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Connect the World
Opposing Generals Disputing Terms of 2021 Power-Sharing Agreement; CNN Speaks to Architects of "Good Friday Agreement"; Ukraine: Russia Attacks two Bakhmut Suburbs; Nearly 100 Killed as Rival Generals Battle for Control; Teen Shot after going to Wrong House to Pick up Siblings; Judge in FOX News-Dominion Trial Formally Announces Delay. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 17, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNI HOST: This hour Sudan and turmoil space forces loyal to two rival generals who have been fighting fiercely across the country
leaving more than hundred civilians dead. Sudan's Military Chief exclusively telling CNN he believes this is a coup. We will be bringing you
eyewitness's testimony from Khartoum.
But first, your headlines; the sour preeminent critic and human rights activists Vladimir Kara Murza has been given 25 years in prison after
publicly condemning Moscow's war on Ukraine Amnesty International describing the sentencing as reminiscent of Stalin era repression.
The judge in Dominion voting systems defamation case against FOX News has formally pushed back opening statements. The change comes as "The Wall
Street Journal" reports an out of court settlement could be in the works. And in Missouri protests have been taking place in response to a teenager
being shot in the head after he accidentally went to the wrong home.
Welcome to our second hour of "Connect the World"! Now the sound of mortars and artillery ringing out in Sudan as intense combat between the country's
military and the powerful paramilitary group the rapid support forces rages on for a third day.
The violence erupting again after years of political upheaval, a major flashpoint being the coup in 2019, overthrowing longtime ruler Omar Al
Bashir, almost one hundred civilians have reportedly been killed and the fierce fighting across Sudan has left hopes for a peaceful transition. Two
civilian were in tatters.
So tonight, we ask, how did we get here? Witness says report hospitals in Sudan are being targeted and heads as governments across the world issue
urgent calls for a ceasefire. Here's how we got to this point.
GIOKOS (voice over): A battle for power between Sudan's national army and a strong paramilitary group that operates without reprieve. At the heart of
the conflict are these two men, Sudan's Military Leader Abdel Fattah al- Burhan, and the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces or RSF Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemetti.
Until recently, the two were allies. They work together to topple Sudan's Former Dictator President Omar Al Bashir in 2019, and played a crucial role
in orchestrating the country's military coup in 2021.
But tensions have been rising in the uneasy alliance with both sides clashing over how to restore civilian rule? So how did the struggle for
power in Sudan begin? In 2013, the RSF evolved from the -- weed militia that had earlier fought a rebellion in the Darfur region, under the
authority of then President Bashir.
It was led by Hemetti himself, who was implicated in human rights violations and atrocities. In 2017 Sudan passed a law legitimizing the RSF
as an independent security force. In late 2018 protests started in a northern city in part of the price of bread.
And those protests spread rapidly to the Capital Khartoum. After months of protests in April 2019 Hemetti turned against Bashir and the army ousted
him from office. A few months later, the main opposition coalition led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the ruling Military Council led by
Hemetti signed a power sharing deal that paved the way for transitional government and eventually elections.
But a little over two years later, the military effectively took control, dissolving the power sharing government and temporarily detaining Hamdok.
The next day protesters took to the streets to denounce the military coup. And those protests have continued sporadically ever since.
In December of last year, civilian and military leaders signed a deal to start the process of a new two year political transition. But they have yet
to agree on a political solution. The fierce fighting across Sudan right now has dashed hopes for a peaceful transition to civilian and democratic
law. And as forces loyal to the two rival leaders by full control dozens of civilians are left caught in the middle.
GIOKOS: Larry Madowo is back with me this hour from Nairobi.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development is sending heads of state from various countries. The African Union has said that there shouldn't be
any external interference Larry, I mean, the point here is now how to get these two sides to the negotiating table to talk ceasefire first, and then
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be an uphill battle Eleni because if indications are to go by what we're hearing today makes it even
harder for these two men to actually sit across from each other, and negotiate.
Because today, the General Burhan, the Leader of the Sudanese Military has taken a unilateral decision to dissolve the rapid support forces and
declared a rebellious force. In a short while ago, our Nima Elbagir spoke with General Burhan who said that General Hemetti -- against the state, and
therefore he will be captured and dealt with on that basis.
So these are fighting words, this is not a consolidated return to hear the Leader of Sudan, the Leader of the Military declare that his deputy mutiny
against the state that he committed an act of rebellion, and therefore he will be treated in that way, is a really a big escalation in this
conference has been running since Saturday.
I want to read a section of this interview that Nima just did with Burhan. He says this is an attempted coup in the rebellion against the state. And
he says that he will be tried in the court of law. So if that were to happen, that's would be significant.
And now you understand why when I spoke with General Hemetti yesterday, he did not want to appear on camera, because he didn't want to reveal anything
that might give clues as to where he is. He appeared to be apologetic to the people of Sudan about the violence they have seen. And he said, General
Burhan appears to have lost control of his army, I want to play a bit of that for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMED HAMDAN DAGALO, LEADER OF PARAMILITARY RAPID SUPPORT FORCES: I don't want to be the leader of the army. There's a framework agreement between
all the Sudanese stakeholders that should be adhered to. I don't want to lead anything. These are all propaganda they are making.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Propaganda, he says, but propaganda is one of the tools in the arsenal of war. And we've seen a lot of that these past few days, with
every side claiming to have taken this position of this base at that location and the other side saying, oh, no, that's not true. We're actually
So as we speak right now, we can't objectively tell who's got the upper hand in Sudan? Who's got more control of more quote, strategic sites in the
country because of this kind of fog of war and how everybody's, let's call it what it is lying?
GIOKOS: Larry Madowo, thank you so much. Well, my next guest tweeted out photos that appear to show the aftermath of artillery fire in Khartoum.
Let's take a look at some of those images. Hamid Khalafallah says a shell hit the backyard of his house. He says everyone inside escaped injury but
remain sheltered inside the house and gunfire sounded outside.
Hamid Khalafallah is Researcher and Policy Analyst at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance that's part of Washington
based Career Institute for Middle East Policy joins me now live via Skype.
Sir, thank you so much for joining us. I've been looking at some of your tweets you've been describing your experience how you barely got any sleep
being constantly woken up by gunfire shelling. Tell me what the last few days have been like for you and your family?
HAMID KHALAFALLAH, TAHRIR INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: Thank you for having me. It has been absolutely horrific the past few days, very
traumatizing and very stressful. All of us have been anxious the whole time.
There is no break from the noises of bombing, shelling fire exchanges between different forces all the time also jet fighters covering over our
residential neighborhoods. It has been quite stressful in so many ways.
It has been also been difficult to sheltering at home because of power outages, water outages, you know, lack of food supplies, obviously, it's
not very safe to go outside and get more supplies. Most shops are closed anyways.
So life has been very difficult for Sudanese citizens in Khartoum, but also in most cities closes Sudan. This is for someone who has, you know, a safe
and comfortable house like me; you could imagine how the situation would be for so many IDPs and homeless people in different cities across Sudan.
GIOKOS: And of course, I mean, we've looked at the death toll. We see how people and civilians are stuck in the middle of this. You've said that the
two military rulers came together forming this power sharing agreement.
This was a marriage of convenience. This wasn't because the two sides saw eye to eye. Could you explain to me where you think this is headed?
Because, frankly, we've seen so many delays about finding a way forward towards civilian role, and it's constantly falling apart.
KHALAFALLAH: So the issue of security sector reform, and how do you deal with these two military leaders, not seeing eye-to-eye but having to work
here that have been the elephant of the room throughout Sudan's democratic transition ever since the transition was established in 2019.
And again, after the coup that took place in 2021, this has also been the elephant in the room that I was able to deal with. Now, because of you know
that delay in dealing with it. But also, because of the nature of this partnership between these two leaders, it was bound to happen; it was just
a matter of time.
But I think there are so many ways in which, you know, Sudanese people have hoped that it would be return in a less violent way. Now that it has
happened, in fact, and the classes have started and so on, I think, you know, it was bound to happen.
But it's happening in the worst way possible. This is the worst case scenario that Sudanese people have been trying to avoid, for the past
couple of years. So in so many ways, the political process kind of expedited this, but it was bound to happen.
GIOKOS: It was bound to happen. So I mean, which is a scary thought. We have heard from many various African leaders that want to go and help try
and broker some kind of deal or peace with the ceasefire for now.
Do you feel hopeful, keeping in mind, and I'm reading some of your tweets, you know, no electricity, people running out of water, as you've mentioned,
you've got to think about the people that don't live in comfortable homes, because at the end of the day, time, is of the essence for you?
KHALAFALLAH: Yes, I think there is hope that this mediation initiatives could you know bring about some change and need at least to a ceasefire and
immediate ceasefire that is very much needed. We are all mindful that both actors rapid support forces, and this one is unfortunately, not independent
in any way.
They're working in very close coordination with regional allies. And they have these associated with different gyms across the region. So using that,
I think international community and other regional actors could capitalize on these alliances and exert pressure on fighting forces to end this
Then obviously a political talks and negotiations that are what would happen next. It's difficult to imagine how that would look like but I think
we cannot even imagine it without an immediate ceasefire.
GIOKOS: Hamid Khalafallah, thank you very much for your insights! I wish you all the best.
KHALAFALLAH: Thank you.
GIOKOS: Alright, and you can follow this story online in our "Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter, it drops three times a week with a story out
later today about the accusations flying back and forth between the rival military leaders. And you can access the newsletter on your computer, or
you can use the QR code you see on the bottom of your screen right now.
Next, what it truly took to create history? CNN speaks to the three world leaders who brought the Good Friday Agreement life to get their perspective
25 years on, and from the legacy of those historic troubles to the enduring challenges of today. As the violence breaks out around Bakhmut CNN speaks
to Ukrainians now living in Russia.
GIOKOS: To a CNN exclusive now. They were the architects of an agreement that helped and decades of violence in Northern Ireland. Now, a quarter of
a century on CNN is getting new insight into how the landmark Good Friday Agreement came to fruition.
Our Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour spoke to Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Ireland's Former Premier Bertie Ahern and the
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, about what it took to create history itself.
And we are joined by Christiane Amanpour now live from Belfast. In hindsight Christiane things perhaps feel different. I wonder what their
assessment is 25 years on what they were able to do and how they feel looking back.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, you can imagine and we're here in Belfast at Queen's University, where there are ongoing
celebrations and academic inquiries into that their panels going on with the principals who you mentioned, and with others.
And you know, what, in light of what you've just been reporting an outbreak of vicious war in Sudan, the ongoing war of mass shootings against innocent
civilians in the United States, this here is something to celebrate, because what happened was it 25 years ago, the people of this place on both
sides, and the leaders and the parties decided that enough was enough.
And they were shepherded, if you like by the United States, the government of Britain and the government of the Republic of Ireland. And it really
does show what can happen when the stars align. So I began to ask them by asking them just to reflect a little bit about what made them take this
chance for peace.
BILL CLINTON, 42ND U.S. PRESIDENT: I was a student at Oxford when the troubles began. I remember what a big story it was when Bernadette Devlin
was elected to Parliament. And I remember and I went to Ireland a couple of times while I was a student. And I saw both the happiness and the sorrow.
And I always felt when I started talking to Irish Americans, when I was running for President, that we can make a positive difference if we were
fair to both sides. And I knew that to do that, we'd have to do something that the side that was then prevailing would think was unfair which was to
get involved because that our whole diplomacy was built around our special relationship with the UK, which included staying away from Ireland?
And even when President Kennedy came here, he didn't talk about Northern Ireland. And no president ever spent the night in Northern Ireland till I
did stayed in the Europe on purpose because they had been bombed so much. And so I give a lot of credit to the Irish Americans that urged me to do
And to people, and my National Security Council, especially Nancy Soderberg was here today. And who worked especially for me, who said, you know, you
might not have a lot of experience in foreign policy, but your instincts are right on this stage. And so we took the heat.
And even the British Ambassador then Admiral Crowe, had been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Reagan, and stunned the world
including me when he endorsed me for President. And he called me he said, you gave me this great job and now you're making it impossible for me to
do. I said no Admiral you're going to be more important than ever. This is a good thing.
AMANPOUR (on camera): So, U.S. ambassador had his marching orders from you. Prime Minister Blair, here you are, you have come in as a Labour Prime
Minister for the first time in a generation, and you have an overwhelming mandate. And you start by doing this, I mean, it's you were elected in 97.
The negotiation started in 97. Why, why was it so important to you, to put that much political capital?
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I mean there was a personal reason, actually, to a degree, rather like the president. I mean, my
family, on my mother's side to come from Donegal. I've grown up with a very clear understanding of the troubles. And we would wait literally every
morning and then 1970s, 1980s, 1990s two news on the UK media of acts of terrorism and distraction, death, tragic stories of the families of the
victims of the troubles.
So, it was all, it was part of my own personal history. But I also thought, you know, John Major, who'd me my predecessor, as prime minister had tried
and had got somewhere there was some stirring, you could see some possibility, even though the thing had broken down by the time we came to
And I thought, I mean, I've often wondered whether it was just because you were straight into government, and maybe the, you know, you had this
feeling that everything was possible, and so you're prepared to get what most people thought was impossible ago.
So, for all of those reasons that the first speech I made, as prime minister was, was here in Northern Ireland. And then, you know, we, once we
decided to work on it, we put a lot, a lot into it.
AMANPOUR (on camera): And Prime Minister Ahern, you also became prime minister the same year as Prime Minister Blair. And I mean did you feel
that there was a fatigue? Did you feel that, I mean, it said that the IRA were either persuaded or figured out that they could no longer kill, maim
and terrorize their way to a united Ireland? What do you think made you put all your chips on the table as well?
BERTIE AHERN, FORMER IRISH TAOISEACH: Well, I think the conflict would have gone on. And if we didn't put in the effort, the IRA was not going to be
beaten and reluctant to win and that, but that had been clear for a long way back. And I think the British Army, like a one state, it was 80,000
northern arts and small pace, but were 80,000 security between army police reserves. So, it was an enormous security operation.
So, everyone was just taken on. But I think, you know, there did come an opportunity to new governments coming in, supported a president, the
party's beginning to listen. I think when, you know, Tony Blair's prime minister meant to -- Marshall set out his position. That gave us an
opportunity to get the IRA to go back into ceasefire again. And then I mean the big risk I think we took was to start the talks with the paramilitaries
or those who represented them.
AMANPOUR: And of course, it has endured the war, the troubles are over that killed something like 3500 people over three decades. Most of them, of
course, were civilians. Now, as I say, it did stop the war. But it hasn't solved all the problems. As we know, there still needs to be proper self-
rule here. The parties are not governing in Stormont, which is the seat of their assembly, and they need to be able to do that.
The principals who are interviewed today said that the Good Friday Agreement is still a good agreement, but there needs to be some
modifications, particularly around the power sharing part of it, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, fascinating, Christiane. I think the important thing is that three people were able to sit together and find solutions, gives you hope
for other conflicts happening around the world. Christiane Amanpour, great to have you on thank you so much!
You can watch that brilliant interview later on today. It's an exclusive interview on her show on Christiane Amanpour show birdie I heard Tony
Blair, Bill Clinton, discussing how they brought about the historic Good Friday Agreement in just under two hours on Amanpour right here on CNN, you
do not want to miss that.
And from there Good Friday of the past to the Orthodox Easter period of today marked in Ukraine with the grim new violence. Ukraine is reporting
intensity fighting around the city of Bakhmut. The General Staff of Ukraine's military say Russia launched a series of unsuccessful attacks on
two of Bakhmut's suburbs.
This as Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed the capture of two districts in the center and northwest of Bakhmut. Amnesty International is among
those condemning the sentencing of a Kremlin critic calling it reminiscent of Stalin era repression.
Vladimir Kara-Murza was given 25 years in prison after publicly criticizing Moscow's war in Ukraine. The EU is calling the verdict outrageously harsh.
Kara-Murza says he's proud of himself for speaking out, despite the price he is now paying.
This comes as the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow has visited the American journalist who's being detained in Russia. In a tweet Lynne Tracy said Evan
Gershkovich is in good health and remains strong. We reiterate our call for his immediate release. The U.S. has designated the Wall Street Journal
reporter as being wrongfully detained; Russia has accused him of espionage.
In other developments, 130 Ukrainians are now free after a prisoner exchange with Russia. But there are many Ukrainians who may never come home
at all. At the start of the war, they fled in the only direction they could that was into Russia. Now they're living thousands of miles away in
Russia's Far East. Scott Mclean established contact with some of them to get their story.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the chaos of battle in Mariupol in eastern Ukraine, the civilians caught in the crossfire had few
good options. They could either escape to Russia or take their chances as the war intensified.
Many of those who fled toward Russia were encouraged to live and work in the Far East from Rostov, a 4000-mile train journey to the edge of Siberia
and a town just a stone's throw from North Korea. These are some of the first arrival stepping off government charter trains a year ago.
MCLEAN (on camera): Why does Russia want those people there?
NATHANIEL RAYMOND, HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH LAB, YALE UNIVERSITY: That's a great question. One is a propaganda benefit, positioning these people as
somehow willingly seeking citizenship in Russia. The second benefit is that Russia simply needs bodies in many parts of the country. They don't have
enough citizens to make those municipalities function.
MCLEAN (voice over): This hotel in the coastal town of -- was where new arrivals were put up at first. CNN reached several of them through a
telegram group chat run by local volunteers, keeping a log of resident requests from baby food and toys to medicine.
Anyone dissatisfied with their stay is told sarcastically to take their complaints to Moscow, the Kremlin Putin. The Russian government has long
been eager to populate its resource rich far east and the state has tried several experiments to attract settlers, including those from ex-Soviet
It now promises fleeing Ukrainians cash, housing assistance, citizenship and even free land. Though two people told CNN they were struggling to get
the rent reimbursement they say the government had promised. Natalia was struggling to find any housing at all, hardly enthused by her new reality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing's changed except the place. But I no longer have a job that I love in a home that I love.
MCLEAN (voice over): New arrivals quickly had their Ukrainian passport swapped for Russian once, Natalia figures she can't go back.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we are criminals there, because those who left for Russia are immediately considered criminals by the Ukrainian
authorities. So, I'm forbidden to go there.
RAYMOND: At this point, the absence of clarity is the biggest problem. There is, understandably within Ukraine, absolute outrage against those who
are perceived as collaborators. But the fact of the matter is that we are dealing here with a civilian population that was seeking refuge in a time
MCLEAN (voice over): Under the terms of Russia's relocation program, the Ukrainians are required to stay for at least three years. One woman, Marina
told CNN that after that, we will see it depends on the job and material well-being, so far, it's not very easy. Another Valeria said plainly that
her family will stay in Russia, and I don't even want to think about Ukraine.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's office told CNN that safety and security of Ukrainian citizens is a major priority and that for
many the only safe passage was through Russia. Of course, they are not considered collaborators. They need to get to a third country and address a
local Ukrainian consulate. It will issue them Ukrainian documents to return to Ukraine.
But for those who remain in Russia long term, the future is less clear. By Ukrainian law people who publicly deny occupation, or who call for support
for Russian actions are considered collaborators. International law prohibits forcible transfers of people. Russia says more than 5 million
Ukrainians have arrived in Russia since the full-scale war began. And while Ukraine says many were forcibly deported some like Oksana said they went
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were saving our own lives.
MCLEAN (voice over): Though they had few other options. Scott McLean, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: Well, CNN reached out to Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs but it not respond to our questions. Deadly fighting in Sudan for a third
straight day, we'll go back to our top story that's coming up next.
GIOKOS: Welcome back, this is "Connect the World" with me Eleni Giokos standing in for Becky Anderson. Well, your headlines this hour, foreign
ministers from the g7 meeting in Japan ahead of next month's summit. They issued a statement today saying their nations are committed to sanctions
against Russia and support for Ukraine.
They also called on Moscow to withdraw its forces and equipment from Ukraine. Ukraine is reporting intense new fighting around the city of
Bakhmut. The General Staff of Ukraine's military said Russia launched a series of unsuccessful attacks on two of Bakhmut's suburbs and other
developments. 130 Ukrainians are now free after a prisoner exchange with Russia.
The international community is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Sudan. We're fighting between the armed forces and a powerful paramilitary group
is raging on for a third day. It started in Khartoum and a spread to other parts of the country. Local doctors said nearly 100 civilians have been
killed so far.
Well, this power struggle now raises the risk of a civil war. Just four years ago, the RSF and the army work together to overthrow Sudan's Former
President Autocrat Omar al-Bashir and again in 2021 to push out the civilian government, a deal that would have launched a civilian transition
was supposed to be signed earlier this month, but that has been delayed.
Earlier I spoke with two Sudanese women who live in the U.S. but were visiting Sudan when the fighting broke out and are now caught in the
crosshairs. Here's what they told me.
AMAL BAKHIT, U.S. RESIDENT CURRENTLY IN SUDAN: Today, it was the heaviest artillery we've heard during the past three days. We even couldn't sleep.
But before like, maybe two hours or like one hour and a half, they said that the gunfire is continued and increased. My cousin who's like two
blocks away, he called us and he was like listen, get down because -- just came in to our roof and they're fighting in the middle of the area.
So, we're just anxious. I'm trying to keep my mom and dad safe. I told my dad to just be away from the windows. And we're just praying and we're
trying to distract ourselves because I have asthma and whenever I feel stressed, I get anxious and mitigate my medications is about to end because
my inhaler is about 60 bucks. But I only have like 20 bucks left and we cannot go out right now to get more medications.
GIOKOS: Asiel, you came in to listen to Sudan from Chicago for a visit. You remain to leave mid-May. Did you have any idea that something like this
could possibly play out where you would be effectively stuck?
ASIEL MOHAMMED, U.S. RESIDENT CURRENTLY IN SUDAN: No, I came actually for a vacation unlike a mall; I've never experienced anything like this. I've
been privileged, you know, to live in safety my whole life in Chicago. So, I mean, waking up to sounds of gunfire. I mean, it sounds like bombs are
heavy artillery is something that I never thought I would experience especially in this year of my life.
It's good that I think that I have family that you know is a little more familiar with crisis situations. I think I've been a little desensitized to
because in Chicago, I think gun violence is a little bit on the higher side compared to other cities. So, I'm not fearful as much of hearing gunshots,
but some of the other heavy weaponry is really intense. And I mean, it's really the lack of--
GIOKOS: What was your reaction Asiel, what was your reaction when you started hearing the shelling from what we understand it was, it is
incessant, it is nonstop. And as Amal says it is creating a lot of anxiety for people is now forced to stay home.
MOHAMMED: Yes, we were actually woken up to it from the first day and since then we try to fall asleep. We continue to have different shifts in the
house of sleeping. So, someone can at least be watching over the others. But it's constantly being woken up in anxiety.
And phone calls from family members and friends you know, seeing who's doing what, who has electricity and really trying to track where the heavy
fighting is because we can't tell if it's you know, if these bombs are actually close to us, or if it just sounds like that, because, you know,
the actual like shaking of the houses. And so, we're just grateful that we even have electricity to be able to communicate with each other.
GIOKOS: Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. U.S. helicopter raid in northeast Syria has targeted a
senior ISIS leader. That is according to U.S. military spokesperson. The U.S. believes that ISIS leader was killed earlier along with an operational
planner responsible for terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe.
No word on their identities. Wildfires now raging along the border between France and Spain and it's not even summer yet. Authorities say hundreds of
hectares have been destroyed. Parts of Europe are already facing record breaking drought, raising fears of a repeat of last year's devastating
fires. Almost two tons of cocaine were found floating at sea of Eastern Sicily.
Italian police say the drugs with around $440 million a record were wrapped in waterproof packages and attached to a signaling device. And they say the
haul was probably left there by a cargo ship. So, drug runners could pick it up later.
A sweet 16th birthday party in the U.S. state of Alabama was shattered by a shooting that left at least four people dead and 28 wounded. Among the
victims was the birthday girl's brother, a high school football player who was getting ready to go to college. And another senior who was remembered
as always smiling and looking forward to attending university it is not clear what sparked the shooting.
And in Kansas City, Missouri, the shooting is sparking protests. Police say 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot when he mistakenly went to the wrong house
to pick up his siblings. The shooter shot the team twice, hitting him in the head and the arm, Yarl is currently in stable condition at the
Protesters are calling for justice and carried signs reading, ringing a doorbell is not a crime. Let's bring in CNN's Camila Bernal. Really sad
tragic story, he is now in stable condition. What more do we know at this stage?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Eleni, yes. So, the family says he's doing well physically but that he also understands that he could have been
dead. They also say there's a long road ahead here when you're talking about emotional and mental health. They say he was a happy, just very
friendly teenager describing him as someone who loved music always had an instrument played a number of instruments.
He was dreaming about going to West Africa and simply graduating high school. This is all going to be so much harder now because he went to the
wrong house, look, it could happen to anyone. He went to 115 streets, instead of going to 115th terrorist.
He was a block away from where he was supposed to be. He was going to pick up his brothers and instead he rang a doorbell, and he was shot in the
head. The family is now being represented by two very prominent civil rights attorneys here in the U.S. both Lee Merritt and Ben Crump, he did
speak to CNN. And here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: We are trying to push to make sure that it's not swept under the rug. But the family's number one priority,
John is the health of their 16-year-old child; Ralph who had everything going for me was a musician. He was an on-a-row student. He had dreams of
going to Texas A&M University. And then for simply ringing a doorbell and being profile, he is shot in the head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNAL: Now Ben Crump did say that he believes is his racially motivated because he says that according to information that they received, the
shooter was white man. Of course, that teenager who was shot was black. The chief of police in Kansas City, though she says that the information that
they have received from this investigation does not indicate that this was racially motivated.
She says she understands the concerns of the many, many protesters who have been out there. But she also says that yes, there is a racial component,
but does not believe that this was why this all happened. Now, people are upset and part of the reason they're upset is because the homeowner was
only held for 24 hours. State law says that you can hold someone for 24 hours as you finish an investigation.
And after those 24 hours, you either have to release the person or charge them. Those charges have not come yet. And so, authorities say more is
needed in terms of evidence and they want to talk to Ralph before they decide what they're going to do, back to you.
GIOKOS: Thank you so much for that update. Camila Bernal for us there. Well, coming up see how the legacy of the dodo is inspiring
conservationists in Mauritius to protect another species in peril and animal known as the Flying Fox.
GIOKOS: Right. From elephants rating crops to wolves killing livestock human wildlife conflict is one of the most challenging problems for
conservationists around the world. Today, on "Call to Earth" we see how the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is trying to learn lessons from the islands
past and secure a future for one of its most iconic species.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Isolated around 700 miles east of Madagascar, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is the island nation of
Mauritius, known for pristine waters and tropical rainforests. It is home to a vast array of bird and marine life. But the island is also synonymous
with extinction. For this was the final resting place of the last Dodo.
VIKASH TATAYAH, CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, MAURITIAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION: The notion that extinction is forever and is not reversible, came about when
the dodo went extinct so almost the birthplace of the consciousness of extinction is here on Mauritius. But also, the birthplace of conservation
is actually here on Mauritius because men realize that we had to protect the species and save them from going extinct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Now another one of the islands endemic species is at risk. The Mauritius fruit bat, also known as the Flying Fox.
Since 2015, the government has called the population of this endangered species on four occasions, all in a bid to protect the country's fruit
TATAYAH: In the first year of the cult -- nearly 31,000 bats of the 90,000 that was estimated in that year were killed. That's a third just to the
official cult. To that we have to add numbers that have died due to electrocution and power lines, we had to add to what people have been
killing illegally in their backyards or in orchards. So, the figure was actually far higher than the 30 percent more than a third of the bats that
have been killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Fruits like mangoes, longings and leeches are a major income source on the island and the root of much of the
conflict with the bats. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has been working with England's Chester Zoo to help find a solution.
CLAIRE RAISIN, FIELD PROGRAMME MANAGER, CHESTER ZOO: It's a really complicated issue, it's not just a matter of bats are eating fruit. So, we
need to either diversify income or we need to get rid of bats. There's a lot more to it going on. We've been working with research partners to get a
much better understanding of exactly what the predation rates are on these fruits and how much bats are responsible for and how much other species are
TATAYAH: We're doing some studies, and we've shown that around 20 percent of the crop is taken by bats. However, this loss can be reduced to near
zero if the trees are pruned and knitted with commercial nets made of nylon and other materials. The bats are not coming onto our fruits because they
love our fruits is because we've been chopping down their forests.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Along with helping farmers add netting around their crops, the foundation is educating locals and schoolchildren
about the Flying Fox.
TATAYAH: So, what we've tried to do is to say let's, try to understand the farmer. Let's try to understand the person who's got trees in his backyard.
Without bats, we may not have much forest left on Mauritius because it's the only large distance seed disperser and large distance flower pollinator
The children who are here today who are 15-year-old, in 15 years, there'll be the decision makers. So, what we are doing right now, but we see it as
sowing the seeds of something much bigger that would come in a decade or two.
GIOKOS: Well, let us know what you're doing to answer the call with a #calltoearth. Well, you're watching "Connect the World". We'll be right
back after the short break.
GIOKOS: Defaulting on our debt is not an option. Those are the words of U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. In his speech at the New York Stock
Exchange in the previous hour, he slammed President Joe Biden and pitched a plan that he hopes House Republicans can pass to raise the debt ceiling.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): In the coming weeks, the house will vote on a bill to lift the debt ceiling into the next year. Save taxpayers trillions
of dollars, make us less dependent upon China; curve our high inflation, all without touching Social Security and Medicare. Simply put, it puts it
all on a fiscal responsible path in three ways. It limits, it saves and it grows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Without action by a divided congress, there could be a historic default on the U.S. as national debt that would shake U.S. and global
economy, so an important one to watch. Right, the delay is not unusual. Those are the words of the judge in the Dominion voting systems defamation
case against FOX News.
Opening statements have been pushed back to Tuesday. They were originally expected to begin a couple of hours ago. The change comes as the Wall
Street Journal, owned by FOX Chairman Rupert Murdoch reports and out of court settlement could be in the works Dominion says it was defamed when
FOX hosts claimed it illegally rigged the 2020 election against Donald Trump.
For its part, FOX News is denying the allegations.
CNN's Marshall Cohen joins us now live from Wilmington, Delaware, where the case is set to be tried. So, this is a delay. At the same time, we're
hearing, there could be some kind of deal or settlement happening behind the scenes. Could these two events be correlated?
MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: It's totally possible. They might be meeting as we speak, behind closed doors to try to hammer out a last-minute deal.
But if that is what they're doing, they're not saying anything about it.
We've checked in with FOX, we've checked in with dominion. No one is publicly commenting about the situation and had a very brief court hearing
this morning. The judge was also pretty tight lipped. He said it was his decision to delay this, the start of this trial from today to tomorrow so
just a one-day delay at this point. He said this was not unusual, basically telling the public not to read too deeply into the situation.
So, if there is a last-minute settlement announced tonight or tomorrow morning, then obviously the case would be over. But if there is no
announcement, if there is no settlement, and that means we will all be back here in Wilmington tomorrow morning 9 am that would be the end of jury
selection and the start of opening statements.
If this case ends up going to trial, they predict that it will last perhaps six weeks. Some of the biggest names in right wing media are expected to be
called as witnesses if it happens, so we will be waiting here in Wilmington to see if there's a deal, if not, the trial of the century.
GIOKOS: Brilliantly puts, I think everyone's going to be watching closely what happens over the next few hours. Thank you so very much for that,
Marshall Cohen. Great to have you on the show! Well, more up, coming up next Lynda Kinkade will be joining you with "One World". From me Eleni
Giokos in Abu Dhabi, take care.