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Israel not Claiming Responsibility, had Accused Al-Arouri of Planning Attacks; Fatal Blasts in Iran, Senior Hamas Leader Assassinated; Investigation Underway into Japan Runway Collision; Iranian State Media: 100 Plus Killed in Blasts Near Soleimani's Grave; Teen Sensation Reaches Final at World Darts Championship. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired January 03, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: And we begin with breaking news out of Iran this hour. Iranian state media reporting dozens of people

killed in explosions near the burial site of the Iranian Military Commander Qasem Soleimani.

Let's get straight to Nada Bashir who is in Beirut. This is being described as a terrorist attack by authorities. What happened? And what do we know

about who is responsible for these blasts, Nada?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well look Becky, this is a developing story. We have just in the last hour already seen the number outlined in terms of the

death toll rising now topping 73 at least, 170 at least said to have been injured after two explosions went off near the burial sites of Iranian

Commander Qasem Soleimani.

And of course, we are still seeing that dramatic video emerging now of many people running away from the scene injured being carried away to nearby

hospitals. According to Iranian state media citing officials, two explosions went off the first just 700 meters away from the burial site,

the second about a kilometer away.

Important to remember of course, that there would have been hundreds of pilgrims gathering around Qasem Soleimani's burial site today. Today marks

four years since he was killed at Baghdad International Airport in a U.S. strike targeting Soleimani carried out of course, under the orders of then

President, U.S. President Donald Trump.

There has been some concern around the potential for violence in Iran around the anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's death but we haven't

necessarily seen that on past occasions. We are still waiting for more details. But state media citing Iranian officials is now characterizing

this as a terrorist attack but no clear details just yet as to what caused the explosion or who cause explosion or what the motives may have been?

But of course this will send reverberations across the region, we know of course, that Hezbollah, the Iran backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon, their

Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is expected to make a speech later today that speech was scheduled at some time ago to mark the anniversary of Qasem

Soleimani's killing will -- and it will remain to be seen what Nasrallah has to say later this evening with regards to that.

ANDERSON: Nada is in Beirut and more from Nada as we get it and more on this as we get information into CNN. This breaking news comes a day after

the assassination of a Senior Hamas Leader elsewhere in the region in Lebanon, which has raised fears of an escalation in the Israel-Hamas war.

Saleh Al-Arouri and several others were killed Tuesday in an apparent drone strike in Beirut.

Now an Israeli government spokesperson says Israel is not taking responsibility. But a U.S. official tells CNN, Israel carried out what they

described as the assassination. Hamas condemning the killing as cowardly and as a terrorist act, Israel is long accused Arouri of planning attacks

against Israeli citizens.

Look, there's an awful lot to unpack here. Elliott Gotkine joining us from Tel Aviv, let's start with the assassination as its being described by the

U.S. by Israel of Arouri. What do we know about him? You know, we know he was a significant Hamas Leader. Tell us more and why this assassination

could be so consequential?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Becky, it's clear that Al-Arouri was a Senior Leader in Hamas. He is one of the founding members of the militant -- of

the military wing of Hamas. He's a Deputy Head of the Political Bureau. And as far as Israel is concerned, given his position, he is responsible,

bear's responsibility for the October 7th massacres that were led by Hamas.

And Israel has said Prime Minister Netanyahu has said it himself in the past that any leaders of Hamas we will get you wherever you are. And

although Israel's official line is that it is not taking responsibility for this, it's clear that it's made threats against Hamas leaders. It certainly

has the motives and the means to do so.

All that's missing is the official responsibility for it. But Danny Danon he is a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Former Israeli

Envoy to the United Nations -- there seems to have let the cat out the bag somewhat by posting on X last night, his congratulations to the Israeli

security services saying that everyone involved in the massacre of October the 7th needs to know that we will get them and close accounts with them.


And just today, we had David Barnea, the Head of the Mossad, Israel's equivalent of the CIA, again, pretty much saying the same thing that

whoever was either directly or indirectly involved in the massacre as of October the 7th blood -- his own blood will be on his head. So although

there's no official responsibility, I think it's pretty clear that Israel was responsible, even though it won't officially say so, Becky.

ANDERSON: What do you make of what we are seeing this hour coming out of Iran, these blasts described as terror attacks on the site of the burial of

Qasem Soleimani? This is the fourth anniversary of course of his assassination by the U.S. in Iraq.

GOTKINE: I suppose this will add to concerns that the killing of Al-Arouri, which although a member of Hamas, and not Hezbollah could in itself have

been seen as a pretext to escalate the simmering tensions and back and forth and rockets, missiles drones and counter attacks from Israel towards

Hezbollah positions which of course, is backed by Iran.

And I suppose this will only escalate or add to tensions or to concerns that there could be an escalation between Iran's proxy of Hezbollah in

Southern Lebanon and Israel. And this could broaden the focus of the war which is currently of course very much concentrated in the Gaza Strip

between Israel and Hamas.

Now certainly it's very, very early to start speculating as to who was responsible for this, what Iran is calling a terrorist attack? And let's

not forget that it wasn't Israel that killed Soleimani in the first place four years ago, it was the United States.

So you know we could suggest that maybe there would have been others of high ranks from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps who were there to pay

their respects and perhaps for some they would have been seen or deemed as a target.

But I think it's a bit early to suggest that you know there was some kind of responsibility for Israel. But I think that this will add to concerns

that we are on the brink of seeing this as I say, simmering war between Israel and Iran's proxy of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon that we are

perhaps closer to seeing that simmering war you know move into our next phase of all-out war, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And this has been a real risk and a real concern around this region that what is happening and what has been happening in Gaza

could slip an escalate into a wider regional conflict. Thank you for the time being. Today's breaking news is enormously unsettling for an already

tense region.

There are very real fears of the war we've seen in Gaza expanding. It's important to note that we do not know who was behind this reported attack

in Iran near Qasem Soleimani's grave in Iran or why? But we do know that it comes hours before the Hezbollah Leader was scheduled to speak about the

anniversary of Soleimani's death. He was an Iranian military officer and a figure that links much of this regional tension.

And all comes less than 24 hours of course after a senior Hamas Leader was killed inside Lebanon, as we just discussed with Elliott. Let's bring in

another analyst on this, somebody who will provide us some real insight on what we see going on at present.

Maha Yahya, the Director of the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center. Thank you for joining us. This past 24 hours really very

concerning. We don't know who was behind the twin blast in Iran which Iranian officials are calling a terror attack.

It's been very worrying in the past 24 hours in the region of course with the attack in Beirut and now this major attacking -- in Iran. Are we the

closest we've been to a major regional war as close as we've ever been since October the 7th for this one do you think?

MAHA YAHYA, DIRECTOR OF MALCOLM H. KERR CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER: Good morning Becky, thank you for having me. Yes, I think we're inching closer

and closer to a major regional escalation which will not remain regional unfortunately. If things get any worse they could easily drag in the United

States and others into this conflict.

Until now I mean we have to wait and see what Hassan Nasrallah has to say at 6 pm, Hezbollah's Secretary General. But until now my sense is that

Hezbollah will likely raise the ante in terms of in rhetorical terms. They will need to respond to the assassination which is the first kind of direct

attack in Beirut southern suburbs since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.


But also maintain the nature of that attack in a way that would escape or not drag Lebanon into regional confrontation which is likely to destroy a

country that's already collapsing.

ANDERSON: This -- go on. Please carry on.

YAHYA: In terms of the attack in Tehran -- I'm sorry in Kerman. It's interesting. It's again, it's, as you said, it's not clear who's behind the

attack. But it's interesting that in July the Revolutionary Guards had announced the capture of a cell.

And they said that the cell was financed by the Mossad and that they were on their way to blow up Qasem Soleimani's tomb. So again for this to happen

today in Iran is I think a major security breach for the Iranians. We'll have to wait and see how this is going to play out.

ANDERSON: You rightly pointed out there Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah Hassan Nasrallah was speaking less than two hours. He was

scheduled to speak about Soleimani as this is the fourth anniversary of his death. And you have suggested that we should watch to see how Hezbollah

calibrate their response.

Let's remind ourselves since October the 7th we've had at least two major speeches by Hassan Nasrallah. And although in both throwing an awful lot of

Hezbollah's weight behind support for the Palestinians in Gaza and warning Israel if it didn't stop its assault on Gaza this thing would escalate.

Warning but actually those threats not really become anything overtly aggressive on the ground, and to all intents and purposes many describing

Hezbollah's response to Israel's war on Gaza as muted. And you've also seen Iran sort of step back physically as it were from the breach although we've

seen this proxy support in the guise of the Houthis exercising their assaults from Yemen.

I just wonder what specifically we should be watching out for today? I mean how do you believe Hassan Nasrallah will calibrate this response?

YAHYA: I think they -- I mean they will need to respond in one way or another particularly because of where the attack happened because it

happened in the southern suburbs in what's the use of the term deterrence that's been in place since 2006 which basically equated to attack Mosaida

(ph) we will attack Haifa.

You attack Beirut, we will attack Tel Aviv, this kind of city for city, citizen for citizen deterrence. That's been in place since 2006. And

actually I mean there have been no security incidents almost along the border, along the Lebanese-Israeli border since then, it's worked since

then. So my expectation is that as I said they will increase the rhetoric, most likely there will be some sort of response.

But it will not be the kind of response that will trigger an all-out conflict in a sense that Israel will feel the need to kind of bomb even

more targets within Beirut itself. Let's not forget it's been bombing a significant amount of targets in the Southern Lebanon predominantly but

also in Syria.

The border area in Lebanon 70,000 people have already been displaced from that area. It's been using phosphorus bombs. It's bombed quite to the

interior I mean around 40 kilometers away from the border. And Hezbollah has not really responded. When it comes to Iran, they have a lot of tools

at their disposal.

I mean Iran doesn't need to get into the fray directly. As your guest pointed out earlier this has been a shadow war that's been ongoing between

Israel and Iran for quite some time. So they've got quite a lot of regional tools at their disposal you know an increase of attacks from the Houthis.

We've seen increasing attacks against American bases in Syria and Iraq. So we may also see some sort of increase in attacks in these places not

directly from Lebanon. A third thing we might see also is that Hassan Nasrallah from the beginning has said that this is a Palestinian led

conflict. The person who was killed yesterday the main target was a Palestinian Hamas Leader.

So he may say we're going to take our cue from the Palestinians and wait to see what they want and then we will you know we will be there to support

them because they were the direct target and not us in that sense. So there are different ways this can play out we have to wait and see.


But I still believe that they will do what they need to do to kind of at least stave off any kind of a regional conflict, or an escalation of the

conflict beyond something that is at least until now has been manageable, but it's a slippery slope.

ANDERSON: Yeah, let me put this to you because it's an important point in all of this. I have heard voice around the region. I'm going to remind our

viewers that I'm normally based in Abu Dhabi with the CNN's Middle East Programming Hub there and work around the region a lot.

We talk to an awful lot of sources around the region all the time and I've heard voice around the region accusing Israel of trying to draw Iran into

this conflict. I mean, we heard from the Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently who said we are fighting this conflict on seven fronts.

We have addressed six and he was speaking there to Lebanon to Syria to Iraq to Yemen to Gaza making the point without actually naming Iran that Iran

was not -- was the only front that they hadn't actually physically gone after. Now the Biden Administration the staunch ally of the Israelis at

present has warned Iran in no uncertain terms not to get involved in this conflict.

Do you see evidence that Israel is trying to draw Iran in and or evidence that Benjamin Netanyahu? And again this is talk around the region Benjamin

Netanyahu is intent to a certain extent in widening this conflict in not seeing an end to it anytime soon. What do you make of that?

YAHYA: In it Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival his approval rating today in Israel once this conflict ends, I think it's

something like 15 percent. They support him staying there. But once the conflict -- only 15 percent want to see him in power.

So he has a real state in extending the conflict as much as he can. And that's part of the challenge today. I do believe that Israel has been

trying at least based on the evidence that we've seen so far has been trying to drag Hezbollah more into a conflict and Iran via Hezbollah.

You know goading the more and more into conflict they have exhibited some restraint for better or worse. But I think also in the process there I mean

that in the same way that the concern with dragging Hezbollah and Iran into conflict there's been concerned with Israel trying to drag the U.S. into

the conflict as well because should rockets start raining on Tel Aviv or on Israel.

The U.S. is not going to stand by and watch this happen without getting involved. And I think that's another major concern in the region. So now

we're counting today on the hope that the American administration along maybe with some European countries including France can exercise their

influence with the Israelis not to escalate any further.

While other regional countries work with the Iranians to also dampen things down and dampen whatever response is going to come in whether its Qatar,

Turkey and others.

ANDERSON: I was confident that you would be an excellent guest for this hour as this news breaks out of Iran your insight and analysis so important

as we pick through what is an incredibly busy, volatile and frankly extremely worrying time. I thank you I'm being told that the death toll in

Iran has now raised to 103, thank you Maha.

Still to come on CNN, new details about that fiery plane collision in Tokyo and how the flight crew got more than 350 passengers to safety. And so many

people in Japan are anxiously wondering what they will do after the major earthquake there coming up how the government is helping those affected.



ANDERSON: Well, thousands of earthquake survivors in Japan are waiting for relief after the 7.5 magnitude quake that killed at least 73 people. Some

are just hoping to go back to their homes soon while others will have nothing left to return to. Our Hanako Montgomery spoke with some survivors

about how they are dealing with the situation.


HANAKO MONTGOMERY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been more than a day since the powerful quake. For Minae and her mother the impact still

very fresh.

MINAE AKIYAMA, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: Thinking about it now still makes me tremble. My heart was pounding my mind went blank. We just scrambled.

Things like our wallets and brain outside.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Minae was visiting her family for New Year's when the quake struck her mother's house now unlivable because of the powerful

impact. The pair luckily able to escape unharmed but with constant aftershocks, they're still far from safe.

AKIYAMA: I feel like even now the building is shaking. Whenever an aftershock happens, I think of the main quake and my body trembles.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): But it's not just the tremors people here have to worry about. Other than a roof, there's little else.

MONTGOMERY: There is no eating right now. So people are sleeping on mats. They're using thick blankets to stay warm. There's also no running water.

So the Japanese self-defense forces are just outside this building handing out water to locals.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): This water a lifeline for dozens here and thousands across the region left without supply or simply without holes

after Monday's powerful quake, the devastation difficult to comprehend at night but clearly visible from the sky.

In Wajima the shock flipping multi storey buildings on their side and raising entire blocks to the ground tsunami waves forcing large vessels

onto the shore and fires adding to the destruction. Amid it all authorities desperately searching for the dozen still trapped beneath the rubble.

YOSHIMASA HAYASHI, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY: Prime Minister Kishida instructed us to once again put lives first understand the situation of the

damages and make an utmost effort to seek people in emergency rescue operations.

MONTGOMERY (voice-over): Urgent efforts slowed down by the devastating impact, the quake destroying access to the most impacted zones and making

these already remote areas nearly impossible to reach. Hanako Montgomery, CNN, Nanao.


ANDERSON: We are learning new details about the deadly runway collision at a Tokyo Airport. A top Japanese official has released an official written

transcript of communications between air traffic controllers and the two planes involved in what was Tuesday's collision.

Now according to the transcript air traffic control gave Japan Airlines permission to land its passenger plane with nearly 400 people on board.

More on this developing story, let's turn to CNN's Will Ripley in Tokyo. And the question really has to be why they gave that permission? And what

more are we learning about the transcript, Will?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The answer to that question Becky may lie in the crucial 4 minute period from 5:43 pm local

time to 5:47 pm when the Japan Airlines Flight was landing on Runway C and it hit the Coast Guard turbo prop plane that was getting ready to take off

the dash eight a much smaller aircraft than that massive Airbus A350-900.


But when we listened to the recording from the air traffic control the coast guard plane was essentially given a command to hold point to move to

the place where they are supposed to wait to get ready to take off as the Japan Airliner was told it had permission to land.

So the key question, why did none of the three pilots in the Japan Airliner see that there was a plane in their path of landing it and why did they not

abort the landing? Also why was the coast guard plane in the wrong place was that the result of an incorrect command from traffic control or a

miscommunication or misunderstanding from the captain, the pilot of that plane?

Those are the questions that might be answered with the location of the cockpit voice recorder in the Japan Airliner. They've already found the

cockpit voice recorder from the coast guard plane. But they're still searching for that crucial recording from the cockpit of Japan Airlines

Flight 516.

And actually a team from Airbus we've just confirmed minutes ago has now arrived here in Tokyo to assist with technical aspects of this

investigation to help them locate that crucial piece of evidence. Meanwhile eyewitness videos continue to emerge showing the harrowing moments inside

that plane.

When flight attendants were dealing with malfunctioning exit doors and a communication system that wasn't working so they had to use megaphones to

get all of those passengers nearly 400 people in total out safely, take a look.




RIPLEY: An incredible feat by those nine flight attendants and also disciplined by the passengers themselves to listen to those commands, not

fight amongst each other or try to grab their carry-on bags but just follow instructions get to the available exits even with black smoke billowing

through the cabin.

And everybody got out alive, Becky, on the passenger plane. Of course, at least five people were killed on that much smaller coast guard aircraft.

And the Prime Minister of Japan sent out his condolences for them. And he promised to continue to search for answers as to how this happened to

prevent it from ever happening again, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, absolutely remarkable stuff. Will, thank you. Will Ripley on the ground and on the story almost from the moment it happened. So the

U.S. has quietly reached an agreement with Qatar to extend their operations at America's largest military base in the Middle East.

That is according to three U.S. defense officials and another official familiar with the deal. Al Udeid Air Base has been a pivotal hub for the

U.S. Central Command's air operations across the region. The extension is set to cover another 10 years the deal has not been announced publicly that

highlights Washington's reliance on the tiny Gulf country.

Well, CNN National Security Reporter Natasha Bertrand is at the Pentagon. I'm not sure that there was much suggestion that this wouldn't be

continued. But what do we know at this point?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yeah, Becky. So the U.S. and Qatar they reached a deal very quietly and without any public

announcement that the U.S. was going to be extending the U.S. military presence at this sprawling military base in Qatar for another 10 years.

And the reason this is notable is precisely as you said, there really wasn't any doubt that the U.S. would not renew this deal. It is extremely

important military facilities for the United States that can house over 10,000 troops and particularly now as we see the tensions rising across the

region with all of these strikes by Iran back proxies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

It makes perfect sense that the U.S. would want to keep its presence in Qatar. But the interesting part of this is that the U.S. has not announced

it publicly. There was no public ceremony, signing ceremony for example that would extend this lease or renew it.

And that is primarily because we are told the U.S. has been very reluctant to kind of publicize and play up this aspect of its relationship with the

Qataris. The Qataris have come under some criticism here in the U.S. for hosting certain Hamas Leaders over the last several months since the

October 7th attack.

Those calls of course have been growing to expel Hamas from Qatar. And the U.S. has been eager to not necessarily distance itself from Qatar but not

necessarily also you know tell the American public that they are going to be increasing their military presence there and extending it for another 10


This is not something necessarily that is popular in the U.S. right now. So obviously Qatar has been a very key partner with the U.S. in terms of

hostage negotiations whether it's in Israel or in Venezuela more recently. But this is something that U.S. deems very important. But it is notable

that they have not decided to make it public as of now.


ANDERSON: Let's remind ourselves, I mean -- you know that Hamas office opened you know with support from and some will say at the behest of the

U.S. administration more than 10 years ago. Of course Qataris absolutely front and center in these hostage negotiations.

They were at the heart of the negotiations to get the Americans released from the Iranian prison back in September that seems so long ago and also

involved of course in the return of Americans from Venezuela of late.

So I mean their role in mediation -- there is evidence to suggest that is clearly something that has been a real success and understandably

Washington at least certainly happy to extend its relationship, if not perhaps as publicly as it might.

Thank you. We will return to our breaking news next. More than 100 people have been killed in Iran in what officials are calling a terror attack.

What we know and what it means for a region that is already frightened of a wider crisis.


ANDERSON: Well, to our breaking news out of Iran today. And let me just bring you back up to date and what we know. Iranian state media now

reporting more than 100 people killed, 140 wounded in explosions near the burial site of slain Iranian Military Commander Qasem Soleimani.

They were visiting the site on the fourth anniversary of his assassination in Iraq in an airstrike ordered by then U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iranian officials are calling the explosions a terror attack according to state media.

Trita Parsi is the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and the Author of "Losing an Enemy". He joins us now

from Fairfax, Virginia. Iranian authorities calling these terror blasts but not specifically pointing the finger of blame at any single entity or

country, what do you make of what you've seen and heard at this point?

TRITA PARSI, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF QUINCY INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT: Well, it is quite interesting that so far, they're not pointing

any fingers because usually they're rather quick to point the finger at Israel. This time around however I think there may be reasons as to why

they're not even if they believe that the Israelis may have something to do with this.

And that is because there has been an increasing amount of attacks by Israelis on Iranian targets including the Iranian General just last week in

Syria. And there's pressure inside the Iranian government for Iran to respond much more forcefully rather than this indirect manner that it has

done so far.


But there are other elements in the government that don't want to go into an open warfare with the Israelis. And I think that may be the reason as to

why they are careful not to point the finger directly at Israel at this point.

ANDERSON: Qasem Soleimani is seen as a national icon by supporters of the regime, the architect of Iran's military activities in the region over many

years lending military financial and political support to Iran's proxies of course in the Middle East.

Back in December, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard described Hamas's massive deadly assault in Israel October the 7th as partly to avenge the death of

Soleimani. That version of events it has to be said actually refuted by Hamas at the time this was in December.

The consequences of what is going on in this region now and specifically the blasts in Iran today, the assassination of a leading Hamas military

asset in Beirut for example. The consequences of these actions could be huge. How bigger risk do you believe there is of a wider regional conflict

at this point?

PARSI: The risk is very significant on four different fronts. As you mentioned you have the Israeli-Lebanese border right now that is heating

up, particularly after the assassination of the Hamas Leader in Beirut. You have the risk of Iraqi militias and Syrian militias targeting U.S. troops

with the U.S. responding and then that potentially sparking a war.

You have what's going on in the Red Sea with the Houthis attacking ships in the U.S. just killing 10 Houthi fighters last week and now of course a

potential for a direct confrontation between Iran and Israel. All of this however, actually can be prevented through one very important measure and

that is a ceasefire in Gaza.

We have seen for instance, that the attacks by Iraqi militias against U.S. troops dramatically increase after October 7th for the six days that there

was a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. There were no attacks by the Iraqi militias at all even the attacks by the Houthis dramatically reduced.

So I think it's a bit confusing as to why the one step that could be the most effective towards calming down the situation avoiding the U.S. itself

getting dragged into war is the one step that the Biden Administration is most disinclined to pursue.

ANDERSON: Yeah, and they have said they want to see a lower intensity of this assault in Gaza, but they stand by their arch ally here in suggesting

that Israel has the right to defend itself to self-defense after October the 7th and the Israelis themselves have said that there will be no

ceasefire until all the hostages are released.

And Hamas is completely debilitated, whether those two can be run together. And whether either of those is realistic at this point, remains to be seen.

It's good to have you Trita. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

PARSI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: We'll be right back after this short break.



ANDERSON: Well, a British teenager is dashing into history. Luke Littler just a few weeks shy of 17 has done something no one else his age has ever

done before, the World Darts Championship in London. Patrick Snell joins me now. Oh, just look at that. And let's just see that last one. There we go.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: There we go. Oh fantastic. I bet where you are Becky, is getting a fever pitch right now in terms of atmosphere.

ANDERSON: It's amazing. And I was explaining to our guest earlier on Patrick that it doesn't matter where you're from. I mean Darts is huge

here. But it's actually is a really big sport around the world. And it doesn't matter where you're from in this bureau, CNN in London. People are

absolutely buzzing and ally pally. What a venue for this!

SNELL: It's just absolutely. I've been seeing the images getting you know messages from friends is the excitement. What I like about the many things

I like about Luke, is the fact that you know a lot of the media narrative is oh, what are you going to do different now you flew to the final? He

just comes out says nothing.

I'm not changing my routine and talk about the recipe for success. He says look, I'm sticking to my tried and trusted omelet in the morning then I

have a pizza when I get to the venue. And then I celebrate with a kebab. I just think it's fantastic. He's not changing his routine for anyone. It's

going to be the Battle of the Luke Slater (ph) as he takes on Luke Humphries, can't wait for this all to play out.

ANDERSON: Yeah, I love it. He has a kebab afterwards, just brilliant. More on "World Sport" after this, we're back top of the hour.