Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
The Story of a Young Afghan Refugee Who Made it to London; Dilma Rousseff One Step Closer to Impeachment; Oil Prices Fall As OPEC Fail To Reach Deal; Death Toll in Ecuador Rises Over 300; 15 Injured in Jerusalem Bus Explosion. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired April 18, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:10] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Sending a stern warning for Washington, Saudi Arabia threatens economic havoc if congress lets
Americans sue the kingdom. This hour, how this latest controversy could overshadow the meeting between these two allies later this week.
Also ahead, crushing defeat for Brazil's Dilma Rousseff as she gets one step closer to getting kicked out of office. A live report from
Brasilia is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, John, this is my place basically. So sparse now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Discord among oil producers leaves the markets shaky and the
impact doesn't stop there. The human costs of rock-bottom prices later in the show.
Just after 7:00 in the evening. Hello and welcome to Connect the World from our Middle East programming hub right here in Abu Dhabi.
We begin with a controversy that has threatened to overshadow U.S. President Barack Obama's visit with Gulf leaders later this week. Just
days before he arrives in Riyadh, Mr. Obama is facing increasing pressure at home to support a bill in congress that infuriates Saudi Arabia, a
critical strategic ally.
Now, Saudi officials warn they will sell off billions of dollars in American assets if this bill passes. It would allow victims of the
September 11th attacks to sue foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia.
Now, that country has long denied any involvement in 9/11.
Let's get right to Manu Raju who is on Capitol Hill in Washington for more.
Manu, where does Mr. Obama stand on what is this highly controversial legislation?
MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Obama administration is actually lobbying aggressively behind the scenes, urging members of
congress to not move forward with this legislation. They do not want to see it go forward. They are trying to make the case privately that if this
does become law, that it could actually have some other ramifications, unintended ramifications, on Americans living overseas if other foreign
governments decide to strip the legal immunity away from Americans overseas if they get into trouble in foreign land.
Now, the sponsors of this legislation include two very powerful members of congress, a Democratic leader and a Republican leader in the
United States Senate who are trying to move forward with this legislation which would prevent Saudi Arabia from invoking sovereign immunity if they
are sued in U.S. court. That's something they've been able to do so far, prevent these lawsuits brought by families who are victims of 9/11 from
So this is a pretty big fight and it really just shows sort of the tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. And if this became law it would
almost -- it would certainly ratchet up that tension pretty dramatically, which is another reason why the Obama administration is trying to cool
things down, Becky.
ANDERSON: So how likely is it that it could pass?
RAJU: We don't really know yet, because very powerful members of congress like senate majority leader Mitch McConnell have not yet weighed
in on that. He's the one who makes the scheduling decisions of the Senate floor, similarly on the House side, Speaker Paul Ryan has not spoke about
this matter either.
So this is a pretty intense fight that's happening behind the scenes. We have not seen a real public debate happen, perhaps that will begin in a
matter of days now that we know what the administration concerns are privately, Becky.
ANDERSON: Manu Raju is in Washington for you on what is a very big story. Thank you for that.
More than 200 additional U.S. troops will soon be heading to Iraq. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the announcement while in Baghdad on
an unannounced visit. Now the forces are expected to train and advise Iraqi troops in
a planned campaign to retake Mosul which you may remember fell to ISIS two years ago.
For more, let's go to CNN's Arwa Damon in Baghdad. What do we know of the details at this point?
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, these troops
will be advising at the brigade and battalion level as opposed to the division level. This basically means that they will be further forward and
be more involved in the details when it comes to planning and executing these various different operations as the Iraqi security forces do attempt
to continue their advance on Mosul.
We also do now know that the U.S. will be sending more Apache attack helicopters as well as increasing their enablers.
What is an enabler? Well, it's basically the air strikes, the artillery strikes and all sorts of other logistical and -- drone
surveillance support that the Americans are already providing.
All of this, of course, crucial when it comes to trying to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, something that the U.S. views as being
vital when it comes to eventually, the Americans say, destroying ISIS.
And we spoke to the top U.S. general here in Iraq, Major General Gary Volesky, who is leading the American troops on the ground.
Here's what he had to say.
[11:06:01] MAJ. GEN. GARY VOLESKY, U.S. ARMY: All i want to make sure is that DAESH is -- continue to have pressure put on them, that we
continue to enable the Iraqi security forces to get after Mosul, because once Mosul is cleared of DAESH they don't have a piece of terrain they can
stick their flag in and say there's DAESH and Iraq is part of something we own. And that in my mind is
one of the most clear symbols that enables them to do what they want to do and they will lose that.
DAMON: But if you want to defeat them, you want to make sure that they also no longer have the capacity to regroup and come back as something
worse than what we're seeing them as today which is what they've done in the past.
VOLESKY: And my assessment is that takes a whole of government approach. It takes engagement across all of the what we would call our
elements of national power. And is that something that is easy? No, this is the most complex
environment I've been in. this is my fifth rotation here. I've not seen it this complex. It's hard, but it's not impossible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: And Becky, the Iraqis have already been struggling to a certain degree as they do attempt to advance on Mosul. They did manage to
relatively speaking fairly easily capture a handful of villages but then their advance stalled facing wave after wave of ISIS suicide bombers as
well as suicide car bombs, booby-trapped buildings and roads.
The sense is that hopefully with this beefed up U.S. support as well as those additional enablers, they will be able to break through, even
further the ISIS defenses and continue their attempt to advance on the country's second largest city, Becky.
ANDERSON: So when is that likely to happen? And fascinating to hear him suggest that this is his fifth rotation and things are so extremely
complex on the ground. Are we talking effectively American boots on the ground for this offensive?
DAMON: Well, the U.S. will say that its troops are not in a combat role. What the U.S. cannot deny is that its troops are in danger and the
U.S. has already lost one marine in all of this at an artillery base that is in Nineveh Province, but that being said this does not necessarily mean
you're going to be seeing Americans shoulder to shoulder with Iraqi troops as they do move forward, that is not something that is on the table and
that is not something that the U.S. top commanders necessarily think would be advantageous.
Because they do believe that this has to be an Iraqi-led operation and that America's role in all of this is just to sit back and try to enable,
integrate American capabilities, into an Iraqi plan.
Because there is a realization that the Iraqi security forces need to do this on their own. They tried to train them in the past, they tried to
stand shoulder to shoulder to them and we saw what happened when the U.S. military withdrew and the Iraqi security forces basically fell apart and
were at the end of the day unable to hold ground against an entity like ISIS.
But that being said, Becky, they do need American support to a very significant degree if they are going to try to recapture the city of Mosul.
As for timing, as to when this may happen, that is just about anyone's guess. There is still a lot of territory that needs to be cleared, a lot
that needs to happen before they begin really advancing towards Mosul.
ANDERSON; Arwa Damon is in Baghdad for you this evening.
To other stories on our radar. And in Kuwait, peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen have been delayed. Now, representative for
the Houthi rebels have not arrived for what was a scheduled meeting with the Yemeni government. A cease-fire agreed to a week ago has been
An unusual protest in London to call attention to air pollution. Greenpeace activists have climbed and put gas masks on several monuments,
including the 52 meter tall Nelson's Column. Eight people were arrested in the protests.
And rescuers in southern Japan are searching for survivors after two earthquakes struck the same area just days apart. At least 43 people were
killed and more than a thousand injured. Disaster officials warning people to be ready for more aftershocks.
Right, got you some breaking news right out of Jerusalem at this point. The Israeli Red Cross says 10 to 20 people were injured in an
explosion on a bus in the city, the cause not yet known. We're going to continue to follow this story throughout the hour and bring you more
updates as we get them right here as you would expect on CNN.
Well, let's get you to Ecuador now that is also dealing with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. The death toll there has climbed.
The country's security minister now says it's approaching 350 people killed, and that number could rise as crews continue to comb through the
rubble searching for survivors.
Our senior Latin American affairs editor Rafael Romo joining me now from the CNN center. This is clearly a race against time for emergency
workers in Ecuador. How difficult a job do they have on their hands Rafael?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's very difficult, Becky, because a lot of bridges, a lot of roads are in really bad shape and rescue crews are
not able to get there. Among the most powerful images that we've in the last hours, there's one that stands out, it's a picture of a 7-year-old
girl. Rescue workers are pulling him -- pulling her out of the rubble in the city Pedernales, one of the hardest hit areas. Her 37-year-old mother
was also rescued alive.
We also have images of a car rescue of the city of Guayaquil. Rescue crews and people join efforts -- look at this -- to try to pull out people
in a car under a collapsed bridge in Ecuador's largest and most populous city.
We have also seen the anxiety of many people who believe their relatives and loved ones are alive and still trapped under collapsed
buildings. Some of them were making desperate pleas, Becky, to the Ecuadorian vice president in the city of Portovejo. Here are the images.
These -- this is one of the hardest hit areas and you can see the desperation in people's faces there.
now, President Rafael Correa says the many priority remains saving lives but recognize the country is facing many challenges after the
earthquake, including lack of food and water, especially in areas where rescue crews haven't been able to reach because of damaged roads and
collapsed bridges as I was saying before.
And Becky, a little over an hour ago the security minister said the death toll is nearing 350, but there are still areas they haven't been able
to reach especially in coastal areas.
Back to you.
ANDERSON: Yeah. Very tough. Rafael reporting for you.
And for more information about how you can help the rescue and relief efforts in Ecuador, do use CNN.com/impact. There, you will find a list of
charities helping out with the effort and you can learn how you can contribute yourself. Impact your World an important site. That is
Well, all right, still to come tonight, as Brazil moves towards impeaching its president, there are mixed emotions on the street. We're
live in Brasilia for reaction up next.
[11:15:43] ANDERSON: Right. You're back with us on CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
And following breaking news for you right now out of Jerusalem. The Israeli Red Cross says 10 to 20 people were injured in an explosion on a
bus in the city. Now the cause is not yet known and we are continuing to follow the story throughout the hour. And we will get you more updates and
we will get you live to Jerusalem as soon as we can.
Brazil's president is now one big step closer to being removed from office, it was by an overwhelming majority that lawmakers voted Sunday to
impeach Dilma Rousseff on allegations that she fiddled government accounts to hide budget shortfalls. Well, next it's the Senate's turn to consider
Meanwhile, Sunday's vote is a cause for celebration for those blaming the president for the poor state of the economy, but right alongside them,
Miss Rousseff's supporters are demonstrating as well against what they are
calling a coup.
CNN's Shasta Darlington is monitoring all of this from the Brazilian capital Brasilia.
Shasta, really is the day after the night before, in Brazil. Is there a sense this vote has broken the tension at least to kind of feeling
amongst people at least that this has gone too far or perhaps far enough they've made
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not really, Becky. I would say that this is just the beginning of what's going to be a
long and ugly fight. You know, what we saw right here on the lawn in front of congress last night is likely going to continue. So those who are in
favor of impeachment treating this like a big football party. We were doing lives from that side. They were jumping around, cheering.
Then on the other side when we did lives there for them, this is a very serious political matter. They feel that their president is being --
being impeached unjustly, that she's being removed from power when she was just re-elected to a second term.
So, I expect that these political tensions will continue to flare up as this heads on to the Senate where they will be voting. And that we
could continue to see protests in the street, Becky.
ANDERSON: And Shasta, it's important to point out that people who are really driving this impeachment to the end they're not exactly untarnished
themselves, are they? They've also had some pretty serious allegations thrown their way in their time, right?
DARLINGTON: That's a big part of the problem here, Becky. President Dilma Rousseff is being impeached for allegedly breaking budget laws. She
is unpopular because of the recession and because so many members of her Workers Party have been embroiled in this pretty nasty corruption and
The problem is the congressman right behind me leading this impeachment drive, a lot have been embroiled in that same scandal. So, her
supporters say you will kick her for out for playing with the budget numbers and those guys get to stay in congress and that's part of the
reason they're calling this a coup d'etat. In fact, the man who would likely step in and replace her if this impeachment goes through and if she
faces trial is her vice president, Michel Tamer, he is from the PMDB Party, which again is also very caught up in this corruption investigation.
So what we saw, we saw poll numbers today that show Brazilians think they should both be impeached, Becky.
ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington in Brasilia for you this evening. Shasta, thank you.
Right, oil prices are plunging after crude producers failed to agree to freeze supply levels. You can see a sharp drop in the price of Brent
crude after a meeting if Doha on Sunday ended with no deal. This was because of a rift
between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two major members of OPEC, the cartel, of course, of oil producing countries.
Well, let's go to CNN Money's emerging markets editor John Defterios who can give us more detail joining us from Doha this evening.
And John, in the end a lot of discussion in Doha, but no agreement. What happened?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY: Well, it's amazing, Becky, from the time we spoke last night, it went from bad to worse, literally.
We had 12 hours of talks described as marathon talks, but the group did not get to the finish line and the reason is abundantly clear, the
Saudi Arabian position changed. The deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia who is now the chair of the Supreme Petroleum Council insisted that Iran
sign on to an agreement to freeze production.
Let's not, I think it's worth going back to last week where the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to a freeze and that it would
not include iran going forward.
So, this change of position rattled the cage here in Doha. The senior Iranian officials I've spoken to in the last 12 hours, Becky, suggest they
have their sights set on 4 million barrels a day. And this could be the wiggle room if Iran hit 4 million barrels a day, would they freeze after?
Would this be okay with Saudi Arabia and can they find common ground?
Now, the next target, Becky, is the June meeting, the first week of June in Vienna when the OPEC meeting would take place.
Russia says they're on board to go. But to be very candid when I saw the faces of the Azeri, the Omani, the Mexican oil ministers coming out of
the meeting, they thought what happened here in the last 12 hours, that we could not find a deal, I think it's becoming abundantly clear that Saudi
Arabia, the deputy crown prince perhaps don't want to see prices go higher right now, Becky. I think they're trying to smoke out the higher cost
producers. We know that production is supposed to drop 700,000 barrels a day, perhaps they don't think that job is done and they want to apply more
pressure. I think that's what most of the ministers and their delegates were thinking about when they left Doha last night.
ANDERSON: Meantime, the rest of us are wondering whether OPEC is still relevant, of course, when we get a discussions like this or non-
discussions like this.
Look, John, we often look at the economic fallout from the falling price of crude, but certainly there is a human cost, particularly in a
wealthy state like Qatar. What do you see there?
DEFTERIOS: Well, as you know, Becky, Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, just a few short years ago, growing better
than 10 percent. It couldn't control the growth because of the boom in oil and gas that helped build the skyline behind me. They're preparing for the
world cup in 2022.
But move from $115 down to $40 has completely changed the game. And we even see the mini crisis that's playing out reaching into the middle
class and even the expat community.
I found one American who describes his position right now sitting in no man's land.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: As a trained paramedic, Ken Patton is used to life- threatening situations. But today, he's having to face his own emergency.
PATTON: Well here's all the ambulances to the right.
DEFTERIOS: The 35-year-old American is one of the latest victims of the great plunge in oil prices.
In January, Patton was laid off by Qatar's largest national health care provider in Doha.
PATTON: And for me it was a huge surprise and coming to work for a strange meeting summons, and given my layoff paperwork, my -- wow. What
just happened here?
DEFTERSIO: With debts back home Patton took out a loan of $80,000 with a local bank two years ago. He still owes half of that amount and he
can't leave the country because according to Qatari law all debts need to be settled before one can secure an exit permit.
With no job, no income and no exit permit Patton has found himself in no man's land.
PATTON; All right, John, this is my place, basically. So, sparse now.
DEFTERIOS: To survive, he's selling household goods one at a time.
So, this is how you're earning money these days.
PATTON: so, basically this is how I'm eating, this is how I'm paying for my telephone and surviving is selling off all my objects. This couch
is leaving in about an week.
DEFTERIOS: And he's saving money the old-fashioned way.
PATTON: 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 like that's how I've lived for the past four months.
DEFTERIOS: A new reality has set in for the Gulf oil producing countries. Qatar will post its first budget deficit in 15 years. Petrol
and utility prices have increased and taxes will be introduced in the Gulf states by 2018.
After spending billions of dollars on new skylines, governments are scrambling to slash their budgets.
PATTON: What I think is they kind of overreacted to a situation they weren't prepared for. They're trying to kind make up lost ground, they
spent so much time spending all that they could on everything they could, building up their country
and making it fabulous and then all of a sudden gas prices dropped to bare minimum and they're almost losing money at that point in time and it took
them by complete surprise.
DEFTERIOS: The same shock that Patton felt when he was handed his pink
PATTON: I'm (inaudible) to a very rich country who has -- who is blowing money left and right on different things to think that your job
would ever be in jeopardy for a layoff is the farthest thing from your mind.
[11:25:07] DEFTERIOS: Ken Patton sharing his story here in Qatar.
Becky, he was planning to be here for six years and only lasted two when
he got that pink slip.
It's amazing, this is a country of about 2 million people. It's a small state as you know, Becky. And only 3,000 layoffs so far. But the
layoffs have really sent a shiver right through society and those who came from the outside thinking they would be here for a long, long time.
Back to you.
ANDERRSON: Yeah. It's a familiar story across the region.
All right, John, thank you for that. There is a lot more of our oil coverage on the CNN Money website. You can take a look back to see the
volatility in crude markets over time. The site, that's CNNmoney.com.
We are taking a very short break. More on the breaking news out of Jerusalem. The Israeli Red Cross says 10 to 20 people were injured in an
explosion on a bus in the city. We'll get you what we can on that after this very short break. Don't go away.
ANDERSON: All right. You're watching Connect the World. Breaking news for you this hour
just before half past 7:00 in the UAE. Out of Jerusalem, Israeli medics racing to the scene of a bus explosion in Jerusalem. The Red Cross says
10 to 20 people have been injured. We don't yet know the cause of this blast. We are working our sources and as we get more we will, of course,
bring that to you.
[11:30:23] ANDERSON: Well, as regular viewers of this show know, we try really hard to knock back stereotypical perceptions about this region.
For example, a view that there's little opportunity for women in this part of the world. But dig just a little behind the headlines and you will see
a different reality.
The UAE, for instance, has appointed eight women to cabinet positions. And it doesn't stop there.
ANDERSON: The United Arab Emirates is home to some pretty powerful women from F-16 fighter pilots to judges to pioneers in the medical
Noora al-Kaabi is one of these women. After becoming the CEO of Abu Dhabi's media hub 2454 in 2011, Nora is now minister of state for federal
national council affairs. She's one of eight women who currently hold ministerial positions in the country.
NOORA AL-KAABI, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PNC AFFAIRS: Inspiration personally for me comes from my mother, from my father, from the ladies
ANDERSON: I sat down with Nora and a group of successful young women to talk about what inspires them and how they are challenging stereotypes
about women in the region.
What do you put your success down to?
AL-KAABI: I believe it starts with home, it starts with the support, leadership. I think our country, if you -- you always have to look at the
track record and always have to look at measurable, tangible results. That starts with the inception of the country and then later on, it's how --
with the inception of the country there was a focus on human capital.
KADIJAH HOSARI, INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS, ADAC: It still surprises me, especially when I'm traveling, or I'm dealing with people who come from
abroad they still ask me questions about women empowerment and how we need to like try and strive for it or fight for it, but I
really don't get this impression, but I also don't get why I'm getting these questions.
AL-KAABI: I think the first answer is looking at your constitution. Our constitution already says that there is a gender equality in my
SARA AL AHBABI, STUDENT, NYU ABU DHABI: What i have a problem with is this perception that we need to empower women here. i think that the word
"need" should be used in a global context. I think every country should and need to empower women just as much as they empower men.
SARA AL SAYEGH, DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR, IMAGE NATION: There's never been a segregation as to what I can achieve because I'm a woman. Since I
was a teenager, before, I've always known that if I get the right grades, my country is going to give me a scholarship and I can go abroad. That was
never if I can -- if I'm a boy I will be allowed to go abroad, it was always based on common knowledge that if you do well, we will help you.
ANDERSON: In fact, over 70 percent of university graduates in the UAE are women.
Do you, Noora, feel that the government's efforts to empower women trickle down do the attitude towards women at home?
AL-KAABI: Definitely does. It's, you know, the government, you know, there's leading by
example. So, we have a woman minister, (inaudible) and I think I was back then in school and looking at a woman minister it inspired me. So parents
say okay, my daughter can achieve that, or she can be that one day.
ANDERSON: Noora, do you get frustrated by what are ofttimes stereotypical perceptions about women from this region.
AL-KAABI: I think we grew a thicker skin.
ANDERSON; Which is just as well, given western obsessions with the Abaya and the hijab.
Co-founder of , recently referred to it as "this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live a hidden life."
EEMAN AL-AMSARI, FILMMAKER, IMAGE NATION: Granted, that if it is forced upon someone, it's a different scenario as to what I think a lot of
us grew up experiencing as it being a choice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These comments are -- could be of someone who did not put the effort to get to know a culture even more and I always tell
myself to put extra effort, to go the extra mile to get to know a culture, that is foreign to me. And I think that is important.
AL-AMSARI: I would like to add also that too much emphasis I think is put on the way people look on an exterior level and it's -- it's about our
work ethic and our accomplishments and that's what we're recognized for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our minds. Our minds, that's what's important.
[11:35:10] AL-KAABI: We Emiratis. I mean, look at us, wearing our gear won't stop us from doing or reaching to where we want to go.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right.
Returning to our breaking news out of Jerusalem now.
Is that what we're going to do, guys?
Israeli medics are racing to the scene of a bus explosion in Jerusalem. The Red Cross says 10 to 20 have been injured. We don't know
the cause of this blast.
I'm going to take a short break for you, back after this. We're going to get you more.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Out of Jerusalem, Israeli medics racing to the scene of a bus explosion in Jerusalem. We've been bringing this story for about a half an
hour now. The security services there saying, or certainly emergency services saying that at least 15 people have been injured.
I want to get you straight to Oren Liebermann who is in Jerusalem with more. And, at this point, what can you tell us, Oren? What do we know?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, police are not yet definitively saying that this was an attack. That was the initial
report, but police backtrack there. They said what happened was there was a report of an explosion and an empty bus went up in flames.
Now, police say there was a bus with passengers standing right next to that empty bus and that's where those 15 or so injured came from.
We have not heard from police reports of any casualties, any deaths but they do say -- Magen David Adom, which is Israeli Red Cross, says that
a number of those injured are seriously injured.
Police say right now they've blocked off the area, they're searching the area, but all possibilities, which is to say terror attack and not
terror attack, perhaps something mechanical, all of those possibilities are under investigation at this point.
We have not seen this level of attack in the last seven to eight months. So, if it is an attack, and right now that's a big if. Police
have not yet said that definitively, Becky that would be an escalation in what we've seen here.
ANDERSON: Just describe where this has happened.
LIEBERMANN: So this has happened in southern Jerusalem near the (inaudible), a fairly popular mall there. It is a pretty busy area
happening in that area, especially busy at this hour as we're getting towards the rush hour area. Southern Jerusalem a popular area. We don't
know where it was in relation to any bus stops or anything like that, but again we know that
there were two bus us standing next to them. An empty one went up in flames and that injured several on a bus standing right next to it.
[11:40:02] ANDERSON: Clearly speculation around exactly what has happened here and we are well aware of the inflamed tensions of late in
Jerusalem and elsewhere. You've been reporting on a court case which might or might not further inflame those tensions. Just walk us through what
we've had in the past couple days.
LIEBERMANN: Well this has been a big court case that everybody has been watching here, the case of an Israeli soldier, shooting and killing a
wounded Palestinian suspect who was already lying on the ground. The soldier says he was afraid of a threat, that he was afraid of his life,
that that Palestinian may have had a suicide vest. Military prosecutors say that
there was no threat, the soldier acted against orders. Today, that soldier was charged with manslaughter. Here is that story.
LIEBERMANN: There is no doubt about what you see, an Israeli soldier shoots a wounded Palestinian man in the head killing him. The Palestinian
is one of two suspects in a stabbing attack moments earlier. The question is what this soldier, who has not been identified by the Israeli
military, was thinking. Did he fear a suicide vest, as his lawyer says, or was this as prosecutors say a
soldier acting against orders and seeking revenge.
We visit the man who shot the video, Imad Abu Shamsiah. He was on a rooftop nearby during
the shooting. The street now is quiet, but there is no doubt this is a flash point. Israeli soldiers patrol the street, surveillance cameras
watch from above, this street is the conflict in close proximity.
You get a sense here of why there is so much tension at this specific spot. In this largely Palestinian city there are small pockets of Jewish
settlers like, for example, in this orange building behind me.
After sharing the video with the media, Abu Shamsiah says he is afraid.
"Every day since the video I'm being threatened by settlers to be killed," he says. "They threaten to burn the house and my family if we
don't leave. They call me the dog who filmed the soldier. They throw stones at the house."
The video shot off its own firestorm, this soldier at its center. Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said the shooting is against IDF values, then he spoke with the soldier's father on the phone empathizing with him and told him he had
faith in the investigation.
The Israeli defense minister declared the soldier is not a hero and became the target of a far right hate campaign.
Far right protesters gathered outside military court to support the soldier chanting "free the hero" and "a country of cowards."
In Abu Shamsiah's last video clip, a soldier yells at him, go home. He fears he no longer has a safe home to go to.
LIEBERMANN: And that soldier was identified just a couple of hours ago. His name is Ello Azaga (ph), he's 19 years old. His defense attorney
says the trial could start on May 9. He says it could last a year, Becky.
ANDERSON: Oren, thank you for that.
And let's just bring our viewers bang up to date on what we have been reporting in the past couple minutes. Your breaking news out of Jerusalem.
At least 15 people injured by an explosion on a bus. What do we know at this point?
LIEBERMANN: So we know the police say there were reports of an explosion, an empty bus went up in flames. That bus had another bus with
passengers standing next to it. At least 15 injured on that bus, some of those in serious condition. We're waiting for an update on their
Police initially called this a terror attack before back tracking and saying all possible avenues of investigation, all possible causes of this
fire, the reports of that explosion, are being investigated at this time.
ANDESRON: Oren Libermann is in Jerusalem for you this evening, thank you.
I want to get you to Afghanistan now. A country is still gripped by violence and turmoil, 15 years after U.S.-led invasion there.
Well, the Taliban have been making gains in some areas as ISIS used their brutal tactics to try to get a foothold and we did some exclusive
reporting on that with Nick Paton Walsh last week.
Well, this ongoing crisis has created millions of refugees, of course, and one of them is Gulwali Passarlay. He fled as a young boy.
I want to bring you his story.
GULWALI PASSARLAY, AFGHAN REFUGEE: I was born when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. I spent much of my childhood from age 4 or so with my
grandparents in the mountains. I became a shepherd. It was very peaceful.
I used to sit down with my grandfather and family, male family members, tell us stories about our lineages, about -- or where we came
from, how we ended up where we ended up.
My father in the war with the mujahedeen. And he was a doctor as well as a fighter with tem. And my uncle went to war with the Taliban when they
took Afghanistan. Literally, almost every family in Afghanistan had someone in the Taliban. The Taliban was s made up of ordinary people.
It's a fact of life when you're in a country like Afghanistan you have to take sides and you can't really be in the middle.
We lived in constant fear of being killed. It was bombings and you could see the airplanes overhead, you could hear rockets. My father
including five members of our family were killed by the U.S. forces with the help of the Afghan forces at the time. I was not any 12 years old, I was an
Afghan 12 years old.
The journey continues from Pakistan -- from Afghanistan to to tribal areas, and then from Pakistan to Iran and then I was separated as soon were
were at the airport from my brother. Sending -- leaving home was harder, living in Afghanistan was harder, and then
separated from my brother was even more harder. And it's just that you have no power, you have no
influence or power over anything that happened since then.
So I continued the journey with the human traffickers or smugglers or agent, we called them agents, and went to Iran. From Iran the journey
continues to Turkey and then to Bulgaria and then I was arrested, imprisoned, sent back to Turkey and literally in winter and
I usually describe it as going through hell. I haven't seen my mom for nine years. And it is hard. I do miss her. I do miss home.
Have those people coming here. They come here for a reason, because there's war and conflict
and then again it's a huge soft power for Britain to educate people like myself. I will go back to Afghanistan. I have never seen a refugee who
told me they will not go back to their country. Home is always home.
ANDERSON: Frankly, an incredible journey there. And Gulwali joins us now live from London tonight.
`10 years old, you ran for your life. You were destined for death as a suicide bomber. You risked everything as a small boy and you eventually
make it to London.
And the Olympics in 2012, you had a staring role in.
When you reflect on the risks that you took, let's just start here. How does it make you feel, a decade on?
PASSARLEY: Good morning.
I think it's really hard to summarize the feelings and emotions. I think I wish I didn't have to make the journey, I wish I didn't have to
leave Afghanistan. I wish I didn't have to leave my family, but it makes me think that world is a cruel place, the world is an unjust place. There
are people fleeing for their lives risking their lives to get to safety and it shouldn't be like
this. You know, I live in the UK for ten years, also in safety and security. Why can't I live in Afghanistan in the same safety and peace
that people enjoy in Britain or in the U.S?
ANDERSON: Remind us what you do now.
PASSARLAY: At the moment I'm at the University of Manchester studying politics. I'm also advocating campaigning for refugee rights and speaking
out and giving a human face to the statistics and numbers, people who are fleeing and risking their lives through the Mediterranean, but also making
sure that, you know, giving a voice to the voiceless and I do everything I can to bring to life the people's stories and to say, look, you know, what
is happening to us, I mean, it really show compassion, and treat these people with dignity and respect they deserve.
ANDERSON: And so you should.
Listen, take us back to that journey. Describe for me and our viewers, the sort of trauma that so many people who are making a similar
journey today, this year, in 2016, we will be going through.
PASSARLAY: As we speak, I think this morning over 400 or so people were drowned in the
Mediterranean trying to make the journey from Egypt to Italy.
People are drowning every day in the Mediterranean. People are coming from Syria, from Afghanistan, and from Iraq. And you have to be faced with
extraordinary circumstances, and very difficult situations for a mother, for a family to make decisions and to send their young sons or their
brothers away to the unknown.
I, you know, it's ten years. It's a long time that I have not seen my family. And, again, it's that you have no -- you have no say in the
situation you are faced with. And I hope that people are watching in the United States, across the world, to say, look, those refugees are human
beings like us, but because of their circumstances, because of when that happens in their lives, because of wars and conflicts in oppression and
injustice, they are forced to flee their homes. And I wish that we could put ourselves in their shoes and look at things from their perspectives and
see how we can help and support them.
ANDERSON: You've talked in the past of being tortured in a Turkish police station, nearly drowning crossing the Mediterranean, living in
squalor in a migrant camp in Calais. These are the sort of stories, sadly, that we've been reporting on about individuals who have been suffering over
the past couple of years. Now the EU wants to send people back, not necessarily to Afghanistan or perhaps to Afghanistan and to Pakistan, want
to swap out refugees, those who have arrived, who have been seeking asylum and don't get it, and for those who are asylum seeking refugees in Turkey.
What's your attitude towards that policy?
PASSARLAY: It makes me really upset. It makes me acually angry the way Britain and the west has been behaving not only accepting its failures
and admitting what has went wrong in Afghanistan, but also Britain has sent 3,000 unaccompanied minors last year to Afghanistan. The EU plans to send
80,000 Afghans to Afghanistan. The EU commission recently ruled that Afghanistan was fit enough for Afghans to return. These absolutely are
unbelievable. Afghanistan is a war not only with the Taliban, with DAESH.
As we speak, Helmand is at war. Kunduz is (inaudible), the Taliban is trying to retake
Kunduz again. There is no stability, there is no peace, there is no opportunities for people. And the EU has basically having double
Yes, we should show sympathy and solidarity with the Syrians, but the Afghan conflict has
been happening for the last 20 years. We have been the largest refugee population in the world until recently. And then we were the largest
asylum seekers in Europe. And the EU government, Germany, Britain, Finland and Sweden, they are blackmailing the Afghan government to
say, look, you have to take your -- failed asylum seekers or otherwise we will cut aid to you.
This doesn't make sense. It just demoralizes and dehumanizes the whole debate situation. The west ought to do more for Afghan refugees not
only is it because there's a moral duty and legal obligation, but because the west owes so much to the Afghanistan and Afghans in the last 30 to 35
ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us.
And remarkable journey. Thank you.
Have you left your homeland in search of a better future or is it a decision that's too difficult to take. There are little boys and little
girls just like our last guest, who are either doing this journey, being forced to do this journey and as he suggested doing this journey with
agents or traffickers at times.
We've got to read anything that you send to us about this and we would love to hear from you, so you can use the Facebook page. Do please use
this at Facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can always follow the stories that the team is working on throughout the day there as
You may notice that we have a state-of-the-art brand new studio here in Abu Dhabi launched just yesterday. You will see some photos of behind
the scenes on that site as well about how we got to where we are.
Get in touch with me on Twitter, tweet me @Beckycnn.
All right, we are live out of Abu Dhabi. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson at just before five to 8:00 in the evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I realized we're living on a cusp of a great change. Tribes were facing pressures from both within and without the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: and those pressures could lead this tribe to extinction. We're going to take you to their homeland next.
[11:56:50] ANDERSON: Right. Think of -- let's not think of -- I'm going to give you something else at this point. Actors Johnny Depp and
Amber Heard have reached the end of their so-called war on terrier saga. Heard has been spared a conviction for pet smuggling after she and Depp
illegally brought their dogs into Australia on a private plane last year.
Now, the famous Pirate of the Caribbean and his wife have issued a somber apology for sneaking their pooches into the country. Take a look at
this bizarre video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS: Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people.
JOHNNY DEPP, ACTOR; It has to be protect.
HEARD: Australia is free of many pests and diseases that are commonplace around the world. That is why Australia has to have such
strong biosecurity laws.
DEPP: And Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law they will tell you firmly.
HEARD: I am truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important.
DEPP: Declare everything when you enter Australia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Heard did plead guilty to knowingly producing a false document and that is as much as we know on that story.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for joining us. From the team here and those who work with us around the
world, it is a very good evening.