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Music Legend David Bowie Dies at 69; What's Next for El Chapo?; Aid Trucks Reach Starving Residents of Madaya, Syria; Who Will Blink First: Iran Softens Language, Blames Saudi For Regional Conflicts. Aired 11:00a- 12:00p ET

Aired January 11, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:17] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The world pays tribute to rock legend David Bowie. This hour, we look back to Heddon Street in London

where Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust first touched down.

Also ahead this hour, help at last. Aid trucks finally enter the stark Syrian town of Madaya. Could this signal progress in the effort to

get aid to the thousands of other Syrians living in dire conditions?

And a daring escape, a bloody shootout and arrest. What's next for Mexico's most notorious drug lord? Now the extradition process to the U.S.

is underway. A report on El Chapo coming up.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: A very good evening. Just after 8:00 here in the UAE.

Well, tributes pouring in from around the world for legendary British rocker David Bowie. He died on Sunday at the age of 69 after battling

cancer a short time after releasing his final album Black Star.

CNN's Brian Stelter takes a look back at the life of an extraordinary artist who inspired fans and fellow musicians alike.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Legendary British Singer David Bowie, who indelibly influenced generations with his eclectic persona and

groundbreaking sound, dead at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Bowie's publicist confirming the icon died peacefully surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of

you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief.

His son tweeting very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while, love to all.

A illustrious career spanning over 40 years, Bowie was born in South London as David Jones, bursting on the scene in 1969 with the smash hit

Space Oddity.

And later as his ethereal space alien alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.

Bowie's flamboyyant theatrics and fashion forward style, becoming a signature hallmark of the genre defined pop fixture.

His music a rally cry for misfits everywhere.

In 1996, Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and awarded a Grammy lifetime achievement award ten years later.

His long time wife, super model Iman, a steady fixture by his side.

Bowie, a master of reinvention, continued working, dipping in and out of the public eye, releasing his latest album "Black Star" just days ago on

his 69th birthday, much to critical acclaim. The album, topping charts in the UK and U.S.

Highlighting Bowie's unparalleled ability to continue to push the envelope even after four decades in the industry.


ANDERSON: Well, that was Brian reporting for you.

Erin McLaughlin joins me now from Heddon Street in London where the cover photo for Bowie's 1972 album Ziggy Stardust was shot.

And a different Soho from Bowie's haunt in the 1970s, Erin, but for those old enough to remember the era, fond memories today, I'm sure, of a

man who was a figurehead of pop's avant garde.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. And today, the sound of David Bowie very much in the air here in central London.

They're actually playing his music over loud speakers, which is being treated to songs from Black Star, which is of course the album that he last

filed in February days before his death, marking his 69th birthday. It was his 29th album.

And it's fitting that their playing that here, of course, because I am on Heddon Street. This is where Ziggy Stardust first landed all the way

back in 1972. There's a plaque to remember Ziggy Stardust, one of the few plaques here in London in tribute to a fictional character.

And it's here that some of his most ardent fans have been coming to lay flowers and pay their respects. Among those fans, Michael from

Brighton. He joins me now.

Michael, just describe for me what it's like to be here today.

MICHAEL, DAVID BOWIE FAN: Quite strange, quite eerie. I just felt I needed to come somewhere where I could be physically close to saying thanks

and good-bye. So I didn't think it was going to be this strange, but I shouldn't be surprised having been a fan of his for such a long time, and

knowing the effect that Bowie has had on the culture of music.

MCLAUGHLIN: And in 1972, you were just telling me you were 11.

MICHAEL: I was 11 years old, before the infamous Starman on top of the pop stand, I was

already listening to John Peel on the radio, who would play alternative choices of music in those days. And the old gray was just on TV. So I saw

it just prior to Ziggy Stardust coming out, so it had an immediate effect on me as a young musician as I was then.

MCLAUGHLIN: Talk to me about that effect. What sort of impact did he have on your life?

MICHAEL: Well, I guess at the time, 1972, it was quite a gray landscape here. The music was gray. There was denim and leather or there

was sugary pop, and he showed an alternative to what I was hearing going on around me.

He had different soundscapes. And I could see that he was very, very different, that he could show a way that was alternative at the time.

MCLAUGHLIN: One fan I was speaking to told me that he showed us that it's okay to be different.


MCLAUGHLIN: Would you agree with that?

MICHAEL: Absolutely. And I think he then became the role model for a lot of music that came after that, whether it was punk, whether it was new

age, the new romantics, he showed them that they could do something that was alternative, that wasn't mainstream. And I think he gave them the

impetus and the sanctions to say, yes, we can go do something that's absolutely different.

MCLAUGHLING: And you listened to Black Star, his latest album. What do you think?

MICHAEL: I think it's -- I think it's a fantastic album. We're listening to Black Star, the title track, in the background now. And I

kind of had an inkling that he wasn't quite so well. There was all sorts rumors in the past year about his health. It's easy now to listen to this

and see in retrospect now that he's died that it has some sort of other meaning. But what I'm really happy about was that he

was able to record something of substance that was already critically acclaimed in reviews before it was released, before he actually died,

because I think that substantiates that what his value was and what his worth was and just how clever and intelligent of a musician he was.

MCLAUGHLIN: Black Star, it's an interesting title. What does that mean for you?

MICHAEL: I'm not sure what it means now, because it only came out three days ago. There's all sorts of stories about what Black Star

actually means, but for me now it means something different. And I'm not sure it can be totally related to his death, so you just have to go back

and listen to it and try and hear what he was trying to say.

MCLAUGHLIN: and one of the things that really struck me being here is just the emotional connection the fans have had to not only his music but

also to the fan himself. Why is that?

MICHAEL: I think it's because he's giving some -- he's been a soundtrack to your life, or it meant something to your life, you've got a

connection with him. And the reason I came up, really, was because I woke up and I heard the news this morning I was generally grieved. And I was

listening to to the Vox Pops and everything else that was going on and I just thought, no, I want to be somewhere where I can actually be a bit

closer to it and say thanks and good-bye.

MCLAUGHLIN: Thanks very much.

Becky, back to you.

ANDERSON: That was Heddon Street in London in Soho. He was a Londoner himself. We're going to continue to look back at David Bowie's

musical legacy. Thank you, Erin.

Later on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, journalist Mary Finnegan writes about her relationship with the musician in the book,

Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab. She's my guest in about ten minutes time.

More on Bowie's life just ahead on Connect the World.

Well, to Syria now for you where at least 15 people were killed, including around 12 children

in air strikes on schools in a town near Aleppo. That information coming in to CNN from the opposition-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Now the group says the toll in the town of Injara (ph) is likely to rise because there are still people missing under the rubble. And UN food

aid is now finally reaching some 60,000 civilians trapped inside three towns in Syria amid reports of horrific hunger and deaths from starvation.

An aid convoy set off from Damascus this Monday and several trucks have begun arriving in the rebel-held town of Madaya.

Activists accused the Syrian government of besieging the town since July, refusing to allow people out or supplies in.

Now, two towns besieged by rebels will also receive food aid at the same time. Residents in the pro-government town of Fua and Ketraya have

been surrounded by rebels since March last year.

Amnesty International says starvation is being used as a weapon of war by both the Syrian government and by rebel groups.

Well, for more on the situation on the ground, I want to bring in CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh who is tonight

for you in Beirut.

And Nick, first, what sort of challenges have these aid convoys faced in negotiating access to this first town of Madaya?

[11:11:29] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first two problems revolve around distance and distrust and the

distance between Damascus where some of the aid has to come for it to reach Madaya and then the northern areas where they have to get aid into the Fua

and Ketraya, the two pro-government towns besieged by rebels, these two things had to happen simultaneously.

So, you have to get the convoys heading for Fua and Katraya on the move before you move towards Madaya. They had to stage at certain points

along the way, exchange information, and then move in to those towns at the same time.

Now, the distrust, of course, plays into that as well, because we're talking about negotiations between the people all of whom -- well, the

Syrian government, the Syrian rebels, each besieging separate towns for months now, so the animosity, there, playing heavily into the capacity of

this to have gone badly wrong, but as about a half an hour to an hour ago, we are learning that the first trucks have gone in to Madaya. Four of

them, two carrying barrels of food, two carrying winter clothing, blankets to try and ease the sort of cold, the temperature here setting in through


One source on the convoy telling me how women, men, elderly people wept as they saw these convoys move in and how now dark is falling, it is

dark behind me, and will be in Madaya as well. They're trying to move the whole convoy in before night falls in proper.

So, yes, a positive piece of news here, but we only got to this point when the UN were allowed to organize these convoys after a harrowing number

of days, seeing starvation as activists claimed and images showing starvation as some activist claimed inside the city, figures emerging from

Medicins sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders, of 23 people having died from hunger-related illness since early December. That now seems to have

risen to about 30. Doctors providing as much as evidence as they can to back that up.

But of course still in Fua and Ketraya, there have been lengthy problems there as well since March where they last saw themselves not in a

state of siege, and Madaya itself hasn't received aid like this since mid- October.

So, hunger, starvation, a weapon of war across this conflict. Now food often in short supply, but this one instance here, at least a bit of

positive news today, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, very briefly, what chance now that this effort can provide a precedence for humanitarian aid to other towns and cities where

people, quite frankly, are suffering?

WALSH: Well, this is the latest in a number of initiatives that have been designed to not build trust, necessarily, but answer the obvious

question between both sides where wounded have been allowed out of one city that's been rebel-held while wounded are allowed out of a government-held

town as well.

Over the past few months, we've seen that happen. Part of the UN- brokered political process, which has had some sort of political backbone put to it the problem is that the future of the talks between the

opposition and the government are hampered because of Saudi Arabia and Iran's regional rivalry, because of intense mistrust between both sides.

Everybody wants to (inaudible) other side make the first move. But I think in instances like today in Madaya, it's

just another suggestion that perhaps we might see more kind of political talks to alleviate obvious things that can be done to facility better lives

on the battlefield here are rather than a broader, long series of negotiations that end in a more all around peace, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh out of Beirut for you this evening. Nick, thank you.

Just in to CNN, new video of the raid that led to the capture of the Mexican drug lord, Joaquin Guzman.

Right, well in this you can see Mexican forces moving in on his hideout. We know the shootout. We are told, at least, left six of El

Chapo's people dead.

This video first aired on the Mexican television network Telavisa (ph).

Now Guzman, also known as El Chapo, is now back in the same maximum security prison he

escaped six months ago. He could be extradited to the U.S. where he faces seven drug related indictments.

Only a day after he was captured, it was revealed that Hollywood actor Sean Penn interviewed El Chapo in the Mexican jungle back in October.

Mexican authorities now want to question Penn a bout that interview.

Well, Nick Valencia is standing by outside the prison where El Chap is being held in Mexico. And new pictures on the raid, Nick.

Talk us through what we are learning about his capture at this point?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The process is well underway. The Mexican

government filing that formal paperwork. Interpol agents showing up here at Altiplano penitentiary to process that formal paperwork.

We're told from a senior law enforcement official here in the country that we could see El

Chapo in a U.S. court as early as this summer, other estimates put it at least a year. Of coruse, this all depends on the legal proceedings, this

all depends on just how many injunctions are filed by El Chapo's attorney.

He's already said that he doesn't want his client extradited to U.S. soil. He believes that the country's justice system here is qualified

enough to handle this case. Our CNN Espanol crew caught up with him and that's exactly what he said to us.

Meanwhile, the talk about everything here on the ground is this interview with Sean Penn, that Hollywood actor you mentioned. It was

brokered by Kate del Castillo, who is a famous Mexican actress here. She established a relationship apparently with El Chapo early 2012 after a

series of tweets that were critical of the Mexican government and seemingly praised El Chapo here saying that she trusted El Chapo more than she

trusted her own president.

It was that relationship that continued even after El Chapo was arrested behind bars in 2014. They continue their communication through

letters, Blackberry messages, and it was eventually what led Sean Penn to meet with El Chapo in that undisclosed location in the Mexican jungle.

His capture happened just a few hours away from here in we're told that that meeting

with Sean Penn could have led to El Chapo's capture.

Apparently at a press conference on Friday, Mexico attorney general said that El Chapo had reportedly been reaching out to actresses and

producers to try to make a biopic about himself. And it could have been his own ego and carelessness, recklessness at the end of the day that

caused him to eventually fall -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Valencia is in Mexico, viewers, for you this evening. Thank you, Nick.

Still to come this evening here on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson, a row between two regional giants rumbles on in the Middle East.

We're live in Saudi Arabia for you as Iran starts what looks like damage control to ask who will blink first.

Plus, we're going to take a look back at the life and music of David Bowie. I'm going to speak to Bowie's former friend and landlady about her

romance with the musician before he was famous. That coming up.


[11:20:33] ANDERSON: This is CNN 20 minutes past 8:00 out of the UAE. You're with Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Well, fans who grew up enjoying the music of David Bowie are today mourning his death. The rock legend died Sunday after an 18-month battle

with cancer. His career spanned more than four decades and in that time, he amassed a huge catalog of songs that pushed the boundaries of music.

Perhaps one of his most memorable, "Space Oddity," helped him rise to stardom.

Well, journalist Mary Finnigan may very well have been one of the first people to hear that

song. She just released a book entitled "Psychedelic Suburbia" about her romance with Bowie back in

1969. She joins us now on the phone from Bristol in England.

And Mary, a sad day for his family, friends, and the many millions of fans he has around the world. Take me back to the late 1960s when you

first met David Bowie, or David Jones.

MARY FINNIGAN, JOURNALIST: Well, he was David Bowie when I first met him. And I met him through my upstairs neighbors, Barry and Christina

(ph), and he was at school with Bowie. And one day it was sort of April and quite sunny, I was lying on the sun lounger on my patio, and I

heard this very beautiful music coming from upstairs, so I called up, and I said, hello, who are you? And this head popped out through the window, and

he said I'm David, who are you? And I introduced myself and I invited him downstairs to come and have a cup of tea and meet

up with me. And he did that and brought his guitar.

And we just had a sort of instant interest in each other. We liked each other from the word go.

And we started talking and this conversation went on into the wee small hours, well past midnight, during which at some point -- and I'm

never quite sure why, I invited him to come and be our lodger and he accepted.

ANDERSON: How long did he live with you?

FINNIGAN: He lived with us, me and my two children, for nine months, from April to September, 1969.

ANDERSON: And during that time you heard a song that the rest of us heard a little later, "Space Oddity." Just talk me through...

FINNIGAN: He played it on the first morning that he arrived to move in. He played it on the xylophone and his guitar. And it was a song

written for two people, but he had to play it so solo, because Hutch, the person he was supposed to be working with decided to go back home to the

north of England. But David always got around that by playing the other part on a tape recorder when he was

doing it live.

And we immediately realized it was an absolutely wonderful song, that it had to be a hit.

ANDERSON: Did you have any idea, even though you realized at the time that he was a talented musician and a great guy, did you have any idea at

that time who he would go an to become?

FINNIGAN: No, not really. I knew that he had enormous charm, terrific charisma, and absolutely huge intellect, and that he had many,

many interests.

His main focus was on his music, and I think that he knew that he had enough ambition and

confidence to carve his way through the show business jungle, which is no mean feat for anyone. And he stayed with it. He had this absolute

determination that his music had to reach out, and to that more or less...

ANDERSON: As you -- and I think I've still got you, although this line isn't brilliant. Apologies for that, viewers. But just a final

question to you. As you reflect on the man and his life, his legacy, if you will.

I think we've -- our apologies for that, viewers. Some thoughts and memories from a lady who knew a global star back in the 1960s.

Since news broke of Bowie's death, we've seen condolences pouring in on social media, as you would imagine.

For, a look at some of the heartfelt messages honoring the music legend, just head to the website, That is

This is Connect the World. The top stories this hour for you coming up after this short break.


[11:33:44] ANDERSON: Well, it started on New Year's Eve when women in Cologne in ermany reported being sexually assaulted or robbed by gangs of

men. Well, now the city remains on edge. And in the past 24 hours, we've learned of new attacks. This time the victims were minorities.

It's believed the latest violence could be retaliation. My colleague Atika Schubert has more.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, these are the latest numbers that have come in on that mass assault that apparently took

place here on New Year's Eve on that chaotic night in Cologne.

According to police, they now have more than 500 criminal complaints from that night, a little less than half are being investigated as cases of

sexual assault. The vast majority of the suspects are believed to be migrants or refugees.

As you can imagine, that has caused a tremendous backlash throughout the country, but especially here in cologne over the weekend. We saw

hundreds of angry protesters take to the streets demanding an end to Germany's refugee policy. It did get a little violent, a few scuffles with

police, beer bottles thrown, water cannons were used to push them back.

But even as that was happening on one end of the city, nearby hundreds more protesters were

demanding that the doors be kept up open to refugees. And that there simply be tougher law enforcement.

Overnight, police have also said that there were some attacks on migrants here in Cologne. Six Pakistani men and one Syrian man were

assaulted by local residents. And that's exactly the type of thing that authorities were fearig.

Germany's interior minister spoke today and in his speech he said that there should be tougher law enforcement regardless of where the

perpetrators are from. But he also underscored that the right to asylum is a basic right in Germany and in Europe and that the doors to refugees will

remain open, although anyone who enters the country, he said, must abide by German law.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Cologne.


[11:35:48] ANDERSON: Well, now to a diplomatic row that threatens to engulf the entire Middle East. A longstanding rivalry between Saudi Arabia

and Iran fled out past Riyadh's execution of a Shiite cleric prompted mob attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

Today, Tehran fired and a top security official and said suspects have been detained and are being interrogated.

Well, this follows an Arab League meeting where ministers criticized the attacks and warned Tehran to stop, quote, interfering in Arab affairs.

Well, that so-called interference refers to, among other places, Iran's interest in Syria and Yemen, where the two are supporting opposite

sides in ongoing conflicts.

Well, our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and he joins me now live -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky, I met today with the coalition, the Saudi-led coalition military spokesmen,

Brigadier General Asiri and I talked to him about the state of that war in Yemen, the questions about Iran's involvement with the Houthis. I asked

him if he had any solid evidence, any confirmed evidence, of Iran supplying weapons to the Houthis. He said he didn't have that per se, but he said in

this war situation it's black and white, the borders are porous. There's a lot of smuggling, that the coalition can't know everything. And there's

deep suspicion that Iran is getting weapons to the Houthis.

This a conflict that's been going on for nine months now. The UN says 8,100 civilian casualties, that 2 .5 million people are internally

displaced and more than 7 million are essentially living below the sort of food -- basic food requirement level.

But I also talked to him about a question raised, an assertion raised by Human Rights Watch last week. They said that the Saudi-led coalition in

part of its air campaign, bombing targets in Yemen, had dropped cluster munitions on a civilian neighborhood in the capital Sanaa. This is how the

questioning and answers went.


ROBERTSON: Does the coalition use cluster munitions?

BRIG. GEN. AHMED ASIRI, SAUDI COALITION SPOKESMAN: We don't use cluster bomb in Sanaa.

ROBERTSON: The coalition is not using cluster bombs in Sanaa?


ROBERTSON: Are you using cluster munitions elsewhere in Yemen.

ASIRI: No. Let me...

ROBERTSON: Not at all, no cluster munitions. I'm trying to be clear.

ASIRI: I'll commit to you.

ROBERTSON: But I just want to be precise, because...

ASIRI: I will answer the question precisely. In airplane, they talk about the same story in Hadja (ph). We use it once against a concentration

of a camp in this area. But not indiscriminately.

ROBERTSON: Cluster munitions against a camp with vehicles?

ASIRI: With vehicles, one of five, CBU, one of five, which is goes against vehicles, but we don't use cluster bomb in Sanaa. This is clear

and definitive. We don't use cluster bomb in Sanaa. It doesn't have any logic.

ROBERTSON: While the fighting goes on in Yemen, al Qaeda and ISIS are taking advantage on the ground. Al Qaeda is even in parts of Aden. Al

Qaeda is getting stronger.


ROBERTSON: And that's a danger to Saudi Arabia and everyone else.

ASIRI: Excuse me, but no.

ROBERTSON: But they're in Aden.

ASIRI: No. The one who operate in Aden against the Yemeni is Abdullah Saleh and his allies. They want to give the idea that the

government couldn't run the country.

ROBERTSON: Are you saying Ali Abdullah Saleh is working side by side with al Qaeda?

ASIRI: Ali Abdullah Saleh uses al Qaeda and everybody knows about it. He uses everybody to keep his position.

ROBERTSON: That's history. Today, is he fighting side by side with al Qaeda.

ASIRI: For sure.

ROBERTSON: The former president Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh is supporting al Qaeda today?

ASIRI: Exactly. If you ask the Yemeni government, they have evidence that the one who got the attack against the hotels where the government

were is Ali Abdullah Saleh people.

ROBERTSON: And this is claimed by al Qaeda?

ASIRI; It is a shared interest with al Qaeda.

ROBERTSON: When is peace going to come to Yemen? This year?

ASIRI: When we achieve our goals.

ROBERTSON: But when? Are we talking this month, next month, by the summer, by...

[11:40:02] ASIRI: When you make the plan for an operation, you start by having a situation that (inaudible). But this situation (inaudible).

But this situation will keep be changing. There is a lot of things getting in, and the change or adapt your plan.HORS D'OEUVRES

So far, at nine months, we thought we have -- we are behind the schedule because we are fighting today in the Iran with the Sanaa province,

and we are going to the capital.

ROBERTSON: When are you going to take the capital?

ASIRI: When the times come.


ROBERTSON: So he didn't give me a precise answer, then, when it's going to end, and when peace is coming.

Peace talks have been under way. A few weeks ago, they failed. The cease fire that was in place, that has failed.

He said to me, look, we want more UN on the ground to see what's going on. We doesn't believe their figures. And he does say that Saudi Arabia

is contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid.

Nevertheless, that said, this war is not going the way that they'd anticipated. And he did say that quite clearly there, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic, despite what looked like steps to limit the damage from the row with Riyadh, Iran's foreign minister had some pretty harsh

words in the New York Times this weekend. He wrote that the signing of the interim nuclear deal in November 2013 provoked Saudi Arabia, which has been trying to torpedo it since then

alleging, and I quote, Nic, "some in Riyadh not only continue to impede normalization, but are determined to drag the entire region into

confrontation. Saudi Arabia seems to fear taht the removal of the smoke screen of the nuclear issue will expose the real global threat, its active

sponsorship of violent extremism," end quote.

On the one hand, trying some damage limitation, on the other, coming out somewhat swinging, it has to be said. How do comments like those go

down in Riyadh, Nic?

ROBERTSON: Yeah. The foreign minister also said in the same article that Iranian officials are cracking down on those who allowed the embassy

to -- the Saudi embassy to be attacked. So, I think what we're hearing there is a clear message that the Iranian foreign ministry is trying to say

they're not the problem, Saudi Arabia is the problem. Both sides are saying this backwards and forwards to each other.

When I sit down with Saudi officials here and say, look, you know, the Iranians are saying they're going to arrest those people. They're going to

-- this won't happen again. This is what they're saying. This is the official line. They say, look, we see what the foreign minister is saying,

but we believe he doesn't have the power.

They -- Saudis see -- and there's this historic division, obviously, between Sunni and Shia -- but they see the Iranian revolution in 1979 going

back to then, they see that as giving the hard liners -- hardline Shia if you lik, clerics, a chance to extend their influence throughout the region.

So while they see the words of the foreign minister, they think the real power is the hardliners behind him.

So, what the foreign minister says is good and nice, but it doesn't reflect the real power in Iran.

that's the depth of the differences between these two countries at the moment, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right.

Nic Robertson is in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia for you this evening. It was a pleasure. Nic, thank you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in the UAE for you.

Coming up, David Bowie's 1969 hit, Space Oddity, we are looking back on the musician's extraordinary career. He died Sunday at the age of 69.

Before that, though, Sean Penn's interview with Mexican drug lord El Chapo surprised many. But it's not the first time the actor has met a

controversial figure. The details on that right after this. Taking a very short break. Back in a moment.


[11:47:14] ANDERSON: Well, you're watching CNN, this is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, out of the UAE to remind you at 47 minutes

past 8:00 here.

Let's return to one of our top stories tonight. The recapture of the world's most notorious drug lord widely known as El Chapo.

Well, while he was on the run, he met with Hollywood actor, Sean Penn for an interview published in Rolling Stone magazine, a day after El

Chapo's arrest. Questions now being asked about the secret meeting. Mexican authorities say they want to speak to Penn about it.

Well, for more on that interview, we're joined by CNN's senior media correspondent Brian Stelter from New York.

Firstly, Brian, what's the reaction been to Mexican officials saying they want to question Sean Penn?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think -- they're going to have a hard

time doing so. I have a feeling Sean Penn is already huddled with his lawyers and is ready to fend off any of those requests.

I just got off the phone with the publisher of Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner. I wanted to ask him about his position here. He says he's not

concerned about any legal liability on behalf of the magazine, but he did say the magazine was ready in case U.S. or Mexican authorities demanded to

see notes or materials or information relating to the article.

What's amazing here is this article was about to go to press on Friday when El Chapo was

recaptured. The article was done, it was ready to go, it was being shipped off to the printing plant.

Now, the editors were able to add a note about the capture. But if he had not been captured and this article came out, there obviously would have

been demands on Rolling Stone to give up information about his possible whereabouts.

And the magazine was ready to stop that. He said they were prepared to fight those requests.

ANDERSON: Sean Penn, most of us know him as a big name actor, Brian, but he's done his fair share of journalism in the past sitting down with

the Cuban President Raul Castro, for example, and meeting the former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez on several occasions, even attending his

funeral where he called him a friend.

Now, he's also interviewed former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in 2005, as you can -- as our viewers can see here.

Given his journalistic record, why so much controversy over this meeting, do you think?

STELTER: I think partly because some readers might not be aware of those past stories. Partly because this one is so much more in the news

right now and because it was a giant scoop for Sean Penn. You know, this was something that was making so much news because El Chapo had not being

quoted for decades in an interview like this and because the quotes are pretty revealing. You hear hium say -- you hear the drug kingpin admit to

dealing meth and heroin and other drugs as well.

Jann Wenner, the publisher of the magazine, said to me that Sean and he have a great relationship, that they've worked together over the years,

that Sean Penn has written for the magazine before. But this is on the list of Rolling Stone's top scoops ever, Jann Wenner saying one of the

biggest stories the magazine has ever had. That's certainly why it's getting more scrutiny.

ANDERSON: Yeah, and lots of questions about why Sean Penn did the interview. Just a quick excerpt from his piece in Rolling Stone magazine

where Penn talks about an exchange with El Chapo, viewers, saying and I quote, "how much money will you make writing this article?" He asks. I

answer that when I do journalism I take no payment.

One wonders whether if this wasn't a Hollywood actor, what would the reaction have been to this interview? Perhaps more positive. You know,

essentially, as you point out a journalistic scoop.

Look, stay with me, because I want to move onto what is another incredibly important story today in the world of entertainment, Brian.

Tributes being paid to David Bowie, the visionary musician who has died at the age of 69.

A quick look for our viewers at his remarkable career in numbers. 130 million the number of Bowie albums sold. The total, 14, his total number

of Grammy nominations. He won just one, in fact, back in 1984 for the video, Jazzing for Blue Jean. And of course, the number one, his latest

album released Friday and shot straight to the top of the iTunes chart in the UK. It came out on the day that he turned 69.

It was strange. I was talking to a mate whose birthday party I was at on Friday, and joking with him that he shared a birthday with David Bowie

and we'd all rather be at David Bowe's birthday party. Just what kind of legacy does he leave?

STELTER: A true original, you know, those are the words the Rolling Stones used in a tribute this morning. I think those words sum it up very


He was mesmerizing, theatrical and of course inspiring to generations of artists who came after him.

You know, Madonna for example, pointed out the first concert she ever went to was a David Bowie concert. She called him talented, unique, a

genius and a game changer.

And that word game changer stands out to me as well.

You know, Kanye West saying that he made magic for a lifetime.

Magic, indeed, beginning with Space Oddity in 1969, but also for a lifetime. He was still active, as you said, this year with the new album.

One of his long-time producers called this new album a parting gift. Perhaps David Bowie knew this was toward the end. Of course, he knew about

the cancer diagnosis. It was a secret to the rest of us, and he wanted to leave this last album, Blackstar, for people to remember him by.

ANDERSON: Very briefly, I can only think of a few stars who really transcend pop, style, sexuality, and also are equally, if not more

successful both in the UK and outside of their home country, not least in the U.S. And that's what's so big about David Bowie. Across generations

he was such a star, across borders.

STELTER: There are maybe only a handful of people that were like him.

You know, Lady Gaga's tribute, for example, on Twitter sums it up very well. She had nothing to say herself, but she retweeted a fan who said in

all honesty, Gaga would not exist without David Bowie. I think that is a very true statement and one that many others share this morning.

ANDERSON: Good stuff.

Brian, thank you.

Brian Stelter is out of New York for you.

And more of David Bowie's music there.

We'll continue our look back at his life next on Connect the World. I'm going to take a very short break for you first. Back after this.


[11:55:32] ANDERSON: Welcome back to connect the World. Well, as we've been reporting this hour, legendary British musician David Bowie died

Sunday at the age of 69. So, in our Parting Shots tonight, we honor a man who many are simply calling one of the greatest.


ANDERSON: Honoring David Bowie. I know loads of you out there will be fans. Let us know what you're thinking today, your reflections, your

favorite songs, our Facebook page available to you. It's your page.

You can always get in touch with me, if you're a regular viewer you'll know this, @BeckyCNN on Twitter.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World from the team here and those working

with us around the world, it is a very good evening. CNN, of course, continues after this short break.