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ISIS On The March; U.S. Oil Boom; Young Hong Kong Protesters' Vision for Future; Some Hong Kongers Support Beijing; Hong Kong Protests; Gay Rights Center Stage in Brazil Election; Syria Says Arming Rebels Would Make Matters Worse; Syria's Bid to Be Included in Fight Against ISIS; Muslim NFL Player Penalized After Praying; Parting Shots: Monsoon in the Desert

Aired September 30, 2014 - 11:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: It never rains, it pours, not even a massive deluge can dampen the fervor of pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong. We'll

take you live to the so-called Umbrella Revolution.

Also ahead, ISIS is on the march on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. We'll tell you why some Jordanians are now coming around to the

militant's way of thinking.

And Saudi Arabia looks set to slide down the global oil supply rankings. We'll examine how the U.S. is fracking up a bright future in the

black gold market.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we connect the world.

FOSTER: Well, it's being called the umbrella revolution. And tonight that name has taken on a new meaning. Thousands of Hong Kongers have been

defying heavy rains to continue the protests on the streets of the city. They're also defying a demand from the region's chief executive to end the


The protesters want Hong Kong's leader to step down. Many see him as being too close to Beijing.

And they're upset about China's decision to allow only Beijing approved candidates to run to replace him.

Kristie Lu Stout is in Hong Kong keeping an eye on the protests. And they remain peaceful, Kristie.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They do remain peaceful. In fact, right behind me you see tens of thousands of

protesters. And this is like a festival atmosphere. The protesters for democracy, they're wearing black t-shirts, the de facto uniform here. I'm

not seeing any protesters with goggles or masks, protective gear. They're not anticipating any sort of assault by the police and I'm not seeing any

police around.

Over there, you're looking at ambulances. That's being come in. I don't think anybody is hurt at the moment, but perhaps a preemptive

measure. Again, no police here at the scene, despite the fact that police headquarters here in Hong Kong is right behind me.

Now despite this festival atmosphere, as they put it, the mission and the vision these pro-democracy protesters is very clear. They want two

things. One, they want universal suffrage: one person, one vote and the right to pick their own leader and their own candidate in 2017 election for

chief executive independent of Beijing.

In addition to that, they want the current chief executive to step down.

Now CY Leung, that current chief executive, who is beleaguered at the moment, he spoke earlier today. Here's what he had to say.


CY LEUNG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF HONG KONG (through translator): The central government won't be swayed by illegal activities. This illegal

protest will not force the central government to go back on its decision of August 31st.


LU STOUT: So, there you heard it from CY Leung, the chief executive here in Hong Kong. He calls these protests illegal, that's what China is

calling these protests as well. China, it continues to offer its support for CY Leung, the chief executive here in Hong Kong, but the Chinese

government, the authorities, they do not plan to compromise, they do not plan to back down.

And the protesters here, they don't plan to go away anytime soon. In fact, you can see a poster right over there written in Chinese saying that

even though progress has been made, we still have a lot more work to do.

Back to you, Max.

FOSTER: Kristie, they seem to be getting bigger, the crowds there, or is that just what I'm seeing from the TV pictures?

LU STOUT: You know, it's difficult to give you an exact tally, but there is that sense of anticipation that the crowds are getting bigger

here, because it's very soon it's going to be October 1. When it strikes midnight, it's going to be October 1, it's a national holiday across China

and Hong Kong.

October 1 is a day when people don't go to work, classes are closed. So there is that sense of expectation that the huge throngs of people who

you see here, more people are going to arrive here in these main protest areas, whether it's here where I am in Admiral T (ph) in the Central area

of Hong Kong island or even across the harbor in Mong Kok over in Kowloon.

I should also add that October 1, National Day, is a celebration of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is a holiday to

celebrate the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China. And on that day, we're expecting to see this protest continue, this protest for

democracy in Hong Kong. And it can grow in size.

Back to you, Max.

FOSTER: Kristie Lu Stout, thank you very much indeed for joining us from those protests in Hong Kong, which are ongoing.

And Hong Kong is no stranger to protests. In fact, it's an important part of self-expression in a city without universal suffrage.

But why have things taken such a dramatic turn now? Later in the show, we'll hear from some of Hong Kong's youth. They grew up seeing a

power shift from Britain to China, but at heart they feel Hong Kong is in a league of its own.

Also, we'll hear from a China expert about how Beijing is taking all of this in. And where is goes from here as well.

Now, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted nearly 300 airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria and in Iraq, and still the militant group is

gaining ground in some places.

A local Iraqi official in Abu Atta (ph) about 80 kilometers northwest of Baghdad says the town is now under ISIS control. He says most of the

nearly 200 Iraqi soldiers withdrew from a military base there before ISIS militants overran it.

Some soldiers were killed.

Militants then seized a large cache of weapons left behind.

Meanwhile, ISIS is said to be getting very close to a Kurdish town in northern Syria near the border with Turkey.

Phil Black joins me from the Turkish-Syrian border. Phil, the sense you get is this air mission on the coalition's part just isn't working.

ISIS is still making gains.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: It was the sense, Max, indeed that they had just simply wasn't much of an air campaign in this

region. Now the United States just a short time ago has announced that it has overnight conducted some airstrikes in this region.

Now behind me, you can see the city of Kobani, this is the Kurdish city across the border in Syria that is under assault and advance by ISIS

from the west, the south and the east. We're just to the east now where over the last week or so we've seen very intense ISIS fighting as it has

really pushed forward and taken a lot of territory and moved pretty close.

Now the United States has announced after more than a week of Kurdish fighters really pleading with them to help, the U.S. has announced that

airstrikes were conducted against ISIS fighters in the Kobani region, notably in this region to the east of the city, overnight where they

they've struck a number of targets, mobile and fixed, including artillery pieces and rocket launchers as well.

Now through the day here, we have seen the city behind me being shelled for short periods of time, heavy fire raining down. And for much

of the day, we have heard pretty intense fighting, we think, to the southeast of this position where we are now really beyond the field of

view. And now here as dusk falls, we can hear the crack of heavy fire and small arms fire again in the far distance beginning to pick up just a


So, there has been something, we think, of an ebb in the fighting, particularly on this eastern front during the day today. And in fact,

Kurdish fighters have said they've actually reclaimed part of the territory that ISIS had taken from them in recent days. And now the U.S. has said

that it has added the coalition's firepower to the fighting that has been going on in this region against ISIS, as I say, taking out in particular

some of that heavier weaponry that we have seen ISIS using to its advantage so much in recent days. Artillery pieces and rocket launchers as well.

That will no doubt come to be as very welcome news to these fighters on the ground that are so desperately trying to defend this city, because

their belief is that they cannot hold out indefinitely alone. They are feeling under great pressure. For the most part, the momentum has been

with ISIS, not with the Kurdish defenders. But they are, however, fighting very hard indeed.

Max, back to you.

FOSTER: It seems extraordinary, Phil, that Turkey isn't involved in this effort in a visible way. I gather that's changing now, though?

BLACK: There is a sense that Turkey is in some way, in a looser way, we think, looking at their most recent language from the Turkish president,

committed to being involved in this international coalition in some way, they just haven't really revealed precisely how they're going to do that

just yet.

What we have seen on the border, I think is certainly a beefing up of the Turkish military presence. They've sent more tanks to this region. We

saw a few of them today. And what we have seen, and although this doesn't signify too much, when artillery and/or mortar has fallen on Turkish

territory fired from the Syrian side, we have seen the Turkish military returning fire in kind. That's just keeping up with the standard rules of

engagement, really, not necessarily a commitment to take the fight to ISIS.

But what they are beginning to talk about now is some sort of more practical assistance to the international coalition. We're just waiting to

hear precisely what that will be. Back to you.

FOSTER: Phil Black on the border there between Syria and Turkey. Thank you very much indeed.

Well, Jordan is part of the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS in Syria, but inside the kingdom, support for the militant group maybe growing

in one city.

The radical group's black flag flies openly in Ma'an in Jordan just a few hours drive from the capital Amman. The city has also been home to

several public demonstrations for ISIS in the past few months.

Now some residents say frustration with the Jordanian government is fueling support for Islamic extremism in that city. Our Jomana Karadsheh

has more.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Max, Jordan is concerned about that ISIS threat from both Iraq and Syria, its two

neighboring countries. And that is why the government here says it joined that U.S.-led coalition last week to actively go after ISIS, but many here

in Jordan are concerned about the threat from within the country's own borders.

For decades, the southern Jordanian city of Ma'an has been known as a the center of violent anti-government riots and confrontations with

security forces.

But perhaps the most worrying for Jordanians is scenes like this in recent months. Small protests in support of ISIS.

While many downplay these demonstrations, the streets of Ma'an tell a different story. Pro-ISIS graffiti is spray-painted across the city like

this one that reads ISIS's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is our prince.

ISIS supporters were not hard to find in the city's market. This man interrupts our interview with a resident telling us the only solution to

Ma'an's troubles is the Islamic State.

Others, too, say they want to see ISIS in Jordan.

"We hope the mujahedeen come here and enforce Islamic Shariah law. We want Shariah law," this man says.

Not surprisingly, most here are opposed to Jordan joining the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

AWAD AL-MAZAIYA, MA'AN RESIDENT (through translator): For almost four years our brothers in Syria have been bombed, civilians and children

killed, mosques destroyed, and we haven't seen the U.S., Jordan's apostate military and the infidel Arab armies move to support our brothers in Syria.

But when it came to the mujahedeen, they mobilized all their armies and started striking.

KARADSHEH: While this key U.S. ally faces the danger from ISIS on two of its borders, many here fear the threat from within will only increase


Ma'an's mayor also says joining the coalition was not in Jordan's interest.

MAJED AL-SHARARI, MAYOR OF MA'AN (through translator): The Salafi Jihadi movement have been in Jordan for years, not just in Ma'an, but also

in other cities. If this movement in Iraq or Syria declares a war on Jordan, they will not hesitate to carry out operations here.

KARADSHEH: Like many of the city's resident's, al-Sharari says anti- government sentiments and unrest in Ma'am stem from poverty, unemployment and years of marginalization by the government. He warns that unless the

grievances of the people of his city are seriously addressed there will be consequences.

Back on the streets of Ma'an, ISIS supporters insist only an Islamic State will bring them a better life. And that dream of Islamic State is

now under attack.

"People are repressed. A lot of pressure will lead to an explosion. So wait and see. It will not pass peacefully," this man warns.

For now, it might just be words and threats, but many fear these signs foretell what the future may hold.

Government officials here today are telling us that they have the situation in the country under control and that ISIS sympathizers are a

minority in the country and most of them have been detained by the security forces. They say at least 71 have been rounded up over the past couple of

weeks and the country's government says that it is paying close attention to that southern city of Ma'an -- Max.


FOSTER: Thank you to Jomana.

Well, despite the unrest in the Middle East, the cost of oil has remained unusually stable.

Coming up, we'll tell you why the shale drilling boom in the United States is becoming a gamechanger for oil prices.


FOSTER: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Max Foster. Welcome back to you.

Well, is the U.S. set to become the world's largest petroleum producer? New numbers from the International Energy Agency suggest that

production is expected to surge in the next few months overtaking top oil giant Saudi Arabia, in fact.

The American shale revolution has seen oil spike in the last few years. And rising supply means the price of energy has remained relatively

stable despite unrest here in the Middle East.

So our emerging markets editor John Defterios joins us now.

It seems a bit too simple, this, but actually it's quite a straightforward equation, right?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. And it's quite a revolution. In fact to put it in context in relation here to the Middle

East, it's like adding another UAE or Kuwait into the oil mix, they're two big Gulf producers. That's what the U.S. has added in the last two years

alone, Max. Since 2012 added 3.5 million barrels a day of production.

So this is how it stacks up at the top three oil producers. You have Russia at just over 10 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia just below 10

million barrels a day. They actually cut production, because prices started to weaken. And you have the United States now at 8.5 million

barrels a day. That, you wouldn't see a level like that since 1986, that's how far the United States has come. In the 1986, that oil bust going down

to $6, $7 a barrel, that's when they had the big oil boom in Texas, then the bust.

The United States has come back into play.

Now there's an interesting comparison that was out there from the International Energy Agency that the United States, if you add oil, ethane

and propane gas, it is actually toe to toe with Saudi Arabia today at 11.5 million barrels a day.

Now what does this mean? It means less reliance on the United States for the Middle East. So it reduces the power of the Middle East producers.

But particularly the players in the Americas like Mexico and in particular Venezuela. You know, they don't have good relations with Washington, now

the U.S. doesn't have to import as much from Venezuela. So where does Venezuela put that oil? Potentially into the Asian markets over time.

FOSTER: It's an interesting power shift, isn't it?

And normally when there are internal problems in the Middle East, it tends to have an impact on oil prices. Why aren't we seeing that with this

latest crisis with ISIS?

DEFTERIOS: Yeah, fair point. In fact, in my 20 years of covering energy I've never see it like this. Not only are we seeing a softness in

prices, but a 15 percent drop since June. There's a couple of different factors at play. Number one is the U.S. production. Number two, we see

the weakness in the European Union, concern a bout China right now, protests in Hong Kong, but potentially weakness from Chinese demand. And

number three, there's a lot of oil around in the Middle East, because the U.S. is producing so much.

Now, if you go back to 2008 when Iran was suggesting they would shut down the Straits of Hormuz, we saw oil prices go from $100 a barrel in

January 2008 to almost $150 a barrel in June 2008. That's a sort of shock.

I was in Fujairah, which is south of the Straits of Hormuz, just a week ago and the suggestion now is not concerns about shutting the Straits

of Hormuz or the war in Iraq or the war in Syria, there's just plentiful oil. And the view is there's plenty of oil in the pipeline. Here's a

trader and manager from Fujairah and what he had to say.


MALEK AZIZEH, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, FUJAIRAH OIL TERMINAL: There is capacity of increase in case the world needs it. And that hasn't -- that's

tin my opinion the reason why you haven't seen crude prices just go through the roof.


DEFTERIOS: So prices are not going through the roof.

And if necessary, let's say if the war spiraled out of control with ISIS and the production in Syria and the production in Iraq, Saudi Arabia,

because it has so much spare capacity could add another 2.5 million barrels a day.

So not the panic that we saw during the first Gulf War or the Iran- Iraq War, or the threat of shutting down the Straits of Hormuz. At least the view right now is there's plenty of oil around, particularly with the

U.S. production.

FOSTER: But in terms of the power bases here in this region, they rely on oil, don't they, for that power? So they must be concerned that

this market is not really working in their favor right now.

DEFTERIOS: Concerned, but no panic is the best way to describe it.

I talked to a very senior source here in the UAE last week while I was in Fujairah and they describe the fact that let's not forget that the Gulf

producers can produce oil at $4 to $8 a barrel. The prevailing price right now is $95 a barrel. There's a camp growing within OPEC here in the Gulf

nations let's put pressure on the newcomers to the market, the United States, Canada with the tar sands, Venezuela, deep water Brazil. It costs

$60 to $70 a barrel. If the price continues to go down, it puts the squeeze on those players and not the players here in the Gulf.

That could be the geopolitics playing out there. Why should the Gulf producers cut production to protect $90 a barrel when others have to pay

more to get it out of the ground.

FOSTER: Interesting. John, thank you very, very much indeed.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. We'll have the global headlines for you in just a few moments, but first we're off the Munich to

see how tech giant Siemens is building a base to be proud of in the Bavarian capital.



DEFTERIOS: An old tradition lives on in Germany's construction trade, the senior craftsman on site reads from a scroll, makes a toast, and

shatters his glass to wish a smooth completion for what will be the new Munich headquarters of Siemens.

A giant crown, adorned with ribbon, is hoisted up to mark the completion of the building's concrete shell.

The ceremony caps a morning of speeches and a tour with the project manager and the Bavarian city's mayor.

THOMAS BRAUN, REAL ESTATE: Siemens is committed to Munich and hat was always the case. So there was no intention to change that even Munich is

not that big like other big cities in the world.

DEFTERIOS: Ralph Thomas, the CFO of the industrial giant of some 362,000 people said it went out of its way to design a building that fits

into a city only four times its size.

This project represents much more than just a structure. Positioned as a leader in green building technologies, Siemens had to ensure that the

new HQ represents that core brand value.

The result will be a state of the art so-called microlocation that will serve as a bridge from the posh greener straza (ph) to the Academy of

Fine Arts. The historical facade will remain, but the ground floor will be wide open to the public.

KLAUS TROLOBURG, SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER: It is a way of being part of the city, it is also a way of inviting people in and say for Siemens that

we want to show ourselves, we want to you to have an idea of what is going on here.

DEFTERIOS: So it's accessibility is what we're seeing.


DEFERIOS: That, Siemens officials say, is a nod to openness and transparency. After a string of bribery scandals dating back to 2006.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Siemens has changed. Siemens is more open and more transparent and more committed to the people. They're also the

working environment has changed a lot.

DEFTERIOS: At 45,000 square meters, it makes a strong statement in a highly rated city center that has less than a 4 percent office vacancy


Siemens has helped support a three-year boom in property prices.

DANIEL CZIBULAS, MANAGING DIRECTOR: It's an interesting building and a very unique building, a very environmentally friendly building. And so

it's a good commitment from a big company that they stay in Munich and invest that much money.

DEFTERIOS: And even though a handful of big German blue chips like Siemens call Bavaria home, prime rents still remain half the price of




FOSTER: This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour.

A local Iraqi official says ISIS fighters have taken over a town 80 kilometers northwest of Baghdad. He says the militant group pushed out

Iraqi soldiers from a base in Albu Aytha (ph) and seized a large cache of weapons left behind.

We now know an intruder who jumped the fence at the White House earlier this month actually made it deeper into the building than initially

thought. He was armed with a knife.

U.S. lawmakers want to know how the security breach happened. And are holding a hearing on the subject right now. The director of the Secret

Service told them the incident was unacceptable and she says she takes full responsibility.

Afghanistan has finally signed a new security agreement with the U.S. The deal will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond the end of

the year. Former president Hamid Karzai had negotiated the deal, but later backed out. If the new agreement hadn't been signed, all U.S. troops would

have withdrawn in December.

A crowd of thousands is defying heavy rain in Hong Kong to continue a pro-democracy protest. They're also defying a demand from the region's

chief executive to end the demonstrations. The protesters want Beijing to loosen its grip on local elections. And they want Hong Kong's leader to

step down.

If you ever visit Hong Kong, one of the first things you'll notice is the love and pride people have for their city. It's a passion that is

particularly strong among Hong Kong's youth. They grew up as power shifted from Britain to China, but whoever is in charge, they know there's no where

on earth quite like home.

Andrew Stevens spoke to some of the young protesters about their vision for Hong Kong's future.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely I think the main target is to have democracy, a true democracy. And for more detail, this is a very important

time for Hong Kongers to have a really true democracy system like we should not accept a political reform that has a selective system.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK, so you want full universal suffrage for the nomination of the candidates and the election.

We've seen the police response with pepper spray and tear gas once. Does it worry you that it could happen again, or it will happen again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course I'm afraid that it will happen again. And I'm not sure (inaudible) prepared. And I have no fear, because the

people have already experienced that and I have no fear. I am with them.

STEVENS: Have you seen anything like this, this sort of movement among the students of Hong Kong before? Have you seen them this united?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never seen some -- this scene in Hong Kong before. But it's -- it is similar to the student movement in China 25

years ago.

STEVENS: You're talking about Tiananmen Square.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Yeah. I'm talking about in Tiananmen Square.

STEVENS: Do you really think that you can change Beijing's mind?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think at least we can change Hong Kong people's mind, because some people still think that this movement is

letting Hong Kong to move on or damaging the economics. And I think this movement shows our determination and I hope we can touch them and let more

Hong Kongers to come out and fight for true democracy.

STEVENS: Were you surprised by the Hong Kong police action with the pepper spray, the tear gas? Did that surprise you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, really, because this is not -- this is not fair decision for them to use such weapon, because we are just sitting

here. We are peaceful. We didn't do any--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, actually, I'm not surprised, because I know what they should do. They should -- they are ordered to have this

action. So I'm not surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I've never seen this before. So I am surprised.


FOSTER: Well, it's unfortunate that not all Hong Kongers support the protest movement. There are pro-Beijing groups there, too, such as the

Silent Majority for Hong Kong, which has held its own rallies. And some people worry about what long-term effects these mass protests could have.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that democracy is valuable to everyone, but it should be step-by-step. And it cannot be damaged or wound the

economy of Hong Kong. Hong Kong should be stable. Everything should be stable. I don't want the stock market or the property market down to a

horrible level.


FOSTER: We're going to get the very latest from the scene for you right now because Kristie Lu Stout is standing by in Hong Kong. Hi,


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Max. And I have to tell you, in the 14 years I've lived here in Hong Kong, I've

never seen anything like this, a sea of pro-democracy protesters taking over what looks like an eight-lane highway and on-ramp there, as well as

blocks and blocks down that direction, all in the name of electoral reform, all in the name of democracy.

I'm standing in the main protest site in the district of Admiralty, as well as the district of Central right over there. Just to give you a

little bit of context, this is where the Hong Kong government headquarters is based. This is where Hong Kong police headquarters is based, not far

from here.

And so, the People's Liberation Army is based in Hong Kong as well. Of course, this is a very critical business hub as well.

Now, we can look at just this sea of protesters are calling for electoral reform behind me, but do they represent the will and the spirit

of the entire territory? Let's dig into that now with my guest, David Zweig. He's the chair professor at Chinese University --



STOUT: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, forgive me.

ZWEIG: That's OK, I'm used to it.

STOUT: Oh, yes, but we're good friends.

ZWEIG: Usually it's Hong Kong U.

STOUT: We've known each other for a while.


STOUT: My apologies for that.


STOUT: But when you look at this incredible scene. We talked about this is such a festival atmosphere, so many people are out here. Does this

reflect all of Hong Kong?

ZWEIG: Well, no, it doesn't. It wasn't so long ago that the people who opposed Occupy Central organized their own referendum and they claimed

to get 1.5 million votes. I think there's a lot of people in Hong Kong who are worried about this or who just think it's not worthwhile, it's not

going to achieve anything.

But then, this is the spirit of students. And if you say does this represent the spirit of the students of Hong Kong, I would say most

definitely. I -- today in class, I normally have 26 people in my 400, my senior-level seminar, and I only had 8 students. They all had sent me e-

mail messages saying that they were going to be here.

STOUT: A number of your students are here participating --

ZWEIG: I'm sure they are. I haven't seen them, but I'm sure they're here.

STOUT: You were here on Sunday, when the teargas was fired.

ZWEIG: Right.

STOUT: Why did the government -- why did the police feel compelled to do that, and was that a miscalculation?

ZWEIG: Well, I think what they thought they could do -- I was over in Central, and what I think they thought they could do was drive from Central

all the way back and get here and then push people away.

But when we were over there and we got teargassed, there were only about 300, 400 people standing in front of the police. So, they were able

to clear Central. But when they started -- I assume, because I didn't stick around, because I had -- I was crying, so I decided to go home and

find my mummy, because I was crying.

STOUT: Because of the teargas.

ZWEIG: Yes. But when -- I think that they wanted to try and come all the way over here, but I think the numbers were just too many and there

just weren't enough police to pull it off.

STOUT: All throughout this evening, I have been listening to sporadic chants of "C.Y., Stand Down." "C.Y. Resign." What's your gauge on how the

chief executive, the top leader in Hong Kong, has been handling the situation, and what is his political fate?

ZWEIG: Right. Well, I think he hasn't been handling it very well, largely because he hasn't met the students. There's no effort to establish

any kind of dialogue. There's just -- "You're illegal, I'm not going to deal with you, and I'm the power and I'm the authority, and I don't have to

deal with you."

And a 15-minute press conference today and basically saying, "Get out of the square," rather than -- even not even coming here, but maybe

inviting some of the people, like Li Peng back in 1989 inviting people to come. So, I think that's a real mistake. I think the fact that they

haven't established a dialogue.

His future, I think, is not so bright. I think that -- but he won't go down now. I don't think they'll make him step down. I think when Tung

Chee Hwa, after the 2003 half a million people march, and 400,000 people marched in 2004. Finally, in 2005, he stepped down for health reasons. I

assume that they're not going to let C.Y. Leung last until 2017.

But he raised an issue which is really interesting, which is if he steps down ahead of time, before 2017, then the electoral committee of 1500

people might be the group that elects the next chief executive rather than everybody having one vote.

So, he's sort of waving that in front of the citizens of Hong Kong and saying, "If you want me out, you don't get universal suffrage, so you

should let me stay here until 2017 and then you'll get universal suffrage."

STOUT: "If you want me out, it won't be on your terms, one person, one vote, and your ability to select --"


ZWEIG: Right, well there --

STOUT: "-- who's going to be able to stand."

ZWEIG: Right, they'll lose that opportunity, which he thinks is a valuable one, and I don't disregard it. I think it's not a bad --

STOUT: We have to widen the conversation just a little bit.


STOUT: How is Beijing watching all of this?

ZWEIG: Very closely. I'm sure they're watching it very closely. I'm sure the Xi Jinping is very upset about this. Tomorrow is the 65th

anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. This is not good for his face, just like it's not good for C.Y. Leung's face, and I

think it's not good for the entire Politburo Standing Committee

But in particular, on his watch, and another leader, Zhang Dejiang, who's responsible for Hong Kong affairs, I think on their watch, this is

not such a good thing for them to have happen.

STOUT: How are they going to react?

ZWEIG: Well, I'm surprised, to be honest, Kristie, I was much -- I was really concerned the night that we got hit with -- that they were

hitting the students with teargas, I thought -- that was the 28th. I thought either the 29th or the 30th, they would clear everybody out and

that it wouldn't be very nice. How un-nice, I didn't know, but I thought they would not tolerate this.

So, I was surprised when after the teargas happened that Carrie Lam almost apologized, that the number two person in the government, that Fanny

Law said this was a -- who's a pretty hard-liner, she said this was wrong.

And then we really -- then the police just disappeared. The riot police just disappeared, and we haven't seen them, which is one of the

reasons why everybody's here without gas masks, without plastic across their face, like they were on Sunday.

And that really surprised me. And so, I really don't know how they're going to react. I think they're trying to be understanding and trying to

not create another Tiananmen Square. I think they're very worried about that. And so, I think they're trying to hold back from using force.

And they really do hope that the students will just understand that they've made their point, go home. Don't sit here for weeks on end,

because at that point, something bad could really happen. That's what happened back in 89. I think the students should -- Sunday should get out

of here.

STOUT: But it doesn't look like they're going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, we're going to have to leave it at that. David Zweig of

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, thank you very much for joining me here.

An interesting point was raised just then, was the level of tolerance that we've seen from Chinese authorities. In fact, yesterday, that was

what we saw not far from here, a Chinese flag, the red flag of the People's Republic of China, flying upside-down. An incredible affront to Beijing,

and yet tolerated by Chinese authorities.

But how long will this go on for? That's a good question. Max, send it back to you.

FOSTER: Kristie, thank you. Kristie, Ivan Watson, and their teams are going to amazing lengths to report on these protests for you, but

somehow, amid it all, they are finding time to take photographs as well.

We've collected these scenes from the field and put them on a special section of our website. The singular moments that you don't always see on

news reports. Find it all at

Now, gay rights are taking center stage in Brazil's hotly-contested presidential race. The first round of voting is set for Sunday, and while

opinion polls show incumbent Dilma Rousseff leading the contender Marina Silva, a run-off is expected. Shasta Darlington has more, now, for you

from Sao Paulo.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN BRAZIL BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): A tender moment at a wedding that saw 12 gay and lesbian couples march down the

aisle and declare "I do" in a ceremony three years ago. For Reverend Cristiano and his parishioners, gay rights are a big issue in upcoming

presidential election.

"We don't tell people who to vote for," he says, "but we always say vote against homophobia and vote for people committed to all human rights."

But even he's surprised at just how much play gay rights are getting ahead of the October 5 ballot, thanks largely to Marina Silva, the

socialist party candidate known for her green politics and evangelical devotion. When she unveiled her government program, it vowed to support

proposals defending same-sex marriage.

Popular televangelist Silas Malafaia lambasted Silva on Twitter. In less than 24 hours, Silva reworded the program to refer vaguely to same-sex


President Dilma Rousseff, who's been falling in the polls, seized on the gaffe and declared that if reelected, she would push through a law

criminalizing homophobia.

Gay rights have long been central for some parties. The Socialism and Freedom Party features same-sex kisses in its TV ads. Jean Wyllys, the

country's first openly-gay lawmaker, says mainstream politicians are going after the protest vote, but the result is positive.

"I'm happy, even though there are preconceptions," he says. "People are debating these issues in bars and coffee shops and on social networks."

People here just hope those electoral promises are met.

DARLINGTON (on camera): Many gay and lesbian weddings have been celebrated right here in this church, but parishioners tell us they want a

law that makes the marriage between two people of the same sex legal.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.


FOSTER: Just ahead, Syria says it wants to be part of the coalition against ISIS, but some analysts say how can Syria be part of the solution

when it created the problem? We'll hear from one of them

And a magical monsoon of the Arabian Desert. Tonight, spectacular Parting Shots just a few minutes away.


FOSTER: Welcome back. Part of the US-led mission to dismantle and destroy ISIS is to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but Syria says

that would only make matters worse. Syria's deputy prime minister laid out that case at the UN General Assembly.


AL-WALID AL-MOUALEM, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF SYRIA (through translator): This is a real recipe for the increase of violence and

terrorism and the bloodshed -- and Syrian bloodshed and prolonging the Syrian crisis and demolishing the political solution.

This behavior creates a fertile ground for the growth of those terrorist groups that commit the most heinous crimes on Syrian territories,

which requires all of us to seriously and effectively address and eradicate this terrorism in order to reestablish security and stability in Syria and

the region.


FOSTER: Our next guest says Syria's offer to help in the war against ISIS is pure snake oil. Faisal Al Yafai is chief columnist for "The

National." He joins me now. Thank you very much for joining us. What do you mean by "snake oil?"

FAISAL AL YAFAI, CHIEF COLUMNIST, "THE NATIONAL": Well, this speech by Walid al-Moualem, the foreign minister, was just him peddling this brand

of Assad snake oil. The idea that they, having created the conditions for ISIL, can now provide the solution, the cure for the ailment, absolutely

ridiculous and morally repugnant.

When they talk about heinous crimes, the heinous crimes that have been committed in Syria have been committed by the Assad regime over the last

three years.

FOSTER: But if you look at the aim of both parties, as it were, it's the same. Can we not work on that particular issue, the ISIS issue,


AL YAFAI: Well, take a small example. Take Raqqa. Raqqa is the city in the northeast of Syria where ISIL have their stronghold. Now, ISIL have

been flying the black flag of ISIL over Raqqa for a year. If the Assad regime wanted to destroy them, they could have done it easily.

But they didn't. They went after the moderate groups, allowing ISIL to fester and grow. How can you work with such a regime?

FOSTER: It happened, but they didn't necessarily want that to happen, right? It's something that happens -- it was an unintended consequence of

what they were doing.

AL YAFAI: Well, I disagree. I don't believe that was the case. I think if you look at the evidence of them systematically --


FOSTER: They don't want ISIS, they're being honest about that.

AL YAFAI: That's not true, I think. They do want ISIS. They would rather have these ungoverned spaces with extremist groups that do not

target them rather than have the foreign rebels -- sorry, the FSA rebels in control.

FOSTER: But if it gets out of control, they've got a problem on their hands. They want to keep a lid on it.

AL YAFAI: Only if -- sorry to interrupt. Only if ISIL turn their guns on the Assad regime, which they haven't done so far.

FOSTER: What do you think the strategy is with speeches like the one we had at the UN? Because they're confusing messages, aren't they?

They're talking the same language as many of the coalition partners. Are they just being clever, or are they trying genuinely to get involved?

AL YAFAI: Oh, no. It's just smoke and mirrors. When Walid al- Moualem talked about terrorism, he said, "We cannot talk about peace in Syria until we get rid of terrorism." Terrorism is the language, is the

word they've been using for three years to describe the rebels. It's the word they use to describe protesters who they massacred when they were

calling for legitimate rights in 2011.

FOSTER: Despite best efforts of various powers around the world, the Syrian regime is in place and it increasingly looks likely that it's going

to stay in place. There's no major strategy to move them out. So, isn't the best solution from here actually to find some way of working with them?

Because the best solution for the people of that country is to find a solution.

AL YAFAI: Well, my view, which I express in the column, is that both -- it would be both morally repugnant to work with a regime that has

slaughtered its own people, barrel bombs, rape squads, chemical weapons. Morally repugnant.

FOSTER: If the strategy isn't mean to go into Damascus and take them out, then surely they need to be working with them.

AL YAFAI: Sure, but there's one other point, which is that even if we start to work with them, they would be working with us on their own terms.

They have no interest in helping us create a stable Middle East. They have only an interest in keeping Bashar al-Assad in power.

FOSTER: In terms of the European part of the coalition, they're only involved in Iraq because they've been invited in by Iraq. Under

international law, they feel that that wouldn't be acceptable in Syria. Isn't that part of the problem, though? If you said to Syria, actually

invite us in, then you could have a more powerful coalition there? So, that's one way in which they could work with Syria.

AL YAFAI: Perhaps. The question is whether the Assad regime would risk having troops on the ground, planes in the air above their cities.

They already have it around those areas that they have lost control of. They have it over Aleppo, when the US bombed the Khorasan group. But at

the moment, they haven't had this sort of coordination.

FOSTER: But they -- no one's looking at boots on the ground anyway. So, it would be the air mission, similar to they had in Iraq, where they've

had more success, right?

AL YAFAI: The boots on the ground would be either the Peshmerga Kurds or the Iraqi -- or perhaps the FSA.

FOSTER: At what point do you start engaging, though, with the Syrian regime if you're accepting that they're going to stay there? Is there


AL YAFAI: There is an a priori question, and that question to me is this: do we work with a murderous regime or do we seek to remove it and

replace it with something better? This is a very straightforward question.

If we wanted to work with a murderous regime, we could work with ISIL. ISIL already control places and areas and cities. So, if we say, well,

we're going to work with whoever as long as it serves our real politic, than I think we could work with ISIL.

But we cannot. A mutant ideology such as the one ISIL espouses, such as the murderous ideology of Assad, cannot be negotiated.

FOSTER: Well, then, why isn't the strategy then to remove the regime?

AL YAFAI: This is a question, and I wish we could direct it to the people in the White House. It's one that I've been arguing for for the

last two, three years. It is one that should have occurred two -- a year ago when chemical weapons were used against civilian populations.

FOSTER: But that would need ground troops.

AL YAFAI: It could've been done previously with a no-fly zone. Now, as the conflict on the ground has become more complicated, yes, it might

involve further action.

FOSTER: European partners wouldn't go in on that, probably, because they wouldn't see it as legal, so it would be the US on its own. They

wouldn't want to go in on its own.

AL YAFAI: Truthfully, these are all hypotheticals at the moment, because it is possible to find other ways of moving the conflict forward.

You could, perhaps, have no-fly zones on the borders with Turkey. You could use the Turks in the northern part of Syria. It doesn't necessarily

mean that you have to have a rerun of what happened in Iraq.

I don't expect to be able to articulate to you the strategy, because I don't especially have one. The worrying thing, though, is that neither the

West nor the Arab countries seem to have a strategy.

FOSTER: OK. Faisal, thank you very much, indeed.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the Arabia Desert near Salalah, Oman, is one of the hottest places in the world, but

every year a unique monsoon transforms the normally arid land into one of the greenest places in the Middle East. Your Parting Shots are next.


FOSTER: An exciting play from American football last night, but what happens at the end had critics accusing the league of double standards.

You're watching Kansas City Chiefs player Hussein Abdullah intercept a pass and run it back for a touchdown.

Now, Abdullah is a devout Muslim, and at the end of the run, he appears to drop to his knees in prayer. A penalty followed for what the

referee termed "unsportsmanlike conduct."

That had many fans turning to social media to note how Christian players are never penalized for looking up or kneeling in prayer. Football

officials now say Abdullah should not have been penalized since the rule was never meant to include religious expression.

This is one of the most popular stories on the special section of our website. Do log onto to leave your thoughts on that.

Now, in our Parting Shots, we want to take you to one of the most spectacular and unusual places in all of the Middle East, southern Oman,

where every year a powerful monsoon transform the landscape, turning the normally dry deserts completely green. "Inside the Middle East" producer

Jon Jensen has more.


JON JENSEN, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Every summer in southern Oman, a unique weather pattern sweeps through the desert. It's called the

Khareef, or monsoon. Cool winds that completely transform this once-arid land. And we set out to capture that.

JENSEN (on camera): We are now in Jebel Qamar, it's a mountain just to the west of Salalah. We're actually about 12 miles of east of Yemen.

And as you can see, it looks more like a rain forest in South American than the Arabian peninsula. There's no desert here. The trees are just covered

in mist and water, and in the background, there's this heavy fog. It's spectacular, I've never seen anything like this in Arabia.

JENSEN (voice-over): Our challenge was how do you visualize a monsoon, or film it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's certainly getting wet up here.

JENSEN: The fog and mist are not especially good on camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's quite spectacular, but it's also quite restrictive, because we can probably only see about 50, 60 meters in each

direction. So, you've got to pick the right spots, I suppose. But it does add an element of drama to it.

JENSEN: Yes, but to really illustrate the drama, we needed more perspective, to get higher, above the clouds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going up will be serious business.

JENSEN (on camera): Yes, coming down's the easy part, right?

JENSEN (voice-over): Especially with over 50 pounds of camera gear.

JENSEN (on camera): You were right, it was much easier on the way down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How often do you do this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I used to do it a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once is enough, I think.


JENSEN (voice-over): It was worth it, though.


JENSEN: Because this is what we captured. Time lapse of a cloud forming. And a perfect way to visualize a monsoon that completely

transforms this dramatic landscape.


FOSTER: And you can find out more about southern Oman and the people that live there on Wednesday on "Inside the Middle East." That's at 1:30

PM here in Abu Dhabi, 10:30 AM in London.

The team at CONNECT THE WORLD do want to hear from you,, have your say. You can also tweet me

@MaxFosterCNN. That is CONNECT THE WORLD for today, thank you very much, indeed, for watching.