Return to Transcripts main page


U.K. Lawmakers Put Forward Bill to Avoid No-Deal; Strains Within a Not so United Kingdom; Algerian President to Step down amid Large Protests; Netanyahu to Meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow; Power to Be Rationed in Venezuela As Humanitarian Crisis Worsens; First Cholera Death Confirmed in Mozambique; More Than 40 People Dead in Iran Flooding; Jamal Khashoggi's Children Compensated after Is Killing; Democrats to Authorize Subpoena for Full Mueller Report; New Questions about White House Security Clearances. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired April 2, 2019 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, with me Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi.

In just ten days one of the world's richest countries could -- according to reports -- begin to see food shortages, issues with clean water and an

economic slump that would hit everything from the national growth to the value of homes. What's worse, lawmakers are no closer to finding a way

out. I'm talking about the consequences of what's known as a no-deal Brexit. Which appears to be getting more and more likely as Parliament

fails to agree on any alternative.

Now a cross party group of British MPs is now putting forward a bill that would trigger a delay to Brexit if no-deal is agreed on.

Meantime, Theresa May has spent the day locked in marathon talks with her cabinet. Rumor has it she's been thinking about a snap election. The

government denies that. While over in Europe, the message is clear, time is not on Britain's side. Erin McLaughlin has more from Brussels for you

in a moment. But first two Bianca Nobilo who is in London. To quote a leading German newspaper, this game somewhere between paralysis and a

political nervous breakdown cannot go on forever, it says. Or can it, Bianca?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If the last few years are anything to go by, it seems that it can. But decisions do have to be made. But they're

quite right in the way they're characterized that. Because it does seem to be these long stretches of political inertia with these convulsions of dead

lock and disagreement and dramatic moments.

Like last night when Nick Boles, a former minister and member of the Prime Minister's own party, resigned on the floor of the House of Commons after

the results were announced. And he said that's because his party was unable to compromise. And he attributed that to the lack of progress.

And this all as Theresa May is meeting her cabinet for a mammoth session this morning. And they are -- as you'd expect -- a microcosm of the

Conservative Party itself, bitter divided between leave and remain. Now the Prime Minister's deal, as unpopular as it is, was intended to be a

compromise, a band aid, if you like, across that division to just get that across the line and then deal with the issues of how close or how far

Britain's relationship from the EU going to be in the future. But her deal is unpopular and it's forced her to try and face up to some of those other

issues earlier than she would have expected.

But, Becky, make no mistake, what is happening right now is no less than an existential crisis for the Conservative Party, for the Prime Minister's

premiership as well. There is so much at stake. And she's always having to think about delivering Brexit on the one hand but equally she is the

leader of the Conservative Party and has to think about keeping it together. And really if she takes a stand toward a no-deal or a softer

Brexit or a customs union, she risks fracturing it irreparably.

ANDERSON: Erin, one EU official suggesting after last night's failure to secure any alternatives to the Prime Minister's deal -- which of course has

been a deal that's been agreed on by the European Union.

This official's view was the following, a hard Brexit becomes nearly inevitable, the U.K. has a last chance to break the dead lock on Wednesday,

he said, or face the abyss.

Step back for a moment. I've been reading European press. They are struggling to make good of anything that is going on in the U.K. at

present. When you take the temperature of European officials and Europeans themselves in Germany and France, wherever, what are they say? What is

their perception of what is going on at present? And just how important is it to them?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Becky, I believe those were the remarks of Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit coordinator for European

Parliament. That's one view. I was also speaking to an EU diplomat from a major member state with a lot on the line here in the Brexit process last

night. And his attitude was let's see what happens next. A week is a long time in the land of Brexit. So there's some diplomats here on one hand in

kind of a wait-and-see mode, others expressing that similar feelings of frustration and concern as they look across the English Channel searching

for clarity and continue to find none. Other leaders taking the opportunity to reiterate familiar positions.

[11:05:00] We heard from the chief Brexit negotiator for the European Union, Michel Barnier, earlier today say that the only way to secure an

orderly Brexit is to pass the deal on the table, and absent that, there are few options remaining. Take a listen to what he had to say.


MICHEL BARNIER, CHIEF EU NEGOTIATOR FOR BREXIT: If the U.K. Parliament does not vote in favor of the agreement in the coming days, only two

options would remain, leaving without an agreement or requesting a longer extension of Article 50 period. It would be the responsibility of the U.K.

government to choose between these two options.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now with respect to that option of a longer-term extension, should that be what the U.K. requests at a critical Brexit summit next

week, it's likely the topic of a conversation that's happening right now between the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the French President

Emmanuel Macron meeting in Paris. Macron has seemed to be taking a much tougher stance on this prospect of that long-term extension.

France wants to see concrete proposals for what the U.K. would plan to do with that extension. And a Parliamentary majority to back it up which is

of course a tall order considering what we are seeing play out on the other side of the English Channel. Leo Varadkar seem to take a much softer view.

Speaking before their meeting, saying that there's still time for Theresa May to put forward credible proposals prior to next week's summit -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Erin is in Brussels for us tonight. Bianca, it will be no surprise to you when we hear talk of Brexit fatigue hitting many people,

even " The Sun" sidelined this story on its front page, leading with news that Mick Jagger is due to have heart surgery. The headline "Let's Mend

the Knight Together." A play of course on the Rolling Stones song.

Bianca, we all know you can't always get what you want, but in all seriousness, is there a real risk that people and particularly politicians

are getting so sick of Brexit, they could resign themselves to no-deal just to get it over and done with?

NOBILO: Brexit fatigue is definitely real. You can feel that within the House of Commons and in the country at large. Obviously, it's a concern if

apathy grows to that extent right at the moment where, to be honest right now, so many options are still on the table. It could be a no-deal, it

could be Theresa May's deal, Parliament could succeed in taking control and somehow devise a softer Brexit that they instruct the Prime Minister to

implement. All of these things are essentially on the table. And this is the very moment where justifiably people have reached peak levels of apathy

because they're frustrates at politicians' inability to make any progress.

I do speak to lawmakers who obviously are irritated. There are other issues they want to address, be it the national health service or be it

knife crime a whole host of things, and everything comes back to Brexit. They haven't given up. I don't see signs that people are becoming resigned

to opting for perhaps the simplest in the short-term solution such as a no- deal, but there is growing frustration.

In the public at large that is certainly mounting. I spent many years door knocking and canvassing and speaking to the electorate, you can tell that

it's not because people. don't understand Brexit. It's not because they can't grapple with issues. It's because they are so frustrated that

politicians have taken this much time to achieve precisely nothing.

I spoke to a CEO on the weekend. And he said to me this is ridiculous. He said if you were a CEO that was tasked with achieving a deal and a few

years later none of your board members or stakeholders had approved it and you failed, they'd get rid of you or they'd come up with some other design

in order to make progress. Normal people, with regular jobs, are increasingly frustrated with politicians that they've invested their

democratic right in, that their tax pounds pay for and their inability to come to some kind of decision. And that only grows. Obviously, we thought

there would be a resolution by the 29th of March of some sort. Now we're even deeper into that abyss and we don't know what this week will hold.

ANDERSON: Absolutely remarkable. To both of you, thank you.

Well yesterday was April Fool's Day in Britain so you'd be forgiven for thinking that stories about naked protesters in Parliament or the inability

of lawmakers to agree on frankly anything might have been jokes. They weren't. And as the Brexit process drags on, that is taking its toll.

Matthew Chance explains.


[11:10:00] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Welcome to a disunited kingdom.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This House has indulged itself on Europe for too long.

CHANCE: This government barely capable of governing.

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: Order, order, order. There's a lot of very noisy barking. Order, order, order.

CHANCE: Its lawmakers needing police protection from public rage. Britain's meant to be one of the richest, most stable countries in the

world. Instead its military is on standby while its people stockpile food and medicine.

BERCOW: Order. Mr. --

CHANCE: Inside the mother of Parliaments, even at the best of times it's divided and ragged.

BERCOW: Don't tell me what the procedures of this House are.

CHANCE: These are the worst of times. And the British parliamentary system looks paralyzed and chaotic.

BERCOW: The ayes to the right, 286. The noes to the left, 344. So the noes have it. The noes have it. Unlock.

CHANCE: Recent weeks have seen a British government's biggest ever defeat, its Brexit plan rejected three times so far. There's now talk of a

desperate fourth try to get it passed.


CHANCE: It was the shock result of the 2016 Brexit referendum that plunged Britain into such a terrible mess.

QUEST: The British people have voted to leave the European Union.

CHANCE: Then Prime Minister David Cameron, who'd argued to stay in Europe, promptly quit.

DAVID CAMERON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Expect to go to the palace and offer my resignation. So we'll have a new Prime Minister in that

building behind me by Wednesday evening. Thank you very much.

CHANCE: Infamously, Britain's national broadcaster recorded him humming as he walked away to write his memoirs.


CHANCE: Enter, Theresa May, a new leader with a definite swing in her step and a clear idea, she said of what Brexit really means.

MAY: Brexit means Brexit.

CHANCE: What she didn't say is that it also meant torturous negotiations with the European Union where at times she seemed to struggle, not least

with pesky car doors at important summits.

Inevitably talk has turned into a change in leadership. Or possibly a general election, the third in four years to break the dead lock. Prime

Minister May herself as promised to step down if lawmakers will only back her Brexit deal. She could be forced to resign anyway. Brexit may not be

delivered by the end of May, but the end of May could still be delivered by Brexit.

Matthew Chance, CNN London.


ANDERSON: The long time President, Bouteflika, of Algeria is stepping down. State media has announced Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before

his term is up on April 28th. Now Mr. Bouteflika has ruled Algeria for two decades but is in poor health. Critics say he is merely a figurehead being

propped up by people behind the scenes to want to cling to power.

Algeria has endured weeks of protests including this incident when water cannons were turned on student protesters demanding Bouteflika's

resignation. He has now named a new caretaker government, but protest leaders say that is not enough and demonstrations will continue.

Joining us now via Skype is Dr. Dalia Ghanem, a scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center who traveled to Algeria last week to take part in those

huge protests. I'm also joined by Algerian human rights lawyer, Saad Djebbar. Dalia let me start with you. When you were in amongst what was a

complete cross section of Algerian society demonstrating on the street, just step back for a moment and describe how that felt. Because it

certainly seems like in the end this is a victory for largely peaceful protests.

DALIA GHANEM, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER (via Skype): Indeed, indeed. I marched with Algerians on March 1st and then on March 22nd and finally on

March 29th. And the latest demonstration was one of the biggest that we've ever seen. And I just published a photo essay for Carnegie in which I

describe these demonstrations.

[11:15:00] And I would say that the main feature of this demonstration is the demonstration being, one, peaceful. As (FOREIGN LANGUAGE) as Algerians

kept chanting. But also, habaia (ph) which means civic. I've seen millions, thousands of people taken out to the street. I've seen families.

I've seen children on the shoulders of their father and their mother. I've seen even babies. It is cross society, cross generation and cross region.

As you know, the protests didn't only happen in the capital in Algiers but also within the interior of the country, in Tissemsilt, in Jijel, and even

in the south in regions such as Adrar and Tamanrasset. And I think this is a really unique sequence of event that we are witnesses in Algeria. And as

you said, it is a victory for the Algerian people. Because this is the sixth time Algerian people took up to the street and yet, you know, action

has been taken by this government to calm down the street. But again --

ANDERSON: So let me jump in here -- let me jump in because I want Saad to get involved here. Saad, Bouteflika may have gone but the political elite

and powerful military still pulling the strings and running the country at this point. So what changes and what happens next?

SAAD DJEBBAR, ALGERIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Well the people in the streets articulated their demands very, very clearly and categorically they wanted

a democracy and modern state in Algeria. The regime sees the coup d'etat of 1992 against Islamists and the use of force to stop the process -- the

democratic process of time and they promised heaven. So the people gave the regime two decades and a half to come up with a good and every time

they held elections and they rigged them. Every time they promised reforms and they have never carried them out. So the Algerians got to the point

where they no longer trust the regime or expect anything from the regime. That's why the Algerians from the north of the country to the south, east

to the west, as your previous speaker said, there is unanimity among see Algerian people. I've never seen it in my life.

ANDERSON: That they want change. Let me stop you there, Saad. Dalia, how did Bouteflika -- sorry, I'll come back to you sir. How did Bouteflika

survive for so long -- Dalia?

GHANEM: Well that's a very interesting question. And I explained that in a very long study that I wrote for Carnegie called, "Limiting Change

Through Change." He survived for a reason. He survived because he came in a time when Algeria was getting out of what was called the Black Decade

which was the civil war that what happened in Algeria between 1991 and 2001. and Bouteflika has been still for a long time as the architect of

peace because he came up with the reconciliation process and the reconciliation charter.

But he survived for so long because at the beginning he was legitimate, but because also he knew how to deal with the different circles of power that

actually are and represent the Algerian system. Which is the FLN (INAUDIBLE) and the military leadership and business. And of course we

need to talk also about corruption. Corruption in Algeria is generalized and is a mode of conflict resolution. And this is what his regime has been

doing for the last 20 years.

ANDERSON: Yes. So Bouteflika's side may have blinked but it is the underlying issues -- as Dalia rightly points out -- economic and social,

that lay behind these protests. Algeria is unstable. Human Rights Watch suggesting deep, real reforms are the only way forward. What is the

future, for example rights and freedoms in Algeria?

DJEBBAR: Well the starting point is that the Algerian's has lacked -- or the Algerian regime has lack of legitimacy. So I don't agree with the

previous speaker who said Bouteflika came at first as a legitimate President. He was brought in by the army, the high echelons of the army

and the security service while related to the army and related agencies agreed to bring someone who's well known abroad just to break the dead lock

for them. Because they were blockaded internationally. So he wanted a face that could mark them outside and protect them from international


[11:20:00] So the way forward, the people don't expect less than regaining their own popular legitimacy. Article 7 of the constitution says people's

power. And people's power, that's what they require. There is now, Algeria especially with the youth, they don't trust this regime. This

regime was based on military and security services tenets. And now we have a new phenomenon called laundering money and dirty money and they started

to infiltrate the state. And we have the highest level of corruption in the world so the people have lost confidence in the regime. So what you

like --

ANDERSON: That I understand. Let me just put this to you. What is the military's next move then? How significant a role, do you think they will

play going forward?

DJEBBAR: They can play a positive role in really helping to pave the way for gaining confidence amongst the populace. And the only way to gain

confidence is maybe they will do like what President Ducati in 1958 did. It is to appoint a de facto President because Bouteflika wants to overstay

his welcome. Because he wanted to rule outside his mandate and promised reforms. He was there for 20 years but he didn't carry out any reforms.

In fact, he blocked out any reforms. So the way forward is maybe for the army to bring sort of let's say group of people or few people in order to

be the de facto presidency and for that de facto presidency to instruct some top experts to draft the Constitution and electoral laws and to

promise fully and firmly that Algeria will be run according to these institutions and the constitution under the rule of law. And less than

that and then it will be put to the referendum in the shortest way. Less than that, the people would not trust any regime.

ANDERSON: So, Dalia, finally then, under Article 102 of the Algerian constitution, the constitutional council can deem a sitting President no

longer fit to carry out his duties. Is that going to be implemented and will that be enough?

GHANEM: Well, this is what the chief of staff, Gaid Salah, announced a few days ago. It's been almost one week now and yet nothing happened. And

what Bouteflika did yesterday was smart political maneuver. Because what Bouteflika did yesterday is that he reshaped the government. So that means

that he did it before the activation of Article 102 because he knows that once the article is activated the change of the government is not possible.

So what Bouteflika has done yesterday is putting in the government men of his entourage, of his clique, in order for them to manage and to pilot the


And of course which is what Algerians do not want. Algerians want a change in leadership. They want the system to change. And unfortunately what

Bouteflika did yesterday is not going to be enough. I think the only way forward now is for him to resign as soon as possible with a really limited

deadline, not to say I am going to resign before April 28th because this is not going to come down the street. As a matter of fact, the calls for the

next demonstration on April 5th next Friday has been launched on Facebook and Algerians are more determined than ever.

ANDERSON: Got it. Dr. Dalia Ghanem of Carnegie Middle East Center, and human rights lawyer, Saad Djebbar, from London. To both of you, thank you

so much for joining us.

Still to come, just five days before the Israeli elections Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be overseas. We'll tell you about a trip his

office just announced. That is ahead.

And six months after his murder we are hearing new and stunning reporting on the lives of Jamal Khashoggi's children in Saudi Arabia. Details on

that after this.


ANDERSON: The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making another high-profile trip just days before voters in his country go to the polls.

This time he is heading to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin five days before the Israeli elections. Mr. Netanyahu met with U.S. President Trump

remember at the White House last week. Let's go to Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem for more. He is courting and it must be said, being courted by

many of the world's some might say strong armed leaders. A savvy move this chose to the election? And why Moscow at this point?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well this has been part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign strategy, show yourself close to all

these strong world leaders, President Trump, of course, two weeks ago, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is here right now and he was here

yesterday. The two together visited the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem. And then suddenly a trip announced earlier today. He will head

to Moscow on Thursday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Interestingly there was no read out or no statement about what they would discuss. They did speak on the phone yesterday where they discussed

regional developments. But that was the end of the readout. And all of that lend credence to the idea that this is purely a campaign tactic, meet

with world leaders this close to the election and boost what he sees as his foreign policy achievements and his diplomatic achievements. Does it work?

Well his party hasn't shifted too much in the polls. It has to be so over the last three months but it certainly isn't hurting him right now.

ANDERSON: Briefly, while Mr. Netanyahu is playing up his connections to Donald Trump, he's taking a shot at former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Prime Minister tweeting out part of a new campaign ad that attempts to score political points by showing him schooling Mr. Obama about the

Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Your thoughts after this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I want at this time Bibi Netanyahu would lecture Barack Obama, taking a hard line on the peace process.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It's not going to happen. Everybody knows it's not going to happen. And I think it's time to tell

the Palestinians forthrightly it's not going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen --



LIEBERMANN: The idea here is to show himself not only opposing former President, Barack Obama, who is unpopular with Netanyahu his Likud voters,

but also by implication being close to President Donald Trump who was far more popular here than he is in the United States. And to get across this

idea that he can stand up to world leaders implying that his opponent, former chief of staff, Benny Gantz, can't.

Will it work? Again, the numbers haven't shifted much, but what it does is, first, it makes headlines. We're talking about it on CNN right now.

And it keeps Netanyahu's position as a right-wing leader firm as we're just a week out from election day here.

ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem for you folks. 6:29 there. 7:29 here in Abu Dhabi.

[11:30:00] This is CONNECT THE WORLD from our Middle East broadcasting hub at CNN.

Coming up, cholera cases spike in Mozambique in the wake of cyclone Idai. The steps the country is taking to curb the outbreak. That's coming up.

And Iran says these deadly floods are being made worse by what it calls an act of terrorism by the United States. That story after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN . This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. 7:30 here in the UAE. Welcome back.

Venezuela dives deeper into crisis as the government there announces that electricity will be rationed and the workdays shortened. Citizens

struggling to find food, water and medicine must come to terms with a country plunged into darkness. Schools and public transportation are being

shut down. But embattled President Nicolas Maduro says schools will reopen on Wednesday. That is according to a new draft. A U.N. report estimated

meantime 94 percent of Venezuelans are living in poverty. CNN's David McKenzie is on the ground in Caracas -- David.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that's right, Becky. Isn't that a shocking statistic in a country which has the largest oil reserves arguably

in the world?

[11:35:00] That level of poverty now sometimes here in the capital you might be confused into thinking that things are running on normal. They

have managed to get the subway system working today. People are going to work, though a shortened workday. And as you said, Nicolas Maduro trying

to push things back to at least some version of normality saying children can go back to school tomorrow. But even here in the capital and certainly

out in the rural areas, that level of grinding poverty that is not an acute problem but a chronic problem that most people blame on the regime's

mismanagement and corruption over the years is certainly a major, major issue.

Now politically it seems Maduro is digging in and at least successfully at this stage. The latest from loyalists of the regime, the Supreme Court,

Becky, tried to strip the immunity that Juan Guaido, the opposition leader, has as a member of the National Assembly. If they manage to do that in the

coming days, that could eventually lead to his possible arrest. With China and Russia and other countries backing the presidency here, well, he could

dig in for quite some time -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And this is fascinating, isn't it? Because Guaido had huge, not overwhelming -- as you rightly point out -- but huge support from the

international community. Did he now or has he -- let me ask you, David -- has he missed his window?

MCKENZIE: It's too early to say yet, but that is a very important question because there is some chatter on the streets here with those closely

following the politics, Venezuelans I've been speaking to that that might be the case. But there is a lot of anger also, particularly here in the

city. Even in areas which used to be strongly supporting Chavez and Maduro. So that's significant for the President and for the opposition.

And every day Maduro holds rallies or speaking engagements, he gets a lot of support for those.

But the power of politics of this country is entrenched at this stage with Maduro and those politically appointed generals, hundreds of them, at which

oh him their loges over the years. So that is the critical factor I think here politically in keeping Maduro in charge and at least in the short-term

he's managed to weather this current crisis even if it's an ongoing humanitarian crisis for ordinary Venezuelans -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. David McKenzie in Caracas in Venezuela for you.

There's been more than two weeks, nearly three since a cyclone Idai ripped through parts of southern Africa. But Mozambique still suffering the

devastation of the aftermath of the brutal storm. The first cholera death has now been reported in the port city of Beira as the number of cases

skyrocket in areas still submerged in water. More than a thousand cases have been now confirmed.

Meanwhile aid workers from China are trying to curb the outbreak in one of Mozambique's poorest neighborhoods. The team has been disinfecting areas

both indoors and outdoors in a community with 16 cholera-stricken families.

Will last week I witnessed the widespread devastation in Mozambique firsthand. It was heartbreaking to see what the victims of this massive

storm have suffered and the lengths emergency response teams are going to reach those struggling in Idai's aftermath.


ANDERSON: When the cyclone Idai made land on March 14th it was the coastal city of Beira which took the brunt of the storm. But the flooding that

followed has decimated huge tracts of land in Mozambique, in Zimbabwe and in Malawi.

When we arrived, 11/12 days after the cyclone. It was only becoming clear just how destructive this storm had been.

The water levels have dropped so quickly now that this is actually becoming a much more dangerous trip.

You could see just tracts of muddy brown water. This is one of the most impoverished areas in the world. How were these hundreds of thousands of

people across these areas going to cope? They don't contribute anything like the developed world to issues of climate change and yet they bear the


The water is upwards of eight meters high. The water would have been well up toward the top of these trees.

[11:40:00] WFP had set up a distribution center. This was in a village which was on higher ground. When we arrived there were thousands of people

from small children to grandmothers and grandfathers who were desperate. They were absorbing people from outlying areas who had lost everything.

In this village the school had gone, the houses were wrecked, they had very little food, they needed water. We were shown by one old lady the crop

that had survive this cyclone, which was a moldy piece of corn. That was it. How was she going to feed her family?

If we are to believe the climate change scientists, it is likely that areas like Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe will see more extreme weather events

going forward, not less. These communities need help to become more resilient. These are people who get very little help on a regular basis.

As long as they have survived this initial phase of the cyclone Idai, they will survive. You can see that in their eyes, but they need an awful lot

of help.


ANDERSON: Our reflections on the devastation wrought by the cyclone Idai.

Well Iran dealing with deadly flooding but says much of the blame actually lies with the United States. More than 40 people have died in the floods

and 70 villages have been evacuated. Iran's foreign minister says U.S. sanctions have prevented Tehran from getting relief equipment like rescue

helicopters. He calls the U.S. sanctions, economic terrorism.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. We are out of Abu Dhabi this evening.

It's been six months since Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Now new reporting that the "Washington Post's" columnist's children are receiving money and

homes as compensation for his death, the details on that after this.

And what does Saudi Arabia have to do with the release of private texts between the world's richest man and his girlfriend? Jeff Bezos's private

investigator speaking out.


ANDERSON: This is CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back. And if you are just joining us, you are more than welcome.

Six months, it's been that long since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Well now we are hearing some revealing reporting.

[11:45:00] Saudi Arabia reportedly trying to keep Khashoggi's children in line. The "Washington Post" reports Khashoggi's two sons and two daughters

received multimillion-dollar homes in the kingdom. That is along with monthly payments as compensation for the killing of their father. "The

Post" says the payment are aimed at ensuring that family members show, quote, restraint in their public statements.

Meantime a private investigator for the world's richest man now says Saudi Arabia had access to Jeff Bezos's phone before racy texts with his

girlfriend were leaked. You may remember those texts were splashed across the pages of the "National Enquirer" a few months ago. CNN's Athena Jones

has more.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After this salacious headline in a January "National Enquirer" expose about Amazon

founder Jeff Bezos's affair with former TV anchor, Lauren Sanchez, a stunning new twist. A probe conducted by Bezos's long-time investigator to

find out how the tabloid got the story, now leading to a very specific claim about Saudi Arabia.

Gavin de Becker writing in "The Daily Beast", our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to

Bezos's phone and gain private information.

De Becker said his team spoke with a long list of source, including Middle East intelligence experts, Trump advisors, and sources at the "Enquirer's"

publisher, American Media Inc., run by longtime Trump friend, David Pecker. AMI denied the Saudi link telling CNN Business it relies on only one source

for its story, Sanchez's brother, Michael Sanchez.

AMI statement read, American Media has and continues to refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with

the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us.

De Becker argues that while texts and photographs sent from basil's and Lauren Sanchez were shared with the "Enquirer" by Michael Sanchez, the

tabloid knew about the messages before approaching Sanchez. He believes the Saudi government was the source of that knowledge. But said it was not

clear whether AMI was aware of those details.

NOAH SHACHTMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: What de Becker is implying is that the Saudis may have tipped the "Enquirer" off and then

they went to Sanchez. And indeed Sanchez has said that the "Enquirer" came to him, not the other way around.

JONES: Sanchez has admitted to leaking to the "Enquirer" but claims he acted out of support. Telling page six, I would never sell out my sister.

Everything I did was to protect Jeff and Lauren. De Becker who has for decades worked with celebrities, including Cher, Olivia Newton John and the

Cosby's, according to the New York Times, did not present any concrete evidence to support his allegations. But he said he had turned over his

findings to federal officials.

His claims turned what was a tawdry tale about the personal life of the richest man in the world and the owner of "The Washington Post", into a

geopolitical mystery. Bezos in a February post on "Medium" implied that AMI tried to extort him to please Trump or the Saudi government. Which is

upset with Bezos over "The Post" coverage of murdered columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi government has denied any links to AMI.

Bezos and "The Post" have been frequent targets of Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He owned Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That's not right.


ANDERSON: Athena Jones reporting there. Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comment on this story.

Well a showdown is brewing in Washington over access to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's nearly 400-page report. House Judiciary Committee

Chairman, Jerry Nadler, says he will authorize a subpoena to obtain a full and unredacted copy. That will likely be met with opposition -- very

likely -- from the Trump administration. Attorney General William Barr is planning on releasing a redacted version of the report later this month.

On a programming note, Christiane Amanpour will have an exclusive interview with the former FBI director, James Comey, on her program today. Tune in

to hear what his take on what we've learned about the Mueller report so far.

In Washington there are new questions about how key White House staffers got security clearances. Joe Johns with the details for you.


JARED KUSHNER, ADVISOR TO U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Over the last two years that have been here I've been accused of all different types of

things and all of those things have turned out to be false.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, brushing off fresh concern

over his top-secret security clearance after Tricia Newbold, a whistle blower working inside the White House, told investigators that senior

administration officials overruled concerns for about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially rejected. A source familiar with

Newbold's claim tell CNN that Kushner and President Trump's daughter, Ivanka, are two of the 25.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: What you have here are people who literally have the top secrets of the world.

[11:50:00] Recommendations have gone out to say they shouldn't have them. And so, that should alarm each and every American.

JONES: House oversight committee chairman Elijah Cummings outlines Newbold's allegations in a new memo based on in an interview she provided

last month. According to Cummings, Newbold alleging that her office had initially denied the security clearances due to issues involving foreign

influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct.

CUMMINGS: She had gone to her supervisors and they basically turned a blind eye.

JONES: Cummings telling reporters that he plans to subpoena the White House's former personnel security director, Carl Klein, as part of his

probe into the security clearance process. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Ranking member Jim Jordan arguing that

Republicans have been blindsided by the allegations, calling Cummings' memo unfortunate and disappointing. And accusing Democrats of cherry-picking



ANDERSON: Joe Johns reporting for you there. We're live from Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, some incredible video out of Iceland. See the moment a chunk of glacier drops into the sea. We'll show you what happens next after this.


ANDERSON: Well you're back with us. It is just before 5 to 8:00 here in the UAE. Space experts in the United States say an Indian missile test has

put astronauts on the International Space Station in possible danger. NASA's administrator says India's anti-satellite missile test last month

created at least 400 pieces of orbital debris and dozens are in the path of the space station. India's Prime Minister says his country had achieved an

historic feet by shooting down its own low orbit satellite with the ground to space missile. India says the debris created will decay and fault back

to earth within weeks. NASA tracks about 23,000 pieces of space debris at any one time. Remarkable.

[11:55:00] Tonight's Parting Shots for you. You've got to see this. Some sight seers in Iceland almost got a bit more than they had bargained for.

This past weekend a collapsing chunk of a glacier sent them running. All the tourists were with an expert guide. And look at this. They managed to

scramble to safety as this giant wave approached them. The information we've got is, according to one guide, nobody was injured, thankfully.

You can follow that and everything we are working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page. That is I'm Becky

Anderson. From the team here, a very good evening.