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CONNECT THE WORLD

U.S. Secretary Of State Will Meet With Saudi Crown Prince; Washington Post: Trump Concealed Details Of Putin Meetings; Police Fire Tear Gas, Live Rounds, Live Rounds At Demonstrators; Astronomers Hear Repeating radio Burst From Deep Space; Omar Al-Bashir Accused Of Genocide In Darfur. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired January 13, 2019 - 10:00   ET

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


[10:01:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They say a wall was medieval, well so is the wheel. A wheel is older than a wall. A wheel

works at a wall works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Fareed Zakaria starts now.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And I'm Becky Anson live for you from Abu Dhabi where

it is 7:00 in the evening. This hour America's top diplomat on his way to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia but Mike Pompeo says he will meet with Saudi

Arabia's controversial Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Now, this is Mr. Pompeo second meeting with Crown Prince since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in October. A murder which, of

course, thrusts Washington's relationship with Riyadh into the spotlight. Well, the Secretary of State says he will ask the Prince about Khashoggi's

murder during their face-to-face.

Also on the agenda, trying to find a solution to the Gulf crisis. Mr. Pompeo says he spat between Qatar and his neighbors has dragged on for "way

too long" and says, it weakens the region against Iran.

Well, let's connect all of this with CNN's Sam Kyle. In containment of Iran, Pompeo's central theme as he rallies America's allies, America's Arab

allies against what he describes as Tehran's Ayatollahs and their henchmen. I mean, his audience on this eight stop -- whistle-stop tour as it were of

this region heavily invested in that narrative?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, preaching to the absolutely converted. And in a sense, that's part of if he's going to have

any diplomatic effect here. In the first instance, perhaps trying to warm relations with Qatar, reminding Qatar and the other -- the GCC that they

are all on the same side, that it is Iran it's certainly from the perspective of the Saudis, UAE, Cairo, that Iran is this principal new

boogeyman in the region.

Citing, of course, the backing for the Houthis in North Lebanon and, of course, Hezbollah is not only in South Lebanon, of course, but in Syria.

And reminding what interesting thing that he's keep hitting on this tour is very little mention of Saudi Arabia for example, no real mention at all of

the Khashoggi issue except for -- unless he's pressed on it.

But frequently talking about binding if you like, the survival of these Arab monarchies predominantly and, of course, Sisi in Egypt, with the

future of Israel. It is now being he's try and that is actually the way that the Israelis are starting to see things to and because of this wider

threat that is perceived or real from Iran and there's evidence for both sides of that argument, there is this effort being made by Pompeo

notwithstanding the sort of chaotic views that are being expressed from within his own administration.

ANDERSON: And we will hear more from the Secretary of State on Iran. And as we move through the next days, weeks, and months, I can tell you that.

A new report by The Wall Street Journal suggesting the escalation in U.S. response or the U.S. response to Iran.

It reports that late last year, the National Security Council led by John Bolton, requested the Pentagon to provide the White House with military

options to strike Iran. This following attempted militant attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. That report says.

Now, Pompeo's message echoing what we've heard from that Trump official, John Bolton. His talks about a threat to Iran back in September. Let's

just have a listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: The days of impunity for Tehran and its enablers are over. The murder's regime and its

supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behavior. What my message today be very clear. We are watching and we

will come after you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Iran in the crosshairs of both Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, two of Trump's top aides. Mike Pompeo refused to comment on that Wall Street

Journal report when asked by reporters in Doha earlier today. Is it likely that the U.S. would strike Iran?

[10:04:33] KILEY: At the moment, all bets are open, really. I mean, that is in a sense one of the strengths of the Trump foreign policy. We saw it

with North Korea. If he's perceived as just crazy enough to do it, that gives him a considerable amount of power. In terms of realpolitik, now

would not necessarily be traditionally the time that, that sort of threat preparations for a, a preemptive strike against a sovereign nation would

not be in response to a couple of missiles that miss the American Embassy fired by an Iranian-backed militia in a far-flung country in the middle of

Arabia.

That is not the cause of spell and that one might normally expect that there is given the nexus of Mr. Pompeo and Bolton in the White House and

the absence of people like Mattis and McGurk, the envoy to Syria. All of these, the Secretary of State matters, of course, these -- what the critics

of the Trump administration call the grown-ups have left, leaving behind some very hardline opinion formers and they're the formers of opinion of

the mind of Donald Trump.

So, in response to a very minor incident, they called for the paperwork on this planning. One shouldn't exaggerate this planning though. There are

plans in all major capitals in the world for every eventuality. That's what the military does.

If the -- if the president says, let's have a look at the plan for invading France, there might be one. It may be pretty dusty, but there'll be one.

ANDERSON: We're not suggesting they ask.

KILEY: Not yet. But the -- but there'll be dusty old plans for all of these things.

ANDERSON: Yes. A good point.

KILEY: But I think in the energy if this is all in response to of such a minor event, I think it's very revealing of the general attitude. But

there is inconsistencies among their own statements that they're making.

ANDRSON: We started talking this hour about Mike Pompeo's trip around this region. He's been in Doha today. He was in the UAE, here in the UAE over

the weekend. He's now on his way, he's not already arrived in Riyadh. He said he would demand accountability in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. He

called the murder, this was when asked by reporters in Doha earlier today. He called the murder a heinous and terrible act. Words we've heard before

from the Trump administration. Just over 100 days since Khashoggi's murder.

We're not likely to hear, are we? Mike Pompeo pointing the finger of blame at the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for this?

KILEY: Not while he's in the country that would be very undiplomatic. And all of the signals that we've been getting from the Trump administration,

those tightly around the White House is been consistent really in its response. I mean, let's just listen to it. This isn't what Mike Pompeo

said. This is all sort of thing he could have said anytime over the last 100 days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We will continue to have a conversation with the crown prince and the Saudis about ensuring that the

accountability is full and complete with respect to the unacceptable murder of Jamal Khashoggi. So, we'll, we'll continue to talk about that and make

sure we have all the facts so that they are held accountable certainly by the Saudis put by the United States as well were appropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILEY: Were appropriate. Where does the backstop? Now in the strong view of the Central Intelligence Agency, and I've recently learned over the

Christmas break, it is certainly the view of European intelligence agencies, including the British, the backstops with the crown prince. They

are pretty open about that.

I think given the regional issues that are going on. In fact, this long- term strategic obsession that the current Trump administration has with Iran, which is shared by very important allies herein the Gulf. The issue

of Jamal Khashoggi is going to be let to -- if not drop slowly fade away.

ANDERSON: It's in as usual midway through this year what to expect. All right, good stuff. Thank you, Sam.

U.S. President Donald Trump's behavior towards Russia drawing more intense scrutiny. The Washington Post reporting that he has gone to "extraordinary

lengths to hide details of meetings with the Russian President Vladimir Putin."

This comes on the heels of a New York Times report that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into whether President Trump was secretly

working for Russia. He responded on Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Well, are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most

insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Absolutely nothing, he says. Well, let's dig into all of this. Sarah Westwood, she's at the White House. Frederik Pleitgen joins us live

from Moscow. Sara, from you and from the White House, we've heard from the president. Anything further from the White House over the weekend in

response to this reporting?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the White House and President Trump, they're both pushing back aggressively against both of

those reports. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded Friday night to that New York Times report that FBI agents opened a counterintelligence

probe into President Trump in the days after he fired his FBI director, calling that report absurd.

Calling the idea that, that counterintelligence probe ever existed, absurd President Trump as we've just heard. Said it was insulting that, that

investigation was ever opened. And as for the Washington Post report, the White House has said it was "outrageously inaccurate" that President Trump

took steps to conceal his notes about his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump, during that same Fox News interview, saying that his meetings with Putin were no different than his meetings with other world leaders and

claiming that anyone could have accessed information about those meetings if they wanted to because he didn't care about keeping them private. Of

course, the Washington Post reporting that there are no detailed records of five personal meetings the President had with Putin over the course of his

presidency.

And, of course, all of this just underscores the skepticism that has surround President Trump's tone toward Russia since he started running for

president. Trump taking to Twitter last night, reiterated his campaign promise to thaw relations with Moscow that's something that the president

ran on. But obviously, political realities have made that difficult since he won his election. Becky.

[10:10:53] ANDERSON: Fred, the Russians will no doubt have details of those meetings, correct?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm certain that they -- that they do have details of those meetings. They

certainly had an interpreter, for instance, at one of those meetings between short conversations that President Trump had with Vladimir Putin.

I believe it was in Hamburg, where only Vladimir Putin's interpreter was the one who was present. The Russians obviously not sharing them with the

public. Usually, what happens here in Russia after meetings, for instance, with President Trump or with other world leaders that the Russians will put

out their side of the story, they'll put out the meeting minutes if you will, and what they say happened. And no one here really asks for the

actual notes of the translators.

But the Russians are pretty much at ease with all the things obviously that Vladimir Putin says in public were discussed at these meetings. Very

interesting though, on this particular topic is that it is by far the largest news item here in Russia. I've been listening to Russian radio,

looking at Russian T.V., and also Russian news agencies, there is a lot of reporting on it, and certainly a lot of the fury that's coming out of the

White House and the denies that are coming out of the White House nothing so far yet from official Russia, nothing so far yet from the Kremlin.

We believe that they are going to comment on this possibly tomorrow Monday. Of course, the new work day here in Russia. Many officials have been on

vacation until now. But, of course, what the Russians, Becky, have been saying so far, as far as all of this is concerned, they say there was no

meddling on their part in the U.S. elections. They say they have nothing to do with President Trump personally, privately or in any way politically,

either, or trying to push President Trump.

One of the things, of course, that Vladimir Putin did acknowledge, however, in the past is that he said yes he did want President Trump to win the 2016

election because he thought there would be better ties between Russia and the United States. Now, the big summit for the Russians, we're talking

about all these meetings here. The big one for the Russian certainly was that meeting in Helsinki where the Russians really relieved. That Vladimir

Putin came out on top and really dominated President Trump. He obviously turned up late to that summit. But then they had that two-hour meeting

where in the end, President Trump essentially sided with Vladimir Putin against his own intelligence agencies. Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you for that. Well, the reporter who wrote that Washington Post story, says Mr. Trump's behavior is "unlike anything we

have seen from any modern president." Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG MILLER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: If you go back to Clinton, Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan,

their meetings with their Russian counterparts involved senior aides, often multiple aides, taking detailed notes. In fact, you can go through the

Clinton archive and read almost verbatim transcripts of his meetings with Boris Yeltsin.

Those just don't exist for Donald Trump, because he's excluding people from in his own White House from seeing what's happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Samantha Vinograd, joining us now live from New York. She formerly worked for the National Security Council in the Obama

administration. Just because former presidents and -- have had copious note takers, made those notes available, does it mean that should this

reporting be verified, should there be veracity to this reporting, that it is wrong what Donald Trump has done, does it? I mean let's just be clear.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: What actually is wrong from a legal perspective in the first instance there, there is a law in the

United States called the Presidential Records Act, which means that notes on conversations that the president has, meetings that he has, items of

paper that he writes on have to be stored in the U.S. National Archives.

When I worked at the White House, I took copious notes in meetings that I had with the president and the National Security Council, and those all had

to be filed for the record. It's not like I could just throw them in the classified waste paper basket and say these aren't necessary anymore.

So, we have the Presidential Records Act, but then we have an entire counterintelligence angle to why it is wrong for the president to conceal

information on these meetings. The fact remains right now that the Russian government has more information on what happened in those sensitive

discussions than members of the president's own team.

That means that Russia has the upper hand when it comes to controlling the narrative publicly about what happened during that meeting. And it also

represents a potential manipulation point that Russia could use with the U.S. president. They could, for example -- and again, we don't know what

was discussed in that meeting. If anything illegal came up, or anything highly sensitive with respect to the President himself. But they could

threaten to release parts of the meeting if the president was about to do something that they don't like.

So, for both of those reasons, it is incumbent upon the President to appropriately record his conversations, archive them and read them out to

appropriately cleared individuals.

[10:15:49] ANDERSON: Samantha, how does -- thank you for that. How does this New York Times reporting on the FBI opening a counterintelligence

operation on the President to identify whether or not he was working as an asset for the Russians? How does that help inform what Robert Mueller is

up to at present?

VINOGRAD: Well, this counterintelligence investigation into President Trump, we actually don't know if it has concluded. We do know from the New

York Times reporting that it's been wrapped into the work that the special counsel is doing. And if the Washington Post, for example, is able to

report on the fact that the president took active measures to conceal the contents of a meeting he had with the Russian president, I'm pretty sure

that Special Counsel Mueller knew that well in advance and is probably considering whether the president did this on behalf of the Russian

government concealed the contents of this meeting.

And if he is being wittingly or unwittingly manipulated by the Russian government because they consider him to be an asset. And it is worth

noting that Vladimir Putin has considered President Trump and candidate elect-Trump an asset for Russia for a long time.

The U.S. intelligence community has said that President Putin preferred President Trump for a reason and had -- and wanted to help him win the

election because he thought he would be helpful to advancing Russia's interests.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff, Samantha. Thank you for that out of New York today where it is 17 minutes past 10:00. Its 17 minutes past 7:00 in the

UAE. That is where we base, this is our Middle East broadcasting hub. I'm Becky Anderson.

Still, to come, the clock ticking down to what may be the biggest week yet in the Brexit sphere. A critical vote is doing just two days' time, and

the result could mean chaos. And if Brexit is driving you bonkers, you might want to earth exit. Some astronomers think E.T. may be inviting you

over for dinner up among the stars. The details on that coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:20:50] ANDERSON: Let's turn our attention to London now, because the road to Brexit never did run smooth, did it and scuffles today. Breaking

out on a -- sorry, on Saturday at a rally in the capital, after hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets.

Police needed to intervene after pro and anti-Brexit protesters clashed both sides. Done a hive is a tire now associated with the French yellow

vests movements for tick, tick, tick the Brexit countdown is well and truly on. The numbers on the screen indicating we are getting close up a week of

crucial milestones kick off tomorrow, Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has been working tirelessly to convince Parliament that her deal with the E.U. is the only way forward. But with

lawmakers set to vote on that plan Tuesday, she's facing a likely defeat. And that could send the future of the U.K.'s withdrawal down any of several

different paths.

And if that wasn't enough, now she's facing a new thinly veiled threat from the opposition party. Speaking on BBC's Andrew Marr show on Sunday, they

believe that Jeremy Corbyn suggested his party would table a motion of no- confidence in Mrs. May very soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: We will table a motion of no confidence in the government at a time of our choosing Brexit. It's going

to be soon, don't worry about that. Its two days to wait for the vote. We'll have the vote and then you'll see.

ANDREW MARR, PRESENTER, BBC NEWS: So, you're not promising to put down a vote of confidence on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning?

CORBYN: You'll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well don't forget, she being -- Mrs. May recently survived a no- confidence vote within her own party. Well, we don't need to tell you twice that this is a huge week in the world of Brexit. This 75 days to go.

It is incredibly important. CNN's Bianca Nobilo brings us through the ins and outs of the next few days.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Sun rising and setting are just about the only sure things at Westminster nowadays. But defeat in

Parliament for Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday is almost to certain. So what happens after that?

The prime minister would have to return to the House of Commons days later with an amended track. Perhaps, after yet another breathless trip to

Brussels. For now, she insists a deal is the only one on offer.

There are now basically three possible outcomes. Number one, perhaps with enough amendments, assurances and strong-arming of M.P.s, May's deal for a

close continued relationship with the E.U. will pass eventually. Right now, the parliamentary arithmetic is not very encouraging.

Two, maybe there'll be no coalition for anything, and Britain will simply fall out of the European Union with no-deal on the 29th of March. Assuring

in a period of acute uncertainty. That's the option backed by hardline Brexiteers on the conservative benches.

And the third option is everyone takes fright and can't agree on anything. So, they kick the entire exit process into the long grass. That would

involve an extension of Article 50, which would also need the agreement of all 27 E.U. States far from a given. Ministers continue to insist that if

he agreed on text with Brussels is rejected, Britain enters uncharted waters.

JEREMY HUNT, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS, UNITED KINGDOM: We can no longer assume that by rejecting this deal, there

will be a better shade of Brexit. And what is more likely if this deal is rejected is that we have the risk of Brexit paralysis.

NOBILO: Rarely has a government being so fraught is getting its key policy through the House of Commons. Now Parliament has more power but no common

purpose. Brexit and British politics are beyond prediction. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[10:24:46] ANDERSON: Well, let's simplify what is in store than over the next few days for you. On Monday, the British Parliament resumes its

debate. It votes on Tuesday. But if it votes to rejects Mrs. May's deal, then, government must offer a plan B within three days.

Well, Phil Black countering your questions, because I know that possibly many of viewers still baffled. Your biggest burning questions, you can

find that more on the web site, cnn.com.

Well, meanwhile, from yellow vests in Britain to across the channel where it all started. In France, more than 84,000 protesters turned out for the

ninth weekend of yellow vest rallies on Saturday and is much larger than the previous weekend. In some cities, police fired tear gas and water

cannons at marchers who opposed the policies of President Emmanuel Macron.

And just before that protest, a huge explosion rocked an area of central Paris. The number of people killed in what was quickly confirmed to be a

gas blast has now risen to four. French police, say they found an additional body in the rubble. A gas leak caused the devastation which

also injured dozens.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, for you live from Abu Dhabi. Coming up, after nearly 30 years in power, Sudan's president

has faced calls to resign before but this time they are coming from his own people.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:29:50] ANDERSON: Well, past 7:00 in the UAE. That is where we are broadcasting to you from. You're watching CNN, and CONNECT THE WORLD with

me, Becky Anderson. And if you're just joining us, you are more than welcome. Top story for you this hour. America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo

is on his way to Riyadh.

U.S. Secretary of State will meet Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince in just a couple of hours' time. He says he will address Jamal Khashoggi's murder

with the crown prince. He will also discuss Saudi Arabia's role in the fight against Iran. Now, Secretary Pompeo has been on a multi-stop toward

the region trying to rally Arab allies against Tehran.

Police fired live rounds and tear gas at anti-government protesters again today in Sudan. The crowd in Khartoum chanted freedom for rising food

prices set off the demonstrations last month, which have grown into calls for the resignation of the president there. Omar al-Bashir.

An official say the death toll is rising. CNN's Farai Sevenzo is covering the story for you today from Nairobi. And the president has survived calls

for his resignation before. What's different this time Farai?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right, Becky. I mean he has survived several minor protests in the -- in Sudan. And remember, of

course, Khartoum is a hugely important part of both sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, the Arab world.

But what is different, Becky is that for the last 26 days, this protest knows -- showed no signs of abating. They've been carrying on from being

about bred to being about the man himself. They are all about Omar al- Bashir and his hold on power for the last few decades. And this is Omar al-Bashir's real hold of this country. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEVENZO: 75-year-old President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir has ruled Sudan for nearly 30 years. He seized power and then, Islam is backed military

coup in 1989, and immediately dissolved the elected government.

In 1989, Sudan was Africa's largest country in geographical terms. And Bashir presided over a restless South, populated by black African Sudanese

and a wealthy North dominated by Arab Sudanese.

By 2011, when South Sudan became a sovereign state, millions had lost their lives through decades of war between north and south. Soldiering and war

have defined Bashir's life. As an army commander, he spearheaded operations against the late John Garang, leader of the Sudan People's

Liberation Movement, who were fighting for the South's freedom.

Bashir lived on, but Garang was killed in a helicopter crash just months after a peace deal was signed. Even as Bashir signed one peace agreement,

another conflict was intensifying Sudan's western region of Darfur, which pitted Arab Janjaweed militias against local ethnic groups like the

Masalit, Fur, and Zaghawa.

President Bashir, who openly backed the Janjaweed militia denied genocide was taking place and disputed the statistics while the world watched the

brutality play out. The International Criminal Court issued warrants for his arrest in March 2009 and in July 2010. Charging Bashir with five

counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes, three counts of genocide for his army's actions in Darfur.

In 2015, a South African court considered pressing the ICC's arrest warrants. But Bashir made his stay in Johannesburg a short one. And in

any case, the Zuma government said they would not permit his arrest since it was a case of the African Union.

On the home front, Bashir won two elections in 2010 and 2015, which were largely boycotted by the opposition, but cemented his hold on power. But

on December the 19th, 2018, the firm ground he walked no longer seemed secure. Sudanese citizens took to the streets to protest the high cost of

living. Even burning his National Congress party headquarters in the city of Atbara.

What began as protest over the price of bread quickly became protests over Bashir and his continuing rule. As the protest continued this January,

rights groups like Amnesty International say over 40 people have died, and more than a thousand have been arrested in a security clampdown where live

bullets were fired at protesters.

Bashir has often shown an uncanny ability to adapt to changing circumstances. After hosting Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, he adapted

enough for the United States to lift the trade embargo in place for decades in October 2017. But Sudan remains on the state sponsors of terrorism

list.

While his actions in the fall made him a pariah in the West. Bashir continues to enjoy the support of other Arab governments like Egypt and

Qatar, who are wary of street scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring. But it is his people not his friends, Bashir must convince that his rule is

still the best option for Sudan. Convincing his people to let him stay on will be no easy task. Can he survive?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[10:35:02] SEVENZO: And Becky, we're hearing reports right now on this Sunday that does protests are still going on. Thousands of people were out

on the march in Khartoum. As well, of course, met by a very forceful security forces who've been firing live bullets against to disperse the

crowds into the air. A tear gas. And we are getting reports even Darfur, the province of Darfur sits is there protesting this Sunday.

ANDERSON: Farai, there stand a man who has deathly alluded his opponents and any official opposition in the past. A man for years derided by so

many in the international community. But as you rightly point out, he does have friends across this region and beyond. Is this a man with his back to

the wall finally?

SEVENZO: Well, you could say that learn from the outside looking in. But obviously, one of -- one of his great traits is to realize the

circumstances that are changing around him. So for example, the European Union have made him an ally in their fight against human trafficking and

all kind of migrants clinging across Sudan and entering the Mediterranean, dying in certain of numbers you have seen.

So they're setting up groups there to deal with the Sudanese with the European officials to try and spread -- stop the spread of migration into

Europe. Then, you're talking about the United States, where do the mass of securities place there in Khartoum. And, of course, all of these allies

need that all the international community from being a pariah, want him to be a partner. Without him, they fear what might take his place.

ANDERSON: Farai is in Nairobi in Kenya, reporting on the story out of Sudan. For you, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you for that.

We can keep with this on that story, and the more we get, of course, we will bring that to you. Now, you know connecting the world from Abu Dhabi

is cool, right? What about connecting the cosmos? Because knock, knock. Who's there? Aliens.

Our next guest, a professor from Harvard no less, reckons an alien spaceship may have just whizzed by us. Details on that, up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:39:34] ANDERSON: Each generation from first man to as right here, right now soaking in the endless enormity of the heavens. The cosmic

blackness of the firmament and the gently freckled and spots of brilliant starlight across the sky. Canvass burning, burning, burning like Roman

candles on it wondering are we alone in the universe?

Well, nowadays though, when you watch all the politics we've been connecting you to this day, you got to kind of ask yourself, is there even

life on Earth? So, some smart chaps keep their primordial quest going with their eyes firmly fixed up there. Playing an intergalactic game of hide

and seek with little green men. Now, we could be hearing a big clue. Have a listen to this.

From the static hits of deep space, you are listening to tiny cosmic chirps, bursting across our universe. Short, superfast radio waves that

could be E.T. phoning us. and there's no one better to answer that call than Professor Avi Loeb, a full-time space explorer, the proud owner of a

galactic-sized brain and icon within the Space Science beaming to ours now from a galaxy far, far away or rather. Massachusetts where he runs the

Harvard University Astronomy Department.

Avi, a big clue it seems in our search for the alien needle in the astronomical haze, that correct?

AVI LOEB, CHAIRMAN, HARVARD ASTRONOMY DEPARTMENT: Not necessarily, we don't know the origin of these fast radio bursts that they last for a

thousandth of a second, and they are extremely bright. Probably originating from the edge of the universe.

ANDERSON: OK. Right. Well, how big would a spaceship have to be to leave tracks in the cosmos like this Death Star big? I mean what's going up?

What -- you tell me what's going on, sir?

LOEB: Yes, the most conservative explanation is to associate these radio flashes which are very bright with a newborn neutron star. That's a star

as massive as the Sun that colossus to a size of a big city, about 12 kilometers. And they could potentially as it forms make these very bright

flashes. That's the conservative view of mainstream astronomers.

But there is also the possibility that we are looking at the beam of radio waves sweeping across the sky that was produced by artificial means.

That's a possibility we just don't know.

ANDERSON: Let's sit back and just remind our viewers of this. The Wow signal, almost a eureka moment in the Alien hunt. Still, to many, I think

I'm right in saying the most likely thing that we've ever seen. That's likely to be truly alien. Lasting over a minute, but never found to

repeat. So, is what we've been talking about today, Wow 2.0 as it were?

LOEB: No, the difference is that we do see, at least, two of these sources repeating. So we can identify their location. And we see that they reside

in a distant galaxy. And then, there are tens of others that do not repeat. And that these are very common flashes they -- they'll care

roughly every few seconds in the observable volume of the universe. And so, we really want to figure out what they are.

Now, since the discovery of the Wow signal, I should mention that -- you know, last year we had a visit of the very first interstellar object. An

object that was born outside the solar system that passed near the earth. About the sixth of the Earth's Sun separation. It's called, Oumuamua, it's

the first object to have been seen in the vicinity of the earth to originate from outside the solar system. And it was very peculiar, it had

many strange features to it. Nothing like the known asteroids or comets that we have seen before that were born in the solar system.

So I should say there are several interesting new discoveries recently that open the door for discussing the possibility of an artificial origin.

ANDERSON: You're making my brain hurt. Is that a normal reaction that you've getting from people?

[10:44:51] LOEB: Well, well, one thing to keep in mind is that the existence of an alien civilization is not a speculation. We know that we

exist and we know that about a quarter of all the stars have a planet like the earth with conditions that allow life as we know it.

And so, if you roll the dice so many times, there are tens of billions of stars just in the Milky Way galaxy. And you know, billions of galaxies

like the Milky Way that we can see. Then, it's quite likely that we are not alone, and the only thing that remains is for us to find evidence for

life elsewhere.

ANDERSON: Sure. So you're the rare scientist to who actually comes out and talks specifically about alien life. Are you -- are you talking about

little green men or women.

LOEB: No, I think once we find the direct evidence for it, it will shock us. If it's a primitive form of life, you know, it might be quite

different than what we are familiar with here on Earth. If it's an advanced technological civilization, it's quite likely that we will not

find the first evidence for it on the surface of a planet. It's quite likely that they endeavor away from their home planet, and we will find

technological equipment out there in space.

We, ourself sent out the Voyager One and Voyager Two that are already outside the inner region of the solar system and on their way out. And

it's quite likely that there are lots of spacecraft's out there. And once we, ourself leave the solar system, we might get a message back, welcome to

the interstellar club.

So, I do feel that doing the space archaeology, searching through space is an important frontier. Just like digging into the ground and looking for

ancient cultures. We can dig into space using our best telescopes, and search for civilizations out there. Now, some of them might be dead by

now. Looking at how we behave, you know, we are not taking great care of our planet and we are fighting with each other that could be a nuclear war

sometime. So, civilizations must might be short-lived, once they develop technology to communicate us, they might destroy themselves.

And so, you know, it's just like archeology, you might find relics of civilizations that are not around anymore. And that could teach us an

important lesson to do better.

ANDERSON: Of course.

LOEB: So that we will not share of the same faith.

ANDERSON: It would -- it would be a shame if you weren't around for that. So, let's hope that we find something soon. Let's watch a clip from the

movie Contact, based on the work of none other than Mr. Carl Sagan. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODIE FOSTER, AMERICAN ACTRESS, DIRECTOR, AND PRODUCER: Do you read me? You already control, do you read me? Oh, good great this recorded.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Jodie Foster, of course. Now, in that movie aliens of -- as build an advanced spaceship to travel the universe and teach us lessons

about ourselves. So, you think that finding intelligent alien life may shock or force humanity to pull together and act in unison. That is a very

optimistic outlook, sir. Isn't it?

LOEB: Yes, I believe in the good nature of people. And the other thing I believe in is that we should not leave all our eggs in one basket. Right

now, we have everything we care about here on earth, and conditions may deteriorate. You know, either due to climate change, due to an asteroid,

that big piece of rock impacting, that the same that -- to kill the dinosaurs. Or the Sun heating up and boiling off the oceans. Or some

other catastrophe that is self-inflicted like a nuclear war.

And so, we should endeavoring to space ourselves. And we should put things that we care about elsewhere, not leave everything here on earth. And I

think that's the wave of the future. And civilizations that existed long before us and may have done that. So, we might not find them mostly on

planets, we might find them elsewhere.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. We'll have you back, sir. Thank you.

LOEB: You are most welcome.

[10:49:40] ANDERSON: Picked by Time magazine as one of the 25 people in space to watch professor at Harvard or around genius. Professor Avi Loeb,

joining us on connecting our cosmos tonight, live from Abu Dhabi.

Coming up, a blast of winter weather has turned the U.S. into a frosty and dangerous landscape. Deadly conditions from the Midwest to the East Coast

are up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, deadly winter storms stretching across the U.S. with more than 35 million people under weather alerts right now. Take a look at

Washington, D.C. This are live pictures of the Capitol building and the White House. The icy weather spreading from New York down along the East

Coast. The storm sadly killing, at least, seven people in the Midwest Saturday as it dropped about 30 centimeters of snow. Allison Chinchar,

joining us now live and these are pretty amazing pictures. How is this affecting people actually getting about?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, travel has been really impacted, not just the roadways you expected there, but also air travel, as well.

Take a look cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Raleigh, St. Louis, and even Cincinnati, all dealing with delays at this hour. And

it's a good reason why.

Take a look at this video. This is coming out of Cincinnati. We actually had an airplane go off the runway because of those icy and slick

conditions. Not just on the roadways but again, also on the runways. And the reason for this, because of all the snow.

Take a look at the radar. You can see in a lot of those same places we just mentioned, it is still coming down. St. Louis, Cincinnati,

Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, all looking at snow falling as we speak. And there's a lot more to go. This storm is not expected to end until the

evening hours tonight. Which means these numbers behind me are likely to continue to go up.

St. Louis has already picked up nearly 30 centimeters of snow. Indianapolis, about 18. The Dallas International Airport, that's just

outside of Washington D.C., about 15 centimeters. Now that may not seem that high compared to the others but you have to keep in mind, it's still

snowing. They still expect to get several more centimeters before this is said and done.

This is more of a matte version to show you who has had how much snow. The pink areas, those are all the locations that have picked up, at least, 30

centimeters of snow in the last 48 hours. But some locations in Missouri have picked up over 50 centimeters of snow.

Because it is still falling, because there are still going to be travel concerns for the remainder of the day, we still have winter storm warnings

and winter weather advisories that you see here. All these areas in pink and purple going forward. It's the combination of snow, it's a little bit

of ice, it's a little bit of freezing rain. You've got it all pretty much mixed in with this storm.

The good news is as this storm finally pushes off to the east, we do expect, Becky, for this to finally come to an end later on this evening.

The one problem though, Becky, temperatures will remain cold. This snow is likely going to be on the ground for several days.

[10:54:59] ANDERSON: Just time tonight for your "PARTING SHOTS", and supporters roared for the Iranian national team as they beat Vietnam in the

group stage of the AFC Asian Cup right here in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Iran, one of the tournament favorites winning 2-0 following up another victory

against Yemen.

Coming up, Thursday, two of the region's geopolitical heavyweights face off in a match that has some resonance off the pitch at Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Those two diplomatic rivals meet on the pitch as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tries to get them to put aside their differences off the pitch,

and work together against Iran.

So, nothing is ever simple in this part of the world, even in sports. My own team of connectors don't get out of the office a long enough to play

football because they are too busy updating our social media for you. Looking at everything interesting from this part of the world, including my

interview with an Iraq rappers take on Childish Gambino's beats in This is America.

All that more, facebook.com/cnnconnect. I'm Becky Anderson from the team here. It is a very good evening from Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, and London.

Thanks for watching, a news continues here on CNN, Fareed Zakaria with GPS is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END