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CONNECT THE WORLD
Escaping Mount Sinjar; Crisis in Iraq; Ebola Toll Rises; Explosions in Baghdad; Parting Shots: Remembering Robin Williams
Aired August 12, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST: Right now, an exodus underway in Iraq, one not seen in decades. CNN is there as the Yazidi refugees, many with nothing
but what they carry in their hands and on their backs, cross the frontier with Syria after an incredible and brutal journey. We're going to take you
Now this all comes amid a power struggle going on in Baghdad. We're going to examine the pressure Nuri al-Maliki faces.
Also to come on the program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Run for your life, the emotions are coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: An actor and comedian who kept us laughing all these years, but fought his own personal demons. We remember the life and the legacy of
ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we connect the World.
HOLMES: We are going to start the program in Iraq, of course, where the humanitarian crisis fast deteriorating, prompting the UN to call for
immediate action to prevent potential genocide. The UN says it has received verified reports that ISIS is systematically hunting down members
of religious minority groups and ordering them to either convert on the spot to Islam or be killed.
And as Iraqi forces try to counter the Sunni militants in the north, a political deadlock in Baghdad threatening to derail attempts to form a new
government. On Monday, the president nominated Haider al-Abadi to take over as prime minister and form a government, but the current PM Nuri al-
Maliki so far refusing to step down.
Ivan Watson first of all joining us now from northern Iraq. When we spoke the last hour, Ivan, you gave us a gut-wrenching examination of what
is happening behind you. Update us.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the stream of people walking across the border who have been fleeing ISIS continues here.
Over my shoulder is the Pesh Khabur (ph) River. And it divides Syria from the Iraqi Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
There are some trucks going in right now, but let me get out of the way so that you can see this kind of stream of civilians, of desperate
people who are fleeing the ISIS offensive further to the south of here.
They are taking a very long and strange journey. They are so frightened of ISIS that they flee across the border to Syria to a Kurdish
controlled part of Syria and then they make this journey, as you can see, very much on foot carrying little more than the clothes on their back
across the river back into Iraqi Kurdistan, this Kurdish controlled part of northern Iraq.
The border guards here tell me that the thousands of people that we've seen cross within just the last hour that we've been here are nothing
compared to the stream of humanity that has crossed this very bridge on foot exhausted, tired, hungry, frightened over the course of the two
So this is a scene and a drama that's been unfolding here. It is without question a humanitarian crisis and the people say they are all
running because they're fleeing ISIS militants that they say they fear could kill them -- Michael.
HOLMES: Unbelievable. And as we were saying last hour, you know, just so clear from the people moving across that bridge how little they
have, which is to say pretty much nothing but the clothes on their back.
I've got to make mention of photojournalist Mark Philips who is behind the camera there with you and the incredibly powerful story on that
helicopter. When they were able to get at least some people out to safety.
But, you know, a lot of people look at that and say why can't they have some sort of concentrated broader airlift, send in bigger aircraft or
helicopters and get more of those people off?
WATSON: I think that's the question that we're starting to get more and more from the Kurdish leadership of northern Iraq. They want more
help, basically. Why are -- is it that the Iraqis are having to rely, and the Kurds are having to rely on a handful of old Russian helicopters to try
to airlift the most vulnerable people who are stranded on the mountain, on Sinjar Mountain.
Yes, the U.S. and other countries they have -- their militaries have performed emergency air drops, but according to a report on Iraqiya, Iraqi
state TV, one of those helicopters just crashed, Michael.
This is, again according to Iraqiya, Iraqi state TV. One of those MI- 17 Russian-made helicopters just crashed while trying to perform a humanitarian mission over Mount Sinjar. And remember that those
helicopters are flying over enemy front lines, being shot at, and they're carrying diapers and baby milk to some of the thousands or perhaps tens of
thousands of people who fled to that mountain and have been camping there for a week now under the son without ready access to things like baby milk
and baby diapers. And then they're trying to bring out as many people as they can in these chaotic scenes that we witnessed yesterday and now we're
getting a report that one of those helicopters crashed.
More -- far more people are escaping. Now there's been a break in the flow of people coming through. it kind of ebbs and flows. But far more
people are just coming on foot. And of all things, I mean, this -- people who watch the Middle East will recognize this has been a bizarre turn in
this drama, in this humanitarian crisis. Across the border from me, across the river, that part of Syria is controlled by a Kurdish faction best known
as the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK. It is officially designated by the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization, Michael, and
yet the PKK is helping evacuate desperate people, not only Kurds, but Turkmens and some Arabs and other ethnic and religious groups from ISIS in
Iraq and then helping bring them, in some cases helping feed them, bringing them on buses and vehicles here to the border with Iraqi Kurdistan.
I mean, that is how much this has transformed the political picture in this part of northern Iraq.
ISIS is a cross border phenomenon that has operated between Syria and Iraq and now you have Kurdish factions on both sides of the border working
together to try to save hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing for their lives.
HOLMES: Extraordinary scene unfolding. And, Ivan, you know, the Kurdish region -- and you've been there for awhile, and you've been there
many times before, this island, if you like, of pro-Western stability now having to deal with this humanitarian crisis and also the military fight
against ISIS. And the brutal irony of facing off against American armor that was seized by ISIS from the Iraqi army.
What are they saying they need not just in a humanitarian sense, but in a military sense?
WATSON: The Kurds, they want more airstrikes against ISIS and they want more weapons. They want more ammunition as well. And there have been
indications and reports that the U.S. has started to provide some of those weapons and ammunition. We've certainly seen some of the American
airstrikes as well. The Kurds are not calling for boots on the ground, per se. They say they can carry out the fight themselves. And they certainly
have the numbers of men in uniform and volunteers to defend their borders, but they say they need weapons to do it.
Their argument being that the U.S. policy's effort was to try to keep Iraq together over this past tumultuous decade since the U.S. invasion, so
the U.S. wasn't arming the Kurds, it was arming the central Baghdad government, which wasn't necessarily sharing vital weapons with the Kurds,
which they need now for what is clearly becoming an existential battle -- Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah. Yeah. Excellent reporting as always. Our thanks to you and also Mark Philips (ph) there behind the camera for your work on
this story. Ivan Watson there on the Iraq-Syria border.
Let's talk a little bit more about politics now and what happens next is by no means certainly. CNN's senior international correspondent Nick
Paton Walsh is in Baghdad following that side of things. We've got live pictures there coming to us from Baghdad.
Nick, in the last hour I think we sort of made the point of an atmosphere in Baghdad politically being anyone but al-Maliki. What do we
know about his moves now, his desires? Is he going to go this man who consolidated so much power around himself?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, you may be wondering why you're not seeing a picture of me, but you're seeing a
picture of the skyline here and just the minutes before you came to me here. We heard an explosion and a black plum of smoke where you can see
just the remnants of that on the camera. And of course we don't know what the cause of that was. It sounded like an explosion and the black smoke
that came after would certainly give credence to that idea. And it just brings to the fore quite how tense this city is right now.
It has been a quiet day. It's been a day in which I think the preponderance of thought has been that Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister
who now faces the prime minister designate being referred to as a kind of leader trying to galvanize the government here by those in Washington and
Paris and around the world, faces increasing pressure. As I say, we don't know what that explosion -- I think it's fair to say it was a blast that we
heard -- was from. But it comes in this deeply tense climate where simply in the last hour or two on Iraqi state television, we heard Nuri al-Maliki
gathered together army chiefs, police chiefs, wasn't quite clear who precisely was in that gathering, but his message was clear, stay out of
Now some observers consider that to be an odd message for a man who has himself hinted he would use force, use the security services to
maintain his grip on power. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has explicitly warned him against that.
And I have to say it comes at a time when people are wondering quite how much longer Nuri al-Maliki can go against the tire that is blowing
quite heavily against him here. Even Shia religious authorities are suggesting now isn't a time for personal ambition. John Kerry is telling
Haider al-Abadi now it's time to move on with the job of creating your cabinet. You have 30 days, he knows, to get that together, to get it
approved by Iraq's fractious and at times chaotic parliament.
It's a messy time here, but the real stakes are high, Michael, because unless that political deadlock is removed, unless the country gets out of
this climate of constant crisis that paralyzes this government the west isn't simply going to beef up its military aid. And without that, many are
concerned, the fight against ISIS in the north will be increasingly stultified -- Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah, exactly. Nick, our thanks to you there. In a city where explosions are sadly all too common. Thanks so much. Nick Paton
Well, indirect talks involving Hamas and Israel continue in Cairo. That three day ceasefire appears to be holding the clock, however, ticking.
CNN's Reza Sayah joining us now live from the Egyptian capital with the latest.
I suppose that one good sign is the talks are going on, but the positions of the two sides fairly entrenched. What are you hearing?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Michael, and that's the only good sign that they're still negotiating indirectly, but
increasingly these talks in Cairo are looking very much like last week's talk in Cairo that of course fail. There's absolutely no sign of progress.
In fact, an Israeli official telling Reuters news agency earlier today that they're not making progress, that there are still differences and they have
failed to fill in those gaps.
The Palestinian delegation we're in communication with them. They seem to be saying silence, choosing not to comment until there's some sort
of outcome. And then you have the Egyptians, they're the mediators, the go betweens, and they seem to be staying positive. One senior government
official here telling us it's too quick to judge anything. It's too quick to reach a conclusion. We're still working at it.
At this point, it's a little after 6:00 p.m. local time here in Cairo. This ceasefire is scheduled to end tomorrow, Wednesday, midnight local
time. So technically, these two sides have a little less than 20 hours to make something happen to either reach an agreement or perhaps extend the
ceasefire, although it's not clear if that indeed is an option.
The sticking points remain the same. On one side you have Hamas. They're demanding a lifting of the economic blockade, an opening of the
border crossings. They want an airport. They want a seaport. They say that's the only way to get access to the outside world and live a dignified
life. And on the other side, you have the Israelis who say we want to address our security concerns. We want to demilitarize Gaza. We want to
disarm Hamas. And of course Hamas and the Palestinians have maintained that's a nonstarter.
So that's where things stand at this hour. We still have about a day- and-a-half left. And we'll see if they can make something happen this time -- Michael.
HOLMES: All right, keep an eye on it for us. Thanks so much, Reza. Reza Sayah there in Cairo.
All right, a little later in the hour we're going to look at another side of Vladimir Putin and his power and personality. Find out how his
stance on Ukraine is boosting his influence in Moscow's fashion stakes.
Also ahead, he made us laugh, he made us cry, now we mourn his passing. The life and times of Robin Williams. That's next.
HOLMES: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.
The man who made the world laugh apparently could not bring joy to his own life ultimately. Hollywood and the rest of the world mourning the
death of actor, comedian, Robin Williams.
The 63-year-old was found dead in his northern Californian home on Monday. Preliminary reports indicating the death was caused by suicide due
to asphyxia, that is yet to be confirmed by autopsy of course, which should be a little bit later today.
Williams did have a long history of dealing with both substance abuse and depression.
Robin Williams was an Academy Award winning actor as well as a very talented comedian. CNN's Nischelle Turner now looks back at what was a
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His high octane brand of comedy was his trade mark public persona. But Robin
Williams proved himself for an Oscar winner with a strong philanthropic side. Born in 1951, it was in his 20s, Williams was unleashed first as an
American TV star.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Mindy, run for your life! The emotions are coming.
TURNER: As Mork from the planet Ork in "Mork and Mindy", Williams became a household name. When the series ended after a four-year run in
1982, he showed he could do more than make people laugh. WILLIAMS: My name is TS Garp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's TS stand for?
WILLIAMS: Terribly sexy.
TURNER: The Julliard schooled actor unveiled his dramatic side for the first time in 1982's "The World According to Garp."
WILLIAMS: So, I was trained as an actor, so it's not like they have to medicate me.
TURNER: That serious side earned him Oscar nominations for "The Fisher King".
WILLIAMS: Good morning, Vietnam.
TURNER: "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "Dead Poet's Society."
WILLIAMS: He's the golden dude.
TURNER: He finally won his only Oscar statue in 1998 for "Good Will Hunting."
WILLIAMS: This one, yes. The others were just foreplay. It's extraordinary.
TURNER: But Williams never stopped being funny even when the topic seemed serious. He helped launch and co-hosted eight telethons over 20
years to help the homeless.
WILLIAMS: Men who sleep with chickens and the women who love them.
TURNER: Comic relief earned more than $50 million. And even when he talked about his battles with drugs and alcohol, he talked about it with
LARRY KING, "LARRY KING LIVE" HOST: You were drunk?
WILLIAMS: Well, that's nice of you to say that.
TURNER: He took two trips to rehab, most recently this summer. He talked about the process on "LARRY KING LIVE" in 2007.
WILLIAMS: What happens to people basically start the process of, you know, just saying no, and being among others. And learning that you're not
alone and working on giving up.
KING: Do you lose your sense of humor in it?
WILLIAMS: No. You find it. You're there with people who have a great sense of humor.
KING: So, you're funny there too.
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, you got to be.
TURNER: In 2009, the Williams was rushed to the hospital with heart problems, forced to temporarily cancel his one-man show to undergo surgery.
He talked about his recovery on "The Ellen" show.
WILLIAMS: You have you a heart surgery and they literally open you up. They crack the box. You are really vulnerable. Oh, a kitten, oh, God. It's
-- the kitten -- and you get very, very emotional about everything. But I think that's a wonderful thing. It opens you up to everything.
TURNER: And with a new lease on life, Williams quickly spring back into action. In 2011, he made his Broadway acting debut, starring in Rajiv
Joseph's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo." That same year, he would marry his third wife, graphic designer, Susan Schneider.
In 2013, Williams would return to the small screen, starring in the CBS sitcom "The Crazy Ones", where he would reunite with his old friend Pam
Dawber, better known as Mindy.
PAM DAWBER, ACTRESS: Never as screwy as you. You're like an alien. TURNER: From stand-up to sitcoms and beyond, Williams would delight
audiences with a whacky humor and joyful energy. He was the definition of full of life. And even now, his comic legend is destined to endure.
HOLMES: And Robin Williams had been very public about his depression having to battle substance abuse as well. A little bit more about all of
this, Sue Baker joins us from London. She is the director of Time to Change, England's biggest program to end mental health stigma and
discrimination. And thanks for coming in.
You know, I don't know whether it's superficial, but why do so many comedians seem to have depression, suffer from a dark side, if you like,
inside themselves. Is there reason for that? Or is that not really the case?
SUE BAKER, TIME TO CHANGE: Well, it's definitely the case that comedians and entertainers feel more able to talk about it, whether they're
as a population more prone to it or not I don't think there's data to say that, but there is -- there are definitely more of them talking more openly
about their struggles with mental health and their psychological health. And you do hear some of them talk about the fact that actually they
wouldn't be able to do what they are able to do, to enlighten and enrich our lives, unless they had had these inner struggles and torments and
So they do talk more openly about it and it does seem to be something that they turn into something that drives comedic effect or their
HOLMES: Yeah, that's interesting.
Is there a link shown between depression and substance abuse or not?
BAKER: Well, if you are depressed and if you're not getting help, unfortunately what some, particularly men will do, but many of us will have
depression, but because men find it particularly hard to talk about mental health problems often what they'll do is find other ways of coping with it
like drink and like drugs. So to misuse alcohol or drugs. And obviously that is not a healthy helpful option, but it does help them cope with their
feelings at the time.
Now what we would say is we need to get men to be able to seek help earlier and employ more health strategies, go and see a health
professional, go and talk to a member of your family or ring a help line.
So, drugs and alcohol can just mask how people feel and that's what they're doing is trying to block out what they're thinking and what they're
feeling and that won't work in the long-term.
HOLMES: Yeah, and sort of in the back of my mind I read a report by the Centers for Disease Control here in the U.S., the CDC, talking about
suicide contagion and how the suicide of a public figure can lead to the suicide of others for whatever reason. And it just makes me want to ask
you your message to those who might be watching and depressed.
BAKER: Yeah, I mean here in the UK we have the really sad statistic that 6,000 people a year took their lives. So men and women and young
people and older people. And it's actually middle-aged men that are the most at risk of suicide here in the UK. They're the highest numbers of
middle-aged men. So today it's really important
that we encourage people across both sides of the pond, and in fact globally, to think if you know someone that's struggling don't be too
afraid or too polite or too embarrassed to ask someone how they are and to reach out and show that you will be supportive and understanding.
And if you're somebody that is struggling with feelings of worthlessness or you know you're getting no joy out of life it could be a
sign that you're depressed and speak out to somebody and get help. It's a treatable condition. I've had depression. You can get on with life if you
talk to somebody and you get the right treatment. It's nothing to be ashamed of, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
HOLMES: And that is a great message to end on. It is treatable and it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Sue Baker, director of Time to
Change joining us from London. Thanks so much, Sue.
BAKER: You're welcome.
HOLMES: And by the way, something to point you towards as well on depression, or if you know somebody who is suffering from depression, on
our website really something worth looking at -- impact your world there's a number of links there directing you to organizations that do specialize
in dealing with mental health issues. You can also read very honest and compelling firsthand testimonial on what it's like to suffer from
depression. There's an awful lot of very, very useful material there, CNN.com/impact.
Live from CNN Center, this is Connect the World. Still to come on the program, it was once a restricted military zone, now it's a growing tourist
attraction. We'll take you to Green Mountain, one of the coolest spots in the middle of a scorching desert.
LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For centuries, European travelers told of its rugged beauty. Gardens lush with
pomegranate and grapes amidst parched desert terrain. This is Jabal Achtar (ph), Arabic for Green Mountain deep within Oman's interior.
ALI AL ABRI, TOUR GUIDE: The Green Mountains stands for the vegetation. I mean, there's a lot of wild trees here. You don't see them
anywhere else, especially living in a desert, you know, this is a very different place.
LAKHANI: And one with a colorful past -- remnants of a crashed helicopter tell of battles of the mid-20th Century when authorities shut
off the mountain to fend off tribal rebellion. Now a winding path leading up to this remote area more than 2,000 meters above sea level is open once
again to visitors.
For decades, this mountainous terrain was a military zone off-limits to outsiders, but now the government is making this a central point in
showcasing tourism in this part of the country.
Western resort brands are building on that opportunity. This 86 room luxury hotel opened in May 2014, built from the rocks in these very
mountains in line with the government's vision to preserve the heritage of the region.
JORK BOSSELAAR, GENERAL MANAGER: Elements of traditional welcomes will stay. (inaudible), the kind of the heart and the soul and the
character of the hotel are local people from the mountain who are guiding our guests into their communities, introducing them to the local customs.
LAKHANI: Ali Al Abri is one of them. He says part of the appeal is a cooler climate.
AL ABRI: It's like whole year around tourism here while we have high temperature in cities around the country, we have really moderate
LAKHANI: That's helping to bring in the visitors. With that comes greater opportunity for the 10,000 people who live on the mountain, like
Nasser al Fahdi. He works at the front desk of the Sahab, the only other established hotel on Jabal Achtar (ph) right now.
NASSER AL FAHDI, SAHAB HOTEL: If tourism open for this mountain that's meaning more jobs will come for the people here in the mountain.
It's very good for the Omani (inaudible) also.
LAKHANI: Since the hotel opened in 2011, Al Fahdi says room occupancy has risen 20 percent.
Next to the Sahab, construction is underway for two more hotels, including this mammoth resort worth more than $50 million.
A rich mountain, nearly forgotten, now a priority for the people of Oman.
Leone Lakhani, CNN, Jabal Achter (ph), Oman.
MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST: Welcome back, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories now this half hour. And an autopsy is scheduled today in the
death of the comedian Robin Williams, his body found Monday in his California home. Investigators suspect suicide by asphyxia. A
spokesperson says Williams had been suffering from severe depression recently, something he had wrestled with over the years. He was just 63
years of age.
From the White House to social media, condolences and remembrances pouring in. Comedian Steve Martin tweeting this: "I could not be more
stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, gentle soul."
Former CNN host Larry King said he would remember Williams as a "genuine, caring guy, not just a funny man, but a guy who cared about
And the US president, Barack Obama, summing it up this way: "He was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien, but he ended up
touching every element of the human spirit."
In Iraq, a political power struggle continues in Baghdad, as humanitarian situation in the north deteriorates quickly. The UN calling
for immediate action to protect religious minority groups and prevent potential genocide.
One such minority group, the Yazidis, are on the move, those who can move, making a very dangerous journey, largely on foot in many cases.
They're fleeing Mount Sinjar, where they had been trapped with little or now food or water, their exodus sparked by persecution and the brutal
onslaught of ISIS militants.
On Monday, CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson and photo journalist Mark Phillips rode along with the Iraqi military as they
delivered aid and rescued a lucky few from Mount Sinjar.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Machine gunners unleashed bursts of hot metal. This is the crew aboard an
Iraqi air force helicopter. They burn through cartridges and belts of ammunition while rushing an aircraft full of food, diapers, water, and
baby's milk over ISIS front lines to civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain.
WATSON (on camera): The Iraqi gunners are opening fire at targets down below.
WATSON: They say they regularly take fire (inaudible) ISIS's victims. And they're clearly trying to defend the aircraft.
We can see the people below trapped on Sinjar Mountain. They're clustered under olive trees right now, waving to us. They seem to have
gathered in these shelters down here. A lot of women and children waving.
WATSON (voice-over): The crew hurls packages out the door. People swarm the chopper.
WATSON (on camera): This has been one chaotic aid distribution. I really hope we didn't hurt anybody with the bottles of water we throwing
down from a height of 20, 30 feet. It's chaotic, but people were waving, they were giving thumbs up. And there are a couple of people very relieved
to be off the mountain, and clearly very, very frightened.
WATSON (voice-over): Then the helicopter lands one last time to pick up more passengers.
WATSON (on camera): Here they come.
WATSON (voice-over): More desperate people throw themselves at the aircraft, heaving their children onboard. It's first come, first serve.
WATSON: There were some who couldn't make it.
WATSON: Aboard the aircraft, shock.
WATSON: Exhaustion. Fear that eventually gives way to relief.
WATSON (on camera): I can't describe to you how relieved people are right now. They're just shocked in the chaos of that moment, but we've got
little Aziza (ph) here, she's not happy because she says her father got left behind.
WATSON: The gunners are opening fire on targets below. They're protecting the helicopter, but it's terrifying these little kids, who are
traumatized after their week trapped on that mountain. The problem is, we're flying over ISIS front lines. This is the only protection we have
right now to protect the aircraft and its precious cargo.
WATSON (voice-over): Tensions ease when we cross into Kurdish- controlled territory, and for a moment, there are even smiles as these children realize their ordeal on the mountain is finally over.
Ivan Watson, CNN, over Sinjar Mountain, in northern Iraq.
HOLMES: Well, despite the desperate need for more international help and security, the US insists it will not redeploy combat troops to Iraq.
But within the past hour, we have learned the Obama administration could send more military advisors.
For more, let's go to live to Washington, CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joining us with that. Of course, everybody in
the US very concerned about how far, to what extent the US goes and gets re-involved in Iraq. What are you hearing?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Michael. Well, the administration is considering more military advisors to
send to Iraq, as you know. The president has said no combat troops, but what these troops -- what these advisors could do, they could help out with
training, helping equipping, and helping basically help the Kurds in terms of the battles against ISIS right now.
What happens with Baghdad? Well, the administration is saying that it wants to wait until a new government is in place. And as you know,
yesterday, a new prime minister designate was appointed, so that's a glimmer of hope into the political chaos that's going on in Iraq right now.
But the problem is, Prime Minister al-Maliki is refusing to go quietly, and he's engaged in a very dangerous showdown.
LABOTT (voice-over): Iraq's political power struggle finally reached a breaking point when the president named the deputy speaker of parliament
to replace Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The US welcomed the move as an important first step.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Earlier today, Vice President Biden and I called Dr. Abadi to congratulate him and to urge him
to form a new cabinet as quickly as possible.
LABOTT: Haider al-Abadi is a Shia from the same party as Maliki, even serving as his aid. Can he unite the country and fight off the sweeping
advances by ISIS militants?
KIRK SOWELL, PUBLISHER, "INSIDE IRAQI POLITICS": Abadi is something of a gray suit. He's someone who's never been involved in a personal
controversy. He will try to be inclusive and work with people, but at the same time, he's never been someone to push for reform.
LABOTT: Al-Abadi has 30 days to form a government. But as of now, Maliki is refusing to go quietly, saying he deserves a third term. He's
deploying troops to the streets of Baghdad, and threatening to contest al- Abadi's appointment.
NOURI AL-MALIKI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ (through translator): We assure the Iraq people that what took place is worthless and should bear no
consequences, null and void.
LABOTT: Secretary of State John Kerry warned the US would withhold its support if Maliki didn't step aside.
JOHN KERRY, US SECRETARY OF STATE: Our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters. There will be little international support of any
kind whatsoever for anything that deviates from the legitimate constitutional process that is in place.
LABOTT: The US has signaled further military support once a new Iraqi government is in place, but with another Shia at the helm of that
government, it risks pushing the Sunnis into the arms of ISIS, which are also Sunnis, and that could further divide the country along sectarian
SOWELL: The Shia government is relying very heavily on Shia militias, and so any US military aid needs to be tied to reducing the Shia militias
and pulling them back, and institutionalizing military force.
LABOTT: Michael, the problem is that while President Obama is starting small by sending, perhaps, more of these advisors, Haider Abadi
does not have a lot of time. If he doesn't have those 30 days to -- if he can't form a government within those 30 days, the Iraqis go back to square
one, and that allows Maliki to kind of bide his time, try to divide the Iraqi politicians and prevent a government form being seated.
Meanwhile, ISIS is continuing to make new gains, and so the question is, will the Obama administration step up its support as Abadi forms his
HOLMES: Yes, and in an anything-but-Maliki atmosphere politically, both probably in Washington, but also in much of Iraq, it all depends on
how he performs, the new guy, and how different he will be from al-Maliki when it comes to sectarianism.
I wanted to quickly as you before you go, one of the issues the Kurds up in the north of Iraq are having to deal with is a wave of steel, if you
like, heading towards them, being driven by ISIS members and provided indirectly by the US because they were taken from the fleeing Iraqi
soldiers. What is the appetite there to actually give the Kurds some decent firepower to fight against US armor?
LABOTT: Well, I think the operative word there is "decent." So, we understand that the CIA has been providing some ammunition to the Kurds to
help them in their battle against ISIS. But yesterday, we were hearing from Kurdish leaders that look, it's not enough, it's just a drop in the
bucket compared to what they really need.
They need those kind of heavy weapons, ammunitions. There are some wider discussions taking place within the Obama administration, the State
Department, the Pentagon, about what they could do, about working with other countries.
Right now, all US -- really, heavy military aid, is going through the central government in Baghdad, and the administration does say that the
cooperation between that central army in Baghdad and the Kurds has been really unprecedented in this battle against ISIS. So, they're really
hoping that everybody could work together and try and help beef up the Kurds in their current fight.
HOLMES: Yes, that cooperation wasn't always the case, as we know. Amazing what a common enemy will do. Elise, good to see you, as always.
Live from CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, details of the first European victim of the Ebola virus. Also --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN WILLIAMS AS JOHN KEATING, "DEAD POET SOCIETY": The Dead Poets were dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life. Spirits soared, women
swooned, and gods were created. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: His death sent shockwaves across Hollywood, indeed around the world. We will celebrate the live and work of Robin Williams.
HOLMES: A 75-year-old Spanish priest became one of the latest victims of Ebola after contracting the virus in Liberia. He's the first European,
you may remember, to die in this outbreak. He had been flown back to Spain for treatment last week, and had even started taking the experimental serum
ZMapp, but all to no avail.
The Ebola outbreak in West African has now claimed more than 1,000 lives. The World Health Organization, which of course is tracking the
virus, says there are 1800 cases. David McKenzie watching all of these developments in -- from Johannesburg. He's been covering this from West
Africa as well.
David, let's start with the approval, if you like, of using some of these experimental options when it comes to treating people, it's become
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, and they've approved it, obviously, after it was already used on two
American volunteers some weeks ago or some time ago, Michael. So, in some sense, it's approving something after it happened.
The ethical group which WHO, World Health Organization, convened discussed this matter, because it is a tricky ethical question. Because
there's limited supply of these drugs, and they haven't been approved by the FDA or other groups to be used on humans.
They said that it's necessary -- or if it's necessary to get these to people, and there's the supplies, given a whole set of circumstances, they
say yes, go ahead and send the drugs. Liberia has gotten supplies of the ZMapp blood serum to be given to, we believe, two health workers there.
But now that company has run out of that and has to manufacture more.
So the question will be now, who's going to get it, what kind of experimental drugs will they be given, and certainly it will just be a drop
in the bucket compared to the overall problem, which is hammering at least three West African countries very severely. Michael?
HOLMES: And of course, you were just up, as I said, in the region, spent a lot of time up there. David, what sort of efforts did you see in
terms of containment, both on a local street level basis, but also when it comes to things like borders?
MCKENZIE: It's a good point, and you've got both containment locally and internationally. On the local side, at least in Sierra Leone, where we
were, the army has blockaded the eastern part of the country. They've also gone in and quarantined individual families and villages.
That's a very important aspect of trying to contain Ebola, and one of the reasons it might have spread out of control like this. In Liberia and
in Guinea, they've also installed a state of emergency, and they're having special powers to the forces -- police forces to try and contain it.
From an international standpoint, there's definitely, at least in Sierra Leone, a much more concerted and thorough check of all people
leaving by the airport, to get their temperature checked. We did as well. And fill out a history so that people can trace you if you go forward and
get infected or carry the disease forward. So, those are very important aspects to controlling this outbreak, Michael.
HOLMES: Yes, indeed. David, appreciate your reporting as always, David McKenzie there in South Africa, recently back from West Africa.
Thanks so much.
All right, before we go to break, I want to show some video. You may have been watching us earlier when Nick Paton Walsh was about to come up
and speak to us from Baghdad and he pointed this out. You see that plume of smoke rising there. We just got some more details on what that was.
Apparently, according to police sources there in Baghdad, this was in the predominately Shia neighborhood of Karada, it was a car bomb. In fact,
there have been two car bombs in different parts of Baghdad in the last few hours. At least a dozen or so people killed, a couple of dozen wounded.
And from experience, I can tell you, those tolls likely to go up in the hours ahead.
A really tense time in Baghdad, of course, because of the political situation there, Nouri al-Maliki being shoved to the side, not in a willing
way, that is for sure, and a new prime minister designate being named by the Kurdish president.
That aside, we don't want to in any way pretend that what you're seeing there on your screen is in any way uncommon in Baghdad over the last
months and year or more, really.
The bombs have never really stopped in Baghdad, and car bombs in various parts, predominately Shia, normally, parts of the capital,
tragically uncommon, but you can see that one just behind where our Nick Paton Walsh has been reporting from. We'll keep an eye on those tolls and
bring you updates as we get them.
Also when we come back, a life taken much too soon. Hollywood mourning the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. We're going to
have a look at the amazing legacy he leaves behind.
HOLMES: Of course, many, many people very saddened to hear of the death of the actor and comedian Robin Williams. But let's celebrate,
instead, the incredible body of work he left behind. In our Parting Shots now, some highlights from a long and brilliant career.
WILLIAMS AS LAWYER, "CAN I DO IT 'TILL I NEED GLASSES?": Is it true, Mrs. Fisbee, that last summer you had sexual intercourse with a red-headed
midget during a thunderstorm?
WILLIAMS AS POPEYE, "POPEYE" (singing): Oh, I'm Popeye the sailor man.
PAW DAWBER AS MINDY, "MORK AND MINDY": Daddy, this is Mork. Mork, this is Mr. McConnell.
WILLIAMS AS MORK, "MORK AND MINDY": Nano nano.
WILLIAMS AS GARP, "THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP": My name's TS Garp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's TS stand for?
WILLIAMS AS GARP: Terribly Sexy.
MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO AS LUCIA LOMBARDO, "MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON": And you don't want this thing?
WILLIAMS AS VLADIMIR IVANOFF, "MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON": Yes, I am danger KGB.
WILLIAMS AS ADRIAN CRONAUER, "GOOD MORNING VIETNAM": Good morning, Vietnam!
ROBERT SEAN LEONARD AS NEIL PERRY, "DEAD POET SOCIETY": What's the Dead Poet Society?
WILLIAMS AS KEATING: The Dead Poets were dedicated to sucking the marrow out of life.
WILLIAMS AS JOEY O'BRIEN, "CADILLAC MAN": Well, to start off the day, I was going to lose my job. Now I may lose my life.
WILLIAMS AS DR. MALCOLM SAYER, "AWAKENINGS": What I believe, what I know, is that people are alive inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, "AWAKENINGS": How do you know that, Doctor?
WILLIAMS AS SAYER: I know it.
WILLIAMS AS PARRY, "THE FISHER KING": If I could just have that first kiss, and I won't -- I won't be distant. I'll come back in the morning,
and I'll call you, if you let me.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY, "HOOK": Peter! Catch!
WILLIAMS AS GENIE, "ALADDIN": Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!
WILLIAMS AS MRS. DOUBTFIRE, "MRS. DOUBTFIRE": Look at this! My first day as a woman, and I'm getting hot flashes.
WILLIAMS AS ALAN PARRISH, "JUMANJI": I've seen things you've only seen in your nightmares. Things you can't even imagine. Things you can't
WILLIAMS AS ARMAND GOLDMAN, "THE BIRDCAGE": You do Fossey, Fossey, Fossey! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twila,
Twila, Twila! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna! But you keep it all inside.
JENNIFER LOPEZ AS MISS MARQUEZ, "JACK POWELL": This is Jack Powell. Class?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY, "JACK POWELL": Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN, "JACK POWELL": Hi, Jack.
WILLIAMS AS JACK POWELL, "JACK POWELL": Hi.
WILLIAMS AS SEAN MAGUIRE, "GOOD WILL HUNTING": We get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You're not perfect, sport. And let
me save you the suspense. This girl you met? She isn't perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other.
WILLIAMS AS PATCH ADAMS, "PATCH ADAMS": Ha ha ha! Hey! Let's get ready to party!
WILLIAMS AS SEYMOUR PARRISH, "ONE HOUR PHOTO": You have one shot left.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, "ONE HOUR PHOTO": Oh, that's OK.
WILLIAMS AS PARRISH: Oh, it's a shame to waste it.
BOBBY CANNAVALE AS JESS, "THE NIGHT LISTENER": OK, where exactly did I tell you about this positive?
WILLIAMS AS GABRIEL NOONE, "THE NIGHT LISTENER": What the heck --
CANNAVALE AS JESS: Answer the question!
WILLIAMS AS NOONE: It was in the park on a bench in front of those guys playing drums.
WILLIAMS AS REVEREND FRANK, "LICENSE TO WED": I feel you're unprepared. If you stop the course before completion, I have the right to
call off the wedding.
WILLIAMS AS LANCE, "WORLD'S GREATEST DAD": Get dressed, put on something nice. If you don't act right at dinner, I'll stab you in the
WILLIAMS AS TEDDY ROOSEVELT, "NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN": Good to see you, lad!
BEN STILLER AS LARRY DALEY, " NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN": Yes, you too, Teddy.
WILLIAMS AS SIMON ROBERTS, "THE CRAZY ONES": You look fabulous. Don't lie to yourself, you're a knockout.
TEXT: Robin Williams, 1951-2014.
HOLMES: Remarkable talent. The team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you. What did Robin Williams mean to you? How will you remember
him? Have your say, facebook.com/CNNconnect. And tweet me about any of the day's stories that interest you, @HolmesCNN.
I'm Michael Holmes, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for your company today. Isha Sesay is next.