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CONNECT THE WORLD
Sponsors Sticking with FIFA; ISIS Shuts Cuts Off Dam Near Ramadi; INTERPOL Releases Red Noties For Six Indicted in FIFA Scandal; Gaza Parkour; Investigators Try to Determine Who Accessed Alberto Nisman's Laptop Shortly After His Death. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired June 3, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:01:03] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Hello, and welcome to a special edition of Connect the World with me Becky Anderson tonight coming to you
from our brand new studios at CNN Arabic's bureau in Dubai. We had planned to bring you the show from another regional hub, but Qatar's capital Doha,
which was of course awarded the 2022 World Cup in fact I was there just a few hours ago planning to speak with the secretary-general of the Qatar
2022 supreme committee Hassan al Thawadi. We were going to ask for his reaction to Sepp Blatter's resignation as the head of FIFA and to continued
allegations of poor working conditions for migrant workers building World Cup facilities.
Qatar's government has responded to this claim by saying that after almost 5 million work hours on World Cup construction sites, not a single
worker's life has been lost.
But back to the interview we planned today. Despite assurances al Thawadi wasn't available, however the Qatar 2022 supreme committee sent me
this statement just a short time ago that reads in part, "the recent events at FIFA will not impact on our preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup."
And it goes on to say, "Qatar has faced criticism from the moment we won the right to bring this tournament to the Middle East for the first
time. We remain committed to using the World Cup as a platform to break down prejudice and misconceptions," end quote.
I hope we can speak with Hassan when and if he's ready to sit down with us. I'm hoping that that will be in the next couple of weeks.
Well, more now on the story that has dominated global headlines. Almost 24 hours since the latest news to rock the football world. Sepp
Blatter is back at work at FIFA headquarters after announcing his resignation that will end his 17 years at the helm. And he expects to be
there at least until December at the earliest a successor might be elected.
Well, Blatter's resignation comes after a week of corruption allegations made against current and former FIFA officials. Just today,
INTERPOL issued red notices that arrest warrants are out for six of those indicted by the U.S., including Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice president
and executive committee member.
And in South Africa, which faces accusations over its bid to host the World Cup in 2010. The sports ministry insists no bribe was paid.
Well, we've got correspondents covering this story from all angles for you.
Isa Soares is in Zurich, Matthew Chance is in Moscow, and Diana Magnay is in Johannesburg.
Isa, let's kick off with you. Quite remarkable stuff coming out of what is FIFA headquarters not just in the past 24 hours, but the week of
course as well. What's the latest from there?
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky, absolutely. It's quite a dramatic turn of events in the last couple of days and indeed
in the last week.
Like you mentioned, Becky, we heard Sepp Blatter is back at his job, back sitting behind his desk. He came in in the early hours of this
morning and he met with FIFA employees. He spoke to them. He told them how he wanted to reform FIFA, which is a pledge we have heard from Sepp
Blatter in the last couple of days. And we have been told that he'd got a standing ovation from his employees.
This is a man, of course, who has been almost 17 years presiding over world football, a man who has been defiant until the very end, who said he
would not step down.
But many here are asking about the timing, Becky. Why now? Why has he decided to step down now?
Of course, he's still in charge. He's still the president. His elections go through -- take place between December to March.
But many are asking why exactly did he decide to it now? Why not before the vote last week we saw between him and Prince Ali of Jordan.
Obviously at the moment all we know is there's a lot of speculation. One of that is pressure from sponsors, of course. They are the ones that
really put a lot -- they've been able to help fund and fill with cash the coffers of FIFA, some $350 million in 2005 to $1.5 -- $14 billion in 2014.
So that is one reason a lot of pressure from sponsors.
The other is saying that he looked around after the vote last week, and he saw actually a lot of his friends -- he's losing a lot of them, like
pieces of domino falling.
And obviously the most obvious here is the fact that there may be more accusations. With those closer to him now being part of this specifically
talking about Jerome Valcke being part of -- supposedly being part of this, that that may tie him -- maybe closer to him. At the moment, he is not
being investigated by Swiss authorities. Nevertheless, U.S. authorities are looking -- reportedly looking, we've heard from U.S. sources, into as
well what role he played in all of this, Becky.
[11:06:00] ANDERSON: So, Isa, this begs the question what happens next. We're going to talk about what we believe may be going on behind the
scenes and why it is that Blatter may have decided to resign so abruptly as he did. But what happens next so far as FIFA is concerned, because it
doesn't seem to be completely clear when and if this election for the post of what is the most powerful positions in not just football, but global
sport will happen?
SOARES: Well, the reality is we don't know. We are getting very little in terms of FIFA. And FIFA abides by its own rules. They've always
done that. And that's why they've been in so much hot water and faced so much criticism.
But we know that we've started hearing from certain individuals who may be wanting to be part of -- or considered. Prince Ali of Jordan hinted
at that yesterday in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. We have perhaps we've heard from Figo. He hasn't put his hat in the ring, but he
has condoned what has happened in the last few weeks as well as Jerome Champagne.
These are all people that initially wanted to -- wanted to go through for the FIFA president but in fact they decided not to in light, perhaps,
of the fact that according to Figo that it would be clear that really Blatter would win.
But what we're hearing at the moment is that from Blatter, at least, is that the pressing with reforms. What those reforms will be, we don't
know. This is the thing, we keep hearing there are going to be reforms, but we don't know what those reforms will be. So we'll have to see what
exactly constructive that comes out of this, but it seems the majority, the chunk of what worked is coming out of the United States as we're getting
bit by bit more of information from the U.S. authorities in terms of their investigations into exactly what happened.
Swiss authorities, in the time being, are not talking about the probe they're looking into. And that is a probe into the Qatar and the Russia
World Cup bids -- Becky.
ANDERSON: That's right. Russia 2018, Qatar 2022.
Isa, for the time being, thank you for that.
Let's get you to Moscow then and to Matthew Chance who is standing by. The Russian president throwing his weight behind Sepp Blatter as late as
last Friday and over the weekend. What's being said now? And is this World Cup, which is, of course, it's all about football isn't it? It's
supposed to be played in, what, two-and-a-half years time.
Is it going to go ahead at this point?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the perception in Russia is that it's more about politics than sport at the
You're right, though, just a couple of days ago Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, sent a telegram congratulating Sepp Blatter on his
reelection as the FIFA president. And you can almost sort of hear the sighs of relief coming out of the Kremlin.
But it seems that they were very, very premature. And now, you know, those question marks over whether Russia will have the right to host the
2018 World Cup will be withdrawn have been raised once again.
We have to say at the moment nobody is suggesting that that's a likelihood, but it is a least a possibility. And Russian officials are
being pretty defensive. There have been remarks from the Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko over the course of the past several hours saying,
look, you know, the World Cup in Russia is not under threat. That's not something that has been even suggested by FIFA.
But the fact is there is a number of investigations -- a Swiss investigation in particular, as well as that U.S. investigation, into the
allotment of the 2018 and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. And if it is found that there has been wrongdoing in that process there will be increased
calls for that award to be reviewed. And so in that sense there is growing concern in Russia about the prospects of it hosting the World Cup in 2018.
ANDERSON: Matthew, stand by. I want to get down to Johannesburg where Diana Magnay is standing by.
And Di, South Africa facing accusations over its bid to host the World Cup. Of course, four or five years ago back in 2010 I know the sports
minister insisting today no bribes were paid.
How is this all going down? And what else did he have to say?
[11:10:16] DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he gave a very comprehensive explanation about this $10 million payment, which
has been construed by the U.S., by the FBI's investigation in that indictment as a bribe that was effectively laundered through FIFA rather
than coming to the pockets of the South African football association.
And what the sports minister said was that this payment was this $10 million was an above board payment, there's a paper trail to prove it. It
was paid four years after we won the bid. And it was part of the legacy -- it was a legacy payment for the African diaspora. This was the sports
minister described not just South Africa's World Cup, but very much the World Cup of the African continent.
A lot of the money that FIFA donates to the host country, which was all four legacy programs during the games and afterwards, was for the
African continent and also for the African diaspora. And he described this payment as being part of that.
He also said that he felt that South Africa was wrongly caught up in all of this. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FIKILE MBALULA, SOUTH AFRICA SPORTS MINISTER: We refuse to be caught up in a battle of the United States' authorities and FIFA. We have never
been spokespersons for FIFA and do not intend to speak on behalf of FIFA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MAGNAY: I think what's important, though, Becky is what he didn't really address and who wasn't there. First of all, there is another
central allegation in the indictment -- in the U.S. indictment around a briefcase stashed with $10,000 bill that was supposedly brought by a South
African executive committee official to a Paris hotel room and handed over to one of Jack Warner's relatives in the early 2000s.
That was effectively dismissed in the press conference. He said we don't know what the basis of these allegations are. And it sounds like
something more out of a movie than anything else.
And also Danny Jordan (ph) wasn't there. He was head of the local organizing committee, effectively ran South Africa's bid for the World Cup.
He was expected to be present at this meeting. He had his hands on the finances throughout that whole process. It would have really added some
credibility to the whole thing, especially when the government in South Africa at the moment isn't really reputable or known for its fantastic
fight against corruption, if the man who had been in charge of the cash at the time had actually been present and able to answer questions, but right
at the last minute he clearly decided to cancel. And so it was just the sports minister defending South Africa's reputation, which he did certainly
in terms of this $10 million payment, Becky.
ANDERSON: Diana Magnay is in Johannesburg for you on that part of the story. Matthew Chance in Moscow and Isa Soares at FIFA HQ. To all of you,
We're going to have more on this developing story later this hour. We're going to speak to FIFA's former head of security Chris Eaton who
stepped down in 2012 when the governing body was dealing with match fixing, that is less than 10 minutes from now.
And there are several possible candidates who could replace Sepp Blatter at the helm. Who are they? And who could be a front runner?
Well, we're going to explore that a little later in the show as well.
I'm going to move on just for the moment and take a moment to update you on another story that we are following closely, and that is the battle
in Iraq for Ramadi. And a worrying development for towns near the city that ISIS has captured. We're hearing reports that ISIS has shut the gates
of the Ramadi dam, which would prevent the flow of water to places like al- KHalidiyah.
A member of the Anbar regional council says the fear is that this is a precursor to militants launching further attacks once the water levels
drop. And as he puts it, to, quote, kill people of thirst in these towns.
Well, Iraq's government is appealing for international help in fighting ISIS since Ramadi fell last month.
The city is the capital of the massive Anbar province and just about 100 meters -- sorry, kilometers from Iraq's capital Baghdad.
Strategically placed, of course.
Also ahead, they haven't given up hope, rescuers in China continue to search for hundreds of people still missing after their cruise ship
collapsed. We're going to bring you a live report from the scene there.
Plus, a new twist in the mysterious death of a prosecutor in Argentina. What investigators are now saying about his computer.
You're watching CNN. We're live out of Dubai for you this evening. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:17:20] SEPP BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT: If somebody are making investigations, they have all the right to do so.
I have no concerns about that. And I have especially no concerns about my person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World live out of Dubai this evening. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Four days -- well it doesn't seem like much, does it, but a lot can happen in that time as FIFA's president has just proven. Sepp Blatter went
from celebrating his reelection victory, defiant in the face of FIFA's corruption scandal, to announcing he will be stepping down from his post
with FIFA expected to choose a new leader more than four months from now.
Meanwhile, problems for the organization continue to pile up. Blatter hasn't been accused, but INTERPOL issued red notices for six of the 14
people charged in what is this U.S. investigation.
Well, joining me now is Chris Eaton. He's the director of sport integrity for the International Center for Sport Security. Also, once
served as FIFA' head of security joining us tonight from Lyons in France.
And, sir, just how significant are these red notices issued by INTERPOL for FIFA's execs?
CHRIS EATON, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SPORT SECURITY: Well, Becky, what they show is there's a solid international legal basis for the arrest
Red notices are not arrest warrants, international arrest warrants. They are, in fact, a notification to member countries to search and to
arrest and to deliver through a proper legal process the persons who are named.
But this indicates that INTERPOL has tested and seen there's a proper legal basis for these warrants.
ANDERSON: You were with FIFA for two years, between 2010 and 2012. During that time, did you see any evidence of wrongdoing?
EATON: Well, of course I didn't. And I was involved in investigations on behalf of FIFA, of course, on allegations that were made
in the public domain and allegations that were made directly to FIFA.
I mean, the fact is there's been an enormous number of allegations of impropriety in FIFA for well over a decade.
When I got to FIFA, my concentration was primarily on the South African World Cup and then on match fixing. The issues of administrative
corruption became more paramount towards the end of my tenure in 2011.
ANDERSON: Now this story in a big way, sir, as we all know, broke last week Wednesday with the arrests of FIFA executives and officials. So,
let's talk about what's going on now. You've just discussed what you saw between 2010 and 2012.
There are among 14 people accused of now racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, and includes some of the organization's top officials.
Let me ask you, is this case enough to affect real change, or are the problems in FIFA do you think just too deeply rooted?
[11:20:30] EATON: Look, there's no doubt the problems are deeply rooted. There's no doubt there needs to be a wholesale reform that the
organization structure from FIFA -- FIFA is not all of football, you know. There's confederations and there's national federations, there's leagues
and there's clubs. The whole plethora, the whole gambit of sport in football needs to be reformed. And the fact is that FIFA is probably the
issue where business -- the business of the World Cup became the tail that waged the governor's dog. What has to happen is governance has to become
the controlling body and the tail has to be business.
ANDERSON: I was in Qatar earlier today hoping to speak to the general-secretary of the Qatar 2022 supreme committee. Hassan al Thawati
wasn't able to have that discussion with me today, has assured me that he will speak to me in the next week or so.
We know that the Swiss have also opened a probe. You've just been discussing that, which has been opened by the U.S. Justice Department, but
the Swiss opening a probe into the bidding process into 2018 and 2022.
At this point, you know, quite frankly we have to ask ourselves whether these two competitions are going to go ahead in the host cities
that have won these bids. Do you believe they will?
EATON: Look, the reality is the investigations have to play out. You can't make any decisions or any predictions without knowing the full facts
of these investigations.
These are two official, high profile and powerful investigations. And it's important that they play out.
What is really important is that FIFA becomes as an organization in football, no matter how the investigations play out, must become a
transparent, accountable, business and a transparent and accountable sport governing body. And organizations like ours are there to help them do it.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there, sir. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Live from Dubai tonight, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, well those who hold FIFA's purse strings are
certainly weighing in to this controversy. Find out how sponsors are reacting to Sepp Blatter's resignation.
First up, though, a young innovator uses mobile technology to expand access to health care. African Startup is up next. For you, your
headlines will follow that. And we will continue with what is this developing story after this. Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mobile technology is growing at a rapid rate across sub-Saharan Africa. It's now the second largest market after Asia.
And it's motivating technology entrepreneurs like Kepeme Yopala (ph) to develop new products and services. Yopala's (ph) contribuion: Access
Mobile, which he launched in Kampala, Uganda in 2011. He says the initial investors included family and friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Access Mobile is a company that builds software solutions for health care providers to better improve the health of their
patients through mobile phones.
I trained in public health at Yale University, and was then fortunate to be one of the early employees of the Clinton health access initiative in
east Africa, which is how I got my first exposure to the health systems here.
I like this actually the way it...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says his subsequent work in international development further exposed him to Africa's health care needs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having lived in countries like Tanzania, Kenya, here in Uganda and other parts of the region, what really compelled me was
believing that no matter where you live in the world that you should be able to access a certain standard of care and that technology plays a role
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His first main solution, an app called Clinic Communicator.
Here is how it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine a scenario where Dr. Esther (ph) has done an extraction. And she realizes she wants to remind that patient to take
their pain medication. So Dr. Esther (ph) can type a message to that specific patient and then they'll receive that message via text message
from their doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For his innovation in 2014, Yopala (ph) received a grant from the Microsoft for Africa initiative, which he says provides him
with financing, mentoring and training. He was one of five start-ups selected that year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we field the best patient relationship management system...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After four years getting his business off the ground Yopala (ph) sees a bright spot ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have started to get our first customers, which has been a great milestone for us. Our first approach was to offer the
product on trials and say use this product. And what we're finding now is we're already starting to get traction in Kenya. We're partnering with
health core facilities there. And the thought is that we have to think very big. We have to think pan-African. And we have to think about how we
can innovate for the world.
[11:29:56] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.
And Sepp Blatter back at work at FIFA headquarters a day after what was a stunning admission to the footballing world by announcing his
resignation as FIFA's president. He expects to be there at least until December, the earliest a successor might now be elected.
Well, U.S. police are investigation the shooting death of a man who was reportedly a terror suspect. The FBI says Usama Rahim was under
surveillance when he was approached by authorities in Boston. A federal agent and a police officer shot Rahim on Tuesday after they say he came at
them with a large knife.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is bolstering ties with Germany. You see him here with the German president. Chancellor Angela
Merkel also welcomed him. The economic ties were high on their agenda, but Egypt's crackdown on Islamist voices also, we are told, discussed.
On the Yangtze River in central China, state media says rescuers are now cutting a hole in the capsized cruise ship there. This as they search
for the more than 400 people still missing from the Eastern Star shipwreck two days ago, of course.
Our David McKenzie is in Jantli County hospital where survivors are being treated. He joins us now live with the very latest -- David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Becky.
At this hospital they had hoped for far more survivors to treat, but they haven't come really at all today. More than 400, as you say, missing
in this horrible disaster. They have expanded the search area more than 100 kilometers downriver on the Yangtze River from where the ship
overturned. And as you say, they are now cutting into the hull of the overturned ship. They are stripping wires around the ship to try and get
it at a proper angle. And divers are working in the dangerously murky and rapid flowing river to see if there's any chance that anyone can be pulled
alive -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Is there any more information as to exactly how this happened?
MCKENZIE: Well, what we know is there was this extreme weather event of some king. That first came from state media, quoting the captain and
the chief engineer of the ship who were able to get away and were taken into custody for questioning. That's also been backed up by the Chinese
authorities looking at the weather patterns at the time.
Still questions being asked, though, how this ship with so many people was able to apparently so rapidly sink as it did. There's also some
evidence that the ship had issues with its maintenance record in previous years, but it's too soon to tell whether that had an impact.
Now you have family members streaming into the scene to try and get any sense if their loved ones are alive. I spoke to one man whose mother
and aunt and uncles were all on board ship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have gone beyond the sadness. I am preparing for the worst while still holding on to hope.
One thing I want to do the most is to see my mom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, certainly they are hold on to hope, but as the hours stretch by, Becky, it's looking very grim indeed here in central China --
ANDERSON: And what are emergency services saying? You know, when you hear those sort of hopes from relatives it really sort of tears your heart
strings doesn't it? What sort of likelihood it is there that people will still be pulled out alive?
MCKENZIE: Well, there could be an instance where someone manages spend time, all this time, inside an air pocket. But obviously because
that ship was also moving with the current over time, it's -- you know, the hope is diminishing certainly in these many hours, now more than 48 hours
around than when this ship actually went down.
It also seems the rapid nature of this, the fact the ship appears to have lilted -- tilted and then quickly submerged, that would have played a
large part, I think, into the lack of survivors here. It also just the late evening in the darkness, these mostly elderly passengers must have
just have been a terrifying scene and moments for them. The family members are coming in buses from all over this region of China to see if they can
perhaps find their loved ones -- Becky.
ANDERSON: David McKenzie at the scene. Thank you, David.
Well, a new tantalizing focus for Argentine investigators probing the death of a prosecutor who had made accusations against the nation's
president. They want to know why one of Alberto Nisman's most important possessions was accessed shortly after he died.
His body was found one day before he was expected to give eye-opening testimony on the alleged cover-up of a 1994 bombing.
Well, our Shasta Darlington has more on what officials are now saying.
[11:35:17] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A new twist in the shocking death of Argentine special prosecutor Albert Nisman
last January. The chief investigator into his death say they are looking into whether his computer was accessed hours after he was found lying in a
pool of blood in his apartment.
He was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. More than four months later, the investigation continues into whether it was officially
suicide or murder.
Chief investigator Viviana Fein told an Argentine radio station that Nisman's laptop had been accessed by flash drives hours after his death.
She said they were awaiting an analysis that would show whether it was accessed remotely, or by someone in the apartment.
Nisman died just days after accusing the president of Argentina of covering up Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in
Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. He was due to present evidence to a congressional committee.
Earlier this week, crime scene video emerged that suggested the investigation into Nisman's death may have been bungled from the very
start. Federal police video broadcast by Argentina's (inaudible) shows investigators working without gloves and using toilet paper to clean up the
bloodied gun and bullets.
It wasn't clear, however, how soon we would actually see the results of this latest analysis of Nisman's laptop.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
ANDERSON: Well, CNN has learned that U.S. officials met with Houthi rebels to help secure the release of an American journalist who had been
held in Yemen.
Now the State Department announced on Monday that Casey Coombs was freed and flown to Oman.
CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joins me now with more on this from Washington.
What are the details here, Elise? What do we know? How is he? And what happens next?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, Casey Coombs was one of many issues that the U.S. was trying to talk to the Houthis about. You
know, U.S. officials from the embassy in Yemen spoke to Houthi representatives a few years ago, but really no contact at all since this
conflict between the rebels and forces loyal to the government began. And they'd been trying to set up a channel of communication. So far they've
been going on intermediaries.
Lately, Oman has been making in-roads with the Houthis. The U.S. was able to invite some of the Houthi representatives to Oman and with Oman
facilitating, they discussed a whole bunch of things.
So part of that was Americans being held in captivity. And they were able to facilitate the release of Casey Coombs, but it was also about the
much larger issue of the situation in Yemen, dire humanitarian situation, U.S. trying to get a permanent cease-fire going, trying to get Houthis to
join the political process.
But they're saying, listen, everybody, the political process is open up to everybody, but they want the Houthi to observe the cease-fire, stop
attacking Saudi Arabia across the border and you know join the political process. Stop with the violence, Becky.
ANDERSON: Talks and talks and more talks -- talks in Riyadh, of course, in the past week or so. UN hosted talks, supposed to be in Geneva
some weeks before that, didn't ever happen. And now we hear the U.S. is in Oman where they are talking to the Houthis.
Tell me a little bit more about Casey Coombs. I mean, how long had he been held? Do we know? And what sort of health is he in? And are there
others still in Yemen at this point?
LABOTT: Well, Casey Coombs is a freelance journalist for an organization called The Intercept, among others. He seemed to be one of
those people that was unable to leave, you know, when the U.S. closed its embassy.
If you remember, U.S. closed its embassy earlier this year, warned all Americans to get out, gave them a decent amount of time and told them they
should be getting out while commercial flights were still available. But after the U.S. made pretty clear that once it closed its embassy it was
going to be unable to help Americans, and dozens Americans even either chose to stay in Yemen, or were not allowed to leave.
It seems Casey Coombs was not allowed to leave -- able to get out the country. He got picked up. He was detained for about two weeks.
It seemed he was a little bit frail when he arrived in Oman, but we understand he's in good condition now.
But the U.S. believes at least three other Americans could be in Houthi custody. There could be more, they don't know, but they think there
are at least three in the capital Sanaa. They're not really sure about the circumstances, because communications on the ground very spotty, very
difficult, and there's no direct communication between the U.S. and the Houthis.
So they hope that this will change -- these talks could change that. There's no new meeting set between the U.S. and Houthi representatives, but
they've agreed to keep talking about the Americans and other issues, Becky.
[11:40:20] ANDERSON: Interesting.
All right, Elise for the time being, thank you. Elise Labott out of Washington for you this evening.
This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in Dubai for you here.
Coming up, flips, twists and risks: why a group of teens is taking big chances amid the rubble of Gaza.
Plus, what does Visa have to say about this FIFA controversy and the way forward? I'm going to talk to FIFA sponsors -- we'll be talking FIFA
sponsorships up next.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Football has never seen anything like this, two separate criminal investigations targeting
officials at the highest level of the sport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over $150 million worth of suspected bribes related to football tournaments in the U.S. and Latin America.
LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTRORNEY GENERAL: 47 count indictment against these individuals includes charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money
laundering conspiracies spanning two decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This really is the World Cup of fraud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chaos as FIFA's shaming takes on epic proportions. We and the other media are fighting for sound bites.
MICHEL PLATINI, UEFA PRESIDENT (through translator): I'm disappointed. I'm disgusted and fed up. Enough is enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of FIFA's top sponsors have pulled any money yet. These major brands are watching the news unfold and experts say
they're likely staring at their red line preparing for an exit.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So a fifth term of office for Sepp Blatter, but after arguably the most turbulent week in FIFA
history, how different could the landscape look moving forward?
SEPP BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT: I like you. I like my job. And I like to be with you. Let's got FIFA. Let's go FIFA. Thank you. Thank you so
much. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FIFA fallout from the U.S.-led investigation into corruption continuing in a big way. Now the New York Times reporting
that according to several unnamed law enforcement officials, FIFA's secretary-general Jerome Valcke allegedly transferred $10 million from the
Swiss (inaudible) association into accounts belonging to another FIFA official back in 2008.
BLATTER (through translator): That's why I'm going to put my presidency forward to a special elect of congress, the date of which the
new president should be chosen for the presidency to succeed me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a huge bombshell, there's no question about that. Sepp Blatter will be 80 next year and has clearly decided that
after winning a fifth election he is stepping down and he's giving it forward to a new man to take over.
[11:45:22] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. And this is a special edition of Connect the World with me Becky Anderson live for you tonight
from Dubai. Welcome back.
Throughout this eventful seven days for football's governing body, FIFA's sponsors have been, well, cautiously weighing in, let's say. Some
are welcoming Sepp Blatter's resignation and calling for urgent reforms in various statements. Coca-Cola, for example, said it expects concrete
Well, Blatter's move to step down as head of FIFA is a firm step in that direction, but what else might be needed to appease these sponsors, if
For that, we turn to Samuel Burke, my colleague who is in London.
Reading between the lines here, what are sponsors saying?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, Becky, interesting to see how different and how quickly these companies responded this time around.
Last week, slow to get back our calls, and also sometimes when we asked for a comment they said that they had no comment whatsoever. This
time, they were quick to respond. They nearly all welcomed the news of Sepp Blatter's resignation.
Again, Coca-Cola and Visa reiterated their warnings for FIFA that they had -- it could consider pulling their money.
Let me just show you what Visa said, for example, through a spokesperson telling us, quote, this is a significant first step toward
rebuilding public trust, but more work lies ahead.
I want to contrast that with what Hyundai told us.
If you look, there's a very important word in their statement. They said, quote, "we remain committed," committed is the key word, "to
supporting the fan passion of football around the world."
So in spite of everything that's happened, they know that there are many eyes -- and that's what advertisers want, those eyeballs who are
watching FIFA, who are watching football. So they're not pulling their ad dollars yet. They are committed.
But so far, Becky, all we see words not actions.
ANDERSON: Do you think this scandal has halted any of these sponsorship deals in the slightest, Samuel?
BURKE: So far what's so fascinating we haven't seen one penny, at least not publicly, one penny change. All of the sponsors that we were
just showing on the screen, all of the major sponsors they are still in.
And I think it's interesting, I want to show you what Richard Branson said. I think he's the business leader who has been the most outspoken
when it comes to the whole situation of FIFA and the sponsors. Richard Branson said the following on his blog, quote, "sponsorship money has
played a major role in enabling and sustaining this corrupt system for decades, it seems. I couldn't think of a greater risk to any brand than
being described as complicit in what really looks like organized crime." The words of Sir Richard Branson there, Becky.
All right, Samuel, thank you for that.
Live from Dubai this evening for you this is Connect the World. Coming up, how a risky hobby could take a group of kids from Gaza to new
Inviting workers to exercise their artistic muscles, a motion through art, that is the subject of tonight's parting shots. That's coming up in a
few minutes. Stay with us. Taking a short break. Back after this.
[11:50:35] ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. President Barack Obama says that a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal is unlikely during the rest of his term.
In an interview on Tuesday on Israeli television, Mr. Obama pointed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vow not to accept a two-state
Now the PM said that back in March on the ever of what were the national elections. He later tried to walk it back, but the U.S. president
says he remains discouraged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Subsequently, his statements have suggested that there is the possibility of a Palestinian
state, but it has so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met any time in the near
And so the danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility. Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is
serious about a two-state solution. The statement the prime minister made compounded that belief that there's not a commitment there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Netanyahu is not commented on those words from Obama, but the last round of U.S. sponsored peace talks stalled more than a
year ago Since then, the world watch Israel and Hamas fight a war centered largely on Gaza.
Well, this week we've been bringing you images that show the extent of the destruction that remains what is nine months later as well as Israel's
response about its role in rebuilding the territories.
I want to get you a view tonight that you might not have expected. Nic Robertson shows us how some Gazans are turning these dangerous ruins
into their own personal obstacle course.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No room for error, Gaza's parkour team in training. These war ruins are sure to punish a
Well, isn't this dangerous?
ABDULLAH ALKASIB, GAZA PARKOUR: Yes, yes. Yes, it's dangerous. At the same time I think it's very interesting. We love it. And we want to
play it and we want to do it.
ROBERTSON: Abdullah, 19 years old, university student, son of a doctor.
What do your parents say to you then?
ALKASIB: About Parkour?
ALKASIB: Yes -- what are you doing?
ROBERTSON: 10 years of parkour. Nothing stopped him and the others yet.
Do you like danger, because you grew up in Gaza or what?
ALKASIB: Yes. I think when you grow up in Gaza, a difficult situation, I love dangers and I love to be free.
ROBERTSON: Why not just play football? Be normal.
ALKASIB: No. I love danger
ROBERTSON: It's a death defying sport demanding courage and strength in equal measure.
ALKASIB: You know, I think when I do it I feel free. I feel like birds flying in the air or flying in the sky, because when a freedom like
ROBERTSON: Says he speaks for the whole 12-man team.
ALKASIB: We don't care about fighting. We don't care about politic. Just to care about parkour.
ROBERTSON: All this began, they say, when Israeli troops pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Since then, they've been running, jumping, tumbling,
somersaulting ever since.
Now, the pressure is on, training notched up. Popular Middle East program Arabs Got Talent has spotted them. They're shooting an entry.
If they get this right, tens of millions of Arabs across the region could get to see them potentially opening doors they could otherwise only
And the dreams of Abdullah and the others is simple: break the boundaries confining their lives.
ALKASIM: We are here, we are in Gaza, our dream and the whole to get out, see the world.
ROBERTSON: See the world.
A dream that for the first time could be within reach as long, that is, there are no slips.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Gaza.
[11:55:09] ANDERSON: Just before we leave you this hour, your parting shots tonight bringing creativity to the daily lives of workers in this
region of the world. It's called Restart the Art. And it encourages everyone to express their inner artist.
Workers were asked to answer three questions about joy, pain and dreams through painting.
Now this collaboration is part of the sameness project, which is based here actually in Dubai. It looks for unique ways to unify rather than
separate humanity. Have a look.
JOHNNY KENNAUGH, THE SAMENESS PROJECT: Hey, my name is Johnny Kennaugh. I am from New Zealand. And I am one of the project managers at
the Sameness Project.
Restart the Art, it's a project we dreamed up about probably three years ago now. The idea is to take these (inaudible) crews around Dubai
and the UAE transporting labor. And display artwork on those buses, make them just awesome (inaudible) artwork and get the laborers who use those
buses to actually create the artwork themselves.
The art (inaudible) a few months ago to create an artwork. And we asked the artists to collaborate with the laborers to put their touch and
their personality into these artworks, that's 50 percent labor artwork and 50 percent artist artwork. And both of those individuals were asked to
answer three questions, which is what is your greatest joy, what is your greatest pain and what is your dream in life. And the artist (inaudible)
A lot of the guys are good at art, and they like doing it. And this project just gave them an opportunity and the time to do it in.
Other work (inaudible) like professional caliber artwork that (inaudible) professional (inaudible) and the stories behind the artwork.
These guys were the real deals.
ANDERSON: Restart the Art.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was a special edition of Connect the World for you live this evening from CNN Dubai. Thank you for watching.