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CNN 10

Oil Facilities Attacked In Saudi Arabia; Complex Relationship Between U.S. and Saudi Arabia; More Protests in Hong Kong

Aired September 16, 2019 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to a new week and a new edition of CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz, happy to see you this Monday. When international stock

marks open on September 16th, one thing investors around the world are watching is the price of oil. It`s crucial for world economies because its

their major source of energy and a country that`s a major supplier of oil saw its oil facilities attacked on Saturday. As many as 10 drones,

unmanned aircraft hit oil plants in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is the worlds largest exporter of oil and the attacks hit the worlds largest oil

processing facility. Saudi Arabia says no one was hurt but half of its oil production was disrupted and that accounts for 5 percent of the worlds

daily oil supply.

So as Saudi Arabia rushes to repair the damaged plants, investors want to see if and how this effects oil prices world wide. They`d been relatively

low for months but could go up significantly because of this. So, who did it? Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen say they did. They`ve been

fighting for control of Yemen in that nation`s civil war but Saudi Arabia which supports Yemen`s government has been leading an international fight

against the Houthi rebels. So the Houthis say they attacked Saudi Arabia`s oil facilities in response but not everyone`s convinced. The U.S.

government blames Iran for planning the attack calling it an assault on the world`s energy supply.

Iran does support Yemen`s Houthi rebels but the country says it wasn`t involved in the Saudi oil attack and called the U.S. accusation

meaningless. Tensions have been soaring between America and Iran since last year when the U.S. pulled out of a controversial nuclear deal with the

Middle Eastern nation. So as investors watch oil prices Saudi Arabia works to repair its facilities and the U.S. and Iran bristle at each other,

international politics are among the cast of tensions on the world stage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States are two unexpected allies. One`s an autocracy, the other a democracy. There

are many differences between the two but one thing they have in common is that each country has what the other wants. Saudi Arabia has oil and the

United States has arms. To understand how reciprocal the relationship is, we need to go back to how it started. Saudi Arabia as we know it was

founded in 1932 by King Abdul-Aziz a few years later oil was struck and American companies sensing an opportunity moved in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a relationship which was based on the company Standard Oil and in the name of the U.S. government trying to look for

access to oil resources.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This picture shows where the relationship crystallized. This was Saudi Arabia`s founder King Abdulaziz meeting U.S. President

Franklin Roosevelt on the USS Quincy on the Suez Canal in 1945.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States wanted to have a secure access to - - to the oil resources and at the same time they would provide the Saudi

kingdom with access to arms and obviously provide protection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the years passed, the relationship strengthened. Standard Oil founded ARAMCO, the Arabian -American Oil Company which

controlled every oil well and barrel in the country, and as the oil flowed into the U.S., American made arms flowed into the kingdom. Between 1950

and 2017, Saudi Arabia bought more than $100 billion worth of arms from the U.S. making the kingdom the country`s biggest customer. It`s a

relationship so strong that even when Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are on opposite sides of an issue, arms continue to flow.

For example in 1973 and the start of the Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise offensive against Israel. The U.S. responded

supporting Israel which Saudi opposed. The kingdom and its OPEC allies responded by setting an oil embargo, reducing production and significantly

impacting the U.S. economy but there was no slow down in arm sales.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we look at the actual figures of arms supplies to Saudi Arabia from the U.S., we do see that a - - that was around the time

that we see a very significant increase in those arm supplies which then continued to over the decades. And probably this may also be related to

the (inaudible), that really was the moment that oil prices really increased very rapidly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even 9/11 where 15 out of the 19 attackers were Saudi did little to rattle the arms relationship with the kingdom which has

denied any involvement in the attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Around 2005, the was a big volume of deliveries of weapons from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia which I think that didn`t necessarily

have to do with 9/11. I think it had more to do with the fact that Saudi Arabia didn`t have the best financial conditions at that time and that it

had already stocked up on a very large quantity of - - of advanced arms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump`s first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia where he signed an arms deal said to be

worth $110 billion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a long time Saudi Arabia hasn`t been using its equipment very much but that (inaudible) started to change in 2015 we see

the - - the full scale military intervention by Saudi Arabia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Yemen conflict has become the world`s worst humanitarian crisis with tens of thousands killed. It`s also widely seen

as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia with Houthi rebels supported by Iran and pro-government forces supported by the Saudi led coalition.

The world has changed a lot since the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the USA began. Imports of oil from the kingdom to the U.S. have dropped by

47 percent since a high in 1991. Since that first accord in 1932, Saudi Arabia has had seven kings. The U.S. has had 14 presidents. But through

it all, the bond between these two nations has remained unbreakable.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Though Hong Kong isn`t independent from China, it is considered a what? Semi-autonomous republic, special administrative

region, autonomous region or protectorate. Hong Kong is a special administrative region. Its people have more freedoms than those in

mainland China.

Hong Kong`s government says its open to increasing communication with the public to solve the city`s problems. For the 15th weekend in a row, there

were no signs those problems are going away. There was a large peaceful march on Sunday. There were also incidents of vandalism and attacks on

police. Demonstrators want more democratic freedom for Hong Kong but if struggles continue between them and their local government it`s possible

China could step in. It says it has ultimate control over the special administrative region.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the 15th straight weekend of confrontations and protests here in Hong Kong and this

is a very typical site here. Large numbers of riot police deployed after demonstrators conducted a protest march which had not been authorized by

the police through the downtown of Hong Kong Island. And then it was followed up with scenes of demonstrators coursing through the streets, tear

gas, water cannons, it`s a scene that has repeated itself week after week. We witnessed on this evening a group of demonstrators beating a man quite

badly on a street corner. We`re not sure why he was targeted but he left dazed and bloodied.

Now the fact is, is that hundreds of people have been detained thus far, arrested and this has taken a toll on the Hong Kong economy. Hotels have

large numbers of vacancies. Airplane ticket sales are down. Retail sales are down as well and Hong Kong`s reputation has taken a beating. The Hong

Kong government has taken some steps to try to meet some protestor demands but at this stage there seems to be no political settlement in sight and as

you can hear, many ordinary citizens now view the police as targets of derision. Police commanders have told CNN it will take years to recover

from the damage that their reputation has suffered through this cycle of confrontation. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


AZUZ: At Indiana`s Purdue University there`s a new delivery team on campus. They don`t talk much but they do bring students something to chew

on. Customers can order food and drinks using a smart phone app. The meals are plopped into the robots which then zip around and drop them off

within minutes. They`re automated, though the people who monitor them can take control if needed and the company that provides the service hopes to

expand it in the years ahead.

The question is will the meals on wheels be slow in the snow? Will they beat the heat with the food you eat? Or will they arrive at all if the

leaves in Fall, mire the tires and cause impairments that need "repairments"? Guess the robots will have to learn the "Purdues" and

"don`ts" of "drone livery". I`m Carl Azuz delivering another edition of CNN.