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Connect the World

Dramatic Migrant Standoff Unfolding at Belarus-Poland Borders; U.S. & China Presidents Set to Hold Critical Talks; Austria Begins Lockdown for the Unvaccinated; Cuba Braces for Planned Opposition Protests Amid Reopening; Grupa Granica: Migrants Exposed to "Disinformation" Campaign; Queen Elizabeth Cancels Remembrance Day Appearance. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired November 15, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Atlanta. This is "Connect the World".

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Becky Anderson. Welcome to "Connect the World". Good to have you with us.

Well, an escalating humanitarian crisis unfolding right now on the border of Belarus and Poland. Thousands of migrants desperate to cross into Poland

and seek refuge in the European Union now find themselves trapped in dire conditions living in freezing forests and makeshift camps.

At the crossing they're faced with razor wire fencing, water cannons, a helicopter flying overhead, and some 15,000 Polish soldiers trying to kick

them back. Polish officials describe the situation as very tense and dangerous and blame Belarus for luring the migrants into the situation.

Belarus calls those claims absurd and insists that the migrants have only peaceful intentions. Well looming large on the sidelines Belarus's ally

Russia says it's ready to help solve this meanwhile, the EU leaders meeting today preparing to slap fresh sanctions on Belarus.

We have teams on both sides of the border our Matthew Chance is with migrants in Belarus. He spoke to my colleague John Berman earlier today,

and here's what he described.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, John, hey, I mean, very dramatic scenes that have been playing out this

morning 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 camp was 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

circulating 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 Polish have been absolutely clear that that's not happening. They've sent a 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 enforce this water cannon has just arrived in the past few minutes as well, bringing to two, the number of water cannons that are out there

sort of barrels pointed in a general direction in the 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 children, babies in arms, many families who 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, the 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 Polish are not living up to their obligations under international

law. There have been reports of refugees getting across these razor wire fences, but they've been pushed back by the Polish 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 office other side of the border in Poland. Fred explain what

you've been seeing on that side of the border?


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Lynda. Well, the Polish certainly have been fortifying that position that Matthew

was just talking about there. In fact, during the day that we were reporting here, we saw a lot of Polish police vehicles move towards that

border, obviously fortifying that border.

And essentially, what the Polish are saying is they believe that Alexander Lukashenko's government and his security forces are not only weaponizing

migration weaponizing the plight of those obviously very poor people who are there in those very dire conditions, but also steering a lot of their

movements and even in some cases, trying to get them to attack the border fence between Poland and Belarus. Here's what we're learning.


PLEITGEN (voice over): The standoff at Poland's border with Belarus is intensifying. Poland's government saying it has thwarted hundreds of

attempts by migrants to force their way into the EU. Poland says the migrant moves are controlled by Belarusian security forces.

Text and voice messages obtained by CNN from a migrant inside the camp provide more evidence to bolster those accusations. The Belarusian forces

are forcing us to try and break the barrier and are directly threatening the youth. We are afraid to tell them anything that pressures us the text

says and goes on the checkpoint must be stored we are looking for a way not to listen to them.

Later we also receive this video from the same person. We young people are sitting here we don't know what they're going to do to us. They are forcing

us to cross the border or something else. We don't know he says.

The Government of Belarusian strong man Alexander Lukashenko has consistently denied instigating and fanning the border crisis. But Polish

authorities have released videos that they claim shows Belarusian forces breaking down parts of the border fence and using strobe lights and laser

pointers to impede the work of Polish troops trying to prevent breaches. The Spokeswoman for Poland's Border Force tells me their forces are on

constant high alert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have observed that it is mainly groups of young men that are trying to forcibly cross the border and the Belarusian services

are assisting them by giving them equipment to cut through the fence and giving them tear gas which is used against our border guards.

PLEITGEN (voice over): The EU and NATO accused Belarus of weaponizing the plight of migrants to destabilize the region. Poland has put up a barbed

wire fence deployed around 15,000 border guards, police officers and soldiers to fortify the border.

PLEITGEN (on camera): Poland has created several large military bases here in the border region with Belarus. The Polish government says it is not

going to back down in the situation. They also say they could deploy even more forces to this region if the crisis continues.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Very few migrants make it across into the EU some end up in this shelter in the Town of Bialystok. - from Iraq, who asked us

to hide his face and only use his first name says he was beaten by Belarusian security forces on the trek to the border.

It was a daily disturbance he says if you said you couldn't get up or that you were sick, they would grab us and beat us with sticks until we fell and

couldn't get up again. The Belarusian government insists it has handled this crisis in line with international law and instead accuses Poland of a

heavy handed approach as both sides dig in with hundreds of migrants caught in the middle.


PLEITGEN: And Lynda one of the reasons why the European Union believes Alexander Lukashenko is doing this in Belarus as they believe he wants to

try and pressure the European Union to lift sanctions against himself. Well, it certainly seems as though the opposite is going to be in the case.

In fact, right now the EU is talking about even tougher sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko's regime, but again, also against people who they say

are involved in bringing folks to the border between Belarus and Poland. And what you can really - can see is that there's also a diplomatic

offensive going on by the European Union as well.

They've talked to several governments in the Middle East. And one of the things that they have gotten, which seems like a little bit of a victory

for the European Union is that several governments there are now not letting people from Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan board flights to

Belarus and in fact also, the Belarusian Flagship Carrier Belavia has now announced that it would not let people of those nationalities board flights

to Belarus from the United Arab Emirates, and from Istanbul as well.

So you can see the European Union really right now pretty unified, actually, and also seeking diplomatic way forward, also seeking sanctions.

But then, for instance, you also have the case that Iraq for instance, says that it will have flights on Thursday and is offering people who are at the

border there a chance to fly home, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. Frederik Pleitgen very comprehensive report for us, good to have you there a monster for us! We appreciate it.


KINKADE: Well, many of the refugees in Belarus are from Iraq. And Baghdad is urging them to return home and is planning its first repatriation flight

this Thursday. In an interview with CNN's Becky Anderson, Iraq's Foreign Minister is accusing Belarus of taking advantage of people who were

desperate to find a better life in Europe. Take a listen.


FAUD HUSSEIN, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER: Immigration is not a new phenomenon it is an old phenomena. And it has to do with two factors pull and push

factors. I'm sorry to say that but we feel that Belarus is using these immigrants as a political tool against European Union and European


And in fact, we had various discussions with a Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs with Polis Minister of Foreign Affairs, with almost all

European Union Ministers about this issue. We cannot forbid our people to travel abroad. So they are free and this is according to our constitution.

But when they arrived there in Minsk, we feel that there are some organizations there, and they organized for them, to get them to the


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: You're talking about smugglers?

HUSSEIN: We have this problem, there are criminals and smugglers inside Iraq, in Belarus, in other countries, they are organizing these things. So

we are in discussion with the European Union also. And we are trying to control this.

In fact, we didn't allow Iraqi flights from Baghdad to Belarus; we forbid that so and now Turkey is doing the same. So let's hope too, that we will

reach a solution because at the end, human being must not be used as tools for political aims for some countries to put pressure on European Union.

They can use other kinds of means, but not using refugees, and especially refugees from Iraq. Now we are talking about Iraq. So thousands of them,

they are there. And it is a terrible situation. We are trying to solve it. We are communicating with the refugees themselves for those immigrants, to

bring them back to Iraq.

That's our policy, talking to the European Union, trying to convince those people to come back to their country, and at the same time, giving signals

to the government in Minsk that this is not the right approach.


KINKADE: Well, for more details on the migrant crisis, the Belarus/Poland border, including how thousands of people ended up at the crossing, the

conditions they're facing and how the government of each country is responding just head to

Well, Beijing is calling it a major event. U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit in the coming

hours. They've spoken with each other twice by phone, but this will be the first meeting since Mr. Biden took office. And it comes with U.S./China

relations reaching a low point. CNN's David Culver explains how we got here.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (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 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 (voice over): U.S./China relations have been growing tenser since 2018 when Former President Trump launched his trade war over Beijing's

alleged unfair practices slapping massive tariffs on Chinese 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. 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 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We welcome the competition. We're not looking for conflict.

CULVER (voice over): 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: What both sides need is a stimulization of the relationship which will allow both powers to peacefully coexist in the

foreseeable future.


CULVER (voice over): But the two sides 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. David Culver, CNN, Beijing.


KINKADE: Well, the meeting is expected to last several hours. I want to bring in CNN's International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, for more on

what we can expect. Nic talk to us about the deliverables, what can really be achieved at this summit? Because it sounds like from a U.S. perspective,

they're hoping to ensure that competition doesn't lead to conflict.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and the sort of most obvious place where that conflict has been sort of shaping up is over

Taiwan, the Taiwan Straits. China recently back in October flying, it's sort of heavier sortie of aircraft into Taiwan's defensive space.

And then actually precipitated the last conversation between President Xi and President Biden and President Xi said that it was, you know,

acknowledged that it was good to have that conversation that it was appreciated.

That perhaps is an area well, you know, where we - the U.S. will be looking for what it would call guardrails, if you like, you know, a mutual

understanding of where each other stands so that there isn't some crisis precipitated by a misinterpretation of either flights by Chinese aircraft

or U.S. aircraft, or the passage of U.S. and allies, vessels through the Taiwan Straits, which is a point of contention with China as well.

So, you know, that's - I think that's - that has to be the sort of principle focus and nothing goes wrong. And then after that, you know,

perhaps they can expand on their cooperation on climate, although that does seem to have sort of, you know, reached a point with the Glasgow COP26

Climate Summit, that there was an agreement there, but perhaps there's more room for expansion.

Trade I think, as David remarked on these packages, one of the most obvious areas where there might be the potential for some deliverables, because

it's a mutual interests of both countries, but the reality is from the White House perspective, they're not really anticipating deliverables

coming from this.

I think you know if the two leaders and particularly thinking about President Xi here really wanted to meet. If President Xi had really wanted

to meet face to face with President Biden, then he might have gone to the G-20 or COP26 mitigating circumstances that you know, the pandemic in


But had there been a real thorough and real movement expected to come that would have been a venue for face to face conversations and that opportunity

that was passed.

KINKADE: So certainly plenty of points of contention, some areas where we might see the two countries align. We're waiting to see how this plays out

in the coming hours Nic Robertson for us thanks very much.

Well, still ahead on the show, Britain raises its terror threat level. We're going to go live to Liverpool for the latest and explosion outside a

hospital that prompted an updated warning. And later Cuba braces for pro- democracy marches in Havana. This was the scene Sunday among supporters in Miami for Cuba's communist government is saying about the unrest ahead.



KINKADE: Well, the UK has raised its terror threat level to severe following an explosion Sunday outside a Women's Hospital in Liverpool.

Officers say a passenger is believed to have entered a taxi with an explosive device. Just a warning some viewers may find this video


Well, security footage shows the vehicle exploding as it moves outside the hospital seconds after the blast the taxi driver is seen fleeing the

burning vehicle he was treated for injuries but has since been released from hospital.

The suspect died in the explosion. Four others have been arrested. Our Scott McLean joins me now from Liverpool with more on all of this certainly

a lot of questions about motivation who else was involved? Take us through what you know.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Lynda. Yes, let me just set the scene for you right now. So we're in a residential area in the south end of

Liverpool southeast of the city center. This is an area roughly about a mile 10 minute drive or so where the suspect, according to police is said

to have picked up a taxi and driven it to the Liverpool Women's Hospital where of course that explosion took place.

Now we've seen so far, obviously there's a huge police presence. You can see them there in their fluorescent jackets. And then further down the

street you can see there are police in white forensic suits going in and out of a terrorist property there, a row house there and quite a nice -

looking house as well as they all is up and down this street.

I've been speaking with some of the people who live in this area. And people on this street had been evacuated but the folks on the neighboring

streets have not. And they are surprised not least because this is not the kind of place that you would expect to find some kind of a terror cell.

These are big, beautiful Victorian homes, many of them they say are occupied by, you know doctors, lawyers, some pretty wealthy professionals,

others have been converted into apartments and they say that they - they're often rented out by students who attend the nearby university.

We know that after that taxi went to the - went to the women's hospital and was detonated, that the driver was able to make it out of there. What

police are trying to figure out right now is how the passenger in that taxi managed to build an improvised explosive device and perhaps more

importantly, why he built that device?

Also nearby the Women's Hospital less than a mile away women Lynda was the "A Remembrance Sunday" event. This is the day where Britain commemorates

their war dead with a two minutes moment of silence at 11 am. Well, that blast went off literally moments before 11 am and so police are looking

into the obvious possibility of a connection though they say that so far, at least they have not found one.

You mentioned there have been four arrests not at this address, but at another property about a mile or so to the north of where the hospital is.

And those arrests were made under a section of the terror - the Terrorism Act in this country that allows police to arrest somebody without a warrant

if they have a reasonable suspicion that that person is a terrorist, but it comes with a pretty big caveat.

And that's it they can only hold them for 48 hours after that they have to produce some kind of evidence, Lynda?

KINKADE: Wow! Certainly a lot of work to do right now to get some more answers Scott McLean, good to have you with us. Thank you. Well, Europe is

at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic again as surge in cases how officials worried about the months ahead? Take a look at this map; multiple

countries have reported a serious uptick in infections over the past two weeks.

Austria is beginning a mandatory lockdown today for all of its unvaccinated residents. You can see police officers checking at drivers digital

vaccination certificates. Well, our Barbie Nadeau joins me now from Rome with the latest. And Barbie certainly the cold weather arriving cases are

up in Austria even looking down some of those who are vaccinated.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. We are seeing a very varying approach here across Europe to the rising number of cases. In Austria, it's

very, very extreme with nobody over the age of 12, that hasn't been vaccinated allowed to leave their house except for essential reasons. You

know, the spot checks, even in small towns to make sure that nobody that's not vaccinated is out and about. We're seeing other sorts of approaches as

well, in Germany.

People who want to go to a restaurant or bar need to prove that they've been vaccinated or that they're recovered - have recovered from COVID-19,

or in some cases, have a negative COVID test. So it's really sporadic. And it's every country is facing a different battle with the numbers as they go

up. Lynda.

KINKADE: You take us through the trends you're seeing across Europe, because we did show that map, but it certainly seems that quite a lot of

countries are seeing a spike.

NADEAU: That's right. Well, you look at a country like Italy, where I am, you know, they have a green path, nobody can even go to work unless they

prove that they're vaccinated, or that they've had a negative COVID test.

Here in Italy we've had a mask mandate endorsed since the beginning of the pandemic, go to Germany, which has the highest number of cases since the

beginning of the pandemic daily cases biggest rise.

And they're just now looking at the sorts of restrictions in terms of mask mandates, indoors and things like that, bringing all of that back. Austria,

Holland is under a three week modified lockdown as well.

One of the things that are interesting about it, though, is the fact that there are still open borders, so you can travel from country to country. So

say you're in a country without a lockdown, or with a lockdown, you can certainly go spend time in a country with that when there are no

quarantines between the countries.

And you know everybody's looking at what's going to happen next if the case has started to rise drastically across Europe instead of just in the

sporadic zones, and they're going to be looking at even more restrictions. And probably going to have to look at some sort of joint effort as the

European Union as you know, open border block to try to stop the spread, Lynda.

KINKADE: Alright, Barbie Nadeau for us in Rome thanks so much. Well, still to come. America's top diplomat throws his support behind Cuban protesters

trying to free political prisoners. We're going to tell you what Havana has to say about that, coming up.

And later, the Queen skips one of her most significant annual events. We'll tell you about the latest health problem keeping the monarch at home. Stay

with us. You're watching CNN.


KINKADE: welcome back I'm Lynda Kincaid at the CNN Center, you're watching "Connect the World". Good to have you with us. Well, protest for the

release of Cuban political prisoners is set to begin soon in Cuba and around the world. Take a look at the scene on Sunday in Miami.


KINKADE: In Havana protesters plan 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 Anthony 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.

Patrick Oppmann joins us now from Havana. Patrick, what sort of turnout can we expect from the protests this afternoon, given the crackdown from the

Cuban regime?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know it's important to remember that those widespread protests that we saw in July thousands of people

taking to the streets in a way they never have since Fidel Castro's revolution that was totally spontaneous. No one expected it.

Apparently least of all the Cuban government which took several days to get the situation back under control a very different picture - we are seeing a

heavy police presence. And as you mentioned, Lynda on Sunday when went to Yunior Garcia Aguilera's home, we saw a House of an opposition activist

that was totally surrounded by Cuban Police.


OPPMANN (voice over): A bus blocked the street where a Cuban opposition activist lives. Cuban plainclothes Police and government supporters prevent

him from leaving his apartment and journalists from going to talk with him.

The activist a playwright named Yunior Garcia Aguilera posted this video before supporters tell me his internet was cut off by the government.

A woke up under siege, he says, the whole block is surrounded by state security, dressed as civilians trying to pass themselves off as the people.

After widespread anti-government protests in July, the largest since Fidel Castro's revolution to power a group of activists led by Yunior Garcia

Aguilera called for a peaceful march to take place on Monday.

The activists say they are calling on the communist run governments to allow more liberties and release hundreds of people still in jail from the

July protests. Cuban officials denied permission for the March, claiming it is a pretext invented by Cuban exiles and the U.S. government who want to

use rising tensions inside Cuba as an excuse to invade the island.

The Cuban Government is taking buses like this one to close off the streets or Police everywhere. And there in the distance you can see a group of man

government supporters perhaps Police themselves hanging Flags over university's window.

Apparently unable to leave his apartment or get online, Garcia Aguilera holds up his fist in defiance through his window into that final form of

communication is also cut off. A government supporter tells me he lives in the same neighborhood and that he is proud to have confined Garcia Aguilera

to his home.

I was there when he opened the door, he says, I was close to him. He believes this is fascism to not let him out. And I said it's not fascism.

It's the people, the people in revolution.

After blocking the activist from leaving, a group of government supporters even holds a party outside of celebrates. When we interviewed him at his

apartment in October, Garcia Aguilera predicted the Cuban government would try to silence him, unintentionally proving his point about what happens to

those who call for greater openness.

They've shown there's no rule of law, he says there's no possibility for citizens to legally peacefully and orderly show their dissent to those

empower. Other activists and government critics on Sunday said they were also being blocked from leaving their homes, but vowed that whatever the

costs they would make their voices heard.


OPPMANN: And the Cuban government has valid for the protests will not take place today. Activist those say they determined even though they know that

if they protest and are arrested, they could face years in jail.

KINKADE: And I have to ask you, Patrick about what happened this weekend when the Cuban regime revoked the credentials of FA the Spanish news

agency. How are they trying to justify that?

OPPMANN: You know, they really haven't said why they did it other than that it's their sovereign right. This is their country and they decide who can

come in people like myself and report from here.

I can tell you the FA news agencies very well regarded Spanish news agency. They've covered Cuba and Cuba well for decades; they have a committed team

of photographers and camera people and journalists that do their best under trying circumstances.


OPPMANN: Under an avalanche of criticism the Cuban government has relented somewhat and returned two of those credentials, but there are four of our

colleagues that are still without other credentials. Certainly, Spanish authorities and people who stand up for the press around the world are

demanding the Cuban government returned their credentials and let them do their job.

KINKADE: All right, we'll see how that plays out. Patrick Oppmann for us on the story from Havana, thank you. Well, returning now to our top story, a

dramatic and potentially dangerous situation on the border of Belarus and Poland.

Crowds of migrants desperate across into Europe now find themselves trapped at the center of a political dispute. The conditions are dire, freezing

weather, little food or medical help and reports of beatings. The crossing itself the migrants are faced with razor wire fencing, water cannons,

helicopter flying overhead and some 15,000 Polish soldiers trying to keep them back.

Well, it could only get worse; Belarus officials say as many as 5000 migrants will be there in the coming days. As to how this started, both

sides are playing the blame game. Polish officials are pointing the finger at Belarus accusing Alexander Lukashenko's government of luring the

migrant's death. Belarus claims Poland is at fault for not letting the migrants in.

Well, my next guest is a volunteer with a Polish NGO Grupa Granica, which means border group is a newly formed coalition of several established

nongovernmental organizations in Poland. Iwo Los joins us now from Poland's capital, Warsaw, good to have you with us.


KINKADE: So you've been volunteering at the Polish side of the border with Belarus for weeks. You are among volunteers who found people from Syria,

trying to cross the border; you helped them possibly saving their lives?

LOS: Well, yes, indeed. Unfortunately, you know, we are facing a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border on the Polish Russian

border. And I've been involved in the kind of frontline - humanitarian aid from my turn access interventions on the positive side of the border.

And I've met you know, people stranded and lost in the forest, sometimes in the, in the dense forests and very harsh conditions for anyone to be in.

People from Syria, but also Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, also the - which is the religious ethnic or religious minority from the Iraqi Kurdistan, the

minority that was no chaser slaughtered by the - during the offensive of the Islamic State just a few years back.

And I've been involved in providing foods, basic, you know, water drinks, warmer clothes, winter jackets, shoes, because sometimes they didn't have

shoes, they lost I mean, in the dense forest, or they were just wet, that it didn't make sense anymore to use them.

So we were trying with the group of volunteers, but also local inhabitants to provide this kind of basic support. But the problem here is that you're

facing some sort of vicious circle, I mean, on the Polish side of the border, because even if someone is lucky enough to receive this kind of

humanitarian ad hoc humanitarian aid, then they still risk being pushed back to Belarus when caught by the border guards.

And in cases like that had been experienced and reported, even when it comes to people who are asking like officially and clearly asking for

asylum in Poland. And now it's important to highlight that the situation on the Belarusian side is no better, right people there are forced, they told

me personally that they were beaten.

They know cases of beating they were, you know, cases of, of pushing or using dogs against them or electric --. Armed guards are, you know,

directing them towards the border, playing, you know, for some sort of escalation and tension on the border.

So in other words, Belarus cannot be considered now a safe place a safe country for all these people who are kind of stranded and trapped on the

border situation.

And also we had already cases where European Court of Human Rights urged Poland not to remove people to Belarus, so others can't be considered a

safe place.

That's why these people well, first of all, must be considered as the victims of the cynical political game played by the Lukashenko, Belarusian

Lukashenko regime, which is instrumentalizing the migrants.

But now we should also simply, you know, consider them that way and react in a proper way which is humanitarian support some sort of humanitarian

bridge to Poland and then handling this situation from that perspective. And the aim of all the efforts by the Polish government, but also the

international community must be targeted at deescalating this situation.


KINKADE: I want to ask you more about that in just a moment. But first, just tell us about the risks you and your group of volunteers face because

it sounds like you potentially dealing with some of the threats that these migrants are facing as they try to cross this border.

LOS: So the situation on the Polish side of the border is complicated because of first of all, the fact that a so called no go zone has been

introduced or imposed along the whole line of the Polish Belarusian border. And it means that a strip of land, which is long along the border, and

probably two up to three kilometers wide, cannot be accessed by the humanitarian organizations or volunteers.

So in practice, it translates into the local inhabitants and local communities, feeling the kind of responsibility for you know, providing

some basic support for the migrants for the asylum seekers, and they have been doing that, but they are also tired already.

They've been you know, providing food, water shelter, sometimes, sometimes in the houses, to these people. And now beyond the line of this no-go zone

groups like the one I'm involved in, and the volunteers are also like doing similar effort of providing food, water, blankets, and warm to those


And while they are primarily - these are the people that are facing, you know, cold and harsh weather conditions, I mean, I've met the Syrians who

we provided, you know, blankets for and warm winter jackets. And literally, they were not able to put those jackets on themselves.

I mean, we had to do it, because they were already so called. Just two days ago, a family from Northern Iraq was found on the positive side by one of

those groups of volunteers and local inhabitants.

And the medics were called immediately and, you know, the lady was already in the hypothermia stadium, the highest measurement was less than 36

degrees, which is like really a person that is can barely survive such cold conditions.

And we are facing this kind of situation every day. And what's important to highlight is that these people cannot be turned back or pushed back, you

know, towards Belarus, because it's no safer there.

KINKADE: Yes, I want to ask you about that because Belarus is offering these migrants the chance to return home. But some have no home to return

to. And your organization, a group of Guernica says migrants have been subjected to highly organized disinformation campaign by people link to the

Belarusian Information Services. Tell us more about that.

LOS: Well, yes, so we have heard reports, they were out there as well, directly from those migrants. But also from those whom we met in, like a

person on the polish side of the border, is that, you know, diversion - armed forces are steering this situation, aiming at some sort of apparently

aiming at some sort of escalation of the tensions.

Like for example, just a few days ago, there was a bigger group of migrants from mainly the Kurds, you know, from the Iraqi Kurdistan, walking in group

on the Belarusian side, towards the border with Poland, but towards I mean, the official border crossing.

And you can see in this footage in this video footage, that that group was kind of turned by the armed forces from Belarus towards the borderline in

the forest. And this is obviously creating the additional form of frustration.

And it's also you know, weakening these people because they are also deprived of sufficient amount of food and water and warmth. So, now they

are quite prone to, you know, some sort of provocation.

And there have been already voices saying or reporting from that field, that the migrants are, you know, taken and kind of motivated to by the

Belarusian by some sort of guards to, you know, push more offensively towards the border, but --.

KINKADE: So, how do you see this playing out? What are you hoping the Polish government will do or could do to de-escalate the situation

happening at the border?

LOS: I would say that first of all, this needs to be considered as a humanitarian crisis on both sides of the border. And I believe the Polish

authorities together with the European Union and the international community must immediately ensure professional humanitarian aid

organizations on the spot both on the Polish side of the border.

But also efforts must be undertaken to deliver to provide that on the Belarusian side, so that's the most immediate step to be taken.


LOS: Secondly, rescuing the victims of this, you know cynical manipulation by the Belarusian officials. We need to treat these people stranded on the

border, I mean, on the Belarusian, as such. Some sort of humanitarian breach would need to be offered for them to go to Poland and not risking

being pushed back again, towards Belarus.

And then they would need to be put into proper procedures that would either you know, end up with granting asylum to some of them, or maybe, you know,

some other decisions on regarding their perpetration or the perpetration.

But at least it would happen in a civilized way in which these people would have some basic shelter and safety and a roof over their head. And they

will not be pushed back and stranded again, you know, in the cold forest, or in even worst case scenario against the violence of the Belarusian


KINKADE: You make some very valid points Iwo Los humanitarian aid, volunteer with Grupa Granica. Good to get perspective from you. We

appreciate your time and wish you all the best.

LOS: Thank you so much.

KINKADE: Well, an airline is slowly returning to where they were before the pandemic is travel restrictions are easing across the world. The industry

is hoping to rally this week at the biggest aviation trade events since planes were first grounded.

The Dubai air show allows the big playmakers to showcase their wares and strike new partnerships. CNN spoke with Emirates Group CEO who was bullish

about the airlines recovery.


SHEIKH AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, CHAIRMAN & CEO, EMIRATES: We're into profit. So I hope the world will continue. I hope that this is the worst is

over. And now we're looking forward, really to start again, reached the number of passenger revenue that we used to do.


KINKADE: You'll be able to hear more from the Emirates CEO on the aviation industries road to recovery on CNN marketplace Middle East. Kyle

Rittenhouse started the day at facing six criminal charges.

Now he faces only five, a big day for this high profile trial with jurors will hear closing arguments with an entire city on edge. And one of Donald

Trump's closest allies surrenders for charges tied to the probe for January 6 Insurrection, the prison times Steve Bannon faces if convicted ahead.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, Americans are paying very close attention as court resumes in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Last hour the judge dismissed

a misdemeanor weapons charge against Rittenhouse.

The 18 year old still faces five felony charges be killing two demonstrators last year during protests against Police brutality. Closing

arguments are underway. But first the judge has been giving the jury instructions to prepare them for their deliberations.

The State of Wisconsin is very much on edge for a potential verdict. Some 500 National Guard troops are on standby to help keep the peace. We are

monitoring the situation closely and we'll bring you updates as we get them.

We just a short time ago wine of the former U.S. President Donald Trump's closest allies turned himself into authorities and is now headed to court.

Steve 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 Bannon could face up to two years in prison.

CNN Law Enforcement Correspondent Whitney Wild is following this developing story and joins us now live. So Whitney, this stems back to that January

sixth insurrection, Bannon refused to face a deposition and now he's facing these two contempt of court charges.

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: This is a huge deal because what it shows is that the Department of Justice is willing to move

forward and basically assist the House Select Committee in its attempt to try to hold people accountable.

The question has always been to what degree is the Department of Justice going to honor the subpoena power of the House Select Committee. The House

Select Committee has subpoena power.

If people defy it, the question had been is the Department of Justice going to hold those people in criminal contempt. And here, they've assessed the

facts. They've brought this case to a grand jury and a grand jury has indicted Steve Bannon.

So the practical impact is that the DOJ is you know helping the House Select Committee assert its power over people like Steve Bannon. Today,

he'd already turned himself into the FBI Washington Field Office here in downtown Washington, DC; he's expected to make his first court appearance

today at 1:30 in front of a magistrate judge.

This is just the beginning of what will very likely be a lengthy court process with many appearances. This is just the start. But the impact here

could be significant for Steve Bannon. There's an - if convicted, there's a minimum 30 days in jail, there's up to a year in jail.

There's an up to $1,000 fine, which you know, for someone with the means of Steve Bannon that is probably not the biggest concern here. But the jail

time could compel him to either enter a plea deal or start working with the House Select Committee.

So Bannon at this point has a range of options of how to respond to this. He can plead not guilty, he can enter a plea it you know, start working on

a plea deal with the Department of Justice. He may still talk to the House Select Committee depending on how this case goes. So there's a lot to learn

today. This is just the start, Lynda.

KINKADE: Just the starting date, Whitney Wild good to have you on the case for us, thank you. Well, Queen Elizabeth has missed another significant

event, so we're going to have the latest on her health problems when we come back, stay with us.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Queen Elizabeth's health problems have forced her to miss another significant public event which was meant to happen on Sunday.

The 95 year old monarch was unable to attend the Remembrance Sunday service honoring Brits who've died in wars and other conflicts.

Palace officials say the queen is suffering from a sprained back. But it's been weeks since her last public event and as growing speculation about her

health. CNN Royal Correspondent Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Queen pulled out of the Remembrance Day commemorations in central London last minute and it's

because she sprained her back. According to Buckingham Palace, she was effectively in too much pain to go there.

We're told by Royal source that this is unrelated to the reason she's canceled other recent engagements that was on medical advice that she

needed to rest. Now is a big moment for the queen not to arrive at this event.

She's only missed it six times in her long reign, four times when she was traveling abroad and twice because she was pregnant. She is commander in

chief of the armed forces. She served in the Second World War, so she wouldn't have pulled out of this lightly. And a royal source telling CNN,

the Queen was deeply disappointed to miss the engagement, which she considers one of the most significant engagements of the year.

We are being reassured though the royal source telling CNN that the Queen hopes to continue as planned with her schedule of light official duties

next week. That is video calls carrying out engagements remotely allowing her to carry out her crucial central constitutional role.

But without arriving in person who clearly she's unable to do right now and her doctors continue to advise her to rest as much as possible. Max Foster,

CNN Hampshire England.


KINKADE: We wish her all the best. I am Lynda Kinkade that was "Connect the World". Stick around "One World" with Alison Kosik is next.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN HOST, ONE WORLD: Razor wire and water cannons CNN - this is a dramatic migrant standoff in Europe's borders.