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CONNECT THE WORLD
Suarez Suspended for Biting; Battle for Iraq; Region under Threat; Search for Flight 370; World Cup 2014; Parting Shots; Jordan's City by the Sea
Aired June 26, 2014 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: News here from the World Cup, FIFA hands Uruguay's Luis Suarez a hefty penalty for biting an opponent. We're live
in Brazil for the very latest for you.
Also ahead, a country on the brink, a region on alert. The blistering advance of ISIS militants is reverberating beyond the borders of Iraq.
We're going to get you an in-depth look at a crisis worrying governments in Saudi, Jordan, in Lebanon and beyond.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: All right. It's 7 o'clock here in the UAE. Uruguay's star striker, Luis Suarez, is out of the World Cup just in the past hour. FIFA
handed him a nine-game suspension for biting Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Let's get straight to Alex Thomas, who is in Rio de Janeiro with all the details.
Nine match ban plus, Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. Luis Suarez is a marvelous footballer, one of the best in the world. He's helped Uruguay
reach the last 16 of this World Cup. But if this nation is going to go and lift this World Cup or at least go through to the quarterfinals, they'll
have to do it without him.
He has been banned for nine competitive matches for Uruguay, starting with that round of 16 encounter against Colombia here in Rio at the
Marikana Stadium behind me on Saturday night. And in addition to that, he's been banned from all football related activity for four months. That
means he will not even be able to set foot inside a football stadium.
He'll miss the start of England's Premier League season with his Liverpool Football Club and he won't be able to start their Champions
League campaign now they are back in it, having finished second last season.
In addition to that, he's been hit with a $111,000 fine, roughly the exchange rate from 100,000 Swiss francs. The money won't worry him. It's
about half a week's salary for a player of his stature. However, it is a huge blow and a clear message from FIFA. I think we can hear a sound bite
from their media press conference earlier. And this is the reason why they hit him with such a hard punishment.
No, we can't hear that sound from FIFA official, the FIFA media spokesperson. But I know that she was basically speaking about the fact
that this had set a very bad example. It's something that FIFA as football's World Cup governing body, will not tolerate, Becky. It's one
thing getting injured in the physicality of a top football match.
But for a grown man to premeditatedly bite another person on the shoulder is beyond the pale as far as FIFA are concerned -- Becky.
ANDERSON: You and I are going to speak later this hour about the actual football tonight, and there are some really big games.
But I think I'm right in saying that Suarez has been banned for some 34 games, I think it is now, since 2010 for offenses that never incurred a
red card, interestingly, at the -- at the time. This is pretty impressive stuff, isn't it? Isn't it time somebody red carded the refs for FIFA?
THOMAS: It's something that's very hard to spot because it happens so quickly, except in this modern day and age, as Luis Suarez has found out on
three separate occasions with multiple cameras around the ground, it will be spotted eventually.
I wouldn't necessarily be too harsh on the referee, although in hindsight, he'll be a bit embarrassed that the only action he took was to
send one of the Italian coaches to the stand for protesting too much.
As it turns out, they clearly had a right to protest because FIFA's disciplinary committee has agreed that Suarez did, indeed, clamp down with
his teeth on the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, Uruguay scored shortly after. They beat Italy 1-0 and go through to the round of
16 at the expense of the four-time world champions, who have now failed to get past the group stage in two World Cups in succession, having won it in
And as to your astonishing stat about how much times he's been banned, well, being sent off, Becky, here's another one for you. In every match
that Suarez has been caught biting, his team he's been playing for has always gone on to win.
Thank you, sir. Back with you in about a half an hour's time.
(INAUDIBLE) to the deadly battle for Iraq now here on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague is in Baghdad and he's echoing recent calls to make by his American counterpart, John Kerry, saying time
to put sectarian divisions aside and form an inclusive government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM HAGUE, FOREIGN SECRETARY OF GREAT BRITAIN: The message from the United Kingdom is very clear, we urge all Iraq's leaders and
communities to unite. The Iraqi state faces an existential threat, and the growth and expansion of the area controlled by ISIS or ISIL will have huge
ramifications for the future stability and freedom of this country and many other countries.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, meanwhile, the violence on the ground continues, a suicide bombing and mortar attack on the popular coffee shop
and other buildings south of Baghdad, killing 12 people and wounding 46 others.
Nima Elbagir joins us now from Baghdad itself with more details. Let's start with that violence on the ground.
What are the details this hour?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it sounds absolutely horrifying, Becky, a bomb, a suicide bomb detonating in front of a very
popular coffee shop. Later that day, mortar attacks raining down. We have a separate incident in the north of Kirkuk where another car bomb was
detonated and Iraqi state television has said that their forces had to helicopter in to the Kirkuk University campus to try and fight back against
militants that had centered themselves there.
So U.K. Foreign Secretary Hague there, speaking about the need for unity and for the political process to go forward, to sustain any gains.
But we also need to start seeing gains on the ground. It does -- it is starting to feel here like the militants are switching to some pretty
terrible irregular tactics to strike terror in the civilian populations, where they're not able to access with the ground force.
And the majority Shia areas, Mahmoudiyah, where that attack was at the coffee shop, that is a Shia population center just to the south of Baghdad,
all the while we understand now from U.S. officials Iranian drones manning the skies overhead at the same time as the U.S. planes have been gathering
information and Syrian fighter jets striking across that Iraqi-Syrian border, a rather unlikely alliance emerging here in an attempt to stem that
flood of ISIS fighters heading towards Baghdad, Becky.
ANDERSON: Now the U.K.'s William Hague, as I said earlier, echoing demands by John Kerry that the Iraqi prime minister work to form a unity
government. Nima, no sign that the Iraqi leader is any more willing to work on that inclusive political solution which will only closely incite
further sectarian strife at this point.
So what happens next?
ELBAGIR: Well, the crucial word there was inclusive. He is carrying out the steps that are acquired by him under the constitution. So they are
going to elect a speaker. They are going to meet the deadline, they say, to elect the president.
But it's the language that we're hearing from him that has some worried. He's doing all the right things. But is he keeping to the spirit
of it? Yesterday in his weekly televised address, he blamed much of this, much of Iraq's crisis, much of its problems on his neighbors, on his
political rivals. And that's concerning.
We had a hugely influential Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr, yesterday evening coming out and saying scrap all of this. What we don't need is al-
Maliki. What is we need is an emergency government. So if even the Shia out within themselves are not uniting to try and find a way through this
crisis, the concern is that that gives even less hope that those across the sectarian divide can come together, Becky.
And I think the one thing that I -- that a lot of people here are asking that we take away from this is of course there is opportunism. Of
course there are Sunni politicians who are trying to get what they can out of this.
But there is also the fear factor. The Iraqi army has not shown that it can protect the Sunni in the territories that ISIS is either in or has
its eye on. So how can they come into a government that won't protect their families and their loved ones back in their communities, Becky?
ANDERSON: Sure. All right, Nima. Thank you for that.
Iraq's military is pledging to defend the capital from advancing Sunni militants. My colleague, Nic Robertson, went to the front lines in Anbar
province just outside Baghdad to talk to what he found were motivated soldiers who presented at least to Nic a brave face, despite this ISIS
threat. Have a look at this.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): War is drawing closer to the Iraqi capital. And this aging tank is what's
helping defend it. These soldiers in the restive al-Anbar province are just 35 kilometers, 22 miles from the center of Baghdad.
After all their American training and the billions of U.S. dollars in equipment, it's them and their Soviet T-54 tank that are now lined up to
stop ISIS' advance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allah Akbar!
ROBERTSON: That tank round landed just by the trees on the horizon there. You can see the smoke rising right now. We're told there were
snipers in the house there. That's how close ISIS is to the army front lines, just a few hundred meters.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The army brought us here to a tiny Sunni village to show us a recent battlefield gain. They say they chased ISIS
out five days ago. This is the tank commander, a Shia from south of Baghdad.
ALI FAAK, TANK COMMANDER: In any regard, the fight here is good. So the terrorists cannot fight with us because they lose. They lose the
battle with us, you know, because they're chicken, you know.
ROBERTSON: They're chicken?
ROBERTSON: But in the north of the country, the army was the chicken.
FAAK: No. No, no, no. The army's strong.
ROBERTSON: In the north of the country, some of the soldiers ran away, left their weapons.
Are you afraid? You're the commander.
Are you afraid you might turn around --
FAAK: (INAUDIBLE) afraid. (INAUDIBLE) this country.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The soldiers dance for us, singing an anti- ISIS song, part bravado, part media offensive, following a catastrophic collapse in the west, in Mosul in the north. They want to change their
"I can't say anything about Mosul. It's not my responsibility," the colonel in charge tells me. "What happened there will not happen in
Baghdad and will not happen here."
The battle here lasted five hours, we are told, 32 ISIS killed, they say, three dead on the Iraqi side. On the storefronts in the now-deserted
Sunni village, fresh Shia graffiti, even their rusting tank carries a Shia flag.
The colonel in charge insists it is not a sectarian war. I ask if he wants U.S. airstrikes.
ROBERTSON: Strikes and you want the U.S. military advisers that are here, can they help you?
COLONEL ALI AL-MAJIDI, 24TH BRIGADE ARMOURED DIVISION IRAQI ARMY: (Speaking foreign language).
ROBERTSON (voice-over): His answer is simple, "It's not up to me. But my opinion, yes. I want the strikes."
He may well do. Outside of this village we see very few soldiers. And he left his expensive American Abrams tanks back at base to defend
that, should the need arise -- Nic Robertson, CNN, al-Anbar province, Iraq.
ANDERSON: Clearly an incredibly important story. Our special coverage of ISIS in Iraq continues next on CONNECT THE WORLD.
Coming up the militants advance in Iraq threatens to spill into Jordan. We're live at a crucial border crossing for you tonight. And fear
rises in Lebanon, too, with the threat of ISIS to gain a foothold there as well. All that and more when CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson,
returns after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. It is Thursday, 7:15 in the UAE. U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry is continuing with efforts to try to resolve the crisis in Iraq. Now he met the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, in Paris earlier
today. While he was there, he also had talks with his counterparts from Jordan, from Saudi Arabia and from the UAE.
Clearly this is an incredibly important story regionally here.
Earlier Saudi state news agency said King Abdullah ordered authorities to take all necessary measures to prevent domestic terror attacks. Well,
Jordan has been beefing up its military presence at a key border crossing with Iraq to fight the threat of ISIS emergence.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now live from that Jordanian-Iraqi border.
What are you seeing there, Jomana?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as you mentioned, this is the only official border crossing between Iraq and Jordan. And for the
past several hours we've been here. It does seem like relatively normal traffic that's coming across the border. This is mostly commercial
traffic, trucks that are carrying goods into and out of Iraq.
Now there was a lot of concern earlier this week over the weekend that there were reports that ISIS had taken control of the Iraqi side of the
border, that is the Trebil border crossing. But everyone that we spoke to today confirms and says that that border crossing is still under the
control of the Iraqi government, that Iraqi security forces are still on that side of the border.
Now as far as the road goes, what we are being told by most of these truck drivers who are coming across is that Sunni militants are in control
of the town of Rutba. That is the last Iraqi town before reaching Jordan. And they are also controlling the road between Ramadi, past Ramadi and
Rutba. They are stopping people; they are checking them.
And we are told they're Sunnis, like most of the drivers we spoke to, they had no issues. And most of those that we talked to today, Becky,
denied that any of these fighters are ISIS. Here's what one truck driver told us earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMMAR KHALIFA, TRUCK DRIVER (through translator): This is the Iraqi government's and Maliki's logic. They keep saying ISIS. There's no ISIS.
There are tribal rebels who are demanding their legitimate rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: And Becky, of course we have to mentioned that most of these people we talked to today are from Anbar province. That is the
bordering province to Jordan and they are Sunnis who are pretty concerned, most of them did not really want to speak on camera. We also, Becky, came
across a very tragic case, a car that was carrying an injured man driving out his relatives told us that he had been injured in Fallujah. That's the
city that has been under ISIS and other Sunni militant groups' control for more than six months now, under siege by the Iraqi security forces. His
relatives say that he was injured in recent fighting there, they claim, by Iraqi government shelling.
Here's what (INAUDIBLE) told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Where is the United Nations and the Arab League? Let them see the humanitarian situation in Fallujah.
There is no solution. They keep saying ISIS, ISIS. There is no ISIS. Is this ISIS?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: And again, Becky, this underscores the situation in Iraq, where it is the civilians who are paying the heaviest price of the war
there and the fighting that with no end in sight. That family, Becky, just worth mentioning, we were told by his relatives that this man, the wounded
man, did not know that his wife and four children were killed in that same incident that he was injured in.
ANDERSON: All right, Jomana, thank you for that.
Sole tensions also running high in Lebanon after a string of suicide bombings there. And it appears ISIS making direct threats against the
country. Mohammed Jamjoom reporting for you tonight from Beirut.
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The third suicide bombing to rock Lebanon in less than a week, a scene of panic and chaos,
even security forces were left scrambling and injured.
JAMJOOM: Tonight tensions very much on the rise here in Beirut after a suicide bomber blew himself up in one of the hotels just behind us on
this street. Police have cordoned off the area. They're fearful that it might have been a secondary explosive device planted somewhere nearby.
JAMJOOM (voice-over): Residents of Lebanon fear even more violence, especially with ISIS posting announcements like this one online.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We will go to Iraq in a few days, and we will fight there in Erbil and come back. And we will even go
to Jordan and Lebanon with no problems.
JAMJOOM (voice-over): Worry here is growing.
SAMI NADER, LEBANESE ANALYST: I'm really very concerned because for the simple reason that the stability in Lebanon is very fragile.
JAMJOOM (voice-over): Analysts say ISIS and other jihadists groups could easily take advantage of the fractured government, weaken security
forces and deepen sectarian divisions.
Since last year, a rising tide of Sunni anger toward Shiite military group Hezbollah has been to blame for several car bombs targeting Shiite-
populated areas in and around Beirut. Now blood is being shed once more, and many suspect ISIS is behind it.
On Friday, a car bomb targeted a security checkpoint in the Baqa'a Valley.
And another worrying sign, angry Islamists in nearby Tripoli held a demonstration. At one point, chants of support for ISIS could clearly be
NADER: I'm worried about this collapse, total collapse of the Lebanese institution. The excellent turf for these movements are a
dislocated state, a divided society, which is the case in Lebanon.
JAMJOOM (voice-over): Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Beirut.
ANDERSON: Now live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, why Israel is also keeping a close eye on ISIS.
ANDERSON: The rise of ISIS not just a threat to Iraq but the whole region. We've seen evidence of that threat in Lebanon and heard concerns
from governments in Jordan and in Saudi Arabia. And events are also being closely watched in Israel.
Ben Wedeman visited a hospital along the border that's treating victims of Syria's civil war.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fourteen-year-old Ahmed lost his best friend and both legs in a bomb blast
in southern Syria. We can't show his face because his mother doesn't want him to be seen being treated in a hospital in Israel, Syria's decades-old
Today he staff at the Ziv Hospital in Northern Israel are fitting Ahmed with prosthetic legs. These are his first, hesitant steps in two
months. His mother watches, overcome with emotion.
"I am happy," she says, "but at the same time sad about what happened to him. Those are not the legs God created."
Ahmed has picked up a smattering of Hebrew and a new attitude toward his hosts.
"They said Israelis are our enemy," Ahmed tells me. "But they're nice."
Need, not nationality, is what counts, says Ahmed's doctor, Oscar Embon.
DR. OSCAR EMBON, ZIV HOSPITAL: It is something that we do because of our own principles and beliefs. And even I don't know if they will do the
same for us in the opposite situation, but it is something I need to do because of my values.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): More than 300 Syrians have been treated at this hospital alone. But there's more to this relationship than pure altruism.
Israel and Syria have been officially in a state of war since 1948. And as this newly established artillery battery on the Golan Heights
underscores, no one expects that state of war to come to an end anytime soon.
Israel has fought three full-blown wars and a variety of major skirmishes with Syria over the years.
Earlier this week, an Israeli teenager was killed when an anti-tank missile struck the car he was in, near the fence that separates the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Syria, the first Israeli fatality from the war in Syria.
Israel has watched warily as the fighting has raged on the other side of the fence, a war pitting the regime of Bashar al-Assad against an
increasingly radicalized opposition dominated by Islamist ultra-hardliners.
JACQUES NERIAH, FORMER ISRAELI ARMY SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: We don't want to have those people, those crazy jihadist people on our border,
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Former Army Intelligence Analyst Jacques Neriah says Israel prefers its old enemy, blemishes and all.
NERIAH: I said it from day one, that it was better to have a secular regime, a Ba'athist regime, that is, OK, a tyrant, and all the repressive
human rights and whatever you say, it's better to have this guy rather than have all those bearded guys, who have no rule at all.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Better the devil you know than the devil you don't -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, in the Golan Heights.
ANDERSON: Well, the crisis unfolding in Iraq and in Syria is one of the top stories on CNN.com. You can find a series of detailed maps, for
example, showing where ISIS operates, where Iraq's crucial oil fields are and how that country is divided along ethnic lines. That's at
And the crisis there and the regional impact of the situation in Iraq and Syria will be one of the main stories that we will bring you this July
as we take this show across the Middle East. That special coverage will kick off on Sunday. You'll be able to follow me as I travel to Cairo, to
Beirut and to Istanbul for a month of CONNECT THE WORLD live from shows. And you can tell me and the team here what stories you want to see us
cover, using the #CTWLiveFrom hashtag. That's #CTWLiveFrom. Keep in touch with us. I'm going to be right back after this back with the headlines.
ANDERSON: Just after half past 7:00 in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Your headlines this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Uruguay's Luis Suarez has been suspended for the rest of the World Cup tournament. And any Uruguay national team playoff. Is that
for a total of nine international matches. Now this ban comes after the star striker bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at their match on Tuesday. FIFA
made their announcement just a little earlier today.
Suarez also fined and banned from any football related activities for four months.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says it's time for Iraq to put its sectarian divisions aside and form an inclusive government. He is in
Baghdad today, meeting with Iraqi leaders. There are vice president has called on Parliament to meet next week to start the process of forming a
new government. That's outside the constitution.
Australian officials say the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is moving farther south. Now this map shows the newly refined search zone
in the Indian Ocean. Authorities now believe the plane was on autopilot before it ran out of fuel. CNN's aviation correspondent, my colleague,
Richard Quest in New York, with more on these developments.
Richard, Australia revealing what they believe happened during the missing plane's final hours as well. So just how significant are these new
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: They're very significant, Becky, and this is the report. It is the first substantial report that we have received. It
runs to some 60 pages and it goes into chapter and verse what they believe happened, not in terms of the actual incident back up in the northern part
of the flight, but how the plane will have traveled south. It makes numerous assumptions. It takes the satellite handshakes from the Inmarsat
data. And it then gives us a really good idea of how they've come to their final conclusion.
And what that conclusion basically is, watch this animation and you'll see, where of course that is where the incident took place. Then the plane
travels back across Malaysia. They continue to make assumptions about how much fuel would have been used. The speed at which the aircraft would have
been flying. And this is the bit, the flight south, they are now saying was clearly so direct in such a fashion that it was, Becky, the plane was
on autopilot, perhaps not a startling assessment. It will be very difficult to hand fly an aircraft all that way. But it does give us an
idea of where they now believe the plane is.
ANDERSON: We still, though, do not know why, do we, this plane veered off course in the north and headed south?
QUEST: No, we do not. And that of course remains the unknown. The fact that it was on autopilot can actually be used by both sides of the
argument. It could be used for those who say it was nefarious and that whoever was responsible turned the plane onto autopilot and let it get on
with its business.
And it can be used by those who say it was mechanical, that the pilots did something; they lost consciousness as a result of oxygen deprivation.
But by that stage, the plane was on autopilot. So frankly, Becky, anybody who tells you that today's report leans one way or the other I think is
erroneous. I think there is evidence in the report for both suggestions.
ANDERSON: Richard Quest in New York for you, thank you, Richard.
Official World Cup matchup happening in Brazil in less than 30 minutes' time. The USA will now take on Germany in their final game in the
group stage. It should be an epic clash, especially with the close ties between the two terms. Now Germany coach Joachim Loew was the assistant
when Juergen Klinsmann was the coach of Germany. Now Klinsmann in charge of Team USA. Both teams only need a tie to go through to the knockout
stage. We're going to talk about this match not least because it might not happen tonight. We believe it is now atrocious weather. And I see where
it is due to be played.
But first, though, let's talk about FIFA's decision to suspend the Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, which, quite frankly, Amanda -- Amanda Davies
joining us now -- has cast a bit of a pall over the tournament today, hasn't it?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has, Becky. But I think FIFA have -- has done the right thing. They've dealt with this issue really
very quickly. And FIFA and football administration, they've come out this morning and said that Luis Suarez will be banned from national duty for
nine games, banned from all football activity for four months.
And it's a punishment that really has received a mixed response. There are those who say, well, it's a tougher ban than we've seen for a lot
of football offenses. And then there are those and the fact that it deals with both domestic and international games means that it's actually quite
But then there are those who say, well, you look, Mike Tyson got 15 months for biting the ear of Evander Holyfield. Rio Ferdinand's got a ban
of eight months for missing a drug test. This is the third time this has happened for Luis Suarez. We've seen that the bans haven't worked in the
past for him.
So maybe something else should have happened. And they should have made a much, much tougher stance.
So the question now because of the impact, not just on Uruguay, Becky, but also Liverpool. What will Liverpool, his club site, do about Luis
Suarez? It will mean he will have missed 34 games for Liverpool since August 2010, just serving bans and suspensions for biting incidents and
racism incidents, not for ever receiving a red card. That's not very good business from their perspective.
The club have said just at the moment that they're going to wait for the FIFA report before they say anything further. There's also of course
his sponsors. And we have heard from Adidas already. They're saying Adidas fully supports FIFA's decision, Becky.
"We certainly do not condone Luis Suarez's recent behavior. We will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players.
We have no plans to use Suarez for any additional marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup."
They go on to say that post-World Cup they will have discussions with him about their future relationship.
ANDERSON: All right. Let's talk about football tonight, sure it is one big game. I know our viewers all -- well, there's a number of games
now. Let's talk about one specifically, because it may not have happened. I believe now that FIFA have decided that despite what is atrocious weather
conditions in Recife, the Germany-USA match, at least will now go on, correct?
DAVIES: Yes, absolutely. It's difficult to believe sitting here in glorious sunshine and 30 degrees here in Rio. But yes, a few thousand
miles away in Recife, they have experienced torrential rain in the last 24 hours. They've had about 98 millimeters of rain. That's the wettest day
so far in 2014 in Recife. And there was talk that maybe it would be unplayable in terms of conditions. We've -- we understand that the U.S.
friends and family trip that all these teams have friends and family, coaches and they run organized trips for the players' families, they have
decided not to carry on with their journey to the stadium because the conditions have been so bad.
But the match will go ahead. And it will be very interesting to see what impact that will actually have on the game, of course, so much
depending on this game for both sides. They both know that a point will mean they go through. But both sides have said they will be going for the
ANDERSON: All right. Amanda, thank you for that. Amanda Davies for you in Brazil.
Well, football on top of a skyscraper, on top of an oil rig, on a highway, at a church with monks, it all happens in Brazil and it's all been
captured by one photographer, Christopher Pillitz. Your "Parting Shots" this evening.
CHRISTOPHER PILLITZ, PHOTOGRAPHER (voice-over): My name is Christopher Pillitz. I've been a photographer for 30 years, and in '97, I
began in earnest the project on football when in Brazil and what it means to Brazilians. Anybody can play a -- with a ball.
And anybody does play it, young and old, women and men. You could be rich or poor. You could play it anywhere.
I went to a Petrobras oil rig off the coast of Rio and lo and behold, they were playing football on a pitch, a mini-pitch, enclosed obviously in
a cage, because otherwise the ball would be flying everywhere. And it was just a very special moment.
I did the same on a skyscraper in Sao Paulo, which I was very lucky to find, where these kids were defying gravity, playing football on a top of a
30-story building, oblivious to the fact that the ball could just fly over the edge of the building and end up down 30 floors below.
Brazil is a multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious country. I specifically went looking for imagery that would reinforce those undeniable
facts about the link between religion and football.
People will go to a priestess to bless themselves or bless the good fortunes of the team at the World Cup, like they no doubt are doing right
now. This is not purely and exclusively about football. This is really about one aspect, one important aspect of Brazilian culture as seen through
the prism of football.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD from here in Abu Dhabi. Have a very good evening.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Welcome to the special edition of CNN's MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST this week from the port city of
Aqaba on the Red Sea. It is of course a rapidly changing situation in the region, especially with Jordan's neighbor, Iraq.
First let's take a look at how the special economic zone with $20 billion of foreign direct investment is adapting to the uncertainty.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): The port of Aqaba, where container shipping, manufacturing and tourism all sit side by side in the Red Sea.
KAMEL MAHADIN, CHIEF COMMISSIONER, SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION: The Americans have been supporting Aqaba.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Kamel Mahadin is the energetic chief commissioner of the Special Economic Zone Authority and Development
MAHADIN: Because we are in Aqaba now. Across the border on that side, you will see the tip of Iraq.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Egypt, Israel and Jordan are a half-hour or less by shuttle boat from each other, with Iraq due northeast. So
officials are weighing the potential economic impact.
MAHADIN: And anything that hits us here will hit Egypt, will hit Israel, will hit everybody. So there is some kind of a common sense. This
area is a fork, let's keep it as a fork. It's a hub, let's keep it as a hub.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): That is what Jordan is hoping for in this fast-growing city, which is enjoying a boom after the global economic
crisis and Arab Spring of 2011 slowed down original plans. There is construction everywhere, building homes to absorb a big expansion of the
population since 2000 to 140,000 people. Officials expect another 100,000 by 2020.
Jeppe Jensen is CEO of Aqaba Container Terminals, which is nearly a third of the way through a 25-year lease coverage 1 kilometer on the
After nearly $300 million of investment on cranes and equipment, traffic has more than doubled in eight years.
JEPPE JENSEN, CEO, AQABA CONTAINER TERMINALS: Aqaba stands out the port fair of this location. We have a port load of three continents and
four neighboring countries, which makes it a natural hub.
DEFTERIOS: Aqaba's positioned as a container gateway into Jordan, but strategically it sits at the top of the Red Sea. Goods land here and go on
to Iraq and as far north as Central Asia.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): The violence in Iraq introduces a fresh boatload of uncertainty. But Jensen believes his clients' 15 shipping
lines, including this one from China, can bank on Jordan's alliances with Washington, Brussels and the Arab Gulf states for stability.
JENSEN: It's definitely a selling opportunity for Aqaba, no doubt about that. Now of course you have the political instability which dampens
the food route to Iraq. What we do believe that when Iraq is being cleared out again, there will be a huge potential for Aqaba.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Streit armored cars is one of more than 1,300 companies calling this port home, a low 5 percent corporate tax on net
profits keeps CEOs here smiling despite regional chaos.
ZIAD EL ESSA, STREIT GROUP: This is ABC, what we are talking about.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): We arrived on the day Streit's Ziad El Essa signed a long-term lease to help double factory space and monthly
production. After political unrest and war in neighboring Syria and Iraq, demand is solid for armored personnel carriers or APCs. So he is expanding
EL ESSA: We are 4,000 square meter. Now we are 8,500. Within two months, we will be 16,500 square meter.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Makers of armored cars aside, other companies are trying to read the regional headwinds. Three wars in Iraq in less than
a quarter century keep this small country and now its port always on edge.
DEFTERIOS: This is a region, of course, used to uncertainty and the construction continues despite the situation in Iraq. Now let's take a
look at the headlines driving the business world.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Brent crude reached a near nine-month high this week at $115 a barrel. Fears of a possible disruption to Iraqi oil
have increased as the rebel group ISIS continues to seize towns across the north of the country.
After months of negotiation, Abu Dhabi state-owned airline Etihad has reached a deal to buy 49 percent stake in the Italian carrier Alitalia. It
gives the Gulf carrier another foothold into Europe after a spree of investments in the last two years.
And construction plans proceed in Doha. French conglomerates Alstom and Vinci (ph) have signed a $2.7 billion contract with Qatar to build a
tram system. It will be built in the future Lusail city in Doha, where the championship match of the 2022 World Cup tournament is slated to be held.
Shares of Arabtec, the UAE's largest construction company, remain under pressure after falling by more than two-thirds since the stock price
peaked in mid-May. The selloff was triggered by the sudden departure of CEO Hasan Ismaik and plans for staff cuts.
Here in Aqaba, we spoke to the first major tourism developer to enter the market, Ziad Abu Jaber, and asked him how the violence in Syria and
Iraq was affecting business.
ZIAD ABU JABER, CHAIRMAN JPT DEVELOPMENTS: We built enough immunity nowadays after so many wars and so many hot spots around us that we will
really have become immune. We just move on with our life. But it's affecting Jordan. Is it affecting Jordan? I would like to if I told you
it's not. Is it putting the brakes on? Of course it's putting the brakes on. But are they willing to invest once these brakes kind of get removed?
Yes, of course. I mean, this is our country. We need to build it. Who else is going to build it for us?
DEFTERIOS: Well, it's an island in a very rough neighborhood right now with Syria obviously and Iraq flaring up the way it is. Can it
maintain this sort of island mentality when the investment still comes in as a safe harbor?
JABER: We don't have a choice. We have to maintain the island mentality. Frankly, we are targeted by so many different entities,
factions, call it whatever you want. But at the end of the day, everybody wants a safe haven somewhere.
DEFTERIOS: On this property we're sitting at, you're offering apartments for about $900 a square meter and they've more than tripled
since you went to market.
Does it increase now with the crisis in Iraq, where people want to buy outside of that region?
Or has it leveled off for the time being? What happens?
JABER: No, you go into this kind of mediocre lull, where it stays where it is. There's a lot of watching. But if you have the money and you
want to buy, you will buy regardless.
DEFTERIOS: In the vantage point that you're in here, in Aqaba and Amman, looking in, is this going to be the status quo of chaos there for
10-15 years, 20 years?
JABER: No, of course not. Of course not. Iraq is not a small country. So chaos cannot be ordained over there. Definitely they will
come down to terms.
DEFTERIOS: Just ahead on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, more of our special coverage from Jordan and the influence of the crises in Syria and Iraq.
I'll speak to the finance minister, Umayya Toukan of Jordan, when MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST continues.
DEFTERIOS: Jordan has dealt with extreme challenges in the past, but now it's dealing with bookends of trouble, Syria on one side, Iraq on the
other. Here's the former central bank government, now finance minister, Umayya Toukan in Amman.
UMAYYA TOUKAN, JORDANIAN FINANCE MINISTER: The extraordinary burden of the Syrian crisis as well as any potential regional crisis, including
the Iraqi situation, should be really met also by the international community.
I mean, Jordan's role in moderating all in the region is very important, I think. And that role should not be compromised. I don't
think it's in the interest of the international community to have our positive and moderating of all compromise. So that should be much more
And really, meeting the needs of all those refugees is not only a humanitarian issue, it only -- it also neutralizes I think any extremist
DEFTERIOS: What are we looking at here, the destabilization of Jordan potentially, as Iraq flares up? That's your biggest concern, the
connection between a lack of funding and destabilization of the Jordanian people?
TOUKAN: Well, it's a potential threat really because it's very uncertain on how it will develop. But I think the best way to meet those
challenges is to have your internal structure on solid ground.
DEFTERIOS: Well, what is the direct impact of Iraq? For example, I know oil supplies have not been coming in for the last few months. You
have a near $2 billion pipeline project to go from Basra to Aqaba. This things just go on hold?
TOUKAN: Exactly. They have to go on hold if the crisis develops to a more serious situation. And as I said, Jordan has met in the past those
challenges by major reforms, fiscal reforms as well as economic reforms, political reforms.
DEFTERIOS: It would take a brave soul as an international investor to come into Jordan, despite all your reforms and the conditions to jump into
other parts of this Middle Eastern market with this much uncertainty. That's a fact, is it not?
TOUKAN: It is. But really, at the risk-return analysis, I mean, the higher the risk, the higher the return. And investors, I think, are more
careful on their money than anybody else. So I think any investor who comes in, they know what they're doing. But at least they will have a
hospitable environment in terms of public policy and also in terms of regulation and business environment issues.
DEFTERIOS: For more about the program, visit our website, CNN.com/mme. You can reach out and message us on our Facebook page as
well. And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST this week from Aqaba in Jordan. I'm John Defterios. Thanks for watching.
We'll see you next week.