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CONNECT THE WORLD
How Berlin Has Changed Since The Wall Came Down; U.S. Strikes At Non-ISIS Terrorist Targets Inside Syria; Couple Starts Organization To Help Save Lives At Sea; Will Republican Controlled Congress Mean Shift In U.S. Foreign Policy?; Doing Business in India; Crude Concerns; Expanding Egypt's Economy; Petroleum and Preservation
Aired November 6, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: This burning vehicle in Syria's Idlib Province said to be the latest aftermath of a coalition airstrike. This hour, we'll
look at the target in the crosshairs and the dispute over just which rebel groups are being hit.
Also ahead, fresh off Republican domination in U.S. midterm elections, we'll examine which of these potential candidates is best positioned to
make a run for the White House.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. 8:00 here in the UAE.
A possible major blow to the al Qaeda affiliated militant group Khorosan in Syria. A U.S. defense official says a key bombmaker for the
group is believed to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike near Idlib.
Now officials say French national David Drugeon likely eluded U.S. airstrikes on Khorosan targets back in September. U.S. intelligence
officials believe he was instrumental in facilitating the movement of western jihadists to Syria and back to Europe. Officials say there were a
total of five airstrikes using both drones and fighter jets.
Well, there are other reported attacks against militant groups in Syria. Nick Paton Walsh joining us live from southern Turkey with more
And is it clear at this point, Nick, who or what these strikes were targeting? There seems to be very little clarity at this point.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. CENTCOM, Central Command has just put out a press release in which they say
the five airstrikes were targeting the Khorosan group and its bombmaking infrastructure, a key part of its infrastructure.
Now we know about David Drugeon, the French jihadist. I have to say Khorosan and the French jihadist not names that have necessarily been
particularly key in discussion of Nusra in the past months or so. Drugeon's name first surfacing, in fact, when there were suggestions he
might have been a rogue Fench intelligence agent who'd in fact joined Nusra. That's key.
But what we're looking at now are people on the ground. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in fact analyzing these claims and saying that
the targets were a Nusra headquarters, a Nusra vehicle, but also a headquarters for the group Ahrar al-Sham.
Now, Ahrar al-Sham are not linked to al Qaeda, are not par of the Nusra Front and not pledged allegiance to al Qaeda and are not on a U.S.
So, a view from the ground from ground for many Syrians is that one of the airstrikes hit a more moderate Syrian group Ahrar al-Sham who in fact
many of them have a degree of affinity towards -- they consider them to be their protectors in the civil war against the regime.
So, the U.S. very clear in its statement that it was not targeting Nusra as a whole, it was not targeting anybody in response to Nusra's
recent land grab from Syrian moderate rebels that happened in the last week. They were just after the Khorosan Group.
But I have to say, the Khorosan Group, until they were first hit at the beginning of the Syrian air campaign, didn't really feature much in
rhetoric internally inside Syria, or in U.S. intelligence reports.
But it appears to be the target of these strikes and so the U.S. wasting no time to justify these strikes and potentially assuage any
irritation at them inside Syria amongst Syrian rebel and civilian ranks by saying they were simply after the Khorosan Group, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, all right, Nick.
Well, I guess the next question is simply this, just how significant is this latest action? And what might the consequences of it be?
WALSH: Well, David Drugeon, it seems is dead, according to U.S. officials. The Khorosan group may be dented somewhat. Let's say they
weren't a massive player in terms of what was happening inside Syria. The U.S. very wary about their potential to attack the United States.
What has happened is a lot of people are confused as to why Ahrar al- Sham was hit. The building hit was a clear well known local headquarters of them, so very few Syrians in doubt, but that could have been a mistake.
And the U.S. saying they were going after the Khorosan Group. It's entirely possible that Nusra members the U.S. wanted, or Khorosan members
the U.S. wanted were in that building at that time and that could explain the targeting.
But yet again, I think it's emphasized in the minds of some Syrians that in fact Ahrar al-Sham was the target of the United States. And the
U.S. is, in fact, looking to hit Syrian rebels who they see as their protectors, assisting them in the fight against the Syrian regime. And of
course those groups that are more militarily successful inside Syria -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh reporting for you.
Well, more details emerging about Wednesday's escalation of violence in Jerusalem. The wife of a Palestinian van driver suspected of killing an
Israeli policeman and injuring several others says he was prompted into action by clashes earlier in the day at the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque. Erin
McLaughlin has the story.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: this morning I spoke to the wife of Ibrahim al Akari, the man believed to be behind what Israeli officials
are calling a terrorist attack on a tram station in Jerusalem yesterday. The attack that left some 13 people injured and one member of the Israeli
border police dead.
Now, his wife told me that she believes it was an act of revenge. She says that al Akari had been watching television in the morning and had seen the
clashes that were unfolding at the al Aqsa mosque. And while she says she didn't know what he was going to do next, she told me she believes the
attack was justified.
Now, tensions surrounding the site have been increasing. It's known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount. And
there have been increasing suspicions among senior members of the Muslim community that something could happen to what's called the status quo of
the site, and the status quo is that Israeli Jews are allowed to visit the site but they are not allowed to pray there.
And while Israeli government officials as early as this morning reiterating the position that the status quo will not change, the
increasing pace of visits from members of the far right as well as restrictions being placed -- or that have been placed in the past on access
to site have members of the Muslim community concerned. And Jordan yesterday recalled its ambassador to Israel and says that it's referring
the matter to the U.N. security council.
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: Turkey also reportedly calling for UN security council action over what is happening around that al Aqsa Mosque. A semi-official
news agency in Turkey says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to approach the security council about stopping Israeli attacks in the vicinity.
And another update related to the ever complex Israeli Palestinian situation, the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands has opted
not to prosecute Israel for a raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship four-and-a-half years ago that left eight Turks and an American dead. The latest on that.
Well, more now on our coverage of the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It stood as a divider of East and West Berlin for 28 years.
When it came down 25 years ago it united the city. And that event still bringing people together. Visitors from around the world are heading to
Berlin for Sunday's anniversary celebrations.
Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen spent his childhood in the city and is back there now for this weekend's anniversary.
And for those who don't know the city how much has it changed since you were a kid and since the wall was up? And what's the mood like ahead
of this weekend?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONA CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, actually it's changed in many ways. Not only has it grown together a lot more, but
the other thing that's happened is that it's turned from a basically almost a small town on the perimeter, even though it always had a lot of people
living in it, so it turned from almost a small town on the perimeter, on the front line, into a real metropolis.
If you went here in 1990 or 1992, there was some construction picking up, but there weren't many people living here at all. There was almost no
traffic. There were almost no cars on the road, especially in the east. A lot of the buildings were very desolate. It really felt like a sort of
backwater kind of area that no one really wanted to be in.
Also there were no major companies that actually had their headquarters or anything here.
But now all of that has changed. There's a big tech sector that's growing right now. A lot of the infrastructure is in place now. The
buildings are starting to come up and a lot of the looks really, really great. A lot of their renovation and restoration efforts have been done
over the past 25 years and the city is growing together more and more, even though now, of course, for these 25 -- for the 25th anniversary of the fall
of the wall right now that division is coming back, because of course that light installation that's going to mark the main event of that fall of the
wall anniversary is being set up right now so a lot of the roads between East an West are being shut down once again to put up those lamps that are
going to be there for that celebration.
And so right now traffic is quite difficult and you can feel that more and more people are coming into the city, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin for you.
Well, CNN was there when the Berlin Wall fell, when the political landscape of Europe changed from the Baltics to the Balkans. And we are
there now to see how those changes are changes are still being felt and where you can still see signs of what is a bygone era.
Join Jim Clancy, Fred and Hala Gorani for special reports live from Berlin. CNN has coverage all weekend long kicking off at 5:00 p.m. Central
European Time on Friday, that's 8:00 p.m. here in the UAE. If that is where you are watching only on CNN.
Still to come tonight on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, millions of people in -- of Turkish origin now live in Germany. We'll
explore the roll they've played in building a modern country and how Germany could help determine the future of Turkey.
And the Republicans are already looking at some potential presidential contenders in the United States. Just days after their big win in midterm
elections. We're going to take a look at that story after this.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now the dust hasn't even settled on the results of the U.S. midterm elections, but the talk of the town in Washington now is who will run in
the next presidential election?
Let's kick off with Brianna Keilar who has a look at some of the potential candidates for 2016.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The race for the White House begins after a huge night for Republicans
including those eyeing a presidential bid. Like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is stumping and winning GOP contests across the country has
earned him more 2016 speculation.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I'm incredibly flattered, but this morning what I feel is incredible pride in really great candidates
across the country.
KEILAR: Ohio governor, John Kasich, another possible contender cruised to reelection and Governor Scott Walker won a close race in Wisconsin
hinting he might run for the presidency as a Washington outsider.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: That's the difference between Washington and Wisconsin. They're all against something. We are for
KEILAR: But the intra-party scuffles are already under way. Walker ticked off at Christie who chairs the Republican Governor's Association for
not sending more money his way, Christie scuffling with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on foreign policy.
And Paul taking shots across the aisle, too, asked about the new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's win in his home state, he quickly
turned the conversation to the Democratic frontrunner.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think in Kentucky, it's really a repudiation of the president's policies and also of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton was very active in Kentucky and the interesting thing is she was going to run as a Clinton Democrat.
KEILAR: Now on Paul's Facebook page a photo album called Hillary losers including Alison Lundergan Grimes. Clinton campaigned for her twice
and she lost big, by 16 points. And Democrat Bruce Braley in the important first in the nation caucus state of Iowa. He lost by nine points. While
Clinton campaigned for a key Democratic winner, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, overall, the losses outweighed the successes.
Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
ANDERSON: Well, now the Republicans will control the U.S. Senate as well as the House, they will likely try to push through some changes,
particularly on the economy and on health care. Watch out for foreign policy as well.
Joining me now from Washington to talk about that is the former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
We know on the Democrat side a potential contender for the 2016 election for president will be Hillary Clinton who has quite some
experience in foreign policy, not least as the secretary of state in Obama's first term.
Ahead of that, and over the next two years, where do these Republicans stand on foreign policy?
P.J. CROWLEY, FRM. U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Well, I certainly think that the tone up on the Hill, particularly in the Senate, will
obviously change as Republicans take over committee leadership. I think two areas of substance where you might see some greater activity on the
Senate. You know, one would be as the president hinted yesterday authorities regarding the military struggle in Syria and in Iraq. They
might agree on expanded authorities, but obviously after that I'm sure the Republicans will have a critique of the president's policy you know towards
the Islamic State.
And the other area, obviously is Iran. We're approaching a very important, you know, negotiating deadline in late November. I think the
president was going to have trouble getting 60 senators to agree on an Iran -- on what to do about Iran or that an agreement would be good enough. And
obviously that's going to come, I think, a much more difficult calculation.
And the president was non-committal yesterday in terms of whether -- a, there can an agreement and then, b, if there's an agreement what role
congress will play in that.
ANDERSON: Interesting, P.J.
A lot of people in this region believe that the Iranian talks that you've alluded to on November 24 are sort of holding up U.S. policy to a
certain extent on what happens next so far as Syria is concerned, mindful that Tehran and Damascus obviously have a very close relationship.
There is also, of course, much talk about whether there will ever be boots on the ground in Syria and or Iraq. There's been talk that some
Republicans do want to make big changes to U.S. foreign policy particularly in the Middle East.
Former congressman Ron Paul, P.J., the father of Senator Rand Paul, sent out this tweet on election day, "Republican control of the Senate
equals expanded neo-con wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming."
What's your reaction to that?
CROWLEY: Well, the president -- any president is the executor of U.S. foreign policy subject to limitations from congress, particularly with
regards to funding. So, congress can't deploy troops, only the president can do that.
I don't think there's -- I think there are multiple ideas here in Washington about what to do about the Islamic State. I don't think any of
them necessarily involve boots on the ground in the sense of making this the United State's fight on the ground. You could probably have some
disagreements over levels of advisers, but I think the president's strategy is that ultimately you have to find Iraqi forces, Syrian forces and I don't
think there's a sentiment in Washington that's different on that across the aisle.
ANDERSON: P.J. finally if you were at State still and you were having to mind the narrative, as it were, about what is going on so far as U.S.
policy is concerned, particularly in Syria given what we've seen on the ground with airstrikes against a number of groups it seems, some of whom
are ISIS and targets that the U.S. has gone after and has designated as terror groups, others perhaps not. How would you be managing things if ---
I guess my question is simply this, if looks like a mess from outside. Is it?
CROWLEY: Well, it is -- it's a struggle. I think the president has a reasonable strategy. It's got a major hole in it as to what is ultimately
the capability of Iraqi forces and the Free Syrian Army, which obviously have suffered, you know, significant setback in recent days. What is
actually their capability, you know, to either hold ground or retake ground from the Islamic State. That's the long pole in the tent.
I think to your larger question, Becky, having served in the Clinton White House during the second term. In your last two years in office you
look at legacy and then presidents take a look at what can I accomplish in my remaining time?
You know, President Clinton made a very substantial push towards Middle East peace. You know, President Bush towards the Iraqi surge. I do
think that for President Obama, trying to find a way to assure the American people and the world that Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon, put in
place a verification regime to make that assurance in the process avoid yet another conflict in the Middle East, that's something that we'll know in
the coming days and weeks whether that's feasible, how you execute it, what kind of political support you need and then what kind of door that opens up
in terms of being able to work with Iran and others to address these larger issues in the region.
ANDERSON: Yeah, fascinating. P.J. always a pleasure. Thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, as European nations quarrel over who should take responsibility
for a wave of African migrants, one couple has taken it upon themselves to help those migrants find a better future. You're going to hear from them
ANDERSON: Well, each week hundreds of African migrants board boats to make the perilous crossing to Europe in search of a better life. Many of
the boats don't make it to shore, countless people drown in the waters of the Mediterranean, not just from Africa, it has to be said, but from the
Middle East as well. And to our shame, it happens so often that it often goes unreported.
What we do hear about is the hesitancy of some European countries to solve the problem.
Well, as the quarreling continues, a pair of philanthropists have set out to tackle this themselves, to take it on. And this is their story.
ANDERSON: The sparkling waters of the Mediterranean claimed thousands of lives over the past year alone as migrants from Africa and the Middle
East struggle to reach Europe. This fatal reality hit home with Chris and Regina Catrambone when they spotted a man's jacket floating in the sea
while on holiday in Lampadusa.
REGINA CATRAMBONE, CO-FOUNDER, MIGRANT OFFSHORE AID STATION: We feel citizen of the world, so we feel moral and ethical responsibility to help
other people with (inaudible) and to make sure that they will not lose their life trying to start a new one.
ANDERSON: Inspired by the pope's visit, they founded the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a privately funded NGO with a mission to save lives.
The Catrambone's have recently returned from 20 days at sea on board the Pheonix, the MOAS rescue ship.
R. CATRAMBONE: We found many children, one of them was just a few months. When we look in the eyes of these children, we understand that
whatever is happening in their own country or in the country that will guest them, is not their fault.
ANDERSON: Working with rescue services in Italy and in Malta, the Phoenix offers migrants shelter, medical assistance, food, water and
CHRIS CATRAMBONE, CO-FOUNDER, MIGRANT OFFSHORE AID STATION: The majority of these vessels have either been wooden boats packed with people
like sardines. Inside children, under the second deck of these boats that are gasping and suffocating from the fumes of the petroleum that has
spilled on the inside of these boats.
R. CATRAMBONE: If you find a boat in distress in the first 12 hours, the condition is better. Instead, if you find them after 24 hours, some of
them were suffering the scurvy, tuberculosis, they were coughing.
We have different nationality. Many Syrian, Palestinian, Eritrean, Nigeria, different nationalities. Usually, there is a large number of
women and children. Sometimes, instead there are only men on the boats.
ANDERSON: Conflict in the Middle East has increased the number of stateless people to 10 million worldwide. As the number of refugees
continues to increase, those that brave the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean risk much in search of a better life.
R. CATRAMBONE: For them I think it's like Russian roulette. They know that they probably can die, however, there is a big push factor that
is the war, that is the situation in their own country, that push them away.
ANDERSON: A labor of love, the Catrambone's have spent millions on MOAS with operating costs of over $400,00 a month. In need of funding,
they're calling for others to help in their effort to save lives.
C. CATRAMBONE: No one deserves to die at sea. That's what MOAS is about. We have proven that normal people with values can stand up and can
do something in a crisis.
ANDERSON: As the tide of migrants continues to flow towards Europe, Chris and Regina offer hope to the thousands of souls lost at sea.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines -- shaking my head, because it's just so sad -- but good to see that couple at least are helping.
Coming up, Germany celebrates 25 years of unification this weekend, but after the break we're going to look at the divisions that do still
exist in its society.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour here on CNN.
A US Defense official says a key bomb maker for the Khorasan militant group is believed to have been killed in US airstrikes near the Syrian city
of Idlib. Intelligence officials say the French national, David Drugeon, facilitated the movements of Western jihadists to Syria and back to Europe.
New video shows clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Palestinians threw rocks at soldiers, who
responded with teargas. Tensions are high right now over access to a holy site revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Jerusalem.
The drummer for the rock band AC/DC is facing serious criminal charges in New Zealand. Paul Rudd is accused of trying to arrange the murder of
two men. He's also being charged with possession of cannabis and methamphetamines. Rudd did not enter a plea when he appeared in court and
is currently out on bail.
The European Commission says it's teaming up with drug manufacturers to pump an extra $350 million into the development of a vaccine and
medicines to combat Ebola. The EU says that brings its total investment and research to $1.25 billion in Ebola. The latest figures from the World
Health Organization show that more than 4800 people -- sorry, let me do that again -- 4,800 people, sorry, have died from the disease.
Well, back to Germany, now, which is gearing up for a weekend of celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Official events take place on Sunday. Pieces of the so-called "Border of Light" have been put into place to mark where the Berlin Wall once divided
Well, even though Germany is united today, it still is a place where divisions exist within society. Turks represent the biggest foreign
population in Germany. Many of them came under a labor pact to power what was a post-war boom. But integration has sometimes been a problem.
Sule Toktas is professor of political science a the department at Kadir Has University in Istanbul and she joins me now. How would you
describe the integration of the Turkish population, which is a significant minority in Germany?
SULE TOKTAS, PROFESSOR, KADIR HAS UNIVERSITY: Yes. It's been over 50 years that the guest worker agreement had been signed between Germany and
Turkey, and in the years 1961 and 1974, when the pact was terminated, around 650,000 Turks migrated from Turkey to Germany.
And over decades, this labor migration was followed by family unification. And over time, it was followed by refugees and asylum
seekers. And currently, we have, of course, the migration continues with student migration, education migration, expatriate migration.
And currently, 3 million -- around 3.5 million Turks are living in today's Germany. Most of them maintain their Turkish citizenship --
TOKTAS: -- as Germany doesn't offer -- Germany doesn't allow dual citizenship.
ANDERSON: All right.
TOKTAS: That is the main reason.
ANDERSON: And we're looking as we speak at pictures -- I'm sorry. Let me just stop you for a moment, because I just want our viewers, while
you're talking, to understand what we're looking at. We're looking at protest pictures here by Turks in Germany.
What are the biggest issues that the Turkish population faces and that it protests against in living as a migrant or an immigrant population, as
it were, in what is the fastest-growing -- or certainly has been until recently -- the fastest-growing economy in Europe?
TOKTAS: Yes. After the unification of Germany, most of the Turks living in the Western part of Germany had moved to the Eastern part,
because the Eastern part, the housing and the buildings were -- in rental costs, lower, was lower than the Western part.
And we saw a rise in the visibility of the Turkish immigrants in the public sphere in Germany after the 1990s. But this visibility, of course,
was accompanied by, due to the -- similar to the trends of the 1990s rise of extreme nationalism and racism.
TOKTAS: 1990s were the years when Turkish people -- Turkish-origin people, their houses were burned down, they were attacked on the streets,
and there was this rise of anti-immigrant, anti- Turkish. And from time to time, anti-Muslim sentiments.
ANDERSON: All right. And we're going to leave it there. And we thank you for joining us and giving us some context and some background,
there. German-Turkish government relations have recently suffered a blow.
This cartoon published in German papers three years ago, it has to be said, now is being reported in German media that Turkish -- the Turkish
Foreign Ministry has just summoned Germany's ambassador for a meeting about it.
Now, this depicts a teeth-baring dog called Erdogan. Ankara says it offends the Turkish head of state and reflects growing racism and
xenophobia in Germany.
Well, India's new government is going to great lengths to make India a key player on the global stage. So far, it seems to be working. India's
main stock market has risen -- get this -- 32 percent this year, and the economy is growing at its fastest pace in two years.
This week, the World Economic Forum is in India, and we've been hearing from the government and industry about the changes in India's
economy. There is a lot of optimism that the government has a new model of reform aimed at long-term growth for the world's 10th-biggest economy.
But is that growth inclusive? Does it deal with the needs of the more than 830 million Indians living in rural areas, many of whom live below the
Let's go to New Delhi and to CNN's Asia-Pacific editor Andrew Stevens. The rural sector in India, Andrew, accounts for nearly two-thirds of what
is an enormous population. How are they going to benefit from these economic reforms and this miracle, as it were, if it were to happen under
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: Yes, a miracle is definitely what the government would like to see it described as, Becky. Very, very
early days before that happens. But you're right. This is -- we're talking about 830 million people in the rural sector, many of them living
below the poverty line.
One out of five in the rural sector has access to electricity, to sanitation, and to electricity. So, it gives you an idea of the sort
conditions that many, many Indians still live in today.
Now, I spoke to a woman, Chhavi Rajawat. She has turned her back on the corporate world. She's got an MBA, and she decided that she was going
to leave it all and go back to her home village of 6,000 people to become a village council head.
And these are the people who actually talk -- they're the bridge, if you like, between the village and the governments. And she says so far,
since she's been there, they haven't had much success at all in getting the government to listen to what they say.
So I asked her, now, six months after the new administration of Narendra Modi has come in, whether they have seen any changes, and whether,
in fact, that the people of rural India believe that there is any hope for a change. And this is what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHHAVI RAJAWAT, HEAD OF SODA VILLAGE COUNCIL, RAJASTHAN: I think people are still waiting to see what's going to happen, but I think the
government has to act fast, because it can only be patient for so long. And I think people are now beginning to get a little restless, that there's
still a lot that needs to be done, and I wish the government would act faster than it is currently doing.
So, to ensure that people realize that he means -- intends to do something meaningful. But at the moment, we haven't really seen very much
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEVENS: And you can't help but sense her frustration. I mean, one of her stories she was saying, Becky, is that her village doesn't have
access to clean water. It's contaminated to the degree they can't even use it on their crops. And the incidents of Downs Syndrome in that village is
much, much higher than the national average.
She brought this to the attention of the government, she says. This, I should say, is before the new government came in. She said she wasn't
listened to. She had to actually go to the media and get media coverage of this before there was any movement taken.
So, that's the sort of frustrations that the rural sector have been dealing with. They want to see change, they need change. It has to be
inclusive, because they're such a large section of India's community. It is a democracy here, they have to get that by. And they're still waiting,
as many others are, to see these concrete changes happen, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, and it must be interesting to those who live in the rural parts of India when they see Narendra Modi out and about. I think
Washington wasn't his first stop, but it was certainly an important one, as he went after not just foreign direct investment all over the world.
But certainly Stateside looking to the Indian diaspora to invest their money back home. Made in India is what he's talking about, getting this
domestic consumption going. But as you rightly point out, for so many people who are desperately, desperately poor living in some of these rural
areas, these messages will possibly take a long time not just to get through, but to get acted on.
If there was one thing that you were to take away from the meetings and interviews that you've conducted with people at the World Economic
Forum in India this week, what would it be, Andrew?
STEVENS: I think, Becky, it's the fact that there is now an enormous amount of hope in India, based on the fact that it was such a sweeping
election victory for this new government, who came in on the mandate of change, very clearly, economic change.
And the hope is still there. We are six months in, that's not a long time. There have been several measures enacted. The government says it is
going to continue to do a series of reforms, which together will mean a "Big Bang".
People are buying into this story, here. And that is important here. You have to have a mindset that supports the government in its plans. But,
time is running out to speak to industrials here, speak to people, speak to the rural communities as we did. People now want to see change.
So, the honeymoon period, I've been told, is over. Now is the time to see real, concrete action, Becky.
ANDERSON: Andrew Stevens for you all week in India. And Andrew, it's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching, from the team here at CONNECT THE WORLD in the UAE, it is a very
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: Plunging petroleum prices, plummeting profits. Could a dip in oil revenues force governments to reexamine their balance
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAWEED BIN TALAL AL SAUD, CHAIRMAN, KINGDOM HOLDINGS: As it stands today, 90 percent of our budget -- annual budget is dependent on oil. And
60 percent of our GDP is oil-based, which is very dangerous and scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: Also on the program, whale sharks are circling the platforms of Qatar. How the infrastructure of big oil is helping out big
fish in the Gulf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEFFEN BACH, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISOR, MAERSK OIL: That platforms have been out there for more than 20 years, some of them now. And slowly,
they've turned into living structures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: Welcome to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. We have seen a quick reversal of fortunes for the major oil producers of the world, many of them
based right here in the Gulf. Prices have corrected by 25 percent since June.
While many are blaming falling demand, no one seems willing, at least not yet, to cut back on supplies. If the price drop continues, it could
force the governments of the Middle East and North Africa to cut back on generous subsidies.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): From roads to housing, governments in the Gulf have gone on a massive spending spree over the past few years. In
fact, Gulf states are expected to spend more than $86 billion on infrastructure projects on this year alone, in what many believe is a bid
to stem political discontent.
ED MORSE, HEAD, GLOBAL COMMODITIES, CITIGROUP: After the so-called Arab Spring, all oil and gas producing countries, whether they're in the
Middle East or whether they're in Europe, have had to provide more and more in the way of delivering goods and services to the citizens of those
countries. And therefore, their fiscal break-even costs, costs of running the government, have gone up.
DEFTERIOS: The Middle East currently spends around $240 billion in energy subsidies. But spending like this is not a problem for the petrol
states of the Middle East.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): Gulf producing countries have amassed savings of over $1 trillion, most of that coming over the last four years alone.
But if crude prices fall below $80 a barrel and hold there, the days of big-time spending may be numbered.
MORSE: These are countries that really can suffer tremendously. They're countries that have not taken advantage of the opportunity to
diversify the economy, and therefore has a disproportionately large amount of government revenue and trade flow revenue in the oil and gas sector.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): In its latest outlook, the IMF has issued a stark warning to the region's oil exporters that now is the time to rejig
the balance sheets and cut energy subsidies. Iran needs a staggering $140 oil price to break even. Saudi Arabia needs a price just over $90 to
balance its budget. Qatar over $77. And the UAE around $70.
With all eyes on prices, economists say the decision by the Gulf oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia, not to cut supplies, is creating divisions
amongst the 12 countries of OPEC, with Gulf producers on one side and Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria on the other.
But if oil remains at $80 a barrel, all OPEC countries stand to lose billions of dollars. So, diversification and reducing the reliance on
crude is fast becoming a necessity, according to Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
BIN TALAL: As it stands today, 90 percent of our budget -- annual budget is dependent on oil. And 60 percent of our GDP is oil-based, which
is very dangerous and scary. It's not correct. We have to diversify very fast.
And hopefully, this is an early warning for the government to really get the ship in order and begin proposing to the king some serious
alternatives for Saudi Arabia and to be less dependent on this commodity, which is oil.
DEFTERIOS: As Saudi Arabia looks to expand its non-oil economy by about 5.5 percent starting this year, it seems that many other oil
producers in the Gulf may also be looking to diversify.
DEFTERIOS: During a period of falling oil prices, the Gulf countries have the luxury of tapping their sovereign wealth funds to shore up their
economies. But it's not so simple for the so-called oil importers, like Jordan and Egypt.
From fuel to bread, in recent years, more than a quarter of Egypt's budget has gone towards subsidies, putting even more pressure on an economy
that has been struggling since the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
Recently, the government introduced painful economic reforms to boost reserves and investor confidence. It's a strategy that seems to be
working, according to Egypt's finance minister.
HANY KADRY DIMIAN, EGYPTIAN FINANCE MINISTER: This is the opportune time for a take-off of this economy. Look at the trends, the most recent
trends. Our capital markets have recorded an index that is higher than where it was prior to the global international crisis in 2008.
Our growth rates, despite they are way below potential still and not sufficient to create the jobs that we need for our new entrance into the
labor -- from the labor market. But the trend is very promising.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What major challenges do you face?
DIMIAN: I would say the mismatch I'm having in my labor markets. This is one of the true challenges, because it's deeply structural, and in
order to tackle it, it needs some time. This side bureaucracy and the government covered with very determined political will is addressing those
LEE: How are you working to curb inflation?
DIMIAN: We need to improve the quality of life of Egyptians. Our constitution mandates us to increase our spending on education and health
care to 10 percent of GDP. Currently, they are around 6 percent maybe.
The most important thing is to rebuild confidence in the Egyptian economy, to attract investments again, because we believe very much that
having a job is your first line of protection against poverty and hardship.
Egypt -- the Egyptian economy is very vastly underutilized, and the opportunities are massive. And it's an opportune moment for you to come
and invest in the country. And I always say, first come, first served.
DEFTERIOS: Ian Lee speaking to Egypt's finance minister, Hany Kadry Dimian after three tumultuous years in transition for the country.
Well, we know the oil industry continues to play a major role in the region, but it's also having an impact on the environment. Up next, how
one oil field in Qatar has turned into a whale shark hot spot.
DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. This region sits on top of more than two thirds of the world's proven oil reserves. Energy
profits through the years have allowed the Gulf countries to build out their modern-day infrastructure. But as Jon Jensen found out, the physical
structures to produce oil have also created a home for Qatar's marine life.
JON JENSEN, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Whale sharks are the largest fish in all the seas. They can be over 40 feet long and weigh more than 15
tons. Not that size makes them easy to find.
Whale sharks are elusive, solitary fish. But in recent years, a rare school of over 100 sharks has been sighted in the Persian Gulf. David
Robinson is trying to find out why.
DAVID ROBINSON, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Fifty.
JENSEN: He's a marine biologist.
ROBINSON: There's a lot of questions about whale sharks. We don't know much about their life biology at all. We really don't know where
these sharks go, where do they travel.
JENSEN: And why they're flocking to the Gulf in numbers rarely observed by researchers. Robinson was first tipped off by this photo,
taken in 2007 by an oil worker and posted on the internet. That led him and a small team to an area where few fish were thought to live.
JENSEN (on camera): We're about 80 kilometers off the shore of Qatar, that's roughly 50 miles or so, standing just above the Al Shaheen Oil
Field. It's the largest oil field, offshore, that is, here in Qatar. And one that produces some 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
JENSEN (voice-over): The world's largest gas field is also nearby, and there are a lot of rigs out here. Maersk operates this one. An oil
field with all the drills and platforms might be the last place you'd expect to find a thriving underwater ecosystem. But biologists believe it
may actually be attracting fish.
BACH: The platforms have been out there for more than 20 years, some of them now. And slowly, they turned into living structures. So, you will
see them being colonized by creatures you normally find in reefs.
JENSEN: That includes tuna and their spawn, which whale sharks feed on.
ROBINSON: Tastes good.
JENSEN: Robinson believes that's what draws the sharks to the Gulf. They feed here every morning, between May and September, when plankton is
thickest. Where they go next, though, is still a mystery.
The team is trying to track them with cameras. Unique spot patterns can be photographed and later IDed. They also use satellite tags.
Whale sharks are harmless to humans. Fishermen, though, target whale sharks for their fins, meat, and oil. That's why they're now considered
vulnerable to extinction by conservationists.
ROBINSON: Today, most of them are feeding with their mouth up.
JENSEN: Qatar's government has banned boating near these platforms, but wants to do more in the area.
MOHAMMED AL JAIDAH, ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, QATAR MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT: We need to turn it into a national park so it will be
protected entirely from any fishing.
Until then, Robinson has partnered with the Ministry and Maersk to continue tagging the whale sharks to hopefully learn more about the largest
fish in the sea.
DEFTERIOS: Jon Jensen on the unlikely alliance between crude and conservation. Well, to see that story again, visit our website,
cnn.com/mme, or you can reach out and send us a comment on our Facebook page as well.
And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. I'm John Defterios, we'll see you next week.