Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Deepening Concern For Rahaf Amid Threat of Israel Offensive; Hamas Delegation in Egypt for Truce Talks; Vote Count In Pakistan Continues After Unexpected Delays; Biden's Response to Report: "My Memory Is Fine"; DOJ: Biden Willfully Held Classified Information But No Charges; Talks Set for Sunday On U.S. Military Presence in Iraq'; Six Killed in India Amid Clashes Over Demolition of Mosque; U.S. Supreme Court Justices Seem Poised to Side with Trump; Far-Right Personality Tucker Carlson Releases Interview; Musical Artist Usher to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show; Qatar to Face Jordan in Saturday's Asia Cup Final. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired February 09, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, it's 6:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome to "Connect the World."

President Joe Biden calls Israel's military operation in Gaza, quote, "Over the top," as concerns of the IDF's anticipated move into Rafah are growing.

In Pakistan, they are still counting votes after a tense and closely watched election. We're live in Islamabad for you.

And reading between the lines, questions from the U.S. Supreme Court Justices suggest that Donald Trump will be on the ballot in Colorado come


Well, stock markets in New York will open in about 30 minutes from now, and if these futures markets are any indication, we should expect the markets

to trade slightly higher, but slightly being the operative word.

We start with the Israel-Hamas war this hour and the growing fears over what will happen to more than a million Palestinians in Gaza who have fled

South to Rafah. This is what it looks like there today. You can see in these satellite photos, streets literally packed with people with nowhere

to go.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says ground troops will enter Rafah soon, and that is prompting blowback from humanitarian groups and

notably from the United States, which warned Israel that a ground operation in Rafah without proper planning could trigger a disaster. President Joe

Biden also bluntly criticized the Israeli military operation in Gaza, calling it, quote, "over the top."

Meantime, ceasefire talks involving Hamas continue in Egypt, despite Prime Minister Netanyahu rejecting Hamas's counter offer to a truce proposal as

delusional. Those are the latest headlines for you.

Let's break this down. Got a couple of correspondents on this for you. You couldn't be better served. Nic Robertson is in Tel Aviv keeping a keen eye

on what is going on in Rafah. Nada Bashir, tonight is in Cairo for you.

Nic, the threat of this offensive in Rafah is really worrying people. The United States has said, without proper planning, this could be a disaster.

Humanitarian organizations calling what is already a catastrophe on the ground, likely to get so much worse. What do we know now, as you and I

speak about Israel's intentions there?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The prime minister has said on several occasions that the troops are ready to go in. One end of

the spectrum, this could be a bluff for those negotiations with Hamas, putting pressure on them.

But the indications are, and I think secretary Blinken when he was here, took away that sense as well, because he prioritized speaking with the

defense minister, with the chief of military staff, the head of the IDF, with the head of Mossad as well, to impress upon them and communicate

United States' concerns and hear their plans for how to deal with the civilians.

There are 1.3 million people living close that border. 300,000 there before, a million displaced. Many of them have been displaced several

times. Their backs are literally to the border. One humanitarian agency has said, there's a potential for a bloodbath there because they have nowhere

else to run, and they have, in many cases, witnessed what the IDF has done down the whole tract of Gaza.

The death toll every day, despite the best admonitions, if you will, of the United States, the strongest that we've heard from President Biden. If you

go back 2 months talking about, the air strikes there, as not being, properly targeted, it didn't make a difference. The death toll for Gazans

remain the same, and this is the concern now about Rafah. All those people, nowhere else to go. A ground operation starts.

And what can happen, well, the foreign minister in Egypt has said there could be a potential for people to try to escape across the border, a real

catastrophe potential in the waiting.

ANDERSON: But the U.S. still not supporting what our calls around this region of the Gulf and wider Middle East for an immediate ceasefire. We

heard that again out of Riyadh, overnight, with a number of around this region of foreign ministers meeting there with the Saudi foreign minister.

And it's U.S. calls to ensure that any offensive in Rafah is planned properly as opposed to the U.S. criticizing Israel for any plans in Rafah

where -- you know, this area is so congested that's worrying people at this point.


Meantime, Benjamin Netanyahu, Nic, calling for an outright victory and nothing less. What does total victory mean or look like to Benjamin

Netanyahu at this point, is it clear?

ROBERTSON: It means, as best we can understand, the complete destruction of Hamas, both as a political institution and a military entity, and that

means the death of the Hamas leadership.

There have been rumors, and conversations going on for some time that possibly victory also looks like some of those Hamas leaders being allowed

to leave Gaza. And, again, we come back here to the potential pressure for negotiations at the moment. But that's how Prime Minister Netanyahu is

outlining it.

His military has swept down the country. He says 18 of 24 battalions of Hamas have been destroyed. We don't see the evidence for that. He says

20,000 of their fighters either killed, captured, or injured. We haven't seen the physical evidence for that either.

He has said that any loss of soldiers would just be in vain if you stop now before that complete victory. The language that he is using, the emotive

language and the position that he's putting forward speaks to his apparent intent that he believes that the military option is the option.

ANDERSON: Nic, I'll speak to you next hour. Thank you un for now, for the update. This is a 2 hour show, of course, and we'll get back to Nic as we

move through this next couple of hours.

I want to get to Nada, who is in Cairo. And, Nada, you there, reporting on and monitoring the negotiations that as we understand are now underway from

a delegation -- a Hamas delegation in Cairo. These are continued negotiations as we understand it on Gaza, on the release of hostages

potentially, and a truce -- hostage exchange, of course, for Palestinian prisoners.

What more do we know at this point? Because we know that Israel has rejected outright Hamas' counteroffer at this point, which was quite wide

ranging, it has to say. So what more can what more can you tell us at this point?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, you're absolutely right, Becky. I mean, the Israeli government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was very

clear in dismissing that counterproposal from Hamas. He described it as delusional.

As you mentioned, he said he wants to continue to push for a full victory for the full destruction and eradication of Hamas. And yet we are still

seeing these diplomatic efforts. We are seeing, of course, this senior delegation of Hamas officials led by a senior Hamas official Khalil al-

Hayya, here in Cairo. They arrived yesterday morning. It's understood that they may well be meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials.

And, of course, behind the scenes, they have also been ongoing intensive discussions between the most of the Egyptian authorities, the Qataris, as

well as the United States. We've seen just yesterday a meeting, between the Saudi foreign ministers as well as his counterparts from Qatar, the United

Arab Emirates, from Jordan, Egypt, and of course, officials from the Palestinian authority.

So there are still these intensive discussions, negotiations focused not only on the situation on the ground in Gaza, but, of course, on these calls

for a ceasefire. Now that counter proposal put forward by Hamas earlier in the week focused on what would be a long term, a prolonged truce, a phased

withdrawal of Israeli troops, a gradual release of hostages over about four and a half months, of course, again, dismissed by Israeli government


However, the hope for many in the international community, not least in the United States, is that a prolonged truce of this kind, a pause in the

fighting would provide the space for diplomatic negotiations to continue to push forward and push ahead beyond what we've on thus far.

Of course, there is mounting pressure on the Israeli government, the Israeli military from their allies now as well, including the United States

to bring down the fighting to edge away from the South. But we have seen that concentration of civilians. As we know, more than a million civilians

now or a million Palestinians, centered and gathered, displaced around city of Rafah, which is where the Israeli military is now, threatening to push

towards on the ground.

We've already seen airstrikes in the Rafah. Of course, that Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is a vital gateway for humanitarian aid. And a

crucial aspect of that ceasefire agreement or a truce agreement rather would be to see an uptick in the amount of aid getting into Gaza. And, of

course, a long term rebuild effort.


That remains to be seen what comes out of these talks between Hamas' delegation and Egyptian officials. But, of course, there has been continued

back and forth discussions around, what the terms of that framework would look like. Secretary Blinken, United States saying that there were some

nonstarters, as he put it, in that initial counter proposal. It remains to be seen how much that develops and changes over the coming days and weeks.


ANDERSON: Good to have you, Nada. You are on the -- on the story out of Cairo for us. Keep digging. Thank you.

Well, political gatherings banned, a vote count hit by delays, and the UN Chief urging everyone to stay calm. This is the day after a major and

controversial election in Pakistan. Counting still in progress, many hours after the polls closed.

You'll know from watching this program that the run up to the Thursday vote was marred by outbreaks of deadly violence. And now many analysts say this

is among Pakistan's least credible elections. So that's the bigger picture.

There's an awful lot of heavy lifting involved in covering the angles on this. Let's get you to CNN Producer, Sophia Saifi, who is live from the

Pakistani Capital, Islamabad. Firstly, we are some hours after polling closed. What do we know at this point about when we might get a likely


SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Becky, I mean, more than 24 hours, actually, since polls closed, yesterday, in Pakistan. Many, many hours after polls

closing, in Pakistan, there were no results.

There were results coming out on television by the incredible local channels who were sharing their research and their results, which was

showing, surprisingly, despite what many analysts had said in the lead up to this election, Imran Khan's candidates -- the party Imran Khan's party,

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, his independent candidates who'd lost their electoral symbol of that very popular cricket bat went speeding ahead of

Nawaz Sharif's party who is hoping to become the prime minister for the fourth time.

So there were no results coming out from the Election Commission of Pakistan, complete silence. People were getting completely frustrated

because there was celebration in the PTI camp because there wasn't really much excitement in the leader because of the crackdown that had taken place

against these candidates.

Now what's happened since then is at around 5:00 in the morning, we haven't really slept very much. 5:00 in the morning is when the Election Commission

of Pakistan finally released a statement 12 hours after polls closed, stating that they're going to have results out shortly. That's when they

slowly started trickling in, and it's still trickling in.

I mean, we're almost there. A couple of hours still to go. But, again, the PTI independent candidates are slightly ahead of Nawaz Sharif's very fated

to win party. So where there is a lot of anger, there's a lot of rage, because what's going on is people are saying that people are not being able

to get their results in time.

They're accusing the military establishment of rigging. There's already been, accusations of pre poll rigging, that's obviously been denied by the

military. But there -- this is very young population, it's a 128 million voters who came out. The Pakistani Ministry of Information kept stressing

that this is the fight largest democracy in the country, and it is a very vibrant young country.

And these young people are outraged that their vote has not been respected, according to them. So Nawaz Sharif is just pulling in to his constituency

in the city of Lahore. He's due to speak at any moment. People are expecting this to be a victory speech, but, again, no final result has come

out. This has already been tainted because of the huge delay in results coming out.

So this is a nuclear armed country. It's got many issues with regards to the economy, rising inflation, issues with its neighbors, as we know from

what we reported earlier a couple of weeks ago with Iran air strikes. This is an important time Pakistan, and we're going to have to wait and see how

this is resolved because, there has been a ban on public gatherings in the capital.

We're slowly hearing reports of protests. This could snowball into something quite serious. So we're monitoring this very closely and hoping

that this is resolved sooner than later. Becky?

ANDERSON: Well, stick with us, because as soon as we get a result, of course, you'll get it here first on CNN. The will of the people, the rule

of law, all of these things watched, of course, extremely closely as the IMF, continues to support Pakistan and its economy with a huge tranche of

money. Thank you.


Well, the special counsel has decided that he will not bring criminal charges against U.S. President Joe Biden for mishandling classified

documents. But the special counsel's report reignited concerns about whether Mr. Biden is too old for office. That's after it called him a well-

meaning elderly man with a poor memory. Yep. You heard it right.

Hours after that report came out, the president insisted to reporters at the White House that his memory is fine. CNN's MJ Lee was there.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How in the hell dare he raise that?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A fiery President Biden flashing anger and frustration after an explosive

investigation into his handling of classified documents was finally made public.

BIDEN: I've seen the headlines, since the report was released about my willful retention of documents. These assertions are not only misleading,

they're just plain wrong.

LEE (voice-over): Just hours after Special Counsel Robert Hur released the findings of his 15 month investigation, the White House hastily adding

presidential remarks from the White House Tuesday night.

Biden taking issue with not only the media's coverage of the report, which concluded no criminal charges would be brought.

BIDEN: I was pleased to see he reached a firm conclusion that no charges should be brought against me in this case.

LEE (voice-over): But also bristling at the many allegations in the report of Biden struggling with memory problems.

The special counsel writing, that Biden would likely present himself to the jury as a sympathetic, well meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.

BIDEN: I'm well meaning, and I'm an elderly man, and I know what the hell I'm doing.

REPORTER: How bad is your memory? And can you continue as president?

BIDEN: My memory is so bad I let you speak.

LEE (voice-over): But in that same setting, Biden mixing up the president of Egypt with a different world leader as he discussed the situation in

Gaza. The President of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in.

Critics of the president quickly seizing on the unflattering descriptions of Biden in the report, but the president trying to swat away broader

questions about voters' concerns about his age and mental fitness.

REPORTER: Mr. President, for months you were asked about your age, you would respond with the words watch me. Many American people have been

watching, and they have expressed concerns about your age.

BIDEN: That is your judgment. That is your judgment. That is not the judgment of the press."

REPORTER: They've expressed concerns about your mental acuity. They say that you are too old. Mr. President, in December, you told me that you

believe there are many other who could defeat Donald Trump. So why does it have to be you now? What is your answer to that question?

BIDEN: Because I'm the most qualified person in this country to be president of the United States and finish the job I started.

LEE (voice-over): One line of questioning in particular from Special Counsel Hur deeply angering the president.

BIDEN: There's even reference that I don't remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I

thought to myself, it wasn't any of their damn business. Let me tell you something, I don't need anyone -- I don't need anyone to remind me when he

passed away.


ANDERSON: CNN's MG Lee filing that report.

Well, just ahead, U.S. forces in Iraq, is it time for them to leave? We're live from the Pentagon with backlash over a wave of strikes on Iraqi

territory. More on that after this.



ANDERSON: The U.S. and Iraq are scheduled for more talks on Sunday that could be the beginning of the end of America's military presence there.

Iraqi officials are furious over a series of strikes, U.S. strikes on Iran backed militia in Iraq, in their country. The latest killed a militia

commander. Well, the Iraqi military is calling it an assassination. The strikes began after three American service members were killed in Jordan

last month.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is following this for us from the Pentagon. All right. I spoke to the Iraqi foreign minister at Davos, about 3 or 4 weeks

ago. And at the time, we discussed whether or not American troops would be leaving the country. He said that they had opened negotiations to negotiate

their departure, as it were.

They are negotiating the entire U.S. Iraq relationship going forward at this point. What's the Pentagon saying, firstly, about these strikes? And

then, Oren, if you will, about what happens next with regard forces in Iraq and that relationship going forward?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So in terms of the strikes themselves, the U.S., which initially said they had notified Iraq in

advance, then walked that back and said they had not given Iraq advance notification. You saw that in the anger from the Iraqi government, calling

this a new aggression that undermines the understandings between the U.S. and Iraq.

But the U.S.' position is that they've made clear to Baghdad that retaliatory strikes against, or after the drone strike that killed three

U.S. service members would be continuing. So the U.S. is trying to make clear that Iraq had advanced notice that there would be some sort of

continued U.S. action potentially in Iraq. But that has done little to alleviate the anger of the Iraqi government.

In terms of how these play out, the U.S. is being very cautious with how they view these. As you point out, these are essentially right now

discussions to begin further discussions about what the U.S. military presence in Iraq looks like. Now part of the debate is how do these play

out and what is the end goal?

There is no deadline here for when these could continue, and we've spoken with both experts and former U.S. senior military officials who say these

could play out for years, essentially giving enough time, for Iraq to be less angry at the U.S. government.

And then they also say that Iraq relies on the U.S. military presence there for some sort of stability. Now part of the debate here, Becky, is what's

the end goal here, and are you talking about discussions based on a timeline that say the U.S. has to leave by this date?

Or as the U.S. wants, are these discussions based on a certain set of condition: the defeat of ISIS, stability in the Iraqi government, some sort

of condition related to Iran's -- the presence of Iran's proxies in the region. These are part of the discussions that will frame the higher

military commission.

The Pentagon did acknowledge, I will point out, that part of the discussion is how big is the U.S. military footprint in Iraq. Right now, there are

some 2,500 U.S. service members in the country.

ANDERSON: Yeah. Interesting to note that, King Abdullah will be -- King Abdullah of Jordan, neighboring country, of course, will be in Washington

at the beginning of next week. I mean, a lot of pieces coming together here. But as you say, I don't think we can expect much from Sunday's

discussions apart from, as you rightly point out, the further the narrative, which is discussions are there. Don't expect to see U.S. troops

out of Iraq anytime soon. But those negotiations go on. Good to have you, sir. Always a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed.


Well, deadly clashes have killed at least 6 people and injured nearly 250 after a mosque and Islamic school were demolished in Northern India.

Violence erupted in the town of Haldwani when government authorities there arrived with bulldozers, saying both structures had been built without

permission. More on that as we get there.

Still aired, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the first case that could impact this year's presidential election. And Donald Trump, at least,

certainly seems pleased with how it's gone.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In watching the Supreme Court today, I thought it was very -- it's a very

beautiful process.


ANDERSON: And how do you get 30 years' worth of songs into 13 minutes? Well, that is a problem when you are headlining the Super Bowl halftime

show. More on that after this.


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

than welcome.

The markets, about to open. Bottom of the hour in, New York. And, just for your knowledge, they are looking mixed on the open.

Now the former U.S. president appears poised for a big win at the U.S. Supreme Court. The official ruling is likely weeks away, but based on their

questioning, the Justices seem inclined to overturn the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court to disqualify Trump from running for office due to

the role -- his role in the insurrection. That is, despite spending very little time analyzing Trump's actions on January 6th. We get you a decent

explanation on this.

CNN's Paula Reid has this report.


PAULA REID, CNN LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In one of the most anticipated supreme court cases of the year, the justices signaling

they will side with Donald Trump on the question of whether he's eligible for the 2024 ballot.


The former president did not attend Thursday's arguments. Most justices didn't address his role in the January 6th insurrection, instead, focusing

on legal arguments around the 14th Amendment.

Trump's lawyer, Jonathan Mitchell, an experienced Supreme Court advocate, argued Trump isn't covered by the so called insurrectionist ban.

JONATHAN MITCHELL, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING DONALD TRUMP: A ruling from this court that affirms the decision below would not only violate term limits,

but take away the votes of potentially tens of millions of Americans.

REID (voice over): And argued January 6th was not even an insurrection. Only one justice asked about whether it was.

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: So the point is that a chaotic effort to overthrow the government

is not an insurrection?

MITCHELL: This was a riot. It was not an insurrection.

REID (voice over): Jason Murray argued for Colorado voters who won their case at the lower court.

JASON MURRAY, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING COLORADO VOTERS: By engaging in insurrection against the constitution, President Trump disqualified himself

from public office. States have the power to ensure that their citizens' electoral votes are not wasted on a candidate who is constitutionally

barred from holding office.

REID (voice over): But the justices appeared much more skeptical. In an ominous sign, the Chief Justice said, Murray's arguments were at war with


JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES: That seems to be a position that is at war with the whole thrust of the 14th Amendment and

very historical. The whole point of the 14th Amendment was to restrict state power.

REID (voice over): And questioned the consequences of a ruling in favor of Colorado and other states then following suit.

ROBERTS: It'll come down to just a handful of states that are going to decide the presidential election. That's a pretty daunting consequence.

REID (voice over): Even liberal Justice Elena Kagan asked this.

ELENA KAGAN, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that the question that you have to confront is why a single state

should decide who gets to be president of the United States.

REID (voice over): It was Murray's first time arguing before the high court. He engaged in several contentious exchanges with the justices and

even got a scolding from justice Gorsuch, who he once clerked for.

NEIL GORSUCH, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, no, we're talking about Section 3, and please don't change the


REID (voice over): And even though the argument seemed to go well for Trump, he still wanted the last word, addressing reporters outside Mar-a-


TRUMP: Can you take the person that's leading everywhere and say, hey, we're not going to let you run? You know, I think that's pretty tough to

do. But I'm leaving it up to the Supreme Court.

REID (on camera): It's unclear when the justices will issue their opinion. They may want to provide voters with some confidence ahead of Super Tuesday

on March 5th. They'll know whoever they vote for will be on the ballot in the general election.

But really, it's probably going to take as long as it takes Chief Justice John Roberts to build consensus to come up with a compromise that can

garner bipartisan support. This is a court that is under scrutiny for ethics and partisanship, so this is as much a test for the Chief Justice as

it is for Donald Trump.

Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.


ANDERSON: Fascinating isn't it. Important stuff.

Well, the interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin conducted by the American right wing broadcaster Tucker Carlson is now out. The two

discussed, amongst other things, Russia's detention of The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. He was arrested, of course, almost a

year ago and charged with espionage.

Mr. Putin told Carlson a deal could be done for his release. Have a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN President (via translator): We are willing to solve it. But there are certain terms being discussed via special services

channels. I believe an agreement can be reached.


ANDERSON: 13 seconds of what was a two hour interview. The Kremlin says, Ukraine's appointment of a new military commander will not change the

course of Russia's operation.

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi was fired on Thursday, amid disagreements with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over mobilization plans. At the same time,

President awarding the title Hero of Ukraine and the Order of the Golden Star.

Earlier today, Ukraine's new Military Chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, set out new battlefield priorities, including the implementation of new technology and

better distribution of supplies.

ANDERSON: Right. We are going to take a very short break. After this, the Qatari fans ready to fill the stadium as their team is once again fighting

for the Asian Cup. Can they beat rivals Jordan in the final?

Plus, the countdown is on for Super Bowl LVIII. And for some, the highlight of the game is the commercials every year. The huge paycheck that Comes

along with a 30 second spot is what we will discuss after this.




ANDERSON: Singer, songwriter Usher says, he is proud to be the first independent artist to headline a Super Bowl halftime show. He says, his

biggest challenge is squeezing 30 years of music -- 30 years, my goodness - - into 13 minutes.

110 million people are expected to watch the clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the defending Champions Kansas City Chiefs. But some

are -- they're not only for the game, but also for the music and the ads.


ANDERSON: Well, that Uber Eats ad has, as you can see, a stellar cast, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Victoria and David Beckham. And we

haven't even mentioned the prices for 30 second ad, which is around $7 million.


ANDERSON: Looks like Jason Momoa can certainly channel Flashdance for the right price. Let's talk about all of this are these ads -- what they're --

what they cost to make really worth it, and to place, of course.

Elizabeth Wagmeister is standing by for us in Los Angeles. I mean, these are super expensive, uber expensive for an Uber Eats, add the likes of

which includes all of those characters that we've just seen. I mean, this is all off time the conversation we have, at this time of the year, isn't

it? But it does feel as if this is a particularly big year.

One of the most talked about aspects of this Super Bowl, of course, is Taylor Swift. How's she impacting these ads?

ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. You cannot talk about the Super Bowl without talking about Taylor

Swift. In my eyes, it is the Taylor Bowl. And here's the thing.

Taylor is impacting everything. We know that viewership is up this football season and that she has drawn in new viewers, many female viewers. But I

have new reporting out today, Becky, about the price and the costly price of these ads.


And I have to tell you, according to my sources, ad space for the Super Bowl was sold out on CBS in November. Now Taylor Swift did appear at her

first game on September 24th, but we didn't know that the Chiefs, her boyfriend's team, would be making it in when the ads sold out.

So did she have an impact on the ads selling out? Probably not. The ads, as you said, are selling for around $7 million for a 30 second spot. That is a

bit higher than last year according to the sources that I have spoken with. But we all know that viewership is going to be high and that there is

increased interest because Taylor is expected to be there, of course.

ANDERSON: Amazing. It is amazing. I mean, we know that the NFL is by far the most watched television on linear TV. I mean, this money is much needed

by the linear TV channels, of course, and the networks. But you're right. I mean, this is -- this just feels like quite a different year. Your

reporting is fantastic. It's good to have you on. Thank you very much indeed.

While the U.S. is gearing up for the Super Bowl, Middle East football fans, Soccer fans that is, have a lot to be excited about. The Asian Cup final is

Saturday, when host nation, Qatar, 45 minutes flight from where I am here, will face Jordan.

No matter what the result, the crowds both in Oman and Doha are going to be ready for it. This is going to be a spirited encounter. How do these two

teams compare? Well, Amanda Davies with us to fill us in, Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah. Becky. I mean, you can just imagine. We can think back to what Souq Waqif in Doha will be like this weekend,

can't we? As the fans descend. I mean, it's got a lot to live up to this final.

The last major football final that took place at the Lusail Stadium was that World Cup final between Argentina and France. But the home fans and

those in Jordan have so much to be excited about. This, a first major final for Jordan as they look to get their hands on a first major footballing


Their coach, ahead of the semifinal against South Korea, just told his players to go out there and have fun. It worked for them. He's just given a

news conference today and basically said, I've asked them for more of the same. But it would be a huge, huge moment for Qatar, the defending

champions, after such a roller coaster in their footballing journey over the last few years, if they were able to successfully defend this title.

But the good news for sports fans, Becky, the timing of these major events this weekend. You can watch the Asian Cup final. You can then watch The

Africa Cup of Nations final, and then you can roll over and watch the Super Bowl as well. So, yeah, clear your diary, sit down, settle in and enjoy it.

ANDERSON: Fantastic we've got the Mubadala Abu Dhabi open here, the tennis, so that also goes on this weekend on nip out. And see that I have to say, I

mean I still contend that final in Qatar was one of the best football matches that I'd ever seen. And I will been watching football for a very,

very long time.

But you're right to point out, it's going to be a lot to live up to. But this will be a great game whatever happens. The fans are going to love it.

Thank you. "World Sports" up after this.