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Turkey and Russia Spar over ISIS in Syria; Russia Moves Anti- Aircraft Missile System into Syria; Hollande Vows to Destroy "Army of Fanatics"; Sister of Paris Attacker Talks; Gays under Attack in Uganda; U.S. Shoppers Look for Black Friday Deals; Russia and France Agree to Share ISIS Intelligence; Going Green. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 27, 2015 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK, great to be with you. I'm Zain Asher.
Turkey and Russia sparring today over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia not to,
quote, "play with fire" by threatening economic retaliation for the shootdown. He also asked to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin next
week in Paris.
Moscow saying that meeting is off for now. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says Turkey crossed a line when it shot down that jet. He says
Russia suspending its visa-free program with Turkey on January 1st. This ongoing row diminishing hopes of getting Russia to join the coalition
Our Matthew Chance is following the developments from Moscow.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Russians have certainly agreed to increase their cooperation with France after this
meeting with Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin. The two leaders said that they will share intelligence over ISIS; they'll coordinate airstrikes
in Syria on ISIS positions as well.
But that doesn't necessarily extend to a broader cooperation between Russia and the West. Vladimir Putin speaking after that press conference last
night after meeting with Francois Hollande, said that the two leaders had discussed the possibility of a broad international coalition against ISIS
that came under the U.N. auspices, the United Nations.
But some countries, he said, were not in favor of that and said they talked about the idea of a grand coalition in principle but nothing on that front
was effectively resolved.
And there are still big differences of course between Russia and the West, and Russia and France, in fact, about the future of Syria, France saying
quite clearly, the French president, that they do not see Bashar al-Assad as part of Syria's future.
But the Russians still sticking to their ally in Syria, basically still backing him and not seeing an alternative or not talking about any
alternative to supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad in that country. So there's still a big divide between them, even if they
cooperate on a tactical level over the tackling of ISIS.
Much of the problem is centered around the situation with Turkey. The fact that Turkey blew a Russian plane out of the sky on Tuesday, immense fury
here in Russia amongst all Russians, many Russians but particularly with the case of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, directed at Turkey
within the past few hours.
It's been announced by the Russian foreign ministry that visa-free travel between Turkey and Russia will be canceled from the start of next year.
Previously, Turkish people could go to Russia without a visa and vice versa.
It could potentially, if it's cooperated by -- reciprocated by Turkey, have an impact on the Turkish tourism industry; 3.2 million Russians went to
Turkey last year on holiday, partly because of the weather, partly because they don't need a visa to go there.
And so this could have a big impact. Also it's also been announced by the Kremlin that despite a direct appeal by President Erdogan of Turkey for a
meeting with Vladimir Putin in Paris next week, no meeting like that is planned.
So it gives you an idea of the kind of animosity that exists now because of this shootdown by Turkey of that Russian plane between Moscow and Ankara --
Matthew Chance, CNN, in the Russian capital.
ASHER: So you heard our Matthew Chance just there, talking about the fact that Russia's president is now talking in broad terms, very broad terms
about possibly cooperating with the anti-ISIS coalition.
But as our Barbara Starr tells us, that new Russian military hardware surface-to-air missiles on the ground in Syria is only going to be
complicating matters for the U.S. and its allies.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin may be talking about cooperation, maybe even the concept of joining the coalition. But
don't count on it just yet, according to U.S. officials. There are the political statements coming from leaders in various capitals but on the
ground, there is a very difficult military reality.
U.S. officials watching around the clock as the Russians begin to unload components of the S-400 anti-air missile system that they say they are
putting into Syria.
This could be the real game-changer on the ground. This is a missile system that can reach out and shoot down aircraft deep inside Turkish
airspace and in Syrian airspace. That is what causes the problem for the U.S. The U.S. officials, military officials tell me they are going to have
to have some sort of understanding.
If this missile system gets turned on, if it goes fully operational by the Russians inside Syria --
STARR: -- they need to determine what it is going to mean for U.S. warplanes flying in the coalition, leading the coalition in airstrikes in
that region. So there is really a long way to go before there is going to be cooperation, a coalition with the Russians inside the coalition, not
just yet, perhaps.
ASHER: That was our Barbara Starr reporting there.
Meantime, France is also talking about its strategy to fight ISIS on the ground in Syria, as it remembers those killed in the attacks two weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER (voice-over): At a national memorial in Paris, the names of the 130 victims who died were read, one by one, along with their ages. A lot of
them were very young, under 35 years old. President Francois Hollande said that France would not give into terror and promised to avenge their deaths.
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): I was to say quite simply these words: France will be alongside you. We will unite our
forces to calm the pain.
And after burying the dead, we have to repair to all of you, I promise you, solemnly, that France will do everything to destroy the army of the
fanatics who carried out these crimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That was French president Francois Hollande.
I want to go straight now to our Jim Bittermann, who's joining us live in Paris.
So, Jim, this was really a very emotional tribute. You heard them read out the names of those victims one by one. And what really got me was the fact
that some of the survivors, some people who survived the attacks in Paris, actually came to this memorial, to this tribute, in wheelchairs and
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: In fact, there were 350 people who were injured in the attacks and afterwards, we saw some of them
coming out with arms bandaged and whatnot.
There were a lot of the people that were injured there but as well as the families of the victims. I think, most generally, the reaction was that it
was a very moving ceremony, although, among some of families' victims, victims' families, there is a kind of an animosity, an anger that more
wasn't done to head off these attacks ahead of time -- Zain.
ASHER: And during this memorial, Jim, French president Francois Hollande said -- and I'm quoting here -- "France will overcome this enemy."
So let's talk about the strategy to fight ISIS because now you have the French prime minister Laurent Fabius basically suggesting that Syrian
regime forces should be involved in fighting ISIS. That marks a very different strategy from what the French previously said.
BITTERMANN: That's certainly the way it struck us, I must say. But I called over to the foreign ministry just a little while ago and talked with
a spokesman. He said he's down playing any kind of change in position.
But he is saying that the French are willing to accept regime forces who would be part of some anti-ISIS coalition, that France is willing to accept
parts of the regime, as he put it, to -- in the struggle against ISIS.
Now of course, he said all this has to be done within the framework of a transition because the French have said that transition has to include the
ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, so the French are still maintaining that Assad has to go.
But yet, there is this idea that perhaps elements of his army could join the fight against ISIS. I asked him if this was related to President
Hollande's talks in Moscow yesterday. He said they are not disconnected from those talks. It's kind of a, I think, a fudge at getting towards a
transition going here, in terms of the French policies. We may be seeing movement here, I think.
ASHER: French president Francois Hollande, said very clearly yesterday that, Assad has no place in the future of Syria.
Jim Bittermann, live for us there in Paris, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.
We'll have much more on the Paris attacks ahead. CNN's Hala Gorani talked with a sister of one of the attackers. She'll join us live with more from
her exclusive interview.
Also, Pope Francis takes his message of acceptance to Uganda. And not everyone agrees with his ideas. We'll explain after the break.
ASHER: Welcome back, everybody. We are getting insight into one of the Paris attackers. CNN's Hala Gorani talked with a sister of one of the
gunmen at the Bataclan theater. She spoke with Hala in French and understandably did not want to reveal her face or her real voice.
Hala Gorani joins us live now from Paris.
Hala, I imagine this must have been difficult for the sister and the family to come to terms with.
What was the sister's reaction when she turned on the news that Friday night and realized that the man responsible, one of the men responsible for
this heinous murder, was, indeed, her own brother?
HALA GORANI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, she sounded, even when I spoke to her yesterday, a little bit in denial, saying she didn't believe it was
possible. Of course she knows it happened. But she says that the man she remembers as a little boy, he's three years or was three years younger than
her, was a sensitive kid, that he was generous, that he liked to joke around.
She said, you know, it was almost impossible for us to accept until we in fact had to come to terms with the fact that my little brother, Samy
Amimour, was one of the attackers responsible for the ruthless killing of some of 89 of the victims of the Bataclan concert hall.
Now what is interesting is that we now know that Samy Amimour went to Syria, that we understand he trained with ISIS but his father, in fact, in
2013, even traveled to Syria, reportedly, tried to get him back to no avail.
Another aspect that I found surprising is that the family was in touch with him practically the entire time and that the sister was messaging with him
on messaging services as late as this summer.
I asked her specifically about the last message that Samy Amimour sent to her and what it said. Listen.
GORANI: In your last contact with him, was it just an ordinary conversation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GORANI: With absolutely no sign that anything like this could happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No sign. Totally normal conversation. I asked him how he was. And he told me, listen, I am very well, I have a lot of
things to deal with at the moment. I will call you very soon. Send kisses to everyone and to my cat.
GORANI: How do you reconcile the -- your brother who says, kiss the parents, kiss the cat, you know, I'll call you soon, the little boy you
grew up with, was the man who so coldly murdered dozens of helpless people in a concert hall?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, there's no link. It's almost like it's not him. There's no chance. I know that it's real but.
GORANI: So you hear it there. Really there were moments of long pauses where she really didn't know how to formulate her thoughts. She was having
trouble expressing herself. You felt that she was still shocked.
But one of the things I asked her and I think many of our viewers will have he same question is, how did you not know?
You knew he traveled to Syria. I'm sure you have heard of ISIS, of the types of videos that they have broadcast all over the Internet, showing
beheadings and extreme cruelty toward ordinary civilians.
How did you not know that he was taking part in these types of actions?
And again, a certain level of deniability here and perhaps even delusion, saying, no, he was a nice guy. We didn't think that he would be taking
part in these types of things.
And then I said, why do you want to talk on television at all? Because that's also a question that many people will have.
And she said listen. Here's the thing. This type of radicalization might be taking place right now in ordinary people's homes and they may not be
paying enough attention. I want to bring it to the attention of people that in ordinary families this could take place. This is why I'm speaking
out -- Zain.
ASHER: So many unanswered questions for the sister and for her family. And I want to remind our viewers you can catch Hala Gorani's full interview
with that sister at 3 o'clock Eastern time.
Hala Gorani, thank you so much, we appreciate it.
Pope Francis spent his last morning in Kenya visiting a slum in Nairobi. This is the pope's first visit to Africa. Speaking from the shantytown,
Francis slammed the nation's elite and described injustices against the poor as new forms of colonialism.
He also spent time with an Irish nun, who has spent decades educating children with disabilities.
The pope then traveled to Uganda where some are angry at the Catholic leader over his stance on gay Christians. Our David McKenzie has that
story from Kampala.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Uganda, God isn't hard to find. In Internet cafes, boutiques and stores and a Tuesday sermon for
MCKENZIE: Does God love Uganda?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does. We are not just a part of Africa. We are God's choice.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): It should be fertile ground for the next pastoral visit.
MCKENZIE: What is your message to the pope when it comes to Uganda?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His standing is simply hypocritical. He must take a stand as a leader.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): But some Ugandan priests and pastors are angry at Pope Francis' attempts to reach out to gay Christians.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell the people, this is the truth, this is the way. Homosexuality is dangerous.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Mukasa Jackson (ph) and Makissa Kim (ph) are afraid to move together in daytime. They cannot go back home. Their families
have abandoned them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have people screaming outside. "Hey, gays, gays, they are here. Gays are here."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) beaten so badly.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): And they live in fear of being attacked again.
Hauled into court, they faced years in prison for acts of homosexuality under colonial era laws. They were eventually released for lack of
MCKENZIE: Is it hurtful that people hate you so much?
JACKSON MUKASA (PH), UGANDAN: It's so hard for us, that people hate us so much because they realize that we're gays.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): A failed 2014 anti-homosexuality bill has done nothing to slow preachers and politicians in Uganda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the law says go to jail, you have to go to jail. It's like any other crime that we have in our nation and in the world.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): But Jackson (ph) and Kim (ph) say they are proud of who they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why I even have a question to God. I wish I could meet God.
Is it that being gay is a crime to God because that's why all these things are happening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was there, dancing.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): They say no matter what happens, they will suffer together -- David McKenzie, CNN, Kampala, Uganda.
ASHER: Time for a quick break. You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Still ahead, they will shop till they drop. We will take you into the thick of
the Black Friday crowds as the U.S. holiday retail season begins.
ASHER: Welcome back, everybody.
It's Black Friday in the U.S., the start of the holiday shopping season. Retailers are hoping big deals will lure people into the stores and
shoppers are, of course, looking for those deals. They are looking for the lowest price tag.
It's been a rough year for traditional retailers. They are hoping for some big gains today. I want to check in with CNNMoney correspondent Cristina
So, Cristina, from what I understand, people actually woke up at 2 o'clock in the morning in the freezing cold where you are; I woke up at 4:00 am
this morning and that was too much for me.
Are the deals really worth it for all that pushing and shoving that comes along with today?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think in some cases the deals are worth it. But keep in mind, even if you get up at 2:00 in the
morning and you go to the store, sometimes the item that you are looking for is actually out of stock. And that's what causes all of the tensions
to flair and some of the craziness that we have seen across the country.
Right now, I'm in Herald Square, lots of crowds forming, going into a very iconic retailer, Macy's behind me. We are going to see this throughout the
day. But across the country, this is how crazy it got. Take a listen.
ALESCI (voice-over): Overnight, an all-out battle at stores across the nation.
Just hours into the brutal chase for bargains.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) after somebody tried to steal something from me.
ALESCI (voice-over): In Louisville, Kentucky, Black Friday madness: two men punching and tearing at each other's T-shirt inside a major city mall.
Tempers flared at this Walmart in El Paso.
Holiday shoppers appear to (INAUDIBLE) flatscreen TVs, even taking on store security.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, (INAUDIBLE).
ALESCI (voice-over): The yearly --
ALESCI (voice-over): -- stampede spilling into front doors, a welcome sight for retailers, hoping to cash in on the holiday frenzy. Sales
expected to reach $80 billion in the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We made it.
ALESCI (voice-over): The average American spending close to $400 throughout the holiday weekend with some brick-and-mortar stores now
handing out a select number of tickets to people in line for the hottest items.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're able to ticket numbers one through whatever number we have. That way it stops a lot of the chaos from happening.
ALESCI (voice-over): Some shoppers, camping out for days.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been here since Tuesday night at 9:30.
ALESCI (voice-over): All in an effort to nab great deals, like this 50- inch flatscreen TV at Best Buy, marked down nearly 75 percent off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's exciting. If it's something that you want and it's worth it, why not go and get it?
ALESCI: Now, Zain, as you can imagine, these people are out for deals, at the end of the day. And this is an important day for the American economy.
Remember, the American consumer accounts for about 70 percent of the economy here and a major part of the economic growth. So an important day
for the economy. An important day for retailers.
Of course, we won't have those results for a couple of months. But it's looking good so far.
ASHER: Oh my goodness. All of that fighting. I certainly do not have the patience. I think I'm going to stick to online.
OK, Cristina Alesci, live for us there, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.
This is the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Ahead, Turkey's president wants to meet Vladimir Putin in the next few days to discuss Turkey's downing of that
Russian warplane. Why Moscow says that simply won't happen. That's coming up.
ASHER: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Zain Asher. Let's get you caught up on the headlines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER (voice-over): Russia says no meeting is planned between President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Erdogan at next week's climate summit
in Paris. Mr. Erdogan asked for the meeting to discuss Turkey's shootdown of a Russian warplane.
Moscow also said it's suspending visa-free travel with Turkey on January 1st.
French President Francois Hollande says France will destroy the, quote, "army of fanatics" that killed 130 people in Paris two weeks ago. Mr.
Hollande spoke at a national memorial which survivors and first responders also attended.
The hunt is still on for one of the attackers, Saleh Abdeslam.
Pope France has arrived in Uganda as part of his first visit to Africa. Before leaving Kenya just a few hours ago, Francis visited a shantytown in
Nairobi and scolded the nation's elite over injustices to the poor. On Sunday, he is going to be traveling to the Central African Republic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Russian and French presidents have agreed to work together on an anti-ISIS strategy when they met yesterday in Moscow but there are big
hurdles to cross before we see any broader agreements between Russia and the U.S.-led coalition. Jill Dougherty of the International Center for
Defense and Security joins us live from Moscow.
So, Jill, Vladimir Putin says that he is willing to cooperate with the anti-ISIS coalition. He sort of intimated that. But Russian foreign
minister Sergey Lavrov just held a press conference with the Syrian foreign minister.
Did they at all expand on that?
JILL DOUGHERTY, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DEFENSE AND SECURITY: He added, I would say, to what President Putin has been saying. It's certainly a sign
that even after the shootdown by Turkey of the Russian plane, they are still willing to cooperate. Let's listen exactly to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We are fully ready to bear in mind all the concerns and interests of
country who are interested in the fight against terrorism and we are ready in any forms coalitions working together across the nation without any
discomfort to work with our partners, including those who, in the coalition that was set up last year with the Americans, and was achieved without
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: So, achieved without result. You know, Zain, sometimes when you listen to diplomats, you have to listen to exactly what they are
saying. So far, so good, at the beginning of the statement. We want to cooperate and work with that coalition led by the United States.
But in the same breath, he says it's been an ineffective coalition. That's the problem here that now, in addition to the really very bad relations
with Turkey, Russia has used that to criticize the United States as well.
And they are saying essentially the United States, because it knew of the flight, the path of that plane, the Russian plane, either the United States
didn't pass that information on or, perhaps Turkey simply did something on its own.
So there are implications of this fight now between Turkey and Russia that go beyond and affect the entire U.S.-led coalition.
ASHER: Jill, let's talk about how the situation between Russia and Turkey could indeed be resolved. We know that Turkish President Erdogan wants to
meet Putin on the sidelines at the COP 21 meetings in Paris next week.
We don't know if Putin is going to agree to that. He sort of intimated that he might not.
But if Turkey is not apologizing and they're not offering any compensation to Russia, how can these two countries end up moving forward?
DOUGHERTY: Right now, it's very hard to see because, of course, you know, domestically it's very important for both leaders to continue on the path
that they are continuing on, which is Turkey saying it wasn't our fault; we had an incursion into our airspace, and the Russians saying that you shot
down over Syria, et cetera, and you were our friend and you stabbed us in the back.
Here, I can tell you that in Russia there was a lot of anger, even this afternoon, I was walking by the Turkish embassy and there was a Russian
men, really basically yelling at one of the guards; people feel it emotionally here that their guy died. And it's very emotional.
So I don't think in the short term you can -- either country can pivot and say oh, forget it, it's fine, we'll go on. And especially when you look at
DAUGHERTY: -- economic steps that Russia is taking against Turkey, the latest being this ending or suspending visa-free travel, very important
because a lot of Russian tourists, 3.3 million go to Turkey. But farther on, down the road, it's a very important relationship. And there may be a
way to bring it back but not right now.
ASHER: Certainly the shootdown of that Russian plane makes the strategy, the coordination of fighting ISIS together far more complicated. Jill
Dougherty, live for us there in Moscow, thank you so much.
Saudi Arabia plans to execute 55 people found guilty of carrying out terror attacks, that's according to a prominent newspaper in that country. Human
rights activists are raising concerns and accusing the Saudi government of using counterterrorism operations to settle political scores.
Amnesty International says at least six Shia Muslims activists are at imminent risk, including one who was sentenced to crucifixion for alleged
crimes during the Arab Spring protests. CNN has asked the Saudi government for comment on the case. But so far, we have received no response.
You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Still to come, we'll meet some women determined in South Africa to fight fiercely to -- sorry, to fiercely
protect endangered wildlife. That's in our "Going Green" series coming up.
ASHER: Some determined women in South Africa have banded together to protect critically endangered black rhinos and other rare wildlife. They
are called the Black Mambas and they're the focus of this edition of our "Going Green" series.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Black Mambas are the group of women, 26 of women, who are working as an anti-poaching unit protecting animals and rhinos, all
the animals in the reserve. They patrol in the bush and they patrol the fence so that the poachers will now that is people in this reserve. It's 2
million hectares. And we have big (INAUDIBLE) in our reserve.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, lions, kudus, impalas, hippos. The main thing we are protecting here, it's all the
animals but the big attention is the rhinos because the poachers are after them.
We are the Black Mambas anti-poaching unit.
We are the (INAUDIBLE) for rhinos.
It's 7 o'clock in the morning. We started our morning patrol at 6 o'clock. Now we are checking the fence. It's a yoke (ph) fence. We want to see if
the fence it's OK and it has not been cut and looking for suspicious things like tracks for poachers.
Since we have started with the Black Mambas anti-poaching project, there is no poachers in our (INAUDIBLE) because we are doing our job so well.
What I love being a Black Mamba is that we are a group of women. And before we joined this group, before the Black Mambas started, people in the
communities and all over the world, they didn't believe in us. They were all saying, oh, what are the thinking? Women cannot do this. This is a
But we have proved them wrong, that this is not a man's job. Anyone can do it and we are here. We are doing it. We are protecting our animals.
And since we began with the Black Mambas anti-poaching unit, there is no rhino that they have been killed. We are the Black Mambas anti-poaching
unit, the women from South Africa. We say this to the world, let the animals live. They deserve to live. So please, we Black Mambas, we say
zero tolerance to rhino poaching and wildlife treat (ph).
ASHER: Such an inspiring story. OK. That does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Zain Asher.
Stick around. "WORLD SPORT" with Alex Thomas is coming up next.