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Isa Soares Tonight
Tens Of Thousands Flee Nagorno-Karabakh; A New Video Raises Doubts Over The Fate Of One Of Russia's Top Admirals; Over 30 Percent Of U.K. Adults Struggle With Cost Of Living; Youths Take 32 Countries To Court Over Climate Action; Spanish Opposition Leader Bids To Form Government; Migrant Crisis Stretches Far South Of U.S. Border; TV And Film Writers Could Return To Work Soon. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 26, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a desperate plea for help. Tens of
thousands of Armenians flee the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region. We'll speak to an NGO working on the ground.
Then dead or alive, really? A new video is raising doubts over the fate of one of Russia's top admirals. Plus, U.S. President Joe Biden visits the
picket lines in support of auto workers. We're live from Michigan just ahead for you. We start this hour though with an exodus in Nagorno-
Karabakh. Authorities say more than 20,000 people have now fled into Armenia, that's about a sixth of all ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-
And that number could grow as separatists surrender to Azerbaijan. The disputed region has been the focus of all for decades. And this month's
military action by Baku is driving fears of ethnic cleansing. Azerbaijani say that won't happen. But just last week, if you remember, they were
shelling the same people they're now asking to trust them. Many Armenians just aren't convinced. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was horrible. Children were hungry and they were crying. Yes, a child fainted. She has high body
temperature so we gave her some medication. We ran away just to survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, meanwhile, Russian peacekeepers are in the region, so is the head of USAID. She says there are questions about Russia's role as a
peacekeeper. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA POWER, ADMINISTRATOR, USAID: It is absolutely critical that independent monitors as well as humanitarian organizations get access to
the people in Nagorno-Karabakh who still have dire needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, CNN's Scott McLean is tracking the Nagorno-Karabakh refugee crisis and he filed this report.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A week after war, ethnic Armenians fleeing the Nagorno-Karabakh region continue to arrive in
Armenia. Some shell-shocked, tired, others limping or literally out of gas, but alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was horrible, children were hungry and they were crying. We ran away just to survive. That's all.
MCLEAN: Now, war-ravaged territory is extremely slow. Long line-ups of cars wind down the switchbacks of the mountainous Lachin Corridor. One family
told CNN that leaving seems impossible, instead, choosing to turn back and try again another day. This comes a week after Azerbaijani troops launched
a lightning offensive to regain control over the long disputed territory.
It lasted just 24 hours before the outgunned separatists armed forces agreed to a Russian-brokered ceasefire and to disarm. Nagorno-Karabakh for
decades has been an internationally-recognized part of Azerbaijan. But populated by a 120,000 ethnic Armenians, it has long functioned as a de
facto enclave of Armenia, a fragile grey area that held until war in 2020 and again last week. Thousands have now chosen to flee rather than live
under Azerbaijani rule.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Can one live with them? No, one cannot. I've just survived. I've been on the road for a day. My children
MCLEAN: An explosion at a gas depot on Monday where people were fueling up before the journey to Armenia killed at least 20 and wounded hundreds
according to Armenia state news. Straining already pack local hospitals and even field hospitals, like this one, run by Russia. Even before the blast,
getting the injured evacuated was difficult.
Now, the International Committee of the Red Cross says there are hundreds of burned victims in urgent need of specialized medical care.
ZARA AMATUNI, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS SPOKESPERSON FOR ARMENIA: Heavy traffic makes it -- it's extremely difficult for us to pass
across Lachin route.
MCLEAN: And for those ethnic Armenians who remained in Nagorno-Karabakh, there was plenty of uncertainty about how they will be treated once the
mass evacuation finally ends. Scott McLean, CNN, London.
SOARES: Well, for more, I'm joined from the U.S. by Karine Eurdeklan; she's the Armenian-American founder and Executive Director, Inc. Kooyrigs and
NGO. Her group really works on community projects for women as well as children in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Karine lives and works in
Armenia, but joins us today from Michigan.
Karine, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. I understand from your team that you are in touch with those on the ground.
What are the -- what is your team telling you on the ground? What are they seeing?
KARINE EURDEKLAN, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KOOYRIGS INC. & NGO: It is quite literally for them, their worst nightmare and the stories that our
great grandparents told us about Armenian genocide. In modern day, we can't believe that we're in a time where there is a mass exodus of Armenians from
their ancestral indigenous land. But this is the reality of the situation, given Azerbaijan's constant attacks on Artsakh Nagorno-Karabakh.
SOARES: And as you're talking, Karine, we can see video of up just a huge line of people trying to get out. This exodus you're talking about. And
from one of the people that we've spoken to, it's -- you know, they've been queuing for seven, eight hours, then had to turn back home. Why is it so
difficult for those who want to get out, but cannot get out?
EURDEKLAN: Right, so to clarify, the Lachin Corridor is a 13-mile and 36 feet wide mountain roadway. It's not a great road for transportation
especially when a 100,000 people, 120,000 as of a few days ago need to evacuate from the terror that awaits them in their homes, in the villages.
Many of the people in Artsakh are in the capital, Stepanakert, where they are finding some sort of shelter underground or the many NGOs or few NGOs
now that are able to host them. It's very difficult to leave --
SOARES: So, to that -- talk about that --
Terror. I think that's really important -- sorry to interrupt. Just talk about that terror. That -- what are they seeing, what are they telling you?
EURDEKLAN: In the villages that are outside of Stepanakert, there has been mass terror, mass murders, shelling, and civilian populations, and it has
not stopped. I have friends who are fleeing in the forest, who know people who are chased by Azeris on foot. I mean, it's really a gruesome situation,
and we're seeing ethnic cleansing in real time as we wait for the world to react.
SOARES: Speaking of the world reacting, Karine, the U.S., Samantha Power of USAID said today that those who have arrived in Armenia, I think she said
were suffering from severe malnutrition. I mean, is this something that the teams on the ground that they've been seeing? What have you been seeing in
terms of, you know, the -- any illnesses you've been seeing, any side effects, of course, of what they have suffered for months.
EURDEKLAN: Sure. Well, I want to clarify that people are still suffering, 100,000 --
SOARES: Yes --
EURDEKLAN: People are still in Artsakh at this point, right. So I would love to go in with our team and provide the support in the fresh cooked
Armenian meals and all the support that they need to house themselves, you know, and establish lives for themselves for the time being. A lot of these
people dream of going back to their homes.
They're not leaving by choice, they're leaving because they will be killed otherwise. I want to treat them with medical care, I want to bring these
resources, and we are ready on hand. Our community in the Diaspora has funded so much to be able to support these people. But at this time, we're
unable to do so because a 100,000 people still remain in Artsakh, Nagorno- Karabakh.
And this is where we're appealing to the international community to bring support, and whether they fly them out, whether they bring buses and
increase the methods of transportation, we need greater support in this endeavor to get Armenian people into a place of safety.
SOARES: So right now, you say the priority in terms of it calling for international support, of course, aid, food, shelter, this is what's
important, you say the priority right now, Karine.
EURDEKLAN: Of course, it's a priority, but we need to get the people out of Artsakh --
SOARES: Yes --
EURDEKLAN: We need to ensure that their lives are safe. We cannot provide the food, the housing --
SOARES: Yes --
EURDEKLAN: And the resources without ensuring that they have safety in Armenia proper. Which is to say that we need to guarantee the safety of
Armenia proper in addition to Artsakh as well.
SOARES: Karine, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Do keep us posted on what your team on the ground is telling us, really
appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thanks very much, Karine.
SOARES: Now, Russian ships are still launching attacks despite mixed signals involving the alleged death of Moscow's Black Sea fleet commander.
The strikes come after Kyiv claimed to have killed Commander Viktor Sokolov in attack last week in occupied Crimea. In response, Moscow released a
video that appears to show him alive.
Now, Ukraine's military is clarifying its information about the alleged assassination. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour,
Ukraine's new defense minister neither confirmed nor denied Sokolov had been killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Minister, can you confirm that the head of Russia's Black Sea fleet, Viktor Sokolov is in
fact dead or alive?
RUSTEM UMEROV, DEFENSE MINISTER, UKRAINE: Well, first of all, he is in our temporary occupied territory. So he is not -- he should not be there at
all. So if he's dead, it's a good news for everybody that we are continuing to de-occupy our territory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, joining us live from eastern Ukraine and CNN's Fred Pleitgen. So, Fred, so as we placed it there, as we lined it out there, we have now
clashing claims. Ukraine saying it's clarifying this information. But you know, with the Russians, there is no way for us to verify the Kremlin video
clearly. So, talk to the nuance of all this, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, I think -- what we're seeing is a back-and-forth there between the Ukrainians
and the Russians. Right now, the Ukrainians are saying they're still re- evaluating their claims after this video came out. The Russians interestingly have not actually commented on any of this at all.
We saw that video come out today with the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu holding that meeting with some of his top generals in there. The commander
of the Black Sea fleet all of a sudden appeared to be present. But you're absolutely right, we of course, don't know when that video was filmed now
that it's been put out. So certainly, there are still contending claims here.
Also, the spokesman for the Kremlin was asked about this today, and he also said that he wouldn't comment on it, and said that this was all in the
remit as he put it, of the Defense Ministry. At the same time, of course, Isa, you do have the war here continuing to be in full swing. This of
course, is part of it, it claims that they're going back-and-forth between the Ukrainians and the Russians.
At the same time on the battlefield, things here certainly evolving in many directions. And what we see here in the east as we're on the ground is the
Ukrainians really making big pushes to move forward. Now, we were on the battlefield last night, and we saw just how tough, just how harsh this war
is being waged. Here's what we witnessed.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Rolling into battle as night falls. Ukrainian's army attacking in the east around Bakhmut.
(on camera): For the Ukrainians, this is an extremely important, but also very complicated and potentially very dangerous mission. And we're going to
be located very close to where the Russians are.
(voice-over): We're with a frontline drone unit called Code 9.2. Their drone, the Ukrainian-made Vampire. The crew attaching the bombs as
artillery whistles over our heads. The Vampire is fully night-vision capable, and plays a soundtrack showing it means business.
The team leaders call sign is groove(ph), and he confirms, because Ukraine doesn't have a modern Air Force. Tonight, they are the Air Force.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
PLEITGEN: The drones see in the night like in daylight. He says we see the infantry, we hit the vehicles, cannons, everything we need to destroy.
Groove(ph) also says Russians from Wagner private military company have returned to the battlefield around Bakhmut.
"Yes, there's Wagner here too, they swiftly changed the commanders and have returned here", he says. "We're breaking through their line of defense and
hitting them well." As the drone takes off, the battle is already well underway. The Ukrainians using western extended range artillery shells and
cluster ammunitions to attack Russian ground forces. Groove(ph) is already busy targeting the Russians.
"Oh, something is burning", he says. His unit also managing to take out a Russian main battle tank by dropping several bombs on it. The Ukrainian
Army now starting to push forward. Our photo journalist, Dan Hodge(ph) films powerful explosions as armored vehicles advance in the moon-lit
(on camera): We're now hearing a lot of fire, a lot of outgoing fire, a lot of incoming fire actually also as well, as the Ukrainians are trying to
move forward, and they say they want to take a key road away from the Russians.
(voice-over): But the Russians are fighting back, firing flares to unmask the Ukrainians' advance and hit Kyiv's forces. Groove(ph) remains unfazed,
hunting a Russian tactical vehicle before destroying it. The code 9.2 drone team often hunts Russian armor here, recently even destroying a modern T-90
tank in the highly complex operation. After more than a half-dozen missions, the drone returned a final time. But as we try to get away from
the battlefield, a tire burst on our humvee. No time for a spare, we push on.
(on camera): We just witnessed an extremely tough battle between the Russians and the Ukrainians, both sides going at it for hours with very
heavy weapons. And the area where we were, shells landed closely there on various occasions. Now, we're heading back to base.
(voice-over): Hobbled, but rolling. After a long night on one of Ukraine's most dangerous frontlines.
PLEITGEN: So, as you can see there, Isa, that was quite an eventful night.
SOARES: Yes --
PLEITGEN: And really, we can tell here in the east of the war if anything, is getting more and more kinetic if you will. And there were two things
that really stood out to us as we were out there on the battlefield. One thing is how important drones have become, especially for the Ukrainians.
The amount of tasks that those drones are being asked to fulfill.
Also essentially, being frontline bombers for the Ukrainians. But then also, if you look at some of the night-time action that goes on here, the
amount of ammunition that is fired from both sides, but also from the Ukrainian sides. Of course, nowadays, a lot of that, it comes from western
artillery. So, the Ukrainians certainly, very much being really realistic when they're calling on the U.S. and some of their other partners to
provide them with more ammunition that they are definitely going to need if they want to stay in such a fight. Isa.
SOARES: Indeed, and important also to hear from Ukrainians, they believe that Wagner has returned -- Wagner group has returned to the frontline, the
area around Bakhmut. Important reporting, Fred, and to you, thank you very much, Fred. Well, U.S. President Joe Biden joining autoworkers on the
picket line in Michigan. Not one sitting president has ever done this before, is what he said just in the last hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been saying many times, Wall Street didn't build the country, the middle class built the country.
BIDEN: Build the middle class.
BIDEN: That's fact. So, let's keep going. You deserve what you earn and you've earned a hell a lot more than you're getting paid now. Thank you
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Biden had previously declined to meet with union members to avoid giving the impression he was taking sides. Last week, his 2020 rival
Donald Trump said he'd go to Michigan this Wednesday instead of taking a stage at the second Republican debate. Michigan, of course, is a critical
swing state that Joe Biden narrowly won back in 2020.
A major union endorsement could help tip the scales, of course, in 2024, and we know over working class voters as the United Auto Workers strike
against the big three automakers reaches day 12. Our White House correspondent Arlette Saenz is in Michigan for us this evening. And
Arlette, I mean, what we saw today, let's remember -- remind our viewers it's something that we've never seen before, of course.
A sitting president joining a picket line. Politically though, Arlette, what does this mean for President Biden's re-election effort?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, President Biden really made his most public display of support for the striking autoworkers
as he appeared at that picket line today, becoming the first sitting president to do so. But it comes at a time where the president is trying to
make this play for working class voters, at the same time as former President Donald Trump.
Biden is here today, Trump is set to be here tomorrow, speaking to a group that they're assembling, that they hope will include some union members.
But it comes as Michigan is one of those key states heading into the 2024 election that is also home to a significant union population. Now, for the
president's part, his mission here was trying to show solidarity with these striking workers.
Picking up that bullhorn, putting on that UAW hat and standing alongside them as their strikes continue. And he talked about the need for them to
stick with it as those negotiations are underway. And expressing his belief that the auto company needs to do more for these workers. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: You guys, UAW, you saved the automobile industry back in 2008 '04. Made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot. And the companies were in trouble.
Now they're doing incredibly well. And guess what? You should be doing incredibly well too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAENZ: And the president also told reporters after those remarks that he does support the UAW's pursuit of a 40 percent increase in pay.
That is one of the demands that they have been making in these negotiations. And really, that sparked some movement from President Biden.
He had refrained from weighing in specifically on the terms that are being discussed between the UAW and those big three auto companies. The White
House has been walking a very delicate line as these negotiations have been underway.
The White House doesn't legally have any authority to actually be engaged in the nitty-gritty of these negotiations. But the president has tried to
show that his support for these union workers as this 2024 election is heating up. Now, one thing to note, the UAW has yet to endorse President
Biden, even as he's picked up support of many other large labor groups in this country.
Today, the president said that's not his focus at this moment. His focus is working in concert with those striking workers to try to show his support
for them. But one thing that is also worth noting is that the president was invited here to Michigan by the UAW's President Shawn Fain.
So, the president decided to make this trip here one day before former President Donald Trump is also said to descend on the state -- sorry, it's
a bit loud, we have a lot of trucks driving through, offering their support for some of the striking workers behind us. But for the president, his hope
with this trip was one, to show support for these workers going forward.
SOARES: Well done for keeping your line of thought there. So clearly, the message then, Arlette, from President Biden is support and solidarity. What
is going to be Trump's pitch tomorrow then?
SAENZ: Well, it will be interesting to see how former President Donald Trump's event takes shape. One thing that's not worthy of the tactics that
the president -- former president has been using is, he has been really trying to hone in on those rank-and-file members. You have seen some
clashes between him and leadership of various unions.
And in fact, the UAW president Shawn Fain has been quite vocal in his opposition to former President Trump, saying that the union is not going to
be endorsing him. We've also learned -- sources have told our colleague, Vanessa Yurkevich that the UAW did not invite Trump to come here to
Michigan. This is a trip that they have not been working on with the former president while they did work with the sitting president about that.
But it really comes at a time as both Biden and Trump recognize the significance of not just working- class voters, but also the significance
of working- class voters here in Michigan. Now, Biden, actually back in 2020, won voters from none -- from union households, he won about 60
percent of that vote compared to former President Donald Trump.
So both men know that these -- this is a constituency that is up for grabs heading into 2024. But really, these next -- today and tomorrow will offer
a significant split-screen of what --
SOARES: Yes, indeed --
SAENZ: The 2024 general election could look like if Biden and Trump are facing off against each other next Fall.
SOARES: Arlette Saenz there for us in noisy Michigan. Thanks very much, Arlette, appreciate it.
SAENZ: Thank you.
SOARES: We are four days away from a U.S. government shutdown, and lawmakers still haven't reached a deal on a spending bill. The stakes as
you well know are immense. Congress needs to keep the government running, funding for Ukraine, of course, is also on the line, and Republican House
Speaker Kevin McCarthy is fighting to keep his job and appease hard-line conservatives in his own party.
In the Democrat- controlled Senate, lawmakers are working to pass a bipartisan stopgap bill, but there's no guarantee it would pass in the
house. Adding to the roadblock, Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he wants a shutdown if Republicans don't get everything they want. And still
to come tonight, the cost of living in the U.K. is expected to rise.
Over a third of U.K. adults struggling with monthly payments, it's added pressure on families already battling to stay afloat. I'll bring you that
story next. And as climate-related catastrophes become more and more common, a group of young people are taking countries to court to demand
faster action. Both those stories after this.
SOARES: New policy changes from U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are expected to raise the cost of living. And so Britain in the race to build a
green economy. This according to more than 100 economists, the cost of living crisis in the country is as you know already severe. More than a
third of adults are finding it difficult to afford their payments. I sat down with a teacher who is struggling to keep his family afloat and says
he's at his weight's(ph) end.
MATTHEW GREENWOOD, PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER: Let's do though -- it's been a really tough six months. I've lost sleep over it because you wonder where
the next bill is coming from.
SOARES (on camera): Who lands a --
(voice-over): It's been a year of constant stress for the Greenwood family.
GREENWOOD: I mean, you see the cost on your electric just tricking up and up and up. It's not that you're doing anything different on a day-to-day. I
think we're just trying to --
SOARES: And with that, the anxiety sets in. It's a cycle that has left Matthew, a 34-year-old primary school teacher struggling.
GREENWOOD: Yes, we're in a much worse situation than we actually anticipated. We have a would-be, you know.
SOARES: He lost his job as schools cut budgets, and his wife who works 12- hour shifts is training to be a nurse.
GREENWOOD: How many rooms are there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six.
SOARES: In between parenting and job searching, he is counting the pennies as the cost of living crisis squeezes the middle class.
(on camera): Did you ever consider -- I mean, have you considered with rental prices going up and inflation, food inflation, moving in with family
GREENWOOD: Yes, I think this was something that was on the cards last year, we really thought, put it to the ball, there will be something we'd have to
do, because we didn't know where the extra money was going to come from to cover the increasing rent. We've just about scraped together by cutting
back on lots of other things.
SOARES: It's a huge burden to carry --
GREENWOOD: Yes, it's really difficult, and we both found it very challenging, and there are days where we do get really upset --
SOARES: Yes --
GREENWOOD: And you sort of -- it does get very dark.
SOARES (voice-over): Matthew's rent went up last year like many others around the U.K. facing a similar problem. Since July 2022, private rental
costs increased here by 5.3 percent, and now, more than a third of adults are finding it difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments.
The charity, Turn2Us, which advises people in financial difficulty is seeing firsthand the scale of the problem.
THOMAS LAWSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TURN2US: We're seeing people get into debt, let alone holiday funds or saving for their children's university. They've
already been spent. They're borrowing from family members. So people are making really hard choices about, not only their long-term future, but
even, you know, months away.
GREENWOOD: There you get take out.
SOARES: And that's the case for Matthew who is dreading another rent hike.
GREENWOOD: If it did go -- there's no guarantee I'd be able to afford that extra 50 pounds a month. A lot of people say, oh, it's only 50 pounds a
month, you can cut back on some things. But --
SOARES (on camera): When else are you going to cut back --
GREENWOOD: There's nothing else to cut back on. You know, we are stripped to the bare minimum.
SOARES: What would you put in your ice cream? What flavors do you like? But just a few days after our interview, Matthew tells us that his worst fears
have become a reality. Matthew, we saw your text message, give us a sense of what your landlord has told you?
GREENWOOD: So we had a message of him a couple of days after you left, basically saying that he is really sorry, and he's got the rent up. So, I
think from January -- so that's going up another 50 pounds.
SOARES: Another stressful --
SOARES: -- news for you.
MATTHEW: Worst-case scenario, we will have to move out. But realistically, I don't know at the moment.
SOARES: Our thanks to Matthew for taking the time to talk to us.
We are back after this.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
Six young people are taking 32 countries to Europe's top human rights court. The hearing expected to start tomorrow. Young people from Portugal
will argue climate change threatens their rights to life, privacy, mental health and more.
They are seeking a legally binding decision to force governments to act. Salma Abdelaziz has the story.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Destructive hurricanes, widespread fires, massive floods. Catastrophes like these are becoming more
common because of climate change.
Six young Portuguese are taking 32 countries to court. They want the E.U. and other countries to work faster.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We need you to do a better job. Climate change has a big impact on my life.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Their case is being heard this week. The buildup started after the 2017 fires in Portugal. More than 250 people were injured
and 66 killed. When the flames reached this stretch of road, many died, trapped in their cars.
This spurred the applicants into action. Some lived close to the area most affected by the fires.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): None of the family houses burned down. But we increasingly feel the impacts of climate change in our
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The others say that climate change is already having a negative impact on their lives. They are asking the European Court
of Human Rights to protect them, a David versus Goliath case.
GEAROLD O CUINN, FOUNDER GLOBAL ACTION NETWORK: We believe this is an opportunity the court should take. People recognize the opportunity and
demand that states do more to avert the climate catastrophe.
ABDELAZIZ: Winning would bind countries to take more action on climate change.
But if they lose, students are happy they raised awareness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This entire process has been very positive. We've been able to achieve a lot. If the outcome is positive,
that would be the cherry on top.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The cherry in the form of government action to secure a future -- Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.
SOARES: The battle to be the next prime minister of Spain is heating up. Spain's right-wing opposition leader, who won the most votes in July's
election but did not have the majority, is launching a debate.
On the other side, Pedro Sanchez is also looking for those extra votes. That is a controversial possibility that "has no place within the
constitution" because the separatists are demanding amnesty for activists facing legal action over the 2017 failed Catalan independence bid that
sparked Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
You can see on the screen, tens of thousands protested against any amnesty. Journalist Michael Reid joins me now.
Thank you so much for coming on the show. We outlined there the pathway here to be prime minister.
What are the chances here?
MICHAEL REID, JOURNALIST: Yes, they're not very good. His party won the election in July. It got 25 or more seats than the Socialists. But since
2015, there has not been a majority government in Spain.
So whoever can assemble a majority out of 176 seats, out of 350, he becomes prime minister. He is four seats short. Even with his allies on the Right
and other smaller ones. In that case, it is Pedro Sanchez's chance. He has on paper a better chance. But he would have to do a deal with the
separatists. That is tough.
SOARES: That is tough. Sanchez has not come out and said that he would offer any sort of deal. He said that he wanted -- we are trying to turn the
page. Socialists want to heal social divisions.
Why would that be so controversial?
We saw the scenes out of Spain.
REID: Because it is widely believed by Sanchez and the socialist party that an amnesty is unconstitutional. He issued individual pardons for some of
the separatist leaders that were jailed. It did have the effect of calming things.
REID: But an amnesty would be led by the separatist leader, who is a fugitive of justice, as a political victory and as a surrender by the
SOARES: (INAUDIBLE) is almost like a kingmaker here in this situation.
How does Sanchez walk this tightrope?
He needs this vote.
REID: It is ironic. The Catalan separatists have lost ground; the two separatist parties between them lost seven of their 21 seats in the last
election. But suddenly Putschtuman (ph) has been dealt enormous leverage.
I think it is 50-50 whether Sanchez pulls off a deal that he thinks he can sell to his party and to the country. It would have to get through the
constitutional tribunal. Or he could opt to give up and will be a fresh election at the end of the year or next year.
SOARES: Even if he goes through the constitutional tribunal, will we see scenes like over the weekend?
REID: I think that rally was bigger than a lot of people thought it would be. I think it would polarize the country. It would inflame Catalonia.
There is a lot of public opposition to this and a lot of disquiet within the socialist party. So a lot of Spaniards will think this is not being
done for the greater good of Spain.
SOARES: We could be looking at another election potentially.
REID: And I think Sanchez has the advantage to go with either option. If he thinks it'll be too politically costly to pull off a deal, he will use the
fact that he refused --
SOARES: -- as a selling point --
REID: -- as his narrative for the election.
SOARES: Michael, we appreciate it. Thank you so much for coming.
The migrant crisis along the U.S. border is reaching a breaking point. Shelters and other services are at capacity. The mayor of El Paso is
calling on the federal government for additional help. He says it is not possible for border towns to handle this crisis on their own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR OSCAR LEESER (D-TX), EL PASO: It is important that we are partners with the federal government to fund an immigration system that is totally
broken and needs a lot of help. It has been broken for a long time. We need to move forward on a partisan way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: The border crisis is not just at the U.S. and Mexico border. It is affecting southern Mexico. Migrants enter Mexico by crossing through
Guatemala. David Culver joins us.
David, just to get a sense of where you are, the influx of migrants across the southern border, what are you seeing?
DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When you think about the migrant crisis affecting the U.S. right now, you do not think about the
border that we are at. This is even important for the U.S. situation.
This is Mexico; just over the river is Guatemala. You can see these folks coming in on this raft. They have been coming back and forth coming from
Guatemala into Mexico. Look at this, migrants that are just arriving from the Guatemala side. They will likely come into Mexico.
This is not the official crossing, a bridge that goes over the river. Because it's illegal, they come here they want to get documentation so they
can stay in Mexico for a sufficient period of time to then go to the U.S. or, for a few of them, stay is Mexico.
That is not the numbers we've been encountering. These folks are getting out here. You can see six or seven of them, including small children. They
will either hit the road to a larger city that is about an hour's drive from here. Or they will stay here and catch their breath and reassess their
You can see they will pay the men who brought them across. It has become a business of sorts for some of the locals, those who transport them or feed
them. Where we are here, this encampment has taken those that have not continued on to the next city. There are clothes hanging up, a few tents
are set up.
CULVER: There is smoke because they are cooking food. Even if you look over here, these are some of the Mexican locals. They have made a business out
of this, too. Even though it's such a strain on a lot of the resources here --
(Speaking foreign language).
So they are coming in from Venezuela. We have met folks from Cuba, from Haiti. They are coming in from as far away as China.
But when you have these folks that are settling in either to assess the ground and figure out their next steps, they will stay here for a good
amount of time. Let me show you, you can get a sense of the crowds building up in Tapachula.
They're going to a park turned processing center that is attracting hundreds and thousands of people that will get their transit documents or
claim asylum here in Mexico.
Because if they are trying to get to the U.S. and claim asylum in the U.S., the U.S. policy stipulates they have to have a third country in which they
have attempted to claim asylum.
Many are choosing to do that here in Mexico. And because they're in Mexico illegally, they have to get the documentation to stay here, to give them
enough time to go all the way north, more than 1000 miles from where we are now.
Many of them stay between one and four months. You can see, it is so common for them. There are so many rafts, they are going constantly across this
river and continuing on the migrants' journey. It is becoming such an issue for these Mexican cities.
We were on a flight yesterday from Tapachula to Mexico City with the head of migration for the Mexican government. He said there is a reason why I'm
coming Tapachula. This is a very important city. The individuals who claimed asylum in Mexico last year, it's double those numbers this year.
Over half the applications happened in southern Mexico. That is why the head of migration for Mexico is in Tapachula, trying to assess the
situation. And currently they are dealing with about 17,000 migrants in this area alone. It's just a continuous passage to get north.
SOARES: David Culver at the Mexico border. Thank you so much, David. Great to see you.
We'll take a short break. We will be back after this.
SOARES: Hollywood writers could get the go-ahead to go back to work soon. The Writers Guild of America has announced a tentative deal. The board is
expected to vote on the agreement. Writers could go back to work pending final approval from nearly 11,000 union members. Natasha Chen joins us now.
Natasha, I can see people behind you picketing there, holding the signs and protesting.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio Artists picket line because the actors, 160,000 of them, are still on strike. They do not have a deal yet,
even though there are many people excited that the writers have come to a deal.
The Writers Guild negotiating committee will likely vote to recommend the memorandum as soon as the language is finalized. We will learn some of the
details of those terms later today.
So there is a sense of optimism in the air. At the same time, the actors have asked that people still come out to support them on their picket line
in solidarity. These two unions have not been on strike at the same time since 1960.
And that was a main driver for the energy here this summer, propelling what these folks think was a process to get writers to the table back with the
studios. Hopefully this deal may mean that the actors will soon also get to sit down with studios. Here is one actor that we talked to about what
follows for them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAAC BURKS, SCREEN ACTORS GUILD-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS MEMBER: I am thrilled and happy for WGA. I am optimistic
that, because of their deal, SAG-AFTRA are not far behind.
So I'm looking forward to ending the strike and getting back to work for myself and all of us. But I'm very happy that the WGA did find a road to a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: Just to remind folks what the writers and actors were asking for. A lot of it is very similar and does overlap. The writers specifically asked
for better residuals when it comes to pay for streaming TV shows and movies that they worked on, protections regarding artificial intelligence perhaps
taking their ideas and creating content.
Also the idea of writers' rooms; they have become smaller. Fewer writers are hired for shorter periods of time. They say it is very difficult to
make any sort of living in Los Angeles or New York.
The Milken Institute tells us, with the double strikes, the U.S. has seen economic damage of over $5 billion now. Not just these actors and writers
out of work, also the small businesses and low-wage workers that support these productions. Everyone is looking forward to restarting again.
SOARES: Thank you. This will translate to the actors as well. We appreciate you very much.
A developing story we are following for you. The U.S. and 17 states is suing Amazon. This antitrust case accuses the ecommerce giant of unfriendly
promoting its own products and services at the expense of third-party sellers.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon is forcing sellers to push their prices lower than in other places, forcing sellers to purchase
in-house services to secure the best-selling options.
And people are giving up traditional living to make a home in one of these. We will have that story, next.
SOARES: After losing her house to fire, Joanne Ussary (ph) had an idea, to live in an airplane. She bought a Boeing 727 that was destined for the
scrap yard. And after six months of renovating, she had a fully functional three-bedroom, two-bathroom home and even had a hot tub in the cockpit.
Her story inspired electoral engineer Bruce Campbell (ph), who has now been living in his own 727 in the woods for over 20 years. She said she never
lived in a conventional home.
"No chance. It is a jetliner for me anytime."
"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.