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Connect the World

Police Charge Suspect in Deadly Attack in Norway; Protest in Lebanon Turns Deadly; Supply Chain Woes; U.S. Secretary of State Says U.S. Will Look at "Every Option" in Iran Nuclear Deal; At Least 46 Killed in Taiwan Fire; Egyptian Officers on Trial; Prince William Pans Billionaire Space Race. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 14, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): The worst violence in a decade, Beirut rocked by deadly gun battles. As many as six dead at a protest

called by Hezbollah.

A bow and arrow attack in Norway leaves five dead. It is being treated as terrorism by police.

And over 40 killed after a fire tears through a residential building in Taiwan. We're live in Taipei for you.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, live for you from Abu Dhabi here in the UAE, where it is 6:00 in the evening.

And we begin in region, where the worst violence in Beirut in a decade, as a protest caused by Hezbollah erupted into chaos. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): This was the Lebanese capital a couple of hours ago, amid round after round of incessant gunfire. Look carefully at this, a

family dodging bullets to get their child to safety. In all, the Red Cross says six people were killed and 30 were wounded.

The group Hezbollah says snipers were perched on buildings, aiming to kill protesters below. Its supporters were demonstrating against the popular

judge investigating last year's massive port explosion.


ANDERSON: The anger and frustration go much deeper, though. Lebanon is in the midst of an economic catastrophe. CNN's Ben Wedeman has covered the

country for decades and had a front row seat to its slow burn.

Let's just get our viewers a sense of what we understand to have happened today -- Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was a protest organized by Hezbollah and Amal, the other main political Shiite political

party in Lebanon, to protest against what they say is the bias of the judge, the second judge appointed to investigate the August 4th, 2020,

Beirut port blast.

Now specifically Amal is very unhappy because one of their ministers, the former finance minister, had taken a legal complaint against Judge Bitar,

accusing him of bias. But Thursday morning a judge rejected that complaint. Clearly they don't want this man, who is accused of criminal negligence, to

be put on trial.

So they organized this protest; there were unknown gunmen, fired from the buildings in the area, which is not far from where, in April 1975, the

opening rounds of the Lebanese civil war took place.

And so what happened was armed supporters or members of Amal and Hezbollah came and started to fire upon the buildings where they believed unknown

gunmen had opened fire from.

And the result is, as we heard from the Lebanese Red Cross, at least six people dead, more than 30 people wounded; among them, civilians, among the

dead, a woman who was in her apartment and was shot through the head as a result of the gunfire.

Now the Lebanese army intervened; they told civilians to leave the area. And we saw that video, which is very reminiscent of the Lebanese civil war.

In fact, I'm hearing from many people in Beirut that they're having flashbacks from the civil war.

The army is trying to restore calm, they warned anybody in the area carrying a weapon that they would fire upon them. Now Hezbollah and Amal

have put out a statement, accusing the Lebanese forces of being behind the attacks on their protesters. So really the stage is set for continued and

perhaps intensified tensions in the Lebanese capital.

ANDERSON: Yes, the Lebanese forces leader has condemned the violence on Twitter.


ANDERSON: He is blaming the violence on the widespread availability of weapons in Lebanon, without actually addressing the accusations.

Be that as it may -- and you just made a very important point, I had more than one person today that they felt like what they were witnessing was

reminiscent of the civil war between 1975 and 1990.

This protest today called in response to the investigation into the port blast, which is, of course, ongoing. This is the second judge who is now in

charge of that investigation; a popular judge, for all intents and purposes, for one side of the Lebanese population.

But the wider story here once again is the terrible sense of sort of doom and catastrophe that is Lebanon today, Ben.

And what's the future at this point?

WEDEMAN: Well, there really is a sense of frustration because many people will tell you that they believe that the establishment writ large does not

want to take responsibility and is avoiding any accountability.

Whether it is the Beirut port blast, that left more than 200 people dead and large parts of the capital severely damaged; whether it is the economic

collapse that we have seen since 2019, which has seen the Lebanese lira lose more than 90 percent of its value and mass unemployment, massive

inflation; or the fact that the Lebanese infrastructure simply has fallen apart.

It was just a few days go we were reporting on the fact that, over the weekend, the lights in the entire country from the two main power plants

had gone off because, essentially, beyond private generators, the country, the government was no longer to produce electricity.

It is this wide range of failure on the part of the political establishment that have left people feeling that, no matter what happens, those behind

all these failures cannot, will not and will resist being held accountable -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman, reporting on the story that is Beirut today. A cautious calm, as it is being described now, hanging over Beirut, as the

fierce gun and rocket fire does appear to have paused. We'll keep you up to date on what is going on there. And what goes on in Lebanon, of course, is

important there and outside of the country as well.

Thank you, Ben.

Police in Norway now say the bow and arrow rampage appears to be an act of terror. Video from the scene shows an arrow still stuck in a wall. Five

people were killed in Wednesday's attack. A 37-year-old Danish man was arrested outside Oslo. Police say this was not their first encounter with



OLE BREDRUP SAEVERUD, KONGSBERG POLICE CHIEF (through translator): It was previously stated that the perpetrator is a 37-year-old Danish citizen

living in Norway. The police have previously been in contact with the man, including as a result of previous concerns related to radicalization.


ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz joining us with more on the attack.

And what do we know at this point about the suspect?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, an absolutely horrific attack that is sending shock waves across Norway. This is the deadliest terror

attack this country has seen in nearly 10 years.

And it all unfolded in a very public place outside a supermarket at around 6:15 pm local time, evening time yesterday. This perpetrator started firing

a bow and arrow. You can imagine how that sent people absolutely terrified.

Police say he was able to move across a large area. Unfortunately, five people lost their lives due to this attack, four women and one man; two

other injuries. All the victims, all the deceased were between the ages of 50 to 70 years old.

And now police are saying, of course, that they're treating this attack as a terrorist incident. They hope that an investigation will reveal not only

the motivations of the shooter but the plan and any other connections.

Although they do say he acted alone. As you pointed out, it is important to note here that this shooter was in contact with police in previous years

for their concerns around radicalization, though the police say he had not been flagged this year, 2021.

But I want to point to this small community, absolutely reeling. This is what residents were saying after the terror attack.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm shooked (sic). I can't believe it is happening in a small town like this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a small town. 20,000. It is not so many. So I hope I don't recognize every one of them is killed, those poor women (ph).

So maybe I know them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was actually going to have a cigarette out on my porch, which is basically right across the street from here. And I saw a

friend of mine, cowering behind a car. And I suddenly hear this big thunk sound.

And being, well, I've been active within archery, I recognized the sound from a compound bow. And I can hear the tinkling of an arrow hitting the

streets. And after that, I could see a man running toward her, dragging a kid out of a car and then they entered my house or my home, actually. And

that's basically all I heard.


ABDELAZIZ: Now police have been given a very rare and temporary order to carry firearms across Norway, Becky. That's hoping that the authorities can

restore a sense of security there.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

We are watching another big worry for the world, the supply chain nightmare. It is slowing the global economic recovery. Germany is leading

economic institutes, slashing their great forecast for this year and companies around the world are quite frankly scrambling to get over a

shortage of workers, especially truckers.

Don't forget the festive season is rapidly approaching in many parts of the world. We are seeing ports choked with thousands of shipping containers. In

the U.S., for example, the Port of Los Angeles, switching to around the clock operations to try to clear the backlog.

This is part of President Biden's 90-day sprint, as it is known, to get merchandise off U.S. docks and into American stores. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 24/7 system, what most of the leading countries in the world already operate on now, except us, until

now, this is the first key step for moving our entire freight, transportation and logistical supply chain nationwide to a 24/7 system.


ANDERSON: CNN White House correspondent John Harwood is standing by for us in Washington.

The president wants ports working 24/7 to clear the backlog. That will surprise many of our viewers, who live in places where ports actually do

work and always have worked 24/7.

Be that as it may, what chance that this Biden strategy, this 90-day sprint, will work?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think it will work on the margins, Becky. It is not going to solve the problem. This is, as you

indicated, a global problem and it is huge in the United States.

The pandemic so disrupted our patterns of work, of manufacturing, of consumption -- and when you turn off an economy, turn it back on , you have

all sorts of mismatches that are showing up in the big demand for some products, that are sitting in those containers, on ships outside the Port

of Los Angeles or the Port of Savannah.

So what the Biden administration can do is try to ease it a little bit, 24/7 operation, as you mentioned, at Los Angeles and Long Beach. They're

trying to work it from the truckers' end as well, encourage states to issue more trucker's licenses because there is a shortage of truckers.

They may even drop the age of eligibility for trucking from age 21 to age 18. They can get over some safety concerns about that. All sorts of ways

other departments trying to expand, say poultry processing because of the high demand for chickens or ease the semiconductor shortage, because that's

been disrupted significantly, especially in Southeast Asia, as COVID has hit there.

So there are many problems from many angles that are fueling inflation and making goods hard to get as we get into this holiday season. And what the

Biden administration can do is make a little bit of headway. But they can't solve it anytime soon.

ANDERSON: Yes, this, much of this, of course, is the result of the post pandemic economic recovery, that many people were forecasting. It feels as

if some weren't ready for that. But not all. And you rightly point out there is, for example, a shortage of truckers there.

Are shortages in many -- for many employees at the moment, Wall Street heavyweight Jamie Dimon, who runs JPMorgan Chase, sounding almost sanguine

about the worker shortage, John, saying, and I quote him here.

"People are making different decisions. They've moved to different places, COVID has affected their mindset, there is more churn. That's OK. That will

normalize over time," he says.

Not clear which industry specifically he was talking about. But it is a good general sort of take on what is going on.


ANDERSON: I wonder, in the U.S., at least, is the labor issue seen as just a blip or is this a potential long-term problem?

HARWOOD: Well, in part it depends how you define "blip."

The pandemic and people's concerns about going back to work are part of the reluctance. But there is a longer term issue sparked by the pandemic, by

the shutdown of the economy and then turning it back on, which is a reconsideration by a lot of workers of what they want their careers to be.

There has been a lot of fiscal support from the U.S. government in Washington that has let people take their time, turn down jobs if they

don't feel it is a good match for them. People have not been flooding back to jobs that didn't pay very well before. So workers have a little more

bargaining power.

And they're inclined to use that at the moment. That is also contributing to inflation because wages are going up as prices are. But I think, to some

degree, this problem is going to persist.

And part of the Biden administration's response to that is their economic plan to raise the skills of American workers and change the profile of the

American workforce, in ways that might be more sustainable in the long term.

ANDERSON: John Harwood, it's always a pleasure, thank you.

It is not just the Port of Los Angeles backing up. In the U.S. Southeast, as John suggested, about 80,000 containers stacked around the Port of

Savannah in Georgia. Sometimes ships are at sea waiting to unload for more than a week, it is being reported.

Amara Walker is there in Savannah to tell us more about what is, as we understand it, this massive backlog there at the port -- Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is massive, Becky. You are right. We are seeing this supply chain nightmare playing out here at the port of

Savannah, the third largest container port in the United States after L.A., Long Beach and Newark, New Jersey.

But what we're seeing and hearing about is a major traffic jam out at sea and also a major backlog of supplies here at the terminal at the Port of

Savannah; 70,000 to 80,000 shipping containers have been sitting here, waiting for retailers to come pick them up or to get to their final


This is a 50 percent increase in the number of these steel boxes that the Georgia Port Authority has been dealing with for several, several days now.

When you try to understand why we're seeing such a backlog, at least right here, there is several factors at play that you were talking about with

your correspondent. As you know, there has been a shortage of truck drivers around the country.

And that's why you're seeing a lot of retailers and logistics companies just not picking up their freight here. We're told the average time that

these containers usually stay at the terminal or store here is usually four to five days. Right now the average is running about 12 days.

And the Georgia Port Authority tells me there are hundreds of containers that have just been stashing up here for several weeks, way more than 12

days. They're getting on the phones, calling the retailers saying, hey, all your goods are still here, please come and pick it up.

Right now there are seven vessels that are at berth, at the dock, being unloaded. That process, we're told, most of it takes 24 hours.

But talking about that traffic jam, right now, there are 25 cargo containers out on the water, some of them waiting up to five days just to

drop off their load. And they have been seeing this backing up for the last two to three months now.

ANDERSON: Yes, amazing. Thank you for that, Amara Walker in Georgia for you.

DP World is one of the giants connecting the global supply chain. It moves some 10 percent of the world's trade when things are moving. And recently I

spoke to its chairman and CEO about these current bottlenecks. Have a listen.


SULTAN AHMED BIN SULAYEM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, DP WORLD: With the pandemic disrupted the whole supply chain around the world and disrupting China and

disrupting China now.

ANDERSON: But at present, we see a real bottleneck in the world's supply chains.

How long is that going to last?

SULAYEM: Short term, we dealt with it. Long term, it's going to linger for a while. Look at China's, China's lockdown. And every time there is an

incident of COVID case, I will possibly lock down and this will continue for a while.


ANDERSON: The chairman and CEO of DP World speaking to me recently.

Here's yet another example of the effects of these worldwide logjams. Cargo ships heading to the U.K. with holiday toys and electronics had to be

diverted from the Port of Phoenix (ph) because the docks there were full. British officials are downplaying the delays.


ANDERSON: They say the country should plan for holiday shopping as usual. We are only in mid-October, of course. And the holiday season in the U.K.

for most people there is mid- to late December.

The U.K. finance minister, who is meeting with other G7 finance ministers in Washington, says the British government is doing what it can to get

goods moving.


RISHI SUNAK, U.K. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: We're doing absolutely everything we can to mitigate some of these challenges. They are global in

nature. So we can't fix every single problem.

But I feel confident that there'll be good provision of goods for everybody and we are working our way to remove blockages where we can. As we have

seen with HGV drivers, for example, where we've provided short-term visas, we've sped up the processing of tests and things like that, those are the

types of practical actions we can do.


ANDERSON: That's Rishi Sunak.

Also calling on the world's wealthy nations to work together to solve the supply chain crisis, saying global cooperation is key, as we all try to

recover from the effects of the pandemic.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still ahead, the U.S. secretary of state urging Iran to return to talks on the nuclear deal. The new warning Antony

Blinken is giving, aimed at getting Iran back to the table.

And we'll look at why Israel's current prime minister is changing his stance on what the previous prime minister called a very bad deal.

Also this hour, a towering inferno: a fire burns through a building in Taiwan, killing dozens of people. We'll have a live report from Taipei for

you coming up.




ANDERSON: "The window for diplomacy is closing."

That is a stark message to Iran from U.S. officials, pushing to revive the nuclear deal. And European nations also expressing deep concern. A UAE (ph)

envoy is in Tehran today to convey that message. The hardline president Ebrahim Raisi indicated that Tehran will return to talks soon.

But there is no sign of movement from Tehran right now. The U.S. secretary of state giving a veiled warning to Iran after a meeting on Wednesday that

included Israel's foreign minister and the foreign minister from the UAE. Take a listen.


TONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: And so as the prime minister said, we are discussing this among ourselves. And we will look at every option to

deal with the challenge.

We continue to believe the diplomacy is the most effective way to do that. But it takes two to engage in diplomacy. And we have not seen from Iran a

willingness to do that at this point.



ANDERSON: While the U.S. and Europe work to resolve the diplomatic stalemate with Iran, there has been a subtle but significant shift of

Israel's stance on that nuclear deal. Hadas Gold joins us from Jerusalem to explain exactly where we are seeing some differences and why.

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is definitely subtle but significant. Subtle hasn't been any kind of grand speech or

announcement from the Israeli government about this change in policy.

But if you listen carefully to public statements and listen to the messaging, it is clear that a change has happened.

Back in August, when I traveled with prime minister Naftali Bennett's delegation to Washington, his team made clear they wanted to change the

relationship with Washington. They wanted to change the relationship with the White House.

That while they were still at that timeframe very much opposed to a return the JCPOA and would discuss that with the White House, they wanted to have

agreements with the Americans behind closed doors.

But even since August, it feels like there has been a change in the past few weeks and that reflexive, automatic opposition to the Iranian nuclear

deal, maybe sort of melting away.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear --

GOLD (voice-over): Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu credits himself with convincing former president Donald Trump to pull out

of the Iranian nuclear deal.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Frankly, perhaps most importantly, getting out of the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

GOLD (voice-over): But now the new Israeli leadership is changing the tone as the Biden administration hopes to return to a deal, even if the

Americans believe it may be a long slog. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett warning, in the three years since the U.S. pulled out, Iran is

closer than ever to a nuclear bomb.

NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unfortunately in the past three years, the Iranians have made a huge jump

forward in the Iranian enrichment abilities. The Iranian nuclear program is at its most advanced stage ever.

GOLD (voice-over): Iran now enriching uranium up to 60 percent. The stockpile of enriched uranium going up month by month. What is being seen

as a tacit public criticism of what sources and the prime minister's office say out loud.

It was a mistake for Netanyahu to press Trump to get out of the deal without a well thought-out plan for how Israel follows up. Bennett's tone,

a significant departure from what he sounded like in 2015.

BENNETT: The deal as we see it is worse than the worst case scenario that we had anticipated.

GOLD (voice-over): Compared to this week.

BENNETT (through translator): The world is sitting and waiting for a decision from Tehran whether to return or not to return to the discussion

table in Vienna.

GOLD (voice-over): Israel's defense minister Benny Gantz even more explicit, telling "Foreign Policy" magazine, Israel would be willing to

accept a return to a U.S. negotiated deal, although they would want to see a U.S. plan b in case talks fail and will always reserve the right for

military action, a message repeated by foreign minister Yair Lapid in Washington this week.

YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: Other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails.

GOLD (voice-over): Get past the saber rattling, though, and the shift in tone from Israel's government on the Iranian nuclear deal seems clear. They

feel Trump and Netanyahu got it wrong.


GOLD: And response to that saber rattling, the Iranians yesterday releasing video of them testing out their new defense systems. Clearly it

seems in response to those comments from both Israeli foreign minister Lapid and secretary of state Antony Blinken in Washington.

And also yesterday, this is very interesting to note, the U.S. special envoy to Iran, Rob Malley (ph), in a conversation with Aaron David Miller

of the Carnegie Institute, said that, in Israel, while there are still reservations against the deal, there is a lively debate and rethinking on

part of the security establishment that pulling out a few years ago was a bad idea.

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold on the story for you, thank you.

Still ahead, the blackened aftermath after a major fire tore through a building in Taiwan, killing dozens. We'll have a live report from Taipei.

And five years after an Italian student dies, the trial of the alleged attackers begins. Coming up, why that is straining relations with Egypt.





ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Taiwan's president extending her condolences to the victims after a major fire tore through a residential and commercial building in southern Taiwan.

At least 46 people were killed, dozens were injured.

Taiwan's official central news agency says more than 100 residents, many of them senior citizens with disabilities, lived in the 13th story building.

Will Ripley joining us from Taipei.

What do we know about these rescue operations still ongoing?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, it is just absolutely devastating that you had not only people who are senior citizens with

disabilities but they were in this older, somewhat dilapidated building.

And now, because of the condition of that building, because of how intensely the fire burned, it is very difficult to access certain areas,

because the fire was on the lower floors. The first six floors of this 13- story building were abandoned. They used to house a movie theater, restaurants, karaoke lounge.

A lot of these old businesses had a lot of junk and clutter piled up inside, old items that frankly were just flammable. That's what the fire

chief said. And so the lower floors burned first. People were stuck upstairs, breathing in the smoke.

Fire alarms weren't necessarily going off in the building. One resident said he was woken up and alerted to the fire, because he heard the sounds

of people around him in other apartments, screaming.

They're still investigating what caused this. There was apparently a loud explosion-like sound shortly before the fire broke out at 3:00 am and

residents said they have been hearing those kind of booms and pops coming from the power lines in recent days.

The fire chief says basically there are three reasons why this fire was so deadly: one, the time it happened in the middle of the night; two, because

of the flammable items in the lower half of the building and abandoned businesses; and, three, the people who lived there.

Senior citizens, people who aren't mobile with disabilities, the most vulnerable members of society. The president of Taiwan sat down with her

premier, they're going to be looking after those who did survive, those who were not in the hospital, making sure they have a place to stay, making

sure their families get the support and information they need.

But throughout the day, they just took 11 people to the morgue and the number of dead has just continued to tick up because it is just -- it was

really hard. And a lot of people, a lot of people injured have pretty serious injuries still. Becky?

ANDERSON: Tragic story. And thank you, Will.

Will Ripley in Taipei for you.

Four senior members of Egypt's security services are now on trial in absentia for the murder of an Italian student. Five years ago, Giulio

Regeni disappeared in Cairo earlier in 2016. The 28-year old was a post graduate student at Cambridge University.

His body was found nine days after he disappeared, with signs of extensive torture. Italian and Egyptian prosecutors investigated the case together.


ANDERSON: But they reached different conclusions, straining ties between the two countries.


ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some stories on our radar right now.

Britain will pay France $72 million to help it tackle illegal cross-channel immigration. The two countries signed an agreement in July to strengthen

cooperation. In return, France will expand police patrol efforts across its coastline and use wider surveillance technology.

The U.S., Japan, Australia and India have been conducting a joint military drill in the Bay of Bengal. The annual exercises of the so-called Quad

Group comes as China increases its military activity in the waters near Taiwan and as tensions rise between India and China over a long-standing

territorial dispute along their shared border.

Japan's prime minister has dissolved parliament's lower house ahead of a general election, October 31st. Reuters says polls show he has reasonable

public support just 11 days into the job. It is a positive sign for his Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner of maintaining lower

house majority.

Ahead on the show, just a couple of weeks away from these headlining climate talks in Scotland and a day after another successful private space

launch, Britain's Prince William says our priorities are all wrong. More on the swipe he's making at space travel.

And coming up, basketball legend Charles Barkley learned he shouldn't quit his day job. Details on that are just ahead.




ANDERSON: Just a day after actor William Shatner launched into space aboard the Blue Origin, Britain's Prince William took a dig at Elon Musk

and Jeff Bezos, who owns Blue Origin.

The Duke of Cambridge said the world's greatest brains should focus on saving Earth and not on space travel. He made the comments a little over

two weeks away from critical international climate talks in Scotland, known as COP26. Have a listen.


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: We are seeing a rise in climate anxiety. People -- young people now are growing up where their futures are

basically threatened the whole time.

It is very unnerving and it is very, you know, anxiety making. We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed onto repair this planet, not

trying to find the next place to go and live.


ANDERSON: CNN Business correspondent Clare Sebastian has been following the lead-up to COP26 and joins us now.


ANDERSON: And with respect and in defense perhaps of the Bezoses of this world, it is quite clear that, you know, journeys into space can very much

benefit what is going on down here; certainly the sort of satellite technology that is mapping the Earth and providing information, of course,

about what is going on with regard to climate change.

But Prince William is certainly not the first to say we should be focusing our efforts on Earth. We've also learned a great deal from space travel, as

I said.

What do we make of his comments?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he is not the first. We heard criticism specifically over the last few months, as we have seen the likes

of Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos launch themselves into space as part of their space exploration programs.

For example, the director of the World Food Programme said on Twitter a few months ago he would rather they teamed up to help save the 41 million

people who were going to starve this year. That would only take $6 billion.

But the defenders of this say the two goals of saving this planet and sending tourists into space and on to other planets are not mutually

exclusive because the money from space tourism can be funneled into research and development.

And this is something that Jeff Bezos himself talked about, he was asked about this very thing by CNN's Rachel Crane in July. Take a listen.


JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, BLUE ORIGIN: We have to do both. And what our job at Blue Origin is to do and what the space tourism mission is about is having

a mission, where we can practice so much that we get really good at operational space travel, more like a commercial airliner and less like

what you think of as traditional space travel.

If we can do that, then we'll be building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there. And those amazing things will solve

problems here on Earth.


SEBASTIAN: Jeff Bezos has not just talked about a road to space, he has talked about the idea of sending things like heavy industry and energy

generation off this planet, putting them on another one, which is one way you could bring down emissions on this planet.

But of course, the climate crisis is imminent; that's a very lofty goal and no way guaranteed a success and a long-term vision of Jeff Bezos.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Thank you, Clare.