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Trump White House; Politics; Foreign Affairs; Media; Terrorism; Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired February 1, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, CNN: A warm welcome and this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi with our very last show of the
week and has been, not least in Washington, which is where we head first. Right now, a controversial memo, underlining a clash between the US
President and one of his own intelligence agencies, the document known as the Nunes Memo could be released in a matter of hours, and if President
Trump does publicize it, he will defy a rare public warning from the FBI over grave concerns that omissions from the memo could fundamentally impact
On top of all of that, Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee says the memo the committee approved is not the version Nunes sent to the White
House. The changes were minor edits but it's worth noting that the unapproved version is the one that could, could be released on Thursday.
Well, there is a lot to this, so we need to break it down for you. To the key questions, what is this Nunes memo all about and why does it matter?
Well, the controversy is because it is just four pages, a report from the staff of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. The report says the
document alleges that the FBI abused its surveillance powers before the 2016 Elections, misusing an opposition research dossier to target a Trump
campaign adviser. Now, Democrats are claiming the memo is an attempt to discredit officials overseeing the Russia investigation.
Though, Trump supporters hope that it will cast that investigation into doubt. Let's get straight to our White House Reporter, Stephen Collinson.
He is on top of all of this from Washington. Everyone talking about what, as I understand, is just four pages of -- well, what exactly? It is never
easy to talk about the significance and consequence of a story like this outside of the Washington space, but please try for us.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: So basically, Becky, what this memo we believe says, we haven't seen it of course, is that there were abuses by
the FBI in the use of that famous dossier written by former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele to get a warrant for the surveillance of a Trump foreign
policy aide during the campaign, Carter Page. Now, Democrats say that the Republicans are cherry picking intelligence, mission out crucial details to
make a case that the FBI erred.
Now, the FBI, as you mentioned that very strong and surprising statement, directly challenging the White House, given the fact that the President was
to release this memo, they say that the memo omits crucial details, which means it will not tell the story, effectively what they are arguing is that
this is a political attempt by the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill to change the story, to discredit the FBI.
So it is a highly significant showdown. We should note that the President is now ranged against the person who he picked to replace James Comey to
head the FBI, Christopher Wray. That puts his position in doubt after he has only been on the job for a matter of months.
ANDERSON: I guess that all begs the question. Is this the smoking gun that Trump's critics have been looking for effectively take the US
COLLINSON: I think you can make an argument that this is another indication that there is a mindset in the White House and particularly on
the part of Donald Trump to discredit the FBI investigation, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the whole question of
Russian interference in the election and whether he obstructed justice. Mueller has to prove that the President is deliberately trying to thwart
that probe if he is going to say the President obstructed justice.
[10:05:00] This issue alone I don't think is enough to make that case, but it is part of a lot of evidence that is now building up. I think the more
significant factor here is that this appears to show collusion between the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill to discredit the Mueller
investigation. We are learning now from the CNN reporting this morning that the President has been telling associates that he hopes the release of
this memo will do exactly that.
Now, that raises all sorts of questions about what will happen if Mueller comes back and finds that there was wrongdoing on the part of the
President, and he needs to refer this to Congress for impeachment proceedings because of course, Republicans control the House of
Representatives. That is where any impeachment process would start. So I think what this all does is raise great questions as to whether if the
President has transgressed and committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
Republicans will eventually hold him to account.
ANDERSON: Stephen Collinson is in Washington where it is 5 past 10:00 in the morning, February the 1st. It is a new month and nothing much changes
in Washington. That Russian investigation -- still the cloud hanging over the Trump administration. And CNN has an exclusive report. Sources say
that back in December, the US President asked the top Justice Department official in the Russian investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod
Rosenstein if he was "on my team."
We can get that exclusive story online at CNN.com.
We are also following High Court developments and growing outrage in Kenya, the High Court has suspended the government shutdown of three of the
country's TV channels. Now, Kenyans were furious when Nairobi made a move to send the media outlets, carried amuck, swearing in ceremonies saved by
the opposition leader, Raila Odinga. When we last checked, the stations, while they were still off air, let's get more from Farai Sevenzo, who is in
the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
What's the situation at this point?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, happy February to you, Becky. It is the same situation where despite a High Court ruling, just this
afternoon that this should suspend the shutdown until the court hears it on February the 14th, and at the moment as I speak to you, they are still off
the air. Although, some of them are streaming live on their online services. A young man called Okiya Omtatah is an engineer by trade decided
after the events of the last few days over the swearing in went to court and say that this is illegal what you are doing, shutting down our
He said it is akin to -- they switched off the plug and now we will investigate you, which is making every single Kenyan guilty until they
prove themselves innocent. Now, it's very significant that the High Courts took this line to suspend the shutting down, because the - October has
carried on. Now, let's have a look at Odinga -- it was a piece of theater with a cast of thousands albeit, but there was no way he was going to
influence what the High Court really says was the winner of October's polls -- and his government.
But the reaction that's been seen is very, very draconian, back to the 1970s - were still in charge, where the executive had complete control.
And then the moment they asked him why it is that they wouldn't feel the need that they would shutdown TV stations in a country as tech-savvy in
social media as Kenyans are, who can easily find the news elsewhere.
And sometimes, those news sources will be doctors because the legitimate people who are supposedly telling the news are being shutdown. Just one
more thing to tell you, Becky, is that last night, I was on the phone with frantic journalists and managing editors of these media houses -- locked
themselves up in their high-rise offices last night because they were surrounded by police.
I reminded one man that, look, if they want to get you, if this was another country in Africa, they would have stormed the doors and got you out. But
we are here at this situation where the government has been wrapped by the hackles by the High Court and whether or not they will obey this new ruling
is anybody's guess, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fascinating, stay with it. This is the last of our Inside Yemen Series, a look at the country's unending war there and the allies and the
people still holding on to hope. That is next. Stay with us.
[10:10:00] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World, with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back. All this week, we have been bringing
you rare reporting from inside Yemen, a country engulfed in a bloody conflict of nearly three years with rival political groups, vying for
power. A proxy fight is over, long simmering regional tensions. We're in the final exclusive report, International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson,
despite it all, the resilience of the Yemeni people.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yemen's war is taking from those who can afford it least. A seven-year-old boy's leg was shredded by a Houthi shell.
I was playing with my friends, he tells us, all of the sudden there was an explosion, eight of my friends were killed, and shrapnel hit my leg and
took off the flesh. This is a prosthetic leg?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ROBERTSON: His torture puts an end to the suffering.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, as medical staff -- very typical.
ROBERTSON: But no one here has the luxury to turn away. His son, 11-year- old Anis' blood still stains the family's stairs where he died in his father's arms. He is angry that this Houthis did not just kill his son,
they lied about it. This is from the newspaper at the time, he says that the Houthis used this picture of him taking his son to be buried, to say
that his son was killed in a coalition air strike.
He says this wasn't true, sitting next to him in the hotel lobby, a Southern Separatist soldier. You fought to take back control of the
airport. He tells me his mother was killed by a Houthi sniper. He is angry with them, but is also angry with the Saudi-backed government. We
fought the Houthis, he explained, but the government did not take care of United States. It's hard to continue because the marginalization of the
Understanding the war here and what everyone is going through is like peeling an onion, layer after layer. The government isn't just, fighting
the Houthis, it's fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda, and then there's the Southern Separatists who want their own state, and a multitude of other different,
small political groups. These powerful, regional governments frustrated, that Yemen has become a proxy for regional tensions.
[10:15:00] They tell me, that they want the government and the Saudi-led coalition to get tougher on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, but they also
want the coalition to shutdown the political groups they back -- very nice to meet you. Yemen's Prime Minister, besieged by it all, Houthis, Southern
Separatists, proxy influences, casualties from coalition bombing sees Yemen's future in a looser alliance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Houthis want secession in the north, and the radical separatists want secession in the south, but if you give the Yemeni
people a choice, you'll find that the majority want unity but in a new form, as a federation.
ROBERTSON: Question is can the country be put back together? I asked the doctor if people will forgive casualties from the coalition air strikes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the country will be better than before, so all of these injured people, will forgive, but this will open new bridges.
ROBERTSON: Provided that the country is going in a positive way? Its forgiveness and the future that can't come fast enough for many. What are
we looking at here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at a prosthetic hand.
ROBERTSON: These two students ordered the printer online from China, learned how to use it by watching YouTube tutorials. They want their
country repaired, up and running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want education, and we want to have jobs.
ROBERTSON: It's a dream, but absent peace remains beyond reach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson here with me in Abu Dhabi, and, Nic, we don't care about the politics. We have to have an education, and we want to have an
education and we want to have jobs, the voice of the last character, the university student here, and this is the refrain familiar in so many of
these protracted conflicts in what is this broiling region. You have got some fantastic access over the week's worth of filming opportunity you've
had in Yemen.
Is there hope?
ROBERTSON: You have to say there is because you see it in the faces of these young men, and women. I talked to the university deputy chief there
and 40 percent of the students are women as well. So the men and the women there absolutely, the young ones, they want something different, and it
gets you in the heart when they say things like that, and when you see the young seven year old boy who has lost a leg, yet, he is not complaining
about it, yet, he is dealing with it.
It is horrible. We look from the outside and it is a mess, but in that mess there is hope. As long as the men with the guns, as long as the
people with the political agendas are exercising those agendas, and they're using those weapons...
ANDERSON: So is there any evidence at the beginning of 2018, that those stakeholders that you're talking about, not the Yemeni student who just
wants the get on with things, but those with the money and the guns are looking at a solution any time soon, or is this a year where we will see an
inevitable grind into further suffering?
ROBERTSON: A grind simply put. Look, the Yemeni government has decided that the way to bring the Houthis to the table is through military
pressure. But this military pressure is fractured as we saw this week, the government fighting with the Southern Separatists who is supposed to be on
the same side, applying this pressure and ask to come in multiple directions.
So the military advances are slow, therefore, getting the Houthis to the table is going to be slow. Therefore, it is going to be a grind. I did
not see evidence on the ground of a significant enough buildup of forces or the capability of a swift movement forward, and none of that, yet it is
within the grasp of these leaders to reach a political compromise, but nobody appears to be minded to do it.
The military is moving slowly. So to me, it looks like a long grind right now.
ANDERSON: I want to get to another issue while I've got you. I'm taking advantage of course, President Trump's Secretary of State raised his right
hand at his swearing in ceremony, and a year into the job, he is still missing ambassadors in some critical countries around the world. How is
this impacting the US Foreign policy?
[10:20:00] ROBERTSON: Badly. You know, when you are talking with the diplomats around the world, there are levels of frustration. The European
Union represents 500 million people. They have a strained relationship with President Trump, because he is critical of them. And they would like
to have the US Ambassador to the European Union because they would like to have that conversation. But look at so many other countries or go to the
main State Department page on the top employees, and there are nine employees on that page, and the moment, only three of them are filled.
Tom Shannon, a deputy - an Under Secretary at the State Department just announced his resignation today. So of the top nine people, you only have
two. There is criticism among US Senators who say, look, you know the State Department is part of the United States' security as much as the
military. So you're undermining National Security, and if this were the military that was so short of top staff, questions would be asked.
You know what the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says is, you know we're making -- we're putting forward nominees. We're going through a review on
how the State Department works, but the criticism is there is a hire increase, the nominations aren't coming through fast enough, and you are
creating and hollowing out an organization, reducing the morale of the people there, and at the same time cutting all the more seasoned leaders,
cutting all the policy decisions, and not creating another generation coming through.
ANDERSON: And when you identify somebody you think can do a job -- Ambassador to South Korea, your position, becomes so far removed from where
Victor Cha is that he has to allegedly decide that he just can't take the job.
ROBERTSON: This really points to differences between the White House and even the State Department, and you know, the viewers at perhaps the
National Security. The National Security agenda is different that what McMaster wants in the approach to North Korea in the State Department.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson in the house with me here in Abu Dhabi. Thank you for that. I want to get back to Yemen. We started talking about Saudi
Arabia leading a coalition, backing Yemen's internationally-recognized government fighting Houthi rebels. I'm joined now by Fatimah Baeshen. She
is the Press Secretary at the Saudi Embassy in Washington. All this week, CNN's Nic Robertson's reporting exclusive reporting from Yemen. I
While he was there, he had the chance to speak to everyday people. Play to that to our viewers. I just want them to hear again so stand by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: At the tiny fishing harbor, boats don't venture far or often, because fuel is too expensive the fishermen tell us. They catch what they
can. And when I asked how he will feed his family, he shrugs. It is not getting any easier he says.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: So many issues here, fuel shortages, and costs, food and security, a crumbling business. How is the money that your government has
pledged, Fatimah, going to help people like that fishermen?
FATIMAH BAESHEN, SAUDI EMBASSY PRESS SECRETARY: Hi, Becky, on behalf of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia here in Washington, D.C., thanks
you for having me. Actually, the Yemen Humanitarian Comprehensive Operation is an expansive operation where we provide relief to the Yemeni
people like this fisherman, both in the short term and in the long term. We're talking about roughly around $3.5 billion worth of aid that's going
in the form of food, fuel, because fuel has also been a challenge, medicine, and it's an indirect response to what the UN Humanitarian 2018
Yemen Plan requested.
The plan requested roughly $6 billion in the Saudi-led coalition stepped up and filled that aid gap in order to address the immediate needs of the
Yemeni people, as I said, both in the short term and the long term sustainably.
ANDERSON: This new aid will certainly help people in Yemen, but what would really help them is an end to this war. What and when is this end game?
BAESHEN: So the Saudi-led coalition's objectives in Yemen are threefold. Number one, to provide relief to the Yemeni people, both in the short term
and in the long term, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular has had a longstanding relationship with the Yemen and has been supporting the Yemeni
people both in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as in Yemen. So the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cares about the welfare of the Yemeni people, and
even prior to the conflict. That is number one.
[10:25:00] Number two, the second objective is to find a long term political solution to help support find a long term political solution,
that is determined by the Yemeni people. A stable Yemen is good for Yemen and good for the Yemeni people and the good for the region. I just have
one more point that I would like to finish, please.
The last point -- is to sever the relationship between the militia and Tehran, which is posing a direct threat, not only to the Yemeni people as
we've seen but also to the region and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There have been roughly 90 ballistic missiles that have been shot from Yemen into
the Kingdom. And I just want to add, Becky, here that the range of the ballistic missiles overtime has incrementally increased.
Initially, we saw the ballistic missiles on the southern parts of the Saudi border and over time, these ballistic missiles have been targeting the
capital of the Kingdom, which is directly in the center, and then even Mecca where you have millions of pilgrims from all over the world coming
in. So there are direct threats not only to the Yemeni people in terms of diverting aid, but also to the region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
ANDERSON: And those incidents we have been reporting on, absolutely. And now, you talk about the idea being a stable Yemen going forward, when you
talk about a solution that is the back story to any solution. But in recent days, we have been seeing the deadly fighting in Yemen's second
city, Aden, clashes between Southern Separatists and the internationally- backed government. But both have been fighting Houthi rebels, a new fault line in the war it seems, but also potentially among coalition allies.
Here is a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition trying to dispel that notion. Let's just have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The position of the UAE remains deeply consistent with other members of the coalition. The Foreign Minister meeting last week was
good evidence that members of the coalition are united and still take the deliberation of Yemen as the ultimate call.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Is this coalition really unified at this point, or is this a growing rift, and if so, what are its consequences?
BAESHEN: So, the situation in Yemen and what is happening right now is a complicated one. What you have heard also from Colonel Madaki, the
Spokesman for the coalition come out and say basically is that there was a call for an immediate ceasefire, and just today, there has been a
delegation, a joint delegation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE that have gone to Aden to monitor the situation.
But moving forward, the important thing here to keep in mind is that the YCHO, the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations are continuing, and
not only continuing, but expansively continuing to disperse aid across all of the governances of Yemen, including two Houthi militia, and the main
goal is to provide the relief to Yemeni people across the board.
ANDERSON: All right. US and Saudi relations certainly have been seemingly reinvigorated under President Trump. Saudi Arabia, one of the many
countries that don't have a US Ambassador in place, is this impacting relations?
BAESHEN: So, the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and the United States have enjoyed a strong relationship over eight decades, and we have seen this throughout
several cooperation's, been it the economic or be they security, or be they social. You know there are 65,000 students in the United States studying
from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And so that continues to grow. You know, his Royal Highness who the Kingdom's Ambassador to the United
States, I have heard him say that the role of the American public to elect the President, and it is the Kingdom's role to make sure that the
relationship continues to be a strong one, and that is what exactly is taking place right now.
ANDERSON: Last question to you, and back to Yemen. Is 2018 the year when there will be a solution to this Yemeni conflict? Is this a year when the
suffering of the Yemeni people will be stopped?
BAESHEN: The whole aim of the YCHO, the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operation is to address the suffering of the Yemeni people. It is to
offset the subversion of aide. It's to reintegrate child soldiers back into Yemeni society and put them in schools. It's to provide medicines to
those who are inflicted with cholera, and due to fact that those are looting and not paying state employees, which allows for sanitation to pile
up in the streets and then spread into the sewer system.
[10:30:00] So the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is stepping in systematically to address these gaps. At the same time, the coalition which is led by the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is playing defense.
There have been direct threats to the Yemeni people by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia that are going not only across Yemen, but also to the region
and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Peace is honestly a two-way street.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we just -- we understand that, and we just hope for the sake of the Yemeni people there that peace comes soon.
It has been a pleasure having you on. Thank you.
BAESHEN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Out of Washington for you, the spokesman at the Saudi Embassy, Fatimah Baeshen. Well, just ahead, Washington is in wait and see mode as
the White House sit from a controversial memo that alledges surveillance abuses by the FBI. Will president Trump release it or would his own FBI
director's grave warning?
ANDERSON: For those of you who are just joining us, you are very welcome. It is just after half past 7:00 in the UAE. You are watching CNN.
This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Returning to what is an extraordinary clash between the White House and the FBI, and Congress. We
are expecting to see Donald Trump, any minute now as he leaves Washington for what will be a Republican Party retreat.
[10:35:02] He said he will release a controversial memo spearheaded by one of his political allies. But a White House official says the review is
still on going. Now, this memo reportedly alleges FBI surveillance abuses that targeted the Trump campaign.
Mr. Trump's own FBI director says he has grave concerns about the memo's accuracy and now the sources tell CNN, President Trump is telling his
allies that he believes this memo could help discredit the Russia investigation.
Well, we are going to be view more into this. Abby is joining us now live with more. If that is the case, that t U.S. president seriously believes
the release of these four pages of what he seemingly considers dynamite could help discredit the Russia investigation, then what are the
consequences of this memo's release?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it is really just ups the stakes for this memo. It is not just about a dispute between Democrats and
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, it becomes a dispute between the president and his own government, the FBI and the Justice
And it also seems to reinforce the idea that President Trump has repeatedly attempted to try to undermine this investigation -- this Mueller
investigation. Now, our sources are telling us that the president believes that the memo will show bias in the highest ranks of the FBI.
And that that will make it easier for him and his allies to undermine the Mueller investigation. I think you will see more questions to Republicans
in the wake of this new reporting about what real purpose of this memo is, especially in light of the fact that the FBI and the intelligence community
have raised concerns about the accuracy of the memo.
And also about what happens if there are aspects of the memo that undermines sources and message of the intelligence that underlies it.
ANDERSON: Do we know when this memo is likely to be released? And do we know whether -- when it is released, whether parts of it might be redacted?
PHILLIP: Well, we have been told by White House officials that the president is expected to make a decision about the memo today. It could be
released as early as today, but that it might not be immediate between the time that he makes the decision, the time that the public gets to see the
The White House has made it very clear that the president's position is at he wants this memo released, that he wants this document as a form of
transparency. That being said, there is an on going tug of war happening at the White House about how much of the memo needs to be release there.
There some new reports that the memo was changed between the time that the House voted on it, and the time that it was sent to the White House, and
what does that do to the actual conclusions.
If there are redactions, will it make the problems that the FBI sees with this memo even worse? The issue adherent here is that the president is
according to our sources, very upset with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
He is the man in-charge of the Mueller investigation. And this memo is said to really put a lit of the blame for these alleged surveillance abuses
ANDERSON: Abby Phillip in Washington for you at 38 minutes past 10:00 in the morning -- busy day as ever, there in Washington. You can go online to
read more about what is going on here today and the crisis this moment could trigger in Washington.
Our website explains how it is connected to the Russia investigation and looks at the possible consequences if indeed it is released. That is
And a reminder, we are expecting to see Donald Trump, the U.S. president, some time soon as he boards Marine One on his way to that Republican Party
Well, 10 athletes from North Korea have arrived in the South where it will compete in next week's winter Olympics. Simply moving the athletes from
the North to the South was anything but simple.
Divided Koreas had to reestablish communication between air traffic controllers control that the flight could be made safely. It took several
days of testing to get everything in place. Well, 10 athletes join 12 North Korean hockey players who are already in the South, practicing to
play on a unified women's hockey team.
And meanwhile, the Kremlin said its feeling is happy because the ban on 28 Russian athletes now been overturn. The Court of Arbitration for Sport
upheld the athlete's appeal. That means, they can seem to take part in the winter games in South Korea to save over a week away.
But the International Olympic Committee or IOC's experiment says decision does not necessarily mean the 28 athletes would be eligible to compete in
[10:40:02] Well, Fred Pleitgen is joining me now from Moscow. What was -- clearly authorities are absolutely delighted, what does this say about what
has been going on in the allegations that have been made about Russian athletes in the past?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I Mean, I think that all of this really crawls into, maybe that doesn't call into question, but certainly
cause a stir in the sports world and certainly is a big blow to the International Olympic Committee.
I mean, you recall, around the Olympics in Sochi, when that report that later came out saying that Russia did have a very large state-sponsored
doping program. It was suppose to be a very tough response to the Russians.
And certainly, the bans that were then later handed out to 43 Russian athletes were suppose to show that the International Olympic Committee and
sports in general, Olympic Sports was cracking down on the doping.
And now, all of that is being called into question. It is very interesting, when you see the reasoning of the CAS, Court for Arbitration
in Sports as to why they lifted completely some of these bans, and for 11 other athletes.
And partially lifted these bans, they say that in the individual cases of 28 of these athletes, the fact that Russia had this doping program weighs
less than the actual case itself.
They say that in 28 of these cases, they could not find sufficient evidence to prove that the folks that were charged were actually -- did actually
dope in the Olympics in 2014 in Sochi.
So a lot of these bans then overturned. And as you mentioned, most of these athletes or many of these athletes now want to try to participate in
the Olympics in Pyeongchang, really IOC is saying just because they have been cleared, doesn't mean that they are going to be able to compete in
They were highly at the IOC, of this decision that came down and certainly saying they believe that it is bad for the sport in general and for the
fight against doping that the sport it was handed down, Becky.
ANDERSON: Well, that might be an understatement. Listen, just finally and briefly, how has all of this impacted the attitude towards the games in
Russia? And just really sort of cast a shadow over the enthusiasm for this competition.
PLEITGEN: Well, certainly the fact that Russia itself was banned from the games is something that has definitely cast a shadow over to the games, but
now that it seem as some of these bans have been lifted, the attitude is actually starting to change just a little bit.
There are some Russian politicians coming out and say, look, we might not actually do so bad in the medal table, even though of course, it's not
going a formally a Russian team that is going to be there.
On the other hand, you do have some pretty harsh criticism from some of the folks who were fighting against doping, especially from the whistle blower
in all of this, from 2014, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov. His lawyer came out and gave a statement. I want to read part of it to you.
He said the panel's unfortunate decision -- I'm quoting him here, provides a very small measure of punishment for some athletes but a complete get out
of jail free card for most, thus the CAS decision -- referring to this court, of course, only emboldens cheaters and makes it harder for clean
athletes to win.
So as you can see, this decision is not without controversy and certainly causes a stir in the battle against doping, it certainly cast a shot along
the IOC, and yes, many, many Russian officials, and certainly a lot of Russian athletes who were on that list and who are now off it, they are
very, very happy today. Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow for you, viewers. I'm in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Coming up, CNN's -- thank you, Fred. CNN's Freedom Project
takes us to Jordan where one woman is taking action to protect rights of migrant domestic workers -- many of them, victims of human trafficking,
that report is up next.
[10:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CNN. I'm Becky Anderson with Connect the World. Now CNN's Freedom Project seeks to shine a spotlight on efforts to
end modern day slavery. It is a project that we make absolutely no excuse about.
It is important. And today, we are focusing on Jordan. It has more than 70,000 migrant domestic workers and many of them victims of abuse and human
trafficking. One woman is on the mission to defend their rights and give them a voice in court.
I've got to warn you, some of -- you may find the video you are about to see, disturbing. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, tells us more about the Jordanian
activist and her organization's powerful work.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a chilling and disturbing video that embodies the suffering of many domestic workers in the Middle East.
You will die. You will die, this Jordanian recruitment agency employee tells the Bangladeshi housemate.
Ignoring her desperate seat for him to stop and this man was jailed after this video circulated. She returned to Bangladesh. Cases of abuse, forced
labor and domestic servitude are common in Jordan.
Right groups have documented cases where domestic workers are deprived of food, medical treatment and lock in the house by employers who expected
them to work 16 hours a day, some 20 hours, seven days a week.
But some in Jordan are trying to change this. In 2010, Linda Al-Kalash, received a State Department's trafficking and persons hero award of her
efforts to combat modern day slavery in Jordan.
The organization she founded on 2007, Tamkeen for legal aid broke new grounds using the legal system to pursue the rights of migrant workers.
With her team of lawyers, Al-Kalash took employers to court for abuses and labor violations. Tamkeen, which means empowerment in Arabic, has become
the first call for help for many migrant workers.
LINDA AL-KALASH, FOUNDER, TAMKEEN: You feel that these people, they're afraid from everything, from anybody. And in the beginning, it was very
difficult to deal with the government, with the recruitment agency, with the employer themselves. They don't accept that anybody defend domestic
KARADSHEH: Al-Kalash says things have change in recent years. She now works closely with the country's anti-trafficking unit and provides
training to its members.
Al-Kalash does not shy away from speaking her mind in a room full of members of the securities services. Colonel Haider Al-Shboul has the unit
that has investigated hundreds of cases since it was established by the government in 2013.
HAIDER AL-SHBOUL, HEAD, JORDANIAN ANTI-TRAFFICKING UNIT (through a translator): What, Linda, is talking about cannot be implemented
overnight. There are beliefs that need to be changed, that includes those of lawyers, public prosecutors and judges, and they are the one who's deal
with these cases.
KARADSHEH: According to the 2017 state department trafficking and persons report, Jordan remains a tier two country as it, quote, does not fully meet
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
One effort gaining Jordan praise, is the opening of the shelter, Dar Al Karama (ph) is the first government run facility for victims of human
trafficking. Officials say Jordan is making great efforts, striving to become a tier one country.
SUZAN KHASHBAY, MINORITY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (through a translator): Dar Al Karama (ph) is considered the first step in the response to the victims
of human trafficking, by providing them with a safe space will all support services. That enables the human trafficking victim to begin psychological
and physical rehabilitation.
KARADSHEH: Jordan has also been working on passing amendments to its anti- human trafficking law and the penal code to strengthen sentences for trafficking violations. But for Al-Kalash, changing perceptions and
attitudes within the society is key.
AL-KALASH: It's very important to go to the court. Why?
[10:50:00] Because it will be good lesson for employers to see that they are human. They have rights. They can have lawyers. They can go to the
KARADSHEH: Al-Kalash says she will never stop fighting for the rights of migrant workers trying to change their situation one case at a time.
Jomanah Karadsheh, CNN, Amman.
ANDERSON: Well, March 14th, is our second annual My Freedom Day. CNN is partnering with young people around the world for student-led day of action
against modern day slavery.
And driving My Freedom Day, it is a very simple question, what does freedom mean to you? We're going to hear what freedom means to you, too. Post a
photo or a video using a hashtag My Freedom Day.
You may remember if you are a regular viewer, CNN Abu Dhabi took part last year and we will be doing so again, stay tuned for the details on that.
You are watching Connect the World.
I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, as we wrap up our week, focusing on Yemen. We have learned so much about war and devastation, but ahead, we look at
the other side, another side of this story.
ANDERSON: Well, this entire week, we have been bringing you what I hope you all agree, some pretty eye-opening reporting from inside Yemen. But
it's not all war, starvation and devastation. In fact our Parting Shots tonight for you, we have different view of Yemen to show a side of it what
most of us don't often see. Have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I first started shooting Yemen, most people were not really interested in seeing the kind of work that I was putting out.
Most of the time, the images of the country are out of the desolate desert then escape that has been destroyed by years and years of war.
And when I show people these photos, they are usually quite surprised to hear that this is Yemen. Yemen is not this war-torn completely sad and
desolate men that is suffering of beauty and history, and natural grace.
My series Northern Yemen came to partition and it happen on all this time all through Northern Yemen. Yemeni women are often the stronger people of
their homes and in the communities. They have a lot of life and beauty that is hardly ever seen in the media.
My series ghost of Yemen was a morning piece for me. It was my last few days of Yemen, since civil war broke out, and I knew that I would be unable
to travel back to the country after that moment in time.
[10:55:00] There is my happiness and fun, and excitement but there is also sadness and there's grief, and there is emotion. There's a love and
sadness for, my country. And that's something that's really, really important for me to communicate.
ANDERSON: Well, that was a war torn country and her stunning photographs are the subject of exhibition around the world. Well, Yemen of course is
one of many major hotspots that we are covering.
We are more connected than on this program, you can see those Parting Shots, of course, on our Facebook site, Connect the World, to see some of
latest, most important reporting. That Facebook page is Facebook.com/CNNconnect.
I am Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World. From the team here in Abu Dhabi and Atlanta, and in London for you, thank you for watching. The news
of course continues here on CNN. IDesk with Robyn Curnow is next.