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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Trump to Begin Visit to U.K. and Europe; China, 30 Years After Tiananmen Massacre; Jamie Metzel Talks about His New Book. Aired 10- 11a ET
Aired June 2, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:13] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
ZAKARIA: Today on the show, the president meets the Queen.
Trump is about to embark on a state visit to Britain, a nation beset by Brexit bedlam. Then he'll travel to Europe, a divided and politically conflicted continent. We'll preview the trip and the hornet's nest he'll be walking into.
Also, 30 years since this haunting photo. Thirty years since Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square and opened fire. Thirty years later, how much has changed, how much has stayed the same. Nick Kristof and Jiayang Fan join me.
And finally from the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE to the extraterrestrial one. Are UFOs a real phenomenon? The U.S. government may finally be seeing the light.
ZAKARIA: But first, here's "My Take." Last week's election results for the European parliament were mixed which meant that every side could claim a victory of sorts. Right-wing populists did gain ground but so did some decidedly left-wing parties like the Greens. The only clear conclusion is that the traditional parties that have dominated the continent's politics since 1945 continued to see their appeal wither and their power wane.
But elections are often lagging indicators of social change. By the time the public becomes aware and engaged on a certain issue, the problem might well have passed its peak. Consider the two issues fueling populism in the West -- fears about immigrants and a lack of economic opportunity. In both cases the crisis appears to be over, but the fury remains.
The number of migrants coming into the European Union illegally is at the lowest it has been in five years. In 2018 about 115,000 people crossed the Mediterranean to seek entry into Europe, an 89 percent drop from 2015. This reflects European cooperation with countries in North Africa and the Middle East to strengthen their borders and stimulate economic development while at the same time getting much stricter on asylum applications.
In the United States, the pattern is similar. Mexican immigration, the issue that Donald Trump raged about when he announced his candidacy, has actually been going in the opposite direction for years now. From 2007 to 2016, the number the undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. fell by 1.5 million. And while there has been a recent surge of migrants from Central America, the caravans that Trump rails against, they are generally throwing themselves at the mercy of U.S. authorities at the border and pleading for asylum status which is only granted to a small percentage.
What about the other problem that has been fodder for populism? Joblessness and the stagnation of middle-class wages. When Trump was on the campaign trail he suggested the actual unemployment rate in America might be as high as 42 percent. He painted a bleak picture of life for the middle class, insecure part-time jobs, wages that never grew, benefits that were disappearing. A portrait still being presented by Bernie Sanders and some other left-wing populists.
Well, last week "The Economist" pointed out that this picture so firmly embedded in our minds does not comport with the facts. Two- thirds of OECD countries have record high employment numbers for their working age population. The U.S. unemployment rate, 3.6 percent, is at its lowest point in half a century. "The Economist" writes, "As for precariousness in America, the gig economy accounts for only around 1 percent of jobs."
Finally, tight labor markets and minimum wage laws are together moving wages up. Now none of this suggests that life is easy for people outside of the top tiers of these countries. It isn't. But whenever crises flare up in liberal democratic capitalist countries, there is a tendency to look admiringly at non-democratic or non-capitalist countries.
This happened in the 1970s when the West was mired in stagflation and political dysfunction and many thought the Soviet Union was stable and on the march. In 1975 in fact the Trilateral Commission issued a famous report titled "The Crisis of Democracy."
[10:05:04] Well, a decade later, stagflation had been licked, the West was booming, and it was the Soviet Union that was beginning to collapse.
Open societies often seen weak because their problems are aired publicly and debated loudly. But what gets lost in the din are the myriad responses to these problems bubbling up from markets, civil society, governments.
Capitalism and democracy are open and responsive systems, and they are reacting and adjusting to the public's concerns. Even while populists continue to peddle little more than deception, despair, and demagoguery.
For more, go to CNN.com/fareed, and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started. Let's keep the conversation going on Europe's election results and
what they mean. We will also talk about President Trump's state visit to Britain to see the Queen. His trip starts Monday.
Joining me now from the other side of the pond are, in London, Anne Applebaum. She's a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and a foreign affairs columnist for the "Washington Post." In Paris, author and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy. He has been criss-crossing the continent in recent weeks performing a play and pressing for a centrist vision of Europe. And in Milan, Beppe Severgnini, who writes for Italy's Corriere della Sera as well as for the "New York Times."
Anne, let me start with you. The poem goes, "The center cannot hold. Things fall apart. Anarchy is loosed on the world." Did the center hold?
ANNE APPLEBAUM, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": What's interesting is the center is not holding, but that doesn't mean that the continent is swinging to the right as many expected. And what we saw in the European elections on Sunday was some move to the far right, but also a real resurgence of liberals and greens. Often new parties that have been formed under new conditions, sometimes in reaction to the far right. So we see really a return to big political competitions in Europe and at the European level.
As people begin to take seriously the idea that continental problems like ecology and like immigration can only have continental solutions. These parties are all working together across national lines. They were sometimes campaigning across national lines. And so it's a lot more complicated than just to say the center is over.
ZAKARIA: Bernard, what does it mean for Emmanuel Macron, the great liberal hope of Europe? Does he now -- is he in a kind of paralyzed holding pattern or can he aggressively continue to try to implement the vision that he campaigned on for a renewed France?
BERNARD-HENRI LEVY, PHILOSOPHER, WRITER AND FILMMAKER: I think that the result of this election is not so bad for Emmanuel Macron. And even it is good, it is good for two reasons. Number one because the far right did not get the success that they hoped. Of course, they are ahead. But much less than they were hoping, number one. Number two, it is clearer and more and more clear in France that they are not just (INAUDIBLE) right but a little worse.
One example, the day of the result, the head of the Marie Le Pen party went on screen of the biggest television in France, close to a neo- Nazi, between nativist or white supremacies, all nostalgic of Nazism on TV. And number three, and which is may be the more important, in the next European parliament Emmanuel Macron will be in the position of the center authority.
And I can tell you, Fareed, I had the chance with Anne Applebaum and other writers to be hosted for lunch by Emmanuel Macron two days before the election. And he did not look at all as a man who was just stepping out of a terrible movement as the Yellow Jackets which was not just a social movement, which was something else, with a strong, extreme right correlation.
And he did not look like a man who is in the back of the ring and waiting for a defeat. He was a very cool, very Barack Obama-like president, very sure of himself on a good sense, and ready to assume and to take the leadership and the flag of the liberal democratic and humanistic Europe.
ZAKARIA: Beppe, how do we understand Italy? Because one of the things that attracted Steve Bannon to Italy was the idea that in Italy left-wing populists and right-wing populists have come together.
[10:10:04] In his fantasy, it is the Sanders vote and the Trump vote that has come together. Has that persisted in this European election?
BEPPE SEVERGNINI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CORRIERE DELLA SERA SETTE: Well, first of all, how do you understand Italy, it's hard to understand Italy. So first of all, good luck. And Steve Bannon certainly didn't understand Italy. He tried. But he tried to understand, but obviously he was ignoring Italy and most of Europe.
What happened in Italy is simple. You have a right-wing of sovereignist movement, populist movement. Matteo Salvini and the League, and they went from 17 percent, the result in the general election last year, to 34 percent. And it's like in a play because it's perfect. The other, the left-wing populists, the Five Star Movement, they went the other way around. They went for 34 to 17.
So they're not happy, and the government they are forming together is about to fall, I believe. Simply because they cannot afford to stay in a coalition where they lose half their support in a year. Of course, Matteo Salvini and the right-wingers are very happy to stay in the coalition where they double their support in one year.
So Italy is watching, and everything is quieter than it's been for some time because we are in Europe. And most of -- most Italians know that we and France are an exception, but to be an exception is better than to have the similar result all over Europe. We cannot afford to be insulated for too long. We're going to see now with the new budget that Europe will tell us you cannot do what you want. And one way or another, Mr. Salvini will fall in line.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating conversation. I've got to add a point that Anne Applebaum made to me privately which is that the populists also have few ideas. The great idea of the Italian populist Salvini is he wants Italy to have bigger budget deficits. That doesn't strike as an argument that, you know, is going to reshape the world.
Don't go away. Next on GPS, the president goes to the palace, Buckingham Palace that is. We will preview the state visit and the state of British politics, when we come back.
[10:16:22] ZAKARIA: We are back with Anne Applebaum, Bernard-Henri and Beppe Severgnini. Anne, explain to us if you can the chaos of British politics. Is it
most likely, as it seems to be the conventional wisdom, that Boris Johnson will be the next prime minister of Britain, and he will take Britain into a hard Brexit. That is essentially, you know, complete severing of ties with Europe.
APPLEBAUM: It's certainly not what the British want. We had a very weird European election here in London last weekend where -- whereby the traditional parties did much worse than the new Brexit Party as well as the Liberal Party which until now had been a rather small party. So British politics is going off in all different directions at once.
It is possible that the Tori Party will want to choose as its leader somebody who will take votes back from this new Brexit Party and who will remake the Tory Party as a kind of new pro-Brexit, hard Brexit party. The trouble is, if they do that, they will then lose a part of their constituency and they will then lose much of the rest of the country.
So I wouldn't say that it's guaranteed that Boris will be the leader. It's probable that it will be a hard Brexiteer, but that may be -- that may be really a losing -- that may be the end of the Tori Party if they do choose that.
ZAKARIA: Bernard, a lot of people say there is a solution for Britain and for Europe where the Europeans can be a little bit more accommodating to the British, but that Macron is -- is very hard line. He doesn't want to make more concessions to the Brits. Are we seeing the sort of traditional Anglo French rivalry at work again?
LEVY: About the Brexit, Fareed, if I may just say one word. It is a rare case what is happening today in the U.K., a rare case of suicide of a nation. You had in America birth of a nation. We are facing the U.K., suicide of a nation. Number two, it's a rare case of madness, craziness, oddness on power. If you look at this, Nigel Farage obviously is a crazy man.
Boris Johnson obviously has a symptom of something. He is not just a rightist or leftist or whatever. There is something else. There is a wind of madness which is blowing on this old Great Britain becoming again little England. And there is a sort of schizophrenia, it is rare in the history of nations.
What happens in Italy in a way was expectable. Italy at the end of the day was one century ago the birthplace of fascism, just one century. There was Berlusconi who has been walking the earth for Salvini for 20 years. But what is happening today in England is a sort of coup of madness or wind of madness world out of its -- out of itself which is very, very odd.
ZAKARIA: Beppe, when you look at Italy, the one thing we do know about Italy is it has always been very pro-American. So I'm wondering as Trump goes to Britain, is he facing a Europe which has turned anti- Trump or has it turned anti-American?
SEVERGNINI: One thing is the government, one thing is the nation. Italy is pro-American and pro-European.
[10:20:04] And deep down, I do not believe that Salvini really means what he says, that Putin is a better ally and he really wants to switch Italy from sort of looking west to looking east. I don't -- honestly don't believe that. And I also, although I am not happy about his big success and result, I do not believe that Salvini is the new Mussolini. Never thought -- I know him and I know my fellow Italians. We are too -- we don't have enough discipline to become a new fascist, believe me. And we don't want to. And Salvini is a cheeky demagogue, but he's no budding dictator, trust me on that. And I think that being a big family like Europe, he'll be brought under control.
ZAKARIA: Thank you all. Fascinating conversation. We will continue to follow the events in Europe with great interest.
Next on GPS, Tiananmen Square, its name means the gate of heavenly peace. But 30 years ago, it saw hellish violence being perpetrated by the government against its people. How much has China changed, how much has it stayed the same? Nicholas Kristof was there 30 years ago. He'll be here with me when we come back.
[10:25:02] ZAKARIA: On June 4th, 1989, 30 years ago this week, the Chinese government opened fire on students and democracy activists in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The next day the tank man offered a powerful protest even as he was laden down with bags. His real name will probably never be known, but his brave actions will be remembered for ages.
He stood in front of a line of tanks, more than 20 long, and proceeded to play a game of chicken. He climbed atop the lead tank, then back down to the ground. When the tank tried to speed off, he stepped in front again. And then nobody knows what happened to him.
To this day, the Chinese government sensors all mentions of Tiananmen and photos and videos of the tank man. This segment is already certain to be censored in China.
So what has changed in China and what hasn't in 30 years?
Nicholas Kristof was in Tiananmen Square on those fateful days in June, 1989. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. He is now columnist the "New York Times." Jiayang Fan was born in China, was a child at the time of Tiananmen and moved to the United States at 8. She is now a staff writer for "The New Yorker."
Welcome both. Nick, what do you remember? What is the most vivid memory you have of that day?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: You never forget watching a modern army bring in tanks and truckloads of troops, and at Tiananmen Square, using that to mow down protesters, students and workers. But what I remember particularly strikingly was not just the savagery of that, but also the heroism. And there were rickshaw drivers, who were these guys from the countryside where these tricycle rickshaws, bicycles, pulling the little cart behind them.
And whenever there was a lull in the firing, there would be these broken bodies in front of us, between us and the troops, and we all wanted to rescue them, take them to the hospital. But none of us did anything except those rickshaw drivers. And they would drive out toward the troops and pick up these bodies of people who had been injured and put them on the back of the rickshaws and rush them back to the hospitals.
And it was a display of courage -- you know, these were guys who, they couldn't have given you some fancy definition of democracy, but they were ready to die for it.
ZAKARIA: Jiayang, to me the thing that we forget is not just what happened at Tiananmen Square but the fact that China at that time was actively debating reform, political reform, all kinds of openings. And that was the context in which Tiananmen took place.
JIAYANG FAN, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Exactly. I mean, I think we do forget when we witness the violence of Tiananmen that in the '80s there was a real flowering, there was a cultural flowering, a literary flowering, there were democracy salons, there were lawn salons in which students, intellectuals, even average working people were talking about how China could become, you know, so much better than what it was in the cultural revolution, and how enlightened a place it could be.
I mean, politically and culturally, there was a loosening, there was -- there was a space for people to discuss and talk and really imagine a future for China that they couldn't have seen, you know, five, 10 years before.
ZAKARIA: What the government has been extraordinarily good at, it seems to me, is erasing this history. The aspirations of the people. How does it do it?
KRISTOF: Well, it was sort of -- after Tiananmen there was a period when the government propaganda apparatus actually emphasized what had happened. They showed constant scenes of upheaval, they talked about counterrevolutionary rebellion. And then they understood that this was actually counterproductive. And then it was eliminated as if it had never happened. And you could not mention this and, you know, on social media, June 4th, 6-4 gets wiped out, it gets removed from the internet.
So people talk about, you know, May 35th, things like this. But you know, sure, there's a silence, a lot of people don't know about this. But I saw the same thing in Taiwan where there was a massacre in the late 1940s (INAUDIBLE), that nobody could talk about. And then when democracy came, suddenly there was a flowering and now there's a monument to it.
You saw that in South Korea over the Gwangju massacre of 1980. Again, nobody could mention it for years and years under the dictatorship. And now there's a monument to the Gwangju massacre.
Someday I want to go back to Beijing, and I will see a memorial to those heroic people of 1989.
ZAKARIA: What do you think? What -- when you talk to young Chinese people, your generation, when you go back to China, what do you hear?
FAN: Unfortunately -- I very much want to see that monument. When I talk to especially the post-'90s generation, 6/4, to the extent that it even exists for them, seems so abstract. And that speaks to, I think, how effectively the government has excised this episode from Chinese memory.
This has, I think, been helped out by the fact that, you know, everything's on the Internet, and the -- the Chinese government has become increasingly effective at scrubbing out what it does not want to countenance on the Internet.
And clearly -- and the history books make no mention of it. And it's become taboo to talk about. I think what's really heartbreaking, even within my family members who are still in China, is that, when I mention -- when I ask them do they remember anything of what happened, I'm met with silence.
And this cultural amnesia that is, I think, very much encouraged by the government is almost, you know, single-handedly constructed by the government, works on a national level, but it also penetrates individual homes. And that, you know, filters down to people of my generation and those who are younger who have no living memory of what happened and who are not allowed to study, remember, to investigate, you know, this -- probably the most critical juncture of modern Chinese history.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating. Thank you both.
Next on "GPS," we'll stay with China and talk about the trade war. When Trump rails against China for a $500 billion trade deficit, he also often follows up by accusing the country of stealing American intellectual property to the tune of $300 billion. That is not a big issue for them, according to American companies. I'll explain when we get back.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. No one is quite sure why the U.S.-China trade deal has, for now at least, collapsed. Before Trump's latest tariff hikes on May 10th, the two sides were reportedly close to a deal.
But a major sticking point was intellectual property. I.P. is one of Trump's top concerns. He fumes that Chinese counterfeiting and other forms of intellectual property theft cost the U.S. $300 billion a year. Now, I.P. theft is as old as capitalism itself. For instance, in the mid 1800s, an undercover Scottish botanist broke China's tea monopoly by stealing seeds and trade secrets on behalf of the British East India company.
Today it is China that is steeling I.P. from the West, relying on everything from invasive inspections to Chinese engineers in Silicon Valley sending back secrets to outright cyber theft. That's why Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, says that, when it comes to China...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: Nothing's more important in the near term than addressing the theft of our intellectual property.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But here's the strange part. U.S. firms don't agree. In a recent survey of American companies doing business with China, they ranked I.P. protection 10th on a list of their top challenges.
How can that be? One answer, according to Nick Lardy of the Peterson Institute, is actually judicial reforms in China. In 2014 I.P. protection was the second-most important issue for U.S. companies. But in that year China created its first specialized courts to handle I.P. cases, and they do give foreign firms a fair shake.
In 2015 foreign plaintiffs brought 63 cases in the Beijing I.P. court and won 100 percent of the cases. Still, critics charge with good reason that foreign companies are effectively forced to hand over technology because they must form joint ventures with local companies to enter certain sectors.
But China has been easing these joint venture requirements. Yukon Huang of the Carnegie Endowment cites data showing that, while almost two-thirds of foreign direct investment came through joint ventures in 1997, only a quarter did by 2017.
Huang argues that China is following the path of Japan and South Korea, which also used to steal Western technology but began to institute strong I.P. protections as they developed their own innovative tech industries.
The Economist notes that in 2017, Huawei filed more international patents than any other company. Chinese leaders also recognized that inadequate protections were hurting foreign investment into China. What American businesses want from the U.S. government more than anything, according to another survey, is to push for a level playing field in China.
Their chief complaints on this score are that local firms get better market access, preferential regulatory enforcement and government subsidies. All this is far more important to them than joint ventures and I.P. protection.
So technology should be a concern, but a secondary one, for U.S. trade negotiators. The real prize, what companies want and, frankly, what Chinese reformers want, is for China to stop propping up its own companies and start allowing fair competition. It's time to give new meaning to the phrase "Let 100 flowers bloom."
Up next, the genetic revolution. It will change the way we have babies. It will change our concept of humanity itself. The question is, are we ready for it? That conversation, when we come back.
(voice over): Don't forget, if you miss a show, go to cnn.com/fareed for a link to my iTunes podcast.
ZAKARIA (on camera): Humans have been using genetics for ages, breeding sweeter apples, sturdier tomatoes and, most importantly, ever cuter dogs. But today, thanks to a huge leap in science, we are on the brink of a new genetic revolution. And that revolution will bring with it frightening powers and difficult questions; that is, according to my next guest, the author and futurist Jamie Metzel.
His new book is "Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity."
Jamie Metzel, pleasure to have you on.
METZEL: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: So the basic message of the book seems to me to be the genetic revolution is coming much faster than we think, and we are going to be able to make human beings?
METZEL: Well, certainly the genetic revolution is coming much faster than we think. And it's going to change a lot of things. The first thing it's going to transform is our health care. Then it's going to change the way we make babies. Then it's going to change the nature of the babies we make. And over time, it's going to alter our -- even our evolutionary trajectory as a species. And it's a huge deal. It's coming soon, and we're not ready.
ZAKARIA: So the health care, I think, people understand, that we're now going to be able to look inside our genes to figure out what are the things that cause illnesses, perhaps fix them.
ZAKARIA: But the making babies part is the one that I think is most -- seems most revolutionary. Yuval Harari talks about how you -- you now might have the ability for the first time ever to really change what it means to be a human being and make, you know, much bigger, stronger, smarter human beings. Is that right?
METZEL: Yeah, well, biology is at play. Our species has evolved by what we call the Darwinian principles of random mutation and natural selection for almost 4 billion years. And now, for the first time ever, and forever starting from now, we are going to have the ability to alter our biology in increasingly significant ways.
And it's going to happen in stages, all using technologies that already exist.
So the first stage is going to be using IVF and embryo selection -- and our knowledge of what -- to read the genomes of different people, to be able to select from among -- let's say it's 15 embryos in average IVF -- then we're very likely going to...
ZAKARIA: And you choose the ones that maybe don't have certain diseases...
ZAKARIA: ... but also maybe have blue eyes and -- and fair skin or something?
METZEL: I mean, whatever has a genetic foundation will be subject to choice. When you have 15 -- let's say 15 fertilized eggs, as in IVF now, your -- your options are limited. But we can also and will be able to use stem cell technology to make tens of thousands of eggs. And because the cost of sequencing is moving towards negligibility, so now instead of 15 eggs, you have 10,000 eggs, and you sequence all of the cells from those pre-implanted embryos, and then you have a much wider range of choice and you can choose a lot of different things.
And then, on top of that, there's human gene editing tools. Right now, people are aware of CRISPR, but there are going to be much more effective gene editing tools in the future. And then, on top of that, we'll be able to go in and make a relatively small number of edits to these pre-implanted embryos.
ZAKARIA: And you point out there isn't a clear distinction between choices you make for purely therapeutic...
ZAKARIA: ... a kind of therapeutic reasons and for aesthetic ones. So, for example, you wouldn't want your child to grow up to be 3'5", but you could choose that he should be 6'2", or she should be 6'2".
METZEL: You know, if you ask somebody and you say "How do you feel about these technologies," people tend to say, "Well, I'm for therapeutic applications but I'm not for anything that could be considered enhancement."
But when you press people on the issues -- and you used the issue of height -- if someone's going to be three feet tall and you say, "Well, we have an intervention that will make them five feet tall," then people say, "Well, that seems, kind of, like a healthy thing to do." And if somebody is six feet tall and you say, "We can make them seven feet tall," people are a little more uncomfortable. But what's the line in the middle?
ZAKARIA: And what could you do with the brain? Is there a way to make people smarter?
METZEL: We are about 10 years away from being able to sequence any cell from any person and to be able to predict with some pretty decent accuracy the genetic component of their I.Q.
I.Q. isn't entirely genetic, but it's primarily genetic. And now let's say you have those 15 embryo -- fertilized eggs, or those 10,000, and you'll be able to rank them based on the highest genetic component of I.Q. to lowest. And will people make a decision to implant an embryo that is likely to lead to a child with a higher I.Q.? In some places, they will. Will some parents want that? Certainly, in some places they will.
ZAKARIA: So this is a brave new world. And do you think that something like ethical guidelines will matter?
Because I'm thinking this technology will spread around the world.
METZEL: Yeah, yeah.
ZAKARIA: People in China aren't going to follow any ethical guidelines some council in the United States puts out.
METZEL: Well, it must be. I mean, this -- the core issue of all of this isn't technology. I mean, the technology is revolutionary. The technology is going to advance. But the core issue, the issue at play, or issues at play, are values and ethics. And certainly we live in a world where there are many cultural differences within societies, between societies. It's a very competitive world. And you can easily see how we could have a type of arms race scenario.
But if we don't want to have that, now is the time when we need to be having deep, meaningful conversations about what are the issues, what's at stake, and what are the values that we want to bring to bear so these technologies can develop in a way at least that optimizes the upside and minimizes any potential harms.
ZAKARIA: Jamie Metzel, pleasure to have you on.
METZEL: My great pleasure.
ZAKARIA: And we'll be back.
ZAKARIA: Last week, Kenya's high court unanimously ruled to uphold laws carried over from the colonial era that criminalized gay sex. Sixty-seven other nations around the world also maintained legislation punishing same-sex relations.
It brings me to my question. Approximately what fraction of these nations were formerly under British rule? Is it one-quarter, a half, two-thirds, or three quarters? Stay tuned, and we'll tell you the correct answer.
My book of the week is Jim Sciutto's "The Shadow War: Inside Russia's and China's Secret Operations to Defeat America."
Jim is of course CNN's chief national security correspondent. "Shadow War" says that Russia and China are waging war against the U.S., but this is not war as we know it but rather war in the shadows, cyber war, for sure, but also making preparations for conflicts in space, and much more -- a very interesting if disturbing read.
And now for the last look. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
(UNKNOWN): Look at that thing, dude.
ZAKARIA (voice over): This 2015 video is from just one of hundreds of inexplicable sightings that the U.S. military has cataloged for decades.
(UNKNOWN): Wow, what is that, man?
(UNKNOWN): Look at it fly!
ZAKARIA: The military calls them "unexplained aerial phenomena." But you probably known them as "UFOs" or "unidentified flying objects."
(UNKNOWN): Whoa! Got it! Whoo hoo!
ZAKARIA: This week, five Navy pilots told the New York Times the objects fly at hypersonic speeds, making turns and stops that a human crew could not perform and modern technology cannot explain.
(UNKNOWN): It's rotating.
ZAKARIA: The history of UFOs and the U.S. military goes back decades. There's the now-infamous flying disc that crashed near the Army airfield in Roswell, New Mexico. The military later said it was a weather balloon. More recently, the 2004 tic-tac-like object the USS Nimitz pilots spotted flying erratically.
But the American government response has largely been one of secrecy and skepticism, fueling conspiracy theories as investigatory programs are kept secret until years after the fact.
Other countries have taken a different tack. Chile has a government body that studies UFOs and reports its findings. France, the first country to release its secret UFO records, has a similar investigative committee.
But the U.S. might be rethinking its reticence. The Navy has begun asking pilots to report those unexplained aerial phenomena, hoping to formalize reporting, destigmatizing it for security and safety reasons. I, for one, welcome our new openness.
ZAKARIA (on camera): The answer to my "GPS" challenge this week is C. Sixty-five percent, or 44 of the nations that criminalize same-sex relations, were once part of the British colonial empire. Even today most of these former colonies enforce these anti-LGBTQ laws that are directly based on colonial-era legislation. Kenya is one of them.
Since 2016, three former British colonies have overruled these penal codes, including, most importantly, India, one of the first nations where these punitive measures were enacted. Here's hoping it also inspires their reversal elsewhere.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.