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Turkey Targets Kurdish YPG In Syria; Interior Ministry 18 Killed In Kabul Attack; Standoff Over Shutdown Intensifies As Parties Point Fingers; Women March For Equality And Justice In London; Germany's Social Democrats Voting On Coalition Talks. Aired 1-11a ET

Aired January 21, 2018 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tears on the border for Turkey's military move targeting groups in Syria that Ankara says are terrorists

including U.S. backed Kurdish rebels. In Afghanistan, conflicting accounts of who's behind an attack that killed at least 18 people Kabul's five-star

Hotel. And furious finger-pointing over the government shutdown in Washington, but no action yet. The international blame game is in full

swing this hour and there is nowhere better to break it down than here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, hello and welcome to the show. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. It is just after 7:00 in the evening. And we begin with extraordinary

developments from Turkey today who's president says he'll crush an American-backed militia. Turkish ground forces have entered serious

Kurdish held Afrin regions. A move that follows Turkish air strikes on the area. This as Turkish state media reports rockets fired from Syria have

hit a Turkish border town. Well, Ankara appears to be targeting the Kurdish YPG but says it's also fighting ISIS. The YPG are, by the way, a

U.S. ally. France has now request an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Iran weighing in too. And all this once again complicating what

is the painfully sensitive picture that is Syria as we know it today. Ben Wiedermann following the story from Cairo. Ben, just how significant is

what we are seeing happening on the ground?

BEN WIEDERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's significant. It represents the further dismemberment of the country we

once called Syria. We've seen in the last 24 hours well over a hundred Turkish airstrikes on the area of Afrin which is north of Aleppo on the

border with Turkey. There has been this ground incursion by the Turks as well all aimed to crush they say not only YPG, which of supported by the

United States, but also they say ISIS. Although our sources on the ground say there is no ISIS presence in that part of Syria. But as a result of

this fighting we've seen, it appears the Kurds firing back this afternoon. A missile hit the Turkish border town of Reyhanli killing ironically one

Syrian national in addition to wounding 30 others. We believe most of them are Turkish in this case, this according to the mayor of Reyhanli.

Earlier in the day, another missile hit the Turkish town of Kilis injuring at least one. We have seen that the Americans -- before the operations

actually began, calling on the Turks to ask with restraint saying that they should be focused on the battle against ISIS. But we've heard in the past,

the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying that he essentially sees the YPG, which is affiliated with the PKK, the Kurdish worker's party which

has fought a war against the Turkish state since 1984. He sees the PKK and ISIS as equal partners in terrorism.

Now there have been calls of restraint from Iran, from France, from Germany. The United States has as yet not commented on this operation.

But it appears that the Turks are determined to go ahead and carry through. Now, we did see statements suggesting that what they want to do is

establish a 30-kilometer deep buffer zone within the three region along the lines of what they did in what they called Operation Euphrates Shield which

was launched in August of 2016. Becky?

ANDERSON: Well, this clearly does complicate what has I suggested as already a painfully sensitive picture in Syria. What are the likely

consequences of this point do you think?

WIEDERMANN: Well, it is hard to say, really. I mean, the Turks who are -- Turkey is a member of NATO, once a U.S. ally but now, relations between

Ankara and Washington are in disarray or in tatters. So they're not going to listen too much to the United States. Now, prior to this operation,

there was talks that perhaps the Russians had worked out a deal whereby the Kurds in Afrin would raise the Syrian flag, somehow reestablishing

Damascus' authority in that area. And this may be why the Kurds intervened. Now the operation is called somewhat ironically, Operation

Olive Branch. It's not quite clear who that branch is being extended to at this point so it's a very confusing situation, and the end game is beyond

anyone's comprehension at this point.

ANDERSON: Yes. Ben, thank you. It's always good to have Ben on attempting to sort things out for us although as he say -- he says it's a

very complicated situation. In Afghanistan, it not clear who is responsible for a deadly attack on a hotel there. The standoff in Kabul

ended Sunday leaving at least 18 people dead and seven wounded, several attackers also killed. The Taliban released a statement saying its

assailants carried out the attack. The Afghan interior ministry says it was the work of the Haqqani Network based in Pakistan. Well, authorities

rescued more than 150 people from the hotel. They did not provide nationalities of the victims but they said at least one foreigner is among

the dead. CNN Senior International Correspondent Sam Kirby now with me in the studio. You have extensive experience reporting from inside

Afghanistan. We see these attacks, again and again, same tactics, often same types of targets. Why?

SAM KIRBY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, ultimately to undermine the ability of the central government to function. To send a

signal right across Afghanistan but also to the international community that nobody is safe in the capital Kabul. That's why most of these attack

are focused. Not entirely, but they are generally focused on places like the intercontinental which is a place that will attract foreign business,

it's frequently placed where were conventions. We got one more detail just to bring just before we come into air, Becky, that death toll 18 including

14 foreigners now, and four Afghans as we understand. Four gunmen were killed.

So that takes it into a different realm really in terms of the scorecard for whoever conducted this operation because it is foreigners ultimately,

if you can drive them out of the capital, you drive down investment, you start to weaken the government in a permanent way firstly. And secondly,

of course, you don't risk any blowback from fellow clans, different tribes, and so on which whether is the Haqqani Network or the Taliban, they're

very, very conscious of not riling different communities always. Although of course, they do practice a lot of very violent attacks.

ANDERSON: This is America's longest war. We're on U.S. President number three since it started. Any end in sight at this point?

KIRBY: There's no end in sight at all. In fact, there is a deepening really of the role the Americans are slowly incrementally increasing their

numbers of troops. Even the British I believe have been sending a small number of trainers. Everybody has been trying to get out of this

situation. (INAUDIBLE) of the 19th century that so many people wound about during the great game -- great game and the British got sucked and then

beaten back then. The issue ultimately though is that if there is a nation such as Afghanistan with ungoverned space as it's called, then these

networks can flourish. Now, whether it's the Taliban -- which actually has a much more domestic agenda or the Haqqani network which has a domestic

agenda with some roots in Pakistan, very tightly controlled aligned with the drug (INAUDIBLE) too, or whether it is internationalist groups like al-

Qaeda, the ungoverned space is what the west, in particular, is so allergic too.

We've seen that same thing in Somalia and now of course in Yemen where things are collapsing very fast. But in terms of a long-term plan, the

Americans are focused very heavily at the moment on attacking drug manufacturing locals because, in their view, there is a direct link between

drug manufacturer and the funding of the Taliban. Now, while that link does exist, experts I've been speaking to over the many, many years and

indeed Afghan army soldiers I spent time with on the ground, they say that actually most of the money goes into people connected with the government.

And therefore you can also risk counterattacks there. It's a multilayered concrete there and in the background, you get criminal gangs who will

pretend to be ISIS one day, al-Qaeda the next and the Taliban on the third day and nobody is ever quite sure who is fighting whom except from the

western perspective, they tend to use this casual tern, the Taliban. They do run a pretty a pretty tight ship in the areas under their control too.

So there is some degree of popularity in going back to the original question. The fact is that in the areas under the Taliban control, a lot

of opinion pulse have shown that they're quite popular because they run a tight judicial system. They can be trusted. Whereas of course the central

government at least for the Taliban perspective, they try to dig up the fact that there is corruption and mismanagement.

ANDERSON: The irony of the situation. That is Afghanistan today. Sam, thank you. Just one second to our viewers, I just need to make a very

quick call here. Stand by, stand by viewers. Just thought I'd ring the White House and see how that government shutdown is going. Stand by.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because Congressional

Democrats are holding government funding including funding for our troops and other national security priorities hostage to an unrelated immigration

debate. Due to this obstruction, the governments shut down.

ANDERSON: Well, that is the message that we've been getting all morning. In fact, if you call the White House comment line, that is what you'll hear

too. And it's not the only government service closed for business today. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are shut. You can go to some

national parks, but fair warning, you'll likely find restrooms there are locked. It is the second day of the U.S. government is being shut and the

real effects of the lapse in funding are just starting to be felt. In Washington, there is no breakthrough in sight. Instead, plenty of

political finger-pointing. Capitol Hill will get back to work this afternoon to take another shot at trying to find a compromise. CNN's Jim

Acosta has more on what is this blame game and how the U.S. government came to a standstill.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He's sitting, they don't know how long the shutdown will last. Aides to President Trump are shaming

Democrats for closing down the government.

MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR: It's like a two-year-old temper tantrum to say I'm going to take my toys and go home because I'm

upset about something else.

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT: My favorite is still the Schumer Shutdown. It's got that nice little ring to it, doesn't


ACOSTA: But privately, CNN has learned President Trump has confided to aides and allies he worries he will ultimately take the blame.


ACOSTA: As the shutdown is happening exactly one year after he was sworn into office.

This is the one year anniversary of President being sworn into office, how does this White House feel to shut down one year after the President was

sworn in?

SHORT: Well, Jim, I think it's disappointing that Congress has chosen to shut down the government in particularly Senate Democrats have at the one

year anniversary. But --

ACOSTA: (INAUDIBLE) reflection to all the leadership coming out of the White House.

SHOR: I think it's a reflection candidly of the position that many of the Democrat Party find themselves in.

ACOSTA: On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue --

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O.

ACOSTA: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is complaining Mr. Trump rejected his last offer to start paying to the wall as the last-ditch

gesture to prevent a shutdown during their Friday meeting at the White House.

SCHUMER: -- is next to impossible to strike a deal with the President because he can't stick to the terms. I have found this out, Leader

McConnell has found this out, Speaker Ryan has found this out.



ACOSTA: Democrats have dug in their heels, insisting on an agreement to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as the DREAMers in exchange

for their help in reopening the government outraging Republicans.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There is no reason for this shutdown. We have been and we continue to be willing to work together in

good faith on immigration. But that deadline, that deadline is weeks away.

ACOSTA: The President stayed behind closed doors making calls to Republicans while using his phone to blast away at Democrats tweeting,

"Democrats are holding our military hostage over their desire to unchecked illegal immigration. Can't let that happen." The President is escalating

his rhetoric on the DREAMers, a far cry from the compassionate tone he used earlier this month.

TRUMP: There should be a bipartisan bill. There should be a bill of love, truly, there should be a bill of love.

ACOSTA: But Democrats are constantly reminding the President of is past comments on shutdowns.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: He said what this country needs is a good shutdown. We don't agree.

ACOSTA: Especially when Barack Obama was president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who's going to bear the brunt of the responsibility if indeed there is a shutdown of our government?

TRUMP: Well, if you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top. I mean, problem starts from the top and they have to get solved from the top

and the president is the leader.

ACOSTA: The President was supposed to be at Mar-a-Lago this weekend, celebrating the one year anniversary of being sworn into office. Instead,

he can hear the protest from the Women's March in Washington right outside the White House. It was one year ago when the President promised

fundamental changes for the U.S.

TRUMP: This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

ACOSTA: That combative tone from that January weekend has lasted throughout the President's first year in office in ways the nation won't

soon forget.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and

around the globe.


ANDERSON: Well, Sean Spicer there. Remember him? Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta reporting there from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Joining me now is Bakari Sellers, a Political -- CNN Political Commentator and former State Representative from South Carolina. You are a Democrat.

I was going to say by faith so, you are a Democrat. Jim's reporting, underlying the blame game. You, I'm sure, are going to tell me this is a

Trump shutdown, not a Schumer shutdown. How do you justify that?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I think that most Americans including myself think that the United States Congress'

job is to keep America running and to keep the government running, which they failed to do. But this is the first time in modern history, the first

time in modern U.S. history that a party that's controlled the House, the Senate and the White House has had a Government shutdown on their watch.

The fact is, the Republican Party, the CHIP program that we're arguing over right now, they're the ones that --who did not reauthorize this program.

DACA, they are the reason that we have DREAMers in this country, which March sixth will have to be deported because they have no certainty. So

the reason that we're here is because of the Republican Party and the reason that we say it is a Trump shutdown is because the great dealmaker

has been unable to make a deal.

ANDERSON: One day, ten hours, 16 minutes and 51 seconds and counting. Take a listen to what Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of

Management and Budget just told my colleague and yours, Jake Tapper, on "STATE OF THE UNION." Have a listen.


MULVANEY: We cannot open the government without Senate Democrat support. We don't have that Senate Democrat support, which is why we are where we

are and one way around it is to change the 50 votes. Another way around it would be to get some of those Democrats who say back home that they want to

work in a bipartisan fashion, they want to work with Republicans but don't. Where are those Democrats who say one thing back home and then do another

in Washington?


ANDERSON: Do Democrats really have all the cards here sir?

SELLERS: Well, I would hope that we did. I wish that we did and that maybe after November when the midterm elections come, we will. But I'll do

some basic math for my former colleague from South Carolina Mick Mulvaney. They lost four Republicans. There's 51 of them. That means they only had

47 Republican votes to think all of a sudden that the Democrats who actually voted for this to "red state Democrats" would come and pass this

when the vote actually counted or met, something I don't believe that to be the case. But the fact still remains that they don't have enough votes in

their own caucus so they can go 51, they can go to 60, they can cast blame on whoever they want.

The fact remains, we actually gave a bipartisan bill to the President of the United States. And the President of the United States threw it away.

He pooh-poohed it. It had 56 votes. It was gaining more. It would have given all the stability we need to family health centers and DACA and

DREAMers and all of the sort. And Chuck Schumer said it best. He said, negotiating with this President is like negotiating with Jell-O.

ANDERSON: Bakari, the longest government shutdown was of course during Bill Clinton's Presidency. For 21 days the government partially shut. The

last government closure was during the Obama administration as you were rightly alluded to in 2013. The government shutting for 16 days. There's

really no telling how long this could go on for, is there?

SELLERS: No, in fact, we don't know. And the reason being is because Republicans, you know, they were a very good opposition party. But what

they have proven last year was they were in control of all of these bodies. They have an inability to lead. They haven't figured out how to lead and

govern just yet. And the Bill Clinton years, we had a Republican House, in the Barack Obama 2013 shutdown, you had a Republican House and Republican

Senate. Now you have a Republican Presidency, Senate and House and they're still unable to figure this out. I don't know how long this will go. We

do have one hard and fast deadline.

And let me tell the viewers around the world, if we get to March 6th, and there is no fix for DREAMers in this country, March 7th will be one of the

most devastating days and a stain on our country's history because we will be deporting 800,000 people who the only home they have ever known has been

the United States of America and they have been here since children and that will happen on Donald Trump's watch.

ANDERSON: Views of Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Commentator and former State Representative from South Carolina. Thank you, Sir.

SELLERS: Thank you, Becky. Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, this weekend we have seen women and men take to the street and march for equal rights for women and again U.S. President Donald Trump.

Those women's marches are not just taking place in the U.S., today, thousands of people paying out in a women's march of their own despite what

is a pretty miserable day in London, cold at least. Still to come this hour, more voices from these massive women's marches this weekend. We'll

get you to those in the United States. First up though, a vote on way in Germany that could have serious consequences for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

We are live for you in Berlin up next. Taking a very short break, back after.


ANDERSON: 23 minutes past seven in Abu Dhabi, you're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. If you're just joining us,

you are most welcome. A crucial vote underway in Germany that will decide the political future of Angela Merkel. The Social Democrat Party is

holding a special congress today on whether to open official coalition talks with Miss Merkel's Christian Democrats. If it doesn't pass, the

Chancellor will either rule alone in a minority government or call new elections. The SPD leader urging his party to back the negotiations.

CNN's Atika Shubert following the story for us from Berlin. It certainly sounds like this is a make or break moment for Angela Merkel, correct?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely Becky. And it's incredibly tense right now. We're actually been monitoring it on

the screens here. This is the party congress happening in (INAUDIBLE) absolute silence right now as they vote. They're in the midst of the vote.

The vote was too tight to call with just a show of hands. So now they're doing it card by card, trying to figure out how the Social Democrats will

vote. If they vote for a yes, then a grand coalition talks goes ahead with Chancellor Merkel. If they vote no, well, then Chancellor Merkel is really

in a tight spot because she has the choice of either trying to govern with simply a minority government that will be very tough, although it is

possible, or she takes her chances with another election.

Keep in mind, they just had the election in September, and she's had real trouble trying to put together a coalition government. And this is

incredible because this is a woman who is considered one of -- the most powerful woman in the world and she seemed to be undefeatable running --

going into the election and now she's been put in this vulnerable position where she can't even appear to putting a coalition together. And that is

why this vote now is so critical. We are likely to get an answer within a few minute but they're still counting the votes as we speak, Becky.

ANDERSON: Even if this does go her way, and these are live pictures coming to us from the SPD headquarters, even if this goes her way, Atika, there

are huge challenges ahead for Angela Merkel.

SHUBERT: Absolutely. Because when you look at the election results that came in September, it was clear, it was a protest vote. Voters did not

like the policies of Angela Merkel and her coalition partner, the Social Democrats and it really focused on this issue of immigration that

controversial decision by the Chancellor to allow up to a million refugees to come into the country in 2015. A lot of voters felt that the country

had somehow lost control of its borders.

And we saw the backlash of that in the election when you know, the Christian Democrats under Chancellor Merkel lost more than a million votes

to a nationalist far-right anti-immigration party, the alternative for Germany. The Social Democrats also lost a record number of votes. And so

now what we see is that Chancellor Merkel is trying to regain some sort of stability, some sort of steadfast power base for her to secure her legacy

in her -- the twilight years of her career. But the fact is she's finding it very difficult to find coalition partners and this vote today will

determine whether or not she is successful.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert is in Berlin for you, keeping an eye out on that extremely important vote. More on that as we get it. Thank you, Atika.

More at this hour of course for you including Vice President Mike Pence is in the Middle East facing tough questions about Donald Trump's pivot on

Jerusalem and the prospects for peace. More on that after this.


[10:31:07] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you, welcome back. While the U.S. tries to dig itself

out of a government shutdown, the country's Vice President is meeting is meeting the key allies on a tour of this region in the Middle East. So,

Mike Pence is now in Amman in Jordan, the second leg of his Middle East tour.

The trip comes in the wake of President Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Mr. Pence met with Jordan's King

Abdullah earlier on to express concern over that decision saying moved could fuel Muslim and Christian tensions.

Well, the vice president's first stop on his tour was Cairo, in Egypt. During his meeting with the Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Mr.

Pence says, he raised the issue of two Americans jailed in Egypt.

(INAUDIBLE) is in Amman in Jordan, now. Jomana Karadsheh is with us from the Jordanian Capital. And we know relations, Jomana reveals strings in

Trump's decision on Jerusalem. How might this trip help patch things up is at all?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Becky, White House officials have been keen to emphasize that there is more to this trip than

that controversial decision on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We've seen that today, the vice president talking about his

discussions with King Abdullah, counterterrorism on being discussed the fight against ISIS and the conflict in neighboring Syria.

When it comes to the decision, again described by Vice President Pence, as that historic decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the

capital of Israel, he's saying essentially that they have agreed to disagree on that. That Jordan and the United States will not see eye to

eye on that. That he's also saying that they still want to restart the peace process that they still are committed to a two-state solution.

It's really unclear, Becky, what role the United States will be able to play. We have heard from King Abdullah again, reiterating Jordan's

decision which we've heard from him throughout that there's only one solution and that is the two-state solution that they are pushing for a

Palestinian State based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its Capital.

Of course, it still remains to be seen, you know, if countries in this region, we've heard it from the Palestinian's if they will accept the U.S.

as being part of any future negotiations. And we've seen countries like Jordan, really looking elsewhere internationally for an alternative to the

United States when it comes to peace negotiations.

ANDERSON: Yes, and the Palestinian though seem -- they said that (INAUDIBLE) is a dishonest broke up in this now much talk of a much more

sort of multilateral approach to any peace process going forward. And we have yet to see the hand that Washington want assumes will play at some

point, which will be their idea about how to construct a peace process.

Among -- Jomana, one of Washington's worthwhile closest allies in the region for years, what does Jordan have to offer these days? What is an

openly transactional U.S. administration?

KARADSHEH: Well, for decades, as you know very well, Becky, Jordan has been a very close U.S. ally, especially when it comes to security

cooperation between both countries, whether it is cooperation between their different security and intelligence agencies. Whether it is the U.S.

military using bases here in Jordan.

So, his country does have a lot to offer, but also, the Jordanian leader, the leadership here, see themselves also as a mediator when it comes to

different conflicts in the region. And you know, one must say, Becky, that at the beginning, you know, a year ago, when this administration first came

to power, they did, the Jordanian's official at least were very hopeful that they could revive the peace process that they believe is key to

stability in this region and fighting extremism.

[10:35:15] ANDERSON: Fascinating. Jomana, always a pleasure, thank you. Jomana Karadsheh is in Amman in Jordan as we with around this region.

We're going to just jump away from this region for this because only into Germany the vote is in. Social Democratic Party has voted yes to opening

official coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. We have been speaking this hour to Atika Schubert, my colleague

who is following the story from Berlin, she's back with us. It's gone her way, Atika. So, what's next?

SHUBERT: It has gone away, but it was a very narrow, narrow vote. It was 362 for yes going ahead with the coalition talks, 279-against. So, it

squeaked through but what it means is now, frankly, more talks. The Social Democrats and Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats now have the go-ahead

to really hammer out some sort of a coalition agreement.

The reality of this is we won't -- we are very unlikely to get any sort of coalition government until around the spring, around the Easter. That's

because not only are these talks going to take some time, you know, carving up which the ministry will go to which Party. But even then, the final

agreement will still have to be voted upon by the Social Democrat, they get a final say.

So, this is just one part of a very long process but it does seem that for Chancellor Merkel at the moment, it is good news.

ANDERSON: Briefly, and as you've been weakened by this? Say -- you say it is good news effectively in the short term because the least they're going

to negotiate at this point. But as she been weakened?

SHUBERT: She is absolutely been weakened. I mean, she went into the September Election, looking like she was the only candidate around that she

could not be defeated. She came out of it looking very vulnerable, with no coalition partners willing to help her. And now, she is just squeaked by

with this very narrow vote.

So, she's really going to have to explain to voters what she's doing differently, how things will change. And perhaps, more importantly, she's

going to have to figure out what her legacy is going to be because it's quite clear that this is now going to be Merkel's last term. I mean, she's

been in power now for twelve years, people have been asking, what's the plan after Merkel lives. And the fact that this is becoming a closer

reality when you have a situations like this.

ANDERSON: Reality check then in Germany. For you, Atika Shubert out of Berlin, thank you, Atika. We are live for you from Abu Dhabi, of course.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.

Flying into the future, this new type of aircraft could help make the planet cleaner. Up next, we look at eventually life-changing ideas to

fight climate change. Stay with us.


[10:40:17] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN's CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson. It is 20 to 8:00 here, in the UAE. You are watching us

broadcasting from our Middle East hub.

Now, one of the key decisions of Donald Trump's first year in office was to pull out of the historic Paris climate accord. Well, despite his

withdrawal, the world went on forward to find solutions to a many shift plaguing our world, that being climate change.

Well, the United Arab Emirates formally ratified the Paris agreement back in September of 2016. And since then is announced an ambitious target of

50 percent renewable energy by 2050. That's a big bet for a country better known for being built on its abundance of fossil fuel. So, they all

looking for new ideas.

Quite called up with a couple of innovators at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, to see what they're doing to change the world. Have a look at this.

Clime change, arguably one of the biggest challenges facing our planet is changing the way we live our lives. A topic prior on the agenda at this

year's, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Where people like, Mika Soila, sterile entrepreneur from Finland. And Emirati student Alia Alabdali got

together to pitch their ideas towards a greener future.

I've got two passionate entrepreneurs with me here, who are looking to generate some interest in funding for prototypes that they have at the

moment. And I have Abdullah here, who is a senior member of the Venture capital fund at Mubarla. What an earthy pips.


MIKA SOILA, ENTREPRENEUR, FINLAND: The most sustainable way to fly a real airplane, at least, when it comes to power, this one aircraft that are

designed for mass production. So, we are creating it's all to the new sports class, and we are able to be the biggest aircraft manufacturer in

the world.

ANDERSON: All right, OK. We are talking 70 kilograms. I could pick this thing up. It's all about sport, it's on the very jets' like to me. And,

is there anything like this anywhere in the world?

SOILA: We have seen, we have seen.

ANDERSON: How does it -- how does it power itself?

SOILA: It's all electric, in-house developed, proprietary technology which is the heart of our product. And we are very proud of that. So --

ANDERSON: Describe this sort of sport you are talking about here.

SOILA: At ranchers, it's like aviation adventure, water sports mixed. So, totally inner (INAUDIBLE). It's on a jet, Jet Ski on wings.

ANDERSON: How much it lead?

SOILA: We need a $2 million U.S.

ANDERSON: You just heard the pitch -- tips.

SAMMY ABDULLAH, SENIOR MEMBER, VENTURE CAPITAL FUND: So, I say to address the safety concerns --

SOILA: Yes, yes.

ABDULLAH: -- and safety parameters that you studied. I'd say that's an important one. The second one is maybe to elaborate on your go to market

strategy, whether you addressing consumers, or you want to take this to businesses that could feel us a lot more quicker. And maybe a last thing

you mentioned, you need $2 million, maybe just a high-level view on what that get you to. And how far that takes you from going to market versus

finalizing and perfecting this prototype.

ANDERSON: Come and told committee earlier about exactly what you've got here.

ALIA ALABDALI, EMIRATI STUDENT: This is our project, this is called the Ventech Microbial (INAUDIBLE). We are using the much chances that has

aerobic bacteria which is extracted from a food waste. This aerobic bacteria produce some free electrons, and this free electrons pass through

this wire which gives us an electric current. In addition, we get pure water as by-product. This project is environmentally safe, cost-effective,

and most importantly, easy to use.

ANDERSON: What are you looking for from this investors? Because I know your real life fit is about an hour from now we'll talking to. What are

you looking for?

ALABDALI: Yes, So, there are two options. The first option is that we build our own company and we send electricity for this governmental

companies. The other option is that we collaborate with some electricity authorities so that we manage the project, but they are the ones who will

do the further partnerships with corresponds with the others.

ANDERSON: Abdullah, thought.

ABDULLAH: I say, first of all, there are other uses of waste management today. So, we'll be interesting to understand why you picked to generate

electricity versus for example producing fertilizers. And I think, you cannot touch on it a little bit when you said there's very broad initiative

in the UAE to generate electricity from alternative sources, so that's one.

Two would be, how you plant to skill this business. And it seems that you're starting to think of it. l really like how you thought about your

go-to market strategy. Is either you build this from scratch yourself where you will need significant funding, or you partner with some of the

other players that could really speed up your go to market there. So, that was find interesting.

The third, maybe if you can just compare at a very high level, how generating a unit of electricity using this approach compares to

conventional approaches, just to make at a commercially valuable business in the long-term.


[10:45:26] ANDERSON: Impressive stuff here. Clicks which is a unique marketplace connecting on a global level entrepreneurs interested in the

world of sustainability native. All right, from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, the Women's March is inspiring people around

the world. We'll have more from the rallies just ahead for you.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. All right, find out what the most powerful man in the

world is thinking, everyone goes to the same place. At real Donald Trump, don't worry about having to scroll through all of his tweets over this --

the past year. CNN's Brian Stelter bring us the big picture.


TRUMP: If I didn't have social media, I wouldn't be able to get the word out.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, got the word out more than 2,400 times during his first year on office. His tweets

give talking point to his supporters, and a heartburn to his critics.

TRUMP: Make sure you look up @realDonaldTrump, right?

STELTER: His tweets gave us in the media a lot to talk about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This just in. The Twitter in chief has fired off a new one this morning.

STELTER: It's a real-time sense of what the President cares about, what he's doing and what he's watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sort of live tweets the morning shows.

STELTER: Or what he wants all of us to focus on.

TRUMP: He's in a Twitter storm again. I don't do Twitter storms.

STELTER: Or his tweets distractions may be sometimes. But his words carry power and shape policy. His use of social media has taken the presidency

to a new more divisive place. Trump reacts to perceive sights in real time. Targeting other world leaders like British Prime Minister Theresa

May, and his own cabinet members like Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions, Plus, funny of other politicians, including the mayor of San Juan.

Nicknames abound, on the left, there is Dicky Durbin, Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, Crying Chuck Schumer, and Al Frankenstein. On the right, Little

Bob Corker, Jeff Flakey, Sloppy Steve Bannon. But his most famous nickname --

TRUMP: Little Rocket Man, he is a sick puppy.

STELTER: He has used that moniker several times in tweets about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Nuclear taunts on Twitter scares some

Americans. A reminder that most voters disapprove of all the tweeting.

Now, some lawmakers say they have warmed up to the tweets at when the President says on message.

[10:50:13] SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Regarding the President's tweeting habit, I haven't been a fan until this week.

STELTER: But other times, tweeting has caused chaos in Washington. Like when the President seemed to reverse course on a surveillance bill vote.

After lawmakers scrambled, Trump tweeted the clarification. Even at the White House downplayed the turmoil.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It wasn't confusing for me, I'm sorry if it was for you.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here is the reality, it did create confusion. It just did.

ACOSTA: They're telling us that two plus two thus not equal four, they're telling us that the sky is not blue.

STELTER: Blame the Trump T.V. feedback loop. The President watches his boosters on Fox News. Then, quote the shows on Twitter. Promoting Fox and

friends, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. He calls other news fake, even labeling some outlets, enemies of the American people.

His most retweeted post as President wasn't about immigration or education, it was --


STELTER: This video let himself at wrestling match, body slamming a CNN logo, encouraging violence against the media. Trump has tweeted the word

"fake" nearly 200 times.

TRUMP: It's fake, it's made up stuff --

It's fake, phony, fake.

Fake news. It's fake, fake news.

STELTER: Telling his followers not to trust real reporting, even while spreading misinformation himself.

MEYERS: Trump is spending his time rage-tweeting, picking fights with our allies and pissing off pretty much the entire world.

STELTER: Sometimes though you just have to laugh. If nothing else, Trump's first year gave us a new word.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Covfefe, covfifi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what exactly is covfefe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how to pronounce cobefe?



STELTER: What will you to bring? Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Well, your parting shots tonight, this incredible scene. Huge crowds of women marking Donald Trump's first year in office. The protest

and the clear message that it's time to take women's right seriously.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded streets in New York, in Chicago, Seattle -- many other cities. The mayor of Los Angeles says

500,000 people, half a million people march there. Where celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, encourage the crowds to demand

equality and justice.

While all began a year ago when women around the country rallied in protest of President Trump's inauguration. Now, they say they are focusing on

direct action that will be speaking with their votes in upcoming elections. Here some of what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only way that we are going to make a change is if we commit to change.

PELOSI: Nothing is more wholesome to a government, to a country, to a society than the increased participation of women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's important to show Congress and the President that we need to be heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year, how do you feel one year later, how worth is different for you, your cause, and what brought you on here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This feels like a protest today, last year it's felt more like a funeral. We are all in mourning, we all got together that was

just quiet solidarity. This feels like anger and resistance.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: We need to keep fighting, we need to keep working, we need to keep marching so that we can uphold what

makes America truly great.


VIOLA DAVIS, AMERICAN ACTRESS: I am speaking today not just for the MeToo's because I want the MeToo. But when I raise my hand, I am aware of

all the women who are still in silence. Is our work done?


DAVIS: We've got one more year, two more year, three more years. In fact, we have our children's future in front of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I hear you too. We stand here because of all the mothers and the sisters and the daughters. The world will be nothing

without a woman. Thank you, lady!


[10:54:53] ANDERSON: For calls for equality, where any cope of with rapacious scenes all be empowerment. The man in right blue boxes on the

first floor. Have a look at this. Think, for the crowd is staring and cheering at uncheering for him. To the woman standing below, only one

person in blue matters. Right? Superwoman, look all standing two stories above in all her glory, this may when in time in capitulating the true

meaning of this Women's March.

Whether you are marching on the streets or at home watching our show with connecting with you in CONNECT THE WORLD. For you, our Facebook page there

for the stories that matter to you too, (INAUDIBLE) face to face the dark common slash, CNN connecting get in touch.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD from the team here in Abu Dhabi and Atlanta. A news working with us in London, thank you for

watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Ahead the (INAUDIBLE) this week until then, the news continues here on CNN. Fareed Zakaria is next.