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Bashar Al-Assad Visits Kremlin; Biden Will Not Run; Netanyahu Stirs Up Controversy With Comments About Holocaust. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired October 21, 2015 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight a surprise visit to Moscow.


GORANI: Bashar al Assad leaves Syria and pops up at the Kremlin with the Russian President, Putin. We'll have a full report.

Plus it is the announcement Washington and the country was waiting for Joe Biden says he will not be running for President.

Also the Israeli Prime Minister stirs up a storm of controversy with comments about who he believes is ultimately responsible for the holocaust.

And we take you on an incredible journey inside an arctic mountain home to the world's emergency store of seeds.


GORANI: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. We're going to want to go to that seed store in Norway by the way. A lot coming up this

hour, thanks for being with us this is "The World Right Now."


GORANI: We begin tonight with the Syrian President in a surprise visit to Moscow. It was his first time outside of Syria we believe since 2011.

Well he expressed gratitude; he even flaunted confidence in Moscow. Bashar al Assad was in Moscow as we mentioned the first trip that we know of since

the civil war broke out.

Our Matthew Chance has the details of his meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The unannounced overnight visit was kept secret until it was all over. Only in the morning

did the Kremlin reveal what's believed to be President Assad's first trip abroad since the Syrian crisis began. With Russian war planes pounding his

enemies this was a confident and grateful Kremlin ally. [Speaking foreign language]

BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SYRIAN PRESIDENT: (As translated) I thank you for standing up for Syria's unity and its independence. And more important than that,

this is being done within the framework of international law. And I have to say that the start of these political steps that you have been undertaking

since the beginning of the crisis, they have prevented the situation from developing into a more tragic scenario.

CHANCE: For three weeks now Russia has bombarded ISIS and other rebel groups opposed to Assad effective air support for a Syrian army led counter

offensive to recapture lost territory. Reports from the ground suggest significant advances have been made. But the face to face meeting in the

Kremlin also sends a message about Vladimir Putin's diplomatic intentions.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: (As translated) Syria is a friendly country to us and we're prepared to do whatever we can not only in the

course of military efforts to fight terrorism but also in the course of the political process with participation with all political forces and ethnic

and religious groups. In the end the final say should be left to the Syrian people.

CHANCE: Since the Syrian crisis began Russia has pushed for a political solution which includes Assad in any interim Syrian government, something

that's been rejected by opposition groups and western governments. But the Kremlin appears to be digging in its heels. Assad it seems remains Russia's


Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


GORANI: Well, you can see he's confident enough to leave the country. Bashar al Assad on this surprise visit. From the Kremlin to the battlefield

now, Russia's Ministry of Defense says ISIS and al-Nusra are talking about joining forces against the Syrian army as Russian airstrikes reportedly hit

more than 80 targets inside Syria in the last 24 hours.

Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins me now from Gaziantap in southern Turkey to discuss all the developments.

So the surprise Assad meeting which I think came as a surprise to many people was kept secret but it comes against the back drop of really

intensified Russian military activity inside Syria, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. This is very much the Kremlin I think taking ownership of what they're doing

here in Syria and perhaps even the future of a Syrian regime, you might argue.


WALSH: This is his first trip outside the country only possible because since - (inaudible) only possible because the Russians must have smuggled

him out, a complexity. But it shows the intimacy between the two sides, decades long relationship between Russia and Syria and potentially how

Russian military is changing things on the ground here.

The southern countryside around Aleppo being bombarded very heavily here Hala. That suggestion by the Russians that potentially Nusra and ISIS are

somehow getting together. No evidence of that on the ground but it's part of the narrative, they want to see all its forces opposed to the regime

here as one group of terrorists to simplify the Assad regime as being the alternative. That's their message, maybe not sticking though, Hala.


GORANI: And we'll get to civilians fleeing once again for their lives in Aleppo. But very briefly, do we know if Bashar al Assad is back in Syria


WALSH: We've not seen evidence to that effect. That has been a suggestion.


WALSH: It was only announced because he was already back in Damascus. Because of the massive security threat that could have been caused.

But, he comes back to a country where there is intense violence, south of Aleppo. We saw a video of some of the fighting today.


WALSH: This is what it's like on the receiving end of the Russian backed defensive south of Aleppo. The moderate rebel fighter lying flat sends us

these pictures saying it was the worst assault he had ever seen aided by drones that they also target.

The Russian strikes seemed to hit civilians most not us rebels says this fighter before listing the several villages they've lost in recent days.

These eyes in the sky seem to be speeding the regime advance. The fabled tow missile, and anti-tank rockets supplied by rebels often by the U.S.

hitting regime armor here. It helped rebels take ground fast recently but many more are needed for them to hold it now.

We're here to block the Russian and Iranian occupation vows this commander with the army of Islam. But no doubt this rallying call may be drowned out

by the noise of Russian jets. And the noise of rumbling armor.

Syrian state T.V. showing while their President briefly visited Moscow how they were advancing. Ramming it home where in the south is now theirs.

These imaging helping suggest why 50,000 civilians may now be on the move. One rebel caught this frontline volley on a body camera. Such high tech

intimacy in a fight that could seem so medieval, where a new power is changing the balance but not lessening the old threat to those helpless

caught in the middle.


WALSH: Hala, I think this must be the biggest peak of activity both on the battlefield and diplomatically frankly, we have seen in the Syrian conflict

for about a year now. We have foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.S., Russia and Syria meeting in Vienna on Friday at potentially

Russia's (inaudible) to discuss the diplomatic solution. We have Assad in Moscow, we have this massive change on the battlefield in the regime's

favor. It may be choreographed, or it may simply be Moscow trying to dictate a new reality that nobody else accepts but a remarkably seismic

change I feel here in the Syrian conflict four years in. Hala.

GORANI: Right, certainly one gets the feeling Russia is shaping the narrative, even events on the ground in a very significant way. We'll

continue to follow this with you Nick Paton Walsh, currently in Gaziantep. Thanks very much.

To the United States now putting an end to months of speculation.


GORANI: The American Vice President just announced that he will not be running for President. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden with his

wife Jill and the U.S. President Barack Obama by his side Joe Biden explained his decision. Listen.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: My family has suffered loss and I hope there would come a time and I've said this to many other families that

sooner rather than later when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.

Well, that's where the Bidens are today. Thank god. Beau is our inspiration. Unfortunately I believe we're out of time --the time necessary

to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. But while I will not be a candidate I will not be silent. I intend to speak out clearly and

forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation.


GORANI: Well, let's bring you a little more background on Biden.


GORANI: He became Vice President in 2009. But before that and we're talking a career politician. The very definition of that. He's been senator since

1972. In that time until he became Vice President he unsuccessfully ran for President twice, as recently as 2008. He's experienced tragedy. He

mentioned that in his address today. Earlier this year his eldest son Beau passed away from brain cancer. His wife and daughter died in a car accident

in the early '70s.



GORANI: Biden is such a major political figure that even by deciding not to run he makes huge headlines and will likely have an impact on the race.

Quite a significant one.

Let's cross live to Washington now and speak to CNN political analyst Josh Rogin. First of all, before we get to Biden, is Hillary Clinton now just

breathing a giant sigh of relief?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You have to believe there's a lot of jubilation right now in the Clinton camp. In recent days we saw not only

the cold war between the Biden camp and the Clinton camp heat up as they started to subtly, not so subtly attack each other in the press. Biden had

been calling donors, unions, a lot of the bases that the Clinton campaign is depending on for support. Now that he's not in the race they can

definitely breathe easy.


GORANI: All right, so what was behind this decision? Clearly you mentioned speaking to donors, speaking unions, top congress people on Capitol Hill

were saying I know - I have it on good authority he's going to run. At some point he decided no. What was it do you think?

ROGIN: Right. Well, we can first of all, take Vice President Biden at his word that this was an intensely personal decision between him and his

family. That can be true and at the same time we can also recognize that there were a lot of other facts and that he did his due diligence. And by

taking his time and talking to everybody he figured out what a lot of us in the press figured out which is that the game was stacked against him. Even

if he had entered a little bit earlier. If we're talking about delegates, if we're talking about money, if we're talking about entry into different

states, it was just going to be a very, very tough task to counter what has been a huge Clinton machine.

GORANI: But Josh, he was polling at 18% even though he was undeclared. And this is somebody who really avert that Colbert interview for instance, I

mean you had PACS urging him to run, Political Action Committee. This was somebody who really had you know wind in his sails or even undeclared.

ROGIN: Yes, I think we'll never know what might have happened had he run. But you quote that 18% number. We should note that that's the CNN ORC poll

that you're quoting. He was down four points from where he was before the first debate.

And what we - what did we see in that - in that poll? We saw that Hillary Clinton was up after the debate, Bernie Sanders was up and Joe Biden was

losing support. For the first time less people wanted him to run than wanted him to run and more people were confident that Hillary Clinton could

be the standard bearer for the party.


ROGIN: So after that debate there was a sort of a realization of the party that if you're not thrilled about Hillary Clinton she's pretty good enough,

qualified ready enough to be the representative for the party and that had to factor into the Biden camp's decision making.

GORANI: And what is the reaction on the Republican side here do you think?

ROGIN: Well, it's been -it's been a mix of sort of jubilation, criticism. I think we saw from the Jeb camp a little bit of disappointment. There was a

lot of hope sort of inside the Republican campaigns that Biden would run because they thought it would take momentum, money and attention away from

Hillary. It would just be another person even if he lost using a huge platform to ding the Hillary campaign and that could only be good for the


What we have seen is a lot of Republican infighting, we haven't seen a lot of Democratic infighting. Even that debate, there was a lot of stuff they

agreed on. Biden was supposed to shake that up and give Republicans some help in the battle against the Clinton campaign. Now they're going to have

to do it all on their own.

GORANI: So he still has a lot of support, we saw it in the poll. You did mention he lost a bit of support after that Democratic debate but can he

still shape the race and if so, how?


ROGIN: I think Biden will struggle to wield any real influence. He has a bully pulpit. He is able to travel, he is able fundraise. I'm sure the

Clinton campaign will welcome any support that he wants to give them on the trail. But overall they're not depending on him, they're not depending on

the White House. They've got their own machine, they've got their own frame. And in the sense that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden are very

different political figures, there are -- may be times when even their messages don't mesh. So Joe Biden as Vice President will continue to be

influential in Democratic politics but will the Hillary Clinton campaign really lean on him? I don't think so.


GORANI: All right, Josh Rogin, thanks very much for joining us, I appreciate it.

ROGIN: Any time.

GORANI: A lot more to come tonight.

Critics from practically every political persuasion are accusing Israel's Prime Minister of re-writing the history of the holocaust.


GORANI: We'll see Benjamin Netanyahu said influenced Hitler to carry out the mass slaughter of Jews. Stay with us.






GORANI: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing some pretty widespread criticism for some very controversial remarks about the



GORANI: In his speech on Tuesday he said that the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem at the time is the one who influenced Hitler in 1941 to carry out

mass slaughter.

Mr. Netanyahu said Hitler "in fact didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time" suggesting that it was the mufti's idea. The Prime Minister is

now in Germany, both he and Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the controversy a short time ago. Listen.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It's very clear that the responsibility of Hitler and the Nazis for the extermination of 6 million

Jews is cleared to all fair minded people. I think no-one should deny another important testimony about the mufti of Jerusalem. That he told the

Nazis to prevent the fleeing of Jews from Europe and that he supported the final solution.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: We are aware of the responsibility of the Nazis, of the -- what they did with the (inaudible) for the breach and we

know that this has always been put forward and educated to the new generations and this is why we don't see any reason to change the history

in that question.


GORANI: Let's get more from Ben Wedeman, he's live in Jerusalem. What's been the reaction among Israelis to these comments by Benjamin Netanyahu

about the grand mufti at the time and the fact it might have been his suggestion that gave Hitler the idea to exterminate the Jews?


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I think in this case it may have been a rhetorical bridge too far by Prime Minister

Netanyahu. Because ironically he seems in these tensest of times to have united many Israelis and Palestinians in their shock and disbelief at the

statements. For Israelis, the idea that perhaps Hitler was a softy and that he wanted simply to expel the Jews rather than exterminate them comes as a

bit of a surprise.

Many scholars, many holocaust scholars saying that the murder of the Jews of Europe began well before that meeting between (inaudible) and Hitler.


WEDEMAN: And from the Palestinian side, we've heard for instance (inaudible) senior Palestinian officials say that it's absurd that the

Israeli Prime Minister is absolving Hitler of responsibility for the killing of 6 million European Jews.


WEDEMAN: Now there's also been a lot of ironic comment as well. One Palestinian columnist suggesting that next the Israeli Prime Minister is

going to blame the Palestinians for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hala.

GORANI: All right, I saw that online, especially some people have been reacting to it with some degree of humor. Let's talk a little bit about

these diplomatic efforts. We saw Ban Ki-moon meeting with the meeting with Netanyahu yesterday, with Mahmoud Abbas.


GORANI: Today John Kerry is going to meet with Netanyahu in Berlin tomorrow. Are these efforts going to get anywhere?

WEDEMAN: Well, certainly there is a push on to try to resolve this crisis to put an end to the violence and we understand for instance secretary

Kerry is suggesting that the status quo, the informal agreements and arrangements that hold for the Temple Mount, otherwise known as the Haram

al Sharif should be written down and agreed upon by the three parties involved.


WEDEMAN: By Israel, by the Palestinian authority and by Jordan which has custodianship over the Temple Mount. But that's where the problem began.

But the real problems of really this unresolved crisis aren't going to be addressed by that. And the question is for instance you've had this spate

of attacks on Israelis and the clashes that have come with them.

There's been an incident this evening where apparently a Palestinian driver ran over four Israelis, several of them are seriously hurt, just north of

Hebron. And in many of these instances the attacks are done by people -- in fact all of the instances as far as we know so far, the attacks have been

undertaken by people with no affiliation to any radical Palestinian groups.

So how Ban Ki-moon or John Kerry or King Abdul of Jordan or Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian authority are going to be able to intervene or stop or

prevent these attacks is a very good question. Hala.

GORANI: All right, indeed it is - indeed it is. Thanks very much, Ben Wedeman, our senior international correspondent in Jerusalem. With more

reaction to the Netanyahu comments and these instances of violence that seem to be intensifying. Thank you.

And a lot more to come tonight.


GORANI: Hunting for a drug king pin and leaving behind carnage but this time Mexican police say they've very close to El Chapo. We'll explain how

he got away again next.






GORANI: Mexican Special Forces staged a daring raid earlier this month in an attempt to capture the drug lord El Chapo.


GORANI: A Mexican official tells CNN that Joaquin Guzman managed to get away again but that he fell off a small cliff during the escape apparently

breaking his leg and injuring his face. It sounds like a movie script. So authorities will keep searching Sinaloa state, the heart of his drug


Martin Savidge is in Mexico following the hunt.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, and authorities say they're

close to recapturing him.

We've come to Mexico to try to get a sense of just how close. But it's not easy.

For security reasons we have to keep a low profile because the risk we face include everything from corrupt cops to an army of drug cartel informants,

who are really looking out for just about everything we do.

So sometimes the video or the audio may not be quite as good as you're accustomed to because we're using less than traditional means.

The danger here is real. Last week officials said they nearly had Guzman cornering him near a town in the mountains of Sinaloa state in northwest

Mexico. Exactly what happened isn't clear. But it was definitely violent.

Reportedly Mexican marines swooped in from the air getting so close to Guzman he was injured in the frantic dash to get away. But he got away much

to government embarrassment. Locals tell a different story. They describe a less precise military strike with helicopters raiding gunfire

indiscriminately down on homes, vehicles and people.

Guzman escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison last July, literally under the guard's feet through a mile long tunnel. That isn't out of

character for Guzman. Part of his drug lord success is due to his extensive use of tunnels to smuggle drugs into the United States.

There's a reason this search is so focused on the state of Sinaloa, it's a place where Guzman obviously feels comfortable and it's where he was

arrested before at a house not that far away from here and then brought to that high rise beachfront hotel and kept there for a couple of days until

authorities could arrange safe transport back to Mexico City.

So for all these reasons, authorities believe they are close and the area remains on edge. Everyone here knows it is an all-out effort to find the

man called the most dangerous criminal in the world who may be injured, desperate and possibility cornered. There is a lot that could go wrong.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Sinaloa state, Mexico.


GORANI: Still to come, political junkies now have an answer? No.


GORANI: The U.S. Vice President will not be running for the White House. I'll speak to a man very close to Joe Biden, his former campaign manager

about what this means for the 2016 race. Plus

[Video Playing] Are we back? We're in the future? October 21st, 2015


GORANI: Which means the future is now. We'll show you what the hit movie got right and what it got wrong just ahead.





GORANI: Welcome back. A look at our top stories.

The Syrian President visited Moscow in a surprise visit to thank his Russian counterpart for support against what he calls terrorists.


GORANI: The Kremlin says Bashar al Assad and Vladimir Putin discussed military coordination. It's not the first time that we - it is I should say

the first time that we know of that Assad has left Syria since the unrest in his country began in 2011.


GORANI: Also among our top stories, the American Vice President, Joe Biden, will not run for the Presidency in 2016.


GORANI: He made the announcement in the White House Rose garden today flanked by his wife Jill and President Obama. He says he still plans to

influence the direction of the Democratic Party.


GORANI: The U.N. Secretary General is urging Israelis and Palestinians to "show some courage and make peace."


GORANI: Ban Ki-moon is continuing his shuttle diplomacy in an effort to help end weeks of violence.

He met Wednesday with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.


GORANI: The Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron at 10 Downing Street today.


GORANI: During their talks major business deals worth tens of billions of dollars were signed. Mr. Cameron has come under intense scrutiny for the

increasingly close relationship between the two countries.


GORANI: Let's get more on one of our top stories. Vice President Joe Biden's decision not to seek the U.S. Presidency, not to run in this race.



GORANI: Biden's long awaited announcement puts frontrunner, Hillary Clinton that much closer to the Democratic nomination. She is a firm leader in the


The Republican National Committee says that will not help Democrats in the long run. This is part of the RNC statement. "Vice President Biden was the

most formidable general election candidate the Democratic Party could have fielded and his decision not to challenge Hillary Clinton, greatly improves

our chances of taking back the White House."


GORANI: We want to get more now on what went into this decision and what it means for the 2016 race.

Luis Navarro was the Presidential campaign manager for Joe Biden in 2008 and he joins me now live from CNN's Washington Bureau.

Thank you Luis Navarro for being with us. Were you surprised when you heard the announcement today from Joe Biden that he was not running?

LUIS NAVARRO, JOE BIDEN'S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think that the Vice President had indicated ever since his appearance on the

Steven Colbert Late Night Show that he was of mixed feelings about embarking on another Presidential campaign.


NAVARRO: And so I think that this -- what we saw today was simply a reflection of his finally coming to a decision that he could feel

comfortable with.

GORANI: But it felt like there was some activity and then you had sources within Capitol Hill who were saying I have it on good authority he's

running, that he was speaking with donors, he was speaking with unions. It really felt like something was being at the very least seriously considered


NAVARRO: Well absolutely. I mean he did say that he would go through a process and I think he, you know, searched high and low to get the best

possible information about what it would take, who would be with him, who might be with him. And I think all of these factors came in to play in

terms of reaching his final decision which at the end of the day he indicated both on the Colbert show and then today that this was a personal


GORANI: All right. But there had to be also some strategic considerations at play, you have to raise so much money now to run for the Presidency in

the United States. You need delegate support and you have Hillary Clinton whose machine has really been kind of functioning now for months and

months. So he would have really had to catch up to her right?

NAVARRO: Well, look at it this way. Only about 10% of the people who bundled -- did bundling were bundling fundraisers for President Obama had

only about 10% of those had committed to anyone in the race this far.


NAVARRO: That left a lot of donors out there who had not made a decision. Secondly, you had the situation where filing deadlines really didn't start

beginning until next week and two of the most important filing deadlines, New Hampshire and Florida did not take place until the end of November.

And furthermore, you've have candidates such as Ted Kennedy in the past who waited into November or even December, in the case of Mario Cuomo, before

making their final decisions. So actually in this regard, I think that he took the time that he needed to take in order to be comfortable with the

decision he made.

GORANI: Now, you know him of course very well. You were his campaign manager in 2008. He ran one other time in 1988 I believe. What do you think

- I mean what do you think went through his mind?


GORANI: Clearly this was -- he's a career politician, he was a Senator for a decade, Vice President for two terms now it's going to be at the end of

the second term for President Obama. This was a dream of his and in a way he's saying I'm not going to go after this dream.

NAVARRO: Well, I think in all fairness, he had not done much to pursue this at the beginning of this year and then of course there was the terrible

tragedy, the loss of his son in June -- or end of May rather. And as the nation watched him handle this terrible tragedy with grace and humility

there began to be a ground swell asking him to take part in the race for a variety of reasons.

And I think you know, as a result of that outpouring of both concern and acclimation he thought it necessary to at least explore the possibility and

I think that that is what he embarked upon. And so you know having gone through that process he came to the decision he came to today.

GORANI: And of course - and by the way the Colbert interview is one that was watched all over the world, not just in the United States and extremely

touching and moving interview with Steven Colbert on the passing of his son Beau. And how you need all your focus on the race and in this particular

case at this time in his life perhaps he felt he didn't have it.


GORANI: But at the same time there were these reports are that his son Beau who passed away this year is the one who may have urged him to consider a

run as well. So that must have played in to his decision to consider it.

NAVARRO: Well I don't think it's any secret that Joe Biden puts his family first and that the last wishes of his son would certainly play a large role

and weigh heavily on his conscience.



NAVARRO: But I think he did right by his son. He explored this possibility. He I think went through a very methodical process in doing so. And at the

end he made the - he came to the conclusion that he could not either put his family or his party through an effort that he himself had made the

decision he could not carry through with.

GORANI: All right. Luis Navarro, the former campaign manager for Joe Biden in 2008.


GORANI: Thanks very much for joining us on this day, the day Joe Biden has finally answered the question many of us had, not just in the U.S. it has

to be said, but around the world as we follow U.S. politics that he will not be seeking the nomination. Thanks very much for joining us.

And don't forget you can get all the interviews, the analysis, you can go to our Facebook page, and by the way there you

can find a video that is not the most professional thing I've ever done in terms of video quality by the way. But we are launching an exciting new

initiative and we need you to help.

CNN's Freedom Project is of course trying to contribute to the ending of modern day slavery. It's a problem that persists all around the world. CNN

is aiming to make it history. But we can't do it alone. Take a look at what you can do.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slavery you might think it's a thing of the past. It's not. It's all around us.

RICHARD QUEST, HOST "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": There are between 20 and 36 million slaves in the world today. 5.5 million children globally are in

forced labor and half of all human trafficking victims are sexually exploited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since 2011 the CNN Freedom project has been highlighting modern day slavery giving a voice to victims.

Now we need your help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join CNN's Fly to Freedom campaign and help raise awareness on modern day slavery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here is what we want you to do. Make a plane. Make a pledge. Show us your plane and pledge using the #flytofreedom and nominate

two friends to do the same by tagging them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might think you can't make a difference but when we all unite as one we can make a change together. It takes just a few minutes

to participate. So please join us.

QUEST: Share your videos and photos using the #flytofreedom and be part of ending modern day slavery. Let's show the world that it's time for slavery

to stop.





GORANI: Two degrees Celsius, a tiny number agreed upon by many scientists says the threshold for dangerous climate change.


GORANI: As part of CNN's Two degrees coverage we are looking at a vault in the arctic located in Svalbard, Norway that could keep us all alive if

temperatures were to rise above that number. It holds a collection of seeds from around the world to ensure our food security if something catastrophic

were to happen. Arwa Damon, takes us inside.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Glittering like an exotic gem in the distance. The entrance to the Svalbard seed vault extends

out of the side of an arctic mountain. Looking more like a villain's lair from a James Bond movie, than where humanity has banked the seeds of its


We walk into a long cement for boding hallway, safety helmets line the wall, protection against falling ice.

(MICHAEL KOCH): So that's about 150 meters down into the mountain. This is becoming the (inaudible) for us here in granite.

DAMON: (Michael Koch), with the crop trust that oversees the vault guides us into the mountain. With each step the temperature drops.

It's like something out of a movie.

KOCH: It is like holy place. Every time I come here I feel like I'm in a cathedral. This is a place to pause and to think because it's a very unique

place and it's a very important place for humanity.

DAMON: This is so beautiful and yet, it's so simple. It's just a door but behind it is the key to humanity's salvation. There are 860,000 types of

seeds from all over the world here.

(KOCH): So you got boxes from Germany, from Nigeria, from India, the United States, the largest gene bank in the world. That's an interesting box right

here. This box comes from the Democratic peoples, Republic of Korea, the only wooden boxes in the vault.

DAMON: This is humanity's insurance policy meant to safeguard against cataclysmic events that is wipe out our crops. Despite conflicts around the

world (Koch) says that's not what will bring about our demise.

(KOCH): The agriculture is not adapting as fast currently as the climate is changing on us. We have to adapt to rising temperatures, to wind and storm

and flooding; new diseases and pests. We have salt water coming into the rice patties in the fields. So salination is an issue. So these tolerances

to these issues are found here. This is a diversity of the genes that you're going to use to adapting agriculture, and you don't know what you

are going to need 50 or 100 or 500 years from now.

DAMON: Even if power goes out the vault can preserve these seeds for decades. In the race against climate change protecting our past may be the

only way to ensure our future.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Svalbard, Norway.


GORANI: And to learn more about our initiative go to You can read because this figure is not pulled out of thin air, no pun

intended. It actually -- there's some scientific backing to it. The importance of it, the impact it could have on our planet. It's all leading

our special coverage of a critical summit on climate change in December in Paris.


GORANI: Coming up, we didn't get auto fitting clothes or even hover boards so just what did "Back to the Future" get right about 2015? We'll take a

look ahead.





GORANI: The future has arrived. Sort of because October 21st was set as the future in the 1989 movie "Back to the Future II." October 21st, 2015. Well

we're there. And back then they had some pretty crazy ideas about what it would be like in 2015. But CNN's Jeanne Moos shows us that the only thing

more difficult than traveling forward in time is predicting it.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN REPORTER: It is called Back to the Future but now the future is becoming the past as the time traveling machine's destination and

the actual calendar match. Flying Delorean might not but we 2015ers still do. Flying car likes the aero mobile exist. As a business they're barely

off the ground. Ditto for the hover board. Up until now they have hardly hovered. As people riding seem to do most of the flying off.

The actors who played Marty McFly and Doc Brown reunited.

Waiting for Nike to match the movie.

An outfit called power lace claims to have the technology. Though they haven't tied up the financing and the lag in laces is being mocked.

[Video] Put these on. Oh Rad. I bet they are futuristic self-lacing sneakers, right doc?

What, No they are called crocs.

MOOS: And this seemed to be a croc as well. It's 2015 and there's still no self-sizing, no self-drying.

Remember when Marty McFly ordered a drink? His Pepsi perfect came with a straw built into the lid.

But Pepsi special commemorative bottle is just a regular twist off, with plain old Pepsi inside.

Pepsi created 6,500 of the bottles and is selling them for $20.15. Get it? 2015.

Back to the Future's most astounding prophecy was this. 26 years ago, there was no team in Miami but there is now. And the forever hopeless Cubs are in

the playoffs.

The ride service Lyft is offering free rides for a day in Deloreans. Mercedes jumped on the band wagon with a spot mimicking the movie's

floating robot dog walker.

In real life we're dog years behind. With all this "Back to the Future" hoopla, here' a toast to the past.

How time McFlys when you are hydrating pizza.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



GORANI: Hydrating a pizza. They predicted by the way fax machines everywhere. It happened not quite in 2015 where you'd be hard pressed to

find one anywhere at least in this office.

Thanks for watching everyone. Do stay with CNN. We'll have more on the top stories of the day.

I'm Hala Gorani. I will be seeing you later with the next program here of "The World Right Now." A little break on the other side is "Quest Means