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Ethiopian Airlines Shuttled Weapons during War; Dubai Ruler Hacked Ex-Wife's Phone; 5.9 Magnitude Earthquake East of Tokyo; Putin Promises More Gas to Europe; WHO Green-Lights "Breakthrough" Vaccine for Children; Biden and Xi to Hold Virtual Meeting by Year End; Jewish Musician Accuses German Hotel of Discrimination; NWSL Sexual Abuse Scandal. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 07, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): New information from a CNN exclusive investigation, how Ethiopian Airlines carried weapons of war.

A major breakthrough in the battle against malaria that could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year.

And President Putin offers help to stabilize the gas markets after days of wild spikes.

But what is the price?


I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, reminding you all this week we are talking climate change, the issue that impacts every

person on the planet. It's been a central theme here in the opening week at Expo 2020.

You are looking at the terrap pavilion dedicated to sustainability. Fighting global warming takes true global cooperation, not just government

leaders but leaders of private companies as well. I will be talking next hour with some of the world's leading financial experts: the head of

environmental, social and governance factors of jpmorgan in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; the chief portfolio management officer of aqua

power and the CEO of waste management firm averda.

It's been a summer of extreme weather; heat waves, wildfires, floods impacting more and more people. And without more investment in

sustainability away from fossil fuels, the effects of climate change are only going to get worse. More on that next hour.

Ethiopia has been, for decades, the beneficiary of U.S. government trade agreements, granting hundreds of millions of dollars of favorable access to

U.S. markets, allowing Ethiopian Airlines in recent years to build a global fleet and become one of the world's leading airlines. For both the U.S. and

Ethiopia, this relationship matters.

But for almost a year now, conflict has raged in Ethiopia's Tigray region. Numerous CNN investigations have uncovered evidence of Ethiopian government


And now CNN has found evidence that Ethiopian Airlines' cargo carriers have been shuttling weapons between Ethiopia and Eritrea in experts believe may

constitute a violation of international law and that trade agreement with the U.S.

Just moments ago we learned the Biden administration is warning that it could sanction those responsible for ferrying the weapons following CNN's

investigation. Here is Nima Elbagir with the story.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): With direct flights from over 95 international destinations, fly Ethiopian Airlines, the new spirit of

Africa, a Star Alliance member.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: State-owned Ethiopian Airlines is Africa's premier carrier of passenger and freight


But among the regular cargo, evidence of sinister shipments. CNN can reveal, based on documentary evidence and witnesses' accounts, Ethiopian

Airlines has been transporting weapons between Ethiopia and Eritrea since the beginning of the war in Ethiopia that has seen thousands killed.

According to aviation experts, this would constitute a violation of aviation law. Among the evidence are these stills that were taken on board

Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET3313 and verified by CNN.

It's the middle of the night. This cargo plane is being loaded by hand, a slow and unorthodox method. But look closer, this isn't usual cargo. Inside

these boxes are mortars. They are being loaded onto this civilian aircraft and transported from Eritrea to Ethiopia.

Here is the cargo manifest, corroborating the day and time, November 8, 2020. The date is significant. It's just four days into the conflict and

months before Eritrea officially admits to being involved.

Ethiopia has been at war with the Tigray regional government, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, for almost a year. Eritrea to the north has

become the Ethiopian government's ally against the region of Tigray, an unusual alliance, as the countries were previously at war with each other.

Now, they have a common enemy, Tigray and they are sharing weaponry.

CNN. CNN. We're CNN, journalists.


ELBAGIR (voice-over): CNN has been reporting on atrocities in Ethiopia since the beginning of the year.

If you want to have detained a CNN team, then that's what's happened now, because we're not going to the camp willingly.

We traveled to Tigray last April and saw for ourselves Eritrean troops manning checkpoints with impunity, while the Ethiopian government denied

their presence on the ground.

That relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea began months earlier, in November 2020, which coincided with an increase in the movement of weapons,

shuttled back and forth from the Ethiopian capital to Eritrea.

During the same month, there was also a series of massacres in the region of Tigray. An Ethiopian Airlines employee-turned- whistle-blower spoke to

CNN about how he had to deal with an unusual request.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The plane was carrying perishable goods. I had to deal with my bosses to unlead some of the goods and load

the weapons.

ELBAGIR: In various statements, Ethiopian Airlines has always adamantly denied ferrying arms on passenger or cargo planes.

But in addition to speaking with whistle-blowers, verifying cargo manifests and authenticating stills, CNN has obtained airway bill receipts that show

at least six occasions in November where Ethiopian Airlines billed the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense to ship military items, including guns and

ammunition to Eritrea.

MICHAEL A. RAYNOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA: In the end, the success of Ethiopian Airlines is an important and impressive symbol of the

limitless potential of the U.S.-Ethiopian partnership.

ELBAGIR: Ethiopian Airlines built its cargo dominance through a relationship with the U.S. government and American aviation giant Boeing.

These new CNN findings, together with previous investigations into atrocities committed by Ethiopian forces would constitute violations of

international law, according to aviation experts and run contrary to the terms of that relationship with the U.S. government.

Whether this forces the U.S. to act substantively against the Ethiopian government remains to be seen.


ANDERSON: Well, responding to CNN's latest investigation, Ethiopian Airlines said it complies with all aviation regulations and, quote, "to the

best of its knowledge and its records, it has not transported any war armament in any of its routes by any of its aircraft."

A U.S. trade spokesperson told CNN they would review eligibility for the U.S.-African Growth and Opportunity Act next year which will be based,

quote, "upon compliance with standards that include adherence to internationally recognized workers' rights, rule of law and human rights."

After the review the U.S. trade representative could possibly "recommend that the U.S. President add or remove certain countries from the AGOA

beneficiary country status."

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing said they had no comment for this story and Ethiopian and Eritrean governments did not respond to requests for


Nima joining me now with more.

You have been talking to sources in the U.S. and, indeed, we have had reaction directly. This is to your exclusive reporting.

What more have you learned?

ELBAGIR: Well, speaking to U.S. lawmakers -- and we have to separate out the two, the Biden administration officials, who are saying that this

latest findings could lead to sanctions being imposed on the Ethiopian government, and officials involved in the illicit ferrying of weaponry from

Ethiopia to Eritrea.

What we're U.S. lawmakers who have been responding to investigation after investigation and speaking to us pretty consistently over much of the last

year and what we're hearing from them is frustration, Becky.

They are really concerned that the U.S. continues, as one put it, to give grace to Ethiopian and Eritrea and that they need to start holding those

responsible for the continuation of this conflict, the continuation of the suffering in Tigray, accountable that, now, not tomorrow, not next months,

even this issue around the review period in 2022.

The reality is that Ethiopian Airlines continues to profit from that relationship with the U.S. Just this week, Boeing signed a new deal that

would effectively create in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, an aviation hub.

It's extraordinary that given what we know and what the U.S. has said it knows about the atrocities in Tigray that Ethiopian Airlines should be

continued to be allowed to continue to benefit from this relationship.


ELBAGIR: Many lawmakers say they find it very puzzling, Becky.

ANDERSON: Meantime, what is going on, on the ground?

What do we know to be the situation on the ground?

ELBAGIR: The situation continues to deteriorate. It continues to be a slow motion tragedy that is speeding up. What we understand from U.N. and other

sources is that the forced starvation, the manmade famine that has been incurring upon Tigrayans, it's building up pace, Becky.

Hundreds are believed to be dying every single day because the Ethiopian government and its allies will not allow food into the Tigray region. And

now they have in recent days decided that U.N. officials, ringing the alarm on this famine, on the growing need for humanitarian assistance, will be

persona non grata, have been given 72 hours to leave Addis.

The worry is that the humanitarian community has been trying for months to find a way through this issue and this standoff with Ethiopia. And all that

happened is that the standoff has escalated and people are dying and people are dying in greater numbers.

Where the world goes to, now that they have exhausted all attempts to allow Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation, Tigrayan forces fighting on

the ground to find a resolution on their own, what comes next?

That's the question we keep being asked, Becky, and as yet we have no answer to that.

ANDERSON: Nima, thank you very much indeed.

You can watch her full exclusive report and find more details about that investigation at

The Israeli tech firm which makes Pegasus spyware software has terminated their contract with the UAE amid a stunning court ruling in the child

custody battle between dubai's ruler and his ex-wife.

Britain's high court found that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum ordered phones belonging to his ex-wife, her security staff and even

lawyers be hacked. The court said the sheikh's agents use Pegasus software developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group to phone calls to listen to their

calls, track their locations, read their messages and access their contact lists, photos and passwords.

Let's get more on this. CNN's Nina dos Santos is in London; Eleni Giokos is in dubai tonight.

This ruling, released only a after a year-long reporting restriction, was lifted by the court. Just explain why and what's going on here.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Well, this has been an increasingly acrimonious and one of the most expensive custody battles the

U.K. courts have experienced.

It dates back to when the half-sister of the King of Jordan, was the sixth wife of the ruler of Dubai, fled to this country, citing her safety amid

fears that two of his daughters by previous marriages had been abducted and repatriated to Dubai, where they were being held against their will.

So that is the backdrop to this very sensitive case. It also has important diplomatic ramifications because Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is

very close to the royal family. He is often pictured with the queen.

He is also the prime minister of his own part of the United Arab Emirates and as such he enjoys state immunity. But the concern is the use of this

very pernicious software, spyware, Pegasus, it isn't any old software.

This is a type of spyware that has been proven to be misused by autocrats to target human rights activists and journalists. The fact that it's been

used in a court behind me during sensitive proceedings, that were so secretive because they involved minors and royal members of families, that,

really is concerning many people here.

We have got opposition politicians, who are saying that the government should push the foreign office to launch an inquiry, to take a look at the

relationship with Dubai. And it's unlikely that is going to happen, though, despite the fact we know the Metropolitan Police had actually investigated

these claims of hacking earlier throughout the course of this year.

Now I just want to give you an idea of how concerned the judge in this case was. The senior most family court judge in the United Kingdom said that the

findings represented a total abuse of trust and, indeed, an abuse of power on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed.

It is an abuse compounded by the manner in which the father contested these allegations and instructed his lawyers, despite the weight of evidence, the

fact that hacking was never actually conceded.


DOS SANTOS: Nor was the fact that such hacking had been by Pegasus. It's that use of Pegasus and the with to use it on U.K. soil that is the real

concern here, on not just the princess and parties to the custody battles and her legal team, one is a member of the House of Lords.

And as such, the steward of the House of Lords has had to be informed about what's happened here. Becky.

ANDERSON: Eleni, the Israeli company that manufacturers this spyware says it has terminated its contract with the UAE.

What more do we know and what's the response from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, it's interesting to see NSO confirming the termination and then, of course, de facto, that means at

some point the UAE had purchased the spyware and, of course, it forms the cracks in the basis of the judgment that we had out of England's high


We reached out to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his team and we have a response. I'd like to read you some of what they say.

"I've always denied the allegations made against me and I will continue do so. These matters concern supposed operations of state security," and also

saying that these are sensitive matters and that they did not get provided with evidence, they did not join the proceedings and they were not present

in the trial and, it shows an incomplete picture.

And they maintain that this was in a manner which was unfair. Now importantly here as well, Sheikh Mohammed's lawyers previously argued, as

the ruler of Dubai and prime minister as well as the vice president of the UAE, that the foreign agent of state doctrine would apply in this case.

That basically means that this prohibits a court from inquiring into the legality of the acts made by foreign states. They say that undermines the

U.K. court's jurisdiction in this case.

But the judge presiding over this case in January had ruled that the doctrine did not apply in this case. Now with -- now the Pegasus spyware

being confirmed that it had been purchased at some point by the UAE, that it comes at a time straight after this judgment, of course, is now an

interesting turn of events -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Eleni and Nina, thank you.

There is fallout already. CNN's Scott McLean spoke to the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs and asked him about the British high court ruling.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I hope so, too. Let me ask you about something unrelated if I can. Yesterday a court in the U.K. ruled that the

ruler of Dubai had used Israeli-made Pegasus software to spy on his ex- wife.

And I just wonder if you think that that was an appropriate use of that software?

NOAM KATZ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, ISRAEL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: First, I think that the relationship between Israel and the Emirate are

good relations, strong relation and solid relation.

Secondly, I would say on that issue I am not familiar with all the details. But what I can say is that I know that in Israel there is an investigation

going on, on the issue of the use of this kind of software by the company, whether it is done with, according to the license approvals and licensing

that they were given.

MCLEAN: Based on this court ruling, do you think --


KATZ: I am not familiar with the court ruling and I am not going to go into specifics.

MCLEAN: Fair enough. I wonder just broadly speaking, do you think that this kind of software should be sold to authoritarian nations?

KATZ: I think that any technology that can better -- better the life and security and well being of people, it's a tool that has to be used under

strict, strict conditions that we keep the balance between the need in security and other needs that we have as citizens.

MCLEAN: Do you think it should be sold to authoritarian countries though?

KATZ: I think it depends. If that helps to curb terrorism, I think that technology is a tool to fight terrorism. And terrorism is a common thread

threatening citizens and civilians all over the world.

MCLEAN: Fair enough.


ANDERSON: Could Europe be at the mercy of Russia over energy?

Up next, I will have a live report on what the Russian president is saying about pumping more gas and what that means for the E.U.'s energy crunch.

And while the world is focused on COVID vaccines, a different vaccine is finally ready to combat an even deadlier disease. We will tell you why it

has public health officials so excited. All that coming up after this.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

ANDERSON: Some breaking news to bring you. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake has struck in Japan on the East Coast near Tokyo. We are getting reports from

our teams there that strong shaking lasted more than 30 seconds. Let's get you to Selina Wang live from Tokyo.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, moments ago, this entire apartment area I'm at, my home studio in quarantine, the TV lights here,

everything was shaking. I felt it for at least 30 seconds. I've felt several earthquake shakes since.

I moved to Tokyo last year and this was probably the worst one. We just got an update from USGS that it's actually a 5.9 magnitude earthquake with a

depth of about 62 kilometers. Now Tokyo is very used to these types of shakes. In fact, my apartment building starting firing these alarms, saying

to stay calm, that this building is earthquake proof, that the elevators are going to stop working but to stay calm.

I also got a text alert on my phone just moments after the shaking started to say to seek shelter and to stay calm and that everything is going to be

OK. Right now we are still monitoring. There has been no tsunami warning alerted quite yet.

But the shake was felt very hard in Tokyo because the epicenter that we know right now is in the northwestern Chiba prefecture in Japan, just east

of the capital here in Tokyo -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, as we get more information we will get to do you folks. Thank you.

Well, it looks like Russia might be riding to Europe's rescue over the energy crisis. Vladimir Putin is promising to pump more gas to the

continent. But some people around the Russian president also mentioning the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. That is awaiting clearance from

German regulators.

And the Kremlin says certification would help the energy crunch. Let's check in with Anna Stewart, who is in London for you.

Russia's been blaming soaring prices on European political decisions but also says, you know, the faster moves on this Nord Stream 2 pipeline would

help the energy crunch.

Is that fair?

Is this really all about the pipeline at this point?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it would be hard pressed not to make a few connections here, the fact on the one hand President Putin after

many months of people calling for Russia to export more gas, is saying we can export more gas to Europe.

And the deputy minister pushing a quick certification of the controversial pipeline that takes gas from Russia or will do to Germany under the Baltic

Sea but controversially bypasses the Ukraine.


STEWART: Russia has long denied that it's withholding gas supplies from Europe to keep prices high and President Putin is right. Europe has reduced

the long-term contracts when it comes to gas. It's reliant on the spot market. So any external shocks here will cause prices to go up for

consumers around Europe.

This is the hypothesis from some analysts, some experts, that Russia has withheld gas, that it's helping keeping the prices high, lending weight to

the argument that the pipeline should be certified very quickly.

But there is so much at stake here. It's not just to do with Russia. You have got a perfect storm really of supply issues and demand issues; a

really long winter depleted gas reserves in Europe and much of the world. At the same time we have had terrible weather. Wind and solar didn't make

that up during the summer.

As we have huge demand because economies leaving lockdowns, add that up and that's why we are seeing gas prices where we are. It's a classic case. But

Europe is, however, reliant on Russia when it comes to gas and oil.

ANDERSON: Yes, and you're right. I mean, this is revealing Europe's huge reliance on Russia. I remember covering this story last, when it was a

really pressing story back in the mid-2000s.

I wonder -- and you talked there about the lack of reliability when it comes to some of these renewable energy projects that, for example, the

U.K. Has.

I wonder whether this energy crisis strengthens the argument for a speedier transition to renewables or could that lack of reliability over the summer

actually hurt this green transition?

Is it clear at this point?

STEWART: I think this is very much part of the debate right now. The world is trying to shift rapidly to cleaner energies. That is the focus of the

big COP summit coming up. When

But you look at the situation now, the fact of the matter is there is not enough renewable energy for the world. Almost the whole world is relying on

hydrocarbon, apart from maybe countries like Iceland, who are geographically blessed where they get their energy from.

So while we have pressure from policy makers and shareholders to reduce investment hydrocarbons, pour into renewables, that is what is wanted but

that perhaps has left the world a little lacking when it comes energy.

At the moment, we still rely on hydrocarbons. As consumers in Europe feel the pinch this winter, as prices are up eight times over the last year, I

think people will question this transition and whether it needs to be a softer transition and whether there needs to be better backup reserves --


ANDERSON: Anna Stewart, always a pleasure. Thank you.

Up next on CONNECT THE WORLD, a killer disease, billions of people living in fear and then a vaccine breakthrough. We are not talking COVID here. The

story of a revolution in the fight against malaria is straight ahead.

Plus, plans are being made for Joe Biden and Xi Jinping to meet virtually, just as China places more military pressure on Taiwan. We will have more

from that and the region up next.





ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Dubai. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

The World Health Organization hailing a breakthrough against a disease that's been stalking Africa. It's approved a malaria vaccine suitable for

children. Malaria kills more than 400,000 people every year, mostly young kids in sub-Saharan Africa.

Researchers have been conducting clinical trials since 2019 and have found it to be close to 80 percent effective at preventing malaria. WHO is

recommending the vaccine now be widely distributed to African children. CNN's David McKenzie has been following this story. He joins us now from

Johannesburg in South Africa.

We have been following this story, of course, for years.

When we talk about historic breakthroughs, we mean it in this case, don't we?

Why, David?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a historic breakthrough, because, Becky, malaria is such a persistent foe and such an ancient foe.

In fact, you look back at ancient Greece, there were waves of malaria that affected the population there.

Now in modern times, across many parts of Africa, it's endemic, particularly in certain seasons. And more than 250,000 children under the

age of 5 in Africa die from malaria every year. In some ways it's the Holy Grail of vaccine development. Of course, COVID-19 has grabbed all the

headlines the past few years.

But for decades this vaccine has been worked on. You mentioned the trials since 2019. That's a large-scale pilot trials in Kenya -- Kenya, Ghana and

Malawi that showed this is efficacious.

But you also had trials of some kind since the '80s, which shows you how challenging medically it is to deal with the parasite and how persistent

the threat has been -- Becky.

ANDERSON: David McKenzie, thank you.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting before the end of the year, as tensions

rise between the two global powers over Taiwan.

Plans were set in motion after representatives from both countries met on Wednesday in Zurich, in Switzerland. The Biden administration officials

said the talks were candid and genuine and in a much different tone compared to six months ago when the representatives held a contentious


Selina Wang has been monitoring this from Tokyo.

This development between the U.S. and China, it's been seen at least as a step in the right direction.

What more do we know about what was said and discussed in that meeting in Zurich, which has led up to this point?

WANG: Becky, exactly. The result of this possible virtual meeting between Xi and Biden, held at the end of this year, is because of this extended

six-hour talk we have been told between China's top diplomat and Jake Sullivan.

And both the Chinese and the U.S. side describe these talks as candid, open and wide ranging. The tone was described as respectful and professional.

That is a far cry from the March meeting held between Chinese and U.S. officials, in which both sides traded barbs in front of TV cameras.

You had accusations going back and forth of condescension and grandstanding. This time the talks were behind closed doors. So there was

more opportunity for actual substantive discussion and back and forth conversation on areas of both cooperation and disagreement, which is a long

list that includes Hong Kong, the South China Sea, China's human rights record as well as Taiwan.

But tensions between the U.S. and China, despite these talks, which is a bright light, are still running extremely high. This should probably be

viewed as a temporary thawing of tensions. But still, the U.S. here saying that this is to, quote, "help responsibly manage competition."


WANG: And, Becky, these lines of communication are, of course, important in order to avoid any accidental conflict here.

ANDERSON: Well, China's been sending record numbers of warplanes into Taiwan's defense zone in recent days.

What do we know of Taiwan's response to what appear to be these sort of coming together steps being taken do you by the U.S. and by China?

WANG: Well, Becky, Taiwan's defense minister said in parliament that right now cross strait relations are at the worst level in more than 40 years.

And since the beginning of October, China has sent in 150 warplanes into Taiwan's defense identification zone.

And this is the list of what's been sent through that zone, 120 fighters, 16 bombers -- including some that are nuclear capable -- eight anti-

submarine aircraft, six early warning aircraft and meanwhile U.S. officials have also been sending sharp wordings to China. Take a listen to what

secretary of state Antony Blinken had to say.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The activity is destabilizing. It risks miscalculation and it has the potential to undermine regional peace

and stability. So we strongly urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion directed at Taiwan.


WANG: According to analysts, this military activity from China is not a sign of an imminent threat of war around Taiwan but it is a flexing of

military muscle, not just to Taiwan but to the world. It is Beijing showing Taiwan's friends that it will stand up.

And it's not going to let this issue go, even in the face of their support of Taiwan. At the same time that this also plays to domestic audiences,

Becky, since it coincided with China's national day, so at the same time it plays domestically, experts also are saying it helps give China some

important military experience and intelligence in any potential future conflict -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Selina Wang on the story for us. You are in Tokyo. Stay safe. I know we have been reporting of a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, which

shook the very building that you are in for some 30 seconds. And you promised to return to us with more as you get it. For now, as I say, stay

safe and thank you very much indeed.

Up next, an entire sports league stops. Players pause and give each other hugs. The reason why this show of solidarity is up next.





ANDERSON: A popular Jewish singer feels anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Germany. He says he fell victim to a clear case of discrimination as he

was trying to check in at a hotel in Leipzig. He told CNN's Fred Pleitgen what happened next.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jewish German musician Gil Ofarim close to tears. In this video he posted

on Instagram right after he said staff at this hotel in Eastern Germany told him they wouldn't allow him to check in unless he concealed a necklace

bearing the Star of David.

GIL OFARIM, MUSICIAN: He told me to put away my David Star. And I was really shocked and looked over to the other person. And he just repeated

the same sentence.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Gil Ofarim is a big star in Germany with thousands of fans. But he tells me the moment he was singled out and denied service

for being Jewish, he never felt more alone.

PLEITGEN: Did anyone come to your aid?

You would think when something like that happens, someone would jump in and support you, right?

OFARIM: No. No support. No one, like, speaking up. No one.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): His video has gone viral in Germany. Hundreds protested outside the hotel to support him. In a statement, the Westin

Hotel, part of the Marriott Group, said it has launched an investigation.

Quote, "Our goal is to integrate support and respect all our guests and employees, no matter which religion they believe in. The employees

concerned have been suspended and we will clarify the issue without compromises."

But he said so far the hotel has not apologized to him.

OFARIM: No, there was no apology, there was no statement, there was nothing.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): On the same day as the incident in the German hotel the Auschwitz memorial announced that barracks at the former Nazi

extermination camp, where more than 1 million mostly Jewish people were killed, had been desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Jewish groups have long been warning of a massive rise in anti-Semitism in Europe. The coronavirus pandemic has only made things worse with conspiracy

theorists like QAnon moving anti-Semitism more into the mainstream, the head of the American Jewish committee in Berlin tells me.

REMKO LEEMHUIS, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE BERLIN: During this protest, we have registered hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents, not necessarily crimes

but anti-Semitic incidents. And this is definitely fueled the rise of anti- Semitism in Germany over the last year.

And Gil Ofarim continues to say that he is absolutely shocked by this incident. He also said he is not sure whether or not he is going to press

charges against the hotel and possibly some of the staff.

He says what he really wants is for there to be fundamental action against anti-Semitism here in Germany -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


ANDERSON: A stunning moment on Wednesday night on the pitch. Players across the U.S. National Women's Soccer League stopped playing at exactly

the six minute mark of their games. Many gathered and they shared hugs. It was a protest against allegations of sexual misconduct within the league.

The games were stopped at the six-minute mark in recognition of the six years it's taken for the players who came forward to have their stories

heard publicly. Amanda Davies from "WORLD SPORT" is here with more.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, a moment that the NWSL Players Association said was for those who have fought too long for their stories

to be heard. It has been a week, 10-day period that has rocked not just the league in America but women's football as a whole.

And this was the first time that the players of the NWSL had taken to the pitch. It was such a powerful moment. You could see just those flashes of

recognition on the faces of the players, as they stood in solidarity with each other.

It has been a very quick-moving sequence of events since the allegations of the sexual harassment and abuse have emerged. There is still a very long

way to go. And we are looking at kind of what next in "WORLD SPORT" in a couple of minutes.

ANDERSON: Excellent. All right. That is up after this short break. CONNECT THE WORLD with a special on climate change follows that. Stay with us.