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Mozambique Reeling Amid Death and Destruction; New Revelations About Lion Air Disaster; U.K House Speaker Allowing Emergency Brexit Debate; EU Says Brexit Needs to be Completed Before May 23; Pompeo in Israel for Visit Seen as Boosting Netanyahu; Benny Gantz Stops Short of Endorsing Palestinian Statehood; Ethiopians Walk Through Yemen's War Zone to Find Work; Russian Top Model Advocates for Special Olympics. Aired 11- 12p ET

Aired March 20, 2019 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Here we don't have anything to eat. No food, nothing. It is a problem. At night we don't eat. We don't

even have a blanket to cover ourselves with.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: The absolute horror of cyclone Idai who has just starting to become clear. Hundreds of thousands of people in desperate

need of help. Any help whatsoever. Also tonight --


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are not prepared to deliver Brexit any further than 30 June.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Mr. Speaker, this is a national crisis.


ANDERSON: While the U.K. grappling with his own troubles. 1,000 days since the Brexit referendum, nine days until Britain is due to leave. And

it really is nothing short of a debacle. Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said no. There is a war in Yemen. And they said well then, we have to leave it up to God.


ANDERSON: Young African men making an arduous trek crossing a warzone by foot just to find work.

Hello, welcome. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you in Abu Dhabi.

We begin tonight in Mozambique where we are getting an idea of the sheer scale of the devastation from cyclone Idai. And what we are seeing is

nothing short of a catastrophe. Look at these scenes of utter desperation. Taking a look at these extraordinary images, scores of people scrambling on

to rooftops, waiting to be rescued. As rising floodwaters have created what officials are calling an inland ocean. Aid agencies say 90 percent of

the city of Beira is under water. Mozambique's President says more than 200 people have been confirmed dead, but earlier warned the final number

could be more than a 1,000. There have also been reports of storm related deaths in neighboring Malawi and Zimbabwe. A total of 1 1/2 million people

has been affected across all three nations.

Now right now the UAE at the forefront of the international response. Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has offered his

private Boeing 474, that will assist in sending aid to Mozambique. They have already dispatched an enormous amount of aid. It's something like

$18.3 million at this point.

Meanwhile the EU announcing it's sending nearly $4 million in emergency aid to the storm hit nations. And the U.K. sending supplies and enough tents

to shelter 38,000 people.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo has just touched down in Mozambique's capital city, Maputo. And I know you are trying to get to Beira which is taking the

brunt of all of this. How tough are logistics and what are you hearing from people there about conditions?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, most of the Maputo residents I spoke to, Becky, I feel a great sense of relief in this

tragedy, that the cyclone chose to go further up rather than hit this hugely popular city. Which is also just by the Indian Ocean to my right

here. And of course the mood across the nation is as the headline clearly states that Mozambique is in mourning.

And at the moment we are also hearing stories of course of the other countries that you mentioned. Chimanimani, a part of Zimbabwe I know well

in the Eastern Highlands. Mountainous, beautiful, on a blisteringly hot summers day like this. But what did the cyclone do there? It crumbled.

Those long sandy mountains that have been there for thousands of years, and they went down and swept people who were in their beds to their deaths.

And over here in Beira, the International Federation of the Red Cross tells us that 200,000 people are in the busy area where the river -- Buzi River

is completely overflowed and that there 10,000 people are scrambling to get to the top of structures like trees and rooftops looking for rescue. The

biggest challenge for humanitarian efforts, including the Red Cross, is accessibility. Areas of Chimanimani people can't reach to. Seven bridges

were swept away thereby the cyclone. And you remember, we are talking six days later, Becky. This shows you the enormous power of nature when it is

at its angriest and most ferocious. And at the moment, as we head into Beira, hopefully by this time tomorrow, we shall see the full extent of the

destruction of a once great city in East Africa.

[11:05:00] This is where a great Portuguese explore set up trading shops hundreds of years ago, including Vasco da Gama. Beira 90 percent, Becky,

90 percent destroyed by the cyclone.

ANDERSON: Yes, now we're looking at images as you speak of Beira. I'm going to let you go because I know that you're trying to work the logistics

in order to get to the epicenter of all of this. Viewers, with roads submerged and entire communities unrecognizable as Farai has been

reporting. You can imagine just how difficult it is to reach those in dire need of help. Scenes like these not unusual. Emergency workers

meticulously combing the landscape looking for survivors as we have been mentioning. Some people climbed trees and desperate attempt to escape the

floodwaters. They are now being air lifted to safety. But believe me, those are the lucky few.

It's no surprise massive amounts of aid will be needed to help. Joining me now is Filipe Chidumo, he's the high commissioner for Mozambique in the

U.K. Joining us out of London today. Sir, I have to ask, we know we're talking about 200 deaths as confirmed at this point. Is it clear just how

many people may have lost their lives?

FILIPE CHIDUMO, MOZAMBIQUE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE U.K.: Thank you for having me today. This is and on ongoing emergency. You cannot overnight

determine the exact numbers of people that will have lost their lives. But as the President said after surveying the region on Sunday, we are looking

for big numbers which you have alluded to in the beginning of your introduction. So this is a big tragedy of immense proportions, biblical

proportions we have never seen before something like this.

ANDERSON: High commissioner, I know we are talking about tens, thousands if not more, thousands of people who are affected. And we've seen some

images of how authorities are at this point trying to respond to the disaster. In this is an extraordinary situation. The U.N. food program

says the humanitarian emergency is getting bigger by the hour, sir.

I want to show our viewers again the international response at the moment. The UAE leading the way as we mentioned, Dubai's ruler sending his private

Boeing 747 to Mozambique carrying 97 metric tons of humanitarian aid. $4 million worth of aid in the EU to the three countries affected. The U.K.

sending 7,500 aid shelter kits and 100 family tents. Look, will this be enough? You're going to need a lot more from the international community,

aren't you?

CHIDUMO: Definitely. The numbers actually of the people at risk are rising dramatically. When I spoke yesterday to a news media, I heard

information that we were talking about 100,000 that had been at risk. The numbers as of yesterday have risen to 350,000 people at risk. So this is

actually something that will need a sustained effort on the part of the Mozambique government and also by the international community.

After the emergency process comes to an end, in other words to rescue people who are stranded, to shelter them, to provide them with food, water

and sanitation, there shall be a need for immediate repair of the public infrastructure. Beira will need immediately the restoration of water and

sanitation in order to prevent the emergency of waterborne diseases. And after that, at the same time while we do the reparations, the repair in the

public infrastructure, there will be a need to restore electricity. Which is crucial also to ensure that we have communications, we have everything

that comes with it.

And then the other phase which is not less important will be the drawing of a reconstruction plan. And my point here today is to make sure that the

international community which is assisting -- who is assisting us today and I highly appreciate that, must not lose sight of the fact that this is not

a onetime event. This is something that is there for many, many years to come after emergency --

[11:10:00] ANDERSON: Sir, let me stop you there. And you're making some very good points. Look, I realize that Beira's geography makes it very

vulnerable to extreme weather and there have been complaints about the poorly maintained infrastructure. What preparations were made in

anticipation of this cyclone and does the government bear a responsibility in some ways for the utter sheer devastation that we have seen?

CHIDUMO: Well you know, whenever something happens in a country, there is always someone who must take responsibility. We as a government, we take

responsibility for what happens in our own country. But this this is something that we could have prevented. It is something was beyond a

national preparedness. Nothing we could have done could have prevented Beira from having the kind of devastation that we did.

You will remember that the U.N. yesterday or the day before yesterday, said that this cyclone was the biggest of its kind in the assessment in the

southern hemisphere. So even if we had the best infrastructure, the best everything would not have prevented the devastation that has taken place in

Beira. Remember, this was the very first time a category 4 cyclone which is not normal, I know. But in developing countries of course the poor

infrastructure which is not just for Mozambique does compound the problem.

ANDERSON: Of course. Can I ask you here, is the government prepared to do whatever it takes going forward to ensure that the infrastructure at least

is more robust? That enough is done to at least try to avoid what could easily happen again given the position, the geographic position of a city

like Beira to avoid the scenes that we have seen? I do understand that this is a huge challenge. But six days in, these questions are being

asked, sir. Can you commit to the populations that more will be done in the future?

CHIDUMO: Thank you very much. Well, this is a tough question actually. The government is committed to ensure the well-being of its people. Now,

with the events of the last week, lessons have been learned. We know what to do, what not to do. The problem is you might design a big project of

construction, heavy stuff, et cetera, but if you don't haves means to do so, well it will say on the paper.

That's what I'm saying, you know, the international community must come to assist Mozambique in drawing up a very strong plan of national

reconstruction. Bearing in mind the particular characteristics of the city of Beira. Which requires special building, whatever it is. You know, to

make sure that the new situation like this will not be so devastating. But again, without resources, it will be difficult to do that.

And also sometimes the people also, if they wanted it. Because most of the infrastructure has been destroyed is also from the people themselves who

make their personal effort. They build their own houses, who do not have money enough to build stronger infrastructure. So it is a developmental

issue actually. And I can say, as you know, Mozambique is a resourceful country. It has a bright future. And I'm sure we'll be able to -- as we

develop, as we grow a little more in the future, we'll be able to build our national construction, especially in Beira, to the demands of nature.

ANDERSON: Right. High Commissioner, I'm going to leave it there. In the first instance, we absolutely wish those who are suffering in this state of

devastation the best and do hope that we can see that aid is getting in, but not enough by any stretch of the imagination. So let's hope that more

is accessible. And you've made some very good points about the sort of long-term needs for your country, for the city of Beira, for your country

and for the country surrounding.

[11:15:00] We do thank you for being on the show tonight and taking our questions. The high commissioner for Mozambique to the United Kingdom.

CHIDUMO: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: Ten days after the horrific crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in Ethiopia, we're learning stunning new revelations about the Lion Air flight

that crashed off Indonesia last year, killing all 189 people on board.

Bloomberg reports, that same plane, a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, encountered troubles just one day before the disaster. But the crew received help from

an off-duty pilot who happened to be in the cockpit. Meanwhile Reuters says that the pilots of the doomed flight scoured the plane's handbook as

they struggled to gain control of the aircraft.

CNN's Melissa Bell joining us now live from Paris. And how significant is this new information, how does this help better inform what we know about

this terrible, terrible incident?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well apart from providing a clearer picture of those last few minutes and what must have been an incredibly

chilling recording of those moments in the cockpit that we're hearing about through that Reuters reporting. This also really points both of those bits

of reporting that you allude to, to this question of this automated flight system that essentially kicked in. We now know in that doomed Lion Air

flight over and over again. And the fact that some pilots in the case of this off-duty pilot the day before, were able to disable this automated

system and others tragically were not. And that matters, Becky, because here in Paris, on the outskirts of Paris, the black boxes from the latest

Ethiopian Airlines crash, that same type of Boeing which we know was on a similar trajectory, according to the preliminary data that has been

extracted from the black boxes to the Lion Air crash.

And of course we're going to have to wait for the results of that investigation. But if it is shown that once again this automated system

that had been at the center of concerns after the Lion Air crash that killed 189 people. The fact that that was not more quickly investigation,

more quickly recognized that the pilots around the world were going to get into this particular kind of Boeing, where not clearly told how to disable

it. That's going to put massive pressure on Boeing going forward, Becky.

And bear in mind that this particular system is also you now at the heart of an investigation over in the United States on the part of the

Transportation Department which is now looking into why or how the Federal Aviation Administration certified this particular automated system on this

particular Boeing. With many questions being asked about how much of the responsibility for that certification process might have been handed

directly to Boeing -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Melissa Bell is in Paris on the story for you.

Britain's Parliament we just heard, will hold an emergency debate on Wednesday on Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to request a three-month

delay to Brexit. The Speaker, John Bercow, has just announced that. The opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman by the name of Keir Starmer,

applied for the debate to be held saying it was vital for Parliament to consider the terms of the proposed extension to what is known as Article

50. That's the Brexit negotiation period. The Speaker said the debate would begin shortly and could last up to three hours.

We're going to take a short break. We're going to be back after this.



MAY: As Prime Minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June.


ANDERSON: Well the British Prime Minister speaking earlier. She has asked the EU to delay Brexit until June 30th. Remember, deadline was March 29.

But no later, she says. And right now in Parliament the Speaker of House of Commons, a man called John Bercow, is allowing emergency debate on a way

to go forward.

Europe says June 30 deadline doesn't work. And so, another standoff seems to be looming with nine days, nine days to go until Britain is due to

leave. And 1,000 days since the Brexit vote. Well, what has changed? Nothing it seems except that is the public's mood. On the right, you see

the front page of the "Daily Mail" a day after the referendum in June 2016. Let's bring that up. And on the left, the same paper's front page this

morning. Just take a look at that. Or the other way around in fact.

Erin McLaughlin is standing by in Brussels. First let's get to Bianca Nobilo who is outside the U.K. Parliament. What on earth is going on?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the recurring pattern in Brexit seems to be that the Prime Minister announces or decides something and then

Parliament has other ideas. And essentially that's what we've seen today. The Prime Minister has formally requested an extension of the Brexit

negotiations. But now Parliament is having an emergency debate -- or is about to have in a couple of minutes -- on the length and purpose of the

extension that Theresa May has asked for.

Now this is significant because a theme that has developed over the last couple months as the Prime Minister has struggled to get her deal through

the House of Commons has been this idea of Parliament taking back control. The government has denied the opposition quite a few days of debate. They

would be opportunities or platforms for the opposition party and other parties to have their say on Brexit. And perhaps express where there could

be a consensus on this issue which would command the confidence of Parliament.

That's happening today and it is no surprise that the Speaker Bercow has allowed this to happen. He has self-declared champion of the House of

Commons. He wants to keep the Parliamentary debate as active as possible on this issue. So this is one of the ways that he has in order to hold the

government to account and shed more light on what they are up to.

ANDERSON: Erin, from the European's perspective as we look at this live debate which is now ongoing, it feels as if we've sat in the House of

Commons with the lawmakers -- doesn't now -- for months and months -- in fact we have sat with them for months and months if not now for more than

two years. What's the perspective in Europe?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well this is not looking good at this point, Becky. It seems that the U.K. is on a collision course with

the EU at this point. And the reason being, that letter that Theresa May wrote to Donald Tusk, released earlier today, requesting a short-term

extension until June 30th. That is a red line for the EU. Why? Because June 30th is after May 23rd when the EU is expected to have Parliamentary

elections. That Parliament that will be elected in May is expected to sit in early July, July 2, just days away from that deadline. So should her

deal collapse say in June, then we're in legal unchartered territory for the EU. Should they grant her an extension? The U.K. has not participated

in those elections. The whole system could end up in court. So this is extremely problematic from the EU standpoint.

[11:25:00 And Margaritis Schinas, the spokesperson for the European Commission earlier today, said that Juncker in a telephone call warned

Theresa May not to make this move. Take a listen what Schinas had to say.


MARGARITIS SCHINAS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHIEF SPOKESPERSON: The President has clearly warned the Prime Minister against including a date for the

extension that would be after the European Parliament elections. That's why he repeated in this call his advice, which set out in his letter of

11th of March, that the withdrawal has to be complete before the 23rd of May. Otherwise we risk facing institutional difficulties and legal



MCLAUGHLIN: And we heard from the French foreign minister today saying that there would be no extension granted to the United Kingdom if Theresa

May tomorrow at a critical Summit cannot present sufficient guarantees that all of this will work out and work out smoothly. Very shortly we are

expecting a statement made live by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, on this very topic -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, what a mess. Bianca, there was an unlikely intervention in all of this this morning. It came from American President's son, Donald

Trump Jr. Writing in Britain's "Daily Telegraph" newspaper.

He said, and I quote, it appears that democracy in the U.K. is all but dead. He went on to say, in a way you can say that Brexit and my father's

election are one and the same. The people of both the U.K. and U.S. voted to up root the establishment for the sake of individual freedom and

independence. Only to see the establishment try to silence their voices and overturn their mandates.

You know, this may not be convenient. Many people may not want it hear from the President's son at such a crucial time. But is Trump Jr. Right?

Does the U.K.'s handling of Brexit show the limits of its political system or is this stalemate in Parliament a reflection of this polarization of the

population at this point?

NOBILO: If you speak to most moderate lawmakers in the U.K., they would say that this sort of unsolicited advice is becoming power for the course

and that this is democracy in action. It's the House of Commons doing what it's supposed to do.

But last night I spoke to one of the architects of the "Leave" campaign and one of the biggest donors, Aaron Banks. And he said to me that Donald

Trump Jr. was spot on. He felt that he was expressing a sentiment that the "Leave" campaign really felt resonated with them. And he said that the

difference between the election of Donald Trump and Brexit, were simply that after Donald Trump was elected, they had he and his team in power who

wanted to deliver on what they promised.

And what the "Leave" campaign sees as what's gone wrong in the U.K., is Britain voted one way, but the government that was placed didn't actually

want to execute the will of the people. And they attribute that reason as to why we are in this protracted very messy situation in Parliament.

So it does depend on who you are. Because obviously, a lot of analogies between those members of the "Leave" campaign who are associated with

Steve Bannon and others and the Trump administration.

ANDERSON: Bianca, Erin, thank you. As we watch an emergency Brexit debate under way in the chamber, I have to point out, a half empty chamber in the

House of Commons. I wonder what those lawmakers who aren't in the chamber are up to which is more important than this. If anybody can work that out,

let me know. It's remarkable, isn't it.

Live from Abu Dhabi this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, a leader accused of corruption, bribery and fraud, is said to have a friendly meeting with a

top U.S. diplomat. We'll break it down in a live report for you, up next.


ANDERSON: You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. It's just after 7:30 in the UAE. This is our Middle East broadcasting hub.

A Syrian refugee and his son are the first victims of New Zealand's terror attacks to be laid to rest. It's just the beginning of the emotional

goodbyes after a lone gunman opened fire on a pair of mosques in Christchurch on Friday. 50 people were killed, 30 of those victims have

been identified and their remains will be released for burial.

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned to Christchurch offering comfort to students at Kashmir High School who lost two classmates in the attack.

She was honored with a ceremonial haka dance. Ms. Ardern also met with the first responders and says she will present her plan for gun law reform

very soon.


JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: We have a large number of loopholes in our laws. And many New Zealanders would be astounded to know

that you can access military style semiautomatics in the way that you can hear. There are a range of things that need to be fixed. And I guess I

was to say New Zealand was a blueprints for anything, in some ways it is a blueprint what not to do.


ANDERSON: Well New Zealand police say the suspect behind the terror attack was likely on his way to carry out another shooting at a third location

before he was stopped by authorities.

America's top diplomat has touched down in Israel for a visit seen as giving a boost to Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of crucial elections. Now U.S.

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is due to meet with the Israeli Prime Minister very soon. Pompeo on a regional tour as the Trump administration

gets ready to roll out its Middle East peace plan or at least it is threatening to do so. He has no meeting scheduled with Palestinian

officials nor any political rivals of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Let's get more from Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem. No surprise that this show of support at a convenient time for the Prime Minister is being

derided certainly by his critics. This is very close to the election. Just how significant is this and what is being discussed?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're just a few weeks away here and I believe the press conference or -- or rather the joint statement between

Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has just started. In terms of what they're going to be discussing, no surprise

here, it's going to be Iran, it's going to be Syria. This is not new ground for Netanyahu and it's certainly not new ground for Pompeo or the

Trump administration.

[11:35:00] And that's part of what has led critics here to say, look, this is basically campaigning for Netanyahu. It's not just this trip here so

close to the elections and meeting with Netanyahu. Tomorrow Pompeo will go to the Western Wall with Netanyahu. Even Trump when he was here, President

Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, the went on their own. And part of that was seen as a sensitivity to the sensitive nature of the old city

of Jerusalem. Not for Pompeo, he's going right to the wall with Netanyahu with just weeks ago until the election here.

That's a perfect political victory for Netanyahu. And that's right before the Israeli leader heads to Washington. Where he'll be staying in the

Blair House on his trip to APAC, the American Jewish lobby. The Blair House is the official guest house for the White House. So Netanyahu will

get the red carpet rolled out for him from Trump, and that too just makes it just blatantly look like the Trump administration is campaigning for

Netanyahu in the upcoming election here. And that is why critics have fired off that response.

ANDERSON: Well unless anyone else forget, there is an opposition in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu's biggest election rival promising to seek peace

with the Palestinians if he wins. But the former army general, Benny Gantz, stopping short of endorsing the Palestinian's ultimate goal I

noticed, statehood. Here is what the Blue and White Party leader said in an interview, viewers.


BENNY GANTZ, BLUE AND WHITE PARTY LEADER (through translator): At the end of the road there is a Jewish democratic safe and strong state with a solid

Jewish majority. And what happens on the other side would be the outcome of what happens at negotiations that we will hold when we get there.


ANDERSON: What do you make of what he said there and the wider interview?

LIEBERMANN: Well in terms of his policy there or his lack of a clear policy, that isn't all that surprising for Israeli politics. He doesn't

want to make a clear decision, a clear statement of exactly where he stands. And by the way, that's no different from Netanyahu who hasn't done

an interview and answered questions. He just puts out his own videos on his Facebook page.

Neither of these guys are getting into the meat of the answer here. In terms of Benny Gantz, he's just signaling a willingness to be a little more

movable here. A willingness to show some ability to engage on whether is the Trump peace plan or other efforts out there. But it's not unusual in

Israeli politics especially at this stage that nobody wants to make a clear statement on policies because the election so far is more mudslinging than

it is about actual debates of where all these leaders stand.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Oren, we know that Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is the driving force behind the U.S.

administration's peace plan -- well certainly the Trump administration's peace plan.

And now a new book called "Kushner Inc.", is revealing alleged details. It says, Kushner has recommended land swaps involving the Palestinian

territories, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. U.S. Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, tweeted those claims are misinformation and bad information

trashing these details effectively.

Look, point is, very, very few people if -- you know, more than a handful seem to know the details of this "deal of the century" as the U.S.

President is want to call it. There is a vacuum of information into which clearly a lot of conspiracy theories and a lot of I'm sure misinformation

along the way. But many say this is dead in the water before it begins. Is it?

LIEBERMANN: I think that you can very compellingly argue that it is as of right now dead in the water. And not just on the Israeli side or the

Palestinian side but on both sides. The Palestinians still refuse to engage with the Trump administration. Pompeo is not meeting them while

he's here. And meanwhile, at least on Netanyahu's campaigning right now, if he wins, he's going to go with right-wing parties and far right parties

who basically said, look, we're in this government to make sure that the peace plan is absolutely rejected.

In terms of the details of it, we've heard everything from the land swaps you just talk about, to another reporter here who said that it's very

similar to a two-state solution proposal that we've seen before with 95 percent land swaps. All of that has been flatly rejected by Jason

Greenblatt and Jared Kushner who have led these efforts. They have kept a very tight lid on this. Probably less than 10 people have seen the full

plan at this point. And their idea is that leaks have destroyed previous efforts, we're going to try to keep this quiet until we are ready to roll

it out. But it's been delayed many times before. Now they are promising shortly after the election. Does that increase its chances? We'll see.

But I don't know that that many people on either side or observers are betting that this has a great chance of getting some traction.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. All right, sir, that election two weeks away yesterday. If I'm getting my timings right. Or is it three? 9th of April

anyway. Viewers, you work that out. Thank you, sir.

[11:40:00] We turn now to the brutal civil war in Yemen. It's a war that we have covered extensively here on CONNECT THE WORLD, as we should. Today

we are going to focus on how it impacts people who are merely passing through the country of Yemen. Migrants fleeing African nations like

Ethiopia and Somalia must go through Yemen to get to jobs in Saudi Arabia. And most of them have no idea what they are walking in to. CNN's Arwa

Damon tracks their harrowing journeys.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They wouldn't do this if they thought they had a choice. Home for them is

Ethiopia. But that's now 700 miles away. Miles that were walked, not driven.

Our country is broken one of the young member tells us. From Yemen he says that he can get to Saudi for work to send money to his mother. It's hard

to comprehend a level of poverty that would drive someone towards a warzone. Especially when the horrors of that war are found on the very

same stretch of Djibouti shoreline.

Marga's man's wife and daughter were killed in a mortar round eight months ago. He tells us of how you spent seven hours in a fishing boat to escape

to this refugee camp only to arrive and find his son was killed fighting with the rebels.

Naseeb and his family just arrived. Over the last five years Around 25 relatives and neighbors in his village were killed. And in all the same

area we ask, yes, he responds, homes were destroyed, schools, mosques. He remembers seeing migrants trying to cross through Yemen. We would say,

don't go. They say, God is with us.

Just across the road at this transit center, there are hundreds of Ethiopians waiting to be repatriated home. Hundreds who wanted to make the

trip to Yemen. 13-year-old Maua says, he was stopped by police before he could get on the boat.

(on camera): He says he didn't know there was a war in Yemen.

(voice-over): And neither did the other children here. They didn't know about the bodies of migrants that have washed up on Yemen's shores. They

don't know about the bombs, bullets, mines or mortars. Even the adults it seems don't fully understand what lies ahead. And even if they do, it

doesn't seem to matter.

At the last stop before Yemen, they gather under trees for shade and protection from the wind and wait for the smugglers.

(on camera): They were just saying, you know, maybe there is a war in Yemen, maybe there isn't. And I said no, there is a war in Yemen. And

they said, then we have to leave it up to God.

(voice-over): This is after all a historic migrant route. And too many of these men have relatives who made it before, before the war. At dusk the

smugglers arrive to heard the migrants like cattle up the hill and towards the sea. One of them tells us he sends groups as big as 200 across to

Yemen in a day. We asked to follow but he warns us away. This is the last we see of them.


ANDERSON: The scourge of the smuggler and the money that can be made. Arwa Damon is joining us live from Istanbul in Turkey where Arwa is based.

I was just reading before we started this show a U.N. report which points out that perhaps what is most remarkable about the numbers of people doing

this extremely dangerous, often time deadly journeys, you point out, the number of migrants expected to arrive in Yemen before the end of 2018 was

much larger that be larger than the number of what are called irregular migrants who have arrived in Europe in 2018. I mean, that sort of figure

really sort of just emphasizes the scope and scale of what is going on here. You touched on this in what was a fascinate being report. But our

viewers will be saying, why on earth -- why would people choose to do this trip?

DAMON: And Becky, it really boils down to sheer pure economic desperation. And the fact that they have this dream, this idea that if they can just get

to Saudi Arabia, those economic opportunities are going to be opened up to them. Look, Ethiopia is an incredibly impoverished country. A lot of the

migrants coming from there, come from areas that rely on agricultural. They have been going through years and years and years of drought and they

quite simply don't see the opportunity in their own homelands. And just to touch on the dangers, Becky, you know, just days after we filmed that

report, two of those small rickety boats that the migrants used to cross to Yemen, actually capsized off of Djibouti's shores.

[11:45:00] And IOM estimates that around 128 people died or drowned at sea just trying to make that crossing.

ANDERSON: Arwa, that people want to move is not the most surprising part of this story. We see it time and time again. We report on it from

various parts of the world all the time. And it has been a story which has dominated the headlines and you've reported extensively on this from across

the Middle East for years now. How does Yemen though cope with this influx?

DAMON: Not well as you can imagine. There is no sort of infrastructure on the other side other than the various different smuggling rings that exist.

That allow any sort of assistance or facilitation along the route. Which is incredibly dangerous, Becky, as you can imagine. Because Yemen is not

just a warzone, it is an extraordinarily lawless one at that. And you hear all sorts of stories and reports about the exploitation of migrants once

they actually do reach Yemen's shores. The fact that they do get caught up in the fighting. They do end up having to try to sometimes make money

inside Yemen to be able to pay for the next leg of their journey. They are very vulnerable, very susceptible to human trafficking, to organ traffic.

And you just have yet another aspect of this even broader global migrant refugee crisis that lot of countries are feeling the impact of. And when

it comes especially to those that are migrating from African countries due you to economic poverty, that is something that is not going to be resolved

by shutting down the routes. That is only something that will be resolved if the problems in the various countries that they are from are adequately

addressed. Otherwise we are going to continue to see this flow of humanity who are putting their lives in such extreme danger just to be able to put

food on the table -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon reporting for you tonight out of Turkey. Thank you, Arwa.

Taking a very short break. Back after this.


ANDERSON: All this week on the show we've been seeing the smiles that come with glory and gold at the Special Olympics World Games here in Abu Dhabi.

But beyond competing for metals the athletes are competing for equality. So tonight's parting shots we spoke to international activist model,

Natalia Vodianova. She tells me about her personal mission to expand the inclusion revolution. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): She's graced countless magazine covers, floated down endless runways. And helped change the way the world sees her native

Russia. The one and only Natalia Vodianova spoke to me about her life, her family and why the Special Olympics here in Abu Dhabi means so much to her.

(on camera): You have an autistic sister I know. What kind of stigma does she face and why are you involved with the Special Olympics?

NATALIA VODIANOVA, RUSSIAN MODEL: It's incredible because that shame and stigma, it really touches every single member of the family. Whether I was

holding my sister hand or just with a student in school.

[11:55:00] I knew at every moment and was let know by others that I was different and not in the positive way. Not in the way that we speak about

at the Special Olympics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are the stars and the world is watching you.

ANDERSON: What does a tournament like this mean to a family like you?

VODIANOVA: For me personally, it's always a very emotional moment because it's the life of hope, of hope that Special Olympics will come to Russia

one day. And that so many people will feel the power of this movement, of inclusion revolution that we are all part of. It's only about hope, it's

all about athletes. It's really all about them, it's their moment to shine.

ANDERSON: You said you hope that this will be a games that will be held in Russia at some point in the future. Will it?

VODIANOVA: Yes. Yes. I do believe so. There is a strong foundation laid in the country but by organizations like Naked Heart Foundation that I

founded 15 years ago. And we have shown already that people with special needs are just like you. They want to have friends, they want to be able

to go to cafe, they want to have education and to have a lot of what we take for granted.

ANDERSON: I've got one last question to you. It's a really simple one. What is your life motto?

VODIANOVA: Well my -- one of my mottos -- I have a few -- but one of my mottos is to see the goal and not to see the obstacles.



RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Breaking news and a good day to you, I'm Richard quest in London. We are awaiting Donald Tusk, the President of the

European Council, to give a statement as the EU is clashing with Theresa May over the Brexit delay.