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One World with Zain Asher
France Braces for more Anger in the Streets; British Appeals Court Rules Asylum Seekers Deportation Plans to Rwanda is Unlawful; U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Colleges and Universities cannot Take Race into Admission Consideration. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired June 29, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Welcome. I'm Christina Macfarlane live in London, and this is One World. And we begin our show with a focus on three
stories that cause us to reflect on the hot button issue of race and ethnicity in the world today. Paris is on edge after a 17-year-old boy of
North African descent was fatally shot by a police officer at a traffic stop. While in Britain, an appeals court has ruled that a government plans
to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful, saying the African country is not a safe third country for would-be refugees. And in the U.S.,
the Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, ruled that colleges and universities cannot take race into consideration for admissions.
Well, let's begin because it is just after 6 PM in Paris. And as nightfall approaches, France is bracing for more anger in the streets. Some 40,000
police and paramilitary officers have been mobilized in anticipation of more riots and protests this evening. It comes after 150 people were
arrested Wednesday, the second night of widespread protests over the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy at a traffic stop at the hands of a police
officer. His death has sparked racial tensions in the country. BFMTV reports the accused officer has been charged with voluntary homicide and
placed in custody. And there have already been large protests on this day, as the boy's mother led thousands of people on a march through the streets
of the Paris suburbs on Thursday.
So let's get straight to our CNN's Melissa Bell, who's live for Paris today. And Melissa, just bring us up to date on what those charges are that
have been brought against the police officer involved in this shooting.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the charges initially that were being considered, what he was being questioned on suspicion of,
Christina, was culpable homicide, but also forgery was one of the possible charges of -- regarding his statement. Essentially, what he was being
investigated for is having lied about the precise circumstances, Christina, of how this traffic stop unfolded. Now, what we understand is that the
charges that he is to be charged under is now culpable homicide. But there's a great deal of anger on the part of the lawyers of the family of
the young man because that is such a huge part of this story. And it is also why it's touched such a huge nerve in the country, not just because,
unbeknownst to the police officers, the events were being filmed. And this is something that we've seen in several cases over the years here in
France, an official version of events and what actually transpires, and the real world can then see for itself.
What he had claimed, we understand now, was that the driver had been coming towards him and that therefore he'd had no choice but to shoot. In fact,
when you look at the video, it is clear that the vehicle was stopped. You can hear someone audibly saying, I'm going to shoot you in the head.
Seconds later, the boy was shot. That is what has sparked so much of the anger, the fact of the case and the fact that this is something that has
happened so many times before. A young French boy of Arab descent who was stopped and treated in a particularly brutal way, that is what is at the
heart of the anger that you saw spill out earlier in Nanterre and elsewhere in France.
And I think what has helped fuel it, that resentment that goes back years and that spills out periodically every time you have one of these
outrageous incidents, Christina, is that there is a feeling among so many of the colored communities of France that the systemic racism that they
face day in, day out, is simply cannot be heard because of the particular nature of France's secular laws. French institutions, for instance, cannot
quantify, cannot name race or ethnicity. And therefore, whenever there have been these examples, these allegations of police brutality, it is
impossible to tie them to allegations of that systemic racism that is so keenly felt in the communities that we're talking about, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yeah. And even given that, Melissa, I'm sure the protesters really do want to see reform within the police as a result of this. As you
say that not just an isolated incident, but years of unrest. Melissa Bell there live from Paris with the latest. Thanks, Melissa.
The government vows to appeal a court ruling that the country's scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful. The government says the plan was
aimed at deterring people from taking the dangerous journey to the U.K. But the three-judge panel says Rwanda can't be considered a safe third country
for would-be refugees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN BURNETT, LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF ENGLAND AND WALES: There is a real risk that persons sent to Rwanda will be returned to their home countries where
they faced persecution or other inhumane treatment when in fact they have a good claim for asylum. In that sense, Rwanda is not a safe third country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, Jomana Karadsheh joins us from London with a closer look. And Jomana, I think it's important to point out that it wasn't the policy
itself that was deemed unlawful, but that the court simply found it to be unsafe for asylum seekers.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Very important to point that out, Christina. I mean, the judges there you saw in that ruling essentially
saying that Rwanda cannot be considered a safe third country, because they save deficiencies in the country's asylum system. So when you send migrants
and refugees, people who are seeking asylum, they say to Rwanda, they could end up being sent back to their home countries where they could face
persecution and other inhumane treatment.
And so, this was the main reasoning by these judges. They say that the U.K. would be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights by doing
that. But again, as you mentioned, this is not about the entire government plan to send asylum seekers to a third country. It is very specific to
Rwanda. And what we have heard today, the Rwandan government responding to this, saying that this is, of course, ultimately the decision of the
judicial system in the U.K. But they take serious issue, they say, with this decision saying that Rwanda is a safe country, that it has been
recognized as a safe country by UNHCR, by other international organizations, they say for their exemplary treatment of refugees.
The government here, this is of course a big blow for the conservative government. We had the statement coming from the prime minister earlier
today confirming that they will be appealing this decision. It will be going to -- they will want to take this to the Supreme Court and vowing to
continue on this path. This has been obviously at the heart of the government's strategy in dealing, they say with illegal migration into the
country, the numbers that have really soared over the past year or so this has been a key strategy for them. They've spent a lot of money on this.
And so, they will be taking it to the Supreme Court and defending this thing that Rwanda is a safe country that. They have the assurances that no
one will be sent back unlawfully to their home countries. You can imagine the kind of reaction, Christina, coming from human rights groups that have
been very critical of this plan by the government from the U.K. here and beyond, seeing this as a big win for now. But you also have groups like
Amnesty International slamming the British government for this saying that while this is a good decision for now, you can just imagine the kind of
pain and the kind of suffering and the expense that this has caused. And they say rather than spending the money and effort on a plan like this,
what is being described as a reckless plan, that the government should be focusing on trying to fix what they say is a broken migration and asylum
MACFARLANE: Yeah. As you say, human rights groups have been very quick to hammer the U.K. government over this. It'll be very interesting to see what
evidence the UK government put forward on appeal. Jomana Karadsheh with the latest there, thanks very much.
Now, one civil rights leader calls it a dark day in America. This after the US Supreme Court issued a blockbuster ruling on affirmative action saying
colleges and universities can no longer race into account. Take -- sorry, take race into account as a specific basis for granting admission. The
landmark ruling upends long-standing precedent which has benefited Black and Latino students, among others, in higher education. The plaintiffs
targeted programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision for the
We'll CNN Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider joins us now live. And Jessica, this was a sweeping decision. Just explain on what basis the
ruling was overturned.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the justices here just said that UNC and Harvard in particular violated equal protection by taking
race into account in their admissions decision. So what this ruling does is the Supreme Court is now prohibiting colleges and universities from relying
on race, from specifically considering race in the admissions process. You know, the conservative majority, though, though they made this ruling, they
insist that they're not specifically overruling the more than 40 years of precedent that did allow schools to use race as a factor. Instead, this
court is saying that they are effectively barring applicants from checking a box that indicates race and stopping schools from looking specifically at
the race of an applicant.
And as a result, this really marks a major change in how colleges and universities will conduct their admissions practices moving forward. So in
sum, the majority saying, look, we're prohibiting checking a box, but we're not prohibiting applicants from discussing their race, whether it be in
essays or otherwise, and discussing how race has impacted and affected their lives. The colleges and universities will be taking all this into
account. It's unclear exactly how they'll change their admissions policies and when they will do so.
But this decision elicited a fiery -- actually, fiery dissents from Justice Jackson, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan, the three liberals here. They
essentially said, look, all of these distinctions you're trying to make are without a difference. They said it was like putting lipstick on a pig. They
said that in particular, race needs to be taken into account to sufficiently diversify student bodies. And that's something we've actually
heard from colleges in states that already have banned affirmative action. In particular, Michigan and California have banned affirmative action for
years. They wrote amicus briefs to the court saying that even as we've tried to diversify our student bodies, the only way we've been sufficiently
able to do that was when applicants tell us their race and then we take that into account.
But, Christina, that will no longer be the case for the universities and colleges here in the United States. The Supreme Court saying you cannot
rely on race. You cannot specifically take race into account as a factor in your admissions. Students, you can still talk about your race, but overall,
these colleges and universities need to take a somewhat race-neutral approach in their admissions. So it is going to be a big change for the way
that these schools run their admissions programs. And I'm sure right now they're just trying to figure out where they even begin. Christina.
MACFARLANE: Absolutely. It is a monumental change to the system, as you say. Jessica Schneider there, thank you.
Now, questions are swirling about the status and location of a top Russian military general not seen since that aborted uprising last weekend. Sergey
Surovikin, nicknamed general Armageddon for his aggressive tactics has not been seen since Saturday. That's when he appeared in a video appealing to
mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to halt his mutiny. The Kremlin is referring questions to Russia's defense ministry. The New York Times
reported Surovikin knew about Prigozhin plans before his aborted march.
Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more on his whereabouts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Russia's President trying to show he's in full control, cheered on by crowds in Dagestan.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: I had no doubts about the reactions in Dagestan and throughout the country.
PLEITGEN: But the uprising led by Wagner Boss Yevgeny Prigozhin still reverberates. The New York Times reporting one of Russia's top generals,
Sergey Surovikin, may have had advanced knowledge of the insurrection, the Kremlin trying to brush off the report. There will now be a lot of
speculation and rumors surrounding these events, the Kremlin spokesman says. I believe this is just another example of it.
While Surovikin was quick to call on Prigozhin to stop the insurrection.
SERGEY SUROVIKIN, RUSSIAN AIR FORCE: You must do this before it is too late. Obey the will and command of the elected president of the Russian
PLEITGEN: There is no doubt Surovikin and Prigozhin are close. While Prigozhin continuously ripped into Russia's defense minister for alleged
ammo shortages during the battle for Bakhmut. For Suravikin, nothing but praise.
YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, WAGNER FOUNDER: This is the only man with the star of an army general who knows how to fight.
PLEITGEN: Surovikin led Russia's war in Ukraine for three months last year, just as Wagner's battle for Bakhmut was escalating. He was also Putin's top
general in Syria in 2017, leading a brutal campaign to crush the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and there too working side by side with
Prigozhin's Wagner mercenaries.
So far, there's no indication that Russians implicated Surovikin in the uprising, but Putin has made clear he views those who took part as
PUTIN: The organizers of the rebellion betraying their country, their people, also betrayed those who were drawn into the crime.
PLEITGEN: A Russian general claiming Russian intelligence had advanced knowledge of Prigozhin's plans, and yet, they couldn't stop them. Another
possible problem for Vladimir Putin as he tries to show things are back to normal and he remains firmly at the helm.
Fred Pleitgen CNN, Berlin.
MACFARLANE: Well, the Kremlin says it also does not have information about the man at the center of the rebellion. The Belarusian president said
earlier this week that Prigozhin was in his country. Russian state media reports that Prigozhin had been told before the uprising that his Wagner
group would no longer be allowed to take part in fighting in Ukraine.
Well, CNN Nick Payton Walsh joins us now in Kyiv for more. And Nick, while you give me Prigozhin's exact whereabouts remain unclear, we are getting
new reporting that two planes linked to him are continuing to travel around the Russian and Belarus airspace. What more are you learning on that?
NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, at this stage, these planes, it's unclear if they are indeed carrying
him, but they continue on a journey that's causing many to indeed question exactly where Yevgeny Prigozhin is. As you said, Alexander Lukashenko, the
President of Belarus, said he was in Belarus, but that is now two days ago. And the fact that Prigozhin, who is never shy of using his Telegram
channel, posting multiple audio messages, you heard some of them there, hasn't actually come forward to specify indeed where he is, is continuing
to add indeed to that speculation.
And so, this is one of a number of unanswered questions that we simply need obviously to have more clarity over, if it begins to be the case that
Vladimir Putin can think he can draw a line under this episode. The most pressing one perhaps is the whereabouts of Sergey Surovikin. Now, as you
said, there were suggestions in the New York Times that perhaps he had advanced knowledge, a European intelligence official I spoke to said that
they believed there were hints that some in the Russian security establishment may have had prior knowledge. But really what we're seeing
here, there are differing accounts from those military bloggers, former MPs suggesting he may have been detained, he may in fact be OK, and have been
His absence from public view since a video put out on Friday in which he, looking significantly under pressure with what looked like a firearm under
his right hand told the Wagner rebels to essentially go back to their bases. He's not been seen in public since then. And so, the questions will
now begin to mount about quite what that means. We also haven't seen the Chief of Staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov, who's running the Ukrainian war
at the moment. It doesn't necessarily mean that he's been detained. These military figures aren't always putting themselves on public parade.
But it adds to this climate of suspicion, which I'm sure those in Kyiv fighting the war on Ukraine's behalf, their tacticians will be delighting
at. continued not witch hunt or purge quite yet, but really avid scrutiny as to exactly who knew what, when in Russia's top brass, who remains loyal,
who may have stepped back and allowed Wagner forces to advance to see how this would play out. As this continues to occur, Putin's weak grip on power
is increasingly manifested. And of course, Russia's top brass's decision- making capability is significantly compromised, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yeah, continued confusion. Nick Payton Walsh there live from Kyiv, thank you.
Well, the U.S. Coast Guard says it has found what are believed to be human remains in the wreckage of that submersible that imploded near the Titanic.
Pieces of the sub have now been brought to dry land and are being investigated. The Coast Guard says it is probing whether criminal or civil
charges could be filed in connection with the implosion that killed five people as they were exploring the Titanic wreckage.
CNN's Paula Newton has been tracking this story for us and joins us now. Clearly, Paula, this is a very somber moment for these families, for these
human remains to have been found, but it's also an important one, too, for the investigators as they try to understand exactly what happened here.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. It may give the families some solace as well to understand that human remains were found. The U.S.
Coast Guard says that they will have professional medical personnel do a formal analysis. And given all that has transpired here, it was difficult
for many to dare to hope that they would be able to recover this much evidence. And there's been a lot of developments in the last 24 hours.
First and foremost, tragically, those human remains, presumed human remains found. But also, Christina, we saw large pieces of debris being raised from
the seabed. They are very large and you can actually make out things like. You know, the dome, the viewport, the cabin, so controversial because it
was made of carbon fiber, many not really understanding whether or not that was a good material for the submersible Titan.
But I also want to make clear that the Transportation Safety Board here in Canada also has said that they had looked at those pieces of debris.
They've cataloged them and now understand that the U.S. Coast Guard will begin their analysis. Also, from them though significantly, Christina, is
the fact that they say that they have the data recorder from the polar prints. You'll remember Christina that is the mothership of the Titan and
crucially, they will know what was the last point of communication, what was said, why red flags were -- you know, basically red flags raised at
that point. But also important is why this submersible that had at least three ways, if not four ways, to surface in an emergency, did not surface.
So many different questions here. And again, all of the debris that was recovered will definitely lead, hopefully, to some answers here from the
families and everyone else wanting to know whether or not these kinds of submersibles are safe. I will say, Christina, to warn everyone, this is
going to be months, if not years, to determine what the cause was. And again, pending is whether or not a full criminal investigation is needed.
MACFARLANE: Yeah. And hopefully as you say, Paula, we will get some clarity from that data recorder that was retrieved. Paula Newton there live from
Ottawa. Thanks, Paula.
All right, coming up, Uganda's gay community says they are living in hell since an anti-gay bill has been in effect. Hear their story of strength as
they refuse to stay silent.
Also ahead, why one man's protest in Stockholm is sending shockwaves around the world.
And later, 36 hours and counting, a deadline looms that could lead to Hollywood actors joining the writers by going on strike.
MACFARLANE: Demonstrators who gathered at the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad to protest the burning of the Quran in Stockholm have withdrawn, the source
tells CNN. This is a video from a little earlier today. And in the UAE, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now summoned Sweden's ambassador to issue a
condemnation over the Quran burning incident. On Wednesday, a man burned the Quran outside a mosque in the Swedish capital after the Swedish police
authorized the protest in the name of freedom of speech.
Well, it has been one month since Uganda passed one of the harshest anti- LGBTQ laws in the world. Since then, there has been mounting hostility towards the LGBTQ community in the country. And one group says there have
been at least 300 human rights violations as a direct result of the legislation. Many of those suffering refuse to stay silent. Larry Madowo
has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act is a reintroduction of a 2014 bail that was thrown out by the courts on a
technicality. That law was nicknamed the Kill the Gays Bill because of the death penalty, which has been retained in this one. I've been in Uganda
twice this year, earlier when it was being discussed and more recently after it passed. It remains a popular law with many parts of the population
but it's having grave consequences on the LGBTQI community.
Nash Wash Raphael says he was assaulted on the night the Anti-Homosexuality Act became law in Uganda after months of publicity fanned hostility towards
people like him.
How do you feel about the fact that you keep getting attacks?
NASH WASH RAPHAEL, TRANS UGANDIAN MAN: It's bad. I don't wish for anyone's daughter or son to go through what I'm going through because I know how
worse it is.
MADOWO: It was the second time this year that he suffered such a violent attack and the ninth since he transitioned. He says his family disowned
him. And he got fired from his job for not wearing women's clothes. He's now homeless, jobless, and penniless.
RAPHAEL: I've tried to take my own life. It hasn't worked.
MADOWO: How would you describe your life right now?
RAPHAEL: It's hell.
MADOWO: The act outlaws gay marriage in Uganda, punishes same-sex acts with life imprisonment and death for what it calls aggravated homosexuality,
which includes sex with a minor or otherwise vulnerable person, having sex while HIV-positive and incest.
It was widely condemned internationally before it even passed.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ plus laws in the world. No one should be attacked,
imprisoned or killed simply because of who they are or whom they love.
MADOWO: The U.S. State Department advised Americans to reconsider travel to Uganda due to anti-LGBTQI-plus legislation warning that offenders could be
prosecuted and jailed for life or even sentenced to death.
Opposition MP Asuman Basalirwa introduced a bill that includes a 20-year jail term for what it calls promoting homosexuality.
ASUMAN BASALIRWA, UGANDIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I want to disagree with the people who say homosexuality is a Western concept. No, it is not. We've
lived with homosexuality here in this country, in Africa. What is foreign is recruitment and promotion. That was un-Africa.
MADOWO: You don't see any instances where this law will bring harm to the LGBTQ community in Uganda.
BASALIRWA: But how, but how? It is not there. This is like another law. It has no problem.
MADOWO: Uganda's LGBTQI-plus community is worried that the law accuses all of them of pedophilia, grooming or recruiting young people.
JOAN AMEK, RELLA WOMEN'S FOUNDATION COFOUNDER: There is nowhere that is safe for any queer person living in Uganda. This is our LGBTQ self-space.
MADOWO: Joan Amek foundation considers this a safe space for queer women, but she has to find somewhere new to live.
AMEK: I have had myself being chased away from where I am staying.
MADOWO: You've been evicted from your house?
AMEK: Yes, I have been evicted from my house.
MADOWO: For being a lesbian woman in Uganda?
AMEK: I have been evicted for being a queer person living in Uganda.
MADOWO: More than 80 percent of Ugandans identify as Christian, and almost everyone else is Muslim. The Anti-Homosexuality Act is popular across the
religious and political divide. The Church of Uganda even defied the Archbishop of Canterbury to support the law. Ugandan Anglicans are now
separating from the Church of England because of differing positions on homosexuality.
REV. CANON JOHN AWODI, ALL SAINTS' CATHEDRAL: This is a social problem. People learn it. So that is the stand of the church here. It is unbiblical.
It is unnatural. It is against the order of God.
MADOWO: How come the Church of Uganda and the Church of England are reading the same Bible differently on the matter of homosexuality?
AWODI: Well, people interpret the Bible differently.
MADOWO: Everyone we spoke to in the Ugandan LGBTQ community understood the risks they were taking on putting their faces out there. They could get
evicted from their homes, fired from their jobs, even attacked by the community. But they didn't want to go further underground, go in the
shadows. They wanted to make sure that they made a statement that they're here and they will not be silenced.
AMEK: Silence is equal to death. And regardless of whether I stay silent or not, they'll still kill us. They'll still criminalize us.
MADOWO: It's a defiant note from that activist. This anti-homosexuality act is being challenged in the courts in Uganda, but many in the community
don't feel that this legal challenge will succeed.
President Yoweri Museveni initially sent back this act to Parliament to water it down, but it didn't change much. It did introduce one thing
though, rehabilitation of convicted homosexuals to change their sexual orientation, even though scientists say conversion therapy is done, but it
didn't change much. It did introduce one thing though, rehabilitation of convicted homosexuals to change the sexual orientation, even though
scientists say conversion therapy, which is what that refers to, is ineffective and harmful. Larry Madowa, CNN Nairobi.
MACFARLANE: And if you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, there are ways to help. Head over to our website, CNN.com, and they will
find resources for 24-hour support.
You're watching One World. We'll be right back after this short break.
MACFARLANE: Hello and welcome back to One World. Let's catch up on the latest headlines now.
NATO Secretary General is speaking out about last weekend's revolt in Russia. Jens Stoltenberg called the turmoil a quote internal Russian
matter, but he added that it is revealing cracks and divisions inside the country. Stoltenberg stressed that the Alliance's most important task is
Smoke from Canada's ongoing wildfires has now reached parts of Western Europe. That's according to the U.K. Met Office. However, the worst air
quality is over the Great Lakes region in the U.S. On Thursday, Chicago had the worst air quality of any major city in the world. This is Canada's
worst fire season on record.
Pop superstar Madonna is delaying her upcoming world tour after developing a serious bacterial infection. The music icon's manager says she spent
several days in the ICU battling the infection, but a source says she is now out of hospital and recovering at home. Madonna's celebration world
tour was due to kick off in just a few weeks.
Now, a dramatic legal reversal for the U.K.'s immigration plans. The Court of Appeal has overturned a lower court decision that would have allowed the
British government to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Instead, it ruled the African country is not a safe third nation because of its asylum
system. And let's see how other countries view Rwanda.
The U.S. says travellers there should exercise normal precautions but stay away from the borders with Burundi and the DRC due to fighting. Australia's
government says the same thing, exercise normal safety precautions, just stay out of those same troubled border areas. While in Canada, however, the
government recommends a high level of caution and it should be noted that Rwanda has a thriving tourism sector that makes up nearly 2 percent of the
gross domestic product.
And you're watching an online tourism video here as I speak. More than 2 million tourists visited in 2019, making it the third most visited place in
So now time for the exchange and a closer look at the U.K.'s deportation scheme. Joining me now is Andrew Tchie, a senior research fellow at the
Training for Peace Programme at the Royal United Services Institute. Mr. Chi, thank you so much for joining us and for your time today. I first just
wanted to get your response to the ruling today that Rwanda has been deemed not a safe country for asylum seekers.
ANDREW YAW TCHIE, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, TRAINING FOR PEACE PROGRAMME: Thank you very much for having me. I think on the one side, I think it's a
victory for those who advocate for the people of the country, or as far as I can see, because they're warned up. On the other hand, however, what it
does do is it frames Rwanda and other African countries as not being able to provide or being able to be seen as part of the solution to deal with
this migration issue, largely because of the way in which the court has given us the information, because it says that Rwanda is deemed unsafe.
And I think that in itself demonizes, but also brings Rwanda back to a framework of this being seen as a country that is unsafe, unruly, and the
other stigmatizations that happen in Africa. I think here what we do have is a ruling which again, on one side, It's clear that it's a big thing, but
for the African community, it diminishes Rwanda's role, particularly around peace and security.
TCHIE: It's a role that it wants to contribute. And it doesn't see us as an equal on an equal footing as well.
TCHIE: Then it's a lot of good for the African continent in general.
MACFARLANE: I'm afraid I'm going to have to interject, Andrew, because unfortunately, your audio is not good enough for us to hear. I'm sure,
they're very valid points that you're making. So we're going to try and re- establish this connection and get you back in just a minute. But I'm afraid, for now, we'll just have to leave this here. Apologies.
All right, coming up, China was once called one of the world's worst polluters, but now the country is on course to smash a clean energy record.
We'll be discussing that just next. Stay with us.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. With a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060, China is making some serious strides. They are set to shatter its
wind and solar targets five years early. According to a new report from the Global Energy Monitor, China's solar capacity has reached 228 gigawatts,
more than the rest of the world combined. But with the recent heat waves, there's still definitely a need for coal power.
So I want to bring in our Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Wier to talk a bit more about this. And, Bill, it strikes me that China is a bit of a
climate paradox, the world's largest carbon emitter on the one side. And yet, it is one of the main drivers, as we're hearing now, of the clean
energy revolution, which is a surprise to many. So, how is it that China have been able to be so progressive on this?
BILL WIER, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, because they have a voracious appetite for all energy. They'll take whatever they can get to
keep that economy growing to keep that large number of people on the path to prosperity. And so you we've seen in the past, when China decides to
build a dam or a railroad to Tibet, it gets it gets built really fast. Are you hearing me, you got me?
MACFARLANE: I got you, Bill. Keep going.
WIER: I'm sorry, OK. But in this particular case, what's staggering is they have to do this with sort of local provincial regulations and do carrots
and sticks, both incentives and regulations for power providers and for local governments. But when you look at this, the projections here, 1200
gigawatts by 2025, that's enough to power over a billion people between one and a half and two billion homes right there, depending on how it's used.
That's five years ahead of schedule, more than the rest of the world combined.
But here's the paradox, Christina, that you talked about. At the same time, they approved more coal-fired projects in the first three months of this
year than in all of 2021. So they're putting everything online as fast as they can. And eventually you hope that they wind down the dirtier fuels
that are causing the biggest problems when it comes to global warming. But this also has implications for the rest of the world's solar manufacturing.
China's gotten so good at this. Most of the panels in the United States and Europe, a lot of them, come from there. And so when trade wars tighten down
and they just have a much bigger advantage when it comes to manufacturing and installation in their country, they still have creaky old grids that
they have to work around. A lot of it is super inefficient. And again, there's that dirty fuel that's attached to all these new projects there.
But they are just in terms of scale leading the world.
MACFARLANE: Yeah. So in that sense, is there anything we can learn from China right now in terms of scaling up the green -- you know, the clean
energy revolution as we're calling it?
WIER: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we've seen on this energy transition that there's this learning curve. And then once people understand how to work
with it and improve on what the standard is, it can just take off. So if you just look at a couple of their big desert projects based, you know, in
the north and the south would have twice as much, maybe three times as much power as all of the United States combined. These are big chunks of land,
there's a big debate in Europe and the United States about how much land, where you put solar farms, if you should put them on rooftops only, that
wouldn't be enough in the United States. You need acreage, big chunks of land to do this.
And then, just in times of innovation and affordability, driving the costs down, hopefully for the rest of the world, learning from them, drafting a
little bit, but those who are in this space now and innovators will be the energy titans of the next generation. That much is clear.
MACFARLANE: Yeah, it's a race in itself, isn't it, Bill? It's always great to hear your thoughts on these as they occur. Appreciate it. Thank you.
All right. Coming up, they are some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and they are speaking out about the possibility of an actors' strike. They are
messaging, they're sending to negotiators when we come back.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. There are now about 36 hours left until Hollywood's actors could join the screenwriters in going on strike.
Hundreds of prominent members of the Screen Actors Guild sent a letter to negotiators on Wednesday urging them to take a hard line in talks with the
studios. Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Stiller and Joaquin Phoenix are among the actors who signed the letter. Movie and TV writers went on
strike six weeks ago.
Well, let's bring in CNN Senior Media And Entertainment Writer Brian Lowry with more. And, Brian, I was interested to read in this letter that the
language used by these actors is very definitive. It's kind of deliver or we're out. And we know that if these demands aren't met, it will lead to
the first actors walk out in 23 years. So what is going to be the impact if this goes ahead?
BRIAN LOWRY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Well, I think really what you've seen is that this group of actors is trying to
essentially stiffen the spine of the negotiators with their guild. The Directors Guild has already reached a deal with the producers, which
historically is the way it goes. The writers tend to take a harder line, the directors tend to be a bit more pliable, and the wildcard are the
actors. So this was a case of some of the highest profile actors saying look, we see this as an inflection point in the industry, streaming has
dramatically changed the business and the economics of the business. And we want you to take a hard line in these negotiations.
MACFARLANE: So on that point about streaming having changed the industry, I mean, this is really one of the core issues here that actors are concerned
about. How detrimental has the streaming industry --actually, Brian, I'm afraid we're going to have to break away to Joe Biden, who's speaking now
at the White House on the reaction to the affirmative action.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- how to build diverse student bodies and to meet the responsibility of opening doors of opportunity for
every single American. In case after case, including recently, just as a few years ago in 2016, the court has affirmed and reaffirmed this view that
colleges could use race, not as a determining factor for admission, but as one of the factors among many in deciding who to admit from a qualified --
already qualified pool of applicants.
Today, the court once again walked away from decades of precedent and make, as the dissent has made clear. The dissent states in today's decision,
quote, rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress, end of quote. I agree with that statement from the dissents -- from the dissent.
The court has effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions. And I strongly, strongly disagree with the court's decision, because
affirmative action is so misunderstood. I want to be clear, make sure everybody's clear about what the law has been and what it has not been
Many people wrongly believe that affirmative action allows unqualified students -- unqualified students to be admitted ahead of qualified
students. This is not -- this is not how college admissions work. Rather, colleges set out standards for admission. And every student, every student
has to meet those standards. Then and only then, after first meeting the qualifications required by the school, do colleges look at other factors in
addition to their grades, such as race.
The way it works in practice is this. College has first established a qualified pool of candidates based on meeting certain grade, test scores,
and other criteria. Then and only then, then and only then, it is from this pool of applicants, all of whom have already met the school standards, that
the class is chosen after weighing a wide range of factors among them being race. You know, I've always believed that one of the greatest threats of
America, and you're tired of hearing me say it, is our diversity. But I believe that. If you have any doubt about this, just look at the United
States military. The finest fighting force in the history of the world. It's been a model of diversity. And it's not only made our nation better,
stronger, but safer.
I believe the same is true for our schools. I've always believed that the promise of America is big enough for everyone to succeed. And that every
generation of Americans, we have benefited by opening the doors of opportunity just a little bit wider to include those who have been left
behind. I believe our colleges are stronger when they are racially diverse. Our nation is stronger because we use -- because we are tapping into the
full range of talent in this nation. I also believe that while talent, creativity, and hard work are everywhere across this country, not equal
opportunity. It is not everywhere across this country. We cannot let this decision be the last word. We cannot let this decision be the last word.
While the court can render a decision, it cannot change what America stands for. America is an idea, an idea unique in the world, an idea of hope, an
opportunity, of possibilities, of giving everyone a fair shot, of leaving no one behind. We've never fully lived up to it, but we've never walked
away from it either. We will not walk away from it now. We should never allow the country to walk away from the dream upon which it was founded.
That opportunity is for everyone, not just a few. We need a new path forward, a path consistent with a law that protects diversity and expands
So today, I want to offer some guidance to our nation's colleges, as they review their admission systems after today's decision. Guidance that is
consistent with today's decision. They should not abandon -- let me say this again, they should not abandon their commitment to ensure student
bodies of diverse backgrounds and experience that reflect all of America. What I propose for consideration is a new standard. Where college is taken
into account, the adversity a student has overcome when selecting among qualified applicants.
Let's be clear, under this new standard, just as was true under the earlier standard, students first have to be qualified applicants. They need the GPA
and test scores to meet the school's standards. Once that test is met, then adversity should be considered, including students' lack of financial
means, because we know too few students of low-income families, whether in big cities or rural communities, are getting an opportunity to go to
college. When the poor kid, when a poor kid, maybe the first in the family to go to college, gets the same grades and test scores as a wealthy kid,
his whole family has gone to the most elite colleges in the country and whose path has been a lot easier. Well, the kid who faced tougher
challenges has demonstrated more grit, more determination, and that should be a factor that colleges should take into account in admissions. And many
It also means examining where the student grew up and went to high school. It means understanding the particular hardships that each individual
student has faced in life, including racial discrimination that individuals have faced in their own lives. Court says, quote, nothing in this opinion
should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an application's discussion of how race has affected his or her life, but it's
through -- but be it through discrimination or inspiration or otherwise, end of quote. Because the truth is, we all know it, discrimination still
exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America. Discrimination still exists in America.
Today's decision does not change that. It's a simple fact. If a student has overcome, had to overcome adversity on their path to education, the college
should recognize and value that. Our nation's colleges and universities should be engines of expanding opportunity through upward mobility. But
today, too often, that's not the case. The statistics -- one statistic, students from the top 1 percent of family incomes in America are 77 times
more likely to get into an elite college than 1 from the bottom 20 percent of family incomes, 77 percent greater opportunity.
Today, for too many schools, the only people who benefit from the system are the wealthy and the well-connected. The odds have been stacked against
working people for much too long. We need a higher education system that works for everyone. From Appalachia to Atlanta and to far beyond, we can
and must do better, and we will.
Today, I'm directing the Department of Education to analyze what practices help build a more inclusive and diverse student body, and what practices
hold that back. Practice like legacy admissions and other systems expand privilege instead of opportunity. Colleges and universities should continue
their commitment to support, retain, and graduate the first students and classes. You know, companies, companies who are already realizing the value
of diversity should not use this decision as an excuse to turn away from diversity either. We can't go backwards.
You know, I know today's court decision is a severe disappointment to so many people, including me. But we cannot let the decision be a permanent
setback for the country. We need to keep an open door of opportunities. We need to remember that diversity is our strength. We have to find a way
forward. We need to remember that the promise of America is big enough for everyone to succeed. You know, that's the work of my administration. And
I'm always going to fight for that. And I want to thank you all. And I know you've been told I have a helicopter out there waiting to go up to do an
interview in New York. I'll be talking more about this in a live interview. But thank you very much. And we're going to have plenty of time to talk
about this. But we're not going to let this break us. Thank you.
(UNKNOWN): The congressional black caucus of the Supreme Court has thrown into question its own legitimacy. Is this a rogue of court?
BIDEN: This is not normal.
(UNKNOWN): Should there be term limits for the Justices, Sir?
(LIVE COVERAGE ENDS)
MACFARLANE: You have been listening to President Joe Biden speaking at the White House there about a decision by the Supreme Court striking down race-
based admissions to colleges and universities. And he gave a spirited defence just then saying that today the court had walked back decades of
precedence and monumental progress and that he strongly disagrees with the court's decision. He said he believed colleges were stronger and they were
racially diverse, that equal opportunity is not given to everyone, and that they cannot let this decision be the last word.
He went on to propose actually a new standard whereby colleges take into account a new system of students' backgrounds and financial means, said
this needs to be looked at again, said that 77 percent of elite students are actually more likely to get into college in the United States and that
we need a higher education, he said, that works for everyone. This, of course, in relation to the Supreme Court ruling that came down just a
couple of hours ago, do stay with CNN. Amanpour is coming up after this short break.