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Japanese Lawmakers Vote On Abe's Replacement; West Coast Blaze Unrelenting; Tropical Storm Sally Could Flood Louisiana And Alabama; Greek PM Talks To CNN On Migrant Crisis; COVID High: 308,000 New Coronavirus Cases Sunday Worldwide; U.S. Aid Cut Has Deepened Crisis in Yemen; TikTok, Oracle to Become Business Partners in U.S.; OPEC's Relationship with the U.S. Over the Decades; Dominic Thiem Wins 2020 U.S. Open in Thrilling Comeback. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired September 14, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: A new political chapter for Japan. Ruling party lawmakers are voting this hour to decide Shinzo Abe's successor.
Bone dry conditions, high winds and extreme heat, all fuel destructive fires in the Western United States. Is any relief in the weather on its way?
And a CNN exclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:. Their bodies so stripped of fat that every move is agony. Hard to believe that these are the lucky ones.
NEWTON: We take you inside Yemen, a country on the brink of starvation. Some doctors call it hell on earth.
Live from CNN live headquarters in Atlanta. I'm Paula Newton, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
Japan is on the verge of finding out who its next prime minister will be.
Most likely right now, as you can see there, we have live pictures as the ruling party is thought to be voting on its next leader, who is in turn is expected to then become the prime minister.
Now long-time Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is stepping down due to poor health. His right hand man, Yoshihide Suga, on the far right there who you see is considered the front runner. A former Japanese defense minster and former foreign minster are also in the running.
CNN's Will Ripley is closely watching the vote.
And Will, this is really an inflection point and not just in Japanese politics but really Japanese history given where we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And this is also a
momentous occasion because it has been nearly eight years since Japan has had a prime minister change.
It was kind of a revolving door of prime ministers before Shinzo Abe's second term -- remember, he was prime minister for a very brief term when he also resigned, citing health reasons.
But then when he came back as the prime minister the second time around he really started to dig in his heels on economic policies, structural reforms, getting the conversation started about things that people weren't really talking about in Japan before Abe took office.
His successor, his likely successor, is widely believed to be his right-hand man, his chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga.
Unlike Abe who was born into political dynasty, a third prime minister, Suga is the son of a farmer and a teacher who worked odd jobs, worked his way through school and rose through the ranks of Japanese politics.
He's known in Japan as Uncle Reiwa. "Harmony" was the all-important word when Yoshihide Suga had the honor of announcing the name of Japan's next imperial era.
One year later, Shinzo Abe's right-hand man says he's the one most in sync with the outgoing prime minister and the favorite to take his job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Is there anyone else in Japan right that knows how to be the prime minister? At least in terms of what you have to do better than Abe's number two.
KAZUTO SUZUKI, VICE DEAN, HOKKAIDO UNIVERSITY: In terms of experience, no one does. Since Abe's popularity goes up after his announcement of resigning the members of parliament says OK, let's go with this -- let's ride on this wave, and let's go for Suga.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: Suga has been chief cabinet secretary in the Japanese government since 2012.
He's Abe's surrogate on almost everything from North Korean aggression to stemming the coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD GLOSSERMAN, TAMA UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR RULE MAKING STRATEGIES: And in many ways, a good prime minister is a reflection of an excellent chief cabinet secretary.
The problem is no one knows really who this man is. He's labored behind the scenes and he doesn't presented -- he hasn't yet developed and presented an image to the Japanese public that they're going to be able to rally behind and support.
At this point he looks like a choice that's been pushed upon them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: Suga is something of a political chameleon. Not a part of any of the major factions within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He now seems to have the backing of them all.
But Suga's big challenges as prime minister will not be all domestic. Japan has to balance its best ally, the U.S., and its close neighbor, China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: Given Suga's lack of experience how does Suga maintain then relationships with Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump?
SUZUKI: Suga is nobody in international politics. And he has to start from scratch.
RIPLEY: What does that mean for Japan?
SUZUKI: It's really damaging because we have gained a lot from Abe's diplomacy. And because of his long term -- he's not a revolving door, he has been staying more than seven years. He has been longer than anybody else Merkel in the G7.
He earned it. And I think this is almost impossible to replace it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: Like most world economies, Japan is taken a massive hit from the coronavirus. Suga says his steady head will get the country back to work. He's continue Abenomics's policies of low interest rates and government spending.
But the world's third richest nation was struggling even before the virus. Is Suga the want to turn things around?
It would be a remarkable career for a 72-year old -- actually younger than Shinzo Abe, the man who he may succeed.
Now we know that the voting is underway now. First Suga would have to be elected as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, the LDP. If that happens, which is expected, then on Wednesday the parliament in Japan will actually vote for the new prime minister.
So we'll see what happens. It seems pretty likely that Suga will be the successor and if he is it'll be a interesting road ahead for him, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. The suspense is definitely what happens after Wednesday, it seems. Will, thanks so much. Really appreciate you spelling that out for us.
Joining me now is Tobias Harris, he's a political analyst with Toneo Intelligence. He's also author of "The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe And The New Japan."
You know it's interesting, Tobias, that we are speaking about his successor right now, Shinzo Abe, right, and not Shinzo Abe himself.
In terms of this really being a new chapter for Japan -- first off, is this a shoo in at this point and what does it mean for Japanese politics?
TOBIAS HARRIS, JAPANESE POLITICAL ANALYST: This is about as guaranteed an outcome at this point as you can get.
And it's been clear for the last couple of weeks that the party did not want a dramatic break with Abe after his almost eight years in power.
They wanted continuity, particularly given the COVID-19 crisis. And Suga has been right there next to Abe from the beginning and he's been involved in decision making. He's been a crisis manager.
And so he was easily the safest choice. Once it was clear he wanted to run, it was his to lose.
And none of his contenders -- either Shigeru Ishiba or Fumio Kishida had any way of breaking Suga's stranglehold on the party.
NEWTON: This isn't honestly a general election, it's a party election.
So what in terms of the way Japanese now are thinking about politics without Shinzo Abe? Do they see him, this leader, as a man who can lead them into what will be a very, very difficult phase coming up?
HARRIS: Well, I think what you're seeing -- and you see the public opinion polls have shifted.
At first, a few months ago when it did not seem that Suga was really a viable candidate at all because he's on the older side, he seemed like someone who was more content to govern in the shadows, play a supporting role and not be a prime minister.
And ever since he entered the race, the public has shifted in his favor decisively.
And I think that tells you something very important. And that is the public appreciates the stability that Abe has brought to Japanese politics, the Japanese government. And I think they see Suga as the best bet for that continuing.
I think the questions that we have about Suga are not can he govern -- I think he will be fully capable of controlling the government and setting a direction, I think there are questions about his ability to perform the more public role as a prime minister.
I think -- the public knows his face because he's been the chief spokesman for the government but he basically has subsumed his personality in support of Abe.
And now we're trying to discover who is he, he can be the face of the nation, will people rally to him? Will he have the sort of charisma that's needed? And there are some positive signs.
Unlike virtually every prime minister for the last several decades with a couple of exceptions, he is not a hereditary politician. In fact, he's the son of a farmer, he worked his way up in politics through his own skills, his own talents, his own work ethic. It's a very unusual path for a prime minister to have taken.
I think he have a focus on pocket book issues in a way that most prime ministers would not generally, certainly not in the way that Abe did. And I think that he's going to bring those assets to the premiership.
And it certainly gives him a shot of really being having a successful run.
NEWTON: Yes. As you said, coming into his own and really letting his personality flourish and not being in the shadow of Shinzo Abe.
OK. We will see certainly as this unfolds. As I said, a lot of challenges ahead for Japan.
Tobias, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
HARRIS: Thank you.
NEWTON: The wildfire crisis in the Western United States is moving into a new week, with right now no let up in sight although the weather is improving.
You wouldn't know it from that shot. Almost 100 blazes are burning right across nearly 200 million hectares.
That's at this hour.
This is what it looks like right across much of Oregon, California, and Washington State. Haze and smoke are making it tough to breathe.
Now 33 people are confirmed dead, and entire communities practically erased.
These are the region's worst wildfires right now on record.
U. S. President Donald Trump plans to meet with officials in California later Monday to try and get an update on the fires.
CNN's Paul Vercammen was at the scene of one of the fiercest blazes.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The foothills northeast of Los Angeles, Arcadia. This is the Bobcat Fire, it's burned 33,000 acres.
And if you look behind me they're trying to douse these flames right now with water drops from helicopters. The air is so bad not only is it unhealthy beyond belief, polluted up and down the West Coast but they can't fly the retardant dropping planes or the super scoopers from Canada that can drop huge volumes of water and then go ahead and reload with water in let's say a reservoir, the ocean or a river.
So they're going to make a stand right here. Because this is the most important flank of the Bobcat Fire.
And they're also asking for some mandatory evacuations in these neighborhoods. And here's why. They want to be able to move fire equipment especially engines up and down the streets.
And neighbors seem to understand this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
They are obviously under the mandator order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. And I understand why they do that. They just don't want people in the way when the power goes off or when they have to shut off the gas. You don't really want to be at your house anyways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And on these Western wildfires, 30,000 firefighters spread out to battle these blazes.
And normally, they have quite a few more firefighters on each of these lines but there's so many of these fires burning at once, some hundred major fires right now, that they say the system is just taxed and they just have to spread things out, marshal their resources carefully, and do the best they can.
So right now here in the foothills of Los Angeles this fire has been burning for more than a week.
Residents say in some ways they feel helpless but they're grateful that the jobs the firefighters are doing to keep this out of their neighborhoods.
Reporting from Arcadia, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back from you.
NEWTON: Andrew Phelps is the director of the Oregon office of emergency management. He joins me now from Beaverton.
Mr. Phelps, I honest can't imagine what your day is like. But given all the days that you've gone through, today was there good news about how far you guys could get with containing some of these fires?
ANDREW PHELPS, DIRECTOR, OREGON OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: The firefighters that have been really working around the clock for the last week on many of these fires were able to make more progress today as some of the evacuation levels have been lowered.
Weather's cooperated in terms of temperature. We've seen lower temperatures and we've seen higher humidities which all aids in the firefighting effort.
However, that temperature has meant the smoke has lingered making it much more difficult for us to get aircraft off the ground to have a aerial firefight. Which is really what we're going to need to be effective to fully contain these fires.
NEWTON: And so tell me a little bit about that. Because I know that's been a problem. It's been a problem -- you guys haven't been able to even get back to communities that have already been devastated because of the smoke.
Do you see a break in the weather, significant, in in the next day or two to be able to do that?
PHELPS: We do see a significant improvement over the next 24 to 48 hours. We've got rain in the forecast over many of the burn areas, that's going to be helpful.
But quite frankly, because this was such a wind driven event that downed powerlines, downed dangerous trees, it's going to be some time before we make progress and getting folks back into these communities that have been evacuated.
And really to get search teams back into the areas to begin looking for victims.
NEWTON: You know we've heard so much about the fact that there are people missing still.
I mean how many communities are you trying to get back into, and how important is it that you get in there as soon as possible?
PHELPS: There are dozens of communities that need to be searched, assessed for damages.
Primarily we're looking at four major areas of concern that had the most fast-moving fires and the most impacts to residential communities in particular.
Jackson County which is down near the Oregon California border, Lane County which is near Eugene, Oregon or the area east of Eugene, Oregon. Where I am here in Salem, Oregon, we've had a big fire that's impacted a lot of Marion County.
And then the Portland Metro area. We've had the Riverside Fire that impacted a number of areas of Clackamas County.
So those are the four main areas where we're hoping to get search teams in later this week.
NEWTON: When you look at communities like Estacada for instance, I know were on edge. Do you think containment has worked? Are you hopeful?
PHELPS: Cautiously optimistic, I guess is the term that I would use.
Fire can be so unpredictable. All it takes is a couple of hours of stiff breezes heading in the wrong direction and fires can certainly take a turn for the worse.
Which is why we're still managing this as a life safety event and we're still working to keep folks out of those areas.
And we have thousands of homes still under that level three evacuation.
NEWTON: Listen, you've got your hands full. Thanks so much for the update.
So many people really hoping for good weather and that you get all that good weather that you need which is in the form of rain, no wind, low temperatures.
We'll keep our fingers crossed. Appreciate it.
PHELPS: Thanks so much, Paula.
NEWTON: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is watching the fire conditions along with us.
And it's a bit concerning because it looks like you've been telling us they're going to get the rain but it seems like now the winds may pick up again.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, that's the battle.
This is the time of year you typically see the winds pick up -- of course, storm systems on approach typically do bring wind with them as well. So depending on the amount of rainfall they drop down, that's really going to be the significant difference here as far as being able to control some of these fires.
You'll notice when nearly 70 percent of the entirety of the Western U.S. underneath drought conditions, this certainly had everything in the works here to become an explosive fire scenario.
And upwards of nearly 100 fires across the Western U.S. that are considered large.
And then you notice nearly 30 of them across the state of California as well.
But here's the perspective right now. High pressure had been in place. This is kind of deflecting the jet stream or the storm track and keeping it away from this region -- which has kept storms away from this region for about two to three weeks, especially around the North West.
That's of course led to now unhealthy to hazardous air quality across this region.
And the widespread nature of this -- easily the dirtiest air on our planet for any major area -- even compared to New Delhi onwards to Beijing, areas that typically top the chart for air quality indexes that are varying on the hazardous to unhealthy side. And of course, now the Western U.S. exceeding that.
But you'll notice rainfall is eventually going to arrive here as early as Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening across the state of Oregon, and by Thursday and Friday a better chance presents itself for the state of Washington.
California almost entirely excluded from this, unfortunately.
But you'll notice when you look at fires you typically want about 15 or so millimeters which often leads to stopping the spread of fires and as much as 50 millimeters, which is unfortunately not forecast, that would extinguish a lot of these fires as well.
But certainly the lesser amount, at least, forecast in the coming days.
Now look at what's happening across the Gulf Coast, across the region of southern and south-eastern United States, this is tropical storm Sally. Over the next 24 to 36 hours, we expect this to become a hurricane.
Potentially get up to very close to category two as it approaches the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama sometime Monday evening into Tuesday morning.
The concern is at that point this storm system will slow down to an incredible halt here -- essentially becoming a storm that you can walk past.
So we think it could stall across this region -- a very unusual high flooding threat across this region as well with this particular storm several days out.
So you'll notice it kind of meanders from Monday into Tuesday into Wednesday still impacting the same area. Finally by Thursday, maybe it exits on to portions of the state of Georgia.
But, regardless, the rainfall amount, Paula, going to be significant here. Could easily exceed 10 to 15 inches or about half a meter in some of these areas.
So this would be an incredible disaster scenario playing out in a very densely populated area especially when you consider New Orleans eastward into Mobile with that much rainfall on the ground. Paula. NEWTON: Yes. And some of those areas still going through what they've already gone through with other storms earlier in the season.
Pedram, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
NEWTON: The world is losing ground in its fight against the pandemic.
Still ahead. Why countries across the globe are looking at new restrictions, even returning to lockdown.
Plus the migrant crisis in Greece is reaching a point of no return.
We sit down for an exclusive interview with the nation's president.
NEWTON: The World Health Organization just reported the highest single day number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
That was nearly 308,000 new cases on Sunday. It broke the daily record set last weekend by more than 1,000 cases.
Now new infections are spiking right through Europe. Over the weekend France reported more than 10,000 new cases for the very first time. The French government has enacted new measures to try and avoid another lockdown.
Meantime, in the coming hours new limits on social gatherings go into effect in England banning groups of more than six people. The U.K. reported more than 3,300 new infections on Sunday.
And Israel will enter a second lockdown on Friday after a surge in new cases. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the lockdown is a necessary step and restrictions will ease once there is a decline in infection rate.
Pfizer says it could know whether its COVID-19 vaccine is effective by the end of next month. The American company is working with German partner BioNTech.
They're asking the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to be allowed to increase the number of participants for more diversity in clinical trials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERT BOURLA, CHAIRMAN & CEO, PFIZER: In our best [ph] case, we have quite a good chance, more than 60 percent, that we will know whether the product works or not by the end of October. But of course doesn't mean that it works, it means that we will know if it works. I don't know if they have to wait until 2021 because, as I said, our studies, we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October.
And then, of course it is regulator's job to issue license or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now the need for diversity in the trials is critical because people of color are a greater risk of getting sick and dying from the virus.
With nearly 200,000 Americans dead from coronavirus, President Trump has held yet another indoor campaign event.
Just a few hours ago he rallied thousands of supporters in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas ignoring warnings about social distancing and also violating the state's ban on gatherings of 50 people or more.
As you can see right there, many in the crowd not wearing masks.
A CNN medical analyst predicts people will die as a consequence of this gathering.
The Trump camp's last indoor rally back in June led to a surge in local virus cases.
The prime minister of Greece is promising a permanent center for migrants on the island of Lesbos. This this will replace the Moria refugee camp which was destroyed by fire last week leaving more than 12,000 people without shelter.
Greek leaders are also calling for more cooperation from other European countries in dealing with the migrant crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOTIS MITARACHI, MINISTER OF MIGRATION, GREECE (Through translator): We believe in the next days everyone will come inside. Some have created the impression that if they stay outside they will leave for Mytilini and go to the mainland or other countries of the European union.
Any transfers that take place will take place smoothly and in an organized manner. But certainly it will be those that in the temporary camp.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Our Nic Robertson spoke with Greece's president for an international exclusive interview.
And she says the migrant crisis is already past the point of return. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT KATERINA SAKELLAROPOULOU, GREECE: Greece has lifted a much more -- bigger burden than it should for the past years.
Lesbos was designed for 3,000 people and then it was overcrowded and it had -- at the time, it had 20,000 I think.
It's a big humanitarian question. But, of course, it's also a question of regime and of course national security for Greece. It's very important for us too.
So what is important now is that European Union understand that we need burden sharing. European Union has some values and it has to prove that it supports its values all the time.
It's time that European Union presents a new pact for migrant and asylum seekers. And all Europe finds a way to face this problem.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Do you have any reason to be confident that the European Union will? Because this has been going on for five years, you have been left with this problem for five years.
Italy's been in a similar situation, left with the problem for five years. Does anything give you confidence that that's changed now?
SAKELLAROPOULOU: I think because things have reached a point of no return. Now maybe -- even this disastrous humanitarian catastrophe in Lesbos, has shown that we cannot look away. Now everybody has to look there.
Europe cannot fail twice. And I really hope that everybody understands that.
NEWTON: Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM.
Starvation, poverty, war, the coronavirus. And now, a lifeline cut by the United States.
How the Trump Administration's decision is affecting people in Yemen.
It's a report you'll see only here, on CNN.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton. And you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Now to what's been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Yemen has seen six years of armed conflict. Since the war intensified in 2015 more than 100,000 people have likely been killed according to the World Health Organization. COVID-19 has only made things worse. of course the pandemic hit as barely half of the country's health facilities were actually functioning.
The WHO estimates more than 20 million people do not have access to food -- a steady supply, a study secure supply of food and more than 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid and protection. All of this made even worse when the United States cut funding to northern Yemen earlier this year.
Now in an exclusive report, CNN senior international correspondent, Nima Elbagir takes us inside a medical ward in Yemen to show us the devastating impacts of those cuts.
NIMA ELBAGIR: In this packed children's ward in the main (INAUDIBLE) hospital in the north of Yemen, anxious mothers vie for attention as Victor Ali el-Ashwal (ph) does his rounds.
This little girl is named Hafsa. Her mother tells the doctor Hafsa has five brother, all malnourished. But Hafsa is the only one they can afford the medicine for.
This mother of a an eight-month-old tells Victor el-Ashwal her little boy can no longer lift up his head. He's too weak, his little belly is painfully swollen, a telltale sign of acute malnutrition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a tragedy. A family of ten are all squeezed into one room. Four of her children, in three years, dead from malnutrition.
ELBAGIR: Rows and rows of hungry children. Their bodies so stripped of fat that every move is agony.
Hard to believe that these are the lucky ones. These are the children whose parents can afford the car journey to the hospital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are all the patients we admitted. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 cases just on the first day of September.
ELBAGIR: Even for Yemen this is not the norm. Every day brings dozens more patients --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here you have death. Just one day after we admitted her.
ELBAGIR: -- and more death. This patient died this week, a one-year- old called Fatma. It's very hard to keep track of exact figures for child deaths because so many of the children don't even make it to the hospital. All the doctor knows is that things are getting worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In August and September, our cases have spiked very clearly most likely because of the withdrawal of support from the NGOs and other centers having to close due to lack of funding.
ELBAGIR: Why is that? That lack of funding the Victor El-Ashwal was talking about. 80 percent of the 30 million population in Yemen is reliant on aid, the majority of whom live in the Ansarullah Houthi- controlled north.
The Houthis seeking to control the flow of aid placed restrictions on U.N. agencies in areas under their control. In March, the U.S. suspended much of its aid to the north. citing concerns of a Houthi misappropriation. Two other key donors the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have also drawn down.
The U.S., U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia have all slashed their Yemen aid spend. The U.S. spend dropping from almost a billion to $411 million. Saudi from over a billion to half that, with only $22 million actually received. The U.A.E. has given zero dollars to the U.N.'s 2020 Yemen appeal.
CNN was able to obtain access to a confidential internal U.N. briefing document. U.N. agencies have confirmed to us its contents.
In the aftermath of the drop in foreign aid, the U.N. has shuttered almost 75 percent of its programs. In previous CNN investigations we traced serial numbers on armaments in Yemen. Back to arms deal between Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and the U.S. proving that the U.S. government has profited from the chaos of the war in Yemen and aid agencies tell us the aid drawdown threatens to wreak even more havoc.
Masheria Farah (ph) pushes her disabled son in a wheelchair. Masheria used to receive support through a U.N.-funded program. Now she can't even afford to get her son, Assen (ph) to the hospital. Malnutrition has left Assen mentally-disabled and she has to choose between feeding him or paying for treatment.
She carries him through the little alley that leads to the half finished building site where she and other displaced families have erected makeshift shelters.
Up until a few months ago she tells us Assen was like any other little boy. But after the family were displaced from their home by fighting, now they live here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no help. I just pray to God.
ELBAGIR: The aid suspension has driven the people of the Houthi- controlled north into deeper isolation. Yemen's north could already be in famine and we might not even know it.
Nima Elbagir, CNN -- London.
NEWTON: CNN has received responses to our reporting from Saudi Arabia, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi ministry says it is providing nearly $77 million to Yemen this year and told CNN that they intend to meet their full commitment but the delay in dispersing (ph) their pledged aid quote, "is based a request from the Untied Nations to have the announced pledge be in one upfront payment to each individual U.N. agency. The United States Aid organization USAID points the finger of blame firmly at the Houthis for obstructing distribution in the north, but say they continue to support countrywide U.N. operations and some of our NGO partners' lifesaving activities in the north." And they say they are by far the largest donor of humanitarian aid response in Yemen this year.
And the United Arab Emirates told CNN it was the first country to respond to the coronavirus outbreak in Yemen and is quote, "one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to Yemen with more than $6 billion provided from 2015 until the end of August, 2020.
All three reiterated their concerns over alleged Houthi misappropriation of aid. And we invite to look for more of that online from our reports.
CNN continues in just a moment.
NEWTON: So buckle up for another trading week here. Asian markets are higher Monday. Trading after, of course, the recent sell-off. Now hopes for a coronavirus vaccine are tempered by renewed virus restrictions in some countries, Brexit tension and of course uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election.
Oracle will become business partners apparently with the popular video sharing platform TikTok in the United States although the exact nature of their agreement is still unclear. That word came Sunday just after Microsoft said it would not buy TikTok's U.S. operations from its Chinese owner ByteDance.
Selina Wang joins me now Hong Kong with more on this and significant hurdle still to overcome here. And this is really a surprise. Not many people had pegged Oracle to be able to pull this off.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many people were surprised that Microsoft had failed in its bids after weeks of very public talks. Many had seen Microsoft as a more logical buyer. It has deeper pockets than Oracle. It also has more experience in consumer technology.
Now part of this deal is that it needs to appease to the Trump administration, to the United States concerns that TikTok is a national security threat. That is a claim that both parent company ByteDance and TikTok have denied.
It is worth pointing out here that Oracle is one of the few Silicon Valley companies to publicly support Trump. Its founder Larry Ellison had hosted a fundraiser for Trump. It's CEO has served on Trump's transition team.
Now this deal will need to get approval from the committee on foreign investment in the United States. What this means is that ByteDance will need to satisfy perhaps several conditions to satisfy those national security concerns. That means there could be limitations put on the relationship between ByteDance and TikTok. There will be some sort of potential fire wall put between them, especially when it comes to sensitive data that TikTok may have.
Now we don't know exactly what this deal structure could look like, as you mentioned, but a source had told me that Oracle and ByteDance would be seen more as business partners with Oracle providing the cloud computing service for TikTok rather than seeing Oracle as a parent company with full control.
Now this would be obviously a huge win for Oracle, building up its existing cloud business as well as giving it access to a completely new area of potential growth.
But appeasing Trump is just one part of this equation. There's also appeasing the Chinese side, very recently China had updated its export rules that essentially means that ByteDance would need approval from the Chinese government in order to sell off TikTok.
So let's still expect, Paula, many more twists and turns in this saga.
NEWTON: Absolutely and some people already throwing shade on this thing. It's not going to make either side happy. It's going to be a very interesting few hours and few days here.
Selina Wang, thanks so much for taking us through. Appreciate it.
And as well, in his first two years in office, President Trump not just taking aim at TikTok but also one of the organizations is OPEC. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is more inclined to meet U.S. demands now than it was let's say 60 years ago when the group was created.
Back in 1970 the Arab oil embargo slammed the U.S. economy, Iran and Iraq, two OPEC members went to war in 1980. Iraq invaded Kuwait triggering the Gulf War in 2008 as oil hits a high of $147 per barrel. Think about that, triple what it is right now. OPEC increased production to curb the price rise.
Now, after a severe downturn in 2016, OPEC teamed up with Russia and nine other oil producers to form OPEC Plus to try and balance that market. Then this year COVID-19 and the Saudi-Russia price war took oil below -- yes, that happened folks -- below zero in April.
John Defterios is in Abu Dhabi with more on OPEC's history. I have PTSD just from reading all of those facts. And I can't imagine you after 30 years of covering this organization.
You know, obviously we just spelled it out there. I mean it's been a colorful history, challenging decades, six of them for sure but 2020 here could still be a standout even given all that history, right?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, I think it is the standout, Paula, because of what you mentioned. In the darkest days of COVID-19, we still have the challenge in front of us.
We went below zero, so it took unprecedented action to kind of try to rebalance the market, which is still being challenged, of course. OPEC and OPEC Plus with Russia included, cut nearly 10 million barrels a day. And what people don't realize, they're going to keep oil off the market until April 2022. Not at that level, but still at historic rates here.
And I asked the secretary general in this kind of climate here on the anniversary, is he surprised about the drop in demand, and how long does it last? What happens in 2021? Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED SANUSI BARKINDO, OPEC SECRETARY-GENERAL: The global economy will continue to witness some anemic recovery, if you like. What we are witnessing, despite the unprecedented amount of stimulus packages around the world, north of $20 trillion, about a fifth of the global economy. The economic recovery is not at the pace that we projected.
DEFTERIOS: Would you say, Secretary General, that it will take until 2023 to get back up to where we were in 2019? That is the word I got from the shale producers in the Permian Basin.
BARKINDO: We are not that pessimistic here in OPEC. We foresee a strong rebound in 2021 in the first half of 2021 with numbers ranging around 7 million to 8 million barrels a day hinged on the GDP growth rate of about 4.7 going higher.
DEFTERIOS: On this, your 60th anniversary, many are asking the question, what is the relevance of OPEC? Let's just take the last five years, if you are not at play during three major corrections.
BARKINDO: As an organization, we have survived 60 years of highs and lows. We had our own good and bad times, but what we have witnessed in the last five years, including the current one, were totally unprecedented. However, we have proven, again, once again, that the world needs this organization. And we have seen, in 2016 of December, when we reached out to our partners in the non-OPEC who came on board to sign the declaration of cooperation. That was historic.
The mechanism of the declaration of cooperation, with all the partners on board, rose to the challenge in April and in June, to respond to the impact of this virus on the global economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: The Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, Paula, he talked about the OPEC Plus alliance. About the alliance that you talked about in the lead in there with Donald Trump.
DEFTERIOS: I saw it firsthand at the OPEC meetings because he would tweet every single time, they were about to make a decision and say, look, don't do too much, we don't want the prices too high. Don't kill off demand.
And then when the crisis hit at COVID-19, he leaned on them in a very aggressive way to cut. And they did oblige, and it has rebalanced the market. So they almost have found common ground, despite the very tumultuous relationship over the first two years of Donald Trump in office.
NEWTON: Yes. Incredible to think how business was done with OPEC there and the president.
John Defterios from Abu Dhabi, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Now, the 2020 U.S. Open is now in the history books. And the men's final match, no, it did not disappoint. After the break, we look back at the tournament, and the history making come back for the men's champion.
NEWTON: Austria's Dominic Thiem won the 2020 U.S. Open Men's Tennis title in, I can assure you, was a thrilling comeback.
Carolyn Manno will tell us more.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: The sun has set on the 2020 U.S. Open here in Queens. It was a tournament unlike any other. The first grand slam since the coronavirus pandemic began and the virus left an indelible mark here.
Empty stadiums, but also, statements on social justice, and certainly improbable comebacks. None more so than in the men's singles final. Dominic Thiem and Sasha Zverev slugging it out, in a five set battle that featured, among other things, nerves, nerves, and more nerves.
MANNO: There was cramping, there was a little bit of choking, and there was a whole lot of heart. And it was Dominic Thiem, the favorite coming in, and the man who survived the two-set deficit to win it all here.
Thiem coming into the match as the favorite in the men's singles final having played in three previous slam finals to Sasha Zverev's zero. But in the previous three occasion, he was a heavy underdog, with nothing to lose.
On Sunday, he was the man to beat and early on, it showed.
The Austrian played tight, nervous tennis (ph), but once there have got within site of the finish line, suddenly it was he who tightened up. No man in the open era had ever come back from a two-set deficit to win this tournament, but Thiem saw an opportunity, and made the most of it For Sasha Zverev, this will likely be tough to get over, starting them out so aggressively, getting to the net, relying on this huge serve only to watch it slowly slip away. He had multiple chances, and then, after the match, revealing that he has been dealing with a lot off the court as well. Both of his parents, testing positive for coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER ZVEREV, TENNIS PLAYER: I want to thank my parents. Sorry. They always are with me, in every single tournament I go to. Unfortunately, you know, my dad and my mother got tested positive before the tournament. They could not have gone with me. Yes, I mean I miss them. But I'm sure -- I'm sure they're sitting at home. Even though I lost, they're pretty proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: An emotionally-drained Zverev after the match here in Queens. And with good reason. Both players giving everything they had on the court in a match that lasted well over four hours.
It stands to reason that we'll see a lot more from these two over the next decade, especially with the rein of the Big 3, potentially, coming to an end sometime over the next couple of years.
We don't dare predict when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will step away from the game but when they do, tennis should be in good hands with these young stars making a name for themselves, on the sports' biggest stage.
NEWTON: That was Carolyn Manno.
Thanks for watching. The news continues after a quick break.