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Biden: U.S. won't "Walk away from Middle East"; Adel Al-Jubeir: U.S.-Saudi Relationship Remains Robust; Ukraine Halts Energy Exports, Russia Targets Infrastructure; NATO Tries to Bolster Ukraine's Air Defense; Bank of England Confirms Emergency Support will end Friday; NASA says it Successfully Changed Asteroid's Path. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired October 12, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour energy and security dominating the news. You'll hear from my interview with the U.S. Energy
Envoy about Washington's rebuke of Saudi Arabia for slashing oil production last week. And you'll also hear from the Saudis themselves with what they
think about that.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs joins me live from Riyadh just ahead. It was NATO Defence Ministers meet in Brussels. Russia's President
is talking energy saying Europe alone bears responsibility for the energy crisis sparked by the war that he started.
Well, at a conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin deflected blame away from Russia, saying the crisis is due to poor decisions when it comes to
cooperating with Moscow on energy matters. And he says Russia is ready to help. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Let me also remind you, who back at that time lent a hand to Europe and increased gas volumes to Europe it was
Russia. But leaders of these countries prefer not to think of it.
On the contrary they consider it possible to blame us as a neutral and beloved partner and supplier. Are we denying the supplies? We are ready to
supply and we are doing so in accordance with a contract.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Putin talking as NATO Ministers hold what is a crucial meeting to address Ukraine's ongoing plea for more air defense systems. We
are going to hear from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin later this hour.
Before the meeting, Austin vowed that NATO allies are poised to support Ukraine's defense needs for "The challenging months and years ahead". Well,
that meeting happening during a third straight day of Russian attacks in Ukraine.
Officials in an eastern city report shelling killed at least seven people missile and drone strikes killed 20 earlier this week. Well, U.S. President
Joe Biden addressing Putin's veiled threats about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. In a CNN interview Mr. Biden sorts downplay the chance of that
will happen while still sounding a very cautious tone. Here is part of that interview with our Jake Tapper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How realistic is it do you think that Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I don't think he will. But I think it is irresponsible him to talk about the idea that a
world leader of one of the largest nuclear powers in the world says he may use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
And the whole point I was making was it could lead to just a horrible outcome. And not because anybody intends to turn it into a world war ending
but it just once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made the miscalculations who know what would happen?
TAPPER: Do you think Putin is a rational actor?
BIDEN: I think he is a rational actor who's miscalculated significantly.
TAPPER: So if he's not rational--
BIDEN: I didn't say he's not rational.
TAPPER: You said the speech is what--
BIDEN: I think the speech--
BIDEN: His objectives were not. I think he thought, Jake, I think he thought he's going to be welcomed with open arms that this was - this has
been the home of Russia and Kyiv, and they were - he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Biden also had some pointed words for Saudi Arabia after OPEC Plus slashed oil production last week, a move that Washington
sees as siding with Russia. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Some of your Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are afraid that the U.S. got played when you went to Saudi Arabia and fist bumped with the
Crown Prince because now obviously a few months later, Saudi backed OPEC is slashing oil production in partnership with Russia.
The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez just called for a freeze on cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including most arms
sales. Senator Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate says the Saudis sided with Russia against the United States. Do you think it's time
for the U.S. to rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia?
BIDEN: Yes. And by the way, let's get straight why I went, I didn't go to one about oil. I went about making sure that we made sure that we weren't
going to walk away from the Middle East. And what was going on.
And by the way, today, I just got off the telephone with the President of - I got off the phone with the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of
Lebanon. They've worked out a deal. They've been at war declared war with one another for a long time.
They've worked out a boundary relationship along the Eastern Mediterranean for oil, and then they're going to make an agreement that is historic. We
also got over flights for Israeli planes over Saudi Arabia. We got movements in terms of how we would deal in the Middle East with aggression
from Iran but it wasn't in other--
BIDEN: There are eight other parties there. It wasn't about it wasn't about oil.
BIDEN: But we should and I am in the process when the House and Senate gets back, they're going to have to there's going to be some consequences for
what they've done with Russia.
TAPPER: What kind of consequences? Menendez says suspend all arm sales? Is that something you'd consider?
BIDEN: I'm not going to be going into what I'd consider and what I'm having in mind. But there will be there will be consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, as President Biden then warns of consequences, let's hear what Saudi Arabia has to say. Adel Al-Jubeir was an Ambassador to
Washington and is now Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. He joins us from Riyadh. Accusation, the kingdom's influence in the recent decision to
cut oil production, pushing prices higher, at least in the short term is siding with Russia. What's your response to that?
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Saudi Arabia is not siding with Russia. Saudi Arabia is taking the side of trying to
ensure the stability of the oil markets, which benefits consumers and producers alike.
We have been doing this for decades. We try to make sure that we don't have erratic swings in prices so that we can have logic when it comes to
investments when it comes to lending. And when it comes to prices, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes in the strongly the decision to reduce the
quarters was taken unanimously by 22 countries. And the markets have responded very positively to this. The price of oil has actually come down
since last week not going up.
ANDERSON: Yes, and that is the irony of course, though Washington says the economic fundamentals didn't justify a cut of that size at this point. And
so the only beneficiary in their eyes, they say is Vladimir Putin?
The irony, of course, as I say is that prices haven't actually moved any higher as OPEC's largest producer, the Kingdom must have considered the
fallout when making the decision, which was a decision against the better judgment reportedly of other members who pushed back on it. How concerned
are you by these threats by President Biden of consequences for the Kingdom's actions?
AL-JUBEIR: Well, if you will be Becky, the other point I would like to make is that Saudi Arabia has supported the UN resolution with regards to the -
after the crisis began between Russia and Ukraine. Saudi Arabia has opposes the acquisition of territory by force.
Saudi Arabia has had open lines of communications with both Ukraine and Russia. And we have been able to use those open lines of communications to
work out an agreement on the exchange of prisoners of war.
This would not have happened had we been viewed as taking sides versus between one side and the other. Saudi Arabia provides humanitarian
assistance to Ukraine and continues to do so. And we're looking for ways to try to bring the two sides to the negotiating table to find a resolution
and negotiated resolution out of this issue. We don't believe that escalation is beneficial to Europe or beneficial to the world frankly.
ANDERSON: President Joe Biden has repeatedly said now that there will be consequences to Saudi for this deal without revealing the details. Now, we
do know that many Congressmen and women are threatening to freeze arm sales to the Kingdom to pull U.S. troops from the Kingdom to limit OPEC's
influence on the markets going forward. Does that worry you? What's the risk involved? If these actions these consequences, these alternatives are
AL-JUBEIR: I can't speak to the motivations behind statements by officials. What I can tell you is that the sale of defensive weapons to Saudi Arabia
serves the interests of the U.S. and serves the interests of Saudi Arabia and serves the interests of security and stability in the Middle East.
The presence of American forces in the Middle East has been here for many, many decades. They are here to protect the stability and security of the
Middle East and the stability and security of the United States.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have had a very strong relationship for eight decades. They have been very close partners in
fighting extremism and terrorism and maintaining stability and security in defending the region. And have been very close allies in terms of economic
and trade, an investment and we hope that this relationship we'll look forward to this relationship continuing for the next eight decades.
ANDERSON: The problem is that there are those now Saudi's critics in Washington who say that Saudi Arabia is weaponing oil. U.S. Senators from
both sides of the aisle are expressing increased frustration with the Kingdom.
ANDERSON: I spoke to one Democratic Senator, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Chris Murphy last hour. Sir have a listen to what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): The Saudis can't separate the economics of oil from the politics of oil. They keeping doing that, because it is the
economics of oil, it is the revenue from that oil that is allowing the Russians to perpetuate a campaign that is killing thousands of civilians
inside of Ukraine.
It is the revenue from that oil that is allowed for the Saudis to perpetuate a campaign inside Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians.
So, you know, I understand the Saudis want to say, hey, we make all of our decisions with respect to oil, independent of the political consequences.
But they know that's not true. They know that there is a linkage between the economics of oil and the politics of oil. And they also know that the
United States has been an ally, for decades with the Saudis, because we wanted to make sure that we had the ability to get oil from the Middle East
to the United States to power our economy.
So we're a security partner with the Saudis, in large part because we want to make sure that we protect the oil that is important to our economy. So
you just can't separate the economics of oil from the politics of oil. You can't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And this is a Congressman, by the way, who has said that the U.S. should now cut ties with Saudi Arabia, your response, sir?
AL-JUBEIR: With all due respect, I believe the assumptions upon which the statements were made are not correct; Saudi Arabia does not politicize oil.
We don't see oil as a weapon. We don't - we see oil as a commodity.
Our objective is to bring stability to the oil markets. And our record is very clear on this not over the past few weeks but over the past decades.
We have always sought to ensure that there are adequate supplies of crude oil to the markets, we have always maintained work to maintain stability,
and we reduce the erratic in the price of oil so that both consumers and producers benefit.
This has been our policy. Now, if anyone wants to speculate and read something else into it that is not correct. I can't really do much about
it. But what I can tell you is we have a track record, the track record has been around for decades, and our track record has been clear.
We have always worked assiduously to maintain stability in the oil markets. And we have always worked to ensure that there are adequate supplies in the
oil markets. Drastic increase in the price of oil or drastic drops in the price of oil are very damaging to the global economy and damaging to
consumers everywhere, whether it's in the United States or whether it's in Saudi Arabia.
ANDERSON: What will the Kingdom's response be? Should some of the actions that these Congressmen and women that those on the Hill are looking to
affect - there is clearly a school of thought that says, you know this relationship is broken? And that is from Washington's perspective? Is that
your perspective at this point? And should some of these threats come good on breaking the relationship? What would the Kingdom's response be?
AL-JUBEIR: I don't believe this relationship is broken very far from it. This relationship is very robust. We have almost 80,000 Americans living
and working in Saudi Arabia, we have a very strong trade and investment relationship.
We work very closely with regards to ensuring our common interests, whether it's to bring peace to Yemen, whether it's to bring peace between the
Israelis and Arabs, whether it's to stabilize Afghanistan, whether it's to reintegrate Iraq into the Arab fold.
Whether it's to bring stability to the Horn of Africa, stability and peace in Libya, in the G5 countries of the Sahel whether it's to fight extremism
and terrorism, those interests are permanent and those interests are tremendously important to both countries, and to the security stability,
not only of the region, but the world.
And so that it is incumbent upon both countries to work together in order to realize the objectives that they both have, which occurred to the
benefit of both people in both countries. Now, I can't unfortunately, when you're in the election season, what some people call the funny season, a
lot of things are said and lots of things are done that maybe may not make sense at another period of time.
And I hope that this is what we're dealing with here. However, when it comes to the relationship between the two countries, it's fundamental it's
very strong. And it's fundamental and strong because the interests of the two countries require that they work very closely together in order to
overcome the many challenges that they face.
ANDERSON: Well, I want to get back to this decision and just press you a bit on the timing of this OPEC Plus decision. We've considered the fallout
in Washington during this interview. Multiple reports citing officials briefed on discussion so that other OPEC Plus members, not least the UAE
and Iraq were pushing back on the cut.
They didn't want to see the size of the cart, nor did they want to see this production cut happen when it did, they questioned the timing of that cut.
On hindsight and given the fallout that the Kingdom is seeing reputational on the Hill in Washington at present, and these questions about the
relationship going forward between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. on reflection, might, the Saudis have acted differently?
AL-JUBEIR: Well we have, what happens in discussions before decisions are made is something that really I was not privy to, because I wasn't at the
time during the talks. But what I can tell you what counts is the bottom line, every member of OPEC and OPEC Plus countries supported this decision.
So that's what we go by.
With regard to speculation of statements to the contrary, I don't subscribe to those because I believe that the bottom line is everybody agreed to it.
So it was a unanimous decision. So that's one.
And with regards to looking forward, I think we're looking forward to more stable markets. And we're looking forward to markets that are adequately
supplied, and we're looking forward to avoiding erratic behavior in the markets. And this is what Saudi Arabia has been doing.
ANDERSON: Adel Al-Jubeir I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us! The perspective of the Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs, and let's just bring up the price of oil. Thank you, sir.
I do want to just bring up the price of oil at present Brent Crude trading down today, nearly 2 percent at 92.62. WTI Crude and one of the other
indices are down at 87.46 as they are down more than 2 percent to my point earlier on the irony of this.
These discussions about this cut at oil the price is actually around about or below what it was before the decision was taken by OPEC Plus members,
just a point to underscore that. We also talked earlier about this with the U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator and U.S. Energy Envoy, Amos
Hochstein, have a listen to his perspective.
AMOS HOCHSTEIN, U.S. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL COORDINATOR: The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is long standing. It has been a bipartisan
relationship. All that time I think that will our interest is to continue that. But look, the reason that we said it was a mistake, and that the
President was disappointed with the decision is that there was just no justification for it from an economic or markets perspective.
The world is going through a really tough time economically. There is a slowdown in economic activity throughout Europe, parts of Asia, even in the
United States, where we're seeing very high prices. The idea that in the middle of a war, in the middle of this period of time, to take such a
dramatic action from OPEC the only beneficiary that we can see for OPEC decision is Russia at the moment, and I clearly is not going to support
Europe, it's not going to support anyone else's economy.
ANDERSON: Are you accusing the Saudi siding with Russia? Is that what you're saying?
HOCHSTEIN: I am saying that the only beneficiary to this is a Russian economy that is struggling mightily under its isolation. We were
disappointed in OPEC decision because we don't understand it's clearly not on market basis.
HOCHSTEIN: So we don't understand.
ANDERSON: --the Saudis have said the decision was purely economic and had no political dimension. They say the oil market has been oscillating for a
while now and that it was time to balance it out. And with warnings of a global recession there is merit in the argument is that not?
HOCHSTEIN: No, there isn't Becky. Prices on the day that they announced this cut the global prices were over $90. No one in their right mind
following oil markets believes that $90 is a time to cut production or to inject volatility into the market.
And by the way, the proof is in the pudding. At the end of the day, the prices have come down to maybe you know at $84.45 on a basis. Since then
the prices have since that decision prices went up dramatically.
HOCHSTEIN: I don't think anybody's going to argue that during a, if we have an economic slowdown, and prices are high, and the economic slowdown is a
result of inflation, that we should be adding to inflation by increasing the prices of oil and suggesting that the economic slowdown is going to
create a slowdown in demand. Why don't we wait and see why do it ahead of time?
ANDERSON: You're Energy Adviser to the Biden Administration, will you recommend the White House supports move to limit OPEC's future control of
the energy market?
HOCHSTEIN: Look, I think the United States has had a long standing position that the market should be, should operate on a diversified basis as much as
possible. But I'm not going to go on TV and talk about what my recommendations to the President is going to be.
I think at the end of the day, we have to look at acting responsibly. And so we have been working before this decision and after this decision
closely with our allies in Europe, with Japan, Korea, India, the rest of the world to make sure that we work both vis-a-vis, Russia and ending bring
an end to this war and Russia's aggression but also to make sure that we can return the world to stronger growth.
ANDERSON: Amos Hochstein speaking to me earlier and you can follow developments on this and the other big stories from this region by signing
up for CNN's, meanwhile, in the Middle East newsletter that is published three times a week it is an extremely good read.
Well, worth signing up for it. The web address is at the top of your screen that is how you can subscribe. Today we look at five reasons why the Israel
Lebanon maritime border deal matters so much.
Widespread strikes, fuel shortages and a government veering to act how tensions are being stretched to breaking point in France. NATO facing a
delicate challenges how to fortify the skies over Ukraine without intensifying the war. We'll look at their efforts after this short break.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World" out of the UAE where the time is 25 past seven. Ukraine says that
around 30 percent of its energy infrastructure has been damaged by Russian missiles since Monday, so badly damaged that it can't send power to Europe.
Ukraine connected to Europe's power grid soon after the war began and began exporting energy in July.
ANDERSON: It was a financial lifeline for the country and help ease Europe's energy woes. Well, today EU energy ministers are meeting in
Prague, they are hoping to break the deadlock over a potential price cap on natural gas.
Well, in France, tensions have boiled over after weeks of petrol supply issues. Roughly a third of gas stations in that country are facing
shortages leading to rationing in some regions. And this being caused by strikes at major gas refineries over workers' pay and now the French
government say it is time to act. Jim Bittermann is following this story from outside of gas station in Paris, Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, you can kind of see what the situation is here. This is sort of gas station where we've
been all day long. And there's been a crowd of people all day long as well. There are so many people waiting here for gas, it takes about three hours
for someone at the back of the queue to get to the front of the queue here.
It goes down the street there and around the corner, about 350 meters. And as a consequence, people are just have to patiently wait, this line has
grown just in the last few hours here as the rush hour approaches and people need to get gas if they want to get home.
And taxis come to the end of their day and they want to fill up their tanks. One thing one change we have seen from earlier the day is over that
sign right there. They've blocked out the lead free gasoline because it's no longer available. They ran out.
The owner here says it was one of the smallest reservoirs that they had, and they ran out. They're usually getting stocks; you know, re-positioned
and re-provisioned every morning. But he's a little bit worried that that re provisioning may come to an end with the kind of strikes that are going
on at the refinery. Six out of the seven refineries in France are now out of business because of the strikes.
And the government has done this requisitioning which is basically forcing the key workers at these refineries to go back to work. They're looking at
one for refinery for - to start off with. And they have said that they're going to send them notes making sure that they go to work and if they
don't, they're liable for up to $10,000 in fines and a six month prison sentence, Becky.
ANDERSON: Jim Bittermann is on the story for you. Thank you, Jim. Well, the fighting in Ukraine shows no sign of slowing NATO trying to figure out how
to get more protection for the skies over the country. Can they make that work? Well, we will take a look at that after this.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson 200 meters above the city, Dubai, This is CNN. Securing the skies above Ukraine tops the agenda of what is the NATO
meeting in Brussels. Ongoing as we speak, Defense Ministers from NATO countries trying to figure out how to provide more air defense to protect
civilians and infrastructure.
Now, this is not a simple task. Since Ukraine isn't a NATO member for its part, Russia believes the West particularly the U.S. is already and I quote
them here playing a de facto player in the war.
We're waiting for a news conference from the top two U.S. defense officials who are at that meeting, the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff as soon as they enter this room, we will get you to them.
Before that, and as we await them, we've got White House Reporter, Natasha Bertrand live in Washington. I want to get through to our Senior Diplomatic
Editor, Nic Robertson, who is in London. And Nic, ahead of hearing from Lloyd Austin, specifically, what can we expect? Is it clear at this point?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There's going to be a real narrative emerging from this NATO Defense Ministers summit that they
need to make sure that the defense industries in NATO nations are geared up for what's coming. The war in Ukraine is not short, that inventories have
been drawn down by supplying Ukraine in the short term.
That means there's a shortfall in national inventories amongst NATO allies that Ukraine's needs will continue. And that the defense industry is across
all ranges, whether or not it's making warm winter clothing for troops on the front lines or making the largest and most sort of sophisticated
surface to air missile systems, air defense systems, whatever it is that military manufacturers understand the requirements and measure up to those
And as has become usual at these NATO defense minister meetings, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine has been has joined and has provided a list of
what Ukraine would want and this, the list, no surprise to defense ministers that are there.
So a key part again, we'll be measuring up to what Ukraine wants, and trying to give it what it needs to keep its people safe and take back
ANDERSON: And we've seen that wish list, Natasha. And I think those of us who have been on this story now for seven and a half months will not be
surprised by it. There is a lot on this list, which the Ukrainians have, frankly been asking for a long time. What are they likely to get
particularly from the U.S.?
I mean, I know that you're more than equipped to talk about the European sort of procurement story here as well, but what about the U.S.
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: So the U.S. is poised right now to continue to give them the multiple launch rocket systems, those High
Mars that we've heard so much about and which are actually at the top of the list, even above air defense systems that was provided to the defense
minister, ministers today at NATO.
As well as additional artillery systems, things like howitzers, for example, things that they can use to target Russian positions from a
considerable distance. Now, of course, the question of the air defense systems is key coming after Russia bombarded Ukrainian cities with missile
attacks in a way that we haven't seen since really the opening days of the war.
So that has really gone up, of course, in the list of things that Ukraine wants. However, there is a question right now about whether, as Nic alluded
to, there is enough among NATO allies, enough systems and enough production capacity to provide those air defense systems to the Ukrainians.
And that is including from the U.S. side. Now, the U.S. has said that they are going to be providing over the next two months, these advanced surface
to air missile systems that Ukraine has asked for and that over the next year, they will provide even more.
However, the question, of course, is whether those are going to come fast enough because Russia now seems really bent on retaliation for that bridge
strike that the Kerch bridge strike that they say the Ukrainians carried out and they have launched these missile bombardments all across Ukraine.
So I think one of the big questions at this ministerial today that Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense is going to address is whether the U.S.
and its allies can maintain that production capacity. Because importantly, he said in his opening remarks today at that ministerial, that the U.S. is
really in this for years to come, if Ukraine requires that support.
ANDERSON: Nic, is the unanimous support from the Europeans for the sort of equipment is air defense military hardware that the Ukrainians are asking
for now? Is there unanimous support providing that?
ROBERTSON: It's very hard to know what goes on behind the closed doors. But we know that some nations like France don't like to advertise and say too
strongly what they're providing and what they're doing. It's no secret President Macron sees himself as a leader among the European Union nations,
as somebody who can have a dialogue or would like to have a dialogue or be at the forefront of opening a dialogue with the President Putin when the
time is right.
So France plays its cards closest to its chest, Germany used to be in that position. But we now know the Germans are very upfront about providing
their air defense systems, the Dutch today have put their names forward as providing air defense systems as well.
There are differences of opinions; the unity that NATO has projected is a real unity. The differences are in the detail, and those nations that are
closest to the fight the Baltic States, and we're seeing more than Nordics come on board here as well.
And Poland, and the Czech Republic, of course, all feel that there the danger that they're in is a very great danger. And they would lean more
heavily into, you know, into the process of supporting Ukraine than perhaps other NATO nations that are further away. But the key headline, Unity still
ANDERSON: Finally, Natasha, the Russians have already accused the U.S. of de facto involvement in this war, and there's, that's, of course, a loaded,
a loaded statement. They see the U.S. action in support of the Ukrainians as provocative. Where are the lines, as far as Washington is concerned
beyond which they are not prepared to go in supporting Ukraine at this point, despite these most recent attacks, this uptick in aggression from
BERTRAND: So up until this point, Becky, there's been a very clear red line, and that is the provision of these extremely long range missile
systems called attack homes that Ukraine has been asking for months and months now.
They say that they need these weapons, because primarily over the last month or so, the battlefield situation has changed because of the
introduction of these Iranian drones into the conflict that Russia bought. Where are those drones being launched from many of them are being launched
And the Ukrainians are saying that they cannot take those drones down, unless they have these long range systems, these systems that can reach as
far as 300 kilometers in order to remove those systems from the battlefield.
So what we are hearing now is that the U.S. really has not shifted its position in that sense, because of the fear of how Russia will react if
those systems are introduced into the conflict, the idea that those systems could then be used to launch attacks inside Russia.
Now, of course, the argument has been look many of the systems that Ukraine already has, can launch into Russia because of how far Ukraine has pushed
Russian forces up into the Russian border. So even howitzers, for example, and those multiple launch rocket systems could be used, theoretically to
launch attacks inside Russia.
However, the U.S. at this point is saying that they're not prepared to provide those they don't think Ukraine actually needs them at this moment.
However, behind the scenes, they are, of course, though, worried about escalation. Becky.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Look, we are still waiting to hear from the Defense Secretary, the U.S. Defense Secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as
they get to the stage, this is the setup for them. We will of course get our viewers to that immediately, for the time being to both of you, thank
you very much indeed.
Well, we have new disturbing reports from Iran's crackdown on dissent. The Education Minister tells an Iranian newspaper that some student protesters
are being detained and sent to mental institutions for "reeducation". Yousef Nouri attempted to clarify that the students are not being put in
prison saying and I quote him here, "If they are detained, it is for them to be reformed and re-educated in psychological institution". And he adds
they can return to class after they've been reformed. Nouri did not say how many children were in custody.
Well, protests began last month with the death of Mahsa Amini. She died while in the custody of Iran's morality police. Tomorrow will mark one
month since Mahsa Amini was arrested. And some of the most intense scenes have been from Kurdistan province where she was from. Jomana Karadsheh has
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is what the Iranian regime doesn't want the world to see. Its ruthless crackdown on protests in
the Kurdish city of Sanandaj has turned it into a warzone. Security forces is moving around on motorbikes terrorizing residents, shooting
indiscriminately at protesters and into people's homes.
Human Rights monitor Hengaw says several people have been killed, including a seven year old child who died in his mother's lap. Communication
restrictions making it almost impossible for them and for us to tell the story of that child and the many others Hengaw fears have been killed.
After days of trying, we were finally able to briefly speak to a protester inside the city. For his safety we're concealing his identity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The security forces are using a lot of force to confront the people. A lot of people have been killed here, because the internet is
cut, we couldn't send any information on social media. The people are really scared. Last night in the - neighborhood there were fierce clashes.
KARADSHEH (voice over): The regime says it is separatists fueling the uprising in the Kurdish region, armed gangs that have attacked its forces,
but offered no proof. The little video rigging through the government's internet shut down just enough to see some of the horror unleashed on the
people of Sanandaj.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last night, the security forces were firing in the direction of houses. They were using military grade bullets. And until now,
I hadn't heard such bullets. The people were really afraid. They were firing lots of tear gas in the direction of houses, the backyards even the
In the - neighborhood everyone felt the effects of tear gas. They had difficulty breathing. We've heard that the hospital is full of injured
people. Many people have been arrested and it's not clear where they're being taken because they're not telling anyone anything.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Human Rights Groups say the government is using the blackout to hide its crimes.
RAMAYAR HASSANI, HENGAW ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: The scale of the massacre is way, way bigger than what we have been able to report; this is
just a drop of the ocean. We have received videos from Sanandaj that the IRGC and other security forces have used 50 caliber machine guns. These are
not normal guns. It's basically like shutting protesters; let's say in on one of the streets of the United States by M2.
KARADSHEH (voice over): But those bullets and bloodshed haven't stopped the will of the people. Some break protesters still taking to the streets,
refusing to be silenced. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Istanbul.
ANDERSON: Well just ahead the British prime minister gets a grilling over her controversial spending plan, the opposition call it kamikaze. Our
London update is up next.
ANDERSON: Mixed signals seem to be coming from the UK's Central Bank, the Bank of England confirming it will not extend its bond buying support for
pension funds beyond this Friday. Now, just to give you some background on this, investors have been hit hard by bond market volatility.
And now they've just got days to adjust their investments before the central bank withdraws support. There's been some UK media speculation that
the BOA would have to extend that support but the bank's governor is standing firm, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW BAILEY, GOVERNOR, BANK OF ENGLAND: I think they need to concentrate and do everything; they need to do to be done by the end of this week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything that you would see that would that make you change your mind on the thinking?
BAILEY: They need to concentrate on being done by the end of this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: No, not long after the Bank of England Chief talked to reporters, the British Prime Minister stood up in Parliament defending her
controversial mini budget or fiscal event as the government has wants to call it.
Two UK lawmakers Liz Truss told them she will not cut spending public spending to balance the books as the financial markets continue to
scrutinize her plan. She offered dis-response when pressed on the state of the UK economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What we're making sure is that we protect our economy, this very difficult time internationally. And as a
result, as a result of our action, Mr. Speaker, and this has been independently corroborated, we will see higher growth and lower inflation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I want to bring in Clare, CNN's Clare Sebastian live from London. She won't cut public spending, she will cut an awful lot of a rafter taxes
Bob, the most controversial one, which was the highest rate of tax. The government is yet to sort of lay out how it's going to pay for all of this.
What we do know about Liz Truss is that she is, you know, supply side, economics through and through this is sort of factor-ism, you know, 30
years later, isn't it? I mean is it clear how the UK is going to sort this out?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Becky, not at the moment. And we didn't really get much more from Liz Truss today. As you say the key part
of what she said in Parliament today was that they were not going to cut public spending sticking to the most recent Tory manifesto under Boris
But that raises major questions as you say, because if they're not going to cut public spending, and they're still going to cut taxes, then what are
they going to do? How are they going to pay for it? How are they going to make the government debt sustainable in the medium term?
She did say they were going to spend public money more wisely. And later on in the day her spokesman quoted by Reuters said that this would be
efficiency savings for government departments and that there will be difficult decisions and things like that.
But we had an estimate Becky this week from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which is a big influential Think Tank here in the UK that said
that in order to sort of make the debt sustainable over the medium term over the next four to five years, they would need to cut 60 billion pounds,
about $67 billion in government spending.
That could add up to 15 percent cuts to government departments, not including, of course, the NHS and defense spending, even if they get that
promised economic growth, which figures today out from the UK for the month of August do not back up, there was a contraction in August.
But even if they get about a quarter percentage point additional growth over the next few years, that would still according to the Institute for
Fiscal Studies require 40 billion pounds worth of spending cuts. So right now, we don't know how they're going to pay for this.
ANDERSON: And it is interesting to see what the markets are up to at the moment. I mean, let's be quite clear. We did see the pound sort of drop off
a cliff in the short term in response to this, this mini budget, what 10, 12 days ago. And it sort of stabilized again, and there is a bigger picture
here. Let's remind our viewers and I'm sure they'll be well aware of it.
ANDERSON: Ultimately, you know the UK's currency is weak against the dollar because the dollar is strong; the European currency is weak against the
dollar because the dollar is strong as are other currencies around the world. Is it clear where this global economy is headed at this point?
SEBASTIAN: I mean, I think as the IMF said yesterday, Becky, it seems likely that the worst is yet to come. We are looking at a situation where
inflation here in the UK certainly is it almost 10 percent its similar rates throughout much of Europe, the U.S. not far behind.
And this is an unusual situation where central banks have being forced to sort of stomach these big rises in interest rates through what looks likely
to be recessions, the IMF said, in much of the world next year, they're going to have to keep raising rates, even though that adds costs for
households who are already struggling with slowing economic growth.
But inflation is now so high in many parts of the world, so far past central bank targets that they have to do that. And I think this is why the
Bank of England's job is so complicated at the moment because they've been forced to step into the market by buying up these guilds. But also they're
trying to tighten monetary policy at the same time to bring down inflation.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely, all right. Thank you, always good to have you Clare Sebastian, keeping an eye not just on the UK economic situation, but
the wider global one. Thank you.
Well, if you were worried about an asteroid someday hitting Earth, you can now breathe a little easier, detail on NASA's asteroid busting success,
ANDERSON: Well, NASA says the world's first ever mission to change the path of an asteroid was a success. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test or DART,
as its known happened late last month, when NASA slammed a spacecraft into an asteroid trying to alter its orbit.
This image taken by the Hubble telescope shows the asteroid that was impacted. Scientists weren't sure the experiment worked until now at least.
CNN Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher has been following what is this remarkable feat?
And for of us who don't know as much as you do about the sort of you know, what goes on up there, just how remarkable is this?
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: It's really wild, Becky, when you sit back and think about it, because it's the first time that any
earthling any human, any inhabitant of planet earth has ever really been able to strike back against an asteroid. It's the first time that humanity
has ever moved a celestial object or a planetary object.
And so, Becky, as you were explaining, you know, yes, we already knew that NASA's DART spacecraft had hit this asteroid about two weeks ago, we all
saw it happen live.
But over the last two weeks, the big question has been, was that spacecraft able to actually move it. And so ground based telescopes and the Hubble
Telescope, which is what took that image that you were just seeing on your screen, have really been studying the orbit of the smaller target asteroid
Dimorphos around its larger asteroid called Didymos.
FISHER: And what they found Becky was they were able to move it three times more than they expected. So they were essentially able to push Dimorphos,
the smaller asteroid, just a little bit closer to Didymos and change the orbit by 32 minutes.
ANDERSON: Kristin, a huge story and I'm only going to cut you off because the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Joint Chief of Staffs are
speaking right now after a meeting in Brussels to discuss Ukraine. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will moderate those questions and call on the reporters and I would ask you to limit your follow up since we do have a
limited amount of time today. And I appreciate your assistance with this, Mr. Secretary, over to you sir.
LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Thanks Fred --. Well, good afternoon, everyone. We've made excellent progress at our sixth meeting of the Ukraine
defense contact group. And we were joined by my good friend Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine's Minister of Defense and by Major General, Mykolaiv,
Ukraine's Joint Forces Commander. I'm very grateful to them for joining us and for their heroic leadership.
They updated the Contact Group on the latest battlefield dynamics on Ukraine's priority needs, and on Ukraine's requirements to defend itself
for the long haul. I'm also very pleased that ministers and chiefs of defense from some 50 countries took part in today's discussion.
That again underscores the resolve of the international community to support Ukraine self-defense, after Russia's cruel and unprovoked invasion.
And that resolve has only been heightened by the deliberate cruelty of Russia's new barrage against Ukraine cities.
Those assaults on targets with no military purpose again reveal the malice of Putin's war of choice. But Russia's atrocities have further united the
nations of goodwill that stand with Ukraine. So we are here, because rules matter, because rights matter, and because sovereignty matters.
And in the past few days, Putin has given us all another grim preview of a future in which the appetites of aggressive autocrats outweigh the rights
of peaceful states. We would all be less secure in a world where big powers can assault their peaceful neighbors and trample their borders by force.
And the free citizens of Ukraine have an inalienable right to govern themselves, and to choose their own future. They underpin are these are
bedrock principles, and they underpin the rules based international order that makes us all more secure. This contact group will stay true to those
values, regardless of the outcome of any individual battle.
And we will not waver in our support for Ukraine's right to defend itself from Russia's imperial ambitions. Ukraine's forces have used systems like
High Mars to change the dynamics of the war that Putin started. And that's helped Ukrainian forces seize the initiative during their counter
So we will continue to rush in the capabilities to help Ukraine in the current fight. And I come in to contact group members who have moved heaven
and earth to get weapons and equipment into the hands of the Ukrainian forces. At the same time, our allies and partners are driving hard to
sustain Ukraine's defenders for the long haul.
As a conflict has evolved, the mission of this contact group has evolved as well. So today, the contact group underscored our shared commitment to keep
on supplying Ukraine's defenders with the capability that they will need in the difficult weeks, months and years ahead.
We discuss ways to do even more to train Ukrainian forces that are making such impressive use of their new capabilities. And we push to galvanize our
industrial bases to fire up production for the systems to defend Ukraine, even while meeting our own security needs.
The leaders here are built on the important progress from the September 28th meeting, our national armaments directors under the auspices of this