Return to Transcripts main page


British Student Sentenced to Life for Spying In UAE; Trump Signals No Strong Action Against Saudi Arabia; Rowdy House of Commons Draws A Rebuke from Speaker. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 21, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, a British PhD student jailed for life in the

UAE. He denies charges of spying. We are live in the region for the latest.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is not backing away from the support of Saudi Arabia and not everyone in the region is unhappy about that.

And a CNN investigation into the proliferation of hate in South Africa. A group of white supremacists sees the American President as their ray of


A young British graduate student is caught in an international nightmare in the United Arab Emirates. Matthew Hedges has just been sentenced to life

in prison for being a British spy. A charge he and the British government strongly deny.

He was jailed after a hearing that lasted just five minutes. Back in the U.K., Britain's top diplomat, the foreign secretary, warning the UAE that

there will be consequences, strong consequences in fact, from this decision. In recent years, the U.K. and the UAE have been strong allies on

intelligence issues in the Middle East, allies in fact full stop. That's why this development is troubling so many in this country. We'll get to

that in a moment because I spoke to a member of parliament, the representative of Matthew Hedges in this country but let's get to Sam Kylie

who is in Abu Dhabi. What happens now to Matthew Hedges?

SAM KYLIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as far as we understand, Hala, he's been taken off to jail to begin a life sentence for

espionage. When he was arrested on May 5th this year, such a prospect I suspect would have been very far from his mind. As a potential spy, he'd

be more Johnny English than James Bond in that he doesn't speak Arabic which one would have thought would have been a prerequisite for even an

amateur spy in this region but he was arrested whilst researching a doctorate thesis on how successfully the United Arab Emirates weathered the

storms of the Arab Spring that, of course, swept aside authoritarian regimes elsewhere in the Middle East or precipitated the Syrian civil war.

So that was the focus of his academic study. His family spokeswoman I recently spoke to said notwithstanding the claims from the Abu Dhabi

Attorney General which is where I'm located right now, he's -- the Attorney General put out a statement saying that he pleaded guilty and that there

was a possibility of an appeal after 30 days or within 30 days. The family is saying he did not utter a word during his very short court case but that

he had at an earlier stage in the interrogation which they said was arduous, indeed, signed a document he could not read in Arabic and they

suspect that may have been a confession. We have no authority to view on that, Hala.

GORANI: Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary in this country as I mentioned, tweeted out that there will be severe diplomatic consequences as a result

of this conviction.

Here it is in its totality: "I am deeply shocked and disappointed by the verdict today. I have personally raised the case of Matthew Hedges at the

highest levels of the UAE. Today's verdict is not what we expect of a friend and trusted partner of the United Kingdom and runs contrary to

earlier assurances --", which is interesting and suggests that Jeremy Hunt and the foreign office in this country had had dealings or some sort of

communication with the UAE officials. I wonder if this threat of severe consequences will change minds in the UAE.

KYLIE: Well, the pattern, Hala, of Saudi Arabia's anything to go by is in these sorts of cases that it could easily harden the views. You have got

the crown prince in this country is very close to the crown prince in Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates is a leading element of the international

coalition fighting in Yemen.

[14:05:00] They like the description of themselves as little Sparta and also there's a really deep-resentment here in Abu Dhabi especially towards

the British because Britain consistently refuses to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, indeed, has agreed to give asylum

to the Muslim Brotherhood. I do know from British sources that that was a cause of very extreme behind the scenes friction with Abu Dhabi at the

beginning of this year. So, in that context, there is not a lot of room for maneuver in terms of diplomatic niceties and nice to see how much

pressure the British can bring to bear on a country they're so deeply intertwined with. Hala?

GORANI: Sam Kylie in Abu Dhabi, thanks so much for that update. Let's get more on this. The British member of parliament Ben Bradshaw has been in

touch with the Hedges family and now taking up the fight on behalf of Matthew who is his constituent in the U.K. I asked him for his reaction to

the verdict.

BEN BRADSHAW, MP, BRITISH LABOUR, U.K.: I'm completely horrified by this. It is not what we were expecting. Matthew released two weeks ago on bail

having been in solitary confinement for five months and we thought that was a positive sign and the British government did, as well. Because the

response from the British government here is one of shock and the foreign secretary issued a very strong statement about consequences to this. We

now need to know what the consequences are and it is totally unacceptable for a friendly government like the UAE to treat a British citizen in this


GORANI: What do you think? You're waiting to hear from Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, about these consequences. He issued a tweet saying

there will be serious consequences as a result of the verdict what is your guess as to what they might be?

BRADSHAW: Well, that's better for him to make call. He's the foreign secretary. But we have multiple and very deep relations, economic,

military, academic, educational, cultural with the UAE. And we need to change our approach because up until now it's been softly, softly. That's

not worked. The UAE needs to understand that very serious damage will be done to our mutually beneficial relationships by this. I'm pleased the

foreign secretary is meeting Danielle, Matthew's wife when she is back in the country tomorrow. There is a possibility of an appeal. How meaningful

that will be, none of us really knows and needs to get Matthew back here safe and he is not well and I am extremely worried for his safety.

GORANI: You have spoken to Danielle and in touch with the family. When you say Matthew is not well, what do you mean by that?

BRADSHAW: Well, Matthew has mental health challenges. He's been in solitary confinement. He has anxiety, panic attacks. He wasn't getting

the proper medication. Anyone with mental health issues or knows anyone that does knows how important proper medication is in the right amount.

So, we're very worried that he made a confession under duress when he didn't know what he was doing, forced to sign a piece of paper in Arabic

which he doesn't read or understand. There's a whole bit of issues and will be in a bad state after this verdict. The British government needs to

make sure that he is safe and then take things from there. But Danielle will be devastated herself by this. We're all hoping for the best and this

is a devastating blow.

GORANI: When you say you don't know where he is, counselor officials don't have access to Matthew Hedges, a British citizen in the UAE right now?

BRADSHAW: They didn't when I spoke to one of our foreign office ministers here about half an hour ago. That's what they were trying to ascertain.

Getting contact with him to make sure that he is OK. Physically, obviously, he is not in a very good state and also making sure that he has

access to the proper medication attention that he needs given his condition. That's the absolute priority now and the British government

needs to make quite clear to them that should any, any harm come to Matthew for any reason that they will bear full responsibility for that. And that

will have very, very serious consequences for our bilateral relationship.

GORANI: The UAE claiming he was a spy. Is it possible in the PhD work in the UAE there's a misunderstanding of what he was doing there?

BRADSHAW: I think there was a misunderstanding. And we hope that that was what would lead to Matthew's release today. It's obviously, he was

researching an area some in the UAE may have felt sensitive about into how the country there responded to the Arab spring and the uprising in the

region and he's a genuine academic.

[14:10:00] That's the thing that academics do all the time, all over the world. And the British government, his university and everyone have

assured the UAE categorically he was not a spy and they haven't listened so we need to adopt a different approach. That's the thing that academics do

all the time, all over the world. And the British government, his university and everyone have assured the UAE categorically he was not a spy

and they haven't listened so we need to adopt a different approach.

GORANI: A member of parliament, his constituent is Matthew Hedges who's now been jailed for life in the UAE accused of being a spy. He denies it.

His family denies it and you heard from Ben Bradshaw that there will be and should be severe consequences because of this verdict and there could be

very severe damage to the relationship of the U.K. and the UAE.

Staying in the gulf region, Donald Trump is thanking Saudi Arabia today. Brushing off widespread criticism of his support for the kingdom after the

brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The U.S. President credits Saudi Arabia for lower oil prices. Making clear where his

priorities lie. Now, this comes after an extraordinary statement rejecting the assessment of his own CIA that the Saudi crown prince ordered the

murder. The President said maybe the crown prince knew about it and maybe he didn't. He said it's in America's best interest to keep its strategic

ally close. Before leaving Washington for the thanksgiving holiday, Mr. Trump told reporters that Khashoggi's murder was a shame and added, quote,

it is what it is. CNN's Jeff Zeleny in West Palm Beach, Florida, where Mr. Trump is spending the long thanksgiving weekend and joins me now live. The

President is doubling down on the support for Saudi Arabia and rejecting intelligence agencies assessments once again. What calculation is he


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the calculation President Trump is making is really one he's been talking about all along.

This shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise even though the language of that statement yesterday was extraordinary. Particularly those seven words

maybe he did maybe he didn't in terms of the crown prince knowing or being responsible for that horrible murder. But really, this is the exact same

President Trump we saw from the very beginning when he touched down in Riyadh the summer of his first year in office. Choosing Saudi Arabia for

his first trip for a reason. The President wanting to develop a relationship with the Saudi crown prince and the government and the

President Trump making it all about business. Making this argument much more about the business that he believes that Saudi Arabia's doing for the

U.S. and the risk of that. But the reality here is the President has done several things. One, dramatically overstated the amount of business the

Saudi kingdom is actually doing in materials of arms purchases and other things and he's also essentially vacating moral leadership here which the

U.S. despite often complicated relationships with other countries has never vacated like this, Hala.

GORANI: Also, a head scratcher because, yes, he overstated the amount of in dollar terms of arms sales, but also, the idea somehow that the U.S. is

beholden to Saudi Arabia because it sells it arms and Saudi Arabia bought arms almost solely from western countries and not able to quickly replace

its supplies from China or Russia. So really it is the other way around. What is behind the President's steadfast support and close relationship?

It was his first foreign trip, Saudi Arabia, as President. What lies behind that?

ZELENY: I think what lies behind it is just President Trump's connection to and wanting to be close to a dictator. We have seen it time and time

again. Look at President Trump responded to Vladimir Putin. Look at how he's tried to build a relationship with Kim Jong-un. I would put this in

the same category of what America first means. This statement from the President yesterday I think some 633 words or so really may be the most

concrete evidence yet of what President Trump means by America first and that's certainly means, you know, not questioning leaders, as well. I was

struck by there's Democratic criticism here in the U.S., of course, but it's the Republican criticism perhaps is more interesting and instructive

here. Senator Graham who's very close to the White House and the President said, Mr. President, you have it backwards. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia

needs the U.S. much more than the other way around here. So, he called it, you know, an absence of moral leadership. Others said it's simply seemed

like Saudi Arabia was writing that statement for the President. So, it's hard to get directly into President Trump's mind on this but we have a

pattern now in terms of the leaders that he is cozying up to if you will and the allies of the U.S. who he admonished and criticized. Hala?

[14:15:00] GORANI: Thank you so much, Jeff Zeleny. Critics say President Trump's refusal to get tough or tougher with Saudi Arabia is sending a

message perhaps to countries elsewhere. That it is OK to murder, even a U.S. resident, as long as your country does business with Washington.

Bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem and senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, she is reporting from Istanbul. I

wonder what message, Julia, you believe this is sending to foreign governments.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it's the obvious message which is if Donald Trump, if the President views the relationship

with the United States as purely transactional. And also, binary. That that country, say, Saudi Arabia, either good or bad, and in this instance

Donald Trump views Saudi Arabia as good and his inability to view nuances, the normal part of foreign relations, makes this I call it a come hither to

every other country not only to abuse its own citizens or violate human rights, Khashoggi was a U.S. person. The shock needs to resonate.

One other impact it has which is lost is the extent to which Donald Trump also undermines the CIA. The CIA was affirmative in its assessment that

the crown prince knew about the killing and Donald Trump just essentially, you know, puts this caveat, maybe he did, maybe he didn't, as if the CIA's

assessment can just be -- is voluntary. As if it's a matter of opinion.


KAYYEM: Rather than a matter of fact.

GORANI: Sure. This wouldn't be the first time that the President questions the conclusions of the intelligence agencies in the United

States. Arwa, just regarding the investigation into the death, we still don't know where the body is, if there is a body to recover, who helped the

assassination team dispose of it. Anymore clarity on that?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, Hala. At this stage there isn't. Those are the question that is Turkey keeps saying it

wants to see answered. Where is Jamal Khashoggi's body or what remained of it. How's it disposed of? When's the so-called local collaborator that

the body or body parts said to have been handed over to? Turkey is frustrated with Saudi Arabia to say the least. And, you know, there's a

sense that despite the fact that Turkey keeps trying to push the Saudis to be more transparent in their investigation, they're not really getting

support of key countries like the United States. And heard from Turkey's foreign minister saying that, you know, he understands that America and the

west don't want to jeopardize the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Turkey doesn't want to either. But at the same time, they're saying, look, it's

important to Turkey to stick to the principles and I think for a lot of people and leader who is are looking at what's happening that's exactly

what is not happening here. It seems as if everyone other than the Turks they would say is acting in an unprincipled way, that there is no moral

standing when it comes to trying to really investigate this incident, this horrific killing, and actually bring those responsible to account.

GORANI: Yes. And, you Yes, what the President said in that remarkable statement laid out in the way that it was with the exclamation marks and

the entire first paragraph devoted to Iran, not Saudi Arabia, some have pointed out that this is basically the foreign policy of any western

country that does business with Saudi Arabia. They just don't issue Presidential statements like that so that it's difficult to point the

finger at the U.S. in this case, it would be hypocritical.

KAYYEM: Well, listen. Look. Have former U.S. Presidents been hypocritical about the relationship with Saudi Arabia? Certainly. The

statement, however, is a statement to the world. Not just to Saudi Arabia. And Donald Trump for the President for whatever reason with his exclamation

points and accusations and don't forget he alludes to the Un-based rumor that Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood if

that justifies some murder is -- shows Trump's weakness in some ways. The entire letter as if he can't actually figure out how do you play hardball

with a country like Saudi Arabia is worth noting other U.S. Presidents have never faced this dilemma before. Why is that? Because Saudi Arabia in the

past would have never done this before. I mean, in some way that is the scariest thing for me.

[14:20:00] The crown prince knew there would be a reaction and gambled and thought that the President -- this President of the United States would not

do anything about it and he was right.

GORANI: Right. Although in this case I think the reaction surprised many and the fact we are still talking about it so many days later and in either

case, thank you, Juliette, for joining us. Always appreciate your analysis. Arwa Damon in Istanbul.

The PR drive makes the way across the channel. Theresa May is in Brussels and like most things in Brexit nothing is ever easy or over. We always ask

when will it end?

Preparing for an all-out race war. An exclusive CNN investigation uncovers what is helping motivate these people in South Africa. Some of them are

looking to America. We'll be right back.


GORANI: For a week now, all Brexit eyes have been focused on the doors of Downing Street as Theresa May tries to convince the skeptical parliament to

go with her deal. Tonight, all eyes are focused on Brussels where right now the prime minister is in a crunch meeting with the EU's Jean Claude

Juncker ahead of a crucial summit on Sunday but if she thought the Belgian capital would be more calm than London, well, she is going to have to think

again. The tiny British territory of Gibraltar at the tip of Spain is a major headache with Spain threatening a veto over that issue alone.

Earlier Mrs. May was clear about where she stood.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, U.K.: I've been clear we won't exclude Gibraltar from our negotiations on the future relationship. We want a deal

that works for the all U.K. family and that includes Gibraltar.


GORANI: Now Gibraltar voted in the 2016 referendum and the very first place to call their results because of where -- what time zone they're in.

Let's show you just how Gibraltar voted.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The total number of ballot papers counted was 20,172. The number of votes cast in favor of remain a member of the European Union

was 19,322. [APPLAUSE]


[14:25:00] GORANI: Overwhelmingly for remain in Gibraltar. Take you live. Theresa May is under a lot of pressure and has to be said she's been under

a lot of intense pressure for weeks now and hearing reports now Merkel is saying square it away or no summit. You know? This is adding another

layer of anxiety here because this summit everyone is expecting to happen might not even happen.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. And we know that German chancellor Merkel this morning was saying that is

nervous and fragile time for both sides and while we have been unable to confirm the meatier parts to those remarks specifically of her statement

that she might not attend the summit on Sunday but the reports saying that the comments were directed as much to the U.K. as they're being directed to

EU member states specifically Spain demanding that this previously closed negotiation on that legally binding withdrawal agreement that's 585 pages

that that negotiation be reopened in order to accommodate its demands on Gibraltar and diplomats I have been talking to say that's a nonstarter for

them. That Spain is alone in that quest to push to reopen the negotiations, that that's really recognized at this point as a pandora's

box, that if you reopen the negotiations for Spain you open the door do reopening them responsibly for Brexiteers, any number in London for a

handle on that legal text and a nonstarter for Theresa May and the other EU member states. The question at this point, that the juncture really is a

threat to that Sunday summit is how can the 26 other EU member states get Spain to back down on that demand while simultaneously saving face?

Theresa May wrapped up the meeting here at the commission just a short while ago. Lasted for about an hour and 15 minutes. No statements to the

media made after that meeting so it's unclear if the two sides able to reach any resolution on that Gibraltar question.

GORANI: And when will we hear from them?

MCLAUGHLIN: Again, we don't know. So, as I said, the meeting lasted for about an hour and 15 minutes. There were other issues on the table being

discussed, not just Gibraltar. There's the political declaration that needs to be agreed upon. Sticking points there include fishing rights,

some EU member states pushing for access to the U.K. waters for the future relationships to look like and also there's concerns among member states

that the U.K. pushing for may's checkers plan sort of through the back door as part of the declaration. That's all still being negotiated. That was

supposed to have been wrapped up I might add by yesterday. This Gibraltar component throwing everything into question and diplomats telling me

tonight the most serious and pressing issue is the Gibraltar question.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Erin McLaughlin live in Brussels. There's something typically British that's exotic to anyone outside of this

country. Typically, British almost like the royal family. And that is, what happens in parliament here every Wednesday. It is almost like a show.

Before may traveled to Brussels, she faced a rowdy house of commons and because the country is so divided what's happening now inside the house of

commons is a reflection of the divisions in this country and so you're hearing some very passionate voices on both sides of the issue. Take a

look at the speaker of the house giving a lawmaker a dressing down. Wouldn't happen in any other country.


MAY: The public gave an instruction to leave the European Union and we should all be acting to deliver that, all he wants to do is to play party

politics. He's -- he's -- he --

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF UK HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order! Order. Sir, you are a denizen of the house. Gesticulations and shouting are way beneath your pay

grade, man. Calm yourself and develop some sense of repose. I said the leader of the opposition should not be shouted at. The prime minister

should not be shouted out. Let's hear the reply. The prime minister.


GORANI: Never a dull moment in the British house of commons. Still to come, a lot more this evening. A shocking new report on Yemen. Highlights

the extreme human toll on civilians caught in that crisis.

And how words uttered a continent away having a dramatic impact in South Africa. In a CNN exclusive, we meet the white nationalists taking some of

President Trump's words to heart.


[14:30:49] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: On this show, we often talk about the importance of words and particular the ones that come from

the U.S. President. Donald Trump once said he has the, quote, "best words." Even if lewd language about women was so-called locker room talk

and even if offensive comments he reportedly made about certain nations were denied altogether.

And in a CNN exclusive investigation, it is -- there is the revelation that Mr. Trump's words are having an impact in a very disturbing way all the way

in South Arica, in fact. Where far-right groups are galvanized by some of the things President Trump has said. David McKenzie has this exclusive



DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even in its broody

aftermath, a young woman killed by a neo-Nazi, President Trump refused to pick sides.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What about the alt-left that came charging at the -- as you say the alt-right? Do they have a semblance

of guilt?

MCKENZIE: Facing mounting criticism. The president would eventually condemn hate groups but not before his initial comments were echoed by

white supremacists globally.

SIMON ROCHE, SOUTH AFRICAN ACTIVIST: Now these people, these right wingers in the USA restrain themselves in the face of such antagonism I really

don't know.

MCKENZIE: That's an audio message from a South African sent from Charlottesville back home to his followers. This photo places Simon Roche

at the scene. Surrounded by Nazi flags, he's in the corner wearing a hard hat. But what was he doing there in the first place?

The Simon Roche character, what is he up to in the U.S.?

CARLA HILL, SENIOR RESEARCHER, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE (through telephone): American white supremacists, they support Roche because they have a long

fixation on South Africa as a possible model.

MCKENZIE: That's the voice of the Anti-Defamation League's Carla Hill. She didn't want to show her face, because she actively tracks hate groups.

She also monitored Roche's six-month trip through the U.S.

ROCHE: One way or the other, the time is now for you, white men, to arise.

HILL: During his time touring the United States, he was welcomed by a cross-section of American white supremacists.

MCKENZIE: And it took to the alt-right media for support.

ROCHE: Help us to continue to fight the good fight.

MCKENZIE: A constant theme.

ROCHE: We represent the white people of South Arica who are presently being told that they can expect to see a genocide.

MCKENZIE: It's a favorite refrain of the far-right and impending white genocide in South Arica.

ROCHE: Absolute power all of the time.

MCKENZIE: Proven by what they claim is an epidemic of politically motivated farm murders. A false narrative that flows unabated online in

videos, in chat rooms, on far-right websites and increasingly in the mainstream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it was a tweet from left field. I've asked Secretary of State Pompeo to closely study the South Arica land and farm

seizures and expropriations and a large-scale killing of farmers.

[14:35:03] MCKENZIE: Also making his visit to the U.S. was another South African to the left of national security adviser, John Bolton. Ernst

Roet's organization, AfriForum fashions itself as a minority civil rights group. The minority being whites. Listen closely to his message on Fox

News, a segment that aired before President Trump's tweet on the issue.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Intentional campaign to crush racial minority within your country and the government seems on board with

it. Is that an overstatement?

ERNST ROETS, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AFRIFORUM: Well, what the book is about is it's about government complicity in the scourge of form of

text and farm murders that we've seen in South Arica.

MCKENZIE: Now, listen to the facts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relative to murders in South Arica, there isn't some epidemic of farm murders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's around 64 murders on farms compared to over 20,000 murders taking place nationally. Universally, they're fine that the

motivation is robbery.

HEIDI BEIRICH, DIRECTOR, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: It's not really, you know, at the end of the day about any kind of facts or data. It's about a

myth that's been created. But, of course, you have to sell that narrative. You want to be the victim. Right? You don't want to be the aggressor.

You get so sympathy.

MCKENZIE: Heidi Beirich directs the intelligence unit of the Southern Poverty Law Center, monitoring scores of hate groups.

BEIRICH: Once Trump put out that tweet, attention was drawn to this theory of white South African farmers under attack and being genocided in a way

that had never happened before.

MCKENZIE: And it's already translating into more than just rhetoric. As we found out when we joined Roche and his group the Suidlanders on a remote

farm in South Arica. The group is actively monitored by South African security services, in part, says an intelligence source because it displays

the same tendencies as terrorist organizations. And recruitment of new members as they prepare for an all-out race war.

MCKENZIE: What does it feel like for you to have your family here hiding in the bushes if this was a real world situation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it would be very disturbing, but if you prepared for it, it's not that bad. Make sure that they are ready for when the

anarchy really breaks out.

MCKENZIE: It's a drill, of course. Here, ketchup replaces real blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Paramedic.

MCKENZIE: But make no mistake, the Suidlanders are deadly serious about their founder's doomsday prophecy.

ROCHE: We are preparing for a storm. Like the canary in the coal mine of the same anxieties and distresses that are being experienced in Western

Europe and in the USA.

There is a pervasive sense amongst certain sectors of historically white societies that those societies are being diluted on other people's terms.

MCKENZIE: But when you use a term like diluted, I think Nazism. I think eugenics. I think all of these horrible things from the past. Why is

being diluted a problem?

ROCHE: That's neurotic. Societies are, in demographic terms, being diluted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's certainly concerning, because it's a young or needed to make a movement grow and that is exactly what happened.

MCKENZIE: It's a dangerous mix and a warning of what can happen when extremes dominate a debate and reason gives way to fear.

David McKenzie, CNN, near Welkom, South Arica.


GORANI: Well, you can check us out online in And on Twitter, @HalaGorani for more.

To another one of our big stories now. And one that's disturbing in a different kind of way. I need you to imagine something that feels almost

impossible. 85,000 children, under the age of five, dying needlessly because of starvation and disease over just three years.

The charity Save the Children says that is a reality in Yemen. A warning, as always, when it comes to Yemen, some of the images in Clarissa Ward's

report are deeply distressing.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By now, it has become an all-too common sight. A young child starving slowly to

death. Yet another victim of Yemen's ugly civil war.

For three years, the world has watched impotently as the war has dragged on. The conflict, which pits a Saudi-led coalition backed by the U.K. and

U.S. against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, has brought 14 million people to the brink of famine, according to the U.N.

Saudi airstrikes have claimed the lives of thousands of civilians. In August, dozens of children were killed when their school bus was hit. The

bomb that killed those kids was American, a laser-guided 500-pound munition designed by Lockheed Martin, sold to Saudi Arabia by the U.S. under a

lucrative weapons deal.

[14:40:13] But patience with Saudi Arabia's war may finally be wearing thin as disenchantment grows with the conflict's architect, Crown Prince

Mohammed bin Salman.

Following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there have been growing cries in the

U.S. Congress to hold the crown prince responsible.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: They're an important ally but when it comes to their crown prince, he is irrational, he's unhinged and I

think he's done a lot of damage to the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. And I have no intention of working with him ever


WARD: But President Trump has been unwilling to blame the crown prince directly, despite a CIA conclusion that bin Salman personally ordered the

journalist's killing, according to a senior U.S. official and a source familiar with the situation.

Trump released a startling statement Tuesday. "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event. Maybe he did and

maybe he didn't." President Trump has been reluctant to rein in an ally, who has been personally cultivated by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and

jeopardize billions of dollars in weapons deals.

TRUMP: They have been a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development and I also take that -- I'm president. I have to take

a lot of things into consideration.

WARD: A de-escalation in Yemen might help alleviate the pressure on the White House and on other western nations with close ties to the kingdom.

But it may well be a tall order.

The Saudis had agreed to reduce military operations in the main port city of Hudaydah, which has been the site of heavy fighting. But throughout

Monday, continuous strikes were reported.

Then on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia said that, along with its main ally, the United Arab Emirates, it would be giving $500 million in aid, that

potentially feeding up to 12 million Yemenis.

But if the fighting doesn't stop and the aid doesn't start to flow and the peace talks don't begin, that money will likely be just a drop in the


Clarissa Ward, CNN, London.



GORANI: Facebook is facing continued backlash over how it handled Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Now, CEO Mark Zuckerberg

is in the hot seat. In an exclusive one-on-one interview with CNN, Zuckerberg pushes back against his critics while acknowledging that there

were some missteps.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Did you and other leaders try to minimize Russia's role in spreading propaganda on the


[14:45:05] MARK ZUCKERBERG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FACEBOOK: No. Look. Here's what happened. In 2016, there's no doubt that we missed something

really important. Right? The Russian effort to try to have these coordinated information operations on Facebook and also the internet more

broadly was not something that we were expecting.

Elections are always a very high security event and we were expecting certain kinds of cyberattacks and we found them. Right? The Russians were

trying to hack into specific accounts and we told the people and we told the FBI and all that, but we weren't on top of these coordinated

information operations.

So we've spent a lot of the last couple of years now basically building up our systems and strengthening them to be able to address this. But we've

been very focused on this and invested a lot in it and anyone who wants to say that upon learning about this, we haven't been very focused on trying

to both address it and also that we have -- I think anyone who says that we haven't made a lot of progress. I just think that that's not right.

SEGALL: I think the folks talk about transparency, though. You know? This idea that the former chief security officer wanted to publish a

transparency paper and every mention of Russia was taken out. He was Encouraged not to put Russia in the transparency paper. Do you regret not

being more transparent at the time or not getting -- not being more vocal about it at the time?

ZUCKERBERG: I wish that we understood the issue sooner, right? I wish we understood it before 2016, before the Russians tried to do these

information operations, in the first place.

Now, I do think sometimes people say, well, how did you not know this? And I think in some of these cases, it's a really big deal to come out and say

that a nation state is behind something and before our company puts a stamp on something saying that, I want to be really sure that that's the case.


GORANI: Samuel Burke joins me now with more. I was struck by the demeanor, because obviously, he never wears a tie and suit and stuff like

that but he didn't seem relaxed. I mean, his eyes were -- he looked tired. He was kind of on the edge of the seat literally.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Well, as I was talking to Laurie as she was flying back after this interview, really,

she'd be one of the first people to tell you he's not comfortable in front of the camera. He is an engineer. And so I think you always get that


But I also felt exactly what you felt. That he just felt a little bit of tiredness. And keep in mind the, Wall Street Journal has reported that he

told employees at a town hall that we're at war. That that's the word that he used. So if that is indeed indicative of how he feels, then I don't

think it's surprising that you and I both sense in that in the interview with Laurie.

GORANI: Right. But I just -- in some of his answers, he seemed even almost uncertain about what words to choose. I mean, maybe he was being

careful. What's interesting is there have been questions about whether or not he would give up the chairmanship or what the future of Sheryl Sandberg

is, while he was quite clear about that in his answer.


SEGALL: There are a lot of questions now about Sheryl Sandberg's role in the latest controversy. Can you definitively say Sheryl will stay in her

same role?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. Look, Sheryl is a really important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts to address a lot of the biggest efforts

that -- the biggest issues that we have. So, when you look at a lot of the progress that we've made over the last 12 to 18 months on issues around

elections or content or security, Sheryl is leading a lot of that work. And she's been an important partner for me for 10 years.

And, you know, I'm really proud of the work that we've done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come.

SEGALL: You are CEO and chairman of Facebook. That's an extraordinary amount of power, given that you rule a kingdom of two billion people

digitally. Shouldn't your power be checked?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. I think that ultimately the issues that we're working on here, you know, things like preventing interference in elections from other

countries, finding the balance between giving people a voice and keeping people safe, these are not issues that any one company can address.

SEGALL: So you are not stepping down as chairman?

ZUCKERBERG: That's not the plan.


GORANI: So he was quite clear. It's not the plan.

BURKE: Yes. And I think more and more people are uncomfortable with the fact that he's chairman and CEO. And it makes me think of what's happening

with the chairman and CEO of Renault at this point. You know? He's under arrest and a lot of people have said when you're chairman and CEO, the lack

of checks and balances often ends up in tears.

GORANI: The child bride auction on Facebook that we've been talking about in South Sudan that shocked so many people, you're learning more and it

happened on Facebook. You're learning more about how Facebook found out that their platform was being used to basically sell a child into marriage.

BURKE: This is a story that we've been reporting on day after day, particularly on the show in case anybody hasn't seen this terrible story.

A young girl, 16 years old, sold for auction, a dowry is what they actually called it on the post. All this happened via Facebook, sold for 500 cows,

three cars and $10,000.

[14:50:11] But we've learned more about the timeline. And actually, there was a report from Voice of America which is a significant publisher online

that actually exposed all of this on November 6th, but the post didn't come down until November 9th.

Now, I've learned that Facebook wasn't even aware. Not only of the post, they say, but also, not aware of even these media reports about it. It's

incredibly troubling when Facebook doesn't know it's happening on their own platform. But when the media is flagging it to you and you're still don't

take it down then, Hala, the timeline in total, October 25th to November 9th. It was on Facebook 15 days.

GORANI: Yes. And VOA, Voice of America, obviously, and then journalists in Africa, as well, reporting this.

BURKE: And this is a key point because we wanted to note. So, how did Facebook find out about this? And they've actually -- they actually found

out about it from a journalist in Kenya. You might say -- OK. So, what does that matter? Think about how many times Facebook has told us, we now

have a team of 30,000 people looking at content, actually human beings doing this work, and we have artificial intelligence. So in spite of all

of that, the many times they said that, it came down to the work of journalists. Humans like you and me.

GORANI: Yes. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way in order to raise the alarm.

And, quickly, you have some interesting data here about how much people trust social media to improve their lives and this is very important,

because if people start saying in their majority that social media is not making them happier, social media companies should be worried.

BURKE: Well, any regular viewer of your show is kind of seeing you, I would say, over the years become more despondent about social media, like

so many people you were excited. And then when I report these stories, I can sense your disenchantment with social media. But a lot of analysts

have been pointing me to these polling numbers which I felt very much reflected what you've been talking about in our program.

Last year, if you ask people, do you think social media is good for democracy and freedom of speech? Forty-three -- the majority of people

would have said yes. Only 43 percent said would have said that it's negative. Today, that same polling 57 percent of people believe that

social media is negative for free speech and democracy. Fifty-seven percent.

GORANI: Yes. What I found surprising in that Zuckerberg interview is -- should Facebook now be clear and say, look, we get it. We get that these

political groups, these trolls, these infiltrators are spreading fake news stories. This is not what the Facebook project was ever about. It was

about connecting with friends and family.

We have a team of engineers working on this. They're going to be way down the timeline. They won't pop up at the top. There is an interesting

Washington Post article about a man who intentionally spreads fake news stories that pop up in people's timelines and a woman was profiled in

Nevada who was sitting there all day liking and sharing.

Yes. But the thing is she didn't join Facebook to become this delusional obsessive about fake news. Why doesn't Facebook make it a clear goal of

theirs to get back to the business model they had before?

BURKE: I think there was an incredibly telling moment, the most telling moment in Laurie's interview with Mark where he said, what I'm slow to

understand is the great thing about Facebook is it can connect one person with two billion people and he essentially said the bad thing about

Facebook is also that you can connect one person with two billion people.

I think they went from a closed platform to an open platform. And now, I think they're going to have to close it more so it is more about family and

friends and less about a Russian who can connect to you.

GORANI: Exactly. Thanks very much, Samuel Burke, for joining us with that.

We'll be right back. Stay with us.


[14:55:34] GORANI: So many of us are trying to reduce the use of plastics but one teenager in the UAE is going a step further. He's the youngest

ever recipient of a prestigious award for making hundreds of thousands of recycled paper bags and distributing them to local stores. We meet him in

this installment of "Going Green."


ABDUL MUQEET, PAPER BAG BOY: Everything on the earth can be recycled but not time. My name is Abdul Muqeet. I'm 17 years old and I'm also known as

the paper bag boy.

Plastic bags take 500 to 600 years to decompose. The environment is a gift from God to us. We can't just take it for granted.

So in the beginning when I started making paper bags, I essentially just used staplers. After my father told me that staples, like, not very good

idea and he told me to use glue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember boy was making some bags out of my, you know, old newspaper.

MUQEET: After you stick your handles, your bag is ready. It can be used for the grocery or very good for supermarkets for small stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the place (INAUDIBLE) India, we made 500,000 paper bags and then they distributed the paper bags all around the city of


If they keep going at this pace, we all would suffer in the future. There will be less oxygen produced because of deforestation. Many animals will

keep on dying. The food chain will be affected. From many angles, you always suffer if you don't save the environment.

Plastic bags are still used on a huge basis. People are still not yet aware of the harms of plastic bags. People should be aware of it. I still

have a lot of work to do and until plastic bags are completely wiped off of the earth, I'll keep working.


GORANI: Well, good luck to him. Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So it is a decent bounce. Can we hang on? Join me all together now. This is what's driving the day on Wednesday, November