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CONNECT THE WORLD
World Faith Leaders Vow to End Slavery; ISIS Using Women as Sex Slaves; UAE's 43rd Birthday; Emirati Sailing to Success; Land of the Rising Dram; Netanyahu Fires Two Cabinet Members; Al Shabaab Claims Killing Of 39 At Kenyan Quarry; Does NATO's Ambition Exceed Their Accounts?; Emerging Markets Fantasy Island, Indonesia
Aired December 2, 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: Dozens of bodies bundled into vehicles in Kenya's vulnerable borderlands. Somali terror group al Shabaab says it
carried out this massacre. Ahead, we'll examine how the Kenyan president plans to tackle an ever growing threat to his country's security.
Also this hour, he's the secretive leader of a notorious militant movement, but will the apparent arrest of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wife shed
more light on the self-proclaimed ISIS palace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REZA SAYAH, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Join us in downtown Abu Dhabi for a sea of noise and color as these guys gear up the celebrate the
43rd birthday of the UAE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: It's 8:00 out of the UAE. Indeed, the 43rd birthday of the country. More on that later this hour.
A developing story now out of Lebanon. The wife of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly been arrested trying to cross the
border from Syria.
Now news agencies are reporting that one of Baghdadi's children is being held with her by the Lebanese military. A source with knowledge of
the arrest says the woman is one of al Baghdadi's two wives and says she is a powerful figure who is heavily involved in ISIS.
Well, it's just one of many concerns as NATO members gather in Brussels later today. In the show, we're going to put the competence of
the alliance under the microscope a little later. We'll consider the issue of member nations failing to meet NATO guidelines on defense spending and
we'll also examine why many of the Baltic states feel they aren't getting sufficient protection from what they see as a potential threat posed by
And we'll analyze NATO's relationship with a member nation that some regard as troublesome. We're talking Turkey in about five minutes time.
But I want to get back to this story of Baghdadi's wife reportedly detained in Lebanon. It's a story that we are following for you. Nic
Robertson is on it. He is in London.
And Nic, I know that you've been working your sources on these reports. The wife, or a wife of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has
been detained in Lebanon. What more info do you have at this point?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she is one of two wives. She has been detained. And what we understand is that this was
something that had been planned, that this particular wife of Baghdadi's has -- is playing and has played a significant role in ISIS, that she is a
powerful figure. And it's based on this that there really was this plan to try to arrest her when the opportunity arose.
And this is what we understand happened, that the opportunity arose as she was crossing over the border. This was a long awaited for moment.
We're also learning from Lebanese media who are reporting that she was actually arrested over a week ago, and again this would be typical for how
intelligence agencies work, that they wouldn't immediately announced that she had been arrested, that they would keep this -- that they would keep
this secret and keep it to themselves.
So, as well as being able to provide issue talks, a lot of information about al-Baghdadi, about who he meets, how he moves around, how many people
he's with, all sorts of things that would be useful to try to track him down.
It appears she also has a trove of information of her own about the way that ISIS works and her own role within that organization, Becky.
ANDERSON: What do we know about her as a person?
ROBERTSON: We understand that she is from Iraq. We understand that her father was an emir, a leading figure within ISIS, that the area of Iraq
that she came from was -- and, you know, her previous husband according -- again, these details we're getting from local media reports in Lebanon.
They say that her previous husband was fighting Iraqi and coalition forces inside Iraq as part of -- as part of the sort ground roots organization,
grass roots organization that ultimately became ISIS, that he died fighting them. She remarried, married Baghdadi
Again, that is not uncommon within jihadist organizations when a husband is killed, often another leading figure within the organization
will marry the wife to provide for her, to provide for the family, to provide for their children. So that's not uncommon.
But these details like that that have been reported by Lebanese media are not things that we independently have been able to confirm.
What we can confirm is that she has been arrested, that she played a significant role in ISIS. And that this was an operation that they were
planning to arrest her and got the opportunity to do it and put that plan into action, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the story for you. Thank you, Nic.
Well, prosecutors in Italy are getting their first chance to grill the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which crashed off Giglio Island
nearly three years ago killing 32 people.
At his trial Francesco Schettino was questioned about what happened that night, including why he allowed the ship to pass so close to the shore
before it hit the rocks.
Now, he faces multiple charges, including manslaughter and could get up to 23 years in prison if convicted.
During a break in testimony he told CNN he is confident about how his trial is going.
For more, I'm joined by journalist Barbie Nadeau from The Daily Beast. She's with us via Skype from Grosseto in Italy.
What else has he been saying, Bobbi?
BARBIE NADEAU, THE DAILY BEAST: You know, he's very defiant today, I have to say. He's pointing the blame at everyone but himself. He's
blaming his helmsman who he says didn't understand Italian or English and didn't understand the commands. He's blaming his first officer who he says
made mistakes and errors of judgment when he was standing in or the captain, things like that.
But we see him emotional as well. We heard an audio tape played over the radar at the moment of impact and after that Captain Schettino put his
head in his hands and he just shook his head. And it was a moment where you just maybe he was going to say, OK, I did it, you know, this is all my
fault. But shortly after that he just started casting the blame once again.
And we're going to get another two days probably of testimony. He's got a lot more questions to answer, a lot more people that will cross
examine him, and a lot -- you know, passengers, lawyers, lawyers for the island of Giglio, people like that have questions to ask Captain Schettino,
ANDERSON: How long is this expected to last?
NADEAU: Well, this is -- the testimony of Captain Schettino marks the end of the prosection's case. And what happens after then, it's his
defense will begin their case. And his defense obviously he's got a lot of work to do, but they don't have a long list of witnesses to call.
Then after that, we're going to have the civil parties that will have an opportunity to present some of their evidence in defense. And we're
looking at a verdict probably some time in early 2015, which will be you know four years after the Costa Concordia crash.
ANDERSON: Barbie Nadeau, thank you.
Well, a shakeup of security officials in the Kenyan government after another deadly attack by al Shabaab terrorists. The militant group raided
a quarry near the border with Somalia and slaughered at least 36 people. Now officials say militants separated workers into two groups and executed
the non-Muslims. The interior minister and national police chief are leaving their posts.
And President Uhuru Kenyatta pledges that he will intensify Kenya's war on terror and defeat extremist groups.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF KENYA: Dear Kenyans, the time has come for each and every one of us to decide and choose: are you on the side of
an open, free democratic Kenya, which respects the rule of law, sanctity of life and freedom of worship, or do you stand with a repressive, intolerant
and murderous extremists. Dear Kenyans, terrorism and violent crime are a grave threat to our nation. We are in a war against terrorists in and
outside our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, al-Shabaab says the quarry attack was in retaliation for mosque raids by Kenyan security forces last month. More on this, of course, as we
get it here on CNN.
Well, still to come tonight, Pope Francis leads and an interfaith gathering aimed at snuffing out modern-day slavery. A live report on that
And will NATO's big plans be hobbled by shrinking budgets. We'll ask a former U.S. general whether the alliance's ambitions exceed its accounts?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: The crossroads of Southeast Asia is a popular getaway spot. It's one of the most densely populated
regions on the planet with little space left to build leisure properties.
One Indonesian developer wants to tape in to the $1.4 trillion global tourism market by setting his sights 15 kilometers off the shore of
Singapore to the Riau Archipelago. This is Fantasy Island, a $240 million development isn't just one island, but a cluster of six, covering almost
3.2 million square meters.
As we pull closer to shore, we see what the developer is banking on, crystal clear water and thousands of mangrove trees, all part of a
commitment, the development developer says, to create the world's largest ecopark, preserving 70 percent of the property in its natural state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't (inaudible) 70 percent of the nature attractions, our island development is just like another real estate
(inaudible) I think is over here. This is the (inaudible).
DEFTERIOS: But being green also means Fantasy Island's developers have had to make some sacrifices, setting caps on future visitors,
relocating the shared clubhouse, and paring back the overall number of units.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has to feel like we are one with the nature. We don't want to change that. We want to blend into this environment and
make everything balanced, everything synchronized.
DEFTERIOS: The average cost per square meter, about $5,000. If that sounds like a deal for an over the water villa a short stroll from the
powdery white beach, there's a reason: in line with Indonesia property law, foreign investors cannot buy their piece of paradise here, only lease it
for set terms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're actually selling the use of the building, that means a lease off the building. So every 25 years we do an extension
for 20 years. Every 20 years, we'll do another renewal.
DEFTERIOS: The developers say many investors are undeterred. More than 500 homes have sold to date mostly to buyers from Singapore, Malaysia
and Greater China. In total, over 1,200 holiday villas and apartments will be needed to house the 1 million tourists expected each year.
Fantasy Island is set to welcome its first guest in late-2015.
John Defterios, CNN.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Right, let's explore one of our top stories a bit more now. NATO foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the end of the combat mission
in Afghanistan and the crisis in Ukraine. They are also looking at our plans for a 5,000 strong rapid reaction force coming along, something that
was discussed in Wales at the meeting in the summer, a move prompted, of course, by souring relations with Russia.
But with defense budgets already stretched, can the alliance deliver? It's a big question.
For more on that, let's bring in George Joulwan who is a retired U.S. army general and former NATO supreme allied commander who is joining us now
Added to the agreement I just mentioned, sir, NATO has made it clear to the Iraqi government at least that it is ready to commit resources to
the fight against ISIS if a formal request for assistance were made.
Now do you expect that request to come? And if it were to come, in what sort of capacity would NATO be involved, do you think?
GEORGE JOULWAN, FRM. NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Yes, I think it will come. And what I think NATO can provide is primarily in the training
side and advising side to the Iraqi forces. In the end, the Iraqi force is going to have to provide for the defense of their own country, but NATO has
spent a lot of time there and I think wants to see success and can help.
ANDERSON: Well, only four members states out of 28 actually spend the recommended 2 percent of their GDP on defnse, sir. So, I want to address
this issue of whether the accounts equal the ambition at present. They are the U.S., the UK, Greece, and Estonia.
I spoke to the former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen back in September when the alliance first agreed to form what is this rapid
reaction force as agreed to in Wales. He said member states needed to step up when it comes to funding. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: Over the last five years, Russsia has increased its defense spending by 50 percent while on
average NATO allies have decreased defense spending by 20 percent and this is simply not sustainable. Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine are a
wakeup call. And it's time now to turn the corner, stop the cuts and gradually increase defense investments.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Sir, do its ambitions exceed its accounts at this point?
JOULWAN: Well, I think the former secretary-general is right. It's not ambitions, it's what the charter in 1949 requires and that's to provide
for collective defense. And deterrence is what we're really after, not just war fighting.
And you have to have wherewithal in order to deter. We did it for 40 years in the Cold War. I'm not saying we need to have at those same
levels. But there has to be political will and commitment of forces and funds to provide that deterrent factor.
ANDERSON: And do you see a lack of that commitment at this point?
JOULWAN: Well, I believe the secretary-general and the facts bear it out. Everyone wants a peace dividend. But a peace dividend is peace. And
right now the situation what's occurring, particularly with Russia, but also in Syria with ISIS and the Middle East, that collective defense I
think is going to be lacking unless the wherewithal is there by the alliance.
NATO is not a club, it's a political military alliance that provides for the defense of its members. And that's now at 28.
ANDERSON: I think I'm right in saying that back in August you told CNN that while you believed Obama's approach on Syria and I think you were
alluding to ISIS, amounted to a bit of, and I quote, waffling. You said launching air strikes in Syria requires lots of preparation.
I just want to pin you down on where you believe policy and strategy so far as the U.S. and indeed NATO might be concerned on Syria as we move
towards 2015, because clearly there is some rethink at the White House.
JOULWAN: Well, you have to look at what ISIS is doing to not only Syria but throughout the Middle East and the threat that it poses not just
to the United States -- and by the way, not just to NATO, but I would contend that Russia is as threatened by ISIS as NATO and the United States.
The whole underbelly of Russia is the trans-Caucuses.
So, there has to be a strategy developed here of not ships and tanks and planes, but political, economic, diplomatic as well as military. We're
not there yet. Words will not suffice, action is required.
ANDERSON: Retired U.S. army general and former NATO supreme allied commander who clearly understands his stuff. George Joulwan joining us
here on CNN. Thank you, sir.
JOULWAN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: We'll get you back to one of the other stories that we are covering today, al Shabaab claiming responsibility for the slaughter of 36
Kenyans at a quarry near the border with Somalia. Journalist Ken Mijungu joins me now from Nairobi with more details. and the details were pretty
sketchy as we learned about this -- this morning.
What more do we know at this point?
KEN MIJUNGU, JOURNALIST: At this point, what has happened in the last few hours is that we have bodies arriving in Nairobi. And we have quite
some development in that the president has made a statement. Remember, two weeks ago less than a fortnight ago when there was a similar attack in the
same place just about 40 or 20 or so kilometers apart, he did not specifically comment on this. But today he's commented about that. Plus,
a lot more of the attacks that have been in the country int he last few years.
ANDERSON: What happens next? Because certainly the president has said that the war on terror and his forces continue to fight al Shabaab,
MIJUNGU: Yes, exactly.
And he said this several times. It's not the first time that a president, but today specifically he did not say that, but he eluded to the
fact that war on terror must go on and he's just rallying Kenyans and everybody else to help in this fight. But he said that several times that
we will not remove our troops from Somalia, because that will be an act of cowardice or -- they continue operating there, but the only thing that we
can do is to strengthen our security forces and that's exactly what he intends to do. And of course of a whole the police, the head of the police
was now retired on personal grounds, as he said, and of course the interior cabinet secretary who has been under fire for the last few months, if I may
say so, has also not been mentioned, but what we know is that he's appointed someone to replace him.
So his fate hangs in the balance. We don't really know where he's going.
But on the other side, he's just (inaudible) strengthening. What we already have, with the hope that the new blood has been injected into the
system will manage to combat terrorism not only in Kenya, but to our sister in the region, which is Somalia is key in this fight.
ANDERSON: Thank you, sir.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, 8:26 in the evening here. We will be live from the Cornish (ph)
in the UAE in Abu Dhabi where Emirates and ex-Pats alike are celebrating the UAE's National Day.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.
At least 36 people were slaughtered at a quarry in northern Kenya near the border with Somalia. The Kenyan Red Cross says Al-Shabaab militants
separated non-Muslims from Muslims and executed those who were not Muslims. The head of the national police and the interior minister are leaving their
The wife of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been arrested trying to cross into Lebanon. A source with knowledge of the arrest says the
woman is one of al-Baghdadi's two wives and says she is a powerful figure who is heavily involved in the organization.
The French parliament has voted in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state. It is a symbolic measure, but was opposed by the Israeli prime
minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Britain and Spain are among several nations that have passed similar resolutions.
Well, the pope and interfaith religious leaders are meeting at the Vatican for a panel discussion led by CNN's Christiane Amanpour. Earlier,
they signed a declaration pledging to help end modern-day slavery by 2020.
Since 2011, CNN has campaigned to end modern-day slavery though its Freedom Project initiative, by telling victims' stories that we hope will
unravel criminal enterprises that trade in human life, and we make no apologies for this.
With us now from Rome is CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. And earlier, I know, Christiane, you moderated a
panel discussion at the interfaith summit on slavery. What was said?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this was an extraordinary -- and actually, an unprecedented gathering.
It's the brainchild of an Australian iron ore magnet, Andrew Forrest, who has brought, despite incredible odds, all the leaders of the world's major
faiths together here at the Vatican.
Hosted by Pope Francis, but along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Shiite and Sunni leaders of the Muslim world, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews,
here, all together, pledging to end slavery, to try to, by 2010 (sic).
Now, I was hosting and co-hosting with Father Lombardi, here, who's the Vatican press secretary, and I started by putting the issue to the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Holy Father, you played a key role in establishing the global freedom network. You were the first person to call modern slavery
and human trafficking a crime against humanity. As you appeal for this scourge to be eradicated once and for all, tell us what exactly motivated
your passion about this particular scourge?
POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): On behalf of all of us and our beliefs and persuasions, we
declare that human slavery, in terms of prostitution, exploitation, and also human trafficking, is a crime against humanity.
The victims come from all walks of life, but most times, they are the poorest and the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. This
situation is unfortunately becoming worse and worse every day.
I call upon all people in faith and their leaders and their governments and their companies, I call all men and women of the whole
world to provide their strong support and join this movement against modern slavery in all its forms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, one of the fastest-growing instances of this modern- day slavery is human trafficking for sex industry, for the sex industry. This is the fastest-growing of these criminal enterprises. Also, forced
According to this Global Freedom Project, there are about 36 million modern-day slaves. And not just in the usual corners of the world, sorry
to say, but right here in Italy, in England, in the United Arab Emirates, and around the world.
And so, this is what these world leaders have pledged by their signing to try to start to eradicate. And it's, of course, a multi, multibillion-
dollar annual industry, Becky.
ANDERSON: We've heard it described as a crime against humanity time and time again. You're right to point out, this is a scourge that affects
the area that I'm in tonight, the UAE, as it affects, for example, the UK.
And I know just recently, you'll be well aware, that a report came out suggesting that something like five times as many modern-day slaves are in
the UK as anybody had thought previous to that. Lots of talk at a panel like this. Where's the walk? Where's the actual action at this point?
AMANPOUR: Well, it's precisely the question I then asked Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. This is obviously a no-brainer when it comes
to a moral dilemma. But how do you really turn this into action?
And that was what was quite interesting about some of the presentations today, that they really had to get to the action part of it,
whether it's the Muslim leaders talking in the Friday prayers, whether it's Hindus and Buddhists. Remember, India and China have the most modern-day
slaves, millions and millions of them right now.
It's exploding around Africa and the Middle East. So -- and also, there are significant numbers here in Western Europe.
What Justin Welby said was, there has to also be a hard edge to it. Policing has to get better. People have to start looking at their supply
chains in corporations and industries. And, if lots of corporations fail to respond through engagement of this type, maybe -- maybe, and this was in
response to a question from me -- there needs to be in some instances threats of divestment.
This, he said, has to be ended, and it is a criminal enterprise. And the pope, actually, was the first to call it a crime against humanity,
which is a Geneva Convention kind of legal terminology. So, that's a whole sort of new motivation as well.
But you're right. It's very difficult, and a lot of them operate in the shadows. And so, it's going to take a lot of effort to do it.
ANDERSON: Christiane, always a pleasure. Thank you. And tonight on "Amanpour," you can hear more about the Vatican meeting of interfaith
leaders looking at the issue of modern-day slavery. A special edition of "Amanpour" from Rome starting Tuesday at 7:00 London time, 8:00 PM Central
European Time, only here on CNN.
Well, the scourge of human trafficking is still all-too prevalent in the Middle East and in North Africa. The Global Slavery Index estimates
more than 2.1 million people in this region alone are enslaved.
Qatar ranks fourth in the world index. It reckons that 1.3 percent of the population there actually lives in modern-day slavery Even in the UAE,
one person in every hundred is believed to be enslaved.
Away from the Gulf region, the worst of the problem is in Iraq and in Syria, and with ISIS, it is getting worse. Let's remind you of an horrific
story we brought you in October. CNN's Ivan Watson spoke to a young Yazidi woman who survived being kidnapped and enslaved by an ISIS militant. She
told him that there are girls as young as 11 who were beaten and raped. Here's her account.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Jana" was a 19-year-old high school senior with dreams of becoming a
doctor when ISIS first came to her village.
"JANA," HELD AS SEX SLAVE BY ISIS (through translator): They came to the village and said, "You have to convert to Islam or we will kill you."
WATSON: "Jana," not her real name, is from the village of Khocho, a community of ethnic Kurds from the Yazidi religious minority, which was
surrounded and occupied by ISIS early last August.
Soon after, Jana says ISIS ordered the entire village to go to the school, where they stole all the people's jewelry, money, and cell phones,
and then separated the men from the women.
According to a United Nations report, ISIS then gathered all males older than 10 years of age, took them outside the village by pickup trucks,
and shot them. A different fate lay in store for the women.
"JANA" (through translator): They separated the girls and the women who had children and the old women. They took us girls to Mosul to a big
WATSON: Jana says there were hundreds of girls in the house, and they got visits from the men of ISIS.
"JANA" (through translator): They came to the room and looked around at the girls, and if they liked one, they chose her and took her. If the
girls cried and didn't want to leave, they beat the girl. The guy who chose me was 70 years old and he took me to his house.
There were four Yazidi girls there already. They hit us and they didn't give us enough to eat or drink. They told us we were infidels. He
put me in a room and put a gun to my head, and I was on the ground. And he said, "I will kill you because you won't convert to Islam."
That night, they came and took an 11-year-old girl away. And when she came back, she told me they raped her.
NAZAND BEGIKHANI, ADVISOR TO KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVERNMENT: These women have suffered severe psychological trauma. They've been
systematically raped, not only by one person, but by different men at the same time.
WATSON: Dr. Nazand Begikhani is an advisor to the Kurdistan regional government and an expert on gender violence. She says ISIS kidnapped more
than 2,500 Yazidi women last August after mounting an offensive that triggered a mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yazidis and other Iraqi
minorities. Since then, she says the captive women have been bought and sold across Iraq and Syria like cattle.
BEGIKHANI: They have too main aims, first to recruit youngsters by giving them these young girls and women. And secondly, to humiliate and
expose these women into slavery and systematic rape.
WATSON: That fits an account we heard from an ISIS fighter, held in a Kurdish prison in Syria.
"KAREEM," ISIS FIGHTER (through translator): When someone joins ISIS, they give him a girl, marry him off, and maybe $2,000.
WATSON: Since August, Kurdish authorities succeeded in rescuing only a fraction of the thousands of kidnapped Yazidi women.
BEGIKHANI: So far, we managed to rescue about 100 women.
WATSON: Begikhani says all of those rescued say they were raped.
WATSON (on camera): If you could say something to the man who took you to his house, what would you want to tell this guy?
"JANA" (through translator): I don't want to tell him anything. I just want to kill him.
WATSON (voice-over): Ivan Watson, CNN, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
ANDERSON: Well, CNN joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of the scourge, and you can help. Head
to our website to find out how you can get involved and help make a difference.
CNN's Freedom Project gives a voice to the victims and highlights success stories of those trying to end human trafficking. There are
success stories. Go to cnn.com/freedomproject to find out. We'll be right back.
ANDERSON: These are live pictures of the Corniche here in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where thousands are celebrating the country's
National Day. It was on this day, December the 2nd, 43 years ago when six emirates came together to form the UAE. The remaining emirate of Ras Al
Khaimah joined the federation the following year.
You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. This is the home of the show these days. Let's get a flavor of
the celebrations that are happening out there on the Corniche. I have to say, it's been a weekend of events: celebrations, fireworks, flags.
Amir Daftari is down at the Corniche where much of the festivities are taking place. And I know there are thousands down there with you. What's
the mood like?
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it is party time down here in Abu Dhabi.
DAFTARI: Hundreds -- almost half the city are right here --
DAFTARI: -- celebrating the --
DAFTARI: -- National Day. Festivities are going on all over --
ANDERSON: All right, party time. I'm afraid -- yes, party -- party time to the extent that I'm afraid there are so many people down there, I'm
told in my ear, that our shot isn't stable. So, let's see whether we can get Amir back. We're going to mark National Day in the UAE.
We're bringing you a story as well, tonight, of a local man who's giving Emiratis another reason to celebrate. He's the only Emirati sailing
on the Abu Dhabi team boat at the Volvo Ocean Race. Have a look at this, and we'll be back in a minute.
ANDERSON: Let one complete, it couldn't have been closer, but you did it. Tell me about it.
ADIL KHALID, ABU DHABI OCEAN RACING: It's a great success. We have a really strong team. We worked hard, and all of the training in the summer
we did, it pays off in the first leg. And we're looking forward to the leg from Qatar to Abu Dhabi this time, and we'd love to win it again.
ANDERSON: You make it sound so easy.
ANDERSON: It wasn't easy. It's a really hard leg. What were the challenges? What were the biggest challenges?
KHALID: There were a lot of challenges. You go through a lot of -- we went through doldrums, three days of doldrums, different winds. You
have different kind of clouds, and it's a lot of things, a lot of tactics.
And for us, like a team, we have great, happy people on the team. They have been from the last previous race winners, and it's a great team.
ANDERSON: What's your role on the boat? Remind the viewers.
KHALID: My role on the boat is a trimmer and helmsman. Helming the boat, sometimes I am in the water -- drive for one hour and trim for one
hour. Grind, that means you have four hours on, four hours off. Eight people, they have to do it for 25 days every day. And then, I -- even if
there is a storm, if it's raining, anything. You're through everything.
ANDERSON: We're talking four hours on, four hours off. When you're on, you're working so hard. When you're off, can you sleep?
KHALID: No. Sometimes you cannot sleep because it's really terrible. I remember the first -- day number five, and it was around 25 to 40 knots.
And six meters of wave, and the boat is like a washing machine. And you're shaking all over the place.
And I saw a guy just going -- Daryl is from New Zealand -- went to the back and he threw up. And I stood behind him, throwing up. I was like no
way, I cannot --
ANDERSON: Do you still get seasick, right?
KHALID: Of course you get seasick.
ANDERSON: You sailed here as a child. You will be sailing in, hopefully, in first place after the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Take me back to being a kid and sailing these little things.
KHALID: When I started, I was 13 years old. I was doing dinghies, optimists, lasers. I used to win the Gulf championships. And I went to
Europe, I used to finish 5th, 10th. And it was a great result for me. And from there, I went to Olympic Games in 2008, and it was a great success
just to go and represent the country to be the first Arab to represent UAE or represent the Arab world in Olympics in the sailing.
And I saw the Volvo one, I was like, why not? One day I'm going to do I. Why not? And one day I had the application on, and I went for it, a
way to apply, and I go through them. It was a great success.
I remember when they had my -- they announced my name, and I was crying, I was like, yes. I always do it.
ANDERSON: This is an Abu Dhabi boat. You are the only Emirati sailor. There's so much expectation on your shoulders. You must feel very
proud. I know the leadership here does. How is it going to feel when you get here at the end of the second leg? Hopefully in first place.
KHALID: It's going to feel great. Every time -- every morning, I wake up, I see the flat, and I go, Adil, you are doing it. You are doing
it for your country. You should keep pushing it. Even when I'm driving, I have to go -- I have to do half a knot or one knot more to be in the first
We're not going to come to Abu Dhabi for sure, and the last time it was 100,000 or 50,000 people just cheering up here. And this time, I think
it'll be bigger.
ANDERSON: And you can just imagine how they feel, winning the first leg, on their way to Abu Dhabi. I know people here, certainly, in the UAE
are hoping that they will come in first as that race continues. They'll be here in about the middle of December, I'm told.
Let's get back out to the Corniche as we take a very short break. We'll be back after this.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. From sushi to sake, yakitori to ramen, Japanese cuisine is savored all
around the world. And now, you can add whiskey to the most-coveted list. This year, a Japanese distiller took home the prize for best blended malt
whiskey, beating -- get this -- Scottish rivals. Paula Newton finds out what makes Japan's whiskey industry so special.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If only you could take in the smell of this place, too. Fine Japanese whiskey in every cask, and
the smell? Strong, refined, and distinctive. Just like the spirits within.
SHINJI FUKUYO, EXECUTIVE OFFICER/CHIEF BLENDER, SUNTORY LIQUORS LIMITED: Cost has helped in place of the maturation quality. In the case
of making White, it's quite spicy, vanilla, very crispy.
NEWTON: That description as sharp and precise as chief blender Shinji Fukuyo. We've come to Suntory's Yamazaki distillery near Kyoto. It's
Japan's oldest, and whiskey has been crafted here for nearly 90 years.
But this year is a first. Whiskey distilled here has been voted the best by the world's Whiskey Bible, labeled a work of genius. This man has
unseated the Scottish throne. But how?
FUKUYO: Fragrant aroma with balance. Even after diluting, it keeps a good flavor.
NEWTON (on camera): Wow, but the smell in here is so strong.
FUKUYO: Oh, yes.
NEWTON (voice-over): That fruition starts here with fermentation.
NEWTON (on camera): Can we take a look?
FUKUYO: Oh, yes.
NEWTON: Oh, wow!
NEWTON (voice-over): There is one confidence Mr. Fukuyo will divulge. Japanese whiskey is one of the world's best, he says, because of the purity
of the water here. As for any other secrets, forget about it. We weren't even allowed to see the blending process, a complicated choreography for
more than a dozen different casks, leading to this.
NEWTON (on camera): I'm still picking up a spice and edge.
FUKUYO: Spicy, yes.
NEWTON: Sweeter, though, now.
FUKUYO: Yes, spicy. Looks like -- let me say, cinnamon.
NEWTON: Cinnamon! That's what is. Like a clove of cinnamon, almost.
NEWTON (voice-over): It takes very little expertise, as you can see from me, to understand why Japanese whiskey has come of age. The taste is
smooth and complex, and this master blender tells me, uniquely Japanese.
Now, before I get carried away, there is one thing missing. And for that, we venture to the Japanese capital and to a decade-old whiskey
institution, the Society at the Park Hotel, Tokyo. Tending bar is concept creator, Takayuki Suzuki.
He doesn't discriminate -- Scottish whiskeys are poured here, too. But Japanese whiskey is now so coveted, international buyers are snapping
up the best bottles.
TAKAYUKI SUZUKI, COCKTAIL DESIGNER, PARK HOTEL TOKYO (through translator): Because Japanese whiskey got the world number one title, its
recognition has increased greatly. Many foreigners come here asking for Japanese whiskey without even looking at the menu.
NEWTON: As for the best way to drink it -- take a look, he says. Start with a perfect ice ball -- hand-carved, of course -- 12-year Yamazaki
single malt, of course, and drink up, of course.
Whiskey production here is still quite small, a fraction of what's produced in Scotland and elsewhere. But its exclusivity and its bragging
rights are challenging the modest, bespoke approach distilled with every bottle here.
Paula Newton, CNN, Yamazaki, Japan.
ANDERSON: And just before we close out this show, some news just coming into CNN. Our chief international correspondent, Christiane
Amanpour, has confirmed that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sacked finance minister Yair Lapid and justice minister Tzipi Livni. This
points to the collapse of his coalition and raises the likelihood of early elections.
Again, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacking his finance minister and his justice minister. Do stay with CNN for details on what is
this developing story.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. From the team here, it is a very good evening.