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U.S. Government Closure Enters Day 16, No End In Sight; Detained U.S. Citizen Accused Of Espionage In Russia; Khashoggi Phone Thought To Be Infected By Malware; Football Friends And Foes At International Tournament; U.S. Navy SEAL Pleads Not Guilty In Killing Of Detainee; The Best In T.V. And Movies To Be Honored Sunday. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 6, 2019 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:00:00] REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We're not doing a wall.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have never had so much support as I have for border control and for frankly the wall.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: I thought we had come in to talk about terms that we could agree on. They were actually, in my

mind, there to stall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The stole over the wall, going once, going twice. So will it be third week lucky to actually get the

American government back to full steam ahead. Well, if not, it's -- President reckons he might just call a national emergency to get his way.

All the details next. Plus, shocking new details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jamal Khashoggi though the messages he sent to fellow Saudi dissident were secure, cloaked in WhatsApp security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Except everything he sent was an open book. We'll tell you how just ahead. Then from crazy rich Asians to being born this way, Tinseltown

gets ready to host the Golden Globes and celebrate a kaleidoscope of diversity at the movies. We look at the lucky winners. Well, it's 2019

and we are back in action from Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. You are very welcome I'm Becky Anderson. Let's crack on for you.

And we begin this hour in the United States where negotiations on the government shutdown are at a standstill with federal workers in a third

week without pay. President Donald Trump says he may have a solution. Declare a national emergency on border security in order to resolve the

stalemate on his own terms. Well, a White House official says Mr. Trump is seriously considering the move.

Meanwhile, House Democrats have vowed to keep fighting to reopen the government as soon as possible. Well, CNN's Sarah Westwood is live at the

White House for us from where the U.S. President has just spoken. Sarah, what did he say?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, President Trump just departed the White House for Camp David where he'll be meeting with senior

staff as vice president Mike Pence here at the White House yesterday led negotiations with aides to congressional staffers. But that meeting did

not make a lot of progress. The shutdown still persists.

Now, departing the White House, the President talked about the shutdown claiming that he can relate to the federal workers who are furloughed

saying that he's prepared again to leave this shutdown in place indefinitely until he gets funding for his border wall, but also saying

that he would be willing to declare a national emergency to get funding for his border wall, a solution he thinks he could use to circumvent Congress

if he doesn't see progress on these negotiations.

Now, while he didn't lay out a timeline for when he might make that decision, it's certainly an option he seems to think he has on the table as

the negotiations go on. The President also touched on North Korea saying he's communicated indirectly with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, that his

administration is looking at different sites where they can have their next summit that the President has spoken about saying that trade talks with

China he believes are going well. That he recently had a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Also his administration is looking into the

case of Paul Whelan the American detained in Russia. But he wouldn't go as far as to say that his administration is working on Whelan's release.

Now, the President obviously really felt fixated on the shutdown right now as he heads to Camp David back here on the White House complex.

Administration officials and Congressional staffers will continue talking today but the President said as he was leaving the White House that

expectations are low for any kind of breakthrough at today's meeting, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, that's the story out of Washington. Sarah, thank you. So what exactly does it mean for a U.S. president to invoke emergency

powers as Sarah was --

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: This is what Mr. Trump said on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven't done it. I may do it.

I may do it. But we could call a national emergency and build it very quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, invoking emergency powers is extremely rare, I have to say in the U.S. Previous presidents have only done it during a national crisis

such as outbreak of war for example. Once invoked, federal law permits U.S. military to fund construction projects deemed critical to national

security.

Well, officials say the Pentagon believes only one to two billion dollars would be immediately available. Nowhere near the $5.6 billion that Mr.

Trump is demanding from Congress. In order to get the additional money, the President would have to cancel other military projects that have

already been funded. Finally invoking these powers would almost certainly trigger lawsuits challenging its legality.

Let's bring in CNN's Political Analyst Julian Zelizer live in New York for you. He's also the author of Fault Lines: A history of the United States

Since 1974. Happy New Year to you! As we move into what is this third week of government shutdown, Julian, how does this end?

[10:05:38] JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We don't know. The rules of the game are not what they ordinarily are. Meaning that you have

two sides, you have the President. Congress standing off against this funding, but the President doesn't operate to according to traditional

conventional wisdom. He's willing to let this go for a long time. He doesn't care about the impact on majority opinion. And so it's really hard

to speculate how long he will hold out and whether he will be willing to invoke emergency powers in what would be a very controversial decision that

certainly would be challenged.

ANDERSON: Nancy Pelosi couldn't have made her position on the border wall any more clear. Let's just take a listen to that, Julian.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: We're not doing a wall. Does anybody have any doubt that we're not doing a wall? This is not a wall between Mexico and the United States

that the President is creating here. It's a wall between reality and his constituents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Now, recent polling shows that a majority of Americans do actually oppose building this wall. But Julian he got voted in on that

promise, didn't he?

ZELIZER: Well, he did. I mean the promise was also that Mexico is going to pay for this so there would be no obligation to U.S. taxpayers. And so

this isn't actually the campaign promise he's pushing for. But then again, look, the conditions have changed. This has been unpopular even though he

got voted in, and the Democrats control the House. And frankly many Republicans don't actually want to do this. They're just standing by the

President.

So just because he campaigned on something doesn't mean that Congress has the need to pass it. And I don't think the Democrats are going to concede

on this because symbolically, in addition to financially, it's a hugely important and divisive issue.

ANDERSON: Call this a national emergency or as he says threatening that this shutdown could go on for years, which is clearly a negotiation gambit

on the part of the U.S. president. But without any sign Julian that either side, is prepared to give any ground at this point. Lest we forget, and

you've just -- you've just alluded to this, there is a real impact on people's lives and livelihoods and clearly both sides have a role in

inflicting those costs on American workers don't they?

ZELIZER: That's right. I think the this the crisis isn't on the border, the crisis is in Washington. And this is a crisis in process. Meaning,

all the people who work for the government who have been furloughed right now are living without pay and this will expand as time goes on. And then

the services the government provides from cleaning up national parks to providing assistance to people in economic needs such as food stamps, all

of these are starting to take serious hits.

So this is not just talk in Washington. This has real-world consequences. And that's part of why the polling I'm sure will move against the shutdown.

But again, the President doesn't seem to be moved by that kind of majoritarian opinion.

ANDERSON: So as we sit and look at what will be possibly this third week of a shutdown, so we are beginning to look at who might -- can be the

Democratic contenders for the 2020 election, who might go up against Donald Trump if indeed he decides that he will run in 2020. Elizabeth Warren

already showing her cards. Does she have a chance against the potential of a Donald Trump second run?

ZELIZER: Absolutely. Despite everything that President Trump has done to keep his support with the Republicans, he's a vulnerable incumbent without

any question. He might be challenged from another Republican and Democrats are going into this race with a lot of opposition to the president that

just played out in the Midterms. Warren is a very now seasoned politician. She has national standing. And if she did this right she represents the

economic issues that really seemed to matter across party lines. Meaning the insecurities of middle-class America.

How she runs, we don't know. Whether she can withstand the attacks from President Trump, we don't know. But she is a formidable candidate and

that's why she's up and running first.

[10:10:13] ANDERSON: We are a year out from being a year out from the 2020 campaign. Thank you, sir.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, while the shutdown shuts off the alarm clocks of almost a million workers, it is also silencing wedding bells. Get this. Couples in

Washington wanting to say I do are being told sorry but you can't by Uncle Sam. Anna-Lysa Gayle of affiliate WJLA has that story for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA-LYSA GAYLE, REPORTER, WJLA: For now while the government shutdown continues, wedding bells aren't ringing at the D.C. Superior Court house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyday people doing everyday things and trying to celebrate their love are being held back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's terrible because people who have plans of getting married, they have things that they wanted to do and the expense --

GAYLE: Dan Pollack and Danielle Geanacopoulos found out about the marriage bureaus closure on December 27th, two days before their scheduled wedding

ceremony. Despite the hiccup, the former congressional staff members from New York decided to go through with the ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't really think of like marriage license as a federal thing.

GAYLE: In a statement, Pollack says the entire wedding was a blast nonetheless, and I guess we'll be back in D.C. to make it official.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think it's just sad, this is ridiculous that our government can't get it together.

GAYLE: On Wednesday night, a spokesperson for Mayor Bowser issued a statement saying that she will draft emergency legislation to establish the

authority to issue marriage licenses during a shutdown. He went on to say "just like the Grinch can't steal Christmas, the shutdown can't stop love."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, a lot going on there inside the United States. Let's leave that there for now as we though turn our eyes on a case drawing

international intrigue that has Russia and the U.S. arguing over just who is a spy. American citizen Paul Whelan being held in a Moscow prison

accused of espionage. Now, his family insists he was just visiting for a wedding. Well, now Ireland, Canada, and Britain being drawn in to because

Whelan holds multiple citizenships.

Now, that is drawing speculation that Russia may be angling for a prisoner swap. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister says it's too soon to talk about an

exchange. Sam Kiley joining me now from Moscow for you. Any clearer exactly what is going on with this case?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, frankly, Becky, here Christmas Eve as it is for the Russian Orthodox Church. It couldn't

be more murky, more hidden in a blizzard if you like of almost contradictory information. So on the one hand you have the case of Mr.

Whelan who was arrested December the 28th, accused of espionage. And according to his lawyer, charged with that crime. That's what he told CNN,

the lawyer that is. He said his client was in good spirits but in a famous prison here where he was trying to get him released on bail.

Then yesterday, Mr. Ryabkov the Deputy Foreign Minister saying that any speculation about a possible prisoner swap was ridiculous at this stage

because Mr. Whelan had not been formally charged. So a very confused picture emerging from the Russian side simultaneously with that almost.

There is a Russian protests about the procedural direction that the Americans took when arresting a Russian citizen in an American territory in

the North Pacific on arms trafficking and money laundering charges that date back to a warrant from 2017.

This is a man called Marachenko who was accused of being the Russian end of an effort to smuggle a restricted items such as sophisticated night-vision

goggles and thermal imaging equipment. Again leading to speculation that there might be an attempt to have as some kind of prisoner swap possibly

with Maria Butina who has pleaded guilty but not yet been sentenced to charges of trying to influence American government processes and thinking

in the United States or ultimately the famous character Viktor Bout, a sort of James Bond villain connected very directly with Russian intelligence

who's languishing in an American prison on money laundering and arms trafficking charges that go back into the 90s in Africa.

So it's very kind of in the realms almost of fiction. But the problem here for the Whelan family is that Mr. Whelan could not really have been an

official part of any intelligence agency because he's a convicted felon. He was thrown out of the U.S. Marine Corps, Becky, for embezzlement. He's

embezzling $10,000 just over. So he's a convicted larcenist even though he has since been working in security, commercial security, Becky.

[10:15:18] ANDERSON: Fascinating. Murky times. Sam, thank you. You'll find more analysis on the Whelan case on cnn.com. CNN's Moscow Bureau

Chief and Russia expert Nathan Hodge takes a look at how things might play out in the confrontation, and that the prospect that detentions are being

made as political bargaining chips. That's on cnn.com. Well, still to come this hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NSO Group in today's world, based on the evidence we have, they are the worst of the worst.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Lawsuit claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's phone was infected by the worst of the worst spyware. We'll explain how after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back. The U.S. National Security Advisor says that the United States will now not pull American troops from Syria. That is until

Turkey agrees not to attack Washington's Kurdish allies. Well, this is after President Donald Trump declared that Isis is defeated in Syria and

ordered the full and rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops. Well, John Bolton made his comments in Israel as he tries to reassure U.S. allies following

Mr. Trump's controversial decision.

Bolton is to discuss Syria with the Israeli Prime Minister in a couple of hours' time. Well, CNN's Ian Lee is live in Jerusalem ahead of that

meeting. And this trip clearly designed to reassure Washington's regional allies not least Israel that Washington sees a direct connection between

Syria and Iran. How important is this new U.S. message to the prime minister in Israel particularly at this time?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the shock is just wearing off here after President Trump made that announcement. There was a lot of sharp

criticism from political leaders as well as military leaders when the United States said they're going to withdraw from Syria. The big question

was who is going to fill the vacuum now with John Bolton and these new statements that that immediate pullout doesn't look so immediate. I think

that's going to reassure a lot of officials in Israel.

And their main concern is that when the United States pulls out, Becky, that Iran is going to fill that vacuum and further entrench itself in the

country and Iran is going to be the main topic between the two when they meet later today. And Netanyahu has made no secret about that. He said

that their main goal is to prevent Iran from further entrenching itself within the country but also going after it. He said also that the United

States has close military and intelligence cooperation when it comes to dealing with Syria.

ANDERSON: Ian Lee is in Jerusalem for you. Thank you, Ian. So Washington attempting to prove it is onside that it gets the Middle East despite these

unilateral announcements or actions of the U.S. president. Well, a lawsuit claims software from an Israeli technology company helped the Saudi

government spy on journalists Jamal Khashoggi.

Before he was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Khashoggi exchanged messages with dissident Omar Abdulaziz, but those messages may

not have been secure thanks to malware that allegedly infected his phone. Well, now Abdulaziz is suing the company that created the spyware. CNN's

Oren Liebermann explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jamal Khashoggi thought the messages he sent to fellow Saudi dissident were secured cloaked in WhatsApp

security, instead the messages were an open book, so was the entire phone allegedly infected by Pegasus, a powerful piece of malware from the Israel-

based NSO Group.

Edward Snowden in his first ever video appearance in Israel in November described the company like this.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, LEAKED CLASSIFIED U.S. INFORMATION: The NSO group in today's world based on the evidence we have they are the worst of the worst

in selling these burglary tools that are being actively currently used to violate the human rights of you know, dissidents opposition figures,

activists.

LIEBERMANN: I got to see the power of Pegasus unwittingly two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your phone is now compromised.

LIEBERMANN: That's it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it.

LIEBERMANN: Ten seconds?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten seconds.

LIEBERMANN: Mobile security experts at checkpoint, one of the world leaders in cybersecurity showed me they could hack a phone with one click

gaining complete access to the microphone, camera, and data. The malware they used they say was similar to Pegasus. One of the cyber experts was

Michael Shaulov who launched his first startup in 2010 when he understood the potential threat of Pegasus and similar programs.

MICHAEL SHAULOV, CEO, LACOON MOBILE SECURITY: Even when they sell the software to specifically the law enforcement agency and it originally

bought it, in the case that those guys want to infect what we would perceive as like alleged illegitimate targets, the NSO has no control or

they cannot really prevent it.

LIEBERMANN: NSO group uses what are called zero-days, hidden vulnerabilities on mobile devices that elite hackers can use to get access

to the inner workings of a phone. And a so group has always focused on mobile devices. Shaulov calls them the alpha dog of the market with a

series of zero days they can use to hack a phone.

SHAULOV: Unless Apple or Google fixes that bug that's going to be for sure the bug can stay for many, many years and NSO can contain software that is

able to go through those halls in the software and infect the phone.

LIEBERMANN: Apple and Google are constantly working to fix bugs in close zero days, but each new feature introduces new code and new

vulnerabilities. Adam Donenfeld is a researcher with Imperium company that focuses on mobile security. He says potential attack surfaces as they're

called, the possible ways and locations of trying to hack a phone are nearly limitless. But he says relatively few people have the expertise

necessary to find them, develop them, and possibly sell them.

ADAM DONENFELD, SECURITY RESEARCHER, ZIMPERIUM If you have a walking deep chain, you can -- it is definitely more than $1 million, so yes.

LIEBERMANN: And the customers are out there to buy them?

DONENFELD: Yes, it's not about -- there's always demand. It's the offer that changes. But yes, there's always going to be someone to buy them.

LIEBERMANN: NSO Group has capitalized on that demand. A multi-million dollar company with a powerful product. That product Pegasus has put NSO

at the center of a series of lawsuits from places like Mexico and Qatar. They allege the use of the malware as in the case of Jamaal Khashoggi

violated international law. Oren Lieberman CNN, Tel Aviv.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, in a statement to CNN after Abdulaziz's lawsuit was filed, NSO Group said it was and I quote completely unfounded and shows no

evidence that the company's technology was used to hack Abdulaziz's phone. The NSO also said its technology helps governments and law enforcement

agencies fight terrorism and crime in a modern age and is fully vetted and licensed by the Israeli government. The statement added, the lawsuit

appears to be based on a collection of press clippings that have been generated for the sole purpose of creating news headlines and do not

reflect the reality of NSO's work. In addition product supplied by NSO and operated by the government customer to whom they were supplied without the

involvement of NSO or its employees.

[10:25:46] We've been talking about this hour from Syria, to Israel, and beyond. There's been a lot going on in this part of the world through the

last year of course and we are going to connect it all for you together as we look to the year ahead as the fighting intention as many Middle East

watchers worried. I speak to expert Lena Name about what she thinks this year 2019 holds fought this region stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:29:53] ANDERSON: Well, half past 7:00 here. For those of you are just joining us, you are more than welcome. Recapping our top story this hour,

the US government partial shutdown now entering its third week leaving hundreds of thousands of U.S. federal workers without pay. President Trump

reportedly leaning towards declaring a national emergency for his border wall funding if talks to reopen the government continue to stall.

Meanwhile, negotiators are expected to meet again today after making no real progress on Saturday.

All regular viewers of this show, broadcast as it is from our Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi will know that we have this region front

and center of our coverage. And last year, it would have been difficult to have it any other way.

Many of the biggest stories of the year of 2018 came from this region. From the fallout over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,

the grim reality of the brutal Yemen War to the ongoing twists and turns on battered Syrian battlefields. The U.S. pulling out of the Iran deal to

flare-ups in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We showed you what was happening and why. So, a tumultuous year for the Middle East. And this year, 2019, looks like it is shaping up to be no

calm. Well, my next guest says, "One big thing to watch is where the U.S. takes its Iran and Syria policy in particular, inextricably linked," she

says.

Dr. Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House. And I'm delighted to say she's joining me live from London.

Donald Trump's unexpected announcement that the U.S. was going to withdraw its troops from Northern Syria, of course, sparking an awful lot of outrage

in the foreign policy circles before the festive Christmas break as it were. And several -- importantly several key resignations. Now, we are

seeing a walk back, Lina, of sorts. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've used the word "slowly" when you're describing the withdrawal from Syria.

TRUMP: Yes, I never said fast or slow. Yes, this --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your -- what's your timetable? When do you want troops to be out?

TRUMP: I know somebody said for months, but I didn't -- I didn't say that either. I'm getting out, we're getting out of Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Pompeo, the Secretary of State and John Bolton, two top aides for Donald Trump are in this region this week. Ostensibly to reassure

allies on Syria. Some make the argument though, Lina, that Mr. Trump is doing the right thing on Syria but in the wrong way. Your thoughts.

LINA KHATIB, HEAD, MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, this has been so confusing for observers. It's not clear, is the

U.S. going to withdraw or not? But I think that statement given by Trump may have been a bit premature and most likely when he made that statement

he did not think about the big picture of Iran.

It's either that or he's doing what Vladimir Putin did in 2016. People may have unforgotten. But in 2016, Putin did the same thing. He also said

that Russia was going to withdraw from Syria and that did not happen. So, it may well be just political gaming.

But what's very important to know is that U.S. policy toward Syria is heading towards prioritizing Iran and having Syria as a sub-component of

the Iran strategy rather than having a standalone Syria strategy.

So, the visits that we're seeing to the region this week all fall under the umbrella of reassuring America's allies mainly about Iran with Syria being

part of the package.

ANDERSON: So, when you hear John Bolton's narrative, and we've just been discussing that. He, of course, in Jerusalem as we speak. That the U.S.

withdrawal is now conditional and actions from Turkey. What are your thoughts? Where do you put this? When we've had this sort of -- you know,

before the break, we heard, unilateral statements didn't we? From the U.S. president, are we seeing a more joined up U.S. policy now?

KHATIB: Well, it appears to be becoming more coherent after just completely becoming very confusing in December with President Trump's

statement. The coherence we're seeing is first of all having it on as a key priority.

Second of all, not abandoning the Kurds. Because if the Kurds who are fighting with the anti-ISIS coalition are abandoned, then this leaves the

anti-ISIS coalition without necessary ground forces. And that means that all the gains made against ISIS will start to be reversed.

So, it is very important not to abandon the field in Syria today without first having a settlement to the conflict. Without a settlement to the

conflict. Whoever is on the ground has basically the ability to steer the political process in a direction favorable to them.

So, without the U.S. being there, the U.S. will have lost its political cards in this -- in this matter.

[10:35:04] ANDERSON: And there was much analysis, of course, and speculation in 2018 about Russia's real politic in it and end game in this

region. This warm greeting between the Russian and Saudi leaders at the G20 after the murder of Khashoggi, summed up for many Moscow's moves and

methods.

If we were to see less U.S. influence going forward, is Russia carrying out a skillful balancing or rebalancing act in the region? And if so, what are

the potential pitfalls for the Kremlin this year?

KHATIB: Yes, absolutely. I mean, without the U.S. being there, it will have taken all its cause of the table really. And this would leave the

ground wide open for Russia to play an increasingly influential role not just in Syria but elsewhere in the region.

Iran will be another winner, Israel will basically feel its security on the threat. So, without the U.S. being there and being active, its allies will

lose and it's a -- you know, political rival Russia will gain.

And Russia and Saudi Arabia, that display that we saw at the G20 with the high fiving between the Saudi Crown Prince and President Putin is certainly

going to be viewed with alarm by many in the U.S. administration.

But it's not too late to reverse that, and I think the visits that are being conducted right now by American officials are very important. It's

high time for the U.S. to stop this Russian rise as an influential actor in the Middle East because this really risks the U.S. losing all its leverage.

ANDERSON: Lina Khatib is out of London for you, and I look forward to speaking to you a lot this year as we analyze exactly where we stand here

in this region.

And tomorrow, thank you, we'll take a look at what's said to be another turbulent year for the region. I spoke to some of the top Middle East

watchers to get their predictions for 2019.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My take and here I speak, and I hope I am wrong the most dangerous threat in the world today is the Israeli-Lebanese border.

It would take a spark to ignite a region-wide war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: As former judges and regular guest on this show. Again, one of the analysts who we will be speaking to a lot as we move through this first

month of what looks to be another turbulent year for this region.

And from political footballs as it were and flashpoints to some real live kick about. Spiders ever politics not far from the service, the AFC Asian

Cup has started here in the UAE. It's an international men's football tournament that sees teams from Asia and the Middle East face off every

four years.

And this year, we'll see some interesting fixtures given the state of regional relations. There are teams from war-torn Syria and Yemen. Iran

also taking part and may end up playing some of their neighbors from across the Persian Gulf amid extremely tense ties. And the cattery squad have

just arrived in the UAE amid an ongoing Gulf (INAUDIBLE) and the blockade. Their match against the Saudi team on the 17th definitely one to watch.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up more of today's top news and stories that connect you to your world. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:40:56] ANDERSON: We're closing in on 16 years since America and its allies invaded Iraq. With hundreds of thousands of troops and military

contractors storming the country back in March of 2003. The U.S. officially ended the war in 2011. But its forces returned in recent years

to fight ISIS.

And now, an elite American commando is accused of severely abusing his authority while he was deployed to Iraq. A U.S. Navy SEAL has pleaded not

guilty to a murder charge over the killing of a teenage detainee in Iraq.

Edward Gallaher is also accused of violating several other military laws while he was deployed in Mosul in 2017. CNN's Nick Watt was at the

arraignment and he has the details for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A chest full of medals nearly 20 years in the service.

PHILLIP STACKHOUSE, ATTORNEY TO EDWARD GALLAGHER: When somebody is been named the number one SEAL on the west coast, that you're dealing with a

very high caliber individual.

WATT: This Navy SEAL now charged with premeditated murder. In Mosul, Iraq in May of 2017, special operations Chief Edward Gallagher allegedly stabbed

an injured boy to death.

The military says the boy was a captured Islamic state fighter. Prosecutors claim Gallagher took a photo with the corpse and sent it to

friends with messages such as, "I got this one with my hunting knife," and "I got my knife skills on."

What is your contention that he didn't, in fact, stab this ISIS fighter, or he did but the circumstances are extenuating?

COLBY VOKEY, ATTORNEY TO EDWARD GALLAGHER: He didn't murder -- he didn't murder anyone when he was out there.

WATT: You're not entirely answering my question. Did he stab this ISIS fighter?

VOKEY: Well, without getting in too much into the facts of exactly what happened there, the question is what he is being charged with this? He's

being charged with did he murder anyone? And the answer is no, he didn't murder anyone.

Special operators, SEALs, MARSOC, Green Berets, they do kill people in combat. The question is, is it lawful?

WATT: Prosecutors claim that a month later also in Mosul, Gallagher shot a civilian, an old man. And a month after that, he shot a young girl and

that on multiple occasions, he also fired indiscriminately into crowds of civilians.

It was members of Gallagher's own SEAL platoon who reported him to authorities. He was arrested September 11th and has been in custody at the

Miramar Naval Base ever since.

Family, friends, and colleagues in court to watch Gallagher plead not guilty to all nine charges leveled against him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here to support there our belief in Eddie's overall innocence, and the fact that our government is prosecuting an

innocent man.

WATT: Gallagher is also accused of obstructing justice. Prosecutors claim that he sent text messages and spokespeople in person. All according to

the charge sheet, attempting to discourage members of his platoon from reporting his actions.

He also stands accused of "wrongfully retaliating" against members of his platoon for reporting those criminal actions.

STACKHOUSE: Though there are text messages that we have been provided that indicate that Eddie might have sent some text messages out saying that

these individuals who are making the allegations against him are lying.

WATT: Gallagher, married with kids was planning to retire. He might not get that chance.

VOKEY: If he charged with premeditated murder, and anybody found guilty to that, it's a mandatory minimum life sentence. Prosecutors claim that as

well as posing with the body of his victim, Gallagher flew a drone above the corpse and conducted a re-enlistment ceremony next to the body.

The judge has now scheduled Gallagher's trial to begin February 19th. And he says he will decide next week whether this Navy SEAL has to remain in

the brig, remain in custody until that date. Nick Watt, CNN, San Diego, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: It's an important story here on CONNECT THE WORLD. We're going to take a very quick break now. On the other side of that this evening,

the entertainment industry just hours away from the start of award season. We won't let you miss a moment of that. Stay with us for a sneak peek of

the Golden Globes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:47:24] ANDERSON: Well, a year after it's dressed in black as a mark of solidarity, Hollywood now celebrating color with diversity on show at this

year's awards season. From films that proved black and Asian majority cast could win over both crowds and critics, see to celebrating the women who

once told us we were all born this way. This Sunday's Golden Globes will be wearing all kicks off. Stephanie Elam has a highlights for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Black Panther.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I sing my own songs.

ELAM: A Star is Born.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're crazy rich.

ELAM: Crazy Rich Asians. Big movies getting big nominations for this year's Golden Globe Awards picked by the Hollywood Foreign Press

Association.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: They go for big star-driven stories.

ELAM: Like Bohemian Rhapsody, up for Best Drama and Best Actor for Rami Malek's showy turn as Freddie Mercury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always knew like you going to do something.

ELAM: But the front-runner is A Star is Born.

BELLONI: It's got a nice narrative behind it with Bradley Cooper. This is his first movie as a director. And it's a big populist movie that did

really well at the box office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don't feel comfortable.

ELAM: Both Lady Gaga and Cooper scored acting nods, as well. The film will face off with Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God bless white America.

ELAM: And Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, which also earned an acting nom for John David Washington, Denzel's son. A list star is taking big creative

turns also snag nominations from Nicole Kidman's Gritty Destroyer to Melissa McCarthy's dramatic, Can You Ever Forgive Me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you, you're my vice.

ELAM: In the musical or comedy category, Vice is the one to beat with more nominations than any other film. It faces off against Mary Poppins

Returns, Green Book, The Favorite, and groundbreaking Crazy Rich Asians.

BELLONI: It was a movie that was all about inclusion, it was an all Asian cast, had a nice narrative behind it. I wouldn't be surprised at the

Globes backed that narrative.

ELAM: As for the actors, eyes are on Christian Bale to win for his stunning transformation into Dick Cheney in Vice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can handle more funding -- jobs.

ELAM: Hosting the Golden Globes this year --

SANDRA OH, CANADIAN ACTRESS: Seriously there's an elephant in that room. Please help us.

ANDY SAMBERG, AMERICAN ACTOR: It's so big on that.

ELAM: Two television stars Sandra Oh, and Andy Samberg. Oh is also nominated for Killing Eve. But she faces stiff competition from

Homecoming, which also earned Julia Roberts a Best Actress nomination.

[10:49:59] BELLONI: I think there's a lot of goodwill around her for trying T.V. for the first time and hitting it out of the park.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there is shrimp in the egg rolls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rabbi, she's kidding.

ELAM: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel looks to repeat as best T.V. Musical or Comedy, as does it star Rachel Brosnahan. But a new show like Jim Carrey's

Kidding could be a contender.

And while the Globes have a habit of making news.

OPRAH WINFREY, CHAIRWOMAN, OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK: That a new day is on the horizon.

ELAM: It may be hard to top the presidential rumor sparked last year by Oprah Winfrey's spirited speech. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: So, who's going to win when it comes to the awards, and when it comes to the column entries? Well, let's bring in Zachary Pincus-Roth, Pop

Culture Editor at The Washington Post. What a job you have, sir. Fabulous. Give us your best shot, top picks and why?

ZACHARY PINCUS-ROTH, EDITOR OF POP CULTURE, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think it's going to be A Star as Born's night. I think it's going to win for

Best Drama, and I think it's also going to win for Best Actor in a Drama for Bradley Cooper, and also Best Actress for a Lady Gaga.

But in the actor category, I wouldn't count out Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. But I do think it's

going to be, A Star is Born tonight on the drama.

ANDERSON: Why?

ROTH: Well, I just think the movie was really well received. It's Bradley Cooper's first movies director, and people felt he did really well with it.

And it was did really well at the box office too.

ANDERSON: Is Lady Gaga better than we might have expected?

ROTH: Yes, definitely. I mean, I enjoyed her in the movie and I think she got really good reviews. I mean, it is her first really big role as an

actress. And you know, it's kind of a perfect role for her. Its singing and it sort of shows off her charisma.

ANDERSON: Zachary, Hollywood's biggest night still without a host. Golden Globes, of course, do -- does have two hosts. I'm talking about the

Oscars. Zach, Kevin Hart step down over old homophobic tweets. But a leading voice in the LGBT community wants him back. This is, of course, a

month away still. But have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW, NBC: So I called them. I said, Kevin's on. I have no idea if he wants to come back and host, but

what are your thoughts? And they were like, oh my God, we want him to host. We feel like that maybe he misunderstood, it was handled wrong, or

maybe we said the wrong thing, but we want him to host. What -- whatever we can do, we would be thrilled and he should host the Oscars.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, Ellen's response, it's pretty divisive, including a CNN's own Don Lemon, who said it wasn't her place to forgive Hart. Leaving

aside, we've just talked about the slate available in nomination for the Golden Globes, we will be talking Oscars in a month time.

Zachary, where does an issue like this that we've just alluded to here with Ellen DeGeneres, where does this leave Hollywood?

ROTH: Well, yes. I mean, as you saw, I think people reacted interestingly to the Ellen DeGeneres interview. I think some people felt that Kevin Hart

and Ellen were kind of like playing the victim a little bit.

And people -- you know, even though she thinks that he should be the Oscar host, it doesn't seem like that's going to materialize. And the Oscars are

currently without a host, which they haven't done in 30 years. And that was back in 1989, which was considered a disastrous Oscars where Rob Lowe

sang with Snow White. And so, it seems like we might be headed in that direction if the host isn't named really soon.

ANDERSON: We do know that Hollywood is, at least, attempting to moving a different direction from that in the past celebrating color with diversity

on show at this year's award season. A new ideas, Crazy Rich Asians, for example, what do you think?

ROTH: Well, yes. Crazy Rich Asians got a nomination in the Best Musical or Comedy movie category. And a lot of these sort of big populous movies

that also showed off diversity got nominations, like Black Panther in the Best Drama category.

And it'll be interesting to see whether these movies get the Oscar nomination for Best Picture. I think, Black Panther has a really good shot

at it and Crazy Rich Asians is on the bubble but could get one as well.

ANDERSON: About time, too?

ROTH: Yes, definitely. I mean I think in the past, through the Oscars so white controversy where all of the acting nominations were white. You saw

people sort of calling out for more diversity. And I think, in 2018, Hollywood really answered.

Although, of course, there are sort of certain steps that need to be taken. I mean, there are all male nominees in the director category for the fourth

year on a row. And you remember last year, at the Golden Globes ceremony, Natalie Portman famously called out the all-male nominees. And this is

coming after a year when eight percent of the movies -- only eight percent at the top 250 grossing movies were directed by women.

ANDERSON: Yes. Grow up Hollywood. I think is -- all right, hearing many of our viewers say. Thank you, sir.

ROTH: Thank you.

[10:55:06] ANDERSON: Well, just in time to your "PARTING SHOTS" this evening in the start of each New Year includes a lot of traditions and

rituals, doesn't it all over the world, all around the globe. Some of which might be considered cooler than others.

Thousands of people braved the cold on Saturday in Belgium. Have a look at this. Marking the arrival of 2019 by charging full speed into the North

Sea. Yes, that water was a very chilly, seven degrees Celsius.

Some people only went ankle deep and ran right back out. Others, little bit -- little bit crazier, fully immerse themselves in the ritual. Never

quite understand those people.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Brilliant to be back with you for 2019. Thank you for watching. See you same time tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END