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Sudanese Military Takeover; Facebook's Struggle with Human Trafficking; Queen Elizabeth to Skip COP26; Davos in the Desert; Flooding in Sicily: Two Dead, One Missing; Update on "Rust" Investigation Soon; Lin-Manuel Miranda Honored in New York. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 27, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): International condemnation for a military coup in Sudan, as the prime minister is being released but under
surveillance. Citizens ask, what's next.
Plus, a week after her brief stay in hospital, we're learning Queen Elizabeth will not attend the upcoming climate conference in Glasgow.
And roads becoming rivers: flash flooding in Sicily leads to a red alert. A very critical situation is unfolding as more storms are expected.
KINKADE: Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for being with us.
We start this hour in Sudan, where the prime minister is back at his residence and said to be under close surveillance. The country's military
leaders released the Abdalla Hamdok and his wife amid intense international backlash over their move to seize power and oust the transitional
Despite that, the military has detained key opposition leaders in new waves of arrests. Meantime, we've just gotten new videos that purport to show the
chaos and violence that happened after the military seized power on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE (voice-over): This was posted on social media. Hear the gunfire there. Security forces tried to break up the protest. On Tuesday, a
doctors' group reported eight deaths and more than 140 injuries during the protests. And the army was to blame.
Another video is said to show Sudanese security forces beating a family with sticks. It's reported that protests are happening today. The security
forces tearing down protesters' makeshift barricades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is tracking developments and joins us from London.
Good to have you with us. A lot to cover. I want to sort of start with the state of the situation right now this hour. We understand the international
airport is being reopened but many other industries are on strike. Doctors already on strike but also oil workers are now striking, too.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Lynda. What you have now is a situation of instability and a potential one of chaos. You have two
sides digging their heels in.
On the one hand, you have the military, of course, led by the top general, Burhan who says that he is the protector of Sudan, that he is the one
keeping Sudan from civil unrest, that he detained the prime minister for his own safety, the prime minister that was released and allowed to go home
As you mention, there's still a heavy security presence there, which begs the question, how free is the prime minister exactly?
On the other hand, you have those who have defended this revolution, the protesters, the activists, the members of the civilian government who
absolutely will not back down on the demands that they made two years ago after they overthrew Omar Bashir, the former leader in 2019.
That's what's really at stake here. Yes, there is the international recognition, the millions of dollars in aid, the economic standing and the
reputation of Sudan. But internally, this is about protecting and saving the revolution.
What that means to you as an individual, particularly as a protester, these are not two even sides. As you showed that footage there, of protesters
being suppressed, we already know that dozens of people have been wounded and injured. Activists have made accusations of the use of live fire on
We also know there are strikes happening across the country, which means key industries are being shut down. We also understand there were three
bridges that were blockaded by protesters, three key bridges shut down because of demonstrations.
And what I'm trying to paint here in terms of a picture, Lynda, is one of a military that seems keen and insistent on holding power, even if that means
pushing back a civilian transition.
On the other hand, you have those pro-democracy activists. It puts the entire country and its future and that very fragile transition at risk,
KINKADE: Talk to us about the international pressure on Sudan right now because we know that the U.S. has suspended international aid. We also are
learning right now that the African Union has suspended Sudan from all its activities.
What does that all mean and what other pressure could we see from the international community?
ABDELAZIZ: Huge condemnation and pressure. I'll start with the United States, of course, which has already said it'll cut off about $700 million
intended for aid to Sudan.
Yesterday, the secretary of state Blinken, speaking to the prime minister, urging him, backing him and saying he supports that civilian-led
transition, that civilian-led government.
You also have condemnation from the U.N., from other aspects of the European Union. But here is the key "but" Lynda. There is some support for
General Burhan, key among it, the Gulf states, which have been able to prop up several of the governments, including neighboring Egypt, when they fell
into moments of chaos like this.
Internally, well, the general has the support of one of the most feared military forces in the country, the rapid support forces. They have been
used the last couple of years, activists say, to suppress dissent.
Yes, it seems there is a great deal of criticism, a chorus of criticism but also support domestically and abroad, that gives that firming-up of
Burhan's attempted coup here.
KINKADE: Salma Abdelaziz in London. Good to have you. Thank you.
We have been looking at revelations from the leaked Facebook documents. We're learning Facebook's own employees raised the red flag about
misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.
They worried the country's (sic) software wasn't able to catch vaccine information. They say they're working on that, working to promote reliable
Failure to clamp down on lies and misinformation is only part of what the Facebook papers revealed. The company knew for years it had a human
trafficking problem, as well, including domestic workers.
It has tried to stop that. Internal documents show it got so bad that Apple threatened to pull Facebook and Instagram from its app store. Facebook
cracked down but in the documents, it admits that "gaps still exist in our detection of on-platform entities engaged in domestic servitude."
Chief media correspondent for CNN Brian Stelter is joining us.
This is worse than misinformation, because these are dangerous lies that have been shared repeatedly on Facebook. Now we're learning that these
internal documents reveal it is much worse than we expected. The key oversight was certainly lacking.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. These internal documents from earlier this year, February, March of 2021, as the vaccines
rolled out in some of the richest countries in the world, these documents show that Facebook staffers were raising alarms, saying the internal
systems, the robotic systems, AI systems that were designed to catch anti- vaccine content, that these systems were not doing a good job.
The systems were not up to the task, one staffer writing, "Our internal systems are not yet identifying or removing anti-vaccine comments often
enough. Our ability to do this is basically non-existent other than in English."
So we've heard in the past few days, Lynda, this idea that the United States version of Facebook is the most effective, the safest version; it is
more troubled in other parts of the world.
And this is another example of that, where the AI was not able to sense and detect anti-vaccine comments and languages other than English. Of course,
Facebook has made a very big deal out of its COVID-19 misinformation policies, its vaccine denial policies.
It says it works really hard to take down content that's going to be dangerous to users. But internally, these staffers are emailing, messaging
each other, saying, we're not up to this task. The systems are not up to the task.
That is the story over and over again when it comes to Facebook. This automated technology, these AI systems are actually not smart enough to
keep up with the garbage, with the filth that piles up on the platform.
KINKADE: And what was also surprising, not that human trafficking -- obviously, human trafficking may have been a bit of an issue on the
platform -- but to learn that Apple threatened to take down, to ban essentially, Facebook platforms and remove it from its stores is quite
STELTER: One of the only effective checks on these big technology companies are the other big technology companies. Right now, Apple and
Facebook are in a public war over ad track, how much you can track a user and use it to target advertising.
In this case, you have Apple stepping in, trying to police one of its rivals because it is so concerned about what's going on on Facebook. By the
way, our colleague, Clare Duffy (ph).
STELTER: She used some of these internal documents used the keywords and then searched on Instagram and found current posts relating to human
trafficking. Only once she flagged them to Facebook, were they removed from Instagram.
You're seeing the world's worst game of whack-a-mole continuing. I think the idea that the other tech companies are at check and balance, it is an
interesting, you know, revelation. But it is not sufficient. It's not going to solve the problems that exist on these platforms.
We can't rely on Apple to check Facebook and Google to check Microsoft, you know?
It's got to be more oversight than that.
KINKADE: Brian, what does this mean for Facebook's image and Mark Zuckerberg as they're hit with these sorts of headlines day after day after
STELTER: I think, certainly, the users who don't feel good about using Facebook, they've stopped a while ago. I think those users are probably on
Instagram or other Facebook-owned platforms instead.
What we don't see so far are lots of users abandoning these platforms in droves because they do provide utility and value to people's lives.
But it does mean that the experience for advertisers -- you know, Facebook had a harder time, you know, convincing advertisers to feel good spending
the money -- but since the company is in a monopolistic position, so advertisers still come.
People may not feel good about the brand or about advertising but they come back any way. Later this week, Zuckerberg will have a big event, where he
might name the company something new and promote the Metaverse, this melding of virtual and real-life worlds.
He is all about the future. So he claims not to be looking backwards but these documents allow the rest of us to do that. And that's definitely
KINKADE: Certainly is. Brian Stelter, as always, good to have your perspective. Thanks so much.
KINKADE: Well, a key head of state will be absent from next week's major climate summit Scotland. A royal source saying Queen Elizabeth II will not
be at the gathering in Glasgow. Doctors have advised her to rest.
At the age of 95, Elizabeth II is the oldest and longest serving monarch in British history. She's also famously hard-working. These are some of the
pictures of the queen opening the Scottish Parliament, one of the many events on her schedule this month.
Just last week, she spent a night in a London hospital for what Buckingham Palace called preliminary investigations. CNN's royal correspondent Max
Foster is checking developments for us from London, joins us now.
Good to see you, Max. So the queen was very involved in the lead up to this climate conference, set to take place in Glasgow. Regrettably she won't
How is she doing?
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: It was a big moment. She was hosting it on U.K. soil and she's announced she can't now go off the back of that
key visit to Northern Ireland last week, she canceled due to medical advice. She spent the night in hospital last week. It was revealed to the
British tabloids after the event. We only found out because it was leaked.
We saw her using a walking stick or cane earlier in the month as well. People are concerned. At the same time, the palace, you know, royal sources
telling us she's in good spirits. We're seeing images of her carrying out virtual engagements from Windsor Castle, carrying on her role.
We know she'll be sending a video message to the COP26 conference instead of appearing in person. When you bring it all together, it probably
suggests she has been overdoing it. She's been doing an awful lot for a 95- year old.
The doctors have drawn a line, saying you've got to slow down, basically. So I don't think there's too much concern about her health but perhaps some
concern about how hard she is pushing herself in her latter years.
KINKADE: It really is incredible. Most of us would be pretty tired just trying to keep up with her and that schedule. At 95, it's really
extraordinary how many events she's done in the last month.
What does this mean going forward, do you think?
Are we likely to see Charles and William step up and take over more events?
FOSTER: We've seen more and more of that happening over the years. And because she can't go to Glasgow, Prince Charles will be representing her at
the key reception at the beginning of the summit. So yes, we're going to see much more of that.
But then that raises a question, is she ever going to step back and abdicate?
That's definitely not on the cards. But I think we're going to see a different type of monarchy now. She is going to have to appear in more
virtual engagements and not travel as much.
She's already cut back on long haul but she's now going to have to cut back as well, it seems, on her U.K. travel. She's also cut back on her
charitable work. Now she's really down to these core events, which are fundamental to her constitutional role, representing the country, you know,
swearing in ambassadors, meetings with the prime minister.
FOSTER: As she starts to cut back on that, she'll do it reluctantly. So I think she'll use the time to work out how to continue as head of state.
She's never stepping back from the role, in my opinion. But how she can do that without the travel.
KINKADE: Yes, exactly. We'll be chatting with you again, no doubt, checking in. Max Foster, thanks so much, joining us from London.
Deadly floods have ravaged the island of Sicily. The pounding rain turning roads into rivers. We'll tell you what's in store for those on the island.
Plus, Davos in the Desert, the big names turning out for Saudi Arabia's flagship investment conference. And the international deals the Saudis have
Plus, more behind the scenes accounts leading up to the fatal shooting on the movie set of "Rust." Why some crew members were worried about their
safety before that.
KINKADE: Well, it's known as Davos of the Desert. Policymakers are in Riyadh for a major Saudi investment conference, the Future Investment
Initiative forum. That is underway right now. The theme, invest in humanity. Let's get straight out there. Eleni Giokos joins us live from
Good to see you, day two of a three-day event; climate change, no doubt, front and center. They're talking about issues like the carbon economy to
sustainable tourism. Take us through it.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Look, it's been an interesting couple of days. Yes, it's all about investing in humanity and
focusing on the biggest problems facing the world, like climate change. That's been top of the agenda.
But I'm going to add something to that. It is also about investing in Saudi Arabia. Now the country has been really focusing on trying to get back
multi-national companies to open up regional head offices in the kingdom.
Today, it was announced that 44 multi-national companies have now received licenses to move their regional head offices to Riyadh. This is a really
big move because it's been a strategy that Saudi Arabia has been talking about for quite some time.
Some of those companies that were announced, PepsiCo, Deloitte, Kay Kim G, Baker Hughes and Siemens. And this is significant because a lot of the
companies had opted to head up regional offices in other countries like the UAE, in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where it made economic sense from
a regional perspective.
Saudi Arabia wants to capture part of the value chain of companies that have been benefiting from the growth prospects that they have been
capitalizing on for a very long time.
Now the question has been, are these companies being lured in through incentives?
Are they being brought in because they're worried about being penalized?
Or losing perhaps government tenders?
Because that has actually been one of the big messages. If they don't move to Saudi Arabia by 2024, there will be repercussions.
We caught up with a CEO that says the economic environment is what makes sense for multinationals to come in. I want you to take a listen to what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BRADLEY, CEO, NEOM TECH & DIGITAL HOLDING COMPANY: Coming from the U.S. and being with a multinational company, we talked with Oracle. We gave
them a value proposition they liked. There was no forcing or coercion.
It was simply that, hey, we can offer the higher compute capacity, the best and lowest energy costs around and we're giving you a (INAUDIBLE) we're
building around you. They have choices. They're like anyone else. At the end of the day, they're going to make their choice based on business value
If we have the strong value proposition, we feel very confident we'll attract them. No, I don't -- at least in my personal experience, no, we
haven't coerced anyone to come; it's all been about business and selling our value proposition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: It's important to also note a lot of countries do try to get multinationals to embark on more FDI investment when there are -- they have
some operations in countries. That's exactly what the kingdom is doing.
But a lot of the people I've spoken to say that Saudi Arabia's new vision, where they're investing heavily in logistics and other big sectors, it
could destabilize the current ecosystem within the region.
For example, where Dubai and the likes of Oman and Qatar have strong logistics hubs, the fact that Saudi Arabia is now investing in some of
these sectors, that, yes, there's going to be camaraderie in some sense, which is going to continue because the region does work together.
But it is going to be an increase in competition. It is also important to note that Saudi Arabia imposed tariffs on goods that were formerly exempt.
It shocked a lot of companies. The UAE, for example, is an important trading partner with Saudi Arabia and many people here say this is going to
be an interesting one to watch as Saudi Arabia rises and tries to capture some of the economic growth and more FDI.
That will be interesting that the power, the notes of power might change quite significantly in the coming years.
KINKADE: Yes. Certainly fascinating to watch. Good to have you there covering it for us. Eleni Giokos, speak to you soon.
Cleanup is under way in Sicily after deadly floods ravaged a city in the region. Two people have died, another is missing. Heavy rain brought flash
flooding over the last two days. Wednesday's weather has been better but more storms are expected during Thursday and Friday.
The interior ministry says crews carried out 600 rescue operations in just the last day. Our Barbie Nadeau is following the story.
These huge storms in the south of Italy are just incredible. I was reading that they've had the typical amount of rain in a year dumped in just two
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. It is devastating. This city is on the flanks of Mt. Etna, used to having ash
rained down on them. They're not used to this water.
People didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to manage it. They were trying to drive through it. Businesses were destroyed. They had to turn off
the electricity because people were walking around in the water. And it's not over yet. As you said, they're expecting more storms. People are
worried about that, Lynda.
KINKADE: Talk to us about the impact, Barbie, on schools. Many schools are closed, businesses are closed.
What can people in Sicily expect in the coming days?
NADEAU: Well, they are expecting more torrential rainstorms. This is a medicane, a Mediterranean hurricane system. This has never hit Sicily
before. They've had these in other parts of the Mediterranean. It is devastating. It brings so much water.
Of course, they don't have the drainage systems in place for that amount of water all at one time, which is what causes the flash flooding inside the
cities. They're cobblestone, narrow roads, narrow streets, things like that.
The schools are closed until at least Friday. They can't allow people out on the streets. Some roads are dangerous. Some have been washed out and
they're not sure how safe or how quick the water inundated the area.
You see the images of cars flooding, people floating and people in a panic. We have two more days of storms for the people in Sicily.
KINKADE: Devastating. Barbie, we'll touch base later. Thank you.
KINKADE: Still to come, what red flags caused a long-time Hollywood insider to turn down a job on the movie "Rust," the film where a crew
member was fatally shot.
Plus, China clamps down on COVID just 100 days from the Winter Olympics.
Can they stop the spread in time?
KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade at the CNN Center and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
In a few hours, authorities are planning to discuss their investigation into last week's deadly shooting on the "Rust" movie set. Actor Alec
Baldwin discharged a prop gun that killed Halyna Hutchins, the film's director of photography. Criminal charges are not being ruled out.
A long-time Hollywood prop master is speaking about safety concerns involving the film's production. He declined to work on the film after
producers asked him to cover two jobs. He said that approach was flawed.
Others involved in the film's production are also speaking up. They're painting a picture of what it was like working on the set with so many
weapons. Chloe Melas reports.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With filming for "Rust" shut down indefinitely, more behind-the-scenes details from the production are
coming to light.
HUDSON: Everyone on the camera crew was protected by shields. And the camera was protected by shield. So that made me question me being in front
of the camera and sort of in between all of that fire.
MELAS: One of the actors from the movie speaking out, describing a scene when his character is shot and killed. Ian Hudson also telling TMZ he
thought one scene he filmed felt life-threatening.
HUDSON: When they shot at me, I actually did feel the blanks hitting my face and my body. And I could feel the wind from the shotgun, you know,
being discharged. It was heavy. It was strong. I would talk to my fellow cast members afterwards and we all agreed how intense that was and how
scary and real it was.
MELAS: Hudson recounting discussions about an on-set accident that killed the start of the movie "The Crow."
HUDSON: Brandon Lee having died in '93, you know, that conversation came up a couple times between my fellow cast members and I. Just, you know,
we're doing this the same way they did it then, 30 years ago. Got to double-check, got to make sure. And honestly, I think the armorer, having
been pressed for time as much as she was, was doing a fantastic job.
MELAS: Neal Zoromski says he declined working on "Rust" over multiple concerns, including being asked to work as both an armorer and a prop
NEAL W. ZOROMSKI, HOLLYWOOD PROP MASTER: That premise is flawed. There are so many things that go on in between the foreground and the background and
to have to cover that amount of territory and do it well is challenging for even a seasoned professional.
MELAS: Meanwhile, an inventory list from a search warrant reveals investigators found three revolvers, nine spent casings and ammunition,
loose in boxes and in a fanny pack on set.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So was it loaded with a real bullet?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't -- I cannot tell you that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have two injuries from a movie gunshot. MELAS: It's still unclear just what projected from the gun that killed
director of photography Halyna Hutchins.
MARCUS COOLEY, PROP MASTER AND PRODUCTION DESIGNER: As far as the live ammunition, there's no reason it should ever, ever have come onto the set.
MELAS: Criminal charges have not been ruled out. CNN confirming reporting by the "New York Times." A New Mexico district attorney telling the paper,
quote, "There were an enormous amount of bullets on the set and we need to know what kinds they were."
The D.A. telling "The Times" detectives are focusing on whether live rounds or blanks were used on set.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We've heard all these allegations, Don, about the relaxed safety policies, that safety policies were not followed,
that there wasn't proper supervision on this set. And not surprising at all, that the district attorney says everything is on the table.
MELAS: This could be the last photo of Hutchins, seen here on set with Alec Baldwin. The image posted on social media by a crew member.
HUDSON: Discharging any type of projectile is terrifying, having been shot at multiple times.
HUDSON: And faking my death for the camera, was enlightening to me in all the wrong ways.
It's really unfortunate to have what happened happen, because, you know, they were just trying to make a movie.
MELAS: And as the investigation continues, many in the film industry are still in shock by the loss of their friend and colleague and the tragic way
ARMANDO GUTIERREZ, ACTOR AND PRODUCER: We lost a very talented director of photography, camera operator, dreamer and future director.
KINKADE: Chloe Melas reporting there.
I want to bring in Stephanie Elam from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the investigation is taking place.
Stephanie, we are expected to get an update, a briefing in about 1.5 hours from now. Criminal charges are on the table.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely, Lynda. I mean, it is not that surprising that that is the case because they're so early into the
investigation. Both the sheriff's department and the district attorney are expected to speak today.
What we've already learned is that the district attorney is saying, listen, because this is an active investigation and because the autopsy could take
anywhere from 6-10 weeks, we might not get the answers we want to hear today.
What they are looking to focus in on specifically is all the ammunition that was on the set that was recovered by investigators, first of all, they
want to find out what it was.
Were they blanks?
Were they live ammunition?
They also want to focus in on the forensics, what actually was it that killed Director Hutchins.
And who was the last person to handle the gun?
The district attorney telling "The New York Times" this was a, quote, "legit gun," that it was an antique era but real gun, so we shouldn't call
it a prop gun.
But who was the last person to handle it and what did they put inside it?
Now granted, those are the questions everyone would like to know. We may not get the answers today but hopefully we get more clues on how this
tragedy unfurled in the first place, Lynda.
KINKADE: As you point out quite well, this wasn't a prop gun; it was a real gun. Plenty of real ammunition found on set, even being used to shoot
cans before this incident, this tragedy took place.
Could this investigation change the way movies are regulated, especially given that real guns, real ammunition, are being used to make films?
ELAM: There's a lot of talk about that now, Lynda. You know, I live in Los Angeles and I can see that people are very much fired up about this right
now. There's a couple of things.
That plinking allegation that came out from the website "The Wrap," it is worth noting the district attorney is telling "The New York Times" they
cannot confirm. It is unconfirmed that what was happening was that crew members were actually taking the weapons off of set, filling them with live
rounds and going out and shooting cans.
They're saying that hasn't been confirmed at this point. We do need to point that part out. Also, a lot of people are pointing out that technology
is so good now that you don't really need to have a true firearm on a set. You can do it in post and make it have the sounds and make it have the
explosive look as you see, if you just used computers to do it.
So you do have people wondering why we're still doing things in the same way we were doing it maybe some 30 years ago.
KINKADE: Yes. That is a very good point. Stephanie Elam, good to have you on the story for us. Thanks very much.
Well, I want to get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. More than 4 million people are in lockdown in northwestern
China due to new COVID-19 outbreaks.
Restrictions were put in place after 29 locally transmitted cases were reported on Tuesday. Mass testing is underway across the country as the
Chinese government continues pursuing its zero COVID policy.
Iran says oil distribution is back to normal after a cyber attack shut down the government's system that runs fuel stations across the country.
Witnesses tell CNN that card readers at pumps showed part of the number of the supreme leader's officers. No one claimed responsibility.
Iraqi officials are blaming ISIS for a deadly attack on a village northeast of Baghdad. At least 11 people were killed and six more wounded by gunmen
on Tuesday. Iraq's joint operations command said the attack targeted defenseless civilians. The president called it a cowardly terrorist attack,
aimed at destabilizing the country.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD, a Premier League club shoots and scores in their effort to stop discrimination.
KINKADE: Welcome back. Actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda can add another honor to his long list of accolades, saving a piece of American
theater history. He joined New York major Bill de Blasio in celebration of the reopening of The Drama Book Shop.
The New York staple is more than 100 years old. Miranda is one of the store's new owners and he was honored with a proclamation for efforts for
restoring the shop and bringing the arts back to New York.