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CONNECT THE WORLD
Cholera Outbreak at Burundi Refugee Camp; The Growing Power of Chechen President; Seven Suspects Arrested In Hatton Garden Jewel Heist; Netanyahu Holds First Cabinet Meeting Of New Term; Landslide in Colombia. Aired 11:00-12:00 ET
Aired May 19, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:05] ISA SOARES, HOST: After the retreat, the promise to regroup and rebound as Iraq looses a key city to ISIS. We look at
Baghdad's next step. We are live from the region and from Washington in just a moment.
Also ahead this hour, is Putin's one-time protege on track to becoming his biggest problem? We are live in Moscow to see why Chechnya's leader is
once more making headlines.
And seven suspects arrested in a major London jewelry heist all between 48 and 76 years old. We've got the latest on that.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London this is Connect the World.
SOARES: We start this hour, tough, in the cauldron of Iraq's latest fight against ISIS. Militias that could help retake Ramadi are massing to
the east. But right now, ISIS controls the city and tens of thousands are caught right in the middle.
This new video we're about to show you showing the mass exodus from that city seen there, people fleeing. That's close to 25,000 people have
fled so far. That is according to UN estimates.
This new footage shows the military, Iraq pulling out of Ramadi on Sunday. ISIS later released a statement saying it seized tanks and killed
what it called dozens of apostates. That's the group's description for members of the Iraqi security forces.
Other Iraqi forces had to be rescued. Just obtained, this new video you're looking at now showing Iraqi troops in Ramadi being airlifted out.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi military says he has taken aim at ISIS targets in nearby Fallujah. There you're seeing your map. Any counterattack on
Ramadi has yet to happen.
We have CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reporting, watching developments for us from Beirut. And our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is with us from
If you don't mind, Barbara, I'm going to start with Nick. And Nick, Shia militias have been called up to join the fight to regain Ramadi. What
happens next? Where do we go from here? Put it in perspective for us.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are gathering quite substantially to the east of Ramadi and there are Iraqi
police and Iraqi tribes, we're told closer to the city marking the first offensive line. The question is how quickly do they feel they want to
begin the fight to move into Ramadi. ISIS day by day will make their positions firmer and harder to attack.
One key announcement today, though, from Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abady saying that they wish to arm what they refer to as the sons of the
tribes of Anbar. Now that is basically the Sunni tribes who are predominately residents there who have long asked for weapons to be able to
resist ISIS's advance. They never got them from the predominately Shia Baghdad government who are very suspicious of those Sunni tribes. But now
they might. There could still be hurdles.
But if that does occur it reduces some of the sectarian nature, potentially, of this fight back against ISIS in Ramadi, because you could
have Sunnis fighting alongside those Shia militia as well. And it will boost the numbers as well.
A lot could go wrong here, because that Sunni-Shia mistrust still very much at the root of everything here. But if that counterattack moves fast
enough they may have a chance with U.S. air power, because the U.S. would be more comfortable if there is a Sunni-Shia force fighting back. They may
have some kind of chance.
But this is a city that used to house a million people, a vast urban sprawl. It becomes very difficult to simply push ISIS out of there -- Isa.
SOARES: And meanwhile, Nick, some are warning of the humanitarian crisis in Ramadi.
Paint us a picture, if you can, of what you're hearing and what's happening inside Ramadi.
WALSH: It is very difficult to work out exactly how many people are left inside that city. The video that ISIS put out yesterday showed
deserted streets. There are suggests there are people saying that it was also bad they've arrived. But also this has been a long telegraphed
potential disaster for Ramadi. The population it used to have about 400,000, 500,000, well that's shrunk to 300,000, could have gone to down to
as little as 200,000, 114,000 of them the UN say left in April alone. And then 25,000 left in the past few days.
We'll never know quite how many ended up being trapped inside there, but the fear is what do ISIS do at this stage? They are known, obviously,
for a backward vision of their version of Islam in society and then extreme brutality toward those who have been loyal to their enemies.
So a dark time, certainly, inside Ramadi right now. The question is trying to work out precisely how many people are left there -- Isa.
SOARES: Absolutely. Nick Paton Walsh there in Beirut. The time is five minutes or so past 6:00.
I want to bring in our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Barbara, it seems U.S. officials seem to be generally downplaying the loss of
Ramadi, saying it's pretty much a part of the ebb and flow of war. But behind the scenes, how big a blow is this? And more importantly, I'm sure,
many will be asking, will the U.S. be backing up militias with those airstrikes that Nick was just talking about?
[11:04:58] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that we're at the point where U.S. officials are indeed very openly calling
it a setback. Interesting, Secretary of State John Kerry saying he thinks Ramadi could be taken back in the next few days. I think a lot of people
are scratching their heads wondering how exactly that's going to happen.
The Shia militias, as Nick quite accurately of course points out, may be one route to launching a significant counterattack against ISIS, but it
will have to be backed up with some level of air power.
The problem is, as ISIS digs in, in Ramadi -- again, it's an urban environment, airstrikes really can't go against an urban environment. The
risk of significant civilians casualties, of being able to determine what you're really hitting, this becomes very problematic. It's why you haven't
seen airstrikes, for example, in the center of Mosul, which ISIS has held on to for months now.
Once they can get dug in to a city it is very hard to dig them out -- Isa.
SOARES: Yeah. And if we don't have those airstrikes, Barbara, you know what would plan B look like? Will they be changing -- considering a
change of tact here?
STARR: Oh, I don't see -- I don't think anybody believes the Obama administration is considering at this point, certainly, any significant
change in U.S. military strategy. Airstrikes is about it and of course continuing to train and equip Iraqi forces. Whether they are going to move
ahead and start also equipping some of those tribal elements, the Sunni tribal elements, might be something down the road that some people might be
thinking about. But no word yet that even something like that is happening.
Very much the Obama administration wants to see the Iraqis take this on and sort if all out -- Isa.
SOARES: Thank you very much. Barbara Starr there for us. And Nick Paton Walsh for us in Beirut. Thank you to both of you.
I want to turn your attention now to the United Kingdom. You will remember last month reporting the heist at the Hatton Gardens Safe Deposit
Company here in London. Thieves, if you remember, broke into the vault of the heart of London's jewelry district stealing cash and gems. Today,
police have arrested seven people in connection with the heist.
Let's cross over to the scene of that heist in Hatton Garden For more, Phil Black is there.
You covered the story, Phil, for us right from the beginning. Tell us, what do we know about these seven suspects?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, police haven't released too many details. They say that hundreds of police were
involved in their operations today, raiding some 12 locations. And you're right, they say they picked up seven suspects both in and around London.
Their ages ranging, a spread between 48 and 76. At the time of the burglary police said they believe that there was a limited pool of people
in the country with the skills and the abilities to carry out a crime like this, because remember there's no doubt it was sophisticated.
Over the Easter long weekend they gained access to the building behind me. They were caught on security video doing so. Police say they used the
lift shaft to get down to the basement level where the vault is and there used a diamond tipped high powered drill to actually burrow though a very
thick reinforced concrete wall into the vault where they then set to work robbing some 70 safe deposit boxes inside.
By the time the crime was discovered, whoever was responsible was long gone. And there was a feeling that they certainly had quite a head start.
The people here in Hatton Garden London's gem and diamond trading districts, those who keep their stock in the safe deposit boxes, were
pretty pessimistic about ever seeing their goods again. But today, the police say that at one of the locations they found a number of large bags
containing what they describe as high value property. And they say they are pretty confident that that high value property was stolen during the
burglary on the Hatton Garden safe deposit company -- Isa.
SOARES: And Phil, at the press conference today, did the police shed any light whatsoever as to why didn't it respond to that alarm that went
off at the premises?
BLACK: This was something that they apologized for. So, no doubt they will see the arrest as a win for the investigation, but they've come
under some criticism since the Burglary itself, because it was revealed that over the course of the long weekend that the burglary took place over
there was an alarm was triggered within the building.
But police, and they admitted this today, did not follow their usual procedures. They did not attend the scene. For that they say they
apologized and they say they are carrying out a further investigation to try and determine just how those responsible were able to defeat the alarm
system as effectively as they were. And they're looking at setting in place now procedures to ensure that sort of mistake is never repeated, Isa.
SOARES: Yeah, Phil, I want to go back to those seven suspects, the seven people who have been arrested. Are they looking at their criminal
record, people with a criminal record or did they prints or anything in the sort to tie them to these gentlemen?
BLACK: The police are not commenting on anything like that at this stage, Isa. We do not know their identities, we don't know any details
about them as individuals.
And crucially, we don't know what piece of evidence or what process the investigation followed that led up to today's operations. The police
will only say that they've been working incredibly hard over the last six weeks or so, very dedicated, they say, to try and bring justice to the
victims of this crime, those whose safe deposit boxes were accessed and robbed in that way. And also to the entire community here at Hatton
[11:10:27] SOARES: Phil Black for us there in London. Thanks very much, Phil.
And still ahead on Connect the World, a wedding bride with a weeping bride -- a wedding, pardon me, with a weeping bride. We're live in Moscow
to see what it may have to do with power politics in Russia today.
But first we have more on the fight to retake Ramadi from ISIS. Could the Iraqi government's use of Shiite militias inflame the situation.
That's one question we'll be asking.
SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
The Iraqi government is moving to retake Ramadi from ISIS militants. In a statement released a few hours ago, the government says it will now
arm Anbar Sunni tribes. I has already mobilized Shiite militias that are backed by Iran. That has raised concerns about the potential for sectarian
violence in the predominately Sunni Anbar province.
CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has more on that and the growing influence of Iran in Iraq.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As ISIS parades U.S.-made military hardward its fighters captured from the Iraqi army in
Ramadi, Iraq's government is increasingly turning to America's long-time nemesis Iran for help.
Iran's defense minister was in Baghdad shortly after Ramadi fell. And another top level Iranian official indicated Tehran was willing to expand
its role in Iraq.
"If the Iraqi government made an official request to the Iranian government, then the Islamic Republic will respond to this request."
Iranian-backed and trained Shia militias already play a major role supporting the Iraqi security forces. Iran maintains that its strategy
against ISIS is more effective than the U.S.'s against the Sunni extremists.
MOHAMED MARANDI, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY: The battle in Iraq is very important to Iran. The Iranians believe that the Americans, if they were
serious, they could do a lot more.
PLEITGEN: But western powers feel Iran's policies may have contributed to sectarian tensions in Iraq. There are also concerns about
Shia militias accused of abuses after taking back the town of Tikrit from ISIS earlier this year.
The question is, can the sectarian divide between Sunni and Shia be bridged if Iran remains heavily involved in Iraq?
Ramadi is the capital of Anbar Province, the Sunni heartland of Iraq. And many question whether Shia militias will be able to win hearts and
In the past, Iran has been blamed for stoking sectarian tensions rather than solving them. Tehran supported Iraq's former prime minister
Nouri al-Maliki who rolled back American programs aimed at national unity like the Sons of Iraq, Sunni militias trained and equipped by the U.S. to
A former senior adviser to the U.S. military believes Iran's involvement is not helpful.
[11:15:30] ALI KHADERY, FRM. SENIOR ADVISER TO U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Radical Sunni militant groups like ISIS will never be defeated with radical
militant Shia groups, because the mere presence of Iran-backed militias who are responsible for atrocities that in some cases are as bad as ISIS's
their mere presence fosters the Sunni insurgency and helps ISIS recruit.
PLEITGEN: U.S. forces fought hard to stop insurgents from taking Ramadi during America's occupation in Iraq. Now, with those gains wiped
out, Iran is poised to play a major role winning the town back, possibly the biggest test yet for Tehran's strategy against ISIS.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.
SOARES: Well, the fight for Ramadi has been long, close to 18 months, in fact. The collapse was very sudden. This video shows Iraqi forces on
the highway from Ramadi, retreating east to Habbaniyah.
The amateur video from Mosul is said to show ISIS fighters and supporters celebrating their victory in Ramadi. The United Nations says
close to 25,000 people have fled the city since ISIS seized it on Sunday.
For more on all of this, I'm joined here in London by Zuhair Al-Nahar. He's a spokesman for Dawa, the ruling party in Iraq.
Mr. Nahar, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us.
Before we start talking strategy, bigger picture, what are you hearing about what's happening on the ground. When are we going to start to see
this offensive begin to overtake -- retake Ramadi?
ZUHAIR AL-NAHAR, DAWA PARTY SPOKESMAN: I think the offensive will start very soon.
SOARES: Any idea of time?
NAHAR: Within the next days, really. The mobilization, the national mobilization has started to collect and to gather to the east of the city.
They will be joined by the Sunni tribesmen who the announcement has been made that they will be armed. They will be joined by the army, the special
forces, the police units. Among the national mobilization, there are also elite units that are trained in urban warfare.
And, you know, our experience with IS terrorists have shown that they do not stand up to sustained pressure. In Tikrit, which was liberated a
couple of weeks ago, the whole province of Salahuddin was liberated. All they did, the IS terrorists, was to hold up the advance of the Iraqi forces
by setting up booby-trapped houses, buildings, roads and snipers. And that's all.
So, we're very confident that the Iraqi forces, united Iraqi forces from all sectors of the Iraqi community, will defeat these terrorists.
SOARES: Well, going to what happens after, the process of reconciliation in just a moment, because there's a lot of talk at the
moment about what's happening on the ground, specifically about the sectarian fallout. How worried are you about that?
NAHAR: There is no real worry at all. As the experience in Tikrit and Salahuddin has shown, the Iraqi forces being the national mobilization
who are mostly Shia, but there are also -- there are Sunni elements and there are even Christians amongst those forces.
SOARES: But there is a huge divide between Sunni and Shia. And there has been a history of not much love between them, isn't there? Is there
NAHAR: Not at all. Iraqis, Shia, Sunnis, Christians have lived in peace for hundreds of years. So -- and we will intermarry. There is no
friction. The only friction is the friction that IS wants us to believe, because they work on divide and rule. And that has been shown to be a
fallacy, because both -- all sides liberated Salahuddin and Tikrit. The people of Salahuddin and Tikrit welcomed the national mobilization. And
the national mobilization finished their work and left Tikrit and left the people of Tikrit in control.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, we saw a photo in the peace that we just aired by our correspondent as showing the Iraqi prime minister meeting with
Iranians as well. What kind of role is Iran playing here? Do you think that Iran has a better strategy in Iraq than the U.S. has?
NAHAR: Iraq shares huge borders of interest with Iran, so it is in Iraq's interest to maintain good relations not only with Iran, but all the
Now, Iran has an interest in stabilizing Iraq and making sure that IS doesn't have a foothold on Iraq as does the U.S. as does the whole of the
There are advisers, military -- Iranian military advisers in Iraq, but there are military advisers from the U.S., from Australia, from New
Zealand, from all over the world.
[11:20:19] SOARES: Let me get your take on something, because U.S. officials have been playing down the ISIS takeover in Ramadi, but they seem
to have been caught off guard somewhat.
Just last Friday I want to show you a tweet that came in from U.S. commander overseeing the commander operations Iraq. This is what he told
reporters. I think we have a pilot here we can show. He said, we firmly believe ISIS is on the defensive throughout Iraq and Syria, attempting to
hold previous gains while conducting smallscale localized harassing attacks.
Do you think this -- the U.S. completely misread the situation on the ground in Ramadi?
NAHAR: Not at all. This is exactly an opportunistic attack by IS in order to boost its media profile, really. And the general pattern is that
IS has been defeated and is being defeated. Two major provinces has been liberated,another major province Salahuddin has been liberated. We have
two other provinces, and they are on the way to being liberated.
Remember, military operations in Anbar have been going on for the last three or four weeks. Gradually in the area of Fallujah, in the area of
Garmah (ph) before Fallujah, the vital battle lines are being broken down.
This was an opportunistic attack, which is short-term and will have no real consequences to the overall strategy.
SOARES: And of the course the concern is once they've retaken Ramadi, if they retake Ramadi, of the fallout from that and how do you unite all
the sectarian people.
Thank you very much. We'll have to leave it here. Zahair Al-Nahar, spokesman for Dawa, thank you very much, sir.
We have some news just coming in to CNN. Sanaa international airport in Yemen's capital is now open for commercial flights. We're getting this
directly from the president of the country's aviation authority. This would be the first time, you remember, the airport has been open in some
two months. The airport has been caught in the crossfire since the Houthi rebellion overthrew Yemen's government.
The first commercial flight is coming from Cairo. It's said to be a Yemeni Airways flight carrying 150 passengers and was expected to arrive
about half an hour or so ago. It is unclear if it has been able to land.
This is live from London, you are watching Connect the World. Coming up, thousands of troops have just wrapped up training exercises in Jordan.
What military officials had to say about their role in the battle against ISIS.
And coming up, at its height, the San Francisco navy shipyard employed 8,000 people now set for revival after being shuttered in the 1980s. Up
next, we'll head to California to take a look at the shipyard today. Both those stories right here on Connect the World.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: In a city where property is at a premium, this is a sizable and potentially valuable expanse of land.
The San Francisco Navy Shipyard was shuttered four decades ago, then completely closed down in the mid-1980s. Since then, it attracted rust and
tall weeds, but little else.
SHORY MCKIBBON: It's been sitting undeveloped. It's the last developable piece of land within San Francisco.
DEFTERIOS: The 3 million square meter site surrounded by water was once full of life. On one side stood the fabled Candlestick Park, where
American baseball legend Willie Mays wowed fans.
On the other, the shipyard itself served the U.S. navy, employing 8,000 people at its peak.
It was later deemed a toxic site, which required $800 million and years to clean up.
As part of the new deal with the city, the developer has to reserve a third of the 12,000 homes for affordable housing and provide local training
Here's city activist Veronica Honeycut.
VERONICA HONEYCUT, SAN FRANCISCO CITY ACTIVIST: It doesn't make sense that you would have that much land that could be remediated and could be
utilized for housing and other kinds of job opportunities for people here in the city that it would remain languishing that long. Fortunately, we're
beginning to see the housing go vertical. We're beginning to see people move in. And it's very exciting.
DEFTERIOS: We were on site when Mike Nguyen was unloading boxes with friends and family. He secured a two story, two bedroom townhouse for just
over $700,000 after being trumped elsewhere on several occasions.
MIKE NGUYEN, RESIDENT: So this was like, you know, I guess you can say the next frontier in the city. You know, I look at all this open land
here, so yeah, it has a lot of room to grow over here.
DEFTERIOS: Importantly for him, Nguyen can still ride his bike to work over there, meaning to the city.
With downtown San Francisco about six kilometers away, this is certainly a proximity play by the developer, but it's also out to offer
value. In today's overheated market, the price per square meter is about half the rate one would find in the city center.
Chinese buyers, as part of a visa for investment program have been the majority of the initial wave who helped sell out the first phase. The next
goal is to entice Silicon Valley companies, an hour north, into the shipyard and create a so-called innovation ally.
MCKIBBON: We're already in conversations with some of the pretty significant Silicon Valley companies. So they have embraced it.
Once people saw this happening -- it took so long people were like, is it really going to happen? Once it began, the calls came.
DEFTERIOS: Hopefully, this $8 billion project will be able to regenerate the sounds of commerce that lived for over a century and fill
what has been an empty void for decades.
John Defterios, CNN, San Francisco.
[11:30:19] SOARES: This is Connect the World. Let me bring you up to date with the top stories we're following for you this hour.
New video showing some of the estimated 25,000 people who fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi now under ISIS control. The Iraqi military says it's
launched airstrikes on ISIS targets in Fallujah. The militants tried to push east of Ramadi overnight. That advance was repelled.
At least four people were killed and more than 20 wounded in a suicide bombing outside Afghanistan's justice ministry, that is according to an
Afghan interior ministry spokesman. A vehicle was detonated in the justice ministry's parking lot. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for that
Police here in the UK have arrested seven people over the Hatton Garden heist. Last month, thieves broke into a vault stealing jewels and
cash in the heart of London's jewelry district.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with his new Israeli cabinet at the museum in Jerusalem to commemorate Jerusalem day. The
special meeting came two days after the official Israeli holiday, which marks the anniversary of Israel's capture of Arab East Jerusalem back in
1967. Mr. Netanyahu promised Jerusalem would remain a united city under Israeli authority.
10,000 troops, half of them from the United States, just concluded military exercises in Jordan. the drills take place every year, but as CNN
Jomana Karadsheh reports, with a growing threat posed by ISIS this year's exercises seemed more relevant than ever before.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The impact of a U.S. B-52 bomber striking deep in the Jordanian desert. Ground forces open
fire and advance on their target. None of this is real for now.
This is the fifth year of this annual joint military exercise dubbed Eager Lion. But since last year's drill, things have significantly changed
in the region.
In two of Jordan's neighboring countries, Iraq and Syria, ISIS emerged as a threat like no other this region has seen. The common enemy brought
some of the 18 nations that are a part of this exercise into a coalition fighting the terror group.
While officials here say the training is pre-planned and not a reaction to current regional events, Eager Lion this year does seem more
relevant than ever.
LT. GEN. PRINCE FAISAL BIN AL-HUSSEIN, JORDANIAN ARMED FORCES: It's been a rough year and I don't think unfortunately we're going to see any
rapid changes. This is going to be a long fight. But extremists wherever you are, I think this exercise shows that the coalition will do what it
needs to do to combat them.
KARADSHEH: Jordan, a key U.S. ally has been at the forefront of the war on ISIS. And earlier this year paid a heavy price for that with a
brutal killing of one of its pilots captured by the group.
ISIS's latest gains in Ramadi means its tightened its grip on Anbar province right on Jordan's eastern borders.
AL-HUSSEIN: I think there's always concern when we see movements of extremists. And the fact that they're having successes, no matter how
limited, that is always worrying for us. But I think that doesn't deter us from our job and our responsibility. And we will continue to do what needs
to be done.
KARADSHEH: The show of force ends with a special forces operations in the port of Aqaba, a glimpse into the diverse capabilities and readiness in
the hope of overturning a very real security threat to this region.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Wadishadiyah (ph), Jordan.
SOARES: Well, we have a fascinating article on our website that looks at why young people are more susceptible than others to ISIS propaganda.
One researcher says the same reason Harry Potter, for example, has an appeal so does waging jihad. He says it's called Money, Guns, Girls: how
ISIS recruiters win in the west. You can win that only at CNN.com.
Now, I'm going to take you to the investigation into the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. British newspaper The Sunday
Times reports a Chechen suspect managed to flee to either Turkey or Dubai.
Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow back in February. He was an outspoken critic of the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The reported disappearance of a suspect in the case has some jumping on allegations of a Kremlin conspiracy.
Now, let's take a look at another story out of Chechnya that's shocked many in Russia and indeed around the world. A 17-year-old girl there was
reportedly forced into marrying the Republic's police chief. You're looking at a photo of her there. He is 46-year-old and is already married.
It is said to have happened under the watchful eye of the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a one-time close ally of Russian President Vladimir
Well, recently Kadyrov has been quite assertive, even his challenging in his relations with the Kremlin. Back in March, he held one of the
suspects in the killing of Boris Nemtsov as, quote, a true patriot. And last month he ordered Chechen soldiers to fire Russian security forces
operating the republic without his administration's permission.
Let's get more on all of this. I'm joined now by Alexey Malashenko. He's a Chechen expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
And he joins me from Moscow.
Mr. Alexey, thank you very much for joining us.
How is -- let's start off with how is Guchigov getting away with this? Because first she's not of a legal age to marry. And second, isn't
polygamy illegal under Russian law? Have we heard anything from the Russia -- from the Kremlin about this?
[11:35:43] ALEXEY MALASHENKO, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: I think it's another problem of some illegal -- if it is a wedding
or not. It's a problem of relations, private relations between Ramzan Kadyrov and Moscow federal center and maybe Putin, because there are some
things which we don't understand in this story, because for of all Ramzan emphasized that while he has not intent on the wedding situation, while and
he preferred to be silent.
But suddenly she decided that he must be a master, a master of the situation as he's a master in Chechnya. And he gave permission to this
policeman aged while of 47 years old and to take -- to marry, to marry this young girl, practically almost a child.
So it proves, it proves that during his mediation of taking a decision, he was waiting for a certain -- some reaction from Kremlin.
But in that case, and this case wasn't so easy for Ramzan. In this case, Putin preferred to keep silence. And that's why Ramzan understood
that he could do everything he wanted.
So, wedding took place. It was 16 May and formally everybody is satisfied in Chechnya, but anyway, we understand very well, but it is a
conflict. It was a conflict.
SOARES: Yeah. And Kadyrov did attend the wedding, the president of Chechnya. He seems somewhat emboldened and defiant. What has changed?
Why have we seen a change in his character, or has he not changed at all?
MALASHENKO: Well, I think that in general the relation between Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin
are balancing. But anyway, it seems that they both, they need each other, because I don't believe that as a leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov could
occupy this same position for such a long time without support of Putin.
However, at the same time Putin in that situation in particular he badly needs stability in Caucuses. And for him, Ramzan Kadyrov is a man,
is a leader who is able to grant stability in this very, very problematic region. I mean Chechnya.
So, I think that despite some misunderstanding that of course can emerge, in general they are satisfied with each other.
SOARES: Let's stay with me, Mr. Malashenko, for just a moment, because I want to give our viewers a sense of who Kadyrov really is. He
was born in 1976. He's roughly 38 years of age. His father, who was president at the time, was assassinated back in 2004. Kadyrov began his
rule three years later back in 2007. He has been dogged by accusations of human rights abuses. He fought a brutal campaign to bring an end to
Chechnya's bloody insurgency.
Let me ask you this, do you feel that he has increasingly -- he's feeling somewhat restricted or cramped inside Chechnya? Do you think he's
beginning to see himself as a politician of national or even international standing?
MALASHENKO: Well, it's a very good question. I believe that in Chechnya itself Ramzan is an absolute political (inaudible) it seems to me
that he became a religious leader. It's very interesting. And so that point of view, he's a certain exception.
As to his activity on the federal level, on Russian level, I think also he's becoming more and more successful. It doesn't mean that next
morning he will occupy the position of minister or deputy minister or prime minister. It's a job, yes.
But anyway, I think that he pretends to be a Muslim leaders of Russian Muslim community. And he does his best.
Of course, it's a very difficult because we have a different Islamic peoples.
But anyway, last three years it seems, and I believe that he attempt to do a lot not only for Chechnya itself, not only for Caucuses, but to
[11:40:16] SOARES: Do you think his defiance will be a problem in the long-term for President Putin?
MALASHENKO: Well, I think -- I think that as I told you before by the way Putin badly needs him. I can't imagine somebody else may (inaudible)
situation in Chechnya. There are some disputes. Sometimes in Chechnya you may hear an opinion that Ramzan could be very easily replaced.
But anyway, I don't believe it's possible. Just it doesn't mean that I love Ramzan Kadyrov, no. But anyway he proved that he could and he
continues to -- and he can, to rule this very problematic republic.
SOARES: Mr. Alexey Malashenko, fantastic to get your perspective, really interesting discussion here. Thank you very much for your time,
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, fleeing unrest in their country, but facing new dangers across the border. We'll
tell you about a new health threat for refugees fleeing Burundi. We'll have that story from London just ahead.
And in tonight's parting shots, we take a look at the importance of prayer rooms for Muslims around the world. Do stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nigerians love tomatoes. And tomato paste is a staple in both sauces and stews on the Nigerian dinner plate. According to
reports, Nigerians spent more than $300 million on tomato paste annually. Nigeria wants to increase its production. To do that, the country is
teaming up with private enterprise.
Nigeria is the second largest producer of tomatoes in Africa, harvesting about 1.5 million tons annually. But the government says some
45 percent of Nigeria's crop never makes it to market, because farmers lack the resources to process and transport their tomatoes.
A new tomato processing plant could help Nigeria increase production and cut its tomato imports by about one-third.
SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
Now unrest in Burundi has caused more than 100,000 refugees to flee their homeland for neighboring countries. This is according to a United
Nations refugee agency. They arrive in Rwanda with very few belongings. The number of Burundians at Camp Mahama (ph) is growing by the day.
More people stretching the camp's food and water supplies, you can imagine. The crisis has sparked -- was sparked by President Pierre
Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term.
Other Burundians have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and indeed to Tanzania.
Once over the border they may have escaped the unrest at home, but in refugee camps they face a new potentially deadly enemy. Diana Magnay
reports from inside a refugee camp in Tanzania.
[11:45:41] DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The lines are long, people are hungry. And they are frustrated. But at least they
are out of Burundi where they fear President Perrier Nkurunziza's bid for a third term might tip their country back into civil war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be when I am in country I can die.
MAGNAY: (inaudible) Ambigumi (ph) fled two weeks ago. He says he was pressured by Burundi's violent government youth wing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ascertain, no, I don't be in your party. Because I am free.
MAGNAY: Rather risking his chances in Tanzania than being forced to join the so-called Mbararakoury (ph), believed to be waging a campaign of
intimidation inside Burundi.
These people are the lucky ones, relatively speaking, they've managed to escape the massively over populated peninsula on Lake Tananyika called
Kagunga, which is where the majority of Burundians fleeing their country for Tanzania have ended up.
In the last few weeks, there have been as many as 50,000 people there. It's now down to about 30 in a community which is normally just 11,000
And this is what those conditions bring: vomiting, watery diarrhea. The government has declared a cholera outbreak yet, but this is what it
looks like spread doctors here say from Kagunga to here in Kigoma (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we can treat them. In Kagunga, I think we would have lost 1,000, could have lost hundreds, but by moving them here we
have lost about 12.
MAGNAY: Doctors are working as fast as they can, disinfecting the tarpaulins where people lie, rehydrating patients, giving them antibiotics.
But they need more health workers and more cholera beds. This is highly contagious stuff.
Cholera is easy enough to treat, but it's quick to spread. And in crowded unsanitary conditions harder, perhaps, to escape than the political
uncertainty these people here have fled.
Diana Magnay, CNN, Kigoma, Tanzania.
SOARES: Well, Burundi has descended into the worst crisis since the country's civil war. Protests, violence and a failed coup. Can Burundi be
pulled back from the brink? That is the question we are asking Yolan Buqa (ph) is a great lakes region expert and looks at what can be done to stop
the chaos and solve the political crisis. You can find that expert analysis, along with continuous coverage of this developing story on our
website. You can see there. That's CNN.com.
Now rescuers in northwest Colombia searching for any survivors after a landslide killed at least 62 people. Mud rushed down the mountains in the
early mornings seen in those pictures pouring into homes and bridges. Houses were carried away by debris.
There is no word on how many people are missing. The Colombia president has declared a state of emergency.
Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri tells us what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good day to you. Let's bring you up to date with what's happening here across Colombia, because certainly
had isolated thunderstorms about this region. And you take a look at exactly what transpired on early Sunday morning between two and three in
the morning. Best estimates we have for Salgar, population here about 20,000 people, was about 50 to 100 millimeters of rainfall came down,
nothing historic by any means when you take a look at how much rainfall occurred here.
But we know the down is in the bottom here in the valley forum. And of course we have mountain slopes surrounding this region, northern
portions of the Andes, and valleys one of the most common landforms on our planet. They form because of water rushing down the sides of these
mountains for millions of years, also ice essentially carving its way down toward the lowest point, and that's where populations have set up.
Unfortunately, the same sort of a pattern with tremendous rainfall really exacerbates the problem and brings the highest water right down
towards the town center out there.
And you take a look at the rainfall as far as the month of May. Peak season, that's the second wettest time of the year. And then October
brings the wettest portion of the year as well.
So we are in the heart of the wet season across this portion of the world and then you look at what we have in store in the coming couple of
days. Salgar in line right there for some of the heavier rainfall, upwards of 150 millimeters in the forecast. So the threat remains high for
potentially additional landslides, but also the recovery efforts here going to be very challenging in this mountainous area.
Going to send it back to you.
SOARES: All right, good point there from Pedram Javaheri. More rain expected, that makes the efforts -- recovery efforts there in Colombia much
You are watching Connect the World live from London. Coming up, it's an important part of daily life for many Muslims. When we come back, this
feature photograph who is taking photos of prayer rooms around the world.
[11:51:54] SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Isa Soares here in London. Welcome back to the show.
I want to bring you up to date on something we brought you a few minutes ago. We told you that Sanaa international airport in Yemen's
capital is now open for commercial flights. That came directly from the president of the country's aviation authority.
Now this would be the first time the airport has been open in some two months. The airport has been caught in the crossfire, if you remember,
since the Houthi rebellion overthrew Yemen's government. The first commercial flight was supposed to land a short time ago from Cairo, but
that same official tells us it was rerouted to (inaudible) domestic airport in Saudi Arabia by Saudi authorities.
We have no word on when the flight might actually arrive in Sanaa. We'll keep on top of that story as soon as there are more developments. We
shall bring it to you.
Meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his new cabinet today at the Israel museum. The gathering was in honor of
Jerusalem Day, which Israel celebrated on Sunday. The holiday marks the anniversary of Israel's capture of Arab east Jerusalem back in 1967. Mr.
Netanyahu promised Jerusalem will remain a united city under Israeli authority.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Netanyahu and his coalition are under pressure to push forward peace talks
with the Palestinians. But as CNN's Oren Liebermann reports, some doubt that it's even possible.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the word peace during his cabinet presentation, the knesset broke out in
laughter. Netanyahu was heckled from the floor, taunted as he tried to speak.
As Netanyahu begins his fourth term as prime minister he is under tremendous pressure to resume the peace process, but it seems his 61 seat
right-wing coalition leaves little hope of real progress.
HANAN ASHRAMI, PLO EXEUCTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER: If he achieves his objective of creating greater Israel on historical Palestine, he would
succeed in destroying the chances of peace. And he would create a very painful solution perpetuating a situation of conflict, of violence, of
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu's coalition guidelines call for advancing the peace process, but make no mention of a Palestinian state. In a pre-
election interview, Netanyahu promised there would be no Palestinian state under his leadership, comments he then walked back in an NBC interview.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: I haven't changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in (inaudible) university six years
ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.
What has changed is the reality. Abu Mazen, the Palestinian leader, refuses to recognize the Jewish state. He has made a pact with Hamas that
calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The parties have agreed here today.
LIEBERMANN: The most recent round of peace talks broke down last April after nine months of negotiations. President Barack Obama, speaking
with Saudi news network al Arabiya said both sides need to compromise.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because I said to the Israelis you cannot remain a state that is both a democracy and Jewish if
you continue to have this problem unresolved. And with respect to the Palestinians I have said that you cannot expect to have a state of your own
if you also don't recognize Israel, because Israel is not going anywhere.
[11:55:24] LIEBERMANN: The Palestinian Authority has gained international recognition in recent weeks, the Vatican officially
recognizing a state of Palestine is the latest in a series of such successes for the Palestinians.
But analysts say international pressure alone won't be enough to create a two-state solution.
YOAZ HENDEL, INSTITUTE FOR ZIONIST STUDIES: If one thinks that the pressure from outside can change the reality in the Middle East and to
create stability in the Palestinian Authority or to change the relationship between the West Bank and Gaza and to create some kind of a peace contract
is -- it took it wrong.
LIEBERMANN: In the absence of peace talks, the U.S. has said they would reassess their relationship with Israel. Many have taken that to
mean the U.S. may not use its security council veto at the United Nations, which would allow international recognition of Palestinian Statehood.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
SOARES: In tonight's Parting Shots, for many Muslims they are an important part of life. Emirati photographer Ammar al Attar has taken a
series of photos of different prayer rooms in very different locations right around the world. Take a look.
AMMAR AL ATTAR, PHOTOGRAPHER: My name is Ammar al Attar. I'm an Emirati photographer.
I decided to do a project about different places that Muslims makeshift the space to be a prayer room. The idea was to deliver this
message that wherever we are we can pray, even if it was a small space, very clear, or it's decorative.
There are lots of outdoor prayer places, temporary spaces. People built outside their shops.
I find sometime prayer places on the 40th floor.
Prayers are revolutionary like act a moment of peace or a moment just to rejudge. You are revisiting your life at that moment and then you go
for praying. We Muslims are organized. And we pray five times a day, so that's why we built these places.
SOARES: And that does it for us for this hour. I'm Isa Soares in London. Thank you very much for watching.