Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Dubai Opens World Expo One Year After Pandemic Halt; Australia to East Its Strict Rules on International Travel; Merch Says Experimental Pill Cuts COVID Death Risk in Half; British Women Told to Challenge Lone Police Officers; CNN Speaks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko; Biden's Signature Spending Bills Stall as Democrats Quarrel; At least 118 Killed in Prison Massacre in Ecuador; Reducing Food Waste in Nigeria with Solar Power; Japan's Princess Mako to Marry Commoner on October 26th. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 01, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Easing COVID restrictions after 18 long months, Australia plans to end the ban on international travel. And
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you take this opportunity now to apologize to the people of Belarus for the human rights
abuses that they've suffered at your hands?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Tough questions to the man some call Europe's last dictator. A CNN exclusive with the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko. Plus a
potential game changer in the fight against COVID-19. Pharmaceutical giant Merck says a new pill cuts the risk of death by half.
I'm Becky Anderson. Those are your headlines, and wherever you are watching in the world, a very warm welcome to what is a special edition of CONNECT
You are joining us for what is the first full day of Expo 2020 in Dubai, where over the next six months, the world literally gets connected. 192
nations represented in what is this massive complex, each boasting a pavilion showing its own unique story, but tasked with a common goal,
connecting minds and creating the future. That is the overarching theme of this megaevent.
We're going to reveal all that entails, looking at the latest in technology and innovation here at the Expo and taking a deep dive into the event's
theme weeks with topics that are extremely relevant to all of us. Starting right off on Monday with the most pressing global issue of our time,
climate, its crisis, and biodiversity.
In the coming weeks and months, we'll cover issues like tolerance and inclusivity, food sustainability and water, and especially relevant topic,
given the multiple areas of the world experiencing prolonged drought. All of this taking place, of course, in the long shadow of the coronavirus
pandemic and a world still struggling to return to normal.
From our studio here at Expo 2020, we will get you a window into the ideas being debated and the solutions being shared with interviews with heads of
state, key officials and top business leaders shaping our post-pandemic world.
Well, this is the first world expo ever held in the Middle East. Our Scott McLaen looks at the long history of these global gatherings and what to
expect in the weeks and months ahead.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was almost eight years ago that Dubai won its bid to host Expo 2020, a first for a Middle Eastern
city. Seven years of planning and a global pandemic later, the Expo is finally opened. Fireworks, A-list performances and an elaborate show of
lights and massive prompts lifted the curtain on an event that organizers expect will bring millions of people to the city. And if history is any
guide, leave a lasting impact, too.
The very first World Expo took place in London 170 years ago. Since then, 34 other cities have hosted. Expos usually last six months, but their
impact in architecture can last even longer. The Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris Expo in 1889. Belgium's Atomium was built for Expo '58 and
Seattle's famous space needle rose from the Expo grounds in 1962.
ROBERT REIDEL, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY: The World Expo is primarily an effort to educate a large number of people about where
the world might be going.
MCLEAN: The first working telephone was demonstrated at the Expo in 1876 in Philadelphia. Then almost 100 years later, the mobile phone was on show in
Osaka. The first live TV broadcast was made at the World's Fair in 1939 and the zipper, the x-ray machine and iMax movies were also debuted at world
REIDEL: You can hardly reach out and touch something that wasn't debuted in some fashion at a world's fair. The cities we live in. The urban plans that
shape those cities, many were test driven at world's fairs for the first time. The build environments is so important. The underground
infrastructure from sewer lines to transportation lines.
MCLEAN: In Dubai, they've had to build it all from scratch.
(On-camera): If we were to go back in time, to 2013, and we were standing in the same place we are today, what was here?
AHMED AL KHATIB, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT AND DELIVERY OFFICER, EXPO 2020: There was nothing. OK. It was just like plain piece of sand with a lot of dunes
and just a couple of trees and a cattle farm.
MCLEAN: Maybe a tumbleweed?
AL KHATIB: Yes.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Dubai has bet big on Expo 2020. Its multi-billion- dollar bet is the size of a city with futuristic looking architecture like the nearly 5,000 solar panels on the sustainability pavilion or the whacky
designs of the 192 country pavilions.
(On-camera): But in the Internet age in the midst of a global pandemic, connecting is easy. Travel is the hard part. And so the value of an in-
person world expo may be losing its appeal. In fact at one point American participation in this year's event was in serious doubt.
Why do we have to be here in person?
AL KHATIB: It's so different, like when you come face-to-face and meet each other's and actually look at the person, see them, talk.
MCLEAN (voice-over): With COVID-19 still a real threat, safety is top of mind. Only the vaccinated will be able to get in without a negative test
and everyone has to wear a mask even outdoors. In the sweltering heat of the desert, it's not pleasant. But organizers say it's necessary.
Plus, just this month, the European parliament passed a resolution calling for sponsors in member states to withdraw from Expo 2020, citing documented
abuses of foreign workers and the imprisonment of political dissidence. United Arab Emirates rejected the resolution and the allegations made in it
and said it completely ignores all of the UAE's significant achievements in the human rights field.
So far, no E.U. member states have dropped out. Perhaps not wanting to miss the chance to court business, forge connections and attract tourists over
the next six months.
ANDERSON: Well, Scott McLean joining me now this hour from Japan's Pavilion and Eleni Giokos here with me on the set at Expo 2020.
Let me start with you, Scott. You've been out and about today. A lot of visitors in town for the first to what is this six months' worth of the
event. What are they telling you? What are visitors telling you?
MCLEAN: Hey, Becky, yes. We managed to speak to some as they were coming through the turnstiles today. Most said that they felt really safe here
obviously because you had to be double vaccinated or show a negative test, and to be honest with you, and this really surprised me, most didn't seem
bothered by the fact they have to wear masks outdoors despite the sweltering heat. They also tell me that they are just blown away by some of
the pavilions that they've seen. Just first glance without even going inside them.
And I want to just quickly show you, too, this is actually the Italian pavilion. And this is meant to in the wake of COVID, which has done such
damage to Italy, this is meant to sort of signify perhaps some of the solutions for the future. Those ropes hanging down, they provide shade
inside. They also provide plenty of ventilation. And there's all kinds of other COVID-friendly features inside.
This one is Israel's. It's meant to resemble an old Abrahamic tent. And that one is all focused on sort of towards tomorrow, moving forward,
especially resetting their relationship with some of these Gulf countries as we know after the Abraham Accords were signed a year ago from today --
ANDERSON: Good stuff. Scott, thank you for that. Outside the Italian pavilion, not the Japanese, my apologies for that.
Eleni, visitors here for what is the first full day, of course, and this is, you know, an experience for tourists and Dubai hoping they can, you
know, bring in an awful lot of tourists with this event here over the next six months. This is also, of course, a key trade fair. This is so important
for businesses, isn't it?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A hundred percent. I was talking to a few analysts and they said, you know, what can we compare this to? It's like
the Disneyland of innovation, international innovation. And this is where business minds and countries come and market the best that they have to
offer. It's an expensive exercise but it's really an important one.
Now expos have kind of been losing their excitement over the past few decades. You know, like we saw with Scott's reporting with some of the
greatest inventions of mankind were featured at past expos. But that has petered out somewhat. But because Dubai has pulled off this very wondrous
event, just in the leadup to the expo and because it's the first since the pandemic, it's almost created this re-invigoration of what expos are about.
And because they've really been focusing on sustainability, on the future, almost like a post-COVID world, the snapshot into the possibility of a
post-COVID world, it's created a lot of excitement. It's been expensive exercise. You and I know, these conferences create white elephants a lot of
the time. The question is, are 25 million people going to come to Dubai in the next six months? Are we going to be seeing that attraction coming
through? Are the innovations going to be exciting for the average person? I think many people just want to get back to in-person meetings, to meeting
ANDERSON: It's 192 countries represented here.
ANDERSON: And so I guess what a lot of these pavilions will be attempting to do is to sort of not reinvent themselves but refocus in what is this
post-pandemic world. We hear a lot about the kind of Build Back Better, don't we?
ANDERSON: You know, but we hear that a lot from Western organizations and Western governments. I think the fact that you have 192 countries
represented here, which means, you know, you can talk to Latta, you can talk to Africa, you can talk to businesses and countries from around the
world. We get a real sense over the next six months of exactly where people are pitching themselves as we move forward.
We're going to have you back here in the next hour also. Thank you for that.
Well, a vision on the scale of this expo is one thing. Turning it into reality is another thing. In the next hour on CONNECT THE WORLD, catch my
interview with one of the key people who made all of this happen. The UAE's minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You and I met here back in 2019. You took me for a drive of this site which was a building site. How are you feeling?
REEM EBRAHIM AL HASHIMY, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: Well, it's no longer a building site. Definitely a place for
moments and for experiences and for memories. I'm very, very proud of how far the team has come and also of how well everybody across the country
local and federal agencies all really work together to realize something as grand as this.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And more from Expo here a little later this hour.
In the news headlines, Australia finally about to start easing the strict rules it's had in place around international travel. The government
planning to allow vaccinated citizens and permanent residents to quarantine at home. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement a few hours
Now the new rules are expected to take effect in November. And it's a part of the government's plan to eventually open the country back up to all
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: And that is giving us the opportunity to get Australia ready for takeoff. It is -- will be time very
soon that we'll be able to open those international borders again and that will enable Australians who are fully vaccinated and Australians and
residents of Australia who are overseas who are fully vaccinated to be able to travel again.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, our CNN producer Angus Watson is in Sydney. It has been a year and a half since vaccinated citizens were allowed to move freely like
this. What is this going to mean for Australians? What's it going to mean for families? What's it going to mean for the economy, Angus?
ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Becky, that announcement that we just heard from Prime Minister Scott Morrison is one that's been waited for by
tens of thousands of Australians around the world, cut off from their own country as the global pandemic has raged around them for some 18 months
now. Those people told that they can't come home because they risk bringing coronavirus with them.
The government has had strict cats on the number of its own citizens and residents that it allows back into the countries. What Prime Minister Scott
Morrison announced on Friday was that those caps would be scrapped. That all Australians should they be fully vaccinated can come back to Australia
as of November and spend just seven days in home quarantine. That's instead of the 14 days in quarantine that Australians and all travelers into
Australia at the moment should you be lucky enough to get in here have to do right now.
And what this means, Becky, as well, is a big shift from the Australian government from its policies of COVID zero. The Australian government says
its tough border measures has made it possible for the country to isolate itself from the rest of the world as best as it could throughout the
pandemic, Becky. That's also the boost for -- that's allowed, that has come with extra vaccine doses being made available to the people of Australia.
The vaccine doses have gone up to where the government wants them to be. And now they can throw their borders opened -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Angus Walker, on this story. Thank you.
Well, meanwhile, there is a potential game changer in the fight against COVID-19. Pharmaceutical giant Merck has just announced the results from
its experimental trials of the first oral anti-viral pill to treat COVID. They found the pill cuts the risk of COVID hospitalization and death by
Now, Merck plans to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. Keep in mind, this is meant for patients who are already
infected with COVID. It is not a replacement for a vaccine.
Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has been studying the research. And she joins us now. Just how significant an announcement is it?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is so significant, Becky, that actually an external board of advisers. A board of experts in
the United States cut this critical trial short. They stopped it early because they said we're monitoring the results. And we see that it's
working so well, that we would like Mark to go to the United States Food and Drug Administration and seek emergency use authorization and get the
FDA to weigh in on this. That doesn't happen that often that you stop a trial early because it's looking so good.
So let's take a look at these results. So as you mentioned, this is a drug for people who are in their early stages of COVID-19. Does not replace a
vaccine. They took more than 700 people, gave half of them the drug, gave half of them the placebo, which is a pill that does nothing. The folks who
got the placebo, the pill that does nothing, 45 were hospitalized and eight died.
The folks who got the drug, 28 were hospitalize and zero died. And there weren't significant side effects. So that is really terrific. But again
early stages, these folks who are in the trial were within five days of having a positive COVID test. They got a positive COVID test. And they were
no more than five days out from that.
Then you know another benefit of this, Becky, is it's a pill. We have Regeneron, we have other monoclonal anti-bodies. And those work quite well.
But it's really a challenge to administer them. You have to give IV, you have to give a shot. This is something a doctor could just call in a
prescription. Also this pill is way less expensive than monoclonal anti- bodies -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Elizabeth, just let's be quite clear about this. Is this effective against all strains of coronavirus?
COHEN: The folks in the study were from all over the world and there were, you know, various, you know, mutations and variations of COVID that they
were looking at, so it's looking good for sort of a wide variety. Now having said that, it is possible that some other weird variant is going to
come up and perhaps this anti-viral won't work as well. But we need to remember, you know, variants are different.
I mean, Delta, for example, is much more transmissible. But there is still COVID. So this anti-viral, hopefully, acts on a part of the virus that
doesn't change because even with variants, the virus still mainly stays the same. It's relatively small changes that make one variant different from
ANDERSON: Elizabeth Cohen in the house, as ever, it's a pleasure. Thank you.
Next, shocking developments from Ecuador led authorities towards Mexico. How drug cartels may be linked to a blood bath at a prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Would you take this opportunity now to apologize to the people of Belarus for the human rights abuses that they've suffered at your hands?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's Matthew Chance held nothing back in his interview with the president of Belarus, the man known as Europe's last dictator. Their frank
conversation is coming up.
And not just a moment, but a movement. We speak to the expert who says the Dubai expo is only the start of a new trend in showcasing Gulf identity in
the Middle East.
ANDERSON: Well, the questions and criticisms just keep coming for London's Metropolitan Police one day after ex-officer Wayne Couzens was sentenced to
spend the rest of his life in prison for the rape and murder of Sarah Everhard. Now the force is looking for ways to regain people's trust. That
is a big challenge because the Everhard case has shaken the United Kingdom. So now the Met is offering a new kind of safe advice to women. British
minister for Crime and Policing laid out the details to Sky News. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIT MALTHOUSE, BRITISH MINISTER FOR CRIME AND POLICING: But if anybody has any doubts about a police officer, then, obviously, they are, they should
requestion the officer about what they're doing and why they're doing it. If there are any doubts at all, they should ask to either speak to the
control room using the officer's radio or if in doubt call 999 and ask a question.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, some women's rights groups and opposition lawmakers are critical of that advice, saying the responsibility should be on the police,
not on women to do better.
We're live in London now with CNN's Nina dos Santos.
What happened to Sarah Everhard prompting a huge U.K.-wide debate on trust in the police? Is this new advice from the Met a tone deaf response as some
have called it?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think there's a real sense here, Becky, that this is an argument that the Met still will have to continue to
debate in far more transparent fashion for women across this country and men across this country as well. That sort of response you just heard there
from Kit Malthouse responsible -- the government minister responsible for policing across this country having been greeted with downright indignation
from many critics saying, essentially, that you have to hail down a bus or call 999.
We know now thanks to bus CCTV footage that Sarah Everhard wouldn't have had been afforded any of those luxuries. She was on her own in a dark
street. She was handcuffed and she was also kidnapped with an I.D. card from serving at the time a police officer of this force, the Metropolitan
Police. So the real anger behind people's indignation here is partly the response. It's partly what happened to her, it's also partly the refusal to
have a transparent independent inquiry into other case, potential cases of abuse that may have been investigated in police forces across the rest of
That is what you're hearing of opposition politicians ask for. The Metropolitan Police's response as you heard it yesterday evening from Dame
Cressida Dick, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police here at Scotland Yard, is that she will ensure that lessons, all lessons that need to be
learned are learned, and also they're going to be putting 650 more police officers on streets to ensure women's safety.
How is that going to go down if there is a deficit of trust between those who are supposed to keep women safe and women themselves? And there is also
a real concern in this country about how rape allegations are treated. The Crown Prosecution Service recently has had to acknowledge that there has
been a precipitous decline in prosecution of rape cases, despite the fact that the number of rape cases that have been quoted is going up.
So this is a part of a much, much wider conversation that needs to be had publicly and in more depth, including with people like the Metropolitan
Police in this country.
For the moment, what we know is that the mayor of London and also the Home Secretary Priti Patel have not removed their confidence from Dame Cressida
Dick at the Metropolitan Police. She seems to still be determined to stay in her position. But the Met will continue to come under a lot more
pressure from here, Becky, to be transparent.
ANDERSON: Yes. Nina dos Santos in London for you. Nina, thank you.
Well, the human rights record of Belarus is sinking fast. CNN's Matthew Chance goes one-on-one with the country's president, asking him about
allegations of abuse. His answers after this break.
Also after a night of negotiations on Capitol Hill, there is no deal yet on a trillion-dollar bill crucial for President Biden's domestic agenda. Will
Democratic infighting make that fall apart? A live report for you is ahead.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from the site of the Dubai Expo 2020.
Well, the ongoing feud over migrants escalating between the European Union and Belarus. The E.U. accuses Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko of
funneling migrants into E.U. border states in retaliation for sanctions imposed over human rights abuses. Leaders from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania
all say Belarus is coordinating its refugee crisis as a, quote, "hybrid attack" against the E.U.
The Belarusian president says there is no proof that he is pushing migrants to his border. Alexander Lukashenko is also dismissing reports of human
rights abuses since his disputed reelection last year. He has led the nation for nearly three decade and in an exclusive interview with my
colleague Mathew Chance, Mr. Lukashenko says he has nothing to be sorry for.
CHANCE: Would you take this opportunity now to apologize to the people of Belarus for the human rights abuses that they've suffered at your hands?
ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): No, I would not like to take this opportunity. If I had a word, I would do that
through the Belarusian media. What would be the point of doing it on CNN? I don't think this is a relevant question and in principle, I have nothing to
CHANCE: Well, you say you've got nothing to apologize for. But Human Rights Watch says multiple detainees are reported, broken bones, teeth, brain
injuries, skin wounds, electrical burns. Amnesty International speaks of detention centers becoming torture chambers, where protesters were forced
to lie in the dirt, stripped naked while police kicked and beat them with truncheons. You don't think that is worth apologizing for?
LUKASHENKO (through translator): You know, we don't have a single detention center as you say like Guantanamo, all those places that the United States
and your country created in Eastern Europe. As regards our own detention centers, where we keep those accused or those under investigation, they are
no worse than in Britain or the United States. I can guarantee you that.
CHANCE: Nevertheless, the violence over that period has left you in the eyes of much of the international community as an international pariah.
Your -- well, the main opposition figure in this country Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is regarded as the, in many international circles, as the
true winner of the election last year and the elected leader properly of Belarus. Even President Biden has met her in the White House. You haven't
been invited to the White House, have you?
LUKASHENKO (through translator): The female persona. I'm not going to discuss her. I don't fight with women and I don't want to characterize her
in any way. As regards to opposition leadership, the leader of the opposition is someone who lives in this country and has a different point
of view. They campaign to bring this alternative view to fruition. There are no such people in Belarus. They are somewhere over there on your side,
paid by you.
CHANCE: No, they fled the country because they're frightened of staying here. The people that have stayed have been imprisoned. Put in jail for
like 10 and 11 years because of their opposition activities. And you know that's the case.
LUKASHENKO (through translator): Look, if one is a revolutionary and they've got themselves involved in a revolution, moreover tried to win a
blitzkrieg here with foreign money, they need to be prepared for anything.
CHANCE: What about the threat that you're accused of posing now to the borders of the European Union? The Polish government, the Lithuanian
government, others, saying that you are encouraging migrants from various parts of the world to travel to Belarus and then pushing them towards the
borders of those countries, putting massive pressure on the border authorities and European Union states.
Do you take full responsibility for the refugee crisis that is under way on the Belarusian-European borders at the moment?
LUKASHENKO (through translator): Do you have any actual proof that I am pushing these people to the Polish border? No, you have none and cannot
CHANCE: What European governments are saying, and European officials, is that you are weaponizing migrants and you're doing that -- that's their
phrase. And you're doing that as an act of revenge, in revenge for European sanctions and in revenge for the fact that European countries are
sheltering your dissidents. How do you answer that criticism?
LUKASHENKO (through translator): Are you taking me for a mad man? My country is in Central Europe and it is a small one. Can 10 million people
dictate terms to half a billion? So I'm not going to take revenge on anyone.
ANDERSON: Well, that was CNN's Mathew Chance speaking with the Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko.
U.S. lawmakers resume negotiations this hour on two defining pieces of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda. Both have stalled because of
internal squabbling among Democrats. Overnight House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote on a signature infrastructure bill. Now the $1.2 trillion
bipartisan plan aims to fix America's roads and bridges.
But progressive Democrats are holding out for a firm deal on a separate deal, a $3.5 trillion plan known as the Build Back Better Act. Now that
would dramatically expand social programs and address climate change. But two moderate Democrats are balking at the price tag.
Well, CNN congressional reporter Daniella Diaz joins us with the latest.
I was hoping to get some sound from Congress there. What's the latest on these negotiations? And is it possible that Democrats end up with nothing?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't think Democrats really want that to happen, Becky. That is what is going on right now here
on Capitol Hill on this Friday morning in the United States.
Look, the problem is both of these bills, one is called a Human Infrastructure Bill, this $3.5 trillion economic bill that will expand the
nation's social safety net, it has funding for things such as combating climate change, expanding the child tax credit here in the United States,
paid family and medical leave. This is what progressives want. They want to see this bill passed and they withholding their vote for a bipartisan
infrastructure bill, hard infrastructure bill as a result until they can agree on this top line number for the economic bill.
So last night they were supposed to have a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Republicans voted for it -- 19 Republicans voted for
this in the Senate. We have about -- our understanding is 10 Republicans would be supporting it in the House but because there are dozens upon
dozens of progressive Democrats that wouldn't vote for this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't put it on the floor because then it would fail.
And if there's something you know about Democratic leaders here in the United States, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi governs with a heavy hand. She
holds her Democratic caucus together, and that is why she did not put it on the floor because it would fail. So the question here is, what's going to
happen next? We saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning. She told reporters including me that she is going to continue these negotiations
with Democrats to see where they can land today on this issue.
This is a priority for the Biden administration. President Joe Biden promised that he would pass these two bills. And I think that is why
Democratic leaders don't want to leave this weekend without any sort of resolution to try to pass these two bills because millions of Americans
will be affected if either -- if neither of these bills pass, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. This is consequential stuff for the Biden administration. And the fighting, of course, the infighting is within his own party at this
point. How damaged will he be if he doesn't get what he wants at this point?
DIAZ: Well, Republicans are already seizing on this message of Dems in disarray ahead of the 2022 midterms, next year's elections. You know House
minority leader Kevin McCarthy wants to take back the majority here because right now Democrats have the majority in both chambers and the White House.
So this could have huge consequence for Democrats if they're not able to pass these two bills.
But I do want to emphasize that it would be shocking if neither of these bills passed because especially with the bipartisan infrastructure bill
that moderate Democrats and some Republicans want. It's already passed the Senate. So all it needs is a vote here in the House chamber for it to go to
President Joe Biden's desk before they make thousands of jobs to improve here, our roads, bridges, transportation.
These would be jobs that Americans want, which is why the administration is working hard to try to find a deal with progressives to be able to pass
these two bills -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Right. All right. Good stuff. You've heard it first here on CNN. Thank you for that.
To one of our top international stories now and deeply disturbing developments from Ecuador. Well, at least 118 people are now confirmed who
have been killed in a prison massacre. Fights between criminal gangs escalated in a blood bath. At least five prisoners were beheaded.
Investigators say they later seized guns, ammunition, knives and explosive devices in the prison. Investigators now believe Mexican drug cartels may
have had a hand in that bloodshed.
Matt Rivers is in Mexico City. Just what sort of link are officials investigating here?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're essentially hearing from investigators in Ecuador and then also we've spoken to former intelligence
chiefs, you know, in Ecuador as well, and it's the link between Ecuador and Mexico with Ecuador being, you know, essentially a growing route for
Colombian cocaine, making its way here to Mexico. And as a result Mexican drug cartels getting involved.
And it is the brutal nature, Becky, of what we saw inside that prison as the violence was carried out that mirrors, unfortunately, the kind of
violence that we see here between warring drug cartels in Mexico.
RIVERS (voice-over): Anxious families cry out for answers, praying their loved ones weren't among the more than 100 dead in the largest prison
massacre in Ecuador's history, detailing harrowing accounts from those inside the Guayaquil prison complex after deadly attacks that authorities
believe are essentially proxy battles with people inside the prisons belonging to gangs with potential links to two Mexican organized crime
groups, the Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco New Generation cartel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The inmates call us, sister, they are killing me, call the police.
RIVERS: Ecuador has increasingly become an important transit hub for Colombian cocaine and other drugs bound for the U.S. and Europe, according
to the U.S. government and a former Ecuadorian military official that spoke to CNN. These are routes that the Sinaloa carter has largely controlled.
But now authorities say the Jalisco New Generation cartel is making a play for dominance, leading to a proxy war inside Ecuador's prison system, with
five major prison battles in 2021 alone, resulting in more than 200 dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because of the more dangerous inmates, there are deaths. You need to grab and remove the rotten ones.
Those are the ones you need to take out.
RIVERS: The mood outside the prison complex in Guayaquil one of anger and despair. Loved ones unhappy with what they see as a slow response by police
to the attack that began Tuesday in one of the country's most overcrowded and under-staffed prisons.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Look at where the police are. They are out here. It's my brother, not a dog.
RIVERS: Authorities initially reported only five dead, moving into the courtyard attempting to secure the facility, recovering explosives,
grenades, guns and other weapons as they struggle to regain control of the prison. Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, with the attacks still
unfolding, more than 400 police in riot gear swarmed the facility, discovering beheaded bodies in carnage on a much more massive scale. Family
members questioning how such a huge security failure could have happened in the first place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When we go to visit, they search every single thing. They even make us undress. I don't know how all the
weapons get in. Everyone inside is armed. Everyone.
RIVERS: Ecuador's president declaring a state of emergency, trying to quell panic, vowing to get the situation under control.
GUILLERMO LASSO, ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): It's sad to see the jails become a territory fought over by criminal groups. The state is
going to act and the first decision we took is to declare a state of emergency over the prison system across the nation.
RIVERS: President Guillermo Lasso also announcing $24 million in state funds to improve Ecuador's prisons long reported by human rights groups as
unsanitary and overcrowded, with inadequate health care and weak security, making them an easy target for gang control. For those outside waiting to
hear their family member's fate, that presidential commitment to change may prove too little too late.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We want justice, Mr. President, for all the mothers who suffer here for our children.
RIVERS: Authorities say they have begun the process of identifying the dead but caution the severity of the injuries are making that process incredibly
RIVERS: And Becky, in the latest update from investigators, we're told that authorities have seized guns, ammunition, 25 bladed weapons, three
explosive devices, various drugs, you know, those kind of items just on a massive scale inside the prison, so much to be accounted for, still, after
this horrific massacre.
ANDERSON: Matt, thank you.
You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, keeping cool in the hot Nigerian sun. This man's vision to help farmers protect their produce and
ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back. CNN committed to reporting on the environmental challenges facing our planet together with the solutions.
Today in what's known as our "Call to Earth" series, a Nigerian social entrepreneur and Rolex Awards Laurent tackling his country's crippling
problem with food waste, harnessing the heat of the sun to power a system of cold storm routes in markets and farms designed to help save food,
energy and livelihood.
KRISTI LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this busy Nigerian market, the race is on to sell fresh produce early in the day.
NNAEMEKA IKEGWUONU, FOUNDER AND CEO, COLDHUBS: So you sell high quality very early in the morning. Then after 12:00 noon, under the intensity of
the Nigerian sun, spoilage has been our (INAUDIBLE).
LU STOUT: Of all the food produced, Nigeria loses and wastes around 40 percent per year, according to the World Bank, while over 80 million in the
country face food insecurity. It's a burning issue this man is trying to solve.
Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is taking a fresh approach to food waste with ColdHubs, food storage rooms designed for markets and farms that are entirely powered
by the sun, using those very rays to cool the food down.
IKEGWUONU: The mission really is to reduce food spoilage due to lack of food storage at key points along the food supply chain.
LU STOUT: Farmers and retailers can store a crate of produce for around 25 cents per day, keeping it fresh for up to 21 days.
IKEGWUONU: This cold room can take and cool down up to three pounds of food, and it cools down from 30, 35 degrees Ambient temperature which is
what the food is coming in to eat to about a set temperature 10 degrees Celsius. This effect can stay in this cold room for up to three weeks,
still very fresh.
LU STOUT: The U.N. tells us that food waste accounts for up to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. So finding solutions can make a hefty
contribution to the fight against climate change in more ways than one.
IKEGWUONU: Each of these cold rooms should run on approximately between 20 to 30 liters of diesel every day, and by using solar energy, we keep off
the diesel completely.
LU STOUT: And Ikegwuonu wants the ColdHubs to have social as well as environmental impact.
IKEGWUONU: We have been able to create about 66 new jobs for women. So many of these women have become empowered and change agents in their households
LU STOUT: Before ColdHubs, Ikegwuonu started a radio network, reaching an estimated two million listeners to help farmers share knowledge and learn
effective farming practices.
IKEGWUONU: Crop protection is one of the oldest and most effective (INAUDIBLE) strategies we have.
LU STOUT: Growing up on a farm himself, he knows the cost of losses can be devastating.
IKEGWUONU: In Nigeria, smaller farmer goes through a lot, there's like climate (INAUDIBLE) where it's very difficult to plant, you know. But you
have to produce food. And when you are unable to sell that commodity or trade with that commodity, number one the financial investment all have
been eroded. The environmental resources are all lost. The morale of the farmer is lost, too. That is why we need to make sure that if we produce
food, we should as much as possible try to get the food on the plate of those people.
LU STOUT: Ikegwuonu says that there are now 54 ColdHubs in 22 states across Nigeria, with more being built.
IKEGWUONU: We were able to store 42,042 tons of food in 2020. That is typically food that would have been thrown away, you know, or sold out at
ridiculous prices. But we're able to sign off 5,258 smaller farmers, retailer and wholesalers as well, presently using ColdHub services. And the
number keeps on increasing every day. But really the big dream for us is to solve the problem of food spoilage in Nigeria and expand our technology and
service to other African countries that have these challenge within their country.
ANDERSON: Well, do let us know what you are doing to answer the call with the hashtag "Call to Earth." It is simple. We are taking a short break.
Back after this.
ANDERSON: Well, Japan's Imperial Household has announced then Princess Mako will get married on October 26th. Her journey with her long-time college
boyfriend has been no fairy tale. Princess Mako will have to give her royal title to marry a commoner. The couple is skipping the typical pomp and
circumstance that you would see at a royal wedding.
Selina Wang with more from Tokyo.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After a three-year delay, Japan's Princess Mako is finally set to marry her fiancee Kei Komuro later this month. Their
engagement was announced in 2017 in what sounded like a fairy tale love story, a princess marrying her college sweetheart, giving up her royal
title to marry a commoner. But from there, things got complicated. Their planned wedding for 2018 was postponed after reports emerged that Komuro's
mother had failed to repay her ex-fiancee about $36,000.
That controversy spiraled and the public opinion turned against Komuro. The scandal was significant in a society where family values carry a lot of
weight. According to Japan's public broadcaster, the princess has been diagnosed with complex PTSD because of intense negative media scrutiny. Now
under tradition, Princess Mako is entitled to a lump sum payment of about $1.35 million in taxpayer money to help her start a fresh life. But she has
reportedly set to forego that payment.
And Japanese society is split on this marriage. This is what residents told us today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't think he is good enough to marry an imperial person. I think that they way of
thinking about the imperial family will change because of her marriage. Japanese people's affection toward the imperial family will be gone. It is
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She has been waiting for years. And it must be painful. She hasn't been able to see him for years. But I
think it's amazing to see the two have kept their love.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
WANG: After their marriage the couple is reportedly set to move to New York where Komuro works at a law firm. He arrived in Tokyo earlier this week
sporting a ponytail hairstyle that caused an absolute media frenzy here in Japan with many saying that it was yet another sign that he was unfit to
marry the princess. This marriage has also renewed concerns over Japan's imperial law which bars women from the throne and if they marry commoners
like Princess Mako, they are stripped of their title and have to leave the royal family. Right now there is one young potential successor to the
Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
ANDERSON: Well, we are here at Dubai Expo 2020. Let's head over to the site behind me, to Scott McLean who is at Japan's pavilion, a massive structure
with origami shapes all around, showcasing Japan's vibrant art culture and technology. Of course Japan hosted the last big global event, the Olympics,
during the COVID pandemic. It is now showcasing here at this major world event.
Scott, what are the offers?
MCLEAN: Hey, Becky, first off, if you're wondering what the noise is behind me, if this is a global village, then the Indians at this moment are your
noisy neighbors, having a celebration there, having a party as they should on day one of this expo.
Let me show you a little bit about the Japanese pavilion. As you mentioned this is meant to be inspired by origami. It is also meant to be sort of a
mixture of Japanese patterns and also Arabic patterns as well.
Let me take you inside. And as we go, you'll notice on your left-hand side, this is a Japanese chain could Shushiro. If you've ever been there, you'll
know it. This is actually the first location they've ever opened inside of the Middle East. And at least at the moment, it's not sticking around
Japan, in addition to hosting the Olympics, Becky, actually also hosted Expo back in 1970 where the mobile phone was first put on display, and this
time around, they also have some really cool technology on display and some things that they're willing to -- trying to show off as well. We're not
going to take you inside the exhibition because it really is an impressive show of lights, and we're not going to be able to do it justice.
But I'll just show you one core piece of technology. This looks like a normal thing. It is, you can wash your hands, the water works. The soap
works. What's different about this is, Charbel (PH), if you just want to show around back, this is not connected to anything. There is no water
pipes. All of this water, Charbel, if you can show over here, comes through this filter and then gets reused. So 98 percent of it is totally reused.
So it's just one piece of technology on show here. The other important thing to know, Becky, is that Osaka, Japan, the same city that hosted in
1970, they're going to be hosting the World Expo in 2025. So it will soon be their turn once again.
ANDERSON: Thank you, Scott. Scott McLean, on the site.
Don't go away. We will get more news and views from here coming up in what is our next hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Stay with us.