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Fallout From Failed Attack On Iraqi P.M.; Thousands Rally In Support Of Ethiopian Government; Obama Takes The Climate Change. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired November 08, 2021 - 10:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Explosive politics. Iraq's Prime Minister survives an assassination attempts in Baghdad, but who was behind

the attack and why now?

Has the international community failed Ethiopia? That's a question I put to Samantha Power, the head of the USAID Agency. Plus.


ANNEKE VAN LELIEVELD, RESIDENT OF NOORDWARD, NETHERLANDS: This is the deep Impact, but I do it for the future. You know, for the young people.

ANDERSON: How one European country has taken drastic action to better prepare for climate change.

It's 7:00 p.m. here in Dubai. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. And I'm starting with this question this evening. Who

did it? Three words rezoning across three continents from Baghdad to Washington to London. Officials want to know who tried to assassinate the

prime minister of Iraq. U.S. President Joe Biden is offering his national security team to help Baghdad with the investigation after Iraqi leader

Mustafa al-Kadhimi escaped Sunday's attack. Now British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also offering his support.


ANDERSON: No one has claimed responsibility for what officials call a failed assassination attempt which targeted the Iraqi Prime Minister's

Baghdad residents with deadly drones. Mr. Kadhimi wasn't hurt but seven members of his security detail were. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is tracking the

investigation from neighboring Turkey. Have a listen.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was one of the most brazen attacks to ever target Iraq's leadership. A drone laden

with explosive struck the residence of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, according to Iraq's Military. Al Kadhimi

escape what officials have described as a failed assassination attempt that injured members of his security detail.

Shortly after that, the Prime Minister appeared calm and composed in a televised address, reassuring the nation and calling for restraint.

MUSTAFA AL-KADHIMI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The cowardly missiles and drones do not build our country's nor our future. And we are

working to build our homeland by respecting the state and its institutions and establishing a better future for all Iraqis. I invite everyone to a

call and constructive dialogue for the sake of Iraq and the future of Iraq. Long live Iraq, long live Iraq.

KARADSHEH: No one's claimed responsibility for the attack. Iraq says it's investigating. The government failing to bring those responsible to justice

blame, "criminal armed groups," a term it's used in the past to describe Iranian-backed militias. The powerful Iranian-backed groups have threatened

al-Kadhimi, the close U.S. ally in the past, but on Sunday, various groups were fast to deny their involvement, accusing foreign powers of an attempt

they say to implicate them.

The attack comes after weeks of rising tensions following the October 10th elections. Parties representing Iranian-backed militias emerged as the

biggest losers of that vote, losing many of the seats they once held in Parliament. They refuse to accept the results of an election they've

described as fraudulent. And for weeks, their supporters have staged a protest in Baghdad that turned violent on Friday, when protesters clashed

with security forces as they tried to storm the Green Zone.

Militia leaders accused the government of targeting peaceful protesters and vowed revenge following the death of a demonstrator.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live now for us and the us. And the U.S. Spokesman Ned Price tweeted this, Jomana. This apparent act of

terrorism was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state." And he went on to say, we're in close touch with the Iraqi forces charged with upholding

Iraq's sovereignty and independence, and have offered our assistance as they investigate this attack. Is it any clearer? Who was behind the attack?

And why? Why now?

KARADSHEH: Well, look, Becky, I think there is little doubt in Iraq who was behind this attack, who is to blame for this attack. I mean, Iraqi

officials are being very cautious in not pointing te finger at groups that they believe are responsible for this attack for many different reasons.

They're being very measured to try and avoid any sort of escalation to inflame a situation that is already very, very dangerous right now.

I mean, if you look, Bekcy, at how this attack was carried out, drones were used. This is a tactic that we have seen in recent years, recent months.

These sorts of attacks been carried out by these Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq. They've been accused of using drones to target the Green

Zone in the past, as well as U.S. bases in Iraq and in Syria. I think what is very critical right now is how Iraq is going to deal with this


You've had consecutive governments in the past pretty much kicking the can down the road, not really wanting to deal with the issue of these heavily

armed groups in the country. You've had Prime Minister al-Kadhimi himself, he came into office last year, he attempted to try and rein in these

groups. But he has failed. But right now we've got a very, very dangerous line, Becky, that has been crossed with this attack.

And, you know, as mentioned in the report there, this is coming after all the tensions that have been building over the results of the elections and

these groups losing, going to -- reemerging as the biggest losers in that election. So the Prime Minister has really got to deal with this, Becky,

because of that very dangerous line that has been crossed. How he's going to do this. He's vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

We're going to have to wait and see because they have really tried to avoid any sort of a confrontation with these groups in escalation in the past but

there's so much at stake especially when it comes to Iraq's democracy. The constitutional process when you consider the issue of these armed groups

refusing to accept the results of the election.


KARADSHEH: I think the Iraqi President summed this up really well, in a tweet yesterday saying what we are seeing is this attempt to create chaos

in Iraq and an attempted coup against the constitutional process, Becky.

ANDERSON: Jomana, thank you. Jomana Karadsheh on the story for you. Well, the African Union holding an emergency meeting today to focus on a way out

of Ethiopia's crisis, one envoy calls the mood at the meeting, resolute.


ANDERSON: Meanwhile, thousands turned out Sunday in the capital in support of the government. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is encouraging the nation to

remain strong. He's called a military veterans to rejoin the army to stop Tigrays fighters from advancing on the capital, Addis Ababa. The situation

is growing more dire as a year-long conflict rolls on Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission says the government is rounding up people based on their

ethnicity, mostly ethnic Tigrayans.

David McKenzie joining us now from Johannesburg with the details as you understand them, David.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. And that's the latest reports. Confirms fears of the crackdown, since this

announcement of the state of emergency, Becky, that people according to the Human Rights Commission have been plucked out of their homes, they work

places, even off of the streets and detained in police stations across the Capitol and in other parts of the country.

Earlier, a police chief in Addis did say they were rounding up who they said were people linked to the TPLF, that rebel group who has threatened

the capital in recent days, but admitted that it could be often Tigrayans, ethnic Tigrayans who are being targeted. Something that has happened

throughout this conflict. Becky?

ANDERSON: What happens next, David?

MCKENZIE: Well, I think you've had this very high level diplomacy going on in Addis. You remember that the capital of Ethiopia is home to the African

Union, and you had the former president of Nigeria visiting with the leadership of the TPLF in Tigray over the weekend. They have been trying to

hash out some deescalation of this very dangerous situation. And over the weekend, you saw Prime Minister Abiy trying to show the level of support he

has and the government has with these very large scale protests in the capital.

Tens of thousands of people according to eyewitnesses on the streets, many of them holding placards in English, Becky, was suggested trying to put a

message not just to their fellow citizens, but out to the world including criticism of broadcasters like CNN and others to say that they are for the

government's efforts. There have been several signs that the government takes this latest tension and threats from two different rebel groups very

seriously with their calls for conscription and volunteers to rejoin the military.

But there is no sense just yet whether these diplomatic efforts from the E.U. and the U.S. and others will have any effect. Becky?

ANDERSON: David McKenzie on the story for you. The U.S. is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Ethiopia providing more than a billion dollars

over the last year. Right now international pressure mounting for the Ethiopian government to stop the conflict which could put those funds at

risk. Well, last week USAID, the head of one of the largest foreign aid agencies in the world issued a statement marking a year since the fighting

in Tigray began.

Samantha Power saying and I quote, "The challenges of forced humanitarian organizations to significantly scale back or halt programs as lives hang in

the balance." We need, she said, to see meaningful action by the government of Ethiopia and the TPLF. The Tigray People's Liberation Front, so that

lifesaving aid can reach the millions of those in dire need. I spoke to Samantha Power and started by asking her if she has seen any evidence of

that action.


SAMANTHA POWER, USAID ADMINISTRATOR: What we need right now is a ceasefire and political negotiations as well as the humanitarian access that I have

been appealing for and other leaders have been appealing for for months and months, for a full year in fact. And there does not appear to be

significant visible movement, at least in that direction. But the stakes could not be higher.

The human consequences of this conflict render themselves more visible every day, you now see tens of thousands more people being displaced, as

the conflict has had moved out of Tigray. And as you see rebels advancing further into the country.


POWER: Something that the United States absolutely resolutely opposes but at the same time, you don't see sufficient improvements in humanitarian

access by the government or an interest in political negotiations. And as a result, you see two parties pursuing a military solution to a conflict that

has no military solution, to a conflict that is only going to hurt the people in whose name it is being weighed.

ANDERSON: Rights groups have criticized the U.S., the U.N., others in the international community for keeping discussions over the past year behind

closed doors. Keeping diplomacy behind closed doors. There has been much criticism that not enough was done to put pressure on either party but

particularly on the Ethiopian government. I want to ask you specifically why you believe that was and whether the international community has failed


We know tens, hundreds of thousands of people are suffering millions, as we know, on the edge of famine at this point. Has this been an abject failure

by the international community, Samantha Power?

POWER: Well, I think we should look at where our responsibility lies for this conflict. And for the fact that we have famine like conditions

plaguing tens of thousands of people in the country. Fundamentally, responsibility lies with the government and with the rebels

who are now advancing out of Tigray and moving toward Addis Ababa. That is a fact. The United States from the very beginning of this conflict has been

the most generous humanitarian donor.

Has put increased pressure on a government with which we have one of the deepest and most important partnerships on the continent. This is our

largest development partner in all of Africa. At the same time, that we've been having put in a situation where we've had to sanction individuals who

are implicated in atrocities or the denial of food as a weapon of war. At the same time, we've done that.

We've been maintaining COVID assistance, providing vaccines, increasing our support for agriculture at a time where we know the economic effects of

COVID are devastating. Again, tens of thousands of families in Ethiopia. So we don't want anything other than a productive and constructive

relationship with an incredibly important partner on the continent. But the events of the last year have given us no choice but to increase the

pressure in that way.

And it's just unfortunate that as we see alarming reports of roundups of Tigray in Addis Ababa, as we see, again, the rebels marching and nobody

embracing this call that we have made for a year for political talks and for a ceasefire that the conditions just continue to deteriorate. But I

would have responsibility lie where it belongs, which is with the parties on the ground.


ANDERSON: Samantha Power On Ethiopia for you. Well, trade groups in Sudan are holding a two day strike against last month's military coup that

plunged that crisis in country into crisis. At least 87 were arrested Sunday during pro democracy protests in Khartoum. A number of teachers were

among them. They are accusing security forces of attacking peaceful protests. One coup leader says the military is committed to a Democratic


Well, all this comes as mediators from the Arab League arrive in Sudan to address the crisis. And more than that, of course, as we get it. Still

ahead, the world has to step up and step up now. Former U.S. President Barack Obama makes an impassioned plea at the Climate Summit. A live report

on that is ahead. And we'll check in on an election that the global community is calling a sham.

And after more than a year and a half, the U.S. finally finally lifts its pandemic travel ban, allowing vaccinated international tourists to take

those long delayed trips to America.



ANDERSON: Adaptation, loss and damage. That is the theme on Monday in Scotland as the climate conference there enters its final week. With the

world still quite a long distance apart on some of the key issues. Former U.S. President Barack Obama brought his star power to Glasgow today. He

said while meaningful progress has been made since 2015. Paris Agreement much more needs to be done.


OBAMA: Because when it comes to climate time really is running out. You heard the same message from world leaders last week. And now that they've

left, here's what we can report. Meaningful progress has been made since Paris. Here in Glasgow. We see the promise of further progress. What is

also true is that collectively and individually, we are still falling short. We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis.

We are going to have to do more. And whether that happens or not to a large degree is going to depend on you.


ANDERSON: Was the former president said the past week has seen nations inching closer towards climate action. For instance, dozens of nations have

pledged to phase out coal/methane emissions and stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad. But many issues do remain unresolved. And

climate change already having a powerful impact on changing lives. Extreme rainfall ravaged.

Western Europe for example, this summer, shattering one community in Germany. Meanwhile, another nation, the Netherlands took drastic action

early to prepare for the future. Phil Black reports.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Germany's Ahr Valley is striking and serene, soaring steep slopes covered with vineyards.

We see the river flowing gently, more like a strip. But everywhere there is evidence of its unpredictable power. In July, the water here swelled

suddenly, violently swallowing homes and businesses in just a few hours. Extreme rainfall devastated communities throughout this region of Europe,

killing more than 200 people. This video was taken from the top floor, Franziska Schnitzler's hotel and restaurant.

FRANZISKA SCHNITZLER, RESIDENT OF DERNAU, GERMANY: Here was the kitchen. The restaurant was there.

BLACK: Today, much of that centuries old building is gone. The damage was so great. It had to be torn down.

SCHNITZLER: A lot of people are selling their houses already. We do live with the climate change. And this is the result.

BLACK: Scientist later determined this rare flooding event was made more likely by climate change.

It's gone right through the floor.

LEA KREUZBERG, RESIDENT OF DERNAU, GERMANY: Yes. And then in the first floor. It was something like on my knees.

BLACK: Lea Kreuzberg is in no doubt. That terrifying night watching the water rise higher than anyone remembers has changed her to this day,

KREUZBERG: When it started raining a bit more, the emotion came up again and they start crying and don't feel so comfortable in this situations.

BLACK: You're scared of the rain.



BLACK: Lea's community is now grappling with how, where, if to rebuild, how to live by this river. Now the risks of climate change are already here.

KREUZBERG: Not just at the Ahr Valley, things happenings like this will take place on many different cities or countries because of the -- of the

climate change.

BLACK: The waters of Ahr Valley slow north through Germany and eventually into the Netherlands. A low lying country with centuries of experience,

building dikes, and holding back water.

HANS BROUWER, DUTCH MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND WATER MANAGEMENT: We know we are very formidable country. If we wouldn't protect ourselves by

dikes, then on a daily basis about half of the country can flood.

BLACK: Hans Brouwer says the Dutch have now also realized dikes alone aren't enough. Huge floods in the mid 90s, together with some of the

earliest warnings about climate change, inspired what was then revolutionary thinking. What if you could just let the rivers flood? Let

the water find its own space.

BROUWER: We believe that giving space to the river which means that you can accommodate more water without erasing level that then the damage can be

controlled much better.

BLACK: The result is called room for rivers, a vast long term project, reshaping the land to accommodate the extreme weather that comes with

climate change. Dikes have been lowered so land can flood more easily. Some are now permanently open, allowing water to take over. Transforming

farmland into lakes and marshes. Homes and businesses have been knocked down with only some rebuild on huge mounds designed to sit above the worst


When the water comes. It takes -- it takes the rest of the land --


BROUWER: It takes the rest of the land.

BLACK: The project has grown with greater understanding about the changing climate. But it's only possible through great selflessness. People have

given up their land to absorb flooding so Riverside towns and cities will be safe.

Oh, look like the water is right there.

LELIEVELD: Yes, yes.

BLACK: Anneke Van Lelieveld yo used to still live next to a neighbor's farm. That firm is now a lake and floodplain. Eembracing the project,

watching friends and neighbors leave hasn't been easy.

LELIEVELD: It's so complex.

BLACK: Because you know other people have made sacrifices.

LELIEVELD: Yes, yes. And I saw the tearsa and the cryings. And yes, it's blocked. It broke my heart, you know. And that's makes me emotional.

Because it's a deep impact. But I do it for the future, you know, for the young people.

BLACK: And she believes the Netherlands is setting an important example.

LELIEVELD: I'm proud that we give this area up for other people. The climate is changing, and we must, us community, us people all over the

world to do things to make a future for our children.

BLACK: This project shows preparing in advance for climate change is hugely challenging and often painful. But there are lessons in the flooding of Ahr

Valley too. Vulnerable communities risk even greater loss and trauma if they wait too long to adapt. Phil Black, CNN, Germany's Ahr River Valley.


ANDERSON: Well, there is a terrific amount of content Also join us for our first ever Call to Earth Day.

That is this Wednesday, November the 10th. CNN partnering with schools individuals and organizations around the world. All day to raise awareness

on environmental issues. CONNECT THE WORLD got a special show for you that day. Well there's much more to come tonight on the show.

Armed drones in Iraq have failed assassination attempt, now the fallout. Analysis coming up from Baghdad.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I want to get you back to our top story this evening. The attempted assassination of the

Iraqi Prime Minister on Sunday. Two drones carrying explosives, targeted his residence in Baghdad. You can see the damage here. No one has yet

claimed responsibility. The attempt comes after protests over last month's election results turned deadly last week.

One person was killed and dozens were injured in clashes with security forces. Parties representing militia backed by Iran are angry over the loss

of seats in Parliament. Now here's why this story matters. Iraq has become a setting for the proxy competition between Iran on the one hand and U.S.

back to our allied countries on the other. Further instability there just adds to the tensions here right as Iran and America are to get back to the

negotiating table over Tehran's nuclear program.

To help me unpick all of this. I'm joined by Louisa Loveluck. She's The Washington Post's Baghdad Bureau Chief. It's very good to have you. Thank

you very much indeed. The Iraqi prime minister, just hours after this failed attempt said he knew who tried to kill him, "We will pursue the

perpetrators of Sunday's crime, we know them very well. And we will expose them." Who are they, Louisa and why this brazen attack as it were now?

LOUISA LOVELUCK, WASHINGTON POST BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Well, I think if precedent is anything to go by, then this is certainly likely to be in the

work of -- one of the Iran-linked militias that you describe in Iraq. And, you know, I think it's very likely that the Prime Minister's Office does

have a very good idea of who to who did this. Now, around back militias as have other militias by Muqtada al-Sadr in recent months and years have also

been responsible for a host of other abuses.

The Prime has repeatedly vowed to go after them. And there have not been, as a particularly successful attempt that particularly because it would be,

I think, quite destabilizing for the government to do so. So while they say that they know who did it, and who know they're going to go after them.

That's not clear. Now, of course, this has been described as an assassination attempt. It's truly shocking, you know, we all woke up to

this incredibly loud explosion every Sunday and it really is unprecedented.

But when you talk to intelligence officials here, you know, it does seem that there may at least have been sort of a logic to this, you know, as you

say, this comes in the aftermath of a contested election. This comes at a time at a moment when, you know, politically -- political tensions are

incredibly high. These malicious supporters are out in the streets. And the intelligence officials that we've been speaking to are saying that this is

less of a -- an attempt to kill and no matter what look -- what it looks like.

And perhaps it's more of a calling card or more of a warning. You know, as the dust settles on these elections, the parties are vying in the

background to sort of divide up the government, divide up the -- sort of not hundreds of millions of dollars here. So I think that while it does

initially look like an attempt to directly assassinate, what this might have been more to do with is an attempt to say just say, listen, we're

here, we don't want to lose out and if you don't include this in the government, this is what we can do.

ANDERSON: Louisa, we're just losing you a little bit. The technology isn't great. It's not holding up brilliantly, but I'm going to persevere with

because I do think it's important just to add a layer in here.


ANDERSON: Earlier today Iran's foreign ministry said they haven't held direct talks with Saudi Arabia since September. Do you believe this latest

episode complicates? What are these delicate negotiations that the Iraqi prime minister, of course, was mediating, as it were? Those negotiations

between Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia on the other?

LOVELUCK: I'm going to think, as you say, you know, one of the important things here is that the Prime Minister himself has been very directly

involved in this. These talks have been very personalized around him when you talk to his team. And when you talk to people from across the political

spectrum, you know, they will say that these talks would not have got off the ground if it was not for extensive efforts by by him.

It's not just talks between Iran and Saudi and Iraq. We've also seen a host of regional governments who had not come back together in recent years.

Coming to Iraq on the Prime Minister's request. And I think, you know, his future lies in the balance. It has done as long as -- it will do as long as

there is government formation to be done. It's unclear if he'll come back. And it's certainly hard to say that these talks will continue or will be as

easy to facilitate if he doesn't come back.

ANDERSON: It's a pleasure talking to you. We'll have you back. Thank you very much. Indeed. Louisa Loveluck of the Washington Post is on the ground

in Baghdad. Thank you.

Well, meantime, Lebanon trying to get back to good relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Lebanese President Michel Aoun wants the Arab

League to help bring the two sides together. Saudi Arabia has been angry over remarks from Lebanon's Information Minister. Criticizing the kingdom's

involvement in the war in Yemen.

Israel rolling out any plans to reopen a U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to serve Palestinians that is despite months of pressure by the Biden

administration to reopen it, after former President Donald Trump shut it down in 2019. Here's the Israeli Prime Minister.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Our position is and it was presented very clearly and openly to our American friends that there's no

room for another American consulate in Jerusalem. We always present our position quietly without drama, and we expect it to be understood.


ANDERSON: Israeli officials proposed opening a consulate for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega appears to be well on his way to winning a fourth term in national elections that many are calling a sham and a

fraud. Nicaraguans were not really presented any legitimate options to Mr. Ortega in Sunday's vote because he has spent the past several months

detaining and disqualifying most of his political rivals. Country's Supreme Electoral Council says he has won 70 percent of the ballots counted so far.

CNN's Matt Rivers following the story. Joining us now live. You've got more on the detail here. Tell us.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. We're expecting more updates from the electoral council in Nicaragua around 2:00 p.m..

Eastern Time. But really anything that's being reported out of Nicaragua, it simply cannot be believed because these are sham elections. There's no

other way to describe them. The White House put out a statement last night attributed to President Biden where he said that what happened on Sunday

with this vote was "A pantomime election that was neither free nor fair and most certainly not Democratic."

And he also said that it is no different than the Somoza dictatorship that Daniel Ortega actually helped overthrow when he was a young revolutionary

several decades ago. We also heard from the European Council, who said in a statement, "The -- these elections deprive the people of Nicaragua of the

civil and political rights to vote in a credible, inclusive, fair, and transparent election."

And the reason why they are saying all of that, Becky, is because as you eluded in the intro since June, we have seen dozens of either would be

opposition presidential candidates, opposition leaders, journalists, activists, human rights activists, all kinds of different people have been

arrested by the regime using a vague National Security Law as justification. The obvious reason for their arrest all at the same time in

a coordinated campaign over several months is that the Ortega regime wanted to clear the ballot of any credible opposition because he is not a popular

figure in Nicaragua by any measure.

The people of Nicaragua, by and large don't really support Ortega in an overwhelming way. Certainly not 70 percent of them as these electoral

results would would call for. And so the Ortega regime took the drastic steps of basically clearing the opposition field. That is why you're

hearing anyone who has a objectively looking at these elections saying that these are sham and the results when they eventually come in will be



RIVERS: And one thing I will say, Becky, is, you know, gone are the days of protest against the regime that we saw in 2018. For example, there were

massive anti regime protests. There is a culture of fear in Nicaragua now where ordinary people can't go out on the street, and do what they used to.

But one form of protest that is still happening is not voting. We spoke to several people during the day yesterday, who said they're not going to vote

in elections that are essentially the coronation of a dictatorship.

And so that is their more quiet form of protest, Becky, that they're trying to, at least in that way, make their voices heard.

ANDERSON: And it will be really interesting to see how Washington responds whether there are sanctions for example is clearly, you know, a story and

an opportunity that the Americans keeping them very, very close eye on. Thank you.

Well, the 20-month pandemic travel ban finally lifted as the U.S. lays out a welcome mat once again for vaccinated foreign visitors but it comes as

Europe sees a dangerous new surge in COVID cases.


ANDERSON: Well, starting today, the United States is opening its doors once again to fully vaccinated international travelers. And a ban that has been

in effect since early 2020. Foreign air travelers ages two and older must also provide a negative COVID test taken within three days of their flights

departure. Now this will be a welcome change for families separated by the pandemic and a sign of hope for the added travel industry.

Though the easing of restrictions comes as COVID cases surge across much of Europe. The coronavirus infection rate has now hit a record high for

example in Germany with more than 15,500 new infections recorded in just 24 hours. Ccases in Russia, Ukraine Greece also soaring. With these

restrictions lifted, American officials warned tourists could face longer wait times at U.S. ports of entry and at airports.

Let's start with CNN's Richard Quest who reports from New York for you.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: These are the routes that keep the global economy moving. For more than 18 months they've been painfully

quiet. Back at the start of the COVID pandemic then President Donald Trump announced he was banning most travel into the United States. Few would have

predicted that ban would last for most of 2021 as well. Most travelers some from the United States closest allies barred from visiting.

For loved ones that means separated by borders, months of heartache. And for the airlines it's spelt financial disaster.


SEAN DOYLE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: We keep outlining the economic impact of staying closed and the human impact. So there's a lot of people haven't

been able to visit family in the U.S. They haven't been able to reunite. You know, both countries have huge amounts of foreign direct investment

going both ways. And that's going to be impacted by this impasse.

QUEST: As COVID levels (INAUDIBLE) flowed and vaccinations began to be rolled out. The U.S. position did not change much of the frustration of

European leaders. The travel ban seriously harms vital economic and human ties at a time when they're most needed. Tweeted the E.U. ambassador in

Washington. And Americans were able to travel overseas with some restrictions like vaccination, testings or quarantines.

I'm a U.K. citizen, so I could fly from New York to London on Jet blues inaugural trip, and it was packed. The return journey because I'm a green

card holder, I could travel. Not so.

Bbecause Brits even though it's fully vaccinated are not allowed into the United States. Well, this plane, it's about a quarter full.

All in all, all change on Monday, vaccinated travelers finally able to visit the land of the free. Separated families, a moment to cherish. And

for the global economy, a sign that things may be getting closer to normal. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Well, let's see how these restrictions, the lifting of these travel restrictions to the U.S. is impacting Europeans. CNN's Melissa Bell

is live in Paris. And you've been at shoulder goal today. What did you find?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Becky. You know, there's been a lot of frustrated Europeans these last few months

because as Richard was just telling us there, Americans could come here once the Europeans decided that they were changing their system from one

based on a epidemiological situation in a country to one based on vaccination status.

Now that that has finally happened the other way around, not just for Europeans, but for some 33 nationalities who from today are able to cross

that borders into the United States, a huge sense of relief. And you could sense it at Charles de Gaulle this morning.


BELL: For the first time in more than a year and a half the United States finally opening its borders to foreign vaccinated travelers. And what that

means this Monday morning here in Charles de Gaulle Airport here in Paris in the 2E terminal is a much busier terminal than I've seen in a long time.

And a lot more flights up on the boards to Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and some pretty excited travelers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are happy because of the weather especially. We can call it freedom. Yes. I hope it continues after because the -- we hesitated

about the, you know, the fourth wave was upcoming. And I don't know if the borders will be closed again one time.

HENRI DE PERIGNON, EXECUTIVE V.P., COMMERCIAL SALES AIR FRANCE-KLM: So we have very strong demand on the short term for November, for the Christmas

period. Before COVID. Transatlantic falls the good Air France KLM represented of 40 percent of the total long goal turnover.

BELL: But some of these passengers waiting at the gate to fly to New York are still getting used to the return to the skies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of strange as a feeling because it seems that's the whole thing, the whole COVID situation didn't happen at all.

Yes, just like a snap. It's strange, but it feels good.

BELL: This flight headed to New York is just one of the 15 Air France Flight due to go to the United States this Monday. But for all the

excitement here at Paris's main airport Charles de Gaulle, there is some fear that is going to take a while for the industry to get back to where it

was. Air France says that by March of next year, its traffic to the United States, will still only be 90 percent of what it was in 2019.

And yet the return to something like normality should be palpable on the other side of the Atlantic as well. This will be just one of 253 flights to

land either at JFK or Newark Liberty Airport this Monday.


BELL: Now of course, Becky that's going to make a massive difference to the American travel industry for start which has lost many hundreds of billions

of dollars over the course of the last 20 months since the pandemic really began to hit until those traffic travel restrictions really got into place.

But of course there is that question about how long this fairly carefree travel because emember, of course, you've got to be vaccinated to have a

negative PCR test in order to board those flights the United States. The question is how long that's going to ask because as you mentioned a moment

ago, you're very much at the center of the -- of the pandemic.


BELL: Once again according to the World Health Organization there is warning that there could be many more hundreds of thousands of deaths here

in Europe over the course of what we expect to be a bitter winter. So the question is, how long that easy and carefree travel will last, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. Melissa, thank you. Melissa Bell is in Paris for you. Coming up. The $20 billion question. The world's richest man asks

Twitter if he should sell a big chunk of his stock. More on that after this.


ANDERSON: Couple of weeks ago, we had the director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley on the show. And he made this call out to

billionaires around the world.


DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: And that the billionaires need to step up now on a one time basis, $6 billion to help 42

million people that are literally going to die if we don't reach it. It's not complicated. And this is what's heartbreaking. I'm not asking them to

do this every day, every week every year. We have a one time crisis, a perfect storm of conflict, climate change, and COVID. It's a one-time



ANDERSON: $6 billion to save 42 million people from starvation. Or less than two percent of Elon Musk's net worth. That's according to Bloomberg

Billionaires Index. In response, the world's richest man said if the WFP could describe exactly how $6 billion would solve world hunger he would

sell some of his Tesla stock. While Musk is at it again this week, this time asking his followers in a poll whether you should sell 10 percent of

said stock.

Well, the outset, resounding yes after 3-1/2 million votes at a price of about $1,200 per share. The sale would be worth about $20 billion. He

barely hinted it. His reasoning only saying that, "Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance." Let's pull this apart. So

a business reporter Paul La Monica joining me from Europe. Paul, we've already seen that. Elon Musk meet quite frankly full of hot air when

talking about selling Tesla shares.

So what is Elon Musk been saying and quite frankly, despite the fact that this poll that he ran on Twitter suggesting should, will he actually sell

his stock?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that, Becky, it's going to be very interesting to see what Musk actually does. This is of

course, a Twitter poll which is hardly something that is legally binding. But I think what's really of most interest here is that Elon Musk very well

likely would have sold or will sell shares next year because he has all of these options that will be coming ready to exercise that if he doesn't

exercise those options he, you know, loses out on a big chunk of wealth.


MONICA: Because as he correctly points out, his wealth is tied up in Tesla's stock, he doesn't get paid a salary or bonus or what have you. So

he sells some of these shares, there's going to be a tax bill regardless. So it's almost as if he is setting himself up to say, well, Twitter made me

do it when he was going to have to pay this big tax bill to the IRS anyway, if he exercise those options, which he'd be crazy to not do next year.

ANDERSON: Yes. This is absolutely fascinating. So Paul, how's the company's stock responded to the shareholders reacting to this poll at all?

MONICA: Yes, Tesla stock is down a little bit today while the broader market is once again, you're rallying towards record highs again, but we do

have to point out, Becky, that Tesla shares have had such phenomenal run as of late that a small drop in the price of Tesla shares today doesn't really

put much of a dent into the ginormous gains that Tesla has had this year and over the past couple of years. So it's a -- it's a tiny blip. But it is

a sell off on a day when the rest of the market is rallying.

ANDERSON: Let's just be quite clear then. We have seen some Democrats pushing for what's sort of loosely known as as a billionaire tax. A tax

effectively on unrealized gains which Musk mentioned in his tweet. So how ultimately would this cell be any different and what is tax bill be? Is it

-- is it clear?

MONICA: I think a lot of it's going to depend on how much he does sell. But given that his wealth is pretty much tied up in Tesla stock, and we're

talking about a man who now according to Bloomberg and Forbes is worth north of $300 billion based almost entirely on these shares. We're looking

at a probably multi billion dollar tax hit for someone who clearly can afford it. But you're right, Becky, this is obviously something that

impacts people like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg as well.

ANDERSON: With that, we'll leave it there. Thank you. Elon Musk, of course, has upset regulators for posting tweets before in particular. Those

affecting Tesla stock. I wonder whether he will find himself in hot water. It will be interesting to find out. Thank you. We will be back right after