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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone; Saudi Arabia Rejects United Nations Report; Protests Against Military Council in Sudan; U.S. Names Worst Offenders For Human Trafficking; Humanitarian Situation Dire In Central African Republic; Iran Shows Video Of U.S. Drone Being Shot Down; Parched Chennai Gets First Major rainfall Of 2019. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 20, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:20] ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Good evening, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Isa Soares, in for Hala Gorani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They made a very bad mistake.
REPORTER: How will you respond, Mr. President? How will you respond?
TRUMP: You'll find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Tensions between the United States and Iran ratchet up once again, after Iran shoots down a U.S. drone. We are live in Tehran and Washington
with the very latest.
Also tonight, only two remain. Either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will be Britain's next prime minister after another series of votes.
And on World Refugee Day, we take you inside a refugee crisis you might not know about. Our report from the Central African Republic is coming up.
But first, our top story this hour. "You'll find out." Those are the words of the U.S. president a short time ago. Donald Trump made those
comments as the world waits to see if the U.S. will retaliate after Iran shot down an American drone. Washington and Tehran are at odds over
whether it was shot out of the sky.
Now, the Pentagon released this grainy little video a little earlier. You can see there on your screen. The Department of Defense says it shows the
moment when the drone was downed over the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. says this happened over international waters. But Iran says it was shot down in
Iranian airspace, and that it was a warning to the United States.
Now, President Trump says he believes Iran made a mistake, adding that he finds it hard to believe it was intentional. Those were his words. Here's
what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Iran made a big mistake. This drone was in international waters, clearly. We have it all documented. It's documented scientifically, not
just words. And they made a very bad mistake, OK?
REPORTER: How will you respond, Mr. President? How will you respond?
TRUMP: You'll find out.
REPORTER: Are you willing to go to war with Iran?
TRUMP: You'll find out. You'll find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, CNN has this story covered like no other network. Standing (ph) by in the Iranian capital with senior international correspondent
Frederik Pleitgen, Jeremy Diamond is live for us at the White House. And also from Washington, CNN military and diplomatic analyst John Kirby, well-
known face here in the show.
Fred, if I may start with you, I want to get, first, your reaction to those comments we heard from the president and also from the U.S. administration,
that the drone was shot down and it was international space, and perhaps it was a mistake.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Iranians certainly are not saying that it was a mistake, Isa. The Iranians
are saying that this drone was in Iranian airspace when they shot it down.
It was quite interesting to see because it's not just regional commanders that are saying that this was not a mistake, but it's really the entire
country's leadership. And not just the hardliners, but also the moderates saying exactly the same thing.
You had Javad Zarif, who tweeted right after President Trump made his first tweet, saying that Iran had made, quote, "a very big mistake." Javad Zarif
coming out and saying that it was the U.S. that had infringed on Iran's territory, and that Iran wanted to take this to the United Nations.
TEXT: Javad Zarif: "The U.S. wages #EconomicTerrorism on Iran, has conducted covert action against us & now encroaches on our territory. We
don't seek war, but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters. We'll take this new aggression to #UN & show that the US is lying about
PLEITGEN: Now, he was still a lot less bellicose than the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. That, of course, is the unit that shot
this drone down. It was their air defense system that was fired at this drone.
And he said, quote, "This was the way that Iran deals with its enemies." But he also said that the drone was shot down in Iranian airspace. And
probably most importantly, he said that Iran does not want any sort of war with the United States, does not want this to escalate but is very much
prepared for war.
So the Iranians, making their case or saying that they shot this down over Iranian territory in Iranian airspace. At the same time, however, once
again saying they don't want this to escalate any further -- Isa.
SOARES: Do stay with us, Fred. I want to bring in Jeremy Diamond.
Jeremy, we heard the president say, perhaps, in the Iranian side, "It was loose and stupid, a very big mistake." We're also waiting for
congressional leaders to go to the White House for an Iran briefing. Do we know at this stage from those you've been speaking to, any sense you're
getting, how President Trump may retaliate if he will retaliate?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That is the big question, still. And, again, we've seen several meetings take place. The president met with
his national security team earlier today. And now, is also slated to meet with these congressional leaders in the Situation Room.
So clearly, options are being discussed. And this incident is being discussed. But it is so relevant, to see how the president reacted to this
publicly, really trying to downplay the tensions and suggesting that this was perhaps some kind of rogue general who made a mistake here in shooting
down this drone.
Of course, what's interesting is the dichotomy between what the president is saying there and the Iranians, very much not saying it was a mistake at
all. In fact, arguing that they rightfully shot down a drone that was in their airspace.
[14:05:10] The president, though, made clear that regardless of whether this was a mistake or not by the Iranians, that this drone was operating
above international waters and therefore, that this shootdown was in no way justified by Iran.
But I do think it's interesting, when the president was asked today, you know, whether his national security advisors were pushing him towards war -
- because we do know that the national security advisor, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both have fairly hawkish views on Iran.
When he was asked if they were pushing him towards war, the president said, "No, not at all." And in fact, he pointed to his campaign pledge to get
the United States out of endless war. So that certainly does not sound like a president on a war footing here.
But, again, we do need to note that the president has exerted this maximum pressure campaign on Iran, and he certainly has toyed with this kind of
brinksmanship involving Iran. So, really, it remains to be seen, what the president exactly will do. Hopefully we'll learn more by the end of the
SOARES: Absolutely. The president has definitely been more restrained than Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.
John, I want to go to you because we heard from the lieutenant general in the last hour and a bit. Also, he said it was an unprovoked attack and he
said it was categorically false. It was in Iranian airspace.
Mistrust is extremely high at this point. The Pentagon, John, was very quick to lay out -- come out and lay out evidence. But was that map, in
your opinion, was that a map (ph) -- I don't know if my producer can bring that map up. There we go.
Was that a map (ph) pinup with two dots? Was that enough to prove their point?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: No, no. Actually, I was stunned by that being the only evidence that they released. I don't doubt
-- speaking to Pentagon officials myself this morning, that in fact the drone was in international airspace. But I don't think that they did
themselves any glory by putting out a fabricated map that you could, you know, download off of Google here, and say, "This is the dot where it
I think they needed to be much more fulsome about the data, the telemetry data, the track. They could produce an image of the track of this drone if
they wanted to, to prove the case. So I found it to be a very anemic argument that they were making today. And I really regret that they didn't
even take questions They didn't even allow reporters --
KIRBY: -- at the Pentagon to ask them anything more detailed.
SOARES: And, John, so if it is -- if it was in international airspace, what can the president do or what do you think -- do you think, first of
all, that it even demands a response? Isn't an attack on a drone, an attack on the U.S.?
KIRBY: It is technically a hostile act against a U.S. aircraft. Doesn't matter whether it's manned or unmanned.
And he could -- he'd be within his rights to declare a -- you know, self- defense under the U.N. charter. He could do that. A U.S. aircraft was shot down in international airspace.
The problem is, you know, how do you do that in a way that's proportional? So I think there will be some sort of response. It doesn't necessarily
have to be a military response. And I think the Iranians might have overplayed their hand here. Up until now, even with the tanker attacks,
they still had the European allies sort of on their side, not wanting to bow to Trump's pressure on upping sanctions on Iran.
And I think the Iranians are now making it harder, with these increasingly escalatory actions, to keep the European allies on-side, if you will. This
gives Trump an opportunity here because it was in international airspace, because it was a sovereign military aircraft, to maybe get international
support for some sort of menu of options to go against Iran, and they don't all have to be military.
SOARES: And, Fred, what John was just saying, do you think that Iran has overplayed its hands? Is Iran -- are conversations being had between
European allies and Iran, from what you understand, to try and dial down this tension?
PLEITGEN: Well, certainly, there have been some European allies who have been calling for dialing down this tension. It was quite interesting to
see, I think it was yesterday or the day before yesterday.
Where Angela Merkel came out and said, "Look" -- and this was in referral to the tanker attacks, not to the current shoot-down of the drone -- where
she said, look, she believes that the evidence is strongly pointing to the fact that Iran could very well have been behind the tanker attacks. But at
the same time, she still called for all sides to de-escalate.
And the thing that the Europeans obviously want to salvage is the nuclear agreement, that the U.S. has pulled out of, that Iran has not pulled out of
And of course, the Iranians are putting a lot of pressure, especially on America's European allies, to try and do something to get around U.S.
sanctions. So that's certainly something that has, as John was very rightly saying, divided the U.S. and its European allies, where on the one
hand, the U.S. is saying the nuclear agreement is dead, more sanctions are going to be put in place and have already been put in place. But the
Europeans really don't want that. The Europeans want to save the nuclear agreement.
So in that sense, potentially, if the U.S. does make a strong case that this drone was in international airspace, then yes, that would certainly
make it more difficult for the Europeans to stay with that line.
[14:10:09] However, fundamentally, Isa, the Europeans have said that they believe that the nuclear agreement, to them, is a safety and security
document. It's one that they want to preserve. And I'm not sure whether or not, even if this drone was shot down over international airspace,
whether the Europeans would change their tune, whether or not they would be more welcoming to additional sanctions against Iran. That's a whole
different matter. That could very well be the case, Isa.
SOARES: Jeremy, my final question to you. Have we heard from Mike Pompeo? Have we heard from John Bolton in the last few hours following the -- what
we heard from the general?
DIAMOND: Nothing specific on-camera, at least, from the two of them. But what we have heard is during this briefing from the Pentagon, we heard the
general describe this as an unprovoked attack by Iran.
And, again, even as the president suggested that this may have been some kind of a mistake, that he believes, in fact, that this was a mistake by
the Iranians or by some Iranian general, there was no indication of that during this briefing at the Department of Defense today. Instead, they
were referring to this as an unprovoked attack, not suggesting in any way that this was unintentional.
But, again, we know now where the president's head is at. And it is important, particularly as he is meeting now with Congressional leaders to
go over a potential response that he may deliver to Iran.
And I do think it is important, as John pointed out, that this could be other than a military response. We could see additional sanctions levied
on Iran in response to this, and particularly if the president is talking about not wanting the U.S. to go into endless war, suggesting it was a
mistake. That may suggest that he's dialing back his response.
But he will still, perhaps, feel a need to respond in some way. And that is where we perhaps look at diplomatic actions and sanctions that the U.S.
SOARES: Yes. And if we have more sanctions, as (ph) what we've been hearing from Fred all this week, is (ph) to (ph) cripple Iran even further,
Iran already losing patience with the West.
Thanks very much to the team on the ground: Jeremy Diamond, Fred Pleitgen as well as John Kirby. Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Now, Saudi Arabia's pushing back against an independent report on the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, calling it "baseless." A U.N. human
rights investigator found Saudi Arabia carefully planned the Saudi journalist's execution, and said there is credible evidence linking the
Saudi crown prince to the crime.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour got some reaction today from the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs. You'll want to watch this.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We first met back in the first Gulf War, when you yourself were in charge of us, the press.
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Nobody's ever in charge of the press.
AMANPOUR: Well, you were. And there was a pretty decent relationship. Jamal Khashoggi was a member of the press. He was a Saudi patriot. I want
to ask you what you think when you hear the following words. This is from Turkish intelligence and from other intelligence.
We also know that the head of the CIA, Gina Haspel, has heard this intelligence and these tapes. So people go into, Saudis go into the
consulate. "We will take you back," they say to Khashoggi. "This is an order from Interpol," Saudi says. Khashoggi says, "There isn't a case
against me." And warns them that people are waiting outside.
They then instruct him to write a text message to his son. Then they argue about what to say. And they say to him, "Cut it short." There's a
What do you think when you hear that?
AL-JUBEIR: Well, let me first respond to your first question about the holding to account people who committed Abu Ghraib and who committed Iran-
AMANPOUR: No, no. First I want to ask you this. Sorry, that's a -- that's a red herring.
AL-JUBEIR: Yes. No, no. Because -- because -- in our case, in our case, the reason the trials are ongoing and people will be punished. We have made
that very clear.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you what your reaction is to this.
AL-JUBEIR: With regards to the reaction to the tape, we know this is a rogue operation that was not authorized. We know that a crime was
committed. We have people in jail and they're on trial as we speak.
AMANPOUR: What do you say to the following? Khashoggi says, "There's a towel here. Are you going to give me drugs?"
AL-JUBEIR: I -- I --
AMANPOUR: And they say, "We will anesthetize you." And then there's a struggle. And then a man asks whether Khashoggi's passed out. And then
another one -- or the same one -- says, "He raises his head." Another one says, "Keep pushing. Push here. Don't remove your hand. Push it."
AL-JUBEIR: It's a -- it's a gruesome murder that happened outside authorities, and for which the people who committed it will be punished.
That's why there's a trial. That's why there's an ongoing investigation. This should never have happened.
AMANPOUR: Then there's a really more gruesome one, even. A Saudi official asks whether it would be possible to put the trunk of the body in a bag.
Another replied, "No, too heavy." "It's not a problem. The body is heavy. First time I cut on the ground if we take plastic bags and cut it into
pieces, it will be finished. We will wrap each of them."
AL-JUBEIR: Terrible. This is terrible. I told you. This is a gruesome murder that took place without authorization for which the people who
perpetrated are being punished now. We -- they're being -- they're in court, they're on trial and they will be punished. We have made that very
[4:15:06] SOARES: We're joined now by international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson.
I know, Nic, you heard that interview. And I know, also, that you -- you had a meeting with him. What was your take from what he said? He didn't
believe the report that we heard yesterday, this time yesterday on CNN.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. Look, he's trying to -- the Saudi position is to undermine the credibility of the
report by calling into question the credibility of the special rapporteur. They recognize that what she is trying to do here, which is call a halt to
the trial in Saudi Arabia, to put it under international jurisdiction. And that's not in their interests.
She's also, they say, predisposed to believing that the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, is a force for evil in the country that, you know he
requires further investigation. They believe that she's predisposed to believing that before all this began already.
So they're hunkering down here. They are doing what they've done all along, which is to come up with the narrative that -- that, you know, the -
- some of them may believe that it's true, that their team on the ground lied to them.
ROBERTSON: But the evidence speaks to something else. The special rapporteur is essentially saying, "Your trial is -- it's going to be a
miscarriage of justice. It's not out in the open. It's not to international standards. Shouldn't be conducted this way."
SOARES: What do we know about the trial and the men on trial?
ROBERTSON: Well, this is something that we've learned a little bit more through the special rapporteur --
ROBERTSON: -- what she has said and what Adel Al-Jubeir said today was, in a typical Saudi trial, you don't name the defendants because there are
implications for their families. You know, if they're then found to be innocent, then you've dragged their names through the mud for no reason.
So they have kept the names in this secret. It doesn't look like the sort of trial that you and I are used to. He says this is the way they do
business. But what the special rapporteur has told us, that the two main people, the Dr. Bonesaw, Dr. Tubaigy, the forensic doctor, and the head of
that so-called hit team that went to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi, they are actually two of the five people who face a death penalty if found guilty.
But when I asked them, I said, you know, "When is it -- give us an idea --
ROBERTSON: -- "when's this trial going to end?" His pushback on that was, "We don't have all the evidence. We've been asking Turkey --
ROBERTSON: -- "for the evidence." So I think it's very, very, very clear that Saudi Arabia has taken the position that this is our narrative, it's
our jurisdiction, we're going to investigate it, we'll put them on trial.
And the international community can, you know, can have its view. But it - - there's -- my real sense is that they believe that they will just get through this over time. That's their position.
SOARES: And do you have the feeling that they will get away with murder in terms of the diplomatic scene? Because we saw the Congress, today in the
United States, acting against Saudi Arabia in that regard when it comes to arms sales.
ROBERTSON: This -- well, President Trump's going to veto that --
SOARES: (inaudible). Yes.
ROBERTSON: -- and it's unlikely that they'll have the numbers in the Senate to overturn the president's veto. Saudi knows that. There is no
better ally for Saudi in the situation with --
ROBERTSON: -- Iran and what they want to have Iran curbed in the region, than President Trump. He's their big ally. They -- you know, they're
doing business with him. That's a huge amount of leverage. You know, billions of billions of dollars.
That equation's not going to be changed, unfortunately, by Jamal Khashoggi. And I say "unfortunately" because an innocent man was killed and they admit
by their own officials. And where we stand today, the world still feels that justice isn't being done and they are not -- they haven't convinced
anyone yet --
ROBERTSON: -- that justice is being served.
SOARES: And like his fiancee said, there's still no sign, no word on where his body is. Nic, thank you very much.
Nic Robertson there.
Still to come tonight, just two remain in the race to be the next British prime minister. Boris Johnson is the heavy favorite, but can he (ph) make
the count heading into the final round?
[14:19:02] Plus, protestors in Sudan are back on the streets with a message to military rulers. "We're not going away." We'll bring you that report,
SOARES: And then, there were two. As you can see on the show, we've been counting down every single day, here on the show. Boris Johnson, Jeremy
Hunt are the ones left standing in the race to become the next British prime minister. Johnson remains the favorite with a commanding lead, as
you can see there, after Michael Gove was knocked out just by two votes.
Bianca Nobilo is here with me. She's been following all this right from the beginning.
So, not surprising, Bianca, that Boris has done well.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mm-hmm.
SOARES: But it was quite a tight race between Gove -- Michael Gove -- and Jeremy Hunt.
NOBILO: It was. It could have gone either way. In fact, in Westminster, there are rumors -- I was just speaking to M.P.s about this -- that
actually some of Boris' supporters may well have padded the vote in favor of Jeremy Hunt because they wanted to see them face off against each other.
Not substantiated, but that is all the whispers that's happening --
SOARES: Is that because they believe that he had a better chance of winning against Hunt then he did against Gove?
NOBILO: Quite right. It's considered at the moment that Boris will win because he's been in (ph) favor (ph) with the Conservative Party
membership, he will ultimately make this decision in a couple of weeks. And he has been the favorite for years now, by a huge margin, from
everybody else on offer.
But Michael Gove and Boris Johnson had this very fractious personal history of --
SOARES: That would have been quite something, wouldn't it?
NOBILO: Exactly. Michael Gove, having been his campaign manager --
NOBILO: -- back in 2017 and then deciding to stand for leadership himself. So Boris and his supporters, you can imagine, are relishing the idea that
Gove was knocked out just by two votes. And he's not going to be facing off against Boris --
SOARES: And I was reading a tweet from Jeremy Hunt. He was saying that he was the underdog. Brits love an underdog.
NOBILO: They do.
SOARES: But the chances of him actually winning, now -- I'm not saying that he doesn't have a change, but -- are quite tight.
This is a tweet from him. "I'm the underdog -- but in politics surprises happen as they did today. I do not doubt the responsibility on my
shoulders -- to show my party how we deliver Brexit and not an election, but also a turbo-charged economy and a country that walks tall in the
SOARES: How does Jeremy Hunt differ in terms of his ideas, his plan, his vision to deliver Brexit in comparison to Boris?
NOBILO: Well, first of all, it's interesting he's trying to frame himself as the underdog, almost something unexpected and fresh. Because this is
one of the problems with Jeremy Hunt.
Unlike Rory Stewart, who caused a real stir in the leadership caucus (ph) - -
SOARES: Who was an underdog.
NOBILO: He was an underdog. And had this incredibly successful social media campaign --
NOBILO: -- did much better than people thought he would. Jeremy Hunt is not that. He's been in politics and as a minister since David Cameron
until now. He's the longest-serving health secretary. He's now foreign secretary. He's actually had a few gaffes a la Boris Johnson-esque, as
foreign secretary, as well.
But he isn't an underdog in this. He has been considered the safe pair of hands, relatively speaking, alternative to Boris Johnson for some time.
In terms of Brexit, he has said that he's prepared to leave without a deal, even though that would not be his first choice. That is similar language
to what we've heard from --
SOARES: We've (ph) heard, yes.
NOBILO: -- Boris as well. There isn't very much between them. The key factor -- and this will matter to the membership, which is predominantly in
favor of Brexit when it comes to voting --
NOBILO: -- is that originally, back in 2016, Boris was the face of the Brexit campaign and Jeremy Hunt was a Remainer. So there is this fear that
it will be --
SOARES: Going back to where we watched (ph) --
NOBILO: -- a repetition of Theresa May, of a Remainer promising to Brexit --
NOBILO: -- and then not delivering. That would be the concern.
SOARES: Very important context, Bianca. Thanks very much.
Now, in Sudan protestors are back on the streets, turning up the pressure on the Military Council to transfer power to civilian rule. Rallied are
reported today in Khartoum and several state capitals.
Now, protests had dwindled since a military crackdown earlier this month that left more than 100 people dead. CNN is on the ground in Sudan. Ben
Wedeman reports protestors are making it clear they're not going away. And a warning, this report contains some disturbing video.
[14:25:01] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
BEN WEDEMAN (voice-over): Chanting "Civilian, civilian," the protestors come out at night, demanding an end to rule by the transitional Military
Council, which, on the 3rd of June, dispatched soldiers to break up a long- running sit-in outside army headquarters, clearly (inaudible) people.
This noisy march through the dusty streets of Omdurman, Khartoum's sister city, is an act of courage, defiance.
WEDEMAN: The people who brought down the old dictator, Omar al-Bashir, are not about to go silently into the night. But there is a new would-be
dictator lying in wait for them.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Much has changed in Sudan since Bashir stepped down. But much remains the same.
In Khartoum, the government-organized rally of village leaders, musicians were the warm-up act for the main attraction, General Mohamed Hamdan
Dagalo, known here simply as Hemeti, is number two in the ruling Military Council. He commands the Rapid Support Forces, the men who broke up the
Hemeti rose to prominence as a leader of the Janjaweed, regime-backed tribal fighters. During the war, the International Criminal Court
described it as genocide in Darfur more than a decade ago.
On this occasion, however, speaking to a receptive audience, he stressed security and stability, favored themes in the Arab world by the guardians
of the old order. Mu'mun Ahamd is trying to overthrow that order.
MU'MUN AHAMD, ACTIVIST IN SUDAN (through translator): I saw more than 60 people either injured or killed --
WEDEMAN (voice-over): -- he recalls from the day Hemeti's troops attacked the sit-in. Video he shot on his phone that day shows just how intense the
incoming fire was.
A bullet hit the hand holding his phone. Another smashed into his leg.
Dr. Sulima Sharif runs a trauma center and says she knows of at least seven women, raped by soldiers on June 3rd.
Other women protestors were abused as they fled.
SULIMA SHARIF, DOCTOR, AHFAD TRAUMA CENTER: They have been beaten, threatened to be raped, been called sluts. This is too much.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The Military Council denies any rapes took place.
Ja'afar Hassan is a leader of the Forces for Freedom and Change, a coalition fighting for civilian rule.
JA'AFAR HASSAN, LEADER, FREEDOM AND CHANGE COALITION (through translator): The Military Council is trying to abort the revolution -- he warns -- we
won't allow that to happen because this is a revolution of the people.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The people who, against the odds, refuse to be silenced. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Khartoum.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, naming names. The U.S. State Department calls out countries that perpetuate modern human slavery. We'll
have that story for you.
[14:28:40] Also, it is the worst humanitarian crisis you've never heard of. On this World Refugee Day, we'll take you to a country where conflict has
forced more than a million people from their homes. Those two stories after a very short break. Do stay right here with CNN.
[14:30:16] ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, to a story that CNN has across the globe, the faith of millions of people who are
victims of forced labor, sex slavery, and becoming child soldiers. The U.S. State Department is calling out countries for doing too little,
sometimes far too little to stamp out human trafficking.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has just released the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Now, several European countries have been downgraded as
well as Cuba and Saudi Arabia for ignoring the human suffering. Pompeo says countries that are turning traffickers will pay a price. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We also call out those nations that aren't doing enough. Tier three designations, the lowest possible
designation were given once again to China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela among others. A few countries were added to the tier
three list, including Cuba.
These designations, tier one, two, three, aren't just words on paper. They carry consequences. Last year, President Trump restricted certain types of
assistance to 22 countries that were ranked for tier three in our 2018 TIP Report. That action and the message that flows with it is very clear. If
you don't stand up to trafficking, America will stand up to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: But this document compiled by the United States also contain some political calculation.
Let's go straight to Washington now where Paula Newton has more on this global report card. And, Paula, we heard the secretary there talking about
tier one, tier two, tier three. Walk us through this report. Who is being named and shamed here?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the issue here is exactly who they chose to name and why. Let's deal first with those
countries who are now moved from what we call a tier two watch list into the downgrade, the category three. If you can bring up the map there, you
will see that Bhutan, Cuba, the Gambia, and crucially here, Saudi Arabia, all now go to tier three.
And what does that mean, Isa? As you just heard the secretary of state, that is supposed to mean that there are consequences. But, Isa, that will
be the real test of that report. Will the president put in those consequences for very sensitive countries like Saudi Arabia that may or may
not be getting any kind of aid, especially military aid from the United States? We'll get back to that in a second.
The thing that's really interesting here though, Isa, as well, for Europe, is that you had, in fact, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the Slovak
republic all downgraded from tier one to tier two, these would be jurisdictions, Isa, that you would expect to stay in that crucial tier one.
But they are now also being watched in tier two.
A lot of this report has to do are people doing enough to prevent, prosecute, and protect victims of human trafficking. And even in the cases
of those European countries, the United States found in their document that they were not.
I do want to remark though, as well, that the U.S. grades itself and there were lapses with the U.S. evidence this year. But what they were doing for
human traffickers, they, though, themselves, left themselves in category one, tier one. Isa?
SOARES: And, Paula, Saudi Arabia was this on this year's front and center, and we reported what we just heard from Secretary of State Pompeo. We
stepped in to keep to keep Saudi Arabia off the list of countries recruiting child soldiers. Explain to our viewers why.
NEWTON: Yes. There is a companion on this list, and has to do with that naming and shaming, as you say countries that recruit child soldiers. At
issue here is whether or not Saudi Arabia was complicit in recruiting those child soldiers into the conflict in Yemen. And while the report indicated
that, in fact, there was some evidence to indicate that they might have been doing that, they decided there was not enough evidence to put them on
What's key here is that apparently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to our reporting, intervened above these experts to actually make
sure they kept Saudi Arabia on the list.
[14:35:08] I have to point out though, Isa, Saudi Arabia is on the list in that tier three, which means the president will now be called to act. I
just want to point out that from the report, it listed the fact that they were even deporting victims. Victims of human trafficking and not doing
enough to protect them.
I put that question to the ambassador at large, John Cotton Richmond. This was the first interview who's ever done since being appointed as ambassador
at large. I want you to listen to what he said about Saudi Arabia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN COTTON RICHMOND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MONITOR AND COMBAT TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS: When we looked at what Saudi Arabia had been doing to meet the
minimum standards, we realized that they wanted to be on tier three, which is the lowest of the four options for the TIP Report, and with that, comes
NEWTON: What will they be?
COTTON: It's up to the president to decide what waivers or restrictions to grant or not grant.
NEWTON: You said that word though waivers, already, that sounds like these will just be words for Saudi Arabia and not consequences.
COTTON: I think we've seen a real change this year. For many years, the waivers were given freely, and countries on tier three didn't suffer the
restrictions. In this last year, we saw a reversal of that and this administration has said that they're going to take this matter seriously,
and they have not waived for the vast majority of countries on tier three.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Yes, it's interesting. He says they're going to take it seriously. He already gave me a timeline of 90 days.
Isa, you were talking to Nic Robertson about this just earlier in terms of Saudi Arabia and the very complex position that the United States is in and
that likely President Trump will even defy Congress on whether or not that military aide is sent to Saudi Arabia. The ambassador made it clear. This
is the president's decision and this report -- this report, Isa, whether or not has any tees for countries of Saudi Arabia, it will end up on the desk
of the president.
SOARES: Paula Newton there for us, thanks very much, Paula. Good to see you.
Now, there's some of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Many escaping one horrific situation only end up with a whole new host of
Today is World Refugee Day, and the United States is highlighting the fight of more than 70 million people forced to flee their homes because of
violence or prosecution. That number is at an all-time high. More than almost double, in fact, from just a decade ago.
In fact, one in every 108 people around the world is now displaced, forced to rely on refugee camps or the generosity, in fact, of (INAUDIBLE) for
their very survival.
Well, one conflict driving people from their homes has been so -- has been called forgotten crisis, happening in the shadows of the spotlight on
another on other places torn apart by a war. But the situation in the Central African Republic is every bit as dire.
Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, shows us how many people there are struggling just to stay alive.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the worst humanitarian crisis you have never heard of. Half the people of
the Central African Republic don't know where their next meal is coming from. Nearly six years of vicious conflict involving Muslim and Christian
militias have forced a million people from their homes.
Some of them sought shelter here, in a sprawling overcrowded camp in the town of Bria.
WARD (on-camera): There are 65,000 people now living in this camp. They came to escape the bloodshed of the different warring militias in this
country. But even here, even now, the situation is tense. As you can see, we have armed guards with us at all times.
WARD (voice-over): Escaping from the searing noon sun -- we meet Lavender Clemus (ph). She tells us that her husband was beaten to death by
militants. She cherishes a single photograph of him.
Like many here, Clemus says the camp feels more like a prison than a refuge. As soon as I can go home, I will, she says, I cannot suffer here
For now, leaving is not an option, 75 percent of the country is still under the control of different militias, and spasms of violence continue.
Last year, there were nearly 400 attacks on aid workers in the Central African Republic.
Giancarlo Cirri is country director for the World Food Programme.
GIAN CARLO CIRRI, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: We rely very much on armed escorts to bring our food.
WARD (on-camera): Are there some places you can't even get to?
CIRRI: Yes, there are, because there is an additional difficulties of terrain.
WARD (voice-over): In the capital of Bangui, President Faustin-Archange Touadera hopes that a peace agreement reached in February with the various
militias will staunched the bleeding.
FAUSTIN-ARCHANGE TOUADERA, PRESIDENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (through translator): People have suffered so much because, today, our country, due
to the crisis, is not in peace. We have to find peace and security again. We have to work on this and this is our priority.
[14:40:06] WARD (on-camera): What is your message to the people of the Central African Republic?
TOUADERA (through translator): Our country is blessed by God. There are lots of possibilities I have already mentioned. There is like agriculture
and mining. So we need to start working, getting gauged and united rather than staying stuck in divisions of hatred and being vengeful.
WARD (voice-over): A message of hope, to a people long consumed by hatred and suffering.
Clarissa Ward, CNN, Central African Republic.
SOARES: I want to go back to our top story, and that's the escalating tensions in the Middle East.
Just minutes ago, Iran released video that shows what it claims is the shooting down of a U.S. intelligence drone. And Iranian foreign minister,
Javad Zarif, just tweeted. He gave specific time, as well as quarters, you can see their on your screen that he says, proof the drone violated Iranian
airspace. He asked that Iran retrieve pieces of the drone in its territorial waters.
U.S. President Donald Trump says, "Iran made a big mistake in taking out the unmanned aircraft." But as to how the U.S. would respond, Mr. Trump
merely said, "You'll find out."
So let's put it all into perspective. What happens now? The question is going to be answered, we will find out from the U.S. Specifically, how
will the U.S. respond? With military action?
Joining me now is Lina Khatib, expert on international relations in the region, the head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham
Nina, thank you very much for coming in. Let me first get your thoughts on what we heard from Zarif, because about an hour-and-a-half or so ago, we
heard from the United States, we heard from the president, we heard from the general in the United States, where they had a map, a couple of dots,
they showed a video of the drone, reportedly of the drone of smoke of the drone falling from the skies.
What are you hearing? Because at the moment, it's just he said/he said.
LINA KHATIB, HEAD OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: And sadly none of this evidence appears to be very convincing. The
U.S. map could have frankly been made by anyone. And just because Javad Zarif tweets and says pieces of the drone were found in Iranian territorial
waters doesn't mean that the drone was actually flying over Iranian territorial waters.
And just recent the coordinates also sadly proves nothing. So what I'm seeing here is both sides posturing towards one another. But at the same
time, it seems that neither side, wants this to result in an actual full-on confrontation.
SOARES: That may be the case, but all it takes is a slip and it could lead to a full confrontation. That's the fear.
KHATIB: Yes, absolutely. And there's a lot of concern about that, because we're talking about the Strait of Hormuz, which is an area that is very
narrow and a fifth of the world's oil flows through there or processes through there. So anything can happen. Mistakes can happen.
However, I find it difficult to believe that the United States with its sophisticated technology can make such a mistake even in an area that is,
as I said, as kind of narrow and sensitive as that.
SOARES: OK. It's clear that the tensions have been ratcheted up to a point that we haven't seen for some time. How can -- who can deescalate
this? Can Europe step up? Can they do something? How can we bring this right down?
KHATIB: Unfortunately, only the United States and Iran can deescalate this --
SOARES: But they're not talking.
KHATIB: Well, I think we're going to see more of this I expect. Because there has been a series of such incidents recently. On part of Iran, we've
seen the attacks on the oil tankers. We've seen attempts of downing U.S. drones in the past. We've seen Iranian proxies, like the Houthis launched
missiles into Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, we've seen the U.S. exert what it calls maximum pressure, which is a lot of economic pressure mainly on Iran and a lot of heavy rhetoric.
However, this was never coupled with serious military action. I know a lot of people are saying, but the U.S. just sent 1,000 troops to the Strait of
Hormuz area. But if you're preparing for war and you're the United States, you don't send just 1,000 troops.
So what I see here is a case of two sides engaged in a rhetorical battle with some symbolic military escalation that is not meant to cross a red
line that would actually lead to full-on war. And I expect that eventually, hopefully, they can reach some sort of negotiation further down
But for them to get there, I think they both want to present themselves in a position of strength.
SOARES: Of strength. So none of them really -- both of them digging in their heels, none of them backing down at all. So you hinted that, Lina,
that perhaps it will get worse?
KHATIB: Before it gets better, absolutely. I expect more of these incidents to happen. I expect the U.S. to react and mainly non-military
ways against Iran.
[14:45:59] As such, however, it is also likely that we are going to see escalation between the allies and the proxies, such as what's happening in
Yemen with the Houthis being Iran's proxies and Yemen, and with, of course, the gulf actors being U.S. allies.
SOARES: The maximum pressure by Iran, our correspondent at the top of the hour, Fred Pleitgen, who was in Tehran was saying that perhaps -- correct
me -- let me just correct myself, it wasn't Fred Pleitgen, it was Jeremy Diamond, who was at the White House. He was saying, perhaps, it could be
sanctions, more sanctions that we get in -- directed at Iran.
This maximum pressure campaign, is this -- is this backfiring, do you think?
KHATIB: I don't think so. It is actually putting Iran under a lot of economic strain and this is already seen in some of the decisions that Iran
is making, for example, in Syria. We are seeing less spread of Iranian backed forces, for example in Syria, such as Hezbollah.
Iran, of course, wants the world to believe that it can withstand any sanctions, but the fact is, it's hurting economically.
However, it will take a long time before Iran hurts enough to back down and say to the U.S., we're opened to negotiation, especially that this will not
look good domestically in Iran, so we have to bear that in mind, that the leadership in Iran does not want to look like it has bowed down to U.S.
pressure, which is why I expect this kind of escalation and this dance to go on for quite some time.
SOARES: Lina, thanks very much.
KHATIB: Thank you.
SOARES: Thank you.
And still to come tonight, they are lining up to get water. We'll tell you why it has become such a scarce commodity in one parched city in India.
I'll bring you that story, next.
SOARES: Now, some good news for a water starved city in India. A rain in Chennai today, the first major rainfall of the year.
But that small relief for residents of Indian cities squeezed by a severe water shortage and the impact of month's long drought and scorching heat is
being felt there every day.
SOARES (voice-over): This is the most significant range Chennai have seen since December of last year. So far, it's not much. But it's a welcome
change for India's sixth largest city, which has been sweltering through scorching heat wave and it's fast running out of water.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Our day starts at 4:00 in the morning when we reach this place to get water. We can only take water
until 10:00 A.M. After which it gets very hot. It is a very difficult time for us.
SOARES: High temperatures combined with prolonged dry weather have left Chennai's water reservoirs virtually empty. These satellite photos showed
the dramatic change in just the past few months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is an acute water crisis looming now. And for the last month, there has been no water supply as
bull wells have gone dry and supply is erratic.
[14:50:00] SOARES: Water trucks are now a daily reality for the city's residents, were forced to queue for hours to fill their buckets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Between 4:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M., we come here with buckets and just wait and watch. The tank goes
frequently to nearby streets, but on our street, it doesn't come often enough. We cannot go to work. We're not able to cook food at home.
SOARES: Last summer's monsoon season failed to deliver its usual deluge and this year's monsoon is late. Every year, groundwater wells are running
dry faster and faster. Local authorities are being criticized for not doing enough to prepare for the inevitable water shortages.
D. JAYAKUMAR, TAMIL NADU FISHERIES MINISTER (through translator): As far as water management is concerned, the government is doing the maximum. It
has undertaken cleaning up of water tanks, lakes and reservoirs, and they're deepening well.
SOARES: While today's rain is a promising sign that the monsoon season is on its way, it's only a temporary reprieve. Environmentalists warned the
situation in Chennai is just an indication of things to come as the realities of climate change and more extreme weather events become common.
SOARES: More to come tonight, including the story of a young girl sold into slavery. She's now grown and making a new life after 15 years of what
she says were fairly physical as well as mental abuse. That's ahead in our Freedom Project.
SOARES: We talked to you earlier about human trafficking. Now, we have an update on a story about a woman from Taiwan who had been sold into slavery.
She's spent 15 years working day, as well as night for a family in Southern California before she managed to escape.
Martin Savidge reports for CNN's Freedom Project.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a typical day for Shari Ho. At home, caring for a group of children.
SHARI HO, HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVOR: That's how they are. They're so comfortable. They feel like this is their homes.
SAVIDGE: Ho runs a licensed daycare center in Orange County, California.
HO: That's why I like to play with them and then lie down with them.
SAVIDGE: Play is an important part of the day, perhaps because her own childhood was spent working as a slave.
HO: A person told me, "Your mom will never come back for you. Your parents sold you. You're going to stay here forever."
SAVIDGE: Ho says desperate poverty in her native Taiwan in 1990 forced her parents to sell her for about $300. She was seven years old.
For more than 15 years, Ho worked for a wealthy family first in Taiwan then later when her captors moved to the U.S.
In that time, she says she was subjected to daily mental and physical abuse. Cleaning, cooking and caring for the family. Sleeping on the
floor, eating the families discarded leftovers in a corner of the kitchen.
Ho says, once, when she was accused of stealing a sip of tea, a woman in the home dragged her by her hair to the bathroom where she put a toilet
brush into the child's mouth and twisted.
In 2005 at the age of 23, Ho summoned the courage to escape. A woman who worked near the family store noticed something wasn't right. She
encouraged Ho to call her if she ever needed help. Ho did, and they coordinated the time to meet in front of the house where she ran into the
Special Agent Mark Speidel of Homeland Security Investigations, worked closely with Ho in the days that followed.
[14:55:04] MARK SPEIDEL, SPECIAL AGENT, HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS: When I first met Shari, she was very fragile, very frightened and
concerned, scared. As she has mentioned she wasn't sure who to trust because this had gone on for so many years. I knew that we had to handle
her, you know, in a very delicate manner.
SAVIDGE: No criminal charges were brought against the family, but Ho has settled a civil lawsuit with them.
When the CNN first reported her story in 2011, Ho was just learning how to ride a bike, read, and use money. Everyday skills she'd never been taught
living as a slave. Her one wish back then, to find her mother.
Do you want to find her?
SAVIDGE: And what would you say when you found?
HO: If I find her, I'll say, Mom, I love you so much. I just want to find you.
SAVIDGE: The CNN story sparked a media storm in Taiwan, and its foreign minister helped Ho locate her family.
This was the moment, mother and daughter waited 20 years for.
HO: I feel hurt, confused. But first, she told me it was like, I'm sorry and that everything happened to you. But I just told her and say,
everything is a past. It's more important, I'm free, I'm happy, I can able to see you, and I can visit you and see the family.
MELODIE FOX, CO-AUTHOR, MY NAME IS ALSO FREEDOM: Was there any part of the book that maybe was scariest to talk about?
SAVIDGE: With co-author Melodie Fox, Shari's written a book about her life called, "My Name is Also Freedom." She hopes sales of the book will help
her reach even higher. Expanding her daycare center to include help for other survivors of human trafficking.
HO: I had a lot of dream for my center. I want to help other survivor too, to become able to go work. I just want to help other people.
SAVIDGE: A dream she works every day for and hopes the next generation won't endure what she had to those many years before.
SOARES: Thanks very much for watching tonight. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. And "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" will
have much more out of the White House out of Iran. We know congressional leaders are going to the White House to get a briefing on Iran.
Tensions clearly escalating there. We heard from Iran in the last half an hour, releasing a video, sharing what it claims is the shooting down of the
U.S. intelligence drone. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeting, as well in the last half hour, giving specific times and coordinates that he
says proved the drone violated Iranian airspace.
The U.S. says it incurred -- the incident occurred in international airspace of the Strait of Hormuz. We'll have more much after a very short
break. Do stay right here with CNN.