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Tensions Ahead of Sunday's Catalan Independence Referendum; Trump Attacks San Juan Mayor on Twitter; Private Citizens Step Up to Help Hurricane Victims; Daddy Yankee Delivers $100,000 in Food Aid to Puerto Rican Residents; Heavy Rain and Flood Threat in Puerto Rico; Tillerson Announces U.S. in Direct Contact with North Korea; Air France Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Canada; The Medical Tourism Industry in Africa and Cosmetic Surgery in Mauritius; Interview with Bata Brands' CEO Alexis Nasard. Aired 2-2:30a ET

Aired October 1, 2017 - 02:00   ET



[02:00:09] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody, thank you for joining us here. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta at the CNN Newsroom.

Now, Spain's Catalonia region is going to hold its controversial independence vote in about an hour. The referendum has divided the country. On the one side, residents of Catalonia want to make their voices heard in a referendum. Voters have been lining up for hours at the entrance to this polling station in Barcelona.

On the other side of this argument, the central government has tried to stop the vote. The highest court says it's unconstitutional, and Madrid has sent thousands of police reinforcements to block Catalans from casting their ballots.

Now, there've been demonstrations on both sides in the recent days. On Saturday, thousands of people rallied in Barcelona waving the Spanish flag and calling for unity, and Catalonia's separatist government is pressing ahead despite the pressure from Madrid, and this is all leading to a very tense situation across Spain. CNN's Hannah Vaughan Jones reports.


HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): First, it was the students, then came the firemen, and finally, the farmers. Campaigning in Catalonia's independence referendum may have drawn to an end, but the tension on the streets is only building.

The Spanish government has said Sunday's vote is illegal, and must not go ahead. Barcelona's port has become a staging ground for Spanish police. Extra forces and police vans shipped in from across the country, all to try to block people from voting. The Spanish government has seized millions of ballots and campaign leaflets, arrested Catalan officials, and closed down political websites. It's a vote long campaigned for by separatists in Catalonia.

The region in Northeastern Spain already has limited autonomy from the central government in Madrid. It has its own flag, its own national anthem, and its own language. But still, many Catalans want more. They want full independence for their region, which is Spain's number one tourist destination, famous for Gaudy, the iconic Sagrada Familia, and as the birthplace of Salvador Dali. Catalonia is also home to FC Barcelona. The football club has spoken out in support of the referendum.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, speaking earlier this week alongside the Spanish prime minister, said he wants a united Spain.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really think the people of Catalonia would stay with Spain. I think it would be foolish not to because you're talking about staying with a truly great, beautiful, and very historic country.


VAUGHAN JONES: A historic country which could have its borders redrawn in a matter of days, according to Catalan leaders. They threaten to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of the vote. Hannah Vaughan Jones, CNN, London.


VANIER: I spoke earlier to Ryan Griffiths, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, about the independence vote.


RYAN GRIFFITHS, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: -- But the Spanish government would like to -- would like the movement to basically go away. They don't want to legitimize a referendum on independence, but they also don't want to overreact -- react in a heavy-handed way that drives more of the Catalan citizens to join the independent spots.

So they're kind of caught in a -- kind of a catch-22. While they know that the other side is going to keep on pushing -- but they can't -- but they don't really have a good -- they -- they're kind of caught between two bad options.

VANIER: All right, so what can possibly happen here? As you were speaking, we saw the police reinforcements being sent into Catalonia, but we also saw the people lining up already as we speak to vote in a few hours. So short of beating those people, or physically removing them, there are some people who are going to vote.

GRIFFITHS: That's right, that's right.

VANIER: OK (ph).

GRIFFITHS: Some number of people are going to get in there, and they'll be able to vote. The police are under, you know, pretty strict orders to keep it peaceful, to not -- to not overreact. But some number of people are going to get in, and vote.

Now, one of the problems they have is that -- you know, that roughly half of the population would vote no in a legitimate binding referendum, but most of them are going to stay home. So whatever referendum, whatever vote comes out of the -- you know, the referendum today, it'll almost certainly be predominantly a yes vote.

Now, the Catalan independence leaders have promised to declare independence in 48 hours if the -- you know, if they can show the majority supports.


VANIER: Ryan Griffiths there, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.

OK, so let's update you now on what's going on in Puerto Rico, and the humanitarian crisis there. Their island was brought


to its knees 11 days ago by Hurricane Maria. Most of its people are reeling in misery. Even the Mayor of San Juan is living in a shelter sleeping on a cot.

However, late Friday, when she begged Washington for more federal help? Well, the President of the United States seemed to take it personally, and he tweeted from his golf resort in New Jersey,

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. ...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They.... ...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job."

Well, here's the latest from U.S. emergency officials. Search and rescue teams have scoured the island from end to end, and rescued 843 people. Eleven highways across Puerto Rico have now been cleared of storm debris, and that should make it easier to move emergency aid into the battered countryside. And 70 percent of the ports and 60 percent of the gas stations are operational, even though curfews force gas stations to close by 9:00 pm.

San Juan's mayor brushed off President Trump's criticism of her. Here's what she told our Anderson Cooper.


MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN: The truth is staring us in the face. Just today, I was telling you we had to evacuate yet another hospital because the generator caught on fire. So this is an (ph) another hospital that will not be able to work for another week. We transported 14 patients to one of our facilities. The damp in the Eastern part of the island is -- two towns, for the

first time that I know of in my lifetime in Puerto Rico, two towns are being completely evacuated. People are still coming and saying, the Mayor of San Lorenzo, the Mayor of Comerio, the Mayor of Ponce, the Mayor of Loiza, are saying, you know, "Where's the help? We need it. Please, help us."

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The president also said in a -- in a tweet early this morning that, you had been nice to him early on, but that Democrats told you you have to be nasty toward him.

CRUZ: You know, I don't know, maybe he's just not (ph) used to women being big enough not (ph) to be told what to do. Right, you know? That's -- but that's not who we are here in San Juan.


VANIER: The Mayor of San Juan there.

Now, it's important to note that some emergency aid is reaching ordinary Puerto Ricans who are struggling to get by from one day to the next. However, in many cases, contrary to President Trump's accusation, that help is coming from private citizens, not from the government.

CNN correspondents are covering all angles of this. Our Leyla Santiago is in a community outside the capital, and she shows you exactly that -- one famous Puerto Rican stepping up to help his people.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She may need a walker, and has an extra load, but the walk home is the easy part for Alice Elise Negron (ph). The 62-year old was first in line for help when this package arrived in Toa Baja.

ALICE ELISE NEGRON (ph), CITIZEN OF PUERTO RICO (through translator Santiago): She says she doesn't know what's in the box yet, but she knows that it's a blessing -- a blessing.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): But it's not from the federal government.

DADDY YANKEE, PUERTO RICAN SINGER-SONGWRITER: We just have to make sure that people get the food in their hands.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Rather, a superstar who calls Puerto Rico home, musician Daddy Yankee, and a food bank.

Do you feel the government's doing enough?

YANKEE: No, I don't think so --

SANTIAGO: No? (ph)

YANKEE: -- I don't think so. And that's real. You know, there's no time to play politics right now. This is a chaos. We're really struggling right now.


SANTIAGO (voice-over): Struggling is exactly how Edwin De Jesus (ph) describes it.

EDWIN DE JESUS (ph), CITIZEN OF PUERTO RICO (through translator Santiago): When Hurricane Maria whipped through town, he said he was able to get one pants, two shirts, and a radio that he's using right now.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): He's also one of the lucky ones to receive a box each with a week's worth of food. The food bank says this load from private donors is enough for 4,000 families.

DE JESUS (ph) (through translator Santiago): He says, this is good because at least the help is arriving now.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Beyond this, the only other help residents tell us they've seen here 10 days after Maria struck.

NEGRON (ph) (through translator Santiago): She says some water has arrived here as aid, but that's it. She hasn't seen anything else. That's why she was first in line to get these boxes.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): For many, these boxes bring home a bit of hope.


SANTIAGO (voice-over): Alice Elise (ph) doesn't understand English, so I'm going to read to her what this says. It said (ph), "Better days are coming. Be brave, and stay strong." (Translating into Spanish)

NEGRON (ph): Amen. Amen. (Speaking in Spanish)


NEGRON (ph) (through translator Santiago): And she adds, "And have faith."

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Faith that more help like this will get here soon. Leyla Santiago, Toa Baja,


Puerto Rico.


VANIER: All right, let's stick with the Puerto Rico story, where we were telling you yesterday -- and Derek Van Dam is with us from the CNN International weather center. He was telling you yesterday that there was concern over possible rainfall. Derek, what do we know? DEREK VAN DAM, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: Well, Cyril, that additional heavy rain that has fallen today and that continues to fall overnight and into the day on Sunday, is putting major stresses on the nearly failed dam in the northwestern sections of Puerto Rico. This is the area where the Guajataca Dam is located. You can see that shading of red. That's a flash flood warning. The entire island's still under flash flood watches, including portions of the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.

It's all thanks to additional tropical activity that continues to bombard this region with heavier rain. Additional rainfall on a already saturated environment means the ground really can't soak up that extra water. So flooding is a possibility going forward. We have at least another 15 to 30 millimeters of rainfall in the forecast for the east coast and the mountainous regions across the central portions of Puerto Rico.

We have zero river gages at the moment that are indicating flood stage or higher. That's the good news. But we'll see how the additional rainfall impacts those particular rivers, and the additional flooding that is expected. You can see the computer model's indicating some sort of a clearing trend as we head into the day on Monday, so finally, we'll start to see some breaks in the cloud cover overhead.

So interesting notes. New to CNN here, just on some of the services that are being restored to the island, the northern sections of the island have seen a 29 percent water restoration. You can see 72 percent in the south, 46 in the east, 19 in the west, and the San Juan metro region has had 55 percent of water restored to that particular area.

But certainly, Cyril, a slow road to recovery for all of Puerto Rico going forward. Back to you.

VANIER: And Derek Van Dam from the International Weather Center. Thank you very much. We've been monitoring that, and we'll continue to do so. Thanks.

Now, the Trump administration is acknowledging for the first time it is in direct contact with North Korea over the nuclear crisis. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. has a couple of channels of communication, and is trying to determine if leader Kim Jong Un is willing to negotiate. Tillerson says the immediate goal is to calm tensions down after escalating threats and counter-threats between the two countries.

An Air France flight en route to Los Angeles Saturday made an emergency landing in Canada after suffering serious engine damage. Passengers say they heard a boom, and started descending quickly. Well, fortunately the plane landed safely in Canada after the engine blew out. No one was injured, and it's still unclear what caused that engine failure.

Thank you very much for watching CNN, everybody. I'm Cyril Vanier. MARKETPLACE AFRICA is next. Stay with us.


[02:15:04] ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Welcome to MARKETPLACE AFRICA. We cover the biggest economic trends impacting the continent, and (ph) this week, we're going to focus on medical tourism.

So get this. An estimated 11 million people actually travel overseas for medical treatment every single year. Some do it for privacy, other people do it to find better quality treatment, or even more affordable options. Whatever the reasons, medical tourism has become a $100 billion industry. So we'll come over here so I can explain some of the specifics to you, especially when it comes to Africa.

According to the Medical Tourism Index, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco are some of Africa's top destinations for medical procedures, but one country -- one country that is really trying to gain market share is Mauritius.

You can look at this graph, and you can see that the number of foreigners actually seeking medical treatment in Mauritius has actually grown tenfold since 2007 all the way to 2016.

And actually, more specifically in terms of the numbers, more than 18,000 foreign patients went to Mauritius last year for medical treatment, and this is partly because the country is gaining popularity as a destination for cosmetic surgery. Last year, that accounted for about a quarter of the treatments foreign patients sought out.

So the big question is, why are people flocking to this tiny, tiny island for their surgical needs? We're going to take you there to find out.


ANNA STEWART, CNNMONEY.COM (voice-over): Large, comfy beds. Fancy decor. Peaceful scenery. This establishment has all the necessities for a relaxing vacation. But it isn't a hotel or a resort. It's actually a clinic.

GERARD GUIDI, FOUNDER, CENTRE DE CHIRURGIE ESTHETIQUE DE L'OCEAN INDIEN (through translator): This company is a center that practices hair transplants as its first activity. Then, we practice cosmetic and dental surgery. We're a beautiful place. It's like being at a spa. People are in another state of mind, so the recovery's much easier.

STEWART: Gerard Guidi opened this (ph) center in 2000, and from the beginning, he wanted this to be more than just a medical facility.

GUIDI (through translator): I came to Mauritius because we wanted to create a center in (ph) an island with the comfort of the (ph) discretion of the patients, especially because, in Mauritius, there are a lot of airlines. A lot of tourists come here. It's everywhere.

STEWART: Seventeen years ago, the concept of traveling to Mauritius for medical procedures wasn't an easy sell, but that seems to be changing.

GUIDI (through translator): When we started, the first few months, we only had three hair transplant patients. In 2016, we had 2,500 (ph) patients. In 2017, we'll exceed this figure. On average, 85 percent of our patients are foreign.

STEWART: The growth of Guidi's center is reflective of what's happening across Mauritius' medical industry. With more than a million tourist arrivals per year, the country has always been an attractive destination for pleasure. Now health care providers are creating another reason to venture to the island nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the hospitals have been doing investment, in terms of hair transplant (ph), in terms of the speciality that also they are delivering, they've been improving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, how are you?

STEWART: They're also investing in talent, like Dr. Didier Van Den Broeck, a renowned plastic surgeon from Belgium, who was recruited to Mauritius in 2013.

DIDIER VAN DEN BROECK, CENTRE DE CHIRURGIE ESTHETIQUE DE L'OCEAN INDIEN COSMETIC SURGEON, SENIOR CONSULTANT: You have some facilities -- some medical facilities. And if you have good staff, and if you have good experience, and you do a good job, I think it's a real good place to be operated, and (ph) to -- and for developing the -- medical tourism.

GUIDI (through translator): As to the medical professional level, we meet a standard of Europe and the United States. It's the same thing. Some of our surgeons are foreigners -- from Europe, from Asia, so we do not have any problems at this level.

STEWART: Mauritius received more than 18,000 medical tourists in 2016, up more than 50 percent from just three years earlier. The medical tourism industry isn't as developed as countries like South Africa or Morocco, but it has some advantages compared to larger African economies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We be a lot easier to get stakeholder engagement because you're working with a smaller group of people, a dedicated group of stakeholders that are committed to high quality of services, they're committed to a patient experience, and they have the flexibility to be able to offer services that may be specialized.

STEWART: Mauritius has been particularly attractive to the French. Thirty-six percent of foreign patients came from France in 2016, probably because French is widely spoken in the country. Also, you don't need a visa to enter Mauritius,


so that's also in the country's favor, but the government understands more needs to be done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see lots of potential. We are also trying to axle out (ph) investors also from abroad to come and set up a (ph) speciality hospitals, for example, for treatment of cancer. So in terms of the potential, we are still, I would say, at a very stage -- early stage of the development of the medical tourism site.

VAN DEN BROECK: Yes, with great clinics, there are a lot of private clinics, and there are a lot of hospitals (ph) also. And the staff is more and more motivated to do a good job. And I think if everything is continuing like that, everything is in place for a good story, I think.

STEWART: The next chapter of this story will largely depend on customer satisfaction.

GUIDI (through translator): The concept has been created to take care of people -- to pamper them, so that people will feel well. This is our challenge. It's absolutely not the amount of people that we have (ph) registered today; it's about trying to improve the technical and the human qualities.

STEWART: Anna Stewart, CNN.


ASHER: So some people choose cosmetic surgery to change their looks (ph). Other people might go for the simpler and cheaper option of a new wardrobe and a brand new pair of shoes. When we come back, we'll feature the CEO of one of the top-selling international shoe brands in Africa to find out what he has in store for African consumers.


[02:23:02] ASHER: Welcome back, everybody.

The Bata Shoe Company was established in 1897 in what was then known as Czechoslovakia. Today, the company says it brings 400 million pairs of shoes to the market globally every single year. Thirty-five million of that is sold across eight African countries.

Alexis Nasard became Bata's CEO in 2016. He sat down with Eleni Giokos in Johannesburg to talk about why Africa has been such a good fit for his company.


ALEXIS NASARD, CEO, BATA BRANDS: One of the competitive advantages of our company is that, we build our collection from the ground up. We don't create a central collection that we parachute everywhere. Every year, we introduce up to 35,000 new models in the system. And the reason we have that proliferation is that we really do it consumer by consumer, country by country, through a process, a merchandising process, which is fairly sophisticated, in order to allow us to meet the needs of consumers. ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So what is -- what do Africans want? You're talking about walking for longer, you know, standing taller, and so forth. What are the trends that are kind of emanating from the continent right now? You're in eight African countries. I'm sure, very different needs across the board.

NASARD: You're (ph) right. You know, yes, they're -- yes, we're in different countries. And what is an African, to be honest, is -- there isn't one simple definition of it. A South African consumer will be very different from a consumer in Malawi, will be very different from a consumer in Tanzania.

There also are different levels of sophistication and expectations from fashion and the footwear category. We always offer a good chunk of our collection, about 20 percent, with fashionable items, but 80 percent are classics that we keep always au bon du jours (ph), which means always we keep them to -- at the flavor of the day, so they don't become stale.

GIOKOS: OK, so you have manufacturing plants on the continent as well. You -- I mean, Toughees you manufacture in --


GIOKOS: -- South Africa. What has your experience being on manufacturing shoes on the



NASARD: We're very committed to manufacturing. We have three plants in three countries. We employ more than 3,000 people in these plants. It allows us to build the network of business partners, in terms of suppliers, of raw material, but also, what we call ABUs, which is associate business units, people who do part of the manufacturing for us. And we have up to 20 organizations and companies like that with whom we work.

GIOKOS: But how important is Africa going to be to your overall portfolio? How much growth are you expecting?

NASARD: Consumption of footwear per capita in Africa is 0.8, which is very low when you compare it to the global average of 3.5. So there is a world of growth potential that is going to come from Africa.

And just to go back for -- on demographics, you know that every year in Nigeria, more babies are born than in all of the European Union. So the demographic case, the urbanization case, and the underdevelopment of the footwear category are huge cases for us to consider Africa a must-play arena for our future growth.

We sell 35 million shoes per year. You know, we have three factories; we have 400 stores. So we are in a good position to try to take advantage of all this potential going forward, and we believe we have a potent strategy to take advantage of that. GIOKOS: And what does it contribute right now, and what do you want it to contribute going forward?

NASARD: So today, Africa is -- represents a amount (ph) -- group about -- a bit less than 10 percent of our -- of our total sales. And we think down the road, it should represent a higher number for that -- at least 15 percent.

GIOKOS: How do the margins fair in South -- in Africa, versus the rest of your operations? I mean --


NASARD: It's below --

GIOKOS: -- if you had to say (ph)?

NASARD: -- it's below average.

GIOKOS: Really?

NASARD: And --


NASARD: -- you know what, though (ph)? I don't lose sleep over it.

Because when you are in a -- in a -- in an high-development part of the world, you have to invest ahead of a curve.

GIOKOS: Yes (ph).

NASARD: And you have to invest in marketing, you have to invest in your product collections, you have to invest in people, in resources, you have to invest in manufacturing. And, you know, eventually, if you create the right fundamentals for your business model, the margin will come.


ASHER: All right, my friends, that does it for us here on MARKETPLACE AFRICA. Be sure to check our website and our Facebook page to keep up with all of our stories and share your thoughts. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you next week in the MARKETPLACE.