Return to Transcripts main page
First Move with Julia Chatterley
Winds Expected to Gradually Decrease Friday; Six Arrested after Presidential Candidate Killed; Anscombe: We're Making this Hacking a Public Issue; Outrage after Areas Flooded to save Beijing; Smith: Saudi Spending has been Jaw-Dropping; India Accounts for over 40 Percent of Rice Exports. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired August 11, 2023 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: Hello and a warm welcome to "First Move". I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Julia Chatterley. Just ahead
on today's show, Hawaii in mourning 55 people now confirmed dead has island of Maui disaster. Search and rescue efforts still underway with most of the
Town of Lahaina destroyed. None of the fires on Maui have been completely contained, complete coverage just ahead.
Plus Niger on edge, West African leaders debate joint military action to restore order after the loss -- after last month's coup. They say a standby
military force will be activated fears about the health of Niger's ousted president are on the rise as well.
And in sports Sweden and Spain are heading to the Women's World Cup Semi- Finals, the Netherlands and Japan eliminated on Friday and more quarterfinal action on tap this weekend the latest from Australia later
And on global markets U.S. Futures lower. New inflation data showing U.S. wholesale prices coming in a bit harder than expected European shares
falling by more than 1 percent but there is encouraging news from the UK where GDP grew unexpectedly in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, in Asia a sizable drop for Chinese stocks, the Chinese COMPOSITE falling more than 2 percent on fresh concerns of the country's real estate
sector, a property developer Country Garden warning of more than a $7.5 billion loss in the first half of the year more on that later in the show.
But first, at least 55 people are now known to have lost their lives in the devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The state's governor
is warning that the number is expected to rise as searchers sift through burned out homes and businesses. Thousands of people have been forced out
of their homes and many people on the island remain without power. A survivor described the dire situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE GARCIA, FARMER: Everyone's lost their job, they've lost their house, and they've lost their family. I think there's going to be hundreds of
people dead and I don't say that as any conspiracy theory.
I just look at how fast it moved. And I know people around to roll in slippers. You know it happens. What happens? How are you going to get out
that fast? It's all wooden houses super close together in that neighborhood.
You've probably been here on vacation. If there's a way you can help. It's your turn help here because it's needed. Every single home in Lahaina is
gone. It's like I said before, it's apocalyptic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, President Biden has issued a federal disaster declaration listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: -- federal assets on the island, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Navy Third Fleet and the
U.S. Army to assist local emergency response crews along with a Hawaiian National Guard.
We're working as quickly as possible to fight these fires and evacuate residents and tourists. In the meantime, our prayers with the people of
Hawaii but not just our prayers, every asset we have will be available in them. And we've seen their home business destroyed and some have lost loved
ones and it's not over yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, our Bill Weir got a firsthand look at what's become of the historic town of Lahaina take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: This is the historic banyan tree 150 year old majestic tree at the center of the Lahaina town. It looks
like it may have survived it needs water desperately to survive right now but for the locals who are coming down and looking at the damage.
This is such a sign of hope that maybe their iconic tree will have lived when so much else has gone here. But the history can never be replaced.
Right here this is the first hotel in Hawaii, the pioneer hotel pioneer theater. It's completely gone. Right over here was the library.
It's just now a stone shell of scorched locks. Around Front Street their fleet woods -- fleet wood of the band fleet wood Mac, his place is gutted
out with flames. It's just unrecognizable. One of the most charming beloved port cities anywhere in the world is just scorched, like a bomb went off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: It's just devastating. Well, CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is joining us now. And Derek, we know that a lot of these wildfires were being
fanned by Hurricane Dora. Have conditions changed much overnight what a search and rescue teams facing right now?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good question because conditions on the ground in terms of the fire behavior have vastly improved. So that's
good news, right, and a little sliver of hope. And let me show you how we've confirmed this. This is fire detection hotspots.
This is at the peak of the wildfire that was occurring in the upcountry portion of Maui, and also in Lahaina over the western sections of the
island. Now let's go to the latest satellite imagery of these hotspot detections. You see how they disappear.
That is because the wildfires have largely been extinguished. According to officials, they're still in 80 percent containment of the Lahaina fire
we'll monitor that as we get the sunrise over the Hawaiian Islands in the next couple of hours perhaps we will increase that to 90 to hundred percent
containment, maybe potentially still some flare ups but to be frank and to be quite honest now the Lahaina fire actually reached the ocean ran out of
terrain to actually scorch me that's basically what happened.
So, as Christina aptly mentioned, it was Hurricane Dora's wind in combination with this high pressure system that brought this powerful,
powerful erratic wind behavior and fire behavior across the Island of Maui.
Interestingly enough, this is a side note kind of unrelated, but Hurricane Dora about to cross the international dateline. So once it does, so it will
actually no longer be considered a hurricane, it's actually going to become a typhoon because these are region specific storms.
Look at the winds over the next 36 hours at the moment, 20 to 30 kilometers per hour, but they could pick up throughout the course of the weekend. So
something to consider and when we have that northeast of the wind, this is known as the trade winds that come up and over the mountain ranges near
Maui, the Hawaiian Islands.
It's the windward sides, the Eastern facing slopes that will see the majority of the rain on the -- side. This is the area that gets that down
slope in when we actually get the drying effect from that process. And unfortunately, we believe that the rainfall that is in this outlet very
isolated in nature but will generally be located on the eastern facing shoreline. So that won't bring any relief to Lahaina if there are indeed
still some hotspots or embers that are burning.
There are the rainfall forecasts, you can see over the higher elevations and eastern sections of the islands. Now it's really interesting to note 80
percent of the Hawaiian Islands abnormally dry but let's focus right into Maui County, because we've seen the severe drought index expand over 10
percent since this time last week.
So that just shows you the bone dry conditions that have been developing with an ongoing drought there. And, you know, there's a lot of science
backed attribution to tie this in with our changing climate. And this is really interesting coming right off of the hawaii.gov website.
90 percent of Hawaii has seen less rainfall than it did a century ago. So really, Christina, the fingerprints of climate change written all over the
story scientists will be looking into this to directly attribute to it.
MACFARLANE: Yes, it's a really important point, Derek and as you say, from all your diagrams there we can see how exposed these islands are. Let's
hope for some relief for those citizens soon. Derek Van Dam thank you.
Well, Hawaiians are struggling to digest the scale of the catastrophe. Even those who managed to escape the fire say they've seen their lives
destroyed. Allen Vu from Lahaina lost his house and the restaurant where he works in the fire. And this is what he told CNN earlier today. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN VU, LAHAINA RESIDENT: We didn't expect the fire to go through the town this quick. I was with my General Manager Jerrica (ph) in our
restaurant, thinking that if the possibility of power coming back; we can salvage our products and our restaurant.
We were just getting some work done. I left the bar restaurant around 3 pm with my housemates, they were with me the whole time. And as we were
driving the town, we could see that there's smoke coming our way.
We drill down on Front Street towards our house which is southbound. During that time there was already an evacuation with bumper to bumper traffic
going northbound on Front Street, going up to the civic center.
But when we got to our place, we continue to look up at the smoke and it was just you know, within minutes, we can see the small brush I would say a
half a mile through the town. I put it just that I shared with some of your staff members that the fire went through town really quick and when we saw
that it was time to warn everyone in our neighborhood to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: If you would like information on how to help those impacted by the Hawaii wildfires please go to cnn.com/impact. Now in Ukraine explosions
have shaken Kyiv after authorities declared a nationwide air alert. The city's Mayor says missile fragments hit a children's hospital but no one
Meanwhile, a UN humanitarian official is saying she's appalled by Russian strike on Zaporizhzhia on Thursday. Kyiv says a hotel was hit and was also
the site of a children's day camp. Well our Nick Paton Walsh is joining us live now, from close to that region in Ukraine.
And Nick, I know that you and your team are actually just down the road when this missile attack happened in Zaporizhzhia on this hotel. Can you
tell us about the type of people that were staying there? We're hearing reports obviously have a lot of children being resident.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, startling each day we hear these Russian missile attacks on civilian
targets and sometimes they do sort of get glossed over but the details on this one are utterly shocking one dead and over a dozen injured certainly.
But that in itself is miraculous. This is the Right Cards Hotel Complex not far from where we've spent some time. In fact, we went to the hotel
ourselves not long ago and so multiple families in its interior swimming pool, but also in the car park outside a smaller swimming pool for children
and climbing frames at children's park there.
Now it's into the car park outside near that children's play area that the first Iskander missiles slammed at about 7:20 in the evening. And then
another one followed a matter of seconds later. Now, the fact that death toll and the number of injured is so comparatively low, no consolation for
the families, though, it's because the children's play camp ended an hour earlier.
Now given that the Russians piled two military grade ballistic missiles into that hotel, you can't really presume that they knew the children would
have left by then. And so the fact this toll is comparatively low startling. And thinks about this too after that hotel was attacked, the
Russian official came forward and said that all hotels in Zaporizhzhia are now targets because they believe that they're full of Ukrainian soldiers.
That's simply not the case.
So another sign here with particularly graphic detail, albeit a lower death toll of exactly what sort of targets Russia are willing to hit twice, in a
matter of minutes with ballistic missiles, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Russia clearly trying to justify their actions. And we also know, Nick, in the past 24 hours that the Capital Kyiv has been
targeted, again, with reports of a down missile there and this says the counter offensive continues where you are on the frontlines. Talk to us
about these small incremental gains we're hearing so often about with Ukrainian troops. I mean, they are small, but how vital are they at this
WALSH: Yes, they're very small. And sometimes they are indeed reversed. But there does appear to be some fairly important progress happening to the
South of Kharkiv. That's the western part of the southern front lines where Ukraine is trying to push towards the Azov Sea and cut Crimea off from the
rest of occupied Ukraine and the Russian mainland.
Now they do appear according to social media video we've seen to have got to the outskirts of Robotyne. That's something we heard about a few days
ago. But this is sort of growing evidence. Often it appears on a time lag. But that indeed is occurring.
Robotyne is important because it's been essentially the Russian stronghold. They've poured reinforcements into it paratroopers, they've heavily
defended it. And the ultimate question really is whether Ukraine is conducting some kind of maneuver around that village and beginning to in
fact, encircle it and move on or if they're fighting a dense war of attrition around it.
But most importantly, if there are any Russian defenses it further dealt. We know there are some but much of the debate has been whether Russia's
defensive line is really intense at the start because they intend to hold that and not budge, and then gets weaker the further back you push.
Will learn that possibly in the weeks ahead, but Ukrainians under great criticism from Western analysts some on the other side of the planet about
how slow their counteroffensive is going. They would point to games like this that they say a strategic and potentially may yield greater Russian
weakness if it indeed is this place, Robotyne and those around it that the Russians are throwing all their cards at the moment Christina.
MACFARLANE: Nick Paton Walsh I appreciate your reporting there live from Dnipro. Thanks Nick. Now, Ecuador's President has declared a state of
emergency and three days of national mourning after the assassination of a presidential candidate Wednesday.
Six Suspects all Colombians have been arrested in connection with the killing that took place after a campaign rally in the Capital Quito. The
attack being blamed on organized crime. The candidate was an anti- corruption crusader. Well, Rafael Romeo is joining us now live from Quito.
And Rafael, just bring us up to date on what you're hearing on these latest efforts to find those responsible. We're hearing about six arrests, and
also the mood in the country today following this shocking attack. I mean, coming just days ahead of the national election there?
RAFAEL ROMEO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christina. Well, there's a lot of indignation, anger, outrage here in Ecuador and even before the
assassination of Fernando Villavicencio Interior Minister -- had already announced that 59,000 police would be deployed throughout the country.
The original goal, of course was to safeguard the upcoming presidential election to be held on August 20th. After the assassination President
Guillermo Lasso they also issued a decree to deploy the armed forces to strategic areas around the country to tighten security.
President Lasso also announced Thursday that he has requested support from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the assassination
Lasso said the FBI accepted his request and the delegation was supposed to arrive Thursday evening.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed that the FBI through the legal -- office in Bogota, Colombia is assisting their counterparts here in Ecuador but
declined to commit further due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Christina Defense Minister Luis Lara is talking about the security measures in terms of war he said Ecuador is facing a decisive battle to protect
democracy, security and peace against the brutal threats of transnational crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism.
He also said that his country will give the iron fist treatment to what he called mercenaries and terrorists. Even with all the measures the
government of President Lasso has taken there are at least two presidential candidates who say the upcoming presidential debate and even the election
itself should be postponed given the situation.
In spite of all this Christina, -- that's the top elections official here in Ecuador, announced Thursday that the election will be held as planned on
August 20th now back to you.
MACFARLANE: Yes, that's important information. One does wonder how this has been affecting the political climate there. Rafael Remo, live there from
Quito. Thank you.
Now West African leaders are ramping up the rhetoric against Niger's coup leaders. On Thursday, the President of the Ivory Coast called the coup, a
terrorist act, and said Niger's neighbors could use military force to restore order.
The regional bloc ECOWAS ordering the activation of a standby force Niger to restore the elected President following last month's coup. The details
of the plan or when it might be implemented remain unclear. Larry Madowo is joining us now live for more on this. And Larry, what would be the mission
of this standby force, if it were put in place and how inflammatory would that be seen by coup leaders at this stage?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The coup leaders have always maintained that they're ready for this Christina. And if ECOWAS were to, in fact send
in troops, it would be hugely destabilizing not just for Niger, but for the wide region in the Sahel.
Niger has been the safe neighborhood in this very dangerous part of the world that suffers from terrorism, extremism, jihadist insurgency that's
why it's been the centerpiece of the West's Security Strategy in the Sahel. But this is a last option. It's an option of last resort.
And what ECOWAS is signaling in here is that they are still open to diplomacy to solve the crisis diplomatically, but the military option is
still available. It's a last resort, but it's not off the table. That's what you hear these statements from President Alassane Ouattara of Cote
d'Ivoire, calling the detention of President Mohammed Bazoum, a terrorist act and he just came out and said it in English, no less that if they
cannot release President Bazoum, we should get in there and get them out.
We do not condone coups as ECOWAS President Ouattara said and that's always been our position. He said could you who I would contribute between 850 and
1100 soldiers to that joint ECOWAS force if it were to go into Niger.
The African Union now also supporting that decision by ECOWAS. I want to read a section of this statement from the African Union Commission,
Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who says the chairperson calls on the military authorities to urgently halt the escalation of relations with the
regional organization ECOWAS including the secession of the continued sequestration of President Bazoum in worryingly poor conditions. Such
treatment of a democratically elected president through a regular electoral process is unacceptable.
ECOWAS yesterday called for the support of the African Union and the UN and they already have that strong statement of support from the African Union.
So if they want to go ahead with this, the regional body is standing with his West African bloc, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Well, we'll continue to watch this story as it evolves in the coming hours. Larry Madowo there live for us. Thanks, Larry. And straight
ahead, cyberattacks remain a major security threat around the globe. Fresh reports of hackers targeting foreign embassies in Belarus we'll get the
latest right after this break.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back to "First Move", where we are taking a closer look at the ongoing cybersecurity threats facing companies and governments
around the globe. In Las Vegas this weekend, thousands of hackers are set to take part in a competition to help flag software vulnerabilities in
artificial intelligence apps, like ChatGPT.
All this amid news, that teenage hacker successfully broke into the computer systems of some of the world's biggest tech firms by exploiting
vulnerable telecom and business supply chain infrastructure. Also, researchers from the ESET cybersecurity firm have uncovered a cyber-plot
targeting foreign embassies in Belarus.
The firm says at least four countries have been targeted by a cyber- espionage group using advanced techniques. Will Tony Anscombe ESET's Chief Security Evangelist joins me now live from Las Vegas, Tony, great to have
you with us. Let's begin with this serious cyber plot that I mentioned they're targeting these embassies in Belarus, because this is your work and
its important work. Tell us about your findings and who was behind these attacks?
TONY ANSCOMBE, CHIEF SECURITY EVANGELIST AT ESET: So our research team found that cyber group we've named MoustachedBouncer actually used some of
the Belarusian infrastructure, so the ISP infrastructure to attack individuals, AI diplomat and some of the embassies of two European nations
and African nation and an Asian nation.
MACFARLANE: And why is this significant? How has this been impacting those embassies? Have you made them aware of your findings with you know, what's
the recourse here for what you found?
ANSCOMBE: When the instance that those particular victims, you know, we worked with those victims to make sure they're secure. But this is only our
telemetry, I mean, there may be other victims of this particular group, which we don't know about. But by publishing our findings, of course, we
make this a public issue where other researchers and other cybersecurity companies protecting those other individuals can then act upon.
MACFARLANE: You know, during the course of this war on Ukraine, we talk obviously more about the physical war than the cyber war because we're
presented with numbers of dead every single day. But in your world, how has the nature of cyber warfare changed throughout the course of this war that
you've been seeing? And is it possible to even say, who has been winning that battle?
ANSCOMBE: Well, I think who's winning the battle is an interesting one. Yes, I'm not sure I'd like try and answer that one. But there's certainly I
think what this is bought cyber warfare to the forefront. Yes, so that we're actually seeing this in the news every day, it's not that the attacks
There were attacks happening but now we're, if they're being reported on or more commonly but what you are seeing is more attacks on critical
infrastructure and more destructive attacks as well. I mean, at the start of the conflict, we uncovered a number of data wiping attacks, which are
And then, along with cybersecurity teams in Ukraine, we thwarted an attack against critical infrastructure against the power grid.
MACFARLANE: But Tony, the nature of cyber warfare is changing. But the advent of AI, of course, is making this a lot more threatening. And as we
mentioned, there, you know, there are teenagers now who are able to kind of to break into specific intelligence here. I mean, this is not just an issue
I mean, how do you control it? How do you try and get a handle and stay ahead of what is happening?
ANSCOMBE: Well, it is tough and AI is in its infancy as well. So we're only seeing that evolve at the moment. And some of the things that are being
talked about, like large language modules, so that the ChatGPT's and such like this truly have been released early, in my opinion.
So I think there's a lot more that we're going to see happen over the next one or two years and a lot more functionality and a lot more abuse,
unfortunately, of tools. But I think I mean, back to this attack in Belarus, I think what was interesting was actually this was using illegal
So this was using devices that are actually placed at an ISP by an illegally on by the Belarusian government.
MACFARLANE: Yes, well, that is a real concern. I think one of the countermeasures to all of this could be taking place where you are in Vegas
this weekend with that event taking place where thousands of hackers are obviously engaged in trying to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber space.
So that could be one method by which we try and get a handle on this but as to your reporting and your research in Belarus. We really appreciate you
coming on and giving us your thoughts on your findings. Tony, thank you very much.
ANSCOMBE: My pleasure.
MACFARLANE: All right, coming up on "First Move", Chinese real estate giant Country Garden in big trouble. How this garden is losing its balloon
MACFARLANE: Hi, welcome back to "First Move", now U.S. stocks are up and running for the final time this week, a lower start to the trading day as
new numbers show, U.S. wholesale prices, inflation coming in a bit hotter than expected last month. All the major averages are currently on track for
a losing week.
The S&P and NASDAQ fell last week as well. The pullback coming as economists debate whether the Fed has truly hiked interest rates for the
final time, this tightening cycle. And fresh concerns over China's embattled real estate sector, property giant Country Garden warning it
could see a loss of up to $7.6 billion for the first half of this year. Shares of the company dropping to a low, record low in Hong Kong. Marc
Stewart has the details for us.
MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China's economy is struggling young people are having a tough time finding a job. Prices of everyday items are falling
because there isn't enough demand and exports are seeing a slump. Yet there's another economic component reflected in these economic woes the
real estate industry.
In the past, the property sector was money making machine accounting for as much as 30 percent of China's GDP. But during the pandemic, home ownership
became less enticing. The job market was bruised and that contributed to a shift. Government regulations also added some challenges.
In fact, if you look at the data new home sales by China's 100 biggest developers so a 33 percent decrease in July from a year ago. That's the
steepest monthly decline since July 2022. According to recent stats so what happened, developers loaded up on debt, the latest to face trouble a
company named Country Garden.
According to reports by Reuters and Chinese media, it missed interest payments on to U.S. dollar denominated bonds. It brings back memories of
another company Evergrande. It collapsed two years ago after several defaults. This latest case involving Country Garden is attention getting
because real estate and development has been seen by investors as a way to help China's recovery post pandemic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALFREDO MONTUFAR-HELU, HEAD OF CHINA CENTER AT CONFERENCE BOARD: The global economy is losing one of its engines of growth. That's why everyone should
care about what's happening to real estate. Real estate is the main drag right now on confidence levels, on demand and on industrial productivity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: We reached out to a Country Garden it didn't respond to our requests for comment. As far as what's next the government may change some
of its policies to help the property market thrive. Mark Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.
MACFARLANE: Meanwhile, in China's Hebei Province, at least 29 people have died in flooding and heavy rains from Typhoon Doksuri. And there have been
rare protests after authorities deliberately directed floodwaters towards people's homes. CNN's Ivan Watson has the story.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A rare moment of defiance in China, angry residents on the steps of a municipal government
building in the City of Bazhou. Their sign says give me back my home the flood was caused by flood water discharge, not by heavy rainfall.
At some point man with police shields disperse the crowd. The incident took place after deadly floods caused by the heaviest rains to hit northeastern
China in 140 years, a typhoon that killed dozens of people in and around the Chinese capital Beijing, forcing the evacuation of more than a million
people from their homes.
WATSON (on camera): Over the last two weeks, these three provinces all saw dramatic flooding. But we're learning that some communities weren't just
damaged by a natural disaster.
The small City of Bazhou where the protests took place was deliberately flooded by authorities following a government disaster plan aimed at
protecting bigger cities like Beijing, and Tianjin.
WATSON (voice over): At 2 a.m. on August 1, authorities activated a flood control plan releasing water from dams into flood storage and detention
zones. They then had to evacuate more than 800,000 people living in those zones, which quickly flooded.
State TV showed the Communist Party Chief of Hebei Province touring the disaster area instructing subordinates to reduce flooding pressure on
Beijing and vowing to resolutely be the capitals moat. In the event of a crisis, experts say countries often plan to redirect rising water, but
usually towards flood zones that are unpopulated.
ASHISH SHARMA, PROFESSOR OF HYDROLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES: Seems like a planning problem, somebody allowed development or over
development in an area that was designated to be a flood control zone.
WATSON (voice over): Provincial governments thanked evacuees for their sacrifice adding history will record your contribution. That's called
comfort to people who have seen their homes and livelihoods destroyed for the greater good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly all the factories in our area were seriously damaged. 99 percent of the factories have little hope of salvaging the
WATSON (voice over): Under Chinese rules, people are entitled to compensation of 70 percent of the value of property submerged in flood
control areas. Experts say planning for the next extreme weather disaster will only get harder.
SHARMA: I think the entire world is scrambling to get prepared for the problems climate change is unfolding onto us.
WATSON (voice over): Which seems like an almost, impossible challenge. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
MACFARLANE: All right up next, the Women's World Cup, the first few quarterfinal games are in the books find out which teams are advancing to
the semifinals, after the break.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back to "First Move", where there were some thrilling World Cup quarterfinals earlier Friday. Spain edge passed the Netherlands
in a 2-1 victory reaching their first ever Women's World Cup semi-finals.
And five days after ousting, the U.S. team Sweden took on Japan for a spot in the semi-finals. Amanda Davies is in Auckland, New Zealand with all the
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT (on camera): Amidst the shocks, surprises and unpredictability of this tournament so far Japan had been the
unflappable, unbeaten constant until they met to Sweden aside, you suspect they won't want to be meeting again anytime soon for the second major
tournament in a row Sweden are the team that have knocked out Japan at the quarter final stage.
Japan might have had the better of the support here at Eden Park, but it was Sweden who from very early on had the better of the action and the
chances. And they deservedly went ahead just after 30 minutes. Thanks to Amanda Ilestedt, not a bad haul from her.
A defender her fourth goal of the tournament so far, you wondered how Japan were going to cope going down behind in this tournament for the first time
and whatever their plan, when just five minutes after halftime, Sweden scored a second from the penalty spot. They were always going to have a
mountain to climb.
But Japan, if nothing else has known they are able to score goals is this tournament and they pushed. They hit the crossbar. They hit the post. They
scored one but couldn't get a second. So it is Sweden going through to the semi-finals for the fourth time in five knockout tournaments.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean watching Spain against the Netherlands. I mean, they've already knocked out U.S.A. so come on, let's go all the way why
DAVIES (on camera): How do you react to that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going through just me so wow -- .
DAVIES (on camera): So what is it meant to be able to watch Japan here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's amazing, great opportunity. We've been yes, coming to Eden Park. This is our third game.
DAVIES (on camera): Do you think Sweden can win the World Cup?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Um, yes, the chai had.
DAVIES (on camera): So a disappointing ends to a tournament that had offered so much for Japan. For Sweden and their fans, they will be back
here on Tuesday to take on Spain, hoping to take a step closer to that first ever major piece of silverware that has eluded them for so long.
Amanda Davies CNN, Auckland, New Zealand.
MACFARLANE: Well, men's football is back in the spotlight with the new season kicking off today in the English Premier League and the Saudi Pro
League. The Saudi League has 18 clubs four of them are majority owned by the Saudi public investment fund one of the world's biggest sovereign
And Saudi clubs are spending big money to sign players from across Europe. The SPL has spent more than 400 million euros in the summer transfer window
that's actually on par with investments made by top European leagues. We'll start off the SPL season has again set up accusations of sports washing,
the attempt to use sport to improve a reputation tarnished by scandal or wrongdoing.
Joining me now is Rory Smith. He's the Chief of Soccer Correspondent for The New York Times. Rory, great to see you, thanks for being with us. As I
was laying out there, Rory, we know that Saudi Arabia have vast resources, seemingly no bottom line financially and are not it seems motivated by
So there have been genuine concerns within football that Saudi Arabia is set to overtake Europe as the mecca for the sport of people right to be
concerned about this.
RORY SMITH, CHIEF SOCCER CORRESPONDENT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think there are reasons for concern but probably not that one immediately. I
think what we've seen from the Saudis this summer has been spectacular at times jaw dropping.
They've taken I think maybe more players than even they were anticipating they set out in the spring to sign players towards the end of their
contracts early to mid-30s, to try and kind of give the league a little bit of legitimacy.
And they found pretty quickly that a far broader swathe of players was prepared to join them than they expected. They were definitely getting
yeses from players in their late 20s, early 30s players who you would expect to see maybe in the Premier League this weekend.
I think for the time being certainly the presence of the Champions League means that Saudis think there is a limited ceiling on how far the Saudi
League can grow. But we've seen in plenty of other sports that the Saudis tend to do things seriously once they set their minds to them.
So I suspect we'll see this pattern continue in a few years' time and that might change the landscape a little.
MACFARLANE: Yes. They're certainly not messing around. And one of the big concerns I think, in football right now is rather more logistical. We heard
Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp speaking about this last week.
That the Saudi transfer window is currently open for three weeks later than the transfer window in Europe which is leading to fears you know that clubs
could not replace players should Saudi come poaching. I mean, how much the FIFA need to address that, do you think?
SMITH: Yes, I think it'd be helpful if there was a slightly more uniform transfer window around the world. It's something that has always been an
issue in various parties a football, global kind of nature you have leaves that run it on different schedules, so countries need transfer windows that
function in different times.
Personally, I close the European one before we start the European season. I think that would make a lot more sense. It might be the case that the Saudi
authorities have to kind of talk to UAE for a little bit to see if there's a way of streamlining it. But ultimately, I think for most of the Premier
League clubs, once they have this was finalized, they'll be pretty sure that the players want to move to Saudi.
But the ones that want to go will have gone already. So it's a slight concern, I suppose. But it could be something that feels particularly
pressing once the season is really underway.
MACFARLANE: Yes. Now listen, we hear the term sports washing so often with Saudi Arabia, for good reason. You know, critics say they're attempting to
sanitize their records, obviously wielding these huge sums of money, as it is a form of soft power.
But it's curious, Rory, to me that we don't hear more objections from the sporting world themselves from governing bodies, from leagues, from
players, is that because this is really all to do with money at the end of the day?
SMITH: Yes, ultimately, I think if you're a European leader, and you've addressed some of the concerns that they will have, but it's not stop any
of them, any of the clubs selling the place, they don't want to Saudi Arabia. They've welcomed the injection of funds with open arms.
I'm really happy that they've got a market all of a sudden, where they can place I don't say overpaid players, but players that they no longer have a
use for and that they need to free up their wages, they can sell them to Saudi Arabia. That's basically as far as the club's interest goes.
I think there are legitimate concerns, maybe among the leads in terms of what the Saudi project might do to imbalance the competitive landscape a
little bit. But for the most part, football is very much a kind of it's an immediate business, it doesn't think too much in the future is not even
capable of it.
The vast majority of the authorities, Club's executives, the people in charge of the new game, will see Saudi Arabia as a source of money. And if
that leads to problems, they can always think about them -- .
MACFARLANE: Yes, and I think that's what a lot of human rights groups have a problem with here is that there is not the focus on the record, and more
so on the sport, as you say, moving forward, but so, Rory, what do you see as Saudi Arabia's ultimate goal here, not just in sporting terms, in
particular, with football, as we're talking about that?
But in terms of economics as well, because some are saying, you know, this, for them, of course, is not about sports washing, they would always say
that it's about sort of an economic change, you know, moving shift away from oil dependency with the sort of energy transition coming. I mean, how
do you read this?
SMITH: Yes, I mean, I think that's the logic that the Saudis have kind of presented. And I think they believe it. They have said consistently that
they have a problem in terms of obesity in Saudi Arabia in young population. They want to get more sanity being active. I think that's true.
I think the Saudi authorities genuinely feel that that will be a good thing for Saudi society. I think they want to diversify the economy as part of
the vision 2030 plan. I think that is true. They supposed to people for this we wrote a few weeks ago. And you know, quite a lot of people said
that it's not just the players that the football industry.
But maybe you get no broadcaster setting from Saudi Arabia, which leads to a sort of the arrival of media talent, and not just on stream. But the off
it of course, you know, the whole expertise that was ever understand and those goes into producing television, you need a lot of people who are
qualified and talented.
And the Saudis want to create a native industry there and also maybe get people in to move to Saudi Arabia, from Europe and the States in Australia.
I think there's an element of -- is that sort of eternal political philosophy. I don't think that just because it comes from the ancient
I don't think that means it's irrelevant. Saudi Arabia has a really young population. It has a young population that is very passionate for football
in particular and sport in general. And you have an autocratic regime that does not want that young population to become dissatisfied.
So give them what they want. Give them a little bit of the glamour and the luster that you see in the Premier League in the Champions League that
makes perfect sense. I think those are all legitimate aims. I think they're sincere. I don't think anyone's in a position to say that Saudi Arabia
should not be allowed to have a stronger domestic Football League.
SMITH: There is an issue that everyone tends to address about government interference in sport, which FIFA does not allow.
SMITH: And at some point, that might be a problem.
MACFARLANE: And it is it --
SMITH: No --
MACFARLANE: Sorry to interrupt. It is a problem -- .
SMITH: -- to use this too yes to kind of change that public image away from the human rights abuses, issues that we've seen. That is the collateral
damage, that they are using football to do that and football to ask yourself, whether it's OK with that.
MACFARLANE: Football has to ask very stone questions of it-self and I think sports as a wider context too. Rory, thank you so much. I think you're
coming for us from the World Cup tonight. Thank you so much for being with us from the New York Times there and stay with us more "First Move", coming
up after this break.
MACFARLANE: Now when India announced a ban on exports of on non-basmati white rice last month, there were fears that it could trigger a global
crisis. News reportedly sent some Indian experts in the U.S. into panic buying mode, but American rice producers say the U.S. has enough to go
around. CNN's Vedika Sud reports on the situation in India.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Dozens of panic stricken buyers scrambling to buy Indian rice in a store in Dallas. Just a day after India,
the world's largest exporter of rice imposed a ban on shipments exporting non-basmati rice. The U.S.A. rice Federation says there's caught enough
U.S. rice to go around.
But New Delhi's export restrictions have triggered fears of a global food crisis. India's rice supply has been hit hard after heavy rains devastated
large regions where the staple has grown, crippling livelihoods. Last month the Indian government said it was necessary to hold all exports of non-
basmati rice to calm domestic rising prices and ensure adequate supply at home.
In a village in North India third generation farmers Satish Kumar sits by his paddy field that's been submerged for over a month. It's destroyed his
newly planted seedlings. Farming is Kumar's only source of income. He's taken loans to re cultivate his land. Have suffered huge losses he tells
Now nothing can be grown on this land till November. Here the rice export ban is a double whammy. It's going to have an adverse impact on us, Kumar
tells me. We won't get a higher rate of rice isn't exported. The floods were a death blow to us, farmers. This ban will finish us he says.
The South Asian nation accounts for more than 40 percent of world rice exports globally. In Delhi's rice export hub, traders face uncertainty as
rice stocks up piling up. The export ban has left traders with huge amounts of stock. We now have to find new buyers in the domestic market. Trader
Rupe Karan tells me.
SUD (on camera): Many of the world's poorest countries depend on imports of Indian rice. Economists warned a prolonged ban could leave the world's most
vulnerable people with even less to eat.
SUD (voice over): Global food prices have soared to a near 12 year high according to the United Nations Food Agency. New Delhi's ban comes in the
week after Russia's targeting of Ukrainian grain shipments driving up grain prices across the world.
ARIF HUSAIN, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Poor countries, food importing countries, poor people in West Africa, they are at the
highest risk. It is about does the food stay affordable for the poorest of the poor in countries around the world.
SUD (voice over): Almost 40 percent of the people on earth rely on rice for sustenance. A shortfall in Indian rice could lead millions hungry, Vedika
Sud CNN, New Delhi.
MACFARLANE: And that is it for this edition of the show. I'm Christina McFarland stay with us. "Connect the World" is coming up after the break.
Have a great weekend.