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Belgian Terror Suspects Arrested in Greece; Belgian Jews and Muslims Express Fear; Protests in Chechnya Over Mohammed Cartoons; Global Oil Supply in Focus at Davos; Solar Cars Race in Abu Dhabi; Talk of European No-Go Zones Sparks Controversy; Iran Beat UAE in Asian Cup
Aired January 19, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A battle for control of Yemen's capital as al Qaeda in the region stands poised to exploit the chaos.
We're live in Sanaa to sort through the threads for you of the power struggle there.
Also ahead, mourning in Lebanon for Hezbollah members killed in Syria as it emerges an Iranian general died at their side.
And a prominent prosecutor in Argentina is found dead in his home a day before he was due to testify in a case with alleged ties to the Middle
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: At just after 8:00 in the evening in the UAE, first a tense wait begins in Yemen to see whether a new cease-fire deal will stop the
fighting between government troops and Houthi rebels.
This, after a day of street battles, many of them near the presidential palace as the two sides struggled for control.
Now Yemen already home to an al Qaeda branch. And there are fears that if it sinks further into disarray it could become an even stronger
base for terrorists.
Well, these were the most intense clashes since the Houthis took over the capital several months ago. It's rare to get firsthand reporting from
there. Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is the only western reporter in Sanaa. And he joins us now.
After days of heavy clashes, Nick how would you describe the capital city of Sanaa at this hour?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's calm at the moment. It hasn't always been the case. An hour ago, we heard sustained
exchanges of automatic gunfire directly behind you -- you can't see it now, because of mist and dark has swept in -- but about this morning it's really
been a day of heavy clashes here that we've seen and heard the violent start.
Let me wind back, Becky, and explain how we got to this point. It really starts with 48 hours ago the Houthi movement, predominately Shia
tribes, militia very successful in the past few months sweeping across the country and moving into the streets of the capital Sanaa. 48 hours ago,
they abducted -- they say detained -- the chief of staff of the president because they wanted to stop the president authorizing a new constitution
Now the president's staff were concerned that other key officials may, too, be abducted so they say they implemented a security plan, which
involved locking down some of the roads around key buildings.
Houthis didn't like that. The Houthis say they went to them and asked those roads to be reopened for the sake of the people of the capital city.
We don't know who fired first, but clashes broke out between the Yemeni army and Houthi militants. And that spread towards the presidential
administration where we have seen a remarkable heavy artillery duel between hilltops, residential areas being hit, lots of reports of injured
residential buildings being hit, too. There are reports of dead as well.
We are hearing that the Houthis' advance towards that complex, now some Yemeni officials are saying that effectively whoever controls that
controls the country. So it was an intense battle there certainly, but one that the president Hadi was not threatened by. He was at a his residence
But things got more complicated as the day went on, because the Houthis and the government tried to meet to discuss a ceasefire deal. And
as the prime minister left, his convoy came under attack. We don't know who by, as did the Houthi convoy when it left.
So violence continued. It seems the Houthis took over the state TV and state news agency, according to the minister of information here. The
Houthis deny that.
But tonight, after about an hour or so, Becky, we are seeing a relative calm across the city punctuated by gunfire, but a real sense of
fear that unless the deal being worked out that's both a backup to this ceasefire pleases all sides we could just see what happened today spark all
over again during the night, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right. Nick Paton Walsh in Sanaa for you this evening in Yemen.
Well, to Paris where we are learning that the investigation into the terror attacks there has uncovered a number of missteps by French
Now a source tells CNN that those missteps involved information on the Kouachi brothers, the two terrorists responsible or the massacre at the
Charlie Hebdo magazine.
The failures, we believe, include a lack of information sharing and not fully monitoring the communications of the brothers and their wives.
Lets' get you to Paris for the latest on the investigation into those attacks. Our senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann standing
And fairly damning words from a source familiar with this investigation. And what else do we know at this point?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, some pretty glaring errors as far as we can tell and probably the first of what
we're going to hear because there are a lot of calls here for a thorough investigation of what took place. This is what we've been able to learn
from our sources and that is that the Kouachi brothers who perpetrated the attack against Charlie Hebdo in fact were under surveillance from 2011 to
2013, in the case of the younger brother, and 2014 in case the older brother.
During that time period while they were monitoring their telephone calls, they were not monitoring their computers. And they also were not
monitoring their wives' phones. And in fact it was the communication on the wife's phone that -- in the case of Cherif Kouachi -- that may have
been the main communication between Kouachi and Coulibaly. Amedy Coulibaly was the guy who attacked the kosher supermarket.
In any case, that's one failure.
But there were others. In fact, the two brothers were able to travel to Yemen apparently without notice in 2011 where they were trained even
though the younger brother's passport had been lifted, had been taken away by French authorities, nonetheless he was able to travel to Yemen. And
neither one of them showed up on the PNRs, which were the passenger name records.
So again they missed the fact that they had been traveling outside the country.
And perhaps the worst one was that in February of last year, 2014, they were under surveillance up until February and then they dropped off
the radars and the surveillance agency, which was a separate department, did not -- had apparently had heard some signals on the cell phones that
indicated there might be something brewing. They did not pass along that information, however, to the domestic intelligence agency until June. And
at that point, both brothers were outside the surveillance network. So it was dropped, the information was dropped.
As a consequence, there's going to be a lot of questions asked just what was going on and why these lapses took place, Becky.
ANDERSON: Jim Bittermann is in Paris for you this hour.
It is six minutes past 8:00 here in the UAE. And Argentina have prominent prosecutors been found dead in his apartment. Alberto Nisman was
investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. He and other prosecutors have long accused Iran of having a hand in that bombing.
He was set to testify today in front of lawmakers on a report alleging that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had covered up Iran's
Well, let me take you back to that incident. 85 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in the attack more than 20 years ago. Iran has
denied any links.
Well, let's get straight to Shasta Darlington who has more for you tonight from Sau Paulo in Brazil.
A story thousands of miles away from Europe and the Middle East, but one that crosses borders. Nisman set to testify today, as I suggested.
What are police saying about the details of his death? And indeed has there been any official response?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, this is -- these were accusations made last week when Alberto Nisman
accused the president of Argentina of basically covering up for Iran. That really rattled Argentina, made headlines across the region here. So people
were really looking forward to this. It was going to be closed door testimony, but still hoping they'd get more details.
So now, he's turned up dead just hours before he was supposed to give that testimony. Basically the agents who'd been assigned to protect him
had been trying to reach him all day Sunday on the phone. He didn't answer the phone. They went to the door, he didn't answer the door. So they
finally went and picked up his mother. And together they forced their way into the apartment.
What they found is that there was a key on the inside. There were no signs of forced entry. And then they found his body inside the bathroom,
basically blocking the door with a .22 caliber shotgun and a shell casing right there.
So some criminal analysts have said this could be evidence of a suicide. But the investigator, the federal investigator says she isn't
jumping to any conclusions. And in fact, opposition leaders and lawmakers think this is just too suspicious, they were talking to Nisman as recently
as Saturday about the testimony that he was going to give, that he was saying it would be a bombshell, that it was based on phone taps and
recordings of the last two years. And they say they just aren't buying this suicide hypothesis.
It is so recent, obviously officials are not giving out too many details, really just the physical facts that I've just described. And the
investigator says she could have the result of the autopsy as soon as tonight.
But at the same time they're going to be reviewing phone records. They're going to be reviewing camera footage in the area. So I don't think
this will be a case that's going to be solved any time soon. And we probably won't get many more details in the near future, Becky.
ANDERSON: Shasta, this is a story, as I suggested, that is crossing borders, resonating in this region where I am.
How is it resonating at home? What's the reaction to this story?
DARLINGTON: Well, Becky -- I mean, this is again a case that dates back 20 years. Back in 1994, this Jewish center in Buenos Aires was
bombed. 85 people, as you said, were killed. And it was during a real period of tension and instability. There had been another attack on
another Jewish establishment a few years before in Buenos Aires.
This case was never solved. So a decade ago, 10 years ago, Nisman was appointed to investigate it. In 2013, he came out saying he had evidence
that proved that Iran was working together with Hezbollah. They organized the bombing. Iran has always denied involvement.
Over the years, different Argentine officials have backed that theory, but now just as recently as last week, Nisman said that instead the
Argentine president and her foreign minister were trying to block the investigation and hide Iran's involvement in this case.
So, whether or not we'll see the full evidence that he claimed to have, you know, still remains to be seen.
Some details of this have come out over the years, but a lot of accusations without real evidence. It's one of those things that, again,
just dates back to a couple of decades here in South America, something that has been dragging on and wasn't about to be solved necessarily any
time soon, Becky.
ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington reporting from Brazil on the story for you.
Still to come tonight, the Israel -- the Israel-Lebanon border is on high alert after an air strike in Syria blamed on Syria. We'll have more
on that in just a moment.
ANDERSON: You are looking at pictures of a funeral procession in Beirut for Hezbollah fighter Jihad Mughniyeh. He was the son of Imad
Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander assassinated in 2008.
Now the younger Mughniyeh was one of seven people killed in an airstrike in Syria on Sunday, a senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary
Guard also died in that attack.
Hezbollah says Mughniyeh and the others were conducting operations on the Syrian controlled side of the Golan Heights when an Israeli helicopter
attacked. Israel isn't commenting.
Well, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE for you.
Let's get some reaction to what has happened. In London, we've got Sharif Nashashibi. He's a journalist and Middle East commentator, and from
Jerusalem tonight we're joined by David Horowitz, the founding editor of Times of Israel.
No official comment, David, from Israel. But this has widely been reported as an Israeli helicopter attack. A surprise to you?
DAVID HOROWITZ, FOUNDING EDITOR, TIMES OF ISRAEL: Well, you know, Israel has as you rightly say, not formally commented, but Israeli sources
have been quoted saying that the young gun Mughniyeh whose father, of course, was the Hezbollah terror chief who blew up the American Marines in
Beirut in '83 was planning a major attack on Israel. Israelis braced it on alert on its northern border.
It takes action in southern Lebanon, it takes action in Syria when it fears that violence will spread across the border, but it doesn't usually
publicly acknowledge that it's responsible.
ANDERSON: I want to get to Beirut and Sharif joining us from there.
We saw the pictures of this funeral. Just well supported, it appears, on the streets of Beirut.
How well supported is Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed organization and indeed the presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Syria. How well
supported by the Lebanese population?
I'm sorry, you're in London tonight, sir.
SHARIF NASHASHIBI, JOURNALIST: No problem.
Well, Hezbollah has certainly has a very strong support base in Lebanon, but it has lost a lot of domestic support because of its
involvement in Syria. In terms of opinion polls, it's way down outside of its traditional Shia support base in Lebanon.
So, I think Israel may be calculating that this is a time where it can provoke Hezbollah without any significant reprisal, because it's bogged
down in Syria. It has internal opposition in Lebanon. It's facing jihadist attacks in Lebanon. And its allies, Assad and Iran, are weaker
relative to the last war with Israel several years ago.
So, I think Israel is banking on Hezbollah having its hands tied.
And from Hezbollah's position, it's difficult, because if it doesn't respond then it risks looking weak to its support base. So, I think
Hezbollah is in a very difficult situation at the moment.
ANDERSON: Just a few days ago, David, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Syrian and its allies had the right to respond to what
he called Israeli aggression. I just our viewers to have a listen to what he said. And I want to discuss it with you both.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN NASRALLAH, HEZBOLLAH LEADER (through translator): Retaliation is an open issue. No side has committed itself to saying the Israeli
attacks will not be responded to. Nobody has said that. It is not only Syria's right to respond, but also it is the right of the axis of
resistance to respond. When this right will be acted upon is subject to certain criteria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: David, is this a prime minister in Israel playing tough, particularly given he's got an election coming up, he's a right-winger. Is
this a man flexing his muscles certainly in response to what we heard from Nasrallah just, what, a few days ago?
HOROWITZ: Well, I think you know the notion of response and retaliation is worth highlighting. What is it that Hezbollah retains the
right to respond to? Israel has no territorial dispute with Lebanon. Hezbollah happens to be fighting in Syria. What is Hezbollah doing in
Syria? What are the Iranians doing in Syria?
Hezbollah has 150,000 missiles and rockets. The only address for those is Israel. Again, even though it ostensibly should have no dispute
So Israel has acted when it has worried that Hezbollah is stepping up its capacity when it worries that arms are being transferred to Hezbollah
or that attacks are being planned. I think it's significant in the light of your question about elections that the opposition leaders Mr. Herzog and
Livni from the center left parties have backed the prime minister, have not alleged that this was some kind of electoral tactic.
ANDERSON: Sharif, you alluded to the fact that you believe this is an organization in Hezbollah sort of on the wane, to a certain extent, in a
not particularly strong position. And yet David suggesting that the Israelis, if reports are to be believed, who attacked the organization on
the ground were responding to an organization with strength at present.
NASHASHIBI: Well, I think -- I mean, Israel traditionally when it attacks it portrays itself as vulnerable to a major threat. So this is to
I think the fact that it attacked Hezbollah in Syria was a strategic decision to avoid any shoring up of Hezbollah support within Lebanon by,
you know, uniting Lebanese against a violation of their sovereignty. Attacking Hezbollah in Syria removes that threat.
So, I think -- you know, this would be a vote winner in Israel given the upcoming election because acting tough certainly plays well among the
electorate and with relatively little risk compared to an attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon itself.
ANDERSON: Let me stick with you, then, what might the world expect next? There were threats of reprisals anyway by the leader of Hezbollah.
Would you expect some sort of response?
NASHASHIBI: It's very difficult. I think Israel is goading Hezbollah. I mean, attacking it just days after it said that it would
respond, it's goading Hezbollah. But, you know, it knows that Hezbollah is in a difficult situation.
So on the one hand, Hezbollah can't afford another full-scale war with Israel right now, but it also can't afford not to respond at all, because
that would make it look weak. So it's difficult to say, but certainly attentions are extremely high at the moment.
ANDERSON: Israel, David, goading Hezbollah says Sharif.
HOROWITZ: Well, I would, you know, caution against them being complacent. Hezbollah is a dangerous organization. And in fact it ties in
with your previous story about that Argentinean prosecutor who was found dead in extremely mysterious circumstances. He had traced the line of
responsibility for those bombings in the 1990s all the way back to Tehran and Hezbollah. And in fact he had alleged that Imad Mughniyeh, whose son
was killed yesterday, orchestrated, actually was on the ground in Buenos Aires overseeing the 1994 bombing that set in process this whole series of
events that culminated with Alberto Nisman's mysterious death as I said yesterday.
ANDERSON: A story, as we say, resonating not just in Argentina, but here in the Middle East and around the world.
To both of you, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson with a little noise behind me this evening. Apologies for that.
Coming up, protesters angry over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed are rallying in Chechnya. We're live in Russia with the latest on that. That
is just ahead.
And in Ghana, a startup is using bamboo for two-wheeled transportation. Up next, we meet the maker of a very unique bicycle and
hear his dreams for the future. Our Africa Startup is next. Your headlines at the bottom of the hour.
KWABENA DANSO, FOUNDER, BOOMERS INTERNATIONAL: Hi. My name is Kwabena Danso. I'm the founder and CEO of Boomers International in Ghana.
welcome to my workshop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a shanty (ph) region of the southern part of Ghana, Kwabena Danso has started a bicycle company with a difference.
DANSO: We do bamboo bicycles. Bamboo bicycle stands and bicycle baskets for now.
We make different types of bikes from here. We have the mountain bike, we have the road bike, we have the city bikes. And we have the woman
version of it like what you see I'm holding right now, you see this design. It's the local Kente fiber (ph) from this region from the Asanta (ph)
region that we use in this designing this bike. And each bike is purely handmade. And so it's unique.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Though bamboo bicycles were invented more than 100 years ago, Danso's (ph) partner got inspired to create them in 2009
after seeing a concept by Craig Culfi (ph).
DANSO: We were looking at how we can engage the youth and the (inaudible) into a meaningful venture, train them with skills and we came
across that idea. And I got in touch with the person who invented it. We managed to get him to come down to train these people. And since then I've
been doing this, training the youth in the rural areas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Danso works with the youth through the whole process, from the harvesting of the bamboo to the assembly of the bicycles.
He, however, has some challenges to overcome.
DANSO: Funding is a big issue and sometimes the capital may come, the cost is also as high that if you don't take care you'll run out of
business. So it's difficult getting capital and funding is a huge issue.
Other than cost to deal with electricity supply. For some time you will not have lights, electricity, so I have to rely on a generator. And
so it made the cost of production very high.
So, this is one of our finished products. This is a ladies bike. As you can see it's a ladies mountain bike, ladies bike. And there's our
logo. They are very strong. As you can see it's -- anybody can sit on it without causing any problem.
In the next five years, our aim is to conquer the world market. We want to explore everything with bamboo. We want to make this place the
point where you come and you will get everything from bamboo ranging from transport, which is bicycles, furniture, household items and (inaudible)
We build houses with bamboo. That's our focus.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. You're watching CNN. The top stories for you this hour.
A cease-fire has been reached in Yemen, where soldiers and Houthi Shiite rebels fought in the capital for hours. Now, the chaos adding to
fears the country's spiraling out of control and leaving a bigger opening for terrorists.
The funeral for the son of a late Hezbollah commander was held in Lebanon earlier today. The Lebanese militant group says Jihad Munghniyeh
was among seven people killed when an Israeli helicopter opened fire in Syrian territory. Israeli officials are not commenting.
Hundreds of thousand of people have been protesting in the Chechen capital Grozny. They are angry about depictions of the Prophet Mohammad in
the latest edition of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Now, the protest follows similar demonstrations in Pakistan and in Niger.
In Belgium, top diplomats from across the European Union are holding anti-terror talks, meeting in Brussels to discuss ways to stop the spread
and threat of terrorism. The talks follows those recent terror attacks in Paris and the arrest of suspected jihadists in France, in Greece, and in
Joining me now is Phil Black, who is live for you in Brussels. Phil, what is the latest on the investigation there?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it was Belgian police that asked police in Greece to follow up on a potential
Athens link to the terror plot they believe they foiled last week. They supplied information to Athens -- to Greek investigators, who then detained
two people as a result of those inquiries. Take a listen, now, to the Belgian prosecutor explaining what happens now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC VAN DER SYPT, FEDERAL PROSECUTORS' SPOKESMAN: Yesterday afternoon, our investigation gave us some elements which led us to believe
that one of two persons who were arrested in Athens the day before yesterday was involved in our case. So, based on those elements, we asked
for the extradition of that man to Belgium.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: The man in question is a 33-year-old Algerian, according to Greek authorities. But the Belgian investigators haven't really revealed
what if any role they believe he played specifically in the plot to attack police officers that they believe they interrupted last Thursday by
conducting raids across the country.
You'll remember one of those raids in the city of Verviers. Two suspects were killed, a third ma was detained at that same location. We
have now spoken to his lawyer. The man's name, the suspect's name is Marouane El Bali, and he's told his lawyer that he had nothing to do with
the terror plot. He has nothing to do with international terrorism.
He was only at that address at that time, he says, because he was doing his -- a favor for his mother, delivering a pair of shoes, he says,
to one of the men who were then killed in the raid that followed.
When the raid started, he says he jumped out the window to escape. That's where he was arrested, insists he has nothing to do with any of
this. But despite that, he has been charged, like fiver other people, in Belgium with preparing a terrorist attack in this country, Becky.
. ANDERSON: Phil, hundreds of troops have been tasked with protecting Jewish sites in Belgium, while the country's Muslims, of course, have their
BLACK: Yes, indeed. These two communities have responded in one similar way to the events in Belgium and in Paris over the last few weeks,
and that is through fear. They are both very scared, although for very different reasons.
The Jewish community is scared because it remains a likely target of Islamist terror plots. It's clear that the authorities here, also
concerned about that. That is why many of the soldiers deployed onto the streets here are protecting key Jewish sites. Take a look.
BLACK (voice-over): Soldiers and children, side-by-side on the streets of a European city. These Belgian paratroopers were trained to
fight wars. Instead, they stand guard outside a Jewish school in Antwerp. The military is now a highly-visible presence in the city's Jewish
district. Locals are grateful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only we that are where the problem is. Everyone in Europe, which is the problem especially. And I'm really
grateful for them doing the best.
BLACK: The soldiers were deployed in Antwerp and Brussels after investigators moved to break up a suspected terror plot to attack police.
Two suspects were killed during this fire fight.
Belgium's Jewish community also believes it's high up on the list of potential Islamist targets. Last year, a man stormed a Jewish Museum in
Brussels, killing four people inside.
MENACHEM MARGOLIN, RABBI, EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION: People feel it's dangerous to walk on the street. People are afraid to go to the
synagogue, they're afraid to send their kids to Jewish schools.
BLACK: Members of Belgium's Muslim community are also scared about what will happen now. Franck Hensch is the imam at a mosque in Verviers,
where terror suspects opened fire against police Thursday night. He tells me locals are shocked to know terrorists might have been living among them.
Belgium has a problem with radicalization. Around 300 are thought to have traveled to Syria to fight and train with Islamist groups, the highest
per capita rate of recruitment of any European country. The imam blames social problems: unemployed, alienated young men who see identity and
purpose through radical Islam. Jewish community leaders agree.
MARGOLIN: Quite sure that it's -- these are true thoughts in these words. It is the responsibility of governments not just to see now, to
make terror more gone, more security and police, but to make sure to see the problem before it comes and to try to prevent it.
BLACK: Rabbi Margolin says the answer is more education -- and more guns. He was Jewish institutions to be allowed to establish their own
security forces. Imam Hensch fears many of Europe's Muslims will now be persecuted because of events in France and Belgium. Two scared communities
struggling to respond to the terror deliberately created by a radical few.
BLACK: Members of Belgium's Jewish community want to take responsibility for their own security by setting up these private armed
forces, because they foresee a point in the future where the threat -- or the terror level will be reduced, Belgian soldiers will no longer be
deployed onto the streets, and they fear under those circumstances, they will again be vulnerable to Islamist terror plots.
But not just those sort of attacks. They say they also want to protect themselves from what they see as a widespread and dramatic increase
in anti-Semitism across Europe over recent months and the last couple of years in particular, they say.
Meanwhile, the Muslim community in this country, as I say, it is worried -- it is concerned as well. It knows that it is grappling with
deeper social problems, many of which are beyond its control. It is concerned about things like the gap between the rich and poor, that
increased divide, that alienation with young men, and the availability of extremist material on the internet.
All of this, they say, is contributing to this very high rate of recruitment among Belgian men in this country. Their concern is that the
people of Belgium will not see -- will not see the difference, if you like, between the broader Muslim community and this still very small but vocal
few who may be planning attacks on their homeland, Becky.
ANDERSON: Phil Black is in Brussels for you this evening.
Thousands of people have gathered in the capital of Chechnya in southern Russia to protest those depictions of the Prophet Mohammad in the
magazine Charlie Hebdo. Demonstrators in the mainly-Muslim region say images of Mohammed published by the magazine are offensive.
Well, Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you with more. And Matthew, this protest follows a number of others that we saw in various parts of the
world this past weekend, not least in the region that you are in, or certainly in the region close to where you are.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's absolutely right. It just shows the depths of feeling that this issue has
stirred. In Grozny, which is the capital of Chechnya, where we've seen those dramatic scenes, hundreds of thousands of people turning out.
In fact, the Russian Interior Ministry saying that as many as 800,000 people turned out in Grozny today to protest against these cartoons that
appeared in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. And if that's the case, that would amount to about 60 percent of the Chechen population. And
so, very deep feelings, indeed, stirred by this.
The sort of president of the Chechen Republic, the leader down there, who's backed by the Kremlin, of course, spoke to the crowd. He had tears
in his eyes. The whole -- thing was shown on Russian state television.
He said, look, this was vulgar and immoral, what this magazine did. "If needed," he said, "we're ready to die to stop anyone who thinks that
they can irresponsibly defile the name of the Prophet." That was Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, then, talking.
And again, that broadcast on state television here in Russia indicating that this was a rally that was approved of by the Kremlin.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating. That was going to be my next question, just how significant do you think this might be in the eyes of the Kremlin,
and would there be concerns about agitation in Grozny, in Ingushetia, and in other places nearby?
CHANCE: It's a really delicate balance that the authorities in Chechnya and the Kremlin are trying to make. I think there's a certain --
an extent to which they allowed this protest in Chechnya and supported this protest in Chechnya because a similar rally was, for instance, not allowed
So, perhaps this was seen by the Kremlin as an opportunity for Muslims in the country to vent their frustration and their anger at what the
But I also think, on the other hand, that the Chechen leadership, they're -- remember, they're fighting a campaign against Islamist militants
themselves. The region is rife with terror attacks, with suicide bombings, and they're fighting those extremists themselves.
And so, in a sense, they're trying to co-opt the militants by being as hardline as they would be on this issue. And so, it's a very interesting
balance that we're seeing unfold here in southern Russia.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance in Moscow for you this evening.
It's 8:41 in the UAE. Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, world leaders and top CEOs descending
on Davos in Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum. So, what is on that agenda? Find out next.
And a different type of car is heating up Abu Dhabi's F1 race track, and it doesn't run on gas. We'll take a look at what is a new technology.
ANDERSON: You're back with CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Now, the annual World Economic Forum kicks off this week.
World leaders, business titans starting to gather in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
Just a few years ago, the forum was confronted with finding enough energy to fuel the world economy. Well now, the global business and
political elite are faced with an oil supply surplus which, as you are well aware, is pushing crude prices down below $50 a barrel, a story that John
Defterios has been on, my colleague and emerging markets editor.
The collapsing oil prices are affecting the global economy and are sure to be center stage in Switzerland. John is joining us from there.
It's looking pretty cold out there, pretty cold out here today in the UAE as well.
ANDERSON: The forum, John, remains, effectively, to gauge geopolitical risks, doesn't it? Just how likely do you think this is to be
factored in when it comes to oil's fall?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Becky, I would put it right in the top three this year, along with radicalism and the uncertainty
that we're seeing with regards to the euro crisis. It's amazing how quickly we've seen a turn of fortune here in Davos.
Since 2009, oil prices have averaged $100 a barrel or more. This means that the Middle East sovereign funds, for example, walked the halls
of Davos offering to invest both east and west and going into Africa.
Today, we're looking at half the revenue, and a realization that there is geopolitical risks in the Middle East specifically -- and I'm thinking
of countries like Yemen and Libya at the top of the list. But also countries like Iran and Iraq.
As you know, Becky, many of these countries put forward budgets of $100 or more. Hassan Rouhani of Iran in the last week, in fact, lowered
his budget for 2015 for an average price of $40 a barrel. We still Iraq's still working at $65 a barrel.
And then, if we're looking at geopolitical risks in the energy sector right now, you have to put, of course, Russia in relations to Ukraine.
They're sending two high-level deputy prime ministers here from Russia. Not the prime minister, Medvedev, and certainly not Vladimir Putin. It
will be interesting to see the signals they send in terms of perhaps opening dialogue with the European Union.
And also, rounding out the oil risks for 2015, I'd have to put Nigeria on that list as well, Becky, because of the activities that are
transforming with Boko Haram in the north. Do they filter into the south? Do they start to target oil going forward?
Nigeria, of course, suffering because of the production in the United States, trying to tilt east to China, but so is everyone else right now,
and this is keeping a lot of pressure on the downside with oil prices.
ANDERSON: Yes. All right. Well, the -- alongside political leaders, of course, in Davos, you'll have CEOs of the many major oil companies on
hand. John, has the belt-tightening for them already begun?
DEFTERIOS: It's amazing how quickly they pulled out the knife to cut costs, Becky. Last week, we saw Tullow Oil, which has been very big in
some of the emerging markets, like Africa. Premier Oil, which is going after the Falklands. Both of those companies cut $2 billion in their
capital expenditure budgets.
Then, the majors stepped up as well. Shell pulling back on a petrochemical facility in Qatar worth $6.5 billion, and they were joined by
both BP and Conoco, which decided to cut back their operations in the North Sea.
They had to move quickly, because they do not see line of sight perhaps the discussions about seeing $60 oil in the second half of the
year. But realistically, if you're a publicly-traded company, you have to take action right now. They're not betting on this recover in the first
half of the year.
And those CEOs from BP, Total, and Shell will be walking the halls here of Davos as well, sharing their thoughts, having a dialogue, also,
with the OPEC secretary general, who'll be chairing a very major panel on Wednesday afternoon, Becky. We're going to talk to him right after that
panel, so we'll have that interview as well.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. John Defterios for you in Switzerland this evening.
Well, there may be a global oil surplus, but here in the UAE, development continues on renewable energy sources. Jon Jensen takes a look
at a new kind of race car that -- get this -- runs on the sun's rays.
JON JENSEN, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): It's an unusually quiet race day at Abu Dhabi's Formula 1 track. These cars are smaller and slower than
the ones that typically roar down this stretch, and also more fuel- efficient.
This is the UAE's first Solar Challenge, a competition for college students from around the world to design, build, and race cars powered
entirely by the sun. Alatqa Al Hanai leads the Emirati team.
ALATQA AL HANAI, STUDENT: In terms of renewable energy technologies, solar energy is possibly the most viable technology. And this entire
project is basically to prove that.
JENSEN: Al Hanai and his teammates built their car, battery and all, from scratch.
AL HANAI: He's basically wired in parallel.
JENSEN: They're students at the UAE's Petroleum Institute, a university funded by local and international oil companies. The UAE is one
of the world's top ten producers of oil and gas, but the government knows it won't last forever.
That's why, increasingly, they're looking at alternatives, like the Gulf's most abundant resource. Two years ago, Abu Dhabi opened one of the
world's largest solar plants.
FAHAD AL MASKARI, THE PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: We are very fortunate to have the petroleum right now, but with the climate changes, with
everything, we think that we need to be ahead, we need to think about our future generations.
JENSEN: And that's what this competition is all about. Fifteen teams from the US, Japan, and other countries have come to test their engineering
skills. After trials on the F1 track, a four-day road race begins in electric cars that can average speeds of 60 miles per hour.
JENSEN (on camera): But when you're racing cars powered entirely by the sun, winning isn't just about who can drive the fastest. It's about
being the most efficient.
JENSEN (voice-over): Solar cars have been around for decades. They're clean and green. But while sunlight may be free, the technology
isn't. Alatqa's team spent over $1 million on this car. Still, he sees a mass-produced cheaper model coming within his lifetime.
AL HANAI: It's coming. And there's a breakthrough on the way, and this is where it might be.
JENSEN: And that is ultimately what they're all racing to find.
Jon Jensen, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, a potential Republican contender for the US
president 2016 is laying out his foreign policy platform. Is it, though, factually accurate? Up next.
ANDERSON: Well, you might remember a row last week over comments made by a so-called terror export on the US network Fox News. Now, he suggested
there are "no-go" areas in some European countries that are exclusively Muslim, and non-Muslims don't venture in, he said.
Well, understandably, the comments sparked a massive Twitter backlash leading to the network taking time out of four broadcasts on Saturday to
But now, the idea of so-called European No-Go Zones is back in the spotlight, this time in a speech by a leading Republican political
governor, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, in London. For more on that, let's cross to CNN's London correspondent Max Fox -- let me get your name right,
Max. Max Foster. What have you got?
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've just been down to interview him after that speech. His basic message from the speech
was that Islam has a problem, Muslim leadership needs to take greater control to prevent these sorts of attacks happening in the future. There's
a problem within the religion, effectively, is what he was saying.
And he also says there's an issue with assimilation. So, Muslims integrating into society. And he described "no-go" zones within London,
within British cities. I challenged him on it. He's saying he's not talking about entire cities, which was the Fox News controversy, but he is
saying it is very true for areas within cities.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Look, I've heard it from folks here there are neighborhoods where women don't feel comfortable going in without
veils. That's wrong. We all know there are neighborhoods where police are less likely to go into those neighborhoods.
FOSTER: But you need to have proper sort of facts to back that up. I've lived here a long time, I don't know of any "no-go" zones for non-
JINDAL: Well, I did say so-called "no-go" zones. I think that the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem's not here.
Pretending it's not here won't make it go away.
FOSTER: But exaggerating it into a "no-go" zone is also going too far.
JINDAL: Look, there are people here in London that will tell you there are neighborhoods where the women don't feel safe walking through
those neighborhoods without veils. There are neighborhoods where the police are less likely to go. That's a dangerous thing.
FOSTER: You need to give me -- to make an accusation like that, you need to give me the area, so we can look at it. Because I haven't heard of
JINDAL: I will look. I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there
are neighborhoods where they wouldn't feel comfortable, they wouldn't feel comfortable with their wives --
FOSTER: Well, that's high crime rate --
JINDAL: -- their daughters, their sisters --
FOSTER: -- that they feel uncomfortable. It's not because there are too many Muslims there.
JINDAL: We're not saying that -- look, this isn't a question. I know the left wants to make this into an attack on religion or on -- and that's
not what this is. What we're saying is that absolutely it's an issue for the UK, it absolutely is an issue for America and other European and
FOSTER: Well, we're certainly going to get out and try and find these areas, Becky. But it was a very powerful speech, certainly parts of the
American right are fascinated by this effectively a foreign policy speech of a potential presidential candidate.
So, certainly making waves. And he was happy to do an interview, he was happy for those voices to be heard. And I think he may be doing some
other interviews later on as well.
So, in the UK, I know that those comments on Fox News played very, very badly. We're waiting on a response from Downing Street and places like
that. But certainly this is a very big debate, everyone is talking about it.
How well assimilated are Muslims in society, and does that even have anything to do with terrorist attacks? There are some people who believe
it's all linked up.
ANDERSON: Max Foster is in London for you. Thanks Max. Viewers, do you think there are "no-go" zones where you live? We want to hear from
you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN.
I want to leave you just with what is a bit of a local story here. Some local rivalry that's trending globally: UAE versus Iran in the Asian
Cup. It was a long 90 minutes, but a last-minute goal from Iran put it on top of its neighbor in the group stage.
Not too painful, though, for the UAE. They, too, qualify for the quarterfinals in that competition. It's been a tremendous competition to
date as well.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here, it is a very good evening.