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Harvey Weinstein is being Kicked Out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; Firefighters Make Progress Containing Wildfires in Northern California; Steve Bannon Declares "War" on Republican Establishment; Voting Underway in Austrian Election Dominated by Immigration; Kurds Reinforce Kirkuk Amid Standoff with Iraqi Government; Family Held Captive in Afghanistan Seeks to Recover; CNN Alerts Local Water Authority in Puerto Rico of Potentially Toxic Drinking Water; Hurricane Ophelia Threatens Ireland and the U.K. With Hurricane Force Winds; The Nigerian Government Seeks to Improve their Ports; Konga Seeks to Improve Distribution of Goods in Nigeria. Aired 2-2:30a ET
Aired October 15, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:13] ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks so much for joining us. I'm Anna Coren. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is being kicked out of the film industry's most elite group, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It's an unprecedented rebuke by the Academy, which hosts the Oscars. Weinstein has already been fired from his namesake company amid dozens of allegations of sexual assault, harassment and rape.
He has denied many of the allegations against him, and hasn't acknowledged others, but has said his behavior has caused a lot of pain.
Well, the Motion Picture Academy hopes to send a message to the film- making industry with its expulsion of Harvey Weinstein.
Brian Stelter explains.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The Harvey Weinstein scandal has been profoundly embarrassing, not just for The Weinstein Company, but also, for Hollywood writ (ph) large. So on Saturday, we saw the representatives of the Hollywood elite make a bold statement expelling Harvey Weinstein.
Now, the Academy is made up of thousands of Hollywood workers, both stars, but also, behind-the-scenes workers, producers, et cetera, et cetera. And the Board of Governors, a group of 54 representatives of all of (ph) those different parts of the industry, met on Saturday to make this decision.
The board includes huge household names like Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg, but also, a lot of behind-the-scenes people, representing make-up artists, casting directors, producers, executives, et cetera. The Academy's rules require a two-third vote of the board in order to expel Harvey Weinstein, something that's never been done in the association with a scandal like this before. And, according to the Academy, there was well in excess of the two- thirds needed to make the decision.
Here is a portion of what the Academy said in a statement. It explained the decision by saying that this was meant to, "... send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."
That was striking to me because it's essentially acknowledging that there are very embarrassing episodes in Hollywood's past. The sexual predatory behavior that's alleged by Harvey Weinstein has also been something known in the history of Hollywood. This is something that dates back to the dawn of the movie age.
But you can feel that the culture is changing in the United States -- that sexual harassment and assault, that these kinds of allegations are being taken more seriously, and the women who come forward to make them are being respected, being supported, in a way that wasn't even true 10 years ago.
So the Academy, trying to be on the right side of history at this point. And after this decision, hours later, we still haven't heard a word from Harvey Weinstein.
Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.
COREN: Well, flames from a new wildfire have forced thousands of more people to leave their homes in Northern California.
The fast-moving infernos started tearing through the state last Sunday. The governor has called them "one of the greatest tragedies California has ever faced." Thirty-nine people are dead, and the flames have reduced some neighborhoods to ash and twisted metal. Firefighters are working around-the-clock to contain these infernos.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, after a very long, hard week of trying to get a hold of this fire, this may be the last of it. The winds have really come down, and three fires here in Sonoma have come together.
And you can see fire crews from the air and the ground are working this thing (ph) very hard. They've been doing it for the last eight or ten hours, just pouring bucket after bucket of water on these fires. This is up over Ledson Winery on Highway 12 in Sonoma, just right down the middle of the valley, and this is the -- sort of the stuff they've been doing all day.
Moving into the hotspots like you have here, and then, dumping those 300 gallon buckets of water on the fire, trying to keep it from spreading anymore, if the wind cooperates, but they think it may. From now forward, they believe they can get a hold of these fires, and there goes a -- that helicopter dumping that 300 gallons of water.
If you look further south, you can see there's yet another fire down there. That's close to the town of Sonoma. This is what firefighters are dealing with -- these very big plumes, these very big fires dotted throughout this absolutely gorgeous area of California.
But now, the weather seems to be cooperating. The winds have come down. It's still warm, but it's not hot. The humidity is also very, very low, but there is rain in the forecast.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, Sonoma County, California.
COREN: If you want to help California wildfire victims, log on to CNN.com/Impact. You can donate to one of the charities we have vetted, or
volunteer your time.
When right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon was dismissed from his post in the Trump administration back in August, he vowed to go to war.
On Saturday, he gave a Conservative audience in Washington a taste of what's on his mind.
CNN's Ryan Nobles has our report.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He was once one of President Donald Trump's closest advisers, and one of the chief architects of his campaign, and on Saturday, Steve Bannon was in Washington speaking to the Values Voters Summit.
And he talked a lot about undoing the Establishment grip on Washington, and he even went after a prominent Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, invoking Shakespeare in his conversation about taking McConnell down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, BREITBART NEWS: Every single senator (ph) up on Capitol Hill -- because I've been getting calls, it's like -- it's like before the Ides of March, right? The only question is -- and this is just a analogy or metaphor, or whatever you want to call it. They're just looking to find out who's going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar.
Yes, Mitch, the donors -- the donors are not happy; they've all left ya. We've cut your oxygen off, Mitch.
Money's not courageous, but money is smart, OK? And right now, money's sitting there, saying, "Hey, I see these folks. They're worked up. They're mad, and they're mad for a reason."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Now, even though Steve Bannon and some supporters of President Trump may not like Mitch McConnell, he's still very important if the president hopes to
get anything done. And the president is still working on trying to repair his relationship with some Republicans in the Senate.
On Saturday, he was at his golf course in Northern Virginia, and he was accompanied by South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham. Graham has taken opportunities to criticize the president when appropriate, but has also attempted to find ways to work with him.
And one area where they're continuing to hope to find some common ground is on health care -- this after the president announced that he was ending subsidies to insurance companies to help keep premiums down for low-income Americans. That could be one of the many important challenges that the president faces over the next several months, but with outside groups run by Steve Bannon and others that once worked in this White House, it's clear that that job is not going to be easy.
Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.
COREN: Voting is underway across Austria in an election that could impact immigration policy across Europe.
Conservative Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz is widely expected to become the new chancellor. At age 31, he would be the youngest leader in Austrian history. It would also mark a dramatic shift to the right for the country, fueled by strong anti-immigrant sentiment. Kurz wants to sharply limit Middle Eastern refugees entering Europe. He's also called for cutting benefits to a 100,000 refugees already living in Austria.
In Iraq now, two allies in the war against ISIS might be headed for a conflict of their own. Kurdish troops are being sent to reinforce the city of Kirkuk amid a growing standoff with the central government.
Tensions have been mounting in the region since a Kurdish independence referendum last month. Kurdish officials say Iraqi paramilitaries have warned of an attack if the Kurds don't withdraw from a key junction.
In Canada, one family is trying to recover after being held hostage in Afghanistan. Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Taliban, or a Taliban-linked group, back in 2012. They were freed days ago in Pakistan, and arrived in Canada with their three children born in captivity.
Boyle told reports his captors raped his wife, and authorized the murder of his baby daughter. Sources close to the family say he alluded to at least one forced abortion while in captivity.
For more, here's our Paula Newton in Ottawa.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Joshua Boyle and his family are now in Canada, and trying to get back to what they describe as a normal life.
I spoke with Joshua Boyle after he'd spent just a half-day in that family home. He said the kids were getting on as well as could be expected. He said he was not yet ready to face cameras and to face a lot of the questions that many people have about what he and his pregnant wife were doing in Afghanistan when they were kidnapped five years ago. He does say, though, that they suffered horrendous violence.
His wife, American Caitlan Coleman, had described how she was defiled by her captors in front of her children, and for that, they are incredibly angry, and say that they want their perpetrators -- the captors -- to be brought to justice.
It was quite an extraordinary story, and the entire family says that this is nothing short of a miracle. They know they have a long road ahead, but a lot of support around them as well.
Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.
COREN: U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are struggling to survive a humanitarian crisis. Drinking water is especially scarce after Hurricane Maria devastated the island three weeks ago. And now, following a CNN report, a top U.S. congressman is asking federal officials to investigate
potentially toxic drinking water in Puerto Rico.
CNN discovered local authorities were distributing water from a hazardous-waste site. The local water authority says it did not know the site was contaminated until CNN alerted them.
A powerful storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean will bring hurricane force winds to Ireland and the U.K. on Monday. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is tracking it.
Derek -- and, what's the latest?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Anna, this could potentially be the worst hurricane to impact Ireland since 1961, and it's bringing back memories from the United Kingdom exactly 30 years ago, when the Great Storm of 1987 struck the region, to the date, actually -- October 16th -- when they expect Hurricane Ophelia to make landfall over portions of the U.K. and Ireland.
Currently, a Category 3 equivalent, 185 kilometer per hour sustained winds, gusts over 220 kilometers per hour right near the center of our well-defined hurricane. It's quite unusual to see a hurricane traveling in this manner, but here it is, nonetheless, and we're talking about it. And we've been warning you for several days that it is headed your way.
It will lose its tropical characteristics as it travels over the colder waters in this Northern latitude region. However, that doesn't mean it won't pack quite a punch. So let's try and time this out for everyone over Western Europe so you anticipate the impacts from this particular storm. We can't forget about the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal and the northwestern sections of Spain, you'll start to feel tropical storm force gusts right along the coastal areas later this afternoon and into this evening. Once we head into early Monday morning, the extreme southern sections of Ireland, Wales and into Britain will start to feel tropical storm force winds.
And then, come midday and into the late evening hours, we expect the strongest parts of Hurricane Ophelia, or post-tropical cyclone Ophelia, to impact the region -- wind gusts sustained at hurricane force, especially along the coastal areas of Southern Ireland. We have the potential for hurricane force winds across southwestern England, and certainly into Wales as well.
Thirteen meter swells on the open ocean will equate to dangerous marine conditions along the coastal areas of the entire United Kingdom and Ireland. This storm will not be a major rainmaker, and that's all thanks to the forward speed of this system -- over 40 kilometers per hour right now. In fact, that will limit the potential of flash flooding.
But the threats here -- downed power lines, the potential for damage to structural buildings, and the potential for losing electricity as well.
One thing that's interesting to note here is it's going to bring in a surge of warm air for places like London, and to the east, temperatures will spike into the middle-20s by Monday and Tuesday.
Anna, back to you.
COREN: Derek, appreciate the update.
Well, thanks so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I am Anna Coren. I'll be back with the top stories in about 15 minutes.
Up next, "Marketplace Africa" here on CNN.
[02:15:12] ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to "Marketplace Africa." We cover the biggest economic trends impacting the continent.
This week, we are coming to you from my home. I'm back home in Lagos, Nigeria. And all of what you see around me, all of this right here is pretty much an international gateway when it comes to commerce for Nigeria. We are in one of the busiest ports of Africa, the Apapa Ports.
But these ports also have a reputation for corruption, for bad management, and inefficiency as well, and that has been a huge headache for anybody trying to import goods into this country. But the government has promised change, and they have promised change fast. The question is, will their new policies work.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HADIZA BALA USMAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY: Well, we're going to see our tugboat.
ASHER (voice-over): To get a better understanding of Nigeria's port situation, I spent some time with a port authority's managing director, and for the first time ever in Nigeria, the MD is a woman.
And so, this line here, are they -- is that like a queue, or is that like a -- ?
USMAN: Yes, there's a queue, there's a terminal -
USMAN: -- that they're -
ASHER: They're getting off.
USMAN: -- charging up. Yes, they're just charging the cargo up.
USMAN: But we do have a queuing system for some stuff there when they come into the Fairway Buoy, which is the entrance into the Lagos Channel.
ASHER (voice-over): Hadiza Bala Usman was appointed by Nigeria's president in 2016.
ASHER: She oversees almost all thousand employees -
USMAN: Hi, how are you?
ASHER: -- across six port locations, and makes no bones about what needs to improve under her watch.
USMAN: We have noted a level of inefficiency attributed to a certain level of corruption. We believe that there's a need to move a lot of operations, and get them automated.
We believe human intervention by government officials allows access and avenues where there would be requests for a (ph) gratification by these public officials.
ASHER (voice-over): The perception has long been that unless you know a government official, or paid a bribe, you couldn't get goods into the ports without very long wait times. The Ports Authority wants to reduce wait times for all.
USMAN: We were looking to reduce it to a three-day period.
ASHER: And what was it before, on average? USMAN: Well, on average, we had about 10 days.
ASHER (voice-over): Boosting efficiency at the ports, it's (ph) not just a task for the government. Container operations here at Apapa Port were privatized in 2006, and are managed by APM Terminals, a subsidiary of Maersk Group.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Capacity of the port went from 300,000 TEUs to a million TEUs as of today. So we have made a impact. Dwell time has dropped from 35 days to 10 days now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's still waiting times --
ASHER: They want it to be three days?
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: That's still in the making. How soon it'll be activated, we'll have to wait and see.
ASHER (voice-over): For business owners like Mohammed Fouani, the ports are vital. He's a distributor of LG products, and a port customer since 2001.
MOHAMMED FOUANI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FOUANI NIGERIA LIMITED: If you want to compare it today and 17 years back -
FOUANI: -- of course today is, like, hundred times better.
ASHER (voice-over): But while there's been progress, Fouani believes a lot more needs to be done.
FOUANI: So they -- many other ports in the world's (ph), they can -- they can clear their containers within 24 hours. Here, we haven't reached to this level of ease yet. We have issues with the -- with the roads to our Apapa Ports is in -- is in a very bad shape.
ASHER (voice-over): Such bad shape that parts of the road were shut down in June for a year-long reconstruction project, creating even longer delays for trucks trying to pick up shipments.
The port authority partially funded the $12 million undertaking, but Usman says that won't be enough.
USMAN: Ninety percent of our cargo is evacuated by route, and that is not efficient. So this administration has understood that, and has deployed in providing rail and inland waterways for cargo evacuations.
ASHER (voice-over): Usman says the port authority is also investing more than $100 million to purchase more vessels, and implement new I.T. systems. Previously, they've dredged the Apapa Port to allow much bigger ships, which means more deliveries per vessel, but some would like to see improvements in other areas. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Duplication of work would be one aspect they can improve, and the sort of bureaucracy, to a certain extent, has to be eliminated if we want to see it move faster.
FOUANI: We would like to see, like, instant operation the same way it happens, like, in Dubai, Singapore, and the many other places where we can treat all of our government documentations in advance before the arrival of vessels.
ASHER (voice-over): There's bound to be rough waters ahead, as Nigeria tries to create a more efficient port system, but it will be essential to keep up with the demands of the economy.
FOUANI: We expect, like, the market at least to double, if not more, in the next 10 years.
This means that our capacity of chain supply must at least double, and get more sophisticated.
FOUANI: And this is a challenge for the government, a challenge for the private entrepreneur who are running the ports, and even challenge for the business operators.
ASHER (voice-over): So there are numerous challenges for getting goods through the ports in Nigeria, but there are also obstacles in this country when it comes to delivering goods to homes.
When we come back, I'll introduce you to one of the companies trying to change that.
[02:21:57] ASHER: Welcome back, everybody.
So we just showed you just how important Nigeria's ports are when it comes to bringing international goods into this country, especially in the most efficient way possible. But when it comes to buying domestic goods, more and more people are coming to e-commerce sites like Konga.
In fact, I sat down with Konga's CEO at their distribution center to talk about Nigeria's growing place for online shopping.
ASHER: OK, so just tell us, in this particular warehouse, how many products are we doing here right now?
SHOLA ADEKOYA, CEO, KONGA ONLINE SHOPPING LTD: So, in terms of SQS, we're probably talking about 5,000 unique SQS.
ADEKOYA: Or in terms of quantities, we're talking about 100,000, at least, units.
If you think about it, before us, a lot of Nigerian hadn't experienced -- worked for the postal service. So the thought of something literally coming -- me receiving a letter at my door.
First of all, there's been a lot of history around Nigeria and online transactions, and, you know, online fraud. And so, people were already skeptical about putting their card transaction -- details online. So there's a history of fraud, followed by the fact that people, in terms of evolution, hadn't even started using stuff like online banking.
So in terms of educating the people -
ASHER: Yes (ph).
ADEKOYA: -- for payment online, and the fact that it's actually safe, there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
Plus, as e-commerce companies -- so when you place an order, the logistics of getting it from wherever it was to the customer's door and doorstep, was still day -- it was still a nightmare.
ASHER: And you also got infrastructure challenges and logistics. How is Konga coping with that?
ADEKOYA: Right. In the past, we used to give out shipments to third parties. And because we sort of got paranoid around (ph) e-commerce in Nigeria, a lot of packages coming were not open to logistics for (ph) different sizes. We were kind of pre-treating them (ph), and then, insurance. And, you know, you can't sort of, like, you know, trample on the shirts; you have to pack it properly, and things like that.
So, we've ended up building our own logistics infrastructure that covers literally every state in Nigeria. We have about 90 locations, about 40, 50 entrepreneurs.
ADEKOYA: There's the payments we're doing -- of course (ph), it's pay on delivery. And I -- and I say, pay on delivery's a fraction of the society.
ASHER: When people choose to pay cash on domestic, the issue is that, is that they can always change their minds, so.
ASHER: So that must really eat into your potential competition.
ADEKOYA: Yes. I think we see today around about 20 percent of products coming back because of pay on delivery. But it's something that we have to deal with.
If I receive a card payment from you, up until recently, it's difficult to push my money back to you. And that's why we're having -- sort of do (ph) -- come up with KongaPay.
ADEKOYA: So imagine you make your payment. I have to give you a call, ask for your bank details -- because I
didn't have the functionality to push your money back to you -- ask for your bank details, and then, do a transfer. This is stuff like delivering things in (ph).
But now, with KongaPay, once you already start to use your card, whatever, to push money back, these are things that we're doing, stuff like give customers a lot of comfort around paying online.
I personally feel like without us giving us -- giving the customers the flexibility of getting that money back very quickly -
ADEKOYA: -- it becomes difficult to sell prepay.
ASHER: In certain parts of Nigeria, the roads are really bad.
ASHER: So how does that affect your ability to actually stick to your word, and stick to your promise, and get these things there within the time period you promised it?
ADEKOYA: So it depends on where you are. On average, across the whole of Nigeria's about five days. So, like, in Lagos, there's some products you buy from here in Lagos, it's 24 hours, I will keep to that promise.
At any given point in time, we do keep to our (ph) five-day average. We're trying to bring that down to four days. And we have a track and trace system that we built -
ADEKOYA: -- ourselves, and it just -- so it applies routes to products, where it should go the fastest. How do you get it to the customer the fastest -- that's what we live and breathe every day.
ASHER: And finally, just talk a bit more about Kongaroo (ph) and Konga Marketplace.
ADEKOYA: Yes. We have about 75,000 registered messengers (ph). We train these people on a regular basis in terms of customer service, how to pack products, how to make sure -- the importance of shipping on time.
So by opening up a marketplace, you know, we have about 63 -- 63 hundred thousand (ph) products now from different merchants that, customer now has access to all of this assortment, which would have been very difficult if we kept on trying to buy for the whole of Nigeria as Konga.com. But now, we have this platform that we've created that merchants can come expand their businesses.
So as a business model, we're quite happy with where we are today. They're happy with us. And for us, we're just happy -- and then, the merchants -- so being able to sort of --
ADEKOYA: -- unleash their businesses gives us a lot of joy.
ASHER: All right, that does it for us here on "Marketplace Africa" coming to you from Lagos, Nigeria. Be sure to check out our website and our Facebook page here with all of our stories from this trip and more. Thank you so much for watching.
I'm Zain Asher. I'll see you next time in the "Marketplace."