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Connect the World
Dozens of Children Among 36 Killed at Nursery School; CEO Petro Kotin Plans to take back Control from Russia; European Leaders Divided on how to Handle Gas Prices; Iran: Amini's Death Caused by Underlying Medical Condition; Women and Young People at the Forefront of Protests; Biden Takes Major Step Toward Decriminalizing Marijuana. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 07, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back folks, wherever you are watching in the world, you are more than welcome.
And we begin in Thailand a nation united in grief over a horrific attack on a nursery school. Flags fly at half-staff in honor of the 36 victims, most
of whom were children who were napping. Authorities say a former police officer armed with a knife and gun forced his way inside and began stabbing
He eventually killed his own wife and child before taking his own life. He'd been in court earlier in the day on drug charges. But so far police
aren't sure what his motivation was. Well, today the Thai Prime Minister and the King met with survivors in hospital. CNN's Anna Coren has been
inside the nursery school where this happened and she joins us now live from Northeastern Thailand Anna.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky there is shock and disbelief right across Thailand but especially in this Province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
Because of what has taken place in this small rural farming community. This is not a place where massacres take place. And yet that is exactly what
happened here yesterday.
Many of the victims most of them children, their bodies ended up here at this hospital as did a handful of survivors. Those survivors were today
visited by the Prime Minister as well as the King and Queen of Thailand. They have just left the hospital.
We can confirm that in what is a very rare appearance but certainly for us we spent much of the day with some of the families of the victims who as
you can imagine it is going through unfathomable pain. And a warning to our viewers some of the images that you are about to see a deeply disturbing.
COREN (voice over): Sitting in the stifling heat under a corrugated iron roof, a mother is unable to contain her heartache and anguish. Her pain
muffled by the collective grief being felt in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu in Thailand's Northeast after a disgraced police officer went on the
country's most murderous rampage in recent history inside a Daycare Center.
Of the 36 victims 24 were children. 4-year old Dan (ph) was one of them. This happy cheerful little boy was expecting a baby brother in a matter of
weeks. His mother barely conscious as she sits with other grief stricken parents and relatives, who've come to register for assistance at the
government relief center, just meters away from the scene of the massacre.
OY YODHKHAO, GRANDMOTHER: I can't imagine this kind of person exists, says his grandmother. I can't imagine a human could be this cruel to children.
COREN (voice over): For this couple clutching each other, their loss is unfathomable. Their 3.5-year old fraternal twins boys were wrapped and wore
upon their only children were slaughtered. Here we see them in the car with their parents, just days before their future was horrifically cut short the
father now speechless the mother still in shock.
PIMPA THANA, MOTHER: They were so talkative. They were at that age where they talked a lot she explained. They had different characters. They were
COREN (voice over): For the emergency crews the carnage they witnessed when they walked through the doors is a nightmare they won't ever be able to
AKAPIN NANTHA, FIRST RESPONDER: The first thing I saw when I opened the door I was stunned. I had to gather myself, he says. I have never seen
anything like this before.
COREN (on camera): We are learning gruesome details about what happened at this Daycare Center from the first responders who were on the scene. They
said that they found the bodies of the children and teachers spread across these three rooms and we can still see the bloodstains splattered across
the floor. They said all the bodies had knife wounds to the head.
COREN (voice over): One of the children had tried to protect his face when the attacker wields the knife when responder says he also found two
children still alive.
PORNPET KHAOKA, FIRST RESPONDER: The first image I saw was children covered with blood he remembers. I was trying to transport them to the hospital.
Some of the kids still had a pulse, but I don't know if they made it.
COREN (voice over): While children's pictures and animal masks decorate the walls. The innocence of this Daycare Center has been lost forever.
Bloodstains smeared throughout the classrooms, the furniture and abandoned school bags, a ghastly reminder of the horrors and evils unleashed in this
refuge for the communities youngest and most treasured.
COREN: Now Becky, in the days ahead, families will take the bodies of their children to the temples there, they will place them in coffins where they
will remain. And after several days, they will cremate them that are part of the Buddhist ritual here in Thailand.
Now, obviously, these families are going through immense grief, immense pain and suffering. But there's a lot of soul searching also going on right
across Thailand as to how this senseless massacre was able to take place Becky.
ANDERSON: We've talked about just how close a rural community this is and you know there's likelihood many of the families of the victims may know
the murderer. Do we have any more details at this point?
COREN: Well, as you said, the murderer is dead. He killed himself yesterday after his killing spree and we should be clear it was a stabbing spree much
has been spoken about gun violence here in Thailand.
He was carrying a registered pistol and yes, he did kill his own son and daughter but most of the killing occurred from a knife that he was
wielding. And from speaking to the first responders, they seem to say he only wanted to kill the children with a knife not with a gun.
We know that there's an investigation going on as to what led to this. What were his motives? We know that he had a drug history. He was pushed out of
the police force because of that he was due to face court on the day that he committed this massacre; he did appear in court and then today was going
to be his verdict.
So obviously a lot needs to be done to uncover what was going through this 34 year old disgruntled police officers' mind? But from what we are
learning he did have a very long history of drug use Becky.
ANDERSON: Anna Coren on the story it is such an unspeakable story Anna thank you! Joe Biden delivered a stark warning on Thursday night at a
democratic fundraise. The U.S. President said he is very worried that Vladimir Putin may resort to nuclear weapons if the war in Ukraine
continues to go against him.
And he said he thinks any nuclear move by Russia would lead to and I quote him here, Armageddon and these folks aren't strikingly frank comments from
a U.S. President. Mr. Biden also said he doesn't know how the Russian President ends the war without losing significant power inside Russia.
Meantime, Ukraine reporting more progress in retaking territory in the south in less than a week President Vladimir Zelenskyy says that Ukrainian
forces have taken back more than 500 square kilometers. Ukrainian frontline troops have been busy taking back settlements in the Kherson region.
Senior Ukrainian official says a total of 2400 square kilometers of territory have been liberated since the war began. On Thursday, Mr.
Zelenskyy met with the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency that was in Kyiv. And the visit comes amid concern about Russia's latest
effort to control the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.
Well, earlier I spoke to the Head of Ukraine's state nuclear energy company Petro Kotin who said he was taking back control of the Russian occupied
nuclear power plants. Well, this plant is the largest in Europe. And since the beginning of the war, Russia has been in control of it but it has been
operated by Ukrainian technicians. Here's what Kotin had to say.
PETRO KOTIN, ENERGOATOM CEO: It is not and void for us, this is - so they continue working. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with our staff there
and with our responsibility for nuclear and radiation safety on site of course like it is our nuclear power plant into - this was our nuclear power
plant and it is now and it will be actually for the future.
ANDERSON: Let's just talk about the status of the plant at present. Sir, will you restart the reactors and if so, when and how will that work with
the Russians still on site and controlling the plant?
KOTIN: The units itself and also particularly a unit 2, 3, 4 and 5 there is only patrols from them operation but their personnel and the staff is on
there working places and doing their job. And then say up to now have not involved in the direct operation of the plant.
At the moment, there is another danger for the plant and this is decreased overall temperature external temperature like nature of - over the winter
time and at that time plant may require us to have a steam and the steam for heat and actually safety systems for making it possible to continue to
And even to keep this cool down, cool down shutdown down all of the units. And so for that for this time we need certainly to start up one of the
units then to get this thing from the working - and to supply to the - the plant. So our plan is to start up one of the reactors and it's - preparing
ANDERSON: Matter of days, weeks? I mean, how when do you expect to get that reactor started against?
KOTIN: It should be actually to be done next week.
ANDERSON: Ukraine's military has said that workers there - Ukrainian workers are being subjected to and I quote him moral and psychological
pressure. Can you just explain, you know, what sort of pressure morally and psychologically these workers are under and how concerned are you that
Ukrainian workers will sign new employment contracts with the Russian occupiers?
KOTIN: They are under great push from the Russian occupiers from so called military administration or - just to sign to resist contracts to go to work
under the Russian Energoatom Control. Nobody wants that and that is psychologically very hard for the personnel just to follow this way.
They are always under push from these Russian soldiers and they are captured and actually up to 200 people from our site were in their custody.
And as the general manager of the plant before this was the last case but - picked up many, many of our staff and they tortured them and kill to - our
network is there trying to establish this Russian ideas even - warns them.
ANDERSON: The Head of the UN's Nuclear Watchdog Rafael Grossi is in Kyiv working to establish a nuclear safety zone around the plant as soon as
possible. He has spoken to President Zelenskyy while he was in Kyiv I know that you have been in touch with Grossi as well what did he tell you and
where do things stand on those talks?
KOTIN: The talk was about creation or establishment of safety zone around Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and it was clear to both sides that the
first step should be just removal of all militaries from the site of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. So there should not be any military
troops or any military vehicles or military weapon on site.
ANDERSON: How worried are you about the security of the plant as fighting intensifies around the area?
KOTIN: Yes, you know, I know that from outside from Ukrainian side actually. So there will not be any deterioration in security so they do not
shell on the site and in any case. So we understand completely. I'm not sure about the Russians and probably they can make some actions which could
actually provide all - care to not only to the plant but also to the whole world.
ANDERSON: Well, they are the secret assault unit leading Covert Combat Operations within the Russian army.
ANDERSON: But after seven months of war in Ukraine the intense fighting has taken a toll on even the Wagner or Wagner Mercenaries. CNN's Melissa Bell
spoke to one commander about the paramilitary groups, waning morale and I warn you some of the images you are about to see are graphic.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The chaos of Ukraine's frontlines, through the eyes of a Wagner mercenary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lex, guts, arms, boys, it's almost tough.
BELL (voice over): A video shared exclusively with CNN by a member of Vladimir Putin so called private army, one of those who've seen enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, bro. I'm sorry.
BELL (voice over): A far cry from the slick propaganda used by Wagner to entice recruits to the depleted Russian front lines. Long kept in the
shadows by Moscow, the elite paramilitary group or the musicians, as they call themselves now lionized for their role in Russia's springtime
Like the surrender of Azovstal or the full of Mariupol the mercenaries experience initially making all the difference to Moscow according to this
Former Wagner Commander.
MARAT GABIDULLIN, FORMER WAGNER MERCENARY: Without their active assistance, the Russian armed forces would not have been able to move forward at all.
BELL (voice over): The Kremlin didn't respond to our requests for comment. But a month's long CNN investigation has found what the war has cost
Moscow's elite fighting force. It's men it's confidence and it's a lure. Marat Gabildullin says Wagner fighters are paid $5,000 a month to do the
work regular Russian soldiers can't or won't.
GABIDULLIN: There is not enough motivation, only money, Russian peace for the American dollars.
BELL (voice over): Through their telegram channels and through intercepts, Ukrainian intelligence keeps a watchful eye. Morale within Wagner is low,
says Andrei Yusoff. It wasn't designed to participate in a full scale war.
GABIDULLIN: They're dissatisfied with the overall organization of the fighting the inability to make competent decisions to organize battles. And
of course, this means losses.
BELL (voice over): This video shared with CNN by Ukraine's Defense Ministry shows a mercenary desperately asking why there is no body armor for them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no more flight jackets, no more helmets either.
BELL (voice over): Of the estimated 5000 Wagner mercenaries sent to Ukraine 1500 have been killed according to intelligence sources in Kyiv. In Russia,
that's meant recruitment drives from front pages to billboards, the W- orchestra is waiting for you, says this one with a number to call and no experience needed.
A recruiter is telling CNN through WhatsApp that barring Thuggery, terrorism and sexual impropriety, all criminal convictions are negotiable.
A man who appears to be the Founder of Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin, personally offering clemency to prisoners for six months of military service. The
Illusive oligarch no longer is denying ties to the group that the war in Ukraine has both exposed and transformed.
YURIY BELOUSOV, UKRAINE'S WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR: This really shows that there's a guy signing - so they really don't have people, they're ready to
send anyone. There are no criteria for professionalism anymore.
BELL (voice over): And that could mean more possible war crimes, especially on the retreat. This video shared with CNN by a Wagner soldier appears to
show mercenaries lining up the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers. In a chilling conversation, they debate whether to booby trap them or shoot
those who come to retrieve them before realizing that they're out of ammunition. Melissa Bell, CNN, Kyiv.
ANDERSON: Well, we've all been feeling the effects of Ukraine's war on energy prices, of course and European leaders have been meeting to discuss
proposals to ease the energy crunch. Last hour, I talked with the State Secretary for Norway's Petroleum and Energy Ministry and Norway bear in
mind is now Europe's biggest gas provider after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The country's role pivotal to the future of the continent we talked about what's next for energy in Europe how to keep costs reasonable heading into
what is forecast to be a very cold winter? Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREAS BJELLAND ERIKSEN, STATE SECRETARY, NORWEGIAN PETROLEUM AND ENERGY MINISTRY: First and foremost the work that is being conducted together with
the European commission is important and fruitful and we share the goal of stabilizing energy prices. So the situation that we're in right now is not
good for Norway, it's not good for Europe; it's not good for the West. So we have to find measures.
But there is no real sort of quick fix measures available. We have been critical, for example, about a price cap due to the fact that it could lead
gas away from Europe increase demand, when it should be decreased, to be able to ensure that there is enough energy.
So we have to work together with the European Commission together with the European countries to find the right measures in this crucial situation.
And we have to be honest, that that's not an easy thing to do in practice.
ANDERSON: Even if that is the detriment of the energy giants profit making ability briefly.
ERIKSEN: I think we have been very clear from our side that the situation we're in right now with the high prices that we see now that yes, to a
certain extent, benefits Norway and the tax incomes of Norway. But they're not good for Norway in the long run.
And we will do everything we can to help find the right types of measures that both ensure energy security, while at the same time stabilize prices
bring down prices in the short to medium run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Perspective from Norway, just ahead how Russia's war against Ukraine has loomed heavily over this year's Nobel Peace Prize. That's next.
And as protests continue in Iran, calls get louder for more international action against authorities, U.S. imposing fresh sanctions, more on that
ANDERSON: Well, this year's Nobel Peace Prize is honoring human rights advocates from Russia, Ukraine and from Belarus. The awards committee says
the winners have made "An outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power".
Well then when comes as Russia wages a full scale war on Ukraine with the help of Belarus. I want to bring in CNN's Nina dos Santos who was watching
the ceremony live earlier on today. Nina, tell us more about the winners.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks so much Becky. Obviously, these are three organizations or individuals that are heavily involved in
the struggle against creeping autocracy and of course increasingly belligerent and aggressive behavior right on Europe's eastern flank.
This is at a time when of course the specter of war has arrived in this part of the world like not seen before in generations previously. So
obviously, the Nobel Peace Prize reflects the times in which it is given and that is very much the case when it comes to this year's accolade. The
first person announced to have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 is Ales Bialiatski.
SANTOS: He's one of the initiators of a democracy movement back in Belarus that started all the way back in the 1980s. He founded an organization
called Viasna or Spring in Belarusian, back in 1996. Right at the start of the crystallization of power by Alexander Lukashenko is the President of
Belarus, but obviously somebody who was subjected to very stiff protests in 2020 upon a disputed election result.
So of course, the opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya flees Belarus. It was then that Ales Bialiatski was later imprisoned and he's been held in
pretrial detention without a hearing all the way since 2020.
So we haven't heard of what he thinks of having received this accolade because, of course, he is still in jail. He received a commendation from
the Nobel Prize Committee saying despite all of the personal suffering and sacrifices that he has made, and his organization he has not shied away
from trying to protect democratic rights in his native Belarus.
The next organization to be accolade was Memorial. This is a group that was set up in 1987, right towards the crumbling of communism, in what is now
Russia, and at the time was the broader USSR. And all the way through the last 30 years, they have meticulously documented human rights abuses and
murderous purges of Joseph Starling to political, political persecution under the current president of alleged political persecution under the
current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. And that was until they were actually shut down at the end of last year, named a foreign agent
organization and shut down by a Russian Supreme Court. Now, in giving them this award, the Nobel Prize Committee said that they wanted to make sure
that even though Memorial had been shut down, the work was not forgotten.
Because of course, this is an organization that makes sure that people don't forget what has happened in the past. And last but not least, there
was also a Ukrainian a center for civil liberties, founded in Kyiv, in 2007 that received part of this award for the purpose of advancing human rights
and democracy in Ukraine.
Obviously, now, their work having had to pivot very closely towards the subject of war crimes, after of course, the discoveries of mass graves in
places like Bucha and Irpin in Ukraine. There one of their founders was able to speak and this is what she said about how important this accolade
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA TRUSHOVA, CENTER FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES: When someone's work is recognized, particularly at such a level, it is a motivation to do even
more, take up new important initiatives, important projects, so that there is peace in our country, freedom and democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTOS: So obviously, the Nobel Peace Prize this year very much focuses the lens on what's happening in Ukraine, but also in other countries where
democracy is very much under threat in places like Belarus, and of course, crucially in Russia too, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Nina, thank you. Still ahead, acts of defiance in Iran as protesters there take to the streets and chant against the
government why young people are rising up in anger.
ANDERSON: Iran says Mahsa Amini died in police custody from underlying medical conditions not from head injuries. While the official report says
Amini had a heart rhythm disorder and mentions an operation through a brain tumor that she had when she was eight years old.
But her family has said that she was a healthy 22 years old and that her legs were bruised. Amini died in custody of the morality police after her
arrest. While anger over her death three weeks ago sparked the biggest wave of protests Iran has seen in years.
Women in Tehran had been burning scarves cutting their hair and chanting Death to the Dictator. Meanwhile, the U.S. has now issued fresh sanctions
over the violent crackdown on protesters. Nada Bashir following developments from London and she joins us now live Nada?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Hello, Becky we have seen a widespread condemnation from members of the international community. And we've seen
protests demonstrations being held across the globe in solidarity with the people of Iran taking part in these protests across the country.
And of course, there has been a condemnation as well as political action being taken by world leaders in sanctions. We've seen calls for an
investigation into the death of Mahsa Amini. We've seen demonstrative acts of support from actors from high profile figures.
We saw actually just yesterday, the Belgian Foreign Minister standing before Parliament cutting her hair much as we've seen, in the European
Parliament. A symbol of that solidarity with the Iranian women who have been taking part in these demonstrations, many of them burns their
mandatory hijabs, many of them cutting their hair, a symbol of defiance against the Iranian regime.
But of course, there are still calls for more action to be taken by the international community to hold the Iranian regime to account.
BASHIR (voice over): As protests in Iran enter the third week, global pressure is mounting on the country's hard line regime.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We stand with all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery.
BASHIR (voice over): In the U.S. solidarity and sanctions.
VEDANT PATEL, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: We took action today by newly designating seven individuals across Iran's
government for their role in perpetrating violence against peaceful protesters and their crackdown on human rights.
BASHIR (voice over): The new sanctions come amid ongoing efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. officials have asserted that those efforts
won't change Washington's response to the violent suppression of peaceful protests in Iran.
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: For those that are worried about sanctions relief coming immediately with respect to the JCPOA for the
Iranian regime, that's just not going to happen anytime soon. What will happen is we're going to continue to hold the Iranian regime accountable
for the way they treat their own citizens.
BASHIR (voice over): Yet, while President Joe Biden has been firm in his support for those protesting peacefully across Iran. The U.S. government
has taken a more cautious approach to holding the Iranian regime to account in comparison to the Obama Administration.
BRIAN O'TOOLE, NON-RESIDENT SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Protest in 2009, where there were a lot of allegations of Western interference and
influence. And I think the Biden Administration wants to avoid as much of that as possible and let them be organic, and really the will of the
BASHIR (voice over): Of the European Parliament lawmakers have also called for further sanctions on Iranian officials involved in the regime's
crackdown. There's some European lawmakers say EU leaders simply aren't doing enough.
ABIR AL-SAHLANI, MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission who has not shown an act of solidarity that is
worth its name. I do expect more of the president of the only union of democracies, where the peoples and citizens of the European Union have been
protesting showing solidarity.
BASHIR (voice over): Human Rights Watch has warned of a growing death toll as a result of Iran's brutal crackdown detailing what it has described as
excessive and lethal force. Iranian authorities using shotguns and assault rifles against protesters across the globe people have come out in
solidarity with those protesting in Iran.
BASHIR (voice over): From Sydney to Paris, London to Washington DC, a resounding call for tougher action by the international community and
greater support for those defying the Iranian regime.
BASHIR: And look, Becky, these protests have clearly been spearheaded led by women and girls across the country, protesting against those restrictive
measures placed on them. And of course, against the brutality of the morality police, which has of course been accused of violence against women
before and has come to the forefront of attention of course, following the death of 22 year old Mahsa Amini.
But this has really swelled and encompassed a number of other grievances for many other Iranians across the country, including of course, the
economic situation in the country, the treatment of ethnic minority groups and other human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime. And
this has really picked up momentum up and down the country, Becky.
ANDERSON: --leading in Zahedan where protests are specifically in response to a different incident. A young girl in Amnesty now reporting over 80
killed there over the weekend. What more do we know?
BASHIR: Yes, we've seen that shocking report really from Amnesty International regarding the southeast of the city. As I head down home to
the Baloch minority community, that specific incident, of course, in response to the alleged rape of a girl by a police officer, there of
course, once again, will anger directed towards the Iranian authorities in response to that treatment that we've seen.
But what have been quite shocking from the Amnesty report are really the details around the crackdown by the Iranian police and security forces live
fire ammunition, metal pellets, tear gas being used against protesters in this southeastern city.
And of course, this is really reflected in mirror the response that we've seen across the country to these demonstrators. And we've heard from the
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, suggesting that in fact, it was the protesters responsible for inciting the unrest and violence seen in that
He accused them of killing around six security officials as well as burning down a police station. He has sent his interior minister to assess the
situation and investigate what has taken place. And of course, this is widely reflected what we've seen across the country, a violent and brutal
police crackdown by the security forces by the police on peaceful demonstrators. Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you. Well, earlier I spoke to Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Mehrangiz Kar about the unrest in Iran. She says, increasingly
women and a new generation of youngsters are rising up in anger, without any fear of consequences. Have a listen.
MEHRANGIZ KAR, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: All these 43 years government and women they were in fighting and struggling, of course, something that no, we are
watching and we are looking, looking at Iran is very different, is full of anger is full of hope.
And now we can understand that Iranian new generation female, Iranian young people, they are working so hard and they don't care about you know, losing
their life and just they want to change the situation.
ANDERSON: We are seeing these extraordinary things of young school age children, protesting. These aren't just students at universities these are
youngsters at high school. Have you ever seen such young kids protesting before? And given what you are hearing chanted by these youngsters? What do
you think this means for the establishment?
KAR: For the three years that we are watching such a thing, such it kind of protesting that women are very brave. Students of university is the end of
high school and young men who are supporting women and who are talking like women about amending the very normal life that they know they stole of us.
ANDERSON: Well, the Supreme Leader has accused the U.S. and Israel of fermenting these protests. He says this is outside forces to which you say
what, what's your response to?
KAR: This is teasing; this is teasing the people and himself. I think he is crazy. Nobody can say that this kind of anger, anger to the government is
not true. And it is coming from the United States.
ANDERSON: We are seeing various identity groups from ethnic minorities, youth women, students; we've talked about the young men. There is no one
leader; either it seems in Iran or amongst those protesters around the world. For these protests to be successful for the demonstrators do they
need a leader or do you believe rudderless or not that these can be successful?
KAR: We need a group of leader, leaders because Iran is very pluralist. And that's why they cannot find immediately a leader. And that's reason I think
we need a group of a leader and mostly young people from young generation, and they will find just they need time.
ANDERSON: Mehrangiz is one of Iran's foremost activists on women's and human rights; her perspective so important to hear imprisoned herself over
the years for her work. Her perspective, as I say, hugely valuable at this point.
Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And banks in Lebanon say they are closing their doors
again to clients. It comes after a series of holdups by depositors sometimes armed as they tried to access their savings.
Lebanon's banks have been in crisis for months as the country battles its most destabilizing financial crisis in decades. Eastern island's famous
statues have suffered what's been described as Arab, a repairable damage after a fire swept through the UNESCO World Heritage site this week.
Chilean authorities say the flames were sparked by a nearby volcano, damaging the island stone called figures that are more than 500 years old.
Well, a group of celebrities including Britain's Prince Harry, singer Elton John and actress Elizabeth Hurley as suing the publisher of a British
tabloid for alleged breach of privacy.
In his statement they criticize the Daily Mail publisher for using "apparent criminal activity", including planting listening devices and
hacking into private bank accounts.
Associated newspaper owns the title dismisses the lawsuit as preposterous. Well, a presidential pardon U.S. President Joe Biden takes his first steps
towards decriminalizing marijuana, will that mean for the country and indeed for the Democrats, successful not in the midterms is just ahead.
ANDERSON: Well, there's an emerging field of science aimed at helping protect and conserve our planet by listening to it. Well today on "Call to
Earth" the story of Michele Andre. He's a biologist whose pioneering research uses sound as a scientific tool and that is setting the tone for
the future of conservation, have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): There is a well-known proverb that states no one is as deaf as the man who will not listen. Rolex Awards Laureate
Michel Andre is more certainly not that man.
MICHEL ANDRE, PROFESSOR, TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BARCELONATECH: I would encourage everyone to start to listen. The sounds of nature can
tell us so much about the health of the planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): A Professor of Bioacoustics at the Technical University of Catalonia Barcelona Tech, he would know, he's been
relying on his ears for over 30 years.
ANDRE: I believe that the transmission of information through sound is key for the conservation of the planet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): As Michele describes it, Bioacoustics is the science of the sound of life, the study of which has revealed
previously invisible ways humans are affecting the natural balance.
ANDRE: We have made actions that are destroying the habitat. This loss of biodiversity is a consequence of our lack of an understanding on how nature
works, and nature works through sounds. So this is a live connection to the Amazon at the moment where we have lots of birds and insects.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Here at the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics also known as the LAB, Michel is quite literally tapped into
the sound-scape of the world.
ANDRE: We can go to the Amazon, we can go to India to the Arctic and to listen to what is going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): In 2007, they launched LIDO, short for Listen to the Deep Environment. And the project intended to monitor the
impact of manmade noise on marine life has evolved into this, a network with more than 150 acoustic observatories from all over the world, many in
hard to reach locations, from the deepest waters in the ocean, to the most remote to forest canopies.
ANDRE: What we're doing with this technology and all these network of sensors is providing the data in the way to manage nature through sounds
and to help us to cohabitate with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Innovative and non-invasive. The system is powered by advanced artificial intelligence techniques that continuously
analyze natural habitats in real time to detect potential threats like poaching, and illegal logging.
ANDRE: They tell us about the identity of the different sources. They tell us about these interactions between human noises and biological sounds. We
alert governments we alert the operators about a specific issue that we can have. But we not only do that we bring solutions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): But LIDO is just one in a vast and varied portfolio of projects. The biotechnology engineer has spent his career
building. The catalyst for it all was a 1992 assignment in the Canary Islands, where Michele was working on preventing fatal collisions between
ships and sperm whales.
ANDRE: This was a turning point in the research that we were conducting. Because we started to focus on how noise pollution could affect the marine
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): He developed the whale anti-collision system, first of its kind technology designed to alert ships of a whale's
presence instead of trying to deter the animal to move out of the way.
The creation of the lab in 2003 was a direct response to this newfound impact of noise pollution on so many ocean habitats. And it continues to be
a place where pioneering technology is developed, tested and spun out for real world application.
ANDRE: In these bands, the only thing that we don't know of if the - will be sensitive to this very low frequency.
ANDRE: So we know that human actions and activity will always have an effect on the environment. The responsibility we have as scientists and as
society is to limit these effects to a minimum and this is how this terminology enters into action.
ANDERSON: And be sure to let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the #calltoearth. We will be right back.
ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden is taking major steps towards decriminalizing marijuana. On Thursday, Mr. Biden announced he will pardon
thousands of people convicted federally of marijuana possession. Now this is a move that could affect thousands of Americans that opens the path to
potentially easing the drugs federal classification.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. It's already legal in many
states, and criminal records for marijuana possession have led to needless barriers to employment, to housing and educational opportunities. And
that's before you address the racial disparities around who suffers the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly joining me now. With this announcement Mr. Biden, Phil, fulfilling a key campaign
pledge just a month ahead of what are critical November midterms, correct?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you mentioned the timeline. That's not a coincidence. I think it's fair to say there's no
question about that. However, this is something the administration, as you noted, the president pledged to do this during the campaign.
And administration officials had been working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill for the better part of the last year and a half trying to figure out
if there was a legislative way to address what is viewed not just by Democrats, but also a lot of Republicans as very critical and acute
disparities as it comes to sentencing or punishment of marijuana generally.
Keep in mind and you know it's quite well 19 states have already legalized recreational use of marijuana more than 30 medical marijuana. The federal
government is very behind where a lot of the country is on this. What this is more than anything else is a huge message about where the government may
be headed. Yes, this matters tremendously to the 6500 individuals with federal charges that have now been wiped away. There's a couple thousand
more here in DC that have now been wiped away. But what this means for more broadly, I think it's fair to say when you look at the expedited study of
how the drug is scheduled, that has potentially huge ramifications, and that study would not have been requested if there was not at least some
intent depending on how it came back to change that scheduling.
The government is moving in a very different direction. That is very clear. It has been long overdue when you talk to advocates for this issue, again,
from both parties at points. But also, it is just a really interesting demonstration of the evolution the President himself has made.
He was not in this camp for a very long period of time, including during some of the early parts of the campaign. He has been very wary of moving
forward on a broader decriminalization effort. What yesterday's announcement was, was laying the groundwork for that effort and the
president was fully behind it.
The president made the video about it. White House officials have been talking about it the last 24 hours. They very clearly want to play it up.
Yes, there are political elements of this. Yes, we are a month away from the midterm elections that a lot of Democrats have asked the president to
make this move. But more importantly there are very real policy elements here that the White House is very clearly moving toward.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating, Phil always a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed. And just before we close out tonight, just want to get you up to
date on some news just coming out of Iran. The government there has released 18 students from jail.
That was on Thursday night and this information according to the semi- official state news agency, tasked them, now 13 of these students were from Sharif University, five, from one of the other universities. Students
participating in anti-government protests were violently confronted you'll remember by security forces on the campus of Sharif University on Sunday.
That's according to local media reports and social media videos. And we have been reporting that story; it is unknown how many students in total
are still in detention in Iran. More on this as we get in. I'm Becky Anderson. Thank you for watching this show. CNN continues after this short
break. "One World" with Zain Asher is next.