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CONNECT THE WORLD
Bush Family Arrives at Funeral Home in Texas; Late U.S. President Honored for Lifetime of Service; Macron Government to Speak with Paris Protesters; Qatar Leaving OPEC, Says It Will Focus on Natural Gas; Saudi Dissident Says Texts with Khashoggi Were Hacked; Bush Shaped U.S./China Relations for Decades; Study Says Plastic Bags Kill 100K Marine Animals Per Year. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 3, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade, in Atlanta, filling in for Becky Anderson. Good
to have you with us.
We begin with Special Air Mission 41. A flight that would take former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush on his final journey to Washington.
Four days of memorial services begin today for the late President who has been honored across the political spectrum for a lifetime of service. The
Bush family will arrive at a funeral home in Texas this hour. They'll soon board the temporarily re-branded Air Force One to accompany Mr. Bush's body
to Washington to lie in state at the U.S. capitol, until a memorial service on Wednesday at the Washington National Cathedral.
So many tributes have been pouring in as well as touching photos like this one. Mr. Bush's spokesman tweeted the image of the late President service
dog sleeping next to his casket. The caption says it all, mission complete.
Let's go now to CNN's Ed Lavandera live in Houston Texas. And Ed, a week to honor the late president starting today. And preparations are ready
under way, to bring his casket to Washington, D.C.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, at the beginning of a moving week, expected here, not only in the city of Houston, but also in Washington,
D.C., where we're here later today, the focus of the tribute to the former President will begin. Here in about an hour and a half, here in the city
of Houston, we will see our first glimpse of the former first family, as they begin the process of escorting the casket of the former President back
to Washington, D.C., for the memorial service on Wednesday. So, about an hour and a half, you will see on board the government aircraft which is the
plane, when the President -- the current sitting President uses, is known as Air Force One.
This was the same aircraft that brought President Trump back from the G-20 summit down in Argentina over the weekend. That plane was redirected here
to Houston, and the name of this flight will be known as Special Mission 41. Of course, 41, a reference to President George H.W. Bush's standing
as the 41st President of the United States. And escorting the casket will be the former President, his son, George W. Bush, as well as other family
members, and close friends, and confidante. They will be boarding that plane, and it will be a solemn ceremony there. You will hear hail to the
chief, which is obviously the him that plays when Presidents enter rooms, as well as a 21-gun salute will echo through the airs of this crisp morning
here in December in Houston and then begin the flight.
The casket will lie in state at the U.S. capitol starting tonight, until Wednesday morning. There will be a memorial service on Wednesday, and then
returned back here to Houston, that night, so there will be another memorial service on Thursday before a train ride with the casket up to the
town of college station, and Texas A&M University, where the former President -- Presidential library sits and that's where he will be laid to
rest next to his wife and their 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia back in the 1950s. So, it is a long series of events for this
final good-bye to this former President.
KINKADE: It certainly is, Ed. And we're just looking at the live shots, at that funeral home, in Houston, Texas, and we will come back to that in
about a 20 minutes time or so, when the family of the late President are expected to arrive, to begin the final preparations. Ed Lavandera, thanks
Well, the White House is a much different place back in the days when George H.W. Bush occupied the oval office. A former CNN White House
correspondent tweeted a picture of himself interviewing Bush in 1992, Frank Sesno wrote. He believed in America. He didn't attack its institution,
embraced friends, respected political adversaries.
Well, Frank is now the director of the school of media and public affairs at George Washington University and he joins us now live. Good to have you
with us, Frank.
Great to be here.
KINKADE: You of course did the last interview with President Bush before he lost the re-election. And you wrote there in the tweet about how much
he achieved. Just describe his service to the country.
FRANK SESNO, CNN FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, his service predated his presidency, you know, when he was a navy pilot, if he
served at the United Nations. He was a member of Congress.
[10:05:00] He was an ambassador abroad, and he, of course, was Vice President for Ronald Reagan. But as President, it was a vast array of
things he did. Domestic legislation, he pushed and passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. A signature piece of legislation in the United
States. He updated the Clean Air Act that had originally been passed in 1970. So, the amendments of 1990 made a vast stretch of kind of changes to
it, to deal with greenhouse gases, yes. But also, acid rain, which had taken a major toll. And a lot of the legislation that was written was sort
of a model for later cap and trade legislation that could have been used as a way to really deal with greenhouse gases and climate change but led the
He was a veto President. He had a Democratic Congress, so more than 40 vetoes. So, he tried to stop things. It wasn't all happiness and nice
here in Washington.
But really, I think the world will long, long remember, and should, his two signature achievements on the global stage, one managing the very, very
difficult situation as the Soviet Union crumbled, and the wall came down. I was with him on the Malta summit where he met Mikhail Gorbachev and
essentially said I will not gloat, I will not dance on this grave.
Now, John Kennedy went to Berlin as the wall went up and said, "Ich bin ein Berliner." George Herbert Walker Bush never went to Berlin when the wall
came down and said, we have won. It was more important for him to manage that and the reunification of Germany. And the big coalition he put
together to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. So, in a few short year, four years, he was President of very, very consequential times in global
history and given the constraints of government and democracy, and his own frustrations, he accomplished quite a bit.
KINKADE: Yes, he certainly did accomplish a lot in that four years, that one term, he had. But you mentioned, it wasn't all happiness. Because so
often, you know, in the passing of someone, we focus so much on just the good things.
I just want to bring up a quote from David Greenberg, who writes, in "Politico." He says, respect for the dead must coexist with respect for
the historical record. In the case of George Bush, this balancing act means acknowledging not only his positive qualities and achievement -- as
so many outlets have already done -- but also what may have been his defining political hallmark. His cynicism.
Do you think there is a risk of his flaws or shortcomings being glossed over?
SESNO: Well, maybe, in the days just after his death, and as people are preparing to send him off, and mourn him as his funerals and procession
move across the country. But there's been a lot of discussion and there will be more and there should be some now about his shortcomings. He
enjoyed very much governing but he didn't much like to campaign. And he kind of jobbed some of that out and there was some nasty and dirty
campaigning. So, it wasn't all, you know, respect and integrity down the line.
The famous Willie Horton ad, showing an African-American convict who was released from prison, under the governorship of his then presidential
adversary Michael Dukakis in 1988. It wasn't Dukakis's doing but it was really seen widely as kind of a dog whistle racist ad in many ways. That
was a Bush campaign.
He didn't like to be challenged on a number of things. That last interview I did I was pressing him on his role in the Iran Contra affair, which was
Ronald Reagan's scandal, arms for hostages. He never answered questions happily or completely in the Iran Contra affair. And ultimately, he lost
reelection partly because much of the country saw him as out of touch. He was kind of that blue blood wealthy Republican from new England,
northeastern United States that didn't really connect. Especially as the country had gone through a recession with working people who had lost a
lot. So, he was not perfect, by any means. And history will have to take that into account as well.
KINKADE: Yes, but no doubt he certainly had the ability to reach across the political aisle and bring the country together, which of course, many
are saying, the country needs an injection of that right now. We will have to leave it there now I'm afraid. Frank Sesno, good to have you with us.
Thanks so much.
SESNO: Thank you.
KINKADE: We are going to have much more on this story ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD. We are also going to have live coverage next hour of the Bush
family departing Houston in route to Washington on board Special Air Mission 41.
To some other news now, stock markets around the world are rallying after the trade war between the two top economies on the planet took a surprising
turn. A truce. Take a look at these pictures. You might not think there had been months of rhetoric, and retaliation, between the presidents of the
U.S. and China. But they now say they'll hold off on tariffs, and try to settle their differences, by talking.
Well, that breakthrough came at the G-20 summit over the weekend. Take a look at the Dow right now. You can see that, less than an hour, into the
trading day, already up over 300 points.
[10:10:02] Julia Chatterley is at the world's financial epicenter, the New York Stock Exchange. Good to see you, Julia. Certainly, this pause on the
trade war, having a positive impact this morning there.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Yes, a trade truce. White flags flying at the G-20 over the weekend. And investors clearly
loving it. You were just showing the Dow there, Lynda, let me show you all of the markets here. Because there's a broad array of stocks that we've
been watching for the last few months that have come under pressure in light of these. And we've seen gains across the board, whether it is the
S&P 500, whether it is the tech-heavy Nasdaq too, as you can see there. Gains of 1.4 percent right now.
Investors don't like uncertainty. That's the message here. When you take out some of the uncertainty, and that's what this truce has done, investors
like it. And you need to understand the details of this though to understand why perhaps these gains could be short-lived. Within the
contours there is a 90-day reprieve. The tariffs that we expected to kick in, in January now won't. So, that will remain at 10 percent rather than
rising to 25 percent. That leaves a three-month window for China to agree to buy more energy products from the United States, more agricultural
Also, some kind of agreement, over protections of intellectual property, of patent protections here in the United States, too. So, a lot of people are
saying this is a pause, a sigh of relief for the markets here. But, hey Lynda, I have to say, just 90 days, to agree on some of these crucial
things like patent protection. You have to be a little bit skeptical here, but for now, investors aren't.
KINKADE: You certainly do. Because China has not given any detail how much they are willing to buy from the U.S. There's a lot to work out. This
is certainly an ambitious time line, isn't it?
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's an ambitious plan. And I think we have to take a step back here in understand that there have been promises made in the
past. And there are huge challenges here, even if you get some kind of an agreement over the next 90 days. I doubt it will be concrete.
But Steven Mnuchin came out of the meeting, and he's the Treasury Secretary, of course, and he said, look, there are going to be challenges.
We're going to have to have to take this in the short term and the medium term. But as far as the relationship between these two presidents are
concerned, this is as good as it has been in one and a half years. So, let's look at the silver linings and the progress that's been made and
perhaps ignore for now some of the broader difficult and there are plenty.
KINKADE: There certainly are. We'll focus on the positive right now. Julia Chatterley, good to have you with us, thanks so much.
Still to come, President Macron extends an olive branch. But will it make a dent in the protests that have been rocking France? We are going to go
live to Paris next.
And two months after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, we will have an exclusive report that offers clues about why he was killed.
[10:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KINKADE: Welcome back. The French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to negotiate with protesters after violent demonstrations in Paris. Mr.
Macron is sending his Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, to meet representatives of the so-called yellow vests. Well, or the past three
weeks, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in France to protest the rise in fuel prices.
Our Melissa Bell is in Paris and joins us now live. And Melissa, of course, we spoke over the weekend, as we saw the riot police come in with
tear gas and water cannons to try and quell those protesters. And the riot police are back out on the streets today.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This is, this morning, a protest by ambulance workers. It is distinct from the yellow
vest protesters. The culmination, of which -- you're right, Lynda, we watched together on Saturday night -- with those extraordinary scenes of
anger, far greater than anything we've seen on the two preceding Saturdays. So distinct and yet what is common between those protesters, the one this
morning, Palais Bourbon, in front of the French Parliament, and the violence that we saw on Saturday. The third Saturday in a row, of that
protest, by the yellow vests, against the rise in the fuel, but in the end, so much more than that.
The common thread really is that people are not happy about Emmanuel Macron's liberalizing policies. And at the heart of the yellow vest
movement, something perhaps more profound than that, a real class struggle, actually, and with a lot of people out there to protest the fact that they
are simply are not able to make ends meet.
And looking at the damage around Paris today, and the Paris Town Hall. The Paris mayor estimates that it is something between 3 to 4 million euros
worth of damage that was caused just on Saturday. What you see now are lots of graffiti, really aimed at the French President in particular but
the liberalizing policies more broadly. A lot of anger, the bourgeois, they say, should be very afraid and that really was a tenure of what
What we saw on Saturday was the violence that had been concentrated here on the Champ Elysees the Saturday before, expand beyond that. Because of
course this part of Paris, the part that is around the presidential palace had been so carefully secured, that the anger of the yellow vests on
Saturday really expressed itself much more widely. But again, Lynda, in those neighborhoods of Paris that are extremely well off and it was focused
on what, it was focused on banks, it was focused on car, all of the symbols of capitalism really that you'd expect. It is that anger that Edouard
Philippe, the French Prime Minister, would attempt to address when he meets with the yellow vests on Tuesday, tomorrow. And today, he is spending the
day meeting with opposition parties, many of whom have expressed their solidarity with those yellow vests.
The question is, ahead of next Saturday's planned protests, what can the French government do to pacify things? What can they do to calm things
down, now what that this protest has gone so far beyond its initial spot, which was a rise in the fuel duty -- Lynda?
KINKADE: And that is the key question, really. Is the government willing to compromise? Because these protests began at anger, over Mr. Macron's
fuel tax. Is there any indication that they are going to have a compromise here?
BELL: That's right. And then so far, the French government has been absolutely clear on this. They will not back down on a hike in the fuel
duty that they believe is necessary for environmental, for ecological reasons. They might be willing perhaps to sort of give a sort of olive
branch on other respects. We've heard from the government today that they believe that perhaps drops in taxation should happen more quickly, in order
for the poorest in society to feel the benefits.
But clearly, it's very difficult to have room for maneuver the executive has. I mean, in a sense that the fact that the anger has grown so
consistently and so loudly over the course of the last three weeks, culminating, in the extraordinary measures of Saturday, very difficult to
see what they could absolutely offer to prevent next Saturday descending into the same kind of chaos.
KINKADE: Yes, not long to sort it all out really, until Saturday. Melissa Bell, good to have you with us from Paris. Thanks so much.
Well, it is now two months since Jamal Khashoggi walked into Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, never to re-emerge.
[10:20:01] And one question remains. Why was he killed? CNN's Nina dos Santos has exclusively obtained ten months' worth of WhatsApp messages that
he sent to a fellow Saudi dissident named Omar Abdulaziz. The message is provided to CNN by the Canada-based dissident offer clues as to the motive
behind Khashoggi's death.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are words you won't have read in Jamal Khashoggi's columns. Instead, they are WhatsApp
messages never seen before, sent by Khashoggi in the year before his death. They laid bare his disdain for Saudi Arabia's crown prince, saying quote,
he is like a beast, like "Pac man", the more victims he eats, the more he wants.
In another. May God rid us and this nation of this predicament.
The words were exchanged with Omar Abdulaziz, a fellow critic in exile in Canada.
OMAR ABDULAZIZ, EXILE SAUDI ACTIVIST: He believed that MBS issue, is the problem. And someone has to tell him, that you have to be stopped.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): Talk like this is dangerous from those from a country with one of the world's worst records for human rights. And it
wasn't just political views that the pair were trading but plans to hold the Saudi state to account. Creating an army of so-called cyber beings on
social media, leveraging Khashoggi's name and the 340,000 strong Twitter following of his confidant.
ABDULAZIZ: In the beginning it was a bit difficult for us to have this kind of relationship. For me, I was a dissident. And he was a guy who
worked for the government for almost 35 years.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Khashoggi pledged funds and Abdulaziz bought the hardware. Hundreds of foreign sim cards to send back home enabling
dissidents to avoid detection. In one message, Abdulaziz writes, I sent you a brief idea about the work of the electronic army.
Brilliant report, Khashoggi replies. I will try to sort out the money. We have to do something.
(on camera): How much money did he originally say he would commit to the project?
ABDULAZIZ: He said 30,000.
DOS SANTOS: 30,000 U.S. dollars?
DOS SANTOS: How dangerous is a project like that in Saudi Arabia?
ABDULAZIZ: You might be killed because of that. You might be jailed. They might send someone to assassinate you.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Just like Khashoggi , Abdulaziz believes that he was also targeted after two to Saudi emissaries were dispatched to Canada,
he says last May to coax him into the embassy there. He made these secret recordings of their meetings. And shared them with CNN.
RECORDING MAY 2018: We have come to you with a message from Mohammed bin Salman. I want you to be reassured, we don't have to approach someone from
an official department or the state security. The Saudi Arabian Embassy awaiting you.
DOS SANTOS: When Abdulaziz refused, they got to him another way, hacking his phone. According to a lawsuit Abdulaziz filed this week against the
Israeli firm behind the spyware. When the pair's plans were discovered, Khashoggi panicked. God help us, he wrote.
(on camera): How much of a target did that make both of you?
ABDULAZIZ: The hacking of my phone played a major role on what happened to Jamal. I'm really sorry to say that. We were trying to teach people about
human rights, about freedom of speech, and that's it. This is the only crime that we have committed.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Nina dos Santos, CNN London.
KINKADE: Well, Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comment, regarding those allegations. The Israeli company behind the
spyware says its technology is licensed for the sole use of governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime. And the company
says it does not tolerate the misuse of its products.
Well, the world's largest oil cartel is getting a little bit smaller. Qatar says it will pull out of OPEC in January. The Gulf state is a
relatively minor member of the cartel, producing less than 3 percent of OPEC's daily output of crude. But Qatar is the world's largest export of
liquefied natural gas. And the country's energy minister says it wants to focus more on that.
What does this mean for the rest of OPEC? And is it a sign of trouble inside the cartel? Let's bring in CNN's Anna Stewart. Anna, of course,
Qatar has been a member of OPEC for almost 60 years. What does this all mean?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, it has been there since 1961, so politically, this is a big move. As you said, it is actually not a big
producer when it comes to oil, so in terms of oil output, this won't make much of a difference at all. However, you got to look at the political sub
text. As with all oil stories I should say and there's plenty of it. First of all, there is a new energy minister, there is a big cabinet
reshuffle in Qatar, earlier this month, so it would appear that this is the new direction Qatar is taking here.
It is of course, still under an economic blockade from its neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt, has been facing these tensions, and
[10:25:02] And when it comes to OPEC, that is the de facto leader is Saudi Arabia. So, it has had increasingly been a marginalized member anyway.
And if you just look at this weekend, Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced they are going to continue to cooperate with output production management.
Now what does that mean? That means essentially there are really only two key members when it comes to oil, and one of them Russia isn't even in
OPEC. So, all of the smaller members actually have a smaller and smaller voice to play here. And on top of all of that, you have to think that for
OPEC, it is losing something here. OK, not a big oil producer. But what it loses in Qatar, is a member that in the past has helped broker some
difficult diplomatic situations with members like Iran, members like Venezuela, so it is losing out here.
We have an OPEC meeting later this week in Vienna. We will be sending our emerging markets editor, John Defterios. He'll be rubbing shoulders with
all the right people and energy ministers. So, interesting to see what the fallout is and of course whether they cut output, which is what we're
expecting -- Lynda.
KINKADE: All right. Anna, good to get that perspective from London. We will check in with John later on in the week as well. Thanks so much.
Sending humans into space has become so commonplace, it's hardly news anymore. But the launch a few hours ago of the Soyuz rocket was notable.
Because this was the first mission to space since an October flight that was aborted midflight, due to a booster problem. Well, today's launch
takes three astronauts from the U.S., Russia, and Canada, to the International Space Station.
Still to come, the life and legacy of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. We'll see how he is being remembered around the world after passing
away at the age of 94.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KINKADE: Hello and welcome to "CONNECT THE WORLD," I'm Lynda Kinkade, sitting in for Becky Anderson. Good to have you with us.
Updating the top story now. Four days of tributes to the late U.S. President, George H.W. Bush, are getting under way. You are looking at
some pictures now from the funeral home in Houston, Texas. Where some family members are now arriving, including one of the late President's
sons, Neil Bush. They're making final preparations, and we know George W. Bush also former President, will accompany Mr. Bush's body on Special Air
Mission 41. Which is departing next hour for Washington. Where the late President will lie in state in the U.S. capitol rotunda.
The plane is called Air Force One only when a sitting President is on board. So, it's being temporarily rebranded in honor of America's 41st
In just four years as U.S. President, Bush senior took on tough issues both at home and abroad after becoming America's unofficial ambassador to China
in the mid-1970s. He developed an understanding of Chinese government and culture that would later help steer relations through tumultuous times.
Our Ivan Watson has more.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George H.W. Bush is being remembered fondly in China. It's perhaps surprising in
a communist country in the middle of a trade war with the current U.S. administration.
Former President Bush was an old friend of the Chinese people, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump on Saturday. He witnessed
and promoted the historic development of China/U.S. relations for over four decades.
Bush first arrived in China in 1974, as the unofficial U.S. envoy. Not long after President Richard Nixon's own historic first visit to the
country. At the time, the U.S. and China had no diplomatic ties. But Washington was keen to pull Beijing into its camp against the Soviet Union.
China was still engulfed in Chairman Mao's tumultuous Cultural Revolution. Economically backward and diplomatic isolated and yet Bush saw a future
rising power. As he famously bicycled around Beijing, the future U.S. President studied China firsthand.
VICTOR GAO, FORMER TRANSLATOR TO DENG XIAOPING: That's when he got to know the Chinese leaders, including Chairman Deng Xiaoping, and this helped him
in his many subsequent years of dealing with China.
WATSON: After a brief power struggle when Mao died, Deng took over, and launched economic reforms that would transform China. Victor Gao was his
translator. He remembers the rock star welcome Bush received when he stopped by Beijing in February 1989.
But a few months later, things took a dramatic turn. The Chinese military brutally crushed pro-democracy protesters, in Beijing and elsewhere,
killing hundreds, and perhaps thousands. The Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989 forced Bush to take a hardline stance.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We deplore the decision to use force and I now call on the Chinese leadership publicly as
I have in private channels to avoid violence and to return to their previous policy of restraint.
WATSON: But Bush's private channels proved instrumental. He saved bilateral ties from total collapse, by sending a secret envoy to Beijing to
keep top level communications open. President Bush took tough positions against China in those difficult days. However, he had the wisdom of the
long-term development of China/U.S. relations.
WATSON: For that, Deng and his successors appeared to still be grateful. Bush's last trip to China was with his son President George W. Bush during
the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
BUSH: I think it's good for the world to see China as it is. There is a lot of misunderstanding about China in the world and I think this game
helps lay some of those concerns. And so, it's very good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 41st President of the United States.
WATSON: That sentiment, in the eyes of many Chinese people, speaks to the true legacy of the 41st U.S. President. On what some call the world's most
important diplomatic relationship.
BUSH: And so, with no further ado, the President of the United States.
WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
[10:35:00] KINKADE: We're going back now to the funeral home in Houston, Texas, where family members are gathering to remove the casket of the late
President. We've just seen some pictures of Sully the service dog, the President's dog, coming out of the funeral home, and there we have it. The
casket of the 41st President of the United States. Let's listen in.
(LIVE PICTURES OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH'S CASKET BEING REMOVED FROM THE FUNERAL HOME IN HOUSTON, TEXAS)
You are be looking at live pictures of the funeral home in Houston, Texas, where the late President George H.W. Bush was, his casket is now being
removed. It will be going to a special flight, his last flight to Washington, D.C., which has been renamed as Special Air Mission 41, where
he will be departing. He's going to be lying in state for the next few days, where the public will be able to pay their respects, before there
will be two memorial services on Wednesday, in Washington. And then on Thursday, back in Houston.
We're just seeing some pictures of his family leaving the funeral home, making the final preparations. This of course was a President who served
for four years, but achieved a lot in those four years, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. He has been credited with helping with the
reunification of Germany and of course, his work to help end the cold war.
We've got two of our correspondents standing by, we've got our Ben Wedeman who joins us live from Beirut, and also our Frederik Pleitgen who joins us
from Moscow. And of course, I want to start with you first, Ben. Because this was a President who was considered probably the most credentialed of
anyone to enter the White House. He had a pretty impressive resume. He was a former navy pilot. He was a successful businessman, a U.N.
ambassador, a vice President, before becoming President. When it comes to the Middle East, where did he excel? And where did he fall short?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, certainly, most credentialed, there is no question about it, and certainly,
more credentialed than any of his successor. And certainly, the high point of his presidency in the Middle East was when he was able to cobble
together a large diplomatic political and military coalition to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, after Saddam Hussein invaded that country. The
ground war only took 100 hours. And he was able to quickly declare victory.
But in the seeds of that victory were the seeds of a disaster which was to come. He kept in place crippling sanctions on Iraq, after the Iraqi forces
were driven out of Kuwait. Those sanctions killed, according to some estimates, more than half a million Iraqi children. And that led to the
continuing deterioration of relations between the United States and Iraq, that culminated in 2003, and the invasion of that country.
[10:40:02] Something that President Bush senior was very much against in 1991. And of course, we are still living with the bitter harvest of that
2003 invasion, under his son. So, on the one hand, yes, he was a master of diplomacy, the likes of which the United States has not seen since. But in
the Middle East, one's victories today can become defeats in the future, as we've seen with the bitter experience of the people of Iraq under the,
after the American invasion and occupation -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Absolutely. And just for viewers who are just joining us, we're just looking at some live pictures right now of a procession, the casket,
of the late President, George H.W. Bush, the 41st President. Making his way from the funeral home in Houston, Texas, headed to an air base, where
he will make his final flight to Washington, D.C., where he will lay in state in the rotunda at the capitol, for the next few days. Where the
public will be able to pay their respects and honor him, and his work, and his legacy. And then there will be two memorial services on Wednesday, and
Thursday. Of course, we've already been hearing a lot of tributes from around the world. And I want to go to Fred Pleitgen for more on that.
Because when it comes to the reunification of Germany, he certainly was hailed as the architect of unity -- Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reunification of Germany, and if you will, at the end of a cold war, also
in Europe. And then also, of course the transformational processes that took place in the Soviet Union later with the Soviet Union falling apart.
Certainly, a major role there. And I think, Lynda, that there's three things as we're watching this vehicle go down that road, that really stand
out. I mean one of the things is you had two country, the Soviet Union and the United States, that have a lot of nuclear weapons pointed at one
And then at the same time, it was the Bush administration that understood that the Gorbachev administration could be a partner and a transformational
process that they saw coming. It took a lot of insight, it took a very analytical approach to make all that happen and certainly for cooler heads
to prevail. And then the second thing really is understanding these transformational processes that were taking place.
I can tell you, Lynda, from my experience, that when the Berlin Wall came down, there were very few people in Germany who believed that Germany would
be unified. People thought it would still be two countries. One still allied with the Soviet Union and one still allied with the West. It took
politicians with a vision, like George H.W. Bush, also of course like Helmut Kohl, like Mikhail Gorbachev to understand that these were larger
transformational processes that were taking place and that a lot more could be achieved.
And then finally, I would say -- and this is probably the biggest achievement in all and this goes to all of the leaders that were in power
at that time, is making everything happen in a peaceful way. We have to keep in mind, this was not just transformational processes that were taking
place in Germany. They were taking place all over Europe. There were east Germans fleeing to Hungary, fleeing to the Czech Republic. There were
uprisings in other places as well.
And we have to keep in mind, Lynda, that there were tens of thousands of Soviet troops that were still on the ground there, in Eastern Europe, and
certainly managing that process in a peaceful way, is something that I think no one in Europe will forget. And we're obviously, George H.W. Bush
played a major role with that cool and analytical approach about how to do things. And on top of that, I think that analytical approach, and not
gloating about the fact that the Soviet Union was falling apart, is something that certainly has gotten him a lot of respect here, where I am,
in Russia as well.
I want to read part of what Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, said after George H.W. passed away. He said quote, that George H.W. Bush has
expressed political wisdom and foresight, strove to make informed decisions even in the most difficult situations. George Bush senior has done a lot
to strengthen Russian/American cooperation on the issue of global security.
And if we look at relations between Russia and the United States today, that's not necessarily something you would expect a Russian leader to say
about a former American President -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Absolutely incredible. Fred Pleitgen for us in Moscow and Ben Wedeman in Beirut. Good to have both of you with us. For our viewer, we
will continue to follow this. You are looking at those live pictures of the casket of the 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Making his way from
the funeral home in Houston, Texas, to the air base, where he will fly to Washington, and lie in state ahead of the memorial services in the coming
days. We will stay on this story. We are going to take a quick break for now. Stay with us.
[10:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KINKADE: Welcome back. Right now, officials from almost 200 countries are on a mission to literally save the world. They're in Poland for major new
talks on climate change. Experts say water, food, and even the conditions needed to ensure peace and stability are all at risk. And there are huge
political challenges to, after the U.S. of course pulled out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. And public skepticism from Brazil's new leader.
Well from concerns about the climate, we turn now to pollution, of plastic. And of course, the stunning report out of Australia finding one solution to
our plastic problem may be incredibly simple. Three months ago, two major supermarket chains, said they would stop using plastic bags for customers.
Today, a report finds that plastic bag use has plunged by 80 percent. That's resulting in 1.5 billion less plastic bags than previously.
We've got a Marine biologist, Dr. Alistair Dove, to talk to us more about all of this. I want to get to the plastic bag problem in just a moment.
First, I want to talk about the climate change summit that is under way right now. It is of course, three years, since the Paris Climate Change
Accord. The U.S. has since pulled out of it. It seems, from an international perspective, we're going backwards.
ALISTAIR DOVE, VICE PRESIDENT, RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION, GEORGIA AQUARIUM: It does it. Is a bit frustrating. But climate change is a big and
complicated problem and it is going to require behavior change at all scales and on all country, everybody needs to do their part. And I'm
confident that in the end we will get there. And the question is will we get there quickly enough?
KINKADE: Yes, absolutely. We heard also from Sir David Attenborough, who is at this conference, representing the world's people. I just want to
play a little bit of sound from David Attenborough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, NATURALIST AND HISTORIAN: Right now, we're facing a manmade disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of
years. Climate change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Plastic bags killing 100,000 Marine animals per year. Of course, David Attenborough is one of the world's greatest animal lovers.
DOVE: My hero, yes.
KINKADE: Yes, he is incredible. But even he is desperately trying to reach out to world leaders, to try and get them to make a difference, to
get them to lead the way.
DOVE: Absolutely. He is talking both climate change and the plastic crisis in the oceans. And so, we got to see that all of these things are
connected together. Plastic comes from ultimately fossil fuels. So, the same problem that leads to climate change leads to the plastic problem that
we have. And so, these are global scale issues that everybody needs to tackle. And when voices like David Attenborough speak up, we should
listen, because he is talking about a very existential threat to the world.
KINKADE: We of course, have seen some countries take a lead on this. As I mentioned before, Australia has had two major supermarket chains completely
ban single use plastic bags. And as we've seen a report from the National Retailers Association there, they are seeing an 80 percent drop in use.
[10:50:00] And it has been since the middle of this year that they have this ban in place.
Kenya, of course, has its own laws. It's banning single use plastic completely. You can actually be fined if you go there. How important is
it for countries even if the U.S. does not take part, to kind of do their own bit here?
DOVE: Well, it takes action at all levels. So individual consumers can refuse plastic bags. Companies like Kohl's and Woolworths should be
applauded for making those kind of decisions. And then municipalities, states and whole countries can make decisions as well. Even though the
United States has not signed on in total, cities like Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, already have plastic bag bans. And there are states in
India that have banned plastic bags. And that the whole nation of China has seen a huge reduction in plastic bag consumption as well through
legislation that is designed to tackle this problem at every level from every angle.
KINKADE: So often, we have seen horrific pictures of turtles with plastic utensils in their nostril, or we've seen various wildlife, and the impact,
we are seeing big whales killed by tons of plastic in their stomach.
KINKADE: Talk to us about the impact on marine life.
DOVE: As a marine biologist, I see these things firsthand. I've seen the plastic on the beaches in the most remote islands in the world. And I
supervise a field station, the Georgia Aquarium Conservation and Field Station in Florida. Where unfortunately we've seen marine animals who wash
up, as you say, with their stomachs impacted with plastic. It is a reality of the world that we are living in, in the marine biology world now. The
plastic problem is ubiquitous. And we really need concerted action now.
KINKADE: In terms of concerted action, you mentioned that people can refuse plastic bags. Of course, plastic takes centuries to decompose.
What else could happen? Because we have seen some restaurant chains refuse to use plastic utensils, turning to wooden straws and things like that.
DOVE: It is easy for people to hate on straw bans. Because it seems like a trivial thing. Plastic straws, who cares. But actually, plastic straws
are one of the top ten items we find on beaches with we do ocean cleanups. So, it is a significant problem that needs to be addressed. So, consumers
can make their choices when they go to the supermarket. They can also apply pressure to their favorite brands when they go to a restaurant or so
on to talk about that, and they can apply pressure at the voting booth when they want to choose a government that is going to help them solve this
KINKADE: Absolutely. Dr. Alistair Dove always good to have you with us from the Georgia Aquarium. Thank you so much.
DOVE: You're welcome. Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, the fairy tale in New York for one British couple that went horribly wrong,
and how the NYPD helped save the day. We are going to have that story next.
KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, a wedding proposal gone wrong, in New York's Times Square, finally gets a happy ending.
[10:55:00] With some help from the police and a few thousand fairy god mothers on social media. It started with John and Daniela, when John got
down on one knee in Central Park, New York, and she said yes. He put the ring or tried to put the ring on her finger but pretty soon after, it fell
down the drain. Literally. And the ring just slipped off her finger and went down the grate. And you can see John desperately trying to retrieve
the ring but no luck. But thankfully, all is not lost. The NYPD found the ring, and put it on social media, and a great way for Twitter and the
followers, they helped track down the couple. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DET. JOSEPH BUCCHIGNANO, NEW YORK POLICE: Fortunately, it was actually kind of sitting on top of all that stuff, so it really wasn't that hard to
find, it was just small object like that amidst all of the garbage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Just 24 hours later, the British couple were located and now John and Daniela will be reunited with the ring once more. John was apparently
so convinced that he would never see that first ring again, he bought a new one. So lucky Daniela has two right now.
And that does it for this edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks so much for watching. See you next time.