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Isa Soares Tonight

Ukraine Says It Has Launched Its Long-Awaited Counteroffensive In The South; U.N. Inspectors Make Their Way To Embattled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant; More Than 1,100 Killed By Pakistan Monsoon Rains And Flood; Artemis I Launch Postponed Due To Engine Issue; Air France Suspends Two Pilots Over Mid-Air Fight; Colombian Ambassador To Venezuela Arrives In Caracas. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired August 29, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Ukraine says it has launched its long-

awaited counter-offensive in the south as U.N. inspectors make their way to the country's embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. We are live for you in


Then, Pakistan pleads for help, the country's monster monsoon kills more than 1,100 people, including hundreds of children. We have the latest. And

deadly clashes in Iraq. Protesters stormed Baghdad's Republican Palace. The country's military announces a city-wide curfew in the capital.

But first, we are following major developments in Ukraine on two fronts this hour. Starting with the long-awaited counter-offensive in the south of

the country now. Ukraine's Defense Ministry confirms an operation is underway to retake territory from Russia, and that includes the Kherson

region as you're seeing there in your map.

The city of Kherson, if you remember, fell early in the war and is the only regional capital that Russia has managed to capture. Also happening today,

inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog are heading to Ukraine for a critical mission. They are due to assess the security risk that the

Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhian nuclear power plant, as nearby fighting is raising fears of a potential nuclear catastrophe.

Ukraine says the IAEA team is expected to arrive in Kyiv within hours. Let's get more on all of these lines from Sam Kiley who is in Kryvyi Rih

and Jim Sciutto who is in Washington. And Jim, let me start with you this hour, because much of your reporting has been about the shaping of

operations in the south. Talk to us how Ukraine is preparing for that counter-offensive here.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: So U.S. officials telling me over the weekend that shaping had begun at that point. Shaping in military terms is

basically preparing the battlefield for an advance, typically with air or artillery or rocket strikes, which we saw in those days leading up on

military targets, command control, ammunition depots, et cetera.

And now, the development this morning seems to be that the ground portion of this, at least in some areas, has begun. And it was the U.S. view that

this would be a combination of ground and air operations, a push-back, in effect. An attempt to take territory held by Russian forces for a number of

weeks, going back to the early days of the invasion here.

Of course, the question is, how far can those Ukrainian forces go? I spoke to the former Ukrainian president this morning, Petro Poroshenko. He said

this is it. This is the beginning of the counter-offensive. As I understand, Ukrainian officials have told us on the ground there to my

colleagues on the ground there as well. The big test going forward. How far can they push?

SOARES: Yes, stay with us. Let me go to Sam. And Sam, what are you hearing in terms of what you're seeing on the ground? How successful has this push

been so far from your sources?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're less than 24 hours into this new counter-offensive as Jim says. The Ukrainians have

said that they did conduct shaping operations, hitting logistics bases, trying to undermine morale. Key thing, they're cutting bridges across the

Dnipro, which means the Russians on this side of the Dnipro are trapped just west effectively of Kherson.

Now, according to the sources we've been speaking to, military sources for villages have been captured in the first few hours of this battle, at

least, in those villages. And they're on a sort of axis, they're quite close to Kherson, within a few miles of Kherson.

They're saying that they've broken through the front line, the first line of defense of the Ukrainian forces, who they say comprised mostly of people

from the break-away republics in the east of the country, and also that those self-same soldiers on that first line of defense were abandoned by

Russian paratroops who also withdrew in the face of this Ukrainian assault.

Now, that is information that we're getting not from public relations people, but military sources who are in a position to know the truth. And

now, of course, though, we don't have any corroboration independently of this.


The Russians have countered with their own version of events, claiming --

SOARES: Well --

KILEY: A whole series of victories against the Ukrainians and claiming that they pushed them back. But historically, the Russians have frankly

been pretty evasive about what their losses in these -- in the face of these sorts of assaults. We saw similar claims around Kharkiv when the

Russians were losing. They claimed to be winning, and they were not. Isa?

SOARES: Sam, stay with me. Let me go back to Jim. And Jim, you know, if they do, of course, breach, if Ukrainian forces are able to breach this

kind of first line of defense in Kherson, how much do you think of a strategic breakthrough would this be, would you say, Jim?

SCIUTTO: The biggest question is how broadly they push through and to how far they go, and then, can they hold that ground again, right? Because the

early days of this, we did see Ukrainian forces had great success pushing back Russian forces from around the capital, Kyiv. And those Russian forces

retreated, they retreated to the east. The battlefield has been different in the east.

And it's been one that has been more static, you know, frozen conflict there. So here, we'll see if it's a different kind of conflict, right? Can

Ukrainians strike, gain ground and then hold that ground? I will say this, that Ukrainians believe they have the capabilities now, the man-power, the

plan to do so, and particularly, they cite these new weapon systems that have been coming in, in recent weeks, namely, the HIMARS system.

This mobile rocket system that's able to attack at great distances and with great accuracy. And even in advance of this, was able to strike Russian

targets with accuracy behind enemy lines, as it were, you know, into territory held by Russian forces inside Ukraine.

SOARES: And let me go back to Sam if I may in Kryvyi Rih, because you're now in Kryvyi Rih, but you were earlier, Sam, for us in Zaporizhzhia, that

is where, of course, a team from the IAEA is heading. What are we hearing in terms of how soon they'll be arriving, and how soon they will get in,

and how -- what route they'll in fact, they will take to get in to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant?

KILEY: Well, so first, we understand it from the IAEA, the Russians and the Ukrainians have agreed to this visit, so getting into the plant

should not, in theory, be problematic. The problem, though, is that it is on a front line, it has been used as a fire base from the Russians. The

Russians continue to accuse the Ukrainians of shelling the town next to it, and indeed the plant itself.

Recent satellite imagery does show some relatively new holes in the roof of a building inside the plant. It's not clear at all whether it was the

Ukrainians or Russians that fired those missiles, of course. Those holes, it's he said, she said in that realm. But this is an opportunity if the

IAEA can get in there, there will have to be a localized ceasefire.

The Russians at least, will have to stop firing out from the plant, and risk anything incoming back in. They would have to stop all of their

military activities or the IAEA simply couldn't get in, couldn't get their inspectors in there. There is -- there have been accusations from the

Ukrainian side that there'd be a clean-up operation before the inspectors get there.

But they'd have to move, the Russians would have to move very fast to do that because the inspectors are anticipated to arrive in Kyiv tonight,

likely to drive down towards Zaporizhzhia tomorrow, and could be in theory in the nuclear power station the next day --


That was rather an unexpected explosion.

SOARES: What are you seeing? Are you OK? Everything OK, Sam?

KILEY: Yes, we are fine. It's very difficult to tell. That was quite a strong blast quite close by. We don't if it was incoming or outgoing. Some

of the outgoing anti-aircraft missiles can be extremely loud and make very loud detonations. I think probably, it was outgoing. But that's just my

guess based on an instant reaction. But we have heard a lot of these things over the past few months covering this conflict.

SOARES: We'll let you and your team just check that, and make sure that you're safe. That's a priority, of course. Sam Kiley for us in Kryvyi Rih,

Jim Sciutto, always great to have you on the show, thank you very much. Well, the Kremlin says it will ensure the security of the IAEA mission to

Zaporizhzhia once inspectors reach Russian-controlled territory.

Our Fred Pleitgen is live for us in Moscow this hour. And Fred, before we start talking about the IAEA, I just want to get your thoughts on what

Russia is saying about this counter-offensive in the south. I don't know if you heard Sam Kiley saying that about four --


SOARES: Villages have been taken in the south. What are the Russians saying?

PLEITGEN: Well, it's been quite interesting because throughout the better course of the day, Isa, the Russians have basically said nothing about this

counter-offensive. They haven't acknowledged that it was going on. In fact, earlier today, there was a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry, where

we didn't hear anything about any sort of military action in the Kherson area there from the Russian side.

But now, tonight, in fact, I would say about half an hour ago, the Russian Defense Ministry did come out with a new statement claiming that -- or

first of all, acknowledging that there had been an offensive which they say was ordered by President Zelenskyy, and that, that offensive, as they put

it, failed miserably, as the Russians said.


They then listed all sorts of military hardware that they say that they destroyed, among it, more than 20 tanks, more than 20 armored vehicles.

They say that they shot down two planes, and they also say that they killed a bunch of Ukrainian troops that were advancing, as well. I think it was a

really big number, like 500 or something like that.

So, the Russians saying that all this failed miserably. But of course, it is impossible to independently verify any of that. There has really been no

video released from the Russian side that could corroborate any of this. But certainly, I think the really new thing is that the Russians are in

fact now acknowledging that there are offensive operations going on from the Ukrainian side, even though they claim that they're pushing them back,


SOARES: OK, I know we'll keep an eye on the developments in the south of the country. But what is -- what are Russians saying? What's the Kremlin

saying this hour about the IAEA visit?

PLEITGEN: Well, the Kremlin has said that they want this IAEA visit to happen the whole time. They said that they're going to guarantee the safety

of the IAEA team. But they said they can only do that, obviously, when that team is on Russian-controlled area. And I think one of the things that Sam

was pointing out is obviously extremely important to this mission.

Is that mission, is the IAEA, are those inspectors going to be able to get to that area in a safe way? Because they not only have to cross a front

line to do that, but that front line, at least, where that power plant is, that's also a huge body of water as well where exactly that frontline runs


Because of course, we know that the Zaporizhzhia power plant is exactly on the Dnieper River, on a big basin of Dnieper River, where that river is

several miles wide. And so that's one of the things that's going to be very difficult navigating all that, doing all of that in a safe way. The

Russians have already said that they believe that the Ukrainians are going to try and disrupt the mission.

They of course, have said that all the shelling that's been going on around that plant, that, that were all the Ukrainians, some of the fires that have

broken out there as well. While the Ukrainians of course, make those counter-claims, one of the interesting things that we picked up today,

though, was that the -- a Kremlin spokesman, he was also asked whether or not the Kremlin believed that, that area needed to become a demilitarized


Of course, it's something that the IAEA has been calling for, the U.N. has been calling for, and the Ukrainians have been calling for. And he said

that's something that right now is not up for discussion. Of course, recent satellite images that we've seen has also showed some military hardware

from the Russians inside the premises of that nuclear power plant. Isa.

SOARES: Fred Pleitgen for us in Moscow this hour, thanks very much, Fred. And heavy rain and flooding in Pakistan have killed at least 1,100 people,

including hundreds of children since mid-June. Pakistan is battling its eighth cycle of monsoon rains, and they're normally really in a country

that typically sees three or four a year. Our Anna Coren has the story for you.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A young life hanging in the balance, winched across rushing water in Pakistan's flood-

soaked Sindh Province. Safely off the bed frame, it's an older man's turn. Lucky for some, but these floods have killed over a 1,000 people since mid-

June, including over 350 children, according to UNICEF.

ABDULLAH FADIL, UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE IN PAKISTAN: This is a calamity of proportions I think Pakistan has not seen. Some of the areas hit are also

some of the most vulnerable areas of the country.

COREN: Pakistan normally goes through 3 to 4 monsoon rain cycles each year. It has had eight in that time. And the wet season will drag on

through September. Extreme heat has baked the earth, the rain can't soak in, flash flooding comes next. These satellite images show the Indus River

swelling, nowhere for the water to go, and few routes to escape it.

Highways through central Pakistan have been cut off, bridges broken, as villages washed away. In the northwest of the country, army choppers rescue

desperate people. Another person saved, others scramble for the next helicopter.

FADIL: This is a climate crisis, climate that has been mostly done by richer countries contributing to the -- to the -- to the crisis, and I

think that it's time that the world responded to support Pakistan in this time of need.

COREN: As Pakistan and NGOs appeal for international aid, the weather forecast is finally brightening. All are hopeful for a break in the rain, a

chance to further assess the damage. What is immediately obvious, the toll that climate change is taking. Pakistan's relatively low carbon footprint

not enough to save it from the dangers of our warming world. Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


SOARES: Well, let's go to Pakistan now to find out about the relief efforts. Peter Ophoff is the head of the Pakistan delegation for the

International Federation of the Red Cross. He joins us now from Islamabad.


Peter, thank you very much for joining us, for staying late of course, to speak to us. Give us a sense of what you and your team in the fields, what

they've been seeing on the ground, Peter.


Well, the situation in Pakistan, in affected area is very serious. Pakistan is in dire situation because of the heavy rains, and as your colleague

said, the extended rainfall, the eighth cycle of the Monsoon.

The flooding is terrible. Flash floods, the houses have been destroyed, bridges destroyed, roads washed away, which makes the access to the

affected villages very difficult. And so the situation is bad, we have seen hectares and thousands of hectares of fields flooded, remain flooded, all

the crops have been destroyed. And it is going to be a very difficult situation in the months, maybe also years to come for Pakistan.

SOARES: And Pete, I mean, the images we're seeing and that we have been seeing throughout the day on CNN are pretty apocalyptic, something that I

haven't seen in many years. But what would you say are the challenges right now? You talked about access, is that the biggest concern right now?

OPHOFF: Yes, well, first of all, will say like yes, the situation is bad and what we're seeing. I have been in the Red Cross for 29 years and many

relief operations, this is -- this is very bad. This is very hard to see as well. The main challenge is indeed access. Access is very difficult. But

the main challenge as well for the people, to get to higher grounds. The rain continues, we expect that the rain will continue until end of -- of


And we don't know what's coming now. There might be -- retrieve a little bit in the rain, but we don't know what's coming. The forecast doesn't look

good. So, items during -- if it gets -- safe drinking water to the people, of white, that people that are having water-borne diseases, malaria,

dengue, is all of a big concern for us.

SOARES: Yes, even when the waters, when the rain does stop, you've got these other concerns of course, the other health restructuring, obviously,

rebuilding, but also the water-borne diseases, that's some of the other concerns that you will have. Are some of the -- are some of the communities

completely cut off? How are you reaching them if you can't -- obviously, roads and bridges if they're destroyed, Peter?

OPHOFF: Yes, well, it's very difficult. What we have seen is that the government and the army is using helicopters not only as you showed in your

-- in your coverage --

SOARES: Yes --

OPHOFF: To rescue people, but also to air-drops. So air-drops is one way of getting the aid to people. Now, that is very limited, of course. There's

a limited number of helicopters available. It's not -- Pakistan is a very big country, so to reach certain areas remains difficult. But the only way

at this stage is actually through air-drops.

SOARES: Peter Ophoff; the head of delegation in Pakistan, thank you very much indeed, sir. Thanks, Peter. And still to come tonight, political

turmoil in Iraq as protests turn deadly. Ahead, we'll look at what ignited the violent crashes in Baghdad. Plus, what led to this weekend's deadly

violence in Libya's capital and what may lie ahead. That is next.



SOARES: Now in Iraq, political protests are turning violent. Have a look.




SOARES: At least, three people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in Baghdad's Green Zone, and at least, 40

others are injured as you can see in these chaotic scenes. Hundreds of protesters have stormed the Republican Palace, the office of the country's

prime minister.

Government meetings are on hold, and the Iraqi military has put a full curfew in place. It follows a powerful Shia cleric's decision to withdraw

from political life. CNN's Ben Wedeman has reported numerous times for us from Iraq, and he joins me now to discuss this -- the latest crisis.

And so, Ben, Muqtada al-Sadr of course, deciding it, to call it quit, but these protesters are having none of it. So what is it, exactly the message

they're trying to send here?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, Muqtada al- Sadr who leads the Sadrist Movement blocking the Iraqi parliament put out a tweet this morning, saying, I hereby announce my final withdrawal, and he

called for the closure of all offices related to the Sadrist movement, except those with religious or cultural activities.

And very soon afterwards, hundreds of his supporters headed to the Green Zone which is where the Iraqi parliament is, many government ministries as

well as diplomatic missions including the U.S. Embassy, they got inside. They got to what's known as the Republican Palace, which goes back to the

days of Saddam Hussein, where normally the office of the prime minister is.

They got inside, they went to the swimming pool, they lounged around some of the very luxurious quarters there. But in the meantime, others were

engaged in clashes with Iraqi security forces. As you said, at least, three people were killed, it's highly likely the number is much higher, 40


And now, the background to all of this is that, the Sadrist Movement won the largest bloc in parliamentary elections last October, but was unable to

form a government. It was unable to form a majority coalition. And therefore, for the last 10 months, the country has been in a state of

paralysis. We've seen in the past -- Muqtada al-Sadr called upon his 73 bloc members to resign from parliament.

Shortly after that, his supporters entered the Green Zone, set up a tent encampment inside, stopped parliament from functioning. In fact, for

several days, it took over parliament. Now, Muqtada al-Sadr has called for the disillusion of parliament and early elections. But it doesn't appear

that there is any movement in that direction. So, it appears that perhaps he's engaged in a bit of political brinksmanship, but in a rock

brinkmanship, it can be a very dangerous game. Isa.

SOARES: Ben Wedeman for us, thanks very much, Ben, we appreciate it. Well, conflict between rival militias is leading to the worst fighting we

have seen in Libya in two years. The country's Health Ministry says at least, 32 people were killed as violence erupted during the weekend in

Tripoli. CNN's Nada Bashir explains what's triggering the clashes.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (on camera): Well, these are some of the worst clashes Libya's capital has seen in at least the last two years. And there

are real concerns that this could push the country back into a state of sustained conflict. This latest round of violence comes off the back of a

months-long political standoff between two rival factions.


In the capital, Tripoli, you have the U.N.-backed and internationally- recognized Government of National Unity, led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, and in the east, you have a rival administration, which has

essentially appointed its own Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha. Now, tensions between these two factions have been simmering for months now.

Back in May, Bashagha and his allied forces launched a failed attempt to seize control of Tripoli, and over the last few weeks, we have seen eastern

forces mobilizing around the capital. But over the weekend, those tensions really came to a head, with forces allied to Bashagha once again attempting

to seize control of territory in Tripoli, entering the capital from several directions, using small arms fire, heavy machine guns, and even mortars in

central areas around the city.

But while, there is real concern this could push the country into further political turmoil, these latest clashes have already had devastating

consequences. At least, 30 people were killed and more than 150 people wounded in the fighting according to the health ministry. The U.N. has

called for an immediate end to the violence and a return to political dialogue.

But we also heard from the GNU leader, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, speaking on Saturday night to his allied fighters in the capital. He commended them

for, in his words, defending the city, and he paid his respect to those who had lost their lives, stressing the GNU remains committed to Democratic


But he also issued a stark warning to members of the opposition, saying the time for political coup is long gone. And also, warning that any actors

looking to take control of the country by undemocratic means would meet his fighters in the field. Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, if you are hoping to see a picture of NASA's Artemis rocket launching for the moon, you'll have to wait a big

longer. We'll explain why? Plus, Air France suspends two pilots who were fighting in a cockpit during a flight. That story, next.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. NASA's historic Artemis I rocket was supposed to be on route to the moon right now. Instead, it's still on the

launch pad. Today's launch was scrubbed after NASA discovered an issue with an engine bleed in one of the rockets four engines. They tried to fix it

before the launch window ended, but they couldn't. NASA says the next opportunity launch will be this Friday. In the meantime, engineers will

continue to troubleshoot the issue. Let's get more on all this.

CNN's Space Correspondent Rachel Crane at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. So Rachel, talk to us a bit more about the issue here that led to

the scrap and whether they believe they can fix it.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Isa, we still don't have that many details about exactly what this issue is. That's because they're

still crunching the data here to figure out what went wrong. Now, NASA held a press conference just a few minutes ago. They gave a little bit of

insight into the issue here.

They said they didn't think it was a problem with the engine per se, more with the system that helps cool the engine before the propellant comes

through, because that propellant is incredibly cold, liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. So, to prepare for that propellant coming through, they

cool them first and it was that cooling that they weren't seeing the right temperature that they wanted with engine three.

So, you know, exactly what was causing that issue, they're still trying to figure that out. Now, fingers crossed here that it is a relatively simple

fix that's because if -- that might enable NASA to meet that Friday launch window, that's the backup. And then they have a backup to the backup, which

will be on Monday. But if it's a little bit more complicated here, Isa, they may have to roll that gigantic rocket behind me back to the Vehicle

Assembly Building to troubleshoot the issue.

And, you know, just that journey from Launchpad 39B to the Vehicle Assembly Building alone, that's three and a half days, that doesn't include them the

time it would take to fix the problem, and then the journey back to the launch pad. So, we're looking at a really long delay if in fact it is a

more serious issue here.

But, you know, of course, NASA takes nothing more seriously than safety. And, of course, this was an uncrewed test launch that was supposed to

happen today. Artemis I is uncrewed. But it's all leading up to these crewed missions. And that's the whole purpose of today, was a test launch.

They wanted to run through the paces to see exactly, you know, what the pain points are for when they do put crew inside that Orion spacecraft and

everything will run smoothly.

And really, the objectives here with Artemis I are to test the heat shield. Because when this space capsule comes back from that 42-day journey around

the moon, it will withstand temperatures of 5,000 degrees. That's half the temperature of the surface of the sun.

And it's never been tested like this before. So, they need to make sure that that heat shield can withstand those high temperatures. Also, just

that the vehicle works properly. And as we saw today, unfortunately, it didn't. So Isa, fingers crossed here that it's a simple fix. And we'll have

a launch attempt on Friday.

SOARES: Let's hope they can troubleshoot this, but you said it's uncrewed but I was reading that the crew that they do have is quite unusual because

-- but they do serve a purpose, a sort of science experiment. Talk us through that, Rachel.

CRANE: Yes, so there isn't actually living people on board. But there is a -- there are a few mannequins one in particular name, Moonkin Campos

sitting in the commander seat, and that's a full mannequin. He's wearing the Orion spacesuit that the astronauts will wear when they blast off

eventually to the moon to test that flight suit, also wearing several sensors to measure the vibrations, the acoustics, some radiation sensors.

There's also two additional mannequins in the capsule, one of which is a control, but the other one is wearing what's called the AstroRad vest.

And the purpose of that experiment is to see just how effective this AstroRad vest, which is designed to prevent the radiation impacting the

astronauts onboard. Now when you're in space and in deep space past the Van Allen belt, the astronauts will be exposed to considerable amounts of

radiation due to the energetic particles, solar flares, solar activity and what have you.

And that could potentially be seriously dangerous so this vest has been designed and constructed to hopefully help mitigate some of that. They were

hoping to test this all today. As we know, that's not in the cards but, again, fingers crossed that these experiments and this rocket will have

lift off then, Isa.

SOARES: Rachel Crane there for us. Thanks very much, Rachel. Appreciate the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Now Air France says it's suspended two pilots for fighting while at the controls during a flight.


The airline said the cockpit altercation was quickly resolved without affecting the plane's safety. Now the incident happened back in June on a

flight from Geneva to Paris. Meantime, France's Air Investigation Agency has released a report highlighting several incidents in which Air France

crew members did not follow procedure, creating flight security risks. I want to bring in our Business Editor-at-Large, Richard Quest, who joins me

now from New York. So, Richard, this happened back in June. Do we know exactly what happened mid-air between these two pilots?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: No, we don't. We -- according to some reports out of La Tribune, one pilot may have grabbed the other by

the throat, the other -- or his collar, the other may have slapped the other one. They were making so much of a noise that the flight attendants

could hear them behind. And then a flight attendant went into the cockpit, and it was agreed that the flight attendant would stay in the cockpit for

the rest of the flight. We do not know any details of what happened.

Now, look, pilots are human. Humans disagree. Disagreements get heated. Fisticuffs can follow. But it's not supposed to happen in the cockpit of an

A320 when you're flying. And I think what's happened here is so beyond the pale that if there is good cause here, I can't see these pilots remaining

with Air France.

SOARES: And, of course, it comes, as we were saying, Richard, on the heels of another incident, right? Another safety mishap if we can call it that.

Talk to us about this report that, you know, the Air France says that crew members did not follow procedure. When they say do not follow procedure,

what does that mean? How worrying is that?

QUEST: Well, the plane you're looking at at the screen is the sort of plane we're talking about, the A330. And the -- this is -- the other procedure

was it was a flight going up to Paris where they had a fuel leak. And they did three things that were not on the list, or they didn't do things that

were -- they didn't shut down the engine, as they were supposed to. They didn't divert to another airport as they were supposed to.

And they didn't do a couple of other things that they should have done according to the list. And what the authorities is saying, hang on a

second, Air France, you're getting a little too -- this is getting a little too common. If you look at the wording that they actually used for this,

they describe it as being a lack of vigor.

They describe it as not having the necessary compliance. And they urge Air France to put compliance back at the heart of their operations. And this is

pretty damning for an airline like Air France to be frank. First of all, that is a fight business. But then secondly, to have your own domestic

regulator that's supposed to be your friendly neighborhood regulator basically saying that we think you have a compliance culture problem is


SOARES: Serious indeed, especially if that's taking place mid-air and they're not following procedures you just outlined, Richard. Richard Quest

for us there. Thanks very much, Richard. Good to see you.

QUEST: Thank you.

SOARES: Still to come tonight. If you were hoping to see pictures of NASA's Artemis rocket launching for the moon, well, we told you, you'll have to

hold much longer, but next story is actually about the debate between these two candidates, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and upcoming

President Lula da Silva. What's next for them next.



SOARES: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva faced off Sunday in the country's first televised debate

ahead of October's presidential election. Lula blasted Bolsonaro for his handling of the economy as well as the pandemic. But Bolsonaro was quick to

remind voters that Lula was convicted of taking bribes in the past. Bolsonaro's combative style was also on display when he didn't like the

questions posed by female a journalist. Have a listen.


JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Vera I couldn't expect anything else from you. You sleep thinking about me. You have

passion for me. You can't take a side in a debate like this and make false accusations with my respect. You're disgrace for Brazilian journalism.


SOARES: And, of course, it's not the first time we have seen comments -- misogynistic comments by the President to -- directed at female journalists

in Brazil. Journalist Stefano Pozzebon was watching the debate for us. He joins us now. Stefano, we were expecting fireworks. And that's what we got

from this first debate. So how did they fare? What stood out to you?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, I think that we were definitely expecting Bolsonaro to come out attacking, come out on the hunt. Bolsonaro

is training Lula between 15 and 20 points, depending on what poster you might look. So he needed to make a case towards the swing voters. What I

think really remained after this debate is how the election is played out between two presidents, both white males, who are both defending their past

records of government.

Bolsonaro calling a liar, whoever dates to question his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, but also Lula who says that his most -- his

main claim to the presidency is his record in office when he ruled Brazil, between 2003 and 2010.


LULA DA SILVA, FORMER BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The country and left is the country that people miss. It was a country of jobs, a

country where people had the right to live with dignity, with their heads high.


POZZEBON: So it's two different visions for Brazil for this enormous country that are battling out in this consequential election. But perhaps

what really, to me, struck out two was the absence of new ideas apart from these both recipes that have both been tried out in the last 20 years or

so. Isa.

SOARES: And Stefano, I believe that, you know, the upcoming, election October 2nd, we will see the highest number of indigenous candidates in

Brazilian history. Were they represented critically at this debate yesterday?

POZZEBON: No, exactly. That's one of the things that were missing. There was no Afro Brazilian, person of African descent, no indigenous person on

that stage. We have six candidates that are currently battling for the election. And they're all whites coming mostly from the south east of

Brazil, the main urban areas, even the most fresh new face of this Brazilian debate, which was Simone Tebet. She really stole the show by

speaking with authority about the handling of the COVID 19 pandemic. She was part of a commission of inquiry into how the Bolsonaro government

handled COVID-19 in Brazil.

But she's pulling up between seven or eight percent. So all these variety Of richness of cultures, of offers that Brazil has, a vibrant country that

is jumping onto the 20 -- the 21st century was not was not on the first -- on the frontline of that debate. It was dominated by those two figures who

have dominated the Brazilian politics for the past 20 years. Isa.

SOARES: Stefano Pozzebon there for us. Thanks very much, Stefano. funnel appreciated.

Well, Colombia's new ambassador to Venezuela arrived in Caracas on Sunday to reestablish bilateral relations between the two countries.


Colombia and Venezuela cut diplomatic ties, if you remember, back in 2019 when then Colombian President Ivan Duque recognized the opposition's Juan

Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

The U.S. has sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait in a direct message to China. It is the first time U.S. military ships have entered the

strait since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit Taiwan. If you remember, earlier this month, Beijing considers the straits its territorial waters,

and said it is "ready to fought another provocation." Our Will Ripley has more from Taipei,

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China, China's relatively muted response to what was the first time in at least four years that the U.S. Navy sent two

cruisers through the Taiwan Strait. Certainly surprising to some analysts who might have been expecting a bigger response from China given that it

claims the Taiwan Strait as its internal waters, even as the U.S. and others consider the Taiwan Strait international waters and they cite the

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea when they say that.

So, when these two guided missile cruisers sailed through the Taiwan Strait, they're not out of the strait that this this happened over the

weekend, people were expecting Beijing to perhaps deploy its own warships or fighter jets. And in fact, there was nothing of that sort and even the

most tabloid of Chinese state media, The Global Times, downplaying what was happening, saying that there was actually no actual threat to the Chinese


Now, analysts are speculating why there might have been such a muted response, some saying that Beijing may be wary of more international

blowback after they encircled the island of Taiwan after the visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducting unprecedented military drills at a

scale that we haven't seen before. Others say that because China, after Pelosi's, visit cut off key military communication channels with the U.S.

that to avoid some sort of misunderstanding, which would be at a higher risk with no direct communication between China and the U.S. military. That

might be why they decided not to make a bigger deal of this U.S. Navy sent -- sending two cruisers through the Strait.

But there is another situation that the Taiwanese Military and Defense Ministry is monitoring very closely and these are a growing number of

incidents involving unidentified drones believed to be civilian drones flying over Taiwanese military bases on the island of Kinmen. Kinmen is a

Taiwanese territory, but it sits just 10 kilometers or six miles from mainland China. And even just on Monday, there was a sighting of a drone

that flew in a restricted area and then was seen turning around and flying back towards the Chinese mainland.

Over the weekend, there was a drone that flew over a Taiwanese military base on Kinmen Island and the soldiers there fired flares to warn that

drone off. They actually threw rocks at a drone back on August 16. All of this seen in videos that were later shared on social media.

Now it's unknown who is behind these drone flyovers, flying over potentially sensitive military sites. But it is consistent with what

analysts called gray zone tactics on the part of Beijing. And, of course, the Taiwanese government also suspecting this that China may be conducting

coercive activities seemingly by non-state or non-military assets.

However, the information that those drones might be able to capture on video would certainly be of use to the Chinese military as they gather

intelligence about Taiwan. And have never ruled out the possibility of an invasion of his island, which they've claimed as their own territory, the

communist rulers in Beijing have claimed as their own territory for more than 70 years, even though they have never once controlled this island

since the end of China's Civil War. Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, Serena Williams says she's evolving from tennis but not before what's sure to be an emotional performance just a few

hours from now. We have a live report from the U.S. Open next.



SOARES: Now her name is synonymous with grit and legendary performance on the tennis court. And Serena Williams will be on the court just a few hours

in fact from now with 23 Grand Slam single wins and so many other victories. Of course, Serena Williams is about to enter the next phase of

her life what she calls evolving away from tennis. U.S. Open is underway and it's happening at the scene. Williams' first, very first in fact Grand

Slam singles win back in 1999. Let's go to the scene of all this excitement Flushing, New York, where Carolyn Manno is standing by. And Carolyn, this

is going to be an emotional day for Serena no doubt.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN WORLD SPORT: That's right, Isa. I mean, that's kind of the buzzword of the day. The key for her later on tonight is going to be

separating the moment from the match. I mean, the match is winnable. But the macro story here her legacy, saying goodbye to a sport that she has

given her entire life to, that she has had undying love and passion for, is going to be far more difficult.

You know, the grounds are very crowded already, as they usually are at the start of this Grand Slam. But the stars come out for Serena Williams and we

hope that they can just align as well and that she'll be able to punctuate her career with that singles Grand Slam title that she's been so

desperately seeking over the last couple of years.

But when you think about her legacy, there are so many layers to it. I mean simply as a player, when you look at her remarkable resume, it speaks for

itself. And she was very much on the lips of everybody here on media day last Friday. I want to play you a little bit of what her fellow patriots or

her contemporaries had been saying about her.


NAOMI OSAKA, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I honestly think that she's like the biggest force in the sport.

RAFAEL NADAL, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER (voice-over): Her, as an athlete, have been not just a tennis player, have been one of the most important

athletes in the history of the sport.

COCO GAUFF, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: It's hard to dominate for generations. I mean, she showed that but that's why, for me, like, she's

always going to be considered the GOAT because she didn't dominate one generation, she didn't dominate two generations, she dominated for three

plus generations and I don't think anybody else did that.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: She for sure has and will have an amazing legacy in tennis and I'm sure in a hundred years, we're still

going to talk about Serena Williams.


MANNO: You know, that's a very obvious part of her legacy. The other obvious part of her legacy, Isa, is the Coco Gayffs of the world, the Naomi

Osakas of the world, the Sloane Stephens of the world, there are so many girls who have picked up a tennis racquet because they saw themselves

represented in her and that means so much to her in this next step of her career, no matter what happens at this Grand Slam that she'll be able to

continue to serve minority communities and serve women through her business ventures and just stay close to the sport as well. But it's going to be, as

you put it, an incredibly emotional night here.

SOARES: Yes. And this is a single match because, of course, she's also playing doubles. But like you said, you know, she has, in many ways,

changed the game and changed the way that tennis has been played, Carolyn.

MANNO: Yes, that's right. I mean, she has fundamentally changed the sport along with her sister, Venus. And as you point out, I mean, the fact that

they can play doubles here together and potentially leave this tournament facing Coco Gauff and her partner, Jess Pegula, the top rank doubles

players on the women's side, that would be very poetic and really kind of delight the fans here that they would see together their legacy reflected

in one of the players that has taken so much from them.

But, yes, you know, they have made the sport available to so many people across the entire world that wouldn't have thought about tennis as

something that's for them. And that is something that Serena and Venus have done. And there's no disputing that. I mean they walk away from the sport

that they love having improved it for the better and making it ultimately more welcoming.


Which is one of the things that they set out to do and became something that took up a lot of their time and energy. And she and Venus deserve

everything that comes their way tonight and over the course of this tournament for that.

SOARES: Very well put. Carolyn Manno there for us in New York. Thanks very much, Carolyn. Appreciate it.

And finally, let's look at just some of the highlights from the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night. Lizzo took the stage after a surprise

performance from Fergie. Fergie joined rapper Jack Harlow as you can see there to perform his hit song First Class, which samples her first

Fergalicious from 2006. Actor Johnny Depp in a number of appearances, sparking controversy over his very public defamation trial. And while

accepting her award for Music Video of the Year, Taylor Swift announced she's releasing new music. She says it's a collection of music written in

the middle of the night. Have a listen.


TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER: If you were going to be this generous, and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new

album comes out October 21st.


SOARES: I think they're excited. That does it for me. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with

Richard Quest is up next.