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One World with Zain Asher
Kremlin Announces Pull Out From The Black Sea Grain Deal; Extreme Weather Events Multiply Due To Climate Change; A Group Of Former Employees Say Tweeter Ghosted Them; Spain's Carlos Alcaraz Takes Down Djokovic. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired July 17, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. We begin with new fears over global food
supplies and the threat of a shortage that could cause prices to skyrocket worldwide. Just hours before it was set to expire, the Kremlin announced
it's pulling out of the Black Sea grain deal. The agreement brokered by Turkey and the U.N. last July allowed Kyiv to export its grain by sea
despite a wartime blockade. Moscow now warns it won't guarantee the safe passage of ships in the region.
Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of wheat in the world, and Western officials are slamming Russia's decision as utterly immoral. A short time
ago, the U.N. Chief said Moscow's withdrawal from the pact will hit developing countries the hardest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Ultimately, participation in the disagreements is a choice. But struggling people everywhere and developing
countries don't have a choice. Hundreds of millions of people face hunger and consumers are confronting a global cost of living crisis and they will
pay the price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Just hours before the government's announcement, a strategic and symbolic target in its war on Ukraine came under attack. Kyiv is claiming
credit for two brazen strikes on a vital bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean Peninsula. The Koch Bridge serves as a crucial resupply
route for Moscow's military. And Ukrainian intelligence says the damage will create logistical problems for Russia. The attack comes at a critical
time, as Ukrainian counteroffensive slowly gains grounds.
CNN's Alexander Marquardt joins us live now from Odessa, Ukraine. So, Alex, whenever we see these sorts of brazen attacks against Russia or Russian
infrastructure, Ukraine is usually somewhat slow to take responsibility. That's different this time. Just talk to us about the strategic and the
symbolic importance of this bridge. I mean, this was a personal project for Vladimir Putin.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, slow if at all, Zain. I mean, oftentimes they don't even say that they're responsible
for these attacks that they so clearly are and will often learn about them or their responsibility from American or European officials. In this case,
Zain, that is not true. Ukraine taking clear responsibility for this, rather proud of this strike against this very important bridge.
Ukraine's security services, known as the SBU here, they tweeted that the bridge has gone to sleep again. That again, referring to the fact that this
is the second major strike on this bridge by Ukraine. The first one was nine months ago. Back then, it was put out of commission for months. And
now we are seeing something similar. The roadway that goes that connects mainland Russia, southern Russia, with the Russian-occupied Crimean
Peninsula that is not working right now. There is no traffic. Traffic has come to a standstill. Cars cannot pass.
Well, there is a parallel train track that is functioning. Pictures and videos that were posted on social media and in Russian state media show
that the roadway was severely damaged. It's bowing in a certain section. Remains to be seen when it will be back up and operational.
But for two main reasons this is such a big deal, Zain, because that is a critical logistical artery between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula. It
supplies not only civilians who live on the peninsula with food, fuel and other things, but it also has been a main supply route for the Russian
military, for equipment, for machinery, for weaponry to go and supply their military that is doing much of the fighting in the southern part of
And then it is also a hugely symbolic bridge because not long after the peninsula was taken by Russia in 2014, Vladimir Putin ordered this bridge
built. It took four years. It cost almost $4 billion. When it finally opened in 2018, he was there for the opening. He personally drove a truck
across this bridge.
Crimea, he has repeatedly insisted, is part of Russia. And so, to see Ukraine strike this bridge and take responsibility for it, that is
certainly going to infuriate Vladimir Putin, who we expect to hear from any moment now. Major question here in Ukraine is how will he respond? Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, that is a big question. That was actually going to be my next question. I mean, obviously the Russians are not linking the attack on the
Kerch Bridge to their decision to withdraw from the Ukrainian grain deal. But that is the big question.
And I mean, obviously the Russians are not linking the attack on the Kerch bridge to their decision to withdraw from the Ukrainian grain deal. But
that is the big question. What sort of retaliation are we going to see from the Russians?
MARQUARDT: Yeah, that's right. In the Russian telling, their decision of the grain deal was a long time coming because they felt it was unfair. And
they insisted very quickly that this was not connected to this brazen attack on the bridge, which happened around 3AM local time.
We could see any kind of reaction from the Russians, to be honest. I mean, we're seeing almost daily attempts at hitting Ukrainian cities with rockets
and with drones all across the country. Many of them, luckily, recently have been knocked out of the sky by air defenses and there haven't been
that many deaths. But at the same time, after this bridge was hit back in October, we did see the heaviest Russian attack on Ukrainian cities since
the war had begun just months prior in February. So, it is certainly a good possibility that Russia could respond with a very heavy hand. Zain.
ASHER: All right, Alexander Marquardt, live for us there. Thank you so much. Right after Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal,
jeopardizing a key trade route to global markets, wheat prices jumped more than three percent. Let's bring in CNN's Anna Stewart, joining us live now
So, Anna, Russia is basically saying the grain deal was unfair, that part of the reason why they pulled out of it was because this particular deal
was stopping them from exporting their own food products. The U.S. on the other hand is saying no, that they're just using the grain initiative as
pretty much a weapon. Just walk us through what both sides are saying about Russia's decision here?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: This decision didn't really come as a surprise. This was a U.N. and Turkey brokered agreement last August and there have
been multiple extensions. But it was due to expire today and an extension wasn't really expected because Russia seems so, well, less than keen, let's
say, to resurrect it simply because it has faced issues in terms of exporting food and fertilizer products, issues relating essentially to
Now, that's what we had from the Russian government person, Dmitry Peskov, earlier today. He said, unfortunately, the part of these Black Sea
agreements concerning Russia has not been implemented so far, so its effect is terminated, which suggests there are hopes that perhaps the deal could
be resurrected. But then we heard just in the last few hours from the U.N. Secretary General who said he's very disappointed because he says he found
solutions to this issue. He recognizes the issues. He's written to Russian President Vladimir Putin, outlining some proposals, and yet the deal is
So, I think at this stage it does look like perhaps there is a solution, perhaps there is an ability to negotiate here and improve the grain deal
for Russia. The question is perhaps whether there's any willingness at this stage for a negotiation to take place. Yeah, and politics aside, I mean,
just walk us through what the sort of real world ramifications are for people in developing countries. I mean, what does it mean for food
insecurity, especially in parts of East Africa? What does it mean for global food prices, as well, Anna?
STEWART: There is no doubt that this really matters. This matters to the whole world. Russia and Ukraine are known as the breadbasket of the world.
I mean, they produce 30 percent of the world's exported wheat, 20 percent of corn, 75 percent of corn, 75 percent of some flour and they're also huge
when it comes to fertilizers, which hits all really of the food commodity markets.
So, this really matters. Now, over 50 percent of Ukraine's exports go to developing countries. So, there's the direct impact that you have there.
But there's also the fact that with global food markets, you will see prices rise. And what we've seen largely in response to the Russian grain
deal was we had a peak in terms of food prices last year. And once this deal was in place, they dropped.
In fact, food prices, according to the U.N. dropped by 20 percent between June of last year and just last month. Today, we are seeing wheat prices
rise. So, this is a concern for the whole world, for developing nations and certainly will feed into the big inflation picture around the world.
ASHER: All right, Anna Stewart, live for us there. Thank you so much. Oleksiy Goncharenko is a Ukrainian lawmaker, and he joins us live now from
the Kipor City of Odessa. Oleksiy, thank you so much for being with us. Just give us a sense of your reaction to Russia pulling out of the Black
Sea grain deal. This decision had been expected, but it's going to lead to huge consequences around the world, particularly in developing countries.
Just give us your thoughts on it.
OLEKSIY GONCHARENKO, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Hello. Definitely, Putin didn't want this deal from the very beginning. He wanted as much
chaos in the world as possible, with the prices peaking, with millions of people starving, with the new waves of migrants and refugees. That's what
he wanted. So, now, he finally thinks that he can get rid of this deal. And now it's the question to the world. Will the world tolerate it? Because,
you know, if Putin can close like this and block like this, the Black Sea.
Why he can't block like this Baltic Sea or Arctic waters? Or why Chairman Xi can't close like this South and Chinese Sea. So, this is a very bad
precedent and the only answer to this Russian bluffing should be continuation of the grain corridor without Russia. In reality, that's a
bluffing they don't have possibility to attack the ships and let them try to attack the ships under Turkish, British or U.S. flag. That will never
happen. So, I think that the world should be very strict in this moment because yes, the life of millions of people will be endangered.
ASHER: I mean, just talk to us about the options at this point for people in remote countries and developing countries, especially in parts of East
Africa, that are dealing with food insecurity who rely heavily, heavily on Ukrainian grain. As I understand it, there are alternative routes for
Ukrainian grain, by rail, for example, through parts of Eastern Europe. But the problem is the volume. There isn't the capacity for the volume that is
needed. What are the options at this point?
GONCHARENKO: Absolutely. Four hundred million people in the world are dependent on the calories from Ukrainian crops. So, Black Sea is a
breadbasket of the civilized world from the times of ancient Greeks. Nothing has changed in reality. So, definitely, Ukraine will continue to
export its agricultural crops by trucks, by railroad, but we can't export everything we have by these ways. So, we heavily need this seaway to export
our agriculture, our grain. That is the reality.
So, the whole world will feel consequences again. So, there is also consequences for Ukraine for the next years. I mean, if this corridor will
not be restored, it will mean that Ukrainian farmers will be short in money in financing. So, the next harvesting season will be under great question.
And next year, Ukraine will send to the world much less food than it is usually made. So, that will mean a long, long period of high prices for
food in the world, which will mostly influence the developing countries.
Yeah, you bring up such an important point. Yes, of course, our thoughts right now are with developing nations who rely on Ukrainian grain. Many
parts of East Africa are dealing with huge amounts of food insecurity. But also, this is a tough time for Ukrainian farmers, as well. I do want to
talk about the Kerch Bridge, the attack on the Kerch Bridge. Just sort of explain to us, I mean, obviously this bridge has huge significance in terms
of its strategic importance, its symbolic importance. It's a personal project for Vladimir Putin. It cost Russia about $4 billion. It is a key
military resupply route for the Russians. Explain to us what you expect will be the strategic consequences for the Russians as a result of this
bridge being attacked.
GONCHARENKO: It depends how much time will it take for Russians to restore the bridge and will they succeed to do this before a new attack will come.
If the bridge will not operate, and for the moment railway part of the bridge is operating, not like the automobile, so if that bridge completely
will not operate, that will mean a huge problem for Russians in supply of their troops in Crimea and in the southern part of Ukraine.
So, that is strategic consequences. Also, definitely, there is a political consequences inside Russia because Putin said many times that this is his
personal project and that this bridge is so defended that nothing can happen with it. But it's already for the second time. Last time, it was
October last year when the bridge was even more heavily targeted this time again.
So, especially at the moment when Ukrainian forces are in counteroffensive in the southern part of Ukraine, that creates huge challenges for Russians
and definitely that creates opportunities for Ukraine. Yeah, it's interesting you touched on the sort of political consequences for the
Russians. I mean, the Russian military is already dealing with so much internal strife, not least because of the failed mutiny that we just saw a
couple of weeks ago. What do you expect to be the level of retaliation? I mean, obviously there is going to be some kind of response from the
Russians. They are going to retaliate. What do you expect that retaliation will look like?
GONCHARENKO: I don't care about their retaliation.
Really, I mean, they're killing us for 10 years now, for 17 months with everything they have. They're attacking now our cities, almost every day.
What retaliation can they do? Again, attack us with missiles? They are doing it every day with Kerch Bridge, without Kerch Bridge. So, there is no
difference. So, I don't think there will be quite a specific retaliation.
By the way, it shows Russia, these so-called red lines for Putin, which unfortunately many in the West are still afraid of. This is bluffing. Putin
really, like he -- when he is losing, he is just losing. When it is a mutiny, it is just mutiny. And then he meets with Prigozhin and so on. So,
Putin is weak as well as he is a breach. That is the symbol and that is the reality we should acknowledge. And to deal with Putin from these positions,
that the only language he understands is the language of force.
ASHER: And as you point out, I mean, you know, what difference does any retaliation make when he's attacking Ukraine unjustifiably daily either
way? Oleksiy, we have to leave it there, but thank you so much. We appreciate it.
GONCHARENKO: Thank you. Around the world, you're welcome. Around the world, we are seeing extreme weather events multiply because of climate change.
China recorded its highest temperature on record Sunday, more than 52 degrees Celsius. Its five parts of the country hover near that 50-degree
mark in Southern China. Typhoon Talim made landfall hours ago and is now moving inland. Its packing winds of more than 130 kilometers per hour is
expected to bring up to 150 millimeters of rain over the next days.
In South Korea, at least 41 people have lost their lives in floods and landslides caused by monsoon and torrential rains. All of this as Southern
Europe feels the heat. Fifteen countries are baking under an orange alert while the other six are already under a red alert. Barbie Nadeau joins us
live now from the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Barbie just set this up. Nobody's jumping in just quite yet. I'm looking at the images behind you. But just set the scene for us because as I
understand it, the electrical grid in Rome is under so much pressure. There have been power outages and, of course, in this kind of heat, the last
thing you want is for your AC not be working. Just walk us through it.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN REPORTER: Yeah, no, absolutely. I hope my air conditioning is on when, you know, when I get back home after this. But
what you see behind me are all these people not taking advice of the Italian authorities. Italian authorities say you should not be outside
during the heat of the day. This is the heat of the day. And you've just got this place packed. Now, there's a little bit of shade, but about 20
minutes ago, half an hour ago, this was sun. And the people are out there doing, you know, spending hours and hours and hours seeing this beautiful
Now, of course, what you're not seeing out here are Italians and other Southern Europeans because they know, they absolutely know how to handle
the heat. It is always hot in the Mediterranean in the summer. People who are used to this weather. Don't go out in the middle of the day. They don't
drink alcohol. They don't eat heavy meals, you know. They drink a lot of water. That's not exactly what tourists do when they come to a place like
So, what we've got are the authorities really worrying about that, worrying that as the heat gets higher, and it's going to get worse tomorrow, we
understand it was very hot today, that we're gonna have some more health issues. There have already been tourists collapsing and things like that.
You know, it's a problem, and it's a problem for the authorities who are worrying about the local population, about the elderly people, you know.
They're telling Italians to check on their neighbors if there's an elderly person. If someone doesn't have access to air conditioning, they're saying
go get their groceries, go help them, get food in for them if they're vulnerable health-wise, things like that. You know, there's a real issue
here. There's so many people in the city right now and over the tourist cities of Southern Europe. And the heat is not making it easy for the
authorities to deal with all the issues they have to.
ASHER: Barbie, just give us a sense more specifically how hot it actually is there right now. I mean, it's the evening in Rome. It's almost 6:30 in
the evening, so you would expect it would be on the cooler side of the day. But how are you doing?
NADEAU: It's not, actually. I mean, in the shade, it's slightly better. It's slightly better, which means the humidity isn't as bad. We felt a lot
more heat in the shade yesterday, which, I mean, I'm no weather person expert. But if there's a little bit of relief in the shade, obviously the
humidity is a little bit lower. But I'm telling you, it is just constantly hot. It's hot all night. It's hot, you know, early in the morning. And so,
it's not that you just, you know, you're hot all day and then suddenly you can cool off in the evening. That isn't really possible unless you've got
air conditioning. And as you suggested, everyone's running their air conditioners all the time.
It's really going to put pressure on the power grid, which is vulnerable, you know, at the best of times. So, you've got all these problems together.
And you know what? It's supposed to get a little bit better by the end of the week, but getting better means still mid-30s, Celsius temperatures, and
that's still hot. That's still air conditioner-worthy temperatures.
So, you know, I haven't seen the actual official high temperature for today. If it got over 41 here in Rome, and I don't know that it did, then
it broke a record. A record set last year when we thought it was the worst summer in terms of heat ever. Every summer becomes a new normal, and that's
really worrying, as well, Zain. I don't see that many kids, but I did see one man with what appeared to be a young daughter carrying her on his back.
So gosh, I hope everybody's okay out there. As you point out, it is exceedingly hot. It is brutal. Get some water. Do stay hydrated. Barbie
Nadeau, live for us there. Thank you so much.
ASHER: All right, two heat-fueled wildfires are burning today near Athens, Greece. One of them forced a horse farm to evacuate all the animals and
people to safety. Workers scrambled to load the horses into trailers as the fire crept closer. About 150 firefighters and 40 fire engines are trying to
control the blazes, which are being fanned by strong winds in the area. At least two villages in a summer camp have also been ordered to evacuate as
the wildfire spreads.
All right, still to come here, Tunisia's migrant crisis, a human rights group, is criticizing how the country treats those who arrive there hoping
to get to Europe. And as fighting rages in Sudan, millions are fleeing for their lives. We'll check on a nation on the brink of civil war when we come
ASHER: Fighting is still raging in Sudan as the country edges closer to civil war. Airstrikes pummeled the capital Khartoum over the weekend as
three months of fighting between the army and the paramilitary rapid support forces shows no signs of abating. Meantime, the RSF is denying a
Human Rights Watch report accusing the paramilitary group and Arab militias of killing dozens of civilians in a single day in a West Darfur town in
May. The International Criminal Court is launching a fresh investigation to alleged war crimes in the Darfur region.
Meantime, "Reuters" rather, is reporting another round of talks between Sudanese government representatives and the rapid support forces has
resumed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Previous such talks were suspended after ceasefire violations. CNN's Dave McKenzie joins us live now from Johannesburg, South Africa. So, David, I
mean, should we really be holding our breath in terms of what we expect to come out of these talks in Jeddah?
DAVE MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there is not much optimism, Zain. You're right, that there's gonna be a breakthrough, or
at least a ceasefire, from those talks in Jeddah, or even the proposed talks that the Egyptian government is suggesting to broker some kind of
stop to the fighting. Just a short time ago, I was speaking to a former Sudanese ambassador to the U.S. who has been watching this very closely.
He said what needs to happen is that there is civilian leadership at the table in those talks, but it's civilian leadership itself that led to, in
part, this conflagration, which is having this enormous impact on Sudanese civilians when the people with the guns, both the RSF and the armed forces,
refuse to hand over power.
And so, even he said he sees no room for optimism at the moment. What is needed, though, of course, is just a temporary even ceasefire that is
holding throughout the country which would be helpful for humanitarian purposes. But the optimism is not very high at the moment that there'll be
a breakthrough. Zain.
ASHER: I mean, it's so sad because this country is inching closer to civil war every day. I mean, just walk us through the humanitarian situation on
the ground, because one of the saddest parts of all of this is that civilians are being targeted here.
MCKENZIE: Absolutely. Civilians are being targeted in the capital Khartoum, both those professionals like doctors, as we've been reporting for many
weeks now, and civilians in particular on the ground in parts of Darfur, in the west of the country. In western Darfur, northern Darfur. That's a vast
region that has a history of very brutal conflict with an often ethnic dimension.
You'll recall some 20 years ago there were the accusations and the indictment of former leader Omar al-Bashir on war crimes. As you have been
reporting on your show, the ICC, the International Criminal Court, is looking to try and bring prosecutions. But there isn't much optimism there
either. And millions of people are displaced within the country and pushing out of the country into neighbors like Chad.
I spoke to UNICEF representatives over the weekend, they said that they feel the situation there will get even worse as the rainy season compounds
the problems they're already facing, including outbreaks of malaria and possible measles outbreaks because of a lack of vaccinations, Zain. So,
it's a terrible situation. The world community needs to focus on this, say, humanitarian actors, to not forget those in Sudan. It was so close to
civilian rule just for it to be taken away by these armed actors. Zayn.
ASHER: All right, Dave McKenzie, life for us there. Thank you so much. All right still to come, migrants are describing the horrors they have faced in
Tunisia. We'll tell you why a human rights group is slamming the nation for how it treats those who are seeking a better life.
ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. I want to focus on the massive migrant crisis that Tunisia has been facing. We've been reporting on
migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who travel to Tunisia, hoping to eventually take a boat to Europe. But they often fall victim to smugglers
and human traffickers. Over the weekend, leaders from Tunisia and the European Union signed a historic deal focusing on human trafficking,
economic relations, green energy, and more.
Europe pledged more than $1 billion in aid to help the country, to help it deal with the migration crisis as well as a battered economy. This deal
comes as Tunisia faces international criticism of its treatment towards sub-Saharan African migrants and asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch accuses
Tunisia of carrying out collective expulsions of African migrants in violation of international law. CNN's Nada Bashir has more.
NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER (voice-over): Beaten, injured and abandoned. These are just some of what Human Rights Watch estimates to be
hundreds of refugees and migrants recently expelled from Tunisia. They say they have been stranded for weeks in no-man's land here at the country's
eastern border with Libya, closely watched by armed border guards. Many are wounded. They say at the hands of the Tunisian National Guard.
UNKNOWN (through translator): They beat all the women, even the children. I have got children myself. They wanted to hit my little boy, but I protected
him. I took all the blows. Some of the women and boys have broken skulls. They beat everyone.
BASHIR: In videos, Human Rights Watch shared with CNN, migrants described the horrors they have faced. There is no shelter from the sweltering desert
sun and no food. Some have even resulted to drinking seawater to survive.
UNKNOWN (through translator): We need your help. Please, we need your help. You have to come and help us. There are babies. We have no food. We need
BASHIR: The vast majority, according to Human Rights Watch, are believed to be from West Africa. They say they were arrested in mass raids near the
port city of Sfagas, then bussed more than 300 kilometers to the east, unaware of where they were being taken. Now, many of them are still trapped
in the militarized buffer zone that separates Tunisia and Libya.
LAUREN SEBERT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: I don't know what the government expects could possibly happen other than what is happening, which is people walking
for days in the desert being pushed back and forth by both sides with nowhere to go and then some individuals reportedly dying.
BASHIR: The crisis comes as tensions grow between Tunisian citizens and migrants, with the country's president, Qais Saeed, fanning racism and
xenophobia against black Africans.
KAIS SALED, TUNISIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): In February, Saeed made claims that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa would threaten to change
the demographic makeup of Tunisia and bring violence and crime to the country.
He made claims that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa would threaten to change the demographic make-up of Tunisia and bring violence and crime to
the country. Words which fueled anti-immigrant sentiments across the country, but also sparked backlash. Now, the president is insisting that
all migrants are treated well in Tunisia.
SALED (through translator): The Tunisian people have provided these migrants with everything possible, with unlimited generosity.
BASHIR: Comments made as Tunisia and the European Union finalized a deal worth more than a billion U.S. dollars aimed at boosting trade relations
and crucially curbing irregular migration across the Mediterranean.
UNKNOWN: And we agreed that we will cooperate on border management.
BASHIR: The deal is said to commit more than $100 million towards securing Tunisia's borders, supporting search and rescue operations and bolstering
the country's anti-smuggling measures. But critics accuse the EU of legitimizing Tunisia's hardline tactics in an effort to make it more
difficult for people to reach Europe's shores from Africa.
AHLAM CHEMLALI, VISITING SCOLAR, YALE UNIVERSITY: They have ignored the fact that Tunisia doesn't have any infrastructure in place or resources or
even political will to govern migrants and asylum seekers on their territory.
BASHIR: According to Human Rights Watch, some migrants abandoned at Tunisia's eastern border have now been relocated to in-country facilities.
Meanwhile, authorities in neighboring Libya say they have rescued dozens of migrants from the border and are providing them with urgent care. But there
remains concern that further expulsions could still be ongoing, with many still believed to be stranded at the border. And as the bodies of refugees
and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean continue to wash up on Tunisia's shores, there are also fears that others could be left to die in
the desert. Nada Bashir, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ASHER: All right, time now for "The Exchange", we're going to dive deeper into this migration crisis and the deal signed over the weekend. Let's
bring in Shreya Parikh, she's a doctoral candidate and a researcher in political sociology and joins us live now from Paris. Shreya, thank you so
much for being with us. So, for the people who are stranded, you know, as Nader Bashir was just reporting there, some of the migrants have been
resettled who were stranded, but there could be still a number of migrants who are still stranded in this militarized buffer zone between Tunisia and
Libya. What happens to them?
SHREYA PARIKH, RESEARCHER, POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY, SCIENCES PO AND UNC: So, there have been reports of losing connection with a lot of migrants who are
stuck in -- sub-Saharan African migrants who are stuck in this no man's land. And we are assuming that these are the people who are dead at this
point. So, what is happening before the military sort of drops, sort of deports, violently deports and leaves these sub-Saharan African migrants,
children, men, women into these no-men lands, they take away their passports, they take away their cell phones, they take away the food
packets that they have been carrying, or water, and leave them there.
So, the whole point of this exercise is to guarantee their death. Of course, there have been attempts by -- so, the Libyan government has -- or
the Libyan bodies have -- there are videos emerging that the Libyan bodies are rescuing some of them, but there are deportations also on the Tunisian-
Algerian borders as well, and we don't know what's happening with these migrants who have been left into this no-man's-zone.
The problem is that the three countries have already been practiced. So, before Tunisia, Algeria and Libya were already practicing this kind of
deportations of sub-Saharan African migrants into these no-man's-lands. So, this is not something new in this region. So yeah, just to answer the
question, what is happening is that bodies that do want to undertake rescue missions from within Tunisia, many have just lost contact with these
migrant groups. And so, we are assuming that many are dead.
ASHER: I mean, part of the issue here is, I mean, Nada was just saying in her piece that there is tension that does exist between members of Tunisian
society, Tunisian people, and African migrants, migrants who are coming from sub-Saharan Africa. But it is also made worse by the rhetoric from the
president, who has fueled this idea of some kind of great replacement theory that African migrants, that black migrants are trying to change the
sort of makeup, the demographic makeup of Tunisian society.
And that's that issue here that has of course fueled much more racism towards these migrants and if that's the case where does this go from here.
I mean not a brought up in a piece that even though some migrants have been resettled this could of course happen again.
PARIKH: Yeah, I think this is just gonna escalate from now what is happening is that the state is very openly using anti-migrant, anti-black
rhetoric and sort of legitimizing the violence that was already present against sub-Saharan African migrants. And to come back to the question of
tensions between Tunisian citizens and sub-Saharan African migrants, for a while now, and I mean, since I, for the whole period when I was doing my
field research starting 2020, too early this year., the idea was among a lot of Tunisian folks was that the sub-Saharan African migrants are taking
away their jobs or are eating away their rice because there is a rice shortage in the country.
So, what is happening is that a lot of economic inequalities or employment inequalities are being interpreted by the Tunisians as being linked to this
visible other. Instead of saying like, oh, this is a structural problem, this is a state-linked problem. Instead of thinking in terms of the state,
they're thinking in terms of the other. And so, what has happened is that the marginalized of the most marginalized, I mean, the Tunisian society is
already very marginalized at a global scale. And within this, the margin of the margin is being as great coated in the end. Yeah.
ASHER: So, what needs to change just in terms of how the international community handles this and how they respond to it? I mean, obviously, we
know about the EU signing a deal with Tunisia and the sea international saying, look, the E.U. is actually complicit in how migrants are treated in
Tunisia. Tunisia is receiving money from the E.U., and they are under quite a bit of pressure to ensure that a lot of these migrants do not make it to
Europe, don't end up traveling to Europe. Is amnesty right? Is the E.U. somewhat complicit in all of this? What should they be doing differently?
PARIKH: I think the E.U. has been complicit for a long time since it put in place the European externalization policies and brought in the European
Union borders to Tunisia. So, that dates from starting something around 1990s. So, what we're seeing is nothing new if you look at this long term.
But the fact that I think there's a lot more critique now of the E.U., mostly because it is coming in from the far right. It is being supported by
the far right and from the Italian state. So, using that, a lot of folks are saying like, okay, yes, this is a far-right discourse.
There is a far-right anti-migrant discourse that is behind this deal. But if you just read on the papers, if you read just the memorandum of
understanding, it has -- it has this human rights language, which is sort of like human rights washing the whole deal in the sense like, oh, we will
bring, we will give you more visas or we will, you know, sort of make cooperations in terms of economic exchanges or in terms of transition to
So, it looks pretty on papers. But I mean, the E.U. has always sort of done that. It has always sort of come into the global south, especially like the
countries on which has externalized its borders, comes sort of from top down with this discourse of human rights and sort of tried to wash it away,
the oppression and the inequalities that exist between these global south bordering countries and the European Union.
ASHER: All right, Shreya, Parikh, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it. All right, still to come here on ONE WORLD. It's been
several months since they were laid off, but these former Twitter Africa employees say they still haven't received any severance pay despite
Twitter's promises. We'll have that story next.
ASHER: Twitter Owner Elon Musk says that due to a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load, the platform still has a
negative cash flow. He made a disclosure via Twitter on Saturday. It marks a stark contrast from what Musk told the BBC in April, that the platform
was roughly breaking even and that most advertisers had returned. One of Twitter's cost-saving measures after Musk took over was abandoning its only
office in Africa just four days after it opened, and it seems the company also abandoned the staff there, as well.
A group of former employees spoke exclusively to CNN about their ordeal, saying that they were literally ghosted by Twitter. They received
apparently no severance pay more than seven months later. Let's bring in CNN's Larry Madowo joining us live now from Nairobi, Kenya. It's
interesting, Larry, because Elon Musk's Twitter, I mean, are -- facing multiple lawsuits from employees and former employees around the world who
say that they were not paid what they were owed. Just walk us through what exactly happened with the office in Africa. These former employees
basically saying that Twitter left them in the lurch. What is Twitter saying about that, too?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So far, no response from Twitter. These former employees in Twitter's only African office, they didn't even begin
negotiating with the company until after CNN reported on their case. So, what happened is they now feel that Twitter kind of forced them into
accepting this lowball offer of three months severance pay, repatriation costs, because some of them moved back, moved to Ghana from Nigeria or
other parts of the continent, and the legal costs for this negotiation process.
So, they agreed on all that back in May. After that, they haven't heard back from Twitter. And every time they reach out, they still hear from
Twitter's lawyers, no response from the client. And one of them told me, we feel that they literally ghosted us and they fear that they might not get a
cent out of this.
Their last day at Twitter was on December 4th, but they had lost contact with Twitter and access to their Twitter systems back in November. So, it's
been more than seven months since they stopped working for the company and haven't been paid a cent. Some of them depended on their job at Twitter to
remain in Ghana legally or indeed if they're getting paid their repatriation costs to go back to their countries.
And it's a real problem here. This is why you hear this statement from the lawyer, Carla Olympio, who's been representing them from the beginning. She
says, unfortunately, it appears that after having unethically implemented their terminations in violation of their own promises and Ghana's laws,
dragging the negotiation process out for over half a year, now that we have come to the point of almost settlement, there has been complete silence
from them for several weeks. And she says they're considering legal action against Twitter in various jurisdictions, including Ghana.
We reached out to Twitter for comment on the status of these former employees in Africa. We didn't get back a response. The standard poop emoji
is what it got back. So, it's not clear that even after the new CEO, they have a media relations department. But Zain, the big problem here is this
is just 11 people we're talking about, not hundreds of people. And they say surely, the world's richest man can afford to pay severance to 11 people.
ASHER: Good point. Larry Madowo, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, still to come Wimbledon has a new champion and some are saying he is
ushering in a new era for the sport.
ASHER: Many in the tennis world say that it seems there has been a changing of the guard at the top of the sport. Spain's Carlos Alcaraz took down 23-
time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic on Sunday to win his first Wimbledon title. There it is. That's the moment that it happened. It took
five sets for Alcaraz to beat Djokovic. Some are saying the 20-year-old Alcaraz combines the best aspects of Djokovic's game, as well as Rafael
Nadal's and Roger Federer.
Don Riddell joins us live now with more. That was quite a moment there where you just saw the crowd really erupt because we'd all had this
impression that Djokovic was pretty much completely invincible. He hasn't been beaten for about 10 years. This win, I think, really does send a huge
message, a really important message to the younger generation of athletes who are just coming up, doesn't it?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, it was a match full of amazing moments like that, Zain. And yeah, I mean, I can see why people are saying this
represents a changing of the guard because it has been so long since anybody other than the big three, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, have done
anything in men's tennis. And we're talking a span of pretty much 20 years.
So, to see Carlos Alcaraz come and do this on the back of his U.S. Open title at the end of last season and take down Djokovic in such a compelling
way really does seem to represent the dawn of a new era. However, let's not pretend that Novak Djokovic is done. This was an extraordinary performance
from him at the age of 36 and some people are thinking that this might actually motivate Djokovic to come back and be even better.
But when we look at what Alcaraz has achieved in a very short period of time and the way he has done it, you talk about how he combines the best of
the great three. So, you're talking about the short making of Federer, the athleticism of Nadal, and the tactical, now-son genius of Djokovic. And he
seems to have all of these things. Djokovic is saying he's never encountered a player like Carlos Alcaraz. And this really speaks to where
he's at. At the age of 20 years and two months, he already has achieved more than the big three.
He's been having an absolute blast in the last 24 hours since winning the title. I'll have a look at his appearance on CNN this morning a few hours
ago where he was on with our domestic anchors and he was asked to show off the trophy. And it would seem as though he's still getting to grips with
being the Wimbledon champion. The whole thing just felt a bit in his hands.
And of course, during this interview, they were asking about the match, how he was able to come from with being the Wimbledon champion, the whole thing
just felt a bit in his hands.
And of course, during this interview, they were asking about the match, how he was able to come from a set down against Novak Djokovic, especially when
you consider that they met in the semi-final of the French Open in Paris recently, and Djokovic smoked him. Alcaraz is a fast learner. This is how
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS ALCARAZ, 2023 WIMBLEDON CHAMPION: Yesterday, was totally different. You know, I prepared mentally totally different before the match. And, you
know, during the match, I dealt with the pressure so much better than I did, you know, in French Open. It was just about mentally, you know, I know
that physically I'm really well prepared to play this kind of matches, this kind of marathons. I'm really, really proud to be able to play at this
level, you know, five hours against a legend. You know, it's something that I learned a lot from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: The focus now, Zain, switches to the U.S. Open in New York, where Alcaraz is the defending champion. He's the world number one, and he'll be
bidding to win his third major title in just four tournaments.
ASHER: Just incredible. He's only 20, and you think about the maturity and the mental resilience it takes to become a Wimbledon champion. Just
incredible. Don Riddell, live for us. Thank you so much. And thank you for watching ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next. You're watching