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Refugees Stuck at the Poland-Belarus Border; Haiti Gang Seeks $17 Million for Abducted Missionaries; Ethiopian Air Force Carried Out Airstrikes in Tigray Region; Expo 2020: Space Week; Small Countries Develop Their Own Space Programs; German Sanctions on Table for Belarus; Lebanese Parliament to Hold Elections in March. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 19, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): It's been three days since 16 Americans and one Canadian were abducted in Haiti. CNN is now learning that

the gang behind the kidnapping is willing to negotiate their release -- for a very hefty price.

The space race is back on and getting a little crowded. How countries across the world are developing their own space programs, despite limited

resources. We're live at Expo 2020 in Dubai for you with more.

And hundreds of refugees are trapped and desperate along the Poland-Belarus border.


CNN explores how one European leader is being accused of state-sponsored human trafficking.


ANDERSON: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, coming to you live from the Dubai Expo tonight.

We begin with new information on those missionaries from a U.S.-based organization that kidnapped in Haiti. A source in Haiti security forces

tells us they are safe as negotiations are ongoing. Haiti's justice minister says the kidnappers are demanding $17 million, $1 million per


The streets of Port-au-Prince have been quiet as people stayed home for a nationwide strike. They are protesting a major spike in kidnappings that

have become almost a way of life for there. CNN's Matt Rivers has more on how the kidnappings unfolded and the notorious gang believed to be



MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A desperate call for help as seen in a WhatsApp message obtained by CNN.

The message reportedly from one of the 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti, it reads, "Please pray for us. We're being harassed, kidnapped currently.

They have control of our vehicle with about 15 Americans right now. Ladies, men and children."

He then says they're near Ganthier. The place, a source in Haiti security forces confirms, is where the group was abducted 12 adults along with five

children, according to Christian Aid Ministries.

And we're learning more about the gang who may be behind the crime, our source saying it's the 400 Mawozo gang, one of if not the most powerful in

the country. It's dozens of members with a distinct hallmark: kidnapping.

Nearly a year ago, the gang's alleged leader said, "Me, I work, I'm a gangster, I carry weapons. While I'm in a gang I have guns. I don't carry

weapons to terrorize. Carrying weapons doesn't make me a gangster or a bandit."

RIVERS: Several miles down that road there is where our source in the Haitian security forces says this kidnapping was carried out. And in a more

normal situation we would drive several miles down that road and go see exactly where this took place.

But following the advice of both our Haitian producer and our security team, we're not going to go any further than this because they say it's not


Down that road is the suburb of Croix-des-Bouquets, which is essentially completely controlled by the 400 Mawozo gang, the gang that authorities say

carried out this kidnapping.

RIVERS (voice-over): That gang and others have terrorized Haiti for years, with kidnappings exploding since January, according to a human rights

nonprofit based in Port-au-Prince. Foreigners get the attention. But it's ordinary Haitians that are the vast majority of kidnapping victims, data

from the organization shows.

This man says, "Kidnappings here have been happening for so long.

"Why didn't no one talk about it then?

"Why is the world making such a big deal about foreigners?

"It's because they're more important."

On Monday, Haitians across the capital region took advantage of the renewed attention by staying home. Schools and businesses and transport services

shut down. Normally packed, Port-au-Prince empty. It was a quiet form of protest, people demanding safety and security from a government in turmoil.

"Nobody is safe," says this man. "Even normal people going out to buy food get kidnapped. It's even worse for someone in a car. There's so much fear

in the country. Even people living outside the country are afraid to come back."


ANDERSON: "Nobody is safe." That's a horrible way to live. Matt Rivers joining us now from Port-au-Prince.

You've just spoken to the justice minister there.

What did he tell you?

RIVERS: We got some brand-new information, Becky. What we know right now is that the kidnappers are demanding a ransom of $1 million per person.

That's $17 million in total. They made that ransom demand over the weekend, a few hours after that kidnapping happened around 5:00 pm local time on

Saturday, here in Haiti.


RIVERS: There have been several calls since then between the kidnappers and Christian Aid Ministries. That's the group that those missionaries were

working under while they are here in Haiti.

We know the FBI has agents here on the ground. We also know that Haitian police negotiators are working with the FBI and Christian Aid Ministries to

give some guidance to this organization for dealing with these calls.

They're not leading the negotiations; they're just here in an advisory capacity. And we're also told that it is believed by authorities that the

hostages are being held outside of the area I was outside of yesterday, that we saw in the piece there, Becky, that they're not being held in that

neighborhood; they're being held somewhere outside of it.

This group has a lot of experience holding hostages in different places around the city. And, finally, I should add that a source in Haiti's

security ministry -- security forces, rather -- tells us that the hostages are safe and that, in these conversations that the kidnappers are having,

the kidnappers appear calm and they are sticking to their demands.

Despite all this international media attention, despite the pressure being brought by the United States and others, the kidnappers, at least at this

point, aren't backing down.

ANDERSON: So the -- those who have been kidnapped, they say, are safe, which is one thing.

What is the next step at this point?

Is it clear?

RIVERS: Well, the way -- we can look -- if the past is prologue, in the way this group operates, there is just going to be continued negotiations.

They're not going to release these people until they get some sort of a ransom.

What we have seen in the past, including with other foreigners, is that it is a negotiation like any other, in the sense that the kidnappers make an

initial offer and oftentimes they're brought down from their initial offer to get to a price point that is able to be met in terms of paying a ransom

for these people.

But I think you're looking at a process that could take a long time. You consider this way, Becky, what is the incentive for the kidnappers at this

point to give up the hostages. If they feel safe, if they don't feel like the police are going to come knocking down the door anytime soon then the

incentive would seem to be for them to hold on to these hostages.

That is certainly what we're hearing from different analysts and experts that we talk to here in Haiti that are expecting this process might drag

out for a couple of weeks. We don't know that. It could be tomorrow they're let go.

But this group has an MO, they do things in a consistent way, they have for years now. And so people here on the ground are not expecting this

situation to really go any differently.

ANDERSON: And as far as the group is concerned, you spoke to people in Haiti for your report who said, nobody is safe.

What was this group doing there in Haiti, at a time when safety and security is practically nonexistent?

RIVERS: This is the question. And this is where it is about organizational accountability. Christian Aid Ministries is not some group that just landed

here in Haiti. They have had a presence here for a long time.

And, frankly, you don't need to have a presence here for a long time to understand that, where that group went, where they were abducted, it is a

part of town that you simply don't go to, free of fear, you know?

The fact that this organization thought it was a good idea to not only send adults but children -- and this is the point that just baffles my mind,

that five children were on that bus and they were sent into a part of Haiti that literally everybody here knows what's going on there and yet they all

went in a bus and did this together.

And so there are a lot of questions being asked about why were these people in that area. This organization certainly had to have known better. And if

they didn't, it was an extraordinary dereliction of their responsibility to protect the people who are here, you know, under their umbrella.

This is an open question for this organization that frankly they haven't really answered yet.

ANDERSON: Matt is in Port-au-Prince, thank you for that.

Safety also hard to find in the war-ravaged Tigray region, not to mention facts and food. The Ethiopian air force is admitting they carried out what

they call successful airstrikes on Tigray's capital, according to state-run media.

It is a big U-turn after the government originally denied Monday's air raids on Mekelle had even happened.

The U.N. says three children died in the attack. The last time airstrikes were launched there was last November, when the conflict between the Tigray

People's Liberation Front and the Ethiopian government first erupted.


ANDERSON: The government is trying to regain territory captured by Tigrayan fighters.

As the conflict's first anniversary approaches, the U.N. is wringing its hands. But this is about more than politics, it's about life and death for

hundreds of thousands of people in the region. The U.N. says they are facing famine-like conditions, even as it tries to get more food aid in

there. CNN's Larry Madowo joins us from the capital, Nairobi.

You've been talking to your sources on the ground, Larry. We are just approaching the year's anniversary. This was an offensive described by the

Ethiopian prime minister as likely to take, back in November last year, something like three weeks.

Just explain what is going on now, what we understand to be the situation on the ground and why it is that this continues and continues with so many

lives at risk.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the Ethiopian prime minister described this as a law enforcement operation to stamp out what they

consider the terrorist organization, the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

On November 4th it will be the first anniversary of this conflict, which has now spilled over to the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions. There is

concern in the international community that this could extend even further.

But what we know from this airstrike, carried out on Monday, two airstrikes, eyewitnesses tell us, they hit civilian casualties, people were

injured here and the government denied ever having carried out an airstrike at all.

It is only until Monday evening they put out this statement, saying it was a successful offensive against the communication equipment of the Tigray

People's Liberation Front. And we only now know from the U.N. office coordinating humanitarian affairs that three children were among those

killed in this operation.

So officially they deny it, until the evidence is overwhelming and then they half heartedly own it. Yesterday we heard from the U.S. State

Department expressing concern and also from the U.N. secretary-general spokesperson. Listen.


STEPHANE DUJARRIC, U.N. SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Once again remind all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international

humanitarian law, to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. This includes hundreds of humanitarian workers on the ground, of working

tirelessly to provide assistance to millions of civilians caught up in the fighting.


MADOWO: You were mentioning this was supposed to be only two weeks; it is coming up to a year. The Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa insists

they're here to free the people from a terrorist organization, that is in control of the northern part of the country.

The TPLF, at the same time, sees this as a revolutionary act against an invading force.

So it looks like we'll be coming up on the first anniversary and probably even longer.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Meantime, hundreds of thousands caught up in this and facing near famine-like conditions, according to the United

Nations and to many of the NGOs and agencies associated with that. Thank you.

Well, both South Korea and Japan accuse North Korea of firing at least one missile off the eastern coast from the sea. Both say it happened near the

port city of Sinpo, where North Korea has a naval shipyard.

South Korea says it is investigating if the ballistic missile was fired from a submarine. South Korean officials say they spoke with their

counterparts in the North but did not discuss the launch.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. On space week here at the Dubai Expo, still ahead, the future of space tourism, a hot new trend if you can afford

it, of course.

And trapped in limbo: CNN visits a refugee center in Germany, where some people say they were forced to survive for days at the border between

Poland and Belarus.

And fighting in Lebanon has prompted the head of Hezbollah to make a bold claim.

Will there ever be a light at the end of the tunnel?

We'll look at that after this.





ANDERSON: All this week we're coming to you from the Dubai Expo, where the theme is space. And we have been looking at how the future of space

exploration and research can benefit humanity.

And talk about space competition, right now, dominated by mostly the U.S. and China, I spoke to U.S. -- to a U.S. Congress man about that and he's

hopeful collaboration actually will happen.


REP. AMI BERA (D-CA): When it comes to space, you know, the hope would be it is a place where the United States and China could collaborate. That's

not the direction we're headed right now. But the future is not written. And the hope would be we all would find a way to work together.


ANDERSON: That's the hope, at least according to that one congress man in the U.S.

China and the U.S. aren't the only countries up there. The UAE where I am has an ambitious space program that includes launching a rover to Mars and

sending astronauts to the International Space Station. One of those astronauts telling me how the UAE space program will address future

challenges. Have a listen.


HAZZA AL MANSOORI, EMIRATI ASTRONAUT: Our objective here to build the economy, based on knowledge and innovation and not just on oil. So by

importing (ph) the space sector and we are talking about space, it is really a big spectrum of sectors there.

So we are involving all of them, developing satellites, preparing scientists and engineers in this sector that will increase our knowledge

about future and how to overcome the challenges in the future.


ANDERSON: Russia also a player in the space race. Its cosmonauts involved in a first of its kind event at the International Space Station, filming a

scripted movie in space. It tells the story of a surgeon, who is to operate on a sick cosmonaut in orbit because his medical condition prevents him

from returning to Earth for treatment.

With each passing week it seems the push for space exploration moves forward. NASA just approving a new gamma ray telescope that will study the

evolution of the Milky Way. That is set to launch in 2025.

And, of course, space tourism a hot new trend, if you can afford it. You'll be familiar now with the images of William Shatner of "Star Trek" fame,

becoming the oldest human to travel to space at age 90. He's among a select group climbing aboard the latest spacecraft built and financed by

billionaires for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Let's bring in CNN's Kristin Fisher for more on this.

Space, private space exploration is coming of age, it seems. Of that there is no doubt. We recently witnessed a major milestone.

Is it, though, clear, at this point, whether the benefits go further than a very expensive joyride for some of the world's billionaires?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: It really depends who you talk to, Becky. Listen to the way William Shatner described his

experience when he returned back to Earth. It was one of the most powerful cases for space tourism that I've ever heard.

And in making that speech, he really kind of became the poster child for why space tourism can be so powerful. And like you said, the industry has

been developing on the back burner for 20 years or so.


FISHER: Make no mistake, 2021 is going to go down in history as the year that space tourism really took off.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Two small explorers, monkeys Able and Baker, share the nose cone of a Jupiter rocket that carried them 300 miles

up and out from the Earth's surface. They landed safe and sound.

FISHER (voice-over): That was 1959; the space frontier has gotten a little bit busier since then. And it is no longer just monkeys heading into a

galaxy far, far away. Now almost anyone can snag a seat on a spacecraft. And the richer you are, the better.

Billionaires and celebrities from around the world are claiming their chance to make it to space. So far this year, there have been more than 20

civilians, who have taken the journey, on six space flight missions.

Richard Branson Virgin Galactic made two flights to the edge of space in a matter of months, in May, with two pilots and, in July, Branson tagged

along on the trip, that included three other passengers and two pilots.

RICHARD BRANSON, CHAIRMAN, VIRGIN AMERICA: If we can do this, just imagine what you can do.

FISHER (voice-over): Less than two weeks after that, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos reached the edge of space, along with three others on Blue Origin's

New Shepard rocket.

And last week, 90-year-old "Star Trek" actor William Shatner took an 11- minute trip into space on a Blue Origin flight. Elon Musk's SpaceX made history in September when it launched the first all-civilian flight into

orbit, where four amateur astronauts stayed for three days inside the Dragon spacecraft.

And how about shooting a movie in space?

A Russian crew recently did just that, a cosmonaut actress and director are the first to ever film a movie on the International Space Station.

YULIA PERESILD, RUSSIAN ACTOR (through translator): Everything was new to us today. Every 30 seconds brought something entirely new.

FISHER (voice-over): This hot new trend of space tourism may be taking off. But it comes with a hefty price tag. Suborbital trips, by one

estimate, costs between $250,000 and $500,000 on Virgin Galactic's Spaceship Two or Blue Origin's New Shepard and that's for a 10- to 15-

minute ride.

But not everyone thinks space tourism is a good idea.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed onto repair for this planet, not trying to find the

next place to go and live.

FISHER (voice-over): It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for those who fit the bill. But the more popular it gets, the harder it will be to go

where no man or woman has gone before.


FISHER: And so, of course, one of the biggest questions is how much does it actually cost to take a trip into space on one of these rockets?

We know that Virgin Galactic, a seat is going for $450,000. But no one knows really, except for Blue Origin, exactly how much a seat on Blue

Origin's New Shepard spacecraft are going for.

I talked to two of the paying customers who went up on that trip with William Shatner. I asked them directly.

I said, I'm sorry, I have to ask how much did you pay for the seat?

They wouldn't tell me. Whatever they paid, both of them said it was worth it -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Keep pressing for us. I'm fascinated to find out. Thank you for that.

The next frontier is not just for global superpowers and the ultra rich; from Luxembourg to Gabon, smaller countries across the world are looking to

the skies. CNN's Scott McLean has been looking into these cosmic ambitions and opportunities that are on show here at the Dubai Expo and, indeed,

further afield.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to space, it seems some of the biggest countries have the most astronomical ambitions.

China just sent its second crew to its newly launched space station; Russians just wrapped shooting the first movie in space; the Americans made

a 90-year-old Hollywood astronaut into a real life one and the Emirates are planning their own colony on Mars.

All of them have been keen to use Expo 2020 to show off their past accomplishments and future plans. But they're hardly the only ones with

goals out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asteroids contain valuable resources and maybe one of these days some of you will develop the technologies to extract and use

these resources.

MCLEAN (voice-over): That's the goal of Luxembourg, a state with a population of a city but the space ambitions of a large country.

MCLEAN: Most people can't locate Luxembourg on a map.

Why on Earth does it have its own space agency?

MATHIAS LINK, LUXEMBOURG SPACE AGENCY: Luxembourg has been active in space since many decades. And we started to -- in the 1980s, in the satellite

communications industry. And since then, the space sector in Luxembourg has grown year by year.


MCLEAN (voice-over): Today, Luxembourg has no launchpad and no astronauts. But it is home to some 70 space-related companies, totaling roughly 2

percent of the national economy.

Five years ago, it set out to be a leader in mining resources in space, to refuel satellites or build structures and solar panels, all with materials

found in space.

MCLEAN: You guys are really playing the long game.

LINK: We see that in the next years, we will see resource used on the moon, which is basically driven by all these different plans of both

private and public to start to develop the more sustained and terminal presence on the moon, which is very much going to the exploration.

And then in the second step, we would certainly also try to use resources from asteroids.

MCLEAN: Other small countries are not letting small budgets get in the way. Rwanda just launched its space program earlier this year, not to look

for life on other planets but to improve life here on Earth by using satellites to monitor crops and illegal mining.

And in Gabon, they're using satellite images to protect the forest.

TANGUY GAHOUMA, GENERAL DIRECTOR, GABON SPACE PROGRAM: What we want is that, when a tree is cut, we can see it, you know, on screen. And we can

see if it is legal or illegal. This is very important for us.

MCLEAN: Otherwise, it is difficult to do that.

GAHOUMA: It is impossible, you know. The forest, it is about 23 million hectares and Gabon is about 2 million population. The satellite is the

only way that we can do that now.

MCLEAN (voice-over): But of those 2 million people, about one-third live in poverty.

MCLEAN: A lot of people might be looking from the outside in and thinking, doesn't Gabon have better things to spend its money on?

GAHOUMA: Yes, of course. We hear that a lot of time. But this is because I think that people don't -- cannot understand the vision because, today, for

example, one of the most value for Gabon is forests.

But if tomorrow you cannot prove that your wood is legal, you cannot sell it. We can prove to the world that our wood is legal.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Gabon's space program is growing but it has no plans to send anyone to Mars -- Scott McLean, CNN, Dubai.


ANDERSON: In the next hour, here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to look at how developing nations are approaching this space race. I'll talk to the

managing director of space in Africa and the director of the United Nations' office for outer space affairs.

Yes, if you didn't know there was one, there is.

NASA's Lucy mission is officially in the sky after a successful launch on Saturday. For its 12-year journey, NASA sent with it messages of hope and

celebration from pioneers on Earth. These include a poem from Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, and quotes from The

Beatles. You can read all about that at

Ahead on this show --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They put us in a truck and then they took us to the other border. They cut it and they told us to walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They cut the border?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there was a wire and they cut the wire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they cut the wire.

ANDERSON (voice-over): CNN goes inside a refugee center in Germany, where people tell us how they ended up in the E.U. by way of Belarus.


ANDERSON (voice-over): And we're back in Beirut, where accusations fly over the latest violence and there is word of a new date for an election.

Stay tuned.





ANDERSON: Caught in the middle: refugees from the Middle East have been trapped in a tangle along the border between Belarus and Poland, which has

now doubled the number of troops on the border.

Most of the migrants don't want to stay in either country and neither country wants them. Instead, they are begging for passage into Germany,

which accuses Belarus of using the refugees to pressure the European Union.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen went inside a refugee center in Germany, where people have been recounting their rough and complicated journey. He joins me now.

Fred, just explain what you learned and heard.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the things we have learned is there are an increasing number of people trying

to cross that border between Belarus and Poland.

Many of them don't make it because the Poles have put in tough measures to try to hold people back, trying to hermetically seal their border with

barbed wire. They do say 21,000 attempted illegal border crossings have happened this year alone.

Now an increasing number of people are making it across. And most of those people are trying to get to Germany. Right now, the Germans are saying they

are starting to reach the capacities they have as well. Let's have a look.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Trapped and desperate between Belarus and Poland, refugees begging for passage to Germany. And while many are stopped, an

increasing number are now making it to Germany to this refugee center in the town of Eisenhuttenstadt.

Seventeen-year-old Jino (ph) just arrived from Iraq via Belarus with her mother and sister and says Belarusian authorities even drove them to the


JINO, IRAQI REFUGEE: They put us in a truck and then they took us to the other border. They cut it and they told us to walk.

PLEITGEN (on camera): They cut the border. So there was a wire?

They cut the wire?

GINO: Yes, they cut the wire.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): The E.U. accuses strongman Alexander Lukashenko of state-organized human trafficking, luring refugees to Belarus and sending

them across the border, a claim Lukashenko denies.

Poland says it has sealed its border with barbed wire and will even build a wall. Refugees are often trapped between the two sides for days and shoved

back and forth. This woman from Syria tells me the group she was part of slept under trees and ran out of food and water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five days later, we drink water from on floor -- on the floor. We didn't have anything.

PLEITGEN (on camera): You drank water from puddles?


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Few of the refugees stay in Poland. Most try to move on to Germany, the Brandenburg state government says. They also say

they've gone from 200 new arrivals in all of August to almost 200 every day now.

OLAF JANSEN, BRANDENBERG IMMIGRATION AUTHORITY: We increase the capacity here and we of course, also sped up all of the administrative procedures,

without compromising security and health checks.

PLEITGEN: Poland says the situation at its border with Belarus remains tense and the interior minister of the German state with the highest

refugee influx tells me he wants the E.U. to get tougher on Lukashenko.

"It's a question of tough international diplomacy," he says. "We as Europe cannot allow Belarus to do something like this. From my point of view, we

could also involve Russia. All diplomatic channels need to be used."

But few believe solutions will come quickly. Folks at this refugee shelter say they are already preparing for more arrivals, already clearing

additional space.


PLEITGEN: As you can see, it's a pretty dramatic situation, not just at the border but increasingly also in eastern parts of Germany as well.

And quite frankly, the Germans are saying and the E.U. are saying they are fed up with the situation and they're trying to put more pressure not just

on Alexander Lukashenko but also on some of the airlines that fly into Belarus.


PLEITGEN: In fact, the German foreign minister said that he wants the E.U. to agree to sanctions against airlines that knowingly fly people who want

to cross that border into Belarus from the Middle East.

ANDERSON: Fred, is that likely?

Or are these at this point idle threats, do you think?

PLEITGEN: It seems like something becoming increasingly likely. One thing we heard from the German foreign minister, he accused Lukashenko of "state

sponsored human trafficking."

You can see more Europe countries starting to support that idea. On the other hand, what you have is that a lot of European countries, E.U.

countries, critical of some of the things that Poland is doing as well, trying to push people back across the border.

I think some of the E.U. countries, trying to get tougher on the airlines that fly in, could stop that flow of people who are coming in or

significantly reduce that flow of people without having to build a border, without having to build a wall at the border of the European Union.

It's certainly something that is not a good look for the European Union. They want to find other ways to make sure fewer people try to cross that


ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen on the story for you tonight, Fred, thank you.

The leader of Hezbollah says forces within Lebanon are trying to start a civil war. Hassan Nasrallah's comments came during a televised speech in

Lebanon on Monday. He called the violence last Thursday in Beirut a turning point in Lebanese politics.

You will recall, if you are a regular viewer of this show, seven people were killed during protests; more than 30 others were wounded. He blames

the Christian Lebanese Forces Party for the violence. The protest was against the judge investigating the 2020 port blast, which he believes is


Ben Wedeman joining us now from Beirut.

Let's just talk about Nasrallah's words last night. Explain what he said and whether you believe there will be any action that follows those words -

- Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he had very strong words in this speech that went on for an hour and 42 minutes last night

against the Lebanese forces, which he and his Shia allies, the Amal movement, accuse of being behind these attacks on the protesters, who were

protesting against the judge in the case in the investigation of the August 2020 port blast.

Now he did not mention him by name. But he was harshly critical of Samir Geagea, the leader of the Lebanese forces, describing him as a butcher. So

those are real fighting words.

However, he did say that he would leave it up to the Lebanese judiciary to investigate and resolve -- or get to the bottom of the killing of those

seven protesters -- or seven people -- some of them in fact weren't protesters; they were bystanders.

So that suggests that perhaps, despite repeated statements we heard from senior Hezbollah officials, that their blood was not shed in vain, it does

appear that he has taken a step back and going to let the Lebanese state deal with this issue.

Nonetheless, the Lebanese state doesn't have a very good record in that. And the warning is that, if they do not find those who are guilty of those

killings, Hezbollah itself will take action.

ANDERSON: He said he has 100,000 ready to fight, big numbers.

What are the Lebanese Forces Party saying in response to these accusations?

Have we heard from Samir Geagea?

WEDEMAN: Well, prior to this speech, in fact, they did -- Samir Geagea himself did deny that any of their cadre or supporters or members were

behind the killings. Since then, they have been relatively quiet, although it appears that they are somewhat concerned with the veiled threats that

came from the leader of Hezbollah.

Until now, Beirut remains calm. We haven't heard a substantive response from the Lebanese forces to the accusations, these characterizations, which

were harsh even by Lebanese standards -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. OK, what we also must discuss tonight is the fact that Lebanon will now hold parliamentary elections in March, this in order to

help secure some IMF rescue cash, it seems.


ANDERSON: What are the chances this will all go to plan at this point?

WEDEMAN: Unclear; it was only today that the parliament met, not in its usual headquarters, because that's an area, which is right to my right,

which is completely blocked off by blast walls. They met in the UNESCO palace and decided to hold the elections on the 27th of March.

They were last held on the 6th of May, 2018. But if you look back over the time of this current parliament, by my rough calculations, 24 months they

were unable to agree on a government.

The amount of disarray in Lebanese politics is mind boggling. And there is no indication that somehow they're going to be any different this time.

Obviously, the hope is that this will be the first election since the uprising of October 2019, that new candidates will come forward, more

representative of the sentiment we saw here just two years ago.

But the fact of the matter is that the established parties have the means, they have the organization and the money and some of them the weaponry,

that the idealists we saw in Martyrs' Square two years ago simply don't have. So there is no guarantee these elections will be any different than

prior elections here in Lebanon.

ANDERSON: Yes. Ben, good point. Thank you. Ben Wedeman is in Beirut for you.

When CNN found Nigerian soldiers had actually opened fire on peaceful protesters, the army called it fake news. One year later, officials still

aren't taking responsibility. But that has changed a bit. Where the search for justice stands now. That is next.






ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.

It has been a year since Nigerian forces opened fire on a peaceful protest and on protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos. At the time, a CNN

investigation into what happened sent shock waves around the world.

We found the Nigerian army had fired live rounds into the crowd. There is no official death toll but an Amnesty International investigation found

that at least 12 people died at the toll gate and at another site on October 20th, 2020.

Witnesses also told CNN the authorities blocked ambulances from reaching the scene; 12 months on and the Nigerian judicial hearing, which was

expected to finally release the findings of its investigation this week, has said its report isn't ready yet. Stephanie Busari has the latest from

Lagos and her report does contain some distressing images.

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN.COM SUPERVISING EDITOR, AFRICA: (voice-over): It was a night of peaceful protest ended in bloodshed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were peaceful. They came and start shooting at us.

BUSARI (voice-over): A CNN investigation last year pieced together what happened when the Nigerian army and later the police opened fire on its own

civilians as they protested police brutality.

One year on from the Lekki toll gate shootings, the Nigerian authorities have still not taken responsibility for what happened that night.

This woman's son was one of the protesters. She is too afraid to show her face for fear of recriminations. Here is her son, earlier on the day of the

protest, the Lekki toll gate clearly visible behind him. When his mother found him early the next morning, he had been shot in the chest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): He was covered in blood when we saw him.

BUSARI (voice-over): She tried to rush into hospital but he died in her arms in the car. At her son's grave, his mother said she wants the

government to be honest about what really happened that night.

BUSARI (from captions): What will you say to the government if they come to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): I will say to them the same thing I am saying to you. I cannot lie about my child's death.

BUSARI (voice-over): CNN's original investigation used time stamps, video data and geolocation to analyze hours of footage shot by protesters,

tracking the army's movements to the Lekki toll gate where protests have been taking place for nearly two weeks.

This video appears to show the army shooting toward the crowd, here and at the top of your screen, here.

The Nigerian army's account of what happened has shifted over time, initially they called it "fake news" and insisted soldiers had only fired

blank bullets into the air.


BUSARI (voice-over): And police denied shooting anyone.

The Nigerian government threatened to sanction CNN for its report. At a judicial hearing, one general said there is no way they would kill their

brothers and sisters but admitted:

AHMED TAIWO, NIGERIAN ARMY (from captions): The soldiers would be given both live and blank bullets.

BUSARI (voice-over): This hearing was set up by the Lagos state government to look into cases of abuse and investigate the toll gate incident. Renewed

requests for comments to the army, police and the federal government have not been answered.

BUSARI: It's been a year since people gathered here at the Lekki toll gate to protest against police brutality and corruption. But many Nigerians

believe that the issues that drew protest 12 months ago still persist. And those who were here that night still seeking justice.

BUSARI (voice-over): DJ Switch was at the protest and livestreamed much of the evening on her Instagram. A year later, she recalls how she thought

they were all going to die.

DJ SWITCH, NIGERIAN MUSICIAN AND PROTESTER: I thought it was the end for all of us there. You know, when you sing the national anthem and wave your

flag, your Nigerian flag, and the shooting doesn't stop, you only have one thought left in your mind.

BUSARI (voice-over): Soon after the shootings, DJ Switch said she had to flee Nigeria. Afraid for her safety, she hasn't been back since.

BUSARI: Do you think justice is possible for those who lost their lives?

SWITCH: Justice is there, waiting to be done. Young people are asking every day for accountability.

BUSARI (voice-over): For many of those who witnessed these events and who remain in Nigeria, an atmosphere of intimidation and fear has taken over,

leaving many too scared to step forward and push for answers -- Stephanie Busari, CNN, Lagos, Nigeria.


ANDERSON: I spoke to DJ Switch, the artist you just saw in Stephanie's piece, after the attacks last year. Have a listen to what she told me back

then about the Nigerian government.


SWITCH: To be honest, Becky, at this point, I do not hold what the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says to any -- I can't hold it

to -- into heart. Nigeria is a dictatorship with a democratic face. And I think that is primarily to please the international community.


ANDERSON: DJ Switch, talking to me this time last year.

Up next, we're all feeling the crunch as the global supply chain crisis grows. We'll get you to a turkey farm, that is already seeing labor

shortage issues affecting production. We're live there after this.




ANDERSON: The global supply chain nightmare is jacking up prices for consumers all over the world; labor shortages, congested seaports to rising

gas prices, all slowing down the global economic recovery.


ANDERSON: On top of that, the U.K., for example, bracing for a tough winter as it also adjusts to a post Brexit world. Anna Stewart is at a

turkey farm in Essex in England to give us a sense of just how labor shortages are causing issues with the country's food supply -- or a very

specific part of the country's food supply.

Tell us where you are and what you're doing.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's happening right now, I'm getting pecked at, which is fairly obvious. I'm at a turkey farm. This is

becoming a real crunch point in the leadup to Christmas.

For really a year now, the poultry industry in the U.K. has been complaining about, there aren't enough staff to process chickens, turkeys.

And with the seasonal workforce that is required to process turkeys, this is becoming a really big issue.

There is a shortage of 15 percent of staffing within the poultry sector. And, of course, a lot of them came from Europe. So the pandemic and Brexit

all played into this.

And here I am with Paul Kelly, who is the farmer here.

You've been here since you were here at 8 years old.

PAUL KELLY, TURKEY FARMER: Yes, my parents started the business when I was 7 years old.

STEWART: A lot of turkey farms having to reduce how many turkeys they're producing this Christmas. There is expected to be a 20 percent shortfall.

You're not reducing production, though?

KELLY: No, we're not. We're relatively small so we work really hard with the guys that have, who've been coming over here for 15 years. They have

been here before, we can apply and do the paperwork, which allows them to come back.

But the bigger guys go through agencies and it is more paperwork and we just can't get all that work done.

STEWART: What you haven't done is you haven't actually increased production of turkeys for the first time in --

KELLY: Since 21 years, actually.

STEWART: -- 21 years. It is having an impact for this farm and many others.

How much of this is the pandemic and how much is Brexit?

We're seeing shortages of labor forces across the world.

In the U.K., has been exacerbated by Brexit and the exodus of the European workforce?

KELLY: Yes, I think there's no doubt what happened with COVID-19, people went home, went back to Europe. What happened for sure in the conversations

I've had with our team, existing team, is they don't really want to come back.

They don't feel welcome here anymore. There is no future for them in Britain so they don't want to come back to do the work. Because there is

plenty of work in Europe. They can get work wherever they want and coming back to the U.K. why would they?

STEWART: The U.K. government said it needs to pay British people more money to pluck turkeys.

Is that the solution?

KELLY: You know, we have five weeks' work at Christmas.

How can I expect people to drop their full time job to come help us for five weeks?

There is no unemployment around here. I would dearly love to employ local people for those five weeks. And I've tried. I've tried for the past 20

years. So when people tell me that, waste of time.

STEWART: The orders here for Christmas, are already at the levels they would be weeks before Christmas. People are getting their orders in early.

People are worried they won't have a turkey for Christmas.

I'm not talking about a major shortage. There will be enough perhaps imported in from Europe. But that also requires the supply chains under

pressure, shipping and so on. So bit of a crunch here. Lots of fun at the turkey farm. Not going to lie, we're getting quite pecked at. They like


KELLY: Well done.

ANDERSON: Go on, then.


ANDERSON: Lovely. Thank you very much.

Thank you for joining us. We'll be back after this short break.

Thanks, Anna.