Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Angela Merkel Announces Candidacy for Chancellor; Series of European Elections Could Reshape the EU; Heavy Airstrikes Continue in Aleppo; Trump Continues Search for Cabinet
Aired November 21, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:11] JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President-elect Donald Trump interviewing potential cabinet picks, but he's not yet made a decision on
who will be secretary of state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The road to the White House. Who will Donald Trump bring to
Washington with him? The very latest on the Trump transition is next.
Also ahead this hour, the German chancellor will stand for another term. Will Angela Merkel face a wave of populism that brought the new American
president-elect to power? We're live for you in Berlin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The explosions are like clockwork in rebel-held east Aleppo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Heavy air strikes for nearly a week now. Just ahead, the toll the bombardment is taking on the people in Aleppo.
Good evening. Just after 7:00 in the UAE. Hello and welcome. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
A very good evening, just after 7:00 here in the UAE. Hello and welcome. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.
We begin with a critical week for Donald Trump as he prepares to appoint key cabinet members who will help shape his administration's policy for
years to come. The president-elect has been meeting with a stream of contenders at his New Jersey gulf resort. And we can expect to see more
handshakes in front of the cameras today as those interviews continue.
Some candidates are long-time Trump loyalists, but others appear to be recent converts. In fact, a leading contender for secretary of state once
slammed Trump as a bully, misogynist and con man who would damage America with trickle down racism, quote. That was then, this is now. As Jason
Carroll now reports.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump interviewing potential cabinet picks but has not yet made a decision on who
will be Secretary of State.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, we made a couple of deals, but we'll let you know soon.
CARROLL (voice-over): Meeting with one of his top adversaries, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, about possibly joining his administration.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was not only a cordial meeting but also is a very substantive meeting. Governor Romney is
under active and serious consideration to serve as Secretary of State of the United States.
CARROLL (voice-over): The two men frequently sparring during Trump's campaign.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump is a phony.
TRUMP: Romney choked like a dog. He choked.
CARROLL (voice-over): A steady stream of possible cabinet picks in front of the cameras throughout the weekend, including loyalists like former New
York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Trump repeatedly praising retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, the leading candidate for Secretary of Defense.
TRUMP: All I can say is he is the real deal.
CARROLL (voice-over): Mattis, widely respected throughout the military, could be the first former ranking general to become Defense Secretary in
nearly 70 years. Trump also considering billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary.
TRUMP: That's what we're looking for.
CARROLL (voice-over): Ross, the type of administration official Trump pledged to appoint throughout his campaign, a businessman with a history of
resurrecting dying companies who has billions in the bank. But in the middle of assembling his new team, Trump making his grievances to Twitter.
This time, criticizing the cast of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" for this message delivered to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Friday night, at
the end of their performance.
BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, ACTOR: We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of
CARROLL (voice-over): In a series of tweets, Trump says Mike Pence was harassed and that the cast was very rude. Trump insisting they should
apologize for their, quote, "terrible behavior."
PENCE: I wasn't offended by what was said. I'll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.
CARROLL (voice-over): But Trump would not let it go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, are you still upset about "Hamilton"?
TRUMP: They were very inappropriate.
CARROLL: So, you have a number of people vying for a chance to be a part of a Trump administration and a chance to head to Washington, D.C. But two
people who will not be heading there, at least not any soon, Trump's wife, Melania and their 10-year-old son, Barron, will be staying here in New York
City for a while so their son can finish out the school year.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
ANDERSON: Well, it will come as no surprise, viewers, if I say Trump's transition into power has much of the world on edge. There is concern the
sentiment that brought Trump into office could sweep through Europe, and it is unclear what his win means for global trade deals and the NATO alliance.
Current U.S. President Barack Obama suggests a wait and see approach to Trump. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president-elect now has to put together a team and put forward specifics about how he intends to
govern. And he hasn't had the full opportunity to do that yet. And so people should take a wait and see approach in how much his policy proposals
once in the White House, once he is sworn in, matches up with some of the rhetoric of his campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:05:53] ANDERSON: Well, it's in this uncertain climate that Angela Merkel has announced her run for a fourth term as German chancellor. She
says she understands that the world is looking to her as a source of stability.
Meanwhile, in France, former president Nicolas Sarkozy hopes of returning to the presidency have been dashed. He came in third behind Francois
Fillon and Alain Juppe in France's Republican Party primary. The two will face off now Sunday in a runoff election for their party's nomination.
Well, we've got the view from the French and German capitals for you with our senior international correspondents Jim Bittermann joining us from
Paris and Atika Shubert is in Berlin.
Atika, let's start with you, what's the perspective there?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it is clear that she will face a great challenge in the elections next year, but Merkel
is insistent that she will be a unifying figure. And she has repeatedly said she stands on the shared
liberal democratic values, making sure to be inclusive, making sure no one is excluded wherever they are from, whatever their religion, whatever their
But she faces an uphill battle. There is an increasing growth of the AFD, or the Alternative for
Germany Party. This is a far right party that rejects immigration, wants to stop it altogether. And Merkel has faced heavy criticism for her
refugee policy. So, she is very clear eyed at the challenges ahead. But she insists that she will be a stabilizing force and that she will run
ANDERSON: Jim, what, if anything, of the events of the last 48 hours or so taught us about where French politics are headed at this point?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the things, Becky, I think that is most interesting and plays against the Brexit and
Donald Trump scenario is that the pollsters got it wrong once again. Basically, they had started off
with Fillon who won the election yesterday by far. Francois Fillion, the Republican candidate, just about elect. He's now way ahead of Alain Juppe
going into the second round of these elections.
In any case, he started off this month at 10 percent in the election polls that was going on. The polling did spot that his trend line was going up.
And on Friday, just before the elections, he was neck and neck at 30 percent, but he came in at 44 percent. So the polls were nowhere near what
the final vote total was. And so that has a kind of -- augurs very poorly for what the pollsters are saying against who might win later on in the
elections to come in the general elections, for example.
One of the things that some commentators are saying here today is, in fact, Fillon particular actually hurts Marine Le Pen and the National Front, the
extreme right party hurts her because he is so far to the right that he cuts into some of her issues. But nonetheless, whether that happens or not, one of the things it does say that in fact,
the common wisdom, the common knowledge, didn't seem to be accurate in this case -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Atika, who is Angela Merkel's most vocal opposition at this point? Who might she be standing against in these elections next year? Is
there anybody who is likely to be able to play a better hand, as it were, for Germany and Europe, with a President Trump than Angela Merkel might?
SHUBERT: Well, the fact is, she faces virtually no competition, really, within her own party, in
terms of the leadership of her party and running for chancellor. But what she does face is this public backlash. And it has been felt in regional
elections where you've seen a party like the AFD go from nowhere -- I mean, they literally had no presence a few years ago -- to suddenly winning up to
as much as 15, sometimes 18 percent of the vote in regional elections.
It is clear that there is a strong segment of the population that rejects her immigration and
refugee policies, that wants to see the status quo shaken up. And part of that is also a euro skepticism.
The question is whether or not there are more people people here that want a sense of stability, that want to see the EU united and kept together, so
that's -- it's really the public sentiment that she faces the most.
[10:10:28] ANDERSON: Atika, Jim, to both of you thank you.
With a populist wave possibly set to sweep across Europe, then, we're going to dig in to what's behind it with the political editor of The Economist,
that is just ahead on this show. Of course, across the Atlantic, Donald Trump is surfing that wave all the way to the White House. And it could
have huge implications on this part of the world. And we'll explore that in just a few minute's time.
Right, before that, some of the other stories that are on our radar today.
And four U.S. police officers have been shot in separate incidents across the country. An officer in Texas was killed during a traffic stop and two
officers in Missouri and another in Florida were wounded.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Kabul in Afghanistan.
At least 30 people were killed and more than 90 other were wounded. Afghan officials say the attack
was an attempt to stoke sectarian tensions which have been relatively rare in the majority intentions, which have been rare in the majority Sunni
The death toll from a trai derailment in India has now climbed to at least 142 people. Among the dead, a newly married couple and members of their
wedding party. Dozens more travelers were injured. The train came off the tracks early on Sunday morning. Investigators are still trying to work
out what went wrong.
Well, a British woman faces charges in Dubai after reporting that she was raped. A legal advisory tells CNN the woman was a tourist in Dubai when
she was allegedly gang raped by a group of British men. Well, the group detained in Dubai says police in Dubai don't usually differentiate between
consensual intercourse and and violent rape. Neither the police nor the government has commented on the case.
Well, Mohammad Lila joining us now from Dubai.
And Mohammad, what is the latest as we understand it today?
MOHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, well, Becky, as far as you mentioned, how nobody wants to comment, it shows how sensitive this
case has become. The Dubai government won't say anything on the record. I just got off the phone with Dubai police. They won't say anything on the
record is that they're providing assistance to three British nationals.
Now we know that one of them, of course, is the alleged victim in this case who reported that she was raped to the local police and then was
subsequently charged with having sexual relations outside of marriage, which of course is against the law here in Dubai.
But the fact that nobody is talking shows, a, this is sensitive, but b, the British government is now involved as well in providing assistance to
people who are very different sides of the same criminal proceeding.
ANDERSON: Mohammad, a lot of people will be wondering how on earth could somebody like this happen in the first place? How could someone who was
reporting a rape end up being accused of a crime?
LILA: So, Becky, that is a good question. And fundamentally, it comes down to this: here in Dubai, having sexual relations outside of marriage is
a criminal offense. Now, we might not realize that because Dubai is such a big city, it's cosmopolitan, skyscrapers, amusement parks, some of the
biggest shopping malls in the world, it is very developed and very advanced in that sense, but the local laws and the local custom are still based on
Islamic law. And according to Islamic law, those sexual relations outside of marriage are a criminal offense.
Now we have spoken to a number of criminal lawyers in this case who have described the process behind how a case like this gets to court. In this
case, when the woman reported that there was a rape, she reported rape and she named two suspects, the next step is for the police and the prosecutors
to determine was it consensual or was there rape involved. And that is the center of the case right now: was it consensual or was it rape? And
they'll be looking for evidence from all sorts of things like closed- circuit cameras and testimony from friends, and as much as they can gather.
Now, if it was determined that this was a rape, the charges against this woman, in all likelihood, will be dropped and she'll be free to go and the
two people involved in the case will be sentenced. But we don't know when that court case is going to take place. And until that court case takes
place, we do know that the woman in this case, her passport has been confiscated. So she is effectively still trapped in Dubai.
ANDERSON: Mohammad Lila on the story out of Dubai for you this evening. Thank you.
The Iran nuclear deal is arguably Barack Obama's signature foreign policy move. But the next American president could take the whole thing apart.
We dig into Donald Trump's plans in what is our special series up next.
And later, it looks like the end of the world. And for some civilians in eastern Aleppo, it is. We'll have an update on the most devastating aerial
bombardment of the city since the Syrian War began. We are taking a very short break. Don't go away.
[10:17:46] ANDERSON: Almost 40 years ago, Islamic revolutionaries snatched power in Iran, taking over from the country's often ostentatious
Washington-backed shah. Fevered with hatred for America, they brandished the country the Great Satan. Then soon after, a group of radical students
stormed the American embassy, taking more than 50 Americans hostage for well over a year.
Well, the standoff was a low point between the two countries. And things have been pretty uncomfortable for much of the time since then. But there
was a breakthrough last year when U.S. President Barack Obama changed the game with the Iran nuclear deal. But now, the rules could be turned upside
down all over again with Donald Trump heading to the White House as part of our Trump and the Middle East series this week. Here's my report on that.
ANDERSON: After decades out in the cold, the nuclear deal has been Iran's ticket back on to the world stage. It took years of exhausting talks
before those celebrations, but the American president demanded diplomats find a way.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iran will not get its hand on a nuclear bomb.
ANDERSON: Mr. Obama pulled Washington along with his plans in the face of some uncompromising opposition.
ANNOUNCER: The leading state sponsor of terrorism. Congress should reject a bad deal.
ANDERSON: Israel's prime minister hates it, as well.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The deal makes it far easier for Iran to build dozens, even hundreds of nuclear weapons.
ANDERSON: But inspectors haven't found a shred of evidence that it's kept working on getting into the nuclear club.
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): It is important the future U.S. president-elect is obliged to stay committed to
this multilateral nuclear deal.
ANDERSON: Russia, China, Germany and others all signed up. So U.S. President-elect Trump can't just pull the rug from under it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's going to be a lot of political pushback from the Europeans leading up to that decision making. It's going to place the
U.S. credibility hugely at risk.
ANNOUNCER: Donald J. Trump.
ANDERSON: But on the campaign trail, at least, America's next president doesn't seem to have been paying much attention to that.
TRUMP: That horrible, disgusting, absolutely incompetent deal with Iran.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon, everyone.
[10:20:10] ANDERSON: Now, the man Trump has tapped to head up the CIA is pledging to unwind the agreement. Congressman Mike Pompeo saying, "I look
forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism."
But to experts the deal is working, and working well.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: He's going to be inheriting a very robust deal that has been delivering. People in Iran are saying, look, this is a win-win
scnario for us. If Trump reneges on the deal, we can go back to revamping our nuclear program.
ANDERSON: Trump who wrote the Art of the Deal, would be wise to remember some of his other words about the ranians.
TRUMP: They're very smart people and they're great negotiators.
OBAMA: The opportunity to have an excellent.
However Trump chooses to deal with the Iran file will not only affect the legacy of the man he succeeds, but will also shape the wider Middle East.
TRUMP: In the future, including counsel.
ANDERSON: So, there are way more questions than answers right now.
To help us understand what kind of political calculations are going on over in Tehran, let's
bring in Adnan Tabatabai, the chief executive of CARPO, which is a think tank, and joining us from Dusseldorf in Germany over Skype today.
Thank you, sir.
What is Trump going to do with this deal?
ADNAN TABATABAI, CEO, CARPO: Well, I really think it is difficult to say. on the one hand, obviously, we know what he said during the campaign. But he interestingly, didn't really repeat it again. So, I don't think he will
take that strong position.
ANDERSON: He could be good news for Iran in other ways, can't he? He wants to pull back from arming rebels in Syria fighting against the Syrian
president Bashar al-Assad. Iran backs the Assad regime.
Trump is also keen to keep bombing ISIS hard while Iran-backed fighters are helping sweep up the gains on the ground in Iraq. And the president-elect
seems to strike an isolationist tone. So, he's perhaps less likely than others to get involved in the politics of this part of the world.
I'm going to come back to the deal in a moment. I just want to get your sense on this. Officially, Iran doesn't care who is in office in the U.S.,
but underneath that facade, are Iranian leaders happy?
TABATABAI: I think at least they're not unhappy. Because they are seeing a president-elect that has -- that shows no appetite for U.S. presence in
the region. And I think this is the ultimate goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to minimize U.S. influence and the U.S. role in the region,
therefore, he seems to be good news, particularly with regards to the terrorist threat that Trump has been stressing all over.
ANDERSON: All right, let's get back to this deal. It's been very profitable for Iran to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, already of
course, possibly more. Its economy was really tied down before most international economic sanctions were lifted.
So, especially now with a Republican controlled congress where many are against the deal, let's face it, could they even pull Trump along, not to
trash the deal, but to punish Iran with sanctions?
TABATABAI: I think this would have been the case with President Clinton, too. So, there is this congress that wants to minimize the economic
benefits for Iran taken out of this deal, but let us now forget that there is also a security dimension to this agreement. This is for Iran a world -
- or an arrangement with world powers. And this brings Iran some sense of security in the region, and this goes beyond economic benefits.
But obviously, this is the one thing congress could be doing, hurting Iran by minimizing its economic benefits.
ANDERSON: Our commentator in the report that I filed suggested that this was a win-win situation for Iran. Should the U.S. pull back on the deal,
it could just restart its atomic program. Would it?
TABATABAI: Difficult to say, again. I really think for Iran, this is more than just a Tehran-Washington achievement, this is a multi-lateral
agreement. Iran likes to stress that. And we have the European Union that are -- that is very committed to this agreement. And Iran actually likes
being in better relation with Europe, even if it's to the detriment of U.S.-Iran relations.
So I think that Iran won't give up this achievement so easily, yet the political climate would suffer under the U.S. pulling out of the deal. And
this would potentially also lead to more chaos in the region because the security framework, I mentioned earlier, would crumble.
ANDERSON: What would a change -- let me put it another way. If Donald Trump and his
administration were to try to renegotiate the terms of a deal, what would that mean to Iran and its economy? There is an awful lot of business up
for grabs as we know for both U.S. and the Europeans, for example, in Iran. Some of the Europeans struggling with exactly whether the sanctions allow them -- or the raising of the sanctions is
allowing them to do any business with Iran yet at this point.
So, there are quite a lot of gray areas, aren't there, even though these sanctions sanctions have been, for all intents and purposes, lifted. So,
on a wider basis, what would a change in the Iran file, its focus, and the deal mean for Iran itself?
TABATABAI: This is a difficult one. I think we all remember how difficult and complex it was to reach this agreement, the GCPOA. It would be at
least as difficult to renegotiate this, to leave out everything that is not linked to this nuclear file of Iran's.
So Iran will not be keen on renegotiating the terms. And we are now a bit less than a year into implementation. And we are still seeing
complexities. So, it won't be much easier, only when renegotiations start. And I think all parties, not only Iran, should try to avoid that scenario
because that would bring a lot of uncertainty back to a region that is full of volatile contexts, unfortunately.
ANDERSON: with that, we're going to leave it there. We very much appreciate your analysis tonight out of Dusseldorf, Germany for you --
And that is not all. We've got an opinion piece, viewers, on our website, arguing that Trump should expand the deal, not squash it. Check it out at
CNN.com for that. And right here on Connect the World tomorrow, we're going to get you the next in what is our Trump and the Middle East series,
diving into the challenges that Trump will face in Iraq.
Well, live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Coming up, Syria's rebel-held eastern Aleppo sees some of the heaviest aerial bombardment since the civil war began. We get the details of the
dire situation there. That is just ahead.
This is Connect the World, taking a very short break.
[10:31:47] ANDERSON: Well, to a ground breaking move by the Catholic church now. Pope Francis has given Catholic priests the power to forgive
abortion. He's written an open letter, reaffirming the belief that abortion is, quote, a grave sin, but writes, there is no sin that god's
mercy cannot reach.
He continues, quote, I henceforth grant all priests in virtue of their ministry the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of
Well, let's bring in Delia Gallagher for more on this new approach. She joins us now from Rome. And obviously, this is hugely significant. I
wonder, I've heard some people thinking this may be a sort of veiled political statement from the pope on abortion, to perhaps Donald Trump. Is
there any weight in that?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, I would say no for two reasons. One is that this was an announcement which the pope made already last year. He gave it a kind of time frame. He wanted it only to last for
a year in part of his year of mercy, bringing people back to the church, And what he did today was extend this indefinitely so that women can now
receive forgiveness from any Catholic priest.
But to the question of whether it is a veiled political message, you know there is also the fact
that the pope is against abortion. As you mention, he calls it a sin. He called it a horrendous crime. When he spoke to the U.S. congress last
year, he emphasized to them their responsibility in protecting life in all stages of its development.
So it's not a political message, this one, Becky. I mean, the pope is very clear. And it is one of the areas where we get the narrative of Pope
Francis wrong, because what he does is make the distinction between the sin and the sinner. So, he's against abortion but he is not against the women
who have had abortions. And he wants them to feel welcome in the Catholic church and this is one of the ways in which he is trying to encourage that.
I mean, if you consider, also, on the question of gay marriage, when he was in Argentina. As cardinal there, he was outspoken against laws on gay
marriage. But then, of course, as pope, you'll remember, his infamous, who am I to judge, regarding a reportedly gay
So, there's sometimes people are confused by these different stances. But again, is the pope making this distinction between what he thinks is the
right way to live or what are things that are sins, versus the people who are in those relationships or have had
abortions, et cetera. He wants them to be forgiven. He wants them to feel welcome.
But it doesn't change the fact he still thinks that the abortion is a sin - - Becky.
ANDERSON: Delia Gallagher with analysis out of Rome for you this evening. Thank you.
The hellish situation has got even worse for Syrians living in the war zone of eastern Aleppo. The United Nations says many civilians need urgent
medical care, but it says there are no more functioning hospitals at all in the rebel-held area after repeated air attacks.
This is new video from Aleppo that appears to show the aftermath of an air strike earlier today days of continuous, heavy bombing by regime forces has
killed at least 320 people in the recent week. It's hard for us to imagine how anybody can survive daily life under those conditions.
CNN's Will Ripley spoke to one Aleppo resident as bombs were literally falling around him, to ask him why he and others stay in the city.
Will joins us live from Istanbul -- Will.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. It was a question that a lot of people have been asking me over the last week. And
so I wanted to pose it to somebody who is living this nightmare: why do you stay when bombs are raining down all around you, children are being killed
because their schools are being hit, patients are being killed because their hospitals are
being hit, and with Syrian troops cutting off supply lines there is no more food or medicine going into the city. They are going hungrier and
hungrier. There is even a shortage of water.
But they stay because, one, it is their land, and, two, they feel they're trapped.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The explosions are like clockwork in rebel-held east Aleppo --
RIPLEY: ...all day, every day.
ISHMIAL AL ABADULLAH (ph), EAST ALEPPO RESIDENT: They don't know how to wake up normally without the sound of bombing.
RIPLEY: Ishmial Al Abdullah (ph) takes cover in his basement. During our conversation, I count at least 17 blasts.
(on camera): And there is another one.
(voice-over): Each getting louder and closer.
(on camera): I am listening to these explosions here and it does not faze you. You are used to it.
AL ABADULLAH (ph): It is normal for us. We are not a human being anymore because of this.
RIPLEY (voice-over): This is a normal day in east Aleppo. First responders racing from one site to the next -- digging desperately for survivors like
this little girl. She's in shock but alive. This little boy did not make it.
RIPLEY: In this strike, 15 were injured and three people died.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FORIEGN LANGUAGE)
"You broke my heart, Ahmed," this father says. "Ahmed, you were my soul."
Syrian activists say more than 1,000 people have died in the last two months, including more than 230 children.
A week of relentless bombing has knocked out more than half of east Aleppo's hospitals. All trauma centers are out of service.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREING LANGUAGE)
RIPLEY: "This is our country, our country," says this man, refusing to let destruction like this to force him move.
(on camera): Why did you stay?
AL ABADULLAH (ph): What do we stay? We stay because it's our city. We stay because they have no place to go.
RIPLEY: Al Abdullah says the more than a quarter million people who remain in east Aleppo don't trust the so called humanitarian corridors. He says
snipers on both sides shoots and kill people who try to leave.
AL ABADULLAH (ph): We aren't going to leave. We are going to die.
RIPLEY: He lost three friends in three days. He says many feel tired, hopeless, abandoned by the world.
(on camera): That was close. That one.
AL ABADULLAH (ph): That one was close. I am going to go.
RIPLEY: OK. Be safe. Be safe.
(voice-over): Despite nearly five years of pleading for help, the relentless bombing of east Aleppo continues.
(on camera): Wow.
ANDERSON: Ismail told me later he was OK, but the building that he was in was shaken by that blast. And, Becky, sadly, it seems that things are only
getting worse in east Aleppo.
ANDERSON: All right. Will, thank you for that. Will ripley is in istanbul for you this evening.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, will a Trump effect sweep
through Europe? Populism sees a sharp rise as key elections loom in several countries.
And I'm going to get you back to Iran later this hour. This time for its detailed Persian architecture. Stay with us.
[10:41:56] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
We now return to the uncertain climate in Europe, which faces the reality of the Brexit and a
Donald Trump presidency. And we will soon see how far any potential Trump ripple effect goes as key elections loom ahead. And in Germany, in France,
in Austria and in Italy.
Angela Merkel wants to be seen as a stabilizing force in Germany. She's going after a fourth term as German chancellor. And in France, far right
candidate Marine Le Pen is hoping that Twin will boost her own chances.
Now, as Nicholas Sarkozy now out of the race, she should face up against either Francois Fillon or Alain Juppe.
Well, John Peet is the political editor at The Economist. He joins us now from CNN London to discuss all of this.
It looks, John, like Europe is sort of riding the crest of a global wave of populism from The Philippines to Pennsylvania with the Brexit vote in the
UK it seems providing the momentum for these nationalist movements across Europe, if you will. Let's start with France and Germany. What is your perspective? Start with Germany.
JOHN PEET, THE ECONOMIST: Well, starting with Germany, since Merkel declared yesterday she would run for a fourth term, I mean, she actually is
the rock of stability here, because she is -- she will win. However, she will probably be quite a lot weaker after her election next autumn than she
is today, because the populist Alternative for Deutschland Party will get seats in the German parliament. And it will be harder for her to form a
coalition. Her own party will lose seats.
So, she will emerge as the chancellor but she will be weaker than she was before.
ANDERSON: How about France? If Francois Fillon, for example, were to be the candidate up against Marine Le Pen from the Nationalist Party in May
next year, what will that tell us about French politics?
PEET: Well, I think France is more worrying than Germany in many ways. I mean, it's worrying in two respects. The first is, of course, the French
economy isn't doing well. French unemployment is quite high. There are voices within France that say the euro has been bad for France and there
are even voices that say the European Union is bad and they look across at Britain and say maybe we should follow the British example and think about
And that will be a sort of Marine Le Pen type position.
She's clearly going to be in the second round of the French presidential election. You can predict that already. Her opponent is probably going to
be Francois Fillon, who came top in the center out primary yesterday. I mean, he ought to win, but given the experience of the last few months,
nobody would put money on -- and nobody would back the opinion polls either.
So, there is a serious risk. I mean, I think six months ago, people would have said Marine Le Pen could never become president. I think now, people
are beginning to say, well, there is a 20 percent chance of it happening.
So, the French election could be concerning for the future of Europe.
ANDERSON: In less than two weeks, as you'll be well aware, John, Italians will vote on a move to drastically cut the role of the senate and take back
powers from regional governments. The vote also seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, since he is the main backer of the move and
has threatened to quit if it doesn't pass. This follows recent changes to Italian law that guarantees an absolutely majority to the winner of
I mean, how does that fit in to what we are seeing across Europe? And, by the way, could this move backfire on Mr. Renzi? And what would the
consequences be of that?
PEET: Well, certainly it could backfire on Mr. Renzi. I mean, Britain showed the way in that front, and The Netherlands has shown it as well.
When you put something to a referendum, even if you think it is blindingly obvious which way people will vote, they sometimes don't think the way you
want them to.
So, I think Renzi -- there is a risk that he will lose this referendum. It's not certain in my mind that he will resign if he does, but he has said
he might well resign if he loses the referendum. And if he resigns, it's quite possible that Italy could follow the example of other countries and
have to hold an election early next year.
And like other countries, Italy has populist parties. It's got Beppi Grillo (ph) and his group, it's got the Northern League, and even the old
Berlusconi party, all three of those parties are saying that they think that Italy should leave the European single currency, which would be an
enormous step if it happened.
So, you know, Italy is certainly part of this unpredictable mix of what might happen. I think probably the odds still slightly favor Renzi just
winning his referendum and then proceeding with reforms in Italy. But Italy is a country where -- which has barely grown in 17 years and it's a
country where the banks are in deep trouble. So, you know, Italy is the weak economic link in the European single currency. So, Italy with France,
I think, the two most problem countries in Europe at the moment.
ANDERSON: Meanwhile, Austria of course holding a presidential election for the second time this year. Now, the do over was caused by some
irregularities in the vote counting after the first election in May. In the election, less than 1 percent separated the far right candidate,
Norbert Hofer and the green's backed candidate Alexander Van der Bellen. Hofer's campaign seen as anti-immigrant in a country that took in thousands
I think you and I spoke five months ago in what was, to many people in Britain and the EU, a
shock referendum result for the UK to pull out of Europe. And at the time, we talked about what the consequences would be for not just the UK but for
Europe, the European project, and whether that had any legs going forward.
Many of us agree, I think, that the European project has huge problems in and of itself. Many people said better the UK stayed in in order to help
the project than pull out and let it look exposed.
Is it now exposed? Is it the end of Europe as we know it?
PEET: Well, I would be wary of saying it is the end of Europe. I mean, it's rather like many people in Britain and in America who predicted the
end of the European single currency. There's an awful lot of political capital invested in both the European Union and the euro. And I think that
leaders, particularly like Angela Merkel, will make a really big investment to try and make sure that his show is kept on the road, no matter what
happens in the negotiations over Brexit.
But, you know, elections do produce results that can be very tricky. And Austria is another example, a very sensitive one, if you got a far right
candidate winning the presidency, which is a largely ceremonial position. But in a country with Austria's history, that
is quite a dramatic step.
And The Netherlands, which also has an election next year, Geert Wilders, the populist leader who doesn't like the European Union is currently
running very high in the polls, as well. So, there will be determination to keep the European project on the road, but every single election that
sort of causes an upset adds to the weakness of the European Union and raises new questions about how sustainable the whole project is.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure, sir. Thank you.
PEET: OK. Bye.
ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. Coming up, designs on diversification. We are out and about here in Abu Dhabi,
looking at plans for a future after oil, and a physics student from Iran has gotten a lot of attention for what are these unique photographs that he
took. That story is ahead. Stay with us.
[10:51:21] ANDERSON: Right at just after 10 to 8:00 in the evening here in the UAE. Your watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky
Anderson. Welcome back.
We've been looking at Donald Trump's potential cabinet throughout the hour, and what the transition means for the rest of us -- for the rest of the
world. When it comes to this region, he's been pains to insist he wants to wean Aamerica off foreign energy imports, much of it from here in the
Well, economies here are also looking to a future after Middle Eastern oil, including right here in the UAE. All this week, CNN looks at Abu Dhabi's
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Sitting atop train four of the Khalifa port (ph), 20-year-old Laila Al-Bashr has her eyes fixed down
LAILA BESHR, CRANE SUPERVISOR, KHALIFA PORT (through translator): I just took the container from the vessel to the dock.
DEFTERIOS: Her mission, load up these 20 foot containers at a port wide pace of 36 an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I chose this profession, which is actually a
masculine profession, and I would like to open the door for women to enter it because I believe that women are capable of working, whether in a man or
DEFTERIOS: The Khalifa Port named after the president of the UAE is busy wrapping up. It is a vital pillar of Abu Dhabi's diversification road map,
something not lost on al-Bashr.
BASHR (through translator): Of course, this is developing the UAE and its productivity. It is also developing the youth talents that are here.
DEFTERIOS: Ships at anchor with container carriers crisscrossing each other to meet loading deadlines.
The first question everyone asks, is there enough demand for this facility with the giant port of Dubai just down the road? The Khalifa Port has been
open four years and has about an eighth of the container traffic of its neighbor.
Captain Mohamed al-Shamisi is the man in charge of the port's development.
MOHAMED AL SHAMISI, CEO, ABU DHABI PORTS: We see ourself complementing, actually, what's happening in Dubai. I mean, here, we are focusing on
heavy industries, mid-stream industries, the downstream industries, the logistics supporting this industry along with the port.
DEFTERIOS: In fact, the port represents only a sliver of the $8 billion invested here so far, allocated during the heady days of $100 oil. Most of
what you see is an expansive industrial zone.
SHAMISI: We own almost 415 square kilometers. We developed the first phase of the industrial zone, which is 52 square kilometers. So, we have
the modern infrastructure. We have it in clusters.
DEFTERIOS: Clusters as in industries -- aluminum production, pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing. Brazilian food giant BRF makes a
full range of frozen poultry projects.
Under the Saudi brand name it used to export to a dozen counties here in the Middle East, now it produces it all here.
BLENIO MAIGAGNIN, GENERAL MANAGER, BRF MIDDLE EAST: We have been bringing products from Brazil to this region for more than 45 years. And we decided
that it is important to have a facility in the region, because our brand is very important here.
DEFTERIOS: With his 60 percent regional marketshare, it's the type of company Abu Dhabi would love to see more of.
John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: All right. Time for your Parting Shots tonight before we go.
Now, a little earlier in the hour, we discussed the idea of cracks appearing in the Iran nuclear
deal, didn't we, as Donald Trump gets ready to go into the White House.
But thankfully, that's not the case when it comes to some of the country's well-preserved, intricate, Persian architecture. So, your Partin Shots for
tonight are a physics student who wasn't quite satisfied with photographs of the treasures that are already out
there, so he went it alone to capture some of these amazing scenes. Have a look.
[10:55:22] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many places in Iran are very beautiful, but are still unknown.
I hadn't seen good photos of Iran. I really love traditional and old Persian architecture.
My favorite picture is (inaudible) or pink mosque. Light rays beyond, amazing stained glasses inside on Persian carpets.
When I was taking the photo of private palace of Cyrus at night, for a moment, I was astounded, imaging I was there thousands of years ago.
There are several challenges. Sometimes, the historical site is crowded or the light is not good for photography.
I want everybody to see these beauties with their own eyes.
My name is Mohammed Reza Domeniganji (ph), and these are my parting shots.
ANDERSON: I hope you agree those are wonderful parting shots.
As always, you can head over to our Facebook page. We can find all of the stories we've been covering tonight, or many at least, and others that our
team around the world works hard to get you. That's Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
And to get in touch with the Connect the World team, you can tweet us @CNNconnect.
I'm @BeckyCNN, of course. I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.