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IAEA Team in Kyiv ahead of Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant Visit; Ukraine Confirms Offensive Operations in Russian-Held South; E.U. Ministers Considering Visa Ban for Russian Tourists; Zelenskyy Vows to "Chase" Russian Troops to the Border; Iraqi Cleric Asks Supporters to Lay Down Arms; Sea Levels to Rise at least 25 Centimeters by 2100; Monsoon Floods Threaten to Engulf up to a Third of Pakistan; COVID-19 Lockdown Shuts World's Largest Electronics Market. Aired 10-10:40a ET

Aired August 30, 2022 - 10:00:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Traveling to Zaporizhzhya, a team of international nuclear inspectors heading for the

Ukrainian power plant after days of shelling in the region. We are live in Kyiv and Moscow.

After 24 hours of violence, a call to calm things down. Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tells supporters to withdraw from Baghdad's heavily

fortified green zone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Literally one third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary.

GIOKOS (voice-over): Pakistan continues to appeal to the world for help, as the damage costs rise to $10 billion.



GIOKOS: I'm Eleni Giokos, hello and welcome to CONNECT THE, WORLD live here in Abu Dhabi. We begin with new developments in Ukraine; 14

international nuclear inspectors are now in the capital as they prepare to visit the Zaporizhzhya plant later this week.

The level of urgency, increasing again today as more artillery shells hit near the complex. Ukraine and Russia are accusing each other of carrying

out the attacks. CNN hasn't been able to verify those claims.

Now fears of a nuclear accident at the plant have prompted the E.U. to give Ukraine more than 5 million potassium iodide tablets to protect people from

possible radiation exposure.



GIOKOS (voice-over): Meantime, Ukrainian officials say troops have broken through some areas in the south, as the counter offensive to retake

Russian-held territory begins. One official, calling it a slow operation to grind the enemy. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a warning for Russian




VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): But the occupiers must know, we will chase them to the border, to our border, which

line has not changed.

Occupiers are well aware of it. If they want to survive, it's time for the Russian military to run away.

Go home. If you are afraid of going back home to Russia, well, then let such occupiers surrender. And we will guarantee them that all the norms of

the Geneva Conventions will be fulfilled.

If they do not hear me, they will have to deal with our defenders, who will not stop until they free everything that belongs to Ukraine. And this is

not something special. It's not something that has just started. We've been talking about this for 187 days.


GIOKOS: CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Kyiv for us.

Melissa, good to see you. That counteroffensive, it is important, the first since February. I want you to give me a sense in terms of what we

understand the main targets are in the south and, importantly, the headway that Ukrainians have made.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a crucial counteroffensive, because it is the big, major one that has taken place over the course of

the last six months.

And it's the one that the Ukrainians really pinning their hopes on, the one they've been preparing for for a long time, trying to get the area ready,

so that they could make a successful push forward to reclaim some of that ground.

Specifically, the area around Kherson. Keep in mind, it is not the only regional capital to have been taken over the course of the last six months,

Russians remain in their hands. But also an important strategic point.

Because it is the area through which, when you take the areas to the east of it that allow a land bridge north of Crimea and all the way to the

Russian border, it is extremely significant.

It is also the only Ukrainian land beyond the Dnipro to be in Russian hands for the time being. So for Ukraine, taking it back would not only mark a

change in momentum but would be extremely important strategically.

What we've seen over the course of the last few weeks are the preparations for that. And over the course of the last 24 hours or so, we are hearing

that those strikes on the area behind the front line have continued.


BELL: Trying to take on the infrastructure and, specifically, the bridges and the floating bridges and the ferryways that have allowed and continue

to allow Russian forces to try to resupply, with men and weapons, their positions on the West Bank of the Dnipro, on the Kherson side.

That is what Ukrainian forces have been targeting. We're hearing from the Ukrainian side, again, that they have had some small successes, that

they're pinning a lot of hope on.

Four villages were taken last night, we're hearing that, on day two of that counteroffensive, it is a number of villages along that front line that are

the subject of fighting.

But we wait to hear more about what headway they are able to make, because, once again, this is of massive significance to Ukrainians if they succeed

in making headway. It could mark a huge turning point for them.

If they fail, it will mark greater entrenchment along that line that has been created between the Russian-held zones and the ones still held by

Ukraine. Therefore making it much easier. This had been their fear, for Russia to go ahead and hold new referendums and annex an even greater part

of their country.

GIOKOS: As you described, a critical moment. The Zaporizhzhya plant, this is really important, where you have the IAEA sending a delegation to look

at whether this is a danger zone with regard to the potential of the nuclear power plant becoming unstable.

What do we know about the shelling around that area?

BELL: Simply, for the time being, that it continues. We heard from the Russian side that there had been shelling. It said, from the Ukrainian

side. What we've been seeing over the course of today is a very different picture being painted by the Ukrainians.

Now we, had expected to hear from the IAEA inspectors themselves, a press conference have been planned and was suddenly canceled, Eleni, with very

little explanation. In the last few minutes, Rafael Grossi, the head of that IAEA mission here in Ukraine, has just been meeting with President


We hope to hear more about what is coming out of that meeting later on today. What we've been hearing since that press conference was canceled

from Ukrainian officials is a much different picture, as you would expect, than the one painted by the Russians.

Saying that it is Russian shelling of the corridors that the IAEA inspectors may have used to get to the plant that has prevented the

inspection from going ahead.

Also accusing Russia of carrying out military exercises around the base that Ukrainian officials and American officials say, believe, has been used

by Russia to carry out attacks over the course of the last few weeks.

So extremely delicate situation, we wait to find out more. And as you suggested, the whole world waits to hear what the IAEA inspectors find, if

and when they're able to get to the plant.

GIOKOS: Yes, we wait to see that perspective as it comes through. Of, course will be bringing you an update. Melissa Bell, thank you very much

for that insight.

Let's get the perspective out of Russia now. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live for us in Moscow.

Fred, good to see you.

What are the Russians saying about the offensive?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Eleni. Essentially they're saying the exact opposite of what the Ukrainians

are saying.

One of the things so that is quite interesting is that the Russians are acknowledging that a Ukrainian offensive is taking place. The Russian

military claims that this was ordered directly by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

And the Russians claim that they have beaten this offensive back or at least until now they've beaten it back. They've updated some of the figures

they put out at the beginning. They were talking about having disabled at least a little more than 20 tanks and armored vehicles.

Now they're speaking of almost 50 tanks and armored vehicles that they've allegedly disabled. Also, the Russians speaking about over 1,000 soldiers

that they've apparently put out of commission as well on the side of the Ukrainians.

Again, none of that is obviously verifiable from our side. And certainly the Ukrainians seem to be painting a very different picture, though it is,

of course, very difficult to get accurate information out by all accounts, Russian or Ukrainian.

It really does seem to be a pretty hot battle zone at the moment. The Russians also, so far, not acknowledging those logistical difficulties that

the Ukrainians say that the Russians have because, of course, we have seen some evidence that bridges have been knocked out across the Dnipro River.

It's unclear whether all of them have been knocked out but it certainly seems that would be a lot more difficult for the Russians to conduct

logistics and actually get ammunition and resupplies back to their forces there.

But so, far the Russians say they are holding on but they are acknowledging, also, that they're taking a lot of fire from the Ukrainians.

In fact, in one town called Nova Kakhovka, Russians say that there was intense shelling overnight there and the gas and electricity and water has

been knocked out of that area.

And citizens there have been ordered to go underground, into bunkers or basements if they can. Certainly, the Russians acknowledging an offensive

going on. They claim, however, that they're beating it back, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Fred, another question with regard to the E.U. defense and prime ministers meeting today in Brussels.


GIOKOS: Considering a ban on visas for Russian nationals.

What is Moscow's response to this potential decision?

PLEITGEN: The Russians clearly are warning about something like that. I think one of the things that the Russians have also been perceiving from

that E.U. meeting, which, of course, is the foreign defense ministers in a formal meeting. So there wouldn't be any full decisions are yet.

But they do see some divisions within the European Union. You obviously have countries to the east of the European Union, a lot of whom would like

a full visa ban for Russians, at least for tourist visa coming into the European Union.

Then, you have countries that are not on board with that, like for instance, Germany, France, Italy as well, who sort of want to take a

different route.

The Russians are saying, if something like that happens -- and this comes directly from the Kremlin, the spokesman for Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov

said there will be a reaction on the part of the Russians and it would be a severe reaction.

The Russians continue to believe that measures like this would be anti- Russian. They keep speaking about anti-Russian hysteria and unfair measures that are being taken against their citizens.

Obviously, a lot of European countries view that very differently, specifically the ones, especially on the eastern flank of the European

Union, like for instance Poland, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic being some of those.

But the Russians, again, saying there would be a severe response from their side -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much for that update.

Now Ukraine's counteroffensive, according to the president's advisers, will be a slow operation to ground (sic) down the enemy.

Is slow and steady the best course of action against Russia?

Let's bring in CNN military analyst General Wesley Clark, NATO's former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Always good to see you. Hearing the slow offensive, to grind down the enemy, do you think that is the best course of action that will work

against Russia's army?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, it is the best course of action. Because remember, the Ukrainians don't have unlimited resources.

They are limited what they have, they're limited in tanks, armored fighting vehicles, artillery.

And of course, aircraft. So this is a reconnaissance led operation. They have to locate the enemy, bring fires against the enemy and then exploit it

with their ground maneuver force.

So they're going to pick their way through these defensive belts that the Russians have tried to establish to protect their terrain in the south. So

what that means is they send reconnaissance out, maybe using drones.

They may have scouts, out they may be getting information from partisans. They're going to target any Russian strong point. They are using HIMARS,

even in the direct support role for this because that's how important it is.

And they're using the NATO supplied 155 artillery rounds. Then, when they find that they have reduced the degree of Russian resistance, they send

their infantry in and their tanks forward.

So it's going to be slow, at least until the Russian defense is broken. And this is absolutely the appropriate approach. Now if they had unlimited

aircraft, much more artillery, NATO tanks, yes, you might see a blitzkrieg. But for Ukraine against the Russians, that's exactly the right approach,


GIOKOS: Yes, it's interesting; you say, could this be a blitzkrieg?

Whether this would be going in and making a big impact, I guess the question has always been, are the Russians running out of weapons?

Are they running out of ammunition?

You and I have been talking about this since the start of this war. They said more weapons will be required for Ukrainians to make a huge dent on

the Russians' moves, specifically in the south.

Do you think this is it?

The Russians are saying that the Ukrainians are failing; the Ukrainians are saying they are making headway.

CLARK: Well, of course, we're not going to listen to what the Russians say. We know the Ukrainians have made some headway but they're only in the

first belt of the Russian defenses.

The real question is how does Russia respond to this?

We know Ukraine has taken a risk in Donbas. We know Ukraine has pulled artillery, ammunition and tanks, everything to create this offensive force.

Already, it's having this strategic impact, because it's hard to imagine that the Russians are going to be able to conduct that September 11th

referendum in Kherson that they've been talking about in the midst of all of this destruction.

The Russian military leadership has even fled back across the Dnipro River to get away from the Ukrainian strikes.

So military operations, even though they may look slow, they have a definite impact strategically. It's very important that we not have this

referendum. And then, as the offensive goes forward, as Russians take losses, realize they can't stand up to the Ukrainian strategy --


CLARK: -- they will become demoralized, we believe and they'll probably fall back and the rate of advance will increase.

But we have about 10 weeks left of good fighting weather. Maybe a little more, depending on when the weather comes in. And they want to use all that

time to push Russia out.

GIOKOS: General, do you think that Ukraine can win back that lost territory?

CLARK: It all depends on continuing reinforcements and resupply from the West. It is an ongoing process. There are planes carrying stuff (ph); the

United States and our allies have done a good job.

I would say that many people are questioning why Germany cannot do more and Germany should do more. The East European allies are doing incredible work.

Slovakia has given up its MiG-29s (ph) to Ukraine, for example.

And so, there is a lot of push here. But it is -- you have to plan for this to be a continuing war. So it is not going to end in October or November or

December unless Mr. Putin decides he has lost. Ukraine is not going to give in; they want their territory back. And so, Putin has got to relent on this

and realize he made a big mistake, which he has.

GIOKOS: And you say 10 weeks of good weather left. It seems the time is running out as you say. It could be a protracted war. General Wesley Clark,

always good to see you. Thank you for joining us today.

CLARK: Thank you very much.

GIOKOS: You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Abu Dhabi today.

Still ahead, daily protests in Iraq's capital appear to be ending after an influential cleric's warning to his supporters. The strong words that got

protesters to start leaving Baghdad.

Plus, a climate emergency unfolding right before our eyes. Greenland's ice sheet is melting.

Can we control or stop it?

What the scientists say, after the break.




GIOKOS: In Iraq, a call to lay down arms from the man whose decision to leave political life ignited violent protests in the capital.

In a nationally televised speech, Muqtada al-Sadr apologized for the spilling of Iraqi blood and warned supporters to withdraw from Baghdad's

heavily fortified green zone or face being denounced.

It appears that most or all of them heeded his call, leaving the green zone in orderly fashion after the speech. The army lifted a nationwide curfew

shortly after. The protests erupted Monday when he made his announcement.


GIOKOS: At least 21 people have been killed and 250 others were injured. His decision to leave political life adds turmoil adds to Iraq's already

uncertain political future. Ben Wedeman, who spent years covering Iraq, is tracking developments for us from Rome.

Ben, always good to speak for you. Hearing what spurred the protests, seeing al-Sadr say, leave the green zone, firstly, shows us what kind of

influence he has on his supporters. It also shows how fragmented the country is, right now, with regards to the political parties and,

importantly, ideology.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In terms of fragmentation, I do not think you will find too many countries that are

more fragmented than Iraq, at the moment.

Keep in mind, of course, last October, they had elections. For the last two months, the politicians have not been able to agree on the formation of a


Now Muqtada al-Sadr's movement won 73 seats in that election. It is the biggest bloc of seats in the Iraqi parliament. But because of disagreements

with other Shia factions, most of whom are aligned with Iran, negotiations went nowhere to govern a (ph) country, which has been basically drifting,

since then.

What we saw today was the day starting with lots of violence in Baghdad, particularly the green zone where the government is headquartered, along

with diplomatic missions, including the U.S. embassy.

But Muqtada al-Sadr came on air at 1:00 pm local time and made a speech in which he threatened his supporters that he would, essentially, divorce

himself from them if they did not leave the green zone within 60 minutes. This is what he said.


MUQTADA AL-SADR, IRAQI CLERIC (through translator): The southern movement cannot also be flagrant. I still believe in the southern movement.

Therefore, if protesters do not withdraw from parliament within 60 minutes, I will disavow the movement itself.


WEDEMAN: And what happened was, within just a few minutes, those protesters, first of all, the guns went quiet; the protesters left the

green zone. Many of them had been there, even before his Twitter announcement about withdrawing from political life, yesterday.

They'd been in a tent encampment there outside the parliament. The gunfire stopped and the Iraqi army, within minutes, announced the end of a Baghdad-

wide curfew.

It is not clear if there was some sort of behind-the-scenes deal that was made between Muqtada al-Sadr and other politicians. He has been calling for

the dissolution of parliament and early elections. But there does not seem to be any movement yet.

We are talking very early days, at this point. Essentially, what is the situation is that nothing has essentially changed. There is still no

government in Baghdad. The problems that Iraq suffers from -- endemic, official corruption, a collapsing infrastructure -- those are not being

dealt with.

So perhaps, this is a respite. But it is not an end to the trouble for Iraq.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. For as long as there is political deadlock. Ben, thank you so much.


GIOKOS: A new study suggests that the large ice sheet that covers Greenland will lose trillions of tons of ice between now and the year 2100.

Scientists believe that the melting will make the sea level rise at least 25 centimeters around the world. CNN's Bill Weir people spoke with one of

the authors of the report last year.


WILLIAM COLGAN, ICE SHEET STUDY CO-AUTHOR: You would think, well, maybe, as long as I don't live within 20 feet of the sea, I will be fine. That

would be like the first level of thinking it is not a big issue. But that rate of sea level change, how fast it is going to happen, it will be very

hard to adapt to change that fast.


GIOKOS: And CNN's correspondent Bill Weir joins us now, live, to lay out the ramifications of this climate emergency.

Bill, always good to see you. Here is the thing. I think, from a very young age, whenever we hear about Greenland's ice sheet starting to melt, it was

a warning sign. We have known this for a long time.


GIOKOS: Why is it so important and crucial at this juncture?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has so much ice, land ice, that, if it goes into the oceans, it could raise sea levels. There is

worry it could also shut down the ocean's conveyor belt, the Gulf Stream, that brings warm water from the tropics up to the U.K. and controls weather

patterns, really, around the world.

The rate of the acceleration is really the headline of the story, much faster than predicted. I was emailing with Liam Colgan and he said, our

study is part of a creeping realization, within the ice sheet community, that things are evidently worse than previously believed.

GIOKOS: Yes, we are in a climate emergency, right?

It is code red. It is only 3.3 percent of the ice sheet that is going to melt. But it is going to add trillions of tons of ice and water, basically,

into the oceans by 2100. Put that into perspective for us.

When you say a 25 cm increase around the world, what would that look like?

WEIR: That is what is deceiving. That is the average. It varies widely, depending on winds and tides and positioning and all those sorts of things.

It could be much higher than that in South Asia, for example, threatening Vietnam's rice crops. That would be devastating.

It could be much higher in Shanghai, that is on the coast, than maybe in Boston. But it's spells trouble for all life on Earth, when you consider

the knockoff effects of climate migration that comes.

insurance markets are crashing with all the claims that might come with increased, sunny day flooding, as well as more storm surge during big

hurricanes. And, what they did in this particular study was kind of radical.

These are two of the most acclaimed climatologists, ice sheet experts in the world, Jason Box, Liam Colgan. And instead of using computer models to

pick a date in the future and say this is what we think it will look like, they just looked at about the last 20 years of satellite data.

Just by seeing how the snow line retreats and advances and how far it is advancing up, they know that what is built in is inevitable. That is about

30 centimeters or 11 inches.

But if the Paris agreement is implemented, they tell me that could keep us from 78 centimeters or 2.5 feet of sea level rise. So there is a lot of

human control in just how bad it gets going forward.

GIOKOS: Yes, you said it is inevitable, 3 centimeters, is basically inevitable. Even if we stop greenhouse gas emissions today, it would still

happen. Bill, we don't have enough time to speak with you but we will make time in the future. Thank you so much.


WEIR: I'm always here for you.


GIOKOS: All right, yes, thank you.

All right, the U.S. says Russia now has weapons-capable drones from Iran. They are likely to use them in their war against Ukraine. A full report on

this development is just ahead.

Plus, the U.N. chief says climate change has created, quote, "a monsoon on steroids" in Pakistan. Even aid workers say they have never seen anything

like it.





GIOKOS: Welcome back. I am Eleni Giokos and you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency is on the ground in Kyiv on a potentially dangerous mission to inspect the Zaporizhzhya nuclear

plant in southeastern Ukraine. That team arrives, as ongoing fighting, reportedly, continues around the plant.

Just today, the Russians accused the Ukrainians of shelling near a spent fuel storage building at the complex.

Meanwhile, Kyiv is blaming Moscow for attacking the area around the plant. Ukrainian troops say they broke through Russian defenses and recaptured

four Russian held villages near Kherson.

It is part of a counter offensive operation Ukraine just launched in the south of the country. Moscow acknowledged the attacks but said Ukraine's

offensive, quote, "failed miserably."

The Biden administration officials tell CNN that Russia is now buying Iranian drones that can carry out precision guided weapons and perform

surveillance. CNN was first to report that Russian officials were recently in Iran training on the drones.

The U.S. believes Russia will import hundreds of the unmanned aerial vehicles from Iran and will likely use them on the battlefield in Ukraine.

CNN White House reporter Natasha Bertrand is covering the development for us.

Natasha, good to see you. This is really interesting. We know that they were, as we just said, training in Iran. It was inevitable that they would

purchase these Iranian drones. But it is very telling about how they are running out of their own resources and need to source elsewhere.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That is exactly right. Not just elsewhere but looking toward Iran.

Many of these drones, we're told, that the Russians have actually purchased from the Iranians and have transported back to Russia, have actually

experienced numerous failures. These are not the most sophisticated drones in the world, obviously.

They have already been failing on a number of levels during tests, according to U.S. officials. So it remains to be seen how much of game-

changer these drones are actually going to be when deployed on the battlefield.

But this is a significant development, because, as you said, for a number of months, we have been reporting that the Russians were kind of flirting

with this. They have been going to Iran. They have been looking at these drones at Iranian airfields.

And of course, last month, we reported that the Russian operators had actually begun training on them. So this is yet another development in this

ongoing saga.

The Russians, actually, in mid August, took a couple cargo planes and went to Iran and picked up the first load of these drones. Potentially hundreds

that Russia intends to purchase from Iran over the next several weeks and months, according to U.S. officials.

Again, it remains unclear whether or not this would be a game-changer on the battlefield. Still, the Russians have been looking to blunt the impact

of the HIMARS, the long-range missile systems that Ukraine has been using, that can reach 49 miles and go beyond Russian front lines.

So if the Russians now have attack capable and weapons capable drones that they could potentially use to blunt the impact of those missiles, it could

have a significant impact, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much.

Now the first shipment of grain to leave Ukraine since the Russian invasion has reached Africa; 23,000 tons of wheat arrived on this ship. The brave

commander in the Horn of Africa said it will support the World Food Programme's efforts in the region, where some 20 million people face


Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are struggling with severe food shortages due to the worst drought in years.

Aid is now flowing to Pakistanis, who have lost everything in what the head of the U.N. calls "a monsoon on steroids." The flooding there is taking a

colossal toll on both human lives and property. The U.N. is launching an appeal for $160 million to help the country. CNN's Anna Coren reports.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The endless monsoon rains may have eased for now with the deluge across Pakistan has left carnage and

destruction on an unprecedented scale. Up to a third of the country could end up underwater.

Countless townships are already submerged, leaving millions of Pakistanis destitute and homeless.


COREN (voice-over): "We are poor people," says this woman. "Our home was destroyed. Our belongings disappeared in the big flood. Our children are

waiting on the bank with no food, no shelter."

The government says the historic floods across Pakistan that have claimed the lives of more than 1100 people are estimated to have caused more than

$10 billion in damage. For a country that already received a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, this calamity could push its fragile

economy to the brink.

AHSAN IQBAL, PAKISTANI PLANNING MINISTER: Until water completely recedes they will not be able to go and physically do the survey. But my hunch is

that this figure is going to be two to three times higher than what we are estimating.

COREN (voice-over): The prime minister has set up a national Flood Response and Coordination Center. And the military has been mobilized to

help with evacuations; 10 cities have sprung up and humanitarian aid is slowly trickling in but it's a drop in the ocean, considering the magnitude

of this climate change induced catastrophe.

PETER OPHOFF, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS & RED CRESCENT: I have been in the Red Cross/Red Crescent for the last 29 years. I haven't seen

anything like this. It is a serious situation. Pakistan is in dire need and the damages are here and we will be in this for a long time. It's not

months but years that we're talking about.

COREN (voice-over): A timeframe unfathomable to these desperate people whose only priority right now is survival -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


GIOKOS: In the next hour, I will be speaking with Pakistan's foreign minister. Keep in tune with us with that interview. It is coming up in the

next hour.

And just ahead, he is a billionaire father and the boss of Tesla. Why Elon Musk is urging the world to have more babies.

And retirement: Serena shows no sign of slowing down, as the crowds cheer her at the U.S. Open.




GIOKOS: Let's get up to speed on some other stories on the radar right now.

People are finally able to return to their homes 11 years after Japan's worst nuclear disaster. The town of Futaba, which hosts the disabled

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has lifted its evacuation order.

It is the last of 11 districts to reopen to residents since the 2011 nuclear disaster at the plant.

The Chinese city of Shenzhen has shut down the world's largest electronic markets in an effort to stop a COVID outbreak. This comes after a few

people tested positive for COVID-19.


GIOKOS: Three Shenzhen neighborhoods are now locked down until Friday. Residents are forbidden to leave their homes unless it is for testing.

Elon Musk is sounding quite worried. The Tesla boss says the world is not having enough children to sustain civilization.

He has been tweeting about it saying, quote, "Population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming."

Some reports differ but Musk himself is said to be the father of at least nine children. Here is a quick look at the global population now. The U.N.

says, it is projected to reach about 8 billion in mid November. I want to bring in our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, good to see you. I have to say, when I heard Elon Musk say this and I read his tweets, I was thinking about Africa's incredibly young

demographic, India's young demographic. And then, I am wondering if he is just thinking about the Western world, for the developed economies.

Or is this a blanket statement for the world?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, we cannot get into Elon Musk's head. So I do not know exactly what he was thinking. But

we spoke with several experts, who said, we are not worried about this.

The fact that he says that Elon Musk says this is a bigger crisis than global warming, no. We have not found anyone who agrees with him.

In fact, a demographer, who actually used to work at the United Nations in a senior capacity man, he said Elon Musk is better at engineering cars than

at predicting population trends.

Now there is a little piece of truth in what he said; the birth rate is going down. So let's take a look at the numbers from the United Nations

about babies being born.

So if you take a look at babies who were born in 2021, what you see is 134 million worldwide. In 2100, about 80 years from now, it'll be about 111

million, if the projections are correct. So that is definitely a decrease.

But attaching that to catastrophe or calamity or whatever word he used, that is just not true according to the experts we spoke with. In fact, they

said that, at least in the United States, as well as other countries, what is driving that to a great extent is there are fewer teen pregnancies.

Fewer teen pregnancies are a good thing. So unclear why he thinks that this spells doom and disaster.

GIOKOS: Yes, it boggles the mind. I'm still thinking about it quite deeply. Elizabeth, good to see you. Thanks very much.