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Social Democrat Seek Alliance to Replace Markel-Led Coalition; CNN Speaks to Managing Director of Haulage Firm Alcaline; Israel PM Denounces Iran Nuclear Program; Senate to Vote on Plan to Fund Government Through December 3; Taliban Kill Alleged Kidnappers, Publicly Display Bodies; Volcanic Activity Resumes in La Palma, Spain. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 27, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Eleni Giokos in for Becky Anderson today. Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". Now I'm
connecting you to a power shift in Europe's biggest economy. Germany's left leaning Social Democrats celebrated for hours after scoring a narrow
victory over Angela Merkel's party in Sunday's landmark election, take a listen.
Olaf Scholz, leads the Social Democrats, he tells CNN he wants to reach a deal to form a coalition government before Christmas. But his conservative
rival Armin Laschet insists no party received a clear mandate. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARMIN LASCHET, CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION CANDIDATE: There can be no doubt that this result will not, must not and cannot satisfy the CDU. In the
final sprint, we did catch up and we prevented a red, red green government. But at the same time, we have suffered painful losses. Position number one
has been out of reach. That was our objective. My congratulations go out to the parties that have one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Right, we've got Fred Pleitgen standing by for us in Berlin to give us a little bit of analysis. We know he's a veteran politician, but is Olaf
the right man? Is Olaf Scholz is the right man to build a new coalition and to do it quickly.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he certainly believes that he's the right man for the job. And one of the
things that certainly do need to be said Eleni is that Olaf Scholz has run a very smart campaign over the past couple of months. If you look at the
Social Democrats, a couple of months ago, no one would have given them any sort of chance to win this election at all.
They were pulling it around 14, 15 percent, maybe two months ago, and then Olaf Scholz just launched this big campaign to catch up. And he really he
did it just by putting himself out there and saying he believes that he's the most competent person for the job. He's not someone who talks a lot.
He's not someone talks very loudly, but he is someone who certainly does seem to exude a lot of trust among a lot of voters. And it's quite
interesting, because in polls when Germans are asked who would you like to be Chancellor? Olaf Scholz always scored well above his competitors Armin
Laschet, and also Annalena Baerbock from the Green Party.
So there are people who do believe that Olaf Scholz could be fit for the job. And he also seems to believe that as well. Now, he said he wants to
form that coalition with the Greens and with the liberals. But I also asked him look after 16 years of Angela Merkel, is Germany still going to have
the same clout internationally as it has had over the past years if there was a chance to Olaf Scholz? Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you do manage to form a coalition and become the chancellor, how do you intend to fill those big shoes?
OLAF SCHOLZ, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I think the first topic for German politics will be to form a stronger and more
suffering European Union and make making this happen will have an influence on the international strategy and the foreign policy of Germany.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What sort of a partner will Germany be for the United States, in NATO and on the international stage, especially as the Biden
Administration continues to challenge China?
SCHOLZ: Is the Transatlantic partnerships ship is of essence for us in Germany, and for a government that will be led by me. And so you can rely
on continuity in this question. It is important that we understand ourselves as democracies and that we see that in the world that becomes
more dangerous. It is important that we work together even if we do have conflicts in one or the other question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So there you have Olaf Scholz, saying he wants to remain or wants Germany to remain strong in the European Union and also, of course, wants
to maintain strong transatlantic relations. But again, none of this is a done deal yet in fact, they haven't even started talking about forming
coalitions and of course, Armin Laschet from the CDU. He said no doubt they had a disastrous showing at the polls in this election.
But he still believes that possibly he might be able to form a coalition. Right now though, it has to be said all signs point towards Olaf Scholz
being in the driver's seat to try and do that, or the negotiations could be quite difficult among those very different partners. If you look at the
Social Democrats, the Liberal Democrats and of course the Green Party as well Eleni.
GIOKOS: So Fred, one thing that's interesting about Germany it has been strengthening its relationship with China and that, you know, even just
listening to Olaf Scholz they saying, you know, stronger Transatlantic partnerships. What does that mean? What is Germany's stance with China mean
going forward in terms of its relations with other EU partners, and of course the U.S?
PLEITGEN: Well, I think that is going to be a key question. I think that is also going to be a question where Germany might -- if Olaf Scholz becomes
Chancellor of anybody or wherever the next Chancellor is going to be where Germany might have to make some pretty tough decisions.
PLEITGEN: One thing that has been happening over the past couple of years is that Angela Merkel has been building very strong trade relations with
China. You're talking about trade agreements, also talking about expanding trade as well. China has become a much more important trading partner for
Germany, and, of course, also a much more important export partner for German goods as well.
And so that's certainly something where as the Biden Administration continues to challenge China increasingly challenges China, Germany could
be faced with some tough choices as to whether or not they were also willing to pressure China in the way that maybe the U.S. wants, but or
whether or not they want to go some sort of independent route to maintain those trade relations, that is going to be a decision that at some point
could be looming for the Germans.
They've said they want good relations with everybody; they obviously want those good trade relations to be maintained as well. But it's going to
require a lot of diplomacy to manage those relations, especially as you see those tensions, those frictions between the U.S. and China grows. That's
definitely going to be a one to watch and that's also one where when I asked Olaf Scholz, when I was part of the question, didn't really give a
straight answer for its.
Obviously impossible to do that at this point in time, because he's not Chancellor, he hasn't even formed a coalition yet. But for the Germans,
they do see that coming, that there could be some really, really tough choices that they might have to make and some pretty tough diplomacy that
might they might be involved in as well.
GIOKOS: Absolutely, Fred, thank you very much for that insight. Now, with Angela Merkel retiring from power politics, and France set to run the
European Council next year, will there be a new power dynamic in Paris? CNN's Cyril Vanier is there for us?
Look, we know that Germany and France are sort of the core of when it comes to, you know, European decision making and power, and most other countries
is sort of moving towards the periphery. But give me a sense of what France would be looking at as the best suited partner?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now Eleni France is adopting an official no common policy at the highest levels of state. The French
Presidency, saying we're not going to be commenting on this until a chancellor is sworn in.
A couple of reasons for that one, obviously, is they do not want to burn bridges with the future Chancellor, they wouldn't want to be seen as siding
with somebody today if somebody else ends up running Germany tomorrow. And another reason really is that there is continuity with Angela Merkel,
regardless of whether it's Mr. Scholz or Mr. Laschet, who become Chancellor.
Mr. Scholz has been Angela Merkel's Finance Minister for a number of years. Mr. Laschet is obviously he was her favored successor. Both of them are pro
Europeans and both of them have said, including recently that they want a strong voice for Europe in the world and a robust European diplomacy.
That's good news for France.
And that's what's going to matter for France, first and foremost, even more important than whether it's Mr. Scholz or Laschet, who ends up in power?
The one thing that France would want to see is for these coalition talks to get decided before the end of the year, and to have a new Chancellor and
working partner in Germany, by the time France takes the rotating Presidency of the European Union starting next year.
GIOKOS: And absolutely a united Europe for the most part, of course, when it comes to negotiations with other global powers. That is going to be
really important, when you know; Germany eventually heads into this new era with a new chancellor.
VANIER: Oh, absolutely. Look what we said last hour that important European decisions require a united front between France and Germany, which has not
always been the case during past crises. So that's something that France is going to be monitoring very closely.
They know that within Germany, you know, if you look at Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, there are some differences there. Of course,
they France, the broad picture, the idea here is that France is going to have an easier conversation with the Social Democrats, when it comes to
things like budgetary discipline and fiscal discipline.
And they might have an easier conversation with the Christian Democrats when it comes to issues of sovereignty and security. So France hedging your
bets to some extent, they also know this Eleni, they know that the next German Chancellor is going to be beholden to the coalition that he or she
manages to form and to its coalition partners.
How much are the Greens going to weigh into this? How much are the Liberals going to this - going to weigh into this? All of that is going to shape the
kind of partnership that France will be able to make tie with the next year German Chancellor.
GIOKOS: Thank you very much, Cyril. All right, do fuel companies across the UK are trying to reassure drivers that they're working hard to keep gas
GIOKOS: Britain's have been swarming petrol stations fearing a fuel shortage but right now there's no actual fuel shortage. There is a shortage
of truck drivers panic buying has led to more panic buying. So many stations really have run out of gas. We've got Nina de Santos, seeing the
mayhem firsthand. Thank you very much Nina for joining us. What are you seeing right this minute?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not quite mayhem, but a few tempers that are being fried as people desperately tries and get through
this road in Central London. And there's just one small petrol station here in this part of town. They've been waiting for delivery since Saturday.
And eventually when it came about an hour and a half ago, as you can see, the queues started building up on all sides of the area, these stretch back
around about three or four blocks. And you're hearing people beat your hearing taxi drivers, and delivery drivers saying I desperately need this
view to fulfill my orders.
I'm late on every single one in the day, many people branding the situation unacceptable and say yes, we know we shouldn't panic buy but we have to
have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously you're very concerned, extremely, it's my livelihood. And here it's obviously a concern. The vast majority of
stations are out of fuel when I try it. It's just lucky this there's a tanker I see and I just pulled in here. But no, it's a massive problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe about five petrol stations, none of them are open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANTOS: And Eleni of course, this couldn't have come at a worse time because remember that a lot of people here including taxi drivers in London
delivery drivers are trying to get economically back on their feet after all those lockdowns that cost them so deer over the last 18 months or so.
And so this is a real concern here that this could start to dent the post COVID recovery. As you can hear people honking their horns every time a
slot fills up. People desperately trying to cram their cars in or motorbikes to get in to try and make sure they can fill up.
The manager of this petrol station says by the way, that they usually only need three deliveries a week to fulfill the local need. But you know this
will probably be gone. He says by the end of this evening, or perhaps by early tomorrow morning. What is the government doing?
Well, as you said, they say that there is no national shortage. They're appealing to people to stop panic buying. They're trying to alleviate visa
restrictions temporarily to temp 5000 heavy goods vehicle drivers over from Europe. And also what they're trying to do is change, temporarily suspend
competition rules that allow filmmakers and distributors to talk to each other to divert supplies to petrol stations like these to ease that
bottleneck in supply and demand Eleni.
GIOKOS: Nina, thank you very much for that update. Alright, to understand what's going on, we also have to look at the business side of petrol.
Lorenzo Zaccheo is Managing Director of a Haulage Company called Alkaline, which operates largely on the Anglo-Italian market. He joins me now. Thank
you very much, Lorenzo great to see you. So you say that people are right to be panicking and panic buying. Why?
LORENZO ZACCHEO, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ALCALINE UK: Because they panic because there's no clear indication where we're going at the moment not mean these
governments we sleep literally walking for the last 15 months, everybody knew that Eastern Europeans or the Europeans were going to go back home.
And there was no made no provision for that. So basically, now they're announcing something that almost sounded a little suicide really, because
we are talking about again lorry drivers. The last part - lastmini.com dispensary the license, skip out that the normal procedure goes straight to
And where you guy without considering they have to basically they have to do some insurance companies because if I was to get someone with very
little experience that most probably wouldn't be insured anything was to be insured would be an astronomical amount of money. Because car insurance
company, you know, obviously a base that's what he do for a living, they said that there are risks.
So basically it's a high risk and I don't think that anybody will be happy to pick up that kind of risk. Then the other thing is that most of them
they say white Europeans or non-Europeans, non-Europeans it's impossible because obviously they have to have the CPC which is Certificate of
Professional Competence, which they haven't got because there's only applied to Europeans.
So then we'll have to just take non-European out of the equation and also you've got five you know that 5000 - 5000 drivers and where they think
they're going to come from? They're certainly not going to come from Europe. They've been and gone and they're not coming back when we have to
the left yesterday, because the sheer chaos.
So how do we expect to have someone without obviously we're talking about fuel. We're talking about very, very, very high and flammable commodity
like petrol, and who exactly is going to do that?
GIOKOS: Absolutely. I mean, you can't - you can't - you can't replace truck drivers that easily. And that's the thing, right? It's a skill, and you
need training. And as you say, you need the insurance. And now they're trying to lure people back in to get to come in and work.
But when you disrupt a supply chain, like this that's so important for economic growth, how quickly can it be rectified and you're the man in the
supply chain and you understand the intricacies here?
ZACCHEO: Well, listen anyway to that because you have to just play the same game as the high street retailers and supermarkets have done in the last
two months because they started to panic themselves, offering ridiculous amount of money like 5000 pounds in cash up front, or wherever there's
going to be my be 1000, 2300 offering ridiculous salaries like 50,000, 60,000 suggested by grant shops as well checks apologize for that.
So basically, money that no one has because like ourselves, we've got 3 percent margins and the driver costs right now is about 29 percent of our
costs. So who's going to pay for that? I mean, that's another big question mark.
There's someone will have to answer to that because all they have to do now basically, they feel companies have to pay an extra 10,000 pounds at cash.
And believe me, within a week, every single tank in the land will be up and running.
GIOKOS: So give it to us simply in the next couple of weeks as you know, the UK government is trying to get in more drivers and trying to solve this
problem and you see more panic buying, what are the repercussions here because again, we know that this is going to take more than just a few
measures? You know, to put in place to get drivers back.
ZACCHEO: That's what I'm saying driving I mean, lorry driver is not a very good job anyway in badly paid and they work in unsocial hours. They're
exposed to prosecution everyday they get they get on the road. They've got an issue with immigration coming into UK they are treated like scum.
And basically who wants to do that job when they're low pay? I mean, you get the same sort of money just like you know, shelves of supermarkets say
basically and then they're away from the family you know, that's the thing society has changed.
Basically drivers don't want to be away for days and weeks on end, they want to be part of the family because that's what it is. Right is the psych
has changed. So basically nobody's prepared to do that unless you're going to pay a ridiculous amount of money really, really good money. On that
point you will find people that want to do it.
But at the moment I mean we've got in the revenue in UK the basically they're paying will recognize about 35 pounder and meal allowances. And
that's the whole day I mean, you know, tax free. I mean five pounds you're not going to get five these days you'd like if you get a cheeseburger and
we're going to be starting for the rest of the day.
But then going back to the other drivers you know then you're basically going to have drivers from Europe. They're going to be working for 10 weeks
in UK and what you're going to do you're going to send them back. What makes you think that these drivers here they're going to lead - they just
going to let a stable job in Europe to come and work in UK more or less the same money and then be framed back again, like rubbish.
I mean, I don't know. That's why people start panicking because they know for a fact it's still going to work.
GIOKOS: Thank you Lorenzo for your insights, great to have you on the show. And folks are shedding light on the big issues and the uncertainty that
truck drivers of course face and of course how this is playing into the wider story? Great to have you on the show!
For more on this frustrating situation gripping the UK head over to cnn.com/business read about the criticism facing the British government and
how he plans to climb out of this crisis? Tensions rising up in the Middle East we'll have the latest on clashes between Israel and the Palestinians.
And a deadly rate as well as a warning the situation could explode.
And the Taliban mark returned to brutal tactics. What Taliban militants did two men accused of kidnapping. Plus the volcano on the Spanish Island of La
Palma is spitting out to ash once again and causing disruptions. We're live in Spain with the story.
GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Connect the World". Tensions flaring between Israelis and Palestinians overnight in the West Bank, Israeli border police
escorting Jewish worshippers clashed with Palestinians near a religious site in Nablus.
This follows a series of raids that left five Palestinians dead. Israel says it was targeting Hamas militants who were planning an attack.
Meantime, Israeli Prime Minister's speaking at the UN didn't mention the tensions. But he did have a message for Iran.
CNN's Hadas Gold is covering all of this for us from Jerusalem. You would expect that the Prime Minister would have mentioned the tensions and the
latest developments in the West Bank. Tell us what he said and why Iran was on the agenda?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni, that's right. He did not mention the word Palestinians. This is after - even after a very active weekend
especially with this major operation the Israeli really defense forces said they undertook in the West Bank across five different locations left five
Palestinians dead left and two Israeli soldiers critically injured.
Israeli Defense Forces says they undertook this operation against a Hamas what they said was imminently planning a terror attack now Israel has long
been concerned about Hamas' rise in the West Bank, especially as the Palestinian Authority becomes ever more unpopular Hamas For its part, blame
cooperation between the policy authority and Israelis officials calling on in Assam and calling on the Palestinian people to escalate the resistance
against the occupied.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the raids calling them crimes and field executions, warning that the continuation of this
policy will lead to an explosion of the situation. That's really the concern here that these tensions could be a spark that could ignite another
conflict like the one that we saw in May that 11 day conflict between Hamas and militants in Gaza and Israel.
But at his speech at the UN just a couple of hours ago, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made absolutely no mention of the Palestinians.
Palestinians were actually not even brought up a single time.
Instead, he focused much of his speech on Iran saying that Iran has crossed all red lines when it comes to its nuclear program, warning about their
activities in the Middle East saying that they're becoming even more violent, trying to get even more involved in places all across the Middle
East and around the world. Take a listen to some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran's pursuit of
nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality as a done deal, or they've just become tired of hearing about it. Israel doesn't have that privilege. We
cannot tire we will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: So Eleni while much of the focus on that speech on Iran no mention of the Palestinians that might be surprising to some but for this new
coalition government in Israel, it's only about 100 days old. It's comprised of parties from across the political spectrum.
They have no expectation of making any sort of major steps, any sort of major moves into any sort of peace process with the Palestinians.
GOLD: So perhaps that's why Bennett did not bring it up and for him top of agenda top of mind is trying to rally the international community and face
what they think what Israel thinks is that really imminent Iranian threat, Eleni?
GIOKOS: Right, Hadas thank you very much for that update. The Biden White House is facing backlash for its handling of the border crisis. It now says
about 4000 migrants detained around the Del Rio, Texas camp, many from Haiti have been expelled from the U.S. under a controversial public health
As CNN's Melissa Bell reports Haitians forced to return to their homeland are now coming face to face with the reasons they fled in the first place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDET (voice over): Here even church is no sanctuary. The blood still marks the steps of this Baptist Church in the
very heart of Port-au-Prince as Sunday service began, an armed gang attacked, wounding several the congregation and killing one man who tried
but failed to stop his wife from being kidnapped.
Who will pay the ransom now asks Marie-Yolene Gilles, a human rights advocate who explains that nothing in Haiti is now sacred, and no one's
MARIE-YOLENE GILLES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FONDASYON JE KLERE: We are in peace, nowhere she says. Not even in the president's house. He was executed
the most protected man in the country she says referring to the assassination of the Haitian President Juvenile Moise in July.
BELL (voice over): Gilles says this kidnapping is at least the 10th in the Haitian capital since Tuesday, the very week that has seen thousands of
deportees returned to Port-au-Prince, a city many had left in the years following the 2010 earthquake, fleeing both its poverty and insecurity. Now
that is only getting worse.
BRUNO LEMARQUIS, U.N. DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL: Each time there is an uptick in the number of kidnappings the
authorities react by having more patrol in the streets. You can see on the streets of - increased police presence, and yet as visible it is intended
to be it doesn't seem to be doing much to reassure Haitians, that it's safe to go out into the streets once again.
GILLES: It's like a boat on the ocean with no captain says Gilles, the country is left to its own devices gangs rule and keep gaining ground. So
we are abandoned to our fate, since much of it was leveled in 2010 Port-au- Prince is a city that has struggled to stand up.
BELL (voice over): Now gang violence has forced entire neighborhoods to flee what little they had, like the 219 families living inside this
dilapidated school building. One of seven camps for internally displaced people or IDPs in the capital camps that are not designed to accommodate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clashes between different gangs have really ballooned out of control. And so we find persons like the IDPs that are here, they
had to leave their permanent village or campsite which they were residing in since the earthquake in 2010. So imagine that.
BELL (voice over): In all the United Nations says the 20,000 people in Port-au-Prince have been displaced by gang violence in the last year a
homeland even more dangerous to those being deported by the United States this week than the one they fled Melissa Bell, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: It could be a make or break week for the U.S. President Joe Biden faces crucial votes amid splits with Republicans and within his own party.
We'll look at what's at stake?
GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos live in Dubai. This is "Connect the World". And this is shaping up to be a critical week for U.S. President Joe
Biden. The drama will begin in the coming hours when lawmakers votes on a controversial bill that could fund the government through December.
There are just days left to avoid a shutdown. However, a vote won't happen today on a centerpiece of Mr. Biden's agenda, the trillion dollar
infrastructure plan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed it back until Thursday.
The president is likely to face pushback from Republicans and from within his own party. CNN's John Harwood is at the White House with a look at
that, John, I mean, looks at debt ceiling, facing a potential shutdown. We know that we've seen this so many times before.
But what's the resistance here because an infrastructure bill that could create jobs and impact so many people, it's fascinating that it's been met
with incredible resistance within the Democrats and also from Republicans.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reason Eleni is that the infrastructure plan is only part of Joe Biden's broader economic
agenda. He wants to spend money $1.2 trillion in that piece of legislation on roads and bridges, broadband internet, that sort of thing.
But he also wants to take a series of steps that both address climate change on the one hand, and also expand opportunities for struggling
families who've been left behind in an economy in the 21st century that's been increasingly characterized by income inequality.
So he's got in that larger piece of legislation, expanded child tax credit, subsidies for health care, subsidies for community college for universal
pre-kindergarten for young people, a whole range of subsidies that he thinks are critical.
Now they're controversial, because the president's proposing very large tax increases to finance those programs, tax increases on well to do Americans,
on American corporations.
And even though all of this, the individual elements of this plan are popular, if you ask American voters in a poll, when you ask lawmakers to
vote for change of this magnitude, it's very difficult to do, even within your own party, Democrats have narrow majorities zero margin fair in the
They can only lose three democratic votes in the House; they're not going to get any help from Republicans on this. So it's a challenge for Joe Biden
to try to unite his party behind it.
The good news from the White House point of view is they believe over the weekend, the quiet closed door negotiations that have been going on between
House members between Senators trying to move in coordination with one another, they think the odds are increasing, that they're going to be able
to make a deal on both of those elements.
And the delay in the infrastructure vote today was part of that because that delay gives more time for negotiations on the other pieces of the plan
to move ahead.
GIOKOS: That we've seen these kinds of plans come to the fore before and there's compromise the concessions that have been made. You've mentioned
some of those critical points or controversial issues.
How quickly do you think we can get people on the table to decide? Again, we've seen this playing out before and usually there's sort of an 11th hour
decision to avert a total shutdown.
HARWOOD: Well, let's separate the two things. The shutdown vote is going to finish sooner than the larger economic agenda vote. Today the Senate is
going to vote down a package that's moved through the house to both raise the debt limit and keep the government funded.
The odds of a government shutdown are extremely low because what's likely to happen is the debt limit gets separated out.
HARWOOD: They fund the government through December and they figure out another way to raise the debt limit which is necessary to avoid a financial
crisis not just in the United States, but around the world.
In terms of the larger economic agenda, they hope to have a framework of a deal by the end of this week, may go longer than that these negotiations
are delicate and difficult. They do seem to be moving ahead. But they've got a lot of work yet to do.
GIOKOS: All right, John, thank you very much for that update. Good to see you. So this hour we're connecting you to three countries, each facing big
Germany's uncertain political future after Sunday's elections leaving Angela Merkel in place as a caretaker Prime Minister for now, despite her
party's second place, showing the UK running out of lorry drivers leading to gasoline shortages, with some petrol stations running dry.
And as you just heard the United States facing a crucial deadline to prevent a government default and uncertainty over the fate of an
infrastructure package that could make or break Joe Biden's presidency I want to break all of this down with you.
With our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, in Abu Dhabi today, after spending the last couple of weeks in Kabul, great to see you,
Nic. Look, a lot of very important domestic distractions for powerhouses.
And that still means that global issues are bubbling along. But what does this mean for foreign policy? As you see the U.S. you see Germany and the
UK focusing inward.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think there are a lot of pieces that are moving here right now. And it's indicative; I
think of the sort of era that we're entering one where the United States isn't so focused on foreign policy, getting out of the wars was Joe Biden's
But he's got this huge domestic initiative, partly because he sees this infrastructure spend and particularly on building key future industries
beyond the infrastructure as well as essentially being the United States realistic challenge to China.
So though it has a domestic focus and it is very much about the long term foreign policy. I think the Germany's situation; Chancellor Merkel was
always going to step down.
She had taken some foreign policy decisions, particularly on hosting migrants that had really back in 2015, that had really sort of began to
shape the political agenda and situation inside Germany.
Now that hasn't played out so much, the Right Wing parties have lost out. But I think what we are seeing in Germany is certainly, you know, a long
term Chancellor with a very clear sort of moral compass for Europe and for Germany and the economic powerhouse now changing hands.
So of course, there's going to be a lot of internal focus there. But let's not forget that Europe is in a new relationship with the United States that
Germany is a key driver and wants to be a key driver in the shape of that to come.
And the UK is feeling the outfall of the Brexit vote from 2016 that it's running short of, you know, heavy goods, vehicle drivers and as well
thousands of poultry farmers, you know, all key to the British economy. So while the UK is looking internally trying to sort of make good on the
outfall of Brexit, which really was an isolationist move in some ways.
The other part of Brexit we saw playing out over the past couple of weeks where the UK is making a deal with Australia and the United States on you
know, on a nuclear powered submarine force for Australia, which, which in essence, is an Asia focus, a China focus issue.
So you could really argue that, you know, rather than these countries bogged down with internal issues, these are all part and parcel of
maneuverings to have to play issues on the global stage.
The UK, for example, wouldn't have been free or as free to make that deal with Australia and the United States on the submarines, where it's still in
the EU. So - but its new era time, without a doubt it's changing.
GIOKOS: Yes. I mean, it's fascinating. Look, these domestic distractions means that, you know, the other global geopolitical issues that are
currently at play might come, you know, as sort of a lesser priority.
You were in Kabul, you know, that the Afghans feel largely, you know, abandoned by the U.S. What does it mean for Afghanistan right now? What
does it mean for the Taliban that so desperately trying to get the attention and be legitimized? I mean, there are so many layers here, Nic.
ROBERTSON: I think for right now, the way that the Taliban came to power is going to militate against them getting a quick, good, positive relationship
with the United States with other of the key sort of global powerhouses, the G7 nations.
Even you know, P5 members permanent 5, the UN Security Council China and Russia are concerned about the political direction if you will, the lack of
inclusivity that's going on in Afghanistan at the moment.
ROBERTSON: So, you know, without there being a big drive from G7 nations to normalize relations with the Taliban, this is going to be this is going to
count against the Afghan against the general Afghan population. It's something they're very afraid of right now.
And they're fearful of the United States getting out of Afghanistan in the way that it did sent, essentially, diplomatic shockwaves to its allies
around the world. So they're going to be cautious to follow the United States in the future.
And again, I think that that also has an impact on Afghanistan. I think the ball is very much more for Afghans in the regional court, the countries
around it, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan and China and to a degree India as well.
They will all seek to have an influence and probably try to seek to have a stabilizing influence in the longer term, but that power plays at work
here, an absent the United States being the big hand, the big global hand in those power plays. The outcome of these places is really uncertain at
GIOKOS: All right, Nic, thank you so much for that breakdown, great to have you on the show. And still to come after researchers say volcanic activity
- disappeared, a volcano on one of Canary Islands is roaring back to life. We'll have more on the dangers and --.
GIOKOS: The Taliban are returning to their brutal tactics seen the first time they ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s. Militants hung the bodies of four
alleged kidnappers in public displays in the city of Herat over the weekend.
Arwa Damon joins me now from Istanbul. Arwa, look, it's one thing to talk about, you know, transformed Taliban and try and change the rhetoric around
this organization. And it's another to do something completely different on the ground that shows draconian measures still very much at play here.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it's hard to discern if there is some sort of a disconnect between the rhetoric that
we're hearing from the upper echelons of the Taliban government and some of what we're seeing play out on the ground.
Those four bodies you're referencing there and the video is extraordinarily disturbing to look at. But they were four alleged kidnappers who were
killed in a shootout during some sort of Taliban operation to free a business man and his son.
DAMON: The corpses were then hung in four different locations in the city of Herat to try to send a message to anyone who may even be contemplating
carrying out that sort of a crime.
We also saw something similar happened about a month ago in the city of - where four kidnappers were also killed in some sort of a shootout. They
were accused of kidnapping children; their bodies were later dumped in a public square.
And so one really does get the sense that on the ground, at least Eleni, the Taliban is very much trying to send a message to the population that
runs very contrary to this other rhetoric that we're hearing about a sort of reformed Taliban, at least at this stage that is most certainly what
seems to be the case.
GIOKOS: Yes. So Arwa, I mean, it's interesting, the message that it also sends, of course, it's one of fear. So you know what is breaking the law
and what isn't? You know, who then you know, embarks on the justice system and how those rules implemented? What are the rules?
And then we heard that some barbers have been told not to cut beards and not to play music. So from the small to the big, these are huge question
mark about what the Taliban rules are for average Afghans.
DAMON: Exactly and remember, they have effectively re-implemented the ministry of vice and virtue. This was the most feared ministry during the
Taliban's previous reign, the one that effectively had its units of religious police or enforcers who would troll the streets looking for any
sort of infractions against the Taliban's draconian rules back then.
And infractions could range from anything from you know, a woman showing her wrists or her ankles to a man's beard not being long enough.
Now, when it comes to the barbers yes, in Herat at least and reportedly in some other areas, they have been told not just to not cut men's beards, but
not to even trim them and not to play music.
And you know, incidentally, I met a man when we were over in Van --that is close to the Turkey-Iran border. And that's where Afghan refugees end up
most of them when they've crossed over into Turkey. And he was a father; he was traveling with his family.
And he was telling us about how he had very vivid memories of 20 plus years ago, being beaten in the streets because his beard wasn't deemed longs
enough. And so if you're an Afghan right now, what are you supposed to do? How do you keep yourself safe?
Do you go to one extreme if you're a woman for example and just entirely cover yourself up or stay well at home like so many women are to try to
keep themselves safe I mean, it's really an impossible situation for so many in that country.
GIOKOS: Yes. Yes. And I guess look, the question is, is it localized? Is it messaging from the top, is it miscommunication? I mean, you know, so many
things that we still going to be discovering in the next few weeks. Thank you so much. Arwa, great to see you!
Jordan's King Abdullah and Queen Rania will self-quarantine after their son tested positive for COVID-19. A statement from the Royal Hashemite Court
says Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah is experiencing mild symptoms and otherwise remains in very good health.
The king and queen post tested negative and will self-quarantine for five days. Alright, the nation of Oman is trying to diversify its economy and
break its dependence rather on hydrocarbons. I mean, some of its business leaders hoping to grow the country's aviation sector. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS (voice over): The expanded Muscat International Airport opened in early 2018, boasting a brand new $1.8 billion passenger terminal that is
considered the cornerstone of Oman's economic strategy.
AIMEN AL HOSNI, CEO, OMAN AIRPORTS: And those are the designer chairs that are only for Romania force. Wherever you go in our seven airports, you find
GIOKOS (voice over): The airport CEO says it was designed to showcase Omani heritage, from the architecture to the art. The airport even smells like
HOSNI: We went to air freshener companies. And we demanded to have something from the local community from the culture. And then we found that
that the Frankincense which comes from the south region of the country, is a good representation to the country.
GIOKOS (on camera): And this air freshener didn't exist before you had to develop it yourself.
HOSNI: No, no, no, it was, you know, made for Omani airports.
GIOKOS (on camera): That's incredible. So you can smell the Frankincense in all your airports in the country.
HOSNI: Yes, yes.
GIOKOS (voice over): The country's culture is also on display on board the national carrier, Oman Air.
MOHAMMED AL BARWANI, CHAIRMAN, OMAN AIR: Oman has a long history of hospitality. And that hospitality, we take it to the skies, you know, with
Oman Air. And as you land into Oman that continues to the airport and basically you're coming into Oman as you land into the airport, you're
seeing Oman environment.
GIOKOS (voice over): Oman's aviation sector was hit hard by the global pandemic, at a time when it was expecting to grow. As people are starting
to travel again, there is renewed optimism about the importance of the aviation sector and what it can do for the Omani economy going forward.
BARWANI: The aviation industry is a very interesting industry, it touches everything for instance, from hotels to reason to travelers, even to the
simple taxi driver depends on the airline industry. For every dollar we spend, we contribute five or $6 into the national economy.
GIOKOS (on camera): In terms of routes for Oman Air and growth, what are you thinking at the moment?
BARWANI: At the moment, we fly to 34 destinations, but through code sharing with other airlines, we can take people to more than 100 cities all the way
from North America to the Asia Pacific region. So basically, we can connect our passengers to anywhere throughout the world.
GIOKOS (on camera): So this is the biggest fleet we have in Oman Air?
GIOKOS (voice over): Shatha Al Balushi has been a pilot for Oman Air since 2016. She says she is looking forward to seeing the airline industry
recover from the pandemic. And although she remains one of just a few female pilots for the airline, she hopes that will change too.
GIOKOS (on camera): So you're a role model for young girls, how does that feel?
SHATHA AL BALUSHI, PILOT, OMAN AIR: Many other female they wanted to be a pilot you know, they even when they see me in the street and they know me
they asked me so how is it and how is Oman Air, how is the cockpit. You know they ask all these questions, so definitely they're interested now
they want to know more. They want to be like one of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: I had some good food in Oman, I have to say. All right, coming up after the break buildings are crumbling as lava blankets parts of Spain's
La Palma Island. Now Ash is again spewing from the volcano. We're live in Spain with an update.
GIOKOS: Lava is swelling up buildings like this, a church that collapsed on the Spanish islands of La Palma as it makes its way to the sea. After a
brief pause earlier volcanic activity has resumed at the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
Ash emissions have packed - have picked back up rather, after researchers said tremors and explosions had almost disappeared. Flights to and from the
islands airport had stopped, but I expected to resume soon.
Thousands of people have been evacuated. Al Goodman is following the situation from Madrid, good to see you Al. We know that this could possibly
continue for weeks and months. What is the latest?
AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Eleni, what you just mentioned about the airport, that volcanic ash that we see on the screen, it's been spreading up into
the sky is this creating major problems that they have the little airport on La Palma islands. So it was in the operative because of all this ash.
On Saturday, it was open a very short while on Sunday. It started this day close, it then early this afternoon, a few flights apparently we're getting
in and out like you just mentioned. And now the most recent check we've done isn't flights again are canceled.
So that's just one of the problems is blanketing the planes is blanketing the runways, the airlines don't want to operate in those conditions.
Obviously, it's blanketing your cars, if think of snow on your cars, but that's volcanic ash.
And it's dangerous people have to be masked up, authorities say. Now the main effort this day is everybody is watching this relentless lava flow
towards the ocean on the eastern side, so various villages have been locked down.
People have been told to stay indoors, shut their door, stay inside, shut the doors and windows. Be aware that when the lava actually ends up in the
ocean, if that happens in the coming hours, which is with some of the predictions that it could cause explosions that could break glass in your
house, three miles or five kilometers away.
So they have set up an exclusion zone at sea so they don't want people voting up just to take a sort of a sightseer look because it's very
dangerous toxic gas and the same on the land. Now, this is the ninth consecutive day of these eruptions.
You say as you say official say this could go on for weeks or even a few months. All of this Eleni on what the Spaniards call this island of La
Palma they call it the Isla Bonita the beautiful island. But in the past week, major parts of this island have been obliterated by this lava.
And so this is their - the authorities are dealing with the lava the ash trying to take care of the 6000 people evacuated. The only bright note so
far is that there are no reported injuries or death, Eleni?
GIOKOS: Thank you so much Al. Absolutely, but it's a toxic ash as you say that's the big risk. Thank you very much. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai. This
has been "Connect the World" thanks so much for joining us. Becky is back tomorrow and "One World" is just ahead.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN HOST, ONE WORLD: After a tight election Germany shifts to the left. Here is what's coming up? You'll hear from the man leading
Germany's winning party.