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Trump's Russia Problem; Amazon Buys Middle East's Largest Online Retailer; UN Says More Needs to be Done to Protect Civilians in Mosul; Theresa May Set to Hit Article 50 Button. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 28, 2017 - 11:00:00   ET



[11:00:14] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was a conduit to leaders.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Trump's Russia problem reaches his inner circle. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, offers to explain his meeting with a

Kremlin-linked banker. We're live in Washington for you in a moment to get the very latest on this investigation inot the Trump team's alleged ties to


Also, ahead this hour for you.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In an effort to protect themselves a lot of families would cram into homes that they believed would

be the sturdiest.


ANDERSON: Death from the skies and ISIS snipers, the United Nations says hundreds

of people have died in Mosul recently, including in U.S.-led air strikes.

Plus, snapping up What does Amazon's acquisition of the Middle East's biggest

online retailer mean for shoppers? Details ahead.

You're very welcome this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson at just after 7:00 in the evening here. Donald Trump calls the whole thing a hoax,

but new revelations involving contacts with Russia are only darkening the cloud over the White House.

We've now learned that Jared Kushner, one of the president's inner circle met last year with the head of a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions.

Now that banker has ties to the Russian government. And Vladmir Putin himself. As Sara Murray now reports, Kushner could soon become the first

Trump aide currently in the White House to testify before congressional investigators.


SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers Jared Kushner under scrutiny for a

previously undisclosed meeting with Sergey Gorkov, the chairman of a state- run Russian bank with direct ties to the Kremlin. Kushner offering to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence

Committee, both about this interaction and his role in arranging meetings between Trump campaign advisers and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

SPICER: Based on the media frenzy that existed around this, he volunteered to make sure that they -- he said, "Hey, we've made some contacts. I'd be

glad to explain them."

MURRAY: The White House insisting Kushner was acting as a liaison from the transition team when he met with Gorkov.

SPICER: Jared did a job during the transition in the campaign, where he was a conduit and to -- to leaders. And that's until we had a State Department

function in place for people to go.

MURRAY: The Russian bank offering a conflicting account, describing the sit-down as a business meeting, telling CNN, "During 2016, the bank's

management repeatedly met with representatives of the world's leading financial institutions, including the head of Kushner Companies, Jared


Gorkov was appointed to his post at the Russian bank by President Vladimir Putin. It's a bank that's been under U.S. sanctions for three years, since

Russia took over Crimea.

Kushner met with Gorkov one month after Trump was elected at the insistence of Ambassador Kislyak, who Kushner met with in Trump Tower earlier that


The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirming they want to talk to Kushner, saying in a joint statement, "The timing is still being

determined but will only come after the committee determines that it has received any documents or information necessary to ensure the meeting is

productive for all sides."

If it happens, Kushner would become the first person currently serving in the Trump White House to speak to a congressional committee investigating

Russian ties.


ANDERSON: Well, we don't know when Kushner may testify. But the senate intelligence

committee holds its first public hearing on Thursday. The House intelligence committee also looking into Russia ties, as you may be well

aware, but it's canceled all meetings this week as its Republican chairman is caught up in a fire storm of controversy himself.

Democrats want him to step down. But David Nunes told CNN a short time ago, he is moving forward with the investigation.

Let's bring in White House correspondent Sara Murray. Fire fighting fires, as it were, again on its alleged ties to Russia. The White House has

described as nefarious. Jaren Kushner's meeting with the Russian ambassador, at least.

Did he volunteer to speak before this intelligence committee? And just explain how significant

Kushner's testifying will be?

[11:05:10] MURRAY: Well, the Senate intelligence committee made clear they wanted to speak with Jared Kushner and the White House has said he's

willing to be forthcoming about this. We expect this to be private meeting. If they are scheduled, we're not necessarily expecting a public

hearing on this matter.

But it is significant, because it would be the only person who is currently serving in this administration to come forward to speak to the Senate

Intelligence Committee about the president's ties to Russia, his associate's ties to Russia. And it's also telling just because of how

close Jared Kushner is to the president himself. He's not just a very close adviser, he's also the president's son-in-law. And so it would

certainly be significant if this see him meet with Senate intelligence investigators.

ANDERSON: And with the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee also

under fire, just describe if you will, to our viewers who may not be keeping up with the machinations of the day-to-day goings on as it were in

Washington, just what the consequences for the White House could be over all of this?

SURRAY: Well, it's hard to say what the consequences could be because it's hard to say exactly what's going on. All we've seen the House Intelligence

Committee chairman essentially providing the president a little bit of air cover for insisting he was wire-tapped. Now, there is no actual proof ot

that, but we saw Devin Nunes come to the White House. He reviewed some intelligence and then the next day he came and did a press conference here

about that information before briefing his colleagues on the committee. Obviously, that's not sitting well with them. And now a number of

documents have called for him to step down. My colleague, Manu Raju caught up with him on the Hill today and asked him about that. Take a listen to

what he said.


MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Are you going to stay as chairman and run this investigation?

REP. DEVIN NUNES, (R) CALIFORNIA: Well, why would I not? You guys need to go ask them why these things are being said.

RAJU: Can this investigation continue as you as chairman?

NUNES: Why would it not? Aren't I briefing you guys continuously and keeping you up to speed?

RAJU: But they're saying that it cannot run as you as chair...

NUNES: You have got to go talk to them. That sounds like their problem. I don't have. You know, my colleagues are perfectly fine. I mean, they

know we're doing an investigation and that will continue.


MURRAY: Now, the senate, the House, the FBI, all are investigating Russia's meddling

in the 2016 election as well as any ties between Trump associates and suspected Russian operatives.

So, the key question that Devin Nunes' colleagues have for him as chairman of the House intelligence committee is are you there leading a good faith

investigation into this or are you simply acting as a surrogate for the White House? Back to you.

ANDRESON: Sara Murray is in Washington for you. Thank you.

I'm going to get you to the battle for Mosul now in Iraq. Concerns growing about the rising death toll among civilian who are caught up in the

crossfire there. The United Nations human rights chief says more than 300 people were killed in Western Mosul in recent

weeks. A March 17 strike and what the Iraqi army says was an ISIS truck packed with explosives is under intense scrutiny.

A senior Iraqi military officer says the U.S.-led coalition launched the attack. The U.S. military is investigating. 112 bodies have been pulled

from the rubble at the site.

Well, Amnesty International says Iraqi authorities repeatedly warned residents to remain in their

homes, leading them trapped and unable to flee.

CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon reports now on the complex fight to retake western Mosul from is in the middle of a city

packed with civilians.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are a few neighborhoods away from where the vast majority of the incidents being

investigated by both the Iraqis and the Americans took place, but it just gives you a bit of an idea of the intensity of the battles that were

happening here. Entire streets like this one have been completely destroyed. We have a massive crater, presumably because of an airstrike,

Becky, or maybe it could have been a suicide car or truck bomb.

But either way when you think about the fact that the vast majority of the civilians that lived in neighborhoods like this one, and that sound, if you

heard it that's mortars going overhead being fired by the Iraqis deeper into the neighborhoods in Mosul where the front line is much more active

than it is here.

But when you think about the fact that the vast majority of civilians in these areas, they were not able to flee even though yes the Iraqi

government did encourage people to stay home to a certain degree, something that many are criticizing them for at this stage, people were being held

hostage by ISIS as human shields.

The destruction that we're seeing in the western part of the Mosul much more widespread, much vaster than it was in the eastern part of the city.

Now, a number of incidents are being investigated that took place between 17 and 22 March. The UN human rights chief just said that according to

their information more than 300 civilians died in that timespan. And there are still hundreds of thousands of people, Becky, that are stuck in these

neighborhoods. We earlier today spoke to a woman, one of the few civilians that we've seen in this particular area. And even though it has been

liberated, she said that she stayed behind because the day before liberation happened, ISIS came and took her husband away. And, Becky,

she's really, really hoping he's going to somehow come back home.


[11:10:51] ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting there on west Mosul.

Let's cross to Rome. Our veteran war correspondent Ben Wedeman is there. You'll know that he recently covered the battle for Mosul and has some

insight for us.

And as Arwa is reporting and you hear the sound of gun fire and what is likely bombs, one can

only imagine the scene and life for civilians. Describe, if you will, what it is that -- what is it, tens if

not hundreds of thousands of people, Ben, are still going through?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: According to some estimates, there's anywhere between 400,000 and 600,000 civilians still inside the

parts of Mosul ISIS control. And existence is difficult, to say the least.

Now, we spoke to people, for instance, who had spent almost two weeks in their basements huddling during - while the fighting was going on around

them. People getting by, eating sort of a thin gruel of flour and water. One mother we spoke to, for instance, told us that she gave her children and the elderly members of her family

sleeping medicine so they would basically sleep as the battle raged around them.

In many parts of Mosul there is no electricity, there is no running water. There is very little food available. And all the while you have the battle

going on around them. And what we saw in western Mosul was a level of firepower being used by the Iraqi military, by the coalition that we simply

did not witness when they were fighting in the eastern part of the city.

And as we saw and heard in that report from Arwa, yes, the Iraqis are using mortars. Mortars are not a very precise weapon in an urban environment

where you have hundreds of thousands of civilians among the fighters.

ANDERSON: Ben, Amnesty suggesting the U.S.-led coalition is not taking adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths as it battles ISIS

alongside Iraqi ground forces.

What's your response when you read that report?

WEDEMAN: Not surprised. I mean, they're sort of stating the obvious, that, yes, you're talking about a densely populated urban area which is an

active battle zone in which the United States-led coalition and the Iraqis are using all the firepower at their disposal to try to drive ISIS out.

But it's inevitable that there are going to be civilian casualties.

The question is has there been a change in the attitude of, for instance, the United States about how they're going to be using the firepower. We

know on the 28th of January, the Trump administration asked commanders to look at the possibility of loosening up some of the restrictions when it

came to how air strikes were made in Syria and Iraq.

U.S. officials, however, are denying that there's been any fundamental change to the rules for air

strikes in those areas - Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman, recently in Mosul, reporting for you today from his base in Rome. Thank you, Ben.

Iran and Russia taking steps to strengthen their already growing relationship it seems. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met earlier with

the Russian President Vladmir Putin in Moscow. The two nations have grown closer lately, partly over their mutual support of Syrian President Bashar


For more on the meeting, Matthew Chance joining us now from Moscow. And what do we expect these talks likely to have touched on?

[11:15:01] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIOAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're expected to formally at least be talking about the economic relationship

between the two countries. They've already signed a few mutual agreements.

And of course, there's a growing, burgeoning economic relationship between these two countries. The Kremlin says trade is up 70 percent in the last

12 months between Iran and Russia. Russia has been integral in building Iran's network of nuclear reactors that it's planning throughout its

countries, build one already. It's planning to build several more.

It's a military defense supplier as well. Russia has controversially sold Iran advanced surface-to-air missiles, the S-300s. And Iran has taken

delivery of those.

But undoubtedly, all of these talks are going to be overshadowed by the growing political, diplomatic and military relationship between these two

countries, particularly in Syria, because remember, both of these countries have been instrumental in propping up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Iran's been deploying vast numbers of its land forces inside Syria, while Russia had been providing the air power.

And together, they've stood against the will of the international community in many regards, and kept up the regime of Basher al-Assad.

ANDRESON: Matthew Chance, in Moscow for you on what is a developing story.

Still to come tonight on this show.


VALERIE AMOS, SOAS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: War, even war, has rules. So those have got to be adhered to.


ANDERSON: In the battle for Mosul, how to defeat ISIS while protecting civilians caught up in the middle of the fight? We explore that question

up next.


ANDERSON: Fleeing for their lives, residents of southwestern Mosul are escaping the city as Iraqi forces advance on ISIS backed by U.S. air power.

These people managed to get out. They're not alone. The battle for Mosul has been a fierce fight since October and the effort to defeat the terror

group has displaced nearly 300,000 people.

Well, earlier, I sat down with Baroness Valerie Amos. She is the director of SOAS, University of London. And the former UN humanitarian chief.

And I began by asking her about tenuous efforts to protect civilians caught up in the fighting.


AMOS: This is a huge failure and it's something that over the years if we are not able to actually bring an end to this kind of conflict, I fear we

will only get worse. And it's too much of a price to pay.

I think the world has still not worked out how to defeat these terrorists organizations, but basically will do anything, will actually stand behind

civilians for protection, will actually stay in those homes so that there is a complete muddle in the fog of conflict about who is a terrorist and

who is not. And it puts the onus on the forces that are trying to do the liberation to be even more careful.

And I know it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but they have to do that.

We re the ones, the countries who are engaged in this, as the ones who have signed up to those international conventions, who know how important it is

to protect civilians.

I saw when I was at the United Nations how schools were being used, how children were being

recruited. We cannot fall into looking as if we condone that kind of behavior in any way.

[11:21:04] ANDERSON: Unfortunately, war and carnage in the Middle East not limited by any stretch of the imagination to Iraq.

I want to get to Yemen. Two years of fighting there has killed thousands of people. Your successor at the UN, Steven O'Brien, says and I quote,

"man made conflict has brought Yemen to the brink of famine today. Nearly 19 million Yemenis, over two thirds of

the population need humanitarian assistance, seven million are facing starvation."

Famine and starvation in 2017.

AMONS: It's disgraceful, isn't it? I don't think any of us can believe this. I saw this in Somalia.

The huge impact and consequences on every single person affected - on families, communities, indeed on the whole country, and on surrounding

countries. And I cannot believe that we watched this happen in Somalia, and that we're watching this happen in Yemen. But also three other

countries as well.

Look at what is happening in South Sudan, and we have yet to find a way of really bringing a weight to play in helping to resolve these countries.

I'm really concerned that we're living in a world where so many countries, so many regions are turning inward and where the kind of international and

global leadership that we need to help to resolve these kinds of challenges is absolutely...

ANDERSON: Who do you blame for that?

AMOS: I blame us all in a way. You know, there is a sense that we get the leaders that we deserve. I don't entirely agree with that.

But I do think that the way politically we have handled challenges in the past -- and I think of my own country, the United Kingdom, and where we are

now in relation to Brexit, and we'll probably come on to this, is a consequence of some political failures historically.

And I include the government of which I was a part in that as well. Because I think that people were crying out for help and support from their

governments, that they give us messages that we don't necessarily hear.

ANDERSON: Let's talk Brexit. You put your name to an open letter with some other university leaders, reading that leaving the EU would, and I

quote, "undermine our" -- that's the UK's "position as a global leader in science and innovation, impoverish our campuses and limit opportunities for

British people."

Now, that the road to Brexit is upon us, do you still that of the future?

AMOS: Yes, I do.

But I also think that we have to do as much as we can to insure that it doesn't happen to the

extent to which we think it will.

I'll give you an example in terms of SOAS, the university of which I'm director. We're very global. We have students from over 130 countries.

Our staff and this is our faculty as well as our professional services staff come from over 90 countries, many of them from

the European Union, but other parts of the world.

Collaboration and partnership is at the heart of what we do. Diversity is at the heart of what we do. We could not be as good as we are in combining

the kind of expertise that we have in the regions in which we specialize, and in the subjects in which we specialize, without that international


ANDERSON: So, what do you do to mitigate that, because Brexit is upon us?

AMOS: Brexit is upon us. Part of what we've all been doing is making sure that we argue through, as it were, the university's trade body,

universities of the UK, to put the strong messages to government about the fact that the policy that they make makes a difference. Our visa policy,

but also the rhetoric around who we are as Britain and what we're about.

You cannot on the one hand say that we're global and open and on the other hand put policies in place, which actually make it more difficult for

international students, for students from the European Union to come in to the UK, for those research collaborations to continue, for our faculty to

come into the UK.

But it's even more than that, we have to believe that part of our excellence comes from that collaboration. We see it every single day in

the research that we do, in the kind of courses that we are able to offer.

So we have to continue to make that point, and then, I'm here, and I've been to many of the regions in which SOAS specializes to give the same

message, that we at SOAS remain open, that diversity remains very, very important to us, that mix of our student population and of our faculty is

the thing that makes a difference and gives us that edge.


[11:26:16] ANDERSON: Baroness Amos speaking to me earlier.

What with the Brexit countdown coming up fast, you'd think it all hands on deck across Britain, but instead it's legs over legislation for some.

We'll explain what the national fuss is all about over these images after this short break. Stay with us.



[11:30:41] ANDERSON: Well, let's get right to Capitol Hill and get more on what seems, Phil, the increasingly bitter atmosphere there. This is Phil

Mattingly, our congressional correspondent. Just describe that atmosphere, if you will.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky, look the investigation itself, one of two investigations on Capitol Hill that are really kind of

being pointed to by Republicans, especially, as kind of the crux of how they're going to get to the bottom of Russian meddling in the U.S.

election, it's really collapsed upon itself.

And I think it's important to note that this committee, the House intelligence committee, is traditionally a bipartisan committee. The

ranking member, the top Democrat on the panel, the chairman, the Republican on the panel, traditionally work very closely together. They try to keep

thing bipartisan, they try to keep politics out of the important work they do.

And that has just dissolved over the course of the last couple of days, the last week or so. And I think the big questions now are as this has really

turned into kind of partisan bomb throwing back and forth, is there any future at all to this investigation? And maybe more broadly, how does this

committee continue to work going forward over the next couple of weeks, months and even years, Becky?

ANDERSON: And that's a very, very good question. Could this derail what is an incredibly important investigation into Russia and the Trump


MATTINGLY: I think at least on the House side the answer is yes. Now, it's important to note that there is also a Senate investigation, the other

chamber in the U.S. congress that is ongoing. It remains bipartisan. And they have done their best to kind of stiff arm, keep everything that's

going on, the theatrics on the House side of things, away from what they're doing.

That investigation is moving forward, as you noted, that investigation is where Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of the president, senior adviser to the

president, will be testifying or doing an interview shortly. That's where a lot of senior law enforcement and intelligence officials continue to go

in for interviews. Eventually public hearings as well.

But on the House side this has been an investigation, Becky, on the House side that has had a lot of Democrats concerned about partisanship, a lot of

Democrats concerned that the chairman was directly involved with the Trump transition operations after the election. Those concerns right now seem to

be bearing fruit.

And I think the big concern right now, you hear from Democrats is is this all going to be a farce, can we please try and move somebody else atop of


But I will tell you, Becky, House leadership, the speaker, Paul Ryan, has made clear, he backs the chairman, Devin Nunes. He believes he can

continue to move forward on a thorough non-partisan investigation. And as long as that stays the case, you're not going to see changes at the top of

the investigation.

ANDERSON: Phil is on the hill. Phil Mattingly in Washington for you. Appreciate it. Thanks.

Well, to Britain now where it's the countdown to the countdown. In fact, you may say to the final counttown.


ANDERSON: The somewhat ironically named rock band Europe here, because tomorrow, Wednesday, Britain's prime minister will press the Brexit button

setting in motion a two year timer to head out of the EU's door.

CNN's Nina Dos Santos went to speak to the man who wrote the clause that's letting Theresa May pull it off.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the heart of Europe, five floors down on five miles of shelving, a thousand upon thousands of

containers, row after row of red tape that Brexit supporters want Britain to leave behind. Here in the archives of the council of the European Union,

you get an idea of the sure scale of the paperwork that's involved as being a member of the E.U. Each of these boxes contains hundreds of legal

documents, various text, and policy papers.

And as the U.K. leaves, well, it'll have to decide which ones it wants to keep and which ones it wants to lose. But for all the millions of words

stored in Brussels, only 255 are needed to start that decision-making process. The five brief paragraphs of article 50 provide the blueprint for

exiting the European Union and will define any future relationship with the block. In London, there's a small sense of irony in that Article 50 was

penned by a Britain.

[11:35:06] JOHN KERR, ARTICLE 50 AUTHOR: I think the first started -- I read it's having a little flat I had in Brussels. I also had a minuscule

staff, mainly brilliant lawyers and they have -- of course, they were lawyers, who were terribly irritating. I would draft some beautiful fine

phrase and they would cross it all out and say you can't say that.

SANTOS: Britain and of the remaining 27 E.U. countries, have two years to complete negotiations.

KERR: Article 50 is not about trade at all. It's purely about divorce. It's the division of the assets, dividing the property, it talks about paying

the bills, debts, pension, liabilities and so on.

SANTOS: And unlike conventional divorce proceedings, these will be far from private.

KERR: The European Parliament are fully involved; the article says. Which means that this is very -- can't be conducted behind closed doors,

everything is going to be public.

SANTOS: With everyone watching, both the E.U. and the U.K. are hoping for a speedy harmonious conclusion, so that the writing of different laws and

agreements that will eventually line these shelves can begin.

Nina dos Santos, CNN.


ANDERSON: Well, a speedy harmonious conclusion. Well that may be hard to come by as our Isa Soares knows all about from outside Britain's


Isa, there have been many a bump on the road to Brexit since June 23 last year. What are the latest bumps or hurdles as it were?

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Quite a few bump and hurdles, you can expect. And as you know, Becky, never speedy divorces are they? so, many people not really thinking they won't be more than two years

before a deal is done.

But as Theresa May, Becky, tries to untangle herself to leave one union after four decades of

membership, she's also fighting really hard to keep another union, that is great kingdom, the united union here, and that is Northern Ireland and

Scotland, great differences she's facing and challenges in Northern Ireland. There is a debate between the unionists and the nationalists.

They can't seem to agree on a power sharing deal.

And then you have the problem, she concedes, the problem of Scotland. And there's that vote for independence right now. You're probably looking at

live images of Scottish Parliament, because they are voting on a Second Scottish Independence referendum. We're expected to hear in the next 30

minutes or so, Becky, that vote.

Many expecting it to go ahead, to be a final vote to vote yes for a second Scottish referendum. And it doesn't matter which way you look at it,

Nicola Sturgeon has said that Westminster is not listening to the Scots, not listening to the vote of the people, and Theresa May has gone up to

Scotland several times. In fact, she was there yesterday, trying to change her mind. But it seems that she made very little headway. She's still not

talking about a referendum. She said now is not the time. We need to keep the union together.

At the same time, you have Nicola Sturgeon basically saying we need the vote. It's the will of the people. The majority of Scots voted to leave

the union.

So, as you can see, Becky, you got one point you've got really Theresa May trying to battle with Europe, or Brussels. That hasn't even started yet.

At the same time, she's facing battles right here at home. And this is just the beginning.

ANDERSON: From all that talk of referendums or legislation, too, perhaps, dare I say it lexitlation. There's a - rather call it what you will,

sexist, moronic, I've certainly heard it described as that today. A headline, anyway, from one British newspaper tied into all of this.

Do reveal as it were?

SOARES: Yes, well, a newspaper that as you know, Becky, is of the most popular newspapers here in the UK - mostly read by women, I should say, had

this headline, "Mevermind Brexit, who won Lexit?" And this is a photo that I was mentioning from yesterday when Theresa May met Nicola Sturgeon.

And this paper decided to focus on their jackets, on how much they were wearing in terms of outfits, but also on the shape of their legs.

And I can read you a little snippet from it, because it's really got people very angry and calling it sexist and moronic like you pointed out. It says

here, "Sturgeon's shorter, but undeniably more shapely shanks are all together more flirty, tantalizingly crossed with a dominant leg," it goes

on to read, "pointing towards her audience."

And why people are angry? Well, it's kind of obvious, really, on the eve on the most important political event, two of the most important women in

British politics, one the leader of G7, really has being brought down to discussion about the union and Brexit is being

brought down to their legs.

So, as you can imagine, people are furious. The Daily Mail hitting back saying basically, I'm going to quote them here, saying get over it as their

own. They said, "for goodness sake," and I'm quoting them, "get a life."

[11:40:17] ANDERSON: Thanks. To all those women out there that were offended, and men of course.

Isa, thank you. Yes. Perfectly sensible facial expression from my colleague there to the end of that story. Right.

Let's get you on to our next story.

Hang on. That's the door. Oh, well look at this. Thank you. It's a delivery from Amazon. How exciting? That gold jug that I've been waiting

for fabulous.

What else is in here? Something else is in here. It's the biggest online store in this part of the world and it's being swallowed up

by Amazon. That, you'll know of course, is one of the biggest online shops in the world.

To break this all down, we've got another special package for you, CNN Money's John Defterios in the house.

John, you always deliver. So, what do we know?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY: That's quite a box.

ANDERSON: Isn't it, just?

DEFTERIOS: I was going to ask you to pour me a coffee out of your gold jug there.

ANDERSON: Do you like the jug?

DEFTERIOS: Yeah, not bad.

ANDERSON: Fabulous, isn't it?

DEFTERIOS: This is a deal, by the way - we've been talking about for a long, long time. So, it took months to get it consummated.

Jeff Bezos is making his mark on the Middle East and North Africa. This is a first major transaction when it comes to e-commerce.

Now, it's fascinating, because I went to back in 2013 and spoke to the CEO then. And they were just starting to rev up, because they had

second and third round of funding at that stage. But after 12 years in the business, it's fascinating, overall e-commerce in the Middle East and

throughout this region is only 2 percent of penetration.

So, Amazon sees a lot of room to grow.

Let's first listen to the two parties to the deal today, Becky.



in the Emirates, in Saudi, in Egypt, we have a lot of work to do, because online commerce is still a very small percentage of total retail. I think

that's plenty of work in the near term, although obviously expanding further in the region is something we'd love to do in time.

RONALDO MOUCHAWAR, CEO, SOUQ.COM: I mean, Amazon was a great fit. They are a long term thinker. They are focused on customer and they bring so

much innovation. We feel opportunity and growth in this part of the world, it's still massive. Online is only 1 percent to 2 percent of what is being

purchased. And for us, just culturally also, Amazon is a great fit for us. And this is why Amazon is our partner and choice.


DEFTERIOS: Mouchawar, a very interesting character, by the way, Becky. He is from Syria, the city of Aleppo. Studied in the United States and then

came up with this idea 12 years ago. Building momentum. He says the partner of choice, it's quite fascinating. It was the first unicorn in the

Middle East crossing a billion dollars. It no longer holds that title, because we understand the deal at the top is $650 million, probably closer

to $600 million.

Now, I spoke to sources of one of the competitors, a Alabar (ph) today. They confirmed they put a deal on the table for $800 million, $500 million

in cash, so a lot of cash was left on the table. It was an exclusivity clause by two of the major investors into, one being Tiger Global

and the one from South Africa that they said that the growth in the future tied to Amazon makes sense.

ANDERON: So, very briefly, then, any competitors lining up to challenge this combined new entity?

DEFTERIOS: Sure. Amar (ph), which put that deal on the table, $300 million I'm told by sources, will probably launch their own platform within

a month. (ph), funding it with a billion dollars. It's the first time we've seen in the Middle East and North Africa bricks and mortar

coming back together.

You have all that mall space, you have all those supplier. They're even talking about going

into supermarket distribution.

So, this is finally a market of 300 million consumers that's acting like a single market with

buyouts and the rest.

ANDERSON: All right, always a pleasure, sir, thank you very much indeed.

Well, everyone is keeping mum on how much Souq actually costs. CNN Money has a few numbers on the deal that you should know about. For those and to

keep up on all the facts and figures, keep your pulse on the facts and figures from the business world, there's only one place you need to go and

that is

Live from Abu Dhabi, I'm Becky Anderson. This is Connect the World. Coming up what we're doing when we aren't talking to each other face to

face. That's next.



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is not your average trip to the supermarket. Lily is on the clock as a trained

personal shopper for Honest Bee, an online delivery service in Singapore.

It's simple to use. Just click what you want on the app and an Honest Bee shopper will pick up your groceries and hand it to a delivery person and

had their food ready within an hour.

JOEL SUNG, CO-FOUNDER & CEO: I think we were too ambitious and tried to do too much. But we just went ahead and did it.

LU STOUT: Joel Sung is one of the co-founders and the CEO.

SUNG: The name Honest Bee stems from really wanting to be able to convey to our customers we want them to -- you trust us? These are also going to be -

- always working, very, very hard, but more importantly they work in a team -- a group and often times for the common good.

LU STOUT: The startup is made of nearly 13,000 part-time bees that shop and deliver products, including groceries, pharmaceuticals and laundry.

SUNG: What we wanted to do is try and figure out how we can empower and enable a work force. To be able to quickly and efficiently trying temporal


LU STOUT: Honest Bee is now operating across much of Asean, the association of southeast nation nations. It has expanded into Thailand,

Malaysia and soon the Philippines.

SUNG: I think this whole government, because of where all the different kinds of treaties that they have, it's relatively easy to -- to get out. I

think being in Singapore and really being, you know, having had the opportunities to go to different cultures, but wherever you are, you're

able to actually understand the different nuances. You're able to have a better appreciation for their views.

LU STOUT: A key aspect of Honest Bee's overseas success has been customization to each country.

SUNG: Every country in Asian is different because our business is really about how can we service the local population, so whether it's in Thailand

or Malaysia or Singapore it's really saying how can this service be of value to you in your country? And the only way we can do that well is by

making sure you bring on the best local talent.

LU STOUT: For customers, Honest Bee is all about convenience. For workers, it creates news job opportunities. And for merchants, it's another revenue


For Sung, he says business only gets better with scale.



[11:52:30] ANDERSON: A surprising solution to a business headache: Samsung has decided to make the best of last year's mass recall. The company wants

to sell a refurbished version of the Galaxy Note 7. The incident, remember, had around 3 million of the phone's recalled after some caught on


More of the unsold devices have been left sitting in a warehouse. The idea to go green is said to

be part of an ecofriendly recycling program; however, the economy says it still needs to seek approval from regulators.

Now, with all these phones coming out regularly can be a bit overwhelming, can't it, with so many choices. But what if we spent less time on these

device like this and more time paying attention and actually talking face to face to those we care about.

Well, in tonight's Parting Shots, we meet one photographer who captured what he calls the death

of conversation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE; This project, which I entitled The Death of Conversation, was an

observation on the ubiquity of smartphones in social situation and the effective they were having on face to face communication. People were just

on their smartphones suddenly everywhere all the time.

I felt it was -- had been accepted without it really being questioned. The face of the person who was just sitting there and they were being rejected

by the person who was on the phone, saying that whatever they were looking at was in some way more important than they


My favorite picture in the set is the one of the young girl standing next to her parents. It showed that it wasn't just the young that was doing

this, this is something that affected everybody.

These constant interruptions were effecting our ability to interact with people and to enjoy the world around us.

My name is Baby Cakes Romero (ph) and these are my parting shots.


ANDERSON: Good for him. Maybe a healthy reminder, too, as well. Put these down a little more often. But wait a second, that is awful advice,

isn't it?

Here's a better idea, tap your fingers on over to Facebook.ccom/cnnconnect. You can find the good stuff from our show tonight. And please do, you can

get it there through this, of course, and every other night as well. And it doesn't end there. You could be up all night, because we are all over

the twitterverse as well. That's @beckycnn.

@BeckyCNN, or @CNNconnect is the show. The team here getting on with things before, during and after this show. Lots of new stuff on the

digital platforms for you.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. The news continues here on CNN after this very short break.