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CONNECT THE WORLD
Leonardo DiCaprio, Spotlight Win At Oscars; Many Skeptical of Syrian Ceasefire; American Held in North Korea Speaks; Mosul Dam In Danger of Failing. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired February 29, 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] CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Since the cessation of hostilities began, there has been a dramatic decrease in the
number of airstrikes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Exclusive reporting from inside rebel-held Syrian territory. What our Clarissa Ward saw when she traveled to Daraa Iza (ph)
Also ahead, clashes on the border, migrants ram through a fence between Greece and Macedonia. Authorities respond with tear gas and rubber
The latest on the situation there coming up.
And political tide turning. Reformist gain in Iran's elections. What the results mean for the president and the nuclear deal. We're live in Tehran
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
ASHER: hello, everyone, thank you so much for being with us.
Countries backing the Syria cease-fire are holding crisis talks this hour to try to keep a three day old truce from unraveling. A main opposition
group says attacks by the government are threatening to nullify the deal.
The Syrian military says that it's battling, quote, terrorists including ISIS who are not part of the truce, but opposition leaders say that
moderate rebels are also coming under fire as well. Despite the reports both NATO and the UN say the ceasefire appears to be largely holding.
Our senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward has just returned from a rebel-held Syria where she was able to witness for herself how exactly
the cease-fire was holding up. She is virtually the only western journalist to have traveled to the heavy hit area in over a year. Take a
look at her exclusive report.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are in the heart of rebel-held Syria and this entire area has seen some of the most intensive
bombardment in the past few months. And we have been traveling all around here for nearly a week now, and certainly it is fair to say that since the
cessation of hostilities began there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of air strikes.
Now having said that, earlier we visited a town called Darat Iza (ph) of the outskirts of Aleppo. And people there told us that about 30 hours
after the cease-fire began there was an air strike on a house. We were able to capture some
video of the aftermath of the air strikes.
There have also been reports of clashes in other parts of the country, but certainly it does feel quite a bit quieter here.
Now, what's interesting is that you won't find anybody here celebrating about the cease-fire and that's for a number of reasons. Firstly, in the
run-up to the cessation of hostilities, there was a dramatic increase in the Russian
Secondly, the people here who lived in rebel-held territory simply don't trust the regime of Bashar al-Assad. They see the cease-fire as a trick or
ruse, designed so that the regime can take more territory. And for that reason. And for that reason, many people that we've spoken to are in fact
actually against the cease-fire.
Just a few days ago we attended a protest where people were carrying signs that said this cease-fire is a betrayal of our martyrs, of those who have
died for the cause. They were chant over and over again, we must keep on fighting and we must unite. Even the imam in his weekly sermon was urging
people not to heed the ceasefire and to continue fighting.
ASHER: And Clarissa joins us live now. She's on the Turkish-Syrian border.
So, Clarissa, despite the mistrust your were mentioning there in your peace, you're on the ground there, is the cease-fire largely successful, do
WARD: Well, it really depends who you talk to. I think what it is fair to say without a doubt is that there has been a significant decrease in
reports of violence and in reports of airstrikes. But, frankly, from the conversations that I had with people on the ground, I'm very skeptical as
to how long this semi-truce can hold.
And I think it's important to emphasize that in the run-up to that cease- fire in the few days leading up to it, we were out and about and on the ground and traveling
around. We witnessed for ourselves a Russian airstrike on a fruit market in a small town, at least seven people killed including a 10-year-old boy
who we saw for ourselves. We visited courthouses and hospitals that had been leveled to the ground and we talked to many different people of all
different ages and different persuasions and all of them were essentially saying the same thing, this isn't fair, we have given too much, we have
sacrificed too much, too much blood has been spilled. There's no way at this stage that we can accept any kind of compromise.
Simply put, Zain, we have nothing left to lose.
ASHER: At least one piece of good news, though, or hope on the horizon is the fact that humanitarian aid can now get to those besieged areas during
OK, Clarissa Ward live for us there, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
And remember to tune in to CNN to see Clarissa's full series of exclusive reports inside Syria.
Now I want to take you to the migrant crisis in Europe now where tensions are rising on the
Greece-Macedonia border. Thousands of migrants charged the barbed-wire fence, you can see them there, into Macedonia. This video shows you
basically women and children, young men of course trying to make it to the other side. This comes just days after several Balkan countries, including
Macedonia, agreed to tighten border controls.
Atika Shubert has been following developments. She's joining us live now from Berlin.
So, Atika, just walk our viewers through what exactly happened earlier and has the border fence now been restored?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The border fence has been restored and Maceconian riot police have bulked up their numbers on the
other side of the border, special helicopter actually brought reinforcements, but it's an uneasy calm that's taken hold of the Idomeni
(ph) border crossing. And that is because there still remains several thousand people camped out there at the border crossing demanding to get
Now, this has been building for some time. And it's not the first time something like this has
happened. But in recent days, Macedonia as well as other Balkan countries, have really clamped down. And they are not allowing anybody across unless
they are Syrian or Iraqi and they must have valid photo ID, which is something many refugees do not have.
So, many of those traveling from Afghanistan, from Iran, from other countries, possibly even Eritrea, they are not being allowed across. So
they are camped out on the border desperate to find some way over.
Now, it reached a boiling point this morning, order has been restored, but it has been not resolved at this point. And this is ts bigger issue. And
Greece has been warning there are more than 20,000 asylum seekers now stranded in Greece trying to get into to Europe. By some estimates another
70,000 are on their way.
And Greece is saying if there is no solution that comes forward in the next few days up to a week, then it will reach crisis point.
ANDERSON: Yeah, Greece, of course, burying much of the burden in all this. Atika Shubert, thank you so much for following this story live for us in
On to another story we're following, Iran, they have been preparing to usher in what could be a new political era. Early election results
indicate major support for reformists in the capital Tehran. Votes, you can see there, are still being counted in the rest of the country, but so
far it's a big nod of approval to President Hassan Rouhani, he is the man who signed last year's landmark nuclear deal which brought sanctions relief
to Iran and paved the way for warmer relations with the west.
Our Fred Pleitgen is live for us in Tehran. He got to actually witness this election firsthand.
So, the fact that the reformists are gaining, what does this mean in the long-term, Fred? Does it mean greater opening with the west? What does it
mean in terms of economic implications as well?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a good question.
It certainly does seem like a ringing endorsement for the policies of Hassan Rouhani, who has been opening this country towards the west slowly
but surely. And that's something that I think we can expect to continue over the next couple of years. Not major, big reforms, but you'll
certainly see the country allow western investment, allow more investors to come in here.
But of course the big thing we always have to talk about when we talk about the economy of Iran and its economic development and of course what it
means to the rest of the world is Iran's hydrocarbon sector, oil and gas. And that's something where the Iranians say they want to develop this
sector as fast as possible in spite of the low oil prices.
I was able to speak to the country's deputy oil minister, and I asked him whether or not Iran would be willing to freeze its output, like some other
countries are suggesting, and he says absolutely not. Let's listen in.
AMIR HOUSSEIN ZAMANINIA, IRANIAN DEPUTY OIL MINISTER: We do not intend to sanction ourselves again after coming out of the sanctions by saying that
we are not increasing our production, because that was the whole idea of sanction to limit our
production and our supply of oil to the international market. We are not going to impose that sanction on ourselves voluntarily.
PLEITGEN: Does that mean you're sticking with the 1 million a day goal?
ZAMANINIA: We want to increase our production to the level that we used to produce prior to the sanctions. And at that time then we can get together
and discuss and strategize for the future.
PLEITGEN: How much foreign direct investment are you going to need to do that? Because there is considerable investment that will be necessary in
your oil and gas infrastructure.
ZAMANINIA: Iranian market, Iranian oil industry is very attractive. Our production cost is low, most of our fields are still untapped, and we have
well placed engineering tradition in Iran with high degree of engineers being educated from Iranian colleges. Our human resources is excellent,
unparalleled in the region. And we have no doubt that we can attract at least $40 billion, $45 billion per day -- per year.
PLEITGEN: Working together in that system with Saudi Arabia, is that something you see as possible in a fruitful way?
ZAMANINIA: I think the political development, there is a momentum now also in the region. If the cease-fire holds in Syria, it may allow for further
political discussions within the stakeholders there.
And I hope that through a process of reinforcement of politics and economy of oil, things could
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:11:08] PLEITGEN: It's so important, of course, the Iranian hydrocarbon sector, but the Iranians also expect big investment for instance in their
manufacturing sector and their IT sector, and also in their tourism sector as well, Zain.
ASHER: In fact, given what this means for investment in Iran, the success of the reformers, does it mean that Rouhani is likely to get a second term,
next year, do you think?
PLEITGEN: Well, it still is a long way down the road. And certainly at this point in time, when we look at the election results so far, it really
does seem as though this was an endorsement of his policies. He is quite popular at this point in time, his foreign minister Jawad Zarif, for
hammering out that nuclear agreement, is very popular as well.
But one of the things that we also hear again and again when we speak to people here in Tehran and other cities as well is they say, look, we have
the nuclear agreement. We see all these big contracts being signed between Iran and western countries, between Iran and western firms, however, few
people have actually felt the benefits of that yet. People want jobs, people want economic development, people want to make more money.
And if they don't see that in the medium term, then this is something that could have a backlash
against Hassan Rouhani as well.
So at this point in time, people here very much endorse those policies. However, it is something, of course, that if he doesn't deliver the things
that they want could shift again in the future.
ASHER: well, people have spoken.
OK, Fred Pleitgen live for us there in Tehran, thank you so much.
Still to come tonight, a new poll bodes well for White House hopeful, Donald Trump. Ahead of the campaign's biggest week so far.
Wait until you see just how big his lead is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OTTO WARMBIER, AMERICAN STUDENT HELD IN NORTH KOREA: Please, think of my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: The really emotional and tearful plea of an American being held as I speak in North Korea. What he's accused of doing, that's coming up after
[11:15:16] ASHER: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back. In about 36 hours from now, we could have a
pretty good idea of who the final two candidates will be in the race for the White House. 12 states are holding primaries or caucuses on what's
known as Super Tuesday. A new nationwide survey of Republicans show the uphill battle they face in trying to catch up with Donald Trump.
Take a look at this. This is the CNN/ORC poll that was conducted late last week, so relatively recent. I know you see of course Donald Trump ahead of
his closest challenger Marco Rubio by more than 30 points now.
In the meantime, Trump finds himself on the defensive after gaining the endorsement of David Duke. If you don't know that name, he once led the
KKK, the Ku Klux Klan in the United States.
Trump disavowed him on Friday but then said this during a weekend interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDNETIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know anything about David Duke, OK. I don't know anything about what you're
even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don't know. I don't know,
did he endorse me or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about
white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: OK. Let's get some analysis on this, this crucial week in the race to the White House.
CNN politics correspondent Chris Moody is joining us live now from Washington.
So, Chris, you saw Donald Trump there. He's sort of saying I don't know. I don't know anything about the KKK. He basically did initially refuse to
disavow the KKK.
But something tells me that this is unlikely to hurt him going into Super Tuesday.
CHRIS MOODY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he did a couple days ago at a press conference said I disavow them, I disavow, referring specifically to David
Duke, which is why his response on Sunday was so strange.
Now, the question of will it hurt him in the short-run, on Super Tuesday? Sometimes these big media things take a couple days or even weeks to really
gel and have an impact on an election and whether or not it can have an impact on an election in just two days, it might be very difficult to tell
A lot of people in several states have already done early voting or mailed in their votes, so they have locked those in already. But it will have an
impact afterwards for sure, because you're going to start to see a lot of ads from that Sunday interview.
ASHER: And some people within the GOP have said that even though they are not thrilled with Donald Trump that they will support the Republican
nominee, whoever that might be, including Donald Trump. But surely this must be awkward for the establishment.
MOODY: It certainly is. And we're starting to see the response to what happened on Sunday very quickly. His comments on Sunday when he would not
talk about David Duke or the KKK or disavow them in that interview really solidified the opposition to him in GOP establishment. Cruz and Rubio on
the campaign trail both hitting on it really hard. There was a senator from Nebraska name Ben Sass (ph), a Republican, who said I will not support
him in November, even if he's the nominee.
So you're starting to see the establishment really coalesce around pointing against him, around making sure he doesn't win or at least making their
But the people are still voting for him and that's reflecting in those polls.
ASHER: And speaking of voting, you've got Super Tuesday tomorrow, Tuesday rather, 600 delegates up for grabs, just walk us through where, if
anywhere, Donald Trump is actually vulnerable.
MOODY: If you look at the polls, he's looking very strong in almost all of those states. The one vulnerability could be Texas, which is the home
state of his opponent, Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz is a senator there in Texas. And there are 155 delegates at stake, the most of any state that is voting
on Super Tuesday.
That is Ted Cruz's opportunity to make inroads. But even if Donald Trump gets second place, the math is still on Donald Trump's side and there's a
lot of space that the other candidates need to make up. They -- Rubio, Kasich and Cruz and Carson need to beat Donald Trump in more than just one
state to keep alive in this race.
ASHER: So, what happens if Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both lose their home states?
MOODY: Well, then, that's about it, then.
Now, some people have said if Cruz loses in Texas, maybe that will help Marco Rubio. Well, maybe not so. Who is to say that Cruz's supporters
would not go to Donald Trump and that would expand Trump's lead.
Now, certainly when we get to Florida, that is an all or nothing state. If you get a majority, you get all the delegates.
Rubio absolutely needs Florida to stay alive just as Kasich will need Ohio on that same day. He was the governor of that state. But if they lose in
their hometowns, it is very difficult to see them going forward in a traditional process. They may have to take it all the way to the convention, which is a totally different story altogether.
[11:20:03] ASHER: Right. We shall see. OK, Chris Moody, appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.
Donald Trump is of course clearly a household name in the United States and he may have some business interests all over the world. But just how
recognizable is he in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia in particular?
Nic Robertson went to the streets of Riyadh to find out.
NIC ROBERSTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Saudi, wanting to find people to talk about Donald Trump. Where better to start? Outside the
Harley Davidson cafe.
Can I ask you a question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, go ahead.
ROBERTSON: Do you know who this guy is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know him, but I don't want to mention his name.
ROBERTSON: Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's okay.
As soon as I showed this to you, you knew who he was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like his program.
ROBERTSON: You like his program?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I like his program.
ROBERTSON: Do you know who this guy is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know.
ROBERTSON: You don't know?
Will he make a good president, do you think?
Have you heard of him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, Clinton?
ROBERTSON: Donald Trump.
Who would you pick?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the Cuban guy, Rubio.
ROBERTSON: Marco Rubio?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
ROBERTSON: Hey, guys, can I ask you a question? Is that okay? Hi, how are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm doing fine.
ROBERTSON: Do you know who this guy is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I know who he is.
ROBERTSON: You know who he is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; I don't want to talk about him, please.
ROBERTSON: Why not? Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name, sorry?
ROBERTSON: Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; I think he'll be doing something good. I'm not too sure about what he's going to with Muslims or rather us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; The guy is not going to allow Muslims to come to America. I mean, this is very stupid, not to allow people based on a book
they read or their religion they believe in.
ROBERTSON: Anyone else recognize Donald Trump?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know this guy?
ROBERTSON: Do you know him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush?
ROBERTSON: First time.
Some ways to go on the campaigning over here it seems.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
ASHER: Really interesting to see it from the Saudi perspective there.
Well, live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Coming up, tearing down the jungle, French authorities begin dismantling Calais's sprawling
refugee camp. We'll have details on that coming up.
And the United Arab Emirates has high ambitions for locally grown aerospace industry.
We'll have the details, next on this week's Connector series.
SALEM HUMALD AL MARRI, SCIENTIST: We all grew up reading history books. We know that most of the stars out there are named after Arabic names, so
that shows you the impact that Arabic and Islamic scholars had on cosmology and sciences.
I'm Salem HUmald al Marri, the assistant director general at the Muhammad Murashad (ph) Space Center and this is my team.
The space center was established about ten years ago. The Dubai government wanted to
diversify further and go into science and technology, a key focus from day one was that we need to depend on nationalizing this industry, so we chose
a team of very strong leaders around five or six people who are now the leaders of our main projects here in the UAE.
[11:25:03] MUHAMMED ABDULRAHIM AL HARMI, SCIENTIST: My name is Muhammed al Harmi. I'm the director of space operation at Muhammad Murashad (ph) Space
It was one of our first goals to have Emirati engineers capable of manufacturing satellites in the
I moved to Korea April 29, 2006. I lived there for almost eight years.
The main purpose of us moving to Korea was to get the know how to transfer of manufacturing satellites and all subsystems.
Currently, they're working on the flight on the (inaudible).
(inaudilbe) is the first satellite that's been developed int the UAE by Emirati engineers.
ADNAN MOHAMMED AL RAIS: My name is Adnan, manager of business and general relations office at Muhammad Murashad (ph) Space Center.
We are a nonprofit organization, however, after the launch of device, and two, we can work on
it and commercialize our services from the satellite details and the ground station services.
Using our energies for the urban planning to plan the road networks in the country. The environment departments, for example, within the (inaudible)
use those images to study the vegetation in Dubai.
OMRAN ANWAR SHARAF, PROJECT MANAGER: My name is Omran Sharaf. And I'm the the project manager of Emirates Mars mission.
We were approached by the government and asked about the possibility and feasibility of
going to Mars.
They said we want you to build something unique that has to give back to humanity. The UAE has never been to Mars. This is the first time we go.
So, there's a lot of learning that we need to be doing. So, we need to hit a lot of birds with one stone.
I would like to discuss today actually the mechanical structure of the spacecraft. As you know, we are getting closer, selecting our launch.
Going to Mars is just a mean. The main objective is actually to bring hope to the region, even inspire Emiraties to go to the field of science and
technology, but also to the different nations that we have in the region.
MARRI: I think going forward we have to look at what's coming after Mars and that sustainable thinking, that sustainable program is what's going to
get a young generation of scientists interested to work on our projects.
[11:31:19] ASHER: Meanwhile, the country is facing another series threat, this time the potential breach of the Mosul dam.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad warned of an unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure. It says such a breach would result in many people killed and
Our Jomana Karadsheh has been following the developments from Jordan. She joins us live now.
So, Jomana, I want to get to the damage in just a second, but I do want to start with the ISIS attacks in that busy market. What more do we know?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, we're just hearing first of all from security officials saying the death toll from
that suicide bombing you mentioned at a funeral Moqadiyah (ph), that' a town in Diayala (ph) province northeast of Baghdad. At
least 25 people have been killed so far in that attack, 28 others wounded in this horrific attack that we have seen this similar kind of attack over
and over again over the years targeting funerals like this.
Now also ISIS claiming responsibility for this attack. Also, we're hearing in the past hour.
And Zain, again, as you mentioned, this comes after other attacks we have seen in Baghdad also suicide bombings targeting a marketplace in the
predominately Shia district of Sadr City on Sunday. There at least 66 people were killed, more than 160 wounded.
And again we saw another attack on Thursday, a suicide bombing targeting a Shia mosque.
These kind of attacks that seem to be increasing in the past few days targeting the Shia population in Iraq, this is something that we have seen
ISIS and in the past al Qaeda in Iraq due over and over again to try and reignite that sectarian war that gripped the country for years between 2005
In a very significant development that we're seeing also in the past 24 hours, Zain, according to
Iraqi security officials, ISIS militants launched a complex attack in the western outskirts of Baghdad in the area of Abu Ghraib, that is halfway
between Baghdad and ISIS's stronghold in Anbar Province, the city of Fallujah.
That attack, they managed to capture two areas in Abu Ghraib, security outposts there, and hold them for about ten hours until Iraqi security
forces managed to carry out a counterattack and to push back ISIS.
A very worrying development, Zain, because this in Abu Ghraib we did not see ISIS manage to carry out such attacks or hold any areas there when we
saw that push by the group back in 2014 in the western and northern parts of the country.
And this coming at a time when we are seeing ISIS has lost ground whether in the northern part of the country to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, or in
the western part of the country in Anbar Province. They still have that capability to carry out devastating attacks like the suicide bombings that
we have seen, whether in Diyala (ph) province that was declared liberated about a year ago by Iraqi officials, or in Baghdad where security is always
really high. And also that attack in Abu Ghraib really raising concerns about the ability of ISIS to still launch attacks like this -- Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, Jomana, really troubling developments.
You have spent time in Baghdad. Just walk us through what sort of security measures there are
in predominately Shia districts.
KARADSHEH; Well, all across Baghdad you would see, Zain, that there are lots of checkpoints. You would see people sometimes stuck at checkpoints
for long hours while they are being searched. That causes a lot of traffic jams.
But what we're hearing from Iraqi officials now is that they are trying to reduce the number of
security checkpoints in Baghdad, trying to increase them around the city. There was a bit of a controversy about talking about building a wall around
Baghdad when security officials and the Iraqi government officials came out and said, well, it's not really a wall that they are going to build to try
and isolate Baghdad, it will be more like checkpoints, increasing them around the city rather than inside the
But, Zain, there's always been a lot of criticism of the Iraqi security forces. Some of these checks not really like they are supposed to be,
especially when you see explosives being brought into different areas like Sadr City, which has -- which has really protected by
a lot of the militias that Sadr City is a stronghold of some of the stronger and more -- more powerful militias in Iraq, Zain.
ASHER: And Jomana, there is another worrying development and that is the U.S. is basically saying that the Mosul Dam is at risk of failure. How
much of a security concern is that? And what will that mean for potential flooding in the area?
KARADSHEH: Well, as you recall back in 2014, in August of 2014, ISIS took the Mosul Dam for some time and then Kurdish and Iraqi forces backed by
coalition airstrikes managed to retake the Mosul Dam. And since then, we have been hearing a lot of concern about the maintenance of the dam, about
how secure it is and for the first time yesterday we're hearing both from the U.S. government and also from the Iraqi government all coming out with
statements about the situation at the Mosul Dam.
As you mentioned, the U.S. government is warning of this real risk, real serious risk of a failure. No timeline and it could happen at any point
and cause major flooding. And we're talking about some of the major cities in Iraq in the projected pathway of the flood that could happen if there's
a breach at the Mosul Dam. You're talking about the city of Mosul, Tikrit, Samara, and it could even reach Baghdad according to officials, some parts
of Baghdad could also be impacted.
So, you're talking about a population of somewhere around 500,000 up to 1.4 million around
the banks of the Tigris that could be impacted if you see a breach of the Mosul Dam.
But at the same time, the Iraqi government is coming out, the prime minister. This is the most detailed information and statement we have
heard from the Iraqi government in recent months talking about the situation at the dam.
They are saying that they have an emergency plan in place. They are trying to down play the
situation they are saying that they have an emergency plan in place and they have a plan that is funded by the World Bank and that they are working
with a premium international engineering company as they described it to try to fix the dam.
But again, reassuring people that they do have a plan in place and that this is not going to happen any time soon, Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, even if there is a plan in place, it is still extremely concerning nevertheless. OK, Jomana Karadsheh, live for us
there, thank you so much.
An American college student at the university of Virginia is now at the mercy of authorities in
North Korea. He was arrested there early January for what the government describes as a hostile act. Here's our Will Ripley with more.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another American front and center in Pyongyang's propaganda parade.
WARMBIER: I entirely beg you, people and government of the DPR Korea, for your forgiveness. Please. I've made the worst mistake of my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Otto Frederik Warmbier, a university of Virginia business major making a dramatic emotional confession.
WARMBIER: Please. Save this poor (inaudible) scapegoat.
ASHER: CNN cannot verify if Warmbier is speaking under duress. He's accused of trying to steal a North Korean political banner from his hotel
and take it home in his suitcase.
So, we are just hanging out here in our hotel, the Ungachto (ph) Hotel.
This is where it allegedly happened, a hotel familiar to foreign media and tourists. It is legal for Americans like Warmbier to visit North Korea on
government supervised tours. Those who obey the regime's strict rules usually come and go without a problem. The U.S. State Department won't
comment on Warmbier's case, but the agency strongly recommends against all travel to North
Korea saying Americans risk arrest and long-term detention.
In September 2014, CNN was granted surprise interviews with three detained Americans, two who entered North Korea as tourists, all were eventually
released after U.S. intervention.
WARMBIER: Please, think of my family.
ASHER: Warmbier's parents issued a statement saying they were relieved to finally see him noting they haven't heard from him since he was detained in
January. They urge the North Korean government to, quote, consider his youth and make an important humanitarian gesture by allowing him to return
to his loved ones.
Just days after Warmbier's arrest, North Korea claimed to test its first H- bomb followed weeks later by a satellite launch, two provocative acts that will soon mean even stronger international sanctions against Supreme Leader
Kim Jong-un's regime.
Now, another detained American seen as a valuable political pawn in North Korea's ongoing
propaganda war with the west.
Will Ripley, CNN, Beijing.
ASHER: Time for a quick break here. Still ahead on Connect the World, it is home to thousands of refugees and immigrants. So where will they go now
that France has made the decision to demolish part of the Jungle in Calais? We'll explain.
ASHER: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back to all of you.
Thousands of migrants are desperately trying to cross the Greek border into Macedonia. Police fired tear gas after the crowd broke down part of the
fence. There has been a huge build up of people at the border. They want to make their way through to western Europe but they are facing tight
Meantime, French authorities have begun dismantling part of a huge migrant camp in Calais on Thursday. A court upheld an earlier decision to demolish
the southern half of what is known as the Jungle, which houses thousands of refugees.
I want to get more on this. Kellie Morgan is joining us live now from London.
So, Kellie, as I mentioned, the migrant camp in Calais is being dismantled, but the question is what will happen to the refugees?
KELLIE MORGAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Zain.
Well, the migrants that are being relocated, they're being relocated to purpose built shipping containers in the north part of that camp. So,
that's 2,000 migrants. And what they are going to be doing really is waiting to see whether or not they get a chance to seek refugee in the UK
or indeed get granted asylum in France.
But that's just for 2,000 migrants. They're being moved into these shipping containers, which have heating, they have electricity, much better
conditions than what they have had on other parts of the camp and makeshift buildings. But aid agencies say that there's still
another 1,000 migrants that won't get that housing.
So there's a huge concern for what those are going to do and what we saw this morning were
some of those homes being dismantled.
Now, even though the French authorities said last week when the decision was upheld that the
camp would be dismantled they said that no migrant would be forced from their abode there. That is what aid agencies are saying we are seeing
today, which is why we're seeing some of the tensions with police, these clashes with police today as this dismantling operation begins, Zain.
ASHER: Kellie Morgan live for us there. Thank you so much.
Well, thousands of migrants and refugees are panicking at the Greek border. A much smaller group is feeling somewhat a sense of relief in Italy. They
have arrived at their final destination not by a flimsy boat or by foot, but actually on a chartered sponsored flight.
Here's our Barbie Nadeau with more.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Syrian refugees over the last several years have had to survive a perilous sea crossing to Greece or Italy before
they could hope to start their new lives. Of the more than 100,000 people who have attempted the journey already this year, more than 400 have died
even those who make it often get stuck behind the new borders many European nations are
Now for a fortunate few there is another way into Europe. 93 Syrian refugees, half of them
children, have been flown to Rome from Beirut on a chartered flight thanks to a project called Humanitarian Corridor sponsored by Protestant and
Catholic churches in Italy in coordination with the Italian government.
The program is focused on the most vulnerable, including children and the elderly, many of whom need medical attention.
Fausi Satouf (ph) thought about leaving three years ago but thanks to the presence of the Italians in his camp, he says that he and his family
stopped their plans because they could come by air. He says they are thankful they are alive to tell their story.
Italy's foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni was at the airport to welcome the new arrivals, noting that they are the first of an expected 1,000 who will
land in Italy.
PAOLO GENTILONI, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: It's important in two ways. One, we are saving many migrants, at the end 1,000 of them, from smugglers,
human traffickers, from the risk of their route towards Europe.
And second I think we are giving a message. And the message is that we don't need new walls, new fences to solve the migration crisis.
NADEAU: Raja (ph) who came with her three children lost contact with her husband three years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The fear has passed. Now I want to start a new life. I want to leave the torture we witnessed behind.
NADEAU: Once in Italy, they will be given humanitarian visas. They won't be able to travel
around Europe, but they will give them a chance at a better life right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: the curious one here is my favorite.
NADEAU: This man is from Homs. He only knows the Italian that is written on his t-shirt. He doesn't know what lies ahead, but he says his favorite
word is curious.
Barbie Nadeau for CNN in Rome.
ASHER: OK. We want to take you to Germany now. He says he knew nothing, saw nothing and killed no one. But German prosecutors are saying otherwise
and 95-year-old former Nazi medic went on trial on Monday accused of aiding in the murder of thousands of
prisoners at Auschwitz.
But the judge has already suspended the proceedings over the defendant's alleged health problems. Atika Shubert looks at Germany's ongoing effort
to seek justice for some unspeakable crimes.
SHUBERT: When 15-year-old Ben Lesser left Auschwitz, he weighed about 65 pounds. He managed to live off a slice of bread for 3 days crammed into a
cattle car bound for the Dachau labor camp. He remembers stumbling out of the train but little else. He now knows of the 3000 aboard, only 17
survived. He is the only one alive today at age 88.
BEN LESSER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: Ben, how do you feel that you survived and others didn't? My answer is always that God needed a witness.
SHUBERT: Lesser will be a witness to one of four ongoing trials in Germany to prosecute those who maintained the Nazi death camps. Including Rheinhold
Hanning and Hans Tremmel, former Auschwitz guards and Hubert Zafke, a former Auschwitz medic as well as a woman radio operator at Auschwitz. All
are in their 90s. None are accused of directly committing mass murder. Charged instead with being accessories to the killing of thousands by being
a part of the administration of Auschwitz.
Germany's Chief Public Prosecutor for Nazi crimes explains, it's a race against time.
"At the beginning," he says, "only Hitler, Himmler and Goering and Haddrich (ph) were held responsible, only 4 or 5 people. Others were considered,
perhaps supporters but not perpetrators. Today, we are focused on the bureaucracy. How many were responsible? People working behind desks and
local occupied communities, in different places in roles that allowed this machine to work."
So, these are all (inaudible) file.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
Though he hates the term, Kurt Schrimm was Germany's leading Nazi-hunter for more than 15 years. It was his successful investigation of John
Demjanjuk, a former guard at Sobibor camp that opened the way for others to be charged as accessories to mass murder. But even these legal victories
are not enough for Schrimm.
"Well, justice has only prevailed in the sense that those men and women convicted so far have received the right sentence," he explains. "But it
is unjust that these are only a small portion of the perpetrators. I could talk for hours about this," he tell us.
"I remember one particular case. I knew the perpetrator sitting right across from me who had order the killing of 100, 200, perhaps 300 people.
But the legal evidence simply was not there to prosecute. And in that sense, injustice still prevails."
In all 4 cases now on trial, the defendants have admitted to working at Auschwitz. But all maintain they did not know of the tens of thousands that
were killed there. Lesser travelled 6000 miles from Las Vegas to say this in court.
LESSER: The guards were there. They are the ones who -- they knew everything that was going on. They counted us in rows of five. And then
this is what he told us: you Hungarian Jews, you think you're here on a vacation? Think again. You see those chimneys? Those ashes? Those are
your mothers, your brothers, your fathers, your sisters. And if you don't behave and do exactly what you're told, this is how you're going to wind
A witness to horror now hoping for some small measure of justice.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Germany.
ASHER: A heartbreaking account there.
Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World.
Coming up, diversity or a lack of it were the big talking points in the lead up to the Oscars. We'll see host Chris Rock handled the issue, that's
ASHER: In tonight's Parting Shots we take you to Hollywood and a hugely anticipated Oscar ceremony. Some controversy over the lack of diversity
among the nominees hung over the build up and was addressed right away by host Chris Rock.
As Stephanie Elam reports, it was a big night for the film Spotlight and finally, finally for Leonardo DiCaprio.
ROCK: I'm here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white people's choice awards.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris Rock wasted no time addressing the Oscar so white controversy delivering one of the most anticipated Oscar
ROCK: If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. Y'all be watching Neil Patrick
Harris right now.
ELAM: Soon, we were watching a parade of winners from Mad Max: Fury Road, which earned six Oscars, all in technical categories.
MARK MANGINI, BEST SOUND EDITIN: For thousands of years we have been telling stories in the dark around a flickering light whether a campfire or
ELAM: Some were expected like Room star Brie Larson taking best actress.
BRIE LARSON, ACTRESS: The thing that I love about movie making is how many people it
takes to make it.
ELAM: Some winners made history. Alejandro Innaritu became just the third man ever to win back to back bset director Oscars. The Mexican filmmaker
urged us to...
ALEJANDRO INNARITU, DIRECTOR: Liberate ourself from all prejudice and this tribal
thinking and make sure for once and forever that the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.
ELAM: And some winners were long awaited.
Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home an Oscar and connected the film to its environmental advocacy.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this
planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now.
ELAM: The show also addressed the issue of sexual abuse with the stirring performance by lady Gaga.
And Spotlight, the true story of the Boston Globe reporters who uncovered sexual abuse by Catholic priests and the cover up taking best original
screenplay and best picture of the year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made this film for the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable and for the survivors whose
courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration.
ELAM: Plenty of inspiration to go around on Oscar night.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.
ASHER: Yeah, that really was an unbelievable performance by Lady Gaga there.
That was Connect the World. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great evening.