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Car Bomb Rocks Mogadishu Hotel; Turkey Conducts Airstrikes on ISIS, PKK Targets; President Obama Concludes Kenya Visit, Heads to Ethiopia; British Cyclist Chris Froome Set to Win Second Tour de France. Aired 11a- 12p ET

Aired July 26, 2015 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:11] LINDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Working the crowd, the U.S. president leaves Kenya with applause despite a tough love speech for the country his

father was from.

Coming up, we'll be live to Ethiopia where he's making the second stop on his trip to Africa.

Plus, another deadly blast hit southern Turkey as the country's war plans pound ISIS and Kurdish targets across the border.

Also, another victory awaits the Tour de France cyclist from Britain. Why he may not get a champion's welcome when he comes into Paris.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

KINKADE: This is Connect the World. And I'm Linda Kinkade. Thanks for joining us.

Barack Obama is now the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. He's arriving there right this minute after a visit to Kenya, a trip that

was deeply personal for the U.S. leader. His father was Kenyan, and a number of his relatives still live there.

Before leaving, President Obama had some inspiring words for young Kenyans, telling them they have the ability to shape their own future.

However, he warned that in order for Kenya to succeed it must make changes, especially when it comes to corruption and its treatment of gay people and


Mr. Obama also pledged to step up support against terrorism in the region.

And that threat was underscored again today. We're just getting new images out of Somalia where a suicide car bomb has killed at least six people.

It targeted the up market to Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu. Witnesses say the hotel and some nearby buildings have been damaged. The militant

group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the blast and said it was specifically going after western diplomats based in that building.

Let's go now to Nairobi senior CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins us there. And, Jim, security of course is a major issue in the

region. What is the U.S. offering Kenya in order to fight and contain this Somali terrorist group al Shabaab?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Linda, that's right the security presence here in Nairobi was pretty extensive. I expect that to

be the case in Ethiopia where President Obama is headed next.

And as you heard President Obama says over the last couple of days, the U.S. will be intensifying its efforts, stepping up its cooperation with the

Kenyans in the fight against terrorist groups like al Shabaab, but as these bombings have shown us today in both Nigeria and in Somalia, the president

is going to have a lot to discuss when he meets with these African leaders down in Ethiopia.

But when we heard the president talk today, you know, he gave this stirring speech here in Kenya to the Kenyan people. He really vowed that he will

stand with the Kenyans, that the United States will stand with Kenyans in this fight against al Shabaab as long as it takes.

But at one point during this speech, it was quite interesting, because he said you know listen, the Kenyan people in their efforts to combat

terrorism have to be very careful that they don't discriminate against minority groups like Muslims who live here in Kenya.

He says that terrorist groups have a tendency, have the ability, to exploit those tensions and drive wedges inside of communities and that that can be

sort of an incubator for terrorism.

We should also point out there are lots of other elements to the speech, as you pointed out, Linda. At one point during the speech he really caught a

lot of people in the audience by suprise when he delved into the issue of women's rights. And he spoke passionately about that issue, even compared

it to the situation back in the United States with the Confederate Flag.

As you know, the U.S. has really tried to go to great lengths to rid itself of the Confederate Flag. It's been a major issue back in the United

States. And the president said that Africans must respect women's rights and really reject the oppression of women much in the same way the U.S. has

rejected white -- efforts of white supremacy that are symbolized by that Confederate flag. And here's more of what the president had to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Treating women as second class citizens is a bad tradition. It holds you back. There's no excuse

for sexual assault, or domestic violence. There's no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There's no place in civilized

society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may date back centuries, they have no place in the 21st Century.


ACOSTA: Now, this speech really did cap an emotional return for this president to his father's homeland. He talked at length about his own

family's history in this country, about how his grandfather served as a cook to British diplomats and how his father actually had to leave Africa

in order to receive a decent education.

But he told the Kenyans here that just as the Obamas overcame their obstacles, so can Kenyans, so can Africans. And at one point during this

speech as he was telling the Kenyans people here that there is only one tribe in this world, the human tribe, and a message that was really pointed

out the young African people. He said that there's really nothing that they can't -- that they cannot achieve.

And it was a speech that was very warmly received, we have to say, Linda. We saw Africans -- Kenyans lining the streets here. They were very proud

of this native son, of sorts. He wasn't born here, his father was born here, and the message that he delivered here in Kenya earlier today, Linda.

[11:05:38] KINKADE: Some very, very uplifting words from the U.S. president, but he also touched on rooting out corruption. And that

received quite a bit of applause.

ACOSTA: It did. And that was surprising as well. He did that at risk of offending his own hosts. The Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta was seated

right behind him when the president was talking about that.

But Mr. Obama's message was that if Kenya wants to thrive in this global economy, that it's going to have to really fight against some old practices

of corruption in this country. We heard the president talking about that not just today, but throughout this trip here to Kenya. He said, you know,

if you see a politician who you know earns a certain amount of money and he's driving around town in a fancy car and his brother is also driving

around in a fancy car, then that probably means there's some corruption going on. And the president says, you know, really Kenya, the rest of

Africa, they really have to reject those kinds of practices if they're going to see investment come into this country.

And, you know, the U.S. brought in a number of high profile CEOs to sort of hammer home that message. Steve Case, the former CEO of America Online, he

was speaking to reporters here earlier today. And he said, you know, Africans -- you know, the U.S. businesses used to see Africans as sort of a

high risk investment, and now he says that the U.S. businesses around the world are looking at Africa as a major opportunity to seize.

And the president I was trying -- was trying to say earlier today to Kenyans that if they can clean up their government, more of that investment

will come pouring in -- Linda.

KINKADE: OK. Jim Acosta there reporting for us. Thank you very much for that update. We appreciate it.

Let's turn now to Turkey. Two soldiers were killed and four other people were wounded in a car bombing in the southern part of the country. The

officers were responding to an emergency call when they were ambushed. No one has been arrested in connection with that explosion.

The attack is part of the most recent violence in Turkey that has prompted the country to fight back on two fronts at once.

Turkey is now targeting Kurdish rebels, known as the PKK, inside Iraq with strikes like this. It's also escalating its airstrikes against ISIS in


Kurdish protesters in northern Iraq have been protesting airstrikes on the PKK. The Kurdish news agency reports the PKK has called off a ceasefire

with Turkey that had been in place since 2013. The United States, which just made an anti-ISIS agreement with Turkey says Turkey has the right to

take action against terrorist targets.

For more on this, let's cross now to Turkey's largest city Istanbul. And our Arwa Damon is standing by.

Arwa, Turkey is ramping up the fight against ISIS and the Kurdish people. Do we know yet who is responsible for this latest attack?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. There's been no claim of responsibility as of yet. But the attack did take place in Turkey's

Kurdish heartland. And the way that it was carried out, that is very much the type of tactic in the past used by the PKK prior to that ceasefire

where this unit was ambushed as they were responding to a call about a burning vehicle ambushed by a roadside bomb.

And it comes just 24 hours after the PKK declared that tenuous ceasefire with Turkey dead. That attack raising concerns that there could be more

retaliatory violence and strikes that do take place, as it seems that Turkey when it comes to both the PKK and ISIS is taking a much more

aggressive stance, going after to many people's surprise, it must be said, those PKK camps in northern Iraq, something they have not done since 2011,

all the while also opening up a much more active front when it comes to the fight against ISIS launching air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

KINKADE: Quickly, Arwa, why is Turkey now joining the fight against ISIS after sitting on the sidelines for at least 12 months?

DAMON: Well, a lot of different factors seemed to have come together to create conditions whereby which Turkey, it would appear, can no longer

avoid not taking an active role when it comes to the fight against ISIS.

You have mounting pressure from the United States and other coalition partners. The U.S. for quite some time now had been pressuring Turkey to

be more involved, pressuring Turkey to allow access to the Incilik Airbase, something that the two countries have finally managed to agree on.

Turkey also coming under a lot of domestic pressure when it comes to its various different constituencies that do exist here. The government coming

under severe criticism for the way that it has handled internally the threat posed by ISIS. And then of course you have the attack that took

place in the southern town of Suruc that happened on Monday when a suicide bomber killed at least 32 people.

There is no way to try to protect itself from the violence spilling over from the border in Syria other than taking this more active role. And it's

not just an active role when it comes to these various airstrikes, Turkey in the last few days since it launched this major anti-terrorism operation

has also detained 600 individuals it says are linked to, have ties with, or are members of various different terrorist organizations.

[11:11:07] KINKADE: OK, Arwa Damon, we'll have to leave it there for now in Istanbul, Turkey. Thank you very much for joining us.

DAMON: In just under six hours time, people in the impoverished Arab State of Yemen will learn whether the daily airstrikes they've been living

through will be halted temporarily. Saudi Arabia has been leading a campaign against anti-government Houthi rebels since March. the

devastating bombardment has left thousands of people are dead and millions needing food, medicine and shelter.

This latest five day truce is to allow for aid to be distributed. And for more, we're going to bring in Hakim Almasmari. He's in the Yemen capital

of Sanaa. And he joins us on the phone.

Now, we know this ceasefire has been announced, but it comes after more bloodshed, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi-led airstrikes have killed at least 120

civilians, many children, many of them elderly.

What can you tell us about this latest attack?

HAKIM ALMASMARI, JOURNALIST: Very tragic right now. As of now, at least 4,000 people have been killed, mostly civilians. The last attack in Moqa

(ph) where an entire block was destroyed by six Saudi airstrikes that killed at least 120 civilians and injured more than 140.

So, unbelievably -- and this is the reason why Saudi Arabia is losing the support of the -- positive support in Yemen, though many of the ordinary

people were with Saudi Arabia, or supported Saudi Arabia against the Houthis, but the rise in civilian deaths has in some way or the other

changed the mentality of the people because those who are suffering. And now the Houthis, they are the innocent civilians who are paying the price.

So, I do expect this ceasefire to be administered much better than the previous ones, though there are a lot of negative activity around this

ceasefire. However, this scene that a political deal could be near though not already finished or complacent.

But this ceasefire is -- showed that sides are reaching a lot of agreements and talking points according to what I was told from the top

Houthi officials we sat with yesterday. So there is optimism right now, but again the rise in casualties, especially among civilians, is what's

hurting Saudi Arabia's credibility and especially among the people who were once sided with Saudi Arabia.

KINKADE: We can only hope for the people that that ceasefire does last.

Hakim Almasmari, thank you very much for joining us.

And we will be looking at the human cost of the airstrikes on Yemen later tonight. The UN says hundreds of children have been killed or injured

since March, and millions more are threatened by disease and hunger. We'll be asking UNICEF's Middle East director what can be done to help.

Also ahead, as Turkey opens up against its terror on two fronts, we'll have the latest U.S. reaction for you. That's coming up next. Stay with us.


[11:16:19] KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me Linda Kinkade. Welcome back.

Now to the war in Syria. And a surprising admission from the country's president: his army is undermanned. Bashar al-Assad addressed the Syrian

parliament on Sunday. He conceded the country's forces are struggling to fend off fighters from the Islamic state and other Islamic militants. He

also declared an amnesty for draft dodgers and deserters. Mr. Assad says the army needs fighters.


BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We must define the important regions that the armed forces hold on to so it doesn't allow the

collapse of the rest of the areas.

Everything is available. But there is a shortfall in human capacity.

KINKADE: Mr. Assad says rebel groups are getting outside support, a thinly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among others.

An estimated 230,000 people have been killed during the Syrian war, which has now dragged into a fifth year.

Suicide attack in northern Iraq has killed at least nine people and wounded dozens of others. Officials say two bombers blew themselves up at a

sports club in a city north of Baghdad.

The first attacker detonated his vest inside a pool area. The second targeted the entrance to the club. Residents of the city are mostly Shia


Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS continues its aerial bombardment of the group. We have new video of what appears to be an

airstrike of explosives on a factory near Fallujah in Anbar Province. The coalition says the facility was used to make vehicle born IEDs, or

improvised explosive devices. The coalition added that the facility was a critical ISIS asset. It says those weapons are commonly used by the group

to kill security forces and civilians.

Let's return to one of our top stories this hour, Turkey's efforts to stamp out a wave of terrorism inside its borders. To do that, it's gone on the

offensive, carrying out strikes like this one against ISIS. Turkey is now beginning to target the Kurdish rebel PKK group in northern Iraq as well.

The action comes in the wake of recent attacks from both groups. You'll remember the United States struck a security pact with Turkey of Friday to

combine efforts in the fight against ISIS.

But a senior U.S. diplomat took to Twitter to stress that there is no connection between that agreement and Turkey's fight against the PKK.

Brett McGurk also tweeting, quote, "we have strongly condemned the PKK's terrorist attacks within Turkey, and we fully respect our ally Turkey's

right to self-defense."

To help us understand the dynamics at play here, I'm joined by Mustafa Akyol via Skype. He's joining us live from Istanbul. He's the columnist

at Al and the author of "Islam Without Extremes." Mustafa, thanks very much for joining us.

MUSTAFA AKYOL, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me on the show.

KINKADE: Now after sitting on the sidelines for a long time, Turkey has reluctantly become involved in the war. Why now?

AKYOL; Well, for a long time Turkey was having a sort of live and let live situation with ISIS. Turkey was not supporting ISIS, despite some claims,

and was not happy to see this fanatic group grow on its borders, but on the other hand Turkey did not provoke it, plus Turkey had other concerns in

Syria: the toppling of the Assad regime, something which Turkey is still dedicated to. And also Turkey was worried about the Kurdish presence in

Syria as well.

And with ISIS, Turkey wanted to not provoke a retaliation and thought that ISIS doesn't target Turkey anyway.

But lately, first the bombings inside Turkey. The first actually took place right before the elections in early June, then this horrible bombing

in -- last week, in Suruc, which killed 32 young people, and also some warnings from ISIS spokesmen, even within Turkey. I think Turkish

government who delayed a decision, in my view, but to hit ISIS and join the international coalition against ISIS.

And let's not forget that besides airstrikes against ISIS targets, Turkey also initiated a raid -- hundreds of people have been detained, some of

them are ISIS supporters, or sympathizers inside Turkey. So we can expect Turkey to be more serious and more alert against the ISIS threats.

But, of course, that's not the only thing Turkey is concerned about. And I think that's the big difference between the approach of Ankara and its

western allies, Turkey is still very much concerne with the PKK, the Kurdish separatist group inside Turkey and its allies in Syria, which means

that Turkey's perspective is somewhat different from the western perspective.

[11:21:10] KINKADE: We know that the Kurds make up about 20 percent of the population within Turkey. Is it -- how bad is it that Turkey is now

targeting that percentage, that population?

AKYOL: Well, it would be maybe not exactly correct to say Turkey is targeting its own Kurds. The airstrikes were held against the Iraqi -- in

the Iraqi mountains, PKK headquarers.

And of course, PKK is supported by some part of Turkish population, and that's why it's a very risky thing. And just continuing the escalation of

the tension with the PKK is not going to help Turkey regarding its own Kurdish population as well.

But we should also know that not all Turkey's (inaudible) support the PKK. And some of them oppose the PKK.

But at the end of the day, Turkey should make a decision whether to keep the peace process that it has with the PKK, or start another war.

I'm certainly in favor of the peace process, but also that depends on how the PKK will behave. Because one thing that happened last week in Turkey,

which did not maybe attract for an attention that much is that the PKK attacked two Turkish policemen, killed them in their sleep, and that was on

the side of the -- from the perspective of the Turkish government something that killed the peace process.

Maybe western allies can help rebuild the peace process between Turkey and the PKK, but it's a precarious situation and that's a battle that's going

inside Turkey for three decades. And for a lot of Turks, that's still the issue and ISIS comes second, although maybe that's not a very realistic


KINKADE: We'll have to leave it there. Would love to continue the conversation, but we'll have to leave it there for now.

Mustafa Akyol, thank you very much for joining us. We'll talk to you soon.

Live from the CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up in 20 minutes, the U.S. President heads for Ethiopia. We'll go to his likely

reception ahead of that trip.

Plus, next stop, the finish line, but rain is a factor. The very latest on the Tour de France coming up next.


[11:25:01] KINKADE: Welcome back.

Cyclists in the final stage of the Tour de France are now making their way to Paris. They took off just hours after police fired on a car near the

finish line. Authorities say it drove toward a group of police officers after being involved in an accident. No one was hurt and police do not

believe the incident was terror related.

As for the race itself, 2013 winner Chris Froome of Britain has all but clinched this year's title. Barring anything catastrophic, he'll become

the first Brit to win the Tour twice.

World Sport's Patrick Snell joins us now with the latest. And Patrick, he seems to have it in the bag.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He really does, yes. He'll take a 72 second lead, Linda, into this final stage. The ceremonial passing --

the processional passing into Paris along the famed Champs Elysees, he really made it safe during Saturday's stage 20, that's when he got the job

done. He beat off a really sustained attack from the Colombia Nairo Quintana, really talented 25-year-old Colombian who really is tipped to go

on to have huge success long-term in the Tour de France.

He was looking to make serious inroads into the then overall lead Broom had of 2:38. And he did. He made good inroads, but not nearly enough for the

record of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot winning that stage 20.

But Froome emerging intact with a 72 second overall lead. And this is what Froome had to say about his overall position following Saturday's stage 20.


CHRIS FROOME, CYCLIST: It was always -- it was always a dream for me to be able to ride, ride the general classification. I knew I could climb well,

I could time trial well. So for me it was -- when I grew up I wanted to be to drive the GC. But I didn't quite think that was going to come so early.


SNELL: Froome talking as though he's pretty much got it in the bag. He knows that. 72 seconds. And he's looking to become the first Brit --

Kenyan born this...

KINKADE: Yeah, Kenyan born, yes.

SNELL: ..but he's looking to become the first British cyclist to win what I believe is cycling's toughest challenge for the second time.

KINKADE: And it's just a mere formality riding into the finish line, isn't it?

SNELL: It should be. It should be. I mean, historically you get this -- I've been there on the Champs Elysees. It's a wonderful Sunday. There are

thousands. The local French come at you, you've got all the internationals who are on vacation in Paris, they all come out along that Champs Elysees.

They breathe in the atmosphere. You see colors from all kinds of different nations. And barring a disaster this is very much Froome's to lose.

There was one incident came to mind, remember Greg Lamont back in the late 80s, '89 I think it was, he eclipsed -- he overcame a 50 second deficit and

overcame the challenge of Laurent Fignon, a really dramatic finish back in the late 80s. I don't see anything like that happening.

But you know what...

KINKADE: You never know.

SNELL: You never know. But this is Froome. He's confident. He -- Team Sky have done a lot of great things to get him ready for this. And he is

going to be a worthy winner, no question about that.

KINKADE: Excellent. Patrick Snell, great to have you as always, thank you.

Well, the latest World News headlines are just ahead. Plus, Syria's president makes a startling admission about the war tearing up his country.

We'll have that just ahead.


[11:30:32] KINKADE: Welcome back. This is Connect the World. And these are the top stories this hour.

A suicide attack in northeastern Nigeria has killed at least 14 people. Witnesses say a mentally ill woman blew herself up outside a market in

Damaturu. No group has claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram has used women as suicide bombers in the past.

In southern Turkey, two soldiers have been killed and four others wounded in a car bombing. The local government says their vehicle was ambushed as

they were responding to an emergency call. It happened in a largely Kurdish area following Turkish strikes against Kurdish PKK militants.

The new poll of U.S. presidential candidates shows Donald Trump gaining support despite several recent controversies. The CNN/ORC survey finds

Trump has 18 percent of support among Republicans with former Governor Jeb Bush just 15 percent behind. The poll was taken after Trump faced backlash

for questioning Senator John McCain's status as a war hero.

U.S. President Barack Obama is now in Ethiopia. He's the first sitting U.S. President to visit the east African nation. Earlier, he told young

people in Kenya the nation must end corruption and the mistreatment of women.

During his trip to Kenya, Mr. Obama committed more resources to fighting terror in east Africa. Christians in the Kenyan town of Garissa are still

coping with a recent massacre there at the hands of the militant group al Shabaab.

Our Nima Elbagir has more.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sunrise over the Tana River. Traffic starts to flow over the bridge and into Garissa Town.

The morning commute into Garissa is day laborer, it's people going into their offices, but it's also so many Christians who are too scared to sleep

inside Garissa town. They have decided to move themselves and their families across to the other side of the river to safety.

Al Shabaab militants brutally attacked Garissa University back in April, killing 147 people, mostly students. Today, the school still stands empty

and desolate.

We've been invited to Sunday service at Our Lady of Perpetual Consolation, the Garissa Cathedral. This Sunday, like nearly every other, brought with

it threats from al Shabaab.

"If you worship here, they're told, you'll die."

PATRICK GIBAU, GARISSA RESIDENT: Every Sunday I'm here it's my cathedral. Yeah I'm here I was baptized in this church.

ELBAGIR: This is one risk they're still willing to take.

The Bishop of Garissa, Joseph Alessandro, is giving the benediction. He, along with his fellow bishops and nuns have been a constant in this


JOSEPH ALESSANDRO, BISHOP OF GARISSA: It's not a matter of choice, it's our duty to remain here. Even the pope, yes, he had words of encouragement

to us. He asked us convey his condolences to the families who suffered and lost their dear ones to people who are injured and also he promised that

we'll continue to pray for Kenya, for peace in Kenya, for unity in Kenya.

ELBAGIR: At the invitation of the diocese, Bishop Alessandro tells us the Pope added Kenya to his Africa trip in November. He says members of the

congregation will be chosen to travel to Nairobi to meet him, a trip of a lifetime.

For now, though, he and his bishops are focusing on the daily task of keeping their flock safe as best they can.

ALESSANDRO: We are people of God, we are people of faith. God never abandons us and maybe in moments when we feel that we are left on our own,

there are those moments that God might be very close to us, even if we don't feel him.

ELBAGIR: Nima Elbagir, CNN, Garissa, Kenya.


[11:35:06] KINKADE: We're going to take a quite break. And we'll be right back. You're watching Connect the World.


KINKADE: Welcome back to Connect the World.

Now to neighboring Ethiopia where U.S. President Barack Obama has just landed. This is the second of two countries he's visiting in Africa. He

just spent three days in Kenya.

The White House says the president will try to balance regional security needs with human rights concerns during this trip. And those security

needs have been highlighted by the latest terrorist attack in Somalia.

CNN's Robin Kriel is in the Ethiopian capital and joins us now.

And Robin, the U.S. president has spoken extensively about the security threat in the region, namely al Shabaab. And we saw another bloody attack

today in Somalia's capital Mogadishu.

What are the details?

ROBIN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT; We understand that at least six people, Linda, were killed in this attack, an horrific attack on one of the most

vibrant hotels in Mogadishu, where a number of expatriat Somalis, Somali- Americans, Somali-British as well as diplomats, including the Chinese embassy has a base there as well as members from other embassies are

actually living at that hotel.

So, we're not sure of the identities of who was killed at this point, but a massive car bomb, in fact one of the biggest explosions someone told me, an

eyewitness told me, that he ever heard in Mogadishu, ramped through the main gates of the Jazeera Palace Hotel, killing a number of people there

and of course destroying all the surrounding buildings.

The AU mission to Somalia, of course, which the United States gives an enormous amount of money to, and that's essentially why President Obama has

been talking so much about regional security and the fight against terror and al Shabaab, the AU mission troops, they responded. They're evacuating

the wounded currently and trying to make sure that everyone gets to safety as well as keep people back just in case of more attacks.

KINKADE: And Robin, security is also on the agenda in Ethiopia for Mr. Obama's visit there. And it's one of the country's also contributing to

troops to the African Union mission to Somalia along with Kenya, of course.

Is this a new level of security cooperation with the U.S.? Have we seen this before?

KRIEL: The U.S. has been contributing in terms of finances and logistics, training and equipping to the AU mission for awhile, Linda, but what we see

now is increased air strikes in the region. Ethiopia and Kenya as well as Uganda have gone on a new offensive. They're calling it Operation Jubba

Corridor, trying to get rid of essentially the remaining al Shabaab bases inside of Somalia.

They've operated quite effectively, we understand. They also have had air support from Ethiopia and Kenya. They've gone in. They've managed to

secure several lodged town, which were Shabaab strongholds for seven years or more, including Dimsur (ph), Barakaba (ph), and Bardeir (ph).

We understand that the U.S. has been aiding them, not just with high value target strikes that we've seen in the past where the United States would

identify a high value al Shabaab target and then try to take him out, but with what the military is calling signature strikes when they see a large

amount of, say, al Shabaab militants and all the conditions are right for a strike of that nature and then they hit them in support of the AU mission.

So, yes, this is new -- this is almost unprecedented. We really weren't expecting this. I'm not sure entirely if this was just because of Barack

Obama's visit to cause some kind of disruption on the ground to al Shabaab.

KINKADE: And, the U.S. president's visit to Ethiopia comes two months after the prime minister there took every seat in the parliamentary

election, raising grave concerns of vote rigging. Can we expect Mr. Obama to address that?

KRIEL: Yes. Mr. Obama, President Obama we understand from Susan Rice who briefed the media before his visit out here is not going to shy away from

the topic of human rights and the need for freedom of speech and democracy here in Ethiopia. So, he will undoubtedly touch on that.

And Ethiopians, speaking to them, are excited for him to do so. They believe -- or a number of them that we've spoken to, believe that this

should be touched on, the president should not shy away from him.

The speech that President Obama gave earlier today in Kenya, a number of Ethipians were listening to that and said that they hoped that he would

also come here with a similar message. He will be speaking to the prime minister as well as the president. He will also be sitting down with AU,

African Union, officials. The Ethiopia is home to the African Union. As well as delivering a speech at the African Union in terms of Pan-


It's the first time a U.S. President has addressed the AU. It will be an historic visit. And again as was the case in Kenya, he's not going to shy

away from any controversy.

KINKADE: And we know that Ethiopia is Africa's second largest country. And it's experienced huge economic growth since the 1984 famine. Is trade

and investment also going to be high on the agenda?

KRIEL: Extremely high. And reading through the Ethiopian newspapers earlier today, Linda, you can see that they wanted -- they want this, you

know, government ministers, et cetera, want that trade and investment to only increase. They said at the moment they're going a lot more trade, not

in terms of -- they're using a lot more American companies, rather, that are based here, many more Chinese, Asian and European companies are based

here than American. And they would -- there was talk of them wanting that to increase.

Ethiopia is growing exponentially. It's rumored to become the fastest growing economy in Africa. 90 million people. So,a trade and development

through a (inaudible) and various other organizations and agreements like this are expected to be on the table.

It is very important to both Ethiopia and the United States for trade and development and the economy, of course, to be talked about and dealt with.

KINKADE: And of course Ethiopia's neighbor South Sudan is still gripped by civil war. Will that come up in discussions regarding regional security

between the U.S. president and the Ethiopian leader?

KRIEL: Definitely expected to come up. South Sudan has been since December 2013 an absolute tatters. Thousands, hundreds of thousands of

refugees have been home -- have fled across the borders to here in Ethiopia as well as to Kenya. So it really is becoming a regional problem.

And of course the two warring parties have also been sitting at the negotiating table here in Ethiopia -- the African Union. They've been

given a draft agreement and they've been told that within 10 days, Linda, they need to agree to either the terms of the draft agreement or come to

some kind of agreement on their own with a draft agreement as a framework.

So, the U.S. visit highlighting and sending a strong message talking to South Sudanese officials. They believe that the U.S. is going to be

talking very tough, as well as the AU and the EGAD, which is the regional body here that has been trying to solve the South Sudanese crisis.

KINKADE: Great reporting there for us in Ethiopia. Robin Kriel, thank you very much.

A 39-year-old Australian national will appear in court on Monday accused of helping ISIS overseas. Adam Brookman is a nurse who says he traveled to

Syria on a humanitarian mission. He says he was forced to join ISIS after becoming injured.

Brookman surrendered to Turkish officials before being returned to Australia and there he faces up to a decade behind bars.

A senior U.S. official now says ISIS poses a bigger threat to the United States than al Qaeda. FBI director James Comey says ISIS militants

provoked attacks through social media in a way that al Qaeda never has, and warns that the terror group is reaching out to a new kind of recruit.

Brian Todd reports.


[11:45:10] BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're young, vicious and tech savvy. ISIS is not your parents' al Qaeda, the FBI director says, and now

he says he believes the group presents a bigger threat to the American homeland than al Qaeda.

In an exclusive new interview with Wolf Blitzer, James Comey paints a chilling picture of the growing ISIS threat.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Why is ISIS so powerful?

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Well, they have adopted a model that takes advantage of social media in a way to crowdsource terrorism. They have

invested about the last year in pushing a message of poison, primarily through Twitter.

TODD: U.S. officials and independent analysts tell us the FBI director is concerned because ISIS is now using certain parts of Twitter and other

social media that are not in the open.

ISIS operatives are moving to encrypted communications on those social media platforms, experts say, to recruit terrorists, inspire or even direct


LILLIAN ABLON, RAND CORPORATION: Below the water, that huge iceberg, you know, up to 80 percent times bigger than what's above the water, that's the

deep web, that's the part of the web that's not indexed.

TODD: The attack on a Prophet Muhammad drawing contest in Garland, Texas was believed to have been carried out after encrypted communications

between ISIS and the gunman.

Comey says those encryptions are dark to the FBI, nearly impossible to track.

And unlike al Qaeda, which thoroughly vets recruits and brings them to training camps, ISIS simply tells anyone who will listen over social media

kill where you are. And ISIS, Comey and others say, is actively seeking, quote, "troubled souls."

MATTHEW LEVITZ, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: ISIS targets people al Qaeda would never have dealt with in the past -- people with

troubled backgrounds, people with substance abuse problems. ISIS doesn't care about that one little bit.

TODD: The result, Comey says, more ISIS followers and potential attackers inside America.

COMEY; The FBI investigations related to this threat all across the country. There are hundreds of investigations we're trying to understand

where somebody is on the spectrum between a consumer of this poison on Twitter to an actor who is about to try and murder innocent people and

evaluate where are they on that spectrum.

TODD: Analysts say the fact that the FBI director came out and publicly said that ISIS is a more present danger to the U.S. than al Qaeda is very

significant. They say that means the game has changed radically since right after 9/11 when al Qaeda was the national obsession. U.S. officials,

including Comey himself, are admitting they are struggling to keep up with the pace of ISIS inspired attacks of the group's reach and of its secrecy.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


KINKADE: Let's turn now to the war in Yemen. And Saudi special forces escorting an aid delivery top Aden. 12 tons of aid arrived in he reopened

airport this weekend. It's just a small step towards easing the food and medicine shortages in the desperately poor and now war-torn Arab State.

Along with several Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia is leading airstrikes against anti-government rebels.

The UN estimates that more than 3,000 people have died in the attacks.

The hours are ticking down towards a humanitarian truce in Yemen planned to allow much more needed aid to be distributed. That pause in airstrikes is

set to start at midnight local time, that's just over five hours from now.

The United Nations estimates that half of Yemen's population of 26 million people don't have access to enough food. Medicine is also in very short


The ceasefire was announced by the exiled president Mansur Hadi in a Saudi state news agency statement. The Houthi rebel leadership has cautiously

accepted the idea, but warned that previous efforts had collapsed.

Peter Salama has just returned from a three day trip to Yemen. He is UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa and joins

me now from Amman, Jordan.

Just give us a sense of the situation on the ground after returning from Yemen.

PETER SALAMA, UNICEF: Well, it's pretty dramatic, Linda. As soon as you arrive, you realize you really are in an active war zone. You see the

bombed out aircraft and you see the shelled out buildings on the road from the airport. You see military checkpoints everywhere with children

sometimes as young as 14 or 15 manning those checkpoints.

And apart from the sporadic gunfire and the aerial bombardments, you also have this sense of an eerie silence as there's very few cars on the road,

very little commercial activity. The people you see are generally running from place to place or else they're queuing up for basic commodities like

food or fuel or cooking gas.

KINKADE: So this five day ceasefire is about to start in a few hours from now. What is needed most? And how are people coping with a lack of clean

water and the poor sanitary conditions?

SALAMA: You know, I think the first thing to say is we've had two previous announcements of ceasefires. And unfortunately they've not been respected

by the warring factions. So we really hope that this ceasefire will be respected and will hold.

And I think it's also important to recognize that Yemen is a really fragile country, even prior to the conflict 50 percent of children were chronically


so, we're really going to be scaling up those programs that really impact on prevent undefined deaths, programs such as those that target

malnutrition and measles, food aid, of course, water programs, essential medicines, specialized products, everything that can save children's lives

in the near-term as well as really helping children survive some of these second generation issues. The fact that you've got unexploded ordinance

all over the country, which country might play with or touch and also the fact that many of these children are really traumatized.

[11:50:39] KINKADE: And we know that 80 percent of the 25 or 26 million people there need aid, but it's not just food and supplies, it's also -- or

emergency medicine for that matter, it's also the typical day-to-day health care like vaccinations. How is UNICEF working to address that?

SALAMA: Yeah. I think you make a really good point, Linda, that, you know, we can really focus on these 350 children that have been killed

directly by the conflict, but actually every year in Yemen around 40,000 children under the age of 5 die of basic avoidable deaths. And if that

death rate increases due to the collapse of the health system, then we may see tens of thousands of additional deaths, much more than from the bombs

and the bullets.

So, really the country is on the brink. And UNICEF is really supporting basic programs for water, for health, for nutrition and for psycho social

support, reaching already more than 1.5 million children in Yemen and scaling up as rapidly as we can.

But we're also calling on all parties to the conflict. And I think it's important to remember that there's many countries directly and indirectly

associated with this conflict.

We're calling on them all to really respect the basic laws of war, to prevent civilians and civilian infrastructure being targeted to prevent

children being recruited into the fighting forces. And also to really guarantee access for humanitarian organizations who are trying to support

the civilians of Yemen, to really stop the embargo on food and fuel and ultimately to cease this senseless violence.

KINKADE: And if viewers really want to help the people of Yemen, what can they do to assist?

SALAMA: Well, I think there's the obvious point about scaling up the donations for Yemen. It's one of the most underfunded emergencies that we

have around the world today. And people tend to be very generous in response to natural disasters, but tend to be less so in response to these


And for the children, of course, they don't differentiate between the causes of their suffering, they're just suffering.

I think the other thing that citizens can do is really call on all governments around the world to join the UN in calling for respect for the

basic laws of war, international humanitarian law, and also an end to this ceaseless violence.

KINKADE: And you mentioned how shaky these ceasefires can be, how much hope is there that this ceasefire will last the five days it's meant to?

SALAMA: Well, we have to be hopeful, because we have to prepare to reach as many people as we can in this very limited space of time.

But we'd also say that even beyond the ceasefire, if it is successful, we need an ultimate end to these hostilities. A short pause will be good, but

not enough.

KINKADE: OK. We'll have to leave it there. Peter Salama, thank you so much for joining us today. We wish you all the best in your work. Thank


SALAMA: Thanks so much, Linda.

KINKADE: Live from the CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, the life of President Obama is now set to music on stage. We'll show you

the theatrical production inspired by his story.


[11:55:35] KINKADE: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me Linda Kinkade. Welcome back.

Now for our Parting Shots, we want to leave you with the taste of the Obama mania that's swept across Kenya during his visit. The U.S. president may

have just wrapped up the trip to his father's homeland, but his story there lives on in the form of a musical.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A baby boy shall be born. And he shall be called Obama. Yes, Barack Obama.

GEORGE ORIDO, SHOW PRODUCER AND WRITER: We wanted to tell this story of President Barack Obama from our own perspective, from the Kenyan

perspective, from the African perspective.

When I was in the U.S. and Obama was just about to be declared the first ever black president of the United States of America, and when he won and I

can tell you the happiest people.

I know he dances very well. Maybe he (inaudible) we see one on one who dances better than the other.

We are very happy to host President Obama at his home -- Kenya, because your father is buried here.

Come and watch this beautiful musical, because it's a mirror for you to see.

Welcome, President Obama.



KINKADE: It'll be interesting to see if that makes it to Broadway.

You can also follow the stories the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page, that's

And you can get in touch with me and tweet me @LindaKinkade. I hope to hear your thoughts.

I'm Linda Kinkade, and that was Connect the World. Thanks for joining us.