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Connect the World

Death Toll Rises to 52 from Attack in Hroza; Jailed Iranian Activist Narges Mohammadi Awarded Honor; U.S. to begin Departing Venezuelan Migrants to Venezuela; Oil Prices are on Track for the Worst Week Since March; F1 Qatar Grand Prix Set for this Weekend. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired October 06, 2023 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome to "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson live from Qatar where it is 4 pm in the

afternoon here, 9 am at the White House. As the Biden administration begins deporting Venezuelan migrants all the way back to their home country.

Here's what else is moving today. Another Ukrainian child has died in a new Russian strike on civilians. The Nobel Committee honors and imprisoned

Iranian activist back here in Qatar. I hear how last month Iran prisoner release unfolded from an insider. Plus, Max Verstappen could clinch his

next F1 title this weekend, right here in Doha.

And we are also following the action on financial markets, U.S. stock sector for sharply when the opening bell sounds on Wall Streets, just about

a half hour from now after the release of an extremely strong U.S. jobs report. 335,000 jobs added to the economy last month, twice as many jobs

had been expected.

Good news for workers of course, but a worrisome report for investors concerned about inflation, and rising interest rates more on all of that

later this hour. First up though, we begin in Ukraine a 10 year old boy and his grandmother are dead after a new Russian strike in Eastern Ukraine.

Missiles leaving a gaping hole where an apartment building once stood, it happened in Kharkiv region not far from Thursday's horrific attack.

Authorities now say that strike which was unfolding as we came on air, yesterday killed 52 people they had gathered in a cafe to mourn a fallen


Nearly a third of that village was wiped out in an instant. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in that village for us. And Fred, what is the scene there


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky, well, there's a scene of other disk station fact I can show you over here.

This was the building that was hit. As you can see, there's pretty much only the foundations left of it. And as you can see also, Becky, a lot of

the debris that was here has already been clear.

That's why it became very certain to the authorities here who were working here pretty early on that they weren't going to find any survivors anymore

underneath the rubble. So this quickly turned from a search and rescue operation into a recovery operation and now a clearing operation.

As you can see, one interesting fact that I want to point out, Becky, is that new attack that you were talking about the one in Kharkiv apparently

involved the same type of missile that Ukrainians say that was also used on this building as well. It's called an Iskander missile.

And it is very popular. As you can see, folks, though, coming out here, laying flowers over here, obviously, as you've noted, this entire village

is extremely devastated. As large portions of this village, quite frankly, were wiped out. That's a makeshift memorial that's been set up there.

A lot of candles and we have seen throughout the day, extreme a large amount of villagers come out here pay their respects, many of them, of

course, bursting into tears. It was interesting, because earlier today, I was speaking to one gentleman who witnessed the attack and he was simply

recounting the people who had died here.

And he said pretty much from every family here in this village, somebody was killed in that strike. You mentioned that currently, the death toll

stands at 52. But of course the forensic work is still very much going on a devastating strike here on this village, which of course happened during a

funeral wake for a soldier.

Nevertheless, the authorities here telling us that the people who were killed pretty much all of them were civilians, Becky.

ANDERSON: This attack, of course, came as Ukraine's President was appealing for more help, more air defenses, more munitions, even as U.S.A. aid, of

course hangs in the balance as a result of this sort of chaos in Congress. Does Europe still have Ukraine's back clearly there must be concerns about

what is going on with regard to U.S. aid. But what was the message coming out of the European Summit?

PLEITGEN: Well, certainly the Europeans at least are saying that they still have Ukraine's back in fact, I think we can show over there those people

once again who are mourning someone sat down there and is now seemingly weeping obviously some tragic scenes here but you know, it's interesting

point that you make or a question that you asked, Becky.


Of course, the European's are saying that they still have Ukraine's back. They're using that phrase that we've heard so often since this war began

saying they are going to help Ukraine as long as it takes. And I think one of the interesting things that we've seen in the past couple of hours

actually, since this attack took place here.

Is that Germany, for instance, has come out and offered Ukraine, yet another patriot surface to air missile battery, those, of course, would be

surface to air missile systems that could potentially take out the type of missile that was used here. Nevertheless, of course, this region here,

there are no real major cities around here.

It will be very difficult to put any sort of substantial air defenses into this place. This attack people said just absolutely came out of nowhere to

them. The people here are obviously very much taken aback by it. But the Ukrainians as you put it, you're absolutely correct to say.

President Zelenskyy said the thing that they need to prevent stuff like this is more air defense, especially as the winter is coming in. Of course,

it was the wintertime last year, when the Russians started their attacks on infrastructure, and especially energy facilities, essentially trying to

freeze the Ukrainians into submission.

That did not work. The Ukrainians now have better air defenses, but they say they need even more as they're trying to prosecute an offensive against

the Russians, while at the same time keeping their critical infrastructure safe. They don't want situations like last winter, where they did have

major power outages in a lot of places, and people quite free, who were freezing during the height of winter, as those Russian attacks were going


We of course, saw this past night as well. But there was also another drone attack that took place in the south of the country. So certainly, it seems

as though as the heating season, as they call it here in Ukraine, draws closer, those attacks seem to be picking up again at the same time.

Those major attacks with missiles like we saw here, in this building, also something that we've seen an uptick of as well, we saw the one on Thursday,

where I'm standing right now and then overnight in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian say once again, any Iskander missile, which hit an area which certainly

seems to have more substantial buildings.

Nevertheless, the death toll there currently two people who were killed, and I think right now it's about 30, who were wounded, so certainly

devastating effects. And the Ukrainians are saying the only way to mitigate that is better air defenses, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Good to have you. Distressing scenes as you report and what has been a devastating attack, thank you Fred. Vows of

payback in Syria after a deadly attack there on a military college at first graduates and families, packed a college ceremony in the Western City of


Then, everything changed when a drone loaded with explosives killed at least 89 people and wounded hundreds more. No group has claimed

responsibility for Thursday's attack. Meanwhile, in Northwestern Syria, the White Helmets Civil Defense Group says 12 people died when Syrian regime

forces attacked towns and villages in Idlib and Aleppo.

Let's bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman and no group claiming responsibility for Homs at this point. And what's being said about who may be responsible at

this point.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Syrians are, of course, pointing the finger of blame at the province of Idlib, which is

largely under the occupation of a variety of opposition groups, some of them fairly, extremist and that seems to be where they believe the drones

came from.

As you said, nobody's claimed responsibility for this attack, which happened Thursday afternoon, as this graduation ceremony was breaking up.

Now there were lots of civilians there. And among the 89 people claimed a dead by the official Syrian Arab news agency are 31 women and 5 children.

Certainly footage that has come out of there, which we cannot show on CNN, shows many people dead on the ground, others still on fire as a result of

the attack. Now according to the U.K. based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They are claiming that the death toll may be as high as 123.

Obviously, we cannot confirm any of these figures coming out. But clearly this is an attack that has really raised tensions as a result on Thursday

afternoon into the evening. There were Syrian artillery and airstrikes on Idlib province, which killed according to the White Helmets that Civil

Defense Group.

At least 12 people and we understand that today. And we've seen video coming from that area. There have been renewed Syrian artillery and

airstrikes which have killed according to the White Helmets, at least two people so far today that in addition to in the eastern part of the country.


Turkish drones has targeted the individuals or institutions they believe in affiliated to the Kurdish forces that are operating in that part of the

country. And of course, let's keep in mind that there has been a war going on in Syria since 2011. At least half a million people have been killed 13

million perhaps have either been internally displaced or driven into exile.

In addition to that, Syria is of course a theater for proxy wars of various kinds. In Syria, there are Russian troops, Turkish troops, American troops,

Iranian advisors troops from Lebanese Hezbollah. And of course, Israel regularly launches airstrikes on targets within Syria itself.

So it's a very complicated situation. And even though it's been out of the headlines for a while it nothing has been resolved. The problems remain.

People continue to die, Becky.

ANDERSON: The violence escalates. Good to have you, Ben. Thank you very much indeed. The context for that is extremely important, or sentenced

repeatedly for being a voice of the voiceless. Now, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize the jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi is being awarded

as this year's honor the Nobel Committee hailing her fight for women's rights in Iran and for human rights everywhere.

Mohammadi is currently serving a sentence of more than 10 years in Iran accused of actions against the state. Jomana Karadsheh has more for you

from London on this. And Jomana for those not familiar with her work, just tell us more about Narges' activism and what the Nobel Committee has said?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Narges Mohammadi is one of Iran's most prominent human rights activists, someone who has sacrificed so

much for decades for this battle for human rights and women's rights and prisoner's rights in the country.

And as we heard from her husband, Taghi Rahmani, a Fellow Activist and a Former Political Prisoner himself, saying that this is not only a

recognition of her selfless work and her sacrifice over the decades. This is also recognizing the men and women of Iran those who have been rising up

over the past year demanding their most basic of human rights following the death of Mahsa Amini of course in their woman life, freedom movement.

Becky, we had a very rare opportunity recently to indirectly interview Narges Mohammadi, who is in Evin Prison, we were able to send her questions

through intermediaries and got her responses. And here's her report.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Not even the darkest cells of the notorious Evin Prison have silenced this fearless fighter for freedom. Narges Mohammadi

named this become synonymous with the battle for human rights in Iran. Her life has been a cycle of arrest and re arrest.

Now serving a 10 year prison term and sentenced to 154 lashes. Not only has the regime taken away her freedom, the last time she held her twins Ali and

Kiana was eight years ago. They were only eight a sacrifice so painful, but like without liberty and equality she says is not worth living.

For her activism Mohammadi has been accused of actions against national security and propaganda against the state. And she's now facing more

charges as she continues to defiantly speak out from behind bars. In an exclusive recording from inside Evin, Mohammadi reads excerpts of a letter

she sent CNN.

NARGES MOHAMMADI, IRANIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: This letter is not written by a free feminist in a developed, democratic society, benefiting from

Civil Protest methods and human rights, but rather by an imprisoned woman who like millions of Iranian women has been living under the authority and

oppression of a military system with ideological, patriarchal and tyrannical foundations since the age of 6, deprived of life, youth,

femininity and motherhood.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): In her lengthy letter Mohammadi rails against the regime's compulsory hijab. Mohammadi calls out what she says are the

hypocrisy of the religious authorities. Female protesters and prisoners sexually assaulted as Iranians rose up on the streets last year she lent

her powerful voice to the uprising and for that she was recently sentenced to another year in prison.


KARADSHEH: But that hasn't deterred Mohammadi who with the help of intermediaries responded to CNN questions in writing, detailing incidents

of sexual assaults dating back to 1999. She also mentions her own experience, but since the protests she says they have increased

significantly describing them now as systematic.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): She writes in prison, I have heard the narratives of three protesting women who were sexually assaulted. One of them was a

well-known activist of the student movement, who upon entering the prison filed a complaint with the authorities and announced that after being

arrested on the street, her one hand and one leg were cuffed and tied.

And in that position, she was sexually assaulted. I went with one of my cellmates under the pretext of taking food for a prisoner. We saw bruises

on her stomach, thighs, arms and legs. The Iranian regime has denied allegations including a CNN investigation of using sexual violence and rape

to suppress the protests, calling them baseless and false.

For years Mohammadi has been the voice of the voiceless, fighting for political prisoners against the death penalty and solitary confinement.

Something she and her husband Taghi Rahmani have both endured. Rahmani a Former Political Prisoner who was jailed for 14 years now lives in exile

with the children in Paris. He's have to be both father and mother to Kiana and Ali

TAGHI RAHMANI, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER: Kiana used to always say when mom is here, daddy isn't and when daddy is here, mom isn't. It's not good. But

when someone chooses a path, they must endure all the hardships.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): The last time they were allowed to call her was 18 months ago. Ali is still vividly remembers the day his mother was taken

away from them.

ALI, NARGES MOHAMMADI'S SON: It was around six or seven days when my mom made me eggs she said take care of yourself and study hard. I said goodbye

I got into the car and went to school when I got back my mom wasn't there anymore.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Ali says he's proud of his mom and his accepted this life. He says it's for freedom for Iran. Rahmani shows off all the

awards his wife has won while in prison. She's an endless energy for freedom. He tells us an unstoppable force, her fight extending deep inside

Evin where she leads women who continue to protest.

Their chance of woman life freedom captured in this recording shared with CNN. They sing the Farsi version of Bella Ciao, the Italian anti-Fascist

resistance song, now an anthem for Iran's Freedom Movement.


KARADSHEH (on camera): And Becky, we don't know if Narges Mohammadi has received the news I'm told that female political prisoners in the women's

ward in Evin prison are not allowed to receive phone calls on Thursdays and Fridays. So we don't actually know if she has received the news.

But also I have to mention, you know, this is a woman who is so determined to not be silenced, that no matter what the repercussions might be, because

there are concerns that she will face repercussions for her interview with CNN and for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, whatever that is. She is a woman

who has said she's determined to continue on this path and will not be silenced.

ANDERSON: Absolutely remarkable. Jomana, good to have you, thank you. Well, if you are a regular viewer of this show, you will know that we have been

reporting almost daily on the migrant crisis on the United States southern border. But it doesn't start in there. It's a wide ranging problem that

governments throughout the Western Hemisphere are looking to solve of course that is coming up. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson this week out of Doha in Qatar. Well, the migrant crisis along the U.S. Mexico

border is a concern for many Americans and a huge talking point of course, for politicians there.

But is not just a U.S. problem it's a Western Hemisphere problem that is officials up and down North and South America working to solve it. This

week U.S. officials met with their Mexican counterparts in Mexico City, and leaders from Panama and Costa Rica holding bilateral meetings today about

the crisis that they face.

Let's get you to the White House and Reporter Priscilla Alvarez. She joins us from Washington D.C. and Journalist Stefano Pozzebon joins us from

Bogota in Colombia. Let's start with you at the White House Priscilla. The Biden Administration's changing one specific policy when it comes to

Venezuelan migrants. Just tell us what's going on. What are the details on that?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: This is a major breakthrough, Becky, for this administration. Essentially what it boils down to is that

for years, the U.S. has not been able to carry regular deportation flights to Venezuela. And that is exactly the population of people they're seeing

the most of at the U.S. southern border.

Well, senior administration officials say that changes this week. Now, the U.S. will begin again, deporting Venezuelans directly back to the country.

Now, this matters again because Venezuelans are making up a larger share of border crossers, in fact, just in the month of August, there were more than

30,000 Venezuelans that were encountered at the U.S. Mexico border, and that number has gone up since then.

And of course, this is because there is mass movement across the western hemisphere, more than 7 million Venezuelans have fled that country, many of

them making their way north. And that has been a reality that this White House has had to contend with.

And it is making it -- made it increasingly difficult because there are really only options for logistical purposes was detaining or deporting

them. They were unable to really -- as well as therefore they were releasing them in the U.S. as they went through their immigration

proceedings. And that put increasing stress on cities, including some of the President's allies who have begun to publicly criticize them.

Now this week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their Mexican counterparts in Mexico and

they talked about migration. This is a country they lean on, often to try to stem the flow.

And now they're hoping that by making this decision by being able to directly deport them as well as that they'll be able to drive down those

numbers. But of course, the outstanding question is how many flights can they actually carry out? And would that even make a dent in what they're

seeing along the U.S. southern border, Becky?

ANDERSON: Does this suggest this return of Venezuelans suggest some sort of death tolls in U.S. Venezuelan reactions at official level.

ALVAREZ: I asked senior administration officials, what was the gift? Did the U.S. provide anything to Venezuela? Why did Venezuela agree now to

accept back their nationals? They did not provide an answer. So we are still pressing them on that. But that is certainly a question is why are

they accepting them now? Why are these frosty relations, at least seeming to thaw just a little bit to send these Venezuelans back?

ANDERSON: Stefano let me bring you in here then because it will be useful to get that perspective for from the part of the world where you are on

what is going on inside Venezuela as this change to policy in the U.S. is made?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Becky. Venezuela remains a country in the humanitarian crisis even though we have covered it a little bit less

than in the last few years but it still remains a crisis stricken country in South America.

Just if you have a look at the latest Independent figures over 80 percent of the population in Venezuela lives below the poverty line.


POZZEBON: Four out of ten Venezuelans live in extreme poverty according to an independent research by a leading private university. In Caracas,

inflation remains very high, it's no longer in hyperinflation as it used to be just before COVID-19 and the pandemic, but still, we're talking about

inflation of over 400 percent every year, which means that Caracas has effectively become one of the most expensive cities in South America.

And then on top of that tragic humanitarian situation, you have the social and political stalemate and the situation is just as dire with a government

of Nicolas Maduro who by the way, Nicolas Maduro is wanted in the United States for drug related -- drug trafficking related charges by the

Department of Justice.

But his government is not giving any sign of leniency is not given any sign of negotiations or any sign that they would accept democratic election

anytime soon. We are in electoral season right now in Venezuela because the opposition is selected in a primary election some candidates to challenge

Maduro in a presidential -- eventual presidential election next year.

But out of the three leading opposition leaders are all barred from running in for office, because they face charge by the Attorney General nominated

by Maduro. When we talk about reaction from Venezuela that didn't need -- we didn't need to wait too long to get it yesterday night that the

Venezuelan Attorney General presented charges and an arrest mandate against the Former National Assembly President Juan Guaido.

You might remember him he was the leader of the parliament, who swore himself in into power as the legitimate President of Venezuela. And that

the U.S. has recognized back then in 2019, as the legitimate Head of State in Venezuela. Well, Guaido is now living out of the country. He lives on

asylum in Miami and the Venezuelans are looking for him.

Another aspect of the reaction well, if you have deportations directly from U.S. soil to Venezuela, you probably going to need direct flights and

having direct flights from Caracas to the United States has been a demand for Maduro for quite some time.

Venezuelans Airlines are currently barred from entering the U.S. skies due to sanctions, in particular, just not Maduro himself. But also most of

companies that are controlled by the state are under sanctions in the U.S. So you see how this change of policy from the White House doesn't really

solve the problem on the ground, which in Venezuela remains very, very seriously, Becky.

ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you very much indeed. Well, coming up, Wall Street trading about to start fasten your seat belts, folks, it could be a

rough ride after an extremely strong U.S. jobs report. What all that means for the economy and for investors is just ahead?



ANDERSON: Welcome back! I'm Becky Anderson in Doha. You're watching "Connect the World". Taking a look at the early action on Wall Street for

you, and the major averages are trading lower. And this is after the release of what was a highly important what can only be described as

blockbuster U.S. jobs report.

The U.S. economy added 336,000 new jobs last month, more than twice the number. Expected job numbers for July and August were revised much higher

too. Now all of this suggests that the U.S. economic expansion does remain firmly on track. And of course, that is good news for the bond markets

because of its inflationary implications.

The yield on the benchmark U.S. ten-year treasury is trading well above 4.8 percent right now a resumption of the historic rise in yields that we saw

earlier this week. Well, that's the story as far as bond markets, of course, are concerned.

But all of this will lead to higher borrowing costs for American consumers for businesses and the federal government. And that is where the kind of --

comes in here. Matt Egan is in New York to help break this all down for us. Let's just have a look at the headline number, because it is super

spectacular has to be said. Let's just explain where those jobs are and why this number is significant?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well Becky, this really was a blockbuster number. 336,000 jobs added last month, as you mentioned, that's roughly twice what

people were expecting. But not only that, this is 80,000 jobs more than the most optimistic forecasts had been penciling it. That is pretty incredible.

And this is acceleration from August, which by the way, was also revised higher. If you look at the chart, you can see that in some ways, this jobs

market apparently is actually heating up at a time when a lot of people thought it was cooling down.

And so from the perspective of these fears of an imminent or ongoing recession, you know, clearly, that is not something that's happening right

now. There's nothing about these numbers that speak to an imminent recession.

But of course, the other big concern out there is inflation and the Fed's war on inflation. And so if your big fear is that the Fed is going to end

up overdoing it or that the bond market is going to tighten things for the Fed and overdo it. Those fears are still very much alive because of today's


A lot of people were hoping for Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold, we ended up getting something that was much closer to too hot. And that is why

we've seen a negative reaction in the stock market with U.S. stocks opening I would say modestly lower. But there is the potential that if bond yields

keep going higher today and in the coming days, we could see an even more negative reaction in the stock market, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it? And one of the world's sort of top bankers Jamie Dimon has been talking about his concerns about the

possibility of the of the Fed, pushing rates high and not being at the end of its rate rising cycle. And that really does beg the question, has the

central bank got this sort of landing you know, in hand?

Is it a softer or is it a hard landing? And there's real difference between the two and the impact could be very swingy oil prices. When we talk about

inflation the good news this week is that we've seen a slowdown a slip in the price of oil we had been looking you know only a week ago at the

possibility that 100 bucks on the barrel down closer to the sort of 80 bucks on the barrel level at this point. Why?

EGAN: Becky that's been just a huge turnaround. I mean, you know better than anyone that the oil market is notoriously boom to bust. But even for

the oil market this is a completely incredible 180.


Because just a week ago or so we saw U.S. oil and there's Brent on the chart, you can see going up towards $100 a barrel that was setting up all

kinds of alarm bells in Washington and in Wall Street, about inflation, about gasoline prices.

And they have completely cratered since then, as far as why? There's a sense that the bullish sentiment got overdone, right that prices got ahead

of fundamentals, which is known to happen from time to time in financial markets, especially in energy markets.

You know, hedge funds were kind of piling on, and eventually, they ran out of buyers. And the fundamentals just did not support triple digit oil,

despite the fact that we have Saudi Arabia and Russia doing basically everything they can to pump up oil prices. That strategy had been working.

And right now, it's not working so much, but from the perspective of consumers here in the United States, and really around the world, this is

very good news, because it means that retail energy prices, gasoline prices can cool down.

I talked to a Veteran Energy Analyst here in the U.S. Tom Kloza. He told me he thinks that gasoline prices in the U.S. are going to go towards 325 a

gallon by the end of the month, that's down from around 375 right now. So that would be huge. And the oil price dropped Becky is also very important

from the perspective of central bankers because it helps them in their fight to get inflation under control.

ANDERSON: Yes. No, well explained. It's fascinating. And I'm glad you brought up the hedge funds in all of this, because, you know, when you talk

to the stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, the Energy Ministers OPEC Secretary General, I spoke to earlier on this week.

You know, they talk about the influence that the hedge funds have on these markets. And they worry about it. They look at the fundamentals. They do

what they can, as far as the sort of fundamental picture is concerned.

And this -- there are some clear concerns about where China's growth is going at present? There is not as much in that market, as people had

anticipated coming out of COVID. And so the China story, I think, is a slightly worrying one for these key stakeholders in the oil supply market.

But what really irritates -- when you hear this time and again, from OPEC Energy Ministers is the activity of the hedge fund players who have

effectively sort of, you know, push this elastic as far as it will go in trying to get the oil price to 100 bucks on the barrel.

And it seems as if there's no elastic left in that string at this point, or no string left in that elastic, and the price is coming low. It is

absolutely fascinating. And of course, you know, I was concentrating on the oil market is important. Thank you, Matt. Because we've really been talking

about energy transition this week and we will continue to do that a little later this hour.

Well, last month's release of five American prisoners from Iran was a moment that captivated the world. But it was the result of long, hard

negotiations. I was here in Doha, when the Qatar Airways Flight touched down with those American prisoners.

A short time ago, I talked with an official from Qatar who was deeply involved in those negotiations. And we talked about what went on behind the

scenes. And I asked him whether at any point he believed that this exchange wouldn't happen? Whether there was any point at which he believed he

wouldn't be able to get this over the line? Have a listen to what he told me earlier.


MOHAMMED BIN ABDULAZIZ AL-KHULAIFI, QATARI MINISTER OF STATE: It's truly wasn't easy. Indirect negotiation is a tough way and tough methods of

resolving disputes between states. But gladly for the trust that Qatar had with these two parties. We've managed to work around the opportunities that

we were given.


ANDERSON: Yes, and you can see, my interview with Qatar's Minister of State Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Khalifa next hour do stay with us for that.

We'll be right back after this short break.



ANDERSON: All right. Well it is 4:40 here in Qatar. It's Friday, which means it's a weekend here Friday, Saturday, the weekend in Doha. And let me

tell you there is a party atmosphere here. Maria Kerry's in town, Asha is in town. Bruno Mars is in town. We're in town. The racing world is in town.

The racing world of course focus right here in Qatar with the Grand Prix set this weekend. Andy Scholes joins me now. And Andy, I know you wish you

were here too.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN WORLD SPORT: I certainly do Becky. You just ran through all those names. You got the big race, I mean, seems like the place to be

only thing you need those nice fan, right? Because I understand it's pretty hot there in Qatar right now.

But it should be a great weekend of racing. You know, Max Verstappen. He's already won 13 times this year, could be our first Saturday Champion in

four decades. He can make some history here this weekend. And our Amanda Davies she's on the ground there. She's been talking to Red Bulls Team

Leader Christian Horner. We've got that great interview coming up on "World Sport" but certainly looking forward to all the racing there this weekend.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Good stuff, Andy. Andy is back with "World Sport" after this short break with our colleague Amanda who is up the road from me

at Lusail at the track. I'm back top of the hour for you.