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CONNECT THE WORLD
Murder Charges Dropped Against Hosni Mubarak; Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew Issue Statement Calling for Protection Of Christians In Middle EAst; Interview with Libyan Health Minister Raida el-Oakley; The World Remembers Australian Cricketer Phillip Hughes; Police and Protesters Face Off in Hong Kong; Critic Calls Out President's Daughters; Parting Shots: Remembering Phil Hughes; US Couple in Legal Limbo in Qatar; Steely Ambitions; Sanctioning Business, Volatile Oil Market
Aired November 30, 2014 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We fought in the name of religion. They said we were terrorists. Today, we are fighting the regime. They say
we want to kill our country. We don't know how.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The president this young man fought to overthrow has been cleared of ordering the killing of fellow protesters. We'll take you
live to Cairo as the release of Hosni Mubarak on separate charges could be imminent.
Also ahead, a call for the survival of Christianity in the Middle East. We'll examine whether Pope Francis is fighting a losing battle as he ends
his visit to Turkey.
And things are getting heated again in Hong Kong. We're going to get you the very latest from the streets of pro-democracy, demonstrators reunite.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: And Tuesday is National Day here in the UAE, the emir's palace there lit up in the colors of the national flag.
A very good evening. It is 8:00 here in Abu Dhabi.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could be out of jail sooner than expected after a court dropped murder and corruption charges, that is
according to his lawyer.
Mubarak has been charged over the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the 2011 revolt that drove him from power. And that was a key event in the Arab
Spring. Protests heated up again Saturday over the court's decision. The health ministry says two people were killed in clashes that night with
Well, despite the violence, protesters say the will stay on the streets.
Let's go to Ian Lee who has been following the developments in Cairo. And I know things got pretty ugly on Saturday night, Sunday night as we speak.
What's the atmosphere like ahead of what could be the imminent release of Hosni Mubarak?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, things are pretty calm here on the streets. Earlier in the day, though, there were a lot of
protests around Egypt at different various universities as students were going out and voicing their anger. For many Egyptians, they are shocked by
this acquittal. They see it as a miscarriage of justice.
This was really one of the symbols of the revolution in 2011 was to get the president -- former president Hosni Mubarak on trial and hold him
accountable. There were hundreds of people who were killed during that revolution and people say that he and his interior minister were
Well, the judge didn't see that. And even the court said that they actually didn't have the jurisdiction to try this case.
It's going to make it difficult that way going forward with -- for the prosecution as they try their one last appeal. But the streets, where
definitely people are angry, and we're going to be watching this very closely, especially next Friday when we hear -- when more protests --
people saying that they could take again to the streets, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, it is interesting, isn't it? A lot of people hadn't expected to see the sort of volumes of people that were on the streets on
Saturday again in Egypt after things sort of calmed down significantly and indeed this legislation to avoid, or legislation that prevents people
actually protesting in big groups.
Look, let's bring up some of these iconic images of Hosni Mubarak behind bars, as it were, because these may be the last images that we see of a man
that in 2011 was vilified by the Egyptian people and many around the world. If we just look at these latest images with a view to the fact that Hosni
Mubarak could be released imminently.
How significant would that be?
LEE: Well, essentially it would mean, some would say, a failure of the revolution. They were trying to get this man held accountable for not just
what took place in 2011, but there was also a lot of corruption charges. And that this is also what people are angry about, too, here on the street.
They are saying essentially when I was talking to the various protesters at -- down here in Tahrir Square, which is something we hadn't seen in awhile,
also the people who are out at the courthouse, they essentially told me that the revolution is dead, or at least on life support. They're going to
try to keep going.
But also for the families of those who were killed, really this was their only form of justice is to see these people behind bars. But it's with them
being able to walk soon, those people who lost loved ones, there's not much left they can do, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ian Lee reporting for you.
Well, Egypt currently trying to reestablish itself as a regional powerhouse under the rule of Abdul Fatah el-Sisi, an ex-military strongman of course.
A little later this hour, we're going to examine how a distinct lack of leadership in neighboring Libya has fueled a political and humanitarian
crisis. We'll be joined by the health minister for the moderate government recognized by the west, but declared illegitimate earlier this month by
Libya's supreme court.
Pope Francis is on his way back to Rome after a visit to Turkey where he said the world must stand up for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
It was part of a message that he promoted that calls for religious freedom and tolerance and comes as many Christians and other religious minorities
are targeted by Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq.
The pope also pushing for reunification with orthodox Christians. He and Patriarch Bartholomew signed a declaration committing to that unity.
Let's go to Istanbul where Arwa Damon is standing by.
Lots of talk on this trip. He's now on his way back to Rome. I wonder how much of this was symbolic, how much -- what was said by the pope will
actually resonate particularly around a region in turmoil?
ARWA DAMON CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be a very difficult to tell, Becky. At the very least for those who do follow Pope
Francis and perhaps others as well it will be a symbol of his efforts to try to reach out across inter-religious divides and perhaps even
potentially help bring the core issues into the spotlight and that is the need, as Pope Francis himself was saying, to build those essential pillars
Now in this statement issued by Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew they said that we cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christianity,
speaking about the persecution and violence that Christians have endured in this region for about a decade now, first by al Qaeda and then by ISIS, the
terrorist organizations forcing Christians from their homes, from their countries in both Iraq and Syria.
The pope and the patriarch in this statement also saying it seems that even the value of human life has been lost and the human person no longer
matters. Tragically, this is met by the indifference of the many. That sense of indifference that exists out there, this is something that we hear
echoed by the refugee populations both Christian, Muslim and other over and over again. They really feel as if they are being ignored as if the world
doesn't care about their plight at all. And as if all efforts to try to end the violence are quite simply rhetoric and not really the type of concrete
actions that would be needed for them to be able to go back to their respective homes.
As one of the last stops on his visit to Turkey, Pope Francis did meet with around 100 refugee children, the vast majority of them Christian from Iraq
and Syria, but amongst them also some Muslims and Africans. And to them he said I know it is easy to say this, but one must make an effort not to lost
Pope is a lot of -- is one of the main issues that people here will talk to you about, because these are populations, children or adults, who realize
that they have lost hope in their homeland.
We met with some of the Syrian Christian refugees here in Istanbul prior to the pope's visit. And they said that they did not believe that they would
be able to return back to Syria, many of them in Turkey in transit, waiting, hoping for asylum in Europe, because they believe that they have
to start a new life.
Back home, they say, in their homelands, going back there, that simply is not going to be an opportunity they're going to have any time soon, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and I know, Arwa, when you speak to those in Istanbul ahead of this trip, as you say, and you voice their words, that's not the only
people that you've spoken to over these past few years where so much of the region has been in turmoil.
When the pope says it is inconceivable that we will imagine a day when there won't be Christians in a part of the world known as the Middle East
who have been there for 2,000 years, is it conceivable at this point? I mean, just how badly damaged is the Christian community across this part of
DAMON: One just has to look at what's happened in Iraq and Syria, the vast majority of Christians there have been forced to flee their homes, flee
their countries. We have seen numerous horrific attacks initially starting in Iraq with gunmen storming into churches, bombs being placed outside of
the homes of a Christian resident. We then saw ISIS as it was taking over large swaths of both Syria and Iraq, forcing many Christians from their
Prior to ISIS's emergence, Christians were already beginning to feel themselves under threat as well even in Syria by the more extremist rebel
entities that exist there. They have been caught in between, they believe, the fighting between the rebels and the Assad government in Iraq. Of course
the dynamic slightly different there coming under persecution and being targeted by both Sunni and Shia extremist entities.
If the status quo is allowed to continue, the sad reality is that yes, we could end up seeing a Middle East where in some countries Christianity does
no longer exist quite simply because they've all been driven from their homes or been killed. This is a message that other Christian leaders prior
to the pope's visit have also been highlighting time and time again.
But there's another aspect in all of this as well that one must not forget and one that Pope Francis was referencing as well. It's not just the
Christians that are suffering the brutality, the violence that is out there, Muslims also are being targeted and attacked, the fighting has
wrecked and decimated both Syria and Iraq. And so when one talks about trying to end the persecution of Christians, that goes hand-in-hand with
bringing about an end to the violence.
And those very core underlying issues that the global community has a humanitarian responsibility to try and address, because the refugee
populations in the millions right now are not just Christian, they are predominately Muslim as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting for you from Istanbul. Arwa, thank you.
Protests in the U.S. city of Ferguson, Missouri show no sign of ending nearly a week after a grand jury decided not to indict officer Darren
Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Now, police and national guardsman were out in riot gear on Saturday night. No arrests reported. Meantime, Darren Wilson himself has resigned from the
Ferguson police force. In a letter to a local newspaper, he says it is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal.
CNN's Ed Lavandera joins me now from Ferguson with more.
He hopes this is a chance for the community to heal. Is it? And will they?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, a lot of people around here in Ferguson say, or are wondering why it took so long for this
announcement to be made. But all along Darren Wilson had been saying that he was waiting for the grand jury to make its decision on whether or not he
would be indicted. With that decision coming a little less than a week ago, kind of set the stage for this departure.
And however his attorneys do say that there were threats being made against the police department here in Ferguson if he did not resign by Saturday
night and explain why the timing of that situation came down last night.
But as you mentioned and in the statement that Darren Wilson has released saying for the better of the community and also to protect his fellow
police officers who Darren Wilson says would be in danger if he returned to the police force, he is resigning.
But, Becky, in a lot of different ways no one around here ever really imagined there would be any way that Darren Wilson could come back and work
as a police officer in this town given what has happened during the last three months.
ANDERSON: Ed, thank you.
Well, this former general is stepping up in Libya to fight Islamist militia. Details on the new timetable he's set to take back Tripoli. That
is up next.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back, 15 minutes past eight here in the UAE.
Well, four years after the Arab Spring, Egypt -- sorry, Egypt has a strong leader with a military background. In Libya, however, a lack of leadership
has led to chaos. But one man has taken it upon himself to do the job.
Former Libyan General Khalifa Haftar reportedly giving himself two weeks to secure Benghazi and three months to recapture the country's capital
Hafta is allied with the Libyan government. He's been leading the fight against Islamist militia who have taken over the country's biggest cities
after losing elections this summer.
Well, that fighting has taken its toll on the Libyan people and the resources in that already worn-torn country.
Libya's health minister Dr. Reida el-Oakley joins me now live here on the show to talk about this crisis. Minister, at least with a -- what is a
western backed government that was recently declared illegitimate by the country's supreme court. So what do you do in your position? Who are you
talking to? And how can you help?
DR. REIDA EL-OAKLEY, LIBYAN HEALTH MINISTER: Thank you, Becky.
I think the issue with the supreme court decision that you were referring to actually the decision was made under duress. Six out of 14 judges have
changed it 48 hour just before the vote and just before the decision was made. Two members of the court's family members were kidnapped and to have
So that decision can not be taken seriously by anyone.
ANDERSON: How, though, is the parallel government that you are running outside of Tripoli, let's remember -- I mean, pushed outside of the
country's capital -- how is that government functioning if at all? Be honest.
EL-OAKLEY: In fact, the Libyan government in al-Bayda and the parliament in Tobruk is functioning far better than what they did in the first four years
after the revolution in Tripoli and simply you can see the number of invasions of the parliament in Tripoli and immediately after its beginning
in 2012 was humongous within a few months had multiple invasions, multiple attacks, multiple entries of the militias into the parliament, destroying
the parliament and even kidnapping the prime minister and the president at the same time.
This hasn't happened in Tobruk or al-Bayda until now. The parliament in Tobruk is functioning for four months without such miserable incident.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and without many funds, it has to be said.
Well, we can talk about that.
A couple of weeks ago on this show, the UN special envoy to Libya joined me from Tunis because he, along with much of the international community, has
withdrawn from the country. I asked him repeatedly who he is talking to inside Libya in order to make progress. He said that the supreme court's
decision to declare your government illegitimate had made things worse, he said, but insisted that channels were still open.
I want you to hear what he says and then respond to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNADINO LEON, UN SPECIAL ENVOY TO LIBYA: I'm discussing proposals with both camps to try to recover this political process, respecting its
essence, but introducing some changes so that we can keep working and hopefully find a political solution.
It is difficult, but we still believe it's possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The UN repeatedly trying to concoct some sort of dialogue with the stakeholders in Libya today. There are those who say that the UN is
making things worse, not better. Your response.
EL-OAKLEY: This may be true, actually, the UN is making things worse certainly from the humanitarian side, for the Libyan people by declaring
Libya as a very unsafe country and stopping any NGOs or any UN agency to support the country from coming in.
From the political side, it's highly likely that the situation were -- if the UN decided to take the lead in this it may be difficult, it may be
easier if the UN support the Libyan people to take the lead towards dialogue, that's the most likely way for the dialogue to succeed in Libya
is to allow the Libyan people to lead it rather than having to get a foreign body to organize it and lead it forward.
ANDERSON: Can I just get your response to the words from General Haftar this past 24 hours. His determination to take back Benghazi, his
determination to not back the rise of political Islam, as it were, and the militia associated with that. Is this a man that the west should be backing
at this point?
EL-OAKLEY: For now, the -- General Haftar has certainly made his impact on fighting ISIS and fighting extremism in the eastern part of the country.
ANDERSON: Your country has backed him, haven't they?
EL-OAKLEY: Absolutely. He's actually working under the umbrella of the minister of defense and this actually is -- he's a legitimate body. And
he's actually is no longer a retired major general, he's back in business. He's functioning as a full-time officer under the minister of defense. And
this is something we're proud of.
ANDERSON: As the health minister, and with a former WHO hat, you are -- you're experience is clearly very, very deep and very, very wide ranging.
How bad is the humanitarian situation in Libya today?
EL-OAKLEY: The humanitarian situation in Libya is bad. In the old days to get an air ambulance to pick up an injured from Libya, it will cost you
about 10,000 euros, now the bill could be as high as 180,000 euros and simply because the UN have actually labeled Libya as an extremely dangerous
country. Insurance companies have pushed up their rates very high.
We bought about 800,000 U.S. dollars worth of supplies from Dubai to take it to (inaudible). We had petition for 700,000 cost of transportation
because of the high insurance rate.
This is something terrible unacceptable and it's not because of the making of the Libyan people, or the government or the supreme court, it's
primarily because UN have declared Libya to be an extremely country at the very high risk without creating a safe corridor. If you have a safe
corridor to Tobruk or to Masata (ph) or to al-Bayda or Labruk (ph), then the insurance wouldn't be so high and the humanitarian issue will be much
less severe than it is now.
ANDERSON: Sir, I promise you that we will put your comments to the UN and see if we can get a response from them in the -- next 24 hours or so.
We very much thank you for being on the show. I know that you're traveling into the region. And your presence here important. Thank you.
EL-OAKLEY: Thank you, Becky, very much indeed.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
There's much more on the crisis in Libya if you visit our website. Find out how the country's power vacuum has allowed the rise of ISIS affiliates and
added a new layer of danger to the situation at CNN.com/international.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, a standoff and clashes in Hong Kong. Could months of tensions between protesters and
police be coming to an head? That up next.
Plus, cricket bats adorn streets across the world, one of the many tributes to a player who lost his life playing the game.
ANDERSON: Well, a sad day across the sporting world and another reminder of the loss of cricketer Phil Hughes. The Australian would have turned 26
today. People across the globe laying out their cricket bats to pay tribute.
Hughes died on Thursday after being hit in the neck by a ball during a match.
This is Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
The Australian cricket team has postponed its test match with India in the wake of Hughes' death. Let's bring in World Sport's Patrick Snell who joins
us from CNN Center -- Patrick.
PATRICK SNELL, WORLD SPORT: Hi there, Becky.
Yes, entirely right and proper as well that that first test, first of four scheduled with the Indian touring party, will not now go ahead on Thursday.
We still actually don't know when it will get the go ahead, but right now of course the hearts of everyone, including us here at CNN -- it's been a
difficult story for us to work on -- rightly focused on the tributes to the memory of Phillip Hughes who would have been 26 years of age on this day,
And sports really coming together, Becky, united in their grief.
This is from Sydney New South Wales at the Australian Golf Open, which finished on Sunday. And you can just see that that cricket bat, that symbol
of cricket bat there left out has really gone absolutely viral and those images are being expounded to across the world.
Now this if from Michael Clarke's Instangram account. He actually tweeted this link out via Twitter. Michael Clarke is the current Australian test
captain. And you can see the mentor role he played there with Hughes. I think that kind of deliberately timed for his birthday, of course, but arm
around the shoulder says a lot. Michael Clarke, this very prominent in getting to the hospital so, so quickly in those now fateful hours after the
injury earlier this week in Sydney.
Now, the Australian rugby team, as well, has been touring. They're in Europe at the moment. And again I think it's fair to say that the result,
the defeat to England they won't have enjoyed it, but kind of academic really when you factor in that they, too, are remembering and taking into
account the feelings for their fallen sporting comrade Phillip Hughes as well.
And there, the Australian A-league, the soccer stars of Australia as well having their say. 63, forever not out. I think that kind of says it all.
Well, I want to bring it back to that first test, then. As I say we still don't know when that first test will be played now between Australia and
India. It's pretty tough for the Indians as well, because they've already arrived in the country to play there in Adelaide at the moment. And their
head coach, as well, Duncan Fletcher, has been having his say. And take a listen to the poignancy you'll hear now in his voice as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNCAN FLETCHER, INDIAN NATIONAL CRICKET TEAM COACH: It is in a tragic moment for cricket. I don't think it's Australian cricket, it's a tragedy
for all cricket worldwide. And you just sympathize with the players and everything that the tragedy takes place on the cricket field like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Phillip Hughes will have been 26 years of age today. Back to you.
ANDERSON: Patrick, thank you.
Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong are standing off with police. They've surrounded the government headquarters in the Admiralty district
after a protest leader called for an escalated civil disobedience campaign. A live report for you just ahead.
And the latest world news headlines.
Plus, the president finds his family and specifically his daughters, being scolded online. And his defenders say the criticism is out of order.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. The top stories for you this hour.
Pope Francis is on his way back to Rome after a visit to Turkey, where he said, "The world must stand up for persecuted Christians in the Middle
East. It was part of a message he promoted that calls for religious freedom and tolerance.
Prosecutors in Qatar are appealing a decision that could free an American couple. A judge earlier cleared Matthew and Grace Huang of the 2013 charge
of starving their daughter to death. The original decision drew global criticism of Qatar's justice system.
Iraqi authorities in Anbar Province tells Agence France-Presse that ISIS is making another push to recapture Ramadi. It's one of the few remaining
parts of Anbar still under government control. Fighting erupted between security forces and ISIS fighters on Saturday.
And it's a tense situation outside central government headquarters in Hong Kong. Protesters and police have been facing off again. One protest leader
calls for an escalation. Demonstrations began two months ago, you'll remember, after -- over elections.
Well, let's bring in international -- senior international correspondent Ivan Watson, who's watching it all unfold in Hong Kong. And the pictures
that we've been just showing our viewers from a couple of hours ago, the atmosphere, I know, tense. How would you otherwise describe it?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we've been watching periodic scuffles breaking out here along this highway that
demonstrators occupied within the last couple of hours in response to calls from student leaders to escalate their protest tactics.
So, we actually in the last hour saw the demonstrators pushing back an outnumbered line of police, who kind of retreated in this direction. And
they do seem to be scuffling with police, or facing off with them at the other end of this highway.
And this is a continuation of a drama that's been playing itself out in the streets, Becky, now, for more than two months at different points around
Hong Kong, where the demonstrators have been occupying territory in defiance of the Hong Kong authorities and the police.
Earlier this week, the police succeeded in pushing protesters out of one of these sit-ins in the neighborhood, bustling neighborhood of Mongkok. We are
right next to, basically, the headquarters of the Hong Kong government.
Part of this area has been occupied now for more than two months. The demonstrators seeking to escalate and move into new areas. This has been
part of a process that has shown that it's really tested the patience of some of the residents of this city.
A recent poll showing that a majority of residents surveyed are tired of the protest movement. Despite that, the thousands of young people here
after midnight, clearly showing no signs of being ready to go home. Becky?
ANDERSON: Ivan Watson reporting for you, live, just after midnight there, or midnight -- half past midnight in Hong Kong. We thank you.
We are going to shift, now, to US politics, where Barack Obama now has a little over two years left in his presidency. Several books about him are
already hitting the shelves, and he came face to face with one on Saturday.
The book was "The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House." It caught his eye as he was shopping for Christmas gifts with his daughters. Malia Obama
took one look at the downcast picture of her father on the cover and said, "Looks like a sad book."
Well, for critics, the president's daughters, Sasha and Malia, are becoming popular targets, but some say a Republican lawmaker's spokeswoman crossed a
line when she wrote a post about them on Facebook after the pair appeared a bit bored at a public event.
It was the Thanksgiving pre event, and Elizabeth Lauten suggested the girls, quote, "Try showing a little class, at least a little respect for
the part you play. And dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar."
John Avlon is a CNN political analyst and editor-in-chief at "The Daily Beast." He joins me now via Skype from New York. And after the Wednesday
event, several media outlets declaring that the young women standing behind their father as he pardoned two turkeys named Mac and Cheese, looked bored,
exasperated, and well, John, just teenager-ly. So, was Elizabeth bang out of order, do you think?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: She's way out of order. Presidential families are off limits, especially presidential children. There was a
definite evident bit of teen angst on the part of the first daughters.
But keep in mind, let's reality check here, folks. This is a turkey pardon. This is not a matter of war and peace. This is kind of an odd bit of show
dating back to Harry Truman, and I think a bunch of teenagers could be pretty easily forgiven for not taking it too terribly seriously without
insulting the republic.
ANDERSON: John, oddly enough, the world's most widely-read newspaper website, based in the UK, sees things a very different way. On Thursday,
"The Daily Mail" online printed this headline: "Style, elegance, and her mother's winning smile: how Malia Obama, 16, is turning into a Michelle
It went on to admire Malia's elegant sartorial instincts and her endearingly sunny disposition. Could this be more in line with how the
Obama daughters are seen by the US public?
AVLON: I think in general, yes. It's sort of a truism of politics, Becky, that first wives are always more -- first ladies are always more popular
than their husbands, the president. And the same generally goes for the daughters. Indeed, we see these young women grow up with us from the
election of 08 to now. And so, it's a transformation that transfixes many folks.
But again, I think the way that this -- the first family and the daughters are being politicized and attacked in sort of ugly ways on social media by
people who should know better, communications experts who work for members of Congress, really indicates how divided and how dumb and mean-spirited so
many of our debates are right now.
ANDERSON: And it's Ma-lee-a, of course. The English pronunciation would be Malia, but Ma-lee-a, out of respect, of course. As somebody who is
American, I should get her name right.
Let me just get our viewers a couple of tweets that I saw. "Direct your dislike of their dad's policies or politics towards their dad. Always leave
the kids, D or R, out of it," wrote one Twitter user, using the handle Mick A for Life.
Going forward, what sort of life do you expect these two young women to have? He's got two years left, hasn't he? And they are bang in the middle
of adolescence. Are they going to get left alone?
AVLON: Well, one would hope. Again, there is sort of a general pact with the press and even the opposition in place with the families, but it's an
indication of how ugly and undercutting the politics are that even kids are fair game to some people who are punching way below their weight. It's
ugly, ugly stuff.
But there's still a quarter left in this Obama presidency. If by every indication, this president wants to play offense and leave a legacy, then
the children will, whether they like it or not, growing up in the public eye, carry that forward. And will likely be measures of public fascination
for some time to come. But this administration is still a long way from being done.
ANDERSON: Yes. And it's not the first time an administration had youngsters in their midst, is it? And it certainly won't be the last. How do they
stack up, as it were, so far as their public presence and demeanor is concerned to youngsters of the past?
AVLON: These two presidential daughters are remarkably poised and graceful and very popular. We've had presidential first families in the past that
got a lot of attention. Lyndon Johnson's daughters were very much pop figures. Susan Ford during Gerald Ford's presidency was very much a pop
And then Amy Carter and Chelsea Clinton, who were more content to be behind the scenes. And indeed, a great deal of respect was paid to them, even
though Amy Carter was politicized in the 1980 campaign to some extent.
But these daughters really have become a matter of public fascination and some degree of pride. And this whole first family, I think, no matter how
polarizing the president's policies may be, and in this political context, any presidential policy is going to be polarizing, this has been seen as a
good and graceful family.
And even under a few ugly outliers who want to politicize the presidential kids, in general, they're really something that we really behind as a
country as an example of a great family living in the White House.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. John, always a pleasure, thank you.
ANDERSON: We want to know what you make of this story. Should we have higher expectations of our leaders' kids than the kids that we raise
Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can have your say. Tweet me, as ever,
@BeckyCNN. You can find me on Instagram, that's Becky CNN, or on Twitter @BeckyCNN.
Well, before we go, our Parting Shots this evening. And a further look at tributes honoring the late Australian cricketer Phil Hughes.
In Melbourne, a banner in the stands and quiet across the stadium. Hughes' supporters paused for a moment of silence during an A League football match
between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.
A cricket bat rests on a rugby pitch in England. Exeter players set up the memorial ahead of their match on Saturday. In South Australia, a message
for Phil Hughes on the scoreboard of the Adelaide Oval. It reads: "Vale Phillip Hughes, 1988 to 2014."
Outside the stadium, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli leaves a bat and a cap at a memorial. And in Macksville, Australia, where the pain is felt most,
flowers and messages of condolence outside the home of Phil Hughes' parents.
Well, before we go this evening, we want to bring you the latest on a story that we are following out of Qatar. Earlier, we reported an appeals court
cleared Americans Matthew and Grace Huang of the 2013 charge of starving their daughter to death. Now, we are hearing that prosecutors are appealing
that decision. I'm joined on the phone by Matthew in Doha Airport. Sir, what is your current status?
MATTHEW HUANG, CLEARED OF CHARGES IN DOHA (via telephone): We are in Doha Airport. We were declared -- we were declared innocent by the judge this
morning and given -- and told that we may leave the country and we may travel.
However, we came to the airport. They would not allow us to go through immigration. They confiscated our passports. And we were also told that the
attorney general's office issued a warrant for our arrest earlier today.
ANDERSON: Sir, as far as I can tell, there are reports that prosecutors have appealed the decision, and there are reports that a travel ban does,
indeed, remain in effect, which would clearly be the reason that you are being blocked from returning to the United States. What's your next move?
HUANG: All we want to do is to go home and return to the US. The judge declared us innocent and said we could travel. And I do not know anything
about the attorney general -- the prosecutor's appeal.
ANDERSON: Have you been told what to expect in the coming hours?
HUANG: No, we're just waiting, and we would like to go home. And we want the US government, John Kerry's office, to step forward and allow us to
leave Qatar. And we don't know what they're doing at this point.
ANDERSON: Can you describe your experience of the past couple of years?
HUANG: It's been a very difficult and tiring experience, and we're tired of this process that seems like it would never end. The court process was long
and tedious and never until today's ruling did we even hear truth from any justice, anyone involved in the court process. And now, again, we're
finding ourselves stuck and waiting while we were promised that we would be ready -- allowed to go.
ANDERSON: Matthew, we are reaching out to the Qatar authorities at present, we haven't been able to get a statement from them, but we continue to reach
out on this story, and we will report on the response from the Qatari authorities as and when we get it. For the time being, we leave it there.
We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thank you for watching. MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST starts right now.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: The latest round of nuclear negotiations hit a wall, with the deadline to reach a deal extended yet again. We look at how heavy
industry is propping up Iran's struggling economy. And Total's president of exploration and production on his hopes with a deal with Iran.
Welcome to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Abu Dhabi. The UAE is a country that initially built its fortune through merchant trade, especially
with Iran. Back in 2011, bilateral trade between Iran and the UAE hit $12 billion.
But in 2013, after the sanctions started to bite, that figure fell to just $7 billion. It's no wonder the UAE and the Gulf States have watched the P5
Plus 1 negotiations very carefully.
Unfortunately, those hopes have yet again been frustrated after international leaders left Vienna without a final agreement. Still, parties
have said that good progress was made and negotiations will continue again in December.
Despite the geopolitical uncertainty, there's one sector in Iran that has continued to flourish, and that is the steel sector. Steel companies have
enjoyed the expansion in the Middle East and North Africa, especially here in the Gulf States. And as Reza Sayah found out, they have big plans for
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cold, hard, heavy-duty steel, the backbone of the world's best-built construction. Some
of the finest steel in the world can be found here at the Steel Bazaar in Tehran where the workload for steel workers is getting heavier by the day.
SAYAH (on camera): The crews at Tehran Steel Bazaar are busy in large part because Iran is producing and exporting more steel than ever.
SAYAH (voice-over): During the first nine months of this year, Iran produced more than 12 million tons of steel, up 6 percent from the first
nine months last year. Exports in that time beat last year's total too, topping 1.5 million tons.
"The progress of our industry and the increase in production shows things have improved," says steel merchant Reza Nikbeen The surge in Iran's steel
industry comes despite punishing economic sanctions by the West over Iran's nuclear program. "Even with sanctions, the industry has made advances,"
SAYAH (on camera): So how's Iran's steel industry keeping healthy and thriving. Two factors: first off, Western sanctions never blocked Iran from
selling steel, and Iran's exports targeted the Middle East and North Africa, markets where Iran could get paid using non-Western banks, or swap
steel for other goods.
SAYAH (voice-over): "When you work with neighbor states, you can barter," says Mohammad Jafar Tousi, CEO of a top steel product manufacturer. "You
can get what you want from them. That eases the impact of sanctions."
Iran's steel industry also benefits from a country rich in raw minerals and cheap energy, with an affordable labor force and technological advancements
developed right here. The outcome is an industry that's now the biggest producer of steel in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the
World Steel Association, and 15th in the world, ahead of Western countries like the UK, Spain and Canada.
Hungry for more, Iran is courting foreign investors in a bid to quadruple production in a decade. This year, Kuwaiti and Italian steel companies
signed deals to build factories in Iran. In an economy badly damaged by years of sanctions, Iran's steel industry is not only surviving, it's
tightening its grip as the dominant steel producer in the Middle East.
DEFTERIOS: It's been one month since the tragic plane crash that killed the chief executive officer of Total, Christophe de Margerie. His death shocked
the industry, but also left a void of someone who was so clear with his policies and willing to challenge the conventional wisdom of economic
Known affectionately as Mr. Mustache, de Margerie often spoke frankly about his disappointment with the economic sanctions on Iran.
During a visit to the giant ADIPEC Energy Forum that takes place here in Abu Dhabi, I spoke with the president of exploration and production, Arnaud
Breuillac, a former colleague of Mr. de Margerie. I asked him what he thought about the current state of the sanctions that we've seen on Iran.
ARNAUD BREUILLAC, PRESIDENT OF EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION, TOTAL: We need the sanctions released to be about work. We also need to have good cohorts.
And this is something that we are waiting to see.
DEFTERIOS: We've seen the impact on the Russian ruble from sanctions, and even the Russian economy. Is that tool of sanctions used too aggressively,
in your view?
BREUILLAC: I will say that for us as an industry, we consider that sanction are damaging the business. And we doubt that they will resolve any
political issues. But what we are seeing is that we have to obey sanctions, and it is for politicians to remove the sanctions so that we can continue
to work. And it is indeed a process, because the world, as you know, needs energy.
DEFTERIOS: Have we entered a stage where $80 is the new $100 after four years of average prices at that level?
BREUILLAC: It's always difficult to make any prediction in that respect. We don't understand really why it went down to $80, because there was not
major changes on the market. This is what has been difficult to understand.
This is why we are tempted to consider this is relativity. But at the same time, we have to plan in case it doesn't, stays below $80. We think this
would be a problem on the longer term. This is not a sustainable level on the longer term.
DEFTERIOS: We often talk about $80, but let's put it in the sense of cash flow. How does it hit a very large oil producer, like Total, in terms of
BREUILLAC: For Total, if we are to have a full year at $80, we'd be losing about $3 billion in cash. So this is quite significant. This is why we have
to prepare for that scenario.
DEFTERIOS: Can you say today that any projects will come off the books if this price of around $80 is sustained?
BREUILLAC: We feel that the project that had been launched, we have to infer that $80, and we'll continue. But for new projects, we will, of
course, have to review their possibility.
DEFTERIOS: You know, this time last year, I sat down with Christophe de Margerie, and we've had that tragic death of his. He was aggressively
pushing to get to 2.8, 2.9 million barrels a day by 2017, almost a 30 percent increase in production. Can you still get there in your view?
BREUILLAC: Yes, we have a key road map. In fact, we have 15 projects that have all been launched, 10 of which we're operator, which will give us an
increase of production by 30 percent, and from 2.1 yield per day this year to 2.8 by 2017. All of these projects are launched, and they will go. And
we are permitted to do that, so the motto is deliver, and frankly, we are going to focus on those projects.
DEFTERIOS: Arnaud Breuillac of Total on the current state of energy prices. Well the falling oil prices just one factor leading to uncertainty. The
world's top producers met in Vienna for their latest OPEC Summit. Up next, I speak with the UAE's minister of energy about what needs to be done to
stabilize the market.
DEFTERIOS: From talks over Iran's nuclear ambitions to OPEC's latest gathering, all eyes were on Vienna this week. Against a backdrop of
plummeting oil prices, energy ministers gathered in the Austrian capital with one agenda: stabilizing the market.
With over 97 billion barrels of proven crude reserves, the UAE is a major oil producer, and as the country's energy minister explained, it's not just
the oil syndicate that can influence prices.
SUHAIL AL-MAZROUEI, UAE ENERGY MINISTER: If we learned, we learned one thing: that if you try to fix the market, that's going to be a short fix.
If you let the market stabilize itself, that's a long fix, and it's going to last. I don't think it's fair to just ask one player to play the role to
fix the whole market. That is not fair.
DEFTERIOS: I see that OPEC crude, a basket of crude is trading around $74, $75 a barrel. Is that a fair price to sustain investment within OPEC? There
should be no panic and discussions of prices going down to $60 a barrel?
AL-MAZROUEI: The problem, John, in the past four years, all of the investments were done on the basis of $100. Let's not talk about a price
for us as producers. I think who is going to dictate the price and set the price is going to be those newcomers that are producing the most expensive
crude, and they need to set the price that is attractive for that level of investment to continue.
DEFTERIOS: So are you suggesting, Minister, here, that the new shale producers, for example, not just flood the market with crude? They need to
play a role as well, in terms of taking some production off the market if they want a higher price to sustain their production?
AL-MAZROUEI: I think so. And I think they will do it. Either they like it, they do it either planned or by force. The question is not what you have
today. The question is what you should have two years, three years from now. The question is, the level of investments you need to put this year
and next year in order to see it in a few years.
So, if there is a decline in the price, that level of investment is not going to be there. And that's the worry, to tell you the truth.
DEFTERIOS: Doesn't this play perfectly into about a third of the OPEC producers, the Gulf producers, who have $2.5 trillion of savings? They can
ride out this storm. This is the reality right now. Not the shale producers, not Russia, not Iran. Not Nigeria.
AL-MAZROUEI: Everyone has a role to play. If there is an expectation that someone should take -- should be the fixer and do more than the others
because of any other circumstances, I don't think that is a fair assessment.
DEFTERIOS: Have we entered a new normal, Minster --
AL-MAZROUEI: I don't know.
DEFTERIOS: -- where maybe $80, $75 is the new normal?
AL-MAZROUEI: I don't know. That's what's to be tested in 2015. We believe that a sustainable price is going to be something that is higher than what
we have seen today, not because it works for us or it's not going to work for us. I think it's because the further investments in the shale or
unconventional oil I think is going to be questionable at the current price.
DEFTERIOS: And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Abu Dhabi. I'm John Defterios. Thanks for watching. We'll
see you next week.