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Armenia Sees 50,000 Arrivals From Nagorno-Karabakh; North Korea Returns Travis King To U.S. Custody; Fire Rips Through Iraqi Wedding, Killing At Least 100; U.S. Officials In Azerbaijan Over Humanitarian Concerns; Ukrainian Forces Advancing Around Bakhmut; Menendez Case Raises Questions About Egypt's Role In U.S.; Call To Earth: Sea Of Hope; A Day At NYC's Main Migrant Intake Facility. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 27, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST (voice-over): At least 100 people have been killed in a fire at a wedding in northern Iraq. We'll speak to a
journalist on the ground about why this incident was so devastating.
First up though, Travis King is now in the United States' custody. He was expelled by North Korea after he crossed the border and was held there for
More than 50,000 people have fled Nagorno-Karabakh into Armenia after Azerbaijan took control of the enclave. It's one of the biggest movements
of people in the South Caucasus since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Veteran senator Bob Menendez and his wife are in federal court this hour on bribery charges. Menendez has been charged with allegedly taking bribes
that helped the government of Egypt to obtain military aid.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson with breaking news this hour.
We're following the story of the U.S. Army private returned to American custody by North Korea. U.S. officials confirming this a short time ago
after North Korea said it would expel him from the country. Paula Hancocks standing by in Seoul in South Korea with more.
Paula, what do we have?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we're hearing also from the Swedish embassy spokesman, saying that Sweden played a part there actually
to protecting power for the United States in North Korea. The United States and North Korea have no diplomatic relations.
So anytime there is a situation like this, a detainee, for example, in North Korea, that U.S. is unable to speak to or to help, Sweden steps in,
the embassy there in Pyongyang acting as that protecting power.
So they say they played a role in this. We know from a U.S. official that Travis King is now in U.S. custody. We're waiting to hear exactly where he
is and where his final destination will be.
It comes fairly quickly after we heard from North Korean state media, KCNA, that they had decided to expel Travis King. We heard through this short
statement that they said Travis King had confessed to illegally entering the country -- "intruding" is the word that they used.
They also say that Travis King told them that he wanted to go to North Korea because he was disillusioned by racial discrimination in the United
States and an unequal U.S. society.
Now I have to stress, these are Pyongyang's words; these are not Travis King's direct words. We haven't seen or heard from King since he crossed
the border into North Korea back in mid July.
Just a reminder of what happened then, it was when he was on a civilian tour of the joint security area in the DMZ. He simply ran across the
border, across the military demarcation line into North Korea, where he was taken into custody.
Nothing had been heard from him since that point. It took months for North Korea to even admit that they had him in North Korea. Certainly a great
concern for his family; U.S. officials saying that their only focus was to get him back safely. Now we know that he is in U.S. custody, Becky.
ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks, with your breaking news, Paula, thank you.
We'll get you to some live images from northern Iraq now, Qaraqosh, where nine people have been arrested and warrants have been issued for others
after a fire ripped through a wedding celebration there. That's according to the government's interior minister, who has vowed that, quote, "Justice
will be served to those who were negligent."
Here are the facts. At least 100 people were killed and 150 others injured. Anger over the disaster growing after authorities said the wedding hall did
not meet safety criteria. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is following the latest developments for us from London.
This is not the first time we have heard of an event like this, a devastating fire. Salma, you've been doing some reporting on this.
What do we know about why this happened?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unfortunately, there has been a history of fires in recent years in Iraq. Many, many people blame
corruption for this taking place.
Again, I want to draw your attention to those images, those funerals that are taking place right now. These are Christian funerals. I point this out
because it's a long persecuted community in Iraq, here in Qaraqosh.
This was a tragedy that compounded upon tragedy. They had returned to their homes after being liberated from ISIS, their town being liberated from ISIS
in 2016. They started to rebuild, if you will. Now there is a question mark over what materials are being used to rebuild this town. Take a look.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Celebration turned nightmare at an event hall in northern Iraq. More than 1,000 people were gathered here to attend the
wedding of a young couple. Social media video shows the moment the ceiling apparently caught fire, the sparklers setting the decor ablaze.
This eyewitness described how the horror unfolded.
"During the slow dance, one of the fireworks hit the roof and it caught fire all at once," he says. "It spread everywhere because it was made of
panels, vinyl fabric, everything was burning. It started falling on people's heads. No one could get out."
Highly flammable and illegal building materials made the venue a tinderbox, according to Iraq's civil defense. Ecobond panels, which violate the
country's civil code, fed the flames. Within minutes, portions of the building collapsed, leaving families trapped in the inferno, officials
Burns and asphyxiation led to the deaths and injuries of dozens, according to Iraq's health ministry. The full extent of the tragedy made clear as
daylight broke, while rescue workers sifted through charred concrete and twisted rebar.
Loved ones discovered the fate of their relatives.
"These are my mom's, my mom's," this man screams, "my mom's clothes," as he holds up all that remains of his mother, her dress.
This is already one of the most devastated areas in hardhit Iraq. A predominately Christian town, Qaraqosh, was captured by ISIS in 2014 and
nearly all of its 60,000 residents forced to flee the terror group's wrath.
Liberated more than two years later by U.S.-backed forces, life was slowly coming back. A visit from Pope Francis in 2021 marked the persecuted
community's brave return. In this Christian wedding celebration, it should've been another chance for residents to rejoice.
Instead, victims are asking how so much avoidable death was allowed to happen and if corruption may be to blame.
ABDELAZIZ: Now investigations are underway; three days of mourning have also been declared by Iraq's authorities. But this is going to put a
question mark over the entirety of Qaraqosh, of this town, Becky.
This wedding hall was built post 2016, so after ISIS had been expelled from those areas. So now many residents will be looking not only for justice for
their loved ones who lost their lives, again, in that horrific building fire.
You heard the details there, the entire venue going up in flames in just a matter of moments, portions of it collapsing, trapping victims inside,
causing them to suffocate to death.
Now you're going to have residents all across Qaraqosh, looking at new buildings, wondering if they're safe --
ABDELAZIZ: -- asking if rules have been followed and wondering who they can hold to account, Becky.
ANDERSON: Let's do more on this, Salma. Thank you.
As you've heard from Salma, the building was made from highly flammable, illegal materials. This is unfortunately not the first time it's happened
in the country. Back in 2021. A fire broke out at a hospital in the town of Nasiriyah.
The ICU was filled with COVID 19 patients at the time. At least 92 people were killed.
Tonight we ask, why is this happening again?
Joining us now from Baghdad is Sinan Mahmoud, a correspondent for "The National" in Iraq.
It's good to have you, sir. I think it's important to underscore the enormity of what's happening here. There are so many people grieving, as
you and I speak. I have to start with a very simple question.
To your mind, why is this happening?
Why has this happened again?
SINAN MAHMOUD, CORRESPONDENT, "THE NATIONAL," IRAQ: Yes, thanks for having me here, Becky. It's really a horrible tragedy and a sad day for all Iraqis
today. It's a painful thing to witness, at a day of wedding, a day of celebration that ended up with dozens of people burned alive.
Unfortunately, we have seen such cases before in Iraq, certain incidents in Iraq are not a surprise, given the poor building standards, the corruption,
lack of accountability. In the past there were cases where construction and safety issues were not followed properly.
So this is not something new to Iraqis. But it adds to the public anger against the political elites, who, many of them see corrupt politicians
running the country.
ANDERSON: I want to talk more about the corruption there, because it's endemic and awful. We'll do that momentarily.
First, I want to read a quote from the interior ministry spokesman.
"The absence of security and safety measures plus using fireworks led to the accident," he said.
Does your reporting show that?
MAHMOUD: Yes, indeed, the venue was built mainly from inflammable materials, mainly tunnels (ph).
So that caused the fire to spread very quickly during the night and trap many people inside.
ANDERSON: I just want to bring up video from before this place was liberated from ISIS in 2016. Our viewers will be able to see the
You wrote an article earlier this month, that Iraq had found irregularities in post ISIS construction deals. There have been a series of investigation,
investigations over alleged corruption. This is something that we're becoming increasingly aware of in Iraq today.
To your mind, could this tragic incident lead to an even bigger crackdown on corruption?
One assumes it certainly should.
The question is, will it?
MAHMOUD: Can you hear me?
ANDERSON: Can you hear me?
MAHMOUD: Yes, I do. I just lost the last part of your question.
ANDERSON: Yes, the question was, you have been lead on a series of investigations over alleged corruption. This tragedy, it seems, should lead
to a further crackdown on corruption.
My question to you was, do you believe there will be a further crackdown on corruption?
What will the legacy of this tragic event be, sir?
MAHMOUD: It should be, it should be. But I don't think so. Like in other cases before, the authorities of the investigation immediately to the
incident, the incident and, in this case, they declared a three day of mourning period nationwide.
But I don't think that this investigation will lead to something significant. They will hold some people accountable to it.
This is the problem in Iraq, you know?
MAHMOUD: Many of the big projects in Iraq, mainly in the newly liberated areas, are controlled by the senior officials or influential political
parties or armed groups (ph). So when authorities start investigating something, they have red lines they can't cross when they reach these
So they either just order the investigation and everyone later will forget about this investigation or they just release very thin (ph) results for
the investigation. So I don't think there will be something (INAUDIBLE) from that investigation.
ANDERSON: Important to get your perspective. Sinan Mahmoud is the correspondent for "The National" in Iraq, reporting on not just the event
but the background and the context to these deadly fires. Thank you very much indeed, sir.
U.S. veteran senator Bob Menendez facing a judge this morning as protesters and a number of his colleagues, a growing number of his colleagues call for
him to step down. We'll break that down for you when we return.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, 17 minutes past 6 here in Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, from our Middle East programming
hub here in the UAE.
More than 50,000 people, 50,000 people have entered Armenia after fleeing the Nagorno-Karabakh region, one week after Azerbaijan wreaked control of
what was this breakaway enclave.
That means nearly half of its estimated population of 120,000 have left with as much as they can carry. A third of them are just kids. This marks
one of the biggest movements of people in the South Caucasus since the fall of the Soviet Union.
You can see the mountain road from Karabakh toward Armenia choked with a long line of cars.
It does beg the question, what will happen to these people once they enter Armenia?
What will happen to others who can't leave or won't leave, choose to stay behind?
For many experts who studied the conflict extensively, they say this outcome was a long time coming. For the last 35 years, Azerbaijan and
Armenia have been fighting on and off over this land, this territory, with the larger, much stronger Baku vanquishing its rival.
Now seemingly reaching the apex. My next guest, writes of Nagorno- Karabakh's ethnic Armenians, quote, "With Baku already in control --
ANDERSON: -- "it's difficult to imagine an outcome that would protect the historic legacy and assure their survival in large numbers. The
repercussions, recriminations and the human cost of their defeat will reverberate for decades to come."
Thomas de Waal is a senior associate for the Russian Eurasia program at Carnegie Endowment and joins me live from London.
I've just quoted from an article that you've written. First though, for someone who's been studying this conflict for years, just reflect, if you
will, on what we're seeing unfold at present.
Is this the end of Nagorno-Karabakh as we know, it as it were?
THOMAS DE WAAL, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, RUSSIAN AND EURASIA GROUP: Yes, I'm afraid it is the end of Nagorno-Karabakh. Those who've watched the conflict
over the years, we've hoped and prayed for an equitable solution to this issue, this conflict, whereby there wouldn't be an ending like this, where
Armenians could stay in their home and there would be some arrangement with Azerbaijan.
And it wouldn't end with the mass flight of Armenians from the region. But in the end, this is just one last, probably the last cycle of violence and
ethnic cleansing, which would characterize this conflict since 1988.
It should be emphasized, of course, the Armenians -- there are several points -- back two decades, much of the Armenians have the upper hand. And
Azerbaijanis were the main victims.
But this one Baku reduced as (INAUDIBLE) and rejected last minute appeals from diplomacy from the U.S. and the E.U.
ANDERSON: Half the population has fled; the other half either couldn't or haven't left. They've chosen to stay behind. Baku has assured they would be
integrated into the population. (INAUDIBLE), of course, has problems with that. It disputes that.
What is your sense of what happens to those left behind?
DE WAAL: Of course, some people will stay. We hope some people will stay. But clear the choice of the majority is to flee. This is obviously because
of decades of conflict and cultivated hatred.
The Azerbaijani soldiers who descended on Karabakh last week had grown up seeing videos of Armenian atrocities and have never met an Armenian before
and just heard they were the occupiers of Azerbaijani land.
And then the other thing was obviously that the president, the offer on what (INAUDIBLE) Karabakh Armenians is basically they just become important
new region (ph), thus Azerbaijani have to dismantle their local institutions and disarm their local forces.
This is the people who've lived apart from Azerbaijan since Soviet days. Most of them don't speak the language. I guess you get the picture about
why most of them are choosing to flee.
ANDERSON: Thomas, you write this marks the complete destruction of a project that started in 1988 when Armenians of Karabakh first tried to
split away from Soviet Azerbaijan.
You write, "Now that the bigger failure here is that of successive Western governments to prevent the violence in the first place."
Explain, if you will.
DE WAAL: I mean, maybe I'm being a bit unfair, though Western governments have tried over the years to median in this conflict, tried to appeal to
international norms and multilateral frameworks.
But they simply haven't had the enforcement capacity that we saw in, say, Bosnia, where you do a deal with the politicians and then you can send in
peacekeepers or massive presence on the ground. That hasn't been offered in this conflict.
The result is when one side has been on top, they haven't seen the need to compromise. Yet the only outside power who's put boots on the ground, who's
exploited the situation, is Russia, who's always intervening for much of the last minute, as we see just happened last week.
ANDERSON: And Moscow's position in all of this, of course, it's crucial, it's been the traditional, I'll use this term loosely, mediator. As you
rightly say, has put boots on the ground as peacekeepers.
Its war in Ukraine, it does seem it's changed the dynamics somewhat, not just distracting the Kremlin from what was going on in Nagorno-Karabakh but
actually changing -- there's been a movement of tectonic plates in geopolitics, hasn't there?
And there are a number of countries in this region who are influential.
ANDERSON: How important is this region in this new -- many have described this as a new world order.
How does it fit in?
DE WAAL: Well, as you said, Russia has been, I would use the word overlord or enforcer in this region. What's interesting is the growth, the rise of
the role of Turkiye here, as the allied Azerbaijan President Erdogan, pledging military and political support to Azerbaijan.
So making Azerbaijan now the strongest country in the region. Moscow also now throwing basically its lot in with Azerbaijan, abandoning its
traditional allies in the region, Armenia.
This is in large part because of a pro Western pivot, maybe a rather rash pivot by the Armenian government. So we're seeing, if you want to kind of,
Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkiye combination here, which it's very much to detriment of the Armenians.
And a lot of U.S. presence now in Samantha Power in Armenia this week, trying to come shore up Armenian hope that the state of Armenia isn't the
next victim of this.
ANDERSON: Is that too little, too late, very briefly, on Samantha Power?
DE WAAL: Well, I think it's too late for the people --
ANDERSON: -- U.S. delegation?
DE WAAL: Right. I mean, it's clearly too late for the people of Karabakh, it's a tragedy for them. The leaders have made many miscalculations for
most of them have fled. But I think, you know, Armenia is a sovereign state. It's a different story. So I think there will be a lot of Western
effort now to shore up Armenia.
ANDERSON: Good to have you, sir, the context of this is incredibly important. Thank you.
The Russian admiral who Ukraine claimed was killed in a strike on Crimea has now appeared in a video interview. Viktor Sokolov says that the Black
Sea fleet that he commands is carrying out its task successfully.
He also referred to an award that was handed out in late August. Now CNN is unable to verify the date that this video was shot on Tuesday. Ukraine's
military certainly said that it's now clarifying Sokolov's fate. Kyiv had initially claimed he and 33 others were killed in an attack Friday on
Russia's Black Sea fleet headquarters in Sebastopol.
Meantime, the Kremlin downplaying the arrival of the first U.S. Abrams tanks in Ukraine, saying that they will burn on the battlefield like other
weapons. But Ukraine's military has resources on hand, including the menacing vampire attack drones. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has what is this CNN
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rolling into battle as night falls, Ukraine's army attacking in the east
PLEITGEN: For the Ukrainians this is an extremely important but also very complicated and potentially very dangerous mission. And we're going to be
located very close to where the Russians are.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): We're with a front line drone unit called Code 9.2; their drone, the Ukrainian made vampire. The crew attaching the bombs as
artillery whistled over our heads.
The vampire is fully night vision capable and plays a soundtrack showing it means business.
The team leader's call sign is Groove. He confirms, because Ukraine does not have a modern air force, tonight, they are the air force.
"The drones see in the night like in daylight," he says. "We see the infantry. We hit the vehicles, cannons, everything we need to destroy."
Groove also says Russians from the Wagner private military company have returned to the battlefield around Bakhmut.
"Yes, there is Wagner here too. They swiftly change their commanders and have returned here," he says. "We're breaking through their line of defense
and hitting them well."
As the drone takes off, the battle is already well underway. The Ukrainians using western extended range artillery shells and cluster munitions to
attack Russian ground forces. Groove is already busy targeting the Russians.
"Oh, something is burning," he says.
His unit also managing to take out a Russian main battle tank by dropping several bombs on it. The Ukrainian army is now starting to push forward.
Our photojournalist, Dan Hodge, films powerful explosions, as armored vehicles advance in the middle of the night.
PLEITGEN: We are now hearing a lot of fire, a lot of outgoing fire, a lot of incoming fire, actually, also as well, as the Ukrainians are trying to
move forward. And they say they want to take a key road away from the Russians.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But the Russians are fighting back, firing flares to unmask the Ukrainians' advance and hit Kyiv's forces.
Groove remains unfazed, hunting a Russian tactical vehicle before destroying it. The Code 9.2 drone team often hunts Russian armor here,
recently even destroying a modern T-90 tank in the highly complex operation.
After more than a half dozen missions, the drone returns a final time. But as we try to get away from the battlefield, a tire bursts on the Humvee. No
time for a spare, we push on.
PLEITGEN: We just witnessed an extremely tough battle between the Russians and the Ukrainians, both sides going at it for hours with very heavy
weapons and the area where we were, shells landed close there on various occasions. Now we're heading back to base.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Hobbled but rolling, after a long night on one of Ukraine's most dangerous front lines -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Bakhmut,
ANDERSON: Asylum seekers face tough choices, to leave their homelands for a better life. It can be a tough process with very few resources at their
disposal. Coming up, we meet some of those families.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Just after half past 6:00 in Abu Dhabi, welcome, back you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson. Let's
check in on your headlines.
U.S. Army Private Travis King now back in U.S. custody after entering North Korea unlawfully. In July, he crossed into the country during a border
visit at a demilitarization zone. According to state media, Pyongyang says their investigation is now over.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Funerals have begun in Northern Iraq after a deadly fire ripped through a wedding celebration there. The Iraqi interior
ministry says that nine people have been arrested and arrest warrants issued for four others.
Officials are investigating the cause of the blaze; at least 100 people were killed in that disaster and 150 others injured.
A judge in New York has ruled Donald Trump and two of his sons are liable for fraud. The judge found Trump provided false financial statements,
inflating the value of their properties for roughly a decade.
As a consequence of both, some of the former U.S. president's businesses will no longer be allowed to operate in the state. The Trumps plan to
ANDERSON: U.S. veteran senator Bob Menendez and his wife are in a New York courthouse this hour. Menendez is accused of taking gifts and money in
exchange for favors to some Egyptian American business men and the Egyptian government.
He is steadfastly denying the charges and resisting calls to step down, including from a growing number of his own Democratic colleagues.
The case brings up an important question. Our next guest, CNN analyst John Miller, writes that, and I quote, "The use of foreign nationals, expats,
dual citizens or even Americans who have a loyalty to a foreign country is a proven tactic in the spy game.
"Does Egypt, a country that's received billions in U.S. aid, conduct sophisticated intelligence operations on U.S. soil?"
That's the question. John Miller joining me now from New York.
As a former FBI agent yourself, what is most concerning about this case to your mind?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Becky, as a former assistant director of the FBI or deputy assistant director of
national intelligence, I look at this and, you know, what you see is things that the FBI believes, which is the Egyptian government operates
intelligence agents and operatives on U.S. soil in New York.
We have been told by reviewing court documents that they believe there are nine Egyptian intelligence operatives, whose specific job it is to recruit
unwitting middlemen to do the bidding of the Egyptian government. That's an investigation that continues.
So the indictment is actually silent about the role or the knowledge, if there was one, of the Egyptian government in directing these bribes and
payoffs to a senior senator, who controls vast parts of foreign policy in Congress.
ANDERSON: Yes, as the former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an extremely powerful position of leadership, these are, of
course, just allegations. You say that this raises serious questions about U.S. intelligence.
How does something like this, this set of alleged circumstances, how does that fly under the radar for so long, if indeed this is what happened?
MILLER: Well, that's a really interesting question, Becky because this investigation dates back to things that occurred in 2018, in 2019.
We know from the indictment that the search warrant they executed, where they found the alleged $0.5 million in cash payoffs, gold bars, a
convertible in the garage that was a gift from the business man who was alleged to be acting in the interest of the Egyptian government, occurred a
And that managed not to gain a lot of attention. When you're working on a case like this, you have a couple of choices. One is to act immediately and
shut down the operation you've detected.
But the second is -- and this is often to your advantage as an intelligence officer -- is to let it run for a while as an intelligence collection
platform. You can watch it, you can record it, you can gather evidence but you can also figure out, how deep does it run?
Either into a foreign government or into other influential players that they may have reached. So I think they kept it under the radar for good
reason, to try and figure out, what was the scope and breadth of this operation and who is behind it?
ANDERSON: Is the -- is what happened here unfamiliar to you?
MILLER: It is not. In working on this story, I just had to look back at an unrelated case involving the vice president of a New York-based bank, an
individual named Theirry Gerges (ph) --
MILLER: -- who was charged in 2022 with being an unregistered agent of the Egyptian government.
What was his job?
The allegations against him are that he was specifically tasked to maintain contacts with U.S. law enforcement agents, including officials at the NYPD,
to gather information on Egyptian dissidents in New York and to target them on behalf of the Egyptian government.
So there has been a lot of activity, which is awkward, when you have a U.S. ally, one that gets billions in foreign aid, when they're actually
conducting intelligence operations without the knowledge -- or at least without the intended knowledge of the U.S. government on U.S. soil.
The question that looms in this new case is, does it actually extend to the attempts to use a couple cutouts to recruit a U.S. senator to do the
bidding of the nation of Egypt on the floor of Congress?
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Where this leaves the U.S.-Egypt relationship is also one to watch. Thank you very much indeed. Your perspective is hugely
MILLER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Want to get back to our breaking news this hour. North Korea has expelled U.S. Army private Travis King. He is now, as we understand it,
back in U.S. custody. We want to bring in Jeremy Diamond for some perspective from the White House at this point.
We know that North Korea had said it was expelling Travis King. We now understand that he is back in U.S. custody.
What else do we know at this point?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Becky. We can now confirm, according to two U.S. officials, that Travis King, that
Army private who, just a couple months ago bolted across that demarcation line into North Korea, he is now, indeed, in U.S. custody.
It's frankly a relatively quick and perhaps even surprising ending to this saga. We have seen in the past how the North Koreans have used Americans is
their custody as bargaining chips, as negotiating tools and that they have kept them in custody, typically for far longer than just a couple of
But beyond that, we have very few details at this point about exactly the circumstances of Travis King's exit from that country, his expulsion and
how exactly he came to be in U.S. custody, what the process of the negotiations was.
Also, Becky, the question is now, what happens to Travis King going forward?
You know, when he crossed into North Korea on July 18th, that was after he was already headed back to the United States, escorted by U.S. military
officers to the airport. He was set to be separated from the military upon his return after he had served about 50 days in a South Korean detention
facility over assault charges in that country.
Now the question is, will he face additional charges here in the United States, stemming from his decision to cross into North Korea, to go AWOL
effectively and what exactly happens now?
Certainly U.S. officials here have been working over these last couple of months to try and secure King's return to the United States. Today, they do
indeed have that result. The additional details of how that happened, whether anything was given to North Korea in exchange for this, we hope to
get more those details later today.
ANDERSON: Always good to have you, Jeremy, thank you.
More news out of Washington, D.C., now. The U.S. House and Senate continue to work on separate spending bills with the goal of avoiding a U.S.
government shutdown on October the 1st. That's this weekend coming, of course.
The Senate kicked things off on Tuesday night, advancing a short term proposal that would fund the government until mid November. But both houses
remain way apart on a budget solution with time running out before Saturday nights deadline.
Don't go anywhere. After this program, "STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT" launches today, right after CONNECT THE WORLD. It's our daily dive into
U.S. politics and the highly consequential 2024 presidential election. That's 11 am Eastern time, 4 pm in London, 7 pm right here in Abu Dhabi.
If you're a regular guest, a viewer of this show, you will know, we have started an hour earlier. This is a two-hour show to accommodate that.
"STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT" is up after this show. We have a few minutes to go. We are going to take a short break. We'll be back right
ANDERSON: Welcome back, here with CONNECT THE WORLD. Throughout this week, our Call to Earth series is turning the spotlight on France, to a man there
who believes that seaweed is our planet's greatest untapped resource. Have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): There are around 800 species of seaweed found in the waters off Brittany's Coast, believed to be the largest
seaweed field in Europe.
VINCENT DOUMEIZEL, FOOD PROGRAM DIRECTOR, LLOYD'S REGISTER FOUNDATION (voice-over): I love it. I love it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): According to Vincent Doumeizel, in order for seaweed to reach its potential as the planet saving force of nature he
believes it is, one slight modification could do it some good.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): The first thing to do may be to change the name of the seaweed. It's not something unwanted that grows in your garden.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The food industry veteran wasn't always so passionate about algae. He began his career in Africa where he says he
witnessed true hunger and it changed the trajectory of his work.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): I decided to spend the rest of my life supporting a more sustainable food industry, a more efficient food industry in order to
feed these billion people that is starving today.
And after 20 years, I simply realized that there was no solution on land. And the food systems we have built became the biggest contributor to
climate change, to water scarcity, soil depletion, biodiversity loss and to social injustice.
So we see here a gremonier (ph). So someone who is collecting wild seaweed from the deeper ocean, using a Scooby-Doo (ph) which is a very traditional
tool. There are a very limited number of boats that are allowed to do that, of course. And it's very, very well monitored because you don't want to do
it too much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The harvesting of wild seaweed is considered to be less ecofriendly than farming it and in fact represents a
small fraction of total global production, around 2 percent, according to the WWF. But it continues to play an integral role in the livelihoods of
many coastal communities.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): Yes, it's a very important industry for the last two centuries here because, of course it's the main place for seaweed
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A species of brown algae known as laminaria flourishes in the cold waters here.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): These are quite sticky. They really looks like plastic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): It's sought after because it's rich in a biomaterial called alginate, a naturally gelling substance already used in
many products, including a new and innovative approach to tackling plastic waste.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): So you go picnic, you want to have a lunch.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): You will open the sachet, you will pour the oil in your salad. And then, when it's done, you can throw it away in the ocean
and it will get back to nature.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The sachet is made by London-based start- up Nautler (ph), which produces a variety of plastic free packaging products made from brown seaweed and plants.
DOUMEIZEL (voice-over): And you can do even better, you know, You can -- here is the packaging. Just like a collet (ph) of ice cream. So that's most
recyclable packaging you can think of.
ANDERSON: See more on how seaweed is one of our planet's most valuable resources. Tune into the full documentary, "Call to Earth: Sea of Hope,"
airing this weekend on CNN.
You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. We will be back.
ANDERSON: The New York City mayor, Eric Adams, is sounding the alarm about the migrant crisis that has hit the U.S. and particularly his city. CNN's
Shimon Prokupecz and his team spent 24 hours in the intake center and saw the desperation that some of these families are facing firsthand. This is
part of his report.
DR. TED LONG, SRVP, NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS: We're going to offer you food and water right away. A hot meal can go a long way.
Dr. Ted Long from New York City's Health + Hospitals is proud of the operation the city's established here.
LONG: Everything we've developed in New York City's to meet the needs that were not met for people coming to us from Texas so far. So here, whether
it's screening for disease, pregnant women getting prenatal care or screening for the very important mental health conditions you might have
We do it all here because it's not done before here.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): It really catches your eye to see so many kids running through the halls of the Roosevelt Hotel, almost like a playground,
so many kids. The city says 20,000 migrant children have come through New York so far.
PROKUPECZ: Why did you come to America?
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Lady Caza (ph) is 23 years old and escaping violence in Ecuador. She says she came here for her daughter, Maia, who was
born with a physical disability.
PROKUPECZ: How are you feeling?
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): She says she's happy that she's here now and she's scared to go back to Ecuador.
"I'm afraid that my daughter will die there if she can't get medical attention. I need a place to stay. I think they're going to help me."
LADY CAZA (PH), NEW YORK MIGRANT: I'm sorry. Yes, it's OK.
PROKUPECZ: Good luck, OK?
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): It's good news for Lady and Maia. They're being moved out of the intake center to a shelter. As this group leaves, another
is already shuffling in behind them; 116,000 have come to New York City since the spring of 2022, city officials say.
And it's a reminder that the flow of migrants doesn't stop.
FABIEN LEVY, NYC DEPUTY MAYOR FOR COMMUNICATIONS: The burden on New York City is too much, quite honestly. We are past our breaking point.
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Among those just arriving, Luis Flores. We met him outside. And his wife, Irmalinda Morales. They now have seats inside.
"It's a dream come true," he says.
PROKUPECZ: Took him 2.5 months to come to this country through the border.
PROKUPECZ: And he's hoping to give his family a better life. They've been sitting here now here for several days, waiting for the next steps and the
And this is your wife, yes?
PROKUPECZ: Years you've been married.
How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).
PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Irmalinda tells us it was their dream to come to the United States and she doesn't want to lose her husband now that they've
finally made it. As we leave, Luis speaks directly into our camera.
"I just want to work," he says. "These are the hands of a worker."
ANDERSON: Well, that's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team working with me here in Abu Dhabi and those working with us around the world, it's an
extensive team here at CNN, it's a very good evening to you.
If you're watching in this part of the world, good morning. If it is indeed morning with you, stay with CNN. "STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT,"
that's our new show, up next here on this network. Good to have you on board. Same time, same place for us tomorrow.