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U.N. Report Says Possible War Crimes Committed by All Sides; U.S. Warned Saudis on Civilian Deaths in Yemen; Thousands of Far-Right Protesters Clash with German Police; Trump Comments on McCain after Staying Largely Silent; Sources Say North Korea Warns Denuclearization May Fall Apart; New Study Says Air Pollution Harms People's Intelligence; Is Donald Trump the Middle East Friend or Foe?. Aired 11-12n ET

Aired August 28, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade live from CNN's world headquarters here in

Atlanta filling in for Becky Anderson. Good to have you with us.

For over three years now this program has been bringing you the harrowing stories from war-ravaged Yemen. Pushed by conflict to the brink of famine,

combating an outbreak of cholera and dealing with an economy in tatters. Well now the United Nations says both parties to the conflict, the Saudi-

led coalition backed by the U.S. and the U.K. as well as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels could be guilty of war crimes.

A group of eminent experts on Yemen set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council says both sides may be responsible for acts such as mistreatment, torture,

rape, as well as the use of children under the age of 15 in the hostilities. The report comes as the U.S. has warned Saudi Arabia that it

must limit civilian casualties or risk losing some American assistance.

Our senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir, has been covering the conflict and joins me now live. We are joined now live. And Nima, the

U.N. Human Rights Council released this report. They've been working on it since 2017, recommending that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen be prosecuted

for war crimes. But also condemning the Houthi-led rebels for recruiting child soldiers as young as eight.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Both parties to the conflict were spoken about in pretty dire terms by the U.N. panel of

experts. But they did single out the coalition for what their saying was the majority of the civilian casualties.

Let me read you a little bit from the report. They say that the air strikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention

facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities. Based on the incidents they examined, the group of experts have reasonable grounds to

believe that individuals in the government of Yemen and the coalition may have conducted attacks in violation of the principles of distinction,

proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes.

"That may amount to war crimes," don't let that wording fool you, Lynda. Because war crimes of course, is a legal term and it will have to have gone

before competent authority in order for it to be labeled as war crimes. What they're saying is that they suspect that it meets the criteria of a

war crime. So, they're going as far as they legally can.

And some of what's in this report -- I mean they talk about how the violations that they were able to note down were absolutely horrendous.

And they speak about really just disgusting levels of sexual violence. In addition to that recruitment they talk about torture of prisoners,

mistreatment, the arrest and subsequent torture of human rights activists and journalists.

They are deeply, deeply concerned. And there's a reason why they're pushing so hard at this point. Because their mandate is up in September.

And it was such a bone of contention to get Saudi Arabia and the rest of the coalition to agree to even this one-year mandate. That their fear is

that they won't be allowed to continue their work. So, they're trying to get out as much as they can now.

KINKADE: Right. So, let's just look at the response. Because Yemen claims that the U.N. is bias, while Saudi Arabia says it'll look into it.

And it says it's referred the U.N. report to its legal team. And its coalition spokesman has told CNN that it is following up on all the reports

emerging from the U.N. regarding the crisis in Yemen and the coalition will take the, quote, appropriate stance after the review.

Surely these findings would not be news to them. What conclusion can they reach?

ELBAGIR: Absolutely. Especially given that these points of concern have been raised consistently over the years. We know that President Obama

actually went so far as to ban sales of the preferred laser guided military technology from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia. Because he was so concerned

about the human rights implications of continuing to supply the Saudi-led coalition with this. So, none of this is news.

What is news is the fact that the U.S. has finally warned Saudi Arabia. General Mattis said that they are continuing to review their support for

Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led coalition and that it is not essentially a blank check, is what is trying to say.

[11:05:00] It is a little ingenuous to say that they are now looking at this. They have been aware of these concerns about their targeting, about

disproportionality, about the impact of the civilian populations since the beginning of this conflict essentially.

KINKADE: Right. All right, well Nima, just stand by for us. I want to get more from you and first I just want to look at these reports that the

U.S. warned Saudi Arabia that it may withdraw support for its military campaign in Yemen over those civilian casualties.

It comes as top Pentagon officials have grown concerned over the large number of civilians killed, and that follows an attack earlier this month

that caused mass casualties. CNN exclusively reported that the bomb used in that attack that killed dozens of children on a school bus was supplied

to the Saudi-led coalition by the U.S. Nima dug into the details of that strike and others. We'll go to the pentagon in a moment for the latest,

but first here's a portion of CNN's exclusive reporting.


ELBAGIR (voice-over): This video of shrapnel was filmed in the aftermath of the attack and sent to CNN by contact in Saada. A cameraman working for

CNN subsequently filmed these images for us. Munitions experts tell CNN that this was a U.S. made mark MK82 bomb weighing in at 500 pounds. The

first five digits are the cage number, the commercial and government entity number. This number here denotes Lockheed Martin, one of the top U.S.

defense contractors.

LOCKEED MARTIN COMMERCIAL AD: We're at the forefront of the science that make them real.

ELBAGIR: This particular MK82 is a pave way, a laser-guided precision bomb. It's targeting accuracy -- a particular point of pride for Lockheed

Martin. Part of an arms deal with Saudi Arabia sanctioned and contracted out by the U.S. government.

So why does this matter? Because the devastation inflicted by the MK82 is all too familiar in Yemen. In March 2016, a striker on a market is using

this similarly laser guided 2,000-pound MK84 killed 97 people. In October 2016, another strike on a funeral hall killed 155 people and wounded

hundreds more. Then the bus attack on August 9th where they're still counting the dead.


KINKADE: I want to bring Nima back in now, our international correspondent. Nima, you've covered this story time and time again. Will

this U.N. report have any sort of impact? Will we see change on the ground for the people in Yemen?

ELBAGIR: It was a harder line than we have been used to them taking. And it comes on the back of increasingly harder statements coming out of the

U.N. But it will depend on whether the Security Council is actually willing to hold firm. What we've seen in the past that both the U.S. and the U.K.

blocked attempts to sanction the Saudi-led coalition. And that has been viewed rather -- with a lot of concern because obviously both the U.S. and

U.K. supply the weapons being used by the coalition in its war in Yemen.

But it will depend on whether the signals we are getting out of the Pentagon, the statements that we are getting out of Secretary Mattis,

whether they will actually translate into them stepping aside and allowing the Security Council to formally sanction Saudi Arabia. And to formally

sanction the individuals that the panel of experts says -- names of whom they say they suspect of war crimes and have handed over to the commission

of human rights. Does it feel like a bit of a turning point? Yes. But it still all remains on whether the U.S. and the U.K. are willing to allow

those sanctions to go through, Lynda. And that is still unclear.

KINKADE: All right. Just stand by for us, Nima. Because we are going to go to the Pentagon now. We have our Barbara Starr there. Barbara, we know

at least 40 people including children were killed in that strike using a U.S.-bought bomb by the Saudi coalition. What are you hearing now from the

State Department and from the Pentagon given they were quiet after we broke that story?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Oh, well, I don't know that they were so quiet, Lynda. I mean, and it was not a surprise that it was a

U.S. bomb. Because the Saudis buy probably the majority of their precision-guided munitions from the United States. That's very well


What we know now is as we look ahead, is the Secretary of Defense is saying that U.S. support is not unconditional. That U.S. support is always being

reviewed for the coalition. They're very aware of all of this. And it was the day after the strike on the school bus that Secretary Mattis here at

the Pentagon actually directed a U.S. general -- who was on his way to Riyadh any how -- to begin talks with the Saudis about how this could have

happened and how it could be avoided.

And what we know -- and they have been very public about it -- is both the State Department and the Pentagon have been calling for full investigation

into the attack.

[11:10:03] We know that the U.S. is holding out the option that it could revise its support for the coalition if they cannot bring some of the

issues of civilian casualties under control. Secretary Mattis says the Saudis are making progress on this, but again he says U.S. support is not

unconditional -- Lynda.

KINKADE: So, Barbara, given U.S. President Trump's strong support for Saudi Arabia, would he need to approve a position before the Pentagon moved

to withdraw some assistance from the Saudi coalition?

STARR: Well, I think it would depend on what the Pentagon and State Department might -- if they decide to do anything -- what they might decide

to do. If it's fairly minor, I can't imagine the President is going to get that involved. Any decision for full withdrawal would be a Presidential

decision by all accounts. Because it is a Presidential decision both in the Obama and the Trump administration for support for the coalition. And

again, the original goals were to provide for the defense of Saudi Arabia and the Emiratis against Houthi attacks, and to get this to the negotiating

table in Geneva, to find a political solution to this crisis. And that is very much where the U.S. still wants to be, and they want to see as much

done as possible for the avoidance of civilian casualties. The question always is, is enough being done -- Lynda.

KINKADE: Absolutely that is the question indeed. Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon, and our senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir in

London, thank you both very much.

Stay with us here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we'll speak to one of the authors of that damning U.N. report to get his account firsthand. That's in about

20 minutes time right here on CNN.

Well meantime the UAE has denied Houthi rebel claims that they've launched a drone strike on the Dubai international airport. The UAE says air

traffic there has continued to operate as normal. Soon after, according to the Houthi rebels, the Saudi-led coalition targeted the Sanaa International

Airport and Yemen air force headquarters. The coalition has yet to confirm those attacks.

Well Monday night thousands of anti-immigrant protesters in Germany marched in the streets, some chanting neo-Nazi slogans. The far-right activists

clashed with counter protesters over the fatal stabbing of a German man. That's when police broke up the crowds with water cannons and pepper spray.

Germany's Chancellor and other officials have denounced the demonstrations. Our Atika Shubert is following this story in the city of Chemnitz in

Germany. And Atika, this started with a brutal and deadly attack not far I understand from where you're standing. What can you tell us?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lynda, this is actually the exact spot where it started here in Chemnitz. This is where

at around 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, police say a fight broke out between five individuals. One of them a 35-year-old man, a local resident,

was killed here. He was stabbed to death.

Later on, police arrested two individuals on suspicion of murder, a Syrian and an Iraqi. Now we don't know anything more about what happened here

that night. As you can imagine the report of this murder literally went viral on Facebook, on Twitter, on social media. And you started to see

these multiple calls to come out on to the streets. And that's really what triggered the scenes we saw on Sunday evening and again yesterday evening.

Police appear to have lost control of the streets of Chemnitz for at least temporarily as mobs really ran around the streets saying things like the

city is ours, and foreigners out. Even on Monday Nazi salutes were seen in the thousands that came out to protest. Now as you can imagine local

residents here are really still trying to process what's happened. We've seen some very intense discussions here. Many people trying to figure out

who is to blame. Is it refugee and immigration policy by the federal government? Is it the police for failing to take control? Are people

stoking mob violence here? Particularly from far-right parties. These are the questions we're hearing locals ask here.

KINKADE: No doubt they will continue to ask those. Atika Shubert, in Chemnitz, Germany. We will continue to stay on that story. Thank you very


Still to come, Donald Trump's reluctant acknowledgment of John McCain. Why it took the U.S. President so long to pay tribute to the late Senator and

American hero.


KINKADE: The White House flag, you can see there, finally back at half- staff in honor of the late Senator John McCain. But it took pressure from both sides of the political aisle, as well as veteran groups for the U.S.

president to finally relent. Donald Trump's U-turn does not stop there. It took two days for Mr. Trump to finally offered words of praise for the

political giant and American war hero. After initially responding with silence to questions about McCain, Mr. Trump issued a four-paragraph

statement saying he respected the Senator's service to the United States, but he also reportedly told advisers that he thought the television

coverage of John McCain's death was over the top.

CNN's Athena Jones has more now from Washington.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts and prayers are going to the family of Senator John McCain. And we very much appreciate

everything that Senator McCain has done for our country.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump finally addressing the death of John McCain on camera after choosing to

ignore multiple opportunities to comment about the late Senator.

REPORTER: Mr. President, thoughts on John McCain?

REPORTER: Mr. President, won't you call John McCain a hero, Sir?

REPORTER: why won't you say anything about John McCain?

JONES: Under enormous pressure, President Trump releasing a statement earlier in the day noting, despite our differences on policy and politics,

I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country.

The President also ordering the flag to be lowered to half-staff after the American legion released a pointed statement urging the President to do

more to honor McCain.

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R), GEORGIA: I would say to the President or anybody in the world, it's time to pause and say this was a great man.

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: President Trump obviously shows how little he is and how petty he can be. When he cannot put aside whatever

his differences were with Senator McCain.

JONES: At the Senate, McCain's colleagues lining up to pay tribute to the decorated war hero and six-term Senator. McCain's desk topped with a vase

of white roses.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: We are fortunate to have known him best in Arizona, but he was bigger than any one state. He always belonged to

America and to the world. And now he belongs to the ages.

JONES: Back in Phoenix, McCain's final message for the American people, read aloud by his long-time aide, Rick Davis.

RICK DAVIS, FORMER MCCAIN CAMPAIGN MANAGER AND FAMILY SPOKESMAN: We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that

have sown resentment, and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe.

[11:20:08] We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down. When we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be

the great force for change they have always been.

Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America. Because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history, we make history. Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you and god bless



KINKADE: Our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, joins us now from Washington. Always good to have you with us, Stephen. After a day of

refusing to answer question after question about Senator John McCain, and a day when we saw the flag flying high, Donald Trump finally did a very

significant U-turn.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. The President doesn't climb down very often. This was certainly a grudging climb down at

the urging, we understand, of people in his inner circle like press secretary, Sarah Huckabee and the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly.

I think what it shows is a petty sort of graceless side to the President, which we've seen before. Which is part of his political persona. And the

fact that, you know, President Trump views everything that happened sort of through the prism of his own experience. And thinks about things how they

affect him. So, for him his feud with John McCain was more important than the more altruistic motives that you might have seen observed by other

Presidents in the role. You know, there's a civic role to the presidency. A sense in which the President leads the nation in mourning at certain

unifying moments. We didn't see that from President Trump. And I think it gives us an inkling into his character and how he views the job of the


KINKADE: Yes, it certainly does that. And Stephen, you wrote a great piece, an opinion piece on the current struggle for the soul of the

Republican Party. And despite the fact that John McCain is being widely praised for his patriotic attitude, and service to the country and sense of

duty, it's quite clear where the party stands right now, isn't it?

COLLINSON: That's right. John McCain's Republican Party, the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan, has been eclipsed by Donald Trump's Republican

Party. McCain was very interested in issues like campaign finance reform, immigration reform, he was cognizant of the need to fight global warming.

These are issuing from which the Republican Party in the early 21st century has turned away. And there's very little interest in pursuing those

issues. It's now much more populist, nationalist, more inward-looking party. McCain, of course, was known for traveling around the world, you

know, spreading the message of an engaged America. Donald Trump is epitomized by the America-first philosophy. So, it's certainly not John

McCain's Republican Party even as people are paying tribute to his character and his historical role.

KINKADE: Yes, it certainly isn't. And of course, nothing highlights that more than the primary race we're seeing in Arizona right now. Kyung Lah

spoke to some of the candidates including the front-runner Martha McSally who use to criticize Trump about how he would demean women. Saying she was

appalled by the "Access Hollywood" tape. But now she's mirrors what he says. Let's just take a listen.


MARTHA MCSALLY, U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: I had a 97 percent voting record with the President's agenda. More than anyone else in the

Arizona delegation. So those are just the facts.


KINKADE: Trump's talk certainly seems to be working for her.

COLLINSON: That's right. Martha McSally was what used to be seen as a mainstream conservative, and she was critical of President Trump in 2016.

But since he's taken over the party, Trump acolytes in a lot of these primary races are doing very well. There are two pro-Trump candidates in

this race, Kelly Ward and Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- who was pardon by the President over an immigration case.

Martha McSally has had to tact to the right for her own political prospects in a bid to win this Presidential primary. What's going to be very

interesting though is -- and this has happened across the country -- is whether these more mainstream conservative candidates who've gone Trump, if

you'd like, can survive in the general election, in the midterm elections in November. Arizona is a state, you call it a purple state, where

Democrats and Republicans could win. Has she damaged herself by going right to win the Republican primary?

[11:25:05] KINKADE: We'll see how that all plays out very soon. Stephen Collinson, good to have you with us as always. Thanks so much.

The country where John McCain was once held captive is now remembering him for his work in forging closer ties between the United States and its

former enemy. On Monday Vietnam's foreign minister signed a book of condolence for the long-time Senator at the U.S. embassy in Hanoi.

Mourners have also been paying their respects at the marker where McCain was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967. McCain, of course, was a

prisoner of war for more than five years. Our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, has been visiting the infamous Hanoi Hilton,

the site of much of his captivity.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is Trupak Lake in the heart of the Vietnamese capital. On October 26, 1967 a U.S. naval

aviator named John McCain splashed down here after a surface-to-air missile hit his plane while he was on a bombing mission.

This monument has been erected to commemorate that North Vietnamese military victory. And after Senator McCain's passing people have been

laying flowers here and other tokens of respect including cigarettes, money, a can of beer.

After his capture, John McCain was brought here to the Hoa Lo Prison, better known as the Hanoi Hilton. It's now a museum. He rejected offers

for early release saying he didn't want preferential treatment due to the fact his father was commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

During his time here some 5 1/2 years as a POW, he says he was subjected to torture, solitary confinement, forced to sign confessions until his release

in 1973. In the decades after that, however, John McCain made many return trips to Vietnam. Here's a photo of him on one of those visits. And he

became a powerful and influential voice for lobbying for the resumption of peaceful, diplomatic relations between two former enemies.

The U.S. embassy in Hanoi has extended a rare and unique honor to Senator McCain, opening up a book of condolences here and opening it up to the

public. And among the visitors have been some high-level Vietnamese officials, one of them is a Deputy Prime Minister, who has described

Senator McCain as a symbol of a generations of lawmakers and veterans who have helped heal the wounds between Vietnam and the U.S. Ivan Watson, CNN,



KINKADE: For more on the life and legacy of Senator John McCain, you can go to our website, and follow his memorial services throughout this

week. And find out why for many this war hero turned Senator was a politician unlike any other.

Well as mourners prepare to say farewell to John McCain, Americans are also lining up to pay their respects to a late music icon. There's a public

viewing for Aretha Franklin's casket as a museum in her hometown of Detroit. More than 200 people were lined up there on Tuesday morning to

honor the woman known as the "Queen of Soul". Franklin's funeral will be this Friday. We, of course, will be covering that. For now, we're going

to take a short break. Stay with us.


KINKADE: You're watching CNN, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.

A crisis with no light at end of the tunnel. And one that has been largely forgotten. That's the heartbreaking verdict of the United Nations. Its

Human Rights Council has published a report suggesting possible war crimes by all sides of Yemen's brutal war. The team looked at incidents over the

course of almost a year. Highlighting again and again the toll on civilians. In the past couple of hours, the Saudi-led coalition has

reached out to CNN telling us they've now referred the U.N. report to the coalition's legal team. Well, let's speak to one of the report's authors,

Charles Garraway, is one of the members group of the regional and international experts on Yemen and joins us now from Geneva. Good to have

you with us, Charles.


KINKADE: You were one of the co-authors of this United Nations report, which blames all sides of the conflict, especially the Saudi-led coalition

for civilian deaths. What shocked you the most?

GARRAWAY: I wouldn't say especially the Saudi coalition. In fact, we looked at everybody. The problem is the effect on the civilian population

of Yemen. And that is not just from air strikes. The major cause of civilian suffering in Yemen is in fact, restrictions on humanitarian aid

going into Yemen. The air strikes, whilst they have the major -- they are the major cause of direct casualties, have a comparative limited effect on

the suffering of the Yemeni people.

KINKADE: Right. This war, of course, in Yemen has been dragging on for more than three years. And even before that the Houthi rebels were

battling with the Yemen government on and offer since 2004. Millions of people have been displaced. About 10,000 people -- civilians have been

killed including children. Why is this such a mess? Why is this dragging on?

GARRAWAY: I wish I knew the answer. And I wish there was an easy answer. Of course, the whole of that region is mired in politics. And I'm afraid

politics is usually the answer to most of these questions.

KINKADE: So, when it comes to your report, what can be done to hold those accountable of crimes -- what could be done to help those accused of these

war crimes accountable?

GARRAWAY: That is a very good question, indeed. All we have been able do is report on what has been seen and found.

[11:35:00] What then happens is up to the international community. The states concerned are for the most part not parties to the Rome Statute of

the International Criminal Court, and what we have suggested is that people need to look at both national and international opportunities for

accountability. But accountability that there should be.

KINKADE: And now doubt what makes this so complicated is that there are so many countries involved in this war. The U.S., of course, along with the

U.K. and France are supporting the Saudi-led coalition with weapons and intelligence. Does that make them complicit?

GARRAWAY: We have not specifically looked at the role of supporting states. We mentioned them in the report. But we have not looked at that.

Time did not permit. What we have tried to concentrate on is the main patterns of violations of both human rights law an international

humanitarian law that we found in Yemen.

KINKADE: So, what is next? Can you continue to investigate this? What is going to happen?

GARRAWAY: Of course, the Yemen tragedy continues. That is the real tragedy of the whole matter. Our report finished effectively at the 30th

of June. Of course, we're still looking into incidents that have occurred since that date. But our mandate effectively expires with the session of

the Human Rights Council in September. It will be for the Human Rights Council to decide whether to extend that mandate. But certainly, it is our

view that there are many, many other areas that need investigation and further investigations are needed in the areas that we have touched upon


KINKADE: Charles Garraway, a great report, certainly a very complicated mess there. Thanks so much for joining us.

GARRAWAY: Thank you very much indeed.

KINKADE: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. The U.N. Security Council set to meet in the next few

hours to discuss the ongoing Rohingya crisis. It comes a day after a U.N. report accused Myanmar's military of genocide against the Muslim minority

group. The meeting was already on the books to mark the one-year anniversary of the conflict that sent hundreds of thousands fleeing to


Canadian officials will be in Washington on Tuesday to work on a trade deal with the Trump administration. Mexico hammered out the framework of a new

trade accord with the U.S. on Monday. Both Mexico and Canada say they want their trade deals with the U.S. to be linked.

France's Environment Minister, Nicolas Hulot, has resigned. He says he is frustrated with the government's slow pace on climate goals and on reducing

pesticide use. Hulot was very popular, and his resignation is seen as a significant blow to President Emmanuel Macron.

The husband of a British Iranian woman who has returned to prison after a three-day temporary release has told CNN his wife's trial was anything but

a fair judicial process. She's being held in Tehran on spying charges, which she denies. Here is what her husband told me.


RICHARD RADCLIFFE, HUSBAND OF DETAINED BRITISH-IRANIAN WOMAN: Her court case -- and surprise there was one -- was kept secret. So, she's not been

presented with the evidence. However, she wasn't allowed to speak at her trial. And before she presented a defense, she had to have it reviewed by

an interrogator while she blindfolded. And it's not been any sort of a fair judicial process.


KINKADE: What appears to have prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to abruptly cancel his top diplomat's travel to North Korea. Sources telling

CNN, that North Korea delivered a secret letter to the U.S. morning that denuclearization talks could fall apart. And blaming the U.S. for not

working harder on a peace treaty. In the letter North Korea also said it might start nuclear missile testing again.

Well, let's bring in CNN's Will Ripley for the latest. Will, your sources told you -- some of the background on the holdup and the reasons why we're

seeing these cracks in the denuclearization promise, just explain what you're learning?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well basically, the essence of the letter that was conveyed to me -- and the letter was first reported by our

colleague Josh Rogin in the "Washington Post," is that the North Koreans felt that if Pompeo were to travel to Pyongyang this week as scheduled, he

might end up with a trip very similar to his disappointing trip in July. Where he walked away essentially empty handed and was widely perceived to

have been snubbed by North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, who didn't meet with him.

The U.S. reportedly went in, made demands that the North Koreans repeatedly rejected, and each side got increasingly frustrated. Neither the U.S. or

North Korea want to waste their time. They don't want a repeat of that. Because frankly, that kind of a meeting at this stage could do more harm

than good.

[11:40:00] When the United States really needs to -- when they do meet with the North Koreans, come away with something that they can look at as a

substantial step towards denuclearization. Before frankly, and some are already declaring this process dead in the water.

So, the main sticking point here -- according to my sources, and this is something that the North Korean's are saying publicly as well -- is this

peace treaty. This formal end to the Korean War that's been in a technical cease-fire since 1953. The North Koreans think a peace treaty equates to a

security guarantee for Kim Jong-un and that needs to happen at the beginning of the denuclearization process. Before they'd consider

disarming, and the U.S. feels differently.

They feel that a peace treaty is a major concession that should come at the end of the process or at least near the end of the process, after North

Korea has given up a substantial amount of the nuclear weapons it's believed to possess. And until they could come to, you know, bridge that

divide, Lynda, there's just going to be this gridlock continuing. Which is raising a lot of people's concerns about what happens if this all falls


KINKADE: Exactly, that is the question. What does happen? Are we essentially back to square one here when it comes to negotiations? After

all that fanfare we saw with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

RIPLEY: Well this has been the concern all along that what they signed in Singapore was so vague that both sides could walk away thinking they agreed

to something completely different. And that's what we're seeing play out. So, let's just say that that this does fall apart. Pyongyang has always

said that this is a pause in their nuclear missile program while the negotiations and the diplomacy are ongoing. So, if diplomacy falls apart

could North Korea resume missile and nuclear testing at some point? My sources say, yes, and that would make sense.

Because obviously, U.S. intelligence has shown that there continuing to grow their nuclear program in terms of enriching nuclear fuel and producing

missiles. At the same time though they now have a better relationship than they've had with their ally and patron, China. This repour between Chinese

President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, Xi is expected to visit Kim at some point in the very near future.

They have a better relationship with South Korea as well. South Korea's President, Moon Jae-in, at least right now, is still planning to move

forward with a summit in Pyongyang next month with Kim Jong-un. Could the North Koreans have driven a bit of a wedge between Seoul and Washington?

Could they U.S. be sidelined in this whole process that they were a central part of just a short time ago. Those are really the unanswered questions

and the big concerns in Washington -- Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes, major concerns, big headaches. Will Ripley, good to have you, of course all of that, thanks so much.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta. Up next, why would working this out be made harder by -- well,

see this. Take a look at this map. We'll have much more on that story next.



ADVERTISING FOR A SMOG MASK IN THE 1950S: It's a smog mask. Caring a few cubic feet of pure salubrious air ports where to breathe. Complete with a

candle power defroster.

[11:45:00] A bit cumbersome, they're skeptical, but some people persist in try doing something about the weather. If you can't change it, shut it

out. Which is the general idea.


KINKADE: Part space helmet part fish bowl, but let's face it, completely silly. You're looking at a bizarre way Londoners came up with trying to

avoid breathing in bad air back in the 1950s. Nowadays we still haven't gotten much better at fixing the problem. While we've always known it was

bad, right now we're just finding out it could be much worse than we even thought.

A new study finds that breathing in a toxic cloud of air stuffed full of pollution may be actually be making us less intelligent. Sending peoples

verbal and math test scores crashing down in a big way. Is that the kind of news that makes you want to take a deep breath? Well, maybe not. Let's

bring in CNN meteorologist Chad Myers to break it down for us. Pretty scary findings in this report -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, we know that pollution creates less life expectancy. Asthma. Children have that. But now it appears

it's making us dumber. We're not getting the cognition that we should be, especially later on in life. Because you've been breathing this bad air

now for 70 years old.

Well guess how old most of the leaders are across the world? And they've been breathing this bad air for a long time. So, now all of a sudden, this

from the proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences saying, hey, if you're breathing this, this is affecting your cognition verbally more than

math. You had the math question up there. That's 35. No, that's not hard. They put a hard one in there.

But it's the verbal consequences and we never really put this together. But who gets Alzheimer's and who gets dementia? The older people, right?

On average. My mother has it. She didn't pick it up until her 80s. She's been breathing bad air. She was in a coal mine area in Pennsylvania for a

long time in her life. And so, could we be putting "A" and "B" together and getting "C"?

KINKADE: Well, that is quite incredible. This study, of course, was done in China. How does it really impact the rest of the world? What's the

pollution in the rest of the world and how does it impact us?

MYERS: I have a graphic And I want to be able to show it. Because what the people are dealing with in China is nothing like the rest of the world.

Truly it's something that we don't even understand in America or Europe or whatever. Let me show you this graphic that I have up here. This is the

entire world. It's a little bit difficult to see. But in the Americas cities are in green, European in green. And all of a sudden you get into

Asia and Southeast Asia, we're no longer green. We are red. We are unhealthy air.

This is a live sample of what the air quality looks like right now, 20 minutes ago, when I made the graphic. At 296 I see on there. A healthy

number is 50. You need to be green to even have good air quality. 296 is almost six times greater than what you should have. There is a zoomed in

picture of that map. You can see those bad numbers in red.

Now we shift to Europe. This is 20 minutes ago in Europe, in pretty good shape. Numbers are in the 30s, 40s, the air quality not so bad. There are

a few that are exceeding the 50 limit. But in fact, most of Southeast Asia, a lot of India, breathing air day in and day out that is unhealthy

forever. It doesn't clear out in the summertime like it should. This is even worse sometimes in the wintertime when you get numbers in the 600

range, 12 times greater than healthy.

KINKADE: Yes, absolutely horrific. We know, of course, that the World Health Organization reckons that about 9 out of 10 people on this planet

are breathing in dangerous air every minute of every single day. And it shows when you look at the WHO, they say it kills 7 million people a year.

As you mentioned earlier, it causes asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke. What can we all do to avoid this besides trying to tackle the

problem at its core?

MYERS: Well, there are scrubbers can go into industrial units that can scrub out this. Here's what we're talking about. We're not talking about

carbon dioxide or methane. We're not talking about global warming. This is completely different. This is sulfur dioxide. This is nitrogen

dioxide, and these are particles that are in the air. And if you have driven behind a diesel truck, and what happens when that truck accelerates?

The black smoke comes flying out of that. Those are the particles we need to eliminate there what we're breathing on a daily basis.

Now many of those are large, and they fall, and they settle. It's the 2.5 or smaller that gets stuck in your lungs. And we don't know yet -- this is

just a brand-new study. And they said that we don't know why. We don't know whether this is brain chemistry. We don't know whether this is

cognition and created by a change in the chemistry of the brain or the brain possibly changing altogether. Because it's not breathing in the

chemicals that it wants to. You want oxygen, nitrogen, you don't want sulfur dioxide. You don't want, you know, the acids that are building up

in the atmosphere.

So, this study didn't go any further than what it's saying right now. That yes, we found it. We looked at it, and we've done a very scientific study

of this and we know that this is happening. You are losing cognition in later lives, especially men.

[11:50:03] Men lose it more than women ironically, and they lose more verbal than they lose math, but we know it's happening. We know cumulative

effect is staggering and we also know that it could be economic in nature.

KINKADE: Pretty scary. Pretty scary stuff.

MYERS: If you can't make the good cognition, you don't make good economics, and maybe you don't have a good country. It's all there.

KINKADE: It's certainly not good in Asia. Chad Myers great to get all that breakdown. Thanks so much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

KINKADE: We are live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come. How does the Middle East really feel about Donald Trump? We hear

from every-day people who have mixed reviews when it comes to the U.S. President.


KINKADE: Welcome back.

While Donald Trump has been a year and a half in office many in the Middle East where this show is normally based are still torn about the U.S.

leader. So, do people there primarily see Donald Trump as a friend or a foe? CNN's Ben Wedeman looked at some of the opinions there.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's first overseas trip was to Saudi Arabia. A signal that

his stump speeches aside he might actually be reaching out to this troubled corner of the world. His every word is followed closely here in Lebanon

where regional and global rivalries run right through the minutia of local politics. A harsh critic of U.S./Mideast policy, commentator Marwa Osman

was hoping Trump might live up to his promise of putting America first and pull out.

MARWA OSMAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: When he visited the region and he changed his mind about leaving, because he said he wants to leave, he wants

to leave the Middle East. And this is what we all want to hear. We want to be left alone.

WEDEMAN: That was not to be. Since becoming president he reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, nixed the

Iranian deal, and reapplied draconian sanctions. He's backed Saudi Arabia to the hilt in its Yemen war. In the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila,

site of the 1992 massacre, Majid an official with the Fatah movement scoffs at Arab rulers who leaped on the Trump train.

Trump, he says, considers you cows to milk. But mostly the U.S. President leaves these third and fourth generation refugees baffled.

I think he's crazy, says shop owner, Samid. Not everyone disses the Donald. Analyst Toufic Hindi, gives him high marks for ditching the Iran


[11:55:00] TOUFIC HINDI, POLITICAL ANALYST: It is a beginning to say to the Islamic Republic of Iran stop, and not only for the nuclear deal, stop

going all around the region. Stop expanding your empire from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon, to Palestine, to Yemen.

WEDEMAN: On this Beirut's Hamra Street, I ask Deanna and Marion what they think of President Trump. He's the world's worst, says Deanna. He's a


Back to Shatila, Haneda (ph), the baker, better known as Humvica (ph) doubts that the President of the United States of America cares what anyone

here has to say. If I Humvica say Trump, Trump, Trump, do you think he'll listen to me? Good question. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.


KINKADE: Great piece there by our Ben Weidman.

I'm Lynda Kinkade, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. I'll see you tomorrow.