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Yemen On Verge of Famine; Donald Trump Fires Acting Attorney General; Interview with Iconic Poster Model Munira Ahmed; Indian Group Shaheen Risks Life to Save Child Sex Slaves. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 31, 2017 - 10:00   ET



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: We had a Monday night massacre. Sally Yates, a person of great integrity who follows the law, was fired.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, the former Apprentice host says you're fired to the acting attorney general. Sacked, but not defending President Donald

Trump's travel ban.

Next, we will cross to the White House for you.

Also, protests across the pond, people take to the streets in London to make their opposition

to the ban heard. A report from that city.

Plus, how the rest of Europe is responding.

And a dire situation: children starving in war-torn Yemen. I'm going to speak to the UNICEF

organization about the country on the verge of famine.

Well, hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. U.S. President Donald Trump taking opponents of his controversial

executive order on immigration straight to the mat. Signed on Friday, Mr. Trump's order bars citizens of seven Muslim majority countries from

entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. It also suspends the admission of all refugees for 120.

The travel ban has sparked protests, as you will be well aware, around the world.

Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zelany reports now on the career official who dared to defy the new president.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In an extraordinary move, President Trump firing acting attorney general Sally Yates, her dismissal coming via hand

delivered letter only hours after she stood in defiance of the president's travel ban. Yates writing in a letter she is not convinced the executive

order is lawful, citing that the solemn obligation of the Department of Justice is to always seek justice and stand what is right.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: We had a Monday night massacre, Sally Yates, a person of great integrity who follows the law, was fired.

ZELENY: The White House attacking the career prosecutor, claiming Yates betrayed the Department of Justice and is weak on boarders after she

instructed the Justice Department to not defend the president's order on immigration and refugees. Immediately following the swearing in of new

acting attorney general Dana Boente, Yates's replacement rescinding her guidance right away, directing the Department of Justice to, quote, "defend

the lawful orders of our president." Appointed by President Obama, Yates garnering major bipartisan support in 2015. Senator Jeff Sessions, who is

currently awaiting confirmation as attorney general, seen here asking her is she would bend to political pressure from then President Obama?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL), NOMINEE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL: If the views the president wants to execute are unlawful, should the attorney general or the

deputy attorney general say no?

SALLY YATES, FORMER ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: Senator, I believe the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow

the law and the constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the president.

ZELENY: In another swift move on Monday night, President Trump naming Thomas Homan as the new acting director of the U.S. immigration and customs

enforcement, demoting Dan Ragsdale to his previous position of deputy director.

Meantime the president's travel ban met with growing outrage in Washington and across the country. Only 10 days after leaving office, former President

Barack Obama weighing in, a spokesman saying "The protests are exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake." Trump's White House

slamming any opposition, telling dissenting State Department officials to quit their posts if they disagree with the policy.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that they should either get with the program or they can go.

ZELENY: All of this as President Trump moves up his Supreme Court nomination announcement by two days, scheduling a primetime address


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you will be very impressed with this person.


ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee expected to vote on Jeff Sessions

nomination following a week-long delay.

You're watching live pictures now from Capitol Hill. The 70-year-old senator from Alabama has being a close adviser to President Trump on

national security administration. He won't be in the room, though, for the vote.

Speaking to CNN, Democratic Richard Blumenthal said he wished Sessions was going to be present to answer questions about the president's executive

order on immigration.

An awful lot going on, including this: the president lashing out at Democrats for failing to quickly confirm Sessions as attorney general. He

tweeted, and I quote, when will the Democrats give us our attorney general and rest of cabinet! They should be ashamed of themselves! No wonder D.C.

doesn't work," you guessed it, exclamation mark.

In another tweet, he criticized the rally held by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer noting that a microphone wasn't working saying, quote, "it was a

mess, just like the Democratic Party!"

Well, Nancy Pelosi responded by calling the president thin-skinned.

The House Minority Leader says Mr. Trump's, quote, immoral executive order is clearly unconstitutional no matter how many times he tweets or how many

administration officials he fires."

Let's look at all of this, shall we. Jeff Zeleny joining me now and we have our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott in the House for the

latest from the State Department.

Jeff, let's start with you. It may be immoral to Nancy Pelosi's remarks, but is anybody worked out in the end yet whether this executive order was


ZELENY: Well, the judges and the courts will ultimately decide if it's legal or not. Of course, this White House believes it is legal. They say

it was, in fact, reviewed by the office of legal counsel at the Justice Department.

But of course, there is a big disagreement about this, that's why you saw the acting attorney general say she would not enforce it, so she was

summarily fired, really, in an extraordinary turn of events in the last 12 hours or so at the White House, unlike any we've seen in terms of one

attorney general, the acting one being fired and then one other appointed.

But, look, the courts will have the final answer on this. We simply don't know if it was or not. But the president, as we know, talking to legal

experts and reading this ourselves, presidents have wide latitude on executive orders like this. The religion specifically may be one area that

may have constitutional issues, but that will be up to the courts to decide.

ANDERSON: Jeff, stand by, because we do await word on Sessions, of course. The administration, Elise, saying that career diplomats who don't get with

the program should get out. How is that going down behind closed doors in Washington?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORREPSONDENT: Well, it's not going down well at all, Becky, because this is the tradition of the State Department is that these

career diplomats -- and some of them have served back to the Nixon administration, OK, through Democratic and Republican administrations, they

serve regardless of party. They serve whoever the president is at this time and the

department that they work for.

And diplomats I've talked to say that those comments don't really kind of show an understanding of what this whole dissent is about.

Now, this dissent memo that started with about a dozen career diplomats and civil servants have now grown to more than 100. This was a channel, it's

called the dissent channel, and it was set up during the Vietnam War for diplomats and career foreign service and civil service to voice concern

about major foreign policy issues without fear of reprisal or recrimination or harassment. And,so, this is what that is.

I mean, it harkens back to Vietnam. It was used during the Iraq War under President Bush. Last year you remember some 50 diplomats sent a dissent

channel message to Secretary Kerry about the U.S. policy in Syria. They thought that there was too much inaction and Secretary Kerry met with them.

So, this is all coming around the time that there is no leadership at the State Department. There's an acting secretary. But not only is Rex

Tillerson, the incoming secretary of state not officially confirmed yet, but there's really a very thin bench of upper management to deal with this.

And so, you have a real revolt, almost, at the State Department about what's going on. The fact that they were not consulted at all. They were

really just kind of shown this when we were in the media. And so, they didn't know what to tell their you know, embassies. Usually what would

happen is the State Department would call in all the ambassadors to talk about this measure, how it could be implemented, how these State Department

would work with them. None of that happened.

So, it's not only about the policy itself that these diplomats argue not only won't keep America safe, but will actually prevent efforts to combat

terrorism because the loss of cooperation from those important countries, the anti-American sentiment it is going to cause, the lack of revenue.

They're saying the way this was done really does not do anybody a service and in fact hurts the U.S.

[10:10:19] ANDERSON: Jeff, decisions, then, coming thick and fast. And as many describe in a wild and chaotic fashion from this president's new


He has met with at least three finalists for the Supreme Court as well. Who are they? And what do we know about their politics and/or ideologies?

ZELENY: Well, Becky, we know that this is the biggest decision that any president can make to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. And of

course, this is to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, rock- ribbed conservative. So, you can assume and be guaranteed that a nominee will be Scalia-like in terms of how they view the law, will be

conservative, will have that view.

But they also need to get confirmed by Republicans, as well as a handful of Democrats.

So, we are told that the two finalists for this position, that will be announced tonight are two federal judges. One from Colorado. His name is

Neil Gorsuch, and the other from Pittsburgh. They're both on the bench right now. His name is Thomas Hardeman.

The leading contenders are those two out of a few others.

But look, this is going to be a fascinating Supreme Court fight and this immigration order and executive order that the president signed last

Friday will be front and center in these confirmation hearings, as well, when the senators ask them their view of is this legal or not.

So, everything is mixed here and we're going to see this replayed for months to come in the

biggest fight of this young administration -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. To both of you, we really appreciate it.

The analysis out of Washington for you tonight.

Well, from Istanbul to Islamabad, Britain to Berlin, U.S. allies around the world are condemning Donald Trump's immigration policies.

In London, protesters like these denounced the travel ban, shouting Donald Trump has got to

go. An online petition to cancel Mr. Trump's state visit to the UK has now got more than 1.6 million signatures. London's Mayor Sadiq Khan, himself a

Muslim, will later lead the call for world leaders to reject the policy, which he calls cruel, prejudiced and counterproductive.

And in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemning the ban. She says protecting against terrorism doesn't justify religious discrimination.

Well, CNN's Atika Shubert is going to get you the view from Berlin in a moment.

First, though, my colleague Nina Dos Santos joining us from London for more on what were these widespread protests that we've first seen there.

And Nina, the British foreign minister himself Boris Johnson called Trump's actions, quote divisive and wrong, but not wrong enough, it seems to recede

an invitation to Mr. Trump to travel to the UK for a state visit, correct?

This was an invitation extended by the Prime Minister Theresa May.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN MONEY: Yes, extended on behalf of her majesty, the queen. So, this is set to be and is still set to be the full pomp and

regalia, if you like, of a state visit. Normally it takes quite a time for U.S. presidents to be extended this unique honor. It takes a long time to

set up these kind of visits and sometimes some of them never actually get a chance to do it within their first term in visit.

But of course Donald Trump has really had the red carpet rolled out here by Theresa May, because obviously she knows that she needs other economic

allies after Brexit.

The latest news I can tell you that's just come through in the last hour or so, Becky, as that we now know that there will be debate here in the House

of Commons behind me on February 20 about whether or not that state visit should take place. The reason for that is because of these dueling

petitions that have gathered so many signatures.

You mentioned it yourself before, 1.6 million people have backed that petition online urging the government to retract that invitation for a

state visit to Donald Trump, but there are still about 110,000 people who are signing up to another competing petition saying that Donald Trump

should be awarded this particular invitation here and this particular honor of coming here to

meet with the queen.

Now, in the meantime, what we've seen is one of the most senior former civil servants, the head of the foreign office at one point over the last

six years, no less, wading into the debate to save her majesty, the queen, perhaps, some embarrassment here. Because remember that she's been put in

an awkward political position being apolitical here.

Lord Ricketts has been speaking to the Times of London newspaper writing an open letter here saying this that invitation to Donald Trump extended so

quickly was highly unprecedented and that now the government should just pause and wait.

Here's a snippet of what he's had to say, "it would have been far wiser to wait and see what sort president he would turn out to have been before

advising the queen to invite him. Now the queen is put in a very difficult position."

Lord Ricketts goes on to say that perhaps it might be best to downgrade this visit to just a Theresa May-Donald Trump one-on-one political leaders

meeting and then extend the honor of a proper state visit within about three years from now.

But in the meantime, I should point out, there's also as you mentioned Boris Johnson the current

foreign secretary saying that, well, the queen will take this in her stride. He was in the House of Commons this time yesterday saying she had

all sorts of people over, including Robert Mugabe and his Predecessor William Hague, the former foreign secretary. He's also said, well, look,

Nicolae Ceausescu, the former Romanian dictator in Communist times, was also awarded a state visit. So, she can cope with many despots.

So, there are obviously despot is a difficult word to write in the same sentence as the new U.S. president.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Nina.

Let's get to Atika for a kind of broader look at how Europe is reacting to this. We've heard this condemnation voiced by the German leader. Is that

mirrored across the continent? Is this Europe united against this travel ban? Because (inaudible) given the number of countries who are looking to

push for closed borders at this point, it might be deemed quite hypocritical.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we've seen certainly condemnation from Merkel. And keep in mind, Chancellor Merkel

was I think perhaps the only world leader to tell Donald Trump personally on the phone that she felt that this travel ban was wrong and that it

violated international law, according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees.

So, it's -- she has been very clear and we've seen condemnation from other European leaders, but not from political opposition leaders. In fact, from

Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, for example, of course they have voiced support for this immigration ban.

So, you're right that there is some division here. Overwhelmingly, however, what we've seen in Germany is that most people are looking at

what's happening with the immigration ban and wondering what's happening, especially when it affects more than 130,000 duel nationals here in Germany

affected by that.

So, I don't think it's a united Europe position, but I think it is true that across Europe, what you're seeing is confusion as to what's happening

in the U.S.

But, you're right, countries like Austria, for example, have been calling for closed borders for

some time. So, there is some sympathy to the point of actually getting control over borders, but not for banning travel from certain countries


ANDERSON: Thank you, Atika. Atika is in Berlin and Nina, of course, in London for you


For the first time since Mr. Trump came to power, then, a member of America's military has

been killed in combat. I'm going to you what we are finding out in a live report from the Pentagon up next.


ANDERSON: In the waters off the coast of Yemen, this video seems to show the moment one of three suicide boats sent by Houthi rebels who are backed

by Iran smashes into a Saudi warship. Two people aboard the ship were killed and three others were wounded.

Well, you'll know that America has been helping Saudi Arabia's fight in Yemen, helping refuel its warplanes and selling them weapons. But

Washington is mostly been keeping its distance from the battlefield that is until this past weekend. For the first time in more

than two years, America's new commander-in-chief Donald Trump sent special forces there on a raid against

al Qaeda in which this 36-year-old U.S. commando William Ryan Owens was killed. Six others were wounded.

For more details on that, let's cross to the Pentagon where CNN's Ryan Brown is working his sources for us -- Ryan.

RYAN BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, yes, that's right. I mean, this U.S. service member was fatally wounded during this raid that was kind of

the first counterterror raid approved by new President Donald Trump.

Now, this was a very complex operation, what's called a site exploitation mission, which is designed to gather as much intelligence about the terror

group as possible. It is a very complex op, so it was planned weeks in advance during the Obama administration, but our sources tell us it was, in

fact, green lit by President Trump.

Now, the mission, of course, encountered a lot more resistance than anticipated, which kind of resulted in a very tense firefight leading to

the fatal wound suffered by the U.S. Navy SEAL as well as three additional service members being wounded and about 14 al Qaeda

fighters being killed.

ANDERSON: All right, Ryan, thank you for that.

Even with all the carnage in Yemen, bullets and bombs aren't the most deadly threat there: starvation is. These images of these emaciated kids

were taken less than a week ago. And numbers from the United Nations shows that he is just one -- this shot, just one of well over 3 million people, 3

million people, most of them are children, who are badly malnourished there.

Well, let's speak to the representative to Yemen from the UN's agency for children.

Meritxell Relano joining us now live from Geneva. And thank you for that.

Just how bad are things in Yemen?

MERITXELL RELANO, YEMEN REPRESENTATIVE UNICEF: I would say that the situation is dramatic. We have 2.2 million children now with malnutrition

in the country and out of those 462 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

This is three times the rate as we had three years ago actually in 2014. And the situation is equally worrisome in the north of the country, even in

big areas such as (inaudible) and even in the south. So, the situation is really dramatic.

ANDERSON: You have said as an agency that Yemen has lost a decade's worth of gains in public health as a result of war and economic crises. And you

see the number of kids coming to malnutrition increasing all the time. What is it going to take to reverse that dramatic headline?

RELANO: It's very important to invest in preventing the collapse of the health system. This is one of the main factors. Definitely we need to

have access to food in the country, but also the health system needs to be upgraded in order to provide support to all those children.

In addition, we are continuing the support to restoring water and sanitation and education to

the families in order to improve the quality of the care of the children.

But, basically, is the health system that needs to be improved.

[10:25:04] ANDERSON: But all is a serious conflict ongoing there. We all know that. We've just been reporting on the very latest from that


Last August, Doctors Without Borders pulled its teams out of northern Yemen after this air strike on one of its hospitals there explaining that

decision then, the group wrote, that the bombing was the, quote, "fourth and deadliest on MSF supported facility during this war. While there have

been numerous attacks on other health facilities and services all over Yemen."

That was MSF's statement.

Since then, they have left, and others have, too. How hard are you, yourselves, finding it on the ground?

RELANO: Indeed. There has been at least 92 attacks against health centers. UNICEF is working with a network of partners actually reaching

all of the health facilities actually that are functioning at the moment in the country. So, we are managing to reach all the 22 governates in the

country with basic health interventions, actually for children and mothers.

So, we are thankfully reaching, also, through the mobile teams and outreaching the latest

campaigns for the most remote areas and the children that are caught in active conflict.

ANDERSON: Yemen, of course, one of the countries that is on the travel ban list in this very divisive executive order that's been published by Donald

Trump, signed by Donald Trump.

There will be people on the ground in Yemen who will be desperate to get out. What's your message to Donald Trump on Yemen tonight?

RELANO: The situation of the children in Yemen is really dramatic. So, we welcome any help that the donor countries can provide. We have done great

things together in terms of vaccination, in terms of nutritional supplies, and we hope that all the countries, including the people of the U.S.,

continue to help the work of UNICEF.

ANDERSON: All right. With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us tonight.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, the man who is set to be the next U.S. top diplomat may have an Iraqi problem. Why Rex

Tillerson's old job may complicate his new one.



[10:31:57] ANDERSON: Well, the architect of many of Donald Trump's executive actions so far is a man by the name of Steve Bannon.

Well, now Mr. Trump has made him a permanent member of the National Security Council. Here's why that is garnering criticism. The council is

traditionally a politics' free zone and Bannon is Trump's political adviser. It's raising questions about Bannon's

influence in the White House overall.

Jeff Zelemy on the story for you.


ZELENY (voice-over): Steve Bannon is the White House chief strategist, but even that title may not do justice to his influence in the West Wing. He is

driving decisions on every piece of President Trump's agenda, domestic and foreign, including the president's immigration order and travel ban that

sparked a global backlash. But it's his elevation to a permanent spot on the National Security Council that's outraging even many Republicans,

questioning why he has a seat alongside the secretary of state and defense secretary in the inner sanctum of national security.

The president said in a weekend memo the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of national intelligence will no longer have a standing

seat on the group as the Principals Committee.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who has served eight presidents said it was an unprecedented move.

ROBERT GATES, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think pushing them out of the National Security Council meetings, except when their specific issues are

at stake, is a big mistake. I think that they both bring a perspective and judgment and experience to bear that every president, whether they like it

or not, finds useful.

ZELENY: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer brushed aside criticism as utter nonsense. He drew a comparison to David Axelrod, a senior adviser to

President Obama, who attended some national security meetings. Yet, Axelrod never had a permanent seat on the council.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This administration is trying to make sure that we don't hide things, wait for them to come out after the

fact. So, it recognizes the role that he's going to play. But Steve is not be in every meeting. Like Axelrod, he'll come in and out.

ZELENY: Bannon is unfazed by the controversy. In fact, a person close to him tells CNN he thrives on it. Bannon sees his role as disrupting the

establishment, Republicans included, and putting his ideological imprint on the Trump's presidency.

He calls himself a nationalist, who says Trump could create a new populist movement.

STEVE BANNON, BREITBART NEWS DAILY: This whole movement, it's really the top first inning.

ZELENY: He joined Trump's team last August, taking lead from leaving the conservative Breitbart News website. At 62, he has one of the loudest

voices in the White House who is rarely heard or seen outside, except now at the president's side. He is a former naval officer. Goldman Sachs

investment banker and Hollywood movie producer who drew attention of conservatives with this Ronald Reagan film in 2004.

RONALD REAGAN, 40TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the traditional motion picture story, the villains are usually defeated and the ending is a

happy one. I can make no such promise for the picture you're about to watch.

ZELENY: Last week, Bannon told the "New York Times", "The media here is the opposition party."

One day later, the president echoed the same sentiment to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the media is the opposition party in many ways.

ZELENY: Jeff Zelemy, CNN, Washington.


ANDERSON: Well, another close Trump associate under scrutiny Rex Tillerson, the presumed next secretary of state. He is expect tad be

confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the top U.S. diplomat this week.

Now, prior to his nomination, Tillerson ran Exxonmobil, one of the world's largest oil companies.

Here is where Rex Tillerson's past and future collide, viewers. He helped get Exxonmobil the only U.S. oil license still operating in Iraq. Well,

now, Secretary of State Tillerson must defend the travel ban that, of course, includes Iraqs, and adding to the tension, Iraq is the sixth

biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

Let's bring in John Defterios into the discussion. John, what is at at stake for Exxonmobil in Iraq after the move by the White House imposing

this travel ban on Iraq.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: It wouldn't be fair to say that Exxonmobil put all its chips on Iraq, but it put $50 billion at play

in a joint venture with Shell, big chips in Basra. And that's what Rex Tillerson pushed ahead with.

This is going to cause problems for Exxonmobil and five other U.S. oil companies operating in

the Kurdish north region where Exxonmobil is also present.

But Exxonmobil, in particular, made a very strong play. Rex Tillerson went into southern

Iraq first after he secured that $50 billion joint venture, he rolled the dice and went north and this caused tensions with Baghdad afterwards. And

in fact that majority stake that he was holding in Basra and a field that produces better than 370,000 billion barrels a day he had to reduce from 60

percent down to 25 percent.

Now, nobody is suggesting the contracts will be canceled as result of this or even rewritten, but everybody knows it's a high-stakes game and this is

going to cause tensions between the two. There's also a bigger picture at play, not just Iraq, but an interesting figure that U.S. bilateral trade

within the Muslim world. And we've talked about this market, better than a billion

consumers, was $220 billion in 2015 and shot up in the first half of 2016. It's a fast-growing market to include the Middle East stretching down to

Southeast Asia.

Is this is in jeopardy now because of the travel ban? I know it's temporary, but what sort of signal does it send to the Muslim community


ANDERSON: You make a very good point.

Let's get back to Iraq because President Trump muddying the waters with his comments on

Iraq's oil assets even before this travel ban, John. Just explain.

DEFTERIOS: Yes, it was a shot for Iraq. President Trump was suggesting after he was elected and on a visit to the CIA that the U.S. should have

seized the oil assets of Iraq when they invaded in 2003. If that wasn't enough, he followed it up in the CIA briefing to officials there suggesting

in a quote, maybe we'll have another chance.

Now, if you interpret that, and I don't want to go overboard here, but that's occupation again to

seize the oil assets. So, needless to say Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister of Iraq, came out swinging, if you will. And he said there is no

chance oil is constitutionally the property of Iraq and anything to the contrary is actually not a reality.

Bounce this off of two Iraqi sources that I know, one a policymaker and the other is the CEO. The CEO suggested to me, and I thought this was

interesting, he said the unguarded remarks are alarming and could even undermine the efforts by the U.S. and Iraq to root out ISIS out of Mosul.

Isf you don't have that trust in the battle for Mosul and you put this on the table, it causes tensions and the policymaker suggests that this is a

high-stakes mind game by Donald Trump, which would undermine the trust between the parties.

So, these things, they carry a lot of weight, as you know. And it surprised the Iraqis, but they haven't given up any ground on it, of


ANDERSON: This may be a negotiation. All of what we are seeing and hearing at present may be negotiation.

DEFTERIOS: Which, (inaudible) a transactional president.

ANDERSON: This is a transactional president as we are well aware.

But this is very, very messy and as you say, high stakes.

Just before I let you go tonight, former Texan governor Rick Perry one step closer to becoming

Trump's energy secretary. What are we learning about U.S. energy policy going forward here?

DEFTERIOS: Well, in fact, this is a pro-oil and gas president that he's put the former governor of Texas into the position of energy secretary. I

think it's rather ironic. When he was running for president, Rick Perry said he wanted to eliminate that department entirely. He didn't think it

was worthwhile.

But if you actually go back and look at his record, he was actually pro- natural gas, rebuilt the infrastructure in Texas, which is girding itself to be an exporter of natural gas in the world. Another, if you want a

funny twist, he's actually helped build the pipelines for export of Texas natural gas, which is

in abundance and a very low cost at this stage into Mexico starting at 2017 and 2018.

ANDERSON: What happens when they build that wall, then?

DEFTERIOS: That's exactly my question.

ANDERSON: Do they go under?

DEFTERIOS: There are benefits to having that partnership with Mexico. And exporting natural gas next year.

[10:40:00] ANDERSON: It's fascinating, John, always a pleasure. In the house, Mr. Defterios for you this evening. And you can dive much deeper

into some of what we've been discussing here.

Rex Tillerson and Exxonmobil's dealings in Iraq, we've got an in depth look at the oil company's dealings and the rough road it's taken to

be part of Iraq's oil industry. That is and click on Money.

What is Exxonmobil doing in Iraq? Article is there for you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. Coming up, a story of hope. Young girls and sold as sex slaves in bogus marriages. We'll

meet a band of women who have made it their mission to save them.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now, yesterday we told you about the staggering number of children sold into sexual slavery. Among them, young girls sold into forced marriages

spending their childhoods and beyond enduring all manner of abuse. Well, today, we meet an army of women in southern India who risk their own lives

to save these child brides.

CNN Muhammad Lila follows along on their mission.


MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a tiny office on a rundown street in Hyderabad, a group of women are plotting a daring

operation. They are putting on hidden cameras hoping to catch a human trafficker in the act of selling a young girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to be very fast. When you are going behind those, we have to be very fast. Walk straight (inaudible) you should not

give the impression that you are (inaudible).

LILA: These are the women of Shaheen, an NGO that helps rescue and prevent underage girls from being sold into forced marriages. Jameela Nishat (ph)

started Shaheen (ph) more than 20 years ago.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: I got into the work because I wanted my dream to come true.

LILA: What's your dream?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dream is that every girl be happy and enjoy her life to the maximum and feel free.

LILA: after rescuing girls, Shaheen helps to rehabilitate them, teaching them skills like tailoring, applying henna or how to use computers: all to

help them become financially independent.

How many girls do you think you have helped?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Directly? At least more than 100. But indirectly, almost 1,000.

LILA: All of the women here have stories of physical and sexual abuse, many were sold against their will to wealthy tourists, part of an

underground network that targets poor villagers so desperate for money they'll sell their own daughters. Some were gang raped, nearly all were

given drugs sometimes by their own parents making them helpless, unable to stop what was happening.

Is it just a business transaction for them?

[10:45:17] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a business.

LILA: That's it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is just a legalized sex work. I call it that way.

LILA: Legalized sex work?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): After coming to Shaheen I got strength.

LILA: One of the girls that Shaheen rescued was Manira Begam (ph) She says she was just 12 years old when her parents sold her to an Arab man who

was 70. She says he kept her locked up using her only for sex. When she became pregnant after a few months, he left her, telling her over the phone

something he knew all along: that he wasn't coming back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): I stared to cry a lot. I was in so much pain, I thought my life was useless. The last time, I tried to cut my


LILA: That's when Manira (ph) was rescued and taken in by Shaheen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): I owe a lot to Jameela ma'am. I used to cry so much but she wouldn't let me cry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the girls came and showed me all the wounds that she got on her body.

LILA: She had wounds?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had all over wounds, all over the body.

LILA: Most are sold in forced marriages where everyone is paid off -- the brokers, the clerics, even the girls' parents. But the girls themselves

are never given a choice.

Traffickers prey on poor Muslim families in Hyderabad, an Indian city with its largest Muslim population. Their customers are wealthy tourists from

the Middle East and Africa, regions that historically Hyderabad has had strong business ties with.

We're on our way to visit one of the most senior religious authorities here in Hyderabad. Let's see what he says.

We asked a senior Muslim cleric, Meir Muhammad Khadir (ph) if in Islam a girl could be

forced to get married without her consent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (subtitles): If the girl says no, it can't happen. Her consent is necessary.

LILA: But as the victims told us, their consent was taken into account, or they had no idea what was going on.

So if a top religious authority says girls can't be forced into a marriage, we wanted to know why it's still happening.

Hello, sir. Nice to meet you.

Vee Satnorayanan (ph) is the deputy police commissioner. He says the network of traffickers sends potential customers to Hyderabad.

Look, if this is an international criminal racket, why aren't the police doing more?

UNIDENITIFED MALE (subtitles): We are doing -- we are continuously doing, that's why the rampancy, whatever the degree of this occurrence has come

down, it has come down. And we want zero tolerance to this nasty criminal act.

LILA: Because only 5 percent of the police force are women, Shaheen and its volunteers have been taking matters into their own hands, running their

own sting operations, trying to catch known traffickers in the act and then giving their undercover footage to police forcing them to act.

When you look around at this house and all of the people here that you have helped, do you think you are making a difference?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully. I only think it is a drop in the ocean. We have to do a lot. We need to do a lot.

LILA: And as this group of women head out, they know it could be dangerous. But if it means saving lives, they all say, the risk is worth


Muhammad Lila, CNN, Hyderabad.


ANDERSON: Well in the time that you were listening to that report, another 20 children were forced into slavery. Yep, 20 kids forced into slavery

during Muhammad's report. That's why we're teaming up with young kids, young people from around the world for a unique student-led 24 hours of

action. We are launching my freedom day on March 14. Driving the day is a very simple question. What does freedom mean to you?


BOY: I come from Kenya. Freedom to me means going to school. What about you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think for me freedom is the ability to be yourself everywhere.

BOY: Do you know that (inaudible) freedom day? All kids need freedom to grow big and strong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) high school loves my freedom day.


ANDERSON: Right. Send us your answer via text to that question. Photo or video across social media using the #myfreedomday. That is the

#myfreedomday. And Wednesday the CNN Freedom Project will take you undercover with a group of women in India who are trying to catch human

traffickers in the act and get them off the streets.


[10:50:08] LILA: Inside this house they are posing as a mother and a group of friends, trying to sell two underage girls into a forced marriage for

the equivalent of just a few hundred dollars.

The house they are in belongs to a woman who is a well-known marriage broker. What the broker doesn't know is that across town, Jameela Neeshat

(ph) is listening in.


ANDERSON: More of their secret footage and what they found out Wednesday, all part of what is our Freedom Project series Brides for Sale. And that

is only, only on CNN.

I'm going to take a very short break. Back after this.


ANDERSON: Well, the day after Donald Trump's inauguration, the women across the planet marched in staggering numbers. They were of every age

and every color. But one protester stood out in red, white, and blue. You may have seen this stunning image over the past few days. At a time when

some Muslims in the U.S. are facing new challenges, this poster by artist Shepard Fairey is a powerful reminder of what an all-American woman can

look like.

But it isn't a face merely imagined by an artist, it is the face of a living, breathing woman. Her name is Munira Ahmed. She is seen here 10

years ago in a photo by Radwan Adhami (ph), one which she had no idea would later become almost iconic.

And we are pleased to say Munira joins us now from New York.

You have become an anti-Trump symbol. How do you feel about that?

MUNIRA AHMED, FEATURED IN TRUMP PROTEST POSTER: A lot of mixed feelings about that. It's interesting. The journey of the image, which, as you

mentioned, it was shot ten years ago. And the message then is still relevant today, you know, which is that you can and should be proud of

being Muslim and being American. You should not have to compromise either part of your identity and if that identity in and of itself creates anti-

anything sentiment, then I don't think the message is correct, you know.

I think it's about embracing that.

ANDERSON: So, you describe your emotions, though, as mixed. I'm interested to know why you feel mixed about this.

AHMED: Because well, you know, being that I exist as a woman who is American. I exist as a woman who is Muslim, I don't think either of those

things should make me or the image anti-anything, you know, although there are reasons for it. And I am very understanding of those reasons, I just

think it's more about just inclusion and embracing that there are so many different types of people who can identify as American and you should not

have to compromise religion, your culture to identify as American.

ANDERSON: And Munira, what makes this image so iconic is that you are wearing a head scarf. You don't wear a head scarf in your regular life, as

I understand it. Can you explain why?

[10:55:09] AHMED: The way I feel is that I have Islam in my heart. You know, i was born into a Muslim family. I was born with Muslim values and

ideals -- I mean, not born, but raised with Muslim values and Muslim ideals and I just feel that it's not mandated to have to cover your hair. There

are women in my family who do, one of my best friends does. I think it's beautiful if that is your choice to do it. And if you do feel honestly in

empowered, I don't think that is something you should have the freedom to do if so choose do that. If you choose not to, then, you know, you

shouldn't have to explain yourself either.

ANDERSON: Good for you. Good for you. Absolutely.

Listen, the Women's March drew together an incredible spectrum of women from political leaders to cultural icons. One of those was singer,

actress, and activist Cher who told CNN she marched to safeguard the progress she, herself, has fought for. Have a quick listen.


CHEF, SINGER/ACTRESS: If they have their way we'll go back to a time where we didn't have, we had no rights. You know. Asnd it's, like, how can we

go backwards? I can't go backwards.

I'm 70 years old and I know what it's like.


ANDERSON: Munira, how does it feel to have such incredible women like Cher marching behind your face?

AHMED: It feels surreal. I don't know how else to describe it. I mean, at first it was a little bit

overwhelming because, I didn't understand the scope of how far this image would be used until the day before the march. There was a rally that was

happening in McPherson Square and I happened to be walking that way and I started seeing groups and groups of women walking towards me carrying it.

And I just thought, it's happening. And it's like right in my face.

Of course the next day at the march it was, yeah I don't know. It was really cool, though, I'm like -- I'm so honored and I think it's beautiful

to see so many women who are not Muslim, who are not, you know, South Asia like I am or brown women, you know, everyone saw that as a relevant poster to hold.

They had a choice to pick any poster and any piece of art or message and they took this. So many women did. And that shows me that there is still

a lot of to be proud of and hopeful about.

ANDERSON: Good for you. Good for you. It's been an absolute joy to speak to you and what an image to go out of this show with. I'm Becky Anderson.

Thank you for that. And that was Connect the World. Thank you wherever you are watching for being with us.

CNN continues after this short break.