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Afghanistan Drone Strike Investigation; European Parliament Urges E.U. Members to Boycott Expo 2020; U.S. Lawmakers Race to Avert Shutdown, Pass Key Legislation; Ecuador Prison Clashes; El Salvadorans Don't Want Bitcoin as Official Currency; Hawaii's Kilauea Erupts; Lava Delta Forms off La Palma's Coast. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 30, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST (voice-over): The murder of Sarah Everard caused anger in the U.K. and highlighted the threat of violence against women. Now
her killer gets sentenced to life behind bars.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "There isn't a single day where we don't shed tears for them," says Zamarai's sister.
"Nothing is more painful and nothing can relieve our pain."
GIOKOS (voice-over): One month after a U.S. drone mistakenly killed Afghan civilians, survivors tell CNN, no one from the U.S. government has
contacted them to apologize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS (voice-over): And Britney's fans are ecstatic. The pop star clears a major legal hurdle to regain control of her life. We go live to Los
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: It is 6:00 pm in Dubai. I'm Eleni Giokos, filling in for Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. It's a very busy news
day. We have reports from London, Washington, Bogota, Havana and Los Angeles coming up.
First, a year delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Dubai's Expo 2020 is finally here. This massive 6-month expo, the first ever to be held in the
Middle East, opens in just two hours. And people are gathering for the big parade that starts next hour.
Ahead of the opening ceremony, organizers expect Expo 2020 to be the world's largest gathering since the start of the pandemic and the biggest
in the event's more than 160-year history; 192 nations are participating, each with their own pavilion.
Focusing on the overarching theme of the expo, "Connecting Minds and Creating the Future through Sustainability and Opportunity" and we're
connecting you with reporting on the expo's various theme weeks and interviews with business and government leaders from around the world.
We also have people on the ground, we have Scott McLean on the scene for us.
Scott, Expo 2020 has faced a lot of obstacles to get to this point. You are in the thick of things right now. I'm sure it must be quite exciting. I
know it is hot and humid.
What are you seeing right now and what can we expect during the opening ceremony?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as you mentioned, this is the first world expo to be held in the Middle East. When you think back, it was 2013
this city successfully won the bid for this event. So seven years and a global pandemic later, well, all of that planning is finally culminating in
this event, which will go on for the next six months.
Just a few minutes ago, gates opened; this isn't for the public. This is for the invited VIPs, delegates from the respective 192 country pavilions.
They'll be coming in, going to the brand-new exhibition halls.
When I say brand-new, that's brand-new but so is every other building on this site. And it is massive, the size of a small city. You'll know that,
when they started building this, it was an open desert; nothing here, a few trees and a camel farm.
And they have transformed this into a small city. Once the guests go down for the opening ceremony, set to get start two hours from now, they'll head
to the centerpiece of this event, the plaza.
We got to see a sneak peek of the opening ceremony rehearsals a couple of nights ago and it is impressive, easily on par with an Olympic opening
ceremony. They then borrowed talents from people who've done opening ceremonies, Cirque du Soleil as well.
Andrea Bocelli will be a performer, Andra Day and others. This event has had its share of challenges. Obviously the coronavirus pandemic was one,
shifting it from 2020 to 2021. It's still branded expo 2020.
Everyone coming in will have to be double jabbed and have to have a negative PCR test. You can come if you're not vaccinated but you'll have to
do PCR testing onsite and wait a couple of hours for your results to come back.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the E.U. parliament passed a resolution, calling on European sponsors of the event and member states to withdraw,
citing human rights concerns in this country.
MCLEAN: The Emiratis have flatly rejected that resolution and the content within it and perhaps it was too little, too late; no European countries
have actually decided to withdraw, perhaps not wanting to miss out on this opportunity to forge relationships, do some diplomacy and, most of all,
Tomorrow we'll be able to show you the country pavilions and they are wacky, weird and really cool to look at. Everyone trying to sort of best
their next door neighbor.
GIOKOS: It is an incredible sight, incredible architecture. I'm sure we'll see a lot of interesting innovations. I look forward to joining you
tomorrow. Thank you so much, Scott. We'll see you in the next hour.
Let's move on now and go to the U.K., where the ex-U.K. police officer, who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, will die in prison. A judge in
London sentenced Wayne Cousins to a whole life order, which means no chance of parole, in the killing of the 33-year-old London woman in March.
Prosecutors say Cousins abused his power as a serving officer and falsely arrested Everard, handcuffing her and putting her in his car before
murdering her. The judge described the young woman as, quote, "a wholly blameless victim."
The sentence was announced a few hours ago at the Old Bailey courthouse in London. We got CNN's Nada Bashir there for us.
As the story developed and we heard the gruesome details of the experience of Sarah and the last moments of her life, now hearing this verdict,
hearing the sentence, how is the family responding?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard from the family yesterday and they gave emotional testimony to the court and now they received a
small semblance of justice for their daughter.
They said, "We are very pleased that Wayne Cousins has received a full life sentence and will spend the rest of his life in jail. Nothing can make
things better, nothing can bring Sarah back. But knowing he will be in prison forever brings some relief."
As a statement released by the family shortly after that sentence was passed -- and as you mentioned Wayne Cousins will receive the full life
sentence without parole -- and it has received major backlash and major shock as well, from politicians, from members of the police force as well -
- Wayne Cousins, a former serving police officer.
And we heard from the head of the Metropolitan Police, who said she was sickened, hearing reports from the prosecution of what Wayne Cousins had
done to kill Sarah Everard.
And she said she described it as unthinkable, brought shame on the Metropolitan Police and has eroded the confidence of the public that they
are entitled to have in their police force.
She also said that, as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, she will do everything in her power to ensure the police learn the lessons there. So
major response coming from the police force, promising reform after this horrifying case.
GIOKOS: So when this incident occurred, a lot of women came out and said they are afraid, they fear for their lives.
What does this mean?
What are the repercussions on the U.K. in general in terms of women feeling safe and also shedding a light on femicide?
BASHIR: Yes, after the murder of Sarah Everard and the immediate afterwards of that case, there are huge visuals. And that prompted backlash
from the police, who used heavy-handed tactics to control the vigils.
But this is one of several cases that we have seen in the U.K. Just over two weeks ago, 28-year-old schoolteacher Sabina Nessa was killed as she
made her way home, it is a walk that should have taken five minutes. Again, another death here in London.
So there is widespread shock and outrage at the fact that these cases are still happening. And the police have promised reform; the home secretary,
too, has promised to take a deeper look at the violence against women here in the U.K., issuing a report in the inquiry in September.
But many are questioning why this is ongoing and saying more needs to be done to stamp out the root causes of male violence against women.
GIOKOS: Nada Bashir, thank you for that reporting. Much appreciated.
It is a critical day for the U.S. Congress, as lawmakers scramble to keep the government funded and Democrats try to overcome their differences on
advancing President Joe Biden's agenda.
Legislators say they have agreed on a funding plan to keep the government open. And they'll be voting on that soon.
Meantime, the fate of a $1 trillion plan to improve U.S. infrastructure is also in limbo. Lawmakers hope to pass the legislation today. But divisions
within Biden's own party are putting that at risk. CNN congressional reporter Daniella Diaz joins us from Washington.
GIOKOS: Daniella, great to have you on the show.
In terms of the divisions within the Democratic Party, how is that putting this piece of legislation at risk?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is really interesting here because Democrats need to pass this infrastructure bill, this $1.2
trillion bill, that would fund roads, bridges, transportation.
These are things Americans need here in the United States and want and need to pass this economic bill that is a priority for the Biden administration.
This is something President Biden promised Americans he would do when he entered office, which is why a lot is on the line.
This is a major test for President Biden and Democratic leaders to work on this, to try to pass these two infrastructure bills, you know, before
funding runs out on the highway program, on one transportation issue tomorrow.
Not only are Democratic leaders dealing with that, they're also dealing with trying to pass a funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown
here in the United States before midnight tonight.
Look, some good news on that front: Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer announced that Senate Democrats actually reached a deal with Republicans on
funding the government. They want to pass a bill that would fund the government through December 3rd. So that is a crisis diverted.
Now that's why Democrats are shifting their focus to trying to unite all corners of their party, progressives and moderates, to try to pass these
two bills. That's a huge priority for the Biden administration.
GIOKOS: So let's talk about what's happening within the Democratic Party.
Why are some lawmakers threatening to vote against their own party?
DIAZ: That's interesting. It happens time and time again here, when progressives have different priorities for what they want to pass in
Congress. That's why they want this economic bill, this $3.5 trillion bill, already written -- the legislation was written by the House, one of the
And senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are two moderate Democratic senators, who after the bill was -- they want less money they say the
United States is spending too much money on this. They don't want to be more in debt. They want this paid for.
So that is why they are opposing progressives who want to spend more money on this. In fact, they wanted $6 trillion for this bill. They say they
compromised with $3.5 trillion. That's why they're upset now with moderate senators Manchin and Sinema for opposing this bill and not really laying
out where they stand on this.
This happens time and time again here, when it comes to legislation that President Joe Biden wants to pass. But we'll see how this plays out today,
as they continue to negotiate.
GIOKOS: Yes. I have a feeling it is going to be going on for quite some time. Thank you, Daniella Diaz, for your insights.
More on the U.S. drone strike that killed 10 members of a single family last month in Afghanistan. A congressional hearing Wednesday shed new light
about what officials knew about the strike and, perhaps more importantly, when. CNN's Anna Coren has move on the aftermath of this tragedy.
COREN: A stunning admission from top U.S. Defense officials, revealing what they knew about the drone strike that killed 10 innocent Afghans in
Kabul a month ago.
For the surviving family, their pain has been amplified by the fact that no one from the U.S. government has tried to contact them.
COREN (voice-over): Barking dogs and a faint call to prayer are the only sounds that punctuate the silence from this hilltop above Kabul. Yet the
serenity and panoramic views do little to ease the souls of those forced to relocate here.
"We cannot go inside the old house because of the memories, a house full of life was turned into a graveyard."
A month ago, their world was destroyed when the U.S. military fired a Hellfire missile into the family's compound. The target, a white Toyota
Corolla, with an aid worker and family patriarch behind the wheel. Ten family members were killed, including seven children, three of whom were
The U.S. had intelligence the 43-year old was an ISIS facilitator with suspected explosives in the car, posing an imminent threat to U.S. troops
in the final days of the airport evacuation.
After weeks of defending the strike, the military admitted their intelligence was wrong. And then this admission: during yesterday's
grilling of defense chiefs in Congress, examining the chaotic withdraw from Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At what point, General McKenzie -- and this is for all three of you -- at what point did you know that the strike was bad?
That it hit civilians?
GEN. FRANK MCKENZIE, USMC, COMMANDER, CENTCOM: So we knew the strike hit civilians within four or five hours after the strike occurred.
MCKENZIE: We did not know, though, that the target of the strike was, in fact, an error until -- a mistake until some time later. Took us a few days
to run that down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN (voice-over): Zamarai's family says no one from the U.S. government has contacted them.
MCKENZIE: I offer my profound condolences.
COREN (voice-over): The only apology they have received is by U.S. Central Command General Frank McKenzie before the TV cameras almost two weeks ago.
MCKENZIE: And I offer my sincere apology.
"They should have passed on their condolences, asked for forgiveness directly from us," says Zamarai's brother.
For 15 years, Zamarai worked as an engineer for U.S.-based NGO NEI, that provided soybeans for Afghanistan's malnourished and poor. NEI, based in
California has had a long history with the U.S. embassy in Kabul; some of its lifesaving programs were funded by the State Department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know of any other job in the world where you can accidentally kill someone's entire family and then just call it a
COREN (voice-over): Adding insult to injury, the U.S. military continues to maintain that the chatter they had been monitoring for 36 hours before
that fateful day came from an ISIS-K safe house.
CNN can confirm that the purported ISIS-K safe house is the family home of NEI's country director, Dr. Walid (ph), a pediatrician and father of three
young girls and has lived here for 40 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see the laptop bag.
COREN (voice-over): Zamarai had stopped at the house that morning to pick up his computer, which he had forgot. It was from that moment the military
began following his car and would continue surveillance for the next eight hours before launching the strike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am really shocked why this house is labeled as a safe house for ISIS. It is absolutely untrue but I do expect from the U.S.
government to clear the name on my house.
COREN (voice-over): In fact, Dr. Walid was granted a U.S. green card in 2018. It was reissued a few weeks before the strike. He now feels under
threat in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, exposed as working for a U.S.- based NGO, plus being falsely associated with ISIS-K and wants to leave.
The U.S. military says it is looking into reparations for Zamarai's family but that's little comfort. NEI is engaging legal representation on behalf
of the family and is also demanding their resettlement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope the U.S. government has the compassion to grant what they want, which is to resettle. And I think they really deserve
COREN (voice-over): For the surviving children, their smiles disguise their daily anguish and pain. Relatives say they often break down in tears,
asking why their siblings and cousins had to die.
"There isn't a single day where we don't shed tears for them," says Zamarai's sister.
"nothing is more painful and nothing can relieve our pain."
COREN: Other than compensation and resettlement, the family desperately wants justice and for this fatal mistake to never happen again.
We know there are two U.S. military investigations currently underway, which will examine what went wrong, whether someone should be held
accountable and whether any procedures around strike targeting need to be changed in the future. We contacted Central Command but they declined to
GIOKOS: That was Anna Coren, reporting on that tragic story.
Ahead on the show, these families in Ecuador are awaiting news about their loved ones locked inside a prison. How a penitentiary became the site of a
Plus, saying no to bitcoin in El Salvador. People are taking their frustrations with the currency and with the president to the streets.
GIOKOS: Soldiers are surrounding a prison near the coastal city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, which has become the site of a bloody massacre. On
Tuesday, a fight erupted between rival gangs, Ecuador's president now says at least 116 people were killed and about 80 were hurt. At least five
people who died had been beheaded.
This prison is one of many across Ecuador that is short-staffed and overburdened. There have been multiple deadly prison clashes in the country
this year alone. Stefano Pozzebon is tracking developments from neighboring Colombia.
Thank you for joining us. We're hearing the government declared a state of emergency across Ecuador's prisons.
What is the situation like right now on the ground?
Does this mean they haven't de-escalated the tensions in prisons?
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, correct. What essentially it means is that the government is trying whatever it can to re-establish
order, not just in that prison, the penitentiary, but across the prison system.
You correctly said this is not the first time a deadly massacre occurred in Ecuador's prison. This is the deadliest massacre in the history of
But we have been here before in February and in June of this year alone. It is the third time in three years that the government declared a state of
emergency, to try to get a hand -- tried to get a grip on the situation inside the jail.
So the situation right now on the ground in Guayaquil is chaos and frustration for the families and the relatives of the inmates, who are
trying to get information about their dear ones. The identification process of the bodies has begun this morning in Guayaquil.
And the government has set up two special centers in the city to try to give information and mental health assistance to the relatives.
But yesterday, late night on Wednesday, late night, the president of Ecuador said that, at that time, they still didn't have complete control
over the jail and that the death toll could still be higher than the tragic figure of 116 deaths that we are hearing right now.
GIOKOS: Stefano Pozzebon, thank you very much for that update.
People in El Salvador are taking to the streets, protesting the government's policies, including a decision to adopt the virtual money,
bitcoin, as the country's official currency.
Recent rollout was marred by technical glitches and polls show a lot of people just don't want it. But this protest goes beyond bitcoin. Many
believe the president is giving himself too much power.
We're going to a short break. More CONNECT THE WORLD right after this. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
As we just mentioned, people in El Salvador are taking to the streets and they are protesting the government's policies, including the decision to
adopt the virtual money bitcoin as the country's official currency. I'd like to bring in CNN's Patrick Oppmann, following the story from Havana for
Patrick, you know, adopting cryptocurrency as the national currency was always going to be an experiment, one that clearly has failed in many ways,
because it has been volatile. And it has created a lot of issues for businesses and people as well.
What are you hearing on the ground in terms of the reaction?
And how can this be rectified?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, you're right about it being an experiment. I think what Salvadorans don't appreciate is that the
country's president and the drive to have bitcoin as the national currency is experimenting with their own money.
And it hasn't worked in the sense that, he said that everyone would have a wallet and there would be money in that wallet. Many people weren't able to
access that wallet, so they feel they were cheated, that the system has lots of glitches in it, the app hasn't been available on many app stores
So people haven't been able to download it. Some phones don't appear to be able to use the wallet they're using in El Salvador. It had a lot of
And that has allowed this opposition that really hadn't had any traction, the president so popular up until now.
And now what we're seeing is people who disapprove of him for many different reasons, say he is too authoritarian, that he has had too much
power, that he's essentially packing the courts and he's trying to change the constitution so he can run for a second term, that he's someone who
does not appear to recognize any checks and balances on his power.
And so now they're coalescing around this controversy that has been fired off by the failure to implement bitcoin there. And that's where you see
people coming out for different reasons. But again, it really appears to be this anger among common Salvadorans.
OPPMANN: They feel that the president is using them as sort of economic lab rats and they don't like that in a country as poor as El Salvador, that
their currency, the country's economy, is now tied to a very volatile virtual currency like bitcoin is.
So we'll see if this protest is as large as the protest earlier this month, which was the largest protest that we have seen against El Salvador's
president. He's feeling the heat but he recently changed his Twitter profile to say he's the coolest dictator in the world.
And it is actually his official Twitter profile so he's making jokes but his critics certainly aren't laughing. They see an opportunity here to
perhaps stop him from his agenda, that he's been forcing through.
GIOKOS: Patrick Oppmann, thank you very much for that analysis. Good to have you on the show.
Singer Britney Spears says she's on cloud nine after scoring a major legal victory in the fight to regain control offer life. Her legions of fans are
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS (voice-over): They cheered after a Los Angeles judge suspended her father from his role as a conservator of her $60 million estate. The ruling
frees Britney from her father's control for the first time in 13 years.
Her lawyer describes Jamie Spears as "cruel, toxic and abusive." Jamie Spears' lawyer says his client has tried to do what is in the best interest
of his daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: CNN's entertainment reporter Chloe Melas has been following the twists and turns of this story. She joins us now from Los Angeles.
A fascinating turn of events, perhaps anticipated and expected.
But when will Britney be able to take control of her estate and her life?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It has been a long road; 13 years for Britney, who has been wanting this conservatorship to come to an
end. She's one step closer to that freedom. And I have more here for you now. Take a listen.
MELAS (voice-over): Britney Spears is one step closer to freedom.
MATTHEW ROSENGART, BRITNEY SPEARS' ATTORNEY: It is a great day for Britney Spears. And it is a great day for justice.
MELAS (voice-over): A Los Angeles judge suspending her father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator, temporarily placing a certified public
accountant in charge of her estimated $60 million estate.
The ruling, a major legal victory for Spears. But it doesn't fully end the 13-year arrangement that saw her father control her finances and many other
aspects of her life.
Inside Wednesday's hearing, Spears' attorney calling her father, quote, "a cruel, toxic, abusive man," adding, quote, "she wants him out of her life,
rather than a lingering and toxic presence."
ROSENGART: Britney Spears has been faced with a decade long nightmare, a Kafkaesque nightmare, orchestrated by her father and others. And I'm so
proud of her for her courage.
MELAS (voice-over): Rosengart accusing Jamie Spears of, quote, "unfathomable behavior," citing behavior first reported by "The New York
Times," including claims he placed a recording device inside of his daughter's bedroom.
An attorney for Spears' father responding, quote, "It is not evidence, it's rhetoric."
The change in conservator coming after Spears made an emotional plea to the court in June, describing her frustration and anger, saying, quote, "The
conservatorship is doing me more harm than good," adding, quote, "I just want my life back. It has been 13 years and it's enough."
Meanwhile, outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans rallying in support of their favorite pop star, erupting into cheers after months of calls to free
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know this isn't about me but I just felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Like this is finally going to end for her.
MELAS (voice-over): Following the ruling, the singer posting this video of her in a prop plane to Instagram, writing, "On cloud nine right now."
MELAS: The next hearing is going to be on November 12th in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County superior courthouse, where the judge is expected to
potentially terminate this conservatorship once and for all.
Again, this is just a one step closer for Britney's victory. She doesn't want her father being her conservator anymore and right now a temporary
conservator is taking his place. But again, we are expecting for this termination to happen very soon.
GIOKOS: All right, Chloe, thank you very much for that update. We'll be watching this one very closely, I think. Much appreciated.
GIOKOS: One of the world's most active volcanoes is erupting again for the first time since May. Observers say they noticed lava spewing from Hawaii's
Kilauea volcano on Wednesday, just hours after increased seismic activity.
Officials say it is not a present danger to nearby residents on Hawaii's big island. The most recent eruption began last December and continued for
five months. Hawaiian islands often expand, as lava enters the sea, cools and hardens.
That's exactly that's happening right now on the Canary Island of La Palma. Lava flowing into the Atlantic Ocean from an erupting volcano is forming a
delta as it gathers at the shoreline.
Officials warn the reaction, when the lava hits the sea, could cause toxic gases, but strong winds blows all the vapors out to sea. Incredible
visuals. Let's go to Pau Mosquera, who is there in La Palma as the volcano causes some major disruptions. He joins us now live.
Incredible visuals; I see what's happening behind you. We know that, once lava hits ocean water, it is toxic and it is dangerous.
PAU MOSQUERA, CNN ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: It is really toxic. The gases are coming from this clash of the lava with the ocean water. That's why we're a
bit far away from where the event is taking place.
Let's try to get a zoom in, a close zoom in, to what is happening over there. Four kilometers from here, as you can see, the lava is falling down
to the ocean water. And slowly it is hardening.
But in the process, it is also emitting a lot of water vapor and toxic gases. That's why the authorities are telling to all the population there
is, over this area, to keep inside their homes, to close all the windows, to close all the doors, to avoid any risk of breathing this gas coming from
But also as you can see, it is very impressive, because, as it hits the water and starts hardening, it is also creating a new surface in the
island. It is expanding the territory, as you say.
This is called a delta, which is right now what you can see in your TV. It is happening right now. This is an impressive but also a very dangerous
image, because you have to keep very far away from this.
The authorities are actually recommending to all the people from the island to keep at least 3.5 kilometers from -- far away from this to avoid any
risks of breathing in the gas, which can be really dangerous.
And meanwhile, as we're here at the port, I can say we can still hear how the volcano is roaring, very strong. Right now, it is really difficult to
get an image of the volcano because of the wind blowing, that is moving all the smoke toward where the volcano is located. That's why it is really
impossible to hear it -- Eleni.
GIOKOS: Pau, thank you very much for bringing us this report and I know that it is dangerous. So please stay safe. Incredible visuals coming from
there. Much appreciated.
Coming up after the break, Cristiano Ronaldo is proving why he's up with of the best football players in the world. More on his down-to-the-wire goal
that saved Manchester United.
GIOKOS: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.
North Korea's leader says he'll restore severed communication lines with South Korea earlier next month. Kim Jong-un made the announcement
Wednesday, according to its state news agency. South Korea welcomed Pyongyang's offer and says it is preparing for the reopening of hot lines.
Meanwhile, the sister of the North Korean leader has been promoted. That's according to North Korean state media. Kim Yo Jong is now a member of the
state affairs commission. The country's ruling body headed by her brother. She was already a key adviser to her brother and one of the country's most
important political figures.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been given a second jail term; he's been given one year for illegal campaign financing during his failed
2012 bid for re-election. He'll serve his sentence at home, monitored by an electric bracelet. In March, the 66-year-old was given a three-year
sentence for corruption and influence peddling.