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More than 5,000 Untested Rape Kits Across the State of Texas; Guterres: Afghans Facing Collapse of Entire Country; Eight U.S. Bases Housing More Than 50,000 Afghan Refugees; Biden Pushes Climate Agenda; Raiders Beat Ravens in Overtime Thriller; Apple Issues Urgent Software Update. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 14, 2021 - 04:30   ET



VICTORIA NEAVE, TEXAS STATE HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Each box is not just a box sitting on a shelf, it represents the survivor story. It represents an individual, a family who has been impacted by this, it represents women who are waiting for justice. And so, we know that there's still more work to do.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Neave says the state is making it a priority and has approved $50 million to help test these kits. But with thousands of rape kits still on the shelf that leaves a lot of women wondering who raped them and a lot of rapists on the street.

NEAVE: That's a big reason why many women do not report that they have been raped because they don't think that their case is going to be prosecuted.

KAYE (voice-over): Beyond the backlog, the new Texas law banning abortions after six weeks even in the case of rape and incest infuriated Lavinia.

LAVINIA MASTERS, RAPE SURVIVOR: That's asinine. That makes absolutely no sense at all. It makes no sense at all.

KAYE: Because you may not even know you're pregnant in six weeks.

MASTERS: Exactly, exactly. We've already felt we lost birth control. We've lost our power. And now you're continuing to strip us by saying by six weeks if you don't get rid of that baby, you have to keep it. No sir. That's ludicrous.

KAYE (voice-over): Lavinia knows if she'd gotten pregnant and that law had been in place, she would have had to carry and deliver her rapist child at 13.

MASTERS: I don't know who he was. And that child wants to know their father. They don't know their background. They don't know their history. I don't know about the illnesses or anything. But I will be forced to carry that baby. That's not common -- that's not even common sense.

KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Dallas.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll continue to shine a light on this. Just ahead, a promise desperately needed aid for Afghanistan but also a warning that the country will need much more than humanitarian help to fix the current crisis.

They fled Afghanistan as the Taliban took control and now tens of thousands more Afghan refugees will soon be headed to the U.S. more on that story when we return.


CHURCH: The U.N. Secretary-General is warning that the people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of their entire country all at once. Antonio Guterres delivered the assessment during a donor conference that raised more than $1 billion For Afghanistan. The World Food Program estimates 14 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation. Guterres says food could run out by the end of this month and an economic collapse would create a mass exodus threatening the stability of the entire region.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: If we want to protect the human rights of the people of Afghanistan, the best way is to move on with the humanitarian aid and engage the Taliban and take profit of that humanitarian aid to push for those rights to be implemented. Let's have no illusion. We are not trying to transform Afghanistan into Sweden or Switzerland. But we know that there are a number of basic rights that is essential to implement and they are in the center of our engagement with the Taliban.


CHURCH: Earlier I spoke with Babar Baloch the global spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. He talked about whether the pledged funds will be enough to turn Afghanistan's crisis around.


BABAR BALOCH, UNHCR GLOBAL SPOKESMAN: We are reaching a point where Afghans are now really, really over stretched in terms of their coping mechanism. We are talking about 3.5 million Afghans that have been displaced inside their country. More than 630,000 during this year. This number includes 80 percent of women and children. And those needs are huge and they are mounting day by day.

So, all the pledges now need to turn into real cash and they need to materialize in terms of providing the humanitarian assistance. You heard the warnings and we have been trying to highlight this again and again to the world that stay engaged, stay focused inside Afghanistan. Don't leave Afghans or Afghanistan at this critical juncture.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: And CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now live from Istanbul. Arwa, the situation is dire across Afghanistan. What is the latest on what Afghans are dealing with at this time?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's absolutely heartbreaking, Rosemary. They are dealing with an inability to access their money and that is if they had that much money or funds to begin with, keeping in mind that around 76 percent of the population before all of this, before the Taliban takeover of Kabul was already living below the poverty line.

They are dealing with hunger. They are dealing with an inability to access proper health care, basic medical care, essential services. When we talk about the economic collapse of Afghanistan, we're also talking about the collapse of certain infrastructures or certain processes, logistical processes that were in place to try to get humanitarian aid where it needs to go. Again, already an enormous challenge prior to the Taliban's takeover and one that is going to prove to be even more difficult. Getting that humanitarian aid where it needs to go.

A number of international organizations are warning about the collapse of the health system there, one that was already struggling to begin with. There are warnings about malnutrition, there are warnings about women's health, girls' health. And so that is why it is really critical right now that number of these aid organizations engage with the Taliban. And they are engaging with the Taliban to try to ensure that humanitarian aid does get to where it needs to be to try to ensure safe passage and ability for their staff on the ground to be able to operate.

But you have a number of organizations including Doctors Without Borders, they are saying that the need is so great right now and there is such a lack of staff and capabilities on the ground that, you know, they wish they could just clone themselves. And this is where a big burden of responsibility does to a certain degree rely on the U.S. and its allies.


After all they were the ones who withdrew. There was no plan in place for the withdrawal and there most certainly was no plan in place to ensure that these vital life lines for humanitarian aid supplies continued to function in a manner that the population needs and that the population deserves.

The great concern that lot of these aid organizations and others are highlighting, is that while Afghanistan is still currently in the spotlight, yes, there is a lot of attention, yes, there is money being pledged, but our attention span unfortunately tends to be very short. And so, what happens when Afghanistan eventually does slide out of the spotlight. There has to be measures put into place to ensure, to put it very bluntly, that people don't end up unnecessarily dying because they don't have access to basic medicine or because there are not access to enough to eat.

CHURCH: Yes, it is such an important point. Arwa Damon joining us live from Istanbul. Many thanks.

Well, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is calling the evacuations from Kabul an extraordinary effort. During a virtual hearing with House lawmakers, he said they got almost all the U.S. citizens and Afghans who wanted to leave out. Tens of thousands of Afghans who fled the country are now in the United States. CNN's Oren Liebermann has the details.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ever since the first flight of evacuees landed at Dulles International Airport in late July, the number of Afghans coming into the United States has soared. The U.S. anticipates the arrival of more than 65,000 Afghan refugees by the end of the month. Already the military has built what one official described as small cities on eight bases. Those bases now house 53,000 at risk Afghans.

Fort Bliss in Texas was the first to grant media access to see the facilities. Here there is housing for more than 10,000 Afghans. They'll get COVID vaccines, medical screening and the beginning of a new life. At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey, the Afghans have broken up their village into councils. The leaders of these councils meet with base officials, an Afghan society within a U.S. military facility.

Already two babies were born on different bases, some of the first new Americans from the Afghan evacuation. Some Afghans who were far along in their visa application left the bases within days. But that number one U.S. official said was not large. Many may be here much longer, months even, as they work through a complex visa process. At Dulles Airport, officials discovered three confirmed cases of measles among at-risk Afghans. Another case confirmed at Fort Pickett in Virginia and a fifth at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

REP. RON KIND (D-WI): There are no 100 percent guarantees with any of this, but I'm comfortable with the extreme vetting process that we were briefed on today, the multilayer, the biometric, all the background checks.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): And the discovery of the highly contagious disease prompted the military to pause the flights of Afghan evacuees from Europe to the United States for at least seven days.

JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We want the people who work on these bases and the families who live there to know how seriously we're taking it.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): One homeland security official said this is likely one of the most important missions they'll ever work on as the U.S. tries to draw a better future for tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees.

LIEBERMANN: Secretary of State Antony Blinken was grilled about the security screening and the medical screening that will go into allowing the Afghans to enter the U.S. To speed along that screening, the Department of Homeland Security has added about 150 employees at U.S. bases to help in that streaming process and some 400 employees overseas. But make no mistake, this is a process that will take time. There is no clear answer for how long the U.S. military will house these Afghan evacuees, they simply say as long as it's necessary.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, in the Pentagon.


CHURCH: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart. Vladimir Putin took a swipe at the U.S. and Turkey saying foreign troops stationed in Syria without a U.N. mandate are a threat to the country's sovereignty. The Kremlin says Mr. Assad thanked the Russian leader for humanitarian aid to Syria and his efforts to stop the spread of terrorism.

Well, still to come, President Biden surveys the devastation from this year's Western wildfires and joins California leaders in demanding more action on the climate crisis.



CHURCH: You're looking at images from Slovakia where Pope Francis is leading mass in the eastern part of the country. He is there on a multiday tour meeting with the president, government officials and civil and religious leaders. Earlier the pontiff took part in a memorial for the more than 100,000 Slovak Jews killed in the Holocaust. Pope Francis is scheduled to meet with measures of the Rama community in the coming hours, followed by an address to young people.

U.S. President Joe Biden is calling the devastating wildfires in the Western part of the country a blinking code red on the impact of climate change. The remarks came as he toured some of the hardest hit areas in California and Idaho. CNN's Josh Campbell is in Sacramento with more.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Joe Biden visiting the Western United States on Monday spotlighting an issue that has continued to plague so many parts of the country out West and that is wildfires. He began his day in the state of Idaho meeting with officials at the National Interagency Fire Center getting an update on what authorities are doing to battle so many of these blazes. He also came here to Sacramento, California getting an aerial assessment of the so-called Caldor fire. Officials tell us that it currently sits at over 200,000 acres burned, over 1,000 structures either damaged or destroyed. Biden speaking shortly after his visit. Take a listen.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to think big. Thinking small is a prescription for disaster. We're going to get this done. This nation is going to come together and we are going to beat this climate change. CAMPBELL: Now of course, Biden has continued to spotlight the root

cause of so many of these wildfires, climate change. Authorities tell us that here in the state of California, they are seeing fire seasons start much earlier, go much later, and fires hotter and much larger.

Josh Campbell, CNN, Sacramento, California.


CHURCH: Apple issues an urgent software update after researchers identify a flaw that could leave devices vulnerable to spyware. We will have the details next.



CHURCH: You are looking at the latest launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. It blasted off just a short time ago. The rocket is delivering dozens of Starlink satellites in to orbit. Starlink is a satellite-based Internet service touted as a way to potentially bring Internet access to billions of people.

An overtime thriller in the first Monday Night Football game of the new season. Here's Patrick Snell with a minute in sports -- Patrick.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: We start with the NFL at the start of this new season. Our special occasion indeed for fans of the Las Vegas Raiders who packed into the team's state-of-the-art $2 billion Allegiant Stadium for the very first time. And those fans would not be disappointed as the Raiders win it in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens, for touchdown toss to Zay Jones sending Las Vegas to victory, 33 points to 27, a thrilling Monday night of action.

Football's European Champions League European Champions League back up and running with eight fixes on the slate for later on today. Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United in action later as the Red Devils face Young Boys in Byrne.

Lionel Messi, of course, these days at Barcelona, the Catalan giants go head-to-head with Bayern Munich.


These two giants of the continent are being crowned kings of Europe 11 times between them.

And the goal you just have to see from England's Premier League, Everton's Andros Townsend with a stunning strike at top, he beat Burnley 3-1 at Goodison Park, an amazing, amazing goal for Townsend. And with that, it's right back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Thank you so much, Patrick.

Well, Apple is now urging users to update their devices after a critical spyware vulnerability was discovered. The update fixes a flaw in the IMessage software that allows hackers to infiltrate a user's phone without even clicking on a link. That is according to the University of Toronto Citizen Lab which is credited with finding the vulnerability. They say it allows spyware from an Israeli firm to infect a device. Researchers say it is already being used to spy on a Saudi activist and possibly 14 heads of state including French President Emmanuel Macron.

Well, that action by Apple coming as the company prepares for a virtual event at its California headquarters in the coming hours. Apple is expected to unveil four new iPhones including the iPhone 13 mini. While the devices are expected to look similar to last year's model, they could include a number of possible feature changes. Apple may also introduce new AirPods and a new Apple watch.

Well, thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter @rosemaryCNN. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett is up next. Have yourselves a wonderful day.