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Hala Gorani Tonight

Sarah Everard's Murderer Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole; U.S. Lawmakers Rush to Avoid a Government Shutdown; Belarusian Leader Alexander Lukashenko Dismisses Reports of Human Rights Abuses; Interview with Baroness Helen Newlove, House of Lords Member, on Campaign for Victims' Rights; Ecuador Prison Clashes; Truck Driver Shortage Causing U.K. Supply Chain Issues; European Parliament Urges E.U. Members to Boycott Expo 2020; Judge Frees Britney Spears from Father's Oversight. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 30, 2021 - 14:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, live from Atlanta, I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Hala Gorani, good to have you with us. Tonight,

sentenced to die in prison, the man who raped and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard in London given life with no parole. We'll have all the

details from today's emotional hearing. Plus, time is running out for U.S. lawmakers to avoid a government shutdown. With the deadline at midnight,

will the vote go as President Biden hopes? We're going to go live to Washington D.C. And later, Dubai's Expo 2020 finally kicking off in style.

CNN is live on the ground.

The former London police officer who kidnapped, raped and murdered 33-year- old Sarah Everard will die in prison. Wayne Couzens received the extremely rare sentence today for his crimes. A newly released video shows some of

the moments leading up to Everard's murder. Prosecutors say Couzens used his police power, specifically his ID and handcuffs to trick Everard into

compliance. It's all highlighting a potential breach of trust between British women and police.

CNN's producer Nada Bashir was at the courthouse at the time of sentencing and joins us now. And Nada, we are learning more about the gruesome details

in the lead-up to this horrific murder. The former police officer found guilty has been sentenced. A very rare sentence, life without parole.

NADA BASHIR, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, that's right, Lynda. This life without parole exactly what the prosecution said that they were seeking yesterday

on that first day of the sentencing hearing. And the judge today did outline the fact that the severity of the crime committed by Wayne Couzens

and indeed the fact that he abused his police authority justified that issuing of that sentence of life in prison without parole. And of course,

we heard the gruesome and chilling details of how Wayne Couzens carried out that attack on Sarah Everard and then murdered her.

And it is really disturbing to have gone through all of these facts in the hearing. Her family were there present. They have expressed the fact that

they are glad that the judge ruled in this instance to keep Wayne Couzens in prison for life and to remove that parole option. But they said that no

amount of justice is going to bring their daughter back. Take a listen.


BASHIR (voice-over): This is Sarah Everard just hours before she was killed in March. Seen here in newly released CCTV footage being stopped by

then serving police officer Wayne Couzens as she made her way home from a friend's house. It's in this moment investigators say Couzens presented his

police ID and handcuffed Everard, carrying out a false arrest under the guise of enforcing COVID-19 lockdown regulations. In the hours that

followed, Everard was abducted, raped, and strangled to death with her killer's police belt.

(on camera): It's in this court behind me that Sarah Everard's killer was sentenced to life in prison without parole. It's a sentence that is only

passed down in the most extreme of cases, and was issued based on the severity of the crime committed and the abuse of power by the former

serving police officer.

(voice-over): Speaking outside of the court afterwards, the head of the Metropolitan police apologized for the behavior of her former staff member.

CRESSIDA DICK, COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: His actions were a gross betrayal of everything policing stands for. There are no words that can

fully express the fury and overwhelming sadness that we all feel about what happened to Sarah. I am so sorry.

BASHIR: Defense lawyers told the court that Couzens is filled with self- loathing and abject shame. The confessed killer kept his head bowed and eyes closed throughout much of the two-day sentencing hearing. Only raising

his gaze briefly when addressed directly by Everard's family. Everard's family said in a statement after the sentencing, they were pleased Couzens

would spend the rest of his life in jail. "Nothing can bring Sarah back, but knowing he will be in prison forever brings some relief. We remember

all the lovely things about Sarah, her laughing and dancing and enjoying life. We hold her safe in our hearts."

Sarah's murder sparked a nationwide outpouring of shock, grief and anger over what some have described as an epidemic of violence against women in

the U.K.


Anger which has only intensified in recent days following the murder of 28- year-old school teacher Sabina Nessa who was killed just meters from her home in southeast London. And while the sentencing of Wayne Couzens has

brought some semblance of justice to the family of Sarah Everard, her death and the brutal manner in which she was killed remains incomprehensible for

so many.


BASHIR: And there are so many questions which remain in terms of whether or not the police can actually bring about reforms that stop cases like

this from happening. Many calling for fundamental reforms from the government to prevent cases of violence against women from happening again.

But women's rights organizations say this is an epidemic in the country, and that more needs to be done to stamp out the root causes of male

violence against women in the U.K. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes, it certainly does. Nada Bashir, good to have you with us, and we will stay on that story. We'll have more on that later in the show.

Well, the pace on Capitol Hill today is frantic, to say the least. The Senate has just passed a stop-gap funding bill to keep the federal

government open. It now goes to be house and will then be signed by President Biden. If there's another piece of legislation at play, a $1.2

trillion infrastructure deal, progressive and centrist Democrats in the house haven't reached an agreement on how or whether to vote for it. So for

now, a key goal of the Biden administration is in limbo.

Our Jessica Dean joins me now for more from Capitol Hill on all of this. Much to discuss, of course, Jessica, of President Biden's agenda really is

on the verge of implosion. A lot at stake here, but part of the problem is that the Democrats can't even align on priorities or policy.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right. And we're really seeing the Democrats having to kind of fight it out

amongst themselves to see how they will move forward in all of this. And Lynda, something to keep in mind as well, it's been a while since Democrats

had full control of the government, could pull all the levers of the government. And so we're really seeing this friction between the various

members of the party, the various wings of the party come out and spill it out into public view as they push for what they want.

On one side, as you mentioned, we have progressive Democrats who really wanted to see what's known as this more economic spending bill, kind of the

second track of what President Biden wants to achieve in his agenda. This is -- these are things like a child tax -- extending the child tax credit,

paid leave for families, climate provisions, things like that. They wanted to see this maybe even in the $10 trillion range at one point. We now hear

from a more conservative member of the Democratic Party, Senator Joe Manchin who says he wants $1.5 trillion. You can see how vast the

differences are there.

And why this all matters in addition to how will influence what ultimately gets passed is these two bills, whether people like it or not, are really

tied together, and more moderate wings of the party want this infrastructure bill to go ahead and be voted on today. That was the plan.

The progressives are saying we won't pass this, we will withhold our vote unless you get further along on this more social infrastructure bill. So,

Lynda, we're seeing these negotiations ongoing as we speak.

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi really trying to thread the needle here to make sure both of these get through because this is President Biden's almost

entire domestic agenda hanging in these two bills.

KINKADE: Yes, exactly. And of course, in order to avoid the government shutdown by midnight tonight, that bill must get to the president's desk by

midnight and must be signed off. But even if that all happens and goes smoothly, as it is expected to, it's only a short-term measure, right?

DEAN: That's right. So this gets us through December. So, the all -- everyone here on the Hill, we're dealing with four different issues. We

just covered the two bills that they're working with. You mentioned the third one, which is funding the government, avoiding a government shutdown.

They have come to this agreement, it has passed the Senate, it now goes to the house where it is expected to pass and get to President Biden by this

evening, averting that government shutdown. But, yes, we're going to have this whole conversation all over again later in December. And you know, as

things go here on Capitol Hill, Lynda, they like to go right up against those deadlines as we're seeing today.

KINKADE: All right, Jessica Dean, a lot to stay across for us --

DEAN: Yes --

KINKADE: Thanks so much --

DEAN: Yes --

KINKADE: Appreciate it. Well, to discuss more, I want to bring in our Richard Quest to talk about the larger ramifications of the U.S. political

situation. As always, good to have you with us, Richard. So --


KINKADE: The Treasury Secretary says that the government is likely to run out of money unless Congress raises the debt ceiling by October 18. If the

government fails to do that, essentially it defaults on debt. We've already heard one economist describe that possibility as financial Armageddon. What

are the ramifications?


QUEST: Enormous. The U.S. Treasury bill bombed. The U.S. government debt is the backbone of the global financial system, period. China has trillions

of them. Most countries are stuffed to the gills with U.S. treasuries. Now, even though we would know any default would be temporary, it would be a

moment or two. The reality is, the virginity would be broken if the government defaulted, and that would cause calamity because the question

will be asked, they've done it once, they'll do it again. The question would be asked, are we saying that this absolute standard, this rock is no

longer solid? And that would be total and utter disaster.

KINKADE: And, Richard, not just disaster for the U.S., this would echo around the world, right? In markets --

QUEST: Oh --

KINKADE: And mortgages and more?

QUEST: Lynda, I can short-circuit your question. You saw how with the global financial crisis, you saw how there was the transmission of fear

from a U.S. housing crisis into German land of banks into Britain's building societies in Australia and so on and so on. It is a tea party to

what would happen if the U.S. Treasury were to default. And that's the seriousness of this. It is way beyond anything that really we can conceive.

And don't be put off or don't be fooled by these numbers you're seeing on the screen now.

If this were to become a real possibility, you will be talking about a depth of market collapse, possibly the likes we've not seen before. Now I

know you're probably saying, oh, come on, Richard, you always say that sort of thing, people in your industry always forecasting Armageddon. Well,

we've never been here before, Lynda, we don't want to be here now.

KINKADE: We certainly don't. But it's not completely a new problem, right, because the U.S. government has increased the debt ceiling in the past,

even in the last administration, it happened three times, right?

QUEST: Yes, look, the debt ceiling, there's nothing magic about it. It's like your overdraft, Lynda. What happens when you get to the top of your

overdraft? You can't spend any more money. So, you either don't pay bills or you increase the overdraft. And that's exactly what's happened here.

This is the U.S. government's overdraft. And the fact that it has consistently been lifted on a bipartisan basis always after a lot of noise,

it's a lot of smoke and mirrors, a lot of sound and fury, but it does get lifted. And therefore this time, too, it will get lifted. It's merely a

question of how much pain they want to put the rest of us through before they do the necessary.

KINKADE: Hopefully not much pain. Richard Quest, as always, good to have you with us to break it all down. Thank you.

QUEST: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, it has been one month since what the U.S. military referred to as a tragic mistake. A drone strike that killed ten members of an Afghan

family. The victims' relatives are still waiting for compensation or help from the U.S. government. They're struggling to pay for food, clothing and

rent after losing their home and loved ones. Our Anna Coren shows us how a U.S. miscalculation utterly destroyed a family's life.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): A stunning admission from top U.S. defense officials revealing what they knew about the drone strike that

killed ten innocent Afghans in Kabul a month ago. For the surviving family, their pain has been amplified by the fact that no one from the U.S.

government has tried to contact them.

(voice-over): Barking dogs and a faint call to prayer are the only sounds that punctuate the silence from this hill top above Kabul. Yet, the

serenity and panoramic views do little to ease the souls of those who have been forced to relocate here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We cannot go inside the old house because of the memories. A house full of life was turned into a


COREN: A month ago, their world was destroyed when the U.S. military fired a hell-fire missile into the family's compound. The target, a white Toyota

Corolla with aid worker and family patriarch Zemari Ahmadi behind the wheel. Ten family members were killed including seven children, three of

whom were toddlers.

The U.S. had Intelligence that 43-year-old was an ISIS facilitator with suspected explosives in the car, posing an imminent threat to U.S. troops

in the final days of the airport evacuation. After weeks of defending the strike, the military admitted their Intelligence was wrong. And then this

admission during yesterday's grilling of defense chiefs in Congress, examining the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At what point, General McKenzie -- and this is for all three of you, at what point did you know that the strike was bad, that it

hit civilians?

KENNETH MCKENZIE, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Well, so we knew the strike hit civilians within four or five hours after the strike occurred.

We did not know, though, that the target of the strike was in fact in error until -- a mistake until sometime later. It took us a few days to run that


COREN: Zemari's family says no one from a U.S. government has contacted them.

MCKENZIE: I offer my profound condolences to the family --

COREN: The only apology they've received is by U.S. Central Command General Frank McKenzie before the TV cameras almost two weeks ago.

MCKENZIE: And I offer my sincere apology.

COREN: "They should have passed on their condolences, asked for forgiveness directly from us", says Zemari's brother. For 15 years, Zemari

worked as an engineer for U.S.-based NGO NEI that provided soybeans for Afghanistan's malnourished and poor. NEI based in California has had a long

history with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Some of its life-saving programs were funded by the State Department.

SONIA KWON, SENIOR ADVISER, NUTRITION & EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL: I don't know of any other job in the world where you can accidently kill someone's

entire family and then just call it a mistake.

COREN: Adding insult to injury, the U.S. military continues to maintain that the chatter they'd been monitoring for 36 hours before that fateful

day came from an ISIS-K safe house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, le-jean, mostly welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much --

COREN: CNN can confirm that the purported ISIS-K safe house is the family home of NEI's country director Dr. Walid, a pediatrician and father of

three young girls and has lived here for 40 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, as you see the laptop bag.

COREN: Zemari had stopped at the house that morning to pick up Dr. Walid's computer, which he had forgot. It was from that moment the military began

following Zemari's car and will continue surveillance for the next eight hours before launching the strike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm really shocked why this house is labeled as a safe house for ISIS. It is absolutely untrue, but I do expect from the U.S.

government to clear the name on my house.

COREN: In fact, Dr. Walid was granted a U.S. green card in 2018. It was reissued a few weeks before the strike. He now feels under threat in

Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, exposed as working for a U.S.-based NGO, plus being falsely associated with ISIS-K and wants to leave. The U.S.

military says it's looking into reparations for Zemari's family, but that's little comfort. NEI is engaging legal representation on behalf of the

family and is also demanding their resettlement.

KWON: I just hope the U.S. government has the compassion to grant what they want, which is to resettle. And I think that they really deserve this.

COREN: For the surviving children, their smile disguises their daily anguish and pain. Relatives say they often break down in tears asking why

their siblings and cousins had to die. "There isn't a single day where we don't shed tears for them", says Zemari's sister. Nothing is more painful

and nothing can relieve our pain."

(on camera): Other than compensation and resettlement, Zemari's family desperately wants justice. And for this fatal mistake to never happen

again. We know there are two U.S. military investigations currently underway which will examine what went wrong, whether someone should be held

accountable and with any procedures around strike-targeting need to be changed in the future. We contacted central command, but they declined to



KINKADE: Anna Coren reporting there. Still to come tonight, Belarus' controversial President Alexander Lukashenko sits down exclusively with CNN

senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. And Matthew joins us live from Minsk next. And later, an extravagant opening for a world's fair

in Dubai. We're going to go live to Expo 2020 to discover its wonders and its challenges.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is pushing back against allegations of human rights abuses. In an exclusive

interview with CNN, he dismissed multiple reports of violent acts against dissidents. For months, his government has been cracking down on

protesters, but Mr. Lukashenko says he won't apologize. CNN's Matthew Chance spoke with the president. Take a listen.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you take this opportunity now to apologize to the people of Belarus for the human

rights abuses that they've suffered at your hands?

ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, PRESIDENT, BELARUS (through translator): No, I would not like to take this opportunity. If ever I would, I would do that through

the Belarusian media. They're quite good here. What would be the point of doing it on CNN? I don't think this is a relevant question, and, in

principle, I have nothing to apologize for.

CHANCE: Well, you say you've got nothing to apologize for, but Human Rights Watch says multiple detainees have reported broken bones, broken

teeth, brain injuries, skin wounds, electrical burns. Amnesty International speaks of detention centers being -- becoming torture chambers where

protesters were forced to lie in the dirt, stripped naked while police kicked and beat them with truncheons. You don't think that is worth

apologizing for?

LUKASHENKO: You know, we don't have a single detention center, as you say, like Guantanamo or those bases that the United States and your country

created in eastern Europe. As regards our own detention centers where we keep those accused or those under investigation, they are no worse than in

Britain or the United States. I can guarantee you that. I would suggest that you discuss concrete facts and not the views or statements of some

ephemeral human rights organizations.

CHANCE: Well, I don't think Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are dubious. They're internationally recognized, you know, standards of

human rights activism. And they've all got testimony of former detainees in your prison camps, in your prison detention centers, both men and women who

have spoken of sexual violence against them, including rape and threats of rape. Are you saying that, that is just made up, that it's fake?

LUKASHENKO: Everything you've just said is fake and fantasy. I guarantee you it's fake and fantasy.


KINKADE: Well, our Matthew Chance joins us now live for more on that exclusive interview. And Matthew, what surprised you most as you grilled

the Belarusian leader?

CHANCE: Well, first of all, Lynda, this was one of the first opportunities we've had to actually grill Alexander Lukashenko about those widespread

human rights abuses that have taken place across the country since his disputed re-election last year. And so, we took the opportunity to do that.

But as you heard from that short clip of a part of the interview, you know, he was very much in denial, he wouldn't even accept these human rights

abuses even took place. It was a rich interview, we talked about other issues as well.


We spoke about the brewing or the ongoing crisis on the border with Belarus and the European Union, where Lukashenko is accused of, you know, the

weaponization of migrants, it's been called by European officials, pushing them towards the border, inviting them into Belarus and pushing them

towards the European border in order to put pressure on the European organizations on the other side. An act of revenge, say European officials

for their continued sheltering of Belarusian opposition figures and the imposition of sanctions by the European Union.

We also spoke about Russia and the price that Lukashenko and Belarus may have to pay for Vladimir Putin's unflinching support of the Belarusian

leader since that election -- disputed election more than 12 months ago. Lynda?

KINKADE: There is certainly a lot to cover. Take us through some of the other things, some of the other key issues you got to speak about. We are

obviously going to show more of that interview here tomorrow on our program. But what else stood out to you?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, first of all, he doubled down on -- you may remember last May, I think it was, when Belarus said there was a terrorist threat

against an aircraft, a Ryanair jet that was flying over Belarusian airspace. They informed the aircraft captain that there may be a bomb on

board. The captain took the decision to land in Minsk, the Belarusian capital from where I'm speaking to you know -- once it was on the ground,

the Belarusian security forces moved in and arrested Belarusian dissident along with his girlfriend who was a passenger on board that plane.

Now, that resulted in a widespread outcry, an international outcry. Most international flights and over flights of Belarus have now stopped. But you

know, Alexander Lukashenko, you know, rejected the idea that this was an operation specifically designed by his security forces to silence one of

his critics. He -- we went back to his usual refrain of blaming a western conspiracy to make Belarus look bad. And so, that was very much the theme

of this interview. On the issue of Russia, there's a lot of concern, you know, in Belarus and in the region as well that, you know the -- as I say,

the unflinching support and the economic support specifically that Vladimir Putin has given Alexander Lukashenko over the past 12 months will come at a

very high price. What is that price?

There are already talks of military bases or military facilities, you know, joint military facilities, Russian-Belarus being constructed in the

country. And there are concerns that Belarus could become a sort of western military outpost of the Russian federation if not be totally absorbed

eventually by the Russian state in its entirety.

KINKADE: An exclusive interview with Belarus' leader. Matthew Chance, good to have you with us on the program, I look forward to seeing more of that

interview tomorrow. Well, still to come tonight as Britain struggles to come to terms with the murder of Sarah Everard, I'll speak to a member of

the House of Lords and a campaigner for victims rights. Baroness Helen Newlove joins me with her perspective on the impact of violence. Plus,

unimaginable levels of violence in a place that should be locked down. Why Ecuador's prisons are exploding with deadly clashes.




KINKADE: More on our top story tonight. A former London police officer Wayne Couzens will die in prison for the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah

Everard. The life sentence Couzens received is extremely rare in England.

Officials say of the nearly 7,000 inmates serving life sentences, right now only 60 have no chance of parole. Prosecutors say Couzens used his police

authority illegally.

With me now to discuss all of this is Baroness Helen Newlove, a victims' rights campaigner and member of the British House of Lords.

Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: I have to admit, I cried reading the family impact statements, the trauma, the agony, the heartache.

And it doesn't end with the sentence of their daughter's killer, does it?

NEWLOVE: No. Sadly, reading out such an emotional statement, which I think is right, I have championed for these statements to be read by the family

because going through a trial, they're just part of an evidence trail.

It's important that we understand their loved ones as they were. But it doesn't end with this court trial, because the family are serving a

sentence from day one.

And it's the trauma begins when all this now goes away. This evening, they will be so traumatized but it's such a lonely place you close that front

door. And this is when your life begins without that loved one.

KINKADE: And you experienced this personally. You lost your 47-year-old husband to a brutal attack. Talk to us about how you and your daughters

dealt with that and how Sarah Everard's family will be dealing with this in the coming weeks, in the coming months, in the coming years.

NEWLOVE: I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all. I think you try to do the best you can. But it's very lonely. It's very sad, because I had three

young daughters, who witnessed every kick and punch to my late husband.

So having to deal with their issues as well and to give them confidence to now go on in life. But it hasn't been easy. It's 14 years this year. There

are other parts of the system that you have to then go through.

There may be an appeal. And then that gets even more distance from the victim and the families. So tonight it's a reflection, it may be a blur, a

lot of what-ifs. And it's like a video game or film, where the scenes are going around you. You're that traumatized.

And it's so important that we give them the time to digest and understand their pace. It's so important. But now I can feel that pain of that day,

when I shut my front door and everything had gone away, in a sense, to try and carry on another life because their lives are not going to be the same


KINKADE: I wonder for our viewers, I'll just read a very short paragraph from Sarah Everard's mother, from her family impact statement.

She said, "I'm tormented at the thought of what she endured. I play it out in my mind. I go through the terrible sequence of events. I wonder when she

realized she was in mortal danger. I wonder what her murderer said to her when he strangled her, for how long she was conscious, knowing she would

die. It is torture to think of."


KINKADE: While some people have argued that family impact statements don't affect the outcome of a case, you fought to ensure that the voice of the

family is heard.

Why is this important?

NEWLOVE: As the former victims commissioner for England and Wales, being a victim of a horrendous murder trial, it is so important to give the respect

for the victim's family, to stand up in court if they want to -- they don't have to do this, it can be read out.

But I think it gives them some solace to speak about their loved one. My daughters are witnesses and my eldest daughter certainly gave evidence in

court in front of the highest law professionals.

She always remembers that the map that was shown to her, of her father on the ground, and the defendants were B, C and D. And it has ruined how she

thinks of her father.

So to be able to speak and make the offender look in the eye and speak about your loved one, we now know what Sarah was about. It is so

heartbreaking to think of the horrific violence laid onto this young woman. So it's so important.

And it does have a place with the judge. It does direct the judge, when looking at the sentence. We cannot say what sentence we want. We can

actually say it in a statement. But the judge won't take that on board. And people who dismiss it really need to understand, it's an important document

for the family members.

Because if this wasn't a whole life sentence, if it was a tariff, a set sentence of years, they would be a parole system. And by making that impact

statement here, they need to make them with the parole system.

To be perfectly honest, they won't recollect, even say in these words; they can go back and see what they've said. And for me, that's what I did. And I

think the voice of the victim, that person, that loved one, is so important here, to be remembered as you know them, not as a piece of evidence in a


KINKADE: Sarah's father spoke about how he was looking forward to watching his daughter get married and have grandchildren and live a full life. And

he spoke about the fact that the closest he'll get to his youngest daughter right now is visiting her grave every day.

What sort of support is there for her parents, her siblings?

And what helped you and your daughters as you dealt with the trauma and grief?

NEWLOVE: I would imagine they would have family support. But families have to move on and live and work and whatever. But I think there are victims'

organizations that give them support. That's for them to choose what they want.


KINKADE: I think we just lost that link there with Baroness Newlove.

We'll move on for now.

Ecuador's president has declared a state of emergency, after a prison riot left more than 100 inmates dead. Dozens more were violently injured.

Officials say guns and explosives were used and several inmates were beheaded.

At this time it's not clear if the prison is completely secure. Police say gangs inside are fighting over drug routes. Stefano Pozzebon is live for us

in Bogota.

Just explain for us why this is happening and what link there is to the Mexican drug cartels.

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lynda. This is happening because, over the last five to 10 years, Ecuador has become a key point in

the distribution route of cocaine that is trafficked from South America up toward North America, according to data from the Southern Military Command

of the United States.

About 74 percent of the cocaine that enters the United States is through the eastern Pacific Ocean. The that means the coast of Colombia, which is

one of the -- it is the largest global provider of cocaine -- and the coast of Ecuador.

With Ecuador becoming increasingly a crucial distribution point for narcotics, the dominant organization in these underworlds, which are the

Mexican cartels; in particular, the Sinaloa cartel and the Cartel Jalisco, have made contacts and started to work with local gangs in Ecuador.


POZZEBON: Now Lynda, let's bear in mind, Ecuador does not have a history of organized crime on this scale before the last decade. We have seen this

in countries like Brazil, Venezuela, El Salvador, where international organized crime is very present and inmates often have access to high-

caliber weapons.

This has been a novelty in Ecuador and a very worrying trend that is increasingly worrying the Ecuadorian authorities. It's the fourth time in

three years that the Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency over its prison system.

It's the third time this year alone that more than 20 inmates died in riots in one single day. And this is the highest death toll in Ecuadorian prison

history to date. It's a warning trend.

And the sign of the Mexican cartels arming local gangs in Ecuador to control drug routes, have such a reach such a distance away from Mexico.

We're talking about thousands of kilometers away. That is where the drug comes from. And so that's where the cartels are.

KINKADE: Stefano, good to have you on that story for us, thank you.

Well, still to come tonight, an impressive display of performance and pageantry as Dubai opens Expo 2020. We're going to take you live to the





KINKADE: Welcome back.

A chaotic week is returning to normal for British motorists, with fewer gas stations running on empty. But there still aren't enough truck drivers and

the root cause of this week's problems still exist.

Brexit and the pandemic have only added to the U.K.'s supply chain problem, leaving the country looking to Europe for help. Our Nina dos Santos



NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: The U.K. has a record number of job opportunities, with the shortfall standing at more than 1 million

people across the country.

Well, to try and unlock that blockage in the labor market, the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, suggested that the country could get, as he put it

in a magazine interview, more creative about who it hired, potentially mobilizing the prisoner population.

Does that mean we could see offenders delivering fuel in West London?


DOS SANTOS: Well, that suggestion sounds as though, at this point, it could be premature. Either way, the government has been on the back foot to

address critical failures in planning and vital infrastructure.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Petrol, fresh produce and natural gas, shortages of vital items are affecting day-to-day life in Britain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This shouldn't be happening in a country like ours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have enough skilled workers and that's going to be the problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very easy for me to sit and say, oh, they should've, could've, would've but we should do better.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The government says the recent run on the pumps is down to panic buying and that there's plenty of fuel. Thanks to the

pandemic and Brexit, there is, however, a lack of truck drivers, making it very difficult to get all sorts of goods to where they're needed most.


DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Authorities hope to ease pressure on strained supply chains by issuing thousands of temporary visas to people like this

man from Bosnia. He's worked in the U.K. before and would gladly return.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds tempting for me because salary is always good, especially now, when they are in crisis, in need of drivers. I know,

before the Brexit, before the crisis, salaries were good also in England. So, yes, it sounds OK for me. I would work there.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): But others, like these drivers in Slovenia, weren't so keen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

DOS SANTOS: COVID-19 disrupted the examination process for tens of thousands of potential heavy goods vehicle operators in the U.K. Now the

government has decided to try and ease the backlog by fast-tracking the qualification process.

Here at this driving school on the outskirts of London, that means that they're busier than they've ever been.

Here you are, as a 29-year old, wanting to be a truck driver.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the opportunity of earning money is the main thing. It's very flexible within my family life. For an English person to

be doing it, I think it's a big must and a need. I do try to help people, who I've grown up with, you know, do it.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Until Joe and many others like him can get goods around the U.K., customer patience is another thing that's in short supply.

DOS SANTOS: With the next crisis point looming just in a few months' time at the end of the year when there will be the Christmas holidays, presents

to buy and food to put on the table, Britons are becoming increasingly worried about these labor and vital item supply crunches.

Putting the government on the back foot with concerns that all of this could derail an economic recovery that's badly needed, after successive

lockdowns during the pandemic -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, in London.


KINKADE: Well, the sparkling city of Dubai is inviting the world to Expo 2020. It is a dazzling display of pavilions, performances and conferences,

highlighting the world's achievements and challenges.

The opening ceremony, filled with performance and pageantry, just concluded.

Joining us now is our Scott McLean for more on all of this.

Scott, it reminded me of an Olympic opening ceremony. It was quite the show.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right, Lynda. Over the last couple of days, we've been quite restricted in what we were allowed to

shoot and not shoot before the expo began.

And that's because you got the sense that organizers really wanted to present this very polished version of Dubai. And with the performances from

Andrea Day, Andrea Bocelli, the larger-than-life props. They really seemed to put their best foot forward.

One other thing that stood out to me was not only who spoke but also what they said. One in particular was the minister of tolerance and coexistence.

And he talked about how far this place has come, from the first time that the United Arab Emirates showed up at an expo back in 1970, to today

hosting it in those 50 years.

This place has come a heck of a long way.

DOS SANTOS: And, Scott, to put on a show like this obviously is a huge investment. But there were challenges along the way to get to this point.

Just explain some of those.

MCLEAN: Yes, and there are still challenges for sure. The most obvious one is they took a plot of land that was just rolling sand dunes and open

deserts. There was a camel farm here and a few trees. And they turned it into this small city, with the most futuristic building designs that you

could possibly imagine.


MCLEAN: The other big one is the heat. It's more than 90 degrees, 33 Celsius right now, and it's still late at night, after 10 o'clock at night.

And so attracting people to come amidst the stifling heat will be a challenge.

Plus, the coronavirus pandemic as well and all of the restrictions on travel. You have to be double vaccinated to come in. And even once you're

inside, you have to wear a mask.

Also just a couple of weeks ago the European, the E.U. Parliament put out or passed a resolution, which called on European sponsors of the event and

member states to withdraw over human rights concerns, something that the UAE government flatly rejected but still sort of hung over the heads of

this event.

For the record, no European countries have actually dropped out; perhaps it was just too late of a resolution for them to really do much about it. So

they are putting their best foot forward with some really impressive pavilions, as the gates finally opened for regular visitors beginning

tomorrow morning -- Lynda.

KINKADE: A long day of work for you and the team in the heat.

Still to come tonight, Britney Spears one step closer to regaining control of her life. We'll have details on a major court ruling that frees the

singer from her father's oversight.




KINKADE: Welcome back.

For the first time in 13 years, Britney Spears is free of her father's court-ordered oversight. A judge in Los Angeles has suspended Jamie Spears

from a conservatorship that controls the singer's business affairs. Her father's attorney says he was just trying to help. But Britney's lawyers

painted a completely different picture.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Britney Spears is one step closer to freedom.

MATTHEW ROSENGART, BRITNEY SPEARS' ATTORNEY: It is a great day for Britney Spears. And it is a great day for justice.

MELAS (voice-over): A Los Angeles judge suspending her father, Jamie Spears, as her conservator, temporarily placing a certified public

accountant in charge of her estimated $60 million estate.

The ruling, a major legal victory for Spears. But it doesn't fully end the 13-year arrangement that saw her father control her finances and many other

aspects of her life.


MELAS (voice-over): Inside Wednesday's hearing, Spears' attorney calling her father, quote, "a cruel, toxic, abusive man," adding, quote, "she wants

him out of her life, rather than a lingering and toxic presence."

ROSENGART: Britney Spears has been faced with a decade long nightmare, a Kafkaesque nightmare, orchestrated by her father and others. And I'm so

proud of her for her courage.

MELAS (voice-over): Rosengart accusing Jamie Spears of, quote, "unfathomable behavior," citing behavior first reported by "The New York

Times," including claims he placed a recording device inside of his daughter's bedroom.

An attorney for Spears' father responding, quote, "It is not evidence, it's rhetoric."

The change in conservator coming after Spears made an emotional plea to the court in June, describing her frustration and anger, saying, quote, "The

conservatorship is doing me more harm than good," adding, quote, "I just want my life back. It has been 13 years and it's enough."

Meanwhile, outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans rallying in support of their favorite pop star, erupting into cheers after months of calls to free


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know this isn't about me but I just felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Like this is finally going to end for her.

MELAS (voice-over): Following the ruling, the singer posting this video of her in a prop plane to Instagram, writing, "On cloud 9 right now."


KINKADE: Finally tonight, how do you wrangle a giant alligator?


KINKADE (voice-over): Take a look at this vision we've got. This guy thought he would try to do it with a trash can. The reptile showed up at a

woman's front door in Florida, of course.

So this Army veteran ran to the rescue with a garbage bin. It took some doing to corral the creature but he finally managed to cajole him into that

can. And if that wasn't enough, he decided to wheel it down to a nearby pond, dump it over.

And then, of course, he decided to run. Authorities say don't try this at home -- or at anyone else's home for that matter. Better to call a

professional. He told a local television station, we all got to look out for each other, right?


KINKADE: You wouldn't catch me doing that.


KINKADE: Thanks so much for watching tonight. Some great vision there to finish on. Hope you have a good rest of the night. Stay with CNN. "QUEST

MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.