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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Pelosi Says Trump's Family and Aides Should Stage an Intervention; Trump Is Refusing to Work with Democrats; Incumbent Modi Claims Landslide Victory; UK Prime Minister Facing Resignation Pressure; 29 Tornadoes Reported in Central U.S.; American Taliban Released from Prison; Botswana Lifts Ban on Elephant Hunting. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 23, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN London on this Thursday. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I pray for the President of the United States. I wish his family or his administration or his staff would have an
intervention for the good of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The feud between President Trump and the Democrats is getting uglier. Also this hour, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, claims a
landslide victory in the biggest election in the world. What does it mean for the future of the country?
And in the firing line, Botswana lifts the ban on hunting elephants.
The squabble between top Democrats and President Trump has devolved to school yard taunting. But the stakes are very high. The U.S. President
took to Twitter a few hours ago to call Democrats "the do nothing party." That after he stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday
and said he would not work with them at all until they stop investigating him. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she's worried about Trump's well
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: The White House is just crying out for impeachment. That's why he flipped yesterday. Because he was hoping -- because he was somehow or
another you all have a story that isn't real. You want to believe that there's all this unease in our caucus, that simply isn't the truth. I pray
for the President of the United States. I wish his family or his administration or staff would have an intervention for the good of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's take a look at both sides of this fight. Sarah Westwood is at the White House. Sunlen Serfaty is on Capitol Hill. Sunlen, Nancy
Pelosi is basically saying the President needs help.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She absolutely is, Hala, those were pretty remarkable words from the Speaker of the House this
morning, and really underscores how this battle between House Democrats and the President has essentially reached a whole new level. Just remarkable
words when she said he was throwing a temper tantrum last night, yesterday with all of the antics in the Oval Office.
He and his family or staff should have an intervention she says for the good of the country. And she said that she thinks everything is truly
rattling him, of what's going on in Washington now. That, of course, an obvious reference to the many, many investigations the House side of
Capitol Hill are launching looking into his finances. Calling for his taxes. Obviously doing follow-up on the Mueller report.
She's suggesting that all of this pressure is getting to him, and shaking him. And that's certainly is a remarkable statement coming from the
Speaker of the House. A remarkable moment coming after that botched meeting in the Oval Office yesterday where Nancy Pelosi certainly feels
that they came out with the upper hand, and feels at least for this moment -- the moment in Washington is really stopped the bleeding, essentially
within her party to call for impeachment.
She continues to say that that's not the path we should go on, and she repeated that this morning. She said, the White House is just crying out
for impeachment, but she said that Democrats should continue to hold back unless it's unavoidable. So she's being very clear here, Hala, that her
strategy, her political strategy at the moment is keeping up these investigations, staying down that path and not pushing for impeachment
because she feels that's what President Trump wants.
GORANI: Right, but she is getting some pressure applied on her by members of her own party. Sarah Westwood, any response to this latest Pelosi
statement saying that the President needs an intervention for the good of the country?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Hala, President Trump has been tweeting throughout the day about Democrats. Clearly what happened
yesterday in Speaker Pelosi's comments about him being engaged in a cover- up, that is still very much bothering the President. Our sources tell CNN that the President for now believes he has the upper hand in his
positioning. This is a contrast that he planned to draw during his campaign.
We had started to see him make this argument that Democrats are more interested in investigating than governing, but now he's sort of forcing a
false binary choice on Democrats, saying they can only do one or the other. There are some fears on Capitol Hill because the White House will need to
be engaged in some upcoming important legislative items like a budget caps deal, like raising the debt ceiling. Appropriations things, there are
hopes this could be a temporary ultimatum from the President, but he's showing no signs of backing down.
[14:05:03] And in fact, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said this morning that the White House is reviewing different ways that the President
could pursue his agenda items like lowering drug prices, like passing a trade deal, administratively using executive actions. But the President
does plan to hold fast to this idea that he can't work with Democrats while they are also investigating him, then he's going to have to look at other
ways of advancing his agenda or risk not having any more accomplishments until his re-election, Hala.
GORANI: Well, yes, executive action is one avenue, certainly it's not -- he needs to certainly have Congress on his side especially with the
Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives. And I guess, Sunlen, the question is, this meeting that he stormed out of and then, you know,
ranted in the Rose Garden with that placard pinned to the lectern, is this going to be rescheduled? Is there any hope the two sides will come
together in a civil way?
SERFATY: That's a very good question. I think we just don't know at this moment. I think we saw at least from Nancy Pelosi's perspective what she
would like to do. Keep in mind that meeting was originally scheduled to be on infrastructure, that Oval Office meeting, although President Trump
blaming that meeting essentially being cancelled that he stormed out of on the fact that Nancy Pelosi said you know the President Trump was engaged in
a cover-up, the fact that they had that caucus meeting where they talked about impeachment.
Publicly the White House blaming that on the meeting being cancelled on those two elements. But a lot of Democrats up here on Capitol Hill arguing
that the meeting was essentially cancelled because the White House just needed a way out of infrastructure. They had not figured out a ploy to pay
for the plan that they wanted. And they needed a convenient excuse as Chuck Schumer called it, in an elegant way to get out of infrastructure.
Nancy Pelosi this morning saying, look we can walk and chew gum at the same time, we can deal with investigations and potentially work on areas where
there's bipartisanship, but certainly this tension right now does not help that at all.
GORANI: Sunlen Serfaty on Capitol Hill. Sarah Westwood at the White House, thanks so much to both of you. By the way, the backdrop to all of
this, and the U.S. President for many months touted the Dow Jones industrial average's big rise over several months. Now it's really losing
ground. Because there's a lot of nervousness about this China/U.S. trade war, the Dow is down more than 400 points currently at 25,356. Concerns
that tensions will not abate any time soon.
India's Prime Minister has claimed a landslide victory to defying even the expectations of his own party. Narendra Modi's BJP is poised to win the
country's six-week long general election. The main opposition Congress Party has conceded defeat. And world leaders are congratulating the Prime
Minister on his re-election. Now remember this contest directly affects more than a billion people. Almost twice as many as those voting in Europe
over the next few days. And these elections have in many ways been seen as a referendum on Mr. Modi's politics as Sam Kiley reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An historic victory. Indeed, a landslide for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
Narendra Modi now set for a second five-year term as Prime Minister of the world's biggest democracy.
NARENDRA MODI, RE-ELECTED PRIME MINISTER, INDIA (through translator): You have seen it from 2014 to 2019, the people who used to talk about
secularism have now gone quiet. In this election, not one political party has been able to deceive the people of India by wearing the label of
KILEY: Some 600 million people voted over a five-week period in 542 constituencies. The number of journalists here outside the BJP party
headquarters is actually higher than the numbers of people celebrating the Modi victory. Perhaps because it was seen that the incumbent Prime
Minister's victory would be a forgone conclusion. His challenge now is to unite a country that is increasingly divided.
His popularity falling six months ago. Modi regained the political initiative in February, when he ordered air strikes against alleged
terrorist camps inside Pakistan, in retaliation for an Islamist attack on Indian forces in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Since then he's
ignored economic issues in favor of projecting himself as India's tough guy. Chowkidar, the watchman.
[14:10:00] Now India's 200 million Muslims who probably flooded to the secular Indian Congress Party have a dwindling voice. As the Congress
barely survived as a credible opposition.
YAMINI AIYAR, POLITICAL ANALYST: Forces have been unleashed and these forces are most certainly going to at any rate pursue the majoritarian
agenda in our polity and in our society.
KILEY: Re-elected on a populist platform, Modi's natural allies around the world were quick to congratulate him. First was Israel's Benjamin
Netanyahu then Russia's Vladimir Putin. Old enemy Pakistan, meanwhile, seemed almost to vindicate support for Modi. Launching a Shaheen-II
missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead 200 kilometers in a training exercise. Sam Kiley, CNN New Delhi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So as Sam reported there are many key issues in this election, including the economy, national security as well. But it seems weakness of
the opposition was also potentially a factor. What does this mean for Modi's agenda going forward? Let's get into this with Bobby Ghosh. He is
here in the studio with us. Thanks for very much for joining us.
BOBBY GHOSH, EDITOR AND EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, "BLOOMBERG": Anytime
GORANI: Is this an endorsement then of the Prime Minister, Modi's nationalist agenda here?
GHOSH: There's no question. The entire election this time around, was about identity. It was about identity of Modi himself and the identity of
how India sees itself. And the identity defined by Modi and his party was that of Hindu nationalist identity. There was no effort to soften this
with talk of economic opportunity, equality for all. This was very strident and it has won an overwhelming mandate -- this is how Indians see
themselves, this is now Modi's India.
GORANI: Because there was a promise in the past of an economic miracle.
GHOSH: Yes. In 2014 when he first came to power, he couched his nationalist message with talk of economic opportunity with promising
growth, promising jobs. This time there was no attempt to do that. There was not even a defense of the economic strategy he's followed so far. This
time it was all about Hindutva which is Hindu identity as defined by the BJP. It was all about that. It was about also kind of demonizing the
opposition. There was a strident rejection of liberal secular values. Anybody who espoused those values was denounced as being anti-national.
GORANI: What's happening in India is happening in western countries.
GHOSH: Oh, yes.
GORANI: Why are identity politics doing well in a country like India?
GHOSH: Well, we're going through this moment in global civilization where we are seeing this across the world, India I would argue was one of the
early adopters of this, along with Turkey. Trump and others are more recent phenomenon. Why is this working?
Well, because these nationalist parties have a clear and simple message, and they've learned how to use modern technology, modern tools of
communication. Everything from television to social media. They've learned to use it better. And liberal parties around the world are
struggling to fight back against that. Struggling to come back with a message of hope and inclusiveness that strikes a chord with voters.
GORANI: Because there's an ugly face to this. I mean anti-minority violence was already on the rise in India.
GHOSH: Yes, of course, and --
GORANI: Muslims and others.
GHOSH: Yes, and when a political party nominates for parliament, a woman who is still accused of terrorism in which members of the minority, the
Muslims are targeted. And that case is still in court, that sends a message, that sends a chilling message to minorities in the country, it
sends a message that you're not important in our vision of the new India. And a lot of --
GORANI: And it's not a small population either. How many Muslims live in India?
GHOSH: Well, the second largest Muslim population in the world, which is a very large number, but in India, it's less than -- it's about 15 percent.
So more than 4/5th of Indians are Hindus. Historically, they have tended to think of themselves as Hindu secular, in the last generation they've
turned more Hindu nationalist and less secular. And Modi has both capitalized and galvanized on this matter.
GORANI: So, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has sent his congratulations.
GHOSH: Yes. Of course, what else is he going to?
GORANI: Of course, but what impact will this have if any at this stage on India-Pakistan relations?
GHOSH: It's unlikely that Modis is going to be more conciliatory. Because he has just won a mandate for taking what he would describe as a hardline
position on Pakistan leading up to the election, there was a whole conversation with Pakistan. India jets flying into Pakistani air space, an
Indian pilot being shot down, an Indian helicopter being shot down by Indian friendly fire. All of that was projected by the BJP and by Modi as
a sign of strength.
[14:15:07] GORANI: And it is benefitting him politically all of that.
GHOSH: Tremendous benefit to him. So having benefitted from that it is hard to see that he would now turn around and say, no, I want to reach a
hand of friendship across the border.
GORANI: All right. Bobby Ghosh, thanks so much. Really appreciate you coming in o the studio this evening. Well, it's been another difficult day
for Theresa May, yet another one. The British Prime Minister is holding on to her membership by her fingertips. And earlier we found out that the
Brexit bill the source of so much consternation in her own party and beyond, will now not be voted on in the first week of June. Let's get more
on this. Nina dos Santos joins me.
The actual text of the bill was meant to be published tomorrow. That has been pulled, Nina?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: That has. It looks as though Theresa May yet again may well be trying to desperately redraft it in some format
that could placate the opponents on either side. Not just of the aisle, but of the Brexit debate.
Many of those are inside her own cabinet. One of them famously resigned yesterday evening, Hala, Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of
Commons, a notable Brexiteer.
And remember, Theresa May has to keep some of these Brexiteers on board to actually keep the cabinet balanced. She said she could no longer support
the changes that Theresa May had put forward. When she hit the airwaves a couple of days ago saying that she was actually planning probably to
placate Labour, the opposition party, who she's been having cross party talks with for the last month. She was planning to try and offer MPs the
change of voting on whether or not there should be a second referendum.
Now we see this was too much for some Brexiteers like Andrea Leadsom. We haven't seen the big-name resignations taking place since. But all of this
again stirs the ire of those members of the back-bench committees. Many of whom are notable bid Brexiteer voices who say it time for Theresa May to
GORANI: So is it possible and obviously everyone's guess is as worthy or useless as the other at this point because it is a guessing game in terms
what happens next. But is it possible that Theresa May will find some way to rewrite that Brexit deal so she gets some in her party back on side so
that she can once again try to push it through Parliament or is that just dead now?
DOS SANTOS: Well, remember, this is the fourth time that she's trying to push this desperately unpopular bill through Parliament. She basically
alienated people like Andrea Leadsom largely with some of these new suggestions like for instance a second referendum. But there's many people
notably in that 1922 back bench committee that she's going to be meeting with on Friday, who give serious misgivings
about pieces of this legislation that have been there all along.
In particular with regards to the uncomfortable arrangement with the EU over the Irish border. So there are plenty of people who say they'd like
to see it scrapped. But there's also a question of Theresa May's own political palatability for her own party here. Remember, we are at a time
when the UK is going to the polls. We have European elections taking place at the moment.
Obviously, this offers a very uncomfortable backdrop for a British Prime Minister at the moment. She will be meeting with as I said with the head
of that back-bench committee that is taking place tomorrow. There's lots of speculation there may well have been a secret ballot at this point. And
that ballot -- the results that could be unveiled if she doesn't offer to go sooner rather than later. Hala.
GORANI: Well, she survived a vote of no conference in December. Party rules mean that she's got another year that she can't be challenged. Will
they change the rules? We'll see. We'll see how that develops.
DOS SANTOS: Big speculation, but who knows at this point?
GORANI: Exactly. We should have a whole segment called "Who Knows."
Thanks, Nina. And still to come, extreme weather tears through the central United States as homes slide into flooded rivers and tornados rip through
towns. Look at these amazing and devastating images. Plus, an American citizen caught fighting for the Taliban walks out of prison. We'll bring
you the latest.
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: There is some extensive damage after a deadly outbreak of tornados hit the central United States. At least three people were killed when more
than two dozen tornados carved a path from Oklahoma to Missouri. Oklahoma has also been hit by record flooding with water just sweeping away entire
homes. You can see it there in these aerial pictures. Rescues are still underway. Our Omar Jimenez reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rising floodwaters, swallowing this entire house and carrying it down stream. And another home swept away
by raging waters. The Cimarron river overflowing, eroding the shores and forcing residents to flee their homes. And officials warning people who
live along rivers or creeks to prepare to evacuate.
UNIDENTIFIED FLOOD VICTIM: I said, what'd you say? And she said, our house is gone. Our son called us and told us to get the heck out of there.
JIMENEZ: And Oklahoma residents dealing with the 1-2 punch. Historic flooding and tornadoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think of how much rain we get with the next round, couple rounds of storms, we could be looking at another flash flood event
with the river flooding.
JIMENEZ: Rescuers working around the clock to save those who are trapped. Emergency crews having to pull this woman out of a second story window.
UNIDENTIFIED RESCUER: You cannot drive up to their house. We have to get a boat in the water or two boats in the water. It's going to take us a
long time to get to them.
JIMENEZ: The storms are blamed for at least seven deaths in the region. Officials say dozens of people hurt in Oklahoma alone.
G.T. BYNUM, MAYOR, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: So long as we are working and Tulsans take this seriously, and pay attention and prepare, then we will get
through this safely.
JIMENEZ: The army corps of engineers releasing 215,000 cubic feet of flood waters every second in an effort to keep the Keystone dam from topping its
flood gates. Tulsa's mayor warning, the threat is not over.
BYNUM: If people don't take this seriously and don't prepare. And that is how lives could be endangered.
JIMENEZ: Now, to understand some of the risks ahead, you have to take a look back. Mainly at the fact that this is a region of the country that
has been slammed by heavy storms leading to flooding that stretches back to March at this point. We've seen flooding everywhere from Iowa to Texas.
And now here in Oklahoma. And that's significant because it makes places like these that much more vulnerable when you look at systems ahead.
And we do expect rain in the coming forecast. Omar Jimenez, CNN, Guthrie, Oklahoma.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: It's been awhile but you may remember hearing about the American Taliban, the U.S. citizen John Walker Lindh who was caught fighting for the
Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in 2001. He was brought home to serve 20 years in prison. Now as Barbara Starr reports, he is a free man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED U.S. SOLDIER: You are an American citizen, right?
JOHN WALKER LINDH, AMERICAN TALIBAN, CAPTURED IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2001: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED U.S. SOLDIER: Well, right now you are a prisoner.
LINDH: All right.
BARBARA STARR, CHIEF PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It was in the exclusive CNN video that America first saw John Walker Lindh. A then 20-year-old from
California once known as the American Taliban.
UNIDENTIFIED U.S. SOLDIER: What injuries do you have?
LINDH: I have a bullet in my leg. And several shrapnel wounds.
STARR: Now, Lindh is a free man after serving 17 years for fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, where he was even introduced to Osama Bin
Laden. Taliban fighters stormed the compound where Lindh was being held and claimed the first American casualty in the global war on terror, Johnny
Micheal Spann, an undercover CIA officer who had interrogated Lindh.
Lindh is now being released three years early for likely good behavior, but there will be restrictions on his freedom.
MICHAEL SILBER, FORMER NYPD INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS DIRECTOR: He won't be able to access social media on his own. He won't be able to have his own
email address, and he probably will have some limitations in terms of even who he may be able to meet with. What he won't have any restrictions on is
what he can say and doing media. So it is likely that he'll be out there in the public domain potentially even espousing his same pro al Qaeda
beliefs that got him arrested to begin with.
STARR: Documents from the National Counterterrorism Center obtained by "Foreign Policy" magazine say Lindh continued to advocate for global jihad
and to write and translate violent extremist texts. And in this U.S. Bureau of Prisons document, Lindh wrote to his father that he was not
interested in renouncing my beliefs. Those views are what concerns Mike Spann's father, Johnny, who petitioned federal court this week to
JOHNNY SPANN, FATHER OF MIKE SPANN: You need to find out for sure is this guy the same al Qaeda member that we put in jail? If he is still the al
Qaeda member we put in jail, then we need throw the plea agreement away. And do something else.
STARR: Lindh's parents continued to claim his innocence over the years, maintaining he was too young to understand what he had gotten himself into.
MARILYN WALKER, MOTHER OF JOHN WALKER LINDH: It's been exceedingly hard for us to think that most of the citizenry of this country believes that
your son, your child is a terrorist. And it is a difficult moniker to you know remove.
STARR: Lindh will now be on a three-year term of supervised release. He will live in Virginia subject to the direction of his probation officer.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come tonight, the world is looking a lot more dangerous for one of its threatened species. We'll tell you about a big change in
elephant hunting in Botswana. Plus, ballots are being cast, in the world's largest multi-country election, Europeans head to the polls, in a vote
involving up to 350 million people. We'll be right back.
[14:30:00] GORANI: The President of the United States and the first lady have made an unannounced visit to Arlington National Cemetery, right
outside of Washington, D.C., ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Of course this is against the backdrop of increasing tension with the
Democrats and the war of words and Twitter feuds. And all the rest of it between the President and the Democrats on Capitol Hill, but here you have
him paying a tribute to troops ahead of the Memorial Day weekend which is coming up.
The good news for hunters in Botswana, bad news for the elephants. The government has lifted the country's ban on hunting which only came into
effect in 2014 saying elephants raid crops, kill livestock and destroy water supplies, and sometimes injure people. The country is home to about
1/3 of Africa's elephant. Our David McKenzie reported on the crisis facing elephants in Southern Africa back in 2016. And he joins me now live from
So if you look at what the government of Botswana is saying, they're saying that they eat crops, they even kill people, that hundreds of people have
been killed, and that their population size has become unmanageable, is that the case?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they say that it's the case, Hala. And they say that the scores of people injured and killed
by elephant are because of the population numbers. But many conservationists believe that there are other solutions other than bringing
out the guns, as one conservationist said.
Now, just first to give the government's point of view, you know, they say conversation is on our DNA. Earlier, they had a press conference to try
and quell some of the anger that is spread around the globe about this move to allow hunting of these iconic animals, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KITSO MOKAILA, BOTSWANA MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WILDLIFE, & TOURISM: This is fundamental for those who criticize us and they talk about what they
think we are going to do. Botswana had never advocated for manslaughter and that will never happen in Botswana.
This is why we have dedicated 40 percent of our country to conservation. Wildlife management areas, forests reserves, and parks. This is the
commitment that -- and the sacrifice that Botswana have made all these years; to ensure we had the safe haven for wildlife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: A conservationist say that elephants and many studies have shown, Hala, that elephants are highly intelligent being, social animals,
and many of them say that killing them just shouldn't happen period, because it is just so traumatic for the herds. They do say in Botswana
that this will help manage the elephant populations, bring in money for conservations, but many are saying that it's just a way to possibly get
some money out of elephants and that it's incredibly cruel. Hala?
GORANI: But who is interested in this day and age of public shaming, of anyone who dares post an image of themselves, you know, on a safari killing
wildlife? Who is interested in hunting elephants these days? How does the government of Botswana expect to raise money that way?
MCKENZIE: I'm trying to be as objective as I can, Hala. I feel that. I mean, why would you want to kill these magnificent beasts that I've seen
over the years, many times in the wild? But some people do. And they say that it's their right to hunt these animals and air it where it's legal.
And it is legal in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and other countries in Southern Africa. They say it's critical to managing the
species to allow some hunting to go on with very high priced tickets to hunt those animals and then that money, theoretically gets back into
But again, the nature of hunting elephant and the type of animals we're talking about just is incredibly cruel. You see that often, it's the bulls
that are hunted, and sometimes the matriarchs has a massive impact on those elephant herds.
Now, there is a debate going on in Africa in particular, to say, well, that viewpoint that I'm describing is kind of a western viewpoint, and it's
important to see what communities who have very little money and very little access maybe to the largest that comes in from tourism have to say
You often find in those communities a lot less appreciation of wildlife. Someone who is trying to grow crops and an elephant is stomping those crops
or injuring their children will have a very different viewpoint about hunting maybe, then I would or someone else would. So it is a complicated
But many people say hunting is not the answer and there are many ways to deal with human wildlife conflict without shooting an elephant.
GORANI: Sure. There's certainly realities on the ground that people sitting in a comfortable television studio in a country like the U.K. might
not be as attuned to as we could be.
But as you say, there are such magnificent animals. It's difficult not to be -- to feel -- to be a bit enraged at the idea that they can be hunted
Thanks very much for that David McKenzie. And let's stay on this. Michelle Garforth-Venter is an African conservation journalist and wildlife
expert and she joins me from Atlanta. So, what is your reaction to the lifting of this ban?
[14:35:57] So, Hala, I am -- I'm in two minds about it, as a conservationist, we have to have a balanced approach. Most times, we have
culling, which is a tool of conservation, as opposed to hunting. You could use the two words, and I have been in situations where we do need to cull.
And one of the more humane ways of doing a cull is to -- I'm not going to use these words, they're going to sound harsh, but we need to hear them, so
that we can deal with what the reality is, is that if we were to put game ranges per family member with a gun surrounding that family, and on the
count of three, all of those game rangers at the same time take that elephant family down. Now, that's really hot sauce stuff.
But when it comes to culling as a conservation tool, the reason we need to do it is, I want you to look at the African national parks as salad bowls;
that accordant of by offense, and that area of land can only support so many species for X amount of time.
If you look at an African bull elephant, he's eating about 225 kilograms or 500 pounds of vegetation per day. The land mass of Botswana, as a country,
is just under 600,000 square meters.
Now, the periphery of the country is where the majority of the people, the human population live, 2.3 million of them. The center of the country is
dominated by the Okavango Delta, right? So 130,000 elephants called Botswana their home. Twenty-seven thousand of those elephants have in
direct in contact and conflict with the small farmers in the rural communities. So there is a real problem.
GORANI: So what's you're saying -- but this is interesting, Michelle, because, of course, on the surface, when people read the headlines and saw
the news, generally, I'm sure, and usually on social media, there was a lot of anger. And what I said before coming to you is, I'm sitting here in the
comfort of a T.V. studio. I don't understand necessarily what motivates the decision of people on the ground.
And when you say that these elephants are distractive to farmers from the farmer's point of view, I guess this cull is necessary. From your view as
a conservationist, when the government of Botswana says the population has become unmanageable, are they correct to say that about Botswana?
GARFORTH-VENTER: I would believe them. I would believe President Masisi, because they do not -- they are not interested in a genocide of elephant.
They haven't had elephant hunting since 2014, 2015, I believe. So that's a five-year period when population numbers have really exploded.
And my feeling on it would be to say, OK, let's open up hunting for a time frame. Perhaps a two-year, three-year tops timeframe. Make sure that
there is a deadline at the end of all this, and then shut it down again.
Because my concern with the hunting is, how do you hunt humanely? You know, are we then going to focus just on the old lone bull elephants, which
are, of course, the big tuskers, the beautiful old elephant? Because to --
GORANI: That's my question, Michelle, because is there no other solution? I mean, OK. Let's accept the government narrative that this is an out of
control population, it's destroying crops, farmers who have trouble making ends meet, just can't, you know, protect their crops and, in fact,
elephants can injure and kill people, et cetera. Is there no other way of doing it? Because these are such majestic animals?
GARFORTH-VENTER: So in the immediate future, I don't believe that there is any other way. However, if we were to take a longer approach to it, if
people could work together from country to country, and if we could open up traveling pathways from nature reserve to nature reserve and they could be
free movement, and there would be more land under conservation, yes, then we could definitely look at a solution that would be far more heartfelt.
For the saint in being the elephant.
GORANI: Well, Michelle Garforth-Venter, thanks so much for joining us live from Atlanta. I appreciate your perspective.
GORANI: Earlier, we told you about the election in India, but in another major exercise in democracy is underway in the E.U.
British and Dutch voters headed to the polls today to choose their members of the European Parliament, other E.U. countries will follow in the coming
days with the election wrapping up on Sunday. It's the world's largest multi-country election involving more than 350 million voters in 28
Erin McLaughlin joins me now live. She is in Brussels.
So this is going to be an interesting few days ahead for us, Erin.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. And we're limited in terms of what we can talk about at this point, given the
reporting restrictions in place, campaigning has also stopped so that there's no undue influence on the voting process itself.
[14:40:03] But as you were saying, voting was underway today and to E.U. member states. The U.K. with 73 seats up for grabs. And the Netherlands
with 26 seats up for grabs, 751 seats in total within the European Parliament.
Lots of questions right now about what happens to the U.K. seats in the event of a Brexit following the election. We're told that some of the U.K.
seats will be allocated to other member states, should the U.K. leave the E.U., for example, France stands to gain five seats, so does Spain, Ireland
stands to gain two seats.
The overall size of parliament will also contract. This is the second largest democratic exercise in the world, and as you mentioned, the only
transnational democratic exercise in the world.
Most of the member states will be going to the polls on Sunday and we expect those results Sunday evening. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much.
Now to the debate over vaping, the use of electronic cigarettes that replaced tobacco with aerosol. The World Health Organization says vaping
can help smokers quit tobacco or cigarettes.
But in the United States, many doctors and parents are worried about vaping's growing popularity among teenagers. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has our
LUKA KINARD, TEEN ADVOCATE: Before vaping, I was a straight A student. I've played two sports and I was in Boy Scouts --
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That 16- year-old Luka Kinard, seeing speaking last week at a press conference announcing that North Carolina is the first state to sue leading e-
cigarette company, Juul, for deceptive marketing.
Now, Juul denies the allegations and says it has taken steps to prevent youth vaping.
L. KINARD: I've had vomiting. I've had fatigue. I've had headaches. And I stopped going to Boy Scouts and I stopped playing sports. You know, I
hated myself when I was going through addiction.
KELLY KINARD, LUKA'S KINARD MOTHER: It completely changed him. Overnight, he went from being a straight A, outgoing, fun student to a monster.
GUPTA: Last year, more than 3.5 million middle and high school students in the United States said they were current e-cigarette users. What's
important? That's a million and a half more kids than the year before.
DR. ADAM GOLDSTEIN, DIRECTOR, TOBACCO INTERVENTION PROGRAMS, UNC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: When you have a product that's absorbed into your brain within
10 seconds of using it, it doesn't take very long for that to alter the way you think and the way you act.
GUPTA: Dr. Adam Goldstein is the director of the tobacco intervention programs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
GOLDSTEIN: We're hearing from school systems saying we have an epidemic of Juul in our classroom. What do we do? Increasingly, we're even seeing
kids themselves that say, I want to quit and I'm trying and it's not working.
GUPTA: Doctors say e-cigs can impact the developing brain differently, making teens more vulnerable to addiction and behavioral issues, also,
causing lung problems, burns and poisonings. The FDA is now even looking into multiple reports of people who had seizures after vaping. One of
those people was Luka.
L. KINARD: Just out of nowhere I had a seizure. I wounded up in the hospital. It was definitely a really scary experience.
GUPTA: Luca was able to beat his addiction after more than a month in rehab and has since become an advocate for teens, like himself. But
experts say there are limited resources out there for a generation of kids who are now at risk of becoming addicted.
K. KINARD: Other parents are not having the same luck that we did. They're having treatment problems, their doctors are not listening to them,
their insurance company is denying coverage.
GOLDSTEIN: Who knows what's going to happen when you now have a generation, over three million youth, that are potentially addicted to e-
L. KINARD: I definitely would say that a lot of people that I do know still are definitely dealing with the same things I did. It's more than
just an addiction problem right now, it's definitely an epidemic.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, people all over the world use products made in China. But now, there are new disturbing reports about the factories
where some of those products are made.
[14:45:26] GORANI: Now, a question of world trade and national policies. Some big international companies that do business in Western China are
conducting their own investigations, they say, following reports that their suppliers are using minority Muslims who are being held in camps as forced
Ivan Watson has our story.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is how the Chinese government wants the world to see its policy in the
country's western Xinjiang region. A Chinese state television showing members of the country's ethnic Uyghur Muslim minority hard at work sewing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now, I know sewing skills. My mother and father are happy and I am happy.
WATSON: But now, a fresh news report alleges forced labor may be used in some Xinjiang factories, producing textiles that end up in western name
Asked about this, China's foreign ministry didn't address the accusations against the factories, saying, instead, quote, "The purpose of establishing
vocational training centers in accordance with law in Xinjiang is to help those who have been eroded by religious extremism to get rid of the shackle
of extremist thoughts."
But Beijing's explanation isn't satisfying a growing number of western clothing companies. Clothing giants Esprit and Adidas told CNN this month
they've stopped purchase of textiles from a Chinese company operating in Xinjiang. This after a recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal
suggested laborers may have little choice but to work in factories to avoid the threat of detention.
The U.S. government and human rights groups all sounding the alarm about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang.
WILLIAM NEE, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: But in terms of employment, we've also heard of people getting very low wages, working very long hours and that
it's not their choice.
WATSON: The Wall Street Journal article highlights the Wah Fu (ph) fashion company's factory in Xinjiang shown here in a state T.V. documentary.
In a statement to CNN, Wah Fu Fashion says it never uses coercive methods on employees, adding it protects employees' rights according to
However, the company's former web page shows photos of employees at this oath taking ceremony, where they swear their love for the ruling communist
party and China, and the company corrects employees, quote, "Confused ideas about separatism and extremism."
All of these western brands say they're now investigating their supply chains for possible human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The problem is,
figuring out what's actually going on in Xinjiang is very difficult.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This police officer does not want us to film.
WATSON (voice-over): Police and plain clothed security officers constantly harassed, followed, and repeatedly blocked CNN's Matt Rivers on a recent
reporting trip to Xinjiang.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you here? You tell me. Why are you here? Why are you here?
RIVERS: We're here to film what we believe is a camp for Uyghurs.
WATSON: Chinese authorities blocking efforts by independent observers to learn more about the alleged mass detention of up to two million Muslims in
The scale of these alleged arbitrary detentions, embarrassing western companies like Volkswagen whose CEO said in a recent BBC interview, he was
proud of his investment in the region.
HERBERT DIESS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, VOLKSWAGEN: I don't know what you're referring to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't know about China's reeducation camps for a million Uyghur people that it has referred to as reeducation camps as part
of its counter terror threat in the west of this country? You don't know about that?
[14:50:05] DIESS: I'm not aware of that.
NEE: Well, if you have people at the top who are just burying their head in the sand, then that's going to send a bad signal.
WATSON: In a statement to CNN, a Volkswagen spokesman acknowledged what he called the situation in Xinjiang. He also insisted the company respects
Chinese authorities offer tax breaks and other incentives to get outsiders to invest in Xinjiang. Anyone doing business in this region now risks
being associated with the alleged imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Later this hour with racism alive and well in the footballing world, what does the sport's governing body plan to do about it? We'll
hear from the FIFA secretary-general, next.
GORANI: Well, FIFA is having to face a disturbing trend in the world of football. The sport that it governs is undergoing a spade of racist
incidents against players of color.
Amanda Davies sat down with FIFA's secretary general, arguably, the most powerful woman in football to ask what she thinks should be done.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Have you been able to make as much of a difference as you'd wanted, as you'd hoped?
FATMA SAMOURA, SECRETARY GENERAL, FIFA: On the racism, I think we still have some fights to lead.
DAVIES: Why do you think racism of all the issues is the one where we're not making the progress?
SAMOURA: We're making progress, because if you look at the three -- the procedures that was introduced by FIFA during the Confederation Cup in 2017
in Russia, there was incidents. There were --
DAVIES: But it is still happening in -- domestically, it's too often.
SAMOURA: But I think that we have less and less incident. Yes, every single incident now is taking a bigger amplitude which is normal. And
there are idiot in the life. There are people who would think that they want a world where everybody is the same. And I think this is totally
wrong, but as far as FIFA is concerned, our tolerance, policy is zero when it comes to racism.
DAVIS: Why is that not filtering down to the confederations? You have poultry fines handing out, we had a championship club in England docked
nine points for financial irregularities.
SAMOURA: And yet --
DAVIES: And yet, you get a few thousand pounds for a racism incident.
SAMOURA: And that's not normal.
DAVIES: So why?
SAMOURA: And I think the message is very clear, because people don't think -- it's a shame for society to accept it. Because also, more and more
people tried to think that having people behaving non-sportingly is something that we as a society can accept and this should not be the case.
DAVIES: What do you think is a punishment that will make people sit up --
SAMOURA: I think to step out of the field from players would be a very strong message, but not in their shoes. They're doing it to earn their
leaving. And I think one day, it will happen.
DAVIES: Should it be up to the players, though?
[14:55:59] SAMOURA: Well, it's not up to the players, it's up to the whole sport world that should be fighting racism. On the speech, through
communications, through education, through demonstrations, through sanctions. And we have to put our efforts communications, through
education. Through demonstrations, through sanctions. And we have all to put our efforts together to make it happen.
But racism has been as old as any other evil in society. And it's for everybody to combat and to fight it. Yes.
DAVIES: Have you experienced it in your time at FIFA?
SAMOURA: Not directly, yes. But I'm sure in the eyes of some people, I'm not -- I was not supposed to be there, but I have to do it, and the fact
that I'm here with my U.N. background, they better not play that game with me.
GORANI: Finally, this hour, beloved children's author Judith Kerr has died at the age of 95. She's best known for her first published work, "The
Tiger Who Came to Tea," back in 1968. But she's written an illustrated dozens of books over a career spanning the five decades since.
Many dealt with her experience as a young refugee fleeing Nazi Germany for England. Those works are now hallmarks of early education in multiple
languages. But all her books have captured young imaginations all over the world and that's sure to continue even in her absence.
Thanks for watching this evening. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. There's a lot more ahead. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up after a