Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

U.S. President And Chinese Leader Set To Hold Critical Talks; India Slammed For Watering Down Text On Fossil Fuels; Dramatic Migrant Standoff Unfolding At Belarus-Poland Border. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired November 15, 2021 - 10:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Get out of the way or else. Poland is deploying water cannons to deter migrants trying to cross this border.

Also, the world's two most powerful men have their first one on one. What's at stake when the president of the U.S. meets his Chinese counterpart at a

virtual summit today? Plus, India is choking on small but cleans heavily to using coal.

We are live in New Delhi to examine the grim realities of living with King Cole. Hello. I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT

THE WORLD. Good to have you with us. Well, a dramatic and potentially dangerous crisis is unfolding at the border of Belarus and Poland.

Thousands of migrants desperate to cross into Poland now find themselves trapped in dire conditions.

Many are living in makeshift camps in the forests weathering freezing nighttime temperatures. Some describe harrowing journeys just to reach the

border. Food and water without days and brutal beatings along the way. We're now they're facing new risks. Razor wire fencing, a water cannon

pointed towards them, and a helicopter flying overhead. And some 15,000 Polish soldiers trying to prevent their crossing.

Polish officials describe the situation is very tense and blame Belarus for driving the disaster. Belarus calls those claims absurd and insists the

migrants have only peaceful intentions. Well looming large on the sidelines Belarus' ally Russia says it's ready to help solve the crisis. Meanwhile,

E.U. ministers are meeting today preparing the site fresh sanctions on Belarus. Now the chances more details from the Belarussian side of the

migrants camp.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With each day that passes this refugee crisis is getting worse.

Desperate migrants here in Belarus, a camp against the razor wire set up by Poland to keep them out. Their dream of a new life in Europe insight but

out of reach. From above amid choking thick smoke from fires to keep warm. You can see how more than 2000 migrants from countries like Iraq and Syria

are stretched along this frontier.

And facing an emergency exclusion zone on the other side. Migrants like Ahmed and his 15-year-old daughter Reza from Iraqi Kurdish

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Country dangerous.

CHANCE: Your country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Country dangerous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Country dangerous. No electric --

CHANCE: Yes, no electricity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No water. Dangerous --

CHANCE: Yes. This is Kurdistan.


CHANCE: Iraqi Kurdistan.

It's getting dangerous here too. Already Putin's Russia is backing its Belarusian ally. U.S. officials accused Belarus of weaponizing these

migrants in revenge for human rights sanctions.

There is a blame game being played here. The West European Union Poland is blaming Belarus for encouraging these migrants to come here in the first

place and then pushing them here towards the border. Belarus and Moscow are blaming the polls for refusing to let them in. But it's these people stuck

in the middle that are actually paying the price. A point with which they seem to agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention, attention (INAUDIBLE) if you don't follow the orders force may be used against you.

CHANCE: From loudspeakers across the fence. This is Poland's uncompromising message. Don't even try it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention, attention.

CHANCE: But that's not stopping daily attempts to break through. Belarusian officials deny helping breach the frontier. But they're not stopping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to look after for my family.

CHANCE: And how many of your family are here?


CHANCE: Two families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. My wife, my son and my friend. I have three kids and wife.

CHANCE: Karwan (ph)also from Iraqi Kurdistan tells me he's tried and failed to get past the razor wire. Forced back he says with tear gas and pepper


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I want to (INAUDIBLE) for my son.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My son say my dad don't chase me because you -- after you chase me, as my son say, you chased me, that's so bad for your face my


CHANCE: So -- because the tear gas and the pepper spray?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. (INAUDIBLE) long time I have -- I have too many chili, too many goals, I want to choose from my son because my son say

please My God, don't chase me.

CHANCE: And you've got the chili and the pepper -- like trying to get across the border, they sprayed it on you.


CHANCE: Over the weekend, even more refugees have been flooding in piling on the pressure. Belarusian officials tell us 5000 People will be here in a

matter of days, all desperate, freezing and trapped.


KINKADE: And Matthew Chance reporting there. Well, he also spoke to my colleague, John Berman from the border earlier today. Here's what he



CHANCE: Yes, John, hey, I mean, very dramatic scenes that have been playing out this morning. You here -- I'm here, right on the border crossing

between Belarus and Poland. Take a look here just to the left of your screen, you can see the Polish police, the border guards have come here to

prevent what could have been -- what could be still a mass exodus of these refugees here behind me, out of Belarus into Poland, because that camp that

reported from a couple of days ago, where there were 2000 people that had gathered on that border in very bleak conditions.

Well, within the last couple of hours, that campus completely emptied. Almost every one of those people gathered their things, packed up their

tents, their sleeping bags, what little belongings they had, put them on their backs. And they've come on mass, all the way down here through the

forest, right the way to this official border crossing. There's been a rumor, John, for the past 24 hours inside the camp that the Polish side was

prepared to open up their borders, and open up a humanitarian corridor through to Germany which is what the vast majority of these people who are

from Iraqi Kurdistan, for the most -- for the most part, say they wanted.

But the polls have been absolutely clear that that's not happening. They've sent text message to everybody on telephones, including to my phone, which

says, look, you know, don't listen to what you've been told, don't be fooled is what they say in the text message. We are going to defend our

borders, we are not going to let you through. And that message has been underlined by the fact they've deployed these police in force.

This water cannon has just arrived in the past few minutes as well, bringing to the number of water cannons that are out there sort of barrels

pointed in a general direction, general direction of these refugees that have been brought here. I can tell you, John, this is a challenge, a

challenge directly to the Polish authorities to the European Union, to let these people through. And look at them. You know, many of them are


Babes in arms, many families that have come here from various countries, mainly Iraqi Kurdistan in the hope of getting across into the European

Union for a better life. Poland in Germany, wherever it is they want to go. Now, obviously, there's a blame game, the West, United States blames

Belarus for making this happen. Weaponizing these migrants in the words of U.S. officials in order to put pressure on the European Union.

And perhaps to distract from the build up of Russian forces in the east of Ukraine. That's what Secretary of State Blinken has been saying. What the

Belarusian say and the Moscow authorities who are backing them is that the poles are not living up to their obligations under international law. There

have been reports of refugees getting across these razor wire fences. And they've been pushed back by the poles which would be illegal under

international law.

And certainly the appeal now directly from these refugees is to let them pass, let them go through. But as you can see, from these determined police

officers on the Polish side, they're not prepared at this stage to let that happen, John?


KINKADE: Well, I want to bring in our Frederik Pleitgen who has the view from the other side of the border in Poland. And Fred, we just heard the

desperate situation on the Belarus side of the border with Matthew's reporting. What have you encountered there on the Polish side?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the polls obviously also realized that there was going to be this mass push on the

border that Matthew was just talking about. And essentially what they did is they did fortify their own positions here. You could see throughout the

day as we were standing here and reporting, but there were more and more polish police vehicles coming past also military vehicles as well.

And the polls obviously have a formidable presence there on that border. Now they are essentially saying that they believe that what's happening on

the border there right now is all instigated by the regime in Minsk, is instigated by Belarus. They also say and they provide video evidence of

that that Belarusian forces were actually walking with the people there to the border, escorting to the border.


PLEITGEN: And we've actually received some text messages and voice messages from migrants who were at the border who told us that they were told by the

Belarusian authorities to attack the border fence on various occasions and that many of them simply don't want to do that. Now, of course, those

people do want to go to the European Union, they do want to pass there. But the the Polish authorities are saying that Belarus essentially lured them

to come to Belarus, promising them that it would be very quick and easy to pass into the European Union.

And that that simply is not the case. It was quite interesting because I actually spoke to a gentleman who came from Iraq, and he said that he was

told by the person that he bought this package tour all that was being sold or advertised, that it would only take about three hours from Minsk to

actually cross the border into the European Union. Obviously, none of that is true.

And essentially what the European Union is saying was NATO saying, was NATO saying, what the United States is saying as well, is that they believe

that this is the ploy of Alexander Lukashenko that he obviously wants to destabilize the border of the European Union. And you can really see that

the E.U., the U.S. and others are sort of very standing firm in that regard, the polls obviously saying the border is not going to open.

And also the European Union seemingly making some headway as well. What they've achieved so far over the course of the weekend, Lynda, is that

they've gotten several countries in the Middle East to stop allowing people from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen to board flights to Minsk and also,

the Belarusian flagship carrier Belavia also saying that it will not accept passengers from those countries flying from, for instance, the UAE and from

Istanbul as well.

So you can see there sort of a diplomatic front to all of this. But then there's also the Polish authorities essentially saying that they are not

going to be pressured by Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko into opening their borders, and that they will decide who gets across their

borders and certainly not the person who's in charge in Minsk. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes. I want to ask you more, Fred, about any sort of possible solution, speaking about sanctions on Belarus because the situation for

these migrants is only going to get worse as winter --as it gets colder there.

PLEITGEN: Yes. And you know, what, Lynda, it's one of the things obviously, we have to talk about all the time, the situation is already extremely dire

for those people. It's also quite frankly, dire for the people who actually do make it across because of course, a lot of them are then wandering

around the forest here on the polar side of the border. And it really is extremely treacherous. It's extremely cold here, there's a cold wind, it's

extremely damp.

And a lot of the people that then get help from NGOs here on the polar side, they are in awful conditions as well. So it's certainly a dire

situation in the European Union, obviously wants that situation to go away as fast as possible. And to essentially solve that situation. Again, the

polls are saying their border will not be open. However, for instance, you now have the Iraqi government that is saying that it's going to provide

planes and allow people to fly back into Iraqi Kurdistan if that is what they want to do.

Obviously, all of that is on a voluntary basis, then there's going to be new sanctions, the European Union says against Andrew -- Alexander

Lukashenko and people who are profiting from all of this. And the other thing that the Europeans are doing is they're also trying to start an

information campaign in Middle Eastern countries telling people look, don't come to Belarus, don't go to that border, you are not going to get let in.


KINKADE: All right. Frederik Pleitgen, some great reporting from you and Matthew Chance along the border. We appreciate it. Thank you.

Well, right now. I want to let you to what China is calling a major event. This is the virtual summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese

President Xi Jinping. And it's happening in just a few hours. Keep in mind that tensions between the world's two biggest economies are high over human

rights and trade issues. CNNs David Culver is previewing this highest stakes meeting from Shanghai.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lynda, this will be the first face to face meeting albeit virtual between President Joe Biden and

President Xi Jinping. The two of course have met before, before Biden was elected president. But this one coming as relations, as you have noted, are

at an all-time low between the world's two biggest economies. And a senior U.S. administration official has said that this is going to be about

creating guardrails.

Essentially making it so that there is a line of communication between the two countries and so that they can avoid any intended and unintended



CULVER (voice over): The leaders of the world's reigning and emerging superpowers heading into a much anticipated virtual summit, as bilateral

ties largely remain in deep freeze.

VICTOR SHIH, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO: Summit is a preliminary sign that the relationship between the U.S. and China is

getting back on a more normal track.

CULVER: U.S.-China relations have been growing more tense since 2018 when former President Trump launched his trade war over Beijing's alleged unfair

practices. Slapping massive tariffs on China goods. The downward spiral worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic as Washington accused China of covering

up its mishandling of the virus that would quickly bring the world to its knees.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Biden --


CULVER: A transition to the Biden administration did little to ease tensions. An early meeting between senior U.S. and Chinese officials marred

by fiery exchanges. Recently, though, signs of progress, a high-profile Chinese tech executive detained on U.S. criminal charges in Canada was

allowed to return to China. And just last week, both countries coming together in a joint effort to fight climate change the heated rhetoric at

times, softening a bit.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We welcome the competition. We're not looking for conflict.

CULVER: In a letter published last week, President Xi said China is willing to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board with the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On both sides need is a stabilization of the relationship which will allow both powers to peacefully coexist in the

foreseeable future.

CULVER: But the two sides are still at odds over a wide range of thorny issues from mounting military tensions across the Taiwan Strait and in the

South China Sea to tech and cybersecurity to human rights. But likely topping the agenda experts say is what plunged U.S.-China relations to a

historic low to begin with. An agreement on trade might just lead to a thaw in ties between the world's two biggest economies.

And a senior Biden administration official has said that this is an intense competition between the U.S. and China. And so it requires intense

diplomacy. They do expect this call to last several hours and of course, it will be face to face although President Xi will be here in Beijing,

President Biden back in Washington. At the end of it, they're not promising any sort of major agreements on the many issues that the to face.

However, they're saying at the very least, if they can say, hey, let's keep talking. Let's keep the channel of communication open, then that in and of

itself, Lynda will be a success.

KINKADE: Our thanks to David Culver there. When American journalists jailed for almost six months by the Myanmar government is now on his way home.

Danny Fenster was released just days after being sentenced to 11 years in prison for spreading false news. His release was negotiated by noted

international diplomat Bill Richardson. Our correspondent Ivan Watson is following the story and joins us now live.

Ivan, only days ago, Fenster was sentenced to a 11 years hard labor. He's free on his way home to America which is such a relief. Just take us

through what you can tell us about the negotiations that led to his release.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. He -- not only had he been slapped just last Friday with an 11-year jail sentence, Lynda,

but he faced potentially life in prison because he was charged with violating Myanmar's counterterrorism law which has much stricter penalties.

Danny Fenster is a native of Detroit. 37 years old. He was the managing editor of a local news outlet called Frontier Myanmar.

And he was detained on his way out of the country at Yangon Airport back in May and has been behind bars ever since. The negotiated release, the

military government in Myanmar says that they released Fenster on humanitarian grounds. It was clear that former ambassador and former New

Mexico Governor Bill Richardson played a key role in negotiating this release. He traveled to Myanmar to the capital Naypyidaw and met with the

general who declared himself ruler of the country after mounting a military coup on February 1st.

And then followed up with a visit that resulted in escorting Danny Fenster out of the country via Qatar. So Richardson has claimed credit for this in

a statement from the Richardson center, and he's been thanked by the Fenster family that put out a statement saying, I think quite obviously we

are overjoyed that Danny has been released and is on his way home. We cannot wait to hold them in our arms.

And they go on to say that they're very grateful to Richardson for the role that he's played here. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also

celebrated this release, while also calling for other journalists currently behind in bars in Myanmar to also be released. And while Danny Fenster is

is a very positive good story now, there are still more than 40 journalists under arrest since the February 1st coup according to the United Nations

High Commissioner for Human Rights. And that agency is also calling for them to be released.

KINKADE: Yes, absolutely. I'm sure all their families are holding out hope as well after this incredible negotiation and release Good to have you with

us, Ivan Watson. Thanks so much.


KINKADE: Well, was it self defense or was the violence intent? Lawyers make their case in the Kyke Rittenhouse trial. We're going to go live to

Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is a city on edge as closing arguments begin. And a longtime ally of Donald Trump who thumbed his nose at congressional

investigators is turning himself in. What happens next to Steve Bannon when CONNECT THE WORLD continues?


KINKADE: Here in the U.S. Wisconsin is hoping for calm as the high profile trial of Kyle Rittenhouse nears its conclusion. Last year Rittenhouse shot

and killed two demonstrators during protests in Kenosha against police brutality and racial injustice. With just minutes ago court resumed for

lawyers to begin making their closing arguments. When that happens, the case will go to the jury for deliberations.

Well, 500 National Guard troops are on standby outside Kenosha to help keep the peace ahead of a possible verdict. Well, no matter the outcome the

verdict could spark more protests. Here's the background to the Kyle Rittenhouse case. It happened in the summer of 2020 as protests broke out

across the United States following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. But those protests didn't stop there.

Numerous others broke out after more cases of police shootings surfaced across the United States. In one such case and Kenosha, Wisconsin protests

broke out following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Several days of protests and rioting followed as did the growing presence of armed civilians. One of

those was Kyle Rittenhouse. CNN's Sara Sidner picks up the story from there. And we have to warn you, some of the scenes in her piece are



SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kyle Rittenhouse became a household name last summer after this video emerged then 17-year-

old with a semi automatic weapon dangling from his chest walking right past police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after he had just shot and killed two people

and injured one. Rittenhouse's attorney says he was in danger and acted in self defense.

Rittenhouse said he was there to protect businesses during protests that turned to riots in Kenosha. But prosecutors say Rittenhouse killed and

maimed people while illegally possessing a firearm and charged him in the case. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty on all counts. Some of the crucial

evidence in the trial live streams. Press theaters say after shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum videos shows Rittenhouse is chased.


SIDNER: Anthony Huber hits Rittenhouse with a skateboard and is shot and killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot that guy in his stomach.

SIDNER: Then Gaige Grosskreutz goes towards Rittenhouse and is shot in the arm. This is all happening after protests turned to riots in response to

the police shooting of Jacob Blake.


KINKADE: Well Blake, by the way was seriously injured but survived those gunshots. I want to bring in Shimon Prokupecz who joins us now live from

Kenosha, Wisconsin. Shimon, good to have you there covering at the trial for us. So, the closing arguments started this hour. Take us through what's

happening what we can expect today.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ ,CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So right now just -- I'm just looking at the feed from the courtroom. The lawyers are

still arguing over the final instructions that the jurors are going to get over the law. The judge spent a weekend hashing this out with the lawyers.

But clearly there's been some questions and some issues that the lawyers are not satisfied with some of the final instructions.

So they are changing some of that. They're still discussing that with the judge. So -- and then after that we expect the closing arguments to begin

the last about five hours in total. Each side is going to -- ours. We're going to see a lot of the same video that we've been watching during the

trial played during those closing arguments. The big thing for the defense attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse's attorneys is this is a self defense case.

So they're going to be arguing that Kyle Rittenhouse was justified in using the force that he did, he did it to save his life. He testified to that

fact. So that's going to be the big part of the defense case. And then the prosecution is going to be raising the fact that perhaps Kyle Rittenhouse

did too much. He didn't use appropriate force. Some of the people that he shot were not armed with weapons handguns.

The one was, the man who survived he had a handgun and testified during the prosecution's case even at some point that gun that he had was pointed at

Kyle Rittenhouse. The defense obviously arguing that gives Kyle Rittenhouse justification to use his weapon. So both sides are going to get their

chance to make their final case to the jury. And then we expect that they will start their deliberations later this afternoon. And we'll see -- we'll

see how long it takes for the jury to make their decision.

KINKADE: All right. We will be following this closely. Shimon Prokupecz for us in Wisconsin, thanks so much.

One of former U.S. President Donald Trump's closest allies has turned himself in. Steve Bannon walked into an FBI field office in Washington last

hour. He is expected to appear in court later today. Bannon was indicted Friday on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress. He's charged with

failing to comply with subpoenas connected to the investigation into the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. If convicted, he could face up

to two years in prison.

Well, still to come on the show. India faces criticism over the new COP26 agreements. We'll tell you about the last minute changes it pushed for many

say could have a negative impact on climate change.



KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kincaid at the CNN Center and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Good to have you with us. Well in the aftermath

of the COP26 International Climate Talks, many world leaders are touting their achievements. While many experts say the summit fell well short of

what's needed to stop catastrophic climate change. On Saturday 197 nations reached an agreement they dubbed the Glasgow Climate Pact.

This came after almost two weeks of intense negotiations. So which points made it into the final text? Well, leaders agreed to keep 1.5 alive.

Meaning they agreed to try to keep global warming to no more than 1-1/2 degrees above pre industrial levels. The final text does acknowledge the

role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis, which is considered a huge victory. But at the last minute they change the language to talk about

phasing down coal rather than phasing it out.

The leaders also agreed to double finance for adapted -- for adaptation from the 2019 levels by 2025. Now that refers to money developed nations

will provide to developing countries. But the contentious loss and damage fund to help developing nations rebuild after climate disasters did not

make it into the final text. Well, overall, according to at least one climate watchdog, there is still a massive gap in what's being pledged and

what's needed to keep enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to limit global warming to that 1.5 degrees.

Well, India is squarely blamed for watering down on language around fossil fuels. CNN reporter Vedika Sud joins us now from New Delhi. Good to have

you with us. So, India like China is defending the move to phase down rather than phase out call. Take us through the perspective from India.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Good to be with you, Lynda. It's about 9:00 pm here in India and yes, you're right when you talk about India watering down

the deal really but it's not only India, but other countries that have been doing that as well during the course of COP26. But India stand has been

very clear before going into COP26. The Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav have made it very clear that India will not bear the burden because

the historic responsibility for climate change lies with developed countries.

That's what he said before leaving for COP26. And also you had the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who attended COP26 promising and assuring that

India will achieve zero net carbon emissions by the year 2070 compared to develop nations that could achieve this possibly by the year 2050. So

India's been very clear about the distinction that should be very, very -- everyone should be conscious about between developing and developed

nations. Here's what the Indian environment minister Bhupendra Yadav had to say at COP26.


BHUPENDRA YADAV, INDIAN MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE: I think between countries have a right to their fair share of the global

carbon budget and are entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels within this scope. In such a situation, how can anyone expect that

developing countries can make promises about phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

Developing countries have still to deal with their development agendas and poverty eradication. Towards this end, subsidies provide much needed Social

Security and support.


SUD: So India really depends on coal, Linda. 70 percent of India's energy comes from coal. India is not only the second largest producer of coal

after China but the consumer of it as well. So clearly for India, they can only phase down coal as of now and not phase it out. Lynda?

KINKADE: All right. And of course this comes as schools in New Delhi are being closed due to severe pollution. Take us through the latest.


SUD: You know, it's been devastating for children here, Lynda, because it wasn't the first of November that the Delhi government had announced that

children would finally be going back to school because they had a grip on the numbers when it comes to COVID-19 in Delhi. You know what the

situation was during the second wave earlier this year. So children will just about going back to school when the Delhi government on Saturday

announced that school will be suspended, offline school will be suspended for about a week from today because of the high levels of pollution that

Delhi and neighboring cities have been witnessing over the last fortnight.

Today, the pollution is in the very poor category, we expected to continue in the very poor category tomorrow, after which it could go up to the

severe to very severe levels as well. Now there are lots of reasons for this pollution that shrouds the city every year, Lynda, essentially it's

because of vehicular emissions as well as industrial emissions. It's also because of crop burning and other reasons.

Now, the Supreme Court has stepped in and demanded that the central government as well as the Delhi government talk on Tuesday and line up a

list of things they should do immediately to bring down the pollution levels. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes. They certainly are extreme. We will touch base with you again soon. Thanks so much. Well, it is a day of worldwide protests against the

Cuban government. What the protesters are demanding and the government's defiant response. We'll have that story next. Also, coming up in sports,

one of the strangest autograph signings you'll ever see. The story when we return.


KINKADE: Well, protests for the release of political prisoners are about to begin in Cuba and around the world. Take a look at this. This is the same

Sunday in Miami. And in Havana protests plan on a day of demonstrations today and that's despite a government ban on protests. And there are

reports of the government not letting organizers out of their homes. One of them, Yunior Garcia Aguilera told his Facebook followers that he's been

blocked from leaving his apartment.

The U.S. meanwhile is showing support for the protesters. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he called intimidation tactics by the

Cuban government. Cuba's Foreign Minister responded by telling the U.S. not to interfere with Cuban Affairs. Our Correspondent Patrick Oppmann joins us

now from Havana. Patrick, good to have you with us. So, given the crackdown from the regime, what can we expect? What sort of protests could could

there be later today?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be a lot harder than it was in July when we had these spontaneous protests.

Thousands of people taking the streets in a way they never had before. So not after the Fidel Castro's revolution more than 60 years ago demanding

change because these protests were announced in advanced not surprisingly the government has police on the street today in a way that I've never seen


And as you were mentioning, Lynda, yesterday, activists across the island including Yunior Garcia Aguilera called for these protests house where I

was all day Sunday. You saw these pro government mobs. That's what they are blocking people from leaving their homes. They're working hand in glove

with Cuban police who keep the situation more or less under control. But certainly, they are threatening physically.

These activists from leaving their homes we asked why they're doing this. And they said, it's actually to prevent violence. They said that if these

activists go out that there'll be street battles, essentially now that could could provoke a U.S. military intervention in Cuba. So very, very

tense times here. And certainly the Cuban government not backing down in any way.

KINKADE: And speaking of the Cuban government and how they're responding to the media, this weekend, they revoked the credentials of the F.A., the at

the Spanish news agency. Explain their justification for that.

OPPMANN: I can't justify it. It's censorship. The Cuban Government, you know, rightly puts out that it -- points out that it's their country. And

they can -- they can determine who reports here and who doesn't. And fair enough. But F.A. has been here for years. There are very professional

journalists who've covered cueball really longer than any other Western news outlet and to revoke an entire offices, credentials.

That's something that none of us have ever seen happen in Cuba, now under intense pressure from the Spanish and other governments. Now, two of those

credentials have been returned. So, F.A. has two journalists who are able to work in Cuba but the majority of their office remains essentially gagged

and unable to work here, unable to cover these protests and in the other news from Cuba.

KINKADE: All right. Patrick Oppmann, we will chat to you again in the coming hours. Good to have you there for us. Thanks so much.

We are guessing that you've never seen anything quite like this before. Take a look at this vision we've got just South Africa's rugby team beat

Scotland this weekend, a diehard fan wanted an autograph. And South Africa's Captain obliged by signing the fan's underwear. World Sports Don

Riddell is here and I'm sure you've got plenty of diehard fans just like that, Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT HOST: So I've never seen anything quite like that. I have seen fans dressed like that at sports events. I've seen fans

wearing less than that at sports events. But yes, I've never seen that particular area autographed with so much enthusiasm by all involved. It was

really quite a cool moment. And well played to the Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi for doing so, and doing it in such good humor.

The Springboks are back on top of the world rankings after a win against Scotland. So I guess he and the team were feeling pretty good.

KINKADE: Yes. Big smiles all around. Don Riddell, good to have you with us. We will tune in for World Sport after a very short break. Stay with us.