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Snowden's Secret Saviors; Hurricane Matthew Cuts Path of Destruction Through Caribbean; Kerry, Lavrov Have Phone Conversation; White House Upset Over New Israeli Settlement Activity. Aired. 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired October 6, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET


[11:00:14] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Hurricane Matthew continues its trail of destruction

battering the Bahamas and now heading towards the U.S. east coast. More than 2 million people are

in the United States evacuation zone. We are live on the ground this hour.

Also ahead, to new diplomatic push over Syria spearheaded by France as the Syrian army makes gains on the front line in Aleppo.

Plus, shocking in Straubourg as a British member of parliament, the European Parliament, is

hospitalized after an altercation.

We've got the latest for you coming up.

It's just after 7:00 in the evening here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching Connect the World. Our top story for you this

hour, the incredibly dangerous hurricane on course to make a direct hit on the southeastern United States. Now the latest projections show that

Matthew will make landfall in Florida early Friday. And it's just been upgraded to a category 4 storm.

More than 2 million people have been urged to leave their homes in coastal Florida, Feorgia and

South Carolina.


GOV. RICK SCOTT, (R) FLORIDA: There are no excuses. You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate. Are you willing to take a chance to

risk your life? Are you willing to take a gamble? That's what you're doing. If you're reluctant to evacuate, just

think of all the people this storm has already killed. You and your family could be among these members if you don't take this seriously.


ANDERSON: Well, there's no way you could misinterpret that warning from Florida's governor. We'll go live to our reporter in Palm Beach


I want to turn to Aleppo now, Syria, or what's left of the city at least. In this small -- in this part, the small bombed out enclave that's

controlled by rebels, you can see they are totally surrounded on the ground. And they are often obliterated from the air, but not so last

night. There were hardly any attacks, and that may be the quiet before the storm.

State media reports Syrian troops are snatching back key ground from fighters like this. Earlier the UN's envoy to Syria said there are just

900 al Nusra fighters in eastern Aleppo. So the strategic calculations don't add up.



people basically who are becoming the main reason for which there is 275,000 people actually being attacked? Is this going to be and is their

alibi and reason for actually the destruction of the city?


ANDERSON: Well, although Washington called off peace talks about Syria with Moscow earlier this week, their top diplomats spoke about it by

phone a little earlier on.

CNN's Matthew Chance in the Russian capital for us with more on that. And 48 hours or so Washington announces, Matthew, it is suspending ties

with Russians over Syria. And now we hear they are talking. What's changed?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it was a little surprising, wasn't it, Becky? But you're right, there was this

telephone call, which apparently was initiated by the American side, which was a call between John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state and his Russian

counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss among other things, of course Syria.

They said they exchanged opinions on the issue of Syria as if their opinions weren't already well known to each other. But they also discussed

other issues as well. And this is the distinction the U.S. side is making on this is that they may have called off the bilateral talks over Syria,

but they're still going to engage on a whole range of other issues with Russia including Syria, North Korea, Ukraine as well.

They said -- the State Department spokesman said it would be irresponsible of the American side not to touch base, I'm paraphrasing him

slightly, with Sergey Lavrov, the Russia foreign minister, when the situation in Aleppo is so severe. And so we didn't get any detail about

what exactly they discussed, but I think it's pretty clear after months of negotiations between these two countries and between these two individuals

they're both fully aware of their respective positions.

[11:05:05] ANDERSON: So where Washington failed is Paris likely to succeed? As we hear talks now between the French and the Russians on


CHANCE: Well, I mean, certainly it's the French. And a French initiative is underway to try and achieve that. Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is

the French foreign minister, he is in Moscow right now. Within the past hour, he's been giving a joint press conference with Sergey Lavrov. He

came here to try and encourage Russia to sign up to a French-backed resolution at the -- or draft resolution at the United Nations calling

basically for the same things that the Americans were calling for. And we're negotiating with the Russians about, which is an end to military

flights over Aleppo, a ceasefire essentially to allow humanitarian access to the tens of thousands of people under siege in that city.

He said when he spoke at this joint press conference a few moments ago that they've made

some progress. He said that the talks were constructive. But he said there were still obstacles. He didn't go into any further detail than


From their side, the Russians said they were prepared to work with the French draft resolution, but they wanted, this is Sergey Lavrov speaking,

they want the war on terrorism to be waged collectively.

And so not a lot of details, some generalizations coming out of this. But I mean at the very least, I think we can say that there are still some

diplomatic channels open either be it through the Satte Department or through the French foreign ministry with Russia and the western powers.

ANDERSON: Any reaction to the UN envoy's words today? This is Staffan de Mistura, the envoy to Syria, who was pointing out, and not

mincing his words, when he said there are some 900 al Nusra fighters as far as the UN understands in eastern Aleppo where there

is a population of 297,000. After all it was the Russians backing the Syrians who are after terrorists. The point for de Mistura was is the sort

of assault on eastern Aleppo that we've been seeing of late really justified when one considers how few rebels there are compared to the

population there. Is there a response to that narrative out of Moscow at this point?

CHANCE: Well, it's certainly not a criticism that the Russians are going to accept. I mean, they've said time and again their position is

that one of the main reasons is cessation of hostility failed is that the American side did not fulfill its obligations under the deal that they had,

namely to make sure there was a separation between the al Nusra rebels and more moderate

groups and of course the civilians. They failed to do that.

In the meantime, the Russians say that the rebel groups, the jihadists, were continuing to carry out hundreds of attacks throughout that

short cessation of hostilities period against the Syrian armed forces. And so they're laying the blame for all of this essentially at the feet of the

United States for failing to live up to its obligations.

And so that Staffan de Mistura criticism is not going to be one that's going to be readily accepted here in Moscow.

ANDERSON: 6:08 in Moscow in the evening. Matthew Chance reporting for you, as ever. Matthew, thank you.

A leading member of the UK Independence Party, Steven Woolfe, is in hospital after an altercation at a meeting of party members. Now, this

happened at the European parliament in Strasbourg. This video reportedly shows Woolfe being treated by paramedics.

Now, in the last hour Woolfe himself released a statement saying he was feeling better but staying

in hospital overnight.

Phil Black joining me from London tonight with the very latest. And this was described, Phil, as an altercation. Do we have any further

details on what happened and who else was involved?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't, Becky. No. So it has been described as an altercation by the party's interim leader

Nigel Farage. He is stepping down as leader.

This all comes at a time when this particular party, which has been so influential in determining the future course of Britain through its

campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, is trying to said to be the bookies favorite, really, to take that role. So, an altercation

that really means a fight in the words of another person campaigning to become the party's leader Raheem Kassam. He says this was abhorrent


Whatever happened it was certainly an extraordinary event, really, at this party meeting in Strasbourg among members of the European parliament,

that is members of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party in Strasbourg. This violent incident has taken place and that some time after

-- subsequent to that, Steven Woolfe collapsed in this way.

But you are right, the latest word from him is positive. He is said to be feeling better. He has this released this statement from a hospital

in Strasbourg which he says the CT scan has not found a blood clot. He is feeling better, he's staying overnight for secondary

tests. But somewhat concerningly, he says that he is still numb on one side of his face.

There is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of his face, he says. So clearly serious.

This was an injury or circumstances in which it was thought that he was suffering severe life threatening situation initially, but since then

it would appear that it looks like the news has been a little better.

But an extraordinary violent altercation for a party that as I say has played such a big crucial role in charting the immediate course of

Britain's future, Becky.

Phil Black in London, thank you.

Let's get you back to the major weather story that we are tracking for you viewers. Hurricane Matthew now pummeling the Bahamas after gaining

strength overnight. It's just been upgraded to a category 4 storm and is on course to make landfall on the Florida coast Friday morning.

Haiti just beginning to assess the damage from this storm, a report from Reuters says the

death toll has risen to 65. The devastation especially severe in the far southwest of that country.

So I want to get back to where the storm is going next. Nick Valencia joining me now from

Palm Beach in Florida.

And this is being reported as a very dangerous category 4 storm. And for that very reason, Nick, being taken extremely seriously indeed by

authorities, correct?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A deadly storm, a dire warning by the Florida

governor here, especially West Palm Beach. It seems to be in the crosshairs of what we expect to be

Hurricane Matthew.

Tropical storm winds expected to be in effect here this afternoon. The heavier stuff coming later this evening. But it has been the last hour

or so that we've really started to see the effects of that impending hurricane. So much so, Becky, that we had to evacuate our location where

we were at by the beach. There was a mandatory evacuation in effect.

At about 10:30 we decided to take the precautions for our crew and retreat to a safer location here. Excuse me.

There are residents that are very nervous about what is happening here. The fact that the storm is on its way is a fact not lost on them.

There have been other residents who I have spoken to who say they aren't planning on evacuating. And the governor and the local officials here have

been very clear to those officials who want to ride out the storm that they're going to be on their own. And if and when first responders are

able to get to them, they're going to have to wait it out.

We witnessed just how dire the situation was going into the local supermarkets here. When our crew got here we immediately went to stock up

on supplies knowing what we were in store for and the shelves were empty -- - no bread, no water, generators have been taken. A lot of nervous faces, Becky,

in those aisles looking for essentials that weren't there -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And just how soon is this storm, just to confirm, expected to hit the east coast?

VALENCIA: In the matter of the next 12 hours or so. This storm is expected to arrive

between midnight and 8:00 a.m. on Friday. The latest model has it being a very intense storm, a category 4 storm that's going up and down Florida's

east coast.

We were listening earlier to our meteorologist Chad Myers who said this storm has a potential of even hitting closer communities that are

inland like Orlando.

So that's a situation that the local officials here they aren't taking lightly and they want people to evacuate, get to shelters. And if they

can't get to shelters, just get out of town -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, thank you.

You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. Still to come, how can peace ever be found for Syria if the main people meant to be solving it

can't even decide if they want to talk to each other. We'll discuss the way forward there with an expert on the country. That's next.

Plus, the White House gives Israel an unusually forceful rebuke over housing in the West

Bank. More details on that story a little later in the hour. Stay with us. Taking a very short break. Back after this.


[11:16:50] ANDERSON: We're tracking Hurricane Matthew this hour. The storm just been upgraded to a category 4 with maximum sustained winds of up

to 225 kilometers an hour. And forecasters say it could make landfall early Friday in Florida.


SCOTT: Do not go on the beach. This will kill you. These are all projections. It could be much worse. Time is running out. We are

preparing for the worst. We're hoping for the best. And no one should take any chances.


ANDERSON: Florida's governor there not mincing his words.

More than 2 million people have been urged to leave their homes in Coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

And we will continue to update you on this story throughout the hour. You're with CNN. This of course is Connect the World with me, Becky

Anderson. Welcome back.

Not since even before the Berlin wall came down have things between -- have been so tense

between Washington and Moscow. They haven't been seeing eye-to-eye over Syria for months. Just two days ago Washington threw up hands saying it

had enough refusing to talk to Moscow about peace there anymore. And that came just a few days after this.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: How can people go sit at a table with a regime that bombs hospitals and drops chlorine gas again and again

and again and again and again and again, and acts with impunity? You're supposed to sit there and have happy talk in Geneva?


ANDERSON: When it comes to Syria, nothing is ever what it seems, is it?

John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov picked up the phone to talk about the

crisis just a few hours ago.

I want to talk about all of this with Charles Lister who joins us from Washington. Well, he's a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute and an

expert on Syria.

Charles, 48 hours ago Washington announces it's suspending ties with the Russians over Syria and now we hear they are talking.

I guess the question is this, has anything changed at this point? I want to talk about what's going on on the ground. I want to get your take

on that specifically on eastern Aleppo, but is anything changed so far as this diplomacy is concerned, loosely termed?

CHARLES LISTER, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: Well, I guess what can be said is diplomacy is kind of at its lowest level of confidence that has been in

probably nine, ten months or so.

What we have seen since late 2015 was a very serious diplomatic attempt, multilaterally with a whole variety of up to 20 countries that was

trying to pave the way towards an effective and meaningful political process on Syria. And of course that ended with a very close bilateral

U.S./Russian track that we've just recently seen blow up into pieces.

I think right now we're in a limbo stage where no one quite knows where things are going to

continue to move forward. On a day-to-day basis Russia's strategic interests in Syria aregrowing and improving, as of course are the Assad


And as the days progress the little U.S. leverage that they have on the ground is reducing. So I think we -- no one really knows quite where

things are going at this point diplomatically.

[11:20:17] ANDERSON: Charles, writing in the Middle East Institute at the start of this week you said, and I quote, Secretary of State John

Kerry's efforts to operationalize President Obama's diplomacy first approach without a threat of any harder U.S. power behind it are nothing short of extraordinary. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, boots on

the ground or taking out leaders does not automatically equate with a better outcome.

What does your advocation for more U.S. power look like?

LISTER: Well, I mean, any alternative path from what we've seen taking place over the last 10 to 12 months is going to be controversial,

and certainly it's going to bring with it more risks. But what I would advocate and what I said in that article that you quoted is

the efforts thus far have been diplomacy alone backed up with zero consequences for violating cease-fires, for committing continued war crimes

on a daily basis.

So in effect what we've been doing so far is hoping that all of the actors on the ground, including the Assad regime in Russia, have trust with

the opposing side which we know full well they don't. So what I would advocate is there does need to be what's called diplomatic parlance an

enforcement mechanism contained within an international agreement for new cessation of hostilities.

ANDERSON: So let me put this to you as you are speaking, I'm just receiving a -- an urgent wire here that says the following: Russia warns

U.S. against missile or air strikes on Syrian troops. Any missile or air strikes on the territory under the control of the Syrian government will

pose, and I quote, obvious threat to the Russian military."

This is from a defense ministry spokesman in Moscow briefing on Thursday in response to western media reports about possible strikes on

Syrian troops. What we continue to see it seems is the ratcheting up of this rhetoric, a couple of phone calls, a cessation of violence it seems albeit for short periods of time it looks as if things

are being ratcheted down. And then the cycle starts all over again.

Meanwhile, we've got 297,000 people in Eastern Aleppo, Staffan de Mistura tells us there may be something like 900 al-Nusra fighters there.

These people are being squeezed by the Syrian regime to effectively get out and surrender or lose their lives.

How do you read -- or what's your take on what is going on on the ground at present?

LISTER: I mean, simply put the Assad regime is implementing a well honed strategy of razing the ground and forcing a civilian population into

submission. And in a sense that puts the armed groups, moderate or not, pushes them into a corner in which they have to effectively surrender or

flee. And this strategy on smaller scale has practiced to great success across other areas of Syria.

And of course what we're watching in Aleppo is the largest scale implementation of that strategy. But it's nothing new. And as I say, it

works. The problem we have here and sitting in Washington, D.C., is we've had the Department of Defense say that they do think that military action

against the regime, not against Russia, could potentially have an effect on the battlefield and in terms of pushing in a more effective and meaningful

political process.

But more importantly, perhaps, we also have the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA who have said that the fall of Aleppo to the regime and

thus an opposition defeat in Aleppo would significantly degrade the west's fight against terrorism in Syria.

So we have significant bodies here in the U.S. saying, listen, what's happening in Aleppo right

now is definitively not in our interests. And perhaps the only way of pushing back against it is to

adopt a more assertive policy, which naturally does bring with it risks.

Go ahead.

ANDERSON: Or the counter argument is that which one of my colleagues, Fareed Zakaria, used in a recent article where he argued that the United

Sstates cannot establish more security at home and abroad by attempting to police longstanding sectarian conflicts in foreign countries.

I want to quote what he said, it's a ruinously expensive task to get involved in adjudicating the

dispute, he says between Sunni and Shia and creating political order. Now, that may also elude to the

upcoming offensive in Mosul and the U.S.-led coalition's efforts there as well.

But do you buy in any way what Fareed is suggesting there? Because it's counter to what you are suggesting.

[08:25:10] LISTER: With all due respect to Fareed Zakaria, I don't think that the conflict in Syria is an age old sectarian conflict. It's

something that has arisen for five years in a country which for hundreds of years has prospered by being an extremely sort of multi-ethnic, multi-

religious society.

So I don't buy into that sort of simplistic argument.

And at the same time if you look at what Russia's done over the last year, estimates currently right now say it's spent approximately half a

billion dollars in a whole year's operations. And look how successful they've been.

So I don't think -- I mean, I certainly wouldn't advocate that we need to have 50,000 U.S. troops on the ground. I think all that might be needed

is a fairly minimal ratcheting up of the pressure in order to then deescalate.

So it's an escalate to deescalate argument. And all of that is founded upon a gamble that Russia would have no interests and would see

itself as having no interest in what the cynics say causing World War III with the United States of America. I just don't buy the argument that

Russia would stand up to the kind of threats that it's making in the public right now.

And in fact it has an interest in making these kind of escalatory threats because very well aware that there's a president sitting in the

White House right now vehemently opposed any escalation in Syria.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Charles, it's good to have you on. Thank you.

LISTER: thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, with so many terrible scenes of fighting in Syria, perhaps what stands out most is the people rushing towards all of that to

help others. Well, the best known among them are a group known as the White Helmets. Well, now they are saying their main center in Damascus has

been destroyed by a barrel bomb and that some of their volunteers were hurt in the attack.

But who are the White Helmets? And what makes them risk their lives day in and day out? Well, Connect the World's very own Hazel Pfeiffer (ph)

put together this report.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Latest missile attacks on hospitals and schools in rebel-held areas has left up to 50 civilians dead.

ISMAIL ABDULLAH, SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENSE: We don't know why they are targeting us.

We are just saving people. We are just doing our job. We just doing something for the people, to save the kids, to save the women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the White Helmets we have a motto: to save a life is to save all of humanity.




[11:32:28] ANDERSON: Well, that storm, Hurricane Matthew, is now hammering the Bahamas with heavy winds and heavy rain. And it's on course

to make a direct hit on the southeastern U.S. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins me now from the world weather center.

And we've been monitoring this storm. We've been keeping it on the screen for our viewers as it builds and barrels towards the east coast.

What more do you know? What can you tell us at this point?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, it's a menacing storm. You know, it's incredible because in the last couple of hours, Becky, we've

seen this storm strengthen as it's interacted with land and of course the land mass it's dealing with, the Bahamas, archipelago, some 7,000 miles

here much of it are very shallow and very flat. So the storm systems often that are traveling over the Bahamas do

not even notice the presence of the islands in their path and that is precisely what's happening with water temperatures that are as warm as your

bathtub is, so 31 to 33 degrees Celsius mark.

The concern with this is where it's going to be headed over the next 24 hours. We know that hurricane warnings in place across the Bahamas and

certainly in place across eastern coast of Florida on its southern portions of the state of Georgia as well. But the storm surge threat, I often tell

people it is the water element that takes most lives with storms. About 90 percent of all fatalities related to tropical storms are not from the winds that are 100,

200 or 300 kilometers per hour at times, it is the water waves they generate, the storm surge they generate.

And heavy rain also associated with them. And you take a look at this. And you're talking up to 15 feet or four-and-a-half meters of a

storm surge, literally the water levels some of the first stories of many homes across parts of these islands would be completely decimated. And the

officials in portions of the Bahamas are saying this could impact 80 percent of their islands as far as removing any landmass that is on the

immediate coastline.

And of course when it's flat it would remove much of that particular island it moves over. But notice the storm surge threat, it still exists

across the eastern coast of Florida as we go in towards the northern portion of Florida.

And what's really most impressive with the storm system is the fact that we think it will further strengthen over the next 12 or so hours

before it impacts land some time in the early morning hours of Friday, around West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Fort Pierce, work your way out towards

Cape Canaveral, this could be a storm system that retains a category 4 strength for some 1,300 kilometers as it moves up the eastern coastline of


So it would really decimate much of the coastal communities across this region as it moves over, and we know historically speaking, only three

other storms since the year 1970 have even gotten to a category of four or five being Hugo, Andrew and Charley. And when you look at this, Becky, all of these

storms have left at least $10 billion in losses and of course dozens and dozens of fatalities. So, it's a big, big story developing for the eastern


[11:35:10] ANDERSON; And being described as a very dangerous storm. Thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Stick with CNN of course. We will monitor this and get you updates as and when they are available.

All right, let's get you more on a story that we've been following for you this hour. UKIP MEP Stephen Woolfe says he is feeling, quote,

brighter, happier, and smiling as ever, end quote, after collapsing in the European Parliament.

Now this followed an altercation at a meeting between party members.

Woolfe's collapse is the latest incident in what has been a turbulent week for this political party as he is a leading contender to be their new

leader, Diane James, left on Tuesday after just 18 days.

I want to get more on this with John Rentoul. He is the chief political commentator for The Independent in the UK.

And I'm just reading here some reported quotes from UKIP's leader in the Welsh assembly who wasn't there in Strasbourg when this, quote,

altercation took place. This is Neil Hamilton being quoted by a British broadcaster saying that Steven Woolfe had picked a fight with one of his

colleagues and came off worse he was told.

He toppled over and hit his head on a glass window, so it must have been quite a wallop.

What do you know at this point about what happened?

JOHN RENTOUL, THE INDEPENDENT: Well, I mean, I've picked up quite a lot of the gossip that's been coming to us to Westminster from Strasbourg

where this happened at the European Parliament.

And it is quite extraordinary, because we British do like enjoying watching clips on YouTube of parliamentarians in other countries fighting

each other or getting involved in brawls, but we never imagined it would happen to any of our

representatives. So it is pretty unprecedented for members of the European parliament, British members of the European parliament to come to blows

with each other.

ANDERSON: Certainly, John, in a statement by Steven himself that he is feeling much brighter, I think saying overnight at a hospital in

Strasbourg, but certainly his own statement suggested he is feeling a lot brighter. Look, give us a sense of the background to all of this.

RENTOUL: Well, I mean, Steven Woolfe is actually in the middle of yesterday he declared that he was a candidate for the leadership of UKIP,

which is the UK Independence Party that campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union.

Now, you might have thought the party hasn't got any reason to exist now that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, but of course that

process is going to take at least two years. So, you know, there are plenty of people in UKIP who think that the party can still put useful

pressure on the British government, on Theresa May, the prime minister, to go for what's called a hard Brexit, which means, you know, completely

separating us from the European Union and not trying to remain in some kind of close relationship especially with the single market.

Now, you know, the reason that Steven Woolfe got involved in this fight with a colleague of his was that yesterday he said that he had

thought about defective from UKIP and joining the governing Conservative Party because he was so impressed with what Theresa May was saying, but

that he decided to run for the leadership of UKIP instead in order to put pressure on the government to make sure it really does leave the European

Union and doesn't try to sort of stay in by the back door.

ANDERSON: We are talking about 22 representatives for the UKIP Party at the European Parliament. And you are alluding to the fact that they

still believe given that there is this sort of, you know, we think about two years before the UK will actually pull out of Europe. They think

they're still relevant, but are they?

RENTOUL: Well, I mean, obviously, you know, they're not as relevant as they used to be because they have achieved their great objective in

politics which is to get the British people to vote to come out.

And their charismatic leader, Nigel Farage, who was personally responsible for a lot of the party's success and appeal, has finally

retired leaving chaos and disunity in his wake. I mean, the party has never been very united. It has one MP in the House of Commons in

westminster. He disagrees with almost everybody else in the party and has been constantly disowned by Nigel Farage and others.

So then we had the farce of Steven Woolfe failing to get his nomination papers in to succeed Nigel Farage. So, Diane James was elected.

18 days later she decided she really couldn't stand it and she stood down.

And now we have fisticuffs in the European Parliament. It's difficult to see this as anything other than a metaphor for a party that has lost its


[11:40:29] ANDERSON: Thank you, sir. Your analysis on one of the stories of the hour out of London for you today.

We are live out of Abu Dhabi. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Coming up, the U.S. is accusing Israel of breaking its

word over housing in the West Bank. What Israel has to say is just ahead.


ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. It is just about quarter to 8:00 in the evening here.

We're going to bring you what could be a brewing political storm in the race for the White House. Hillary Clinton's campaign reportedly buying

up advertising time on the Weather Channel in Florida during its hurricane coverage. It comes ahead of Sunday's second presidential debate.

Now, Donald Trump is at a town hall in New Hampshire tonight, a kind of dress rehearsal if you will for round two.

On Wednesday, Trump touted Mike Pence as the winner of the running mate debate and could not help but take some of the credit for himself.

CNN's Jim Acosta has more from Reno, Nevada.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is taking a bit of a victory lap after Mike Pence's performance in that vice presidential

debate. But Trump is also trying to get back on message.

At a rally here in Reno, he went after President Obama's signature legislative achievement, Obamacare, noting how earlier this week, former

President Bill Clinton described the Affordable Care Act as a crazy system. Here is more of what Trump had to say.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Can you imagine when he walked home to that beautiful home in Westchester and he said, "Hi,

Hillary. How was your day?


TRUMP: Oh, did he suffer. And a big part of her campaign is Obamacare -- big part. And she wants to double up and double down. And she wants it

go -- I mean, this woman doesn't know what the hell she is doing, folks, sadly (ph).


TRUMP: There's only one way to stop Obamacare. And that's to vote for Donald J. Trump.

ACOSTA: And throughout the day, Trump was praising Pence's performance in that vice presidential debate. But he was also taking some credit,

noting how the Pence pick was one of his first big decisions as a presidential candidate.

And the Trump campaign is also pushing back on the notion that Trump is somehow jealous of Pence's performance. In the words of Kellyanne

Conway, Trump's campaign manager, "That is truly outrageous."


ANDERSON: Jim Acosta reporting for you.

Clinton and Trump then go head-to-head less than a week after a showdown between their running mates.

Most polls show Trump's vice presidential pick Mr. Mike Pence won that debate, but Democrat Tim Kaine defended his performance on CNN. Have a



SEN. TIM KAINE, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was really interested to see, very interested whether Governor Pence would defend his

running mate or not. I viewed it as fundamentally a debate really as between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And so I put over and over again

to Governor Pence the notion of how can you defend what Donald Trump has done or said and again and again he refused to defend Donald Trump.

And so I think that was what I was hoping to get across in the debate. And I think folks watching it definitely understood that Governor Pence

wouldn't defend his running mate.


ANDERSON: All right, well, you can see the next presidential debate on CNN. Watch it live. It goes out 2:00 a.m. London time, that is 9:00

a.m. in Hong Kong and wherever you're watching around the world, I think you can probably work out the times locally for you.

All right, a lot of American voters don't appear to be too happy with either option for president. Many dubbing this election the ultimate

choice between the lesser of two evils. Well, perhaps the nostalgia is kicking in early, but the

current occupant of the White House is riding a surge in popularity.

Obama's approval ratings stand at 55 percent in a new CNN/ORC poll. That is the highest mark of his second term.

This time last year his approval rating was about ten points lower than it is today. But that doesn't mean it's all smooth sailing for

President Obama, especially on the foreign policy front. His administration now involved in a diplomatic spat with Israel over its plan

to build new housing in the West Bank.

My colleague Oren Liebermann picks up that part of the story for you.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. with scathing criticism of Israel for what the U.S. calls plans to build a new

settlement. Israel says it's not a new settlement at all, an expansion of an existing settlement it says.

The area we're talking about is this area here behind me, that is where the construction will be. Israel says it's an expansion of the

settlement of Shiloh (ph), a settlement in the northern part of the West Bank.

Israel says the purpose of these homes is replacement homes for illegal settler homes that are scheduled to be demolished by Christmas.

That's an argument the U.S. isn't buying. Here is White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The settlement's planned location is deep in the West Bank. In fact, the settlement location is far

closer to Jordan than it is to Israel. And it would effectively link a string of outposts that could divide the West Bank. And it would make the

possibility of a viable Palestinian state all the more remote.

LIEBERMANN: It's worth noting that in the planning papers for this new construction it's supposed to have its own municipal buildings, it's

own public buildings and is supposed to be functionally independent from the rest of the settlement of Shiloh (ph).

As far as the U.S. is concerned that would make it the first new settlement in the West Bank in more than two decades. Palestinian leaders

also offering scathing criticism of this construction. PLO Secretary- General Saeb Erekat said this is a further move from the, quote, right wing extremist Israeli government in violation of international law.

He also says the continued expansion and growth of settlements is a way for Israel to end the peace process.

Meanwhile, Israel says settlements are open to negotiations in a final status


In the Shiloh (ph) settlement in the West Bank, Oren Liebermann, CNN.


ANDERSON: Live from Abu Dhabi you're watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Still ahead in our parting shots tonight, finding refuge

from war. We'll show you how a once secret hideaway outside of Damascus.


[11:50:37] NIKKI HALEY, GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: As of 6:00 a.m. this morning, 175,000 people have evacuated. That's not enough. We need

to have more people evacuating. And this is the part that I want you to think about. If you are still sitting at home, if you have not evacuated,

gas stations are getting ready to close. Your pharmacies are getting ready to close. Everything is going to leave because people have to protect

their own families, so they're all going to do that.


ANDERSON: Well, that's South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley urging coastal residents to get out of the way of that incoming storm. You can

see it barreling towards the east coast there on the right-hand side of your screens. That

is live as it comes into CNN Center.

Hurricane Matthew has just been upgraded to a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kilometers an hour. And more than 2

million people have been urged to leave their homes in coastal Florida, Georgia, and in South Carolina.

You're with CNN. This is me, Becky Anderson, and the show is Connect the World, of course. It's about ten to 8:00 here locally.

The new movie Snowden opened today in Hong Kong. It revealed that refugees helped Edward Snowden evade authorities in Hong Kong back in 2013

after he leaked classified NSA documents.

Well, now the same asylum seekers hope the move can help shed light on their plight. Ivan Watson met them and has their story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you access an unauthorized program?

WATSON: It's Hollywood's take on one of the biggest intelligence leaks in U.S. history, the new Oliver Stone film Snowden. It reveals new

details about how NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden escaped U.S. authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government knows that we have these documents now.

WATSON: Snowden first went public from this hotel in Hong Kong in May 2013, making his bombshell revelations about NSA surveillance programs in

an interview with The Guardian newspaper.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: The NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone.

WATSON: Around that time, Hong Kong-based lawyer Robert Tibbo was hired to represent the most wanted man in the world.

ROBERT TIBBO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Mr. Snowden was nervous when I met with him.

WATSON: The lawyer hid Snowden in the middle of this crowded city for weeks.

TIBBO: I advised Mr. Snowden to be placed with refugee families in a populated area, as this would be the last place that anybody would look.

WATSON: the film shows for the first time how Tibbo took Snowden to stay with impoverished asylum seekers who are his clients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are good people. They won't talk.

WATSON: Now after staying in the shadows for years...

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Hi, there. Nice to meet you.

WATSON: The real refugees who took turns hiding Snowden are going public. Families like Sapoon Kilapata (ph) and Ndika Nones (ph) from Sri

Lanka who gave their bed in a tiny apartment to an American stranger.

Where did he sleep?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sleep in the corner room.

WATSON: Vanessa Rodel (ph) from the Philippines says Tibbo showed up unexpectedly one night at her door with Snowden.

Was he afraid?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he was afraid. Worrying. He was worrying so much.

WATSON: She didn't know who he was until the next day when she spotted Snowden's face on the front page of a Hong Kong newspaper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw the newspaper. It was him.

[08:20:04] WATSON: The guy who's living in your house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very, very shocked. I said, oh, my god. The most wanted man in the world is in my house.

WATSON: But Rodel (ph) continued shelter and feed Snowden, even though as a refugee she barely had enough money to feed herself.

There are at least 14,500 asylum seekers in Hong Kong, some of whom joined this recent

protest on behalf of Snowden. The Hong Kong authorities here refuse to accept any of these refugees. Their children are born here stateless.

Does he have a passport?


WATSON: does she he have a citizenship?


WATSON: People with the least to give gave the most to protect a man on the run. To this day, he is grateful.

SNOWDEN: They protected me. They believed in me. And but for that, I might have had a very different ending.

[11:55:08] WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: Well, in today's Parting Shots we take you to a suburb of Damascus, a secret underground world once provided a precious refuge from

the horrors of war. Fred Pleitgen has this rare report from very much inside Syria.



FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For almost four years this was the reality in Daraya...


PLEITGEN: ...a suburb of Damascus controlled by the rebels but besieged by Syrian government forces.

Amid the shelling the shortages of food, water, and medicine, a space of quiet, of reading, of solace, a secret underground library. The chief

librarian, a 14-year-old boy named Amjad (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: The children are gone.

PLEITGEN: "I like the place and I like learning things. I like to read," he told us.

In August, the rebels made a deal with the Syrian government for free passage out of Daraya in return for government control of the district.

We were one of the first crews to make it in after the evacuation. Amid the flattened and damaged buildings, all of a sudden, we noticed

soldiers taking books from a basement, the former secret library of Daraya. Books strewn across the floor, many volumes already gone, but the order of

a library still visible.

(on camera): Almost during the entire time of the siege, the underground library was a sanctuary, especially for the children of Daraya,

many who would brave the dangers to read in peace.

(voice-over): All civilians have now left Daraya but we found the former librarian, Amjad (ph), in a displaced camp outside Damascus. His

eyes lit up when we told him we found the library.

"I would work for hours in the library," he said. "I would go in at 1:00 and come back at 5:00. I was responsible for everything."

For years, the library was the only escape he and others had for from the shelling that killed and wounded so many.

Amjad (ph) is clear on just how special it was.

"I cried the last time I was there," he said. "I used to love it so much."

Daraya is now destroyed and abandoned. The underground library is gone. But it will always hold a special place for Amjad (ph) and the

others, a quiet space in the hell they faced for almost four years.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN Daraya, Syria.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here and those working with us around the world, very good evening.

Thank you for watching.