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Hurricane Idalia Brings Heavy Rains, Flooding to Cuba; Tight Security at Cemetery amid Rumors of Prigozhin Funeral; Rare Video of Paul Whelan in Prison; Toyota Suspends Production at Japanese Plants; Ukrainians Turn to Odessa; Egypt Offers to Mediate in Sudanese Civil War; Gender Pay Gap in Tennis. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired August 29, 2023 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson, live in Abu Dhabi. Time, here 6 in the evening, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up this hour, Idalia hits Western Cuba as it strengthens to a hurricane. Thousands in Florida have been ordered to evacuate.

Plus, news organizations crack down on generative AI data mining.

Later in the show, Novak Djokovic cruising through the first round of the U.S. Open.


ANDERSON: Well, get ready or get out. That is the message for people along Florida's Gulf Coast as Hurricane Idalia creeps closer. Now a category 1

hurricane, it is expected to get very strong very quickly and it is expected to hit Wednesday as a dangerous category 3 storm.

We have a lot more from Florida just ahead in this broadcast. Here's a look at what Idalia left behind in Cuba. It was intense even as it skirted the

island as a tropical storm. Let's start there. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has been out in the rain in Havana.

He's got a good soaking himself.

Patrick, good to have you.

What was the damage on the western part of the island?

Because that is where that storm skirted at its height.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can see behind me, the wind is just picking up right now, Becky. A glancing blow can still sting. Even if

Cuba didn't feel the full force of Hurricane Idalia, it is still causing plenty of havoc here.

The rain continues to pour in. That is going to lead to flooding. It's already led to flooding here in Havana and across western Cuba, where

thousands have been evacuated.

Hundreds of thousands are without power and certainly to be out and about in the storm is very dangerous right now. To be driving would be foolhardy.

The government here told people to stay home.

But you look behind me and these are people who have been waiting for weeks, if not months for unemployment, for a visa at the Spanish consulate

here in Havana. They're not heeding the warnings and they're waiting in line, themselves getting soaked because they want to be able to go to


And they don't want to give up that appointment. So you are seeing people venturing out. But for many people here, that is just too dangerous.

They've gone into evacuation centers. They've gone to stay with family and friends.

They have been wise because, even right now, we've seen people get knocked down. We had some of our equipment get knocked down earlier today when it

didn't seem like the storm was going to hit us that badly at all.

At points when I looked out over the city of Havana, I saw it disappear over a wall of wind and rain. It's pelting rain that continues to come down

on us, continues to punish us. When Idalia gets to Florida, it will be so much worse though, Becky.

ANDERSON: That's what it's left behind. We will get you a report on where that storm is headed and how preparations are underway now in Florida in

just a few minutes' time. Thank you very much indeed, Patrick is in Havana.

There is a heavy police presence and tight security around a cemetery in St. Petersburg in Russia right now amid speculation that the Wagner chief,

Yevgeny Prigozhin, may be laid to rest there.

We still don't have official confirmation of the date or location of the funeral but this particular cemetery is usually reserved for military

burials. CNN's Matthew Chance has more.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're in St. Petersburg in the Porokhovskoye cemetery, which is this huge cemetery in

the middle of St. Petersburg, or on the outskirts of it at least, where we expect or we think Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner leader, could be buried

either later on today or possibly tomorrow.

We don't know for sure because the trouble is, there is a veil of secrecy around these arrangements. So we're trying to get as much access as we can

and look at what evidence we can to try to determine when the funeral might take place.


CHANCE: Certainly there's nothing official being sent to us about when it would happen. But of course, it was just the weekend that the Russian

investigator said they identified his remains and confirmed that he had been killed in a plane crash last Wednesday.

Look, here the security that have been placed outside this cemetery as well. Police outside, security forces for the interior ministry, in fact.

Also these metal detectors that anybody who comes through is having to unload their pockets like it was an airport and is being searched.

That's not normal in a cemetery here in St. Petersburg. So that's an indication that some kind of big funeral is being planned. But again, a

veil of secrecy across the whole situation.

What we do know is the Kremlin, who are trying to play this, down have said this morning that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, will not be

attending any funeral, saying it is purely a family affair.

And again, that talks to the idea that Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin officially don't want to get involved in this any more than they absolutely

have to. Of course, the Kremlin has dismissed this as absolute lies, allegations that they were somehow involved in the plane crash that killed

Prigozhin and nine other people last week.

But despite those denials, there is still a lot of suspicion here in Russia, elsewhere around the world as well. There could've been some kind

of state involvement. I think that's why the Kremlin are trying to distance themselves as much as possible from the next stage in this process, which

is a funeral arrangement.


ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in St. Petersburg.

In Ukraine, progress in the Zaporizhzhya region. Ukraine's military reporting advances today near Robotyne a day after claiming control of the

village. This is significant for Ukraine as it slowly breaks through Russian lines on the southern front.

It comes as Ukraine reports more deaths from shelling in the Donetsk and Kherson regions. Farther north in the Kharkiv regions, evacuations

continuing in Kupyansk. You can see it on this map not far from the northeastern front lines. Ukrainian officials say that city has endured

constant shelling.

Rare footage out of Russia now and a chance for the family of an American detainee to see him on video for the first time in three years. The White

House says Paul Whelan is being wrongfully detained, held on bogus espionage charges in Russia since 2018.

In this video being shot by Russian state media back in May, you can see Whelan wearing a prison uniform and working at a sewing machine. Let's

bring in CNN's Salma Abdelaziz.

Salma, it is interesting to note this video has been released now.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that's a key question, Becky. The first thing to know about the timing of this video that it was just

earlier this, month only about a couple of weeks ago, that U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken was able to hold a phone call with Whalen in prison

and told him to keep the faith.

Said that he remains a priority to get him, out remains a priority for the U.S. It also comes after the United States says that it has put a very

serious proposal on the table for Paul Whelan's release to their counterparts in Moscow but have yet to receive a response. Have yet to get

more information.

But the video is also important in and of itself for what you see and what you hear from Paul Whelan. Take a listen to this very brief clip.


PAUL WHELAN, AMERICAN IMPRISONED IN RUSSIA: So you understand when I say that I can't do an interview, which means I can't answer any questions.


ABDELAZIZ: A couple of things to take away from that, Becky. First of all, that Paul was uncomfortable with the crew that was there inside the prison.

His brother said that it brought this -- this crew came in unbeknownst to him and the prison authorities retaliated when he did not get involved in

the film.

You are also seeing a Paul Whelan who looks relatively healthy and relatively well. That his brother also pointed out, you can still see the

fight in his eyes, that Paul Whelan remains unbowed.

It's significant to note, Becky, he is not the only American that the U.S. says is wrongfully detained in Russia. You saw "The Wall Street Journal"

reporter, Evan Gershkovich, who is also being held in a Russian prison.

The United States, of course, scrambling for the release of both of them. Far from Russian authorities, you're hearing very muted messages in the

form of a video on state television.

ANDERSON: Salma, thank you.


ANDERSON: Later this hour on CNN, how some Ukrainians are seeking some normalcy by flocking to the beach despite the war around them.

And more on the fallout in Spain over the football federation president kissing a female player at the Women's World Cup. What the federation

regional chiefs are demanding now.




ANDERSON: Our top story: after bringing flooding to Cuba, what is now Hurricane Idalia is getting stronger and taking aim at Florida's west

coast. People there have just hours left to get out or hunker down.

A large swathe (sic) of the area now being advised to evacuate. The storm, Idalia, is expected to hit the state as a very strong and potentially

dangerous category 3 hurricane. The biggest threat will likely be the surge.

That's the water from the ocean that gets blown ashore. Forecasters say that could be life-threatening. Right now there is what is known as the

calm before the storm.




ANDERSON (voice-over): Let's get you up to speed, folks, on some of the other stories developing on the radar right now.

The E.U. says it will send 11 planes and a helicopter to battle wildfires in Greece. It's being called the E.U.'s largest aerial firefighting

operation. It is a response to the biggest European wildfire since record keeping began in the year 2000. The fire has burned more than 800 square

kilometers. At least 19 people have died.

A Pakistani court has suspended Imran Khan's three-year prison sentence. The former prime minister was also granted bail, although it's not clear

when or if he will be released. His lawyers argued he did not get a fair trial. He still faces several other charges.

A standstill: Toyota says a glitch forced it to suspend production at all of its plants in Japan. They are quick to tell CNN they don't believe a

cyberattack is behind the failure.

So what led to it?

CNN's Anna Stewart looking at what happened. She joins us now from London - - Anna.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the cyberattack was certainly good news, they don't think that's what it, was that's where everyone's minds go

with something like this. We know that Toyota have been a target of cyberattacks. It's taken production off line before.

In this situation, it appears to be some sort of glitch. They described it in a statement as a malfunction of the production order system. Essentially

it means it was hard for them to process ordering any new car parts.

Anyone who's been to a car factory -- and I'm thankful I've been to a fair few in my time, you know about just in time production. Car components

arrive to a factory hours before they are actually put into a car.

It reduces inventories, expensive warehousing needs. It's incredibly efficient. But this sort of glitch, where they couldn't order new, parts

clearly was a massive issue and it shut down all 14 of the plants in Japan for Toyota.

That's over 13,000 vehicles a day that could not be made. Now the good news is, we've had a statement in the last few hours, that actually said they're

expecting to bring back production on all 14 plants by the end of tomorrow. Starting with the first shift, they will add the last factories on to the

second shift, which means they hope this will be resolved in the next 24 hours.


STEWART: The big question is, for me at least, what happened?

What caused the glitch?

At the moment they're saying they're going to continue to investigate the cause. I think that's something that concerns some investors, obviously

people hope this never happens again. This is a massive part of Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker. This is around a third of their global

production. So a glitch with big consequences -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Thank you.

Some of the biggest media organizations in the United States are blocking access to ChatGPT. That is in a bid to safeguard their content. The

groundbreaking AI chatbot, I'm sure you've heard of, it is being seen as a potential aggressor to an already struggling news industry.

Companies like ABC News, CNN, ESPN, "The New York Times," they're all taking steps to effectively lock up their content. For more on the story,

let's bring in senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy.

Oliver, it's really important to explain what it is that these news organizations are blocking. These are news archives, effectively crucial to

what is known as training these programs. Just explain how all of this is to play out.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Becky, basically ChatGPT and other AI bots, they need these volumes of information to train

their bots.

That way, when you ask the question, like who won World War II?

It gives you an accurate answer. The bots, they scan the internet, they crawl the internet and consume large volumes of information. A lot of it

comes from news organizations and, of course, the content is particularly valuable because it's fact driven content.

It's not just junk on the internet. It's accurate, there are standards in place. So what ChatGPT has been doing is crawling the internet, absorbing

the information, giving it back to users.

News organizations, on the other, hand and other media companies like Disney, they're saying, not so fast. If you want our information, if you

want access to the archives, you need to pay for, it

And so, they've taken moves in the past few weeks to block this bot that was scanning their websites and reading all the content, until ChatGPT's

owner, OpenAI effectively comes to the table and pays them to license this content.

You've seen one deal in particular with the associate, Press OpenAI has a license that news outlets content. I think we are going to see in the near

future probably them move to licensed content from other news organizations.

ANDERSON: And this is potentially a growth area, certainly for revenue for organizations. Frankly, let's be up front about this. It is a difficult

time for media organizations. Our future is pretty tough.

DARCY: That's, right and the worry is among news organizations that if you allow bots like ChatGPT to effectively steal your content and then give

answers to the public without ever citing your work, without ever linking to your website so you can earn advertising revenue, that will drive these

news businesses further out of business.

You've already seen the news industry struggle, including cutting or no longer subscribing to physical papers. The streaming revolution, making it

more difficult for news networks on television, a number of factors that have contributed to a very poor environment for news organizations.

The advent of AI could add to their struggles and so you're seeing them being very proactive. They're locking up their content and force OpenAI and

other companies to come to the table, pay for those rights to the archives.

ANDERSON: Briefly, what are the legal grounds here?

DARCY: So the News Media Alliance, which is the trade organization that represents about 2,000 news organizations, including CNN and other major

outlets, they say they have a very good legal case.

The thing is, though, you haven't seen any news organizations actually take any legal steps yet to go against these companies. We already know that

OpenAI has drawn content from a number of news organizations before they blocked this little bot that was reading their websites.

So I know that the News Media Alliance and these rooms say they have a very strong legal case. That has not been tested in court.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Good to have, you sir. Thank. You

DARCY: Thank. You

ANDERSON: You are watching CNN. Still to come, Christiane Amanpour, my colleague heads to a rehabilitation unit to speak with Ukrainian soldiers

injured during the conflict.





ANDERSON (voice-over): Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. It's just before 6:30 in the evening. Here's the

headlines this. hour.

After grazing Cuba as a tropical storm, Hurricane Idalia is picking up speed as it turns toward the United States. It's forecast to hit Western

Florida on Wednesday at a very powerful category 3 hurricane. Thousands are being evacuated ahead of that.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is warning of the danger of nuclear war, saying the waters off the Korean Peninsula are at their, quote, "most

unstable." His comments coming as the United States, South Korea and Japan conducted joint military exercises in international waters off of South

Korea's coast.

In Ukraine, more than 1,000 civilians including 343 children have now been evacuated from the eastern city of Kupyansk and its surrounding area. That

is according to military officials.

Ukraine says it has endured constant shelling as Russian forces try to reclaim territory.

ANDERSON: That is the reality of life for so many. This war, dragging on. There are some Ukrainians looking for a bit of respite from all of this.

Some are heading to the beaches of Odessa for temporary relief. Let's bring in Christiane Amanpour.

Christiane, what do you see?


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, as well as that report you had about evacuees from up in Kupyansk, we know from

Kyiv that the forces have made some successes down in the Zaporizhzhya region. We have reports on that. Later

Also, to say these soldiers who have been at it for 1.5 years now. Many of them, first-time soldiers, many of them just civilians plucked out of

restaurants and cafes, never held anything more than a tray of plates. Now having to deal with the realities of war.

Even elderly gentlemen, considering in terms of what a normal soldier or officer's age usually is, are being dragged into this fight. So yes, when

we were in Odessa we saw recently opened, for the first time since the war beaches, people who were coming back from the front lines to enjoy.

But more importantly we saw soldiers in rehab, situations in a center, who actually wanted nothing more than to get back to the front. Here's our



AMANPOUR (voice-over): In the waning days of a second summer at war under the blazing Black Sea sun, you find, well, people at the beach.

It's actually the first time some of this Odessa coastline has been open for business since the Russian invasion. And while Olga has brought her

family for a change of scenery, there is no getting away from it.

AMANPOUR: Here, can you forget the war for a little bit?

OLGA, LOCAL TOURIST (through translator): Sirens at night don't let you forget. No we don't forget. At least I don't. But I hope my kids and

parents get distracted a little bit.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Still, those who can make the most of it. Life goes on even in wartime. And here at the Caleton Beach Club, it's somehow

comforting to watch parents slap protective gear onto their infants as if sunburn is the worst that can happen.

But, of course, it's not.

AMANPOUR: So does that mean orthopedics or anything?

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Fifteen minutes away in the center of town is a modern, private recovery and rehabilitation unit, one of 10 set up around

the country by a Ukrainian philanthropist.

Here, in a full-body sling, 41-year-old Vitaly tells us that he volunteered for the front as a D-miner until he was blown up by an anti-personnel mine

eight months ago in Kherson.

The first wave hit my face because I was bending down, he says and shrapnel entered my eye, another bit hit my finger and three of my toes were blown


On the rehab bed next to him, 43-year-old Ruslan's (ph) injury is less dramatic, spine and back problems from suddenly having to haul heavy gear


AMANPOUR: Do you need to get into better shape?

AMANPOUR (voice-over): If I was 20, he tells me, it would be different. But I'm 43 and so it's difficult. But he wants to go back to the front like

Vitaly does, just as soon as they're patched up. Still motivated, still sure of victory. But then the talk suddenly turns.

AMANPOUR: Vitaly, what do you think you need?

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Immobilized and prone, he's crystal clear. We need more weapons and jets to close the sky from the Russian missiles, he says.

When a soldier is fighting there and his family is here unprotected, what do you think goes through our minds?

Andriy tells me his psychological trauma is worse than the shrapnel to his hand, because he, like all of them, want to be back at the front with their

comrades to fight for their country and their family.

I have a mother, a father, a wife and a cat, he tells me.

Back at the seaside, Sergei, a 59-year-old conscript based in Kherson, defends his beach time break.

AMANPOUR: In the middle of war, you don't feel strange?

SERGEI, CONSCRIPT: Yes, it's a little bit strange but you need some relaxant.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): He'll be back under arms after his 15-day furlough and he insists their counteroffensive is going according to plan.


AMANPOUR: And that's what a lot of soldiers said, it's going according to plan. It takes time, more weapons. I say that because you know Ukraine is

now involved in all of the second guessing and doubts from the United States and elsewhere about why it's not going faster.

Why aren't they retaining and regaining more territory quicker?

We are going to be debating that with U.S. and Ukrainian military experts in our program tonight.

ANDERSON: Good stuff, Christiane, thank you.

Christiane doing her show from Ukraine all week, tune in 9 pm Abu Dhabi, 6 pm London for her special reporting and coverage.

Turning to war in Sudan.


ANDERSON: And the Sudanese armed forces leader says that two Sudanese naval forces were killed in an operation to capture him. General Abdel

Fattah el-Burhan denies reports and an agreement between warring factions allowed him to leave Sudan for Egypt.

Egypt is offering to serve as mediator to end this fighting. El Burhan is meeting with Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson for you. Ahead in sports, calls grow for the Spanish football federation to resign after

kissing a female player at the World Cup. We look at the potential impact this controversy could have on Spain's joint bid for the 2030 men's World





ANDERSON: Update on a story that we reported earlier in the show.

We have just learned that the funeral has now taken place for Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Core port management (ph) which was owned by Prigozhin,

says the funeral took place in a closed format, as they described, it they stepped up police presence as been seen at the cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Concord (ph) did not specify when the funeral was held but that those wishing to say goodbye can visit the ceremony -- the cemetery; sorry.

Tennis star, Novak Djokovic, has cruised past the first round of the U.S. Open. The Serbian Frenchman Muller in straight sets on Monday in New York.

Now this is, of course, the first U.S. Open for Djokovic since 2021 due to COVID, vaccine requirements.

He is looking for his 24th grand slam title this. Year he spoke to me in March about why the U.S. Open is so special.


NOVAK DJOKOVIC, TENNIS PLAYER: It's the tournament where it's one of the most important events. At this stage of my career, grand slams are the ones

they value the most. So I want to be playing there.

I want to be, there I actually had in 2021 when it was finals against Medvedev, one of the -- probably one of the best moments I ever had within

this crowd. And you know, I've been fortunate to win it three times.

Even though I lost that match, I received a lot of love and appreciation from people. I want to go. Back and I want to reconnect with the crowd

there. So that's something I'm looking forward. Too and hopefully it will happen.


ANDERSON: Well he's, back and he's cruising.

As the U.S. Open kicks, off we here explore a quality in sports. has a good and timely look at how tennis has actually been on the forefront

of closing the gender pay gap, at least in some ways. The U.S. Open was the first major to match the prize money for male and female competitors back

in 1973.


ANDERSON: Still, there is a massive discrepancy in take home pay of tennis greats. Serena Williams and Roger Federer, in 2019, she made $29 million

compared to his $93 million.

The CNN Digital video explains why that might be but of course, it's not just about the bottom line. We think Michelle Obama said it best on Monday.

She honored tennis legend, Billie Jean King.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: Let us remember that all of this is far bigger than a champion's paycheck. This is about how women are seen and

valued in this world.


ANDERSON: Well, calls for the resignation of Spanish football federation president, Luis Rubiales are growing stronger. Regional football chiefs in

Spain are now saying he should step down for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the mouth.

His refusal to step down drawing attention to Spain's joint bid for the 2030 World Cup. Amanda Davies joins me now.

No real developments in this from Rubiales' position, although these regional leaders in Spanish football are certainly now calling for him to

step down.

Will he, Amanda?

Is it clear?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not clear, no. Becky. He is still there. We've heard nothing from him since that incredibly defiant speech on

Friday, addressing the Spanish general assembly.

So yes, the authorities want him to go. But in order to actually remove him, there is quite a long and detailed legal process which would need to

play out. So the pressure is mounting.

But he has shown in the last couple of days what people would expect, what might happen in a different business, where realms aren't necessarily the

football. Rules and he is still very much there.

And I think you can guess what is leading the way on "WORLD SPORT" in just a couple of minutes.

ANDERSON: Wouldn't be surprised.

"WORLD SPORT" up next with Amanda, I'm back top of the hour for you, folks.