Return to Transcripts main page


Letting Iraqis, Syrians Move On To Germany; Serena Williams Goes for First Career Grand Slam; U.S. President Visits Arctic To Spotlight Climate Change. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired August 31, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:16] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Mounting pressure to act as more migrants arrive in Europe. Every day EU officials look to get a handle on

the crisis. We'll have reports from Hungary, from Germany and from France up next.

Also ahead, frontline state Italy is often a migrant's first step on what is a very long journey. we'll speak with the country's foreign

minister about Italy's response and what support it needs.

Plus, scenic snow caps, the U.S. President Obama heads north. He's in Alaska's stunning landscape to push for more action to combat climate


ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: It is on a pretty misty, humid night at just after 7:00 in the evening. Welcome to the UAE.

Just as one hurdle is crossed, another arises for exhausted migrants desperate to make their way across Europe. Hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian

refugees were allowed to board a train in Hungary today. Now it left for Munich and Germany, but were stopped by Austrian authorities.

Now the Hungarian government denies that it is allowing refugees without the proper documentation to travel freely onwards. It tells CNN

that would violate European Union regulations.

Hungary is blaming Germany for much of the confusion for what it calls its, quote, more flexible attitude towards illegal migrants, or immigrants.

Well, Europe's lack of unity on the crisis underscored by harsh words from the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius criticized the fence that

Hungary is building to keep migrants out saying it doesn't respect the values of Europe and isn't even fit for animals.

Well, just a short time ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the crisis is testing the core ideals of universal civil rights at the very

heart of Europe itself.

We are covering this story across the continent for you this evening. Atika Shubert is in Berlin. The destination many refugees are hoping to

reach. And Jim Bittermann is in Paris, which is also contending with a migrant crisis in its own backyard.

First, I want to bring you more on what has been today's hectic, chaotic situation at a train station in Hungary.

Arwa Damon on the line from Budapest for you.

And you've been at the main train station all day, Arwa. Describe the scenes if you will.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it's been quite a confusing scenario, because this morning we saw the officials at

the ticketing office at the train station tell refugees who were from Iraq and Syria that if they could prove their nationality they would be allowed

to board the train and that they would reach their final destination, whether it was (inaudible) or Munich or elsewhere in Germany.

We saw long lines, people clamoring to try to get a ticket, waiting patiently for hours to try to do just that, because they don't want to stay

here anymore. They can't take the conditions, the unbearable conditions they were having to live in at the Budapest train station for a moment


And a number of trains did leave. People packing onto them covering every single inch of space possible, including the ground, just to get out.

And then we have been hearing various different reports. We're still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

But some trains may have actually made it to Munich, but others being turned back. Exactly why? Unclear at this stage. There are some reports

in Austrian media saying that it might have been due to the overcrowding of the trains, causing a potential security hazard.

So, it's still a very uncertain situation for these people that have been waiting so long just to get on these trains, were so relieved to

finally be told today by the ticketing office at the Budapest train station that yes they would be able to board, they would be able to move on. And

then the possibility that one of these trains may have actually been turned back.


ANDERSON: So, I just want to clarify these details then. What you're saying is that there are people being allowed, or they certainly were this

morning, being allowed to purchase tickets to travel from Hungary to Germany. You don't know whether that is with or without the necessary

documentation, but if they were to prove that they were from Iraq or Syria, then they could board. What about those from elsewhere?

DAMON: Well, that's the problem, there's absolutely no respite for those who are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh at this stage.

But what we saw, those who are from Iraq and Syria being told, was if they had either a passport or an ID card with or without Hungarian

documentation, then that is a documentation that you get when you go in and get fingerprinted with the Hungarian authorities. They would be allowed to

board these trains.

Yesterday, they were being told, no, you can only board the trains if you actually had a visa for onward travel, which of course none of them do.

Today, they were being told you can board the train without a visa, all you need is some sort of proof that you are, in fact, from Iraq and

Syria and I asked one of the officers there why and he said because they're a war zone.

Now, the Hungarian government is not commenting on whether or not this was an official position. They say they are still abiding by EU laws that

require onward travel to have the visa inside a passport, but these refugees were still being allowed to board these trains. And they were

being reassured. And we heard this on a number of occasions, that they would be allowed to reach Austria and Germany.

ANDERSON: All right.

Well, let's get to Germany. Arwa, for the time being, thank you. Atika is standing by in Berlin. A very confusing situation as we go to


Hungary accusing Germany of confusing things across the board. What is the situation there? I mean, those who boarded this train, which may or

may not have been stopping in Austria, but were thought to be bound for Germany. I mean, if that is the case will the Germans let them in?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems so far that is the case. They are being allowed through. We called the police is

Rosenheim (ph) which is the German stop on the border. They said there was a bit of a backlog because there were several hundred refugees on board a

train, but that they were eventually allowed through to Munich.

The problem seems to be in part that overcrowding that Arwa mentioned. And that we have to remember, especially at these border posts, it's really

a small town that's accepting these trains coming though. And they're completely overwhelmed when they see these trains jam packed with

refugees, each of which needs to have their identification checked and see whether or not they've registered.

So, there's a lot of confusion as to how this moves forward.

But, what German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear is that Germany is willing to accept more refugees from Syria and Iraq and that the

country needs to find -- be flexible in its logistics in accepting them. Take a listen to what she said at a press conference earlier today.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): That will be a central challenge not only for days or months, but for a long period of

time. And that's why it's important that while we are saying that German efficiency is great, what we need now is German flexibility.


SHUBERT: Now theoretically, any refugee that comes into Germany must still go to the central refugee registration center, which is here in

Berlin. But there has been talk of creating mobile refugee registration centers that could deploy along the borders and make this a much more

efficient process for refugees coming in.

This is all still very fluid, but what Germany has made clear is that it is willing to accept more of these refugees. And it wants other

countries in the EU to do the same. Not only that, but for countries like Serbia and Macedonia, who are not part of the EU, but are still in that

application process, that they should be willing to help out with the situation as well.

She has described this as the biggest crisis Europe has really faced, even bigger possibly than the debt crisis.

ANDERSON: All right, that's the story in Germany for you.

Let's get to France. Jim standing by.

And Jim, France has just received a new pledge of support from the European Union to deal with its own migrant crisis.

What can you tell us of the details at this point?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that migrant crisis is up in Calais where the prime minister and the interior minister

and several European commissioners have been all day today visiting the various camps up there, people who are trying to get across to Great

Britain. And in fact the promise from the European Union apparently is that there will be 5 million Euros given extra to establish a permanent

camp up there for about fifteen hundred refugees. A permanent camp suggesting that this is a long-term problem as some of the reports you've

had earlier suggest that it's something that's going to go on for awhile and as a consequence they're making preparations to have a permanent camp

up there.

Now, a couple of things that have come out of the visit by Prime Minister Valls. And that is that France is drawing a very strong

distinction between the economic refugees and the asylum seekers. The asylum seekers being those people who are fleeing war or oppression,

dictatorships, persecution, that sort of thing.

The economic refugees might be those people you mentioned from Pakistan and other places who, they say -- Prime Minister Valls said today

-- will be taken back to their countries of origin, Becky.

[11:10:18] ANDERSON: We're going to get a lot more on this deepening crisis in Europe that is really spanning the continent right now.

We're going to look at another gateway for Europe for thousands: the Mediterranean. Italy's foreign minister is on this show to talk about the

crisis he says could rip the soul out of the Union. And I'll quiz the UN official who says Europe is well equipped to handle the numbers of new

arrivals. In fact, he says, the continent needs them.

The UN's expert on migrant rights is on the show in about 20 minutes time.

All right, let's take a very short break for you. Back after this.


ANDERSON: Well, this unity across Europe causing uncertainty. These are scenes outside Budapest's main train station as Hungary becomes the

latest focal point in Europe's migrant crisis, a story that we discussed at the top of this hour, and one that I want to return to now, the worst

migration crisis the European Union has ever faced. And it's causing growing political problems within the block.

Now, as we mentioned earlier, France has blasted Hungary for building this wall, which the French say shouldn't even be used to keep animals out.

It's about 173 kilometers long, but despite tougher security efforts, the number of people trying to come through, as you can see here, shows no

sign of slowing.

Well, the images are shocking. It looks like a human tide. But let's put the numbers in perspective for you. The population of the European

Union is 503 million people. Together, the 28 members states have the world's third largest population after China and India. The number of

asylum seekers and economic migrants who have arrived this year so far is estimated to be just over 332,000 people. The number of Syrians and other

migrants that member states have agreed to resettle, starting in October, is just over 32,000.

Well, at the moment it's the countries in the south of Europe bearing the brunt of this crisis. Hungary is mentioned, but Italy and Greece as

well, two other nations that we are well aware are at the forefront.

And joining me now is the Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni in Rome. And before we talk about the politics of this, any solutions that

you think might be sensible. What is the latest from Italy's southern shores? We've been hearing about those who are making the trip from Greece

up through Europe towards Germany and France. What about those who are hitting the shores of Italy?

[11:15:14] PAOLO GENTILONI, ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: That we have -- we still have a great number of migrants coming towards Italy through


Last year, as you know, two-thirds of migrants reaching Europe arrived in Europe through Libya in the Italian shores. And the phenomenon has the

same level of numbers as last year. So, I think we'll have at the end of this year maybe 200,000 persons coming, arriving in Italy through Libya.

We are saving a lot of human lives. And we are very, very much working on search and rescue in the Mediterranean. But obviously we are

not able to save everyone and tragedies are already...

ANDERSON: And people are dying, sir, aren't they?


ANDERSON: People are dying. There are people smugglers making hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars out of these people

Let's talk about what might be done. According to European law, migrants should claim asylum in the first country they land in. If we look

at then Schengen area countries like yours are often the first place that migrants arrive.

But many want to go on to places like Germany, Denmark or the UK, as we are well aware.

Do you think that it's time to scrap what's known as the Dublin regulation and rethink Europe's approach to asylum?

GENTILONI: I think so. The so-called Dublin regulation was made 25 years ago. And the situation was quite different.

Now, we have a huge phenomenon of migration and we will have this phenomenon for the next 10 to 20 years.

So, the principle should be to share the burden on asylum, not only from the single countries where the migrants are arriving in the first

place, but all over Europe.

Obviously, we have to share this European asylum with rules because without rules everybody will chose to go in Sweden or in Germany. So, we

need rules, but we need to accept the principle that the migrants are not entering Italy or Greece, they are entering Europe.

ANDERSON: What about the idea of reception centers set up in Italy and Greece to register arrivals from what might be at seen or established

as a list of safe countries of origin. Would you support that?

GENTILONI: I think that if we decide a European asylum right, then we have to have European rules for many other issues. One is to decide

together which are the safe countries and which are the new unsafe countries.

But the principles should be to have a European asylum rights.

ANDERSON: Which would you suggest would be safe countries out of interest. Some have said Iraq and Syria for example. Would you agree?

GENTILONI: Absolutely not. I think that I appreciate the decision that was taken by Germany to accept in some way automatically asylum for

Syrians. We can't define Syria as a safe country in any case.

ANDERSON: What about the idea of -- we know that the difficulty of finding a common European policy was manifest in June when leaders rejected

proposals to accept binding quotas to share this load.

Just earlier, talking about the burden, sharing the load, are quotas the answer?

GENTILONI: Well, we can name them differently, but what is sure is that it's not geography or history that can decide on the sort of

migration. And so you can't leave alone Greece, Italy or Hungary or Austria or whatever country.

So, we need burden sharing. We don't want to call them quotas, we'll find another name.

But the substance is that we need to share this burden.

[11:20:01] ANDERSON: I'm fascinated to hear that you don't think, for example, that Syria is a safe country of origin.

Let's talk about Libya as a key transit point for many people making their way to Europe. The UN says more than 300,000 already this year.

It's also the deadliest route.

Now you've repeatedly called for a political solution in that country, otherwise you think, and I quote, you've said we are going to have another

Somalia a few steps from our coast and we'll have to react differently. It would no longer be a question of stabilizing the country, but of containing

terrorism. Time is running out for a solution.

What do you mean by contain terrorism? Is Italy willing to strike ISIS in Libya if there is no peace deal, too?

GENTILONI: I think it will not be an Italian problem only. I think that if we will have a failure in the discussion to reach an agreement

between Libyans, the anti-Daesh coalition should discuss if have a commitment not only in Syria and Iraq, but also for Libya.

But the commitment now is to reach an agreement. This is possible, not easy, but to stabilize Libya, we need an agreement between the Libyan


ANDERSON: Well, as Bernadino Leon (ph) rightly pointed out, the UN mandate is running out. I think it's got just less than two weeks. Do you

see a political solution there any time soon, because a lot of people in this region where we are say they simply can't see that on the horizon.

GENTILONI: Well, Bernadino Leon (ph) is working since 11 months, but I have to say that in any other international crises we have unfortunately

negotiations going on from a longer period also.

So, we have to be confident, and especially we have to support United Nations action.

At the end of this week in Geneva, the different Libyan parties will meet again. And I think that with pressure of all the international

community they can enlarge the agreement that they have already reached between I would say 70 percent of the Libyan parties

ANDERSON: Yeah, but that 70 percent isn't enough, sir, is it? I know a lot of people say these parties simply do not represent Libyans


If Tripoli doesn't turn up to these negotiations there will be no deal.

I put it to you again, are you very pessimistic about what is going on in Libya today?

GENTILONI: I think we have to be optimistic. Not optimistic, but supportive.

What is changed in the last week is that neighbor or proxy countries are a little bit more aware of the risk of a continuous fight. Daesh is

beginning to be a little bit more present, especially in Sirte. And so there is a greater pressure from neighbors and from international community

to reach an agreement.

This is the only way for Libyans, and we have to support this effort confident that it is possible that there is an agreement.

ANDERSON: All right.

And with that, we're going to leave it there. The Italian foreign minister joining you on CNN Tonight on what is, and will continue to be, a

very wide ranging discussion. Thank you, sir.

Italy just one state affected by this truly international story. Head to to stay up to date with the latest analysis and special

reporting, including the key facts that you need to know about Europe's migrant crisis.

And we've got a lot more on this story throughout the hour. I'm going to speak to a UN migration expert who says Europe needs its new arrivals as

much as they need shelter and jobs in Europe.

First up, though, going underground. We're going to take a look at how Londoners are skirting building restrictions by digging downwards.

That in one square meter and that is up next.



[11:25:35] JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: When you can't build up, the only way is down. That's been the latest trend in the UK

capital as residents try to overcome building restrictions by going underground.

Fillet Stogenovsky (ph) has been developing basements in London's up market areas for nearly a decade.

This 220 square meter house is undergoing a massive refurbishment, which will add 110 square meters of basement space. The extra space means

extra cash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cost of digging and concreting a shell like we have here would be about 4,000 pounds a square meter. That still makes

sense, because the selling price of these is around 10,000 pounds a square meter.

DEFTERIOS: After plowing roughly 1.9 million dollars into this house, he expects a strong resale value of $7 million. As with most property

projects, location is key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you've got the wrong location, then you can spend money which you will not back on digging a basement.

DEFTERIOS: In Kensington and Chelsea, one of the city's golden post codes, there were 393 basement applications in 2014, more than double the

number made in 2008.

This 400 square meter house in the trendy Nottinghill area is on the market for over 10 million dollars after a full refurbishment and basement


ROB ATKINS, REAL ESTATE AGENT: They built a courtyard here to bring light down to this level. They've got a (inaudible) below the muse (ph).

They've also got the gym downstairs below the original basement of the house, which leads through to a spa room, a plant room and a (inaudible).

DEFTERIOS: Real estate agent Rob Atkins says the increase in basement works was also a byproduct of the economic downturn.

ATKINS: Post recession is really where it came, because everyone was staying put. And actually the best way to maximum their floor area rather

than moving -- the cost of moving, everyone was looking at increasing their floor area in a home they actually like.

DEFTERIOS: Bug diffing down can have major pitfalls. Concerns over structural stability, excessive noise, and a lot of dust are just some of

the complaints Ronda Hanna (ph) of the Belgravia resident's association has heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have got builders who aren't equipped, a lot of legislation wasn't in place, and as a result a lot of problems happened

along the way.

DEFTERIOS: Some Burroughs of London have recently restricted basement extensions to just one floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've always tried to do single story basements anyway. We found that by digging beyond one story, you're actually losing

the balance, losing the proportions of the house.

DEFTERIOS: Whether up or down, novel or nuisance, finding ways to add square meters to London properties will always be good business.

John Defterios, CNN.



[11:30:57] ANDERSON: You're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. The top stories for you this hour.

A very confusing situation on a train station in Budapest in Hungary today. Hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees were allowed to board trains

from Austria -- for Austria, sorry, and Germany, but at least one of those trains was stopped en route. Hungary's government tells CNN it is still

enforcing EU regulations which do not permit free travel without proper documentation

Ukrainian soldier has died following clashes with protesters outside the parliament. The interior minister said on his Twitter page that more

than 100 soldiers were injured. Protests are over self-rule for separatist regions. Interior minister says things turned violent when supporters of

the far right party threw explosives.

Syria's antiquities chief says his team is trying to figure out just how much damage ISIS may have caused to one of the country's most important

heritage sites. The militants have reportedly destroyed parts of the 2,000 year old Temple of Bel in the ancient city of Palmyra. The temple is

considered one of the finest and most significant in the region.

And French investigators say they still don't have the records to confirm whether a section of plane wreckage found near Madagascar belongs

to missing flight MH370. And the piece known as a flaperon was found on Reunion Island. A French source tells CNN the parts manufacturer says it

has insufficient records to make a positive ID.

But Malaysian officials have said with certainty that the part belongs to the missing plane.

Thailand is looking for two more people in connection with that deadly bombing attack at a Bangkok shrine. Police say that the latest suspects

are a Thai woman and a so far unidentified man.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has been following this story for us from Hong Kong and filed this report.


LU STOUT: For the very first time, Thai police has named a suspect who they believe was involved in the deadly bomb attack at a popular

Bangkok shrine.

Now they have identified this woman as 26-year-old Wanna Suwansat (ph). They say that she is originally from a province in southern


Now Wanna (ph) is believe to have lived with this man. Now police have not revealed his name, only saying that he is a foreigner. They did

not say what country he is from.

Arrest warrants have been issued for these two new suspects. Now Wanna's (ph) mother has told police that he daughter left Thailand two

months ago and is currently in Turkey with her husband.

Now the blast at the Erawan shrine on August 17 killed 20 people and wounded more than 120. In addition to that attack, police say the suspects

are believed to also be connected to an explosion at a pier in Bangkok the following day.

Now two weeks since that attack, only one suspect is in police custody. A foreigner, arrested on Saturday, after police say that they

found bomb making material in his room.

The man denies any involvement in the blast at the shrine and the pier, but police believe he is part of a network behind the explosions.

The chief suspect, however, remains at-large. This man, caught on closed circuit video at the Erawan shrine, moments before the blast.

Now, police have not revealed much information about the prime suspect, only saying that he is also a foreigner. Their investigation and

manhunt continues for the people at least 10 police say, who carried out the Thai capital's deadliest attack in recent years.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: Well, take you back now to our top story today and one that is unlikely to leave the headlines any time soon, the mass influx of people

into Europe who want safety, shelter and jobs continues.

And so does Europe's fragmented reaction still revolving around individual states and diplomatic sniping instead of a united front. Today

again we heard Germany call for joint action with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying bluntly EU asylum law no longer works. Words echoed by the Italian

foreign minister on this show just 10 minutes ago.

Well, for more on what Europe could be doing, should be doing, perhaps let's bring in a man who has been very outspoken on what the world is doing

wrong when it comes to the various global migration crises, Francois Crepeau who is UN special rapporteur on migrant's rights joins me from

Montreal tonight.

Sir, let's talk about Europe's response to this migrant crisis. You say it's not working, so what is the answer, sir?


I think European politicians will have to realize that there is no way that they're going to stop this migration. Equating territorial

sovereignty with the possibility of stopping migration simply have never worked, ever, except maybe North Korea and not even totally there.

Territorial sovereignty is about controlling the border, not stopping migration. Controlling the border means knowing who gets in and who

leaves. And for that, it's important that the people go to the border guard, not to the smugglers.

If European countries, and Europe as a whole, offered the mobility services that the smugglers are offering for people who need them, people

would go to the border guard.

That would mean, for example, a resettlement policy for the Syrians and the Eritreans exactly like what we did for the Indo-Chinese 40 years


For example, if we announced tomorrow that the global (inaudible), including Canada, U.S., Australia, et cetera, offered 2 million -- we'll

resettle 2 million refugees in the next five years, that's 400,000 a year, and that would mean 50,000 -- ultimately 50,000 for Germany, not 800,000 as

is the case now.

And this would be controlled. People would be selected in the countries of transit and they would be brought in with the right papers by

plane to the countries of reestablishment, or resettlement.

This would be organized. It would not be chaos as we have now.

ANDERSON: Right. OK. You've got 25 countries, none of whom can come up with a joined up solution at this point.

We've just spoken to the Italian foreign minister and asked him whether he thought, for example, Syria should be on a list of safe

countries of origin. He said absolutely not.


ANDERSON: Nor does he think Iraq should be.

CREPEAU: Yeah, exactly.


I think the chaos that we're witnessing now is a wakeup call for everyone. It's not going to stop, as you said just before the interview.

It's not going to stop any time soon. It's been going on for years.

Calais, if we remember, the Songat (ph) camp in Calais was open in 1999. This is 16 years ago, and nothing is better now.

So, the prohibition mechanisms that have been established inside the EU have absolutely failed, and Europe needs to think again at what to do.

I think taking over the mobility from the smugglers is the only option if we want to avoid the present chaos.

ANDERSON: There's clearly a lot of talk about the lack of political will. There's also a very real political reality European governments are

taking into account, of course. Far right parties and anti-immigrant movements on the rise influencing the debate. From France's resurgent

National Front Party, for example, to Germany's anti-Islam Pegita (ph) movement and the anti-immigrant UK Independence Party in Britain, not to

mention recent election successes by similar parties in, you know, traditionally socially minded Scandinavia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel again today criticized anti-immigrant sentiment and called on Europe to deal with this crisis together instead of

its individual states. Are they getting it right, is Germany getting it right when it comes to this crisis?

CREPEAU: Well, I think Germany and Sweden are you know giving a great example to the rest of Europe, but it's very difficult for the rest of

Europe to follow.

We have to understand that this illustrates one of the limits of our electoral democracies. It's a structural limit. If you're not

represented, your interests and your human rights are now protected. And that's what's happening here. We have policies about refugees and migrants

who are devised by citizens without consulting in any way refugees and migrants who would be able to dispel lots of myths and stereotypes about


The fact that migrants, you know, are lazy, will not work, will siphon off all the social budgets, et cetera, all these stupid things that are

said by far right parties or, you know, nationalist populist movements, are not being dispelled because there's no electoral gain to be made by

protecting migrants by saying anything good about migrants.

So, we have a structural problem on how to explain to the population that welcoming this immigration and organizing it would be a much, much

better solution to the present chaos and would not drain social budgets, would not change our cultures, would not -- it would provide a boom for our

societies in terms of expertise, in terms of links with the Middle East, in terms of our influence collectively in the Middle East, because we would

have relieved those transit countries from heavy, heavy load that they are shouldering at present. And we would take -- we would send out the great

message of humanity like we did 40 years ago for the Indo-Chinese.

I mean, the Indo-Chinese crisis proved at the time that USSR was wrong and that the west was right in terms of human rights and in terms of

protecting individuals. We can do the same here, confronting IS and other...

[11:40:44] ANDERSON: If there were the political will.

CREPEAU: ...Islamist movements.

ANDERSON: All right. And we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed. As I say, if there were the political will there may

be some other solutions in play at present. But it seems certainly there may be from some countries but not from all of those involved.

Thank you.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, tournament play has just started in the U.S. Open. And though

she hasn't taken to the court yet, Serena Williams is in the spotlight. The quest she's about to begin just hours from now.

Plus, could Alaska look more like this in the future? President Obama is warning that if something isn't done it could do. More on that after



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

It's been called the last chance to avoid climate change catastrophe, the crucial COP21 conference in Paris in less than 100 days. And as we get

closer to the meeting that we'll look to measures to defeat climate change.

CNN will be looking ahead as part of our 2 Degrees project. Why 2 degrees? Well, scientists say that 2 degrees Celsius is the tipping point

for global climate change. If global average temperatures rise above that it could spiral into disaster. Think rising sea levels in some places

alongside super droughts elsewhere.

But if we can keep the temperature rise below that point, scientists believe we may be able to avoid the very worst effects of climate change.

Well, as part of the build up to COP21, U.S. President Barack Obama heading to the U.S. state of Alaska later. He's been arguing that the

danger of climate change is especially acute there.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are projected to rise between 6 and 12 degrees by the

end of the century, changing all sorts of industries forever. This is all real. This is happening to our fellow Americans right now.


ANDERSON: Wildfires like this are among what Mr. Obama says is impacting people there as well rapidly melting glaciers. He's also going

to formally rename North America's tallest peak from Mt. McKinley to Denali, then name which has long been used by the region's native


Well, let's get more on climate problem facing us now. For that, I want to bring in CNN's White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski in

Washington for us and our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance joining us from Moscow.

Michelle, let's start with you. This trip already hitting some controversy with the renaming of Mt. McKinley. What's -- what is it that

you think the president is hoping to achieve?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, with that. I mean, on the trip itself, he obviously wants to highlight climate change, but by

renaming America's tallest peak he wanted to please the local population.

I mean, it's kind of interesting that it's a controversy, because you have Republicans in the state from where President William McKinely was

from really criticizing this and call it a political stunt, saying it's one more constitutional overreach, that the president is doing this without

consulting congress since the original naming was done through congress.

Well, the White House is insisting that first of all, the Department of Interior has the right to change the name. And also, you have to

realize that the state of Alaska itself has been requesting this name change for decades now.

So, the White House wanted to sort of offer that, make that change finally, make it happen. They feel like they're clearly within their right

to do so. But the point of the trip really is we're going to see the president on a shrinking glacier. He's going to visit communities, he's

going to talk to young people. He's going to go to towns where they've had a lot of erosion of the coastline.

So, he kind of -- while he's there -- and granted he's the only sitting president to visit a town that is north of the Arctic circle -- he

kind of wants to cover all the bases that he can. So he wants to announce some initiatives that will benefit people, that will protect wildlife, but

you could say that the crux of this is really the climate, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right, looking for climate change is one of his -- I guess these days -- long list of legacies that he may be hoping for.

All right, global warming is also presenting opportunities to some. As the Arctic's ice melts it's making it easier to get its rich natural

resources. And Russia wants a bigger slice of that.

CNN's Matthew Chance is with us now live from Moscow with more.

And as the president of the U.S. uses Alaska to add urgency to its climate chance warnings, some opportunities presenting themselves.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right. And you get the impression, Becky, that the Russians don't have the same

sense of urgency that President Obama is voicing today about climate change in the Arctic, not least because I think they see a whole host of

opportunities opening up as the polar ice cap melts and there's waterways open up a potential sea routes connecting Europe with Asia across the

Arctic Seas, that would be very lucrative to Russia. And of course the exploitation of natural resources, it's believed that up to a quarter of

the world's undiscovered oil and gas lies in those seas, in the Arctic and so this is an area which Russia is eyeing very carefully. It wants to

exploit them. And it's doing everything it can in its power to make sure that it gets at the very least its fair share. And that, you could argue

more than its fair share, of the Arctic territory.

It's recently undertaken very dramatic, the biggest ever, military maneuvers in the Arctic that it's ever held, some 6,000 troops landing on

the pack ice, a fleet of military vessels. Of course they have submarines that are active up there as well. They've reactivated a Soviet era

military base in the Arctic circle.

And so the Russians want to make sure they're very well placed to take advantage of any opportunities that arise through climate change.

[11:50:17] ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow for you.

Well, do you think the world needs to take drastic action to stop a climate meltdown? Are you willing to change your lifestyle, for example,

to help? Let us know your thoughts. Do visit the Facebook page, And you can tweet me, as ever, @BeckyCNN. That's


Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. Coming up, Serena Williams will soon be chasing history at the U.S. Open. We'll tell you

what to expect now that round one is underway.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back. It's 52 minutes past 8:00.

Just before we round out this hour, round one in full swing right now at the U.S. Open tournament.

Play began a little less than an hour ago. Three-time defending champion Serena Williams won't take to the court for her first match for

several hours, but already she's dominating the discussion around the tournament with her attempt to complete the first calendar year Grand Slam

in women's tennis since 1988.

I can't even think what was going on back then.

CNN World Sport's Patrick Snell joins me now.

You can probably tell me who was at number one at this point in 1988. But I won't ask you that question.

They've sold out tickets final ahead of those for the men. So for the first time ever I think Patrick there are certainly many people who think

this year's women's final could be an epic. Do you?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT : Well, certainly put potential. We won't have Maria Sharapova, though, of course, the Russian

is out of the tournament ruling herself out through injury. But of course so much of the spotlight, Becky, as you rightly say is on Serena Williams,

quite incredible as well when you consider she's about to turn 34 years of age. She will open up a little later on around 7:00 p.m. here in the U.S.

local time in New York City. She'll be playing the Russian Vitalia Viachenko (ph), the world number 86. So I'm sure many people will be

expecting her to advance quite comfortably into round two.

But as you rightly mentioned, it was Steffi Graf back in 1988 the last person to win all four slams in the same calendar year. No pressure, then.

She's also trying to make it 22 career grand slams as well. That would equal the legendary German player, but she really has done it the

hard way in 2015. She's overcome illness as well even on route to the three slam titles so far. As she recently told our own Rachel Nichols.


SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS WORLD NUMBER ONE: I learned a lot about myself. I learned to have tough mind and I've faced a lot of adversity.

And you know in Australia I was like puking before I walked out on the court. In the French, I just -- it was only by the grace of god and a

miracle that I won that.

Wimbledon, I was a little bit better, I just close to losing in the third round.

But, you know, I think each grand slam had such an amazing story. And you know, I just look forward to being at the Open. I'm excited to be

there. And no one wants to be there more than me.


SNELL: Serena Williams, the person to beat yet again, as I say, Becky, trying to make it career grand slam 22. Back to you.

[11:54:58]: ANDERSON: It's going to be fantastic.

All right, let's talk football, or soccer, wherever you are watching in the world. Transfer windows are closing. Who should we be watching?

What should we be listening out for?

[11:55:14] SNELL: There's an awful lot going on right now. And the tension mounts, especially if you are watching us right now in Germany

where the transfer window there is about to shut in around 4:43 seconds (inaudible) really exciting, some really key done deals done there already.

I just get to the biggest ones so far that's caught our eye, Manchester United of course lost their first Premier League game of the

season on Sunday at Swansea. Louis Van Gaal said no panic buys. Then hat happens? Splashing the cash to a reported $55 million on a French teenager

by the name of Antony Marciali (ph). He plays for Monaco. I think United are buy great potential here, but is far from the proven finished product.

And you'd expect that of course at just 19 years of age.

He's eight goals in 31 league games in the (inaudible) for Monaco. United buy potential, but they're also showing players the door as well.

And let me get back to what's been happening in Germany as well. Notably Javier Hernandez, the 27-year-old Mexican international, he is on his way -

- Van Gaal has said in no uncertain terms, you can leave the club a couple of days back. That has happened. A reported three year contract with

Bayer Leverkusen. So Chicharito as he's known is headed there.

And Adnan Yanisai (ph), the 20-year-old Belgian on his to Borussia Dortmund. He's just tweeted out a picture of him holding up his new

jersey. That we understand is a one season loan deal.

The one we're all watching though, David De Gea, the Manchester Goalkeeper for now, desperate seemingly to get to this beloved Real Madrid.

We understand when that could be going through. We're watching it very closely indeed Becky.

ANDERSON: We'll keep an eye on that. All right.

Stick with CNN for all the latest on the window. Patrick, thank you.

Well, Russia's president Vladimir Putin is known for flexing his muscles on the world stage, but in tonight's Parting Shots, he really is.

The Kremlin has released this footage of Mr. Putin at the gym with his second in command, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. It seems that after

working out they grilled some meat and then sat down to have a tea party together.

It's not the first time Putin has released some unusual images of himself, not least with a tea pot.

You're remember these shots of him rising and feeding a horse while shirtless. That's about all you're going to get us.

I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World.