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Women in Saudi Arabia Given the Right to Drive; Interview with Emmanuel Macron. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired September 27, 2017 - 00:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Tonight, a major milestone in Saudi Arabia. Women finally get in the driving seat,

but still face bumps in the road to equal rights. Plus, part two of my exclusive interview with the French President, Emmanuel Macron as he

unveils a bold new vision.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE: Now, what we have -- what we need is more desire for Europe, more ambition.


AMANPOUR: And playing by the rules, one of the most powerful woman in Europe tells me about taking on social media giants and fighting fake news.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program, I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. There is only one country in the world where women can't drive,

and soon, there will be none. Saudi Arabia says that women can finally take the wheel next year. They've been fighting for decades as I reported

back in 1990 in Riyadh.


AMANPOUR: The recent demonstration by a group of women has provoked a backlash that has caused some of them to be suspended from their jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love driving. I wish I can drive in the -- in our country.


AMANPOUR: Well, 27 years later, despite fierce opposition from conservative clerics, they can. One of those clerics said that driving

would harm a woman's ovaries. This was the announcement they've all been waiting for.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will be interested to know that a few minutes ago, a royal decree has been issued in Saudi Arabia giving women the right to



AMANPOUR: As if to prepare people for what was to come, Saudi Arabia allowed women to enter the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh for the first time,

and projected these pictures of female athletes on some of the capital's tallest buildings. Now, Manal Al-Sharif landed in jail and lost custody of

her son for her struggle to drive. A few years ago, she took me for a spin around New York. She's written a book called Daring To Drive, and now that

she'll finally be able to drive a home, she's ecstatic but says it won't all be easy sailing.

Manal Al-Sharif, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Now, you tweeted in the immediate aftermath, "You want a statement? Here it is. Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The

rain begins with a single drop." Do you really think this is going to even greater freedom for women?

AL-SHARIF: Oh my god. Yes. Big time. There was no battle more difficult than the battle to lift the ban on women's driving. That was the long-

standing ban, we were really the last country on Earth that allows women to drive. And so it will always be black, I know, a black mark in our

history, that we cannot remove, but I think it's the start to tell our women, first, that recognize you as citizens and recognize you as adult who

can drive their own destiny.


AL-SHARIF: I think it really will be different after today.

AMANPOUR: Why do you think it has happened now?

AL-SHARIF: I think it's been long-waited and Saudi Arabia have been through so much scrutiny by the international, whether media, whether

international community, and also the economical hardship we are going through in my country. They cannot afford keeping the women in the

backseat, they want to make women fully involved in the economy and they can't do that, you cannot find a woman to be in a political position or in

a government position, and she still can drive her own car.

AMANPOUR: Let me challenge you a little bit. Because obviously this is a great step forward. It's a giant leap, as you say, in a country that moves

as slow as molasses, but you yourself are a brilliant paradox of this situation. First of all, you lobbied for this, you wrote about it, you

protested, you drove abroad, but you are also still a victim of some of the laws there that make it very, very hard for women. You are living in

Australia because your son cannot get a visa, your marriage is not recognized, you can't come back to the Saudi Arabia. Marriage, divorce,

travel, opening a bank account, getting a job, having elective surgery without permission from male guardian still stands.

You can't mix freely with members of the opposite sex, you can't appear in public without wearing a full-length black abaya, there's a whole list of

things that women still can't do.

AL-SHARIF: And we are pushing all the boundaries. If you go today to Saudi Arabia, you will be -- you will not know it from the small things to

the big things. We or they just assigned the first female spokesperson of the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC, the most important embassy for us

abroad. And that sends a huge message. I am a living paradox because we had different leadership before. Now I have full belief in the new

leadership, they are young, they are would call them courageous to take this step, and there will be huge backlash from the radicals and from our -

- I would say the extremist Islamists in my country.

AMANPOUR: You just spoke about the new leadership. You know, you said you're proud of the new leadership, the crown prince, and he did actually

go out on a limb to sideline and to try to end the culture wars, you know, the religious, these moral beliefs in the street. But at the same time,

there are still political prisoners, there are still people who can't be human rights activists. There are still, you know, a clamp down on free

speech, and obviously, men and women don't have election, an electoral right.

AL-SHARIF: We have a long way, in the Gulf, to go, with, we cannot apply the democracy that you see in the west because we are still a tribal

society. People still believe in -- we are still a patriarchal society. I think the push to -- for more economical and more societal changes, that is

the first step. I acknowledge there have been crack down on the freedom of speech and that really what it means, they are being cracked down on

activists. We still have long to go, really, in every single aspect, everything. But let's talk tomorrow.

AMANPOUR: Well, we'll see. In June of 2018, you will be moving from the backseat to the front seat of the car, anyway. Manal Al-Sharif, thank you

very much indeed.

AL-SHARIF: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And Saudi Arabia isn't the only country starting somewhere with momentous change this week. France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, who

already bucked the global nationalist trend with his election is right now, laying out his vision to go all in on Europe.


MACRON: (through translator) It is up to us, to you, to define the only path that ensures our future. The one I wish to speak to you about today.

It is rebuilding of the Europe that is sovereign, united, and democratic. Together, let us be bold enough to draw the path.


AMANPOUR: So as he was preparing this plan, he spoke to me about it last week at the United Nations. And so here is more from our exclusive

conversation. It was President Macron's first international interview.


MACRON: I think the past decade for me is the last decade for Europe. We didn't reform, we didn't progress, we fixed some crisis with (emergent

chances) that we didn't move forward and proposed anything new. For me, the main answer to that is to be more ambitious with Europe, within the

circles proposals and that's what I want to launch in the coming weeks to see we need more ambition for Europe or at least for those in Europe, who

are ready to move forward and be more integrated from an economic point of view. have a common answer in terms of defense and security. A common

answer in terms of digital challenges, energy and climate and so on.

So we need more ambition, we need to launch new process, a more democratic process that's why I launched this democratic convention for the beginning

of next year and I hope to create a momentum and a dynamic with other countries. For me, that's a (business) of the Brexit. Why? Because I

don't want to spend month and month discussing about the divorce. That's a British decision.

AMANPOUR: The divorce.


That's a British decision to -- for the Brexit. I do respect the decision. If we are ready to present a new visage of the EU and within the EU's inner

circles, if we show that Europe can be an actual economic, diplomatic and military power, I do believe that we can convince a lot of people to join

the club.

And for me during the past decade, poor Europeans didn't dare to define Europe.

People in the Eurozone didn't dare to gather themselves. Why? Because they didn't want to be too tough with the Brits or the Pols, or some

others, because they were not part of the very inner circle. At the end of the day, these guys tops desire more Europe. Now, what we have -- what we

need is more desire for Europe, more ambition.

AMANPOUR: Why do you think somebody like Hillary Clinton, who believed in all these things you said, and somebody like David Cameron who was at

heart, a remainer, why do you think they didn't put up a big enough fight or why do you think they lost?

MACRON: I mean I'm probably not the best entitled to comment elections in other countries, so I want to be very handle -- I think for Mrs. Clinton

that I, whom I do respect, is probably just to think that the perception of your people was that she was less middle class candidates than Mr. Trump

which is a big issue and as I told you, she was pictured, I'm not saying it's true, but she was pictured as a candidate of the elites.

And I think if you don't put yourself with an answer to better regulate this globalization and to give more power to middle classes, it's

impossible to convince in current democracy.

And I think it's more or less the same issue with the Brexit. First of all, David Cameron didn't properly defend the Yes and the Remain, it was a

Remain bet and he already lost at the very beginning when he was not clear about a strong willingness because when you have all this No in front of

you, you have to be a strong believer, not an ambiguous believer of the European idea.

AMANPOUR: I remember before the election, you said this is a great moment for France to go in the opposite direction of the prevailing trend, you

know, take on anti-globalization, take on populism, what made you do that and believe that you could win doing that?

MACRON: Because I know the outcome of this trend. It's wrong. At the end of the day, it's all about how to fight against each other and it's all

about war, so the big question today is to reduce our multi-lateralism. So during the past two decades, inequalities increased like crazy, that's a

big issue for all our middle classes and that's the very beginning of this crisis of globalization. The second, we have to deal with climate change,

terrorism, migration, all these issues are global issues. So we need multilateralism, we need to be strongly coordinated and to protect our

common goals and common values.


AMANPOUR: When we come back, this lofty goal at a time when democracy may face its biggest threat from some of the biggest global corporations.

Falling afoul of the fake news beast and the commissioner trying to tame it. My interview with Margreth Vestager next.

Plus a sobering trip to Macedonia's fake news farms after this.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg once memorably said that it is crazy to think that Russia could manipulate his

site or western democracy for that matter. Now of course, he's turned over tons of evidence of precisely that to US investigators. In a moment, we

will talk to Europe's competition czar about how to stop global behemoths like Facebook and Google spreading the fake news virus.

But first, CNN's Isa Soares goes to the source, a fake news farm in Macedonia.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tucked away in the hills of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is this small city of Veles. A

place many thousands of miles away from Washington, but whose voices echo across America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The so called fake news can have real world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fighting the fake news, it's fake, phony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It involves propaganda.

SOARES: In the build up to the US election, over 100 fake news websites were traced to the city. Today, fake news producers are still pumping out

false headlines. And in a shocking revelation, one revealed his next target, 2020.

Of about 7,000 stories that were open, just in, Sarah Palin hospitalized, you can spot the stories that are really untrue, completely fake. Bill

Clinton loses it interview, admits he's a murderer. The stories on this particular website are fake, but other websites are actually going further.

They are mixing fact and fiction.

That is a lie, and that is mixed in with news in the main political page. And someone in the US could potentially be influenced by that. And they

make you want to click and then make you want to share. Website owners make their money from advertising, platforms like Google's Adsense place

ads on their sites. Every page visit is a fraction of a cent but as you can imagine, it quickly adds up with hundreds of thousands of clicks.

Then to drive traffic, fake news producers use Facebook. They translate their stories in fangroups often under fake profiles, all in the hope that

they will be viral.

We spoke to Facebook and Google who told us they are actively identifying and blocking accounts linked to fake news. On the ground, producers are

adapting. This man promises young Macedonians he can change their fortune.

At what point did you get start getting students knocking on your door or calling you and say I want to create a fake news website, teach me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defining moment was when some of my students discovered that they can earn money writing about politics. It spread like

fire, all right? Now at least four of my students are millionaires.

SOARES: Four of them millionaires.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least four. Many of the new students invested a lot, they get some credits, some loans from the bank, to grow their

Facebook pages again.


AMANPOUR: It is bold, it is brazen, and it is openly boasting that no election is safe. You can watch Isa's full report online at So

Bloomberg News today called out Facebook saying "Welcome to corporate adulthood. Isn't it awful?" Can Facebook be trusted to police itself or

do we have to call in the antitrust busters.

As Europe's commissioner for business competition, Margreth Vestager made companies like Facebook and Google and Apple, very, very nervous. Her

office has slapped them with billions of euros in fines and settlement. She joined me earlier from Brussels with why.

Commissioner, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: You, I think, it's fair to say put the fear of god into many of these corporate behemoths and their CEOs. We've just seen this report by

our Isa Soares where this fake news farm in Macedonia talks about, you know, his clients making millions of dollars, they are becoming

millionaires by spreading this fake news. What can you do, if anything, to shut that down?

VESTAGER: Well, what I would do in competitional enforcement, is to make sure that no one is above the law. Even if you are big and dominant in the

European market, but you still have to play by the rule book as well as anyone else.

AMANPOUR: And when we see people like Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, really, really under the microscope right now. I mean everything

is coming at him like a ton of bricks. He said the following.


MARK ZUCKEBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: We are actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations and to Russian interference. When

we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel. We also briefed congress and this morning, I directed our

team to provide the ads we found to Congress as well.


AMANPOUR: From your perspective, is it reasonable to expect them to police themselves or given that they are an international force, they do operate

inside your jurisdiction, do they need regulating?

VESTAGER: We discussed that a lot in Europe and we are working with Facebook, too, because we find that what is forbidden in the real physical

world that we used to, well that should occur in the digital world either. Because we don't want hate speech, we don't want radicalization of our

societies. And in that, of course we work with Facebook and others, that is an ongoing debate if they should be regulated in a stricter way but

while that debate continues, it is my obligation to make sure that competition law is enforced so that rules are not broken to the detriment

of all the companies who do play by the rule book and who do their best to innovate and to produce new services for European customers.

AMANPOUR: What was your interaction with Tim Cook? I understand that he came into your office fairly swaggering and I mean, he is the head of the

coolest company in the world, they say. And he's actually said that some of what you suggested is total political you know what, crap.

VESTAGER: This is not about politics. This is about doing things the right way just as well as anyone else. And in Europe, we have been working

with this for decades to think that it shouldn't be the way that you are connected with the government in one that allows you to have a stronger

position in the market.


AMANPOUR: Played out through the lens of democracy and how an unregulated, untrammeled media platform could affect democracy?

VESTAGER: I think that's a very good point because when Europe was built, it was in ruins after the second world war. The human suffering was

unbelievable and unprecedented and yet our founders, they say that you need the market to make us come together but you need a regulated market to make

us come together because left to itself, you may just have monopolies and cartels, a market that is a big business instead of serving the citizen in

the role of customers. And this is important and these political choices taken 60 years ago, they are still very, very modern and they are indeed

worth fighting for.

AMANPOUR: Commissioner Vestager, thank you very much for joining us.

VESTAGER: It was a pleasure being with you.

AMANPOUR: And when we come back, as the song goes, I raised up my eyes whence cometh my help, while some of Hurricane-hit Puerto Rico's prayers

were answered from the sky above, imagine having to wait more than a week for help to stave off a humanitarian crisis. That's next.


AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight, poor, poor, Puerto Rico, on the brink of a full blown humanitarian crisis, says the governor. Where drinking water,

food, and electricity are still scandalously scarce for many, one week since Hurricane Maria hit. Imagine desperate pleas for help dotted across

the island. It's an American territory, inhabited by 3.5 million American citizens. This SOS shows the residents of Punta Santiago crying for food

and water, and this video shows a family in the hills transforming their roof into a call for help.

Well imagine a world where that call is finally answered. US Customs and border agents who saw the sign did take action, finding a way to land their

Blackhawk helicopter on the mountain nearby, they made it across the road which have been swept away by the hurricane and they made it to that house

in the hills, to stabilize three sick members of the family trapped within before taking to the skies again for another rescue. And there are so many

people who need help as we speak.

That is it for our program tonight. Remember you can listen to our podcast anytime and always see us online at Follow me on Facebook

and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.