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CONNECT THE WORLD
Thousands Turn Out For Massive Pro-Democracy Rally; At Least 63 People Dead After Blast Hits Kabul Wedding; Sudan Celebrates Historic Power-Sharing Agreement; CNN Speaks To Organizers Of Rallies; Leaked Documents Show U.K. Preparing For No-Deal Brexit; U.S. Lawmaker's Scrapped Trip Sparks Controversy. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired August 18, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They can't stop the people's anger because the police are doing things that are totally unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This hour defying Beijing. A sea of protesters trying to bring about a sea change. We are in the middle
of Hong Kong's mega pro-democracy March facing down with China. Then a continent away --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By votes, you can experience your obedience, not by gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Sudan hopes the pen is mightier than the sword. The country erupted in celebration after the army agrees to sharing power with
politicians. More on that just ahead. Plus, you are watching our future melt away, but our climate crisis is giving Donald Trump an idea for his
biggest ever real estate deal.
Live from London, hello and welcome. You're watching "CONNECT THE WORLD." I'm Becky Anderson for you. Well, an open act of defiance in Hong Kong in
the biggest show of force in weeks. It is just after 11:00 p.m. in Hong Kong and thousands of protesters still braving the rain.
Earlier, thousands and thousands of protesters defying a police ban to make a stand in the heart of the city. It is an unmistakable message to Hong
Kong's leaders. These demonstrators are not backing down but neither is Beijing.
Chinese state media posting a new video Saturday showing military exercises at a sports stadium in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong. We have two
of CNN's best and brightest on the ground for you. Our Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson and Ben Wedeman following these
protests from key spots in Hong Kong.
And Ben, let me start with you. Organizers putting the numbers as high as 1.7 million today. We obviously can't verify that. But coming as this
much does several weeks, or after several weeks of escalating and divisive violence, is today as much a show of solidarity for the movement as it is a
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More than anything, Becky, it's an affirmation that this protest movement that began in June is
not running out of steam, is not about to end. As you mentioned, the Civic Human Rights front which organized today's March says 1.7 million people
came out today and participated. That's 24 percent of Hong Kong's population.
Now, the numbers, you might want to take with a bit of salt but nonetheless what we saw was a massive turnout. And significant so far this weekend, no
tear gas has been fired. Now, we are right in front of the Legislative Council, and we were hearing the protesters telling people to go home, that
they made their point, that they have proven that the people of Hong Kong can be calm and peaceful, but now there seems to be a bit of a ruckus in
front of the office of the Chief Executive Carrie Lam. So it may be too early to predict a completely tear gas free weekend,
But what we did hear from protesters is that this movement is not coming to an end until the government responds to their demands.
ANDERSON: I thought we're going to hear from some of those protesters. Ben, I think you did as well. We'll come back to that sound. Ivan, we
mentioned state media's video of a paramilitary force in Shenzhen. I want our viewers to just have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government, the response is nothing. No response of what the public is asking. So I think we will not give up until we get
what we ask for at least (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they are the five things that we've been asking for more than two months.
WEDEMAN: 11 weeks, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and we haven't heard back from our government. So they think that they would -- they think that we will lose our interest,
were not. We're proving this. I mean, it's pouring, we've been waiting from the causeway for like four hours and we are still here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: OK, you can see we're struggling just a little bit to get the right sound up there, but Ben, those the protesters that you spoke to. And
Ivan, I want to bring this clip up because during the police I heard chanting in Cantonese I quote, stop those the violence, and repent. Have a
Right, we don't have that. What message is trying -- is China trying to send here, Ivan?
[11:05:29] IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, China has been unmistakably saber-rattling. This isn't the first time that
we've seen images coming out from Chinese state television showing security forces along that internal boundary between semi-autonomous Hong Kong and
Mainland China performing drills and staging and getting ready.
And in fact, the Chinese government has allowed CNN and other foreign media organizations to film some of these security forces from the People's Armed
Police, for example, staging out of a large sports stadium in Shenzhen within sight of this internal boundary between mainland China and Hong
And we know that the government in China, as well as state media, have issued a number of threats denouncing the protest movement here in Hong
Kong, characterizing them almost solely as criminals, as rioters as people supported allegedly by foreign governments. And that has all been a kind
of warning that it simply won't tolerate this.
The Chinese ambassador to London earlier was warning that if things been out of control here in Hong Kong, China will not hesitate to use force.
Now that's something that I've asked some of the demonstrators who were out in the streets. Are you worried about this?
And people say, yes, that's in the back of our minds but they all seem to kind of make this calculation that if China was to send troops in on the
30th anniversary year of the Tiananmen Square massacre which was commemorated here in Hong Kong in early June, that the cost to not only to
Hong Kong but to China's prestige internationally would be enormous, and that it would be loathed to take that step.
That said, China continues to saber-rattle and send these ominous warnings across the boundary here to Hong Kong. But as you can see throughout the
day today and amid these rump demonstrators here, just several thousand left, it doesn't seem to stop the shows -- the mass shows of dissent that
we've been seeing day after day, week after week here in Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: Ben, 11 weeks in, what happens next? What do protesters and demonstrators telling you they expect to see and do next?
WEDEMAN: Oh, that's a good -- that's a good question because what we saw earlier this week, of course, was for two days in a row Hong Kong
International Airport was shut down and there was a certain amount of negative reaction from people in Hong Kong to that. The business image of
Hong Kong is being damaged. So what we're seeing today is so far an attempt at a peaceful process.
The next step we're hearing is that when school resumes on the 2nd of September, the protest movement is talking about every Monday will be a
strike. Every Monday the students will refuse to go to school. So they are thinking ahead because until now Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive and
the Hong Kong government simply hasn't responded substantially to their demands.
They have five demands. Now the extradition bill Carrie Lam declared to be dead, but it hasn't officially been shelved. And what we've heard
persistently certainly in the last three weeks is a call for an investigation into police brutality.
It appears that the government here backed by Beijing is not going to give any ground on that particular demand. And therefore it appears that this
stalemate is going to continue for the coming weeks if not the coming months, and that certainly is going to have serious repercussions for Hong
Kong's much-vaunted position as a regional financial hub. So the stakes are very high and where this movement is heading is not at all clear.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is on the ground as is Ivan Watson both for you in Hong Kong as that story continues apace. Well, an evening of celebrations
turned into chaos in Afghanistan after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of a wedding on Saturday in the capital Kabul.
At least 63 people were killed, almost 200 others. Here's my report but first we must warn you it begins on some disturbing images.
[11:10:17] ANDERSON: A pile of victim's shoes, blood coating chairs all in a shattered banquet hall. In Afghanistan's unending maelstrom of violence,
this is how weddings can end.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have lost hope. I lost my brother, my friends who came to join my wedding party.
ANDERSON: The day after his wedding party, the groom recounts what happened when a suicide bomber snuck in and detonated a massive bomb that
had been strapped to his body shaking the neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was in the wedding party when a blast occurred. It was very powerful. The situation was terrible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were sitting in our home when the strong sound of the blast came up. We came to the site of the blast
and I saw that many women and children were screaming and crying. Many martyrs and injured people were transferred by the ambulances and it was a
really terrible situation.
ANDERSON: It's not unfamiliar. In Afghanistan, death is a familiar business. Murdered by terrorism at night, the next morning, families
already burying their dead as the wounded badly hurt struggled to cling to life in dilapidated hospitals. While Afghans suffer through the bloodshed,
the politics of finger-pointing goes on.
The Taliban condemning the attack, deny any involvement. Afghanistan's president insists the group must share in the blame saying, "they provide a
platform for terrorists." And later as it often does, ISIS claiming responsibility but offering no evidence.
This latest episode of violence horrific but unsurprising as it comes as peace talks seem on the cusp of coming together. America could be about to
agree to pulling out its forces. The deal is supposed meant to be finalized in the coming days.
Yet it is unclear what that will mean for ordinary people. The country is riven by religious and political factions flooded with weapons, not to
mention battle-hardened fighters all after nearly 20 years of American involvement.
So the only thing that seems certain looking ahead is that these will be far from the last innocent deaths in Afghanistan.
Ali Latifi is a freelance journalist born in Kabul. He knows the country inside out reporting extensively on civilian conflicts joining me now live
from the Afghan capital. President Ghani has declared a day of mourning. What is the mood on the ground there?
ALI LATIFI, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: The mood on the ground, Becky, is one of shock. You know, people can't believe that bombers were able to walk into
a wedding hall. And anyone who's been to a wedding hall here knows that it's full of hundreds, if not thousands of people.
And the fact that it took place so late at night around 10:40 at night which is about when dinner gets served means people were sitting at their
tables, they were waiting for food. Usually after dinner is when the crowd start to whittle down a little bit and the immediate family goes towards
the woman's side, but right around dinner time is when it's at its height.
So the fact that the bomber made it there, it's really a shock to people. It's really angering people. I recently spoke to the owner of another
wedding hall and he said you know, there were three places I never believed that there would be attacks. One was the mosque which unfortunately has
been happening, to school which has also been happening recently, and now all of a sudden the wedding hall.
ANDERSON: This blast, of course, Ali, comes amid peace talks between the Taliban and the United States, says talks being held in Qatar. Last week,
the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said and I quote, we now see a real chance for peace in Afghanistan. We are closer to a peace deal than
Often push back, this deal was supposedly meant to be finalized in the coming days. How do you Afghan civilians view this deal?
LATIFI: I mean, the situation on the ground is everybody wants peace, right. But the fear is peace at what cost. And the biggest deal right now
is -- so the NATO official said that they're close to peace, that (INAUDIBLE) U.S. representative is saying that they're close to peace. The
Taliban are saying that they're close to peace. And who's being left out of all of this is the Afghan government and the Afghan people.
Neither one feel like they have a say. As much as the Afghan government tries to make statements like oh our fate won't be decided in foreign
capitals or you know, we have control and we'll be talking to them soon. The reality is that they don't. The reality is that -- is that the people
of Afghanistan feel as if peace is coming to them but they don't know what kind of peace.
They don't know if the Taliban will be back to the way they were in 1996. They don't know if they've changed and gotten better or if they've changed
and gotten worse. And this is really the fear is this fear of the unknown because you know, the deals are being made in Doha. They're being made in
Washington. They're being made in Norway and in Germany. They're not being made in Kabul and the people of Afghanistan are not being included in
[11:15:48] ANDERSON: Meantime, they live through the horror of being involved in or at least being witness to the sort of deadly carnage of last
night. Ali, thank you. Your correspondent in Kabul. The Iranian tanker standoff -- the Iranian tanker caught in the standoff -- sorry -- between
Tehran and the West expected to sail away from Gibraltar in the coming hours.
Now, this after yet another reprieve by the U.K. territory. Gibraltar just to denied a U.S. request to detain this ship once again. Meantime, it's
been given a new name and a new flag. Clarissa Ward is in Tehran for you and filed this report just a short while ago.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the Iranian ambassador to the U.K. has tweeted that after hours and hours of non-stop
efforts, the Grace One tanker will now depart the shores of Gibraltar this evening. This after a three-day delay seemingly inexplicable. There have
been some reports that some parts on the tanker needed to be replaced, that the tanker also had to be re-registered once it had lost its Panamanian
flag in place of an Iranian flag, and also the Indian captain had to be replaced by an Iranian captain.
So now we believe according to the Iranian ambassador that the Grace One tanker should set sail this evening. Now, this all happening despite a
last-ditch effort by the U.S. Justice Department to seize the contents of that tanker. According to an unsealed arrest warrant, the U.S. essentially
saying that on board the Grace One were nearly $1 million in cash and petroleum that was being used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
which the U.S. designated a terrorist organization back in April to be smuggled to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Well, today, Gibraltar authorities released their reasons for not adhering to the US's requests essentially saying that Gibraltar adheres to E.U. law.
And under E.U. law, the IRGC, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is not regarded as a terrorist organization. So the Grace One tanker essentially
free to go on.
The question now is where it will go, and beyond that does this now mean in a sort of expected act of tit-for-tat that the Iranians will go ahead and
release the British tanker that they have been holding since July. A lot of people expecting that to happen but we don't yet have a sense of when
that might be. Becky?
ANDERSON: Clarissa Ward reporting for you live from Tehran. Still scam on this show, I'm out of London before you. It is a new day for Sudan. After
months of protests, how a new agreement puts Sudan one step closer to full democracy.
And later, scrapped plans for a U.S. lawmaker to visit Israel sparked fears and travesty this week. And we are live on that story out of Jerusalem for
you. I'm taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: [11:20:00] ANDERSON: Well, today is the day and they know it, it seems. Anytime now, Sudan's military leaders set to share power with
the very same people who've been opposing their very existence for months. A huge step and you can see that through the celebrations of these people
here. And this comes after months of deadly protests topple the former 30- year-old dictator Omar al-Bashir. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir was on the ground in the country's capital during those
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're trying to get up high to show you exactly how many people are here. It's completely
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Nima joining me now in this studio. That was mid-April. We are now mid-August. Is this really a new dawn for Sudan?
ELBAGIR: Well, I mean, that's the key question, but it's the closest they ever thought they would come. The reality is that the man signing
alongside them Commander Mohamed Hamdan known as Hemeti is the man whose forces were implicated in the killing of protesters. So that, of course,
casts a really dark shadow over a lot of this.
But the reality is that the protesters pushed and pulled the military to this place. They did not want a hybrid council, let alone the presence of
civilians on it. And yet they are now sharing power with civilians.
ANDERSON: So what do you see for the future? I mean, how confident are you that this sort of new dawn will hold?
ELBAGIR: Well, they have three years of three months. That's a lot of time before the new elections, before actual independent elections.
There's a lot of time for things to go horribly wrong. But all of those were speaking to on the ground say that the biggest guarantee is the
perseverance of the people and how hard they have held to come this far.
ANDERSON: That is remarkable. The trial of Sudan's ousted leader, of course, will begin on Monday. Former President Omar al-Bashir facing
charges related to corruption. He was removed from power in April following months of protests. As we see, you know, the -- what is going on
on the ground, and what we is going on with regard politics, what do the people of Sudan hope to see from this trial?
ELBAGIR: They want him executed. And that is the chant that goes up anytime somebody mentions his name. They believe that he resulted in the
deaths of hundreds of protesters, probably thousands of civilians over his 30-year rule.
But the trial itself has really shone a light on the fact that there is still a contingent of people who are very loyal to him, that having to move
the trial from where it was originally supposed to be because there was several attempts at breaking him out of prison. So it shows what is
lurking beneath these waters here today.
ANDERSON: The military has been accused of horrific atrocities against civilian protesters like yourself who have expressed fears that their
country might end up like Egypt now run by an army chief of course. One chant reveals these fears. It goes (INAUDIBLE) which translates to either
victory or Egypt. Do you have confidence that Sudan won't end up like Egypt?
[11:25:08] ELBAGIR: Well, already the timeline is hugely different. The army moved in ten days after Mubarak stepped down in Egypt. So already
people are taking a lot of succour from that. But yes, there is no guarantee that this isn't you know, a hydra head, that there isn't the deep
state infrastructure lurking and waiting to come back out when the time is right. But again these people have persevered.
Now, for nine months, it's just shy of nine months from the day the first demonstrations came out. So this is a huge achievement.
ANDERSON: We know that what goes on in Sudan isn't necessarily owned by these Sudanese. We know that there is -- there are -- there is regional
influence and let's -- that's not to sort of understate that influence, but I mean, you know, there are -- it has been assumed to have been a kind of
sort of proxy environment for some time now.
You're a Sudanese yourself. When you step back from your position as reporting on it, and I guess what I'm asked is to strip the emotion from
this which I know you can do, what is its future? Remind us how involved the international community has been in the past, what sort of support it
has offered. And what it needs next to drive itself into what should be an optimistic future for the people of Sudan?
ELBAGIR: What the Sudanese want and need is debt relief and that kind of happened without Sudan being taken off the state sponsors of terror list in
the U.S. But you're absolutely right. Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs was sitting there as this deal was being
I mean, that is the biggest indicator of how much is at stake and how much meddling has gone on from the Gulf partners in this and how much they are
afraid whether it's Egypt or Saudi Arabia of the Emirates of this Democratic contagion of Arab Spring 2.0.
But again, the international community has not wanted to support Sudan. They have been forced to support Sudan by the actions of the protesters and
that's what the protesters hope will protect this uprising.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Nima, all the pleasure. Thank you.
ELBAGIR: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, a landscape of umbrellas in the streets of Hong Kong as protestors brave the
rain in what is the 11th straight week of demonstrations. We asked one of the organizers behind the movement, what she hopes to see happen next.
And still to come, U.S. President Donald Trump made an unprecedented move this week openly encouraging Israel to bar two U.S. Congresswomen from
entering the country. The latest details on the controversy are ahead.
[11:31:18] ANDERSON: For a lot of top story this hour, hundreds of thousands of protestors have been on the move in Hong Kong in what has been
one of the largest gatherings we have seen in weeks. Organizers say the turnout could be as high as 1.7 million people.
All these pro-democracy rallies showing no sign of stopping. They are now in their 11th straight week, sparked, of course, by the extradition bill
proposed by Hong Kong's government.
Protesters saw that as a threat to the city's rights, freedoms, and way of life. But Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam says that bill is dead.
So, why don't we still see hundreds of thousands on the streets, in the airport, and creating chaos for a city, which sits at the heart of the
international financial system, for example?
Why is the movement, if anything, gathering more momentum? Well, who better to spell it out for us than this demonstrators themselves? Bonnie
Leung is one of the organizers of the recent protest. She joins me now from the march in Hong Kong. We cannot, by any stretch, verify 1.7 million
on the streets of Hong Kong braving the rain today.
But that's certainly what one of the organizing groups is suggesting. Bonnie, I think many people might be surprised to have seen those figures.
BONNIE LEUNG, ORGANIZER, ANTI-EXTRADITION BILL PROTEST, HONG KONG: Hi.
ANDERSON: Given what we have seen of late, the sort of violence in the airport, the complaints about the sort of core group of protesters. What
do you believe brought people out into the streets again today in Hong Kong?
LEUNG: Well, we can see that as there are still a million of people -- more than a million people took to the streets. This is our third over
million protests. So, it is very clear that our five demands are endorsed by all these people.
And even though the police had used excessive force using lethal weapons against a lot of protesters, we are not being scared away.
ANDERSON: Yes, OK.
LEUNG: Or we are not going home. So, Carrie Lam really has to listen to all these people. And especially, when the police had a -- break the rule
books many, many times, it's really angered people. And this really has to change, otherwise, our city simply cannot move on.
ANDERSON: Right, OK, let me put this to you. Emily Lau, I spoke to the back end of last week. She's, of course, a Hong Kong lawmaker and
prominent pro-democracy protester. She voiced concerns about that violent core group of protesters.
The evidence of which we saw of late at the airport and at the legislative headquarters. Does that core group -- and we haven't seen that sort of
violence I'm not suggesting for a moment we have. It's been very, very peaceful today.
But what to do with that core group of protesters? Do they need reining in before we see the consequences of their actions once again?
LEUNG: Well. I've seen your interview with Emily, actually. And I'm not worried at all because what I need to worried really is that the
governments do not listen to us. Those rather young and radical protesters actually, why do they do these radical actions? Is because as they say
themselves that it is you, meaning the governments, who taught us that peaceful demonstration doesn't work that is why all these radical actions
So, what we do today really is to put our protest back to totally peaceful.
LEUNG: And with this peaceful protest, really, the government no longer have any more excuses to not listening to us. So --
[11:35:20] ANDERSON: Right. And let -- so, let me put -- let me get, get -- yes, let me -- let me get really specific then.
LEUNG: Yes, please.
ANDERSON: What is it then that you and the others you hit the streets today are asking? Carrie Lam has already said that the extradition bill is
dead. So, what's next? Specifically, what is it that you are asking for now?
LEUNG: Well, well, first of all, we want justice and we want everything to be acted according to rule of law. And while Carrie Lam said the bill is
dead -- actually, the bill is dead. That the word "that" is not in our statute.
What we need is a total withdraw of the bill. And second of all, according to a recent poll.
ANDERSON: OK, will that to happen, would you stop the protest? Let me just stop you for a moment. When she too went entirely withdraw that bill,
would these protests be over?
LEUNG: Well, first of all, I believe that if the bill is totally withdrawn, a lot of people will calm down a little bit. But I was just
saying that according to a recent poll that people is very angry about the police use of excessive force.
They're literally dropping tear gas bombs everywhere, including indoor in our MTR stations. So, according to this post, our people are equally
concerned about the extradition bill, as well as, the police use of excessive force. So, this has to be handled as well.
And also, because Hong Kong people has sacrificed a lot including risking our own lives, and risking our own future just to stop one evil bill,
LEUNG: And this is not acceptable because whenever the government's want to with the help of the pro-Beijing legislators, they can anytime start on
other evil bill, and on other evil bill.
And at that time, Hong Kong people will have to come out again and again and sacrifice all over again.
So, what we need is a justice system. What we need is a true democracy. And until we have the real universal suffrage, we believe that we will have
a lot of evil bills, not only the extradition bill that Hong Kong people will need to come out again.
LEUNG: So, that's not used.
ANDERSON: Bonnie, thank you for that. We, our viewers seeing both sides of this trying to push out their agenda. It's taking some very inventive
forms, I got to say. Take a listen to this pro-Beijing rap, complete with a cameo from the U.S. president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Something is probably happening with Hong Kong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody want to split Hong Kong from us. They started a riot bring chaos and violence, but this time we stick together.
TRUMP: Something is probably happening with Hong Kong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any advice president?
TRUMP: Because Hong Kong is a part of China, they'll have to deal with that themselves. They don't need advice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And that's just the sort of thing that goes viral and it has. So, of course, hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong taking a stand
for democracy, they say.
But in the U.K., democracy while it's coming with its own issues, a leak of government documents has emerged, revealing a contingency plan in the event
of a no-deal Brexit. And, well, it doesn't make for easy readings.
CNN's Simon Cullen, joining me right now. A leak that The Sunday Times newspaper, of course, has published today. Simon, what's in it, and how
concerned should we be?
SIMON CULLEN, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Well, essentially, Becky, I mean, this is a largely a compilation of things that industry bodies and business
leaders themselves have been warning off for months, if not years.
A lot of trucks, for example, are not going to be ready for the French customs checks. That's going to cause delays at the border, that's going
to potentially impact on things like medical supplies coming into the U.K., most of them come from Europe, most of them come across the channel, or
through the ferry ports.
Another problem that they -- they're anticipating is the availability of fresh food will be reduced. And, of course, things like passenger travel
at E.U. airports, train stations, potential unrest.
ANDERSON: Like you say, none of which we haven't discussed before and the government, I'm sure, would say, I think they have already that these were
issues that they are already dealing with.
U.K. cabinet minister Michael Gove, responding to these leaks. Saying, and I quote, "Yellowhammer is a worst-case scenario." Yellowhammer being the
plan here. "Worst case scenario, very significant steps have been taken in the last three weeks to accelerate Brexit planning."
So, I guess, our viewers might say, in the last three weeks, good for you, U.K. government. That's pretty late to be sorting out issues that
otherwise are going to impact the British public in an enormous way.
[11:40:12] CULLEN: Absolutely, and in the last three weeks, the only significant announcement we've seen from the government is an extra couple
of billion dollars for a contingency planning with no real specifics as to how it's going to be used. And also about $36 million to fast-track
medical supplies into the U.K.
Now, these are things that a lot of people would have imagined, would have been in place a lot longer or a lot longer ago. And we're only 2-1/2
months -- less than 2-1/2 months now from Brexit actually happening.
ANDERSON: October the 31st. Halloween. Thanks, Simon. Right.
So, we are going to take a very short break at this point. Coming up, this U.S. congresswoman says, she just wanted to visit her grandmother in
Israel. But those bands are now off of the apolitical controversy made international headlines. That full story is just ahead.
ANDERSON: Well, a U.S. congresswoman is speaking out after plans to visit Israel sparked fierce international controversy. Democrat Rashida Tlaib,
says she will not visit her Palestinian grandmother due to what she calls oppressive conditions from Israel. Well, the congresswoman was emotional
when she addressed the issue on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I should be on a plane to see her. I'm still a granddaughter, more than anything, I'm a granddaughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, CNN's correspondent Oren Liebermann, joining us now live from Jerusalem.
Just let's step back for a moment and just explain the context to that very emotional plea there.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the big reasons Congressman Rashida Tlaib was coming here, especially after her initial
request to visit was banned was to see her grandmother.
It was a humanitarian request made to Israel's interior minister who has the final say here. And she said, she wanted to see her grandmother in her
90s. It may be her last chance to see her. In the end, with her restrictions Israel imposed upon her, she decided she wouldn't come unless
it was as a fully recognized member of the U.S. Congress.
President Donald Trump's political fight against the Democrats has hit Israel.
TRUMP: They are very anti-Jewish, and they're very anti-Israel.
LIEBERMANN: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, a frequent target of Trump, refused to visit the country under Israeli restrictions. The Democrat, a
Muslim of Palestinian origin was granted access for humanitarian reasons to visit her family in the West Bank, including her 90-year-old grandmother.
Then, Tlaib did an about-face.
"Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart." She said in a statement.
Silencing me with the treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants from me. It would kill a piece of me that always stands up against
racism and injustice." Tlaib's family in the West Bank backed her decision.
[11:45:14] GHASSAN TLAIB, UNCLE OF REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (through translator): We are against the conditional visit of Rashida to Palestine. Rashida has
the right to visit Palestine as a Palestinian, regardless of being a congresswoman. As any citizen with the U.S. passport has the right to come
and visit their family without any conditions or pressure.
LIEBERMANN: Israel's interior minister who made the final decision on allowing entry, attacked Tlaib on Twitter. "I approved her request as a
gesture of goodwill on a humanitarian basis, but it was just a provocative request, aimed at bashing the State of Israel. Apparently, her hate for
Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother."
One day earlier, Israel had banned Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting because of their support for a boycott of Israel, known
as BDS. That despite a promise last month that the two would be allowed to enter because of Israel's respect for the U.S. Congress. A tweet by
President Donald Trump in which he said, "Israel would show great weakness by letting them in," gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu little room to
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): There's one thing we're not willing to do under the law, we are not willing to
accept into Israel people who call for boycott of Israel and actually work to delegitimize the Jewish state.
LIEBERMANN: Democrats and some Republicans blasted the decision, including pro-Israel Democrats Steny Hoyer, who called it outrageous.
In Israel, opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid, said on Twitter, "These are two radical members of Congress, but the decision to bar their entry goes
against our national interest. As Netanyahu knows well, this is a serious mistake which strengthens the BDS movement and further harms our relations
with the Democratic Party.
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu spoke just a short time ago about this before he took off to an official visit to Ukraine. And he was asked about this, he
tried to explain why initially the two were supposed to be allowed. And he said at the time, there was no specific plan for a visit, and no specific
schedule. Once it became clear, he said it was Israel's right to bar them because of their support for the boycott.
He also added in that Israel has tremendous respect for both Republicans and Democrats and that he met with a number of Democrats here. Becky, that
sounds a bit like he's trying to smooth things over with Democrats who are furious at him for not allowing in two duly-elected sitting congresswoman.
ANDERSON: Ad Donald Trump referring to Tlaib as one of the Squad, of course. Her critics will say she is playing to the crowd. The president's
tweet some say ultimately forcing Netanyahu's hand over all of this.
What sort of favors might the Israeli leader expect in return give him we are what? A month away from an Israeli election?
LIEBERMANN: Officially, less than a month away now. Let's be clear to our viewers that Netanyahu's campaign strategy is to a large part Trump. The
two have big billboards of each other in Tel Aviv, where Netanyahu wants to be seen as close to Trump, and no daylight between the two. And that's a
large part of his messaging as well.
But it goes beyond that. Remember back to right before the last elections in April. Trump gave Netanyahu massive political gifts. American
recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, adding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps onto the terror watch list in the U.S. or the
terror list that is at which Netanyahu took partial credit for, and it wasn't enough.
So, what might Trump have in store? This time, well, it could be announcing a mutual defense pact, it could be a visit right before the
elections, where Trump could even go to the Golan Heights there and see the settlement named after him. Or maybe something even bigger. Maybe Trump
would recognize some sort of Israeli right to annex settlements in the West Bank that might even surpass Israeli law if that's what happen.
Because let's not forget, Israel has never recognized Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. All of that might be in the cards for Trump to try to
get Netanyahu over the line and make sure he wins the election this time. Becky.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebemann's in Jerusalem for you folks. Oren, thank you for that.
Well, of course, Mr. Trump working on what he calls, the deal of the century for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
But closer to home, he seems to be cooking up the real estate deal of the century, buying up a whole new country. Where that is? Is up next.
[11:51:45] ANDERSON: The glaciers literally collapsing. These two kayakers say they are lucky to be alive after this glacier cracked open
right in front of them. Pieces of ice break off glaciers all the time, of course, but it's more common this year as it's been extra hot in the summer
The capital Juneau hitting a sweltering record, 32 degrees Celsius last month. Remarkable footage. And those warm temperatures are opening up new
passages in the Arctic.
For example, making Greenland a more attractive location for exploration and exploitation.
In fact, one man especially has his eye on it. The American president, Donald Trump apparently wants to buy the place. Greenland's response? We
are not for sale. CNN's Tom Foreman gets his clued in.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Completely insane." "He's gone crazy." "No, thank you." The uproar in Greenland over the whole idea that
President Trump thinks maybe the United States should buy the world's largest island has been swift and strong.
NUNGO PEDERSON, RESIDENT, NUUK, GREENLAND (through translator): I can only laugh he's lost his marbles.
FOREMAN: The White House is not saying if this is a serious proposal. And the Wall Street Journal which broke the story says, well --
VIVIAN SALAMA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: It's definitely real in the sense that he's talked about it a lot, and it's something
that's definitely on his mind. As far as how real? I mean, it's not just how real, it's can he actually do it? The answer is probably, no.
FOREMAN: No, because despite Trump's boast about his business skills --
TRUMP: Anybody read the art of the deal in this room? Yes.
FOREMAN: Greenland is owned by Denmark, and home to 55,000 people. Whose autonomous government has tweeted, "Greenland is rich in valuable resources
such as minerals, the purest water, and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy, and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We're open
for business, not for sale."
But why does Greenland, which is 80 percent covered with ice matter anyway? That's a clue. Greenland is a gateway to the Arctic. And as global warming
opens the region to more exploration and traffic, a lot of countries are showing interest including China and Russia.
The U.S. already has its biggest northernmost military base there.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: It's located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, which remains a critical area
of the globe in terms of our ability to thwart and defend against, particularly, Russian threats.
FOREMAN: And history suggests this truly may not be a crazy idea. In 1867, the U.S. bought another huge cold place which was mocked as a folly.
But Alaska has worked out pretty well for American interests, and two times before, U.S. officials have raised the notion of buying Greenland.
Still, the outlook for this real estate deal is not promising.
MARGRETHE SORENSEN, RESIDENT, NUUK, GREENLAND (through translator): It's not something you buy or sell. If countries want other territories, it's
FOREMAN: Next month, President Trump will travel to Denmark to meet with the prime minister and the premier of Greenland. Whether he will take his
checkbook, no one knows. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
[11:55:04] ANDERSON: Well, as Tom mentioned, Mr. Trump isn't the first U.S. president who's tried to buy land from other countries, or indeed
express an interest in Greenland.
Just over 70 years ago, in 1946, the Truman administration also did mark a $100 million in gold bars for the island. If we go back further in time,
there are multiple instances when the United States has made territorial purchases.
Almost 100 years ago, the U.S. bought the islands, they're known as the Danish West Indies from Denmark for $25 million and renamed them, the
Virgin Islands. In 1867, the U.S. acquired Alaska from Russia for the equivalent of $7.2 million. At an inflation, that's a whole lot more
But, back in 1803, perhaps the biggest buy of all, the Louisiana Purchase. The U.S. bought land in North America from France, for $15 million.
So, when it comes to global real estate, America, no stranger to some major deals. I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for