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CONNECT THE WORLD
Russia, Turkey Announce Syrian Cease-fire Agreement; Remembering Debbie Reynolds; U.S. Secretary of State Delivers Strong Rebuke to Israeli Settlements. 10:00a-11:00a ET
Aired December 29, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:14] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: It's not peace, but it is finally something as most of the major players in Syria's civil war agree to a
cease-fire. We've got analysis for you from around the world throughout this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: A two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Head-to-head, the divide between Israeli and Americans grows, we'll take you live to Jerusalem.
Plus, we've got a very special guest for you today. Lindsay Lohan joins me live in the studio.
Right. Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson back in Abu Dhabi for you this evening just after 7:00 here.
It is 5:00 p.m. in Damascus, in Syria, and a nationwide cease-fire is now set to take effect in just seven hours. The Russian President Vladimir
Putin announced the deal between Syria's government and opposition rebels. So could peace finally be in sight after years of bloody civil war? Well,
in case you have forgotten what we're talking about here is a civil war that triggered a mass refugee crisis, left cities like Aleppo in ruins, and
killed hundreds of thousands of people.
Mr. Putin warns this latest deal is fragile and, indeed, we have seen so many agreements fall
apart over the past year.
Well, let's get to our correspondents. Muhammad Lila is reporting from Istanbul in Turkey. And before I get to a representative of Syria's
opposition party, Muhammad, let's just start with you. After what has been a year of failed agreements, why should anybody
have any faith in this one?
MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are some signs here that there's a cause for guarded optimism in all of this, Becky. You have to
remember that the key players involved so far, meaning the Syrian government, Turkey and Russia, are all announcing they are all on the same
page regarding the cease-fire. That's important.
A second element as far as getting to the technical elements of the cease- fire is that it's expected to be nationwide. We've been talking about ceasefires, for example, in parts of Aleppo to help evacuate people out of
that city, but those were very localized ceasefires deal with a very specific problem on the ground. This cease-fire taking affect at midnight
is meant to be countrywide, excluding, of course, ISIS and by the looks of it this group called Jubhat Fatah al-Shaam (ph), which is an al Qaeda
affiliate. But essentially other than those two groups, it appears as thoughthe cease-fire will cover many
if not all of the other militant groups that are on the ground that have been fighting against the Syrian
government and in some cases fighting against each other. So, because of those reasons, there is cause for optimism this time around.
ANDERSON: Muhammad, stand by. I've got Hadi al-Bahra (ph) joining me by phone. He is a member of the political wing of Syria's opposition party.
And, sir, thank you very much indeed for joining us here. Can you confirm that the SNC, Syria's main opposition group, has signed up to this cease-
HADI AL-BAHRA, SNC PARTY MEMBER: The SNC fully support the cease-fire agreement and advise all peace to adhere to its terms. We think this is a
serious effort and has a chance of succeeding this time due to the involvement of the main armed groups on the ground and to the main
regional and international players which are Turkey and Russia.
We see Russia now -- from fighting the regime to brokering a peace agreement and trying to get this cease-fire succeeds.
ANDERSON: There is some confusion about which groups are involved. Is it your understanding, for example, that the al Qaeda-linked group, Jubhat
Fatah al-Shaam (ph), perhaps better known as al-Nusra Front, is involved?
[10:05:01] AL-BAHRA: It's a cease-fire all over the Syrian territory. The ISIS, for sure, is not part of this agreement, not an organization that's
part of this agreement. But the main armed groups also their commitment to implementing the cease-fire agreement and the Russian side needs to
guarantee the government and its allies, meaning guarantee that Iran and its sectarian militias inside Syria will commit to the full implementation
of this agreement.
ANDERSON: As Syria's main opposition group, briefly, do you insist that President Bashar al-Assad must go, if indeed this cease-fire holds and a
political path is quickly sought?
AL-BAHRA: Sure -- rightly stated by you, part of this agreement handles only the military part for cease-fire implements and humanitarian aid
delivery, and successful implementation of the cease-fire after one month of its implementation, we will have a permit, the first time to activate the political process where nothing has been
discussed in these talked about Syria's future, political future, nor Bashar al-Assad.
The opposition has committed to its vision out of practicality you cannot have a successful agreement which Assad is part of the transition period.
Assad is a big part of the problem. He doesn't have the capacity to really go forward with the peace agreement that could be effectively implemented
on the ground.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. Hadi, thank you for that.
Let's get you back to our correspondents. Matthew Chance is in Moscow, Muhammad Lila
reporting from Istanbul in Turkey.
And let me get to you, Matthew, first. You heard the SNC, the main Syrian opposition group there saying it is their understanding that all groups,
bar ISIS effectively, have signed up to this.
Let's talk timing. Why now? And is this job done, as far as Putin is now concerned, in Syria?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the Kremlin and Putin will try and cast it as that. And in fact, in
coordination with this announcement of the cease-fire, Vladimir Putin also announced to the nation that he would be downsizing the amount
of military forces that he has in Syria.
He's announced this kind of thing before. He did it in March earlier this year only to ramp up that military presence when his ally Bashar al-Assad
needed extra support.
In terms of why now, well, there's obviously a hiatus in the political situation in the world because of the changeover of office and power in the
United States. The United States is conspicuous by its absence from this cease-fire agreement and these other agreements to have peace talks later on, but also that the Russian foreign minister has
reached out to the incoming Trump administration and said, look, I hope that in the future -- I've got a quote from him here -- I hope that as soon
as the administration of Donald Trump takes office, they will also be able to join these efforts to settle the Syrian crisis so we can jointly work in
And so this is an expression of frustration with the Obama administration on the part of Russia and Turkey. But also Russia is reaching out and
saying, look, we want the U.S. involved in this in the future.
ANDERSON: And Muhammad, a year ago, no one would have expected to have seen Ankara and Moscow on the same side of any agreement, let alone
conversation. They've been on opposite sides of the war with Moscow supporting the Syrian regime and its president Bashar al-Assad and Ankara
vehemently opposed to the Assad regime over the last six years.
So, why is this being seen as a potential win in Turkey?
LILA: Well, you have to remember that several months ago relations between Turkey and Russia were at an all-time low. There was a Russian jet that
had been shot down by Turkish forces along the border. There was a spat that took place. Russia imposed some sanctions on Turkey and they were
really at an all-time low.
What we've seen in the last several weeks is a complete reversal of that. In fact, even today, Vladimir Putin spoke directly with Turkey's President
Erdogan. We've lost count of how many times they've spoken on the phone over the last couple of weeks, it's at least been ten times, around ten
times, possibly even more than that.
So, there's a very high level of rapprochement that's gone on. And you have to remember the
messaging coming out of Ankara has been very critical of the United States. Just yesterday President Erdogan accused the United States of supporting
terrorist groups in Syria, specifically the PKK and ISIS, going as far as to say that he has photo and video evidence of
American involvement there.
And I think Turkey has sort of looked toward America to take a more hands- on role for several months in Syria. And when that didn't materialized, it opened the door for Russia to step in and work out a deal where effectively
now Russia and Turkey are allies in this battle because they've delineated now who are the groups that are going to be covered under the cease-fire
are and which groups will be excluded.
So, for example, it's quite possible now, in fact, even likely, that Russia and Turkey will be launching joint operations against ISIS on the ground
and possibly the al Qaeda affiliate as well.
So look at that stunning reversal. You go from being enemies and on opposite sides for years to
suddenly now being allies and the possibility of joint operations on the ground.
[10:10:46] ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there, guys.
From Ankara and -- sorry, from Istanbul this evening and from Moscow, thank you for the time being. Viewers, we will stick with this huge story over
the hour to dive into what's going on, whether deals are being done, who is really in on them and why it seems finally that we have come together
today. What's the issue with the timing here?
We'll be live from New York and London ahead for you.
Before we move on, let me remind you of the terrible horrors of Syria's civil war. It's fast approaching its sixth year. That grim anniversary
will be marketed in March. The United Nations envoy has estimated some 400,000 Syrians have lost their lives. And that more than 11 million have
been forced from their homes because of the fighting.
We are six hours and 48 odd minutes away from a promised ceasefire. We'll have more on this as we move through this hour.
Well, to a dire warning by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that was met with a stinging rebuke. Israel dismissing Kerry's major speech on Middle
East peace. Kerry himself says Israel's settlement expansion is risking a one-state reality where Israel would be either Jewish or democratic, but
couldn't be both.
Oren Liebermann has more.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Friends need to tell each other the hard truths.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of state John Kerry issuing a stern warning that a two-state solution is now in jeopardy.
KERRY: The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
LIEBERMANN: Kerry blasting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of undermining peace efforts.
KERRY: The Israeli prime minister publicly supports a two-state solution. But his current coalition is the most right-wing in Israeli history with an
agenda driven by the most extreme elements.
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu firing back, calling the speech a disappointment, and a bias attack that paid lip service to terror attacks by Palestinians.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.
LIEBERMANN: Despite repeated denials, Netanyahu again accusing the U.S. of orchestrating Friday's United Nations vote condemning Israeli settlements
in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
NETANYAHU: We have it on absolute incontestable evidence that the United States organized, advanced, and brought this resolution
LIEBERMANN: Kerry vehemently defending the Obama administration's refusal to veto the U.N. resolution.
KERRY: No American administration has done more for Israel's security than Barack Obama's. We cannot properly defend and protect Israel if we allow a
viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes.
LIEBERMANN: President-elect Donald Trump weighing in on Kerry's speech from Florida.
TRUMP: We have to have peace. I think it set us back. But, we'll see what happens after January 20th, right?
ANDERSON: Even though prospects for peace appear as remote as ever, both Israelis and Palestinians say they are willing to negotiate.
So what's stopping them? Well, Palestinians want a settlement freeze. They accuse Israel of
unilaterally changing maps and taking land they won for a state before these borders are resolved through negotiations.
To its part, Israel says settlements are not the problem and John Kerry, they say, missed the point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID KEYES, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER'S SPOKESMAN: What was so disappointing about Secretary Kerry's speech was that it didn't really deal with the core
issue of why this conflict continues to rage, and that has precisely nothing to do with the presence of Jews in the West Bank and everything to
do with the Palestinian leadership's continued refusal to recognize a Jewish state.
Israel's prime minister has called on President Abbas to meet literally hundreds of times for direct peace talks. He even invited him to speak in
the Knesset. And unfortunately, President Abbas has said no to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, no to direct negotiations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:15:01] ANDERSON: Well, Palestinians say they did recognize Israel's right to exist in 1993. Then they say Israel changed its demand and added
a new precondition of recognizing a Jewish state.
About 25 percent of Israel's population is non-Jewish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANAN ASHWARI, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR: We cannot accept a religion for a state. We cannot talk about Jewish states or Islamic states or Christian
states otherwise you will have to deal with the Islamic State.
We personally believe that there is no license to discriminate against any group, any ethnicity, any religion or to give them any additional value
because of the ethnicity and religion. So if you want equality and if you want a state to be an equal among other states, then you recognize the
democratic state, and that should be enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the view of Hanan Ashwari there.
Well, to the Philippines now. An alarmingly frank words from the country's president. Rodrigo
Duterte says it would be stupid not to kick U.S. troops out of his country. Well, that after CNN Philippines asked him about his remarks on repealing
the visiting forces agreement.
Mr. Duterte claims the U.S. wants to destroy him and that American troops are there, in his words, to bully China.
Well, CNN Philippines senior anchor Pinky Webb did what was the first live sit-down interview since Mr. Duterte assumed office. She has more for you
now from Manila.
PINKY WEBB, CNN PHILIPPINES: It is common knowledge that President Rodrigo Duterte is very unhappy with criticisms on his war on drugs, even coming
from President Barack Obama.
So I asked him if anything would change under a Trump leadership. The president, President Duterte, somehow softened his stance there saying that
he has a wait and see attitude coming into the Trump administration. He even told us that at some point, he spoke to -- there was a conversation
between him and President-elect Donald Trump and he said that we have the same mouth, only yours is in English and mine in Filipino.
We were also speaking about his plans. He already said at some point for America, for the United States to prepare themselves for the possible
abrogation or repeal of the VFA. President Duterte saying he is thinking about this. He is rethinking it, even because even members of his military
are getting angry at him because of this possible repeal or abrogation of the VFA.
So moving forward, is this something he wil do? He says he will see, rethink and study this repeal or abrogation of the VFA.
And recent reports of the president's admission of killing some people, the president admitted that, yes, there was a time that he did kill three
persons. This was in Davao City, but he says this is not -- this is because of law and order. These were criminals. They were not suspects.
These were kidnappers, and they engaged -- the president was around. These kidnappers engaged them in a gunfight, hence the shooting of three
individuals over in Davao City.
Becky, back to you.
ANDERSON: All right.
Well, still to come tonight, much more on what is a cease-fire planned in Syria. It's a major development that America seems to be frozen out of.
Stay with us to learn more aboutthat.
And Lindsay Lohan ups up about her humanitarian work. She's going to join me here in
the studio in Abu Dhabi. We're taking a very short break. Back after this.
[10:21:05] ANDERSON: For more than five long years, we've witnessed how Syria's civil war has been destroying the country. And perhaps nowhere has
it been worse than where you are looking at now: the smashed city of Aleppo.
Well, with Aleppo in ruins, Russia is drafting a nationwide cease-fire deal between the Syrian
government and opposition rebels. But we've seen so my deals fall apart in the last year and so many lives lost in the process. Why is this any
Well, I'm joined by my colleague Hala Gorani who is in London for you and David Rohde
who is CNN global affairs analyst in New York.
And Hala, let's just start with that. The path of peace, or to peace, littered with failed agreements, not least in 2016. Why is this cease-fire
announced by the Russians and confirmed by the Turks considered any more likely to succeed than any other?
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's potentially more significant because two countries on opposing sides of the conflict now
have a vested interest in making it work. I'm talking, of course, about Russia and Turkey. I mean, they were very much in
opposition to each other. Turkey even shot down a Russian war plane, you'll remember, several months ago. Now after a rapprochement, initially
a few weeks ago, then a meeting between their foreign ministers and the foreign minister of Iran and Moscow at the beginning of
last week. Finally this deal announced by Russia.
There's still many outstanding questions, though, because there are rebel factions, armed rebel
factions, not least the Nusra Front, which has a new name now, but linked with al Qaeda. That is apparently, according to Turkey, Russia and the
Syrian regime, excluded from this deal, which means this is not an end of military operations. We know ISIS won't be included in any peace
But if Nusra Front, which by the way has many overlapping interests with some of the rebel groups present in northern Syria and Idlib, for instance,
is not a part of this deal and therefore considered a legitimate target, it means that militarily at least, this war is not over.
And then all these questions about what happened to Bashar al-Assad, what happens to areas of Syria controlled currently by the rebels. Who will
police the violations? We know Turkey and Russia are saying they will be the guarantors, but how do you actually implement all these things? Many
open questions, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and having spoken to the spokesperson for the SNC, Syria's largest opposition group, they are certainly still calling for Assad to be
shut out of any transition deal going forward, interested only, it seems, in the first two parts of this cease-fire deal which, of course, is around
the military situation. And they were also unclear as to whether they believed that rebel group on the ground that some people are saying is left
out of this deal will actually be involved.
Look, David, this is a deal announced by the Russians, confirmed by the Turks, as Hala and I have been discussing, with Washington seemingly frozen
out of the talks. How is that going to be received?
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think the agreement and one reason the agreement succeed or has a chance to succeed is brute
military force has worked. Te rebels have been driven out of every major city in Turkey And I think that it will be excepting the United States,
because the Obama administration's policy is seen as a failure and they're leaving office. It's -- you know, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign
minister made a point of saying the Trump administration was welcome to be part of these peace talks so it's, you know, the Obama administration is
leaving. It will not have power in just a few weeks, and I think the Trump administration will welcome this agreement.
ANDERSON: So did the Obama administration to all intents and purposes misstep when they said they'd be sending extra money or arms for groups on
the ground? Hugely criticized in the past couple of days by Ankara, for example. Should we expect to see nothing else from the Obama
administration and the U.S. going forward?
ROHDE: They can try things, but I just don't think it will be relevant now that there's a cease-fire. The U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in Syria, that
angered Turkey, and the U.S. support was always limited for the moderate opposition. That frustrated, you know, Saudi
Arabia and Gulf allies who wanted to see more support to the so-called moderate opposition. So this
sort of -- the criticism would be the Obama administration was at the half measures. You know, the red line, the call for Assad to
must go and not backing that up with more brute force failed. There's also criticism, obviously, on the Russian and the Syrian government side:
400,000 civilians are dead.
Brute military force was used to put down this uprising at enormous humanitarian cost.
ANDERSON: Hala, we hear so much about Aleppo and have done over the last months and
years that perhaps our viewers could be forgiven for thinking this was a war fought only in and around Aleppo. Let's just step back for a moment as
we discuss the politics and diplomacy around this. Let's just describe for our viewers what life is like, not just in Aleppo but around the country as
this cease-fire begins to take hold tonight.
GORANI: Yeah, and I agree with David. Brute military force worked in Aleppo in the urban centers. The military goals of the Assad regime have
But I think this deal is possible only because there's a realization that the entirety of the Syrian territory will never go back under Assad regime
control, that militarily there is no way to resolve this.
The main goals being the city centers, Aleppo is now -- has fallen. It's under the control of the regime. Homs, areas around Damascus as well back
under regime control. So you have that.
But then you have large portions of Idlib, for instance, rebel control there. Turkey is very preoccupied with the Kurds. It wants to make sure
it's able to control portions of that territory along its border. So this could be the beginning of what -- and every cease-fire deal will have
violations and failures, but eventually in a few years you can see this Syria,
territorial integrity of the country perhaps in some way partitioning where the regime controls the big urban centers and you have Turkey perhaps in
control of some of the areas around its border where it can make sure it keeps control, Kurdish groups away from there. And Russia, as well, really
the ultimately the strategic winner in Syria over anything the United States has been able to achieve over the last few years by really
fundamentally staying out of the conflict militarily.
ANDERSON: That's right.
So let's consider then, David, how the United States may play a role in what could be at this stage a political transition period going forward.
If we get a cease-fire and it were to hold tonight, we're less than a month away from a new Trump administration. You talked about how irrelevant the
Obama administration and John Kerry now are in Syria. What should we expect from a Trump administration, vis-a-vis Syria, going forward?
ROHDE: I think you'll see a very aggressive -- I mean, it has been aggressive, but you'll see an aggressive Trump administration effort to
counter ISIS, stepped up bombing. And the bombing has been very intense under President Obama. And the big question will there be a joint
U.S./Russian military campaign against ISIS? Many American commanders are skeptical of this. There's a lot of distrust of Russia still in the U.S.
military. They are not eager to sort of share their operational details with the Russians so I think there will be a stepped up military effort
The U.S. will sort of stay out of a peace agreement but will there be a joint military effort with
Russia? That would be unprecedented but President-elect Trump has said very positive things about
GORANI: And he said as much.
ANDERSON: A win-win for -- sorry.
GORANI: I just wanted to agree with David. He said as much. He said his main goal is defeating ISIS. If it means cooperating with whoever is
willing to join in that fight, that's good for him.
All right, guys, thank you, guys, for that. The latest world news headlines are just ahead, this being our main headline this hour, this
week, it has to be said.
A mean girl no more: actress Lindsay Lohan opens up about her humanitarian work. She's going to join me right here in the studio. That is up next.
Taking a very short break. Back after this, viewers.
[10:34:23] ANDERSON: Well, actress, singer, model Lindsay Lohan has worn many hats
over the years from child modeling back in the day to her debut film The Parent Trap where she played identical twins separated at birth and her
role as an innocent teenager coming of age in the cult classic Mean Girls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY LOHAN, ACTRESS: I'm new. I just moved here from Africa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
LOHAN: I used to be home-schooled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait. What?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Lately, we started seeing a very different side of Lindsay embracing humanitarian work and even meeting with Syrian refugees in Turkey
and I'm delighted to say she joins me now in the studio. Thank you. And welcome to the UAE.
I know you've been here a couple of months, almost making this home. Tell me about the trip, the humanitarian work and the refugees.
[10:35:20] LOHAN: It's actually very funny how it happened. I was in Turkey visiting a friend and got introduced to prime minister and was put
in touch with an amazing group of people. I worked with Bosphorus. And I said i want to stay here. I want to do something. No one is relaly
speaking about, from an American standpoint -- and living in London, you really only hear the news, so that's all you're hearing is what's going on,
people like you explaining it, but there's no one that's actually gone there, experienced it, gone to -- gone to the container camps
and actually done something.
So I think, for me, I've experienced a lot in life, and I think that I've come to a time -- I'm 30 years old, and I made a promise to myself that I
want to put my life into giving back to other people. And people will make of that what they will, but it's not a one-off thing. It's something that
I will I'll continuously do.
And what's they're doing is incredible. What they've done in Turkey for the Syrian refugees is
phenomenal. But there has to be a sustainable network behind it so that the people can live out their lives in the future.
ANDERSON: We've actually heard what could be some very good news. We're not looking at peace yet in Syria, but we are looking at what could be a
framework for a military cease-fire going forward, given the work that you've done and the people you've spoken to --
I know you are right in saying people may be surprised by the work that you do. They may to a certain extent raise an eyebrow. But what's your
response to what we're hearing today?
LOHAN: Well, I'm not a politician so I can't speak politically. That's not my place. But there is something to be said about when you go to --
there's so much that Turkey is doing, funding and helping these refugees, that no one else -- I mean and Athens, there are children that are living
in these buildings that are abandoned and no one is doing anything. So it takes going to these places, raising awareness. No matter what people say.
This is not about me. When you are with these people and children and they have that moment of happiness and they see a shed of light, you are opening
doors for other people, and who else is going to do it?
ANDERSON: Talk to me about some of the stories you heard. s
Well, the first family that I met with was this father had his two children. He brought them in in (inaudible) in Turkey and I met Fatima
(ph) who brought me to Gaziantep, and then (inaudible) I went and moved this family from a house. He had his legs blown off. His wife had left
him for a man in Syria. Saw him as useless because he had no legs.
So, he has two twin children and a son that's 17 and working in a furniture shop and he's allowed to live there but he can't really do much and these
children have no mother.
So the smallest stories help the most people and the more people that are willing to do that, the more of an awareness we'll have I think in the
ANDERSON: Any plans to go back?
ANDERSON: Work with more refugees? Go on, tell me.
LOHAN: Of course, I'm going back. I would love to bring you with me, actually. The more the better, to be honest, in this situation.
No, I'm planning on going back Antep (ph) probably the second week of January, around then.
ANDERSON: Well, that will be 2017. We are approaching the end of 2016. It's been a tumultuous year, it seems, for all of us. Are you looking
forward to the back end of it?
LOHAN: Well, I've had a tumultuous years, but everything happens for a reason. I wouldn't be sitting here with you today discussing humanitarian
work and discussing what we can do to change the world in the future.
Yeah, I mean, we've lost a lot of great icons and wonderful people, and I think life is short and we forget that.
ANDERSON: Including, of course, you talk about those we've lost this year, including Carrie
Fisher, her mother Debbie Reynolds and your great friend George Michael just last week. Let's just read the quote that -- from George Michael,
"you'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.
Tell me about your friendship with George. What's your fondest memory of him?
LOHAN: Was when I was engaged. Simon Lebon (ph) is a very good friend of mine. I also met Boy George through (inaudible) who unfortunately passed
away, was a good friend of Elizabeth Taylor's.
So, they all came into my life when I was in London and I asked him to sing the song Amazing at my wedding and then I asked Simon to sing another song
from Duran Duran. And they both said yes, and I went through a part of my life in L.A. where I was subjected to a lot of things and I know -- and
George went through that as well and boy has gone through a lot. And so I haven't -- I relate to them in a lot of ways. And...
ANDERSON: Even though you're much younger than them, of course.
LOHAN: Yes, but the people that I've always admired are, unfortunately, leaving us. But with a lot of memories and beautiful ones. So these are
people that have changed moments in time, who have opened doors for a lot of people when they didn't have them open for them and that were hard
workers. And it just goes to show that no matter what happens, the stronger you are, you know, and the more you give back to other people and
stand by who you are as a person, which is like love, peace, equality, is a beautiful thing.
ANDERSON: You said, and you admitted you've had a tumultuous year. We don't have to go through it bit by bit. It's been years you've said,
listen, I think there's many people around the world who say they can't wait to see the back end of 2016. I know, you've been living in London now
for a few years and I know you've been enjoying it, but I also know you've been out here in the UAE for a bit.
Are you going to make this home?
LOHAN: Look, the Middle East has been really wonderful to me throughout my whole life, and I went through a lot with holding a koran, and in Turkey I
discussed this, and it was a support system to me and a spiritual belief that I found and a respect for culture.
With that being said, I'm doing a lot of projects here, and I would love to -- I'm interested in real estate. I opened my Lohan Club and it showed
that just because I own a club doesn't mean it's a negative thing, it's a place for people to be happy and safe and I would love to do that in more
And I'm talking about a lipstick line and charity. And so, yes, I'm here for a bit. You're stuck with me. I'll be here.
ANDERSON: Let's hang out then. If we're stuck with me, let's hang out. Lindsay Lohan, it's been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. I
know you are hosting a big New Year's Eve night here in Dubai as well. So, thank you.
Lindsay and I will have a lot more it talk about after the show.
On Facebook, head to Facebook.com/CNNconnect and you can tune in to our live chat. See you there.
From Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.
Coming up, it answers users questions, plays music and reads the news. Now, the Amazon Echo could hold information to a possible murder. Stay
with us for more on that.
ANDERSON: Well, the UK is spearheading a new drive to combat modern day slavery. It has already led to the arrest of almost 100 people after nail
salons were investigated in connection with the exploitation of workers.
Well, tragically, this is a truly global crisis, especially in economically developing parts of the world such as the border between Panama and Costa
Rica. But there is hope as migration officials there are now teaching students how to identify risky situations. Shasta Darlington has more in
today's Freedom Project report.
[10:45:05] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an overcast day in northern Panama, ominous weather setting the stages inside one of the
classrooms at the progressive school, just a few hundred meters from the Costa Rican border.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hadn't thought of it.
DARLINGTON: The subject matter today -- the connection between migration and human trafficking. Officials say border communities like this one are
especially vulnerable, because migrants regularly pass through on the journey north to the United States. In the past, this school has been used
as a shelter for migrants. Some of these students as families have even sheltered migrants in their homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being the supervisor of this school district, yes, I'm sure you have heard some of the stories.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What have you heard?
FLOR BONILLA, PANAMA REGIONAL SCHOOL DIRECTOR (through translator): We have heard from the students in the education center who lived side by side with
the migrants with regards to people being trafficked, we have heard horror stories.
DARLINGTON: 18-year-old Julianna Santos has heard the stories, too. Her family welcomed four Cuban migrants into her home about a year ago while
they waited for immigration papers. Julianna says they told her about a woman who went missing after paying someone to smuggle her across the
YULIANA SANTOS, STUDENT (through translator): She left alone, even though they told her to wait, so she could get to the United States faster. When
my friends got to the United States, they went to the place where the friend said she would be staying, and she had never arrived.
DARLINGTON: Officials with the International Organization for Migration or IOM say that story is typical. Traffickers prey on the vulnerabilities of
migrants, offering passage across the border.
CY WINTER, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: But then on the other side is what's arranged there is completely different so they end up in a
place where they have to work and they got no way to get away from it.
DARLINGTON: That is why IOM is running these schoolwork shops. The goal is to teach students how to identify risky situations, how to care for victims
of trafficking, and how to protect potential victims from falling prey.
ALEXANDRA BONNIE, IOM PROJECT MANAGER: If someone of the school is having situations that can be associated with human trafficking or some trouble,
these children can be able to speak with this friend, knowing to help him.
DARLINGTON: And IOM is arming the students with tools they can use in everyday lives, like social media.
SANTOS (through translator): My friends and I agreed to begin using hashtag about human trafficking so it would reach more people on our friends in
social media. We are going to promote it so it spreads wider.
DARLINGTON: At another school just across the border in Costa Rica, IOM is teaching the same subject matter, but using softer language, because these
kids are much younger. And the message is not just being delivered in schools. The parade called the march against human trafficking. IOM brings
together hundreds of people from both sides of the border.
Talking to the kids here, most of them tell me they never even heard of human trafficking, they live on the border so they knew about migration,
but they didn't know it could end in slavery.
IOM hopes to change that through programs like this in border towns throughout Central America and by encouraging neighboring countries to work
Shasta Darlington CNN, on the Costa Rican/Panamanian border.
ANDERSON: Some powerful reporting from Shasta there.
Tomorrow, CNN will introduce you to Madison, a young survivor of child sex trafficking and the group that helped change her life. A quick preview for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We had to have sex with them and do whatever
they asked us to.
DARLINGTON: Madison was held captive for an entire year, forced to have sex with multiple men every day until she escaped. Today she speaks
triumphantly about her recovery and her future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We'll hear Madison's remarkable story on Friday as our Freedom Project series
continues. Helping to end modern day slavery, one story at a time.
And Connect the World will be right back after what is this very short break. Stay right here with us. You're watching CNN.
ANDERSON: Well, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. It is just after 10 to 8:00 here in Abu Dhabi. Now, you
may have heard of the Amazon Echo. You may have it's a small voice-activated device that does things like order milk and play music for you. One Echo could now be a silent
witness to an alleged murder. Martin Savidge explains.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alexa, what did you hear?
AUTOMATED VOICE: Hi there?
SAVIDGE: Is it possible a digital assistant in Amazon's popular Echo device witnessed a murder inside this Arkansas home? That's what police in
Bentonville are wondering?
Only they're not asking the device. They're asking Echo's maker, Amazon. And so far, the tech giant is saying no to a police warrant seeking data
and recordings the always on gadget may have picked up.
NATHAN SMITH, BENTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR: It was a lawfully issued search warrant by a judge and Amazon's position is they simply don't believe they
have to comply with it.
SAVIDGE: Forty-seven-year-old Victor Collins was found dead face down in a hot tub last year. Authorities say there were indications of possible foul
play, arresting 31-year-old James Bates on suspicion of murder.
Bates' attorney says the death was nothing more than a tragic accident and her client is innocent. She applauds Amazon's refusal to comply with police
demands, calling it chilling that a Christmas gift could be used against people.
KIMBERLY WEBER, BATES' DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It scares me that our criminal system is coming down to this technology, which is supposed to help her
daily lives and now is being used against us for an innocent client. [19:50:07] SAVIDGE: In a statement provide to CNN, Amazon seemed to imply
it could change its willingness to cooperate in the case, saying, "Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal
demand properly served on us."
The company went on, "Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course."
Amazon did give police Bates' subscriber information and authorities have analyzed the information contained on the device itself but believe more
Echo evidence is stored in the Cloud, controlled by Amazon.
The case calls to mind the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that pitted Apple against the FBI, as authorities wanted to
access information contained in the locked iPhone of one of the shooters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alexa, what time is it?
AUTOMATED VOICE: It's 1:56.
SAVIDGE: The always-on voice-activated technology found in Amazon's product is showing up more and more in our lives, from thermometers to camera and
even toys. But these modern wonders are also creating modern worries over privacy, suggesting what happens at home may no longer stay at home.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.
ANDERSON: Well, yesterday on this show, we noted that the galaxy might be just a little bit darker after the death of Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher.
Well, just a day later the world mourning the passing of Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds. One of the last stars of
Hollywood's golden age died on Wednesday. She was 84.
Well, Stephanie Elam has more on the woman who showed us what it really means to sing in the rain.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Singer, dancer, actress. Debbie Reynolds was a Hollywood triple threat, and America's sweetheart.
Her film career began at the age of 16 after being spotted in a beauty pageant.
ELAM (voice-over): Her star officially launched just a few years later after a spirited performance opposite Jean Kelly and Donald O'Connor, in
1952's "Singing in the Rain."
DEBBIE REYNOLDS, MOVIE ACTRESS: They picked me to put me in "Singing in the Rain" and they just locked me in a big old studio. And for three months I
had five different teachers, one for tap and ballet, jazz, modern, and just work, work, work, you know, until I just fell apart.
ELAM (voice-over): Other notable roles followed including 1957's "Tammy and the Bachelor" which resulted in her number one hit song, "Tammy." She
played opposite Gregory Peck in "How The West Was Won" and her performance in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" earned her an Oscar nomination.
ELAM (voice-over): Beloved on screen, at times Reynolds' life off screen overshadowed her success. She had two children with her first husband and
crooner Eddie Fisher -- producer Todd Fisher and actress and author, Carrie Fisher. In 1959, the marriage ended in a highly publicized divorce when
Fisher left Reynolds to marry her close friend, Elizabeth Taylor. A painful betrayal, Reynolds was able to joke about the scandal years later.
REYNOLDS: I was a girl scout. I really was a very simple little girl and that's what I was and he fell madly in love with Elizabeth. Now I
understand, you know, so many years later and it's in the past.
ELAM (voice-over): Her second and third marriages also ended in divorce, each time causing Reynolds financial pain. However, she had quietly been
collecting Hollywood memorabilia over the years that would prove a wise investment. In 2011, Reynolds sold Marilyn Monroe's white subway dress at
auction for $4.6 million.
ELAM (voice-over): She also never quit performing. Though she stepped away from film for much of her career, Reynolds continued to entertain on
Broadway stages and in Las Vegas nightclubs.
In addition, Reynolds had several TV roles over the years notably playing Liberace's mother in the 2013 Emmy winning TV movie "Behind the
Candelabra." Her wide array of work was recognized in 2015 when the Screen Actors Guild honored Reynolds with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Reynolds said she loved every minute she spent in show business in her 2013 autobiography "Unsinkable." She credited the love she had for her friends
and family for her personal and professional resiliency.
REYNOLDS: I paid $20,000 for this sucker.
ELAM (voice-over): And it is that spark and sense of humor along with her talent that Reynolds will be remembered for.
REYNODS: I love you. Good night, everybody. Thank you.
ANDERSON: Stephanie Elam with that.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here, it is a very good evening. Thank you for watching. CNN, of course, continues
after this short break. Stay with us.