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Hurricane Patricia Bearing Down on Mexico; Bus Accident Kills More Than 40 in France; Protests Over Tuition Hikes in South Africa; Big Month for Hillary Clinton. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired October 23, 2015 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Ahead this hour, bearing down on Mexico.


GORANI: We continue our breaking news coverage. A potentially catastrophic hurricane should make landfall any time now. We are live in Mexico.

Also this hour, a small town in France is reeling after more than 40 people were killed in a bus accident. How did a single crash claim so many lives?

Then, students angry over tuition fee hikes break through barriers in South Africa, more on the dramatic scenes.

And later, it's been a big month for Hillary Clinton; will she get a boost from her debate win and Joe Biden's decision not to run?


GORANI: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani, live from CNN London and this, as we continue our extended edition of The World Right Now.


GORANI: Well, this hour Mexico's Pacific Coast is bracing for impact as the strongest hurricane ever recorded is set to make landfall.


GORANI: There's really no overstating this. We're not speaking in hyperbole. This truly is the strongest hurricane ever recorded, stronger

than Katrina, stronger than Andrew. It's a category 5. This is what it looks like on the satellite imagery. Patricia is packing sustained winds of

an incredible 320 kilometers an hour. The U.S. National hurricane center is calling this storm potentially catastrophic. Let's get more now out of

Mexico as the West Coast braces for landfall.


GORANI: Rafael Romo is in Guadalajara this hour and he joins me now live. Tell us what the expectation is for the Pacific Coast in a few hours,


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been raining here for the last few hours, Hala, and the winds are picking up.


ROMO: The expectation is that this will be the biggest hurricane in Mexican history, and federal officials are evacuating everybody along the

coastlines. This is a hurricane that is going to affect six states along the Pacific Coast, essentially all the way from the south to the north.

If you followed the Mexican Pacific Coast, every single state will be affected one way or another. The hardest hit areas are expected to be the

state of Jalisco where I am, and also the state of Colima. Our international viewers know a couple of cities in these areas. Puerto

Vallarta, the beach resort, and also Manzanilla.

I ran earlier into a group of American tourists who came to Jalisco, who came to Puerto Vallarta for a destination wedding. Once they saw how big

this storm was and how bad it was going to be, they decided to evacuate themselves. So there's going to be, needless to say, no wedding, but it is

a very, very serious situation.

Authorities are saying stay away from the coast, stay away from those resort areas, and try to find shelter as soon as possible. Landfall is

expected to happen at some time before 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. but again, like I said before, and you can probably see it in this shot, the rain has

already started and the winds are picking up, Hala.

GORANI: So between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. your time? What time is it there now, just so we're clear on time difference.

ROMO: Yes, it is 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. local time. Right now here it's 2:00 p.m. So there's a good four -- three, four hours before hurricane Patricia

is going to make landfall here, Hala.


GORANI: And this is an incredibly built-up section of the Mexican coast. You mentioned tourists, that poor lady's destination wedding had to be

canceled. I what is the - I mean, they're used to big storms, but this is an entirely different category. What are the biggest concerns once it makes


ROMO: It's the amount of rain, really. Not only the winds that are going to definitely hit the coastal areas, but the torrential rains are going to

affect not only the states that I was telling you about before, but also a big portion of Mexico.


ROMO: And Mexican officials are saying there are a lot of people in this area, a lot of people whose houses were not really built for this kind of a

hurricane. A Mexican official last night was saying that you would have to go back to 1959 to see a hurricane that could even compare to what we're

looking at right now. So it is a very, very dire situation. And at this point, people who want to evacuate, it's way too late already, Hala.


GORANI: All right. Rafael Romo, thanks very much. We'll be staying in touch with you.


GORANI: Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded, the strongest storm of any kind in the western hemisphere according to the U.S. National

Hurricane Center.

Dennis Feltgen is with the Hurricane Center and he joins me now on the line from Miami.

Dennis Feltgen, this was a tropical storm just about a day ago. How did it turn so quickly?


DENNIS FELTGEN, U.S. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: Well, about two days ago -- you're right, we did have a tropical storm. And within 36 hours, we went

from a tropical storm to a strong category 5 hurricane. It's not unprecedented. It's happened before. In fact, it's happened in an even

shorter time frame with hurricane Wilma in 2005. The unfortunate thing is that this thing has taken aim toward land at a catastrophic 200 miles per

hour. As you said, the strongest hurricane on record in the western hemisphere.

GORANI: And how concerned are you about potential damage here?

FELTGEN: Well, in a word, catastrophic damage is the potential here. The good news is the category 5 hurricane winds, the worst winds, 200 miles an

hour, only extend out about 15 miles from the hurricane eye. So you're probably looking at a band across of about maybe 25, 30 miles across that

would experience these catastrophic winds. A lot will depend upon where those winds come ashore. If it's over a heavy populated, heavy structured

area, the damage we could see would be catastrophic.

The comparison I would make would be to these EF-5 tornadoes that we see across the United States during the late spring and early summer. And that

kind of damage is what we call catastrophic. That's where entire buildings are wiped off their slabs.

GORANI: Right, and that's affecting a much larger area. But you expect this to stay a category 5 sustained for how long? When will the storm have

passed once it hits?

FELTGEN: It will come ashore as a category 5 hurricane. It's officially a landfall once the center intersects with land. And as your reporter was

saying earlier, that's about two or three hours away local time. Once it moves inland, it'll be cut off from the fuel that's feeding it and that's

the warm water of the Pacific Ocean.

It'll take a bit to spin down. It'll still be a very powerful hurricane moving several hundred miles inland. But we expect it to lose its tropical

characteristics completely sometime over tomorrow afternoon over north- central Mexico.

GORANI: So a difficult 24 hours ahead. Thanks very much, Dennis Feltgen, with the National Hurricane Center joining us from Miami with more on the -

- on what to expect and more on the concerns, of course, that many people have for the area, property, people, and everyone's safety. Thank you very


GORANI: Not only is Patricia the strongest hurricane on record, it's also gained intensity very quickly. We were discussing that.


GORANI: Jennifer Gray is at the International Weather Center with more. Talk to us, Jennifer, a little bit about how this is an El Nino year, and

so that means the warmer waters are contributing to the weather system and how much it has strengthened over the last day and a half or so.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEROLOGIST: Well, you're right. You know we are in that strong El Nino year. It does result in warmer than normal sea surface

temperatures in the Pacific. And you will get more hurricanes, and you'll also get stronger ones. And that's what we've seen in the Pacific.

El Nino year also makes for a less active season in the Atlantic. That's exactly what we've seen. And we've seen a more active season in the

Pacific, especially with the intensities of these hurricanes.


GRAY: Sea surface temperatures around this storm, mid-80s. That's very, very warm. And so the environmental parameters were in place just righting

to where this storm just exploded. 325 kilometer per hour winds, gusts of 400 moving to the north at 19 kilometers per hour.

I heard your reporter say there were people stuck in traffic. This is going to be making landfall in the next couple hours. And so if people were not

able to evacuate, it's a little late for that now. They need to find a very, very sturdy building away from the coastline because we could see

even record-breaking storm surge as well with this storm.

Like Dennis said, this storm is going to move inland and then quickly weaken by tomorrow. It's going to lose a lot of the winds associated with

this. The mountainous terrain across Mexico is going to shred this storm, but it will still carry a lot of rain. And so that's going to be the major

concern across the mountainous region. We will see landslides most likely and a lot of flash flooding.

Obviously we do have those hurricane warnings, tropical storm warnings in place. And so now is the time for people to get ready for this storm to

make landfall.


GRAY: Wind gust forecast, it's going to be strongest around that eye, like we mentioned. About a 20 to 30-mile across is where we'll see those

category 5 winds. Beyond that, the winds will gradually start to decrease. But very, very powerful right around that eye and just on the outskirts.

And so we could see winds well over 100, 120 kilometers per hour - wind gusts, as we go through the next couple of hours. And even as far out as

probably the next 12 hours as this starts to push inland. Those winds will still be very strong until we get to tomorrow afternoon and then they'll

start to weaken just a little bit.

This is going to be a very powerful one. Hala, we will be talking about this one for a long, long time.


GORANI: All right. And we'll have coverage of it right here on CNN. Jennifer Gray, thank you very much.

A lot more to come this evening. Other stories we're following.


GORANI: The death toll is absolutely staggering for a single accident. It is France's worst road accident in decades. We'll have details on a

collision that left more than 40 people dead.

And then, some dramatic scenes in South Africa. Days of angry protests pay off for students in that country. We'll explain.

And also, we will continue to follow the progress of the category 5 hurricane bearing down on Mexico. Stay with us.





GORANI: One witness described the scene as a war zone. At least 43 people were killed, it's a staggering toll, when a bus and a truck collide on a

road near Bordeaux in France. The prosecutor now says the priority for French authorities is to identify the victims. Fred Pleitgen has our story.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Through these trees is the scene of France's worst road accident in more than 30 years. A head-

on collision between a bus and a truck on the D-17 road near Puisseguin, in the southwest of France, killing at least 43 people, including the truck

driver and his 3-year-old son.


PLEITGEN: On learning the news in Athens Friday morning, the French President expressed his own grief and the sentiments of a nation now in


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT: (As translated) The French government is fully involved in the response to this tragedy. I ask that we reach out

with love and friendship as we are plunged into the sadness caused by such a drama.

PLEITGEN: Wrapped in blankets, clearly in shock, these are the lucky few. Local authorities say the majority of those on the bus were elderly.

Ambulances and helicopters worked to try and save as many lives as possible. Only eight escaped the bus as it went up in flames, a crash that

could have been worse had it not been for the heroics of the bus driver, who also survived.

XAVIER SUBLETT, PUISSEGUIN MAYOR: (As translated) The bus driver saw that the accident was going to happen, did everything to avoid it, but did not

manage to. But he did manage to activate the opening of the emergency doors to allow a few people to get out.

PLEITGEN: France's top ministers arrived on the scene Friday with promises of a prompt investigation into this crash. An investigation to try and make

sense of a tragedy that has rocked this small community and claimed the lives of so many.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, LONDON.


GORANI: Now to South Africa, where some student protesters have won a major concession from the government.

The President Jacob Zuma now says there will be no fee hikes at universities next year.

As David McKenzie reports, the announcement capped off a week of very angry demonstrations.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The situation is calm here in Pretoria, but you can hear the police helicopters over ahead because

inside the city, there are still pockets of protests. They've burned cars, and they've turned over police vehicles.

Earlier today, thousands of protesters came on to the lawns here to demand the ending of fee increases at universities. 12 universities, at least,

across the country had been shut down, and it's been more than a week of protests. Those protests came to a head today in South Africa when a hard-

core group pushed through the barricades and were in running battles with the police, who were shooting tear gas, stun grenades, and later rubber

bullets at the crowds.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has said they will put a moratorium on fee increases for the universities next year. That is a key demand of the

students. But this runs much deeper than that. There's a broad dissatisfaction and anger from the protesters I've spoken to about

persistent inequality in this country, more than 20 years after democracy.

David McKenzie, CNN, Pretoria, South Africa.


GORANI: And I want to tell you about this story. Police in Sweden say that racism may have motivate the man who carried out a deadly sword attack at a

school on Thursday.

A student and a teacher were killed and police are now saying that the man targeted them based on their ethnic background.


GORANI: Our Jean-Francois obtained this photo is said to show the masked man posing with students before the assault. They thought -- this is just a

terrible story. They thought he was playing a Halloween prank. The attacker died at a hospital after police shot him at the scene.


GORANI: Considering the violent headlines out of the Middle East, life is anything but typical for Palestinian children in the West Bank. They're

growing up in the middle of a conflict, and many of them are involved in daily clashes with Israeli forces. But they say their anger is not directed

only at Israel. Here's our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Throwing the stones at Israeli soldiers in the streets of Hebron are not men. More often, they're

boys. These clashes are not new, although they're more intense and more frequent now. But they've raged on a regular basis, longer than these boys

and young men have been alive.

From an early age, the children of Hebron become accustomed to the sound and fury of street battles. They've grown up hearing that someday there

will be peace, that someday Israel will pull out of the West Bank. Few believe it anymore.

I asked this 15-year-old, who calls himself Khalid, if he's satisfied with the Palestinian leadership.

(Foreign Speaking)

WEDEMAN: No, he responds, because they haven't given us anything. They go around inaugurating this, opening that, but they don't know what to do with

their own people while we're being killed and kicked around.

And with the disillusionment, a machismo beyond their years.

We want to show the occupier, says Yusef, that the smallest child is braver than the biggest one of them.


WEDEMAN: Unemployment is high in Hebron. The city's old market is often shut down by clashes and strikes, a city in whose hard Israeli soldiers

guard several hundred Jewish settlers living behind walls and barbed wire.

The old have learned to put up with it all. The young are impatient and restless. With little prospect for change, little faith in their leadership

or the world being able to stop the slide into more violence, a pattern is established, which is hard to break.

The flurry of diplomatic activity to solve this crisis to bring the violence to an end doesn't really have much impact on the streets of Hebron

where the situation has taken on a life of its own. There are clashes, people are hurt, there are attacks, people are killed, there are funerals,

there are more clashes, and so on and so on and so on.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Hebron.


GORANI: We'll have a lot more from Mexico and the hurricane that's barreling toward that country's Pacific Coast after the break.


GORANI: As people there brace for the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall. We'll be right back.






GORANI: It's a positive day on Wall Street. You can see the Dow Jones industrial average there up triple digits, 164 points higher, almost a

percent to the upside at 17,650. The tech-heavy Nasdaq also doing well. Tech shares very much gaining ground today after some encouraging quarterly

results. Amazon, Google's parent company Alphabet as well. You see the Nasdaq up there two and a third percent just about and the S&P 500 almost 1

-- actually, more than 1.1% higher. And here's a look at European stock indices for you.


GORANI: Now, let's stay with business news. The British Telecoms company talk talks says it's received a ransom demand, it's something out of a

movie script, after what it calls a significant and sustained cyber-attack.


GORANI: It's a phone and broadband provider if you're not familiar with it. Here in the U.K., it's a big deal. It has more than 4 million customers.

Talk Talk says there's a risk that hackers may have gotten things like credit card details et cetera. Laurie Segall joins me with that.


GORANI So let's talk about Talk Talk.


GORANI: Not a good day for their customers either. Because and some people here in the news room are saying wait a minute, I just got this e-mail,

they're telling me maybe my credit card information -

SEGALL: You know, it's like the worst part right. They're telling people that their information might have been stolen. Maybe your credit card

information, maybe your bank account information was stolen, but we don't 100% know. So people are kind of stuck in this limbo. And the worst part is

if you actually go to the website and you look and there's a Q&A, what do we know, is our data secure, they kind of dance around it a little bit.

And one of the parts that stuck out the most to me was one line that says not all the customer data was encrypted. Now that's a big deal. Because if

your information is stored with some place like Talk Talk and hackers breach it, if it's encrypted, it's scrambled, and they have no idea what it




SEGALL: But they're saying that not all your data was actually encrypted. So now they really might be able to have access to some of your most

sensitive data, which makes you potentially a victim down the road of identity theft, people trying to call you up and hack you.

GORANI: And just the headache of having to change your credit card et cetera.


GORANI: But what is -- what is this ransom demand that's coming from the hackers themselves?

SEGALL: Yes, you know the CEO today confirmed that she got a call and essentially they said, you know, if you don't pay us more money, we'll

release data.

And it's so interesting when you hear this idea of hackers and ransom. Because generally in the past, you think hackers release information on the

dark web or they sell it, and it circulates. Well now there's almost this new breed of hacker. And you were joking it's kind of like something out of

the movies.

GORANI: It really is.

SEGALL: But we're seeing it where they will take all this information, they'll contact the company, and the company either has the ability to pay

-- and they'll pay in what's called bit coin often times which is this digital currency that's not traceable. And we're seeing this more and more

and it's almost this hacktivist approach. This happened almost with the Ashley Madison hack, where the hackers called up - spoke to the folks at

Ashley Madison and said, if you don't take down your site, we're going to release all that data. So this is almost this new territory for hacking.

GORANI: And is the company - briefly is the company -- what are they going to do about it?

SEGALL: I mean they're working with the Metropolitan Police Cyber Unit. They're saying they're actively doing everything they can. They're talking

to customers.

But I will say this Hala, if you're a customer, you know it's more than just monitoring your bank accounts and getting, you know, checking for

fraud. You need to monitor small amounts on your bank account. That's really important. You also need to know that you might get a phone call

from someone saying they're from Talk Talk asking for your bank account details. You're going to be targeted with e-mails of someone sending you

malware, saying change your password. You have to be really smart about it.

GORANI: So it's everywhere. Laurie thanks very much and yes -- Talk Talk customers, make sure you check that everything is looking like its --

nobody's touched your credit card or your personal information. Either way, a bad day for the company and it's come to customers.

We'll have a lot more on our top story after the break; the massive storm bearing down on Mexico.


GORANI: Find out how you even begin to prepare for winds over 320 kilometers an hour. And no wonder Hillary Clinton is smiling. It's been a

big month for the Democratic presidential candidate. That and more coming up. Stay with us.






GORANI: The strongest hurricane ever recorded is bearing down on Mexico's Pacific Coast.


GORANI: Our top story this hour, hurricane Patricia is a category 5 storm. You can see its current location here. It's expected to make landfall in

the coming hours.


GORANI: Also among our top stories, at least 43 people are dead and several others injured after a bus and truck collided in southern France.


GORANI: It happened on a road near Bordeaux. Most of the bus victims were elderly. You see really the charred carcass of that bus there. The truck

driver and his young son also died in the crash.


GORANI: And South Africa's President says the government is now accepting a key demand of student protesters and will not hike university fees next



GORANI: But Jacob Zuma did not address the protesters in person. He was planning on doing that, but there were some security issues there that kept

him away. Some demonstrators threw rocks at police. They responded with water cannon and stun grenades.


GORANI: Russia's Foreign Minister says the Syrian people must decide the fate of President Bashar al Assad.


GORANI: He spoke after discussing the Syrian conflict with counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States. You see him there meeting

with John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State. They didn't take any questions afterward.



GORANI: Category 5 hurricane Patricia is threatening millions of people along the southwestern coast of Mexico.


GORANI: Now, as we've been saying and you've heard it during this show a few times, Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever recorded. One official

in Mexico calls it the most dangerous storm in history. Well, it's quite easy to see why.

Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted this photo of the storm from the international space station. If we take it full, it will show you very

clearly how much of a region it actually covers. And the eye of the storm is right above the banner where it says "happening now," right above that,

oh, we removed the banner. There you see the eye of the storm.

Patricia could make landfall anywhere along a huge stretch of coast.


GORANI: Barbara Hyatt has lived in the tourist hotspot of Puerto Vallarta for more than a decade. She is bracing for the storm with friends who live

close to the ocean. She's on the phone.


GORANI: Barbara, first of all, have you -- are you on -- still along the coast, or have you basically made your way to higher ground?

(BARBARA HYATT): Hi there, good afternoon. I'm still in Puerto Vallarta. I'm practically like four blocks away from the ocean. I'm inside a golf

course and well we're just waiting. We have some light rain. It's cloudy. There's no wind and everything is very calm. But we'll be waiting for this.

GORANI: But four blocks away. That - I mean eventually when the storm hits, is that a safe spot to be?

MYATT: Sorry, I didn't get that.

GORANI: Four -- you said you were four blocks away. When the storm hits, would that be a relatively safe spot to be, or you're going to have to move


(HYATT): We don't know yet. We hope -- actually, this is like a surprise for all of us. We weren't prepared for this. We didn't think it was going

to be this strong. Now it's saying it's catastrophic. I hope we're safe. If the ocean doesn't get into us, we'll be safe, you know. We're worried for

the wind as well.

GORANI: Yes, the winds are going to be above 300 kilometers an hour at their - at their peak. So absolutely there are safety issues, and we hope

you find a place to ride out the storm.

This is your video, by the way, that you shot, I believe, on your cell phone that we're showing our viewers of Puerto Vallarta. It's, of course,

calm right now. But as we were mentioning there, it's going to get worse.

Tell us a little bit about what authorities have been telling you. Do you feel like they've been helpful?

(HYATT): Yes, they have. I think they are very prepared. I think they're very prepared. The government sends plenty of military people and

government. They're actually saying this is going to be really bad, so they've been very helpful. They've been communicating everything so far

through social media and local news and radio. They're saying they're going to cut out the lights in a couple hours. So let's see what happens.


GORANI: And I was going to tell you that they're cutting off power to the city. This is a security precaution. And so anyone listening to us there in

that area, charge your phones. Keep them in the sockets right now so that you have charged phones for as long as possible. And I was going to tell

you that as well, Barbara. Because another resident told us earlier, Scott Hall, who's in a condominium building, that this is going to be the

situation. No lights. We hope you stay safe. We'll stay in touch with you, Barbara, who is just a few blocks away from the coastal area there in

Puerto Vallarta as we continue to follow this storm and its progression.

Thank you to you Barbara, We really appreciate it. It must be scary as you're living in a state of anticipation. A few hours away is when this

storm is going to hit.


GORANI: Coastal communities in southwest Mexico are scrambling to prepare as the storm closes in. CNN's Samuel Burke actually Samuel you used to live

in the region. You're in New York. But you used to live in that part of Mexico. And Barbara, as a lady who lives in Puerto Vallarta, says this is a

huge surprise for us. Just a day and a half ago, it was a tropical storm.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That part of the west coast of Mexico is key for tourism, but Hala, it also has the two largest shipping

ports in all of Mexico. Puerto Vallarta, where the woman was there who was calling, is famous around the world for its beaches. But just south of

there, you're seeing on the map Manzanillo. That's where the second biggest shipping port in all of Mexico is. And it's a crucial artery for getting

goods from the coast via railways to cities like Guadalajara, where I lived, and Mexico City.

Now Manzanillo is where many Mexican elites have their second home. But contrast that with the fact that 34% of people in that state, in the state

of Colima live in poverty. So imagine something close to 10% of people don't even have potable water. So imagine the conditions that they might be

under if this really hits as hard as some might suspect. And just south of Manzanillo is Lazaro Cardenas, the biggest port in all of Mexico. They have

a 54% poverty rate.

And now I'm just thinking back to the days when I lived in Guadalajara. We used to go to Puerto Vallarta for the weekend. Just on a normal weekend, on

a Sunday going back, the roads were always backed up for hours. So I can only imagine what it's like right now with the main international airport

closed and so many people trying to get out of harm's way right now.

GORANI: Right. I think going to higher ground is one of the - some of the - - among other pieces of advice what people are trying to do. Because on the coast there, if you have a surge, that could be extremely dangerous. You

mentioned ports. So obviously that's part of the economic infrastructure of that part of Mexico. But also they rely a lot on tourism. And if you have

damage or if people are concerned for their safety, that's also going to hurt.

BURKE: I was speaking to an economist who follows the region very closely and said that if this hits the way they think it might hit, it could

definitely close down the entire tourism sector on the west coast of Mexico for days on end.

It was interesting, though, this economist was saying the good news in terms of the economy is that it's only on the west side of Mexico. They

have the oil rigs on the east side of Mexico. So overall, they don't think it would have any long-term effects on the economy there.

But what they're really worried about is the humanitarian disaster that could happen. And past the beaches on the west coast of Mexico, you have

jungle. And a lot of areas where if the water hits, there could be serious muddy - muddied streets, making it harder for people to get there. And a

lot of parts of Mexico that are outside the coast they don't even have paved roads.

Like I said, 54% poverty in Lazaro Cardenas in that area. So a lot of people that really can't afford to have this type of disaster hitting their


GORANI: Right. You mentioned muddy roads, landslides, issues with flooding as well there. Samuel Burke, part of our team covering this important

story. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: We will keep in touch with you as well. And go to Facebook, you'll see some of the stories we're covering

there as well as some of the interviews and the latest on the top story as well that we are covering.

Still ahead on "The World Right Now," Lebanon is struggling to cope with some massive numbers of Syrian refugees.


GORANI: Next, I ask the country's former Prime Minister what he believes needs to be done to solve that crisis, what's going on in Syria, and a big

problem with trash across the country. We'll be right back.






GORANI: Welcome back. We continue to follow our breaking news story. That is hurricane Patricia, the strongest storm system hurricane ever recorded

headed straight for the Mexican Pacific Coast. A potentially catastrophic landfall is what some monitoring agencies are predicting. Expected to stay

a category 5, strongest than some of the biggest storms in history. Katrina, Andrew. Stronger, perhaps even, than typhoon Haiyan that battered

the Philippines in 2013.

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the damage will be as bad or that potentially people's safety will be as at risk to the degree that it was in

the Philippines, but certainly this is a very dangerous system headed straight for Mexico. And we will continue to cover it with our team on the

ground and our meteorologists at the World Weather Center.


GORANI: Now, back to the Middle East and Russia's Foreign Minister says it's the Syrian people who must decide the fate of Bashar al Assad. He

spoke after discussing the Syrian conflict with foreign ministers from Turkey, from Saudi Arabia and the United States.


GORANI: Lavrov met with John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State. Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria last month, but it's caused a major

rift with Russia because the U.S. among others is saying Moscow's not at all targeting ISIS like it's saying that it is. It is, in fact, targeting

anti-Assad rebels to strengthen the regime.


GORANI: Lebanon's former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, has slammed Moscow's involvement in Syria. He also says he's disappointed by the United States.

I spoke to him earlier, and I began by asking him about a consequence of the war that his country is facing head on, refugees.


FOUAD SINIORA, PRIME MINISTER: Lebanon is a country of 10,000 square kilometers and 4 million in population. While in fact it's receiving more

than 1.6 million of refugees basically from Syria and originally from Palestine and Iraq. And in fact, this presents about 40% of the total

population of Lebanon.

And this brings us back to the problem of refugees in the Arab world. Practically the total population of the Arab world is about 5% of the total

population of the world. While on the other hand, one can really find out that the number of people who are really refugees in the Arab world

constitute about 50% of the total number of the population.

GORANI: But at the root of it, I want to discuss the Syria war. Now you have Russia with bombing campaigns, clearly coming out in support of the

regime of Bashar al Assad. What do you make of Russian involvement right now?

SINIORA: Well, I don't think that Russia is entering into the situation from the right door. In fact, instead of coming into the situation where

other countries failed so far, the Europeans and the Americans in really finding a real solution to this problem in Syria and to the multitude of

problems that have been already accumulating over the past 70 years, since the beginning of the problem of Palestine and the - Palestinian


GORANI: But they're shaping events, the Russians now. The Americans tried and were not able.

SINIORA: Exactly, but they are - they are getting into the situation, thinking, or at least -- I mean, trying to reflect a position that they

want to get rid of ISIS. While, in fact, it is proving that more than 80% of the total strikes is happening to the other opposition in Syria and not

to the ISIS.

GORANI: If there was no other solution but to keep Bashar al Assad in place, to come up with some sort of deal with the rebels, with others, to

at least stabilize the situation, would you support that?

SINIORA: Let me tell you, there is an effort that's being made. It is to really put the whole world and put the Arab world in front of this

situation. There are two evils fighting each other. Whichever is less evil, Bashar al Assad is the lesser evil. I think this is the false premise and

the false situation. Let me put it this way. I will try to borrow an example from the financial world. It says that the manager who drove his

company towards bankruptcy, he cannot be put in charge of restructuring the company. A situation in Syria, it cannot be resolved by getting Bashar al

Assad to be reinstated again in order to find a solution for Syria.

GORANI: Have you been disappointed with the United States? Because they've been (inaudible) a bombing campaign for more than a year.

SINIORA: Very much so. There is -- there is a lot, actually, of talk in the United States. And as they say in Arabic terms, whatever I hear from you,

it pleases me, whatever I see in terms of action, it is quite the contrary.

GORANI: How do you say that in Arabic? [ speaking foreign language ]

Okay. And that's how you would characterize --

SINIORA: That's exactly, exactly what we are hearing from the let's say from the United States and those who are in charge in there is that we are

seeing entirely different thing. And from various, let's say, statements that we want to support the moderates, we want to support the uprising here

and there, and from time to time after really having seen in their own eyes what is happening in Syria and the use of the regime, of chemical weapons,

instead of finding a solution for this, they are really setting up the situation so that the regime can be reinstated in Syria.

GORANI: Let me ask you finally about what's happening inside your country, Lebanon. Some of the images that have been circulating most are images of

big giant piles of trash in the streets of Beirut. There have been protests that turned actually quite violent because the Lebanese have had enough of

their government. They're saying they're corrupt and they're inefficient and they want things to change.

SINIORA: Well, let me - let me --

GORANI: What would you say to them?

SINIORA: Let me say that for sure that the problem of trash is getting more and more complicated. And probably this is the result of, let's say, lack

of proper initiatives at the right time. And this has led to the piling up of trash in such a manner that it's becoming really a difficulty. This has

created some sort of paranoia among the Lebanese population. Without really many of them understanding that there are certain solutions that would have

to be put on the table.

GORANI: You think it's the population that doesn't understand or the government that's not doing its job?

SINIORA: No, the people - the people are really justified in being annoyed and being angry. And I understand them. And this should have been -- that's

why I'm saying there has been lack of real initiatives to find solutions at the right time. But at the same time, it's very important now to be

practical in order to find a solution in the medium term until you can re- identify the long-term solutions.


GORANI: Fouad Siniora, the former Lebanese Prime Minister there speaking to me a little bit earlier. A lot more to come. From under fire to on fire.


GORANI: We'll discuss whether the Benghazi hearing might give Hillary Clinton a boost in the polls. We're live in Washington after the break.






GORANI: It's been quite a month for Hillary Clinton. The former U.S Secretary of State kept her cool during a grueling 11-hour grilling by a

house committee on Benghazi.


GORANI: Many analysts say she was acting presidential. This did not hurt her at all. A day earlier, Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not

seek the Democratic nomination for president. That's not going to threaten her in the poll. She lost two existing rivals, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee,

gone. Can anything stop her? Let's get some perspective from Mark Preston, executive editor for CNN politics.


GORANI: She was all smiles today when she was addressing, I believe it was a women's conference today. She feels like this has been a good - a good

few days for her, Mark.

MARK PRESTON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR FOR CNN POLITICS: Yes, no doubt, Hala. And in fact, as you said right at the top, it's been a good month for Hillary

Clinton. Not only did we see, as you said, Joe Biden drop out, not only did she keep her cool during that 11-hour hearing yesterday, she also had a

very good first debate.


PRESTON: And really, the turning point could have been that CNN debate a week ago in Las Vegas, where she was able to, in many ways, put her

campaign back on track, answer questions about the use of a private e-mail server as Secretary of State. And of course as you said, yesterday enduring

11 hours and coming out of it really unscathed.

GORANI: Well, "Rolling Stone" analysis piece in op-ed, said conservatives on the Benghazi committee practically picked Clinton up and carried her

toward the White House. I mean, is this -- it's interesting because this is something that should have been her Achilles heel, this Benghazi

investigation. Yet, it appears as though it has strengthened her. How did that happen?

PRESTON: Well, you know, had the Republicans conducted the investigation in a different way, had we not seen the majority leader of the house

Republicans say on television about a month ago that, in fact, that this investigation was helping pull down her poll numbers, had we not seen

another Republican congressman criticize the panel because he said it was being politicized, had a staffer from that panel who had been fired not

come to CNN and said he, too, thought it was politicized. Really Hillary Clinton went into this holding all the cards, Hala. She should have, and

potentially could have been hurt, but you know what house Republicans fumbled the ball on this one.

GORANI: So what could hurt her now? Because we're still months away here.

PRESTON: Right. Still months away. We still have a General Election to look at. Listen, Democrats are supportive of her when it comes to the Benghazi

issue. Republicans do not trust her. It's that small sliver of independent voters who are neither Democrat or Republican here in the U.S. that they

are trying to make an appeal to. This investigation will continue on. Who knows what else they will find. But right now Hillary Clinton is doing very


GORANI: Let's talk about the Republican side. And no, I'm not going to bring up Trump, everyone. I can already sense viewers are saying -- it's

Jeb Bush. He's slashing salaries on his campaign team, now that doesn't sound great for him.


PRESTON: No, not surprising though that he would do it. He still has $10 million in the bank for his campaign. He still has a very vast, deep-

pocketed fundraising network. If you look back though two months ago, we saw Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drop out of the race, and the reason

being he was spending way too much money, and he didn't have a handle on his finances.

Jeb bush and his campaign team probably took a look at that and said, you know what we're not going to put ourselves in this position. We need all

this money to carry us through the first primary and caucuses. And by doing that, let's start cutting overhead expenses now. It's actually not a bad

move by Jeb Bush to do.

GORANI: All right. Even though he's nowhere near Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the polls. We'll see how that evolves.


GORANI: Thanks very much, Mark Preston, in Washington, D.C., have a great weekend and thanks for joining us.

And to all of you as well we are going to continue of course to keep our eye on hurricane Patricia.


GORANI: This is the strongest hurricane ever recorded. Looking at some of the figures here for you; sustained winds of over 300 kilometers an hour.

Once it hits the coast, we're talking big potential damage. People as well moving to higher ground, evacuating the coastal areas.

The government has set up almost 1800 shelters. The storm is moving at ten miles per hour, expecting it to hit in a couple hours. We'll have all of it

live for you. I'm Hala Gorani. "Quest Means Business" is next.