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Isa Soares Tonight
French Officer Charged in Killing of 17-Year-Old Teen; Ukraine Bolsters its Northern Defenses; Supreme Court Issues More High-Profile Rulings Today; U.N. Urges French Authorities To Address "Deep Issues Of Racism" Within Law Enforcement. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 30, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, French authorities have just charged the officer who shot
and killed the 17-year-old whose death fueled this anger. They are condemning the violence, but stopping short of calling a state of
Ukraine's president is shoring up defenses to the north near Belarus, where of course, Prigozhin is reportedly exiled after their aborted Wagner
rebellion. Then two new rulings from the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. And both underscore how the high court is changing American
society. We will, of course, explain.
First, tonight, authorities now desperately trying to restore order after a night of rage in Paris and other cities in France as well. President
Emmanuel Macron says all, quote, "large-scale events are banned as of a few hours ago". Rioters set fire to buildings, cars and buses on Thursday for a
third-day in a row.
Behind this anger, the police shooting of a teenager of North African descent. The officer who shot and killed the 17-year-old boy has now been
charged. And this all happened, if you remember, on Tuesday, in the working class city of Nanterre, in the outskirts of Paris, and has reignited since
then a sense of injustice in multi-racial communities right across the country.
Thousands have been gathering in protest. Well, according to the latest numbers, nearly 900 people were arrested, and about 250 police officers
were injured overnight into Friday. Our Nic Robertson reports from one of the areas that's seen the worst violence.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Thursday night, Paris' underprivileged suburbs in flames. Elite cops in Nanterre,
the epicenter of the violence and anger over the killing of the young teen, Nael, bust through barricades of burning vehicles. Paris' ring of fire
engulfing a bus station in the suburb of Abbeville, 12 buses on fire.
With daybreak, the extent of the loss is becoming clear, 26 buses and a tram destroyed in this neighborhood alone. According to a local official,
total cost ballpark, $11.7 million. France's transport minister came to see the damage for himself.
(on camera): What will it take to end the violence, please?
CLEMENT BEAUNE, TRANSPORT MINISTER, FRANCE (through translator): We can't allow for any ambiguity in this question. We need to condemn these violence
with extreme firmness. We need to protect our public servants. It's in the interest of those who were expressing their anger today to protect the
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Local residents here worried about an escalation. "It's the fault of everyone", he says. "I've heard that Saturday will be
worse." "The buses that are burned there, the people that live here use them", another man tells us. "That does no favors for anyone."
(on camera): And it's not just here in Paris, the protests are spreading. Lille, in the north, Nantes, in the west, Bordeaux in the southwest,
Marseille in the south, Lyon in the center. The contagion of the anger is rippling out.
(voice-over): By late morning, officials say 1,900 cars set on fire, over 500 buildings burned, including 34 town halls and 24 schools in the past 24
hours. In Lille, government offices torched. Bordeaux, tires set on fire, and above the Mediterranean port city, Marseille, huge plumes of smoke
rising, its old historic library set on fire.
France's president cutting short a trip to Belgium, calling his ministers for a crisis cabinet meeting. His message, large public gatherings are
banned. The violence must stop.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): We all condemn this pure and unjustifiable violence which no longer has any legitimacy. A
third of those detained are young. Sometimes very young. It's the responsibility of their parents to keep them at home.
ROBERTSON: Nael's mother, who led an initially peaceful protest Thursday, said she is not angry at all police, only the one who shot her son. Her
son's funeral, planned for Saturday, expected to fuel the ongoing backlash. Nic Robertson, CNN, Abbeville, France.
SOARES: Well, let's go now to Paris for our correspondent Melissa Bell. And Melissa, I think in the last 30 minutes or so, we heard from French
officials who said that the French police officer who shot now acted illegally. Just bring us up-to-date with that very latest.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We've been hearing from the prosecutor that the way the arm was used was not in line with the
law. And this is a pretty controversial law as it is. It came in, in 2017. That essentially was meant to control how police officers were allowed to
use their weapons at police stops. In fact, what critics of it say, and there are now calls from the opposition for it to be changed is that, it
allowed -- it led to a hike in the number of violent traffic stops.
Because essentially, police men and women were told that they could use their weapon in such cases if they felt that their lives or the lives of
others were in danger. When you look at the instances over the last few years since that, they have gone up. So the prosecutor being very clear,
the policeman himself has been suspended, and yet, Isa, that is not doing very much to calm things down.
We've just heard from the Elysee Palace just nearby here, that they believe a state of emergency is not necessary. And yet, what is being planned for
tonight is the deployment of armored vehicles and more men -- police men and women to try and restore order. In fact, just down behind me at the
Place de la Concorde, we're expecting a gathering they've been called for in other cities around the country.
And as you were just hearing from Nick, there, there will be this funeral tomorrow and more protests. In fact, some planned here for the Champs-
Elysees. So, you have a disconnect on one hand between the language of the government, which is about restoring law and order, pursuing this
particular policeman. That is what the judiciary is doing. And the popular anger there that doesn't seem to be calmed by any of that so far, Isa.
SOARES: Melissa Bell for us in Paris where the time is 8:00 -- six minutes past 8:00. Thanks very much, Melissa, I appreciate it. Now, Ukrainian
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is ordering his top military commanders to strengthen defenses in the north after Russian mercenary leader reportedly
arrived in Belarus.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is said to be in exile after accepting a deal brokered by Belarus to end his brief rebellion against Russia's military. But it's not
just Ukraine that may be on the guard. EU countries neighboring Belarus are also concerned about the possibility the Wagner mercenary forces could turn
up closer to their doorstep.
I want to get more now from our Nick Paton Walsh, who is live for us this hour in Kyiv. And Nick, then, what is your assessment of this decision by
President Zelenskyy to bolster the northern defenses? Does Ukraine see a direct threat from Wagner mercenaries in Belarus. Is their intelligence
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think at this stage, they're responding to the uncertainty of the moment. And it's important to
point out over the last 16-17 months, we have periodically seen Ukraine move to bolster its defenses to the north because of the occasional
suggestions that possibly, Russia would try and again infiltrate Ukraine from Belarus, its western neighbor and ally.
But Belarus, certainly, emerging significantly stronger in terms of its position with Moscow over the past ten days or so. And I should point out
at this stage, we actually don't have corroboration that Yevgeny Prigozhin is essentially honoring his part of the deal struck at the weekend to turn
around his forces on the way to Moscow from Rostov and take exile in Belarus.
The president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has said that he's going to do that, but what we don't know is whether Prigozhin is, as his plane's
tracking data suggests planes affiliated with him, not necessarily carrying him. Is he shuffling between St. Petersburg, Moscow and Minsk? There were
even some unconfirmed images in St. Petersburg media suggesting he might indeed have been getting out of a helicopter there.
No proof it was necessarily him. The important point is that Prigozhin hasn't taken to his telegram channel and essentially confirmed where he is.
He's essentially a bit of a mystery at the moment. Now, that further undermined the deal that Putin was forced into making, makes Putin look yet
weak further. And yes, there are concerns, I think too, that one of the byproducts of this may end up being a sort of ramp Wagner in Belarus.
Do they try and curry favor with the Kremlin head again, by putting pressure on Ukraine from the north, from Belarus? Unclear. But importantly
as well, we don't really at this stage know where Wagner's fighters are. Ukraine suggested some of them may still be in occupied Luhansk. But be in
doubt, Isa, the last ten days leave Russia significantly weaker.
Wherever Wagner ends up, it's not on the frontlines in Ukraine in the way that it was two-three weeks ago, and that spells along with the previous
chaos bad news for Vladimir Putin's war of choice --
SOARES: Yes --
WALSH: In Ukraine. Isa?
SOARES: And like you said, Ukraine has every reason to be weary, given of course, you know, the impact that the Wagner mercenaries have caused, and
the damage they've done, destruction in Ukraine. Meantime, Nick, documents show that Sergey Surovikin; the Russian General that you and I were talking
about, who has not been seen since the insurrection was a secret VIP member of the mercenary group. Do you buy this, Nick or is this spin from the
Russians an excuse to purge the ranks?
WALSH: Certainly, the emergence of these documents is very convenient timing. And we should point out, we don't really know what being a VIP
member of Wagner necessarily entails. Do you get, giving it unsolicitedly, do you apply for it like a supermarket loyalty card, all this unclear, but
it certainly not something that if you are Sergey Surovikin reading the "New York Times", saying that you had prior knowledge of the rebellion.
Not appearing in public, sends a very uncomfortable-looking video on Friday, where you're sort of telling everyone to turn around as they march
on Moscow. It's not good news for him. It's not good news for Russia's elite, it feeds into this huge cloud of a very confusing information about
where Surovikin is, who is being arrested. Is Surovikin, as according to two media reports -- several media reports, has he been detained,
Is he as a former MP said -- and someone who appeared to be his daughter in the media, actually fine, and this is all just him not appearing in public,
polite military figures often do. Valery Gerasimov; the Chief of Staff of Russia running the war in Ukraine, he's not been seen since the weekend.
Has something happened to him? All of these questions which don't have answers.
Yes, it potentially assists Vladimir Putin with his likely cleansing of the ranks in the security and military forces, getting rid of the non-loyalist
who didn't move fast enough against Wagner. We don't know, none of this makes Putin look good though. He needs --
SOARES: Yes --
WALSH: Everyone to know that he has the answers to these questions. All these loyalists should be stating their loyalty, getting on with their
jobs. They're in an existential war by their words, against Ukraine and its NATO backers here. So, all of this confusion not assisting Putin, frankly,
just capitalizing, compounding the weakness that we saw, unprecedented of his administration over last weekend. Isa?
SOARES: Important analysis there from our Nick Paton Walsh thanks very much, Nic, appreciate it. Well, Poland says it is cracking down on a
Russian spy ring, announcing the rest of a Russian professional ice hockey player on suspicion of espionage. Poland's internal security agency says
more than a dozen other suspects were previously detained. A Polish official gave details to our sister network "TVN24". Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STANISLAW ZARYN, DEPUTY OF THE MINISTER COORDINATOR OF SPECIAL SERVICES (through translator): In March, we reported about the first arrests. About
the fact that the ABW managed to track down a spy network set up by Russian Intelligence. This network was aimed at monitoring railway routes in
Poland, gathering information about aid for Ukraine, but also propaganda activities against Poland.
Against Polish-Ukrainian relations. The task carried out by the recently- detained Russian citizen are part of the activities of this spy network. He was also a part of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more on this. We're joined now by Michal Sznaider, senior anchor with "TVN24", he's live for us in Washington. Michal, do we know
exactly what this athlete did or what the government says he did?
MICHAL SZNAIDER, SENIOR ANCHOR, TVN24: Good afternoon, Isa, thank you very much for having me. Right in front of me, I have the statement from the
Polish internal security agency. And we have quite a number of significant piece of information here. For example, we are learning that, that athlete
has been in Poland since October of 2021.
He was a professional hockey player for one of the first league clubs in Poland. We are learning that we don't know if he was caught in Silesia
because he was performing some sort of illegal activities there or because he simply was based there. But what we do know is that, he was for example
spying on critical infrastructure in other regions.
So this was, if you will, a countrywide operation potentially even. We do know also that he was spying on critical infrastructure, and that, that was
taking place, for example, in the form of taking pictures. We do know that he was paid for his efforts, and that he was updating his handlers, if you
will, quite regularly.
And as a precautionary measure, that man has been sent to prison for three months because the judge ruled that he is a flight risk. And also, he faces
many years in jail, perhaps even ten years behind bars if he is found guilty.
SOARES: Do we have -- is there evidence of him, did they provide any evidence of the spying? And I know that Polish officials said that he was
part of a spy network. Do we know how big this is?
SZNAIDER: Well, in terms of the evidence, as quite often is the case the Polish internal security agency does not really reveal what it has. But in
this case, we are learning that the evidence, quote, "leaves no doubt that he has been engaged in such activities. And also the decision of the Polish
court does speak to the fact that probably, the evidence is there and also is strong.
And exactly, Isa, as you point out, that man is accused of being part of a bigger operation. Now, for the first time, we heard about this as specific
network in March. And since that time, we have learned that 14 people have been detained. This man is the 14th person detained from that network. They
all have been identified as foreigners from countries east of Poland.
They are accused of conducting special espionage operations. Now, the man we were talking about today, he has also already been charged. And
generally-speaking, when we talk about these situations, those are people who are accused of monitoring critical infrastructure, monitoring for
example, the railway network, and also of promoting hostile damaging propaganda aimed at NATO, aimed at Poland, aimed at the Polish government.
And as you heard the Polish officials speak just before this live shot, especially right now, when this Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine is
taking place, the propaganda is out there. When you have a look at Polish social media --
SOARES: Yes --
SZNAIDER: Where there are situations where people are stirring the pot, trying to make Poles hate Ukrainians. They're talking about the fact that
they have -- for example, some privileges or benefits, they should not have lots of populist language, lots of lying, and presumably, this network was
responsible for that, and the agency says that this case remains open and is being investigated very actively.
SOARES: I know, we'll stay on top of it, Michal Sznaider, really appreciate it, thanks very much.
SZNAIDER: Thank you.
SOARES: Meanwhile, the European Union is weighing in on how to use frozen Russian assets, including, possibly, using the funds on hold to repay
Russian war damages. But any move on that front would be, well, let's say, complex, both legally, of course, and financially. I want to go straight to
Anna Stewart now, who is here with me in London. So Anna, just talk us through how exactly would this work?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: To rebuild Ukraine is estimated by the World Bank will cost at least $411 billion. A vast amount, lots of people would
like to see Russian assets be put to good use and contribute to that. But how do you do it? So more than $300 billion of Russia's foreign reserves
are currently frozen, and two-thirds of that is in the EU.
So, that's why the EU has become a big focus of this. Now, to actually just sell those assets and use that money, that's considered highly illegal. It
would be very difficult politically as well. But what you could do and what's being discussed here is try and use the interest that's been
generated by these assets sitting in various funds to then build up a sort of a fund specifically for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
So, Euroclay(ph) for instance, is a huge clearing house in Europe, and that holds a huge amount of these assets. Simply because the money went into
Euroclay(ph), but rather than go onto Russian --
SOARES: All the way, yes --
STEWART: Bank accounts, it got sucked there. In the first quarter of this year, it generated more than $800 million just in interest alone. So, this
is what the EU has been discussing. Can we use this interest from these frozen reserves --
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: To go towards Ukraine?
SOARES: And what -- I mean, is there division in this? So, are they singing from the same hymn sheet? Where does the ECB stand on this?
STEWART: The ECB has been really quite reluctant, the European Central Bank and some EU leaders are concerned. I think overall it's got more support
than opposition at this stage. And at the end of a two-day summit from EU leaders, they seem to be quite supportive. There are two key issues. First
of all, is it definitely legal to do this? It's fairly unprecedented.
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: And EU lawyers will be working overtime to try and get to the bottom of that. Secondly, in terms of setting a precedent, is it going to
put off other central banks from packing their foreign reserves in euro- denominated assets because this could happen. That argument falls a little bit weak, so, I think the moment that the EU and western allies froze
foreign reserves of another country, alarm bells sort of rang for any country --
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: That will be upset by this. But there are big ramifications here, and I think in terms of once the EU maybe does agree on it and say they get
through all the legal hurdles, I think they'll want to also have the support of the rest of the G7. Like they have with most --
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: Of Russia's sanctions. So, they're not going --
SOARES: So, what's the next stage? I mean, is there going to be a vote? How do they decide? How long will it take? Sorry about --
A long --
STEWART: We spend --
Well, EU leaders at this stage have basically approved discussing it further. It now goes to the EU Commission. And I think it will have much
more of a legal process at this next --
SOARES: Right --
STEWART: Stage. And then once that is proposed, then perhaps, there will be a vote. But I think on the sidelines, there will also be a lot of
discussions with the G7.
SOARES: The other question which we probably don't have time for, Laura(ph) is telling me, don't, my producer is, I mean, would Russia -- could Russia
STEWART: I mean, Russia might want to sue the EU and western allies on a number of fronts at this stage --
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: Not least having their frozen -- their foreign reserves frozen. But of course, Russia illegally invaded Ukraine --
SOARES: Yes --
STEWART: So, it will be quite difficult for them to manage that.
SOARES: Anna, appreciate it. Thank you very much. And still to come tonight, major rulings on the last day of the U.S. Supreme Court term.
We'll break down today's most impactful cases as well as their implications. That's next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Well, all week, the U.S. Supreme Court has been handing down blockbuster filings, really changing the fabric of
society in America. And on the last day of its term, today is no different. First, a devastating blow to LGBTQ protection. As the court ruled in favor
of a Christian web designer who refuses to work for same-sex weddings.
Second, a major blow to President Biden's push to forgive student loan debts for millions of Americans. The justices struck down this plan.
Details on today's ruling we'll have in just a moment. But remember, just yesterday, what we told you. What we brought you.
The court ruled against race-based admissions at U.S. universities. Another decision that progressives called shortsighted as well as wrong. And we've
just this week marked, of course, one year since the seismic-striking down of Roe versus Wade. Which had protected, of course, a woman's right to
choose to terminate her pregnancy.
Taking all of this together as we outline here, these four rulings really illustrate that the conservative movement in America has succeeded in
gaining control of the courts to massive social as well as cultural effect. And this is how the president describes this court. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Biden, the congressional black caucus said the Supreme Court has thrown into question its own legitimacy. Is this
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not a normal court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: "This is not a normal court. Let's get more on this. CNN Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue joins me now from Washington D.C. And
Ariane, I mean, busy week for the Supreme Court, and some seismic, of course, monumental decisions. Two of them just today. Start off with, first
of all, with the Christian web designer, that ruling. Just give us the explanation from the judges here.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right, well, they ruled in favor of this Christian graphic designer. She wants to expand her business
to make websites to celebrate weddings, but she does not want to work with same-sex couples. She feared that if she went forward with this, she would
be in violation of Colorado's public accommodation laws.
So, she sued, and in fact, a 6-3 court today ruled in her favor on First Amendment grounds. They basically said that she can't be forced to create a
custom product with the message that goes against her religious beliefs. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion, here's what he said. He said, "the
First Amendment envisions the United States' rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government
The liberals on this court, the liberal justices lashed back. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, she wrote the dissenting opinion here, and she basically
wondered if this couldn't extend to other areas of discrimination? For instance, in racism, perhaps. And this is what she wrote. "Today, the court
for the first time in history grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class", she
said, she called it a sad day.
And she did -- she feared that this was going to extend to other areas. Where do you draw the line? That was her main point here.
SOARES: And I'm guessing that must be the fear as Justice Sotomayor put out. They're concerned that there could be -- see -- America could see a
domino effect, that businesses, perhaps, Ariane, may refuse to certain members of a certain class. How real is that fear right now?
DE VOGUE: Well, the problem the liberals have always had with this cases is, where do you draw the line? First of all, today's opinion was about
expression. Expressive speech. So, here was a person making a website, sending a message. Well, what about a baker? Is a baker artist or is a
baker a baker? Another one, a jewelry designer.
So, the idea here is, first of all, how do you define when a business is expressing something, when it's engaged in speeches it were. And the other
thing is, is that this was a First Amendment case, right? So, it really --
SOARES: Yes --
DE VOGUE: Isn't in some ways limited just to people who have religious objections to same-sex marriage.
SOARES: And in the second ruling, also 6 to 3, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. The court rejected student loan forgiveness. I mean, what would this
mean for students across America, Ariane?
DE VOGUE: Well, that's it. This was put into effect by Biden to help millions of borrowers, up to $20,000 apiece. And it was a campaign promise.
And the reason it was put in place was to help these borrowers in the wake of COVID, so there wouldn't be defaults, and there wouldn't be
But the Republican states who brought this challenge, said, look, the Biden administration can't just walk in and erase billions of dollars of debt.
They said that's not how it works. Something like that has to come from Congress, and as you said, a 6-3 court agreed. This time it was Chief
Justice John Roberts. And he said, look, the secretary asserts that the Heroes Act grants him the authority to cancel $430 billion of student loan
Robert said it does not. The question here he said, is not whether something should be done, it is who has the authority to do it. And Justice
Elena Kagan this time writing for the liberals, she shot back, and she said, once again, the court she believes is ignoring Congress. She said the
court acts as though it's an arbiter of political and policy disputes rather than of cases and controversies.
Because she well knows now that many of these people who were expecting some relief, they are now going to get no relief. A massive defeat for them
and for President Biden.
SOARES: And as we said, you know, this comes on the -- on the heels, of course, these two cases and the one we mentioned yesterday, you and I
talked about U.S. admissions on the heels --
DE VOGUE: Yes --
SOARES: Of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, right? Where millions of women in the United States lost their constitutional right to an abortion. Is the
Supreme Court changing, then? Is a question that, you know, many of us on this side of the continent are asking, changing the very fabric and nature
of America with these rulings, Ariane? I know it's a big question, but just put it into context for us, if you could.
DE VOGUE: It is a big question. And you are not the only one asking it, because many people are looking at this court, and the fact that it was
radically-changed by three of President Trump's nominees. Now, just in this last week, they've struck down affirmative action. They allowed businesses
to refuse to sell custom products to the LGBT community.
They struck down Biden's program. They're really changing the way Americans live their lives. And they're also not shy to overturn precedent. Just a
year ago, they overturned Roe v. Wade. Really fascinating.
The last opinion we got today, Chief Justice John Roberts, he had the sort of same odd section at the end and I think he meant to be describing the
case at hand. But it sure seemed like he was trying to send a bigger message because he was trying to say in this opinion, that look, you can
disagree with this opinion, but you shouldn't disparage the court. He said plainly, heartfelt disagreement should not be mistaken for disparagement.
Because he said disparagement could hurt the country and the court.
But the problem for Roberts is already so many people are already disparaging the court. There is a lot of people who say it has become just
like another political branch largely because so much has changed with just the chain -- with just three different justices. They feel like that is
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, seismic decision, monumental decisions for the United States and its citizens. Ariane de Vogue, really appreciate it.
Thank you very much.
DE VOGUE: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, Brazil's former president banned from office. The result of the dramatic trial next. We're live in Sao Paulo.
SOARES: Welcome back. The United Nations now calling on France to address, "deep issues of racism and discrimination" in law enforcement. This follows
the deadly police shooting as we told you the top of the hour, the teenage boy of North African descent captured on video on Tuesday. Protests have
spread right across the country since against police brutality, as well as systemic racism.
France is now bracing for more violence after the third night of chaos. The swimming pool under construction for the 2024 Olympics damaged, along with
multiple public transport buses in a working class suburb outside of Paris.
Well, in these poor racially mixed communities, many people no longer trust the police.
I want to go straight to Rokhaya Diallo, our Global Opinions Contributing Writer and she joins me now. Rokhaya, great to have you on the show. As you
heard there in our introduction, the U.N. now calling for France to address the deep issues of racism and discrimination in its police force. But
France, you know, has said that these accusations are completed -- completely unfounded. Are they?
ROKHAYA DIALLO, CNN GLOBAL OPINIONS CONTRIBUTING WRITER: They are not and it's not the first time that the United Nation calls France for systemic
racism and systemic discrimination within the police force. We have figures that shows -- from French institutions that shows that if you are a young
man, and that you are seen as black or Arab, you are 20 times more likely to be checked by the police than if you belong to any other group. That --
are those are figures that we've had for a long time. And France has not done anything to address those facts that have been proven.
SOARES: And of course, you know, friends, I'm not sure whether our viewers would know this, but, you know, Article One of the French constitution
guarantees, and we have part of that, the quality of all citizens before the law without distinction of origin, race or religion. So let me ask you
this, is France colorblind?
DIALLO: France would like to be colorblind but colorblindness leads to blindness to racism, that's the problem. The Constitution -- the French
constitutions also have in its body, like, in its preamble, it has the Declaration of human rights, which states many, many beautiful values, but
those are theoretical values. In fact, the fact that not seeing or not acknowledging the differences between the citizens that have been shaped by
racial divides as the consequence of not helping people to face racism and to be supported in their daily experience.
SOARES: And Rokhaya, I want to play a little clip from your documentary. I think this is from 2020. Let's have a watch of this and we can talk. Have a
listen to this.
So Rokhaya, talk to us about the people you've met the interview you've done to get a sense really of the mood here. Because, you know, I heard one
protester yesterday saying, "We are all Nahel." What are they telling you? What are they frustrated about? What are they angry about in the streets of
France, of Paris in particular?
DIALLO: Actually, they're angry of not being heard. The documentary I shot was directed -- I directed it in 2015. So, it was eight years ago. And
there were already protests, demonstration against racialized police brutality. People are tired, they are outrage, and many of the people who
are in the streets see themselves in Nahel. They know that it could have been them. And that's the reason of the anger because those instances
happen often, but most of them are not taped. And the difference today and the reason why they are uprisings all over France is because we have a
video that proves that something wrong happened.
And, you know, at first, the police officers made a report that said that the car went in front of them and was dangerous to them and the video
proved them wrong. So, that's the reason why people are so angry.
SOARES: And you said, you know, they are angry, they are tired, Rokhaya. I mean, could this be the turning point? I know you said that these riots are
the price of denial. Can France face up to this?
DIALLO: I think that there have been many moments like this 18 years ago, two teenagers were chased by the police for no reason and they died after
being chased. And there were uprisings that lasted over three weeks. And it was a turning point to acknowledge the fact that a large part of the
population was, you know, not quiet, but it didn't change the framing, and the institution of the police. So it's new, because the President actually
said that it was unacceptable, but at the same time, I'm afraid that if -- he just make -- makes an example out of that single individual, the police
And do not acknowledge the fact that the problem is structural. It doesn't -- it's not only one person but it's not one bad apple. It's the police
that should reform itself. And that should change because the people who face police brutality, who are injured, who are killed, and who face, you
know, racial slurs are many and many of them don't get attention and don't get justice.
SOARES: Rokhaya Diallo, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thanks very much, Rokhaya.
DIALLO: Thank you so much. Thank you.
SOARES: Now Brazil's highest electrical court has voted to bar former president Jair Bolsonaro from seeking office again for eight years. His
trial centered on abuse of power charges that was relaying to a meeting with foreign diplomats in 2022. Bolsonaro says he's done nothing wrong.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAIR BOLSONARO, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I'm not guilty. I didn't commit any crime in meeting with ambassadors. Now they
accused me and want to strip me of my political rights on an accusation of abuse of political power. People can't get to understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Our CNN's Julia Vargas Jones is following all this from Sao Paulo. And Ju, I mean, banned from running for public office. But I imagine
Bolsonaro's lawyers will be appealing this. Have you -- what have you been hearing?
JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN PRODUCER: Absolutely. He's vowed to appeal this decision, Isa, even before the decision came out. I think he had a sense
that things were not going to go his way. He said that he did nothing wrong, that he did not spread any fake news. He was just sharing with the
ambassador's his concerns over the electoral system. But that is not quite the case. He did say many pieces of information that are just straight up
I want to tell you a little bit about what they were. These were read out loud in the court proceedings over the past three days. One of the things
he said is that the '22 elections might have been compromised due to fraud. He did not substantiate this, how that would have happened. He did say also
that in 2018, voting machines literally changed the answers of voters, people's votes to that of his opponent, even though he won that election.
He also said that the machines were not auditable, that they couldn't be looked inside to see how they were working. He insinuated that the justices
of the Supreme Electoral Court, the very justices that were now in charge of his destiny, that they were working for terrorists. All of these claims,
Isa, were shut down by the Electoral Court, of course. And in the votes today and yesterday, as they started coming in, I just want to read you a
little bit of how they framed this, how seriously this court took them. They called it a criminal extremism, attacking the powers of the state,
fake news, disinformation that were put there to try and deceive voters.
Now talking to the international community, expressing these concerns, that is not necessarily the place of a president. No foreign policy was debated
that as Alexandre de Moraes said as he cast his vote for his ineligibility today, Isa. It's a matter that's being taken extremely seriously here.
SOARES: What does it mean then, Ju, for him? I mean, he got, what, 58 million votes or so last year. What does that mean for him and for
JONES: Well, Isa, his being barred from running doesn't mean that he doesn't have political influence. He will continue to have -- wield the
power over all of his supporters. He's already picking successors, will it be the former first lady or the governor of Sao Paulo, the largest city in
South America? He already is grooming favorites looking, hinting at different people that might service as his successors, and also serve to
continue his agenda, to continue to spew the kind of misinformation that he did while he was in office.
Now, will this set a precedent so that these next -- the successors don't actually have a chance to even get to that point, that's what we'll have to
see, if the Brazilian electoral courts actually hold other people accountable and perhaps, hopefully quicker than after they've left office.
SOARES: What are his supporters briefly saying, Ju?
JONES: Well, the supporters are saying he did nothing wrong. That this is a huge, as we say in Brazil, a storm in a cup of water, that it's a big deal
over nothing. He didn't say anything that was fake, but he's actually doubling down. Today, he told people as he was greeting his supporters in
Belo Horizonte, he told people and media that there -- that he actually still supported the idea of shifting Brazil to paper ballots, that those
are safer measures and those are things that should be taken into account.
He's not actually setting it down, he's saying he did nothing wrong and his supporters are with him, Isa. Now, he did say that anything that happened
over January 8th, the attack on Brasilia, that was wrong.
That has been his narrative for a long time. But that doesn't mean that he's staying away from a lot of the other fake news that he's spread over
the past few months.
SOARES: Yes, many, of course, Bolsonaristas painting him as a victim of course, isn't it, of political persecution as to be expected. Julia Vargas
Jones, great to see you, Ju. Appreciate it, thank you.
Now Russia's foreign ministry has invited Colombia's ambassador to talk about Tuesday's attack in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk where three
Colombians were injured. The civilians were in a restaurant in a building that was hit by the missiles as you can see there. The Russian Ministry
released a statement wishing the Colombians a speedy recovery and urging the ambassador to remind Colombian citizens not to visit locations in the
war zone. Colombia's President, Gustavo Petro, has condemned the attack, calling it a violation of the protocols of war.
And we'll be back after this short break.
SOARES: Now Emirati astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, is doing big things in space. He has become the first Arab to ever perform a spacewalk. CNN
CONNECT THE WORLD anchor, Becky Anderson, was lucky enough to have a chat with him during his time on the International Space Station.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: International Space Station, this is Becky Anderson of The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai,
how do you read?
SULTAN AL NEYADI, EMIRATI ASTRONAUT: And Becky, this is Sultan Al Neyadi from the International Space Station, I have you loud and clear.
ANDERSON: Terrific. It is fantastic to be speaking to you today. How are you?
NEYADI: I'm doing great, Becky. It's the dream becoming true living on board the International Space Station. It can't be better.
This is an out-of-this world interview. Al Neyadi, dubbed the Sultan of space, is the first Arab to be deployed on a long-term mission in the
NEYADI: Two, one. Engine's full power. And we're --
ANDERSON: He launched to the ISS for a six-month mission in partnership with NASA, and the exploration company, SpaceX.
NEYADI: The first time I saw Earth, it was a profound moment. We're flying almost 400 kilometers on top of this planet and you see everything, you see
the mountains, and the forests, and the desert and everything that you know of. And it's really great to see this magnificent planet.
ANDERSON: So tell us, show me around. That looks like a really busy environment that you're in. So just explain where you are, and what this
all means as you float upside down.
NEYADI: So on the first month here, Becky, we had a cargo mission. It was full of science. So, we had a lot of scientific experiments. We tested
medication, we tested the technologies, we tested a lot of things that we are maybe testing for the first time. And it's a cutting-edge technology.
So, I was sequencing DNAs, I was applying some medication to heart tissues. And on top of that, we are subjects ourselves. So we have experiments and
sensors just running on our bodies throughout the mission to be able to understand how the microgravity is affecting the human body when we think
about going back to the moon or further into space to Mars and so on.
ANDERSON: Apart from these scientific experiments, Al Neyadi on my yard, he spends his days making repairs both inside and outside the space station.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi has invested the crew lock portion of the Quest airlock.
ANDERSON: Tell me about the spacewalk, Sultan. Amazing or terrifying as an experience?
NEYADI: Both. And actually the name is spacewalk but we don't walk, we use our hands. So we need to have a very strong forearms to be able to move
from one place to another. So, it was amazing. It was seven hours continuous. I didn't feel it because I was really focusing into the
mission. And it was really, really great feeling just to see that you are floating in a spacesuit. It's just like a small spacecraft. They provide
oxygen and CO2 scrubbing and cooling. And what is preventing you from dying is just like a small layer of glass.
ANDERSON: Tell us, how do you exercise and give us some examples of living in zero gravity.
NEYADI: So, in zero gravity, we just float. We are literally in like free float. We don't move a lot. So, it is important to keep our muscles
working. We have a treadmill. We use bungees to tie ourselves to be able to run. If we run without any bungees, we'll be just like floating like this.
And we have another resistor device, which is simulating weights. And we use a vacuum cylinder to simulate the weight and work out, just simulating
lifting dumbbells and so on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Houston ACR and that concludes the event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And thank you, Houston.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Becky Anderson.
SOARES: Absolutely fantastic. That does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with your
one and only Richard Quest is up next. Have a wonderful weekend. I shall see you next week. Bye-bye.