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CONNECT THE WORLD
Sharp Losses Kickoff First Trading Day of 2019; Trump Against 2019 Tackling U.S. Government Closure; Romney Slams Trump's Character in Scathing Op-Ed; U.S. Citizen Detained in Russia on Spy Accusations; U.K. Foreign Secretary Looks East for Post-Split Prosperity; U.K. Steps up Migrant Patrols in English Channel; Netflix Pulls Show Episode in Saudi Arabia; Two Women Make History by Entering Hindu Temple; Victims of Forced Marriages Told to Pay Rescue Costs in U.K.; Space Buffs Find Beauty in Fuzzy Photo. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 2, 2019 - 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 live in Atlanta.
Right now investors in Wall Street are joining a worldwide stock sell-off. It is the first day of the trading in the new year, but lingering fears
over the global economy have traders spooked. Let's take a look at the Dow Jones right now, you can see it is tanking. It started down around 300
points, now down around 270. And of course, we've had a lot of drops right across the markets. Asian markets dropped following the release of another
weak economic report out of China. We're also seeing a similar picture in Europe. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange tracking
developments . And Alison, it's a new year but the same fears as last year.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the same fierce are certainly carrying over from 2018 to 2019. The good news of the morning is
stocks are off the lows of the session but still that sell-off continues. Because of those heightened worries about slowing global growth. And it
has a lot to do with that latest manufacturing report coming out of China, showing a contraction in the manufacturing sector, from November to
December. And the big problem here, it is not the first report showing contraction, it's the second in a week showing that China's huge
manufacturing sector is slowing down.
Ironically, President Trump had cheered when China's stock market was getting hit -- when China's economy was getting hit and the thinking that
he had was that his trade policy was working. But clearly, that's back- firing, because you're seeing the U.S. markets spooked right now, because of that slowdown that's happening there. And that adds to the cloud of
uncertainty on other issues related to China. That the U.S./China trade situation is still unresolved. The concerns about how that uncertainty of
this situation is going to hit U.S. companies.
We're getting earnings in just a few weeks' time, and the concern is, is that we're going to see a lot of what we saw the last earnings season where
we see these CEOs one after one talking about their concerns about the U.S./China trade policy weighing on their businesses.
And then of course, undercutting any hopes of really seeing a sustained rally is the uncertainty all around rising interest rates, and the fed's
monetary policy. Look, in 2018, it was a brutal year for stocks. We saw the S&P 500 for the year, in the negative, by 6 percent, the Dow down 5.6
percent and the Nasdaq down 3.9 percent. Those are annual figures. So, for anybody looking at their portfolios, if you're wondering why you're in
the negative, that is why. Because the major indices were in the red as well. It was the worst year since the financial crisis -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, a really, really tough year. So looking ahead at the next 12 months, Alison what can we expect?
KOSIK: I think that at this point, if you look at -- let's break it down to the next few weeks, I think you can expect to see a lot of volatility.
I think you're going to see investors really waiting to hear from CEOs who are going to be reporting their earnings soon. We think about it, each of
the companies that make up the stock market, those are actual companies that just do business, based on what, even what the headlines are, that the
U.S./China trade policy has a lot of impact on their bottom line. So I would say at least in the near term, expect a lot of volatility. Until
there's some certainty where that trade policy is, where the fed policy is -- Lynda.
KINKADE: All right, Alison Kosik at the Stock Exchange in New York, thanks so much.
The markets are just one problem facing President Trump in the New Year. For 12 days now, the government has been at a standstill. Hundreds of
thousands of federal workers are working without pay or not working at all. President Trump will meet with senior U.S. lawmakers from both parties at
the White House later today. It's the first bipartisan meeting since the shutdown began.
Well apart from the shutdown this year, Mr. Trump faces battles on multiple fronts. And as CNN's Stephen Collinson points out it is made all of the
more challenging by Democrats taking over the House later this week. Steven joins us now from Washington. Good to have you with us. Happy New
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Happy New Year.
KINKADE: Firstly, the shutdown. We know that the House and Senate will meet later this afternoon. What's the chance they will come up with an
agreement. Given that the President doesn't sound like he is willing to budge?
COLLINSON: Right, I think it's unlikely, Lynda. I think we're going to go through at least a few days of posturing by either side. President Trump
allowed the shutdown to happen because he wanted to ring $5 billion of border wall funding out of Congress.
[10:05:05] Democrats say that's not going to happen. By initiating the shutdown, the President was pandering by right wing conservative media
commentators. That means if he were to climb down now, he would still face a backlash from them. And as you say, Democrats take over the House of
Representatives on Thursday. They do not want their first action in government to be a climb-down to the President. So you can see, for
political reasons right now, there are not very many reasons why either side would budge. So I think we're going to, this is certainly going to go
for a little bit longer.
Democrats are going to pass one of their first bills in the House to reopen their government without wall funding. And the Senate -- the Republican
Senate is not going to move on that, because President Trump says he wouldn't sign it. So we're in a bit of an impasse, and both sides have
reasons, I think, to allow this to go on for some time.
KINKADE: As you say, President Trump wanting $5 billion in funding for that border wall. Whatever happened to Mexico paying for it? And why
aren't the Democrats bringing that up more?
COLLINSON: Right. Well, the President said it almost every single campaign rally, that Mexico would pay for the wall. Now, he wants U.S.
taxpayer cash to pay for it. He's trying to get around it by arguing that in the replacement deal for the North American Free Trade Agreement, with
Mexico, and Canada, Mexico is effectively paying for the wall because it has -- the U.S. has more advantageous trade conditions with Mexico. That's
clearly not true. But the fact that the President did repeatedly say that Mexico is going to pay for the wall, and a campaign environment is one of
the reasons why Democratic leaders face, you know, a great upswell of anger among their voters, and they've got no incentive to allow any money, even
if it is for border security, eventually, in any deal, to go towards paying for the wall. Because it is so central to President Trump's political
appeal to his own supporters.
KINKADE: And President Trump has had, been faced with a blistering attack by Republican Mitt Romney. In an op-ed -- I just want to alert our viewers
to a paragraph from that. He pointed out, in the "Washington Post," that Donald Trump's behavior, he said is evidence that he has not risen to the
mantle of the office after two years. We know that Mitt Romney is going to be sworn into the Senate this Thursday. What does this all mean? What is
Mitt Romney hoping to achieve here?
COLLINSON: It is very interesting timing as you say just before he is sworn in as the new senator from Utah on Thursday. I think it signals that
he intends to be an independent political force in Washington, within reason. That he doesn't see himself as one of the most junior members of
the Senate. That he has a profile that he built up as the Republican nominee fighting President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. I think we
should at least wait to see whether his sort of moral exception with President Trump is actually translated into votes against his agenda in the
Senate. I mean that will be the real acid test.
A lot of the previous senators who criticized Trump, Jeff Flake from Arizona, for example, who is now retired, largely voted along party lines
with the President in the Senate when push came to shove. So I think that's the real acid test. But of course, Romney being a high-profile
Republican personality, this is causing great waves in Washington. And there are inevitably going to be speculation about whether perhaps Romney
would use the Senate as a challenge to President Trump in a primary contest for the Republican nomination next year. That does seem somewhat unlikely
given the President's hold on the Republican grass roots. But it is certainly something that is worth watching.
KINKADE: It certainly is. All right, Stephen Collinson, love to watch this New Years, Happy New Year to you, thanks so much.
KINKADE: Well, Russia's foreign minister says it will allow U.S. officials to visit with a man accused of spying in Moscow. Paul Whelan was arrested
by Russia on Friday, accused of espionage. U.S. officials have been eager to speak with him. Whelan's family says they cannot figure out why he was
arrested. They say he is not a spy and was only in Russia for the wedding of a friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID WHELAN, BOTHER OF AMERICAN DETAINED IN RUSSIA: He was visiting Moscow for a wedding for a friend. And helping his friend, because Paul
had been to Russia before and could navigate Moscow and the sites. And so he was helping to squire some of the American tourists around who were part
of the wedding party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: So we have several angles on this story. CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow and our Martin Savidge is in Paul Whelan's hometown near Detroit,
[10:10:05] Good to have you both with us. I will start with you, first, Martin. Because it's interesting to hear more from the family. We've
heard the interviews today from his twin brother. We know that he was a retired Marine. He worked in corporate security. But what specifically
did he say when he was asked about whether he is a spy?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, the family denies that they say that there is nothing in his history. There is nothing in his
character that in any way would suggest that he is a spy or has had some sort of espionage or clandestine nature to his visits to Russia. So, they
just find the whole thing ludicrous. They actually believe that in some way he is being used as a pawn in some kind of showdown between the United
States and Russia, for whatever reason that may be.
It's also interesting to note though that you get insight as to his interest in Russia and it dates all the way back to 2006. That's his first
recorded visit. He was actually a Marine in the U.S. -- serving in the U.S. Marines. He was in Iraq and had leave and he went to Moscow. And
then on VK -- that's the social media site in Russia. He posts that one of the reasons he was fascinated with Russia was that he grew up during the
Cold War. Wanted to see what this former adversary was like and it turns out apparently meeting the people, getting to know the culture, he grew to
very much like Russia. And he's been back there many times since both professionally, and for personal reasons. Most recently the wedding, as
his family says. So that's the insight we have.
KINKADE: It is quite interesting, Martin, you raised that social media site, that he was a part of in Russia, even though his family says he only
went to Russia a few times. He was quite active on that site.
SAVIDGE: He was. I mean, it goes back to 2006. Which is when that site began. I think he's got like 70 friends that he's connected to, if that's
the way they refer to it and at least four people who are following. Some of them are military contacts. He's got a lot of pictures of himself
traveling around the world. As we do with his job as global security analyst. And he would make these kind of connections because you would in
that kind of business, want to reach out to others who have a similar kind of job around the world. I believe the family talks about this web site,
and here's how they explain it.
OK. Then I am mistaken. They did talk about it. What they basically said is they were wary of the web site. They didn't see he anything suspicious
to it. They do believe that the reason he had it was for both professional and for personal reasons. He wanted to make friends. He wanted to make
contacts. And the last posting that was on that website was to say he was on his way to Moscow. Next stop. Whether that was any kind of tipoff to
Russian authorities, yet to be known.
KINKADE: All right, Martin, just standby for us. I want to go to Matthew. Because there is some concern about whether this could be retribution for
the way a Russian woman, Maria Butina has been treated. She was of course, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And the timing of this detention of Paul Whelan has been seen by many observers
of the situation to be somewhat suspicious. Because Maria Butina pleaded guilty just a couple of weeks ago to conspiracy. As you say, after U.S.
prosecutors accused her of attempting to infiltrate conservative groups in the United States, the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party.
In order to influence prominent Americans who are members of those organizations.
The Kremlin was absolutely furious about that, and about the whole kind of allegations against her, because they say she was not a spy, not involved
in espionage and was unknown to the Russian intelligence services. And it's something that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, spoke about
frequently. He spoke about it a couple of weeks ago, not even that long ag ago, at the annual news conference. In which he said, that, you know, the
rules of retribution will not be applied in this case. He said we're not going to arrest any innocent person in an attempt to trade them with
Butina. I'm slightly paraphrasing what he said but that is the sense of it.
Yet here we are in the first days of 2019 with a situation that has emerged. Paul Whelan in custody, accused of espionage, the FSB said he was
caught spying and the speculation now is that this may all be a setup for some kind of prisoner swap in the future to get Butina back here to Moscow.
But it is just a speculation at this point -- Lynda.
KINKADE: And Matthew, we did hear from the Secretary -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, earlier today, who said so far U.S. officials have been
denied access to Mr. Whelan. But it sounds like there could be some sort of meeting happening soon. Any indication of when?
[10:15:00] CHANCE: Well, I mean within the past hour, I've been in contact with the Russian foreign ministry, and they've said to me that actually
that counselor visit that was requested, demanded by the United States had already taken place. That would've taken place about two hours ago,
according to what the foreign minister spokeswoman, Maria Zahharova, said to me by text message. Yet, we've no confirmation, either from the
Foreign Ministry, or of course from U.S. officials I've been in touch with, the U.S. Embassy here in Moscow. To see whether they could confirm that or
they could report back to us on what the condition was of Paul Whelan. Which is, of course, one of the main reasons they engage in these kind of
counselor visits in situations like this. And that they've just not been able to give me any more information. So I think we're waiting for an
official announcement from the State Department in Washington, from the Secretary of State himself, perhaps, to get a real clear read on what was
actually -- what the condition of Paul Whelan is and the circumstances perhaps of his detention. At the moment there are big question marks
hanging over both of those things -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, big question marks and a lot of focus on this case. Matthew Chance for us in Moscow, and Martin Savidge near Detroit, Michigan. Thanks
so much to you both.
Well, still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, looking East for answers. The U.K.'s top diplomat is in Singapore and he's seeking solutions there
for Britain's Brexit conundrum.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well the new year holds many old challenges for the United Kingdom. The U.K. is less than three months away from the date it's set to leave the
European Union. But there's still plenty of confusion around how it plans to do that. The British foreign secretary is looking East. Jeremy Hunt is
in Singapore. It's a place he says Britain can learn lessons from over Brexit. Well, our Nina dos Santos joins us now from London for more on all
[10:20:00] So, the Brexit foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says the U.K. can learn from this Asian city. What is he hoping to emulate?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially Jeremy Hunt remember was a "Remainer" going into the referendum a couple of years ago. But now
is having to burnish his pro-Brexit credentials to please both sides of the party. Because he's not just the foreign secretary, he is also somebody
who is touted as a potential successor to Theresa May. Even though, of course, she is now in place for the next 12 months after winning that vote
of confidence at the end of last year.
So essentially here what he is doing is saying that Singapore is somewhere where the country has managed to make a success of becoming independent.
Singapore became independent back in 1965, separating from Malaysia at the time. Not by its own volition, was actually forced into the predicament.
Unlike the U.K. that voluntarily decided to leave the EU, he said. But it still managed to become the eighth richest country in the world on a per
capita basis. And so, he's saying via the types of models Singapore has the U.K. can try and emulate some of these and make a success of it. It's
got taxation, low regulation, it's investing in the long-term in things like education and smart cities.
Of course, there are some aspects of Singapore's city status that don't really work for the United Kingdom. It's the 39th largest economy in the
world. Compare that to the fifth largest economy in the world for the U.K. And so, many people are saying that they're slightly perplexed that Jeremy
Hunt would choose as current foreign secretary to try to compare the U.K. to Singapore, after of course the U.K. were to leave the EU. That would
also be terribly alarmist for people in Brussels who might fear the U.K. would be willing to create a low tax haven just miles offshore on the other
side of the channel -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Certainly a worry for Europe when it comes to that. In terms of what Theresa May is facing the next couple of weeks, we know MP's have to
vote on her Brexit plan in two weeks' time. It was initially delayed. That vote was delayed because she didn't have the numbers. Is she any
closer to pushing that through now?
DOS SANTOS: Well, it's not looking entirely clear that she is. Jeremy Hunt addressed this in his speech, saying that he still felt that she had a
good chance of trying to get that deal through in some fashion. Whether or not she could get some kind of slightly modified deal through, with
amendments that he didn't go into the details about. What he was very emphatic about, is that he did not believe that a second referendum --
although polls show that appetite for a second referendum is growing on both sides of the political spectrum, and among the broader populist. He
did not believe that was the right thing to do. Because he said essentially the British people could lose faith in the democratic system.
The idea being that the U.K. asks its people what they think, and then doesn't listen to them. He was quite emphatic in this comment here if you
take a listen to what he said a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We are a democracy. We have been given our instructions by the British people. They've asked us to leave
the European Union. And they are expecting us to get on with that. And if we went back to them, and asked their opinion a second time, they would
say, well, you guys aren't listening to us. And you are going to ask us a third time or fourth time until you get the answer you want. And if that's
the case, then that's not a democracy at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: He also said that there were no easy answers and handing more power to Parliament sounded like an easy answer on paper but would be very,
very difficult. A game lender, he faced criticism for deciding to talk about democracy and the virtues of maintaining the British established
democratic system in a country that is relatively youthful to a democratic system like Singapore. He faced some pushback from the audience on that in
particular. So, a speech of contradictions here, but also, Jeremy Hunt using this to burnish those global credentials for a global Britain after
it leaves the EU. It's part of a three-day tour of Asia. And tomorrow he will be heading towards Malaysia. Back to you.
KINKADE: All right, no doubt, we will hear from you again soon. Nina dos Santos, thanks for joining us from London.
Well high winds may be to blame for a train crash in Denmark that left six people killed and injured 16 others. It happened on a bridge between two
islands. An eyewitness tells CNN that a crowded passenger team ran into a container that had blown off a freight train. The severe winds certainly
made it very difficult for rescuers to reach the scene but all passengers have been evacuated.
Let's bring in meteorologist Chad Myers. So, Chad, a storm it seems is responsible for this horrific tragic accident. And it sounds like those
high winds are still playing havoc as investigators try to work on the scene.
[10:25:00] CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They are moving away now, Lynda. They're a little bit farther to the east but winds are still gusting
somewhere in the 60 kilometer per hour. When this happened, we were up to about 113 kilometers per hour with that wind.
This is a picture here, from the time that it happened. You'll notice here that the waves are crashing, even the birds are having trouble flying here.
And this is the little passenger train that did have the collision with that cargo coming off of the other train. Going the other direction on the
So what we had is a low pressure to the east and high pressure to the west, and right in between, that little dot right there, that is where the
accident occurred. Very windy conditions not only because of the low and high so close together, but this is the time of the year we get gusty winds
across this part of the world.
But also what happened here, was that there's a wind, kind of almost a tunnel, or a lack of any friction, because you're over the water. So right
in between here is where the wind really, really picked up. I'm going to zoom you in here and you're going to see that this area right through here,
the bridge is right, there it had no friction whatsoever, and that's why the winds got so strong. And that's what we had, this accident because of
that -- Lynda.
KINKADE: All right, Chad Myers for us, thanks so much for explaining all of that.
We're live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. That Brexit deadline we told you about a moment ago is having a big effect on migration.
Desperate people are making a dangerous journey for a chance at a new and better life. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KINKADE: Welcome back. Back to our top story now. Here's what is happening on Wall Street. You can see a sea of red, down just over 200
points right now. U.S. investors hitting the sell button with stocks sharply lower. And, of course, it follows from market losses in Asia and
Europe. There are still lingering concerns over the global economy. The first trading day today of the new year.
Well, as U.S. lawmakers in Washington argue over border security, and paying for Donald Trump's wall, there was an actual clash on the southern
border near Tijuana, Mexico. U.S. agents using tear gas and pepper spray, on more than 100 migrants who were trying to enter the country illegally.
A government spokeswoman says some of the migrants were throwing rocks while others were lifting children over razor-edged wire. U.S. border
patrol says it's investigating the incident.
Well, across the Atlantic, Britain is putting more patrol ships in the channel, in an effort to stem the tide of migrants attempting to cross from
France into the U.K. British authorities say criminal gangs are stepping up efforts to bring migrants to England, ahead of Brexit outs of fears that
the British border security will be stepped up once the country leaves the EU. Well, CNN's Melissa Bell joins me now from Paris, and these migrants
are despite the winter weather attempting to make this pretty risky crossing.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary attempt, when you stand on the northern beaches of France, Lynda, and you consider the idea
of getting into a dinghy on those waters, across the channel, it seems properly terrifying. And yet they have been doing it in greater and
greater numbers. The overall numbers remain fairly small when you consider the amount of asylum applications that are made to the United Kingdom every
year. But still, this is something that French coast guard have told us they were simply not equipped to deal with. And when you consider the
dangers that the migrants face as they attempt the crossing. And 240 have made it, Lynda, since November and applied for asylum in the United Kingdom
having crossed on those dinghies. When you consider the dangers that they face and how difficult this crossing is, it seems extraordinary that any
should make it at all.
BELL: (voice-over): 12 Iranian migrants intercepted by British border force officials just as they made it to shore. Others have been rescued
further out to sea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old is your daughter? How old?
BELL: And in greater and greater numbers.
In 2018, 539 migrants tried to reach Britain on small boats. 80 percent of those attempted were made in the last three months of the year, according
to the British home office. On Monday, the home secretary held a press conference, having cut short his holiday.
SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: I want to send a very strong signal to people who do think about making this journey, is that we will do
everything we can to make sure it is not a success.
BELL: The home secretary said that two extra border force boats would be brought from the Mediterranean to the channel and that greater cooperation
would be sought with the French. Already the French coast guard has redoubled its patrols and now says it is rescuing migrants every day.
INGRID PARROT, SPOKESWOMAN, FRENCH COAST GUARD: The risk before, when we found them, they are in this state of hyperthermia, and also, they are just
so frightened, because we thought that we don't want a corpse on the beach or to have a collision with a big boat.
BELL (on camera): This is the part of the French coast that is the closest to England. From here, you can see the Cliffs of Dover. It's only 17
nautical miles across. And so it is from these beaches, from this part of the coast, that the migrants set off, in whatever they can find. In
fishing boats, in dinghies, and sometimes even in kayaks.
(voice-over): It was with a dinghy that Ahmed tried and failed not once but twice. He spoke to us from the woods of northern France, that he calls
the jungle, he told us, that the risk was worth it.
AHMED, IRANIAN MIGRANT: Not controlled. You can go to England, two hours, three hours if you have a motor, strong motor you can go.
BELL (on camera): But there are big ships. There are waves. There are currents. It's very dangerous. You could die in the water.
AHMED: Yes, I know. But to die is better than life in the jungle.
BELL (voice-over): Ahmed left Iran more than two years ago. More recently, fellow Iranians have been arriving in greater numbers say aid
worker, speaking of economic hardship and political persecution.
[10:35:02] All are in a hurry to get across.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the new year's, the U.K. leave the Europe and the police and everything is going to be hard, and no one can go to the
BELL: Which means a worsening struggle for the French and British coast guards as they seek to rescue migrants from waters so cold, that no one
could survive them for more than an hour.
BELL: So far, say the French coast guard, they believe that there have been no deaths as a result of these attempted crossings. What there have
been, have been a growing number of distress call, and as you saw in the report, increasing number of often Iranians actually making it to the other
side. But with March 29 looming and this firm believe that many of them have that they need to get across quickly and before Brexit happen, this is
something that is likely only to get worse -- Lynda.
KINKADE: All right, we will be following it closely. Melissa Bell for us in Paris, thanks so much.
Well, Saudi Arabia seems to have flexed, its muscles over a show from entertainment giant, Netflix. The video streaming service pulled an
episode of a comedy show in the kingdom after complaints from Saudi officials. The episode of "Patriot Act" with Hasan Minhaj was sharply
critical of the Saudi government over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as the war in Yemen. Minhaj also took on the Saudi Crown
Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, directly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN MINHAJ, HOST, "PATRIOT ACT WITH HASAN MINHAJ": And it blows my mind that it took the killing of a "Washington Post" journalist for everyone to
go, oh, I guess he is really not a reformer. Meanwhile, every Muslim person you know was like yes, no [BLEEP]. He is the crown prince of Saudi
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Our business reporter Hadas Gold is tracking the story. Joining us live from London. Hadas, what exactly did the comedian say that hasn't
been said before.
HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: So, Lynda, in this 18-minute episode of Hasan Minhaj "Patriot Act" show, he went hard against Saudi Arabia over
everything from, as you heard, the Crown Prince to human rights, the war in Yemen, arms sales, freedom of speech. And also how they control some of
Islam's holiest sites like Mecca and how that -- he said that's part of the reason why he believes so many countries bend to their will as well as
their oil control obviously.
But what happened here is this show was originally aired, originally put on Netflix in October and only a few weeks ago, Netflix said that they
referred actually a legal complaint from Saudi Arabia. Netflix has been pretty clear to say this wasn't just some government request. This was
sort of a legal complaint that was sent to them and that's why they said they had to pull this episode.
I'll read you a bit of Netflix's statement. They said, we strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only remove this episode in Saudi Arabia,
after we had received a valid legal request, and to comply with local law.
But human rights groups around the world have condemned this. They have condemned what they said is Netflix's bowing to Saudi control. But is a
balancing act that a lot of these internet giants like Netflix, like Google, have to contend with, is if they want to have this global reach,
this global dominance, they want to operate, everywhere without borders, they still have to contend with the borders of law. And if they want to
continue to exist in these countries, then they have to comply with whatever legal requests may come their way.
Now Netflix has said that actually this episode is still available on YouTube, in Saudi Arabia, and it is obviously still available on Netflix
around the world. And other episodes from Hasan Minhaj, from his show, where he also criticizes Saudi Arabia, are still on Netflix, and Saudi
Arabians can still go see them. But removing this episode is one of the first times that Netflix has really come into the global spotlight for
having to remove content in order to satisfy another country's government.
KINKADE: Yes, certainly a difficult position to be in. But Saudi officials didn't just request this. They did threaten Netflix with
prosecution. On what grounds?
GOLD: So the law that they said that this episode violated is Article Six of Saudi Arabia's anti-cybercrime law. And what it says is that law
prohibits impinging on public order, religious value, public morals and privacy. And that's what they said this episode went after. They didn't,
we don't know exactly what specific lines or specific comments, they said validated that act, but I mean, you can just watch it and understand why
they might not like the comments that Hasan Minhaj made in that episode. I mean it absolutely attacked everything Saudi Arabia, its government, the
crown prince, its arm sales, the war in Yemen, there was a lot in there. But Netflix had to, they said, comply with this, otherwise they could risk
not only the legal fines and potential imprisonment that this law carries, but also its future business deals in a country like Saudi Arabia.
[10:40:02] And Netflix has its eyes on even greater international expansion in the next years and this is something that they're probably going to run
into more and more in other countries that have harsher controls on things like freedom of speech.
KINKADE: Absolutely. All right, Hadas Gold for us in London, thank you.
GOLD: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, an historic day at a Hindu temple. Thousands stand united to break
the chains of a centuries old ban on women. How? By making a chain of their own. .
Plus, a new investigation reveals shocking details about British women forced into marriage overseas. Why these victims are being made to pay for
their own rescue. We'll have that coming up.
KINKADE: Welcome back. Religious conservatives in India are outraged after two women accompanied by police entered a Hindu shrine in Kerala
State traditionally close to females between the ages of 10 and 50. India's Supreme Court had overturned that ban in September, but that of
course has not muted the controversy.
On Tuesday, millions of women demanding access to the temple formed a human chain, extending hundreds of kilometers. Well, today, police used tear
gas, and water cannons, to separate demonstrators on both sides. Those protests happened outside government buildings, in Kerala's capital city.
Nikhil Kumar joins we from New Delhi with more on all of this. And, Nikhil, certainly history being made in Kerala with these two women
entering the temple. Pretty much despite a ban, which had been there for centuries.
NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: That's right, Lynda, history has definitely been made today in Kerala, early Wednesday morning, before day
break, is when these two women went in with police, who were in plain clothes, the ones who accompanied them. And they made history but the
debate nonetheless continues. There are still many people, many devotees among them, many women, who argue that the courts have no business
intervening in this area. They say that this is a matter of religion. This is a matter of tradition, a matter of faith. A line that incidentally
is also echoed by the country's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and his political party. And many other politicians who say that this is not a
place for the courts to intervene.
Many, many disagree. Among them, many devotee who are men as well. Who say that, no, at the end of the day this boils down to gender equality.
And this doesn't end today. Because these two women entered today.
[10:45:00] The controversy continues. The temple was shut for a brief period after the fact that it had come to light, for purification rituals
as the priest calls them. And the whole thing goes back to court at the end of the month. On the 22nd of January, the Supreme Court will hear
petitions calling on it to revise its orders. So the debate, the controversy continues -- Lynda.
It certainly does. Nikhil Kumar, we will stay on this story. Good to have you with us. Thanks so much.
Well, a shocking investigation by a British newspaper has some members of Parliament crying foul. The "Times" reports that British women sent
overseas by their families and forced into unwanted marriages are being asked to repay their rescue costs. The U.K. foreign office says all adults
in difficulty abroad must fund their own repatriation. One British lawmaker calling the practice immoral. Jasvinder Sanghera is also a
survivor of forced marriage. She founded the charity, Karma Nirvana, which supports both men and women affected by honor based abused and forced
marriages. And she joins us now from Leeds, England. Good to have you with us. Thanks so much for your time.
JASVINDER SANGHERA, SURVIVOR OF FORCED MARRIAGE (via Skype): Good to be here.
KINKADE: Before I get your reaction from all of this, tell our viewers what you went through. How old when you were entered a forced marriage?
SANGHERA: Well, I was born in England. I am one of seven sisters and I watched the majority of my sisters being taken out of the British classroom
at the age of 15 to marry a man in a photograph. They were taking out of the country to India and forced to marry that stranger. I was 14 years old
when my mother sat me down as she presented me with the photograph of a man, I was to learn I was promised to him at the age of eight. And I was
taking out of education at the age of 15 1/2, held a prisoner in my own home until I agreed to that marriage. I did finally agree. Purely to plan
my escape. I actually ran away from home at the age of 16 years old. And my family's view was that I was not allowed to go back home, I was dead in
their eyes, unless I came back and married that man. I chose not to go back. And I have been disowned for 38 years. And my youngest sister was
actually forced to marry that man.
KINKADE: Wow. Unbelievable. We of course, I mean we have been reading about some other cases of British women, even last year, four women that
were sent to Somalia, that were found whipped with hose, pipes, chained to a wall, forced into marriage. And then they were finally rescued but had
to repay 740 pounds each. I can't recall many instances where the victim is being punished again. What do you make of this?
SANGHERA: Well, I have to say, it is absolutely appalling, because when you look at this individual, this is not somebody who is traveling abroad
and is stranded due to their own fault, as it were. They have been taken against their will. They have been held prisoner, kidnapped, abducted, you
know, this is not their own doing. And they have raised the alarm bell and sought the support of the British Embassy, and in seeking that support,
they're asking for help, in a destitute place.
It is not right morally, neither was it compassionate to expect a victim of crime -- and they are victim of crime -- to have to pay for their safe
return back to the U.K. for that protection. It is appalling I have to say. And let's not forget, that victim is already psychologically
disturbed or traumatized, physically abused. And also, when they return back to the U.K., they are financially destitute. They will be homeless.
They will be in refuge provision. They will be living at risk from life from family members. And the list goes on and on.
To put an additional financial burden on them, which incidentally during that time their passport is confiscated from them. If they don't pay that
money back within six months, there is a surcharge put on top of that. To have to also have that on top of everything else I think is appalling and
it needs to be scrapped.
KINKADE: It certainly does. So how do you think that should come about? Because we know Theresa May says her government is working to try to secure
a better future for the thousands that are at risk.
SANGHERA: Yes. You see, I've been a survivor of forced marriage for 38 years. The forced marriage unit dealt with over 1,198 reports of forced
marriages to their government office. Our charity deals with over 80 calls a month. This is a real issue for British systems and internationally.
The thing about the issue of victims having to fund their own protection coming back has been an issue we have been raising for eight years now. So
it is not something government didn't know about. But my guess is, ministers are not aware of this. It really has been brought to the
attention today. So I hope the foreign secretary and the home office talk to each other, and they think about claiming that money back from the
[10:50:00] Forced marriage is a criminal offense. Victims did not ask to be put in that position, and the government should be seeking the money
from the perpetrators. And also seeking prosecutions.
KINKADE: Absolutely. Jasvinder Sanghera, I wish we had more time. It is a fascinating discussion. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective
SANGHERA: Thank you.
KINKADE: We're live from Atlanta. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, why an out of world -- why this image really is out of this world. And it
is drawing universal amazement. Stay with us.
KINKADE: Welcome back. We are now to our parting shots. We're waiting for more images from the New Horizon spacecraft. That's the NASA probe
that's travelled a record-breaking 4 billion miles to the edge of our solar system. Well the first image is being described as a pixelated blob, that
is how Jeanne Moos reports, it's still providing inspiration.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The kid in the astronaut suit is a dead give-away that this isn't a new year's countdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two, one.
MOOS: It happened about half an hour after 2019 arrived. A spacecraft named New Horizons did a fly-by past the most distant and most ancient
object ever reached by human kind and the scientists couldn't wipe the grins off their faces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really liking this 2019 thing so far.
MOOS: It took 13 years to get here. It is a billion miles past Pluto. Wail until you see it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is OK to laugh but it is better than the one we had yesterday.
MOOS (on camera): Yes, they're applauding what looks like a blurry dental x-ray, Ultima Thule, meaning a distant place beyond the borders of the
(voice-over): It's a rocky lump preserved in frigid temperatures. Sort of solar system time capsule. But that shape?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bowling pin or a peanut. Sort of looks like a peanut to me.
MOOS: It was compared to Olaf the snowman from "Frozen". Someone tweeted looks like a jellybean. But the voyage to this jelly bean has inspired a
song by a world-famous guitarist.
QUEEN, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, EMU: We are the champions
MOOS: Brian May, the lead guitarist for Queen, now has a Ph.D. in astrophysics, white hair and a soft spot for the New Horizons mission.
DUCK PRODUCTIONS, NEW HORIZONS ULTIMA THULE MIX: New Horizons can take your breath away.
MOOS: New horizons is also taking away the ashes of the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, got to fly right by it. It will take weeks for
the highest resolution close-ups of Ultima to arrive.
[10:55:00] Someone's pet was posed, awaiting image, signal enhancing dish deployed, while others enjoyed imagining images. Who needs the man on the
moon when you have the man in the Ultima Thule.
EMU, " BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY": I see a little silhouette of a man.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
KINKADE: That song is going to be in my head all day now.
From outer space to cyberspace, you can catch up on all of the stories we've been covering this hour by heading over to our Facebook page. That
is at Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. A very happy new year to you from our team in Atlanta and our colleagues in Abu Dhabi and London.
Thanks so much for watching. The news continues right here on CNN. The "IDESK" with Robyn Curnow is up next. Stay with us.