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CONNECT THE WORLD
Brazilian Congress Set to Vote on Dilma Rousseff Impeachment; At Least 233 Dead After 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Ecuador; Suicide Blast At Soccer Tournament Taints Memory of Iraq's National Pasttime; Israeli Prime Minister Declares Golan Heights Sovereign Israeli Land; Political Bickering, Delays at OPEC Meeting in Doha; President Obama to Visit Saudi Arabia; Pope Francis Accepts Three Syrian Families As Refugees to The Vatican. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 17, 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)
[11:00:13] DILMA ROUSSEFF, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): The complaint against me that is under analysis in the national congress is a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Defiant: Dilma Rousseff fights for political survival. Will Brazil's lower house of congress vote to impeach her?
Coming up this hour, the very latest on what is becoming a fascinating political drama with a live report from Brasilia for you.
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I sleep on his pillow now. He's my heart, my soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A parent's heartbreak -- a beloved sport in Iraq is now tarnished by wounds that will never heal.
And has the price of oil bottomed out or will regional rivalries getting in the way of a deal to stabilize the market? We'll live tonight in Doha in
Qatar where the key oil producing countries are gathered.
ANNOUNCER: Hello and welcome to Connect the World. Coming to you doing live from our brand new state-of-the-art studios here in Abu Dhabi.
I'm Becky Anderson. We begin with the growing political crisis in Brazil. In the next few hours, it is looking likely that lawmakers will vote to
push forward the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
This was the scene in the lower house of congress on Saturday. Angry members loudly chanting and waving signs calling for impeachment to go
Meanwhile, Rousseff is dismissing the effort as nothing more than an attempt at a coup.
Well, emotions were running high outside the building, as well. Police tried to keep order as hundreds of protesters for and against Ms. Rousseff
turned up, more protests are expected.
Well, let's bring in Shasta Darlington who is monitoring developments for us in the Brazilian capital on the road to Congress where proesters are
expected to start gathering.
Shasta, if this gets passed today, and there is a lot of buzz that it will, is that it for Mrs. Rousseff? Is this game over?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, you know, a lot of people think it is, that's why you see this party atmosphere here.
The vote is going to take place in two hours there in congress. And if you look around me, this is the walkway that the anti-government protesters are
taking to get there. They're buying their t-shirts and their flags. And they believe they're going to get the two-thirds majority in congress that
they need to get this passed. Then it goes to the senate, where you only need a simple majority for the impeachment trial to go forward.
At which point, President Rousseff would have to step down for 180 days to defend herself. And really that could happen as early as May. And if you
look at all of the polls, it is looking pretty likely, Becky.
ANDERSON: Right. I see. So if May comes and she were to go, who will become president?
DARLINGTON: Well, that's where it gets pretty controversial to tell you the truth. She will be replaced by her vice president, Michel Temer, at
least on a temporary basis.
The problem is, he was a member of the coalition that backed the Workers Party and Dilma for some 13 years, then they pulled out. And a lot of
people saw it as kind of a Machiavellian political maneuver.
So he will step in and yet his party is just as involved in all of the corruption scandal as the Workers Party has been. So when you, again, talk
to Brazilians, they do want Dilma Rousseff and the Workers Party out of office, but they're not convinced that her vice president will bring
anything with a more promising future.
He has been seen as more business friendly, so you'll see some good reaction in the markets, but Brazilians aren't really excited with any of
the options that they have, Becky.
ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington is in Brasilia for you this hour.
Well, that political turmoil -- thank you, Shasta, may not be the worst problem facing Brazil. Its economy is in the worst recession in decades.
And it's taking a serious toll on the fortunes of ordinary Brazilians.
Can it be reversed by a new president? Well, I'll be joined by an expert on the country's finances to get his take in about ten minutes time.
Pope Francis is calling for prayers for the victims of deadly earthquakes in Ecuador and in Japan. Thousands of rescue workers are digging through
rubble and are racing to go find survivors along the coast of central Ecuador.
Saturday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake has left at least 77 people dead and hundreds injured. And in southern Japan, powerful earthquakes rocked the
Kyushu region on Thursday and on Saturday. At least 41 people were killed there and more than 1,000 were injured.
Well, rescue crews are desperate to reach Japanese earthquake survivors before any more buildings collapse. CNN's Andrew Stevens is joining us now
live from Tokyo. What's the latest as far as you understand it, Andrew?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there is a two day, a 48 hour window, which is the most likely time that survivors
will be able to be pulled from the wreckage in earthquake situations like this.
And we're about an hour away now from that window closing, if you like. So, it's getting down to a stage where there is still very much a recovery
and feel about the attempts down there to find people.
But at this stage, they're not pulling anybody out. This is both good and bad news. The good news is that the death toll is not increasing, it's
still at 32 people from the main earthquake on Saturday night. If you add another nine people who died from the Thursday, that brings a total of 41 people.
That has been stale now for the past 24 hours or so.
There has been good weather over the main quake zone Today. It's allowed the rescuers to expand out into the more mountainous terrain where there's
been a lot of big, big severe landslides. So they're searching now in a broader area.
The U.S. has also stepped in. It's helping with lifting equipment, getting equipment to where it's most needed.
Remember, there's been an awful lot of infrastructure sort of damaged by this railways, roads, bridges all out. So, getting supplies into the quake
zone is proving more difficult, so helicopters are needed and the U.S. is stepping in there, Becky.
ANDERSON: Andrew Stevens is in Tokyo. Thank you.
Well, some other stories on our radar today. And the French President Francois Hollande is pledging to back the Lebanese army and to step up aid
for more than a million Syrian refugees now housed in Lebanon.
His announcement in Beirut comes after Saudi Arabia cut off aid to Lebanon's army over questions about his ties to the Iranian-backed
Russia is pushing back after a new allegation of aggression over the Baltic Sea.
The U.S. says a Russian fighter jet nearly clipped an American recognizance plane last week and appeared to fly in an erratic and aggressive way. But
Russia says its pilot was simply identifying the other plane and that reports otherwise are not, quote, realistic.
Iran celebrated its national army day by unveiling a sophisticated new missile defense system from Russia. State-run TV says the first first
batch of S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems were delivered just recently.
Iran's president hails them as a deterrent to, quote, arrogant powers and their mercenaries in the region. The U.S. and Israel have objected to the
Well, we're keeping a close eye on Doha in Qatar where oil producers are trying to save prices from another plunge. An agreement to freeze
production has been in the works, but a tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran may stand in its
Oil prices have spiraled down for the past year and a half and fell as low, you may remember, as $26 a barrel in February.
Well for more on this, I'm joined by CNN Money emerging market's editor John Defterios who tonight is live for you in Doha.
What's the very latest from thee, John? Are we get any closer to an agreement at this point?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY: It doesn't seem like that at this hour, Becky. In fact, what was expected to be a three hour meeting is turning out to be
about four times that.
This was supposed to be a sign of unity, 18 countries coming together under one roof and capping production for six months to support the market and
Instead, the one country that did not come, Iran, is serving as the lightning rod, if you will. Iran says it's not subject to the so-called
freeze because it's had sanctions for four years. And in the last 48 hours, we heard from
the all-powerful deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, who said
that all OPEC members, and even others need to come on board.
Now, the Iranian response been on the phone with those in Tehran said they cannot impose that on us. We appreciate this effort to come together, but
because we've been out of the market for four years, how could we be subject to this agreement.
Now, serving in between as the bridge builder is the emir of Qatar. All the ministers here went over to the palace here to try to iron out the
differences. It's my understanding at this hour from the folks I've been speaking to, Becky, that the UAE minister and the Nigerian minister are in
charge of the text and they're trying to iron out the differences, allowing Iran to continue to produce and have a language that perhaps it would come
back in the autumn.
Again, this is a six month agreement, but right now, there are serious potholes that need to be filled.
[11:10:30] ANDERSON: John, can an agreement to freeze production reduce this market
DEFTERIOS: Well, one thing, Becky, are the optics here. Are the 18 players really coming together?
By the way, it's quite an effort by Qatar to bring 18 players around one single table. It's never happened before. But they need to walk away with
The other is the physical market itself. We know that there is overproduction of 1.5 million barrels a day, that is supposed to balance
out by the end of 2016, about 200,000 barrels of overproduction.
But it's dependent on a number of different factors. Number one is that this freeze holds up so they don't want walk away not having a common
agreement going forward. The other is the non-OPEC production, particularly the U.S. shale production, is dropping by 700,000 barrels a
day. And does demand go higher?
Then, let's not forget you can sign on to an agreement, Becky, but it's all about the implementation. Does the market really believe it or not. Let's
take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLE NAKHLE, FOUNDER, CRYSTOL ENERGY: Reaching an agreement is one thing, but implementing the terms of agreement is another thing. And OPEC
is not -- the history of OPEC shows that there has been some cheating in the past and there is another country which is not in OPEC but I don't know
if they are going to be -- it was in the will freeze that is Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: I like the way Carole Nakhle said that. There's another country, Russia, that's the biggest producer in the world, just under 11
million barrels a day. When the meeting finishes I was supposed to sit down with Alexander Novak (ph), the energy minister, Becky, to find out if
in fact he can get the oil producers of Russia to agree with his position, that of Vladimir Putin.
But as you can see at this hour, we thought we'd have those interviews done, and a final agreement, it's sill being worked on. And of course
we'll have the very latest when it happens.
ANDERSON: Yeah, of course, John, thank you. John Defterios is in Qatar for you this evening.
And the drop in oil prices is at a profound impact on many oil dependent nations including Qatar. 90 percent of its budget -- 9-0 percent -- budget
revenues comes from the energy sector.
So a major drop in prices means job cuts and many foreign workers are among those losing their jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN PATON, PARAMEDIC: It really does take me back to kind of the era of our forefathers and the Great Depression where they talk about not
trusting the banks and, yeah, stuffing money in their mattresses or in their dressers or cookie jars. I think that's how I've lived for the past
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And you'll have that story right here on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson Monday at 7:00 p.m. Abu Dhabi time.
It is 12 past 7:00 tonight. Still to come, three Syrian refugee families are making new lives in the shadow of the Vatican after being rescued by
The latest from Rome is next.
Plus, Brazil's toxic politics may be dragging its economy down hard. So who can clean it up?
We're live in Washington for analysis. You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson from our new state of the art bureau in Abu Dhabi.
[11:15:53] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Let's get you back to our top story this hour in Brazil. In the coming hours, it looks like lawmakers are heading toward impeaching the president.
Now, Dilma Rousseff seems to have run out of options and allies to help stop it, and and many are blaming her for the bad shape of the economy is
Now, it shrank almost 4 percent last year, the worst drop in decades. It's all the worse for a country that was once the darling of global emerging
markets. We're joined now by Christopher Garman from Washington where he's the head of
country analysis for Brazil and managing director at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.
Christopher, is this M.s Rousseff's fault, or are these economic woes at the end of the day, do you think?
CHRISTOPHER GARMAN, EURASIA GROUP: It's a combination of factors, absolutely. You know, her administration deepened the country's economic
woes by really playing a heavy hand in related with the private sector, taking greater risks on macroeconomic management which really undermined
confidence. But there are structural factors at play.
First and foremost, we have a massive corruption probe which of course the administration is accountable to, but is highly independent investigation
which is undermining the entire political class. And that really has further
deepened the recession.
And also we have a fiscal imbalance that is coming to a head that has been building for years that went beyond this administration.
So it's combination of factors really.
ANDERSON: Well, as the impeachment proceedings roll on, the markets seem very keen on the vice president. He'll automatically to take over if Miss
Rousseff gets impeached.
Now, Brazil's main index shot up nearly 6 percent in a week to Friday's close, I'm sure you'll know, on hopes that he will bring in a more business
friendly approach. But his reputation isn't exactly squeaking clean, is it?
Is he the one to save Brazil's flagging economy?
GARMAN: Yeah. I mean, listen, I think what markets are kind of reacting to is that the notion that if you have the president falling and the vice
president assuming, I think there that there is an expectation that he will endorse a
market friendly and business friendly reform agenda. And we agree with that view. Everything that we're hearing from the vice president's office is
that his political strategy for survival, should he assume the presidency, is one of positioning himself as the solution to the economic crisis.
Now, the big liability that the vice president faces remains in the corruption investigation. Because this is a massive investigation, we have
other construction companies that can come forth and cooperate, other individuals
that are signing plea bargains with prosecutors. And the big risk is that his own party also gets sucked up and implicated in this scandal and
therefore the narrative in the media is one he's not one that is actually saving the country from economic crisis, but we're just exchanging one set
of quote/unquote crooks in this scandal for another.
And if that happen, then the crisis will deepen and it is for that reason that we at Eurasia Group only give a one in three chance that -- well, we
give a one in three chance that he doesn't finish his term.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. And just to underscore how bad things are, we know that Rousseff's reputation was further damaged by the leaking of a tape
between her be and the former president recently. And I understand there was a tape leaked of the vice president as well further damaging his own
GARMAN: Yeah, what happened was is that the vice president sending a -- or preparing a speech in which he acted as if the emotion for impeachment had
already been approved in the lower house. And sending a message to his fellow party members and the national of a national unity discourse.
So it was quite embarrassing that he -- that that message was leaked. Some argue on purpose and in part to be able to send a soothing message for his
-- for members is congress. But nevertheless it was a political embarrassment on his part.
[11:20:09] ANDERSON: When Brazil won the opportunity to host the Rio Olympics in this 2016, they couldn't have expected that they would be in
the position that they are in now. Possibly the demise of a president six months or less before -- less now, four months before these games go on.
How important is it that this country sorts out its political mess and sort it is out now? And how important is it that those Olympics so are far as
the economy is concerned are successful?
GARMAN: Yeah, no. I mean, obviously, the Olympics will occur in an environment where
politics will remain messy.
Let's think about the timing here. If in fact the lower house approves a motion for impeachment, then the senate in about two or three weeks has to
vote on whether they accept that petition for impeachment, that is likely, but only then will President Rousseff temporarily step down while a trial is going to occur in the
senate over the merits for motion for impeachment.
That trial should take two to four months. In other words, there is a good chance that the vice president will be in the president's office, but only
on temporary basis during the Olympics at which point that we have to have another vote in the lower house to see whether or not the president will
permanently stay out of office or if not she'll come back and over the next two or three months, we are going to have a very critical environment to
see if the vice president can pull it off.
On the one hand, he is going to try to make some change to the economy. He will announce a very good economic team. I think markets may very well
rally a little bit further on that. But he has got some big liabilities. And the big question mark is how far will investigations go, can his party
get implicated before then. And if it does, we could be in an environment where his administration is getting into difficulties right around when the
Olympics roll around. And then the discourse will be can Brazil be headed toward new elections.
And this is a little bit of a problem. I don't think it's a problem for the logistics of the
Olympics, but it is a problem even for world leaders who come. Who are they going to meet? And they don't want to be seen as supporting one side
or the other.
Chris Garman is live for you out of Washington this evening. Your analysis important to our viewers. Thank you.
GARMAN: Thank you very much
ANDERSON: And to some breaking news right now out of Ecuador, a massive jump in the death toll from Saturday's earthquake. The president now says
at least 233 people were killed in the 7.8 magnitude quake.
Rescuers are still working non-stop to find survivors. More on those numbers as we get them.
Well, three Syrian refugee families on a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos have one unusual lottery. They were selected to join Pope Francis to fly
with him to Rome where they will begin new lives. The group of 12 includes six children.
Now, the Vatican will provide housing and help them find some jobs. The move backs up the pope's plea to all nations to be more welcoming towards
Well, for more on the pope's symbolic visit to Lesbos, CNN's Vatican correspondent, Delia Gallagher, report now you now from Rome.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: It was a short trip, but one which lacks a lasting impression, not only on those that the pope met, but
on the pope himself. He called it a day of tears.
Returning on the papal plane to Rome, he showed journalists drawings that the children had
given him showing people drowning and the sun crying.
And on the island, the pope gave an important speech in which he said the worries of the
institutions and people of Europe are understandable and legitimate when it comes to migration, but that he wants to show that migrants are not just
statistics, but have names and faces and stories.
Names like Hassan and Nour and Osama, those are just three of 12 lucky people who were chosen by lottery on Friday evening to return back to Rome
with Pope Francis in this unprecedented and surprise gesture.
They are three Syrian Muslim families, all three had their homes bombed, all three made the trek through Turkey to the island of Lesbos and are now
here in Italy where The Vatican will pay for their housing and help to assist them in finding jobs and starting a new
Delia Gallagher, CNN , Rome.
ANDERSON: Well, the latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, they gathered to support their local football team, but soon became the
scene of a suicide bombing. Some of those who survived relive the nightmare. Live in the Iraqi capital up next.
[11:27:29] ANDERSON: And you're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of Abu Dhabi. And breaking news this hour, a massive jump in
the death toll from Saturday's earthquake in Ecuador. The president there now says at least 233 people were killed in what was the 7.8 magnitude
quake. And emergency officials say more than 1,500 people are injured. Rescuers still scrambling to find survivors.
The president urging people to be cautious around rubble.
CNN Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo joining me live from CNN headquarters with what is the very latest -- Rafael.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we just heard it directly from the government of Ecuador just a few moments ago, Ricardo Pena Reda (ph) who is
with the office of risk management there told CNN en Espanol that the death toll as you just indicated has risen to 233, more than 1,500 people
injured, and at this point we're beginning to get more information into what is the
area that was the most affected, Becky.
And the minister was telling us that Manavi Province (ph) is probably the most affected area. Just in this province alone 200 people dead. Again,
233 for the total.
He was also saying that the main problem at this point is communication. A lot of communication infrastructure has collapsed. There is a big problem
with roads, highways that would provide access for rescue teams to go there. And we're also hearing from a
number of different countries includes Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Spain that are sending teams there, that are sending supplies to help these
people. Those victims affected by the earthquake.
Mexico and Chile of course have had vast experience dealing with these sort of situations, but it is the moment after the catastrophe, Becky, where
people are only beginning to realize the extent of the damage and the number of victims. And once again I want to repeat that number for people
who may just be tuning in, it's 233 people dead as a result of this devastating earthquake in Ecuador, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah. And this is Manavi Province (ph). Just describe where that is and why it is that they've had such bad weather of late. I know
it's been raining recently a lot, and you're suggesting, you know, and a lack of communication both big problems. Where is this province? How
accessible or not is it?
[11:30:04] ROMO: Yeah, that is a very good point, Becky, because the problem that has complicated everything is that the weather phenomenon
known as El Nino has been dumping rain on this region for quite a few weeks.
And so the fact that we now have this earthquake has put all the roads that would provide access
to that area in really bad shape. And so those fly supplies -- those food shipments that would make a
difference at this point are not getting in. And that's the reason why they're asking for help from other countries because they want to be able
to fly in everything that people need.
Again, we're talking about less than 24 hours since this happened. So the needs are going
to become greater and greater. We're talking about 48 to 72 hours. But, yes, that's exactly it as you
mentioned, Becky, access, roads, communication are in really bad shape and that is getting the situation even worse, Becky.
ANDERSON: Rafael Romo on the story for you.
And if you want to find out how you can help people impacted by the earthquake in Ecuador, do head to CNN.com/impact. Our teams always looking
out for ways people around the world can help. That is impact your world at CNN.com/impact.
I know we've already had a lot of requests for information about how people can help. So that is exactly where you go for information.
Well, Israel is reaffirming its hold of a slice of contested land and shaking up the possibility of any peace deal in Syria that would include
handing it over. Israel captured the Golan Heights almost 50 years ago, but Syria still contests it.
Now, past Israeli-Syrian peace talks have included returning the region to Syrian control. But just hours ago, Israel's prime minister said the
country will never let go.
Well, Benjamin Netanyahu tells his cabinet that Israel will control the region, quote, forever. A strong move.
Let's talk about that with CNN's Oren Liebermann who is joining us now from Jerusalem.
What kind of Netanyahu is trying to make here by holding his weekly cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A very powerful and a very blunt statement. Since 1967 when Israel captured the Golan Heights,
this is the first time that an Israeli government not Netanyahu has ever held the weekly cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights. It's normally held
at the prime minister's office.
So, it's a very big statement on Netanyahu's part on what he sees as the future of the Golan Heights.
Reportedly, there had been talks, negotiations, five, six years ago, earlier than that, to possibly return the Golan Heights to Syria as part of
a peace deal. Those have been ruled out following the Arab Spring. Netanyahu says he doesn't see Syria returning to what it once was,
returning to a functioning state. So he said in no uncertain terms the Golan Heights will remain Israeli territory even though it's considered
internationally occupied territory.
Here's part of what he had to say this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): it will not be
against A diplomatic solution in syria as long as it does not come at the expense of the security of Israel.
In other words, at the end of the day, the forces of Iran, Hezbollah and ISIS will be removed from the lands of Syria. It's about time after 50
years that the international community realizes that the Golan will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: The Golan Heights has gotten quite a bit of attention lately, especially after recently Netanyahu said that Israel has struck Syria
dozens of times. That's a statement that's normally not allowed to be made. It's not allowed to be made under censorship here. But Netanyahu
came out and openly said that Natanyahu has struck Syria numerous times for its own security -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Does he have any chance of succeeding here, Oren? Will the international community ever recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli
territory instead of Israeli occupied territory? And why are they so significant?
LIEBERMANN: Well, it certainly seems like a long shot for Netanyahu, but he did say that he spoke yesterday with American Secretary of State John
Kerry and brought up the future of the Golan in the framework of a future peace agreements, or a future peace deal that would bring peace to Syria.
Netanyahu wants part of that peace deal to recognize that the Golan Heights are Israeli, not Israeli occupied. he will certainly, or almost most
certainly bring that up later this week when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Will he succeed? He's certainly trying. And he tried to make it as blatant as obvious as -- this is his mission. He views the Golan Heights
What's the significance, on the Israeli side, whoever controls the Golan Heights controls most
of northern Israel, because of their strategic importance.
On the Syrian side, whoever controls the Golan Heights has an excellent viewing and listening post to see what's happening in southern Syria.
On a clear day in the Golan Heights, you can see almost all the way to Damascus -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem for you this evening. Sir, thank you.
Well, a political divide in Iraq is getting even deeper. Hundreds rioted in Baghdad on Sunday backing the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's call for the
prime minister to name a new government.
But some in parliament have a different opinion, wrangling and even scuffles overshadowed the last session Wednesday.
Prime Minister Hadr al-Abadi presented a new cabinet last month, but a vote never materialized.
Well, CNN's Arwa Damon is in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. She joins us live tonight.
What's behind all this wrangling, Arwa?
[11:35:40] ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, part of it is your usual Iraqi political tensions that always to exist. But
part of it is also a genuine call driving from a population that is quite simply fed up with corruption amongst its own politicians, a population
that is fed up with struggling day by day, barely having access to basic services whilst they accuse the politicians of lining their own pockets
with Iraq's oil wealth.
We saw these calls from radical Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr over the last few weeks, we saw demonstrations, and we saw not just his political party,
not just his party's parliamentarians, but others joining them, as well, calling for a new cabinet, a technocratic cabinet.
Now, we did see the prime minister put forward numerous potential nominees for these various ministerial positions, none of them have passed. And now
we've reached something of an impasse in parliament where parliament is effectively divided awaiting new nominations for these various positions
with al-Sadr on Saturday issuing yet another ultimatum saying that a new cabinet has to be put into place within 72 hours or else he will be calling
for widespread protests once again, Becky.
ANDERSON: Arwa, with all of this chaos in parliament, the war on ISIS, is it being put on the back burner? What is its reach in Iraq at this point?
DAMON: Well, it most certainly is having a certain degree of impact, Becky, because when Muqtada al-Sadr called for the last protests that were
quite sizable, the Iraqi security forces had to pull back one of their brigades from the front line with ISIS in Anbar Province. And the fight
against ISIS is not just happening on these various front lines, Becky, ISIS is taking the fight to all different parts of the country, going after
soft targets and even using children in some of their attacks.
DAMON: Soccer was never just a game here, the escape it provided now tarnished.
The boys shout some laughter quiet as the incoherent wails of pain echo over the field.
Hamdia's (ph) shoulders quiver with each moan for her grandson Karad (ph), just 14 years
old, whose goalie gloves hang above his image.
"For years, they played here, nothing happened. How could we have known?" She sobs.
At least 34 people died that day, most of them under the age ever 18.
It was the finals match in a local tournament and hundreds of people from the neighborhood,
young and old, had gathered here each cheering for their respective teams. It was a great fun day and then all of a sudden during the awards ceremony,
the suicide bomber, a teenager himself, came in and detonated right there.
This is the moment of impact. ISIS quickly claimed responsibility, saying it was targeting members of a Shia paramilitary force, posting this
photograph of the alleged bomber, a child, who ended up destroying the lives of other children.
Local authorities say the bomber was brought into the neighborhood the morning of the
attack by a man who lived in this house. The man had just been released from prison a month earlier, detained in 2009 in connection to another
Ibrahim Hussein (ph), a neighborhood leader, tells us the security services called him asking about the man, but Hussein says he seemed normal.
The man is back in custody.
15-year-old Mohammad (ph) who was among the wounded lies quietly in his home. The last thing he saw was a piercing flash of light.
"And then i flew in the air," he says softly. "I can't see."
He lost one of his eyes. The other, doctors tried to save, but the surgery has yet to prove successful.
The tragedy tears deep across too many homes in this impoverished, neglected corner of Iraq.
Sanaa Yasin can barely speak through her tears. Her youngest, 10-year-old, Mohammad (ph), died, the force of the explosion sent his little body flying
across the field.
"He looked like he was sleeping," she tells us. "I took him in my arms and I cradled him all night. I sleep on his pillow now. He's my heart, my
Parents here did everything they could to shield their children from the violence. Little did they know they also had to shield them from their
[11:40:41] DAMON: Becky, this is a country that is sadly all-too familiar with that kind of pain and suffering. They have faced over a decade of war
now. Of course they're facing the threat being posed by ISIS and the great concern not just when it comes to the violence, but when Iraqis look at
what's happening in the political arena, is that they know all too well that this is a country where politics and violence tend on to go hand-in-
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Baghdad for you this evening. Arwa, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, a presidential hopeful meets with the pope. Bernie Sanders back
from his trip and reflecting on the pontiff's role in the world.
Plus, we'll take a look at the presidential race through the lens of the Middle East, that's coming up.
We're out of Abu Dhabi at 41 minutes past 7:00. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been so impressed ever since Pope Francis came into power of his willingness to
take on special interests, to talk about climate change and the need to transform our energy system. So I have probably been one of the members of
congress talking more often about the extraordinary role that Pope Francis is playing in raising issues that so rarely get discussed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson Welcome Back. That was Democratic presidential contender Bernie
Sanders speaking to CNN's Dana Bash on State of the Union just a short time ago. He is back on the campaign trail after a quick visit to the Vatican
where he met with Pope Francis.
Now Sanders and his fellow candidates are making one last push through the state of New York before voters head to the primary polls on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in the western state of Wyoming, Republican Ted Cruz nabbed 14 delegates up for grabs in Saturday's contest, that's in addition to nine
delegates he won there in an earlier round of voting.
Well, Trump says that he lost because the voting rules are unfair. But the Republican National
Committee dismisses his comments as hyperbole.
Well, meantime, U.S. President Barack Obama is headed to Saudi Arabia this week. He'll be meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council, but he's certain
to hear the leader's views on the race for the White House.
For more on what Mr. Obama can expect, I want to want to welcome a regular Connect the World guest back to the show, Faisal al-Yafai.
How is the race being viewed here in this region to your mind, Faisal?
FAISAL AL-YAFAI, THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER: To my mind, and I think even to John Kerry's mind, it's being viewed as a disappointment and an
embarrassment. This has not been the highest point of America's democracy.
I think that the problem that the region has is that at a time of deep instability, it looks to the U.S. for some sense of what the next few years
might look like under a new president. And there is no sense coming out of America that any of these four contenders are likely to provide the
stability that the region needs or even that they have a plan for what the region needs.
ANDERSON; Well, as I pointed out, President Obama in Saudi this week coming, an interesting time, most probably his last as president to the
But what will the atmosphere be like when he meets with the Saudis later this week? And you're right to point out I'm sure he will be cross-
examined about who these candidates are, what they know about the Middle East and how they will be for this region going forward.
AL-YAFAI; Well, all four -- all three of them about how much they know of course Hillary
Clinton is a known quantity in the region.
So really if it's Hillary Clinton, then it's business as usual. It's the others, and particularly
the republicans, that I think inspire some element of concern. Look, the GCC issued a statement
during some of the worst rhetoric coming out of Donald Trump's mouth about how Muslims would be viewed with suspicion and they issued a statement
against it warning that this kind of deeply unhelpful. It's unhelpful here in the region, it's unhelpful at home in America and it's unhelpful around
ANDERSON: Saudi Arabia warning that it will sell off billions in American assets if the U.S.
congress pass as a bipartisan 9/11 bill. This just add to what I feel will be quite an interesting atmosphere at least let's call it that with Obama's
trip here this week.
Now, this bill would allow victims of September 11, and other terrorist attacks, to sue foeign governments. The Obama administration has applied
heavy pressure on congress to block the bill, and that has outraged some victims, as one of them told CNN. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY STRADA, WIDOW OF 9/11 VICTIM: i'm shocked at what is going on here. I mean, do the Saudis really have that much influence on our government?
Are they really calling the shots in Washington, D.C.? Are we really not able to pass legislation in our congress because of the Saudis? It's
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Clearly, Faisal, this is an extremely emotional subject.
Realistically, though, can the Saudis pull this off?
AL-YAFAI: Well, the question has to be what are the Saudis seeking to achieve by issuing this warning. It has been portrayed in some sections of
the media as a threat. It isn't a threat. Adel al-Jabeir, the Saudi foreign minister, made it clear that the reason that they are suggesting
they might have do this, the three quarters of a trillion dollars, is because they are
concerned that U.S. courts might preempt the result of the inquiry, if there is an inquiry, if there was a court case, and freeze those assets.
Now, if there is a court case, the likelihood is nothing will come out of it. 9/11 commission already exonerated the government of Saudi Arabia.
But as a precaution, Adel al-Jubeir is saying, that they might have to do this to safeguard those billions.
ANDERSON: The U.S., of course, has transferred nine detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi. I just want our viewers to be reminded of some of
what's going on. The prisoners who are all from Yemen arrived in Riyadh on Saturday. Now, that leaves 80 prisoners at Guantanamo.
President Obama signed an execution order in the first week of his presidency to close the controversial prison, but still hasn't delivered on
that promise, has he.
Now, it comes ahead of his planned visit to Saudi next week. Guantanamo has been a massive
headache, Faisal, for Washington years of arguing since it opened. So Riyadh really doing the U.S. a favor taking these prisoners in, letting
them sew it up.
So the optics on pushing this bill right at this time do just seem very bad. Why now?
AL-YAFAI: I think that the optics look bad from the perspective of the Americans.
Look, the Saudis, you're absolutely right, they are doing a favor. They are taking these men in, because of course there has been criticism that
the Saudis are not doing enough in the region. And I think this is a way of demonstrating that they are trying to fulfill their end of the alliance
hoping that perhaps the Americans will be more favorable on some things like Iran.
So they are doing their end. From the position of the Americans, or from the perspective of America itself, it doesn't look good because it sounds
like that the Obama administration is seeking after eight years to just throw these men out of Guantanamo regardless of
what they are charged with and hoping that it will all be fine as long as we get to the end the year and those 80 are no longer in
[11:50:19] ANDERSON: We promised that we would talk U.S. election. We began by doing that. And we got on to Saudi and U.S. relations.
We will get back to politics as this campaign hots up -- as if it hasn't been hot enough already --- and I want you back to discuss the campaign for
the White House through the prism of the Middle East more in the coming months. Thank you, Faisal al-Yafai. Regular guest on our show updating
you now viewers on our breaking news from Ecuador. And the death toll from Saturday's earthquake has now sought to at least 233 people, and more than
1,500 were injured in the 7.8 magnitude quake.
It is the deadliest earthquake to hit the nation in nearly three decades. The government has dispatched thousands of soldiers and police to that
You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson live form Abu Dhabi, of course.
Coming up, you will recognize the beaches, the palm and the Birj, but do you know Dubai like a local? Well, we are going to take you on a tour of
the city as you probably have never seen it before.
Stay with us.
ANDRESON: All right. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. It's just after 5 -- or just before five to 8:00 in the
evening out of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
Finally tonight, when you think of Dubai, the gleaming metropolis just a short drive from here, you probably think of scenes like this, glamorous
beaches lined with towering skyscrapers. But alongside all that is a humble city still connected to its traditions. So, your Parting Shots this
evening we explore the city with one young photographer documenting what is going on.
JOHN JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a country racing its way into the future, Emirati photographer Ammar Al Attar is focusing on the past.
AMMAR AL ATTAR, PHOTOGRAPHER: In Dubai, lots of change is happening like lots of development in some areas which was empty maybe a few years back.
So I'm trying to document all these changes.
JENSEN: Al Attar is one of the few documentary photographers from this Gulf nation. His goal, to capture snapshots of local heritage before it
ATTAR: There are a lot of stories in this country that is not capture yet.
JENSEN: The old handcrafted tile work, portraits of life in traditional coffee shops, and tiny prayer rooms slowly making way for grand marble
ATTAR: We need to keep the photos for the next generation so they can study about whatever happened in the past.
JENSEN: Documentary photography is a new art form in the UAE. In a country just 44 years old, there are few known images of the early days.
A recent exhibit by Dubai's rulers showcased several of those rare archival photos.
Al Attar says it wasn't always easy to work with cameras here.
[11:55:09] ATTAR: Photography was something not acceptable in the maybe 80s or something like taboo to take a photo. But the new generation,
especially with mobile photography, so now it's becoming more easy.
JENSEN: Easier for him and others to save moments like these before they're gone forever.
John Jensen, CNN, Dubai.
ANDRSON: Well, as you will have noticed, Connect the World just got a revamp. Our state of the art set, this studio has been in the making for
months. Countless wide screens and hours poured into this from the team not just here, but around the world who have been working with us. If
you're curious about how we got here, check out the Facebook page for a behind the scenes look. We have got albums and snapshots of the team who
have been, as I say, extremely hard at work. That is facebook.com/cnnconnect.
And do get in touch with me on Twitter, tweet me @beckyCNN. That is @BeckyCNN.
I'm Becky Anderson. And that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching from the
team here and those working with us around the world, it is a very good evening.