.
VALENCIA: Knocked over by a protester while reporting on live TV. The protester later apologized.
LAVANDERA: Someone taking out their frustrations on me.
VALENCIA: Police confirmed several police officers suffered injuries.
Charlotte officials say if unrest continues, they'll explore, quote, "other options," including curfews to keep people off the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are working very hard to bring peace and calm back to our city. We know that this is not who Charlotte is. This is not who we
LU STOUT: Now, the killing of Keith Lamont Scott is just one of a number of African-American men killed by police. The case of Michael Brown in
Ferguson, Missouri, really sparked the beginning of the outrage, but there have been so many incidents since then.
12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing in a park holding a pellet gun when a police officer
shot him in 2014. Also that year, a New York man, Eric Garner, died after being put in a choke hold by police. And last year, 25-year-old Freddie
Gray died while in police custody in Maryland.
Now, these are just three examples. There are many more that I haven't even mentioned here.
And the outrage from all these cases displays a lack of trust by police in the United States, highlighted by what happened in Charlotte where the
victim's family and police have given very different accounts.
CNN's Polo Sandoval explains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said he had a gun. Somebody said he had a book. We need to do our own independent investigation to see if that is actually
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two very different accounts emerging about what led police to fatally shoot Keith Lamar Scott in the
parking lot of his apartment complex. Police say that Scott had a gun when he was confronted by Officer Brentley Vinson.
CHIEF KERR PUTNEY, CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mr. Scott, as I said, exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as the officers continued to
yell at him to drop it. He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers, and Officer Brentley Vinson subsequently fired his weapon, striking the
SANDOVAL: But Scott's daughter insists her father did not have a gun, alleging that, if he did, police planted it. Moments after the shooting she
offers her account in an emotional Facebook live stream.
[08:05:08] LYRIC SCOTT, DAUGHTER OF KEITH LAMONT SCOTT: He can't even do (EXPLETIVE DELETED). My (EXPLETIVE DELETED) daddy is definitely disabled.
What (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gun he had, he in the damn car reading a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) book. You all (EXPLETIVE DELETED) run up on him because
SANDOVAL: Charlotte police have not released the video, but maintain that the evidence recovered at the scene proves their story.
PUTNEY: A weapon was seized. A handgun. I can also tell you we did not find a book that has been made reference to.
SANDOVAL: These conflicting accounts offering little comfort to Scott's wife. She issued a statement late Friday night, asserting, quote, "After
listening to remarks made by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Putney today, we have more questions than answers about Keith's death. Rest
assured, we will work diligently to get answers to our questions as quickly as possible."
The ACLU has called for Charlotte police to release the officer's video despite a new law that the city says prohibits them from releasing it. But
the new law doesn't go into effect for another week. Charlotte's mayor telling CNN last night she will review the video today.
MAYOR JENNIFER ROBERTS (D), CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: There are different perspectives and different videos. There are a couple different body
cameras. There were some dash cameras. There may be some community videos.
We want to have clear, irrefutable evidence. We're working very hard to make that accessible.
LU STOUT: Now, the anger that we're seeing in Charlotte and Tulsa has put the issue of race and policing back in the forefront of the U.S.
presidential race. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are responding to the shootings.
Now, Jason Carroll joins me now with more on this story from CNN New York. And Jason, exactly how are Clinton and Trump navigating the politics of
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, they're doing this in very different ways. If you look at Donald Trump, for example, he's
looking at a policy that was basically ruled unconstitutional back in 2013, a policy called Stop and Frisk. He says it has worked in the
past. Perhaps, he says, it could work in the future.
Both candidates offering very different takes on how to address violence in African-American communities.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So I don't know if she choked. He was walking. His hands were high. Something really bad happened.
CARROLL (voice-over): Donald Trump says he's very troubled by the deadly police shooting in Tulsa. Both candidates speaking out about the recent
killings of two black men at the hands of police.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have two more names to a list of African-Americans killed by police officers in these encounters. It's
unbearable. And it needs to become intolerable.
CARROLL: Police shootings now front and center in the presidential race. Trump vows to fix the issues facing African-American voters.
TRUMP: Honestly, what do you have to lose? Not going to get any worse. It's terrible.
CARROLL: The NAACP calling Trump's assessment of African-American communities insulting.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: To ignore the fact that African- Americans were lynched; African-Americans forced to drink out of colored water fountains, ride the back of the bus; and to compare it to the
challenges of today demonstrates a profound ignorance of history.
CARROLL: Trump also calling for a Stop and Frisk policy nationwide.
TRUMP: I would do Stop and Frisk. I think you have to.
CARROLL: New York City's Stop and Frisk policy was found unconstitutional in 2013, in part because it unlawfully targeted blacks and Latinos. It
allowed police officers to stop and pat down individuals they deemed suspicious of carrying weapons or contraband.
TRUMP: We did it in New York. It worked incredibly well, and you have to be proactive. And, you know, you -- you really help people sort of change
their mind automatically.
CARROLL: Between 2004 and mid-2012, police stopped over 4 million people, according to the NYPD, nearly 90 percent of them black or Latino, with just
12 percent charged with crimes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They cursed at me and said, "Get -- you know, get against the fence."
LEROY DOWNS, UNARMED MAN TARGETED BY STOP-AND-FRISK: I could feel the presence of police officers standing over me, pointing weapons at me.
CARROLL: Trump's campaign later saying in a statement he was only suggesting a locally tailored version of Stop and Frisk should be used in
Chicago specifically, but doubled down on his support of the policy he has publicly endorsed since 2013, saying Stop and Frisk saved lives, and it
A sharp contrast to Clinton, whose campaign announced she would implement a national standards to help prevent police-involved shootings.
CLINTON: We need to come together, work together, white, black, Latino, Asian, all of us.
CARROLL: She also praised the work of law enforcement after the swift capture of the New York and New Jersey bombing suspect.
CLINTON: Every day police officers across our country are serving with extraordinary courage, honor and skill. Our police handled those terrorist
attacks exactly right, and they likely saved a lot of lives.
[08:10:15] CARROLL: And, Kristie, Clinton also advocating for more community policing. New York City's mayor also weighing in on the stop and
frisk controversy saying in his words that the practice would, quote, alienate the very people who need to be partners in the fight against crime
LU STOUT: Yeah, both candidates have very different approaches on how to deal with police practices and to change it.
But in terms of polling, and we're getting so close to general election, we know that both candidates also confront different challenges with African-
So right now, who has more support from this critical voting bloc?
CARROLL: Oh, well, look, overwhelmingly Hillary Clinton has more support than Donald
Trump. As you know, though, Kristie, Donald Trump has been making an effort to court the African-American community in many ways, saying over
and over again, what do you have to lose by voting for Trump.
The NAACP actually weighing in on that, basically saying that Donald Trump's perspective on
the African-American community is insulting. Clearly, he still has a ways to go, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, Jason Carroll reporting for us. Thank you, Jason.
Now, the UN is set to resume aid shipments in Syria for the first time since Monday's deadly attack on an aid convoy. Deliveries were put on hold
after 20 people were killed in a strike near Aleppo. Russia has denied U.S. claims that it was responsible.
And later today, diplomats will meet in New York to try to revive the failing cease-fire. In a tense UN session on Wednesday, the U.S. urged
Moscow and Damascus to stop flying war planes over battle zones. But Russia has announced it is sending an aircraft carrier toward Syria.
Now, we will have a live report from Moscow in just a moment. But first, I want to take you to one town in Syria where the guns only recently fell
silent after years of siege.
Now, Fred Pleitgen walks the streets of Darayya to show us the devastation left behind.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It looks like so many places in war-torn Syria, and in many ways tells the story of the ongoing
war in this country.
Unspeakable violence, no real winners, many losers, and a society torn apart.
Darayya was under siege and under heavy bombardment for years. And as you can see, there's almost not a single building here in this district that's
still intact. And you can only imagine how dire the situation must have been for the people trapped inside.
Now Darayya is abandoned, under a deal that gave rebel fighters free passage to other opposition controlled areas in exchange for government
control of Darayya. And that brought many civilians to this shelter outside Damascus, many of the children unable to forget the horrors they
It was very dangerous and bombs kept falling all around us, this boy says.
And this girl adds, it was a very bad situation. We had a house in Darayya, but that was destroyed. Now we have nothing.
Darayya was one of the first hot spots in Syria's war, under siege and bombardment for nearly
four years until finally the evacuation deal was reached. What's left is a battered skeleton of a town and the remnants of a brutal battlefield.
This entire area is riddled with an elaborate tunnel system that even has air vents. Now, these tunnels helped the rebels move within the
battlefield from one position to the next.
Syria's government calls this and similar deals around the country reconciliation. The opposition calls it cleansing.
17-year-old Diana chose to go into the displaced camp while her husband left to rebel-held
Idlib Province and never saw their 10-day-old baby.
He chose to go to Idlib, she says, and I was pregnant. It was my due date when we left. I had the baby on the way here.
Darayya is quiet now, silent, empty, and lifeless, as many former residents wonder if their
once-bustling town will ever thrive again.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Dayarra, Syria.
LU STOUT: And with the cease-fire all but dead in Syria, efforts resume later today to try to
revive it. Joining me with more from Moscow. CNN's Matthew Chance. And Matthew, the cease-fire in Syria is failing. And we're now learning that
Russia is deploying an aircraft carrier to Syria. Why now?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, it certainly ups the ante, doesn't it, when it comes to the urgency of getting those
cessation of hostilities back on track and renewed. Yesterday, in fact, here in Russia, it was announced by the Russian defense
ministry that the flagship of the Russian navy -- it's an aircraft carrier called the Admiral Kuzentsov has been deployed to waters off the Syrian
coast along with a carrier group, so lots of other ships going with
it significantly, increasing the sea power and of course the air power that Russia has as its disposal in that Syrian theater.
The aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuzentsov, can carry up to 24 strike aircraft. And so that's a big increase on the amount of aircraft that
Russia already has deployed in Syria at its Latakia air base.
And so if it chooses to intensify and to escalate its air strikes, it would have the means to do so
by using the fire power at its disposal on that aircraft carrier.
Now, it doesn't mean it's made that decision to intensify the air strikes, but obviously it adds
additional pressure on those negotiations, on those talks within the United States and Russia to try to get this cessation of hostilities back on
LU STOUT: So Russia is upping the ante by deploying this aircraft carrier to the region. So what is the possibility here that the cease-fire can
somehow be revived?
CHANCE: Well, I think the possibilities are slim. I mean, certainly that's the interpretation of the Kremlin. They say that the chances of this being
renewed at this point is very weak.
They said that after there was a U.S.-led coalition strike, you may remember, at the weekend on
a Syrian army outpost in which more than 60 Syrian troops were killed. They made those comments then.
And since then, of course, on Monday there was attack on the UN aid convoy which further outraged the international community. And so both sides,
both the Americans and the Russians who
support, of course, different factions in that conflict in Syria, have been at each other's throats, criticizing each other for their mutual failures
to uphold their end of the bargain.
And so it's a very poisonous atmosphere between the two sides. Hopefully this -- their minds can now be focused and they can focus on the issue of
delivering are humanitarian aid to the areas where it's most needed and to try to move to the next step on this -- in this truce, and to try and bring
something more lasting for Syria.
LU STOUT: Matthew Chance reporting for us live from Moscow. Thank you, Matthew.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come right here on the program, a chilling declaration from one of the harshest critics of the Philippine
president. Why Leila De Lima now now fears for her safety.
Also ahead, a migrant boat capsizes off the coast of Egypt. And now a rescue operation has
expanded into a criminal investigation.
LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Let's get straight back to our top story. The all out anger that's been boiling over on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, over the police
killing of an African-American man.
Nick Valencia is there on the scene. He joins us now live. And Nick, we know that that state of emergency has been declared. The national guard
deployed to Charlotte. What impact is that having on the tension in the city?
[08:20:23] VALENCIA: Well, things seem to be still very tense here in this area. The demonstrators have by and large dispersed. We're going on hour
six since things have returned to a
semblance of normalcy here, if you can call it that.
Behind me here is some of the aftermath of the looting, the vandalism and the aftermath of
the riots that happened here in downtown last night. It seems a string of businesses here in the central business district of downtown were targeted.
The neighborhoods around downtown were by and large left alone. The riots were specific to this area.
At least four officers were injured. There were a handful of arrests. We saw one of what appeared to be the final arrests last night at about 1:30
when we showed up at the scene.
But tension here remains at an all-time high. I just spoke to a police officer who says that he witnessed and saw the body cam footage, part of
the anger and frustration here in this community is a lack of what they say is transparency. That there is no transparency. They want to see the body
footage. They have not seen that yet.
I spoke to somebody who did. And he says once that is shown, and if it is shown to the public, that the truth will come out. He says there was an
obvious threat made by Keith Scott towards the officers, and that's why Keith Scott was shot and killed by police.
Of course, there is a competing narrative being released by the family of Keith Scott, saying
that he was just simply waiting for his son to be dropped off by his school bus, that he was reading a book, and that he didn't even own a firearm or a
Police, of course, have responded to those allegations at a press conference yesterday, saying simply that is not true. Now we hear from
somebody, an officer, here with the police force of Charlotte, who says that he has seen the dash cam video and says that if the public saw it,
they, too, would see an obvious threat towards police officers -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, there's a lot of interest in that dash cam footage and whether or not it's
going to be released to the public. And Nick, the second night of protests in Charlotte. I understand that they started peacefully.
So, when and how did things turn violent?
VALENCIA: It depends on who you ask, Kristie.
Last night the demonstrations started here about 6:00 p.m., a peaceful protest, a march through the streets. There was dialogue between police
officers and demonstrators. And then things turned ugly at about 8:00, 9:00 last night.
The demonstrators say that things didn't turn violent until police launched tear gas. Of course, police say they blame agitators. One officer I spoke
to say that he saw many people come from out
of state, almost immediately after that Facebook livestream video was put out by Keith Scott's daughter.
It appears that that added to the complexity here and the tension. That video has been viewed
hundreds of thousands of times already. And as that video became viral, that's when more and more people started to come out and confront police.
That's added to the confusion here in this community, and people here seem to have an intense amount of distrust with the Police Department.
We should note here that this incident in the shooting death of Keith Scott comes a day or so
after a different incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that angered and frustrated members here of the African-American community. It seemed that tension was
very apparent when the shooting death of Keith Scott happened in the afternoon on Tuesday at about 4:00 p.m. That added to the anger and we all
saw what happened last night -- Krsitie.
LU STOUT: That's right. Tulsa is still tense. Tension there in Charlotte.
Nick Valencia reporting live for us on the scene. Thank you, Nick, and take care.
Now, she is one of the most critical, vocal opponents of Philippine's President Rodrigo Duterte. And now senator Leila De Lima says she fears
for her life. De Lima was leading the political probe into claims of extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte's war on drugs. But she was
removed as head of the senate justice and human rights committee.
Now she says she's had to leave her home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEILA DE LIMA, PHILIPPINES SENATOR: I don't feel safe. The truth is I'm not safe. They're violating my rights -- right to security, right to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now, this political infighting started to unfold on Monday. Supporters of President Duterte spearheaded De Lima's removal as chair of
the investigative committee. And the man leading the charge, former boxing champion turned politician Manny Pacquiao. He accused De Lima of singling
out the president, and the very next day the senator was the focus of a new political
probe, accusing her of corruption.
Duterte supporters heard evidence that De Lima took bribes from jailed drug lords. One even read out her personal phone number and address. De Lima
since says she's been bombarded with threats and denies the accusations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[08:25:05] DE LIMA: Those who have -- either they have an ax to grind against me or they have skeletons in their closet. Again, I repeat, ax to
grind. Skeletons in the closet. You so-called investigators. I don't call them investigators, I call them operators. You will be off the hook
in order to save your skin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Mr. Duterte and De Lima have been political rivals for some time. De Lima has long demanded an investigation into the president and
his apparent death squad targeting drug dealers when he was mayor of Davao City.
And last week a witness testified before the senate committee that he was not only part of that
squad but was ordered to kill De Lima when she was head of the Philippines' human rights commission.
The Philippine president denies the accusations and had some tense words for the European
parliament, which has condemned his drug crackdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES PRESIDNENT: That's the goal, to condemn me. Once again, I repeat it, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: For the record, the investigations about De Lima and the war on drugs go on.
Now, Egyptian state media reports four crew members have been detained from a migrant boat that capsized off Egypt's coast. About 450 migrants were on
that boat, but fewer than half of them were rescued. The boat capsized on Wednesday. Ian Lee is following this story for us. He joins us live from
Ian, hundreds of people are still missing. What's the latest on the search and rescue, and also, why has this turned into a criminal investigation?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, starting off with the search and rescue. You have the Egyptian navy, the coast guard, as
well as local fishermen still scouring the water, looking for any survivors. And if we do the math here, you have at least 450 people on
that boat, 163 people have been rescued, 43 people have drowned, their bodies have been recovered.
So, that means over 200 people are still unaccounted for. And that's the main goal of this search right now. But when it comes to this criminal
investigation, this possible criminal investigation, you do have these four crew members who were on this boat that have been detained. They'll be
detained for four days as the investigation is under way.
But they could be facing manslaughter charges.
LU STOUT: And Ian, let's talk about the victims of this tragedy. Who are they? Where did they come from?
LEE: Well, when it comes to Egypt, a lot of these migrants are people who come from various African countries. There's also a lot of Egyptians that
you see on this boat as well as refugees from Syria who make this way.
The boats go from a small boat to a larger boat that's in the Mediterranean. And then that boat takes them to Europe.
A lot of times their destination is Europe. But you have the Egyptian military on a weekly basis announcing these boats that they intercept,
they turn back hundred of people at times being turned back and to Egypt. The people that were rescued were briefly detained, but they were freed.
This tragic scenario just continues to repeat itself.
LU STOUT: Ian Lee reporting live for us on yet another migrant boat disaster. Thank you, Ian.
Now, world leaders are heading to UN headquarters for day three of the General Assembly meeting. And we're going to take you there live for a
look at what's on the agenda today. Stay with us.
[08:31:59] LU STOUT: It is day three at the UN General Assembly's annual debate, where the situation in Syria is still the main talking point. But
other world issues are competing for attention.
Now, let's take you live to UN headquarters. Robyn Curnow is standing by. She joins us now. And Robyn, there will be no doubt more on Syria today,
especially after what we heard yesterday. And leaders from a number of countries are set to speak.
Tell us, what should we expect today?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. And you're so right, Kristie. I mean, really, the focus remains on Syria.
John Kerry saying yesterday in
the Security Council that there was a moment of truth. He also seemed to put forward some sort of 11th hour proposal, calling for a grounding of all
aircraft in key areas. That's the important point
there, in Syria.
Now, he also accused Assad of being a spoiler. He said Russia was living in a parallel universe. Very testy words also coming in response from
Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister.
So, it'll be interesting to see that conversation as it moves forward today. We know that the international Syrian support group, a
multinational body headed up by Russia, and the U.S. is going to
be meeting again here in New York today. What will be the Russian response to the suggestion from
Kerry that flights should be grounded to prevent a repeat of what we've seen in terms of the hitting of that aid convoy this week.
So, certainly a doubling down on a peace process, on a peace agreement, a cease-fire that appears to be all but in tatters. And the fact that the
Americans keep on insisting on some sort of diplomatic solution, also an indication of how they believe there's not really any other alternative.
LU STOUT: All right. Robyn Curnow reporting live from the UN.
You're watching News Stream. And still to come, clamping down on China's ivory obsession. We speak to a White House adviser who is trying to make a
diffrence in Asia's biggest marketplace.
[08:35:32] LU STOUT: Now, activists call Hong Kong the dark heart of the ivory trade.
There are hundreds of licensed ivory sellers here in the city. Many of them selling to mainland
Chinese tourists. And although Hong Kong plans to phase out the sale of ivory in the city by 2021, one conservation says that's not enough.
Now, Patrick Bergin is the CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation and a special adviser to the White Hosue. He is urging Hong Kong to ban the
local ivory trade before it's too late. I spoke to him earlier about Hong Kong and China's role in the urgent race to save Africa's elephants.
PATRICK BERGIN, AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION: Well, Hong Kong is known to
be the biggest marketplace and the biggest transit point for ivory. We respect and appreciate the fact that the Hong Kong government has committed
to eventually phase out and have a domestic ban on ivory sales. It's not happening fast enough for the African elephant. We need more rapid action.
LU STOUT: And the situation is dire. Recently the elephant census was released. There has been a catastrophic drop in the number of African
elephants. Was it one-third of the population wiped out in about seven years. Why does the killing go on? Why is there still demand for ivory?
BERGIN: Well, let me say two things. First of all, this is the second great poaching and trafficking crisis of most of our lifetimes. In the 70s
and 80s the, what I like to call the continental herd, the total resource of African elephants, was cut in half never to return to the previous
Now, we're in a second great poaching crisis. And, you know, the fear is that we're going to lose another half of the half. So that's a real
Look, there's a cultural problem. People still value owning ivory. Another reason I'm here is
really to communicate, there are other ways to invest your money. There are other ways to enjoy beauty. It is no longer appropriate to buy or own
LU STOUT: In Africa, are you seeing China and Chinese consumers and Chinese companies take a more proactive role in wildlife protection and
BERGIN: We're trying to start that conversation. I mean, let me first say that having been in Africa for almost 30 years now, Chinese engagement in
Africa is very welcome. The continent needs investment. The continent needs an infrastructure backbone. China has come to Africa and is really
changing the landscape. That's very, very welcome.
At the same time, there can be unintended consequences. Parks and railroads -- railroads and roads going through national parks, mining and
prospecting in national parks or sensitive wildlife
areas. People engaging in illegal wildlife trade.
So, we really need to talk to the business people, state-owned corporations, Chinese embassies
in Africa, and invite them to engage and be a part of the solution.
LU STOUT: You just launched, or are in the process of launching, Africa's first investment fund for conservation. How is that going to work? And
how is that going to change the fate of Aafrica's elephants?
BERGIN: Well, let me say this, again, when I joined African Wildlife Foundation almost 30 years ago, I was told, you know what, Patrick, if you
give wildlife a safe place to live, it actually
looks after itself. Wildlife just needs a safe place to live.
The issues around conservation are social. They're political. They're economic. African governments are looking for ways to grow their economies
and reduce poverty, and that means the business side of the equation is very important.
So our new mechanism is called African wildlife capital. And it is a capital fund that provides finance to medium-sized businesses at the
interface between wildlife conservation and commercial success.
LU STOUT: You're welcoming business and investment opportunity for conservation. You're engaging with government, with consumers here in
China and Hong Kong. What ultimately needs to happen next to solve this crisis, this poaching crisis?
BERGIN: Well, let me say we see a short-term threat. That's the current poaching and trafficking crisis. There is a medium term threat, which is
this. Africa is reaching an economic tipping point. We're going to see the transformation of Africa like we've seen in Southeast Asia, to modern
economies. And the question is, what path will Africa choose? Remember, the continent of Africa is huge. The United States, China, India, Western
Europe would all fit in Africa with change left over.
A lot of this is about saying what happens where. We want to promote a vision in which Africa has thriving, beautiful, livable cities, productive
farmlands, even industry. A lot of China's focus on Africa right now is about industrialization. There should still be room in places where large
representative populations of wildlife can live or natural process can be sustained and where this wonderful world heritage remains for future
LU STOUT: And that was Patrick Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation. The group is calling for a ban of the local ivory trade in
Hong Kong before 2021 and fight to safeguard Africa's elephants, that continues this weekend at a UN meeting in Johannesburg.
Now countries are to vote on shutting down Domestic ivory markets at the conference of international trade in endangered species.
Now, China is putting the final touches on the world's largest telescope. The gigantic dish-like structure is nestled between Gueizhou's (ph)
Now China is officially putting the telescope to work this Sunday. And it's got a pretty big job lined up already. Looking for life beyond planet
A big job for a very, very big telescope. And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout. But don't go anywhere. World Sport with Amanda Davis is