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CONNECT THE WORLD
Freed Chibok Girls Celebrate Christmas Reunited with Families; A Rare Look into Life in Tibet; Israel Reduces Working Relationship with 10 Nations; Shinzo Abe to Visit Pearl Harbor Memorial; Netanyahu Accuses Obama of Colluding with Palestinians over UN Resolution; Trump Worrying World Over Nuclear Weapons Tweet. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 27, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:33] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Friends don't take friends to the Security Council.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: This hour, Israel on the diplomatic assault after its prime minister claims it was ambushed by Washington at the United
Nations. We are live this hour in Jerusalem for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The moment of reunion eventually arrives, the room almost vibrating with the sound of unbridled
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Stolen from school, now home. Some of the released Chibok schoolgirls finally make it to their families. That CNN exclusive is for
you this hour.
And then, we'll give you an extraordinary rare peek inside Tibet amid the roiling tensions there.
Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Today in London for you at just after 3:00 in the afternoon. Israel says it will
not be, quote, kicked in the teeth without a response.
We begin with the new fallout from the UN Security Council resolution that demands a halt to Israeli settlement activities.
Israel temporarily limiting working ties with 12 UN members, that backed the resolution including Britain, France and Egypt.
Two other nations voted yes as well, but have no ties with Israel to cut. And just a short time ago, we learned Israel is moving ahead with plans to
build hundreds of homes in East jerusalem despite the UN's rebuke of settlement construction there.
Well, Israel puts to blame the UN vote squarely on the United States even though it abstained. It says Washington colluded with with Palestinians
behind the scenes to craft the resolution, as Elise Labott reports, the Obama administration says that is absurd.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is escalating his attack against the Obama
administration, clearly still angry over the U.N. vote declaring Israeli settlements illegal.
BANJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRALI PRIME MINISTER: Friends don't take friends to the Security Council.
LABOTT: Netanyahu summoned the U.S. ambassador and has accused President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry of orchestrating what he called a
shameful ambush at the U.N., telling his cabinet he has ironclad proof.
NETANYAHU (through translation): From the information we have, we have no doubt the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated
on the wording and demanded it be passed.
LABOTT: The White House denies that, calling the claim "absurd."
BEN RHODES, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: We did not draft it. We did not put it forward.
LABOTT: The Obama administration maintains it was a last resort after struggling the past eight years to convince Israel to halt settlement
construction on occupied lands the Palestinians claim for their state.
RHODES: For years, we have seen an acceleration in the growth of these settlements. If the trends continue, the two-state solution will be
LABOTT: Officials are worried, with U.N. backing, Palestinians will push for sanctions, boycotts, and take Israeli soldiers to the international
DORMER: What the resolution did is it gave the Palestinians ammunition in their diplomatic and legal war against Israel and the United States not
only didn't stop it, they were behind it.
LABOTT: Netanyahu is now putting his hopes in President-elect Trump and members of Congress who are promising to defund the U.N. unless the vote is
overturned hoping it will give Trump leverage.
NETANYAHU: I look forward to working with those friends and the new administration when it takes office next month.
LABOTT (on camera): It's not just the president-elect opposes the vote but members of Congress from both parties that urged the Obama administration
not to go through with it. Leading Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham say they will move to defund the U.N. unless the Security Council overturns
Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.
ANDERSON: Let's get you more reaction now from Israel. Oren Liebermann is live for you out of Jerusalem this hour. What is your assessment of what
we are hearing from the Israelis, Oren?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, again, Israelis keep insisting they have this evidence that the U.S. was behind it, but so
far at least they haven't shown us, or anyone that we've seen that evidence or that information, and yet that hasn't slowed down their anger about
this, not at all. In fact, Netanyahu defended his own lashing out at Obama and his own diplomatic moves saying they were, quote, responsible, measured
Netanyahu promised right after the vote he wouldn't abide by this resolution. So far, Israel is sticking by that. On tomorrow's Jerusalem
zoning committee meeting, they have hundreds of units in East Jerusalem that they're set to approve. It was on the agenda before the Security
Council vote, but that's exactly the point here, they'll advance these regardless of this Security Council resolution.
ANDERSON: Well, how dependent is Israel on its relationship with the United States. Can you just explain?
LIEBERMANN: Incredibly dependent. It's even at the worst of the U.S.- Israel Obama-Netanyahu relations, they both said the relations between the countries remain strong. And that was stressed even by President-elect
Trump and many members of the congress in the U.S.
What Netanyahu knows is -- or what he expects, I should say, is that whatever he says, whatever he does it seems, he doesn't expect there to be
too much damage with President Barack Obama and he expects a fresh start, a clean slate with President-elect Trump when he takes office.
Also important to note just in terms of the U.S.-Israel relationship, because it's so deep and it goes so far, the U.S. and Israel just a couple
of months ago signed a $38 billion military aid deal as the largest military aid deal that U.S. has ever signed with any other country.
ANDERSON: I guess the big question is this, isn't it, what is the sense in Israel of what will happen to the relationship under a new Trump
LIEBERMANN: Israelis want a fresh start. Obama's not particularly popular here, especially with Netanyahu's voters, and he's very unpopular among
them. So some of Netanyahu lashing out may be him playing to his own political base there. And I think Israelis expect, perhaps like Netanyahu,
that Obama is on his way out. He's a lame duck president who has only a few
weeks left and with Trump, it will be a completely new start.
Trump has already announced his pick for ambassador to Israel, a man named David Friedman, Trump's bankruptcy lawyer, and his views on Israel and the
West Bank and the conflict are far closer to Netanyahu's own.
So, I think many Israelis see that as a good point to build on right there.
ANDERSON: Oren, thank you for that.
The view out of Jerusalem for you this hour.
The Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi (ph) says Israel's reaction to the Security Council resolution is quite hysterical, irrational ands
irresponsible. Well, she joins me in about ten minutes form Ramala right here on Connect the World here, what else she has
to say then.
Let's get you to some of the other stories on our radar today, shall we?
And the flight data recorder from a Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea has
now been located. It could help investigators understand what caused Sunday's crash that killed all 92 people on board, but it may take weeks to
access the data.
Well, 29 South Korean lawmakers abandoning the ruling party weeks after the national
assembly voted to impeach the president. he is embroiled in a political scandal for sharing state documents with a confidant.
Iraq's prime minister has ordered an investigation into the abduction of a female journalist. Gunmen stormed the Baghdad home of Afra Shawiki al-
Khasi (ph) and took her captive. Her sister tells CN that her two kids and brother-in-law were in the house, but only she was taken.
Well, to an emotional journey now more than two years in the making. In April, 2014, you'll remember nearly 300 schoolgirls who were abducted in
northern Nigeria, sparking global outrage in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.
Well, now, 10 weeks after being released by Boko Haram, 21 girls and a baby finally returned home to celebrate Christmas with their families for the
first time since their abduction.
My colleague Isha Sesay had this exclusive access during their emotional journey home. Have a look at this.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After almost two and a half years in Boko Haram captivity, at last it's time to go home. Having covered
the Chibok girls abduction from the very beginning, I'm going to make the long journey from Abuja (ph) to Chible (ph) with them.
(on camera): You're going home. How are you feeling? Somebody tell me, how - what is the feeling in your heart right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy.
SESAY: Yes, happy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SESAY (voice-over): For all the talk of excitement, some of these girls are also nervous.
(on camera): Don't be nervous. Don't be afraid, OK? Behold your faith. You hold on to your faith, OK? OK? The same faith that kept you all those
(voice-over): With the girls on the move, there are more smiles as they chat and giggle freely amongst themselves.
Once we land in Yola (ph), the girls are welcomed by some of the Chibok community leaders, as well as the governor of Adamawa (ph) state.
The road to Chibok, too dangerous to travel after dark. The girls spend the night at a local hotel. Outside, a large security cordon is put in place.
Inside, with their journey delayed, they gather in one room to do what they were unable to do while in Boko Haram captivity. I learned from Rebecca
Malum (ph) and Glory Damer (ph) they were singing local Christian hymns. While in captivity, their Christianity was not tolerated by the Boko Haram
(on camera): What have you been doing since you were at Abuja?
[10:11:04] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...We been very grateful. We are - we are grateful for them because they are good people. They have done good for us.
And then when we are in Abuja, we have plenty of food, we have English class that we are learning how to speak in English and writing very well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye.
SESAY: You guys look so different since I saw you in October. How are you feeling now, from that time till now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are feeling beautiful because - since we came. We -
SESAY: You can tell me. You can tell me. Because you are beautiful.
(voice-over): The next morning, a military convoy escorts the girls to Chibok, a place that holds the promise of long- awaited family reunions and
memories of a fateful night.
(on camera): So the convoy has stopped in a town called Madamamubi (ph), which is about an hour away from Chibok. The movement through these parts,
such a well-armed convoy, is drawing attention from passer's by.
(voice-over): As we enter Chibok town, locals wave excitedly, welcoming their girls home.
The moment of reunion eventually arrives. The room, almost vibrating with the sound of unbridled joy. But for some waiting parents, heartbreak. These
women have come looking for their daughters who are still being held by Boko Haram. They've thought their children were among the group who were
coming home for Christmas.
(on camera): There has been such an outpouring of grief amid the joy. The piercing screams of mothers realizing that, indeed, they are not to be
reunited with their daughters on this day, which has turned what should have been an overwhelmingly happy moment into a bitter sweet one.
(voice-over): For Rebecca and her father, the nightmare is over and her father is overcome with feelings of gratitude. Given all they have endured,
the mental and physical abuse at the hands of their captors, the years of painful separation from their loved ones, this reunion here in Chibok moves
these fractured families and the community a step closer to wholeness.
ANDERSON: For some of the kidnapped schoolgirls and their families as the healing process goes on, nearly 200 girls, do remember, are still missing.
CNN has been following the Chibok girls' harrowing experience since the start and you can find out a lotmore about what they've been through on
CNN's digital site.
Still to come tonight, we're going to get back our top story. Israel faces off with the U.S., just weeks away from the inauguration of a new
president. We'll get perspective from the Palestinian legislator, Hanan Ashwari. That is next.
And he's not even U.S. president yet, but Donald Trump's Twitter comments on nuclear weapons already raising new concerns. Taking a short break back
[10:16:50] ANDERSON: Welcome back. Sixteen minutes past 3:00 here in London, you're watching CNN's Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.
Right, Israel moving ahead with plans to build hundreds of homes in East Jerusalem despite a vote in the UN Security Council condemning settlement
construction there and in the West Bank. It is a slap in face to the Obama administration and threatens to escalate the bitter war of words between
the U.S. and Israel.
Now, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says it is, quote, ironclad proof that President Obama helped orchestrate the UN
resolution. Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashwari has called Israel's reaction to the resolution irrational and she's calling on the incoming
president, Donald Trump, to make sure Israel complies with international law.
Hanan Ashwari she joins me now from Ramala in the West Bank.
Israel says Washington colluded with the Palestinians on this resolution. Obama says that is absurd. What's your response?
HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR: I think it's beyond absurd. It's preposterous. Not a single U.S. administration has ever colluded with us
or conspired with us on anything. They always conspired and coordinate with Israel ahead of time and give Israel everything it wants. Now for a
change that the U.S. administration is fed up with eight years of noncompliance and
insults and humiliation and refusal to cooperate from Israel, now, the Israelis have hit the ceiling and have become hysterical.
But no certain I can deny this without any reservation. There has been no colluding and no prior coordination.
ANDERSON; All right, let me put this to you then, the office of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjanin Netanyahu accuses the Obama administration
of acting behind the scenes, as we've sai, to push this through the UN Security Council. Here's what David Keyes, Mr. Netanyahu's spokesman, said
to CNN earlier. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID KEYES, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER'S SPOKESMAN: I can tell you I myself have
seen the information and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that information exists and what it shows is that the Obama administration
helped craft and push and lobby for this United Nations Security Council resolution, which is so outrageous and frankly it's an abandonment of a
long standing position of the American administration to protect Israel at the United
Nations, this deeply biased body that frankly delights in lambasting the one liberal democracy in the Middle East and has a lot less time for those
hundreds of thousands of civilians killed in places like Syria.
(ENCD VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Keyes also said it would be up to President-elect Donald Trump wheter or not to release the evidence that as they suggest or accuse
Obama of lobbying for this vote in the UN.
You call this reaction hysterical, irrational and irresponsible. You can't, though, be surprised by it, correct. And is there anything more
than a, is this anything more than a symbolic act given this White House has less than a month left to run?
ASHWARI: First of all, what's outrageous are these fabrications. I mean, he has no proof. He hasn't even shown it and everything he said has
nothing to do with with reality, but that's his problem. Let me just tell you that the significance of this resolution, is of course, symbolic, but
it is also political. It is consistent with international law and international humanitarian law. It is part of a global policy. It is part
of an American policy.
The only difference is that the U.S. has consistently given Israel cover for its impunity despite an American policy. The only difference is that
the U.S. has consistently given Israel cover for its impunity and its violations. And for the first time, the U.S. decided that not for the
first time, but in recent, in the last few years, it has decided not to veto a resolution that is in compliance with American policy, as I said, and legality and
basic imperatives and requirements of peace.
Instead of becoming so hysterical and irrational and yelling and shouting and stomping their feet, they should look closer at home and see what
they're doing wrong, that is producing such negative reactions throughout the world and that is destroying the chances of peace.
[10:21:05] ANDERSON: You conceded this is likely more symbolic than anything else. What action do you want to see taken next now this
resolution is through, though?
ASHWARI: Certainly, this resolution should open the door for other steps. We should get for recognition as a state by the international body by the
UN. And of course, we need to see a clear plan in the Paris conference on the 15th of January, a clear plan to
end this occupation and with a binding timeline because Israel has been acting unilaterally since 1991,
it has been expending settlements, it has been stealing more land and destroying the possibility of a Palestinian State. So all these thing,
plus, we will take Israel to the ICC, International Criminal Court because according to their own statute, which governs ICC, settlement activities
are a war crime and Israel has been persistently and systematically building settlements on Palestinian land, stealing land and resources and
making life impossible for the Palestinians.
ANDERSON: Hanan, and a lot could happen in the next few weeks before President Obama leaves office. You just eluded to this meeting, this
conference in January. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expected to give a major speech, son outling Washington's vision for Middle East peace.
The conference of course is January the 15th. That could lay out a framework for peace negotiations, we are told at least.
Israel insists it's your refusal to recognize its right to exist as a majority Jewish state, which
is a major roadblock to peace. Is that position likely to change anytime soon?
ASHWARI: We have recognized Israel as a state in 1993, as part of the declaration of principles. The problem is that Israel does not recognize
the Palestinian right to freedom, dignity and self-determination. This is the issue.
And since we recognized Israel, we don't see any reason to revisit the issue unless they want us to reconsider our recognition.
ANDERSON: The question was slightly different. And you're avoiding -- you're avoiding the
question, slightly. The question was sorry -- the it was, sorry, with respect, the question was it's the Palestinian refusal to recognize
Israel's right to exist as a majority Jewish state, that is the Israeli State.
ASHWARI: Oh, it doesn't even say majority, Becky -- yeah, yeah, Becky excuse me, they talk
about Israel as a Jewish state.
No, we don't believe in exclusivity. We don't believe in any racist state. We don't believe that states should be based on religion or religions, or
that states have religion.
I've always said that Palestinian has to be a pluralistic, inclusive, tolerant, democratic state. We do not give added value to any ethnicity or
religion. And we believe that if you accept Israel as an exclusive exclusionary state, Becky, it means you have license to discriminate
against Christian and Muslim Palestinians who are the indigenous people of the land.
ANDERSON: Very briefly, how do you expect things to change, if at all, under a Trump
administration? And has the prospect of peace gotten worse under Obama or better.
Look, for the past, Obama wasted eight years in which he gave Israel every opportunity to destroy peace and gave them, of course, more support, more
funding, more military, weapons, everything that they wanted and they thumbed their nose at him.
Now, the issue of Trump I think is extremely dangerous because you are seeing the marriage of an extremist absolutist, militaristic ideology in
Israel, meeting its match in a racist xenophobic exclusive again military ideology in the U.S.
These and of course, they both have the same mentality of maintaining settlements, expanding them, of not recognizing Palestinian statehood, of
even not accepting the two-state solution and of maintaining or annexing Jerusalem altogether.
The language of absolutism and ideology is emerging, and it certainly is not the language of peace in the same way as the language of militarism and
power politics is not the language of peace or stability in the region and throughout the world.
[10:25:31] ANDERSON: A pessimistic view this afternoon from Hanan Ashwari, we welcome you on the show. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Well, as questions swirl about how the incoming U.S. president will handle complex diplomatic matters like that between the Palestinians and Israel
as we were just discussing, a recent Trump tweet already sounding alarm bells. The subject matter: nuclear weapons no less.
CNN's Barbara Starr has more.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Less than a month before he takes command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the world still is not sure what president-
elect Donald Trump meant with his tweet, "The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world
comes to its senses regarding nukes."
A Trump administration move to expand the nuclear arsenal would be a stunning and unprecedented reversal of both Democratic and Republican
foreign policy largely set by Ronald Reagan.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.
REAGAN: The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used, but then would it not be better to do
away with them entirely?
STARR: Reagan overcame his own opposition to arms control, sat down with Mikhail Gorbachev and negotiated nuclear arms limit. But Trump doubled
down, commentating to a TV morning anchor in a dramatic statement delivered in a surreal festive setting.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MORNING JOE HOST, MSNBC: He told me on the phone let it be an arms race because we will outmatch them at every path and outlast them
EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA/UKRAINE/EURASIA: Anytime any president talks about a nuclear arms
race it should be alarming for the whole world because the last thing we need are more nuclear weapons, more (inauible) material out there.
STARR: Vladimir Putin already signaling he won't bankrupt his economy on a nuclear race.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: If someone accelerates and speeds up the arms race, it will not be us. I would say that we will never if we are in
an arms race, we will never spend too much.
STARR: But Putin is moving ahead.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The Russians in the last few years have increased the capacity -- capability of their systems
STARR: It's not known if trump has been briefed and if he believes the U.S. Intelligence assessment that Russia is testing and possibly getting ready
to field a new nuclear capable ground-launched missile, a potential violation of a 1987 treaty negotiated by Reagan and Gorbachev.
FARKAS: Under President Putin, the Russians have violated that agreement. They have not admitted it and they have not yet to our knowledge fielded
those weapons. But once they do, that will be an immediate threat to our European allies and probably on President Donald Trump's watch. He'll have
to do something about it.
STARR: So where do things stand now? The Europeans indeed are nervous and the North Koreans may well be planning another underground nuclear test.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When we are doing the exact same work the, Han people get, say 300 quay and the Tibetens get 200 quay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The side of Tibet that China doesn't want you to see.
CNN gains rare access to what is this autonomous region. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
[10:32:59] ANDERSON: Well, it is say sight many in the U.S. and Japan never thought they would see this their lifetimes. A few hours from now, a
sitting Japanese prime minister will visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Now, that honors those killed in the attack between U.S. into World War II.
Shinzo Abe will be joined by President Barack Obama.
Athena Jones has more from Hawaii.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there.
Well, today kicks off with a bilateral meeting between the president and the prime minister followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Arizona
Memorial. Later, the two leaders will deliver remarks, which we expect will focus on the power of reconciliation. This is a historic visit, as you
noted, and it's one that one witness to the Pearl Harbor attack I spoke with is welcoming.
Ninety-five-year-old Robert Lee says he's glad to see Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making this trip.
ROBERT LEE, PEARL HARBOR WITNESS: I think it's the greatest thing in the world. I think we've already gone through quite a bit of healing.
JONES: He remembers as well the day of Japan's surprise attack 75 years ago when more than 2,400 people lost their lives.
LEE: It's very vivid in my memory, very much so.
JONES: Still a young man, just two years out of high school ROTC, he looked on from his bedroom, later dashing to his front lawn as Japanese bombers
flew low over his home, headed for battleship row.
LEE: I grabbed my .22-caliber target rifle and shot all 16 .22 lead shots.
JONES (on camera): At the planes?
LEE: At the planes.
JONES: Thinking that it would work?
LEE: Of course not, no.
LEE: ...to kill a mouse.
JONES (voice-over): He watched as the USS Arizona just a mile away exploded.
LEE: It was that orange, red/orange color. About three seconds and then it exploded. The fire went up hundreds of feet from the whole ship, and the
crackling of the fire was overwhelming.
[10:35:05] JONES: As those who could fought back, Lee helped to wash the oil off sailors who jumped to safety. Their ships under attack, later
helping transport the injured to treatment facilities. By midnight, he had joined the military, serving domestically throughout the war.
It was a long, emotional day that left Lee angry, but he isn't angry anymore.
LEE: Hate is the greatest destroyer of anyone. The idea that you can harbor hate will destroy you.
JONES: It's that understanding the president celebrated at Hiroshima.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan forged not
only an alliance but a friendship that is one far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.
JONES: A message Prime Minister Abe is certain to echo as he pays tribute at this watery grave, now a sacred site.
The prime minister will offer his prayers to those who lost their lives in the attack, but don't expect an apology. His will be a forward-looking
Back to you.
ANDERSON: Athena reporting for you.
And from one remarkable visit to another, CNN has gained rare access to Tibet. Now, the Chinese government controls what is this volatile region
and western media rarely allowed in, but in September, CNN finally clinched what was a tightly controlled visit.
Matt Rivers has more.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sounds of spirituality punctuating the predawn quiet in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
This is the Jokhang Temple, one of Tibetan Buddhism's holiest places.
But the peaceful setting belies the region's tumultuous history. The Communist government in
Beijing has controlled Tibet since 1951. After a failed revolt against Chinese rule in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, fled
abroad. Simmering defiance from Tibet who remain sometimes boils over into large-scale riots. Activists say hundreds have lit themselves on fire in
protests of religious and cultural suppression.
This is the Tibet the Chinese government does not want us to see.
In early September, CNN was given rare access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, one of the
most restricted places in China. We were allowed in only under the watchful eye of government minders, who organized our days from morning
until night. We saw art classes, an opera, new hotels, and an international tourism expo operated almost exclusively by locals.
But for people who track daily life in Lhasa, they say the calm exterior masks tensions that still lie beneath the surface.
NICHOLAS BEQUETIN, EAST ASIA DIRECTOR, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Tibet is one of the regions in China where the political suppression and religious
suppression are at the highest point.
RIVERS: The Chinese government has invested billions of dollars into transforming Tibet. They say the standard of living has risen
dramatically. There is new infrastructure, new schools, but also massive migration of Han Chinese, the dominant ethnicity in China.
For all the development in and around Lhasa, though, there's still a lot of poverty. Neighborhoods with homes like these built of nothing but cinder
blocks, no insulation, patched roofs, and many of these neighborhoods are populated by Tibetans, many of whom say they feel like second-class
citizens in their own homeland.
This is the only ordinary Tibetan we managed to speak with independently after leaving our minders behind during a lunch break. He didn't go to
school and works as a laborer.
"When we are doing the exact same work, the Han people get, say, 300 quay, and the Tibetans get 200 quay," he says. "The Hans get paid more than we
He's frustrated, but says there's not much he can do. If he protested, activists say he could be questioned and jailed without a second thought.
BEQUETIN: At the lack of space for any kind of dissent, even peaceful, will continue to drive deep resentment in Tibetan society.
RIVERS: Many of those recently detained have been protesting over the lack of religious freedom and economic equality and in support of the exiled
Dalai Lama, who has been advocating greater autonomy for Tibet.
We went to the Potala Palace where he used to live, but during an hour-long tour inside, he was
scarcely mentioned, just at the end of the tour we asked our tour guide one question about him and our government minders immediately said it was time
to move on to the next activity.
The lack of access to anything controversial or the ability to ask any real questions was a theme of this trip. We'd hoped to ask this Chinese
official, the region's vice chairman, some difficult questions. Instead, we were forced to sit silently as he spoke for 80
uninterrupted minutes talking about how everyone in Tibet is happy and content, a picture in stark contrast to the one painted by human rights
The Chinese government will tell you the peace of early morning prayers at the Jokhang temple is emblematic of broader Tibet, others will tell you
that demonstrations of dissent are just spark away from being reignited.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Tibet.
[10:40:46] ANDERSON: And if you were wondering how Matt's report might have gone down in China itself, well take a look at this. This is our
bureau in Beijing. As you can see, our report on Tibet was censored, the signal cut off with CNN blacked out.
This show is live out of London. You're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
Coming up, seven months pregnant and desperate to give birth in the U.S. We meet a woman who risks falling victim to human traffickers. That's
ANDERSON: Right. And you're back with Connect the World.
Thousands of migrants travel to Latin America hoping to head north in search of a better life in the U.S. But it is a long journey, we are well
aware of that, and one that could make them vulnerable to human traffickers. And as part of our CNN Freedom Project series, Shasta
Darlington has a story of a pregnant woman struggling to make that very trip.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Costa Rica is known for its vast beaches and rugged rainforests, a destination that draws tourists
from all over the world. None of that is why 22-year-old Yolanda is here. She agreed to speak with me on the condition that we not show her face on
[10:45:14] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My situation has been very difficult since I left Brazil. I have been on the road almost three
DARLINGTON: Yolanda says she is originally from Congo. She and her husband among tens of thousands of migrants from around the globe, crisscrossing
South and Central America in their struggle to reach the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (through translator): A lot of roads. Lots of bus rides and a little walking, too. I packed (ph) to Brazil, Peru, Ecuador,
Colombia and Panama before arriving in Costa Rica.
DARLINGTON: Yolanda says she arrived four days ago, hoping to quickly receive a laissez-passer, the document she and her husband need to legally
enter Costa Rica and transit north to the next border. Only to discover they'll have to wait six weeks just for an appointment with Costa Rican
immigration officials. As the government copes with an unprecedented influx of immigrants.
MAURICIO HERRERA ULLOA, COSTA RICAN COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: We are absolutely overwhelmed with this situation and we are doing our best to
protect the human rights of the people who have come to Costa Rica.
DARLINGTON: Yolanda takes me to the makeshift hostel where she's staying, just a short walk from the border. Her options are limited. Without
paperwork she doesn't have access to government shelters yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm staying at a hostel that has more than 50 people. We pay $5 a day. The situation is very difficult.
We're sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
DARLINGTON: Making matters even more challenging, Yolanda is seven months pregnant. She hasn't seen a doctor in two months and she's worried.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I hope to leave soon for my turn to come quickly so I can see a doctor. I don't want my baby to be born on
the road. If I have to spend a month here, I don't know what will happen.
DARLINGTON: Yolanda says she left Congo for Brazil where she lived for a year working in a restaurant. When she and her husband lost their jobs,
they decided to leave, dreaming of a better life for themselves and the daughter they hope will be born in the United States. The odds are not in
fair favor. Tens of thousands of migrants are on the move throughout Central and South America and experts say many are at risk of human
CY WINTER, DIRECTOR OF BORDER MANAGEMENT, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: From here north, the Nicaraguan border is closed. It is much
more difficult to get into Mexico. There are some serious criminal elements that will prey on them along the way.
DARLINGTON: Officials believe a majority of the migrants are actually from Haiti, even though most say they're from Congo. As one migrant told me off
camera, here Congo isn't a country it's a password for Haitian migrants.
WINTER: The people that I've spoken to claiming to be from Congo who barely even know the capital and don't know the dialects that are spoken into
Congo and know the football jersey of the Congo and all of these things, they typically are convinced that people from the Congo can't be deported
to the Congo.
DARLINGTON: That's because it costs a lot more for governments in the Americas to deport people from Africa than to Haiti. It's also easier for
Haitians to pass themselves off as Congolese because like Haiti, Congo is a French speaking country.
When I first met Yolanda, I asked her the name of her hometown and she couldn't quite pronounce it. Brazzaville, the capital of Congo. And as I
watched her and her husband walk away, I couldn't help but wonder about where they came from and where this journey will ultimately take them.
Shasta Darlington, CNN on the Costa Rican-Panamanian border.
ANDERSON: And on Wednesday, we will introduce you to a young women tricked into sex slavery and the organization she credits with changing her life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARLINGTON: She told me they got you a passport and gave you money for your family and if you didn't like the place, you could go back. So, I
asked her what type of work was available there and she said there was work as a waitress or at an office, nothing to do with prostitution.
It was all a lie. Karina (ph) says she was immediately forced into sex slavery, held against her will, forced to have sex with as many as five men
at a time and paid nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A tale of her escape in our Freedom Project series Perilous Journey right here on CNN.
[10:51:39] ANDERSON: Right. You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky
Aanderson, it is just after 10 to 4:00 here in London. Welcome back.
The voice that provided the soundtrack to countless life moments over the past three decades has now fallen silent. Tributes being paid to George
Michael who died on Christmas Day at age 53.
Fans and fellow musicians expressing grief and shock. Madonna, a fellow '80s pop star, tweeted farewell, my friend, another great artist leaves us.
Tributes, too, from Mariah Carey and Kylie Minogue amongst many others. Well, Phil Black is outside his George Michael's London home -- Phil.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it's pretty incredible here. What we've been seeing through the day have been people coming to
this house. They started coming before the sun rose and now, as the sun falls, well, they're still coming. Take a quick look behind me here and
you will see this crowd, it's remained constant. If anything, it's getting larger I think darkness falls here today. People have been coming to leave
flowers, messages, to simply stand there.
We've seen tears as well, although not too many. What we've seen largely I think has been more of a quiet grief. People who have come here to express
I think their gratitude for the way in which they believe that Michael, George Michael, enriched their lives through his
music. A lot of the messages left here, they all touch upon sort of very constant themes. There is this ongoing belief that he provided the sound
track to people's lives, to key moments, to key memories.
Now, while all of this has been going on here, we've heard a little more from someone who knows him very well. This is his current boyfriend, Fadi
Fawaz. He told The Daily Telegraph that he was the person who actually found him dead in his home on Christmas Day, that he went to his home to
wake him up to take him to a Christmas lunch, but that's where he was lying in bed.
He added to that slightly with a tweet in which he said that it is a Christmas that he will never forget, finding your partner dead peacefully
in bed first thing in the morning, he said I will never stop missing you.
So, that's the suggestion that he died alone, that he was alone on Christmas Eve, that he died alone. And that he was found by his boyfriend.
Now, as to the actual cause of his death, that's something we still don't know. We're still waiting for the official results to be released by the
authorities. We're awaiting the official results of a postmortem examination. We're not expecting those imminently and the police say they
won't bw commenting on that until their final investigation, their final examination of the body, if you like, has taken place, Becky.
ANDERSON: And Phil, for those of us who were teenagers in the early '80s, and I put myself in that era, there are so many songs from both George
Michael and indeed the band, Wham, that he was in with Andrew Ridegely, that we will never, ever forget. It takes you back, doesn't it, when you
think about his prolific career.
All right., Phil, thank you so much indeed for that.
Well, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the red phone box -- London is chock a block with famous sites, including of course the River Thames. When I'm in
London, I love to get stuck in, literally, with a bit of mud larking. That is why I have these bad boys with me.
And if you're wondering what mud larking is, well, you're about to find out.
[10:55:21] STEVE BROOKER, MUDLARKER: I'm Steve Brooker and I'm a registered Thames mudlarker. And what I'm going to do today is take you
guys on a mudlarking trip.
So, what is mudlarking? Well, let's go back to the 1850s. And we're going to find down here old women, young children, just scavanging around in here
looking for anything, really -- pieces of rope, coal -- they'll use that to keep them warm, and whatever they have left over they're going to sell that
on to buy food.
When I started doing this over 20 years ago, it was a tiny bit geeky and over the years yet it's got more acceptable and more people know about
If you look around, yes, it just looks like a load of pebble to you, but to me, that's one big history carpet.
So, this one is like (inaudible), it's going to be around like 1550 onwards. This one here is about 1780. This one here is about 1860.
1800s. This one is 1300s.
I've got loads and loads of this stuff at home.
Now, remember, where one section meets another is where you get a finding line. I'm looking at these all the time. That wave is my best friend,
because what that does, yeah, is that erodes up the foreshore and it shows me where these areas are.
The bucket. Going to put my knee pads on so I can get down, get down and dirty.
Come in. So, we have a coin. Not going to go away with the crown jewels down here, but you
can walk down, spot these lines and find fantastic pieces of history.
ANDERSON: Come on you mudlarkers, I know you are out there. If you go traipsing around in the mud yourselves, do let us know what you found over
the years. You can surf over to our Facebook.com/CNNConnect page of course, have my team working around the clock there for you, yes, even on
Christmas and New Year's Day, so do check out their work and you can reach me directly. That is @BeckyCNN. That's @BeckyCNN.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World from London today and tomorrow for you from the team working with me here in Abu Dhabi and around
the world. It is a very good evening. CNN, of course, continues after this very short break. So from us, thanks for watching. Stay with us.
See you tomorrow.