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CONNECT THE WORLD

Sudan Protesters Resist Efforts to Disperse Sit-Ins; Sources; Outed Dictator Bashir, Two Others to Face Charges; ICRC: New Zealand Nurse Abducted in 2013 May Be Alive; Tiger Woods Wins 5th Masters; Pompeo to Maduro, Open Your Country's Borders; Washington Awaits Redacted Mueller Report Release; Aid Group Says Two Million Iranians in Need of Help; Climate Protesters Begin Blockage of Central London . Aired 11-12p ET

Aired April 15, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


[11:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for joining us. I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.

Now protesters in Sudan are urging people to come out and protect their revolution. Warning the military is trying to stir up those sitting

outside army headquarters. Demonstrators say they won't leave until there is a handover to civilian rule. Even as military trucks begin forming a

barricade around the protests in Khartoum. Things remained peaceful. And we saw some extraordinary scenes. Take a look.

Cheers, of course, there from the crowd as a soldier placed his hat on a little boy's head. The military ruling council is promising to arrest more

former regime officials. And according to sources it also prosecutes deposed dictator, Omar al-Bashir. But protesters say that is not enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABDELMEGUID AFIFY, PROTESTER: We are not finished. We are not finished. Still they stay because the militia is not here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: It is hard to overstate how remarkable it is to have one of our journalists able to report freely from the streets of Khartoum. Nima

Elbagir risked her last report undercover there just last month. And she joins us now in an entirely different atmosphere. So, Nima, we heard one

of those protesters there saying they're not giving up just yet. The momentum certainly still building.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amazingly, yes. It appears so. For many of those watching, the concern was that once the

immediate figurehead had been toppled, once the President Omar al-Bashir had stepped down. That in and of itself an extraordinary achievement.

Many of those we were speaking to amongst the demonstrators said to us, we're worried that people will think that this is enough. But what we want

is nothing less, nothing short of the dismantling of the entire infrastructure rule that oppressed us for 30 years.

And so even when it comes to people like the head of the Military Transitional Counsel, al-Abdin, who was the inspector general of the arms

forces. Even someone like him as far as they're concerned is ultimately in the long term unacceptable. Even though he is not part of the Islamist

rule party. Because they say they are able to safeguard democracy better than any soldier.

It's extraordinary to hear this coming out of very, very young people's mouths. But they really seem to have a lot of clarity about what needs to

happen for them to go home -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And what do we know about Omar al-Bashir? I mean, there saying that he will face justice there. What next?

ELBAGIR: They are. They are saying over next few days the formal process of prosecutions will begin. Not just him, the head of the ruling party,

his former interior minister. All three, of course, were wanted by the ICC but Sudan says for now is going to be domestic prosecutions for the three

of them.

There's a lot of speculation about where President al-Bashir is. All the military council will say is that he is being detained in a safe place. I

mean what's been very interesting, Robyn, is that for most of those on street, you would have thought that it would be an issue of wanting that

kind of blood thirsty vengeance. One thing to see al-Bashir brought low.

But most people are very much focused on having tangible -- on having a tangible future. They want to know when elections can be put together as

soon as possible. They want first and foremost to have the military council hand over sovereignty to some kind of civilian transitional

council. And they want it to happen now before later. Because they say, the longer we wait, the less powerful we will be. And they know that the

main strength arrives from their presence in the streets of Khartoum. And that's why they show no signs of going home. If anything, Robyn, those

numbers again, pretty substantial.

CURNOW: Yes. Certainly incredible the resilience that we're seeing there on the streets. And just talk about what else it'll take for the security

state to be broken down. And what kind of moves need to be done to satisfy these protesters. What else?

ELBAGIR: The transition council, the military transition council said that it's already begun restructuring the intelligence services, for instance.

Taking them apart, making them less about oppressing the Sudanese people and more about how a normal intelligence service will function.

But, of course, there has been fight back. The night that we spent at demonstrations we could hear some pretty sustained gunfire on the out

skirts. And when we asked the arms forces officers we spoke to said, well those are the remnants of the regime intelligence services.

[11:05:00] So clearly, it's not going to be as easy as people would like to believe. It will be. But even just hearing music after dark in the

streets of Khartoum, Robyn, this is a country where a week ago you needed a license to operate a sound system with speakers in this country in this

capital city. And at the moment the demonstrations at night are essentially one big night long party. So for people just to feel that

freedom. To dress how they want, to play the music they want to play, even that is a good first step.

CURNOW: Yes, small victories but big ones no doubt. Nima Elbagir there in Khartoum. Thanks so much for that report.

I want to talk to one of the protesters near the Army headquarters in Khartoum. Mamadou Abozeid joins us now on the line. Mamadou, good to

speak to you. Talk us through where you are, what you're seeing and what people are doing right now.

MAMADOU ABOZEID, PROTESTER KHARTOUM, SUDAN (via phone): Well, hello. Good to be here. Basically the numbers are a bit less than the previous day.

But we can actually see that they are different shifts that people and groups come early morning and then they stay until early afternoon. And

then they leave. And then another group comes afternoon and they stay until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. and then another group that comes at 11 p.m.

and they stay until the very early morning.

The organization of the whole dynamic of the whole sit in, it's fascinating, it's beautiful. One thing that unite almost 40 million people

that have been suffering so much against this regime. And they're trying to fool the street by removing al-Bashir from his position and then putting

Ibn Auf and then removing Ibn Auf and putting another substitution which is somehow a good play since the army in Sudan, they're in good conditions

with the current head of the state.

But one thing that I tell you, this regime knows nothing about the protesters. And the protesters know everything about the regime. And that

is one of the main motives and one of the main fuels that is fueling this purpose so far. This revolution, I'll say.

CURNOW: You talk about how organized it is, how protesters are protesting in shifts. How long you are prepared to keep this up, the momentum?

Ramadan is coming soon. How long are you willing to be out there and to make this point?

ABOZEID: Well the good thing is that we are learning from the lessons of what happened previously in the Arab Spring. Our Egyptian students, they

stayed in the streets and they're there for 18 days only to be given (INAUDIBLE). And now it's been eight years and trying to go back on the

streets and they can't. So this is one of the lessons that we're learning from. We are not going to leave the army headquarters in Khartoum or any

other state in Sudan until all of the demands have been met.

And the demands are very well known to everyone around the world which is, first, to confiscate first of all to give al-Bashir and his mercenaries to

giving them actually a proper justice and law system. And confiscate all of the financial assets and to dissolve this central intelligence that

functions in a very interesting way. People who had blindfold -- people who are covering their faces. They are driving around the city. Until

today, until yesterday, until today morning, actually, 4:00, 5:00 a.m. there were cars with no license plates. They're driving around the city.

They're stopping cars, they are frisking them and they are acquiring the water and the food supplies that we're bringing to the protesters. And

they're detaining some of the protesters. I mean, the more they continue on their play, the stronger the streets will become. This is what I can

tell you.

CURNOW: In terms of conversations with the military would protesters be willing to work with the military? Or is this a sense that you want all

those structures, the security state gone. How do you think that's going to happen?

ABOZEID: Well to have a conversation with the military is absolutely a big no. We have had a military regime since 1964 and we are done with that.

We're a generation that was brought up in an age of technology. Meanwhile, the regime is basically formed of individuals who are at least 50 or 60

years old. They're not up with them and with the information. They're not up with how easy the information is being transported around the world. We

are very well aware of the military. And we have a saying in the streets here. And military that drives war can never bring you peace.

[11:10:00] CURNOW: Bold words. Brave words coming from the streets there of Khartoum. Mamadou Abozeid, thank you very much for bringing us a

perspective there on the ground.

ABOZEID: Thank you.

Will continue to follow all of these momentous events taking place in Khartoum. Thanks for joining us.

ABOZEID: Thank you.

CURNOW: Now, a potentially stunning revelation in the case of a New Zealand nurse kidnapped by ISIS five years ago. According to the

International Committee for the Red Cross, she may still be alive. The nurse and two Syrian drivers were abducted in Northern Syria back in

October 2013. Her family, the New Zealand government and Red Cross feared her life could be in danger if the case was revealed. But now the Red

Cross has decided to go public. Arwa Damon has been watching this and of course has been covering the Syrian war for many years. Arwa is there in

Istanbul, Turkey. So talk us more through this case and why it's becoming public now.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ICRC basically, and this something that we do see very often with these sort of

kidnapping situations. Decided that it would be in her interest and the interest of her security to have a media blackout as it's called over her

abduction.

Louisa Akavi just 62 years old was kidnapped back in 2013 along with two Syrian drivers, Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes. And for the last five

years, they have not spoken about this case. And now they are finally going public with it. Because they hope that since the caliphate has been

territorially defeated, at this stage they may be able to solicit the public for information about her whereabouts.

The last time the ICRC says they received credible information about where she might be was in December of 2018, and they say that back then the

information said she was in an area called Susa. It was one of the last areas that was under ISIS's control at the time. And that she was still

carrying out her humanitarian duties as a nurse. That she was caring for people within this ISIS enclave.

But they don't know a lot about prior to that. What her day to day may have been like, what sort of conditions she was being held under alongside

who. She may have been held. But right now they are hoping and they have been going to various camps on a week to week basis, trying to find out

information about her whereabouts and, of course, presumably about the whereabouts of her two Syrian colleagues.

The government of New Zealand, however, has continued to remain very tight lipped about this, believing that going public at this stage is not

necessarily in her interest -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. That's interesting. And, of course, as there is hope in the search for this nurse, let's not forget there are still many, many people

missing. So many families still don't know where their family members are, if they're still alive.

DAMON: That's right, Robyn. It's a heartbreaking and devastating situation. These families who are relentlessly searching for any bit of

information. And then when they receive that information, the hope that invariably comes along with it only to have it not pan out. And many of

them suffering like this for years.

There are, of course, arguably the two best known missing individuals John Cantlie, who is kidnap by ISIS years ago, who last appeared in an ISIS

video in Mosul of 2016, a British national. And the U.K. government says that they believe he is still alive somewhere. They don't know exactly

where. And Austin Tice, who is widely believed to be held not by ISIS, Robyn, but by the Syrian regime.

And then there are tens of thousands of others who have disappeared into Syria's murky detention system under the Assad regime. Not to mention the

countless others that disappeared when ISIS was still in control of these vast territories. All of whom families are still searching for them, still

looking for those little grains of information to be able to find out anything about where their loved ones are. What might have happened to

them. And of course, all of these families -- the scope of this is very hard to imagine. But all of them just hoping and dreaming of that one day

when they just may be able to be reunited.

CURNOW: OK, Arwa Damon there. Thanks so much for that update. Good to speak to you there in Istanbul. And of course, everyone holding out hope.

Meanwhile, still to come here on CNN. The iconic red shirt and traditional green jacket, a combination many thought we would never ever see again.

Well, when we return, we will hear from Tiger Woods himself about his victory at the Masters.

Plus, parts of Central London brought to a standstill as they as climate protesters blockade some of the capital's busiest roads and bridges.

[11:15:00] We have a live report. That's ahead as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it's the return to glory!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: What a comeback. I mean we can watch this over and over again. It's still amazing. Isn't it? After more than a decade after his last

major championship, there you see Tiger Woods taking it away. Particularly after years of controversy and injuries. He wins the Masters at an age

when most golfers are actually moving into retirement. So this is certainly a momentous sporting achievement which is why we're going to go

straight to Don Riddell in Augusta at the Masters. I mean we're not over saying thing here's when this is probably one of the greatest sporting come

backs ever.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Oh, for sure, Robyn. Absolutely for sure. You know, this time last year he told me that just being able to play golf

again was a miracle. So if that was a miracle, what's this? Some people are calling this the greatest comeback of all time. It feels more like a

resurrection. I mean, it's just extraordinary.

And what we saw yesterday really was quite incredible. The scenes on the 18th green when Tiger finally knocked in that putt, the roar, after roar

that he let out, so much emotion being released in that moment. But so much joy too. I mean he was absolutely reveling in his achievement. And

the patrons here packed around the 18th green were absolutely thrilled to have been a part of it.

You know, I think I can speak for pretty much every golf fan here yesterday, when I say that this was the story that they wanted to see.

This was the result they wanted. They wanted to be able to say they saw Tiger Woods win another major and be able to tell their grandchildren about

it one day.

Because Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer of all time. We know what he did back in the day when he dominated this sport and then transcended it.

And the journey he's had to make back from the depths, really is quite incredible. And to try and put it into words, here's the man himself

speaking with Andy Scholes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN WORLD SPORT: All right, Tiger, you've said before it's a miracle that you could even still play golf considering the back surgeries.

11 years, nearly 4,000 days since your last major. Did you think this day would come and how does it feel?

TIGER WOODS, MASTERS CHAMPION GOLFER: Yes. I did think it would come. Just because of what I did last year. You know, I had a chance to win the

Open Championship. I led on going on the back nine on Sunday.

[11:20:00] I gave Brooks a little bit of a run at the PGA. I finished in second there. And I knew it was in me. You know, did I know it was going

to be this week, no. But I had a good feeling the way I was shaping the ball that I was going to be in the mix. Now being in the mix and winning a

championship is two totally different things. The last two major championships, yes, I was in the mix but I didn't win.

Trying to figure out how to win this championship, it all flipped at 12. You know, when Frankie made a mistake there. He just let everyone back

into the tournament. And, you know, with six, seven guys with a chance to win the championship, it got a little more complicated. But fortunately I

was able to hit some of my best golf shot all week.

SCHOLES: You said before that your kid thinks of you as the video game golfer. Because they've never seen you win a major. Your kids, your mom,

your girlfriend were there waiting for you on 18. What was that moment like when your son Charlie jumped in your arms?

WOODS: Surreal. You know, I did the same thing with my dad. And now I'm the dad with my son doing the same thing. So it's amazing how life

evolves, it changes. That was 22 years ago when my dad was there. And then now my son is there. My daughter was there. My mom is there. My mom

was there 22 years ago. And the fact that she's still around still kicking, still fighting, goes to show you her resiliency. And, you know,

it's just hard to comprehend right now. I've just had just a few hours out of winning the tournament. I'm still trying to enjoy it and try to figure

out that I actual I had won it. I know I have the green jacket on. But it's just still I think going to take time for it to sink in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIDDELL: Yes. For sure. You know, Robyn, young Charlie and Sam were one of the main reasons for the come back because they had never seen their dad

win a major tournament. Now they have done so. And for many of us watching that scene, it really was a lump in the throat moment. Really

quite beautiful.

CURNOW: Yes, it was. Wasn't it? Particularly with all these ups and downs that him and his family have gone through. It was quite a moment on

so many levels. Don Riddell, great to you have there on grounds. Thanks so much, Don.

So, of course, Tiger Woods, whether you play golf or not, has fascinated us both on and off the golf course. So joining us now is author Jeff

Benedict, and investigative journalist, who actually looked into Tiger's life in great detail. He is the co-author of the best-selling biography,

"Tiger Woods." That's all you need to say, Tiger Woods. Jeff is also -- is joining us now from Massachusetts. Just talk us through from the man

that you know, the man that you profiled, what did you make of what took place at the Masters yesterday?

JEFF BENEDICT, CO-AUTHOR, "TIGER WOODS": It's in terms of sports, it's hard to think of anything that tops what we saw yesterday. Tiger, if you

look at the trajectory of his life, I mean, most of his life and his career was up. He was always climbing to higher and higher heights.

By 2009, I mean, he was literally on top of the world. He'd been the number one golfer for years. He was pretty much unbeatable. And then we

saw this precipitous fall that started with an adultery scandal that then just spawned all these other problems. And then we had the physical

setbacks. The injuries that really prevented him from even swinging a golf club.

And so in the last year, this come back that started really last season, Tiger Woods has got a following now that I think is bigger than he had even

in the pinnacle of his career. And it's because of how far he's come back. And he's done it with the same -- the same things that built him in the

first place. In other words, the tenaciousness, the determination, the training. These are all things really that he inherited from his parents

as a young boy. That's what made him great before. And it's really what's brought him back to greatness again.

CURNOW: Yes. He found that tenacity again. And that's clear from the steeliness that he showed on that course. I also want to in terms of the

support of fans around the world, he's also had this support of a key sponsor, Nike. And almost as soon as he won, they dropped this ad. I want

to play it and get your take on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT (Nike ad): It's crazy to thin a 43-year-old who has experienced very high and every low and has just won his 5th major.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Just one of the corporate sponsors here that stuck by him when many left. And certainly it's paid off, hasn't it?

BENEDICT: Yes. Pretty much everybody deserted him except for Nike.

[11:25:00] His agent Mark Steinberg, his mother, obviously, but not many people stuck with Tiger. But when I watched that ad -- which by the way I

think is a fantastic commercial -- but it's a reminder that Tiger Woods grew up in front of us on television from the time he was 2 years old. If

you think about that just for a second, he was on national television in America when he was 2. That's when we first saw him swinging a golf club

amidst guys like Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart.

I mean, he grew up before our eyes. And by the time first Nike commercial was cut for him as he was coming out of Stanford to join the PGA tour, we'd

become accustom to seeing him in commercials on television as a performer. He's always been a performer. And he's always had this way, the uncanny

ability to capture the moment in great drama when other people would lose their poise, Tiger has always had it. And he did that again yesterday.

CURNOW: And when you look at sort of old Tiger versus young Tiger. I mean, clearly physically when he took his cap off, you could see he was

losing his hair. For someone like you who researched his life, spoken to hundreds of people around him, what is the distinctive difference? Is

there any difference between the Tiger we saw yesterday and the younger Tiger?

BENEDICT: There are some differences for sure. Which were probably most noticeable both when he removed his hat and then when his mother moved in

to the frame and you could see she's older. She's grayer. Her features are different. She is an older woman now whose been through all this with

him.

He's the veteran on the tour now. He's 43 years old. He's competing against guys that are half his age. And he's capable of beating them. But

I think we see a man who is really been through so much. He's lived multiple lives. And he's only 43. I think the experience and the stuff

that he's been through actually makes him a more dangerous golfer probably at this point in his life. I mean his ability to win now, if he stays

healthy, the sky could be the limit in terms of what he can do the next couple years.

CURNOW: Yes, Jack Nicklaus might have his record under threat, I think. But as you said, this could be the beginning of another amazing piece of

sporting history. Jeff Benedict, thanks so much for talking to us. Author of the book "Tiger Woods." Appreciate it.

BENEDICT: Thank you.

CURNOW: OK, now, U.S. President Donald Trump and a slew of celebrities also took to social media to congratulate Tiger on his victory. Everybody

wants to be part of this. Mr. Trump tweeted, "love people who are great under pressure. What a fantastic life come back for a really great guy."

And not often you find this, former U.S. President, Barack Obama, agrees. Congratulating Tiger, saying, to come back and win the Masters after all

the highs and lows is testament to excellence, grit, and determination.

And also, NFL quarterback, Tom Brady, tweeting, running the numbers and how long it'll take me to get to 15. It's about him. Congrats. What a

performance.

And then Nike -- and we've talked about them already. One of Tiger's sponsors tweeted. Never stop chasing your crazy dream. Just do it.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, the U.S. Secretary of State makes a plea and issues a warning to Venezuela's President as he tours an

aid facility just across the border. That one is next.

Plus, any time now the U.S. Attorney General will release a redacted version of the Mueller report. How much of it will the public actually get

to see? We're live in Washington for that one.

[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Robyn Curnow, welcome back.

Now the U.S. Secretary of State has a direct message for Venezuela's President and it is open your country's borders. Mike Pompeo spoke on the

Colombian side of the border on Sunday. He toured a facility that has aid ready to be delivered to Venezuela if President Nicolas Maduro allows it to

enter. He also called on Mr. Maduro to leave Venezuela. Well David McKenzie is there on the ground and has more on Pompeo's just completed

South American tour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a brief but highly significant visit to Cucuta, on

the border of Colombia and Venezuela. He visited with families, struggling Venezuelan families in migrant centers at that border as well as viewing

the aid. The considerable aid that is ready to come into this country to help people in the humanitarian crisis.

The Secretary of State and other U.S. officials have repeatedly blamed the government of Nicolas Maduro for stopping aid from coming in here to help

people with lifesaving support. Pompeo said over this for nation trip, that Russia and Cuba as well as China are helping to prop up Maduro's

government. He said that more needs to be done to get Maduro out.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We've made clear that all options are on the table. And you watch. You watch the political and diplomatic

noose tighten around Maduro's neck. We will begin to do the same thing. The Cubans must understand too, that there will be a cost associated with

their continuing support of Nicolas Maduro. We're going to have that same conversation with the Russians as well.

MCKENZIE: Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the interim President of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, was in the west of the

country this weekend. Addressing thousands in Maracaibo, a city that has been hit by blackouts and water shortages. But the opposition is saying to

us that over the weeks that felt a bit of the momentum slip as they tried to push the military and others to turn their back on Maduro.

Maduro himself was addressing thousands of civilian militia over the weekend here in Caracas. He said he wants a million more people to join

those civilian militia to help prop up his regime. We visited a rally supporting the President and people had some strong words for the Secretary

of State.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Two Pompeo, take your hands out of here. Stop with the conspiracies. Stop with the conspiracies and let us

deal with our things on our own. To the people of the U.S. we love you. But we don't want any imperialists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These people are respected. Venezuela is respected. We don't want anyone to get into our internal

problems. We are in solidarity with all the countries in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Don't think that South America will give up, we will keep fighting to the end, Pompeo. Don't think we are

scared.

[11:35:03] MCKENZIE: Pompeo's visit underscores the importance of Venezuela to the Trump administration. But even U.S. officials are saying

that this could be a long struggle. David McKenzie, CNN, Caracas, Venezuela.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks, David, for that. And as you heard there, Pompeo leveled harsh criticism at President Maduro's decision to keep the border closed.

Saying it was hurting his own people. Well Pompeo rejected the suggestion that the U.S. is guilty of a double standard. Showing sympathy towards

Venezuelans fleeing their country while on the other hand, taking a hard line on the immigrant crisis at the U.S. border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: To compare the two is ludicrous. Nicolas Maduro is denying food that's sitting here. These aren't people that are starving because the

country doesn't have wealth. These are people that are starving because the political leadership, the military thugs inside of Venezuela have

destroyed their capacity to produce crude oil. They have destroyed the capacity to grow crops. This is the largest movement of migrants in the

history of the world, absent war. This is at the hands of Nicolas Maduro and that no one else. And to compare it to situations anywhere else I

think just belies any true knowledge of facts on the ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: And one comment Pompeo made during his South American tour is also getting slammed by China. A spokesperson in Beijing blasted Pompeo's

speech on Friday in Chile when he accused China of bank rolling the Maduro regime with $60 billion in investment. Saying the money was used to crush

pro-democracy activists among other things. Now China's foreign ministry accused the Secretary of State of telling lies. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LU KANG, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo has wantonly slandered and deliberately provoked

China-Latin America relations. It is irresponsible and utterly unjustifiable. We strongly oppose this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: The spokesman says U.S. politicians are being slandering China for some time now and this is just the latest example.

And now to the waiting game in Washington. Attorney General William Barr is expected to release a scrubbed version of the Mueller report any day now

with key sensitive material blacked out. Well Donald Trump's attorney is already preparing for their rebuttal. Well Mr. Trump is once again

attacking the very investigators that he claims totally exonerated him. In a new tweet this morning, he essentially yelled in all caps, investigate

the investigators.

So let's bring in Kara Scannell in Washington. Let's first of all just start with the sort of anxiety and tension building in Washington with the

expected release of this report.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Yes, that's right, Robyn. Here in Washington, everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting to see the full

Mueller report or as much of it as possible with these redaction's. It's almost two years since the investigation began. We know the principal

conclusions as William Barr, the AG, had told us. But now we're going to wait and see hopefully any day now the actual details of this

investigation.

The breadth of it, the scope of it and the big question here is how much of this will be redacted? How much of it relates to ongoing investigations?

There are a lot of questions. Everyone is kind of on edge waiting. It is finally the moment that we're going to see the actual report and then how

much of it do we actually get to pour over -- Robyn?

CURNOW: And then we also have the sort of underlying tension, exacerbated by the U.S. President tweeting out things, such as investigate the

investigators. Also pointing to perhaps a different angle here in terms of focusing on who are asking the questions.

SCANNELL: Well, I mean, there's such a big political battle behind all of this. You know, as you mentioned, Rudy Giuliani, the President's attorney,

is already preparing a rebuttal. He has been preparing one for some time. And now they're reworking it with this report imminent. Giuliani, I think

we're going to see a lot of in the coming days after the report's released. As they go on the offensive, as they make their political digs and make

their angle on this.

I mean, the President has been tweeting, trying to get ahead of this. Giuliani is going to do the same in the wake of the report, to frame the

issue in the way that is most favorable to the President. Which they've been doing all along. Even since William Barr announced his four-page

letter saying that the Mueller report did not make a conclusion about the President on obstruction of justice. But did not exonerate him either.

We've seen the President take that to say he's been exonerated. What is not what the report found. So I would expect we're going to see a lot of

spin and a lot of political gamesmanship in the days after the report is released Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, so that brings me to my next question. I mean, in many ways this is all taking place in Washington and then on Twitter. Ordinary

Americans -- I know there was a poll recently -- that the Mueller report wasn't even on the top list of things that Americans cared about or would

vote about. How much is the narrative, the conversation being muddied already even though this might come out and offer some solutions

politically for some people in Washington.

[11:40:00] Have ordinary Americans just put it behind them?

SCANNELL: I mean, I think when we hear from our colleagues out on the road going to all of these events with the aspirational candidates, they're not

hearing a lot about the Mueller report on the road. But it's something that at least Donald Trump is using through his tweets to influence

Congress here in Washington and try to influence these ongoing investigations.

You had the Democrats now in control of the House. They have multiple investigations touching on many aspects of the President. There is an

effort now to get the tax returns. There is a look to by multiple committees to look into not only his personal finances but that of his

business. And Trump and the Trump organization have been pushing back on that. So while it may not resonate across America with voters, it is

something that has a purpose here in D.C. as the President is trying to push off some of these Democratic investigations into both his personal and

his business matters. Which could extend well into his family matters which is something that he is always tried to keep off-limits and out of

the spotlight -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. Kara Scannell there, certainly keeping an eye on this. Waiting for that report, appreciate it.

OK, so still to come, roads are completely submerged. Cars, homes, crushed in the path of pretty deadly destruction if you take a look at these

images. Just look at the sheer power of mother nature there. We connect you with an aid worker struggling to get help to millions of Iranians.

Stay with us for that one.

And they say climate change is an emergency. And they are blocking parts of Central London to make their voices heard. We are live on the

extinction rebellion demonstration. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for joining us. I'm Robyn Curnow. Welcome back.

Now it has been two weeks since deadly floods swept across Iran. And the devastating impacts continue to be felt across the country. Aid groups

estimate two million people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. I want you to take a look at this video days after heavy rains

have actually stopped. Flood waters continue to threaten this town. It's one of 2,000 towns and cities in Iran affected by flooding.

Officials say the floods have caused more than two billion dollars' worth of damage to roads, bridges, homes, and farms. I mean, this is amazing.

Just take a listen to this. At one point, more than a third of all of the country's roads were actually submerged. So let's head over to Mansooreh

Bagheri in Tehran. She is the director of international relations at the Iranian Red Crescent Society. The impact, the wide-ranging impact of these

floods is what is so critical. I mean seems like every part of the country is being touched.

MANSOOREH BAGHERI, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRANIAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY (via Skype): Yes, because I can say that flash flood

affected 25 provinces out of 31 provinces of the country.

[11:45:02] And the most effective provinces are Lorestan, Golestan, Ilam and Khuzestan. I can say that most of the flood -- most damage is because

of the flood stands. But it sinks to the houses. And it takes long time to evacuate, you know, to come the water from the houses and from the

cities. And the Iranian Red Crescent Society since the beginning of the sort of these rain falls and flood, started deep operations. More than

80,000 relief workers and more than 2,000 light and heavy relief vehicles.

So far Iranian Red Crescent Society actually distributed the food items and basically the items among there are more than 400,000 people. And more

than 200,000 people actually have been settled in their temporary shelter. And they are really under the operation of their IRCS.

CURNOW: Massive, massive operation as you try and as you said get help to hundreds of thousands of people. I mean, we look at the forecast. It's

expected that there might be more rain in the next few days. That's certainly a concern.

BAGHERI: Yes. It is big concern as well.

CURNOW: And what you are going to -- I mean this is not over. Is there a concern that this is not over?

BAGHERI: No.

CURNOW: Is more rain expected?

BAGHERI: They' are expecting more. Yes, we're expecting more. And also that's why we launched an emergency appeal to International Federation of

Red Cross and Red Crescent Society for further assistance.

CURNOW: And how is that being facilitated and responded to? Because there are international sanctions. And many people are suggesting that that is

hindering providing help to Iranians.

BAGHERI: So far, we received the in-kind donation from many countries from the national societies and also from the government. But regarding the

transferring the fund for the further -- actually contribution, it is not possible yet.

CURNOW: Thank you very much for joining us. This is a massive weather event impacting thousands and thousands of Iranians. Thank you for joining

us. Appreciate it.

BAGHERI: You're welcome, thank you.

CURNOW: So I want to take you to London now. And thousands of people have taken part in climate change protests across the British capital. Some of

them are even blockading parts of this city center. The demonstrators are raising the alarm over the mounting climate crisis. And they're blocking

some of London's busiest roads and bridges to get their message across. It's part of a global campaign led by the British climate group called

Extinction Rebellion.

Well Michael Holmes is in London among the protesters. He joins me now. Michael, I think you're there in Oxford Circus. What are they saying?

They certainly seem to be sticking around. They're not going anywhere.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. They say they're going to be here for days if not a couple of weeks which seems extraordinary. I mean,

people know Oxford Circus, this is one of the busiest intersections in all of London. And it's not the only one that impacted too. The protests have

extended to Marble Arch, another really busy traffic intersection and also Parliament Square. Roads are closed around there. Waterloo Bridge as

well. This protest now in its sixth hour.

They all descended here -- as you can see the yacht over my shoulder. Right smack in the middle of Oxford Circus. And they brought that in at

11:00 in the morning and the protests began. Extinction Rebellion basically what they're saying is they're fed up with the politicians.

They're sorry to affect the traffic and, you know, the civilians if you like around London.

But they need to get the attention of the politicians. They say governments around the world are not doing enough about climate change.

They're more worried about Brexit and other things. And it's not taken seriously enough. They say this is a matter of outer urgency. There needs

to be action. And they're determine to stay put -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. So we're going to see how long that lasts and whether the police are as patient as these protesters. When we talk about London,

interestingly, London and where you are is very polluted in terms of nitrogen levels. Just give us some sense of just why that little area

where you are is also a story that is, you know, repeated across the world?

HOLMES: Yes, there were pollution warnings here just the other day about the air quality. And yes, Central London, extremely congested.

[11:50:00] It does get polluted as well. In terms of the concerns about that, you know, what they're saying here is that the inaction is causing

great damage to the planet. It's an existential problem and that it's not being taken seriously. And if I can tell you it's been an extremely

peaceful protest. There's been music playing. There have been three arrests. That happened over at the Shell headquarters in another part of

London. A window was broken there at the entrance to the Shell headquarters and was smashed. And there were three arrests over there.

But there are hundreds and hundreds of people involved in this protest. It's been extremely low key. The police are here, not in numbers. They're

staying back. They knew this was going to happen. They diverted the traffic which has caused problems elsewhere around the city of London. But

pretty much staying back.

The interesting thing is they were just saying a minute ago, too, they want to be here for two weeks. It's hard to imagine police saying, yes, OK, you

can stay here in Oxford Circle and outside Parliament Square and Marble Arch for two weeks. That's just not going to happen. The question is when

police draw the line and say this protest is over, go home. Because the protesters who are here and are saying peacefully, we're not going to go

home. We're going to stay here until we hear from the government and if there is action. And action taken more urgent fashion on climate change --

Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, there in Oxford Circus, a standoff perhaps developing over such critical issue. Michael Holmes, thank you.

So just to underscore how global the concern is. We're now that seeing that President of Seychelles is taking a deep dive to highlight the dangers

of climate changes where he is. Danny Faure spoke from a submersible more than 100 meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean. He called the

world's oceans the beating blue heart of our planet and warned there under threat like never before.

And then there were three. Only three Yangtze giant softshell turtles are left in the world after the last known female died in China. Her death

came after a research team tried to artificially inseminate her. Though it's unclear if that was the cause. A male turtle lives in a Chinese zoo.

But to others are said to live in the wild in Vietnam. But their genders are unknown. Conservationists say hunting and habitat destruction have put

the species on the brink of extinction.

Well this is CONNECT THE WORLD with the rather a sobering realization of the dangers posed by climate change. But we're also following Tiger Woods

as he wins the Masters and gets to celebrate with someone who is not even alive when he last won a major. The father-son celebration when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: In our Parting Shots, we return to the unbelievable story of Tiger Woods and his victory at the Masters.

[11:55:00] Most of us, of course, remember Tiger from the early 2000s who dominated golfers no one ever has. But it's his children, 11-year-old

daughter Sam and 10-year-old son Charlie had no memory of their dad as a major champion until now. Look at these images. It was Tiger's hug of

Charlie right after winning on Sunday that many say was the most touching moment of that celebration. And it suddenly brought back memories of 1997

when Tiger won his first Masters and went into the arms of his dad Earl Woods.

Look it at the two images neck to neck there. 22 years later it is still all about celebrating with your family it seems. Well done, Tiger.

We want to bring you up to date to some breaking news just coming in. The U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is expected to release Special Counsel

Robert Mueller's report on Thursday. There's been a lot of anxiety in Washington. People have been gearing up for this. So we now have a day,

Thursday will be the release of the special counsel's report.

I'm Robyn Curnow. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much for watching. Enjoy the rest of CNN.

[12:00:00]

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