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Dozens of Children Dead after Airstrike at School Bus in Yemen; Saudi-Led Coalition Says Strike Is a Legitimate Military Operation; Israel and Hamas Exchanged Fire and Sharp Escalation of Violence; Diplomatic Row Hit Saudi Canada Trade; Modern-Day Slavery Charges Rise in The U.K.; Samsung Unveils Brand-New Galaxy Note. Aired 11a-12n ET

Aired August 9, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.

An air strike on a bus full of schoolchildren in Yemen by the Saudi led coalition is being called a legitimate target. I want to warn you that the

video we're about to show you is quite upsetting. A little boy still wearing his blue backpack, health workers rushing to his side trying to

calm him. He's just one of the survivors. Dozens of young children many of them under the age of ten years old were killed in the strike. While

many others are in a critical condition.

We should also add this video was supplied by Houthi media and hasn't been independently verified by the CNN. We'll hear from a spokesperson for the

Saudi led coalition which carried out the strikes in just a moment. But first, I want to bring in CNN's Nima Elbagir who has been following this

developing story. Nima, tell us more about what happened.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well first, I think it's important to tell our viewers that what we are showing, what you

showed them there was really what we can show them. We've seen the rest of the video and it is absolutely horrifying. There are images that show the

dismembered body parts of children piled up on top of each other in a pick- up truck. There are images that show bodies being carried away for burial. There are images that show children in the hospital where you can't

actually distinguish their facial features. Because the burning that they sustained in this attack is just so horrible.

And you can also see in other images that just the scale of the destruction. And this is just one strike, and this comes after days and

weeks of intensifying strikes. Including on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. Which is the last real remaining real outlet or inlet for Yemenis to get

much-needed supplies into the country. And that has been besieged now for weeks. There is real concern that this isn't going to be the low point of

this conflict. That this is just along the continuum of what Yemenis have been suffering for the last three years of this war now -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Nima Elbagir in London, thank you.

Well Colonel Turki al-Malki is a spokesman for the Saudi coalition in Yemen. The coalition also includes the United Arab Emirates and is backed

by the United States. He joins me now on the phone from Riyadh.

Thanks for speaking to us. Did the coalition know that that bus was full of children? Most of them under the age of ten according to one

international organization?

COLONEL TURKI AL-MALKI, SPOKESMAN FOR SAUDI COALITION (via phone): Robyn, thank you for having me. First of all, the attack had been conducted today

by the coalition and Saudi. Was going after those people that are responsible about the ballistic missile attack last night.

CURNOW: Did you know they were children in that bus, sir?

AL-MALKI: The allegation is coming by the Houthi, it's the same allegation. However, I must have heard the story from somebody else. I'm

giving you the real facts and figures that the coalition conducted the attack. The attack was against those element, terrorist element by Houthi

that launched a ballistic missile. We know that --

CURNOW: So, did you deliberately target this bus, knowing there were children in it?

AL-MALKI: This is not true. We have put a statement out today. And we know all the information and we track all the information by the

intelligence assets. Those people, those elements, terrorist element they are responsible for the attack last night, towards Jizan where there is one

of the people lost his life and 11 people injured.

CURNOW: So, are you saying this was a proportional response? Are you saying this is proportional, then? To another attack?

AL-MALKI: Well, retaliation cannot be accepted by, you know, by the law of armed conflicts.

CURNOW: Is targeting a bus full of children proportional, sir?

AL-MALKI: No, this is not children in the bus. We do have high standard measure for targeting. Civilian casualty is one of the points we are

committing our (INAUDIBLE) and we are unstopping also the (INAUDIBLE).

And civilian casualties mean a lot to the commission. We cannot accept high civilian casualties in Yemen. The civilian people they are not our

target. Our strategic objective is to get back really to the government. Which is recognized by the international community.

CURNOW: So, if civilians weren't your target, why didn't you target that bus after the children then had been dropped off at school?

AL-MALKI: Well, again, let me go back again to the point. This targeting was conducted according (INAUDIBLE) and also the core principal or the

concerning principal for the target in which is military necessity also proportionality and discrimination and also --

CURNOW: So, you're saying this was a target that was justified under the strategic planning of the Saudi coalition is that what you're saying? I

want to make sure that I get that clear.

AL-MALKI: No, no. It's not about striking, it's planning. The targeting in Yemen is dynamic and those people, that are responsible about that

attack last night as part of dynamic targeting. The dynamic targeting --

CURNOW: So, why would you target a bus of children, sir?

AL-MALKI: Again, you are taking the story of the Houthis. But you are not taking the story by the commission and with the facts and figures that --

CURNOW: We're seeing images of children, sir.

AL-MALKI: I haven't seen the images and I don't know --

CURNOW: They're on CNN right now.

AL-MALKI: We have a very important point. We have seen various reports coming from a panel of experts. We have seen the reports coming by the

NGOs, the Houthi is (INAUDIBLE). We do have consideration about the civilian casualties. We have (INAUDIBLE) information about those kids, are

part of the, of the battlefield. However, we have to put accountability on the Houthi. Why the Houthi is taking the kids to the battlefield. Are

they part of the -- those elements that are responsible about the attack. I think that question should be asked of the Houthi and they have to answer


CURNOW: So, just to be clear here. These pictures that we're seeing on CNN at the moment. Do you believe that this was a justifiable proportional

target under this war?

AL-MALKI: Well to answer you again. As I said it's a legitimate target, but we can remember the last week what happened at Hodeidah and the whole

world watched what the Houthi have done. He was trying to attribute the targeting to the

joint command. However, the fact and figures we have put out have proved that the attack was conducted by the Houthi 120 --

CURNOW: So, you're saying it's a proportional response to another incident. Tell us, your air strikes have hit this school bus, a water

treatment plant and also outside a hospital. All in the past few weeks. Are you deliberately targeting civilians here?

AL-MALKI: No, it's not a specific target. We are conducting high standard measures for targeting we have shown the United Nations and we have shared

our experience with our allies and we are doing it according to the law. If there is any allegation coming, we pretty often to take allegation.

However, when the Houthis, are doing the same thing, I think the whole media and the NGOs, they have to put it out, we are standing our

responsibility, we remain committed to our responsibility in terms of moral responsibility. I'm not denying there is any allegation.

CURNOW: If you're saying this is high standard targeting, many people looking at these images will say that this is a war crime, that the

protection of civilians is mandated under international law, they will see these images, see it as a failure to protect the vulnerable. Even if you

say it is a high standard targeting. What do you say to that, sir?

AL-MALKI: I'm not sure to lecture the respected audience about law of our conflict. However, the core principle proximity for the targeting depends

on exactly how you conduct the targeting. When I said the targeting today in Jizan was a legitimate target.

CURNOW: Under the Geneva convention, children shouldn't be targeted.

AL-MALKI: Would you please say it again?

CURNOW: Under the Geneva convention, children shouldn't be targeted. Neither civilians.

AL-MALKI: But again, again the commission has conducted the legitimate target to those people that are responsible about the targeting last night.

CURNOW: Will you compensate these families?

AL-MALKI: Well again. (INAUDIBLE). If there is any allegation. You would like to take it, talk about it. And it will be referred to joint

assessment chief, if there is responsibility and, in many cases, the delegation has taken the responsibility for some of the incidents.

CURNOW: Will there be an investigation?

AL-MALKI: There is going to be an investigation. What you are saying and what you are watching from the Houthi media. And those people that are

standing behind the Houthi delegation.

[15:40:00] However, if there is any incident, we will take our responsibility. We will, investigate. We will condolence most people who

have lost their life and their families, and we will compensate for that. And according to the law of armed conflict.

CURNOW: Colonel Turki Al-Malki, thank you so much for giving us the Saudi perspective there. Appreciate it.

A reminder on the conflict in Yemen. Houthi rebels allied with Iran took over much of the country. Including the capital of Sanaa in early 2015.

In March of that year, a Saudi-led coalition backed by the U.S. began a military campaign against the Houthis. The crisis escalated into a

multisided war allowing al Qaeda and ISIS to grow stronger. In August of 2016 peace talks failed to end the conflict. In November 2017. Houthi

rebels launched a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia's capital. Prompting Saudi Arabia to tighten the blockade on Yemen worsening the humanitarian

crisis there. And then in June Saudi-led forces began an attack on the Yemen port of Hodeidah. The main port that brings in badly needed food and

humanitarian supplies.

Well later on in the show I'll be speaking to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen and UNICEF's representative in Sanaa.

Those interviews will be in around 20 minutes' time. So please do stick around for that.

Now an U.N. official is warning about a sharp escalation in violence between Israel and militants in Gaza. Saying if the situation isn't

contained immediately, they could be devastating consequences. Israel launched a wave of air strikes across Gaza, saying it was targeting Hamas

military sites. After more than 180 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel. The Palestinian health ministry says a pregnant mother

and her baby were among three Palestinians killed. The Israeli military says seven people were injured in Israel.

Oren Liebermann joins us from along the Israel/Gaza border. Hi there, Oren. It's certainly tense and volatile over the past 24 hours. There's

been a sharp escalation of violence. Where do we stand now?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, we know now that this round of violence isn't over at least not yet. The Israeli military carrying out

strikes near Gaza city. A bit just outside of our range from what we can see in northern Gaza -- that's more toward central Gaza. But renewed

strikes here. This after a short time ago, a rocket from Gaza landed near the Israeli city of Beersheba.

Now that is a little bit farther away from Gaza. Indicating a stronger rocket, a more powerful rocket. The question these two incidents coming

after what appear to be a few hours of lull and perhaps the hope that there might be a cease-fire. Do these latest two incidents, the latest two

strikes bring us back to square one and an escalation? Or can we get back to the lull and try to get back to a cease-fire?

Let me take you back to where this started right about 24 hours ago. A barrage of Hamas and Gaza militant rockets and mortars heading for Israel.

The vast majority of those landing to the Israeli military in open fields, a dozen or so or two dozen, I should say, intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome

aerial defense system. Some -- as you pointed out -- landing in populated areas and injuring some Israelis.

Israel came out with a wave, a large-scale wave of air strikes against Gaza, hitting mother than 150 Hamas military targets, they say, in the

response there. Weapons depots, headquarters, tunnels and more. In the process, three Gazans were killed, Including a mother and her 18-month-old

daughter. The question where does this go from here? Again, Robyn, Israeli air strikes just a short time ago in central Gaza, a bit behind us

here, and that follows another rocket that hit the city of Beersheba a short time ago.

CURNOW: Oren, thanks so much for that update. We'll come back to you if there is any more new details.

Colombia's foreign ministry says and has made a surprising announcement today. Outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos recognized an independent

Palestinian state just days before he left office. In a letter to a Palestinian official dated August 3rd, Santos recognized a free and

independent state in the name of the Colombian government. Colombia's new President -- who took office on Tuesday -- says that decision is now under


And Russia is vowing to hit back. After a new round of sanctions by the U.S. -- their meant to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian

spy and his daughter in the U.K. The Kremlin is calling the measures draconian, illegal and unacceptable and says it will retaliate. The ruble

also responded, falling to its lowest level in almost two years. Let's go straight to Moscow. The Kremlin has denied it had anything to do with the

Sergei Skripal attack. We must make that clear. Matthew Chance is there with more on this furious response. Hi, Matt.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. That's right. The opportunity was not missed by the Kremlin to restate again the

Russian denial that anything to do with the Skripal poisoning. They said that that's basically not true and there's no evidence to suggest


[11:15:00] It's a position they stated before and they've state again as part of that statement denying and reacting to the latest sanctions from

the United States. Basically, they said the sanctions were categorically unacceptable and illegal and they slammed the U.S. for being what it called

an unpredictable participant in international affairs. You can expect anything now, the statement read. So, there's a high degree of frustration

being expressed by the Kremlin. That the statement goes on to say that President Putin said in Helsinki that Russia still has hopes for the

creation of a constructive relationship with Washington. We are sorry, the statement says, that often we are not met with cooperation on this account.

And so, again, a high degree of frustration that the sanctions should be handed down. They were unexpected and there have been some expectations

that there would be more sanctions coming from the United States towards Russia. But based on its alleged meddling in the 2016 Presidential

election, the fact that the U.S. chose to impose these sanctions over -- amid, on the back of sort of anti-chemical weapons legislation, I think was

not expected at all and wrong-footed many people here. And it's meant that that geopolitical clamp that is hanging over the Kremlin for some time now

has just gotten darker as a result of these sanctions. And the reaction, as you just mentioned, has been felt on the markets. The ruble has

devalued to a certain extent. There's been a pull-out from the Russian stock market as well. There is already financial impact.

CURNOW: Yes, there certainly is. Matthew Chance there live in Moscow. Thank you.

Just still to come. Exploited for drugs, sex or forced labor, charges of slavery are up in the U.K. We'll look at what's behind the rise in a CNN

Freedom Project report.

Plus, Canada's Prime Minister finally weighs in on the diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia. Will have his comments just ahead.


CURNOW: You are watching CNN, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Robyn Curnow. Welcome back.

Now Saudi Arabia's oil minister says the diplomatic tensions with Canada won't affect relations with Canadian petroleum customers. This after the

Saudis said they would freeze trade relations because Canada voiced concern over the arrest of Saudi activists.

[11:20:00] Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, insisted his country won't back down when it comes to human rights.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Canadians have always expected our government to speak strongly, firmly, clearly and politely about the

need to respect human rights at home and around the world. We will continue to do that. We will continue to stand up for Canadian values and

indeed for universal values and human rights, at any occasion. That's something that Canadians expect. It's something that I will always do.


Justin Trudeau there. Let's bring in our John Defterios who joins us now live from London. Hi, John. This has been a pretty strange fight to pick.

What are the consequences for Saudi Arabia and Canada?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: And aggressive fight, Robyn, I would add there. We're not going to see any winners out of this.

This is one of those lose-lose situations. And Saudi Arabia and Canada are not natural foes. You have the kingdom of Saudi Arabia the biggest economy

in the region and the most assertive I would say right now, bringing up the point of Yemen and atrocities there, it's carried out for years and not

months. The embargo against Qatar and even the spat with Canada has gotten very nasty quickly. But as you suggested in the lead in, Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau held his ground in true kind of polite Canadian fashion here. Saying we will continue to weigh in on human rights. This doesn't

square with Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Minister, Abel al-Jubeir, said they have internal security concerns, and they don't want to hear it from the

outside. Particularly from the West. Let's take a listen to him.


ABEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): What happened with us wasn't easy. When a country dictates and asks us to take

procedures. Such as the immediate release of people arrested, without knowing the background behind their arrest, this isn't acceptable.


DEFTERIOS: This is very difficult for everybody to square around the world. Particularly those sitting in the West right now. A very hard

security line, but at the same time giving signals of opening up for society. Letting women drive, get them more active in the workforce here.

And this is why it's difficult to see Saudi Arabia with a very tough line against Canada this week.

Let's go back to the week as it was, Robyn, if you will. Six item enforced against Canada. The three that stood out the most for me are the

suspension of flights from Saudi Arabia and back from Canada. Particularly ahead of the Hajj. We have these cases where you have Saudi patients in

Saudi Arabia on intensive care, having to move outside the country. This is something the government said they will handle. And thousands of

students studying in Canada, all levels, bachelor's, master's and PhD's, they're going to have to move as well.

In this case, Saudi Arabia gets away with a lot. It is the number one oil exporter around the world. So very wealthy and it has some major

transformations taking place within the country itself. Megaprojects like Neon, which is a city in the northwest of Saudi Arabia right now and a

major entertainment complex called Khadija that's being built. So, there is a lot of opportunity for American, European and Canadian companies going

in. So, perhaps the tolerance level in the past has been much higher on Saudi Arabia because of the vast wealth they had going externally and now

coming internally into the country as they try to open up.

CURNOW: John, certainly been quite a week. There's aggressive backlash against Canada for speaking out against human rights abuses and now we just

heard there's this horrific attack on a school bus in Yemen in a war that the kingdom has taken considerable criticism for. Why is the kingdom

aggressively flexing their muscle on the international stage like this? What is the impetus behind it?

DEFTERIOS: It's a key question of course. I think we have to go back a few years when King Salman ascended to the throne in early 2015 after the

passing of King Abdullah.

King Salman is very aggressive. He put in his favorite son, the young Crown Prince, now 32 years old. Who has put forward those policies that

you're talking about. We mentioned Yemen. They thought it was going to last for months, it's carried on for years. The wheels come off the track,

as we saw today. The embargo against Qatar. It's unheard of within the Gulf Cooperation Council to isolate one. That was led by Saudi Arabia.

And this tougher line against Iran, behind the scenes we have Saudi Arabia working with the United States and the snap-back of sanctions. That's

across the board. Internally they arrested more than 300 business leaders and took back billions of dollars in the name of corruption that was

accepted internally. But at the same time, they're opening up their society. Allowing women to drive, bringing in investments, bringing in

tourism, bringing in entertainment. But I think for investors right now, the question you raise is a crucial one. It's the long-term sustainability

of having so many pots on the boil, externally and internally. And can the young Crown Prince at 32 and his father -- who is over 80 years old --

manage that much change? And Yemen was a big key reminder today with the atrocities.

[11:25:00] Yes, good point there. John Defterios, always good to speak to you. Thanks John.


CURNOW: Now children exploited for sex or forced to run drugs, mentally disabled people crammed into cellars doing menial work for no pay. Those

are some of the cases that British authorities prosecuted in the past year. A new report shows charges linked to modern-day slavery jumped more than 25

percent in the U.K. Now as you know, CNN has made it a priority to shine a light on modern-day slavery with our Freedom Project. So, Erin McLaughlin

joins us from London with more on this disturbing report. Hi, Erin, what can you tell us?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn. Well this report points to progress in the area of law enforcement. In terms of bringing in

perpetrators behind modern-day slavery as well as human trafficking to justice. Progress in that area, but it's also clear in this report that

much more work needs to be done.

Let me take you through some of the numbers cited in this report as part of a comprehensive push by British Prime Minister Theresa May's government to

tackle this issue. The report shows that between 2017 and 2018, there was a 31 percent increase in the number of flagged cases. Which would indicate

some sort of increase in awareness on the ground to this issue. Cases that have been investigated and refer to the crown prosecution service for


The report also points to a 27.1 percent increase in the number of suspects charged. But it's important to note there, in real terms, 188 cases were

prosecuted and charged between 2016 and 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, that number went up to 239 cases. So, we're seeing an increase in the number of

51 cases, in terms of the number of suspects charged.

And that in terms of the conviction rates, a report citing a 65.1 percent conviction rate. Which is up from 61.4 percent last year. So, we're

seeing some progress in the area of law enforcement. In terms of the types of cases they're seeing. They're saying that they're seeing trafficking

for sexual exploitation purposes. That remains a persistent problem here in the U.K. But they're also seeing an uptick in the number of young men

trafficked in the United Kingdom and forced into labor -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Erin McLaughlin there in London with that update. Thanks so much.

Just ahead here at CNN. New air strikes show the horrendous reality of life for children in Yemen's war. We speak to a UNICEF representative and

the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen just after this break. Stay with us.


CURNOW: You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for joining us, I'm Robyn Curnow. Welcome back.

I want to get back to our top story. 50 people are dead, 77 injured, most of them children after air strikes hit a school bus in northern Yemen.

Those numbers coming from the Houthi health ministry. I want to warn you though, the footage we're about to show you is distressing. Health workers

rushing to help one young survivors of the airstrikes. Witnesses and eyewitnesses report that the school bus was traveling through a market when

it was hit. You can see this little boy is still wearing his back pack. We should point out CNN hasn't independently verified this video. Again,

it was provided to us by Houthi media. But the Saudi-led coalition says it did carry out air strikes in the area. And insists it was a legitimate

military operation.

Dr. Meritxell Relano is UNICEF's resident representative for Yemen. She joins me now from Sanaa. Your thought today, the death toll has just gone

up to 50, 77 injured. And that little boy in that video is wearing a UNICEF backpack.

MERITXELL RELANO, UNICEF RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE (via Skype): Well definitely the images are horrible. And we're very concerned about this

attack. About the number of children killed and maimed which is still under verification. The situation is very chaotic. Our teams are trying

to verify the child casualties. But definitely very sad because the children should never be attacked. Children should never be a target in

this conflict.

CURNOW: Was this, was this just -- sorry, was the death toll related just to the bus? Or was there a very large area what was affected? How much

was this involved in terms of the market of people who were at the market?

RELANO: As I said, we don't have verified data yet. As soon as the verified data are available, we will share with everyone. The question

here is that there is no respect for international humanitarian law when civilians are attacked, when children are killed. And so, we are asking

the parties to the conflict to please respect international humanitarian law.

CURNOW: Do you think there will be sanctions?

RELANO: I don't know. This will depend on the investigation. But this is a very good reminder to parties of the conflict, to spare children and for

the international community to act with a sense of urgency and bring an end to such horrific attacks on civilians, on children, the structure center.

CURNOW: Do you consider this a war crime?

RELANO: Definitely, children that are killed, children that are maimed, attacked on at schools or hospitals are part of the great violations

against children.

CURNOW: Is this clearly not the only incident? Tell us what else has been happening in recent weeks.

RELANO: No, because it's March 2015, we have more than 2,500 children killed, and this is verified data. More than 3,600 children maimed or

severely injured, and more than 3,000 children being recruited. All of this is verified information. Of course, we continue to verify what has

happened in July. This information I'm giving you is only up to June. But obviously the figures have gone up.

[11:35:00] CURNOW: And in recent weeks we've been hearing there is this attack. We know that a water plant was attacked and also outside of a

hospital. Is that correct?

RELANO: Well definitely there has been attacks. Against health facilities, against water facilities and it's very important that all those

civilian infrastructures are respected. Because they are essential for the lives of the population in Yemen, for the children, for the distribution of

water. To avoid further disaster, like in other (INAUDIBLE). So, it's very important that civilian infrastructure, civilians and children are

protected in this conflict.

CURNOW: Thank you so much for joining there, doctor, from Sanaa.

We go now to Lise Grande, who is the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She joins me you now from Oman in Jordan. Good to

speak to you. Your response to the fact that the death toll has now risen to 50, many more are injured. And from our calculation or many you can

give us an update. Many of them are children.

LISE GRANDE, UNITED NATIONS HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR YEMEN: It's clearly a tragedy. If you see the number of children, civilians, innocent

civilians who have been killed and injured today. There's no justification for what's happened. Under international humanitarian law -- my colleague

from UNICEF, Meritxell, has just emphasized -- all belligerence, all parties to the conflict are obliged to do absolutely everything possible to

ensure that civilians survive. What's happened today is a tragedy and there can be no justification for it.

CURNOW: Do you have any other details of what played out today?

GRANDE: We understand that the area where the strikes occurred, that there were a number of strikes that happened in the Saudi government. What we

know is that big bombs, that there were explosions and that there have been many killed and injured. This is a very important point. If a big bomb is

dropped in a built-up area during the day, any civilian within a few hundred meters of the explosion could be killed, maimed or injured. Under

international humanitarian law, this is strictly prohibited.

CURNOW: We saw one of the survivors wearing a UNICEF back pack. What do we know about these children. Do we know anything?

GRANDE: The facts are still being investigated. But what we have heard from people who are on the ground is that there were a number of children

in a bus. They were together. They were going to an area together. One report said they were going to a picnic. We also understand that they may

have been going to some kind of an educational facility. The point is, that they were impacted by an explosion. The point is dozens were killed

and many more were injured. It's a tragedy.

The human cost of the war in Yemen is so high. There's no justification for the number of people that have been killed and injured. This is why

humanitarians everywhere are saying that enough is enough. All of the parties have to come to the table now. The U.N. is offering a way forward

through a dialogue on peace. We hope that all belligerence gets to the peace table and start negotiating an end to this terrible war. The

humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world. It's time for a political solution. It has to stop.

CURNOW: Lise, I want you and our viewers hear part of a conversation a little bit earlier on the show I had with a Saudi-led coalition spokesman.

And I want to hear your reaction afterwards. This is some of it.


COL. TURKI AL-MALKI, SPOKESMAN, SAUDI-LED COALITION IN YEMEN: The attack was against those elements, terrorist elements by Houthi have launched a

ballistic missile.

CURNOW: so, did you deliberately target this bus, knowing that there were children in it?

AL-MALKI: This is not true. We have put a statement out today. We know all the information and we track all the information by the intelligence

assets. Those people, those elements, terrorist elements, they are responsible about the attack last night towards Jizan. Where there is, one

of the people lost his life, and 11 people injured.

CURNOW: So, are you saying this was a proportional response. Are you saying this is proportional, then to another attack?

AL-MALKI: Well, well retaliation cannot be accepted by the conflict.


CURNOW: The language there, Lise, terrorist elements, very much at odds with what we're seeing on our screens.

GRANDE: I think the key point in situations like this is that the parties to the conflict commit to do a thorough complete and honest investigation

of all of the circumstances that surround the incident. That's how we'll know the facts.

[11:40:00] That's how we'll know what really happened. It's crucially important that parties to the conflict undertake to make that kind of an

investigation. And to do so, transparently and thoroughly. And on the basis of that investigation, to take appropriate steps.

As we said earlier, if you drop a big bomb in a built-up area during the day, any civilian within a few hundred meters could potentially be killed,

maimed or injured. Under international humanitarian law, parties to the conflict are obliged. It's mandatory that they do everything possible to

protect civilians. They have to identify the target and they must restrict the use of lethal force to ensure that civilians are not struck.

CURNOW: Lise Grande thanks for joining us, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, thank you.

Now, let's just remind you. The war -- as Lise was saying -- has taken a devastating toll. Particularly on children since it began over three years

ago. I want to bring up some numbers. From March 2015, to February this year, the U.N. says there've been more than 15,000 people killed or injured

in the violence. UNICEF reporting 6,000 of those are children.

You can find all of the latest information from the ground on our website. That's at As we reported, dozens more children were killed today.

Those who survived, we know are in critical condition. It is certainly a worrying night ahead for many, many families in Yemen.

Live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. We'll be right back.


CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow, you're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for joining us.

Now football's Premier League doesn't kick off until tomorrow, but fans are glued to their televisions, computers and phones today. We're in the last

few minutes of the league's transfer window when clubs can bring in new players. We've already seen some big deals. Chelsea just sold goalkeeper

Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, a day after smashing records to bring in his replacement. But other clubs are still scrambling to shore up their

sides. Mark Bolton joins us now from London to take us through all of the off-pitch action. I might have mangled his name because I will declare

that I'm more of a tennis watcher than a soccer watcher. But still, this is a big day. Chelsea also making a huge splash with their goalie swap.

Good move?

MARK BOLTON, CNN WORLD SPORT: It's an interesting situation. Great question. I mean yes is it a good move or not? Their hand was forced to a

certain extent. He played previously in Madrid with Real Madrid's rivals, Atletico Madrid. He was there for three seasons. Played in the Champions

League final against Real Madrid. Luckily for him now he lost because of course he wouldn't be too popular once the Real fans having beaten them.

[11:45:00] He wanted to go back because of family reasons and that's key, he was unsettled, his family is still there. Didn't feel there was a

future in London. An unsettled player brings a degree of toxicity into a club. There is a new manager there Surry, so it's time to move him on.

And they've done a good deal out of this as well, which you're going to see. It looks like maybe they've got the better deal. Because of course,

they've picked up Mateo Kovacic, a Croatian international, very good player. It's part of a deal which we think he's estimated around $45

million it's worth. Kovacic will come in for a year's loan. And you suspect that Real Madrid will pick up the wage bill.

That's allowed them to go out and buy Kepa. Kepa Blanco, he's a Basque player, very well thought of in Spain. Plays as at Bilbao and the move

that brings him to London is worth $91 million. He triggered a release clause in his contract. Which means he moved to the London capital and

that's a world record-breaking fee in football for a goalkeeper. I think Chelsea probably got the better deal here.

CURNOW: OK, good to know. Mark Bolton, good to speak to you. First time we've chatted, I'm sure it won't be the last.

So, coming up, the high expectations in Lebanon, why the country is considering legalizing medical marijuana. Ben Wedeman up next.


CURNOW: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for joining us. I am Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.

Now Samsung has just unveiled a brand-new device designed to maintain the company's spot as the world's top smartphone producer. All of this

happening at a critical time in the industry. Huawei recently passed Apple to become the second-largest smartphone seller. While Apple itself has

become the first American public company to get valued at $1 trillion. So, just what can users expect from the South Korean tech giant's latest

device? Let's bring in our tech guru, Samuel Burke who joins us from New York. Sam, great to see you. This is happening right now. It's been

unveiled right now. What do we know about the Galaxy Note 9? Do you think is going to be a game-changer?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNNMONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting because usually the tech person in me would want to get to the

specs, but I've got to say, the business correspondent in me wants to say that probably the most important thing that you said about Samsung right

now is the fact that they're South Korean. A lot of analysts think they might be able to avoid a lot of the tariffs that we see that could go on to

a lot of the Chinese smartphone makers, the American smartphone makers like Apple. So being South Korean all of a sudden has extra cachet in the

business world.

But it is all about the tech for the consumers. So, as long as that price tag doesn't go up they'll be happy to know that Samsung is saying -- or I

should say claiming all day battery life. If we just put up on the screen what we're seeing from this launch event right now. They're claiming that

this is a battery that will last all throughout the day. Which so many of us yearn for. But I'm not going to say it's happening until I get to test

it myself. Let's just say the iPhone 10 was a big improvement. So, Robyn, I'll get back to you on that one. Cameras that have an auto enhance

function. So, this way instead of having to edit your photos. Not that Robyn and I ever retouch our photos after we take them. This will auto

enhance as you're taking a picture. And lastly, one terabyte of storage, 512 gigabytes come with the top-level phone.

[11:50:00] You can you add expandable storage. That will get you up to one terabyte, so you can save all of those photos that we never retouch.

CURNOW: That's you, maybe you. Maybe just you here. OK, so, let's talk about Samsung wanting to get bigger than ever with this Note 9 and other

new offerings. But with Apple now at $1 trillion company and Huawei on its heels, can Samsung stay on top?

BURKE: Tougher than ever. Especially with those Chinese companies. If we just put up on the screen what the layout of the land is right now. You

still have Samsung on top. Huawei, as you mentioned has just overtaken Apple. Actually, got some sales figures, I was going to get to that, so

it's important. So, we'll with that. Because even if Samsung stays on top, global smartphone sales shrank in 2017. Right now, in the first

quarter of 2018 we're seeing a little bit better than 2017.

The point being whether it's social media or whether it is the smartphone sales, a lot of saturation in the market. A lot of phones are waterproof

now, Robyn. So, if you drop it in the pool, in the toilet, wherever, it will still work. So, people don't have to update them as often. So, a lot

of these tech platforms where they had just unlimited growth it feels like, all of a sudden, it's becoming tougher and tougher for them to get many

more clients the way that they could do so easily in years past.

CURNOW: Samuel Burke, always great to speak to you. Live there from New York, thanks Sam.

Our parting shots tonight. It's a small country but Lebanon could soon become a big player in the global cannabis market. The Lebanese government

said it's reviewing legislation to legalize medical marijuana. And as Ben Wedeman now reports many there have high hope it is could jump-start the

country's struggling economy.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A carpet of cannabis sprawls across Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. A forbidden crop, but

perhaps not much longer. The government is considering legalizing marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes. Music to the ears of this

farmer, who asked that we not reveal his identity.

If only the government knew its value, he says. It's like another petroleum. He shows us around the fields, singing the praises of a plant

farmers have grown in this red soil for generations.

This is not a drug, I tell you, 1,000, 1,500 times he says, cocaine, heroin, those are drugs. This is the herb of happiness. My friend says

when he smokes a joint, his wife becomes a princess. The world shines. Life is beautiful. Other crops like tobacco and potatoes are increasingly

difficult to grow as the climate here becomes drier. Under these difficult conditions, weed works.

Lebanon has been struggling through a prolonged financial crisis. And export of the country's famed cannabis, better known here as hashish, can

lift the struggling economy.

(on camera): Fact is, hashish is the most logical crop to grow in this area. It requires very little in the way of inputs like water and

fertilizer. And they don't use any pesticides. And as the farmers will tell you, the profits are fairly high. While some conservative elements

oppose any form of legalization, Lebanese officials are suddenly proud of their pot.

RAED KHOURY, LEBANESE ECONOMY AND TRADE MINISTER: Many, many specialists, they are studying the quality of this cannabis and they say that it is one

of the best in the world.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Economy and trade minister, Raed Khoury, is blunt about the benefits for a country deeply in debt.

KHOURY: It can provide around $400 million to $800 million of revenue to the country.

WEDEMAN: As a solution to financial woes, Lebanese grass may be greener, yet activists Gino Raidy is considered that the country's many recreational

users won't benefit from the buzz.

GINO RAIDY, ACTIVIST: So, the word is now is that if they legalize it for export for medicinal purposes it can remain the same status in the criminal

justice law in Lebanon. Which means the thing the government might be making a lot of money off of is still illegal for locals and they still get

in trouble for it.

WEDEMAN: But for many others these buds smell like money. Ben Wedeman, CNN, in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.


Thanks Ben for that.

[11:55:00] And we also have a lot more on all of those stories on our Facebook page, including the very latest on the ongoing dispute between

Saudi Arabia and Canada. And of course, all the latest on that horrific attack in Yemen. Again, that's at I'm Robyn

Curnow that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks so much for watching.