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Spain's Football Federation Holding "Urgent" Meeting; Zelenskyy: Election Still Possible Next Year; Moldovan President: Ukraine Needs More Intl. Support; France To Ban Wearing Abayas In Public Schools; Outrage In India After Teacher Tells Students To Slap 7-Year-Old Classmate Who Is Muslim; Thousands Of Migrants Arrive In Italy; White Gunman Kills Three Black People In Florida Store; U.K. Restricts Air Traffic Flow Due To "Technical Issue"; Crew-7 Arrives At The International Space Station. Aired 10:05-10:45a ET

Aired August 28, 2023 - 10:05   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: I'm Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. Apologies for the slight delay in starting this show. We just had

some technical issues. We're back with Connect the World.

The Spanish prosecutor's office opens an investigation against embattled football Chief Luis Rubiales. Also this hour, two key hearings in Donald

Trump's legal drama are set to get underway. A record number of migrants arrive in Italy after dangerous Mediterranean crossings. And a gunman in

the United States kills three people in a racially motivated attack.

Well, an extraordinary and urgent meeting. That is how it's being described happening right now in Spain to address the status of Luis Rubiales. The

head of the Spanish Football Federation is refusing to stepdown for forcibly kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the

Women's World Cup. A kiss that she says was unwanted, but that Rubiales insists was consensual.

Well FIFA, provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days. Spain's football federation is so far refusing to take punitive action. And add to all of

this, just moments ago, we've learned the Spanish prosecutor's office has now opened an investigation.

Atika Shubert has more from Valencia. And this investigation that we are just hearing about by the Spanish Prosecutor's Office could end in sexual

aggression charges as we understand it. This is Atika's report.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Euphoric celebrations for an historic Women's World Cup quickly turned into a moment of reckoning when

Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, planted a forceful kiss on player Jennifer Hermoso during the medal ceremony in

Sydney. The kiss, she later said, she had not consented to.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Facing domestic and international criticism, Rubiales was pressured to resign, but he defiantly refused. He doubled down, saying

the kiss was consensual to the applause of men in the room.

RUBIALES (through translation): Do you think I have to resign? Well, I'm going to tell you something. I will not resign.

(Speaking Foreign Language)

SHUBERT (voice-over): Hermoso issued her own lengthy response, which said the kiss was not consensual at all. "I felt vulnerable and a victim of an

impulse-driven, sexist out of place act without any consent on my part", she wrote.

Since then, FIFA, the world's governing football body, provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days. And the Spanish government has submitted a

complaint to its sports tribunal, a step towards suspending him. What was first a national embarrassment now threatens international repercussions,

but could well become a turning point for women athletes in Spain.

TANIA VERGE MESTRE, MINISTER OF EQUALITY & FEMINISM, CATALONIA REGIONAL GOV'T.: Clearly, his attitude has been a demonstration of what female

players have to endure in professional sports, but not only also in their daily lives. We have all been subject to these different forms of

harassment in our workplace. These forced kisses, the grapping, the touching, the demeaning. So this is why women from all fields are sending

their support.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Hermoso and her teammates said they will not play for the national team until Rubiales is removed, in a statement signed by

nearly 50 athletes. Spanish football clubs unfurled their support in games over the weekend. We are with you, banners red. We are all Jenni.

Spain's women players are proving that they are winning hearts and minds both on and off the pitch.


(Technical Difficulty)


SHUBERT: Well, Becky, the debate continues to rage here in Spain. We now have heard that Rubiales' family has rallied around him. His mother

apparently has gone to a church and is holding a hunger strike until, as she puts it, there is justice. And they have demanded that Hermoso, in

their words, tell the truth.

So it doesn't seem to be dying down anytime soon, Becky, but a lot is going to depend on this emergency meeting by the Football Federation and what

they decide to do with Rubiales. Becky?

ANDERSON: OK, Atika, thank you for that. And viewers, just so that you know, we are experiencing some technical issues, so forgive us if there are

some pauses as I make my way through this show. We are fixing them behind the scenes. Of course, you're working with us. It's theatre of live TV, of


We will crack on. Atika will be back with us in the next hour of Connect the World when we look at the broader social implications of what happened

on the podium in Sydney and why so many are calling this unwarranted kiss the latest example of the struggles female athletes face in a sporting

world dominated by men.

World Sport Amanda Davies joining us for a discussion on that later. And I'm going to talk to a female football presenter in Spain. So we are well

covered on this story.

Ukraine says it has retaken more areas along its southern front. Meantime, officials say Russia struck an oil facility in central Ukraine overnight.

Two people were killed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says next month should be productive, as he calls it, in terms of securing more

defense packages. Now he told Ukrainian television that he's hoping elections can be held next year as scheduled, although he admits it will be

tricking during a war.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine. Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is an announcement that comes, of course, in the middle of a war. There is a state of martial law that's

put in the country every 90 days. It has to be brought back. Under that martial law, the idea of holding the parliamentary elections that were due

in the autumn, or indeed the presidential elections that were due next year seemed extremely unlikely, indeed impossible, as long as martial law is


And bear in mind, this is a country 20 percent of which is even now in Russian hands. Therefore, there had been from different parts, some

criticism that President Zelenskyy might not be willing to hold those elections. What he said today to Ukrainian television is that far from

that, more than willing to do it, as long as given the funds with which to do it.

Have a listen to what the Ukrainian president had to say, Becky.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): We need a legitimate choice. We need this choice to be made by society so that it

does not divide our people. We need the military to be able to vote. They are defending this democracy today and not giving them this opportunity

because of the war is unfair. I was against the elections only because of this issue.


BELL: Indeed, the logistical difficulties are, of course, huge. There are those men and women who are even now on the front waging this

counteroffensive day and night, Becky. There are the many millions of Ukrainians who are currently abroad as a result of the war and of course,

those present huge logistical difficulties.

What President Zelenskyy is saying is that he is more than happy to hold them as long as the money with which they will be held is not drawn from

the war effort. He made another interesting comment I think that's noteworthy in that particular interview with Ukrainian television, and that

is that he is going to be seeking security guarantees.

Not just, of course, the NATO accession that we've been talking so much about these last few weeks, but a bilateral agreement with the United

States along the lines of the ones that Israel has with Washington. Different enemy, he said, but the idea will be the same. A bilateral

agreement that will allow Ukraine to receive funding, weapons, security guarantees like Israel does in the long term, for the long term.

And I think that is another interesting point that he made, even as, of course, this counteroffensive continues to try and make some efforts to

move to the south of here in Zaporizhzhia, Becky, even as I speak.


ANDERSON: Good to have you on the ground in Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine. Melissa Bell, thank you.

One of Ukraine's neighbors has some ominous words about the war. President of Moldova told my colleague CNN's Christiane Amanpour, that if Ukraine

doesn't get more support, Russia won't stop there. Have a listen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Do you believe that the west is doing enough? Do you think it really gets it? I mean, do you

think it's yet done enough for Ukraine and is it doing enough for you?

MAIA SANDU, MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT: We're grateful to all the countries and to all the international organizations which support Ukraine. We believe that

Ukraine needs to get more support. Ukraine is fighting the right cause. Ukraine is fighting for its independence, but also for democracy.

And everybody should understand that if Ukraine is not helped, then Russia will not stop in Ukraine or Moldova. So this is also about the security,

first of all, the security of the continent and also about the international rules based system.


ANDERSON: Well, you can hear more of that exclusive interview on Amanpour, which is broadcasting live from Ukraine. That's 09:00 p.m. here in Abu

Dhabi and 6:00 if you are watching in London or here on CNN. We'll be back right after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.

Well, France is set to ban women in public schools from wearing abayas along loose fitting robe like garment worn by some Muslim women. The

country's education minister explained his reasoning behind the move, saying it was to protect its tradition of secularism.


GABRIEL ATTAL, FRENCH EDUCATION MINISTER (through translation): We know that our school is constantly being tested. In recent months, as we know,

there has been a considerable increase in attacks on secularism, particularly with wearing religious dress such as abayas.

In the face of occasional blows, attacks, and attempts at destabilization, we must and will stand united. Standing together means being clear, and

I've had the occasion to say it. The abaya has no place in our schools, and neither do religious symbols.


ANDERSON: Ever since 2004, France has enforced a strict ban on religious symbols in state schools. This includes large crosses worn by Christians,

kippers worn by some Jewish people, and headscarf's worn by some Muslim women. The abaya ban is seemingly a continuation of that law. However, the

Muslim community has argued that France uses the idea of secularism as a tactic to target French-Muslims and restrict their religious freedoms.

Well, an incident at a school is sparking a widespread outrage across India.


Police investigating a video that shows a teacher encouraging her students to slap a seven-year-old classmate who is Muslim. The teacher claims the

student's father asked her to punish his child.

CNN's Vedika Sud reports.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Police in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh are investigating a deeply disturbing video that shows the teacher asking

at least three students to slap a fellow classmate who is Muslim. The incident, which took place on Thursday according to CNN affiliate, CNN News

18, has gone viral on social media, sparking widespread outrage and condemnation.

In the 39 second video, which CNN has viewed shows classmates take turns to slap the boy on the face, forehead and his waist. The teacher, who can be

seen in the frame, asked for the students to slap the boy harder for allegedly forgetting his time's table. The boy can be seen crying through

the video.

According to a statement released by the police, the teacher made some objectionable comments in class. She said, quote, "Mothers of Muhammad and

students don't pay attention to their child's studies, which impacts their performance.

On Friday, the police issued a statement saying that a case has been opened against the teacher and that legal action will be taken. However, the

teacher, Tripta Tyagi, speaking to CNN News 18 on Friday, said the video that has been circulated online was edited. She claims to have been under

pressure from the student's parents to be strict with him. She said she's disabled and unable to get up. She instructed the other students to

discipline him. Tyagi has issued an apology.

Speaking to CNN, the father of the student denied the teacher's claims and said his son has been moved to another school but feels restless and

scared. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has blamed the Modi government for inciting religious violence in the country.

In a post on ex-formerly known as Twitter, Gandhi said, quote, "Sowing the poison of discrimination in the minds of innocent children, turning a holy

place like school into a marketplace of hatred, there is nothing worse than this that a teacher can do for the country. This is the same kerosene

spread by the BJP, which has set every corner of India on fire".

The state of Uttar Pradesh is governed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu Nationalist Party Janata Party. Its controversial chief

minister, Yogi Adityanath, has often been criticized for his anti-Muslim rhetoric. CNN has reached out to Uttar Pradesh police officials for more


Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.

ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And protests against Syrian President Bashar al-

Assad's government have entered their second week. These demonstrations reportedly shut down Baath Party headquarters on Sunday in what is the

government controlled city of Suwayda. The protest erupted over worsening living conditions caused by a sharp increase, this time in gasoline prices.

Well, at least seven people are dead in Haiti after a shooting at a church led protest. Human rights groups say hundreds gathered to march against

gang violence outside Porto, France, Saturday when a gang opened fire with machine guns. The U.N. estimates 8,700 people have been displaced from

Haiti's capital since August 12th because of this gang violence.

And a flood of migrants in Italy, more than 4,200 migrants arrived on the island of Lampedusa over the weekend. The Red Cross says there were 55 boat

landings from Saturday into Sunday. The Italian military has now started to transfer migrants to the mainland.

Well, joining us now to explain what Italian authorities are trying to do, what their position on all of this is, is Barbie Nadeau. She joins us now

from Rome. Barbie, just explain, what is the Italian authority's position at this?

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, I mean, this is -- you've got to remember that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni won and

campaign on a vow to stop these boats from coming, now, we've got 113,000 and more people have arrived so far this year. That's more than arrived in

all of last year.

The government position is to try to stop the boats. That's trying to negotiate with countries like Tunisia, with Libya, to try to get their

coast guards to stop the boats. But a lot of what they're doing is also a little bit counterproductive. The reason so many boats arrived in Lampedusa

over the weekend is because there aren't a lot of NGO rescue ships out there.

That's because they're sequestered. They broke new decrees put in place by the Meloni government. They're out of the water for 20 days. That means the

boats are making it all the way to Lampedusa. Puts a lot of pressure on this tiny little island, on their hotspot. Then they have to call in the

Coast Guard to try to get people off the island.

The whole thing is just sort of a vicious cycle right now.


Now, governor -- sorry, the Prime Minister Meloni is holding crisis talks this week. She's going to try to come up with new ways to maybe try to

allow people to immigrate legally. That's one of the things on the agenda that's rarely on the agenda here in Italy. But she's also going to focus on

how to deport people more quickly. Those would be people coming from countries that don't produce refugees, that aren't recognized as refugees.

But right now, it's just really all about trying to process the people, the desperate people. The human tragedy, the level of, you know, human rights

abuses in so many of these places just continues to rise, according to human rights groups. And the government really has their hands tied.

They want Europe to do something to help. That's something they've tried to get Europe to do for years and years. Has never worked before, seems

unlikely it'll work this time either, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Probably don't do on the story for you. Thank you, Barbie.

It's not just arrivals hitting record highs. Deaths along this incredibly dangerous route are up this year as well. And these numbers are important.

Since 2014, more than 22,000 migrants have been recorded as missing or dead in the Central Mediterranean.

2016 set a record high of more than 4,500 people declared missing or dead along the route. In the years since then, the numbers have gone down a bit.

But in 2023, we've seen a dramatic reversal. Since January this year, more than 2,000 people have been declared dead or missing. That number already

surpassed the entire total for last year. Just something to consider.

Coming up after the break, another tragic and senseless mass shooting in America. What police are saying was the possible motivation for the

government. We'll go live to Florida for the latest on that.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching Connect the World. And you are more than welcome here.


All your headlines this hour. The Spanish prosecutor's office says that it has opened an investigation into Spain's football federation president.

Now, Luis Rubiales is refusing to step down for kissing footballer Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women's World Cup. She says that

kiss was forced. Rubiales claims it was consensual.

Well, news of the investigation comes as Spain's Football Federation is conducting an urgent meeting itself this hour, apparently to discuss

possible action against Rubiales.

Ukraine's president says his country could still hold elections next year, even during war. However, Volodymyr Zelenskyy told a Ukrainian reporter

that they would need money from the west to pay for the elections and parliament would have to lift martial law.

We've just learned Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants are set to be arraigned in Atlanta next Wednesday in his Georgia election subversion

case. Meanwhile, right now, a judge is hearing a motion from Trump's ex- White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, asking for his state charges to be moved to federal court.

And in Washington, another hearing underway. A judge could decide when Trump's federal trial will begin. We are monitoring both of those hearings

for you, and we will get you any developments as soon as we happen.

Well, the sheriff of Jacksonville, Florida is calling the manifesto of 21- year-old Ryan Palmeter, the diary of a madman. He's the white gunman who police say killed three black people at a Jacksonville store over the

weekend. Authorities think the shooting was racially motivated, and the FBI is investigating it as a hate crime.

The picture you are seeing here shows the AR style assault rifle that was used with swastikas drawn on it. Jacksonville's mayor talked with CNN



DONNA DEEGAN, JACKSONVILLE MAYOR: It does shine a very bright light on what we're dealing with in our community, in our state, and in our country. And

I think light is the best disinfectant. So if we can shine a light on the racism that does exist and the fact that it still exists structurally in

our country, then we can begin to deal with it.


ANDERSON: Let's get you to Isabel Rosales with the very latest from Jacksonville. And sadly, another deadly shooting in America. The

Jacksonville sheriff called the shooter's manifesto the diary of a madman. What more are we learning about the gunman?

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the sheriff telling us that there were no red flags, no criminal history for this shooter. And the sheriff

telling CNN knew this morning that for some reason, he was very focused on this Dollar General right behind me.

He arrived here to the store with a tactical vest on, a mask on, on him, that AR-15, that handgun, the Glock with the swastikas on them. And then he

carried out a racist rampage for 11 minutes. All of his victims were black.


SABRINA RAZER, FAMILY MEMBER OF VICTIM: Thought racism was behind us, but evidently it's not. You was a coward. You went in there and shot these

innocent people for nothing that you didn't even know.

ROSALES (voice-over): Family members of victims reacting to the racially motivated mass shooting in Jacksonville Saturday that took the lives of

three black people.

T.K. WATERS, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA SHERIFF: Angela Michelle Carr, 52 years old, Anolt Joseph or AJ Laguerre Jr., 19 years old, and Jerrald De'Shaun

Gallion, 29 years old.

ROSALES (voice-over): Sunday, authorities revealed new details about the events leading up to the shooting. Investigators say before the gunman

opened fire at a Dollar General store, he showed up in the parking lot of a historically black university nearby and was turned away by security for

refusing to identify himself.

A. ZACHARY FAISON JR., PRESIDENT & CEO, EDWARD WATERS UNIVERSITY: So our campus security officer did confront the perpetrator, and the perpetrator

immediately got in his vehicle and started to drive away.

ROSALES (voice-over): Minutes later, the gunman arrived at the Dollar General. Deputies released this edited surveillance video showing the

shooter opening fire on the first victim in her car in the parking lot. The edited clip then shows the gunman entering the store where he shot the

second and third victims. Shortly after, investigators say the gunman texted his dad.

WATERS: The suspect texts his father and says, use a screwdriver to get into my room. The father enters the room and finds a last will and

testament of the suspect, along with a suicide note on his laptop.

ROSALES (voice-over): Eleven minutes after the shooting started, officers entered the store and heard a gunshot, presumably when the gunman shot and

killed himself, according to deputies. Investigators are now combing through his writings.


WATERS: The manifesto is, quite frankly, the diary of a madman. He was just completely irrational. But with his irrational thoughts, he knew what he

was doing.

ROSALES (voice-over): Authorities say the shooter, who lived with his parents in Orange Park, had no criminal arrest history. He legally

purchased and owned the two guns used in the mass shooting. The Justice Department is now taking part in the investigation, calling it a hate crime

and an act of racially motivated, violent extremism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Father, today we pray for healing. Healing for the families, healing for generational curses.

ROSALES (voice-over): Sunday, friends, family and community members gathered at a vigil for the victims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just thought it'd be appropriate to bring AJ a little something.

SABRINA RAZER, FAMILY MEMBER OF VICTIM: Jerrald was a fun, loving, young man. He was very active in my granddaughter's life. She loved her daddy,

and her daddy loved her. He didn't miss a beat in her life.

ROSALES (voice-over): One state lawmaker says she's having a hard time processing the senselessness of it.

TRACIE DAVIS, FLORIDA STATE SENATE: That was someone planning and executed three people. So from years ago to listening to people say, as a black

people, we've come a long way. After what happened yesterday, I questioned that and say, have we really?


ROSALES: And I spoke with the president of Edward Waters University, that historically black institution, who felt strongly that his school was

targeted by the shooter. However, we learned from the sheriff this morning that they have not found any indication that the shooter planned to attack

the school.

Meanwhile, we also learned from the governor, Ron DeSantis, that he will award that school $1 million to help bolster security. Becky?

ANDERSON: Thank you.

You're watching Connect the World. It is 36 minutes past six here in Abu Dhabi. There is a lot more news ahead. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: To trouble in the skies over the U.K. For you now, national authorities say they've had a technical issue and have had to restrict air

traffic flow to keep things safe. Islands Air Traffic Control says this is causing significant delays for flights across Europe going through British


Moments ago, authorities said the problem had been identified and remedied. But just so that you know, if you are traveling and you are experiencing

delays, that may be the reason for it.

Well, NASA's Crew-7 arrived at its home long way from home for the next six months. The four astronauts were welcomed aboard the International Space

Station after a nearly 30-hour journey on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.


The new international team has members from the U.S., from Russia, Denmark and Japan, and they will relieve four astronauts from the Crew-6 mission

who are due to fly home next weekend until they depart. It is shoulder to shoulder up there with 11 people now on the orbiting lab. The new arrival

said they look forward to working with everyone, stressing the need for unity and cooperation in space.

Well, what, if anything, will Spain's Football Federation and UEFA do to address what Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso says was the forced kiss she

received after Spain won the Women's World Cup? The future of Spanish Football President Luis Rubiales is said to be under discussion right now.

Amanda Davies joins me now. He has, of course, refused to resign late last week over this controversy. Will he be forced out? What do we know at this


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: What we know is that a lot of people feel this isn't even a discussion and action should have been taken by the

Spanish authorities a week ago, because this is something that played out on the biggest stage, isn't it, at the Women's World Cup final, as Spain

celebrated their first ever Women's World Cup victory.

Up to this point, the Spanish Football Federation have stood by their man, Luis Rubiales. UEFA, European football's governing body, of whom he is a

vice president, have said absolutely nothing. The only people thus far in the footballing community who have taken action authoritatively have been

FIFA, world football's governing body. They have suspended him from all football activity for a provisional 90 days.

So what we know is that the Spanish Football Federation have called this urgent and emergency meeting, as they've put it, of their regional members.

They've said to look at the decisions or actions to be taken, but we don't really know whether that means we're going to wait an hour, whether we're

going to wait three hours, whether we're going to wait three weeks. But we do know that pressure is mounting.

Rubiales himself has very much stood firm. He has allies in the world of football. We know that, and particularly in European football. But the

pressure is mounting and it is becoming a bigger and bigger controversy, overshadowing what should be a moment of celebration for the game.

ANDERSON: Yes, and it absolutely should be. And there was one newspaper that I was reading the headlines of earlier on that said, you know, this

wonderful, sort of triumphant moment turned into an ugly spectacle. I'm not sure I agree with the ugly spectacle sort of line on that, but you're

absolutely right to point out that this just should be such a moment to celebrate and savor.

So here's the deal. We've not only got the footballing elite, as it were, now arguing, you know, either sort of overtly or covertly, it seems, about

what should happen next. We've also got the Spanish prosecutor's office involved, Amanda.

DAVIES: Yes. They have said they are going to give Jenni Hermoso the player, of course, at the center of this controversy, the opportunity to

put forward her case and her evidence. She issued that statement through the Spanish Footballers Association at the end of last week, didn't she?

Saying that the approach had very much been untoward, uninitiated from her part.

There is a 15-day window for that to take place, but there are a lot of different bodies and different organizations who are now investigating this

for different factors. It will be really, really interesting to see where we ultimately get to.

ANDERSON: Amanda, always a pleasure. Thank you.

And Amanda Davies, of course, was down in Australia covering the Women's World Cup. You did a terrific job. It was a terrific tournament. I'm just -

- as I know you are very, very sorry that this is a sort of -- you know, this is the fallout, as it were, from what was a superb tournament.

Thank you, Amanda. Taking a short break. Back after this.