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CONNECT THE WORLD
Russian Troops Trying to Win Hearts, Minds In Aleppo; Tech Giants Team Up to Combat Terrorism; Could Trump's Twitter Habit Help Stagnating Company?; Iranian President Responds to Trump. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 6, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:19] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, HOST: The Syrian army pushes into eastern Aleppo. A decisive battle with Russian backing proving key.
We are live inside Aleppo in just a moment with a look at how Moscow's troops are trying to
win hearts and minds on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The president like loves me -- it's about getting oxygen to (inaudible) people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: A thank you tour for his voters: Donald Trump takes to the road as his foreign policy moves continue to make waves.
Plus -- tech giants that take on terrorists' propaganda. We look at how exactly they are planning to do all this.
Hello and welcome, you're watching Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London.
We begin the program in Syria where the brutal civil war is being fought with both weapons and words. The Syrian government has condemned a rebel
attack on the Russian mobile clinic in Aleppo calling it criminal. Russian officials say two medics were killed in that attack.
And Syria has says it's made new gains since entering eastern Aleppo. Russia and China have both vetoed a UN security council resolution that was
calling for a seven-day cease-fire.
In the meantime, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it's a disgrace that the world has not been able to establish a humanitarian corridor in
Well, let's now go to our Frederik Pleitgen who joins us live from Aleppo itself.
Fred, over the last couple of days we've been hearing about civilians from eastern Aleppo being allowed back to their homes. Is there a suggestion
now that life is perhaps better under government control?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, at the very least, Hannah, under government control in the areas that the
government has retaken, they are not under siege and certainly there's a lot of goods that people can get in those areas that they weren't
able to get in the besieged rebel-held areas.
I was in some of the places that were retaken by the Syrian government. A lot of them, of course, has been destroyed in a massive way and many of the
places, people are actually coming back to live in ruins because that's actually better than staying in those areas that are under siege and where
there is a lot of fighting.
Now, it's interesting to see when you go to these places on the front lines, you obviously have the Syrian military there that's making a big
push. But what we see more and more on the ground as well is Russian forces and really they are out in force. They are very, very public there
in their awareness and they certainly show that they are the ones who really are contributing to the battle. Let's have a look.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As an aide worker tries to humor children in a former Aleppo battleground district, only a
few yards away Russian soldiers are in a serious mood, embedded with the Syrian army trying to push rebels out of the whole city.
Government soldiers not shy to praise Moscow's involvement.
"The Russians are our brothers,"he says. "Their superior technology and air strikes have made all of the difference for us sweeping these areas."
The Syrain army sems on the verge of ousting rebels from all of Aleppo, but only a little over a year ago it seemed Bashar al-Assad's military might
Then Russia entered the conflict in late-2015, quickly changing the tide They are on the verge but only a year ago it seemed that Bashar al-Assad's
military may collapse. Then, Russia entered the fight in late 2015 and quickly became a powerbroker in the Middle East. Signaling diplomacy in
Syria will only happen on its terms, not America's.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): John Kerry at our
meeting in Rome relayed the American proposals, which were in line with approaches long defended by our experts involved in conversations with the
PLEITGEN: A heavy-handed approach and a mounting civilian death toll has led the U.S. and
UN to call for investigations into possible Russian war crimes in Syria, a claim the Kremlin denies.
The Russians starting their own efforts to win hearts and minds.
The Russian are showing that they are taking much of the initiative in the battle for Aleppo, not just supporting the forces of Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad, but also by providing aid like this massive convoy that's about to head into the eastern districts of Aleppo.
The aid comes with a message, "Russia has always been doing this work of offering aid for
those who need it," this commander says. "We help anyone who is in need."
And that message resonates with some people here, like Mustafa Jumo (ph) who we found cleaning up what's left of his belongings after the rebels
lost control of this district.
"We are very grateful to the Russians and Comrade Putin," he says. "The Russians will never let us down."
But Russia's new foreign policy prowess comes at a price. On Monday, several military
medics were killed and wounded when a mortar struck their mobile clinic, a reminder of the dangers of
Moscow's Syria engagement even as the momentum on the battlefield is going their way.
[10:05:42] PLEITGEN: So as you can see there, Hannah a lot of people are talking about what
the Russians are doing here, what the Syrians are doing here, what the rebels are doing here, very -- one thing very few people are talking about
is any chance of diplomacy. And I have to say, being on the ground here in Aleppo and watching the momentum of the Syrian army and how
fierce and ferocious this current offensive is, it is very difficult to see that any sort of diplomatic efforts at the UN or anywhere else could bare
fruit. Right now it seems as though the Syrian military is really trying to force a decision here in Aleppo -- Hannah.
JONES: We know now that the regime forces and the Russians, of course, are making ground every day in Aleppo. It seems a matter of time before it
But is Aleppo, and the offensive there, potentially a blueprint for what is going on in the rest of the country? Can you bomb civilians and rebels
PLEITGEN: Well, that's a very good question. That's certainly the blueprint that's being followed here in Aleppo by the Syrian government
forces and government as well. Has it happened in other places also. If you look at, for instance, the fall of Homs about a year and a half ago
where also they were (inaudible) places that were held by the rebels. Those were besieged for a very long time by government forces and at some
point they always put the rebels toward a decision. They say, look, you can either pack your bags and leave and go to somewhere else in Syria, mostly
Idlib Province, which is held by rebels, at least most of it, or we are going to continue to bomb you and you are going to continue to receive no
food aid or medical aid whatsoever.
And that's something that has, indeed, happened in other places. So, certainly to a certain extent, Aleppo is in a way a blueprint to other
places as well. However, it is very, very difficult with the manpower that the Syrian military has, even with the Russian aid, for them to be able to
take back all of the country. That certainly is way too far in the future to tell whether or not that's possible. Even taking all of Aleppo is
something that will certainly strain Bashar al-Assad's forces, one of the things that we've seen over the past couple of years is that while they do
have that support for the Russians, they do have superior firepower. They also have a serious lack of manpower -- Hannah.
JONES: OK, Fred, stay safe. Fred Pleitgen there is live for us. One of the few journalists, western journalists, who is live for us there in
Aleppo right now. Thanks very much indeed.
We are going to stay in Syria and a little bit of good news for you. One 7-year-old girl who has been tweeting about her experiences living in
eastern Aleppo is now back online. Bana al-Abd's (ph) account appeared to have been deleted on Monday after she tweeted a goodbye message. But on
Tuesday she tweeted once more saying, "hello, my friends. How are you? I am fine. I am getting better without medicine with too much bombing. I
She later tweeted, "good afternoon from Aleppo. I'm reading to forget the war."
It is still unclear why Bana's account was taken down. The last thing she had said before her disappearance was that she and her family were under
Now, some other stories on our radar today, vigils are being held to remember the victims at the weekend warehouse fire in Oakland, California.
At least 36 people were killed. A criminal investigation is under way, but the district attorney says no conclusions have been drawn so far.
South Korea's top business leaders are being grilled in a corruption investigation. A parliamentary panel wants to know if the president
pressured CEOs into making donations for favors. Well, the bosses denied buying any sort of special treatment when they made contributions to two
And also on our radar, France has a new prime minister. Former interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has been appointed to the role. His
predecessor, Manuel Valls, has stepped down in order to work on his presidential bid ahead of next year's election.
Now, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a ban on the Muslim full-face veil in her country. Mrs. Merkel spoke at conference of his
Christian Democratic Union. She has faced criticism for her open door policy towards migrants and the German far right is on the rise as it is in
much of the rest of the continent as well.
Now, the chancellor says the veils hinder assimilation into German society.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:10:06] ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We have to show our face during personal communication, which is important. And
that is why the full veil is not appropriate here. It should be forbidden wherever that is legally possible. It does not belong to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Strong words there from the chancellor.
Atika Shubert joins us now from Berlin with more details. Atika, how much popular support does Angela Merkel have for this sort of policy?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now she has a lot of public support. Her popularity has risen since she announced that
she'll be running for chancellor again. But I have to stress that that part of her speech was actually a very small political concession in
what was otherwise a very impassioned defense of her refugee policy.
She actually started teh speech -- and remember was saying in this in front of a 1,000 members of her own party she can run for chancellor again. So,
in many ways this was a campaign speech or a speech to get re-elected. And she started it by saying it's been a very difficult year. 2016 has brought
in a lot of instability, including with the U.S. election. And so she said the world needs to be reordered.
So, this was a call for stability to hold on to the liberal values of an open Europe and defended her refugee policy by saying that while she
understands that she's asked a lot of Germans and that she can't promise that she won't need to ask for more, it is the responsibility of the
country should and can bear.
She also went on to say, however, that integration was absolutely necessary and that, as she said it, there should not be parallel societies. German
law is the law of the land. There should be no tribal or cultural laws or sharia law that supersedes that.
And as part of that statement is when she made her comments on banning the full-face veil or
what's been described by some as the burka ban. So, I think was frankly a pretty small political concession in the face of rising pressure from far
right groups and knowing that she's running for election as chancellor again, Hannah.
JONES: Atika, we appreciate it. Atika Shubert live for us there in Berlin. Thank you.
Now, Italy's prime minister has one last piece of business to do in before calling it quits. Matteo Renzi offered his resignation to Italy's
president on Monday, but he was asked to stay on until the next budget is approved and that could happen by Friday of this week.
Mr. Renzi is quitting after the constitutional referendum he championed failed spectacularly at the polls. Italy's finance minister or senate
leader could take over until elections are held.
Well, CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us now live from Rome with a look at all the fallout from the referendum.
So, Ben, Matteo Renzi is not quite gone. Could we see a snap election just around the corner?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not just around the corner. We did hear from Angelina Alfano (ph), the interior minister today saying
that perhaps by February or March there could be early elections, but that's not an all-clear and then in this period of uncertainty, of lack of
clarity as we're waiting for Sergio Mattarella,m the Italian president, to name somebody to
form a new government, there is going to be a lot of talk about elections, about who could possibly be the next prime minister. So it's really, at
this point, all speculation.
Now, it's important to keep in mind, however, that there was a lot of talk before the referendum about the possibility of the Five-Star Movement of
Beppe Grillo, which is by and large euro skeptic, to say the least, eventually coming to power, but it's important to keep in mind that the
Five-Star Movement has, as part of one of its bylaws, that it's not supposed to make back room deals with any other party, therefore, for them
to come to power and according to the dark scenarios, they would have called for a nonbinding referendum to pull Italy out of the eurozone, that
scenario really is far, far away at this point.
So we don't know when perhaps elections will happen. They might not happen until 2018, as was originally the plan. So it's all up in the air. There
is tense speculation about everything under the sun here in Rome and until we actually hear from the (inaudible), the office of the Italian president,
it's just talk -- Hannah.
JONES: Ben, you mentioned there the Five-Star Movement and other populist movements as well across the European continent. What kind of impact do
you think they've had, and of course the so-called fake news they've been accused of pushing in bringing about this referendum result in Italy.
WEDEMAN: Well, certainly the Five-Star Movement was the biggest group agitating against this referendum, but they don't really fit within the
context of the rising right in Europe. Really, they are kind of a movement that spans the political spectrum in terms of their position -- they're
environmentalists, they're not too crazy about immigration, but they want, for instance, better public
transport and that sort of thing. So they don't really fit within that context.
As far as the fake news goes, there's a group called Pojella Politica (ph) that basically determined that of about half of the stories that were
circulating on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media, half of them about the referendum were fake, including one story that claimed that
more than 200,000 "yes" ballots were found before the referendum actually took place.
But observers say that, yes, this is a disturbing phenomenon, but given the fact that 60 percent of those who voted voted against the changes to the
Italian constitution, yes, those fake stories may have had an impact on the outcome but not a fatal outcome, rather, the fatal impact that really most
people actually did vote on the basis of what they heard on television and what they read, they still do read the newspapers here in Italy -- Hannah.
[10:16:42] JONES: Ben Wedeman live for us in Rome, thanks very much indeed.
OK, still to come on the program, trapped behind enemy lines in Mosul, desperate residents tell CNN they are losing hope as the offensive drags
But first, the states that voted for Donald Trump might be getting a visit from the president-elect. We will update you on his thank you tour, and,
of course, his latest controversial tweet. That's coming up next.
JONES: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones. Welcome back to you.
Donald Trump is calling on the U.S. government to cancel its order for a new presidential plane. After tweeting about next generation Air Force One
being way too expensive earlier, he just spoke to reporters about it in the lobby of his New York building.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP. U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: Well, the plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program and I
think it's ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well trump's comments took a little altitude off Boeing's stock, sending it dipping by about a dollar. As CNN's Paul La Monica is keeping
an eye on Boeing for us and joins us now live from New York.
It must be a bit of a shock to Boeing. Have we had any reaction from them yet?
[10:20:11] PAUL LA MONICA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have not heard anything from the company as of yet. As you point out, Hannah, the stock is down
just a little, about half a percent. So I don't think investors are panicking that much but this is yet just another example of how
volatile markets could be, not just broadly, but for individual companies for the next four years because we have a president-elect who is not afraid
to use Twitter, to shame companies publicly, as he just did with Boeing and maybe there's some validity to the notion that they could cut some costs
and have a lower price for the new Air Force One, but this is highly unprecedented.
It's like that movie Dave where you had a guy take over president and you had them going through the budget line by line and renegotiating things.
It's really odd.
JONES: Paul, he's already said that he wants Boeing to do well but not that well. Do we know how much this deal was actually worth?
LA MONICA: Not 100 percent sure how much this means exactly to Boeing. Clearly, this is a company that does much more than just make and sell Air
Force One to the government, huge defense contractor in addition to the planes that they make for commercial use.
So I think the bigger implication and concern here is that if Trump is willing to play hardball with Boeing over just Air Force One, does that
mean that he might do so also with defense contracts? And that's obviously something that came up with Carrier in trying to keep jobs for that company
in the United States, because Carrier is owned by United Technologies, a Boeing rival and another defense contractor.
JONES: Yeah, one to watch. Paul La Monica, thanks very much indeed.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
JONES: well, meanwhile, Donald Trump is hitting the road again. His thank you tour takes him to the U.S. state of North Carolina in just a few hours.
It's one of three states he's visiting this week. Jessica Schneider has all of the details.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump continuing his victory lap by visiting three more states this week.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: President-elect loves the most getting oxygen directly from the people.
SCHNEIDER: The president-elect headed to North Carolina today and on Thursday he'll travel to Iowa, Michigan on Friday. Trump's team says he'll
formally announce another cabinet appointment tonight.
TRUMP: "Mad Dog" Mattis.
SCHNEIDER: Touting the credentials of his defense secretary pick, retired Marine General James Mattis. Trump also tapping Dr. Ben Carson to be
MIKE PENCE, (R) VICE PRESIDENT ELECT: We're excited to have Dr. Carson as our intended nominee.
SCHNEIDER: Trump describes Carson as brilliant, declaring he is, quote, "passionate about strengthening communities and families within those
communities.' Some are calling Carson's qualifications into question. Last month a key confidante of Carson's said running an agency isn't his
strength. Democrats now arguing he's woefully unqualified.
Meanwhile Trump national security aide General Michael Flynn coming under fire. Flynn's son continuing to push a baseless conspiracy theory that led
a man to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizza shop. The White House weighing in.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We all hold the responsibility regardless of whether or not we are planning to serve in a government
position or if one of our family members is planning to serve in a government position that we shouldn't be propagating false things that
could inspire violence.
SCHNEIDER: The White House also responding to Trump's controversial phone call with Taiwan's president, stressing the U.S.'s commitment to the one
EARNEST: Some of the progress we had made in our relationship with China could be undermined by this issue flaring up.
JONES: Jessica Schneider reporting there.
Well, we're staying with Donald Trump and the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has said he will not allow Trump to tear up the country's nuclear
According to Reuters, Mr. Rouhani told students at Tehran University that none of the U.S. president-elect's actions would affect Iran. And
according to state media, he insisted Iran is not a threat to international peace.
And when Donald Trump was campaigning for the presidency last year, he called the nuclear deal one of the worst agreements ever negotiated. And
he vowed to revamp it.
Well, our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is following this and joins me now in the studio.
Combative rhetoric from Hassan Rouhani, but how worried are they going to be in Tehran about the looming presidency of Donald Trump?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are. I mean, from the get-go, from almost right after he was elected, they were tweeting --
both the foreign minister and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei said this nuclear deal that we've made, the United States can't just throw it
away. We're very concerned about it.
So, they were very, very clear at the beginning that what's happened now is, you know, in the Senate and the House of the United States have voted
to length the Iran Sanctions Act, extend those sanctions for another ten years and this seems to be behind President Rouhani's reaction today. This
is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:25:19] HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): The U.S., as part of the 5+1 is our enemies and wants to pressure us. There is
no doubt about that. We have to resist, be steadfast and find a way to counter it. They may break the nuclear agreement. They have already done
so by extending the Demato law (ph). If this measure is actually implemented, then it would be a clear breach of the nuclear agreement and
will cause us to react very harshly and severely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Now, you've mentioned the sanctions. One would have thought that this nuclear deal would have meant no sanctions, then, because you're
complying with the terms of the agreement. The 10 year extension of it, is this effectively saying that everything that was agreed is now washed away?
ROBERTSON: No. It's more complicated, because the sanctions are very complicated. Those sanctions went in place before additional nuclear
sactions were put in place. They went in place in '96. So what Secretary Kerry -- Secretary of State John Kerry was able to do with that agreement
was able to say, OK, some of those sanctions in that act, I'm going to waive them, the ones that relate to nuclear issues. And they've been
Now, what he's said is he sold this pitch to a very skeptical U.S. audience was we can snap those sanctions back on if Iran steps outside the terms of
Now, the sanctions were due to end at the year of this year. By giving a ten-year extension, it gives him the opportunity, or whoever is secretary
of state now, to slap those sanctions back on if Iran steps outside the deal.
But what Iran says is within that package of sanctions, there are other issues, like being able to use the U.S. banking system, the use of dollars
for trading and business. And they say that, because those sanctions will be continued, they don't relate to a nuclear issue, therefore, their
business, their interests are going to be impacted.
So, it comes down to an interpretation. The U.S. side feels safer, President Obama himself will sign this very likely.
They feel safer having this snap back possible.
JONES: Nic, thanks very much indeed. Nic Robertson with explaining all of this Iranian nuclear deal, what it means and all the sanctions. Appreciate
Well, we are not done with Iran, because later on in the show, I'll be asking an analyst from the Iranian-American council if this could be the
beginning of the end of this nuclear deal.
And the world's biggest tech firms team up to fight again terror content online. We'll take a look at their plans. So, stay with us for much more.
[10:31:32] JONES: Now, turning to the two-month-old battle to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, a report from Reuters says the Iraqi
army has launched a fresh assault on the southeastern part of the city. Army units are moving towards a bridge that spans the Tigris Rivers,
splitting the city in half.
Well, the bridge has been targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes to stop ISIS fighters from sending suicide bombers to the eastern front.
According to the latest count from the International Organization for Migration, more than 81,000 Iraqis are currently displaced by the ongoing
battle for Mosul.
Well, the situation for civilians is becoming increasingly desperate. One resident living behind enemy lines tells CNN that her home has become a
prison. Salma Abdelaziz joins me with details now from Irbil, that's in northern Iraq.
Salma, civilians being forced out of Mosul, but so, too, is ISIS and are the terrorists. What's the kind of time frame now for the full recapture
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Hannah, it's going to take months, that's according to analysts here on the ground. And in those many months,
as you said, there are civilians trapped inside.
We were able to speak to about a dozen of these residents who are still inside, who are still waiting to be liberated. They thought, again, that
timeline would just be a matter of days before they would be free of the terror group. Now they've been stuck in the middle between two forces for
a month. They say mortar rounds are landing near their homes, their children are being harmed.
And I just want to share one story of you -- one story with you they say mortar rounds are
landing near their homes and their children are being harmed. I want to share one story with you of one woman, a mother, who says her children
haven't been able to go to school under ISIS for these past two years.
And when the Iraqi army announced its advance into Mosul, she bought them notebooks and she said once the Iraqi army comes in, you can use these
notebooks, you can go back to school. And she tells me now every time the kids cry, every time they hear gunfire and get scared, she reminds them of
And it's simple stories like this that reminds you of how much is at stake for these average families as they wait for these many more months before
Mosul is liberated.
JONES: Salma we're hearing that some 80,000 people have been displaced so far by the fighting in Mosul. But do we have any sort of reliable numbers
of the casualties of civilians overall?
ABDELAZIZ: Now the casualty figures are a matter of contention, Hannah. We do know at least a thousand civilians lost their lives just in the month
of November, that's according to the United Nations.
Now, the Iraqi army has said hundreds of soldiers have lost their lives, the United Nations had earlier estimated it could be up to 2,000 but said
that they could not indeed verify those numbers. But what is clear is that many people are losing their lives.
And let's go back to that figure about the refugees, 80,000, as you said, that have fled. That still means that there's about a million people
When this offensive began in October, the Baghdad government told people, say in your homes. That was their directive. Do not try to flee, because
they wanted to stop the possibility of a humanitarian crisis, of a flood of people leaving Mosul going into essentially tent cities that cannot handle
So, this is a battle that is happening on their door steps and because it's happening on their door steps, we are seeing these very high civilian
casualty numbers and the soldiers are deeply entrenched in this battle with a fighting force that is using suicide bombers, using snipers, even using
civilians as human shields so a lot of soldiers are losing their lives as well, Hannah.
[10:35:18] JONES: And more bloodshed to come it seems as well. Salma Abdelaziz, live for us there from northern Iraq, Irbil. Thanks very much
Now back to one of our top stories. A new warning from Iran to the United States: don't mess with the nuclear deal.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to make changes and, as you might guess, that's
not sitting too well with Iran. President Hassan Rouhani says he wn't let the U.S. renege and during a speech today at Tehran University, he told
students there's no doubt America remains an enemy.
Well, Reza Marashi is the research director for the National Iranian- American Council. And he joins us live now from CNN Washington.
Reza, thanks very much for joining us on the program today.
This Iranian nuclear deal, can it be just tossed aside by Donald Trump?
REZA MARASHI, NATIONAL IRANIAN-AMERICAN COUNCIL: Well, it's not outside the realm of possibility, but there are tremendous costs associated with
the United States, Iran, or any other country that is a signatory to this deal just walking away from it or tearing it up.
And frankly, that's not the most likely scenario. If any particular country wanted to abandon the deal, there's a variety of other ways that it
could be done over an extended period of time that would kind of lessen the geopolitical blow. But I think the important point here to out is we've
gone from a situation where seven countries were extremely happy with the outcome of this diplomatic negotiation produced the deal. And now as a
result of the U.S. presidential election, there's uncertainty again and it doesn't have to be this way.
JONES: There's been some strong rhetoric so far from Hassan Rouhani. But what might be the practical implications of, say, a reneging on this deal?
What might Iran do?
MARASHI: That's a great question, Hannah. We have to remember, all politics is local. And Iranian stakeholders really across the
political spectrum, with the exception of their most extreme elements, lined up in support of this deal not just because of the benefits that are
accrued for the Iranian people over time, but also to reconnect politically and
economically with the rest of the world.
So, the cost to Iran for walking away, or reneging on the deal is the international community once again uniting and isolating Iran economically,
politically. Iran certainly doesn't want that.
So, even if the United States were to take steps that would abrogate the agreement, it is in Iran's national interests to fall back, let its
response carry out over time, to show the rest of the world that the problem is in Washington not in Tehran.
JONES: Iran has always claimed its right to the production of uranium and the like. Can we see that maybe being on the rise as a result of Donald
Trump's administration and also a ban of inspectors which was such a key part of this deal in the first place?
MARASHI: Yeah, Hannah, that's another great question. I've got to tell you, in my personal opinion, I think those are the kind of steps that Iran
is less likely to take because everybody in the international community, including the Russian and the Chinese, who America and Europe doesn't
always get along with, they would view those steps as provocative.
It's actually in Iran's interest, and it would be a savvier move, at least in my assessment, for
Iran to take steps more medium to long term. Like, for example, increasing its research and development on its nuclear program, limitations that it
agreed to on R&D, as it's called, could be slowly ramped up over time and in doing so it doesn't allow the United States and other countries to make
the kind of pressing argument that Iran is dashing towards a nuclear weapon.
And frankly, this is exactly the kind of scenario that is entirely avoidable if the incoming Trump
administration just continues down the path that President Obama and the rest of the world has already chartered down.
JONES: Donald Trump has always said that he wants to put America first, that's going to be at the heart of his administration. But I'm wondering
what it means to Americans standing on the world stage, if it starts pulling out of these deals. Does it weaken America's
position when it comes to negotiating any future deals?
MARASHI: I cannot emphasize this point enough, that there are serious questions, not just as a result of potentially walking back from the Iran
deal, but also TPP and other international negotiations that have proven to be unsuccessful from America's side. There are serious questions regarding America's ability to implement and sustain complex
diplomatic agreements. And that is absolutely not in the interests of the United States.
American credibility is at stake. Oftentimes you hear stakeholders in Washington, D.C. talking about, well, if we are not tough enough, if we're
not strong enough militarily, that weakens American credibility.
JONES: So interesting to talk to you. Thank you so much for being on Connect the world. Reza Marashi, we appreciate it.
MARASHI: Thank you.
[10:40:07] JONES: Well, here on CNN, we have gone to great lengths to cover the rise of fake news during the U.S. election campaign. Some have
even suggested such stories helped propel Donald Trump to victory. But now in Washington, we've seen an instance of fake news leading to real
violence. Brian Stelter reports.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Fake news, real gunfire. A North Carolina man arrested in a D.C. pizza shop after brandishing a gun, telling
police he was there to investigate a conspiracy theory called Pizzagate.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: One of the host runs up and he's like, did you see that guy? He had a big gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We actually thought initially that he was a staff member because he
was walking straight for that back room, staff member, you know, kind of looked at me and indicated that this was a gunman.
STELTER: Edgar Welch, appearing in court this afternoon. According to police, Welch said that he had read online that the Comic Ping Pong
Restaurant was haboring child sex slaves, and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there.
The suspect said he was armed to help rescue them. The accusation came from this unhinged story that originated online days before the election
that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta were operating a child sex ring. The lie took root in the digital swamps of Twitter and
far right wing websites.
ALEX JONES, INFOWARS: We're not covering Pizzagate enough, even though we covered it ever day to expose the Satnnism and the occult and the code
words for pedophilia.
STELTER: October 30, a Clinton hating, Trump loving Twitterer claimed a police source said Clinton was at the center of a pedophilia ring, others
latching on to this, seemingly hoping it was true, scouring dark corners of the web for possible clues.
This is how conspiracy theories are threaded together lie by lie. Eventually a name stuck: Pizzagate. And the believers started harassing
the owner of the pizza place.
JAMES ALEFANTIS, OWNER, COMET PING PONG: We've received many, many, many calls but really they are from around the world so we didn't expect anyone
STELTER: On Sunday, the suspect fired his weapon. No one was hurt.
With detectives still on the scene in D.C., Pizzagate believers were already claiming that this real development was just part of a cover-up.
MIKE CERNOVICH, DANGER AND PLAY: The media is claiming that this is because of Pizzagate. This is very dangerous fake news. Anybody claiming
today that the gunman today at Comet Pizza had anything to do with Pizzagate is lying.
JONES: Our Brian Stelter reporting for us there.
Well, there have been numerous calls for tech giants to tackle so-called fake news. But they've also been criticized for not doing enough to fight
extremist propaganda online.
Now, they feel they'll act, and we'll explain how.
Plus, coming up, this might look like a computer chip, but it's not. We meet the photographer going about aerial shots his very own way. That
story is coming up next.
[10:45:14] JONES: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London.
Tech is teaming up to take on terror. Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google's YouTube are all setting up a shared database to track and remove
It will contain the digital fingerprints that the images and videos allowing the firms to identify potential terror material much faster than
they've been able to before.
Our Samuel Burke has been following this story and he joins me now live from Dubai.
Samuel, how exactly would this technology, this database work?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY: Well, Hannah, first of all what took these companies so long? These type of databases they've been using for ages to
fight copyright infringement. If I put up a video with a Beatles song, it will come right down. If people put up child pornography, they use these
digital fingerprints to take it right down. So, basically to answer your question this means that any social network, if they see a picture or a
video that they deem to be terrorist content or extremist content all they have to do is label is once and then automatically the social media
companies that are participating in this will see that and they can bring down this content
automatically so that the second it is tried or attempted to be published, it will come down before anybody sees it.
It's something that they should have done, quite frankly, many years ago.
JONES: Yeah. All the tech giants are involved on this, but how prevalent is the use of social media by terrorist-linked groups? Could the
effectively just use another platform instead?
BURKE: Absolutely. But that's really what experts want. Yes, they will go to the smaller social networks, the smaller social media apps that
they're already using, but we don't want them on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube, which have the biggest audiences out there.
This way, yes, if somebody is looking to get in touch with ISIS, they may find them on these smaller apps, but if somebody is just using one of these
bigger social media platforms at least there's less of a chance that they will be targeted with this content if this
database goes into effect and is used well and hopefully it goes into effect very quickly.
JONES: Of course, the critics will say that there is a concern that the database itself will be misused and that it could be an attack on freedom
of expression. You could have someone who potentially got extreme views that they're expressing on social media, but they're not necessarily a
BURKE: And it's interesting, because for years these very same social media companies, some of them that are participating in this project say,
well, it's very difficult to determine what is terrorist content and oftentimes it's hard to distinguish terrorist content automatically through
these computer algorithms, terrorist content from news reports that may be using a clip of ISIS journalistically.
But I think they realize that it's better to err on the side of caution given that there's so much ISIS content out there on social media and given
the fact that they've seen that some of the social media companies, like Twitter, have been able to combat it.
So, I think the other thing you have to remember here is that a lot of these companies do see the
pressure on their stock prices. A lot of people think that Twitter wasn't purchased, it wasn't acquired by another company because they have so many
concerns about the content out there. So, at the end of the day, it is the bottom line driving this pressure on them as well. And it will be up to us
to make sure it's used appropriately.
But I think it's very clear for most companies, at least when it comes to ISIS, what is ISIS content and what isn't. And that is really the big
threat that we see on social media these days.
JONES: Sam, you've already said that this is a long time coming for these tech giants to all get together. What is the timeline, though, for it?
When can we see this database being rolled out?
BURKE: They didn't give a timeline, unfortunately, but you would have to think that it's going to be very soon, especially given the fact that just
yesterday the European commission came out targeting these very same companies saying that there is too much hate speech and that they have to
do something about it immediately or that the European Commission will take
action against these companies.
So I was speaking to experts today and they hope to see something within six months. But again, these companies already have these tools that they
have been using to help very rich recording artists to do the good fight against pornography, child pornography that they are waging. So hopefully
even sooner than that because the tools are there. They exist.
JONES: Very interesting. Samuel Burke, live for us there in Dubai, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Now, as U.S. presidents come and go from the White House, so do their means of communication. Donald Trump has shown his preferred method is in
writing 140 characters or less. If he becomes the commander-in-tweet, can Trump save the social media platform which has never, unbelievably, turned
a profit? CNN's Clare Sebastian reports.
[10:50:12] TRUMP: @RealDonald Trump. So I have millions and millions of followers.
I'll do it verbally. I'll do it on television. I'll do it on Twitter.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN MONEY: Trump quite literally believes he did it on Twitter, microblogging his way to victory.
TRUMP: I think it helped me win all of these races where they're spending much more money than I spent.
SEBASTIAN: And now from the comfort of his Trump Tower, his house, he's tweeting the transition, announcing cabinet picks, even questioning the
results of the election.
TRUMP: It's an asset. I tweet well.
SEBASTIAN: And yet despite Trump constantly drawing attention to its news channels like CNN airing his tweets, Twitter, the company, is stuck in a
Ten years since its founding, it's still yet to turn a profit, losing over $100 million in the
last quarter and user growth has stagnated.
MICHAEL PACHTER, ANALYST, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: They have grown by about 1 percent sequentially, which is fine if you're Pepsi-Cola, you know, or if
you're Philip Morris or Nike, it's not good enough if you're supposedly a high-growth media platform.
SEBASTIAN: And yet experts say that Twitter could be getting a Trump bump if it changed its methods.
PACHTER: If I were Twitter, I would hire ten people full time to publicize everything that Trump utters. Twitter should be sending you a press
release every time Trump speaks.
TRUMP: And you know, on my Twitter, I have people that went crazy.
ROSS GERBER, CEO, GERBER KAWASAKI WEALTH & INVESTMENT MGMT: How about a TV ad, Twitter? How about tell the public this is going on? You know, a lot
of people don't use it. They don't know.
SEBASTIAN: Twitter told us they believe they are capitalizing on this election-fuele momentum and they are working with new members in congress
in ashington to help them get the most out of the platform.
TRUMP: It does give you a tremendous amount of power. So @RealDonaldTrump.
SEBASTIAN: If Twitter is to get the most out of Trump, like so many in America, it may find
this election is a moment to take stock.
Clare Sebastian, CNN Money, New York.
JONES: And we have much more on this topic on our website. CNN commentator Julian Zelezer (ph) has some suggestions for how the president-
elect could be using social media to engage citizens in politics instead of inflamming them. That's all at CNN.com.
Live from London, this is Connect the World. Coming up, we explore why a photographer is leaning from a helicopter for the perfect shot. That story
coming up next.
JONES: Now, if like me you have a fear of heights, this might not be the story for you but bear
with us, the adrenaline junkies out there will love it.
This German daredevil just got the best view of Mexico City. At only 25 years old, he's broken the world record for slack lining across the
longest and highest urban highline at 270 meters long and a whopping 246 meters high. This is all between two of the city's tallest skyscrapers.
This daredevil is called Alexander Schultz and he started setting records only a year after he began the extreme sport. He's clearly got a head for
heights. There's no wonder he's setting records once more.
Now, for more views from the sky in tonight's Parting Shots, one photographer is leaning out
of a helicopter to share amazing nighttime shots of London and Las Vegas from above. He's taking advantage of the fact that technology has only
just allowed us to capture beautiful and vibrant photos in the dark. Take a look at this.
VINCENT LAFORET, PHOTOGRAPHER: From the air, you really see the world from a much wider perspective. You don't see differences. It's very analogous
to kind of taking a step back in life.
I'm Vincent Laforet and I'm a New York and Los Angeles-based commercial director and photographer.
My father was a photographer and I was inspired by him to pick up a camera and I've been shooting ever since.
I had the great fortune of joining The New York Times as staff photographer at the age of 24 where I photographed a wide variety of subjects from the
Olympics, to 9/11, Katrina, pretty much the whole gamut of photography.
Air started off as an editorial assignment for Men's Health Magazine. It was an article about the psychology of coincidence. The first thing I
thought of were brain synapses and computer chips or motherboards. I said to myself, from a high altitude, I bet you that the streets of New York
looks like a computer chip.
It turned into a year-long series across ten cities around the world.
Technology did not allow you to shoot at night until just a year or two ago. And also the lighting grid of each city is changing drastically with
LEDs that are much bluer in tone relative to their light. So, we have got this amazing cornucopia of colors that we didn't have a few years ago and
that might not be around in a few years.
That being said, technology does not make the pictures, it's the way you adapt it to better tell your stories. The tools are an important part of
what you do, but ultimately it's the way you tell it or the way you capture it is what makes you as a photographer unique and that's what you're always
The power of the image is that it forces a lot of us to slow down. When you can find that image
that causes other people to, for a few seconds, to a few minutes a day actually stop and think or feel, that's the power of photography and that's
the power ultimately of a still image.
JONES: Well, as always, you can head to our Facebook page for all of the stories that we've
brought to you today. And of course, some that we couldn't fit into the show. For all of that, go to
I'm also on Twitter @HVaughanJones. Don't forget to tweet me. Always appreciate hearing from our viewers.
I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. That was Connect the World. Thanks so much for watching.