Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S. Senate Hears from key Witness in Russia Investigation; Putin:: Regret Worsening Relations with U.S; Trump Intensifies Attacks on Attorney General; Dozens Injured as Crowds Rush to Al-Aqsa Mosque; Leaks Escalate Rift Inside White House; North and South Korea Mark Armistice Day; Famous Journalist Accused of Terror Links; Children Working in Cambodia Brick Kilns; Death Toll from Protesters Rises to 106; When Iraq Celebrated Being Awesome. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 27, 2017 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: A key voice -- a key voice in the Russia investigation testifies before U.S. lawmakers as Vladimir Putin slams
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: We are in Washington and Moscow next. Also this hour...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I would like to tell everybody that I have a very, very good idea who the leakers are
-- who the senior leakers are in the White House.
ASHER: A stark and to sum it, dark message from the White House. They are working to sort out the leakers. We'll have details ahead. Plus...
They're celebrating a climb down. Palestinians welcome the easing of security measures in Jerusalem but clashes continue. We are live in the
city to hear why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Welcome, everybody. I'm Zain Asher. Dramatic testimony from a key witness at a U.S. Senate hearing digging into allege Russian
American businessman Bill Browder, his name certainly may not be familiar to all of you at home but he's a long-time Russia critic.
He's been there describing for about an hour and a half now, a staggering level of corruption and impunity, and intimidation within the
Russian government. For more and all of these, we are covering a story from all angles for you.
We have our Phil black in Moscow and our Dan Merica live for us in Washington, D.C. So Dan, let me begin with you. Just explain to our
national audience who might have been following this story from the very beginning, who exactly is Bill Browder?
How did he emerge as a central figure and how will his testimony detailing his previous business interest in Russia, the level of
corruption he witnessed, the intimidation he witnessed, how all of that play into the Russian investigation. Walk us through that.
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: So Bill Browder is a financier who works from many years in Russia was expelled from the country and then
hired Sergei Magnitsky to look into corruption in the country.
Over that -- through that investigation, Magnitsky was actually arrested, detained and then died in Russian custody. Browder has made
it -- as he said it today, his life mission to look into that death and he got sanctions passed against Russia for Magnitsky's death -- death,
excuse me as well as other human rights abuses in 2012.
So he's familiar to these senators who actually sat today very wrapped with his testimony. He laid out his life story. He laid out what
happened to Sergei Magnitsky in a very compelling way and you saw these senators sitting there compelled by what he was saying.
But all of this gets back to the sanctions that were passed against the Russian government in 2012. Well, the White House's comment today on
new sanctions that may be coming up and have passed the House earlier this week.
Anthony Scaramucci said this morning on CNN that President Trump may veto those sanctions. So it remains to be seen whether those sanctions
will stay in place.
But his testimony today gets to sanctions against Russia and the investigation into Russia's 2016 election meddling, and a June 9th
meeting in Trump Tower with Don Junior and a Russian-backed lawyer who Browder described today as the point person for the Russia government on
repealing the Magnitsky sanctions.
ASHER: one of the things that stand out to me in terms of what you just said was that Anthony Scaramucci actually mentioned this morning that
there is a chance -- there is a chance that President Trump could actually ends up vetoing this bill that comes to his desk.
Given this sort of fact that, you know, various senators were so glued to the screen or glued rather to Bill Browder as he was testifying, just
explain to us, what would the political fallout would be if President Trump ends up going in that direction and vetoing this bill?
MERICA: It would be an embarrassment frankly, you know, for him if that veto were over rinse. The way it works is he would veto these sanction.
Those sanctions would go back to Capitol Hill and how -- the Capitol Hill would have a chance to override the presidential veto.
If that were happen, it would be politically embarrassing frankly. It would mean that the Republicans broke with their president and this is a
bill that got only three, no votes against it in the House.
So while the president has any chance to veto it and Anthony Scaramucci as we said, said on CNN that he's considering doing that, it would be an
embarrassment to this White House if this veto was overridden by the House, we're still a long way from that.
The bill hasn't come to his desk, yet he has an issue to veto but it still remains to be seen what exactly is going to happen.
ASHER: And what's it out to you, in terms of you know, what we've learned from that meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and that Russian lawyer.
[11:05:00] MERICA: Well, what Bill Browder said was that this meeting while he may have -- while the Russian-backed lawyer may have promised
information on Hillary Clinton, you know, under that, it was certainly about the Magnitsky Act, Russian Adoptions and sanctions.
And what Bill Browder said today is that Russians like to come to the United States and talk about, you know, lifting these adoption
restrictions put on Americans looking to -- to adopt from Russia.
But really that is really just a conversation about sanctions and so the lawyer likely went to Trump Tower to talk about lifting the Magnitsky
Act to sanctions because that -- as Bill Browder said today, that lawyer was the point person for the Russian government on the issue.
ASHER: And in terms of Bob Mueller listening to this hearing, what are the sort of key headlines that he'll count do you think as he goes
forward with this investigation?
MERICA: I think the whole -- the whole story around this and the fact that he was telling such a compelling story about how this happen, how
he got from bring a, you know, wealthy financier to somebody who is on Capitol Hill pushing this sanctions, I think that all contributes to the
Not only the Special Council but also the investigations on Capitol Hill, more than just Bob Mueller watching these proceedings, it's people
behind the White House were watching this -- watching this be played repeatedly on cable news and realizing that this story is likely not
This Russian investigation despite the president's calling it a witch hunt, is not going anywhere, because there were Republicans who are
participating in these hearings who are asking people questions about how we've gotten to this point and about sanctions, and about the 2016
election meddling, and that just kind of furthers this story. It's the latest chapter in what -- he's really been a saga here in Washington.
ASHER: All right, Dan Merica, stand by. I want to bring in Phil Black who is joining us live now from Moscow.
So, Phil, the Russians here, they're sort of riveting testimony from Bill Browder about corruption, about impunity, about ruthlessness.
In Moscow, they here it and they think what? What does that do to their crusade to repeal sanctions?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL FREELANCE REPORTER: Bill Browder, Zain, is someone who has been criticized from every level of Russian power
since he began his campaign to seek justice for Sergei Magnitsky.
Under Russian's -- Russia judicial system, he was in fact tried and convicted ostensive, Magnitsky, the lawyer who worked for him who died
while in custody, he was prosecuted and convicted after his death posthumously.
There have been documentaries on Russian television about Browder being a CIA agent and these sorts of things. He is someone who is discredited
at every single level.
Now, Browder's view is that goes to show just how irritated the Russian structure of power is by the things that he has brought to light,
namely, corruption, kleptocracy.
These are the allegations that Browder makes against the Russian political system and it's why Browder says that Moscow and even the
Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin himself is so deeply aggravated by the Magnitsky Act.
Now, remember, the Magnitsky Act targets people implicated in Sergei Magnitsky's death with visa bans and asset freezes. So in Browder's
view, it targets the very corrupt officials at the center of the Russian power structure that Vladimir Putin relies upon.
And so from that point of view, Browder and others argue it targets the stability of the Russian political system itself. Browder goes beyond
that, he says that it even targets and potentially affects Putin's own wealth.
Now there have been many allegations over the years about Putin accumulating large amounts of money. Browder is not the first to do it.
But the Kremlin has always been very strong in pushing back on that, in denying that, and insisting that it is absolutely not true that Vladimir
Putin has not accumulated any vast amount of wealth that he earns no more that his presidential salary every year, that's the Kremlin view.
But what you heard there from Browder is something very different. And there's a reason why senators as they were today and other lawmakers all
around the world have been listening to Bill Browder over some years now as he's been pursing this campaign not just to seek justice for Sergei
Magnitsky in his view.
But to push back and fight the sort of corruption that he believes is ultimately responsible for Magnitsky's death. And that is because for
those lawmakers around the world who have some distrust of the Russian political system and what they believe to be corruption within this
system, they think that he is someone who has experienced this firsthand.
Who has a great deal to say about it and whose experience is very illustrative about the way that Russia works, both in terms of business,
in terms of corruption, in terms of politics and the judicial system itself.
[11:10:00] That's why Browder is able to create that sort of interested at audience that we saw today as those senators lined up to listen to
him so carefully. Zain.
ASHER: All right, Phil Black, live for us there, Dan Merica, we appreciate both of you, thank you so much for joining us on this program
to discuss all of this.
And also with us is Matthew Chance. He's in Finland where Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting. So Matthew, given this Russia
sanctions bill, given this riveting, firing -- fiery testimony by Bill Browder, this relationship between U.S. and Russian that Donald Trump
has tried so hard to repair, what happens to it now?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a good question. And actually, I asked Vladimir Putin something along the
lines of that question when I got a chance to speak to him during his press conference along side the Finnish president just a few minutes ago
And he said look, you know, he regrets the fact that the relationship between the United States and Russia has not gone as well as many people
He said because together when we cooperate, we can solve all sorts of issues more effectively, issues like crime, issues like terrorism,
issues like economic development.
And I also asked him about these congressional investigations that Bill Browder has been testifying too and the extent to which they kind of
left in Vladimir Putin a sense of regret that Donald Trump is the president of the United States.
Because under Donald Trump, expectations are very high that relationship is going to get better but the fact is, under Donald Trump, the
relationship has gotten much, much worse.
It's become a poisonous, toxic issue in the United States politically, domestically and you know, he said, look, I do regret it and he doesn't
regard with any degree of validity these investigations. The congress has embarked on it. Take a listen to what Vladimir Putin, the Russian
president, had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: President Putin with these U.S. congressional investigations that are thoroughly under way into allegations of Russian meddling in
the U.S. election and with the possibility of U.S. sanctions being tightened shortly.
Do you sometimes sit in your office in the Kremlin thinking about how badly U.S.-Russia relations are going and regretting the day that Donald
Trump was elected?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through a translator): Well, the first point about the election of the U.S. President, that's not our
business and it is not up to us to assess what he does in this very senior post.
That's up to the U.S. public. As far as the investigation which you referred to is concerned, I don't actually think it is an investigation
because an investigation implies a full study and analysis of the situation, the causes and what we see is really anti-Russian hysteria
and utilization of Russia phobia for domestic policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: All right, well, this is what the Russians and what Vladimir Putin, and other officials that are high level that have spoken to us
over the past 12 months really regarding the toxic nature of the Russia issue in the United States.
They say this is just anti-Russian hysteria and Vladimir Putin again today in that -- in that same answer, that press conference to me, he
said, look, you know, I hope that things get better.
And that the relationship between the United States and Russia can move to a different or higher, or better level, and so he left that -- that
press conference, you know, with a degree of, you know, hopefulness and optimism which is perhaps not born out by the political situation we're
seeing unfold in the United States.
ASHER: All right. Matthew Chance live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
The Russian hearing in the Senate is just part of a very busy day in Washington. I think that's an understatement. But a big focus of the
White House today is on stopping what it calls nefarious, unnecessary backstabbing palace intrigue like leaks.
Leak is that according to our President Trump's communications director, are coming from inside the west wing. Anthony Scaramucci gave quite a
dramatic interview this morning to CNN saying that he and President Trump are on the trail of senior leakers in the White House.
Scaramucci all but blamed the White House U.S. staff himself, Reince Priebus of being among the culprits. Take a listen to part of what
Scaramucci told our Chris Cuomo just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: It's absolutely, completely and totally reprehensible, and the -- as you know, from the county expression, the fish stink from over
head down, but I can tell you, two fish that don't stink, OK?
[11:15:00] And that's me and the president. I don't like what the activity that's going on in the White House, I don't like what they are
doing in my friend, I don't like what they are doing to the president of the United States or their fellow colleagues in the West Wing.
If you want to talk about the chief-of-staff, we have to have odds. We have had differences. When I put out a tweet and I put Reince's name in
the tweet, they are all making the assumption that it's him because journalists know who the leakers are. So if Reince wants to explain
that he's not a leaker, let him do that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN JOURNALIST: Is it a big part of this leak investigation a distraction from that agenda?
SCARAMUCCI: Oh, how is it a distraction? We have to clamp down the leaks. The president and I are working together with a large group of
people now to suppress and clamp down the nefarious nature of these leaks.
And again, I'm going -- I'm talking about stuff going on with leaking on Syria and North Korea. And like I said, the president views the White
House leaks brought out as these small potatoes.
I mean, I can't even have dinner with the guy and seven minutes later, the journalists know I'm having dinner with him and they have the guest
list. I don't know. Is that how we should run the White House?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Say you are -- Scaramucci certainly making it clear that his priority is starting to clamp down on leaks. Let's take a step back now
and explain exactly how we got to this point.
President Trump has been on wall pass against leaks and leakers for awhile, but Scaramucci got personally involved with information about
his own finances actually ended up surfacing -- surfacing. CNN's Joe Johns has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JOHNS, CNN ENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anthony Scaramucci ramping up his rhetoric against leakers tweeting that he will be
contacting the FBI and the Justice Department about the alleged leak #swamp before cryptically tagging White House Chief-of-staff Reince
Ryan Lizza, a reporter for the New Yorker, tweeting shortly after that, that he can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI to investigate Priebus
RYAN LIZZA, REPORTER, NEW YORKER: I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Anthony Scaramucci believes this, and that was exactly
his intension when he -- when he tweeted this.
JOHNS: Scaramucci deleted that tweet over two hours later calling reports that he was going after Priebus wrong although Lizza stands by
his reporting. Hours earlier, Scaramucci told Fox News, he believes the leaks are coming from the top.
SCARAMUCCI: And one of the big problems, the moment that I'm discovering the coms team, is that senior people are really the guys
doing the leaking and they ask junior people to leak for them.
And so I'm very proud to be reporting directly to the president so I can hermetically seal off the coms team from this sort of nonsense.
JOHNS: The Justice Department responding to Scaramucci's interview with a statement noting, like the attorney general has said, whenever a case
can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail and we will aggressively pursue leak cases wherever they may lead.
Scaramucci taking a page out of his boss' playbook, while taking to Twitter to air grievances with his fellow colleagues, while President
Trump continues to publicly attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter, despite growing backlash from conservatives and his senior
advisers urging him to stand down.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: I don't fully understand why the president has said what he has said, but I think Jeff deserves, you know, better
JOHNS: The turmoil in President Trump's inner circle comes as the Pentagon was left scrambling after Mr. Trump abruptly announced on
Twitter a ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military. A stark reversal from the promises that president made to the LGBTQ
community on the campaign trail.
TED LIEU, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I serve an act of duty in the military and I can tell you, we don't care about gender orientation or identity
or who you love. We just care if you shoot straight and can complete the mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: So much happening over the past few days. We'll have much more on the White House, infighting, what's happening with Jeff Sessions, the
transgender military ban, Scaramucci versus Reince Priebus, so much to talk about.
We'll have Ryan Lizza joining us in just a couple of moment from now. But first, new video to show you from our team in Jerusalem, take a look
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Thousands of Muslim worshippers rushed to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and there are reports that dozens have actually been
injured in the chaos.
You can see a lot of people brining around there in the chaos at the holy site that is known to Muslims at the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as
the Temple Mount.
President Mahmoud Abbas and other leaders at urged worshippers to return to the mosque after Israel removed metal detectors from the site. Oren
Liebermann is live now from Lion's Gate on Jerusalem's Old City.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
So metal detectors have been removed and as a result to asking Palestinians go back to that but just talk to us about other security
Have there been other security measures beefed up around the area that you're noticing even though the metal detectors are no longer there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: security cameras have also been removed as have the metal barriers trying to guide people in. All of
that has been taken away.
[11:20:00] That was supposed ease the tension and bring to an end essentially this crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians about what
was happening here behind me.
As you can see now, it's a very far cry from the video you saw just a short time ago, now it's late group of Muslim worshippers coming in to
the Al-Aqsa compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and the Jews as the Temple Mount, as another group leaves.
But it looked very different here about an hour and a half ago when Muslim worshippers entered here for the first time. There were
thousands of them here.
And due to a number of the gates were supposed to open right around 4:00 local time. But there was a delay as that added to the tension because
one of the gates remained closed.
And because that gate remained closed, worshippers refused to enter through the other gates. That tension spilled over. Israelis threw
stun grenades and smoke grenades as they were pushing themselves against the entrance.
Eventually there were three or four instances of that where the Israelis security forces threw those stun grenades and smoke grenades but most of
the crowd made their way in the gate here at Lion's Gate here at 6:40 local time.
Most of them entering and some coming out after finishing worship. All of this started and I'm thinking about two and half week ago when two
Israeli police officers were killed not a long distance from here.
Israel put in those security measures as a response to that but did it unilaterally. And first, that angered the Jordanians and created a bit
of diplomatic crisis between Israel and Jordan.
But that didn't fully solve the problem here, because Muslim worshippers had not yet agreed to enter into the compound behind me. With the full
removal of the security measure, they have agreed to enter and it seems at this point that most of the tension has passed.
The big test though, Zain, comes tomorrow when it won't be thousands of worshippers. It will be tens of thousands of worshippers. And if we
see that same friction, the same clash that we saw today, even if small scale tomorrow they may not be so small, and that may reignite the
tension here, restart what we felt over the last two weeks.
ASHER: All right, I'm sure we'll be checking back in with you tomorrow. Thank you so much, Oren Liebermann, liver for us there. Still to come
here on Connect the World, a White House feud filled into the public view. Why things are getting so testy right now in the west wing. That
ASHER: Welcome back here, everybody. You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher. Appreciate you joining us wherever
you are in the world.
There is a growing rift inside the White House over leaks to the media, as we've been mentioning in this program. Communications Director
Anthony Scaramucci seemed to implicate chief of staff Reince Priebus as a leaker by placing his name at the end of a now deleted tweet.
CNN Contributor Ryan Lizza got involved tweeting this, in case there's any ambiguity in his tweet, I can confirm that Scaramucci wants the FBI
to investigate Reince for leaking. Scaramucci responded telling CNN that that was actually an assumption on Lizza's part.
[11:25:00] I want to bring in Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker's Washington correspondent. Ryan, thank you so much for being with us. You have so
much -- I'm so happy that you're on the show as you can explain a lot to us.
First of all, before we get to your tweet. First, I do want you -- just get your opinion on how strange it is that we haven't heard from Reince
Priebus himself and why haven't we heard from him and the fact that we haven't heard from him, what does that tell you?
LIZZA: Well, you know, Reince has had other ongoing turf wars with people in the White House. It's a sign of how factionalized the White
House is. You know, it's hard to keep track of all the meeting and all the different factions.
But if you remember earlier this year, the big story was Reince Priebus against Steve Bannon and their fight occasionally spilled out into
It got so bad that they eventually did a joint appearance at a -- at a conference just sort of clear the air and let everyone know that were OK
So that -- this faction in White House pops up all the time, this is probably the worst one that I have seen covering this White House.
Scaramucci was offered a job early in the administration, he believes, and it seems true that Reince Priebus blocked that job, did not want him
to come to the White House. For six months, this guy has been fighting to get into the White House.
He finally went over Reince Priebus' head, went to the president and the president hired him as communications director a week ago and here we
are now a week later where it's obvious that this war has not de- escalated.
ASHER: And what's interesting is Anthony Scaramucci on CNN's New Day today said, if Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him
do that, essentially in a way hanging went out to dry, So President Trump...
LIZZA: Yes, and reconfirming what he -- what I said last night.
ASHER: Right. Right.
LIZZA: You know, I can't say anything right now but I'll have a piece posted at Newyorker.com in a little while that will explain all of this
in a little bit more detail.
To be clear, what I said about Scaramucci targeting Reince in that tweet is indeed accurate, and frankly, as Scaramucci made clear today on New
So he's kind of going back and forth between withdrawing the criticism and pushing forward with it. But this is a very unusual term of events
to have two people at war with each other in the West Wing and one of them going public.
ASHER: And then what does President Trump make of it? What does he make of the fact that the war or the battle Between Reince Priebus and
Anthony Scaramucci, and publicly on New Day, what does the president make of that?
LIZZA: I know this sounds a little weird, but from all the reporting that I've seen, both from others and that I have done, is that Trump
does not mind these fights.
He likes the White House and he likes to have people around him who are arguing and fighting. He doesn't always mind if it spills into public,
if it gets too bad, if he sometimes likes to read it in.
Two points here. One, Scaramucci had dinner with Trump last night and these issues of Scaramucci's objections to some of what Reince Priebus
were raised by Scaramucci to the president.
Secondly, as Scaramucci said on CNN this morning, he talked to Trump this morning before going on air. So in other words, Trump gave him the
go ahead to go on air and do that long interview with CNN. And as you noted in that interview, he did not back away from his criticisms of
Reince Priebus, both explicit and implicit.
ASHER: Ryan Lizza, we have to leave it there. But you did tweet about your piece in The New Yorker, so I encourage everybody to read it when
it comes out. Ryan Lizza, live for us there. Thank you so much appreciate that.
LIZZA: Thank you.
ASHER: And as you may have notice, it's certainly been a busy hour and we're bringing it to you live from New York. We have plenty more
stories straight ahead.
It's not what he's done but maybe just what he's wearing that got this man into trouble. We are on the ground where that is happening in just
a few minutes. You are watching Connect the World. Don't go away.
[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: Welcome back, everybody. This is Connect the World. Here from our top stories at this hour. He was once one of Russia's biggest
foreign investors and now he's one of the country's biggest critics.
The United States Senate has been hearing from a key witness in the Russia investigation, American businessman Bill Browder. He's been
describing a staggering level of corruption and impunity within the Russian government.
Meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin says, quote, it is sad the U.S.-Russia relations are being sacrificed in the name of solving
internal U.S. problems.
Mr. Putin was speaking at a news conference in Finland in response to a question by CNN's Matthew Chance. He said what is happening in the U.S.
Senate, rather the United States, is anti-Russian hysteria.
The White House communications director says he and President Donald Trump are hunting down senior leakers inside the administration.
Anthony Scaramucci all but accused Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus of being among the culprits, Scaramucci spoke to CNN after his financial
disclosure information was leaked to the media.
In France, a huge fire has ravaged southeast of the country are now under control according to firefighters in the region. Thousands of
residents and (Inaudible) were forced to flee the fire in the last few days. Authorities are still on high alert with fears that the hot, dry
conditions could end up starting more fires.
And both sides of the 38th parallel on the Korean Peninsula are marking the armistice to end the hostilities in the Korean War. The North
celebrates the occasion as victory day and put on a large display of military might.
South Korea's prime minister attended a ceremony with Korean War veterans but decades after the fighting, relations between the two
countries are still very tense indeed. Here's our Will Ripley with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This area near the demilitarize norm that separates North and South Korea continues to be a very dangerous
flash point. There are military on both sides keeping an eye on each other.
We've seen a lot of patrols here and we've also confirmed with South Korean officials that the South's offer to the North to sir down for
peace talk has gone unanswered.
Even on this significant day, which was supposed to be the deadline, South Korea has now extended the deadline, the 27th of July, the
anniversary of the signing of the armistice, the end of the Korean War back in 1953, although the two countries still remain technically at
North Korea calls it their victory day and it's a day they've often used to project power and military strength, but so far we haven't seen a
ballistic missile launch. There was rain in the area of the Kusong launch site on Thursday which may have impeded any plans to launch a
We know from the State Department from intelligence analyst that heavy machinery have been rolling it into that launch site machinery that
could be used to test a ballistic missile, also reports the North Korea test that a component for a submarine launch ballistic missile just
within the past day.
This area where I'm standing used to be a point of transfer between North and South Korea. That's the freedom bridge and a sense of being
closed and sealed off and even though civilians are allowed here.
[11:35:00] It remains a heavily fortified area as it is along the 38th parallel that divides the North and the South. Barbed wire fencing and
military patrols, soldiers at every corner and a whole lot of conventional weaponry from each side pointed at each other.
The question now, will there be a flare-up of tensions on this very important Armistice Day? The North Korea try to project strength. In
the past they have had military parades. They've had weapons tests. We haven't seen that yet. But we're continuing to monitor this situation.
Will Ripley, near the DMZ in South Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right. Wait just a second and think about everything in your wardrobe. Now, I want you to ask yourself this. Is there anything
-- is there anything in there that could land you in jail? Probably not. I assume that's the answer. But maybe that's because you're not in
Turkey. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: A young man -- here he is in handcuffs is being marched away by security forces all because of his t-shirt with the words hero slashed
across the front landing him and many -- as many as 30 others in trouble.
Why, because police reckoned that the hero that they were referring to - - may refer to this man here, Fethullah Gulen. That's the man -- the country's president blamed for this, a failed coup against him just over
a year ago today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: But even more than what you wear in Turkey, what you write could actually get you into a lot more trouble. Right now, 17 staff members
from one of the country's last opposition news papers are on trial and Ben Wedeman has more on one of the country's most respected journalist,
fighting for his freedom. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's one of Turkey's best known investigative journalists speaking truth to power with the scars to
prove it, which is what perhaps landed Ahmet Sik in an Istanbul courtroom this week accused along with 16 other staff members of the
secular daily Cumhuriyet of aiding and abetting terrorist groups.
Including the network led by exile Turkish cleric Fethullah G_len who the government claims was behind the failed coup of July of last year.
His wife Yonca insists he's speaking up for others afraid to raise their voices.
YONCA SIK, AHMET SIK'S WIFE: Ahmet, is not a hero. He's not a superman. He's just telling the truth. It is something very normal but
it comes very strong to the people because the others are very silent and this is the reason why Ahmet is in the prison, because the others
WEDEMAN: Sik jumped to national prominence since 2011, when he was arrested for working on a book, The Imam's Army, about the close ties
between the Gulen network and judiciary and security services.
At the time, Gulen was an ally of then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before falling out in 2013. Sik's work focused on the threat
that Gulen network posed to Turkey and it's the complicity with the ruling justice and development party, the AKP.
When he was released after a year behind bars, Sik's tongue was as sharp as ever. Fellow journalists (Inaudible) shared an office with Sik.
UNIDETIFIED MALE: With his courage and this is something special that belongs to Ahmet. I mean, I believe that he's the face -- he's the
voice of so many people in the country and he has no fear.
WEDEMAN: What emerges of Sik is a portrait of a man driven relentlessly by his convictions.
UNIDETIFIED MALE: He's always very difficult to be with him because he is always active. You cannot -- for example, if you go out to dinner or
lunch with him, you can't make him stand for more than five minutes and he's like that. And he always rushes you and he's always -- he's a
person who is always very difficult to catch up.
WEDEMAN: Sik was in detention for almost seven months before the trial began on Monday but it's only one legal headache he's grappling with.
SIK: Just in the last five months, he gets four more investigations to be on trial. This is judicial harassment.
WEDEMAN: like activist say, this is all about silencing the opposition. Harassed yet unbowed, Wednesday, Sik delivered a blistering statement to
the court concluding with the cry down with tyranny long live freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That was our Ben Wedeman reporting there.
[11:40:00] All this week, the CNN Freedom Project is exposing the use of children and bonded laborers in the brick kiln of Cambodia. A young boy
spent three years working at kiln until an accident mangled his right arm. Here's our Alexandra Field with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Phea Chantheng is 16 and only in first grade but his teachers believe in him. He's done
PHEA CHANTHENG, FORMER WORKER, BRICK KILN (through a translator): When I was 11, I started working at the brick kiln. It was very difficult
and loaded bricks on the cart, and then I pulled the cart for bricks to dry. But one day when I was putting clay in the machine, I slipped and
my arm got caught in the engine.
FIELD: Chantheng was 14. His mother says she was in debt to a brick factory owner. The whole family was making bricks to pay it off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through a translator): Since my son got injured, I have never asked my kids to work again. I don't even allow them to get
FIELD: (Inaudible) says she took a $12 loan the kiln owner 15 years ago. She kept borrowing money so her family could afford the basics.
Today, her debt has ballooned to $2800.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through a translator): I can't even reduce the debt because what I make is just enough for food for one day. This is
the life of a brick kiln worker. It will continue to our children and grand children.
FIELD: There are more than 300 brick factories across Cambodia, and a big concentration of them is right here on the outskirts of the
country's capital Phnom Penh.
We stop it in four different brick factories and in all four of them we see children working. The conditions are tough, the work is hard but
their parents say there is just no other way.
In 2006, the government cracked down on child labor in the kiln identifying 100 child laborers in the brick factories and another 2900
considered at risk.
They removed the children and gave them educational opportunities. The labor ministry claims by that by 2012, they had successfully wiped out
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hardly to see the case child labor into sector anymore, the employer who employs the children as a child laborers,
they'll give a penalty. And we did not allow any perpetrator out of this issue.
FIELD: So the owner will be charged?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will be charged.
FIELD: We're told by the ministry that 600 inspectors now oversee the country's kilns, their works hasn't been led to the prosecution of a
single kiln owner. At 2016, report from a Cambodian NGO (Inaudible), says child labor is still branched into kilns, a claim rejected by the
We saw children on the job at every one of the factories that we visited. The labor ministry counters that workers may be older than
they look and that while labor is illegal for children under 15, light work is allowed for children 12 and up. That's not the kind of work
Chantheng was doing just two years ago.
CHANTHENG (through a translator): Seeing the Intraco(ph) makes me scared. I don't want to go to the brick kiln anymore. I get scared
when I see the machine.
FIELD: The goal is to keep children in the kiln's from working by getting them to school, the labor ministry says. Chantheng is finally
getting that chance. With the help of the catholic mission from Australia, he's living at a school for children with disabilities.
UNIDETIFEID MALE: He's making good progress as well. He's a big strong lad with great personality.
FIELD: Twenty -five miles from the kiln, Chantheng has found a new beginning, one that starts at the very beginning. Alexandra Field, CNN,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right. We have lots more news to come this hour. So much to share with you. You are watching Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher.
I'll be back after this quick break.
[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: Welcome back everybody, you're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher. So we've been following the
emotional plight of a thermally ill baby in the U.K.
And I do have some news that I do want to share with you about that story. We've learned that Charlie Gard -- this baby right here is to be
moved to a hospice and taken off life support, very sad indeed.
So it follows an order from a high court judge. The parents' battled with hospital doctors to get him for the treatment, actually drew the
attention of Pope Francis and President Donald Trump as well. The latest fight was to bring the critically ill baby home to die, certainly
a tragic story indeed.
In the meantime, thousands of Venezuelans are participating in a -- day two rather of a 48-hour general strike called by the opposition anger
against regime of President Nicolas Maduro is escalating sharply. Paula Newton talked to some of those protesters (Inaudible) Caracas.
So Paula, President Maduro is pressing ahead with his plan to try to rewrite the constitution. We have got the election of the ANC on
You know, I'm just curious, what options -- what concrete options does the opposition actually have at this point? Obviously you've got the
strike or you've got the protests but in terms of concrete action, what are the options?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, they've been struggling with this for years in terms of trying to get President
Nicolas Maduro out of power and right now the situation is escalating.
There are a couple of things that have changed. The opposition does feel that they, themselves are more united and that they have more
support from the international community.
One thing that's a problem though, Zain, is today is a very quiet day in some areas of the city and in other areas of the city and the country,
the national strike is not working.
Things are continuing of pace and those are the kinds of things that the Maduro government is pointing to say that the opposition strategy won't
You know, in terms of going back to those clashes, we caught up with a lot of opposition manning those barricades yesterday and you can tell
that they continue to be deadly. We had three more killed yesterday. That brings the total now to 106 since the protests began.
That's according to the prosecutor's office here. And it's very difficult to see why President Maduro would back away now. He seems to
be emboldened and again, even calling on the United States after it imposed new sanctions yesterday to stay out of the affairs of Venezuela.
ASHER: All right. Paula Newton live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, still to come here on Connect the World when you see Iraqis celebrating like this, you might think it's about a military victory,
right? Well, think again. Find out why they're celebrating today.
[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: All right. You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back. Appreciate you still being with us.
Earlier this hour, we of course spoke about President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals in the military. He announced it yesterday
on Twitter and the news provided plenty of fodder for late-night television hosts in the United States who wasted absolutely no time
ripping the president because of it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: I began my day today as I often begin my days by checking Donald Trump's Twitter feed to see how far the
crazy has spread and today I really think he's off his meds.
Thank you. (BLEEP), that was before 9:00 a.m. Before. You know with Trump as president, you don't even need morning coffee. You don't.
Yes, A little bit of him wakes you right up -- right, straight into it. And too much makes you (BLEEP) yourself. It's just -- and Trump says
that he's banning transgender people from serving because high medical costs. If he cares so much about high medical costs, maybe he should
have passed a health care bill.
COLBERT: Those 15,000 transgender troops, who volunteered to serve our country were minding their own business protecting our freedoms when
they all got fired by tweet.
That's like your wife divorcing you by cookie bouquet. Now, like most of Trump's ideas, this ban sounds crazy but when you first here it, but
then he explains it and it's way worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Those late-night hosts certainly could not get enough out of Donald Trump's tweets yesterday. So another story that we're following,
given how violent Iraq can be, you might think -- you might think that heroes there are only made on the battlefield.
But ten years ago, Iraq's national team won the Asia cup, a moment when sectarianism in the country was not in the spotlight. CNN's Don Riddell
remembers the glory that was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS JOURNALIST: In July 29th, 2007, the Iraq football team took on Saudi Arabia, regional heavyweights and three-time
champions for the biggest prize in the country's sporting history.
Throughout the tournament, Iraq has been defensively sound, conceding only two goals. In the final, they were again resolute. But it wasn't
until the 72nd minute when they scored a historic goal.
It was a header from the team's captain Younis Mahmoud, a goal that sparked emotional celebrations among Iraqi fans, all over the world,
from New Zealand to England, Germany to Canada. The joy and the achievement was symbolic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We played much better (Inaudible), this is only the beginning. For us, for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:55:00] ASHER: And it was CNN's Ridell, who remembers so momentous and the celebration so exuberant and lively battle. For at least a
while -- for while at least, the fighting stopped in some of Iraq's most dangerous neighbor hood.
It's really, really touching to look back on. To find that and a lot more, where else, just go to CNN.com. And by the way, which ever sport
you're into, we'll definitely get a kick if you visit our Facebook page.
That's Facebook.com/CNNconnect. And you can also get in touch with me directly. I'm always on Twitter. I tweet all the time. And if you
reach out to me, I will try my best to reply. There's my page there.
Tweet me @zainasher. I am Zain Asher and that was Connect the World from me here and the team in New York, Atlanta, London, Abu Dhabi, we
have writers and producers all over the world. Thanks to them and thanks to you at home for watching. The news continues right here on
CNN. Quest Express is up next.