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Argentinian Find Creative Accommodations In Order To Attend World Cup; Oil Prices Rising Over Fears Of Export Interruptions From Iraq; Ukraine Mourns After Plane Is Shot Down In Luhansk; Shia Volunteers Vow To Help Stop ISIS; Iraq Unrest and Iran; The Brutal Tactics of ISIS; World Cup Day Four; Keeping the Desert Cool

Aired June 15, 2014 - 11:00:00   ET


RALITSA VASSILEVA, HOST: Attack and counterattack, Shia volunteers line up to take on ISIS militants amid concerns the group is getting closer to


Also ahead, in the search for missing Israeli teenagers, the Israeli government detained dozens of Palestinians.

And, Messi's moment -- finally, one of the best players in the world is set to take center stage in Brazil.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

VASSILEVA: As thousands of Iraqis answered the government's call to join the fight against advancing Sunni militants, it appears another Iraqi

military base has fallen. A Saudi intelligence source tells CNN the main army base in Baquba has been overrun by ISIS fighters and that the Iraqi

army has left the base and retreated to Baghdad just a few hours away.

The Iraqi government is calling on volunteers to help stop ISIS militants in Samarra. But sources say ISIS will circumvent the town and head towards

Baghdad where Iraqi defenses north of the city are in complete disarray.

Forner U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker told CNN's Fareed Zakaria the U.S. must engage Iraq at the highest diplomatic levels.


RYAN CROCKER, FRM. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: We need the secretary of state out there in Baghdad right now. We need the president on the phone to the

Iraqi leadership, because the reality is the Iraqis are not in a position - - they were not in a position when I was there, they are not in a position now, to work out hard compromises on their own.


VASSILEVA: CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has more now on the battle for Baghdad. He begins with news of a carbombing in the

center of the capital.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the very latest we have on that bombing that took place early this morning in the center of

Baghdad, we are told by the police that it was a suicide bomber targeting people in a cafe. 17 people killed so far, according to the police, more

than 40 others wounded. This, of course, fueling concerns about ISIS getting closer to the city, and swelling the numbers of people that are

being recruited to take the fight to the Sunni radical group.

(voice-over): On their way to fight ISIS, answering the call of their leaders, young and old, religious and tribal, hundreds of volunteers

marching for a middle class Baghdad neighborhood following the first ever call to arms sermon by the country's top Shia cleric.

"We are hear to defend our country. We are obeying our religious leaders," this tribal sheikh says. "We're not here for money, we're under attack and

we will defend all Iraq."

"We're not here for sectarian reasons," this volunteer says. "We're against the old Ba'athist regime and the mercenaries who came from abroad."

Security this day extremely tight. A car bomb killed two men here just a few days ago. Real concerns these recruits could be cut down before they

ever reach the front lines to help.

And there are people desperately waiting for that help. We've been talking by phone with a man who says there's an army officer in hiding in the north

of Iraq. He said his colleagues deserted the base. He was forced to take off his uniform, hideout in a house. He says ISIS has arrived in that

town, he's frightened and he's afraid and he doesn't know what to do.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has drawn a line in the sand in ISIS's Baghdad bound park in Samarra.

A 2006 attack here on a religious shrine triggered a year of Sunni-Shia sectarian bloodletting.

NOURI AL-MALIKI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ (through translator): They believed that this was the beginning of the end, but we say this is the

beginning of their end, their defeat.

ROBERTSON: On Baghdad's often bombed boulevards that's a message many here appear ready to make happen.

But as much as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has drawn a line in the sand in Samarra about an hour-and-a-half's drive north of Baghdad, it seems that

ISIS now have just bypassed Samarra. They've taken control of a military base in Baqubah about three-quarters of an hour drive north of Baghdad. We

are told that the army was instructed to retreat from its bases there, to take its weapons with it. Within an hour we're told ISIS fighters had

entered those military bases in Baqubah, so while they may be slowed, there advance maybe slowing, it is still pushing ahead to Baghdad. They say that

their aim is to encircle Baghdad. They say their aim is to put pressure on Baghdad, even trying to go as far as taking the international airport next

to Baghdad.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Baghdad, Iraq.


VASSILEVA: Later on Connect the World, we'll have more on the violence in Iraq and its impact around the world. We will go live to Jordan to take a

look at how the unrest is threatening oil exports from Iraq, now the second biggest oil producer in OPEC.

Also, Iran offering to help Iraq fight Sunni militants. Could this mean that Tehran and Washington can come together for a common goal? A live

from Tehran is coming up.

Also, a closer look at the images of terror coming from ISIS. The hidden message behind the highly produced videos.

Israel's prime minister is pointing the finger at Hamas in the disappearance of three seminary students. Israeli soldiers rounded up some

80 Palestinians overnight saying they were suspects. The teens went missing late Thursday in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

says they were abducted. CNN's senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is following developments from the settlement area of Gush Etzon


Ben is joining us now live. What can you tell us about what they know about the teens?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand at this point that according to Palestinian sources as many as 113 Palestinians

have been detained by the Israeli army and police as part of the investigation, their search for the three teenagers who went missing, not

far from this roundabout here at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Now, we know that, for instance, around the city of Hebron (ph) just south of here, Israeli troops are controlling who comes in, who comes out,

checking IDs, looking, searching cars so on and so forth.

As far as who maybe behind this abduction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says there's no doubt about who it is.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The kidnapping was carried out by Hamas members, Hamas said. Denials do not change this fact. And this

attack should surprise no one, because Hamas makes no secret of its agenda. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out

terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, including children.


WEDEMAN: Now we've heard from Hamas itself, Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza, one of the -- or the movement's spokesman -- he called the prime minister's claims

stupid. Although we do know that one member of the armed wing of Hamas did praise the kidnapping, but did not claim responsibility -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: And Ben, with Prime Minister Netanyahu pointing the finger at Hamas, what does this mean for the Fatah Hamas pact?

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly Prime Minister Netanyahu from the very beginning has condemned this pact. And he's stressed that if Hamas was involved in

this kidnapping and it's part of the government, then this government should be shunned altogether.

Now, so far other governments, like the United States and the governments of the EU, have said they are willing to work with this unity government on

the basis of what it does rather than those who have approved it. So, certainly it does -- if it is ascertained that Hamas had anything to do

with this kidnapping, certainly that government will be in trouble with the United States, with the EU -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: And then you're standing in Gush Ezton (ph), we see cars going by. This is precisely the place where the abduction happened. Give us a

sense of the area.

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly on almost on this side on my right, on my left and behind me there are settlements. Gush Ezton (ph) is called a

settlement bloc, so there -- it's made of of individual settlements. And certainly it is really the biggest sort of intersection of four Israeli

settlers in the southern West Bank. And what's interesting is, you know, behind me and also in front of me, you oftentimes see people who continue

to hitchhike, because that's simply the way they go around. But obviously they are going to be much more cautious about what sort of rides they're


There are also -- there is also an increased military presence in this area, soldiers behind me and some Jeeps as well -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: Ben Wedeman in Gush Ezton (ph). Thank you for this report.

Well, it's Europe versus Latin America on day four of the World Cup in Brazil. Today's marquee game, it's Argentina against Bosnia-Herzegovina

the legendary Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Also, Switzerland and Ecuador battle it out in Brazil on the days first match. And later, France takes on Honduras in Porto Alegre.

Isa Soares is joining us now live from Rio with more on the World Cup action today. Isa, update us.

ISA SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, hello, Ralitsa. Well, let's just look back before we look forward at yesterday's matches. It was a day of

surprises and some upsets, surprises for Costa Rica as we beat Uruguay 3-1, a team that many people expected, Uruguay, were much, much stronger. They

now lead the Group D stage. And they obviously will make more of a challenge for England who a bit of an uphill battle where they have to play

Uruguay and obviously beat them in order to try to qualify.

But it was a day of upsets for many of also of the England plans. About 5,000, we're told, who traveled to the tropical jungles of Manaus to see

England play. They actually lost 2-1 against Italy. Italy looked much stronger there defensively. People are saying a key role. But it was man

of the match "Super Mario" Mario Balotelli who really shocked many people I have spoken to.

The England fans, and indeed the England captain Stephen Gerrard is not letting this get him down. Speaking at a press conference he said

yesterday -- I'm quoting him -- "we had the effort, desire -- the effort, desire and commitment was there." And he still believed it is doable to

qualify to the next round.

Now looking ahead to the matches today, we have two matches from Group E and one from Ground F. From Group E, we've got Switzerland-Ecuador and

then we have France and Honduras.

For the match that everyone is looking forward to -- in order to see Messi of course, to see the talent that is Messi, is the one between Argentina

and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now Argentina have won the World Cup twice. They will be playing here at the Maracana Stadium just behind me. And they'll

be taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina, which are newbies, first time a World Cup.

I had the opportunity to speak to a fan who basically -- we don't really mind what stage we get to, we're just happy to be taking part and playing

with the likes of Argentina -- Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: Certainly. And Isa, there are a lot of fans coming up with some very creative solutions, because of the humongous cost of housing and

everything. Tell us about that.

SOARES: Well, I'm not sure if you can hear -- when we came in this morning, the roads had already been closed off. There are so many

Argentinian fans it's absolutely incredible. They really believe they have the best team to win this World Cup. And I can tell you they want to play

Brazil in that final.

And so they've come all the way, many traveling by bicycle and by van to get here.

And as you know, inflation is so high in Argentina, many struggling to stay at the hotels here in Rio, their most expensive in Brazil. I have the

opportunity to meet a couple of them who had some creative ideas on getting by.


SOARES: They've come all the way from Argentina to support their national team. And they've done so through treacherous roads and on the tiniest of

budgets. For eight of them, this is their home for a month. It's here they sleep and cook. We join them just in time for a breakfast of fruit


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have that much money, so we go get spaghetti, rice and hot dogs and some onions and carrots, you know like, vegetables.

SOARES: And vegetables, it's a bit healthy anyway.

The cost of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro has left them no choice but to camp out on this busy main street. Here, Pablo tells me, they can stick to

their $2,500 budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Argentina, we have a little inflation, you know. So, we really don't know what things cost. Really, I mean, we are really

happy, because we are (inaudible) in ever day for staying here, you know.

SOARES: This is nothing, if you compare it to the dizzying hotel prices in Rio, which are among the highest in the country, averaging $445 per night

according to Trip Advisor. Shocked by the prices, many Argentinians who have arrived here in droves are seeking creative forms of accommodation.

Rene Houseman, a World Cup winner for Argentina in 1978, has decided to make the favela of Santa Marta his home for this World Cup.

I asked him why he's decided to say here. And he tells me...

More than anything, it's important for the people of Brazil, to boost tourism here and give importance to the favela. They're not all terrible

or delinquents, he tells me. They are hardworking people.

While one of those hardworking people, Gilson, the owner of the first favela hostel. He's currently renting the top floor of his favela to Rene

and his Argentinian friends. He tells me if demand continues, he will also rent out his mom's and sister's favelas, too.

SOARES: Gilson just saying that he has this room occupied until very much after the World Cup. Normally he charges about 50 reals. At the moment,

because of the height of the World Cup, he's charges 100 reals, that's roughly $40.

Although this is not the only quirky accommodation on offer.


SOARES: And Ralitsa, there's much more in terms of creative accommodation. We're hearing motels, sex motels, their very, very popular too. They're 25

percent cheaper than normal hotels. So a lot of creativity, and very entrepreneurial too.

VASSILEVA: Certainly. It looks that way. Isa Soares in Rio de Janeiro, thank you very much.

Well, still to come, mourning in Ukraine for the lives lost aboard a downed military plane. The president promises whoever is responsible will pay a


And the sectarian unrest in Iraq triggers a surge in oil prices. We'll look at how this could affect the global energy supply. Stay with us as we

connect the world.


VASSILEVA: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Ralitsa Vassileva standing in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back to our


We want to bring you now more on top story, the rising insurgency in northern Iraq. Iraqi forces are trying to push back a major offensive by

the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The group has seized a large swath of land in the north and they're threatening to advance on the

capital, Baghdad. This video is said to show them in the town of Sharkat.

The unrest is raising fears of a wider Sunni-Shia conflict throughout the region and triggering concerns about the global energy supply. There's

already been a spike in oil prices. And stock markets are down across the Middle East.

Let's bring in now our emerging markets editor John Defterios live in Amman, Jordan for more on this angle of the story.

So, John, why are oil traders so jittery?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ralitsa, in a very short period of time we went to a scenario where there was an overabundance of energy

for the market and they were going to learn how to curtail that supply towards the end of 2014. Now to concerns about supply worries because of

what's happening around in Iraq and how deep Iran will get into the situation, that 4 percent gain we've seen over the last week is not bad,

considering that scenarios that could play out over the next two or three months.

But here's why the market is worried. If we take a look at the top five producers within OPEC. As you know Ralitsa, Saudi Arabia is in a league of

its own. It can produce over 10 million barrels a day, 9.75 million in the month of May. But Iraq at number two and Iran at number three, then you go

to Kuwait and the UAE.

There are concerns about number two and three right now. How much would their production be hit if, in fact, this spirals a little out of control

in Iraq?

Now Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE suggest that they can boost production if necessary, but it's the unknown that's driving the oil traders right

now. They want to cover their bets, the position they've taken over the last two or three months and that's why we've seen that four percent gain.

But this average price of $110 to $113 a barrel for North Sea Brent is high in terms of historical norms. And it can go even higher once we see any

concerns around the Strait of Hormuz and supply concerns getting out of that Middle Eastern region.

VASSILEVA: And John, oil prices hit an all-time high in 2008. Any chance we could see something like that again?

DEFTERIOS: Yeah, I remember it very well, Ralitsa. $146 for North Sea Brent in July 2008. And already people are suggesting what would it take

to get us there? We're $33 short in terms of North Sea Brent right now.

We've already seen a 10 percent gain in 2014 with not a lot of activity. A lot of -- not a lot of concerns until this last week. It would take

another 25 percent bump. Could it happen? Again, it points to Iraq.

Now the prevailing view, as we speak tonight, is that the Kurdish region, where there's a lot of supply, about one-third of the proven reserves for

Iraq, has been very secure to date. The Kurds, of course, have gone into Kirkuk. Can they protect it? That's another important oil hub. That's an


Three million of the overall production we see from Iraq right now of around 3.3 million is in the deep south, on the border of the south there

around Basra, in the big fields right there.

But we have the international producers there. And they're acting almost like their own police forces trying to guard that production.

So, the prevailing view right now it is secure, but then you look at the stock market reaction today. Dubai down 4.7 percent, Abu Dhabi down 2

percent. Saudi Arabia 1.4 percent. Here, even in Amman, we see a loss of a half a percent, because they're worried about refugees.

So it wouldn't take a lot to get to $146. It all depends how this plays out over the next two, three, four weeks and whether the Straits of Hormuz

gets brought into the activity and it chokes off the ability for Saudi Arabia and others to export their crude out of the region, Ralitsa.

VASSILEVA: John Defterios, thank you very much -- live in Amman, Jordan.

And you'll want to check out our website for much more on what's happening in Iraq and how it's affecting the wider region. Lots of people clicking

on an editorial by David Aaron Miller called "Obama, don't get sucked into Iraq III." Among other things, it says that the U.S. can't hold Iraq's

hand forever or end Syria's civil war without a major military commitment. There's already more than 2,000 comments, so join in the conversation with

Live from the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is Connect the World. Coming up next on our show, the Ukrainian government suffers its biggest loss in its

conflict with separatists. Today, mourning the dozens lost when a military plane was shot down.


VASSILEVA: You're watching Connect the World. Welcome back. I'm Ralitsa Vassileva standing in for Becky Anderson.

It is a solemn day in Ukraine where the victims of Saturday's deadly military plane crash are being mourned.

People gathered in Kiev's Independence Square to remember the 49 members of the military killed when their plane was shot down. Ukraine's prime

minister called the victims heroes and promised to wipe out those who killed them. The crash was the biggest blow yet to the government as it

tries to take back rebel held areas in the east. CNN's Matthew Chance has more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After midnight, the skies are lit up over Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. This video, captured by a

camera at a bus station near the airport, is believed to show the moment the Ukrainian air force plane was shot down.

Defense officials in Kiev say pro-Russia separatists attacked the giant Ilyushin-76 transporter as it came in to land. All 49 military personnel

on board were killed, one of the deadliest incidents since Ukraine's crisis began and the country's newly sworn in president is vowing revenge.

Everyone involved in this cynical, largescale terrorist act will be punished, he said in a statement. The terrorists will receive a respective


PETRO POROSHENKO, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): I have announced a day of mourning. And I would like to talk about those who are

responsible for the massive losses among Ukrainian soldiers.

CHANCE: The attack comes amid escalating violence in the country's breakaway south and east. Government forces engaged in what they call an

anti-terrorist operation, have been retaking key installations in the port city of Mariupol. The objective, to bring all rebel held areas quickly

under government control.

But there are signs of serious escalation. This grainy video, shot from a window, shows a Soviet era tank being driven through an eastern village,

Kiev and Washington accuse Moscow of allowing heavy armor like this to cross from Russia, effectively arming the rebels, that's something the

Kremlin denies, but few doubt Russia's ability to bring chaos to Ukraine if and when it chooses.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


VASSILEVA: The world news headlines are just ahead.

And coming up next, Iran's military ready to help Iraq crush ISIS militants. Is there any way Tehran and Washington could actually work

together to achieve a common goal? A live report from Tehran is coming up next.



RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN HOST (voice-over): This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories we're watching this hour:


VASSILEVA (voice-over): Following roughly deadly attack on Karachi's airport, Pakistan says it has lost the competence of operations against

foreign and local terrorists hiding in North Waziristan. Pakistan says more than 50 militaries were killed in airstrikes overnight near the Afghan


Military targeted suspected linked to the airport attack that left 28 people dead.

It has been 100 days since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously vanished. Devastated relatives of missing passengers and grew gathered in

Beijing but still angry with how the investigation has been handled and are demanding more information.

Ukrainians gathered in Kiev's Independence Square to mourn 49 people killed in a military transport plane. It was shot down early Saturday presumably

by pro-Russian separatists. The president says whoever did it will be punished.

ISIS militants like these have reportedly taken over a military base in Iraq just a few hours north of Baghdad. A source tells CNN the Iraqi

military was ordered to evacuate the base and retreat to the capital city.


VASSILEVA: Iran says that if the Iraqi government asks for help in the battle against Sunni militants, Tehran is ready to provide assistance and

that means that Washington and Tehran want the same thing in Iraq, the defeat of ISIS.

So is there a possibility the two can work together? Reza Sayah is joining us now live with more on this from Tehran.

So Reza, what's the view in Tehran of this possibility?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, over the past couple of days, Ralitsa, we've been hearing an interesting what-if scenario, what if Iran

and the United States cooperated militarily and politically to quash the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.

It hasn't happened yet; it may not happen. But if it does, this alliance would make headlines because these are two countries that have been bitter

enemies for 35 years. But when it comes to the crisis in Iraq, they seem to have some compelling common causes.

First, you take Iran; the insurgency in Iraq is happening very close to Iran's border. Iran is a country that takes great pride in its internal

security in a region plagued by militancy and violence.

Iran has been one of the safest and most stable countries. It doesn't see suicide attacks, militant attacks, mass killings, and they want to keep it

that way.

Iran also is a Shia-led government, has very close ties to Iraq's Shia- dominated government. They have a lot of political sway in Iraq. And, again, Iran wants to keep it that way.

And then you take Washington. The U.S. obviously has invested a lot of blood and treasure in Iraq and they don't want the U.S.-backed government

in Iraq to be in jeopardy.

So seemingly some common causes that have many asking "what if," Ralitsa. But at this time both Tehran and Washington have denied reports that

they're discussing working together at the same time they haven't rejected the possibility of doing so.

VASSILEVA: So Reza, the two sides are meeting face-to-face tomorrow for nuclear talks.

Is there a possibility that Iraq would be discussed?

SAYAH: During these talks, both sides have made clear that the parameters of these nuclear talks are limited to the nuclear issue. So it's unlikely

they'll talk about Iraq. And furthermore, I mean, the nuke issue is complicated enough to add Iraq in the mix.

But maybe perhaps they discuss Iraq on the sidelines. But what's possible between Iran and the U.S. is a major reason why many say a nuclear deal

would benefit both Washington and Tehran, because an alliance would seemingly enable these two countries to work together to stabilize the

situation in places like Iraq or Afghanistan.

At the same time, Washington has other key allies, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, who may not want a U.S.-Iran alliance because it may go against

their interests.

So complicated alliances throughout this region, making for complicated decisions.

VASSILEVA: Absolutely.

Reza Sayah, thank you very much, joining us from Tehran.

Well, ISIS is using video of its ruthless attacks and brutal tactics to send a message to any who stands in its way. Mohammed Jamjoom has details

on that and we should point out that this report contains some very disturbing images.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A chilling sight, residents of Mosul, Iraq, cheering on the takeover of their city by the

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, a terrorist organization so brutal even Al Qaeda has disowned them.

But it's not just portions of the population this group has won over. Far more worrying, they now control an arsenal of weapons left behind when

Iraq's army fled the scene.

Here, you see a terrifying display, ISIS proudly showing off missiles they promise to use on their march toward Baghdad. Scary scenes like this are

nothing new when it comes to ISIS.

The group has perfected propaganda techniques that showcase their strength, like this recent video, over an hour long highlighting horrific killing

sprees in Iraq, deliberately recorded on video.

Bombings, executions, kidnappings and worse, this production displays glossy camera work and high-level production techniques as though were

taking cues from Hollywood films such as "Zero Dark Thirty" and "The Hurt Locker" to maximize the terror. Analysts say it shows how effective a

threat ISIS is becoming.

NADIA OWEIDAT, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: There's money behind it. It's not just idiots. These idiots have somebody controlling them and providing

them with equipment that is very expensive you can't just get in a cave.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): One frightening sequence shows ISIS fighters disguised as Iraqi soldiers setting up fake checkpoints. In another scene,

a man is hunted down. After being shot, he pleads for his life.

"I'm just a driver," he says, "just a driver."

What appears to be the man in an Iraqi uniform is shown, then sheer brutality, a hail of bullets shot into his back. And that's not the worst

of it; this man was accused of working with the U.S., he and his two sons forced to dig their own graves.

OWEIDAT: What happened to these people to lose their humanity?

Their propaganda is the tool, the only tool that can defeat them.

JAMJOOM (voice-over): Experts say to judge by this video, the reign of terror shows no signs of abating, which is exactly what ISIS wants even at

the risk of their tactic backfiring -- Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Washington.



VASSILEVA: England's media are being unusually philosophical about their opening loss at the World Cup in Brazil.


VASSILEVA (voice-over): Italy defeated England 2-1 in Saturday's match in Manaus. But English sportswriters note their team played well and admired

the newly found offensive aggression.

Meanwhile, fans in Colombia celebrated their team's 3-0 win over Greece in the (INAUDIBLE) opener and Costa Ricans were ecstatic to their upset 3-1

victory over South American champion Uruguay.


VASSILEVA: And in a few hours, Argentina makes its 2014 World Cup debut against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Rio's legendary Maracana Stadium.

Frederik Pleitgen is there and has a preview for us.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's Lionel Messi at the Maracana as Argentina get ready to play Bosnia-Herzegovina in their first match at the

World Cup 2014 and of course all eyes are going to be on the star, Lionel Messi.

The big question is how well is he going to play in this tournament? He's had very bad time this past year; he was plagued by injuries. But he's

been playing a lot better recently and he's not only been playing better for Barcelona, he's also been playing better for the Argentinian national


Argentina, of course, have some of the best strikers in the world and the big question is are they going to just roll over Bosnia or is this going to

be a tougher match? The Bosnians certainly have shown that they are no pushovers -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.


VASSILEVA: So what do fans and football men Argentina think of their side's World Cup chances? Here's what they're saying in Buenos Aires,

courtesy of CNN's "OPEN MIC".



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I think Argentina is going to win. Messi has been preparing himself for a year to play in the World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Argentina is going to win, because Argentina is the best team in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): It's going to be between Argentina, Germany and Brazil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I want Argentina to win. It seems like it will be hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I think Brazil will win because of the quality of their players and because they are the home team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I think that Germany can take it because of the history of previous World Cups and Brazil because they are

the home team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Brazil are playing at home and are favorites. They are looking for the 6th World Cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): There is no team better than Argentina and the players are going to prove that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Brazil and their home advantage is probably going to beat us in the Finals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): We have to come out victorious in Brazil. Go Argentina!


VASSILEVA: So what's the forecast for today's matches? Meteorologist Samantha Mohr is joining me.

So, Samantha, how's it looking for today?

SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'll tell you what, it's looking a lot better than some of the other matches had, Ralitsa, with all the rain that

we've had along the coast and to the north. But in the venues today, in the stadiums today, I think the weather is going to be ideal for some

incredible football.

So we're looking at some of these locations that are a little bit more in the interior, as you can see that things are looking really, really good in

places like Brasilia, where the temperature is now at 22 degrees. And of course that game is coming up within the hour. And things have really

shaped up nicely here across much of Brazil.

This is a funnel system that's moving to the north from the south that's ushering in a little cooler air, a little drier. I mean, it's not a huge

cold wave, but it's definitely making for some very comfortable conditions here in Brasilia and at the stadium there.

Switzerland taking on Ecuador, Ecuador of course the odds-on favorite with Switzerland's record against South American teams. But 24 degrees at game

time. So couldn't get much better than that, very close to average. And Porto Alegre, 20 degrees with the winds up around 21 kilometers per hour,

and that's France versus Honduras. That's going to be in the middle of the afternoon so that should be about the peak temperature.

A few clouds out there, but plenty of sunshine as well and in Rio de Janeiro, it looks absolutely beautiful, 22 degrees for the evening game

here as Bosnia-Herzegovina takes on Argentina, 22 degrees with the winds at 7 kph.

I wonder who your favorite is, Ralitsa, in this particular match?

VASSILEVA: Well, you know, I'm an objective journalist so...

MOHR: Of course.

VASSILEVA: -- keep that to myself.


VASSILEVA: OK, thank you, Sam.

MOHR: You bet.

VASSILEVA: And that was CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Ralitsa Vassileva. Thank you for watching.

"MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST" is coming up next.




JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): This week on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, as Qatar awaits the findings of a FIFA

investigation into the World Cup 2022 bids, we take a look at what might happen to billions of dollars' worth of infrastructure projects if the

right to host the tournament is taken away.

And as the region starts to feel the heat of soaring summer temperatures, we speak to the CEO of one company with a mandate to keep cities cool.



DEFTERIOS: Welcome to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. FIFA wrapped up its investigations on the World Cup bids this week amid fresh allegations from

the U.K. newspaper against Qatar. The results won't be known for a number of weeks but there are shock waves already being felt in Doha.

Leone Lakhani explores the potential fallout if the Gulf state loses the right to host the beautiful game.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Qatar!

LEONE LAKHANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there was much pomp and pageantry. They

would be the first country in the Middle East to host football's most prestigious event.

LAKHANI: But almost as soon as it won the bid, it's been dogged by controversy, the feasibility of playing in scorching summer temperatures

similar to here, conditions of migrant workers building the World Cup infrastructure and allegations of bribery and corruption.

LAKHANI (voice-over): The latest are reports from "The Sunday Times," claiming the Qatari officials paid more than $5 million to secure support

for its country's bid.

That prompted some of FIFA's main partners, who are believed to pay around $180 million in sponsorships, to voice their concerns, including Sony,

which called on FIFA to investigate and Adidas.

"The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners," it said in a


An independent FIFA investigator is looking into the claims. His findings are expected in July. Qatar says it's cooperating in the probe and that it

won the bid fairly.

But the debate has now raised questions about whether Qatar could lose 2022 with some calling for a revote.

It also cast doubt on Qatar's preparations. Work on the first World Cup stadium has begun and the government set out its most ambitious budget to

date this year, $62 billion, much of it earmarked to build infrastructure for the World Cup.

Without the tournament, some building times could slow down.

FAROUK SOUSSA, CHIEF ECONOMIST MENA, CITI: If you look long-term, the bigger risk is the loss of Brand Qatar. Qatar has ambitions to be the

regional hub for commerce, finance, tourism, et cetera; the World Cup was an integral part of that plan.

LAKHANI (voice-over): But Qatari officials say plans will go ahead.

RASHID ALI AL-MANSOORI, CEO, QATAR STOCK EXCHANGE: First of all, we are confident that the World Cup will be in Qatar in '22. Second, nothing

would stop. Everything will go forward and process steps (ph).

LAKHANI (voice-over): Still the uncertainty sent jitters through Qatar's financial markets after the initial "Sunday Times" report emerged, wiping

off $5 billion from the main stock exchange in the first two days.

Some of those losses were made back and economists say Qatar still has its enormous gas wealth to fall back on. It's the world's largest exporters of

liquefied natural gas and that's not expected to change anytime soon.

SOUSSA: Qatar's cost of extraction is much, much lower than all these new emerging sources are. So Qatar always has a cost advantage in terms of

providing gas to the market.

LAKHANI (voice-over): Analysts say Qatar's gas prospects may keep investors coming in for now, but that sentiment could change if Qatar loses

the prized World Cup.



DEFTERIOS: Qatar remains at the top of the news agenda. But there were other major business stories impacting the region this week.


DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Egypt swore in its new president, Abdul Fattah al- Sisi this week, prompting the International Monetary Fund to say it was ready to restart previously stalled talks on a $4.8 billion loan. Egypt

received an initial $12 billion from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, collectively known as the G3.

Saudi Arabia's set to launch its first sovereign wealth fund to manage hundreds of billions of dollars of surplus budget from oil revenues.

And Alitalia and the Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad are a few weeks away from closing a deal. The Italian national carrier's CEO said the deal could see

Etihad invest approximately $760 million in Alitalia, which would include job cuts and measures to reduce the airline's debt.


DEFTERIOS: It means "chilled" in Arabic, and that's exactly what cooling company Tabreed is keeping people living in this region. We'll show you

how when MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST continues.




DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. Well, it's that time of the year where temperatures are on the rise and so are demands on

cooling system. Tabreed is a Abu Dhabi-based district cooling company which has been in the business for well over a decade.

I had a chance to visit one of their cooling plants with CEO Jasim Thabet to see how it's done.



DEFTERIOS (voice-over): In this checkerboard building baking in the desert sun, there's a cooling plant that drives air conditioning for a 25-

kilometer area on Yas Island. It is one of 60 such plants that Tabreed owns and operates in the UAE. The company cools the Sheikh Zayed mosque,

the new Etihad Towers hotel and the Dubai Metro.

DEFTERIOS: We arrived early morning for this interview to try to beat the heat because by mid-afternoon, it should hit about 40 degrees centigrade,

over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you think about it, you could have development here on Yas Island, the home of the F1 circuit without a

company like Tabreed.

JASIM THABET, CEO, TABREED: So welcome to Yas Island cooling plant.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): On the rooftop of their Yas plant, I meet chief executive Jasim Husain Thabet, who explains how he's built in capacity for

expansion in each location.

The language of measurement in this industry is cooling tons.

THABET: This plant has an overall capacity of 35,000 cooling tons and it's expandable to 60,000 tons.


DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Thabet is expanding in the region with five plants outside of his home base, including Saudi Arabia's holy city of Medina. In

all, Tabreed, which means "to cool or chill" in Arabic, has hit output of 850,000 tons.

The CEO uses a Dubai landmark, the world's tallest tower, to illustrate what he can deliver.

THABET: So people visualize, how much is 850,000 tons? It's like providing cooling to over 80 (name of tower) next to each other.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): In a land where air conditioning is a way of life nearly half the year, the task of bringing down the Emirates' carbon

footprint is a difficult one. From inside the plant and their control room, Thabet says this technology is part of the solution.

THABET: The biggest benefit of district cooling is the energy savings. It is 50 percent more energy efficient compared to the conventional, the

regular cooling. And with our energy savings, if you take a look at the complete life cycle cost analysis, it is roughly 60 percent more cost-


DEFTERIOS: You are the largest district cooling company in the world. That tells us a lot about the development of the emirate itself.

THABET: Yes, I mean, we are the largest cooling company in the world. We have 60 plants in the UAE alone. And what's also quite unique about

Tabreed is we're not only a cooling company. We've reached a position where we're exporting expertise.

DEFTERIOS: But the technology is not new in itself. But what are going to be breakthroughs going forward?

THABET: We are looking at various ways to improving efficiencies. We've signed research contracts with most of them. We're looking at how to

improve the algorithms, the softwares and how you operate the chillers. We have plants that run on sewage, (INAUDIBLE) sewage water. And we're

looking at how to roll that out into other plants.

And also we're exploring how to use seawater and -- because we have a cooling plant in Bahrain that runs on seawater, where you avoid having the

cooling towers and you reduce your consumption.

So we're looking at how we roll out that also in other plants.

DEFTERIOS: So is it fair to say this is an industry that most people overlook but in this region in the world it's absolutely essential?

THABET: I'd say it is overlooked. People underestimate the cooling requirements and how much effort goes into providing cooling.

Like I say, 70 percent of the power requirements for the country in peak summer goes to cooling. And so you can imagine if a country is subsidizing

powers and waters, you can imagine the same is for the governments, not only to the governments, also to the end users, because it is of a life

cycle passes much more efficient.

DEFTERIOS: You built this technology in this kind of model for the UAE. But you have the wherewithal now to go into the Gulf states. Why they open

the door to Tabreed, in your view?

THABET: The Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Amman, where we operate, they've realized the benefits of this cooling, the 50 percent

energy efficient. It's more cost-effective if you have the right building density and we're without partners. We're building cooling plants in Qatar

and Doha. We've just announced we're building our fourth plant in west state, where you have the right building density there. In fact, we're

very close to completing construction in Mecca, in the holy city of Mecca. We're building a cooling plant there, providing cooling to the Jebal Omar

project, Mecca.

So there's specific developments.

DEFTERIOS: Getting past a million tons, is this a big landmark for Tabreed coming up in the next year or two?

THABET: It's going to be a landmark for us and it's achievable. We're in a region where cooling is required year-round. The economy is -- the

economy is growing; the population is growing. There will always be a need for hospitals, for schools, for universities and the governments continue

to invest in critical infrastructure. And district cooling is the way to go. It's more efficient.

So I'm very optimistic, also especially with the Dubai 2020 Expo, we see a lot of opportunity and we're exploring several projects in Dubai now

related to the Expo.


DEFTERIOS: The CEO of Tabreed sharing his insights on that business.

By the way, each one of those cooling plants costs about $100 million to build.

For more about the program, check out our website, And you can reach out and message us on Facebook as well.

And that's all for this edition of CNN's MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. I'm John Defterios. Thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.