Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Wife: Edwards Suffering Mental Health Issues; Officials: Displaced People are often Wounded, Children Malnourished; Sudan's Neighbors Discuss ways to End Fighting; Protecting the World's Great Whales; Animal Rescuers are Desperate to save Cyprus' Cats. Aired 11:20a-12p ET

Aired July 13, 2023 - 11:20   ET





GIOKOS: Hello and welcome to the second hour of "Connect the World" with me Eleni Giokos, you've been watching CNN's ongoing coverage of

President Joe Biden's meeting with the Nordic leaders. He and the Finnish President just wrapped up a press conference in Helsinki,

Finland, of course is the latest country to join the NATO Alliance.

We will continue to bring you the latest as we get it, now to some other news today. The wife of BBC anchor Huw Edwards has confirmed that it was

is the BBC present to who was suspended earlier this week following allegations of payments for sexually explicit images.

Her statement made on behalf of Edwards was released just moments after the London metropolitan police said on Wednesday that there was no

information to indicate that a criminal offense has been committed. These developments are the latest in a week of British media frenzy. Our

CNN's Scott McLean reports.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The British Broadcasting Corporation has been covering the news for more than a century. But

lately, it is the news. On Friday, the Sun Newspaper printed anonymous allegations accusing an unnamed, but well known male BBC presenter of

paying a young person for explicit images.

The BBC reported that they had suspended the presenter and the UK known for its sensational tabloid culture was thrown into a frenzy of

speculation over his identity. Several well-known BBC faces were quick to distance themselves online, and even on air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's his decision. But he needs to come forward now.

MCLEAN (voice over): Alongside questions of who came questions about what with the young person at the center of the controversy themselves,

even disputing the allegations made by their mother to the son. The BBC referred the complaint which it originally received back in May to the

London Metropolitan Police.

TIM DAVIE, BBC DIRECTOR-GENERAL: It is a very difficult and complex situation. And we're trying to calmly and judiciously navigate our way

through quite difficult circumstances where as I said, you've got to balance duty of care issues privacy issues.

MCLEAN (voice over): On Wednesday, the Met declared there was no information to indicate that a criminal offense has been committed, the

second police force to draw the same conclusion. Shortly after the wife of Huw Edwards, one of Britain's most famous and one of the BBCs highest

paid journalists made a statement on his behalf confirming the accusations were made about him and asking for privacy, writing, I am

doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.

He was suffering from serious mental health issues. The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters. He has suffered another

serious episode and is now receiving inpatient hospital care where he'll stay for the foreseeable future. Once well enough to do so, he intends

to respond to the stories that have been published.

Edwards has been open about mental health struggles in the past saying at one point things got so bad he couldn't get out of bed. In the

meantime the BBC now says it will continue its internal investigation. Other less serious allegations have been made against Edwards.

Police say they are aware but haven't received specific information and that there was no police action on them at this time. Questions about

the BBCs handling of the complaints will surely not fade from the front pages anytime soon. Now, neither will questions about the veracity of

the original reporting in the Sun Newspaper. Scott McLean, CNN London.



GIOKOS: A U.N. Security Council meeting is scheduled for this afternoon to discuss North Korea's latest long range missile tests. State Media

reporting, Leader Kim Jong Un personally guided the launch of the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday, which flew

for 74 minutes before crashing down in the waters near Japan.

The solid fuel ICBM has been called the notes most powerful nuclear weapon, but it's unclear if it could actually deliver a nuclear payload.

This launch also follows threats from Kim Jong-Un's younger sister, as CNN's Will Ripley reports; she's being called the most powerful woman in

North Korea.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Amazing milestone for North Korea's missile program, Pyongyang's latest

ICBM launch, breaking its own record for the longest ever missile flight. A staggering 74 minutes hurtling high above the earth at

supersonic speed, hitting 6000 kilometers before splashing down in the sea, the massive missiles potential striking range, the entire U.S.

mainland and most of the world.

Pyongyang's most provocative launch in months is coinciding with this NATO Summit in Lithuania, quickly condemned by Japan as an unacceptable

threat to regional stability. South Korea's military ready to overwhelmingly respond. The ICBM a crown jewel in leader Kim Jong Un's

nuclear arsenal, protecting the power fortune and future of the ruling Kim family.

His young daughter Kim Ju Ae, often appearing alongside her dad, barely 10 years old, the rising star of a state propaganda campaign, carefully

crafted by Kim's younger sister, the mastermind of the Kim family brand. Leader's loyal confidant trusted advisor and perhaps the most powerful

woman in North Korea.

CHUN SU-JIN, AUTHOR, "NORTH KOREAN WOMEN IN POWER: DAUGHTERS OF THE SUN": She is the number two. Well that is for sure. But actually she is

very smart lady and she actually knows that her position is secure only when her brother is secure.

RIPLEY (voice over): Just five years ago, very few people knew of Kim Yo Jong, she stepped down to South Korean soil, the first member of North

Korea's ruling family to cross the DMZ. She carried a message of peace from Pyongyang. North Korean athletes and cheer squads got a warm

welcome to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

She rose to fame as a fixture at her brother's side. Standing silently behind Kim as he met with former President Trump that brief period of

diplomacy feels like a distant memory. The silent sister now a loud voice of defiance issuing fiery statements on state media often laced

with crude language.

This week, she threatened to shoot down U.S. spy planes, accusing them without evidence of entering North Korean territory warning in case of

repeated illegal intrusions, the U.S. forces will experience a very critical flight. Past actions prove he's not all talk. In 2020 a dispute

with South Korea ended with a bang, Kim ordered the demolition of a joint Liaison Office at the border turning diplomatic dreams into a pile

of rubble.


RIPLEY: She ordered the demolition of a building partially because she was angry that South Korea wasn't doing enough to stop activists from

sending propaganda leaflets in balloons to the north. And she's accusing the U.S. and South Korea of having the most hostile and aggressive

behavior calling the South Korean president a fool.

And those two countries now strengthening their military alliance, which means there could be even stronger responses from North Korea and the

second most powerful person in North Korea, Kim Yo Jong. Will Ripley CNN Taipei.

GIOKOS: Well, still to come, the UN warned Sudan is on the brink of a full scale civil war. Regional leaders gather in Cairo to find out ways

to stop the bloodshed. And we'll be hearing from Egypt's Foreign Minister next. Plus dangerous heat waves and floods are ravaging

communities across the globe, what's being done to combat the climate crisis.



GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Connect the World" with me Eleni Giokos in Dubai. A mass grave with the bodies of at least 87 people, including

ethnic Masalits have been discovered in Sudan's West Darfur. The UN believes they were killed by paramilitary rapid support forces and their

allied militia and is calling for an investigation. The RSF denies they were behind the deaths.

The conflict in Sudan has become a humanitarian catastrophe, displacing more than 3 million people many fleeing across borders. The UN says

Sudan is on the brink of a full scale civil war today, Egypt meantime launching a fresh attempt to mediate this crisis at a summit of regional


It is the latest in a series of international efforts to prevent a prolonged conflict and deepening humanitarian crisis. Countries in the

region are in Cairo right now trying to find ways to end the fighting. Joining me now is Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Minister,

great to have you with a thank you so much for taking the time.

Look, Egypt spearheading the summit of Sudan's neighbors. President Sisi presented an initiative to the group based on a ceasefire opening of

safe passage for aid, comprehensive dialogue and a mechanism to communicate with the warring parties. I want you to give me a sense of

what the next step is here. Have you reached out to the generals? When do you plan to do so?

SAMEH SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, let me just clarify that this initiative came about through consultations with particularly the

neighboring, immediate neighboring states of Sudan. This is a group of countries which has very deep contacts with all of the Sudanese

political entities, is constantly in close people to people relationship.

And at the same time has potentially the most affected, because of the proximity and because of the subsequent negative effects of a conflict

in state and the size of Sudan with the complications of the last years, and the emergence of use.

And of course, the military actions and its impact in loss of Sudanese lives, the impact on civilians, the humanitarian crisis, all

necessitated that these particular group of countries establish this format and create a ministerial mechanism that can deliberate have the

sufficient opportunity and time to develop a more impactful strategy in consultations with other formats that are also concerned and are

applying themselves to resolving the situation, but at the same time, and communication with all of the various factors .


And so, that not only the warring factors but certainly the political component of the civilian society and to address the situation in a

comprehensive manner that addresses necessarily first and primarily the conflict and reaching a cessation of hostilities that is sustainable,

that is constant.

And that opens the doors for further dialogue with all between all of the components. I think the dangers of fragmentation of implosion; the

lack of ability to maintain the institutions of government is very fundamental issue that was highlighted by all the participants.

GIOKOS: Foreign Minister, I have to ask you this. The UN giving a dire warning that Sudan is on the brink of its full scale Civil War. We've

just heard horrifically, today 87 bodies found in a mass grave and worst off for a long week here at sexual and ethnic related violence. Do you

believe that Sudan is on the precipice of a civil war?

SHOUKRY: It is a very dangerous situation, it can de-escalate to consequences that, as I mentioned, the fragmentation of Sudan entering

into a civil war of the various military factions that exist that whether they decide to participate directly in support of one element,

visibly the other. So the dangers have existed at all times and will definitely escalate as the situation deteriorates.

And we all have to avoid that. I think this is why it's important that the international community that the regional, the neighbors, the

trilateral, the -- quadrilateral, the UN Security Council, should all be speaking with the same voice, should all be emphasizing the importance

of the cessation of hostilities and the comprehensive settlement to regain the aspirations of these people and to fulfill the transition to

a democratic government.

GIOKOS: Foreign Minister, I have to ask you this. Look, -- ceasefires have failed, mostly brokered by the U.S. and Saudi. They now say those

negotiations now have been put on the side; they're saying that it's not succeeding. And the format is just not working. How are you going to be

doing this differently? How confident are you of success because Egypt has not had a prominent public role in peace negotiations until now?

SHOUKRY: Well, it hasn't had a public role, because we have been continuously from the outset consulting privately, not only with the

military, with the Rapid Deployment Forces, the council, with civilian entities as well. And within that those communications by virtue of our

also very deep knowledge of the situation in Sudan, and those participants might produce results through quiet channels.

At this stage it is the ministerial mechanism as a whole that is, has been mandated by the heads of state of the leaders to formulate

practical measures to utilize each and the degree of their impactfulness and their insightfulness into the situation where they can distribute

the load and hopefully attract greater responsiveness from the Sudanese entities.

We can't guarantee a result it has to be always indicative business at internal manner.

GIOKOS: Minister, I mean, an internal it's an internal manner, matter that's a really important point. I have to ask you this. Is there a

disconnect between the initiatives in terms of what we're seeing from African and Arab negotiations? Do you believe that there's alignment


SHOUKRY: I believe that there's always been an alignment because there's always a consistency and recognizing the dangers associated with the

deteriorating situation. But as you mentioned, there has been difficulty in achieving the goal that I think all are committed to carry on their

efforts to achieve, which is the cessation of hostilities.

And opening a comprehensive dialogue to move forward on what is associated to, how the Sudanese people see their future, how they want

to determine, how they move from the transitional to a more so an elected really electric and democratic government. That represents their

interest. Of course this is all been complicated by that military conflict.


And this is why it still has the predominance, though many formats have failed to achieve that. That is not a reason that we should give up and

the country is the reason that we should consolidate and exert even greater efforts.

GIOKOS: If diplomacy doesn't work out, do you believe there is a military solution? Are you pricing that in as a probability? And if so,

would Egypt get involved in a more conventional way?

SHOUKRY: Wait, I think in all of these conflicts, we have always indicated that the military solution is not the appropriate solution

that it only can lead to complications down the road.

And that it is more beneficial that there is some form of understandings that can take into account the best interests of Sudan, the instability,

the lack of security, the potential of, as you mentioned, civil war, are all issues that have a very deep effect not only on the Sudanese people,

but also on the neighboring states, primarily, which have received large numbers of refugees.

And which is shouldering a very heavy burden. And is hopeful that the international community and the pledging conference that was held to

provide humanitarian assistance or willingness to provide humanitarian corridors.

And to again, find mechanisms where we can disperse the assistance that can be provided through our territory and of course, providing the

logistics and the material support at a time when our economies are under stress and duress. But it is our responsibility towards our

brothers and sisters in Sudan. But we need also that the international community shows the necessary resolve to assist us.

GIOKOS: Yes. Minister, we have so much to get through, I'm trying to get through all the important points, there's so much happening. Look, Egypt

has received 250,000 Sudanese since the start of the conflict; the fear is that that is going to increase dramatically. Your government last

month announced it's going to require all Sudanese to obtain visas to enter Egypt.

What is your response to that that this is going to impact the woman and the children that you of course, have been mentioning that you're trying

to protect?

SHOUKRY: I hope --

GIOKOS: That's from Human Rights Watch Minister, you mentioned that, yes.

SHOUKRY: We mentioned the number, 250 or not 250. Yes 250 and rising, there are approximately almost 1000.

GIOKOS: 50,000.

SHOUKRY: -- entering every day, we have put in place. No, there's a, there's 250,000 who have entered Egypt since the beginning of this

conflict, to add to the already 5 million Sudanese that have taken refuge in Egypt or have migrated to Egypt for economic purposes over the

last 30 years. So we are shouldering a very large burden.

But we do so in recognition of the relationship and the humanitarian conditions. And we continue to allow on a daily basis almost 1000

Sudanese to enter but after receiving visas, because of the security and volatility of the situation, where infiltration can easily be a manner

for an desirable person to enter whether terrorism or organized crime.

So at this level and scale, any country must apply some form of measure to that and to maintain the security. But I think the level of entry

into Egypt of those who need protection or willingness to maintain our borders open and to fulfill our legal obligations under the

international conventions, is not in doubt, and will never be in doubt because we consider Sudanese as brothers and sisters that are certainly

very much welcome and have been so for decades.

GIOKOS: Minister Shoukry, thank you very much for joining us. I have so many more questions. We'll definitely invite you back as these mediation

talks and mechanisms continue. We appreciate your time and your insights. Thank you so much. Well, coming up how a former U.S. tennis

pro is helping protect the world's great whales from their biggest threat. We'll be right back.



GIOKOS: Whales are a crucial component to a healthy ocean and a livable planet. Scientists have discovered they are actually ecosystem engineers

providing nutrients to phytoplankton, which helps sustain fish stocks. That nutrient enriched phytoplankton also absorbs large amounts of co2

from the atmosphere and produces at least half of the oxygen we breathe. Today on Call to Earth, we meet a team of well guardians helping protect

the massive mammals from one of their biggest threats.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): It's been a quiet day on the Sea of Cortez and for Conservation Biologist Michael Fishbach and Delphi

Waters. That means frustration.

DELPHI WATERS, CO-FOUNDER, WHALE GUARDIANS: It's been a bit challenging to be honest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): They've spent hours on this little research boat hoping to get up close and personal with the largest

animal ever to exist, the blue whale.

CRISTINA MITTERMEIER, PHOTOGRAPHER: We'll hear and before we see him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Also on board our world renowned nature photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen.

PAUL NICKLEN, PHOTOGRAPHER: -- those here blow over here.

MITTERMEIER: I heard a blow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Fishbach a former U.S. tennis pro has been coming here for 29 years and is unwilling to accept defeat.

MICHAEL FISHBACH, CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GREAT WHALE CONSERVANCY: Sometimes you're in a situation like we're in right now.

And something unbelievable happens because you hung in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here it comes. It's coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it coming to us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's coming this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here, right here. It's running under the boat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, the size of this animal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): But this is no sightseeing trip. Each winter, Michael and Delphi spend at least two months here capturing

photo ID of whales dorsal fins, which they use to map critical feeding and breeding habitats. And as co-founders of the program well,

guardians, the father, daughter duo ultimately aim to protect great whales from their biggest threats.

WATERS: Preventing ship strikes on whales, especially for the larger whales, is critical to their conservation because it is the leading

cause of death for many of these species.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Whale guardians works directly with the maritime industry to mitigate unintended collisions.

WATERS: So really, the only way that we've found with the technology and everything we have at our disposal in this day and age is to separate

the shipping routes from the whale habitat.

FISHBACH: It turns out that the shipping industry actually had never really been very well educated about the ship strike issue. So I started

going around and giving them three hour presentations on what the heck was actually going on. And what did I discover, to my great surprise,

they cared.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Fleets that have volunteered to take part are given maps and rerouting documents to help them steer around

migrating and breeding pods.

WATERS: Which means that every one of those vessels has the opportunity when deemed safe to avoid this whale habitat, where otherwise they would

have no idea that they're going through critical whale habitat. And we have seen an amazingly heartwarming response from the industry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): So far, whale guardians has successfully partnered with industry organizations in Chile, Brazil,

Mexico, Greece and Belgium.

WATERS: We're already saving whale lives every single day. And that's our main goal. That's our number one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): But they say there is still plenty of work to be done.

FISHBACH: We have a minimum of four to 500 locations around the world that need fixing.

WATERS: We're building a global community that is geared toward the maritime industry. But we want to offer solutions for everyone to be

able to get involved in saving whale lives and feel like they're making actual difference.


GIOKOS: Well, let us know what you're doing to answer the call to earth with a #calltoearth. And we'll be right back after the short break, stay

with CNN.


GIOKOS: Welcome back, Cyprus has a different kind of problem. A form of Coronavirus is threatening to wipe out its famous cat population. Animal

Rescue is a frantic to find a way to save the islands Sea line, feline rather friends. CNN's Lynda Kinkade takes a look.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Cyprus is famous for its cats, about 1 million of them, mostly straights. Archeologists trace the

first known example of cat domestication to the island. But now they're becoming known for another reason, they're dying. The killer is FIP,

Feline Infectious Peritonitis, a type of Coronavirus, only found in cats and not known to be transmissible to humans.

At this clinic near Cypriot capital, Nicosia veterinarians are caring for infected cats, like baby, a six month old kitten. FIP was regarded

as an incurable feline disease until recently. The treatment isn't cheap, and there's no ready supply on the island. And diagnosis can be


KOSTIS LARKOU, VETERINARIAN: The virus itself comes from a mutation from the feline Corona virus enteric for the virus completely changes the

approach and the aggression. So it takes over all of the body after the mutation. So why the mutation is happening and why it's happening more

often now, we don't know. OK, it's quite, it's very strange.

KINKADE (voice over): The reason for the outbreak might be unclear, but its potential damage for infected cats is startling.

LARKOU: Like 90 percent of the cats will die.

KINKADE (voice over): An animal rescue volunteer shares this grim view.

VASILIKI MANI, ANIMAL RESCUE VOLUNTEER: I know our Cypriots take pride in saying Cyprus is the island of cats. Unfortunately, very shortly if

we don't take immediate action, what we will be saying is Cyprus is the island of dead cats.


KINKADE (voice over): That fear is sending desperate cat owners scrambling for help.

DEMETRIS EPAMINONDAS, VP, PANCYPRIAN VETERINARY ASSOCIATION: Internet black market and that is what we worry about, because nobody knows what

they are getting.

KINKADE (voice over): Animal advocates are demanding access to medication and government accountability.

MANI: If it can be incurable then leaving them to die from FIP is neglect. And in itself animal neglect is animal cruelty.

KINKADE (voice over): The agricultural ministry told AFP news agency it's examining all possible means of addressing the issue. Lynda

Kinkade, CNN.


GIOKOS: Thanks so very much for joining us. That was "Connect the World". "One World" with Zain Asher is up next. From me Eleni Giokos,

enjoy the rest of your evening.