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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Investigating Causes of Russian Plane Crash; Ahmed Chalabi's Controversial Legacy; A Look at the New Apple TV; Jon Stewart Inks New Deal with HBO; Interview with Kurdish Ambassador to the U.K.; Obama Criticizes GOP Candidates for Debate Complaints. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 3, 2015 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Tonight, evidence that could narrow down the theories.
A satellite detects a burst of heat in mid-air. But are we any closer to knowing what caused a Russian plane to crash over Egypt?
Then the man who paved the way for the American invasion of Iraq has died. We'll look at Ahmed Chalabi's controversial legacy.
Plus as coalition air strikes hit northern Iraq I will speak to the Kurdish ambassador to the U.K. and ask what do fighters on the ground need to help
And later --
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They can't handle a bunch or CNBC moderators.
GORANI: Hear what else the U.S. President had to say about the Republicans running for his job and how one of them is responding.
(END VIDEO CLIP_
GORANI: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this hour, this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
GORANI: Days after a plane crashed in Egypt, Sinai peninsula killing all 224 on board, a possible critical new lead has emerged. U.S. Officials say
a heat flash was detected while the plane was in mid-air. It is a new development that has answered some questions but raised even more about the
fate of the doomed jet. Take a look.
A new day and a new piece of data that could help solve the mystery of what brought down Metro Jet flight 9268. As investigators returned to the scene
in the Sinai, U.S. officials said their satellites detected a mid-air heat flash from the plane shortly before it crashed on Saturday.
A heat flash will indicates some kind of explosion on board. Whether this could have been a bomb is still unclear, though no traces of explosives
have yet been found in the wreckage.
Officials in both Russia and Egypt are downplaying claims by Islamic militants that they are responsible for the attack. And intelligence
analysts have ruled out the possibility the plane was hit by a missile from the ground.
Experts in Cairo have started analyzing the black box data recovered from the plane. According to Russian news agency Interfax there were
"uncharacteristic sounds heard on the cockpit voice recorder moments before the deadly crash" suggesting the plane suffered a sudden and unexpected
event. A rapid event which left no time for a distress call and took 224 souls to their deaths.
The families of those on board gathered at a morgue in St. Petersburg to bring flowers and help identify bodies as the wait continues for answers
about their loved -- ones' final moments.
Let's take a closer look now at what we have learned today in St. Petersburg. I'm joined by CNN's Matthew Chance. And here in London, Richard
Quest joins me live. Thanks to both of you.
I'm going to start with you, Matthew Chance and let's talk a little bit about what some reports indicate may have been recorded on one of those
black boxes. Some unusual sounds or noises at the end of the recording. What are you hearing on your end from investigators here?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, officially investigators are being very tight-lipped about what those black box flight
recorders, the voice recorders in this instance have on them.
But this report that you mentioned comes to us on Interfax which is a privately owned Russian news agency. It's close to Kremlin, and it's
pretty well respected. They're quoting an unnamed source in Cairo referring to the contents of the voice recorder, saying that there were
uncharacteristic sounds is the phrase they used on the flight moments before it was lost. An unexpected and nonstandard emergency took place
instantly are the words the report uses, which indicates why the pilots did not raise any alarm or issue an emergency call or anything like that.
But in terms of what official information we have, it's still pretty thin. I mean, we know that the examination of the flight data recorders is now
under way. Russian and Egyptian officials are undertaking that process along with representatives from other countries as well. But it's going to
be some days, perhaps some weeks, before we get some really firm conclusions about what exactly happened to this ill-fated jet.
GORANI: All right, Matthew, stand by in St. Petersburg. Richard Quest is here, let's talk a little bit about this new development today of a heat
burst detected in mid-air. What does that tell us?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Quite obviously it explains some form of or suggests some sort of explosion, whether that be
by detonation and blast of explosives or the fuel tank and the aircraft itself exploding.
And listening to what Matthew was saying, what you would expect to see and we've had experience of this before MH-17 and TWA8 engine -- on the various
recorders you will see that happening. Now on the data recorder you will suddenly see a mass of information and then nothing as the power gets cut.
QUEST: On the voice recorder you will hear the split second of a noise. And it really will be going into the -- you will be analyzing getting right the
way down into the noise on and parsing it to see exactly what you can hear.
GORANI: So it appears as though the disintegration of the aircraft happened in mid-air. Do we know this also does the speed of descent tell us anything
about what might have happened?
QUEST: It was instant -- it was instant. It fell out of the sky. And -- but we don't know --
GORANI: And that couldn't have happened with an intact fuselage, right? Falling out of the sky?
QUEST: Yes it could -- oh yes, Air France 447 fell out of the sky. You fall out of the sky when you lose forward motion and your -- either the aircraft
stalls and it comes straight down. That's when you -- but in this situation it was similar.
Now earlier in the day I was talking to the Egyptian tourism minister. Because one of the big issues has been if there was an explosive -- and if
there was an explosive then attention turns to Sharm el Sheik. The airport, the security, and I needed to know was he satisfied on what changes was the
minister now going to introduce.
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HISHAM ZAZOU, EGYPTIAN TOURIST MINISTER: Well, what I can tell you is the past few years, actually the past two years, we have heightened our
security measures, we're revising it all the time among all the relevant parties, ministry of defense, interior, even like you're -- the British
Ambassador in Cairo all losing contact with us. And we receive delegations very openly from all over -- security delegation to ensure that we are up-
to-date with whatever needed to ensure the safety welfare of our guests into the country. This is taking place all the time until this very day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So they are concerned, but they're also pledging a full transparent and open investigation. Now I'm guessing there's a certain level of strain
between the Egyptians and the Russians as to who's calling the shots in this particular one. But officially it should and will be -- or should be
GORANI: Well I'm sure there is a level of nervousness as to what caused it, hoping that it's not some sort of attack or some sort of bomb. But I've got
to ask you Matthew Chance at the heart of it is a tale of human tragedy and the families there, many more of the bodies are being sent home. Tell us
about that aspect.
CHANCE: Yes, We've had two flights arrive so far 24 hours apart at the airport Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg with bodies on board, with
remains on board. The difficult process of formally identifying those remains and you can imagine the state they're in, has already been done
with families being escorted to a local morgue to do what they can to formally identify the remains of their loved ones.
So far according to the Russian officials that we've spoken to, 19 people have been identified, passengers on board that Metro Jet plane. But of
course there are still lots more, more than a hundred more to get through. And so that's going to be a pretty long process.
In the meantime the Russian authorities have declared that on Sunday coming up there'll be another official day of mourning and a memorial
service at a cathedral here in St. Petersburg. But that's not the funeral arrangements that will take place sometime after that. It's obviously going
to be a very long and drawn-out process of remembrance and mourning here, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Matthew Chance in St. Petersburg. Richard Quest here if in London. We'll see you at the top of the hour, Richard on Quest Means
And next, they escaped the ISIS invasion that killed so many in their community.
Now the Yazidi families that survived are stuck on Mount Sinjar, and the weather is getting colder, we'll have that.
But first a key figure who helped convince America to overthrow Saddam Hussein has died. We'll look at the legacy of Ahmed Chalabi when the World
Right Now returns.
GORANI: Now to something you don't normally see in this part of the Middle East. Yemen is taking a battering from a tropical cyclone.
Chapala slammed into the country's central coast early Tuesday. It is the first tropical storm on record to make landfall in the impoverished Arab
country which is going through a terrible civil war. There are concerns that the heavy rain could trigger mudslides in a country dealing with one
of the largest humanitarian crises in the world already.
In Iraq Yazidi fighters are preparing to retake territory that ISIS stole from them last year. In the meantime their families could face another
winter spent in tents on nearby Mount Sinjar. They are cold and of course understandably they're extremely scared and they have no way of knowing if
they'll ever be able to go home.
CNN's Nima Elbagir saw for herself the terrible uncertainty they're enduring.
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NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mount Sinjar. These desolate slopes claim the lives of dozens of children last year. And this year the
Yazidis are bracing themselves for the worst.
BUHA RABAI, YAZIDI WOMAN: (As translated) The mountain is so cold you can see there is nothing up here.
ELBAGIR: Buha is 30. She and her nine daughters escaped the ISIS onslaught last year. This year she says she worries it's the mountain that will kill
Buha was just telling me that 17 of them live in this tiny tarpaulin lined tent. And everything that you see here, the clothing that they're wearing,
the pots, the pans, this is it. This is all that they have in the world. And they are facing another incredibly brutal winter up here on the
The world watched as thousands of Yazidis were massacred during the ISIS push for the town of Sinjar last year August. Sinjar and the mountain that
looms over it are at the heart of the homeland of the Yazidi minority. It shelters their holiest shrine, the shrine of the founder, (Sharif
inaudible). It also falls along a crucial ISIS supply route, linking ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Preparations are now under way to retake Sinjar. Hundreds of Yazidi guards though are still held by ISIS fighters as slaves. Buha's sister and two
teenage nieces are among the captives. She says she cries when she remembers that they're gone. As the offensive draws nearer, she worries
they're still in Sinjar.
BUHA: (As translated): Where are they? Will they take them even further away? Will they be caught in the fighting?
ELBAGIR: Down in the foothills, the Yazidi soldiers stand guard. Many of the fighters here have families up on the mountain slopes above. Today a
local folk singer has come to rally them on. But they know too well what they're fighting for, their very existence. Ill equipped, poorly supplied,
the force commander tells us they need all the help they can get.
FORCE COMMANDER: (As translated) We need traditional support. We need heavy weaponry especially now. We stood against ISIS with nothing but machine
guns. We withstood a huge enemy and it's so strong. We need your help.
ELBAGIR: For now, the Yazidis are clinging on, desperate to stay within sight of their abandoned homes. Everyone here hopes this will finally be
over and soon, even as they prepare themselves for what awaits them in the town below.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, Mount Sinjar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: An Iraqi lawmaker who played a key role in convincing America to invade his country in 2003 has died. Our younger viewers may not be
familiar with this name, but in 2003 it was practically a household name. I'm talking about Ahmed Chalabi. He died of a heart attack Tuesday in
Baghdad. As Becky Anderson reports Chalabi's now discredited intelligence gave the U.S. ammunition to launce a war that would destabilize Iraq and
the region for years to come.
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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. invasion of Iraq, America's bloodiest conflict since Vietnam, a war whose legacy continues to
tear the Middle east apart. Now one of the biggest advocates of the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein is dead.
AHMED CHALABI, IRAQI LAWMAKER: I believe that the U.S. will find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. They certainly found the software. We have
been talking to many of the scientists who were involved in these programs and they confirm the manufacture of those weapons.
ANDERSON: Ahmed Chalabi's political career gained momentum in 1992 when he founded the Iraqi National Congress, which brought together groups opposed
to Saddam's rule. In the years that followed, the CIA reportedly gave them over $100 million to try and topple the Iraqi leader. But it was in the run
up to the 2003 invasion that Chalabi truly rose to prominence. Information he fed to U.S. officials supported the Bush administration's allegations
that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
GEORGE W. BUSH, THEN-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And there's a great threat in Iraq. There just is. This is a man who has gassed his own people,
used weapons of mass destruction on his own citizens. Imagine what his intentions will be about a country that loves freedom like we do.
ANDERSON: But his claims proved to be bogus. And while he denied ever supplying false intelligence, the ultimate cost of the war was enormous.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives. Millions more displaced. The country remains deeply divided along sectarian lines,
allowing radical groups like ISIS to emerge as major players. His reputation was further tarnished by his alleged ties to Iran.
Yet despite his role in the lead up to the war, Chalabi remain add key figure in post-war Iraqi politics, serving briefly as deputy prime minister
and oil minister. He was even talked about as a serious contender to succeed Nouri al Malaki as Prime Minister in 2014.
His death at the age of 71 ends a career that will forever be overshadowed by the 2003 U.S. led war and its aftermath.
But for Chalabi himself who deemed the invasion a success, the goal of overthrowing Saddam Hussein seeped to justify the means.
Becky Anderson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. Ahmed Chalabi is dead at 71.
For something completely different after the break, a new touch pad and an Siri function that listens to you.
Do you use Apple T.V.? If you do there's going to be an upgrade you might be interested in hearing about. We'll be right back.
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GORANI: All right. You didn't need me to read those out to you, did you? Because I didn't do it. I thought maybe you could just read them. Maybe we
just get the prompt to the right position and we can get to our next story.
Welcome back, everyone.
We're used to hearing people talk on television. Here you go. But now there is a T.V that listens apparently.
Apple has updated its television service, and it now includes the voice command SIRI. So instead of pressing buttons because that is way too hard,
you're able to ask your remote control to find your favorite episodes with your voice.
Let's get more on this with our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. So we're talking about Apple T.V.. Doesn't come cheap. Is this the upgrade
that's going to help Apple increase sales or is it just simply the kind of upgrade that's not going to really make a big dent, do you think?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well it is the first big upgrade for Apple T.V. in like three years. And it is, like you mentioned,
pretty expensive. $149 which is on the high end of all these kinds of streaming T.V. boxes.
You know there's Rocus, and Chrome Casts and Apple T.V.s, all of them put your big screen T.V. online and bring you all the content that's available
on the internet, whether it's Netflix or HBO Go or CNN zone app, all of them.
So I talked to the head of Apple T.V. at Apple, his name is Eddy Cue. He's a Senior Vice President there who is in charge of the app store and iTunes
and all of the internet sorts of parts of Apple. Here's what he told me about what's actually different with the new product.
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EDDY CUE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, APPLE T.V.: We wanted to change what T.V is. And to us T.V. is about apps. In order to do that, we had to bring a
touch interface. Same thing that you have with your phone and how it revolutionized things which was apps and a touch interface. And so we came
up with a remote that actually lets you touch and slide across and move very quickly and also takes advantage of things like SIRI so that you can
talk to it to find things and then bring the app ecosystem. Which the greatest things about apps is you don't know what people are going to do
with that. They've created incredible apps that we've never thought of on IOS and we think the same thing is going to happen on television.
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STELTER: So what he's saying is what the iPhone did, the iPad did, what people are now used for apps on cell phones, whether they're Google phones
or other kinds of phones, Samsung, Apple, all different kinds of phones have app environments.
Well he believes television will as well. That's the next big step by Apple T.V. Now, this is not a revolutionary upgrade, but it is an evolutionary
upgrade of the product and probably will spur sales for the holiday season.
GORANI: I'm just hoping one thing. If you have to search on Apple T.V that you don't have to go through and it takes forever each letter on that board
with the alphabet. That takes a long time. Hopefully you'll be able to actually type it.
STELTER: It is better -- it is better to be able to talk to your remote. It is definitely an improvement. I've been using it at home. You can go ahead
and name the show you're looking for. It will come up automatically if the show is on Netflix, if the show's on or iTunes or Hulu. So it is an
But you know frankly Apple, Google, all these companies still have a long way to go truly cracking television because it is such a complex
environment. And people want to watch so many different kinds of shows.
GORANI: That's true. And the industry is still figuring out really where it's going with the next big thing is going to be.
Let's talk to all of our fans around the world of Jon Stewart. We have some news. Jon Stewart is coming back. What deal did he just sign?
STELTER: He is. He just announced a deal with HBO which like CNN is owned by Time Warner.
It's a unusual deal. It's a four-year production deal which basically means whatever Jon Stewart wants to do in T.V. or film or online, he'll do it
with HBO first.
So, it actually relates to Apple T.V. and I'll tell you how. You're talking about this app like future of television where it's not just about
half hour or hour-long shows. Well what Jon Stewart is going to create are two to five-minute long web shows. It sounds like from the comfort of his
own home. He might provide the audio track. He'll write them, he'll create them. He might not appear on camera. Instead they'll be animations, two to
five-minute long animations with Jon Stewart's commentary about current events. They're going to come on not on HBO's television channel but HBO's
apps on HBO's web sites starting early next year.
Now I think eventually down the road he might do bigger projects as well but he's going to start small. Not with "The Daily Show" 22 minutes long,
but just with these two to five-minute long web shorts. It's a way for him to obviously comment on the 2016 election, right?
GORANI: All right. You said the nightly 22-minute show broke him. And this is something he this he can manage. Sounds like true freedom though you
know. You comment when you feel like commenting. You do it at home. No pressure.
GORANI: No daily pressure or expectations.
STELTER: He's going to put his toe in the water. But I have a feeling once he does he's going to like the temperature and he'll wade in a little
deeper. But this is a way for him to get started with HBO. And it does show you how the world's changing.
He doesn't have to do an exact same kind of episode every night. He doesn't have to be tied to the schedule of television. He can be flexible on line
and figure out what he wants to do next. But it goes to show HBO with Bill Simmons, "Sesame Street," John Oliver, it continues to grow its stable of A
GORANI: It's true. It says a lot about where the industry is going, where television is headed and how big stars are finding homes on the internet.
Thanks very much, Brian Stelter in New York. Appreciate it. Good talking to you.
Still ahead, pouring over the evidence.
Egyptian investigators are examining those black boxes recovered from the wreckage of the Metro Jet crash. We're live in Cairo for the very latest.
GORANI: A look at your top stories this hour. U.S. Officials say new data suggests a catastrophic in-flight event caused the crash of Metro Jet
flight 9268 Saturday.
The passenger jet plunged to the ground in Egypt's Sinai, killing all 224 on board. Now we have learned that a U.S. military satellite detected a
mid-air heat flash from the Russian plane. The heat flash could indicate there was an explosion on board.
Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi has died. He was 71.
He was a strong advocate for the 2003 American invasion against Saddam Hussein. And he supplied intelligence to the U.S. about Iraq's supposed
weapon office mass destruction. That intelligence was later discredited.
Israeli lawmakers have approved a law that imposes a minimum three-year sentence for stone throwers.
: Supporters say it is necessary to deter Palestinians from throwing rocks as weapons. Those convicted will have their state benefits stripped. If
their children, their parents' benefits will be halted. Critics say the law only adds fuel to the fire.
GORANI: Let's get back now to our top story. The investigation into a deadly plane crash in Egypt's Sinai.
Aviation officials in Egypt are now examining the plane's boxes for clues. There is a potential new lead. A U.S. military satellite detected a heat
flash mid-air from the plane before it plunged to the ground. Now it could indicate there was an explosion on board. What caused it though is unclear.
Ian Lee joins me now live from Cairo where he's tracking the Egyptian investigation into the crash. Now what are you hearing there from officials
and investigators about what they've learned in the last day or so?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, we know that the investigating committee has finished up their field work. This is according
to the civil aviation minister.
We're expecting more to come out of what they discovered out there. We know they're opening today, they're listening to the flight communications, what
was going on and recorded by those black boxes as well as the data inside those. They're looking over that for the first time today. They have a crew
-- they have teams from Airbus which include French and German officials as well as from Ireland pouring over this information.
Now, a Russian news agency, Interfax, reported that there was uncharacteristic and unexpected sounds that were detected in the cabin.
Well, we don't know if that was from the black box. They are citing an unnamed source in Cairo. But what it could be is the moments that an
explosion did occur. And the explosion is -- that theory is coming from this heat signature that was detected during the flight of this plane by a
Now, officials -- U.S. officials believe that it could be one of two things, either a, an engine had a malfunction and exploded causing this
heat signature, or there was a bomb put on there by ISIS.
But I think the important thing right now is that Egyptian officials are saying that they don't want people jumping to conclusions. This is still a
very long, ongoing investigation. They want to do a thorough job and then report their findings. They are asking people not to jump to conclusions at
GORANI: All right. Well people want answers of course, they're trying to come up with some kind of explanation based on what we're learning. But we
mentioned ISIS a lot, militants, a lot in the Sinai peninsula. How do they compare, those in the Sinai, to these images we see every day pretty much
of is terrorists in Syria and Iraq?
LEE: Well, ISIS in the Sinai is a bit different than is in Syria and Iraq. We do not see them going after civilian targets as frequently as we have
seen them do in Iraq and Syria. But they are still a very deadly, formidable insurgency here in Egypt, in the northern part of Sinai. And
they've been growing in strength ever since the 2011 revolution. Take a look.
LEE: It may be ISIS' least-known affiliate, but the terror group Sinai branch is deadly and sophisticated. Here the aftermath of an attack against
an army checkpoint in broad daylight. In all, the group has killed hundreds in roadside bombings, drive-by shootings and suicide attacks. Though
survivors captured are brutally executed, including a Croatian oil field worker beheaded in August.
ISIS in Egypt rose from the chaos of the Arab spring and unleashed their wave of violence in 2013. Not just in Egypt Sinai region but across the
country. The military and police carry out operations to hunt the militants down.
H. H. HELLYER, SENIOR FELLOW, ATANTIC COUNCIL: It's been an operation for two years. And I don't think anybody, including within the Egyptian
military, thinks that they're suddenly going to disappear.
LEE: It was late last year the terror group, with numbers estimated in the low hundreds, pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Their
weapons mainly coming from Libya, another country rocked by instability and an ISIS presence.
We've seen them car get convoys with remote detonative bombs, while suicide bombers hit outposts and military bases. The two most sophisticated weapons
believed to be in their arsenal include Russian-made hornet anti-tank missiles used in targeting tanks and a boat in the Mediterranean. And
shoulder launched surface to air missiles seen here taking down an Egyptian helicopter.
Analysts say what they don't possess are sophisticated missiles to take down a jet travelling over 30,000 like the Russian Metro Jet flight 9268
that crashed in the Sinai peninsula killing 224 on board.
HELLYER: Assuming ISIS have already claimed responsibility, that doesn't necessarily mean anything because indeed it simply could be part of
LEE: Indeed both Egyptian and Russian officials have downplayed ISIS' claim that they took down the jet saying it's more likely mechanical failure.
LEE: And Hala, ISIS very well could have put a bomb on that plane. We just don't know at this moment. But a ministry of interior official has told CNN
that they have not increased security at the Sharm el Sheik airport or other Egyptian airports because right now Egyptian officials still do not
believe a terrorist attack happened. They believe that this is a mechanical issue, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Hopefully for the sake of the victims' families as well we hope to get to the bottom of this sooner rather than later.
Ian Lee is in Cairo. Thanks very much.
Let's turn now to the civil war in Syria. CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward recently crossed the Tigris river from Iraq into Syria.
You can see the Tigris on the map, the border between northern Iraq and Syria there. Ward captured the journey on camera as her team traveled with
their guides from the Kurdish fighting force the YPG. Here's the back story now from Clarissa.
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CLARISSA WARD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Our journey into Syria began on the banks of the Tigris river that separates the Iraqi Kurds from
the Syrian Kurds.
So we're here in Iraq, and Syria is just over there across the water. But this entire area is controlled by Kurdish forces. Now we need to get all of
our gear onto one of these boats to get over to Syria.
Families weighed down with belongings cross in both directions. It was a very short ride, and then with a bump we were in Syria. So we've now
arrived in Syria or Rojava as the Kurdish people who live in this area call this region. And we're now making our way along the Turkish border driving
through the countryside on some pretty bumpy roads to meet up with our guides from the YPG.
These rickety mini buses are how most Syrian Kurds get around, listening to patriotic songs cheering on the Kurdish YPG fighters. We were accompanied
by a female fighter who was just 18 years old.
The Kurdish parts of Syria have a very different feel to the rest of the country. Many women here are uncovered, and the security situation is
relatively calm in towns along the Turkish border. But the famous Syrian hospitality is very much in evidence here. Even when we visited fighters on
the front lines, we were invited to share their lunch. On this day goat and bread was on the menu. You simply can't refuse.
WARD: The highlight though was an impromptu dance performance by our hosts as we prepared to leave. Months of heavy fighting has no quashed their
The days are long, hot, and very dusty. And you're never quite sure where you're going to end up. Since we've been in Syria we've been sleeping in a
different place every night. But this is our accommodation for the night. You can see the team here. Everyone's getting ready for bed. And it's
certainly not luxurious, but you don't have hotels really in this area. We've been relying on the kindness of strangers. And every night people
have been opening up their homes to us. So we're very grateful. And honestly when you're in Syria, anywhere with a roof over your head and a
nice mattress is perfectly comfortable for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it, Clarissa Ward there on the journey into Syria. Now, a high-ranking Kurdish representative to the U.K. has called for
British air strikes against ISISI inside Syria,
Writing in the Guardian newspaper back in July, Karwan Tahir has said that increased partnership with the Kurds is the only way to defeat ISIS. But an
influential committee of British lawmakers says the government should not extend air strikes to Syria until a clear strategy is developed.
Karwan Tahir, the Kurdish regional high representative to the U.K., joins me now. Ambassador, thanks for being with us.
KARWAN TAHIR, KURDISH REGIONAL GOVERNMETN HIGH REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UK: Well thank you very much, thank you very much for hosting me.
GORANI: You're welcome. This was all the way in July that you made that call that, you need more help with air strikes, with western military
involvement and helping Kurdish fighters against ISIS. Are you satisfied with what you've gotten?
TAHIR: Well, the Kurdish regional government and Peshmerga force currently are holding more than 1,000 kilometer line with ISIS. And thanks to the
international community, thanks to the allies with their support we managed to push back (inaudible) in a big way and to basically the air strike is a
good step but it's not enough. We need more from the international community.
GORANI: What do you need exactly? Special Forces? Those announcements were made by the United States. Does that help you?
TAHIR: Well, absolutely. I mean the Special Forces has been proven the last week that there was a joint operation with the laity, with the Peshmerga --
no, Peshmerga and the United States advisers and soldiers when they raided the prison inside the heart of is-controlled area and liberated 70
imprisoned under the control of the Daesh. That's an illustration and it indicates the needs of more weapons and needs more equipment to Peshmerga
and the special force by the coalition.
GORANI: Let me ask you about the regional developments since you wrote that op ed in the guardian in July much has changed. Russia has entered the
campaign with very, very strong air strikes in Syria but has authorized air strikes in Iraq. What is the Kurdish regional government's reaction to
Russia's involvement now? They say they're fighting ISIS. Do you believe them?
TAHIR: Well, that leads me to talk about the subject the Kurdistan Regional Government unfortunately is not part of the international talks regarding
this confronting ISIS. Russia's involvement, we're not involved in that talks and we know that we don't really don't know the extent of their
involvement. However, the Russians' involvement makes the situation more complicated because we all know that there is a competing agenda in that
area. And I can say for one moment that if we want to eradicate Daesh we all have to be united. International Community have to be united and have
one agenda in eradicating Daesh.
GORANI: but that's clearly so far from what's going on in the Middle East to have one agenda and united in one common cause.
I spoke with a Turkish Foreign Minister about a week ago in Paris.
And I asked him about -- and I know this is now Syria, not strictly Iraq -- about Turkish -- the Turkish military targeting YPG fighters in Tell Abyad.
And he says all these fighters take their orders from the PKK. And so therefore it's not because they're fighting a terrorist group that they are
not terrorists themselves. When you see Turkey targeting YPG or PKK positions in Iraq and Syria, what is your reaction to that?
TAHIR: Well, I think the YPG, they are a local player in this complex and Turkey themselves for Kurdistan Regional Government they are an important
neighbor for us and they are part of the coalition now.
I talked about the united agenda. So we should involve everyone in confronting Daesh and we should give everyone their limit of participation.
GORANI: How do you react to Turkey targeting some of the Kurdish forces fighting ISIS that are supposed to be partners of America in the fight
TAHIR: Absolutely. As I said, we should not let the internal dispute to affect our main goal, which is eradicating and pushing back Daesh.
And that was a -- you know in Turkey this attack by Turkey to the YPG is not helping the overall cause of eradicating Daesh.
GORANI: Certainly complicating matters, Karwan Tahir, thanks very much for joining us here in the studio, we appreciate it.
You can go to Facebook and react to what you've heard on the program. Facebook.com/hala goranicnn. We always appreciate your weighing in with
Still to come, a new poll suggests a shakeup in the Republican race for the White House. Donald Trump has slipped out of the lead. We'll tell you who
the new frontrunner is. At least for now.
GORANI: For the second week in a row, opinion surveys show Donald Trump's support is slipping.
A new poll from NBC News in the "Wall Street Journal" shows Ben Carson is leading trump. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz take the third and fourth spots at
11% and 10% respectively. But Carson is 6 percentage points ahead of Trump at 29%. The polls surveyed likely Republican votes both before and after
last week's Presidential debate.
Let's bring in CNN political correspondent Sara Murray. She is live in New York. So what is -- what explains this? Why is Ben Carson in the last few
weeks all of a sudden doing so well?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think you're starting to see this sort of outsider -- urge for an outsider spill over a little bit
into Ben Carson.
And when I talked to voters, particularly in the early state, they like that Ben Carson also isn't scripted. He is not a politician. He sort of
just speaks his mind. But they look at him and they see someone who is a little bit more sincere, they say, than Donald Trump. And they see someone
who's a little bit more aligned with their values.
And we're really seeing that in the early states like in Iowa where Carson is drawing the support from evangelical voters. And you know the
interesting thing is to watch Donald Trump react to all of this, because he's sort of begun lashing out at everyone when he held a Press Conference
today he went after Ben Carson, he went after Marco Rubio, went after Jeb Bush on everything from immigration policy to being low energy. So you
really get the sense that Donald Trump does not like to be in second place.
GORANI: OK. And President Obama has had an opportunity to take his own shots at the Republican candidates.
It's not just Donald Trump at his competition. Essentially you know sort of questioning their ability to stand up to Vladimir Putin because they all
say they would stand up to him. Tell us more about what President Obama had to say.
MURRAY: Well, I think we've seen this sort of disarray as Republicans try to restructure how they want to do their debates. They've complained that
the questions are gotcha questions, that the moderators aren't fair. And President Obama decided to weigh in on that. And he had some strong
feelings. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Have you noticed that every one of these candidates say, Obama's weak. He's, you know Putin's kicking
sand in his face. When I talk to Putin -- he's going to straighten out. Just looking at him, he's going to be -- and then it turns out they can't
handle a bunch of CNBC moderators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now you know Trump has shot back by saying that President Obama can't handle running the country. But I do think we have seen since
Republicans have aired all their grievances, since they got together and came up with their list of demands, a number of them have actually backed
off and said, look, all I need is a podium. I'll take whatever questions come to me. I think they realize that maybe they're not sending the
strongest signals by negotiating this in public. They just want to get out there and debate.
GORANI: All right. The endlessly entertaining Presidential race in the U.S. And interesting. Sarah Murray, thanks very much joining us from New York.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Jackie Michelle Payne has become the first woman to ride away with the prestigious Melbourne cup.
Payne is just the fourth woman to compete in the history of the race. She was riding New Zealand's Prince of Penzance, a gelding. She says she hopes
her win will bring more female jockeys into the sport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE PAYNE, WINNING JOCKEY: I can't believe we've done it. To think that (Darren Weir) has given me a go in such chauvinistic sport. I know
some of the owners are keen to kick me off for instance. John Richards and Darren stuck really solid with me. I put in all the effort I could, I
galloped during every gallop he had and did everything I could to stay on him because I thought he had what it takes to run a race in the Melbourne
Cup. And I just can't say how grateful I am to them. And just want to say that everyone else can get stuffed because they think women aren't strong
enough, but we just beat the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, the purse for this year's Melbourne cup, $4.4 million. Wondering if it's too late for me just to learn how to ride a horse.
Now to another powerful female voice, Adele is back and she's already breaking records.
The British pop star's new single "Hello" debuted at number one on the billboard top 100.
(MUSIC VIDEO PLAYING)
GORANI: But it didn't stop there. "Hello" was downloaded over a million times in its first week, something no other singer has ever achieved. The
song's success bodes well for Adele's new album after her three years hiatus, it will be released November 20th.
I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.