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Connect the World
Divided Country, Rival Governments could Slow Relief Efforts; At Least 2,000 Dead, 10,000 Reported Missing in Libya Floods; Rescue Hopes Fade as Death Toll Surpasses 2,900; Israel Supreme Court Hearing Historic Case; Google in Court Case Accused of Locking Out Rivals; Mount Fuji's World Heritage Site Status at Risk. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 12, 2023 - 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: Well, this hour the numbers from Libya are staggering. Thousands are dead and 10,000 more missing after
catastrophic flooding swept through the northeast of the country.
In Morocco, the country's military is now at the epicenter of a deadly quake, which left almost 3000 people dead, soldiers working to remove
debris from the roads to access remote villages in the Atlas Mountains.
Israel Supreme Court is hearing arguments today and an historic case over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planning to overhaul the country's
judicial system. And Kim Jong-Un has arrived in Russia. We're waiting to see where and when he meets with Vladimir Putin to discuss a potential arms
deal for the war in Ukraine.
Well, a stunning and heartbreaking announcement coming from Libya, while we've been on air in the past. Medical officials say hospitals in the
Northeastern City of Derna are out of service and morgues they say are full capacity.
Derna is the worst hit city after massive flooding destroyed two dams and swept away neighborhoods. Officials say at least 2000 people have died and
thousands more are missing. CNN's Eleni Giokos brings us more.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chaos as volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent scrambles to save residence. Put him in the car one of
the rescuers says bring him here. A tireless effort, but limited by the sheer scale of floods that swept Eastern Libya.
The full scale of the disaster visible in the daylight, the earth ripped apart, houses destroyed or completely washed away, and thousands dead and
missing. Apocalyptic scenes stretching farther than the eye can see.
The culprit Storm Daniel, the same that ravaged Greece and Bulgaria last week, it made its way back into the Mediterranean, picking up strength
before crashing down on Libya. The downpour several times higher than the rain Libya usually sees in the entire month of September too much for the
war torn countries infrastructure to handle.
In Derna, one of the hardest hit cities two dams reportedly collapsed, wiping out a quarter of the city. Rescuers have been faced with a
TAMAR RAMADAN, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIEITES: Death toll is huge. It might reach 2000s really, but we don't
have a definite number right now.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Aid has begun flowing in from nearby countries food and much needed medical supplies the issue now getting it to the hardest
IBRAHIM KHATR, AL ABRAM MUNICIPALITY OFFICAL: Derna is a disaster by all means the situation has cooled -- clearly to be cut off entirely.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Many also fear aid could become a political issue in the divided country splits with two competing governments since 2014 a
disaster on top of another Eleni Giokos, CNN, Dubai.
ANDERSON: Well, our Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman has reported from Libya for years. He knows the country well. And I want to
bring him in now. And Ben, we are going to look at the extreme weather event that was responsible for this huge volume of rain to hit that part of
It is a consequence of that rain and this ensuing disaster which has caused so many deaths and so many people to be missing at this point in a country,
which doesn't function well in the best of times, Ben?
BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, in fact, it's widely believed that as a result of the convulsions caused by the 2011 uprising
against Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
And the civil war that followed that the infrastructure in the country has been neglected, particularly those two dams upstream in Wadi Derna -- a
Wadi that runs right through that city of around 100,000 people and those dams that burst causing basically a tsunami to rip right through that city.
Now we are getting some more information from people who have managed to get through to Derna. In fact, we spoke to a doctor from Benghazi, who is
now volunteering in Derna. And he said that the hospitals there are out of service, the emergency services are no longer functioning, and that people
are simply going out, just ordinary residents trying to retrieve what he called rotting bodies.
And in fact, we have seen video from outside the morgue where there are dozens of bodies covered with blankets strewn on the sidewalks and the
street outside of it. Because according to reports from Derna, the morgue is completely full.
And now as far as the death toll, nobody really knows. We've heard one, the Health Minister for the Eastern Government of Libya, saying that they have
earlier in the day identified 700 of the bodies. But we're talking about perhaps as many as 10,000 people missing as a result of these floods.
And therefore, it's anybody's guess at this point what the final death toll will be? We understand that the storms, for instance, knocked out many of
the cell phone towers. So communication is difficult, many of the roads were simply washed out as a result of the floods. So you have multiple
disasters in this area and a very limited capacity to deal with them, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman on the story for you, where there's some insight that hugely valuable, Ben, thank you. As we've mentioned, the deadly flooding
was caused by rainfall from Storm Daniel. CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has a lot more to show us. Derek, what have you got?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, I think of the way that Ben described it as almost a tsunami of water ripping apart parts of Derna.
Once the two dams actually collapsed that's a great way to describe what happened?
The infrastructure there simply could not handle that amount of rain in such a short period of time. And it was all because of what we called Storm
Daniel. It took on a medication which is like a hurricane in the Mediterranean type characteristics as it plowed into the eastern sections
And you can see the rainfall totals here were very impressive. Derna saw upwards of 240 millimeters, but just to the west of that an area called El-
Bayda that received 414 millimeters just in a 24 hour period and that is a record for that location. And that is why we saw the bulk of the flooding
take place in that northeastern tip of Libya.
Now I had a producer asked me it just seems like we've hit these heavy rainfall events that are happening so often. And they just pour they
downpour and they downpour well what is happening. Remember, we got a go back to pre-industrial average our Earth has warmed about 1.2 degrees
Celsius. What that does in turn, as it allows our atmosphere to hold more water vapor.
More water vapor equals the potential for heavier rain events to occur more frequently and with more extremity as well. Now look at this. This is
interesting as well. We dug deep into Benghazi Libya. This is of course a little bit west of the Derna region.
But you could see the dry season clearly during the Northern Hemisphere summer month's starts to uptick into August and September. But the
intertropical convergence zone where we get that thunderstorm activity typically during this time of year as well south of this area for a storm
to move across the Mediterranean from Greece all the way into Libya.
We don't typically see that and that is why the infrastructure was so dry, couldn't handle that amount of rain in such a short period of time. And
unfortunately, the result was this, Becky.
ANDERSON: Derek, good to have you thank you. Well, the United Nations Children's Fund is on the ground in Libya ready to help posting on social
media UNICEF Libya expresses deep condolences to all people and lost family members in East Libya due to the floods. We stand ready to support relief
operations for the displaced children and in hospitals.
We are in touch with relevant authorities. And Michele Servadei joins us now live. You say you stand ready to support has that readiness been
accepted by authorities and let's be quite clear. This is to put it mildly, a politically complicated country?
MICHELE SERVADEI, UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE IN LIBYA: No, I think that they cannot time for politics and thanks for having me in this call. I think
that it's time for really humanitarian relief and all authorities are you know, quite cooperative with us to be on the ground.
I think access issues remain. There are a lot of communication issues as well to reach the places and Derna is particularly a challenging place to
reach. We have partners on the ground, though we send supplies already yesterday, we send medical supplies for 10,000 people.
We sent hygiene kits for over thousand people, but Libya was also getting out of pure humanitarian aid. So resources are still scarce. So we need
investments and resources now to do life-saving, and then longer term investments on the infrastructure, the reconstruction phase.
ANDERSON: So at this point, given what you are seeing and hearing on the ground, from your vantage point, you are not concerned, sir let's just be
clear about this. You're not concerned about politics getting in the way at this point?
SERVADEI: I think the concerns are more about access and the scale of the magnitude of the events, because early morning yesterday didn't look this
huge and now we have about 5000 people there we have almost 30,000 displaced.
We have all the schools, most of the schools and hospitals destroyed in the area of Derna. It's time for life saving we have to do you know, we need to
look at shelter, you need to look at safe water, we need to look at family tracing, psychosocial support.
So those are our top priorities now getting more partners on the ground. We are worried about the number of missing people 10,000 people missing are a
lot. Family tracing, as I mentioned, will also be a core relief need.
But now I mean, is the time to get more resources. And you know there is this thing about Libya being rich? Yes, it's a rich country. But at the
end, we need the resources on the ground to do the relief operations now. And we need those resources also from external donors, because the scale is
ANDERSON: Yes. And you will be sadly used to seeing situations of emergencies and UNICEF, one of the agencies that are often so quickly on
the ground, and able to help. How shocked were you by how quickly this developed sir?
SERVADEI: Yes. We were quite surprised in the sense that a lot of alerts were made. But then as you said in the previous piece, the point is also
that dams collapsed. So not only there was, but there was also collapse of infrastructure that made it worse.
So now I mean, this scale is quite unpredictable to be honest. We are looking at you know, mobilizing more supplies, as I was saying, then I was
actually on the way to recovery. I had been there at the beginning of the year.
And you know the civil -- the municipal council really wanted us there. The civil society was very happy to see the United Nations on the ground. We
were about to open child friendly spaces there in a month time from now. So now it's about you know getting back years getting back to reconstruction,
getting back to life saving.
ANDERSON: How strapped are you as an organization given that Morocco is going on? At the same time, of course in North Africa, and we -- let's just
be quite clear about that. I mean, UNICEF has said some 100,000 kids could be impacted by that.
This has been a year where children have been displaced, like, perhaps no other with the Turkish earthquake. And I know agents have been -- agencies
have been strapped after that as well. We see these disasters after disasters, how tough are things as far as funding is concerned?
SERVADEI: Yes. I must admit, we are stretched in the sense that there are many competing, Ukraine, as you mentioned, I was myself on surge in
Gaziantep, for the Syrian in Turkey response at the beginning of the year.
So the needs are massive. But again, if we go back to what is the proportion of humanitarian aid needed compared to what we spent on as
Member States on other priorities, including on weapons that nothing.
So you know UN appeals need to be met with the appropriate resources. So yes, there are competing priorities. But also, you know, the donors need to
look at you know covering those humanitarian needs, because nobody else will do otherwise.
ANDERSON: Unless we forget. I mean, we've been reporting the numbers. The numbers are staggering. They are also staggering in Morocco, of course, but
behind every single one of those numbers, is a man, woman or child. And that is what is so important in this situation. The work you do is so
important. Sir, thank you very much indeed for joining us and making the time this evening.
North Korea's Kim Jong-Un has arrived in Russia where he is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We'll explain why that has
Western countries so worried next on "Connect the World"? And an historic day of the Israel Supreme Court after months of mass demonstrations a live
report for you from Jerusalem.
ANDERSON: In Morocco, hopes are fading now to find more survivors from Friday's devastating earthquake. The death toll growing to more than 2900
as the search goes on that sounds frustrations are swelling to with people in remote areas desperately in need of more help.
UNICEF raising the alarm about the impact on kids saying 100,000 was likely affected. Well, Sam Kiley is in Morocco. And Sam just described where you
are and what people there have been telling you what you've seen?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, I'm about two hours' drive out of Marrakech and something of a walk up into the
foothills of the Atlas Mountains. And this I'm afraid to say --
ANDERSON: Huh, all right. Well, as we see that image I mean it is quite remarkable isn't it? And unfortunately, we just lost the connection with
Sam. So we will get to you as just as soon as we can. And for more information about how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake that
cnn.com/impact for more.
Well, Kim Jong-Un is in Russia and is expected to meet with Vladimir Putin. This video from a short time ago shows Kim meeting with a Russian official
after arriving by train. Now U.S. officials say that they are worried that the meeting could lead to North Korea providing weapons for Russia to use
it in its war on Ukraine.
CNN's Paula Hancocks has been covering Kim for years. She's live in Seoul, with more on what is Paula this expected meeting between Kim and Putin? And
CNN's Clare Sebastian is in London where supplying weapons to Ukraine is a big issue and a western arms maker trade show. Standby Clare, I'll come to
you in a moment. Paula, let's just talk about what is going on here?
We've seen these remarkable images, which is so rare the North Korean Leader leaving on his armored train going north to Russia. As I understand
it, we don't know where and when he will meet Vladimir Putin at this point. We've got some sense of what they will be discussing at this point?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes Becky. So the location the date are still being speculated upon the Kremlin is giving no
indication and clarification on that.
But we do believe that there will definitely be a military focus when it comes to the discussions between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. We have
heard from the Kremlin, they've already said that Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu will be part of the meeting between Kim and Putin.
Remember, he went to Pyongyang back in July. And this is really where this closer alliance started from. And we've also seen from the images that
we've seen of Kim Jong-Un and his delegation that Ri Pyong Chol is within that delegation. He is a key figure in the military in North Korea, he's
considered to be really the leader of the missile program of North Korea.
He's already sanctioned by the U.S. and by the United Nations. So just by the very personnel that are going to be part of this discussion, it's very
clear to the outside world exactly what this discussion will entail. Now, U.S. officials have said that they believe that Russia wants ammunition
wants small arms from North Korea to help in its war in Ukraine.
And of course, we know that North Korea does have a stockpile, they have the mass production capability to be able to give that to Russia and for
the other side of the --
ANDERSON: Breaking news. Paula Hancock is on the story, a very important one. Let me though; just get us across to the states where the speaker
Kevin McCarthy is making comments on a Biden impeachment battle. Let's just listen into that.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): So representatives, that's why today, I am directing our house committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into
President Joe Biden. This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public.
That's exactly what we want to know, the answers.
I believe the President would want to answer these questions and allegations as well. This effort will be led by Chairman James Comer at the
Committee on Oversight and coordination with Chairman Jim Jordan, for Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Jason Smith, on Ways and Means. I do not
make this decision lightly.
And regardless of your party, or who you voted for, these facts should concern all Americans. The American people deserve to know that the public
offices are not for sale, under the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically associated family.
Now, I would encourage the President and his team to fully cooperate with this investigation, in the interests of transparency. We are committed to
getting the answers for the American public, nothing more, nothing less. We will go wherever the evidence takes us. Thank you.
KATE BOLDUAN, HOST, CNN NEWS CENTRAL: All right, Kevin McCarthy making the statement he's endorsing an impeachment inquiry be launched into President
Biden. And obviously, in light of the investigations into Hunter Biden, his son, this is a big moment as John, you were just talking about with Lauren
Fox and David Chalian about what this now really kick starts, which is a bit of an unclear process of where this exactly goes in this moment.
JOHN BERMAN, HOST, CNN NEWS CENTRAL: To be clear House Speaker Kevin McCarthy till this point, has said that he believed that a vote was
necessary on the House floor to launch an impeachment inquiry. I did not hear him say there, he's going to call for a vote to begin an impeachment
inquiry in the House of Representatives.
He said he was directing the inquiry to begin; we're going to get some more details on if we heard that right there. But again, this kicks off,
presumably a process here. That will be very political. That up until now we have not been presented with any evidence directly. The President Biden
himself did anything wrong here, but --
BOLDUAN: That's a key part about this.
BOLDUAN: The investigations have been going on through a couple of committees. I think he mentioned the judiciary and ways and means will be
part of this. But what has come, what has been even despite what the speaker said right there. There has been no direct evidence that Joe Biden
himself has personally profited off of his son Hunter Biden's foreign work.
That is what is the direct evidence of that connection is what is there is a question that kind of there's a big gap here for them to present, there
SARA SIDNER, HOST, CNN NEWS CENTRAL: There is a big gap in evidence and you heard him lay out Biden talking about, you know, accusing him of lying to
the American people. That's a very different thing than having evidence that there were something of malfeasance going on between him Hunter and
Hunter's business partners. Let us go now to Manu Raju who is always there on time, ready to go. Manu, what was your takeaway from what you heard at
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, one big thing is that he did not say that there actually is a vote to open up an impeachment
inquiry. Remember, just on September 1st, that's when Kevin McCarthy told Breitbart News, the conservative news outlet that there would actually be a
vote on the House floor to open up a formal impeachment inquiry.
He did not say that just now in fact, he said that they would do is directing that key House committee, the House Oversight Committee to open
up an impeachment inquiry. Now one big reason why perhaps the speaker is not moving in the direction of having a vote, he does not have enough
support, a majority of the House to open up an impeachment inquiry at the moment.
That's because there are a number of Republicans, including ones in swing districts, and some conservatives like Ken Buck of Colorado, who are
skeptical about moving forward with an impeachment inquiry. That means that there was actually a vote to formally open up this probe going forward. At
the moment, he would not have 218 votes as Democrats would vote against it.
And more than four Republicans voted against it as well. So he is now telling the House Oversight Committee to move forward. And one big reason
why there is not a support at the moment is because of the fact that they have yet to figure out how to come up with definitive proof or evidence to
suggest that Joe Biden took official action as vice president to aid his son, Hunter Biden.
Or that it's still Biden profited in any way by Hunter Biden's business dealings and these allegations of pay to play scheme. They have simply not
proven yet, which is why there is a number of members who are skeptical, not just in the house, but also Senate Republicans as well.
So McCarthy here, though, is still taking a very significant step by opening up an impeachment probe. Remember, if Joe Biden is in fact,
impeached, he would just be the fourth president in American history to be charged with high crimes or misdemeanors. Donald Trump, of course, was
impeached twice over two separate issues. But that is still the ways away.
Now we're going into the part of the impeachment investigation where they have to actually continue to gather evidence, tried to build the case
against Joe Biden and tried to charge him with high crimes or misdemeanors and then tried to get the boats in the house to do that. That is still a
very, very heavy lift for Kevin McCarthy.
But this action today, in some ways is being pushed by the far right of his conference, which has been very vocal at this moment for the speaker to
move ahead on this issue. The speaker is aligning himself with that faction in his conference to move ahead with this impeachment inquiry.
Now the question is what evidence will they gather? Will they actually have a vote either to formalize this inquiry at some point, or to actually
impeach the president? All major, major questions is facing the speaker at this moment as he announces this historic move.
ANDERSON: That's Manu Raju on a breaking news story for you this hour. I want to get you back to one of our other top stories. And that is the
aftermath of the earthquake in Morocco, which has killed almost 3000 people. CNN's Sam Kiley is in Morocco. And Sam, you're explaining where you
are and what has happened there. Just show us what it is that you are seeing.
KILEY: Well, take a look at this. This is Taroudant village; it has in this location about 200 homes more broadly, across the little hills nearby.
About 588 people at least killed. This is the, what was the center of the village and it looks like it's been hit by several bonds, doesn't it? And
this is a pattern Becky that we've seen right across this region.
And I this morning walked up another 1000 feet, we're about four and a half 1000 feet here. Into the higher areas accessible only on foot, we found a
hamlet of three houses where two people were killed. Beyond that, a farm of one house that had collapsed in and killed a six year old child.
Wherever you go here, there are these villages that have been utterly flattened as if a giant marched down the hillside using these villages as
stepping stones crushing them utterly. Now the authorities here I've been using the military aircraft helicopters to get --
ANDERSON: OK, well sadly, is clearly not an easy place to get transmission from. We're doing our best getting you right to where the impact of that
devastating earthquake. Is clear for you to see I'm sorry that we're having technical difficulties with Sam. But as I say, you know this is an effort
just to ensure that you get a real sense of what has happened there and in the Atlas Mountains.
We're going to take a very quick break at this point, do stay with us.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Your headlines this hour and Libya says hospitals in the
northeastern city of Derna data are out of service and morgues are at full capacity. Derna is the worst hit city after a massive flooding destroyed
two dams and swept away neighborhoods.
Official says at least 2000 people have died and thousands more are missing. Well UNICEF says around 100,000 children were impacted by the
earthquake that hit Morocco on Friday. The UN children's agency raising concerns about the loss of schools and homes as temperatures there drop at
night. More than 2900 people were killed in that quake and there thousands more are injured.
Well, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is in Russia right now. He is expected to meet with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. This short
video from a short time ago shows Kim meeting with a Russian official after arriving by train. U.S. officials say that they are worried that North
Korea will provide weapons for Russia to use in its war on Ukraine.
Well, images like this one have been increasingly common on the streets of Israel. Now for months, months of mass demonstrations against the law
pushed through by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government coalition. And it has led to this.
Israel's Supreme Court hearing an historic case on its own powers at this hour sitting with a panel of all 15 judges that's a first for Israel, the
court is considering challenges to a law that takes away some of its own powers. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now from Jerusalem.
This isn't an easy one to explain. And for people who are sort of new to this story, I think it's important that we really lay it out. And discuss
what we can expect the outcome to be if it is at this point at all clear.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so let's start from the beginning. Israel doesn't have a constitution, the closest it has a series
of what are called basic laws that make up this sort of quasi constitution.
And also keep in mind that the way Israeli government is set up, although Benjamin Netanyahu likes to say there's three branches of governments,
there's essentially two because the parliamentary system, the executive and the parliament run by the same party, and then you have the Supreme Court,
which is essentially the only check on the government's power.
So what happened in July is this government, this right wing government run by Benjamin Netanyahu passed an amendment to one of those basic laws. And
what it did is it took away one of the Supreme Court's tools that it can use to nullify government actions.
Now that was called the reasonable -- doctrine, because it meant Supreme Court could say that government action, whether it be a ministerial
appointment, or something else, that is unreasonable, therefore, it cannot happen.
And this law that passed in July, on party lines that nullifies their ability to do it. Now, immediately, there were petitions filed with the
Supreme Court by people who said that that law is not justified. And so, now that's where we are today. The Supreme Court, this is the first day of
the hearing, the hearing about essentially their own powers, and it's really bringing this sort of constitutional crisis moment, to the fore.
Now we've already heard from, from both the plaintiffs, the people who are against this law, and from the government. Interestingly, actually, the
government is not being represented by its own attorney general who's not a political appointee, because the attorney general is against this law.
She is ironically sort of, people representing her have testified have spoken now in court, but they are actually on the other side of this issue.
Now, what's interesting is the President of the Supreme Court, Esther Hayut, she is the woman that you see sitting in the middle, often we see
kind of that big panel of judges.
She has said, you know, there must be a mortal blow to democracy for us to strike down this law, because never before has the Supreme Court struck
down and amendment struck down a basic law. They talked about it before, but they've never completely struck down. And that is what they're talking
about here today.
So it's hard to judge, you know, how judges are going to judge later on just what they're saying and hearing, because they grill both sides. But
the quote that we talked about earlier, I think is so indicative here, of potentially where this could be ruling. And this is one of the Supreme
Court justices saying democracy dies in a series of small steps.
Now, we don't know how the judges will rule. They don't have a deadline for a ruling until January. But this could set Israel up for constitutional
crisis, because we haven't even heard pledges from the government from the Netanyahu government that they would even abide by a Supreme Court ruling
knocking down their law. And so, that could really set up a judicial a constitutional crisis for Israel that they've never seen before.
ANDERSON: Hadas, thank you. Your reporting on this is spot on. Thank you. In the last hour, we spoke on this show with the former Attorney General of
Israel Avichai Mandelblit. He explained why just why the Supreme Court is so important to Israel's democracy, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVICHAI MANDELBLIT, FORMER ISRAELI ATTORNEY GENERAL: So this is a very severe issue. I heard before it is correct. In Israel allegedly, we're
quite, we should have quite weak democracy, liberal democracy because we don't have a constitution. We don't have Bill of Rights. We don't have to -
- our Parliament. We don't have international court that can supervise our Supreme Court. Nevertheless, we are a very strong democracy.
This is only because of our Supreme Court and the Attorney General and their independence. So if you take judicial judges and you lose the
independence of our Supreme Court, then we have only one institution only the government because our parliament is weak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That was the former Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit speaking with me last hour. Well, five Americans detained in Iran appear to
be one step closer to freedom. As part of a wide ranging deal to release them, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. has now agreed to
issue a waiver, which allows banks to transfer $6 billion in restricted Iranian funds to Qatar without fear of sanctions.
Qatar will then oversee the payout of Tehran's money which can only be used to buy humanitarian goods for the country. Well, as part of the deal, the
White House agreed to release five Iranian citizens who are currently being held in the U.S. Well, for more on this, let's turn to CNN's Natasha
Bertrand in Washington. And this has been some time in the making and it is sensitive and it is complicated. How quickly, firstly can we expect these
Americans jailed until recently?
And then under house arrest still, how quickly can we expect them to be released, Natasha?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Becky, that remains the big question and something that the White House reiterated just last
night. And the statement to us is that no Americans are going to be released this week, so definitely not this week. But look, this is all
moving fairly quickly, they reached this kind of interim deal whereby some of those Americans would be placed on house arrest.
And now we saw that the Secretary of State did issue a waiver, notifying Congress those banks overseas that hold some of these Iranian funds will be
able to transfer those funds to a bank in Qatar. And then those funds will be dispersed to Iran, of course, once the American prisoners are released,
so that they can use that money for humanitarian goods only.
And that's really the key here that the administration has sought to emphasize is that this is not $6 billion that is simply going straight into
Iranian coffers. It is something that is going to be closely monitored not only by Qatar, but also by the U.S. Treasury Department.
That is not preventing, of course, Republicans in Congress from criticizing this deal as something that is essentially akin to paying a ransom. And
that is how Republicans have framed this is that, there is no way for the U.S. to engage in these kinds of negotiations and deals with Iran in good
faith, just given, you know how Iranian and U.S. relations are at this point and how Iran has proven itself to be not a reliable partner in these
But the administration is encouraged by the fact that these negotiations have been proceeding. And so, they really see this as the best possible way
at this point to get those Americans home, Becky.
ANDERSON: Natasha, stay on it for us. Thank you. Well just ahead Google abuse its power over online searches to stifle competition. Find out why
the U.S. is asking that very question in court. That is up next.
ANDERSON: Well, it's shaping up to be a big showdown with tech giants up against the U.S. government though less in a Washington courtroom. Google
is facing off against U.S. officials today over accusations that it has over the years tried to lock out rivals by abusing its dominance in search.
It's seen as the biggest U.S. challenge to tech power in decades. Observers say it could reshape one of the Internet's most dominant platforms. Well, I
want to bring in CNN's Anna Stewart who is tracking this for us. And this is the biggest U.S. challenge to tech power in a generation. Why now?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: And it's day one or potentially a 10 week trial. I mean, this has been coming for two years the lawsuit was actually
filed in 2020. It's taken all the time. And many would argue that time has moved on to the point where are we really talking about these traditional
search engines? Surely we're talking about AI generated search engines. But this case is looking at Google's dominance.
I don't think anyone could argue that Google isn't the dominant search engine. In the U.S. the DOJ says it accounts nearly 90 percent of all
general search engine queries that wouldn't surprise anyone. But this big question is has it gained this dominance unlawfully?
And one of the key issues they're looking at is these deals that Google has with phone makers like apple, with Mozilla which is a browser developer
with wireless carrier so that when you buy hardware, for instance, it's already there, it's already baked in it is the de facto search engine, so
you have to opt out rather than opt in.
So there's a big question as to whether that is unlawful, of course, Google says it isn't. Also, Google, of course, relies very heavily on search
engine. It's interesting that more than half of alphabets revenue actually rests on the search engine. So that brings into question, what happens if
Google loses this case against the DOJ, like Microsoft did back in the late 90s?
Also a massive anti-trust case, probably the last big one we've seen actually is for this one. Will it involve a massive fine? Will it involve
pushing Google to break up? Or will it just severely restrict what Google can do with its search engine?
These are the options that Google faces if it loses this case, but we've got 10 weeks and possibly some really interesting testimony from some big
tech execs. So this is going to be one to watch, Becky.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. Thank you very much indeed. Anna Stewart is in the house folks. Officials with MGM Resorts say their computer systems are now
operational again, after a cyber-security issue affected dining hotel and gaming activities on Monday.
But the situation is far from resolve. The chaos left slot machines in Vegas inoperable, forcing the company to only accept cash payments at
restaurants and preventing digital keys from working. Joining us now, with more on what we understand to have happened is CNN's Natasha Chen, Natasha.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, they issued a statement late last night and with an update saying that our resorts
including dining, entertainment and gaming are currently operational, and continue to deliver the experiences for which MGM is known. Our guests
remain able to access their hotel rooms, and our Front Desk staff is ready to assist our guests as needed.
We appreciate your patience. But if you notice, that statement doesn't really specify the status of this, the system shut down that they had to
do. Their initial statement was just before midnight, Sunday into Monday, local time when they explained that they had to shut down some of their
systems out of precautions to protect their data.
They said that it was a cybersecurity issue that they reached out to leading external cybersecurity experts and law enforcement for help when
they detected this problem. And so, it's been a rolling issue. Apparently, since Sunday, you saw that video of some of the slot machines that were
And we've also seen some posts on social media about people, perhaps using some of the system, some of the machines now, but really just sitting there
waiting for a cash payout at some of their properties. Here is an interview done by one of our Las Vegas affiliates KSNV speaking to an employee of one
of the MGM casinos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just throughout the day got worse and worse and worse until we had no access at the end of the day. More and more of the
people that were working that day just lost access to like everything like just throughout the day it was like Oh, phone lines are down. OK,
scheduling is down. OK, now, workday is down, now everything is out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: So it's been a difficult time for people perhaps working at those properties. MGM has resorts in Las Vegas as well as across the United
States and around the world as well. It's unclear to what extent those other properties are affected. But right now, their MGM Resorts
International website is still down.
And what they have are phone numbers listed for a lot of their properties for people to be able to call and make reservations. We see some folks
commenting on social media that they have checked in and checked out of hotel rooms with employees marking things down manually, using physical key
cards, some people talking about using cash only at their restaurants.
So we are really trying to reach back out and get a little bit more clarity on exactly which things are operational and how they are working around
this as their systems, at least some of them still seem to be down.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you.
CHEN: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Well, Apple is holding its annual September event later today in California. If you're a tech fan or an Apple fan, you'll know this is an
annual event. And it's always got something to it. The company expected this year to unveil the iPhone 15 along with a USB-C charging for its
Now this change comes after the European Union voted to require all smartphones and digital devices must support USB-C charging by 2024. Right
you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Wherever you are watching the world, you are more than welcome. Still ahead, who says
that popularity is always good? Just take a look at this picture of Mount Fuji. And if you ask what's wrong with that, we will explain after this.
ANDERSON: Well the climbing season has ended on Japan's Mount Fuji and it is a much needed break for the UNESCO World Heritage site where the number
of visitors has skyrocketed in recent years. As Kristie Lu Stout explains that surging tourism could cost the mountain its world heritage status,
have a look at this.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Human traffic jams on sacred Mount Fuji.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They call that just like a traffic jam
STOUT (voice-over): An ambulance on route to an injured hiker litter on the mountain side. It's aside to Japan's popular tourist site that is not in
the guidebooks. Before Mount Fuji Ranger Miho Sakurai, it's just another day on the job.
MIHO SAKURAI, MOUNT FUJI RANGER: There are definitely too many people on Mount Fuji at the moment. The numbers are much higher than before.
STOUT (voice-over): Famous for its snow cap volcano, Mount Fuji has inspired artists and been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Less than two
hours away from Tokyo, Japan's highest peak attracts visitors globally and in 2013 became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over tourism has become a big
This year, a post COVID tourism boom has brought thousands more hikers to Mount Fuji according to a Yamanashi prefectural government official. The
environmental damage being done could cost Mount Fuji its heritage status according to the local government.
MASATAKE IZUMI, YAMANASHI PREFECTURAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: Fuji sand is screaming out in pain. We can't just wait for improvement; we need to
tackle over-tourism now.
STOUT (voice-over): Volunteers take away tons of trash each year. Climbers are urged to donate $7 to help keep the mountain clean, but not everyone
pays up. And Sakurai says some behavior is even harder to control.
SAKURAI: People have all experienced levels come here including first timers. We want to prevent accidents, so we give them advice.
STOUT (voice-over): The risk of altitude sickness and hypothermia has been increased by a trend called bullet climbing where hikers begin their ascent
at night, pushing on until dawn according to the Yamanashi Tourism Board. According to the local government, they start their hike from a place
called Fuji's fit station with a number of climbers arriving here from Tokyo has more than doubled between 2012 and 2019. The local government
also says it wants to shift from quantity to quality tourism.
It says replacing the main road to Fuji with a light rail system would be a more sustainable solution.
SAKURAI: I'd be devastated if Mount Fuji's world heritage status was taken away. I wanted to have that status forever. So we'll do our best to keep it
STOUT (voice-over): But with no easy fix in sight, Sakurai will keep doing her best to protect the mountain she loves. Kristie Lu Stout CNN, Hong
ANDERSON: That's it from us. From the team working with me here in London today and those working with us around the world, it is a very good evening
from Abu Dhabi. "One World" with Lynda Kinkade, my colleague is up next. So stay with CNN.