Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
U.N. Security Council issues new sanctions on North Korea; Kenyan campaigners turns to fake news; China and North Korea meet at a Southeast Asian security summit in Manila; U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his Russian counterpart; Opposition leaders Venezuela imprisoned by government, now back home; Kidnap for ransom on the dark web; Al Jazeera offices in Israel to be closed by the government; Intense heat wave scorching Europe; Legendary sprinter Usain Bolt lost final individual race. Aired at 11-12p ET
Aired August 6, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CONNECT THE WORLD HOST: Stop testing missiles and our patience, the warning to North Korea from the U.N. Security Council
speaking in rare unison. But what happens if that message is ignored? Officials are discussing that very question at a summit in Manila, details
Also, CNN is inside Syria where the government tells us it feels it's winning the war. That interview, ahead.
Plus consume with caution. Kenyan campaigners are trying to open voter's eyes to some very fake news. Our special report this hour.
Hello and welcome to "Connect the World." I'm Robyn Kriel in Atlanta filling in for Becky Anderson. We begin inside Syria where bombs, bloodshed
and shelling has been a daily fact of life. We're going on seven years now. They're still fighting on the ground and pounding from above as buildings
are blasted into unrecognizable piles of concrete.
Since the war started, we've seen a shifting battlefield and new players emerge, ISIS for one, a new president in the United States and Iran and
Russia taking on a major role backing Bashar al Asssad's regime. Now, CNN's Fredrick Pleitgen had a rare interview with a top official from that
regime. He talks about some of those new players and where the war stands now. Take a listen.
FAISAL MEKDAD, SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: Yes, we feel in a better situation. We support the areas declared as de-escalation zones and we are
moving for more national reconciliation efforts that will bring back the Syrian people together.
FREDRICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you make of the Trump administration's policies towards Syria?
MEKDAD: We are saying nobody has the right to judge our leadership so I don't want to judge President Donald Trump. I judge only those aspects
which are related to the situation in the Middle East. We believe the fight against Daesh should be intensified. We believe that it was a good decision
to stop secret programs, financing terrorist because it was approved and we said it from the beginning.
Of course the American strike at the Al Shayrat Air Base was absolutely unjustifiable. We have no chemical weapons and we did not use it because it
is illegal and it is prohibited as far as we are concerned so, this is a big lie.
PLEITGEN: Well the OPCW did however from its initial reports on the recent strike say they believe that chemicals weapons were used in that strike.
MEKDAD: We are saying that --
PLEITGEN: And the U.S. says that their evidence shows that the plane took off from Shayrat air base, from the Syrian Air Force.
MEKDAD: We are discussing all these aspects and it was very clear that many planes, I mean, were flying that day, but none of our planes nor our
friends' planes use chemical weapons.
PLEITGEN: In the fight against ISIS, it seems as though while there might not be cooperation between the U.S and Russia, it seems that both sides are
very clear as to which forces fight ISIS there in Syria. So it's --
MEKDAD: So we have to define our priorities and our priority for the time being is to liberate the Syrian Desert going into Deir Ezzor in cooperation
with our Russian friends and their allies. But if somebody wants to fight against terrorism, according to international law they have to get their
approval by their respective country.
PLEITGEN: So do you think the U.S. Air Force should stop flying over Syria?
MEKDAD: Absolutely. It should stop flying and if they are willing to contribute to the fight against terrorism in Syria, they must get the
permission of the Syrian government.
KRIEL: Frederick Pleitgen joins us now from the Syrian capital. Fred, the Syrian government's opinion of the United States and its role in Syria
changed quite dramatically since President Trump confirmed the end of the CIA's support of rebel groups fighting Assad's forces. What does
[23:05:00] Mekdad have to say about this?
PLEITGEN (via telephone): You're absolutely right. I mean, one of the things that the Syrian government has said at the base here that they're
quite happy obviously with the fact that the United States has ended that support. However, they also say that the (INAUDIBLE) that conclude (ph) to
them what the U.S. policy on Syria is at this point in time.
On the one hand, you have statements from the president himself calling for Syria's president, Basher al-Assad both a butcher after that attack that
happened in Khan Shaykhun. And then you also have Rex Tillerson who said that he believes that Basher al-Assad doesn't have a role in the future of
Syria. President Trump was saying different things like for instance ending that program today, the CIA backed rebels there in Syria, also with U.S.
military and telling some of the rebel groups the feedback not to attack Syrian military positions but to focus instead on ISIS.
So right now, I think the Syrians are still trying to figure out what exactly the Trump administration is about. But they also say that the
cooperation, I mean the coordination is probably the better word between the Russians and Assad (ph) on the battlefield in the fight against ISIS
they say is something and that certainly keeps the work there and it is clear to all sides who is going to fight ISIS there in Syria from the
Russian side and also of course from Assad's (ph) side as well.
KRIEL: Mixed messages. Thank you so much, Fred Pleitgen who is live for us inside Syria. And a little later in the show, we're getting more analysis
on Syria as well as other major global challenges from Vali Nasr, the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins
University. He's going to share his thoughts with us in around 10 minutes.
Well now to mounting pressure on North Korea. China is urging its ally to quote, make smart decisions after its highly provocative intercontinental
ballistic missile tests. It's the hope shared by the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian nations meeting right now in the Philippines
as the so-called ASEAN Summit. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also there to further isolate the north over its nuclear weapon program.
Now, all of this taking place just a day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on North Korea. Our Ivan Watson
has details for us from Manila.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPPONDENT: Robyn, the U.S delegation came to this international gathering in Manila hoping to show
that they could further diplomatically isolate North Korea. And they arrived with wind at their sails with the United Nations Security Council
having just unanimously passed the resolution slapping new sanctions on the North Korean regime, banning the exports of North Korean coal, iron and
even seafood, something that top U.S. officials argue would be economically crippling to the North Korean government.
China for its part agreed to the resolution. And the Chinese foreign minister said he pressed his North Korean counterpart at a face to face
meeting right here in the Philippines capital
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WANG YI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER (though translator): We have indeed conducted in-depth discussion. China urged North Korea to treat the new
resolutions by the U.N. Security Council regarding North Korea in a calm manner and not to conduct missile tests and nuclear tests, which violates
U.N Security Council resolutions and the desire of the international community.
Of course we will also urge all other parties especially the United States and South Korea not to further escalate the tension. I think the Korean
Peninsula situation has reached a critical point of crisis, but at the same time, it I also a turning point for decision making and negotiations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Robyn, U.S. diplomats said they also wanted ASEAN, that's the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to suspend North Korea from
membership in something called the Asian Regional Forum. Well, they've gotten pushback on that with Southeast Asian nations saying no, that
doesn't make sense. It's better to have dialogue with the country like North Korea to help try to de-escalate the tensions on the Korean
The association did put out a statement on Saturday expressing grave concern about the two ballistic missile launches in July arguing that they
threaten world peace. It remains to be seen what will happen when Rex Tillerson goes into a room with dozens of other top diplomats including for
the very first time North Korea's foreign minister that's expected to take place here on Monday.
There is no formal meeting expected between these two officials but certainly everybody will be watching to see if they shake hands or even
make eye contact, Robyn.
KRIEL: Ivan Watson live for us there in Manila. Another high stakes meeting in
[23:10:00] Manila took place between U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. Their sit down comes just days
after the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on Russia in part over its meddling in the U.S. election last year. Well CNN's Oren Liebermann is following all
the developments in Manila from Moscow for us on that meeting. Oren, thank you. We've seen in the past few weeks the U.S. imposing new sanctions on
Moscow and then Russia expelling American diplomats and yet the two countries' top diplomats are talking. Did anything substantive come out of
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, we only have a bit of readout of what these two talked about. And these two is important to note
that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have a good working relationship. And that would have made this
easier, but it still doesn't mean it was an easy meeting specifically because of what you just mentioned, additional U.S. sanctions on Russia and
then a history of tense relations especially over last few months.
The Russian readout gives us just a bit of an insight but not too much. It was essentially Russia's point of view that Lavrov went there to present
which is to say Russia's view the new sanctions as an illegal measure. They're still angry it seems about the U.S. seizure of diplomatic
compounds, of Russian diplomatic compounds in the U.S. and they say and I'll quote from a statement here from the foreign ministry, the latest
moves are an unfriendly and dangerous for international stability and they view this as the U.S. confrontational approach.
So even if these two have a working relationship there doesn't seem to be a sense that the U.S. and Russia are about to start getting along much
better. Now, one of the top priorities on their agenda was as we've just seen from Ivan's reporting there, North Korea. And that is where the U.S.
and Russia and China saw eye to eye. And that's where we even had President Trump weighing in on twitter. Here is what he sent out in relation to the
He said, the United Nation Security Council just voted 15 to nothing to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial
impact. So that, North Korea that is, is one of the few places we're seeing the U.S. and Russia work together, get along. There are a few other areas,
space and cooperation on Syria, but largely the relation is strained and not moving in the right direction for the U.S. or Russia getting along.
KRIEL: Oren, yesterday we saw the issue of U.S. sanctions coming up again and quite a revealing interview from the former Russian ambassador to the
U.S., Sergey Kislyak, his conversations with the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn coming up, ending up with Flynn being fired. But
what does he say about his discussions with Flynn on this issue of sanctions?
LIEBERMANN: Kislyak gave us only a little bit of insight into these conversations. It's important to note that we know Kislyak and Flynn have
had contacts going back years at least to 2013. But the time we're really looking at is the Trump transition when these two were in touch. Kislyak
was speaking to the Russian-state run Russia 24 and he gave an interview saying we talked about counter-terrorism and other areas where the U.S. and
Russia get along.
He said they didn't talk about sanctions. They didn't talk about Flynn's resignation, which came just a month after he started his position as
national security adviser. He said the conversations were simple and there were no secrets at least on the Russian side. When the interview was pushed
to him to give a little more information, he basically said, no, the conversations were private and he left it at that.
KRIEL: All right. Thank you so much. Oren Liebermann live for us in Moscow. We do appreciate it.
Well a bizarre case of kidnapping for ransom on the so-called dark web. Authorities in Italy are looking for a second suspect now in the abduction
of a British model last month. A Polish national was arrested in connection with the kidnapping. Police say the 20-year-old woman was lured into a fake
photo shoot then stuffed into a bag, drugged and held captive for six days.
The kidnappers wanted to auction her off on a pornographic website on the dark web. Disturbing story. CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau joins us live
from Rome with more details. Barbie, what more do we know about the second subject that police are searching for and what else has happened?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there are more and more details emerging all of the time right now in this very, very strange case. What we
know is that police are looking for at least one other suspect who was involved in the original drugging of this young woman before she was taken
into this hiding place near the French border on the Italian side of the French border.
The suspect that they have in custody as you said is Polish. He claim to be part of a group called the Black Death Group. There's a letter in some of
his belongings that the Italian police have released to us that indicated that they had decided to release her because she was the mother of a young
child and that was against the so-called company policy in terms of selling sex slaves. This is according to this letter. The Italian police are
investigating whether or not that group exist or whether or not that letter is obviously authentic or not. But let's take a listen to what the Italian
police had to
[23:15:00] say about this particular aspect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAOLO STORARI, MILAN PROSECUTOR (trough translator): Analyzing his e-mails we understand that this person was or said that he was part of a group
called Black Death Group. Now whether this group exists or not, I quite frankly don't know. But there is Europol report from 2015 that notes the
existence of this group in the deep web, the hidden web.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NADEAU: Now, of course, that's all to be verified by the Italian police as they look into this. One of the big problems with cases like this is
anything on the dark net or the so-called deep web, these are all unindexed websites that aren't even available through standard browsers so it's very
difficult for people to get to the source of these websites.
This particular man apparently told the model that he made _15 million on the selling of women for sexual slavery on the deep web. Obviously that is
a concern either but even just the allegation of that is very disturbing. Police are very concerned that there may be other women like this young
model who are being held captive and who are being sold for sexual slavery on the deep web, Robyn.
KRIEL: Harrowing few days for that young model and indeed released because she had a child, against company policy. I mean, it does from the sounds of
it sounds to be quite an organized ring. You say that police might be looking for more girls. How concerned are they?
NADEAU: They are very concerned because when they were able to access some of the pictures and information that he had posted of this woman, there
were pictures of other women and that of course going to be very alarming but as I said, it's very difficult to trace these websites in this deep
web, this hidden aspect of the worldwide web. It's difficult to trace where they originate and whether or not they're authentic or not.
They are obviously questioning the man who is in custody. They're looking for other suspects, people who are involved in this and I think that we're
going to see in the coming days probably hopefully for the sake of the police, some more arrests in this. There are obviously other people
involved. As many as four we are hearing were -- had something to do at least at one time or another with this young model who is now safe and back
in the U.K., Robyn.
KRIEL: Barbie, thank you. Still to come here on "Connect the World," sworn in and lashing out at the U.S. We're in Tehran as President Rouhani start
his second term. That's just ahead.
KRIEL: You are watching CNN and this is "Connect the World" with me, Robyn Kriel. Welcome back. It's the first full day of a new term for Iran's
president Hassan Rouhani. He was sworn in on Saturday after his re-election in May. The president wasted no time in telling the world what he thinks
about his U.S. counterpart
[23:20:00] Donald Trump saying he and the U.S. cannot be trusted and accusing Washington of undermining his country's nuclear deal with other
world powers. Well CNN is on the ground in Tehran as President Rouhani starts his second term. Our Nick Paton Walsh joins us there live. Nick,
thank you. President Rouhani saying he wants to take Iran on the path of reform not stagnation. Will he be able to do that though with increased
sanctions from the U.S. or do you think he's going to find support from others?
NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well certainly it was interesting yesterday to see as Hassan Rouhani took the stage and
made a lengthy speech, much the focus of which was on economic improvement and developments in Iran to see with the backdrop of the the Trump White
House being clear that they have little confidence in the Ira deal and may even potentially rule Iran as being non-compliance in the weeks or months
and see the European Union release a statement on that very same day saying they had unwavering commitment to that nuclear deal.
And that really I think underlines the heart, the discrepancy between the signatories to that particular nuclear pact. It isn't just Washington on
that piece of paper as European powers as well and Europe is quite clear that it wants to see some the essential (ph) enrichment (ph) with Iran and
as the nuclear enrichment which Iran has put aside has merited the sanctions relief that they have wanted.
Now, you should point out Robyn, there are two types of sanctions. The nuclear related ones that have been eased and then the other ones put in by
the Trump administration related to their grief against Iran for ballistic missile testing, support of terrorism in their eyes and also human rights
abuses. They are separate to the nuclear pact but they broadly some analysts say, lead some people to be worried about the future of investing
perhaps outside as in Iran and maybe those nuclear related sanctions may snap back in if the U.S. decides it no longer wants to support that deal.
That potentially encourages -- disencourages foreign direct investment. We have all the same seen the French oil giant, Total, strike a large deal
here recently as well and also to a lot of talk in Iran about the resistance economy, about the ability for Iran to generate enough revenue
internally with perhaps I.T. projects, other examples of infrastructure or economic growth here which only depends on internal revenue and internal
sources and that put more resistance to the external pressures like sanctions.
So, challenges certainly ahead first on Rouhani in terms of the desire amongst the younger population here for fast economic growth. They
certainly brought some of the numbers relating to that into check, but I think to with the background of this increased service (ph) between
Washington frankly who are pretty much on their own really in terms of viewing Iran as an increased threat in the region here, and European powers
to want to see that refreshment (ph) continue, I think Hassan Rouhani is in for some complexity in terms of foreign policy in his second term, but also
a broader focus too on economic development here as well, Robyn.
KRIEL: All right, thank you so much Nick Paton Walsh who has been monitoring developments for us in Tehran. Thank you.
The Iran nuclear deal is just one of several global challenges confronting world leaders right now. And I want to bring in Vali Nasr to discuss some
of those views, the dean of the school over Johns International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is live for us from Washington, D.C. Vali,
thank you so much.
You wrote in a "New York Times" opinion piece that President Rouhani will continue trying to pursue economic and political reforms in his second
term as we heard there from Nick Payton Walsh but you also mentioned the dangers of the U.S. taking this increasingly hardened stance towards
Tehran. Tell us what some of those unintended consequences you wrote about might be.
VALI NASR, DEAN, SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, President Rouhani's legitimacy the reason he won in the
election with such a wide march had to do with having successfully concluded a nuclear deal, which means that he took a risk on being able to
achieve a deal with the United States. If the United States now moves away from this deal, his opponents, the hardliners were going to say that he was
naive, that he was wrong to have trusted the United States and that will strengthen them.
And once they are strengthened, it will be much more difficult for Rouhani to continue the path of economic change and reform in Iran. So, in many
ways, the Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and threats to decertify the nuclear deal are basically playing into the hands of Rouhani's
opponents in Iran.
KRIEL: Playing into Rouhani's opponents. So, let's talk now about Syria, Vali, Syria's deputy foreign minister when speaking to CNN had high praise
for Iran and Hezbollah for their help in the government's fiigth against ISIS and rebel forces but what do you believe the impact will be of
President Trump's orders to the CIA to stop arming the rebels there?
NASR: Clearly it suggests to everybody in the region that despite its
[23:25:00] tough talk on ISIS and its commitment to device a policy towards Syria that is very different from that of the Obama administration, not
much is going to change in terms of U.S. commitment to Syria. In fact, the U.S. is going to back away from supporting even the minimal amount that it
was in Syria of giving military assistance to the opposition to hold on to territory and push back against Assad. So this is going to be read as
moving out of Russia, Syria and Iran's way to allow them to further consolidate their gains in Syria.
KRIEL: What do you suppose that will mean for America's standing I guess standing or their image?
NASR: Well it's not going to be a positive image for people in Syria although in the case of the broader region, they have a very firm
commitment that the U.S. has given to Saudi Arabia and its leadership in the Region supporting yet in the case of Qatar, supporting Saudi Arabia's
much more hard line position on Iran may balance out the fact that the U.S. is going to do even less on Syria than the Obama administration was doing
and that is going to be much more open to letting Russia and Assad and Iran to shape the future of Syria.
KRIEL: Vali, let's switch gears now and head to the ASEAN conference in Manila. North Korea and the U.S. top diplomats in the same room at the same
time, what is the likelihood of an accidental or say a planned interaction here or will the staff be too organized for something like that?
NASR: Well, I don't think the U.S. is actually really prepared for a very decisive policy on North Korea. The State Department is not geared with the
right personnel at various levels. It doesn't have the institutional capability. Secretary Tillerson is talking about well, we're not after
regime change in North Korea but then he says he's after regime change in Iran which should make the North Korean think he has no credibility on what
They say we want to arrive at a diplomatic and a political solution with North Korea which means signing a deal with North Korea when they're
threatening to rip up the deal that Obama signed on the nuclear deal with Iran. So I think the U.S. is basically saying one thing. Its actions in the
rest of the world and in the region are suggesting something else and it's basically sleepwalking into a major crisis that is right now being driven
by the leader of North Korea.
The U.S. is merely reacting and it doesn't give anybody a sense that it has either a game plan or is capable of managing the situation.
KRIEL: Sleepwalking into a major crisis, that's interesting. You also mentioned that the State Department doesn't have the right personnel on
various levels and we've been hearing a lot about this mix messaging, seeing more measured tones from Secretary of State Tillerson on North Korea
but a ramping up from say, Nikki Haley, U.N. ambassador, General McMaster and Trump talking even about preventative war. But who do we believe and
indeed what does this say about the mixed messaging and what does -- how does this portray the United States?
NASR: Well it doesn't portray it well because your credibility everywhere in the world depends on people believing that you're going to follow
through with what you say. If they don't believe that what you say has more than a two-hour shelf life, they're not going to believe you and they're
going to hate (ph) against you.
So what they're seeing is that A, the different top leaders in the U.S. administration are saying different things on a host of issues from Qatar
to North Korea to Iran, to Syria. I mean they're looking at the State Department and even at the Pentagon and they're seeing that these
institutions right now don't have the capability to actually put forward the coherent policy and implement a coherent policy.
So there's no under secretary, there's no assistant secretaries, you know, the kind of connections that countries and allies have with different
organizations in the U.S. government don't exist. So yes, they read statements by U.S. leaders but those are just statements. The question is
if you're going to get into a negotiation with North Korea, it requires the State Department to be properly staffed. It requires a coherent organized
institution working and they don't see that. They see a State Department which has a chief who is fighting for statements with other chiefs and
below him its empty.
KRIEL: We are going to have to leave it there. We do appreciate it. Vali Nasr live for us from Washington. Thank you. Live from CNN center, this is
"Connect the World." Coming up, a fake news campaign in Kenya. What Facebook is doing to reverse (ph) it, ahead of this weeks presidential
[23:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KRIEL: This is "Connect the World." The top stories at this hour.
North Korea is dominating talks at a Southeast Asian security summit in Manila. China's foreign minister met with his North Korean counterpart and
urged Pyongyang to use restraint after the U.N. Security Council slapped tough new sanctions on North Korea over its missile test. The U.S. says the
sanction could cost Pyongyang $1 billion in exports annually.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of that summit. According to Reuters, Lavrov
said he believed they were ready to resume talks despite the new U.S. sanctions against Russia.
The second of two Venezuelan opposition leaders imprisoned last week by the government is now back home. Leopoldo Lopez has been returned to house
arrest after international condemnation of his seizure. He had been taken in the middle of the night accused of attempting to flea.
The Israeli government says it's planning to close the offices of Al Jazeera in Israel. The government is accusing the network of inciting
terrorism. Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and has denied claims that it supports terror.
An unrelenting and deadly heat wave is scorching much of Europe. Temperatures have been soaring above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas. CNN
Erin McLaughlin has the latest.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hot out there, so devilishly hot this heat wave has a nickname, Lucifer. And it's gripping
parts of southern and eastern Europe. Serbia, Romania, Croatia, parts of Italy, Spain, and France.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It feels bad. Such weather makes me drink a liter of water every half hour. After you wipe yourself with
water, it feels like hot steam in the air around you.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Serbia is on red alert, the highest weather warnings. And in Romania, reports the heats turn deadly, at least two
killed. What separates this from your average summer scorcher, record breaking temperatures lasting a lot longer than usual. A deadly combination
sparking wildfires and water shortages. And in some places, damaging crops. All this during peak tourist season.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I visit here from England and we've had some nice weather this year, but it's not as hot as we are nowhere near, making sure
we are drinking lots of water.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): That's good advice experts say, warning people to be careful, to avoid the sun. And if you do go out, don't forget the
sunscreen. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Paris.
[23:35:04] KRIEL: Well you probably remember the controversy over fake news during last year's U.S presidential campaign. Well, Kenya is dealing
with a similar problem. The country holds its presidential elections on Tuesday, but bogus news reports are popping up on social media including
one imitating the CNN brand. Our Farai Sevenzo has more.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at this slickly produced news bulletin. At first glance it appears to be a CNN report. But
it's not. It is fake. The bogus report cuts from a legitimate CNN Philippines broadcast.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): News just in from Kenya --
SEVENZO (voice-over): To a fake voice-over segment which falsely claims that one candidate is leading over the other in a recent poll.
(On-camera): And as elections get closer, fake news is increasingly being used as campaign tool targeting news organizations and NGOs. It's a
sinister and frankly desperate attempt to sway the voters.
The BBC's "Focus in Africa" program was also manipulated last week, edited to include the same false poll as the one in the CNN fake report. The
problem is so bad that Facebook has put out ads in national newspapers and on its site with tips on how to spot false news. CNN and the BBC called out
the report as fake, warning viewers to be careful, but it's a worrying trend.
ALPHONCE SHIUNDU, KENYA EDITOR, AFRICA CHECK: This is a video that has come to you on your mobile phone on WhatsApp, on telegram (ph). So, you
have no option but to watch it so you cannot go back to CNN to try and verify that video. So you would have to depend on fact checkers or depend
on CNN to put out a statement or the BBC to say no, that's not us.
SEVENZO (voice-over): And it's not just news organizations being targeted. This doctored Transparency International report appeared in social media
accusing an opposition politician of corruption. The Dutch ambassador to Kenya called them out as fake. And Transparency Kenya issued this statement
denouncing the use of their name and logo to, quote, spread propaganda for seemingly political mileage.
It's sometimes not easy to spot fake especially when they are distributed on social media groups that aren't easily traceable. Alphonce Shiundi tells
us voters must be vigilant.
SHIUNDI: Always try to verify and look. If you see anything online, if you see anything as a text message on your Facebook account, if you see even a
leaflet or a picture, try to verify is this thing real
SEVENZO (voice-over): And if you're trying to spot bogus CNN News reports, remember, if it's not on our official channel, website or social platforms,
it may well be fake.
KRIEL: Well, it may well be fake. Farai joins us now live from Nairobi with the truth. Kenyans are voracious news consumers of news, Farai, but
nine out of 10 Kenyans report seeing fake news in the lead up to this election. Could this fake reports circulating on social media platform
actually impact the outcome of the vote and what's the concern if this happens?
SEVENZO: Well Robyn, that is actually the big question here. You remember, Kenyans are very tech savvy but at the same time you must also remember
that they also vote along their ethnic lines. Last week, we spoke (INAUDIBLE) or would-be senator, 33-years-old, who told us that whether
it's fake news or not, Kenyans will continue to vote along their original political affiliations.
Now, there are 43 tribes in this country. A 44th has just been added, which is the Asian population of Kenya. So, we don't quite know whether these
kind of reports are impacting them. But consider this, if you see a fake report like that saying that the man you are going to vote for may well be
in the lead, then you don't have to look at their policies or whatever. You're just convinced that he has the numbers and you will carry on voting
for them. So we're still in the middle of figuring out whether or not these reports would have any impact on the specifics of how Kenyans usually vote,
KRIEL: Kenya saw unrest in 2007 and 2008. More than 1,000 people died. Two months of violence. But then they've had a sort of peaceful elections in
2013. What's the general feeling on the ground there this time around?
SEVENZO: Well, I have to tell you that there's been an overwhelming plea for peace, from the bishops, from the politicians, from including the
electoral body, the IEBC. But at the same time, Nairobi, where we are at the moment, seems to be a ghost town a couple of days before the election.
Now, this is because people are moving off to their ancestral homes where they will vote where they are registered and it's also because of the very
real long shadow of what happened in 2007. People who live in places like Kibera are worried that, you know, this might flare up again. So, the
moment, the city is quiet and everybody is keen on the vote that Tuesday will really tell us whether or not shall have a repetition of 10 years ago.
[23:40:01] The mood at the moment is very unlikely. It's a very competitive election. Everyone has been doing everything they can and there are 14,000
legislators vying for some kind of office or another. So Tuesday will be very interesting indeed, Robyn.
KRIEL: Farai, just briefly before we let you go, it's not just political parties are cashing in on this fake news propaganda. Somali terror Al-
Shabaab is also releasing its propaganda ahead of the elections. What are authorities going to do to make sure that Al-Shabaab doesn't score any
points during this election in terms of attacks?
SEVENZO: Well in terms of security, nothing has ever really quieted them down. You know as well that the Kenyan Defense Force are inside in Somalia
and that the fight for fake news is suddenly that we, as reporters, are kind of used to from Al-Shabaab. They claim victories that they don't have.
They claim killings that haven't happened.
It is something that we all watch very, very seriously and Kenyan authorities will probably be doing the same, Robyn.
KRIEL: All right, thank you so much Farai Sevenzo, live for us there in Nairobi.
In today's parting shot, eight Olympic gold medals, hundreds of meter races competed like a 9.58 seconds walk in the park. He is the fastest humain in
the world. But legendary sprinter Usain Bolt lost his final individual race on Saturday. Although Bolt's own name indicates his lightning speed, he did
not go without a bang.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the gun. Bolt out slow. Christian Coleman has two strides on him. Can he reel him in? Christian Coleman trying to win the
championship. Bolt at the line. Photo finish. It could be Gatlin as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRIEL: The surprise victory went to American Justin Gatlin. Fellow American Christian Coleman took second while Bolt was third.
Don't bolt just yet, from kidnappings and sanctions to the fastest and the greatest people in the world, you can stay up to speed with us by going to
our facebook page, that's facebook.com/CNNconnect. Among other things, we have a story on a possible yacht of the future, one that can fly. You can
also get in touch with me on twitter. You can tweet me @robynkrielCNN.
Well I'm Robyn Kriel and that was "Connect the World." From me and the entire team here in Atlanta and Abu Dhabi and in London and our reporters
around the world as well, thank you for watching. The news continues here on CNN. Marketplace Middle East is next.
[23:45:00] (CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST)