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CONNECT THE WORLD
Syrian Cease-Fire in Tatters; Doctors Without Borders Hospital Hit by Airstrike in Aleppo; Facebook's Record Quarter; Qatar Airlines Could Drop Airbus; Interview with Cuban Ballet Master Carlos Acosta. Aired 11a- 12p ET
Aired April 28, 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)
[11:00:11] STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UN SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: In the last 48 hours, we have had an average of one Syrian killed every 25 minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Syria unraveling: the cessation of hostilities hangs by a thread.
The UN's plea for help to stop the destruction of the pediatric hospital in Aleppo is hit by a
deadly air strike. Also ahead tonight -- focus on foreign policy, U.S. presidential hopeful Donald
Trump explains his world view. What he said and reaction to it, from around the world coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP
CARLOS ACOSTA, BALLET DANCER: Always my (inaudible) and the Cuban culture is so strong, that always will surface.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He has danced around the world, but now he is returning to his beloved Cuba. My conversation with renowned ballet dancer Carlos Acosta is
later this hour.
A very good evening. Just after 7:00 in the UAE. And we begin with a new warning from
the United Nations, I'm afraid, that a cease-fire in Syria hangs by a thread.
The UN says there has been a catastrophic deterioration of the situation on the ground in Aleppo. Well, evidence of that unfolded earlier when a
pediatric hospital was hit in an air strike.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 27 people were killed.
Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has more, and I want to warn you some of
the images you are about to see are disturbing.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Syria's cease-fire in tatters, the latest an air strike on an opposition hospital in Aleppo, this
one supported by Doctors Without Borders, and the Red Cross.
Dozens killed, including children and at least three doctors, one of them, the last pediatrician.
So severe the attack, the Red Cross issued a statement saying the destruction of the hospital
are putting millions at grave risk.
The bodies, the grief, pilings pressure on faltering peace talks in Geneva.
DE MISTURA: In the last 48 hours, we have had an average of one Syrian killed every 25 minutes, one Syrian wounded every 13 minutes.
ROBERTSON: Three weeks of talks, a thousand miles from the front lines, little progress, the two sides using the cease-fire to talk about political
transition. But accusations, not compromises, traded.
BASHAR JAAFARI, SYRAIN AMBASSADOR TO UN (through translator): Threats from the
opposition who were here in Geneva before they sulked and they got upset and left. These declarations were translated on the ground into attacks.
ROBERTSON: The opposition for their part pausing their participation blaming the government for renewed offensive making talks meaningless.
Within days of pulling back from the talks, opposition fighters last week on cease-fire shown
here in their own propaganda video, back to the battlefront.
The UN envoy urging Russia and the United States to step in again, save the cease-fire, save
MISTURA: We need that to be urgently revitalized and only the Russian Federation and the U.S., as they did when they launched suddenly everything
related to the cessation of hostilities need to come back again and relaunch it.
ROBERTSON: In the meantime, the killing is escalating. No date set for the next round of peace talks. The UN envoy planning a visit to Moscow
next week, urgency and peace both in short supply.
ANDERSON: Joining us now from London, Nic, we are told a cease-fire is at least nominally in effect. But it appears to be a completely different
reality on the ground.
This hospital is supported by Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Red Cross, what are they saying about the attack?
ROBERTSON: Well, they're both saying that it jeopardizes the lives of people and the International Committee for the Red Cross says that there
are still about a quarter of a million people believe it or not still living in Aleppo despite the death and destruction that's going on there.
It was a city of 2 million.
These small hospitals like this one here, the al-Quds hospital in Aleppo have been systemically over the five years of this war targeted by the
regime. I remember in the September of 2011 being in an opposition hospital in a rebel held area, three weeks later that hospital had taken a
direct hit, one bomb to the roof, destroying that hospital, not the buildings on either side. Hospitals in this war are being directly
targeted and the result that we're seeing and these -- these Red Cross officials and Doctors Without Borders havetalked about is, it's an
attrition of doctors. You're leaving a situation the last pediatrician in Aleppo, or nearly the last one in Aleppo, killed. It's an attrition
against the doctors.
So even if people want to stay, they fear now how can they, because who can treat them if they get injured.
This seems, looks like tactically over all these years, trying to systemically destroy the opposition's health care infrastructure. This is
the perception that the International Committee for the Red Cross, and Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders, find
themselves operating inside in those areas in Aleppo in ther est of Syria, Becky.
ANDERSON: That's awful.
All right, Nic, thank you.
Well the world was watching as Donald Trump declared "America first" laying out his foreign
policy vision as he closes in on the Republican presidential nomination.
Now, some critics are panning his speech as simplistic, short in detail, and inconsistent, but it did have a broad overall message that's leaving
countries around the world wondering how things might change if Trump were to win the White House.
He talked about everything from NATO to Iran to Libya, saying he would command respect from allies and enemies alike.
Can he also put ISIS on notice saying its days are numbered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We must, as a nation, be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell
everything. We're sending troops. We tell them. We're sending something else, we have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have
to be unpredictable starting now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's break down some of the specifics, shall we, with CNN's Jim Sciutto. He's live for you tonight in Washington. Good to have you, Jim.
Having heard the speech last night, how would you describe the Trump doctrine? Isolationist?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's tough, Becky, because there are some -- this has been pointed out even by some Republicans, some obvious
contradictions in some of the positions he laid out yesesterday.
To be frank, many of his positions are familiar. They've been campaign tested. They are lines from the campaigns delivered somewhat more quietly
yesterday. But still consistent with what he said on the campaign trail.
But take, for instance, the treatment of allies. He said that the Obama administration -- under the Obama administration, allies have lost trust in
the U.S., they've lost respect for the U.S. But at the same time, he has said he wants to be tougher on U.S. allies -- European allies, Asia allies
saying in his words to pay their way, particularly when it comes to NATO.
So, you have those kinds of conflicting messages. He wants to get tougher on ISIS, but oddly enough, he offered something of an olive branch to
Vladimir Putin, the leader of a country that's increasingly seen as a threat by the U.S. military. He said, listen, I can sit down and talk and
negotiate with this person.
So, you have lines that have been very popular on the campaign trail, but when you add them up they're not necessarily consistent.
ANDERSON: So far this cycle, Jim, Donald Trump has been very good at sensing what his base wants, doesn't he? This is what one of his
supporters, for example, Newt Gingrich, had to say, quote, "Washington elite's mock Trump for mispronouncing Tanzania -- and you can remind us
what happened there, Jim -- "they don't get it," Gingrich said. He said, "the most important word correctly, America. He gets it."
America first, Jim, seems like Trump knows exactly who his audience was last night. What message does that send to people say in this part of the
SCIUTTO: Well, it's interesting because it's basically the foreign policy version of his American campaignslogan "make America great again." So,
that's been adapted for foreign policy to say America first.
The message, frankly, for people around the world, it's got to be difficult to take. Because these are very brash positions, and they're upsetting
positions because they challenge, many of them challenge long-held U.S. foreign policy positions through administrations, not Democrat or
Republican, but consistent through Bush and Obama, things like the U.S. tie to NATO which as you know, Becky, many people argue is more relevant today
than it's been in any point in the last couple of decades, because of the growing tension with a country like Russia.
How should the world take it? I think personally folks out there should stop for a moment and
know that lot of this is a campaign message, it's not really directed abroad, it's directed at supporters at
home and he's trying to convince others with lines that may be popular, but difficult to back up with policy and that's something that's been a
frequent thing on the U.S. campaign trail.
Presidents will say something when they're running for office and not necessarily deliver on
that when -- if and when they win that office.
That said, this has been a very unusual campaign, Becky, in many respects. So, it's yet one more thing we can't frankly even on this end be sure about
how it pans out, if Donald Trump were to be president.
ANDERSON: Yeah. And Jim, a lot of people in this part of the world, had been concerned that foreign policy to a certain extent will play out in a
vacuum in this last, what, sort of six to nine months, talking about the beginning of the year I think you and I discussed this, and yet today --
and I want to bring these images up unannounced trip by Joe Biden to Baghdad.
And how is the Obama administration sort of playing and shaping its last months in office? So far as foreign policy is concerned.
SCIUTTO: It just reaffirms that point, that the world doesn't stop for U.S. election campaigns. Things are still happening out there. Vice
President Biden arrives in Iraq at a very difficult, a very key time.
One, the Iraqi prime minister, a body facing internal challenges from his predecessor Maliki from Muqtada al Sadr. so he's got a political crisis
and this is the prime minister that in effect the U.S. backs there and wanted to replace Maliki. They see him as more unifying.
In addition to that, you have U.S. and Iraqi forces preparing to retake Mosul and that is something when you speak of legacy, Becky Anderson,
something that the president would like to have done before he leaves office, take back this key stronghold from ISIS that happened in effect on the president's watch.
So a very key time for Biden to be there on the ground in Iraq.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure, sir. Jim Sciutto is out of Washington for you tonight.
Well, Trump mentioned Hillary Clinton seven times in that speech, linking her to what he considers disastrous foreign policy. But his other recent
line of attack has nothing to do with her record. The Democratic frontrunner is now firing back at Trump's accusation that she is playing
the woman's card.
She says her gender is the only thing she has going for her, claiming she would get just 5 percent of the votes if she were a man.
Here's how the former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the
woman card, then deal me in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Clinton's democratic rival, meantime, is reorganizing his campaign as his chances of winning the nomination seem to be evaporating.
Bernie Sanders is shifting his focus and scaling back, but as Athena Jones tells us, he is
still fighting on.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky.
That's right, the Sanders campaign is laying off a pretty sizable chunk of his team. They're laying off more than 200 staffers out of a team of about
550. This is coming after his disappointing showing on Tuesday night where he lost four out of the five states that voted.
Now, the Sanders' folks say this is the natural progression of every campaign with so many states already having voted in this primary process.
They say it's normal to move folks around.
So, workers in states that just voted will be affected, but so will some workers in other states and including members of the national staff. And
so while the Sanders folks are saying there's nothing to see here, this is normal, these are not generally the moves you make if you think you're
going to become the nominee and have to mount a national 50-state campaign in just a matter of weeks.
Still, Sanders is vowing to stay in the race until the convention. Take as listen to what he had to say yesterday.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are in this campaign to win. But if we do not win, we intend to win every
delegate that we can so that when we go to Philadelphia in July, we're going to have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda
that any political party has ever seen.
JONES: So, while Sanders is saying he's in this to win this, he's also saying that if we don't win it he's hoping to influence the agenda in
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has been pivoting more and more to the general election with her eyes on the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump --
[11:15:17] ANDERSON: As always viewers, you can find the latest on the race for the White House and all the political drama by heading to
CNN.com/politics. And I've got news for you, your CNN politics app. It's new, bringing developments right to your smartphone. And I have the app
right here just in time for some end of the week reading because it is, of course, the end of our week.
Right, some other stories on our radar for you. And there is yet more tension on the Korean peninsula.
South Korea says Pyongyang test fired two mid-range missiles earlier, but both appeared to have failed. This is just the latest in a string of
provocative acts from Pyongyang.
Two Turkish journalists have been sentenced two years in prison for publishing French magazine Charlie Hebdo's cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed.
The state-run Andaloulou (ph) agency says the journalists were found guilty of openly inciting the people through hatred and animosity through the use
of the press.
Well, we know how dangerous it is to text and drive, don't we? But what about texting and walking at the same time? One German city is so
concerned about pedestrian safety that it has installed traffic lights especially for walkers. As you can see, the lights are installed on the
sidewalk, the pavement, rather than overhead to alert distracted walkers to watch their step in traffic.
Well, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff says she will fight on for her job and her reputation. Next month, the senate will vote on an impeachment
motion, and that means that Rousseff could face suspension just before Rio hosts the Summer Olympics.
Well, the embattled leader sat down exclusively with my colleague Christiane Amanpour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN SENIOR INTERANTIONAL CORRESPONDENT : Brazil, under your administration, has secured the Olympic Games. You're getting ready
for the Olympic Games. How will it make you feel if you're not able to host them, if you're sitting out the impeachment process for the next six
DILM ROUSSEFF, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): You know, there's one thing I wish to tell you. If that happens, I will be very sad, indeed,
because we have, I think it is fair to say, we have undertaken a very good effort, number one, in a spirit of partnership with the Rio de Janeiro
And we have also engaged in an effort where we have learned many lessons from the recent World Cup.
So we will certainly be in a position to leave a legacy behind, number one, in the form of urban improvements in the city of Rio de Janeiro, the
subway, for light vehicle and rail system and one of the most beautiful architectural concepts, which is the Calatrava Museum.
I would very much like to take part in the Olympic process because I helped build the effort from day one, ever since we accepted the responsibility
matrix, as we call it.
I was there attending the sessions ahead of the chief of staff at the time. But I'm actually sad, a little more sad, for another reason, because
I think the worst thing for any human being is to be victim of injustice. I am being the victim of the current impeachment process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON; Dilma Rousseff there speaking to Christiane in her first one-on- one interview since the Lower House of Congress voted to impeach her.
It's a CNN exclusive, and you can watch the interview at 7:00 p.m. London, that is 10:00 p.m. if you are watching here in Abu Dhabi only on CNN.
Well, according to opinion polls every G20 nation would rather see Hillary Clinton as U.S.
president than Donald Trump, except for one. Why is Russia rooting for the brash billionaire? A live report from Moscow is just ahead.
Plus, fear in Bangladesh over the killings of activists and intellectuals. What U.S. officials are now revealing about those attacks taking a short
break. Back after this.
[11:21:08] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson at 21 minutes past 7:00 here in the UAE, returning to one of
our top stories, America's role in the world according to Donald Trump.
In his major foreign policy speech, the Republican presidential frontrunner made it clear that U.S. interests come first, but he also called for
improving historically tense relations with Russia saying, quote, this horrible cycle of hostility must end.
Let's bring in Frederik Pleitgen who is live for you in Moscow tonight. And Fred, what kind of new relationship is Trump calling for with Russia?
And what's been the reaction there?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's been calling for mutually beneficial one. It was interesting, because one of
the things that Donald Trump said is he said, yes, he does believe that it's possible to negotiate with
Russia, but only if America negotiates from a position of strength.
But then he went even further and he said that not only could relations improve, but he believes that there could be a friendship between Russia
and the United States.
Now, we know from past comments that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at least believe they could get on with one another, however, what we were
surprised to find is that the Russian population apparently also favors Trump.
Let's have a look.
PLEITGEN: It's no secret that Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed feel a certain admiration for each other.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): He is a brilliant and
talented person without a doubt.
TRUMP: And I like him because he called me a genius. He said Trump is the new real leader. Trump should be the leader and he's a total genius.
PLEITGEN: And many ordinary Russians are Trump fans as well.
"The key thing about him is his willingness for a break through in relations with Russia," this man says. "Maybe they won't get closer, but
at least there will be dialog."
And this man adds "first of all, Trump is a positive guy. And he spoke about Putin in a good way. He wants positive change in America."
In a recent UGOV poll conducted in the D20 nations, those surveyed in every country said they would take Hillary Clinton over Trump except in Russia
where the Donald leads by a landslide.
While relations between Russia and the Obama administration have soured over Moscow's policy in Ukraine and Syria, Trump in his foreign policy
speech says he thinks he can work with Russia.
TRUMP: I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of
strength only is possible.
PLEITGEN: Many Russians believe if Donald Trump were to become president that the U.S.
would have a more isolationist foreign policy. They think that would lead to fewer disagreements between the U.S. and Russia and ultimately to better
A recent Trump campaign video seemingly lumping Putin in with ISIS as a challenge to America did lead to some anger in the Kremlin, but Fyodor
Lukyanov head of the Russian council on foreign and defense policy says Vladimir Putin still appreciates Trump's style.
FYODOR LUKYANOV, RUSSIAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AND DEFEND POLICY: He basically likes those who are frank, open and disregard political
correctness and this is exactly the case of Mr. Trump.
PLEITGEN: It's a style that propelled Vladimir Putin to several terms as Russian prime minister and president. While some believe Trump's frankness
could carry him all the way into the White House, he still has a long way to go.
PLEITGEN: And of course, Becky, the big thing that Russia wants to achieve as they finally want to get the sanctions that have been levied against
them to go away. now, of course so far the position of the U.S. and quite frankly of the west in general has been, yes, that's possible, once
Russia stops meddling in Ukraine's affairs and gives Ukraine Crimea back.
Now, the interesting thing was that during his speech, Donald Trump did not even mention Crimea or Ukraine and that is certainly something that will
put a lot of smiles on the faces of the folks in the Kremlin, however it will probably make a lot of people in eastern Europe quite worried, Becky.
[11:25:07] ANDERSON: Fred is in Moscow for you this evening. Thank you, Fred.
Let's get you to Afghanistan now and to a country that has long been plagued by seemingly intractable conflict, but there is a very different
battle going on there as well: the fight against heroin and addiction.
The UN says the total opium harvest in 2015 was the same level as in 2000 and the drug has created a deadly epidemic. But now a former NATO military
base is being transformed to help the country's heroin additions.
Nick Paton Walsh takes us inside Camp Phoenix.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day one in a prison that might just set you free. These new arrivals are heroin
addicts beginning rehab. Delivered by desperate families or grabbed by police from the street. Men who've hit rock bottom on Afghanistan's biggest
Cigarettes and phones are banned in the coldest turnkey imaginable.
"I have pain all over my body," he says, "and I'm so exhausted that if I had a knife I'd cut myself apart."
Take a step back here and there's one big oddity. They're getting rehab in what was once just months ago a NATO military base. Walls built to keep the
Taliban out now keep addicts in.
(on camera): NATO left quite a bit of chaos in its wake but also many huge sprawling bases like this, places the Afghan army simply hasn't got the
money to maintain in full. So there must be some comfort that the exorbitant costs of the NATO campaign here that didn't really make a dent
in the problem of heroin in Afghanistan. Well, the resources behind it can get put to use to help ordinary Afghans.
(voice-over): Withdrawal could be deadly.
Here what once cost armies millions like fiber optic wiring can kill. The most desperate patients trying to hang themselves from it. Or even burn
down their rooms. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes they just shiver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In danger because opium traders, they give us warning because very bad effect on their economy. They'll be discredited. So that's
why they are trying to enter inside the hospital.
WALSH: Even in the wreckage of America's longest war, money is limited.
They just let out as many patients each day as they let in. Back into a country with its own sense of withdrawal, where the West's departure has
left poverty and despair and the unknown.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines just ahead for you here on CNN. Plus, how much time do you spend on Facebook compared to everybody else.
Well, we're going to take a look at that and get the latest on the company's stellar results from New York.
That is up next. Taking this very short break. See you on the other side.
[11:32:37] ANDERSON: Check in with our fans on Facebook now. We have more than 250,000s likes. Thanks everybody.
And some other good news for the social media giant, its stock has been hitting all-time session highs after revenue beat Wall Street's expectation
and that is partly down to many of us, of course. Facebook says that users spend an average of 50 minutes a day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Well, for more, let's speak to CNN Money's Maggie Lake who is with us now from New York. And against the run of play for many stocks that fell on the
opening, it has to be said, this is a company that seemingly can't just stop generating cash. Maggie, how are they getting it so right?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: By getting us all hooked.
50 minutes, I know that sounds low to a lot of our users out there, our viewers, who are on it and that is good news for Facebook.
Listen, it was hard to find anything to complain about in this earnings report. If we put up some of the vitals very, very strong report.
Profits, up 200 percent. That is practically unheard of in this day and age.
And look at that, 1.65 billion monthly users. They are just getting a ton of people on board.
And analysts I spoke to say two things jumped out. They are controlling expenses, which matters, and they are growing their users outside of the
U.S. They're really starting to pick up the pace internationally and that is very good news.
And as far as the money comes, listen there is a certain pool of online advertising and Facebook, as one analyst said, is just kicking butt. They
are just getting the advertisers to come to them. It's a product they understand. They've shown they can reach people, so they are garnering the
It's hurting conventional media most. If you think print, TV, billboards, but it is also stealing away from some of their other online competitors,
Google, Twitter, the likes of that.
So, Facebook performing very well and a lot of people giving Mark Zuckerberg high marks for his leadership, Becky.
ANDERSON: It's unbelievable.
1.65 billion users monthly, I mean, it almost seems like a ridiculous question to ask you, but what is next then for Facebook. We're talking
about 20 percent of the world's population is users at this point on a monthly basis. What happens next?
LAKE: It's not a silly question at all. We're talking about Apple saturated with iPhones and taht hurting the stock earlier this week.
It is very important. And this is what investors are also really excited about. A lot of those online users aren't even sort of turning into
revenue generators yet, but the feeling is there's a really long runway for that. And we also -- while Facebook is starting to monetize some of its
purchases like Instagram, You're starting to see more ads on Instagram, you may have noticed, they really haven't started to touch What'sApp yet,
which has so many users and Oculus Rift, we haven't see what they're going to do with that.
So, there's a feeling that they're innovating as well as delivering in the short-term and there's a lot more potential.
The stock, we mentioned, hitting all-time highs and analysts I spoke to earlier on CNN Money
said he expects them to blow right past his aggressive price target of $145. That's a long way from where they are now. So, an awful lot of
bullish optimism surrounding the stock, Becky.
[11:35:52] ANDERSON: It's unbelievable.
All right, Maggie, always a pleasure. Thank you very much, indeed. Maggie Lake is in New York for you this evening.
Many people in Bangladesh are on edge following a series of machete murders targeting the
killing of activists and intellectuals. This month alone, attackers have killed a university professor, an atheist blogger and most recently two gay
Our Ivan Watson has more for you.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Islamic militants have been carrying out murders in Bangladesh with alarming frequency.
The U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh has told CNN that in the last 14 months there have been
at least 35 attacks similar to the double murder of two gay rights activists in Dhaka on Monday. Of those attacks, at least 28 have been
claimed by a terrorist group.
WATSON: Grief and shock after a brutal double murder. On Monday evening, a gang armed with machetes carried out a deadly home invasion in the
Bangladeshi capital, killing two gay rights activists.
A local branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for this savage act of homophobia. Something violent and frightening is happening in Bangladesh. A
majority Muslim country and secular democracy.
Militants linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS are hunting down activists and intellectuals and killing them one by one. They've murdered at least six
Atheist bloggers and secular publishers in just 14 months. And activists say they've documented thousands of cases of violence and intimidation
against religious minorities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rape, abduction, gang rape, forceful conversion, destruction of temple, and also destruction of houses belonging to the
WATSON: These days even some Muslim clerics don't feel safe.
AHMED REZA FAROOQI, IMAM: Extremism in Islam, now it is rising. Now it is rising day by day.
WATSON: Ahmed Reza Farooqi is an imam at a mosque in the Bangladeshi capital who follows a mystical interpretation of Islam known as Sufism. His
father, Sheikh Nurul Islam Farooqi regularly preached peace and tolerance on TV.
"For that," his son says, Farooqi received threats from hard-liners from the Wahhabi branch of Islam, which often rejects Sufism.
FAROOQI: My father has been threatened from left side, from Wahhabi people, from terrorist people.
WATSON: In August 2014, attackers broke into the elder Farooqi's home, tied him up and slit his throat. Ahmed Reza has taken over leadership of his
father's mosque. This Muslim cleric is calling on the government to crack down on Islamist extremists before it's too late.
FAROOQI: If this sector will not be stopped, there will be massacre. Massacre with the people who love the Sufism, who love the modern Islam.
ANNISUL HUQ, LAW JUSTICE AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS MINISTER: We try hard to protect our citizens.
WATSON: Law and justice minister Annisul Huq rejects claims what the machete murders are being carried out by local members of Al Qaeda and
HUQ: There is no existence of ISIS in this country. Now, ISIL-related incidents can take place. And one amateur can demand that I belong to the
ISIS. That does not make him a member of ISIS.
WATSON: In this growing climate of fear in Bangladesh, some community leaders vowed to stand strong against what they describe as the forces of
darkness that threaten their country.
FAROOQI: No, I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of the terrorists. And I will not fear of the darkness.
WATSON: Becky, the Bangladeshi government says it's doing everything possible to crack down on what it has consistently characterized as
Meanwhile, the assistant secretary of state has spoken to CNN and he says that what we're seeing right now is a very morbid competition taking place
between two groups of terrorists aligned with al Qaeda on one side and ISIS on the other side, and both are competing to kill the most people in
Bangladesh -- Becky?
[11:40:31] ANDERSON: Ivan Watson reporting for you.
Well, live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up why is Qatar Airways prepared to end its long relationship with
Airbus. My interview with CEO Akbar al Baker is up next.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. 42 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE.
The CEO of Qatar Airways says the company could walk away from its long relationship with Airbus and jump to Boeing because of delays with plane
orders. The airline was the first, you may remember, to receive the new A- 350 yet it is still waiting for the launch order of A-320 Neos. Akbar al Baker says the company's patience with Airbus is running out. He laso
shared his thoughts on a potential Donald Trump presidency in the United States. Have a listen.
AKBAR AL BAKER, CEO, QATAR AIRWAYS: Everything in Qatar Airways we do we always have plan b because as an airline we cannot just be reliant on one
business proposition that we have. We have a very strong relationship with Airbus but unfortunately they are falling behind their comments to us. We
were the launch customers of the Airbus Neo with a very large order, and they
We know that there is a major issue with the engine manufacturer, but also there are issues which up to now have been very quiet about with Airbus
themselves. There is software problem, there is APU issue, there is hydraulics issue, so we cannot take an airplane that we pay handsomely for
and then we cannot use it to its maximum and we are fully prepared to walk away.
We are already going to exercise our rights walking away from airplanes that are already substantially late. Our first aircraft was supposed to be
delivered to us last October and we are already four aircraft short so we cannot run our business this way and Airbus has to understand that there is
an alternate to them, that we are not in anybody's basket.
[11:45:00] ANDERSON: So this is not an idle threat.
BAKER: I don't give any idle threats to anybody, I mean what I say. And I have the full backing of my board and of my government, because we have to
grow. We are in a competitive world and if I am six, seven airplanes short of my business plan this is unsustainable to me as an airline.
ANDERSON; What's your message to the Americans about (inaudilbe)?
BAKER: Well, two things. First, the American people must stand with the three Gulf carriers because we are providing them connectivity and a
product which is equal to none. Secondly, they should also understand that a, we have not violated any clauses of the air services agreement -- open
sky air services agreement with the United States and my country nor we have done any harm to
American carriers. They couldn't prove it.
We have done our filing. And we are waiting for the wise decision of the government of
the United States.
But I should tell you one thing very clearly, things that they are accusing us of, that there is no traffic between the American destinations and my
country, or Abu Dhabi and Dubai, that we are carrying beyond traffic from United States, which is also a fact, to the carriers in Europe who have
instigated all this, also are carrying majority of their passengers out of America, are fifth and sixth freedom traffic. And I can prove it with
figures. And I have done so in my filing to the United States government.
ANDERSON: That government currently run by President Obama. That won't last long. There is a potential going forward could be run by Donald
Trump. How would that go down in your book?
BAKER: It's all smoke and mirror with Donald.
Donald is a businessman at the end of the day. He will see what is the best interest of his country and in the best interest of his country is to
create more competition. Whatever he's saying, which is anti-immigration, anti-Muslims, this is all just to appease the right of the working
ANDERSON: And we were discussing Airbus earlier on in that interview and it straining under a record order book, reporting a sharp fall in first-
quarter profits today, down some 50 percent in the first three months of the year.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker there, always outspoken, his company one of 60 international airlines that have started using Dubai's new concourse
D. The project is a key driver to diversify Dubai's economy, especially in these days of low oil prices.
ANDERSON: Dubai International Airport, a bustling hive of activity connecting east and west, north and south, nearly 80 million passengers
passed through here last year making it the world's busiest airport for international passengers.
It's hard not to be impressed by the mass of humanity passing through these halls every single hour of every single day of the year.
It's this very infrastructure that's allowed Dubai owned carriers like Emirates to have major advantage over their competitors.
But with the opening of the brand new concourse D, Dubai International is positioning itself as a truly global transport hub, becoming home to 60
airlines traveling to 90 destinations around the world.
So what is behind this strategy? I know a man to ask.
At more than a billion dollars, this is a significant investment. Why now?
AHMAD BIN SAAED AL MAKHTOUM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO EMIRATES AIRLINES : You know, airport expansion never stops. You have an excellent (inaudible)
over the last 30 years since I came to this air. It's 10 percent. It's persistent. So we have to invest every few years into the asset here.
ANDERSON: But the gleaming new concourse and improved traveler experience comes at a price.
PAUL GRIFFITHS, CEO, DUBAI AIRPORTS: This doesn't come for free. And we've had to put a very small $10 equivalent charge across all of our
passengers who are departing from dubai international, but compared to airport charges in the rest of the world, we are incredible value for
ANDERSON: But this is more than just an airport expansion story, this goes to the heart of
Dubai's growth strategy.
GRIFFITHS: The whole of the aviation enterprise in Dubai really drives our GDP. It's an enormous part of everything we do.
ANDERSON: The impact of more passengers here, so the strategy goes, will ripple out beyond the airport, resulting in more money spent in the
[11:50:18] ANDERSON: Well, coming up from humble beginnings to the world stage, what ballet dancer Carlos Acosta told me about what's in store for
him next. That is after this short break.
ANDERSON: Well, you're back with us here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson, of course. Now he has been called the most renowned ballet dancer of his
generation. Carlos Acosta has danced with London's Royal Ballet for almost two decades. But now, the Cuban artist is
starting a new chapter, teaching the next generation of dancers.
Well, I sat down with Carlos before his performance here at the Abu Dhabi art and music festival to talk about his career, what he hopes to do next
and his beloved Cuba. And I started by asking him how his dad encouraged him to dance?
ACOSTA: No. My dad forced me to dance, OK. He say -- I was break dancing, and he saw me once spinning on my head and said, OK, you're going
to be a ballet dancer. I don't know where he get it from, but anyway he just pushed me in that direction.
And it was the best thing. And he was a truck driver, didn't know much about what ballet was, but he wanted the best for me. I was very poor,
from a poor background. And I've been given the possibility to study this art form, ballet, which is very expensive for
ANDERSON: You have thousands of fans here. What's in store for the audiences?
ACOSTA: Well, this is part of my -- one of my classical programs. It is sort of a transition
program from the classical repertoire to the more contemporary repertoire. And so it's basically a greatest hits for us all. The fans had the
possibility to have, you know, one last gleams of the things that I used to be famous for, you know, (inaudible) ,which is a very Spanished flavor
choreography and I have really an amazing team of dancers, mainly from Cuba.
ANDERSON: You were in Cuba recently when President Obama touched down, a historic moment for the country. Take me back. How did that feel? What
was your response?
ACOSTA: Oh, it was great. He make this amazing speech in the old theater in Cuba, very inspirational. You know, it was a speech of reconciliation.
You know, my parents died a couple years ago and they died without knowing that this day he was ever going to be possible.
You know, and there he was -- Obama, American president in the national scene, when I dance
so many times.
ANDERSON: Are you concerned that that Cuba that you know, that Cuba that you love, will change immeasurably now?
ACOTSA: I don't think it will. You know, I think, of course, Cuba will become something else
because when all this information and all this, you know, gathering of people come in it will create a big impact. But always the Cuban spirit
will surface. And, you know, what you do, you not the same kind of person 20 years ago. You evolve, I evolve, we all evolve, and the country will as
But still, you know, you are the same, I am the same. Got the same soul, the same spirit. You just have more, you know, information so the country
will be the same.
ANDERSON: You are going to be asked this again and again and again. You're going home, you're investing in the youth there. You're going to
get involved in politics?
ACOSTA: No politics.
ANDERSON: Even if people want you to get involved in politics?
ACOSTA: No, no, no politics. The best way to help my country is doing what I do which is
being an artist, connecting. Arts in general unified. You know, and politics always divides. Whereas art is something that connects regardless
of where you come from, regardless of the language that you come from, that's my area and that's the area that I want to focus on.
And basically I want to help my country to connect my country to the world. You know, you're talking about connect the world.
ANDERSON: Thank you, Carlos.
ACOSTA: Exactly what you do, try to do, the things that I do which is dance.
ANDERSON: For your delight and delectation tonight, Carlos Acosta.
Now, the majority of Cubans are Catholic, but it's more minority there are practicing Muslims. It is a tight-knit community where Friday prayers
takes place not in grand mosques but in small gatherings at home.
And CNN spoke to one photographer who explored the lives of Cuban Muslims and the challenges they face.
Your Parting Shots, then, tonight are on our Facebook page. Facebook.com/cnnconnect. Get in touch with me as ever on Twitter. Tweet
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here and those working
with us around the world, thank you for watching. CNN of course continues after this short break so do not go away.