Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Liz Truss Vows Action On Economy, Health Care, Energy; Largest Lake In Pakistan Is Suddenly Breached; Foreign Fighters Join Ukraine's Counteroffensive. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired September 06, 2022 - 17:00   ET




BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will be supporting Liz Truss and the new government every step of the way.

LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As strong as the storm may be, I know that the British people are stronger.

SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: The economic pain that businesses and families are feeling is as bad if not worse than we saw during the global

financial crisis in 2008, but also the pandemic.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, welcome to the special edition of THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo, live from Westminster, in London.

Liz Truss, the U.K.'s brand new prime minister and the third woman in history to hold the office, is promising to get straight to work. She has a

mountain of work ahead of her. The country is headed for recession, workers striking, and inflation and cost of living are soaring. Liz Truss says

addressing the economy, energy, and health care, our first priorities.


TRUSS: Now is the time to tackle the issues holding Britain back. We need to build roads, homes, and broadband plaster. We need more investment in

great jobs in every town and city across our country. We need to reduce the burden on families and help people get on in life. I know that we have what

it takes to tackle those challenges.


NOBILO: In the past few hours, Ms. Truss appointed several new ministers and has spoken with Ukraine's president, her first call to a foreign leader

in office. We will have more details about that phone call ahead. And she's also just spoken to U.S. President Joe Biden.

Now, it's been a long and momentous day for the new prime minister and for her predecessor. Our Max Foster walks this through the transition of power.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A final lap of honor for Boris Johnson, flanked by applauding staff and civil servants, Johnson departed

Downing Street as prime minister for the last time. As for what he will do next --

JOHNSON: I'm not like one of those booster rockets that is fulfilled its function. I will now be gently reentering the atmosphere and splashing down

invisibly in some remote obscure corner of the Pacific.

FOSTER: A speech outlining his legacy. Brexit, the vaccine rollout, and support for Ukraine. Many in his party sad to see him go, I following

months of scandal. Johnson made no mention of the events that ultimately led to his downfall. He concluded by throwing his considerable political

heft behind his replacement.

JOHNSON: It's time for politics to be over. It's time for us all to get behind Liz Truss and her team, her program, and deliver for the people of

this country.

FOSTER: Johnson and Truss then took separate planes for the 1,100-mile round trip to Scotland to visit the Queen. Johnson submitting his

resignation and Truss being invited to form a new government, meetings which are strictly private.

For Britons looking on, support amidst the cost of living crisis is their top priority. Truss will be expected to lay out a new vision and quickly.

The leadership contest lasted six long weeks, during which the pound slumped to its lowest rate against the lower since 1985.

Returning to London, Truss stood where Johnson had stood hours before. Britain can ride out the storm, she said, as thunder cracked and lightning

struck over London. Details of how will follow this week.

TRUSS: We should not be daunted by the challenges we face. As strong as the storm may be, I know that the British people are stronger.

FOSTER: Max Foster, CNN, London.


NOBILO: The new British Prime Minister's cabinet is now taking shape.

Therese Coffey became deputy prime minister and health secretary. Kwasi Kwarteng will be Chancellor of the Exchequer. James Cleverly becomes

foreign secretary. Former Attorney General Suella Braverman has been appointed home secretary.

And Ben Wallace will keep his spot as secretary of state for defense. While Brandon Lewis has chosen -- has been chosen to become justice minister. And

Wendy Morton will become the first female chief whip.

Liz Truss may have won the Tory leadership race, but that doesn't mean (VIDEO GAP) a Savanta Comres Poll released Monday showed 60 percent of

British voters say the new prime minister should call a general election by the end of the year.


So, with me now to discuss is Chris Curtis, the head of political polling at Opinium Research.

Chris, always great to talk to you.

So, let's discuss Liz Truss's starting point. Compared to most prime ministers entering office, how unpopular is she with the public at large?

CHRIS CURTIS, HEAD OF POLITICAL POLLING, OPINIUM RESEARCH: Yeah, I think that's an interesting place to start because most of the time, when

somebody comes to office, it's for winning a general election, or going through a conservative lead election or labor lead election where they have

proven that they are the right person for the job. So, they start the job in a very good, very strong place, far more people like them than dislike


That's not true of Liz Truss. Actually, our poll ratings, our most recent poll at the weekend show the prime minister has not yet won over the heart

of the country. And that really indicates the level of work that she needs to do, you know, from a not particularly strong starting point in order to

turn people around to get the honeymoon period that we'd normally expect from any prime minister.

NOBILO: It's a really strange nation, isn't it, because usually, when the prime minister ends his office, that will be quite often be the high point

of their popularity. So, perhaps, she will be the inverse, who's to say? What does she need to do to win over the British public?

CURTIS: Yeah. I would say, though, on that one point, there is precedent for somebody that's not started off in a great place, whose popularity has

increased in office. That's Boris Johnson.

So, I think she's going to hope that she can replicate that. Boris Johnson has that in his first three months in office. He was doing so by proving to

the country that he was the best person to get Brexit done. Liz Truss is going to have to do so by proving to the country she's the best person to

deal with the energy crisis, to deal with the massive increase, the voters out there in the country are seeing on the cost of living right now.

You sit and focus groups, you asked people in opinion polls what their greatest problem facing people on their lives. They say, I'm scared of how

energy bills are going to go up this winter. So, there's a lot of work that she's going to need to do in this first week to convince voters that she's

got a plan in place in order to mitigate against some of the damage that that's going to do.

NOBILO: And how -- to what extent do you think she is tarnished, or how she's being affected by the damage done to the Tory Party brand throughout

all the scandals and party-gate, and the demise of Boris Johnson?

CURTIS: Yes, this is the other thing, right? Yeah, she doesn't start in a strong position because the conservative party, more generally, doesn't

start in a particularly strong position. Boris Johnson's not leaving office as a particularly popular man either. He's done a lot of damage to the

conservative party.

The conservative party in the U.K. is almost always seen as the better party to handle the economy. That's why they win elections so much. That's

not sure the moment that. It's partly down to the perceived competence of the outgoing prime minister.

But it's a double-edged sword. Obviously, it's one of the reasons that she's facing that poll ratings at the moment. It also means she starts with

very low expectations. It makes it a lot easier for her to come.

NOBILO: Yeah, there's definitely two sides of that coin.

And for our international viewers around the world, something they will recognize from the building behind us is PMQs, which will be happening

tomorrow. Some prime minister's who have seasoned, a lot more experience than Liz Truss has said it's the most daunting aspect of the premiership.

How can something like that really affect the British public's opinion of her performance tomorrow?

CURTIS: It's fair to say that Liz Truss, as I mentioned, is fairly unpopular, but it's also true to say that she's coming into office with

voters not particularly having a strong view of her at all. People haven't heard of her a few months ago, unlike, for example, Rishi Sunak, the

candidate she just has beaten. He was much better known.

So, I think the public are going to be shooting in this week. They're going to be looking to form a first impression of Liss Truss. All the things that

she's doing this, week this speech to give in downing street today, the intervention we are expecting will come on energy and cost of living, but

also the prime ministers question that's going to be happening in the House of Commons at midday tomorrow.

These are all going to be really important ways that she sets out her to the British public -- in politics, first impressions matter. You don't get

a second chance to make. So, one all those things are going to be really important for her this week.

NOBILO: So, do you think given the way modern politics work that simply by increasing her name and brand recognition within the country at large, that

her popularity might naturally bounce a bit?

CURTIS: I think new leaders almost always get honeymoon period. She's almost certainly going to get one as well. She's a lot more popular than

she has been before and possibly ever will be again, a bit of a negative way to look at it.

I think the big question is in the size of which the honeymoon season. Ultimately, I think that's going to come down to how she addresses the cost

of living. We are starting to see details come together for the kind of intervention she's going to have on this run and how she's going to keep

energy bills down over the next eight months.


Ultimately, I think, the way that lands with people, how popular that is for voters out there in the country, that's going to be the crucial element

that decides, you know, at least that first bit of her premiership, how popular she will be.

NOBILO: And I will be looking at your polls as a barometer of how popular they are.

CURTIS: Of course.

NOBILO: Chris Curtis, thank you so much for joining us.

Public pressure on the new prime minister is immense. The country is being crippled by a cost of living crisis and purse strings are only set to

tighten further.

As Isa Soares reports, many people are already at the edge of the economic cliff.


BECKA: It's become so stressful, I can't cope with it. Instead of burying my hand in the sand, I'm trying to do day by day by day.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becka is at breaking point. Months into a growing cost of living crisis and that's only expected to get worse, she is

struggling with mounting costs.

BECKA: Now, I go shopping with my phone out. Everything that goes in, I added up. I have to think. And then we stop putting it to a certain amount

and if we haven't got what we needed, to put stuff back.

SOARES: How does that make you feel?

BECKA: Almost like a bit of a failure, right?

SOARES: A burden no parent should ever feel. But as a single parent, Becka tells me she's doing her best for her nine-year-old daughter. Juggling five

jobs, keeping budgets on track, it's still struggling to put food on the table.

Everything you got from the food bank.

BECKA: Yeah. This is what we got today.

SOARES: So, what's in here?

BECKA: So, this is frozen chicken.

SOARES: It's a harsh reality that's sadly only going to get worse. Inflation set to hit 13 percent by the end of year. Add food, fuel, and

soaring home energy costs, it becomes unbearable.

BECKA: I used to plan my meals every week because we could do that. And now I'm not doing it because who knows what I can afford, you know?

SOARES: But for families like Becka's, this week has meant even more spending. Kids are back to school and parents have tough decisions to make.

BECKA: The shirts and the summer dresses, I bought them, like, size 12. Ridiculously, like, as high up as I could think I could manage. She doesn't

wear shoes because it's more cost-effective if I just buy her boots, then she can be dry in the winter and just all of us sweat in the summer.

SOARES: It's the dilemma that's felt across the U.K., including here in London, where one teacher tells me families have already started asking the

school for support.

EMYR FAIRBURN, HEADTEACHER, KING'S CROSS ACADEMY: And, really, what can they do when bills are going to go up so much? How will they afford food?

That's what parents are asking us. And the impact on children's learning could be as great as it was during the pandemic and lockdown.

SOARES: There is no escaping the worst financial squeeze in 60 years. But the poorest will bear the brunt of this crisis.

BECKA: We are down to our last thing of pasta.

SOARES: The hunger, hardship, and the mental anguish, and the stigma of poverty.

BECKA: It's really shocking how difficult it is just to have the very basic. I just want to be able to eat real food, heat my house and wear good

clothes. That's what I want to have, you know?

SOARES: Isa Soares, CNN, Norfolk, England.


NOBILO: Now, let's take a look at the other stories making international headlines today.

The remaining suspect in Canada's deadly stabbing attack is still at large. Police say the 30 year old, Myles Sanderson, maybe injured. The other

suspect, his brother, was found dead on Monday. Earlier, a first responder was identified as one of the ten victims.

Amnesty International is condemning Iranian authorities after an LGBTQ activist was sentenced to death for, quote, spreading corruption on earth,

by promoting homosexuality. The NGO says they're outrage and are calling for her immediate release.

And rescue efforts are still underway in a popular Chinese nature reserve where more than 200 people remain trapped. A 6.6 magnitude earthquake on

Monday obstructed the only road connecting the reserve to a nearby town.

Three people have died and eight people are missing in South Korea after a typhoon made landfall on Tuesday. Roads and bridges remain closed in a

southern part of the country. And conditions are expected to improve over the coming hours.

Tragedy upon tragedy in Pakistan. On Tuesday, as the nation's largest lakes suddenly breached, exposing thousands of people to even more flooding.

Lake Manchar in Sindh province has been swelled by political levels of rainfall. It's unclear if the breach was caused by Mother Nature or

authorities trying to divert floodwaters away from nearby cities.

As we hear from CNN's Anna Coren, the death toll is now over 1,300 people, including more than 400 children.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stretching to the horizon and beyond, an expanse of endless brown, murky water dotted with tops of trees

and roofs of houses.


Never before has Pakistan seen this scale of flooding as water now covers one-third of the country.

This climate change-induced disaster has been months in the making. With more than double the amount of rain falling since May, in what the U.N. has

referred to as a monsoon on steroids.

Last month's deluge unleashing even more misery as violent for torrents of water decimated townships, homes and crops, the sheer volume unable to

drain away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of thousands of families now have absolutely nothing. The land where they had their house is totally flooded. They don't

have anything more than what they're wearing.

COREN: Thirty-three million people have been affected. That's around 15 percent of Pakistan's population. More than 600,000 people have moved into

displaced persons camp, but some of the most vulnerable have been left stranded.

On this tiny strip of land are a number of families, their surviving livestock, a few belongings, and 24-day-old Shamalia (ph). Her mother

Kainat is sick, exhausted and struggling to care for her sixth child. She's marked the baby's forehead to ward off evil spirits.

I want my baby to survive, but it's God's will if she dies, she says. We cannot afford to move from this area. We are at the mercy of nature because

we are poor people. Kainat says she labored with baby Shamalia (ph) through the rains.

The World Health Organization says 1.2 million pregnant women are among those displaced across Pakistan.

A few bags of aid have been dropped off, but it's not enough to sustain the families according to a 70-year-old grandmother, who has witnessed three

floods in her lifetime but nothing quite like this.

We keep our eyes on our children after sunset. They could fall down into the water and drown. We have one meal a day. We have to save food for our

kids. God, please help us.

But it's not just a lack of food they're worried about. Mosquitoes, venomous snakes, and waterborne diseases are a constant threat. The WHO

says cases of typhoid, malaria, and diarrheal diseases are rising and will undoubtedly worsen.

Foreign aid is slowly trickling in. Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and now head of USAID, Samantha Power, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio

Guterres are due to arrive in Pakistan this week in a desperate bid to ramp up international assistance and support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pakistan, looking forward, is very dire. We've got to be there for the long term. We've got to be there for three or four months

at the minimum in order to save lives.

COREN: But for these people, mere survival is a daily struggle, and these clear blue skies aren't expected to last long. More devastating monsoonal

rains people, mere survival is a daily struggle, and these clear blue skies aren't expected to last long. More devastating monsoonal rains are days

away to further terrorizing a traumatized country.

Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


NOBILO: Still to come, far from home, they're determined to fight for Ukraine's freedom. We will see how foreigners are playing a role in the

latest counteroffensive.



NOBILO: Welcome back to our special edition of THE GLOBAL BRIEF. We're coming to you live from outside the U.K.'s houses of parliament, after a

new prime minister, Liz Truss, was sworn in earlier today.

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog is calling for securities around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, saying there's an urgent need for measures to

prevent and nuclear accident. The IAEA issued a report Tuesday after its visit to the Russian occupied complex, saying it is gravely concerned. It

says inspectors witnessed damage from shelling attacks, some of it close to the reactors, calling fighting in the area a constant threat to nuclear

safety. The IAEA chief, Rafael Grossi, spoke earlier with my colleague, Christiane Amanpour.


RAFAEL GROSSI, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: I demand a nuclear safety is indispensable, nuclear security is indispensable. We are playing with fire.


NOBILO: Russia is escalating attacks on Kharkiv, Ukraine's largest city. Authorities say new strikes on the city's center have killed at least three

people there. Russia, meantime, is reporting heavy Ukrainian attacks in the southern Kherson region.

Ukraine is pressing ahead with a counteroffensive there, trying to recapture territory from Russian forces. Some of the troops on the front

lines of Ukraine's counteroffensive come from overseas.

CNN's Sam Kiley spoke to several foreign fighters who were injured in a battle to retake Kherson. Some viewers may find this report disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go, go. No panic, no panic. This normal, this normal.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Among the most forward troops in Ukraine's latest counteroffensive, this really is

normal. When the crunch of incoming artillery is this intense, casualties in this reconnaissance unit, which includes three foreigners, are


Mark Ayres, a Briton, was lightly wounded on day one of the offensive. On day two, he was more seriously wounded in the leg by artillery, alongside

Michael Zafar, a former U.S. marine from Kansas. He was hit in the hand, stomach and head. They joined Ukraine's Army together but met fighting ISIS

in Syria.

Zafar is the former U.S. Marine's Kurdish codename.


KILEY: As recon troops, they've been the tip of Ukraine's attacks on its southern front in the fight to recapture Kherson.

MICHAEL ZAFAR, AMERICAN FIGHTING IN UKRAINE: I remember looking to my left and pop. I couldn't see anything for a bit. Everything looked the same.

Everything came to. Looked at my left, looked fine. Looked at my right, okay.

I'm (EXPLETIVE DELETED) there, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) there. Okay. To the hole, to the hole.

KILEY: It's going to be a slow grinding fight, they say, whatever the claims of Ukraine's government.

This counteroffensive is being billed as kind of a quick process. Do you think that's --

MARK AYRES, BRITON FIGHTING IN UKRAINE: No, definitely not. It won't be quick. I mean it's hard, slow-fought, meter by meter, position by position

because we haven't got resources to do a massive blitzkrieg.

KILEY: U.S. weapons and other NATO equipment have proved useful, but not decisive as Ukraine has captured a handful of villages since the

counteroffensive began.

Here, Russian troops waved a white flag of surrender after precision artillery strikes by U.S.-supplied howitzers are monitored by Zafar's unit

with a drone. Russia has motivated its troops with false claims that they're liberating Ukraine from Nazis.

For Ukraine, it's a battle of national survival, attracting help from around the world.

Do you feel sorry for the Russians?

AYRES: No. No. Not at all. It's not like Ukraine has invaded Russia. They've invaded Ukraine. They're here killing civilians, killing our

soldiers. I've got no sympathy for them whatsoever.

KILEY: Ukraine's imposed a news blackout on the southern offensive and keeps his casualty figures secret. But for these men being wounded isn't

the end of combat. It's an interruption.

And are you going to go back?

ZAFAR: Yeah, once everything heals on my body probably within three to four weeks. I should be right back out there.

KILEY: Sam Kiley, CNN, Odesa.


NOBILO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that he was the first foreign leader to speak with the new U.K. prime minister. The British

government says a list dress is accepted his invitation to visit Ukraine soon.

For its part, Russia is accusing Ms. Truss of having an obviously negative predisposition towards Moscow. Foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, met with

her earlier this year just before Russia's invasion, when she was still foreign secretary. He said this about Ms. Truss today.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): She has her own principles which relate to the intransigence of defending the interests

of Britain without their desire to take into account the positions of others in any way, without any particular desire to make any compromises, I

do not think this will help to maintain or strengthen the position of this country on the international stage.


NOBILO: Twitter users have been sending messages to the new prime minister by tagging the account @liztruss. But that handle actually belongs to

someone else. Her name is Liz Trussell, and in this tweet, she was mistakenly called it the best person for the job. Trussell agreed.

There was also this tweet which criticized her for blanking Rishi Sunak when her win was announced. Trussell's response: Sorry I was in a

restaurant Nandos.

Even Sweden's prime minister got the wrong Liz when she sent this message of congratulations. To that, Trussell replied: Looking forward to a visit

soon. Get the meatballs ready.

Well, thank you for joining me on this special edition of THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

"WORLD SPORT" is up for you next.