Return to Transcripts main page


What Trump and Putin's Relationship Could Be Like; Interview with Syria's Malala; Will Smith Talks Father, Role in Collateral Beauty; Winter Weather in U.S. Creates Travel Nightmares; Israeli Government, Amona Settlers Reach Deal. 10:00a-11:00a ET

Aired December 18, 2016 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:18] ROBYN KRIEL, HOST: The way out: evacuation buses wait to take people out of the east Aleppo amid reports of a number of other buses being

set on fire elsewhere.

The latest on the fragile agreement to help the people of east Aleppo next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putin has made his wishlist very clear. He wants Ukraine. He wants sanctions lifted. And he wants to be left alone in



KRIEL: With a host of problems around the world, how might Mr. Putin's diplomatic style impact them?

Plus, what will his relationship be like with the new U.S. president? We examine that coming up.

And winter weather hits the northern United States. Travel nightmares as ice makes major U.S. highways dangerous. A check of the forecast later

this hour.

Welcome to Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel at CNN Center sitting in for Becky Anderson.

Well, we begin in eastern Aleppo today where a glimmer of hope is being offered to those in desperate need. Syrian state TV says that dozens of

buses have been moving in to the city. It's a sign that after two days of negotiations, evacuations are about to resume, but already there are

complications. Some evacuation buses have been set on fire. They were empty at the time. It's not clear at this point who is responsible.

Now, under this new agreement, Iran and Syria will allow residents to leave eastern Aleppo. In exchange, opposition fighters must east their siege on

two villages near Idlib and let the Shiite population leave.

Well, CNN's Muhammad Lila joins us from a village along the Turkish-Syrian border. Muhammad, thank you for your time.

Any clarity on why those buses were set alight?

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, right now there is no clarity, but we do know that those buses were traveling through areas

that are controlled by two main militant groups. One of them is Ahrar al- Sham (ph) and the other is al-Nusra, which of course for a long time has been an al-Qaeda affiliate.

In terms of why those buses are up in flames, we don't know. But we do know from activists and rebels in the eastern part of Aleppo that many of

them are not happy about this, because those buses, that convoy that was going to bring those villagers out of those Shiite villages was essential

as part of the plan to get families and civilians out of eastern Aleppo. They were supposed to happen simultaneously. And so now that those buses

are up in flames, there's a concern, obviously, that his whole evacuation plan could have gone up in flames with them.

KRIEL: By all accounts, Muhammad, this is an incredibly tenuous process, this evacuation. Take us through just some of those intricacies of the

deal that has been struck to allow residents to evacuate the hell that is eastern Aleppo?

LILA: Well, any time you talk about what's happening in Syria, it tends to be a little bit complicated. But I'll try to simplify it as best as I can.

When these evacuations first started, it was very straightforward. It was about getting those remaining people in those last few neighborhoods in the

rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo outside of the city and into the countryside.

But over the weekend, the deal has evolved and grown and it's now involved evacuating people from these two -- from these two Shiite towns that have

been besieged by militant rebel groups for more than a year-and-a-half. So the people in those towns were supposed to be given free passage to leave

as well as the rebels in eastern Aleppo were supposed to be given free passage to leave.

Now, it's not just an evacuation anymore, and it effectively becomes a transfer. And when there's a transfer it involves much more security on

the ground. It requires security guarantees, it requires people on all sides and all of the militant groups and all of the militias that are

fighting, as well as the Syrian army, to agree to the deal. And we know that on the ground is very fluid. And a lot of these groups are fighting

amongst themselves internally, and sometimes even openly. And that's what makes this process so fragile.

KRIEL: All right. Are you getting the sense that this is in any way organized and that everyone is on the same page, or are some militias

running these checkpoints, manning these checkpionts that these refugees are going through. Are they acting with total autonomy?

LILA: Well, Robyn, you know, we've been seeing every time that we come out and we get reports from rebel commanders in Aleppo or the Syrian government

or even the Russians announcing that this evacuation deal is back on, it never actually has happened. We've been hearing it's on and then something

happens on the ground and people are not happy.

The biggest hope that we had was today when we know that these buses were moving to these neighborhoods in Aleppo as well as these two villages to

start the evacuation process that was meant to happen in phases. About 1,000 people moving from one village to safety and then 1,000 people moving

from Aleppo into safety.

But now that those buses are on fire, it's an indication that there are groups on the ground have simply don't want this transfer to take place.

And that's been a recurring theme over the weekend that as soon as there's a light at the end of the tunnel that tunnel closes and again people are

forced to be out in the cold and not knowing if they'll be able to get onto those buses and get into safety.

[10:05:49] KRIEL: Yes. And obviously extremely difficult situation for those people trying to get onto those buses as the hours of waiting turns

into days. Thank you so much. CNN's Muhammad Lila on the Turkish-Syrian border for us there.

Well, the struggle to leave besieged parts of Aleppo is quite simply a matter of life or death and it's horror seen firsthand by one journalist

who was working with Channel 4 News before the ceasefire went into effect. A warning, Nafrai's (ph) report contains graphic images.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): are you OK, Ayah, my love?

MATT FREI, CHANNEL 4 NEWS: Aleppo is a grim stage with an ever diminishing cast of survivors. And these are the last of the last. Un Fatima (ph) is

the only adult left of three families whose apartment block was obliterated by a Russian or Syrian bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translat0): I don't know what he [Assad] hit us with. We were at home sleeping. Suddenly, the whole building just fell

on us. Oh my god! All my children are gone.

FREI: Un Fatima (ph) comes across a neighbor. The teenaged boy with the hat is called Mahmoud (ph). He used to live upstairs.

The baby boy he's holding is his little brother, Ismail Mohammed (ph), 1 month old. His face is the only restful thing in this bedlam.

But this is the sleep of the dead Ismail was suffocated in the ruins, and Mahmoud doesn't want to let go of his brother's body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Oh my god, all my children are dead. Oh my god. Help me.

FREI: Aleppo is a place where the children have stopped crying.

In the corridor, Mahmoud is still cradling his baby brother. War has reversed roles. And the boy acts now like the father that he's lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Mahmoud and Abdullah are gone.

BOY (through translator): Don't worry they didn't die in vain. Don't cry. It's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Mahmoud and Abdullah are dead.

BOY (through translator): God will avenge us against this oppressor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The bulldog just fell on us. That's what happened to us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They need their mother. Are these your children?

FREI: A nurse leads in a brother and sister. They go from room to room. We don't know their names, and they don't know yet if they're orphans.

They left their father in the rubble and they're looking for their mother.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Come, lets see where they took your mother.

Let's go. So do you think she was outside the hospital?

BOY (through transalator): Oh my poor soul, my bleeding heart.

FREI: Um Fatima (ph) now sees proof of the news that she had feared most.

"Why have you left me?" She calls out to the daughter that she describes as her rock, knowing that this question in this place has no real answer.

And in another room, brother and sister are still waiting for news of their mother, and another hospital bed blanket with dust exhausted beyond words

by a life beyond description.


[10:10:05] KRIEL: Matt Frei reporting there from Channel 4 News.

We will have more on this crisis here on Connect the world. It's one that is not just confined to Syria. Across the border in Iraq, violence in

Mosul is forcing many from their homes. And even further afield, hundreds of thousands have been trying to head to Europe and other parts of the


We're going to speak to a senior official from the Red Cross and Red Crescent as the United Nations recognizes International Migrants Day.

Well, other stories on our radar right now. At least 41 soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing at a military base in southern Yemen. Several

others were wounded. The attacker struck Sunday morning in Aden as soldiers lined up to get their pay.

The Turkish military held a ceremony for the latest victims in a string of deadly bombings. A car bomb Saturday killed 13 soldiers as they traveled

by bus in central Turkey, that's according to state media, which is also reporting that authorities have arrested 15 people.

Iranian state media says the head of the UN nuclear agency is praising Iran's commitment to the deal on its nuclear program. Yukiya Amano met

with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Sunday. Minister Rouhani says his country will not trigger any violations.

We do have some breaking news for you today. Authorities in Jordan say at least five people are dead after gunmen opened fire in three locations. At

least word, the clashes are still unfolding in Karak about 100 kilometers south of the capital Amman.

Our Jomana Karadsheh joins us now with the latest from Amman. Fill us in on what is going on on the ground there.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, we're still trying to piece together the details of this apparent attack, but

what we do understand from Jordanian authorities, from the government and security services is that this is an ongoing situation. There have been

three reported shooting incidents, the first took place in a town called al-Gatrane (ph) in southern Jordan, and it was followed by two shooting

incidents, at least, taking place in the city of Karak 130 kilometers south of the capital Amman.

What we do understand, according to Jordanian security services, is that security patrol there, police patrol, came under fire in Karak, and that

was also followed by another shooting. They say that armed attackers opened fire on a police station. They say that these attackers were inside

the Karak fortress, or Karak castle.

This is one of the main tourist attractions in southern Jordan.

Now, what we do know is that there were at least five people killed. There are several injuries also reported. Amongst those killed, we're told are

four Jordanian security -- members of the security services in addition to one Canadian tourist, according to the Jordanian government.

We also heard a short time ago from the Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al- Mulki who was speaking at parliament and he mentioned this incident. He said it was ongoing. He said that 10 attackers he described as outlaws

were involved. And he said that they were being surrounded.

Now, this is an ongoing situation. Clearly, we don't know what the motives are right now. But, this is a rare type of incident in this country that

is seen as a stable country that boasts its stability in the midst of this very turbulent region, Robyn.

KRIEL: All right, thank you so much, Jomana. Keeping an eye on what's going on out of Jordan for us.

Five people dead, four Jordanian security services members and at least one Canadian tourist keeping -- she's going to keep monitoring that for us.

And we will bring you any updates.

Moving on now, the standoff between China and the U.S. over a seized American underwater drone appears to be resolved. Both the U.S. and China

say an agreement has been reached for its return. The United States says the drone, similar to the one seen here, was unlawfully snatched by China's

navy in the South China Sea, but China disagrees and says the U.S. has been hyping up the incident.

CNN's Matt Rivers has more.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These kind of close up encounters between the Chinese and U.S. navies are rare, and the fact that

China actually seized U.S. military equipment is even rarer, still. And in that statement that you just mentioned they also say the reason why, the

Chinese say the reason they took the device was to prevent it from harming navigational and personnel safety of passing ships. And while that might

sound innocuous enough reason for taking the drone out of the water, the fact remains that this move made by the Chinese makes the U.S.-Chinese

military relationship that much more tense.

The USNS Bowditch, an unarmed military research ship, was about 50 miles off the Filipino coast Thursday where the Navy says it was conducting

research using two underwater drones called ocean gliders. Officials say the research was legal under international law. It was set to bring them

back on board when officials say a Chinese naval ship trailing the Bowditch launched a small boat which swooped in and stole one of the ocean gliders.

The Defense Department says the Bowditch immediately made contact to ask for it back but the Chinese ship simply sailed away.

Friday Pentagon officials asked again. Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporter, quote, "It is ours and we would like it back. And we would like

this not to happen again." China's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement Saturday that, quote, "China and the United States are using

military channels to appropriately handle this issue."

A Chinese state run newspaper, "The Global Times," citing a Chinese military source, said the naval ship took it to prevent any navigational

safety issues. The paper went on to say the source told them, quote, "This issue will be smoothly resolved."

The seizure comes at the time of heightened U.S.-Chinese military tensions in the South China Sea. China has built and militarized artificial islands

in disputed territory, action the U.S. calls illegal, and President-elect Trump has made Beijing angry twice in the last two weeks, first taking a

call from Taiwan's president and then questioning the legitimacy of the one-China policy, a decades old diplomatic staple of U.S. China relations.

And in that same statement from the ministry of defense outlining the reasoning for taking the drone out of the water, Chinese officials were

quick to include a paragraph where they talked about how the United States, according to them, have been frequently deploying ships and aircraft to

conduct close-in surveillance and military surveys in waters facing China.

And what the Chinese have long said is that these research vessels like the USNS Bowditch have actually been spying on Chinese activity in the South

China Sea.

And so I think what most experts would tell you is that when the Chinese took this drone out of the water, they likely knew that they would be

sending a message to the United States and that message being that they are not happy with U.S. naval operations in that part of the south China Sea.

Back to you.


KRIEL: The U.S. government made it clear that it wants the drone back immediately, but President-elect Donald Trump seems to be suggesting it

isn't worth the bother. After first expressing outrage over the incident, Trump tweeted Saturday night, quote, "we should tell China that we don't

want the drone they stole back. Let them keep it."

Still to come here on Connect the World, Donald Trump has made the final stop of his thank you tour. What he had to say about his November victory.

Plus, tense times ahead in Israel as an illegal outpost faces possible eviction. Trump's choice for ambassador could mean even more uncertainty



[10:20:24] KRIEL: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel. Welcome back.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump ended his thank you tour where he says his political movement began. He took one last victory lap at a crowded

football stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Our Ryan Nobles was there.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump making good on a campaign promise returning here to Mobile, Alabama, the site of

one of his first major campaign rallies. It was back in August of 2015 that Trump brought out a crowd of some 30,000 people, and on Saturday, he told a

similar sized crowd that this is where it all began.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. This is where it all began, remember that incredible rally we had? And people came out and it was like this. It was

packed and incredible. And people said, something's going on there, right? That was the beginning, wasn't it? That was the beginning.

And if you remember, even though you don't have to vote for me, maybe four years, we'll take a look, right? But you know what, I said I'm coming back

to see you in Alabama, right?

NOBLES: Now, Trump gave the crowd a history lesson, detailing state by state his victory on election night. What Trump didn't do is wade into some

of the complex policy issues that await when he takes office. He didn't mention China or Russia. Despite the relationship with both of those

countries becoming a growing situation for the incoming Trump administration.

Instead, the president-elect focused on many of his campaign promises, specifically how he plans to help the American economy. He did go off

script a bit, criticizing the current first lady, Michelle Obama, for an interview that she recently gave to Oprah Winfrey where she suggested that

a sizeable part of the country lacks hope because of Trump's election victory.

TRUMP: Michelle Obama said yesterday that there's no hope.


But I assume she was talking about the past, not the future, because I'm telling you, we have tremendous hope and we have tremendous promise and

tremendous potential. We are going to be so successful as a country again. We are going to be amazing.

And I actually think she made that statement not meaning it the way it came out, I really do, because I met with President Obama and Michelle Obama in

the White House, my wife was there. She could not have been nicer. I honestly believe she meant that statement in a different way than it came



KRIEL: Well, Trump's pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel is raising some tough questions in the Middle East. David Friedman is a New York attorney

who also has a home in Jerusalem. He's known for his hardline views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, views that sharply depart from the decades of

U.S. policy.

Friedman has called a two-state solution an illusion and says he supports efforts to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Well, Ian Lee joins us now live with the view from Jerusalem. Ian, thank you for your time.

The president-elect's pick for ambassador is described as having more hardline views than even Benjamin Netanyahu. How is this news of his

nomination going over in Israel.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Robyn. It really would be a seismic change to U.S. foreign policy if he does become

the U.S. ambassador to Israel. And if you look across the political spectrum here, and if you were to put him in it, he would land in the far

right. And so when we are getting these reactions coming in, there are people on the far right who are warmly welcoming the announcement and then

people who are on the left who don't believe he will do a good job for the people of Israel. So, the reaction is quite mixed.

And it would be quite a change if the U.S. government follows his lead and his views, because there's three key things. First, you have the two-state

solution. He is against it. He is for one state. he is also a strong supporter of settlements, viewed by the international community as illegal,

viewed by the United States as illegitimate and obstacles to peace. Also, you touched on a bit moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

So, quite a clear break from past U.S. administrations, both Democrat and Republican -- Robyn.

KRIEL: You spoke of settlements, Ian break down for us what's happening at the latest on the ground in Amona?

LEE: Well, we're hearing, Robyn, that a deal was reached between the Amona settlers and the government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting

with their leaders.

From what we're hearing about this deal, there will be a 52 housing units for the family members as well as the public facilities for them as well.

They will be moved to a area about, we're hearing, two acres or so. And this has been a long going saga here, mainly because the high court has

ruled that this settlement needed to be dismantled by December 25.

And so you've had these back and forth negotiations because this land that this settlement was built on, the high court said, belongs to the

Palestinians and they should have it back.

So, there has been a lot of horse trading going on. We're still waiting to see what the high court's reaction is to this deal.

[10:25:29] KRIEL: All right, thank you very much. Ian Lee live in Jerusalem for us.

Well, just ahead on CNN. Millions of people at risk. Thousands of lives canceled and hundreds of car accidents, all as a massive storm makes for

deadly conditions across large areas of the United States. The details ahead.



KRIEL: Well, to Iraq now where the future of thousands of people is uncertain as they flee ISIS. Around a long embattled city of Mosul, things

are almost at breaking point as camps for the internally displaced swell with new arrivals.

But, as CNN's Ben Wedeman reports, living with uncertainty is, for many, better than living in fear.


[10:30:03] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Out of the hell of Mosul under fire and into limbo of life as a refugee.

Hundreds of residents from the embattled city arrive at a camp to the east relieved to be united with loved ones, relieved to have made it alive.

Dunia (ph) didn't want to show her face for fear of reprisals against relatives still in Mosul. She fled with her family at 3:00 in the morning,

sneaking out through a deli. ISIS gunmen ordered them to come back and opened fire when they didn't stop.

Around 100,000 people are now in camps around Mosul. The facilities and services are already over stretched, while every day hundreds more arrive.

At another camp nearby, they line up for the weekly distribution of heating fuel. Temperatures have plummeted. Patience is wearing thing.

"We have been here since the morning for four hours," says Hasna (ph).

The camp provides much needed safety, shelter, food, water and basic health care, but little else.

There is no school for the children, no organized activities, just a monotonous expanse of tents, gravel and mud with dark clouds overhead.

Hassan (ph) has been here for almost a month and a half. The Iraqi military drove ISIS out of his neighborhood of Samah (ph), but ISIS mortar

rounds and rockets still slam into the area.

His wife, Hala, tells me she and her five children can put up with the discomfort of camp life.

"It's cold in the tent, but we'll hang on," she says. "It's better here than in Mosul with ISIS."

For others, this bleak existence has taken its toll, when someone shows up with a bag of jackets, a mad scramble ensues. Many here arrive with only

the clothing on their backs. And every extra scrap is worth fighting for.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, outside Mosul.


KRIEL: Now to those who have fled the fighting in their country altogether to try to make it into a new world. This Sunday, the United Nations is

marking International Migrants Day. It comes at a pressing time.

The International Organization for Migration has reported the deadliest year ever, saying an average of 20 people have died every day on the

world's migratory routes. This as some 1.4 million have headed to Europe in the last two years alone.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll get you. It's OK. It's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friend, come here. Come here, my friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax, buddy. I got you.



KRIEL: Well, these recent images give just a small insight into the reality of so many refugees and what they face and what migrants are facing

right now.

Well, let's get more on this global crisis. Dr. Jamilah Mahmoud is the undersecretary-general for the International Federation of Red Cross and

Red Crescent societies. She joins us live via Skype from Geneva, Switzerland. Thank you so much for your time, doctor.

Politically, the situation has gotten a lot more tenuous and difficult, but what does the world need to know right now about this situation?


Indeed, the migration situation has come to a real crisis, because the numbers keep growing. And this year itself, 7,200 people have been

reportedly killed in the process of migrating, particularly through the Mediterranean Sea.

Now, this is a large jump from previous years. And we expect that with the impact of climate change, with conflict ongoing, you know, with the

scarcity of livelihood and other challenges, that people will continue to migrant. And this is the tip of the iceberg, because the ones that we can

count are not necessarily the total number of people who have been killed in the process.

KRIEL: What needs to happen going forward?

MAHMOUD: Well, going forward, we really need to look at the root causes of migration. I mentioned earlier -- and in your earlier segment you also

showed, you know, the conflict, the horrible conflict in Syria. And that's part of the reason why people are driven out from the comfort of their


But also, you know, the fact that there is drought in South Africa, there is the impact of climate change in many places in the world. People need

to move to find the ways to make sure their families are fed, that they have clean water, that the young people have an opportunity to livelihood.

So, they won't look for opportunities elsewhere.

KRIEL: Well, 20 dead every day along these migratory routes. Doctor, what can be done to mitigate those circumstances? How can they have safer


MAHMOUD: I think that the most important thing is people who want to migrant need to know about the dangers of migration. There has to be, you

know, really good measures put in place to be able to not only give them information, but also how do you deal with the traffickers and the people

who deceive many of these migrants that, you know, risked their lives crossing oceans and crossing deserts to get to a place which they feel will

be safer.

So, it really needs, you know, everyone to work together -- governments, you know, putting in laws to ensure that trafficking is taken very

seriously and some actions taken against those who are traffickers, from organizations like the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red

Crescent. We are in 190 countries. And we are really working closely with the government and other organizations to make sure that information is

provided. We are there before they leave in the transitory phase and also where they arrive and where they land.

So, this whole accompaniment is so important to make sure they are safe and secure. You know, and also we need to ensure that when they do arrive in

country that they have, you know, safety, they are protected. They are welcomed. And that, you know, we will find ways and to allow them to have

a chance, you know, to be able to have a better life than where they fled from.

KRIEL: A better life from where they fled from. Thank you so much, Dr. Jamilah Mahmoud, the undersecretary-general for The International

Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

You can help some of the world's refugees at this most urgent time. CNN has a list of aid organizations that are helping families escape danger and

receive basic supplies. Just go to to find a full list.

Just as Donald Trump prepares to take office, tensions are growing between the U.S. and Russia. Barack Obama all but named Vladimir Putin Friday as

the force behind a string of cyber attacks before the election. Moscow says it's not to blame.

Mr. Obama's successor hasn't criticized Russia's leader, but a Republican senator warns that may soon change. John McCain spoke earlier to CNN's

Jake Tapper.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: No, I have not heard him criticize Putin.

I think reality is going to intercede at one point or another.


KRIEL: Some experts who know Russia's leader agree they are warning Trump to be wary. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When the Soviet Union collapsed, the world thought Russia would be a different place. And for a

decade under President Yeltsin, it was.

BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: They had free press. They had democracy. And they had civil society. The problem is that they

didn't have any laws. And they didn't have any rules.

ROBERTSON: Bill Browder, an investment banker, was there in Russia making millions amidst the chaos.

But then Putin came to power. A few years later, he clashed with Browder.

BROWDER: I played it out that Putin and the people around him have stolen an enormous amount of money from the Russian people and have covered it up.

ROBERTSON: Browder's businesses were raided. One of his whistleblowing lawesr, Sergei Magnitsky (ph) was thrown in jail, brutalized, and died

there many months later.

Putin rejects every accusation Browder makes and has barred him from Russia for the past decade.

BROWDER: At this point, many people consider me to be Putin's number one foreign enemy. And as such my life is at risk.

ROBERTSON: He is right to be worried. Putin's critics get silenced.

SIR ANDREW WOOD, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Well, he has a proven record of murder for a start either directly ordered or indirectly


ROBERTSON: Sir Andrew Wood was Britain's ambassador to Russia at the same time Browder was making his millions. He dismisses Putin's denials of any

influence in the deaths.

WOOD: When Putin came to power, his main theme was Russia should be a great power. He chose not economic reform and political progress, but a

relapse into what amounts to a sort form of an narcissistic xenophobia.

ROBERTSON: In foreign policy, that's intervention in Ukraine and Syria, annexing Crimea, providing overnight popularity for Putin at the price of

ruinous long-term economic sanctions.

Pretty soon, all this will be on President-elect Donald Trump's plate.

BROWDER: He wants to be seen as a great deal maker and as a winner. And so Putin has made his wishlist very clear. He wants Ukraine. He wants

sanctions lifted. And he wants to be left alone in Syria.

[10:40:04] ROBERTSON: Problem is, Putin's idea of deal making not much of a deal.

WOOD: What he's offering I don't think is anything at all. Some probably nice words, perhaps, but.

ROBERTSON: And even his words, warns Browder, aren't worth much.

BROWDER: Putin doesn't keep to his word. Putin always betrays deals. He takes what's offered and then tries to take some more in the future. And

that probably won't play that well with Trump who will feel ripped off.

ROBERTSON: And what are his options going to be, then?

BROWDER: To become probably much tougher than any other U.S. head of state before him towards Russia.

WOOD: I think at least for a period it will be very much in Putin's interests to take things relatively calmly.

ROBERTSON: The alternative could be deeply troubling, two powerful men, two big egos.

BROWDER: Well, I can imagine that we'll end up in a position where both these guys will be thumping their chests and staring each other down.

ROBERTSON: 25 years of post-Cold War diplomacy could be about to face their biggest test yet.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


KRIEL: Here in the United States, almost half of all Americans are under a storm warning this weekend as a brutal blast of freezing air moves across

large parts of the country. It's making road travel extremely dangerous.

In the state of Maryland, this 55 car pilup left at least two people dead and injured many others. Other accidents involving a lot of cars in nearby

states have killed at least six people in all.

For more, Alison Chinchar is monitoring conditions for us at the CNN Center in Atlanta -- Alison.


So, we start with New York City. This was an image from yesterday when they got mostly snow.

Now, today, we've started to see that transition into rain. And while that sounds like a great thing, the problem is those temperatures overnight are

going to refreeze. And so all of that will become a sheet of ice, creating very hazardous driving conditions, and perhaps even conditions on runways

at some of the airports.

But it's not just New York City. If you take a look at this map, stretching all the way from Maine down towards Louisiana, we have that same

issue where all of this heavy rain is going to come down. And even, say, as far south as Georgia, we're going to see some freezing temperatures.

That means all of that rain they get today, will refreeze overnight.

And we're not just talking a little bit of rain, some of these areas could pick up as 50 millimeters of rain. That will definitely lead to ponding,

which means all of that will end up refreezing.

Now, the different types of precipitations that we have have varied with this storm. We've had some sleet and some freezing rain, but today most of

what we are getting is rain. The issue going forward is that it's going to refreeze overnight. And that causes massive issues, not only for the

roads, but also for the airlines.

And speaking of hazardous conditions for the airlines, take a look at what we had to deal with in London this morning. This is a light from a plane.

It's almost impossible to see, due to the incredibly dense fog. Now, London's city airport Heathrow all had various delays and cancellations

today due to that fog. And unfortunately we're kind of in a weird setup here.

We have a system down towards France and Spain that's going to be pushing some of that moisture into England again. And the next system on its way.

And it creates this system where very dense fog is going to be there, and unfortunately, Robyn, it looks like starting Monday morning, we could be

looking at dense fog all over again.

KRIEL: Sounds delightful. Thank you so much Alison Chinchar for us in the CNN weather center.

Still to come, with the stroke of a pen, a stroke of luck, perhaps, as one of the world's largest oil companies snags a lucrative prize with a very

unusual deal. We'll explain next.


[10:46:05] KRIEL: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel. Welcome back.

In an opportunity that pretty much only comes around once in a lifetime, BP has just grabbed a $2.2 billion oil deal with Abu Dhabi, but get this, the

massive oil company is so strapped for cash it's having to hand over shares in itself to the emirate instead.

To find out how it pulled that off, CNN's John Defterios spoke to the company's chief executive.


BOB DUDLEY, CEO, BP: Our circumstances have changed somewhat. That allows us -- gives us the flexibility. That along with the flexibility and the

confidence that Abu Dhabi has put in BP with a share purchase is just a nice bringing together of BP and ADNOC in Abu Dhabi.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Strategically, this keeps both the UK and the UAE closer together in a post-Brexit environment.

DUDLEY: The UAE has about $100 billion of investments in Britain. These big commercial ties that we have in oil and gas I think are significant,

and hopefully it will just continue to build the bridges between the countries.

DEFTERIOS: What are the distinct advantages onshore in the Gulf region. This is some of the lowest cost producers in the world. That's clear.

DUDLEY: All these projects, whether it's in Abu Dhabi, what we're working on in Kuwait and Iraq or oil. Oman is a big gas producing growth area for

us as is Egypt. So strategically, this is very much aligned with the direction for BP.

DEFTERIOS: But you were one of those lower for longer CEOs in the energy business two years ago. Do you feel we've bottomed out and you can hold a

floor of $50 a barrel in 2017?

DUDLEY: Well, I've been saying for some time, lower for long. But lately this year I've been saying lower for longer, but not forever. And I think

this is a very serious agreement that's been reached. Even the markets have roughly been in balance in my mind since the third quarter of 2016.

But, the fact that you've got OPEC countries and non-OPEC producers participating is quite signficant.

DEFTERIOS: Well, they had a painful two years, but nobody seems to believe they'll adhere to cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day. Are you a believer or

not that they really will stick to it this time around differently than in the past?

DUDLEY: Well, I'm not sure about the exact number, but I know that countries are serious. Notices of curtailment have gone out from this

region. Russia is clearly very serious about participating in that. And of course Russia produces around 11 million barrels a day. So, all the

ingredients are there to do it. Demand continues to grow in China and North America. So, I think this will put a certain tightness in the market

that will, for the good of the world in many ways. A low oil price creates stresses in regions of the world. It's not healthy for the world. So, I

think something between $50 and $60.

We're going to balance our books (inaudible) uses at $55 next year.

DEFTERIOS: But you suggest that the worst is over. I mean, the floor of $50 can hold if this agreement stays in tact.

DUDLEY: There's no question in my mind If this agreement stays in tact the floor will be around $50.


KRIEL: Still to come here on Connect the World, this girl escaped Syria's war and is now advocating for children's education. We catch up with her

in her new life in England next.

And some of you might remember him as The Fresh Prince. Well, Will Smith has moved on to bigger and better roles since then. And he talks to us

about his latest film.


[10:51:15] KRIEL: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel.

Syria's civil war has stolen any idea of what normal is for an entire generation. Grinding on for nearly six years, it's older than many

children are. But Mizoon al-Malayan wanted to give them back their futures through education and now she's one of the lucky few to make it to safety

in England.

Isa Soares has her story.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For years, she has lived in dusty refugee camps and has seen Syria stripped bare by the winds of war.

But Muzoon is far from defeated. Instead, she's emboldened.

MUZOON ALMELLEHAN, DUBBED "SYRIA'S MALALA": There is no matter if I'm refugee or I'm not, but the most important thing to work really hard on

myself and to believe in my abilities. Then I can be what I want.

SOARES: This is her new life now in Newcastle, Northern England.

ALMELLEHAN: Then minus five, because minus (inaudible).

SOARES: And here, the only fate these children can't escape is math. There are no exceptions, not for this 18 year old nor for the other 13

refugees who have been welcomed to Kenton School (ph) from Syria.

For the almost 2,000 pupils walking these hallways, most of them white and working class, becoming friends with a new Syrian classmate has been a

learning experience.

CALLUM WILLIAMS, STUDENT: That's right. In racist terms of categorizing all the people coming over -- they were immigrants, they were potential

threats. They could be terrorists.

SOARES: To change this, the school set up a committee so the other pupils could better relate to their Syrian classmates, be it through posters,

fundraising and assemblies tackling Islamophobia and the refugee crisis. TOM VINEY, STUDENT: It's awful if you're over here. I mean, you're living on very little money if you come over here and you even get asylum, which

not everyone does. And they can't work. It's illegal for them to work, but you wouldn't leave where you were living unless it genuinely was better


SOARES: It's a message Muzoon has been keen to share. Afterall, hers is not an exceptional story, it's an inspirational one.

ALLELLEHAN: Refugees, they can do something. They can change something in their communities. They can be educated people. They didn't lose their

future and hopes also their dreams.

SOARES: Despite having seen war ravage her country and tear her family apart, Muzoon goes around the world campaigning for her country's future

and for girl's education.

ALMELLEHAN: Like all the children, refugee children have dreams.

SOARES: Grass roots efforts that have dubbed her the Syrian Malala. Even her classmates are in awe of her.

LILITH ALLEN, STUDENT: I was like scared to say hello, because I was really excited to just sort of be in the same room as her, because I think

that she's really important. And, yeah.

SOARES: Do you think she's inspirational?

ALLEN; Yeah, I find her inspirational.

SOARES: Muzoon doesn't see herself that way. Walking home with her sister Yuzra (ph), a humbling reminder she's just an ordinary girl.

ALMELLEHAN: You are welcome in my home.

SOARES: A girl who has seen more than we ever will in our lifetime.

ALMELLEHAN: And this is my little brother, Zine (ph), this is my room.

SOARES: Yet who has the resilience and strength of heart to know that home will always be Syria.

Isa Soares, CNN, Newcastle, England.


KRIEL: In tonight's Parting Shots, we sit down with actor Will Smith to talk about how his father's death helped him tap into his latest role in

his new film Collateral Beauty and how this loss has given him some perspective on life.


[10:55:07] WILL SMITH, ACTOR: Live, time, death: these three things connect every single human being on Earth. We long for love. We wished we

had more time. And we fear death.

For me and my experience of Collateral Beauty, you know, the character was dealing with the loss of his daughter and I was in real life dealing with

the loss of my father. So, I -- you know, had an opportunity while I was preparing the character to talk to my father about these concepts. So,

this was a hugely formative and transformative filmmaking experience for me. So, what I'm hoping is when audiences go in, they can feel that and

that there's some aspect of it that could be helpful for anyone whose in the process of, you know, facing what for most of us is the ultimate


I saw you in her eyes when she called me daddy and you betrayed me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, this time of the year, people's thoughts move towards award season. What do you think that the awards season judges are

looking for? What ticks their boxes in a performance or role?

SMITH: Since working on this film and the experience with my father during this film, what -- Collateral Beauty for me has been is clarity. And

there's a time in my life when box office and awards and you know reviews and things like that were hugely important. And after this film and after

the experiences of this film it's just it means nothing to me like it's such an addictive way to look at the creation of art, you know, so it's

something that it's just completely been cleansed from my -- from the realm of my desire.

You know, so it's just something -- I can't even look at right now.

KEIRA KNIGHTELY, ACTRESS: I promise you it's here, the collateral beauty.


KRIEL: I'm Robyn Kriel and that was Connect the World. Thanks for watching.