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CONNECT THE WORLD
Ethiopian Airlines Flight Crashes Near Addis Ababa; Protesters Fill The Streets Amid Widespread Power Outage; Omar Criticizes Democratic Establishment; Netanyahu's Likud Base Backs Him As Charges Loom; Abbas Taps Mohammad Shtayyeh As New Prime Minister. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired March 10, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "BREAKING NEWS."
[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. And we
begin with breaking news out of Ethiopia where a jet has crashed and the tragedy was being felt around the world.
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed this morning just six minutes after takeoff from the airport in Addis Ababa. The Boeing 737 was en route to
Nairobi in Kenya carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members from all around the globe, 35 different countries. No one has survived.
Not long ago, the head of the airline visited the crash site. You can see him standing in the mass of wreckage. He said investigators are still
trying to determine the cause of the crash. We are following this story as you would expect from every angle.
Reporter Samuel Getachew is at the crash site near Addis, CNN's David McKenzie joining us from Johannesburg, Richard Quest is live from London,
and aviation analyst Mary Schiavo joins us as well. Let me start with Samuel who I believe is on a telephone line. If you can hear me Samuel,
just describe the scene where you are if you will.
SAMUEL GETACHEW, JOURNALIST, THE REPORTER: Thank you. Before I begin I just want to talk about Ethiopia Airlines, it's one of the safest airlines.
You know, the last time this kind of incident happened with Ethiopia Airlines was a long, long time ago in Beirut and it just called one of the
safest airlines. And the incidence for that happened today, 156 (INAUDIBLE) have died (INAUDIBLE) you can't see any bodies at the moment.
ANDERSON: We're looking at images as we speak to you, Samuel. Just describe the scene if you will and where this is in comparison to Addis
GETACHEW: It's about four hours' drive because there are no roads to (INAUDIBLE). But by plane, it will take less than ten minutes. It's a
small village just not that if you (INAUDIBLE) region. And there are villages and (INAUDIBLE) that are trying to make sense of what happened.
And again, you can hardly find survivors that let alone bodies of people. You can even identity bodies.
And there are so many embassy personnel and people from NGO like Red Cross and so on trying to make sense of what happened and try to recover some of
the bodies and take them to Addis Ababa. And as I mentioned, (INAUDIBLE) of different countries, Kenyan, (INAUDIBLE) and their bodies are supposed
to be something no different destinations. It's the saddest and the most tragic event I've ever seen in my life. And we can't make sense of what
There are so many people that have died and most of them are headed to Kenya for a United Nations conference and in some extend we're beginning to
find out who they are and again it's so tragic and some of them I knew them --
ANDERSON: And Samuel, you know, I'm going to try -- I'm going to try and reconnect with you because this phone line isn't very good, but your
insight and on the on the scene, of course, is incredibly valuable. Let us call you back. In the meantime, let me get to David. You've been
monitoring this, David, from Johannesburg. The airline has released a number of details at this point. What do we have?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have, Becky, that this was a senior pilot flying us brand new Boeing -- this 737-800 max. Now,
they said that pilot had more than 8,000 hours, very experienced, excellent pilot as they called it. Just a few moments after taking off from Bole
International Airport towards Nairobi, the pilots said that he had technical issues. He relayed that back to the ground staff to the airport
and there he said that he had clearance to return to Bole International Airport.
Of course, he didn't make it. Just six minutes as you said, Becky, after this plane took off for this very regularly scheduled commuter East African
flight, it dropped off radar. It lost contact with the ground and crashed where Samuel is describing just over an or two hours from the capital in
those fields there in rural Ethiopia.
And now, more than 30 different nationalities, 18 Canadians, more than 30 Kenyans, and eight Americans all over the world there are people now in
deep shock by this crash from an airline with a very good safety record and a long track record of what are the leading airlines in the continent.
[11:05:50] ANDERSON: This flight was bound as you say for Kenya. This is what the Kenyan Transport Minister had to say just a little earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES WAINAINA MACHARIA, KENYAN TRANSPORT MINISTER: What is critical importance is to ensure that those families and friends of those passengers
on board are corded the highest level of privacy as we wait for more information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And of course we will wait for more information. We are only hours into this disaster, David. Just a little more if you will about
where we believe this plane went down. I mean, just six or seven minutes it seems out of Addis by flight between sort of two and four hours
depending on how you actually try and access that that site by road, a very remote area.
MCKENZIE: Remote, yes. But it was reached by the rescue officials pretty soon after that crashed. We got -- the crash we heard from Ethiopian
Airlines as soon after the initial word was getting out. For most people that in fact came from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia expressing his
condolences for the family very early on in this incident. You see the tracker of that flight as it leaves the airport and as it goes on its way
Now, this route is very well used by United Nations officials as Samuel was suggesting there, also a very popular route amongst East African. There
are multiple flights every day. And this will be a shock both to the capitals, the people in Nairobi and Ethiopia, and as you suggest that
around the world with so many different people affected.
But it is remote but it was very soon after takeoff and nothing that the rescuers and the rescue officials could do as they scrambled to see the
scene there. You saw that very dramatic picture of the head of Ethiopian Airlines in that crater apparently caused by the impact of that plane that
there was just nothing that the passengers and crew could have done it seemed to survive this impact.
ANDERSON: Sure. And the office of the prime minister issue rightly pointed out tweeted earlier on the following. On behalf of the government
and people of Ethiopia would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines
Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.
Richard Quest is standing by in London. What do you make of this Richard?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It's extraordinary in the sense that it is a brand new plane. It's got six months on the clock. It's --
there is no obvious reason. It's not like this accident happened immediately on takeoff. Yes, it was in the early stages of flight, six
minutes in. But you know, the plane at that stage is climbing between six to 10,000 feet so it is -- it's in the early part of the climb.
And by that stage of course, the wheels are in -- excuse me -- the flaps have been retracted and really it should be fairly routine. Now we are
hearing where the -- obviously the CEO said that the pilot asked to turn back. If you look at the only data that we've been seen publicly which is
the flight radar 24 data, you see that the plane reached an altitude of -- well it gets to 8,000 feet, then it slightly dips to 7,000-7,500. Then it
goes back up again quite quickly to 8,600 feet, and then it drops off the radar.
So the suggestion of course -- and of course, let's be clear, people will say, Becky, you know, all their comparisons to be made between this flight
and liner JT 160 which fell out the air a few -- just last year, another brand-new 737 Max 8. And I would say look, this is a coincidence but it's
a coincidence that's too close not to merit further investigation and that's what's going to be examined very closely.
[11:10:24] ANDERSON: Yes, and Mary, I think I wouldn't surprise me if you were making a relatively similar point. Let's bring you in at this point.
What do you make of what we've seen, Mary?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, yes. I mean, there are too many similarities and as Richard said it means exactly right. You know,
coincidences and air crashes are leads. And so the important point is that the phase of the flight on takeoff very much like Lion Air. They were at
the point where if there had been a problem with the takeoff airspeeds or the flight control surface settings for the takeoff. That would have been
calm apparent literally as they took off from the -- from the runway.
So once the pilot said they were having mechanical difficulties or some kind of a problem with the plane, you know the old saying is the first time
it happens it's the pilot, the second time it happens it's the plane. I think that the investigators will be looking at the aircraft and they will
be looking at this MCAS system which is the system on the Lion aircraft they kept putting the nose down. They'll be looking at that for sure.
ANDERSON: Richard, people will be asking today is this Boeing 737 max safe.
QUEST: I knew you're going to ask me that, Becky. And with that in mind, I consulted two airlines CEOs, neither of whom have the Max three in their
fleet. One says that he'd be consulting his engineers and would probably ground them overnight the other said no he would continue to fly them. The
evidence just simply isn't there that the plane is unsafe.
I think what you have here, the chances of -- the chances of this being an exact replica of what happened with Lion Air is somewhat remote. If only
because we know what happened with Lion Air and we know the ways to get round that particular problem.
But the chances of this being something to do with the new avionics or technology of the MCAS system that Mary is talking about, that is certainly
going to be much higher on the agenda. This plane, no plane should fall out the sky, this one absolutely brand-new should not.
ANDERSON: And just for those who may not be as familiar with Addis as a hub, this is a huge Airport, very busy Airport. It is -- it is the airport
of repute as it were, am I -- am I right and saying for Africa. Busy this airline, how many planes will this airline in fly. It means that this is a
huge airlines --
ANDERSON: -- where as we have pointed out a good safety record.
QUEST: More than good. I mean, you know, it's had a couple of incidents, one of which was a hostage and a hijacking. No, look, Ethiopia, Addis is a
good Airport. It's hot and high but that creates certain problems on takeoff but I don't think that was particularly relevant here. It's -- the
airline itself is one of the leading airlines of the world.
Tewolde Gebremariam who is the CEO has done a superb job. It's owned by the government and certainly, you know, the government has decided aviation
is to be one of the key pillars of Ethiopia's economy so many people fly it. It is one of -- Becky, I'll sum it this way. It's one of those
airlines that when you have worries about any other, you always say I'll take Ethiopian.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. I'm going to wine it up just for the time being, guys, but we are going to absolutely get back to this story. It's breaking
news, incredibly important, incredibly tragic. David McKenzie in Johannesburg, Richard in London, Mary in Charleston, South Carolina on this
Sunday, thank you all for the time being, for joining us. Families around the world now morning loved ones
Let me just leave you with this for the moment. A spokesperson for Ethiopian Airlines says the victims were of 35 different nationalities
showing just how this tragedy is affecting people across the globe. I just want us to take a moment to reflect on this.
[11:15:00] ANDERSON: I want to remind you of our top story this hour and it is a breaking news story. There are no survivors after an Ethiopian
Airlines flight crashed this Sunday morning just minutes after taking off. The plane was carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members. Flights 302
from Addis Ababa to Nairobi went down near the town of Bishoftu off - just outside the Ethiopian capital.
A spokesperson for Ethiopian Airlines says the victims were of 35 different nationalities. This is a tragedy affecting people across the globe. We'll
be updating you throughout the hour on this story as the details come in.
Let me locate you some other news this hour. And in Venezuela, a major power outage is stretching into its third day. Hospital struggling to deal
with the worst blackout there any years. One official says four people died after the power failures but CNN has not independently confirmed this.
Now, the blackouts have paralyzed the country in the middle of a political power struggle. Both the government and the opposition held competing
rallies in the capital on Saturday. President Nicolas Maduro accused the U.S. of being responsible for the blackout.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT, VENEZUELA (through translator): When there are attacks of this type made by the country's opposition, the extreme right-
wing, they are without any doubt the intellectual and material authors of this attack that used high-level technology that only the United States
government has in the world. They have used weapons of high technology and we will know what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Paula Newton went to both pro and anti-government rallies as she reports many people are frustrated as the rival leaders play
the blame game.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They have passion but oh so much frustration too. Opposition protests were marred by confrontations
even before they started. And when they did, there was this. National Guard troops blocking their way at every turn.
So opposition protesters were trying to walk all the way up this avenue. As you can see here they are being blocked by the National Guard. The
National Guard continues to move them down this road trying to pin them in. Opposition protesters have taken to negotiation. As you can see right
here, they're trying to convince them that they have the right to protest.
Opposition leader Winston Flores embraces a National Guard leader as they both agree to keep it peaceful.
Speak to them from the heart. They are Venezuelans like you, he says. They don't have power, they don't have food, they don't have anything right
So you're just trying to keep this peaceful. You want this to stay peaceful.
[11:20:09] WINSTON FLORES, LEADER OF PROTESTERS: Yes, I say to the people to stay here in the Pacific.
NEWTON: Pessimism is what he means. Some protesters don't believe it will work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What dictatorship has got out peacefully? You tell me one.
NEWTON: Others want the U.S. military to step.
Maduro says he's not going anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need the help of the Administration Trump.
NEWTON: When opposition leader Juan Guaido spoke, he too seems to side with those who say a more robust strategy might be needed alluding to some
kind of a military mission.
The faithful meantime gathered at a textbook government rally in Caracas.
The U.S. has no business being here in our country she tells me.
With this pro-government rally, President Maduro is looking for his own momentum. With his core supporters, he will broadcast this rally
throughout Venezuela in places where the opposition momentum isn't quite as strong.
The irony, as president Nicolas Maduro denounced what he calls the imperialist invasion, barely anyone saw it or heard it. Rolling blackouts
continue throughout the city, throughout the country, barely any Internet, T.V. or mobile coverage, not to mention food, water, or medicine.
On both sides, Venezuelans are at their breaking point. With few daring to predict what could happen next. Paula Newton, CNN Caracas.
ANDERSON: We are gaining new insight into just who may end up in the Democratic nominee to challenge U.S. President Donald Trump in the next
election. The state of Iowa goes first in the primaries and a new CNN poll shows that voters there overwhelmingly favor former Vice President Joe
Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, two familiar names.
Biden is in the top spot despite not yet making his 2020 intentions known. CNN Political Analyst and Princeton Professor Julian Zelizer joining me now
from New York. What should we make of this new poll and its significance?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well it would be expected that the two people with the most national presence former vice president obviously
and a Sanders former primary nominee or competitor to Hillary Clinton would instantly come out on top.
It does show Biden has a certain base of support. If he decides to get in there he would start strong. It also shows that the Sanders campaign in
2016 wasn't an anomaly. He's running, he's polling very well. And finally though, the other candidates could still move up as they become more of a
known factor in Iowa and other states.
We just -- they're more of a mystery to many Americans so we shouldn't assume the low poll numbers being they can't eventually win.
ANDERSON: Yes. And they're fascinating. All right, well, House Democrat Ilhan Omar is sparking controversy once again. This time she's criticizing
former President Barack Obama and his policy. She says in an interview "we can't be only upset with Trump. His policies are bad but many of the
people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was."
Julian, you right there is always a danger the left goes too far in flattening any differences between its own party and its opponents. This
was the kind of thinking that produced support for Ralph Nader's third party in 2000. Well, that took me back. I remember that campaign vividly.
Explain if you will.
ZELIZER: Well, it's a traditional critique from the left that in the end Democrats and Republicans are not as different as they say they are. And
that if you really want to change things in Washington, you have to reform the entire system from the bottom up, the way campaign finance works the
way that campaigns themselves work.
The problem is it can flatten the very real differences between the parties. And Democratic voters need to know and remember that even if
President Obama might not have done everything some hoped for and even if some of the candidates in 2020 are not perfect in terms of what they say or
what they aspire to, there's a fundamental difference between any Democrat who's going to be in office and what President Trump and the GOP represent
in this era.
And I think that's really the danger of the argument from the left becoming too strong in terms of how voters think of their choices.
[11:25:10] ANDERSON: As we consider some historic context, during 54 years ago, peaceful demonstrators rallying for equal voting rights for African
Americans were brutally beaten. The assaults on marches in Selma, Alabama of course known as Bloody Sunday, it eventually led to the passage of the
Voting Rights Act.
You had an interesting thread about this that I noticed on Twitter. You write five decades later with the president in office who favors voting
restrictions, we're watching many of the legislative gains that came out of Bloody Sunday being gradually overturned. There's growing concern among
Democrats that there have been concerted efforts to make it more difficult for minorities to vote. Just how concerned should we all the viewers be
ZELIZER: Very. In 2013, the Supreme Court overturned a key part of the Voting Rights Act that had been put into place because of the violence that
those protesters endured including Congressman John Lewis who had a skull fracture being beaten by police authorities.
And since 2013, in many states in the United States we have seen an effort from Republicans usually within the states to put into place pretty
significant voting restrictions that make it harder for people to vote based on allegations of mass voting fraud that no one has supported at this
point, no one serious has found mass voting fraud.
And this erodes a fundamental right, the right to vote. And I think this has to be front and center for both parties in 2020, the promise to fulfill
what the protesters were fighting for back in 1965.
ANDERSON: Yes, you know, you make a really good point. I mean, it was fascinating to read the thread on Twitter and I'm glad we've had an
opportunity to discuss this. Before I let you go, just before I spoke to you, we talked about Venezuela and clearly some you know, a lot of activity
on the ground in Caracas with anti and pro-government rallies over the weekend, blackout now stretching into the third day.
We've heard very little from the U.S. administration in the pass sort of 24-48 hours about what they propose to do next. There was a lot of
posturing over the past couple of weeks by the Secretary of State, by John Bolton, and by Abrams who's involved in this on the U.S. side in building a
-- in building a policy and a strategy for Venezuela. Is it any clearer as we speak Sunday morning Washington time, your time, just exactly what the
U.S. position will be going forward?
ZELIZER: No. From the public perspective here it's unclear what comes next from the U.S. it could very well be that privately the administration
is trying to work out a plan and doesn't want to become too much of the story themselves by announcing what they're going to do and threatening
what they're going to do.
So maybe they're pulling back from a kind of public statesmanship and diplomacy or it could be their attention to shifted. Big investigations
here in the United States, domestic struggles and maybe they have their eye off the ball as this crisis unfolds. We don't know which of those two it
is. And giving it to the Trump administration there are open questions and there's not certainty that a plan is being worked.
ANDERSON: Julian, is always a pleasure. A regular guest on this show on our Sunday show, our first show of the week out of Abu Dhabi. This is
CONNECT THE WORLD. Sir, thank you as ever. Coming up, more than 150 people from around the world were killed when an Ethiopia passenger jets
went down minutes after takeoff earlier today Sunday. We will have the very latest for you up next.
[11:32:38] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "BREAKING NEWS".
ANDERSON: Well, a deadly plane crash involving one of Africa's largest and safest airlines. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to Nairobi, Kenya was
carrying 149 passengers and eight crew members when it crashed just outside of Addis Ababa.
There were no survivors. The plane went down just six minutes after takeoff. The Airlines CEO says the pilot had reported technical
difficulties and was given clearance to return to the airport before the plane went down.
The United Nations weighing in just moments ago, saying, "As delegates come to Nairobi for the assembly, U.N. Environment is deeply saddened by the
news of the Ethiopian Airlines accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected. We are following developments very
While journalist Robyn Kriel joins us now by phone from the crash site near Addis Ababa. Robyn, can you hear me?
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hi, Becky. Yes, I can.
ANDERSON: Yes, describe what you're -- what you're seeing and what you're hearing if you will.
KRIEL: Becky, the crash lights it's really inclusive. If you can imagine a giant cavern and amongst the whole bunch of mountains. We're south of
Addis Ababa -- you know, in a place called edge area, and a crash site. And I would say, about 500 meters, strewn across this field where it looks
like they have pilot attempted to land.
There are all kinds of pieces of debris, pieces of the plane's fuselage as part of the business card of flights like manuals, maps of Ethiopian
Airline's serviettes. That is all the sort of things that we can see just -- and that's not even inside the cordoned off area where of recovery
officials -- I wouldn't say rescue. Recovery officials are now working to try to -- I suppose just dig out what they need to in order to launch an
[11:34:57] ANDERSON: Yes, we've -- and we've seen officials at the site just a little earlier on today. Many people, and slightly surprised that
the recovery services, as we will now have to call them given that everybody we know is now confirmed dead.
Where at that site, as quickly as they were, just described where you are if you will.
KRIEL: We're south of Addis Ababa sort of -- I would say the nearest two towns are Addis Ababa and Bishoftu. Where really, we are in the middle of
nowhere. So, its fields and some of them cultivated, some of them uncultivated fields of land. And that is a rolling hill in amongst
It is very rural and there are a couple of hundred -- I would say, villages from nearby village. From nearby villages whose gathered to watch this
operation, there were some ambulances as well.
The moments I -- there are a few journalists, I cannot see I know that there is an enormous number of other nationality but I believe was 32
different nationalities who are onboard this fight.
I haven't seen or spoken to anyone from any embassies here, but a number of the Ethiopians, I guess, assuming that I was from a (INAUDIBLE) did
apologizing to me. They say, "We're so sorry for this tragedy and in it is really very sad.
ANDERSON: It's terrible. It's the -- unfortunately, the nationalities number has now been increased from 32 to 35. This is as we've been saying,
a tragedy that's hit people -- you know, right around the globe.
And as we understand it, certainly has been reported that some of those on the flight were on their way to a meeting of the -- of the U.N. in Nairobi,
in Kenya. And certainly, we've heard from the U.N. Environment Agency today.
The United Nations just a moment ago and I'll repeat what they said, "We just had been reporting this earlier, as delegates come to Nairobi for the
assembly, U.N. Environment is deeply saddened by the news of the Ethiopian Airlines accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those
affected. We are following developments closely."
Do we have any more details at this point as to what exactly might have happened, Robyn?
KRIEL: I don't. You know, from the scene, communications here in Ethiopia are trying at the best of times, and the worst of times even more so.
Because obviously, this is a country that is going through a sort of rebirth with a new prime minister, who's allowing a lot more freedom of
press and media, and freedom of information and communications to flow.
However, they don't -- they do still have very tenuous communications at the best of times. So, we're struggling to get any information out here in
the middle of sort of rural Ethiopia of exactly what happened when this flight toward from Bole International Airport.
As you said, it was -- I completely understand that there were a number of U.N. people on this flight because it is such a popular -- you know, Addis
Ababa is a heart at the African Union.
ANDERSON: Sorry about that. Sure.
KRIEL: (INAUDIBLE) CDC are based here. So, you know, there would be -- this is a popular diplomatic route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi home of --
also home of a number of U.N. agencies.
ANDERSON: Robyn, I'm going to let you go and you can get on with -- you know, getting some reporting on the ground for us. Back to you as soon as
you get some substantive information. Thank you.
Robyn just arriving on the scene there. Let's just stay on this tragedy and because as I said, families across -- dozens of countries are now
mourning their loved ones.
A spokesperson for Ethiopian Airlines says the victims were of 35 different nationalities. We all bring you all the information as we get it. There
are, of course, many more questions than answers as we speak.
We have heard from the Kenyans, one of the minister's speaking a little earlier. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACHARIA: What is critical important is to ensure that those families and friends of those passengers on board, accorded the highest level of privacy
as we wait for more information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister tweeted the following. Let me just bring that up. And it's, of course, it's only
hours ago, I mean, its Sunday evening here in Abu Dhabi. It's 20 to 8:00 in the evening.
This flight going down in the morning, Ethiopian time. The Office of the Prime Minister, saying and I quote, "On behalf of the government and people
of Ethiopia, we'd like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302,
this was a Boeing 737 on a regularly scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning."
Well, as ever in a situation like this off times, very little information and in the -- in the first few hours. Many more questions and answers, of
course. Let's discuss that with Terhas Berhe, she's a founder and managing director of Africa-focused communications agency, BrandComms. And she
joins us now over Skype from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
And a -- and a very, very tragic day for those in the city where you are. For those who have family members who caught this flight from Addis to
Nairobi today. And the airline, of course, will be doing its best at present to get as much information out as possible. But these are early
days in an investigation like this.
[11:41:20] TERHAS BERHE, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRAND COMMUNICATIONS (via skype): Yes, Becky, indeed. It's quite tragic, and
it's early days. And I agree with the earlier comment. Can you hear me? Sorry.
ANDERSON: Yes, go on.
BERHE: I agree at (INAUDIBLE), sorry. I agree with the earlier comment that communication has been slow. It's difficult to speculate why, but
it's essential that Ethiopian maintains a regular flow of information which lasts beyond the first few hours or even days.
The -- I'm in Addis Ababa, and that quite sad here. Everyone is saddened by the crisis. Ethiopian is the most trusted and admired airline brand in
Africa. It has a bus (INAUDIBLE) Africa, a network better than any other airline. It has been registering an average growth of 25 percent per annum
for the last seven years. And it's quite -- it will require a lot of hard work now to maintain trust and to rebuild confidence from the leaders of
the organization and the country.
ANDERSON: Yes, of course, it will. You know, our thoughts and prayers at this early stage, of course, with the victims, families, and as you say in
the days to come, there will be more information about what exactly went wrong. We have very little information as we speak, but it -- but
important to point out that this is an airline with an -- a very good safety history. A very big airline from that hub in Addis, Ethiopian
More on that story as we get it for you this hour and in the hours to come, of course, as you would expect here on CNN.
We move on just briefly for you. There's just 19 days until the U.K. is scheduled to officially leave the European Union. And the future only
seems to be getting foggier.
On Tuesday, British lawmakers are set for a second meaningful vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's deal. If it gets the green light,
Britain will wave goodbye to the E.U. with a deal. If it gets a red light, M.P.s will vote -- again, on Wednesday, whether to leave without a deal.
Now, if that passes, Britain will come crashing out the EU on March the 29th. If it doesn't, M.P.s will vote again on Thursday on whether to
extend what's known as Article 50, delaying Brexit for further negotiations and a possible second referendum.
Now, if that were to happen, a new poll says 74 percent of those who are too young to vote in the 2016 referendum about 2 million people were to
Well, British government facing backlash after the death of an ISIS bride's child in Syria. Shamima Begum left London to join ISIS as a teenager, made
international headlines last month. Publicly pleading with the U.K. to let her returned with her newborn.
Well, her son died on Thursday just weeks after being born in a Syrian refugee camp. The British government had already revoked Begum's
citizenship. This morning, Britain's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt told the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show" that the child was a British citizen, but his
mother's decisions had consequences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY HUNT, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS, UNITED KINGDOM: Shamima knew when she made the decision to join Daesh, she
was going into a country where there was no Embassy, there was no consul assistant. And I'm afraid those -- you know, those decisions all followed
is they do have consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:45:10] ANDERSON: That was Jeremy Hunt speaking on the "Andrew Marr Show" earlier. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for
you, live from Abu Dhabi. It's quarter to 8:00 in the evening. And more on our breaking news coverage out of Ethiopia where a passenger jet has
crashed killing all on board.
We know that 18 Canadians for example, were onboard. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sending his condolences. He says, "Devastating
news from Ethiopia this morning." He tweets, "Our thoughts are with all the victims on Flight E.T. 302, including the Canadians who were on board
and everyone who lost friends, family or loved ones."
He also goes on to say, Canadians in need of assistance can call or e-mail for help. You're watching CNN, stay with us.
ANDERSON: Well, your top story this hour, there are no survivors after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on Sunday morning. The plane was carrying
149 passengers and eight crew members, collectively from dozens of countries. 35 to be exact.
Flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi went down outside the Ethiopian capital just minutes after takeoff. The airline's CEO has been on site and
told a press conference earlier that the pilot had reported difficulties and asked to turn back before the crash.
And we are getting more information in and by the minute on this crash. We will, of course, continue to update you here on CNN. Another update for
the top of the hour on what is an extremely tragic day.
Well, in just one month, Israelis will be heading to the polls, it's a tight race and one that's becoming especially challenging for Israel's
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as criminal charges of corruption loom over his campaign.
Some are calling on him to step aside for the good of the country. But as Melissa Bell now reports, the allegations haven't shaken the support of his
loyal base. This is her report.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: His late arrival did nothing to dampen his supporters' enthusiasm. With a month to go until the election,
Benjamin Netanyahu may have slipped to second place in the polls nationally but this is Likud country.
ISRAELI CROWD: Bibi, Bibi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bibi, Bibi.
BELL: In 2015, the party won nearly 40 percent of the vote here in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba. And a week after the attorney general
recommended indicting Netanyahu in three separate corruption investigations, most of those we spoke to think he'll win his fifth term
[11:50:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Bibi, (INAUDIBLE). All the periphery, love Bibi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think its charisma and the way he speak all over the world.
BELL: Who will you vote for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like Bibi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me, Bibi.
BELL: Our guide through Beersheba is Uriel Gur Adam, a local radio journalist.
URIEL GUR ADAM, LOCAL RADIO JOURNALIST, ISRAEL: A lot of people which are not living in the central of Israel, maybe who live in Jerusalem, have
found a place and found someone who would speaks their anger, who would speak for their misery.
BELL: Hello, how are you?
Inside the local Likud headquarters, the pile of signs was waist-high, we're told, depleted by activists who came unprompted this year to get
They read, "Davka Netanyahu," encouraging his vote not just in spite of his legal troubles but because of them. A message not only aimed at voters but
also at the media, whom Netanyahu accuses of leading a left-wing conspiracy against him.
ADAM: You cover the indictment and you cover the whole police investigations and they said, "OK, in spite of that."
BELL: So, thus, what the signs say is pay attention to what he's being accused of and get out and vote because he's under attack.
ADAM: And do -- and do remember, we have mentioned that earlier, people do give the benefit of the doubt.
BELL: Shimon Boker, who is both the town's deputy mayor and the local Likud Party chairman agrees that far from being put off by Netanyahu's
troubles, Likud voters have been fired up by them.
SHIMON BOKER, DEPUTY MAYOR, BEERSHEBA (through translator): I want to tell you something. He's the Moses of our time. This is the Moses of Israel.
The more they torture him, the stronger he will become. That's written in the Bible. They more they torture him, the stronger he'll become.
BELL: And yet, even here in Beersheba, Netanyahu spoke in an auditorium that was only half full.
To those that did turn up, however, their leader left them as impressed as ever and convinced that his natural ability to connect with his faithful
would see him through once again. Melissa Bell, CNN, Beersheba.
ANDERSON: Well, meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is tapping a longtime ally, ally to be the next prime minister. Mohammed
Shtayyeh takes over the role from Rami Hamdallah, who resigned in January.
Now, Shtayyeh is a member of the central committee of the president's Fatah Party. Some analysts view this is part of the move to distance the
Palestinian Authority from Hamas.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live for you from Abu Dhabi tonight from our broadcasting hub here in the Middle East. Coming up, more
on our breaking news.
The plane crash in Ethiopia, passengers from around the world killed. Boeing has just announced it will be sending a technical team to assist at
the crash site. These are images from that site, part of the international effort to find out what caused that flight to go down just minutes after
takeoff from Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi in Kenya. Making a very short break, back after this.
[11:55:20] ANDERSON: Well, breaking news this hour, a passenger jet has crashed in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. There is now an
international effort to determine what caused the plane to crash. The U.S. sending a team to assist in the investigation. The Ethiopian Airlines
Flight 302 was carrying passengers from dozens of countries.
The United Nations paid tribute to the victims, saying it is deeply saddened by the accident. And amongst those from around the world sending
their thoughts, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed tweeted, "My sincere condolences to Ethiopia's prime minister and the
families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet crash."
And we will of course here on CNN keep you up-to-date with the very latest developments as they come, and you can also follow this story online. Of
course, we have a live feed updating frequently with all the breaking news that is cnn.com for more of the time being.
That was CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, thank you for watching.