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France Votes; 82 Chibok Girls Released; Always Dreaming Wins Kentucky Derby; Former Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh Named New Leader of Hamas. 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired May 7, 2017 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:13] LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: Casting their vote: in France, a presidential election brings people to the ballot box and the choice

between the two candidates could not be more stark. Next, we are live in Paris for all of the details there.

Also ahead, a warning to the White House as the former acting attorney general prepares to testify. What we know about the caution she gave the

Trump administration about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador.

And bring back our girls: 82 of the students kidnapped from Chibok have been released by Boko Haram. More on their emotional home coming later

this hour.

Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Lynda Kinkade live from Atlanta filling in for Becky Anderson. Thanks for being with us.

People across France have just a few more hours to cast their ballots in one of the nation's most

critical presidential races in decades. They're not just picking a president, but potentially deciding on France's role in Europe and the rest

of the world. Will it be Emmanuel Macron, a global-minded centrist and former economy minister or will they pick the far-right Marine Le Pen who

is anti-immigrant and anti-EU and follow the wave of populism that gives rise to Brexit and Donald Trump?

Well, it is a nail biter of an election day with a lot on the line. Our Melissa Bell is at the Le Pen

campaign headquarters in Paris. You've seen a lot of voters there casting their votes earlier today. How is it looking so far?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the crucial figures, and we've heard

this as of 5:00 p.m., a turnout rate. Now, it's come out just in the last couple of minutes and it is slightly down on the one that we saw at this

time in the second round in 2012, so the comparable figure would be that 5:00 p.m. turnout figure back in 2012 the second round.

It is 65 percent today. It was 71 percent at the same time five years ago, which suggests that

turnout could be down and that matters, Lynda, mostly to Emmanuel Macron. I mean, Marine Le Pen knows that her voters are going to go out to vote,

people who want to make sure that she gets in will go out and vote despite the rain, despite the long weekend. It is Emmanuel Macron that untested

electorate since he's never stood for anything before, that is the big question mark in this.

The fact that turnout appears to be down on what it was five years ago is probably bad news for him. We have to wait, though, another few hours, of

course, to understand precisely what kind of difference that has made, Lynda.

KINKADE: Absolutely. We also haves Isa Soares on the story joining us now. Isa, in the past 18 months, more than 200 people have been killed in

France as a result of terror attacks. How is that fear playing on the minds of voters today?

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's something that we have heard from Marine Le Pen. It's one of the key words she's been using

is striking fear according to Macron into many people across France, but you know people voting today across the north of the country, Lynda, really

had one thing on their minds and that is putting a cross alongside the name of Marine Le Pen. Speaking to people as they vote in the early hours of

this morning, they were saying to me, they were confident, Lynda, that she was going to win. They had a support, she's the best person to being

charged. She has the most experience. And also it's something that we've seen all along in this campaign. It is this comparison between these two

very different candidates, you know, between the elites and also people outside of it. Many people, of course, putting this campaign, as Marine Le

Pen has called herself, the forgotten France, the northern parts of the

country, the Rust Belt, which is what we saw pretty much in the U.S. election.

So this campaign has been targeted by Marine Le Pen between the haves and the have nots, between those have globalization and those who are patriots.

That is how they're seeing it, but for many people here having Marine Le Pen come to the north of the country and seeing here and voting makes a

huge difference. We know that she arrived in the Paris headquarters in the last hour or so ago.

This is where she's staying for the last results when they come in at 8:00, but people here are

confident, Lynda, that she will win this.

KINKADE: Absolutely.

OK, Isa, just stand by for us. We also have our Jim Bittermann who is at the Louvre museum.

Jim, we were just speaking about the fear that some people have there as they cast their votes. Already we've seen a security scare at the Louvre

museum where Macron is expected to speak later today. What can you tell us about that?

[11:05:12] JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, it wasn't much of a scare, it was more of a routine check here by the

police here. They wanted to go through this area where we are to make sure that there weren't any bombs. They brought in their sniffer dogs and

whatnot and basically checked things out ahead of tonight's activities here.

And I think you can see in the background, there are plenty of police back there, plenty of security and the stage where Emmanuel Macron is going to

speak to the crowds later on. I believe he thinks it's going to be a victory speech and certainly his supporters who are probably going to be

coming out here in numbers think that, as well. We are in fact, just in front of the Louvre here with the pyramid of the Louvre in the background.

And they're expecting quite a big crowd here tonight whether he wins or loses, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. I just want to go back to Melissa now. Of course, this election has a big impact outside the borders of France. Why should

the rest of the world be concerned?

All right. I think we're having some problems there, clearly, with Melissa and some authorities there.

All right, it sounds like Melissa Bell might be -- is being asked to leave from that location.

Just back to Isa on this. Isa, just give us a sense of the impact, the ramifications of this election for the rest of the world?

SOARES: It really is very two stark contrasts and people going for the presidential race. And that is why it's important. If Marine Le Pen

really wins, she's very much anti-NATO, anti-EU. She wants closer ties with Russia. She wants to see the sanctions eased off on President Putin

after the annexation of Crimea.

So, really there is a fear there that there could be a wave of populism sweeping across Europe so this story really does - wouldn't bode well for


She wants also out of Europe. She wants to get rid of the euro and she wants to introduce a version of the franc.

She wants tighter border controls and that includes Shengen, too, that is passable free rights across the continent, so you get a sense of this wave

of populism really closes the country inwards, and it also fears over globalization, the internalizing of politics and that is

a huge concern because if one of the biggest countries in Europe looks so inwards, Lynda, the fear is that others perhaps, may follow suit and also

that really what the European Union as we know it will no longer be the same.

KINKADE: All right, Isa. I just want to go back to Jim now. Jim, in the lead-up to Brexit, many thought people wouldn't vote for Brexit in the UK.

In the U.S. election, many people thought Trump wouldn't win.

Just in terms of Macron, he of course was the target of the major cyber hack. He's not taking any support for granted and he has compared himself

to Hillary Clinton.

BITTERMANN: Well, there has been that comparison made, and I think that the hack just kind emphasized that last night, although this was not

exactly the same kind of hack that took place with Hillary Clinton. What Hillary Clinton did was drip by drip over the course of several months

whereas this was one big release of data that came out just before the deadline last night - or Friday night - and it was too close to the

election for the French to take it in.

In fact, most of the news media here didn't report it. They certainly didn't report the content. Some of them reported there was a hack, but

most of them didn't even report that there was a hack. So because of the reporting restrictions that were on as of midnight on Friday.

So that comparison and the hacking situation is not quite there.

One of the things, though, just with Isa saying about Le Pen's victory, one of the things

a Macron victory would do would be put down lines against populism would indicate that populism is not sweeping Europe, in fact, as we had an

election in The Netherlands and if Macron wins here that would be two in a row where the populist forces did not come to fore.

So this election tonight will be very telling as far as which direction we're headed in terms of continental shifts.

KINKADE: Yeah, certainly a very significant election. A lot at stake. We're going to have

more on it later. This bulletin. Our thanks now to Jim Bittermann, to Isa Soares and to Melissa Bell.

Well, we have lots more to come on our story, as I said, including Russia's denials of allegations

that Moscow was behind a hack on Macron's camp. And we will look at why the number of voters who

turn out to cast their ballot is so important this time around.

Well, the U.S. State Department says it's aware of reports that North Korea has detained another American and adds that to the security of the U.S.

citizens is one of its highest priorities. Kim hack-sung is the fourth American believed to be in North Korean custody. The state-run Korean

central news agency says Kim is suspected of committing anti-government acts and is connected with the same

university as previously detained American who goes by the name of Tony Kim.

Well, CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is standing by with some reaction

from South Korea. Ivan, just tell us firstly what else you know about this man that's been detained?

[11:10:35] IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, most of it you just reported, Lynda. Most of it, all of this actually comes from the

North Korean state news agency, KCNA, which has basically identified an American citizen, Kim Hack-sung, saying that he had worked at the Pyongyang

University of Science and Technology and that he had been detained on suspicion of planning hostile acts against North Korea.

Pretty much the same charges that have been leveled against a U.S. professor that goes by the

name of Tony Kim who was detained in North Korea a little more than two weeks ago, also working at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Now, another factor here that we have to keep in mind is that days ago, Lynda, North Korea made these very dramatic unsubstantiated allegations

that the CIA and South Korean intelligence had an assassination plot that North Korean security service had foiled and that it was aimed at actually

trying to kill North Korea's Supreme Leader Jim Jong-un.

Now, U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials have dismissed those claims, but they seem to have set in motion a real, you can say it from

North Korea, an even more heightened state of paranoia, where you've had North Korean officials vowing that they're going to start a new campaign

against what they describe as terrorism, essentially they're going to try to hunt down possible foreign

agents operating in North Korea.

So this latest detained U.S. citizen comes within that very nervous climate, and a very important thing to keep in mind, Pyongyang and

Washington do not have direct diplomatic relations. So once a U.S. citizen is held, they're in a very precarious situation. It's the Swedish embassy

in Pyongyang that has to negotiate on behalf of the U.S. government - Lynda.

KINKADE: Ivan Watson for us there for us live in Seoul, saying across that. We will continue to follow this story. Thanks so much.

Well, now to the U.S. capital where questions about former national security adviser Michael Flynn are about to take center stage. Former

acting attorney general Sally Yates is to testify about what she told Trump administration officials about Flynn's communications with Russia's

ambassador. Jim Sciutto has more now from Washington.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For 10 days in January, she was the acting U.S. attorney general and on one of those days she delivered a forceful

warning to the White House regarding then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

SALLY YATES, FRM. ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: I want to thank you for your leadership.

SCIUTTO: Now on Monday, Sally Yates will for the first time tell her account of that warning to the Senate judiciary committee.

CNN has learned that in a January 26 meeting with White House Counsel Don McGahn, Yates

said that Flynn was lying when he denied discussing U.S. sanctions on Russia with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.

Flynn's misleading comments, Yates told the White House, made him potentially vulnerable to

blackmail by Russia.

YATES: Welcome to the Department of Justice.

SCIUTTO: Yates' account contradicts that of the White House, which has described her warning in far less serious terms.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The acting attorney general informed the white house counsel that will they wanted to give, quote, a

head's up to us on comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had sent the vice president.

SCIUTTO: Just days after delivering the warning, Yates was fired for reusing to enforce President Trump's travel ban.

Yates testimony comes as the multiple congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election put on bipartisan


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: We're working together very well, the whole committee is, and grateful for that opportunity.

SCIUTTO: Meanwhile, the questions from lawmakers in open session tell a very different story. Republicans focused on alleged leaks of classified


SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R) IOWA: Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump

investigation or the Clinton investigation?

SEN. BEN SASSE, (R) NEBRASKA: There are clearly members of the IC that at different points in the past leaked classified information. That is an

illegal act, correct?

SCIUTTO: Democrats focused on any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

[11:15:04] SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D) CONNECTICUT: The president of the United States could be a target of your ongoing investigation into the

Trump campaign's involvement with Russian interference in our election.

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D) MINNESOTA: From the investigative standpoint is the sheer number of connections unusual or significant?

SCIUTTO: Sally Yates to testify on Monday, so will the former director of national intelligence James Clapper, but because these are public sessions

and much of the information is classified, there will be limits on what they can say.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


KINKADE: Well, still to come, why turnout could be the deciding factor in the French election. We'll have analysis from Paris just ahead. Also,

Donald Trump is getting ready for his first trip abroad as America's president and he is looking to make a big splash. Where he's

heading just ahead.


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

Well, as we heard earlier, France is voting for a new president in the second round of one of the most tumultuous campaigns in the country's

history. There are just three hours of voting left. Early turnout figures from the interior ministry shows that it is similar to the first round just

over 28 percent by midday local time.

Analysts say the number of people who show up to cast their vote could be the crucial factor

in deciding whether far right Marine Le Pen or centrist Emmanuel Macron takes the vote.

Well, all of this is taking place against a backdrop of heightened security with 12,000 extra police and soldiers on the streets of Paris alone.

Well, for more now I want to bring in Dominic Thomas who joins us now from Paris. He chairs the Department of French and Francophone studies at the

University of California Los Angeles. Great to have you with us.


KINKADE: Dominic, let's just start with voter apathy. There are many reports that people are abstaining from voting. Who is that going to

help? Who will that hinder?

THOMAS: Well, it gets interesting. It's 5:00 p.m. just past Paris time and we've just had some new data that has come out that shows that in

relation to the first round that the percentage points are down by about three or four. And in relation to 2012 by as much as 6 percent.

All along, low voter turnout and abstentions can help Marine Le Pen's Front National Party. The only path to winning this election is through that

process. It's extremely unlikely that she will win, though.

However, the voter turnout, not just in percentage points, but in numbers are extremely important in this election for two reasons. First of all,

for Marine Le Pen who can potentially turn a loss into a victory by showing that her party continues to build electoral support in sheer numbers and that she's already outperforming by several

million votes how her father did back in 2002 and 2007.

But for Emmanuel Macron, this is even more important because he doesn't have a political party, he has a movement. And as soon as this election is

over, and if he does indeed win the presidency, he has five weeks to prepare for the parliamentary elections. And going into that, it's going

to be important for him to demonstrate that the vote that has grown between the first and the second round isn't just the protest vote against Marine

Le Pen's Front National, but is in fact strong indication of support for him and his policies.

KINKADE: The former U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Macron saying he is committed to a better future for France. President Trump early on

seemed to support Le Pen, but hasn't said much since. What do endorsements from the U.S. mean for the French


THOMAS: I think it can work in both ways and I don't think much attention was paid to it, but I think the question of endorsement, especially coming

from Barack Obama, are extraordinarily important.

Yes, comparisons have been made between Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. They're certainly very close when it comes to the idea of economic

nationalism, protectionism, border control and so much of the rhetoric around terrorism, Islam and immigration.

But Marine Le Pen comes from a much longer history of far right policies in France that are linked to some of the darkest chapters in French history

and in the case of Barack Obama speaking about Emmanuel Macron, Emmanuel Macron is a liberalist and he's very much in favor and support of the

European Union and of NATO and of the Transatlantic relationship, and I think that Barack Obama understood the risks and dangers here presented by

Marine Le Pen and wanted to speak before the media blackout and endorse Emmanuel Macron in a clear and unambiguous way for what he represents with

what he represents for France and Europe.

KINKADE: You touched on some of those things that Le Pen, if she wins, is opposed t - globalization, closing French borders, leaving the EU

potentially, and breaking away from NATO. Just give us a sense of the ramifications of this.

THOMAS: Well, they would be absolutely devastating for the French economy. And, of course, it's not as simple as winning and having an up and down

vote, all kinds of constitutional measures would have to be involved here. The likelihood, first of all, of her winning is slim, let alone

of her doing well in legislative elections. The process is very different to the presidential right now out of 577 seats in the French parliament,

she only holds two seats.

So it would be very difficult to enact these particular policies, but of course it would rattle confidence in France in the market and it would be

devastating for the European Union that has spent the last five months defending itself in the face of the Brexit divorce with the United Kingdom.

It's the last thing that they need and it's the last thing that Europe needs in terms of stability and so on, especially as it has just celebrated

the 60th anniversary of the European Union.

KINKADE: There are a lot of concerns in the lead-up to the U.S. election after we found out

about the accuracy of the polls. The same could be said for Brexit, within the U.S. people suggested it was because of a so-called secret Trump vote,

people that didn't want to reveal that they were going to vote for Donald Trump. Is there perhaps a secret Le Pen vote there? Are there people in

France that will vote for her that wouldn't say that they're going to do that?

THOMAS: There is definitely going to be a percentage about that. But what was so extraordinary in the first round is that the polls were absolutely

dead-on accurate, so they did something, obviously, you know, that - and that was important, and I think that's also in some ways could contribute

to voter apathy this time around is that people feel, you know, the Macron lead has been somewhere between 60 and 65 percent consistently for the past

10 days or so, and I think that that sort of contributed to it, as well.

I think where the unpredictability comes is from the far-left vote. Jean- Luc Melenchon scored almost 20 percent in the first round and has refused to endorse Emmanuel Macron saying that one should vote against Le Pen, but

falling short of endorsing Macron. And that's a substantial percentage of voters.

When you add that up to the 20 or so percent, that didn't vote in the first round and that does mean that there were somewhere between 20 percent and

40 percent that were not quite sure which way they will swing and whether their vote won't sort of - won't go towards this.

But I think it's fairly obvious here what will happen and that Macron's victory doesn't really remain much in doubt, it's just what the margin will

be and what he'll be able to do with that margin.

KINKADE: All right, less than three hours of voting to go. Dominic Thomas, good to have

your perspective on all of this. We'll talk to you soon no doubt. Thank you.

Well, dozens of Nigeria's missing Chibok girls are finally free. Officials say 82 of them were released after successful negotiations between the

government and the terror group Boko Haram. They believe to be from the group of 276 school girls taken from their village three years ago. Isha

Sesay has more.


ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After more than three years in captivity, it is the news that people around the world, not to mention

the families have been waiting for that 82 of the missing Chibok schoolgirls have been released from Boko

Haram captivity according to tweets put out by the Nigerian President Mohammadou Bahari.

This release came about as a result of lengthy negotiation and there was a swap of Boko Haram suspects. That was done in order to free these girls

who will be transported to the capital of Nigeria on Sunday, May 7, where they will be welcomed by the Nigerian president.

The Nigerian president also in tweets goes on to say that a number of people were involved

in this effort to free these girls and he thanks a number of individuals, including the governor of Switzerland, the International Committee of the

Red Cross, local and international NGOs, alongside security agencies of Nigeria.

This really is a momentous moment with three years having gone by, some had begun to doubt whether any more girls would be released. As you may

remember, some 21 were released in 2016 and after that there were silence and we had heard no more about the

release of the girls and here we are on this day celebrating that 82 more girls have now been freed and will shortly be reunited with their families.

Of course, amid the joy, amid the celebration, we must remember that there are still well over a hundred girls who remain in Boko Haram captivity and

there is no word as to whether negotiations continue to bring about their freedom.

So that must be born in mind. But for the families, for the families that await news as to whether their children as part of this 82, this is just an

incredible day filled with so much emotion as they look forward to being reunited with their loved ones and we look forward to being reunited with

their loved ones. And we look forward to bringing you just more coverage of the re-entry into normal life.

These girls have been through so much in their three years in captivity. We know that they've undergone tremendous hardship while they've been away

from their loved ones.

And the road to recovery will be a long and a difficult one, but on this day we celebrate the fact that they are finally free and they will shortly

be reunited with their loved ones.

Isha Sesay, CNN, Los Angeles.


KINKADE: And we will have more on that story a little later in the show with a live report from Abuja.

Well, coming up on Connect the World, more on the crucial French decision and details on a

massive email hack just ahead.

Then he may be an important new player in the search for peace between Israel and the

Palestinians. Everything you need to know right here coming up.



[11:31:55] KINKADE: Well, back to our back to our top story this hour, the French presidential

election, Russia's denial of any role in a last-minute dump of thousands of hacked emails.

Matthew Chance has the details now from Moscow.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reports of a massive hacking attack of the campaign team of Emmanuel Macron, the French

presidential candidate, has drawn immediate comparisons with allegations in the United States that Russian-backed hackers tried to influence last

year's presidential election there.

U.S. intelligence agencies say they have evidence that Russian hackers broke into Democratic

Party servers and released sensitive emails intended to damage candidate Hillary Clinton.

The Macron team say that's exactly what happened to them with this data dump designed to undermine his presidential campaign.

They've been at pains not to accuse anyone directly, but previous cyber attacks on the Macron team have been blamed on Russian-backed hackers.

This time the Kremlin has headed off any suggestion it was involved. The Kremlin spokesman telling CNN that these, like other similar accusations,

are based on nothing. And are pure slander.

Well, the Kremlin says it has no preference which candidate wins the French presidency, but

President Putin met the far-right nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen last month and Russian banks have provided her with millions of dollars in


Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


KINKADE: Well, you know Hamas by images like this, but the Palestinian group also juggles its violent ways with a need to be taken seriously

diplomatically. Just days after what it presented as a major policy change, it picked the man you're seeing in the white shirt, we're about to

show you, to be its leader on Saturday. 54-year-old Ismael Haniyeh used to be a Palestinian prime minister based in Gaza, an area the group controls

where Haniyeh still lives.

So perhaps, confusingly, as the head of Hamas, he may have to live in exile. We'll explain all of that to us, let's bring you Ian Lee live from


Ian, this seems to be a time of great change for Hamas, a shift in policy just a few days ago, now all of this ahead of Mr. Trump's visit to the

Middle East later this month. What are we seeing?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, ssome people say that

this is a softening of Hamas, a more dynamic, robust organization. Israel says it's the same Hamas as the old Hamas. But we are seeing some changes,

especially in that new charter. One of those big changes was saying that they would accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders. They also

said that their enemy are what they call the Zionists, not Jews in general, which is a departure, as well.

We also saw a big change that was understated, I think, and a lot of people's courage was the

fact that they broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood. They've had long ties politically, religiously to the Muslim Brotherhood. They broke those


Now, with Ismael Haniyeh, we're not expected to see a really big shift from Khaled Mashal, as he takes over, but one thing he will try to do is improve

relations with regional countries and Egypt, especially.

Egypt and Hamas had a great rift in previous years because of Hamas' ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, expect that to be worked on. Also their

relations with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region as they try to build up support.

That will be one of the big things we'll probably see, Ismael Haniyeh going forward, but also with his election. It does show that - it firms up that

powe base of Hamas in Gaza. Haniyeh is from Gaza and right now that is where we're seeing a lot of Hamas activity.

KINKADE: It is, of course, still considered a terror organization by Israel and the U.S. and much of the west. Could his leadership take a new

direction? Could we see a change in how that group is viewed by the rest of the world?

LEE: Not likely. It's very unlikely they would be taken off the terror list, they would have to renounce violence. There's other steps that's the

U.S. and the international community would want to see before they do that. And when we heard from Khaled Mashal, we heard him when he gave a press

conference and in Nic Robertson's interview is that they're not going to give up their violent resistance. They see that as legitimate, because

they say they are living under an occupation and that is legitimate for anyone who is living under an occupation. So it is unlikely that we'll see

any softening there at least in the near-term.

But we did hear from Khaled Mashal saying that, you know, there could be another charter. So, this is showing a dynamic, I guess you could say, of

Hamas saying that they're willing to change if need to, but you know, another big thing they're going to have to deal with, Lynda, is the split

between Fatah and Hamas. There needs to be reconciliation and unity with the Palestinians, that's something also. Expect Ismael Haniyeh to work on.

KINKADE: The outgoing Hamas leader swe know lives in Qatar. And we know this new

leader might have to leave Gaza. Why is that? Is his life at risk?

LEE: Potentially, yes. Israel is known for going after Hamas leaders. If there was another war and Haniyeh is in Gaza, he could be targeted by

Israel. Israel has gone after Khaled Mashal in the past and it was only with the intervention of King Hussein of Jordan that he was able to survive

after being poisoned.

So there is that risk. And so in Qatar, he would seem that he would be safe there, and able to

conduct the political movements. Also, he can travel more freely if he's in Qatar, whereas if he was in Gaza, he would have to go through the Rafa

border crossing into Egypt, which at times isn't open. So, he does have more freedom to move around.

But also one thing they do risk when they move to, say, Qatar is there is the chance that they could lose touch with the street in Gaza, with Hamas

in the Gaza Strip and that has been -- some people have criticized Khaled Mashal for that.

So it will be interesting to see how the group goes forward and if Ismael Haniyeh does reside in


KINKADE: All right, we will just have to wait and see. Ian Lee for us live in Jerusalem. Thanks so much.

Well, Donald Trump will visit Israel in just a couple of weeks as he makes his first overseas

trip as U.S. president. Also on his route, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican, and his agenda is packed.

Our Nic Robertson has the details.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Certainly a big splash for a first trip for President Trump, Saudi Arabia, Israel, meeting

the pope, on to NATO to meet leaders there in Brussels, then the G7 in Italy. In total if you added it up, approximately he may meet as many as

37 different leaders. He's expected to meet with the GCC, the Gulf leaders when he's in Saudi Arabia, NATO, of course, 28-member nations. They're

included in the United States for G7, six other nations apart from the United States there.

But what is going to be the focus when he goes to Saudi Arabia? Very likely, tackling the threat

of ISIS. We heard from General Mattis, now defense secretary James Mattis when he went to Saudi Arabia in April, barely a month ago, saying that

Saudi Arabia is a key pillar in the U.S. security structure within the region. The United States looking to Saudi Arabia, as a key Gulf ally

there for security. And, indeed on building up strength and support to tackle to problem of ISIS.

In Israel as well, like Saudi Arabia, both countries, there were very unhappy to say the least with President Obama when he struck that nuclear

deal with Iran.

So, we can expect Iran to be watching the early part of Trump's trip quite closely, because undoubtedly Israel and Saudi Arabia, there, both countries

there not particularly friendly towards Iran, to say the least.

And it was interesting to hear what Defense Secretary Mattis had to say when he was in Saudi Arabia. And he referred to this directly. He said

it's key to give support to strengthen Saudi Arabia, against Iran's mischief in the region. So, those would likely be some of the key threads

that we'll hear emerging there as well that the trip to Israel.

President Trump has been son the record saying that he wants to support a peace initiative between the Palestinians and Israelis. Perhaps when he

goes to meet with the pope they can iron out the differences. The pope has been obliquely critical of President Trump during his campaign, at

least. NATO meeting there.

The key there will be for President Trump to know that the NATO nations are contributing their fair share. And the G7 in Sicily, there we're going to

likely hear the combined view about how the international - the G7 nation should tackle Russia, should tackle Syria, some of the big, global issues

getting on the table there.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Well, you're watching Connect the World. Sill to come, more on 82 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls and the deal that won their release from

Boko Haram. We'll have a guest coming up to talk about that. Stay with us.


KINKADE: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.

Well, let's return now to the 82 schoolgirls released by Boko Haram. The Nigerian government negotiated with the terror group for the girls'

freedom. They were among 276 girls kidnapped from their school three years ago.

More than 100 of those girls are still missing.

Well, joining us now is Bukky Shonibare. She's with the Bring Back our Girls campaign and founder of Girl Child Africa. And she joins us from

Abuja. Thank you very much for being with us.


KINKADE: This is a huge relief, 82 girls finally released. Just give us a sense of your reaction and what can you tell us about how this came about?

SHONIBARE: This is a very exciting development. It's a very good news for us. I've been waiting for over three years. This news is coming three

years, three weeks and one day since their abduction. And for us it means that 82 more girls have been taken away from their abductors and 82more

girls will begin the process of their rehabilitation and resocialization.

So this news, which came as a result of negotiations, which was brokered by the Red Cross, the

Swiss government and Nigerian military is, indeed, a very good news.

[11:45:11] KINKADE: These girls, as I mentioned, you said missing for over three years. Hard to imagine the heartache their families have been

experiencing. Many still don't know whether their daughters are on the official government list, a part of this group that have been released.

Have you spoken to any of the families?

SHONIBARE: We have some members of the Chibok family and some relativesof the girls who are also part of the Bring Back Our Girls movement who we

have spoken to, who have confirmed that indeed 82 of our girls have been brought back and they are currently in Abuja.

Some of the parents are agitating. They waiting especially those who have been campaigning and also waited for their children to come back.

We've been speaking with them and there is a lot of agitation to ensure that their girls are

also on the list of the 82 that have come back.

KINKADE: Give us a sense of the condition of the girls that have been released, their state of mind, their health. How are they doing?

SHONIBARE: If we look at the 24 that have been released and how they came back and the news and the information and what we saw with them, some of

them came back with children. It means they must have been sexually abused of course without their consent. That is horrifying. It means that we've

wounds on some of them, we've seen some of them dealing with mental, emotional, psychological trauma of what has happened to them. And with the

82 that have returned, one of those have been involved in this discussion shared specifically.

I also talked about how one of the girls was found using (inaudible), another one had some very serious injuries on her. And that gives a

pointer to what these girls must have been going through in the last three years. It puts on the table the need for a very holistic rehabilitation

support which include a very broad health care and psychosocial support so they can begin to regain their lives.

KINKADE: And of course, these girls were taken from their school and they've missed out on an education for the last three years, as well.

SHONIBARE: Yes. I mean, if we look at how education has been endangered in the northeast, this is coming at a time when the figure from the

northeast was like 10.5 million children in Nigeria that are out of school, the majority of whom are from the northeast.

Now this abduction also is a direct effect on education not just in Nigeria, but particularly in the northeast.

So taken them away from their family, from their friends, from what they used to know as home, from livelihood, from sanity, generally, from

education, from giving them a better future. It does give an idea of what they have been going through. It tells us that there is a lot of work that

we need to do to ensure that they are full of recovery and they are full rehabilitation.

KINKADE: Now, Bukky, these girls are expected to stay in government care for some time in the capital, which is about more than 500 kilometers from

Chibok, from their families. The girls that were released in October, we know, that they are still in government care or detention as some aid

agencies call it. Why do they have to stay in government care for so long? And what are their families saying about that?

SHONIBARE: For a lot of the families it's been very challenging for them, especially as most of them are unable to have access to their children.

Some of them have had to complain about having to wait for so long or not seeing them at all.

One would expect that the whole process of rehabilitation will be (inaudible) and will be fastened if they can do this alongside their

parents, their relatives and their families.

The question of Chibok as a place for such is -- is sort of questionable and that leads us to what the girls have been saying is that it's been

imperative for us to know exactly what structure has been followed and therefore, we have the rehabilitation and how long do they have to go

through the secrurity briefing? How long do they have to go through the health care support. When will the education start? What else are they

putting in place to ensure their full rehabilitation.

So, yes, a lot of them have complained, but we are hoping. And which was why we were talking about it that we expect that the 24 that have returned

are the test as to the readiness structure and the effective system that have been put in, which would, of course, lead to how the remaining would

be treated when they come back in large scale as we are seeing now.

KINKADE: Absolutely, OK. Bukky Shonibare, we'll have to leave it there. But our thoughts are still with the 113 girls that are still missing and we

wish you all the best as you continue to work for their freedom. Thank you.

SHONIBARE: Thank you very much.

KINKADE: Well, you're watching CNN. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.


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

Well, dreams have come true for the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby. A thoroughbred named Always Dreaming thundered around the muddy track at

Churchill Downs to become the latest Triple Crown contender. Our Coy Wire was there.


COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A dreamy day at Churchill Downs here in Louisville, Kentucky as the favorite Always Dreaming wins the 143rd running

of the Kentucky Derby. This marks the fifth straight year that the favorite has taken the run for the roses, that's the most since the 1890s.

Always Dreaming got out to a great start and was helping to set the pace from the very beginning, fighting the elements, the wet and sloppy track

running strong despite the heavy, muddy hoofs. He endured to the end. It's safe to say that Always Dreaming is a mudder like no other.

The winning team collects an estimated $1.2 million. The horse was bought for over $300,000, but the silver lining in this story, the jockey, John

Velasquez now has four Triple Crown wins, two Kentucky Derbies, two Belmont Stakes, a hall of fame rider having claimed over $300 million in earnings,

more than any jockey in the history of the sport, but most impressively, he is the chairman of the board of the jockey's fund. I spoke with him in the

locker room before the race. And his mission, he says, it to work off the track, to raise money to support those who have come before him and those

who are in need of help.

A sweet, sweet win, not just for a horse named Always Dreaming, but for one of the good guys in the sport, jockey John Velasquez. It is and wonderful

day at Churchill Downs and one to be remembered. The dream is alive for Always Dreaming. Now, the question is can he and Velasquez take the

second jewel of the Triple Crown at Preakness Stakes in two weeks in Baltimore.

I'm Coy Wire for CNN in Louisville, Kentucky.


KINKADE: Well, news of Prince Philip's decision to step down is causing quite a stir in a tiny island in the Pacific. People there revered the

queen's husband as more than just a man and now they fear he'll never come to their tiny village of Vanuatu.

Our Hannah Vaughan Jones reports.


HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDEN: As Britain's Prince Philip announced his retirement this week, an unlikely fan base reacted to

the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Prince Philip said one day he'll come and visit us, but with the announcement that he will retire and no

longer travel, we still believe that he will come. But if he does not come, the picture that I'm holding, it means nothing to us.

JONES: To these villagers in Vanuatu, he's seen as more than a prince. He is divine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Prince Philip is important to us, because our ancestors told us part of our custom is in England, so that's

why Prince Philip is important to us.

JONES: According to legend, a pale-skinned son of a mountain god left the island in search of a powerful woman and these villagers believe that Queen

Elizabeth II's elderly husband is that celestial son.

Back in 1974, the island was known as New Habraddies (ph) and ruled by colonial Britain and France. The royals made a trip here, but these

villagers didn't get the chance to see him, fueling the mystery surrounding the man.

Now word has spread of his stepping down and his devout followers still hold out hope that one day he'll return.

[11:55:39] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are looking forward to Prince Philip coming. If he comes one day the people will not be poor.

There will be no sickness, no death and the garden will be growing very well.

JONES: Hannah Vaughan Jones, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Well, now for your Parting Shots. We turn back to France where whoever wins the country's presidential election will taste the sweet

success of victory quite literally. He or she will bite into the best baguettes Paris has to offer. Top chefs and food lovers picked the winning

baker during the city's favorite during the contest on Thursday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Above all, it brings an incredible reputation. You see, for example, this man was the winner last

year and he tells us that it is a real boost for our bakers and also for us. It's important in Paris to show internationally everywhere what makes

up part of our gastronomic richness.


KINKADE: Trivia. And the winner who owns the bakery in Paris would deliver baguettes to the Elysees Palace for the next year.

Well, I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was Connect the World. Thanks for joining me. See you next time.