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Connecting Putin, Trump And Kim Jong-un; Trump On The Attacks; Taking Apple To Court; Pope's Solution. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 26, 2017 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:14] HALA GORANI, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: Welcome, Russia offers to help Pyongyang and Washington get along. All the while stopping a main

opposition leader from going anywhere. We will explain. Then after Christmas, Donald Trump is hard at work on twitter once again. We'll look

at that. Plus, if he is typing out on his iPhone, he may want to upgrade. Apple is being taken to court over slowing down older phones. That is all


Hello, Becky is off enjoying Boxing Day somewhere. Merry Christmas to all of you. Welcome to the program. A lot of news to get through on this 26th

of December. On one side there's North Korea refusing to pull back on its nuclear and missile programs. On the other side, the United States

promising fire and fury if Pyongyang endangers the U.S. Now, in the middle of all of this, Russia has offered to act as mediator. To help bring those

two sides together. The kremlin has already positioned itself as a key player in the Syrian conflict. And Russia's foreign minister says no sane

person would want war on the Korean peninsula. They're offering their services in that conflict. Let's bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen in our

Moscow bureau. So Fed, what form would this proposal of mediation take?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, I think that the Russians believe they have sway, at least to a certain extent with

some individuals in the Trump administration and they also certainly have a lot of sway in North Korea with the Kim folks over there as well. The

Russians are saying they could relay messages and try to be a go between the North Korean and the American. I think there's two reasons they might

be doing this. On the one hand they are trying to poke the United States a little bit. When Sergey Lavrov said this that Russians say they could be

mediators, he also heavily criticized the Trump administration, saying the Trump administration had sent signals to the North Koreans via the Russians

saying there wouldn't be any new military maneuvers. Saying the U.S want to ease tensions, but then the U.S. did conduct additional military

maneuvers, so there was some criticism from the Russians on that side. On the other hand, the Russians have no interest with this conflict spiraling

out of control. They themselves have a border with North Korea that they would be quite concerned about if there was larger tension or turmoil or

some sort of massive conflict between the U.S. and North Korea. They do have real interest in trying to tone things down. They want to mediate.

Of course, in all of this there is always that element of them wanting to criticize the United States and its policies as well, Hala.

GORANI: All right. So do you know what today is? The anniversary of? This day in 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigns.

PLEITGEN: And handed power to Boris Yeltsin.

GORANI: He sure did. The Soviet Union essentially see thing to exist in the form that we knew under and today, on this anniversary, is when the

authorities in Russia decided to ban an opposition leader from running for President. What's going on?

PLEITGEN: Yes. On the face of it, what the Russian authorities are saying he was convicted in the past of embezzlement and someone who was committed

of such a crime cannot run for President. Navalny says the charges were politically motivated to prevent exactly that, to prevent him from running

for higher office especially running against Vladimir Putin in this Presidential election. Navalny says if he were to run against Putin in a

head-on election that he say it would be free and fair that he would beat Putin. Obviously the kremlin and Putin see that very difficultly. His

approval rating is at 85 percent at this point in time. I want to listen in to some of the things that Navalny said. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): We are announcing a voter strike. The procedure in which we are invited to participate is not an election. It

involves only Putin, and those candidates whom he personally chose who do not pose the slightest threat to him.


PLEITGEN: So Navalny wants to appeal that decision by the election council he but he is calling for a boycott of the election if he is not allowed to

run. That could get him into even more legal trouble, because we spoke to the kremlin today and they believe the authorities there should look into

that and see whether or not calling for a boycott would be illegal which would mean he would have more legal problems than he has already had in the

past. As you can see, it is very difficult for some of these opposition candidates to even get into the race to run against Vladimir Putin, Hala.

{10:05:20] GORANI: Thanks very much. Fled Pleitgen, we'll talk to you a little bit later, Fred with the latest from Moscow. We started would Fred

reporting on Pyongyang and Russia's offer to mediate the dispute there. Where it might surprise you to know that tourists are not an entirely

unfamiliar sight. But with the talk of a potential showdown, it's scaring off would-be visitors. Sherisse Pham has that.


SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Visiting North Korea is for some travelers irresistible. Seeing Pyongyang, interacting with North Koreans

getting into one of the most isolated countries in the world can be the trip of a lifetime. Nick Bonner has been taking tourists to North Korea

for nearly 25 years. Since 2013, about 4,000 western tourists have visited the country every year. But not anymore. There's a lot of rhetoric coming

from the U.S. and North Korea. Much more frequent of the nuclear test going on. How has that affected the tourism industry?

NICHOLAS BONNER, CO-FOUNDER, KONYO GROUP: Significantly. It's down at least 50 percent. But you think it would be more but a lot of people are

still fascinated by what is going on in the country.

PHAM: Bonner's business took a hit when after American tourist Otto Warmbier died. After being detained in North Korea for 17 months. The

U.S. government later banned Americans from travelling to the country. But Bonner says it's safe to go in as long as you follow the rules.

BONNER: Nothings change. It has been the same as it has been is. You're with two guides all the time. You're well-looked after. It's safe

provided you stand by the rules. We give everyone an hour's briefing before they come to the country. We go with them around the country and

providing you understand it's not a holiday, it's an experience in that way. You can avoid any problems.

PHAM: When it comes to tourism to North Korea, it's not just about the safety, it's also about the money and where it goes. Western travelers

often pay a lot for package tourist. Prices are set by the North Koreans and foreign tour operators determine the markup. Seven night stay can cost

around 2,000. What do you say to critics who say bringing tourists into North Korea funds the regime and could even fund the nuclear program, what

do you say to those critics?

BONNER: We run a company of 12 people. We're taking half the tourists going in. We survive just, you know, none of us are wandering around in

Rolls Royce's and swanking it up. It's a tough business. We find it fascinating. I believe in engagement. I think tourism, not only opens

your eyes, it opens the North Koreans' eyes.

PHAM: As tensions between North Korea and international community continue to grow, opportunities for engagement are only shrinking. Sherisse Pham

CNN, Hong Kong.


GORANI: Well, North Korea is just one of the many tough challenges facing President Trump as we close the door in 2017 and face the New Year. Now

that Christmas is over Mr. Trump says he is ready to get back to work from what he calls the winter White House in Florida Mr. Trump was up early

this morning, tweeting, no surprise there, about that infamous dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer. After watching report

on Fox news, President Trump says the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier and that the FBI can't verify the

claims in it. But the truth is a little more nuanced than that. Research was initially, in fact, funded by Trump's Republican opponents and later by


Back in February, CNN reported that U.S. Investigators had corroborated some of the communications laid out in the dossier, but not the most

salacious allegations, which we at CNN have not reported. Mr. Trump has had a few other things to tweet about as well. White House correspondent

Sarah Murray joins me live from West Palm beach, Florida. What has the President been communicating on twitter today, Sarah?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, good morning, the president insisted he was getting back to work today, but he continues to air his

grievances. Tweeting his complaints against the Russian investigation this morning after he spent the last few days going after everyone from the FBI

to the media.


MURRAY: After a quiet Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump promising to get back to work. Touting his make America great again agenda. This

after repeatedly complaining that he is not getting the credit he deserves for his accomplishments. Trump, marking his first Christmas in office with

traditional Presidential tasks. Attending a late night church service on Christmas Eve.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Merry Christmas everybody. Merry Christmas.


[10:10:00] MURRAY: Taking calls with young children on the Santa tracking hotline. And teleconferencing with the troops.


TRUMP: I just wanted to wish everybody a very, very Merry Christmas. We say Christmas again very proudly.


MURRAY: Trump claiming he has led the charge for Americans to say Merry Christmas instead of happy holidays.


TRUMP: It's my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world a very Merry Christmas.


MURRAY: Despite the fact that President Obama used the phrase repeatedly while in office.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, everyone and Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas everybody. Merry Christmas, everybody.


MURRAY: Trump also spent the holiday weekend lashing out again at the country's top law enforcement agency. Attacking FBI deputy Director Andrew

McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey and FBI lawyer James Baker. The President pouncing on reports that McCabe is planning to retire in March,

going after the FBI deputy over donations his wife's campaign received from a super Pac connected to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close friend

of the Clintons. The President hasn't shied away from attacks on the Justice Department or the FBI since taking office. Still, the White House

insists Trump has more confidence in the FBI now that he is hand selected the man in charge.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he is very pleased to have Chris Wray running the FBI. He is making the point that we need to make sure there's no bias.


MURRAY: The criticism coming amid growing questions from Republicans over the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian probe.


SEN JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: If the President tries to continue to try to undermine the legitimacy of that investigation, and if Republicans continue

to try to help with that, I think that puts us in peril.



MURRAY: Now while the President says he is getting back to business today, there are no public events listed on his schedule. He has arrived at his

golf course here in Florida. Back to you.

GORANI: Sara, obviously, there has been some great economic news for the President. Unemployment is lower. As he keeps mentioning the stock market

is also doing well. But there are so many Democratic candidates and politicians honing their strategy for next year's midterms. What is the

approach of the President going to be to this mounting challenge that is being put together by the opposing Party?

MURRAY: Look, I think that the White House and the President are aware of the challenges they're going to face in the midterm elections. They're

trying to keep the Republican majority in the house and senate. That is looking like an increasing challenge. One of the President's personal pet

peeves is he doesn't feel like he is getting enough credit for the things he is accomplished, particularly when it comes to the economy. I think

we're seeing Republicans trying to put together a strategy where they'll try to sell the tax reform bill they've just passed, trying to tout the

economic gains. Trump is eager to get on the trail to appear for the Republicans. It's not clear if Republicans will be happy to appear

alongside him.

GORANI: Sara Murray, thank you very much, reporting from Florida.

Staying in the United States for a moment where holiday travelers got quite a scare on Christmas night in Boston. A JetBlue air ways flight skidded

off the runway. Passengers say the plane started spinning after hitting a patch of ice. The mishap took place after a winter storm dumped snow in

the area.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were straight and all of a sudden it started fishtailing. Yeah, it started getting rough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once I realized we were going off the runway I was like uh-oh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We started sliding and spinning and ended up in a snowbank.


GORANI: The plane, obviously, finally came to a stop. Where it did come to a stop was between two taxiways. Passengers were jostled, no one,

thankfully, was hurt. Still to come, Pope Francis uses his Christmas message to weigh in on the Middle East. We will go live to Jerusalem for


Plus Apple's iPhone slowdown. Why some angry users are taking the company to court.



[10:17:34] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: God bless you my friend, President Jimmy Morales. God bless both our countries, Israel and




GORANI: That was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanking Guatemala for its decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It comes days

just after the United Nations overwhelmingly condemned the U.S.'s decision to recognize the city as Jerusalem's capital and eventually move its

embassy there. And in the middle of all of this controversy, Pope Francis is speaking out. He says he is praying for a two-state solution. We go

now to Jerusalem. That is where we find Oren Lieberman. Any reaction to what the pope has said this Christmas holiday?

OREN LEIBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: No major reactions in part maybe that the pope's message was not overtly political, at least not political than

any statement about the conflict always is. His statement was pretty much right down the middle. Just stressing what he sees and has seen as a very

important message for him, which is calling for a two-state solution and peace between Israeli's and Palestinians. Here is part of his message.


POPE FRANCIS (TRANSLATOR): On this festive day, let us ask the lord for peace for Jerusalem. And for all the holy land. Let us pray that the will

to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached. One that would allow the peaceful

coexistence of two states with a mutually agrees and internationally recognized borders.


LEIBERMANN: It is worth pointing out, this isn't the pope's first time weighing in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A couple of years ago he

hosted the Palestinian Presidents Mahmoud Abbas and then Israeli President Perez, in the Vatican to try to bring the two sides together. It's been a

mission of his message of his and he weighed in again on Christmas.

GORANI: All right. And so it was considered a measured response, but going forward, I mean we saw the announcement from Guatemala. What

practical impact will any country really deciding to move its embassy or recognizing all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have on the talks in

any kind of peace process going forward?

LEIBERMANN: Guatemala isn't of course the most major international countries and there was a state in the deputy foreign minister. The

countries are moving in that direction as well, perhaps this is about speculation, countries like Czech Republic, what effect does it have? Well

that is very difficult question to ask especially since this is all a bit murky here with what is the U.S.'s next move and how the Israelis and

Palestinians react. A number of countries go on this route we start to see some bigger countries weighing here, it could serve to entrench both sides.

The Palestinians feeling like their country is against them as the Israelis feel like they have countries on their side. And if trenches on both

sides, the negotiations, which already seem like a dream or a fantasy just become even more so.

GORANI: All right, Oren Liebermann thanks very much. Live in Jerusalem.

Now, switching gears to something completely different. Smartphone users, most of you basically for all you speed does matter. IPhone users got a

big surprise when apple admitted to slowing down some of its older phones. And now some of them are going on full speed ahead on a lawsuit against the

tech giant. They're apparently unimpressed by apple's explanation on why it slowed the phones down. Samuel Burke is here with us. I just tweet a

photo of you and me waiting to go on. I'm having no speed issues even though I have an older version of iPhone. You're saying that rare, that

most people use to say that they have.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was not a surprise for so many people. Something they suspected for ages. That when you update

to the latest version of OIS, and apple confirms it now, that they are slowing down you phone, if you are using one of this phones, let me just

list them so people can see whether they can confirm what they already thought. The iPhone 6s, Se and the relatively new iPhone 7, but Apple

doesn't say, because they are trying to control you into buying one of the newer iPhones, they say it has an issue with the battery that sometime

after a lot of usages the battery can surge. That causes the phone to shut down, so they are saying they're trying to elongate the life of the

battery, not trying to let you buy the new iPhone. You had that, I've heard you talk about that.

GORANI: Yes, I was telling you that. Sometimes we will be at 7 percent or 8 percent and I think I got another half hour out of this, but then it will

shut down, it has happen to me.

BURKE: That is exactly what they are trying to fix. But now we are counting five different lawsuits about this. Four in United States, one in

Israel, a 125 million class action lawsuit. Let me put up on the screen exactly what one of these lawsuits is alleging against Apple. They say it

comes down to transparency. Apple's failure to inform consumers these updates would wreak havoc they say on the phone's performance is being

deemed purposeful. And if proven, constitutes the unlawful and decisively withholding of material information. What they're sayings Apple wasn't up

front about what they were doing with these updates. I talked to one lawyer who is an expert in this field, he told me it is easy to file this

lawsuits, very hard to win them.

GORANI: I can imagine. If you do have issues with your phones slowing down, what can you do?

BURKE: This is what's difficult for so many people including technology correspondent, because I heard people say, well I will just won't update.

As you and I talked about so many times on your show, you want to update because of the security patches that come out with each IOS update. So

that really leaves people between a rock and a hard place. A slow phone or one that shuts off frequently. Some experts say a new battery may help

that $80. But not everybody agrees with that. Apple won't say whether a new battery helps or not. Apple's lack of transparency confuses people, as

I can tell by the look on your face.

GORANI: I'd much rather have a fast phone and one that shuts down a little bit too early than have a longer battery life on a slow phone.

BURKE: That seems to be the anecdotal information I am getting from people. A lot people say I'd rather have that is something that is not so

slow I would be willing to buy a new battery would mean I could the phone longer without having to pay $1,000 for an iPhone. This things come with a

really hefty price tag, by the way the iPhone 10 did not sell very well over Christmas. According to one analyst, 10 million left units


GORANI: How could I tell if it is slowing down? What is it that is actually slowing down?

BURKE: Let us say you push an app and you are trying to get to it as it is opening up, I have to say anecdotally you're the only person we have talked

to, that hasn't experienced this.

GORANI: I do wonder, maybe it has marginally slowed down but I guess it doesn't really affect me, because I'm not the kind of user I think that is

constantly clicking on apps. That could be also the issue.

BURKE: you are not on twitter and Facebook as much as you used to be.

GORANI: Well, you know, social media.

BURKE: Overload?

GORANI: On Facebook I've given that a bit of a rest. I have. I'm doing pretty well.

BURKE: Well, we'll see. A lot of people were not so enticed by what was out there this Christmas season on the phone. Facial recognition didn't

get you back on the Facebook the iPhone x clearly.

[1:25:00] GORANI: No, not yet. We'll see. Samuel we will see you later with more on the story. Check us out on Facebook it's not my page. I have

to read it out. Facebook/CNNconnect and for more, check me out on twitter @HalaGorani.

BURKE: You're still tweeting?

GORANI: I am. I'll see you almost all day. Your headlines are next.


[10:30:00] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Hala Gorani. Here's a look at your headlines this hour. Russia's foreingn minister says no sane person

wants to see a war on the Korean Peninsula. The Kremlin has offered to mediate talks between North Korea and the United States.

Tensions have been skyrocketing over Pyongyang's missile program. Also among the top stories, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is calling

for a boycott of next year's presidential race. Navalny was disqualified from challenging Vladimir Putin in March.

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is expressing thanks and acting for forgiveness in a new video after a pardon by the current president

sparked an uproar. Protesters took to the streets for a second night after Fujimori's release. He has been serving a 25-year sentence for human

rights abuses.

Well, travelers got quite a scare in Boston Christmas day. A JetBlue airways flight slid right off the taxiway after hitting a patch of ice at

Logan Airport.

It happened after the flight from Savannah, Georgia, touched down in Boston. Thankfully there were no injuries. That's a look at your

headlines. We'll be updating you on them all day. Stay with CNN, a special edition of Connect the World is up next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We realize we're trapped.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A savage death cult that pretended to be an empire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The end of ISIS territory in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our heroes of reached the final strongholds of Daesh and purified it.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is prepared to stand with you.

ANDERSON: We are live from Riyadh for you, following what are the drizzling events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see this act of war in Iran.

ANDERSON: In Tehran bringing you the view from the heart of the story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An intercepted missile fired at the capital by Iranian backed Houthi rebels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hardship and hunger, this is Yemen's story.

TRUMP: Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel.

ANDERSON: A special program from Jerusalem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shall not accept any role from the United States.


ANDERSON: What a frenetic year of supercharged change it's been. We've seen so much happening. What truly is a roaring cauldron of chaos, the

Middle East. You've just seen me across much of it. Really it's been the year of the game changer. Three stand out most.

ISIS' brutal terror shriveling away, Saudi Arabia turning its Petro wealth scorn against Iran and America, lending its might by recognizing Jerusalem

as Israel's capital, each on their own monumental, each connected.

I'm Becky Anderson. It is all your world now in this special edition of my show, looking back at the year that was and that is still yet to come,

connecting it all starting with the collapse of ISIS, from the ground at sea and in the skies.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A group that once held swathes of Iraq and Syria, down here to their last bullets we're told.

There it is, the river that runs through the heart of Mosul that marks the end of ISIS territory in Iraq, really. But between these Iraqi Special

Forces and that body of water that marks victory are still just dozens of ISIS fighters still holding out.

American air strikes hammer them. That's the intensity and proximity of the fighting here that air strikes are called in right next to Iraqi

forces. They even feel the rubble landing in their faces.


ANDERSON: To the war from the skies now, where thundering strikes like that rain down.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Faced with new Russian threats, the U.S. military not backing down in the skies over Iraq and Syria. We're on

a KC-10 tanker plane refueling the fighters pounding ISIS.

Of course, there's some tension since the Russians have announced they don't want to communicate with the U.S. anymore in the skies over Syria.

Despite the current tensions with Russia, the U.S. says that the fight against ISIS has to continue full steam, especially with American and

allied forces on the ground and in harm's way. A sentiment echoed by commanders leading the air war against ISIS.

BRIG. GEN. CHARLES CORCORAN, U.S. AIR FORCE: We can't take our eye off the ball. It is -- it is ISIS. That's why we're here.

[10:35:00] PLEITGEN: So far, the U.S. says there have been no incidents involving Russian planes over Iraq and Syria and they hope, despite

Russia's rhetoric, that it stays that way. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, aboard a KC-10 refueling jet over Iraq and Syria.


ANDERSON: Out to the deep ocean where we can go on board what is a floating city built for war.


MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're walking on the air deck right now. Take a look around, you can see the massive fire power that's all around


This is the most advanced ship in the entire U.S. fleet. In fact, just from this runway to my side they launch anywhere from 12 to 20 air strikes

against ISIS targets every single day. How do you stay in touch?

SCOTT WELLS, U.S. NAVY: Via e-mail, pictures, occasional phone calls. But while we're underway there is no Skype, chat, FaceTime anything like that.

So it's very challenging.

Powered by twin nuclear reactors with a crew of 5,000 onboard there is always activity with launches during the day and with infrared lighting at

night. By the time their deployment is over, the military says the pilots onboard will drop more than a million pounds of bombs in Iraq and Syria.


ANDERSON: Here a moment no one could forget. A CNN team pinned down in an ISIS trap for more than 28 unimaginably grueling hours.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We realize we're trapped, vehicles, wreckage everywhere. Our MRAP takes a direct hit.


UNKNOWN MALE: Where are we going?

DAMON: I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. It's been hours since they called for backup and none has arrived. They need to evacuate their own


They don't even have enough vehicles to get everyone out, and that's assuming that they would even be able to do so because they say there are

still ISIS fighters that have them surrounded on all sides.

We need to get to a Humvee five steps away. Finally, we make a run for it. We break free but go just 10 yards. A long and frightening night in hiding

follows. We're lucky. We can leave the combat zone.


ANDERSON: The team making it out alive, only barely. Viewers, I want to update you on our breaking news from Spain. A van has plowed into a crowd

of people in Barcelona.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: British authorities are scrambling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The threat has changed.

ANDERSON: A city that knows London's pain right now, of course is Manchester. Agony despair, but mostly defiance, all those chaotic emotions

overflowing right here where I grew up in Manchester.

A little girl of eight had been murdered by a monster. What that really means for many is never doing air guitar at a kid's party. It's no nerves

before school. No pri before graduating.

It's silence, not laughter filling their homes. It's an empty bed upstairs, an empty chair in a classroom. It is an agony that will never go


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She loved me. That was the last I heard from her.


ANDERSON: Well, to find out what happens, next year, we're joined by two experts.


FAWAZ GERGES, AMERICAN-LEBANESE ACADEMIC: ISIS will be with us in 2018. We are beginning to see the new strategy of ISIS. Guerrilla warfare, it is

mutating into an insurgency. $

MINA AL-ORAIBI, POLITICAL ANALYST: The political complications in both Iraq and Syria means that we're very far from stability in 2018. It will

be about how do you consolidate those wins.

GERGES: The new reality will be attacks against soft targets in some western countries. You have small radicalized cells. You have lone

wolves, individuals who are radicalized by not just ISIS ideology, but even by Al-Qaeda ideology.

AL-ORAIBI: Intelligence services say that it's difficult to know if a particular terrorist attack that happens in some part of the world is being

directed from ISIS commanders that we recognize, in terms of name and authority or if they are lone wolves that are inspired by ISIS ideology.

[10:40:00] GERGES: A big point for your audience, there are still about 8,000 ISIS combatants in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Yemen, and Libya.

AL-ORAIBI: We see different terrorist groups emerging in areas where there are security vacuums and when there's a failure of governance.

GERGES: It's early to write to pen the obituary of both ISIS as a terrorist organization and ISIS as an ideology. I think the physical

state, the dismantling of the territorial estate in Iraq and Syria, and Libya is a big achievement. But it's too early to celebrate.

AL-ORAIBI: Their space is being limited, but it's not yet completely eliminated online. So as long as they can have that vacuum rather than

having territorial hold, they have that virtual space.

GERGES: The fight goes on, but it's not as bloody. It's not as brutal. It's not as dangerous as it has been since 2014.


ANDERSON: The year that was and the year that may be for ISIS. Up next, we consider two countries who both hated ISIS, now hating each other in a

new cold war. Before we do that, we pause on this very human moment of the cold mechanical war against the terror group.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): God willing the Iraqi army will be victorious. God protect the whole Iraq, and God willing they free

everywhere and they bring back the displays.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to our special edition. Well most things happen slowly in the desert, picture tide, camels, plotting over sand, unchanged

since the time of Cleopatra, the scorching heat grinding our ambitions into weary dust. Not this year.

A parched kingdom of Saudi Arabia, thirsty for life, a new firing on all cylinders, powered by trillions in treasure but powered, more so by the

electric energy of youth. And its main focus, its rivalry.

Iran and Saudi Arabia, two regional superpowers going head to head across the Middle East, while they've always fought for regional and religious

power, things have escalated.

Saudi's, now King Salman bin Abdulaziz, once greeted Iran's then ruler Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ph) in Riyadh. Then 1979, Iran's Islamic revolution,

suddenly, Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's two holiest sites and the leader of Sunni Islam had a challenger in the shape of a revolutionary Shia power.

It didn't take long for tensions to rise. Iraq launched the war against the Islamic republic just a year later in 1980 with the classic backing of

Saudi and others, something many of Iran's current leaders still vividly remember. Things got a little bit better after the war finished but of

course, things never really healed.

[10:45:00] Both sides were and still are using other countries to settle their scores. They're still going at each other in Iraq, and now Syria,

Yemen, Qatar and, of course, Lebanon.

Some were corrected by religious differences, Iran backs the extremely powerful Shia group Hezbollah. While Saudi Arabia offers itself the

protector of Lebanon's Sunnis, raising the specter of it becoming a new battle ground.

What is a regional cold war between the Kingdom and Iran is only getting worse, mainly driven by Saudi's new young crown prince who has taken a hard

line against Iran.

He blames them for a missile strike by Iranians supported Houthi rebels in Yemen against Riyadh's international airport. Saudi Arabia and their sunni

Arab partners with Donald Trump at their backs are looking to hold Iran in check.

The way this will end up is anyone's guess but one thing is certain, the battle for power in this region has entered a new phase.

At odds politically and even with guns and bombs in these places, using social fabric of other countries to effectively weave nooses for them, the

world's worst humanitarian crisis.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is food in the markets. It's just that few people can actually afford it. And that's what's so tough to get

your head around about this crisis. It's not caused by bad harvest or a drought, it's caused by man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And intercepted missile fired at the capital by Iranian backed Houthi rebels.

ANDERSON: The air strikes against rebels, Riyadh called terrorists.

ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI ARABIA FOREIGN MINISTER: It was an Iranian missile launched by Hezbollah from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen. We

see this as an act of war. Iran, cannot live missiles at Saudi cities and towns, and expect us not to take steps vis-a-vis Iran.

ANDERSON: Saudi Arabia was also recently accused of forcing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to step down in an effort to limit Shia Hezbollah's

political influence in Lebanon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it.

AL-JUBEIR: It was very clear that Hezbollah is undercutting him at every turn. That it's doing Iran's meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): The resignation was his own decision. Prime Minister Saad Hariri was told and forced to do so.

AL-JUBEIR: The Lebanese political system became paralyzed, that the issue of a government that could act independently was a sham, it was Hezbollah

calling the shots. And basically said enough is enough, I'm not doing this. And we support him fully in that decision.

ANDERSON: Feud with fellow gulf state, Qatar has soured into a damaging standoff. Well, it's pretty much a family steroids, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain

and the UAE are uniting against Qatar.

AL-JUBEIR: Saudi Arabia has announced zero tolerance policy for extremism and terrorism.

MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATAR FOREIGN MINISTE (through a translator): Qatar is preventing the war from potential terrorists. There

is no any support going to al-Nusra or al-Qaeda or others. Whatever is being thrown as an accusation is all based on misinformation.

GERGES: The cold war between Saudi Arabia and its allies and Iran and its allies will go on. And in fact, it's going to intensify in 2018.

AL-ORAIBI: Saudi Arabia has given the very clear indication that they're no longer willing to just be reactive, to just wait and see whether it's

Iran or others that want to test either its interests or Arab resolve.

GERGES: Saudi Arabia has decided to lead from the front and try to counterbalance Iranian penetration of the Sunni Arab lands, whether you're

talking about Iraq, whether you're talking about Syria, whether you're talking Lebanon or Yemen.

AL-ORAIBI: Any end of the war in Yemen will rely on a political settlement. Saudi Arabia can't afford to have a militia that's similar to

Hezbollah sitting in its back yard.

GERGES: Sadly and tragically, where I believe between Saudi Arabia and Iran is playing out on Arab streets and the casualties are in the


AL THANI through a translator): I assure you that no one involved in a corruption case will be spared, no matter if he is a prince or a minister.

GERGES: The crowned prince it really being baptized in blood and fire, decision by learning, by trial and error.

AL-ORAIBI: They are opening up and liberalization that's happening seems at a pace that could not be imagined.

GERGES: They are 30-years-ild. They present around 70 percent of the population. This is his constituents. To even though some of us really

might not understand his decision making process, that his decisions obviously appeal to these young constituencies that's very much impatient

about the slow pace of change in the Kingdom.

AL-ORAIBI: They're mapping the future rather than just trying to maintain the status quo. High risk comes with high rewards but it also means that

if things go bad, then mistakes are too high.


ANDERSON: We'll be back after this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

TRUMP: The answer is yes, I would.


ANDERSON: Like many others before him, he promised it. But this American president, Donald Trump maverick in many ways, officially recognized

Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Upending years of political thinking in Washington, here's the story of that.


TRUMP: It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Middle East is on edge in the wake of President Trump's decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerusalem is Israel's capital, it's clearly evident to all of you who visit Israel. Jerusalem is Israel's capital. No one can

deny it. It doesn't obviate peace, it makes peace possible because recognizing reality is the substance of pee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we can get down to the real business of bringing upon us peace.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This can potentially be something that initiates and improved ability to negotiate a peace. That does seem to be

at a variance.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY (through a translator): With this step, the U.S. has chosen to lose its competence as

mediator and to disqualify itself in playing a role in the ace process. We shall not accept any role from the United States in the peace process.

AYMAN SAFADI, JORDAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We're extremely concerned about the consequences of this dangerous decision, not just in Jordan, across the

Arab and Muslim world.

No issue is more sensitive than Arabs, and Muslims, and Christians than Jerusalem. No issue is more potent in terms of its ability to rally public

opinion. So people are angry. People are raved. We are all disappointed with this decision.


ANDERSON: Turkey's prime minister says Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision has quote, pulled the pin of a grenade.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the Arab states are traitors, he says. They're all the same, traitors.


ANDERSON: Well, I'm here in Jerusalem. Right at the very heart of this conflict.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They just released a volley of tear gas towards the protesters, usually from one of their trucks. We've got an

ambulance coming through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A solution, I don't think so. No solution.

ANDERSON: A short ride on the tram takes us from east to west for a different perspective.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's such a forest. There's no -- there's no chance for a two-state solution.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though I would like to see it, it just isn't going to happen.

ISAAC HERZOG, ISRAELI OPPOSITION LEADER: I don't deny the fact that there is a connection -- a major connection of Islam to Jerusalem as well as

Christianity. And we have pledged freedom of religion always and we've kept it to the last iota.

But they agree -- as was laid down actually by President Trump yesterday, he says, the extent -- to which extent Israeli sovereignty will reign in

Jerusalem will be discussed in the peace process.

AL-ORAIBI: Trump's decision on Jerusalem was a way of saying, we do not adhere to international law.

GERGES: I think it was a major strategic miscalculation on the part of President Trump.

[10:55:00] Question that many of us need to ask, why presidents, conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, had refused to sign to recognize

Jerusalem ashe capital of Israel because they have recognize that doing so would do more harm not only to American interest but also to the interests

at the peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israelis.

AL-ORAIBI: The United States plays an important role, actually this move to try to predetermine the status of Jerusalem means that the United States

plays less of a role in trying to bring about a peace deal than more.

GERGES: There is an understanding among his supporters, his advisors, that the Arab world is impotent, that the Arab world is powerless. I have a

different reading. We might be witnessing the beginning -- the beginning of a Palestinian Intifada.

President Trump's decision has poured gasoline on the raging fire in the Middle East. On the one hand, President Trump says his basic decision, his

basic strategy in the Middle East is to counterbalance Iraq. President Trump' decision is a godsend event to Iran.

AL-ORAIBI: In reality what it does is become a gift for radicals who want to say you see, using peaceful methods, talking about negotiations will

only mean you lose grounds and that violence is the way that you push back against the United States or Israel or others.

And that's a real blow to the voices in the Arab world and Muslim world who have called for peace for negotiated settlements of occupation of

Palestine. And so in reality, Trump has made the lives of his allies that much more difficult to try to have a working relationship in the United



ANDERSON: It really was then a game changing year in almost every regional dimension as we've shown you now. And in my travels across the region this

year, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump, Jerusalem, ISIS, and so much else, they are all connected. Thank you so much for joining me, Becky Anderson,

and my team all year and next one, too.