Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Major win for U.S. President as Senate Passes Historic Bill; Kalmus Calls for Faster, Deeper Action on Climate Change; Ceasefire Holding Between Israel & Islamic Jihad; In the Trenches with Ukrainian Troops on Eastern Front; Muslims Shaken by Killings of Four Muslim Men in Albuquerque; Colombia's new President Faces Tough Challenges. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 08, 2022 - 11:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello, I'm Paula Newton live in New York in for Becky Anderson. Hello and a warm welcome to "Connect the


And we begin with a major legislative victory for U.S. President Joe Biden and his agenda. The massive Inflation Reduction Act don't judge us by the

name we'll explain later passing by a party line vote in the 50 to 50 Senate Sunday with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking that tie.


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The yeas are 50, the nays are 50. The Senate being equally divided the Vice President votes in the affirmative,

and the bill as amended is passed.


NEWTON: OK, the sweeping health care tax and crucially, climate bill includes about $370 billion to reduce carbon emissions. That's the largest

climate investment in U.S. history. Now it grants Medicare the right to lower certain prescription drug prices that's important to so many

Americans and also imposes a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on some of the country's largest corporations.

It now heads to the House where it is in fact expected to pass. President Biden could sign it into law as early as Friday. We have team coverage on

all this. Our Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir is in New York and CNN Politics Senior Reporter Stephen Collinson is in Washington. Bill to you

first, how significant is this legislation, especially given that it does fall short of what the White House originally had proposed?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: It does fall short Paula by that big sort of ambitious campaign trail policy castle that Joe Biden was

trying to build. But considering that it was almost in ruins entirely, it just completely dead. And a lot of the climate provisions in the original

concept survived.

So optimistic Democrats and climate folks are exuberant this morning to think that this could actually get on the President's desk by after so many

years of inaction, and so much time lost, especially under the Trump years as well.

But really the driver of this new package, it's a lot of juicy carrots to stimulate both consumers and investors, entrepreneurs industries, that

given the sort of tiered tax incentives. But one of the victims of this is you're looking at footage of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up in

Alaska, in order to get this past Joe Manchin from the cold state.

He has fossil fuel interests that he is loyal to. They had to stipulate that they not only wouldn't protect places like Anwar, up there, much to

the chagrin of local communities who have been fighting to protect it for so long. But they mandated new drilling leases in the Cook Inlet in Alaska,

some in the Gulf of Mexico.

And they also basically stipulated that in order to develop clean energy on federal land, you must first lease the oil and gas companies for the next

decade. That is giving some folks a lot of heartburn. But it shouldn't be enough in the House to kill it, considering they're this close to really

the most seismic climate legislation in the history of the country.

NEWTON: Yes, and you wonder if they do go back to the drawing board or what they'd get out of that? Anyway, given this is on the table. Bill thanks so

much for parsing that for us. And now we go to Stephen Collinson.

And Stephen, you know, you argue that this bill and other Biden victories could change America, yet he may not get the credit. I was interested to

see that Biden tweeted at Obama in the last few days about Obamacare. I mean, think about that. Only now do Americans from both parties understand

the profound effects of that legislation? How do you think the White House can turn this into a win politically in the next few weeks and months?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think in the short term politically, they can use it to show momentum for a presidency that has

been beleaguered for much of the last year. If you stress the climate change provisions, you've got a good chance of getting younger voters out a

core democratic constituency that was showing some frustration with the Biden Administration.

And those provisions that make it cheaper for seniors to buy certain baskets of prescription drugs that could get another important voting

constituency to see out the older voters. But you're right, and I think this bill shows us how American politics works, especially in a deeply

divided country.

Passing massive bills, like Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson might have passed in previous eras is very, very difficult. Change in America has

always come politically, incrementally. You have to build on administration and on administration that's what this bill does and extending the

subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.


COLLINSON: The core domestic policy achievement of President Obama, it cements that law makes it more part of American life. And a future

president might come along and do more reforms, perhaps add more prescription drugs, to the Medicare, you know, negotiations for getting

drugs more accessible to older people.

But it's step by step by step. Often, it's too small to appease the progressives who have much bigger dreams. But this is the way it works in

the United States.

NEWTON: You know so many people even are giving the President for being, you know, a wily player in all of this, given his experience. And yet, how

do you think this will impact the midterms? And give us some insight as well into this debate that is going on at this moment about whether or not

Joe Biden just takes a victory lap in these four years and doesn't run in 2024? Does, even if he is successful legislatively?

COLLINSON: So earlier this year, Democrats were facing a really, really grim political environment. I think a number of things have changed over

the last few months, that have made that a little bit easier going into the midterm elections in November.

This bill, which shows that the presidency and the Democratic majorities in Washington can get things done that's part of it that could help get turned

up out in the midterm elections. The Supreme Court's overturning of the constitutional right to an abortion.

That is another thing that could activate Democrats to get to the polls, in elections in which historically, first time presidents usually get a rebuke

from the voters. So there are things another one is the recent mass shootings, Democrats managed to pass some incremental gun reforms. So

they're in a better position than they were earlier this year.

They've got more to show for it. The question is, if the big issue of this election is inflation, which has been running at 40 year highs, this bill

in the short term really isn't going to change that much. It could even annoy voters.

Republicans are trying to play into that to say Democrats are passing yet more multibillion dollar spending bills when more Americans are struggling

to pay for groceries. So you know that could backfire on them perhaps a little bit.

In terms of the age question, President Biden will be 81 at a time when he's running for re-election, however successful he is now and in the next

two years. I think the age question is going to be there whatever happens and it's something that's not going away, it's just a, you know, a fact of

life for the President.

Certainly, if his presidency is seem to be doing well; it may defuse that question a little bit. But I think it's going to be at the centerpiece of

the campaign of whatever Republican runs against them.

NEWTON: Yes, and we will wait to see that all that battle was obviously heat up after the midterms as we await also Joe Biden in Kentucky today,

looking at those epic floods and the survivors from that. Stephen Collinson as always, thanks so much appreciate it.

Now, the need to combat the climate crisis could not be more urgent. This summer, the U.S. has been seen punishing heat waves and deadly floods. You

see him there, which scientists say are both linked to a warming planet.

Globally meantime, though, 2022 saw one of the three warmest July's ever think about that? Europe experienced record heat, low rainfall and a drop

in food production. My next guest is the NASA Climate Scientists, he tweeted this "No matter what climate bills pass, keep pushing hard for

faster, deeper climate action. We are already in dangerous territory at the current 1.3 degrees Celsius. And it gets worse very quickly from here".

That is from Peter Kalmus. He is a Data Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He uses satellite data; right the facts and models to study the

rapidly changing Earth. And he's pushing for collective action against climate change through countless articles, a book, yes, and even an app and

I noticed the documentary as well.

He joins me live from South Haven, Michigan. You've been incredibly busy. And now you are looking at this piece of legislation and the impact it

could have. So give us the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm going to start with a good right?

So you point out this does a lot of things including incentivize a green economy. And I do want to point out one of the things that you highlight

that it does put a fee on methane leaks, which are significant contributor right to climate pollution?

PETER KALMUS, NASA CLIMATE SCIENTIST: Yes, so I should say I'm speaking on my own behalf. But yes, I think this bill does a lot of the sort of obvious

things that you would want climate legislation to do.

So the rooftop solar, the induction stoves, the electric vehicles, and yet, you know, dealing with some of the methane leaks, which have been, you

know, kind of an awful thing that I don't think the public has really fully understood that a lot of the natural gas just leaks right into the

atmosphere where it's much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

NEWTON: In terms of how you looked at this sir when you also saw it in terms of the details did you say to yourself this moves the needle to what

I've been fighting for, for so long?


KALMUS: I don't think so. So I've been trying to get everyone to understand that this is a genuine emergency. And we have to switch into emergency

mode. You know, physics bats last, you really can't fool the laws of physics, it's to me, it's not about progressive politics or anything, it's

just about, we are changing the energy balance of the entire planet, it's heating up, it's overheating, we're at 1.3 degrees Celsius hotter than we

should be.

And we're getting these crazy fires and floods. And like you said, agricultural impacts, sea level rise, and it's all happening at the same

time. And they're like; each of these disasters is like a gut punch to civilization. And they're getting more frequent, and they're getting

stronger. So this is a genuine emergency.

I'm glad that we're starting to pass some bills. We're starting to have a real discussion about this. That's critical. But at the same time, 80

percent of this global heating is from fossil fuels. Most of the rest of it's from animal agriculture, but we have to ramp those two things down in

order to deal with this.

One big problem with this bill is its expanding green energy, which is good, but it's also expanding the fossil fuel industry. So it's sort of

like trying to drive your car with both the accelerator on and the brakes on at the same time.

NEWTON: And I want to get to that point, which we'll call the ugly of this legislation and some of the headlines from this from what Joe Manchin

extracted from this? And remember, he was one of the holdout Senators.

You know, the headline reads Exxon CEO loves what Manchin did for big oil in this $370 billion deal. I mean, explain that to us, in terms of what it

does to codify the future of fossil fuels in the United States?

KALMUS: Yes, that's exactly right. So the fossil fuel industry loves this bill, because not only does it not start to ramp them down, which is what

we have to do. That's if you take one point away from this whole discussion, that is it, we have to start reining in ramping down the fossil

fuel industry, the faster we transition, the more we save on this planet, the more lies we save.

And these impacts are irreversible. I want everyone to know that too. So if the fossil fuel industry likes this bill, it's because not only does it

fail to ramp them down, it actually ensures that they can continue expanding, like the pipeline in Virginia, the what is it called - Valley


Huge new guarantees for lease sales so it actually doubles the amount of lease sales on public land from the average over the last decade, it hugely

sales offshore so 600 million new acres total offshore over 10 years, which is like four times the entire Gulf continental shelf.

So it's just like an - it's a huge guarantee to expand to make it easier to green light fossil fuel projects. And I also want everyone to know that

there's an extremely clear scientific consensus that we have to have a moratorium on all new fossil fuel expansion, right now.

So basically, by 2025, we have to stop all build out it has to peak, global greenhouse gas emissions have to peak in order to have basically a 5050

chance of staying under two degrees Celsius of mean global heating, which I think will just be - I don't have other words for this just disastrous,

catastrophic, potentially destabilizing to civilization as we know it. It's just going to be absolutely brutal, especially in the global south at two

degrees Celsius of global heating.

NEWTON: Yes, it's funny that what used to be hyperbole, we can all feel. I mean, we're sitting in heat advisories, we see the severe storms, we see

floods, we see droughts, and it's happening right now. So now the argument is that your argument is that this is going to be a cascade effect. The

other thing that you point out about this legislation, though, and why it doesn't go far enough and of course, this is just the United States, right?

Never mind other polluters, like China or Europe.

You're saying that, in fact, in terms of how much money he commits, its minuscule you compare it to the military budget. In fact, we could also

even compare it to NASA's budget. I mean, given this was such an uphill struggle, am you optimistic that anything more would be done?

KALMUS: You know I am actually because the climate movement is getting stronger. The public is starting to live through these disasters. I think

it's starting to move up to a higher level of public urgency, which is what we all need to push for.

So once we see that this is genuinely a life or death, emergency. We stopped with the word games, right, like Joe Biden saying this is an

existential crisis. It really is an existential crisis. I mean, you know, for example, this could be potentially the reason why we haven't got heard

from other life in the universe, right?

That's one sort of hypothesis for that, right is that civilizations get to this point, they burn through fossil fuel like this and then they have a

big problems like we're starting to see.


KALMUS: So it's genuinely existential. And yes, we're, this bill is if you annualize what we're spending, it's about four and a half percent of the

U.S. military budget.

One thing that gives me hope is that as we start pushing harder and harder, and we actually start taking this really seriously, and we start, I mean,

imagine if this really does reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, which I'm a little skeptical about.

But if it does that, at four and a half percent of the U.S. military budget, just imagine what we could do if we really wanted to, we could stop

global heating and climate breakdown in its tracks if it was a big priority for our society.

NEWTON: Yes, and I'm sure many of our viewers are be interested to hear your optimism. And we get your point, right; you called it genuinely

existential, we see that now all around us. Thanks so much, really appreciate your perspective.

KALMUS: Yes. Thank you for having me.

NEWTON: Now, as we've been saying all of this happening in the U.S., as the U.S. braces for more extreme weather, and another week of flooding as

possible across many of the same areas that have already been hit.

And right now, just at this moment, millions of Americans are under heat alerts. And that heat index expected to top 37 degrees in several cities

right across the United States.

Meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking it all for us. As you always do, Chad, I mean, the extremes here, they're kind of hard for me to even compute,

even though I'm sitting in it right now in New York City.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. And, you know, we've had a very extreme summer in the U.S., maybe not so much parts of Atlantic Canada, and

the northeast part of Canada. But the U.S. has been settled under this big dome of high pressure, and it just won't go away.

It's a similar dome than the one that we had in Europe that made the temperatures in the middle 40s into parts of France, the same kind of dome

that's in China, and has been temperatures eight to 10 degrees above where we should be.

When the air is warm, it can hold more humidity, what's going to happen when that humidity falls out, it's going to make flooding, significant

flooding into parts of the eastern part of Kentucky in the state there in part of USA.

Temperatures across parts of the West are still in the 40s; heat indexes are going to be 45 in some spots. I can't imagine what that's going to feel

like you walk outside and it feels like you just got to hit by a warm swimming pool.

Russell, Kansas got the 41.6 heat index across the major metropolitan areas of the Northeast today. And you know we get hot in the middle part of the

country. But that's the breadbasket.

There are many more corn plants than people. But when you put big time heat across the areas here that require so much air conditioning run through the

air - run through electricity, that's when you really start to put pressure on the utility companies back out to the West more heat in the Pacific


They don't usually like this at all. Not very many people that well, maybe 40 percent, maybe a little bit less in Seattle have air conditioning;

they're going to be 31 with the heat index today about 36. Paula.

NEWTON: A high Monday, 39 degrees in Boise. Yes, Chad incredible, thanks so much for connecting the dots there on the planet on the different

continents as well though, too. I mean, think about that.

The heat dome is everywhere. Chad, I appreciate it.

MYERS: You're welcome.

NEWTON: Now you are watching "Connect the World" live today from New York City. Still ahead for us a ceasefire holding after a flurry of weekend

attacks left dozens dead in Gaza.

What Israel and Islamic Jihad are both saying today with the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East? And the world is watching what's

happening at this nuclear power plant. I'll explain why, a little late.



NEWTON: Desperately needed supplies are finally arriving in Gaza, thanks to a truce holding steady at this hour between Israel and Islamic Jihad. Now a

fuel truck entered Gaza today after weekend attacks and counter attacks that began with what Israel calls preemptive strikes against militant

targets in Gaza.

As Hadas Gold tells us, the violence left dozens dead in Gaza and both sides claiming in fact that they had achieved their goals.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For nearly two and a half days, Israeli airstrikes and Islamic Jihad rockets shattered the common Gaza in

southern Israel. The conflict starting Friday when Israel preemptively struck Islamic Jihad targets attacking what it said were concrete threats

for militants.

Shortly after the sirens began to wail in Israel, and the Iron Dome aerial defense system began its work intercepting nearly all the incoming rocket

fire. In Gaza, though there are no sirens, the Ministry of Health there saying 44 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the weekend


15 of them children, including five year old Alaa Qaduom, killed in one of Israel's opening salvos.

Israel insists nearly all those killed and their airstrikes were militants and released video it said showed that an explosion in Jabalia, in which

four children were among seven killed was caused by a failed rocket launch by militants.

By Sunday night Islamic Jihad launched more than one thousand rockets and Israel had struck more than 140 targets in Gaza, as eviction mediators

managed to broker a ceasefire, but not before a final volley of airstrikes and rockets both sides as usual, declaring victory.

Israel highlighting the deaths of two militant commanders saying it had wiped out the top security brass of the Islamic Jihad. While the militant

group said they confronted the Israeli aggression with strength.

ZIYAD AL-NAKHALAH, ISLAMIC JIHAD IN PALESTINE: Today after the clashes stopped and the fire stopped, we saw a clear scene, the Islamic Jihad

movement is still strong and stable and even more powerful.

GOLD (voice over): The ceasefire coming just in time, the already precarious humanitarian situation in Gaza reaching a near breaking point.

And border closures meant the enclaves only power station had run out of fuel, causing massive electricity shortages.

But by Monday, the trucks were rolling into Gaza again, the fragile normalcy or what passes for it returning. Hadas Gold, CNN along the Israeli

Gaza border.


NEWTON: Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman joins us now from Gaza. And Ben, it is really good to have you there on the ground for us.

Give us a sense on the humanitarian situation; do we expect relief in the coming hours if not days then?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, relief has already come Paula, more fuel has arrived, been allowed through the Karm

Abu Salem crossing. And so for instance, the electricity basically went out went down to two hours a day, Saturday, midday, but now it's up to four

hours a day. So there is an improvement.

And if you drove around Gaza City, life is getting very quickly back to normal. Let's keep in mind, the people here are accustomed in a very weary

tired way to quickly returning to normal life after these conflicts, and there's a resignation that this is over.

But the basic causes to this conflict still exist. Gaza has been under an Israeli/ Egyptian blockade of certainly the Israeli blockade for the last

15 years. There are no efforts underway to solve this long running conflict.

And I mean, for instance, one I went to the house of one man that was destroyed on Saturday in an Israeli airstrike. And there were people from

an NGO coming showing wind up with boxes of food and supplies. And he said yes, we appreciate this, but how am I going to rebuild my house? How am I

going to rebuild my life?


WEDEMAN: And the worry is that this cycle has come to an end. There will be another cycle of this back and forth between Gaza and Israel, perhaps in

the year perhaps two, perhaps three, but it's inevitable. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, at this point, the most recent misery you described think about it has lasted nearly a generation. Ben, I want to talk to you about

the political situation on the ground there. Hamas did not really get involved in this.

Just help us understand why that happened, and what the implications are now for that going forward.

WEDEMAN: Well the Israeli's made it very clear from the start of this operation, if you can call it that that their target was Islamic Jihad. It

started actually, last week, a week ago, when the Israelis arrested their senior field commander from Islamic Jihad Bassam al-Saadi in the northern

West Bank, city of Jeanine.

And since then the Israelis have pinpointed by enlarge, Islamic Jihad targets and stayed away from Hamas. Hamas has rhetorically supported

Islamic Jihad in this current round, but actually, it hasn't done anything to help them.

Keep in mind that Gaza is, the Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million people. Hamas is the de facto ruling power here. And they cannot afford to

go through what they went through in May of 2021 and 11 day, very destructive, very bloody war with Israel.

They in a sense have had to try to rebuild from and they clearly didn't want to get into that again. And keep in mind that after the May 2021 war,

Israel did ease some of the restrictions on the current blockade of Gaza.

One of them is they were allowing more Palestinian workers into Israel. Until June of this year 10,000 workers were being allowed into Israel, it

was up to around 12,000. It was up to 14,000 in June that sounds like a small number.

But keep in mind, every worker who goes in probably has a large family. So it's important for Hamas to show that, despite everything live the quality

of life is perhaps improving ever so slightly under their rule, or perhaps not deteriorating quite so quickly, Paula?

NEWTON: Well, that certainly gives us some insight into the political considerations there on the ground. Ben will look forward to your reporting

in the coming hours and days, appreciate it. They're live for us from Gaza City.

And you're watching "Connect the World" live from New York. Still ahead for us from the frontlines of the battlefield in Ukraine, the families ripped

apart fleeing for their lives.

We'll look at the often unseen and unspoken mental toll of war. Plus, China extends military drills around Taiwan for an extra day. But the U.S. and

Taiwan are saying now about China's massive show force.



NEWTON: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton live in New York. Ukraine and Russia are trading blame for weekend attacks around Europe's largest

nuclear power plant. Now the UN Chief describing rocket fire around the Russian held Zaporizhzhia complex as "suicidal" in his words, take a



ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. And I hope that those attacks will end. And at the same

time, I hope that the IAEA will be able to have access to the plant and to exercise its mandates competencies.


NEWTON: So meantime, the Ukrainian ambassador to the IAEA nuclear watchdog is calling for an international mission to that plant which occupies an

extensive site on the river Dnipro in southeastern Ukraine, you see them up there Kyiv is warning of catastrophic consequences if anything were to

happen there, so there's plenty of anxiety obviously or the potential for an accident there.

Senior International Correspondent David McKenzie is standing by live for us from the Capitol Kyiv. And David, this goes back and forth, right?

The Ukrainians when the Russians, the Russians, when the Ukrainian, are we any closer, in fact, given this as an active frontline to having won a

visit from UN officials? And to, you know a zone which is free from military conflict given what's at stake here?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's very highly unlikely Paul that there'll be a zone free of conflict that is

right in one of the most highly contested parts of this war here in Ukraine, in the Zaporizhzhia area in the southeast of the country.

Now that plant, as you described is a sprawling complex. On the other side of the river, there are Ukrainian military positions and inside the nuclear

complex are Russian soldiers.

They've been there since the beginning of March, where they took over that nuclear site. And where they oversee will occupy the nucleolus site where

Ukrainians are working.

Now both sides have blamed the other for what is agreed upon, which is shelling of some kind at that site. A short time ago, the Head of the

nuclear agency company here in Ukraine saying it came within several meters of spent fuel depots, which indicates the very severe risk that is

happening here at the Europe's biggest nuclear power station.

Over the weekend, you have the Head of the IAEA, the Atomic Energy Agency of the UN saying there's a real chance of a nuclear disaster saying they

want to access a site with their inspectors.

There has been a call from Ukrainian officials today, of course, to demilitarize that zone and get those soldiers out of there to at the very

least limit the chances of what could be a horrible disaster for Ukraine and for the wider region. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, a wider region as he said suicidal, it's an existential threat. OK, David McKenzie, we'll leave it there for now. Thanks so much.

Now some of the world's most brutal fighting has centered on Eastern Ukraine's Donbas region.

Russian forces there have made halting gains, but they've been slowed down by heavily dug in Ukrainian troops. CNN's Nic Robertson went to the front

lines to speak with some of those soldiers who are in those trenches.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Deep in the woods and Ukraine's eastern front, troops dig in. Trenches here are


OLEG, UKRAINIAN FIGHTER: We're put here were fighting fierce. We took our portion of shalom here and somehow commerce was injured.

ROBERTSON (voice over): The faces of the troops here tell a story that words cannot. This is tough duty. Five days at the front 10 days resting

here nearby, they joke about living like hobbits underground, away from the shelling.

ROBERTSON (on camera): When Ukrainian officials talk about the high Mars rocket system and the M777 artillery helping hold their line, these are the

lines they're talking about.


ROBERTSON (voice over): And these are the soldiers with the hard fight to make sure it does hold. He says, we hold the line, it's humid, it rains,

shells hit us all the time. But we hold the defense there is no other way.

Of course the shelling gets on your mind - tells me, his buddy Vitaly adding, but you get used to it. Both set on victory they say to get to the

very front line, we crossfield littered with Russian rockets.

ROBERTSON (on camera): All these trees here they're telling us were taken out by shelling.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Conditions here, very Spartan. The Russians are less than a mile away. Days here when troops can't leave their bunkers,

Russia out guns them five times.

ROBERTSON (on camera): This is where the next phase of the war will be won or lost in trenches like this that stretch for hundreds of miles. Troops

like this holding the line against the possible Russian advance.

ROBERTSON (voice over): We manage the officer says, we've come here to stop the enemy. We just take it, sit it out and keep on fighting.

An incoming shell punctuates his thought. More weapons, more armor, he says and it could be us advancing. Nic Robertson, CNN at Ukraine's eastern



NEWTON: So meantime, two more ships loaded with agricultural products are sailing from Ukraine. Kyiv says the Sikora and the Arizona are carrying

60,000 tons of corn and soybeans to international markets.

That makes a total of 12 ships now that have sailed from Black sea ports since last week, under a deal with Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain

exports to try and avert a global food crisis.

Coming up for us after the break, China doubles down and extends its military drills near Taiwan. While Taiwan's foreign minister says the whole

world should be concerned about this extraordinary show force. Plus an historic moment for Colombia as the country inaugurates its first leftist

President and first Afro Colombian vice president.


NEWTON: China has kept its military exercises near Taiwan going a day after they were scheduled to in fact end today. Taiwan's defense ministry says 39

Chinese warplanes and 13 Chinese vessels were detected operating around the Taiwan Strait.

The massive show of force comes after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is controversial visit to Taipei last week. And here's what the U.S. President

had to say about the situation just a short time ago, listen.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm not worried, but I'm concerned that they're moving as much as they are. But I don't think

they're going to do anything more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it was a wise move of the speaker to go to Taiwan right now?

BIDEN: That was her decision, thank you.


NEWTON: OK, so CNN's Will Ripley spoke to Taiwan's Foreign Minister meantime, who says despite Beijing's increasingly threatening behavior,

Taiwan won't be intimidated.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Taiwan was lighting up landmarks for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi China was

lighting up the skies and seas around the self-governing democracy, a democracy in danger of a Chinese takeover, if Beijing's communist rulers

get their way.

Pelosi was in Taiwan, less than 24 hours leaving behind a crisis, some say she helped create.

RIPLEY (on camera): Was there any concern here in Taipei about the timing of this and whether it might provoke some sort of reaction from China?

JOSEPH WU, TAIWAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER: We knew that China always reacted badly. Whenever we have good friends coming to visit us, the Chinese

government cannot dictate who can come and who cannot come. And they cannot dictate Taiwan, who can be our friends or who we should make friends with.

RIPLEY (on camera): But what if China goes further as a result of this visit or using this visit as an excuse to the benefits outweighs the risks

for Taiwan?

WU: One is what China is doing is unwarranted. And what it is doing is upsetting the peace and stability in the western Pacific and it's something

that should not be welcomed by the international community.

RIPLEY (voice over): Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tells CNN, China's war games are aimed at isolating this island. Pelosi is the most powerful

politician to visit in 25 years.

RIPLEY (on camera): Is Taiwan and more dangerous today than it was before Nancy Pelosi's visit?

WU: China has always been threatening Taiwan for years. And it's getting more serious in the last few years. And it's always been that way. Whether

Speaker Pelosi visit Taiwan or not, the Chinese military threat against Taiwan has always been there.

RIPLEY (on camera): What do you believe China's motivation is and do you think that their timeline has changed?

WU: China's motivation, as I said a little bit earlier, it's not going to end a Taiwan. They claim East China Sea, they claim South China Sea, they

work very hard to go into the Pacific. Their influence in South Asia and Africa, even in Latin America is unprecedented these days, and therefore it

has a global ambition.

RIPLEY (voice over): Ambition driven by China's most powerful leader since Mao, Xi Jinping on track to become president for life with a burning desire

to unify with Taiwan by force if necessary.

RIPLEY (on camera): Has Taiwan's democratic system ever been in more danger than it is today?

WU: I can tell you that Taiwan is more resilient than before. Look at Taiwan these days. You know, China is trying to impose trade sanctions

against Taiwan trying to attack Taiwan from monetary or non-monetary aspect. But the way goes; the life goes on here in Taiwan.

RIPLEY (on camera): Should people in Taiwan be more worrying?

WU: If you ask me, I worry a little bit.

RIPLEY (on camera): What do you worry about?

WU: I worry that China may really launch a war against Taiwan. But what it is doing right now is trying to scare us in the best way to deal with it to

show to China that we are not scared.

RIPLEY (voice over): He calls China's military threat more serious than ever. Taiwan's warning to the world. The danger does not stop here. Will

Ripley, CNN Taipei.


NEWTON: And I want to bring you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. 80,000 tourists are trapped in the city of Sanya as

China's tropical Hainan Island.

A COVID outbreak there has infected more than 1200 people, that's a lot and Saturday the local government locked down the entire city of a million

people. Tourists who wanted to leave will have to show five negative COVID tests within seven days.

A London museum says it will return its famous brass plaques known as the beneath bronzes to Nigeria along with dozens of other artifacts. The

Horniman museum says the items were forcibly removed from Nigeria's bidding city during Britain's military incursion in the late Victorian era.

Museum officials in Nigeria say they welcome the decision. Kenyans are getting ready to head to the polls for general elections Tuesday. Here you

see election officials making final preparations like these solar powered lights to use in polling stations without electricity.

Voters will be picking the next president, Parliament assemblies and county governors. Authorities in the U.S. State of New Mexico are carrying out an

urgent search for a killer.

Four men now almost them shot and killed since November, three of them in the past two weeks. The spokesman at a mosque in Albuquerque tells CNN one

of the men attended a funeral for two of the victims Friday and became a victim himself just hours later. CNN's Ed Lavandera tells us the latest

from Albuquerque.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The murders of four Muslim men here are sending shock waves of fear and panic throughout the

Muslim community here in Albuquerque. It's a small community, three to 4000 people we are told.

But because of that, it is tight knit that four victims were well known here at this mosque. In fact, the latest victim who was killed Friday night

came here to the mosque just after the funeral services for the second and third victims.

He had been talking to people here expressing concern about what was happening, this feeling that Muslims were being targeted here in

Albuquerque. And then it turns out just a few hours later, he himself would be gunned down here on the streets of Albuquerque.

Investigators have released the picture of a Volkswagen Jetta or Prassat, it's great in color. They say that this picture, the person driving the car

is someone that they want to speak with.

Right now they're saying that this is the best possible clue that they have to be able to find who might be behind this attack. But officials here are

saying they believe all four of these murders are connected. But exactly what the motive behind it is, isn't exactly clear, but doesn't really

matter at this point.

The fact that four men, all Muslims appear to have been targeted for simply being Muslim thing is the predominant fear that so many people have here

right now. And that is why they're paying such close attention to how this is all unfolding here. Ed Lavandera CNN Albuquerque, New Mexico.

NEWTON: Now the mayor of Albuquerque meantime says the killing of the former Salman is driven by hate. And we also heard from the president of

one Islamic group about the fear all this is causing for the local Muslim community, listen.


AHMAD ASSED, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC CENTER OF NEW MEXICO: Incredibly terrified, panicked. Some people want to move from the state till this thing is over.

Some people have moved from the state businesses are closing they're closing businesses early. Students won't leave their homes. People are not

its affecting people from coming over to the mosque, to conduct their services, their prayers.

So in every aspect of daily life that we're used to or accustomed to, to following it's been its impacted it in every way possible.


NEWTON: Ahead for us and historic moment for Colombia as the country inaugurate its first leftist president. Coming up, a look at the challenges

facing, Gustavo Petro as he launches an ambitious agenda to transform that country.


NEWTON: The war on drugs has failed. That's the message Colombia's new president sent in his inauguration speech. Gustavo Petro was sworn in

Sunday you see him there becoming the country's first a leftist president and he's pledging to tackle a long list of challenges.

Colombia is not the only South American country starting to lean left. Today's leftist President Gabrielle Borge was just sworn in earlier this

year. And in fact, she's giving a press conference at this hour alongside Mr. Petro. You see that happening right now.

Stefano Pozzebon is watching it all from Bogota and he joins us now with a closer look. And it is good to have you there on the ground for us, a

watershed moment in Colombian politics to be sure.


NEWTON: But we just discussed right there are challenges given the economic adversity, how does he plan to tackle all of this and what's first on the


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes, Paula, Petro really laid out an overhang capacity, an agenda that he wants to achieve in his first four

years, in his four years term as president. Just tomorrow, we hear Paula that the new president will present a new fiscal reform to Congress in

order to find and sell better social spending programs, and better benefits for the millions of Colombians who are most affected by the economy

situation who still live below the poverty line.

But just as you said in his speech yesterday, he laid out he said that he wants to move on from the war on drugs, which he says is key to reduce the

violence in this country.


POZZEBON (voice over): Gustavo Petro says he's on a mission to transform Colombia.

GUSTAVO PETRO, COLUMBIAN PRESIDENT: Today starts our second opportunity, it is time for change.

POZZEBON (voice over): The new president will be tackling tough challenges. Six years after historic treaty promised to bring peace to this country.

Its implementation has been elusive, and the security situation is deteriorating.

Hundreds of social leaders have been assassinated, some of them former fighters who abandoned armed struggle as part of that treaty, like the

husband of Luz Marina Giraldo, a former Griya who fought in the jungle with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. She is now a

politician, part of a political party that rebels founded after putting down their weapons.

She urges the new president himself a former rebel, to do more to reduce political violence and protect former fighters.

LUZ MARINA GIRALDO, COLOMBIAN POLITICIAN & FORMER FARC FIGHTER: I've been into campaigns, the first one in 2019 they killed my husband now, and this

is the first time I'm saying it. My brother has disappeared. He vanished in February a few weeks before the election, and to this date we know nothing

of him.

POZZEBON (voice over): Giraldo says the attacks come from criminal groups who oppose the peace deal, and intend to scare her away from political

activity. Last year, the Colombian army arrested a rebel who reneged the agreement and returned to armed struggle, accusing him of being the

mastermind behind the plot to kill Geraldo's husband.

To tackle security, Petro has appointed a civilian anti-corruption lawyer as defense minister. But the new president has said that halting the war on

drugs is key to ending the violence.

Colombia is one of the largest producers of narcotics in the world, and for 30 years has waged a brutal campaign against the cartels, a campaign

financed in part by the United States to little effect.

On Friday, a bill was presented to Congress to legalize recreational marijuana. The bill supporters say it's a possible new step towards ending

the war on drugs. GUSTAVO BOLIVAR, COLUMBIAN SENATOR: Prohibition ism has been a resounding defeat. There are more drugs around now than when Pablo

Escobar was alive, more consumers more production despite thousands of deaths.

The only way to guarantee peace to this country is regulation. Not just a marijuana, but of all drugs.

POZZEBON (voice over): To regulate the consumption of hard drugs like cocaine, Columbia would have to renegotiate international treaties. But for

a country that is constantly associated with narcotics, some experts say even legalizing marijuana could be a first move in changing Colombia's


LUIS MERCHAN, CEO, FLORA GROWTH: I've been in business for a number of decades now. And you know when somebody learns that I'm from Colombia, you

always get that we're looking about the war on drugs, for that to turn into actually a source of pride, yes, when I go to Colombia, because I want to

experience the plant there.


POZZEBON: And Paula, this is one for the history nerds. The ceremony yesterday was delayed several minutes because the new president demanded

that this word of South America's independence hero Simon Bolivar was brought to him on stage as he laid out his speech and his ambitious agenda,

assigned perhaps that things are really going to change over the next four years here, Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, Stefano, you are guilty as charged. As I know you are a history nerd and you should wear that proudly. In the meantime, though, we

don't have a lot of time left. But in the time that you do have left, how do you expect this to affect U.S. Columbia relations?

Oh, unfortunately, I think we have lost Stefano there. Just too bad, I was really looking forward to his historical perspective on that, a reminder

there as Stefano's piece talked about the war of drugs being over.

This will have to obviously usher in a new era of relations with the United States. And we will wait to hear more from the new Colombian leadership

about that.


NEWTON: In the meantime, I want to thank you for joining us. That was "Connect the World". I'm Paula Newton live in New York, but don't go

anywhere. "One World" with Zain Asher is up next.