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U.N. Launches Emergency Appear For Afghan Aid; North Korea Tests Long-Range Cruise Missiles; Britney Spears Announces Engagement. Aired 10- 11a ET
Aired September 13, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Six hundred million dollars. That is the ask from the U.N. for Afghanistan. The aim, to help the millions of
Afghans who rely on aid to feed their families, no matter who is in power.
Reports of long range cruise missiles testified by North Korea causing concern amongst neighboring countries. We'll get you live to Seoul for the
And oops, she did it again. Britney Spears announces she is engaged just days after her father filed to end her conservative ship.
-- p.m. in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello, and welcome to the show. We start this out with the international push to head off a humanitarian
disaster in Afghanistan. United Nations Secretary General warning today that the Afghan people are facing the collapse of an entire country.
Antonio Guterres speaking at a U.N. Conference in Geneva, that hopes to raise more than $600 million dollars for Afghanistan.
Guterres warns that the poverty rate is spiraling and many Afghans could run out of food as winter approaches. Decades of conflict and drought have
crippled the country with half of all Afghans already dependent on humanitarian aid.
Qatar is now calling on countries to boost humanitarian access to Afghanistan, the big caveat to all of this -- the Taliban and how much they
will cooperate with international aid groups.
Meantime, a Pakistan International Airlines flight carrying foreign journalists touched down in Kabul this morning. It's the first plane to
land in Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan since the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops last month. The airline says it was not an aid flight but
called it a special flight to create "Goodwill" with the people of Afghanistan. CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nick Robinson --
Robertson connecting us today from Kabul.
Let's just talk about the U.N. donor conference and the concerns that were raised today. The U.N. urging donor nations to step up with pledges for
their flash appeal on Afghanistan. Nic citing very real concerns about the humanitarian situation. The question is, whether these traditional donors,
many of whom will be western governments will be prepared to provide any financial support given their concerns about working with the Taliban. Your
sense at this point?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, we know that the French are deeply concerned and perhaps the most reserved of the E.U.
nations about sort of having any kind of relationship with the Taliban. We know that the German Foreign Minister spoke today saying that the giving of
aid was very much dependent on the Taliban's behavior, if you will and providing safety and security for humanitarian aid officials to work in the
And really, that means being able to provide security and stability across the country. And it's not clear that they can -- that they are in a
position to do that yet. So I think these are big caveats. And of course, the need is huge. You know, the international community under the last year
of the last Afghan government through is a donation sort of represented 40 percent, 40 percent of the GDP of Afghanistan.
So it's huge. The need is huge and growing. But the early signs from the Taliban are -- for the international community, at least not so
encouraging. This is what we found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Battered and bruised. Kabul journalists, Nemat Naqdi and Taqi Daryabi show the results of a beating they say came at the
hands of the Taliban. The pair were covering an anti-Taliban protest when they were hauled away to a police station.
NEMAT NAQDI, AFGHAN JOURNALIST (through translator): They were hitting me with extreme force. And I really thought that this was the end of my life.
My left eye has been hurt so seriously that it is still red. And I am worried that I can't hear anything in my left ear.
ROBERTSON: Both feel victim of crossing an invisible line of what the Taliban will permit and what they won't pass.
TAQI DARYABI, AFGHAN JOURNALIST (through translator): Made it clear to the journalists in a press conference that they will be granted permission to
continue with their activities but only under the Islamic rules.
ROBERTSON: In Afghanistan's north, the powerful new Taliban police chief in Mazar-i-Sharif admits even he doesn't know the limits of his powers.
QARI HAQMAL, TALIBAN POLICE CHIEF (through translator): Until now, we have not received any specific orders from our chiefs. We are following the
rules of the emirate. There isn't a specific ban on anything.
ROBERTSON: Across Afghanistan, people are becoming increasingly worried. The Taliban have little idea beyond religious principles about how to run
the country, and may even be divided over how to do it.
There's no work, there's no trade and people have lost confidence this man says. No solid economic plan has been presented to the people. People have
no proper understanding with the Taliban's plans.
We can see that their cabinet has not yet been completed. What we can deduct is there are internal differences within the structure of the
cabinet. And this in itself adds to the concerns people already have he says. A mix of fear and fatalism appears to be filling the void. Some Kabul
residents are ignoring the Taliban's previously strict dress codes. No idea if it's OK or what could happen if they're caught.
The lesson of the two journalists, while the Taliban are dithering, potentially in fighting use every last moment of freedom.
DARYABI (through translator): The journalists will not stop they are people who convey the voice of the population. It is possible that from now on the
Taliban threatened and torture journalists, the continuation of their activities will be deemed as a danger to their government.
ROBERTSON: And into rim government that is yet to fully find its feet.
(on camera): And I think we got an indication of how yet is still to find its feet. The Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar who was the main
interlocutor with the United States on the negotiations, that essentially led to the Taliban getting back to power. Mullah Baradar, Deputy Prime
Minister issued a -- an audio message and a written statement today denying rumors that he had been injured or killed in internal disputes.
And I think when he has to go to those lengths, it really gives you an idea of how concerned the Taliban are about the rumors and of course, perhaps
potentially fuel some further that there is no -- these differences exist.
ANDERSON: So we'll get back to this idea of working with the Taliban going forward. We've spoken to a number of aid agency heads who have described
the need to be pragmatic in terms of working with the Taliban. Let's be clear. The group has been in charge of large swathes of the country for
some time. So, those aid agency heads say that they have been working with the Taliban in order to ensure that that aid has been getting out to the
people who need it most.
How big an opportunity might, might the distribution of aid be for the Taliban to show that they are workable with at this age?
ROBERTSON: Yes. I mean, it will show several things. One, that they can run the country because obviously the aid will come in. And now it will be
rather than, you know, back in the day, when the Taliban were working with U.N. aid agencies to get to sort of certain smaller selected areas of the
country that the Taliban control. Now they're controlling the whole country.
So they're going to have to have a system and a scheme of bringing the aid in, of knowing how big and distributed and getting it out all the way
across the country. So it will show whether they've sort of got the technical capacity and capability to, you know, have a control and a
distribution mechanism on that scale. But I think at a grassroots level, the Taliban still have parts of the country where they're not in full
They still -- many of their fighters are used to being on the frontline. And they've still got to actually work with the aid workers right out in
the remote areas. And that could prove potentially problematic. But yes, the Taliban absolutely have experience of dealing with aid groups and aid
groups have experience of dealing with the Taliban.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is on the ground for you in Kabul, folks. Nic, thank you.
Women here in Afghanistan will be allowed to study at universities under Taliban rule but not alongside men. The issue of women's rights has been a
huge concern after the Taliban takeover of the country in the past. The Taliban have not allowed girls and women to go to school but the Education
Minister now says the new government does not want to turn back the clock by 20 years. He says women can remain colleges but with segregated
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDUL BAQI HAQQANI, AFGHAN ACTING MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION (through translator): We recently started applying the proposal the universities had
suggested in terms of male-female segregation. And we see no negative impact. You can easily ask any private university in Kabul and in provinces
regarding the new policy and how it has affected them or positively changed things.
ANDERSON: Next hour of CONNECT OF THE WORLD, women in Afghanistan using their clothes to take a stand against the Taliban. What's behind this
protest is coming up.
Well, North Korea's neighbors are concerned after Pyongyang said it successfully testified new long range cruise missiles over the weekend.
North Korean state-run media reports the weapons have been in development for two years if these missiles can travel as far as reported. They can
reach Japan which says it will continue strengthening its defense capabilities. Paula Hancocks is closely monitoring things from Seoul in
South Korea. She joins us now live. Paula?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, technically North Korea was not breaking any rules by test firing these cruise missiles
over the weekend as stated by their state-run media. It's the ballistic missile technology that is banned by the U.N. Security Council resolutions.
But clearly any test firing of any missile by North Korea does rattle the region.
We've heard Japan say that they are very concerned by what North Korea claims that it has successfully test fired, especially when you consider
that Pyongyang says that it traveled about 1500 kilometers which would be able to reach Japan. Now South Korea says that it did also monitor that
they weren't previously similar cruise missiles, although shorter range which North Korea had carried out earlier this year.
So, although this isn't one of the more worrying missiles, ballistic missiles that North Korea has launched in the past. It's certainly the most
significant launch that we've seen since U.S. President Joe Biden took power. Interestingly though, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not
present as far as we can tell at the launch itself, at least he wasn't mentioned by North Korean media.
And if it was something that he really wanted to show off to the world, he would be front and center as he has been in the past. And also it was on
page two of Rodong Sinmun, the state-run newspaper, it wasn't splashed all over the front page. So it is a concern for those in the region. But it
could have been worse. Becky.
ANDERSON: The timing here is interesting, isn't it? It comes as South Korean and U.S. and Japanese officials meet in Japan to discuss North Korea
and it also comes ahead of China's foreign ministers visit to where you are, South Korea this week. Is there anything in any of that do you think?
HANCOCKS: With North Korea that genuinely is, there's nothing that's done by coincidence or by accident. It is all very well planned in advance. Of
course, sometimes it is for domestic concerns. But we did hear from Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong just last month slamming the U.S. and South
Korea for carrying out these joint military drills. Drills which are annual which both sides claim are defensive in nature but every year they
infuriate the North Koreans.
And Pyongyang had asked for those to be canceled which they will not. And so we did hear from Kim Jong-un's sisters saying that they would face a
more serious security threat. So we had been expecting something. We had been expecting some kind of testing. And of course, they also had unveiled
recently as some weapons which needed testing and weapon and experts had said that they would get round to that sooner or later. Becky?
ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks is in Seoul in South Korea for you. Well, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says it wants answers from Tehran. The
International Atomic Energy Agency is looking directly at Iran's recently minted government and its president, Ibrahim Racy with a big question and
it is all about material found that undeclared nuclear sites. Now the IAEA says it can back up its claim with scientific proof.
That declaration came a short time ago in Vienna following the opening of its board of governors meeting. And one day after check around agree to
allow the global nuclear watchdog to serve as cameras used to monitor Iranian nuclear sites. Now looming over all of this, of course, is stalled
the Iran Nuclear Deal which the U.S. abandoned in 2018. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has reported often from Tehran.
He's been covering the West's nuclear issues with Iran for years and he joins me now live. Look, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog hoping for
answers about these undeclared nuclear sites. What should we make of all of this?
ANDERSON: And I think it's important, you know, the -- so why do we care here is that these talks are stalled at present and at some point soon need
to get back to the table, correct?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think you're absolutely right, Becky. I think that we always have to embed all of this
into -- everything around the Iran Nuclear Agreement trying to get that back on track. Of course, all of what's happening there on the ground right
now, in Iran, everything that has to do also with the IAEA's mission in Iran, everything revolves around that.
And whether or not those talks to be jumpstarted, again, and whether or not the Iran Nuclear Agreement can be revived. Now, of course, the IAEA has
been saying for a very long time that they believe that access to some of these Iranian sites has become more difficult, the longer the U.S. has
stayed out of the Iran nuclear agreement. And of course, Iran has not been in full compliance.
And they have been saying that the longer this goes on, the less knowledge they will have of Iran's nuclear program and where it stands. Now, of
course, one of the things that was really an urgent matter for the IAEA was those traces of what they say was radioactive material in those undeclared
sites. Now, the IAEA says, and of course, their chairman was just actually in Tehran to hammer out at least that little agreement to be able to
service those cameras.
He said so far, as far as those traces are concerned, they've not gotten any answers from the Iranians yet. I want to listen to some of what he had
to say because he said that they do have evidence that that radioactive material was there. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL GROSSI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: There is indication, scientifically proven that there has been material in places
that were not declared. What do we do about that? It's a very simple question. And this is the question I want to repeat through the new
government. And I hope I will be getting some answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So obviously, whole new situation with that new government. And then, as far as that little headway that the IAEA was able to make that you
were just talking about being able to service those cameras, install new memory cards in those cameras as well. One of the things about that is that
the memory cards, the old memory cards that have been in those cameras, so far, those are going to stay in Iran and Iran is going to keep those under
And they said that's going to be the case until there is headway being made as far as reinstating the nuclear agreement is concerned. And so, as you
can see, you do have a little bit of friction there between the IAEA and Iran. Of course, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, he's going to be
in Vienna very soon as well for talks. But as long as there's no movement on the bigger international stage, of course the U.S. has said that this is
not an open-ended process, very difficult to see that there's going to be much of an easing of tension very much headway made, Becky.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen on the story for you. Fred, thank you. Israel has seen some success with booster shots. Now the United States wants to know
if they can duplicate that but Israel has a warning. The details on that aren't just ahead.
ANDERSON: The U.S. President is taking some blistering criticism from conservatives over his recent vaccine mandates. But health experts are
praising the requirements which apply to large companies, to federal employees and to healthcare staff saying they are desperately needed. Joe
Biden's Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci tells CNN it may take many, many more vaccine mandates to end the pandemic. Adding the requirements
from schools and businesses would make a difference.
Well, Kentucky is now among the states that have fully vaccinated, at least half their residents. That's significant because Kentucky has been
suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the country with hospitals overwhelmed. And while the U.S. vaccination rate has been taking up, many
health experts say it hasn't been fast enough, they are expecting the vaccine mandates to help push those numbers higher.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Number one, the data tells us that these requirements work to increase vaccinations. Number two, a lot of
businesses are actually relieved that these are going into place. We've heard a lot of feedback from the Business Roundtable and others that this
will help create safer workplaces. The measures that you see taken in what the President announced when it comes to the vaccine requirements, that
will help reach 100 million workers and the federal government and in the private sector. These are some of the most aggressive actions that we've
seen taken to date and they will help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, to boost or not to boost? A new paper in The Lancet medical journal says the current evidence on COVID-19 vaccines does not appear to
support a need for booster shots right now. That's the word from a group of vaccine scientists which include members of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and indeed the World Health Organization. Scientists do say however, that more research is needed.
Well, that's one reason the U.S. is looking to Israel for data on booster shots. Israel had early success with its vaccination rollout than the Delta
variant emerged as the vaccines effectiveness waned. And that is when Israel began giving booster shots but health officials of -- word of
warning to the U.S., boosters are just part of the answer. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joining us now with a closer look.
And Elizabeth, let's just talk about how this booster shot program has been working in Israel -- in Israel and what's been learned at this point?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So in Israel, where I am right now, they've been doing booster shots for about six weeks. They've
already given boosters to about a third of the country. And they say, health officials here say it's working really well. They say that their
data and its extensive data that their data shows that it really does help prevent hospitalizations and severe disease.
But as you mentioned, Becky, the articles of this -- of this new -- the authors of this new article in The Lancet say the data shows that the
boosters don't help protect against severe disease. So we now have the battle of the boosters. There's an important to key advisory committee
meeting in Washington for the -- for an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Two Israeli researchers will be presenting their
evidence the U.S is playing -- paying close attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can and we will turn the tide and COVID-19.
COHEN (voice-over): President Biden anxious like all of us to get out of this pandemic. And to do that, he and his top health advisors are looking.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR NATIONAL, INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGIES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: When you look at the Israeli data, and they are about a
month or so ahead of us in every aspect of this.
COHEN: To Israel, at the beginning of the year, the vaccination rollout started much more quickly in Israel than in the U.S. Dr. Ron balusters,
Chair of Israel's COVID-19 National expert advisory panel.
DR. RAN BALICER, CHAIR, ISRAEL COVID-19 NATIONAL ADVISORY PANEL: By the end of May, Israel thought he was out of the woods.
COHEN: But even with a vigorous vaccination campaign, a dual threat arrived this summer. The Delta variants posed a challenge to the vaccine. And at
the same time, the Israeli say protection from the vaccine has started to wane over time becoming less effective. Cases in Israel now higher per
capita than in the U.S. And that made Israel move quickly. They started administering booster shots August 1st. In the U.S., the FDA and the CDC
are still reviewing boosters.
Up until the booster shots Israel waited for the FDA and for the CDC to chime in. But you guys just did boosters without the FDA and the CDC
BALICER: I think there was a different level of urgency felt in the two countries. Decisions by the FDA have been made, and we could follow them.
But in the situation that we were at, it was obvious that action was needed urgently, decisions need to be made.
COHEN: Balicer and other Israeli health officials are in constant contact with U.S. health officials sharing their data on COVID- 19 after boosters.
BALICER: And with the third dose, they are much better protected against severe illness. So this is one reason to go through with a booster
campaign. Now, while hospitalizations are skyrocketing in the U.S., the number of severe cases in Israel has plateaued recently. And per capita
deaths in Israel are lower than in the U.S. offering a glimpse of what could happen if the U.S. take certain steps.
I was vaccinated in Israel and received my booster shot last week. And it's not just the boosters that are different, no paper vaccine cards here.
Instead, electronic vaccine passports or Tab European Hebrew that have a Q.R. code. Restaurants scan it and also ask for an I.D. to make sure it's
really you before letting you in. Other rules also much stricter in Israel than in many parts of the U.S.
Masks have to be worn indoors and at large gatherings. University students have to be vaccinated or test negative every few days. Same for school
teachers and staff.
BALICER: All of this needs to be put in place. And I think that booster are just one component of that. It's definitely not the one panacea that would
solve all of the problems that we have in living with COVID-19.
COHEN: You say we're going to live with COVID-19. So, you think COVID-19 is here to stay?
BALICER: I think COVID-19 is here to stay.
COHEN: A word of warning from the Israelis, as the United States grapples with COVID-19 numbers that at this point seem difficult to control.
So it'll be interesting to see where this battle of the boosters goes with the Israeli saying that they really do help, but other scientists say they
don't. And so be interesting to see what the vaccine advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decide on Friday at their important meeting.
ANDERSON: Elizabeth, Thank you. Well, shrouded in secrecy. Israel's Prime Minister visits Egypt's president. Why and what he hopes to achieve after
Plus, China's financial hub could get hit with its most severe storm in years. How Shanghai is bracing for the next typhoon.
ANDERSON: All right. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD., I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. It is half past 6:00 here in the UAE. Just weeks
after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the United Nations is launching an emergency appeal for aid to help the cash strapped country. High-level
donor conference is underway in Geneva right now. The goal is to drum up more than $600 million. But half of Afghanistan's population relies on aid.
And the humanitarian crisis has only been worsened by severe drought. The coronavirus pandemic and indeed, the displacement caused by the Taliban's
military campaign. The Israeli military has carried out airstrikes against for Hamas targets. The Israel Defense Forces said it struck a mass machine
gun pose and other targets in Gaza. The IDF said the action was in response to rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel.
Those rockets coming after for Palestinian prisoners were recaptured after escaping from maximum security prison in northern Israel. Place is still
searching for two others. There were six prisoners on the loose but now four of them are back behind bars. The first two were captured on Friday,
the second pair were picked up on Saturday. All four Palestinians were less than 30 kilometers from the prison where the breakout happened.
And that jailbreak pumped in the security enhancements that Israeli prisons which prompted some Palestinian prisoners to riot and set fires in their
cells. But Israel's Prime Minister, meanwhile, is meeting with Egypt's president in the coming hour. It's the first time and Israeli leader has
visited Egypt in 10 years. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss bilateral relations with
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Hadas Gold joining us live from Jerusalem. Let's start with that trip. The last time that leaders of Israel and Egypt met officially a decade ago was
Bibi Netanyahu visiting the then Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. This time, the newly-installed Bennet and President Sisi. What's the purpose on this
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the first official visit from an Israeli prime minister to Egypt in more than 10 years. Although leaders
from the both countries have met on the sidelines of other meetings such as the U.N. And it is a very important meeting, of course, for Naftali
Bennett, the new prime minister in Israel leading a new government. There wasn't much advance notice or fanfare about this visit but it is seen as a
very important one for Naftali Bennett politically being seen as a leader but also with the Egyptians who of course have -- they're trying to shore
up the relationship between Naftali Bennett and the Egyptian (INAUDIBLE) trying to shore up the relationship with the Jordanians as this new
Egypt, of course, has played a very important role as a mediator between Israel and Gaza, Hamas had militants in Gaza. There's still that very
tenuous ceasefire in place. Now, Sisi's office said in a statement along with a photo of the two of them meeting, they will discuss finding ways to
revive the peace process and developments in the region. Top of the agenda, of course, likely Gaza, including how to keep that ceasefire going.
But many analysts also believe this relationship with Naftali Bennett, this relationship with the new Israeli Government is very important for the
Egyptians also in terms of their relationship with Washington being seen as a key mediator here in this region. Very important for the Egyptians, as
they may potentially try to deflect away from their folk from the White House's focus potentially on Egypt's human rights record. Becky?
ANDERSON: I think you may have taken your earpiece out. So I'm just going to -- yes, you did.
ANDERSON: I'm just waiting for you to put that back in. Can you hear me? Great. OK. Good stuff. Thank you. Tell me -- thank you for that. And well
explained. It's clear we will continue to monitor that meeting. What do we know about the recapture of these prisoners?
GOLD: Well, it's something almost out of a movie, Becky, last Monday. There was a news broke that these six prisoners had broken out of a high-security
prison in northern Israel by tunneling -- a tunnel from under a concrete slab in a shower. They managed to make their way to the sort of open area
that was underneath the prison. Tunnel their way through the ground and pop up on the other side.
And through sort of a confluence of mistakes and blunders, their escape was not noticed for several hours. Israeli media is reporting that there's
issues such as even guards asleep at guard towers. Now It took several days but Israeli authorities did capture so far four of the six prisoners. Now
five of these men were members of -- are members of the Militant Islamic Jihad group.
GOLD: And the six, Zakaria Zubeidi is probably the most well-known and he's the former commander of the armed wing of the largest Palestinian faction
fought. Four of them were serving life sentences. Now, as you noted, two of them were captured on Friday. Two of them were captured on Sunday. And
interesting enough, Israeli officials have cited what they actually said was information from Arab-Israeli citizens that they said helped lead to
Now two of them are still at large. Two of them were found near Nazareth. Two of them were found in a car park on Saturday, but the escape has caused
-- help spark rioting in some of these prisoners. Fires were set. We also saw reactions in Gaza, Hamas said that they would -- they would retaliate
if there was any harm to these prisoners. And we have had three nights in a row of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel.
Israeli military has responded with airstrikes in Gaza. And Naftali Bennett, the prime minister said that the prison break was a wake-up call
for authorities and he said that they will be launching a commission to investigate how it happened. Becky?
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for you. Thank you. Well, Hurricane watch has been extended up the Northeast Texas coast. Right now the
tropical storm Nicolas's gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to pick up speed today before charging towards Texas. The storm is
expected to produce significant storm surge. Parts of Texas and Louisiana are bracing for heavy rain and flooding.
Southern Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Ida. And on the other side of the world mainline, mainland China bracing for Typhoon Chantu.
Shanghai, China's financial hub shutting down schools as well as some flights and public transport in the city as the storm approaches over the
weekend. It dumped heavy rain in Taipei as it moved over Taiwan. It also brushed parts of the Philippines, causing flooding and power outages in the
northern islands there.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Still ahead. Best tennis player in the world was supposed to break records at the U.S. Open.
Instead he was -- while he was left in tears. The full story after this.
ANDERSON: The first time in a long time, pop star Britney Spears is making headlines for something other than her court battles. Spears announcer
engagement to her longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari on Sunday. The news coming only days after Spears' father filed to end his guardianship that had given
him control of her life for the past 13 years. Our Chloe Melas has been following all of the Britney Spears news.
Not controlled by a father, not just over her finances, Chloe, but it extended across so many of her life decisions. Clearly, she has now taking
her life back with this announcement, right?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes. Well, remember Britney Spears has been under this court ordered conservatorship for the last 13 years and
it's not over just yet. We're just a few weeks away from her September 29th court hearing which could be her very last, if judge Brenda Penny does
grant the termination petition which was filed ironically by her father, Jamie Spears who, like you said, has been the conservator of her estate and
overseeing her medical decisions as well for over a decade.
But this engagement with Sam, Britney has been in a relationship with him for five years. They met on the set of one of her music videos for slumber
party several years ago, and they've been going strong and he has seemed to be incredibly devoted and also posting many pictures over the last few
months on social media in support of the Free Brittany Movement. And then Britney, you know, taking to social media with a video and flashing her big
And remember, at the June 23rd hearing the summer, Britney said, you know, emotionally through tears that she was told by someone we don't know who
that she was not allowed to get married or have a baby. And she said multiple times that she wanted, Becky, to start a family and have more
children. So, you know, yes, Britney, it seems to be taking back her life, taking control, but she still is under that conservatorship.
And I just want to point out, though, that although Britney said during her hearing that she wasn't allowed to, you know, get off birth control or get
married, you know, from the conservatorship attorneys I've spoken to that's not part of a conservatorship. You should still be able to get married,
have children, not be forced to perform or be on lithium. So a lot of the allegations she made, I think there's going to be an investigation into
those claims to find out if they're true.
And if they are to go after those that perhaps implemented those unfair restrictions. But in the meantime, looks like there's a wedding to plan.
And many people are very happy for Britney.
ANDERSON: Yes, good for her. Thank you. Well, could it be one of the most historic tennis matches in history? Instead wasn't. Daniil Medvedev
defeated Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open final on Sunday. Djokovic had won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the French Open earlier this year. And
he was going for the first tennis Grand Slam in half a century. A win would have also given in 21 major titles, the most ever.
Instead, Medvedev won his first. Amanda Davies is here from World Sport with more. He didn't just beat him, he really did hammer in, didn't he?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was history but history of a different kind. And these pictures that we're seeing are actually quite
difficult to watch. It's a - it's a very different Novak Djokovic to the imperious world number one who we've seen so dominate this season. And you
really got a sense that the weight of expectation and the pressure on his shoulders was just pouring out.
As you said he was looking to become the first man in over half a century to win all four grand slams not just in his career but in the same calendar
year. And Daniil Medvedev, a player who was in a Grand Slam final for the third time. So desperate to win his first and he really did deserve the
title yesterday. But it will be very interesting to see kind of where Novak goes next. There's no doubt he is still, you know, out there the best in
But you suspect claiming that calendar Grand Slam may well have been and gone for a player of his age. But what it does mean is that we still have
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, all tied on those 20 Grand Slam titles. So still very much a lot for them to play for in terms of being called the greatest
of all time.
ANDERSON: Yes. I mean, look, it is. It's hard to watch those images and you got to remember this is a bloke who's had such success this year and in the
years preceding this, but boy was there so much weight on his shoulders on that. All right. More on that coming up with World Sport and Amanda. We'll