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Connect the World
Pakistani FM: Hopes Afghanistan Evolves in "Right Direction"; U.N. Calling for Countries to Share Humanitarian Responsibility to let in Afghan Refugees; Man who Stabbed Six was a "Known Threat" and ISIS Supporter; Kabul Mayor: Government will be all Taliban Members; Scientist: We Need to Harness the Climate Science Right Now; Smyth: Global Health Organizations Must Insist Abortion is a Fundamental Human Right. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 03, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back. And the world is watching as Afghanistan enters a potentially critical weekend, the Taliban
are expected to unveil their government any time now.
After a swift victory on the battlefield, we could find out how they will rule and whether they will make good on their promise to be inclusive?
Women daring to rally for a role in that government ahead of the announcement, representatives of Britain and Germany met with the group.
Meantime, the Taliban say opposition fighters converged on the Northern Panjshir Valley. And it appears clashes have fled in neighboring provinces.
Ben Farmer is the Afghanistan Correspondent for "The Telegraph" and joins me now via Skype from Kabul. What is the latest on the ground as you
understand it, Ben?
BEN FARMER, AFGHANISTAN CORRESPONDENT, THE TELEGRAPH: So we're still waiting for that key decision, as you say, how the government will be
formed to whom there will be and then we'll get a clearer idea of what their policies might be?
We've been waiting for it all day. The Taliban have been in negotiations now in deliberations for a good week or more, trying to work out who these
key figures will be out? At the moment, I think the biggest leak we've got, which people keep mentioning is that a man called Mullah Baradar will
probably have a very senior position, perhaps be in charge of day to day running of the government.
He's the man who ran a political office. And he's the man who negotiated the deal with Donald Trump for America to pull its troops out.
ANDERSON: The key question what sort of governance is likely to be seen in Afghanistan, which talks about what you are hearing and seeing on the
FARMER: Well, that is the key question, everyone's talking about whether it will be inclusive or not? I think, when you use the word inclusive, I think
what people might be meaning by that word in the West is very different to what the Taliban might be - might think it means.
We have seen today protests, for example, from some women in Kabul, we saw some in other cities earlier in the week, calling for women to be
represented in the government. I think the Taliban are unlikely to do that at the top level.
We saw footage other of these women protesting very brave considering some of the treatment we've seen from the Taliban, but I think there will be
unlikely that there will be senior Taliban figures who are women in this government.
I think what they mean by inclusivity, is it's more that they will be looking for different ethnic groups, or different power factions do include
them. But the Taliban walked into Kabul unopposed. They don't have a lot of opposition at the moment. They're not going to be forced by their by people
inside the country or outside the country to be more inclusive than they want to be.
ANDERSON: And reports of retaliation and of retribution by the Taliban. What do we know?
FARMER: Yes, these reports don't go away. We keep hearing reports from the provinces where it's very difficult to report from that, particularly
members of the security forces who have been promised an amnesty are in fact finding that some of them are being hunted down and some of them are
We've had reports of members of the special forces which were the Taliban's most feared adversary are being hunted, being dragged out of their homes
and being killed. The Taliban say this is not true. But we keep getting these reports.
What's not clear is whether this is a national policy, or whether if you like this is scores being settled by individual commanders.
ANDERSON: Ben is on the ground in Kabul in Afghanistan, appreciate it and please stay safe. More aid arriving in country boxes of food and medicine
arriving on a flight from the UAE and the UN is resuming aid flights outside of Kabul as it warns a humanitarian catastrophe is looming.
Meantime, after a stopping cat up the British Foreign Secretary stopped in Pakistan. Pakistan of course hosting many Afghan refugees. Dominic Raab
talks with his Pakistani counterpart have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAKHDOOM SHAH MAHMOOD QURESHI, PAKISTANI FOREIGN MINISTER: Afghanistan dominated the conversation. The evolving situation in Afghanistan is of
paramount importance to them us everyone, the region and the world. I shared my assessment with the Foreign Secretary of the evolving situation.
Things are evolving.
QURESHI: Nothing is certain yet but they're evolving. And we are both hoping that they evolve in the right direction the direction of peace and
DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We'll also stand by our commitments for Afghanistan's future. I think there are a number of
priorities that we discussed today. That humanitarian lifeline preserving regional stability, holding the Taliban to the assurances that they made,
making sure that deeds follow words and of course, making sure that Afghanistan cannot be used and will not be used as a base or safe haven for
terrorist groups in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Right, that's Britain's Foreign Minister alongside his Pakistani counterpart. CNN's Sam Kiley got to ask Dominic Raab some questions in
Qatar yesterday, and Sam is joining us now from Doha. Raab doing the rounds Sam he was in Doha yesterday where you are and you attended that news
conference. What did he have to say?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think one of the key issues certainly from the British, and I have to say American domestic
issue is what happens to those Afghan allies of the coalition that got left behind. "The Guardian" reporting today, for example, and this is their
reporting, one out of 120 British Embassy guards actually made it out in an airlift of 15,000 people conducted by the British.
Now it's that kind of issue that Dominic Raab has come under severe drubbing from members of his own site - that the Chairman of the Foreign
Affairs Committee himself, a battle veteran and Tory MP, putting him through the wringer.
And he's very keen as they come here. Simon - also an envoy from number 10 negotiates with a Qataris trying to talk to the Taliban, trying desperately
to get people out. And this is how I put it to the British Foreign Secretary yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY (on camera): What sense of guilt do you feel over the people who have supported Britain, both Britain's themselves and people who've supported
Britain that you've left behind?
RAAB: We've secured safe passage out of Afghanistan for over 17,000 British nationals, Afghan workers, and other special cases since April. But I do
think we feel a responsibility to make sure that the remaining British nationals and Afghan workers can come to the UK.
That's why we watch with great interest what may be possible at Kabul Airport. But we're also here and I'm here, not just in Qatar, but moving on
afterwards to talk to regional countries about how we can ensure safe passage through third countries?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Now, arguably, that's just what he's doing the talking in Pakistan to the Pakistani authorities he is also conducted those sites same talks
here, Becky. Qatar has been absolutely critical not just too day to day communications with the Taliban that on a practical level, in trying to get
the airport open both symbolically but also practically important, particularly for the exfiltration, the evacuation of those who want to
The matter of whether or not they'll be allowed to leave, of course, also subject to negotiation. But this is what the Qatari Foreign Minister said
about the airport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEIK MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: We are still in the evaluation process. There is no clear indication when it's
going to be fully operational yet. But we are working very hard and also engaging with Taliban to identify what are the gaps and the risks for
having the airport back up running.
We will do our best we are engaging with them engaging with also Turkey if they can provide any technical assistance on that front. And hopefully in
the next few days, we will hear some good news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Becky, the Emiratis, as you've reported, also got an A flight in it's very interesting indeed. I think that in the absence of movements and
engagement coming from the wider international community, we have seen Pakistan getting very directly engaged no surprises there bordering
Afghanistan, absolutely key for the old future stability of Pakistan that Afghanistan remains stable.
But also the muscular new diplomacy emerging principally from Qatar, but also now from the Emirates trying to get in get talking to the Taliban
reinforces this idea that they've got to try to be a moderate version of the Taliban.
The sort of carrot and stick at the moment and small carrots being offered to the Taliban to try to encourage them to see the rewards of international
engagement, but also the commitments that they have to make an order for that engagement to be successful in the future. Above all, respect for
humanitarian law, Becky.
ANDERSON: Because that is the big question at this point, isn't it can the Taliban be trusted? I'm sure the Qataris are thinking hard on that. Here's
what Qatar's Assistant Foreign Minister told CNN earlier this week. Have a listen Sam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOLWAH AL-KHATER, QATARI ASSISTANT FOREIGN MINISTER: We all agreed with our international partners that rushing into recognition is not necessarily the
wisest decision to make now, yet a constructive dialogue is extremely important. So it will be a trust building process.
It's very important so that all of us collectively build and capitalize on the pragmatism that Taliban has shown so far. Taliban needs the
international community, they realize this, they say this, and that's why we need to capitalize on this moment shutting them down completely is not
going to be very helpful in this situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Lolwah Al-Khater speaking to my colleague Isa Soares earlier this week. Sam, your thoughts on what you heard there?
KILEY: Well, I think a very key word in there is pragmatic, isn't it, Becky? Pragmatic engagement by the Taliban with the international
community, you've got Qatar and others, joining in the G7 whole idea that there will be no recognition of the Taliban government or a future
government until they meet very serious sets of criteria.
And then in the background, and we'll probably see some of this emerging over the next few weeks rather more pragmatic engagement going on, on a
bilateral level, we're already seeing it bats from Pakistan, of other countries that might break away a little bit from that unanimous position
that the G7 is trying to establish.
There are elements there of opportunism, China, perhaps trying to get in ahead of a bit ahead of the curve. Again, they have a border with
Afghanistan, very important mineral interests there, geostrategic interests, perhaps Russia, too.
It's not yet clear the extent to which there will be a completely unanimous international community response to the Taliban or whether here and there,
there might be some pragmatic attempts made by other countries to get in ahead of the rest of the gang Becky?
ANDERSON: Sam Kiley is in Doha in Qatar, always a pleasure, Sam, thank you very much indeed. My next guest is Filippo Grandi. He's the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees. Earlier he tweeted about a call with Iran's Foreign Minister where he said stronger humanitarian support from Iran in
Afghanistan is urgently needed. Filippo Grandi joining me now live from Geneva, in Switzerland via Skype.
And Filippo, a lot of our attention lately has been on the plight of Afghans who've been evacuated and are now starting a new life in the U.S.
or in Europe. But you know, better than most, that there are millions of Afghans who are in need of assistance both inside Afghanistan, and in
neighboring countries like Iran, and Pakistan. Do you think the international community has overlooked that reality?
FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEE: Well, it may have overlooked it in the past, but now is the time to focus on it. The
evacuations are over and of the remaining in Afghanistan 39 million people we estimated about half are in dire humanitarian needs.
And this humanitarian crisis is likely to expand with the present situation. Now some of those people may be heading towards the borders of
Afghanistan. And if they cross those borders, which may be difficult, but if they cross those borders, they will add themselves to the millions
already hosted by Pakistan and Iran.
That's why humanitarian assistance everywhere inside Afghanistan, hopefully is to stabilize the situation, but also in neighboring countries is
enormously important at the moment. And that was the gist of my conversation of my very good conversation with the Iranian Foreign
ANDERSON: That's fascinating. Let's just concentrate on the sort of support that you believe you will need to help countries like neighboring Iran, and
Pakistan before we talk about what's going on in country at present. What's your appeal at this point?
GRANDI: Well, my appeal is that first of all, we need to help these countries make preparations if they accept to do that. We need to beef up
preparedness. We've put out an appeal together with many of our partners in the UN and beyond NGOs, et cetera for $300 million for six months. It's
important that that appeal is funded.
But then again, let's not forget that these countries already host so many Afghans, and assistance for those Afghans has been so difficult to mobilize
Becky, for the past few years now we have a chance to show those countries that their generosity power Current and future will not be left alone.
ANDERSON: Do you have a team on the ground inside Afghanistan at present and if not do you plan to send one?
GRANDI: No, absolutely. We have teams on the ground. We have slightly reduced the international presence because of security constraints. But we
have all the humanitarian agencies have maintained their teams, and are actually delivering as we speak.
We have trucks going in, we have W.H.O. brought in an airlift of medical supplies, UNICEF rescued 800 children from the airport attack. So we, you
know, the activities are limited by the circumstances, but we are scaling up every day that passes.
ANDERSON: Filippo, have you or members of your team spoken to the Taliban? And if so, what's the sense of their relationship with humanitarian
organizations going forward?
GRANDI: You know, I heard in your previous program, talk to talk about being pragmatic. Humanitarian agencies are very pragmatic; of course, we
want principles to be respected. But we have to be pragmatic to deal with anybody who is in control of a certain areas, if there are needs.
We've been talking to Taliban for a long time when they were in control of some parts of the countries. And we continue to talk to them now that they
control the entire country. Still, you know, there's no Taliban de facto government yet, or there will be soon, but there's not one yet.
So we talk with local authorities more than anything else. And those talks have been pragmatic, and in general, rather, constructive, let's put it
ANDERSON: So they are being cooperative. That's what you are telling us.
GRANDI: On the fundamental issues that we are discussing now, yes. Security access, we need the Taliban to protect the humanitarian operations. There's
nobody else at the moment to do it. And therefore they are our interlocutor to have access to populations in need. So that discussion continues and is
And of course, we use those channels also to start raising the more complex issues, women at work, girls in schools and so forth. And of course,
there's no policies yet, but a lot of, let's say, encouraging signals.
Now, we will have to see, once government, the government, the Taliban authority is in place, whether that would be translated in policies that
are also encouraging and positive? We will have to judge that action by the facts and not by the words, of course.
ANDERSON: Are you optimistic, Filippo? And just explain what sort of one of the most pressing concerns on the ground? And do you genuinely believe that
you will get the support from whatever this new government looks like, in order that you can do something about this humanitarian crisis that the
country is facing?
GRANDI: The most pressing concern is to bring help to millions of people that are in need. There are more than 4 million internally displaced people
just to give you an example of an issue that my organization is dealing with. So that's the immediate concern.
And I think that the Taliban will, will actually favor humanitarian agencies they need that help to be channeled to the people in need. So on
that score, I don't know if I'm optimistic or simply realistic, but I think that we will go forward.
Then there are much more complex issues to be resolved. Who will pay the salaries of the teachers in schools? Who will make the state function
older, the health system, and the water and sanitation system? These are things that are beyond the humanitarians.
And the international community better deals with these things as a matter of urgency, because in Afghanistan, everybody's worried about refugees,
population movements, if there is a collapse of the state of the economy and of services that will provoke population movements, and then it will be
a much bigger challenge to face.
ANDERSON: Filippo, it's always good having you on, sir. This is such an important story. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
GRANDI: Thank you Becky.
ANDERSON: A little later on "Connect the World" we're going to speak with a man who remains the Mayor of Kabul in Afghanistan under the Taliban, of
course, how he plans to continue to lead the people during these turbulent times?
And later this hour, the bigger picture of the climate crisis and the catastrophic weather we are seeing. I'll be talking to a leading scientists
about what she calls being climate ready? Plus, how do they known ISIS support under government surveillance, pull off a terror attack in an
Auckland supermarket more on that after this.
ANDERSON: An ISIS supporter managed to stab six people in Auckland, New Zealand supermarket earlier today even though he was a known security
threat under government surveillance. The attack happened around 3 pm local time on Friday in the suburb of New Lynn.
Police shot the attacker and he died at the scene. Well, New Zealand's Prime Minister revealed he was a Sri Lankan national who had been before
the courts before but certain details about his background have been suppressed CNN's Ivan Watson with more on this story.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Prime Minister of New Zealand is calling it an act of terror when a suspect armed with a
knife began stabbing people in a supermarket in Auckland. The thing is, is that this suspect and his violent extremist ISIS supporting views were
known at the highest levels of the New Zealand government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON (voice over): Panicked shoppers at an Auckland supermarket inside --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's someone here with a knife by --
WATSON (voice over): --disbelief as word spreads of an attacker on a stabbing spree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --an ambulance has just turned up.
WATSON (voice over): He wounded six people leaving three in critical condition. Within moments police shut the suspect dead.
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: The attack began at 2:40 pm and was undertaken by an individual who was a known threat to New Zealand. The
individual was under constant monitoring. And it was the police surveillance team and special tactics group who were part of that
monitoring and surveillance that shot and killed him within I'm told the space of roughly 60 seconds of the attack starting.
WATSON (voice over): Just hours after the attack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern identified the dead suspect as a Sri Lankan national and ISIS
supporter who had been under police surveillance and whose case she had personally known about.
ARDERN: What I can say is that we have utilized every legal and surveillance power available to us to try and keep people safe from this
individual. Many agencies and people were involved and or were all were motivated by the same thing trying to keep people safe.
WATSON (voice over): Police say the man took a knife in the supermarket and used it to carry out the attacks. An existing court order initially
restricted government officials from revealing more details about the attacker. Ardern did say the man was labeled a national security threat as
early as 2016. But that wasn't enough to warrant the man's arrest says the Mayor of Auckland.
PHIL GOFF, AUCKLAND MAYOR: He was under Police surveillance because of the views that he held. But in our democracy as in yours, you don't get
imprisoned for your views. You get imprisoned for your actions.
RODGER SHANAHAN, TERRORISM EXPERT: This I think one of the one of the shortfalls of New Zealand counterterrorism legislation is there's no law
against preparatory acts before an act of terrorism. In Australia that's what the majority of domestic terrorists have been charged under
preparatory charges. It doesn't exist in New Zealand.
WATSON (voice over): The New Zealand government now lobbying to lift the court order gagging officials from revealing more about the alleged violent
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: New Zealand compared to many countries has relatively low rates of violent crime. The most deadly terrorist incident to date took place in the
City of Christchurch in 2019. When an Australian white supremacist, attacked two mosques there killing at more than 50 people. In that case, he
was armed with firearms. The suspect in the stabbing in the Auckland supermarket only had a knife. Ivan Watson CNN, Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson for you ahead on the show more of our in depth coverage of Afghanistan in
transition. I'm going to speak to the man of Kabul, who says he is staying on in his position under the Taliban. I'm going to ask him why he decided
to do that.
ANDERSON: Well, we are waiting to hear more about the makeup of the Taliban's new government and how it plans to lead? One thing is a parent
shed is making sure it is on friendly terms with China. In a tweet, a Taliban spokesman said Beijing would maintain its embassy in Kabul and that
the two would be fought relations as compared to the past. He also said China would ramp up its humanitarian assistance, especially in treating
Well, joining me now is Mohammad Daoud Sultanzoy he says he remains the Mayor of Kabul and that the Taliban have appointed a head of commission,
not a new Mayor. Good to have you. The Taliban is poised to announce this new government. Just explain how you think that will turn out and to what
extent do you believe they will be able to lead an inclusive process going forward, sir?
MOHAMMAD DAOUD SULTANZOY, KABUL MAYOR: Well, thank you. There are two ways to answer this question. One is hope. One hopes for something different. In
this instance, one hopes that when the Taliban entered Kabul, after one year old war, they came to Kabul without a shot being fired from any side.
Therefore, this is a time where they can garner the goodwill of the people of Afghanistan and created a government that is inclusive, where that
government can address that immediate issue of - economy, social problems and other issues that are ahead and have an effect upon us and we'll be
The other side is the reality. The reality is that they fought a war, they were talking about an Afghanistan to their warriors in the mountains. And
now they're in charge. And my, my guess is that they will create a government that will completely be covered and felt, cabinets will be felt
by the Taliban.
And that will probably be the case, my guess, my good guesses, initially, because they wanted to take over power. And they're there. But I hope
wisdom will prevail, prevail, and they will go to that first portion of my statement, which is a hope.
And only time will tell the next few days will be very telling, they will probably soon announce cabinet and the overall wellbeing the majority or
the total majority will be the Taliban.
But in the next few months, then reality will set in and sink in. And the realization of running a country after a war is another thing. You know,
war was one thing and running a country is not the thing they shot to, to come and take over a country of 35 million now they're responsible for the
35 million. So that's a new reality.
ANDERSON: Can you work with them? And are you in touch with the Taliban? And can you work with them?
SULTANZOY: Work, the work that question can only be answered and how and what kind of government they will form. If it's an inclusive government and
the likes of me or at some capacity serving up government, then one will have room to play a role. But if it's not an inclusive government, my
desire is a moot point.
ANDERSON: The Taliban has promised amnesty for Afghan officials and indeed any Afghans who worked with the West in the past assuring that there will
be no retribution.
We are though hearing some harrowing reports from the ground that suggest otherwise detentions, beatings, reports, even of executions, a lot of these
have been targeting women as well. What do you know of this retaliation and retribution?
SULTANZOY: Well, tolerance is a very wise trait. And I hope that tolerance will prevail not only at the Taliban level, but there shouldn't be any
revenge. The motivation of revenge should be removed from both national arena and international arena.
I know that things didn't end up the way everybody wanted such certain circles. But for the sake of the nation of 35 million, I hope that wisdom
will prevail and tolerance will be the norm. The reports that you're talking about, I haven't seen anything myself.
I've heard reports, too, but I have not seen anything. I've not seen any evidence in person. But I see the thing is that when funny years of war
has, has produced all kinds of commanders and elements in the mountains and sometimes people take the wall in their own hands and the grip of
governance is very tenuous at the moment. And I hope that things will change soon if that is the case.
ANDERSON: I want to talk a little further about the makeup of this potential new government. I spoke yesterday to Jawed Ludin, who you will
know he is the former Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and former spokesperson and Chief of Staff under Hamid Karzai.
And I asked him about the potential for the likes of the former President Hamid Karzai. And for example, Abdullah to play a role in the next
government, have a listen to what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAWED LUDIN, FORMER AFGHAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: We had a total sellout, a corrupt person for a president who ran away. And but somebody has to just
will stay behind and speak to these people, speak for the Islamic Republic, that the one that we were all part of and very proudly, and I still in.
But they stayed behind to speak to the Taliban, not just for a position for themselves, but for those who were in the previous government now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the question is, will they be, for example involved in that new government? Do you think that they will? Is there a chance?
SULTANZOY: Just to make a comment about Mr. Ludin's statement, my presence in Kabul speaks for itself, so I don't need to hear somebody else's
lecture. I hope they will all come in and stay with us here. So they won't have to have a give us lectures from abroad.
Crocodile tears don't help Afghanistan. We need to be on the ground to fill the void otherwise, the void will be filled by others that then we have to
complain about later, from miles and miles away - camera so that is not what upon us our needs. And we need to presence in the field and we have to
serve a country not a regime alone.
ANDERSON: With that, so we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. I do hope that you and I will chat in the weeks
and months to come and stay in touch. And we are clearly all waiting for some sort of announcement from the Taliban on the makeup of this new
government. Thank you.
We know the climate crisis is here. - Leading climate scientist will talk to me next about the rise in weather catastrophes.
ANDERSON: Well, the man who runs New York City says climate change is changing the world and he wants the Big Apple to be able to handle
catastrophic weather events going forward like that which we saw this week.
When the remnants of deadly Hurricane Ida right cross New York and most of the Northeast United States leaving millions of people under flood warning
Sam, we know now at least 48 people sadly have died 13 in New York City alone.
The city's Mayor Bill de Blasio says he gets it so he is launching a new plan for what he calls a new world. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: An extreme weather response Task Force. We can say now, that extreme weather has become the norm. We need to
respond to it differently. It's even different than just a few years ago.
We've got to acknowledge that, so taskforce to show us a variety of strategies that we can put in place quickly as part of this response. Of
course, we'll also be talking today about the relief we need to get immediately to homeowners and to business owners who are hurting right now
and need help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Leading climate scientist says New York City just isn't climate ready. And she is warning that the world, the world needs to make deep cuts
to its greenhouse gas emissions, if it wants to reduce the risk of these dangerous extreme weather events like Ida.
Kim Cobb is a scientist behind that warning and a lead author of the U.N.'s latest climate report. She is also the Director of the Global Change
Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. And she joins me now and it's very good to have you.
How is climate change making this extreme weather or these extreme weather events more common? And is there anything we can say about its role in
storm either in particular?
KIM COBB, DIRECTOR, GLOBAL CHANGE PROGRAM, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: Well, a couple things here. First of all, we - known for decades that rise
in fossil fuel emissions are driving warming across the planet. This warming is related to the heating of the atmosphere that is caused a 7
percent increase in the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can hold.
The United Nations report just released last month linking new and stronger evidence to these extreme rainfall events. And of course, it's not just
rainfall, we should add drought and fire prone weather as well very relevant to communities that are grappling with that spread on the west
coast. To your question about --
ANDERSON: --of course, don't - please, please continue.
COBB: I was just going to say that to the role that this has played in hurricane, I just read it specifically, I believe we'll have to wait. But
perhaps not long.
There is a group called the world weather attribution group that looked into the German floods that you might remember in recent past over 180
people killed and that event linking very strongly human caused warming to that particular extreme rainfall event.
And I expect we'll hear in coming days, the breakdown of the role of human caused climate change in this particular extreme rainfall event.
ANDERSON: People in New York City don't typically think of themselves do they as on the frontline of climate change. But they clearly are at this
point, what do cities like New York City or anywhere really need to do to be prepared for these events?
You told CNN earlier that NYC was simply not climate ready. We've heard from the mayor and you heard what his intention is your thoughts?
COBB: Well, unfortunately, it's not just New York City. And this is clear from the experiences of people that are still dealing with the Hurricanes
landfall across Louisiana and Mississippi communities out west that are under extreme threat.
Tennessee floods also in recent weeks, of course, there this is happening not just across America, but across the world. We need to harness the full
value of climate science and all that it can inform us about our current and increasing risks going forward.
Because if we think this is bad, we have to get ready for the climate of the next decades, when we know we have a couple tenths of a degree warming
more. That may not sound like a lot, but the climate that we're facing right now is one degree C above the pre-industrial era.
ANDERSON: The U.S. has to get its house in order when it comes to greenhouse emissions, of course, as do these large polluters like India and
for example, China and John Kerry, the Special Envoy on climate change ahead of the COP meeting in November, it urging China to get him on board.
What needs to happen or how concern should we be if these emissions cuts that could save humanity don't?
COBB: Well, the real problem is that we take some very severe face and very stark choices in the next decade or two with regard to emissions
The United Nations report clearly says that if we work hard over this period, this critical period to enact deep and sustained cuts in greenhouse
gas emissions, we can keep warming levels to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It's still within reach that most ambitious target of the Paris Climate accord, obviously, we need to get to work. But the cost of inaction
becoming increasingly clear and the benefits of those reductions in emissions becoming tangible by mid-century, that's what you have to keep
our eyes on right now.
ANDERSON: Good to have you. We'll have you back. Thank you. Still ahead, the U.S. Supreme Court decision this week is curtailing abortion rights in
America's most second most populous state reverberating not just in the U.S., but around the globe. I want to talk to an Irish activist about the
growing threats to abortion rights.
ANDERSON: The U.S. President, Joe Biden calls a Supreme Court decision on abortion, "An unprecedented assault on a woman's constitutional rights." In
a 5-4 vote the U.S. Court refused to block a Texas law that prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy before many women even know that
they are pregnant.
Just a moment ago Mr. Biden told reporters he's asking the U.S. Justice Department to take a closer look at that new law. Now it could severely
endanger the future of the courts, 1973 ruling legalizing abortion in America, three of the five justices voting in the majority appointees of
former President Donald Trump.
Well, most recent polls in America generally show more than half of respondents think abortion should be legal in all or most instances.
In polling in Texas, about a third of respondents support the way the state's legislature lecture is handling abortion policy across the
Atlantic, Island became one of the last places to legalize abortion in certain circumstances that came in a landmark referendum in 2018.
And that will soon be subject to an independent review. And Ailbhe Smyth is an Abortion Rights Activist from Ireland who campaigned for that 2018
referendum. And I talked to her a bit earlier asking you to assess the impact of this latest Supreme Court decision in America and its impact
beyond American shores. Have a listen.
AILBHE SMYTH, CO-DIRECTOR, "TOGETHER FOR YES" ABORTION REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN: I think it is a deeply shocking and devastating ruling by the Supreme Court
because it effectively is a refusal to uphold what I would consider to be basic human rights and therefore ought to certainly be inscribed in the
American Constitution to bodily integrity, autonomy and indeed to privacy.
So it is appalling and is inevitably creating havoc and chaos and devastation in the state of Texas. And sets a very dangerous precedent for
Supreme Court rulings elsewhere and for the status of real access to legal abortion in the U.S. .
ANDERSON: You worry that this might influence other States. And indeed, how concerned are you that it might influence other countries around the world
to follow suit?
SMYTH: Well, I am certainly deeply concerned that I'm positive every right thinking progressive person in the U.S. is thinking at the present time
that it is a very dangerous threat to abortion in other states which have already rights have already been as we know chipped away at consistently
over the past couple of years or several years by rifling and indeed quite extreme right wing forces. So it is a very real danger.
SMYTH: It is about making abortion increasingly difficult for women to actually obtain. And I would say that as ever, it is the most marginalized
and the most disadvantaged women who bear the brunt of loss in the first instance.
As far as other countries are concerned, I think you know, that we're in a very unusual situation, in that it is a number of countries elsewhere in
Europe, but also elsewhere, which are now in a position to say to the U.S., you need to get your constitutional rights in order, you need to protect
And you certainly need to have a constitutional right and to recognize the human right to abortion. So but it may very well have a very detrimental
impact on countries, I'm thinking across the continent of Africa, but also elsewhere, countries where abortion is illegal and indeed in Central and
South America, some countries.
ANDERSON: Around five years ago, the Irish people voted by a landslide to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the country's constitution allowing the
government to legislate for abortion. It was an historic referendum that many suggested illustrated a monumental shift in attitudes towards women's
rights. Now, you advocated heavily for that move, just explain how it came about, if you will?
SMYTH: Well, it was a very long struggle. Sometimes people think it happened overnight. It didn't. We had a series of referendums from 1983
onwards. And the 1983 referendum had prohibited abortion had written that prohibition into the constitution.
And we were fighting against that, therefore for, you know, 35 years. But some years ago in 2012, a young woman who had come to work in Ireland from
India, died as a result of a pregnancy which he was miscarrying and where a termination was refused.
They said, no, we cannot carry out an abortion because we detect a heartbeat. And of course, that will resonate with everybody in all
prochoice campaigners in the U.S.
So in that stage we organized to get that amendment to remove that from our constitution, which is, which we succeeded in doing.
But I would have to say that that was in the context of a process of quite profound social and economic change in Ireland over a long period of time,
and also for growing the feminist activism and campaigning and awareness of the importance of women's rights and the need to inscribe those rights in
our legislation, in our policy and in our constitution.
ANDERSON: Ailbhe, I do want to share this statistic with our viewers, because my team here found it very shocking. 90 million, that's 5 percent
of women of reproductive age living countries that prohibit abortion altogether.
26 countries globally fall within this category. And yet, seven out of 10 adults worldwide 70 percent say abortion should be permitted. Why are we so
SMYTH: Well, let me say that it is an absolutely heartbreaking situation. I mean, genuinely, and unfortunately, what's happening in the U.S. now is
adding to that very deep heartbreak and distress for women really everywhere across the globe.
And I do believe that abortion is seen in very many countries and in very many ways, as being that last stronghold of control a patriarchal control
of women and of our bodies and therefore, of our freedoms. So it is a very, very long struggle.
I mean, as against the figures that you're quoting there, which are, you know, undeniable, and also unforgiveable. Because it leads women to seek
unsafe abortions and therefore, the mortality rate in those countries for women in that situation are much higher.
So you know, it's a very, very real world health problem. And that is, I think, precisely my point that we have come to a point where big, global
organizations like the United Nations, like the World Health Organization and others absolutely need to take a very strong stand now.
And to insist that abortion is fundamentally a human right and that that is indisputable. And I think in order to do that, we are in fact those of us
who are in favor of the provision of abortion as part of normal everyday health care right across the world.
SMYTH: We have to unify, we have to unite, we have to work in solidarity to achieve that. And that is the only thing I would say to those brave and
valiant campaigners in the U.S. is unite as tightly as you possibly can. And join forces with all those who believe in the importance of upholding
human rights and human freedoms over our parties.
ANDERSON: Well, in tonight's parting shots a reminder that despite what some in Texas or Kabul or wherever it may hope you can't simply erase women
from society. Silence them or take away their choices because women know how to rise up.
Like these Afghan women demonstrating in the Afghan city of Herat just yesterday, asking for their right to education and to representation in
government. Well, these star athletes breaking norms reaching for the stars at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Zahra Nemati, an Iranian Archer claiming her third consecutive gold medal yesterday and Afghan Taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi, was the second
Afghan woman to ever take part in the games and get this.
She only got there after a secret international mission helped her get out of Taliban controlled Afghanistan. So as we wrap up this show and this week
on "Connect the World", I want to salute these women, wherever they may be and I hope you join me in that. Thank you for joining us wherever you are
watching in the world. One World with Larry Madowo is next.