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A van in Barcelona plows into a crowd of people. Aired at 11a-12p ET

Aired August 17, 2017 - 11:00   ET




[11:00:25] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do they have any semblance of guilt?


BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD HOST, CNN: For many, the question is, will he? The answer is no. Criticized, chastised, but still sure of

himself, the American president standing strong behind his own pure dropping words, will it last? We ask that up next.

It was the first encounter of between the Sea Star, a boat chartered by anti-immigrant act and the Aquarius and NGO rescue ship in the

Mediterranean Sea, thousands have drowned in that sea and now Europe's latest ideological battlefield field, we are going to get you there, and

the force of nature killing hundreds, but how many, because of human error that is all ahead this hour.

Welcome to Connect the World, our time is now and buckle up as we take you right into the eye of the storm of our world's biggest stories from, you

guess it, here in Paris, all roads may want to get to Rome, but today they head here and for the American President to these worlds the last bit of

foreign soil he was on, one place the president has yet to Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hundreds of people gather for candlelight vigil sending a message to the white supremacy that had brought deadly violence to the city last weekend.

Violence sparks by plans to remove a statute of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Trump has sense equated the actions of those white

supremacist with counter protesters sparking global outrage, but the president back at his New Jersey golf resort is doubling down in a new

series of tweets today goes off to cities who have taken down Confederate monument saying the culture and beauty of the US is being ripped apart.

Remember these monuments paid tribute to the losing side in the Civil War, aside that show to preserve slavery. Just on the hour reports on how the

president's words are dividing the nation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump defiant in the wake of a growing backlash over his combative response to deadly violence at a white

supremacy rally in Charlottesville.

TRUMP: I think there is blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two sources tell CNN the president is moving forward without regret, believing firmly that the media and East Coast elites are

unfairly upset about his remarks.

TRUMP: What about the alt-left they came charging at the as you say, the alt-right do they have any semblance of guilt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the president's words have caused a major break between him and some of the nation's top business leaders, three executives

tell CNN that after the presidency off the rails press conference on Tuesday, CEO's serving on the president strategic and policy form decided

to dissolve the group, but before they could make the announcement the president acted first tweeting that he is dispelling both his policy and

manufacturing panels despite boasting 24 hours earlier, about having many business leaders to replace the CEO's who were distancing themselves from

the White House.

The revolt does not stop there, five armed services chiefs also countering their commander-in-chief with public condemnations of white supremacy on

Twitter, although not mentioned president Trump by name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not believe it should be a fine person and a white supremacist. Members are exclusive, ten years on the same line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many Republicans also denouncing the president's remarks, although the majority of the party and its leadership have not

explicitly condemned Mister Trump by name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president speaks for himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Within the White House, many of the president's aides have privately expressed frustration, but there have been no resignations

and sources tell CNN, it is a safe assumption, for now nobody is stepping down. Chief economic advisor, Gary Cohen, who is Jewish is said to be

disappointed and embarrassed, while the president Jewish daughter and son- in-law have yet to comment.

[11:05:03] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENTIAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand with the president, and I stand by those words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Pence who was abruptly cutting his international trips short to return to the US today defending the

president, but declining to answer direct questions about his remarks.

The fallout comes as hundreds gathered for a peaceful march and candlelight vigil at the University of Virginia campus the very site where white

supremacist carried torches and Nazi flags that led to the violence. The Charlottesville community coming together to heal and pay tribute to

Heather Heyer, his mother had this message for those who hate.

SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF MURDERED ANTI-FASCIST PROTESTER HEATHER HEYER: They tried to kill my child, etc, well guess what, you just magnified her.


ANDERSON: At the president's powerful tribute, the president did not attend, but we just heard from a spokesman that the White House is trying

to work out a meeting between Mr. Trump and the Heyer's family. He did say back on twitter this morning calling the removal of Confederate monument,

sad and foolish. CNN Political Analyst John Avlon joins me now from New York and John at this latest message on Twitter, is the president trying to

change the narrative to justify his two sided to this refrained tapping into white identity politics and saying don't let the last monument feel

bad about your history, will that be effective?

JOHN AVLON, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Well I guess the question is effective and what it certainly is in abdication of his moral responsibility to try

to unite the nation, which is what presidents historically done and it is clear that the president who represents the party of Lincoln has decided

that is good politics or good self-term, a short-term self-interest to assign himself with neo-Confederates and white supremacist. This debate is

not about public statuary. It is about public memory but is further complicated by the fact that this president is probably been somebody who

is that is never read presidential biography. So he is waiting into a very deep divisive debate about our history that is been over 600,000 people

were killed in the Civil War and he is siding with very divisive forces intentionally at a very least personal peak and possibly political

calculation is hard to say which is worse.

ANDERSON: According to poll of CNN plunges forward without regrets it seems in the wake of his Charlottesville remarks. Let me just bring in at

this message from CNN political commentator Ana Navarro, you know Ana well, that she quite knows some in Trump's cabinets the White House often

ambassadors, I knew them as people of conscience for the life of me do not get help, not one has quit. John a view shared by others, I mean

Republican lawmakers and Administration Aide must be weighing the costs and benefits remaining loyal at this point of President Donald Trump, are they?

AVLON: Yes, I mean we saw, actually one cabinet secretary representing via the Veterans Administration come out and denounce the remarks quite

clearly some senators are called of the president by name, others have denounced a white supremacy and it is extraordinary that the chairman of

the joint Chiefs and other military leaders have done so as well, but that that is a -- there is a fine line between trying to denounce white

supremacy implicitly the president's remarks and really create distance and a call for conscience is a little pathetic in 2017 that denouncing white

supremacy should qualify as a profile encourage, but that is where we seem to be right now and I think the real question is, will more folks stand up

and speak out or will they feel that their political self-interest is better served by, by keeping their heads down trying to contain the

presidents worst impulses in other areas.

ANDERSON: Let us talk about the man on the street, the voter in the states when you see the whole at share with our viewers now, which really reflect

the policies and divide present and just 10 percent a Democrats approve of how Mister Trump handled the violence at the weekend, 82% disapprove

thoughts and this is the big one among Republican a whopping 67% approve of the president's actions with just 22% disapprove, what should we make of

that, John?

AVLON: Well I think is yet another indication of the deep partisan divide that seems to defy common sense and common grant or country right now. It

should be said that poll was partly taken on Monday before he doubled down in the disaster is off the rails press conference at a Trump tower, so it

is unclear that the full weight of his repudiation of the KKK and neo-Nazis in explicit terms before he reversed himself was taken into effect, but on

issue after issue, we keep seeing this partisan divide that even if it skews against historical political associations.

[11:10:17] I mean we have seen Republican approval of Vladimir Putin increase during the Trump years, which is, of course, in sharp

contradiction of the Republican parties traditional skepticism if not for our hostility of Russia that goes back of course to the Cold War. It shows

how partisanship, especially hyper partisanship really does stop people. It does not permit people to think clearly and as part of the problem were

dealing with. There is a poison diaper partisanship and that is why it is intentionally stoked by some force forces that want to distort the body

politics and reduced trust in our civic institutions. In a long run we will get them, let them get away with it. But in the short run but it is

very troubling sign for our country.

ANDERSON: John Avlon, breaking a guest on this show, I appreciates your report. Every American President, faces hard times with the Mr. Trump be

in real trouble, of course, because of his own making. It is his reaction, what he says that people have issues with from friends and foe alike around

the world, people are standing up to him, saying clearly there is never, any place for racism and anti-Semitism, just say that.

Just before we give you a sense of that reaction, check this out. In the front cover of the newspaper the Economist, Mr. Trump using a Ku Klux Klan

headdress as a megaphone. We saw you with your reaction now in London.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am Isa Soares in London where Prime Minister Theresa May had been condemning this far right using expressed in

the United States. She feels no equivalence between those two profound views under those who opposed them though she didn't go far as to mentioned

President Trump by name. However there is some impede here in the U.K. who have been calling on the prime minister to cancel President Trump state

visit to Britain, no words yet Mrs. May on that.

We had heard similar strong word statement from Marlene she said, I am quoting here, it condemns alt-right with no equivocation, the bigotry as

well as the fascism that is playing out in the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP)


CHRIS BURNS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, I am Chris Burns from Berlin. Strong reaction from some German media German politicians Spiegel online saying

the downplaying of hatred and they showed the transcript of Trump exchange with reporters on those blots saying how trauma strengthens hatred and

violence bills newspaper leaving with the haters how Trump trivializes rightist violence in Charlottesville. We heard from the justice minister

today. Heiko Mass,. It is unbearable how Trump also glosses over the violence during the march. Reaction from Angela Merkel the German

Chancellor over the weekend saying what happen in Charlottesville is racist, far right violence and clear forceful action must be taken against

it. Martin Schulz's a social Democrat candidate running against her say Nazis must be decisively confronted what Trump is doing is a fire hazard.


ANDERSON: Reaction in Berlin and in London, Frederik Pleitgen our Senior International Correspondent tracking all that global reaction joining me

now from Beirut today in Lebanon, Fred, to the sense of further reaction if you will.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well it continues here in the Middle East, specifically of course back in Israel

where there is a lot of outrage at the just events of Charlottesville but also of course some of their reactions from the US president, especially

also I like all these new tweets that we have been seeing there been several Israeli politicians who came out strongly condemned, both the

events and the president's reaction as well. One was a little slow to react to see Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister will only after

President Trump specifically condemned neo-Nazis came up with a statement of his own. He is getting some criticism there.

And strangely, if you look at it, also, Iran's supreme leader is a very rare case where maybe Israel and Iran seem to have the same opinion on

something came out also criticized President Trump as well. He says if you really care. Go fix racial discrimination and the disastrous violation of

human rights for both white and black in your own country. Of course, no dimension of the supreme leader is of course a Holocaust denier on the

record himself. You take that with a grain of salt. You do see how these remarks by the president really are causing -- I would say outrageously

concerned here in this region and especially also in Europe as well. We had some of those reactions just there, but there are a lot of countries in

Europe that really are starting to question the moral leadership of the United States under this presidency, Becky.

[11:15:00] ANDERSON: We have been talking a lot about Trump. Thank you and we have been talking a lot about Donald Trump and now thought he is the

spending a lot of time posturing over. Pyongyang that is South Korea's new president is marking his 100 days in office with a bold promise of peace on

the Peninsula during a nationally broadcasted president (inaudible) assured his people that the US in the South Korea are on agreements on North Korea.

Mr. Ming said, US President Donald Trump assured him he would consult with Seoul before making any military decisions on North Korea, the South Korean

president also said he will talk to anyone, including Pyongyang to resolve the crisis. The South Korean president's comments come just days before

his country in the United States begins controversial joint military exercises all forces, the Korean peninsula.

David McKenzie is joining us now from Seoul with more, and David what do you have at this point?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, what we know is the latest leader and military leaders as well have been chiming in to try to ease the

tension on the Korean peninsula after that series of rhetoric coming from the U.S. President Trump and of course from Kim Jong-un almost outdoing

each other there for a period, about 10 days ago. So president has been placed an awkward position in the last period, because he came into office

to try to ease tension trying to reach out to Pyongyang to come to some kind of dialogue, but because of the continued publication of missile test

from North Korea and the rhetoric going back and forth with the U.S. he was at pains today. Becky to say in fact that they will never be a war in the

Korean peninsula and that he feels that there is still a chance to get some a diplomatic solution, also saying that there is no disconnect between the

U.S. and South Korea on dealing with North Korea, take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): The stance of U.S. and Korea is not fundamentally different. The stance of US and South Korea is the same that

we should make North Korea stop additional provocation through strong sanctions and pressure, leading them to the table of discussion for giving

up nuclear. The U.S. is imposing sanctions through the UN as well as his own additional sanctions President Trump of the United States is trying to

pressure North Korea through showing a strong will.


MCKENZIE: President Moon said he is willing to send an envoy to North Korea given the right circumstances and while the temperature at different

speeds are going down substantially here, Becky everybody looking towards those war games between the South Koreans and the U.S. early next week,


ANDERSON: Well the U.S. has considered modifiable dropping its military exercises to - I don't know - a peace to North Korea?

MCKENZIE: That is a good question because Kim Jong-un has shelved his plans what you said now is not the time to launch intercontinental

ballistic missile over Japan and towards Guam, which was threaten just a week ago, but he said that is contingent on what the U.S. and South Korea

does. Every time these bi-annual exercises happen, Pyongyang regime gets very testy and often uses an opportunity to make their own statements.

There have been some analysts have seen saying well. Perhaps the U.S. or South Korea will combination of both should make you a symbolic gesture to

ease off on the plan exercises certainty up to this point, the U.S. ministry on the South Korean side that is not an option on the table, which

means many are looking to next week as to see how gentlemen react to those exercises when they go for it.

ANDERSON: David McKenzie in full before this hour. I am going to get to - where we are - in Europe next, a journey to thousands of migrants plague

every year across the Mediterranean see to Europe and the group trying to keep them out. We are live in Sicily with more.

And migration on the minds of many here in France that plays on the country, sometime difficult relationship with Islam, we speak to a leading

French academic later.


[11:21:57] ANDERSON: We have a breaking as we see there -- into a crowd of people in Barcelona, police say several people are injured. It happened on

(inaudible) a populist street with tourist. Authorities have sealed off the area. No word on whether it was intentional or any possible motive.

We are working to get more information will bring you more details as they become available. I will from now here in France, scenes we got you

ceasing last year the Cally jungle and people desperate to get across the channel to the UK then was then and now the people are gone the area clear,

given back to nature and here is the thing, these people are still coming taking huge risk by getting boats across the Mediterranean in the last 24

hours. Another 600 arrestee by the Spanish coast guards, so far this year nearly a 125,000 refugees and migrants, it may be dangerous trip to Europe,

most of them across the Mediterranean Sea. 2408 have died making the journey and those migrant crossings are causing tension on these waters.

Melissa Bell, joining me now live from the port of Catania in Sicily, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The headline here Becky really is that in the last few weeks, Italy has manage to get if migrant crisis under control

for the first time in years. Please remember that Italy has been battling reunited, very much the forefront and it is very nice on its own. In fact

many officials here spoken to us about feeling abandoned by their European partner over the last few years. Some said they had been looking to Libya

focusing on cooperation with their southern partners and that appears to auburn its fruits. There are significant drops the number of migrants

arriving here in Italy in the Fourth of July compared to a year ago, last year, that is the context in which the battle, ideological battle. Becky,

there has been ways to the Mediterranean Sea over the course of the last couple of weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will seek our operations in France, I believe Intel, will advise you to leave the FBI area (inaudible).


BELL: It was the first encounter between the Sea Star a boat chartered by anti-immigrant activist and the Aquarius n NGO rescue ship in the

Mediterranean Sea of the coast of Libya. One month on the Sea Star's crew is claiming victory. They say their operation has hampered the efforts of

humanitarian ship, they accuse of running a taxi service for migrants to Europe.

[11:25:21] But the Sea Star month-long operation hasn't all been smooth sailing. The boat was turned away from some Mediterranean ports plague by

mechanical failures and difficulty in getting provisions and rescue operations in the Mediterranean continue on Tuesday. More than 100

migrants were rescued operations in Mediterranean continue. On Tuesday, more than 100 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya then brought to

the Aquarius by another boat.

By Wednesday, those rescued were taken to Fratello at the southern tip of Sicily. And years like SOS like Danny Aire facing increased intervention

in a migrant rescue effort, Italian and Libyan authorities have joined forces and the last few weeks both cracking down on human smugglers and

Italy introducing a code of conduct for NGO vessels. But the crew of the Aquarius says nothing will stop them from doing the entire can to help


The numbers of migrants arriving on Italian shores have dropped significantly. According to Interior Ministry the number of new arrivals

in July of this year with half as many that had arrived in July of last year. But according to Mayor of Catania, one of those towns most affected

here in Sicily, the results of the actions of the Italian and Libyan government rather than the Sea Star campaign.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): They only want to highlight racist south of Europe. This is the reason why we do not like them, we do not want them

in Catania, they don't resolve problems they create them.


BELL: And the immigration activists from Europe stated difficulty in the opposition they face. They will be launching more operations in the


The Unitarian group settled great ships like the Aquarius are materialization of something else, the defense not so much of European

identity as of European values.

And Becky, just as this crisis has been dealt on innocent piecemeal way by European countries, doing what they can to send back home migrant coming

from their own shores. The Humanitarians on both sides see the Aquarius remind you that in fact the crisis continues, its focus on simply shift

elsewhere for instance the shores of Spain like we have seen of the course of the last couple of days with record numbers of rescued happening there

but also the question what happens when migrants were returned to Libya has been increasing in the case, a great concern amongst cruise and

humanitarian cruise like this one, what about what happens to them when they get back to those camp? And of course the question of how to stem the

flow in time., I will just give you an idea Becky, of the numbers, this boat has just on its own over the course of the last year alone saves

11,000 lives.

ANDERSON: Amazing stuff. So Melissa, thank you for that. Update from our breaking news from Spain, a van has plowed into a crowd of people in

Barcelona. Police say several people arrange it not clear at this point whether it was intentional or if it was any possible motive. It happens in

a popular tourist area, which is now being sealed off. We are working to get you more information. We need more details lately, have a great mind

thing I can nation theme attack of the tragic attack, one professor is calling for a rethink on Islamism in France, but not in the way you might

think. We will speak to him up next.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hi, let's get you the very latest that we have out of Spain. This is breaking news right next door to here in France.

We've got new video to show you now, a van has plowed into a crowd of people in Barcelona. Police say several people are injured, not clear at

this point whether it was intentional or whether there was any possible motive. It happened in a popular tourist area, which is now being sealed

off and you can see those pictures, these are just in to us here at CNN.

We will of course bring you more details as they become available. But let me just repeat what you are seeing here because this video is just in, in

the last minute or so to CNN Center. Show you the upshot of what we believe to have been a van plowing to a crowd of people. This is Barcelona. Several

people have been injured police tell us. Not clear whether this was intentional, not clear yet whether there was any motive.

This is a popular tourist area which has now been sealed off we are told. Emergency Services are on the scene. All right, we'll get you more on that

as we can for you today. Olivier Roy, professor at European University Institute joining us now.

And just to the pictures that we are just seeing here in Barcelona, clearly the experience in France over the last couple of years has been absolutely

dreadful. Your thoughts as you watch -- we clearly don't know what's going on here but the sources you hear at the news coming in from Barcelona.

OLIVIER ROY, PROFESSOR, EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE: Yes, now it's common (INAUDIBLE) you know to have a van going into a crowd, but we have to wait

for the investigation.

ANDERSON: I wanted you to come on. I wanted you to talk about Islamic jihadism, which is really you're an expert and first thinker in that. I

wanted you to allude to what we have been doing now for almost a week as our top story here on CNN, and that was the remarks made by Donald Trump in

Charlottesville changing the narrative somewhat today talking about how it's a sad shame of America's culture is being destroyed, pulling these

confederate statues.

I just wonder how you feel as somebody who is an expert in jihadism and you see the actions of fascists, of neo-Nazis, of white supremacists on the

streets of Charlottesville at the weekend. Do you feel any parallels as it seemed Donald Trump has between alt-right and the left it seems to be

drawing a moral equivalent and/or between what we saw on the streets in Charlottesville and jihadist.

ROY: I don't see any comparison (ph) with --

[11:35:00] between alt-right and alt-left because the left is the more (INAUDIBLE). The left is no more fighting, you know, for new and totally

different societies. The left is fighting now for local reasons, to occupy Wall Street and so and so. But we have the comparisons to be made with the


ANDERSON: Let me pause you there for a moment. I'm going to keep you with me but I do want to get to the pictures that are coming out of Barcelona at

present. Isa Soares is in London. She is tracking this story for us. As we get this new video in Isa, what do we know at this point?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is a very fluid situation but let me give you a sense of what exactly we're looking at. So, this incident

from what police are telling us, this has happened in Las Ramblas. For those who know Barcelona, very popular area of Barcelona. And this area in

particular that we've been looking at, that's Placa Catalunya. That is the Catalunya Square.

That basically connects Placa Catalunya to Las Ramblas, Becky. It's a very long road, pedestrians lined with trees and its 1.2 kilometers long. So,

what we know is that a van has plowed into a crowd of people in this area. We have heard from a witness, Becky, eight ambulance have been told are on

the scene. Police have been asking people to leave the area. They've closed off the area. They evacuated the area.

Also note, the shops are being closed, but of course this is August in Spain. It is packed with tourist, packed with many people who go there, not

just for sightseeing but also for the commercial area -- packed, very busy, hot summer day. And what the witness was telling us, basically saying this

is chaotic. It's very tensed, families running down every little side street, children crying.

But what we know from authorities right now is that they've closed it off, the Metro and all the local transportation and is asking people to leave

the area and stay away from social media and posting anything in social media. At the moment, we do not know who is behind this. We do not know the

cause of this. We just know that a van has run into a crowd of people in Placa Catalunya that it leads to Las Ramblas. So the old city connecting to

the new city, Becky.

ANDERSON: Sure. So Isa, let's just be very clear about this. No motive as of yet, no possible motive and we are unsure as to whether this was

intentional, correct?

SOARES: Correct. At the moment, police are not telling us whether this was intentional or not but they're basically saying that a van -- they called

it a van has ran into a crowd of people and that ambulances are on the scene, eight ambulance we've been told are on the scene. We have heard

Spanish media saying that perhaps there are several dead. We cannot confirm that at this stage, Becky.

We do not know if it was intentional but we know that a van has ran into a crowd of people. Of course it's very fluid situation. We are trying --

we're getting all the information we possibly can but of course, very busy, packed area of Barcelona.

ANDERSON: All right. OK. Well let's let Isa continue to work our sources while we just remind you of what we are seeing here from Spain right next

to France here, where we are. We're in Paris of course. We got this new video to show you, a van we are told has plowed into a crowd of people in

Barcelona. Several people injured. We are told by the police it isn't clear at this point. We have to be very specific about this.

It isn't clear whether it was intentional or if it was -- if there was any possible motive it happened and what is -- we do know this, a popular

tourist area, Las Ramblas, which is now being sealed off. Isa saying that we've been told that the subway systems are b eing closed down. We will be

getting you more information and we'll bring you more details as they become available.

Tens of millions of people of course go to Spain every year. This is a very popular destination. Emergency response is ongoing. Right. Police are also

-- I'm being told police asking people to stay away from the area. -- just being given this information in my ear so you're getting it as quickly as

I'm getting it. And again, staying with this story for you as we work our sources on the ground to ensure that you are first with the news on CNN.

This is the other video that we've just gotten. This is just moments ago when talking about

[11:40:00] pictures beginning to come in around about 15 minutes or so ago and this is as quickly as we can get this out to you. This is breaking news

from CNN. This is a video of the center of Barcelona. Now, let's consider that this is an incredibly popular time for tourists in what is an

incredibly popular part -- this is the center of Barcelona. This is the area of Barcelona that everybody would visit, Las Ramblas, as a tourist and

this is the breaking news that's coming from there today.

We know that the van that has plowed into a crowd. Not clear whether this is intentional. We have no motive as of yet. Public transport has been

closed down at the scene. Police say several people are injured. We are in touch with the authorities there. Emergency services you can clearly see on

the scene. And we've got other video that we've been showing you. Perhaps we'll come back to that.

You can see that the roads around are being completely cleared and you can see just how many people will be in Barcelona at this time on a holiday.

I've been many, many, many times and these streets are absolutely packed so, to consider just how few people you see around -- this is new video

coming in towards now so this is clearly the emergency response to the news that a truck has plowed into a crowd of people there in the center of

Barcelona. And as we get more on this of course, we will bring it to you.

Spain, a very, very popular destination. I'm sure many of our viewers you would have visited this. Police say that this is an ongoing operation now.

The emergency response is ongoing and people there being told to stay away from the area. Stay off social media. Authorities are saying it doesn't

help the response.

But this is clearly and ongoing situations. Nearby shops as you see there on the screen, are being evacuated. Public transports closed down in the

center of Barcelona as emergency response to this is swift, clearing the streets as they try to respond to what we are being told several injuries

at this point as a truck plows into crowds. Not clear whether there was -- what the motive is. Not clear whether this was even intentional at this

point. But this is the very latest video coming to us from the center of Barcelona now. I'll just pause for a moment while we take a look at these



ANDERSON: Let's get some more from my colleagues who are reporting on this out of CNN U.S.

KATE BOULDAN, CNN HOST: All right, we are following breaking news. We are getting word, more details now, word that a van has plowed into a crowd of

people in central Barcelona. It's a popular -- it happened in a popular tourist area which is now has been sealed off. We have some new pictures

from the scene. I'm just seeing this for the first time with you as well. Let's get as much detail as we can as we're getting all of this new

information in.

Let's go to Isa Soares right now. She's got some details for us. Isa, what are you picking up? What are you hearing?

SOARES: Hi Kate. So this is a very fluid situation for viewers just looking at these pictures. This, what we're hearing from authorities, that

a van has plowed into a crowd of people in really (ph) Barcelona, center of Barcelona. You were saying a very busy area. But looking at the picture, it

looks like Placa Catalunya, the Catalunya Square. That basically connects the old city of Barcelona to the new city that leads to the long road in

Las Ramblas. And basically, the van, what one witness described is a white and blue van, really went up and mounted a sidewalk, Kate, and basically

rammed the van into a crowd of people.

Now, we've been speaking to ambulances on the scene, authorities on the scene. They say eight ambulances are now on the scene. Police have asked

everyone to evacuate the area. In terms of injuries or casualties, we have only been able to confirm there are injuries. We do know the type of

injuries, they know how many injured but looking at some of the video coming out of Barcelona and the pictures from Placa Catalunya, we have been

able to see several people lying on the ground. Kate.

Now, this is a popular area of Barcelona. It is August. It will be

[11:45:00] packed with tourists. It is a very commercial area too for all of those viewers who have been there. And it would have been very, very

busy. One witness telling me it is very tense. It is chaotic. Families were running to the side streets, children crying, but at the moment,

authorities closing the whole area off, closing the local metro, closing all the buses to try to ascertain what was -- who was behind this and

whether it was intentional. One witness telling CNN that it was intentional. At the moment of course, we cannot confirm that, Kate.

BOULDAN: All right. And as you mentioned it, if you've ever been to Barcelona you probably been to Las Ramblas. It's one of, again, the first

tourist attraction, one of the first site that you associate with Barcelona when you go there. It's like a pedestrian mall, tree-lined, lots of shops,

lots of hotels. This is a very busy area as Isa is laying out and we are getting word. We're trying to get more details in about a van plowing into

a crowd of people on Las Ramblas. Isa, thank you so much. We're going to get some more details in. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right



ANDERSON: Let's update you on breaking news from Spain. It's right next door to here, France, of course. A van has plowed into a crowd of people in

Barcelona. These are the very latest images that we've had in. Police say several people are injured. It's not clear at this point whether the

actions of this truck -- this truck driver were intentional. We don't know of any possibly motive. Catalunya Police, describing the situation as mass

trampling according to a tweet from their official Twitter account. The Catalunya emergency services also advising people who are in the area to

stay where they are until police tell them to move. That was also from their Twitter account.

This happened in what is a popular tourist area, which is now being sealed off. One of our producers here in Paris has just spoken to her sister who

was in a bar or restaurant off Las Ramblas and she reports that she saw a truck plow into a group of people, people running all over the shop trying

to get away. A very frightening scene. It was reported by this young lady as she sits and watches -- observes what is clearly a very, very

distressing situation in what will be an incredibly popular part of Barcelona in Catalunya or in Spain, what is the height of the summer.

You can see it's a beautiful day there but this street, in the center of town, just close to Las Ramblas, which is pedestrian road, completely clear

now which would be just unheard of at this time of the year. Such a big popular tourist destination, completely cleared by emergency services in

the center. The local metro lines around are being closed down. Shops we are told in the area have been closed as well, and people are being asked

to stay away from the area. Isa Soares following this for you from London. She's been talking to sources and to authorities there in Catalnya and she

joins us now. Isa, what's the very latest as you understand it?

SOARES: Becky, it's a very tense as you can imagine, but also very chaotic situation there in Barcelona. The images that we have been looking at from

Placa Catalunya that leads of course into Las Ramblas, a very long street. What we know is that the security perimeter around the Las Ramblas area,

that has been expanded. We know that the buildings and the shops have been evacuated.

As you were saying, we know there are injuries. We do not know just how many injuries there are but we know there are about eight ambulances on the

scene. We also know there are helicopters also arriving. Police units continue to arrive, we're being told from one witness who was speaking to

us. But of course you can imagine the situation is very fluid.

This is an area that's packed with tourist, as people were lining up the Las Ramblas street either dining or shopping. What we have heard is that a

white van, what a witness described to me as a white van with blue writing, basically, mounted a sidewalk and then plowed into a group of people. We do

not know how many people have been injured, Becky, but of course police are taking this very, very seriously, asking people to stay away from the area.

They've closed off the area -- closing off the metro and also, the local buses.

And we've also heard in the last few minutes from Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, basically saying the important thing at the moment

is to really try and tend to the injured in Las Ramblas and really to facilitate the work of the security forces. There have been several

comments on social media, I should say, on Spanish TV too saying that the individual behind this white van with blue writing -- this white van that

had blue writing on the side, Becky, that they basically left the van, abandoned the van and then went on.

Are they chasing them? We do not know. We could not confirm that line of the investigation right now but looking at what the prime minister had to

say clearly taking this very seriously.

[11:55:00] But at the moment, authorities expanding the search, the perimeter area and tending to the people on the ground. And we have seen

several videos and photos of people lying on the sidewalks of Placa Catalunya. And Becky, I've just got an update for you. We are hearing now

from local, from Spanish media who are reporting that two armed men have now entered a restaurant in the area, this after the van crashed into a

crowd of people. This goes to the very point that we are -- was mentioning to earlier.

The men seem to have mounted the sidewalk, plowed into a group of people, then according to local Spanish media, dropped and left the van and then

have gone into a restaurant. And this is why Mariano Rajoy was saying that this is the important part of the investigation and why that it seems the

authorities have extended that perimeter, Becky.

ANDERSON: Sure. Now this is now very alarming stuff. I'm going to let you go and work your sources further on this. Let us just repeat the very

latest that we have our breaking news from Spain. My next thought (ph) while we are here. I'm in Paris in France. Two armed men have entered a

restaurants in Barcelona after a van crash according to Reuters, citing what is the local media there.

Now, this is a van reportedly plowed into a crowd of people in the center of Barcelona. Police say at least several people are injured, not clear at

this point whether it was intentional or if it was, any possible motive. Catalunya police describing the situation as a mass trampling, according to

a tweet from their official Twitter account. The Catalunta emergency services are also advising people who are in the area to stay where they

are until police tell them to move. That came their official Twitter account.

It happened in the popular tourist area which is now being sealed off. I believe I've got an eyewitness on the line here. Bear with us while we just

establish Susan McLane (ph), who apparently saw these events. Susan, if you can hear me, just describe where you are and what you witnessed.

SUSAN MCLANE, WITNESS (via telephone): We were actually about a hundred meters from the Placa Catalunya in a straight just off the Las Ramblas and

all of a sudden there was this tidal wave of people running towards us and they were hysterical. It wasn't just a small number. It was a large number

of people. Children were screaming. There was clearly a lot of distress. I walked towards the entrance to a shop. I lost my husband momentarily. We

were pulled inside the shop and then the shutters were down and we were in lockdown in the shop as were every shop in the street that we're in.

It's a main thoroughfare. It's very similar to Las Ramblas but it doesn't have any cars on its (INAUDIBLE) thoroughfare. We could see the aftermath.

We could see the police. All the cars blocked off. There was no traffic, obviously moving. It was extremely distressing.

ANDERSON: What were people who were running away from the event telling you? What was their sense of what had occurred?

MCLANE (via telephone): It's very interesting because in Spain English is not widely spoken and it was very difficult to workout except when you

could see the fear and the distress on these people and the fact that they were screaming in terror. Regardless of what might have happen we knew we

had to get ourselves out of there. And after being locked down into the shop for a period of time, I heard how it was one straight back again so,

we quickly exited in the opposite direction around the corner and were locked in our hotel.

ANDERSON: And have you been spoken to by security or emergency response, what people around, did they decide to evacuate you from the shop for

example? How did that occur?

MCLANE: No, the process of the lockdown was very smooth and I would suggest it's well-practiced, that the minute people got wind of something,

they basically pulled customers into the shop and put the shutters down. What you must understand in these streets in Barcelona, 99 percent of shops

has metal shutters. For whatever reason, I don't know, but they have them. So, we were pulled in, the shutters came down, no one was on the street. It

was very difficult to find out as an English speaking person what was going on.

And interestingly, I got straight onto Twitter to try and find out. And it was probably seven to 10 minutes before any news channel put anything out.

So it was quite concerning because we had no way of knowing and the people in the shops were unsure.

[12:00:05] ANDERSON: Susan, we really appreciate your thoughts on this and it must be a very distressing situation so our thoughts are with you.