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Iran Expands World's Largest Oil Field; Trump Pulls Out of Last GOP Debate; Can Borderless Europe Survive? African Startup: SRS Aviation. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired January 27, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:11] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Left out in the cold. Refugees face harsh winter conditions, fleeing their homes in hopes of a better future.
But the doors to Europe are starting to close as public opinion chills. We're going to get you the latest reports from Sweden from Norway and from
Jordan in the Middle East throughout this hour.
Also ahead tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREDERIK PLETIGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Far south, is the biggest gas field in the world with around 1,800 trillion cubic feet of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Iran is expanding its refining facilities despite low energy prices. We'll get a behind the scene tour of the country's most
modern gas facility.
Plus, boycott of Donald Trump. U.S. Republican presidential front runner says he won't participate in the next televised debate. Find out
why a little later.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening from here at just after 8:00. We start on a continent that is seeing its worst refugee crisis since the Second
But Europe's attitude appears to be hardening towards those crossing its borders.
Now, in the past 24 hours, Germany's government backed a new law making it easier to deport foreign criminals after migrants were accused of
attacking hundreds of women on New Year's Eve.
And Denmark passed a bill allowing the government to seize valuables from asylum seekers to finance their care, a move many politicians openly
say they hope will deter others from coming.
With all this as leaders debate whether a borderless Europe can survive with Slovakia's prime minister saying the bloc is committing,
quote, ritual suicide with its slow response.
And rights groups warning of an erosion of basic European freedoms.
Well, we begin tonight with our senior international correspondent Arwa
Damon in Sweden where the killing of a worker at a refugee center is provoking anger.
Arwa joining me from Malmo.
And the stabbing occurred on the same day, Arwa, as police in Sweden demand more resources to stem rising violence, apparently they say, linked
to the migrant crisis. What is the response there, firstly, to this attack?
All right, looks as if we have lost Arwa. Some communications problems there.
Let's move on. We'll get her back for you. Many who fled the Syrian war remain housed in refugee camps in neighboring countries. And for them,
a harsh winter is adding to the misery away from Europe to Jordan where Jomana Karadsheh reports from the Zaatari camp.
KARADSHEH: It's cold, it's grim and unforgiving. This is winter in Jordan's refugee camp. This family has lived through three winters here.
For them, the season means time for traditions from home. They sing this song for Syria.
Syria, don't forget us, we will return. Hope is still alive, they sing. But these are just words. They don't think they'll ever see Syria
again. This 18-year-old would like to go to Europe or Canada. Living here is not a life. It's an existence, she says. They say they won't risk their
children's lives to reach Europe. Instead, they'll wait to be resettled by the United Nations.
ANDREW HARPER, HNHCR: The Syrians don't necessarily want to go to Europe. They to want return back to the villages, their towns, their homes.
Europe is an alien concept for them. They're scared. For them to put their lives at risk, to put their children's lives at risk to make this journey,
wouldn't it be far better to provide the support to countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to help these countries do what they want to do, which
is provide the protection?
KARADSHEH: Around 80,000 Syrians live here in this refugee camp. Over the past three years, it has evolved into a city of sorts with markets,
restaurants and schools. There are weddings that take place here daily and 50 to 60 babies are born here every week. This camp is the only home this
nine-month-old has ever known. When her father and his family fled, they thought it would be for a few months. That was in 2012.
Of course, we expect to return, even if this baby is 60, we will continue to hope, he says. With no end in sight to the conflict back home,
people old and young can only wonder how many more winters like this they'll have to endure.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan.
[11:05:14] ANDERSON: Well, that is Jordan.
Back to Europe for you where we are witnessing a hardening of attitude towards asylum seekers and migrants. Our senior international
correspondent Arwa Damon is in Sweden as we were suggesting where the killing of a worker at a refugee center there provoking anger.
Arwa, hopefully on the phone for you now from Malmo.
What do we know about the circumstances of this attack on a young social worker, Arwa? And what's the response locally?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wel, there hasn't been a lot of new details that happened divulged at this stage. We do know that
she was a volunteer at this asylum center, that it's seen that she was (inaudible) in the asylum center there around 7:00 or 8:00.
We don't know their nationality. One of the (inaudible) 15-year-old teen is the one who was responsible for stabbing and killing her seemingly,
perhaps, in sort of an argument broke out.
Is is for now being called an accident as opposed to an act of terrorism.
But it's really going to underscore the need for more security and also this increase in unrest within the asylum seeking community itself.
It is to a certain degree a by-product of overcrowding at these various different asylum centers and
the challenge of finding housing and accommodations for everybody. And also the duration that people are having to wait before they are moved on
into more permanent accommodation.
All of this, of course, is a byproduct of the shear volume of numbers that Sweden has taken in, 163,000 in 2015, which does make them the highest
number of asylum seekers per capita when it comes to European nations.
Now, there is frustration understandably, of course, there is anger surrounding all of this, but there still remains within Sweden a very
hospitable attitude towards these asylum seekers who are coming in, although there is a sense among the police force that it is trying to beef
up its own ranks that they do need additional support from the government, they do need to have more offices on the
ground, because so many of them have been diverted to secure asylum centers.
So many of them have been diverted to do border checks, border control where there used to be none, to check people's IDs at train stations. And
so that is leading to gaps in security in other parts of the country as well.
And there's also this sense amongst a fair number of Swedes that we have been talking to of, you know, we're very happy that our country is
being this generous, but we shouldn't be the only ones. Other European nations need to also start pulling their weight, Becky.
ANDERSON: All right, Arwa Damon is in Sweden for you. And all this hour, we will be focusing on the global migrant and refugee crisis and how
it is reshaping the world to Norway a little later in the show.
Well, a man in Denmark has been diagnosed with the Zika virus. Doctors believe he contracted the mosquito-born illness on a recent trip to
Latin America. He is expected to leave the hospital today.
Brazil is considered ground zero for Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes and is now reported in at least 25 countries in Central and
The virus in pregnant women has been linked to a serious birth defect.
Well, health officials in some countries are asking women to avoid getting pregnant. Shasta Darlington joining us now from Recife in Brazil.
And we spoke at this time last night. How, as this story began to get traction, how are women reacting to this concern and suggestion from
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, we're seeing all sorts of reactions. I think starting with the pregnant
women and the women who have recently given birth to babies with microcephaly here in Brazil and here is this region, which as we've said is
really ground zero, there's a lot of disbelief. A lot of women are saying I never had the symptoms of Zika virus, how could this be. The problem
really is that the virus itself is mild. The symptoms are a rash, headache, maybe a mild fever. And up to 80 percent of cases are
So, if these women aren't tested when they have the virus, in many ways it's -- they'll never know whether or not they had it.
So, you have people blaming whether everything from vaccines to maybe dengue fever. There's a lot of confusion and fear and panic. And more
than anything, fear and panic.
So when you go to the maternity wards, you see mothers lining up fearful for getting these tests. Will they discover that the developing
heads of their babies still inside their wombs, are they small?
You know, it's just -- what we hear and see here is outright panic.
And it's not surprising given that we just had new figures out today showing that since the Zika virus was detected in Brazil in the first half
of last year, more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been reported.
These are real people, real families, real babies. They're going to have to deal with this reality. And the comparison, of course, is in 2014
there were just 140 cases of microcephaly. So, this is very rare. And this is ground zero. We're going to see the spreading throughout the
The World Health Organization said they expect the virus to reach every single country in the hemisphere except for Canada and Chile where
frankly it's too cold for the mosquito that transmits it, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, and we've seen it moving with people across continents as well.
We were discussing some 24 hours ago about the deployment or possible deployment of the military in order to try and sort of help sort things
out. Is it any clearer what their role would be, if anything, at this point? How authorities feel that they might cope going forward?
DARLINGTON: Yeah, Becky, you know, this isn't actually a new strategy. Here in Brazil, dengue fever is endemic. They have been using
army troops for years now. And what they do is they've been trained and they go door to door with health
officials, and they're looking for that standing water that's the real focal point. It's where the mosquito, Aedes aegypti multiplies and thrives
on more than half of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are actually breeding in the homes of residents.
So, they go door to door, they look for the standing water. They educate the public, hand out pamphlets. They are also now handing out
repellent to pregnant women.
It's a great idea. They say they are going to have 200,000 troops doing it. The problem is what we have seen up until now doesn't show that
it's worked. The health minister himself said that last year they had a record number of dengue cases in Brazil despite the use of these troops.
So, how this is really all of a sudden going to work in the face of Zika is an open question.
They have obviously got the fear factor in their favor. People are scared. So, combined with the use of these troops and the greater public
becoming more educated, they are hoping to make some progress there, Becky.
ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington in Brazil for you. Shasta, thank you.
Still to come tonight, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani drums up investment in Europe. And one of his advisers tells us how his country is
open for business. That's next.
And Donald Trump is dominating political talk once again in the United States. This time it is over his decision to boycott the next televised
You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of Abu Dhabi this evening. 12 minutes past 8:00. Taking a very short break.
Back after this.
[11:15:19] ANDERSON: At a quarter past 8:00 in the UAE, you're watching CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
I want to get you an exclusive look at this point. At one of the towns near the front line in Syria. The Kurdish strong hold of Hasakah.
As the back and forth over who will attend these upcoming Syria peace talks continues, CNN's Clarissa Ward is on the ground where she's been hearing
about the frustration of the Kurdish forces whoa re fighting every day and yet may be excluded from
these latest negotiations. Have a look at this.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are scenes of utter devastation like this across northern Syria, where the
Syrian democratic forces made up largely of Kurdish fighters have been battling against ISIS. Thousands of them have been killed in the process,
but a lot of territory has been taken back. And it's precisely because of the blood that has been spilled and the ground that has been retaken from
ISIS that the Kurds feel so angry that they don't have a seat at the negotiating table in Geneva.
They see these talks as prioritizing regional interests over the future of Syria. They say that only the regime of Bashar al Assad and the
Sunni opposition groups that are fighting Assad are really represented at the talks and that minorities like the Kurds and the Christians have
essentially being ignored.
One commander told us that he feels particularly disappointed with the U.S., a key ally of the Kurds in the battle against ISIS for not trying to
support Kurds in this political process. And he warned that the absence of the Kurds at the negotiating table in Geneva could threaten the entire
military effort with the coalition to defeat ISIS.
Clarissa Ward, CNN, Hasakah, Syria.
ANDERSON: Well, the fate of those talks still hang in the balance.
Moving on, time for a little sightseeing for President Hassan Rouhani. The Iranian leader concluded his trip to Italy with a visit to Rome's
famous coliseum. Just a short time ago, Mr. Rouhani landed in Paris where he's expected to hold high level meetings and secure business deals.
It's all part of what was a delayed European trip.
Europe is hoping for a business bonanza now that most sanctions against Tehran have been lifted. As well a rich oil fields.
Iran also has the world's second largest reserves.
Fred Pleitgen reports from one of Iran's biggest gas facilities. He is with us out of Tehran this evening.
And whilst the headlines have been dominated by crude oil in the slump in its price, it must be with some relief that Tehran has other resource
options to develop. Have we got Fred with us?
Let's take a look at -- Fred, apologies. There were some communications problems with you tonight.
Talking about these -- the development of these gas bills. Tell us what you have seen and heard.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky.
Yeah, I mean, the gas field really is something that is very impressive. We were there yesterday and they showed us around the gas
field. They showed us around the facility. It's interesting because they have already built about six or seven refineries there at those gas fields.
Several of them are already operational. And the interesting thing about them is that they have built most of them while
they were still under the sanctions.
Of course, the sanctions have only just now been lifted. And so therefore, they really haven't benefited from that yet. Still, they say, a
lot of the expertise that they have on the ground is Iranian. Most of the contractors there are on the ground are Iranian as well.
And they say, of course now that the sanctions have been lifted, they believe that they are going to be able to increase the speed that they
develop this gas field once again, Becky.
ANDERSON: I think we have a report coming up from you. Let's have a lock at that.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Even from far way, the flames mark the location of Iran's most ambitious gas project.
The Assaluyeh complex already has several working refineries. This one was opened only two week ago. Maintenance workers make sure everything is
SIAVASH VAHIDI, MAINTENANCE ENGINEER: Just a minor problem, you know, not major problem, for example a changing the gaskets and some repairing
activities on the ...
PLEITGEN: The Assaluyeh Complex services the Pars south gas field which lies on the Persian Gulf. Pars South is the biggest gas field in the
world with around 1,800 trillion cubit feet of reserves.
Despite the low international oil and gas prices Iran is moving ahead with the development of its facility. It's not just going to be refineries
there's also going to be several port and petrochemical companies, making these one of the biggest complexes of its kind in the world.
Construction is in full swing at several other refinereries site in the complex. Sanctions against Iran to held the project up, but they never
stopped the development says the project director of one facility.
[11:20:40] HAMID REZA MEDHAVI, PROJECT DIRECTOR: We found solutions for each problem we faced regarding the sanctions. But you can see that in
five years, a bit more than five years, we have built this big plant. This is a $4.5 billion project.
PLEITGEN: Now that most sanctions have been lifted, those in charge of the mega complex want to accelerate construction, even though the managing
director says, he will continue to rely mostly on Iranian suppliers.
ALI AKBAR SHABANPOUR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PORT OIL AND GAS: We've got even more than 65 percent more or less above the 70 percent of the, you
know, the material budget of the Iranian manufacturing. Iranian did local manufacturing for example, cables for the valves, for the vessel, for the
tank, even for the machine.
PLEITGEN: Iran is poised to become one of the biggest exporters of oil and gas in the world, now that most of the sanctions against Tehran have
been lifted. The Pars South gas field and this mega refining complex are key to the country's future hydrocarbon strategy.
PLEITGEN: Becky, we were there for a day at this place. Are you hearing me now, Becky?
ANDERSON: Yeah, I'm hearing you. Carry on.
PLEITGEN: OK, yeah. So we spent a day at this place. And the interesting thing that they told
us there is that they believe they are going to be able to develop this gas field in a very, very short amount of time. You could literally see how
much construction was going on there. You could see also them trying to make it go as fast as possible. And they really were quite proud of the
fact that they were doing this with Iranian technology and they say that is something that they actually want to do in the future as well. That they
want to keep their suppliers Iranian, however they do need a lot of specialized parts that they think they are going to be able to get a lot
easier than before, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred, and it's not just gas. Iran now eyeing major economic growth potential of these western sanctions were lifted earlier
this month. How else is the country gearing up for the flow of incoming investment?
PLEITGEN: Well, I think they are doing it in every way. I was able to speak to one of the top economic advisers, to President Rouhani today.
And he certainly gave quite a bullish impression of when I was speaking to him. He said that believes that Iran is in a very good position at this
point in time because he believes that they have the human capital to also make this
transition into a very powerful economy.
Of course, a lot of young, very educated people. At the same time, of course, we know they have these huge oil and gas reserves. And it was
interesting, because he also said in spite of the low oil prices at this point in time, that's not going to deter Iran from significantly upping its
output. Let's have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD BAGHER NOBAKHI, IRANIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN (through translator): The declining oil price is certainly not what we base our
decision on. And if the supply of oil is to decline, it should be the countries that increase their production while we were under sanctions that
should scale back now. They should let Iran have its share of the market.
I hope and predict for various reasons that the oil price will go back to a realistic level soon.
PLEITGEN: What's your export going to be in five years then, 2 million, 2.5 million barrels? What do you think?
NOBAKHI (through translator): For the production we are thinking of around 5 million barrels per day. But of course our production capacity
will be more than that. But for next year our export will 1.85 million barrels of crude per day as well as 400,000 barrels of
gas condensate. So the total of our export would be 2.25 million barrels per day.
PLEITGEN: We've been speaking to many people here. And they're all very hopeful, very optimistic. How fast do you think that they are going
to -- the Iranian people -- going to benefit from sanctions relief in terms of investment for businesses, in terms of jobs also for people?
NOBAKHI: We can easily create 900,000 to 1 million jobs, especially for the educated young people. This is a realistic figure, not an
optimistic one. With regard to modifying laws to help boost the economy, we have a good track record in the region.
Foreigners will surely choose Iran for investment in this region.
[11:25:11] PLEITGEN: Will American companies have the same chances in Iran as European companies?
NOBAKHI: We don't have a problem with American companies. They can also invest in the fields where we need investment. Of course, we have the
power to choose between different countries, the Europeans and the Americans, who have announced they would like to come here.
Of course, there are many considerations when choosing investors, but on the whole, there are no limitations for the American companies to invest
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So, clearly they say no limitation on American companies. Of course, there is still the political situation between the U.S. and Iran
that really hasn't changed very much even after the nuclear agreement was put in place.
But I do have to say speaking to that adviser, he was very, very optimistic about Iran's future and certainly also about this trip that
Hassan Rouhani is conducting right now in Europe.
Of course, Thursday is going to be a very, very big day potentially when Hassan Rouhani goes there to Paris with many believing that he's going
to sign that deal with Airbus as well.
ANDERSON: Yeah, fascinating. All right, Fred, thank you for that. Fred Pleitgen out of Teharn for you this evening.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Coming up, flying high. We'll tell you about one female entrepreneur who has been helping women make their mark in South Africa's aviation
That's next on African Start-up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had no (inaudible). I had no experience.
Quality and safety.
But then I decided to go for what lies within and that is a passion for airplanes and being around the airport.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lifelong passion for aircraft turned into a business in 2004 when Sibognili Sembo (ph) founded
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: What I'm proud of about our company is that we have managed to penetrate the male-dominated industry.
DAFTARI: The Johannesburg-based company is 100 percent black female owned providing
personalized aviation services like helicopter flights and tourist and VIP charters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On average we do ten charters per annum and that varies. It could be a tourist charter for $1,000 or it could be a head of
state traveling on a VVIP aircraft to the U.S. for about $200,000.
DAFTARI: Sembo (ph) currently employees three fulltime staff and has partnered with
established industry player MCC Aviation, who provided her with access to aircraft and technical support.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is awesome. Our client will be very happy.
Obviously, there's been several challenges in the business. Getting to lend a language, you know, alpha, bravo, oscar, it was a challenge, but
we managed to get over it.
DAFTARI: Sembo (ph) says high operational costs make it essential to keep overheads
low in an industry notorious for razor thin margins.
Yet despite turbulent times, SRS has managed to stay airborne and is working to bolster
business by supplying parts and components to other industry players.
The business owner has helped three employees obtain their private pilots license.
[11:30:09] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a philosophy that I'm where I am today because somebody invested in me. It's my opportunity now to
invest in other people.
DAFTARI: She also hopes her work in aviation can help pave the way for a new generation of black South African women entering the industry.
Looking ahead, Sembo (ph) envisions greater autonomy for her company as well as cross continent expansion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sky is not even a limit for us. Aviation is growing in Africa. We are going to grow with the growth in Africa.
DAFTARI: Amir Daftari, CNN.
[11:34:25] ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is scheduled to meet in about 15 minutes with a man he wants to
replace. The White House says President Barack Obama will meet privately in the Oval Office with Sanders and that there will be no formal agenda.
Now, this comes after Mr. Obama heaped praised on Sander's main Democratic challenger
Hillary Clinton. Sanders does maintain a slim lead over Clinton among Iowa voters according to a new poll.
Well, Fox News responding to Donald Trump's decision to boycott its Republican debate. The news organization says the show will go on on
Thursday with or without Trump at center stage.
Now, whether this is a brilliant political move by Trump or a colossal mistake, uncertain right now. CNN's Sunlan Serfaty is in Iowa where the
first voters will be cast.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With five days left to drum up support ahead of the Iowa caucuses and just a day shy of the next GOP FOX
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say bye-bye.
SERFATY: Donald Trump going rogue, dumping FOX News.
TRUMP: Probably I won't be doing the debate. I'm going to have to something else in Iowa. We'll do something where we raise money for the
veterans and the Wounded Warriors.
SERFATY: Trump claiming unfair treatment from FOX News moderator Megyn Kelly.
TRUMP: Megyn Kelly is really biased against me. She knows that. I know that. Everybody knows that. Do you really think she can be fair at a
SERFATY: FOX News standing by Kelly while Trump walks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump is not used to not controlling things. But the truth is he doesn't get to control the media.
SERFATY: So how will his power play fair with Iowans just before the first votes are cast? The RNC responding to Trump's move, telling CNN,
quote, "Obviously we would love all of the candidates to participate, but each campaign ultimately makes their own decision what is their best
interest." But Ted Cruz, Trump's main opposition in the GOP race, says not so fast.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Apparently Megyn Kelly is really, really scary. Donald is a fragile soul.
SERFATY: The Texas senator issuing this challenge to the frontrunner.
CRUZ: If he's unwilling to stand on the debate stage with other candidates, then I would like to invite Donald right now to engage in a one
on one debate with me now and any time between now and the Iowa caucuses.
SERFATY: Trump putting the final nail in the coffin Tuesday night after FOX News released a tongue-in-cheek statement, poking fun at Trump's
threats to back out, saying in part, quote, "We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Trump unfairly
when they meet with him if he becomes president."
TRUMP: They can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else. So let them have their debate and let's see how they do with the ratings.
ANDERSON: Donald Trump there and that report by Sunlen Serfaty.
Let's turn to our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter who is in New York for you.
Listen, Rudy Giuliani, our viewers will remember, as the former Mayor of New York and himself a would be Republican presidential contender back
in 2008, said earlier on CNN that trump has repeatedly defied political convention all throughout this 2016 election so
far without consequence.
What effect, if any, do you think his absence from this debate will have on his personal ratings, Brian?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORREPSONDENT: You know, I've already seen his supporters rally to his side. You can see it Tn twitter and Facebook in
A lot of his supporters saying he's doing the right thing by skipping this debate. They are saying the debate won't matter because Trump won't
And in some ways that's true. You know, so far there's been two debates each time the Republicans have gotten together there's been an
undercard debate, sort of a happy hour debate, then there's been the big one, the prime time one. But without Trump it feels like both these
debates are going to be undercard debates. Neither of them will have the star power that Trump provided.
So it probably be affect the ratings for Fox News and Trump will probably be on other channels at the same time with his own event.
This is unprecedented to see the GOP front runner going to war with the GOP's favorite network. It's something that I think Fox News never
wanted to see, never imagined seeing, but Trump is that candidate no one expected to be here in this situation a few days before Iowa.
ANDERSON: With me they are dealing with somebody that's a little bit different, the words of Donald Trump earlier, which is something of an
understatement I think we'd agree
You talked about the impact you think that his absence might have on the debate's ratings for Fox, how about how he will rate going forward?
We talk about -- I guess the question is, how important are these debates for these presidential contenders. We've had a lot of them at this
point. What are the metrics here?
STELTER: Yeah, I think that's the key question. Up until now, debates have been incredibly important. There's been 20 million to 25
million viewers tuning in to watch these debates. In the past 5 million watched. So there's been a huge surge of interest. And that's largely
been due to Donald Trump.
Maybe by skipping this debate, Trump is essentially is going to say the debates don't matter anymore, that he's above it, that he's beyond it,
that he can use social media and other television channels to get his message across.
But there's a more cynical calculation here, which is that Trump just wants to sit on his lead. He's winning big in the polls. He has a chance
to win in the Iowa caucuses. He doesn't want to risk anything. So, the view I think from Fox News today is that he is trying to avoid this debate,
using Megyn Kelly and his bias thing about Fox as an excuse not to show up.
So, there's another element to this as well. You know, Fox is saying they're standing up for
journalism. They are not going to back down when Donald Trump is fighting with them. And that means if he's not going to show up, he's not going to
ANDERSON: Yeah, OK, well I guess he could still show. I think Rudy Giuliani with (inaudible).
STELTER: Yeah, you've got to keep that mind.
This could all be a ruse. That's right. There could be a big surprise.
Now, what a television moment that would be. If Donald rump is anything, he's a reality TV star at heart.
ANDERSON: Are we going to see a different Donald Trump do you think, going forward?
STELTER: Well, he's already suggested and hinted that he's going to more toward the middle as he thinks about a general election. That's why
it's so strange he's picking on Megyn Kelly. You know, he essentially called her a a bimbo on Twitter earlier today. I hate even saying that
word on Tv, but that's where Trump is. He's sort of in the gutter when it comes to Megyn Kelly.
That probably doesn't help him when it come s s to appealing to female voters. So, you'd expect at a time when he's thinking about moving to the
middle maybe bringing it back, or dialing down some of his incendiary rhetoric, it's strange that he keeps picking this fight with Megyn Kelly.
But maybe the message from Trump is that he's a master negotiator, that he knows how to get what he wants and he knows when to walk away from
the table when he thinks that he's getting a bad deal. Maybe for Trump, this is all about the sort of symbolism of what it represents.
ANDERSON: Brian, always a pleasure out of New York for you this evening.
Well, if you have ever wondered about Trump's appeal among voters, do check out our political page. In an article entitled why I'm voting for
Trump, CNN talks o to more than 150 people in 31 cities to explore what is driving this Trump phenomenon.
Let me get you to South Africa now and a controversial college scholarship for young women. It was started by a mayor in the rural
Kwazulunatal (ph) province, but to qualify recipients must remain virgins during their education. And rights groups are calling that sexist and
For more, let's bring in David McKenzie who joins us from Johannesburg.
You've been talking to people, David, what's been said about what is this controversial project at best?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, certainly
it's a controversial project. And as you say, rights groups are saying that it's not on that scholarship should be contingent on someone being a
Of course, the scholarship doesn't apply to men and whether they are virgins or not. But we went to rural Kwazulunatal (ph) and found people,
particularly this mayor, very committed to the cause.
MCKENZIE: These are some of Thubelihle final days at home. Spending time with her granny and young sister before she heads to the city for
An accomplished student, Thube won a government scholarship. One of the main requirements,
that she remain a virgin.
THUBELIHLE, SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: We are keeping ourselves from boys.
MCKENZIE: To stay with the program she must submit to virginity tests for her college vacation. If she fails, she loses her funding.
THUBELIHIE: I don't have children, you see. And I'm 18 years old. I must study hard to change and conquer the world.
MCKENZIE: Thube is known as a maiden in Zulu culture where virginity testing is common practice.
Here in rural Kwazulunatel (ph) tradition rules.
But rights activists we called say the scholarship is invasive and sexist.
You say it is discriminating because it is based on someone being a virgin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about (inaudible). There's a better way of getting an education.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just need to support them.
MCKENZIE: Mayor Dudu Mazibuko thought up the virgin only scholarships. She was a teen mother herself.
DUDU MAZIBUKO, MAYR: We have tried many ways to keep down this teenage pregnancy and now the infection of HIV and AIDS.
MCKENZIE: And nothing is working?
MAZIBUKO: Nothing is working.
MCKENZIE: In this part of South Africa, the odds are stacked against students finishing school, especially girls.
So-called sugar daddies prey on poor young girls, exchanging money for sex. When girls get pregnant, they drop out.
MAZIBUKO: Young girls are vulnerable. They can't refuse to have sex with an older person. They cannot even instruct an old man to wear a
MCKENZIE: South Africa's main opposition party has lodged a complaint against Mazibuko's program with the country's human rights commission.
THUBELIHLE: I tell them no worry. It's my choice.
MCKENZIE: Thube says the virgin scholarship is her choice, her only chance to get in to college.
MCKENZIE: Well, certainly even the critics, Becky, say that this might be coming at least from the right place, or the right intentions,
it's pretty staggering, in fact, visiting that part of South Africa. The mayor's office telling us that the rate of HIV for pregnant women there is
more than half. So half of the young girls and women who give birth have HIV. A lot of that has to do with the huge income gap in that region and
the persistent virus threat that has lasted in South Africa that for more than two decades.
And they are trying everything to stop that. This is that mayor's strategy. Though many say it's not the right strategy. The question is
what will help the women of this region.
ANDERSON: Yeah. All right, David, thank you for that. David McKenzie out of Johannesburg for you this evening.
This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. It is quarter to 9:00 here in Abu Dhabi. I'm going to take a very short break. Coming up, some
people have taken to the streets of Norway in opposition to the government's plan there to deport refugees. I'm going to get you a live
report up next.
And images of home, find out high a renouned Syrian artist still paints memories of the city he was forced to flee.
Well, all this hour we have been focusing on the global migrant and refugee crisis.
Well, Norway's government says it wants to send some refugees back to Russia in a move that has angered many.
CNN's Phil Black close to what is a protest site.
And there is no doubt there's a change in tone in the public debate across Europe about asylum seekers and migrants. But Phil not everyone by
any stretch turning their backs on those seeking refugee ofttimes from war, of course.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. So, here we are in Norway's Arctic North in Kirkenesse (ph). The people
behind me through songs, speeches and torchlight are demonstrating against the Norwegian government's policy. Are returning some of the migrants who
have crossed the border from Russia into Norway back to Russia, specifically Norway says those which have the legal right, legal
documentation, visas and so forth, to live in Russia have been doing so, should stay in Russia because Norway believes
that to be a safe country.
But these people disagree with that. And the migrants who are on the list to be returned disagree with that, because they believe in many of
those cases these are people who do have visas, but those visas will one day end and they will be forced to return to their country of origin
including for many of them war torn Syria.
So, they believe that ultimately a return to Russia is a return to Syria for people who deserve and need to be protected.
We met some people today who say that fits their circumstances precisely. These are people who are on the list to be deported. They have
fled the local detention center for migrants to a church here in the center of town hoping that that church can provide some sanctuary for them.
They believe -- they are Syrian -- then they do have or have had visas that either (inaudible) or have expired. And they believe that should they
go to Russia, then they will have no choice but to return to Syria after that. And they say that is simply far too dangerous.
For the moment, however, the deportations are on hold here because the Russian government
has asked for more time to organize these returns.
Norway wants to get rid of at least 700 of the 5,400 migrants who crossed across the border just last year. That's what Russia has agreed to
accept. 200 have already been sent back. So the fate of the further 500 now sits in the balance.
And for those three that we met hiding out, desperate and scared in that church today, their future is very uncertain, Becky.
[11:50:57] ANDERSON: And clearly, a show of support from those behind you. Do you, though, sense as we are seeing in other countries a hardening
in the approach in attitude towards those seeking refugee in Norway?
BLACK: Well, here in Norway we're seeing a hardening of the Norwegian government's position, certainly with this insistence upon really in their
view deporting as many as they possibly can back across Russia.
700 is the figure that Russia has agreed to. A norwegian government spokesman told me today that they would really believe that it should be
much higher than that.
It is likely, we believe, that certainly within the community the Norwegian community, a country of some 5 million people, there is support
for that tough line.
But what we are seeing here tonight in Kirkenesse (ph) and the organizers say in simultaneous protests in other parts of Norway, including
the capital Oslo, is a belief that the Norwegian government should do more to protect those that do require protection.
They are not saying throw open the gates. They are not saying let everyone in, but these people believe that the decision to deport people
back to Russia will put many people in an uncertain and potentially dangerous situation in the near future, Becky.
ANDERSON: Phil Black in Norway, we've been in Sweden we've been in Jordan tonight and indeed in Norway on what is a growing problem.
It's not just Europe grappling with a steady flow of migrants. Thank you, Phil. For years Australia has followed a controversial immigration
policy. It intercepts boatloads of asylum seekers and then places them in detention on small relatively poor Pacific Islands.
Well, Ivan Watson looks at what life is like for the kids who have spent months or even years in
such detention. That's coming up on Amanpour. That's 7:00 p.m. London time, 11:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi, only on cnn.
You're watching Connect the World. We're going to take a very short break. But before we close out this hour, depicting the horrors of war.
We're going to catch up with a Syrian refugee artist who is defying the conflict with his paint brush.
More after this.
ANDRESON: We want you to take a look at these images. What you are seeing is the effect of heavy rain in California. Recently it has led to
cliff erosion in the town of Pacifica, and that means homes are getting dangerously close to the edge.
Eeveral apartment complexes have actually been evacuated.
Now, you're watching Connect the World. This is CNN. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back.
It's five minutes to 9:00.
A different perspective now on the refugee and migrant crisis that we have been covering for you tonight from the paint brush of an artist forced
to to flee his homeland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an artist from Aleppo, Syria.
I care in my paintings about human beings -- loneliness, sadness, so most of my paintings you can see people mixed together but they are
I left Aleppo since two years to Lebanon, because I was fed up. They destroy my studio. They burn my books, my paintings. And that was start
to be very danger for life.
You die suddenly without anything, be bombed by something else.
So, I left Aleppo to survive, not because what I lost.
This painting called The Last Man in the Cafe because I spent most of my life in the Cafe in Aleppo with with my friends And because of that I
can follow this feelings of the cafe -- the chair, the table, the conversation in political.
I paint people. They feel very well and they understand very well the situation they leave, but they don't have any effect outside of themselves.
Most of my (inaudible) are looking at you. To see what the solution, because they don't have solution.
My spirit still in Aleppo. I'm Aleppian. I'm very Aleppian guy.
ANDERSON: Well, some good news for your Parting Shots tonight. The search is over. We are heading to Afghanistan where this little super fan
has finally been located. He became a vitral hit after an image of him was posted online wearing a plastic bag with his idol Lionel Messi's name
scribbled on the back of it.
Well, it turns out he's a 5-year-old Motatsa Amady (Ph) from a village near the Afghan capital Kabul. As for the makeshift football jersey, well,
his older brother made it for him because his father says the boy kept crying for a Messi shirt.
Well, I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. From the team here, it's a very good evening.