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CONNECT THE WORLD
Terrorist Attack in Tel Aviv; Concerns over Terrorist Threat Ahead of Euro 2016 Tournament; Will Rio be Ready? Muslim Prayer Service for Muhammad Ali Open to All; According to Reports, Saudi Arabia Threatens UN After Being Put on List of Shame. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired June 9, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:21] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we saw the terrorists and they start running after us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Tear up in Tel Aviv, a city shaken by an attack that left four dead.
Up next, reports from CNN's correspondents in Israel and the West Bank for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It paints a horrific picture of the suffering of Yemeni civilians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A United Nations report on child rights violations had Saudi Arabia so outraged, it reportedly threatened to cut all ties with the
world governing body. This hour, we speaks to the Saudi ambassador to the UN.
And remembering the greatest, Muhammad Ali's Muslim prayer service will take place at
Louisville's Freedom Hall. And we will take you there live later this hour.
Hello. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you.
A security crackdown is under way in the West Bank as Israel promises a harsh response to the terror attack in Tel Aviv. Many new developments
to report on this story this hour. Here is the very latest for you.
Israel's military released this video showing soldiers going house to house carrying out raids. Israel says the two attackers behind the mass
shooting are from the West Bank. They are both in custody.
We can't report on other details because of a gag order. Israel sending hundreds more troops to the West Bank and is now restricting the
movement of tens of thousands of Palestinians revoking their permits to enter Israel.
While Hamas is praising the attack, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement that condemned all violence against
civilians, but didn't condemn the attack itself.
13 people in all were shot at the open air market on Wednesday night: four were killed, several remain in hospital.
CNN's Oren Liebermann got an eyewitness account of the terrifying moments when the gunman opened fire.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not even 12 hours before this restaurant opened for breakfast this was the scene of a terror
You can see in the surveillance video as two gunmen open fire inside the restaurant, shooting at point-blank range. Then they take the shooting
outside, a horrifying scene, in an open air market in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Meital Sassi (ph) posted this video to Facebook in the moments after the attack. You can see the ambulance lights in the background; she was in
the market for her 2-year-old son's birthday. She returned in the morning to come to terms with what she had been through.
MEITAL SASSI (PH), TERROR ATTACK WITNESS: We saw the terrorists and he start running after us, after us, after a few people, that run away from
here. And it was a few minutes that I'll never forget, that was a shock.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Evidence of the attack is already gone, replaced with regular customers. The Tel Aviv mayor said terrorism would
not defeat the city; he urged everyone to still believe in peace, something that's now much harder for Meital Sassi (ph).
SASSI (ph): I want to believe. I want to believe. But it's very hard because -- because you see, you see the problem. It's like everywhere.
It's beneath your nose, your home, like I don't know, how do I take my kid to the -- to this restaurant?
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): There have been concerns about security at the Sarona Market for months .
Is it too open, too accessible, too easy a target?
AMIR OHANA, ISRAELI PARLIAMENT MEMBER: When a person decides based on incitement that he is getting a weapon and goes to kill as many Israelis as
he can, we cannot have the alert for that. We cannot know that in advance.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Now additional security guards patrol the market, trying to restore a sense of safety that was gone Wednesday night.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, Tel Aviv.
ANDERSON: Let's get more now from Phil Black who is live in the West Bank for you this evening. Phil, what can you tell us at this point?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Israeli authorities have issued a gag order preventing us from discussing the two
attackers in any detail, the sort of detail that may identify them, but what we can talk about is what we're seeing on the West Bank, which is the
Israeli government response to what has happened. And it is the town of Yatta in the south of the West Bank that has borne the brunt of that
response so far, has been the focus of efforts by the Israeli military overnight through raids, searches, that were carried out in homes here
through those early, dark hours.
The Israeli defense forces released videos of homes being searched, people being questioned, with at least one person being led away. And
today, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said this town is effectively closed, that entering and leaving has been entirely restricted.
What we're seeing here, though, during the daylight hours is pretty much zero Israeli military presence. There is no one preventing people
from coming and going. What they have done, at least a couple points we're seeing, is placed large stone boulders in the middle of
the road which stops vehicles from coming and going. People can still walk through. And people are even getting their cars out away from this
town to other parts of the West Bank by driving through nearby fields.
So, it is not a perfectly secure closure by any means. It's pretty loose, it's very porous, but it is the focus so far of the security
response to those attacks in Tel Aviv.
ANDERSON: Phil is reporting from the West Bank for you this evening. Thank you, Phil.
We're just one day away from the kickoff of the Euro 2016 football championship. But the build up, I'm afraid, has been overshadowed by
security concerns and crippling strikes. French workers have been protesting for several days over proposed labor reforms. It appears
increasingly likely now that the strikes will not end before the Euros.
And even larger problem has been the looming threat of another terror attack. Paris twice hit by terrorists last year.
Well, everyone hopes the focus will shift to football when France take on Romania in the opening match. CNN World Sport's Alex Thomas is outside
the stadium in Paris where that match will take place on Friday.
And unfortunately, but importantly, we should talk securiety before we talk the beautiful
game. Just walk us through the preparations if you will?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Becky, there have been so many strong and serious warnings both from the French government, from Euro 2016
organizers, and also from governments of countries where fans are likely to travel here to France, to watch the European Championship, which
involves 24 nations, more than 500 players, takes place over three weeks, hundreds of millions around the world, and that's a cumulative TV audience
in the billions, possibly, will watch the action.
So, this is a major sporting event up there right behind the Olympics and the Football World Cup in terms of global sporting occasions.
And yet, as you say, real concern about security.
But despite those strong messages, no one is saying there's a specific threat. In fact, in a news conference earlier this week, organizers said
there was not a specific threat, because it seemed like maybe that was the hint when you have British Prime Minister David Cameron making a strong
statement in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom's parliaments and also you had the interior ministry here in France just pointing out that
they had to take precautions. Zero precautions would have meant a 100 percent risk.
But even 100 percent precautions, which is what they feel they've taken does not mean a zero percent risk. There a very real and present
danger in relation to terror attacks. We saw, too, here in Paris of course during 2015.
But they've done everything they can as far as the security is concerned. Over 100,000 on duty across France, 10 cities hosting these
matches over the next few weeks,Becky.
ANDERSON: And Alex, we hope that works.
Let's talk the beautiful game, shall we? Let's talk soccer.
And a preview, if you will, of what you believe we should be most excited about going into this
THOMAS: Well, it's just the European football tournament, just the European nations competing, but traditionally it's always been seen as
possibly, arguably, historically harder to win than the FIFA World Cup, because the European nations are the richest ones so by
definition, generate the best players.
Now, that argument could be really tugged at. The thread will unravel on that argument this
year because the tournament has been increased from 16 teams to 24. Some say that's diluted the strength of it, although many former players and
pundits we've been speaking to in the buildup don't hold that view.
What is interesting, you've got a real mix between the traditional strong footballing powers like
Spain, the defending champions trying, to win it for the first time ever three in a row. They won Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, too -- remember this is
held every four years like the World Cup and of course Germany the world champions, France the host will be strong favorites, too. Versus the
minnows -- lots of teams like Northern Ireland, Iceland, Albania, that you never would have expect to qualify for this tournament in the past are
So, a really fascinating mix for football fans. And as I outlined earlier, Becky, people around the world, not just Europeans, will be tuning
in to this one.
[11:10:03] ANDERSON: Yeah. Good stuff.
All right, we'', we're all looking forward to it, Alex, and your coverage. Thank you, sir.
And there is much more on the Euros on our web site there. You can watch Alex's exclusive interview with the Swedish super star Slatan
Ibrahimovic, what a player he is, just head to CNN.com/Euro2016. Not just a great player, but an incredible personality. And you'll know whatI mean
if you have a look at that.
Right, to some of the other stories in our radar today. And Pakistani police say a woman was strangled and then burned to death by her mother and
brother after marrying a man against her family's wishes. The 18-year-old had eloped and moved away and returned to her family's home in the hopes of
reconciliation. The mother turned herself in. The brother is on the run.
A promising development in the fight to wipe out Ebola. The World Health Organization says the most recent Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over,
but it says the country is now on the 90 day period of heightened surveillance, as its known, to make sure no new cases emerge. And the
annual dragon boat festival has begun in China. The CNN team was among the boats racing in
Hong Kong. We finished fourth in the Gold Cup final. Not bad.
The festival part of a century's old tradition known in China as Duang Woo (ph), commemorating a poet who drowned himself in a river.
We, too, have a team here, I think the Hong Kong CNN team is slightly better than us, though.
Anyway, in less than an hour a Muslim prayer service will be held for boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Crowds gathering now at Freedom Hall Arena in
Ali's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The services open to the public, an estimated 18,000 people are expected to attend.
CNN's Martin Savidge is there and he joins me now.
They are, Martin, saying farewell to their favorite son in Louisville. Surrounded by, accompanied by many, many people from outside that city who
just want to say good-bye.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are.
I mean, you've got people that have come from all over the world, Becky, to be a part of what is a very special service that's going to
start, as you say, in a little less than an hour from now.
It's known as a Ginaza (ph). It's an Islamic funeral rite, funeral service that's going to take place here. Muhammad Ali, of course, a Muslim
and that has given him great significance to many other Muslims around the world, because he converted at a young age. He went from being Cassius
Clay to the name that we now all know, Muhammad Ali.
What they're doing is allowing they're allowing Muslims to come to the forefront here. This service is open to all, of any faith, but Muslims
will come to the forefront here. The casket will eventually be brought out and then that's when this prayer service will begin.
It's simple, but it's traditional. It's a foundation of faith for many, many here. And as I've said, they've come from not just across the
country but the styles of dress and the way people are attired, that they have come from around the world, some of them literally showed up. They
had basically an airline ticket and they have been housed by members of the community here.
And this is just the first of a number of services, ways that a life as great as Muhammad Ali is
going to be remembered. You have a procession tomorrow, that's going to allow thousands of other people to line the route to bid their final
farewell to the champ. And then there's also going to be a public memorial service at 2:00. Don't bother trying to get into that one. 14,000 tickets
were gone in less than an hour, former President Bill Clinton among the notables and international leaders who will
be there as well.
You need more than one service to say good-bye to a person as large in life as Muhammad Ali -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Very well put.
Martin, thank you.
And CNN will have live coverage of Friday's memorial service for Muhammad Ali. That service will also take place in his hometown of
Louisville. Our coverage starts Friday at 6:45 p.m. London time. And for the times locally for you, I'm sure you can work those out right here on
Still to come this hour on Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, bullying and outright threats. A source tells CNN that is how Saudi Arabia
reacted to a UN report that it didn't agree with. I'll be joined by the kingdom's ambassador to the UN for his reaction.
And later, the Rio Olympics haven't started yet, but there's already a race surrounding the
games. Organizers under pressure to get all the venues finished and soon.
ANDERSON: All right. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
It is 16 minutes past 7:00. Now, U.S. President Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders are meeting this hour at the White House. They are expected
to talk about uniting the Democratic Party.
Sanders has said he will continue his bid for U.S. president even though Hillary Clinton is now the presumptive Democratic Party's nominee.
Our Athena Jones has more.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This morning, President Obama meeting with Bernie Sanders.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My hope is that over the next couple of weeks we're able to pull things together.
JONES: Increasing pressure on the Vermont senator to end his primary fight now that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party's presumptive
OBAMA: Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas, and he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better
JONES: The president is expected to congratulate Sanders, but also discuss his role as a unifying figure that can mobilize enthusiasm behind
Clinton as they look to take on Donald Trump.
OBAMA: The main role I'm going to be playing in the process is to remind the American people that this is a serious job. You know, this is
not reality TV.
SEN.BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The struggle continues.
JONES: As Sanders and his team vow to continue fighting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one is the nominee. The nominee elected at the convention.
JONES: The White House stressing patience with Sanders, consciously trying not to alienate his voters.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is clear we know who the nominee will be, but I think we should be a little graceful and
give him the opportunity to decide on his own.
JONES: The president's endorsement of Clinton could come as early as today. But Clinton is already going on a celebratory media blitz, trying to
rally Sanders supporters.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I really believe a lot of Senator Sanders supporters will join us in making sure
Donald Trump doesn't get anywhere near the White House.
JONES: Clinton also addressing the prospect of two women on the ticket.
CLINTON: I'm looking at the most qualified people, and that includes women, of course, because I want to be sure that whoever I pick could be
Well that was our Athena Jones reporting.
We also asked Clinton when she might name her running mate. She says she doesn't know how long that process will take.
Stick with CNN. You'll be with us all the way as that -- as the options are laid out, I'm sure.
Now, Saudi Arabia and its allies bullied and threatened the United Nations to get their own way, that is according to a UN official who tells
CNN that the kingdom suggested that it would cut off huge amounts of funding to Palestinian refugees and other causes, and even threatened to
abandon the UN entirely unless the coalition it leads in Yemen's civil war was taken off a report blaming it for causing
most of the child deaths in that conflict last year.
The UN did remove the coalition pending a review and that has outraged human rights groups.
CNN's Jon Jensen has the details for you.
[11:20:17] JOHN JENSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the images of Yemen's civil war the world has grown all too accustomed to. But a
different kind of battle on Yemen is brewing a world away in these halls over the wording of a new UN report.
STEPHANE DUJANIC, SPOKESMAN FOR THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: It paints a horrific picture of the suffering of Yemeni civilians.
JENSEN: Last week the UN released this annual report on children and armed conflict. It blamed the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen for
the majority of all child casualties there last year, including attacks on schools and hospitals.
But days later, the UN backtracked following Saudi claims of inaccuracy. The UN pulled the kingdom from its so-called list of shame
pending further investigation.
But the Saudis saw it differently.
ABDALLAH AL-MOUALLIMI, SAUDI AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: We know that this removal is final and unconditional.
JENSEN: Now new revelations of Saudi Arabian pressure on Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and threats to server ties with the UN.
A United Nations official tells CNN that pressure was massive, quote, "beyond anything ever
seen." And even placed doubts on millions of dollars of Saudi financial contributions to the UN.
The monarchy is one of the largest contributors to groups like the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian refugees.
The UN official also says there were suggestions clerics in Saudi Arabia could declare the
Human rights groups call the removal a shocking flip-flop and pandering.
ROB WILLIAMS, CEO, WAR CHILD UK: The UN is failing to defend the rights of children who are being killed by coalition bombing in Yemen, and
actually succumbing to enormous political pressure in New York.
JENSEN: On Wednesday, the UN defended its list.
DUJANIC: The content of the report, the body of the report, stands, every word stands. And we stand by the figures and the information
contained in the report.
JENSEN: But in Yemen, little has changed, and the 15 month old civil war rages on.
John Jensen, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: I want to get the Saudi view on all of this now. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah al- Mouallimi joins us
live from the UN in New York. And thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for coming on to the show.
Commenting on this controversy, the UN chief himself, Ban Ki-moon live just in the last five minutes in front of the world's press has described
the undue pressure he was under to remove the Saudi coalition from this black list as unacceptable, and one of the most difficult decisions that he
has made in the job.
That is very strong rhetoric. Why did Saudi, along with others from Gulf Arab nations and coalition countries bully the UN?
MOUALLIMI: Bullied and threatened, you got this wrong. It is us who were bullied and threatened by this inclusion. We do not use threats and
intimidation. That is not our style. We have always worked cooperatively with the United Nations.
It is unacceptable for anybody to put pressure on the secretary- general. And we certainly did not. We simply pointed out the facts.
ANDERSON: Well, sir -- hang on, can I stop you there?
MOUALLIMI: ...and we commend the the secretary-general for taking it back.
ANDERSON: Can i stop you for one moment.
He has called the undue pressure that he was under by Saudi and others as unacceptable. And our sources have said the same. Is it acceptable
that sort of pressure?
MOUALLIMI: I'm telling you that no pressure on the secretary-general is acceptable and no such pressure was exercised.
ANDERSON: Was the threat of a fatwa against the UN credible?
MOUALLIMI: That's ridiculous. Fatwas are reserved for much more important things of issues of religion and god and so forth. To include
fatwas in a political dispute like this is unheard of. This is imagination going wild.
ANDERSON: Where do you think reports of a fatwa came from, sir?
MOUALLIMI: I don't know. This is imagination going wild. There are people who are ready to feast on any news about Saudi Arabia and to try to
tarnish our image and reputation.
We are a responsible member of the United Nations. We have worked closely with the United
Nations throughout. In Yemen, in particular, we have the most constructive, the most positive role, a, to restore legitimacy, b, to
provide humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people. We have contributed more than 70 percent of all the aid that has gone to Yemen over the past
year or so.
ANDERSON: So let's get back to this undue pressure as Ban Ki-moon has just suggested and described at the pressure as he saw it.
So, you don't accept that telephone calls were made by the Saudis and others.
MOUALLIMI: Of course they were made.
ANDERSON: ...an enormous amount of pressure was put on. How would you describe the conversations and the -- and the exercise in this?
MOUALLIMI: Listen, Becky, international diplomacy is conducted in meetings and telephone calls and communications, that's how you conduct
So if Mr. Ban Ki-moon received a call from here or there, that's normal in the course of business
of the United Nations and its relations with the world.
Yes, our foreign minister did call the secretary-general.
ANDERSON: Why do you think -- with respect, and I just want to get to the bottom of this, why do you think Ban Ki-moon in the past five, ten
minutes, has described the -- this undue pressure as unacceptable. The guy has been in the job now for nearly a decade. He says it's one of the most
difficult decisions he's made, and one of the most difficult positions he's been made to be in during this time.
MOUALLIMI: I would not pretend to be able to answer on behalf of Mr. Man Ki-moon or to evaluate his thinking and so forth, but I do not believe
that Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who is an experienced statesman, who has gone through many, many crises, would call a phone call from our foreign minister to be
undue pressure. I mean, that just doesn't make sense.
And we have had communications with the secretariat, with the deputy secretary general. We pointed out the facts, and we did say that this was
unacceptable to us.
ANDERSON: You've called all this Saudi an administrative mistake, saying your removal is irreversible and unconditional. What are you basing
that on, sir? Because frankly the UN is not on board with that at all. It's saying your removal is only, hang on, removal is only temporary
pending a review. Who is telling you otherwise?
MOUALLIMI: We are confident that once all the facts are presented, once all the information is provided to the United Nations, then this is
going to be unconditional and irreversible. There is no way by which we can be demonstrated to have been responsible for the kind of attacks or
harm on civilians and on children in particular as the report had indicated.
ANDERSON: Ambassador, lest we forget, and thank you for bringing up the kids, we are talking about the lives of nearly 2,000 kids here either
killed or maimed, a six-fold increase since 2014, according to the UN.
I think we'd all agree that is absolutely shocking.
Are you disputing that kids have been caught up at all in these coalition strikes?
MOUALLIMI: No, not at all. Kids are caught up in this conflict. And the main way, the man channel through which they are being caught up in
the conflict is because the Houthis are recruiting so many of them and pushing them into battle, and because they are using them as mine sweepers,
and because the Houthis are indiscriminately shelling residential in Tai'iz, in Aden, in many other places in Yemen.
So, we do not dispute the suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the unlawful takeover of
government and authority by the Houthi rebels, something that has been condemned by the world community and by the United Nations Security Council
ANDERSON: So ambassador, let me push you on this, so if you were to sadly have to account for the sort of numbers, what are you talking about?
Tens rather than hundreds or thousands of kids killed and maimed?
MOUALLIMI: I do not know the answer to that question. I know that the casualties for which the coalition forces are responsible are very,
very limited. We use mainly precision targeting. We choose our targets carefully. We have international consultants who help us make sure that we
And if there is a mistake now and then, and mistakes may happen and collateral damage may happen, we account for it through investigative
The problem is, Becky, that this report did not consult the government of Saudi Arabia, did
not consult the governments of the coalition members and did not consult the legitimate government of Yemen -- and based all its data and
information on one side and one side only, and on hearsay and social media reports.
ANDERSON: With respect, sir, it didn't have to. It wasn't obliged to, either.
MOUALLIMI: Of course it did.
[11:30:02] ANDERSON: But let's move on.
MOUALLIMI: Let me correct you -- I have to stop you here. I'm sorry to stop you.
ANDERSON: Go on.
MOUALLIMI; It has to consult in accordance with the Security Council resolution that established the mandate for issuing this list. They are
required to consult not only with concerned governments and also with regional and sub-regional organizations. So, you're wrong if you say they
did not have to consult.
ANDERSON: All right. And I retract that.
And let's move on.
Last year, your government was the fourth largest government donor to the UN's aid agency
dedicated to helping Palestine refugees. Now, you gave almost $100 million, and that's hardly surprising. Saudi Arabia often lends its
considerable weight to Palestinian causes.
Our source, among other reports, telling us that Saudi threatened to pull that money away if you
weren't taken off this black list. Is that true?
MOUALLIMI: Again, this is so ridiculous.
Why would we punish Palestinian refugees for a mistake committed by the United Nations secretariat? Why would we punish our brothers and
sisters among the refugee camps in Palestine and elsewhere for that? I mean, that just doesn't make any sense.
And whoever is circulating these rumors is simply trying to tarnish the image of Saudi Arabia or to seed conflict between us and our
Palestinian and Arab brothers. That is just totally outrageous.
ANDERSON: Ambassador, let's have a listen to what Ban Ki-moon did say in the past ten minutes. I've got that sound. I think it will be useful
for you to hear it and for our viewers to hear it. This, just at the top of the last -- this hour. So this is in the last 30 minutes or so. Have a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: I stand by the report. We will assess the complaints that have been made, but the contents will not
change. I fully understand the criticism, but I would also like to make...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The contents, sir, will not change. Your response?
MOUALLIMI: Well, what will change is that Saudi Arabia will not be on that list. That will change. And that has already changed and will not be
reversed, that I'm confident of.
ANDERSON: What happens if that doesn't materialize, sir?
MOUALLIMI: Well, I'm telling you it will materialize. It has materialized already. We have been lifted off that list already.
ANDERSON: Temporarily, sir.
MOUALLIMI: No. Permanently and unconditionally and irreversibly.
ANDERSON: OK. We very much appreciate your time. Pleasure having you on. Thank you, sir.
MOUALLIMI: Thank you. Thank you.
ANDERSON: World news headlines just ahead. Plus, Iraqi forces report gains in the fight for Fallujah. We're going to have that up next. Taking
a short break at this point. Back after this.
[11:36:59] ANDERSON: Well, IISS says it's responsible for twin suicide bombings in and
around Baghdad. 19 people were killed and dozens more were wounded when a car bomb exploded near the cinema in the eastern part of the city. And
three Iraqi soldiers died when a man detonated a suicide vest at the main gate of a military camp north of the capital.
Well, a recent spike in ISIS bombings in Baghdad comes as the terror group faces pressure in
Anbar province. Iraqi forces pushing forward as they try to recapture Fallujah. And they are reporting a partial victory there.
CNN's Ben Wedeman reports from Baghdad for you.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iraqi officials announced today that their forces were able to retake the first
neighborhood in Fallujah, Shul Hadad Atteni (ph), which is in the southeastern corner of the city. They say they managed to battle their way
in, driving out ISIS and raising the Iraqi flag over government buildings.
They say the focus of the current offensive is that southeastern part of the city, which is the closest to the city center. They say they were
able to retake Shul Hadad Atteni (ph) with minimal casualties, although officers I spoke with didn't give any specific details regarding Iraqi
government casualties and fatalities.
They say their biggest challenge so far has been the hundreds of improvised explosive devices
laid by ISIS in the city. Now, at this point there is rising concern about the welfare of tens of thousands of civilians still stuck inside Fallujah.
Estimates range anywhere from 40,000 to 90,000 according to the United Nations.
Now there's also concern about persistent reports that Iraqi paramilitary units are abusing, and in some cases summarily executing, some
of the civilians who are leaving the city.
Now we have been told by Iraqi officials that they have launched an investigation into those allegations and that whoever is found guilty will
be harshly punished.
Now Iraqi officials and western diplomats say as many as anywhere between a 1,000 and 3,000 militants remain in the city.
Now, we were outside Shul Hadad Atteni (ph) neighborhood yesterday and we did hear ISIS
militants communicating with one another on the radio. Iraqi officials there who monitor that radio traffic around the clock say they have heard
that orders have gone out to ISIS militants to shave off their beards and prepare to blend in with these civilian population.
At this point Iraqi officials believe that those ISIS militants left in Fallujah, particularly the non-Iraqis, are likely to fight to the death.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Baghdad.
ANDERSON: Well, those who live in Fallujah are no strangers to fighting. During the beginning of the Iraq war U.S. forces swept Fallujah
hunting jihadists door to door in the cities first major battle. The second battle is considered the bloodiest of the entire Iraq war. U.S.,
Iraqi and British forces suffered about 100 casualties, and they killed roughly 2,000 insurgents. The U.S. described Fallujah liberated, or
declared it liberated, after the fighting, but the city left in ruins.
And that is when Mark Manning went to Fallujah to witness the aftermath. The documentary filmmaker captured the thousands of civilian
casualties and devastation firsthand and now he shares his concerns for the place and the people that he came to know so well.
Have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the largest military offensive in more than a year in Iraq and the most critical. A Sunni city which has been a major
sanctuary for insurgents for months now.
MARK MANNNIG, DIRECTOR, THE ROAD TO FALLUJAH: They told me that medical aid, doctors were treating people without any anesthetics and
without proper tools. We saw a lot of mass graves. It was pretty brutal. And for the refugee population around al Anbar province where hundreds of
thousands people poured out into the farmlands and then out into the desert, there was absolutely no plan for that, which is unfortunately I
think very similar to what's going on today.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE (through translator): Oh God, Fallujah is in your hands, oh God.
MANNING: What I'm concerned about is the repeating of mistakes that were not planning for this civilian effects of these battles and I don't
understand why that is because that has major consequences all throughout the world.
The people of Fallujah from my perspective of having spent time there, are some of the most gracious and heartfelt people I've met, especially
seeming understanding the extraordinarily difficult situations they're in. Having been sieged on and hard to meet a person
that didn't have an immediate family member that was either dead, or dying or injured.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Now my son is lost and can't even find his body? This should happen?
MANNING: If we're getting drawn back into the region in a fight against ISIS, I would hope and pray that we are learning that the mistakes
we made before we can't make again and we have to push and pressure the power brokers in the region to take care of the people.
Take a look at the war from their perspective.
ANDERSON: Some context for you there.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, we'll talk about cutting it close. Brazil now says a critical infrastructure project
won't be completed until just days before the opening of the summer games. Taking a very short break. Back with that after this.
[11:45:40] ANDERSON: Well you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
It is 45 minutes past 7:00 here in Abu Dhabi.
Officials in Rio de Janeiro are racing against time to finish a key construction project before the Summer Games begin of course in less than
two months from now.
Let's bring in Nick Paton Walsh. He's live in Rio for you with the details. And while they, Nick, insist it will be finished on time, is it
likely to be down to the wire at this point?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPNDENT: Yes. And I think if you make the drive from here the beaches where the hotels are to the
Olympic park you see yourself construction work on transportation still continuing -- holes, in fact, being dug. And I think the concern,
potentially is that this tight timetable is occurring in a climate which would make most countries shutter, frankly.
Brazil is dealing with the impeachment of a former president here, an economic crisis, the outbreak of the Zika virus. And as I said that tight
timetable to get everything ready.
WALSH (voice-over): Rio has a big question without an answer ready just yet.
How do Olympic tourists get from their hotels here to the games across town without spending hours in this, some of the worst traffic in South
Well, this was meant to be the answer, an extension to the subway from the beaches almost to the Olympic Park.
But there's just one snag. They've just announced a new outdated opening time and that's only four days before the games begin. There's
always going to be some sort of last-minute rush but it's the sheer amount of political and economic upheaval that Brazil is experiencing that's got
many concerned that leaving such a vital part of the infrastructure as this down to last-minute preparations is simply cutting it too fine.
It was meant to be open in July and, without it, guests may spend a lot of the day in jams.
That's not going to happen, insists the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are completely sure that everything will be done in first of August. No problems for us. Of course, the schedule is tight,
but we have 8,000 people working during the days and during the nights. No problem at all.
WALSH: The sound of building is so loud that it's drowning you out, so we still have quite a bit more time to go. Right?
Until this is ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is in our schedule.
WALSH (voice-over): They said the same thing about the Olympic Park itself. But when we visited when there were 66 days to go, it didn't feel
that ready. It is strange to be able to walk straight in from there right into the edge of the Olympic Park here, what's supposed to be a pretty
secure zone in just a matter of weeks from now.
We're just going to walk down this way to the site of where previously there was one man holding out with his home.
Deeper and deeper we went, security sitting by to find the home now demolished, the owner taking a payout and moving.
An odd feeling, walking so freely around. This worker told us sometimes security are there and some days they are not.
Living just alongside and refusing to be moved are Sandra and Maria. They call themselves the resistance and they forced authorities to accept
they can stay on the land.
Sandra says she'll soon have all this packed away, ready for the new home the city is building her just next door. That's also on a tight
schedule, supposed to be ready, she says, 12 days before the games begin.
What does Maria think about security?
MARIA DA PENHA, NEIGHBOR (through translator): It should be like that in every country. We were born to walk freely. I don't know why they came
up with so much security. A man doesn't make another one safe. Security comes from God.
WALSH (voice-over): You have to hope they won't be leaving it just up to Him, however, to get Rio ready in time.
WALSH: Now, Becky, obviously, you know, the reason people want to come here for the games is that relaxed environment. Is that really
compatible with the speed at which these improvements, these final moves have to be made? That's not clear.
But I think, too, this country is looking at a very troubled time ahead in convincing people that it's safe to come here because frankly the
Zika virus and how little is known about that. Olympic officials did their best yesterday to be absolutely clear that they think, if their statistics
is to be believed, there is a zero percent chance of somebody catching the disease coming here out of the half million visitors. Now, of course,
science can't confirm that. 80 percent of people who get Zika don't get any symptoms and there's a growing number now of American television
anchors, British athletes, saying they're not coming or, for example, some cases freezing their sperm because of the fear of it being
contracted by their partner in unprotected sex.
A lot to be done here and a lot of concerns still to be allayed, Becky.
[11:50:52] ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh is in Rio for you this evening.
Nick, thank you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
Well, coming up, a Muslim prayer service for boxing champion Muhammad Ali is about to start. We are remembering the legend up next.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World just before the top of the hour for you.
And I want to take you back to Louisville in Kentucky now in the United States where a Muslim prayer service for -- is about to start for
Muhammad Ali. Thousands of people gathered inside Freedom Hall in Ali's hometown. And Martin Savidge is there and he joins me now -- Martin.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is as much a celebration of a life as it is the mourning of a life. And specifically
what's about to begin is an Islamic funeral tradition.
Thousands of Muslims from across the country, all around the world, including those who are famous and those who are not, have all gather heard
to mourn the passing of Muhammad Ali.
It is going to be a relatively short service. It's a prayer. And it will last about 15 minutes. There will be some people who will speak as
Ali's entire family is said to be here. We've also seen dignitaries like boxing promoter Don King. We've also seen the Reverend Jesse Jackson
here and that's just to name a few. It's really hard to pick people out because there are so many that have gathered here. It's a collage of
humanity, of all style of dress, all different color and all different backgrounds. But all of them wanting to be here for a
moment that is poignant, not just for a man who was a tremendous athlete, but of course a man who was very strong in his faith.
And that's why Muslims find this to be a very special time for him, because he converted at a young age. He went from being Cassius Clay to
becoming Muhammad Ali. And it's the first of the many number of ways his life is going to be memorialized tomorrow. There is a procession. His
casket will move through the streets of Louisville and then in the afternoon there was going to be a very public ceremony, but you can't get
inside of that one now. 14,000 tickets snapped up in less than an hour.
This is open to all here and that's in keeping with the wishes of muhammad Ali. He was all about inclusion, so any faith can come, even
though this will be a Muslim service.
The foundation of his faith is clearly reflected here right now -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Martin Savidge in Louisville. Thank you, Martin.
And CNN will have live coverage of Friday's memorial service for Muhammad Ali. That service will also take place in his hometown of
Louisville. Our coverage starts Friday at 6:45 p.m. London time, that is 9:45 here in Abu Dhabi.
Some haven't been able to contain their grief ahead of today's prayer service set to begin in Ali's hometown in a few minutes, as you know. In
our Parting Shots this evening, we look at how some people have been honoring the boxer's legacy in their own way. Perhaps above all his quick
wit is being dearly more remembered than his quick fists. This memorial paying homage to Ali's most famous quote, float like a butterfly, sting
like a bee.
And this from the champ, "don't count the days, make the days count." Wise words for us all.
Ali's message reached far and wide. A makeshift memorial popped up in Iran's capital, Tehran. Here, perhaps, inspiration for a new generation, a
young boy swings a punching bag at the Muhammad Ali Center.
And finally a note reads as a final good-bye to the boxer as the world prepares to do the same.
As we are still saying good-bye to the greatest here are some candid pictures of the boxer just being himself training in the ring and having a
laugh with his mates just as he will be remembered. To have a look at those, do head to Facebook.com/cnnconnect. It's yours.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. From the team here a good evening, stay with CNN.