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Head: Kurdish Referendum; Football Feud; Germany's Changing Political Landscape; Republican Make New Healthcare Push; Trump Has Declared War; Bob Costas On Trump's Criticism Of NFL Players. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired September 25, 2017 - 11:00   ET




[11:00:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like all other Kurdish citizens I came and voted for independent Kurdistan. It's the most important day in our life.


BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: We All right are live for a historic and controversial referendum ahead. What the outcome means for

Kurds for Iraq and for the wider Middle East.

Also ahead --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it' very disrespectful to our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're the leader of the free world.


ANDERSON: The United States takes on America's football stars. Coming up a look at the growing feud over protests during the U.S. National anthem.

And -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): Overall, we had hope for a better result.


ANDERSON: Angela Merkel wins for an anti-immigrant party in Germany also makes gain. How the political landscape there is changing, that, coming


Hello and welcome. You're watching "Connect the World." I'm Beck Anderson in Abu Dhabi, where it is 7:00 in the evening. Now, nob no, no, no, no,

no, against a worldwide chorus full of Presidents and ayatollahs alike all insisting, don't do it or else, they've gone ahead and done it. Look

(inaudible), the purple dye is literally cast. Millions of Kurds in Iraq, proud and ambitious, just now finishing pressing their fingers to this. A

voting card confidently asking whether to stay in Iraq or like this, break away from it. Well, that is doing it part. Now the or else part. These

places right next door to Iraq, between a handfuls of them, there are tens and millions of Kurds and they are shutting down flights in these

countries, tightening up their borders and we do not say this lightly, even hinting at war. That is t big picture this hour. Tune in here on the

ground in Erbil. Right here is where Nima Elbagir take a look at this.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty simple, people come through here, show their I.D.s, take their ballot paper, and

then they vote, but that really belies, the sense of occasion, the sense of destiny that we've t been hearing from everybody who has come through here.

You see how beautifully dressed people are, they are traditionally dressed and they come with their children. It's a key moment in Kurdistan history.

The key moment in the Kurdish people here. That is President expects that today that he'll be given a mandate that he can then take to negotiate with

the central government in Baghdad. Everybody who has spoken here today believes that no matter what happens, this is the moment where the Kurdish

people, start taking control of their state.

ANDERSON: That is live from Erbil. This bid for independence has been roundly criticized by everyone but the Kurds themselves. The rallies and

rhetoric and the run-up to this historic vote rising nationalistic fervor. What was turnout like?

ELBAGIR: Pretty impressive, I have to say. When all is said and done, they are expecting that it will be 70 to 80 percent marker. They had to

extend by an extra hour and you know, you've done such an amazing job of cutting out the big picture but let's assume a little bit on what it was

like on the ground. Take a listen at one voter said to us Becky.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TRANSLATOR): We will suffer from economic hardships but it will not be worse than we've had to live through in 1992 and 1993

when we barely could find bread to eat. However, we did not submit to Saddam Hussein and now we will never submit to an Iraqi Arab ruler.


ELBAGIR: Beyond all the escalating rhetoric, the talk of consequences from Baghdad, Iran, Turkey and beyond, that I really what this has all been

about today, the sense that finally after centuries, the Kurdish people at least in this little part of the region, are striking out on their own and

of course, the reason they are able to do this, the reason they are playing the strong diplomatic hand that they hold is because they are such a key

regional player in terms of the fight against ISIS and that is what is underling all of the fear here. Yes, Iran and Turkey are scared about the

empowerment of their own Kurdish populations but for the U.S., U.K. and European Union, it's about the fear that ISIS could potentially exploit any

turmoil leading from this position taken on the part of the President, Becky.

[11:05:49] ANDERSON: Nima, America's special envoy to the fight against ISIS, which is absolutely front and center in this region, a battle that

the Kurds are very involved in, observing and, I quote, in terms of the consequence of the referendum this is not something that we can fully

control, he said it just caries a whole load of risks. Just in terms of deployment, how much security is there in Kurdistan right now, Nima, and is

there a fear that because they are securing themselves and not, for example, still sort of all in on ISIS, that is Washington's worry, correct?

ELBAGIR: That has absolutely been a concern the checkpoint I should say that yearns to be a border post, that was closing down yesterday evening

and part of that is this concern that they need to kind of consolidate what they see to be the potential geographic borders against any remaining

pockets of ISIS resistance and the backdrop to all of this is that push against one of the key remaining ISIS strongholds and that looked very

touch and go, whether the Kurds would allow the Iraqi counter terror service and the Iraqi popular Shia forces access through the closer route

that would bring them so close to Erbil. That has finally very much at the 11th hour been worked out. But the Pesh Forces are not playing as key role

as perhaps they are expected to, it is very difficult for the U.S. because they are the major financial backer of the Kurdish fighting forces. At the

same time, it's very difficult to kind of wield that stick of saying, we won't continue to back your forces, if you put forward this referendum, if

you put out your independent store when they need the Kurdish forces so much. They are still very much at the front line of the pockets, it is

such a delicate balancing act here Becky and everybody is watching what's going on here right now very, very closely.

ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir in Erbil for you. Thank you. And we will have much more on this story throughout the hour. The reaction in Baghdad, just

what independence could mean for this oil-rich region? Meanwhile, U.S. President Trump hammering hard of what he calls fragrant displays of

disrespect towards the American flag, the military, the country itself. He is talking about these men, football players with the National Football

League, coaches, even team owners, and some those Trump supporters, kneeling or locking arms during the National Anthem before the Sunday kick-

off it's been quite a weekend. Joe Johns has the story for you.


TRUMP: I think it is very disrespectful to our country. I certainly think the owners should do something about it.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump exacerbating a culture war with this unexpected rant Friday night.

TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a bitch off the field right

now, out, he is fired?

JOHNS: Despite the day of widespread backlash, the President calling again for a NFL boycott and for players that kneel during the national anthem to

be fired or suspended.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're the leader of the free world. This is what you're talking about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our leader of this country is acting like a jerk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is unbecoming of the office of the President of the United States to talk like that, to degrade people like that.

JOHNS: Dozens of NFL players sitting or taking a knee or sitting during the national anthem on Sunday and other team mates and coaches standing

shoulder-to-shoulder on the side line interlocking arms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no disrespect to the anthem. We just lock arms in unity.

JOHNS: The majority of Steelers players choosing to stay in the locker room until after the anthem was over. Some singers even showing their

solidarity taking a knee along with players.

[11:10:09] The President responding saying standing with lock arms is good, kneeling not acceptable. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sounding off in a

statement saying divisive comments like this demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the league and the players. Even prominent Trump

backers finding it hard to defend the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm pissed off, I'll be honest with you. You know, because I supported Donald Trump. I am reading these comments and it's

appalling to me.

JOHNS: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Mr. Trump's friend who gave a million dollars to the president's inaugural fund says he is deeply

disappointed by the tone of Mr. Trump comments.

TRUMP: I like Bob very much. He has to take his ideas and go with what he wants.

JOHNS: President Trump adding fuel to the fire by publicly resending a White House invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to Stephen

Curry after he said he would not go.

STEPHEN CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, NBA: I don't know why he feels a need to target certain individuals. It's not what leaders do.

JOHNS: Curry's longtime rival Lebron James criticizing the President's response.

LEBRON JAMES, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, NBA: For him to try to use this platform to divide us even more is not something I can stand for.

JOHNS: The President's attack on players pitting fans against each other at Sunday's games.



ANDERSON: That was our Joe Johns there. Aside from the football issue, which is a massive topic of discussion today, President Trump has a lot on

his plate. Let's go to Stephen Collinson CNN White House reporter live for us in D.C. Taking the knee, as it's known, not something, Stephen that our

international viewers will necessarily be familiar with. Do explain the significance of these display by so many sports stars and their management

over the weekend and its potential impact, if you will.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right, Becky. This is much bigger than a sports story, this is a story about America itself. NFL

football is in the last 20 year or so become almost a religion in the United States on a Sunday. It's one of the few moments in our society that

is increasingly divided by politics and race and economic disparity when people come together sort of in pursuit and as a moment of national unity

almost, so it's a huge deal. So the fact that had been sort of sucked into politics is something that tells us a lot about the country as well as just

the sports of this. And it all started last season when a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick took a knee as you say, during the

anthem to protest police brutality and what he says is a criminal justice system that was weighted unfairly against African-Americans and a great

deal of the players in the NFL are African-Americans at the same time, a lot of fans of the league are, they are all over the country. There are a

lot of white male fans who also Donald Trump's supporters. The fact that Donald Trump has decided to insert himself into this has really electrified

the politics of this. In some ways the protest were on fairly small scale, but now the President has made this a national issue of race and politics

and society and it's the biggest story in America that everyone is talking about today.

ANDERSON: One of Mr. Trump's campaign promises, hanging by a thread again, Republican rolling out this new plan to change health care. But some

prominent party members are already indicating it will have a tough time getting through the senate. What is the state of play here at this point?

COLLINSON: The health care efforts and this is the third time they've tried to pass something through the senate, is hanging by a thread. The

Republicans could not afford to lose more than three Republican votes on this issue. Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Senator John McCain of

Arizona, have indicated that they will probably vote against this. Also, the libertarian Senator Rand Paul is also against it. So it looks like yet

again the Republicans have control of the house, the senate and the White House, are going to fail to pass unless something changes in the final

hours and this has to be done by the end of this week. They are going to fail to live up to the biggest promise, they went to the country, not just

during Donald Trump' election, but in 2012, the mid-term elections in 2014, telling Republican voters we're going to repeal Obamacare, the signature

policy of the last President. If they fail to get it done, they're going to have a real backlash against them. This is one of the reasons why some

people think that Donald Trump has started to talk about football and race, because he wants to distract from what would be a huge failure for his

presidency yet again.

[11:15:18] ANDERSON: Remarkable. Stephen thank you. And Collinson has a report on this at, Trump's latest battle on the website, is where

you find the articles. Trump' culture wars take over American sports. Well the President tweeted the issue he has with athletes who take a knee,

as it known, during the national anthem, has nothing to do with race, but veteran news broadcaster Bob Costas says that is impossible. He spoke to

CNN earlier. We will give you more of what he said in a few moment's time.

Before that, Breaking news just coming into us here at CNN. North Korea's foreign minister telling reporters, U.S. President Donald Trump has

declared war on his country and now all options are on the table and North Korea will take measures, (inaudible) stark comments after President Trump

tweeted over the weekend, the North Korean leadership won't be around much longer." CNN Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth is joining us.


RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the North Korean foreign minister we believe leaving town, he walked out of the Millennium Hotel,

which you can see over my shoulder, within the last 20 minutes and gave a statement that he had promised to the media. He said that President

Trump's tweet saying North Korea may not be around much longer is, in effect, a declaration of war. Remember, we have heard a much heavy

rhetoric from North Korea over the last 20 years. So always keep that in mind. According to the North Korean Foreign Minister, I want to get the

wording just right. He said, "since the United States declared war on our country, North Korea will take countermeasures, including the right to

shoot down bombers even when they are not yet inside the aerospace border." and then responding to Trump's tweet and said, "who will be around much

longer will be answered then." and he left with his Party and they got into the black limousines and they were not moving and then the word came he is

coming back and he came back to the microphones, didn't take any questions and then came back to say, in light of the declaration of war by Trump, all

options will be on the operating table of the supreme leadership of North Korea. Becky, he gave a fiery speech Saturday night to the United Nations

blasting Trumps as a mad man, the level of rhetoric keeps escalating to what heights we don't know yet.

ANDERSON: When is the last time that you remember this sort of display of anti-U.S. display from any one country at the U.N.?

ROTH: Even before I was here, Khrushchev of the Soviet Union pounded the table and he was unhappy then about procedures. The Iraq war did not

necessarily include nuclear war, even though there was a question of whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So this is rather

unprecedented, certainly when you're, talking about what could happen with the sidewalks of New York talking about war with the United States, the

host country of the U.N.

ANDERSON: Richard Roth is at the United Nations for you. Thank you, Richard. Breaking news there this hour.

Still to come tonight on this show, one of the biggest voices in U.S. Sports sits down with CNN to explain why he thinks athletes protesting at

game is a good thing and our patriotism takes many forms. That is next on "Connect the World." stay with us.


[11:21:10] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is "Connect the World." I am Becky Anderson. If you're just joining us, you are welcome. Let's get

to the issue of race, politics and patriotism. I want you to listen now to Bob Costas talked to CNN's "New Day Show" a little bit earlier today, he

had hosted a Olympic coverage, pro football for decades in Unites States. He is considered among the most dispute observers of how sports and social

issues. Here is part of that interview with CNN Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, have a listen.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, ANCHOR NEW DAY, CNN: The President could have used this as a teachable moment to say here's why I believe we should stand for the

national anthem. Here's what I believe it stands for. He took a different tact. We saw what was happening with just the fans yelling at each other.

There is something contagious about divisiveness.

BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS BROADCASTER: Yeah and it plays in certain quarters, you start people's emotions and resentments. That is actually a business

plan in certain quarters of the internet and cable television. It's a business plan and the way that President Trump, for better or worse,

approached his campaign and approaches his presidency. To give him the extreme benefit of the doubt, extreme benefit of doubt, you'd say he is

insensitive to the racial implications to make comments like this at rally in Alabama. All right. He likes cheap applause lines. There are rabid

football fans down there. Wants to give him the extreme benefit of the doubt. But do you want a President of the United States who, even if of

that doubt, is so tone deaf to the racial implications of this?

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR NEW DAY, CNN: It's interesting. One of the things that the President has written is "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do

about race. NFL must respect this now and giving him the extreme benefit of the doubt, maybe for him the extreme benefit of doubt, the issue about

kneeling is not about race but for the players, especially the players initially say it's not about race. That is not true.

COSTA: 70 percent of the players in the NFL roughly are African-American. Virtually every player who are in the initial stages of this was black and

the initial impetus of it, before it came from Colin Kaepernick and it was about police brutality and mistreatment of African-Americans, you can't

separate those two things. And if you want to make a point that the national anthem is about something that can be argued, but the idea that

this doesn't have something to do with race is preposterous.

BERMAN: They said it's not about race but respect for the military and first responders and when you kneel you are disrespecting the military and

first responders.

COSTA: Part of what has happened is that sports and patriotism and the flag has been conflated to such an extent that people can't separate out

any norms, if you go to see Hamilton which is about the founding of the Republic. No one is saying, wait a minute, don't raise the curtain until

we hear the national anthem. When you went to see "Private Ryan," nobody said turn off the projector until we've had the national anthem.

[11:25:03] It's in sports where this stuff happens. Sometimes movingly, sometimes I would admit cynically because wrapping yourself in the flag and

honoring the military is something which no one is going to object to. We all respect their sacrifice. And yet what it has come to mean is that the

flag is primarily and only about the military. This is no disrespect to the military. It's a huge part of the narrative. Martin Luther King was a

patriot. Susan B. Anthony was a patriot. Dissidence are patriot. Small teachers and social workers are patriot and yet at the stadium when you

shift to sports, not only do they play the national anthem before the game, but they play God bless America 81 times a year at home games and in every

case they say please rise as the Yankees honor a military guest. I have no problem with that. I stand every time in the ballpark, no matter what it

is, I stand and certainly respect the military person the bring out there but there's never a school teacher, no social worker, patriotism comes in

many forms and what has happened it's been conflated with kind of a bumper sticker kind of flag waving and with the military only, so that people

cannot see that in its own way, Colin Kaepernick, however I am perfectly, is doing a patriotic thing and so, too, are these some other players.


ANDERSON: Stay with us, Bob Costas full interview at 9:00 p.m. London and "Quest means business" midnight here if you're watching in Abu Dhabi. The

latest world news headline just ahead.

How are the oil markets reacting to what is this historic vote in Iraqi Kurdistan? Votes just completed. Details ahead.


ANDERSON: This is "Connect the World" and I'm Becky Anderson. The top stories for you at this hour is just half past 7:00 in the UAE. North

Korea Foreign Minister says U.S. President Donald Trump has declared war, he says all option are on the table. Ri Yong-ho says those measures would

include shooting down U.S. bombers in the Korean Peninsula. This comes after Mr. Trump tweeted that North Korean leadership would be around much


Meanwhile the North Korean situation maybe having an impact on Japanese politics, Tokyo's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for snap elections.

He is still believed to be capitalizing on its increased popularity which has grown but apparently would be threat from Pyongyang.

Well Trump administration has revised restrictions on travel to United States, travel from Sudan no longer restricted but three other countries

have been added, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela, the list of banned countries still includes Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

A former U.S. congressman will be going to into prison for sending a means tweets to a minor. Anthony Weiner admitted exchanging sexually explicit

messages with a 15-year-old girl. His lawyers argued for probation but the judge sentenced Weiner to 21 months behind bars.

Three hundred and twenty four people and counting for death toll in Mexico continues to rise after the powerful 7.1 magnitude quake that toppled over

200 buildings last week, the southern part of the country shaking by a series of after shocks just this weekend.


ANDERSON: Well today on the show, we've been talking about the historic referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and the stakes of course couldn't be higher.

Whatever happens next, this vote could ultimately reshape a future Middle East.

Surrounding countries with their own Kurdish populations have fiercely opposed this independence vote fearing it could redraw the borders and have

a significant impact, not at least on oil markets.


ANDERSON: Just look at this pipeline for example showing how oil travels from land lot northern Iraq to the Mediterranean. Our colleague John

Defterios visited the region back in 2013.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The rolling hills of northern Iraq of help the Kurdish region earn the nickname as the Switzerland of the Middle

East. But beneath the greenery, lies an abundance of black gold.

The natural gas pump through 190 kilometer pipeline, supplies power for the region's two main cities that maybe boomed on here in Iraq in the energy

control panels like this one here in the Kurdish region but it's also a game of catch up after nearly a quarter century of conflict.


ANDERSON: All right, John Defterios with me here in the studio. The Kurdish region of course, John, hold a lot of energy potential. If you

follow the money on this story -- this historic referendum, this surely comes into play, doesn't it?

DEFTERIOS: Yes, indeed. When you have oil, when you have money, you usually have a power struggle in play and that's certainly been the case

already even before the referendum, Becky.

For the last 10 years, there has been a fight between the Kurdish regional government in Baghdad, how to divide the spoils of that revenue coming from

the north and this at a twist this time around because of the vote in Kirkuk.

Because you have a 45 percent of the population of the Kurdish residents here, they fought against ISIS' in governing, Kirkuk to protect the oil.

They think they have more rights to the production and they have become more depended on the production. Let's take a look at the daily output

from the Kurdish regional governor right now.

It's 650,000 barrels a day. That's not small for region but over half of that comes from Kirkuk, for perspective, Iraq says huge flares you know,

4.4 million barrels a day.

But as the Iraq Energy Institute in Baghdad suggest and they would be leaning towards the Baghdad position, it's almost -- Massoud Barzani, the

president of the KRG's insurance policy to have the oil from Kirkuk.

If the fields in the North has great exploration that has been taking place does not produce the big bounce, everybody was expecting three or four

years ago, they want to hold on to Kirkuk, that's why they wanted this referendum at least in part because of that.

This is a very sensitive issue. We have seen the last 30 minutes, there's a boat in Baghdad and the parliament suggesting, if you're an international

company including an energy company and you want to go into the disputed territories, they suggested, it will ban in the future.

That's not the first time we have heard it. The day of the referendum to pass that vote, it tells you how sensitive the issue is.

ANDERSON: All right, well, what about these U.S. majors, they were big plants -- big oil plants, what happened in the past year and I see the

Russia also with a major presence at this point.

DEFTERIOS: Two crucial points to bring up, let's over to the U.S. majors are themselves, they have suggested they have 45 billion barrels of proven


That's the scale of Nigeria which is the largest producer in Africa. So as a result, we saw Exxon Mobil go in, Chevron going, Total France go in down,

gas from Russia and as you suggested, Rosneft went in the last week to go develop five fields. And also build sensitively, a pipeline going to


[11:35:00] We're going to cover that in a moment here but as I suggested before the big bouncy here has not developed yet. Exxon Mobil gave up half

of the fields, three of the six they went into.

We saw Chevron gave up one of two already. Nineteen fields at the big oil companies went after have been relinquish because they didn't have the big

production that everyone was expecting.

And if you want talk about the geopolitics here, just to give you a sense of the situation, we've seen now that Vladimir Putin is going to go to

Turkey to see President Erdogan before President Erdogan goes to Iran.

This is right at the top of the agenda right now because of the Kurdish populations and then Russia's presence doubling down to go into Russia.

They're evolved in the north, Becky, in the Kurdish region but we have Lukoil, a huge player and the south in Basra where most of the production

comes from in Iraq.

ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. I want to say, I want to know what's going on. Follow the money.


ANDERSON: Thank you, John.


ANDERSON: To Germany now in a political shock not seen in decades. It's called the alternative for Germany, a right-wing anti-movement party at the

parliament just four years ago and it is about to enter the (Inaudible).

After coming third in Sunday's election and sad to say the development inside but there is at least some stability. Angela Merkel will remain in

the top job. She works to former coalition government and works to win back voters.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through a translator): Overall, we had hoped for a better result. We then analyzed the movement of voters as

much as you can tell today, and it stand now, we lost about 1.3 million voters to the FDP and 1 million to the AfD. And regards to AfD, we want to

win them back with good policies and solutions to problems.


ANDERSON: Just hours ago, a few hours ago, another seismic shift, the AfD's chairwoman walked out in the news conference saying she's leaving the

party. Atika Shubert is joining us now from Berlin.

A sobering result, when will Angela Merkel with a caveat and a particularly bad day she would say given the performance of his right-wing party, what's

going on?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's very clear that we've seen this right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany taking votes not

just from the CDU but also other centrist parties like the social Democrats.

I mean you heard from Angela Merkel 1 million CDU votes went to the AfD. So a lot of these parties really have to buckle down and figure out what

went wrong. How did they lose voters but in the meantime, the political landscape here in Germany still revolves around Angela Merkel.

She is the one who is going to try to figure out a governing coalition and we were at the CDU headquarters earlier when she said we had clearly been

given a mandate to govern.

We will look at all the options and you know, she didn't rule out any coalition except of course having any partnership with the AfD. This is

the one group that nobody wants to have as a coalition partner, Becky.

ANDERSON: Atika Schubert is on the story. She's out of Berlin for you today on this. We suggest today, a sobering I think it is right to point

for Angela Merkel. We're live from Abu Dhabi, this Connect the World.


ANDERSON: Coming up, much more on what is this landmark vote -- historic vote on Kurdish independence and why it matters. When we return to Baghdad

to see history in the making and we'll walk among this dead, and their treasures in the rich tombs out of Egypt. That is all coming up. Don't go




ANDERSON: All right. Live from what is the very center of CNN's buzzing Middle East programming. I hope you're watching the show about this region

from this region with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Let's lay our cards on the table, shall we? To talk about Kurdistan, could you point it out right now on this map or tell me how many people live

there. Some of you may be able to but most probably not, right?

But do not underestimate this place. It is a really, really big deal. It's why we are spending so much time this hour on it. In fact, Kurdistan

is to Iraq, kind of like California is to America.

As a percent to a population, in about the same range and when it comes to their economies, it's an even closer slice of the pie. So you can see why

Iraq doesn't want to go anywhere.

Let's bring in the man who knows what makes Baghdad tick. Former government spokesman and current lawmaker Mowaffak al-Rubaie is with us.

Hi, sir, in spite of Baghdad's protest echoed across the international community, the vote has gone ahead.

Our correspondent on the ground reporting a huge turnout result within about 72 hours. If this is a vote for independence, what is Baghdad going

to do about it, sir?

MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE, FORMER SPOKESMAN, IRAQI GOVERNMENT: Becky, this vote, whatever the outcome of this vote is going to be -- this is not relevant.

This is not is considered to be by Baghdad is totally irrelevant because there is a huge sky high anti-Kurdish sentiment in Baghdad when I sit here

and it becomes presented the parliament -- the Iraqi parliament as issued as series of orders for the government to carry out.

And to my deep concern, one of these orders to the prime minister, the parliament authorized the prime minister to use force against the Kurds to



ANDERSON: So that means -- are we looking at force to be used against the Kurds?

AL-RUBAIE: That means the unity and the sovereignty of the government all over Iraq.

ANDERSON: So that's the opposite...

AL-RUBAIE: While the parliament has issued orders. I'm of the opinion that so far, I have to be used to the maximum. What I'm telling you, the

parliament today unanimously, voted to the prime minister to else as the prime minister to use the force whenever it is needed to keep to the -- to

maintain the unity and the sovereignty of Iraqi territory.

[11:45:00] ANDERSON: So the Iraqi parliament has voted to use force against the Kurds, should there be any suggestion that post this vote, if

this is a vote for independence that there is any push towards independence, a vote to use force against a population -- it was the puzzle

of the anti-ISIS coalition.

AL-RUBAIE: Because this is -- this is very dangerous risky game -- really a risky game because this is statement called Kurdistan is going to be --

this is established is like the establishment and the foundation of Israel in 1948. After that, it's followed by four -- three major wars and the

region still...

ANDERSON: I'm not very disappointed...


AL-RUBAIE: ... the escape cause Kurdistan is going to be a source of instability, a source of insecurity all over the region and that is --

that's why Iran and Turkey, and Iraq, and Syria are against this. This has take that off, called Kurdistan.

ANDERSON: I'm going to explain to our viewers because you're shot is freezing even often and why I said this is disappointing. I was alluding

to the technology breakdown but we have still got you, sir.

So let's -- let's persevere and the moment, the Kurdish leader, Barzani has argued that the decision to hold this referendum was the result of the

failed partnership with Baghdad.

He blames Baghdad and his argument, is that several agreements, the former Democratic civilian state had ended with a sectarian states. That he says

is the reason that this vote is now being held and it's a vote that Kurdish people have applauded, it seems.

AL-RUBAIE: See the Kurds and Arabs enter into social, political contract we call the Iraqi Constitution that was occupied by more than 70 percent of

Iraqi people all over the country by 2005. It was still applicable due to the constitution, Iraq is united federal country, a Republican country and

that is it -- so if you want to (technical difficulty) parts.

And if you want gentry and partition the country, and do his own way then (Inaudible), and Muslims, and Shiites, Sunnis and Christians should be

asked for. We should have a general referendum for us the Iraqi, whether we want to part company with the Kurds or not. He cannot unilaterally

declare -- you cannot do that.

ANDERSON: So we're going to wrap this interview purely because the technology is letting us down. It's good to have you on and it's important

we got your voice on. I hope our viewers have heard your point of view and I think we have got that up.

But apologies of the technology is slightly (Inaudible) but we'll get you back on. Let's get the result out in the next 72 hours and let's see what

happens next. Thank you, sir.


ANDERSON: Up next, this hour dig hard, you might find gold. Dig harder, you might just crack a skull, coming up we'll take you along as we crawl

inside an ancient tomb unopened for thousands of years.



ANDERSON: Well, 10 to 8:00 here in the UAE. Five days after hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. Some things are getting worse.

Look at this water spilling over a dam there. The government said it could fail tens of thousands have been told to leave the area. Well, across the

island to the power is still out and so is phone service. CNN's Leyla Santiago filed this report.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The governor of Puerto Rico is now asking Congress to take action. He wants an aid package that is passed not

just for the short term, but more of the long term. He says this must be flexible because Puerto Rico needs help that will take a while.

Now the government has said for days now, that part of the problem is they haven't been able to reach all of the island. As of last night, the

governor reports they have reached all municipalities but when he says reached he means they have been able to make contact with government

officials in the municipalities.

They haven't actually physically been able to go. So we went to some of the most remote areas and what we heard, we heard over and over again,

people who say they don't have power, they don't have communication.

Relief supplies are not making it in. Neighbors themselves are taking to the streets to clear out the roads, so that they can get that help, but at

this hour, they don't have that.

And for many of them, they don't have communication or awareness of what's happening beyond their very own homes. So now, the governor says, they're

working to send out missions today to make sure they can improve on that.

But they're also monitoring a dam on the northwestern coast where there's been a crack and they say that if that dam breaks completely, that could

possibly be worse than the hurricane itself for that part of the island.

In the meantime the residents who, again, many don't have communication beyond their own homes are just sitting waiting and hoping that help comes

soon. Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


ANDERSON: Well, missiles, election and referendums bringing all to you, the latest on world we struggles but about the people who have already been

done it as you might say. CNN's Ben Wedeman takes us to what is newly uncovered tomb. It looks all forensic parting shots for you this evening.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The skulls and bones lay undisturbed for thousands of years buried deep underground on a barren desert hillside in

Southern Egypt.

This is just the latest tomb discovered. One of hundreds here at Dra' Abu el-Naga' which is very close to the famous Valley of the Kings but there

are no kings here, only commoners. Most of the bodies are unidentifiable.

At one point, the tomb was the property of the goldsmith, Amenemhat and his wife Amenhote, a prosperous middle class family. Amenemhat calling was

held in high regard, gold to the ancient Egyptians was these king of the gods because it doesn't rust, tarnish, harness or corrode, the precious

metal was associated with immortality.

Wealth however did not bring health. The modern standards, life was shockingly short. We don't know how old these people were when they died

but according to one study, the average lifespan for ancient Egyptians living about 1500 B.C. was 34 for men, only 30 years for women.

This baby's coffin underscores the fact that most died before reaching adulthood. Another mommy found here dating back perhaps more than 4000

years was the exception. She did however suffer from arthritis, tooth decay, and a bad back, and walked with a cane.

[11:55:00] Nonetheless, she was buried in an expensive coffin made of imported cedar wood. The contents of the tomb show just how obsessed

Egyptians were with the afterlife. Archaeologists found more than 100 (Inaudible), small figurines meant to act as servants for the deceased.

By the end of the new Kingdom around the thousand B.C., ordinary Egyptians were buying their coffins right off the shelf. They like the pharaohs had

one thing in mind, ensuring eternal life and this is the hieroglyph for eternity. Mustafa al-Waziri led the Egyptian team who discovered the tomb.

MUSTAFA AL-WAZIRI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, LUXOR'S ANTIQUITIES: it's such a beautiful. It's reaching area, it's such an important area and I'm

expecting to find more tombs.

WEDEMAN: And with every new discovery, a little more dust is removed to expose what life was like so very long ago. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Dra' Abu el-

Naga', Egypt.