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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo
English Channel Migrant Crisis; COVID Protests In Caribbean; Online Abuse For Female Athletes. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired November 25, 2021 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London.
Tonight, we have no choice. Migrants continue to cross the English Channel the day after 27 people died in the sea. We speak to an MP for Calais about
the path forward.
Then, Slovakia locks down. The country now seeing the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the world.
And nearly 90 percent of online abuse during the Olympics was targeted towards female athletes. What action is needed to better protect those
There's no quick fix. Today, the UK home secretary said a massive international effort is needed to solve the English Channel migrant crisis.
The British prime minister has written to French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting a plan for both countries to follow in a bid to avoid further
loss of life after 27 people died yesterday, including sending anyone crossing the channel back to France. It's not clear whether France will be
receptive to that.
And we've already seen more people making the perilous journey today. Usually, they're doing this because they don't see any other choice. More
often than not, when speaking about migrants, we focus on the politics or big numbers, both of which can dehumanize the situation.
But we have to remember, these are human beings and they will continue to take the risk of death to cross this channel if they believe the life that
lies ahead is better than what they left behind.
The question becomes, how far will the dial move after this tragic loss of life yesterday?
In one breath, the UK and France are vowing to work together, and in the next, they're laying blame.
Our Cyril Vanier and Nic Robertson give us perspective from both sides of the English Channel.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Bianca, one of the surprises here so soon after the tragedy, to hear such acrimony between
British and French politicians. The French interior minister saying that the British contribution to helping combat these migrant smugglers was
minimal compared to the French.
Boris Johnson, the prime minister here, saying that it was the French who weren't accepting the British offers to help send officers to help the
French patrol the beaches and try to catch the migrant smugglers and migrants before they put out to sea.
I spoke to the local politician here, conservative politician, a member of Boris Johnson's conservative party, whose party, by the way, is under a lot
of domestic political pressure for failing to deliver on their promise to combat and cut down the number of migrants getting into the UK. And I said,
doesn't this show that the government's migrant policy has been failing? She said "no" and pointed across the channel to the French. She said the
French police stand there and watch the migrant get into the boats and don't do enough to stop them.
My colleague Cyril Vanier is there right now.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Nic.
Well, here on the other side of the channel, France is keen to frame this as a joint European problem. Let me give you an example of what they have
been saying. This year is a smuggling boat that was provided by smugglers to migrants. This is a beach where multiple migrant boat crossings have
The interior minister tells us that boats like this are often bought in Germany. Multiple smugglers involve in the Wednesday's tragedy were
arrested, and we understand that one of them was driving a car with Germany license plates. We are also told by French authorities that migrants before
they end up here, just before crossing over into England are coming from Belgium, coming from the Netherlands, and this is the migrant smuggling
route that has been organized by the smuggling networks.
As a result, France argues that the answer needs to be a joint European answer, and that is why they're organizing a meeting with the
administration ministers from Germany, from the UK, from Belgium, and from the nether lands to take place in France on Sunday -- Bianca.
NOBILO: Cyril Vanier, Nic Robertson, thank you.
My next guest is calling for decisive action, saying no human being has to die under these circumstances. Once the migrants are in Calais, it's too
late. They must be place in the a reception center far from the coast.
Pierre-Henri Dumont is a member of the national assembly of France. His constituency includes the port city of Calais and he joins me now from
It's wonderful to have you on the program, sir.
I'm so sorry for the tragedy that's unfolded very near your constituency. First and foremost, I'd like to hear your response to Prime Minister Boris
Johnson's new five-point plan, specifically when we talks at immediate discussions, about a return agreement with France.
PIERRE-HENRI DUMONT, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, PAS-DE-CALAIS: Good evening. Well, I'm a bit surprised because Boris Johnson was in favor of Brexit. He
was a hard Brexiter. And with Brexit, the UK left the Dublin agreement. This Dublin agreement gave the opportunity for the British authorities to
send migrants back to the first country the migrants entered Europe.
So what we are facing right now is kind of an aftermath of Brexit also. So it's a bit strange that the one who pushed for Brexit is now asking for
something that was contained with the membership of European Union.
NOBILO: And, Mr. Dumont, do you actually think Brexit is deepening this crisis and could be in part responsible for tragedies like what we saw
DUMONT: Yes. Obviously. As an example for children, the Dublin agreement that is a commitment for EU member countries was regulated the crossings,
the safe passage for children, and we found it to be in agreement because of the Brexit, we have no other choice than small boats to send children
who are under 18 to England. There is no legal route for children under 18 because of Brexit. There is no possibility to reunite families because of
Brexit right now.
NOBILO: And now that we've seen the end of the Dublin agreement because of Brexit, would you be willing to enter into new talks with United Kingdom to
make a new alternative arrangement to agree returns?
DUMONT: Well, we can talk, but we cannot only address the consequences of the British internal laws. We also need to address the causes. Why all
these migrants want to go to the UK? Because they speak English. They want to go to the UK because it's easier for them to find a job even if they are
Boris Johnson said in 2019 in London there was half a million illegal migrants only in London, 1 million for the whole country. That's not
possible. They need to have a strong action against illegal work. They need to have strong action against illegal migrants in the UK, and then after
these actions we can talk.
But we cannot blame France for everything, especially because the UK economy is fueling by illegal migration in restaurants, in films,
everywhere in the UK.
NOBILO: And given all these factors, Mr. Dumont, what immediate action can you take to try to prevent the repetition of a tragedy like we saw
yesterday. Boris Johnson has suggested perhaps radars, censors, more reciprocal maritime patrols. What can happen immediately to try and
mitigate these disasters?
DUMONT: Mr. Johnson and Priti Patel need to understand that having more men, fences, technology on the French shore will not change anything,
because these people, they cross half the world. They left their country because of starvation, because of civil wars, and they will not stop a few
kilometers away from England.
So, basically, if we've got 200, 300 kilometer of shore to monitor and it only takes ten minute for smugglers to take a small boat and put it at sea
filled with migrants, there's no chance -- no chance we can stop these small boats to go at sea and try to cross the channel.
The only point here is what I advocate for months now with the French authorities, is to open mandatory welcome centers for migrants hundreds of
kilometers away from Calais and the north of France shore for the migrants to have shelter, to have food, to have a roof above their head, and to make
sure they apply for asylum in France. But we also need to add something, is to give the migrants the opportunity to apply for asylum even if they don't
have -- in the UK.
The fact is, when you are a migrant and you want to apply for asylum in the UK, you need to be in the UK. So you need to --
DUMONT: To take a smuggler, you need to take a risk with your life just to apply for asylum in the UK. That's not possible.
DUMONT: That's not possible. If you take a look at the figures, in 2019, the last year pre-COVID, the last normal year, 13,000 asylum application
were processed in the UK.
While in France very same year, 2019, four times more asylum application were processed, 120,000 asylum applications. That's not normal.
NOBILO: And just lastly to you, one of our correspondents Nic Robertson was saying the mp for Dover in the United Kingdom had said that French
police essentially have been standing by and allowing asylum seekers and migrants to get into these flimsy boats.
Does that happen? Are you 100 percent confident that that doesn't happen?
DUMONT: I'm 100 percent confident the police is doing everything they can to stop people from dying in the channel.
The fact is when you have two police officers facing 50 migrants plus smugglers we cannot intervene. How do you want them to intervene? Do you
want them to take their weapons and shoot at migrants? What do you want them to do?
Basically, if you have two police officers and a boat coming from nowhere, and in fact it's at sea, you don't have time to call for backups, so
sometimes, yes, you have a picture like the one that was released today where you see two police officers in the car and the boat filled with 40,
50 migrants. But how could they stop them to go at sea? Two against 50?
NOBILO: Pierre-Henri Dumont, thank you very much for joining the program today. Clearly, this issue is extremely complex with so much human life at
stake. Thank you.
DUMONT: Thank you.
NOBILO: Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, just in the past day, two more incidents showing how dangerous these crossings are. In the last few hours
an activist with the alarm phone group reports a vessel in distress with more than 400 people on board. The Tunisian navy is said to be on its way
to help. And earlier, the Italian coast guard rescued about 300 people from an overloaded boat that hit rough seas.
Italy's seen an increase in people making the journey in recent weeks. More than 200 arrived in Calabria in the last two days.
Now, NATO officials are expected to meet in Latvia next week to discuss Russia's aggressive posture towards Ukraine. Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg says that the summit could be a strong sign of support for the bloc's Ukrainian allies as Russia has increased its military presence along
Ukraine's eastern borders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also gave her support to Ukraine's sovereignty today. She said the European Union must be prepared to enact
more sanctions against Russia if the situation escalates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): I regret very much the Russian president or the Russian foreign minister were willing to hold
another high ranking political meeting in the Normandy format at the end of my tenure. It would have been a good signal that all sides were interested
in solving the Ukraine issue. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Earlier Ukraine's foreign minister said the country would continue to strengthen its security and warned that a Russian attack would be costly
Today, the country with the world's highest COVID-19 infection rate is now locking down. Slovakia has seen a ten-fold increase in the number of daily
COVID cases this month. The lockdown's been approved for the next two weeks with a 90-day state of emergency your legal name state of emergency also in
effect. Residents can not leave their homes except for essential reasons, such as work, grocery shopping or going to school.
The decision which follows similar move by Austria earlier in the week comes at a time when Europe is struggling to get a grip on spiraling
Slovakians gave mixed reactions to the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMAN SPATNY, MUSIC STORE MANAGER (through translator): For us, this is a plain knife in the back. We have to be closed during a time that business
wise is most important for us. Same as last year, it's hard.
JAN ZBORAN, SLOVAKIA RESIDENT (through translator): It's okay. I don't have a problem with it. The situation is what it is. The ministry has
evaluated it like this, so I've accepted it. I hope it won't take long and we'll go back to what it was before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The U.K. is issuing a travel ban for half a dozen African nations amid concerns over new coronavirus variant. Starting Friday, the UK is
suspending flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe. All six countries are being added to the so-called travel red
Scientists say the variant which has been detected in Botswana and South Africa where it's spreading rapidly has over 30 mutations which is highly
unusual. They're worried that could allow it to evade vaccines or immunity from prior infection.
Australia is sending dozens of police personnel to the Solomon Islands. Violent protests rocked the capital there for a second straight day, and
buildings went up in flames in defiance of a 36-hour lockdown.
Protesters are furious over stalled development projects and the government's refusal to recognize an independence referendum from the
latter. Australia's prime minster insists he's deploying forces solely to provide security and restore calm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Our purpose here is to provide stability and security to enable the normal constitutional processes within
the Solomon Islands to be able to deal with the various issues that have arisen, and that that be done in a climate of peace, stability, and
security. It is not the Australian government's intention in any way to intervene in the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands. That is for them
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The protesters are also angry over the Solomon Islands' decision to shift diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to Beijing. Some buildings in
the capital's Chinatown district were set ablaze.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZHAO LIJIAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): We are seriously concerned about the attacks on Chinese citizens and
Chinese-funded institutions, and to ask the Solomon Islands government to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and
institutions in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Amid the unrest, the Solomon Islands prime minster is facing growing calls to resign, which he seems to have resisted so far.
Let's take a look at other key stories making international impact today.
In five days, Barbados will officially cut ties with the British crown and become the youngest republic. The country will inaugurate Sandra Mason as
its first ever president, replacing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. It comes nearly 40 years after the island was claimed by England and 55 years
after it declared independence.
An outbreak of African swine fever is spreading quickly in Vietnam and is causing damage to the local farming industry. The government says three
times as many hogs are being culled compared to last year. The fever originated in the Africa and is harmless to humans but fatal to pigs.
Vietnam reported its first cases in hog herd in February 2019.
Russian state media report at least 52 people have died after a mining accident in the province of Siberia. Authority say there was an explosion
that ignited a methane leak. Among the dead was six rescuers who went in to find survivors.
Denmark's military says one of its frigates is killed four pirates in waters of Nigeria. The vessel was deployed last month to the Gulf of Kenya
amid heightened security risks from privates. The region has become a piracy hot spot and reported 130 sailors were taken from vessels there in
Sexism, sport, and social media, a very damaging combination, where a lot more work is needed. A new investigation by World Athletics found that
female athletes at the Tokyo Olympic games received 87 percent of all online abuse. Yes, you heard that right, 87 percent.
The study tracked the Twitter accounts of 161 former and current athletes for the length of the games and revealed the sexist, racist, transphobic,
and homophobic comments they endured while competing. Sixty-five percent of the posts were deemed to be gravely abusive.
World Athletics says it's work working with better protect female athletes going forward.
It's Thanksgiving today in the United States, and amid the most famous meal in American history, many pause to consider the native lives and land that
are lost and what the holiday should represent today.
NOBILO: It's Thanksgiving in the United States, and a landmark one at that as the nation celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving
back in 1621. The modern day parades and exchange of thanks with family over a turkey meal have of course evolved from the original event, which
involved early English settlers and the Wampanoag tribe.
Here we see an 18th century depiction of that first Thanksgiving. There have been tellings and iterations of that origin story, but much of it has
excluded the narratives of indigenous people and what they lost. For many Native Americans, the fourth Thursday in November is considered to be a day
of mourning. There are other 570 federally recognized tribes in the United States, and each one has a different way of spending Thanksgiving. Some use
the day to highlight Native traditions and food instead, while opt for blended approach, incorporating parts of indigents' culture with the turkey
There's still a lot of debate and disagreement about how to reckon with a national memory that includes such violent treatment of a people. This
week, "The Wall Street Journal's" editorial board published this op-ed, "Censoring the Pilgrims". The left wants to cancel "The Wall Street
Journal's" annual Thanksgiving editorials. That was in response to a change.org petition that's garnered over 51,000 signatures. It calls for
"The Journal" to stop publishing a 17th century passage every year, in what it calls a harmful account of racism and disdain towards indigenous people.
As you can see, it can an emotive political issue.
Peter Mancall is a professor of history at the University of Southern California, and he believes this anniversary gives American a moment to
talk about the complicity of the past and where it fits in a shared future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER MANCALL, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNI: I think the Thanksgiving with all the sort of
stereotypes we have about the 17th century is really a moment for us to sort of sit back and pause and say, what can we learn from the past? And I
think when we do that, we can see that, 1621, whatever happened there, needs to be seen in this larger sort of tableau. So, as a historian, I find
that these anniversaries are very good way to cut through all the noise and focus.
And when we focus on that meal in 1621 or we focus on the larger context of colonization in the early 17th century, it gives us chance to re-explore
the American past. And when we do so, we see it as much more complicated than the sort of stereotypes that are inherited from generation to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: So, is America a nation not at peace with its past? Peter Mancall believes it's soul-searching at the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANCALL: I think that in recent years, and we can probably date this to about 1970 forward, I think a loft Americans, led by indigenous leaders who
articulated issues about colonization -- I think Americans are valid in a very long and deep discussion about the relationship between European
colonization on the one hand and indigenous peoples on the other, and I think Americans are having a very deep and soul-searching conversation. I
think we can see that even at the highest levels of society, where President Biden just this week declared indigenous people's day as a
national holiday, the first president to do so.
And I think there is this growing recognition that European expansion had just terrible consequences for indigenous peoples. So I take it as a moment
of optimism that we can now have more serious conversations about the past.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: America's national reckoning with colonialism and racism goes far beyond just one holiday.
As our previous guest mentioned, a number of states, as well as the U.S. president have moved to officially observe indigenous people's day instead
of Columbus Day in early October. And it's a trend we see around the world, too.
Australia has engaged in a fierce debate over its national day for years. Many Australians now refer to Australia Day as invasion day work annual
protest rallies drawing attention to the injustices faced by indigenous people. And this summer, we saw marches in Canada as indigenous people call
for the cancellation of Canada day after the grim discovery of unmarked graves most of which are believed to have belonged to indigenous children.
You're watching THE GLOBAL BRIEF.
We'll be right back after this.
NOBILO: Mr. and Mrs. Clause, or how about Mr. and Mr. Clause? Norway's postal service is reimagining the classic tale of Santa for modern times.
Their Christmas ad this year is a depiction of a love story telling the story of when Harry met Santa. The ad also reflects real-life progress in
the country. Norway is set to mark the 50th anniversary of legalizing same sex relations in June.
Thanks for joining us this evening. We'll be back tomorrow. Good night.