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CONNECT THE WORLD
Children Dying of Malnutrition In Yemen; Putin's Marathon Press Conference; Disney And Fox Ink $52.4 Billion Megadeal; Aid Groups Massive Efforts On The Ground. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 14, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:15] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're in a war. There is no food, no water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: Yemen is starving. Malnutrition and disease, the life threatening consequences of this forgotten war.
Tonight part two of Clarissa Ward's reporting from inside the country. Also this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): This is all dreamed up by people who are in opposition to Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: In a marathon news conference, the Russian leader dismisses campaign collusion concerns as conspiracy. What else he said coming up.
And the house of mouse is expanding. Details on Disney's mega merger with twenty-first century Fox. That is all ahead.
A very warm welcome, this is "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson. It is 7:00 I Abu Dhabi. I want to start this hour by showing you some of the
images of the war in Yemen. A country dealing with war, starvation, disease and deprivation of some of life's most basic essentials. I'm going
to warn you the images that we are about to show you are distressing. What they are not is inevitable. It was not inevitable that 3-year-old, Hada,
whose story we brought you yesterday, should have died of a treatable lung infection in a hospital. It was not inevitable that this teenager Saida
Achmed Bagali should have been so malnourished that she weighed as much as a toddler, just 11 kilogram. And it was not inevitable that hundreds of
thousands of U.N. men, women and children should have contracted cholera, a preventable disease. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the result of
decisions made in some of the most powerful capitals in the world. Yemen's suffering is holy manmade and at this stage, after two years of looking on,
it may be time to admit the whole world has something to answer for. CNN team got rare access to the country. They just returned from the south.
They found that people there are starving even in coalition controlled areas.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is how Achmed spends his days, lying on the concrete floor, trying to swat away the flies with what little
energy he has. Looking at this tiny body ravaged by hunger, you would never guess that Achmed is five years old. His brother died of
malnutrition two months ago.
We're in a war. There's no food, no water his mother says. Only god knows our pain. It's a pain shared by too many here in the same small village.
We meet Abdul, an overwhelmed father of five. He is worried about his son. There's no doctor nearby. And no scale. But he can't weigh more than five
The problem is that my wife doesn't have a lot of breast milk, he says. She is sick too. And it's not hard to see why. There's almost no food in
So they have some bread. Some onions. No meat. Hunger has always seen a problem in Yemen, but two and a half years of war has starved the country.
Three million people are displaced. Many live in filthy camps where disease and infection are rife and malnutrition difficult to combat.
There is food in the markets. It's just that few people can actually afford it. That is what's so tough to get your head around about this
crisis. It's not cause by a bad harvest or a drought. It's caused by man. A Saudi Arabia-led blockade has cut the amount of food and medicine getting
in to Yemen by more than half. What does come through is heavily taxed along the way.
[10:05:00] Rural clinics struggle to meet the scale of the need. This 10- month-old has gained seven ounces since his last visit. A welcome improvement that he is still suffering from severe malnutrition.
You haven't done anything wrong, the nurse tells his mother, but he is still weak, so I really want you to focus on this problem. For Achmed, it
may be too late. He is been sick for years now. He only speaks when the pain is too much. He tells me my tummy hurts, my head hurts, she says. He
cries. Hardship and hunger. This is Yemen's story. My whole life agony and I are like lovers this song goes. Why, world, do you only show us the
terrible things? But the world doesn't hear his lament. While the silence of starvation tightens its grip on a forgotten people.
ANDERSON: Clarissa joining me now from London. Clarissa you present compelling evidence of children literally wasting away from lack of food in
areas controlled by the Yemeni government and its sponsors, UAE and Saudi both U.S. Allies. Why is this happening and why isn't anything seemingly
being done to alleviate the situation?
WARD: Well, I think this is what people really struggle to get their heads around or one of many things in this conflict that people really struggle
to understand, because of course it is the Saudi Arabian led blockade that is primarily responsible for stopping the free flow of food and goods but
also fuel which is desperately needed from getting in to the country, but we need to be clear about this, Becky. Both sides of this conflict are
using food as a weapon of war. The Houthis, the Iran back rebels who control mush of the north of the country are also using food as a weapon.
We heard many stories about food shipments being held up, aid not being distributed properly, things being taxed as they passed through different
areas that are controlled by different factions.
And so what you have is a situation where there's a lot less food getting in. That which does get in becomes incredibly expensive because of this
multiple taxation and so it becomes a vicious cycle. On top of that as we explained in the report, you already had a serious hunger and poverty
problem pre-existing this war in Yemen. And so what the war has really done is to exacerbate it. Without free flow of goods into the country,
without some kind of diplomatic processor political progress made between the Houthis and Yemeni government the various international backers, it is
hard to see how on earth we are going to see any a amelioration and the situation on the ground.
ANDERSON: Well this war in Yemen as you rightly point out, the Saudi led coalition of Arab states, again the Iranian back Houthis rebels who took
over the capital almost three years ago. I say allegedly because they deny arming these Shiite fighters. In just or an hour's time, America's
ambassador to the United Nations is set to present what Washington is calling proof that Iran is arming the Houthis. Nikki Haley will hold a
press conference in 60 minutes to outline what she says is Tehran's violation of international obligations. I have to say when I was last in
Saudi we were at a press conference at the Saudi-led coalition headquarters and we were provided evidence by the Saudis of Iran-produced weaponry on
the ground in Yemen. Clarissa this is a civil war combined with what is essentially a proxy war between two regional giants, Saudi Arabia on the
one and Iran on the other. With the U.S. weighing in. But does the U.S. weighing in, in any way change matters on the ground?
WARD: To be honest, it doesn't really. Because I think to people who have been watching the Yemen conflict very closely, it's been clear for some
time, at least based on sources that I have been talking to, that Iran indeed, while it may not be fully taking care of or providing for the
Houthis has certainly been facilitating them, particularly with the question of arms and missiles. The U.S. as you mentioned set to providing
the missiles that the Houthis fired at Saudi Arabia. But if you go to Sanaa the capital, Becky, the Houthis will take you to see a different
weapons depot of arms that have been fired on them by the Saudi Arabia.
[10:10:10] What you will find is most of them are made either by the U.S. or by U.K. You may remember recently President Trump traveling to Saudi
Arabia selling more than $100 billion of weaponry to Saudi Arabia. So there are many international players involved in this conflict. All of the
further arming the various factions who are fighting on the ground. In the meantime, it sounds like the oldest cliche on the books, Becky that is just
so true. It is the civilians who are caught in the middle who are paying the price.
ANDERSON: As you're reporting disappointedly points out to me. As you know, Clarissa, have been asking these questions of complicity of other
countries for months and months and months now. We will continue to do so. Clarissa Ward is in London back from Yemen with her reporting. Clarissa
The process of feeding Yemen is no simple fete. The world for program estimates 17 million at 65 percent of the population suffer from what is
known as food insecurity, 6.8 million people are in urgent need of life- saving emergency food support. These numbers are staggering to say the least. Yemen was already one of the poorest Arab countries relying heavily
on food imports. The situation there, of course exacerbated then by the Saudi led coalition blockade.
The people of Yemen are not just statistics. Let us not forget, they are mothers. They are fathers. They are brothers, wives, just like yours and
mine. And behind them more people rallying all the strength they can to provide support on the ground. We are joined by the executive Director of
the U.N. World's food program. David Beasley joining us now. Those numbers are remarkable. They are staggering. But as we remind people,
David, they are not statistics. They are people. Yemen facing the largest cholera outbreak in the world. Just as far as you understand it, what is
the issue so far as this food insecurity concerned? Is it as much the food that exists just not getting to people, the taxing of this food on the
ground by all of these different groups as it is this problem with getting food into the country? Let's be really clear about this.
DAVID BEASLEY, DIRECTOR, U.N. WORLD'S FOOD PROGRAM: Well, it's a very difficult and it's a sad situation. I was just in the port not long ago
watching children die before my very own eyes. And that was before there was a blockade on the ports. Now we're having serious complications of
getting food through as well as fuel. Even if we do get some food in and we just receive here shipment in a (inaudible) a whole ship load which will
be helpful, both the fuel we need to deliver and then of course dealing with issues on the ground is a complication. When you talked about seven
million people severely food insecure, it's gotten worse and it's getting worse. We now have over 8.4 million people out of 28 million that are
severely hungry and literally 17 million people don't know where they're going to get their next meal who are surviving. It's going to get worse.
The cholera, the war sanitation, no fuel around the hospitals, no fuel to run the war facilities. This is a desperate, desperate situation.
ANDERSON: As you rightly point out, Yemen facing the largest cholera outbreak in the world, of course with one million cases expected by the end
of the year. Let me repeat. That one million cases by the end of the year. Now, another deadly disease not seen in the country in decades
making its way back killing 28 with over 300 other cases suspected. That of diphtheria. Surely the diseases in Yemen make every agency's job there
BEASLEY: You know, the sad news is we were making some head way on the cholera, but now we're going to see a serious reversal over the next few
months. The lack of fuel to be able to deliver the supplies that is necessary is a very serious problem. But as you well can imagine, when
people don't have food, when little boys and little girls don't get the food they need, their ecological system just crashes. We're watching
children die before our very own eyes. It has been one of the most heart breaking situations we've ever seen. The United States, the U.K., and
German they have been tremendously stepping up with us on fuel.
[10:15:00] The President of the United States and I know the leaders of other countries have been demanding that all parties involve, from the
Saudi led coalition, to the Houthis, to give us the access we need. If we have the access we need from the ports to the ground, we can put the food
in the locations necessary to save lives and bring this horrible situation on as good a situation as we possibly can. But the fighting on the ground
makes it difficult for the humanitarian actors. Whether on the air, on the sea or on the ground, it's horrible. It is absolutely horrible to watch
these children before our very own eyes slipping away and losing all hope.
ANDERSON: According to the 2017 Yemen humanitarian response plan issued by the world food program, and I quote you guys, there has been a 57 percent
increase in malnourished children under five and pregnant and lactating women since late 2015. As we move towards a holiday period for so many
people and so many parts of the world and we consider what is going on the ground, is there any sense of optimism from you part?
BEASLEY: Well, the political dynamics have only spiraled to a worst scenario when Salah was killed. I think many people on all sides were
hopeful that he could lead some type of resolution forward, but now it's gotten more complicated and everyone's trying to determine what to do to
resolve this politically. The one thing that we're asking all parties involved and the major donors and the political powers to be is to give us
the access that we need so that innocent noncombatants, little girls, little boys and mom and dads can feed their families and stay alive. So we
ask people all around the world to be in prayer that this can be resolved so that we don't have more children dying. It's just -- it's just getting
worse. We need all the help we can possibly get.
ANDERSON: Well, let's try and help you out a little bit. We've got your details. We'll appeal to our viewers now, to help your organization and
others the best way that they can. Thank you David for the time being. Folks, we can't overstate just how much people of Yemen need as they face
cholera, starvation, diphtheria and total displacement by the millions with no political solution on the ground. We've seen evidence of some moves.
Just out of Riyadh for example for the past 24 hours. But these are slow steps and it feels like these are baby steps. These people on the ground
need your help now. So let us give you some details, Wfp.org/donate to provide any assistance that you can. I'm sure that David would agree with
me when I say every dollar and pound, yen, will help. We will be back after this.
[10:20:50] ANDERSON: Welcome back. 20 past 7:00 in the UAE. I'm Becky Anderson. Let's get you to a major media deal that could remake the
entertainment landscape as we know it. If it passes muster with the U.S. Justice Department. Disney to take on streaming services like Netflix is
buying twenty-first century Fox for a cool $52.5 billion stock deal. This is a huge ship for Mr. Rupert Murdoch who after building his empire is
turning it over to Disney with the exception of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Networks. CNN Money Correspondent Maggie Lake joins me from New
York. What do you make of it?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Amazing, isn't it, Becky? It's a lot of money. But let us face it, these are who the most famous names in
entertainment. I think it's really a sign of the changing times, isn't it? It's a nod to the fact that a lot of us want everything we consume at our
fingertips. Localized, customized so that we can watch it wherever and whenever we want. So what does Disney get out of this? They needed that
direct access. So they get more for their content machine. They get the movie studios, the franchises like X-men and some of the superheroes, but
importantly they get major control over Hulu, that is going to give them direct to consumer and they can expand their international footprint.
They get the international media businesses of Star, India and Sky, very important for them. What does Fox get out of it? Well it is an all stock
deal. They get $8 billion dividend, they get 25 percent share. They're not going to have a seat on the board interestingly and maybe, just maybe,
Rupert Murdoch is going to get bragging, rights to say that he knew when to sell in this changing media landscape. This is going to pit Disney against
the likes of Netflix and Amazon, the newcomers on the scene. Interesting Becky, when the market opened, both shares were down a little bit. They
have turned around, both are trading higher. Twenty-first century Fox up about 3 percent.
ANDERSON: This media landscape as we know it. Thank you. Maggie Lake in New York. Always a pleasure Maggie.
From New York -- sorry, let me start that one again. From North Korea to Ukraine to Afghanistan to the presidency of Donald Trump, Russian President
Vladimir Putin talked about a wide range of issues during what was his annual what can be described as marathon news conference today. He says he
hopes to work with Washington to eventually resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): We have Mr. Tillerson who announced that he is ready for direct contact. This is a very good sign
that says that there is understanding of the reality in the State Department and in the U.S. Government at large and I hope along with the
intelligence community, along with the CIA. If things keep moving in this direction, then of course will continue to cooperate with the United States
in all matters including North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It wasn't just North Korea that he was talking about there. Let's get more on all of this from Phil Black who is live for us in Moscow
this evening. When you consider -- this was a long, long news conference as they are or want to be by President Putin when he does this on an annual
basis. Pick it apart for us. What were the key takeaways, Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Becky. Three hours and 40 minutes that is the official clock which is a long time obviously. A marathon as
you say. Still about an hour short of his record. But you can imagine within that time he talked about a lot of issues. Some foreign policy
including Mr. Trump, the American President. Not surprisingly he was asked a few questions. There he said they had good relations. He was asked to
assess President Trump's first year in office. He said that is not my job. That is a job for the American people. But he did it anyway. Said Trump
had had great major achievements and put it specifically to the financial market. Saying, their performance was a vote of confidence in America's
economy, so a bit of confidence in Trump's management of them as well. He was also asked about the many contacts between Russian officials and
Trump's own people, especially during the American election campaign. Many of those contacts as we know another subject of various investigations in
the United States. This is what President Putin said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:25:31] PUTIN (TRANSLATOR): This is all dreamed up by people who are in too opposition to Trump so as to make sure that everybody thinks what he is
doing, what he is working at is illegitimate. This is very strange, because it's being done by people who are working against the interests of
their own country and against the dearly elected President of the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Now, much of the press conference, much of that 3:40 was domestic in focus. In just three months President Putin will be running again or
there will be yet another election on whether he gets to serve another Presidential term. He is widely tipped to win that election. There simply
isn't an opponent that will be allowed to run that can challenge him viably. What he did say is he'll be running as an independent, not
associated with any part. In the past he is been associated with United Russia, the dominant political party. Here this time he says, he wants to
own a supportive people from all parties who support his vision, his agenda for Russia. His biggest opponent (inaudible), he wants to try and get the
biggest possible mandate, the biggest possible turn out, obviously the most votes to say that he has the right to rule this country for at least
another six years, Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you, Phil. Phil Black is in Moscow. Our man in Moscow today. The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus Theresa May
heads to Brussels just after a stinging defeat for the British Prime Minister back in London. That one of her own Party members had a hand in.
What this all means for Brexit is coming up.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. It is half past 7:00 in the UAE. These are
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says she will provide evidence that Iran has been providing military support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen as
part of the country's bloody civil war. She is set to speak an hour from now.
Disney is buying 21st Century Fox in a call $52.5 billion old stock deal which includes the movie studio and regional sports networks along with big
states in Hulu and Sky. But Fox broadcasting network, news channel and Fox Business network will be spun off in a separate company.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has wrapped up his marathon year end news conference. He answers questions on a wide range of subjects including
reports of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential campaign. Mr. Putin says President Trump's opponents are simply trying to discredit him.
Republican law maker in the Southern U.S. State of Kentucky has been found dead of a probable suicide days after he denied accusations of sexual
On Monday, the Kentucky sent for investigated reporting accused Dan Johnson of sexually molesting a 17-year-old girl in a church basement five years
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, in the United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May is facing one embarrassment after another it seems. Today heading to Brussels just
after members of her own conservative party backed the opposition to make sure that parliament gets a vote on the final Brexit deal.
EU leaders are now calling for more clarity on the U.K.'s position. Well, let's get more clarity on exactly what's going on. Our Bianca Nobilo
joining us from London. Look, Bianca, a stinging defeat for the prime minister.
She will have that ringing in her ears as she moves on through the weekend and into what are -- what is this second phase of exhaustive negotiation to
exit the E.U. But ultimately, does it change anything?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It makes it harder and it probably makes this process longer. The prime minister was so keen not to be defeated on
this amendment because now she has to have any final deal fully approved by parliament.
Before this amendment, technically the prime minister could have begun the process of leaving the EU through special instruments. But now parliament
has to sign off on all the details of the final deal before the government can begin to leave the E.U.
That means it's going to be a lot more arduous for the prime minister to actually implement. And, Becky, she's got one more key vote on this Brexit
bill to get past next Wednesday.
That is the date of Brexit. The government wants to see it enshrined in law on the 29th of March of 2019. But parliament thinks that doesn't give
us enough flexibility in the U.K. to negotiate the Brexit deal. So she's likely to face a defeat on that, too.
ANDERSON: You know, many of our viewers who haven't been watching the machinations of this Brexit effort as you have on a sort of day-to-day,
minute-by-minute basis would say, well of course lawmakers should be given the right to vote on how the country exits its relations with the EU.
Can you explain then why -- what is -- what was going on, and what is now been voted against? Was it any way an act of democracy?
NOBILO: It was. It was indeed. It was a defeat for the government but it was in many ways a victory for democracy or that's the way that the person
who tabled this amendment, Dominic Grieve, would put it.
He said that parliament had to stand up and be counted. And they did stand up and they won. Before this vote last night, parliament would have had a
vote on a final Brexit deal.
But it was possible that they would vote on it after Brexit had already started. What this does is it ensures that parliament as what they call a
[10:35:00] Meaning what they decide in the House of Commons will have a much greater impact on the final Brexit deal.
ANDERSON: We know that Theresa May is wounded at present. This is a very, very difficult job. And we've clearly now seen a chisel in her own party.
Can she survive this going forward?
NOBILO: The danger of what happened last night is that these rebels in her party, 11 of them who voted against the government and for the bill, they
had been speaking out against government policy on Brexit for some time, but they have continued to vote with the government. But last night they
The concern, is have they now got a taste for what they've just done and they're less inclined to say in line because they were getting a lot of
heat from the British media and from members of their party for deviating from the conservative line on Brexit. Well, now they have. They've taken
that step. So will it be easier for them to do that again in the future?
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Bianca, thank you. That's the state of affairs in the U.K., pretty messy, right?
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has delayed a visit to Israel and Egypt until Tuesday according to his office. This is a bit messy, isn't it?
Originally expected to arrive Sunday.
The short delay comes as tensions simmer in the region following President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Now the custodian of the church of the Holy Sepulchre key, one of the holiest sites in Christianity said yesterday, he would refuse to welcome
the vice president after Mr. Trump's decision last week.
Well, Trump and the first lady visited the holy site earlier this year. You all remember the custodian wrote a public letter calling on other
church leaders in Jerusalem to turn Pence away.
Well the delay in the trip come as Congress prepares to vote on a sweeping tax reform bill in which Pence could play a crucial role. The Republicans
hold a slim majority in the Senate.
If there is a tie, Pence's vote as we've seen before would be necessary. And it was a bill that most Americans don't approve of according to a new
poll. CNN's Joe Johns now reports.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're just days away, I hope. We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump touting a tentative deal on the Republican tax plan after party leaders announced they have reconciled
the House and Senate bills, a major step forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bill is a bold departure from the broken tax code America has today.
JOHNS: The key points of the compromise bill, as it now stands, reducing the top individual tax rate to 37 percent from 39.6 percent. And lowering
the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, a slight uptick from the 20 percent rate originally proposed that was favored by President
TRUMP: Twenty is my number. So I'm not negotiating that number.
JOHNS: The deal fully repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax but keeps the individual AMT for people making over $500,000 a year and
families making at least $1 million.
President Trump stands to benefit from this change to the AMT to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, according to his only tax return that's
public from 2005.
The tax plan would also now allow individuals to write off up to $10,000 in state and local income property taxes or sales taxes or a combination of
them appeasing lawmakers in high-tax states.
Senate negotiators also preserved a number of popular deductions, including the student loan interest deduction, the medical expense deduction, and
tax-free graduate-school tuition waivers.
The compromise bill would eliminate Obamacare's individual mandate, which requires most people to pay a tax if they do not buy health insurance. The
key question, how the resulting revenue shortfall will be paid for.
JANET YELLEN, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIR: I am personally concerned about the U.S. debt situation, taking what is already a significant problem and
making it worse, is -- it is of concern to me.
JOHNS: Do all of these changes deliver on President Trump's promise to help the middle class? A new Quinnipiac poll shows that only 26 percent of
Americans approve of the Republican tax plan.
Despite this, the GOP is flatly rejecting a call from Democrats to delay a vote until newly-elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones is seated next month.
SCHUMER: It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly-elected senator from Alabama the opportunity
to cast his vote.
[10:40:00] JOHNS: The Senate minority leader citing what the president said in 2010 when a final vote on the Affordable Care Act was delayed until
newly-elected Republican Senator Scott Brown could be seated.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People in Massachusetts spoke. He's got to be part of that process.
JOHNS: In an interview with CNN, then-businessman Donald Trump praised President Obama for his role in that decision.
TRUMP: He said now, you know, we have to give Massachusetts their vote, which was a very smart thing for him to say.
ANDERSON: That was, Joe Johns, reporting from the White House. Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up on this show, the Israeli
army warns Hamas to rein in militants to launching rockets from Gaza or pay the consequences. We'll have a report on the escalating tensions, up next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. Just before quarter to 8:00 here in the UAE. We are in Abu Dhabi, that's our home -- our Middle East hub.
The Israeli army warning that it will not tolerate any attacks on its citizens after continued rocket fire from Gaza, carried out more air
strikes against militant targets in Gaza earlier today.
Now the army also announced it will close the border crossings between Israel and Gaza until further notice due to the security situation. Well,
CNN Oren Liebermann is following developments in Gaza tonight. And he is from Jerusalem. Oren, with the very latest images.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it was a decision that was made late last night to close the border crossings -- both the border crossings
for goods and products and the other for pedestrians going through until further notice as an indication of how tense it's getting there.
The Israeli army is saying that rockets have come over 16 different times or rather 16 separate rockets have come over since Trump's announcement
about a week and a half ago now that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
So on four or five separate occasions over the past week and a half, rockets have come over and Israel has responded with air strikes against
Hamas military posts in the coastal enclave there.
What's interesting here is that Israel has acknowledged it's not Hamas firing the rockets in these cases. It's smaller groups. But Israel holds
Hamas responsible as the organization that rules Gaza for anything that comes out of Gaza.
The question of this point is, what happens next? Israel has called for a complete silence and don't forget that not only includes rockets but also
what have been daily or near daily protests and riots along the Gaza fence.
Becky, there has been what is essentially a de facto tit for tat and that a Gaza rocket comes over, Israel responds with an air strike against the
Hamas military outpost.
If this continues -- if these rockets continue on a nightly or near nightly basis, does Israel change that equation responding with more force to use
as a deterrent to try to get those rockets from stopping. That's the question at this point as we head into the weekend here.
[10:45:00] ANDERSON: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's office is, Oren, blaming his need to stay in the U.S. for the tax reform vote as the reason
for the delay to his trip to Israel and of course to Egypt. How is that news being received locally?
LIEBERMANN: I wouldn't read too much into that. It looks like a delay now of about 48 hours. So if there was concern about an outcry over Pence's
visit from Palestinians regional Arab leaders, that's not going away in a matter of 48 hours.
More crucial for the U.S. and the White House at this point, is that tax reform vote where Pence could play the crucial vote. So even if the
Israelis have to wait another 48 hours, simply the fact that the vice president is coming here so soon after Trump made his announcement,
recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that's still being held here as a historic visit after a historic announcement from the White House.
ANDERSON: Is it finally any clearer after what was this announcement last Wednesday, eight days ago now by Trump? Is it any clearer as to when we
might learn the details of any peace deal that Netanyahu may be having conversations about with the Trump administration?
We know that Jared Kushner has had conversations with the Saudi administration about a possible deal and we also know that as an arch
negotiator, Trump would have believe that by providing a card as it were to Netanyahu and in gifting him as it were, this announcement on Israel that
he will expect an awful lot in return.
LIEBERMANN: That peace plan is about the most mysterious thing going on here right now. It's clear having talked to some Israeli politicians that
they believe Trump has a peace plan.
But even, they don't know the details of that plan, even sitting inside the Israeli government coalition -- here governing coalition.
Trump insists and the White House insist they're still pushing for a peace deal which inherently involves a peace process and some sort of
negotiations, they're not giving up regardless of the fact that Palestinians and other Arab leaders have said the U.S. has disqualified
Details of that plan still none of those yet. What it would entail, who it would entail. There are expectations that the Saudis would play a
tremendous role there in terms of pressuring and moving the Palestinians.
But that's just speculation, just the expectation as for how Trump plans on doing this, how he plans on proceeding, we still simply don't know on the
ground here in Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann in the house for you out of Jerusalem today. Thank you. Let's get you up -- I should have waited for my cue. Let's get
you up to speed on some of the other stories at the last day of the week here. A little bit tired.
Some of the stories that we are following, actor Salma Hayek says Harvey Weinstein was her monster, too. In New York Times op-ed piece, Hayek
alleges that she said no to multiple sexual propositions from the movie mogul.
He also says Weinstein threatened to pull the plug on her Oscar nominated film, Friday unless she did a nude scene. Weinstein's representatives did
not comment to CNN on this story.
Kenya's 2017 presidential elections were marred by widespread sexual violence according to a report by human rights watch. Survivors describe
brutal rapes by two or more attackers, many of them police and other men in uniform.
Well, Thursday marked six months since a devastating fire to all three London's Grenfell Tower. Police are reviewing thousands of pieces of
evidence and say the criminal investigation won't be completed until 2019.
A memorial service was held earlier to honor the 71 victims who died in the fire. Prince Harry and the duke and duchess of Cambridge were among those
And finally, a medical miracle in England -- a baby who was born with her heart outside her body has survived surgery to put it back into her chest.
Vanellope Hope Wilkins is three weeks old now and her parents couldn't be happier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAOMI FINDLAY, MOTHER OF VANELLOPE HOPE WILKINS: She came out kicking and screaming. It was a beautiful moment, and it's absolutely beautiful. If
you saw her when she was first born to where she is now and what they've done...
DEAN WILKINS, FATHER OF VANELLOPE HOPE WILKINS: It's beyond a miracle, isn't it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It took three operations and 50 medical professional -- professionals to save her life. Doctors say she's the first baby to
survive this kind of operation in U.K. history.
Another girl in Houston Texas survived this procedure back in 2012. And I know we all wish her the best of luck. Your Parting Shots right after this
short break. You're watching Connect the World.
[10:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Well, your Parting Shots tonight, we leave the world behind and take to the stars for Star Wars fans, what it feels like the last film in
The Force Awakens was released a long, long time ago in galaxy far, far away. But now finally the sequel has arrived. Star Wars, The Last Jedi.
Fans, feeling the force and long suffering, not once are feeling just forced to the cinema. CNN's Anna Stewart has all the details on the film
in what is this report.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The old characters are back. And there are some new ones. Not to mention rumor storm trooper cameo performances
from Prince William and Prince Harry. The trailer has been dissected, the red carpet rolled up.
Now as the clock strikes midnight, fans in London and much of the world are finally able to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi for themselves.
The last film in this series was the Force Awaken and it was a huge success at the box office. It has the highest gross in opening weekend of any film
ever in the U.S.
However, that film was the first after a decade. This Star Wars movie is the third in three years which is leading many people to question whether
or not fans are going to start to get franchise fatigue.
BOB IGER, CEO, DISNEY: The way they're releasing them is the right way, so that the trilogy in this case is every other year and filled in the middle
with something that is not part of the trilogy. So we don't think we're overdoing it.
STEWART: Since buying Lucas film in 2012, Disney has brought superhero strategy to the galaxy far, far away. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor
have all been hugely successful Marvel standalone. Star Wars first anthology movie wrote one, once well received but box office returns when
no one near the The Force Awakens.
KEVIN QUIGG, CHIEF STRATEGIST, ACSI FUNDS: The last movie was sort of a test case on how the new franchise with J.J. Abrams would do. People
bought into it.
It was very successful, that increases the likelihood that they are not just seeing if they like it, they know they like it. They're going to go
and see it again to continue the story.
STEWART: Disney's galactic ambitions to the franchise had decided some of the fan empire.
[10:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Rogue One, I cried like three times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not interested in watching like a Han Solo film or something like that, I just want, you know, the main story. I'm interested
in its turn ups.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since Disney kind of took the franchise over, they're done a good job with itself. I personally think it's great.
STEWART: If the turnout here is anything to go by, the force will be strong at the box office. Anna Stewart, CNN Money, London.
ANDERSON: Well, we're done for tonight, but our coverage doesn't stop. Of course, a lot more to tell you for instance, about Yemen, our top story
You can check out more interviews and insights from some of the world's leading decision makers. That is all there on the Facebook site for you,
Facebook.com/CNNconnect. I'm Becky Anderson and that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. CNN's back after this break, so don't go