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U.S. Official: Biden And Xi Hold "Healthy Debate"; White House: U.S. Committed To "One China" Policy; Biden To Xi: We Must Establish "Common Sense Guardrails"; President Signs $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law; Steve Bannon Released From Custody Pending Trial; Dire Conditions At Migrant Camp In Belarus; U.K. Terrorism Threat Level Raised To "Severe" After Blast. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 16, 2021 - 02:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (on camera): Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM, and I'm Rosemary Church.
Just ahead, amid soaring tensions, the U.S. and Chinese presidents met for more than three hours in a high stakes virtual summit, with many complicated issues on the table. We'll tell you if they were able to break any ground.
And intensifying crisis on the Belarusian Polish border as migrants clash with a wall of police, and the E.U. slaps new sanctions on Belarus.
Plus, a massacre and a cover up. The damning judicial report. More than a year after the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters.
ANNOUNCERS: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.
CHURCH: Good to have you with us. So, we are getting more details about what happened at Monday's critical summit between the U.S. and China.
CHANCE (voice-over): A senior U.S. officials says talks between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping were a healthy debate. They lasted about three and a half hours and went longer than expected. Most of the summit was closed. But from what we saw, things appeared cordial.
Still, Taiwan, the South China Sea and human rights remain major sticking points. Here is how the two leaders laid out what was at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our bilateral relationship evolve seems to me to have a profound impact not only on our countries, but quite frankly, the rest of the world.
I think it's important we communicate honestly and directly to one another about our priorities and our intentions.
XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (through translator): China and the United States need to increase communication and cooperation. We should each run our domestic fairs well, and at the same time shoulder our share of international responsibilities and work together to advance the noble cause of world peace and development.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): And for the latest, CNN's Steven Jiang joins us now live from Beijing. Good to see you, Steven. So, what is being said about this virtual meeting there in China?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF (on camera): Well, Rosemary, not surprisingly, there are no major breakthroughs out of this very lengthy virtual meeting. But you know, as many people have pointed out, even before this began, the main point of this was to put a floor -- this freefall in this relationship, often described as the world's most important bilateral relationship.
But obviously, this nosedive started long before Mr. Biden took office. But since he moved into the White House, his framing of this foreign policy priority as democracy versus autocracy, and often talking about or at least alluding to forming this coalition of willing, especially with like-minded democracies to deal with an increasingly powerful, and some would say, aggressive Beijing.
And all of those developments obviously did not sit well with Xi Jinping and his government. So, the fact that the two men who did have a history of rather warm personal relationship, at least in the past, was able to have some face time. I think that was important.
So, this way, is to -- this kind of communication method, you know, communication between the two governments, between the two leaders could be kept open at the very top to avoid any strategic miscalculation about each other, which of course, would cause harm, bilateral ties, or even global peace and prosperity.
To that end, I think this meeting has seems to have produced its desired result, you know. But there was a lot of buzzwords being thrown around. And obviously, both men greeted each other rather warmly with Mr. Xi calling Mr. Biden as an old friend, for example.
But when you look at the readouts or statements from both sides after meeting, it was still very much a he said he says kind of situation. They did have, according to both sides, candid conversations on a whole series of issues, including very sensitive ones, as you mentioned, from trade disputes to human rights, and of course, Taiwan.
But largely, they're still, you know, talking about their own talking points and in a way addressing their own domestic audience. For example, the Beijing statement really emphasizing Mr. Biden's pledge to stick to the U.S. government's official One-China policy, while the White House statement really highlighting Mr. Biden saying not wanting to see any unilateral change in the status quo, and even saying that One-China policy of the U.S. is really preconditioned by the Taiwan Relations Act, which obligates the U.S. government to sell arms to Taiwan to defend themselves.
JIANG: So, at the end of the day, you know, nobody was expecting any major resolution out of this. But maybe the most concrete result out of this was set both governments have now agreed to set up over a resume working level talks with lower ranking officials to start meeting -- to start meet again to talk about possible potential resolutions on a whole series of issues. And that of course, probably can be considered a success given how bad things had become and how low this bar was before the two men meet virtually. Rosemary.
CHURCH: Steven Jiang, joining us live from Beijing. Many thanks.
Josh Rogin is a CNN political analyst, Washington Post columnist, and author of the new book, Chaos Under Heaven. He joins me now from Washington.
Always great to have you with us.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Great to be with you.
CHURCH: So, what could this virtual meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, potentially achieve on a range of issues including Taiwan trade, and China's nuclear arsenal, given the White House has played down expectations for any concrete outcomes here?
ROGIN: Well, that's right. Senior administration officials have warned that this meeting -- virtual meeting between President Xi and President Biden won't yield any new agreements won't yield any new documents won't yield any new deals on trade or human rights, or any of the other contentious issues in the U.S. China relationship. But what it could do, if successful, is set up a dialogue between the two leaders that can be the basis for better understanding to limit risks and avoid accidental confrontation that might emerge if the two sides don't understand each other.
These are two leaders who have known each other for a very long time. In the Chinese system, only through interaction with the top leaders can one really communicate with their government. And what President Biden said is beginning the meeting was very simply, he said we need to set up guardrails in the relationship so that our competition doesn't veer off road and result into conflict. And hopefully this is a step in that direction.
CHURCH: Yes, that's right. President Biden will confront him over unfair economic practices and China's human rights record as well as threats towards Taiwan, which all sounds very tough, doesn't it? But how likely is it the Joe Biden with the relationship he does have with Xi, how likely is it that he would be as tough as that? ROGIN: Well, it's true that the administration's position has been a continuation of many of the Trump administration's hardline policies, when it comes to the Chinese government's actions, especially their human rights abuses, their economic aggression, and their military expansion.
But there's no expectation really in the U.S. side that the Biden administration or President Biden is going to convince Xi Jinping to change his mind. And in fact, I don't think that's what they're trying to do. They're just trying to communicate our positions, clearly, and then coordinate with allies and partners to present the united front against China on some of the worst behaviors.
So, it's important to understand that a lot of the drivers of this reaction, both the Trump administration and the Biden administration comes from Beijing, and that it's the Chinese government's actions that haven't changed.
And so, until something changes on the Chinese side, it's very hard to imagine that U.S. policy is ever going to be in a position where we could overlook human rights abuses or just let China get away with unfair trade practices.
In order for there to be a coolie down on the U.S. side, there's going to have to be a change of behavior on the Chinese side, and we haven't seen that at all.
CHURCH: So, Josh, how inevitable in the end is conflict with China given it has rapidly expanded its nuclear arsenal, has conducted a record number of warplane incursions into Taiwan and has successfully tested a nuclear capable hypersonic missile that can invade U.S. air defenses?
ROGIN: Well, I think the only honest way to answer that question is to say that both sides have an interest and both sides have a responsibility to avoid that conflict. And we often have this conversation about in the West, are we being too tough on China? Or we being too nice on China? If we were nicer, would they be nicer?
But in the end, it seems that China is going to pursue its own interests and its own development based on its own decisions. And, you know, it doesn't really make as much of a difference what Biden says, as we thought.
And you know, in order to avoid conflict, which is what both sides should want, it's going to require a way to compete with each other and live together. That doesn't ignore China's human rights abuses. And that doesn't allow China to afford the international system that we've built.
And that's a really tough problem. And I just think this conversation has no chance of really solving that. It does have a chance of beginning that conversation with Beijing in an honest way. And I think that's the Biden administration's goal.
CHURCH: Josh Rogin, good to have you with us. Thanks so much. ROGIN: Anytime.
CHURCH: In a major legislative win for his administration and fulfilling a key campaign promise, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package into law on Monday.
CHURCH (voice-over): The legislation includes money for roads and bridges, trains, broadband, among other things. And President Biden says it will also help ease supply chain issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Bipartisan law would modernize our ports, our airports, our freight rail to make it easier for companies to get goods to market, reduce supply chain bottlenecks as we've experienced the now and lower cost for you and your family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): So, let's discuss this further with CNN's senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Thanks so much for joining us.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): (INAUDIBLE), Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, at last, a win for President Biden.
CHURCH: After all the infighting, the low approval ratings, and high inflation, he can now tout his new infrastructure law. But will it be enough, do you think, to turn his fortunes around?
BROWNSTEIN: Necessary, but not sufficient, right? I mean, clearly, if this plan collapsed, if the Build Back Better plan, which is still awaiting congressional approval collapse, conditions will be worse for him politically.
But the history is that these kinds of big legislative wins, and this is indeed a big legislative win that has the potential to affect the lives of many Americans, the Build Back Better plan even more so.
Those kinds of legislative wins can help you in your reelection. It's really hard, though, to have legislative success in year one, translate into political success in year two. After all, Republicans lost seats in the House, the year after Ronald Reagan passed his tax cuts in 1981. Democrats lost seats in the House the year after Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act in 2009.
What the president needs for his short term political interest is an improvement in the conditions that Americans are worried about primarily COVID and inflation. But this does lay down some important achievements that probably will be unfolding in a way that will be useful to him if he is running for reelection, '24. CHURCH: So, what's likely to happen next with Joe Biden's Build Back Better proposal? How are its prospects looking? And when will Americans find out how it actually impacts their lives?
CHURCH: Because at the moment, when they're being polled, they don't see that it's going to make their lives any better.
BROWNSTEIN: Exactly. I mean, you know, the Democrats are in a situation very similar to the problem they faced in 2009 and 2010, when they were kind of caught in the legislative Vietnam of trying to pass the Affordable Care Act, which ultimately became very popular. But at the time, Americans did not see as directly connected to their concerns about the recovery from the financial crash of 2008.
And I think they do face the same challenge here, where voters at so far do not see a connection between their concerns about essentially returning to normalcy under the COVID. And also getting inflation under control, and this agenda.
Now, the bill back better agenda does have a lot of programs in it that will relieve financial stress, on average working families from allowing Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs, to reducing child care expenses, and healthcare subsidies.
So, there is a lot there if they can get it done. And you know, that question kind of pivots on the same -- on the same time that we've been kind of watching for months.
What does Joe Manchin want, and what does he willing to accept? And I don't think anybody in the Democratic Party has a full answer to that. They believe that in the end, he wants something to pass, because he recognizes that failing to pass anything would be potentially catastrophic to the Biden presidency, and he doesn't want to be responsible for that.
But clearly, he has a very different vision of what this should be than essentially everyone else in the Democratic Party at this point, including even Kyrsten Sinema.
CHURCH: And meantime, of course, on the other side of the political spectrum, at Trump allies, Steve Bannon turned himself into the FBI after a grand jury indicted him for contempt of Congress last week.
He came out fighting though threatening to topple Joe Biden and make the charges against him, in his words, a misdemeanor from hell. How will this likely play out? And could the January 6 committee have handled this better perhaps?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I was just really struck by Bannon's arraignment and his language today coming at the same time the President Biden was talking about the fruits of bipartisanship at the White House, you know, in unveiling this deal, which was, in fact, in agreement across party lines. I think the ban in language is more a reflection of what the default is on almost all questions in Washington. And really, to me, the significance of it, not surprising that he would use this in a kind of edged proper way to try to rally the Trump base.
The more surprising and distressing dynamic is that so much of the virtually the entire Republican Party in Congress has been willing to side with Trump and Bannon and the others trying to stiff arm this committee, trying to downplay what happened on January 6th, kind of rewriting history.
BROWNSTEIN: And it suggests that there is a kind of a bending the knee that is still going on 11 months after the election to Trump, and all sorts of, you know, challenges ahead, in terms of the Republican willingness, in congress, to stand up for free, and fair elections.
It just a pretty omniscience sign if they are unwilling to support a congressional committee, for no other reason than defending the institutional prerogative, to compel kind of ceremony, from those that they needed to hear from.
We are on a -- we are on a rocky, and potentially, dangerous road. And each day, kind of takes us further down that path.
CHURCH: All right. To Ron Brownstein, thank you so much for your analysis. Appreciate it, as always.
BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Well, the European Union, says it will impose new sanctions on Belarus, targeting everyone involved in facilitating the migrant crisis, at the Poland, Belarus border.
Diplomatic pressure is ramping up. The German chancellor and French president made calls to the Belarusian, and Russian presidents, pushing for humanitarian aid, and an end to the standoff.
CNN's Matthew Chance, reports on the increasingly dire conditions at the border.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With each day that passes, this refugee crisis gets worse. Desperate migrants, here in Belarus have been camped against the razor wire, set up by Poland to keep them out. The dream of a new life, in Europe, insight, but out of reach.
CHANCE (on camera): Where are you going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pol Gate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pol Gate.
CHANCE: Of course, into Poland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CHANCE (voice-over): And as we prepared for a live report --
CHANCE (on camera): Where are you going?
CHANCE (voice-over): The mood changed.
CHANGE (on camera): And just about to come to you, when everybody, suddenly, in this refugee camp, right on the border here, between Belarus, and Poland, suddenly got up, they are grabbing their things, and they're moving off to a location that we don't know where yet. We're trying to establish --
Where are going to? Where are you going to? Where?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pol Gate.
CHANGE: The gate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CHANGE: But to Poland?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
CHANCE (voice-over): And what started off as a trickle, became a flood.
CHANCE (on camera): The whole camp, seems to be packing up its bags, and moving on up this hill towards the border checkpoint between Belarus, and Poland. We're seeing everybody, thousands of people are packing up their tents, they're packing up whatever belongings they have, and you can see, these incredible, scenes as far as I can see here through the smoke of the night, and how much visibility have got on the camera.
But everybody now is moving away from where they have been sitting, along the border fence, over here, towards the Polish border.
CHANCE (voice-over): Lining the road, we saw Belarusian guards, keeping a watchful eye. Not encouraging the move, but not stopping it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going towards Poland. If Poland open the door, we would be pleased, you know, and they do.
CHANCE (on camera): They said they won't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't know that -- we don't know as well. We go there. What's going to happen next, I don't know. But, we cannot wait here. We got no home or shelter here. We have got no protection. We go there, to European Union. CHANCE (voice-over): At the checkpoint, we throng through the gates with the crowd. Among the migrants, rumors, maybe spread by Belarusian's themselves, that the humanitarian corridor, possibly, being opened.
To them, their children in toe, it was a desperate plea.
CHANCE (on camera): Well, this is a direct challenge to the polls, and the European Union. Let these migrants pass through the razor wire fences here for humanitarian reasons, or push them back.
As you can see, the message from Poland, they have deployed to police, with riot shields, their live speakers are broadcasting a message, saying that you must obey your instructions, or force will be used against you.
And so, the Polish authorities, showing no sign at all of backing down.
CHANCE (voice-over): It is in uncompromising stance. And after a day of hope, and drama in Belarus, these desperate people face yet another freezing night. Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Belarus, Poland border.
CHURCH: Tensions, also high, on the border between Russia, and Ukraine. And western leaders are warning Moscow about their military buildup in the area.
France, and Germany, are urging Russia to be transparent, and say any attempt to undermine Ukraine's territorial integrity will have serious consequences. NATO secretary general is also warning allies to, be realistic about potential aggression from Russia.
Sam Kiley, in Abu Dhabi, he joins us now live.
So, Sam, talk to us about the latest on this situation.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, on surface Rosemary, it looks like, yet another, extremely tense standoff, between NATO, and the Russian bear, over Ukraine.
With the Ukrainians alleging that 100,000 Russians have massed on their border, with Russia. That would be the east of the country. And, the pentagon, briefing, the number of diplomats, including 30 top people from NATO over the last week. That they were very concerned indeed, that Russia might cross Ukraine's borders once again.
Of course, the Russians are in already supporting separatists in the Donbas region. Then, 2014, they illegally seized the Crimea peninsula, the headquarters at Sevastopol of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
The Russians have been countering this argument by saying that NATO is saber rattling in its backdoor, in the Black Sea. That its naval operations there are raising tensions that sometimes almost coming close to violating territorial waters. Those the extent of Russia's territorial waters, of course, hotly contested because they claim the waters off the Crimean Peninsula, which of course, under international law is occupied territory and part.
Of Ukraine, all of this at a time when we've just seen through Matthew the weaponization of refugees by Belarus, very, very close ally of the Kremlin and an ongoing dispute with the Europeans, in particular, over the supply of Russian gas, notably via Ukraine with the -- with the European Union, claiming that the gas is being strangled off and the price is being artificially inflated by the Kremlin.
So, all of this looking extremely dangerous, and it is beholden on people like Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO to, in a sense, run up a red flag of warning, not just to NATO members to be on standby over these issues, but also, Rosemary to the Russians to try to step back from the brink.
But this really, I think, ultimately talking to experts and the intelligence officials on this is all about brinkmanship. And comes just a few weeks after the U.S. defense secretary went a tour -- on a tour of, particularly, Georgia and Ukraine, reiterating NATO support for those two very significant countries in the Russian political culture.
That are very much considered the Russian-back garden and no place for NATO to be a wandering around unsupervised, if you like. So, we are seeing these tensions, we've seen these periodically escalate. There is no real reason to think that they could degenerate into something more violent. But it is the sort of thing that NATO has to prepare for, and it's certainly the sort of thing that Vladimir Putin in a sense enjoys doing by provoking NATO and making sure that he continues to be popular at home, which Rosemary he is.
CHURCH: Sam Kiley, many thanks.
And just ahead here on CNN, the U.K. has raised its terrorism threat level after a deadly explosion near a hospital. The latest on the Liverpool blast. That's next.
Plus, how more European officials are cracking down on those unvaccinated against COVID.
CHURCH: Some places in Europe are trying a controversial new tactic to contain the coronavirus opting for strict lockdown measures only for the unvaccinated. Starting today, the German state of Bavaria is banning anyone who hasn't been vaccinated from restaurants, hotels, and other public spaces. Austria has done something similar. On Monday, the country imposed a lockdown for all unvaccinated residents 12 and older.
Meantime, hospitals in Greece are overwhelmed with new COVID patients. Health care workers protested in Athens, demanding better pay benefits and more staff to help treat patients.
The U.K. raised its terrorism threat level to severe after a deadly explosion outside a hospital in Liverpool.
CNN has obtained surveillance video from the scene of Sunday's blast, but we want to warn you it is disturbing to watch. CNN's Scott McLean has our report.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At a hospital where 1000s of babies are born each year, they're used to emergency deliveries, but not this kind.
A taxi delivering a passenger just 10 minutes after he was picked up, exploded Sunday morning outside the Liverpool Women's Hospital. Even more stunning is that the driver somehow manages to stumble out of the vehicle. He was injured but less than 24 hours later, he's already been released from the hospital.
The suspect who police identified as 32-year-old Emad Al Swealmeen, died in the vehicle as it quickly burst into flames. Police say he brought a homemade explosive device into the cab. Authorities believe it was an act of terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSS JACKSON, ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE, COUNTER TERRORISM NORTHWEST ENGLAND: Now, our assumption so far is that it was built by the passenger in the taxi. The reason why he then took it to the Women's Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.
MCLEAN: The bomb detonated moments before 11:00 a.m., when a Remembrance Day moment of silence was held at the Liverpool Cathedral less than a mile away.
JACKSON: We cannot at this time draw any connection with this. But it is a line of inquiry, which we are issuing.
MCLEAN: In the hours that followed, four arrests were made. All men in their 20s at a property where else will mean lived a mile north of the hospital. All four were arrested under the British Terrorism Act, which allows police to arrest suspected terrorists without a warrant. Police also searched the Victorian home Al Swealmeen had been picked up from. Police say he had rented it recently. Significant items were found there. Something police found was destroyed in a controlled explosion in a park nearby.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: It is a stark reminder of the need for us all to remain utterly vigilant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN (on camera): The U.K. domestic intelligence service raise the national terror alert level to severe. Meaning, a further attack is very likely. The prime minister also held an emergency meeting of his security chiefs. This is the second terror attack on British soil in just the past month after a British MP was killed in October. Scott McLean, CNN, Liverpool.
CHURCH: In Nigeria, a massacre and a cover up.
CHURCH: A judicial panel releases a damning report about a bloody crackdown on protesters.
Plus, the latest on horrific rape allegations from a teenage girl in India. We will have a live report from New Delhi.
CHURCH: In Nigeria, a judicial panel has released a long-awaited report on what it describes as a massacre at the hands of security forces that the government tried to cover-up. It happened last year in Lagos during a protest against police brutality. CNN's Nima Elbagir has details on the findings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been much anticipated and much delayed. But finally, after over a year the report by the Panel of Inquiry into the events at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos in October of last year has finally been released. And the report makes for grim reading.
Its key findings are that the protesters who gathered at Lekki Toll Gate to give voice to their frustration at what they claimed was police brutality, harassment and kidnapping in addition to hostility, that the protesters were largely, the report found, peaceful. They also found that there was no reason for the army to be deployed to Lekki Toll Gate.
In addition, the 309-page report found evidence of cover-up by authorities, that soldiers and other officers at the scene had removed bullets and bodies. One particularly heartbreaking piece of testimony came from a protester who spoke of being shot and thrown into a van with other bodies presumed to be dead. She said she counted 11 bodies in the van. Another witness counted seven bodies being taken into the van, corroborating the first witness's testimony.
In addition to that, they also said that there was an attempt to cover up by Nigerian authorities. That the authorities had tampered with CCTV footage. Much of what was in this 309-page report tallied with what CNN had found in our investigation at the time. In fact, CNN was cited 37 times in the report. Nigerian authorities accuse CNN of misinformation, fake news and abusing doctored videos in our reporting. But in this report by the eighth person Commission of Inquiry set up by Lagos state government, the finger is actually pointed at Nigerian authorities, accusing them not only of a cover-up, but of cleaning up the scene and taking away key evidence.
So, what now? Many of those who survive that night tell us that they haven't even seen this report. But the general sentiment was that they are really concerned. They are worried that the recommendations of this reporting sanctioning of those from the armed forces and the police who were present at Lekki, an apology to those victims and survivors of that horrible night at Lekki Toll Gate, an investigation by the government into how that all unfolded, all of that puts too much back in the hands of the very government that spent much of the last year obfuscating, denying and obstructing this very inquiry.
CNN has reached out to Nigerian authorities for comment and has not yet received an apply to our request. Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: At least eight people have been arrested in India after a 16- year-old-girl said she was forced into sex work and raped hundreds of times. CNN's Vedika Sud joins us now live from New Delhi with more on this.
Vedika, another disturbing story of rape from India. And in the past, we've seen the perpetrators get off, how likely is it that this will end any differently?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Well, you are talking about a claim made by the victim that she was raped, allegedly raped at least 400 people, Rosemary. At the very outside, I want to mention that the details of this incident of this are very disturbing. What we've got to know is that the 16-year-old girl reached out to the Child Welfare Committee in the (INAUDIBLE). And in a statement, she has alleged that she was raped by 400 people.
When CNN spoke to the representative of the Child Welfare Committee, he said to us that this girl truly might not know how many times she was violated and by how many people, by he's certain that she will be able to identify at least 25 perpetrators of the crime in the coming days. What we've got to know both from the official we spoke to as well as the local police is that this minor was married at the age of 13. Again, punishable under the Indian laws because she was only 13 and she was married to a 33-year-old man who she claims again did violate sexually.
And after that, she left the house and started living in a bus stand where three men forced her into sex work. And, again, she claims that they allegedly raped her. Now, a case has been registered under the molestation and rape laws of the Indian penal code. Also, a case has been registered under special act for the protection of children from sexual offenses.
In the coming days, the police will be investigating the case. They tried to round up more people. This young girl will also be part of the investigations where she will try and identify the perpetrators of the crime.
Now, Rosemary, if you remember, in the year 2012, there was a horrific incident of gang rape in the Indian National Capital of Delhi where a student was gang raped. After which, there have been reviews of the Indian law, the anti-rape laws. Despite that, according to the latest government date, a rape is reported almost every 17 minutes in India, Rosemary.
CHURCH: That's shocking details there. Vedika Sud joining us live from New Delhi. Many thanks.
Well, the field is now set for next year's presidential election in the Philippines. And the former prize fighter, nicknamed Pacman says he can't wait to knock out the country's political dynasty. Back with that in just a moment.
CHURCH: After spending almost six months in a Myanmar president, American journalist, Denny Fenster, is on his way back to the United States. Fenster was arrested in May, one of dozens of media workers detained in Myanmar since February's military coup. He was sentenced last week to 11 years in prison on trumped up charges. He's release was negotiated by Former U.S. Diplomat Bill Richardson. They arrived in Qatar Monday night on their way to the U.S.
Fenster said, he was feeling good despite his ordeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY FENSTER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: I'm feeling all right physical. It's just the same privations and things that come with any form of incarceration. You just go a little stir crazy. The long it drags, the more worried you are that it's just never going to end. So, that was the biggest concern, just staying sane through that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: We expect to hear from Fenster again in the coming hours once he arrived back in the United States.
Well, voters in the Philippines were kept guessing about how next year's election field would shake out until the very last moments of Monday's filing deadline. The racers feature prominent political names and a sports star who was challenging them. Ivan Watson has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN (voiceover): A professional boxer, the son of a notorious dictator and a city mayor who once starred in steamy movies. Just three of the many candidates running for president in upcoming elections in the Philippines.
JAMES JIMENEZ, COMELEC SPOKESPERSON: So, 97 aspirants for the position of president. This looks like a circus. But, in fact, even worse than a circus, this looks like a chaotic race
WATSON (voiceover): Perhaps the most famous in this crowded field, Manny Pacquiao. A senator and recently retired world boxing champion. WATSON (on camera): Which politician presents the most competition?
MANNY PACUIAO, PHILIPPINES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's like boxing, Ivan, I have a lot of our competitors. You know, we fight inside the ring. But outside the ring, we are friends.
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT: Kindly sit down.
WATSON (voiceover): The unpredictable political landscape in the Philippines shaken by last-minute announcements from the family of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. He is constitutionally barred for running for a second presidential turn. His daughter, Sara, filed for candidacy for vice presidency. Briefly, the elder Duterte threatened to also run for the same job, until he backtracked from competing against his daughter, instead announcing a last-minute bid to become senator. The election doesn't take place until May of 2022. But in this political system, the stakes couldn't be higher.
JIMENEZ: Let's not forget, in the Philippines, we have no round of elections. All you have to do to become the president is to win more votes than everyone else.
WATSON (on camera): A front-runner in the current polls, Ferdinand Bong Bong Marcos Jr. His father decreed martial law. Ruling the Philippines with a terrible human rights record, until a popular uprising ousted him in 1980. His mother, Imelda, still famous for her shoes.
JIMENEZ: The Philippine political landscape has been dominated by two groups, right, since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. Political dynasties, celebrities. And for a while, the celebrities presented themselves as kind of the self-made alternative to political dynasties.
WATSON (on camera): One critic of political dynasties, boxer turned politician, Manny Pacquiao.
PACQUIAO: That's my promise to the people, to the Philippines people, to end poverty, to end corruption.
WATSON (on camera): He calls corruption a cancer in society.
PACQUIAO: All of these corrupt officials should be jailed.
WATSON (on camera): Pacquiao has been in a public brawl with Duterte, criticizing his administration's handling of the COVID pandemic and he accuses the Marcos family of stealing money during their decades in power.
WATSON (on camera): If you were president, would you try to get some of that money back for the people of the Philippines? From the Marcos family?
PACQUIAO: That's definitely, I will.
WATSON (voiceover): The veteran boxer preparing for the fight of his life in his country's political arena. Ivan Watson, CNN.
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CHURCH: And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. World Sport is coming up next.