Return to Transcripts main page


Egypt Arrests Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader; U.S. Temporarily Suspends Some Egyptian Aid; 70 Percent Of Manila Underwater; 1,300 Pound Saudi Man Forklifted From Home; CNN Cities; Rotterdam

Aired August 20, 2013 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Egypt's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood reaches the top as the interim government arrests the group's spiritual leader. How a country in crisis is rocking a region.

Also ahead, how the case of this morbidly obese man in Saudi Arabia highlights a growing problem in the Gulf.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have done this for us, and you know that's what we're trying to get first from the movie, the -- you know they (inaudible) us, they've been absolutely amazing.


ANDERSON: Banking millions of fans around the world, boy band One Direction hit the red carpet in London.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World.

Well, first up tonight, Egypt's ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has now reached the very top. Interim authorities detain the group's spiritual guide earlier today, along with some 100 other Brotherhood members.

Mohammed Badie was picked up in a raid on a Cairo apartment. He could face trial within days over accusations he has incited deadly violence.

Now this is the first time since 1981 before the rule of Hosni Mubarak, that the Brotherhood's supreme guide has been arrested. And the group and its supporters say Badie's detention signals a dark era for Egypt.


KHALED HANAFI, MEMBER OF ANTI-COUP ALLIANCE (through translator): He runs peaceful protests. He is a symbol. We're greatly saddened about his arrest. And we are greatly saddened about him being taken to prison without being prosecuted, without any legal procedures. And this will affect us all.


ANDERSON: Well, the government's crackdown may have convinced many supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy to stay at home. The streets of Cairo returning to some sense of normalcy after days of deadly clashes.

Well, Egypt's interim authorities are calling their crackdown a war on terror, saying they won't allow threats to the country's security and stability. Tonight, we talk about these developments with our regular contributor Faisal al-Yafai, who is chief economist with the national newspaper here in Abu Dhabi. We've also got CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reporting live tonight from Cairo.

Nick, describe, if you will, the atmosphere in Cairo at this hour.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have to say, as for the last two nights, the curfew has left the city remarkably calm. And we haven't seen really substantial protests now for over 48 hours.

The news of continued arrests -- and aside Mohammed Badie, there was a subsequently a search of a school where the teacher in whose apartment Mr. Badie was hiding (inaudible). Police arrested there 37, I believe, individuals, said they found weapons, said they'd found police equipment that had been taken during a militant raid on a police unit to the southeast of the capital where I'm standing.

And then of course 56 other individuals from the Brotherhood arrested part of their organizational apparatus across the country.

The Brotherhood defiant in its tone, a statement saying one individual, Mohammed Badie, does not himself represent all of the millions of people who make part of their movement. And quickly moving to put Mahmoud Ezzat, his deputy, in the role of spiritual guide.

So they're trying to continue perhaps as though they will not be taken out of the game entirely by these series of arrests, but the government really having the narrative entirely on its side now, talking about their involvement in terrorism.

The key real change, Becky, though, is, you know, a week ago these kind of arrests, this kind of police activity would have caused the Brotherhood to get their people out on the streets. And they've not made that call at this point. It's unclear if they will. And it's unclear, too, given how the marches over the weekend seemed to falter. For security grounds, the Brotherhood saying they should be delayed or altered.

Whether, again, we will see large numbers of Brotherhood protesters on the streets throughout Egypt -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah. Let's talk about the significance of this arrest earlier today.

I want to elude to an article Faisal, that was in Le Monde on Monday. General Amir (ph), the Egyptian General Amir (ph), talking with what the paper had described as remarkable frankness, talking about the purging of political Islam. He said, and I quote, there are 90 million Egyptians and there only 3 million members of the Muslim Brotherhood. We need six months to liquidate or imprison them all.

FAISAL AL-YAFAI, CHIEF COLUMNIST, THE NATIONAL: Yes. Fiery stuff coming out of Egypt. I mean, there aren't only 3 million Brotherhood supporters. There are 50 percent of the country voted for the Islamists. So there is that groundswell of belief.

But I think this talk from General Amir (ph) is contradicted by the tone of General al-Sissi's remarks that they do need to find a way for the Brotherhood to be peaceful.

ANDERSON: The States, Europe and the Gulf region have all weighed in on what is going on at present. The western powers worried about this lack of inclusion. The crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood here, the possibility that this won't be a democratically run country going forward.

We heard talk earlier today that the U.S. was at least suspending some aid. Let's have a listen to what the States had to say on that. There was a clarification of that just earlier on. Let's have a listen to that.


JOSH EARNEST, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I said yesterday is true today, which is that in early July the president of the United States directed his national security team to conduct a review of the assistance and aid that we provide to Egypt. This is part of a complex and broad relationship that we have with the Egyptians. That review that the president ordered in early July has not concluded. And reports to the contrary, that reports -- published reports to the contrary, that suggest that assistance to Egypt has been cutoff.


ANDERSON: I'm not sure how clear the U.S. is being, but we've just heard the spokesman for the White House.

Before I talked to you and Nick about aid and its significance, because this is a really important issue, let's just remind our viewers what we're talking about here. Washington says it currently reviews its aid package to Egypt, but it hasn't made any decisions as of yet.

Much of that aid flows from the U.S. and is deposited into an account at the federal reserve bank of New York that Egypt uses to make military purchases from U.S. defense companies. Here are some of Egypt's big item purchases in 2009, for example. It ordered 24 F-16 fighter aircraft, costing a total of $3.2 billion. Most of the planes delivered, but U.S. President Barack Obama has temporarily halted the delivery of the remaining planes.

Here's something to point out. These jets are manufactured in Fort Worth in Texas. So suspending aid to Egypt could mean losing jobs in the U.S.

It also spent $820 million on 12 Apache helicopters, $820 million there. And six Chinook transport helicopters that cost $308 million.

You and I talked earlier on. You said there's no way that the U.S. is going to suspend aid. Why?

AL-YAFAI: No chance. The aid of the United States gives to the Egyptians is predicated on the peace treaty with the Israelis. If one goes, the other goes. And there is no chance that the Americans will take the risk that the peace treaty, which is now coming up to being 40 years old, will be suspended.

ANDERSON: Nick, your thoughts on this aid narrative that's doing the rounds. The Saudis say if the States suspend their aid, they'll just step in, but this is a line of credit that the U.S. extends to Egypt in order that Egypt can buy weaponry from the United States.

Also, of course, eludes to the States getting access to Egyptian airspace, getting access -- expatiated access up the Suez Canal, which is strategic. What are your thoughts on this whole aid debate at present?

WALSH: I think the U.S. is being extraordinarily cautious to not be clear what it intends to do. It knows now in the weeks again, or perhaps just simply the days ahead there is an awful lot of pressure, because of the brutality of the crackdown we've just scene, for them to do something. But as you hear this, we see this background briefing to congressmen on the Hill that there's going to be, quote, a reprogramming of how aid is delivered, which has suggested that perhaps one of the tranches of aid delivered regularly may be delayed. That hasn't necessarily happened just yet.

State Department continually clarifying this process as under review, but aid has not been stopped.

So it seems to be as though they're trying to placate part of an audience there that wants to see them do something or make the suggestion something is in the pipeline, but at the same time also reassure, I think, the Egyptian authorities here that they haven't made any radical decision at this particular point.

And you've got to bear in mind, you know, I think many weeks ago the Egyptian interim administration and military made the calculation really that Washington needs Cairo so much more in the strategic reasons you pointed out just awhile ago. And even though they went through all that attempt of U.S. diplomacy here, seeing the State Department diplomats and senators trying to get both sides to talk, eventually coming to nothing, and then we saw that crackdown. I think effectively the administration here just said, look, we know Washington will always need us, and therefore, there will be a period of storm, there will be turbulence, there will be the harsh rhetoric we've heard, but at the end of the day in a month or two from now, business will pretty much go back to normal -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Faisal, let's move on from aid and just pick up one other strand of this story today. The former Vice President, Mohamed ElBaradei, who had been the sort of (inaudible) as it were, his suggestion, not mine - - was coming from him in an interview that I did with him recently -- was that the role he could play was as a networker, as an international networker for Egypt, really coalesce the sort of mediation effort around Egypt and get people on board.

Today, the news is that he is to be sued in court for betrayal of trust after resigning his position because of the way the military went about clearing the streets of Cairo and the sort of violence that has ensued.

AL-YARAI: Astonishing development. I mean, Mohamed ElBaradei was the guy who the liberals and the secularists look to. There was talk of him being the president, there was talk of him running, then there was talk of him being prime minister, all of these things about him playing a leading role in this transition. And now for him to be put into a court of law in the same way as Mohammed Badie of the Brotherhood and Hosni Mubarak before him.

ANDERSON: Fascinating.

The story goes on. Thank you.

Still to come tonight, outrage in Australia as a college student is murdered by teens in the United States because they were bored.

And what's causing the flooding in the Philippines, as much as 70 percent of Manila and its citizens underwater?

And one famous boy band, a 3D movie and thousands of hysterical teenage fans. All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

12 minutes past midnight here in Abu Dhabi. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Now the British newspaper The Guardian says it recently destroyed all files pertaining to Edward Snowden after the UK government insisted they either be handed back or obliterated. Well, the editor says government security experts watched as computer hard drives were smashed to bits in The Guardian's basement.

And the partner of Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald is threatening legal action for being detained at Heathrow Airport. More on that story later this hour.

Well, a court in Pakistan has charged former President Pervez Musharraf in connection with the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The charges include murder, conspiracy to murder and facilitation of murder. Bhutto was killed as she campaigned for general elections. Musharraf's spokesman says the charges are part of a smear campaign.

Well, for the first time, the CIA has acknowledged its role in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and his cabinet in '53. According to recently declassified papers, the CIA orchestrated the military coup, instigating propaganda, riots and protests.

Well, he had angered the U.S. and the UK by trying to nationalize Iran's oil industry which had been largely under British control for decades.

Well, the documents show the U.S. paid his replacement $5 million after the coup.

Two U.S. teenage boys accused of killing a college student from Australia are due in an Oklahoma court room later today for a hearing. According to police, the teens say they killed Christopher Lane because they had nothing better to do. And the killing is having political fallout in Australia.

Stan Grant reports from Sydney.


STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's been stunned disbelief and heartache here of what's being called a senseless killing of Chris Lane. It's also now spilled over into the political realm as well. Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher, who was one of the architects of gun law reform here, is urging Australians not to travel to the United States. He says by staying away, people will send a message to Congress that the U.S. needs to get tougher on guns.

Now, when it comes to Chris Lane himself, his parents have spoken out remembering their son. Someone, they say, who went to the U.S. to pursue his dream. Someone who fell in love with the game of baseball when he first walked on to the mound at the age of six. They've described him as an outstanding athlete who could have played any sport, but really pursued baseball all the way to a college scholarship in the United States.

Now, Chris Lane was just recently been back in Australia with his American girlfriend. He visited his family, and had only been back in the United States for a matter of days before he was shot down and killed. Now, his former classmates here, his former teachers have been remembering him, saying he was someone who showed great leadership skills, remembering a very gentle and kind young boy as well.

Now, the 22-year-old, of course, passing away and his former teammates at his baseball club in Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia, will be holding a special match in remembrance of Chris Lane this weekend. A devastated family and a devastated community, as I say, recalling a senseless killing.


ANDERSON: All right.

A red alert has been issued for the Philippines capital and adjacent areas because of severe floods. The national news agency said as much as 70 percent of central Manila is underwater, at least seven people have died and thousands more have fled their homes.

Jenny Harrison is at the world weather center. And Jen, it seems all the more remarkable, it seems, because this weather system has only just arrived, hasn't it? That's my understanding.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Well, this has sort of been happening in sort of -- this has been coming to the stage, shall we say, Becky, over the last several days and weeks, really, but you're right the actual rain causing this -- look at this image here -- it really has only taken place since Sunday, that's when the rain really began to come down just in torrents.

I mean, just look at what we're dealing with. 600,000 people are actually impacted by the conditions in Manila, not hard to see why when you see these images. As you said, 70 percent of the city is actually underwater. And just look at some of these totals. Manila itself, over 600 millimeters of rain, that's obviously over half a meter.

Sangley Point actually getting on for a meter of rain. And in most cases, what we're looking at here is actually more than a months worth of rain in literally just two to three days.

Here's another way of looking at it, this is on these NASA images which actually shows you all the rain that's come down. And you can see that locally, many, many areas have had, as I say, over half a meter of rain. And all of it, as you say, since Sunday.

This just gives you a closer view. So you get an idea of just how many places have been impacted, and why, of course so many people obviously impacted by this.

So this is the setup, Becky, this is why we're in the situation now. So it's very typical during this time of year -- obviously the southwest monsoon from June through November, we get these southwest winds. They put in all this moisture from the South China Sea and really do impact the Philippines in particular. So very, very heavy, constant rain actually comes across the region. But then also what you have to factor in is then we have something like this.

So a tropical storm actually pushes across the region. And of course we've had a few of these just lately. And it literally sort of acts as a magnet. So it really continues to pull even more moisture up.

All of this, of course, then creates even more. And the two just come together and just produce even heavier rainfall over a much, much bigger area. So that is exactly what's happened.

And also what has happened is because of the high pressure to the north of here, we've had those hot, dry conditions, the heat wave across central eastern China, it's actually kept a lot of these systems further south. So it's been more in the way of rain, which has led to this flooding.

This shows you, the satellite in the last few hours, the Philippines and to the south of here -- you can just make them out -- and then of course we've got Taiwan, which is literally in the path of this particular tropical storm, it's Trami. This is the next storm system. This is the one we're watching, which will continue across this region. But this will also continue to impact the Philippines, which is to the south.

I just wanted to show you the rain. We're now expecting into Taiwan 390 millimeters possible in Taipei. So we're now, of course, Becky, expecting flooding in this particular region. You can see the rains expected to cross the Philippines in the next couple of hours.

And just to point out, Becky, that actually this particular day, this Tuesday, over 160 flights were canceled into and out of the Philippines. Expect long delays in the next couple of days. The roads were actually impassible to the airport as you can imagine. And also, of course, just many, many delays because of the weather conditions themselves -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Jenny, thank you for that.

I'm just getting some news in on this story that Stan Grant was reporting to you just in the past couple of minutes. I'll remind you three U.S. teenage boys accused of killing a college student from Australia were due in Oklahoma court. Well, charges filed today against three teenagers in that shooting death of the Australian baseball player Christopher Lane.

Let me just get you the details here. According to the Stephens County court clerk, James Edward Jr, 15, Chancy Luna 16 charged as adults with felony murder in the first degree. Michael Jones, 17 faces two charges -- use of a vehicle and discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact for murder in the first degree.

Remember, it seems, according to police the teens say they killed Christopher Lane because they, quote, had nothing better to do.

Two Russian athletes caused a furor when they kissed each other after taking gold in the world athletics championships in Moscow on Sunday. Now that comes in what is a highly charged moment for gay rights in Russia.

But now they say everything wasn't as it appeared. Nic Robertson has more for you from Moscow.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victory kiss or gay rights protest? Russia's women's 400 meter relay team had many speculating that their brief peck on the podium Sunday was a finger in the eye for Russia's tough new anti-gay legislation. Not so, it seems, according to the outraged runners.

YULIA GUSHCHINA, RUSSIA SPRINTER (through translator): We did not mean any agitation. We just kissed each other, congratulating each other with a big victory. We did not mean any agitation. This was a misunderstanding.

ROBERTSON: Two of the world champion sprinters involved holding a press conference, racing to get ahead of the story that seems to be stretching even their capacity to keep up.

KSENIA RYZHOVA, RUSSIAN SPRINTER (through translator): I will not comment again and again on this case.

ROBERTSON: There is no doubt here amidst the emotionally charged gay rights debate that there is any room for misinterpretation. Why else would elite athletes hold a press conference at the government press center about a fleeting peck on the podium?

In June, President Putin signed into law legislation that could have seen the athletes fined if they had been deemed to have been propagandizing of non-traditional sexual relations among minors. In Sochi, where preparations for next year's Winter Olympics are already well underway, trouble clearly looms for any athlete contemplating protests.

The lesson learned at the World Championships here in Moscow this week, maybe it's the podium, not the track, that can sometimes get attention.

GUSHCHINA (through translator): We have for the first time won the team competition. This is a big win. Why the mass media do not pay much attention to sport achievements that emphasize on quite different things?

ROBERTSON: A kiss, just a kiss then.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Moscow.


ANDERSON: Right. Move over, Lord Lichfield and Mario Destino, favorites of the royal household in the past when it came to snaps. There is a new photographer in the house. These amateur photographs, the first snapshots of the young royal family taken by the Duchess of Cambridge's father Michael at the Middleton family home in Berkshire. They clearly capture the joy that Prince William and Catherine have at the birth of their new baby George.

And Lupo (ph) enjoying it too, it seems, the dog.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, in the second part of our special series, The City the week, we want to show you how one European metropolis is fighting to stay above water. That, after this.


ANDERSON: By 2050, it is forecast that the 70 percent of the world's population will be city dwellers. Well, this week, CNN is taking a close look at the future of urban life with the help of mayors from five major cities. One issue many cities must face up to is exposure to rising sea levels.

Today, we visit Rotterdam to see how they are addressing that very problem.


AHMED ABOUTALEB, MAYOR OF ROTTERDAM: My name is Ahmed Aboutaleb. I am the mayor of Rotterdam. Here, exactly where we stand it's about 2 meters below sea level and we have other locations in the region that are 6 meters below sea level.

We see the effect on the rising sea level immediately in the city of Rotterdam. (inaudible) is one of the ideas, but also building a complete offices and other (inaudible) on water, so as the water level rises, this building is rising with the water. And if the water level is going down, the building is going down with the water.

(inaudible) city's project is a kind of (inaudible) version initiated by the city of Rotterdam to bring all the cities in the world that are considered to be low laying (inaudible) cities to exchange knowledge and to work together to enhance expertise in making those cities safer. Cities like London, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Los Angeles.

Well, look at this wonderful public space with the trees here. It looks wonderful. It looks like a park in the city. It is. But there is something different underneath.

Underneath, there is a water reservoir that contains 10 million liters of water. That is when there is a lot of rainfall in the city, we use it as a surplus to catch the water. And thanks to that, we reduce the danger of flooding in the city. This was opened in 2010. It has been used six times.

This is what we call a water plaza. This one is under construction. This one contains 1.8 million liters of water. When its empty, it may be used by the (inaudible), when it's full with water, we'll make part of a system of our flood defense in the city of Rotterdam.

Water prevention in low laying delta cities in the world is the only way to prevent being disasters in the future. It's the duty of the mayors (inaudible) just to act today, tomorrow and (inaudible).

It's also my personal opinion you can never beat mother nature. It's better to learn how to live with mother nature. So (inaudible) to the changing of the climate is better than to think that you either as human being on Earth can beat mother nature. Don't do it.


ANDERSON: The City series for you this week. The latest world news headlines as you would expect at the bottom of the hour here on CNN.

Plus, the partner of "Guardian" journalist Glenn Greenwald is back home in Brazil. More on why his battle in the UK may be just getting started.

And imprisoned by obesity. The Herculean efforts to free one man from his home and why the epidemic is growing so quickly in this part of the world.

We're out of Abu Dhabi for you this evening at just after half past midnight. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories for you this hour. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood say the arrest of its spiritual leader won't spell the end of the group or its opposition to the military coup. The Brotherhood quickly named a temporary successor after Mohammed Badie was detained today in a pre-dawn raid in Cairo.

German chancellor Angela Merkel faces criticism for visiting a former Nazi concentration camp in the middle of her election campaign. She was invited by a survivor and is the first serving German chancellor to visit Dachau in southern Germany. Ms. Merkel said that she's filled with sadness and shame over what happened to the prisoners.

A million tickets for next year's football World Cup in Brazil have gone on sale. The cheap seats cost $90 for foreign fans, and the most expensive are nearly $1,000 each. Brazilians can buy cheaper tickets. FIFA expecting ticket demand to match that of the 26th World Cup in Germany.

Britain's "Guardian" newspaper says it recently destroyed all files related to US national security leaker Edward Snowden. The newspaper's editor says the government insisted all materials be handed over or obliterated.

Meanwhile, the partner of the journalist who broke the Snowden story is threatening legal action over his nine-hour detention at Heathrow Airport. Matthew Chance has more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been a frustrating journey for the man caught in the latest twist of the Edward Snowden saga. Back in Brazil, David Miranda was met by his partner, "Guardian" journalist Glenn Greenwald and spoke of his nearly nine-hour detention at Heathrow Airport.

DAVID MIRANDA, GLENN GREENWALD'S PARTNER (through translator): I stayed in a room with three different agents that were entering and exiting. They spoke to me, asking me questions about my whole life. They took my computer, my video game, cell phone, everything.

CHANCE: Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, calls his partner's detention an act of intimidation, but he says it won't stop him publishing more potentially damaging Snowden leaks.

GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST, "THE GUARDIAN" (through translator): I will be far more aggressive in my reporting now. I'm going to publish many more documents. I'm going to publish things on England, too. I have many documents on England's spy system.

CHANCE (on camera): Miranda, it seems, had been ferrying materials from Greenwald, with whom he lives in Brazil, to a US filmmaker based in Berlin, highly sensitive information, most likely documents from Edward Snowden, that the British were keen to intercept.

Human rights groups are calling his detention an abuse of anti- terrorism laws. British police say it was legally and procedurally correct.

CHANCE (voice-over): CNN has also learned that the British prime minister's office was kept abreast of the nine-hour detention, as was the White House. Britain and the United States, it seems, are working hand-in- hand.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has turned his attention to saving the life of a young severely overweight man. His orders to take a man who weights 610 kilos to hospital presented rescuers with a big challenge, and part of the solution included a forklift and the royal plane. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Khalid Moshin Shaeri was heading for an unwanted world record: the heaviest man in the world. That's until King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia stepped in, ordering Shaeri, who weighs 1,345 pounds and has been bed-bound at home the past two and a half years, be airlifted to Riyad for urgent medical treatment, much to his family's relief.

NASSER MAKEEN, COUSIN (through translator): In fact, it is an indescribable feeling. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. The king, may God protect him and give him long life, had given his instructions to the Ministry of Health.

ANDERSON: Shaeri will undergo a series of dietary and physical treatments at the King Fahd Medical City to loose weight. The case highlights a growing problem in the Gulf.

People are getting fatter, and obesity-related issues, like heart disease and diabetes, place an ever-growing strain on the region's health providers. According to London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, four of the world's ten fattest countries are in the Gulf. Such is the problem in the region that it's no longer just a health issue, but an economic one, too.

JAN SCHMITZ HUEBSCH, PRINCIPAL, BOOZ & COMPANY: Obesity is really a time bomb. It's already a major health concern across the GCC countries today. We believe that the total costs of those chronic conditions already today is in the range of $60 billion. And that could go up to more than $100 billion by 2022 if nothing has been done.

ANDERSON: Today, the likes of Pizza Hut and McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC jostled for space in the Gulf's culinary landscape. This love of fast food and a lack of awareness of its health consequences have combined to pile on the pounds.

ANDERSON (on camera): And then there is the weather. In a country where temperatures can reach more than 50 degrees or Centigrade or over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it's not surprising that people have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle. Why walk when you can enjoy the comfort of an air- conditioned car?

ANDERSON (voice-over): Some people, of course, have embraced the fitness culture, while others have turned to more drastic measures, like stomach stapling. But a sustained change in lifestyle may be what's required if the Gulf is to tackle its bulging waistline.


ANDERSON: Well, Khalid's case is an extreme one, it's got to be said, with limited treatment options. I want to get to Johns Hopkins University, now, where Marty Makary joins us live. Firstly, is this kid going to be OK? I mean, kid, he's 20 years old. But is he going to be OK?

MARTY MAKAY, DOCTOR, AUTHOR, "UNACCOUNTABLE": Well, the life expectancy for somebody of his weight, 610 kilos, is often dramatically shortened by decades, and that's the typical thing for somebody who's obese in childhood.

ANDERSON: Can he ever, do you think, lead a normal life? Is his metabolism ruined forever?

MAKARY: We do see dramatic turnarounds, Becky, and oftentimes, when there's some underlying push behind it, many times these kids have a history of abuse or they have a history of having extreme wealth, where they can spend money on anything they'd like. When there is a change in the setting, oftentimes we will see a complete change in their health as well.

ANDERSON: Obesity is often seen as a poverty problem. The Middle East is -- and particularly this part of the Middle East -- is oil rich. That has produced a huge amount of consumerism here, and part of that has been fast food, for example.

It's not a poverty-stricken area, as it were, but surely this obesity issue, which comes with diabetes and heart complaints, starts at where we eat, surely? We certainly know here that the fast food industry is a really prolific one.

MAKARY: It's a prolific one and it's a powerful one. We've noticed a couple of trends in public health. One is that processed foods are cheaper foods. Foods that are worse for your body that are laced in sugar or processed ingredients tend to be cheaper.

And then, sugar is often very addictive. So, when you have all the money to spend on anything, you are prone to be addicted to sugar. If you can order anything you want at any time on demand, then left to your own druthers, you maybe have a higher propensity to order ice cream and sugary foods.

Even bread has a lot of sugar in it. If you notice, bread that's processed is sweeter than bread that's made out of whole foods and not processed.

ANDERSON: Yes. Marty, I pointed out in the report that I filed there that this is a health issue. For here, it is an enormous economic issue, given the amount that health care spending is allied with the issue of obesity here.

I just want to get around the big nations around the world. The US still leads the world's obesity list with more than one third of the population considered obese. That's according to the OECD. Mexico second at 30 percent, followed closely by New Zealand with 27 percent and Chile with 25 percent.

What I was fascinated to find out while I was doing some research on this, or reminded of, at least, is that overweight in some areas is sort of a sign of wealth to a certain extent. There are cultural differences, aren't there, around the world?

MAKARY: There are certainly wellness cultures around the world. We see it on the West Coast in California in the United States. It's a very athletic culture. There's mountains to climb, there's rivers to go swimming in, there's outdoor activities. It's a part of the culture. Other places, like you point out, it's not as much a part of the culture.

We're increasingly recognizing that we may have done a great disservice as doctors in public health demonizing fat. In fact, fat is not really that addictive compared to sugar. Sugar is almost as hormone, it increases insulin levels, it changes the fat storage system in your body, and it's not as simple as calories in equals calories out.

Sugar acts as a hormone, increasing your insulin levels, and it's highly-addictive, it turns out. We're just now appreciating it. And when we educate folks, we teach them that it's an addiction just like any other addiction. I bet this child has been addicted to sugar.

ANDERSON: Yes, interesting. All right, thank you sir. Good story.

MAKARY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Why this week's Leading Woman is urging schoolgirls not to give up on math. That after this.


ANDERSON: From a farmhouse to a corner office, this week's Leading Woman has been on quite a journey, and she is keen to pass on some tips to youngsters coming through school. Felicia Taylor with more.


FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New York City, an insurance giant dating back more than 150 years is now led by its first female CEO.


TAYLOR: Deanna Mulligan. The day's busy agenda includes getting an update on a customer research project.

MULLIGAN: Trust is just sort of a blanket thing.

TAYLOR: As head of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Mulligan oversees about 5,000 employees, providing customers with everything from life insurance to investment services.

TAYLOR (on camera): What's been the greatest challenge in getting into that corner office.

MULLIGAN: The way I felt about my entire career is, am I working on something interesting today? Is what I'm working on impactful to the broader society in some way? If so, yes, I'll keep doing it. I ended up in the corner office, but it wasn't as though there was a goal and I was trying to overcome challenges.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Mulligan became president and CEO in 2011, managing a business with more than $12 billion in sales, according to the company.

MULLIGAN: The board was clearly very excited yesterday.

TAYLOR: At a meeting with her top managers, it's hard to miss that she is the only woman in the room.

MULLIGAN: In my career, I've been surrounded by a lot of men, and so at this -- after 23 years, I don't really think about it that much anymore. I wish more women would see the opportunity in insurance and financial services and come our way.

TAYLOR (on camera): And are there really opportunities?

MULLIGAN: Obviously, I'm here, right? When I was in business school, I didn't think about being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company because there weren't any. Today, there's so much publicity around female CEOs that I think young women coming through school today actually do believe it's a possibility. I think the opportunities are absolutely there.

We've got two more today.

TAYLOR (voice-over): Mulligan says taking math and science in school is key for a career in the insurance industry.

MULLIGAN: One of the things that I'm actually working on is making sure that girls see the opportunity and actually the necessity of studying math and science. Because I think without the STEM background, the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, girls are closing down opportunities without even realizing it for careers later on in life where they need that background.

TAYLOR (on camera): What inspires you?

MULLIGAN: Well, nature energizes me, and I think it is because I grew up in the midst of farms, and I spent a lot of time outside as a child. Children inspire me because they have so much hope and so little fear. The people who work for this company inspire me. I feel they deserve to have the best leader that I can possibly be, so that's definitely an inspiration.


ANDERSON: And coming up next week, Deanna's been able to read stock table since she was just nine years old, and this early love of numbers helped pave the way to her business success. For more on Leading Women, log onto

All right. Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, why thousands of teenage fans queued for hours in London.


ANDERSON: The most popular boy band in the world at the moment has whipped up a frenzy in central London at the premier of a documentary on the group's meteoric rise. The members of One Direction walked the red carpet for their new movie, "This is Us." My colleague Zain Verjee caught up with the superstars at London's Leicester Square.



ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One Direction, ladies and gentlemen! Guys, you are awesome. Your lives, how do you feel today? Your movie about to premier.

LIAM PAYNE, ONE DIRECTION: This is the best day ever.

LOUIS TOMLINSON, ONE DIRECTION: Amazing. A real amazing day for us, and just incredibly overwhelming to be here and see this turnout. It is incredible.

VERJEE: What was it like for you making the movie?

NIALL HORAN, ONE DIRECTION: It was interesting. Obviously, we started on "The X Factor," so we were used to having the cameras around us quite a lot. But yes, it was great. We just wanted to make the best film we could possibly make and really get our personalities across, and I think we've done that, and I hope everyone enjoys it.

VERJEE: What was -- what is the coolest part about the film for your fans?

TOMLINSON: Niall is the coolest part of the film.

PAYNE: Niall is always the coolest.

VERJEE: Except for Niall, what about it that you think? But you're very cool and very handsome.

PAYNE: For me, I caught a very big fish. That was my coolest part of the film

VERJEE: Oh, yes! What was -- what kind of fish?

PAYNE: I'm not entirely sure, but it was very -- it was quite big.


VERJEE: What is the message you have for your fans about this movie?

TOMLINSON: Well, we really just can't stress enough just how they have done this for us, and that's what we're trying to get across in the movie, that they have created us and they've been absolutely amazing and we can't thank them enough.

VERJEE: Guys, just look at that. Like, everyone -- everywhere you go, everyone goes berserk. How do you cope with that? How do you deal with that?

HORAN: Well, it's not bad being our age and having a lot of girls coming at you.

VERJEE: Seventy thousand.

HORAN: Yes, exactly. We can't complain. It's great, we have a lot of fun.


ANDERSON: Oh! So how is it that these boys made it to superstardom? Zain joins me now from our London bureau. So young, so soon, so famous, and so Simon Cowell, I know. I don't want to talk about Simon Cowell yet, because we will, I know. Talk to me about some smooching. What's that all about?


ANDERSON: I'm being told to ask you.

VERJEE: Becky! Really? Well, actually, I was spoiled --

ANDERSON: Or should we move on?

VERJEE: -- because it was --

ANDERSON: To Simon Cowell? Go on.

VERJEE: No. It was a moment when Harry met Zainy, Becky. That's basically what happened --


VERJEE: It was -- I was doing a live shot and --

ANDERSON: Do we have pictures?

VERJEE: -- he was standing behind me.


VERJEE: And then something happened that I'm not aware of it, and I see a shadow across my shoulder, and oh! Gosh, Becky!


VERJEE: Lucky me!


VERJEE: Lucky Harry, too, come to think of it.


ANDERSON: Lucky you! Don't wash! Don't wash!

VERJEE: Those girls back there weren't screaming --

ANDERSON: You'll be the great unwashed.

VERJEE: -- for their -- they were jealous!


ANDERSON: For weeks!

VERJEE: I know. I will stay the great unwashed. But you know, Becky, they were just so --


VERJEE: -- they were so charming and so sweet --


VERJEE: -- and grounded, down-to-earth, and I'm smitten --

ANDERSON: Oh, bless you.

VERJEE: -- what can I tell you?

ANDERSON: Bless you.


VERJEE: It was a hard day's assignment.

ANDERSON: Oh, bless --


ANDERSON: Hard day at the office. So, I suggested a man called Simon Cowell might be behind all of this, and he -- I know he is. Was he there?

VERJEE: Yes, he was there. He did make an appearance, and he said that he really wanted to be there to support "his boys" because he was the guy that was actually behind all of this, put them together and made them, really, the famous band that they are.

And he actually also, Becky, was involved in the production of this film, so he was the producer, and he told me that he hopes that this is the first of many that he's going to do as well.

So, we had a nice chat. And I also asked him about the marketing of a boy band like this, of One Direction, and I asked him, how does one position a group like that in the entertainment industry and environment today. This was his response. Listen.


SIMON COWELL, MANAGER, ONE DIRECTION: You let the audience come to you. You can say that you had some grand plan. I didn't. No one did. All we said was, these guys are talented, make a great record, fans -- the fans got behind them, and they spread the word. So, there was no master plans.

VERJEE: There's One Direction perfume, for God's sake.


COWELL: We didn't think about that, either.



VERJEE: I don't know how good the perfume is, though, the One Direction one, but I know the Harry perfume is pretty nice, Becky.



ANDERSON: Fourteen million Twitter followers. They became the first British group in US chart history to enter a number one in Billboard 200 debut album, I am told. And the band has sold over 15 million records worldwide. And you stand front and center. Good on you!


ANDERSON: Go on, go and have a wash, for goodness sake.

VERJEE: I -- no! I can't. I absolutely can't. The people there, Becky, there was like 70,000 people screaming for these guys, and they just screamed for hours. They were so excited. Some camped out for like three days.

Many people are just really excited to just see the movie and just get more of the behind-the-scenes flavor, what it's like being on tour, being backstage, being away from family and friends and all that.


VERJEE: But basically, it was a really fun day out, Becky. You missed it over there in Abu Dhabi. Are there big One Direction fans?

ANDERSON: I know. Oh, I'm sure there are loads. Loads. I'll find some and I'll make sure they come over here before I leave. "More of Us" is the movie, not about Zain and I, of course.


ANDERSON: Nobody would care about --

VERJEE: Maybe it should be.

ANDERSON: More about the boys, is the new movie, new Morgan Spurlock, him of "Super Size Me" and all of those. He's worked for CNN, of course, now, as well. All right. Thank you, Zain.

In tonight's Parting Shots, want to give you -- or fill you in on an important addition at the White House. The Obamas are now a two-dog family. Sunny, a female Portuguese water dog -- you can see, she's already giving her new big brother Bo a pretty hard time. The White House blog says Sunny got her name because of her cheerful personality. There you go.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD from Abu Dhabi. It is nearly 1:00 in the morning here. From the team here, in London, and in the States, thank you for watching. Good night.