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CONNECT THE WORLD
Yemen Worst Humanitarian Crisis in World; Serena Williams Still Nervous Entering Center Court; Greek Prime Minister to Resign; Jimmy Carter Discusses Cancer Diagnosis; Mohammad Allan Released. Aired 8:00a-9:00a ET
Aired August 20, 2015 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:34] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: As mourning continues, a possible breakthrough in Bangkok: two men wanted in connection to the bombing
themselves in to police. We'll be live in the Thai capital for you in just a moment on what is that major ongoing manhunt.
Also this hour, massive destruction and millions in need: this is Yemen after just five months of Saudi-led airstrikes. We hear from one aid
agency that says it's today's biggest humanitarian crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS STAR: You know, I get chill bumps like literally thinking about all the stuff, you know, the women are doing in
sports. You know, I think it's...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We talk nerves, serves and women on the rise with tennis icon Serena Williams ahead of the U.S. Open.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: On a beautiful evening in the UAE, it is just after 7:00 here.
We start with a remarkable news conference that we've just heard from America's 39th president. Jimmy Carter described his cancer diagnosis
saying it is not confined to his liver.
He says doctors also discovered four spots of melanoma on his brain and that he will undergo his first radiation treatment today.
The 90-year-old says he's not in a great deal of pain. At one point, Carter was asked what went through his mind when he learned about his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, 39TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just thought I had a few weeks left. But I was surprisingly at ease. You know, I've had
a wonderful life. I've had thousands of friends and I've had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence. So I was surprisingly at ease,
much more so than my wife was.
But, now I feel, you know, it's in the hands of god.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We'll get more on President Carter's announcement later in the show with our U.S. correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.
Turning now to Thailand for you where police tell us two men wanted in connection with Monday's deadly bombing have just turned themselves in.
The men were seen in a surveillance video taken at a Bangkok shrine before a bomb exploded there earlier this week. You see them here, one wearing a
white shirt, the other in red. Standing in front of the man who police say is the main suspect in the attack.
Both men deny any link to the alleged bomber.
Let's get you in to Thailand and to Bangkok where Saima Mohsin is standing by -- Saima.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, police say that these two men have now come forward walking into a police station denying,
as you say, any kind of connection to the bomber.
Now police initially thought if we look at that CCTV footage, standing in front of that man identified as the main suspect with the backpack,
these two men seem to stand in front of him.
Now police said looking at that footage, they believe perhaps these two men were standing in front of him to block the view so that people
wouldn't see this man planting the bomb, the man they still believe to be the bomber, but of course there's no confirmation of that.
Now, these two men, the one in the red shirt and the white shirt have come in to police tonight. And they say the man in the red shirt says he
is a tour guide. The man in the White Shirt says he's a tourist.
Now, police are questioning them tonight at a police station not far away from here, Becky, for more information. And so far I have to say a
lot of the investigation has been conjecture or working on a process of elimination. They still don't have a name or identity for that man in the
yellow shirt. They are working with all they have, which so far seems to be mostly CCTV footage. Now they're checking not just CCTV footage in this
area near the shrine, but actually beyond here right up to the airport as well.
They're trying to track that man in the yellow shirt, identify him, find him. Of course they've asked him to turn himself in, too. And they
are trying to work out who else did he speak to? Who else may well be his accomplices -- Becky.
[11:05:00] ANDERSON: Saima is in Bangkok with the very latest on the investigation there.
Well, tensions have escalated once again on the Korean peninsula with both sides exchanging fire across the heavy fortified border. Relations
between the two sides have been increasingly strained in the past few weeks after two South Korean soldiers were seriously wounded by landmines in the
demilitarized zone, prompting the south to resume glaring propaganda messages over the border.
Well, the Pentagon says it is monitoring the escalation closely. CNN's Kathy Novak joining me now live from Seoul with the very latest on
what, Kathy, it seems is a very tense situation.
You might just write this off as a tit-for-tat. Should we? How significant is this latest action from both sides?
KATHY NOVAK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the tension has been rising, as you've been describing, Becky. And South Korea's military
right now is on high alert. The president has ordered it to take stern action against North Korean provocation. And the latest flareup all has to
do with these propaganda messages that you've been referring to. This is something that makes North Korea extremely unhappy.
It's been on hold for more than 10 years this campaign of psychological warfare on the part of South Korea. And South Korea actually
set up these speakers back in (inaudible), but it didn't go through with actually using it.
But now that it has been blaming these landmine attacks on North Korea, it has decided to resume these propaganda messages, and Pyongyang
has hit back with threats. It has been saying that it will blow up the speakers. It has been saying that it will launch indiscriminate strikes.
And after this artillery exchange today, Pyongyang sent a letter to South Korea giving it a deadline, saying that it must stop these propaganda
broadcasts by 5:00 p.m. on Seoul time, on Saturday or North Korea will launch military action.
Now, of course, this all happens while the United States and South Korea are holding joint military drills here. So, it's no surprise that
the Pentagon is saying that it is keeping a close eye on the situation, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right. Watch this base and clearly any further developments and Kathy will be back on on your screens here on CNN.
Kathy, thank you.
Concerns growing tonight about the reach of ISIS after a car bombing near the heart of power in Egypt. The blast targeted a state security
building in northern Cairo. At least 29 people were wounded, including six police officers.
Now the blast could be hear for kilometers, waking residents across the city in the middle of the night. ISIS has claimed responsibility.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is following developments from Beirut for you. And even though they've claimed responsibility, I've heard experts talk
today about the fact that this isn't necessarily an attack that bears the hallmarks, the sort of regular hallmarks of ISIS attacks certainly in Egypt
in the past, Nick. Thoughts.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you'll have to obviously question quite why they decided to attack at 2:00 in the
morning where there will be less people, frankly, on the street. And maybe that security had dipped then. A statement from Egyptian security forces
suggesting in fact a car pulled up outside this key national security building, the attacker got out and then leaped on to a motorbike that had
been tailing the car up until then.
But, yes, it doesn't also bear the hallmarks of ISIS bomb attack (inaudible) target as many people as physically possible.
Still, though, 29 injured, six of them police, glass blown out of buildings for blocks around, an enormous crater left at the sight of the
explosion. But when you say ISIS in Egypt, it's sort of a very simple, but (inaudible) grasp on to and it makes you think perhaps somehow this is
linked back to their leadership in Syria or Iraq.
Well, we're not clear here, and it isn't mentioned or specified in ISIS's statement, but it may all be, it does actually point to a militancy
group often in the Sinai known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, particularly given the ISIS statement said they were carrying out the attack in revenge for
the execution of six militants arrested back in May who were linked, in fact, to that particular militant group.
So, what's most alarming here, Becky, is the reach to what's supposed to be the secure parts of the capital at this stage. And quite the volume
of an explosion heard at 2:00 in the morning, that woke many people across the Egyptian capital, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, clearly a very frightening experience for those who heard and saw it.
What is the Egyptian government doing to try to stop this sort of attack, to thwart the sort of terror groups that ISIS and those who may be
allied with ISIS carrying out at present?
WALSH: Well, you have many different interpretations of what President el-Sisi has done, really, since 2013, many say a very brutal
crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters in central Cairo. Some say it has, in fact, encouraged greater radicalism, that even those more moderate
elements in the Muslim Brotherhood who espouse peaceful activism in fact have been marginalized and they've become by definition increasingly
There are some that say he hasn't gone hard enough against some militants in the Sinai and perhaps it's the dysfunctionality of the
Egyptian state that's allowing attacks like this to in fact occur. But it seems to be that Egypt was heading in one direction where it's a military
solution alone to tackle issues like this particular level of militancy and insurgency when of course many historically look at these types of issues
being borne in economic grievances, people think marginalized.
So, many look at I think the intensely repressive critics say, at least, approach being taken by President el-Sisi and point to that as
perhaps fueling some of the outrage. But there's no doubt here at all the militancy is getting increasingly more radical. And the decision by a
group like Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, who have been around for some time, to adopt ISIS's branding, to become part of the ISIS global franchise is one
indication of that.
You saw recently how they beheaded on Croatian hostage on the outskirts -- ISIS that is -- on the outskirts of Cairo. That's deeply
troubling sign for foreigners in the most populous Arab country. And perhaps a sign, too, of darker times ahead, Becky.
[11:11:13] ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the story for you out of Beirut this evening. Apologies for you for the technology gremlins that do
seem to be with us at the moment. We'll try and do something about that as we take a very short break.
Still to come tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The remnants of the migrant's treacherous journeys litter the shoreline -- shoes, clothing, a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN explores Turkey's coastline of contrasts where holidaymakers rub shoulders with refugees waiting to flee to Europe.
And the latest face of Palestinian resistance. We talk to an Arab member of the Israeli parliament about the case causing controversy across
Israel. That's next.
ANDERSON: Tears of joy: the mother of the Palestinian lawyer Mohammad Allan there celebrating news that he is out of prison. The 31-year-old has
been on hunger strike since June protesting his detention without trial or charge.
Well, it's a breakthrough and a story that we've been monitoring closely here on Connect the World. 65 days after Mohammad Allan went on
hunger strike, Israel has decided to release him from prison. But the physical impact has left the 31-year-old with brain damage and still in
Oren Liebermann has this report from Jerusalem for you.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Palestinian lawyer Mohammad 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. Adamir (ph), a Palestinian prisoner 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 deemed necessary.
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 Mohammad Allan's refusal to eat also put a spotlight on Israel's new force feeding law.
[11:15:49] QADURA FARES, PALESTINIAN PRISON SOCIETY: He believed that the Israeli government when they're implementing this two laws, they are
against the international parameters, the international agreements.
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, quote, cause for concern. The Israeli medical association
says it's, quote, 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.
ANDERSON: We're joined now by Ahmad Tibi who is an Arab member of the Israeli parliament. I want to talk more about this case.
Firstly, let's just find out what you know at this point about Mohammad Allan's health. How is he?
AHMAD TIBI, ISRAELI PM: He's better than yesterday. He communicated with his lawyer this morning. But still we do not know and his physician
do not know if the damage is irreversible. There is damage, according to the MRI testing yesterday, because of vitamin deficiency, (inaudible)
deficiency. It will take time in order to know, however, if it is reversible or not.
ANDERSON: His case has stoked fierce debate, it has to be said, within Israel. We went out onto the streets of Jerusalem to ask people
what they made of the case. I just want you to have a listen to this and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it proved right. I mean, all the power to him. I think he's right and he proved his point and he should be out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're a criminal, if you're a terrorist, you should be going to prison, you should be going to jail and that's it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, is somebody decides not to do something, he's not supposed to be forced to do something if he doesn't harm anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I mean have you been surprised by just how polarized Israeli society has been during this, what, 65 days worth of hunger strike
TIBI: You know, we are talking about administrative detention. And Mohammad Allan is an administrative detainee. No charge, no prosecution,
no trial. And he told me when I visited him, I want all to be taken to court for the trial or to be released. That's why I have this hunger
More than 30 -- 358 Palestinians are under administrative detainees, a huge number. The occupation -- the Israeli occupation is using this tool
as an oppression. People are willing to be free.
ANDERSON: Yes, and I've heard this argument before.
TIBI: They did nothing. He told me I did nothing.
ANDERSON: Let me ask you this -- yeah, let me ask you this, as an Israeli parliament member, do you think that the force feeding law is
actually supported by the public?
TIBI: According to the (inaudible) declaration, according to the (inaudible) declaration we are talking about torture, that's why I opposed
-- in the opposition we opposed this law.
The Israeli Medical Association was a brave and courageous enough to say that no one Israeli physician is allowed to force feeding any hunger
strike, that's why he was transferred from one hospital to another, another in Barzila (ph), in Ashkelon, then the physicians of Ashkelon refused to
force feed him.
[11:20:16] ANDERSON: Ahmad, and that's what -- and that is ostensibly what -- we've definitely heard this argument on the street, and I think
reflected by those we spoke to today. This is certainly, as I say, stoked a very fierce debate.
There are those who say that national security is a valid reason to hold people without charge or trial. Is it?
TIBI: Administrative detainees, hundreds, is a violation of the international law. They are asking to be brought into court or to be
released, freed. And the Israeli authorities is renewing this administrative detention. Do you know that there are some who --
Palestinian activists who are in jail by administrative detention for seven or eight years, every six months this administrative detention is renewed.
Why? He is already in jail. He is not risking anybody.
It's a tool of oppression, of taking away freedom of Palestinian activists and leader, that's why we are demanding to not using this tool.
I am against administrative detention, neither against Palestinian or Jewish detainees even. You have an accusations, bring them to trial or
ANDERSON: OK. This is a controversial story. And as always, we want to hear your thoughts, viewers, on Israel's force feeding law and the case
of Mohammad Allan. Sir, thank you for joining us.
Viewers, you can join the debate by going to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/CNNConnect and get in touch. On Twitter, I'm @BeckyCNN, that
A story that we will continue to follow.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, as the deadly war in Yemen drags on, the humanitarian crisis
only gets worse. We're going to take a look at just how many are affected this hour.
Donald Trump is back in the spotlight for his no hold's barred method of attack. How he faced off with U.S. presidential Republican rival Jeb
Bush. You're watching CNN. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. At 23 minutes past 7:00 here.
You already know Donald Trump appears to have no problem speaking his mind, so it is no surprise he had a lot to say about one of his fiercest
Republican rivals for president former Florida governor Jeb Bush seen here on the right.
The two held competing town halls in the battleground state of New Hampshire on Wednesday night.
Have a listen to the verbal jabs that the two traded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, FRM. GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I think what people are eventually going to vote for is a proven conservative leader that's done
it, not talked about it, that's actually done it. And I have a proven conservative record, consistent proven conservative record when no one was
watching. Mr. Trump doesn't have a proven conservative record. He was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican. He's given
more money to Democrats than he's given to Republicans.
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER: And you know right down the road -- thank you -- right down the road, we have Jeb. Very small crowd. You
know what's happening to Jeb's crowd as you know right down the street? They're sleeping. They're sleeping now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:25:06] ANDERSON: Well, our U.S. correspondent Suzanne Malveaux joins me now from Washington. And before we talk about the presidential
hopefuls in the Republican candidates, particularly Jeb Bush and The Trump, as it were, I want to consider what we heard just in the past hour from the
39th president, Suzanne, Jimmy Carter, who discussed his health announcing that he will be undergoing treatment tonight for melanoma -- cancer of the
What's his prognosis?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, it really was an extraordinary press conference. As always, he was warm, open, and he
really is at peace with his future. I've been fortunate enough to interview him several times in Atlanta. And he has such a generous spirit
He did reveal that he had cancer in his liver, which the doctors believe have gotten most of that, but it has spread to four spots on his
brain and that he's going to start his first radiation treatment this afternoon. There are going to be four treatments to follow that.
Now he said the melanoma would likely appear in other places. So he is cutting back on his travel. He says that he is at ease with what his
future brings. He says that he has had a good life. The best thing that ever happened to him was marrying his wife Rosalynn, that was 69 years ago.
One of the things that he said, Becky, the one regret he had, was not sending in more helicopters in Iran, which could have possibly led to the
U.S. hostages being rescued and another presidential term, but he also said if that had happened, he probably wouldn't have established the Carter
Center. And he said he would pick the Carter Center over another four years as president. So that was just some of the things that he was
But Carter by no means is giving up. He says he's going to be teaching Sunday school as he does every Sunday this weekend. And so he is
-- he is pleased where he is, but it was really quite an extraordinary development and really quite an extraordinary moment for all of us to see
ANDERSON: Well, I wonder as he finished -- closed out his press conference and may have been watching CNN and might have seen the sparring,
the latest sparring that has involved Donald Trump and his Republican rival Jeb Bush.
What should we make of the latest rhetoric from the Republican leader so far as candidate is concerned?
MALVEAUX: Sure. You know, Becky, I really wish somebody had asked him about it. I was kind of waiting for that question whether or not he
would weigh in on what he thinks of the presidential field, the fact that there are so many Republicans and that the celebrity Trump, if course, is
leading the pack here.
I want to talk about last night in New Hampshire. They were just 15 miles away from each other. We're talking about Donald Trump and Jeb Bush
in the state of New Hampshire, but they really are worlds apart when it comes to their style, their tone, their substance.
You had Trump who was speaking in this packed school auditorium. There was an overflow crowd. He was openly mocking Bush saying that his
crowd was probably sleeping, that Bush had low energy. And he quite frankly said that he doesn't think he was electable.
What we saw from Bush was really a different tact, radically different than what we've seen before. And he was going after Trump's conservative
credentials. He was accusing him of being a bigger supporter of the Democrats and their liberal ideals than really being a Republican. So,
it's a clear sign that Bush is now willing to take a more forcible stand and going after the front-runner. That front runner, by the way, Becky,
leading in the polls, including Bush's home state of Florida -- Becky.
Suzanne, thank you. Always a pleasure.
The world news headlines are just ahead here on CNN, as you would expect, bottom of the hour here. And we'll bring you the latest from Yemen
where communities are being devastated by civil war.
[11:31:32] ANDERSON: You're with Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. As advertised this is CNN. These are your headlines.
Police in Thailand say two men wanted in connection with the Monday's deadly bombing have just turned themselves in. Now these men were seen in
surveillance video here taken at a Bangkok shrine before a bomb exploded. Now both men deny any link to the bomber.
Tensions are escalating once again on the Korean peninsula. South Korea fired several shells across the border after it said the North fired
what appeared to be a missile. In its direction, South Korea's resumption of broadcasting propaganda through loudspeakers at the border has
infuriated the north and now Pyongyang is threatening military action.
British and French ministers have signed a new deal aimed at stemming the flow of migrants attempting to enter the UK illegally. The French port
of Calais has seen desperate migrants attempting to climb onto trucks to travel through the Channel Tunnel, as it is known.
Britain is to reopen its embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran. According to the Reuters news agency, it is expected to happen this
weekend. Four years after it was closed when protesters ransacked the building and burned the British flag.
Well, the deepening migrant crisis in Europe has led Macedonia to declare a state of emergency. The measure applies to two regions bordering
Greece. Macedonia calling out the army to stem what it calls a massive influx if migrants crossing the Greek border.
Now to the west, Britain and France are taking new steps, as I was discussing, to tackle the crisis in their own back yards. They want to
stop scenes like these, migrants desperately trying to reach the Channel Tunnel to sneak into Britain.
Well, today the UK and France announced a joint crisis centered to crack down on human smugglers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD CAZENEUVE, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Traffickers who are part of international criminal organizations must be
prosecuted and their organizations dismantled.
We need to send a very strong signal from Calais that you can't cross the border, which we run together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, many of the refugees who come to Europe are Syrians who make their way through Turkey.
The town of Bodrum on the Aegean coast is a major transport -- transit point, a jarring development as you can imagine, for the Turkish holiday
destination, which is known as a party spot, or hotspot even.
Arwa Damon has more.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Their strength sapped, the weak electric motor useless in this night's strong currents. This
group of Pakistani migrants is forced back to shore.
They failed and quickly disappear into the hills along with their dinghy.
Another group paddles in circles and appears to be stuck, but eventually finds the power to break away and is lost in the night.
By day, holidaymakers enjoy this same beach. For them, the Greek Island destination of Kos is just part of the view. the remnants of the
migrants' treacherous journeys litter the shore line -- shoes, clothing, a discarded dinghy.
This is just one of the many launch points that surround the Turkish summer party capital Bodrum.
Just a two minute walk from one of the main party streets with its shops and bars, the screaming music of the marina disco, the migrants wait
for the smugglers to call.
"We haven't decided if we're going to cross yet," one Syrian woman says. "The smugglers keep telling us to wait."
It was the flow of Syrians that turned this Turkish coast line into a major transit for migrants, some from as far away as Myanmar. The migrants
anxiously huddle in small groups, sleep next to their life vests in dimly lit allies, side streets and parks.
Mohammad (ph), who doesn't want his identity revealed out of safety concerns for his family, arrived a week ago from Syria.
"ISIS detained us for two days," he says. "They wanted us to confess that we were coming to Turkey to be trained to fight against them."
After enduring beatings, he says, he was finally released. His friend Noor (ph) has tried to make the trip to Greece five times.
"The smugglers are just mocking us," he says.
Three times the Turkish coast guard caught them. Twice the boat started sinking and they had to swim for shore.
But Europe and all the promises a new life there holds continues to lure them to these waters.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Bodrum, Turkey.
[11:36:25] ANDERSON: Well, you can read more about the migrant crisis on CNN.com. Watch Arwa's powerful report on the dangerous journey. One
Syrian migrant takes to safety in Europe, that is CNN.com.
I want to get you to Yemen now, and a story that we have been following on this show from the very beginning for you: the country's civil
war that slowly been tearing it apart.
Well, today another deadly act, a bomb exploded next to the governor's office in the port city of Aden. The governor wasn't harmed in the attack,
but four people were killed and 10 were wounded.
Loyalists forces recaptured Aden last month. The country's capital Sanaa remains under the control of Houthi rebels.
And those two sides, the loyalists and the Houthis, represent a larger proxy war going on in the region. It's made the country the target of
countless airstrikes and bombings, bearing the brunt of most of it the people of Yemen.
Well, here is my report on what they are having to endure.
ANDERSON: Black smoke billows of Yemen's capital city Sanaa, the sign of another airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition aimed at driving Houthi
rebels out and bringing the government of exiled president Abdul Mansour Hadi back to power.
But after five months of war, there is no end to the conflict in sight and the destruction continues. The human toll is staggering, over 1,500
civilians dead according to the United Nations.
Aid agencies on the ground ringing the alarm bell on Yemen.
MARK KAYE, SAVE THE CHILDREN: There are 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen right now. That's actually 80 percent of
the entire population. Arguably, in terms of sheer statistics, Yemen is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world right now. No other emergency
in the world has so many people who are desperately in need.
ANDERSON: Clearly, essentials like food and water are in short supply. The World Food Program is warning the country is on the brink of
Famine with millions of hungry people facing possible starvation.
Yemen's children are not spared. Kids are in harm's way as the conflict rages on.
UNICEF says on average eight children are killed or maimed daily in Yemen, and nearly 10 million youth need urgent humanitarian aid. So many
in need. But with groups trying to help, strapped by their budgets and challenging logistics of delivering aid, there is little hope.
KAYE: So, when I meet Yemeni people here in Sanaa, all the time they come back to me and they say why are we being ignored? Are we forgotten?
Because what they see in media and also in the response of the international community so far is actually very little. And they can't
understand it. And I personally can't understand it either.
ANDERSON: A crisis the international community cannot afford to ignore.
ANDERSON: Let's take a look at the forces, though, shaping Yemen's future, shall we?
To do that, we're joined now by Farrer al Muslini who is live from Beirut. He's a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center.
I know Farrer you spent some time in Yemen since this civil war broke out, or certainly since the bombing started back in, what, March of this
I think we should simply start with what the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer said to the Associated Press
earlier, and I quote, "the images I have seen from Sana and Aden remind me what I have seen in Syria. So Yemen, after five months, looks like Syria
after five years.
Is it that bad?
[11:40:19] FAREA AL-MUSLIMI, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER: I wish that it was that bad only. I think it's even getting worse because it took
Syria a lot of years to get this degree, while Yemen it has quickly, actually, and not slowly I think sank into this fate.
But what's very similar from the Syrian scenario is the exact international response to the crisis how it have been very slow and most of
the time and efficient. However, it was -- I mean, different case in Yemen that ultimately claim to be a success story. Right now, it's clearly have
not been a story in a matter of success whether in peace or security as was claimed for many years.
Very sadly, the situation in Yemen is worse than everyone can imagine. I think even the number of international organizations are presented is
very limited, because they cannot access the country as easy as you can imagine.
I think the situation and the reality is even worse than what we think we even know.
ANDERSON: So, let's then discuss the situation on the ground. Who is in charge where? And how are these competing political forces, you know,
trying to hold their ground, as it were?
AL-MUSLIMI: I mean, I guess it would easier to map who is not in charge of what than to actually map who is in charge of what in Yemen. For
example, in Aden is no more under the control of the Houthis, but clearly even today it's not necessary under the ruling or under the power and
influence of a President Hadi government.
Today, it's a side attack -- today the attack in Aden is a very clear example for the fact that there is a government vacuum, there is a power
vacuum, there is a security vacuum. And when you have the Houthis out of these areas with the Yemeni government still in exile, that's actually
creating more chaos than is actually solving problems.
And this applies to other parts of the country where (inaudible) and many issues have happened.
ANDERSON: So what about diplomacy then? The Saudi-led coalition met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Qatar earlier this month with
Yemen on the agenda, and this week, Germany and Oman have call for a new UN-backed cease-fire. Importantly, Iran was involved in those talks. Does
Iranian involvement make any cease-fire more realistic? Because we know that several have failed in the past.
I mean, Yemenis must be fed up with what is going on in the background so far as his diplomatic dances are concerned.
AL-MUSLIMI: Yes and no. First, it has been a regional war. It's a part of actually an (inaudible) wars that have been clearly right now
became a part of a regional war that Yemenis have no issue with, or have no sense or relation to.
But the problem is even if these regional powers agree tomorrow, let's say, and these diplomatic efforts coming to success, the problems on the
ground are still the same, and therefore, you know, even if they agree about Yemen tomorrow I'm not sure they will have Yemen still there to agree
I mean, obviously they will make a lot of difference now Iran is involved, because it was not conditioned in the (inaudible) or asked or
expected to behave well in the region. But it's also true this is -- there is more a chance for Iran to influence the Houthis because it's a very low
cost for it. But that has not been clear on the table yet.
ANDERSON: And the report that we started with, I think the point of that was to just remind the world that there are some haunting images,
haunting images of young children, the like of which we haven't seen in years. And they are the human face of this civil war.
How long does it go on?
AL-MUSLIMI: Clearly it have been going for too long. The problem is, you know, even this recent attention to the crisis in Yemen is not -- this
crisis is not new to Yemen, and it's not even just this war. It have been going well for a very long time, but you know it have been always Yemen was
some sort of a Mexico (ph), a goal of something on the side, no one could really give much attention. And in fact, you know, the only concern -- and
that was the problem, is the only concern of the international community have had in Yemen was in AQAP took more power and with groups like al Qaeda
advance it. That is one of the biggest problems is no one at the moment is really I think seriously, including the Yemeni parties is serious or
sincere about any possible peace efforts.
[11:44:58] ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. The devastating situation prompting the United Nations to raise Yemen to its highest level
humanitarian crisis. For more information on how you can help, visit the agency's website, UNICEF.org, that is UNICEF.org.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, she is no stranger to victory like this, but world number one
Serena Williams says she still gets nervous. Our interview with the tennis star is coming up.
Nikki Minaj definitely isn't feeling shy. We look at why this wax statue of the pop star has gotten some people very excited. That's ahead.
ANDERSON: Right, we're following some breaking news out of Greece for you just coming in. Quoting its own sources, Greek network ERT says it
expects the prime minister Alexis Tsipras to hand in his resignation today. If accepted by the Greek president, the move would clear the way for early
elections on September 20.
Now he lost his parliamentary majority after a rebellion by hard- liners in his Syriza Party who are opposed to more austerity. ERT says it is expecting a news conference by Tsipras in the next couple of hours.
Do stand by for that. We'll get you more as we get it here on CNN.
Now even if you don't follow tennis, you have probably heard this name: Serena Williams. In fact, I'm sure you've heard that name.
She is the world's number one tennis player, of course, women's tennis player. But even with all her success, she still gets nervous approaching
center court as she told CNN's Rachel Nichols.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: You seem relaxed about it. How do you manage pressure so that it doesn't overtake you?
WILLIAMS: Well, you should be up early (ph), you come to my practices, because I'm not relaxed at all. I learned a lot about myself.
I learned a lot about myself, I learned to have a tough mind and I face a lot of adversities. You know, I just look forward to being at the
U.S. Open. I'm excited to be there. No one wants to be there more than me.
[11:50:00] NICHOLS: You won Wimbledon. The U.S. soccer team wins the World Cup. There is a woman in the coaching rinks of the NFL this summer.
There are two women serving as assistant coaches in the NBA right now.
What effects do you think this summer of the American female athlete, as a lot of people are calling it, is going to have going forward?
WILLIAMS: I think it's going to have a great effect. You know, I get chill bumps literally thinking about all the stuff that, you know, the
women are doing in sports. You know, I think that we as women are on the rise.
NICHOLS: Well, it's not just what you're doing that no one else has done. It's the age you're doing it at. You're doing at 33 what a lot of
people are doing at 23.
WILLIAMS: I think it just boils down to me being good at what I do. Yes, I'm 33, but if you look at it this way, go to a doctor and you tell
your doctor you're 33, he's like, oh, you're really young. And you're like in the sport, you're like oh you're vintage.
NICHOLS: Let's switch gears and talk about your family. Your sister Venus has been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, which is a condition that
causes your immune system to attack itself. What has that been like for you to go through that with her, especially since you're used to her being the
big sister taking care of you?
WILLIAMS: Yes, it hasn't been easy. Thinking about her and her battle really helps me and has helped me in my career. And that helps me think,
well, I'm healthy and I'm doing well and I don't have any excuses to make.
NICHOLS: You've been taking some college classes as well. How has your sister and what she's been dealing with affected you and what classes
WILLIAMS: Yes, I start taking -- I'm majoring in premedical. So, you know, just looking at Venus in the past few years and being able to find
alternative ways of being healthy and not having to take all these medicines and other stuff has been really important.
NICHOLS: More holistic medicines?
WILLIAMS: Holistic medicines and stuff. So, I kind of really want to focus on that in my field.
NICHOLS: Most professional tennis players, especially ones who are multiple, multiple grand slam champions, are not also premed on the side.
How are you managing all of those?
WILLIAMS: Yes, I don't know. Actually, I was a business major for a while.
WILLIAMS: So I just switched my majors to pre-med. But, I don't know, I just -- I like education and I don't like to sit still.
NICHOLS: You've also taken the time to be a major voice in the national conversation on social issues. You recently tweeted about the
college football player, the unarmed black player, Christian Taylor, who was gunned down by a police officer. You said, quote, "really, are we all
sleeping and this is one gigantic bed nightmare. How many hashtags now reference to all these incidents that keep happening?" What does it feel
like for you to keep reading these stories?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think not just for me, but I think a lot of people in America and outside of America are kind of frustrated and concerned. And
-- but I really think it just boils down to people as a nation pulling together. And it's not just me. And it's not just me speaking out. There's
a lot of people that are speaking out. And it's a -- it's a whole nation that's coming together and we're just asking the same question, why?
NICHOLS: What do you think can happen if people like you, who are in a public position, do talk about these issues more?
WILLIAMS: I mean we're in a state and now times where we have opportunities in social media to express ourselves. You know, who knows,
maybe it won't help but maybe it will just reach the right ears at the right time.
ANDERSON: Serena Williams speaking to one of my colleagues.
I'm going to take a very short break for you. The Greek prime minister is set to call a snap election 20th of September. He -- looks
like he's going to resign. And we're going to do more on that after this short break. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: All right, I promised you that we'd -- I promise you that we'd do more on what is this breaking news out of Greece this hour.
Quoting its own sources, Greek network ERT says it expects Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, seen here, to hand in his resignation today. Now
if that is accepted by the Greek president, the move would clear the way for early elections on September 20.
Now I'll remind you that he lost his parliamentary majority after a rebellion by hard-liners in his Syriza party who are opposed to more
austerity. ERT says it is expecting a news conference by Tsipras in the next couple of hours. Maggie Lake joining us from New York.
I didn't think anybody is surprised by this necessarily, but just how significant is it?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Becky. It's really important to point that out, this is not a surprise. It was widely
expected. And this is being seen as a bid for Alexis Tsipras to consolidate his power.
And it is going to be significant. You'll remember Greece negotiating those bailout terms, very controversial, very unpopular, but it was what
was going to keep them in the euro. And he did see members of his own party defect. They opposed the bailout terms. It went through with the
help of the opposition.
And in fact, they had their first check today from this bailout package. They paid back the ECB loan putting money to work in terms of
getting the banking system back on track. So now that that important hurdle cleared, a lot of people seeing this as a way for Tsipras to try to
consolidate his power, maybe get some of those sort of left-wingers out or away. The Syriza Party likely, I'm being told by experts, to move to the
center. And you might even see them form a coalition government with other parties. But that should create some stability.
One thing that's not in question is Tsipras holding on to power. Most people think this will make him even more powerful. He does well in the
polls. His support has increased even after this based on the fact that most Greeks want to stay in the euro and this is keeping them in the euro.
So, this may -- what's important for investors -- bring some much needed stability to the situation. They're going to have to push through
these reforms. They're going to be unpopular. There's going to be opposition and even protests, but they're necessary to keep them in the
euro, and investors viewing this as a move in the right direction to try to implement some of those reforms, Becky.
ANDERSON: Maggie Lake is out of New York for you on the breaking news this hour. Do stay with us on CNN as we expect that the prime minister of
Greece, Alexis Tsipras, will hand in his resignation today if that is accepted by the Greek president, the move would clear the way for early
elections on September 20.
Quoting its own sources, this information coming to us from Greek network ERT. We'll get that firmed up for you as soon as possible. Stay
with us. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching from the team here in Abu Dhabi. It is a very good evening.