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CONNECT THE WORLD
Saudi-Led Coalition Admits Mistake but Denies Children Were Hit; Brazil's National Museum Engulfed in Massive Fire; Journalists Found Guilty in Myanmar; Tell Ben Commander Says We Are Open to Peace Talks; Microwave Weapon Suspected in Attacks on U.S. Diplomats; U.S. Proposed Palestinian/Jordanian Confederation to Abbas; Boris Johnson Slams U.K. Prime Minister's Disaster Brexit Plan; Parishioners Protest against Embattled Cardinal. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired September 3, 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] BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianco Nobilo in London.
First to an attack that shocked the world last month and now we have the stunning results of the Saudi-led coalition's investigation. And despite a
mountain of evidence including videos, photos, and eyewitness accounts, a spokesman for the coalition is still denying that an air strike hit a
school bus full of children last month. He calls the vehicle a legitimate target which had Houthi fighters onboard. The Riyadh-based coalition said
it did make a mistake with the timing of the air strike which hit a bus near a crowded market. The Houthis say the attack killed at least 51
people, mostly children.
A day earlier Human Rights Watch called the attack an apparent war crime. Nima Elbagir has covered the story extensively and spoke to the coalition
spokesman to get some more clarification about the aftermath of this attack. So, when presented with the evidence, with the photographs, with
the video footage and eyewitness testimony, what was the response of the official?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the coalition spokesperson admits that there was a mistake, but it's not the mistake we
all think it was. He believes that the mistake was in the timing. Take a listen to what he had to say.
TURKI AL-MALKI, SAUDI-LED COALITION SPOKESPERSON: It's a legitimate target. It's not a school bus. The bus is carrying some fighter's
elements and they are responsible about recruitment and also the -- some of the Houthis expert on that bus. So, it was as has been announced why the
JIAT, is a very legitimate target. And the only thing, the only mistake being committed by the coalition is the timing, wrong timing with the
target being conducted.
ELBAGIR: Colonel, CNN obtained cell phone footage filmed by one of the young boys on that bus. It very clearly shows children. You can see the
blue UNICEF school backpacks. That doesn't seem to jive with the findings of the assessment team and yet everybody saw that there were children on
that bus. But you're saying it still was a legitimate target?
AL-MALKI: The Houthi have -- they have told their story that the bus was going to school and there were kids on the bus. That time when the
incident had happened, there's no school time inside -- and also, in Yemen. And we have seen some of the pictures, and cannot confirm it, has been
announced also by JIAT. Yesterday some of the video, some of the pictures cannot be likely rival sources. Is it by the Houthi, or what is the source
for that pictures and videos?
However, it's very confirmed intelligence information that the coalition conducted the attack against Houthi commanders and some Houthi imminent
fighters in that bus. You need to ask the Houthi, we need to know the truth because we not on the ground, our foot is not on the ground inside
there. The Houthi need to answer the question if that bus is for the commander what the kids are doing there. We are taking it as questionable
or a controversial point.
ELBAGIR: Just to clarify, though, you believe that there were Houthi commanders on that bus, and that is why you believe it was a legitimate
AL-MALKI: We are not talking here about expectation. The war has nothing to do with expectation, we're talking fact, figures. And we have shown the
JIAT the evidence, the videos, the satellite picture and also the recording from that mission being conducted. So, it's not about what do I believe or
what's the expectation. We are talking about fact being given to the JIAT and according to that information they have looked to it and they have
examined all the information and the finding came yesterday.
ELBAGIR: The JIAT though does say that they believe that the coalition forces, that there was a clear delay in preparing the fighter jet at the
appropriate time and that the opportunity was lost to target the bus as a military target. So, they believe that a mistake was made and a lot of
those who have been speaking both the U.N. panel of experts last week and other human rights organizations believe that could meet the criteria for
this to be seen as a war crime. What are the next steps? Will anybody be punished? Are you taking steps to investigate if this was a war crime?
AL-MALKI: War crime or any systemic targets of civilians is not found in our operation in Yemen. We are applying the high standard measure and the
best practice for ROEs with special instruction and also for the air operation directives. Now this is the story of the Houthi, again. The
JIAD is an independent team.
[11:05:00] We have announced that we are accepting the outcome and the findings. We have given all evidence we have for the JIAD. And if the
Houthi they are telling the story in their organization, it's been proved by the information that we have as intelligence information, it's not a
school bus. Because there is no school time at that time when the incident happened and also, we have shown all the videotape. We never observed or
noticed any kids on the bus and had been announced that some of the Houthi fighters they are inside that bus.
ELBAGIR: The JIAD is an internal mechanism. Will you be allowing an independent external investigation into the incidents of August the 9th?
AL-MALKI: No, the JIAD is an independent team has nothing to do with the joint force command. They have their own mission. They have their own
mechanism. So, it's not part of the joint force command.
ELBAGIR: What changes can we expect moving forward? Will you be changing, for example, your rules of engagement? That's one of the recommendations
of the joint incident assessment team.
AL-MALKI: As we are expecting -- if you are asking about the steps this going to be taken as an extra step we have a multistep process is going to
be conducted. We have the legal advisory office. They will put the accountability on those that have committed the mistake. And also, as we
are receiving the lesson learned, which is announced by the JIAD, we will look to those lessons learned. We will improve and revise the ROEs to make
sure such incidents in the future will never happen.
ELBAGIR: So, you will be revising your rules of engage, that is one of the next steps moving forward?
AL-MALKI: It's not the only step, as I said. There are many steps that will be taken by the legate, and also, by revising the RIOs, improving the
ROIs. And also, the joint committee to assist granting voluntary assistance to the ones affected in Yemen. It will take place and the
compensation for those people who lost their lives, compensation will be given to their families.
ELBAGIR: How would you characterize currently the Saudi-led coalition's relationship with the Department of Defense in the United States? That has
been something that we've been hearing a lot of chatter about in D.C. That there have been concerns on the part of the Pentagon around the targeting,
the specificity of the targeting on the part of the Saudi coalition? How would you characterize your current relationship?
AL-MALKI: Well, I represent the coalition to restore the legitimacy in Yemen. I don't represent the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, we are
sharing the information with the coalition. As a coalition and also with our friends we are sharing the intelligence information. We are sharing
some of the information about the campaign in Yemen. The most important point that we are facing and we are getting information exchanging the
information about the threat that we are facing. The Houthi threat is not just for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not just for the GCC but also for the
international community. They are threatening the Bab al-Mandab and also the Red Sea. This is why we are sharing the information and are fighting
the terrorist groups inside Yemen, as ISIS and AQEB.
ELBAGIR: So, some measure of acknowledgement of responsibility. But as far as they're concerned no war crimes were committed in Yemen. Regardless
of what we heard last week from the U.N. panel of experts. Regardless of what we continue to hear from the victims on the ground. Regardless of
what we saw ourselves in the footage that CNN broadcast, they are doubling down on this belief this was a legitimate target, Bianca.
NOBILO: And let's talk more about the designation of a war crime which Human Rights Watch have called it, as well as an apparent war crime. Does
it fit the criteria internationally speaking of a war crime?
ELBAGIR: Absolutely. That's the right direction to be taking this in, because that was the point that I raised with Colonel Al-Maliki. If you
are acknowledging that there was an issue regarding when you chose the target, that you went ahead and hit this target even though it was in a
public place and you knew there would be collateral, then in theory it does fit the definition of a war crime. Because a war crime is if there's a
recklessness as well as if there is an intent to actually carry out war crimes. So, if you have behaved recklessly it does fit the criteria of a
war crime. Of course, there would need to be a tribunal. Both sides would need to be members of the ICC, which they're not. But it does give a
certain moral dimension to this, a real complicity on the part of those who continue to deny that there is real damage being done on the ground in
NOBILO: And last time we spoke about your investigative reporting on this we talked about the deafening silence from international players which you
might expect to speak up on this. So, given that your reporting and CNN's reporting has shown that it was a U.S.-made bomb which was used in this
attack, have we heard from the U.S. government or any other international players?
[11:10:00] ELBAGIR: No, no. What we're hearing from them was the call for the investigation and then congratulating the coalition on finishing this
investigation. But nothing of what you would expect even though what has been really heartening is to see the extraordinary outpouring of support
online. People coming forward to say this is unacceptable. But from all the usual players, the security council, the P-5. We've heard nothing. We
continue to hear nothing but deafening silence.
Nima Elbagir, thank you very much for bringing us your important reporting again. Thank you.
To Brazil now where a huge fire at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro has destroyed artifacts dating back centuries. The 200-year-old museum
caught fire late on Sunday. It was the home of millions of rare, historic pieces including the oldest human remains ever found in Brazil. The
country's President says losing so much research is insurmountable. Let's bring in our journalist, Shasta Darlington now for more on this. And she
joins me from Sao Palo in Brazil. This is a devastating loss. Can we quantify it yet? Do we understand the historical significance of the
pieces loss and their monetary value to the country?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via skype): Really, not yet, Bianca. The fire is actually still being put out. There's still
small focal points of fire. What this is, though, is just a national tragedy for Brazil. They have lost the single most important scientific
and anthropological museum in the country with artifacts that helped form the national identity. And on top of that we are talking about the loss of
a building itself that has its own history. A building that was once the residence of Portugal's royal family. Take a look.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): In Rio de Janeiro the National Museum of Brazil was engulfed in a massive fire. Rare exhibits and priceless artifacts
dating back centuries were destroyed. Residents and museum employees gathered in the area as news of the blaze spread and watched in horror as
firefighters struggled to contain the flames.
SERGIO KUGLAND DE AZEVEDO, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL MUSEUM (through translator): It's a loss for the world. This can never be recovered, for
the people, the building, there is no way to get it back.
DARLINGTON: Founded in 1918 by the Portuguese royal family the museum was commemorating its bicentennial this year and was home to at least 20
million ancient relics. The museum's collection included thousands of works from the pre-Columbian era, mummified Andean skeletons, and the
oldest human remains ever to be discovered in Brazil.
DE AZEVEDO (through translator): Thankfully no one died, but the loss can never be recovered.
DARLINGTON: The building itself was a piece of history, now destroyed in the flames. A former Emperor palace it was converted into a museum 200
years ago. The Brazilian President, Michel Temer, said the loss of the collection is too great to be calculated. The cause of the fire remains
unknown, and an investigation has been opened.
DARLINGTON: Even though they're still looking into what could have caused this fire, the finger pointing has already begun with some museum officials
saying firefighters weren't quick enough to respond. The firefighters said the two hydrants on location didn't have enough water pressure. They were
trying to get water diverted and they ended up having to use the water from a local pond and also bring in water trucks. In many ways, across the
board, people are saying this is just a reflection of the decay that Rio De Janeiro and Brazil finds itself in after a couple years of the worst
recession on history. When there was not enough funding for arts and culture. In fact, there was a huge loan set aside for the museum, and some
of that was going to be used to upgrade the infrastructure. But it was decided that it wouldn't be used until after Presidential elections in
October. So, we'll never know if that could have helped prevent some of this.
What we've heard from other employees giving their interviews is that they had to put together money themselves to help pay for the salaries of the
cleaning staff, to pay for their transportation. So, it really was a museum that had been neglected, that had started to fall into abandon. And
until we know the cause of the fire itself, a lot of people will be blaming the government for the lack of funds, for the lack of investment of what
was truly a national treasure -- Bianca.
NOBILO: Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo, thank you.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, a verdict that has sparked outrage across the world. Two journalists are sentenced to jail in Myanmar and the
pressure is now on the government there.
[11:15:00] And they spent years fighting the U.S. but could the Taliban soon be on the same side fighting a common enemy? Our report from
NOBILO: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo filling in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
The government in Myanmar is facing calls to intervene after a jail sentence for two Reuters journalists in a case tied to their investigation
of a massacre over Rohingya Muslims. Many are calling it a dark day for journalism. Our Alexandra Field has more.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The verdict from a court in Myanmar causes international outrage. Wa Lone, and Kyaw
Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the official secrets act and returned to the prison they've been
in since December. Kyaw Soe Oo says they're not exactly shocked by the verdict. Wa Lone calling it a challenge to democracy. Their families,
their young children, in court for the ruling widely seen as an assault on the press.
STEPHEN J. ADLER, PRESIDENT AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REUTERS: Without any evidence of wrongdoing and in the face of compelling evidence of a police
setup, today's ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom and condones the misconduct of security forces.
FIELD: Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone say police handed them secret documents in December and then other officers arrested them for having secret documents.
Retribution, the journalists say, for a report they were working on, an investigation later published by Reuters into the massacre at a village in
western Myanmar of ten Rohingya men. Part of a long persecuted ethnic minority group. The military leader admitted its forces had a role in the
killings, jailing seven soldiers for the crimes. The journalist who is worked to expose the slaughter still behind bars.
PHIL ROBERTSON, ASIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: This is about the military guarding its secrets and it's about the investigative
journalism not being welcome in Myanmar.
FIELD: Myanmar's military leaders already face mounting international pressure, accused in a new U.N. report of genocide, for violence against
Rohingya Muslims that started again a year ago. The country's de facto leader, Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi accused in the same report of
failing to use her moral authority to stop the violence. Now there are mounting calls for the country's government to pardon the two journalist
who is were seeking the truth and sentenced to seven years. Alexandra Fields, CNN, Hong Kong.
[11:20:08] NOBILO: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout spoke to Reuters' regional editor for Asia. This is his reaction to the ruling.
KEVIN KROLICKI, REGIONAL EDITOR FOR ASIA, REUTERS: It's a heartbreaking result for the families of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who have already been
imprisoned for eight months. And, you know, it's also very clearly a threat to the rule of law and the free press that any democracy requires.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Last week the United Nations, they called for Myanmar's top generals to stand trial for
genocide, for the crimes committed against the Rohingya. Is this the very issue that your colleagues reported on and as a result prompted the state
to come after them?
KROLICKI: As your report noted, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were looking into a massacre, a mass killing that happened in a village called Inn Din, just
over a year ago. There was compelling evidence at the trial that the police arrested them to block that reporting. And, unfortunately, today's
verdict lends support to those in the police department who sought to cover up evidence of a real crime. A real crime that would not have come to
light had it not been for the reporting of these two men.
NOBILO: U.S. forces say the head of terror group ISIS in Afghanistan was killed in a strike over a week ago. It took place in the eastern area of
Nangarhar province. Ten other fighters died in the strike as well. According to the U.S. it's the third self-proclaimed leader in the group in
Afghanistan killed since July 2016. The announcement comes as Army General Scott Miller took over as the commander of the NATO-led forces in the war-
torn country. Much of the fighting has been with the Islamic Taliban fighters. But as Sam Kiley reports a common enemy in ISIS could soon bring
them closer together.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Emerging from the desert, a glimmer of hope. Coming from Taliban commanders on the
ground to offer to talk and to talk about peace. In this exclusive video, militia Aqcha laying out the terms.
Peace negotiations should be among Afghans and for Afghanistan. We should not wait for Pakistan, Iran, Russia, or America to bring peace to
Afghanistan. If people from government die they're Afghans. If Taliban their Afghans. Foreign countries are playing in Afghanistan to weaken
Islam, he says.
Taliban leaders outside Afghanistan have inched towards peace talks, but it's a rare offer from fighting commanders. Just weeks ago, the Taliban
overran Ghazni, a city only 81 miles from the capital. It was recaptured and is being rebuilt. But this brief Taliban victory has shown they may
enter negotiations if they have a position of strength and an increase in violence, a prelude to talks. A view recognized by the outgoing U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Signed Austin Scott Miller.
KILEY: As he handed over the NATO mission to the former head of American special forces.
GEN. JOHN NICHOLSON, OUTGOING NATO COMMANDER IN AFGHANISTAN: I believe that some of the Taliban want peace, also, but they're being encouraged to
KILEY: His successor suggesting that the focus should be directly on fighting terrorist organizations.
GEN. AUSTIN S. MILLER, COMMANDER, RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION: There are groups in Afghanistan who want nothing more than to harm others. These
groups thrive in ungoverned spaces. They raise money, they recruit, they plan, they inspire attacks. We must maintain pressure on them.
KILEY (on camera): There's a degree of optimism being shown inevitably by the general's handing from one command to the other here. But the
experience of 17 years they acknowledge means that the Taliban have to be brought in from the cold. They have joined the political process. And
that leaves ISIS -- so-called Daesh -- as the main focus both for the international community and, ironically, also for the Taliban.
Our enemy is first ISIS and then government.
A common enemy in ISIS does not make the Taliban friends with the Afghan government or the U.S. But it may be a rare platform for agreement in
NOBILO: And Sam joins us now with more from Kabul. Sam, let's start with the killing of the Afghan ISIS leader, Abu Sayeed Orakzai. What impact do
you think that is going to have on the grip that ISIS has in Afghanistan?
KILEY: Well, I think it's important to say, first of all, that it doesn't have a grip on Afghanistan. It's got pretty small pockets of areas that
it's able to occupy around the country, and it has everybody against it including the Taliban.
[11:25:02] Now this latest airstrike, Bianca, was conducted by the United States but based on Afghan intelligence. And it's conceivable that some of
that intelligence leading to the killing of this individual or the two previous ISIS leaders may well have come from Taliban or Taliban
supporters. Everybody really in this part of the world is against the growth of the so-called Islamic state.
From the Taliban perspective because they represent foreigners and foreign influence and the Taliban has never had any international terrorist
ambitions unlike Al Qaeda or ISIS. And further to that I think, Bianca, it's important to note that the Taliban perhaps have learned their lesson.
They gave safe haven to Al Qaeda and that's why they ended up getting toppled.
NOBILO: And, Sam, Trump's new commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, took over just on Sunday, I think. What impact do you think he's
going to have? Does he have a different strategy? Do you think that's likely to change the way things are being done on the ground where you are?
KILEY: I think all of the signals we're getting from the United States, at least from the Pentagon, would indicate that there will be an effort made
to continue the legacy of General Nicholson, the outgoing leader, who was interested in trying to bring the Taliban into a peace process. He talked
as he left about the success of the of the Eid Al-Fitr three-day ceasefire which was successful -- although it wasn't observed by, of course, the so-
called Islamic state.
But we'll also see I think from General Miller a perhaps more aggressive, more forensic attempt to use local forces, encourage local militia to rise
against the Taliban. But also, above all to focus the efforts on the so- called Islamic state and Al Qaeda. From the securocrat point of view, the Afghan campaign is critical strategically to protect the West against
international terrorism, more than it is in terms of continuing to try to defeat the Taliban. The reason they want to fight the Taliban is that they
don't want them to win so that they can't establish what they would call a terrorist super state. But the priority is fighting against the Islamic
state and I think we'll probably see an increase in tempo there.
NOBILO: Sam Kiley in Kabul, thank you.
Just ahead, Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas, says the U.S. is pushing an alternative to the two-state solution with Israel. We'll tell
you what it is and why Palestinians say the Trump administration has lost the right to act as a peacemaker.
[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NOBILO: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo filling in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Scientists in the U.S. now have a theory on what caused bizarre head injuries to American diplomats in China and Cuba. You remember in 2016 and
2017 dozens of diplomats reported baffling symptoms like ringing sounds and buzzing with no apparent cause. Patrick Oppmann now live from Havana, to
tell us what the scientist study has found. So, Patrick, we're seeing culinary gadgets being weaponized. How is that happening?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you say microwave, of course, you do think about the appliances you have in your kitchen. But the
scientists say that there's many other uses for microwaves including weaponized systems that use essentially radiation and they can be used as
crowd control. It can be used in some anti-missile applications. Even in psychological warfare. And they believe that it is possible to use a kind
of microwave energy into a focus beam that could cause theoretically, at least, the symptoms that diplomats both here in Cuba and China have
We say theoretically because there really is no evidence to support this. No one has seen any of these devices here. The Cuban government has denied
that they've ever been used here. The scientists say that they have taken scans of some of the diplomats' brains and see signs of a concussion. But
it's still very far from conclusive. So, really the headline here is this is first time they've come out with a device that scientists actually
involved in the investigation feel that could have been used previously.
People have speculated that sonic weapons could have been used. But experts in those devices felt that it just didn't fit with the experiences
described by diplomats here. So, they've come back with a theory. They feel it's a strong theory but until further evidence comes forward it is
just a theory.
NOBILO: And Patrick, what are people in Cuba saying about this? Because it is quite an unusual and alarming report to hear.
OPPMANN: Absolutely. And while it is a theory and there has not been proof provided either by the U.S. or the Cuban government as to what did or
did not happen, it had a real effect. You had most of the diplomats ordered to leave last year. All of their families have left. So, you have
a skeleton staff now at a very important Embassy -- a very important country. Cubans can no longer get visas to go to the United States.
Myself as an American up until recently I couldn't even get my passport renewed here. So, it has had a big effect, particularly on Cubans wanted
to see relatives in the U.S., on thousands and thousands of people and we have no sense yet of when that will change because the U.S. says until they
can get this mystery cleared up they will not send their diplomats back here.
NOBILO: Patrick Oppmann in Havana, thank you.
Now U.S. officials working on an Israeli/Palestinian peace plan are pushing an alternative to the two-state solution. They've asked Mahmoud Abbas if
he would accept a Palestinian confederation with Jordan, an idea long favored by many on the Israeli right. The Palestinian Authority President
reportedly revealed that during a meeting with Israeli peace activists on Sunday. Two of them told CNN that Abbas signaled conditional support if
such a confederation also included Israel.
Reports from the region say Jordan is rejecting the idea out of hand. So, let's get the reaction in Israel now from CNN's Ian Lee. He's live in
Jerusalem. Ian, thank you for being with us. Talk to us a bit about the reaction to this plan which I understand isn't exactly a new idea. What
have people been saying in Israel?
[11:35:04] IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right. This is an idea, Bianca, that's been floating around for quite some time. But, you know,
what's unusual about what we're hearing that came out of this meeting is this is really the first time that we've heard the Palestinian President or
really anyone talk about a peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Now in this meeting that took place Abbas also reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution. And the confederacy is something that really isn't
given much credit whether it's with the Palestinians or the Israelis or the Jordanians. Because there's just -- it wouldn't be right with all the
different parties that would have to be involved to make this actually happen.
So right now, the most viable solution does seem to be a two-state solution which Abbas reiterated. Abbas also said that he would be willing to have a
demilitarized Palestinian state as well saying that he's open to even having NATO provide security or to ensure there is security in this region.
You know, the other thing he said in this meeting was that he's willing to sit down and talk with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at any
time. He said that the Israeli Prime Minister hasn't responded or isn't willing to. We asked the Israelis if that was the case. We didn't get a
response to that though -- Bianca.
NOBILO: And, Ian, with this proposal are we starting seeing a hint of what Donald Trump's ultimate peace deal would be?
LEE: Right. So, you may remember that when Donald Trump was then candidate Trump, he bragged about his ability to come up with the ultimate
deal, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And so, he's talked about it. He sent his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, here, Jason Greenblatt,
his special envoy, to try to come up with that ultimate deal. But then you've had these unilateral moves by the United States. Which ,one, is
moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Declaring Jerusalem, the capital of Israel which infuriated the Palestinians. And so much that the
Palestinians said that the United States wasn't an honest broker and that they didn't believe the U.S. could be a partner in any sort of peace
process. Although, you know, you still hear from the international community, the Europeans, almost everyone says the U.S. still has to play a
We asked the White House what their response to this was and Jason Greenblatt said essentially that for the past 19 months they've been
working on trying to come up with some sort of peace plan. They've been talking to the relevant parties. They still are very tightlipped about
what that could be. You may remember that recently President Trump said that the Israelis were going to have to pay a price for the embassy move.
Certain administration officials have walked that back a bit. But you know, we still haven't seen -- and this is the one thing we're looking for,
Bianca, is really, what are the details of this alleged ultimate deal, a deal that will be very hard sell for the Palestinians to accept.
NOBILO: And Ian, if I could get your thoughts on another news story with the U.S. and Palestine. The U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees
has been hitting back at the Trump administration's decision to end all funding for its operations. So, UNRWA says millions of Palestinian
refugees, quote, cannot simply be wished away. The U.S. is also expecting to call for stripping the refugee status from millions of Palestinians.
Essentially ending their long-standing demand of right of return. So how do you think this factors into what we've just been discussing and the
overarching attempts at the peace process?
LEE: That's going to be difficult, Bianca. You know, there's three big issues when it comes to the peace process. And these are the status of
Jerusalem, the borders of a future potential Palestinian state and as well as the right of return. All those refugees wanting to return to lands,
property, that they fled during the 1948 war. And so, with the United States also now going after the status of refugees -- at least that's what
a lot of Palestinians see -- that is going to be another massive hurdle for the United States in any sort of peace talks. And this really does --
unlike Jerusalem which is very symbolic -- cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from UNRWA is going to have a lot of effects on the ground.
Because you have over half a million students that rely on UNRRA for their schooling. Millions of Palestinians rely on it for health care, social
services, and especially in countries like Syria and Lebanon where these Palestinians don't have citizenship of those countries and UNRWA has only
been able to help them as they have difficulties in those countries. This is going to be another problem for the United States when they do try to
come up with a peace plan.
[11:40:00] Now UNRWA has said that they are going to try to fill this gap this gap, this deficit, by reaching out to other countries for donations.
But, again, this is just another difficult situation for the United States if they want to try to present a peace plan.
NOBILO: Ian Lee in Jerusalem, thank you.
Live from London this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, Britain's former foreign secretary slams Theresa May's Brexit plan. We'll have 10 downing
street's dramatic response for you next.
NOBILO: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo filling in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
The U.K.'s former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has slammed Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy. That's the so-called Chequers
plan, which Johnson resigned over in July.
Writing in "The Telegraph" Johnson described the plan as going into battle with the white flag fluttering over our leading tank.
Let's bring in CNN's Nic Robertson for more on this. Now that's the kind of charlatan rhetoric that we've come to recognize from Boris and he writes
in an emotive way but how damaging is this attack really beyond the rhetoric?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, he conjures up a lot of images, and there is a lot of sort of that imagery of war that's in
the discussion around Brexit, from a lot of different people. He also brings in sort of fake wrestling into it as well, ala the 1970s -- that
used to be on British television. But look, this is the real thrust from Boris Johnson tilting at the Prime Minister and criticizing the Chequers
plan, no surprise there.
What we've heard from Downing Street is kind of a very robust pushback, unsurprisingly, language they've used before. This is a time where we need
serious leadership and a serious plan and Theresa May has that. But what they're saying is that in this article Boris Johnson doesn't articulate a
new plan, almost half of it, the back half, is dedicated to some idea about how the trouble -- the vexing issue of the Northern Ireland border can be
handled. But Theresa May at the moment isn't just hemmed in, of course, by Johnson. She's hearing criticism of the Chequers plan from Michel Barnier,
the chief negotiator and from some of the sort of more moderate people who were pro-remain within her own party as well.
NOBILO: And just to add to the challenges that she's facing, her leadership is always called into question. Do you think this is a direct
challenge to her leadership from Johnson? Are we expecting one? Because she's got a pretty rocky season ahead.
ROBERTSON: I think everyone that has an ear about Boris Johnson does believe that he has eyes on the leadership.
[11:45:03] But whether he is trying to set the stage now for a bigger push at the Conservative Party conference later this month or is he trying to
set the stage more likely for after Brexit is signed, sealed, and delivered. If it is, by the 29th, if there isn't some kind of extension,
the 29th of March next year. It is certainly Boris Johnson campaigning for his own poll position within the party. There's no doubt about that. But
what, in his mind, are the other steps that are going to fall into place, build support for his vision. But then again, as number 10 says, there
isn't a vision here. There is no new plan, no new details in his article.
NOBILO: And you mention how her Chequers plan is struggling to gain support in the U.K. and within her own party. How is it being received in
Europe? Is this likely to get through the European Commission? Are they going to accept this?
ROBERTSON: If we take what Michel Barnier is saying at face value right now and take it that it isn't a negotiating position on the part of the
European Union, then it will struggle. I mean, what he's saying is right now would sort of threaten the European project. It's very sort of strong
language. But if this is Theresa May's bargaining position, there is potentially movement on, if this -- if what he is saying -- what Barnier is
saying -- is the European Union is opening salvo in old true European EU negotiations. It comes down to the last minute, those negotiations,
there's the language. I mean look how the language has sort of become infinitesimally small on things like regulation and such. There may be
language later that can come into play. But at face value right now, there's no room for maneuver. Yet as we have found Theresa May has been
able to maneuver, and maneuver, and maneuver within her own party and within the context of Brexit negotiations.
NOBILO: Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor, thank you.
Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.
Iraqi lawmakers are back in session and a power struggle of sorts is ensuing. Prime Minister Ali Khamenei and populace cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr,
are looking to form a government and sideline their pro-Iranian rivals. All of this comes as the public grows more and more angry over corruption,
unemployment, and failing public services.
Hundreds of inmates have escaped from a prison in Libya. Police say they forced open the doors and guards fearing for their own lives were unable to
stop them. The prison break took place in southern Tripoli where fierce fighting between rival militias has been raging for a week.
Live from London this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up on the show, protests against a U.S. Cardinal inside a church as he addressed the
congregation. Why one parishioner says, it's time for the Cardinal to step down.
[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NOBILO: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome back.
An embattled American Cardinal was on the receiving end of a rare protest inside a church. Cardinal Donald Wuerl received mostly applause and
handshakes when he appeared at Sunday mass in Washington to install a new pastor. But two parishioners had very different reactions, they're angry
over allegations he covered up and mishandled decades of sexual abuse of children. Here is what one of them said during the Cardinal's address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Increasingly it's clear that he is the object of considerable animosity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame on you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Rosa Flores joins me now from Washington. Rosa, I understand you were actually there at the address. Can you tell us a bit about what the
atmosphere was like and also, I understand, that also that you spoke to the man who called out "shame on you."? Why was he so angry? What did he tell
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He said -- and this was outside the church and he didn't want to go on camera, Bianca. But what he did say was that
he was outraged, that he was frustrated by the response of the Catholic Church to the Pennsylvania grand jury report that you just described a
moment ago. He said that he wants accountability and transparency on behalf of the Catholic Church. Now as you mentioned, he wasn't the only
one who protested. A woman also made a very loud statement but with her silence. She stood up, she crossed her arms, and she gave the Cardinal her
back. And here is why she said she did that. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY CHALLINOR, PROTESTED CARDINAL WUERL DURING MASS: I still think that he should resign. I think he should step aside. I think that's a better
way to say it as a sign of support for a radical change in the way the church deals with this problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: And, Bianca, I've been here in Washington for about a week talking to Catholics and I can tell you that there is a growing number of high-
profile Catholics here in the capital city that are asking for the Cardinal's resignation. It includes the Attorney General, a group of
Catholic teachers, even a priest who used the pulpit to ask for the Cardinal to resign.
NOBILO: Has there been a response from the Cardinal or from the diocese? What have you heard from them or perhaps from the Vatican?
FLORES: Yes, we did hear from the Archdiocese and here is what they said.
Quote, Cardinal Wuerl has spoken extensively over the past two months, conveyed his profound sadness, apologies and contrition, and addressed
every issue as it has arisen in a straightforward and transparent manner.
We also asked him about those calls for his resignation, his office said that he was not going to resign and, Bianca, there is a little context that
we should add. Because you mentioned it a little bit when you started the segment. Overall everyone in that mass welcomed him. We didn't see an
outburst of emotion until the very end of the mass when he started speaking about clerical sex abuse. That's when emotions boiled over.
NOBILO: Rosa Flores in Washington, thank you.
And before we go, let's take a moment to appreciate the incredible artifacts likely to have been ruined in that massive fire we told you about
at Brazil's National Museum. Centuries of history has quite literally gone up in flames. Like this meteorite, the largest ever found in the country,
weighing over 5 tons. And discovered back in 1784.
[11:55:00] And one of the museum's most famous artifacts, "Luzia," the remains of the 25-year-old woman who died over 11,000 years ago. Which is
supposed to be the oldest remains ever discovered in Brazil. Now there are at least 20 million artifacts in the museum from subjects ranging from
ancient Egypt, to zoology, to archaeology. The museum was once home to the Portuguese royal family and dated back to the early 1800s.
You can always follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day as well by going to our Facebook page. Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
I'm Bianca Nobilo. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.