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Blinken Makes Unannounced Stop in Bahrain; Blinken Meets Palestinian Authority President Abbas; Officials: U.S. Navy Downs Houthi Missiles & Drones; Ecuador's President Declares "Internal Armed Conflict"; Gunman Storm Ecuadorian TV Station During Live Broadcast; Final Republican Debate Before Iowa Caucuses; Trump Will Be In Iowa, But Skipping The Debate; Boeing CEO Acknowledges Mistake During Investigation; Bitcoin ETF Hopefuls Expect Approval Despite Fake SEC Post. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired January 10, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, Anthony Blinken has just landed in Bahrain on a surprise visit there after meeting with the

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. He is on a tour of the Middle East in an effort to prevent a wider war. It is 5:00 P.M in

Manama, it's 6:00 P.M. here in Abu Dhabi.

I'm Becky Anderson. You are watching "Connect the World." We are also covering in the next 2 hours, gunmen in Ecuador storming a TV station

during a live broadcast. Violence erupted across the country after a gang leader escaped prison.

It's the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis going head to head in a CNN debate tonight. Frontrunner Donald

Trump Decided to sit this one out.

And Boeing CEO acknowledges a mistake has been made as he to employees about the terrifying Alaska Airlines midair blowout.

But the markets in New York will open in about 30 minutes from now. You can see the Futures behind me all but flat after what can only be described as

a rough start to the year for investors in stocks.

The Consumer Price Index set to be released on Thursday morning, so traders in the U.S. may be in an inflation focused holding pattern as it were. More

on that at the bottom of the hour. Plus, a look at a couple of economic reports that caught our eye today.

Well, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has just landed in Bahrain, in region, on a what is a surprise stop, it has to be said. Bahrain, part

of the U.S. led Red Sea coalition aimed at stopping Houthi attacks in what is a vital shipping lane. Blinken will meet with Bahrain's King, and we

will have a lot more on that in a moment.

Earlier today, Antony Blinken and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas met in the West Bank, on Blinken's latest leg of his Middle

East tour, aimed at protecting Gazans and getting them desperately needed help. That at least is the positioning from the State Department. Abbas

reportedly telling Blinken that his government would reject any effort by Israel to separate or divide Gaza.

What Blinken told Israel's leaders on Tuesday is they must move towards a two state solution with the Palestinians to help get Arab help in ensuring

lasting security. Antony Blinken also says Israel has agreed to allow a U.N. assessment mission in Northern Gaza as a step towards getting

displaced Palestinians back home.

While Antony Blinken is urging restraint of the Israelis, the war is showing no signs of slowing down. Israel's military claiming it has hit 150

targets over the past day. All this happening as the U.S. Navy, with the help of a British warship, repelled one of the largest Houthi attacks in

the Red Sea since this war began, shooting down more than 20 missiles and drones launched from Yemen.

Jeremy Diamond connecting to us, from Tel Aviv, and Natasha Bertrand is at the Pentagon tonight. Jeremy, let's just start with you, there. And a

surprise visit, unscheduled by Antony Blinken to Bahrain. Of course, he's been in Israel, speaking, with the Netanyahu war cabinet. He is now -- and

also he's been on the West Bank. We expect him back closer to where you are in the coming days. Meantime, he's in Bahrain. Why?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know exactly why. But, you know, you look at the map right now and there are so many

regional challenges, so many different issues that could potentially be the subject of this trip.

But I think perhaps foremost among them is what we have been seeing, over the last several weeks, but particularly over the last 24 hours in the Red

Sea, with the United States intercepting 21 different projectiles fired by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

We know that Bahrain is, of course, home to the U.S.'s 5th Fleet, and it is also, the only, country in the region to join this U.S. led coalition aimed

at trying to protect those shipping lanes, to try and reestablish some sense of security as several different commercial shipping companies, and

oil companies have pulled out of using those shipping lanes.

But beyond that, of course, there are the broader efforts to try and prevent this war between Israel and Hamas from spiraling into a broader

regional confrontation. We have seen as those efforts have also have focused not only on the Houthi, the rebels in Yemen who, in coordination,

it appears, with Iran, have been targeting Israel and targeting those shipping lanes.


But also, of course, those heightened tensions at Israel's northern border with Lebanon where Israel and Hezbollah have been engaged in daily

skirmishes that have risked going out of control, in particular, in the wake of what appears to be a targeted killing by Israel of a senior Hamas

official in the suburbs of Beirut just over a week ago.

We know that the Secretary of State while he was in Tel Aviv, his focus here was on several critical issues beyond the ones I've already mentioned.

Hostage negotiations, it appears that there is some movement to try and restart those. A lot of shuttle diplomacy in the region aimed at trying to

get some kind of a deal to get those 100 plus hostages out, including, at least 8 of them who are believed to be American citizens.

And beyond that, as we saw as he met with the Palestinian Authority President as he met with Israeli officials, there's a lot of talk about the

next phases of Israel's military campaign in Gaza and, of course, what comes next.

This U.N. mission authorized now to go into Northern Gaza to assess what it will take to allow displaced Palestinians to move back to Northern Gaza,

how quickly that can actually happen, and also, of course, who will govern Palestinians in Gaza. 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza after this war is


ANDERSON: Let me bring in Natasha. Thank you. Natasha, we are seeing, quite a complex situation in the Red Sea at present. Let's just remind ourselves

how the Red Sea fits into what is going on, of course, with the, Israeli attacks on Hamas.

It is the Houthis, the Iran backed Houthis, who since the outset of this conflict have said that they will attack or they would attack Israeli

shipping, whilst this assault by Israel continues. They, alongside, you know, other states around, this region have been calling for a ceasefire

since October.

Of course, these Houthi attacks, on shipping have escalated, and we have seen very specifically now, U.S. -- not just U.S. involvement leading this

coalition, but very specifically, U.S. attacks on the Houthis.

Just explain what we understand to be going on at present and why this is now such a national security issue as far as the U.S. is concerned?

NATASHA BERTRAND, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Becky, we're seeing a cycle of Escalation play out already. On December 31st, the U.S. Navy shot

down, or I should say, they sunk, basically three Houthi boats that were attempting to board a commercial ship.

And the Houthis now say that this latest barrage of missiles and drones that they launched, against targets in the Red Sea was in response to the

U.S. sinking those boats and killing all of the Houthi militants that were on board.

But we should note that while the Houthis say that they're carrying out these attacks in solidarity with the Palestinians to target the Israelis,

most, if not all, of the vessels that they have been targeting have no ties to Israel at all. And so U.S. officials say that this is very opportunistic

of these militants trying to kind of bolster their reputation among amongst the Iranians, amongst other Iran backed groups.

But in general, what we're seeing now is a cycle that is likely going to force the U.S. and the coalition there to respond in a more meaningful way,

in a preemptive way. And we got a sense of that in the Central Command statement that was released following this latest barrage of missiles and

drones shot by the Houthis that were downed by the U.S. and the U.K. overnight.

And in that statement Central Command said very clearly, that the Houthis will bear responsibility for the consequences should they continue to

threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region's critical waterways.

The U.S. as well as 13 other nations they released a statement to that effect last week, saying that it was going to be their last warning to the

Houthis. So it is very possible that we see some sort of escalation in the coming days by the U.S. in this maritime coalition that has been formed in

order to respond.

Because as you have pointed out, this is such a critical waterway. It is such a critical shipping lane, and it is seriously interrupting the free

flow of goods in the international economy. So the U.S., likely going to feel like they have to respond soon.

ANDERSON: Yeah. It's interesting, isn't it? We don't know specifically why it is that Antony Blinken is making a surprise trip to Bahrain. What we do

know, of course, is that Bahrain is the only -- the only Gulf nation that is involved in this Red Sea task force. And clearly CENTCOM they're

important in the organization of that.


While I've got you, the scandal growing from, Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, not disclosing his hospitalization, continues. Just have a listen

to U.S. National Security Spokesperson John Kirby earlier.


JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: Nobody at the White House knew that Secretary Austin had prostate cancer until this morning,

and the President was informed immediately after we were --


ANDERSON: Anything further from your sources as to how this is sort of playing out as it were?

BERTRAND: Well, there's deep frustration here among Pentagon officials for how this all unfolded, particularly the fact that the Secretary of Defense

was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early December, underwent surgery for it for which he was under general anesthesia, essentially unconscious, and

no one told the White House.

That is a serious problem according to current and former officials, and the Pentagon has issued a mea culpa for that saying that there were clearly

shortfalls in the process. But as a result, the Pentagon and the White House, they have now initiated procedural reviews for how authorities are

transferred and who is notified when that happens.

Because not only was the White House not notified during that procedure that the Secretary underwent in December for this prostate cancer, they

also were not notified when he went back to the hospital on January 1st when he was undergoing severe pain and was placed in the intensive care


So there are a lot of questions still to be answered about why this played out this way. The Secretary is a deeply personal person, deeply private,

but that according to officials really does not cut it when you are the Secretary of Defense, such a key member, of course, of the President's

cabinet. Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. At a key time. And, of course, we do, obviously, wish him well. Thank you, Natasha. Look. We're leading this show with this region,

and with what is going on in Gaza and how that may play out around this wider region. Why it is that the Secretary of State, Antony is in Bahrain,

on what is a surprise trip on a wider Middle East tour.

And you can stay up to date with everything happening, in this region by signing up to our Middle East newsletter that is "Meanwhile in the Middle

East." The latest piece, up on the site explains why Israel is appearing before the international court of justice this week and how it could help

determine the course of what is this brutal war in Gaza.

You can sign up by scanning that QR code on your screen or by going to "Meanwhile in the Middle East" on the CNN Website. It's a jolly good read.

Hits your inbox 3 times a week. I urge you to sign up.

Well, an urgent manhunt is now underway for a notorious gang leader who escaped from an Ecuadorian prison, convulsing the country in waves of



ANDERSON: This comes as hooded men stormed an Ecuadorian TV station live on air. As you can see in this video. That pushed Ecuador's President to

declare an internal armed conflict, ordering security forces to neutralize several criminal groups accused of spreading extreme violence.

Let's bring in CNN's Patrick Oppmann, keeping a very close eye on what is going on there in Ecuador. What's happening right now?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the violence, that has been fueled by these drug gangs has been spiraling out

of control in Ecuador now for years because Ecuador is, of course, close to the countries that produce the drugs and the drug flow through Ecuador to

Europe and in the U.S., because Ecuador, of course, is on the Pacific Ocean.

All those same, though, what we witnessed yesterday, not only the violence of the TV station, but those wave of attacks across the country It's

clearly led to a shift, not only from the Ecuadorian government, but within Ecuadorian society where people are saying that something, clearly, has

changed and that this is a country now at war.


OPPMANN (voice-over): As cameras broadcast live, armed gunmen take employees of a TV station in Guayaquil, Ecuador, hostage. The journalists

are threatened and forced to the floor at gunpoint, while viewers watch.

The latest scenes of out of control gang violence plaguing the South American nation. Ecuadorians say they are in shock.

LUIS ARTURO BELTRAN, WAITER: All citizens are afraid. Today, there were attacks in Quito, Cuenca, Quevedo, everywhere.

OPPMANN (voice-over): On Monday, Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency, a day after, the government said notorious gang

leader, Adolfo Macias, known as Fito, escaped from prison in Guayaquil before his transfer to a maximum security facility.

DANIEL NOBOA, ECUADORIAN PRESIDENT: The time is over for when those convicted of drug trafficking and murder tell the government what to do?


OPPMANN (voice-over): The government implemented a curfew and mobilized a manhunt of 3,000 police officers and members of the armed forces to search

for the escaped gang leader. The gang struck back on Tuesday, raiding the TV station, taking police and prison guards hostage, setting off bombs, and

attacking a university.

Ecuador had long been spared the epidemic of violence carried out by drug cartels throughout much of the region. But as a country has increasingly

become a key transshipment point for illegal drugs heading to Europe and the U.S., local gangs partnered with cartels have battled each other and

the government for control.

In 2023, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated after naming individuals, he said, were involved in the drug trade. And

then the six alleged hitmen arrested for his killing were apparently murdered in prison as well. Villavicencio running mate, on Tuesday, called

on the country to unite to defeat the gangs.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, ECUADORIAN POLITICIAN: This is the moment that Ecuador stands and leaves behind political terrorism.

OPPMANN (voice-over): The country's President Noboa, on Tuesday, declared several of the gangs terrorist organizations, in order to the armed forces

to, quote, "neutralize the violence." Police at the TV station said they had arrested 13 alleged gunmen and rescued the hostages.

As the government declares war, though, there's no sign the gangs are backing down.


OPPMANN: And we've heard the military in Ecuador say that the gangs now are now an objective -- a military objective. You've heard the President of

Ecuador say they are terrorists, and they'll be treated as such.

You know, remains an open question, though, you know, Becky, whether or not, the country's armed forces, the police are up to the task? You know,

these gangs have a lot of money, they're very violent, they're well-armed, and they've been very effective at corrupting Ecuador's institutions.

All that, though, being said, there is a real sense of before and after and a sense of unity among politicians in Ecuador, among civil society in

Ecuador that, that's now or never if they're going to root out this cancer that is caused so much damage in their country.

ANDERSON: Interesting. Good to have you, sir. Thank you.

Two U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls will meet tonight, in what's likely to be a strongly combative debate. They are both looking to score

points before Iowa's caucuses. More on that after this.



ANDERSON: Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will be going head to head on the CNN Debate stage tonight. It's the first

time that the two will face each other by themselves and with no other candidates. So just 5 days left, of course, until The Iowa caucuses. And as

of right now, Donald Trump appears to be, very much the favorite.

Though, Trump will be in Iowa tonight, he will not be at the debate, skipping this one like the previous one. CNN's Politics Correspondent Eva

McKend has more on tonight's debate.


EVA MCKEND: CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The final GOP presidential debate before the Iowa caucus is tonight, and all eyes are on

the two leading contenders to challenge former President Donald Trump, Governor Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.

RON DESANTIS, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like being underestimated. So, you know, I could sit here and say this. But you know

what? I think that that being the underdog suits me better. So buckle up. I think it's going to be -- it's going to be an interesting ride.

MCKEND (voice-over): This is the first and only time the two will debate one-on-one before next week's Iowa caucus.

NIKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've done a 150 plus town halls, answering every question, shaking every hand, staying until the

last person leaves, and it has come to this moment.

Don't complain about what happens in a general election if you don't play in this caucus. It matters.

MCKEND (voice-over): In the final days of campaigning, Iowans dealing with a massive snowstorm and possible below 0 temperatures on caucus night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does make it more difficult, particularly for senior citizens. I think if we get a snowstorm on top of those type of

temperatures, it'll hold down turnout. Otherwise, I don't think it'll have much impact.

MCKEND (voice-over): Former President Trump will be back in Iowa tonight. He is shifting his attacks to his former UN ambassador. Trump's team

reportedly taking her strong showing in some polls seriously.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Nikki Haley got away, most seniors would work their entire lives right up until the end and

then not live long enough to receive the benefits they earned and paid for.

MCKEND (voice-over): DeSantis also taking aim at Haley.

DESANTIS: You don't win as a Republican when you don't stand for anything. It's like almost every day she answers questions, something happens where

she's putting her foot in her mouth.

MCKEND (voice-over): But on Trump, DeSantis avoids weighing in on his legal cases, Instead, criticizing his recent stance on abortion.

DESANTIS: The former President Trump, who said he was pro-life, he attacked pro-life legislation like the Heartbeat bill here in Iowa and said it was a

terrible, terrible thing.

MCKEND (voice-over): And in New Hampshire, Chris Christie facing growing calls for him to drop out and help coalesce support behind Haley. Christie

is vowing to stay in the race and says, Haley is already looking ahead to the next presidential election.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's not trying to beat him. She's hoping that lightning strikes. But how do you beat somebody

if you won't say why they don't belong being president? I'm making it really clear. He's unfit. She's planning for 2028.


ANDERSON: Well, Donald Trump back in Iowa, as I said, after attending an appeals court hearing in Washington on Tuesday. Trump and his attorneys

argue that he should be immune from prosecution for any crimes committed while he was president, including an election subversion indictment or a

ruling from the appeals court is expected to come quickly.

CNN's Alayna Treen is in Washington following Donald Trump's busy legal and campaign schedule. Tell us more about this appeals court hearing. I mean,

what can we expect at this point? Is it clear?

ALAYNA TREEN, CNN REPORTER: It's not clear. Although, I will say from all the legal experts, they do think that the court will dismiss the arguments

that Trump's team is making. That this should be dismissed because, it is an immunity issue. I think they -- a lot of people think that that won't

happen and the trial, will move forward.

But look, I think, what's really interesting about yesterday is that Donald Trump chose to show up. This is just the final week before the Iowa

caucuses on Monday, and he took himself off the campaign trail in order to sit in on that court appearance or in that court hearing yesterday, and

that was his choice.

He did not have to be there. It was not mandatory for him to attend, but he chose to do so. And I think there's, a lot of reasons for that. One is that

he cares deeply about this case. And I know from my conversations with Donald Trump's advisers and people on his campaign, the former President

really does believe that he was immune from these charges because he was President at the time.

And you heard him make that argument, after the hearing. He held a media appearance and spoke to many reporters, kind of doubling down on his claims

that he thinks he is immune and also argued that he thinks, if the court does not side with his team, that it'll set a bad precedent for future

presidents. Take a listen to what he said.


TRUMP: This is the way they're going to try and win, and that's not the way it goes. It'll be bedlam in the country. It's a very bad thing. It's a very

bad precedent. As we said, it's the opening of a Pandora's Box. And it's a very that's a very sad thing.

I feel that as a President you have to have immunity. Very simple. And if you don't, as an example, if this case were lost on immunity, and I did

nothing wrong, absolutely nothing wrong.



TREEN: So as you can hear there him, saying, he did absolutely wrong, something we've heard him say many times for all of the other legal issues

that he is facing. But I also think it's very interesting that he said there would be bedlam in the country if his team loses this argument.

And, you know, from my conversations with many voters on the trail, a lot of them do really believe that Donald Trump is a victim of political

persecution, so something we'll be watching very closely.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you. You can watch that CNN Republican Presidential Debate with Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis at least in Des

Moines, Iowa at 9:00 P.M. Eastern Time, that's as we discussed.

Both of them will participate with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash who are moderating this evening. You can work out what time set 9:00p Eastern is

locally wherever you are watching in the world. Wherever you are, you are more than welcome.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And the number of people killed in The New Year's Day

earthquake in Japan has risen to 206. More than 50 people remain account unaccounted for, as snow and heavy rains have been hampering efforts to

clear roads and reach more remote communities. At last check, thousands of households still had no water or electricity.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made an unannounced visit to Lithuania. That country's President says the meeting is to discuss the war

in Ukraine as well integrating Ukraine into the EU and NATO. Mr. Zelenskyy says he'll also visit Latvia and Estonia on what is his Baltic visit.

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has made his first court appearance from a Siberian penal colony. He was moved there last month during which

time his team couldn't locate him. The opposition leader is suing prison authorities over the conditions of his detention, which he says includes

time spent in a punishment cell.

You're watching "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson for your time here. 27 minutes past 6:00 here being UAE.

Coming up, the U.S. has repelled the biggest attack on Red Sea shipping yet. We'll be taking a closer look at the challenges to trade along what is

that vital route. That coming up.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You are watching "Connect the World," and you are more than welcome.

And a mixed bag as Markets open in New York. Traders are really, on pause at present, waiting on a big inflation indicator this week, the Consumer

Price Index, which should, should move markets this time tomorrow. Those are the markets as they have opened.

Worth noting, A couple of economic reports out today, and perhaps some will be surprised that these haven't actually moved the markets much, but I'll

get you them anyway. The World Bank and the World Economic Forum. The World Bank says the global economy will slow in 2024 for the third straight year,

and the overall global economy is, quote, "lagging."

And according to the World Economic Forum's Risk Report, it highlights, quote, "A predominantly negative outlook in the short term that is expected

to worsen over the long term."

Paints that gloomy picture is a squeeze on global trade in the form of cargo shipment disruption as we've been discussing this hour, and we led,

at the top of this hour, with the U.S. Navy repelling a large Houthi attack, shooting down 21 missiles and drones launched from Yemen on Tuesday


Let's take a step back to look at the results of these incidents. According to one shipping firm, 419 vessels have been impacted. That's ships either

diverted or directly attacked. Last week's shipping analysts, Lloyd's List, said shipping activity through this route was down nearly 20 percent. That

means the average cost to ship a 40 foot container from East to West has jumped to $2,670 as of January 4th.

That is about double the cost from November, huge implications as you can see to the shipping industry and consumers' pockets ultimately. Because at

the end of the day, you and I foot this bill.

Marco Forgione, Director General at the Institute of Export and International Trade, joining me now live. Marco, close to a third of global

container shipping goes through the Red Sea. This is a vital route. Breakdown for our audience, if you will, just what's going on here with

regard rising cost, the inflationary pressure, the longer this drags on, sir.

MARCO FORGIONE, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INSTITUTE OF EXPORT AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Well, we're going to see a growing pressure on inflation,

particularly for the components, the commodities, the products that normally ship through the Red Sea and then out through Suez.

And, you know, the announcements we just heard from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum indicate just how fragile global trade is currently

and the pressures that are being caused here on global inflation are significant.

So what you've got is the Houthi rebels are attacking the shipping, which is causing the shipping lines to either pause, waiting to see the impact of

Operation Prosperity Guard in the U.S. led naval intervention or they are diverting their ships south to go around the Cape of Good Hope, up past

West Africa. And, you know, that adds up to 2 weeks, delay and adds about $1 million to the cost for fuel and the crew. All of that, as you've said,

feeds through to the consumer.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And for some businesses, let's just be quite clear, the numbers you've just used are really impactful. For some businesses,

shipping costs are up 250 -- 250 percent. I mean, that is unsustainable. Correct?

FORGIONE: Yeah. Absolutely. And particularly hits are the MSMEs, the micro, small, and medium enterprises who ship, you know, in low volume, and in ad

hoc way. So they're being impacted.

But more importantly, this is something that hasn't really been picked up is that a significant amount of what transits through Suez are inputs. So

it's fuel, it's ingredients, it's components that enter into the manufacturing sector. So the impact on just in time manufacturing processes

will be even more significant and have a longer term impact.


And putting all of this right is going to take months and months as ships are in the wrong place, containers are in the wrong place. And there was

one incident of an East U.S. Coast Ship heading to China, which, before this all started, it just entered Suez, then the Houthi attack started.

They did a U-turn headed back out through the Mediterranean. Operation Prosperity Guardian was announced and Maersk recommenced their shipping. It

did another U-turn to head back to Suez. Maersk then paused again, and it did another U-turn to head back through, the Straits of Gibraltar.

This confusion and disturbance is going to take months to correct and is going to have a significant impact on availability on price and the

potential for shrinkflation.

ANDERSON: Yeah. And, also, what about insurance costs at this point? We'd normally expect to see a rise in premiums if ships are in danger, correct?

FORGIONE: And Becky, you you've hit on a really important point. Not only has the cost of insurance gone up from normally between 0.1 percent or 0.2

percent of the value of the hull to over 0.7 percent, which is a huge increase in the insurance premium.


FORGIONE: But the ships can only travel with insurance, and availability of insurance is another issue that has to be resolved.

ANDERSON: This is, is it not, a new form of trade weaponization? I mean, the Houthis are being quite strategic. They're not directly targeting

Israel, but instead, they say they are targeting an Israeli bound or owned ships. That's actually not true. I mean, they've escalated beyond that. But

they're targeting what is a key trading route.

FORGIONE: Yeah. And it's happening at a time when the Panama Canal, another key trading route, is already constrained. And the Houthis have identified.

They are claiming that what they want to establish is a de facto blockade of Israel, but it's impossible to identify, which ships necessarily are

linked or have containers on them that are linked to Israeli businesses, but it's having an impact.

A number of the key shipping liners have announced that they will not stop in Israel and trade through Eilat Paul, the key port in Israel, is down

over 85 percent.

ANDERSON: Wow. It's good to have you, sir. It's an incredibly important story as we cover the kind of military aspect of this and who is involved

in this coalition and how. So the impact on global trade, as we've been discussing, is so important. Good to have you. We'll have you back. Thank


Well, Boeing's CEO acknowledges a mistake has been made, as he speaks out for the first time about the terrifying Alaska Airlines midair blowout.

During a staff meeting, he vowed "complete transparency," and I quote him there. As the aircraft manufacturer works with federal investigators to

determine what caused a fuselage door plug, as it's known, to snap off. As the investigation continues, the FAA will keep all Boeing 737 MAX 9s


Well, U.S. asset managers are still hopeful. The much awaited Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund or ETF will soon get the green light. This comes after

hackers got hold of the Securities and Exchange Commission's X Account on Tuesday and posted that they were approved. The SEC quickly deleted that

post. It has been a reason why we have seen a significant uptick in the price of the coin off late.

We'll head into sports. Familiar foes meeting today in Saudi Arabia. A preview of the Spanish Super Cup semifinal. That after this.



ANDERSON: Two Spanish football rivals are meeting in Saudi Arabia today, and it won't be the only encounter between Real Madrid and Atletico in the

coming weeks, what's going on? Amanda Davies joining me now. Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES CNN WORLD SPORT: Hi, Becky. I'm sure you're aware, the Spanish Super Cup first was played in Saudi Arabia in 2019, and Riyadh is

the venue for this meeting between great City rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid later on Wednesday.

But interestingly, Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid boss, has said he doesn't particularly like facing his city rivals because of the high

stakes, but he needs to get used to it because this is the first of three meetings in just over 3 weeks between these two sides, the Super Cup, the

Copa del Rey.

Then their second meeting of the season in La Liga. The feeling that this may well set the tone for what is to come. And, of course, that real, final

fling towards the trophies as we get to the sharp ends of the season, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good stuff. And now we know that Ancelotti's saying he'll be absolutely intent on cleaning up as far as those trophies are concerned.

Let's see. Good to have you. Amanda's with us, after the break with "World Sport."

We are back top of the hour.