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CONNECT THE WORLD

Young Voters Hope To Impact Parliamentary Ballot; Beloved Football Manager Recovering From Brain Surgery; Meghan Markle Faces The Standard Citizenship Test. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired May 6, 2018 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:15] ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Alison Kosik. I'm filling in for Becky Anderson from New

York, and we start in a Middle Eastern Democracy that's seeing its first parliamentary elections in nine years.

Voters in Lebanon have less than one hour left to make their mark in an election where people under the age of 30 are voting for lawmakers for the

first time in their lives. All of this after a campaign full of fresh faces and age-old concerns like corruption and poor public services. And

of course, as always Lebanon is a country where international interests and alliances are rarely far from the national stage.

Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us now live from Beirut. So, yes, we've got 60 minutes to go for voters to cast their

ballots. What is sort of the sentiment there among voters knowing that the existing balance of power is unlikely to change no matter what the outcome

is?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison, it's true there's only one hour to go before the polls are closed, but some

Lebanese politicians are calling for them to be extend by another two hours. We went out around Beirut and had a look at how the voting was

going.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN: This is Lebanon's first election since 2009, twice parliament had to delay the elections because of a political rally, and paralysis, and

worries about instability spilling over from Syria.

What's important about this election is that out of the 3.6 million eligible Lebanese voters, there are 800,000 new voters who are taking part.

Many of them, obviously, have different concerns. We've spoken to people who say they're worried about the brain drain, young Lebanese who want to

leave the country because there are no opportunities. Other people complained about the fact that in most parts of Beirut, every day there's a

three-hour power cut.

You had perennial problems with the garbage here. So there's plenty to deal with apart from all the sensitive sectarian issues here in this

country.

WALID Al-ALAMI, VOTER, LEBANESE: The current regime, if I had to give them a report card, they get an F on their report card. So, they have failed.

So, they need to give way for someone else to give it a try.

WEDEMAN: I say it's a big farce, says Sehan Jarjur, We're fooling ourselves but we're voting in.

We're now in the (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood of Beirut. A predominantly, Shia neighborhood where the two main Shia parties, Hezbollah and Amal are very

strong. But it's importantly kept in mind that nothing is straightforward here. This is the list on which Hezbollah is running, but you'll find

these some Maronite Christian. This is Shia, Shia, Maronite Christian, Jews, Maronite Christian, because Hezbollah has been part of an alliance in

the government. This kind with the Maronite President of Lebanon.

Traditionally, regional powers have play the role in Lebanese politics. Saudi Arabia friendlies is a big factor of the Sunnis. Iran has supported

the Shia community here. This time, however, it appears that their concerns are elsewhere and the focus of this elections is very much on

domestic issues.

One thing that makes this election different is the growing role of groups like this, Kulluna Watani or We Are All My Nation in Lebanese politics.

These are people who reject the old sectarian patterns of Lebanon's power- sharing system and want the government to do what a government is supposed to do, give you services on the basis of your citizenship, not your

sectarian affiliation.

Lucien Bourjeily, a candidate, insist Lebanon is right for change.

LUCIEN BOURJEILY, CANDIDATE, LEBANESE PARLIAMENTARY: A different parties are just a way for someone who would like to take a private company. They

-- it gets from the father to the son, or if there is no son, to the son- in-law and it's like a never-ending story of corruption and abuse of power. What we would like is to get everybody involved in this, and this is

everybody's country.

WEDEMAN: No one expects this election to result in an earthquake. It brings the political elite crashing to the ground. They may, however, feel

a tremor.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[11:05:09] WEDEMAN: And we expected the results to be announced sometime early on Monday morning, local time. And yes, there is not going to be an

earthquake, but there is a message being sent to Lebanon's power elite that people are becoming fed up with their failures and are demanding change one

way or another. Alison?

KOSIK: Ben, you got such a great variety of opinions there, in your piece there. You know, one voter calling the election's a farce. One saying the

current leader is get an F, and that things are right for a change. And you talk about these isn't a get a call as a huge earthquake but maybe a

tremor. But is that tremor are likely to create any change, change that will help some of the citizens there?

WEDEMAN: I think anybody you talk to will tell you it's going to take time. The people who have been running this country for years are very

well in trench. But as we saw, with 800,000 new voters in this election, they bring a whole different set of concerns.

I spoke to one man for instance, who said that -- and he's very well educated, a surgeon. He said that three of his children have had to go

abroad because they simply see no future for themselves in this country.

Now, there has been a change in the election law that now allows Lebanese who live outside the country to vote. And we know that there are millions

of Lebanese living around the world. Only 82,000 registered to vote in this election, but that may change as time goes ahead. And this is the

first time in Lebanese history that expats could vote.

But certainly, there are new concerns, new group of voters who are going to influence what is a deeply embedded system, a traditional system. But

then, I think that one is its beginning to realize that things need to change.

Even Hezbollah which traditionally sort of focused on that quite matters of resisting foreign occupation is now beginning to focus on economics. The

Secretary-General of Hezbollah said that Lebanon's foreign debt is an issue that needs to be dealt with. And it has a debt to GDP ratio of 156

percent. So, there's a realization even among the old political elite that they better get their act together because, in four year time -- four

years' time when there is another election, they may decide to roll them all out.

KOSIK: Ben, what else is at stake here not just for Lebanon, but for the entire region?

WEDEMAN: Well, what's interesting about this election is that in the past, as I said before, Saudi Arabia, Iran, others had a large role to play with

money and other forms of influence. But this time is different. I think, what we're seeing is the region readjusting to perhaps a post-Syrian Civil

War phase.

Hezbollah which was very much involved in that war has found that it needs to refocus on Lebanese issues, and Iran's influence in the elections were

somewhat diminished. Saudi Arabia, the same thing. You'll remember last November, Saudi Arabia, essentially held the Sunni Prime Minister of

Lebanon hostage. There was a serious backlash here in Lebanon to that, and there's a certain resentment to foreign interference in Lebanon's internal

affairs, and there are echoes of that resist -- that resentment in today's voting.

So I think we may be seeing an expression of Lebanese desires that outsiders stop interfering in their affairs as has been the case for

decades.

KOSIK: All right. Clearly, we'll be watching this closely. Polls close in less than an hour. CNN's Ben Wedeman, thanks so much.

And U.S. President Donald Trump's rhetoric on guns often plays well with his base but comments he made Friday at a National Rifle Association event

aren't sitting well with close allies, France and Britain. First, he invoked the memory of tragedy of the 2015 Paris terror attacks to make his

arguments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They took their time and gunned them down one by one. Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here.

Boom! But if one employee or just one patron had a gun. Or if one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction,

the terrorists would have fled or been shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[11:10:14] KOSIK: Mr. Trump didn't finish there, he also linked gun laws to violence in the U.K.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle, is like a war zone for horrible

stabbing wounds. They don't have guns, they have knives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: And now, those comments are being met with anger and rebukes. Here's our Sarah Westwood.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump's controversial decision to invoke a 2015 Paris terror attack during remarks this week to

the National Rifle Association has spark outrage from France on his comparison of a London hospital to a war zone due to the number of knife

victims that have popped up in London.

Now, the French foreign minister has issued a statement expressing his firm disapproval of the president's remarks and calling on Trump to respect the

memories of the victims of that 2015 terror attack.

President Trump was making the argument that stricter gun laws in European countries has not prevented mass casualty events or violence. Now,

President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke by phone on Saturday according to the White House. But it's unclear if the two

discussed the controversy that President Trump's comments to the NRA has cause, Alison.

KOSIK: OK, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. Pakistan's interior minister has just been wounded in a

shooting near of Lahore. Authority says he was hit in the shoulder just as he was getting out of a car. There's no word on the extent of the injury,

and police say, the gunman has been taken into custody.

An explosion in Eastern Afghanistan has killed at least, 13 people and wounded 30. Police say insurgents planted a bomb inside a mosque that was

being used as a voter registration center. Several registration centers have been attacked in recent weeks.

An Arizona wildfire is now burning into the tenth day, and officials say it has so far destroyed 33 homes and dozens of other structures. The blaze

sparks by an illegal campfire has scorched more than 60 square kilometers.

Another barbaric attack in India has sparked outrage and the demand for justice across the country. A teenage girl in a rural village was

allegedly gang-raped last Thursday, the burned to death in her home the following day. CNN's Nikhil Kumar, reports.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Teenage girl have once again turned the spotlight on sexual violence in India. This latest

case comes from a northeastern section of the country. And even its deep in the countryside in the rural State of Jharkhand, it's one of the poorest

parts of India, and it's where on Thursday, a sixteen year old girl is alleged to have been kidnapped and then brutally raped. What happened next

is added to pressure authorities to act.

On Friday, the girl's family approach the village council, local elders with influence in the village demanding justice. Now, this council don't

have any legal authority. But in this distant part of the country, they can sometimes it was enormous influence, but there was no justice. The council

imposed the fine of $750 and the accused were ordered to do 100 sit-ups. That's right, money and sit-ups, that's all.

And then, things got even worse. In a chilling act to retribution, the accused men are said to have set the family's home on fire. It's in this

attacked later on Friday that the 16 year old is alleged to have been killed, she was burned to death. The case is now with the local police.

More than a dozen men have been arrested, including the head of the village council.

But sadly, this is isn't the first horrific case that comes to light in recent weeks. In April, a rape and murder case involving an 8 year old,

and another raped case involving a different 16 year old triggered a nationwide protests.

Indian's rape laws remember were tightened back in 2013, after the gang rape and murder of a young medical student in Delhi, generated

international headlines. But activist say, enforcement has, again and again, lagged behind new laws. There's also India's interest patriarchy

which they side to the major cause. They want better education to end what many say is a casual problem where women are routinely marginalized often

with violent consequences.

These cases underlined in the most tragic ways just how much more needs to be done. Nikhil Kumar, CNN, New Delhi.

KOSIK: OK, coming up next, the football world unites behind legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, as he recovers from major surgery. "WORLD

SPORT's" Don Riddell, joins me next.

[11:17:42] KOSIK: You're watching CNN, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Alison Kosik, sitting in for Becky Anderson, welcome back. One of the

greatest managers in football history is recovering from brain surgery. Sir Alex Ferguson had the operation Saturday to treat a hemorrhage. His

former club, Manchester United says the procedure went very well.

"WORLD SPORT's" Don Riddell, joins me now live from CNN Center in Atlanta. So, what can you tell us on, on the latest about his health?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, to be honest, Alison, we don't really know very much beyond that brief and pointers statement from

Manchester United which was released on Saturday. Since then, we haven't heard anything. At that point or until that point, we didn't know that

anything was up. It was only last weekend that we saw Ferguson on the field and our track at Manchester United's home ground with the Arsenal

manager, Arsene Wenger, who is soon to be leaving at the Arsenal Football Club.

And Ferguson looked to be in good health and good spirits then. But we do know that he underwent emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage. As you

say, the club have reported that the procedure went very well, but that he would remain in a period of intensive care to optimize his recovery. So,

that's really all we know. We don't know what his condition is now. We don't know what his condition will be in the coming days and weeks.

But there is an awful lot of concern and a real outpouring of love and emotion from the wider football community because Alex Ferguson was just

so, so revered here in Manchester and far beyond.

KOSIK: You talked to me more about his legacy. Why is he so important to the sport?

RIDDELL: His achievements are absolutely extraordinary. I mean his charisma and his personality really transcended the game of football. He's

a household name in the United Kingdom for example.

He was at Manchester United, one of the world's biggest clubs. For almost 27 years, they were a big club by reputation when he arrived. But what he

did with them during those 26 and a half years really did propel them to a global force.

He won 13 Premier League titles with Manchester United. He won the Champion's League twice. He won a total of 38 trophies in that time. His

achievements really are quite extraordinary, and he was revered by so many people within the game, especially, the players he coached, and some of the

players he coached we're the most famous players that have played the game.

Guys like Eric Cantona, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Many of them had been reaching out to him and his family in the last couple of days to

express their sympathy and also send their best wishes towards the man that they called boss, who've mean many of them saw Ferguson as a father figure.

And although he retired from Manchester United as manager in 2013, he was still incredibly active, he still played the big role in the club. He

still went to many of the games and traveled the world. He is not just a football manager, many people want to hear about his managerial skills and

how he would lead and inspire. He's been like (INAUDIBLE) of the heart of business also, he's an incredibly well-respected man and a lot of people,

Alison, really rooting for a fast and successful recovery.

[11:20:58] KOSIK: Well, we all certainly wish him well.

RIDDELL: Yes.

KOSIK: A certain legend to say the least. All right, CNN's Don Riddell, thanks so much.

The Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is showing no signs of letting up. Hundreds of residents have fled due to the ongoing earthquakes,

volcanic eruptions and dangerous levels of toxic gas in the air. At least five homes had been destroyed. For the latest, let's go to Meteorologist

Allison Chinchar, she joining us live from the CNN Weather Center. So, do we know the latest on what's happening with this volcano?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so there are still some pretty big concerns with this volcano at the time. Here you could see one of

those images. You've got the ash, you've got the toxic gases being released from Kilauea itself. The ongoing threat at this time still are

going to be those continued earthquakes. We've had give or take around 300 of them in the last 24 hours. All be it most of them small, but they still

posed a concern.

We've also had an additional fissure open up and even more are expected in the short term as well as the long-term, not to mention, inside of those

fissures, that's where you get the lava that comes out and the sulfur dioxide. That sulfur dioxide turns in to what we call vog, OK? Vog is

basically composed of Carbon Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide, and water vapor, OK.

The other two exist in the atmosphere pretty much naturally, but it's that addition of the sulfur dioxide from the volcano and the fissures that

becomes toxic. Because it reacts with those atmospheric gasses and creates those toxic air particles.

The big concern here is it triggers severe breathing problems even in people who don't normally have breathing issues, not to mention headaches,

eye irritations, as well as some other health problems. Now within those fissures that we get the toxic gas, you also have the lava that comes out.

So, it's a twofold, really, of problems that those fissures can happen.

Here's a look at one of those. Now, this is the seventh fissure around that Leilani Estates community. You can see as the lava kind of coming

over the roadways there. Each located right here, number seven, on the eastern portion of that Leilani Estates community. And again, just some of

those closer up went to really show you how the lava flows in some of them.

Here is another image. Now, this is from the eighth fissure. This -- very impressive here, Alison. Some of this reach 70 meters high.

KOSIK: That is just incredible pictures. I wish them all well. Let's go from Hawaii to Kentucky and talk more specifically about the Kentucky

Derby, where there is extravagant has always get the attention, but I understand, ponchos are also the focus this year?

CHINCHAR: I think they wear not only the most necessary accessory but also -- you know, so many people have them, you're right because it was

necessary. Louisville Airport it's there recorded over 3 inches of rain. That's not only a record from the city of Louisville, but it also made it

the wettest Kentucky Derby on record.

Take a look at some of the video coming out. Again, it's crazy, you see all those people in ponchos and raincoats. They've got their rained boots

on. Still trying to be stylish as possible, you notice it's mostly clear ponchos so that you can still see some of the great attire. But yes, I

mean, the horses, the jockeys were coated in mud after this race took place, Alison. Yes, just going to show you one of the hazards of having a

rainy race day.

KOSIK: But not dampening the spirit apparently for those pictures, all right.

CHINCHAR: Exactly.

KOSIK: Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

OK, and in tonight's parting shots, a British royal baby update that's going to make you say, "Oh, I just want to touch those cheeks." Look at

this photos, newborn Prince Louis, getting a kiss on the forehead by big sister, Charlotte. Kensington Palace, releasing the snapshot showing the

family bonding moment. It where being taken by their mother on Princess Charlotte's third birthday.

That's right, it was Duchess Catherine behind the lens. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge release an accompanying statement thanking the public

for their kind messages. Prince Louis won't be the newest member of the British royal family for long though as the wedding of Meghan Markle and

Prince Harry grows ever closer.

But first, Markle must become a British citizen, and the test for that is a lot harder than you may think. Here is Michael Holmes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:25:13] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What country did Britain fight against during the Crimean War?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did the English Civil War begin?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's high-stakes trivia. All people applying for British citizenship must pass a life in the U.K.

test. Even if you're Meghan Markle, marrying into royalty. Successful applicants have to answer question on history and culture. And put to the

same task the average Brit on the street was stumped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not pass. Oh, that's shocking. That's actually quite hard.

HOLMES: The questions range from the practical like, how often is the general election held? To random facts and figures like, how high is the

London Eye? Or how old is Big Ben?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a British citizenship test that very few British citizens can pass.

HOLMES: Would be citizens are doing much better? According to the U.K. government, more than a third of the applicants have failed the test in the

past two years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not pass.

HOLMES: The House of Lords is looking into changing the questions to include more relevant information. But back on the street, most people

think that despite the difficulty, Meghan Markle will get high marks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a bright if she'll get half.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I just think she might able a coaching. So, she might be OK.

HOLMES: After all, she does have the help of one of the most British families around. Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: I'm Alison Kosik. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.

END