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Connect the World
Sudan's Prime Minister Returns to his Home; Source: Queen Elizabeth II will Skip COP26 Entirely; Iran Says Talks to Resume Before end of November; Four Million People in Lanzhou, China, Under Lockdown; Turning the Tables on Bacteria to save Rome's Artifacts. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 27, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Atlanta. This is "Connect the World".
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade filling in for my colleague Becky Anderson. Good to have you
Well, we start with the Sudanese Prime Minister out of custody and back home, but is Abdalla Hamdok truly free? His office says the Prime Minister
and his wife are under close surveillance. They were released amid intense international backlash over the military's move to seize power and outs the
And pro-democracy sources in Sudan say the military has detained key opposition leaders in a new wave of arrests. Meantime anti-coup protests
continue today including one in North Eastern Sudan. These protesters are chanting down with the military regime. Are the videos posted on social
media purport to show the chaos and violence that happened after the military seized power on Monday.
You can hear the gun fires as security forces rake up the protesters. Well, on Tuesday doctors group reported eight deaths more than 140 injuries
during the protests, says the army is to blame. Another video is said to show Sudanese forces beating a family with sticks.
AFP reports that more protests are happening in Khartoum today with security forces tearing down the protesters, makeshift barricades. CNN's
Nima Elbagir, who has done extensive reporting in Sudan, joins us this hour from London.
Nima, just the last hour that the International Airport has reopened but certainly a lot of other industries that are shutting down, doctors are now
striking - doctors have been striking and now workers in the oil industry are also joining the cause for civil disobedience?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Lynda. What we're seeing now are these waves of widespread civil disobedience and
in areas where there haven't been organized process, those on the ground that we've been speaking to have told us that the streets are empty that
Khartoum the Capital, undermanned part of the administrative Khartoum North are all ghost towns in many parts of the city.
I think it's very important to clarify for our viewers, that what you showed there those horrible images or images are actually just a small part
of what we are able to get out from inside Sudan. The generals still are obstructing internet access. They're obstructing communications.
It's very difficult to get a true picture of what is happening. So as horrifying as what we're seeing now. And other videos that have been
circulating on social media are as horrifying is as the reports of violence against women and girls once more, because that's what we had during the
last revolution 2.5 years ago.
We actually are unable to find out so much of what is happening there. The PM Hamdok is back in his house. He was released from General Burhan's home,
but he has not been released to be able to move freely. We don't know what restrictions what provisos have been placed upon even that small concession
to international opinion, Lynda?
And frankly, that's what's so worrying. There's so much that we don't know about what's happening in Sudan?
KINKADE: Yes, you make a very good point Nima because every day we're trying to speak to people on the ground. And it is so difficult to get just
a phone line through let alone to get anyone on sort of a Skype or WebEx et cetera.
In terms of international pressure, we have seen that the U.S. has suspended aid. We are hearing that the African Union has also suspended
Sudan from its activities. What are the pressure could we see and what could that mean for this coup?
ELBAGIR: Well, we are still waiting for a legal designation from the State Department and the U.S., as you said, hasn't let that stop them from
pausing hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of foreign assistance that they say was intended to help with a democratic transition.
So if there's no democratic transition, then ergo the U.S. is not going to give that aid. In total Sudan is looking to lose access to almost a billion
and a half of much needed foreign support. And that's why you're seeing some of these tentative moves on the part of the generals this release from
General Burhan's home of the Prime Minister and his wife.
ELBAGIR: The reopening of the international airport but at the same time what we're hearing from those few people that we are able to speak to on
the ground is this is not enough that the streets will not back down. And people did not fight so hard and come this far to give up on the dream of
democracy in Sudan, halfway through the transitional period.
And I think, you know, you and I have spoken a lot about this before, I'm from Sudan. My family's from Sudan and it is very difficult to think of
where we are now, given where we were 2.5 years ago?
It's very difficult to call so many contacts and friends back home and not be able to get food to them, because we simply don't know if they are - if
they have been disappeared permanently if they are in military custody temporarily? It is just an incredibly worrying situation, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes. I can't imagine what it's like for you, your family, and your friends, back home? You talk about obviously; the difficulties just too
kind of get information from them. What are they - when you - when you do speak to them what are they telling you about any hope they have, that this
civil disobedience will work that the protests will work?
ELBAGIR: What was really extraordinary, actually is that people sound so heartbroken and so down fallen but also so unrelenting, and resilience in
what they believe they have to do, which is stay on the streets maintain the civil disobedience.
And you hear that in people's voices, everybody that we're able to speak to just sounds so incredibly sad and scared. But at the same time, just, I
think resilient and unrelenting those are the only words that I can think of to capture the sense of resoluteness on the streets in Sudan, and the
sense that they will not break, they didn't break last time and they will not break this time, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes. And we will continue to reach out to people in country to try and get that perspective but really get to get the perspective from you.
Nima Elbagir thanks very much.
KINKADE: Well, we are keeping an eye out for any further royal announcements involving Britain's Queen Elizabeth. The royal source telling
CNN and the Queen will not be at next week's COP26 Climate Summit in Scotland; doctors have advised her to rest.
And at the age of 95 Elizabeth II is the oldest and longest serving monarch in British history. She is also famous for her work ethic. These pictures
of the Queen opening the Scottish Parliament one of many events on her schedule this month.
But just last week, she spent a night in a London Hospital for what Buckingham Palace called preliminary investigations. Well CNN's Royal
Correspondent Max Foster. He's covering the story for us from London and joins us now live.
I know Queen Elizabeth has been incredibly busy this past month. But on doctor's orders, she's being told to rest and sadly going to miss the
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it shows that they're in Scotland, she was also in Wales. We estimate that she chose something like
1000 kilometers, just in the first couple of weeks of October. And that's without these two recent visits that have been canceled.
So at the beginning of the month, people started worrying a bit about her health because I saw her with a walking stick or cane and a public
engagement. Then we had a visit to Northern Ireland last week, canceled on medical advice.
And now we know that she's not going to go to COP26 either Prince Charles will represent her that we're going to see more and more of that. And she's
going to send a video message to that conference instead. So that's the sort of theme that we're seeing here.
We're going to have to she stopped international travel. Now she's going to have to cut back on UK travel, it seems on the advice of doctors and she
does it reluctantly. But as you say she was in hospital last week for some preliminary tests. We haven't been told what those tests were for.
We're told that's a private medical matter. But she has continued working at her desk, but virtually Lynda so no suggestion here, that she's
abdicating in any way. But her role is certainly changing, I think.
KINKADE: Yes. And it sounds like Max, she might be doing some more sort of virtual events going forward. What does this mean for Charles then and
William? Like, are we going to see them step forward more often?
FOSTER: They have been stepping up more and more for her. And for a lot of her charity work that she's come back on they've stepped in for her. What
we've really got now though, is her stripping her work down to these core events.
So COP is a core event representing hosting world leaders in her country. She can't do that. So that's a big moment really in her monarchy, the
constitutional role, appointing ambassadors meeting the Prime Minister opening Parliament's those are things that she sees is really fundamental
to her existence, really.
And she's not going to stop doing that. But she's going to have to find a new way of doing that. But it is - I do think it is a quite a big moment.
FOSTER: She's cut back on the things she enjoyed doing before right down to the core elements and now she's struggling to do them. So I'm sure she's
spending time in Windsor, trying to assess how she's going to do that because this is very much driven from her.
She's not told what to do. She chooses what to do. But there's a towering sense of duty that you were speaking to earlier on and she's finding it
difficult to live up to right now.
KINKADE: Yes, no doubt she'll find it a bit frustrating not to be out and about; especially given she's very passionate about climate change. Max,
we'll have to leave it there for now. But good to have you with us as always, thank you.
We are going to continue on climate change. It is creating extreme weather and we are seeing some of that in the south of Italy. The - just confirmed
in flash flooding in Sicily. Officials say the City of Cantania got a year's worth of rain in just two days.
The state of emergency has been declared in the region, and hundreds of rescue operations have been carried out. Roads have become streams and
hundreds of homes have been flooded. One person is missing and people are being urged not to venture out. Officials say more bad weather is expected
Thursday and Friday.
And we are seeing another alarming report on the climate crisis. The UN - wanting current commitments to reduce carbon emissions and limit global
warming a fall short of what's needed. This comes just days before COP26. But world leaders are expected to outline plans to turn their promises and
good intentions into reality.
But so far, only six G-20 countries have committed to increased carbon reductions. And G-20 economies account for 80 percent of the world's
emissions. Well, Climate Scientists Kim Cobb runs the Global Change Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology and joins us now live from Atlanta.
Good to see you again.
KIM COBB, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL CHANGE PROGRAM, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: Thanks for having me.
KINKADE: So this is 26th climate change conference. Some of the others have been disappointing in terms of progress. What can we expect this time
COBB: Well, first of all, this is a biggie. It comes on the heels of the Paris Agreement where the parties agree to sit down every five years and
ratchet up their ambition to meet the new science and to increase their pledges.
This is one of those get togethers. So obviously a lot at stake as we understand more fully now than ever, the full consequences of greenhouse
gases, ongoing warming, and they're linked to weather and climate extremes.
KINKADE: And Kim just let's break it down country by country because the UN Chief says we're on track for catastrophic temperature rise. Talk to us
about the countries that are leading the way and the ones falling behind because it looks like Australia, sadly will enter the summit with one of
the weakest plans.
COBB: Yes. I mean, obviously, there'll be all eyes on the biggest emitters to come up with the biggest, boldest commitments given that historically,
they have been responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions.
And of course, going forward, their participation will be absolutely critical of course, all eyes as well on the United States, another big
emitter of the Biden Administration, hoping to bring home a sweeping set of regulations and laws and policies around climate action here at home to be
determined this week of course in Congress.
KINKADE: And of course, Kim, when you think about climate change, we're talking about the future of the planet for our kids, our grandkids, their
kids. And the latest study, which I just want to bring up a graph that we've got, it's that - it was published in the Journal of Science last
And it looks at a child born today compared to a child born in 1960. And it found that a child a six year old today, is going to experience two times
as many wildfires 1.7 times as many tropical cyclones 3.4 times more river floods 2.5 times as many crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts.
We've already seen several cases where young people have tried to sue the government for the impact climate change is going to have on their life.
And it's really about them, isn't it? It's about the future.
COBB: Yes, it is about the future. That is certainly at stake here in Glasgow this fall. Really what we're talking about are two very distinct
futures, one where we finally embrace the findings of climate science built over decades, to move aggressively to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,
that most ambitious target out of Paris.
And if we can achieve that by 2050, we will avoid an unnecessary and avoidable set of escalating climate damages that will unfold not just over
this century, but for centuries to come. And unfortunately, this is all coming down to this conference of the parties where we need to see bold,
aggressive action by at the end of this decade in order to chart those very different courses.
KINKADE: And Kim we're seeing these sorts of extreme weather events day after day week after week given today, we're covering the historic floods
in Sicily, which have seen a year's worth of rain in less than two days.
And without government intervention without intervention by private companies and individuals, those little events are just going to happen
more and more, right?
COBB: Yes, unfortunately, extreme rainfall is one of those climate impacts that are now conclusively tied to a warmer atmosphere. We've seen it in the
data. We know it's going to get worse over the next decades as warming continues.
And this is another important point to be discussed in Glasgow this fall; there will be an increase in these kinds of climate extremes going forward.
And they will hit hardest on the most vulnerable globally, most notably low income countries.
So you can expect them to be lifting their voices to these datasets and saying, look, we're going to need financing and resources to help us
weather these hits and so this today in Italy, unfortunately, a reminder of what's to come and what's at stake here in Scotland.
KINKADE: Yes, I wanted to ask you a bit Kim about poor countries, because as you say, they're going to face potentially the worst consequences. The
report I referenced earlier in the Journal of Science published last month.
According to that report, it found that an infant born in Sub Saharan Africa will live through 50 to 54 times as many heat waves as someone born
in the pre-industrial era. What can we expect to hear from some of those poor in developing nations over the next week or so?
COBB: Well, though, definitely looking to some of the richer countries to say not only are you responsible for enacting large emissions cuts to stave
off these kinds of weathering damages to our economies and the lives and livelihoods of our citizens, but you're also responsible for paying for us
to adapt to be more resilient to climate ready in the coming decades.
So you can expect a very heated discussion about what has historically been very difficult to find in past conference of the parties.
KINKADE: All right, Kim Cobb really good to get your expertise. And really appreciate your time today. Thanks so much.
COBB: Thanks for having me.
KINKADE: Well, in case you're wondering what COP stands for its Conference of the Parties there have been 25 of them since the very first one in 1995.
Some have been productive while others not so much if you'd like to learn more about COP26 and whether it can avert a climate catastrophe? You can
take a look at our explainer just head to cnn.com.
Well, still ahead on "Connect the World" is there hope for a new round of Iran nuclear talks? Iran says yes. We're going to have the latest from the
European Union. Plus, Davos in the desert, big names and new deals as Saudi Arabia hosts business and state leaders from around the world.
KINKADE: Well, Iran says it will restart nuclear talks. That's according to a top negotiator who is in Brussels for meeting with the EU. Those talks
were suspended earlier this year after six rounds. The negotiator says an exact date will be announced next week.
But those talks will resume before the end of November. CNN's Nic Robertson who is following all of this for us from Rome, and joins us now live. Nic,
there was signs that this was going to be optimistic. But this is good news.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It seems to be something of a breakthrough after a failure to have a meeting of the minds.
Iran has gone through an election. It's got a more conservative government, Ebrahim Raisi, the new President there and the tension that was beginning
We'd heard from the U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price earlier in the week, saying that, you know that these talks should happen and that
Vienna would be the right place for them and that the EU was a good body to be an interlocutor on this.
We'd heard from Jake Sullivan, President Biden's National Security Adviser saying that when President Biden gets here to Rome, tomorrow, and over the
weekend, I'll have an opportunity to meet with European partners, members of the E3 part of the JCPOA, the nuclear talks with Iran.
And we have a united front. We'd heard even from President Biden's Special Envoy on Iran, Rob Malley saying specifically the United States was looking
at what it would do if Iran did not progress with these talks?
So there's been a lot of pressure coming. And so this does seem to be a breakthrough of sorts. But what does it really mean? So Iran's Deputy Prime
Minister meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister rather meeting with the EU's, Chief of Staff to the Foreign Policy Head, so not a top level
meeting, but still very serious diplomatic engagement, saying a return, it appears to Vienna to the talks where Iran is at the table with all the
initial parties to the JCPOA, except the United States.
And the United States has a sort of proximity position there if it has to be Vienna, again, where they can answer quickly and readily any questions
that Iran has. So is this a step to getting the united Iran to accept the United States back into the JCPOA?
Possibly, but it's still a long way to go from here remembering Iran is getting increasingly out of compliance with the JCPOA. So frustrations
running short, Rob Malley saying, you know, he wasn't going to get into specifics about what the U.S. might do, and he couldn't speculate on what
Israel might do as well. So warnings, diplomatic terms, and we're getting quite shrill.
KINKADE: Nic, we've spent so many years talking about the Iran nuclear deal that was signed in 2015. Trump dismantled it, or at least pulled the U.S.
out of it in 2018. How are things going to be different negotiating this time round with the U.S., if the U.S. comes on board and if Iran comes back
ROBERTSON: Well, in Iran's mind is going to be well, what happens? The next U.S. presidential election, if they if they allow the United States back
into the JCPOA talks? And a Republican is elected next time and that Republican late President Trump decides to pull the United States out and
slap more sanctions on Iran.
That's been Iran's concern. Obviously, Iran is in very difficult financial situation right now also struggling with COVID. So they are looking, the
political leadership is looking for some relief from the financial situation that they're in and the pressures that they have internally.
But, you know, I think when it comes to, you know, what happens if this doesn't go forward? It really hints at greater instability in the region.
And I think regional players are looking to play their part if the United States gets back into the talks, if sanctions which is Iran's demand are
lessened on Iran, can regional players in the Gulf begin to open up some commerce and ease that suffering on Iran? These are all sort of pieces on
KINKADE: Nic Robertson, as always good to get your analysis on this developing story thank you so much.
KINKADE: Well, right now Saudi Arabia is hosting a huge investment conference known as "Davos in the Desert". The Future Investment Initiative
Forum attracts business leaders and policy makers from around the world.
We're hearing about some major global deals being made. Let's get straight to our Eleni Giokos live from Riyadh. And Eleni take us through some of the
deals you're hearing about today.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So it's a lot about climate change that we're seeing being brought to the table and of course, big business,
putting money into projects within the region as well. I have to say what's been interesting here is Saudi Arabia's plan to increase economic growth.
They have what they call vision 2030 and bringing in the biggest players within the business community, to Riyadh, at this point in time, plays into
their overall strategy to increase jobs by 30,000 by 2030, and also increase the economic growth scenarios by billions of dollars.
And one way to do that is to teach multinational companies that have opted to have regional headquarters in places like the UAE and cities like Dubai
and the likes of Abu Dhabi back here in Riyadh.
Now, these are companies that have been benefiting from economic growth in Saudi Arabia, but have failed to actually set up regional offices that are
significant in the country, this is part of a plan to increase manufacturing capacity, but also to get the big names here, as well.
This includes the likes of Novartis and Unilever, Siemens Baker, Hughes. 44 international companies have signed licenses to open up shop here and if
they didn't do that, by 2024, we know that the Kingdom has been very vocal about what that would mean and that would exclude them from government
contracts down the line.
But once - spoke to says that this wasn't coercion; this is about incentivizing companies to come to Saudi Arabia, because it's the right
thing to do from an economic growth perspective, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BRADLEY, CEO, NEOM TECH & DIGITAL HOLDING CO.: Coming from the U.S. and being with U.S. multinational companies. We talked with Oracle, we gave
them a value proposition today, like there was no forcing, there was no coercion, it was simply very simply that, hey, we can offer the highest
compute capacity, we can offer the best and the lowest energy costs around and we're giving you a tech ecosystem.
We're building around you. These multinationals have choices. They are just like anyone else. And at the end of the day, they're going to make their
choice based on business value and growth. And if we have that strong value proposition, we feel very confident that will attract them. So no, I don't
at least in my personal experience no; we haven't, of course, anyone to come. It's all been about business and have been about selling our value
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Yes, and I mean, look Saudi Arabia wants to capture a larger part of the value chain within this region of companies that have been operating
in the Kingdom for a very long time. Importantly, though, people say that this is going to change the competitive dynamics within the region.
As Saudi Arabia tries to invest further into increasing manufacturing, focusing on logistics where hubs already exist regionally so that Lynda is
going to be an important one to watch what that new ecosystem is going to look like?
KINKADE: Certainly we'll hope. Good to have you there for us watching it and taking us through it all. I appreciate it, Eleni Giokos there.
Well, one of China's biggest concerns right now is stamping out COVID outbreaks. Ahead on the show, we're going to talk about the strict rules in
place for this city just 100 days out from the Winter Olympics.
KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade. Australia is sending mixed signals over how we'll handle the
Australian Open in January? The Premier of Victoria says he will not allow unvaccinated tennis players to enter the state.
Because after the Australian Prime Minister indicated there would be a way to get an exemption if players would quarantine for two weeks. Well, China
meanwhile is sticking with its zero COVID strategy. Here in the Northwestern City of Lanzhou mass testing has been ordered and more than 4
million people are now under lockdown. China reported 29 new locally transmitted cases on Tuesday, six of them in a Lanzhou.
People in this city can only leave their homes through designated exit points in each neighborhood, and only to get crucial supplies or medical
treatment. In person delivery services have been suspended and public gathering places have been shut down.
Well, part of the motivation for sticking with this strict zero COVID approach is of course, the Winter Olympics in Beijing. It's now exactly 100
days out. Here's more from our David Culver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 100 days until China hosts another Olympic Games.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beijing.
CULVER (voice over): But the world has changed since these celebrations in 2015 when Beijing won the bid. The 2022 Winter Games like the Summer Games
in Tokyo earlier this year taking place in the midst of the pandemic.
Chinese officials are preparing for even more extreme containment measures than Japan had creating bubble like atmospheres for all participants,
including journalists. Olympic venues in and around Beijing will be sealed off planners even dedicating specific lines of transportation between the
three main competition sites.
CULVER (on camera): Only domestic spectators will be allowed so the stands will mostly have Chinese fans. Their health status vetted their numbers
limited. Organizers intend to keep those traveling into the country and those attending the events separated from the rest of us already here in
China so as to keep the virus from spreading during and after the games.
ZHANG JIANDONG, SENIOR OFFICIAL, BEIJING ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Epidemic prevention and control is one of our biggest challenges in hosting the
Winter Olympics. Without the safety of the epidemic prevention the Olympics cannot be successfully held.
CULVER (voice over): It is 100 day countdown coming amidst another COVID 19 outbreak in China again linked to the Delta variant and calling into
question the efficacy of Chinese vaccines. Targeted lockdowns, travel restrictions, mass testing and strict contact tracing all of it back in
place as daily case counts of local infections are back in the double digits.
It may not sound like a lot, but remember China is sticking with their zero COVID policy no matter how disruptive it might be to everyday life.
THOMAS BACH, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: China does not only want to contain the virus it wants to eradicate the virus. And this is
being done with a greater efficiency with very strict measures. And this of course will also be transferred to the Olympic Winter Games.
CULVER (voice over): CNN recently visited some of the Olympic venues witnessing the speed and scale of construction in Beijing sites and Olympic
record like no other. No city up until now has hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
Beyond the slopes dozens of windmills and solar panels, part of China's bold environmental promise that these will be the first Olympic competition
venues fueled 100 percent by green energy. Beijing likes to showcase itself not only as a leader in tackling climate change, but also as a bastion of
global peace and stability.
That the games will be plagued by growing geopolitical pressures, including protests and calls for boycotts from Hong Kong to Tibet to Xingjian to
Taiwan, China's controversial policies and human rights record under increased scrutiny.
CULVER (on camera): It seems Beijing is determined to push past any criticism. The 2008 games were mesmerizing production and no doubt the 2022
Winter Olympics will wow the world with pageantry and performance.
CULVER (on camera): And this time with strict COVID countermeasures in place helping keep protesters away and journalists in check. David Culver,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: U.S. - cancer is no backing down from sending a protest message to Beijing. The Boston Celtic Center is also issuing a personal challenge to
the founder and longtime head of Nike. They're staying silent about the alleged depression in China against the Uyghur minorities. CNN's Steven
Jiang brings us the details.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: In his latest video message Kanter not only mentioned Phil Knight, the longtime Head of Nike, but also NBA
legends and Nike ambassadors, LeBron James and Michael Jordan challenging all of them to go to China in person to check out under what conditions
Nike shoes are being made?
Now Kanter, of course, is trying to shine a spotlight on this issue we have been covering for a long time that has allegations of widespread abuse and
ill treatment of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Western China, including allegations of forced labor.
The U.S. government has assessed up to 2 million of them have been sent to internment camps in this country. Now Beijing of course has denied all
those allegations. But one of the Kanter's hash-tags this time was "Hypocrite Nike" that really illustrates how a growing number of
multinational companies and institutions are caught between upholding values and principles they claim to hold dear back at home, and not to
running afoul of the Chinese government and this country's increasingly nationalistic consumers in a very lucrative market.
And NBA of course, has been in this kind of trouble before just two years ago, Houston Rockets then General Manager tweeted in support of Hong Kong's
pro-democracy protesters, and shortly after that there are games being blacked out here and sponsors pulling out in this country.
And this time around Celtics games have been pulled from the video side of Tencent, the Chinese tech giant that holds the digital broadcasts rights to
NBA games in this country, but the official response has been more muted, probably because the country is counting down to the Winter Olympics here
in Beijing. And officials are very much aware the whole world is watching how they handle the fallout when politics and sports clash? Steven Jiang,
KINKADE: Well, China's Minister of Foreign Affairs responded to the allegations by saying that Kanter's remarks were "Were not worth
returning". As the Nike the sports apparel giant says it's "Committed to ethical manufacturing and does not source products from the - Uyghur
Well, you are watching "Connect the World". An age old battle is being fought with new high tech weapons coming up, the unexpected tools that's
helping to restore Rome's artifacts.
KINKADE: Well, we know how harmful bacteria can be to humans and given time it can even eat away a stone. But scientists in Rome are finding ways to
use bacteria to their advantage. Our Ben Wedeman reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Laser burns away the grime of 18th centuries, caked on to the arch of Septimius
Severus in the forum. Rome may be the eternal city. Its ancient artifacts, however, are not under unrelenting assault by the ravages of time,
pollution, acid rain, in the sweat and breath of millions of tourists.
Conservator Alessandro Lu Gary (ph) and his colleagues are using the latest technology to try to salvage the city's treasures. See the block he asks
it's about four cubic meters several tons and inside there are billions of bacteria, bacteria that ever so slowly disfigures and erodes the marble.
We built a box so it would be dark Lu Gary explains the temperature and humidity should be relatively high to recreate conditions on the outside
like those inside. They then covered the outside of the marble with enzymes, drawing the bacteria out to the surface where it calcified,
strengthening the stone.
WEDEMAN (on camera): Increasingly restoration work is being done on a molecular level. But of course for Italy the challenge is huge because it
has archaeological sites on a monumental scale.
WEDEMAN (voice over): Well, some fight bacteria others are using it to eat away grease and dirt. Microbiologist - and her team at - Italy's National
Agency for New Technologies search for potentially useful strains of bacteria in industrial waste sites, abandoned mines and from the distant
They've already been selected by nature to develop potential abilities, which we can test and study and apply she says. This strain we collected
from an Etruscan Tomb. It's a complicated process, isolating individual strains that thrive on the right kind of --. Sequencing the DNA, and then
putting them to work.
-- shows us the results in the garden of the - Romano with a toothbrush she removes gel suffused with bacteria from a block of marble once part of a
fourth century Roman bridge. This cleanest strip was covered for 24 hours with the SH7 strain.
It's easy to apply and afterwards the artifacts stay clean Sylvia says it doesn't harm the environment. It's not toxic for us or the floor in the
garden. It's perfect. And therein lies the paradox a single celled organism could help preserve the city's ancient glory. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Incredible. Well, I'm Lynda Kinkade that was "Connected the World". Marketplace Middle East is next.
GIOKOS: Scorching temperatures and dwindling water resources, the effects of climate change are evidenced and apparent here in the Middle East. This
is one of the most susceptible regions to suffer the impacts of global warming. But it is also region ripe for sustainable opportunities,
especially in the energy sector.
From harnessing the power of the sun, to turning trash into energy, even embarking on smart recycling coming up, we explore how the region is trying
to turn the tide on the effects of climate change?
Welcome to "Marketplace Middle East", I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai, a city that was built from golden sands. And here in the region lies the
equivalent of billions of barrels of oil. Here, crude reigns supreme, it accounts for half of the world's oil reserves and more than a third of the
world's natural gas supplies, and the region has amassed immense riches off the back of oil and gas revenues. But the allure of black gold could be
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GIOKOS (voice over): For more than seven decades, the Middle East has conjured up images of limitless amounts of oil, accounting for about 64.5
percent of the world's oil supply. But those images could soon change from this to this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Gulf remains the world's vital supplier of a particularly oil and also gas. But the Gulf's energy situation is changing
over time because of the recognition of the climate change will pose a greater threat to its exports of oil and gas.
GIOKOS (voice over): Harnessing the power of the wind, geothermal and even the power of the sun. Opportunities abound for renewable energy in the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Solar is the key low carbon resource in this region. Yes, not surprisingly, hydrogen is another good energy exporter potential.
GIOKOS (voice over): Hydrogen, the buzzword on everyone's lips here at - the world's premier conference in the energy sector. Hydrogen is a clean
alternative to methane, also known as natural gas, even the stalwarts of the crude industry agree.
H.E. MOHAMMED SANSUI BARI, SECRETARY GENERAL, OPEC: OPEC and our member countries should be part of the solution to these two issues, of both
climate change and energy poverty.
GIOKOS (voice over): GCC countries have been concerned about the sustainability of the hydrocarbon revenues for decades. In the long term,
oil and gas reserves will simply run out. The UAE has taken steps to bid farewell to oil with its 2050 energy strategy.
In Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom's focus on renewable energy as part of its 2030 plan Qatar, the world's largest liquid natural gas producer says it is
also committed to reduce the impact of climate change by 2030. Commitments from around the GCC, but only time will tell if these promises will be
LORENZO SIMONE, CEO, BAKER HUGHES: I think what you're seeing today is a realization that companies governments need to come together to the table
and discuss the ecosystem that's required.
GIOKOS (on camera): Innovation and investment are key to harnessing the full potential of renewable energy. I'm in the UAE Emirate of Sharjah at
the Headquarters of Environmental Waste Company Beeah, and one project could lead to a breakthrough in renewable energy in the region. I caught up
with Khaled Al Huraimel to find out what his company's doing to become more sustainable.
KHALED AL HURAIMEL, CEO, BEEAH: Well, here we are at the one of the largest material waste recycling facilities in the world. This is actually the
largest - in the Middle East, where we process approximately 2000 pounds of waste daily.
When we started the main challenge, and we were set up to tackle environmental challenges, origin spacing, but the main immediate problem we
want to solve with waste management and we're about to complete the construction of the first waste to energy plant in the region. And that
will help us reach our zero waste targets.
HURAIMEL: In the last years the UAE has put very clear agenda so in terms of renewable energy in terms of waste diversion we also see it happening
across the GCC. Last year we entered Saudi Arabia, and we entered Egypt during the pandemic. So it was a challenging time in Egypt, their target is
to reach waste diversion of 80 percent.
GIOKOS (on camera): Yes, how does it work? How do you separate?
HURAIMEL: Well, we have a mechanical process, different types of processes that segregate all the type of waste. And actually, we're going to be
installing a robot very soon, which will be the first in the region, the robots will be able to segregate the different types of ways through
GIOKOS (on camera): OK, let's talk about the UAE in specific. We're in oil and gas land. I mean, this is the bread and butter, but yet there's a
vision and there's a target to try and make this region a lot more sustainable and renewable energy is going to be part of that. How do you
HURAIMEL: Well, one of the projects is a 50/50 joint venture called the Emirates Waste Energy Company. So now we're building where we completing
the construction of our first project, which processes 300,000 tonnes of waste annually, and generate - will generate 30 megawatts of power? That's
an equivalent of powering approximately 28,000 homes.
Our second project is our solar landfill project. So once we achieve our target of zero waste, and our waste your energy plant is commissioned. We
have our landfill will not be needed anymore. So we're looking how can I repurpose this landfill?
The surface areas about 47 hectares, that will all be covered with solar panels after the landfill is capped, and will generate an additional 120
megawatts of power renewable power. Another project also that we've announced recently, is our waste to hydrogen.
So this will be also one of the first in the world we will be converting waste to hydrogen, and we will be procuring a fleet of hydrogen powered
waste collection trucks, so it will be a full circular loop. So this is one pilot project that we are working on, and we hope to announce more about it
GIOKOS (voice over): As they say one man's trash is another man's treasure up next we leave the UAE and head to Egypt to see how one startup is
tackling - litter problem with a smart solution?
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GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Marketplace Middle East" and this month, Dubai took center stage at the launch to Expo 2020 delayed for over a year due to
the pandemic. This is the first time Expo has been held in the Middle East and sustainability is taking center stage.
192 countries are showcasing the latest innovations that could transform our world and create a greener future. And the Middle East is not being
left behind. Morocco's pavilion entirely made of earth is the highest on sites and highlights how old techniques can be a useful tool for navigating
a more sustainable future?
Saudi Arabia is looking forward showcasing its ambitions to diversify away from oil. And Kuwait is on an ambitious path to preserve the world's most
precious resource. It's a really impressive sight. I'm talking about 4.3 square kilometers of ideas and innovations that could transform our planet.
But there's one central theme that keeps coming up how dramatic change can start with a smallest of gestures? And that's exactly what's happening in
the streets of Cairo, where entrepreneurs are tapping into technology and making recycling not only good for the planet, but also a profitable
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SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Recycle a bottle get a reward.
ESLAM EL-REFAEY, FOUNDER & CEO, ZERO PRIME TECHNOLOGY: Like discounts at mall or from credit.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): This is - a reverse vending machine invented by Eslam El-Rafaey to compress and recycle plastic bottles and cans.
EL-REFAEY: The traditional method of recycling is collecting waste from trash that has many problems and cannot be valid in smart, sustainable
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): 6 billion beverage containers were $38 million are consumed annually in Egypt, but very little of it is recycled.
EL-RAFAEY: You have to educate the customer about it and the benefits from it. And it's not only for profit, it have social and environmental impact
ABDELAZIZ: There are only 20 can banks across Egypt, but El-Rafaey hopes to expand and increase his profit.
El-RAFAEY: We want to install 20,000 can bank machines all around Egypt. So that's become the norm in the Egyptian society to care about recycling.
That's our dream.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): The waste is sold to this recycling plant in Cairo, where Manager Ahmed Nabeel (ph) tells us his greatest challenge is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The collection rate itself is not that high. So most of the waters are either going to the ocean or buried in the landfill, or
burnt. So we are not getting much material.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): The environmental impact is massive. Egypt is the biggest source of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, according to
WWF. And it means nearly all the plastic waste processed at this factory is imported from Europe. Nabeel wants to see that change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We work on supporting initiative like can bank. The quantity of them is not that high, but at least someone is doing something
so we are supporting them with high prices, we're supporting them with our knowledge.
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): The hope is to create economic incentives that will drive consumers and businesses towards more sustainable habits Salma
Abdelaziz for "Marketplace Middle East".
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GIOKOS: Diversifying energy supplies, showcasing innovations and strategies and creating smart solutions. The Middle East is on its way to a smarter
and more sustainable future. If you want to know more about the show, you can go check out cnn.com/marketplacemiddleeast. And that's it for this
edition of "Marketplace Middle East" from Eleni Giokos in Dubai, thanks for joining me.