Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Police Shoot And Kill Barcelona Attack Suspect; US Witnesses Total Eclipse Of The Sun; Trump To Outline New Afghan Strategy; Terror Cell Based In Sleepy Spanish Town; Sierra Leone Authorities Plead For Aid To Help Prevent Cholera; Big Ben Falls Silent For Repairs
Aired August 21, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Welcome, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. We're live in London. Tonight, Europe's most wanted man is shot dead by police, the
suspected driver of the van who mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona is killed. We'll have the latest details.
Also tonight, Donald Trump decides. The American president is set to make a long awaited announcement on Afghanistan.
Will he deploy thousands more troops and tough questions are asked after yet another deadly accident involving an American Navy ship.
Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London on this total eclipse day. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
GORANI: You've seen it online if not you've seen it on your TV screens, the entire world was riveted for a once-in-a-generation event in the United
States. People there have been witnessing this incredible phenomenon. You see it there; this is from Casper, Wyoming, a total solar eclipse.
Millions of people across the country have been looking up to catch the rare scene. Now a solar eclipse obviously is rare but because it's not
every day that the mood completely obscures the sun, as I mentioned there you're seeing what happened just minutes ago in Casper, Wyoming, the
timeframe there, the actual duration of this phenomenon across the country was between 1:00 pm Eastern and 3:00 pm Eastern. So that ended just a few
In fact, even the president had a good look. Here is Donald Trump at the White House. It is the first total eclipse to happen in that country since
CNN's Miguel Marquez was in Salem, Oregon, where the crowd got pretty excited.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely incredible, look at the phones (INAUDIBLE) take pictures of this thing. We are in full totality
now. You can see these streams coming off of the moon.
Jordan, if you would look up at the sky, this is absolutely incredible to see for myself. We're about a minute through totality, this crowd just
erupted when it went total. You can see the plains. You can see stars in the sky. This is an unbelievable experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And we saw some excitement as well in other parts of the country even as far down as Nashville. In fact, some of our colleagues in Georgia
left their deaths where it wasn't a full total eclipse. But you had a partial eclipse. So you could put those sunglasses on, looking up into the
sky and see at least a big portion of the sun obscured by a moon.
This is what happened in Kentucky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just getting really close to nighttime. It's incredible. It's like very dim.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely it feels like dawn or dusk here in Hopkinsville right now as it's getting closer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you can see on our feed just that tiny, tiny little sliver left to go. And it's really starting to get dark now. Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you can see the pink color around the horizon. Oh, it's like a sunset. It's beautiful. It's going. It's going, just
that tiny, tiny last sliver. Oh, my goodness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we are in total solar eclipse and this is absolutely breathtaking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, you can see the corona, that beautiful white wispy crown coming up from the sun in all directions. And we can see
a/please and I think I see Jupiter in the sky over there. I think I can see Jupiter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I see other planets, too, and stars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. This is one of our affiliate reporters there, saying you could see Jupiter, she thought, there in the sky.
I think this is the type of event that brings people together, you saw it probably on Twitter, online on Facebook, so many people have stories. The
members of my family were in Wyoming and they had an eclipse party because it really is such a worldwide phenomenon and possibly takes your mind off
of some negative and disturbing news.
And one of those new stories that got so many people upset last week, of course, is what happened in Spain. We have new developments --
GORANI: -- there. The suspected driver in the Barcelona van attack that killed 13 people; two more died in other circumstances, is dead. We're
just hearing this from the Catalan president.
CARLES PUIGDEMONT, CATALAN PRESIDENT: Our police, the Catalan police, has shoot dead Younes Abouyaaqoub, the driver of the van and direct perpetrator
of the attack in Barcelona on Thursday, causing the death of 14 people.
GORANI: Younes Abouyaaqoub was killed in a Barcelona suburb during a police operation. Authorities have been hunting the driver since last
Thursday's attack in Las Ramblas. This is a shot of him. This is CCTV footage, screen grabs of him.
Investigators are also revealing new details about Abouyaaqoub's movements in the immediate aftermath of the attack. They say the 22-year-old
Moroccan fled Las Ramblas on foot. He then hijacked a car. He killed the driver of the car, by the way, by stabbing him and then drove off.
Police fired on the car after it plowed through a checkpoint but Abouyaaqoub was able to escape. The car's owner was found dead inside. In
total, the attack left 14 people dead; a 15th person was run over in Cambrils, another part of town. The former Catalan interior ministry says
all evidence pointed to Abouyaaqoub being the driver.
He was one of 12 terror suspects linked to the Barcelona attack. Melissa Bell joins me now live. She is in Barcelona with the very latest on the
So now with Abouyaaqoub dead, anyone else authorities are looking for?
Or would this be it?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, this is it. They said that it was 12 people in all they were searching for and that one state established where
Younes Abouyaaqoub was they felt that this cell had been dismantled. These have been their words a couple of days ago.
And so with those very dramatic events outside of Barcelona tonight, when he was captured while shot and by police and killed of course, Hala, that
really brings to an end this manhunt that has now lasted for five days, as you say, the last time he'd been seen by authorities was when he'd driven a
man's car through the barrows, having stabbed him to death and then having escaped.
Since then, many questions about where he was, lots of speculation that he may even have fled Spain. So very good news to the authorities that he was
able to be located and killed tonight, the end of a manhunt that had really gripped the whole of Spain, given the horror of the events that had
unfolded here five days ago on Las Ramblas.
And so Hala, tonight, we have a much clearer picture of what went on, what authorities believe is that that house explosion on Wednesday night in
Alcanar, that accident, that house that had been a bombmaking factory and the explosion of its more than 100 butane canisters and traces of TATP
probably prevented far greater attacks or a far greater attack than in the end what we saw, which was no doubt sort of ramshackle attempt at carrying
out what the cell could, given that their cover had been blown.
GORANI: It could have been much worse, many questions today, though. This was a cell operating in that part of Spain that was able to carry out this
deadly attack. We'll be following the story, of course.
Melissa Bell, thanks very much.
Now to this, the lives of thousands of American troops and Afghans could depend on a decision Donald Trump will announce tonight. The president may
ask as many as 4,000 more forces to head to Afghanistan or because we don't have official confirmation of this, he may pull everyone who is already
His generals laid those and several other options on the table for him. Mr. Trump will reveal which strategy he picked in a primetime address
about six hours from now.
Here's Sara Murray with what to expect this evening.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's a very big decision for me. I took over a mess and we're going to make it a lot less
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump set to outline his strategy for America's path forward in Afghanistan. A major
test for the new commander in chief, one that could put more American troops in harm's way.
After meeting with top administration officials at Camp David on Friday, the president announcing Saturday he had made a decision after months of
deliberation and delaying.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The president has made a decision, as he said. He wants to be the one to announce it to the
American people. It is a South Asia strategy. It's not just an Afghanistan strategy.
MURRAY (voice-over): The president has been presented with a wide range of options, everything from a full withdrawal to the deployment of up to 4,000
more soldiers adding to the more than 8,000 American forces already there.
That's an option recently ousted chief strategist Steve Bannon opposed.
The founder of the controversial security firm Blackwater has also lobbied the White House to begin --
MURRAY (voice-over): -- relying more heavily on private contractors. Defense Secretary kidnap Jim Mattis remaining tightlipped about the
But he gave this sobering assessment in June on the state of the nearly 16-year-long war.
MATTIS: We're not winning in Afghanistan right now.
Trump has questioned the purpose of America's continued involvement in Afghanistan, repeatedly advocating for full withdrawal on Twitter before
running for president.
Officials say he remains deeply skeptical but his doubts have come up against hawkish generals in his inner circle. Any troop increase sure to
meet at least some resistance from Democrats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe putting more American soldiers in Afghanistan is the answer.
MURRAY (voice-over): This crucial national security decision comes amid questions about the president's leadership capability and mounting backlash
to Trump's defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville last week.
TRUMP: You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised.
MURRAY (voice-over): The president's approval ratings taking a hit, dipping below 40 percent in three key Midwest states that helped Trump win
the presidency with six in 10 Americans saying they're embarrassed by the president's conduct.
GORANI: That was Sara Murray with what to look for in Mr. Trump's speech this evening and also some of his things he said over the past few years
that would contradict any announcement he may that could essentially clear the path and clear the way for an increase in troop levels in Afghanistan.
Well, let's discuss this with my next guest, Congressman Marc Veasey. He's a Democratic representative from Texas and he joins me now live from Ft.
Thanks for being with us, Congressman. First of all, what is your expectation for this evening from the president?
He's holding this big primetime address, some of the expectation comes from reports that he will announce a troop increase. You're a member of the
Armed Services Committee as well in Washington.
Do you think that would be a good idea?
REP. MARC VEASEY (D-TEXAS), MEMBER, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: It's going to be interesting to see exactly what the president lays out. I think that
he's going to have some difficulty selling this to the American public. You think about his comments in Charlottesville, his "many sides" comments
and, of course, the departure of Bannon it seems like was to set up him to be able to make this pitch or the sale to the American public.
But when your approval ratings are in the 30s, I just don't know that he -- that he can convince the American public that he has the temperament, that
he really has the capacity to be able to talk about something like this.
GORANI: But you think it's a good idea to increase troop levels in Afghanistan?
It's been 16 years of a war that feels endless.
VEASEY: We have been there a long time. I think that the president needs to be able to tell the American public if we do -- we do this increase
what's going to be the end game here?
When are we going to be able to get out of here?
Of course we don't need for Afghanistan to become a sanctuary for ISIS or the Taliban or any other terror groups that want to spread radicalism
around the region. And so the president is going to have to deal with that. I think that it will be good if we could do something to help stop
the spread of radicalism and terrorism.
But it's going to be -- but we need to have some sort of an end game before everybody can get on board. I'm still skeptical right now but, again, I
don't want there to be an increase in radicalism and terror in that region.
GORANI: Let me -- you mentioned that Charlottesville; obviously, you were critical I saw on your Twitter feed and elsewhere in interviews of the
president's response to what happened in Charlottesville, the fact that he blamed "many sides" for some of the issues there even though it was an
anti-fascist protester who ended up being murdered.
He did recently though tweet a message that sounded more unifying. Let me bring it up. It was regarding the protesters in Boston over the weekend.
"I want to applaud the many protesters in Boston who were speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one."
Are you now satisfied with this type of tweet from the president?
VEASEY: No, I'm not satisfied because if you think about the things that he said before he even ran for president, when he started questioning the
birth of where President Obama was born and just the -- this, his overall sort of trying to appeal to some of these hate groups and some of these
So, no, I'm not satisfied. I think that the president needs to follow the advice that advice that was given to him by Governor Mitt Romney when he
said that he needs to come out. He needs to apologize and he needs to really sail and show to the American public that there is a new Donald
Trump. I think that just one tweet is not going to be able to do that. I think that --
GORANI: -- white supremacist ideology, do you think he has sympathy --
GORANI: -- for them --
GORANI: -- forceful enough in denouncing them for that reason?
VEASEY: I don't know if he has sympathies. I think that he thinks that that he has some sort of a built-in advantage with his 36 percent base. He
probably thinks that some of these people are part of this 36 percent base and he wants to try to have it both ways, to try and keep them happy.
But, of course, as President of the United States, you can't do that. You have to be the moral leader. And people have to -- the American public has
to see you as the moral leader, regardless of if they're Democrats or Republicans.
And right now people just see the president as an embarrassment, even in the three key states that he won, that helped him win the presidency in the
Rust Belt. Even the people there, they see him as an embarrassment.
GORANI: He's underwater there --
VEASEY: -- a long way to go.
GORANI: He's underwater there in the polls, more than 50 percent of people there now disapprove of Donald Trump. You mentioned the states, Michigan
was one of them, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well.
Your House colleague, Jackie Speier, said, "Donald Trump is showing signs of mental instability."
She wrote this in a tweet. She said, quote, "It's time to invoke the 25th Amendment that would call for the removal of a president who is unable to
do his job."
Jackie Speier is a Democratic representative.
Do you agree with her?
Do you think that the president, that the 25th Amendment should be used in this case?
VEASEY: I serve on the committee with Jackie - and she's a very thoughtful person. I'm going to say this, we have an investigation that's obviously
going on right now. I know that it's completely separate to what his mental stability may be.
But we really need to allow all of that to play out. We need more findings and some of the collusion that may have happened between the Russians and
then we need to start talking about that.
If we find something that is -- that would justify him being removed, I think that -- you know, you never want to try to politicize the removing of
a president. We need to be very serious --
GORANI: But she's saying she thinks he's basically erratic and mentally unstable. This is -- these are strong words from an elected official
GORANI: Do you agree with any part of that tweet?
VEASEY: I certainly don't -- I'm not a psychologist and I certainly don't want to try to interpret what Jackie may have meant when she made that
statement but obviously with some of the things that he has been saying, he's been all over the map.
I personally happen to think that many of the things he says that they're actually thought out and that he thinks that he's going to get some sort
of an advantage over it, that he thinks that he's the smartest guy in the world and that's why he makes some of the outlandish comments that he
And so, again, I think that as far as him not being in office, I think that it's pretty early to start talking about that right now. We need to let
some of these investigations continue to take place.
GORANI: All right. Lastly, I've got to ask you. Obviously we're on CNN International. We're seen all over the world.
What do you think that the world -- how the world views Donald Trump as President of the United States?
I don't know if you've had an opportunity to gauge opinion outside of America in the last six or seven months.
But what are your thoughts on that?
VEASEY: I think that the world is probably very disappointed. For a long time, as Americans, we were viewed as the world leaders. We were viewed as
people that other countries could turn to for guidance, for that moral authority that I talked about earlier.
And, of course, no one sees Donald Trump in that light. It's really a retreat from the previous 45 presidents, where people really saw us as a
sort of a beacon of light and hope and now people I think around the world see us as an inward-looking country, the sort of Steve Bannon view that the
president laid out in his inauguration, people that can't depend on us when it comes to trade.
They can't depend on us when it comes to being able to uphold our alliances. I think that people really around the world are starting to
question whether or not the United States is the country that it was before January 20th, 2017. And I think that that is very sad and also I think
that we should be concerned about that. I think the world should be concerned about that from a security and safety standpoint.
GORANI: Thank you very much for joining us on the program, Representative Marc Veasey, joining us Ft. Worth, Texas. We appreciate your time.
VEASEY: Thank you, Hala.
GORANI: Let us turn to our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, for some analysis on all of this.
First of all, what Donald Trump will we get this evening?
This is a big primetime address, the first such address by the president. He's talking about war and troop levels, an important thing.
Are we going to get that type of leader or are we going to get more fake news jibes?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the likelihood, Hala, is that we'll get the teleprompter --
COLLINSON: -- version of Donald Trump that we've seen on a few occasions throughout his presidency. As you say, this is an issue of war and peace.
Potentially the president is sending more American troops off to Afghanistan, potentially to die in America's longest war.
So it's a very grave occasion. I think it's unlikely that the president will indulge in some of those asides that we know him for and which get him
into so much trouble. But with Donald Trump, you never know. It's clearly a very important moment because this is really the first big test of
whether the credibility of the president has squandered by his resorting frequent falsehoods in his public rhetoric and the wild events of last
And that press conference in Trump Tower when he appeared to draw a equivalence between white supremacists and protesters who were opposing
them. So it's a big test of whether the credibility that the president has lost can be regained in a more formal setting as he's acting as a commander
in chief at a very serious moment of his nation.
GORANI: But here's the thing and Representative Veasey, we just spoke to, touched on the these. There's a new poll, NBC Marist poll, that gauges
opinion in three states that Donald Trump won, that helped him win in the Rust Belt. And we have swing states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.
For the first time he is now underwater; in other words more than 50 percent of those polled say they disapprove of Donald Trump.
How significant is this?
COLLINSON: I think it's clearly a worrying sign for the president. Those polls have him on about 36-35 percent approval in Michigan, Wisconsin and
Pennsylvania, the states which, as you say, sent him to the White House.
There were also in the 60 percent range people who are actually embarrassed about his performance as president. But I would think the most worrying
thing for the White House in those polls is that in two of those states, he is down to 71 percent approval among Republican voters.
If that was represented in a general election, that would be very difficult for Donald Trump to win those states with that kind of Republican turnout.
Having said that, I think his base remains loyal, despite perhaps some ebbing of enthusiasm around the edges. And these polls, of course, this is
a judgment about Donald Trump himself.
If we were to look ahead to 2020, the case will be do you like Donald Trump or do you like the Democratic candidate?
So they're not quite a like for like comparison but they're clearly very worrying for Trump and they'll also be clearly worrying for Republican
leaders in the midterm elections a year in November.
If is there is that kind of drop-off in enthusiasm about Donald Trump, that makes it very difficult for Republican candidates who are trying to run in
the era of Trump to hang onto their seats next year.
And for the Republicans to keep control of the Senate and the House.
GORANI: Absolutely. We'll see. That will be the big test really is how Republicans feel about any association with Donald Trump if these numbers
keep going down.
Thanks very much, Stephen Collinson, as always. great having you on the program.
Still to come, the U.S. Navy is vowing to investigate after yet another of its warships has an accident in Asia. What the U.S. says it's planning to
do. We have full analysis -- next.
GORANI: There are 10 missing sailors off the coast of Singapore and authorities are desperately searching for them. Their ship, the U.S.S.
John S. McCain, collided with an oil tanker early Monday, leaving significant damage. You see it there in the video, significant damage to
the hull of the guided missile destroyer.
Five sailors were injured and here's the thing, this is now the fourth accident this year involving an American Navy warship in Asian waters. The
Navy's top officer ordered the entire U.S. fleet to pause operations. The Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis says he fully supports the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Chief of Naval Operations broader inquiry will look at all related accidents -- incidents at sea,
that sort of thing. He is going to look at all factors, not just the immediate ones, which will fall rightly under the commander's investigation
of what happened to his ship.
This is a broader look at what is happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's bring in CNN national security analyst, John Kirby, who's in Washington, and CNN correspondent Matt Rivers who is in Singapore.
Matt, let's start with you.
What's the latest on the search here?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's obviously the top priority would be trying to find those 10 missing sailors, the search and rescue operations
have been underway since shortly after this incident took place around 5:30 am here Singapore local time.
We know that the U.S. Navy immediately tried to deploy helicopters and aircraft; we know that they were relying on assistance from the navies of
both from Malaysia and from Singapore. And so they've actually been searching the area of the waters where that incident took place.
We also know that the U.S.S. John S. McCain actually managed to come here to port not far from where we are here in Singapore under its own power.
Another U.S. ship, the U.S.S. America, actually is moored right alongside the damaged ship and they have deployed divers we're told by the Navy to
really get a complete picture of the damage and see if is there is any signs of survivors.
GORANI: All right, thanks very much, Matt Rivers, for that live report.
John Kirby, you are an admiral in the Navy.
What's going on?
This is the fourth major incident like this involving U.S. Navy ships this year.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, deeply concerning, Hala, absolutely and the Navy, as you saw Secretary
Mattis said about the Navy is going to conduct a comprehensive review across the fleet to see especially in that region to see if there's
systemic issues here at play, whether these are individual incidents or whether there's some sort of thread between them, whether it's leadership,
whether it's material readiness, whether it's training deficiencies across the fleet in that part of the world.
They're going to try to get to the bottom of this. The other thing that chief of Naval Operations did was order an operational pause over the next
couple of weeks. He wants every fleet commander to take at least a day and have his unit commanders take at least a day out of their normal training
and operating cycles to review their own individual command and ship- specific procedures for watch standing and safe navigation of the ship.
So the Navy's taking this very seriously. I think if there is a thread to be pulled they'll find it.
GORANI: Explain it someone like me who really is absolutely not an expert. How do you collide with a giant tanker? How does that even happen?
Presumably there's radar, there's all sorts of equipment on board so that this thing doesn't happen.
GORANI: -- happen once?
KIRBY: It is very unusual and I understand we're talking about now three collisions here in the last year alone, four incidents in that region but
it's still very unusual for a Navy ship to collide with anything. And I stood many watches on ships myself; you work very hard to keep that ship in
good water and away from anything that could damage it, including a ship or a buoy or anything, any obstruction.
But when it happens, what they normally find -- and you saw this on the Fitzgerald. They've already sort of talked about some of the early things
they found -- you're going to find a range of things that probably went wrong, that led to ultimately final decisions in the last second that
resulted in a collision.
It could be poor situational awareness by the watch standers. It could be a broken radar system that's not operating fully or completely.
It could be bad weather. So they're going to work through all of this and see what exactly happened. But I suspect that when it all comes down to
it, they'll realize that there was more than one factor that led to this -- another here, a collision.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, WORLD RIGHT NOW: All right. John Kirby, as always, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
KIRBY: My pleasure.
GORANI: A lot more to come this evening. Donald Trump is hours away from announcing a new military strategy, whatever path he chooses. Can anything
really make a difference in Afghanistan? We'll be right back.
GORANI: Spanish authorities say police have shot and killed the driver in last week's van attack in Barcelona. He was the one, they say, was driving
the van that plowed into hoards of people killing 13.
Officers tracked down Younes Abouyaaqoub after an intense four-day man hunt. Now, the twin attacks in Barcelona - and there was another one in
Cambrils, left 15 people dead and more than 100 wounded.
Now, as we've been mentioning before the break, the American President Donald Trump is getting ready to announce a new strategy in Afghanistan.
Mr Trump's defense secretary says the president was presented with a range of options from sending more troops to, at the other end of the spectrum,
bringing them all home.
We'll be discussing that in a moment, but, first, what has gripped not just the United States, but really the entire world, thanks to the power of the
Internet, and that is the total eclipse of the sun in parts of North America.
It is the first time this has happened in this way since 1979 and it's the first eclipse to stretch across the whole country in almost a century as
the moon casts its shadow across the Earth.
Let's go live to South Carolina. CNN's Kaylee Hartung is there. So, Kaylee, you're on the beach when this total eclipse happened. Tell us what it was
like and the mood on the breach where you're reporting from.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was a speculator experience, an incredible shared moment for the thousands of people on this beach. I'm on
the coast of South Carolina, Isle of Palms.
This is just a seven mile stretch of beach on this island where they thought something like 30,000 people would be here to wittiness that
And I have to tell you, it was made all the more special, because all day long it's been cloudy here in South Carolina until the minutes leading up
to the experience of totality.
We knew it would come at 2:46 p.m. Eastern and it was probably in the ten minutes leading up to that moment that the cloud began to part, so that we
could all experience totality at its most spectacular.
So, we felt the temperature drop. Being in South Carolina, the southeast coast of the States, humidity is something everyone here is familiar with.
You really felt the wind pick up a bit. You felt a chill in the air and the sky started to go gray and then fell to darkness as the sun was eclipsed by
the shadow of the moon.
[15:35:18] And we experienced it for a little more than two and a half minutes before the blue returned to the sky and you felt that humidity
But the most incredible part of that experience was looking across the beach in this moment of shared experience for thousands. You could've heard
a pin drop through those two-and-a-half minutes we were experiencing totality, but it's something I will never forget, Hala.
GORANI: Our Kaylee Hartung, lucky you. Once in a generation. Thanks for sharing those moments with us.
Let's turn our attention back to one of the announcements we're expecting to - the development we're expecting from the White House with President
Trump. It is, of course, regarding America's longest war, one that's taken 16 years, tens of thousands of lives.
Donald Trump is gearing up to announce a strategy there. It's a big test for his presidency, but how is his decision likely to change things on the
CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier joins me now from Washington. So, there are reports that there could be an increase of 4,000 troops or so
announced by the US president. We're talking to that, in addition to the several thousand that are there now also training Afghan forces.
But it's been so long and there have been so many more troops over the last decade and a half, it's hard to imagine anything would make a huge
difference at this point.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Hala, what the advisors who are backing that slight troop increase plan are trying to convince
Donald Trump is that they can redo the President Obama 2009 troop surge, but do it right this time, to fight more cheaply and smarter.
They say that the Obama administration made two mistakes. It put a deadline, a timeline on how long the troops would stay and that meant the
Taliban could just wait them out.
And the second mistake that they say the Obama administration made was putting a troop cap of 8,400 roughly troops.
So, what the Pentagon has had to do - as fighting in Afghanistan has got more intense and the government has lost more ground to the Taliban, what
they've had to do is hire contractors to do the job that US troops would have done, costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year more than sending
So, the people behind this plan have been trying to sell that to Donald Trump.
GORANI: So, what does this mean doing it right this time?
DOZIER: Giving the Afghanistan government time to rebuild its forces. At this point, it's losing faster to attacks than it can replace and to stay
long enough to see stability in Afghanistan.
Rather than having a time-based withdrawal, having what's called a conditions-based withdrawal where you don't leave your Afghan allies until
Afghanistan is more stable and more able to stand on its own, and then you do it more slowly.
At least, that's how people have explained it to me. This is the argument that they've been making to Donald Trump. But the Trump White House has
been remarkably leak-proof on this particular announcement.
And I've had a couple people tell me that the White House has told them we don't want Donald Trump to get upset by a leak and perhaps change his mind.
GORANI: That's interesting. Let's put up, by the way, a graph there that shows the troop levels in Afghanistan since 2007 and you referenced that
surge there, 2009, 2010 or so.
But when you say, Kimberly, and we don't know if this is what he will announce, but it's possible that he will, that there is no time limit
necessarily on this.
This sounds a lot like an open-ended military engagement in Afghanistan that would be extremely unpopular in the US currently and also, by the way,
it would go against pretty much every pronouncement Donald Trump has made on Afghanistan over the last several years before he was elected?
DOZIER: You're absolutely right. It would go totally against what Steve Bannon and the America first movement have argued for, which is a total
withdrawal from Afghanistan.
So, Trump would probably have to make the argument that he listened to his generals and he doesn't want Afghanistan becoming a chaotic safe haven that
would produce future ISIS attacks directed at the United States.
So, he is going to have - if that is what he chooses, he's going to have to explain to the American people why it's worth a further investment in blood
and treasure. So, this is going to be a real challenge for him tonight.
GORANI: And we say 16 years. It's not just the United States. It's, obviously, before the US, the Soviet Union, many other countries have tried
[15:40:03] This is - the Afghanistan war effort is - when I started our conversation by saying it's hard to imagine 4,000 extra troops will make a
difference, it's within that context of so many, many years of trying to stabilize, to try and train Afghanistan forces only to get to a stage now
where the Taliban are making huge gains again.
DOZIER: Well, their argument is that they didn't keep the training wheels on long enough. They use what's happening in Iraq against ISIS as a
possible model of success, that you listen to the local government, you provide as many troops as the Afghan government wants or is asking for, and
you help make their efforts successful until they ask you to leave.
At this point, Iraq looks like it's going in the right direction. So, that's one successful argument that's been at least tried in the Oval
GORANI: All right. We'll see what we hear this evening 9 PM Eastern time. Kimberly Dozier, thanks so much.
CNN will have live coverage of President Trump's national address on US strategy in Afghanistan. That will be at 2 AM here in London and, as I
mentioned, 9 PM if you're watching on the East Coast.
The manhunt for the driver, who smashed a van into a crowd in the Barcelona terror attack ended today.
As we told you earlier, Younes Abouyaaqoub was shot and killed by Spanish police in an operation west of Barcelona. It happened just hours ago.
But after the terror, the investigation into the background of the attackers must begin. And also, what was missed with a cell operating as it
did and it is believed to have operated in that part of Spain.
CNN's Melissa Bell visited the sleepy Catalan town where many of the suspects used to live.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, the quiet town of Ripoll was known mostly for its ninth
century monastery - until now.
In the town's center, the families, not of the victims of Barcelona and Cambrils, but of the suspected attackers - among them, Fatima Abouyaaquob,
whose brother Mohamed Hychami was one of the five men killed by police as they launched an attack in the town of Cambrils.
FATIMA ABOUYAAQUOB, SISTER OF SUSPECTED TERRORIST: I'm still waiting for it to be a lie. That they've made a mistake. What can it be? It's not my
brother because my brother is very normal. He's friends with everyone. Just ask his colleagues at work. His friends, they're Catalans.
BELL: Her brother was not alone. Eight of the suspected Barcelona and Cambrils terrorists came from this small town. Their families gathered
Saturday night in grief. But also, to disown the terror attacks. The placards read "Not in my name".
On the outskirts of Ripoll, investigators have sealed off an apartment where the youngest of the alleged attackers Mousa Oukabir lived. One of
Mousa's cousins turns up. He says he wants to collect belongings, but is quickly escorted out. In shock, he can't believe what's happened. Mousa, he
says, must have been brainwashed.
A neighbor tells us what the family was like.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they were normal people, but they didn't talk much. No, no, they didn't talk.
If they could avoid saying hello to you, they would.
BELL: The Cafeteria Esperanza is a Moroccan bar where most of the Ripoll suspects would meet to drink mint tea. Even today, their former friends are
inside doing just that, but watching the news with a sense of disbelief.
They simply can't believe, they say, that the men they knew so well, men who drank, men who ran orderly lives and weren't particularly religious
might have carried out such atrocities. They also expressed a sense of anger, that they should have been committed in the name of Islam.
Only 5 percent of Ripoll's 11,000-strong population is Muslim. The town is peaceful and although proudly Catalonian, happily integrated, say local
JORDI GUNNI MENINO, RIPOLL ASSISTANT MAYOR: We work together, the Muslim community and the local council to make different activities and build
bridges to be a normal community.
BELL: A normal community whose peace has been shattered. The makeshift mosque where Mousa Oukabir prayed is now shuttered to the outside world and
to its many questions.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Ripoll.
GORANI: After the break, after hundreds died in flash flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone last week, authorities are warning of a possible
second tragedy. We'll be right back.
[15:46:54] GORANI: When natural disasters strike, the images are shocking, but survivors are left to rebuild their lives as the headlines inevitably
The rains may have stopped in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown after killing some 500 people, but authorities are warning of a second tragedy, the
threat of cholera is stalking survivors as they struggle to find shelter and clean water now. Here is Farai Sevenzo.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN Correspondent: Since the mudslide last Monday, Freetown has had some respite from the rains, but survivors of the tragedy are
beginning to swell the streets. Twenty thousand are homeless, says the presidential spokesman.
The government has issued an appeal for help as the threat of disease from so many (INAUDIBLE 2:39) and people are without shelter in a harsh rainy
ABDULAI BAYRAYTAY, SIERRA LEONE'S PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN: We need the support, so that we can get permanent housing solutions for these
unfortunate people that has scattered all over the city and dealing with the challenge of addressing hygiene as we are speaking.
SEVENZO: Schools, churches are being used to shelter their homeless. And for many here, the memories of the mudslide are still raw. And they've been
telling stories of incredible loss.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just saw the hill coming down, so some of us we ran away. But after that, somebody come and took us. When they carry my child,
I didn't see my husband again. I look for him. I look for him. I didn't see my uncle, my sister. She lost two of her children.
SEVENZO: About a third of those killed when the rain and mud carried everything in its path to the valley below were children. This disaster
made children parentless and parents childless in one morning.
The government knows the task ahead is enormous and is calling for help.
BAYRAYTAY: This issue that happened in Sierra Leone will happen to anybody. So, this is where we are appealing very passionately, come to the aid of
Sierra Leone. We've never received a disaster of such of a magnitude in just one day.
SEVENZO: This young man tells CNN he lost everything as he looks up at the hills where a large red scar from the Russian mud still sits. He echoes the
GABRIEL FATTAH MANGA, SURVIVOR: We're appealing to people in the world. If they can hear us, let them help us please.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN.
GORANI: Well, desperate images there from Sierra Leone. If you've watched that report, if you want to help, you can head to CNN Impact Your World and
follow the link to Sierra Leone's mud slide victims.
It's practical because it will provide a list of verified charities for you, so you don't have to do that work. They'll all be listed there.
CNN.com/Impact. We'll be right back.
[15:52:38] GORANI: It has been ringing on the hour pretty much nonstop for more than 150 years, but at midday here in London, Big Ben bonged for the
final time for the next four years. It's going silent for renovations. But as David McKenzie explains, all of it is causing a bit of controversy.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's perhaps London's most famous sight and sound. Every hour on the hour, the bongs of Big Ben,
drawing crowds, keeping time of London.
The clock, a marvel of 19th-century engineering; the 13-ton bell chiming through war and peace nearly uninterrupted for 157 years, altered now for
major renovations to Elizabeth Tower.
The 118 decibel bongs too loud for the renovation team.
ADAM WATROBSKI, CONSERVATION ARCHITECT: Well, this is the most extensive works that's ever been done. The tower is in pressing need of repair and
doing nothing, of course, is not an option.
So, based on that, we've put together this extensive package of works, which really starts at the top and goes all the way down to the bottom.
MCKENZIE: The bell will be mostly silent for at least four years. And for some members of Parliament, that's a bit of a clanger. And it's created a
very British test.
STEPHEN POUND, LABOUR MP: What could be more symbolic than the sound of Big Ben, the sound of those glorious bells ringing out in the sort of
(INAUDIBLE 4:05) across Westminster.
So, it's - people feel that they want to cling on to something that they're safe and they understand and then they feel it's been dashed from their
MCKENZIE: For some tourists here, it's all a bit emotional.
PETER ELLIS, TOURIST: Well, Big Ben is just what London is all about. When I was little, I used to watch the news. And Big Ben - there always used to
be 10 o'clock news. Big Ben used to strike and that said it all.
All of the big locations, you get Big Ben. So, for the next four years, it's going to be sad really not to hear it.
MCKENZIE: The hammer will still strike on Remembrance Day and New Year's Eve. And when it's all done, the clock faces restored to their colorful
Victorian splendor, then sounding off once again.
David McKenzie, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, let's remind you of what we told you about earlier. The United States has been witnessing an incredible phenomenon, a total solar
eclipse. Millions of people across the country have been looking up to catch the rare scene as the moon casts its shadow across the Earth. This is
what it looked like in Casper, Wyoming.
[15:55:13] This was the incredible scene from way up high, by the way. It's another angle. The video was taken from aboard an Alaskan Airlines plane.
Even the president had a look. Here's Donald Trump at the White House, though he wasn't always wearing his glasses as some pictures have
It is the first total solar eclipse to happen in the United States since 1979. A seven-year-old had this reaction after it happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was really cool. I didn't like - the whole sun was covered by the moon and then it went really dark. And then - that was just
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And there is our expert for the hour on eclipse.
All this coverage of this event may have put a certain song in your head. And if you're a fan of 80s power ballads, you'll enjoy this. A cruise ship
on the Atlantic is watching the total eclipse of the sun with a musical rendition of total eclipse of the heart.
And on CNN earlier, Bonnie Tyler, the singer of the song, had a practice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BONNIE TYLER, SINGER: And I need you more than ever And if you only hold me tight We'll be holding on forever
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Yes. All of that happened a little bit earlier on CNN.
And guess what, guess what, if you want a little bit more from that cruise ship, CNN's Paula Newton will be speaking to Bonnie Tyler herself. That's
about half an hour. So, stay with us.
Check out our Facebook page by the way for more, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN.
All right. Thanks for watching the program. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time same place tomorrow. Do stay with CNN. "Quest Means Business" is
coming up next.