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CONNECT THE WORLD
American Otto Warmbier Medivaced From North Korea; British Prime Minister Meets with DUP Leadership; One Square Meter: Indonesia's Leaning House. 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired June 14, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:15] ROBYN CURNOW, HOST: On his way home, North Korea has just freed American Otto Warmbier after more than a year in prison. We're live in
Pyongyang with the latest.
And it's Jeff Sessions' turn in the hot seat. The U.S. attorney general is heading to Capitol Hill in the next few hours. He'll face tough questions
from lawmakers there.
Also, it's a big day, big day for Theresa May. The British prime minister meets with the leader of the DUP for a deal to shore up her government and
now is off to Paris to meet the French president.
Hello and welcome to Connect the World, I'm Robyn Curnow joining you from Atlanta.
And breaking news out of North Korea this hour, Pyongyang has released U.S. college student,
Otto Warmbier. His parents tell CNN he is being flown back to the U.S. right now. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has confirmed the
Now, this tearful video was released in 2016 after Warmbier confessed to committing anti-state acts. He said he ripped down a propaganda banner at
his hotel room. What else are you hearing, Will?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know directly from Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of Otto Wsarmbier, is very
welcome news, news that they have been praying for, that they have been waiting for for the last year and a half that their son, Otto was finally
coming home after he was arrested here in Pyongyang on New Year's Day last year after a night of celebration on a private tour, a tour with a bunch of
other young people who were celebrating here in the North Korean capital.
He was accused, as you mentioned, of sneaking on to a forbidden floor at the Yongato (ph) Hotel, a floor that only North Korean staff members are
allowed on. And apparently caught on tape, the North Koreans say, of trying to take a political banner off the wall.
He set it down on the floor, didn't actually put it in his suitcase, but nonetheless was arrested at the airport the very next day as
he was trying to leave the country and eventually put on trial and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for those hostile acts.
Now, Fred Warmbier, Otto's father, hasn't had any communication with his son for more than a year because of wartime law put into place that doesn't
allow the Swedish embassy to serve as an intermediary between American families and detainees, because don't forget there are currently four
Americans that were being held here in North Korea up until just a few hours ago when Otto Warmbier was put on a plane and left this country.
Fred Warmbier saying, quote, he is now being medivaced to the U.S.. The brutalization and terrorism the North Koreans have put upon Otto and the
Warmbier family have ended. Thank god.
So, still three Americans remain detained in North Korea. And it's noteworthy in that statement from Otto's parents that he is being
medivaced, that would indicate that there is some sort of a serious medical issue going on with Otto Warmbier right now. He's only 22-years-old and
presumably was being kept in conditions similar to other detainees here in North Korea where they work six days a week, eight hours a day, doing
agricultural type of work. It's called hard labor. It's sort of like digging holes, planting trees, that sort of thing, moving rocks around.
The kind of hard labor that other prisoners have described to me in interviews here in the country, including Kenneth Bae, who was released
from his detainment back in 2014.
And so if Otto Warmbier he had to be medivacad back to the United States, that would seem to be very troubling that something is wrong. We're still
trying to get confirmation about what exactly is wrong with his health. The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wouldn't elaborate on his
Warmbier's medical condition, other than to say that he's being released. And when we asked North Korean officials to comment on reports about his
medical condition, they said they would not elaborate further other than to say he's now out of the country.
CURNOW: And, Will, I just want to interrupt you - as you've been talking, actually, we've been getting some details from one of our CNN producers,
Allie Brennan (ph), who has just sent an email to all of us when she says that a source close to the Warmbier family says that Otto Warmbier is in a,
quote, bad shape, that he's currently on this Medivac flight to the U.S. and the source says the family was only told recently that Otto has been in
a coma since March 2016. This is all new details coming out here from our CNN Producer Allie Brennan (ph).
The parents were apparently told that the North Koreans said Otto had contracted botulism and it's unclear at this time who communicated these
details to the family. So, this email coming to us here at CNN that he is in a bad shape.
So, clearly the fact that he's been Medivaced out an indication that he isn't in good shape.
[11:05:14] RIPLEY: Right and if they happened in March of 2016 that would have been shortly after his last public appearance, when we saw him
tearfully confessing on trial, at his trial, before he was sentenced, which would mean if this report is true, that Otto Warmbier has been in a coma
for most of the time that he's been detained here. Every time I've come into this country, every since Otto Warmbier's detention, we have requested
to the North Koreans that we sit down with Otto Warmbier, that we speak, that we interview him as we have with all other American detainees up until
his case. And each time those requests went unanswered.
Requests by the family for communication also have gone unanswered if, in fact, this report is
true, that he contracted botulism, which is a form of food poisoning and has been in a coma for quite some time, obviously this is very troubling
for his family who now have to worry about the health condition of their son.
And speaking very personally, if you're in a foreign country like North Korea, you can contract food borne illness pretty easily if your body
isn't accustomed to the bacteria in the food. I just a couple days ago had a bad case of food poisoning here and was down for more than 24 hours where
I couldn't even keep water down.
And so I know personally when you travel to places and you get sick and if you not potentially get it - if you don't have access to care, in the case
of Otto Warmbier, this could be a very serious medical situation for him.
CURNOW: Yeah, certainly, and the conditions he was kept in not ideal and very hash prison conditions from what we understand from your reporting as
Will Ripley, I'm going to leave you. Go and get some more reporting and come back to us if you get any more details on Otto Warmbier. Appreciate
Reporting there live from Pyongyang.
Now, the release of Otto Warmbier also comes just as U.S. basketball legend Dennis Rodman touched down in Pyongyang. It's Rodman's fifth visit to to
No word if the two events are connected, but Rodman, who knows both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, did say he's sure President Donald Trump is happy
with his visit.
Well, earlier Will Ripley filed this report when Rodman arrived. Take a look.
RIPLEY: Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for the fifth time. His flight landed on time here at the international arrivals section of the
Pyongyang airport. And he didn't want to answer a lot of questions when we saw him outside of the VIP lounge.
Dennis, are you bringing a message from President Trump to North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong un?
DENNIS RODMAN, FRM. NBA STAR: I'm just here to see some friends and have a good time.
RIPLEY: He was accompanied by a Columbia University professor, who is believed to be here
as his translator along with another colleague. Rodman and that colleague wearing t-shirts of a U.S. crypto currency company, apparently the sponsor
of this trip. That sponsor put out a statement online saying that Rodman is in a very unique position, because he is friends with
President Trump having appeared on Celebrity apprentice twice, but he's also friends with North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong un. He has made
previous to this visit four trips to the country, three of them between 2013 and 2014.
Part of those trips were documented on a film, a very controversial film in the United States because Rodman's behavior here in North Korea was
described as out of control. He yelled on live television at CNN's Chris Cuomo during an interview. And it was that behavior that reportedly caused
the North Korean leader to cancel one scheduled visit towards the end of Rodman's trip.
But nonetheless, he's back in the country. And there are a lot of questions about what is behind
this visit. Obviously, tensions are high on the Korean peninsula. North Korea has attempted to launch more than a dozen missiles so far this year,
and of course, North Korea is also holding four detained Americans. But when I tried to ask Rodman if he is going to be talking about any of those
things during his time here, he didn't have much to say.
Have you spoken, Mr. Rodman, with anybody?
RIPLEY: Have you spoken with anyone at the U.S. government about this trip?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No questions.
RIPLEY: Rodman's host here in North Korea is the sports ministry of this country, and he has said that part of his mission here is to try to
continue this kind of sports diplomacy that he talked about during his previous visits a few years ago. Regardless of what happens, it's
certainly going to be an interesting few days here in North Korea with an ex-NBA star once again
making an appearance in one of the most inaccessible countries on Earth.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
CURNOW: Thanks to Will for that and all of his reporting. And we'll keep you updated on Otto Warmbier.
Now, in just a few hours, we could see some high drama in Capitol Hill as Donald Trump's attorney general steps directly into a political firestorm.
Jeff Sessions is expected to give his most extensive remarks yet on the Russia investigation and his own contacts with Russian officials. He'll
face the same Senate committee that grilled fired FBI director James Comey last week.
Now, Sessions' deputy is already on Capitol Hill this morning. You may remember Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI's
Russia investigation after Sessions recused himself.
Rosenstein was asked about reports that President Trump is considering firing that special counsel. He says he sees no reason for Robert
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am confident that he will have sufficient independence and it's certainly theoretically possible that the
attorney general could fire him, but that's the only person who has authority to fire him. And in fact the chain of command for the special
counsel is only directly to the attorney general, or in this case the acting attorney general, so nobody else in the department would have
authority to do that. And you have my assurance that we're going to faithfully follow that regulation and Director Mueller is going to have a
full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Reassuring words there.
Let's go to CNN's Ryan Nobles live on Capitol Hill. Those comments were made just in
the past few hours, but in the coming hours we're going to hear from Jeff Sessions, and all eyes on that one.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, no doubt, Robyn. But if this appropriations committee hearing with the deputy attorney general is any
indication, things could get combative this afternoon when the attorney general himself appears in front of the intelligence committee. The big
question is just how forthcoming will Jeff Sessions be?
CHRIS RUDDY, CEO OF NEWSMAX: I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special council.
NOBLES: Just hours after leaving the White House, President Trump's long- time friend Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy claims the president is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of
investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
RUDDY: I think he's weighing that option. I think it is pretty clear by what one of his lawyers said on television recently. I personally think it
would be a very significant mistake.
NOBLES: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisting Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue. But hours earlier, Spicer's
deputy said that Ruddy, quote, "speaks for himself." Several Trump allies now attacking Mueller's credibility despite initially praising his
appointment. Former Trump campaign advisor Newt Gingrich tweeting Monday "Republicans are delusional if they think this special counsel is going to
be fair." But only last month Gingrich praised Mueller as a, quote, "superb choice."
One of the reasons for the revolt, who Mueller has hired for his legal team. CNN analysis of FEC records reveals three of the five lawyers on
Mueller's team have donated almost exclusively to Democrats, with two giving the maximum donation to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. Still,
White House sources tell CNN Trump's advisors are urging him not to fire Mueller, a move lawmakers feel could backfire.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: It would be absolutely astonishing were he to entertain this. The echoes of Watergate
the getting louder and louder.
NOBLES: All this comes ahead of today's public testimony by embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions is expected to face a grilling
about his contacts with Russia and the firing of James Comey.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: He was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts
that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia related investigation problematic.
Sources tell CNN Comey told senators behind closed doors that Sessions may have had a third meeting with Russia ambassador Sergey Kislyak which the
Justice Department denies. It will likely be brought up today along with Comey's account that Sessions was booted from an Oval Office meeting back
in February before Comey said the president asked him to drop the Michael Flynn investigation.
COMEY: My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving, which is why he was lingering.
NOBLES: It is unclear whether Sessions will invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that he should invoke executive privilege on the conversation between himself and the president?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think it depends on the scope of the questions.
NOBLES: And these comments by Chris Ruddy, the close personal friend of the president, the CEO of Newsmax, have turned into war of words between
Trump allies. Our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta reporting that Sean Spicer himself actually called Ruddy last night to plead with him
to put out a statement saying that he'd never had a conversation with the president about firing Bob Mueller. That's not something Ruddy did. He
did clarify his remarks earlier today saying he did not have a conversation about it, but that he has enough sources inside the White House to know
that it is, indeed, something that the president is considering - Robyn.
[11:15:03] CURNOW: OK, thanks for that update, sort of clearing things up, Ryan Nobles, appreciate it, coming to us there live from Capitol Hill.
Now, President Trump is on the offensive today on Twitter. He's taking aim at the previous
attorney general, Loretta Lynch, accusing her of giving Hillary Clinton a, quote, free pass and protection. He's also attacking one of his all-time
favorite targets: the media. One tweet says the fake news media has never been so wrong or so dirty purposefully incorrect stories and phony sources
to meet their agenda of hate. Sad.
Another one says fake news is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories?
And of course, all of those comments on Twitter coming as the attorney general is set to face
a grilling on Capitol Hill. So be sure to tune in for CNN's special coverage of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' testimony, that's at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday in New York, 7:00 p.m. in London, right here on CNN.
And it was meant to be a victory lap, the British prime minister's first overseas trip after what she predicted would be a huge win in the general
election. Instead, in less than an hour from now, she'll land in France to meet with its new president politically weaker than she ever could have
imagined, all only days before Brexit talks begin, of course. Remember, she is still scrambling, though, to put together a government at home.
And just hours ago, she came face to face with leaders of the controversial Democratic Unionist Party. She wants their support for her minority
Well, we're on every side of all fo this for you. Isa Soares is right outside 10 Downing Street. Nina Dos Santos is in Strasbourg, home of the
European parliament. Nina, to you in a moment, but Isa, first. Certainly big questions on when a deal will be struck, and also what Mr. Macron is
going to say to her.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you in the last few minutes, Robyn, we have heard from the DUP spokesperson, from
Arlene Foster's spokesperson. They basically told CNN that the negotiations are quite positive so far, and I'm quoting her here, and and
close to finalizing, those were their words. About an hour or so ago we also heard from Arlene Foster, the leader of DUP, who basically said the
discussions are going well and expected soon to be able to have a final successful conclusion. Interesting, too, that she's expected to stay the
night here, Arlene Foster, I'm not talking about on Downing Street, I'm talking about in London, instead of going to Belfast. Initially she was
going to go to Belfast, but now she's staying in London.
Perhaps a signal that we are closer to those key negotiations. And negotiations are crucial, because, of course, she depends, Robyn, as our
viewers will know, on the DUP for any sort of deal, not because, of course, she lost that majority. But, you know, she also needs the DUP to have some
sort of a stronger hand when she meets for those Brexit negotiations.
Today, though, she seems much more optimistic and more positive, a very different Theresa May than we saw just two days ago. As she left Downing
Street to make her ways to commons parliament - parliament was starting today - she had a smile on her face, but also during commons, and she
basically made a joke at John Burkau (ph), who is the Commons Speaker, basically saying at least
someone got a landslide, clearly laughing a bit at herself.
But she is in a much more comfortable position, not as precarious as we saw a couple days ago, because, of course, she has spoken to back benchers and
she has given a sort of mea culpa of sorts basically saying, look, I got us into the mess, I'll get us out of this.
But there are still some within her own party who are worried about what sort of deal the DUP - the Conservative Party will have with the DUP, in
particular what they will ask in return, reports suggest perhaps financial, at this stage we do not know. Many suggesting they're probably better not
to go into a deal with DUP, which was the case with the former prime minister basically saying today really we perhaps don't need the DUP at all
CURNOW: Yeah, he was urging Theresa May to sort of govern with a minority government and sort of the implications for the Northern Ireland peace
process. It will be interesting to see what concessions are extracted from Westminster.
But I just want to move now to Nina Dos Santos. And, you know, obviously the big focus her Brexit. The clock has started started ticking. And
Europeans are in a pretty strong position, but they're also saying, hey, we need to start negotiating. What's the view there? And what do you think
Mr. Macron is going to want to say to Mrs. May?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN MONEY: First of all, there is 750 members of the European
parliament who are gathering for their monthly sessions. And then we've also got all the commissioners from the executive arm of the European
Union, a number of those will actually be drafting the legislation that will directly impact the UK's relationship with the EU when it leaves
within 22 months from now.
And I can tell you, Robyn, there's a huge amount of frustration and impatience at
the situation that the UK is facing. One MEP put it like this: take a listen to Elmar Brok. He's basically saying whether or not Theresa May has
a deal with the DUP, all governments of the minority government, we're not entirely sure who we're going to be dealing with in a few weeks from now
and whether she has the credibility to negotiate this. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:20:12] ELMAR BROK, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BREXIT NEGOTIATOR: We're a little bit disturbed. We are ready for negotiations. We are ready to make
negotiations, keep the damage down, because Brexit is a damaged model, Britains and for us, but it will be damaged. But not if no (inaudible)
partner with authority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: And I've also been speaking to the chief Brexit negotiator for the European
Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister. He repeatedly on Twitter has expressed his frustration and impatience at the
situation. He said what we need to do is get the negotiations started. By the way, Robyn, they're set to take place, or at least to start officially
in six days from now. The timeline for starting them might already slip. But he says at the moment there is
no way that the European parliament at least is looking towards extending the Brexit negotiations past the two year time frame, which, of course,
could mean a brutal Brexit for the UK. It could mean falling out of its current relationship with the EU with no deal and no ties at all - Robyn.
CURNOW: So, that's the new word, isn't it, brutal Brexit, addition to soft and hard Brexit there's not brutal Brexit.
Thank you so much Nina Dos Santos there in Strasbourg, and also, of course, to Isa Soares who is outside 10 Downing Street.
Still to come here at CNN, there are few athletes as well-known as Christiano Ronaldo, but now he's in the spotlight for all the wrong
reasons. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Thanks for joining us. You're watching CNN. And I want to update you on a
breaking news story that we've been covering here at CNN. We're getting word from Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of Otto Warmbier, the
university student, the U.S. university student, who was jailed in North Korea. We have been getting news that he has been released
and medivaced back to the U.S.
We're getting now more details on his condition. His parents has confirmed to CNN that Otto has left North Korea on this Medivac flight and that
sadly, quote, he is in a coma and we've been told that he has been in this coma under this - in this condition since March of 2016. They only learned
that this young man, this U.S. student who has been jailed in North Korea for the past year has been in a coma since March. They only learned of it
last week. And they quote, want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime in North Korea. We're
so grateful that he'll finally be with people who love him. We'll keep him you updated on that story.
In the meantime, I want to turn now to Washington where in just a few hours, all eyes will turn to a senate panel. The attorney general is set
to testify for the first time since he recused himself from a probe into Russian meddling. He faces the same committee that grilled fired FBI
Director James Comey last week. The Justice Department says Jeff Sessions wants this hearing to be open, but the White House says he could skip questions by
invoking executive privilege.
Well, in any case, this hearing will be watched by millions of Americans. We'll look -- let's look ahead with the director of the Center for Politics
at the University of Virginia. Larry Sabato joins us now via Skype from Charlottesville. And let's talk about Jeff Sessions and what he might or
might not say. What does he need to say?
LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: He needs to answer the questions that former FBI Director Comey raised during his electric testimony just a
few days ago. There were questions about how many contacts that Sessions actually had with the Russian ambassador during the campaign period of
2016. And there were also important questions about what Sessions knew about what the president said to FBI Director Comey about the Russian
investigation and whether he should drop the investigation of General Flynn.
CURNOW: So, there's all of that. And that's going to play out. And It's not just Americans who are going to watch with interest. There are
certainly also going to be people around the world who are glued to that Comey testimony. So many questions, not a lot of answers. And all of
these of course, under oath. So, there are consequences to what are said by these men.
But I also want to talk about what people have said, and particularly at this hour yesterday we went to pictures of Donald Trump's first full
cabinet meeting. And in many ways, there's been quite a lot of backlash, because it was quite an extraordinary cabinet meeting. I want to play you
some highlights and then talk about it on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. President. And just the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice president to a
president who is keeping his word to the American people.
TOM PRICE, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: I can't thank you for the privilege that you've given me and the leadership that you've shown.
ELAINE CHAO, U.S. LABOR SECRETARY: I want to thank you for getting this country moving again and also working again.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the
blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Opportunities, thankfulness for blessings, I mean that was a cabinet meeting and one by one his appointees really heaped praise on this
president. Why is this so unusual in the U.S.? And why has there been such a backlash to what we've just played?
SABATO: I call it the round table of sycophants, each one tried to outdo the last one in praise of the maximum leader. Many people here, including
some Republicans, have called it something you might see in North Korea, a North Korea cabinet meeting, if there is such a thing as a cabinet there.
It's - I've been around for decades. I've never seen anything like that. To most people in a democracy, that was somewhere around nauseating.
CURNOW: And on that note, just quickly, though, the political consequences of this, if this is
the way business is done what does that mean? Very quickly. We're running out of time.
SABATO: Well, it basically means that people see that Trump runs a very tight ship, but it's a tight ship directed at praise of him.
CURNOW: Larry Sabato, I'm sorry we're going to leave it at that. But we will get you back on the show to get more of your perspective, thanks so
much for joining us there from the University of Virginia.
And for more on what we can expect from this blockbuster hearing with the attorney general, do head to CNN.com/politics. We look at six questions
that Jeff Sessions is likely to address from unknowns about his interaction with the president, the details on any meetings with the Russian
ambassador. For that report, head to CNN.com/politics.
[11:32:37] CURNOW: Back now to one of our top stories, though, the Russian investigation that's casting a dark cloud over the White House for months
As we wait to hear testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we also want to get the Kremlin's take on all of this. Russia expert and former
CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty joins us now.
Just give us some sense of the perspective of how the Kremlin is viewing all of these testimonies, particularly because a lot of this is focused on
meetings with the Russian ambassador.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Well, I mean, I'm sure that they will be watching and listening, but there is a lot of concern here. I
mean, this is not a good relationship and it continues to get worse and worse. And now nobody really knows precisely what Sessions will say about
that meeting with Ambassador Kisylak. The Russians up to this point have depicted it if they have done much of anything, depicted it as kind of a
normal diplomatic contact, but they haven't gone into specifics.
And now we will have this testimony. We're not sure where it will go. So the Russians really haven't been saying much of anything. And that turns
out, I think, Robyn, to be the approach right now to so many different issues in the relationship between the United States and Russia, the
Russians do not know where this is going. Mr. Kislyak, in fact, just the other day in his speech said in a very diplomatic way that the U.S. policy,
the Trump administration policy on Russian has not been well defined yet and they're in the beginning stages, et cetera.
But they, new sanctions coming out against them. They have the FBI investigation. They have congressional investigations. It's a problem.
And they don't know, again, where it is going, so I would say the approach is pretty much stand back, give monosyllabic answers like this is negative.
And just wait until the next shoe drops.
CURNOW: OK, the perspective there from Moscow. Jill Dougherty, thank you.
And so Vladmir Putin may or may not be watching that U.S. investigation with some interest. But back home he certainly had his hands full with
thousands of protesters, among them, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. He was the one who has called for those rallies and has been sentenced now to 30
days in detention. From St. Petersburg, our Diana Magnay has more.
[11:35:03] DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were warned it would end up this way. Protests against Putin and on a
patriotic Russian national holiday, it's not going to end well.
MAGNAY: In many places, the rallies called by Alexey Navalny's anticorruption campaign were banned, but the young and digitally savvy who
follow him on YouTube came anyway.
MAGNAY: Thousands across the country, though, it was St. Petersburg and Moscow where most of the arrests were made.
MAGNAY (on camera): That chant means you will not jail everybody. They've been funneling some people who they've arrested out from the crowds. But as
you see, there are so many more who are determined to keep protesting.
MAGNAY (voice-over): Navalny wasn't there. He was detained at his home before the Moscow protests began. But the crowds knew his message. Emblem
of these demonstrations, the rubber duck, almost surreal in this setting, but a dig at alleged corruption surrounding Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev,
claims he calls nonsense.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER (through translation): At the prime minister's house there is a pond that has a duck house in the middle of it, so this has
become a symbol of how easily bribed he is and his corruption.
MAGNAY: In Moscow, thousands took over one of the city's busiest streets. They unfurled Russian flags and chanted "Putin out" and "Putin's a thief."
MAGNAY: Here, too, riot police rushed in to snatch demonstrators, beating several, some of them little more than teenagers.
MAGNAY: Back in St. Petersburg, as the police buses filled up with protesters, one more surreal moment. In amongst the crowd, a man on bended
knees and a little jewelry box, a diamond in the rough of Russian politics, you might say. His choice of time and place seem to have worked.
Diana Magnay, CNN, St. Petersburg.
CURNOW: Now, we are hearing some information about some bombshell allegations against one of the world's best footballers, Christiano
Ronaldo. Don Riddell is with me to fill in all the details.
OK, so first of all, what is he accused of?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, it sounds pretty serious, Robyn, he is accused by the Spanish tax authorities of evading $16.4 million in tax
between the years of 2011 and 2014. And the authorities have chosen some pretty powerful language, saying that this was voluntary and conscious. We
don't know any more than that regarding what potential penalties may arise from this. But it does sound very serious.
CURNOW: It sounds very serious. How serious? I mean, are we going to see one of the greatest footballers in jail here? I mean, what are the
consequences of this?
RIDDELL: Well, we don't know. I mean, the one thing we can compare it to is Lionel Messi. And of course these two players are compared with every
single goal they score. Of course, Ronaldo wouldn't want to follow Messi in this regard. But he had his own issues with the tax authorities
recently. He ended up having to pay a fine of $2.3 million. And he was given a 21 month jail sentence that was suspended, because it was his first
This is a lot more money. We really don't know how it is going to play out. But I mean, you cannot exaggerate just how huge and prominent a
sporting figure Cristiano Ronaldo is. I mean, I believe he's the most recognizable athlete on the planet right now. He's worth an absolute
fortune, yeah. I mean, Forbes estimates that he earned $93 million in 2016. He's the world footballer of the year four times. He currently
holds that title. Remember, he led Portugal to the European Championships last year. He's just lead his club, Real Madrid, to the Champion's League
title for the third time in four years and the league title in Spain.
So, I mean, he's just had the best year of his career. And he's been an absolutely glittering career, but this is potentially a really big problem
for him. He was about to head off to the Confederation's Cup this week.
CURNOW: This plays into image rights and how you market, how you get money from your
image right and whether it's global and where it is ring fits, basically.
RIDDELL: That's right. I mean, players like Ronaldo earn an absolute fortune. It is quite interesting kind of looking at the break down, as we
say $93 million in 2016, 60 percent of that came from his skills as an athlete. That's what Real Madrid paid him, but 40 percent came from his
endorsements, his deals, basically how he's able to market himself. And it's with regards to that area that the Spanish tax authorities say that he
was basically hiding revenue.
So as I say, we don't know how this is going to play out, but this is potentially a very, very big story.
CURNOW: It certainly is. And you will be all over it. Don Riddell, thank you very much.
RIDDELL: I'll try. Thank you.
CURNOW: Well, there's also a big day for Uber. The company behind the ride hailing app will present the results of an investigation into its
workplace culture. Uber has been hit by numerous accusations of sexual harassment. Amid that, the CEO lost his right hand man Emil Michael. He
left the company on Monday.
Well, CNN tech correspondent Laurie Segall joins us now to talk about Uber and the wider Silicon Valley culture. Let's just talk about the leadership
crisis first and what all of this means.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY: Sure. I mean, you have Emil Michael stepping down, which is a pretty big deal. I mean, he - if you know Silicon Valley
well - Emil is kind of Travis's number two. And they also have a COO position that they haven't filled yet. I think they waiting for the right
And you know, what's difficult about this is Uber is a fast growing company. They want to attract great talent, especially in Silicon Valley
and you have this revolving doors of executives that don't seem to be staying because of a toxic work culture that we're just beginning to hear
I mean, we've heard bad stories about Uber in the past. We've seen Travis Kalanick, the CEO, get into trouble in the past with some of these
aggressive tactics. But we're really beginning to see how bad some of this was. And I'll tell you this, Robyn, speaking to women who have left the
company, I'm told by multiple female employees that it was a toxic environment, that it wasn't a great place for women.
[11:41:09] CURNOW: So, what's the link then, between the departure of this is the right-hand man and this report and of course the overall questions
about sexual harassment?
SEGALL: You know, it started in February when an engineer named Susan Fowler wrote a damaging blog post really kind of saying, you know, she was
sexually harassed and she went to the HR department, and she said something and not only did they not do anything, she said according to this post, but
she was punished for it and it impacted her career.
And I think that post, you know, this is when they started doing that investigation. Then is came out that in 2014 employees had been taken to
an escort club in South Korea and another female employee had said that this made her uncomfortable. And again, there was no accountability. And I
think you're beginning to see a pattern where there's little accountability. And if he can relate that to Travis, the CEO, you know,
this is a CEO in Silicon Valley known for being aggressive. He's known for scrappy. It's probably what's helped the company go from a small start up
to one of the most valuable start ups in the world.
But this is also an aggressive work culture and it's also a place where you had many men at the top, not enough women in those positions, and you're
beginning to really see people speak out.
CURNOW: And broadly, Silicon Valley is known, or lauds itself, as being progressive, egalitarian, you know, this is the land of opportunity, new
opportunity. I mean, what does this all say also about sexual harassment in the wider community?
SEGALL: You know, you go out there and there's this talk of a meritocracy where the smartest
person always gets ahead. Well, unfortunately that's a narrative that isn't quite true in Silicon Valley. And I've been covering it for years.
So, I can tell you there is this male dominated culture. You don't have a diversity of mindset.
And I think we're beginning to see that this is a major issue. And I think you have a lot of these start ups that grow very quickly, a lot of men in
these positions without having women at the top. And you see that maybe they don't invest enough in an HR department. Maybe there's a lack of
empathy. Maybe there's unconscious bias where they don't realize well this is sexism. But we're beginning to see that this is a major issue. And
Silicon Valley, they've gotten the line on diversity down. They say that it's important that they're looking for, you know, great female leaders,
but you talk to a lot of these employees and everybody has a story, whether it's sexism or something that someone said. it's really prevalent in this
culture, especially now that there's so much money and there's so much power and
it's a lot of younger folks, too, Robyn.
CURNOW: Yeah, thanks so much. Great reporting there. Appreciate you bringing us that perspective. Laurie Segall, thanks so much.
Well, up next here at CNN, One Square Meter and remarkable house built at a 70 degree angle.
Also, how Quatar is dealing with a blockade imposed by its neighbors. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.
[11:46:07] JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR; Jakarta, Indonesia's traffic jammed capital. 10 million people call it home, another
3 million cram their way in each day.
But Southeast Asia's biggest city has built another reputation, as a hot property destination. Property prices have more than doubled in seven
years, hitting a lofty $15,000 per square meter.
In the hunt for value and greenery, locals have ventured south to Pondok Indah. This leafy suburb is big on high walls and Neoclassical columns
until Bodi Pradana, a Zen-like local architect, came on the scene. He dreamed up the leaning house, which started with a slight tilt and kept on
BODI PREDANO, ARCHITECT: (inaudilbe) or slanted a little bit, ten degree, 20 degree, (inaudible) and finally we find that 70 degrees the result.
DEFTERIOS: On the ground, a spacious entertainment area, with a pool, a big open space, allowing the breeze to blow through.
PREDANO: If people enter this area, they come out with the wow factor with the water as an introduction.
DEFTERIOS: The Leaning House is designed to stand out in this neighborhood, but also make a statement about openness. It sits on the edge of an
affluence gated community and also a traditional village, or Kompun (ph), nodding in that direction to the past of Jakarta.
Pradana the architect was given a broad mandate by Christiana Goux, a modern art gallery owner who likes simple clean buildings.
CHRISTIANA GOUX, GALLERY OWNER: It is my dream house. If I build another house it should be like this, too.
DEFTERIOS: What do your friends say when they come for the first time?
GOUX: Yeah, they cannot not believe it. They just -- you know, they feel like they are not in Jakarta.
DEFTERIOS: It's also been a great investment. Goux acquired the land a decade ago for just $500 a square meter. It has risen eightfold to $4,000.
She is now remodeling property next door for art studios and storage.
For Predano, it's mission accomplished.
PREDANO: It is important to redefine the architecture, redefine the new living space, redefine how people live in a certain area.
DEFTERIOS: A statement structure that stands out in a very crowded city.
John Defterios, One Square Meter, Jakarta.
[11:50:31] CURNOW: I want to bring you up to date on a story we're following here at CNN. U.S. college student Otto Warmbier is being
Medivaced back to the U.S.., according to his parents. They say he has been in a coma since March of 2016. He is on that Medivac flight. And
they say they only learned the fact the was in a coma last week.
And as you remember, this is him here. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in North Korea
for so-called acts against the state. We'll keep you posted on that story. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the blockade imposed
on Qatar by its Gulf neighbors is a death sentence. Turkey, alongside Iran, has been delivering aid to Qatar to prevent food shortages, and
people there are stocking up on supplies when the crisis erupted over just a week ago. Jomana Karadsheh reports while there's no panic right now,
there are concerns about the long term. Take a look.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Throughout the Qatari capitol, this is what stores looked like, well-stocked with no
apparent shortages. When the diplomatic crisis erupted last week when Qatar's neighbors imposed a blockade, people were worried. The tiny emirate
imports most of its food supplied with significant amounts coming through it's only land border, the one with Saudi Arabia, now closed.
(on camera): There were initial scenes of panic buying and empty shelves but the government was quick to reassure people that it was prepared for a
scenario like this one.
(voice-over): Products already in storage from the UAE and Saudi Arabia still available. And fresh products from Turkey have now replaced the
previously imported ones from Saudi. 60-ton shipments from Turkey are scheduled to arrive every two days. With Iran, too, stepping in to fill the
void, sending several plane-loads of fresh good this past week.
UNIDENTIFIED QATARI RESIDENT: I didn't feel the change. Maybe the first day, we had fear, but no fear anymore. Everything is available, vegetables,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
KARADSHEH: Shoppers like this woman tell us they have hardly noted the change.
Since the start of the crisis, Qatar has opened several new trade lines. But experts warn the longer the crisis goes on, the risk for significant
economic impact will grow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not think there is a humanitarian issue here. I think there is a potential economic impact and that will be about more
complex supply lines, the potential disruption for goods coming into Qatar through these more convoluted routes, and the potential inflationary impact
of finding new routes and new channels to bring goods in.
KARADSHEH: It's not just about food, but a construction boom and preparing for a FIFA World Cup in 2022, possible shortages in construction materials
imported through Saudi is a concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the wider impact isn't on -- directly on the economies of the countries imposing the blockade. I think it's more on the
risk is more about the perception of the region. One of the great aspects of the GCC region has been the sense of stability in this region where
there is so much instability going on outside the region.
KARADSHEH: Despite the unprecedented event, Qatar is making sure it's business as usual.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Doha.
CURNOW: Thanks to Jomana for that. And you can always follow the story the team is working throughout the day by going to our Facebook page,
And in today's Parting Shots, one hotel in Switzerland is taking minimalism to new heights. It has a room in the mountains with no ceiling, no walls,
no bathroom, not even a TV. Sounds like heaven doesn't it? Well, as Lynda Kinkade reports, travelers from around the world are wanting to stay at the
Zero Star Hotel.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Talk about a room with a view. Welcome to the Zero Star Hotel nestled in the foothills of the Swiss
Alps where you get bed and breakfast and little else. The open air accommodations are actually a conceptional art project, conceived by twin
German brothers about a year ago.
PATRIK RIKLIN, HOTEL CO-CREATOR (through translator): A room with no walls and no roof is total liberation, because you have no property to pay for
and this is where artistic inspiration begins.
[11:55:02] KINKADE: While there's no roof at this inn, there is a butler. He's actually a local farmer in rubber boots who serves guests a drink,
tells jokes and provides the local weather report. There's an outhouse bathroom a short walk away with an alpine hut for shelter in case of rain
or snow. And if you're interested, you better book fast.
FRANK RIKLIN, HOTEL CO-CREATOR (through translator): We've had requests from all around the world. The bed is already 80 percent booked out.
People are coming from Iraq, America, Australia, Africa, and England.
KINKADE: The hotel's co-creators say they've had more than 1,300 requests for reservations, but the suite is only available for 60 nights through
summer and an overnight stay will cost you about $300.
Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow, and that was Connect the World. Thanks so much for joining us.