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New COVID Variant Identified in South Africa; Global Markets Tumble on New Virus Variant Fears; Ukraine's President Alleges Coup Plot Against Him; France Disinvites Britain to Meeting on Migrant Crisis; Israeli Prime Minister Expects More Variant Cases to Come to Light; Aired 10-10:45a ET
Aired November 26, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Becky Anderson. Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Breaking news this hour, global fears are rising as more cases of a new and potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant are reported around the
globe. First detected in South Africa, Belgium has just become the first European country to confirm a case of the new strain. The person had
recently traveled from abroad and was unvaccinated. The strain is also being found in Botswana, in Israel and in Hong Kong.
Now South African health authorities have only just warned the world about this new variant. Nations are taking forceful action. Overnight the U.K.
banned flights from six African nations. Other European countries quickly following suit as well as several governments across Asia. Moments ago the
president of the European Commission had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN. PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: It is now important that all of us in Europe act very swiftly, decisively, and united. The
European Commission has today proposed to member states to activate the emergency brake on travel from countries in Southern African and other
countries affected to limit the spread of the new variant. All air travel to these countries should be suspended. They should be suspended until we
have a clear understanding about the danger posed by this new variant.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Scientists are so concerned because this strain has an unusually high number of mutations. Genetic changes that could make it spread more
easily and evade the body's immune response, but they say it's too early to tell what the impact these mutations could have on vaccine efficacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We want to find out, scientist to scientist, exactly what is
going on, but it's something that has emerged in South Africa and seems to be spreading at a reasonably rapid rate in the sense of when they do test
positivity, they're seeing that it's a bit more widespread in South Africa than was originally felt a couple of days ago. So, it's in a fluid motion.
We're finding more about it and literally it's something that in real time we're learning more and more about.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: One thing for sure the announcement of this new variant is rattling the markets. You can see they are down in the U.S., in Europe and
were lower in Asia.
CNN's David McKenzie joining me now live from Johannesburg with more on what is, David, this potentially alarming scientific discovery. You
listened to the South African health minister speak in the past 24 hours, and what do we know at this point?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, what we know is there are certainly some disturbing signs from this variant but it's very early days.
South African health minister and top scientists in this country said because of the large and unusual number of mutations particularly in the
spike protein of the virus some of which they've seen before in other variants and others that are new to science are alarming scientists because
they don't know what impact this will have on increased transmissibility, whether it will help evade immunity from prior infection, and of course the
big question whether it has any impact on the vaccine efficacy.
At this stage they believe that vaccines still will be effective but that's based more on prior track record than current tests. Right now, scientists
from around the world will be testing this new variant in the lab with immune challenges as they call it to see whether it is something to be very
South Africa right now is in a lull of its COVID-19 pandemic, but they have seen a recent uptick and possibility it's due to this variant, especially
where I'm sitting here in the (INAUDIBLE) Province. I think one thing is important to stress, this variant was discovered by South African
scientists. There is no exact idea where it in fact emerged. Certainly, there were early cases in Botswana but that news that a traveler
unvaccinated from Egypt tested positive in Belgium really opens the door for this to be really circulating who knows where but picked up in those
places. That has good science -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Is it clear how widespread it is in South Africa at this point?
MCKENZIE: Well, the interesting thing with this virus variant and it's possibly a bit of good news is that because of an anomaly on the virus
itself it can be picked up by regular PCR tests. Now it's not a total fail safe but the private laboratory here, one of the main pathology labs, was
noticing this anomaly extending, expanding through several provinces of this country in recent days. And that's another way that scientists here
were able to very quickly announce the results of this to the world.
Now the South African government have called these travel bans emerging from country after country, region after region, hasty. They said more
needs to be figured out about this virus variant. That's a view shared by the Africa CDC and several times over the past few months the WHO has said
bans are not necessarily the best way to go. And in fact, they might stop scientists from announcing this kind of details because of punitive
ANDERSON: David McKenzie in South Africa. David, thank you.
Major U.S. airlines say they are closely watching this new South African variant or variant at least first sequenced in South Africa, that is now
triggering these new travel restrictions in Europe and an increasing list of other global destinations.
And let me tell you, global markets are spooked. The numbers tell the story. Wall Street is being hit hard after returning from the Thanksgiving
holiday. Investors may get a little break if only because today's trading session is shorter than usual and that will mean that volumes are lighter.
It will, though, mean that these numbers will -- can swing quite violently on those low volumes.
But have a look at these Europe markets as they close out, also rattled. The major indices selling off heavily and the price of oil sliding. Brent
crude, the global oil benchmark, and U.S. oil futures have both fallen below $80 on the barrel.
CNN's Richard Quest joining us from New York.
I mean, these markets are certainly in a tailspin and at a time when of course, you know, the world was looking at an economic recovery from this
pandemic. What's your perception of what's going on at present?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": We're now moving into a very difficult time because you've got markets that are falling sharply
because of uncertainty and forget markets per se but this uncertainty now goes to global economic growth. Will there be more lockdowns? Will there be
more shutdowns? Will there be more trade disruption?
Therefore, you are looking at a situation where monetary accommodation, in other words lower cheap interest rates, printing of money by banks, QE,
probably has to continue but at a time of greater inflation at the same time.
So, let's not be fooled here, Becky. You know, in 2020, there was a knee- jerk reaction. The markets literally collapsed and recovered quite quickly. Here, we are going to see markets pricing in an endemic reaction to an
ongoing situation. How do we live with this variant? That's how you can sum it up.
ANDERSON: Yes, and look, we know that they've been on a bit of a tear these markets, so there will be those who have decided they might just want to
take their profits out at this point. We know that happens. What has been interesting, you're right to point out that at the beginning of this
pandemic we saw a, you know, significant loss but there has been a disconnect, hasn't there? Most of the time between what's been going on in
these stock markets and indeed what's actually happening in the global economy. I mean, that's really important to point out, isn't it?
QUEST: Completely. And the reason the markets have gone on a tear, certain stocks have done very well because of the work from home and the increase
to digitization. That has been a massive boost but also the chase for yield. As long as interest rates are in the toilet people are chasing yield
and that means stock markets. That was going to sort of reverse or at least unwind with the potential for higher rates.
The issue I think, the grand if you like, economic issue away from markets per se is stagflation. Does this variant lead to lower economic growth at a
time of high inflation? If it does and we don't know now then we're in trouble.
ANDERSON: Yes. Absolutely. All right. Well, you and I have been watching these markets for longer than we care to imagine. I mean, the idea of
stagflation really is an extremely worrying one.
Thank you, Richard.
My next guest is Richard Lessells, an infectious disease specialist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
He's one of the experts who gave the briefing on this new variant, alongside the South African government. It's extremely important that we
have Richard Lessells joining us live from Durbin, South Africa tonight.
There are so many unknowns it seems about this new variant at this point. And I understand and appreciate that it is relatively new. I mean, it's
only been sequenced in the past couple of days, but what can you tell us about what has been detected to date and how it differs from other
RICHARD LESSELLS, INFECTIOUS DISEASES SPECIALIST, UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU- NATAL: Yes. Good afternoon. I mean, think your correspondent summed it up very nicely. I mean, and what you say, what we noticed about this was that
it was really substantially different to the other variants that we have seen and what jumped out at us again was not just the number of the
mutations but again the kind of locations of those mutations and that it was a mix of many mutations that we know well and know kind of what the
impact of those mutations is.
And this clearly came at a time when we were seeing very rapid rise in cases in Gauteng, the main economic hub of South Africa, around
Johannesburg and Pretoria, and it's clear now that that rise in cases is associated with variant and we're starting to see now rising cases in some
of the neighboring provinces.
ANDERSON: So I guess there are two very important questions that many of our viewers around the world will be trying to get their heads around. How
much more contagious might this be, could this be? And will it bypass the vaccines that are currently available to us?
LESSELLS: Yes. So those are two key questions that we need to work out over the next few days and weeks. I think here it's important to be clear that
these two things are not necessarily distinct and separate. What we're seeing at the moment is this is clearly spreading very efficiently from
person to person at the moment. And that's in a population where we think and we have good evidence, has high levels of immunity.
So we think that the level of population immunity in many parts of South Africa is very, very high. And some of that is from infection and some of
that is from vaccination. And so what can be making it spread efficiently is that it may be able to get around some of that immune protection, some
of that immunity, or it may be inherently more transmissible. It may have some property that allows it to spread more efficiently.
And what we've seen with the other variants of concern is that it's often it may be a mixture of those things, and that's the same here. The key
thing is really understanding whether we start to see severe disease and whether we start to see severe disease in people that have been vaccinated.
And that would be the thing that would then kind of raise the level of concern here.
ANDERSON: How long will it take? Is these days? Is these weeks before you can answer those questions?
LESSELLS: I mean, I think it's all for the next few days and couple of weeks. I think what you highlighted was how early we are in the stage and
how early we picked this up and flagged it for the international community. And of course, we're getting now punished for that openness and
transparency, unfortunately. But what that means is that a lot of that data we just can't see yet.
And partly that's because when we start to see this resurgence in infection in this instance again it's predominantly spread amongst younger people
initially and it kind of really got fire by some cluster outbreaks in higher education institutions. And so of course they're the group that are
in a way at lower risk of severe disease. So you just don't get the data until it starts spreading more widely in the community.
ANDERSON: Well, a growing list of countries are following Britain and the E.U. in banning flights from South Africa and some of its neighbors. I
mean, you have effectively just described that as a punishment for coming out the gate early with this information as early as you could. Those
countries will see this as an effective strategy to prevent their populations from getting infected. Do you not see that as a decent
LESSELLS: Well, I think only time will tell but our experience so far has been that that is actually not a very effective strategy. And what you're
seeing already just today, just in 24 hours, that this variant is popping up in various parts of the world, and over the weekend, I'm sure that will
just accelerate. So yes, you can ban travel from one part of the world but if the virus has already spread to many other parts of the world then it
will spread very rapidly.
We've seen that over and over again. And what I found so disgusting and really distressing actually from here was not just the travel ban being
implemented by the U.K. and Europe but that that was the only reaction or the strongest reaction. And there was no word of the support that they're
going to offer to African countries to help us control the pandemic. And particularly no mention of addressing this vaccine inequity that we've been
warning about all year. And that now we're seeing the consequences play out and that I find really upsetting.
ANDERSON: Well, this show has been platforming that story and ensuring that it stays on people's mind. Vaccine inequity is just unacceptable and so we
appreciate what you're saying, and we will continue to ensure that the world hears that this continues and it simply shouldn't.
Thank you, sir.
And we have a live update on CNN.com. Keeping you bang up to date on what is going on with regard to COVID and this new variant, which has, as we've
been discussing, sparked new global travel restrictions.
Back to that story as we move through the next couple of hours. Meantime, Ukraine's president said there is a coup planned against him. Volodymyr
Zelensky alleges a group of Ukrainian and Russians are plotting to oust him from power sometimes next week. The Kremlin rejects the allegation.
Here's what the president told reporters today during an extended news conference in Kiev.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): There are great challenges within our state which are already being recorded by the
intelligence services of other countries. I will tell you frankly I live in this process. For example, we received information that on the 1st there
will be a coup in our country. I think this is an important information. On the 1st or 2nd of December.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Matthew Chance following this story for us from London. Normally of course based in Moscow.
Matthew, President Zelensky pointing the finger of blame squarely at who at this point?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, squarely at Russia. I mean, it's all part of the general concern that's
been accelerating and getting worse over the course of the past several weeks and months with the United States and with Ukraine warning about an
eminent threat from Moscow on several different fronts. The military front, there's been allegations that Moscow denies of Moscow building up its
military forces close to Ukraine's borders, and there have been suggestions that Moscow could be fomenting some kind of unrest, some kind of potential
rebellion inside Ukraine, as well.
So on one level that talks to that. It was President Zelensky articulating those concerns that Russia may be behind some kind of an attempted plot or
coup in his words against his government. And very recent, of course, just in the next few days he said this coup is meant to have taken place.
But, you know, Becky, I think we also have to see it within the context of what's happening in Ukrainian politics as well. There's a big campaign
underway at the moment led by President Zelensky to crack down on extremely rich and powerful businesspeople inside Ukraine. The so-called oligarchs.
There's a law had been passed to try and limit their power and to claw back some of the economic wealth that they control.
And one of the individuals named by President Zelensky is possibly being associated with this, although they're not directly involved, was Rinat
Akhmetov, who's Ukraine's richest man. He's got massive industrial and banking and insurance interests in the country. And there's a sense in
which, you know, this is a move and this is what critics of Zelensky say, that this is a move by the president to try and curb some of the critics of
his government who are powerful inside Ukraine.
And so it's difficult to know, to ascribe what credibility we should give to this allegation there's a coup but, you know, clearly there is a real
threat facing Ukraine and this was articulated by the Ukrainian president.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance, thank you.
Well, folks, you're with CONNECT THE WORLD, live from our Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi. Still ahead, the very latest on the new
and very worrying COVID variant and the growing diplomatic spat between France and Britain after that migrant boat tragedy in the English Channel.
Why the French president says his British counterpart isn't being serious about addressing the crisis.
ANDERSON: Well, a recap of our breaking news this hour. Health experts around the world are very concerned about a new and alarming coronavirus
variant. An unusually high number of mutations are causing this variant to spread rapidly which could help it evade immunity. This variant was first
detected in South Africa. So far, several other places such as Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel have confirmed cases.
In Europe travel restrictions are being weighed against seven African countries, six of those already being added to the U.K.'s red list.
Now the announcement of the new variant is rattling markets. You can see stock markets are down in the U.S., Europe and indeed in Asia.
France has disinvited Britain from weekend meeting on the migrant crisis as the diplomatic spat between the two countries grows. President Emmanuel
Macron today saying his British counterpart was not serious after Boris Johnson tweeted out a five-step plan in stopping migrants from crossing the
English Channel into the U.K.
You'll remember 27 migrants died off the French coast on Wednesday when their boat capsized and sank in the frigid channel waters.
Well, Nic Robertson is in London with more on that diplomatic fallout from this tragedy. And Cyril Vanier is in Dunkirk port with a close-up of what
these migrants are enduring before they even board these boats.
And Nic, let me start with you. This diplomatic spat after dozens of migrant deaths, the optics are simply not good here, are they?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The optics are horrible, Becky. I mean, look. The Christmas tree is going up outside of
Downing Street. You'd expect somewhat of a festive atmosphere yet from inside Downing Street we've had no response for many hours now to President
Macron and his Interior minister saying that Priti Patel, Britain's Home secretary, is disinvited to that very important meeting of Interior
ministers, Home secretaries of countries around the English Channel to figure out how they could work together to combat these migrant gangs that
are smuggling migrants across the channel.
Boris Johnson has said from the get-go since that disaster happened that he hoped that this would allow French to allow essentially British border
force to join their French police patrols on the beaches. The French very clearly said no. The British Home secretary said it again in parliament.
Boris Johnson then said it again in this letter that he made public to President Emmanuel Macron and even said that until there's some sort of
agreement he wants to send all migrants back to France because he thinks that will help France and Britain because it would dissuade migrants from
coming and then break the business models of the people smugglers.
That's how he says he wants to tackle it. This way of doing it so publicly is not sitting well with the French. There are many tensions with the U.K.
right now between -- with France. And President Emmanuel Macron has now made it very clear. This is too much, too far. It's not being taken
seriously he believes by the British and as I say nothing yet on that response from Downing Street.
ANDERSON: Well, behind these headlines and this diplomatic spat, Cyril, are men, women and children, 27 of whom died in frigid channel waters on
Wednesday. And many, many other, of course, are in France hoping to get to the U.K. for whatever reason. And they are being exploited by human
trafficker. That's a model that the U.K. prime minister wants to break he says but hasn't really come up with anything but a bunch of tweets to work
out how he might do that. And French police holding them back.
What are conditions like for these people?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we were just a few hours ago in one of the many migrant encampments. One of several that dot this region of
France near the coast not far off from the English coast. And I was able to put to migrants' questions that I've been asking myself since Wednesday's
tragedy. One of them, as we said, is why do they want to get to the U.K. specifically? Why not stay in France? Why risk their lives to cross the
Well, we've got the answer that I got from migrants today. Some of them it's because of the language, because they speak English or at least it's
one of their languages so they prefer to get to that country. Another one, and one that I heard most often is because they have friends and family
that can help them there. They're going to see an uncle. They're going to see their wife. They feel they have a support network in the U.K. that
simply they do not have in France.
Now why risk their lives at all? Is it really worth is especially when they have children? That's a question I asked them because I saw babies, I saw a
girl who was no older than 2, I saw a 5-year-old, an 8-year-old who were shivering in the cold. These people have nowhere to live. And I asked them
why risk your children's lives. They said it's better to die in the U.K. than to die in Iraq.
This, Becky, speaks to the level of desperation. The total absence of opportunity where they come from and the danger in their home countries.
These are -- were 100 to 200 migrants that came from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan. These are the world's worst trouble spots, so these people
feel that whatever risk they're taking by crossing the channel it doesn't match the risk that they're taking by staying at home -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Those questions are questions that I've been asking myself. Not just since Wednesday. And I'm sure you feel the same way but over the
months and years that we have seen the pictures of people leaving their homes in droves with kids on their shoulders trying to basically get to a
And thank you both, Cyril is in France and Nic is in London.
We're taking a short break. Back after this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. And returning to our top story this hour.
A new and alarming coronavirus variant with an unusually high number of mutations is sparking concern around the world. Now it appears to be
spreading relatively fast, first detected in South Africa. Countries across Europe and Asia have been scrambling to shut down flights, but cases have
already appeared in Hong Kong and Israel, and the Belgium government has just confirmed Europe's first case a short time ago.
Global markets are down on those new variant fear. The numbers tell the story. Wall Street being hit hard after returning from the Thanksgiving
holiday. Investors may get a little break if only because today's trading session is shorter than usual. Volumes will be smaller.
European markets closing out and they are rattled. The major stock indices there selling off quite heavily as you can see. And oil on the slide. Brent
Crude, the global oil benchmark, and U.S. oil have both fallen below $80 a barrel on concerns about the impact that any further variants, damage from
variants might have on economic growth.
We'll get inside from CNN's Richard Quest in a few minutes for you.
We want to get you to Israel where the prime minister says, in his words, he is very worried by that new COVID variant. A short time ago Naftali
Bennett announced there are at least four suspected cases in Israel and he says he expects more cases to come to light in the coming days. Mr. Bennett
also said, quote, "We are raising a red flag. We understand that we are on the verge of a state of emergency."
Well, Hadas Gold is live for us in Jerusalem. The prime minister says he is raising a red flag while still holding out hope this new variant will not
sweep into Israel and around the world. But that's a hope at this point, isn't it? Just how concerned is the government there?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're clearly very concerned because of the action they're taking after discovering overnight that there is one
confirmed case of this new variant and three suspected cases. And authorities are saying that they are expecting more.
Now the confirmed case came from somebody who returned from Malawi. And the reason that they were able to catch it is because every single person who
lands at the airport in Tel Aviv must be tested before they exit the airport. All these tests are in a central location and they are monitored
for all of these new variants.
Now as a result of this person being -- of this person having this new variant and of these new suspected cases, the Israeli government is issuing
sweeping new travel restrictions. They are essentially banning all travel from most African countries except for some of the northern countries.
They're saying that any Israelis who are there and are going to be returning into Israel will be allowed to do so but will be required to go
into quarantine and to take multiple tests even if they are would normally be exempt from quarantine because they are fully vaccinated.
I should also note, Becky, that actually that the health officials do say that the people who they suspect to have this new variant they do
understand that they are vaccinated and so far they are only showing mild symptoms.
Now the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as well the health minister and other health officials held a press conference just a few hours ago. He
said that they are preparing for the worst-case scenario. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: This new b.1.1.529 variant is concerning and has the potential to be very dangerous. We are raising a red
We understand that we are on the verge of a state of emergency. We have been working together with other world leaders and now's the time to act
fast, early, hard, and strong.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: And Becky, actually, recently the Israeli government did a large national scale drill to practice for what would happen if a new dangerous
variant emerges. Actually was just completed in the last few weeks and the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett saying that they are taking lessons from
that and implementing them now. Essentially what they learned is that they have to act immediately and act very quickly in the face of a new variant -
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Hadas, thank you.
Want to get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And Russian state media reports at least 52 people have
now died after a mining accident in Siberia. Officials say there was an explosion inside the mine which ignited a gas leak. Eleven miners were
initially killed, 35 were later found dead, and six rescue workers also died during ongoing search operations.
Thousands of farmers have gathered on the outskirts of Idia's capital to mark one year of protest against controversial farm reforms. The government
has promised to repeal the laws next week. But farm farmers say they will keep protesting until they are actually gone but also making additional
demands including price guarantees for their crops.
French President Emmanuel Macron has held private talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican today. Officials haven't disclosed what they talked about
and Mr. Macron has said he wanted to address the pandemic, migration, and Lebanon. Earlier the president also signed a treaty with the Italian prime
minister to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
You're with CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.
Still ahead, this trophy will turn heads wherever you place it but it's not easy to win. Join the battle of minds in the World Chess Champion in Dubai.
That is in a few moments.
And one of the most influential German coaches of all time could be headed to Manchester United. Details on that in your sports update coming up.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson and this is CONNECT THE WORLD from Abu Dhabi.
For the first time ever the UAE will host basketball games from the sport's most prominent league. The NBA has announced that two preseason match-ups
will take place in Abu Dhabi next October. Now this is part of a multi-year partnership with the city and it's meant to grow basketball around the
Well, earlier I spoke with a former NBA player Metta Sandiford-Artest who used to be known as Metta World Peace about what the deal means for the
league and for the Middle East.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
METTA SANDIFORD-ARTEST, FORMER NBA PLAYER: As a kid, you know, you put on a -- open up your book, open up the map and you see the world. Right? And you
want to go everywhere in the world and finally we are here in the Middle East. It's time to be in the Middle East. And I want to go to more
countries in the Middle East. Now just where we met now in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the UAE. I want to explore the Middle East. It's time. It's time.
ANDERSON: What do you think it means for the organization? You know the organization well.
SANDIFORD-ARTEST: I think it's great. You know, the NBA has always been progressive and has always been a league of the people. And you know,
everybody make mistakes. Companies make mistakes. Organizations make mistakes. But I feel like the NBA has been, you know, pretty supportive of
the people. And it's great that we're here in the Middle East.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, also taking place right here in the UAE a true battle of the minds. Magnus Carlsen began the defense of his World Chess Championship
title in Dubai today. He's been champion since 2013 and indeed the Norwegian could rightly be considered the best ever. The only man who has
spent longer than him as the highest ranked player is Russian Gary Kasparov. Well, we sat down with Carlsen ahead of his first game at the
championships and asked him whether he's done enough to dethrone Mr. Kasparov. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAGNUS CARLSEN, WORLD CHESS CHAMPION: I would say that Gary dominated for 20 years. And even if I were to win this championship, I would still have a
way to go to reach his heights. If I don't that will not lose me any sleep. I think I enjoy playing chess, especially casually, as much as I used to
when I was a kid but the world championship is not a question of enjoyment so much. In events like this it's more business.
For me I feel it's a lot about myself and just really, really anxious to get going and to show more of what I'm capable of than I have been able to.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Manchester United has not had the best of luck with managers for some years, but a new name is being mentioned by those in the
know. Not a name that slips off the tongue, an unfamiliar one to many, but Amanda Davis keeps her ear to the ground.
So who is he? And why does he make sense, Amanda, as far as the echelons at Old Trafford are concerned?
AMANDA DAVIS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Becky, if I tell you he has been dubbed the godfather of German football that might give you some idea. Ralf
Rangnick, we understand, is very, very close to heading from Lokomotiv Moscow where he's the sporting director to Old Trafford on a six-month
field to be the interim manager, but then interestingly, the longer-term plan is to be two years as a consultant. So at the top, top working with
working with a manager underneath him.
He is the man who has been credited as being the most influential on the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann, some of the most
talented, hottest property managers in the game today. They have been reacting to the news with some trepidation that Ralf Rangnick might be
heading back to the Premier League and that's what we're looking at in "WORLDSPORT" in a couple of minutes.
ANDERSON: What a tease. Thank you for that. That's coming up after the break. And we will be back with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD after
that. Stay with us.