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Connect the World
Denmark And The Netherlands To Send F-16 Jets To Ukraine; Post- Tropical Cyclone Hilary Lashes U.S. Southwest; Electric Scooters Gaining Popularity In India; HRW Accuses Saudi Border Guards Of Killing Ethiopians; Ecuador's Presidential Vote Moves To Runoff; Messi Expected To give Football A Boost In U.S. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 21, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome to "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade. Coming up the first tropical storm to hit California in over
two decades unleashes record breaking rainfall. Now millions of people are in danger from flooding.
Russia calls Denmark's plays just an F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine an escalation in the conflict. But how much of this will be a game changer?
We'll explore. And India has some of the world's worst air pollution but the electric vehicle industry could soon transform the country's
environment and its economy.
And finally, a damning report from Human Rights Watch alleges that the Saudi border guards have killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants crossing the
Yemeni Saudi border. We'll speak to the author of that report about its findings.
We start with the second hour of "Connect the World" with words of gratitude and a warning. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked
Denmark for its pledge to send his country F-16 fighter jets in his speech to the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen.
He also said Denmark and other allies near Russia will be under threat if Ukraine doesn't win the war both Denmark and the Netherlands so they will
provide American F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine once pilot training is complete. Russia's Ambassador to Denmark called the Danish pledge an
So I want to bring in our Nick Paton Walsh, who joins us this hour from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. Good to have you with us, Nick. So it seems like
dozens of fighter jets have now been promised to Ukraine. The question is just how soon could they be on the battlefield?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not soon enough in according to Ukrainian officials, and indeed
Ukrainian troops, we've spoken to this is a lengthy project. It's an ambitious one certainly. And it's another example, frankly of when
international rhetoric grows around a particular arm supply issue to Ukraine that we do suddenly see a speeding up, perhaps of timetables.
It is unclear if the promises we've heard from the Netherlands and Denmark are a result of hearing a few days earlier Ukraine saying they weren't
going to get the F-16s they needed or result of them seeing slow progress for Ukraine's counter offensive in the south, whether they were already
promising planning these statements.
But slowly here we're beginning to see how the F-16s may eventually end up in Ukraine even though it's highly unlikely it will be before next year.
Initially training has to start in European allies states that was always the plan that the U.S. was comfortable with reminisces U.S. technology.
They've approved the use of simulators, training manuals, et cetera for European states to do that to Ukrainian pilots. And then once that process
is finished, and we understand it's underway now in Denmark, and most likely soon in the Netherlands as well, perhaps also in the UK, too.
As that moves forwards four or five months down the line Ukraine will essentially have pilots ready to take receipt of the F-16 them there they
will then be handed over. And then potentially Ukraine will have some kind of F-16 based air defense.
But we now know from the Danish that they will be supplying 19 specific jets, six this year, most likely and then water followed a less clear
timetable, the Netherlands they have 42 Ukraine sort of fairly like all of them.
The Netherlands have said well, we need to keep some for training purposes, not theirs but the training of the Ukrainians that would undertake the
flying of F-16s over Ukrainian airspace. So it's not quite clear exactly how many will be gifted from the Netherlands to Ukraine.
All of this, though, more concrete more specific than it was just a matter of days ago. Perhaps a reflection of this save the more public discussion
about F-16s being needed in Ukraine, but also too I think a repetition of the same debate we saw over leopard tanks, initial reticence public demands
from Ukraine because their people were dying on the frontlines.
They needed to retake occupied territory the same thing with patriots and absolute no way from the Biden Administration months ago and now something
that's defending the skies of the capital nightly, often.
So this is a familiar pattern and the question I think many Ukrainians are asking is if the ultimate thing that they end up with is the same they get
F-16s why can't they have them earlier? Particularly given the how much they need them for the counter offensive on the way right now, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, exactly. They can't come soon enough. Nick Paton Walsh for us in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine thank you so much. We're going to stay on this
story. My next guest is an expert on Air Defense and has written extensively about F-16 fighter jets. This past weekend, Justin Bronk wrote
on X formerly known as Twitter.
This U.S. decision is important as it clears one of the obstacles to delivery from European operators. U.S. authorization as the original
manufacturer. Several issues remain, however. And Justin Bronk joins me now from London. Professor Bronk, good to have you on the program.
I want to get to your concerns in just a moment. But let's start with a major development, the fact that Ukraine will get dozens of fighter jets
from the U.S. from Denmark from the Netherlands, to how big of an improvement is this compared to what they currently have?
JUSTIN BRONK, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW FOR AIRPOWER AND TECHNOLOGY, RUSI: So compared to Ukraine's current fighters, F-16 will be a major improvement in
almost every way, with the exception of being harder to maintain and support, just because they're not used to it and then maintainers aren't
trained on it.
But it will have superior radar, notably better radar warning receiver and general self-defense and situational awareness capabilities, which are key
particularly in the high threat airspace of Ukraine. And compatibility with a massively wider range of Western made weaponry and equipment. So it
certainly is a huge benefit for the Ukrainian pilots once it's sustainably established and operating in the country.
KINKADE: And Professor, let's get to your concerns because you've raised at least 10 of them. One of the key concerns, of course, is who's going to
maintain these? Who is going to provide maintenance on these fighter jets? And would it happen in Ukraine? Would it happen outside the country, and if
it were to happen in Ukraine, that, of course carries additional risks, just explained your concerns?
BRONK: So essentially, what's been cleared so far are two of the hurdles so identifying where the aircraft will come from Denmark, in the Netherlands,
potentially Norway and Belgium as well in subsequent months or years.
And whether the pilots will be trained, that's been established, European countries are setting up the training, and U.S. authorization for foreign
military sales transfer. So those -- the issue is those are kind of the easy bits.
The hard bit has always been training the pilots up to the required tactical standard, but also, crucially, the maintenance. And so some people
have kind of said well, why we don't do the maintenance in Poland or Romania?
NATO country safe from attack, where there's already F-16 maintenance and servicing and basing arrangements. The problem is, if an aircraft is not
air worthy, the only way to get it to depth maintenance, would be to take it apart and essentially take it by road or rail.
And if you take the wings off a jet, you're basically creating a massive amount of additional work, potentially causing a load more faults, and
you're likely to be down for months. This is something that's only done in extremists.
And so really, most of the actual day to day servicing, turning the jets essentially is going to have to be done in Ukraine on the squadrons just as
it is in any other air force. While you can, you will do the depth maintenance most likely in Poland or Romania, that's for what we'd call sub
So every, you know, 150 to 250 hours, whatever the interval is, or if there's kind of major issues that need doing, or every sort of six months
or whatever. But it's almost impossible to explain to somebody who hasn't, you know, been around fighter aircraft and fighter ops, how many little
things need doing all the time on a western jet?
You know, typically when the jets come down, there'll be some minor problem or other or at minimum, and when the jets are started up, you'll be going
through faults clearing them, even if everything goes well.
These things are incredibly complex to maintain compared to anything in terms of equipment that the Ukrainians have been given so far in the ground
or for maritime operations. So yes, who's going to maintain those jets in country is critical.
Traditionally, what you'd see in Air Forces setting up on F-16 is you'd have about a year of training for maintainers at the sort of basic level,
who will be then cleared to work on the jet under supervision.
But that supervision will be provided by journeymen who are essentially three to four years in who've had extra training, who can supervise work,
and then that will all be supervised furthermore, by crew chiefs or master level maintainers who have had you know anywhere from about six years to a
decade plus of experience who can then certify things and signed off.
For every other F-16 user that the U.S. has set up, those journeymen and certainly the sort of crew chief master level maintainer roles have been
provided by contractors, or sometimes U.S. officers on exchange with the administration's policy of no boots on the ground.
That's not going to be possible in Ukraine without a policy change and those European partners who are providing F-16s, or said they're going to
provide F-16s don't have lots of spare capacity and maintenance because they need those maintenance to retrain to F-35, to continue running their
own Air Force.
And indeed, they'll need more maintenance than they currently have because F-35s need more maintenance intensive. So this is one of the key questions.
And it's made even more critical by the fact that those contractors will be at risk.
Because while the Ukrainian Air Force is not a primary target for Russian long range missile strikes at the moment, and hasn't been for some time, if
Western fighters and F-16 are provided, that will very quickly changed, they will become a primary target for Russian strikes, not just because
they're a military threat but also because of the political value of destroying them.
So those bases where they're set up need to be able to be moved regularly relatively well concealed and also be in lots of different locations to
make it harder for the Russians to find and attack them successfully with missile strikes.
And so that will increase the number required. It will increase the cost required. There's a reason this has taken a long time. It's a very
difficult problem. Training the pilots and finding the aircraft is kind of the easy bit.
KINKADE: Yes, I mean, it seems that way, doesn't it? Getting a green light to get these fighter jets is one thing but the training, the maintenance,
the timing of all of this, certainly you raise many headaches. Professor Justin Bronk, good to have you on the show. Thanks so much for your time.
BRONK: Thank you.
KINKADE: You are watching "Connect the World". Still ahead, we are tracking the remnants of Hurricane Hilary as it makes its way across the Western
United States. We'll have a live report on the record setting rain. And India's future could be electric. We'll investigate the electric scooters
popularity, and the boom as we have always we see more people going green.
KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Flash flood warnings are in effect for millions of people across California, Nevada and up towards
Idaho that says Hurricane Hilary which has now been downgraded hit California.
It was the first tropical storm across the state in more than 25 years, dropping more than a year's worth of rain in some parts of the state. Take
a look at this video. This is from Palm Springs area East of Los Angeles. This swift moving river popped up here on a road there.
And that's where we find our Stephanie Elam; she joins us now from Cathedral City in the Coachella Valley. Good to have you with us Stephanie.
So this epic storm dumped more than a year's worth of rain in a matter of hours what a way to end a three year drought just takes us through what
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lynda keep thinking about this year overall about how we start off with some massive storms coming through here
and in a way we hadn't seen and now they have this summertime storm that is the rainiest day that they've ever had in Palm Springs in hundred years of
records. And you see what is left behind an entire trail of mud. But that picture is not one that's being painted only here. It's across Southern
ELAM (voice-over): This morning Palm Springs is under a local emergency order as heavy rain from Hilary is causing dangerous flood conditions and
prompting at least three swift water rescues.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're asking residents to stay inside stay where they are.
ELAM (voice-over): The Mayor's warning is because of the situation like this. A pickup truck stuck in the middle of a street surrounded by deep
rushing floodwaters. The driver was not injured. But the California Highway Patrol closed the road to prevent others from crossing.
Those floodwaters so powerful a refrigerator was seen floating away in them, this drone video taken over a nearby neighborhood where the flooding
has nearly covered an entire golf course. One homeowner says he's never seen anything like it in the Coachella Valley
BRUCE THOMAS, HOMEOWNER: Within 24 hours it's turned into a torrential storm between whole number 13 and whole number 16. It's virtually six feet
ELAM (voice-over): The conditions there also create a dangerous situation for drivers, including a fire truck forced to turn around due to rising
waters. Ahead of the storm the Palm Springs Mayor says the city prepared and distributed 60,000 sandbags as well as cleared storm drains.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even an inch or two of rain in the desert can cause damage.
ELAM (voice-over): Alright, take a look at this the road totally covered up but it's also completely socked in on this other side of the road. I mean
look oh, we're barely touching the bottom there. State officials say some desert regions like Palm Springs could double their yearly amount of water
in just one day from Hilary.
Overnight officials in Ventura County search by helicopter and on the ground for a couple of people believed to be trapped by floodwaters from
the Santa Clara River. Two people eventually walked out of the flooded area, assisted by crew's officials urging everyone to stay out of river
bottoms and canals.
And this was the scene Sunday in Wrightwood, about 77 miles Northeast of Los Angeles huge gushes of water forcing their way through a wash, carrying
large logs, rocks and muddy debris. Exactly the type of thing the Governor wants people to be on alert for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take seriously debris flows and floods, flash floods lightning possibility of tornadoes.
ELAM (on camera): And the Mayor of Palm Springs is saying all their major ways in and out of the city are all a mess right now. And take a look at
this one here in Cathedral City do you see how thick and slushy and gross and disgusting and nasty this mud is. This is why you have cars getting
Those two cars a black and white one stuck overnight this other black one on the right. They just did that within probably a couple of hours ago
since we've been standing out here despite the blockades despite the fact that police officers told that person not to do it.
So this is why they're asking people to stay off the roads while they've closed schools today also still having communication issues with their
emergency response numbers. And so people that they need to get help is still having to text because they can't call because communications have
been down here.
So Palm Springs this area that Coachella Valley in the desert, definitely getting hit with so much rain, so much water that they just couldn't take
that much happening all at one time, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, just incredible scenes there. I can't imagine the price tag it's going to take the cost to fix and repair that stretch of coastline.
Stephanie Elam, for us good to have you on the story thank you!
Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is tracking all of this for us from the World Weather Center. And Derek California was not only hit with this epic record
breaking storm, but also an earthquake. And now this post tropical cyclone is headed north through California. What can we expect?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, what's next a locust invasion? I mean, my goodness, right. How many things can they handle? It is terrible.
The scenes coming out of Southern California are tough.
And we keep going back to these debris flows and the mudslides that have been literally in our TV screens and here's some of the best footage and I
want to pay attention to this because it is so dramatic to watch how this burst of material and debris comes down the mountain side of literally can
pick up boulders, full trees, vehicles, even homes.
These things can run and go basically up to 40 miles per hour or over 60 kilometers per hour it's just incredible.
And Southern California and much of the western parts of the U.S. are so susceptible to what is known as a burn scar and these changed the landscape
of our environment for years to come even well after the wildfire burns and scorches the earth where we get this heavy rainfall event.
The canopy that normally absorbs the water that is the loose leaf material from the trees above is not there. It's literally been burned so that
organic material has now turned into charred wasteland and it becomes what we call hydrophobic. That means that it literally repels water.
So just like water falling on top of pavement, it literally has nowhere to go and eventually it slides down the hillside and the mountainous terrain
and takes everything along with it. And of course that can lead to disastrous effects, which you're seeing on your TV screens here behind me.
And you can also see just the amount of rock and debris that was picked up, I mean, there's what is that a bed, I mean just incredible.
Here's the look at post tropical Hilary, it continues to impact the western parts of the U.S. there are several burned scars across this area too many
to count. And with this amount of rain, I'm likely we'll see more burn debris flows coming out of this, but check out these rainfall totals
nearing 300 millimeters. And notice this; this is very high mountainous terrain.
So anywhere we have that combination of burn scars and heavy rainfall, we will see mudslides and landslides. This is why we have millions of
Americans under the flood alerts. There are still flash flood warnings across southern Nevada and to Eastern southern central portions of
Good news is that the rain, the heaviest rain has come to an end largely across San Diego and into Los Angeles, but still plenty of moisture to
contend with. This is all from the remnants of what was Hilary, and we'll continue to see several millimeters of rain in the coming hours across that
Check this out, though we're going to end on this very active hurricane set up across the main development region throughout the Atlantic. This is one
we're going to monitor very closely. We have now a potential tropical cyclone that could impact the southern portions of Texas in the days to
come. So it's almost like someone flipped the light switch on and flipped the tropics on as well, they're -- .
KINKADE: Busy, busy time for you and everyone in the weather center right now.
KINKADE: Derek Van Dam, good to have you with us. Thanks. Well, U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Hawaii today to get firsthand look at
the damage from those devastating wildfires on the island of Maui. 114 people have now been confirmed dead. But more than 850 is still missing in
what is now the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over a century.
Some people in Hawaii have complained that the government's recovery response has been too slow. Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir brings us
the latest on the search efforts.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Here in Maui, we've had almost now two weeks of anxious anticipation for the latest announcement on the
dead and the missing. But that is sort of shifting into grim resignation that a lot of loved ones may never be found given the temperature of the
fire, Governor Josh Green saying yesterday 1050 people remain unaccounted for he said that many of them will never be recovered.
So as we stand overlooking the town, we were seeing clouds of dust coming up from some of the heavy machinery. And it's so heartbreaking to realize
that dust holds people's children and parents and neighbors and loved ones. And how do you get a sense of closure in this particular space.
This will be a sacred space for so many for so long, three and a half square miles of area burned. The president is expected to fly over Lahaina.
It's uncertain whether he'll actually touchdown on the ground. He's expected to meet with first responders and victims of this disaster.
He of course is known as an empathizer in chief given the tragedy in his personal life. But he uncharacteristically gave a no comment when asked
about Hawaiians a few days ago. The White House insists he's been on the phone hourly, almost making sure that everybody gets the resources they
need. But this is really an emotionally charged time, so many tender emotions right now.
And so, the president is sort of walking into that. As for the future, so much of that depends on sort of ancient fights over water rights in
particular. So that's at the top of mind of people who say that that the water that could have kept this place lush and fireproof was diverted to
resorts and enrich homeowners at the expense of locals that may come up during today's visit. But it certainly will be an issue going forward. Bill
Weir, CNN Maui.
KINKADE: Thanks to Bill. Well, how do you cut down emissions in the world's most populated country? India is trying to radically change its
environmental footprint two wheels at a time. Electric scooters are becoming more popular in the country. And some analysts say it could do
wonders to help India move away from fossil fuels. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even on a good day, the traffic in New Delhi can be pretty overwhelming. But here in
the capital of the world's most populous country, dramatic change is in the air and on busy streets. Seemingly overnight, iconic Indian vehicles like
the humble rickshaw have suddenly gone electric.
WATSON: India is in the midst of a revolution, a transition towards adopting electric vehicles. This transformation is being led by small
vehicles, scooters, motorcycles, and vehicles like this.
WATSON (voice-over): Two wheeled vehicles vastly outnumber cars on India's roads, with more than 15 million units sold last year. Experts say this
country is home to one of the biggest two wheeled vehicle markets in the world.
TARUN MEHTA, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, ATHER ENERGY: In Indian context, the largest use of petrol is two wheelers in India. The largest emissions are two
wheelers in India.
WATSON (voice-over): Tarun Mehta is the CEO of Ather Energy. He and Swapnil Jain launched this startup in 2013. At this factory outside Bangalore they
manufacture electric scooters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One scooter was sold every 90 seconds.
WATSON: This is just one of at least 10 companies producing two wheeled electric vehicles in India today. The management here say they're not
selling any of their scooters overseas for export yet, because they just don't need to.
WATSON (voice-over): Ather says its sales have skyrocketed from just 200 Scooters a month in 2022 to more than 15,000 a month today. Electric
scooters can cost 30 percent more than traditional gas powered scooters says Ather Energy. And yet it looks like Indian consumers are flocking to
this new technology.
BRAJESH CHHIBBER, PARTNER, MCKINSEY & COMPANY: We predict that the total two wheeler markets by the year 2030 would be around 25 million units. And
out of that close to 60 to 70 percent of units sold would be electric.
WATSON (voice-over): India is home to many of the world's most polluted cities. But experts agree that the mass electrification of India's vehicles
could be a game changer for the environment.
ANUMITA ROYCHOWDHURY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT: If we can marry the two combined, the EB transition and
decarbonization of electricity, that is really a win-win and we are going to have enormous environmental and health benefits.
WATSON (voice-over): India is on the road to monumental change in its transport industry, a process that will hopefully take pressure off of our
planet's embattled climate. Ivan Watson, CNN New Delhi.
KINKADE: Well, still to come, Human Rights Watch report makes damning claims that Saudi Arabian border guards killed hundreds of Ethiopian
migrants crossing the Yemeni Saudi border. Well, we'll be speaking with one of the researchers who worked on that report about the dangerous route
these migrants and asylum seekers are taking.
KINKADE: Welcome back to "Connect the World" with me Lynda Kinkade, your headlines this hour. Former U.S. President Donald Trump says he won't
participate in the first Republican primary debate in the 2024 race for the White House. Trump talked to his social media page writing, the public
knows who I am.
Sources say Trump plans to sit down for an interview with former Fox News Host Tucker Carlson instead. It's not yet clear if Trump will show up for
any other debate. Russia's first moon mission in decades has failed, the country's cruelest lunar 25 spacecraft crashed into the moon's surface on
It was Russia's first lunar landing or mission rather into 47 years. There's no word yet what caused the crash. A British nurse who was found
guilty of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six others has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which means
she will never be released.
Police say Lucy Letby use a variety of methods to target babies at the hospital where she worked, including injecting them with air and poisoning
them with insulin. 33-year-old Letby is considered the most prolific child killer in modern UK history.
A damning new report by Humans Rights Watch accuses Saudi border guards of mass killings of Ethiopians. That report claims hundreds of migrants
seeking asylum including women and children have been shot at close range while trying to cross the Yemeni Saudi border and attacked with explosives.
Take a look at this video uploaded to TikTok last year.
It shows some of those trying to cross the border into Saudi Arabia and its deal located by Human Rights Watch. The report says the killings targeted
they started in March of 2022. And they appear to have continue. And if committed as part of a Saudi government policy, they will constitute crimes
Well, Saudi government source told CNN the allegations are unfounded. This map is key to understanding the dangerous route these migrants and asylum
seekers take. The video you saw is just the final leg. The journey begins with travel to Djibouti before crossing into the Gulf of Aden in
Smugglers then transport them to Saada in an area under the control of Yemen's Houthi rebels. According to Human Rights Watch, the migrants were
then separated into different camps along ethnic lines, waiting to make the perilous border crossing. Well joining me now is Nadia Hardman, a Human
Rights Watch researcher who worked on this report. We appreciate your time today.
NADIA HARDMAN, REFUGEE AND MIGRANTS RIGHTS RESEARCHER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Hey.
KINKADE: So we will fight on like rain. That's just one of the testimonies given to you in this report. Another person described seeing 30 people
killed on the spot in one moment. Just give us a sense of the horror that you documented.
HARDMAN: Thanks so much for that question. Look, I interviewed 42 Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers for this report that tried to cross as you said
in the beginning, between March 2022 and June 2023, and all recounted just horrifying stories. People were either targeted with explosive weapons.
So what they said were Saudi border guards firing water projectiles at them, or shootings at close range where people described being approached
by Saudi border guards. Usually when I traveled in small groups, and asked me to choose which limb of their body they wanted, fired on, and then they
would be fired at that limb.
One survivor of an explosive weapon attack a 17-year-old boy survived this awful incident and was then approached by Saudi border guards and forced to
rake the survivor girls in his group.
And he said he participated in the rake in order to survive, and the girls did too, especially after one man refused. And he was summarily executed.
People described really, you know, just scenes of horror with dead migrants wounded all over the mountainside, really killing fields of horror.
And, you know, they continue to tell me that they just felt the overwhelming guilt of leaving people they traveled with at the mountainside
because they had to run away they were running for their lives.
KINKADE: It's absolutely horrifying. Saudi Arabia, we understand is implementing a new anti-immigrant policy and CNN reached out to a Saudi
government source for our response to this report. And they told CNN that the allegations included in the human rights report about Saudi border
guards, shooting Ethiopians while they were crossing the Saudi Yemeni border are unfounded and not based on reliable sources. What's your
response to that?
HARDMAN: I mean, it's, you know, it's, it's sort of consistent with how we have received I mean, we generally don't receive responses to our letters
and requests. And we did send the Saudi authorities a long list of questions, you know, gave them a right to reply quite long one, I think
over three weeks, and we never received a response.
Instead, what we usually see are responses to journalists, which are usually blanket denials. And they also responded to the UN Special
Rapporteur, who wrote to the Saudi authorities outlining similar allegations such as ours last October, and in March of this year, they
basically, you know, did the same thing and said there were baseless allegations, with no, with no credibility.
But what the authorities don't do is engage in any kind of dialogue with our findings with our investigation, issues, generally blanket denials, and
claims that they are baseless. And this is really consistent with the attempt to just deflect any kind of criticism. You know, and we hope that
in this instance, because of the shocking nature, are these horrendous crimes.
They can't deflect attention, you know, as they have been doing through their sports, washing and other attempts as they play a bigger role on the
KINKADE: And Nadia, I just want to read out one quote, from a testimony that you received, and it goes, we were fired on, repeatedly, I saw people
killed. I saw 30 people killed in the one spot; I could feel people sleeping around me. And I realized that I thought people sleeping around
me, were actually dead bodies. I woke up, and I was alone.
And that is from a young boy, just 14 years of age. Can you give us a sense, Nadia of how these testimonies vary with their similar experiences,
and I understand you also have videos. Is it video evidence? Can you explain a little bit more about that?
HARDMAN: Yes, sure. I mean, that was actually a 14-year-old girl. And you know, what is really again, consistent in our investigation is that these
abuses are widespread and systematic. That is they are not infrequent. I spoke to so many people. I mean, we documented 28 incidents of explosive
weapons use against large groups of migrants and asylum seekers trying to cross women and kids and 14 cases where people were either shot out or
involved in shootings.
You know the consistency of the testimony as why we're saying it may answer a crime against humanity. But the stories are just horrifying. And what you
know, I think it's important to note that so many people have sustained lifelong injuries. They've lost one or more of their limbs, and they're
I think everyone but one person is stranded in Yemen, without medical assistance generally. And with no way really to reach Ethiopia and go back
home. There's some people that are trying to cross the border again, they're either in the hands of smugglers and traffickers also play a big
role on this brutal and lethal routes.
But, you know, I really want to emphasize that we understand that the killings are ongoing that people are still trying to cross and still being
faced with this lethal force.
KINKADE: That's just horrifying. Nadia Hardman from Human Rights Watch, we appreciate your time and your work. Thanks for joining us.
HARDMAN: Thanks so much.
KINKADE: Well, still to come two key elections in Latin America in Ecuador, a presidential vote plagued by concerns over violence ends in a runoff. And
even the polls didn't predict who would end up there. And the winner of Guatemala's presidential vote says the people have spoken loudly. We'll
have more on this a stunning victory for Bernardo Arevalo who ran on a platform of tackling corruption.
KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. There are fresh signs that the left may be making resurgence in Latin America following two big elections.
In Guatemala progressive candidate Bernardo Arevalo, one Sunday's presidential vote, beating the former First Lady Sandra Torres, the son of
Guatemala's first democratically elected President campaigned on curbing corruption.
And in Ecuador, the presidential election is headed for a runoff that a contest that has been overshadowed by the country's escalating violence.
Leftist, Luisa Gonzalez is said to face surprise second place finish businessman Daniel Noboa on October 15. Well, Sunday's contest came less
than two weeks after the killing of anti-corruption candidate Fernando Villavicencio.
Well, CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins us now live from Havana, Cuba with the latest, Patrick, good to have you with us. So yes, it's just over a week
ago really that a presidential candidate was assassinated. And despite that the elections went ahead in Ecuador. But they're now headed for a runoff.
What comes next?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That they are, it continues to be a dramatic and closely watched election. And now on October 15, the voters
will have a very clear choice. -- Gonzales, the leftist candidate, an acolyte of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who believes in more
social programs, large amounts of government spending.
Then her surprise, Challenger Daniel Noboa, who is the son of a banana company magnate, spent a lot of time studying and living in the United
States who believes in free trade and trying to create more business opportunities, more job opportunities for Ecuadorians. And so, this is sort
of a classic right versus left battle in Ecuador.
And, of course, this country's terrible spiral of violence hangs over this race. You had, as you said a candidate assassinated thousands of troops in
the streets to ensure that this would be a safe election, which for the most part, it was, but of course, it's not over yet. And Ecuadorians now
have two very different candidates to choose from.
But we have to remember that neither one will serve a full term. They are completing the term of the outgoing president and we only have about two
years in office.
KINKADE: And looking of course at Guatemala, the election there, there is very much a clear win on this anti-corruption crusader.
OPPMANN: Yes, absolutely. It really seemed like the ruling party in Guatemala the political leads that were trying to keep this kind of outcome
An anti-corruption Crusader like Bernardo Arevalo, who really was not anyone's prediction just a few months ago, but there were several other
opposition candidates that were disqualified. They say illegally. So they said that they were trying to be essentially kept from taking office by
this very politicized judicial system, which is seemingly going after anybody who is said that they will root out the corruption of this country.
So now Bernardo Arevalo who was a diplomat is not a well-known candidate just a couple weeks ago, but he campaigned very successfully on this idea
that he was going to end this epidemic of corruption. And now that comes the hard part of actually making good on those promises.
KINKADE: Patrick Oppmann for us staying across two major elections for us. We appreciate it. Thanks so much. We're going to have all the latest on the
Women's World Cup final after just a quick break. Stay with us.
KINKADE: Welcome back. The Women's World Cup final set viewership records in Spain. These were the fans celebrating in Madrid; Spain defeated England
to win its very first Women's World Cup. Officials in Spain say it had the most viewers of any women's football match more than 8 million people
tuning in. CNN's Amanda Davis has more on their historic tournament and what it means for the future of women's football.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: If anyone does still need to be convinced about women's football, they just have to look at the hard and fast facts.
The numbers of what have played out here in Australia and New Zealand's over the last four weeks. The sense of pride and excitement over what has
been achieved has been hard to escape here on the ground.
And rightly so, 1.9 million fans have attended matches, that's over half a million more than the target that was set. China's match against England
produced the highest reach for a single match anywhere in the world. 53.9 million viewers. Three quarters of a million fans attended the fan
festivals in host countries.
The first time they've ever had them at a women's world cup. And for the first time the women's world cup as a tournament has broken even with
revenues generated $570 million. The first ever Matilda's Captain Julie Dolan told her story at the draw on the stage for this tournament back in
October about how she and her teammates had to bake cakes and sell them to raise money, to buy their football kits.
So she's not been able to believe what she has seen play out. Beyond her wildest dreams is how she has put it. And that is even before you get to
the football. In many ways it has felt like a changing of the guard. Bidding farewell to some of the icons of the game that have done so much,
fought so hard to get it to where it is today.
The likes of Brazil's Marta, Megan Rapinoe Christine Sinclair is allowing the next generation now to step up and shine, Columbia's teen sensation
that Linda Caicedo, Spain Salma Paralluelo.
Now there had been skepticism about raising the number of teams taking part from 24 to 32 relatively quickly given the development of the game. But
Morocco produced two wins on their debut and knocked out Germany from the competition. Nigeria -- Canada, Portugal, we're just a post away from
knocking out the USA. And we had two teams in Spain and England reaping the rewards of investment in their games and domestic leagues.
Two first time finalists leading away now being talked about as the standard bearers for the rest. Tellingly, though, both still have their
battles ongoing. The question marks over the methods of Spain coach Jorge Vilda, England's fight with their football association over commercial
payments and bonuses alongside the likes of Jamaica, Nigeria and so many other claims for what is right not just special favors, just equality,
other Federations and in other areas across the game.
We've had just a taste of what can happen when this beautiful game and its players get just a fraction of the investments and attention they deserve.
Just imagine what the 2027 Women's World Cup will bring if everyone gets on board, Amanda Davies, CNN, Sydney, Australia.
KINKADE: Thanks, Amanda. Well, the head of Spain's Football Federation is apologizing for kissing a player on the lips after the teams world cup win.
Video shows Luis Rubiales embracing forward Jenni Hermoso and then putting both hands on her head before kissing her.
Spain's Minister for Sport and Culture says the action was unacceptable. Well, after what Hermoso can be heard saying in an Instagram video that she
didn't like it. Rubiales released a video a short time ago saying the incident was spontaneous and that he made a mistake.
In the world of men's football, Manchester United says it will help player Mason Greenwood move to another team. Charges of attempted rape and assault
against the 21-year-old were dropped in February. Now an internal investigation by the club has cleared him.
But -- says the team and Greenwood believe it would be difficult for him to return. He last played for them in January at 2022. Greenwood says he
accepts that he made mistakes in his relationship, but says he did not do what he was accused of.
Lionel Messi is American adventure has helped Inter Milan win its first ever trophy. The football superstar has only played in seven games for the
Major League Soccer side, but he's already scored 10 goals. CNN's Don Riddell has more on Messi mania.
DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's only just got here but already Lionel Messi has got his hands on a trophy. Within only a month
he's transformed into Miami from one of the worst teams in North American Soccer into the champions of the league's cup. Saturday's win against
Nashville included another moment of Messi magic.
His stunning goal was the 10th big score in just seven games for Miami. And every time he touches the ball, the hype around him gets wilder and wilder.
PAUL TENORIO, SENIOR WRITER, THE ATHLETIC: His performances on the field are somehow exceeding expectations and I had high expectations for what
Messi would do in Major League Soccer. He's pulling in new eyeballs, you see the social media numbers, you see how often the videos are being shared
of his goals.
RIDDELL (voice-over): And he is just reveling in all of it. Messi has always brought joy to fans of the game, but after a difficult period in
Paris, he's now enjoying the game for himself.
LIONEL MESSI, INTER MIAMI: The truth is that I'm truly happy here. And I said it in the beginning that I chose to come here and I took my time
making this decision. So that's what's made it easier. We are in the place that we want to be.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Messi is Miami star. But his arrival in Major League Soccer is about more than just one team.
MAURICE EDU, MLS COMMENTATOR, APPLE TV: Think about next summer, Copa America is going to be hosted in the United States, the following summer
Club World Cup. And then 2026 is the big one where USA, Canada, Mexico, co- hosting the World Cup here. So the timing of these events are so important and they align perfectly with the arrival of Lionel Messi.
RIDDELL (voice-over): It's expected that he will elevate soccer in North America further growing the game domestically, but he will also give the
league a more global platform. And it was obvious from the moment in July when he was introduced to the stage that nothing would ever be the same
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know this was one of the most historic events in the history of American soccer. The fact that the goal is now here, wherever
Messi goes, you know that there's going to be so much attention. And this Messi mania is so citing.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Almost overnight ticket prices on the resale market have gone through the roof. CNBC has reported an increase of 1700 percent
from this time last year; everyone wants a piece of the action. And even celebrities are unable to resist Messi Mania.
EDU: We saw that from game one against cruises all in Miami. I mean, it was a star studded event, it became like the hottest ticket in town, so many A-
list celebrities and other entertainers who wanted to take part, who wanted to be able to say in years to come, I was there.
RIDDELL (voice-over): Messi's time in Miami is already historic. The first trophy in club history is the 44th of his career. That's a new record for
any player. And he has the chance to win two more this season, but it will be tough in MLS by Miami, a bottom of the table with only 12 games left in
the regular season.
But if anyone likes a challenge, it's Lionel Messi. And given what he's already achieved, -- bet against him. Don Riddell, CNN.
KINKADE: Well, thanks so much for joining us. I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was "Connect the World". Stick around with CNN. "One World with Zain Asher is