Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

IDF Withdraws from Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital after 14 Days; Organizers Plan to Maintain Presence in Front of Parliament until Spring Recess begins on Wednesday; Russia Launches Heavy Assault in Eastern Ukraine; Crews Preparing to Open Alternative Channel near Key Bridge; Cherry Blossom Season Arrives in Japan. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired April 01, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: It is 5 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos, and this is "Connect the World". Happening this hour a

hospital turned to rubble. Israel's military withdraws from Al-Shifa hospital after two weeks of fighting. Eye witnesses say the raid destroyed

the complex leaving death and starvation in its wake.

A blow for Turkish President Erdogan as the main opposition party sweeps local elections we'll be live in Istanbul. And in Baltimore crews are

preparing to open a new shipping channel near the Key Bridge as the lengthy clear up process gets underway.

Well, the stock market in New York will open in about 30 minutes and checking in on the DOW futures were set for a slight negative start and of

course markets were closed on Friday for Good Friday. So set to resume today. We're still eyeing out that key 40,000 benchmark will it breach that

we'll check in on those numbers a little later.

And we start at what was Gaza's largest hospital now in ruins. You're looking at the first pictures we're getting from inside the complex and you

can see the wide corridors and hospital beds. It's a reminder of what the buildings were useful before Israel's 14 day siege. The IDF says its

operation is now over.

In a statement confirming its withdrawal from the hospital, Israel's military said the operation had been precise and that its troops had killed

terrorists while preventing harm to civilians, patients and medical teams. But a local journalist working for CNN says entire families have been found


Bodies have been crushed into the ground by bulldozers and that those who survived are malnourished and starving. He describes people arriving at 2

am scrambling to find their loved ones just by the light of their phones. Now he says the scene quote feels like a horror movie.

CNN's Nada Bashir following the story for us, Nada, it's great to see you. Look some of the video coming out of Al-Shifa is just too graphic to show

our viewers. Meanwhile, we've just heard that journalist working for CNN describing it as a horror movie. What are we learning about this 14 day


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well look, Eleni, we are still getting more video in from the Al-Shifa medical complex. Gaza Civil Defense has said

that because the roads around the complex are so damaged it has proved difficult to actually reach the site where so many have been killed over

the last 14 days.

But we've been seeing the video footage coming out over the course of the last two weeks. We've been hearing from the spokespeople at Gaza Civil

Defense who have said that this can no longer function as a hospital. The buildings around the Al-Shifa complex have been completely destroyed.

Some burnt down, some still on fire in the early hours of this morning. Residential buildings homes around the complex have been targeted over the

last two weeks. According to Gaza's Health Ministry, they believe more than 1000 homes have been targeted. And of course, as we know, there were

hundreds of people who had been trapped in and around the complex.

And at this stage Gaza Civil Defense says they have recovered at least 300 bodies that they believe were killed over the course of the last week.

Again, CNN isn't able to independently verify those figures. But the footage that we have seen coming out is distressing to say the least.

We have seen corpses strewn across the complex, bodies found inside nearby buildings. And over the last two weeks we have been hearing from doctors

inside the hospital who have described the scene troubling accounts of what they've had to endure over the last two weeks.

There some have said that they were unable to move between hospital buildings for fear of being targeted by Israeli snipers. Now the Israeli

military has confirmed its withdrawal it says that the siege is over and it has described its operation as targeted. There is a focus on Hamas


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke yesterday and said that some 200 militants had been killed. Again CNN cannot independently verify

those figures. The IDF has also said that it located weapons as well as intelligence documents inside the Al-Shifa complex. They believe that Hamas

militants were using the complex as what they've described as a terrorist base.

But as we know, there were hundreds of civilians inside the hospital and around the complex as well as medical staff that many of them were trapped

unable to leave. But of course, some were able to free the hospital. Some were able to move southwards as per the orders of Israeli soldiers around.


But we have also been getting troubling accounts from those who have evacuated southwards. Some, including teenagers who have said that they

were stripped, forced to undress by soldiers and interrogated before being able to move. And of course, as we know, those who were trapped inside were

facing shortages in food, in water and essential medical supplies.

Of course, no electricity and getting information from inside has proven difficult day after day. And it is only now that the siege is over that

perhaps we may see the full extent of the destruction and the devastation that civilians in and around Al-Shifa have been forced to endure for two


GIOKOS: All right Nada Bashir, thank you so much for that updates bringing us the latest on the raid in Al-Shifa. Well moving on now and CNN is also

learning that senior U.S. and Israeli officials will meet virtually today to discuss Israel's proposed ground offensive in Rafah. A U.S. official

says the two sides are still working towards an in-person meeting on the issue.

Face to face talks were abruptly called off last week by the Israeli Prime Minister after Washington refused to block a U.N. resolution calling for a

ceasefire in Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu says U.S. pressure will not stop and Israeli ground operation in Rafah.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We will go on to Rafah and eliminate Hamas battalions there for one simple reason. There is no victory

without entering Rafah. And there is no victory without eliminating Hamas battalions there.


GIOKOS: All right, will talk back on and I want to head to Washington now and bring in CNN's Natasha Bertrand. Natasha, I want to get into -- you

know what the U.S. has repeatedly said and it's warned Israel about a siege into Rafah. In this virtual meeting aimed at Netanyahu, do you think that

he's going to be able to convince the U.S. that they have a workable plan? Can the U.S. be convinced of a Rafah operation?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, the answer is that it really depends, because as of right now, the U.S. is extremely

skeptical. And they have been urging Israeli officials including in talks with the Israeli Defense Minister last week to come up with an alternative


One that is not what the Israelis have been planning, such as a large scale ground operation into Rafah that could endanger the over 1 million

Palestinians that have sought shelter there over the last few months. And what the Israelis are saying is that look, we need a way to eliminate these

remaining Hamas battalions.

And the U.S. is responding well -- you know you could go after them with a more targeted approach something that targets more senior figures in Hamas,

rather than going in and doing an all-out assault. And so I think what the U.S. is still waiting to see from the Israelis is a concrete plan to move

those civilians out of the area.

And that is something that Israel has not been able to provide them with yet. And until they do, until they provide some kind of blueprint for how

they're going to get those people out of that area, perhaps allowing them to move back north, then the U.S. is really not going to be on board with


Now among the proposals the U.S. has given to the Israelis to ramp up talks with the Egyptians to try to seal that border so that Israel can conduct

these more precision operations targeting these senior Hamas leaders without the possibility that they're just going to then escape, of course,

across the border into Egypt.

Of course, another aspect of this is that really targeted operation that the U.S. says that the Israelis should try. And that's something that they

have been pushing them to do for months and months instead of doing these large scale operations that really do endanger the civilians there.

But the Israelis are going to do what they're going to do. And that is the message that we got last week in talks with Israeli officials is that they

are going to do what they believe is best for eliminating the remaining Hamas battalions in that area.

Now whether there are any consequences for the Israelis ignoring the American's advice that remains to be seen, because we have seen that the

U.S. has continued to provide them with weapons, with intelligence to help them prosecute this war against Hamas.

And so the question now is are there any red lines here? If the Israelis do move forward with this operation in Rafah, how is the U.S. going to

respond, especially if it's in a way that the U.S. has explicitly advised against, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Natasha Bertrand, great to have you on. Thank you. Well, as Netanyahu was speaking on Sunday, thousands were again taking to the

streets of Jerusalem and other Israeli cities calling for his resignation and the release of all hostages in Gaza.

Now the protests are still ongoing. The Israeli Prime Minister met with the family of one of the hostages on Sunday. The father of 19 year old Naama

Levy, told Israel's Army Radio that they left the meeting quote disturbed and with no good news.


Nadav Salzberger from the Change Generation Movement is leading the Tel Aviv protests. And he told the U.K.'s "Telegraph" newspaper on Sunday that

the protests over the weekend were, quote, an eruption of underground currents that have reached the boiling points.

And he joins us now live from Jerusalem. Great to see you Nadav and thank you so much for taking the time today. Look over the weekend we saw an

eruption of anti-government protests across many parts of Israel. But your specific movement is calling for something very specific. I want you to

take me through what you and your members want.


mentioning the 134 hostages still held captive in Gaza, including women, elderly and children. We are fighting and praying for their immediate

release. We are a movement called the Change Generation.

After October 7th, we realized that Netanyahu and his coalition have no intent of taking responsibility over the worst disaster in Israel's

history. So we've taken to the streets, and we formed a young movement comprised of young Israelis, reservists and students, with the goal of

replacing the current government with a responsible government one deserving of the Israeli people. That is our goal.

GIOKOS: So you're calling for elections and a change in governments essentially?



SALZBERGER: Yeah, we're calling for --

GIOKOS: Over and above of course, importantly, and the release of hostages, which is important. But you've also said something interesting I'm just

reading up about what your movement is about that Netanyahu doesn't prioritize hostages. So what do you think he has prioritized instead?

SALZBERGER: I think that Netanyahu has prioritized the survival, his own political survival and the survival of his coalition. I think that while

many people, including politicians are doing their best to try and bring back the hostages it simply isn't enough. I think that we, as the young

generation who grew up under Netanyahu have witnessed rotten leadership. And it's time for us to step up and demand better leadership for all


GIOKOS: Netanyahu has rejected calls for election saying that he is going to dismantle the talks that are currently underway, specifically for

hostage release. We also know that Hamas has said that all hostages will be released if this is sustained ceasefire. So what are your views on the

current negotiations and importantly on a ceasefire?

SALZBERGER: We believe that the war against Hamas is a just war. We believe that Hamas is a threat not only to Israelis, but also to Palestinians and

that Israel must triumph over Hamas. That is why we are not calling for a ceasefire. We believe that the war needs to be fought until the end. But we

also believe that we should prioritize bringing back the hostages, even if it means pausing the same way.

We are paused a couple of months ago to bring back hostages. And we also believe that the clearing schedule for elections a couple of months from

now will not hurt or damage, neither the war efforts or the efforts to bring back the hostages, but rather allow the current government to act

without being dependent on politics or its own survival.

GIOKOS: Yeah. I mean and of course families of hostages, we've heard just harrowing stories of -- you know the uncertainty that they're experiencing.

I want to turn now to the U.N. Security Council resolution that within it said that famine is setting in in Gaza right now.

You know from what we've been seeing and Netanyahu's policies essentially, of not allowing enough aid into Gaza has gotten a lot of criticism from aid

organizations. They're describing dire realities. From your perspective how are you viewing this? And does this worry you and your members importantly?

SALZBERGER: Again, I think we are worried for our future in Israel for the future of the region. I think that what we have seen yesterday in Jerusalem

are hundreds of thousands of patriots going into the streets and demanding a better future. I think we are done waiting for politicians to make things


I think that we need to make them better, and that we the young people in Israel are the generation that will bring change to the region and to

Israel. Yeah, and I think that we're -- I don't think I know that we plan on continuing our approach.


GIOKOS: All right, Nadav Salzberger, great to have you on. Thank you for taking the time. We appreciate it. And still to come on the show a blow for

Turkish President Erdogan as the opposition party sweeps local elections. We're live in Istanbul, that's coming up next.


GIOKOS: Local elections in Turkey on Sunday brought a major defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party. The main opposition

claimed victory in a number of key cities including Istanbul and Ankara. Mr. Erdogan wasn't on the ballot but consider defeat on behalf of his


And he says he'll respect the world of the Turkish people. We've got Scott McLean in Istanbul for us. Scott, great to see you. Really vital I mean

Istanbul has always been very important city. And if we look at what happened overall Erdogan's party losing major cities. So what does this

mean for the opposition?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is absolutely huge for the opposition CHP Eleni. And if you can believe it, it's actually the first time since

the late 1970s that they won the popular vote in an election and now you have the majority of Turks who are living local provinces or municipalities

that corridor will soon be governed by the CHP.

The party won the big cities they won Izmir, Ankara here in Istanbul it also won some places that you wouldn't expect like the very religious

conservative city in southern Turkey Adiyaman where they didn't even bother to run a candidate in the last election. Here in Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu,

the mayor was reelected.

He is widely viewed as President Erdogan's strongest opposition rival and he managed to beat the Erdogan's AK Party candidate by an 11 point margin

something that few polls could have possibly predicted and afterwards this is what he told his supporters.


EKREM IMAMOGLU, ISTANBUL MAYOR: The nation itself gives the order and the instructions not just one person. Officials receive instructions from the

nation. Period of one man rule is over as of today. It is done. The republican democracies to go full speed ahead from now on.


MCLEAN: Who is Ekrem Imamoglu? Well, he's 53 years old. He's originally from the Black Sea region of Turkey. He moved to Istanbul about 30 years

ago. He previously worked for his family's construction company before getting into local government about a decade ago and then becoming the

mayor about five years ago.

And he also a few weeks ago described an interesting story in an interview where he said in his early 20s, he was running a Turkish meatball shop, a -

- shop when then mayoral candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan came into the shop to have some meatballs, Imamoglu never charged him for that.


And he now says that Erdogan will never be able to repay that very small debt. There is one other issue that could potentially or is hanging over

the head of Ekrem Imamoglu and that is a criminal charges that many believe are politically motivated for insulting public officials in the aftermath

of the 2019 race. He has also already been sentenced and convicted to more than two years ago the appeals are still winding their way through the

courts, Eleni.

GIOKOS: I just want to shift this and look at it from Erdogan's perspective and his party. And losing power these really you know important cities and

what it means for Erdogan's party down the line?

MCLEAN: Yeah, so this is actually the lowest share of the total popular vote that his ruling AK party or Justice and Development Party has gotten

since it was first ran in an election back in 2022 or 2002 excuse me, and it is the very first time that it has lost the popular vote and it lost in

some places that you wouldn't expect like Erdogan's own district here in Istanbul, the Beyoglu District.

Afterwards President Erdogan said that look he respected the will of the people. He said, you know, Turkish democracy was strong and he was also

pretty reflective himself about what this means for his own party, listen.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT: We will open heartedly analyze the results of the March 31st elections within our party and make our self-

criticism boldly. Although not finalized yet the election results show us that we are experiencing a loss of grilled in local administrations across

the country. Of course, we will discuss the reasons for this decline we see on the local basis.


MCLEAN: And look Eleni, even though President Erdogan was not on of course, the local election ballots. He definitely injected himself into this race.

Here in Istanbul his face was on plenty of banners and billboards and ads, things like that. He came here for rallies and so it's surely this is a big

blow for his own popularity.

But he was struggling of course with the state of the economy, which is top of everyone's mind here. You have inflation that is still out of control.

You have interest rate that is at 50 percent. And though Erdogan was able to double the minimum wage for minimum wage earners, pensioners have

complained that their pension payments have not come close to keeping up with inflation.

GIOKOS: All right, Scott McLean, great to have you on the streets in Istanbul. Thank you so much. Now we move to Eastern Ukraine heavy fighting

is reported to the west of the City of Avdiivka. Ukraine withdrew its forces from Avdiivka earlier this year conceding a significant victory to

the Russians.

Now Russian troops are pushing into villages further west, trying to build on gains made in recent months. International Diplomatic Editor Nic

Robertson following this for us. Nic, great to see you, could you give us the latest on what this means?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It means that Ukraine's forces are under pressure and are not able to hold the same lines that they

could hold this time last year in fact, they hope to be advancing across those lines. And it supports the analysis that Ukrainian officials are

stating which is they don't have enough ammunition to keep up the rate of fire that they need to hold off Russian forces everywhere where they need

to hold them off.

We had over the weekend President Zelenskyy saying that they might have to have some small tactical retreats to kind of rationalize straightened out

take some kinks out of the frontline to make it easier to defend. But I think what we're witnessing here is a very, very, very, very slow

encroachment of Russian forces into Ukrainian territory.

And the test is -- you know can the Ukrainians if they're making new front lines, can they then hold those front lines and they are indicating that

they can? They say over the weekend that Russia pushed on perhaps a 10 mile long front. I think that in itself is indicative of how much of an effort

Russia is making.

But the Ukrainian say that there were able to hold them back and five or so different villages along that extended front line but a couple of smaller

villages have fallen. So the momentum albeit at really slow and albeit at for not strategically important locations. It is in Russia's favor on that

section of the front line.

GIOKOS: All right, Nic Robertson there for us. Thank you so much. Well, let's get you up to speed on some of the stories that are on our radar

right now. Argentina and Colombia have held talks to repair their fractured relationship that follows the Argentine President describing his Colombian

counterpart as a terrorist murderer in an interview with CNN.


Bulgaria and Romania have joined Europe's Schengen area of unrestricted travel although some border checks will stay in place for now. Travelers by

air and sea will see all border restrictions lifted away right away. But there will still be checks at land borders due to concerns over migration.

The President of the European Commission said expanding the Schengen zone would help to build a stronger more united Europe. Scientists in South

Korea announced a breakthrough in their work on nuclear fusion.

Their device called an artificial sun managed to sustain a temperature of 100 million degrees celsius seven times hotter than the sun's call for 48

seconds. A new record maintaining ultra-high temperatures is a vital step towards generating energy by fusing atoms together.

And still to come on CNN, what crews are doing right now to help clear the Baltimore port in the wake of the bridge that collapsed and we are there.

And we'll bring you story and updates just after the short break stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, and you're watching "Connect the World". I want to check in on the markets. We're a few minutes

away from the start of the markets today. DOW Jones is on the verge of hitting a major milestone that's 40,000 that we're waiting for.

The S&P 500 and NASDAQ have also enjoyed strong first quarter. But for telecommunications giant AT&T, it hasn't been a great year so far. The

company has launched an investigation after the personal information of 73 million customers was leaked and published on the dark web.

We have Matt Egan joining us now following both of these stories from New York. By the way Matt Happy April Fool's Day and it is also the start of

the second quarter of the year. We're waiting for that 40,000 level. I mean, what are you hearing? I mean, at some point, we're going to breach



MATT EGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yea Eleni at some point, you got to think that this milestone is going to hit and why not today, you mentioned it's

the first day of a new month and a new quarter. And so this would be quite the way to start things off.

The DOW ended last week, which was a holiday shortened week, around 190 points away from 40,000. So it really wouldn't take all that much to get

there. Looking at the first few seconds of trading though, the DOW was opening roughly unchanged, so still has a little bit to go.

But listen it could happen really at any moment this morning, or later on today. And when it does I mean, this would be a major milestone, especially

because a lot of people thought that the economy would be in such a worse shape, right? In some ways, if DOW when and if it happens, DOW 40,000 would

be kind of another data point supporting the soft landing that a lot of people thought was basically impossible, right?


EGAN: I mean there was a recession, we'd be looking at DOW 30,000, or 25,000, or even lower. And I think there's a few other factors here behind

the market surge, including the fact that the Fed is no longer slamming the brakes on the economy, right?

They're no longer doing these monster interest rate hikes to try to get inflation under control. They're kind of in wait and see mode, and they are

still signaling that they could be cutting interest rates multiple times this year, perhaps not until June.

And of course Eleni, we can't forget about the AI boom, we've seen NVIDIA and other AI connected stocks just go to the moon and that has helped lift

the entire stock market higher. And so -- you know in the next few minutes or a few hours we could finally see DOW 40,000.

GIOKOS: Yeah. I mean, about 200 points away and I think everyone's feeling a lot of excitement. We saw the market open and a lot of jubilation today.

But very quickly on AT&T and 73 million customers address what happened there?

EGAN: Yeah Eleni, the company is still investigating exactly what happened. They say that they don't have any evidence of their systems having been

compromised. They don't know if this was maybe coming from a vendor. What's really interesting here is that it's actually mostly former customers that

have been impacted way more former customers than current customers.

And I think that sort of gets to the timing here. It was actually almost three years ago that a well-known hacker came out and claimed to have

personal data on more than 70 million AT&T customers. And at the time, AT&T denied that its systems were breached.

Now the company is saying that they've learned that about two weeks ago, AT&T data did leak out on the dark web. And the company says that there are

a number of things that customers can do if they've been impacted, they say that they're going to offer complimentary fraud detection services that

people could actually go out, and they can freeze -- you can freeze your credit with the credit bureaus.

So that makes it a little bit harder for someone to try to steal your identity. And I think the really concerning point here Eleni is the sheer

volume of data that was impacted, right? I mean, the company says it kind of varied from case to case.


EGAN: But this includes full names, dates of birth, home addresses, email addresses, and most concerningly social security numbers. And so we know

with that information, there's a lot that hackers can do.

GIOKOS: Alright, Matt Egan always good to see you. I'm sure you're going to be watching your screens very closely for 40,000. We will be catching up on

that milestone very soon, I'm guessing. Thank you, Matt.

EGAN: Thanks Eleni.

GIOKOS: Well, I want to shift gears now and happening right now a major milestone in Baltimore crews are preparing to open an alternative channel

near the Key Bridge for essential vessels. Officials say it's an important first step to fully reopening the Port of Baltimore after last week's

deadly bridge collapsed.

The port is a major hub for vehicles, containers, as well as commodities, and thousands of jobs are directly affected by the bridge disaster. CNN's

Gabe Cohen is in Baltimore for us to give us an update. You know Gabe you've been covering the story from the moment that that vessel collided

into the bridge.

And we're looking at the aftermath now and we're realizing what it means from an economic perspective. You know what contingency plans are being put

in place to open up the waterways?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you're right, it the major concern over the past few days has been at the Port of Baltimore is basically shut

down thousands of jobs are at stake when we're talking about port workers as well as millions of dollars in economic impact between lost wages and

business operations that are going to be hurt by this.

And this alternate channel that you mentioned this would be a big step forward in getting the port reopened. But as of now, the timeline on it is

extremely fluid. They want to open it up for those commercially essential vessels that are how they've described it. We don't know what fits those

criteria exactly? It may not be shipping containers but maybe some port traffic could get in and out.


COHEN: But the reality is, as of now, and I just spoke with the Joint Information Center on this, they said, the focus for the channel in the

short term is going to be for it to be used almost exclusively by vessels that are directly involved in the salvage operation actually removing the

bridge from the river. That is priority number one.

So it's not clear what the timeline looks like to actually open it up to other vessels commercial traffic in and out Eleni. So we'll see what

happens. That is something that people are really hoping for here in Baltimore. But right now, you can probably hear the rain around me

conditions are brutal, it is cold, it is rainy, it is windy.

And the crews are still trying to figure out and the engineers that are on scene, how to cut this bridge into smaller pieces and actually remove it

from the water. They have been getting some of it out. But they are scanning and surveying every little bit of it to see how they can get this

done in an effective and safe manner.

It has been described this scene Eleni, kind of like a tightened rubber band. And the fear is that if you cut it in the wrong place, it could snap

and that could create really dangerous conditions for the people along the water who are trying to get that bridge out.

GIOKOS: Yeah, the logistical realities and risks really come into play right now. And if you think about it, you've got multiple stories playing

out, right? You've got a big concern about what this means from an economic perspective and the jobs that could be at risk on the other end, you know,

safety and salvage concerns. Still on the go.

You know and I'm just curious in terms of -- you know you've been speaking to locals, how do they feel? Are they worried about job security at the

same time very aware of the risks for the salvage teams that are in the water currently?

COHEN: Yeah look, they are very concerned. People who work at the port and a lot of people whose jobs are indirectly impacted. They're concerned about

how it could have hit their wallet for sure. But we also understand that four of those construction workers are still missing, potentially Eleni

buried under that debris.

And so I think people respect that these first responders have to go about this in a sensitive way. Because if they do recover those men, they want to

be able to send divers down to actually bring them back and bring closure to their families.

GIOKOS: Gabe Cohen it was great to see you. Thank you so much for that updates. Former President Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on political

foes in his Eastern message Trump posted quote, Happy Easter to all including those people I completely and totally despised because they want

to destroy America.

President Joe Biden meantime wished observers a Happy Easter and said, quote, with wars and conflict taking a toll on innocent lives around the

world we renew our commitment to work for peace, security and dignity for all.

Well, you're watching "Connect the World" live from Abu Dhabi and still ahead, who do you think is the happiest team in the English Premier League

after this weekend? We're talking to World Sport's Patrick Snell about that right after the short break stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. Cannabis is now legal for adult recreational use in Germany. The country's Federal Council cleared the way to decriminalize the

substance in late February. Under the new law adults can possess up to 25 grams of cannabis. They're also allowed to grow up to three plants for

private use. Production and distribution of the drug are also permitted in licensed clubs. The law gives Germany some of the most liberal cannabis

rules in Europe.

Over to Japan and the cherry blossom season has officially begun tourists and locals in Tokyo are flocking to see the famous flowers reach peak

bloom. This year the celebrated trees started blossoming later than usual the season can only begin when according to state media weather officials

monitoring a specific tree in Tokyo are able to spot 11 blossoms.

Now in the English Premier League on Sunday title contenders Arsenal and Manchester City went head to head. The game played out more like a chess

match than a football match as neither side was able to find a break through. The 0-0 draw exactly what Liverpool fans would have wanted? We've

got Patrick Snell joining us now. What do you think is the happiest of the three teams after this weekend Patrick?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Hi there Eleni. Yeah no doubt about it was a really happy Easter Sunday for Liverpool because it was a really

fascinating day. They got the job done earlier in the day. They took on Brighton at Anfield a come from behind win 2-1 victory a wonderful team

move that led to Mo Salah's very composed finished right in front of a cop vintage Liverpool in front of their home fans.

So they kind of put the pressure didn't it to certain extent on the two title contenders that would collide at the Etihad Stadium, namely Arsenal

and Manchester City and they just canceled each other out. What does that mean? Liverpool now have a two point lead to top the table over Arsenal and

a three point lead over defending champs Man City.

You are trying to do what no other team has ever done before in Premier League history and that's when it four times on the bounce. Back to you

more on "World Sport" in just a few moments.

GIOKOS: Well, I'm looking to the updates Patrick. We'll see you after this. And I'll be back at the top of the hour stay with CNN.