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CONNECT THE WORLD

India Claims Airstrike on Terror Camp in Pakistani Territory; U.N. Security Council to Meet on Venezuela; U.K. Prime Minister May Proposes Votes on "No-Deal" and Delay; U.S. Envoy Meets with Founding Member of Taliban; CNN Gets 36 Hours of Rare Access with Taliban; Trump's Summit Goal is North Korea Denuclearization; Iran's Foreign Minister Hands in Resignation; Kushner Says Middle East Plan Includes Establishing Borders; Cardinal Pell Convicted of Child Sex Abuse, Will Appeal; First Emirati Astronauts Will Visit Space Station. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 26, 2019 - 10:00   ET

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


[10:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Live from CNN's Middle East programming hub, hello and welcome, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, with

me, Becky Anderson.

In the next hour we are aiming to connect a world divided. From the escalating tension in Venezuela and its spillover across the region's

borders to fears of something as huge as two nuclear powers clashing in South Asia. Tension in capitals across the Middle East as this man touts

his plan for peace while another makes a surprise exit. To the violence that's flared over and over as we exclusively take you behind Taliban

lines. We'll also take to you an island in Europe where there are growing dilemmas over leaving an historic union. And a peninsula in Asia where

there are growing hopes of overcoming an historic division. We'll get more on all of those stories from our correspondents who are standing by around

the world for you.

Stefano Pozzebon is in Venezuela's capital, Caracas. Bianca Nobilo is in London. We'll also hear from Paula Hancocks in Hanoi. And in just a

moment, we'll go to Nikhil Kumar in New Delhi.

And that is where we begin with a flair up of tensions on the Indian sub content. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is warning his people to

remain prepared for all eventualities after India announced it carried out a preemptive air strike on a terrorist training camp across the border.

Pakistan has confirmed that Indian jets entered their airspace but denies that the camp was hit. Well Nickel joining us now from New Delhi. And

just explain, if you will, the significance of what we have seen in the past 24 hours.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Becky, the context is very, very important. It explains why this is so significant. Earlier in

February on the 14th you will recall Indian forces suffered what was the worst attack on Indian forces operating in the Kashmir region. 14

paramilitaries were killed as a result of a car bomb. India blamed a terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammed, which it said, was in Pakistan.

It said it was its handiwork. And also accuse Pakistan of having a direct hand in the attack. Pakistan denied it.

Today India said that it had intelligence that the same group was preparing further strikes against India. And so, they made what they said was a

preemptive strike on a camp that they say was run by this group. But Pakistan, of course, says that's not what happened. Pakistan acknowledges

that Indian jets did crossed over into Pakistani airspace but they say that jets pushed back the Indian planes that they retreated. And whilst they

were moving back, Pakistan says is when the Indian jets dropped their payload. They said there were no casualties. India said they took out a

lot of militants.

So we have these two different narratives. But at the end of the day a major escalation in the tensions following that attack on the 14th

February. This is India's response. It comes as India is gearing up for elections. Tensions have been running very, very high over here. Rhetoric

from all ends of the political spectrum for the past few weeks has been about seeking revenge and retaliating. And India said that that's what it

did today -- Becky.

ANDERSON: How concerned should we be of something as huge as I started this show explaining, as huge as two nuclear powers clashing in South Asia?

KUMAR: Well, this is the ultimate risk here. As you said, these are both nuclear-armed nations. But I should also say that what happened today, the

way events unfolded today also leaves space for a de-escalation of tensions. And what's important to remember here is what happened back in

2016. Back then an Indian military installation was attacked by gunman. India said it was hit by Pakistani based gunman. It launched a few days

later what it called a, quote, surgical strike. Sending troops across the border to take out what it said were terror targets.

Pakistan at the time denied that that ever happened. It said all that had happened was that Indian forces and Pakistani forces had exchanged gunfire.

That left room for a de-escalation of tensions. Today India has made it very, very clear, the language that India has use, India says, one, this is

preemptive. Two, that this was away from a civilian area, and it wasn't going after military targets.

Pakistan is saying that nothing really happened. That Indian jets entered and then they retreated. So that does leave some space for de-escalation.

Whether or not that happens is something that everyone's going to be watching closely. Because, you point out, the ultimate risk here.

[10:05:00] These are two nuclear armed nations. And if hostilities spiral, nobody knows where that ends -- Becky.

ANDERSON: From the clashes there -- Nikhil, thank you -- to the other side of the world. The U.N. Security Council expects to meet later Tuesday to

discuss the standoff in Venezuela where Nicolas Maduro is trying to cling to power. U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence, met in Colombia with the self-

proclaimed interim-President, Juan Guaido, and promised continued support. The US-based Univision television network says anchorman, Jorge Ramos, and

several staffers have been released after they were detained three hours at the Venezuelan Presidential Palace.

Journalist, Stefano Pozzebon, joining us now from Caracas. And at this point, as we discussed this hour, Stefano, the idea that as we step back

and look at what is going on in the world, we see an awful lot of escalating tension. What is your sense on the ground of what is happening

now and what happens next?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Becky. Well escalating tension is definitely a sentence or an expression that will describe the current mood

at least here in Caracas after such a dramatic weekend across the Colombian/Venezuelan border and the Brazilian/Venezuela border with clashes

around the attempt by the opposition to bring in humanitarian aid into the Venezuelan territory. That result has not been achieved, but now the

international community is reacting to yet another show of force by the embattled Maduro government. And that's what we are going to see in the

U.N. Security Council.

The last time that the United States brought Venezuela on to the table at the U.N. in late January, it achieved little else than starting a

discussion. So it's hard right now to see how the U.N. will play a role in brokering a peaceful negotiated deal for the Venezuelan escalating

situation. If China and Russia do keep the sight line with Nicolas Maduro. But one thing for sure is that the more the international community gets

interested into Venezuela and the more geopolitics will play a role around what is the future for Caracas. The less the decision will be taken, but

30 million Venezuelans are here and are following the news every day and are facing the consequences of the economic crisis and the real effect of

what is happening around the world.

It seems like the discussion is now being taken away from the Venezuela people who have been marching for years, demanding the resignation of

Nicolas Maduro and the change in power. And has now been taken by the leaders of the world, by U.S. President Donald Trump through his Vice

President, Mike Pence, said that they are with the Venezuelan opposition 100 percent, and by Maduro's historic allies. China, Russia, but also Iran

and Turkey. It sees the more geopolitics at stake, the less Venezuelan and normal people will have a voice -- Becky.

ANDERSON: That's absolutely fascinating and a very, very good point. Stefano, I just want to show our viewers an interview that President Maduro

gave to the American broadcaster, ABC. He accused the United States of fabricating a crisis in order to get control of Venezuelan oil. Let's just

have a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States wants Venezuela's oil, and they're willing to go to war for that

oil. Everything that the United States government has done has been condemned. They're trying to fabricate a crisis to justify political

escalation, and a military intervention in Venezuela to bring a war to South America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And there will be those who say he does have a point, Stephano. The Trump administration's top aides doing nothing to disguise the fact and

talking openly about oil assets. Though that doesn't in any way allow for this narrative from Maduro which says, you know, leave us alone. We're

doing all right, correct?

[10:10:00] POZZEBON: Well that's a biggest oil reserves in the world, even bigger than Saudi Arabia or any Middle Eastern country. And of course, the

history of the trade, the close trade partnership around oil between the U.S. and Venezuela even under Hugo Chavez and under Nicolas Maduro is

something that will have an unprecedented hold very, very dear.

I think though that the -- that the front that is not only the United States that are demanding a clear change in Caracas, but also the vast

majority of the international community and the Latin American community crucially, Becky. It's not only the U.S. but also Colombia, Argentina,

Brazil, Chili, all demanding a change in the Presidential Palace here in Miraflores. It shows that it's not only about oil or at least not just

about the oil. It's about the people of Venezuela -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Stefano, thank you for that.

From Venezuela to a political crisis of a very that British kind now. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has told Parliament if a meaningful vote, as

it's known, on her Brexit deal fails, lawmakers will get a vote on whether or not to leave the European Union with no deal. And if Parliament were to

vote against leaving without a deal, they will then get a vote on delaying the date that Britain leaves the block. Bianca Nobilo joining us from

London. Bianca, is this an out and out U-turn from a Prime Minister accused of running down the clock and crashing towards what many say is a

disastrous exit from Europe?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does appear to be a U-turn, Becky, and I think somewhat inevitable that's so really significant in what's

happened today. The Prime Minister's strategy has been to run down the clock in order to present Parliament with that binary choice between the

scary situation of a no-deal as most MPs see it and her deal. But that pressure doesn't seem to be winning MPs over and clearly, she is aware of

that. So she's presented them with this strategy instead, laid her cards on her table. And we've had her declare for the first time ever in

official capacity how Article 50 would be extended and why she would be willing to do that.

Now this is also in the context of seismic shifts happening on the Labour Party side as well. Jeremy Corbyn now saying if the Labour Party's vision

for Brexit doesn't succeed -- now it's not the majority party in parliament, so that's unlikely to happen. Then his party will back a

second referendum on Brexit. Here's what the Prime Minister had to say about that scenario.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: He has gone back on his promise to respect the referendum result and now wants to hold a divisive second

referendum that would take our country right back to square one. Anybody who voted Labour at the last election because they thought he would deliver

Brexit will rightly be appalled. This House voted to trigger Article 50. And this House has a responsibility to deliver on the result.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Becky, it's quite significant that Jeremy Corbyn has chosen this week to declare his support for a second referendum on Brexit. Because

just a month or so ago after Theresa May's deal had failed so dismally in the House of Commons by that margin of 230, everybody thought here that

that would be the moment that the Peoples Vote Campaign would take off, if any. But it didn't. In fact, it continued to lose momentum. Many people

writing it off here, MPs and pundits alike as something which was unlikely to happen. So the fact there's so much discussion and energy centered

around this prospect now again is really significant. So big shifts on both sides of the aisle today in British politics.

ANDERSON: Yes. But there are those who say this whole Brexit fiasco could now be dead in the water. Is that possible?

NOBILO: As always things with Brexit, it's very difficult to predict. Some people think a no-deal scenario remains something which could happen

because the Prime Minister herself said today even if there was an extension it doesn't rule out no deal. She said there could be a cliff

edge, it would just be in a few more months' time. But most MPs understand that goings-on of today are ruling out that prospect. That Parliament

would obviously go for an extension and that that could potentially lead to a whole host of other options including a second referendum.

So the Brexiteers within the Prime Minister's own parties -- some of which I have spoken to -- are now getting concerned because they were holding

firm in the hope that the Prime Minister might harden her stance, but now they're presented with the possibility that if they don't vote with Theresa

May's deal, it could lead into extension territory and a softer Brexit. They might have to confront the fact they will have to support the Prime

Minister even though they think her deal is a Brexit in name only.

[10:15:00] ANDERSON: Bianca is outside the House of Commons, always a pleasure, thank you.

We have viewers being considering a world of what seems like escalating tensions. Doesn't it. Up next, a rare and exclusive report. CNN going

behind the lines in Afghanistan to show you what life is like there under Taliban rule. That remarkable report is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: All right. Peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan are moving into high gear in Qatar. The U.S. envoy heading up

the talks met with one of the Taliban's founders on Monday and what is being described as a, quote, significant moment. Well the Taliban eager to

show they are not just fighters, but also effective civic leaders. Few have seen their world since 9/11. The Taliban gave CNN's chief

international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, rare access to life inside their territory. And here is some of what she saw.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Our first stop is a clinic that has been run by the Taliban since they took

control of this area almost two years ago. A plaque at the door reveals it was a gift from the Americans in 2006.

Suddenly a young girl outside is hit by a motorcycle. A boy rushes over to help her. The driver is a Taliban fighter. He slings his gun over his

shoulder and wanders over. Apparently unconcerned. Life here is brutal. The girl is rushed inside. Her frantic mother following behind.

(on camera): Is she OK? Is she OK?

(voice-over): But no one seems as shocked as we are. The doctor gives her mother some painkillers and sends her away. After years of fighting here,

he has seen much worse.

(on camera): Who's in charge of the hospital? Who is managing it?

[10:20:00] (voice-over): He explained that the Taliban manages the clinic, but the government pays salaries and provides medicine. This sort of ad

hoc cooperation is becoming more and more common. And there have been other changes.

(on camera): So this is something you wouldn't expect to see in a clinic under the control of the Taliban. It's like some kind of sexual health

education. Talking about condoms, other forms of birth control.

(voice-over): 22-year-old midwife Fazila has worked under the Taliban and the Afghan government.

(on camera): What has been your experience working under the Taliban here?

FAZILA, MIDWIFE (through translator): The Taliban never interfere in our work as women, she says. They never block us from coming to the clinic.

WARD (voice-over): In the waiting area, these women say it's war and poverty that makes their lives miserable.

(on camera): Has life under the Taliban changed now from what it was before? No?

(voice-over): We are trapped in the middle, the woman says, and we can't do anything.

(on camera): It's just so sad to see how desperate people are here. The women telling me they don't have enough food to eat. They don't have the

proper medicines to treat their disabled children. All they want is peace and some improvement to their quality of their life.

(voice-over): It's getting late and we need to get to our accommodation. The Taliban turn off cell phone service after dark. This is when we are

most vulnerable.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Clarissa is joining us now from New York. And that clip, just part of what is a longer film that our viewers can see in full next hour.

Clarissa, what more did you learn from your time with the Taliban and as you reflect on the trip, what are your key takeaways?

WARD: I think the key takeaway, Becky, we went to see whether the Taliban has changed from what it was like 20 years ago. And the answer to that is

fundamentally, ideologically, no. It's the same, austere, insular ideology. The same draconian interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

But there are definitely signs that the Taliban is becoming a little bit more accommodating, a little bit more pragmatic, wanting to show that it

can sit down at the negotiating table with the U.S., that it can cooperate with the Afghan government. As you saw in that clinic and in other

instances, making sure that institutions and infrastructure stay open, that basic services are provided to people in areas under its control. The real

question is, Becky, what happens next? If U.S. troops do, indeed, withdraw in full? What happens? Does the Taliban continue to cooperate with the

Afghan government? That seems unlikely. They think that victory is within their grasp, so they're willing to say and do what they need to right now

to make sure that that happens.

ANDERSON: And, Clarissa, they are at the negotiating table. They are in Doha, in Qatar. What is it that those that they are negotiating with have

to offer them? And in turn what is expected of them going forward if these peace talks are to work?

WARD: So, there's two key issues for each side. For the U.S., the key issue is you have to promise or, you know, you have to really make a vow

that Afghanistan will not be used again as a safe haven or a harbor for terrorists as we saw with Al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden.

For the Taliban the key issue is your troops have to leave Afghanistan. There can be no foreign forces here in Afghanistan. Now the trouble is

that the Taliban says there can't be any peace agreement until U.S. troops withdraw. But the U.S. is very unlikely to withdraw its troops until a

peace agreement is in place. So you have this kind of vicious cycle.

At the same time, though, Becky, I would say there is absolutely a sense that both sides are closer than they have ever been before in 17 1/2 years

of war to coming to some kind of an agreement. How long that lasts? What that looks like? These are the questions that many are asking, not least

the Afghan government who is not even represented at these talks and who understandably have very real concerns about what happens to them.

ANDERSON: And finally then, let me put this to you as you have been on the ground with that exclusive reporting, 36 hours with the Taliban. Who wins

and who loses in Afghanistan if, indeed, these talks are to be successful?

WARD: The Taliban believes it's already won. The very fact that it is sitting at the table in Doha with the U.S.

[10:25:00] And that the Afghan government isn't even there, gives you a very real sense of who the major power brokers are on the ground. So the

Taliban believes it's already won. And I think it's fair to say the U.S. acknowledges on some tacit, although maybe unsaid level, that it has lost

in Afghanistan. That this is not sustainable in the long-term. That it has very limited options in terms of pulling out.

The big loss, of course, in Afghanistan will be for women, particularly in urban areas, educated people, women who own businesses or work. These are

the types of people, Becky, who are likely to be extremely nervous right now. For them the prospect of a Taliban resurgence is a horrifying

prospect, and it is looking more and more real by the day -- Becky.

ANDERSON: More of Clarissa's reporting, 36 Hours in Taliban Territory, on CNN.com. Clarissa, thank you. And part of that reporting, treatment of

women and a stark reminder of why this story matters so much. Clarissa visits a Taliban school and reveals just how education of boys and girls is

so different there.

As we connect you to a world of escalating tensions this hour, could we be seeing one of the world's most volatile conflicts coming to an end? Well

the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea have arrived in Vietnam, but will there really be any break through on what is this second Trump/Kim summit

as it's billed? That after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:30:00] ANDERSON: Well the U.S. President, Donald Trump, and North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, have both arrived now in Vietnam for their

second Summit. Mr. Trump arrived about 90 minutes ago after a day long flight from Washington. Kim arrived earlier after a 2 1/2-day trip from

Pyongyang aboard his special armored train. Some 65 hours we're told.

While the U.S. has been pressing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, the prospects for the current summit, well, they're pretty

unclear. Paula Hancocks -- part of a large CNN team covering the summit -- joining us now from Hanoi -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, as you say, both leaders are now here in Hanoi. They're both in their respective hotels. And we

expect them to have their first face-to-face meeting here in Vietnam on Wednesday local time. They are expected to have a meet and greet. They're

expected to have a small dinner together. So this will really be the first time since Singapore in June of last year that the two leaders can actually

sit down together and discuss what they need to discuss. Then Thursday will be the crux of the summit as well, meeting once again before we are

expecting a statement at the end of that summit.

So really what we're looking for here what experts want to see is something a little more concrete than the vaguely-worded statement we saw in

Singapore. There is much talk at this point whether or not there will be a Political Declaration of the end of the Korean War. Will that be the

concession that the U.S. gives to North Korea this time around? It certainly something that North Korea would like. It's something that we

have heard the special representative to North Korea for the U.S. side, Stephen Biegun. He has touted this in a speech last month saying that the

President is ready to end this war.

But then, of course, what do the North Koreans give on their side? What officials and experts would like to see is some concrete steps towards

denuclearization, i.e. Punggye-ri, for example, the nuclear test site. Allowing inspectors in to make sure that it is being put out of use. A

missile test site also, making sure inspectors can check on that. And potentially Yongbyon, the nuclear facility, a key nuclear facility. The

North Koreans suggesting that that could be dismantled at least. That's what we heard from the South Korean side.

So really what everyone is looking for is exact details as to what each side is willing to give. But it will be a very interesting summit. It's

not going to be the historic summit we saw the first time around, the firsthand shake, the first agreement, the first signatures. This time

around everyone is hoping for actual progress, not just the photo opportunity -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Paula.

Well as the U.S. and North Korean leaders try to deescalate tensions between their countries, a significant turn of events for the Trump

administration from its bitter rival, Iran. The sudden resignation of the country's foreign minister. A moderate in many people's books around the

world. Now if Javad Zarif's resignation is accepted by the President, his departure could have serious repercussions, not only for this region, the

region of the Middle East but around the world. A move that opens the door, many say, to a harder more radical foreign policy from Iran.

Well joining me to connect this all for you is Mohammad Ali Shabani. He's the "Iran Pulse" editor over at Al-Monitor. And CNN's Oren Liebermann

standing by in Jerusalem and will come to you momentarily, and Oren.

Firstly we are waiting, Mohammed, to confirm whether this resignation is indeed officially accepted. Let's remind viewers Zarif resigned abruptly

in the middle of last night in an Instagram post. It happened just hours after this gathering. And I wanted to bring this photograph up. A meeting

between Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. To name but a few

visibly missing from the room, Mr. Zarif. Was this the last straw for him or is this a bit of Ka Kadam (ph), to coin a Persian phrase, and you can

explain what I mean by that.

MOHAMMAD ALI SHABANI, IRAN PULSE EDITOR, AL-MONITOR: Well I think you rightly pointed out it's still unclear whether he actually resigned. You

know, an Instagram post is not a formal resignation. And the fact of the matter is that even if he does resign, will the President accept it?

What some lawmakers have been saying -- including some of his very harsh critics -- is that he's tried to resign up to 14 times since becoming

foreign minister in 2013. So clearly, this is not anything new. What's different is that it's public to this extent. And even if it does get the

signature of the President, the reality of the matter is that he needs a second signature, that's the signature of the Supreme Leader, who has

vetoed not just on his appointment but also on his dismissal or even resignation.

[10:35:00] So I think a lot of things are up in the air right now. Is it a game of brinkmanship? That could very well be the case. I think a lot of

what you're seeing right now is a direct result of the Trump administration and I think it should be careful about what it wishes for.

ANDERSON: All right. If this is an official exit from the sort of diplomatic room, as it were, you made this point earlier on, on Twitter,

sharing Zarif's resignation, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian regime change is in the Diaspora. Coming to Zarif's defense, President Rouhani and 150

Iranian MPs. What would be the consequences be internally and perhaps for our viewers sake as we step outside of the internal politics in Iran, what

are the consequences of the departure of Zarif should that happen from the international stage as things stand at present?

SHABANI: I think it's hard to understate how important Zarif is for Iran in terms of its image, in terms of an astute diplomat very well versed in

Western media. He is a fluent English speaker. His ability to connect with his Western interlocutors. So I think on a personal level, he holds

incredible sway. Incredible influence. A lot of positive impact for Iran. Having said that, we should be mindful of that Iran's decisions on issues

such as the nuclear program or its presence in the region including Syria are driven by consensus. They're not the decision of any one person, let

alone the foreign minister of the country.

So as much as he's an influencing factor behind Iran's calculus in the region or on other issues such as a nuclear program, the reality is that he

is also an implementer of such policies. So we should bear that in mind in terms of what potential impact or changes it may have.

ANDERSON: Oren, what's been the reaction to Mr. Zarif's resignation in Israel?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well there's been one overriding reaction and that came from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Who

basically said, good riddance, on social media. And that's no surprise there. Netanyahu will celebrate anything that's a shaking up of the

Iranian regime. Feel celebrate that. He'll certainly put it on social media. Beyond that, there's not been that much reaction. Perhaps because

they're waiting for a que from the U.S. and also perhaps because they're waiting to see how this shakes out and if Zarif's resignation is accepted.

ANDERSON: Oren, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner is on a tour of the Middle East, testing the waters before he releases this much-anticipated

Trump peace plan or deal of the century as his father-in-law has touted it. In an interview with "Sky News Arabia" he gave some details on how it

addresses the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Let's have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JARED KUSHNER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: The political plan, which is very detailed, is really about establishing borders and resolving final

status issues. But in order to -- the goal of resolving these borders is really to eliminate the borders. And so, if you can eliminate borders and

have peace, let's fear of terror, you can have freer flow of goods, freer flow of people and that will create a lot more opportunities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: It seems to me the right doesn't want this plan. The left doesn't want this plan. Most of the Arab world doesn't want this plan.

Certainly the Jordanians aren't interested in it. How are these comments playing out in Israel?

LIEBERMANN: Well I would point out the left has accepted this plan or at least is willing to look at it. Netanyahu has tried to say he's not

prejudging it, but regardless of that the rest of the right has and the center part has essentially had. And said, look, were not interested in

this plan.

The Palestinians won't even talk to the Trump administration. So I think to say that this plan faces a steep uphill battle would be putting it

mildly. The statement there itself gave very few details. It was a bit confusing. Because he talked about the possibility of resolving boarders,

and then eliminating borders. But any mention of borders comes closer to a two-state solution or closer to some sort of Palestinian entity that any of

Netanyahu's coalition partners wanted to get. And some of them have already put out statements saying it's dangerous what he's working on for

Israel and have already rejected it. So if Netanyahu goes for the government that he's signaling he wants, which is a right-wing government,

the plan, just like on the Palestinian side, is dead on arrival on the Israeli side.

ANDERSON: To both of you on stories that are connected as we CONNECT THE WORLD, we thank you indeed for joining us. Mohammad Ali Shabani is the

editor of the "Iran Pulse" at Al Monitor. CNN's Oren Liebermann, of course you know well, in Jerusalem for us this evening. Live from Abu Dhabi, this

is CONNECT THE WORLD. Back after.

[10:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Breaking news into CNN. An appeals court backing up AT&T's decision to buy Time Warner. The court rejecting the U.S. Justice

Department's attempt to overturn an earlier ruling. Now the governments lawyers tried to convince the judges that the lower court's logic for

approving the $85 billion merger was flawed. The Justice Department could now decide to ask for a new appeal or try to appeal the ruling to the

Supreme Court. Let's be absolutely transparent about this, CNN's parent company has since been renamed Warner Media.

One of the most powerful figures in the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of multiple counts of child sex abuse.

The Cardinal adamantly denies the charges. And he says, he will appeal. Now this secret trial took place in Melbourne, in Australia, in December.

Yes, in December. A court order banning the media from report on it has now only been lifted. Pell is the Vatican treasurer and a senior adviser

to the Pope himself. With more is CNN's Anna Coren.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's news that will send shockwaves throughout the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal George

Pell, Vatican treasurer, found guilty of child sex abuse. The most senior Vatican official ever convicted of child sex offenses. The verdict came

down in December, but legal restrictions meant it couldn't be reported in Australia until now.

Pell, the country's most powerful Catholic, was on trial for assaulting two choir boys in the late '90s when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. The

prosecution's case hinged on the testimony of one of those boys. He told the court Pell assaulted them after mass, forced him to perform oral sex

him and committed an indecent act with his friend. He also testified that a month later Pell pushed him against a wall and groped him. He said,

quote, I didn't tell anyone at the time. I had no intention back then of telling anyone ever. The other victim died of a drug overdose as an adult

having never told his family of the abuse.

The Cardinal called the allegations outrageous.

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL, VATICAN TREASURER: I'm innocent of these charges. That they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.

COREN: He didn't take the stand during the trial. Instead a video of his interview with Australian detectives was played to the court. He pleaded

not guilty and his defense lawyer said the accusations were a fantasy. But a jury convicted Pell on all five charges. One the sexual penetration of a

child and four of an indecent act with or in the presence of a child.

It's a shocking fall from grace for one of the Vatican's top officials who has long been an influential, if divisive figure in Australia.

[10:45:00] He rose through the ranks of the Church to become Archbishop of Melbourne, then Sydney, then a Cardinal before being appointed Vatican

treasurer and a member of the popes in formal Council of Advisors. But while his star rose in the Vatican, Pell came under mounting criticism at

home as the Australian church became the center of a global child abuse scandal.

A national inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found 7 percent of the country's Catholic priests were accused of abusing

children between 1950 and 2010. It identified nearly 2,000 alleged perpetrators including priests, brothers, lay people and religious sisters.

When he appeared in front of the Royal commission in 2016, Pell faced questions about whether he had done enough to weed out abuse and get

justice for the victims.

Now the Cardinal himself has been convicted, and other survivors of clerical sexual abuse unrelated to the Pell case are elated.

PHIL NAGLE, SURVIVOR OF CHILD ABUSE: Justice is what I sought. Justice for the victims. I think that should give everyone that's thinking about

whether you'll be believed or whether you will or won't win the fight, it should give you the courage to come forward and at least be heard.

COREN: Pell's conviction will hurt an organization already battling decades of revelations about pedophile priests. The Pope removed Pell from

his advisory council in December. But the damage to the Church may be difficult to repair now that this global crisis has reached the top of the

Vatican.

Anna Coren, CNN, Melbourne.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well Pope Francis says the conviction of Cardinal Pell is painful and shocking news. And while noting that the Cardinal has the

right to appeal his conviction.

The Pope said, and I quote, that Cardinal Pell is prohibited. the public exercise of ministry, and in accordance with the norms, any form of contact

with minors.

The Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia, also expressed shock at the verdict and added that he is committed to making sure the Church is a safe place

for all.

I'm going to take a very quick break. Stay with us. Something really fun for you after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well we have been connecting a world under the gun for you this hour, so to speak. Our fragile blue gem floating in the infinite black of

the ether. So to round out the show let's jump into the heavens with an oh-so real Emirati astronaut. When you are heading off into space -- well,

that's certainly the question I asked. I'll stay quiet then Amid.

[10:50:00] Well, luckily a couple of your fellow cosmic explorers here in the UAE swung by and they had a lot more to say. They'll both be blasting

into space soon. One of them as soon as September. Have a watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEIL ARMSTRONG, U.S. ASTRONAUT FIRST ON THE MOON: It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Ambition. Exploration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mission and liftoff of the space shuttle "Discovery."

ANDERSON: Determination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, a major malfunction.

ANDERSON: An infinite cosmos of risk and opportunity. The United Arab Emirates jumping right in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The spacecraft will be launched in the nose cone of a rocket.

ANDERSON (on camera): I want to introduce you to Hazza al-Mansouri and Sultan al-Neyadi. Let's beam them in. Has this been a dream since you

were a little boy? You will be in the history books going forward forever.

SULTAN ALNEYADI, UAE ASTRONAUT: Yes.

ANDERSON: Immortalized as Emirati astronauts.

ALNEYADI: Absolutely. It was a dream since childhood. I live in a remote area called Umm Ghafa. It's 30 kilometers outside of Al Ain, and I used to

see the stars in a very bright light. And you could see the edges of the Milky Way like a bright cloud as well. So that probably was the start.

ANDERSON: Your families must be so excited.

ALNEYADI: They are excited. And they are actually, especially my daughter. She was dreaming to be an astronaut. She and Mohammed bin

Rashid tweeted that we have an astronaut program, so I applied and I went back home. I told my daughter, I'm sorry, daughter, I think I'll go to

space before you.

ANDERSON: And what did she say?

ALNEYADI: She was upset in a way, but happy in another way. She said good luck and take me with you.

HAZZAA ALMANSOORI, UAE ASTRONAUT: Now my daughter also doing, like, small story about my experience and my journey.

ANDERSON: It's amazing. There's a song in that daddy's in space

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liftoff of the Soyuz rocket transporting new residents to the international space station.

ANDERSON: You will be rocketing the UAE into a very small elite club. I know at this point we don't know who's going to go first. You are

competing?

ALMANSOORI: We are working as a team actually to make this mission happen.

ANDERSON: Yes, but one of you wants to be first, right?

ALMANSOORI: To be honest, one will want to be the first.

ALNEYADI: I think we're competing in a good way. If I'm doing like 40 pushups, he'll do 50 pushups. This kind of challenge is very good,

actually.

ANDERSON: This fella in this suit isn't exactly what you have had to squeeze yourselves into. But you have had to squeeze yourselves into a

similar suit in 15 seconds in what they call a vomit comet. Tell me about it. What's that experience?

ALMANSOORI: For me to go from 9 Gs, pulling 9-Gs to 0-Gs is really a different scenario, different challenge. But we go through it and we are

good at it now. I think as we go forward in the training, we'll master a lot of skills that will help us to be better.

ANDERSON: Including speaking fluent Russian, as I understand it.

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

ALNEYADI: It's not as fluent as you might think. There was a survivor training. We underwent me and Hazzaa, there was a Russian instructor who

speaks no English, but we were able to communicate with him in Russian. So I think I would say 20 percent, Hazzaa, 20 percent Russian.

ANDERSON: And this is life and death stuff, right?

ALNEYADI: Yes, for sure.

ALMANSOORI: Because the Soyuz, all the checklists, all the procedures, normal procedures, even the emergency procedures are in Russian. If you

hit the wrong button, you will be screwed up. Some more than got really tricky like.

ALNEYADI: Klyuchit i vyklyuchit. That means on and off. So if you misunderstand what the commander is saying, you'll be in trouble maybe.

ANDERSON: What about this? I don't know what that says on it. But this is a sort of food that you are -- that looks disgusting.

ALMANSOORI: Believe me, delicious.

ANDERSON: Stop it.

ALNEYADI: You should try it. Go ahead.

ANDERSON: Listen, I know what good Emirati food tastes like. It doesn't taste like that.

ALMANSOORI: Yes, we are working to bring with us Emirati food to the International Space Station for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the first ever Arab/Islamic mission to another planet.

ANDERSON: The mars mission, of course, is slated for 2021. Do you want to be part of that, too?

ALMANSOORI: Sure. We will be a part of that in terms of the hopes and the ambitions of this nation. To reach and participate in a global-wide effort

to go to a different planets.

ET, FROM THE MOVIE ET, UNIVERSAL PICTURES: E.T., phone home.

ANDERSON: Are there aliens in space?

ALMANSOORI: If we find one, we'll let you know.

ANDERSON: Will you let me know.

ALMANSOORI: Yes, for sure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[10:55:00] ANDERSON: Well, that's it from us for tonight. We've been connecting you to a world where in so many places we have seeing escalating

tensions. We've stepped back to consider also where we are seeing the deescalating of tensions. For example, the meeting that's going on in

Vietnam. And of course, you can get more on the Donald Trump/Kim Jong-un meeting as it develops here on CNN over the next couple of days.

Extraordinary times, not least for our two Emirati astronauts who are taking off from here and going up there. Leaving the tensions behind.

That and more on Facebook.com/CNN. That's where you can find a lot more on what this team has been working on and what we've been looking at on your

behalf. It is your show, so let us know how you feel. That's Facebook.com/CNNConnect. I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD.

From the team here, and it's a very good evening.

END