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Wagner Chief says U.S. Citizen Killed in Bakhmut Fighting; Will Far- Right Candidate Sinan Ogan Play Kingmaker; Family Mourns Palestine Man Killed in Recent Violence; How an Erdogan Win would Impact U.S.-Turkish Relations; OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Testifies at Hearing on Oversight; Martha Stewart now a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired May 16, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Welcome back! You're watching a special edition of "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson live from Istanbul where for
the first time in its history, Turkey's presidential candidates will head for a momentous run off race. We're going to bring you analysis on the
likely outcome of that.
First up though, I want to start in Ukraine this hour where officials say the capital was the target of a particularly intense air assault. Well,
that barrage of Russian missiles lit up the skies over Kyiv. But Ukraine says it intercepted all of them, along with a number of drones. Russia
however claims all of its targets were hit including the U.S. Patriot Air Defense System.
Meantime, the Head of the Russian Mercenary Wagner Group says an American citizen has been killed fighting in the Eastern Flashpoint City of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian forces are claiming substantial gains on the outskirts there. CNN's Sam Kiley is joining us from Southeastern Ukraine.
I want to start if we can; with a frightening night for residents of Kyiv an attack launched Sam from the north, the south and the east. This was
largely a failure. But it was a noisy night. Tell us what we are learning about what happened overnight and how that plays into the trajectory of
this war at this point, Sam?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, I think the key issue here and you put it in your intro very accurate there --
accurately was the intensity of the attacks on Kyiv. This is a new tactic.
We have seen the Russians in the past use mass formations across many different cities, many different targets combining cruise missiles and
swarms of the Iranian made Shahed, so called drones, they're actually unguided, slow moving missiles. This time, though, there was a focus of
attention on overwhelmingly on Kyiv. And the amount of time that the missiles were fired within was very truncated. This wasn't spread over many
It was clearly an attempt to try to find a chink in the air defenses of the Ukrainian capital by firing cruise missiles, caliber missiles to
conventional missiles, and their Kinzhal, the hypersonic so called hypersonic missiles, all at the more or less at the same time, that intent
there was clearly to try to overwhelm the air defenses. And they failed significantly.
Also, the Ukrainians are claiming that they shot down six Kinzhal missiles that will bring a total of seven that they say that they have shot down.
Now, these were, according to the Russians supposed to be invulnerable to conventional or traditional or contemporary air defenses because of the
speed at which they travel.
But we're learning now that they are actually not much more sophisticated than many other similar missiles that are in the armories, particularly of
NATO countries that often hit hypersonic speeds as they descend.
And also their guidance systems are pretty primitive to nonexistent so they are not precision missiles in the way that a cruise missile might be. We've
got no evidence whatsoever either to support the Russian claims that patriot missile anti-missile missile batteries were destroyed.
In terms of the trajectory of all this Becky, I think that what we're seeing here is efforts being made by the Russians to try to counter attack
and get inside the command and control systems of the Ukrainians ahead of their much vaunted ground offensive, Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes. And that ground offensive, of course, is one that we are anticipating and no real detail being released on that and perhaps
understandably so. The Wagner Group play a very significant role in this war on the Russian side, particularly in the fight for Bakhmut now the Head
of that Mercenary Group, claiming that a U.S. citizen has died fighting in Bakhmut. What do you make of this claim?
KILEY: Well, the Russian Mercenary Group Wagner has released a video which it purports to be from May the 16th of Yevgeny Prigozhin its leader in
Bakhmut it certainly in a town that appears to be the scene of some fighting there is background noise of what might well be mortars. That's
what we hear.
One of the soldiers on the Bakhmut says one of the Wagner mercenaries rather, he's inside a building, he then comes across the body of what he
claims is an American soldier, including the identity documents.
Now, there's no word yet from the U.S. State Department. And obviously, we would not be releasing a name for this person until we have official
confirmation of whom he is and what the circumstances were.
But what's interesting quite telling about this video is that he's quite Mr. Prigozhin is quite respectful towards the dead soldier that was killed
on the fighting on the Ukrainian side, whoever he is saying that he will be given due honors.
And because he's assumed to be American will be buried, or rather covered with an American flag and his remains returned somehow to the United States
because he put up a fight up until the last Prigozhin says so quite an intriguing statement from an otherwise rather contemptuous individual.
Perhaps, I suppose, not unconnected to the fact that he may fear that he could be returning one day to Moscow to face treason charges if the U.S.
intelligence documents are accurate in suggesting that he allegedly tempted to sell out his Russian comrades and sell their locations to the Ukrainians
in return for a softer ride for his own fighters in Bakhmut. Not that many months ago, Becky?
ANDERSON: Sam Kylie is in Southeastern Ukraine. Good to have you Sam! The time there just after six in the evening. Thank you. Well, decades after
Rosie the Riveter became a cultural icon in the United States symbolizing the Working Women of World War II. Women in Ukraine are taking on similar
roles. They are increasingly doing jobs Ukrainian men had to abandon when they were called into military service CNN's Nic Robertson with this
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): In a man's world war is changing everything. Tetiana is at the vanguard shattering
Ukrainian coal mining history, a woman on her way to work thousand feet underground.
ROBERTSON (on camera): It's normal. It's OK now.
TETIANA, COAL MINER: Yes.
ROBERTSON (on camera): It's good.
TETIANA: Yes, I like it.
ROBERTSON (on camera): It's a good. You want it to be your family, your grandfather, your father?
ROBERTSON (voice over): She used to work above ground. But when miners got called up to fight and martial law cleared women for dangerous jobs, she
jumped at a job deep in the mine.
TETIANA: I always wanted to work here, but girls were not allowed. When many men were conscripted, the mine had to keep working. So to protect our
country, the girls stepped up.
ROBERTSON (voice over): She works six hour shifts, three days on one day off, earns more than previously. It wants to keep her underground job when
the war is over.
TETIANA: My work is not physically difficult. I like it a lot. I would like to continue working here.
ROBERTSON (voice over): In this bastion of male dominated tradition, that may not be so easy.
OLEKSANDR, LEAD ENGINEER: I think when the war is over, and we will win, I think women will return about the ground and the women's jobs.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Yet even Chief Engineer Oleksandr admits without Tetiana and many other women, the mind could not have kept going.
OLEKSANDR: Around 700 of our miners get called up to fight. Our women wanted to help both the mine and the country. So far 46 women are working
under the ground now.
ROBERTSON (on camera): There hasn't been a general mobilization of women, but plenty of traditional male only workplaces are finding women stepping
up and taking jobs that before the war would have only gone to men.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Maria is among them for the love of Ukraine and of her husband.
MARIA KOBETS, BLACKSMITH, KOBETS FORGE: I knew this theory, but the practice turned out to be a little hotter.
ROBERTSON (voice over): She took up his blacksmith job when he got called up to fight last year. They bought the forge together a few years earlier,
invested their future in it.
KOBETS: This is my husband's passion and his life's business. I decided to support him to keep his job alive while he's serving.
ROBERTSON (voice over): She shows me a video of husband Andre working at the same anvil prewar his artwork, some Game of Thrones themed selling in
the U.S. and Europe for hundreds of dollars. She is focusing on simpler stuff, ornate kebab skewers.
KOBETS: I very often cry on the porch here. My husband is defending us, and that is very dangerous. But this work helps me to hold on and not fall
ROBERTSON (voice over): Women have been here before remembering Rosie the Riveter icon of women at work in World War II, she and others cracked the
glass ceiling more than a hint of Rosie and Maria and perhaps of changes here too.
KOBETS: It's tiring work. But it's interesting. I would like to do it when I feel like it's not what I have to do it.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Maria and Tetiana, two of many who bravely stepped up. No doubt more challenges ahead. Nic Robertson, CNN in a Coal Mine,
ANDERSON: Well, will you join us here in Istanbul in Turkey where rival presidential candidates are rallying support across the country ahead of
the May 28th runoff election. The first round of voting on Sunday largely defied pre-election polling on two accounts.
First, that no candidate would get more than 50 percent of the vote needed to win outright and secondly, the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would
emerge as a front runner. Well as Jomana Karadsheh tells us the longtime leader is confident now that he will win again.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Supporters of Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to the streets of Istanbul first a show of solidarity
with their leader facing the toughest election of his 20 years in office that soon turned into a celebration. For his diehard supporters there is
one man one cause and one Turkey that overage of Tayyip Erdogan.
And in the early hours of Monday morning, Erdogan doing what he does best rallying his supporters. In the capital Ankara, their man emerged to
address his photos from the balcony of his ruling party's headquarters where he traditionally delivers his rousing victory speeches.
This is no victory for the Turkish President, but certainly a win for now. He failed to secure the 50 percent plus one vote majority to clinch a third
term, but emerged with a clear lead over the main opposition candidate.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT: Currently the majority in parliament is in our people's alliance. Therefore, we do not doubt that the
choice of our nation which gave the majority in the parliament to our alliance will be in favor of trust and stability in the presidential
KARADSHEH (voice over): And the wind is behind Erdogan as Turkey now heads for a run off by the opposition insisting they still can do this.
KEMAL KILICDAROGLU, TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am here, I am here you are here too. I will fight until the end I swear and I know I will
fight until the end I am here.
KARADSHEH (voice over): A diverse opposition more united and more galvanized than ever thought this time would be different. They believe
they could unseat Erdogan that they could deliver change and deliver the promise of a return to a real democracy. A promise so many in this country
so desperately wanted. In two weeks' time Erdogan and Opposition Leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will face off again. And this man Sinan Ogan could be
SINIAN OGAN, FORMER TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have certain red lines such as fighting against terrorism and sending refugees back. We have
voiced these conditions before.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Ogan's 5 percent of the electorate is a combination of disenchanted nationalists and protest votes of those who didn't like the
opposition's choice of candidate but irked enough about Erdogan to deny him their support, at least in the first round.
No election in this country's history has meant more for this divided nation, where the two competing visions of Turkey are locked in a duel. And
it will be the Turkish people who will ultimately decide which leader and which vision will prevail.
ANDERSON: And they came out in their droves the first time around 90 percent voter turnout. This is a country that gets out to vote; who say it
is now in the hands of the Turkish people. And at this point, it seems that the opposition just doesn't have what it takes to convince the Turkish
people that they are the right opposition alliance for the job.
KARADSHEH: It's going to be tough. I mean, elections are unpredictable, as you know, Becky, but right now, it's not looking really good for the
opposition, and a lot of their voters feel the same. They really feel disappointed. And they just don't know if they have that drive that
enthusiasm to do this again, and to bring all the people out to vote.
They underperformed. They're going to be asking themselves questions of why this happened. They failed to build on the weakest of moments for President
Erdogan and he is going into this round, much stronger than he did with the first round.
And if you look at it got half, pretty much half the population back him almost that 50 percent that he needs to win. And he's got parliamentary
majority, and an opposition right now that is looking really good.
ANDERSON: Yes, that parliamentary majority is really important, isn't it? I mean, he's party is in coalition with the People's Alliance with the
nationalist and -- party as its known here. And they have that so that's already in the can?
This is now the presidential election who will lead this country in what is an executive presidency here, since of course, 2017. I spoke with the --
let's call him suppose a kingmaker Sinan Ogan he was in your report.
I spoke to him last night and he said why he hasn't backed a candidate yet. He has drawn some red lines, which some lets be quite frank would consider
very anti-Kurd, a very anti-immigrant. Is it clear at this point, which his voters are likely to vote for in the second round?
KARADSHEH: So that's unclear right now. More than 5 percent of people voted for him. These are critical votes that both sides really need right now.
ANDERSON: Who are they?
KARADSHEH: It is a combination Becky of nationalist who are not happy with President Erdogan not happy with that alliance and you also have the
protest voters, people who are more in line with what the opposition was promising but they did not want Kemal Kilicdaroglu as the candidate running
for the opposition so he managed to get these voters.
Now when you're talking about those red lines, the anti-immigrant and the anti-Kurdish sentiment there, it's very difficult to see where he would go
if he's going to end up endorsing either side?
Because both that coalitions President Erdogan and the opposition have allied themselves with Kurdish parties, it is going to be much harder for
Kilicdaroglu to break away from that because the Kurdish vote was quite critical for him this time.
He did get really high numbers in Kurdish areas and that was very important for him going into this election as well, when it comes to the anti-
immigrant red line that we know is a big thing for Ogan and his voters.
It's very much what we'd heard from the opposition in the past that they're going to work on sending Syrian refugees back. Very unclear where he's
going to end up who he's going to end up endorsing, and if his voters will decide to follow him?
ANDERSON: If nothing else, I think you can safely say that you know, this new era likely to be an Erdogan era an extension of Erdogan era will be a
lot more nationalist and a lot more nativist than perhaps people outside of Turkey might have expected.
That certainly is what was seeing when we consider what's going on with a presidential vote and indeed, what we are seeing in Parliament as well
fascinating. Thank you very much indeed it's good to have you here. And you can follow the Turkish elections on our website.
Our "Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter has a story out now on ultra nationalist candidates Sinan Ogan who I interviewed on this program this
time yesterday. Why election analysts believe opposition candidates Kemal Kilicdaroglu has little chance of winning over Ogan's supporters?
You can access the newsletter by scanning the QR code at the bottom of your screen. Let's leave that up just for the time being just in case you need
to grab your phone and give that a go. That is a "Meanwhile in the Middle East" -- good read.
Well still ahead, Turkey's presidential run off for a victory by the incumbent would mean for Turkish/U.S. relations. And we hear from a father
who lost his son in last week's deadly outbreak of violence between Israel and Islamic Jihad.
ANDERSON: One of the many iconic bridges across the Bosphorus -- between Asia and Europe of course. These are off times amazing architectural
delights, these bridges nearly a lot of people fishing there and what is a gorgeous day here in Istanbul.
Well in Israel and Gaza, families are sorting through the wreckage of buildings that were once their homes. Although a ceasefire is holding days
of Israeli strikes on targets in Gaza and militant rockets fired at Israel have taken a heavy toll. For some the losses in this latest outbreak of
violence have been absolutely devastating.
CNN's Ben Wedeman has just returned from Gaza and he joins me now. Ben you spoke with or many of those who are suffering. What do they tell you?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's fair to say, Becky that what people are feeling is that they're caught in a never
ending cycle of calm and violence, calm and violence, calm and violence. This latest round which Israel initiated last Tuesday is just the latest.
And you know there is a portion of the population in Gaza that cheers it on. Cheers on the rockets the fact that Hamas or Jihad is inflicting pain
on the Israelis.
But there are so many others who just wish that the leaders, the self- appointed leaders of the Palestinians and the Israeli politicians who run the country would just come to some sort of agreement so that they could
live their lives in peace. The feeling among so many people in Gaza is that no matter what happens they always seem to lose.
WEDEMAN (voice over): Another father in Gaza has lost his son. As always happens here when calm returns, mourners come to pay respects for those who
were killed. But 34-year-old Abdellah Hassanain (ph) wasn't killed in an Israeli airstrike. Rather shrapnel from a missile fired by Islamic Jihad
from his native Gaza into Israel ripped through his chest and abdomen.
Abdellah was one of around 18,000 Gazans to receive a permit to work in Israel. His father Gibreel, also working in Israel rushed to the hospital.
It was too late. Human kindness triumphed over the passions of war.
I found it made no difference to the doctors if we were Arabs or Jews, recalls Gibreel. I asked them to help me with the procedures to take my son
home and bury him. And they did. Abdellah leaves behind a wife, four daughters and two sons. His children, his family a whole family of seven
people is now destitute relative Muhammad tells me. These Bedouin are pious people, they prefer not to place blame, Abdullah's death they say was God's
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad denied any responsibility. A short drive away residents survey the ruins of a large house bombed by Israeli Aircraft.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Public Works gather information on the destruction.
WEDEMAN (on camera): The neighbors say it wasn't a secret. This building belonged to somebody who was in Islamic Jihad's missile unit. The building
was destroyed on Friday evening. In the process however, all the homes in this area were severely damaged.
WEDEMAN (voice over): The blast shattered windows and toppled walls. The neighbors had nothing to do with missiles and don't know when or if help
will arrive. Chanteys home is in shambles, ensures now that help is received so far, a bag of food with a few dollars.
My house is destroyed, he shouts, a kilo of sugar and a kilo of flour, I'm going crazy. Can I fix my house with bags? It's all madness. And they never
get used to it.
WEDEMAN: And of course on Thursday, there's another flashpoint Becky, that's going to be the so-called flag march marking Jerusalem Day, the
reunification in Israel view of the city of Jerusalem that often brings out some of the most hard core elements on the ultra-nationalist end of the
Israeli spectrum. And there are concerns that that march could lead to more trouble, Becky.
ANDERSON: Meantime, Ben, the United Nations marking for the first time yesterday, al-Nakba or the catastrophe a significant dates for
Palestinians. But there were some high profile absentees, just explain if you will.
WEDEMAN: Yes, this was a vote taken back in December in which the members of the General Assembly of the United Nations voted on whether to
commemorate Nakba Day which marked when in 1948 around 700,000, Palestinians either fled or were driven from their homes.
Now in that vote, the United States, the UK, Israel and about 30 other countries voted against the commemoration, but the majority did vote in
favor. And that ceremony was held yesterday. It was boycotted, of course, by all of those countries who voted against it, but it went ahead.
And it does represent sort of a growing recognition that what happened to the Palestinians, in the view of even Israeli historians who have gone back
and looked in the archives was a catastrophe, 700,000 people losing their homes in a very short time span.
That sort of the narrative that for years held pushed by Israel and its friends that somehow the Arab nations called upon to the people of
Palestine, to leave their homes so that the Arab armies could come and defeat the army of the nascent Israeli state. Turns out wasn't really quite
Then indeed, there was a concerted effort by the Israeli forces or the Jewish forces before the creation of the State of Israel to ethnically
cleanse parts of what is now Israel, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is on the story of you out of Jerusalem today, just back from Gaza. Thank you, Ben. We take a deeper dive into skip that al-
Nakba event and why in our latest piece for CNN email@example.com for that analysis.
Well staging region flights between neighbors Bahrain and Qatar, are set to resume on May the 25th, ending what has been a year's long dispute. That's
certainly according to Bahrain's state news agency that is part of a major effort to resume diplomatic ties.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt severed ties with Qatar. You'll remember back in 2017, after accusing the country of supporting terrorism
and for being too close to Iran, but boycott was largely lifted in 2021. Bahrain has been the last holdout, the U.S. supports the move.
Well you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson live today for you from Istanbul. -- stop the Turkish presidential election and
foreign policy, the significance and consequence of a wind by Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming runoff vote, and how that might complicate
relations with his U.S. counterpart, that coming up.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to "Connect the World". It's 6:30 p.m. here in Istanbul where we are bringing you special coverage of the Turkish
elections. And you are looking at the iconic Galata Tower built in the Byzantine era as a watchtower at the highest point of the walls of Galata
61 meters above sea level.
And the world is watching what is going on in Turkey. At present the presidential election here has huge ramifications not just inside Turkey,
but globally. Of course the initial round of voting and upcoming runoff closely watched in the U.S. in Europe in Russia around this region and
CNN's Stephen Collinson says if President Erdogan wins re-election, the Biden Administration will face further dealings with a world leader who has
taken steps to weaken Turkey's democracy while at the same time cozying up to Vladimir Putin. Well, Stephen Collinson joining us now. And certainly,
Washington will be keeping a keen eye on what is going on here. How would you describe the Washington Turkey relationship to date at this point?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, Becky, I think it's a relationship that is neither necessarily affirm and committed friendship,
but it's not necessarily an adversarial one, either. Of course, Turkey is a NATO ally.
But it's been fascinating over the last 20 years or so to watch the way that successive U.S. presidents have tried to deal with Erdogan, almost
like Vladimir Putin has been in power through multiple presences and has evolved his politics and his leadership style and his attitude towards the
So there's the international part of this, whereby Erdogan has often confounded the U.S. by wielding Turkey's power in his own region for its
own interests, sometimes in coordination with Washington, sometimes, in a way, for example, in places like Syria, and in his relationship with Putin
that has angered Washington.
And then you've got this component, as you mentioned, about democracy at one time, sort of at the end of maybe 2008, 2009. The U.S. was hoping that
it could push Erdogan in a more democratic direction, even though there are always concerns about his commitment to secularization in Turkey.
It backed after all, Turkey's bid to join the EU. Now, once again, we have an American president who's putting democracy at the center of its agenda,
of his agenda. And there is concern in Washington about crackdowns on the press, on dissidents, on the Kurds and a feeling that another term for
Erdogan pushes him in a much more authoritarian direction.
ANDERSON: Yes, I mean, there is more than a vein of nationalism here. I mean, I've heard one commentator describe the sort of nativist populist
politics of, of President Erdogan as one that has sort of been exported from here in to other places around the world.
And certainly, critics of the incumbent president will say that there has been an erosion of democratic institutions, all of which has, you know,
it's something that is keenly observed by this Biden Administration, of course. What has President Erdogan's relationships specifically, with
President Biden been? And I just wonder, going forward, you know, how Washington will see Turkey if indeed there is a Republican president going
I mean, after all, let me just remind our viewers, it was only on Saturday night, that President Biden is still on -- President Erdogan still on the
campaign trail, accused President Biden of trying to topple him. This is with reference to what Biden had said about President Erdogan on the
campaign trail. But I just wonder, you know, the overarching story here is, it is likely that we are going to get another President Erdogan era here.
So what happens?
COLLINSON: Right and I think you'll have a period of somewhat prickly relations politically between the Erdogan, the future Erdogan
Administration, and the Biden Administration. At the same time, you know, Erdogan has been a key player in the Middle East and in Europe and Eurasia,
it's not far-fetched to think that potentially at some point, if there's a major international effort to try and end the Ukraine war.
He could be somewhat useful to Washington, through his contacts with Putin. I think, of course, we're all looking back at the relationship between ex-
President Donald Trump and Erdogan, which was a classic sort of meeting of supermom, power minds.
I think you could argue that Erdogan got the better of Trump on a number of occasions, notably, remember that phone call when he got the U.S. president
to order an immediate withdrawal a pullback of U.S. forces in northeastern Syria, which really exposed the U.S. Kurdish allies.
So I'm sure that Erdogan would be quite keen for a return to Donald Trump after the 2024 election. So, you know, just as Turkey is in political
uproar and uncertainty, I think we have it in the United States. There's nothing certain right now about the path of U.S. foreign policy after
November 2024. And that's one reason why internationally, the return of Donald Trump would be so significant.
ANDERSON: Stephen, it's good to have you. Thank you very much indeed. Get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right
now. And passengers on a train bound for Vienna, Austria will have to stand after part of an Adolf Hitler's speech. And Nazi slogans were broadcast
over the train's loudspeakers.
Austrian police are searching to passengers bleed to have hacked into the train's intercom. The incumbent Prime Minister of Thailand says the
formation of the country's new government is underway. The unofficial results show the opposition parties swept the nationwide elections.
The vote is seen as a rebuke of the military backed government that's been empowered to 2014 coup. Well, a fire killed at least six people in a hostel
in New Zealand's Capitol. Some people have been rescued from the roof. Authorities say many of the residents were low income or in other
vulnerable situations. Police are treating the blaze as suspicious.
Well we're learning more about the American citizen who was sentenced to life in prison by Chinese caught on Monday. So 78 year old who was
convicted on espionage charges apparently a well-known pro-Beijing advocate in the United States, he led a group that promoted Beijing's claims over
Taiwan. CNN International Correspondent Ivan Watson joins me now. And this does seem very odd and somewhat confusing. What more do we know at this
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, we had social details when this court in Jiangsu China announced on Monday that
John Leung was being sentenced to life in prison for espionage. They only really provided his name that he was a U.S. citizen, also a permanent
resident of Hong Kong and that he actually been in custody in China for more than two years at that point.
What CNN has learned since is that he was somewhat well known in the south of U.S. and overseas Chinese circles. He was one of the directors of the
Texas Council for the promotion of China's peaceful reunification.
We spoke to another one of the directors, a man named David Tang, who identified John Leung said that he's a good friend. Leung had been
photographed alongside a number of different Chinese ambassadors to the U.S. over more than 20 years. He had helped organize and participate in a
number of different events at the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas, which closed in 2020, as the Trump Administration accused China of
espionage committing espionage activities there.
He was also a deputy director of the Jiangsu overseas exchange Association in Jiangsu China, the same city, where he was detained in April 2021 and
subsequently, just this week, sentenced to life in prison on espionage charges. Neither the Chinese government nor the U.S. government had
publicized Leung's case, really until this week.
In fact, the State Department has refused to comment citing privacy reasons. What is notable is that the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake
Sullivan, he met face to face with his Chinese counterpart in Vienna just last week, and he did raise the case of three other Americans believed to
be wrongfully detained.
But we did not hear that he raised the case of Leung and the State Department is so far not classifying him as wrongfully detained, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ivan Watson is on the story for you. Thank you, Ivan. Well, just ahead, Mr. ChatGPT goes to Washington. Why one of Silicon Valley's biggest
names is on Capitol Hill asking lawmakers for regulation of artificial intelligence.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World". And our Special Edition here in Istanbul where it's 6:45 p.m. on a beautiful day,
you're looking at the Istanbul Skyline, the Intercontinental cities river Bosphorus spans Asia and Europe.
With this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. That is a declaration from the CEO and co-founder of what is known as Open AI. That's
the artificial intelligence company behind viral Chabot, ChatGPT.
Sam Altman is testifying on Capitol Hill during a Senate panel hearing. He and two other major tech voices are urging lawmakers to regulate AI. Altman
for one describes the technology's current boom as a potential printing press moment, but one that requires safeguards.
Well, my next guest says he is concerned about what could happen during next year's U.S. presidential election saying, "I expect a tsunami of
disinformation in the 2024 elections with a close election. Many will have incentives to create fake videos and audios and put candidates in
compromising positions that are unfair or factually inaccurate".
Well, Darrell West is Senior Fellow at the Center for Technology, Innovation and the Douglas Dillon Chair in Governmental Studies, both at
the Brookings Institute; he joins me now live from Washington.
Do you feel like the Senate hearing on AI oversight is impactful in regulating the likes of open AI and others? Do you think do you think those
on the floor get it? Are they asking the right questions? Do you expect to see some regulation?
DARRELL WEST, CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Actually, the hearing has been very impressive in the sense that there have
been a lot of issues raised. There's a lot of anxiety about generative AI just in terms of the bad ways that it can be used in the upcoming election
as well as in other areas.
The surprising thing is both from the senators who spoken as well as the expert witnesses, including people from industry, are there actually are
some agreement on the need for greater regulation. I think everybody worries about the impact on disinformation, the possible loss of jobs,
problems of racial bias.
And people are actually interested in more regulation, like they want the government to step in and create some guardrails so that we can mitigate
these bad uses while still encouraging technology innovation on the other hand.
ANDERSON: And I've heard Sam Altman say, look, you know, we didn't regulate the internet and look what happened. I mean, people will be perhaps quite
surprised that they haven't heard Sam Altman before, talking about the need for regulation. You'd expect somebody who runs a big AI company like this,
to be steering as far clear as regulations, from regulation as possible.
But he's not the only tech titan involved in AI to be talking about what we do next. Earlier today, Google's former CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke
with one of my colleagues, Julia Chatterley about the danger of AI in politics, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC SCHMIDT, FORMER CEO & CHAIRMAN, GOOGLE: So fake video, which is going to happen a lot in this next cycle is elections. Even if you tell people
that it's fake, even if they know before they watch it, it changes their behavior for reasons we don't fully understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The 2024 election is just a little over a year out, how quickly do we need regulation? I mean, looking at this, of course, through the
prism of the U.S. I'm sitting right in the middle of an election year in Turkey at this point.
WEST: Oh, we need regulation right now. Because as you point out, the election is well underway in the United States, we're seeing elections take
place all around the world. Disinformation is becoming rampant. The problem with generative AI is it is democratizing the technology and bringing very
sophisticated tools down to a level of the ordinary individual.
I mean, it used to be yet to have a technical background in order to use AI and to disseminate false narratives. Now anybody can use it. So I am
expecting fake videos, fake audio tapes, ads that have candidates saying and doing things that they actually didn't do, it's really going to be hard
for voters to distinguish the fake from the reality.
ANDERSON: You're talking about what scares you with regard AI, what excites you just out of interest?
WEST: There certainly are a number of positive applications that are coming out of AI. For example, scientists are using AI to try and come up with new
medical cures; they can scan the scientific literature, find chemical compounds that offer hope for addressing major illnesses.
So there are certainly advantages there. AI is being deployed to measure and analyze climate change, and figure out what we need to do in order to
mitigate the impact of some of those things. So there certainly are lots of positive applications.
And in the hearing, the witnesses really tried to make the point that we need to figure out ways to mitigate the bad uses, while still preserving
the good uses. Because there certainly are many ways in which AI can be used to improve the human condition.
ANDERSON: It's good to have you sir. We'll have you back. Thank you. Well, they raided an historic collection of glittering artifacts worth an
absolute fortune. Well now they have faced the courts, what came out of the trial of Germany's most notorious jewel thieves that is coming up?
ANDERSON: Members of one of Germany's most powerful crime families will serve time behind bars for their roles in an infamous jewel heist. Thieves
from the Remo clan broke into Dresden's green vault in 2019. Taking off in more than $120 million worth of artifacts years later, only some of those
items have been recovered.
Well today six of the group appeared in court and five were found guilty. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin. We are four years on; this was an
audacious, spectacular, high as brutal as well. What happened today? What's the upshot here?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, first of all, you're absolutely right. It was absolutely audacious and brazen,
anything that you could describe it with. And also the loot itself, I think one of the things you were saying is that it's worth about $120 million. At
least that's the insurance value.
But of course, if you look here into the country in Germany, and also the director of the museum says this stuff is actually absolutely priceless.
It's some of the most important jewelry historically in all of Europe. And if you look at today, what happened inside that courtroom, five of the six
were actually convicted. And the prison sentences range from about four years, four years and four months to a little bit over six years.
And a lot of people felt that that really wasn't very much, especially since three of those who were convicted today actually walked out of the
courtroom, they didn't have to go directly to jail. That's because the authorities are saying that they did a plea agreement with these
individuals, and that they are able to actually serve their sentences at a later time.
So there is a lot of public anger about that here in Germany. And as you said, you know, some of these jewels, it was possible to recover some of
them. But the most important, the most valuable pieces have actually not been recovered yet. And you know, the people who are convicted today, they
are saying that they don't know where these pieces are.
Of course, there are a lot of people here in Germany who doesn't believe that but the bottom line is those very important pieces aren't there. Some
of those folks are actually walking free in our harbor. Those jail sentences, obviously, six years, four years that are fairly high and they
are going to have to serve them at a later time Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you, Fred. American businesswoman and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart has another title, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. At 81,
she is the oldest such model in the magazines history. She's -- Maye Musk who pose for the magazine last year at the age of 74. Well, the photo shoot
took place in the Dominican Republic and on Monday, Stewart discussed what she did to get ready for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Martha, what do you think?
MARTHA STEWART, 2023 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT MODEL: I like that picture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I will think so.
STEWART: To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think, I met the challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In what way?
STEWART: Well, I didn't starve myself, but I didn't eat any bread or pasta for a couple of months. I went to Pilates every other day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Stewart's career actually began as a model when she was a teenager in the 1950s. The print issue of the magazine comes out on
Well, we are live from Istanbul, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. We are here because we are now 12 days out from an
historic second round in the presidential election here, pitting incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against his coalition opponent, Kemal
It does look at this stage as if President Erdogan is now in the lead in that second round. But that is not until May the 28th, anything will happen
between now. And then we are on that story for you here in Istanbul, continue to cover that.
And the parliamentary elections, the makeup of Turkey what it means for Turkey, the people of Turkey and for the rest of the world. Stay with us as
we continue our coverage from here. CNN continues after this short break, stay with us.