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Connect the World

Aleppo Doctors Make Plea for Help; Trump's Perspective on Syrian Problem?; Call for Unity on Thanksgiving. 10:00a-10:59a ET

Aired November 24, 2016 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:18] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wonder, why do we have United Nations? Why do we have human rights laws?


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: A message to the world from ravaged, rebel-held Aleppo. Some of the last remaining doctors there ask for aid to be dropped

in amid terrible stories of suffering. We have got a special report on the Syrian War this hour. It's one of the biggest challenges President-elect

Donald Trump faces. But not the only one.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: Let us give thanks for all that we have, and let us boldly face the exciting new frontiers that lie ahead.


ANDERSON: A call for unity as a divided nation celebrates Thanksgiving. We take a look at some of Trump's recent cabinet picks.

And 90 years of an American institution: Macy's Thanksgiving parade as an annual affair. We'll go live to New York for you for the festivities.

Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving, enjoy it.

It is just after 7:00 in the evening here.

Do something now: that is the desperate plea from one of the few doctors left in eastern Aleppo. The people there are caught in the crossfire as

Syrian government forces bomb the city in an effort to root out rebels. With buildings crumbling all around them, a group of doctors and civil

servants made a video pleading for outside help.

Well, a group adds if the international community They add if the international community does nothing, it should be held responsible for any

consequences. Jomana Karadsheh takes a closer look now at what the desperate Aleppo residents call a slow motion train wreck.


JOMANA KARADHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With no end in sight to the plight of the more than a quarter of a million residents of eastern

Aleppo who have been living under constant bombardment, who barely have any functioning hospitals left, and who according to the United Nations are

facing that real possibility of mass starvation because of the month-long siege.

The people of eastern Aleppo have been trying to get the world's attention. They're desperate for any kind of help to end what so many people there

describe as this living nightmare.

On Wednesday, a group that includes civil society members, activists, and medical workers

released a video statement with a message to the international community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: we wonder why we have the United Nations, why do we have human rights laws? This has been a slow-motion train wreck. And this

message is from the people who lasted in Aleppo to the world. Don't look back years from now and wish that you can do

something you can still do.

We ask you to ground Assad air force that's killing us, or at least have some diplomatic leverage to force the Syrian regime and Russia's

bombardment of the city of Aleppo to be stopped.

The international community holds responsibility for any future consequences of Aleppo besiegement, hoping that our voices will be heard

and Aleppo will be saved.

KARADSHEH: The group also called for demilitarized humanitarian corridors that would

be under the observation of the United Nations. And with eastern Aleppo running out of just about everything, including food. They also called for

humanitarian aid drops.

Over the past week of this renewed military assault on eastern Aleppo, more than 300 people have been killed, according to activists in what they say

has been some of the most intense, unprecedented bombardment of this conflict.

The Syrian regime says that this is all part of its country wide operation against what it describes as terrorist groups. Russia says it is not

taking part in air strikes on eastern Aleppo this time.

The United Nations says it has a humanitarian plan for eastern Aleppo. It's trying to get the approval of the different parties in this conflict

to the plan, but with this recent military escalation, that is looking unlikely to happen any time soon, and the people of eastern Aleppo, the

civilians, are terrified that the worst is yet to come.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Amman.


ANDERSON: Do something now.

We started this segment with those words from doctors in rebel-held Aleppo. And they'll perhaps be ringing loudest in one man's ears in particular:

Donald Trump. He'll be the U.S. president soon. And he's going to have to figure out what to do about Syria. We're going to look at his options

in our special series, which is just ahead.

Let's get you some of the other stories on our radar today. Horrific scene in eastern China after a platform collapsed during repair work at a power

plant. Concrete slabs, steel bars and twisted metal came crashing down, killing at least 67 workers. Now, state media says rescuers managed to

pull one person from the rubble alive.

To Turkey where police are investigating a deadly car bombing. State media say at least two

people are dead and at least 16 others are wounded. Now, the blast struck a parking lot near a government building at the height of rush hour in the

southern city of Adana (ph). No one has claimed responsibility.

Members of the European parliament have voted to suspend negotiations with Turkey over its plans to join the block. The lawmakers say they made the

decision because Turkey has violated basic rights and freedoms under what is this state of emergency. The vote isn't

legally binding.

Well, it should be a quiet day for Donald Trump and his transition team. The U.S. president-elect spending the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-

Lago estate in Palm Beach in Florida. We don't know if he'll make any public appearances, but he did release a Thanksgiving message on his

favorite platform: social media.

Jason Carroll tells us how Trump is calling for national unity as he builds this new administration.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President-elect Donald Trump diversifying his administration, picking two women to fill key positions, tapping former

critic Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

GOV. NIKKI HALEY, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party. That

is not who we want as president.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT-ELECT: She is very, very weak on illegal immigration. You can't have that.

CARROLL: Trump now touting the South Carolina governor as a proven dealmaker with a proven track record of bringing people together. Haley has

accepted the position, she says, out of a sense of duty. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, is the first woman and first person of color

to be elected as governor in South Carolina. But some are questioning if she has enough foreign policy experience for her new diplomatic post at the

U.N. Trump also naming a top billionaire GOP donor, Betsy DeVos, as secretary of education. The president-elect calling the school choice

activist a brilliant and passionate education advocate, even though she also heavily criticized him throughout his candidacy, raising money for

other Republicans on the ballot. And DeVos previously served on the board of an education group led by Jeb Bush that supports Common Core standards.

TRUMP: We are going to provide school choice and put an end to Common Core, bring our education locally.

CARROLL: DeVos setting the record straight on Common Core in a statement saying, "I am not a supporter, period."

Trump also announcing on Twitter that he's seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as head of Housing and Urban Development.

BEN CARSON, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are a lot of things that were put on the table, and I'm thinking about them.

CARROLL: All as Trump channels the spirit of Thanksgiving, releasing this holiday message on YouTube after what he calls a long and bruising


TRUMP: It's my prayer that on this Thanksgiving we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country.


ANDERSON: Well, Jason Carroll joining us now live from Florida with more. It should be a quiet day, but given that Trump is anything but predictable,

Jason, who knows, right?

CARROLL: You know, that's such a good point. That's -- I mean -- let me just explain it this way. I mean, this has been an unconventional

campaign. This is an unconventional candidate. And so even though today is supposed to be a down day when we're not supposed to be hearing about

any more announcements, you never know.

Let's say this for now, for now, we're told that this is going to be a down day for the president-elect and his family. He is going to be celebrating

Thanksgiving here at Mar-a-Lago. Ivanka Trump has already put out a picture of her and her family watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has already sent out a Thanksgiving message wishing the country well, giving thanks on this day. So, it's supposed to

be a down day, but you never know.

ANDERSON: All right, Jason.

Well, look, loop back with us if it is not. We're going to leave it at that for the time being though. Thank you.

In the fall or autumn of 1621, early settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, gathered around the table to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and that

tradition lives on.

Today, Americans celebrating Thanksgiving with Turkey and all the trimmings, of course. A newer but still decades old ritual sees millions

gather on the streets of New York City and even more around the TV, all to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Now in its 90th year, the

tradition began in the Big Apple back in 1924.

The festivities were put on hold during World War II, and as they have done year after year, those iconic balloons going up, up, up, but hopefully not


Here, Peter Rabbit floats like a cloud above the crowds with volunteers wrangling it from the ground all, of course, to avoid deflating injuries

that punctured the likes of the Pink Panther in years past.

Well, let's get you right to the parade, which is now underway. Sarah Ganim is there. Just get us a sense of the atmosphere, if you will. I

know it is about 7 degrees. It is not particularly warm. What's the buzz?

SARAH GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy Thanksgiving, Becky.

Yeah, that's right. This is such an American tradition. Everyone here is so excited, so happy to be here. And, of course, it's the floats, the

balloons that make this the tradition that it is. It sets it apart. It makes the Thanksgiving morning parade to watch.

You can see those balloons coming. This is a character coming now. This is actually, I think, Aflac maybe, but hat's a character from Ice Age.

A combination this year of retro old and new. A little bit for everyone -- for the young, for the old. Everyone here, of course, is a kid on

Thanksgiving day morning watching the Macy's Day Parade. But you can see on everyone's smiling faces how excited they are.

Take a look at this crowd, Becky.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone is so excited to be here, coming from far points of the country just to sit here out, as you said, in the cold and watch. Of course,

security a concern. The NYPD saying this is their most important day of the year. This year, they've brought in sand trucks to make sure that

vehicles that are not supposed to be along this route are not here. That's something new after the attacks.

They say that all of (inaudible) it paid off when you see those smiling faces and you see the parade, and everyone from the balloons and the pilots

for the baloons that are on the ground making sure they go where they're supposed to go here the Ice Age is Scraton (ph), his acorn. You can see

these guys on the ground, these are the pilots. They pilot the balloons down the two mile route which ends in Harold Square at Macy's flagship


There's also performances, there's marching bands, there's floats on wheels. There is such a variety of fun. Like I said this year, retro and

new. One of the new floats. They brought back Charlie Brown, the blockhead himself. He led off the parade. Of course, Santa always ends

the parade. in between, there were new floats like Trolls, which was such a popular new movie for kids this

year. But people like me know that Trolls is actually old, brought back and redone, and so they made an appearance here today at the Macy's Day


Just a fun day for everyone.

Just a quick, fun fact for you. In the 3 million people who are here watching the parade in

person, those balloons make New York City the world's second largest consumer of helium because of all the helium it takes to blow them up.

The parade actually used to let them go up into the air afterwards, but they stopped doing that

several years ago. Of course, they deflate, actually, in just about 15 minutes. But it takes all day to get them inflated to be as big as they

are, Becky.

Such a fun day here.

ANDERSON; Fantastic. Good stuff.

New York City, taking no risks with security. A good day. A cold day. But, listen, happy Thanksgiving. Get yourself some hot food at some point.

We really appreciate the report. Thank you.

Still to come tonight, five decades of bloodshed in Colombia could soon come to an end. We'll look at how the long, hard fought road to a second

peace deal looks as if it has a result.

First up though, while people in Aleppo are being rescued one at a time, many hope the American president will stoptheir suffering all at once. But

what will Donald Trump do about Syria? That's what we're going to talk about after this. Taking a very short break. Back after this.



[10:17:14] BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: me for thinking that the United States would be un-biased, respect the international law,

doesn't interfere in other different countries around the world. And of course stop supporting terrorists in Syria.


ANDERSON: Cautiously optimistic there.

Syria's leader has been admiring America's next president, calling Donald Trump a, quote, natural ally. Donald Trump seems to want to pull a U-turn

on American policy that could help him out. So, will they have each other's backs? Well, to finish up our week-long Trump and the Middle East

series, here's my take on what he means for Syria's civil war.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have been very clear that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons

moving around or being utilized.

ANDERSON: More four years later, that red line has been crossed again and again, but there's been little in the way of action to back up President

Obama's warning, despite activists documenting the often deadly use of chemical weapons across Syria. Shocking terror,

even in the country almost numb to cruelty, a country that has been ensnared in civil war for nearly six years, ISIS festering there for much

of it, preying on the country's complex and toxic mess.

But America's next president, Donald Trump, saw it in more simple terms on the campaign trail.

TRUMP: ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He's the founder of ISIS.

ANDERSON: That's not true, of course, but Syria's president Bashar al- Assad has been at the center of it all, with Moscow throwing a huge amount of fire power on to

Syria's battlefields to help him stay in control, something Washington has been pushing against.

OBAMA: It is unimaginable that you can't stop the civil war there when the overwhelming majority of people in Syria consider him to be a brutal,

murderous dictator. He cannot regain legitimacy.

ANDERSON: The U.S. has given weapons and other support to rebels who want Assad gone, as well. That may be about to change.

TRUMP: We're backing rebels. We have no idea who they are. But I would certainly like to

see what's going on. I'd like to find out who these people are that we want to give billions of dollars to. We have no idea.

And, sure, Assad is a bad guy, but you can have worse. And maybe these people are worse.

ANDERSON: Some analysts think we should put all that to the side.

FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: We should not take what he said during the presidential campaign very seriously because it is

incoherent. It is contradictory. It is counterproductive. And if he does translate what he said on the presidential -- during the presidential

campaign. This would be catastrophic.

ANDERSON: But the Kremlin doesn't seem to think so. It describes Trump and Putin's views on Syria as, quote, phenomenally close.

Meanwhile, millions of refugees have been forced from their homes, many pouring towards Europe. For them, Trump has some familiar rhetoric.

TRUMP: We want to build safe zones. We'll do it in Syria. We'll get the Gulf states to put up the money. They'll do it.

ANDERSON: There have been calls for places like right here, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab states to do more to help the refugees. So

far, they've mostly gone unanswered. They'd rather keep this as bay, this messy, uncontainable web of a patchwork of fighters, jihadi forces and

others, all armed to the teeth, fighting in Syria.

What President-elect Trump can or will do to untangle it remains to be seen.


ANDERSON: Well, let's get into all of this with Faisal al Yafai as the chief columnist at The

National, which is one of the largest newspapers here in the UAE, a regular guest on the show. Welcome back.

What do you make of what we have heard from President-elect Trump to date in syria?

YAFAI: Well, what can you make of it? Like Fawaz is saying it's been contradictory, back and forth. I don't share Fawaz's belief that the way

the Trump campaign is not going to be the way that he governed.

What we've seen from his cabinet-elect so far is that he does intend to govern in the exact way that he said he would.

Now, this is greatly concerning for Syria because Syria is the biggest problem in the Middle

East, continues to be a big problem, and will not be solved by inaction, which is what Donald Trump appears to be offering.

ANDERSON: So, what has he told us, then, during this campaign. And what will Syria look like this time next year, when we will have had, what, ten

and a half months of a Trump presidency?

YAFAI: Well, first of all, it almost doesn't bare thinking about if the inaction that I think will happen from the Trump presidency happens, you

are going to look at Assad with the Iranians and the Russians reasserting control across the entirety of Syria. That will not solve the refugee


What I have been saying for the last few weeks, since it became obvious that Trump was going to win is that putting Assad back in control of the

country does not end the refugee problem. Assad will go and hunt down his opponents. That means more waves of migrants, more stress to Arab

countries, to European countries, to Turkey. It doesn't end because of America's inaction, it continues.

ANDERSON: He says, put Arab boots on the ground in Syria. He says, who are these rebels

that America is backing?

You seem to want the west to go into Syria. Am I right in saying that?

YAFAI: I think there needs to be more action from Arab allies, yes.

Syria is not a problem for the Middle East alone. It is a problem for the entirety of the region and for Europe and for the wider world.

The Syrians who are on the front line in Raqqa, the Syrian and the Iraqis who are fighting in Mosul, they are not fighting for Iraq and Syria alone,

they are fighting for the entirety of the west, because that problem, the problem of ISIL, does not end in Raqqa and Mosul, it finds its way to the

streets of Paris, to the streets of New York, to the streets of London.

So perhaps Donald Trump needs to understand that his allies in this region have spent blood and

treasure on trying to solve this problem. A little bit of help, a little bit of humility would be required.

ANDERSON: OK. So you say get the west into Syria, arguing that what we've seen in Iraq shouldn't stop that from happening.

Writing in July, quote, "Iraq was a war of choice, Syria is a war of morality. It is the tragedy of Syrians that the international community

cannot see that distinction yet. Now, when Iraq's former dictator was pulled from power, the country collapsed soon after. Play out these scenes

in Damascus, not Baghdad. It could be a recipe for something similar.

The motivation for war is surely irrelevant if it is not coupled with a more sophisticated execution. Why won't Syria be an Iraq 2.0?

YAFAI: Well, there is no reason why it could not, but there is no reason why Iraq could not have been a functioning state.

Remember, that we're not talking about the benefits or the problems of generally intervening. We are saying that in a specific case, which was in

Iraq, they went in illegally, with de-Ba'athification after the fact, with no plan, with no buy in from states around the region. This is a recipe

for disaster. Of course it was.

If you go into Syria, if you implement a no fly zone, if you bring in the regional allies, it can be

solved in a totally different way.

The problem is, that people are trying to use the example of this illegal war in Iraq to say, we must not fight this moral war in Syria.

[10:25:09] ANDRESON: Stay with me. I'm going to have Faisal you back later on this hour, as we've been hearing the Syrian conflict is an

extremely difficult one to cover with much of the country off limits to journalists.

So, social media plays a huge role, both good and bad, something the rescue group Syria civil defense discovered to its cost this week.

Take a look at this: two volunteers known as the White Helmets bend over an apparently wounded man. They are actually filming a mannequin challenge,

an online craze where people film and share videos of themselves frozen in time.

Then this happened: the group springs into action with what looks like a very realistic reenactment of rescuing a victim from the rubble of air

strikes. An opposition media group, the revolutionary forces forces of Syria tweeted this video out in November

18th. The nearly one-minute long video has since been the subject of criticism on social media.

Now, the White Helmets told CNN via email that its two volunteers, quote, hoped to create

a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world using the viral mannequin challenge. This was an error of judgment, and we apologize

on behalf of the volunteers involved. The video was not shared via our official channels and we took immediate action to discipline those involved

and prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

A lapse of judgment while trying to get the world's attention. An attempt to get people to care

when too many, it seems like, the world has forgotten them.

And a reminder that social media is under extra scrutiny these days when post truth is the buzzword of the moment. Food for thought.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, a massive refueling station keeps U.S. combat jets in the air to attack ISIS targets in Iraq

and Syria. CNN goes along for the ride. That's next.


[10:31:54] ANDERSON: In china, 67 people were killed at a power plant when the platform that they were working on collapsed. The structure had been

built around a cooling tower that was being repaired. CNN's Matt Rivers has this report for you from Beijing.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was around 7:00 a.m. that this accident took place, when government officials tell us that

a crane that was at this construction site where a power plant is being built in southeastern China, that crane collapsed on to the platform

that some 68 workers, according to government estimates, were working at the time that this accident happened. The crane collapsed and it then fell

on top of that platform. And it sent all those workers tumbling downwards. You can see from the pictures it was just a very, very

devastating scene with lots of destruction. And this accident, of course, brought out a massive rescue operation at its biggest point

with over 300 firefighters involved, combing through the wreckage using rescue dogs, as well as life-detecting equipment.

It is the kind of scene, unfortunately, that we have gotten quite used to here in China, to the point where we heard president Xi Jinping say the

kind of things that we often hear him say when these kind of industrial accidents happen. He gave his condolences to the family

and then he also promised to do whatever it takes to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening again in the future.

But if you thought that those words might sound empty, you would be forgiven. Because frankly, these kinds of workplace accidents are

commonplace in China. And the government's own official figures back that up. Listen to these numbers.

In the first half of 2016 from January to June alone of 2016, 14,136 people died at workplace

accident sites. It is a massive number. It is a systemic problem here. And would you believe that that

14,136 figure is actually down almost 6 percent from last year? This is the kind of thing that happens over and over again in China, frankly

because there is not a very high premium placed on workplace safety. Anecdotally, we see it all the time. We go into factories. Workers are

operating heavy machinery with very, very little safety gear. It's a problem that is ongoing here in China. And we saw another example of that

happen just today.

Matt Rivers, CNN Beijing.


ANDERSON: Well, of course it is Thanksgiving today and U.S. service members fighting ISIS

far away from their families on what is this American holiday.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is embedded with the air refueling force that keeps the anti-ISIS air war rolling.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This thanksgiving Americans are in harm's way fighting ISIS, on the ground

and in the air.

We are on board a KC10 extender refueling jet flying over Iraq and Syria. Captain Clark Palika commanding the massive airborne gas station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dynamic airspace. Challenging environment but square rewarding.

PLEITGEN: The first batch of planes, two f15 eagle strike aircraft, getting them hooked up to the tanker at around 400 miles per hour, a challenge for

the crews of both planes. Boom operator (inaudible) says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is two moving aircrafts, but they are moving around the same speed. At the end it's the rate of closure that the aircraft has

towards you, when they stop and when you are actually able to give them that contact.

PLEITGEN: The KC10 refuels planes from all members of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, including C-130 Hercules transporters and the

mighty A10 wart hog with its massive cannon and many bombs clearly visible through our window.

Without the help of these tankers the planes could that are flying mission against ISIS can only stay in their area of operations for about an hour,

maybe an hour and a half. But thanks to the tanker airplane, they can get fuel in the sky and stay in the area to fight ISIS for up to seven hours.

So instead of turkey and football for the kc-10 crews, it's eight to ten- hour missions hovering over this key battlefield. The pain of being away from the loved ones mitigated by the contribution they are making in to the

war against terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love flying so I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. It's hard to be away from family. But I love this job. And I enjoy

supporting our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually honored to be here. You know, being away from family, they understand it. We work through it. I am home. But right

now it's my time to be out here. I am just happy to be serving.

PLEITGEN: Around Mosul, we see the billowing smoke of oil fires ISIS has started to try and distract coalition planes. But thanks to the tanker jet,

U.S.-led aircraft can stay airborne as long as it takes to find their targets and take them out.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN with the U.S. air force over Iraq and Syria.


ANDERSON: Well, if we needed a reminder of the horror of what is going on on the ground in Iraq, news just coming in, a suicide truck bomb killed

dozens of shiite pilgrims in the country. It went off at a gas station south of Baghdad. It appears to have targeted buses taking Iranian

worshipers home from the Iraqi city of Karbala.

Local authorities say at least 57 people were killed and 50 wounded. Reuters reporting that ISIS has claimed responsibility for that attack.

We have wars in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen, and in Libya and huge conflicts elsewhere, and pretty much all of them are about to start piling up on

Donald Trump's desk.

Let's talk further about what he has in store with Faisal al-Yafai, chief columnist at TheNational newspaper back with me today.

We have been broadcasting a series of reports, Trump and the Middle East. we know relatively little about what Donald Trump as president will do

about these wars, these conflicts in this region that we live.

YAFAI: Yeah.

ANDERSON: What can we surmise, at least, at this point?

YAFAI: Well, again, you have to take what he has said on trust. The assumption is that he is going to pull back somewhat. That in itself is

concerning, because there are lots of conflicts, as you say, in the region that require the attention of America. And there are lots of conflicts

that are engaged in by America's allies.

So, you would expect -- the allies certainly will expect that the Americans will assist them in that regard.

Another point, though, the impression that I've got from the conversations that Trump has had,

the interviews that he's given, is that he sees the region in a piecemeal fashion. And to some degree, I had a conversation with one of your

colleagues about this. And she pointed out that he seems to be interested in some of the more exciting parts, wrong word, but Israel/Palestinian,

because there is some glory in that, and less interested in the complexity of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya. That is a huge problem for a region which,

as you well know, is so interconnected.

ANDERSON: You will, though, talk to people in this region who say, we knew what Hillary Clinton was all about, and it was much of the same, and that

hasn't worked. In fact, it's been detrimental as a policy from the U.S. on the Middle East now for some time. Trump effectively has been talking

himself up as an isolationist, but he's also said he wants to go after and can destroy, for

example, ISIS. He said, put Arab boots on the ground. What are we doing in Syria?

He talks about the potential of working with somebody like Bashar al-Assad. Is this sort of policy going to work? Because there are huge supporters of

Donald Trump's ideas and ideals in this region.

[11:40:04] YAFAI: Yeah.

Well, ideas are one thing, careful policy is another. As we were saying in the earlier segment, the idea of intervening is very different from the

reality of intervention. Careful policy, careful alliances, this sort of stuff matters.

So, look, if Donald Trump wants to be the true retrenchment president, no problem. But the question is, how do you play that out? If you play it

out carefully with detailed policy, perhaps it can work.

But if you just simply say it, like a reality TV host, and expect that it will work, then it will not


ANDERSON: What would -- very briefly, he hasn't announced his appointment yet, but if Mitt Romney, a man our viewers will recognize as a man who ran

in the last presidential campaign, what would he mean for the Middle East as secretary of State? And there is a

likelihood he will be.

YAFAI: Yeah, I mean, an intriguing proposition, actually. We didn't hear much from Rromney about foreign policy when he stood against Obama four

years ago. He is, of course, a businessman, so there is a perception, perhaps a more competent secretary of state than some of the other names


Potentially, that could be something that would work. But in the end, it comes down to who are the team? Who are the people supporting these new

people? There's no problem with having a fresh pair of -- I mean a fresh set of characters in the White House. There's no problem with having people

from business. But when you are untested, as Donald Trump is, as Mitt Romney is, you expect to see,

surrounding them, old hands, people who understand this region, its alliances, and its problems.

ANDERSON: You do not sound more optimistic to me.

YAFAI: A wait and see.

ANDERSON: Always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very much indeed.

We have listened through thousands of speeches, then poured through endless reports and spoken to top analysts to put this together for you. Our

encyclopedia on everything we know about what the next American president thinks about this region.

I want to crack it open for you and take a look at the latest on Trump and the Middle East. He gave reporters from the New York Times some fresh

thoughts the other day, talking about Iraq. Trump insisted that America should get out of the business of nation building that could be game

changing for the country.

On Israel and the Palestinians, he said he wanted to be the one to bring them peace, looking to

finally shake on a deal that's shaken everybody else off.

And get this, he wants his son-in-law to play a big role in getting that deal done, then to Syria, perhaps this region's biggest mess as Faisal was

rightly pointing out. And for that under Trump, perhaps, the biggest change. He could pull a total 180 on U.S. policy there and end up backing

the country's president Bashar al-Assad.

Well, most of the pages in our book, quite frankly, are empty. We'll be right here every step

of the way, filling in the blanks for you with friends like Faisal.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

Coming up, for the second time, Colombia finding a peace deal with FARC rebels. Why it is angering many in the country. That's coming up.


[11:45:38] ANDERSON: You're with Connect the World. It is quarter to 8:00 here in

the UAE. This is our show for you. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Updating you now on what is a breaking news story. And a suicide bomb, truck bomb, has killed dozens of Shiite pilgrims in Iraq. It went off at a

gas station south of Baghdad. Local authorities say at least 57 people were killed and dozens have been wounded.

It appears to have targeted buses taking Iranian worshipers home from the Iraqi city of Karbala. The pilgrims were in Iraq to mark the commemoration

of Imam Hussein's death. A Reuter's report said ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Well, the Colombian government and FARC rebels are set to sign a peace accord in about 20 minutes. The agreement will end 52 years of violence

between the two sides. This is -- you may remember this, actually the second peace agreement, the first one was rejected by voters in a

referendum last month.

So, if you're feeling a little bit of deja vu, well, rightly so.

This slightly modified one will need approval from lawmakers only. And that has outraged many Colombians who believed the 310 page agreement

doesn't do enough to punish the rebel group.

Let's get some perspective on the deal. We're joined by Patrick Oppamnn who is Havana, Cuba tonight where both sides spent four years negotiating

the pact -- Patrick.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is essentially asking his country to give

peace a chance again. Just about two months ago, they had a massive peace signing agreement. Heads of state were brought in. They were military

jets flying over.

The ceremony that's about to begin 15 minutes or so. It will have a lot less pomp and circumstance, because, of course, the last time they asked

Colombian voters to approve this deal they did not. It ended really disastrously.

Then Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel peace prize that really breathed new life in this process, a process which he bet his presidency on. And now,

he's doubling down on that bet, Becky.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After more than five decades of bloodshed, there may be a chance for peace in Colombia again. The Colombian

government and the Marxist (ph) guerillas known as FARC are due to sign a revised peace deal Thursday to end the conflict that has killed more than

200,000 people and forced millions more Colombians from their homes.

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos has bet his legacy on the agreement to end the war that he said could not be won militarily.

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, PRESIDENT, COLOMBIA: In our constitution, one of the obligations of every citizen starting with the president is to seek peace.

And some people think that the peace can be achieved by killing the last member of the FARC.

And that is not possible and this is not the way.

OPPMANN: At a peace agreement signing in September, where government officials and rebels shared the stage for the first time in Colombia,

military planes flew over the crowd. And Santos declared that the war was over.

But voters had other ideas, many apparently harboring a deep hatred for the FARC rebels. Numerous Colombians said they could not stomach seeing

guerilla leaders go free after kidnapping and murdering so many thousands of their fellow citizens.

From the negotiating table in Cuba, FARC leaders said they would not accept prison time.

"We aren't considering going to jail," this FARC commander told me. He who fights for justice doesn't deserve that.

We don't act like a criminal terrorist group. We have a sacred fight.

Despite polls that showed the peace deal would be approved, voters rejected the agreement by a narrow margin, shocking much of Colombia and the

international community that supported peace. Dealt a crushing defeat, Santos and the peace deal were revived in October after the Colombian

president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos.

OPPMANN: Negotiators restarted talks again in Cuba, and struck a modified deal that include provisions for tighter sanctions on FARC members accused

of war crimes. Critics of the new deal like former Colombian President, Alvaro Uribe, say the government is still (ph) giving away too much to the


This time, though, the Colombian people will not vote on the deal. Perhaps still stinging from the first defeat, Santos will send the updated

agreement directly to Congress, saying another referendum would be quote, "too divisive for Colombia."


[10:50:22] OPPMANN: After today's ceremony, the peace agreement does go on to the Colombian congress, where it appears that President Santos has the

votes, but this is a conflict that has touch just about every Colombian family. And reconciliation and forgiveness is going to take a lot longer -

- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Patrick. Patrick is in Cuba for you, viewers.

You're watching Connect theWorld. We are in Abu Dhabi, which is a city like anywhere else, really. You know, except for the fact that the boats

here captain themselves -- yep. Stick around for more on that.

Plus, tonight, another Middle Eastern city is covered in snow right now. Can you guess which one it is? Go on, have a go. Find out after this



ANDERSON: Well, most of us have heard of self-driving cars. In fact, we had a report about it this very hour, but what about self-driving boats?

Well, just around the corner from us here in Abu Dhabi, you can find the testing ground for vessels which cruise around without a captain. As my

colleague John Defterios tells us, this modern technology is part of the plan to prepare and secure this emirate for what will be a post oil future.

This is his report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll likely start the engines from here. Engaging gears. Leaving the jetty now.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Here's a rare sight, an 11- meter long vessel called the Bravo, cruising the sea without a pilot. Well, not exactly.

Behind the scenes, production manager Matthew Tracy has his hands on the wheel, and is in

full control.

MATTHEW TRACY, PRODUCTION MANAGER: The vessel we can put on basically auto pilot, which is the same on other big vessels, where you can plan a route.

DEFTERIOS: The Industial port of Mousafa (ph) is the testing ground for this emerging industry, formerly known as unmanned surface vessels, fully

loaded with sensors.

TRACY: It's uprely on the sensors that go on to the vessel, above surface, below surface, our control systems are there. It's purely on what sensors

you put on to give you a wide range of potentials that it can do.

DEFTERIOS: On the Arabian peninsula, security tops a list of potential roles. A driverless vessel can comb a coastline on duty around the clock

to be on the look out for trouble. With sub-surface technology, these boats can be used for oil exploration, and in the future, to set sail to

the far corners of the Earth to support marine science.

Customers from Asia to the U.S. are paying 3.5 to $7 million per boat.

This is what a modernizing Abu Dhabi economy is starting to look like, bringing the best in international technology, marrying it with a local

partner, and then going globally with an innovative product.

That is where principle engineer Aditya Nawab and the team from Partner 5G International come in.

[10:55:03] ADITYA NAWAB, 5G INTERNATIONAL: We spoke to a lot of companies around the world, and all we wanted to do was ink agreements. In a year we

saw the infrastructure from (inaudible) the commitment to actually go through with R&D projects and to deliver a working model, something that

it's still not available out there in the market.

DEFTERIOS: Nawab takes me on board the Bravo to show me how the technology works in action.

This is the course that's been mapped out for us.

NAWAB: That's right. You'll be going to way point number one, to two, to three and back.

DEFTERIOS: So, once we're in the harbor, it's on its own.

NAWAB: It's on its own. Completely on its own.

DEFTERIOS: Over the next hour, we take the boat through its paces. A simulation of a boat wanting to potentially attack.

So, Bravo spotted the...

NAWAB: Bravo spotted it, altered its course to avoid it, and think of (inaudible) coming toward

us. And it is still going to alter course.

DEFTERIOS: Test mission accomplished as we cruise back to base, the next goal will be tackling the global marketplace.

John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


ANDERSON: Well, when you think about the Middle East, you probably think about this: Sand, right? We've got a lot of it here in Abu Dhabi. In

fact, here is a castle I made earlier, quite proud of that one actually. These are the bucket and spade I made it with. And in line with that hot,

parched landscape, it is still roasting hot here in Abu Dhabi. It reached over 30 degrees Celsius today.

But our friends over in Tehran have been treated to some snow already. Yep, the Iranian capital enjoys the white stuff at around this time of

year, but there is just so much of it right now.

Have a look at this. A nice carpet of white in a place famous for its rugs. And while Tehran is no stranger to snow in November, Tokyo is. It

got its first snowfall in the month of November in more than 50 years. Those were your Parting Shots.

Well, my sled staying firmly packed away in my loft, then. So, I'll have to jsut stick with my

bucket and spade instead.

And we look towards another sandy winter on this side of the Persian Gulf.

Let us know where you are, how things are. We've been in New York today, it was crisp but relatively cold. Check out the other great stories we also

have by heading over to our Facebook page.

View, it is the end of our working week. So, we bid you a good weekend. We'll be back here, of course, on Sunday. I'm Becky Anderson. That was

Connect the World. The network continues after this very short break. Don't go away.