Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
UN Security Council Considers Action Against North Korea; Pro-Assad Supporters Optimistic Military Solution Possible; UAE Would Support Sending anti-ISIS Ground Forces to Syria; Far East Celebrates Lunar New Year; Beyonce Stoles Show at Super Bowl Halftime. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired February 8, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:10] FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Syrian government believes that at this point in time it is winning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Gaining ground with the help of Russian air power. This hour, we're live in Damascus and in Moscow with the latest on the
changing battlefield in Syria.
Also ahead, the road to the White House. Voters go to the ballot box in New Hampshire tomorrow. And the candidates making their final appeal for
support. An update on the race from the Granite State.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A good evening from the UAE just after 8:00 here. The Syrian battlefield as we once knew it is rapidly changing. Forces loyal to Bashar
al-Assad are now making major gains around the city of Aleppo, pushing towards the Turkish border.
Now that of course comes with the support of Russian airstrikes.
The troops have said that the main road from Aleppo to the Turkish border, tens of thousands of people, have fled the violence with hundreds of
thousands remaining trapped.
Our Fred Pleitgen joins me now live from Damascus with more on the mood in the Syrian capital -- Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky.
And you can certainly feel how the mood has changed ever since this latest offensive by the Syrian government has begun. You can see that there's
more people out on the streets here in Damascus as well. There's more traffic. And people that we're speaking to generally tell us that they are
a lot more optimistic than they were several months ago.
It's interesting, because when you spoke to people in the past they would tell you, you know, we're hoping for some sort of diplomatic solution. But
now more and more there are people who are saying that they believe that there could be a military end to this conflict.
In fact, I spoke to some officials today, to some regular people as well, and they said that they find it remarkable the gains that Syrian military
has been making. Of course, they also acknowledged that a lot of that is due to Russian air power, is due to also a lot of the Iranian-backed
militias including Hezbollah, but also some Iraqi militias as well.
But nevertheless, I have to tell you I have been coming to this country for the past two and a half years and have not seen the kind of optimism among
officials, among a lot of regular backers of the Assad government as well, that I'm seeing right now, Becky.
ANDERSON: Well, if you are suggesting that people really do think that this might be the beginning of the end, is it the outcome that they wanted
to? Clearly if you are speaking to officials of the Bashar al-Assad regime, it may be what about those who don't support that regime?
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean, certainly people who don't support that regime would certainly not want that kind of outcome to happen.
I mean, at this point in time, it really is interesting to see how the battlefield is shifting here in Syria. It's interesting to see, also, in
the north how the rebels there are finding it more and more difficult to withstand the onslaught that's going on there.
But if you speak to the people who support the government here in Damascus, a lot of the officials here, they also acknowledge that this is still
something that is a long process.
And a lot of them aren't sure whether or not this is a process that might be reversed at some point in time. It really is unclear at this point in
time whether or not the gains that have been made by the Syrian military, also by its other backers as well, are really solid gains or whether or not
they could be reversed, especially if you look up there on the Aleppo area.
The Aleppo area is really one where almost everybody will tell you that to them is decisive. Because they believe that if they can defeat the rebels
in Aleppo, that that would be a crushing blow to the opposition against Bashar al-Assad. But they also realize that if they don't manage to defeat
the rebels up there in Aleppo, it will become a lot more difficult for them as well.
And we have seen government offenses in the past trying to encircle the rebels in Aleppo and in the past they have not been able to do that.
So, they certainly do acknowledge that that is a key decisive battleground that will surely shape the way that this conflict moves forward, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Damascus for you.
Now if this were the beginning of the end, this would be five years in and still today, as Fred is pointing out, thousands of civilians still on the
move fleeing Aleppo and heading for the border with Turkey.
Turkey insists it has an open door policy for them, but as my colleague Arwa Damon shows us, the reality appears very different.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They can see Turkey's flag fluttering in the distance. Tens of thousands have fled in recent days.
The safety they long for painfully near, but closed off.
"What is this life?" This woman cries out from one of the packed tents. Have mercy on us. Have mercy.
But so far there is none.
Turkish authorities continue to insist that they have an open door policy, but being here that most certainly does not really seem to be the case.
They say that they are providing the refugees with everything that they would need to be able to survive on the other side.
And while the camp seems to be taking on more of a permanent feel, there is nothing here to protect them from the violence.
"We did not come here to get tents," Saleh (ph) says. "We don't need food or water. We want to get through and provide security for our children."
He, like many of the others, has already been displaced by Syria's relentless violence multiple times. These are the people who held out
hope, who didn't want to make the impossible decision to leave everything they have and life behind.
This is said to be the aftermath of just one of the Russian airstrikes pounding Aleppo and its countryside in recent days. The ongoing cries of
agony of those who continue to lose loved ones day and night. The neverending
desperate scramble to save lives as the Assad regime's army gains ground under Russian air cover.
Turkey is allowing the wounded and those needing medical treatment through. At the Killis (ph) hospital, we meet Sadaim Hashad (ph), a rebel fighter
injured a few months back who came to Turkey five days ago for surgery.
Next to him, a man who arrived the day before unable to talk.
Hashad (ph) says the Russian bombing is like nothing they have seen before. "They come with four planes at a time," he curses Putin.
Rebel commanders warn that they can only hold out in Aleppo for a few months. The UN fears that in the rebel-held eastern part of the city,
upwards of 300,000 civilians are in grave risk.
But despite Turkey's statements that it won't abandon those in need, one more gate to safety for now remains closed.
Arwa Damon, CNN, on the Turkey-Syria border.
ANDERSON: Well, (inaudible) has to be following all of the latest developments on the war in Syria this hour, including an interview with the
UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash after the country said it's willing to send ground troops to Syria.
And while Russia bombards rebel-held territory there, it says it has arrested several suspected ISIS militants back home.
We're going to get you the view from Moscow a little later this hour.
Meanwhile it is the next critical test in the race for the White House. Just a day away when New Hampshire holds its primary. Now, the candidates
are making a last-minute push for votes. CNN's poll of polls shows Donald Trump leading
the Republican pack in that state with 31 percent followed by Marco Rubio with 15 percent. Interesting times.
The contest between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has gotten pretty contentious. Our poll of polls shows Sanders on top with 54 percent
and Clinton with 40 percent support in New Hampshire.
Well, let's break all this down for you. MJ Lee joining me live from Manchester in New Hampshire. And as we talk, MJ, live pictures coming into
CNN of Bernie Sanders in a rally in one town in New Hampshire still stumping ahead of what is another big day in the nominating process for the
White House in 2016.
Let's break down these polls starting with the Democrats. And you've got Bernie Sanders there topping Hillary Clinton in what will be a big day, as
I suggest tomorrow.
What can we read into that latest polling?
MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, what we are expecting at this point is for Bernie Sanders to have a clear edge over Hillary Clinton in the
state of New Hampshire. This has been that way for awhile. So, it would be surprising at this point if Hillary Clinton was able to beat Sanders.
But the issue for Clinton, because she had such a competitive and close race with Sanders in Iowa, she wants to put in her best showing here in
this state. She has said this herself. If she can come in maybe a couple points of Sanders or not have that gap between herself and Sanders be so
big, she would consider that a victory for herself.
Again, I think in Iowa the fact that she had such a razor thin margin of a win with Sanders, you know, she understands that a part of that is because
she has an enthusiasm problem. Sanders is someone who, you know, from the beginning has had thousands and thousands of people turn up to his rallies,
a lot of young people are getting getting behind him.
And she is recognizing that she has a problem to deal with in terms of enthusiasm and wants to try to rectify that going forward.
ANDERSON: And MJ, briefly, this is a state that Donald Trump will want to hold on to. It's one for him to lose effectively. What chance?
LEE: I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time hearing you. Were you asking abuot the Republican candidates?
ANDERSON: Donald Trump, correct.
LEE: Yeah, I mean, Donald Trump definitely has a significant lead over the other candidates in New Hampshire. He is expected to win as of the polls
right now, but again, things are very fluid in this state. This is a state where voters are known for making up their minds at the last minute. About
a third of the voters here haven't even made up their minds at this point.
And I think because Marco Rubio, who has been coming in in second place behind Donald Trump in this state, because he has sort of this really bad
moment in the last debate, I think the candidates who are behind Rubio, like John Kasich, like Chris Christie, like Jeb Bush, who have been
campaigning really hard in the state, they are hoping that because of that bad debate they will be able to compete with him or beat him and come in
maybe in second or third place.
And those second, third, fourth place finishes are really important heading into the next state of South Carolina.
So a lot could change in the next little bit. And that's why we're seeing all these candidates campaigning so hard in the final hours.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. All right, MJ is in Manchester, New Hampshire, for you this evening on the campaign trail.
LEE: Defying the world, and escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Now, North Korea held a fireworks display in the capital to celebrate what it says was the launch of a satellite over the weekend. There is, though,
global concern that the launch was actually cover for a ballistic missile test.
Now world reaction has been swift, including from Pyongyang's closest friend China.
Members of the UN security council also strongly condemned the action and early on Monday South Korea fired warnings after it said a North Korean
patrol boat crossed the maritime border between the two countries.
Well, despite what is going on north of the border, people in the south, in South Korea, seem to be more focused on celebrating the lunar new year.
CNN's Ivan Watson is inside the South Korean capital for you to find out why.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESOPNDENT: This is a traditional changing of the guard ceremony at the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. You
see men dressed in the traditional armor and weapons of warriors from centuries ago who would have protected the ancestors of Koreans.
And they are doing this shortly after North Korea, the neighbor very close to the North, has fired a rocket in an act that has been pretty much
universal condemned by the international community and by South Korea.
But the North Korean rocket launch coincided with the lunar new year, that's the biggest holiday of the Korean calendar, a time when many people
dress up in traditional Korean clothes and they come and visit this palace. No one here seems to be concerned about the belligerent neighbor to the North.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Many Koreans feel regretful for what North Korea did. But since this isn't the first time, South Koreans
don't care that much. So, we aren't too worried. That's why we can still enjoy
celebrating the lunar new year.
WATSON: Are you afraid?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm kind of worried, but this isn't something that people like me should be afraid of.
WATSON: So you are happy today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think so. Yes, you happy today.
WATSON: Despite the festive atmosphere, the threat South Korea continues to face is very real. With the rocket launch, with the claims to have
tested a hydrogen bomb barely a month ago, North Korea has broken many United Nations security council resolutions.
South Korea says it may discuss possibly deploying new weapons systems to protect itself against the threat of long-range rockets. And it will be
looking towards China to perhaps impose fresh economic sanctions against North Korea.
Centuries ago, Koreans could rely on fortifications, on bows and arrows and spears to protect themselves. Today, the security solution is much less
[11:15:04] ANDERSON: Ivan Watson.
Well, South Korea isn't the only country marking the Lunar New Year. Ahead, we'll show you the celebrations across Asia. That is coming up.
First, though, taking the fight to ISIS. We'll speak to a senior official from the United Arab Emirates and find out why this country is willing to
send ground troops into Syria.
ANDERSON: This the CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. 17 minutes past 8:00 in the UAE. To our top story once again. And Syrian
government forces are gaining ground around the city of Aleppo.
Now, these images show some of the recent fighting in the area. And now there's the possibility of more fighters entering a gruesome battlefield
that is no shortage of armed groups.
The UAE says it is willing to send ground troops into Syria as part of an international coalition to fight ISIS. The UAE's minister of state for
foreign affairs Anwar Gargash sat down with my colleague John Defterios earlier and began by explaining the reasons for that decision.
ANWAR GARGASH, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The UAE's position is consistent and clear. We have always said that we need a
political process that does not marginalize the Sunnis, that the ground campaign against ISIS is essential to support the fight against ISIS. We
have been consistent about this. And we're not talking about thousands of troops.
And of course, American leadership is essential. The United States currently leads the campaign and it's only logical for the United States
also to lead the ground campaign.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, in fact, many -- and it's become a political issue in The States -- said this should be a Sunni-
led campaign with Egypt, Pakistan Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It shouldn't be an American-led effort. Why do you insist on American
leadership on this?
GARGASH: I think it's logical because on the one hand you have an American leadership of the air campaign, the ISIS campaign. The United States leads
the effort and the anti-Daesh coalition. And I think on the other hand practical reasons on the ground meant that we have not been able to play
that, quote, unquote, Sunni role on the ground in Iraq, because we have a government also that refuses
that role and sees this as a problem.
[11:20:02] DEFTERIOS: What do you make of Foreign Minister's Muellem's comments that if there's not authorization to go into Syria, that the
foreign minister of Syria says that troops will come back in wooden boxes. That's pretty aggressive.
GARGASH: Well, I think the comment is very aggressive and I think the comment is interpreted that this is a government that doesn't want to
proceed with the political process. Perhaps smells victory.
But I think that the only solution for Syria, and this is the position all along is political process transition to make sure that this works.
DEFTERIOS: Yeah, but this is the challenge. Bashar al-Assad sees a window of opportunity to stay in power. And this is not acceptable to the UAE or
Saudi Arabia still.
GARGASH: But I think through the crisis four years crisis in Syria, or longer now, we have seen these moments where each party thinks it's on the
verge of a breakthrough. And what we really see is that these are false perceptions and the crisis itself was into a more dangerous phase. And I
think this is why we really do need to work very hard on the political process and make it work because that's really the only way out.
ANDERSON: There is of course so much effort in the fight against ISIS in this region. It isn't restricted to Syria.
Russia, which is carrying out airstrikes backing the Syrian regime says it has arrested seven suspected ISIS members on home soil. They were detained
in the city Yekringburg (ph) and accused of plotting terror attacks.
Well, CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you this evening.
It's clear that Russian firepower firstly helping the Syrian regime defeat the government's detractors, displacing tens of thousands who it seems now
are headed for Turkey.
In the first instance, before we talk about these ISIS arrests, how does the Kremlin explain their latest strategy in Syria?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they have been pretty consistent from the outset. I mean, they started these
airstrikes back at the end of September last year.
You remember the military position of Bashar al-Assad was extremely weak for the whole of 2015 virtually. He was facing probable defeat. He was
losing territory to the array f rebel groups almost by the day.
And since the very powerful Russian air force was deployed, that situation has been turned
around almost completely.
And we're now seeing a situation where Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by the Russians in the air, and of course helped on the ground by the Iranians
and by the militant group Hezbollah, are making significant gains. They've now virtually surrounded the city of Aleppo,
really the prize in Northern Syria. Before the war, of course, Aleppo was the biggest city in the country.
And if it is gamed by the government forces as looks likely, quite frankly, that will be a major prize for the government and of course a major blow
for the rebels who have been fighting against Bashar al-Assad since 2011.
And so we're really at a significant moment in this campaign and it's been brought about effectively by the Russian airstrikes.
ANDERSON: Matt, Russia has previously said that part of their involvement in the Syrian conflict is to combat ISIS at home. Is there any evidence
CHANCE: Well, that's a genuine concern. The spread of Islamist violence in Russia is something they have suffered from in many years past that even
pre-dates, of course, the conflict in Syria.
And you know, all the time there are terrorist plots being unearthed, we're told, by the Russian secret services. One of them just today, of course,
seven individuals in the city of Yakatarinaburg (ph), which is in the Urals region of Central Russia were arrested by the FSB, the federal security
services and apparently trying to plan and plot a terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg, a Russian city, in Moscow and elsewhere as well.
So we're seeing a lot of these plots being unearthed consistently, but that's increased since Russia's intervention in Syria.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance in Moscow for you this evening.
24 minutes past 7:00 there. 24 minutes past 8:00 in Abu Dhabi.
We're live for you tonight with Connect the World and me Becky Anderson.
Coming up, could these two men be carrying a laptop concealing a bomb. Well, the latest on the investigation into what was the midair explosion on
a Somali plane.
First up, though, how one company has found a solution for your unwanted items. That is next on our new Connecters series. Taking a short break.
Back with that, after this.
[11:26:18] ANDERSON: Welcome back, just half past the hour. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you with Connect the World.
Now, when we move from one home to another, the question many of us face, I'm sure you have too, is do I keep certain items or throw them out. Well,
this week in the Connecters, the team at advertising agency Leo Burnett explain how out of the box thinking gifted one client an award-winning
solution that just keeps giving. Have a look at this.
ALEX LEE, CEO, LEO BURNETT: Leo Burnett is a world famous advertising agency. We have about 200 people in this office, which makes us one of the
largest advertising agencies in this market.
I'm Alex Lee, CEO of Leo Burnett Hong Kong. And this is my wonderful team.
Most of the time, the world are generated resulted from a real need from our clients. But in this case we actually practically reached out to the
Salvation Army and pitched the idea to them.
I would let the team talk to more how the inspiration comes.
DANIEL LO, LEO BURNETT: I'm Daniel Lo, art director of Leo Burnett Hong Kong.
I remember one day there's one of my colleagues is moving home, and he is just keep on complaining about he got a lot of things and wants things, but
he doesn't want to just waste it. And many of us felt the same. We came up with an idea of how to help people to prevent wastage when they are
moving in an easy way.
You are like just giving a gift back to society. It can also drive them to donate good in a more
MAY CHAN, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEO BURNETT: I'm May Chan, a creative director in Leo Burnett Hong Kong.
There are three things to be concerned most: the versatility, the utility, and (inaudible) cost. So, we come up with this design. We bring the words
keep and gift on the transitional moving boxes.
When you pack, when you cover in a gift side and this means that the things will be directly to Salvation Army.
FANNY LAU, ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEO BURNETT: Hi. I'm Fanny Lau. I'm the associative creative director from Leo Burnett Hong Kong.
We did a little bit of research and we found out that Hong Kong people throw away ab out 270 metric ton of (inaudible) waste on average every day.
That's 1 million clothing items.
So we are looking for solution to solve this problem.
The (inaudible) company is just the first moving company endorsed our idea and we hoped that more logistic companies can join in the program together
with Salvation Army.
LEE: We encourage people to work and collaborate quite freely together. We hope that we're going to do much more of this kind of work for our
clients. And I would hope that everyone have fun in that process of doing such work.
ANDERSON: This week's Connectors.
Well, the latest world news headlines just ahead. And we'll return to U.S. politics. The president of the Arab American Institute explains how the
candidates speak about the Middle East and says how that might provide a good window into how they will lead the
So far he's giving the Republicans a failing grade.
[08:33:19] ANDERSON: Right. Well, the clock is ticking on the New Hampshire primary. Tuesday another critical test for the candidates in the
race for the White House in 2016.
James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute says he's, quote, deeply disturbed by what the candidates have to say about the Middle East,
especially the Republicans. In an editorial for the Huffington Post he says the policies espoused by the candidates have, quote, ranged from the absurd
to the banal, demonstrating a disturbing lack of seriousness and understanding of the issues facing the United States in the Middle East."
Well, James Zogby joins me now live from Washington. It's good to have you, sir.
Before we get to how this region should view the race, taking place as we speak -- or certainly as we move into Tuesday. Let me ask you this, are
you advising, or actively advising, any of the candidates for the White House?
JOHN ZOBGY, PRESIDENT, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Sure. Thank you for having me on. And it's an important topic to discuss.
I have met with and advised Martin O'Malley when he was in the race. And I have met and advised Bernie Sanders and written some things for both of
So, yes, I am helping to the best of my ability to sort of educate some of the candidates on the
issues that are important to the United States and of course to my community.
ANDERSON: Let's just have a look at some of what is being said. I want to start with Donald
Trump. He told CNN he wants to bring back waterboarding to deal with terrorists. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:35:12] DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTAIL CANDIDATE: They are chopping off heads of Christians and many other people in the Middle East.
They are chopping heads off. They laugh at us when they hear that we are not going to approve waterboarding. And then they'll have a James Foley
and others where they cut off their heads. And, you know, you can say what you want. I have no doubt that it does work in terms of information and
other things -- and maybe not always, but nothing works always.
But I have no doubt that it works. But more importantly, when they are chopping off the heads of people, and innocent people in most cases, beyond
waterboarding is fine with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He's also said, of course, that he would ban Muslims from the U.S., albeit temporarily.
What sort of impact do comments like these having on the popularity of Donald Trump and
Republican candidates themselves among the Arab American community?
ZOGBY: Well, the Republican brand has been literally destroyed over the last decade with Arab Americans. And I'm a democrat, but I think it's a
tragedy because there are many fine, solid Arab-American Republicans in government and leaders in the community. And
they are finding themselves increasingly alienated as are many other mainstream moderate Republicans finding themselves alienated from some of
the direction their party is taking.
You know, the problem with a Donald Trump is a carelessness of language and a sense that I say what I say almost if it's on the tip of my tongue I say
it without any understanding of the consequence that that has for people overseas.
When Secretary Clinton said...
ANDERSON: But James, when you look at the polls, he resonates, doesn't he? Sorry, sir.
ZOGBY: Sure, but look what resonates here also detonates hatred for America overseas and/or absolute confusion as to what are these people
thinking? How can people be voting for this man when he says the things he says. That is terrible and it's something that has to be paid attention
to, but the candidates being so caught up in their own ego have no sense of responsibility to their country.
ANDERSON: James, Hillary Clinton, who is behind Bernie Sanders in the polls going into New Hampshire -- no real surprise there if you know
anything about the machinations of this part of the race, is the only candidate really with any name recognition here in the Middle East in terms
of foreign policy.
How different do you think her policy would be from the current administration, specifically
when it comes to conflicts like the one raging in Syria?
ZOGBY: Well, look, you know there is a certain continuity in policy and the candidate who
wins inherits the holes that were dug by their predecessors and also the track that their predecessors were on.
The candidate who wins also inherits the polarized poisonous paralysis of politics in Washington. And the candidate who wins also inherits the team
that is their party's foreign policy team. So, whether Hillary wins or someone else wins, those constants will be in place.
What will change is the effort to move the ship in a different direction, but the direction is
difficult as President Obama found. Difficult is change when you're in mid-course when you have
got 100,000 troops in the region, when you have got conflict raging, when you have got a military that's saying we can't afford to this anymore and
when you have a Middle East that's unraveling.
And so I expect that either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will have very different approaches but what they will be able to do will be limited
by the constants that they face.
ANDERSON: We'll have you back, what, we have got nine months to go. It's going to be an interesting race. Interesting times. Thank you, sir.
More details, viewers, emerging on the midair explosion on board a Somali airliner. Now, a new video shows two Mogadishu airport workers handling a
laptop which authorities believe contained a bomb.
The CEO of Daallo Airlines, meanwhile, admits there have been some security shortcomings at the airport. He spoke to my colleague Jon Jensen. Have a
listen to this.
JON JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I want to read to you something your pilot said over the weekend to media regarding security at Mogadishu airport. He
said the security is zero, talking about the people on the ground coming in and out of the plane. He said there are some 20 to 30
people who come to the tarmac. They can enter the plane and no one knows who is who.
[11:40:03] MOHAMED YASSIN, CEO, DAALLO AIRLINES: He's right. There are some lapses, otherwise this thing would never have happened.
JENSEN: Has he or any of your other crew ever voiced concern to you or to any of your
team in the past?
YASSIN: Not actually to that level. Definitely, as I told you, you know, the concern was always there. You know, the region is a region which is
under turmoil and so you can expect such things to happen.
JENSEN: If it's to be expected, sir, then respectfully why were you flying into Mogadishu Airport?
YASSIN: Everything can be expected. You know, it's happening all over the world. It's not only in Mogadishu. You know, this threat is all over the
Now we'll add one more layer of security now. We have employed professional security company to do it, you know, secondary screening.
JENSEN: How can you convince passengers it to fly on Daallo Airlines in the future?
YASSIN: Our airlines will continue its work, its services, you know, to Mogadishu. We will not stop. Of course, seeing is believing. So our
passengers will see how much improvement is being done. I'm 100 percent sure, you know, we will keep their confidence.
ANDERSON: Well, Jon is with me with more here tonight.
We heard the CEO say that they are adding new security measures, Jon. What are they doing? Ad what is the future of this airline?
JENSEN: That's a good question. Right now Mogadishu airport has several layers of security, however flawed they may be. The airline, what they'd
like to do is add another layer just for their passengers and for their cargo. The CEO tells me this could happen in the next three or four days
This is -- look, it's an airline -- it's a very small regional carrier in Africa. They have five planes in the fleet, most of which right now is
grounded. They have had a number of cancellations and they really are starting to get hit in the bottom line right now. The CEO says once our
security is in place, we can get passengers back into our planes and have them taking off and get back out there.
ANDERSON: Fascinating, Jon, thank you.
You're watching Connect the World live from Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson.
Coming up Beyonce sends a powerful message at this year's Super Bowl. Her performance and why it is creating so much buzz. That's next.
And people around the world marking the lunar new year. We'll have a special report on
how it is being marked here in the UAE. Stay with us.
[11:45:62] ANDERSON: You're back with us now.
Coldplay may have been the main act at Sunday Night's Super Bowl halftime performance, but some say it was Beyonce who really stole the show.
Well, the super star joined Coldplay and Bruno Mars on the field to sing her newest release Formation. The dancers wore berets and black leather,
a staple of the African American nationalist group the Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 70s.
And while the symbolism may have been subtle at the Super Bowl, it was a different story for the Formation music video. It's full of commentary on
African-American life. Some of the scenes appear to refer to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Hurricane
Well, Danielle Beltan is the associate editor at the Root.com and she joins me now from
What were your first thoughts when you saw the video? And why do you think it has caused
such a fire storm online?
DANIELLE BELTON, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: You know, when I first saw it, I saw it really as an embrace of Beyonce's culture. Southern roots,
her being African-American, of the music, of Louisiana bounc. And it just really was just a full embrace of it. And I was really impressed by it. I
find it to be quite fascinating.
And some of the response to it has been very interesting. A lot of people have enjoyed the
video. The song is really incredible.
I'm just sort of wondering -- I'm sorry. Could you repeat the last part of your question?
ANDERSON: No, no, carry on, you were doing perfectly. Carry on.
BELTON: I just was really, really impressed with the work that she's done here.
And the fact that it kind of encapsulates the Black Lives Matter movement where she talks
about cop killing -- you know, I felt like she made a really strong political statement here that was necessary in a lot of ways.
ANDERSON: All right. You called the video an ode to unapologetic southern blackness. In your article you write, blackness is complex. In this video
she points out all those complexities and how they exist in her, in all of us.
Fantastically written this. Do you think having somebody like Beyonce, who has such mass
appeal, sing about this complexity, will foster a broader understanding of the issues facing the African-American community in 2016?
BELTON: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the last part of your question. I'm sorry, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, do you think having Beyonce sing about this complexity, do you think that will really foster a broader understanding of the issues
facing the African-American community in 2016?
BELTON: Oh, I definitely hope so. I mean, I feel like Beyonce is trying to have a conversation with us. She really wants to engage with her
listeners and her fans and she wants to have this deeper conversation around race, around gender. She's just wanted to reach out more in this
And I feel like this is welcoming from her. You know, in 2014 she kind of tapped into issues around feminism and gender identity. And now she's
talking about race in a really profound way.
All right. Well, I think we are just struggling a little bit to hear each other tonight, but we had had your analysis. Great to have you on board.
We'll have you again, though, no problem. Maybe a problem our end. All right, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, we'll take a very short break at this point.
Coming up, though, the celebration of color across China and the Far East. Find out how the Lunar New Year is being celebrated here in the UAE.
[11:52:33] ANDERSON: Right, always colorful and always a spectacle. The annual New Year's parade in Hong Kong took place a little earlier as
revelers there and across the Far East welcomed the year of the monkey.
Well, you are watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back to the UAE.
The Lunar New Year also being celebrated in parts of the Middle East including here in the UAE.
The likes of Abu Dhabi and Dubai seeing more Chinese tourists than ever before and businesses here are taking note.
One place that's evident is in the galleria mall here in Abu Dhabi. And I'm joined now by Charles Martinez and Feng Jing from the mall's management
Thank you for coming in.
Charles, first to you, how big is the Chinese market here? And why do you need to attract it?
CHARLES MARTINEZ, GALLERIA MALL: Well, as you know, the Chinese population is huge. And in the region they have seen I think 29 percent, close to 30
percent growth year over year in Chinese tourism. So those are two key factors.
But more relevant to us is that the Chinese consumer loves luxury goods and high end fashion. And the Galleria is positioned as a high end luxury
lifestyle destination. And so it is absolutely critical for us to be relevant and of course to have some fun and host celebrations like Chinese
New Year at the Galleria.
ANDERSON: Well, you love Chinese New Year.
And I thank you tonight for our displays here, because we actually stole them from the Galleria for an hour or so just to bring them in for the
Feng, let's talk about the New Year, because it is the year of the monkey, as we know. What does this mean? And what are the main things that you
have or we should know about during this year?
FENG JING, GALLERIA MALL: Yeah. As everybody knows, today is the first day of the spring festival. And that has everybody (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN
LANGUAGE) and the year of the monkey you have to always remember to wear something red, especially if it's your year.
And so the year of the monkey is supposedly they intelligent, clever, and smart.
ANDERSON: Oh, fabulous.
Now, were you born in the year of the monkey? I think you told me that a little earlier. And you are wearing a red tie.
MARTINEZ: And I'd like to thank you for that, because yes, I was born the year of the monkey.
ANDERSON: How important is this to the Chinese population?
JING: Yes, so it's very important for us because we have two zodiacs. And especially this year is the monkey, the number nine zodiac, as you know.
So -- and everybody is very happy and excited to welcome this year.
[11:55:10] ANDERSON: So, what should we eat now and this yaer?
JING: This year we have to eat the same as your fish and chicken and beef probably. And of course if you are a vegetarian you have to eat vegetables
to keep your health...
ANDERSON: It's a tough time to get back to the family in China, isn't it? You see this sort of mass exodus as it were out of the urban areas to get
back. But is it important time to spend with family?
JING: Yeah, of course.
In China, normally people they book their flights and train tickets (inaudible). So, some people even like companies they are very kind. They
give extra days off like one or two days off at the end of the month so people can travel earlier to avoid...
ANDERSON: It takes a bit of time to get home for Thanksgiving in the U.S., of course.
Shopping incredibly important to those around this time of the year, which of course you love.
MARTINEZ: Yes, we do.
ANDERSON: That's your business.
MARTINEZ: Absolutely. I mean, we also love hosting events that are family friendly. And so part of our Chinese New Year not only had wonderful
decor, as you brought here tot he set, but we also had activities for kids. We had a wonderful fireworks show overlooking the promenade. And so
welcoming the Chinese tourists ceratinly is important to us, but welcoming international travelers alike is equally as important.
ANDERSON: Yeah, all right.
Well, listen, it's the year of the monkey. I know that I happen to know that I was born in the year of the sheep. What would that mean if it were
JING: I believe we are tactful, elegant, tasteful and very charming. Am I right?
ANDERSON: I think you are.
Thank you for coming in. I'm so pleased you did.
Listen guys, joking aside, fantastic. Congratulations. Thank you once against for this. And thank you for explaining the customs. Fantastic.
Have you been celebrating? Well, wherever you are, do let us know how you welcomed in the new year. Do share your thoughts, your pictures by using
the Facebook site of course as you know that. Facebook.com/CNNConnect. And get in touch with me as ever.
I'm sure if you're a regular viewer of this show you'll know how to do that. That is @BeckyCNN. @BeckyCNN.
I'm Becky Anderson with my friends here this evening. And from the team here, that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.