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Peng Shuai Denies She Made Sexual Accusations; Gabriel Boric Elected Chile's Youngest President At 35; Omicron Dominant In Ireland, England And Scotland. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired December 20, 2021 - 10:00:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: COVID booster jabs as the British Prime Minister declares an Omicron emergency.

What is the truth? Tennis star Peng Shuai said she never made allegations of abuse against a top Chinese official.

And there are Rocco's parties in Chile as the country elects its youngest president in history. But who is Gabrielle Boric?

It's 7:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to the show. A new dimension to the pipe pandemic. That's how Germany's just

appointed expert Council on the coronavirus describes the Omicron variant. And European governments are racing to curtail the spread as new

restrictions take hold across the continent. Germany the latest in a string of nations to severely limit travel from the U.K., allowing only German

citizens and residents to enter the country from Britain.

Denmark, closing cinemas, theaters and museums asking bars and restaurants to shut down earlier. In the U.K., a call to arms. Shots in the arm to be

precised. A record number of people in England got COVID vaccines over the weekend even as cases surge prompting the Mayor of London to declare the

rapid virus spread a major incident. Scott McLean connecting us from London where he is watching COVID mitigation measures firsthand.

Ben Wedeman is in Rome with a look at what is going on across the continent of Europe. Let's start with you, Scott. British leaders not ruling out more

restrictions before Christmas. What do we know at this point?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN ENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, nothing is off the table, Becky, but the scientific advisors to the government are saying

look, you need to do something and you need to do it quickly in order to avoid near record levels of hospitalizations. The British Medical

Association representing doctors, they're saying essentially the same thing. So is the mayor of London, where the Omicron variant is so, so


About four out of every five new infections that hospitalizations are up by 30 percent in just the last week. In fact, the head of the health service

in England says that the expectation is that by Christmas day, just a couple of days from now, one out of every five healthcare staff in this

city may be out sick with the virus. So not only may you have this huge surge in hospitalizations, but you may also be short staffed at the same


And so the health service is already making plans for about 15 percent of new COVID patients who come into the hospital to take home an oxygen

monitor so that their levels can be monitored remotely from home. That's in order to free up some bed space. Obviously politicians here, Becky, have

some decisions to make. There was a cabinet meeting on Saturday, nothing concrete came out of that.

There's another one this afternoon we are told. The government though still very much in wait and see mode. They want to wait and see more data on the

Omicron variant and primarily, they want to see just how severe disease that variant actually causes before they do anything. But of course,

remember the Prime Minister said that vaccinations would be the way out of the pandemic.

And by and large, as you mentioned, people have been heeding the call. Record numbers of booster shots, which are more effective against the

Omicron variant were given out over the weekend. But obviously the variant is moving at an exponential pace. It is impossible for any booster shot

campaign to keep up.

ANDERSON: Meantime, before I let you go, the Deputy Prime Minister responding to a controversial photo from last year. This time last year

that appears to show Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his staff drinking wine together during what was the first U.K. lockdown. Have we had a

response to those images from the government of Boris Johnson at this point?

MCLEAN: Yes, that's right. So this photo is outside in the back garden of Downing Street. Pretty lovely backyard for London standards can't get any

bigger than that. But there's four people at a table, the Prime Minister and his wife are clearly shown, two others as well and then a table in the

background, there's another four people and then behind them on a lawn there's seven or nine I think people standing around as well on the grass



MCLEAN: And so, there appears to be wine and all of the settings and not a whole lot of social distancing going on. The rules at the time stated that

you could have two people meet outdoors, but you had to maintain social distancing. And so, if this was a social event, this would clearly be in

violation of the rules. The question is, when does a meeting, a business meeting become a social event?

Well, for most people, it's probably when there's wine and cheese boards involved, which is what the allegation is. The official line from Downing

Street is that this was a business meeting, after a press conference held outdoors. It would have been a series of business meetings, it would have

to be because there were sort of three or four separate groups of people milling about. Here's how the Deputy Prime Minister tried to explain it

earlier today. Listen.


DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: This is a place of work, but it's also the residence of the Prime Minister. And sometimes as many work

situations, particularly given the pressures that the number 10 team runs, they might have a drink after the formal business has ended. That is not

anything to do with the social mixing rules, and it's consistent with the guidance at the time.


MCLEAN: Becky, obviously, this is not the first time the Prime Minister or his staff had been accused of breaking or playing loose with the COVID

rules last year, some other allegations date back to December of last year. Here's the big problem for Boris Johnson is that he's built his image on

being this sort of like -- likeable everyman. You only have to look at as messy hair to know that. Images like this really seem to be hurting him


He's sinking in the polls. And they seem -- he just lost a key by election. And they really seem to be hurting him politically. Because that carefully

crafted image of this every man kind of goes out the window. When all of these allegations make you look like actually, you're an elite who's above

the rules that you yourself are making, Becky.

ANDERSON: Scot McLean's in London for us on the story there. Ben, let's bring you in at this point. We are seeing more and more restrictions being

announced in -- certainly, some major countries in Europe. Some very sobering warnings on rising case counts, what do we know at this point?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And what we're seeing, Becky, is really It feels like we're going back to almost the very early phases of

this pandemic, in terms of the restrictions that are being put in place. Germany is saying that travelers from the U.K. have to be under quarantine

for 14 days. You have for instance, the Netherlands is now on a strict lockdown where schools bars, restaurants are closed.

Across the Europe really we're seeing for instance, here in Latsia, the region where Rome is located, they are discussing the possibility of

mandatory vaccines as a way to stop the spread of the virus. And of course, the worry is that Omicron is going to get out of control. And everybody's

really looking at Denmark. Denmark has a system whereby every positive case has to be tested for the Omicron variety.

And the problem in much of the rest of Europe, they aren't necessarily looking at that. Denmark is showing the highest number of Omicron cases

anywhere. And they're doubling every two days. And so therefore, they're kind of restrictions perhaps that we're seeing being introduced in some

countries across Europe could become frequent or common among all of them as they try to bring the situation under control.

We've seen for instance, that Davos World Economic Forum has been postponed until next summer. In Rome, Christmas festivities have been canceled. So

the restrictions, it's hard to list them all really. But it does appear to be a very dark harbinger for how this Christmas is going to be. Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes. We know that this is clearly more transmissible. We know that it can evade vaccinations to some degree, perhaps not boosters, but

original vaccinations. It's still not clear just how severe this variant might be. And that's important, of course, because a more severe variant

will put sadly, people in hospital or even increase the number of deaths. Is it at this point, becoming any clearer across Europe, at least whether

this variant will put an awful lot more strain on national health systems, Ben?


WEDEMAN: Well, what we're seeing in for instance the Netherlands they are very concerned that by January, the health system could be overwhelmed by

new cases. New cases they are afraid of Omicron. Now, for instance, in Denmark, they have found so far and everything is preliminary given, you

know, how new the Omicron variant is for the world. They have found that two vaccines don't make a difference as far as -- basically it's as if

you're unvaccinated when it comes to the Omicron variant.

A third booster perhaps does make a difference, but at the moment, it appears that even if you've had two vaccines, you might as well not have

gotten any. Becky?

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is just outside of Rome and Scott's in London for you. To both of you , thank you. Well, as potentially encouraging us at

least on the vaccination front, especially on boosters. Moderna says preliminary data for its vaccine shows a 37-fold increase in antibody

levels against Omicron 50-microgram dose and an 83-fold increase without 100 microgram dose. Now the real life impact of the booster dose is unclear

but the Moderna CEO calls the findings reassuring.

Moderna shot is one of the vaccines approved for use in Israel. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has declared a fifth wave that has begun. You can

see the seven-day moving average starting to creep up on this graph. Mr. Bennett urging everyone to get a third shot and for kids to be vaccinated

as well.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Omicron is already here from Knesset to kindergarten. And it is spreading quickly. The

numbers are not yet high. But it is a very infectious variant. And with the rate of infection doubling every two to three days, as we are seeing around

the world, we can say that the fifth wave has begun.


ANDERSON: While Israel is also expanding its red no fly list to include the U.S., Canada and the other countries that you see here on this map. Elliott

Gotkine is in Jerusalem for us. Some sobering words there from the Prime Minister. What the sense on the street as it were? How is the Israeli

government making these decisions? Which countries for example, to add to this no fly list?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Becky, there's a few criteria that they use. One is that where 10 percent or more of cases in a country. 10 percent or

more of COVID cases in a country are Omicron. Those countries can be added to the Red List. Another is if it's a country that is geographically very

closely linked to that country with 10 percent or more of their COVID cases being Omicron.

And then the final criteria is if five or more of 10,000 visitors, five or more out of 10,000 visitors from a particular country test positive for

Omicron, then that country could go on the red list as well. And the reason why Israel is doing this and obviously it doesn't move the United States is

great -- best friend and greatest ally onto the Red List lightly is to effectively cut off the source of Omicron.

The major source of Omicron in the country because most of Israel's 175 confirmed cases and the 380 highly suspicious cases that could well turn

out to be Omicron, most of those were brought into the country from people traveling to Israel from overseas. Becky?

ANDERSON: The bad expected to be in place for how long at this point?

GOTKINE: So just a few days ago, they extended these travel restrictions until December the 29th. But I don't think anyone seriously expects them to

be lifted then. They will -- it seems to inevitably be extended into the New Year.

ANDERSON: Elliot, thank you. Well, as I mentioned, the U.S. one of those countries on Israel's Red List and it's no big surprise read about how the

Omicron variant as contagious as the measles is threatening the health system there and around the world. That is

Well, young and far-left, Chile makes history with its new president. We're live in Santiago after this short break. And new concerns about Chinese

tennis star Peng Shuai and a well being after she appears to make a public about face denying she ever accused an official of sexual assault.

And the school party turned tragic. Details of another young life lost in Thursday's bouncy castle accident in Australia. That is coming up.



ANDERSON: Chile has just elected the youngest president in its history. 35- year-old Gabriel Boric won Sunday's runoff with about 56 percent of the vote. That is according to election officials there. Boric ran on a left-

wing platform. His opponent was the polar opposite. 55-year-old Jose Antonio Kast is being compared to former U.S. President Donald Trump and

Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.

Boric will inherit nation suffering economically because of the pandemic and where protesters and government security forces clash weekly in the

capital. CNN's Rafael Romo is live in Santiago with more on Chile's historic election. Rafael, voters, they had two very different choices,

didn't they? Rafael, can you hear me? All right. Let's move on and see whether we can get him -- get him back at a later date.

At least one person was killed during protests in Sudan. Thousands gathered outside the Presidential Palace to protest October's military coup. Now the

military reinstated the prime minister last month but that didn't stop protests to Sunday's demonstration also marked three years since the former

leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

Pro-China candidates are claiming victory in Hong Kong's election amid historically low voter turnout. Sunday's legislative council vote was the

first since Beijing introduced major reforms that allow only candidates considered patriots to run and that resulted in none of the major pro-

democracy parties taking part about 30 percent of voters cast their ballots. The lowest since the 1997 handover from Britain.

Chinese officials call that number reasonable but also blame activists and foreign powers for undermining the election. I'm afraid we have a sad

update to Thursday's tragedy at an Australian school. A sixth-child has died as a result of his injuries. Winds lifted what was the inflatable

castle. 10 meters into the air then it dropped. Mimi Becker from our affiliate Nine News has the details for you.

MIMI BECKER, REPORTER: Police will begin the difficult task of speaking to a number of year, five and six students who watched this tragedy unfold.

Four specialized child forensic interviewers from New South Wales Police Force have flown into Devonport to help been that difficult and sensitive

process. The investigators have arrived and done a walkthrough at the school here examining the scene and the surrounds.


BECKER: We understand that up to 40 children were participating in the jumping castle activity when this incident unfolded last Thursday. And now

all of those students will need to be spoken with. It comes as Tasmania Police confirmed a sixth child has now died. 11-year-old Chase Harrison.

The Cain basketball player passed away yesterday with his family by his side in hospital.

The Hillcrest Primary School student now joins a heartbreaking roll call of classmates killed in this devastating incident. Two other children remain

in a critical condition in the Royal Hobart Hospital fighting for their lives.

ANDERSON: Tennis Peng Shuai is denying that she made abuse accusations against a retired Chinese official. In an interview with a Singapore-based

Chinese language newspaper, Peng said she's never spoken or written about anyone sexually assaulting her. Well, that's despite claims made on a now

deleted social media post has been global concern about her well-being and whether she's being silenced by Chinese authorities.

Meanwhile, China continues to censor or any discussion of the topic. Let's bring in Will Ripley who's been following Peng's case and joins us now with

these latest developments from Hong Kong. What do we know about the circumstances of this interview and indeed, about where the tennis star has

been over the past weeks?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This video, Becky, is very interesting. And if we take it at face value, it shows Peng Shuai at this

scheme tournament in Shanghai on Sunday and a reporter shooting with her phone standing on the sidelines asking questions of Peng, Peng walks over

casually asked her, are you -- are you recording? She says yes.

And then they have this conversation where Pung repeats a lot of the talking points that Chinese state media reporters have been tweeting pretty

ferociously for weeks even though inside the country they're ignoring the story but outside on Twitter, which is a platform banned in China, they

have been saying that Peng Shuai is doing just fine, that she's free to move around the country.

And Peng Shuai claimed as such in this interview saying that she went to Shanghai from Beijing, that she's free to travel around, that she's always

been free, that she's not under any kind of surveillance. But most notably, Becky, she basically denied that she ever made any accusation of sexual

assault. Despite that emotional and graphic and detailed Weibo posts back on November 2nd.

She now is telling this reporter and we have a clip of it for you that this was all a misunderstanding.


PENG SHUAI, TENNIS PLAYER (through translator): I want to emphasize one thing that is very important that I have never spoken or written about

anyone sexually assaulting me. This point is very important to emphasize clearly, in terms of the Weibo post, first of all, it's my personal

privacy, there possibly has been a lot of misunderstanding.


RIPLEY: Now that Women's Tennis Association, Becky, this is not good enough for them. We have a statement that they gave to us in response to this. And

it says, as we have consistently stated these appearances do not alleviate or address the WTA's significant concerns about her well-being. And ability

to communicate without censorship or coercion. We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation without censorship into

her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.

That post was made Becky on November 2nd. She has had weeks potentially to be coached, to be prepared for this kind of foreign media interview. And

yes, it is foreign media but it's about as close to Chinese state media as you can get. This newspaper is the only overseas Chinese language paper

that is allowed in the mainland. It can actually be accessed without the firewall, without a VPN in the mainland.

And so because they're known for their pro-Beijing coverage, there is some skepticism that this is still get another extension of this propaganda

campaign by China to make everything seem like it's just fine with the Winter Olympics fast approaching. And the opening ceremony says beginning

in February, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. This is absolutely fascinating, isn't it? She has, of course spoken to the IOC once if not twice as I -- as far as I can recall. Did she

-- did she mention that or those interviews when she spoke?

RIPLEY: She did. She did. She said that she did those interviews from her home in Beijing. She said she was very grateful to the International

Olympic Committee. She said she was very happy to have video calls with the IOC.


RIPLEY: So even though the IOC has been widely criticized, for one, not releasing those calls and just releasing one single still image and

statements. Peng Shuai when she was questioned about them said that she's - - that she was happy to have those calls with the IOC. So is the IOC complicit in this, you know, campaign to silence Peng Shuai or is this

truly the tennis star speaking unfiltered to the foreign media for the first time?

We really have to leave it up to our viewers to decide this, Becky, but there's certainly a lot of skepticism out there. Some tennis stars have

already been tweeting out this saying that looking at that video for them is unsettling.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Will. Will Ripley is on the story as he has been now for some weeks. As we mentioned earlier, Chile has just elected the

youngest president in its history. It's Gabriel Boric who won Sunday's runoff with about 66 percent of the vote. According to her election

officials there. He ran a left-wing platform against an opponent who some of likened to Donald Trump. CNN's Rafael Romo is in Santiago with more.

And what was, as I said, historic election voters with two very different choices. Is it clear why it was in the end, that they came down on the side

of the left-wing candidate Gabriel Boric?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. That's a very good question. I was talking to a voter here. And what he told me was that in the end, he

thought fear was going to prevail over hope. But the opposite turned out to be -- Boric was campaigning on the premise of hope, making a lot of

promises to many people. It remains to be seen if you'll be able to make that happen.

And on the other side, Kast was campaigning on a -- campaign of fear, telling people that communism was going to take over Chile if Boric won.

But yes, that is right, Becky. There are two very different choices. And let's remember that during the first round of elections, voters had seven

choices representing the entire political spectrum. In the end, they chose the two extremes and the candidate from the left.

Gabriel Boric obtained a decisive victory yesterday with nearly 56 percent of the vote. His win is remarkable, Becky, considering that about a decade

ago, he was a student activist. He quickly entered politics and served two terms in Congress launching a campaign for the President called Jose

Antonio Kast.

The conservative rival called him about an hour and 20 minutes after polls close to concede defeat and shortly thereafter, President Sebastian Pinera

congratulated Boric in a video conference call that was broadcast live on national television.

So what now? The expectations are very high, especially from those who voted for Boric. A leftist leader who has the support of Chile's communist

party. He promised the bigger, better government that takes care of people's needs, especially in the areas of education, welfare, human

rights, LGBTQ rights, and the environment. Will he be able to deliver? This is what Chilean political analyst Robert Frank told me about it. Let's



ROMO: He made a lot of promises during the campaign, is he going to be able to deliver?

ROBERT FUNK, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHILE: He's going to have a very hard time, you know, he's confronting a deadlocked Congress. He's got a

constitutional convention. He's got a very fractious coalition, it's not clear what role the Communist Party is going to play in this coalition.

Whether the Socialist Party will join or not. And he's got a difficult economic situation, we're coming out of the pandemic and the economic

effects of that.

And he's, as you say, he's made a lot of promises across a lot of money. Many of the things coming out of the Constitutional Convention are, you

know, social and political rights are likely to, you know, have an effect on fiscal spending. And so he's going to have a hard time meeting all of



ROMO: During his victory speech Boric said he will govern for all Chileans and extended an olive branch to all political sectors going as far as

saying that he's willing to listen to whatever proposals Kast, his conservative rival may want to make. Current President Sebastian Pinera

invited Boric to La Moneda. The presidential palace here in San Diego where they were expected to meet today. Becky, back to you.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. Thank you. Just a head on CONNECT THE WORLD. Another nosedive for Turkey's troubled currency. Why business leaders are

lashing out at President Erdogan. And why U.S. economic growth may be in jeopardy after a lawmaker plunges a knife into the heart of Joe Biden's

economic agenda. More on that after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Here it is just after half past 7:00. More economic

turmoil in Turkey as its currency crisis deepens. The Turkish Lira touching a new low a short time ago after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected

business warnings about the dangers of recent interest rate cuts. The troubled currency has lost about 50 percent of its value against the U.S.

dollar since September.

And that one on one economics here making basic goods unaffordable for many people. I want to bring in CNN's Arwa Damon who is standing by for us in

Istanbul. Mr. Erdogan defending his latest rates cut, sending the Lira even lower. What's he been saying? What's his rationale here?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, his rationale is what it has always been. And that is that lowering the interest rate

continuously is going to -- in the long term at some point in time, perhaps help the economy and actually stop inflation. The problem is that this runs

contrary to any sort of trend that one may look at in the past. Not to mention runs contrary to the advice of so many.

And so for Turks, they're in the situation where on some days, you know, you can practically get metaphorical whiplash from watching the way that

the Lira is ping ponging around not to mention then when you actually watch it repeatedly crashed down. But despite what we're seeing, despite the Lira

crashing, despite all of the criticism that President Erdogan is getting he is continuing to stand firm. Take a listen.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Sooner or later, just as we lowered inflation all the way to four percent when I came

to power, we will lower it again. We will make it fall again. But I will not let my citizens, my people be crushed under interest rates.


DAMON: The issue, of course, is that by the time if that hypothetical lowering of inflation does happen, who knows at this stage, what people's

bank accounts will be like. And that's the big issue here is that this is a massive gamble. And it's a gamble really that is one that is going to hit

people's lives and livelihoods the hardest. That of the citizens of this country.


DAMON: And really, Becky, it's everything that people are fearing right now. And it's all that they are talking about, get in a cab, go to the

grocery store, go to your local market, meet up with friends, all anyone is talking about is the state of the economy.

ANDERSON: Yes. President Erdogan attacking business leaders saying in his - - in his words, I'm calling you out. Look, I mean, he's rationale here is that, you know, a lower currency will make exports cheaper. But the

question is, you know, will enough businesses be in business to actually export anything at this point going -- and going forward if import prices

are so high, that they're not able to actually build make those goods that they want to sell outside of the country?

And you talk about what this means to people struggling to get through on a daily basis. How much harm is this doing to the President's credibility at

this point?

DAMON: Well, many will argue that he is actually in the most vulnerable state, he has been an in terms of his own popularity, because a lot of

things will not sway a staunch Erdogan's supporter but start to be unable to fill your fridge the way that you used to, feed your children, enjoy

certain things or watch the value of your bank account. Dwindle and that will have a fairly severe impact.

President Erdogan from the very beginning has really been playing these waning economy as being something of a foreign conspiracies trying to push

forward this argument, this notion that Turkey is strong, Turkey doesn't need to be lectured by outsiders in terms of what it should do about its

interest rates that, you know, Turkey is the only one that knows exactly how to run turkeys affairs.

And that President Erdogan's actions are all about having the country's best interests at heart. But again, Becky, this is such a massive gamble

because you know what? Yes, exports will be cheaper for those who are seeking goods but companies who are trying to export their products,

they're struggling and when it comes to the internal market right now, it's struggling as well. Turks understandably are not buying the way that they

used to.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is in Istanbul in Turkey. Thank you. And prospects for the U.S. economy may have dimmed after Senate Democrat Joe Manchin

announced that he will not vote for legislation that will expand America's social safety net. This is seen as a major blow for U.S. President Joe

Biden's Build Back Better plan as it's known. Democrats need mentions vote in what is a 50-50 Senate.

Plus, a tiebreaker from Vice President Kamala Harris mentioned is long been a key hold out on the framework despite months of talks. Here's what he

said on Sunday.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't

get there.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: You're done. This is -- this is a no.

MANCHIN: This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do.


ANDERSON: Well, after that declaration, Goldman Sachs wasted no time in slashing its growth forecasts for the American economy. Wall Street firm

told clients it no longer assumes Build Back Better will actually get through Congress. And that could be a blow for economic growth. The golden

move, adding to worries about the global economies. It of course faces the Omicron threat at present.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. In closing arguments get underway today in the federal

trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime confidant of Jeffrey Epstein. Jurors will have a chance to begin deliberations before court is closed for

the holidays. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six charges including sex trafficking of minors. She faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted.

Well, the death toll in the Philippines keeps climbing four days after Super Typhoon Rai made landfall. More than 200 people are now confirmed

dead and hundreds of thousands more have lost their homes in the flooding. Rescuers are still looking for survivors.

And rescue operations ongoing in Malaysia after monsoon hit the western part of that country over the weekend. More than 450 people had to be

rescued from a highway after floodwaters trapped them in their vehicles. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD out of Abu Dhabi where the time is 20 to

8:00. It was a very special and almost winning Sunday on the golf course for Tiger Woods and his son. More on that after this.



ANDERSON: Well, he is back to competitive golf. And boy did this turned into a thrilling family affair. Tiger Woods and his 12-year-old son Charlie

took second place at the PNC Championship in Florida in what was Woods' first tournament since his leg was severely injured in a car crash in

February. The father, son (INAUDIBLE) 15 under par on Sunday, and at one point, birdied 11 straight holes. The round left the afterwards happy and



TIGER WOODS, 15-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION: The competitive juices aren't they're never going to go away. This is my environment. This is what I've done in

my entire life. I'm just so thankful to be able to have this opportunity to do it again. Early this year was not a very good start to the year and it

didn't look very good. But the last few weeks, the push as hard as we have the last seven months with taking no days off and just working our butts

off each and every day.

And to have this opportunity to be able to play with my son. And to have these memories, you know, for us, both of us for a lifetime. It's worth all

the pain.


ANDERSON: Wow. Alex, Alex is in the house doing World Sport after the break. Listen, it is remarkable. He's clearly worked incredibly hard to get

back on the course, over the past seven months or so. And then to have a 12-year-old son who plays golf like that. I mean, he clearly hasn't lost

his ability to surprise us. And it's clearly wonderful for him that he's playing alongside this little chap, Charlie, who is so good. What did you

make of all of this?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: And the T.V. coverage made quite a point about how their mannerisms are similar. The way that all kids

tend to mimic the mannerisms of their parents. Of course, they're great ball strikers. But you're right, everyone's intrigued to see if Tiger Woods

can ever compete again at the highest level. And this is evidence that maybe he can or we didn't need a golf car to get around over the weekend.

ANDERSON: Amazing stuff. I know you're going to do more on that in World Sport. That's coming up after this short break. We will be back after that.

Alex, thank you.