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CONNECT THE WORLD
Startling Discovery Of New Possible Human Ancestor; Russia's Lone Opposition Party Candidate; Israel's Holocaust Survivors Ask Government To Admit Syrian Refugees; Interview with Jordan's Queen Rania; Russia Admits to Supporting Bashar, Denies Buildup of Military Activity in Syria. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired September 10, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:26] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The plight of Syrians fleeing years of war being felt across Europe. But as European capitals struggle to find
a solution, Syria's neighbors grapple with the stress of hosting millions of refugees for decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN RANIA, JORDAN: This is no long a Middle East problem, nor is it exclusively European dilemma, this is for the whole international community
to deal with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Tonight, an exclusive interview with Jordan's Queen Rania, her call for the world to act on Syria and how her country is stepping up
to the plate. That's next.
ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we connect the world.
ANDERSON: Hello and welcome to Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. It is 6:00 in Amman in Jordan. We are out of Jordan's capital
for you this evening. Queen Rania has a message that goes to the heart of this crisis beginning with how it's defined. First, though, the latest on
how this crisis is playing out. This is the scene in southern Hungary where in recent days we've watched migrants literally make a run for what
they hope will be a better life, crossing into the EU from Serbia.
Well, now the weather has taken a turn for the worse. No adequate shelter, just fences lined with barbed-wire.
Well, the goal for so many lies deeper into the bloc: Germany. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said those coming out of economic need
and not persecution will be turned away.
Well, believe it or not, some refugees have already made it even farther north. Denmark says it's tightening restrictions on any one
seeking asylum there.
What you are seeing here is volunteers taking refugees in private cars to Sweden where they hope a warmer welcome awaits.
But the root cause of what we are seeing begins here in the Middle East, much of it over Jordan's border with Syria. And for all the refugees
you see breaking through police lines and pushing into Europe, tiny Jordan is hosting more, many, many more. Today, in an exclusive interview with
CNN, Queen Rania warned of a lost generation vulnerable to exploitation and the lure of extremism if the world doesn't act now to stop this crisis and
the conflict that is feeding it.
RANIA: AS you are seeing now, the European continent is having to deal with it now. And we're talking about numbers exceeding 250,000
refugees going into Europe. And although that seems like a very large number, compared to the 4 million refugees that are now in Jordan, Lebanon,
Turkey and Iraq, it's only a small percentage of the overall number of Syrians trying to seek safety.
So, it is really a tremendous crisis. I think it is a crisis of exceptional magnitude and demands an exceptional response.
ANDERSON: I sense a frustration from you that we are here four years into, for example, the Syrian bloody war. And to a certain extent it seems
that Europe is only now waking up.
RANIA: Well, you know it is frustration for somebody like me in the neighboring country in Jordan to be witnessing what's been happening in
Syria for the past four years. And I think we are where we are today, because of a failure of international diplomacy to push through a political
transition in Syria.
Different countries have competing interests and agendas. And as a result, you know, when people now look at Syria they just see an
intractable political situation. They see crazed terrorists running around. And I think that this vacuum and sovereignty has really turned
Syria into a terrorism incubator. And that is dangerous not just for Syria and not just for the region, but for the rest of the world.
What we would like to see is a European consensus and agreement on how to move forward, because hopefully a consensus like that will encourage
other countries to be part of the larger solution and not to be silent bystanders to what is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.
ANDERSON: The reception and responsibility taken by Jordan has been remarkable. The reception in Europe has been mixed. It's been heartening
to see the hand of friendship extended in some places, but not in other. And we know from experience that there is a risk of a wave, for example, of
Islamophobia. Does that worry you?
RANIA: We need to address those fears. We need to remind the Europeans that these people are not coming to your country by choice. And
actually I hear that this crisis is being referred to as a migrant crisis. They're not migrants. A migrant is somebody who chooses to go to another
country because they're looking for a better job or education or to unite their family. They can choose to go back to their own country and know
that they have the protection of their government. Whereas refugees are literally running for their lives. They're running away from a well-
founded fear of persecution.
What happens if we don't deal with this crisis appropriately.
I'm afraid that more boats will capsize, more children will drown, more people will die on the backs of trucks. And more importantly, I think
as an international community this will be a failure that would lead to a whole generation of people who are dislocated, a generation that at its
most desperate could become susceptible to extremist ideology.
So at the end of the day, we will be playing right into the hands of extremists who as you know will thrive and blossom wherever there's human
desperation and wherever there's human division.
On the other hand, we also really need to close the shortfalls in the humanitarian aid. The UN has only received half of the resources it needs
over the last four years to deal with this issue. They are literally, them and other humanitarian agencies, are literally running out of money.
We in Jordan felt it because the World Food Program had to cut assistance to 229,000 refugees here in Jordan because of a lack of funds.
The UNHCR as of June this year only received one quarter of the appeal they made for the funds that they need to deal with the issue this year.
So, we must do better.
ANDERSON: Short-term, European leaders are grappling with how many refugees they might take at any one time, whether they should impose a
quota system. Long-term, the solution has to be focused on what is the crisis at home. If any of these refugees can look to a safe future back in
RANIA: Quick repatriation has to be the end goal.
I think the Syrians themselves want that more than anything is to go back to their country, to their livelihoods, to their neighborhoods, to
reunite with their families.
This is a tremendous crisis. We cannot fail these people. They are running away from something so terrifying. What is our message to them if
we don't help them. That although you've risked everything to reject an extreme ideology of hatred and division that we're sending you right back
to it? Each and every one of us has to try to do something because at the end of the day we are human beings.
So I think a little empathy will lead to compassion and compassion will compel us to act.
ANDERSON: Well, as Queen Rania said, this is no longer just a Middle East problem. It's also not just Europe's problem.
We are going to look at the full reach of this crisis throughout this hour. Later, we'll walk the supermarket aisle with a Syrian refugee trying
to make her meager food aid stretch to feed a family of seven. We'll have live reports from the front lines of European efforts to deal with the
thousands of new arrivals there.
And we'll hear from holocaust survivors who say these scenes remind them of Europe's darkest days. And they are urging Israel to do the right
thing and give shelter to desperate Syrians.
After the break, Japan deals with a natural disaster. Flood waters strong enough to uproot homes from their foundations. You'll see exactly
where this is happening and the vast number of people affected. That's next.
[11:11:35] ANDERSON: Well, these dramatic images sum up the frantic situation that rescuers are dealing with in eastern Japan. Helicopters
have been plucking people from rooftops as flood waters all but swallow their homes. It's nighttime now and the rescuers are using boats to reach
those still stranded.
You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. Tonight, from Amman in Jordan. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
So far, no fatalities have been reported from this disaster in Japan. But several people are missing. CNN's Will Ripley is in the affected area,
and he filed this report.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A wall of water in Eastern Japan leaving many stranded on rooftops, balconies, anywhere above water. Japan
activating its military, bringing in helicopters, rescue teams, pulling people to safety, searching flooded building for anyone trapped inside.
Japan prone to all kinds of natural disasters, but the rapidly rising Kinugawa River took many by surprise Thursday.
"This is the first time this has happened," says one long-time resident. Tens of thousands got evacuation orders, many had just minutes
carrying what belongings they could, unsure of what to do next.
"I haven't seen anything like this in decades," says this woman. She's one of thousands spending the night at evacuation centers, 100 of
them, providing food, water, and medicine.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warning the region could see more unprecedented heavy rain, meaning potentially more flooding at the already
waterlogged Fukushima nuclear plant. Heavy rains from Tropical storm Etau overwhelming the drainage systems, causing radioactive water to leak into
the ocean for several hours Wednesday. Power company Tepco says the situation is contained. Outside radiation levels normal for now.
The full scale of this disaster unknown. Also unknown, how many people may still be waiting for rescue, surrounding by flood waters, hoping
their house won't be the next one dragged away.
Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
ANDERSON: Well, earlier in the show, you heard my interview with Jordan's Queen Rania. She told me the world needs to come together to help
solve the refugee crisis. But Hungary wants to keep its doors firmly shut.
Well, now there are signs it may be preparing to send troops to fortify its borders.
My colleague Arwa Damon reports even for those who do make it across, conditions are extremely difficult.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, if crossing Europe wasn't hard enough now you have the added element of the fact that
it is raining, turning the route into mud. And people still continuing to come following those train tracks from Serbia into Hungary. Many of them
carrying their children trying to shield them from the weather as much as they can, because it has also gotten quite cold.
And this is the holding area that they're arriving in, in Hungary waiting for those buses to transport them on. Still no permanent
structures here, just these very flimsy tents that have been put up by volunteers. And they are able to get a warm meal. That also, though, an
effort by the volunteers.
No additional support at this key transit site for the many that continue to come.
And across Europe at any given moment there are thousands who are on the road just trying to get to their final destinations in western Europe.
This family here huddled...
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
[11:15:22] DAMON: They've been on the road 11 days right now. They're from Syria.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
DAMON: They've only just got the clothes that they're wearing right now when they arrived here. Those were also donations.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
When they got here, they were absolutely drenched. They were completely finished.
Now, like so many others trying to rest up a bit. But Becky, as European leaders are trying to figure out the exact mechanics of how to
divvy up responsibilities of various nations, what is critical, especially because winter is approaching is really focusing on these key transit areas
that everyone is coming through to try to ease a little bit of the misery that we're seeing around us.
ANDERSON: Well, that was Arwa Damon reporting.
Denmark, another important crossing point for migrants, it's now reopened rail links, and a highway from Germany after temporarily closing
them off on Wednesday.
Many migrants are trying to pass through the country on their way to Sweden, which has a much more friendly policy for refugees, hundreds of
them initially refused to get off a train in the Danish town of Rotby (ph), worried that they've be forced to apply for asylum there rather than in
So, volunteers offered to drive them the rest of the way, nearly 200 kilometers in all, to Malmo in Sweden.
Well, there is a lot more on European countries' patchwork response to the flow of people across their borders on the website, as you would
expect, at CNN, including this story looking at the European Union's latest plans requiring member nations to take in more refugees. For all of that
and an awful lot more, head online CNN.com -- CNN.com.
We move now to Syria. It's an important juncture isn't it at this point, where many of those refugees in Europe come from having escaped that
country's bloody civil war. It's one that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced almost 12 million people, four of those outside of
the country, some 7 million or 8 million people inside. That's roughly the population of Moscow.
Well, today, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov talked about the humanitarian and military equipment being flown in to Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We have helped and will continue aiding the Syrian government and equipping the
Syrian army with all that is necessary for it to prevent a repetition in Syria of the Libyan scenario and other sad events that have occurred in
this region, because of an obsession by some of our western partners with ideas of changing unwanted regimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, strong words, then, from Sergey Lavrov on the military aid that Russia is providing to Syrian government forces.
For more, Matthew Chance joining me now from Moscow. And Russia has been adamant that Bashar al-Assad must stay, that is the Syrian president
of course. The U.S. and other powers say he must go.
Does this make that less likely, Matthew?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it shows, doesn't it, that Russia, those comments from Sergey Lavrov, that Russia is
apparently drawing a land in the sand. It's seen, as Mr. Lavrov said, at what happened in Libya. It doesn't want to see the same thing happen in
Syria. Of course, Syria is Russia's most longstanding ally in the Middle East.
At the same time, Moscow has been adamantly rejecting any of these reports that it's increasing its forces inside Syria and taking a more
active role in the combat operations that are taking place alongside the Syrian government forces.
CHANCE: This is the fighting the Kremlin insists it has no part of. The Russian foreign ministry confirms its troops are in Syria, but to train
it says, not to fight.
LAVROV (through translator): Their presence is tied to delivery of arms for the Syrian army that is taking the brunt in the fight against
terrorism for the Islamic State and other extremist groups.
CHANCE: But there are persistent concerns in the west that Russian involvement goes much further, fueled in part by images on Syrian
television, one showing a Russian-made armored vehicle of a modern type painted in Russian camouflage and not seen in Syria before.
In another scene, a Russian voice can be heard shouting orders amid the fighting.
It's not proof of Russian involvement in Syrian combat, but the U.S. secretary of state, of course with access to U.S. intelligence reports, has
called his Russian counterpart twice on the issue in less than a week.
[11:20:09] JOHN KIRBY, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: He reiterated our concern about these reports of Russian military activities or buildup,
if you will, in Syria and made very clear our view that if true and if born out, those reports could lead to greater violence.
CHANCE: But it's to curb the violence why Russia says it will continue to equip the Syrian army, to help its ally Bashar al-Assad defeat
ISIS, the Kremlin says, and to prevent his regime from being changed.
CHANCE: Well, Becky, the Russian concern is two-fold. First of all, if the Syrian government falls, that of Bashar al-Assad, Moscow's concern
that it's influence in the Middle East would also be damaged, perhaps beyond repair. So it very much wants to avoid that.
But it's also concerned that if the Islamists -- ISIS and other rebel groups -- take over the country that could have reverberations for its own
security in its own backyard, remember in the north Caucuses where Russia is fighting its own sort of low level Islamist insurgency at the moment.
And many ISIS commanders, for instance, are Chechens. And so it wants to avoid any kind of knock on effect from that civil war in its own backyard.
ANDERSON: Matthew, we've heard a lot about Russia's involvement in Syria from outside of the country. There's much debate about it, of
course, inside, too. Here's what Nickolai Kosanov (ph) from the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank had to say in the Moscow Times. You'll have
seen this. I quote for our viewers.
After the Soviet operation in Afghanistan, our public opinion has certain prejudices against sending troops to fight for ideals that are
foreign to us. Foreign ideals.
What do Russians make of all of this, Matthew?
CHANCE: Well, I think that that's certainly true that, you know, for many years now, since the end of the Afghan war, there's been a reluctance
on the part of Russians to countenance any possibility of, you know, a full scale military intervention in an overseas country. They were so bloodied
in their experience in Afghanistan.
But, you know, that started to change a little bit. We've seen the experience in Georgia in 2008 where Russian forces crossed the border and
intervened there. That there's been a situation of course denied by Russia in Eastern Ukraine. And so the Russian public has been, you know, a little
more gotten used to the idea of Russian military adventures overseas.
When it comes to Syria, I think there's a lot of pressure from inside the Russian public as well for Russia to even do more. It is this
longstanding ally. There are these security concerns. And so I think there will be a greater degree of acceptance were Russia to step up its
military role in that country.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you this evening. Matt, thank you.
Live from Amman in Jordan, you're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I haven't eaten meat in two months. My son tells me he wants meat. He wants chicken. We keep only
eat sugar and oil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Feeding a family of seven on less than $4 a day. We go shopping with one of the man vulnerable Syrian families here in Jordan as
they face further aid cuts with winter approaching.
First up, though, a bird's eye view of a booming port. CNN's Silk Road series has been on the road for much of this year charting the
historic route's traditions and trade from its starting point in China through central Asia and beyond. And this month we've arrived on the
rugged coastline of Arabia. Oman up next.
[11:25:35] SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every day, an average of five to six giant vessels sale into the port of Salalah laden
with tens of thousands of containers.
This vessel set sail from India two days ago. It's headed to South Africa, making a pit stop in Salala (ph) to offload goods that will be
transferred to smaller ships to cities like Dubai, Mogadishu, and Hong Kong.
This process is called transshipment. And Salalah has become a regional hub for it, for one main reason...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are located in the middle of the world between east and west. So it's all makes Salalah (inaudible) in general is one of
the best countries for the container business.
UDAS: Cargo ships sailing the Indian Ocean can bypass the narrow and congested Strait of Hormuz by coming to Salalah. It cuts travel time by a
few days and is significantly cheaper for traders making Salalah one of the most popular entry points to the Middle East, India and Africa and the
second biggest port in the region.
More than 25 trains load and unload containers that can weigh anywhere from 20 to 40 tons.
And the men doing the heavy lifting have a bird's eye view sitting 42 meters above us.
Sirish has been operating cranes here for nearly a decade witnessing the 24 hour operations from his elevated platform where speed and
efficiency are key.
SIRISH, CRANE OPERATOR: We can take more than 60, 70 containers per hour.
UDAS: 60, 70 containers in an hour?
SIRISH: In an hour.
UDAS: This port is expected to handle more than 12 million tons of cargo this year and there are plans to grow even further, hoping to bring
in more vessels and more visitors as Oman tries to diversify its economy away from oil and map out a new future, one that's dependent on the sea.
Sumnima Udas, CNN, along the Silk Road.
[11:30:37] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of Amman, Jordan at half past 6:00. These are the top
Rescuers in Japan are still trying to reach several people missing after devastating flooding in three eastern prefectures. Since Monday,
Typhoon Etau and its remnants dump more than 60 centimeters of rain in some areas.
Austria's national railway company says that it's indefinitely suspending train services to and from Hungary, blaming the massive
congestion being caused by migrants who are traveling from Hungary to Germany and beyond.
Well, in the race for the White House, a new CNN/ORC poll, shows Donald Trump with a 13 poin lead over his nearest Republican challenger Ben
Carson. Trump is the first candidate on the Republican side to reach at least 30 percent. Meanwhile, a separate poll done by Quinnipiac University
shows Bernie Sanders with a one point lead over Hillary Clinton in the key state of Iowa.
Iraq's prime minister is implemented sweeping reforms meant to curb government corruption and improved efficiency. Haider al-Abady removed 123
deputy ministers and other officials from their posts. He said Iraq has far too many government employees around 20 percent of the current
Well, Russia acknowledged that it is providing both military and humanitarian assistance to Syria, but foreign minister Sergey Lavrov denied
reports that Moscow is increasing its military presence in the war-torn country. The United States has warned a Russian military buildup there
would only make the situation worse.
Well, to our main story and a global migrant crisis that has a huge local impact. We're live in Amman tonight from the heart of a country that
has taken in refugees from across the region for decades.
I want to bring you, our viewers, some figures that lay bare the magnitude of what this small country of Jordan faces today after more than
four years of war in neighboring Syria.
The kingdom says its home to around 1.4 million Syrian refugees at an estimated cost of almost $3 billion this year alone and as Queen Rania of
Jordan told me earlier, even aid agencies are struggling to cope.
The UN's World Food Program has had to cut aid to more than 200,000 refugees in Jordan, even for those still receiving help, life is incredibly
We went shopping with one Syrian woman to see exactly how much her food vouchers were worth. Have a look at this.
ANDERSON: Warood Ahmed Hamsho monthly food shop at a supermarket in a northern neighborhood of Amman. It's tough for this 45 year old mother of
seven to make ends meet relying as she does as a Syrian refugee almost wholly on assistance from the World Food Program.
Since the beginning of this year, that aid has been cut by half. At around $14 per month her electronic food vouchers now amount to the
equivalent to just 50 cents per day per family member.
WAROOD AHMED HAMSHO, SYRIAN REUGEE (through translator): I decreased a lot of my grocery needs. I cook only with oil. I haven't eaten meat for
two months. My son tells me he wants meat, he wants chicken. We keep only eating sugar and oil and we hope they don't keep cutting our coupons.
For god's sake, find us a solution. I beg them. I beg them not to cut the food coupons.
ANDERSON: Warood's family fled their hometown of Homs in Syria in 2013 fearing for their lives after the death of one of her sons and
(inaudible) of her husband at the hands of the Syrian regime.
Home, for now at least, is this two room dwelling.
Warood's family is considered one of the more vulnerable with so many mouths to feed and no steady income. As such, they still qualify for
But due to a lack of funding, more than 200,000 families, a third of the Syrian refugees here in Jordan, no longer have any food aid at all
meaning that a meal like this, however meager, is considered somewhat of a blessing.
The UN says that food insecurity amongst refugees is drastically increasing as the years go by with families like Warood's living below the
And with so many having lost their breadwinner, they are reaching rock bottom.
Can you show me a picture of your husband? And what happened to him?
HAMSHO (through translator): He went to get a car license. When he was at the license department, they arrested him. The government security
intelligence put him inside the car and took him away. I don't know what happened.
ANDERSON: I ask Warood what would happen if her food assistance was cut further.
HAMSHO (through translator): Either I go back to Zaatari or I go back to Syria under the shelling and the bombardment. If it wasn't for my sons,
I'd go back to Syria now.
ANDERSON: Warood is not giving up hope of going home, but for now she just appeals to the international community to not forget about their
ANDERSON: I said it before, and I'll say it again, this is a human catastrophe. And this isn't just a problem for governments to deal with,
you can help directly with these refugees. The World Food Program welcomes donations from the public. They need some 230 odd million dollars just to
keep giving this year. You can contribute to helping giving food to the refugees like Warood that you just saw and many others like her and her
family by going online to WFP.org/Syria.
Well, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for help in turning back the tide, as he calls it, of militant Islam in the Middle
East. He met with the British Prime Minister David Cameron in London today. They had a range of issues on the agenda, including the Syrian war
and the Iran nuclear agreement, which Israel of course bitterly opposes.
Mr. Netanyahu made brief remarks before the closed door talks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The Middle East is a (inaudible) under the twin forces of militant Islam and militant Sunnis led
by ISIS and militant Shiites led by Iran. And I believe that we can cooperate in practical ways to roll back the tide of militant Islam both in
the Middle East and in Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDESON: Right. Well, hundreds of people in London protest ahead of Mr. Netanyahu's visit to London. Critics outnumber his supporters, some
waving free Palestine flags and demanding his arrest over alleged war crimes during Israel's war in Gaza last year.
Let's get you to Israel then and bring in CNN's Oren Liebermann. He's following developments from there tonight.
What more do we know about today's meeting in London, Oren?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we know that the number one issue for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was
security, not specifically the Iran deal, but that would have been a bit part of that as he said earlier today in his meeting with David Cameron,
but also the threat with ISIS, which isn't all that far from Israel's border.
So, that was the number one topic.
At this point, Mr. Netanyahu knows he's lost in the fight against the Iran deal, and it very much looks like it will go through. So he's looking
at the day after, what sort of military cooperation can there be, not only with the UK, but of course also with the U.S.
But the second topic in Prime Minister Netanyahu's agenda was the peace process. Netanyahu says he's ready right now to begin negotiations
on the peace process without preconditions.
Now that's a big statement, but it could also be seen as perhaps a political statement with the UN general assembly meeting just a few weeks
away and the Palestinian push for recognition could be a big issue there, Becky.
So, a few big statement here, no surprise here. Of course, that prime minister Netanyahu is focused on security and still on the Iran deal.
ANDERSON: Yeah. Mr. Netanyahu rejecting calls, Oren, to take in Syrian refugees fleeing civil war. This is a story that we've been
dedicated to day in, day out. Is that a popular decision in Israel?
LIEBERMANN: Well, there's very much a growing debate here. Israel of course shares a very tense border with Syria. And there's a growing call
here that Israel should help, should take in refugees. And although it's very much split here and it would be very difficult politically for that to
happen, for Israel to take in those refugees, one group that has come out very much in favor of helping refugees are Holocaust survivors.
LIEBERMANN: Refugee-loaded trains running again in Europe, a traumatic reminder of a nightmare child for Collete Avital. She was born
in Romania in 1940.
COLLETE AVITAL, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: We've been refugees ourselves, because we in the '30s and '40s found all the gates closed in front of us.
Because when you see the scene of what has happened at the train station in Budapest, you can't forget the trains that led the Jews to their deaths
LIEBERMANN: Avital remembers her family being forced from their home when she was a little girl, and years of hiding in terror from the Nazis.
She looks at pictures from 70 years ago and shudders.
Avital is one of a growing number of Holocaust survivors calling on Israel to take in refugees.
Why does the refugee crisis in Europe strike such a cord with Holocaust survivors?
[11:40:17] AVITAL: I think many of them have been traumatized by the kind of pictures they have seen, by the number of people on the roads with
babies. Certainly the picture of that baby dead on the beach is something which has been a wake up call to many.
LIEBERMANN: There's been a growing debate within Israel about whether to take in any refugees since Israel and Syria share a tense border. But
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it would threaten Israel's security.
NETANYAHU (through translator): Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and geographic depth; therefore, we
must control our borders, both against illegal migrants and terrorism.
LIEBERMANN: When Jews speak of the Holocaust they often says, "Never again." They won't let it happen again. Avital says for that to mean
something, "never again" has to apply to everyone.
LIEBERMANN: A very powerful call, and a very powerful comparison there from Holocaust survivors. But Becky that's unlikely to change Prime
Minister Netanyahu's mind. He is staunchly opposed to taking in Syrian refugees at this point.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and you've been suggesting that that society is very polarized on this issue. What are those saying in defense of Netanyahu's
line that the policy should be one of closed doors.
LIEBERMANN: It's a security issue is the number one concern there we're hearing from that side saying it's simply too much of a threat to
Israel's security to take in refugees at this point.
And again, Israel and Syria are not two nations that have gotten along well in the past. And there is that very tense border, a fence there, a
smart fence that has cameras and other security measures there.
But it's also a function of the fact that Israel has refugees here, not from Syria or the Middle East, but from Africa. And some politicians
have said, look, we can't take in more refugees until we've figured out what to do with the 45,000 African refugees that are already here. They
already live in a state of essentially flux trying to figure out what to do from day-to-day without some sort of permanent solution to how to keep them
here, or how not to keep them here.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem for you this evening.
We're live out of Amman in Jordan. Thank you, Oren. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, how a discovery in this South
African cave could transform the way we view human evolution.
First up, though, find out how one of Rome's most iconic streets is undergoing a foreign renaissance.
[11:45:04] JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Via Veneto, a street that's synonymous with the Italian scooter. As I tour the area
where I once lived, it's hard not to think of Federico Fellini's classic La Dolce Vita.
So I made my way to the venue at the center of the Harry's Bar to meet the man who captured it all.
The king of papparrazi Reno Barillette (ph), who shared tales of famous photos and being roughed up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It was like a theater. All the international stars -- John Wayne, Kid Douglas (ph), Humphrey Bogart --
they all walked this street.
DEFTERIOS: Today's Via Veneto is a shadow of its former self. The best example, the once famed Cafe de Paris, shuttered by police for alleged
links to an Italian crime family.
But times are achanging. Five star hotels have struck a cord with foreign buyers. This liberty styled hotel, the Regina Balloni (ph) was
bought by a Qatari sovereign fund. Next door, there's the Grand Palace, scooped up by a Singaporean hotel group. And across the street, the fabled
Excelsior is on the sales block.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who are we to change the essence of the history of Rome. No, no, no.
DEFTERIOS: Marc Lanoir (ph) is general manger of the Excelsior and the St. Regis (ph), yet another purchase by Qatari hotel group allowing for
a well funded renovation plan.
How would you describe this burst of investment into the hospitality sector throughout this zone of Rome?
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: In the city center of Rome, there is not much space to build new hotels. I mean, what you need to do is whatever is
there I mean, just renovate it and I mean you're going to have a return on investment, which is going to be very fast.
DEFTERIOS: A map of the area captures the investment picture. All told, there have been six hotel transactions in two years.
This buying spree stretches from here, Via Veneto in Rome, to Venice in the north and cities like Milan and Florence. And it's been interpreted
in two ways by Italians. One, as an endorsement to the country's potential in tourism. But number two, there are real concerns expressed about
selling hospitality treasures of the country to foreign buyers.
But patriotism aside, locals are keen on investment, whether from home or away. The general manager of Harry's Bar and the head of the Via Veneto
association has produced five books to illustrate how he believes the city government of Rome has neglected the brand of the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government has not invested in Via Veneto. The people don't possible walk, you know, everything is closed.
DEFTERIOS: His friend Reno sees the foreign investment wave as the last hope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If they don't invest, everything collapses.
DEFTERIOS: It's not reliving the 1960s, but today the beauty of Via Veneto lies in the eyes of the foreign beholder.
John Defterios, CNN, Rome.
ANDERSON: Well, scientists say that they've made an unprecedented discovery inside a cave in South Africa. Fossils of a new species have
been found, which could be an ancestor of humans. It has been named Homo Naledi. And there are signs that it was able to bury its dead, a behavior
scientists had thought was limited to humans. David McKenzie has more.
[11:50:08] LEE BERGER, PROFESSOR: On the left is the entrance to where we went down the chambers.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Descending into the Rising Star Cave, Professor Lee Berger puts a startling new discovery into
BERGER: This is like opening up Tutankhamen's tomb.
MCKENZIE: Burger and his team of scientists say they've uncovered a new species of the human family tree. They call it Homo Naledi.
BERGER: We thought we have it figured out. We thought we knew how human origins worked.
MCKENZIE: He says what they found deep underground will shake our understanding of human evolution.
There are miles of tunnels underground here. And sometimes it's the tightest of fits. They had to recruit what they called underground
astronauts, to get in and make the discoveries.
K. LINDSAY HUNTER, SCIENTIST: He had posted that he was looking for skinny scientists.
MCKENZIE: Like many others, Lindsay Hunter answered Berger's Facebook ad.
The dangerous job mostly fell to scientists who were able to crawl through the narrow passages.
What they found was extraordinary.
A chamber of more than 1,500 fossilized bones coming up with the controversial conclusion that this is a burial ground that Homo Naledi
could have used fire to light the way.
BERGER: We've just encountered another species that perhaps thought about its own mortality and went to great risk and effort to dispose of its
dead in a deep, remote chamber right behind us.
MCKENZIE: It questions what makes us human.
BERGER: It absolutely questions what makes us human. And I don't think we know anymore.
MCKENZIE: It's extraordinarily human like.
BERGER: It is, in part. Superficially, short fingers, long thumb.
MCKENZIE: Homo Naledi is not human, but at times comes close.
The original fossils are a strange mosaic of ancient and surprisingly modern. A brain no bigger than an orange, but feet almost identical to
And every one of these tells a story
BERGER: Every one of them is a mystery to science.
MCKENZIE: And leaves many unanswered questions. They haven't been able to date the fossils yet, so Homo Naledi may have lived tens of
thousands of years ago or even millions.
BERGER: This was right under our nose and we didn't see it. What else is out there.
MCKENZIE: Perhaps the very key to unlocking the story of humankind.
ANDERSON: Well, let's get the latest on what is this remarkable discovery. David joining us now from Johannesburg.
The question is what else is out there? I mean that's what the scientist himself has posed as a question. David, what more have we
MCKENZIE: Well, what we've learned is that this find is kind of breaking all kinds of records. I want to put this in perspective, Becky.
Around Johannesburg, it's known as the cradle of humankind. There have been extremely significant finds over the decades, in fact for the last 90
years. This find has more fossils than all of those combined.
There's a very complete record of what they call Homo Naledi. There were infants, teenagers, elderly and very elderly remains in that very hard
to reach chamber where they had to squeeze through a space, some 18 centimeters wide. They called it the post box to get inside there.
This was right under our noses, as Lee Berger says, but it was very difficult to get to.
What they say now is there could be hundreds, if not thousands more specimens inside that cave. And it could lead to even more questions about
our human story -- Becky.
ANDERSON: And that tiny shoot suggest that these were small beings, as it were. How long will it take to put an age on these fossils that have
been found. Did the scientists give us any clue?
MCKENZIE: Well, that's what's interesting, because they did talk a lot about the theories to us that they felt were proven by the facts,
including that Homo Naledi buried, or disposed of its dead.
Now, I must put it into perspective again, that cave, there was potentially a different kind of entrance in the time that they disposed of
the dead. Still, they say, it was fully dark, some 100 meters perhaps from the nearest light source, so very dangerous, which leads them to speculate
perhaps this species was able to control fire.
That, in itself, is extraordinary, because generally fire is believed to be something controlled only by modern humans, some 100,000 years and
But they do believe that this find could bring up more details of what Homo Naledi was like. And also that similar caves in the region should be
explored as a matter of urgency.
[11:55:16] ANDERSON: Remarkable stuff. David, thank you.
Viewers, if you use social media you'll know that this story is absolutely exploded. Huge interest in what is going on there down in South
Africa and what happens next.
You can follow this story we're working on as a team throughout the day, including what is this fascinating discovery. Do use the Facebook
page, Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Tell us what you think of the new species, or whatever we're talking about and discussing on the show. Get in touch
on Twitter. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN -- @BeckyCNN.
Well, in tonight's Parting Shots a tortoise, a biker and a dog -- no, not the start of some bad joke, but some of the new additions to the
Guinness Book of World Records this year. Have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG GLENDAY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: It's been a remarkable year for record breaking. We've sifted through about 1,000
applications every week for the past year to bring you some of the most amazing, awe inspiring records.
We've got a Texas longhorn steer that's got incredible rack, a three meter wide horns. And also Purin the dog whose got the record for catching
balls in his paws.
MARCO CALZINI, BERDIE'S OWNER: This is very unusual for a tortoise to be so active. We're so proud of Berdie to be a Guinness World Record
GLENDAY: In Japan, we find an incredible BMX trick artist who smashed some great records this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that closes out the show. From Amman in Jordan from the team here, for those who are working with us at homebase in Abu Dhabi
in the UAE, and those working with us around the world, it is a very good evening.