Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Authorities in Desperate Race against Time to lower Lake Levels; One-Third of Pakistan is under water; More than 33 Million People Affected by Flooding; Putin: Russia has lost Nothing over its Actions in Ukraine; Saudi State TV Blurred Same-Sex Kissing Scene Aired on Netflix; Bolsonaro Ramps up Campaign on Brazil's Bicentennial. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired September 07, 2022 - 11:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade filling in for my colleague Becky Anderson.

Good to have you with us.

Well, Pakistani officials are taking desperate measures to try and control the devastating flooding. It's plagued the country for months now. The

biggest concern right now is Pakistan's largest lake; Lake Manchar located in the heart hit Sindh Province.

The relentless rain and flooding is pushed up its levels and the lake breached Tuesday either by man or by nature and that has caused more

flooding downstream. The scope of the disaster is astounding a third of the country currently underwater. More than 1300 lives lost much of that

farmland that sustains Pakistan's economy drowning under the floodwater. Anna Coren reports but in no there are disturbing images in this report.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A metal box is pulled through the floodwaters. What's in the box ask the bystander. A dead body replies a

man. They open the lid and show the body of a man crammed in. The family doesn't have money for a funeral he explains.

There is no place to bury the dead that is how bad the situation is. They continue to hold the makeshift coffin through the brown murky water

searching for higher ground to bury the corps. In another district a group of villagers drag a makeshift raft with another man's body through the


We came across an official with a tractor says a man looking distressed. We requested help to transport the body but he denied. There is no ambulance

no support by anyone. As Pakistan's catastrophic floods continue to inundate 1/3 of the country the Province of Sindh in the country's South

East is now bearing much of the brunt of this climate change induced disaster.

With the water unable to drain away, there is nowhere to give the dead a dignified burial. Instead, these villages hold a funeral procession for

their relative in the very waters that claimed his life. Pakistan's unprecedented monsoonal rains that have been falling since June have

affected at least 33 million people across the country. That's 15 percent of the population.

Millions have been displaced having lost their homes and crops in the floodwaters. And the government and aid agencies are struggling to provide

enough food, medical care and shelter to those who've lost everything.

The ferocity of the flash floods has been the biggest killer. More than 1300 people have died 1/3 of them children, including a three day old baby

girl whose family tried to escape their home as the water almost reached the ceiling.

PETER OPHOFF, IFRC: The wife had the baby in her hands and just at the end, she couldn't hold it because the water was too strong and the baby swept

away. They found the baby but unfortunate baby died.

COREN (voice over): The people living near Lake Manchar Pakistan's largest freshwater lake, a looming disaster supposedly averted has come at a very

high price. Officials were forced to breach it to reduce dangerously high water levels, but tens of thousands of villages downstream have now been

left homeless and further flooding is still expected.

It destroyed our crops and houses no one informed us it was happening. No one warned us explained this farmer tending to his cattle barely keeping

their heads above water. The village is submerge there is no way to get to our village says this man.

Some families are now stranded. We appeal to the government to send rescue teams and help these people. A plea to an already overstretched government

grappling to deal with this unprecedented calamity, Anna Coren, CNN Hong Kong


KINKADE: Well, for those who were able to flee to dry land conditions are much better Susannah George from the Washington Post - to a makeshift camp

where the smallest victims are suffering the most.


SUSANNAH GEORGE, WASHINGTON POST PAKISTAN BUREAU CHIEF: We're in Lal Bagh this is one of the largest makeshift camps outside of seven in Sindh

Province. As you can see people here are living in tents that they've built for themselves out of plastic tarps and sticks from nearby trees.

Some people don't even have coverings over their heads. When we first arrived, families rushed towards us holding their children that they said

are getting sicker by the day because of the lack of sanitation at this camp and because humanitarian aid or government assistance has not yet

reached people here.

There are hundreds have tens and thousands of people many of them children this crisis has been particularly hard on children here in Sindh Province.


GEORGE: Many of these people have fled from incredibly poor rural villages and their children were already malnourished before the floodwaters hit

when people arrive to camps like this with even less food to eat, their children's health deteriorated.

We spoke to a pregnant woman at this camp, she's in her eighth month of pregnancy, and said she can't imagine delivering child into conditions like

this. She said that there isn't even clean water to drink. You need to walk two hours to the nearest town in order to get that water. And so she's been

forced to drink from the floodwaters.

And it's been making her and her children sick. Floodwaters are continuing to rise in this area, cutting off roads leaving in and out of the main town

near here. And as that continues, it's going to be even more difficult for aid agencies and the government to get the help that people here need to



KINKADE: Well, let's bring in CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers with a closer look at the weather situation. And Chad Pakistan's largest lake burst its

banks are making the flooding situation worse. What's the latest?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know there was a levee that was holding the water back from the area you're seeing here. But that levee was also

creating the very high water levels in lake and they feared that it could break at any time.

So here's what we have almost three times the normal precipitation across the entire country. Now some spots are 600 percent, six, seven times more

and some of these spots here down across the south but the lake right being there almost in the center of the country.

Now this is the breadbasket of Pakistan. This is where things are grown. This is last year, a very good crop, very green across here. Now its

computer enhanced, but you get the idea. This is where the crops were growing, and would have been growing right now except there is water in the


Now you have to understand that from this side of the water to this side of the water, there's only about a 20 meter difference in the bottom of the

river. This is a very flat, flat area. So that's the reason why so much has flooded. Because even though it's only a meter deep, it's wide as this

delta or this road all the way down across parts of Pakistan.

This is what the lake looked like. Now we're going to move you ahead, move you ahead until it's filling up. Notice how it's filling up, because the

bottom side here is getting farther and farther away from the middle.

But for now, all of a sudden, this was the levee holding the water back from the areas that we were just showing you. The levee here; moving you

ahead one more time, water coming up water coming up but all of a sudden, as the water came up, what was fertile farm fields right here got

completely devastated with the water just completely moved into that area.

And those are the people that were complaining or saying at least that no one told us? Well, there really wasn't that much of a communication thing

there because this is a very large area. You have to talk to an awful lot of people word of mouth really, from when you're going to actually see that

barrier or that levee until where you don't see the levee at all.

Now there's not much more rain coming. That's good news, maybe up to the north a little bit up into the areas where we talked about the glaciers

kind of melting up here. But the flooding is right through this area here. And there's no expected rainfall over the next five days, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. Chad Myers, appreciate that update. Thanks so much for that explanation. We are going to stay on this story. I want to bring in

Pakistan's Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who was also the Second in Command behind the Prime Minister, the National Flood Response Coordination

Center. So he's just the man we should be speaking to today. He joins us live from the Capital, Islamabad. Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: So you are Second in Command of the National Flood Response Coordination. Given that Pakistan is third, a third of the country now

underwater, the problem just seems overwhelming.

IQBAL: Well, right now, I think Pakistan is facing one of the worst climate change disasters, which is a big human tragedy for us. Because more than 33

million people are displaced, millions are sheltered, without any shelter in open skies, because the scale of the tragedy is so big, that despite our

full mobilization of resources of the government of the armed forces we are still unable to reach out to many people.

And this is something that I think international community has to realize that Pakistan is suffering for a crisis which is not one of its own making.


IQBAL: We are less than one person contributors to the global warming. But we are the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. And today as

a result, we have experienced a monsoon that has brought devastation to millions of people, poor families who have lost everything, not just the

infrastructure that can be rebuild, but they have lost their livelihoods they have lost their hopes. And I think this is a big challenge which we

all have to work together to bring these people back into life.

KINKADE: We have been reporting that 1300 people have been killed in the floods, but given minister that you say that you have been unable to reach

so many people, 33 million people that are affected by this; do you fear that the death toll will rise?

IQBAL: Definitely, there are still many areas which are inundated we are reaching out to all those areas. And every day, we do get new reports of

more deaths; I think this figure could rise similarly. Our initial estimates were that the damage is somewhere over $10 billion.

But we can now very easily say that now the new estimates that are coming in will take this damage much over $15 billion to our economy to our

infrastructure to the livelihoods of the people, we are still in the relief and rescue phase.

And very soon as soon as we have the water receipt, we will have to go into rehabilitation phase, where we will be facing the daunting task of

rehabilitating these 33 million people who have lost their crops who have lost their livestock who have lost their businesses. So they have lost all

their life savings and they have to rebuild their lives now.

KINKADE: So the monsoon rains and obviously the melting glaciers in the northern mountains contributed to these devastating floods but then

yesterday we saw Pakistan's largest like breach its banks.

What can you tell us about the situation there as authorities try to reduce the rising water levels? And do you know what contributed to that lake

breaching its banks? IQBAL: Well as the water is receding towards south, we are having more water in the lake, which is in the south part of Pakistan.

This monsoon was very typical because historically, monsoons have brought rainfalls in the northern parts of Pakistan, and our infrastructure has

been very much used to facing river based flooding.

But this time, this rainfall for consecutive three months took place in those areas which received more than 700 percent rainfall than the last 30

to 40 years average. These areas used to receive very low or moderate rainfall and all of a sudden, hell broke on them with very heavy rain that

lasted for almost three months.

And it turned entire districts in Sind and Baluchistan province, south of Punjab, south of KP into big, large ocean. And still there are hundreds and

hundreds of kilometers of area where you can only see water and it is very difficult to say whether this is landmass or this is part of some ocean or


KINKADE: As we heard from one of our reporters from I think The Washington Post earlier, the impact you're seeing on children quite significant but

also on pregnant women. I understand more than 100,000 pregnant women have been displaced. Only 900 so far have made it to a relief camp. That's

according to government data. These are pretty harrowing conditions. What do you think they need most right now?

IQBAL: I think we have an emergency as far as the health care is concerned not only there is an estimate about 650,000 women who have to deliver

babies we are setting up mobile maternity hospitals for them.

We need lots of more mobile hospitals. There is now also this fear that as soon as you know this first phase is over, we will face a very serious

challenge to face cholera, malaria, dengue fever, hepatitis, and all the waterborne diseases.

And we need many water desalination plants; clean water plants so that people can be saved from outbreak of all these waterborne diseases. So

there is this health emergency beyond which we are working trying to cover our people as much as we can.

KINKADE: Pakistan's planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal we really appreciate your time today. We wish you all the very best and I hope to speak to you again

soon because it is important to--


IQBAL: My final word is to the international community. Climate change is not a fiction. It is here, our people, poor people are paying the price for

global warming. Please take it seriously.

KINKADE: And Pakistan of course one of the lowest contributors to that climate crisis. I appreciate your time and thanks for sharing that

important message, we wish you the best.

Well, soaring energy costs are hitting many in Britain hard. Prime Minister Liz Truss says she gets it; she does have a plan to help the people. Plus--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go. No panic, no panic.


KINKADE: Foreign fighters on the frontlines with Ukrainian troops hearing their words why they're stepping into the fight against Russia?


KINKADE: Welcome back, the British Prime Minister isn't wasting time in her first full day on the job. Liz Truss vowing to take immediate action to

help people across the country; deal with their soaring fuel bills Liz Truss is telling parliament that she will unveil her energy crisis plan,



LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We can't just deal with today's problem. We can't just put a sticking plaster on it. What we need to do is increase

our energy supplies long term and that is why we will open up more supply in the North Sea which the honorable gentleman has opposed.

That is why we will build more nuclear power stations which the Labor Party didn't do when they were in office. And that is why we will get on with

delivering the supply as well as helping people through the winter.


KINKADE: Well, it's not just the UK the skyrocketing cost of fuel is a problem facing all of Europe. And the crisis is deepening as Russia further

limits its exports of natural gas. Germany's Chancellor is promising to work on lowering prices for energy imports.

He told citizens Wednesday the country will build natural gas storage terminals and purchase gas elsewhere to help get them through the winter.

We have CNN's Anna Stewart and Nada Bashir across the story for us, joining us live from London. Good to have you both with us.

But to start with you, Nada obviously we've heard that the new Prime Minister Liz Truss is going to deal with the cost of living crisis. Just

how bad it is right now and what can we expect from her when she makes this energy announcement tomorrow?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look Lynda, not to put too fine a point on it but the situation is bad. We are seeing the cost of living rising at a

rate we haven't seen in decade's inflation at just over 10 percent that's projected to reach around 13 percent by the end of the year according to

the Bank of England. That could even top 22 percent, an eye figure next year according to the Investment Bank Goldman Sachs.


BASHIR: And just to illustrate just how this is impacting people across the country, from October, the annual energy bill for the average household is

set to go up by 80 percent around 3500 pounds that is around just over 4000 U.S. dollars. And people are really feeling the pinch of the cost of living

crisis, the energy crisis that we're in the midst of really pushing people into a situation of extreme poverty, we're talking about people being

unable to heat their homes this winter, more and more people are relying on food banks.

That is the reality that the British government is now facing. And that is the challenge that Liz Truss is now facing as she comes into office as

prime minister with let's face it, a lot of pledges to deal with the crisis, but not a lot of commitments.

Not a lot of details around how exactly she will do that. And we saw her today in the House of Commons for the first time at the dispatch box as

Prime Minister facing questions from the opposition.

She did face repeated questions from the leader of the Labor Party, Kier Starmer around a potential windfall tax, a one off tax on those large

energy corporations. She was pretty clear in her opposition to them, take a listen.


TRUSS: I am against a windfall tax; I believe it is the wrong thing to be putting companies off investing in the United Kingdom, just when we need to

be growing the economy.


BASHIR: Now a lot a lot of details around how she plans to deliver on those commitments which she has said that tomorrow the government will lay out

its plans for an emergency package to deal with the energy crisis to deal with the cost of living crisis. There'll be certainly lots of eyes on that

in Parliament tomorrow, Lynda.

KINKADE: Nada, thanks to you, Nada Bashir. And of course, to Anna, this is not just a crisis impacting the UK, the entire EU is dealing with similar

sort of situation. Russia, of course, had already put on hold their natural gas coming through Nord Stream 1. How is the EU responding to his further


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for the EU, they've been facing an energy crisis now for many weeks. And actually, that was long before Russia

decided to completely stop gas supplies through that main pipeline.

And of course, at this stage, there was absolutely no guarantee when or if that pipeline will resume gas supply. So already, they're looking at much

reduced supplies. This is a crisis, different member states are dealing with the issue in different ways where the EU would like to act together

with unity.

And so on Friday, there will be an extra special energy ministers meeting. And we'll help for that ahead about the EU Commission president Ursula von

der Leyen spoke today, she laid out some of the proposals.

And I think she was also speaking as much to Europe as to Russia, saying that they have already very much weakened the grip that Russia has on their

supplies. Take a listen.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: At the beginning of the warm if you looked at the imported gas 40 percent of it was Russian gas

since a long time. Today, we're down to 9 percent only. So these are the five measures we will discuss with the member states at the informal

Council Energy Minister Council on Friday. These are tough times.

And they are not over soon. But I'm deeply convinced that if we show the solidarity, the unity and we have the determination for that we have the

economic strength with the political will, that we shall overcome.


STEWART: It'll be interesting to see whether there is the political will to get agreement from all the member states. As you heard from Nada, looking

at Prime Minister's question here in the UK, there's often a difference of opinion about how you tackle these issues.

The five proposals being laid out here by the EU include quite simply reducing energy consumption, particularly looking at electricity, in peak

hours. And for long time now I've heard from analyst - this is not just about bolstering supplies, this is also about reducing demand for energy.

Putting in place a revenue cap for non-gas generators, a windfall tax for fossil fuel generators and using the money from all of that to try and

support poor households, people and of course, businesses, liquidity help for energy suppliers, who will be struggling to pay for gas at wholesale

prices without delivering that price on of course to customers.

And last but certainly not least a price cap on Russian gas. And I think this is a particularly interesting measure given just today, President

Putin said that any kind of price cap on any Russian energy, whether it is oil, whether it is gas will simply result in Russia, not supplying that


So if the EU agrees to all of these proposals, they are effectively looking at a complete cut off of Russian gas just as they head into winter, Lynda.

KINKADE: Tough times ahead, Anna Stewart laying it all out for us. Good to have you with us. Thanks so much. Western energy bans and sanctions against

Russia are taking a toll on the Russian economy.

So Moscow is now turning to Asia to fill the economic gaps. At a Russian economic conference today, President Vladimir Putin referenced a new gas

payment deal with China. And during that meeting he insisted that the invasion of Ukraine has not been as costly to Russia as the West might




VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: I'm sure that we have not lost anything and will not lose anything over actions in Ukraine. When it comes to the

gains, I can say that the main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty. That is the inevitable result of what is going on now.

Yes, of course, a certain polarization is taking place both in the world and inside the country. I think this is only for the best.


KINKADE: Well, Putin also kept up the blame game surrounding Ukraine's nuclear plan now under control by Russia, accusing Ukraine of aiming

attacks at the plant. Ukraine has consistently said Russia is to blame for shelling in the area. Situation has become so dangerous that Ukraine's top

nuclear official says the plant may have to be shut down.

After a UN nuclear inspection, the International Atomic Energy Agency says it is gravely concerned and it wants a demilitarized zone put in place to

avoid a catastrophe.


RAFAEL GROSSI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: The mere fact that there is continuity of attacks and shelling deliberate or

not wittingly or unwittingly people are hitting a nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. So I must say that the danger continues.


KINKADE: Meantime, Ukraine is gaining ground in its southern counter offensive with the ambitious goal of taking back most of the Kherson region

from Russia by the end of this year. That's according to senior U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

CNN's Sam Kiley reports on the foreigners fighting for Ukraine in the south. But we must warn you, you will see some graphic images from the



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go. No panic, no panic. This is normal, this is normal.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Among the most forward troops in Ukraine's latest counter offensive, this really is

normal. When the crunch of incoming artillery is this intense, casualty in this reconnaissance unit, which includes three foreigners are inevitable.

Marquez, a Britain was lightly wounded on day one of the offensive. On day two, he was more seriously injured in the leg by artillery alongside

Michael Zafer, a former U.S. Marine from Kansas. He was hit in the hand, stomach and head.

They joined Ukraine's army together, but met fighting ISIS in Syria. Zafer is the former U.S. Marines Kurdish codename.


KILEY (voice over): As - troops, they've been the tip of Ukraine's attacks on its southern front in the fight to recapture her son.

RONIN: And then I still look on to my left and then pop and I couldn't see anything for a bit. Everything looked the same. Everything came to, which

my left looks fine, like alright, OK - to the whole, to the whole.

KILEY (voice over): It's going to be a slow grinding fight, they say, whatever the claims of Ukraine's government.

KILEY (on camera): This counter offensive is being built as kind of a quick process. Do you think that that's--

MARK AYRES, BRITON FIGHTING IN UKRAINE: No, definitely no, that won't be quick. I mean, it's hard slow for me, by me position by position, because

we haven't got the resources to do a massive blitzkrieg.

KILEY (voice over): U.S. weapons and other NATO equipment have proved useful, but not decisive as Ukraine has captured a handful of villages

since the counter offensive began. Here Russian troops wave a white flag of surrender.

Precision artillery strikes by U.S. supplied howitzers are monitored by Zafer's Reki unit with a drone; rushes motivated its troops with false

claims that they're liberating Ukraine from Nazis. For Ukraine, it's a battle of national survival, attracting help from around the world.

KILEY (on camera): Do you feel sorry for the Russians?

AYRES: No. No, not so. It's not like Ukraine has invaded Russia. They've invaded Ukraine. They're here killing civilians killing our soldiers. I've

got no sympathy for them, whatsoever.

KILEY (voice over): Ukraine's imposed a news blackout on the southern offensive and keeps his casualty figures secret. But for these men being

wounded isn't the end of combat. It's an interruption.

KILEY (on camera): And are you going to go back?

RONIN: Yes, once everything heals on my body, probably within three to four weeks. I should be right back out there.

KILEY (voice over): Sam Kiley, CNN Odessa.


KINKADE: Well, still to come, why some Arab countries want Netflix over the content it produces. And--


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought I was going to die. I screamed like as soon as I saw the gun.


KINKADE: After the break, we'll see how one Trans activist who was repeatedly harassed online fled her home country and is now fighting back.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, Netflix has been warned by Arab countries in the Persian Gulf over content they say violates Islamic and societal

values. The Gulf Cooperation Council or the GCC led by Saudi Arabia said it will be taking legal action if Netflix continues broadcasting violating


Now Netflix is of course available across the Middle East along with various other streaming platforms. I want to bring in CNN's Scott McLean

for more on this story. Good to see you, Scott.

So Netflix is in a bit of a tricky spot if they want to stream in Arab nations. The Gulf Cooperation, obviously saying that some of the content

contradicts what they say are Islamic societal values and principles. What programs are they referring to?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Lynda, this statement put out by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Saudi government, it was a gulf, it

was a joint statement. And it didn't actually specifically identify which content that they were talking about, but a Saudi state TV report did and

so the show is called Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous.

This is a spin-off of the wildly popular Jurassic Park film series and this animated version of it is aimed at kids seven plus, this is the scene in



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Truth is Sammy - I have fallen for you. Like hard - I know I heard you earlier. I just wanted to hear you say it again. Because

I've wanted to hear you say - I don't even know when.


MCLEAN: You can watch this show dubbed in Arabic also with Arabic subtitles. The Saudi state TV report that I mentioned actually showed that

scene but it blurred the kids itself.

It said that that scene or that Netflix was calling for homosexual actions and moral corruption and a program that was aimed at kids. The statement

from the Saudi government and the GCC called for the content to be taken down and said, "The concerned authorities will follow up on the platform's

compliance with the directives and in the event that the violating content continues to be broadcast the necessary legal measures will be taken".


MCLEAN: Now the Emirati government then came out with a very similar statement. And if you go on Netflix in the United Arab Emirates right now,

you will not find this show at all in the children's section, you can still access it.

If you log into Netflix through an adult profile, though it now has a rating on it of 18 plus. We did reach out to Netflix for comments so far,

though, no response.

KINKADE: 18 plus. Well, it's not the first time that these sort of streaming platforms have been asked to send some material. We will see how

this plays out Scott McLean for us in London. Thanks very much.

Well, it is an exciting time to be in Brazil, the country celebrating its 200th birthday and in a few weeks; we will pick its new president. After

the break, we'll go to Brazil to get the political mood. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade. Well it is Independence Day in Brazil. And like every September 7, the day is filled

with parades, military demonstrations and of course national pride.

But unlike years past, the president wants to turn the celebration into a campaign rally like this one in Brasilia. Jair Bolsonaro plans speeches

around the country in the hopes of keeping his job.

Well, our Shasta Darlington joins us now from Sao Paulo with the story, good to see you Shasta. So what did we hear from Mr. Bolsonaro today?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Lynda. Well, as you mentioned, the hundreds of thousands of Brazilians joined celebrations

across the country. They're wearing yellow and green shirts and waving flags, Bolsonaro was first in the capital of Brasilia.

He's now headed to Rio de Janeiro. And we see people lining up in both of those cities to watch his tanks roll by and planes fly overhead for these

military parades, now that's because the festivities are officially being staged to celebrate 200 years of independence for Brazil from Portugal.

Critics, however, are accusing the President Bolsonaro of trying to hijack the day ahead of elections next month on October 2. And in fact, there are

simultaneously dozens of political rallies in pro Bolsonaro rallies being held across the country right now.

So at the parade in Brasilia, Bolsonaro declared the will of the people will be made known on at the elections on October 2, a clear reference to

the elections and not to Independence Day. He also told state TV ahead of the event that Brazil's freedom was at stake, take a listen.


JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: What are at stake are our freedom and our future. The population knows that they are the ones that guide our




DARLINGTON: Now critics say that Bolsonaro is planning to use the big turnout at these festivities as proof not only of popular support but of

military support for his electoral campaign.

And his evidence that the polls are flawed and that's because polls show Bolsonaro losing he's trailing his main rival left wing former President

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by a considerable margin.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned the polls, as well as the widely respected electronic voting system. Now without providing any evidence, he

says that the system can produce fraudulent results.

And critics obviously say Bolsonaro is imitating the election denying rhetoric of Donald Trump. So ahead of the events on Wednesday, security was

beefed up across the country, especially in Brasilia, where Bolsonaro supporters have repeatedly threatened to charge the Supreme Court which is

seen as critical of the president. We haven't seen that today.

Nonetheless, there's been very tight security. Lula's campaign on the other hand encourages supporters to stay home to avoid clashes with his rival

supporters. It noticeably absent however, were other institutional leaders such as the president of the Senate and Congress, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. So we will stay on this story and speak to you again sooner. Nada, Shasta Darlington thanks so much. Well, can a Supreme Court

uphold William Ruto's victory in the country's presidential election? His - accepted the outcome but didn't agree with it.

Well, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenged the results over the now disproven election fraud. Ruto tells our Christiane Amanpour that his

old boss the president has remained quiet.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: But your own boss, the outgoing President Kenyatta, to whom you were deputy, supported your

opponent. He didn't support you during this campaign. And as so far we don't know whether he's actually congratulated you or not has he? President


WILLIAM RUTO, KENYAN PRESIDENT-ELECT: You know, when I decided to support President Uhuru Kenyatta for 10 years, I did not give him conditions on him

to support me. And he's an adult, and he can choose and make decisions like all adults on who to choose.

And I appreciated when he decided to support somebody else; I did not take offense, although I had supported him in the past. I have won the election

that is what is important.

AMANPOUR: Did he congratulate you? That's what I want to know.

RUTO: Whether they've supported me or not. Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me, but I think that's fine. I

mean, maybe he's a bit disillusioned, or maybe he's unhappy that I defeated his candidate. But that is the nature of politics.


KINKADE: Well, you can see Christiane's entire interview with Kenya's President Elect William Ruto in about an hour. And the poll starts at 1

p.m. in New York. That's 8 p.m. in Nairobi. Well, thanks so much for joining us today.

I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta that was "Connect the World". Marketplace Middle East is up next and I'll see you back same time tomorrow.



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST: Welcome to Marketplace Middle East. I'm your host, Eleni Giokos. And this month, I'm in the Gulf

country of Bahrain, where I'm discovering a tiny island nation with big economic goals.

Only a few months ago, the country announced it would invest $30 billion to boost its economy and clear its debts by 2024. It's an ambitious strategy

to get Bahrain back to business after a roller coaster decade.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In 2008, Bahrain unveiled the World Trade Center, a beacon for finance and trade,

and a symbol of the country's role as a leading financial hub in the Gulf.

JANA TREECK, MD, MIDDLE EAST, OXFORD BUSINESS GROUP: Bahrain, a very well established regulatory framework that attracted a lot of banks to move to


KARADSHEH (voice over): But only three years later, the wave of the Arab Spring hit this country's shores. Bahrain's GDP growth shrunk from over 6

percent in 2008 to less than 2 percent in 2011. Over the next decade, problems only compounded with collapsing oil prices and a global pandemic.

TREECK: With the volatility in oil prices after the oil price crash in 2015, there have been a lot of reforms to decrease the budget deficits. And

then in 2020, during COVID, the economy contracted by 5.4 percent.

KARADSHEH (voice over): But now the country is looking to re-ignite its economy just recently announcing a permanent residency program known as a

Golden Visa in order to attract top talent. The news follows an announcement in October last year for a $30 billion recovery strategy.

Bahrain's government identified six sectors for investment and improvement. The kingdom is looking to diversify its economy with oil and gas currently

providing about 75 percent of government revenue, the main goal to attract $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment by 2023.

TREECK: It's very ambitious. It's a very high amount of funding required, which is supposed to come from private investments.

KARADSHEH (voice over): Some of the landmark projects include building five new cities and artificial islands, a trading zone with the United States,

and a brand new 25 kilometer road and rail bridge connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, the region's largest economy. Both plans that will encompass

all of the economy, with the goal to bring Bahrain back in line with its larger Gulf neighbors. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN for Marketplace Middle East.


GIOKOS: Geared towards diversifying the economy vision 2030 is all about investing in sectors like tourism, business services, manufacturing and

logistics to boost growth.


ZAYED AL ZAYANI, MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND TOURISM, BAHRAIN: You told us about 10,000 square meters as you see--


GIOKOS: To get more insight into the Kingdom strategy, I met up with the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism at one of the country's flagship

projects, the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center.

This massive space is said to be the region's largest exhibition center when it opens later this year.

Bahrain was already under pressure economically, before the pandemic. The pandemic brought along with it a lot more pain, but the country was already

on the path of trying to diversify away from oil and gas. Do you think that's actually doable?

ZAYANI: If you talk primarily about diversification, it's not new to us. We've done it before. Before oil, we didn't have oil. We were a purling

nation. We went from purling to oil to industry, to banking to telecoms, and I'm sure we'll find more and more as we go along.

I think the biggest asset in Bahrain is the Bahrainis themselves. We've always received people from all over the world. So I think tourism for us

is a normal evolution. We launched our first tourism strategy in 2016. And we managed to double the GDP contribution of that sector.

GIOKOS: 2016 was 4 percent of GDP and now you've got targets to 11 and a half percent by 2026.

ZAYANI: Yes absolutely.


GIOKOS: I think it shows with the amount of money you're investing in all your projects that you are absolutely confident about the future. You

mentioned stability. And I think we are in a time right now, where we're seeing instability, emerging potential instability, because of the

provocations that we're seeing coming through from Yemen, specifically targeting the UAE. Does this worry you at all in terms of executing on your


ZAYANI: I think when you start talking about economic stability, and planning, economic reform, and all that it's a long term journey. And it's

not something that should be swayed by events that happen on the way.

You have to remain focused. And you have to remain committed to the long term target, really. So when we plan something we plan it for, probably not

even our generation for the next generation. What happens today will not happen forever.

GIOKOS: After the break, I'll show you around one of the world's largest Aluminium smelters. We'll hear from the CEO behind this operation, and its

right here in Bahrain. Stay with us.


GIOKOS: Welcome back to Marketplace Middle East. And this month we're in Bahrain's capital Manama, we're discovering how plan to put the country's

economy back on its feet is impacting entrepreneurs.


FAISAL KHALIFEH, MD, SOLAR ONE: This is actually my favorite part because it's the most automated part of the production process.

GIOKOS (voice over): 29 year old Faisal Khalifeh is Founder and Managing Director of Bahrain's very first solar panel company.

KHALIFEH: This is the essence of the solar panel. This is where the energy is generated before it goes out into a full solar energy system.

GIOKOS (voice over): Solar One produces about 60,000 solar panels in a year. It is a small, but significant step for the startup. This is the

final product here right; these are solar panels that are ready to be--

KHALIFEH: Yes, these are going out onto tissue factory actually.

GIOKOS (voice over): Bahrain relies on oil and gas for its electricity supply. But it still has a long way to go to diversify its energy mix. 83

percent of the country's energy comes from natural gas and 17 percent comes from oil.

But renewable energy is a fundamental component of Bahrain's economic recovery plan. And Tamkeen, a semi government agency that is helping

startups grow in the kingdom thinks it's a lucrative sector.

HUSAIN MOHAMED RAJAB, CEO, TAMKEEN: Renewable energy is one of the key sectors that are growing in the region. GCC is one of the most energy rich

regions globally. And that drives a lot of interest from governments to support the growth and development of any activity in the sector. And

definitely manufacturing of solar panels or anything that has to do with renewable energy is considered as a priority for us.

GIOKOS (voice over): All of this is good news for small businesses like Solar One, as the government sees entrepreneurship as pivotal to the

country's economic future.

RAJAB: A significant amount of the capital came from Tamkeen. They gave us in total a few include the award money from our award for the startup of

the year about 190,000 U.S. dollars. So that went--

GIOKOS (voice over): But there are still challenges ahead. Faisal says Solar One currently imports 100 percent of all their raw materials as they

need to be certified internationally, something Solar One hopes to change going forward.

RAJAB: It just feels good to be part of Bahrain's goals like with their renewable energy targets.

GIOKOS (voice over): For now, it's assembly only, but Faisal is not deterred. The hope that one day his product will be truly is made in

Bahrain. One thing that is made in Bahrain is Aluminium and it may be hard to believe. But this tiny country is home to the largest Aluminium Smelter

outside of China.


GIOKOS (voice over): Alba produced over 1.5 million metric tons of Aluminium in 2021. And in this reduction cell behind me, that's 957 degrees

Celsius alumina, which is the powder is being transformed into Aluminium. I caught up with the CEO of Alba.

GIOKOS (on camera): What is it like being in an industry that's dominated by China that controls over half of global supply?

ALI AL BAQALI, CEO, ALBA: Nobody can compete China, China producing more than the half of the total production of the world. And any change in their

growth, it will affect the market directly. But I think there is a strong demand in the market.

Our aim is not to build a refinery by our own or to control the refinery. We still our focus is to produce Aluminium. But we want to reduce the risk

of the supply by having minority shareholders in one of the existing refinery.

GIOKOS (voice over): And Alba's ambitions keep growing. While expansion plans for the plants are being cemented, the CEO gave me a sneak peek into

one of the working smelters and how Aluminium is made. That's amazing, what are we seeing?

BAQALI: Here what we can see on high level, how we are converting the alumina to Aluminium.

GIOKOS (voice over): One of the most important things when it comes to making Aluminium is the heat right, you need a lot of electricity and I can

feel the heat emanating in this line. How are you planning to get around the climate change issues?

BAQALI: The smelters are very energy intensive and we are producing electricity through the natural gas. We know that there is an issue about

the natural gas. We are in the ASI; we are certified as green Aluminium. However, there are challenges to reduce this number eight to the lower

numbers. That's why we are putting a lot of initiatives to be greener to tackle all the aspects in the future.


GIOKOS: Well that's it for this edition of Marketplace Middle East from Manama, Bahrain as the country gears towards a new future that isn't

relying on oil and gas. If you'd like to hear more on our stories, check out our website from Eleni Giokos. I'll see you next time.