Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S. Reveals Plan To Eventually Reunite Families; Polls Close In Turkey's Landmark Election; Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban On Women Drivers; America's Working Poor Struggling To Get By; Prince William Begins Historic Trip To Middle East; Controversial Film About Islam Hits Saudi Cinemas. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired June 24, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta sitting in for Becky
Anderson. Good to have you with us. We begin with new signs of hope amid the chaos in the U.S. with thousands of families separated along the
border. Days after reversing course on its policy, the Trump administration is now detailing how it intends to reunite the families. But
the when is unclear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMERICAN CROWD: Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: It comes as emotions and anger boils over at the U.S.-Mexico border. Protesters shouted at border patrol officers and physically
blocked a bus from leaving a migrant detention center. Despite the blowback, U.S. President Donald Trump is digging in on his tough stance on
immigration. He tweeted a short time ago that the U.S. "cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our country." Well, I want to bring in
CNN Political Analyst, Julian Zelizer from New York. He is also a Historian and Professor at Princeton University. Always good to have you
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
KINKADE: June 20, last Wednesday, was the day President Trump signed the executive order to undo his own policy, to reunite parents and children
that the U.S. had separated at the border. But the majority of children are still in detention. Let's just quickly take a look at the numbers
before I get to the question. The administration says more than 2,500 children were separated since this zero-tolerance policy came into effect,
2,053 still being held, about 500 only have been reunited. And the government obviously says it knows the location of the children in custody
and is working to reunite them with their families, but that it won't happen very quickly. Give us a sense of the problems that the government
faces, given that immigrant children in the U.S. under U.S. law are only meant to be held for 20 days.
ZELIZER: Yes, it's kind of astounding how little thought has been put into this. It's very clear that when the policy started, the administration
wasn't really thinking through the difference and areas how this could unfold. And even right now, it's unclear how parents will communicate or
find their children, how this unification will take place. And the government doesn't have the authority to simply keep these children
indefinitely in detention. So it's a pretty big policy problem with an administration that doesn't seem particularly invested in solving this
quickly or efficiently.
KINKADE: Yes, they certainly don't. And obviously, some people that work for President Trump being impacted by the response that people are having
to this issue. White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, was kicked out of a restaurant because the owner said she worked for the Trump
Administration. You can see this tweet here that she was basically saying the owner of the Red Hen Restaurant defended her actions to the Washington
Post newspaper, saying she has to stick to her morals, and that she would do it again. But interesting to note that a Gallup poll that came out a
few days ago showed that the majority of Americans, 75 percent, three in four, believe that immigration is good for the country and even more think
illegal immigration is good 84 percent. So does the Republican Party to rethink its zero-tolerance policy?
ZELIZER: Well, there's a tension going on. If you look at the national polls, they do reflect the idea and the sentiment that immigration has been
and remains a very good thing for the country, it's good for our economy health, it's good for our cultural fabric and it's good for much more.
It's been part of our history from the start. But if you look at the polls among Republicans, it's a different story. Many Republicans support the
overall tough policy of the administration, even if they don't agree with separating children. And those are the numbers that President Trump looks
to. And his support has not plummeted among Republicans as a result of this. And we live in a partisan era so those are really the polls that are
going to have a bigger political impact than the national polls right now.
KINKADE: And I also want to take -- let our viewers take a listen to the view from Donald Trump and from some of those in charge of helping get his
policies in place and how this unfolded over the last week. Let's just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:05:06] KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES HOMELAND SECURITY: This administration did not create a policy of separating families at the
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally which should happen you have to take the
JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: The American people don't like the idea that we're separating families. We never really intended to
TRUMP: You can't do it through an executive.
I consider to be a very important executive order. It's about keeping families together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: So we saw that complete 180 from the President saying I can't do anything about this, I'm following the law, with stories of Attorney
General Jeff Sessions quoting the Bible trying to justify this policy and then several days later the President signing an executive order to
overturn his own policy. How strange is it and how rare it is for the President, for Trump, President Trump to admit an error or a mistake and
how extraordinary was it to see him overturn his own policy?
ZELIZER: It's very rare to hear him apologize about anything or to reverse any decision. At the same time, we need to remember a lot of his policy
remains in place. He still has a zero-tolerance policy on the border. He's still looking now to detain families instead of separating the kids
from the family. So it's not as if it's a wholesale shift and he's still pushing for legislation that would curb legal immigration. So some of this
might have been theatrics, him showing that he's tough, him showing that he's willing to do anything necessary to clamp down on the borders. And
even when he reverses himself on part of the policy, everything else remains intact. And on the campaign trail, he still sounds the same when
he's talking about immigrants both legal and undocumented.
KINKADE: All right Julian Zelizer, always good to get your perspective. We'll have to leave it there for now but thanks so much.
ZELIZER: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, the debate about who is allowed to come into this country often leaves out the very important issue. Why migrants from Central
America fleeing their homes. CNN's Rafael Romo has more on those who risked everything in the pursuit of a better life.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN WORLDWIDE SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: We found them just below a bridge connecting Mexico and Guatemala. When we first
witnessed these scenes in 2015 it was clear that the border was wide open for migrants and anything you want to smuggle. Little has changed. This
is how Central American migrants cross the border. As you can see, we are on a makeshift boat. This is the subjective river which serves as a
borderline between Guatemala and Mexico. Something that caught my attention is that you can't really see any migration authorities or the
military or police. A former top Guatemalan official told us their priority is not detaining migrants but fighting drug traffickers. There
are more than 400 border crossing points where authorities have little or no control.
We're flying over the Guatemalan highlands. We are on our way to the province of Peten. Peten is an area known by people in the region as a
migrant transit point not only for people in Guatemala but also El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
Why are entire families fleeing Central America? We traveled to a city in Honduras that has one of the highest murder rates in the world. This is
the (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood here in the city of San Pedro Sula. Authorities say that many people had chosen to leave because they were
fleeing the violence. Operations like this one by the military police are seeking to restore confidence in authorities so that people can return to
But those who leave have no intention of returning. At the end of the day they told us they only have two options, facing a gun-toting ruthless
member of the criminal gang known as MS-13 who will kill your son and your family if he doesn't join in or risking their lives to reach the United
States traveling by land through Mexico and crossing the border illegally. The prospect of a life in America albeit remote and even if they're
temporarily separated from their children will always be preferable to imminent death at home.
KINKADE: Now to Turkey where voters are anxiously awaiting the results of a landmark election for both president and parliament. Polls closed about
an hour ago in a highly anticipated race that could give Turkeys leaders sweeping new powers. Current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping to
secure another victory but he faces his biggest political challenge yet. CNN's Sam Kiley was at a polling station in Istanbul.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Close 60 million Turks have registered to vote and it's expected that there could be an 85 percent
turnout what are being seen as incredibly important, almost historic elections. Really there's a binary choice particularly from the
perspective of the opposition between consolidating power in the hands of wretched Erdogan, the current president or the future health of Turkey's
democracy. Right now, democracy is in progress and is a rigorous process at that. Every single person wants to cross their ballot is checked
against the local register of electoral register.
They then go through -- they collect their ballots, cast their ballots, they're given a stamp not only is the envelope stamped on the outside with
given authenticity but it's equally each of the ballots personally stamped by the individuals casting. Then they're obviously then going to the box
and then they'll be counted. The process in Turkey is pretty quick. A lot like a British system that counted in the polling stations themselves.
That reduces the opportunities to fraud. Well, fraud Turkey doesn't have much of a tradition of electoral fraud but nonetheless, there are tensions
over this election because it is going to be a very closely run race.
[11:11:07] KINKADE: Well, our Sam Kiley joins us now from Istanbul. And the president, of course, is facing some pretty close challenges there it
seems, but what could happen once this election is over given that there could be sweeping new powers for the president?
KILEY: Well, the first stage that whoever is going to win this presidential election has got to do is try to win at the first round.
Failure to get over 50 of the votes will force a runoff between the top two candidates. So those are likely to be Mr. Erdogan and his main opponent
Mr. Ince. But at the same time even the forcing of a runoff from the Erdogan camp's perspective would be considered something of a humiliation,
a bloody nose, after all, it was the new constitution that was voted in by a fairly small margin at a referendum last year that will focus power very
strongly in the hands of the new presidency and it's that power that Mr. Erdogan and his supporters wanting to get.
Simultaneously with that, there are parliamentary elections and there's abroad a coalition of opposition groups ranging from Islamists right group
to supporters of the staunchly secular founder of modern Turkey Kemal Ataturk standing if you like, in opposition against a coalition that goes -
- is led by Mr. Erdogan's AKP. There's an extra 50 members of parliament that will be able to compete at least there'll be 50 more seats to compete,
four in the parliamentary elections.
And again a lot of the polls were showing that Mr. Erdogan in broad trends was actually polling a bit higher than his own party so there could be a
bloody nose for his party in the parliamentary elections. But then in course in the future of Turkey certainly from the opposition perspective is
could be in doubt as a fully-fledged democracy. That said, of course, Mr. Erdogan has been popular. He's won 15 general elections over -- sorry he's
been elected to office over the last 15 years and have been in that many general elections mercifully in Turkey but equally, this could be the time
when the opposition starts to catch fire. And they think that really is why these elections are so exciting for many Turks and so important in
KINKADE: And Sam, of course, 60 million Turks are eligible to vote. What is being done to combat those concerns about electoral fraud?
KILEY: There aren't deep concerns I have to say in Turkey about electoral frauds. But one of the things that has gone on is the people from civil
society, people with no party affiliation have been allowed to go into all of the polling stations across the whole country and verify after a bit of
training that the process is authentic. Because the count is being done in the polling stations where the votes were cast, there's much, much slimmer
chance for the stuffing of ballot boxes of the sorts of fairly crude types of electoral fraud that I've personally seen. For example, in many African
elections as they struggle their way out of mostly authoritarian rule. This is a country that has at multiparty democracy of one form or another
since 1950. There is very strong civil society here and that whilst there is a possibility of electoral fraud, their various wrinkles that the
opposition, in particular, are concerned about, they've also got the people out there to try to make sure that that doesn't happen. Lynda?
KINKADE: We'll have to see how this all turns out. Sam Kiley for us in Istanbul, good to have you there. Thanks so much. Still to come here at
CONNECT THE WORLD, women in Saudi Arabia are legally allowed to drive. So start your engine but don't go off too far. We'll have all the details
right after a very short break
[11:15:00] KINKADE: When the clock struck midnight, it was no longer illegal for women to drive in conservative Saudi Arabia. This was the
scene that greeted many of the first female motorists, flowers and words of encouragement as they hit the highway. Well, it is a historic day for the
kingdom, one that many have been fighting for and one that others are skeptical about. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Jeddah following all the
developments and joins me now live. Of course, you were up at midnight to see this band that's been in place for over six years overturned. What was
the feeling like that?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know the day was a truly incredible moment for the women that we've met over the past couple of days
you know, who couldn't wait until midnight. When that ban was lifted as you mentioned, they were out on the road, they were driving for the first
time and it was this joy coupled with disbelief, you know. They were telling us we really can't believe this is finally happening in Saudi
Arabia. And we were out on the streets a short time ago and we met several women who were driving around. We spoke to one 28-year-old who was driving
for the first time in her own country. Take a listen to what she told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels amazing and so exciting that finally women can drive here. Thanks to the government for allowing us to witness this
KARADSHEH: Did you ever think this would happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I mean, I had high hopes that this would happen but not this soon. But it really is an unexpected decision when it first
came out and it's very exciting.
KARADSHEH: And what's next for women in Saudi Arabia?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Continuing to empower woman, yes.
KARADSHEH: And for you today, what are your plans now that you're behind the wheel legally. I don't need to call the driver and say are you busy
right now, I have my own time, my own car, go anywhere, anytime and not wait for someone to take me or say that they're tired or because they're
not in the mood. So yes, independent, finally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: And Linda, so many of the women that we spoke into are describing this as a dream come true, a truly historic day as they describe
it. And we have a guest here Fatimah Baeshen, you're the a woman who has made history in Saudi Arabia. You're the first woman to be appointed a
spokesperson by the Saudi government. You're their spokeswoman in Washington D.C. at the embassy there. Tell us, did you drive here today?
[11:20:21] FATIMAH BAESHEN, SPOKESWOMAN, SAUDI ARABIAN EMBASSY IN U.S.: On behalf of the embassy, I want to thank you for having me. I actually did
drive here today. And I have to tell you, it was really a feeling of elation. And first of all, I think it's really important to point out how
supportive Saudi men have been across the board. I've gotten messages from colleagues, you know, the traffic department when I went to pick up my
license that my government colleagues there were extremely congratulatory. On the way here, one gentleman accidentally cut me off in a roundabout, and
I pointed to him and said it was my right-of-way and he looked at me and he smiled and said he was sorry. So I think, you know, overall, it's been a
very positive experience.
KARADSHEH: You know, some people are looking at this, some critics, some people are skeptical, who are saying, what we're seeing in Saudi Arabia
right now are just cosmetic changes. Are they?
BAESHEN: What's happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia right now, it is a transformational moment for Saudi society. When the Crown Prince
Mohammad Bin Salman announced vision 2030 two years ago, we've seen saw women across the board make advancement, significant advancements across
several public spheres. We have seen women chair executive positions in government, so the vice minister is -- labor and social development is a
woman. The chair of the Saudi stock exchange is a woman. We've seen women enter in positions that previously we weren't allowed into. The ministry
of justice started hiring women. The traffic department also just started hiring female inspectors for accidents, god forbid. So we have seen women
make advancements even in the political sphere. Women have started today run in elections and vote. So across the board and recreationally, we have
seen women enter into sports stadiums and attend concerts. And so these are very tangible, real-life advancements that Saudi women are making. And
now with the lifting of the driving ban, we'll be able to start economically even more so and commercially contribute to the country's
growth. And this is important for Saudi women because we've been doing amazing things for decades. But in the last two years, we have seen a lot
of advancements that is will allow us to contribute even more
KARADSHEH: I wanted to ask you about what comes next. Because a lot of the women that we've been speaking to here say they want to see an end to
probably the most oppressive law here, the guardianship law. And for our viewers who don't know much about that, that's women here from when you're
really young up until their death, we've been told here, by several women, they require the consent of a male guardian to do some basic things like
traveling, for example, or going to university. Is that going to change? Because some of the women we have spoken to are optimistic that it will.
BAESHEN: So here's the reality. Saudi women are like all women around the world, and we're in that marathon race for our rights. And it is a
marathon. And every country runs at the pace that it's comfortable with. And Saudi society is running at a pace that it's comfortable with. The
reality is we've made significant advancements and we'll continue to see advancements in this area. The other thing to keep in mind, when we talk
about women empowerment, it really boils down to access, choice, and control. What we have seen in the last few years is government policy
facilitating significantly, access into public space, which is important, expanding choice, which is also important.
So now I have the choice to get in my car and drive home. It's not forced upon me, but it's a choice I can make. With respect to the area of
control, we have also seen advancements. The King Salman in May of 2017 issued a royal instruction to put a check and balance system on the
application of the guardianship system, because reality is, the top-down policy is very different than the on the ground application, which is used
in a discretionary way. So since then, de facto, since May of 2017, what we have seen is the mitigation of discretionary application. And which has
allowed women to expand kind of in the aspect of control. But what I keep hearing from media, and other people who maybe haven't visited the kingdom
and had an opportunity to see how we operate and how we live here, is there are a lot of misperceptions. I had one reporter send me an e-mail and ask
me if I had to have permission to eat in public -- at a restaurant. These are all very kind of -- these are all misperceptions. Women are able to
kind of move freely in the public space, and, you know, join a university, seek health care, god forbid, if she needs it. So it's not as expansive as
KARADSHEH: And you know, this is a day to celebrate. But at the same time, absent on this day are some of the prominent activists, the women who
for a long time were pushing for women's right to drive, and they have been detained recently. They're behind bars right now. Why is the Saudi
government detaining human rights activists?
[11:25:00] BAESHEN: So, I would have to refer you for any specific questions to the Public Prosecution Offices who is handling this, but I
will say this. The group of people who have been recently arrested in are under investigation have not been arrested for their views on women or on
activism or on driving. Because of the timing I think, the international media has perceptually conflated these two. But the reality is they are
two separate elements. Those that are being currently investigated are being investigated due for violating national security and the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia like a lot of countries around the world have laws against violating national security and they will be investigated and adjudicated
KARADSHEH: Well, Fatimah Baeshen, thank you very much for joining us here. The Spokesperson for the Saudi government at its embassy in Washington D.C.
And that's it from us here in Jeddah, Linda.
KINKADE: All right, Jomana Karadsheh, some great insight there in that interview. Thanks so much to you and of course to Fatimah Baeshen as well,
the Spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in the U.S. Well, for even more on this historic day in Saudi Arabia, you can drive your browser right over to
our Web site cnn.com. There you can read all about the road Saudi women took today and how they are celebrating getting behind the wheel. That is
cnn.com. Well, live from the CNN center, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, a stunning victory for England as they brute Panama out of the
World Cup. We'll go live to Moscow when we return.
[11:30:11] KINKADE: Hello and welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. A reminder of our top story, the U.S. government scrambled to undo the
family's separation crisis that it started.
A plan is emerging from the chaos as the U.S. says, it's working to reunite more than 2,000 children who remain apart from their parents. But the
process is complicated and there is no timeline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTERS: Shut it down! Shut it down! Shut it down!
KINKADE: Emotional chants there coming from protesters outside one of the many detention centers housing undocumented children. It's in this climate
that the U.S. president is ramping up his immigration rhetoric. He just tweeted that undocumented immigrants must be sent back as soon as they come
in. And that they can't be allowed to "invade our country".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, it has been quite a World Cup weekend in Russia. Japan and Senegal are playing right now. But just hours ago, England qualified for the final
16 after screwing a stunning victory against Panama. The Three Lions slammed the Central American team in a 6-1 win, with Panama scoring their
first ever goal at a World Cup Final.
Let's go to the thick of the excitement in Moscow's iconic Red Square. CNN's sports Alex Thomas is live for us in what a thrashing by England.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: England were expected to beat Panama, they are World Cup debutantes after all in there. But I
think even the most ardent England fan couldn't expect them to have racked up their biggest ever World Cup win.
A record-breaking performance led by Harry Kane, the England captain, becoming only the third Englishman ever to score a World Cup hat-trick.
And as the first time in more than 30 years already done so an order you can see the sort of scenes we're seeing on our screens now the excitement
of people watching back home on the big screen, on the telly. Absolutely phenomenal stuff from Harry Kane and the rest of the England team.
To put in perspective, Lynda. FIFA, who organized the World Cup have 211 member associations, but only eight countries have ever listed the World
Cup. England have done it but not since 1966. And certainly, the number of passes they strung together for one of their goals was the most by any
team since that 1966 tournament. So, some Good omens there.
It means England and Belgium are both qualified from their group, Group G, and they'll go head-to-head to see who finishes top of their group next
And as you mentioned, in Group H, Senegal playing Japan now, they both on their opening games. So, this is a see who will go through to the round of
16, as well. Senegal leading 1-0.
KINKADE: And of course, there was a lot of drama once again last night, Alex. Germany, of course, keeping their tournament dreams alive right now.
THOMAS: Lynda, we don't think we'd be standing here on day 11 of the World Cup talking up -- back as a goals for England, they around. Germany, the
defending champions and heavily tipped to be strong contenders of this World Cup. Again, you have to be more than 80 years old to remember the
last time Germany failed to get past the first stage of a World Cup because they are so consistent, they've won it on four occasions and they seem to
always get through to the last eight, last four, or even the final itself. Even if they don't go on and win it.
So, to see them struggling and needing a last-gasp goal, almost five minutes into added time at the end of the game just to get their first win
on the board at this World Cup was astonishing stuff. It even hardened German journalists, said it was very, very nervous signs. Huge relief for
German fans back home, celebrating that win, they now have a big chance to get through to the round of 16.
KINKADE: Yes, a great deal of relief from all of my German friends here as well of the U.S. Alex Thomas, good to have you with us from Moscow.
Thanks so much.
Well, still ahead here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOLAN ENGLISH, DIRECTOR, HOMELESS SERVICES, SAFEHOUSE OUTREACH, ATLANTA: There are people out on the streets in one of the wealthiest nations on the
planet. You know, that are struggling for meals, for shelter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Well, unemployment in the U.S. might be at record lows. But tens of millions of Americans are still struggling it to survive. I talked to
the few of them, I'll have more on that report when we come back. Stay with us.
[11:37:03] KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, the American Dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion. That's the conclusion of a damning report
from the United Nations on inequality in the U.S.
America's ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, says that report is misleading and politically motivated. But the U.N. researchers say
policies from the Trump administration will make poverty in the U.S. worse. One of the biggest problems already facing America's poor is housing, but
that is only part of the problem.
ENGLISH: There are people out on the streets in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. You know, that are struggling for meals, for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things are tight right now. Rent's high everywhere.
KINKADE: Had you ever been homeless before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never, never.
KINKADE: These are America's working poor. Earning so little, they can't afford a home, not even one for rent.
DEMETRIUS PHILIPS, WORKING POOR: You know you might work today, might not tomorrow, which then puts you in a bind because you're only making like $40
to $50, maybe $60 a day.
KINKADE: So, how much were you earning an hour?
PHILIPS: More in like 8 bucks an hour.
KINKADE: And you're 30?
PHILIPS: Yes ma'am.
KINKADE: Maudine Fall works several jobs in catering and cleaning. But most businesses won't give her more than 30 hours a week to avoid paying
health care. She's been homeless 18 months.
So, do you ever feel vulnerable than you're living on the street?
MAUDINE FALL, WORKING POOR: You really cannot rest -- like you --
KINKADE: You can't relax?
KINKADE: You're on edge.
FALL: I am.
KINKADE: John Bobbit, used to own his own maintenance business.
JOHN BOBBIT, WORKING POOR: I had four people working for me.
KINKADE: Today, he's making grilled cheese sandwiches at SafeHouse Outreach in Atlanta. Losing everything in New Orleans when Hurricane
Katrina hit, forced him on the streets for the best part of a decade.
BOBBIT: You may not take a shower for two or three days. I wouldn't hire -- I wouldn't hire myself if I was looking like that.
I never was really religious at that point, but I started praying into God at that point.
KINKADE: He decided to start walking New Orleans to Atlanta, over 700 kilometers in 32 days. Safe House Outreach helped him find a full-time
job. But he was jobless after just 18 months due to illness. Now he oversees the kitchen here, which serves hundreds of meals a day to the
KINKADE: Which we take this down?
KINKADE: The official unemployment rate might be at record lows. But SafeHouse Outreach, says they've seen an increase in the number of
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On a given year, we'll see about 4,000 people.
KINKADE: This is the report being presented to the United Nations that finds if you are one of the 40 million Americans living in poverty, you're
likely to stay that way. The American dream, it says, is rapidly becoming an American illusion.
Across the U.S., people working for tips can often earn as little as $2.13 an hour. And have to make up the rest in tips just to meet the federal
minimum wage of $7.25.
[11:40:16] ENGLISH: They're not livable wages. These are -- these are little tokens that they're throwing. These are the crumbs from your table.
KINKADE: Nolan English is the director of the outreach program.
ENGLISH: At least, 40 percent of the people that we serve are working and holding down two or three jobs.
KINKADE: Around the clock, seven days a week, they send out teams to talk to people who are struggling, living below the poverty line. One man
living in a park started convulsing in front of us. Had Nolan not being there to call paramedics, the situation could have been far more dire.
The U.N. report found unlike other wealthy nations, the U.S. has neglected its signed international agreements, which state that access to health care
and food are basic human rights.
ENGLISH: The only thing that could be done with this current administration would have to be a total change of heart.
KINKADE: So, what is behind all of this? Premilla Nadasen is a history professor with Barnard College, researching social policies. And she
thinks and I quote, "Since the 1970s, the safety net has been diminished considerably. Labor regulations protecting workers have been rolled back
and funding for education and public programs has declined. The poor have been the hardest hit."
Well, Premilla Nadasen joins me now from New York. Good to have you with us. Of course, the U.S. prides itself on being a champion of peace and
democracy and equality, and a land of opportunity. But many note that America's reputation has been tarnished, not just its treatment of people
trying to come into the U.S., but its poor citizens, people that are already here trying to get by. And you say that this has been going on for
a long time.
PREMILLA NADASEN, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, BARNARD COLLEGE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Absolutely. So, as we are witnessing the horrific separation
of families at the U.S. border, it's also true that federal policy has been destroying family life for people who are currently living here in the
The Trump administration has recently -- has recently proposed a stiffening of work requirements for individuals who are receiving public assistance.
This includes welfare as well as food stamps.
And in some ways, this policy is not new. Those who are receiving food stamps and welfare are already required to work and, in fact, the vast
majority of people on public assistance do work. As your earlier report just showed us. In fact, the vast majority of people who are poor in this
country are in fact working.
We're seeing the beginning of terms like extreme poverty, the working poor, or even the working homeless. Because the fact of the matter is, is it's
almost impossible for a family to survive on a minimum-wage job.
KINKADE: It really is. And I just want to highlight some of those key findings from this report which point out that more than 40 million people
in America are in poverty, more than 5 million in absolute poverty that is third world conditions. Child poverty rates are the highest in the
developed world at 21 percent. Incarceration rates are the highest in the world with 2.2 million Americans behind bars. Child mortality rate is
highest in the developed world, 50 percent higher than they always see the average of this 35 most developed countries.
Should this report is like be a wake-up call to the U.S.?
NADASEN: Yes. It should absolutely be a wake-up call. It is -- it is unconscionable that we live in the richest country in the world. We have
the highest child poverty rate. It's unconscionable that the -- that the Trump administration and administration's before him to be fair have
consistently and systematically cut welfare as -- have cut welfare and assistance for the poor.
There is a tremendous amount of contempt for the poor and especially for individuals who receive assistance in this country. And that has to do
with a very long history of the way in which welfare, in particular, has been racialized. Since the 1960s, welfare assistance has been most closely
associated with African Americans and African American women in particular. The stereotype of the welfare queen has powerful residents in our public
Despite the fact that, that is the stereotype, most people who receive assistance are actually white, they're not people of color. And so, I
think the long-term impact of this is that the vast majority of Americans who benefit from some kind of government assistance are losing out.
KINKADE: Yes, they certainly are. And you mentioned that kind of tipping system that does go back to slavery. It has its historic roots there, and
we know as I mentioned in my report, the current tipped wage, minimum tip wage is $2.13 an hour, and that hasn't changed in 30 years, but it's not
just hospitality workers that are impacted. We know from reports that some of America's biggest companies, including companies like Wal-Mart, which is
the biggest employer of Americans, has high-percentage, thousands of workers on food stamps.
[11:45:24] NADASEN: How does it look?
KINKADE: Is the culture needs to change?
NADASEN: It absolutely needs to change. The federal minimum wage right now is $7.25 an hour. That is below the poverty threshold for a family of
two. So, I think we really have to ask if our belief is, and our hope is that people will be able to find a job in order to achieve independence
which is the rhetoric of the Trump administration.
I think they have to face up to the fact that actually, working a minimum- wage job does not lift a family out of poverty. I think, one of the things that the administration has done through the stiffening of work
requirements is to sort of fuel this rhetoric in this debate and this divide between individuals who are working and individuals who are poor.
In fact, that's an artificial divide since many of the poor are indeed working.
KINKADE: Premilla Nadasen, really great to get your perspective. Thanks so much for your time today.
NADASEN: Thank you, Lynda.
KINKADE: But still ahead, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muhammad, the messenger of God? Who gave him this authority?
KINKADE: A film about the origin of Islam. Once deemed too controversial in the Middle East has just made history in Saudi Arabia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, for decades the British monarchy has mostly stayed clear of one of the world's most sensitive regions, but no more.
Prince William, took historic first steps as he touched down in Jordan's capital just a few hours ago. His arrival kicks off a five-day tour that
will also take him to Israel and the West Bank. It is the first time a member of the royal family will visit both places in an official capacity.
Well, CNN's Max Foster is traveling with Prince William on his tour and joins us now live from Amman. And Max, Amman, of course, is the first stop
on this tour. Perhaps in the easy part of what will be a challenging trip.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this part of the trip, obviously, gets much more controversial and sensitive later on. But
this part of the trip is really about Prince William, getting to know his Jordanian counterpart, Crown Prince Hussein.
Never met before Crown Prince Hussein is in his early 20s. We know that the King of Jordan and the Queen of the United Kingdom are very close
already. They have an established relationship, they have a shared love of horses, but these younger two haven't met yet, but they are going to be the
future monarchs to their two countries.
So, this is really about cementing the relationship really between the Hashemite Kingdom and the British Kingdom. The Windsor's and the Hashemite
is coming together if you like. And so, they try to get their relationship really going there in order to look forward to the future.
They both want to represent young people. So, the Crown Prince took Prince William along to one of his foundations where he introduces young people to
technology. He is very into technology himself. He's very popular with young people, as well. Has a very popular Instagram account with more than
a million followers where he's actually very open. He shows himself on his charity work, but also with his military work, as well. He's in the
military and also lounging around on sofas and doing the stuff that young people do. So, he is a -- he is a pretty punky young prince.
[11:50:49] KINKADE: Punky young prince. Excellent, or shall I get him really well. The British royals are don't typically weigh in on politics
or share their opinion. And Prince William will be meeting with both the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians. What is the royal family hoping to
FOSTER: What's interesting, all they've really said about this. And you've got to remember this, this is the government-sponsored trip. They
asked Prince William to come here, but he would have had to agree to come here, and wanted to come here, as well.
All that really saying about that is that he's wanted to come here for a long time and the timing really worked out now. So, they're not reading
much more into it.
As you say, the Queen has a duty to stay above politics at home but on the board, as well. He's herein part representing the Queen, so it has to stay
above all of that. So, I know that the Foreign Office in the U.K. has worked very, very carefully with the government here to try to -- with the
governments throughout the region to try to produce an itinerary which doesn't offend anyone but also supports the various political groups and
religious groups here.
So, be interesting to see how he plays it out when he goes over to Israel and as you say, he's going to Ramallah, as well. And he wants to spend
time in Ramallah, not just pop in and pop out. He's going to have to get to know the people there as much as he can to show that they can build this
relationship going forward because no British royal has ever been to Ramallah before. There's been no official visit to Israel before.
KINKADE: Fascinating. Good to have you on that too, Max. We will be talking again soon, no doubt. Thanks so much.
Well, in today's parting shots, what a momentous day it's been in Saudi Arabia. A country that seen social change, and now women are allowed to
drive there. And all of this is happening the same time that cinemas reopened in the conservative Kingdom, with an epic tale about the origin of
And it's filmed in both Arabic and English, having now made history as the first Arabic film to be screened in the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muhammad, the messenger of God? Who gave him this authority?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God sent Muhammad as a message to mankind.
MALEK AKKAD, FILM PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR: While the film a message or a day Salah in Arabic was a film my father undertook 50 ago. And this is a film
that really examines the origins of the Islamic faith.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mecca is taken.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No!
AKKAD: My father is born in Aleppo, Syria. He got to the States in the 50s going to UCLA as a student and very quickly realized that very little
was known about the Islamic faith, the Arab world, any of it. It sort of surprised him and he sort of took it upon himself to be an ambassador for
this part of the world, and his faith, and his culture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This inhumanity has become a man whom God chose.
AKKAD: The genesis of the film sort of came out of the tumultuous 60s when there's all this upheaval, the civil rights movement, all these things, and
that's kind of where the idea started, and that set him off on a nine-year journey to realize this film.
We are now having to release that it didn't even happen it was first completed. It was heartwarming to see how all the countries embrace it
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Muhammad is, is a liar. He's (INAUDIBLE) the trade, the relation for thy fathers. He follow a lunatic, they call a prophet.
AKKAD: Back in the day when he was making the film, there was a lot of objections coming out of Saudi Arabia. Not the people or the government
for say, but certain religious factions within Saudi Arabia. Of all places that you would think should be where it's shown, the birthplace of Islam,
and now it will be. And so that's a very heartwarming thing, and I'm just very excited, and I think it's a milestone in the history of this film.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God just spoken to us before, through Abraham, Noah, Moses, and through Jesus Christ.
[11:54:56] AKKAD: The core of my father's work, his entire career was tearing down walls that divide cultures, and religions, and people in
general. Any step in that direction is a positive one.
KINKADE: Well that was CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade, thanks so much for joining me. We will leave you with the news from Saudi Arabia,
women driving there again. Enjoy your week.