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Hopes Fade That U.S. Congress Can Avert Shutdown; Americans Prepare For Looming Government Shutdown; U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Holds News Conference; Battling Back From Injury For Ukraine; U.S. Senate Mourns Passing Of Dianne Feinstein; More Than 50 Killed In Two Separate Attacks; The Seaweed Revolution; Cuban Scientists Work To Preserve Coral Reefs And Economy. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 29, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It most certainly is, and this is the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD.
Will hope fading fast to avoid a U.S. government shutdown. Let me get you some images here because it is in this room that the House speaker, the
Republican Kevin McCarthy, will announce shortly how he proposes to avoid that shutdown. Barring some sort of unexpected late progress the federal
government is likely to grind to a halt just after midnight on Sunday morning. That is 38 hours from now.
How do we get to this point? Well, hard-lined conservatives in the U.S. House are trying to scuttle their speaker's attempt to pass what would be a
short-term funding bill. Something the Senate is advancing in a bipartisan fashion.
Well, as I said, Kevin McCarthy preparing to bring that bill to a vote later today, but hard-liners may revolt and vote against a procedural rule
to prevent the bill from even reaching the floor for a vote. So, we're left, it appears, with one big mess.
Want to talk about it with CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Alice Stewart.
Alice, it's good to have you. As we await Kevin McCarthy into what is a packed room, a lot of press, waiting to hear from him, how he proposes to
avoid this shutdown, it seems, though, that he's proposal is sort of dead before it arrives. Just explain to us exactly what's going on, and how it
is that Kevin McCarthy can afford a shutdown if indeed you believe he could.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He can't, Becky. It's good to chat with you about this because I had a long conversation with a member of
Congress this morning and he explained exactly how it got to this point. And it's because Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, has a
very far-right wing of the Republican Party that is just determined to hold their ground on this.
They do not want to pass what is called a continuing resolution or a CR, which would in essence allow President Biden's spending plan to move
forward. That far-right flank is led by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and others who really are holding firm on that and some say they can't take yes
for an answer. And they are determined to make sure that any type of CR does not pass.
These are the same people that fought almost against Kevin McCarthy being in a leadership position, and what they did was in order for him to be the
leader, they said we can't have a motion to vacate, in essence kick him out of his position with one person putting that to the floor, basically, if he
doesn't do whatever they want. Well, they're showing that right now. They want to make sure we don't pass a CR, and they are threatening to remove
him from his position if he doesn't placate to them.
So he is stuck between making sure they get what they want and working with the Democrats to pass a spending plan to avoid a shutdown. The problem is,
he is stuck between a rock and a hard place and he's not going to be able to get this done.
The congressman I talked to says it's virtually inevitable that we're going to have a shutdown tomorrow night. The question is, how long and how many
people will be impacted by this? And people down the street on the Hill are already making plans for the shutdown.
ANDERSON: This is a takedown by Matt Gaetz and these other small cohort of right-wing Republicans. Is Kevin McCarthy's job tenable at this point?
STEWART: He is. Look, you talk to rational Republicans on the Hill, and they say that McCarthy is doing a tremendous job as speaker, and he is
doing everything he can to corral the votes to get something done, and they don't envy the position that he's in. But going into it knowing that you
had this far-right, very vocal wing of the party that, for all intents and purposes, are following former President Trump's talking points and his
message. It was difficult. Donald Trump has said that he wouldn't mind a shutdown.
It would make sure that Democrats know we're not going to continue this out-of-control spending without some pushback. Matt Gaetz is parroting
those similar talking points. They are not concerned about having a shutdown because they want to cut spending. The problem is, Republicans
will take the blame for this when a shutdown happens. There is no two ways about. There is no other person to point the finger at because Republicans
are not coming together in the House.
Over in the Senate, they have had bipartisan passage of appropriations bills and spending packages to avoid a shutdown. They are working together.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. But once those measures come to the House, they're dead on arrival because of the very vocal, very far-
right wing of the party.
ANDERSON: Well, some play politics on the Hill. Thank you for joining us.
The Biden administration is warning that a shutdown could cause massive disruptions at American airports. Let's get you to Miguel Marquez at New
York's LaGuardia Airport where they are, Miguel, bracing for the worst. The impact on the average American, explain.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If I could explain that, I think it's going to be a very slow-moving disaster if it is not
resolved quickly. Look, there's been about 20 times since 1977, that the government has shut down or funding has stopped. Most of those have been
resolved within a week. Because things are so divided on the Republican side, though, TSA agents, those that do security at the airport, air
traffic controllers, they'll continue to work without pay while they're doing this. All of them very unsure how long it will take to make a budget
VERONICA STOWE, RELIES ON FEDERAL GOVT. FOOD PROGRAM: Can I get some apples? Yes.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Veronica Stowe feeds two teenagers, a 7-year-old, her mother, herself, and her husband, six total, relying mostly on a once-a-
month payment from the federal government's SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
(On-camera): So you get SNAP benefits once a month. Does that last you? Does that buy food for an entire month?
STOWE: Sometimes it does, like right now I have $200 left. The month is almost gone.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Her next SNAP payments scheduled for October 16th. The government has guaranteed it through the month in case of a shutdown.
But after that, it's unclear.
(On-camera): What are you doing different today in case the government shuts down?
STOWE: Well, I cut it back on how we eat, how much we eat. We buy the same amount of food. We cook it differently. Instead of fry, we stew it. So you
can use it as a soup or broth so it can last longer. You have to make cutbacks.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): She's also stocking up at a Brooklyn food pantry.
STOWE: This place is critical because when I run out of food at home, what am I really -- where am I going?
MARQUEZ: The Campaign Against Hunger saw food insecurity skyrocket during the pandemic. The current migration crisis adding even more pressure.
DR. MELONY SAMUELS, CEO & FOUNDER, THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST HUNGER: We are feeding 12,000 to 14, 000 families per week, and so that equate to over 20
MARQUEZ: Twenty million meals a year. During the last government shutdown, they quickly saw a new group of New Yorkers in need of food.
SAMUELS: All the government workers are going to come in. We had from the TSA, we had the hospitals. We had so many families that were in need of
food in 2018, 2019, that it just broke the safety net.
MARQUEZ: The shutdown in 2018 was also a drag on shops whose customers paying for food with government benefits. Nationwide the cost of a lengthy
shutdown enormous. The 2018 shutdown disrupted $18 billion in federal spending. An estimated $3 billion was never recovered, denting the nation's
GDP lower by 0.02 percent.
The nation's airports and air travel vulnerable during a shutdown. The 2018 shutdown 34 days, the longest ever of. A fight over then President Trump's
border wall funding saw TSA agents, air traffic controllers and many other federal employees working without pay until the dispute was resolved.
ALEXIS MADDOX, TSA EXPERT TRANSPORTATION SECURITY OFFICER: Mentally, it can be very draining on any human being, not just officers or employees for the
federal agency, to not know when you'll be able to feed your family or provide the next meal, or be able to provide education and childcare for
your children. If that is your situation, it's very frustrating.
MARQUEZ: Alexis Maddox, who works for the TSA and the union representing federal employees, says most government workers live paycheck to paycheck
paid every two weeks.
Next payday today, Friday, September 29th. When will that next check come? That uncertainty producing the most anxiety.
MADDOX: We are bracing for the worst. We're telling officers to save a little extra money, put some things to the side. If it's not a necessity,
please don't spend in excess what you don't need because we don't know.
MARQUEZ: So there is a lot of uncertainty out there, but, you know, TSA agents, the security agents in American airports and air traffic
controllers, continue to work even though they weren't being paid last time around. That was 34 days. A very long period not to know. They are afraid
it may go longer this time, given how divided things are.
But everyone we spoke to for this story, whether it was food safety or security, begging Congress, look, we go to work every day. We do our job.
Sometimes we don't agree with our boss and what we have to do, but we still get it done. They are asking the same of Congress -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Well, hopes are fading, Miguel, fading fast to avoid this U.S. government shutdown. I mean, your report really laying out the sort of
impact that we might expect. We know at this point, we're fairly confident at this point at least, that Kevin McCarthy, the House speaker, doesn't
have the Republican votes to get through this stopgap spending bill.
Let's get back, and here is. He's coming into the room now. Miguel, stand by. Here's Kevin McCarthy to speak in front of the press. Let's listen.
KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Moments ago, the flags over the Capitol were lowered in memory of Senator Dianne Feinstein. As California's longest serving
senator, Senator Feinstein broke barriers and blazed the trail for women. Her career was, by any standards, historic. Speaking personally, I worked
with the senator for quite some time together on many different bills, but the one that I think stands out was our water legislation.
It was historic. It was the first time in California history in more than 25 years that we're able to pass water. It was the WIIN Act. And I remember
the hours and the nights that we have to work to try to work through and the challenges. We come from different parties, we had different
philosophies, but we put our state first. At the same time, Barbara Boxer opposed it as one of the last votes of the Senate. Had more than 70 votes
at the time.
And I believe, at the end of the day, the trailblazing of the first woman elected mayor, even coming from a different party, inspired women from both
sides of the aisle to seek elected office and to have their voices heard.
My deepest condolences to her family, her colleagues, and to her staff.
Last night, the House did something none of you sitting here thought we can do. The number of questions I could take in the number of weeks about doing
appropriation bills. I told you, don't give up on us because we're not giving up on the American people. We passed three appropriation bills,
defense, state and foreign ops, and homeland security.
My biggest question is I don't understand why the Democrats voted against funding the government. In all, we have four appropriation bills done.
There is 12 overall to get done, it's the discretionary spending every year that government is supposed to do. We have now in the House passed more
than 70 percent of the discretionary spending on appropriations.
Need I remind you how much has the Senate passed? Zero. Not one appropriation bill has passed the Senate. We've done what many have said
was impossible. When I became speaker I said we're going to change Washington. And we did that by keeping our commitment to restoring regular
order. Bills that passed committee in June and July have been open for amendments for months. Struggled with a number of members who wouldn't
allow it to come up, but I never gave up.
Four hundred and forty amendments were considered on the floor this week. And for those who are historians, we are the first Republican majority to
pass the state and foreign ops bill through regular order since 2006. My entire political career as a member of Congress, the Republicans have never
been able to do what they just did last night.
As we continue to get conservative wins and return to regular order, we actually need a stopgap measure to allow the House to continue to finish
its work, to make sure our military gets paid, to make sure our border agents get paid as we finish the job they were supposed to do.
Another reason for the stopgap is to address President Biden's historic failure on the southern border. This is how bad things have gotten under
President Biden's watch. In five days, there's been more than 50,000 illegal border crossings. Put that in perspective. In just five days. That
is more than twice as much as the average for the entire month. In the last administration a wide-open policy hurts America.
We've heard it from Democrat leaders across the country. But despite the chaos, the president still won't go to the border, setting new records
every day, fentanyl, at an all-time high, killing Americans, and he refuses to go to the border. He's been one time in 50 years. One time in 50 years.
He's had more dinners with Hunter Biden's foreign business partners than he has going to the border.
Think about that for one minute. Something he said he's never done. He's done more than he's ever been to the border in 50 years as an elected
official. He was less than 200 miles from the border this week in Arizona. Less than 200 miles. And he couldn't even stop by for an 87-second photo
op. Really makes you believe that President Biden is deliberately letting this happen and trying to continue to ignore it.
If Biden won't visit the border, why won't he at least listen to the Democratic leaders that are elected across this nation? Mayor of New York
City say Biden's border policy literally destroy the city of New York. Governor of New York says illegal immigrants should go somewhere else. The
governor of Massachusetts declared a state of emergency. Mayor of El Paso says the city is at a breaking point. Mayor of Eagle Pass, Texas, says
President Biden has abandoned them.
Not one of these individuals is a Republican. Why does President Biden and congressional Democrats continue to ignore the border and ignore their own
leaders? That is why I'm putting on the floor a stopgap measure that will fund the government and secure the border. No longer can the president
ignore a problem he created that kills Americans every single day, destroys some of our greatest cities, and puts states in a state of emergency.
Every member will have to go on record of where they stand. Are they willing to secure the border, or do they side with President Biden on an
open border, and vote against a measure to keep government open?
House Republicans are working through an impeachment inquiry to hold this administration accountable. Yesterday, we heard from expert witnesses who
said that there is enough evidence for an impeachment inquiry. Jonathan Turley, he said and I quote, "I do believe that the House passed the
threshold for an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of Joe Biden." Bruce Dubinsky, the forensic accountant, as a fraud investigator, when I see,
smoke I immediately look for the fire.
Why were members of the Biden family and close business associates receiving millions of dollars of payments from foreign entities and
individuals? Republicans have been uncovering the Biden family culture of corruption. We will follow the facts wherever they lead.
Again, remember, as a president ran for office, he told us he's never talked to a son about any of the business. We now know that's a lie. Not
only did he make phone calls in, he had meetings. There were benefits for those dinners, a new Porsche, more than $3 million from a Russian oligarch,
travels to nine family members.
As Chairman Comer announced, we are moving forward with subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden's personal and business bank records. The American
people deserve to know the truth, and that is exactly what we're doing. This is not impeachment. This empowers the House to get the facts to answer
the questions the American people were wondering.
With that, I'd like to turn it over to our chairman, Mr. Mark Greene.
ANDERSON: Right. I want to get back to CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Alice Stewart.
What did you make of what Kevin McCarthy just said, Alice?
STEWART: He touted the successes that they have to date. And he is right, as of late last night, around midnight, Republicans and those in the House
did put forth and pass three spending bills, as he said, defense, foreign operations, and homeland security. That was tremendous. He got Republican
consensus on that. And it allows them to move that forward to the Senate. For them to vote on it.
The problem, as I mentioned earlier, it's dead-on arrival. Some of the spending in that, specifically on border funding, we already know from the
Senate that they are not going to pass that. So what Kevin McCarthy did, understandably, is he touted what the Republicans have done to this point
and is now putting it, as he indicates, it's in the hands of the Democrats and also the Senate.
So the problem is it sounds good on paper that they have done this, but what they have accomplished in order to placate that hard right-wing of the
Republican Party it's not going to get anywhere. So what this means is it's not going to get through in the Senate, and we're inevitably going to have
a shutdown. But this is what Kevin McCarthy has to do as the speaker and as the leader over in the House because the far-right flank of his party says
if you don't do what we say, we are going to put in a motion to vacate, and you will be out of your job.
So that's the position he has found himself in. And unfortunately, we have people like Matt Gaetz and his cohort that would much rather have 100
percent of nothing than 80 percent of something, and they are standing firm on their position on these spending plans.
ANDERSON: Well, the clock, the proverbial and physical clock, is ticking at this point.
Alice, it's good to have you. Thank you very much indeed, as our international viewers get your perspective on what is going on on the Hill
at the present.
Coming up, this is what perseverance looks like on the Ukrainian battlefield. CNN's Fred Pleitgen will explain, up next.
ANDERSON: Twenty-five past 6:00 in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
Some new worries for Ukraine this hour. And not just from the battlefield. Kyiv, as you probably know, relies heavily, very heavily, on U.S. aid. So
it will be watching what is fast becoming the shutdown showdown in the United States, and the money discussions on Capitol Hill as closely as
Well, another worry for Kyiv, Russia's planned uptick in its military spending. Moscow says it expects its war chest to grow by almost 70 percent
I want to bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen, who is on the ground in Eastern Ukraine.
When you speak to those who are fighting this war, what do they tell you about their fears going forward, for what is fast becoming this sort of aid
fatigue in the States and possibly across Europe?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that they are very well aware of the aid fatigue, as you put it, that's
going on in the United States. Certainly we spoke to some senior commanders and asked them about it, and they said, look, all they can do is really
continue. And one of the things that frontline soldiers have told us is they said, look, for countries that are supporting Ukraine, first and
foremost, of course, the United States, but also a lot of the European countries as well, it's about a lot of treasure that's being put up.
And for the Ukrainians, it's blood that they are paying in. And we've seen an increasing number of Ukrainian soldiers who have, you know, almost been
killed because some of the injuries that they sustained on the battlefield, and we managed to speak to one soldier who lost a limb, nearly died when he
stepped on a land mine, but came back to the battlefield. Here's what we learned.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): It was a race against time after Danilo stepped on a landmine while on a mission behind enemy lines.
DANILO, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): The mine blew me up and my brothers carried me for seven and a half kilometers. They gave me
first-aid and carried me.
PLEITGEN: They saved his life, but his injuries were catastrophic.
DANILO (through translator): One leg was gone. It was blown away, and the other was hanging, all broken.
PLEITGEN: But that isn't holding Danilo back. He is hiding his face for safety reasons, but his story is remarkable. After the incident, he
recovered, traveled all the way to Mexico to get an artificial limb, learn to walk again, and it's now back on the battlefield.
DANILO (through translator): I can't just sit at home and just watch what's happening. In a country under attack, every man has to stand up from the
couch and defend his home. I have to do it, and I'm good at it.
PLEITGEN: He's contributing to Ukraine's massive counteroffensive in the south, where Kyiv says its forces have been making increasing progress.
Danilo right on the frontlines.
DANILO (through translator): I'm in charge of mortar, grenade launcher and anti-tank squads. The platoon commander and I choose the right positions,,
targets and plan the operations.
PLEITGEN: Russian minefields and artillery are still causing a lot of casualties on the Ukrainian side, and while Kyiv wont' disclose exact
numbers, they acknowledge the going is tough.
Combat medics gave us this video showing the trauma they deal with every day. Medic Vlad tells me sometimes they simply can't save their comrades'
limbs or even their lives because the wounds are too severe.
VLAD, COMBAT MEDIC, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): We had around 10 cases where the limb is dramatically amputated, and there was no
chance to save. Compared to the number of people in the brigade, it's not much. But it is a terrible sacrifice.
PLEITGEN: A sacrifice that changed Danilo's life, but he's adapted, learning to move and fight effectively even though his artificial limb
limits his mobility.
DANILO (through translator): We don't have a choice. We can't lose this war. This counteroffensive can't fail. We don't have this right. We are
defending our home. It is victory or death for us.
PLEITGEN: So, as you see it there, Becky, what he said at the end there is victory or death for us as he put it. And you know, one of the things that
we have to point out to our viewers is that people like Danilo, they're not that rare on the battlefields here in Ukraine. In fact we've been with
several units where we have seen fighters who have lost a limb, who have then returned to the front lines or return to the battlefields because they
say they believe they have no other choice as they are fighting, as they believe, for Ukraine's survival.
So there is no doubt they are hearing the ruminations from the United States, some of that fatigue as far as aid is concern, certainly some of
the poll numbers as far as aid in the United States is concerned, but they say whether or not they continue to get help from the West, the U.S. and
its partners, they are going to continue to fight because they simply believe that they have no other choice when it comes down to the survival
of Ukraine -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Fred, it's good to have you. Thank you for your reporting.
Well, coming up, a deadly day of violence in Pakistan as dozens are killed in two suspected suicide attacks across that country. More on that after
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Just after half past 6:00 here in Abu Dhabi, and you are looking
at live pictures of the U.S. Senate chamber in Washington, D.C., where colleagues are mourning the death of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. There
you see her desk draped in black per tradition.
We learned a short time ago that she has passed away at the age of 90. Now she was the longest serving female senator in U.S. history and has suffered
a series of health problems throughout this past year. Her colleagues in the Senate have been remembering her with deep admiration for what has been
her trailblazing career in public service. Feinstein had been a senator for California since 1992. Her political career, though, preceded that.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer looks back at what has been her remarkable career and the causes that she championed along the way.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Dianne Feinstein emerged on the national stage after a 1978 tragedy in San Francisco.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Mayor Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk had been shot and killed.
BLITZER: After the assassinations, Feinstein was sworn in as the first female mayor of the city by the bay. Mayor Feinstein quickly got the
attention of the National Democratic Party, landing on a short list of VP candidates for Walter Mondale in 1984.
FEINSTEIN: We will take back our unity.
BLITZER: Feinstein made it to Washington when she won a special election in 1992 and went to the nation's capital with Barbara Boxer as California's
first female senators.
FEINSTEIN: I won among men. I won among women. I won in every age level. I won in every ethnic group. Now what that says is that to me, the fact that
I'm a woman is there, but it's incidental.
BLITZER: The assassinations that made her a mayor also made her an outspoken advocate for gun control. Feinstein was crucial in passing the
1994 federal ban on assault weapons.
FEINSTEIN: I have seen assassination. I've seen killing. I've been a mayor. I know what these guns can do. Why is it every man comes before me and
says, nice lady, you really don't know?
BLITZER: She was unsuccessful in renewing the legislation in 2004. But she didn't give up. Resurfacing the bill after the Sandy Hook massacre and
going toe to toe with conservative Senator Ted Cruz.
FEINSTEIN: I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons.
BLITZER: She was the first female member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the first woman to lead the Senate Intelligence Committee. Considered a
moderate Democrat, she often challenged her own party with her pro-death penalty stance. After Donald Trump was elected president, Feinstein got
groans from hometown Democrats when she encouraged her party to be patient with him.
FEINSTEIN: I just hope he has the ability to learn and to change, and if he does, he can be a good president. And that is my hope.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Feinstein, that's another beauty.
BLITZER: But Feinstein was hardly a favorite of President Trump. Especially when her committee's investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against
Brett Kavanaugh nearly derailed his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
TRUMP: I'd like to find out who leaked the papers. Was it Senator Feinstein?
BLITZER: As her party shifted to the left during the Trump administration, Feinstein did the same. Announcing officially, in 2018, that she no longer
supported the death penalty.
FEINSTEIN: I don't want to not grow. I don't want to not learn, and the world changes and views change.
BLITZER: By the time Feinstein was elected to a fifth full term in 2018, she was the oldest sitting U.S. senator. In February, 2023, she announced
that she would not be running for reelection. Later that year, health problems kept her off the job for three months, holding up approval of
several judicial nominees. Some Democrats called for her to resign. But she kept going.
Dianne Feinstein often led the way for women and men on the Hill, with a dedication to public service and an uncommon resilience.
FEINSTEIN: Life is filled with defeat. And you just pick yourself up and you go on.
ANDERSON: Senator Feinstein, who has passed away at the age of 90.
Let's connect you to Pakistan now, and give you an update on two suspected suicide attacks in different parts of the country. At least 52 people were
killed and dozens more injured in a blast targeting a religious process in Baluchistan. Worshippers have gathered to commemorate the birthday of the
The region in Pakistan southwest has seen decades of an unrests, as separatists demand independence, while in Pakistan's northwest, two blasts
hit Friday prayers near Peshwa City, killing at least four people.
Sophia Saifi has the reaction from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad -- Sophia.
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Becky, I mean, the prime minister has, of course, condemned this attack -- the attacks that took place. Pakistan's
interior minister came out and said that the country and its government has zero tolerance policy towards terrorists and terrorism. And we know that
Pakistan has, over the past two decades, seen a lot of militants and again, just over the past two weeks, in that region of Baluchistan, where 52
people have been killed on a day, which was a day of rejoicing, a day of devotion, a day when processions take place across the country.
We have seen an increase of militancy over the past two weeks. Chinese workers were attacked in that region of Baluchistan in the south of
Pakistan. A political leader was also attacked just two weeks ago in that same region. Separately, in the north of Pakistan, there's also been an
increase in militant attacks. So, along with separatists, there are also many different militant organizations that are operating within the
You've got the Pakistani Taliban, which has been responsible for similar attacks in the past. They have come out and said that they were not
responsible for these two attacks that took place in Baluchistan as well as in the mosque in the north, where we've seen a far less death toll, but a
mosque that was completely demolished with the roof caving in after suicide bomber attacked that building.
Now we are still waiting for a claim of responsibility. There is, of course, the Islamic State, which has been active in the country in the past
couple of weeks and the past couple of months. This is something that is of concern to the Pakistani establishment, to the military, to the government,
to the Pakistani army, released a statement early this morning that they have been repelling militants and terrorists on the path of Rann border.
So this is an ongoing crisis of security in the country, and at the end of the day, on a day which should have been -- which was a public holiday,
which should have been a day of rejoicing, of people and families gathering in what they believe is a devotion to the Prophet Muhammad, they're having
to see 52 people -- 52 peoples' families buried their loved ones -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. Sophia Saifi on the story. Sophia, thank you.
Well, when catastrophes strike, children are almost always the worst affected. Conflict, violence, natural disasters all have long lasting
impacts that reverberate for years, and oftentimes generations to come. And that is certainly the case in eastern Libya, where more than 16,000 kids
are currently displaced following that catastrophic flooding that took place a couple of weeks back.
That number is according to UNICEF and it's difficult to imagine, isn't it? Can you imagine what these children are going through? How they are coping
Well, I find it really hard to imagine that. Look at this young boy watching over his destroyed city. Rescue teams search through the rubble.
It's likely that his loved ones are stuck underneath or even dead.
And this kid, standing amid the debris mud, reaching over his ankles as he looks on what his home has now become. Evidently he stays overwhelmed and
And there are thousands of them going through the same horror. Not only do they have to reckon with the loss of their homes and their lives, as they
once knew it, but some have had to carry their dead parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. Some people have reportedly counted up to 25 family
members floating by the coast of what was this once idyllic seafront.
While we still don't know how many children have been orphaned, judging by the number of those killed, it is likely that they are in the thousands,
too. One teenager miraculously survived the floods and recounted the harrowing moments when his home was engulfed by the torrential waters,
resulting in the heartbreaking loss of eight of his family members.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TYSSER AL-MUGHAIRBI, FLOOD SURVIVOR (through translator): No words can describe the sadness and despair in my heart. We were having dinner
together at the time, and suddenly they were swept away by the flood. I still can't believe that it really happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And not all wounds of course are visible. Even if these kids managed to make sense of what has happened to them eventually, it's very
possible that the trauma and shock could blur reality with their imagination, making them highly susceptible to anxiety, to depression,
perpetual fear, and other psychological impacts.
Tragedies like Libya's floods create a vicious and dysfunctional cycle for kids. A deadly trap that robs them of their most precious moments. That's
what childhood should be about. Those precious moments.
I wanted to end this by showing you an image that struck me. Here you can see muddy handprints that look -- they look like the size of kids' hands,
don't they? Covering a wall in what is now likely a destroyed house. Amid the pain, the loss, and the heartache, this the only semblance of normality
is when kids are being kids.
You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. We'll be right back.
ANDERSON: Well, throughout this week, our series "Call to Earth" is turning the spotlight on France and a man who believes that seaweed is our planet's
greatest untapped resource. Guest editor Vincent Doumeizel, a rock star in every sense of the word. He is indeed the lead singer of a hit rock band,
but it's in his full-time gig where the food industry veteran's passion truly commands the stage. Have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Covered in vineyards, the Burgundy Region is what wine connoisseur might refer to as a happy place. Vincent Doumeizel would
agree, particularly when it comes to his home in the quaint riverside town of Arcy-sue-Cure.
VINCENT DOUMEIZEL, FOOD PROGRAM DIRECTOR, LLOYD'S REGISTER FOUNDATION: That's the place where my mother comes from. It has been in my family for
generations and generations. My family used to grow grapes here. They come here since I'm a child, on my holidays, and enjoying the rivers, sense of
beauty, cooler hills around here.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Hundreds of kilometers from the nearest coastline, it's not, however, what you'd consider a hot spot for another of his
DOUMEIZEL: Also more seaweed there.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Vincent usually has a backup supply on hand.
DOUMEIZEL: Seaweed is a nutritional bomb. It is packed with nutrients, proteins, irons, and vitamin C. Anything you need.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Today, the father of tree has enlisted the help of his children to prepare a seaweed-centric meal to share with friends and
family at a historic picnic spot across town.
The group includes Vincent's bandmates who together form a local rock band called Arcy, like the village.
DOUMEIZEL: We often gather and share meals, and I like to make them discover seaweed and taste new things.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But in his day job as the food program director for Lloyd's Register Foundation, Vincent believes that eating seaweed is key to
opening people's minds about his broader potential.
DOUMEIZEL: We need to preach all around the world and tell everyone that seaweeds may well be the greatest and adaptable resource we have on the
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Earlier in the week, Vincent travel to the Brittany region of northwest France, where the maritime city of Brest was hosting
EPC8, a weeklong conference dedicated to everything algae. The quadrennial event brings together an international collective of scientists, experts,
and enthusiasts alike. Vincent has become a rock star in these circles as well. But not only for his stage presence.
DOUMEIZEL: What does the solution look like there? It does look like this. Big seaweed farms.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He first gained international attention in 2020, with the release of the "Seaweed Manifesto," a 10-page document outlining
how seaweed can contribute to reaching the U.N.'s 2030 sustainable development goals. In 2023, the release of his first book, "The Seaweed
Revolution," upped the ante.
DOUMEIZEL: It led me to meet with our president, Mr. Macron in France, to be invited in many meetings. And that's a big difference. And I think a
book is a very strong way to carry the message.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Other well-known faces have taken notice, too. But for Vincent, that notoriety takes a backseat to the mission.
DOUMEIZEL: We need a lot more seaweed, especially because they are disappearing, because of ecosystem destruction. So we don't have enough of
them. We should restore them. We should repair them, and we should more importantly learn how to cultivate.
ANDERSON: Vincent saw how seaweed is one of our planet's most valuable resources. And for more, tune in to what is a full documentary called "Sea
of Hope" airing this weekend here on CNN.
We've got a few minutes left, taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: Human created climate change has damaged the coral reefs off the coast of Cuba. Well, now scientists believe they found a way to not only
preserve the vulnerable environment, but also improve the island's economy.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann explains.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Porpoises swim off the coast of Cuba. The waters here may seem pristine, but like seemingly
everywhere else, this Caribbean Island nation is grappling with the threats from a rapidly changing climate.
Now in the first research expedition of its kind, 24 Cuban scientists and crew circumnavigated the entire island to carry out what they say is the
most comprehensive study ever done on climate change and the impact it's had on Cuba. Researchers dive from coral reef to coral reef and say what
they have found is even more dire than they expected.
We've seen a bleaching of corals, which is something that is worrying and that is massive, she says. The majority of coral is bleached and this is
because of the high temperatures.
The scientists say it's not too late to reverse the damage, but that we have to dramatically reduce human-caused pollution that is heating oceans
to record levels, killing off coral reefs and filling the seas with microplastics. With this study, the scientists say they will be able to
measure much more accurately how much harm is being inflicted on Cuba's unique natural environments.
We are going to have a baseline, she says. We hope to identify the spots along the coast where the pollution is and how concentrated it is.
For two months, the scientists carried out dozens of dives, taking hundreds of samples from the bottom of the ocean. Scientists are barely out of their
wetsuits before running tests in their makeshift laboratory. They hope what they learn can change how resources on this island are used.
(On-camera): Scientists say they're making the case to government officials here that the country needs to transition from commercial fishing to have a
greater focus on marine tourism. As they say, a shark can only be caught and eaten one time whereas that same shark can be enjoyed by tourists on a
dive excursion again and again. Something that's not only better for this country's environment, but also its economy.
(Voice-over): The change will not come easy, but for Cubans who depend on mangroves to protect them from hurricanes and beaches to attract tourists,
experts say there is no other choice.
It's not a luxury, it's a necessity, he says. Even with so many difficulties, we can't stop learning about coral reefs. They protect the
beaches, they protect us from extreme weather, they give us sand and fish and the things we eat.
The scientists traveled more than 1800 nautical miles to better understand an incredible natural world off Cuba's shores that is increasingly at risk.
Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Cien Pueblos, Cuba.
ANDERSON: Well, in tonight's "Parting Shots," today, Netflix closed a technological chapter in our lives by ending a service to offer DVD rental
Yes, you heard me right. I bet many of you didn't know it even existed still. But the decision to shelf that part of the business cements how the
world is embracing digital, like it or not. Well, some of us remember a time before streaming, mobile phones, even the internet, and somehow, we
all survived. It wasn't as connected or as convenience, and a lot of people around the world still prefer doing things the old-fashioned way, either
through habit or necessity.
But now, DVDs are destined for the dumpster, consigned a history along with VHS tapes and cassettes, remember those? Now the concept of having
virtually any song ever recorded or any movie ever made available on your phone, on demand, is still mind-blowing even to me. A new age is upon us,
and there is no going back. And as for the old tech, heading for the bin, we thank you for your service.
That's it from CONNECT THE WORLD. Our team here. It is a very good evening. Stay with CNN. "STATE OF THE RACE" with Kasie Hunt is up next.