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Inside the Fight For Aleppo; One Square Meter: Amman's The Boulevard; Cologne Cathedral To Dim Lights In Response To Anti-Muslim Protests; Buckingham Palace Denies Allegation Prince Andrew Slept With Under-Aged Prostitute; Anti-Muslim Movement Gains Steam in Germany; Lebanon Toughens Entry Rules for Syrians; Many African Refugees Struggling in Israel; Bush Fire Destroys Homes in South Australia; Outlook for Oil in 2015; Parting Shots: App Replaces Password With Selfie

Aired January 5, 2015 - 11:00   ET



NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is just outside Aleppo. Khanadaras (ph) village, key to a last remaining supply line for

rebels into the city.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: What was once the commercial capital of Syria now a broken shell of its former self. But it's never been more crucial in the

battle to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

This hour and all this week, we'll take you inside Aleppo and show you why this fight matters for Syria and the whole region.

Also ahead, one of Germany's most famous landmarks get set to dim its lights. Protest an anti-Islam march passing by hallowed walls.

And an emphatic denial, Buckingham Palace combats under-aged sex claims against Prince Andrew.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is 8:00 here in the UAE. Tragically for the people of Syria, other stories have been somewhat overshadowing the

civil war that's been tearing that country apart for nearly four years now.

The UN estimates some 200,000 have died and more than 12 million need humanitarian help.

Well, we are bringing you the Syrian turmoil back into focus this week with a series of special reports here on Connect the World.

We're going to start with a critical battle unfolding right now in Aleppo, once the country's largest city and its commercial capital. It's been

ravaged by the war and numerous factions still fight to control it.

We've obtained some remarkable footage from the front lines there.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh with us now from Beirut with a closer look -- Nick.

WALSH: Becky, what we have here today is a rare look at the fight for a particular vital part of the front lines, for a key access road for rebels

in and out of the area as they control in that large commercial hub over Aleppo. One hill really could make the difference between hundreds of

thousands of civilians being besieged by the regime. And Brazilian photojournalist Gabriel Chaim (ph) got a firsthand look at some of the

breathless and at times almost amateur, it seems, fighting for one particular area near there.


WALSH: In the abandoned mountains of Syria's old elite, a vital battle for its biggest city is reaching peak. This is just outside Aleppo, Khandaras

(ph) key to the last remaining supply line for rebels into the city.

If the regime takes this, tens of thousands of civilians in rebel areas will be besieged.

They show our cameraman, Gabriel Chaim (ph) the regime positions. Now they begin with a surprise attack.

Across open ground, these men are young, breathless, but in this war's carnage that amounts to experience: so many do not last long.

"These are the farms that the regime army took," this commander says. "And they took it, because Arab countries let us down by not giving us weapons."

Iran is supporting Bashar's army.

There's is a mad dash towards a better equipped regime. Then, position by a dirt wall.

"Shoot now, guys," he says.

"It looks like the 23 millimeter machine guns will shoot at us now," they laugh and then pull back reminding each other to conserve ammunition.

Even three years in, they still fight with makeshift or light weapons.

"Here, we only have Kalashnikovs or grenades," he says, "light weapons against the weapons of mass destruction that the regime have. We have

nothing, only god in the face of the regime and their allies."

A cry of the faithful amid the loneliest, most vital fight.

They take Gabriel to another front line near the airport, another regime stronghold in Aleppo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see that building there?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That building, the army is over there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very near.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 50 meters. I think from this point, 50. And another point there, 15.

WALSH: This is their day-to-day existence, cat and mouse amid the rubble of their old world, a stalemate that has swallowed Syria's commercial hub

for two years now.

They fire at the regime. That crack is them returning fire with heavier weapons.

We're shown the firing position through which they can see their enemy.

Our guide has moved back.

"Ach," he says, "I'm hit. The bullet exploded near my face. No, I'm covered in fragments."

The wounds are superficial, though.


WALSH: It is rare to get an independent look, because of the risks to foreign journalists inside Aleppo, but you see there really how young the

people fighting for that vital road, that vital access, which could affect hundreds of thousands actually are, and exactly how exhausted it seems the

fight now there really is -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, what was also glaring from that report was the lack of civilians around. Just what is the situation so far as the humanitarian

crisis, as it were, is concerned inside Aleppo?

WALSH: Well, that's the key pressing element about that fight you just saw there. It's for a key access road in and out. We've driven on it

ourselves in June. It's really the only way in and out of rebel-held areas of Aleppo at present, really, that runs from the south round to the


Now the UN estimate that despite the fighting, despite the perpetual shelling by the regime, often using crude barrel bombs. There are still

65,000 families inside those rebel-held areas who are in need of desperate assistance were the regime to take that vital access point you just saw the

fighting for there. 65,000 families, that's about -- well, well over 300,000 people.

They're in need of warm clothing now, some they say, in fact of cutting down trees around Aleppo simply to use as fuel in the cold Aleppo winter.

And it's very perilous situation which seems, day by day to depend on how that fight you just saw goes -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Deeply depressing story. Nick Paton Walsh on that for you. Thanks, Nick.

And our series continues tomorrow with a look at Aleppo's secret schools. Amid all the fighting these kids are still insisting on their right to an

education. Nick introduces us to a teacher whose classes have been bombed five times and whose students dreaming of a future far away from where they

are now.

Then, tune in later this week for a special report "ISIS: Battlefield Aleppo." That aires at 6:00 p.m. Saturday here in Abu Dhabi -- and its

times, you can work them out where you are locally -- only on CNN.

Well, still to come this evening, Lebanon makes it tougher for Syrians to cross the border. The tiny nation feeling the strain of hosting more than

1 million refugees. We're live back in Beirut to talk about the latest measures from there on that.

37 bodies have been recovered now from the Java Sea, but many families of those on board AirAsia flight 8501 are still waiting for their loved ones'

remains. The latest on the search after this.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson out of Abu Dhabi. 10 minutes past 8:00.

Well, bad weather continues to hamper the search in the Java Sea for the main wreckage of AirAsia flight 8501, or 8501. Three more bodies were

recovered on Monday bringing the total number of victims pulled from the sea to 37. Now that is just a fraction of the 162 people who were on board

that flight as it departed Indonesia for Singapore on December 28.

Well, pieces of the plane have also been found, including this one with the AirAsia logo on it. Divers are yet to recover the vitally important flight

data recorders.

Well, our Paula Hancocks was aboard one of the boats scouring the seas for signs of that plane. And as she found out, the crew faces tough choices.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The deserted beaches of west Borneo, Indonesia, belie the horrors out at sea. More than

100 nautical miles to the search zone, calm waters and sunshine soon disappear.

(on camera): Now we've been on the sea now for about four hours. We've got another three or four hours to go. And as you can see, the weather has

started to close in the closer we get to this crash location. But we're being told that even though these waves are fairly high, and you can see

it's a lot choppier than it was, that this is still considered fairly good weather. This is better than it has been for some days.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The crew look for debris and bodies. One of them spots something. He's unsure what exactly. The captain calls it in. A

larger ship in the area will investigate. This search and rescue boat has a specific mission, to deliver a pinger locater to help with the vital search

for the so called black boxes. But the captain is nervous about the weather.

"I feel a heavy moral burden," he says. "I have a responsibility to keep those on board safe. But it's so important to help find bodies and debris.

Larger ships can cope with these conditions," he says. "This is not a large ship."

Sector four (ph) of the search zone, the contact boat is in sight. Time to hand over the equipment. Easier said than done.

(on camera): One of the men who's in charge of that equipment was going to jump across, but, quite frankly, he doesn't want to now. He said it's

simply too dangerous.

(voice-over): Next job, transferring the boat from which to operate the equipment. A task the crew struggles with until dark. He will have to admit

defeat, at least for today. An exhausted crew returns to land with only half a mission accomplished.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, in the Java Sea.


ANDERSON: And you can keep up to date with the latest developments on this story online. A new year and CNN has a brand new website. Do visit on any device and you'll see how we've got a bold, new look with more photography for you and more video. We've improved the navigation to

make it easier to find the stories and the videos that you will want and it is easier to share content that you enjoy.

If you visit the site on a mobile device, you'll see we have a lot more news, videos and stories than in the past. Do check that out at

Well, one of Germany's most famous landmarks is about to go dark in about an hour. The Cologne Cathedral will shut off its evening lights as a

counter protest against a march by a growing anti-Muslim movement.

Now thousands have rallied in Dresden in recent weeks to support that movement. They are protesting what they call the Islamization of Germany

by Muslim immigrants. And now they've taken the movement to the center of Cologne right outside that very Cathedral with a march scheduled to start

just moments from now.

Fred Pleitgen has been following the story and he joins me now from Berlin.

The atmosphere, if you will, Fred.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is one that's very tense and it certainly is one that's tense around the country, because

it's not only in Cologne and in Dresden that these marches are set to take place today, it's in 10 cities around the country. Berlin is also one of

those as well.

But we do have to see that the real focal point of this movement truly is the town of Dresden. And they're trying to move it to Cologne as well.

But it also shows the counter movement that's taking place against these protests, against the so-called Islamization of Germany and of Europe where

we have the Catholic church is taking a big stand on all of this saying they're not going to deal with any of this, they're going to shut down the

lights of that famous cathedral, which is by the way, the most visited landmark in all of Germany, one of the most famous cathedrals in all of

Europe. And they say they will not support any sort of protest that happens in front of the door. They're going to shut down all the lights to

protest against the protests, if you will.

And that's really the mood here in this country.

There are these people who are saying they want to be part of this protest movement. They say they're not some sort of right-wing radicals. They say

they're from the middle of the society. But they're very, very worried about this wave of asylum seekers that's been coming to Germany.

Then there's others who are saying that, yes, there are a lot of right-wing people among that movement. And these people are very, very dangerous.

And that some of these people who are from the middle of society and are not radicals need to watch out who they go to these protests with.

So this is something that's being hotly debated in Germany right now. And I have to say, German politics really isn't coming to terms with this at

all. They keep saying they think that this movement is bad, but they certainly don't seem to have any sort of answers for the more than 10,000

people who went on the street, for instance, shortly before Christmas and the thousands of people that are scheduled to go on the streets again

today, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, Fred, thank you for that.

And perhaps we'll get more than from the German government with their perspective on what might be described as an anti-Muslim movement in the

country. Tune in to tonight's edition of Amanpour. Christiane speaks with the German interior minister, that is 11:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi, 7:00

p.m. locally in London.

And more on this growing movement later in the hour. We'll speak with a political science professor in Berlin about why the movement appears to be

gaining such mass appeal in that country.

Well, now to the scandal that is keeping the press office at Buckingham Palace quite busy in this new year. It's once again denying allegations

that Prince Andrew took part in a sex ring involving under-aged girls.

Now the accusation surfaced last week in a court filing in the U.S. State of Florida. And the woman behind it is giving salacious details of what

supposedly happened.

CNN's Max Foster is following this story and joins us now.

What do we know, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it all centers around Jeffrey Epstein, who is a convicted sex offender in the U.S. and a former

friend of Prince Andrew. And Virginia Roberts has made claims that she was kept as a sex slave by him, expected to service his friends effectively.

So, she was referred to as Jane Doe 3 in these court documents filed in Florida. She alleges she was kept as sex slave for three years and was

forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in London and New York, and also in the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of an orgy with other under-aged women.

So, absolutely salacious scandal.

For the palace to respond in any way to scandal is a big thing. They've now responded four times. The latest one was to say that there's no

evidence that she ever met the queen. So they're even worried for this going to that level as well.

But the main statement says they emphatically deny that he had any form of sexual contact with Virginia Roberts. They named her. And the allegations

made are false and without any foundation.

ANDERSON: U.S. lawyer Alan Dershowitz, our viewers may recall his name, also standing accused of having sex with the young woman leveling claims at

Prince Andrew. He appeared earlier on CNN, I know, to defend himself.

Let's have a listen to what he said.


ALAN DERSHOWITZ, ATTORNEY; She is a liar. She has charged Bill Clinton with having sex with her on the island when Secret Service records will

obviously show he was never on the island. She claimed to meet the Queen. Buckingham records will show that isn't true. How does a lawyer rely on

the statement of a woman who is a serial perjurer, serial liar, serial prostitute and bring charges against somebody with an unscathed reputation

like me without even checking?


ANDERSON: Well, that is Alan Dershowitz.

Should we expect to hear such fiery denials from Prince Andrew himself, do you think?

FOSTER: I'm told it's effectively business as usual at the palace. He's come back from holiday. He's not going to be making any statements. He's

going to be carrying on with his work as usual. But I have to say Roberts has come up with an additional statement via her lawyers saying she's going

to take all available recourse. She's not going to leave this.

She says these types of aggressive attacks are exactly the reason why sexual abuse victims typically remain silent. We've had a lot of these

types of scandals, haven't we, over the last year. And there is a lot of support for people who make historical sex abuse claims when there hasn't

perhaps been in the past.

ANDERSON: Do we know where Prince Andrew is at present?

FOSTER: He's currently in London speaking to his officials, as I understand it. There's reports in the British papers that he's got this

emergency meeting with the queen. They say there's no suggestion of that, but you would have thought he would be speaking to her. She is effectively

his boss.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

Max, on the story for you. Thank you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, the ups and downs of the oil market. High output and low prices

are both breaking records. CNN's John Defterios in the House. We explain all in just over 20 minutes time.

Before that, a new real estate project in Jordan catching the eye of investors. We are in Amman next for One Square Meter.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: This is the Boulevard, Amman's answer to largescale projects found in cities like Dubai and Beirut. Phase

1 in the city's Abdali district will have one million square meters of built up space.

This Kuwaiti financed mall will be the biggest in Jordan.

A Dubai-based developer is finishing this tower next door. It will have 360 apartments, 95 percent of them have already been sold.

Abdali CEO says the project fills a huge void in the capital.

GEORGE AMIREH, CEO, ABDALI: Amman was lacking a defined center, a defined hub with a high-end infrastructure to cater for the future needs of Amman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forum in the old days and the marketplace in nowadays. It's a mixture of things. And this mixture, this mix makes

things happen.

DEFTERIOS: But things started off slowly. The opening ceremony came more than a decade after the masterplan was finalized.

Initial capital nearly dried up during the 2008 financial crisis, then came the Arab Spring.

The Boulevard was dreamed up by King Abdullah and the late Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon who made his fortune with largescale

developments like this one. It's designed to be a financial gateway into the Levante region.

The development, which will have a hotel tower on one end, and a giant hospital on the other, is designed to position Jordan's role as a safe


Montar Habardeen (ph), the chairman of the Boulevard company, says wealthy Iraqis and Syrians have been active buyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this place, Jordan, has been the haven for security. So people run from their lives and they come here. Those who

are able and those who are not as able.

DEFTERIOS: The financially able are driving up prices. There's been a more than four-fold increase in property transactions since this idea came

to fore, hitting about $400 million. Residential flats near The Boulevard go for up to $3,500 a square meter, a dear price where per capita income is

about $5,200 a year.

AMIREH: That's a term that a lot of people use, Amman is expensive, Amman is expensive. It's relatively speaking to the region and to the area that

we are in it's moderate. Amman is not that expensive.

DEFTERIOS: So far, just 30 percent of commercial space has been leased out.

Phase 2, another one million square meters, plans to come on market over the next three years.

After initial fits and starts, they want this emerging hub in the Middle East to finish smoothly.

John Defterios, CNN, Amman, Jordan.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.

Three more bodies recovered from the AirAsia Flight 8501 search zone have arrived in Indonesia. So far, 37 victims have been found in the Java Sea

and have been identified.

Stocks on Wall Street are down sharply as the markets begin their first full trading week of 2015. You can see there down about 1.5 percent or

259-odd points. The Dow down after the opening bell. It's being weighed down by commodity stocks, and more on that shortly.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has removed his monitoring ankle tag and will no longer obey his house arrest. According to several

reports, he made the announcement on his blog. He, seen here on the left, has been pursued in fraud cases, which he says are politically motivated.

In about an hour, Germany's Cologne Cathedral will shut off its evening lights as a counter protest against the march by an anti-Muslim movement.

Now, this movement has led thousands to rally in recent weeks against what protesters, at least, call the "Islamization" of Germany.

Joining me now to talk a little bit more about this group is Professor Hajo Funke of Berlin's --


ANDERSON: He's studied right-wing extremism in Europe and its popular appeal in some places. Sir, thank you for joining us. What has prompted

this latest protest? This mass movement, as it were, if indeed that is what it is?


ANDERSON: Can you hear me, sir?

FUNKE: Hello?

ANDERSON: I think we're having communications problems with our guest at present. Let me just get you a little insight into the fact that Germany

isn't the only nation that has seen protests, as we reestablish with our guest, in recent months against the influx of Muslims.

I want to show you just a few of the nations where similar protests have taken place. In September, hundreds protested plans to build a mosque in

Australia's Sunshine Coast. Then, in October, protesters in the UK rallied against a Muslim academy planned for Portsmouth in the south.

In response, some cities have come together to stand behind the Muslim community. Just days ago, for example, residents of Uppsala in Sweden

posted messages of support after a local mosque and others across the country were attacked.

Let me get you back to our guest out of Berlin this evening. Sir, and I hope you can hear me now. What has protest -- what has prompted this

latest protest in Cologne?

FUNKE: Hello, should I answer? Hello?

ANDERSON: Yes, please, sir.

FUNKE: Should I answer?

ANDERSON: Yes, please.

FUNKE: Should I answer now? Excuse me?

ANDERSON: OK, I think we are having technical problems. Apologies for that. We're going to move on.

The war in Syria has forced millions of people from their homes. The UN says at least 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria. Outside

Syria, neighboring countries are shouldering the burden. Turkey has over a million registered refugees. An estimated 622,000 live in Jordan. Over

230,000 registered in Iraq, and Egypt home to 130,000 Syrians.

Lebanon, meanwhile, has taken in the largest amount of Syrians relative to its own population. A million refugees registered there, and many more

unregistered, and that is a big problem, not just, it has to be said, in Lebanon, but around the region.

Now, a quarter of Lebanon's population is now Syrian. That is the equivalent of the US taking in 83 million Syrians. The open border has

been a huge factor, and that is what Lebanon is trying to toughen up on at present.

Under new regulations, Syrians will have to apply for visa-like permission to cross the border. There are six categories, and those applying as

tourists will have to provide a hotel reservation, valid ID, and have at least $1,000.

The United Nations says it hopes Lebanon will clarify the status of refugees and the right to asylum as the new regulations make no mention of

that option.

Let's see if we can bring in Rami Khouri, he's a regular guest on this show, out of Beirut for you this evening. He's director of the Issam Fares

Institute. And sir, is there any clarification at this point so far as asylum-seekers are concerned?

RAMI KHOURI, DIRECTOR, ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE: Not yet, not officially. But I think what people are going to be looking for is some kind of

statement from the Lebanese, which they've kind of said already that anybody in real dire humanitarian need of refuge, a sick person, or in some

cases, some family reunification case that's extremely urgent where people don't have money to live or something, they will let those kinds of people

have refuge in Lebanon, as has been the case --


KHOURI: -- for the last three years. But they'll be very much many fewer of those than before. People who are coming here because it's just easier

here or they get assistance from international agencies, those are the kind of people they want to try to stop.

ANDERSON: Rami, many of our viewers will feel so disheartened by what is this sort of closing of the doors, as it were, by Lebanon. Is this a

policy that is supported within?

KHOURI: The majority of Lebanese are probably supportive of this process because the stress on the country has become almost unbearable in so many

different areas. That's what makes this case so unique in a way.

Because the pressures are in housing, jobs, for instance. Syrians take jobs away that Lebanese would have had. Syrians take jobs at lower wages,

which lowers the entire wage structure. They create pressure on the medical health system, on the education system, on the water and

electricity services.

Sanitation issues or environmental health and sanitation issues are arising in some areas where there's uncontrolled waste processes. So, there's so

many areas, plus the political side and the security concerns that some people have, given the fighting between Lebanese and Syrians on the border.

So, the combination of all of these has made life quite stressful for many Lebanese, and therefore, I think the majority of Lebanese do support this.

On the other hand, they -- the Lebanese were refugees themselves for 15 years during the Lebanese Civil War. Many of them went to Syria. They

understand what it means to be a refugee. That's why they've left the border open for the last three years, and people have rushed in.

You also have 200,000 or 300,000 Syrians who are working here who were here before the war broke out, who are working here legally or illegally. And

so, you've got probably somewhere close to 2 million Syrians between the registered refugees, the unregistered ones, and the Syrian workers who come

and go. And this is just too much. The country can't bear it.

ANDERSON: There are those who use the argument that this recent influx, this significant impact on, as you describe, the infrastructure of what is

the host country, could lead to a civil war. Do you buy that argument?

KHOURI: No, I don't buy the civil war argument. There are many reasons why the Lebanese could have another civil war, and they've already had a

major one. But I don't think the influx of Syrian refugees is one of them.

They do -- these refugees lead to political stresses, political tensions, security issues. And there are concerns about sectarian balances between

Sunnis and Shiites. But none of these issues, I think, would lead to a civil war.

The Syrian refugees are not politically active, to a large extent, inside Lebanon. There's handfuls of activists from Syria who are involved with

some of the groups that are fighting against the Assad government.

But they are not political actors as such inside Lebanon. Unlike, say, the Palestinians were in the 1970s, which did contribute, to some extent --


KHOURI: -- to the civil war in Lebanon. So, civil war I don't think is on the agenda, but perpetual low-intensity tension probably is on the agenda.

ANDERSON: Let's just remind ourselves of the significance of the Syrian influence politically, in the past, a what a 180, effectively, has happened


Let's get back to the nub of this and the fact that to be allowed into the country, you'd need to get permission from the government and have a

legitimate reason, medical, study, work, whatever it be. What happens, then, to those who are already in the country? Can you describe sort of

life for the average Syrian, and if, indeed, they were to be kicked out going forward, what would happen?

KHOURI: Well, there isn't anything really like an average Syrian refugee. You have some wealthy Syrians who have bought apartments in Beirut and

relocated their businesses here. You have some upper-middle income Syrians, some of whom have opened restaurants and shops and are earning a

decent living.

You have middle-income Syrians, who are the ones who are not able to do their own businesses, but have just enough money to rent a small apartment

or room.

And then you have the very low income, the ones who are really in the worst situation, some hundreds of thousands of very low-income Syrians with no

income at all, and they're the ones who are completely at the mercy of international aid agencies. They live in makeshift camps along the border,

in the Sabra Shatila Palestinian refugee camp area of southern Beirut. You have terrible living conditions, bad sanitation conditions.

And then you get into situations, also, where in those conditions where the Lebanese police are not present, you get criminal activity, drug smuggling,

prostitution, and that ultimately can lead to political extremism as well.

One of the fears of Lebanon for this reason they did this move is they don't want the repeal of the Palestinian refugee legacy where some couple

hundred thousand Lebanese -- or couple of tens of thousands of Palestinians came to Lebanon in 1948, when Israel was created and the Palestinians were


And those have now grown to about 300,000, 400,000 Palestinians who've lived permanently in Palestinian camps since 1948. They -- the Lebanese

have not created camps for the Syrians, like the Jordanians and Turks did, simply for that reason. They don't want to have permanent camps of foreign

-- non-Lebanese refugees. Because they do ultimately create political stresses.

ANDERSON: Rami, always a pleasure. Thank you. The story of Syria and its refugees is one that we will be on here on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky

Anderson, all week, and we'll continue to pursue a truly dreadful story. Rami, thank you.

Across Lebanon's border to the south, Israel, as Rami suggested, which may have avoided the influx of Syrian refugees that has impacted so many of its

neighbors. But migration still a fact of life there. As Ian Lee reports, the country hasn't been the refuge many fleeing Africa had hoped for.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not easy leaving your country behind, but for Africans in Tel Aviv, this church

makes them feel at home. The pastor, Jeremiah Dairo, eases their spiritual burden.

JEREMIAH DAIRO, PASTOR: When they come here, we try to give them hope that everything will be OK.

LEE: Thousands have filled these pews over the years. Some came to scratch a living. Others, fleeing for their lives, like this woman, who

asked us to conceal her identity out of fear of retaliation. She says she fled Nigeria after the terrorist group Boko Haram attacked her church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some ran, some, they beat some. They even raped me in the church. That's why I had to leave.

LEE: Today's sermon, an important message: being a good neighbor. But as Africans look to Israel for opportunity and sanctuary, Israel is saying no.

LEE (on camera): The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, views these people coming from Africa illegally as infiltrators. The government is saying

that they create a financial and demographic burden for the state, pointing to neighborhoods like here in South Tel Aviv where there's friction between

the locals and the newcomers.

LEE (voice-over): Until recently, that meant possible detention for nearly 50,000 Africans who arrived in Israel illegally. The Supreme Court has

since said the detention was illegal and deprived migrants of their basic human rights.


LEE: That's how Asaf Weltzen describes the government's attitude. Taking care of their needs, he believes, will prevent any societal friction.

WELTZEN: We are promoting one major solution: to accept them for the time being as people who have rights and who are stuck here with us, whether

people like it or not.

LEE: Nadeem Omar arrived four years ago after escaping Darfur. He dreams of studying sociology. But for now, it's about just getting by.

NADEEM OMAR, SUDANESE REFUGEE: It's starting to be a blame for them, what is your situation if you go back to Sudan, what's going to happen to you?

They don't care at all, OK?

LEE: For Omar and many others like him, leaving their countries was supposed to mean a better life. Only now, they're realizing they're not


Ian Lee, CNN, Tel Aviv.


ANDERSON: A raging bush fire has driven thousands of people from their homes in south Australia. Firefighters are trying to contain that blaze,

but it's a battle against time as high temperatures and strong winds are forecast to return to the Adelaide Hills area on Wednesday. Kristie Lu

Stout reports.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Entire neighborhoods engulfed in flames. This is the worst bush fire to hit

southern Australia in 30 years. Dozens of homes now destroyed. Residents devastated over what they have lost, but lucky to have made it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of smoke. We get to the top of the hill, we saw the flames as tall as the trees, and then we knew we were in


STOUT: Thousands of people have had to flee their homes since the fire began on Friday afternoon. It quickly spread, and in just over 24 hours,

had burned more than 12,500 hectares of land. More than 700 firefighters, including those who've come from neighboring states, are battling the


Hot weather continues to complicate efforts at fighting the flames. The county fire services warned flare-ups could be a concern for the next two

to three weeks. The police are investigating exactly what caused this blaze that's left serious damage in its wake. So far, though, perhaps

luckily, it has not taken anyone's life.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi at quarter to 9:00 in the evening, here, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, oil prices

hit a new 5.5-year low as key producers, like Russia, see their highest output in decades. John Defterios here in the studio to break that down

for us.

And tech giants set to showcase their latest gadgets in Vegas. We'll bring you more from the Consumer Electronics Show in about ten minutes from now.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: This is CNN out of the UAE, CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. It is wake up time, at least on the US markets,

and I'm not just talking time of the day. Oil in the spotlight big time. A period of highs and lows on the oil markets. Russia's output at a post-

Soviet high in 2014.

Iraqi exports also at their strongest level since 1980. But worries over a global glut, now, sending the price per barrel tumbling to a 5.5 year low.

Brent Crude stands at just over $53 on the barrel.

Earlier, though, today in the United States, oil dropping below -- what a crucial number -- $50 are briefly dragging stocks down with them. CNN's

emerging markets editor John Defterios here in the studio. This is a story you've been on for weeks, months, years, in fact.


ANDERSON: Particularly in focus over the last --


DEFTERIOS: The story that keeps on giving, as they say.

ANDERSON: It keeps on giving, you're absolutely right. Prices collapsing in the second half of 2008 before something was done about it. This time,

it seems, it's not just that no one is willing to do anything about it, but people are turning on the taps and pushing the price lower. Why would they

do that, John?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it's interesting you bring up 2008, because people are referring now to a 5.5-year low, which would take us to May 2009. But the

second half of 2008, we saw basically the rug pulled out underneath the oil market, down to $35 a barrel. Then, Saudi Arabia acted.

What's happening now is very different, referring to what you were suggesting here, is that Saudi Arabia sent the signal at the end of

December it's not going to cut production. Russia comes back in the new year, opens up the taps and says it's 10.5 million barrels a day. Iraq's

now having record exports, going to 3.3 million barrels a day.

And basically, they were waiting to see what Saudi Arabia was going to do at the end of December. And the message from the Saudi oil minister to us

was, we're not doing anything. We're going to let the production go forward. Let's take a listen.


ALI AL-NAIMI, SAUDI ARABIAN ENERGY MINISTER: If they want to cut production, they are welcome. We're not going to cut. Certainly Saudi

Arabia is not going to cut.

DEFTERIOS: And this is a position you'll hold for about the first six months of 2015?

AL-NAIMI: The position will hold forever, not just 2015.


DEFTERIOS: The position will hold forever, not just 2015, is the word from Ali Al-Naimi. That was December 21st. Let's go back a year to see where

we were with oil prices.

In June, you and I had the discussion, oil at $115 a barrel. The threat of ISIS against Iraq's production, that started to dissipate. The second half

of the year, oil prices started to drip lower. Everybody thought September OPEC would jump in, Saudi Arabia. November at the meeting they don't jump


In December, they come forward and say, "We're not going to do anything. Now is global market share war, Becky. We're not worried so much about oil

prices in the region. They want to hold on to market share.

ANDERSON: There is an awful lot of muscle-flexing out there. For a region as this one, awash with oil, this must be setting off alarm bells. I can

only imagine what those in this region thought as they watched dip briefly, as it were, today below $50. That's going to be important, if not only for

technical reasons as it much as it is for perceptual reasons.

DEFTERIOS: Well, you know how it is here. There's the private answer, and then there's the public answer. Privately, they're very concerned, because

they've been living off of $100 oil, and it affords all the development we've seen in the region.

Right now, at $50 a barrel, they'll have to trim back their budgets. But I'm calling it the fiscally-fit group of nations here in the Gulf right

now. And if you take a look at the Moody's rating survey, it shows that Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia. $52.59 for Qatar to break even on

their budgets. The UAE, $71 a barrel, we're below that right now. Saudi Arabia at $84 a barrel.

I say this is somewhat misleading, because those four countries have $2 trillion in the bank. There's another poorer group within OPEC right now

suffering severely, and some of those in the Middle East. Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria. Pooled, Becky, they only have $200 billion in


So, the Gulf producers, the Arabian Gulf producers have ten times the reserves of those other four that I'm talking about. This is a market

share squeeze that's going on right now, which will strain OPEC, but also strain relations with Russia, I would imagine, going forward.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. John, always a pleasure.


ANDERSON: Thank you very much, indeed.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, tech junkies gathering in Vegas for one of the biggest trade

shows of the year. We're going to have more from what is going to be a fascinating exhibition. That is up next.


ANDERSON: Your Parting Shots this evening, slightly different from the usual. It is a big week for many technology firms. They're in Vegas,

hosing one of the -- or certainly Vegas is hosting and they will be at one of the world's largest trade shows. Now, stay with me.

The Consumer Electronics Show is where companies show off their latest gadgets. It features more than 3,000 exhibits and is attending by roughly

160,000 geeks. Our Samuel Burke met with Hector Hoyos, whose company is behind an app which replaces your password by taking a selfie. Have a look

at this.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Security was always going to be a big theme at CES 2015, but it's even bigger in the wake of the Sony hack.

Everybody is looking at new security methods, especially a way to replace passwords.

One of the apps that has caught our attention is called 1U, and it allows you to replace your password with a selfie. I have the president of the

company Hoyos Labs here, Hector Hoyos. Thank you for being with us.

Tell us how this app works, and the first question everybody has is, if you can use a selfie for a password, couldn't somebody just steal a picture of

your selfie and get into your accounts that way?

HECTOR HOYOS, FOUNDER, HOYOS LABS: Well, they could if we didn't have liveness verification, but we developed technology which is liveness, which

actually detects that you're a live person.

And we do that by various methods. One is, looking at pupil dilation, asking a user to do facial sensing, which means you can raise your

eyebrows, smile, do different thing where we detect motion of the muscles.

So, it is in the realm of the possible. In the probable, of course, everything is possible to be hacked, but the probability is very, very low.

BURKE: So, you use your mobile phone and the camera on your mobile phone to take a picture of you. It detects if you're moving, and then you can

access your e-mail accounts. I've been trying it out with my credit card accounts, bank accounts. Walk us through how it works.

HOYOS: So, the way it works is here on my phone, as you can see, you have multiple sites -- bank sites, social media sites, Facebook, for example.

I'm going to go into my Facebook site. I select Facebook.

BURKE: You take a --

HOYOS: I take a selfie of myself, acquire my biometrics, and it then logs me in on my computer automatically. It loads up the browser and brings me

into my Facebook account.

BURKE: So, you can use it just on your mobile phone, or what you're doing is you're using your computer but in conjunction with your mobile phone.

HOYOS: That's correct. And I can do that, or if I'm walking down the street, and let's say that I don't have my computer and I just want to go

into an account. In this case, I'm going to go into my Linkedin account. But I'm going to go into my Linkedin account on my mobile browser, on my

phone, without having the need to use a computer.

It's all very straightforward, easy, secure. In that case, the communication went out over the GSN network, so it's a secure connection.

And it's extracting the biometrics, which are the unique characteristics we're born with. In this case, the face, the periocular region around the


BURKE: So, even if you have a twin, your biometrics between twins are different. So even your twin couldn't even access your account.

HOYOS: That's correct. That's correct.

BURKE: One of the things I found really interesting, you can use your fingerprint in conjunction with that on your iPhone, so you can do a selfie

and use your fingerprint. Just to finish, tell us where this is available, what operating systems, and how much it costs.

HOYOS: It supports OSx, it supports windows, it supports Android and iOS. It's available on the Apple Store and on Google Play under 1U, 1U app, and

it's totally free. It's absolutely free for users.

BURKE: Which will be music to the ears of everybody who wants to replace their password, which I know, is everybody.


ANDERSON: Samuel Burke for you. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching. We will see you tomorrow.