Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Migrant Crisis Deepens at U.S.-Mexico Border; Taliban Says Frozen Funds Belong to the Afghan People; AUKUS Fallout; U.K. Prime Minister Urges the World to "Grow Up" on Climate; Taiwan: Chinese Military Aircraft Entered Air Defense Zone; German Voters to Choose New Chancellor. Aired 10- 11a ET
Aired September 23, 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 HOST (voice-over): Hellish scenes out of America's southern border, thousands of Haitian migrants face an uncertain future.
Their dreams shattered by a one-way ticket back to a broken country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: It is time for humanity to grow up.
ANDERSON (voice-over): An urgent appeal from U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, as he presses the world to fight the climate crisis before it's
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): And the French and the U.S. try to heal a diplomatic rift. How they did that is coming up.
ANDERSON: Well, it is 10:00 am in Port-au-Prince in Haiti. It is 6:00 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE
A potentially life changing journey, a dangerous trek spanning thousands of kilometers but a road to nowhere. Thousands and thousands of migrants
hoping for a better life in the United States are finding their hopes and dreams dashed at the border,, ending up back in the countries they fled.
Some starting the trip north from as far away as Chile, traveling into Central America, through rain forests and jungles, including the perilous
Darien Gap, which has dangerous rushing waters which could sweep them away, along with drug smugglers and armed bandits.
Arriving at the Panama border, tired, thirsty and in need of medical care, upwards of 20,000 gathered there, another stopping point where they wait to
board boats to continue the next part of their trek through Central America, all to make it here, Del Rio International Bridge, that connects
cities on either side of the Mexico-U.S. border.
But only some of them are allowed to enter and remain in the United States; others loaded on planes and sent back to their homelands. Most of them
ending up in Haiti, a country in economic and political chaos. Its president, of course, assassinated in July.
One would-be migrant telling CNN he crossed 11 countries to reach the border, only to be sent back in chains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDY TEVERRNE, DEPORTED HAITIAN (through translator): When we arrived in the U.S., the authorities put us on a bus and sent us to jail and said we
would be released in two days. They put chains on our feet, around our stomachs and our hands.
They put us in cars and took us to the airport. There were Haitians who were working on the plane, who told us not to resist because there were
many soldiers on the plane and they warned us that, otherwise, we would be mistreated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, this is disturbing stuff, isn't it?
Matt Rivers is on the Mexican side of that border, not far from the Del Rio bridge.
Melissa Bell connecting us today from Port-au-Prince, where we just heard from that man who was deported back to Haiti.
Josh Campbell is on the U.S. side of the border in Del Rio, in Texas.
Thanks, all of you, for joining us.
Let's start with you, Matt.
And what are you seeing and hearing where you?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this morning, as you can see behind me, there remains people crossing right now from the -- I'll
step out of the way so you can see it here -- from the Mexico side, these are people who spent the night here on the Mexico side and they're walking
back across right now to the United States side.
You can seeing some we have seen quite often over the past few days, where parents put their children up on their shoulders as they cross back into
the United States. Now essentially what has been happening here is people will come to the Mexico side; it is being allowed by the law enforcement
and -- in Mexico and also in the United States.
People are coming who are staying in the U.S. side, over to the Mexico side, to get supplies. It is easier to get things like food and water, even
diapers here on the Mexican side. And then basically they go back to the U.S. and this is what we have been seeing happening here along the river,
very, very fluid situation between both sides.
ANDERSON: Those images are heartbreaking, aren't they, folks?
Matt, thank you.
These are people we're talking about here. We talk about thousands of migrants, making a trek. You've just seen people with babies, small
children, trying to get across that river to a better life.
This is a drone shot of that exact point. And we will continue to bring you some of these shots because they really give us a sense of just what is
going on. This is going on as you and I speak.
Melissa, you are in Haiti.
Josh, I'll come to you.
ANDERSON: Because I want to find out exactly what is going on with regard U.S. policy here.
Melissa, let's get to you; you're in Haiti. An hour ago we learned the U.S. special envoy to Haiti has resigned and he had some scathing words for the
What did he say?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. It was a letter of resignation he sent to secretary of state Blinken only yesterday,
describing an inhumane and counterproductive deportation policy with which he simply didn't want his name associated.
And the letter went further, describing the very reasons why the Department of Homeland Security, back in spring, announced temporary protected persons
status for the Haitians already in the United States, that is crippling poverty, gang violence, corruption within government and a lack of basic
resources that allow for people to live here in Haiti.
And reminding also Secretary Blinken in that resignation letter of the cycle of international intervention that has ultimately led to catastrophic
consequences for the country of Haiti.
All of those reasons, he explains, why that deportation policy is inhumane. What is happening over the course of the last 24 hours or so, Becky, is
after we saw those catastrophic chaotic scenes at Port-au-Prince airport on the tarmac on Tuesday, essentially the airport has been closed off to
It is now through a single gate that we see a steady trickle of these migrants come through, like the one we just heard from a moment ago, all
bringing with them harrowing tales of treks across many countries that took them to the border of the United States.
Many of them said it wasn't until they were on that plane that they learned they were being brought back to Haiti, a country, for the most part, many
had fled many years ago and where the situation only worsened since, Becky.
ANDERSON: You've spoken to people who have done that trip. And as you rightly point out, we heard from one man at the airport, who describes the
inhumane treatment in his deportation.
What else are people telling you?
BELL: Well, they describe the journey, the details of the journey, the difficulties they've had along the way and, of course, in the end, the
fact that, by the time they got to the American border, there was a total lack of due process.
So these are asylum seekers denied the right to seek asylum. And that is at the heart, not only of the U.S. special envoy's letter, which is, of
course, the most scathing criticism we've had from within the American administration, but it reflects what we have been hearing the last few days
from other leaders, including the U.N. top refugee official, warning that he believes that the Biden administration's policy of sending these
refugees back under this particular Trump-era COVID provision, without due process, could be against international law and could constitute forced
returns -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Josh, these scenes at the U.S. border with Mexico are drawing widespread condemnation, especially after those images of U.S. border
officials on horseback, using what were sort of whiplike devices on these migrants.
What is the U.S. policy at this point?
What is the U.S. administration saying?
How are they defending themselves?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: What they're saying is that that incident is under investigation right now by the Department of
Homeland Security. The agents who were on horseback have been placed on administrative duty. We're told they're no longer allowed to interact with
But we see Border Patrol officers here, continuing to put migrants on buses. We have seen buses coming and going in caravans there underneath
I want to take you here, this live drone image, you can see of that bridge. At the top of the screen, that's where our colleague, Matt Rivers is,
that's Mexico. You see this line of police vehicles and Customs and Border Protection.
And they're right there next to where we are, near this bridge, where there are still several thousand of these migrants. The numbers swelled to upward
over 14,000 at one point. As of today, it's just about 5,000. We have seen those buses coming and going to take them to processing centers.
We're also being told that they are setting up -- the U.S. government is setting up processing centers, about three hours south of where we are
here, in the city of Laredo. That according to that city's mayor, where customs officials will make that determination, whether, if someone tries
to seek asylum, they will be processing them to determine whether or not it is a righteous case of asylum, whether they actually have a legitimate
cause of fear or concern if they return to their homeland.
But we have seen these processing centers set up in different places, at airports, thousands of people that they're trying to move through.
CAMPBELL: Now, Becky, this is all coming, speaking of Customs and Border Protection, as we're learning that, back in the summer, agents here,
responsible for protecting this border, they were expressing concerns with their bosses in the Customs and Border Protection agency that they did not
have enough resources.
And what we're told by officials is that they were asking for things as simple as an iPad, that would allow agents, as migrants are coming in, to
quickly process them. We obtained emails between customs agents, the union and Border Patrol. I'll read you part of this request.
One of them says, "This way," speaking of these iPads, "we can at least get part of the process finished before they even get to the station instead of
wasting that time."
Now a response didn't come for days or weeks after that. A one-sentence response from the bosses at Border Protection saying this is being
explored, this iPad idea. Several other platforms are being considered, which are more efficient.
The reason why this is important is because the agents on the ground, that are here on any given day, they started seeing, this summer, an increase in
the number of migrants coming across. The numbers we're hearing is that there were hundreds that were gathered at any point in time under this same
bridge here in Del Rio. The agents were expressing their frustration that they needed the resources because they didn't feel that they were well
equipped to handle what will was coming.
Of course now we see the large wave of migrants coming, over 14,000, living in squalid conditions under this bridge, catching this agency flat-footed.
They had the surge in resources from across the state, across the nation, to try to handle this situation, to not only secure the border but also to
process these people, to determine where they would go next.
So clearly a black eye for the agency; the Biden administration has received extreme criticism as well as the situation continues to play out
ANDERSON: Josh is in Del Rio, in Texas, where it is 9:11 am; Melissa in Haiti; to both of you, thank you very much indeed.
We want to turn now to another nation where we are seeing tremendous suffering. The United Nations says only 5 percent -- 5 percent of
households in Afghanistan have enough food to put on the table every day.
On top of this, a breakdown in medical care, the U.N. now releasing $45 million in emergency funds to keep the system from collapsing entirely.
You will know that many governments have frozen funds to the Taliban, cutting money for supplies, to pay workers effectively. Well, despite the
hardships, a member of the Taliban political commission tells CNN's Nic Robertson that Afghans should be feeling more secure now that they are in
Nic joins us from Kabul.
Just explain who you spoke to and what was shared.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, just to sort of set the scene a little bit here, Becky, absolutely Afghans living close to
the poverty line, many of them below it.
The U.N. says 90 percent of them receive less than $2 -- live off less than $2 a day. That $45 million that has been committed is for the health care
in Afghanistan. But even under the last government here, doctors, nurses, medical clinics haven't been paid for the last three months.
So the country is sort of teetering on the brink at the moment. And the biggest problem is not -- is that people, you know, for their personal
funds, can get up to $200 a week out of their accounts here. But businesses can't get any money at all to run their businesses. So they're forced to
lay their workers off.
And that's where the crux of this is headed, the fact that there are many, many workers being laid off because their bosses can't afford to pay them,
they can't get their hands on the money to do it.
What I spoke with Anas Haqqani from the Taliban political commission about, is the pressure that the Taliban are under. We heard it from President
Biden at the U.N. and other world leaders, that they must commit to proper and full respective rights on women if essentially they're going to see
their international accounts unfrozen, to give them the monies they need.
This is how he explained their position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANAS HAQQANI, TALIBAN POLITICAL COMMISSION (through translator): Those who raise this issue are the ones who don't want peace, unity and national
unity in Afghanistan.
They make the excuse of women and the rights of minorities to try to damage the system. We, praise be to God, have religious principles as well as
national traditions. The rights Islam has given to women cannot be found in any religion or nation.
ROBERTSON: Is Afghanistan at risk over the issue of women, of not getting its accounts unfrozen?
HAQQANI (through translator): The frozen money is the people's right. It doesn't have anything to do with the government and politics.
HAQQANI (through translator): It is the nation's right, a poor nation. With frozen money, they cannot make us copy and bring their culture here.
It is in contradiction with our history, beliefs and traditions.
ROBERTSON: This is the coming big issue for the Afghan people.
Is the money coming or is the money not coming?
HAQQANI (through translator): We will not give up on our people's rights. We will do our utmost effort for the right of our people, the same way we
did in the past 20 years. This is the right of the people. This is not the right of Biden or the right of the United States government so they can
seize it to freeze it.
ROBERTSON: How long do you have before the economy really starts to hurt?
HAQQANI (through translator): If the world thinks that they can put a lot of pressure on us through this matter, that we will accept what they wanted
us to accept during the war, this is a very wrong thinking of them.
(INAUDIBLE) is not in the hands of Biden, Europe, Russia or China. Thanks God, we are not panicking about this hardship. This is our affair with God
ROBERTSON: When will you consider the war with America to be over and finished?
HAQQANI (through translator): The policy of the Islamic Emirate is that we want positive diplomatic relations with the entire world, including the
United States. Now it is up to them.
However, now the money freezing issue and other issues, this is inciting war, this is breaking relations. The Islamic Emirate want positive
relations with all. Yesterday, we introduced an envoy to the United Nations, too, Mr. Suhail Shaheen.
It means that we are ready for every positive relation that support peace and security and it is not in contradiction with our principles, religion,
faith and national traditions.
ROBERTSON: How quickly do you need that international recognition, the Taliban government?
HAQQANI (through translator): If the world wants peace and security, it can be achieved in one day. It is beneficial to them and it's beneficial to
If they don't want peace and security and they want people here to face hardship and problem, then certainly it may take time. However, this is in
the best interests of everyone to be achieved urgently.
ROBERTSON: So that anxiety that we pick up when we're talking to people on the street really is focused on the funds being unfrozen. People here, they
don't like some of what the Taliban's bought, they like some of the security they're getting.
But they don't want the Taliban's harsh interpretation of Islam. However, they also don't want the world to hold out on that money because they know,
if they do, the hardship is coming to them -- and that means more violence here, Becky. That really, you know, that's a pervasive view of people we
talked to at the moment.
ANDERSON: Yes. You've been on the ground for some time, Nic, and getting a really good sense of exactly what the atmosphere is and what the prevailing
narrative will be going forward. Thank you.
The U.S. President and his top diplomat offer a hand of friendship to France after a row between the longtime allies strain relations. See what
the U.S. is doing to repair that relationship.
People acting like babies over the climate crisis and Kermit the Frog had it wrong when it comes to being green. The British prime minister comes out
swinging in his speech to world leaders. Hear what else he had to say.
Plus, we will speak with Britain's Alok Sharma, the president of the COP26 international climate talks scheduled for November. The key targets he
feels are most crucial to stop global warming. That is in the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: The U.S. bridge-rebuilding tour rolls on. The top U.S. and French diplomats plan to meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly
today. The French mending meeting comes after the U.S.-U.K. -- a U.S.-U.K. submarine deal with Australia cost France its own multibillion-dollar deal
Now look, presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron spoke Wednesday on the phone to try and calm these tensions. And following that call, a French
government spokesman said Mr. Biden understands that Europe is looking for a partner rather than a big brother.
We're covering the story from both sides of the Atlantic. Cyril Vanier is in Paris but we begin with Jeremy Diamond at the White House.
That, perhaps, a poke at the Brits, who the French have described as sort of a vassal state in all of this. The British prime minister had told the
French to get a grip over this affair.
But, Jeremy, the Biden administration going in a very different direction, some might say almost bending to the will of the French. Just explain what
is going on.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was certainly a different direction but it was also a more serious diplomatic rift that had
opened up between the United States and France. Remember, France did not recall its ambassador to the United Kingdom; only the ambassadors for
consultations to the United States and to Australia.
The French ambassador to Australia still has yet to return and has no plans to return as of yet. But the United States and President Biden moving to
try and put this all aside with the president, President Biden, and the French president, speaking for about half an hour yesterday.
And following that call what was really remarkable was a rare admission of errors, perhaps indirect admission but, nonetheless, acknowledging, from
the United States president, that there could have been more consultations.
It is interesting, if you look at the difference between the English language statement and the French language statement. The English language
statement says that the process could have benefited from consultations. In the French language what it actually says is that consultations could have
made it possible to avoid this situation altogether.
Nonetheless, either way you look at it, this is a rare acknowledgement of missteps by the Biden administration -- the White House press secretary
said as much yesterday in the wake of that statement being released -- and it just shows that the U.S. was eager to move past this.
Now is France going to actually get anything out of this situation?
There are going to be now indepth consultations, according to both sides, once the French ambassador returns to Washington next week. Whether
anything actually comes of those consultations is unclear.
But the French have made clear they want to continue to have an important role in the Indo Pacific. They see themselves as an important Indo Pacific
partner. The question is whether the United States is going to work with them in a more comprehensive way going forward, following this trilateral
security partnership between the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia.
ANDERSON: Look, Cyril, this rift and the way the French president has responded and indeed now getting this sort of apology effectively from
Washington, it will do Emmanuel Macron no harm whatsoever.
Six months out from a French election, never does a French leader any harm to show he can stand up to the Americans, as it were. The French government
spokesman calls this crisis less a commercial one and more a political one.
What does that say about the possible outcome of this row in the end?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It says that what really mattered to the French, after they learned that their submarine deal, that had been years
in the making, had been railroaded by the United States and Australia --
VANIER: -- what really mattered to them was an apology and to be treated with the respect that is owed to the rank that they hold in world affairs.
They are, after all, a top 10 military power. And that's what the French had said before going into yesterday's phone call, that they wanted, in
essence, an apology.
They got a quasi apology -- Jeremy detailed it for you -- from the most powerful man in the world, Joe Biden, who acknowledged, well, the U.S.
should have communicated better with its ally, France. And that allowed the French government spokesman to say this on French radio this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL ATTAL, FRENCH GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON (through translator): First of all, Joe Biden admitted the U.S. responsibility in the crisis. It is
rather unusual that the U.S. would admit its wrongs in a written and signed press release. I think Joe Biden understood that, with us, Europe was not
looking for a big brother but a partner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So to your point, Becky, the French got pretty much what they wanted yesterday, at least in terms of face-saving, in terms of something
that they could show the domestic audience here, that, yes, the U.S. President acknowledged he had erred in the way he treated the French.
Now what is left is for the day-to-day work of diplomacy between these two countries to resume. It will because the top diplomats of France and the
U.S., the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, are meeting today.
The interesting part about that, Becky, is that Jean-Yves Le Drian had the harshest language against the U.S., he's the one who talked about being
stabbed in the back, about -- against betrayal, about disloyalty.
Well, he's going to have to pick up the conversation where he left it off with his counterpart -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, he has a reputation for not mincing his words so I'm sure he also has a device to calm things down for those that he has spoken out
against. All right, both of you, thank you.
Tough talk from British prime minister Boris Johnson. He takes aim at much beloved Muppet, Kermit the Frog, all to send a message about the global
What am I talking about?
Well, I'll explain after this.
And president Bolsonaro and his entire U.N. General Assembly team are in quarantine. More on the fallout after his health minister tested positive
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. It is just about half past 6:00 here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
The world needs to grow up and deal with the issue of climate change. That blunt message from British prime minister, Boris Johnson, as he addressed
the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. He urged fellow leaders to listen to the warnings of the scientists and commit to major changes to curb
He also touted the upcoming climate summit, set to take place in Glasgow, in the U.K., this November, calling it a turning point for humanity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: My friends, the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end and must come to an end.
We are approaching that critical turning point, in less than two months, in just over 40 days, when we must show that we are capable of learning and
maturing and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but upon ourselves. It is time for
humanity to grow up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nina dos Santos is in London.
The prime minister could have focused on a wide range of issues. Instead, he spent his entire speech to world leaders -- and the world watching on --
locked in on climate change. Just explain what you believe is behind this aggressive approach.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Well, the backdrop to this is clearly the upcoming COP26 climate change summit that is going to be
happening on his own shores in about six weeks' time in Glasgow.
And the run-up to all of this has been plagued by question marks of whether or not the diplomatic effort, to try and clench a deal on climate change,
has been enough and will see any of these initiatives rubber stamped at the end.
What we're seeing here is a prime minister using this speech and the opportunity to knock heads together with world leaders, to tell them how he
thinks they can combat climate change amid various reports that show consistently -- U.N. reports by the way -- that when it comes to the
targets that people are signed onto in 2015, the world is woefully behind.
In typical style Johnsonian style, he borrowed from the Greek poet, Sophocles, but also from the Muppets. Here is how he used Kermit the Frog
to sell new, climate-friendly technology to the world leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: And when Kermit the Frog -- Kermit the Frog, said, "It's not easy being green," do you remember that one?
I want you to know, he was wrong. He was wrong. It is easy. It's not only easy, it's lucrative and it's a right to be green. He was also
unnecessarily rude to Ms. Piggy, I thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: As you can imagine, they are a tougher crowd to please with some of his more humoristic overtones there at the UNGA. But what is he
prescribing here is an alternative. He says it comes down to coal, cars, cash and also trees.
So what he wants to do is propose that all of the world collectively pledges to achieve carbon neutrality -- that's net zero by the middle of
the next century. He also wants big countries to phase out coal as soon as possible, in particular, praising efforts by China at this UNGA to stop
building coal-powered plants outside of their country and also the United States, with the recent doubling of the money they put toward the climate
change funds, too -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nina dos Santos, thank you. Thank you for explaining the Kermit the Frog lines.
Let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now and a Brazilian government spokesman says president Bolsonaro and all 50 people
in his entourage at the United Nations General Assembly are now back in Brazil and in quarantine.
They are going to be retested for COVID-19. That is after the health minister tested positive. Now he will remain in isolation in New York.
Shares of Evergrande, one of China's biggest companies, soared more than 17 percent in Hong Kong trading after the embattled property giant said it had
reached a deal to settle one of its huge debt obligations. Another one, though, is looming. The crisis-hit company owns $300 billion to its
Taiwan says 24 Chinese military aircraft entered its air defense identification zone on Thursday morning. It comes one day after Taiwan
officially applied to join a free trade agreement among 11 countries around the Pacific Rim.
ANDERSON: Beijing says it firmly opposes, and I quote them there, the move.
Next up, life after Merkel. People in Germany will have to figure out who's next as they prepare to vote for her replacement as chancellor.
And the ugly side of the beautiful game, one of England's best known football stars calls on tech companies to help fight online racism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMELU LUKAKU, CHELSEA FC: Yes, but as we can say, like, yes, we can block all social media but I think these (INAUDIBLE) companies, that have to come
and talk to the teams or to the governments or to the players themselves, can find a way how to stop it.
ANDERSON: This Sunday, Germany will head to the polls in an election that will determine who will succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor, thereby
leaving the largest economy in Europe.
The left-leaning Social Democratic Party and the center right CDU tend to dominate German politics; though the Green Party, it has to be said, has
now emerged as a contender too. Voters say the decision will not be easy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is quite a decision to make after 16 years of Merkel about whether things should just carry on as
before. I am from North Rhineland-Westphalia my so Armin Laschet is no stranger to me.
Do we want a one on one continuation or someone who is a former vice chancellor and was a participant in many of the decisions with Merkel?
I think it is an important decision and at 6:00 pm on Sunday we'll see. Either way, it is exciting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Joining Ms. Merkel's four-year terms as chancellor, she has outlasted dozens of other world leaders, she's dealt with five British
prime ministers, for example, four French presidents and four U.S. commanders in chief. CNN's Fred Pleitgen looks at the legacy she will leave
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back to the roots for one of Germany's longest serving chancellors, Angela
Merkel, planting a linden tree in Templin, the east German town she grew up in.
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): It will always be this way. I come from here. My roots are here. And they will always be
PLEITGEN: Angela Merkel still calls this place her home. It was from here in Templin that she set out decades ago and eventually became one of the
most powerful women in the world.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): It was no easy journey. Often belittled in the male-dominated world of German conservative politics, many rivals failed to
take her seriously enough and later regretted it, says Merkel's biographer.
RALPH BOLLMANN, ANGELA MERKEL'S BIOGRAPHER: When they realized that a woman from the East is able to play this game of power, it was too late, of
course, for them.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): When Angela Merkel became Germany's first female chancellor in 2005, her style was completely different than previous
chancellors; calm, quiet and reserved.
But what Merkel lacked in fiery rhetoric, she made up for as a crisis manager. Both during the Lehman collapse in 2008 and the Greek debt crisis
in 2012, she took bold action to prop up the German economy and ailing E.U. member states, possibly saving the single currency, the euro.
MERKEL (through translator): Europe will fail if the euro fails. And Europe will win if the euro wins.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Arguably Angela Merkel's biggest hour came in 2015, as hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly displaced by the Syrian civil
war, were literally on the E.U.'s doorstep, seeking shelter. Angela Merkel led the E.U. as it opened its gates, taking in well over a million people.
MERKEL (through translator): We have achieved a match, we'll manage this. And wherever something gets in the way, we will overcome it.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But integration of the refugees proved more difficult, giving rise to nationalist forces in Germany, a slap in the face
for Angela Merkel, says the editor-in-chief of Germany's largest daily, "Bild's" Julian Reichelt.
JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "BILD": Praising Angela Merkel for open borders is much easier when you don't live in a poor neighborhood in
Germany, where you live with the direct effects of open borders.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): While Angela Merkel did manage to win a fourth term in 2017, her popularity was waning. She announced she would not seek a
fifth one. Still, the challenges kept coming, with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President in 2016 and Trump's alienation of many of the U.S.'
Merkel, a quantum chemist, often appeared stunned by some of the U.S. president's remarks.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It's, you know, I have -- I have German in my blood. I'll be there.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Angela Merkel led Germany through the coronavirus pandemic but shortly before she steps down, her party's support has been
collapsing, some say because she failed to address many important topics.
REICHELT: Zero progress when it comes to huge issues like digitization, for example. Germany, after 16 years of Merkel, basically hasn't moved at
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Merkel herself says she wants some time off after leaving office. The first female chancellor in the history of the Federal
Republic of Germany, now waiting to see how her legacy will be remembered - - Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.
ANDERSON: Well, it is the truly ugly side of what is otherwise known as the beautiful game, racism, something Black players are subjected to with
horrifying frequency, especially online. Now Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku is taking matters into his own hands and he's calling on Big Tech to step up.
He spoke to CNN'S Amanda Davies and she's with us now.
What is he telling you?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It feels like a real shift at the moment, there is a movement amongst players. There has been too much time
for talking, for gestures.
Now what is actually going to take place?
So I was able to sit down with Romelu Lukaku exclusively as part of a launch around a new Chelsea "No to Hate" initiative, a photography
competition. And he has made a big call to the companies about what he wants to see happen.
ANDERSON: Yes, good. And we'll hear more on that in "WORLD SPORT" with you after this short break. We'll be back after that.