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Connect the World
Protestors Storm Bagdad's Republican Palace; IAEA Chief: Inspectors to Visit Zaporizhzhia Later This Week; Sources: Ukraine "Shaping" Battlefield for Counteroffensive; Artemis I Launch Scrubbed Following Engine Issue; Pakistan Call for Global Aid as Floods Impact Millions; Just Stop Oil Campaigns UK Stop Licensing Fossil Fuels. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 29, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome back. This is "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos in for my colleague Becky Anderson.
Now we are keeping a close eye on fast moving developments in Iraq.
You can hear loud bangs filling the air as Baghdad's green zone the heavily fortified Government Center is filled with protesters who have stormed the
Republican Palace. The palace is where Iraq's Prime Minister and his cabinet meet.
Now all meetings are on hold and the Military has issued a full curfew in place until further notice. The chaos comes after the powerful Shia Cleric
Moqtada Al Sadr announced that he was leaving politics for good.
CNN's Nada Bashir is monitoring the situation for us from London. She joins us now. Nada we saw the latest images and you can hear loud bangs in the
air we know that there is a curfew in place and clearly people are not sticking to those rules that are you know, in place is - this a sign that
we could see some kind of enforcement coming through?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look Eleni, there are real concerns. Now this situation, which is, as you can see very fragile at this stage could
be pushed into dangerous territory. We've seen demonstrations like this protesters loyalists of Moqtada Al Sadr breaching the Green Zone storming
government buildings over the last few weeks.
But there are concerns that today's protests could certainly be pushed into that dangerous territory. We've already seen Iraqi security forces
mobilizing in the green zone attempting to push demonstrators out of the perimeters of this area.
They issued a statement earlier today, saying that they would exercise the utmost restraint to ensure that these protests wouldn't turn violent that
they could quell these protests. They called it for these demonstrators to leave the area to return home and called for peace. But we've been speaking
to eyewitnesses on the ground.
Several have reported the use of tear gas and even live bullets in the green zone. So clearly tensions are very high and concerns are mounting.
We've seen dozens injured in the past as a result of these demonstrations.
And of course, this is all centered around the announcement as you laid out there by the influential share cleric Moqtada Al Sadr that he'll be
withdrawing from political life. He previously in June actually stepped down from politics along with more than 70 of his lawmakers in a show
opposition two months of political standoff with other rival parties and at the time, he vowed not to interfere in Iraqi politics any further.
But actually, we then went on to see Moqtada Al Sadr actually encouraging several rounds of protests calling for constitutional reform, calling for
the dissolution of parliament urging his loyalists and supporters to take to the streets.
But as we've heard today, from his announcement, he says that he is this is his final retirement from Iraqi politics. And he will be closing all of his
political offices across the country. And this is the response that we've seen from his supporters from his loyalists, the concern now the fear now
is that these protests could escalate and we might perhaps even see counter protest demonstrations from rival shear blocks against this and that is the
real concern, because of course, this could all turn quite dangerous very quickly, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, it's so true. I mean, with the latest images that we are seeing, it is a very big risk. In terms of the rhetoric coming through from
a Moqtada Al Sadr and the influence he has on protesters, you mentioned that his messaging now is that he's going to leave politics for good. What
kind of influence has he had on protesters, now that we've even seen or something as dramatic as the storming of the Republican Palace?
BASHIR: Well look Eleni, we've seen these sorts of protests on repeated occasions now these for the last month loyalist supportive and southern
breaching the Green Zone storming government buildings we saw in August a sitting staged in the Iraqi parliament building.
This has all been really the direction of Moqtada Al Sadr that he called on his supporters previously, to take to the streets, not necessarily in
support of his blog, but he called on all Iraqis to take to the streets in reaction to what he described as corruption in the government to the
current state of affairs in Iraqi politics.
And he does have a huge influence over his loyalists and support as we've seen in the past during these demonstrations, that word from Moqtada Al
Sadr saw for protesters to leave the green zone has been heeded and actually just in the last hour or so we've seen a statement from the
Outgoing Prime Minister Mustafa - calling on Moqtada Al Sadr to urge his supporters.
BASHIR: His loyalists to force - to proceed calm to leave the green zone and to return home to abide by the orders of the security forces and the
curfew. But of course, we've also seen from protesters in the past have spoken to CNN teams on the ground.
This isn't just necessarily in support of Al Sadr. This isn't necessarily just in opposition to his rival shiea leaders, but many are really fed up
frustrated with the current situation in Iraq, namely the economic situation.
People are really suffering with the dire economic situation, high unemployment rates, and of course, real frustration, the political
stagnation that we've seen over the last few months in Iraq since elections back in October of last year, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Nada Bashir, thank you very much for giving us the latest on what we're seeing on the ground in Baghdad. And joining me now in studio, we've
got Mina Al-Oraibi, Editor in Chief of the National Daily English language newspaper based here in Abu Dhabi that covers regional affairs.
Mina, great to have you thank you so very much. I mean, we're seeing these images. We're hearing, you know, loud bangs, we don't know if it's
gunshots, but we do know there's a curfew in place. And the big question is are they going to be enforcing that as protesters still remain on the
streets, and whether that could possibly escalate things further?
MINA AL-ORAIBI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE NATIONAL: Well, the curfew has now been extended from the capital of Baghdad to all over the country; it's
still unclear if the Kurdistan Regional Government will adhere to that curfew.
But you're right, there's a lot of chaos on the ground. And one of the problems in Iraq is there are a lot of armed groups that are not
necessarily affiliated or tight with the government. There are reports that there have been gunshots and that these were from members of the militias,
the coordination framework, affiliated militias, that could face off of the - on the ground.
This is not popular grass root movement that's out on the streets against the government. Actually, the government's almost not a part of this being
a caretaker government. It's been 11 months since the last election, and we're expecting a new government to be formed. So you have on the ground,
protesters that are clearly affiliated with a Southern, you have on the ground members of militias that are affiliated with the coordination
framework that is backed by Iran, and a certain point they could face off. The fear is that Moqtada Al Sadr they're saying I am retired from politics,
he will not come out and call the protesters back in because he'll say I'm no longer dealing with politics.
GIOKOS: And it's really interesting to delineate between, you know, what we're seeing the protest action, you know, what the sources is not really
against the caretaker government, per se, but rather the political structure right now, the politicians at the moment.
I find, you know, Moqtada Al Sadr really interesting figure, because he said that he's leaving politics before. It has now spurred even more
protests, action. You've seen rival parties coming out over the past few weeks as well, in protest action, as well. Why was this so important this
messaging that you're seeing, you know, his loyalists and people on the ground to this extent, have you seen this type of, of protests before?
ORAIBI: Yes, I mean, the - are very, very passionate, and really his strength, as opposed to the vast majority of other politicians in Iraq,
that he can move people on the street tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands will actually support him. And the fact that he won the
largest number of seats in parliament and was not allowed forming a government with an alliance that he had built. Now he's trying to say to
the people you want
GIOKOS: He is trying to show the power that he wields on the ground and says--
ORAIBI: --that he cans that - he can move the street, but you can also say, I'm no longer involved in politics. If you want this to become street
fighting, I can take the fight to you.
GIOKOS: OK, we have pictures, as you can see Mina there on the screen. The protesters jumping into the Republican Palace pool, you know, these, these
are almost reminiscent what we saw in Sri Lanka not too long ago. And it's really interesting to sort of see, you know, parallels being drawn where
people on the ground are just completely discontent with what they're seeing from leadership.
But there's been a political gridlock in Iraq. Do you think that this protest action could spur change where you see, you know, government
finally been voted in? Or do you think it's going to delay the process?
ORAIBI: Well, I mean, first, you're right, in the sense that there are grievances against the political situation in Iraq. So a lot of what Al
Sadr talks about, is it fighting corruption be actually having a political system that represents the people public services, all of these dynamics
regular Iraqis agree with. So he will have a lot of, let's say, at least affinity.
The problem is when the breakdown of the states happens, so you have a curfew that's not being imposed. So the curfew is almost on the silent
majority. The quiet Iraqis are staying at home and concern that you have it playing out in this way.
Can it spur change? I mean, in one way or the other, you have to have a break. The concern is the change will be actually even more negative.
Because if you have certain elements, being able to For the government without the - and without those that are quite opposed to Iran you could
have even a greater grip of Iran on the Iraqi political--
GIOKOS: I mean, the one macro issue that really is fascinating. If you look at the caretaker government right now, you look at the political gridlock,
you see, you know that Iraq is an important OPEC producer, you're worried about the climate crisis, from a macro perspective, what kind - what does
this mean, in terms of instability down the line, if this does escalate further?
ORAIBI: Well, the instability internally has been ongoing now for years, but particularly in the last 10 months. Iraq at the moment doesn't have a
budget, Parliament did not pass the budget for 2022, even though oil revenues are coming in.
So Iraq is actually economically in a good place. But people regular people are seeing none of this. You have electricity cuts during 50 degree Celsius
heat of only one or two hours of the national grid. So actually, on the ground, as you see on the macro level, this instability is concerning. But
it's also a culmination of all the ills that we've been facing for months, if not years.
GIOKOS: Mina, great to see you. Thank you so very much for coming through the studio today, much appreciated for your time. All right, moving on a
potential stumbling block remains to reviving the Iran nuclear deal with President Ibrahim Raisi is insisting on the closure of an ongoing IAEA
probe before a final agreement is reached.
The probe involves unexplained traces of enriched uranium at several Iranian research sites. Now despite the President's demand a U.S.
Spokesperson says his country remains hopeful about reviving the deal after Iran agreed to key concessions on some major issues.
All right, so many fast moving developments from across the Middle East and you can keep up with all of them and read in depth analysis behind the
stories on our website. You can go to cnn.com/middleeast newsletter to have them delivered right to your inbox definitely worth a read.
Outside inspectors on their way to Zaporizhzhia as the world nervously watches Europe's biggest nuclear plants, Ukraine and Russia blaming each
other for more attacks nearby. That's coming up next. And Ukraine says a major counter offensive is now underway. What we know so far, just ahead.
GIOKOS: International inspectors finally will have a chance to see what's going on at Europe's largest nuclear facility. The Head of the IAEA says a
team is on its way to Zaporizhzhia and should arrive later this week. The visit comes as fears of the potential nuclear disaster are growing.
City officials are offering people IOD pills in case of a radiation leak and fighting near the nuclear complex has frayed nerves even more. Now
Russian and Ukrainian officials put pointing the finger at each other after more shelling was reported Sunday about five kilometers from the plant.
GIOKOS: At least nine people were wounded according to a Russian backed official. Meantime, CNN has learned that Ukrainian forces are shaping the
battlefield in the South for a counter offensive. CNN's Sam Kiley is on the ground in Zaporizhzhia.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that an offensive is currently underway in the
south along the southern battlefields predominantly in Mykolayiv and Kherson Provinces. And this is because clearly their target is going to be
the City of Kherson which sits not only on the Dnieper, but at the head of a canal supplying water to Crimea, which the Ukrainians cut in 2014.
Kherson was among the first targets first cities captured by the Russian so it's clearly a very, very important strategic location. This is also a very
important moment for Ukraine. Just over six months into the war they've been talking a lot about a countering counter offensive. My colleague, Jim
Sciutto, says that his sources are describing these early stages as what they call the shaping operations, going after command and control systems,
air defenses, and so on.
But we're also hearing anecdotally on the ground from soldiers that a number of small villages may already have been captured as the Ukrainians
tried to get on the front foot in this war. And all that is coming at a time when the Zaporizhzhia region nuclear power station remains itself on
the front line of the United Nations saying that it is hoping to get inspectors into that location with the agreement of the Russians and the
Ukrainians in the next few days. Sam Kiley, CNN in Zaporizhzhia.
GIOKOS: All right, let's go now to our Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen for the latest on the recent shelling near the plants. Fred
joins us live from Moscow. Fred, good to see you! Tell us about what the Russian authorities are saying regarding the shelling that is happening
around the nuclear plant.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Eleni, well the Russians are blaming all of this on the Ukrainians. Of course, we
know that to the Ukrainians, for their part to have it exactly the other way around and say that it's Russia itself, which is shelling that area.
And in order to start a provocation there.
The Russians will ever say its Ukrainian forces that are shelling us areas saying that they've been using drones and they've also been using howitzers
as well. In fact, it was an official, a pro-Russian official in that area, who earlier today came out and said that in general, the area around the
plant the shelling there had increased by 70 percent over the past week.
Now of course, we know that there have been some massive issues around that nuclear plant over the past week where there were wildfires that were
allegedly started by shelling that as times the power supply to the actual power plant was also interrupted and backup generators have to be put had
to be put into action in order to ensure the cooling of some of the reactors there.
And then of course, we see the video here from last night where the Russians alleged that Ukrainians were behind the shelling of that town in
their - which is right close to the power plant. Again, the Ukrainians view that very or say that things are very different that it's actually the
Russians behind this.
The Russians are saying that nine people were injured at least two critical so you can see the blame game sort of going back and forth. But the
Russians do say that they are very happy about this mission from the IAEA, which is apparently now underway, and they say that they will ensure the
safety of that mission for the time that it will be on Russian controlled territory, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Fred, you know, separately Russian security service, accuses the second suspect and - again as murder. What more do we know about the
PLEITGEN: Yes, that's also that's also something - that's obviously been ongoing since the early or the late stages of this past weekend when Daria
Dugina of course, was murdered. As she was leaving a festival in Moscow and the Russians were very quick to point to a suspect saying that it was
someone who was working for the Ukrainian special services as someone who had entered Russian territory from the Donbas area on July 30 with her
daughter carried out the attack they said and then fled to a European country.
Now the Russians have already put out video also have a second suspect a saying that this was someone who aided the person who they allege killed
Daria Dugina not only providing fake license plates as the Russians have put it, but also saying they helped that this person helps to assemble the
bomb that killed Dugina.
Now the Russians are saying that this second suspect left Russia a day before Daria Dugan was murdered they put out again as I said some video
also trying to place this new suspect together with the other person that they had named.
Of course, the Russians are saying that this investigation is ongoing. It's quite interesting to see though because essentially what's going on is that
the FSB, the intelligence Service's putting out all this information already and then saying that they're giving it to the investigations
committee. So certainly the investigation is ongoing but the Russians are already putting out a lot of information here.
GIOKOS: Yes, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much for that update. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are expected to go to the
Zaporizhzhia power plant this week. It's Europe's largest nuclear plant and shelling nearby has picked up again and that's renewing fears of potential
nuclear accident in a country that still haunted by the Chernobyl disaster.
CNN's Bianca Nobilo explains why a loss of power at the plant would be a catastrophe.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in
Europe. It was built by the Soviet Union and houses six pressurized Light Water nuclear reactors.
And here is a representation of one, the fuel is contained in a steel vessel inside a thick concrete containment building. The reactor core that
you see here is made up of uranium pellets that are stacked in sealed metal tubes called fuel rods.
Water is then pumped through the core and heated by nuclear efficient in the fuel. And this occurs when neutrons collide with and split the uranium
atoms which cause a large amount of heat and radiation to be released.
That water is then used to generate steam which drives a turbine which in turn drives the electric generator which produces electricity transmitted
to the grid. After going through this turbine, the water steam mixture is condensed and cooled into liquid that can be pumped back in and recycled
into the system.
Now inside this reactor vessel water access both a coolant transferring heat away from the reactor and a moderator which means it slows down the
neutrons produced by nuclear fission which keeps this chain reaction going smoothly and it stabilizes the reactor.
So a loss of power supply and backup generators would mean a loss of the pumps needed to provide this cooling. And without being able to pump water
through the reactor core to remove the heat that's generated from the decay of uranium, the fuel would eventually melt and could cause a nuclear
GIOKOS: Right that was Bianca Nobilo for us. Now, as you heard in Sam Kylie's report a little bit earlier, Ukrainian forces have begun shaping
operations for a significant counter offensive.
The U.S. believes this counter offensive in southern Ukraine will include both air and ground targets. Chief U.S. Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto
is standing by for us, Jim, really good to see you.
This is really significant announcement of a counter offensive in the South. I want you to take us through what we know right now in terms of the
targets and why this announcement why this news is significant in terms of reshaping the front lines in the south?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Senior U.S. officials briefed on the intelligence told me in recent days, that Ukrainian forces
were beginning what's known as shaping operations shaping is basically preparing the battlefield for an offensive that would often start with
artillery attacks, missile attacks to hit things like command and control air defenses.
Ammunition storages to then soften the battlefield, you might say for the advance of those ground forces, but also an air element to that. Since
then, since that reporting, we've heard public comment from a spokesperson for the Ukrainian defense ministry as well as the former Ukrainian
president who I spoke with this morning saying that indeed, the counter offensive, long anticipated, particularly in the southern part of the
country have begun.
And this is really an attempt to take back territory that had previously been taken by Russia and held by Russia since then. Earlier this morning, I
spoke to the former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked him about this. And here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETRO POROSHENKO, FORMER UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: And this is the longer way to counter offensive operation, which was started today at 7 a.m. with
shelling and missiles attack. And this is first time since February 2022, when such a concentrated of Ukrainian troops with a western - and with a
western high Mars and western missiles was collected together for this counter attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: You see the former president there confirming that detail I mentioned earlier that as the U.S. believes that this involves both ground
elements, ground forces, and also arable elements, you mentioned specifically there the high Mars system, which is a mobile, a mobile rocket
system that's proven so effective for Ukrainian forces.
And we recent weeks in striking Russian targets, including targets in territory held by Russian forces.
GIOKOS: Yes. Jim, I have to ask you this. I mean, is there a sense that Ukraine has enough ammunition, enough resources to be successful in this
SCIUTTO: Well, listen, it's a judgment right. And we'll see as this plays out over the coming days and weeks what success they have because Russian
forces though I was also told by U.S. officials depleted.
SCIUTTO: And in fact, oftentimes undermanned, under resourced in the area and fewer Russian units in the U.S. and in the West originally believed,
despite that, it's still a significant force there.
So the question is, can those Ukrainian forces have success going forward? I should note that just last week, the U.S. announced its largest military
aid package since the start of this war, some $3 billion, including lot of ammunition that you asked about specifically there.
GIOKOS: Yes, exactly. I mean, and the Ukrainians have been saying they needed more weaponry. So this is going to be telling in terms of the
results on the ground, Jim, always good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
GIOKOS: All right. It's been several months since we first saw the horrifying images of the butcher massacre bodies of civilians were found
lying in the streets as Russian troops left the town just outside of Kyiv.
Some of the dead are impossible to identify and are now being buried with numbers instead of names. Before we show you David McKenzie's report, we
have a warning some images are graphic.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Bucha, they lived in peace had families, their names, but they died in a
war that no one here wanted behind each number, and unknown victims, a life worthy a father, Andre Habilidades prayer.
Each person had their own life. And each had one and only one he says. It's not just bodies that we are burying. For us, these are people who lived
once, people to whom the Russians brought suffering and death.
Bucha is now synonymous with the horrors and brutality of Russia's war of choice. When their army retreated, their burnt out tanks were cleared.
Bucha seems almost normal now, almost, but not, not here, not anywhere in Ukraine because they are still discovering the dead.
A police forensic team gathers evidence at a shallow grave. They say a man was shot as he fled. They found more than 1300 bodies in greater Kyiv
alone. Everything changed on February 24 says Kyiv's police chief, they invaded our country and started killing people.
It's very difficult for any country to prepare for this because you never expected such cruelty. The cruelty the sheer weight of loss for Alexander
is hard to comprehend.
This is where the shots were fired, he says and where the car was on fire, his family like others try to flee the Russian advance. They came to Bucha
from Ukraine's war in the east. They were happy here.
Madwe and Clem (Ph) were inseparable, the boys, a joy for their father. But as they escaped Bucha, he says a Russian armored vehicle struck their car
again and again. Everyone died. Only Oleksandr lived.
My oldest would have been ten. My youngest five, he says. It's very hard justice must be restored. Everything must be done to destroy the
rationalists to destroy the nation completely. Probably you can't say that.
But I want this whole nation to not exist at all. So that there would not be so much grief, so much grief, too much for any nation to bear in a war
that still shows no end, David McKenzie, CNN Bucha, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: All right, David McKenzie there for us. And just ahead NASA presses the pause button, keeping its next generation rockets from hitting to the
moon and we'll tell you why next, stay with us.
GIOKOS: Fly me to the moon. My producers wanted me to sing that for you. But I'm not Frank Sinatra, unfortunately. And also, it's not happening
today. The launch is not happening today for NASA.
Its Artemis 1 rocket didn't get off the launch pad earlier over an engine issue. It was supposed to be heading to the moon, right about now part of
the Space Agency's programs to send humans back to the lunar surface.
But the planned launch was scrubbed not quite at the last minute, but very close to it. CNN's Innovation and Space Correspondent Rachel Crane is live
from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
We decided asking you how you are doing. I know that you could very disappointed when we see delays like this, engine three causing problems
with the temperature, lots of variables to take into consideration. Give me a sense of what's going on.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION & SPACE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Eleni. Well. You know, I just want to point out that, you know, this morning, the
traffic getting in here was crazy what usually takes about 25 minutes took an hour and a half just to get here and as I drove in.
And that was just a three in the morning, there were thousands of people camped out along the highway on the beach to watch this historic mission.
So it's not just me, - Rachel Crane, that's a little bummed about this.
It's space enthusiast all around the world, and especially here at the Kennedy Space Center. But of course, as NASA says, they're not going to fly
this thing until they're ready.
And we know that there was an issue with engine three, that the teams were just not able to troubleshoot in time to make this launch window today. Now
the exact nature of what's wrong with the engine, we still don't know NASA plans to hold a press conference later today, where hopefully, we will get
some more answers. And then NASA has said that there is a backup launch window on Friday, also a backup to the backup for Monday. But without
knowing the nature of what's wrong with the engine, it's hard to say if they'll even be able to make those launch attempts.
That's because depending on the severity, they may have to roll back that jarred, gigantic rocket behind me to the Vehicle Assembly Building. And
just the journey to the building alone is about three and a half days.
And that doesn't need an account for them having to fix the issue and then roll it back. So there could be really significant delays Eleni if this is
a more serious issue here. So--
GIOKOS: What is the significance Rachel, I want you to give me a sense of why it's so significant. So this trip back to the moon setting up a
permanent base and what it means for space exploration.
CRANE: That's great, Eleni. Well, you know, some people say, we've been there done that, like why are we going back?
CRANE: Well, this time we're doing it completely differently. The first time was about a race to get to the moon to beat the Russians. It was about
footprints and flags.
CRANE: And this time, the journey to the moon, the intent is to create a, a sustainable presence on the moon, a permanent presence on the moon rather.
And use the lunar surface as a jumping off point to get to that holy grail of space exploration, a manned mission to Mars.
Because that way you could use the moon to test the technology, the science, all of the systems that our astronauts will have to use in order
to make that deeper space journey, so today was supposed to be just the beginning of the Artemis era. Unfortunately didn't take flight. It was
scrubbed, but hopefully later this week, Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, Rachel really good to see you. And I just have to remind you, Artemis is also the goddess of the moon. Maybe she has other plans.
Hopefully she plays ball with his launch.
Going to bring in some Greek mythology into this, good to see you Rachel, I'm sure we'll talk about this in the next few days. All right, moving on,
more trouble in the air.
Two Air France pilots are suspended after a physical in flight altercation in the cockpit. It happened on a flight from Geneva to Paris. The situation
is still under investigation. But the airline says the incident was quickly resolved and didn't interrupt the safety of the flight. CNN's Scott McLean
has more details.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This actually happened back in June. This was a flight from Geneva, Switzerland to Paris, France a little over an
hour flight time. And there was some kind of a disagreement in the cockpit which flared up into a physical altercation. We don't know what kind of
physical altercation but in a written statement, the airline described it in a much more benign way saying that the pilots exchanged inappropriate
gestures though they have also confirmed that the pilots were not giving each other the finger this was something that turned physical.
Now the airline Air France says that the flight continued on normally that the issue was resolved. It's not clear when or how Air France actually
found out about what had happened but it has gone ahead and suspended the two pilots while it looks into it.
This is not the only safety mishap for Air France in the news lately. Last week, the French Air Safety investigative agency called BEA released a
report on an incident that happened back in December 2020 on a flight from the Republic of Congo to Paris, France.
In that case, there was a fuel leak and safety procedure dictated that the pilot should have shut down the engine with the leak. But that didn't
happen. And according to the report, that created a fire hazard.
Now this was not an isolated case. The report detailed other incidents where pilots haven't followed the proper safety procedures. And taken
together it suggested there is a certain culture among some Air France crews which encourages a propensity to underestimate the extent to which
strict compliance with procedures contributes to safety.
Now the report also tries to put things into context, and that is that Air France literally flies thousands of routes every day. And so the number of
flights the number of crews being investigated, in the grand scheme of things is very small. Scott McLean, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: And still ahead, dangerous and deadly flooding in Pakistan has already killed more than 1100 people since mid-June. And it's impacting
millions more we have the latest on the devastation.
GIOKOS: Pakistan is pleading for international aid as the country faces one of its worst climate disasters. So far, heavy rain and widespread flooding
have left more than 1100 people dead and that's including more than 385 children since mid-June. The Climate Change Minister describes parts of the
region as resembling a small ocean. CNN's Anna Coren has the latest on the devastation from this year's monsoon season.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A young life hanging in the balance winched across rushing water in Pakistan's flood soaked - Cinder
province. Safely off the bed frame, it's an older man's turn.
Lucky for some, but these floods have killed over 1000 people since mid- June, including over 350 children according to UNICEF.
ABDULLAH FADIL, UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE IN PAKISTAN: This is the calamity of proportions I think Pakistan has not seen. Some of the areas hit are also
some of the most vulnerable areas of the country.
COREN: Pakistan normally goes through three to four monsoon rain cycles each year. It has had eight in that time, and the wet season will drag on
through September. Extreme heat has baked the earth. The rain can't soak in, flash flooding comes next. The satellite images show the Indus River
swelling, nowhere for the water to go and few routes to escape it. Highways through central Pakistan have been cut off, bridges broken as villages wash
In the northwest of the country, army choppers rescued desperate people, another person saved, others scramble for the next helicopter.
FADIL: This is a climate crisis. Climate that has been mostly done by richer countries contributing to the crisis and I think it's time that the
world responded to support Pakistan in this time of need.
COREN: As Pakistan and NGOs appeal for international aid, the weather forecast is finally brightening. All are hopeful for a break in the rain, a
chance to further assess the damage.
What is immediately obvious the toll that climate change is taking. Pakistan's relatively low carbon footprint not enough to save it from the
dangers of our warming world. Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
GIOKOS: Right, joining us now is the Director of the Pakistan initiative at the International Affairs think tank, the Atlantic Council Uzair Younus.
Sir, welcome. Thank you so very much for joining us.
These are horrifying images that we're seeing in a country that's economically very fragile, and is anticipating more funds from the IMF, a
country that has relied so heavily on this type of funding in the past.
Now we're sitting at a critical juncture. What do you make of the current economic situation with regards to the climate crisis, which seemed to be
compounding the impact on the ground?
UZAIR YOUNUS, DIRECTOR, ATLANTIC COUNCIL'S PAKISTAN INITIATIVE: Well, thank you for having me. And I think this is just a preview of what's to come in
the years for Pakistan, for the subcontinent, and for many countries in the Global South, who have not contributed a lot to climate change, but will
bear the brunt for this crisis.
Pakistan, as many of you already know, has been struggling economically for a number of years, food inflation has been running twice as much as India
and Bangladesh. And this current catastrophe is going to exacerbate this problem even more.
So while the IMF money is coming in, the country will need a lot more in the coming days and weeks ahead to sustain a recovery that is much needed
in the weeks to come.
GIOKOS: Yes, and the money comes in, right. And then it's being used to try and alleviate the pressure. And we can see the images on our screens right
now where you see the complete devastation and of course, a far more aggressive monsoon season.
What is the end game here do you think because the worry is Pakistan is heading into default or some kind of debt trap that is going to struggle to
get out of especially if the climate disaster continues in the next few years.
YOUNUS: Well the rest of default is mostly averted at least for the time being with the IMF's approval imminent.
YOUNUS: But I think the structural problems with Pakistan's own political economy, this is not just an economic issue, it's a political issue as well
remains firmly in place, the country is deeply polarized.
And what is needed at this point in time is unity, not just among citizens in society, but among elites as well. But there is no signals, that that is
around the corner. I firmly believe that this is also an opportunity for the country to rebuild a more resilient, more adaptive infrastructure
moving forward. And it can do that.
The question is there the will and the ability of elites to come together and say, set aside our own differences work towards the benefit of the
millions of the citizens that have been stranded at this point in time.
GIOKOS: You know, and occurrence piece had an analyst that said that Pakistan, in fact, and frankly, the emerging markets are dealing with
climate catastrophes because of the developed world's industrialization over 100 years.
Do you think at this juncture as well, we should be talking about funds that are coming in to assist countries that are grappling with climate
disasters, such as Pakistan?
YOUNUS: Well, they should definitely, I think it's the moral and ethical responsibility of Western countries in particular, to do this. I would also
say that the old sort of approach has been to provide loans, be that discounted interest rates, but that's not going to cut it, it's going to
index these countries even more.
So what's needed actually, is - grant funding and investments that actually mobilize the global resources towards averting this catastrophe because
let's be honest, the villagers in rural Sind, or the villagers in Bangladesh did not bring about this catastrophe for the word.
GIOKOS: Yes. Well said, thank you, sir. Uzair Younus, great to see you, much appreciated for your time and your insights.
YOUNUS: Thank you.
GIOKOS: Right. And coming up from blocked highways to disruptions at sporting events, a group in the UK is protesting the government's inaction
on climate change, ahead a look into whether their tactics are indeed working. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: This summer, we saw the convergence of two crises appear around the world extreme weather caused by climate change and a 1970 style energy
crisis that risked sabotaging our collective climate goals.
We saw record breaking temperatures lead to extreme droughts and wildfires, particularly in Europe and unprecedented flooding. And at the same time,
governments are on edge after warnings Europe could be facing its coldest winter yet due to energy shortages.
So what's the solution? Well, there's one campaign that seems to think it's figured out. If you live in the UK, you might be familiar with Just Stop
Oil. Its supporters have held mass demonstrations, blocked highways and disrupted major sporting events to protest against government inaction on
Now on Friday, London Metro Police arrested 43 people for blocking service stations and damaging petrol pumps. Becky sat down with Just Stop Oil
spokesperson to talk about this summer of extreme weather and to find out if their campaign is actually working.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is climate activism reimagined, a man and a woman gluing their hands onto the frame of constable painting at
the National Gallery in London, hoping to make their message stick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When there's no food, what use is art? When there's no water, what use is art?
ANDERSON: Protest as performative art repeated over and over again, in galleries across the UK and other parts of Europe this summer against the
backdrop of a brutal heat wave.
The people behind this movement are supporters of a campaign called Just Stop Oil, a coalition of groups including extinction, rebellion, and
insulate Britain that came together to start this very new fresh campaign.
INDIGO RUMBELOW, JUST STOP OIL SPOKESPERSON: Its focus is to demand that the UK Government stops issuing new licenses for fossil fuel projects
within the UK.
ANDERSON: As you understand it, how many new licenses are pending?
RUMBELOW: There are 14 new licenses pending. And this is a death sentence. New oil is a death sentence. I know it, your viewers know it. Scientists
know it, oil exerts know it, we all know we must come off oil.
ANDERSON: But coming off oil isn't that simple. There are monumental political and economic considerations as to how to transition along with
how to pay for it, especially in the developing world. And change is being resisted worldwide.
Many still denying climate change is even happening. Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has caused a serious global energy crisis, with
European countries scrambling to buy and store as much fossil fuel as they can ahead of the winter. The war is also putting planned energy transitions
at a crossroads propelling big energy producers like Saudi Arabia back into the geopolitical driving seat.
But for people like Rumbelow, it's exactly this crisis that makes the transition to clean energy so important.
RUMBELOW: So we're being posed a question by this moment in time, which is to stop licensing new fossil fuel projects, and use the reserves that we
currently have to make a transition on to a renewable society, or we will see the death of billions of people and we will subject future generations
to an inferno.
So that's the choice that we have. And governments around the world are pursuing new fossil fuel projects with full knowledge of this information.
ANDERSON: For just a boil traditional means of politics no longer work. They want to take action. They've stormed the BAFTA Awards, invaded F1
tracks and football pitches, and even blocked major motorways, halting thousands of people's daily commute.
The group calls these methods nonviolent forms of civil resistance. Others call them just plain disruptive.
RUMBELOW: Since January start of the Just Stop Oil campaign, over 1200 people have been arrested for their actions.
ANDERSON: So ultimately, is this working?
RUMBELOW: Well, we're posing the government a dilemma. What happens is when they lock us up, more people come to join us. So they're just putting the
problem off. And yes, there is disruption.
But this is such a small amount of disruption to the disruption we've seen with the wildfires in London, 40 degree heat, record breaking heat, which
pushed our fire brigade close to breaking point, this climate crisis will destroy the infrastructure on which our civilization depends.
ANDERSON: And that is why the group says the threat of retribution does not discourage them from carrying on.
GRACE MCMEEKIN, JUST STOP OIL SUPPORTER: It absolutely terrifies me the concept that I might have to be arrested or give up my liberty. But what
terrifies me more than that is the very real possibility that vast amounts of this planet are going to become uninhabitable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me angry, that we're still not making that progress. It doesn't make me feel like you shouldn't keep trying.
HARLEY BREWER, JUST STOP OIL SUPPORTER: Our government said that they're going to do net zero by 2050, which means it's going to make this worse the
next 30 years, so that's not slow progress. That's the opposite progress, right? Progress would be we've stopped it and we're starting to repair the
harm that we've done.
RUMBELOW: This is lives like my life, like your life, like our communities that are directly threatened by this climate crisis. And I hope that people
decide to wake up and take part in resistance against this.
ANDERSON: How had you gone?
RUMBELOW: I'll continue this campaign until the government concedes to our demand. I will just keep continuing because I can't imagine anywhere else I
would rather be than standing up against this really vile horror that is being inflicted upon us.
ANDERSON: Becky Anderson CNN London.
GIOKOS: Important messages as we see climate catastrophes occurring all over the world, an interesting take on how to make government listen. Well,
thank you so very much for joining us. That was "Connect the World" live here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos. CNN continues right after the short
break, stay with CNN.