Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Ukrainian Leaders: Missiles Targeted Country's Infrastructure; Anti- Government Protests Roil Iran for Fourth Week; European Parliament President on Iran Protest Response; Kremlin Praises OPEC Plus for Oil Production Cuts; Shaquille O'Neal speaks with CNN; White Terror Survivors Recount Brutal Period in Taiwan. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 10, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour as Russian forces launch a barrage of attacks across Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin warns

of further action. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".

At least 11 deaths and dozens more injured after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered strikes in cities or on cities across Ukraine. In Kyiv, a

major blast struck a pedestrian bridge.

Also in Ukraine's capital these images show a crater left just feet away from a jungle gym and a children's playground. The Russian military bombing

several other parts of Ukraine including Kharkiv Kyiv, Lviv and Mykolaiv critical infrastructure, including power facilities have been hit.

Now all of this it seems as part of Putin's reply after a massive explosion damaged a strategic bridge linking Crimea and Russia, Putin blaming it on

Ukraine's Secret Service and issuing this warning.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: In terms of the further act of terrorism on the territory of Russia. Russia reply will be harsh and will be

corresponding to the level of threats to the Russian Federation have no doubt about it.


ANDERSON: We've got a team of reporters covering these developments for us Fred Pleitgen in Ukraine's capital. We'll get to him in just a moment. I

want to start though with Nick Paton Walsh, who is in Dnipro in Eastern Ukraine. President Putin speaking three or four hours ago you are in a city

that has witnessed the fallout from attacks over the weekend just what have you seen?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECUIRTY EDITOR: Well, so far, Dnipro has been hit by what we saw as two missiles certainly. We just heard the

air raid sirens again, here in Dnipro, and unclear if that is because of specific threat incoming.

But in the morning, two missiles hit what we saw earlier on seems to be targeting an abandoned telecoms building and left a significant crater in

one of the second missiles that hit actually seem to have impacted a civilian bus passing by.

Like across Ukraine these attacks happened during rush hour streets were busy is when people were on the move or moving in to their places of work

or education and significant amounts of damage caused by that crater. The bus near and apparently five people critically injured taken data from over

a dozen other injuries as well.

In this region we know of I think it's four or five dead from these missile attacks. And there was a moment this morning, where it felt like pretty

much every city in Ukraine was under some kind of missile attack.

And I think it may be fair to say that most major population centers were the targets appear to have been critical infrastructure initially, but of

course with a blatant disregard for civilian life.

Civilians, it's fair to say probably also the target of these missiles as well over 80 according to the Ukrainian General Staff fired and over 20

what you might refer to as suicide drones essentially bombs trapped to a drone that try and target specific places.

We don't know the full nature of the damage caused yet we know that we're I'm standing in Dnipro - region 80,000 people are said to be without power

that may be something that can be fixed.

But there was a moment I think, where many Ukrainians were deeply concerned hearing these air raid sirens hearing the blasts places like Kyiv, Lviv

that had not felt the war really up close for a number of weeks, if not months since the beginning finally hearing again, air raid sirens and

hearing loud blasts.

It is remarkable that the Russian President would choose this form of response across the entire nation. It's not something they can do every


There's a limited supply of this highly expensive supposedly precision missiles which I have to say here in Dnipro have completely missed their

target or been going for an empty building so that it shows you a possibly the quality information the Kremlin is often working from but there has

been damage to critical infrastructure.


WALSH: There have been civilian lives lost. The message, certainly I think has been felt by Ukrainians that Russia feels it has some military might

left to bring to the fight. But that's after weeks, if not months, then losing again and again and again on the frontlines against a higher morale

better equipped Ukrainian military.

Russia supply lines command structure, shambles, frankly, and causing them to be retreating now on three separate fronts across Ukraine. This is

perhaps a long waited response as a new Russian Commander who's cut his teeth in Syria, there also with a significant civilian casualty toll when

the Russian Air Force intervened.

So we may be seeing a change in tone, possibly certainly a bit by the Kremlin to say they're not out of the fight. Whether this heralds a new

series of similar days like today, where many Ukrainians just in the bomb shelter, worried. I think, a brave face, certainly a fast clean up

resilience, no sign is going to alter the progress of the war in the longer run, but a very important day in terms of Russia's military response,


ANDERSON: Let me bring in Fred, who's in Kyiv in Ukraine. Fred, you and Nick have been reporting on this war since its outset, and for many months

before that, if not years. The outset of this war of course, seven months ago.

You have just been listening to Nick there describing as he sees it through, from his perspective, the message from Russia at this point, what

are you witnessing where you are? And what is the likely response from Ukraine?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly listening to Ukrainian officials, and we have spoken to a lot of them

throughout the course of the day, they say that the response is going to be defiance, and certainly the continuation of their own efforts that have

been quite successful on the battlefield over the past couple of weeks, the past couple of months, as well.

And, you know, one of the things that I think a lot of people were listening to with a lot of interest was the fact that Vladimir Putin said

that the Russians had struck command and communications infrastructure of the Ukrainian military.

Well, where I'm standing right now is actually a playground so certainly not any command or communications infrastructure here. You can see over

there some of the places where the children would normally be playing.

Luckily, the strike here happened in the fairly early morning hours. So there weren't actually apparently any children playing here at that time.

However, in this area of Kyiv I'm in central Kyiv of right now.

At least five people were killed, not far from here at all. We were at a busy intersection before. And just to give you an idea, Becky, of how

dangerous all of these strikes, were, we are right in the center of the Ukrainian capital.

Right now, you can see the crater there I'd say it's about probably about 18 to 15 to 18 feet deep. And we still have rocket parts actually lying

around that we're finding on the ground here. This is shrapnel from the missile or rocket or whatever struck this obviously a very big piece of

ordinance has struck this place.

This has really sharp edges and obviously, this is something that kills people in an instant. And this was used right in the center of Kyiv. Now,

the authorities here, Becky, they have been telling us that yes, there was critical infrastructure that was hit. There are still parts of the

Ukrainian capital that are without power. However, they also say that a lot of civilians were brought to harm and these attacks as well, Becky.

ANDERSON: Frederik Pleitgen is on the ground in Kyiv. Nick is in Dnipro. You've heard some of Vladimir Putin's speech earlier thanks to both. Let's

talk more about his possible strategy here. CNN's Nic Robertson following that and joins us from London. And Vladimir Putin to nobody's surprise,

vowing that the Russian response to the Crimea bridge attack will be harsh without in any way, suggesting that he is what he seems to think is a

provocation here is justified. What does he mean? And what can you realistically do at this stage?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMIC EDITOR: Well, what he is doing is using his inventory of long range, smart weapons, if you will, ones they

that he can target onto specific targets, and it does seem to be the infrastructure and energy.

His that arsenal of weapons is being has been reduced over this year. And it seems witnessed what we've seen in the playground there. A strike

completely, apparently way off target of what Russia says it was going for command and control.

So where Putin stands at the moment is to have some very heavy ordnance that's not as accurate as he would like it to be. And none of this is going

to turn around what's happening on the battlefield, which is taking heat for at home politically that he is not prosecuting the war as hard as he


There has been a very sort of extreme right wing nationalist commentator on Russian TV saying that Putin should do more the army should do more and

this seems to be in part an answer to that because it undermines Putin's credibility.


ROBERTSON: But again, the battlefield of actual battlefield in the Ukraine that is territory that Putin is losing, and he's losing it because he

doesn't have the capable armed forces as at his disposal that he thought he would have.

And Ukrainians are taking advantage of Russia's military weakness on the battlefield, so more of this to come, says Putin. I think this is an

indicator that is going to go after the infrastructure that will make winter so much harder and harsher for Ukrainians.

ANDERSON: In calling this recent attack on the Kerch Bridge, an act of terrorism by Ukraine, Vladimir Putin also listed a log of multiple acts of

what he sees as terrorism that the Kyiv government has committed over the years just have a listen to this.


PUTIN: It was terrorism shelling of the cities and towns in Donbas for over eight years. Its acts of nuclear terrorism, I mean, rocket strikes on the

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and Ukrainian - services conducted three acts of terrorism against the Russian nuclear power plants in - trying to

disrupt the lines of energy supplies.


ANDERSON: Nic this doesn't sound like a man who is looking for an off ramp at this point, there seems to be no off ramp at this point. So what happens


ROBERTSON: Well, he's turning to his tried and tested formula for blaming the other side for actually what he's doing, which is taking control of the

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with his military forces, fighting a battle around the power plant while essentially you know, forcing the

Ukrainian workers in that power plant to keep working.

He said that it's that it's now also annex and its part of Russia's power system. So this is Putin inverting the logic that the world sees and trying

to take it to his advantage to win the domestic case at home that is not going well for him because the war is not going well.

Where does this sort of narrative take us? It doesn't take us to an off ramp, as you say however; it's in the strikes today. And the narrative that

he's using is indicative of a leader that's running out of options to keep control of the narrative on the battlefield, which is when and hold his

trade to when he's not winning, who's losing ground.

He's tried to hold it by annexing these areas that's not making a difference on the battlefield. So I think we're going to hear more of this

as Putin struggles to win the narrative at home firm up support at home and send a message which is I will continue on up the ante.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is in London for you. Thank you, Nic! Well, the Russian Leader set to meet with the United Arab Emirates President on

Tuesday; the UAE state run news agency says Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ion will discuss the "Friendly relations between the two nations"

along with international interests that they share. That likely will include OPEC Plus's recent decision to cut oil production by a nominal 2

million barrels per day.

And there is plenty of reaction to that OPEC Plus move from praise to fury. I'll tell you more about that just a little later this hour. Coming up

chants of freedom, echo across the streets of Iran as protests there and fourth week. Britain, the latest country to impose fresh sanctions, we will

will speak to Tariq Ahmad who holds the Middle East File for the British Government about that after this.



ANDERSON: Human rights group says Iranian security forces launched a fierce attack using live ammunition in Kurdish cities early on Monday. Now this

comes as anti-government protests gather momentum across the country.

Students at a university in North Tehran there singing an old patriotic song their palms stained with red paint to show solidarity with protesters.

And now oil and gas workers are joining protests social media videos, show workers shouting anti-government slogans and even blocking a highway

outside a petrochemical plant.

Look, these are unprecedented protests. Another country is imposing sanctions alarmed by the brutality of the crackdown on protesters by

Iranian officials on what are largely peaceful demonstrations.

This video is from the pro-reform news outlet IranWire. Britain is the latest country to target Iran. It is imposing sanctions on Iran's morality

police and several top officials. Let's bring in Tariq Ahmad; he is Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia and the United

Nations at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

It's good to have you sir! Your announcement follows similar moves from the U.S. and Canada. Last week, you know, with respect we are a month into

these protests, what took the British government so long?

TARIQ AHMAD, MINISTER, BRITISH FOREGIN, COMMONWEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE: Well, I mean, first of all, we worked very much in coordination

with our key partners, to who you mentioned. And it's important that we have coordination on our sanctions and of course, the UK has its own system

of sanctions in terms of ensuring that these are evidenced and then, of course, that they stand up for scrutiny.

But we coordinate very closely with our key allies. And the important thing is that the sanctions have applied today, and send a very strong signal

that those who are committing these acts, these crimes against their own people, that they will be acted upon them we will work with our partners to

those sanctions are imposed.

ANDERSON: The question is will the sanctions be effective sir? What will you actually achieve by sanctioning these specific figures and groups?

AHMAD: Well, first and foremost, what do the sanctions actually do? They put immediate freezes on these individuals and of course, the organization.

It also puts specific travel bans on this. And that comes back to my earlier point about good coordination and strong coordination with key

partners, because sanctions are most effective when we do so with our partners, that those who are subject of these sanctions feel the impact.

ANDERSON: Only a few months ago, the UK along with its Western allies were negotiating and it seemed close to a revival of the Iran Nuclear Deal or

JCPOA those talks going on in Vienna and elsewhere. Given what are going on in the ground, I have to ask, is this a government that the British

government wants to do any business with at this point?

AHMAD: One thing is very clear, Becky. And, you know, we've all seen it. Your viewers have just seen again - of people, ordinary Iranians who are

joining in on the protests. And what's very clear is there's a real sense unprecedented to use your own words.

And it's important we stand up and show the Iranian citizens as we've always said our argument is never with them never has been with them. And

we need to ensure that their security and safety and where they're being targeted as an answer meaningless, for example, that we're calling this


And the actions we're taking are reflective of that. The JCPOA that we referred to, of course, was an important agreement not perfect. For

example, it does to cover ballistic missiles but at the same time it was the only deal on the table however we've seen not just reluctance but a

total lack of engagement from the Iranian side.


AHMAD: And what we're seeing now, emerging within Iran itself is a real people's transformation; they want to say, almost, it's bordering on a kind

of new revolution of the people taking place on the ground.

And what do they want, they want basic freedoms, they want women to have their right to choose. And that's really put this in context. What women

are asking for Iran doesn't go against the religion of Islam. Islam actually talks about women's choice, it allowed women to choose what they

wear, it allows women to be educated, allows women to work.


AHMAD: And what the Iranian government must do is respond to the rights of women and - these are fully protected along with all other systems as well.

ANDERSON: Let's be clear a month in many of these protesters, Lord Ahmad are not now just calling for women's rights. They are calling for regime

change. Many are chanting Death to the Dictator, Death to the Islamic Republic. Does the UK support regime change, echoing what those protesters

are saying on the streets protesters that you say that you are in support of in Iran?

AHMAD: For any government, Becky, what's important is they reflect people's interest. And the duty of any government is to protect this instance;

clearly what we're seeing on in Tehran and across the country right now is far from them. And it's important that we show solidarity and support for

those whose human rights are being suppressed.

And indeed, they are being directly targeted, and tragically, lives are being lost. The Iranian government needs to respond and ensure that it's

protecting people's rights. And importantly, ultimately, what happens in Iran is a choice for the Iranian people.

ANDERSON: I want to be quite clear here, because, you know, it is very clear that the international community, those who have been in support of

the revival of the JCPOA do not want it seems to conflate what they are seeing on the streets of Iran with the potential for reviving that deal.

I put it to you again. Is this a government that the British government is prepared to deal with when it comes to those talks because what happens

with the revival of any nuclear deal will have an impact on the Iranian people? Is this a government you can do business with?

AHMAD: Well, I think we need to reflect on what the track record is, Becky, what we've seen is a failure and total disengagement from those talks. And,

of course, these - what the situation we're seeing prevailing at the moment in France, of course, a very different perspective on what the future of

Iran is, in terms of what the people want of Iran.

We've negotiated in good faith, we've sought with the current government, we have diplomatic relations with the Iranian government. And we've sought

to negotiate a return to the JCPOA because it's not just about Iran. It's not just about the UK or indeed our other continents; it's about regional

stability and security.


AHMAD: And since of any other deal, that's the only deal on the table. And that's why we've been using all diplomatic efforts to proceed to return on

to the table.

ANDERSON: Let me just put it another way, very briefly, will you continue to negotiate with Tehran?

AHMAD: Well, there are two tracks here; we've called out quite specifically the protests on the streets. We've taken we've summoned in their

ambassador, we've given very specific messaging on this. But we've also taken actions and the sanctions underlying not just our concern, but the

direct action, which we're partners against those who are perpetrating these acts of violence against Iranian systems.

At the same time, the deal remains very much on the table. As I said, ultimately, what happens in Iran is for Iranian people, but we've always

negotiated to ensure that we see the wider security and stability in the region. And at the moment, in absence of anything else, the JCPOA remains

the only deal which would, in some shape or form, seek to secure that stability.

ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. It's good to have you on.

AHMAD: Good to be, thank you.

ANDERSON: I appreciate it. Well, I spoke to the European Parliament President in the last hour as well about sanctions and Europe's response to

Iran's protests. Obviously, the UK now is no longer a member of the European Union. Ultimately, as we've just been discussing, demonstrators

have been calling for regime change. And as I just asked Lord Ahmad, I asked Roberta Metsola if she would support that, as well her response.


ROBERTA METSOLA, PRESIDENT, EU PARLIAMENT: Well, I could say that there are increasing voices calling for this. It has been long time coming; we have

seen a regression of rights that is solidifying let's so to speak we have seen women being killed on the street.


METSOLA: So with the European Union has to always show that the values that it defends within its confines so to speak should also be shown across the

world and this cannot exclude any country least of all Iran.


ANDERSON: Well, that's a view of Roberta Metsola of the European Parliament; let's step back, shall we? These protests have been raging

across Iran for weeks now. There are no signs that they are stopping anytime soon. My colleague Jomana Karadsheh who has been reporting on these

day-in day-out, now with more on how people are risking their lives to speak out, have a look at this.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is how the fourth week of Iranian uprising started. The whales of one more family's forever

farewell, another young life taken too soon one of several lives lost in a day of rage, a day of carnage in Iran's Kurdish region. These are the

images the regime doesn't want the world to see.

They cut off the internet in - making it hard for us to tell the stories of the dead and those left to mourn. The little video is trickling out only a

glimpse into the repressive Republic and its vicious force to crush the growing dissent. The savagery caught on camera in scenes like this in


And this, a man pleads with police to leave his wife alone. We're not protesting she's pregnant, he says, but to no avail. Both appear to have

been forcefully dragged away.

It is that tyranny that feeds the anger of those on the streets defiant and determined seemingly unstoppable; you're chasing the right police. At an

all-women's university this weekend, President Ebrahim Raisi who's dismissed the thousands on the streets as rioters praise students for

seeing through with key claims as the foreign conspiracy to weaken Iran.

At that same university an extraordinary moment of rebellion as the young women chant Raisi gets lost. Unclear if this happened while he was there,

what's clear is the wall of fear in Iran has come down.

Even the regime's attempt to control the narrative also briefly disrupted hackers interrupted state TV Saturday evening newscast with this video, a

target superimposed on the face of the Supreme Leader and at the bottom of the screen the faces of Mahsa Jina Amini and three of the young women

who've died in the protests, Nika Shahkarami, Hadis Najafi and Sarina Esmailzadeh with a message that reads, join us and rise up.

The streets of Tehran were already wising up that night with some of the largest protests in the capital so far, seems replicated across the country

as the government claims calm has been restored, and the so called riots are mostly over.

Daytime brought more students back out in force protesting on campuses across the country and young school girls waving their pores headscarves

joining in the daring chance. Their fearless cries for women life freedom is reverberating louder than ever through the streets of Iran. Jomana

Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


ANDERSON: Just ahead why the Biden White House might be viewing OPEC as a four letter word these days, a live update from Washington DC. Plus, I'll

be talking to the Chief OPEC Correspondent for Energy Intelligence about what is going on in that oil market and on an historic weekend for the

Middle East and NBA, I sat down with a basketball legend, you will not want to miss this.



ANDERSON: For more now, on our top story, Russia firing a wave of missiles and rockets across cities across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv and

Dnipro, which is in the southeast of the Capitol, have a look at this.

Authorities say these 10 people have been killed and dozens injured in these rocket attacks and there is growing concern that Russian President

Vladimir Putin may seek to escalate this war. EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell tweeting "Deeply shocked by Russia's attacks on civilians in Cuba

and other cities in Ukraine additional military support from the EU is on its way".

Well as the EU and other nations grapple with an energy crisis sparked by Russia's war the Kremlin, praising OPEC plus for last week's oil production

cuts. Moscow is saying that the cartel is counted what it calls mayhem created by the U.S. in global energy markets.

As the Kremlin's position last week, last Wednesday, of course, the oil group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to slash output by a nominal 2

million barrels a day that's twice what analysts had predicted. But I'm bringing Chief OPEC Correspondent for Energy Intelligence Amena Bakr.

She joins me live from Dubai. And let's just be quite clear. I just want to drill down for a moment. Here OPEC plus announcing that they will cut their

collective output target by 2 million barrels a day from November, many member countries it seems that are pumping well below their quota. So is

this really the monster cut that some are describing?

AMENA BAKR, CHIEF OPEC CORRESPONDENT, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE: Hi, Becky, it isn't the monster cut, but it's the biggest cut since the group agreed to

cut around 10 million barrels back in 2020. So yes, it is a big cut. But the headline cut, as you mentioned, is 2 million barrels a day. Many of the

OPEC plus members can't reach their production cuts.

So the actual barrels that are going to be off the market are half that amount, meaning its a million barrels a day starting in November.

ANDERSON: OK, that's important. Let's take a look at the price of oil then over the past month. You can see it spiked October 3. That's the day of the

announcement. The price today is this.

So the price has gone higher. It is though off its highs. How much of that the price as we see it at present includes fear of a global recession.

That's the cartels argument for their action, of course. Is that factored in here?

BAKR: Becky, when they first announced that they're going to be cutting by the headline figure which is the 2 million barrels a day, you would expect

oil prices to jump up a lot higher and we only saw on the day of the announcement about a 2 percent rise in prices sure.

If you look today, oil is around $97. But there are a lot of uncertainties coming and you have the price caps, you have the EU sanctions.


BAKR: And OPEC's argument is that we still don't know how all of these factors will influence the market on both the demand and the supply side.

They argue that this is a preemptive action, which protects the cartels; I'm sorry OPEC pluses own interests in, in making sure that the prices

guarantee the survival of the industry.

I mean, we're faced with an issue right now, Becky, where you had a drop in prices previously, which is leading a lot of countries not being able to

produce their quotas. They don't want to face another crisis where the industry is impacted, and faced with the limited spare capacity that we're

seeing today.

One other very important point, Becky, is that this cut frees up spare capacity, it frees up over 600,000 barrels of spare capacity that could be

used in the future, if we see a shortage in supply.

ANDERSON: Given that there are a number of countries who can't fulfill their quotas at this point, the bottom line here is that as I understand

it, Russia doesn't have to cut its production and gets the benefit from the price rise. That is a highly controversial consequence of this OPEC plus

decision certainly for the West for g7 and for the US for Washington, specifically.

The Kremlin said that the cartel has countered what it calls mayhem, created by the U.S. in global energy markets; briefly explain what they

mean by that.

BAKR: Sure, I mean, the statement by the Kremlin, I mean, it lands the group in political hot water and the connection between being politicized

decision. But again, OPEC plus and its members, you have to remember that there are 23 members of this group, it's not just Russia, Russia, is the

23rd member.

So you had 22 countries agreeing this was a collective decision. And it was really taken based on technicalities and numbers. And we're going to see

tomorrow that the OPEC plus report is going to be revising down its demand. And it's going to show also a buildup in stock levels due to this

uncertainty over the global economy.

So there are numbers behind this, Becky, it's not just a political decision. But I understand that everything these days is being viewed

through a political lens. It's hard to see anything outside of political lens. But what I want to say and especially in the case of Gulf States,

they are not siding with Russia, they are not siding with the U.S.

They're siding with their own interests, and the other members of the group are also citing their own interests and trying to keep their budgets, their

projects, their visions, and ambitions away from these two giants, the U.S. and Russia having this massive war.

ANDERSON: We're going to do more on this. Thank you for the time being and more in our meanwhile, in the Middle East Newsletter, by the way, folks

that are newsletter. The OPEC plus output cut then, as Amena there was discussing and set off a furious response from the United

States, the Biden White House warning it will in its words, consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to curb OPEC's control over

energy prices.

Democrats are more than anxious because of white knuckle midterm election campaign, racing into its last four weeks with the U.S. Senate on a knife's

edge. Democrats do not want to see gasoline prices go higher. Let's get you to Washington, where we're joined by CNN Politics Editor, Reporter, Stephen

Collinson. Stephen, just explain the perspective there and then sort of sense through the lens of the White House at present.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Right Becky, there. As you mentioned, the midterm elections are coming up in just four weeks, there's

almost nothing that hurts voters more than seeing their gas prices go up. Every time they drive down the street, you see all these gas stations every

day the price goes up.

That has a visceral, political impact, especially at a time when people are paying more for eggs and meat and inflation is raging. There's also a

perception from Washington that this step helps Russia and there's outrage about that on Capitol Hill.

And finally, there's also a sense that Saudi Arabia's stock in the U.S. Capitol has been, you know, very low ever since the Khashoggi assassination

and it doesn't have much political capital to spend here. So there's a lot of resentment, there's a lot of people lashing out. The question is what

can the United States do about it and almost all of the options that it has are pretty unpalatable.


ANDERSON: What are those options briefly?

COLLINSON: So there's been this bill in Congress, it's been basically stuck there for about 20 years dubbed in OPEC that would allow the Justice

Department if it was passed to file an antitrust case in the U.S. court against OPEC.

The problem with this and the reason there's never really got to a president's desk is it can have all sorts of, you know, unforeseen and

dangerous implications in the global oil market, they could make the situation much worse.

You know, the petroleum industry in the United States wants the Biden Administration to open up more land for drilling that wouldn't really do

much. In the short term, the administration argues that they've already given lots of permits, and they haven't been taken up by the industry.

In theory, the U.S. could put curbs on exports of his home produced oil that again, would have an effect on the market. And it would be an anti-

free market step, which I think the U.S. administration would be very loath to take.

The administration has also been giving out lots of them, you know, dispersions from the U.S. strategic oil reserve, that hasn't really had

that much impact on the market, even though there's millions of dollar of oil that has been released. So, you know, this is a very difficult problem

for the Biden Administration, and it's really radioactive politically.

ANDERSON: Thank you. Stephen Collinson is in Washington for you. Coming up, the thrills and spills of the NBA came to Abu Dhabi this weekend. And our

discussion with Hall of Famer, Shaquille O'Neal is up next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World" and an historic week here in Abu Dhabi and for the region. The UAE

Capitol hosted the highly anticipated preseason NBA games between Atlanta Hawks and 2021 champions, the Milwaukee Bucks.

And this was the first time the world's premier Basketball League has played games in the Gulf, a clean sweep for the Hawks at what was a packed

18,000 seat area to reach an arena for the two games. I was lucky enough to sit down with Hall of Famer, Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaq to talk about what this means for the region is own influences growing up his next big move in the NBA and he who he believes is currently killing

it. Have a listen.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, FORMER BASKERBALL PLAYER: This historic because I know for a fact because I used to be a kid and loved the washer game. But when

you watch it on TV at the house, everybody get a certain feeling. And you never think you can get a feeling better than that, but you can when you go

into the arena.


O'NEAL: You know, I remember when my dad always used to use the Dr. Jay's - motivation for me to do well in school. Hey man, you got --if you bring

this up to a b on November 8, which is in 15 days, and your next test is on the 7th, if you pass this test, I take you to the knick Game and watch Dr.

Jay's --.

And then I'm going to try and pull out the Madison Square Garden. I'm like, Oh my God; this place is real, right? And then you go in, and you smell

popcorn and you smell pretzels and you dad get your breath on the soul. And we walk into the seats. And so I know the basketball is a global sport.

ANDERSON: This multi-year partnership isn't just about bringing big teams in. This is fantastic and the atmosphere in the - arena these past couple

of nights has been absolutely phenomenal and what about Trae Young's performance?

O'NEAL: Yes, last night he took over the game and at one point and that's what superstars do, you know, always try to take pride that if you and your

daughter paid a lot of money to watch me play after to give you a great performance.

ANDERSON: This is about getting possible into schools getting the grassroots game going here and you're getting involved in that. How

important is it to you that here in this region and beyond, kids who may never have had an opportunity to play the game had an interest in the game,

get involved at this point.

O'NEAL: You know, sports teach you a lot of things. Teaches you discipline, teaches you teamwork, teaches you how to be together. I'm all about the

children because I know for me if I wouldn't have saw Dr. Jay, who knows where I'd be.

ANDERSON: You were drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992. I was living in Arizona at the time I was supporting the Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley - a

great team as a team packed with talent. And you put on a show from the outset; you have had amazing career MVP championships. Take me back; it was

the highlight of your career.

O'NEAL: Just being able to follow my dreams. I cultivated the character name Shaq in high school when people doubt me. And my opening statement

will always be when I, when I and then my mother used to add a little sauce on it, baby make them remember your name.

And I used to say unless I want a famous name Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, my mother say you do have a famous name but I didn't think it was

famous until Championship Game High School, Shaquille O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal, Shaquille O'Neal and everybody was like, my name is famous. So now

I got that out the way.

ANDERSON: It sounds like you're off to that fame, but Shaq, how have you retained the humility that everybody describes you as having you're a good

guy. And you were funny guy and you're a joker? How do you retain that?

O'NEAL: There's a difference between fame and wanting to be well known for something. My father said I'm going to make you one of the greatest

basketball players ever. I couldn't let him go. And with that, you become famous. But I've always had certain principles. No, it's important to be

nice. It's nice to be important, so just always been nice.

And my mother keeps me in check. One time I was real arrogant, one time my mother said who are you? It made a lot of sense. Just because I have a lot

of followers and all that doesn't make me the go to - on certain situations. You don't know everything. So I just stay in my place, stay

humble because my mother watches TV.

ANDERSON: Who's the informed talent right now on the court? And who is that player that truly great player of this era?

O'NEAL: You know, in the sport that we play, there's a sense that you can do it all by yourself, but you can't. You can't - plays the right way.

Steph Curry and Golden State Warriors play the right way. You know, and at some parts of the game you have to say it's me, me, me, me, me. But when

reality kicks in, you got to kick it out to Rick Fox. And big shout out when Kobe and Dwyane and all these players.

ANDERSON: NBA ownership, I got to ask you. Where are you looking?

O'NEAL: I don't know if I'm allowed to say to probably be disrespectful to say but I would like to go back home, I want you to figure that out.

ANDERSON: That to the viewers to feel that.

O'NEAL: Yes, but I don't want to say the team is disrespectful but I would like to, I would like to go back home.

ANDERSON: Well, LeBron James is looking at Vegas as we understand it. Good move.

O'NEAL: Yes, you know LeBron and his team has done a fabulous job. He's a great businessman. I wish him well. Jealous of LeBron in this sense, he's

about to do something that hasn't been done in 20, 30 years.


O'NEAL: I would love to be the guy talking about passing out Kareem Abdul- Jabbar him being the number one player in points as one in a lifetime accomplishment. So he's ever 16 points for that to happen and will happen

this year. I know he has a two year deal left.

So if it does happen this year, definitely happen next year, but that's you know, a kid from - Akron, Ohio denounce him the number one scoring NBA.

ANDERSON: It is not often you get a chance to talk to a living legend. He has been described as the most dominant player to ever play the game; he is

like no other, Shaquille O'Neal, taking a break, back after this.


ANDERSON: Elon Musk is wading into global politics again, this time offering his opinion on China-Taiwan relations. Now the CEO of Tesla and

SpaceX saying the Taiwan's dispute with China could be resolved by Taipei handing over some control to Beijing.

That's according at least to an interview he did with the Financial Times. Well, China's Ambassador to the U.S. thanked Musk saying, "actually

peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question".

Well, Taiwan is often held up as a beacon of democracy compared to Mainland China. But Taiwan has its own brutal history of government oppression known

as the white terror. CNN's Will Ripley explores how the island emerged from decades of martial law.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (VOICE OVER): We're on the boat to Green Island, a tiny Pacific Paradise off Taiwan's east coast.

Remote, rugged time seems to slow down here, torturously slow. Former political prisoners say they never got to see green islands natural beauty

just a cage of concrete.

RIPLEY (on camera): Oasis villa, that's what they actually call this place. It's carved on a rock outside. This is no oasis.

RIPLEY (voice over): More like a living hell says Fred Chin locked away beaten, humiliated.

RIPLEY (on camera): It's almost like you were made to feel less than human.

FRED CHIN, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER: Yes, I would say they treated us as animals.

RIPLEY (voice over): A college student in the early 1970s wrongfully accused of plotting against the government. He served 12 years.

RIPLEY (on camera): What evidence did they have?

CHIN: No evidence at all, nothing at all, no evidence at all.

RIPLEY (voice over): A dark chapter in Taiwan's history. 75 years ago, a popular uprising triggered almost four decades of martial law under

Taiwan's late leader Chiang Kai Shek. For nearly half a century he ruled with an iron fist, purging political opponents presiding over their trials

personally ordering thousands of executions.

His party, the KMT slowly embraced democratic reforms. Taiwan held its first direct presidential election just 26 years ago in 1996. In 2000, the

KMT's 55 years of continuous rule ended, defeated by former political prisoners like Taiwan's first female Vice President Annette Lu arrested in

1979 for an impromptu speech criticizing the government.


RIPLEY (on camera): How long was the speech?


RIPLEY (voice over): That 20 minute speech led to almost six years in prison. She survived that, plus cancer and attempted assassination to

become a two term vice president.

LU: But more important is that people like me who am courageous, we knew we might be jailed. But we still feel that it's our obligation to fight to the

last end.

RIPLEY (voice over): A fight many fear may not be over amid rising tensions with China. Taiwan's hard won freedom came at a heavy price for those who

never left Green Island, these walls, a silent reminder of the hardships so many endured a silent warning of what could lie ahead if democracy dies.

Will Ripley, CNN, Green Island, Taiwan.


ANDERSON: Well, that's it from us for today. I'm Becky Anderson from the team here, that's a very good evening.