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Zarif and Pompeo Trade Criticism; Zarif: America's Days in the Middle East Are "Numbered"; U.S. forces on High Alert for Drone Attacks; Iraqis Mourn Kataib Hezbollah Leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis; Dems Want Testimony at Trump Impeachment Trial. Aired 11a-12:00p ET

Aired January 7, 2020 - 11:00   ET





JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER OF IRAN: He is showing something. He is showing to the international community that he has no respect for

international law, that he is prepared to commit war crimes because attacking cultural sites is a war crime A disproportionate response is a

war crime.

But he doesn't care, it seems, about international law.



MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: His first statement that Soleimani was traveling to Baghdad on a diplomatic mission.

Anybody here believe that?

Zarif is a propagandist of the first order.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): A very warm welcome to you from CNN's Middle East programming here in the UAE. We've heard startlingly

blunt comments from the top Iranian and U.S. diplomats about the targeted killing in Baghdad last Friday of Iran's top general.

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo talking to reporters in the last hour after CNN's interview earlier today with the Iranian foreign minister,

Mohammad Javad Zarif. While they throw accusations and insults at one another, movements in the Middle East are happening, it seems, at lightning


This hour two U.S. officials say American forces in region have been placed on high alert for what one of those officials calls an imminent attack

threat from Iranian drones. At the news conference last hour, Mike Pompeo defended the killing of Soleimani but didn't present direct evidence that

the general was planning an imminent attack on U.S. interests, as Pompeo and other Trump administration officials have claimed.

Earlier in Tehran, Iran's foreign minister talked to my colleague, Fred Pleitgen, describing the killing of Soleimani as "state terrorism." He

vowed his country will respond in the time and way it sees fit.

We have reporters stationed in all the right places to cover this breaking news story for you. Alex Marquardt is in Washington and Fred Pleitgen in

Tehran; later, Sam Kiley joining us in Abu Dhabi.

Alex, in the past hour, we've heard from America's man in charge of the Iran file. Five days after the targeted killing of Iran's top military

general, Mike Pompeo had the opportunity to set out the case to confront and contain Iran and the Trump administration's strategy to do so. He

failed to do so.

What of any substance did he have to say?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Five days of questions over this insistence by Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration

that these attacks that were being planned and backed by Soleimani were imminent.

And in this press conference, which was not all that long with reporters at the State Department, he failed to fill in the details surrounding those

alleged imminent attacks. His justification for the killing of Qasem Soleimani started with kind of a look back at what he has done in the

region, not just the killing and maiming of U.S. service members but also essentially the usurping of sovereignty in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

So he hasn't done himself any favors in terms of the pressure that is on the Trump administration to answer these questions. He didn't give a more

full-throated defense than he has in the past. In fact, to some extent, he softened it.

He said that in the decision to kill Qasem Soleimani, that President Trump was given multitude pieces of information that came before him. He said

that the briefing that was given to Trump contained a broad range of detail.

He essentially hit back at the press for focusing on this notion of imminence but this is really something that Pompeo himself has built up as

the justification for killing Soleimani. Let's listen to a little bit of what he said at this press conference.


POMPEO: There's been much made about this question of intelligence and imminence. I answered it multiple times on Sunday. I'm happy to walk

through it again. Any time a president makes a decision of this magnitude, there are multiple pieces of information that come before us.

We presented that to him in all its broad detail. We gave him all the best information that came not only from the intelligence community but for

those of us who have teams in the field.


MARQUARDT: Now the Trump administration has argued that the intelligence was only seen by a very small group of people and anybody saying the

justification was razor thin didn't see the intelligence.


MARQUARDT: They're also saying they're not revealing much more because it would reveal sources and methods.

Pompeo was asked to comment on Zarif's comment that Soleimani was in Baghdad on a diplomatic mission. Pompeo responded by calling Zarif "a

propagandist of the first order."

ANDERSON: Let's get to Iran where Fred Pleitgen is.

Alex, thank you.

You spoke to the foreign minister.

He told you what?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He certainly didn't have any kind words for the Trump administration, Pompeo or Trump

himself. He was saying he believes President Trump is someone who disregards international law.

He also said he believed that the killing of Qasem Soleimani was something that would not make the U.S. safer but make the U.S. unsafer here in the

greater Middle Eastern region. He believes this could be and will be as he put it the beginning of the end of America's presence in the Middle East or

West Asia as he put it in a wide ranging interview.

He certainly showed himself to still be extremely angry about the targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani and once again reiterated that Iran is going to

strike back. And then I asked him about the fact that obviously this could have broad consequences with the United States, saying they on their part

would retaliate.


PLEITGEN: We're at a time when it's an extremely dangerous situation between Iran and the United States and for the entire Middle Eastern

region. You have said that Iran will retaliate for the targeted killing of General Qasem Soleimani. President Trump has said there would be a

disproportionate response if you do that.

What do you make of President Trump's threats?

ZARIF: I think President Trump, after watching the crowds yesterday, must stop threatening. These people will be further enraged by his threats and

his threats will not frighten us. But he's showing something.

He's showing to the international community that he has no respect for international law, that he's prepared to commit war crimes because

attacking cultural sites is a war crime.

A disproportionate response is a war crime. Proportionality is a major principle of the international law. But he doesn't care, it seems, about

international law.

But has he made U.S. more secure?

Do Americans feel more secure?

Are Americans welcome today in this region?

Do they feel welcome?

How do they feel about people chanting in the streets of Iraq, in the streets of Moscow, in the streets of Delhi and everywhere else, that they

should leave?

How do they feel about that?

That's the price for arrogance, for ignorance, for lack of respect.

PLEITGEN: President Trump was saying and Michael Pompeo was saying as well that they have intelligence that General Soleimani was planning attacks,

imminent attacks on U.S. targets. They say this was a deterrent attack. They do say America is safer today.

ZARIF: Well, they're either based on misinformation or the like, because General Soleimani's mission was to contain the anger in Iraq following the

United States' murder of about 25 Iraqis. This is a very clear information that we had, clear information that the Iraqi government had.

The government of Iraq has been on the record saying what he was doing. General Soleimani was the greatest force for stability in Iraq. He was the

hero of the fight against daish along with his companions, particularly Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. They're revered by the people of Iraq.

Did you see the funeral processions?

Now Mike Pompeo might like a video clip that somebody sent him, showing a couple of people, 20 people celebrating.

But did he close his eyes to see the huge sea of people mourning in Iraq and in Iran?

Their days in our region are numbered, not because anybody will take any action against them but because they are not welcome in our region.

PLEITGEN: Your government and your leadership and the military has vowed to take action against the United States.



ZARIF: The United States violated three principles: Iraqi sovereignty and the agreement that they had with Iraq. They got a response from the Iraqi

parliament. They violated the emotions of the people. They will get a response from the people.

They killed one of our most revered commanders and most senior commanders and they took responsibility for it.

This is state terrorism. This is an act of aggression against Iraq and it amounts to an armed attack against Iran. And we will respond but we will

respond proportionately, not disproportionately, because we are committed to law. We are law-abiding people. We're not lawless like President


PLEITGEN: But how can you respond because the U.S. is already pulling additional troops into the Middle Eastern region and saying they're

hardening the defenses of their bases they have in this region as well?

ZARIF: Well, the United States has been in this region for many years and has not brought itself or the region any security. We'll leave it at that.

PLEITGEN: So you think you can strike at any point?


PLEITGEN: It's no secret that you control militias in this region and you have forces on your side in this region in many countries.

ZARIF: No. We have people on our side in this region. That's much more important. The United States believes this beautiful military equipment

according to President Trump, that you spent $2 trillion on these beautiful military equipment, beautiful military equipment don't rule the world.

People rule the world. People. The United States has to wake up to the reality that the people of this region are enraged, that the people of this

region want the United States out. And the United States cannot stay in this region with the people of the region not wanting it anymore.

PLEITGEN: The United States and the Trump administration are saying that, before the strike on General Soleimani, there were provocations by Iran and

forces controlled by Iran. There were bases rocketed. There was an American contractor killed and then the protests at the embassy, which

destroyed the outside of the embassy and laid it under siege.

ZARIF: The Iranian consulate in Najat was burned.

Did we take action against anybody?

The United States has to realize that people in Iraq are angry and they take their anger. Of course, they're more angry about the United States

than anybody else.

But what is important is for the United States to realize, for the Trump regime to realize, that everything in this region was going, was improving.

Following the JCPOA, we were having a normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon, governments coming to office through the democratic


Negotiations started in Syria. We had the reducing of tension in Syria. Government was established in Lebanon. Government was established in Iraq.

What happened?

The United States started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine

from outside. So a war started a long time ago by the United States.

The United States destroyed stability in this region. The United States undermined security in this region. So one contractor, at least in the

last month, 25 Iranian babies died because of ibi (ph) and because of U.S. sanctions.

PLEITGEN: And that's all terrible, of course. Things like that are happening.

But right now isn't there a threat that all this could descend into much worse?


PLEITGEN: You're saying you'll retaliate. They'll say they'll retaliate. Isn't there the risk of an all-out war that could destroy large parts of

your country and the Middle East?

ZARIF: We are sitting at our home. We will defend our own territory. We will defend our people. The United States can defend the United States.

But the United States cannot even claim to be defending the United States 7,000 miles away from home.

We are here. We will not move. We've been here for seven millennia and we will continue to be here. The United States is a newcomer.

PLEITGEN: Do you think it's even worth speaking to President Trump or would it be worth speaking to him?

ZARIF: Well, it doesn't need speaking.


ZARIF: He has to realize he has been fed misinformation. And he needs to wake up and apologize.

He has to apologize. He has to change course. He cannot add a mistake upon another mistake. He is just making it worse for America.

He is destroying the U.S. Constitution. He is destroying the U.S. political process. He is destroying the rule of law in the United States

but that not for me to say. That's a domestic affair of the United States.

He has enraged the people of our region. He has killed people of this region. He has spent $1 trillion. He said that U.S. had raised $7

trillion in our region. He has added another trillion.

Is the United States more secure today because of that?


PLEITGEN: There you go, the foreign minister of Iran there saying that he believes the U.S. has not become more secure, despite the fact that it has

a footprint in the region and obviously saying he believes this could be the beginning of the end of America's presence here in this region.

Certainly still you can see that there is that really high tension in the air between the U.S. and Iran. The Iranians saying they are going to

retaliate for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

One of the things that was very hard to glean there was whether or not there could be any sort of diplomatic way out of this in the not too

distant future. The prospects seem pretty bleak.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran for you, speaking to a man described by Mike Pompeo earlier as a propagandist of the first order.

Well, these are the scenes in southeastern Iran, the hometown of general Soleimani. The leader of the Revolutionary Guards could force a man

revered by many in Iran, a man accused of wreaking havoc in the Middle East.

President Trump has just met with the Saudi prince Khalid bin Salman, the prince said he delivered a message from the crown prince to the White

House. Also attending, the senior adviser to the president and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Salman is the deputy defense minister and he met with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper yesterday, calling

for deescalation in the region.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up on high alert, U.S. troops in the Middle East bracing for the possibility of drone attacks by Iran.

The latest on that is after this. And two strong men sit down in Damascus to discuss the endless carnage in Syria.






POMPEO: The first statement Soleimani was traveling to Baghdad on a diplomatic mission.

Anybody here believe that?

Is there any history that would indicate that it was remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order, Qasem Soleimani, had

traveled Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission?

I made you reporters laugh this morning. That's fantastic.

We know that wasn't true. We not only know the history, we know, in that moment, that was not true. Zarif is a propagandist of the first order.


ANDERSON: U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo there, responding to comments by the Iranian foreign minister. Pompeo reiterating the U.S.

claim that the Iranian military commander posed an imminent threat although offering no evidence for that.

And it appears that that perceived threat has not gone away with his death. Two U.S. officials tell CNN that forces in the Middle East have been placed

on high alert to possibly shoot down Iranian drones. I want to bring in Sam Kiley.

Sam, American troops have a big presence in this region. We'll bring up the map, a big presence in the region. As you can see, there are thousands

stationed in countries in neighboring Iran, including more than 5,000 in the UAE.

We keep asking the question, are we safer today than we were in region last Friday?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, whenever we see this map, it's often presented as a target list for the Iranians. These

are military installations. They're the most heavily guarded places on Earth. They're going to be extremely difficult unless there are small

pockets, isolated pockets of troops, have limited force protection.

The 5th Fleet, yes, it's based in Bahrain. It's not vulnerable in any serious sense to an attack. It's got a nice, big, sexy, juicy target for

the Iranians but they're much more likely to go after smaller troop concentrations in Iraq. I think that will be the first place they're

likely to attack.

What's concerning the region is not the first level. It is the next and the next levels. There are capabilities in Iran to rain conventional

weapons in sufficient quantities that civilians and others will end up dead if an all-out war begins.

But at the first level of this carefully calibrated pressure system that both sides are putting on each other, I don't think there's any particular

threat. But it would be very deleterious of the United States faced with threats from Iran not to increase their capability, particularly to take

out incoming missiles, which is exactly what they've done.

ANDERSON: You could argue, we were talking about this earlier, that the crowds that have turned out to mourn Qasem Soleimani in Iran is -- could be

described almost as the first salvo, without any retaliation, the sort of coming together of Iranians.

This isn't (INAUDIBLE), this is more than --


ANDERSON: -- about that. These are people who are genuinely aggrieved at the targeted killing or assassination, call it what you will, of the

Iranian top general.

Do you buy that?

KILEY: There's no question that you cannot motivate that number of people through coercion. And I think arguably they were further galvanized by

threats against their cultural heritage and by the whole neoimperial idea that the United States can push Middle Eastern countries around.

That annoys people whether or not they're allies, let alone long-term rivals, as this country is at least at the government level since 1979.

That said, when the dust has settled on the burial of General Soleimani, the grievances that brought them out on the streets before have still not

been addressed by the central government.

So the central government has already made a promise that it will continue this counter attack against the United States, singling out, they insist,

military targets only. They're also trying to get hold of sort of moral high ground in rather a weird way.


KILEY: Declaring the United States military a terrorist organization as a counter punch and they will, no doubt, therefore, argue, use the American

doctrine of preemption that justified Soleimani's killing for saying, their General So-and-So that we killed was planning or part of the planning of

combat operations against Iran or our friends around the world. It's a bizarre system.

ANDERSON: Sam, I want to dig deeper into that interview we heard with Iran's foreign minister, conducted by our colleague, Fred Pleitgen.

Zarif says, quote, "General Soleimani was the greatest force for the stability in Iraq."

Zarif might say that. There are many people around this region where we are who would beg to differ.

KILEY: I mean, there is no -- I think a historian or a contemporary historian, essentially what we are, he was the master of destabilization,

of causing chaos in the ranks of the enemy. He was also one of the masterminds of the joint Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition to fight off the so-

called Islamic State.

But he was very much the Iranian point man in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and, to a lesser extent, in Yemen. In all those environments, particularly in

Iraq, he's been highly divisive. The Iranian influence there has been divisive and we've seen how divisive it's been over the many, many weeks of

demonstrations against Iranian influence in that country, predominantly by Shia populations, the majority there, fed up even with their fellow Shia

nations' influence there.

So to make that argument is, I think by most standards, preposterous.

ANDERSON: Sam Kiley, thank you, Sam.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is talking about retaliation. He's quoted by "The New York Times," saying, "It must be a direct and

proportional attack on American interests openly carried out by Iranian forces themselves."

Just ahead on CNN, my colleague, Christiane Amanpour, speaks to the U.S. Defense Secretary, Mark Esper. Be sure to stick with CNN at 6:00 pm London

time, 10:00 pm for those of you watching here in the UAE. For those watching around the world, I'm sure you can work out what time that

interview will be in your region.

Coming up, the U.S. Congress back in session and three I-words dominating the debate. We'll explain after that.





ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.

One country particularly caught up in the conflict between the U.S. and Iran is Iraq where General Soleimani was killed on Friday. Iraqi lawmakers

have looked into expelling U.S. troops from the country.

But a draft letter released by mistake on Monday suggested they might do that willingly. That was later denied by the Trump administration.

But at the same time a report by "The Washington Post" suggests U.S. officials are preparing possible sanctions against Iraq if it expels U.S.

troops. Arwa Damon is in Baghdad for you.

What sort of sanctions might we be talking about here?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're not entirely sure, Becky. I mean, there most certainly are plenty of options,

all of which would potentially be damaging to Iraq's economy. It's already in a fragile state.

Remember prior to all of this, one of the causes behind the anti-government demonstrations that have been going on for months here is rising

unemployment and the fact that there is widespread corruption and basically that people are, to a certain degree, struggling financially or at least

struggling more than they feel they should be, given their country's vast oil wealth.

But we were out earlier, talking to people about the possibility of sanctions. And while a lot of those who we spoke to do remember what it

was like in the 1990s and just how difficult things were, they say that, if it happens again, this time around it's not going to be the same.

They make the point that Iraq today is not the Iraq of the 1990s. The country is not an international pariah, as it was to a certain degree under

Saddam Hussein. They have friendly relations with Iran and that they did not have back then, either.

So they don't feel that the impact will be the same as it was back then. But of course, it is going to impact this country at a time when many

people here really feel like they don't deserve any of this.

A lot of the times when you're out there talking to Iraqis, they'll tell you, enough, enough of using us as a battlefield, enough war. Enough of

this tit-for-tat that's playing out within our own country. Just please leave us alone.

And we hear Iraqis begging just to be left alone over and over and over again, Becky.

ANDERSON: Mike Pompeo tweeting about Iraq earlier on today, expressing outrage at Kataib Hezbollah, the group that fueled the siege of the U.S.

embassy recently in Baghdad. He calls them Iranian-backed terrorists and asks when will the Iraqi government start protecting its own citizens?

This was prompted by reports that two rockets hit near the U.S. embassy on Sunday. As mourners prepare for the funeral of Qasem Soleimani in

southeastern Iran today, Iraqis also mourning the death of the militia leader known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Just how significant is his death and who are the military groups?

DAMON: Well, from the perspective of those who support what's known as the PMF, the Popular Mobilization Force, the paramilitary unit that is part of

the Iraqi security forces, the death of the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, killed along the side of Soleimani, is extraordinarily significant.

They view this and the Iraqi government views his death and the targeting of Soleimani as being aggression against Iraq itself.


DAMON: And look, this paramilitary group formed because the Iraqi security forces had by and large fled their posts back in 2014 when ISIS was

sweeping through Iraq but almost nearly at the gates of Baghdad and hence this paramilitary force came into existence.

But it was largely made up of former Shia militias, many of whom gained their experience fighting the Americans during America's occupation of

Iraq. So they've always been a very contentious force. But they're powerful and influential.

ANDERSON: Arwa's in Baghdad for you with the perspective. Thank you very much for joining us.

As the U.S. Congress begins its 2020 session, the I's have it. That's the letter I, as in Iran, impeachment and Iowa.

Democrats still trying to find out more about that targeted attack that killed the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on Friday. They're also

battling Republicans over whether witnesses should testify at the upcoming Senate trial of President Trump.

Remember that?

And all this comes as Democratic candidates campaign in Iowa, the site of this year's first presidential contest. Here to put this together is a

very good friend of this show, CNN's Stephen Collinson.

Where do you want to start?

We have three I's here competing for attention. The ball is in your court.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Let's start with Iran, given that this is the most dynamic story as lawmakers come back to

Washington. We have two main strands emerging.

The first one is the administration's refusal or inability to provide evidence of these imminent attacks, that it said that Qasem Soleimani was

planning on, which is the rationale for the decision by the president to kill Soleimani last week outside Baghdad. That is causing a lot of

consternation on Capitol Hill.

Not surprisingly, given the legacy of the Iraq War, when faulty intelligence led the United States into a quagmire in the Middle East. The

other question pertaining to Iran is this rather chaotic scenario of -- or revelations about how chaotic the national security process is.

We had an incident yesterday, where, for a few hours, it seemed as though U.S. troops were pulling out of Iraq. Then the Pentagon, the Defense

Secretary Mark Esper came out and said that's not the case.

There does seem to be as well in the presence warning he's going to attack cultural sites in Iran, if Iran responds to the killing of Soleimani, a

sense in which the national security process of the U.S. government is trying to catch up with the erratic and unpredictable pronouncements of the


ANDERSON: So -- OK, that's Iran. I want to move us onto impeachment. But I'm going to wind in a character here, who would be equally as interesting

to talk to Iran about while he's still around. Former national security adviser John Bolton, who has suggested that he would testify at President

Trump's impeachment trial.

Democrats would want to ask him about some testimony at the House impeachment hearings. Have a listen.


FIONA HILL, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL: Ambassador Bolton told me that I am not part of the -- this -- whatever drug deal that

Mulvaney and Sondland are cooking up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Ambassador Bolton tell you that Giuliani was, quote, "a hand grenade"?

HILL: He did.


ANDERSON: How likely is it we'll hear from John Bolton and how significant is his testimony, should we hear from him?

COLLINSON: I think it's unclear whether we'll hear from John Bolton. If you were of a conspiratorial mindset, you might argue the reason Bolton

said he was willing to testify is because he thinks he won't have to testify.

You know, the Democrats seized on this as proof that the Republicans are trying to cover up what really happened over Ukraine by stopping a key

witness from testifying.

And the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican there, has said his position hasn't changed. So I think it's a political headache

for the Republicans, just looking at the dynamics of what is going on in the Senate. It's not clear yet that Bolton's statement is going to break

the dam and force Republicans to have Bolton testify.

It may end up being a very good talking point for the Democrats when this is all over, when they say that the Republicans protected the president and

covered all this up. As to what he might say, it's very unclear.


COLLINSON: John Bolton is someone who seems to want to have -- to continue to have influence in Republican politics.

While he might throw Giuliani under the bus, I think there's a great deal of doubt whether he would necessarily put the president under there as


ANDERSON: Your 30 seconds on Iowa?

What's the story?

COLLINSON: OK. Iran is very interesting, because Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both seem to think the crisis could get them the nomination. Biden

has portrayed himself as the commander in chief in waiting, saying this kind of crisis is exactly why he should be given the Democratic nomination.

Sanders is tapping into this feeling of, oh, no, we don't want another war in the Middle East. So there's a real split in the Democratic Party here.

It's interesting to see how this is going to play out.

ANDERSON: You did that in 29 seconds. You're a star. Thank you. I need to take a short break to pay for the show. Stephen, always a pleasure.




ANDERSON: Here's one for you folks.

Remember the iPod?

No, not the iPad, the iPod.

Guess who is using one that's years old?

One of the world's best football players, Cristiano Ronaldo is sporting the shuffle on his tie as he arrived for a game on Monday. Only a few years

old, I'm still sporting my Walkman, Mr. Alex Thomas.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can't believe that. I want you to prove it. Pull it out and show us that you're still using it.

No, I have got my music streaming out from my phone, Bluetooth headphones, I'm afraid, trying to stay down with the kids.


ANDERSON: Oh, that's so 21st century.


THOMAS: We'll have more on "WORLD SPORT" but some unusual interest, Becky. Mo Saleh, your good mate from Liverpool, could be up for one of the biggest

awards in African football in the hours ahead. One of his teammates one of the other strong favorites to pick up African football over the years.

We'll keep you abreast of that.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Good luck to the lad.

And that's "WORLD SPORT" after the break. See you.