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CONNECT THE WORLD
Thai Authorities in Search of Bombing Suspect; Despite Being Out- Numbered, U.S. Trained Syrian Rebels Dedicated to Cause; Buenos Aires' New Audio/Visual Hub; Amazon Fires Back At Scathing New York Times Report. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired August 18, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:10] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The search is on. This man is now officially a suspect in the bomb blast that rocked Bangkok's heavily
touristy Erawan Shrine. We'll have reports on the Thailand bombing throughout this hour for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABU ISKANDER, SYRIAN REBEL (through translator): Are we going to sit still and not fight Assad?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And a CNN exclusive, essential to America's anti-ISIS strategy, but with their sights trained on a different target. A Syrian
rebel tells us what's wrong with the U.S. program that trained him and just a handful of others.
Militants in the classroom. I'll ask the head of operations for the International Red Cross in Gaza why he thinks it's a good idea to train
Hamas fighters about international law.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening from the UAE. It is just after 7:00 here. We begin in Thailand for you this hour where police say they now
have a suspect in that deadly bombing in Bangkok. Here he is. He was scene on surveillance video leaving a backpack near the Erawan Shrine.
Now police say they don't yet know who he is, but they are trying to track him down.
Now all of this is happening as the city is hit with a second, smaller blast. CNN's Andrew Stevens has the latest.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIAN-PACIFIC EDITOR (voice-over): Another bomb goes off in Bangkok. This surveillance video shows water shooting to the
air. The bomb exploding on the pier only a few miles away from Monday night's bomb...
STEVENS: ...that ripped through central Bangkok.
Thai officials are on the hunt for this man, seen on surveillance video putting a backpack under a bench and then walking away.
STEVENS: Newly released cell phone video catches the chaotic scene on Monday. Unexpected tourists and locals walk along a foot bridge before the
This tourist was hit by shrapnel in the explosion.
"I turned back to look where the sound came from and saw people scattered on the streets everywhere. I decided to abandon my motor bike and
run off," he said. "I've never been through anything like this before, I'm still scared."
STEVENS: People waiting in traffic captured the bomb going off right in front of them. Smoke and embers filled the air.
Surveillance video capturing the large and deadly blast lighting up the night sky.
UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I saw about five ambulances screaming away from the scene. I saw hundreds of medics, police, fire brigade.
STEVENS: The bomb, claiming more than 20 lives and injuring over 100. Local police believe this was, quote, "a deliberate act of terror."
Thailand's prime minister making it clear this was an attack on the economy. "In our country," he said, "there are individuals or groups of
individuals who are seeking to destroy the country. The ongoing attempts at destruction might be politically motivated, targeting the economy, tourism,
for whatever reason."
(on camera): The people of Bangkok are coming out to show and share their grief. There is a suspect now. The government says they know why the
Erawan Shrine was targeted but, as yet, there is no motive for what the Thai prime minister describes as the worst attack ever on Thai soil.
Andrew Stevens, CNN, Bangkok.
ANDERSON: Well, as the war in Syria drags into its fifth year, the United States has been vetting and training so-called moderate rebels to
play a role in the fight against ISIS there. The program has been criticized for the millions of dollars spent to train just a handful
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh got exclusive access to one U.S.-trained fighter who believes in the mission, but says more must be done and
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what nearly $1 million worth of pro-American Syrian rebel looks
like. These are the first pictures of the mere 54 moderate fighters the U.S. has painstakingly vetted, trained and equipped with these fancy
weapons. But there aren't nearly enough of them yet to worry ISIS.
WALSH: In fact, some of them were recently detained by al Qaeda after a firefight leading to claims the $41 million program was a failure.
One of them, Abu Iskander, in Syria is speaking out.
[11:05:32] ISKANDER (through translation): Nearly 17,000 men wants to join. But the training is slow. We need it to be faster. 30 days instead of
45 days. More trainees. Our training in Jordan did 85. There should have been 500 there and another 500 in turkey. We are thankful, but it needs to
WALSH (on camera): These men are an essential part of America's anti- ISIS strategy, inescapably vital. Without allied Syrian rebels to go on the ground and clear out ISIS, everything else is pretty much pointless. And as
of now, inside Syria, there are just about 40 of them.
(voice-over): Here they are entering Syria recently after training days before being attacked by rebels from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra front.
Some have been released.
And despite the awful start, Abu Iskander is determined to fight on. The Americans follow him, using a GPS on his wrist and in his vest when he
targets airstrikes for them.
ISKANDER (through translation): I go to the front line of ISIS and give locations for the war planes to bomb. We have advanced satellite
location devices to target anyplace on the front line whether we see it or not. There are daily drones. I speak to the Americans every hour, a total
of four hours a day.
WALSH: One hurdle in recruiting for the Pentagon is that their unit is only allowed to fight ISIS...
WALSH: ...not most Syrian rebels' first and worst enemy, the Assad regime. But Abu also insists he will fight the Assad regime.
ISKANDER (through translation): The second rule is that we fight whoever is fighting us. We will take arrows from ISIS and face Assad. Are
we going to sit still and not fight Assad? We will stay in our homes. We don't want to cry on TV. We want Assad regime to be stopped.
WALSH: After the vetting, the confused aims, one thing is clear, his unshakable enthusiasm for the fight against ISIS and the regime that lies
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Gaziantep.
ANDERSON: Well, Nick Paton Walsh joins me now. He's tonight back in Beirut.
40 men on the ground at a cost of $41 million. It just doesn't sound as if the U.S. is getting bang for their buck, nor are Syrian civilians, it
seems any safer.
WALSH: Well, I mean, if you take their point of view, this is a program which has put about 60 through so far, $41 million in escalating
costs. You get kind of diminishing -- increasing returns on as another 70 are apparently about to graduate, too, and then potential dozens and more
hundreds after that.
So, they would argue that this half billion program in total, it will see greater results the longer it goes on.
But, yes, arguably right now -- and they've seen this because of the instant that those first graduates faced with the al Qaeda-linked Nusra
Front we mentioned in that report, a lot of criticism, and in fact some suggestions that it's just not a feasible strategy.
I think, though, the one thing that strikes you when you speak to those men is how well equipped they are, the focus they have, and that
despite this sort of pretty catastrophic beginning, they still want to move forwards.
They seem now at this stage to be mostly being used for airstrikes, but going forwards in the future that role will expand. And a U.S.
specialized spoke. So this isn't basically a traditional command and control operation.
The Americans aren't running these guys. They're vetting them, they're trying to ensure they have the right motivations giving them
equipment they want and then letting them take on ISIS and it seems through their own autonomy potentially the regime as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Nick Paton Walsh on the story for you tonight.
And Syria, just one of the fronts, of course, in the fight against ISIS. In Iraq, a row is unfolding over the group's capture of the town of
Mosul last year.
A report by the country's parliament blames the takeover on then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials.
Now this Tuesday, al-Maliki denounced the finding on his Facebook page, saying, "ISIS's success in Mosul was, quote, a conspiracy planned by
Turkey and Kurdish leaders in Iraq."
Well, to a shocking statistic now and a sobering reality. The UN says there has been a 400 percent increase since last year in migrants arriving
in Greece with more than 20,000 people arriving over a seven day period earlier this month.
And as these pictures show, this is the reality that faces many asylum seekers and economic migrants when they land.
The right to claim asylum is a cornerstone of international law, but Europe is struggling to keep track of, and process, the almost quarter of a
million people who cross the Mediterranean this year fleeing war or oppression and poverty.
Well, Europe's southern states are bearing the brunt of this crisis, Greece and Italy in particular. The Greek Island of Kos is a top
destination due to it proximity to the Turkish cost. Doctors Without Borders says that more than 7,000 people, most from Syria and Afghanistan,
made the trip last month.
But the new arrivals say they have no intention of staying on Kos. CNN's Atika Shubert spoke to some of them. Have a listen.
[11:11:08] ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dawn breaks on the Greek holiday island of Kos and this is how the visitors arrive,
hundreds on inflatable dinghies from Turkey.
This group of Syrians stumble out on dry land happy to have survived the journey away from their war-torn homeland. They dry their children and
take out the inflatable wings and take photos to send back home. Then they walk past the tent city that extends along the Kos beach front.
"We are from Syria," they announce.
Many of Kos' locals have offered food, water and washing facilities. But this time, overwhelmed by the numbers, residents shout at them to leave
and to register with police.
SHUBERT: This is where they go, the new cruise ship sent in by Greece docked to house and register Syrian refugees. They wait here for hours.
(on camera): One of the families we spoke to is finally aboard the ship. Authorities say it has the capacity for 2500 people. In one day, more
than 1,000 people are on board. But all of the new arrivals have said that Kos is just the doorway to Europe.
(voice-over): This 27-year-old from Damascus wants to study physics in Germany.
FARIS SY, SYRIAN MIGRANT: No one will stay here. Because we know that this country have problem -- economic problem. We just want to go.
SHUBERT: He admits he hoped for better in Greece.
SY: When we was there in Turkey we hope to make it here. For all of us, that was 70 percent of the trip because it's sea and dangerous. But now
after we arrive here and saw what we saw, it's very bad here. We cannot go back. We have to continue.
SHUBERT: For families with children, Kos is a safe and secure place to rest before moving on to places like Germany.
This woman tried to pay for a hotel room for her family but was told there is no space. Even so, she is grateful.
HANNAN RAAD, LEBANESE MIGRANT: The Greek people are very nice and give us many things. So it's for our children, water and some food. Yeah.
SHUBERT: New arrivals to Kos are trying to make the best of it, washing in the sea as tourists lounge in beach chairs nearby. As the sun
sets, tourists return to hotels and migrants camp in the open and watch new arrivals come in the morning, boat after boat, with no signs of stopping.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Kos.
ANDERSON: Well, our extensive coverage of the Mediterranean crisis continues online. Do use CNN.com where you can find correspondent reports,
in depth analysis and firsthand accounts from those who have fled to Europe, including one of our latest reports, an inside look at what life is
really like for new arrivals during their first days on European soil.
Well, still to come this hour here on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, we look at the aftermath of the Bangkok bombing as officials try
to determine who was behind the attack.
First up, though, it's back to the classroom for Hamas. We're going to take a look at how one international aid group is trying to reign in the
group's worst abuses by teaching some of its fighters the rules of war. We're live in Gaza up next.
[11:17:09] ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. It is, what, about -- let me see -- can't see the
time here. 17 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. There you go.
Well, this month marks 10 years since Israel pulled its settlers out of Gaza. Tensions have run high ever since with constant skirmishes
punctuated by all out wars, mainly between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
Well, Gaza is still run by Hamas, which is designated by the EU and the U.S. as a terrorist organization. But the group has been working with
the International Committee of the Red Cross to give its fighters workshops on the Geneva Conventions.
Now, you are seeing slides from a presentation that the Red Cross says it gives to the militants. It's 44 pages long, and it contains specific
instructions on what is and is not allowed under international law.
It's in Arabic and in English. And it features a lot of pictures and diagrams.
Well, let's speak to the head of the Red Cross's operations in Gaza now. Mamadou Sow, he joins us live from there this evening.
As I just mentioned, sir, this is a designated terror organization. Why is the Red Cross engaging with their fighters at all?
MAMADOU SOW, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: Thank you, Becky, for being on your show, and greetings to your guests.
For the ICRC, what we are doing here, it's all about international humanitarian law, it's about the Geneva Convention, and it's additional
protocols. Basically, it's very simple, it tells basically to those who are involved in any conflict, spare its civilians, the civilian objects --
hospitals, they should not be used, they should not be targeted -- schools, mosques and so forth. Two, those who are sick, injured, wounded, spare
them. Third, if you detain people, allow them to be -- treat them humanely, allow the Red Cross to visit them so that they can check on their
treatment and their conditions, and so that they can share news with their families.
This is what we do. And it's important for us to disseminate this law all over the world.
ANDERSON: I understand. All right.
Well, arguably, one of the most important features of the Geneva conventions are protections that it gives to civilians, of course. Those
protections can be found in convention four, which I know green lights the ICRC and other organizations like yours, to carry out humanitarian
activities, quote, for the protection of civilian persons and for their relief, as you have rightly pointed out.
But Hamas militants and other groups have fired thousands of rockets at civilians centers in Israel, Mamadou. This one landed in a field, but
sometimes they hit, destroying homes and killing people.
So can you teach a terrorist organization the rules of war that were designed for democratic states?
[11:20:20] SOW: Well, Becky, this is a good question.
You know, when a war erupts, for the ICRC you have two parties. You have those who are parties to the conflict and you have the civilians. The
ICRC and I can speak on myself, myself a head of delegation, Mr. De Mayer (ph) who is very committed to all the things we're doing here in the Gaza
Strip, we don't distribute labels. We have interlocutors and we discuss with them on behalf of the population who are stuck in the middle of the
battlefield and whose rights are sometimes violated.
And we speak with all the authorities on behalf of this population.
Now when you talk to the Israeli population that you are referring to who live in the outskirts of Gaza, they are happy that we have this
dialogue with Hamas. And when you talk to the Palestinians here in the Gaza Strip, they are tremendously happy that I can go and meet with IDF and
share with them issues of concern to the population here.
So, this is not scandalous, this is not polemical, this is what we do. And we do this all over the world.
ANDERSON: And right -- yes, and I wanted to point that out that the ICRC have been working with groups all over the world. I know in South
America, you say you've been teaching Colombian gunmen how to distinguish between combatants and civilians. And over in Africa, in Mali, for
example, you've given lessons to nationalist factions, including telling them how they should treat the people that they capture.
I know there will be viewers who say your work simply legitimizes these groups. And I want you to answer that question. But also how you
assess your success and what you've learned from working with these groups around the world, sir.
SOW: I didn't hear the last part. Mali, yes, indeed, I worked in Mali and I've done missions with my colleagues there into the desert. And
we have met many armed groups there and we've shared these same concerns with them.
Here in Gaza we do the same.
Think about this, during this last war. This last war was a very difficult war for the population of Gaza and its surrounding areas. When
it finished, we invested tremendous amount of resources to -- in terms of medical specialists who were in the hospital who could see the injured of
the population and know what was the calls. Legal experts, weapon experts and other experts -- experts of protection of civilian population. They
met with family after family in Gaza and around Israelis in the south of Israel.
And the result of this massive investment was too important, honest to god, substantive documents that were forwarded both to IDF and to Hamas.
This is what we bring on the table.
So, the dialogue we talk about is what we do in the classrooms with this lower ranking groups, but what we do at higher level with those who
are in the position to affect change positively.
And, you know, you're not without knowing that the ICRC, you know, we are not computer activists, keyboard activists who from a 1,000 miles away
will issue statements, we cross lines. We shake hands. We sit down. We are like diplomats who -- we don't represent countries, but we represent
the interests of those who suffer from armed conflict. And we go ahead and we talk to those who are holding the guns, but their bosses as well. And
we don't only do that, we come back the next day and we make sure that the laws of armed conflict (inaudible) taking into account in the ways of doing
-- in their ways of fighting and it's embraced, it's incorporated into their doctrines. That way at the end of the day less people will suffer
from these conflict that we see all over the world.
ANDERSON: One would hope so.
All right, Mamadou, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you, sir. Out of Gaza for you this evening.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.
Coming up, is this the person responsible for Monday's deadly bombing in Bangkok? We've got the very latest on the investigation in 10 minutes
First up, though, dancing to a modern beat. How a creative passion is breathing new life to the home of the tango. We are in Buenos Aires
tonight for One Square Meter. That's next.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: In the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires, creativity is nurtured on every street. A city known for
tango and the love of the arts, is also the center of the film industry. Producers and filmmakers spent a lot of time scouting for low cost
Little surprise, then, that they have been part of a transformation of Chacarita neighborhood. It's at a new audio visual district of Buenos
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chacarita had all the right factors to become a media hub. The only thing missing was some sort of tax advantage.
DEFTERIOS: Through incentives established by law a decade ago, those who go to work within the district are 100 percent exempt from paying gross
income tax. That attracted several TV production companies, film studios and advertising firms.
One square meter now goes for 2,000 dollars in Chacarita, a big leap compared to 750 dollars in 2005, but still low if we look at the current
value in the established audio visual district of Palermo where it is 2,605 dollars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This Charcarita is an adjacent neighborhood to Palermo. It's like a continuation of all these
industries. And Charcarita still has the lower, smaller residences that make it stand out especially to media producers who can use them.
DEFTERIOS: Good transportation links and peaceful streets have helped change the face of the once rundown neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We've seen a lot of changes since moving here. The most remarkable has been the increasing popularity
of the place. You can't find a place to park now. There were not as many restaurants in the neighborhood when we got here, either.
DEFTERIOS: More commonly known for its classical old warehouses, the area has attracted an array of chefs like Mattias Quirasis (ph), keen on
being part of this boom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we were searching for a location for our project in 2009, we were looking for an area that was not crowded by
restaurants. The rent was affordable. And at the beginning we were the only restaurant in almost eight blocks. Now new culinary proposals have
drastically changed the Arevalo Street, for instance.
DEFTERIOS: It's also a boost for employment. According to the ministry of economic development, more than 51,000 people are employed in
the audio/visual industry, 170 industry related companies have moved to Chacarita.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE (through translator): People understand that Chacarita stopped being a sector of abandoned warehouses. It is now a
place many companies seek for its future development.
DEFTERIOS: One of the area's main projects has been the transformation the Therego (ph) factory into office spaces. A new
festival, Noche Audio/Viasual has its home here. Driven by a creative visual, Argentinians have been refurbishing old Chacarita to give it a new
John Defterios, CNN.
[11:32:04] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. They top stories, as you imaging at this point.
At this point of the day here on CNN. And the United Nations says there has been a 400 increase since last year in migrants arriving in
Greece. More than 20,000 people have arrived in just one week earlier this month. Almost a quarter of a million people are thought to have crossed
Mediterranean this year trying to escape violence and poverty.
After weeks of walks, Turkey's prime minister is abandoning efforts to form a government.
Reuters news agency reports that the has find to find a junior coalition partner after June elections. The AK Party lost its long held
majority in that vote, leading to the worst political uncertainty the NATO member has seen in decades.
In Indonesia rescuers have now found the black box from the Trigana air flight that crashed on Sunday. They've reported that all 54 people on
board were killed and that efforts to recover the bodies have been put on hold due to bad weather.
Donald Trump is gaining steam in the race for U.S. president. A new CNN/ORC Poll shows he still leads the Republican pack. Trumps 24 percent
support is higher than the number his posted last month and 11 points ahead of his closest competitor who is the former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Police in Bangkok are trying to trace down the man in this surveillance video. They say he's a suspect in Monday's deadly bombing.
He was seen leaving a backpack near the Erawan Shrine. The city already on edge was hit with a second smaller explosion earlier today at a
pier. No one, though, was injured.
Well, returning to that story, the hunt for the suspect in that deadly bombing in Bangkok. Joining me now is our senior international
correspondent Nic Robertson. He's been following this story for you from London.
And some 24 hours ago when we had just heard about this bomb blast there was speculation as to whether the culprits would be from a local
group or perhaps a transnational organization. At this point, the hallmarks point to the former or the later, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the police say they don't know. And there has been no claim of responsibility. The
police say that they've got days work of CCTV video footage to go through to see if they can find out any more information about that man in the
yellow t-shirt. And then of course there is the bombing today that didn't injure anyone, but that may also provide the police more opportunity to
look at more CCTV video to try to track down who this person or persons involved. And that's going to be the biggest breakthrough for the police
at the moment. They don't see if he -- they don't know, they say, if he is Thai or if he is a foreign national.
Southern separatists, yes, they've hit shrines before, but in the south and not with weapons of this scale and devastation. The police say
this was a deliberate act of terrorism designed to kill and maim.
ISIS, transnational radical Islamic organization that uses this type of device in other places, growing concern about them in this broader
region of Asia, Malaysian and Indonesian radicals, about several hundred or perhaps around about that number believed perhaps have gone to join ISIS in
Syria. The concern Syria and Iraq, the concern is that they may come back.
But again they're normally quick to claim responsibility. And they haven't done that here.
So at the moment, the police obviously won't be excluding the possibility that this was some kind of political, you know, sabotage if you
will, to heighten security and perhaps play to the hands and the strength of the military government, you know, in the absence of elections if they
don't happen this year.
So, all of these are really still in play for the police at the moment.
[11:36:03] ANDERSON: Yeah, and the investigation clearly ongoing. Nic, thank you.
On to update you on a story that we have been following for the past couple of days now. And Israel offering to free Palestinian detainee
Mohammad Allan. Remember, he is the Palestinian prisoner that has gone on a hunger strike for over two months. That offer was dependent on him
living abroad for four years and was immediately rebuffed by his lawyers.
Now, Allan is out of a coma that was medically induced last Friday. He is vowing to continue his hunger strike.
Let's cross live to Jerusalem to speak to CNN's Oren Liebermann. Oren, Allan brought out of his medically induced coma today. What's the
latest on his condition, firstly?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Doctors and his lawyers say he is in critical but stable condition. As you mentioned,
brought out of that medically induced coma that he was in all weekend.
Earlier today he is on an IV. He's getting fluids, salts, vitamins, but as of right now he refuses, he still refuses to eat, keeping up that
Mohammah Allan, he was a relatively unknown figure here until very recently. Now, everybody here -- Israelis, Palestinians, everyone here
knows exactly who Mohammad Allan is.
LIEBERMANN: Palestinian lawyer Mohammed Allan the newest face of resistance for Palestinians.
Israel has held the 31 year old on Administrative Detention since November 2014 without charge or trial on suspicion of involvement in
terrorism and of membership in the militant Islamic Jihad, a claim his lawyer and his family deny.
In protest Allan began a hunger strike in mid-June only drinking water. Addameer, a Palestinian Advocacy Group says there are more than 400
Palestinians held on Administrative Detention, a law that allows Israel to hold someone for security reasons for six months at a time renewable as
Hunger strikes have been a common way to protest detention. The Israeli Medical Association says more than 1,000 prisoners have gone on
hunger strikes over the past several years. But Mohammed Allan's refusal to eat also put a spotlight on Israel's new Force Feeding law.
QADURA FARES, PALESTINIAN PRISON SOCIETY: He believes that the Israeli Government in implementing these two laws they are against the
international barometers, the international grievance.
LIEBERMANN: This law just passed by the Knesset in July allows the Government to force feed hunger strikers if their lives are in danger. But
the new law has been criticized inside and outside the country. The UN called it a "cause for concern", and the Israeli Medical Association says
its "equivalent to torture." But the Israeli Government says it can't allow prisoners to commit suicide, and it will not allow prisoners to threaten
the country's security or put pressure on the government through hunger strikes.
Palestinians have held near daily solidarity protests outside the hospital in Ashkelon where Allan is being held and treated. There have been
additional protests in Israel, Jerusalem, The West Bank, and Gaza.
LIEBERMANN: There is a Supreme Court hearing scheduled for 1:00 tomorrow afternoon local time, Becky. We'll see how that changes Allan's
status, if at all.
ANDERSON: Oren, this force feeding law has stirred up quite the debate there. And Allan's condition is only intensified that debate. What
are the concerns here from the different sides?
LIBERMANN: Well, for the government and for security officials, it's simply a matter of national security that's very much how they view this,
not only for -- in terms of -- it would be a security risk to release those on administrative detention, but also a security risk if those on
administrative detention and hunger strike died.
Now we -- there was a statement from the public security administrator Gilad Erdan who has been one of the law's most vocal supporters. He posted
this on his Facebook page over the weekend. He says here, "Medical feeding is carried out on the one hand to save the life of a person, and on the
other hand to prevent a situation where terrorists have a tool to effectively put pressure against a state that will lead to them being freed
Very different case we're getting, a very different argument we're hearing from doctors, from medical association and for many who are
critical of this law. Here is what Physicians for Human Rights had to say calling the alternatives much more dangerous.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:40:16] DR. MUSHIA ABOODIA, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: Hunger strikes is then a way of legitimate protest in the past I think 50 years, I
mean, starting from the 70s. And up until now, no one died from the hunger strike itself, but for prisoners probably died of the force feeding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: So, this debate continues, Becky. And right now Mohammad Allan is very much at the center of this debate.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem on the story for you tonight. Oren, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, we are in the UAE for you with Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Coming up, Amazon's boss says his company is a great place to work, but some former employees quite frankly strongly disagree and told their
horror stories to The New York Times. The latest on this controversy is just ahead.
And how and why Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focusing on business to ramp up India's foreign policy. That's next.
ANDERSON: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi there receiving a sort of reception a rock star might expect. There is no doubt the impact of his
two-day visit here to the UAE has been felt far and wide with the hashtag #ModiinDubai trending worldwide on Twitter yesterday.
He's gotten around since taking office, of course, as Ravi Agrawal now shows us there is a reason why Mr. Modi is racking up so many air miles.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From New Delhi to New York, Tokyo, Sydney and now Abu Dhabi, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has spent one out of every seven days in office traveling the world. He's faced criticism about it at home, but he is being credited for bringing
some much needed vigor to Indian foreign policy.
For decades, India almost prided itself on staying aloof. It was a co-founder of the non-aligned movement. But the times are changing, says
one former Indian diplomat.
K.C. SINGH, FRM. INDIAN DIPLOMAT: The new (inaudible) has been used is multi-alignment.
AGRAWAL: Modi is making the first visit to the UAE by an Indian prime minister in 34 years, and with good reason. 6 million Indians work in the
Gulf region, about half of those workers live in the UAE. They send home some $14 billion in remittances every year.
SINGH: Modi is a pragmatist. He realizes that economy is critical to his political future. He has to provide jobs.
AGRAWAL: No surprise, Modi is looking for investments from the sovereign funds in the UAE, India's third biggest trading partner. And
don't forget oil. India gets much of it from the Gulf. And its needs will only grow.
So from non-aligned to multi-aligned as India grows as an economic power it is finally looking to play a more active role in geopolitics.
Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi, India.
ANDERSON: Well, as Ravi touched upon, then, Mr. Modi wants to make the UAE a signficant focal point in his foreign policy.
I want to bring in our emerging markets editor John Defterios now who is here in Abu Dhabi, because it seems that it's business that's likely to
make this relationship grow.
John, Mr. Modi was really trying to sell India on this trip, talking about opportunities worth a trillion on offer. How was this received here?
DEFTERIOS: I think it's fair to say, Becky, he did get the royal treatment, if you will, from the ruling family here of Abu Dhabi. And as
you suggested before Ravi's report, the rock star treatment at the cricket stadium there. No doubt about it, Mr. Modi did forge a very strong
relationship in only 15 months in office with the UAE government, but in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. And it translated into business directly here. This
is the India, UAE investment infrastructure fund they set up, not bad for the first time around on the first visit, $75 billion.
But I think it's a very solid point to make that they had a very good bilateral trade relationship going from $7 billion in 2003 and '04 as you
can see all the way to $60 billion in 2014 and '15.
Where we go from here? Mr. Modi says he needs $1 trillion to build out the infrastructure. This is a good place to be. Seven sovereign funds
with over $1 trillion in savings here.
And I don't think it'll be another 30 years before an Indian prime minister comes back to see the UAE. In fact, the UAE prime minister
already accepted the invitation from Mr. Modi to pick up on that infrastructure fund and see what opportunity lies in India for UAE
companies as well.
ANDERSON: Begs the question exactly what is it -- what's in it for those here in the UAE?
Is energy, for example, part of this equation?
DEFTERIOS: It would be very surprising if it was not. And that is because India is growing up the ranks here with energy demand.
Let's take a look at the thirst for fuel, Becky, for India. Right now it stands are 4.1 million barrels a day. The surprising number is that
it's grown 300,000 barrels of day in the last year.
And I say there's room to grow, because China right now uses 10 million barrels a day.
But this is the reverse of what's happening in the world today. China is slowing down, maybe 6.5 percent growth this year. India is going to
grow 7.5 percent, so only using 4 million barrels a day now, growing to 10 million barrels a day could be a great customer for the UAE. Right now,
Abu Dhabi only supplies 8 percent of India's needs. I think after the bilateral meetings that we saw over the last 48 hours that's bound to
change after the infrastructure investment that the UAE is going to put up to India going forward.
ANDERSON; Yeah, fascinating stuff.
John, thank you. John Defterios on the story for you out of Abu Dhabi this evening.
This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, Amazon's founder defending his company after a scathing report on what it is like to
work there. I'm going to get you the latest on that controversy up next.
[11:50:39] ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. 10 to 8:00 here in the UAE.
Customers can't seem to get enough of Amazon, can they? It recently surged past Wal-Mart to become the largest retailer of any kind in the
United States. But the online giant may not be too popular with some of its employees. A recent New York Times article described the company as a
brutal place to work.
But Amazon has been fighting back as CNN's Kyung Lah reports.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amazon shipping whatever wherever with an effortless click of your finger. But some 100 current and
former employees claim it's not so magical for Amazon's white collar employees, describing to "The New York Times" a cut-throat, dog eat dog
workplace, pushing out workers viewed as weak for getting cancer or having children. A former employee quoting to the "Times" a saying around Amazon
campus, "Amazon is where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves." People claiming to be ex-employees reacted and commiserated across social
On Reddit, one claiming to be an ex-Amazon employee writes, "When I went to the bathroom, I would hear at least one person crying at least once
a day. There are thousands of us in Seattle alone."
On glassdoor.com, a networking site where employees review companies, Amazon's positive reviews carried this concern, "Advice to management:
remember that the employees are people and not machines."
Amazon's own produced videos called "Inside Amazon" showcase employees who call the job challenging and cutting edge, but --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You either fit here or you don't. You love it or you don't. There's no middle ground really.
JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON CEO: Thank you.
LAH: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the driving visionary behind online retailer's seismic success, responded to "The New York Times" article in an
e-mail to his more than 100,000 employees writing, "I don't recognize this Amazon." Adding Amazon would not tolerate callous workplace behavior.
But tech analysts say this behavior has been around at Amazon for years and, frankly, other start-ups. John Sullivan advises Fortune 500
companies and has studied Amazon for a decade.
PROF. JOHN SULLIVAN, MANAGEMENT ADVISOR: Oh, wow, they're startled, because they live in a different world. You have to be first like an eBay,
like an Amazon, you have to have these kind of people. And I would say shame on them if they were surprised.
LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
ANDERSON: Well, CNN business correspondent Samuel Burke has been following this story. And he joins me now live from New York.
Samuel, Amazon is being forced to defend itself publicly, isn't it?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is no way that Amazon is just going to let this 20 page investigation with interviews with more than 100
former and current Amazon employees by The New York Times speak for itself.
And actually Jay Carney is a top Amazon executive now. He's of course the former White House spokesperson. And indeed, a former CNN political
Listen to what he told CNN's Jim Sciutto.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLP)
JAY CARNEY, AMAZON: It creates this vision of a soulless dystopian workplace where people are miserable and unhappy, but no company that was
like the one described by The New York Times could survive and thrive in the current high tech labor marketplace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURKE: So, Becky, I want to take a step back now from what Amazon is saying and from what Amazon is saying and just let you see -- and from what
The New York Times is saying, rather -- and let you see glassdoor.com. Kyung Lah referenced that in her report.
And basically this is a website where anybody can review what the people in that company, what they think -- the people who work in that
company think. And if you look here you can see that only 62 percent of the people who work at Amazon would recommend that company.
I want to show you now what Apple says -- employees who work at Apple. That -- you have 82 percent of people who work there say that they would
So, you can see there is somewhat of a gap between Amazon and the other big tech companies.
ANDERSON: Some in Silicon Valley are certainly coming out in Amazon's defense, aren't they?
BURKE: Well, it's interesting because a lot of times these companies take swipes at each other. When they see one down, it's a chance for them
to come in and get in -- here you see lots of silicon valley big investors, other CEOs coming out in support of Amazon.
Just take a look at this tweet from Dick Costolo, he's a of course the exiting CEO from Twitter. He says this has taken out of context stamped
all over it. So you can see there he thinks that maybe this is just part of that startup nature, the Silicon Valley west coast culture with these
tech companies. But the research team here at CNN, we actually went through and want to compare what Amazon has in terms of paternity leave,
because so much of this article, this investigation was about how people are treated when they leave for personal matters and medical issues.
So just look at Amazon compared to some other companies. No paternity leave when it comes to Amazon. Compare that to the White House where Jay
Carney used to work, six weeks of paternity leave. Compare that to Netflix down in Los Angeles, up to a year of paternity leave they just announced.
Facebook up in San Francisco, four months. Apple at least six weeks.
And so Jay Carney is saying that some of these issues their human resource department is going to have to address. And it looks like there
is some space where they can catch up to some of their tech rivals.
[11:56:20] ANDERSON: Samuel Burke is in New York for you this evening.
What do you think about Amazon's workplace culture? Would you want a job at the tech giant? Do share your views? I mean, quite frankly the
company employees 180,000 people around the world. Should we be surprised that there are some disgruntled employees? You can get in touch. Join the
conversation Facebook.com/CNNConnect, you know this if you are a regular viewers.
You also know that you can get in touch and tweet me @BeckyCNN. That's @BeckyCNN.
Well, your Parting Shots this evening just before we go. It's all about taking the plunge Russian style. These images show the Russian
President Vladimir Putin getting into a submersible craft earlier today and going to the bottom of the Black Sea. He went down 83 meters to see an
ancient ship discovered off the coast of Crimea.
The self-styled action man is known for his media frenzy stunts, but he's actually in the region to try and market it as a tourism destination
at present. Following Russia's annexation of the Crimea, the area has struggled to attract holiday makers.
Well, he is joined on the trip by the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev who you can see him warmly embracing there.
There you go.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. From the team here and those working with us around the world.
It's a very good evening.