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Hala Gorani Tonight
Stocks Fall on Contagion Fears from China's Evergrande; U.S. to Ease Travel Ban on Fully-Vaccinated Visitors; Former British Prime Minister Urges Wealthy Countries to Share Vaccine Stockpiles. Urgent Call For Wealthy Nations To Share Vaccine Stockpiles; France Angry Over Secrecy Around AUKUS Pact; Pro-Putin Party Wins Election Marred By Fraud Claims. Aired 2-3p EST
Aired September 20, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. A major game changer. The U.S. plans to drop its travel ban
on foreign passengers who are fully vaccinated. What you need to know, especially if you live in Europe. Also ahead, three awkward. The French are
still fuming over a new security pact between the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. I'll speak to a British MP who says France is overreacting.
And a stark warning, a 100 million vaccine doses are at risk of expiring and could be thrown out. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown joins
me on his push to make sure this does not happen. A bit of breaking news from Wall Street before we move on. U.S. stocks are tumbling quite
significantly today, investors are worried about the debt crisis from the Chinese real estate giant Evergrande. Take a look at the big board here
with the Dow Jones down almost 800 points, that's 2.25 percent. The Dow at 33,821, I'll have more on what's going on there on Wall Street with Richard
Quest a bit later in the program.
But to that travel ban that the U.S. is finally going to be easing on foreign travelers after more than 18 months. Here is a look at what to
expect. If and only if they are fully vaccinated, travelers -- against COVID-19, the new rules are set to take effect in November and their impact
cannot be overstated. Now, I know so many of you watching around the world have brought this up online, you have complained to U.S. authorities, you
have tweeted me about it, frustrated that you have not been able to travel to the U.S. It could be a massive boost to a battered travel industry and
an olive branch to Europe with diplomatic tensions at a boil.
It will also reunite thousands of families who have been separated for the entire pandemic. CNN aviation correspondent Pete Muntean joins me now in
Washington. So, talk to us about what to expect, when will this policy take effect, Pete?
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, this is such a huge shift because international travel has been lagging so badly during the
pandemic. The White House is opening up travel to all foreign nationals coming in to the United States. This goes into effect in early November to
build on a little bit of prep time, but these passengers would have to prove that they are fully vaccinated. They would also need to show proof of
a negative coronavirus test.
White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients says this is strict, but follows the science. The goal here is to protect Americans, especially
since the virus was a vector for the disease so early on in the pandemic. Airlines are celebrating this in a big way. You know, here in the United
States, it's been domestic air travel that has been going up and up, but international air travel is way down. Just a point of comparison here,
travel between the United States and the United Kingdom was down 86 percent in August compared to August back in 2019 before the pandemic.
This is so critical, the timing here, the holidays are just around the corner, and you mentioned all of those families that have been separated by
these travel bans for more than a year.
GORANI: Why did it take so long? Because if they are basing this policy shift on the science, the science has been in support of allowing double
vaccinated passengers from Europe to travel to the U.S. when countries with lower proportions of vaccinated people were allowed into the United States.
Why did it take so long?
MUNTEAN: Well, the big focus here in the United States has been giving -- has been on vaccinating our own population, but now, this is sort of
shifting to making sure that people coming into the United States are also vaccinated. There are several layers to this, too. You know, not only is it
just about vaccinations, but it's the strict protocol in proving that people are not positive with coronavirus by providing a test, and airlines
will have to keep contact-tracing data for 30 days. So, there are layer-on- layer here to try and make sure that somebody coming into the U.S. does not possibly carry the virus.
GORANI: Pete Muntean, thanks very much. CNN business editor-at-large Richard Quest is with us now in New York. I guess same question to you,
countries with lower vaccination rates were allowed into the U.S., but not Europeans, and Europeans were getting very frustrated about this. So, why
did it take so long?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It made no sense. There was no logic to it, but I guess, Hala, if you look at every country's COVID
rules and restrictions on travel, at some point they've made no sense. There's no logic and the reason is who is prepared to take the risk?
It is the oldest adage in the book. It is easier to put on a ban or restriction than to take one off because no one wants to be the person --
look at the U.K., for example, when they didn't move far and fast on India in terms of the Delta variant, as a result of that, people now say, of
course, once a ban is in place you are not going to remove it. I can tell you, IATA, the WTTC, the airlines, the hotels, everybody is welcoming this
because we thought it might happen at the G7 in the Summer in July, it didn't, everybody has been pushing for it. Why now? Because why not?
GORANI: Right, well, I know there is big relief among travelers, but the tourism industry, can we put a number on how hurt U.S. tourism was from
this travel ban?
QUEST: Two hundred million dollars a day. That's the number that I have heard.
GORANI: A day?
QUEST: Yes, that's the number that --
GORANI: Wow --
QUEST: It's just a big country -- that's the number that was given to me. Now, that is a widest number. I suspect they've included contracts that
weren't sold, deals that weren't done, uncle Tom called me, and there's a whole lot rather than just, if you like, the amount. But the WTTC, Julia
Simpson this morning, gave me that number per day. She said I think you're looking at billions if you look at it overall. Give you an idea. For
instance, United Airlines used to have five, six flights a day from London to New York. It has one. British Airways, American, had 12, they have
barely two or three at the moment. So the number of --
GORANI: Right --
QUEST: Flights, not just London to New York, we will see a bonanza. Don't expect to get cheap tickets, the planes will be full.
GORANI: Right, I can imagine. And by the way, airports are already, and you've travelled --
QUEST: Right --
GORANI: Through European airports, it's very -- the vibe is very pre- pandemic. I can't imagine how much more packed and busy these big hubs will be now that travel from Europe to the U.S. is permitted for vaccinated
QUEST: It will be huge. I flew back last night from Heathrow to New York, business class, full, premium economy, full, economy, I'd say 85 percent,
90 percent full. The fares have drifted back up again. The airlines are going to be circumspect before they start adding capacity. So, the first
GORANI: Sure --
QUEST: They'll do, might be up gauge from a 78 to a 777. You'll get bigger planes, you'll then start adding a big and a little and you'll slowly start
to build back your capacity. They'd be --
GORANI: Yes --
QUEST: And also, Hala, remember, there was a weakening of travel as a result of Delta. We were seeing it in TSA numbers, we were seeing it in
capacity and passenger numbers. This is a very welcome move.
GORANI: Quick question on what's --
QUEST: Yes --
GORANI: Going on with the Dow. We talked about Evergrande, the big property conglomerate. The Dow is very nervous. We are seeing the benchmark
index down almost 800 points.
QUEST: Why should the Dow fall on a random Monday in September is always a good question. And the answer is because of Evergrande. There are worries
it's a canary in the mine. This big property company in China that might not be able to pay its debts, if it fails, not only will there be direct
ripple effects from that, but what else does it say about the wider Chinese economy, which could be suffering under major debts? On one final point,
the west ain't doing too brilliantly either. Once you've taken the pent-up demand back, you're left with a falling consumer confidence and worries
about Delta into the Winter.
GORANI: All right, we'll see if it's a blip or if the slide continues, and we'll see you on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" at the top of the hour. Richard,
thanks very much. It is the secret global pact that has sent shock waves from the Elysee Palace to the United Nations, and it's called AUKUS. Now, a
French minister says trade talks between Australia and the European Union are near collapse because of it. France is still -- it's not gotten over
it, still seething over the pact which will see the U.S. and U.K. provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
That means a $65 billion deal for conventional subs between France and Australia is dead. The French ambassador to the U.S. told me on Thursday
that his government had no warning of the new pact. they read about it in the newspaper. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had this to say
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I think that the AUKUS deal that we've done with our Australian friends and our American friends is --
it's not, you know, exclusionary or adversarial towards anybody, whether any partner, friend or partner around the world. It reflects the very tight
community of interest between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The French are not convinced. They've cancelled a planned meeting between their armed forces minister and her British counterpart. CNN's
Cyril Vanier is tracking this story from Paris.
And Cyril, Boris Johnson says it's not exclusionary, but it's a deal that literally excluded France.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Hala. And you know, that explains why the French didn't cool off over the weekend after the
announcement late last week that their mega deal, what has been termed here referred to as the contract of the century to provide conventional
submarines to Australia was killed by these new three-way alliance, Australia, U.K., U.S. The French are still seething, the French still want
explanations and the French President Emmanuel Macron still has not spoken to the U.S. President Joe Biden who apparently has taken his time over
making this phone call.
However, we are told that should happen over the next few days. Look, the French feel that they were treated like a minor power or that they were
treated like a country that is not an ally to Australia and to the U.S. And today, the French presidency told CNN, gave us the blow by blow account of
how it happened through their lens, and they say at no point did the U.S. or Australia gave them a heads up or even answer their questions when the
French were asking questions about this, not at the G7, earlier this Summer, not when French President Emmanuel Macron invited Australian Prime
Minister Scott Morrison, not when the French president wrote him a lengthy letter thereafter to address Australian concerns over the deal.
The French feeling that there simply isn't trust anymore, and while they're assessing how they are going to respond vis-a-vis the U.S. over and above,
recalling their ambassador that they've already done, they have now floated with respect to Australia, potentially killing the EU-Australia trade deal
that is currently in the works, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Cyril Vanier, thanks very much, live in Paris. My next guest told U.K. media outlets today that the French have overreacted to the
AUKUS pact. Tobias Ellwood is the chair of the U.K.'s Defense Select Committee and he joins me now from London. Why do you think they've
overreacted? Nobody told them about the secret pact until they literally read about it in the newspaper. They felt really stabbed in the back and
they are offended still.
TOBIAS ELLWOOD, CHAIR, DEFENCE SELECT COMMITTEE, UNITED KINGDOM: No, I don't disagree with any of that. The overreaction is the diplomatic fallout
that's -- you know, evident to see. Ultimately, this was a procurement deal that's moved on. The French were offering electro-diesel prototypes, while
we moved on to a nuclear proportion system which is far more sophisticated. My concern though is where this leaves NATO because you have this
humiliating departure from Afghanistan, sadly increasing global instability and raising questions about NATO's overall purpose.
You know, who should lead it as the United States chooses to back away. So this French diplomatic fall-out, you know, raises more concerns over --
GORANI: But --
ELLWOOD: Where this other alliance actually goes to.
GORANI: But don't you think this was an unforced error though by the Biden administration? Why not --
ELLWOOD: I do.
GORANI: Give France a heads up? Why not give them a heads up and say, look, that submarine deal was for conventional submarines, Australia has
moved on, they need the real tip-of-the-spear technology, so here is what's going to happen. But instead, they leave them in the dark and then just
dump this on them, and I think that was their major issue, and much less according to what the French ambassador told me, the fact that the deal had
died, that couldn't have come as a huge surprise to them.
ELLWOOD: Yes, I couldn't agree more. This has been extremely cranky and another example I'm afraid of is our closest ally taking this business
outside of the NATO alliance. Now, the bigger question here is, can you alter China's behavior by military means alone? It's absolutely right that
this alliance is created to deal with the authoritarianism that we're seeing in the South China Sea. But you're not going to affect this behavior
by military means. You need all the tools, all the alliances including economic, and that means working to a common strategic aim.
That aim is currently absent. The west is further divided, and 2021 is proving pretty tough. I think 2022 will be even tougher when our
adversaries begin to take advantage and exploit divisions.
GORANI: Let me -- I'm sure you've heard what Ursula von der Leyen had to say today about France's move to withdraw, to recall its ambassadors both
to Australia and the U.S. I want our viewers to hear and then I'll get your reaction off the back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: One of our member states has been treated in a way that is not acceptable. So we want to know
what happened and why and, therefore, you first of all clarify that before you keep on going with business as usual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, I mean, it's not just the French that are offended, the whole EU seems to have been taken aback by this. My question to you is, how do
you fix this now? Because this needs to get fixed. In your estimation, this could hurt the NATO alliance and the west's common response to what many
see as a Chinese threat in that part of the world.
ELLWOOD: That is absolutely right. We need to strengthen western resolve. We need to work together, but there has been a misalignment between NATO
and the EU. The British were kicked out the Galileo Satellite Program because we weren't inside the European Union. The British are building
tempest, the next generation of our aircraft. The French are -- it's almost the identical aircraft -- that only helps our adversary. We've got to solve
these differences now, and my -- this deal with Australia could have been utilized to bring France in, let's say for example, with a Quad, with India
and so forth, into a focus of what's happening in the Indo-Pacific, to stand up to China as well.
That hasn't happened, we've missed that opportunity, and we're left with this diplomatic fall-out which needs, as you say, to be repaired.
GORANI: So what would you -- what do you think is the best strategy going forward, to bring EU countries and France in particular back into some sort
of security pact? I mean, the submarine deal, that is a tripeptide thing, it's the U.K., Australia and the U.S. But what about going forward? What
needs to be done tangibly in your opinion here?
ELLWOOD: Yes, you will forgive me. There's a division bell taking place in the House of Commons right now. I will try and persevere through. But we do
need to regroup. We do need to give clarity of direction, a sense of purpose as to what the west stands for. We don't have a strategy in dealing
with China. We didn't have a strategy to deal with Afghanistan as well. So there's some bridge building to do, and that's what really needs to happen
at the United Nations General Assembly. The other fallout, of course, of this has to do with COP26, this opportunity --
GORANI: Right --
ELLWOOD: For the nations to work together. And unfortunately, because of this fall-out, I'm afraid that might impinge on what is decided in Glasgow
in a couple of weeks time.
GORANI: All right, Tobias Ellwood, thanks very much for joining us, really appreciate it live from London.
ELLWOOD: Thank you.
GORANI: And world leaders are meeting in person for the U.N. General Assembly session despite COVID-19 concerns and the very first speaker of
Brazil's president, is boasting that he is unvaccinated. A live report from New York, we'll be right back. And my guest later in the hour has led one
of the world's wealthiest nations, he'll tell us what he wants other rich countries to do with their coronavirus vaccine stockpiles.
GORANI: World leaders are converging on New York right now as the U.N. General Assembly meeting gets underway. Some smaller round table meetings
have already began, there's a lot to discuss obviously in person. Most of it is happening, the topics, climate change, international tensions, but
the major issue will be global COVID-19 vaccine inequality. At the same time, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is defying the U.N.'s request that
leaders attending the event be vaccinated. Mr. Bolsonaro has consistently mocked public health guidelines since the start of the pandemic and he will
be the first to address the group tomorrow when speeches kick off.
CNN's senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth joins me now from the United Nations to discuss. So, how is the U.N. not enforcing its own rule with
literally the very first speaker?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: They don't have an army and they don't want to offend member country and they leave it to the U.N. 193
member countries to come up with something. And they said it for the last few days they were in talks, clearly, they were not able to come to an
agreement. Every year, as you know, Hala, the UNGA, as it's known, high level week is quite unique and this was another one, there's always some
villainous character, either portrayed by western media, who know, now as we see, it's the Brazilian president who is going to march in Tuesday
morning and he'll actually speak first because that is the traditional role of Brazil.
And then he is followed by Joe Biden who is very prolific with vaccine mandates. I do not think they're going to let the two meet or come near
each other, usually security arranges these motorcades. This is Bolsonaro this morning in New York on his way from his hotel to meet with British
Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Bolsonaro insists that he got COVID last year and has built up enough antibodies so that he is not a threat to anyone.
Now, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, she was outside the U.N. today which is sort of rare for a U.S. ambassador, but
this was an old-fashioned photo-op.
Diplomatic style here where the U.S. ambassador posed next to a machine that can provide a vaccine test, though it may be a little too late
depending on when you get your results for the ambassador. She said this is needed, and everybody, of course, should be vaccinated. Also Hala, what was
odd is this was the year the U.S. in effect told everyone don't come, and yet, many world leaders still came, probably a bad sign when President
Biden of the U.S. does come to make a speech so the others come running also. And they regard the U.S. as a powerful stage to deliver a message.
So, that is what happened outside the United Nations today. Let's listen if we have it of the U.S. ambassador talking about the need for vaccines and
especially during U.N. week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I don't see myself as an exception, I see myself as being part of what we are hoping everyone
takes the leadership to do, and that is do everything possible to mitigate against getting the COVID -- getting COVID so that this event does not
become a super spreader event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: That's the phrase the U.S. is warning people with, "don't become a super spreader". Delegations will only be able to bring three people max
into the General Assembly hall. Some of these provisions were in place last year, but no one showed up during the height of COVID pre-vaccinations. The
U.N. Secretary General will be masked, Hala, with all of the dozens of one- on-one private meetings with -- including Bolsonaro tomorrow morning here at the U.N.
GORANI: All right, well, we'll see if Bolsonaro wears a mask indoors. I noticed he wasn't wearing one outdoors, but we'll see if unvaccinated, he
decides to don one inside the hall. Thank you very much, Richard Roth in New York. Still to come tonight, good news for kids in the U.S., why they
may be getting coronavirus vaccines sooner than expected. Plus, while some nations debate booster shots, most countries don't have enough to give
people their first dose. Why global vaccine inequality is so extreme and what we can do about it. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Recapping our breaking news this hour. The U.S. is finally easing restrictions on foreign travelers starting in November. Fully-vaccinated
visitors will be allowed to enter the country and won't be subject to a quarantine period. That is welcome news to thousands of families, many
families in Europe and travelers from Europe that haven't been able to see each other since the pandemic began. And it could also provide a giant lift
to the tourism industry inside the United States.
Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is safe for children as young as five. The company just released results from its latest trial, saying the shot
gives children a, quote, "robust antibody response". They plan to submit the data to U.S. and European officials for authorization as soon as
possible. A Pfizer board member says that means U.S. children could get vaccines as early as October. Now, in the United Kingdom, for instance,
teenagers are lining up to get their first shots. British health officials recommended last week that all 12 to 15-year olds get their first doses of
the Pfizer vaccine.
This week, the U.S. president is set to host a virtual coronavirus summit at the U.N. General Assembly. One of the key issues, and it's a big one,
vaccine inequality. The World Health Organization says more than 5.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, but the vast
majority, 73 percent, have gone to just ten countries, 73 percent to ten countries. Africa has received only 2 percent. My next guest is calling for
urgent action, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is demanding wealthy nations share their stockpiles before they expire in order to avert
a, quote, "COVID vaccine waste disaster".
Just today, the W.H.O. announced Gordon Brown's new appointment as ambassador for Global Health Financing, and he joins me now from Edinburgh.
Thanks for joining us. Last time we spoke, you said really --
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Hello, Hala --
GORANI: Overnight, you could come up with a plan to take those extra stockpiles before they expire, and richer countries and help funnel them to
countries in Africa where there's a dire need for first shots at this stage. What would that plan look like if you were put in charge of this
BROWN: Yes, that's the plan I want President Biden to put to the summit on Wednesday. First of all, there are 300 million vaccines that are in the
West that are not being used, are not needed at the moment and they should go airlifted out to Africa and the low income countries. By the end of next
month, there'll be another 200 million. And they should be sent out as quickly as possible.
And by the end of the year, in total a billion vaccines, and, you know, a hundred million of them are going to expire if we don't get them to the
people in need. And perhaps if we are slow in getting it to the people in need, 200 million will expire, and go past the use by date.
And you know, people hate waste. And they hate waste, particularly when lives are at risk. So there's a -- an urgency about Wednesday summit
agreeing a plan 300 million now, 500 million by the end of October, a billion by the end of the year, and that would start to meet the targets
that we've set for the low income countries. And it's in our interest, you know, because nobody's safe until everybody's safe. And if the vaccine
continues -- the virus continues to spread and mutate, it's going to come back to hit the West.
GORANI: What is the plan? How would you get those doses before they expire to people in poorer countries? In this case, we're talking about Africa,
but we could be talking about other countries around the world. How would you do it concretely because time is of the essence? And then you need, in
the countries themselves on the other end, distribution networks, and some of those are lacking as well.
BROWN: That's right. That's right. You need a military operation here to get the vaccines airlifted as quickly as possible, particularly those that
are in danger of expiring. And then we have been working with the poorest countries in Africa, and in other parts of the world in Asia and Latin
America, so that they are ready to receive these vaccines.
And they can administer them, not just in the cities, because that is a lot easier, but in the rural areas as well. And World Bank's support, and
support from the international agencies like ACT-A, which is trying to get money into these poorest countries for improving their capacity to deliver,
that can happen quickly, too. But we need a decision on Wednesday to make the vaccines available. If they're not available, then we can't save lives.
GORANI: And so what -- so really this is hinging on what on Wednesday? You need a real commitment at that point on Wednesday for it to go ahead?
GORANI: what would that -- what form would that commitment take?
BROWN: Yes, Hala, you know, in June, the G7 met in Cornwall, and I think you covered it, and they promised the dose share, but not many doses went
out. And the target was the middle of next year to meet the final tally. What we need is the urgency shown in on Wednesday, say look, we've got
these vaccines, we used to worry that we had to keep these vaccines in case there was a bottleneck in the supply chain. We now know we're producing one
and a half billion vaccines around the world every month and we can make up whatever needs we have in America, or Europe, or Canada, or the United
And we can do the boosters. And we can do the 12 to 15-year-olds. And we can vaccinate them because my figures that say there are a billion extra
vaccines available by the end of the year include boosters going to most people who are adults in the West, as well as to children -- well, children
over the age of 12 getting vaccines, too, so we cannot say it's a choice between boosters and helping the poorest countries, we can actually now do
both because the increase in the supply has been so great that we can now meet the targets for Africa and the low income countries.
GORANI: The Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his way to New York, to the UNGA essentially said I've looked at the evidence of what boosters can do.
I've looked at the extra protection it can give people and I have to say I think that it has to be our priority. We're going to continue to do that. I
mean, our priority meaning it is more important than other things like perhaps sending vaccine doses to other countries? Is that how you
understood that statement?
BROWN: Well, I think it's unfortunate that he said this because he has surplus vaccines. The Department of Health in Britain knows that it's got
vaccines that it can recall from doctor surgeries and warehouses at the moment. And he can do both. And I'm not going to tell countries not to make
their own decisions based on medical advice about boosters and the over 12s and everything else. What I am going to tell them is that they can actually
provide for the boosters and get the vaccines to the poorest countries.
And they should not be stockpiling and hoarding what they do not need with the risk that these vaccines will pass the use by date and be completely
wasted. There are millions of vaccines being wasted already. And that's lives that have been lost through vaccines not being available. And I would
say to Mr. Johnson, look at the facts, look at the supplies that are available, and you can actually get vaccines to the poorest countries, as
well as do the boosters you want to do.
GORANI: All right. We'll certainly be following what happens on Wednesday. I just want to quickly get your reaction to the diplomatic crisis between
France, the U.K., U.S., and Australia following that security pact that Australia signed with the U.K. and the U.S.
France felt like it was stabbed in the back. Do you -- what do you make of their decision to recall their ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia?
BROWN: Well, clearly if you're all part of NATO, you're going to have to find a way of working better together. And I think America is learning
after Afghanistan, that it -- it's not really making sense to act unilaterally in a multi-polar world. They should be working on leading the
multilateral response, but I think this will pass over pretty quickly. I think France has got an election ahead.
I think there's domestic politics here. I think he's -- the President is going to be incensed for a while. But look, there are bigger issues that
are at stake, one, our relationship, all of us with China, and two, our need to work together on climate change and a whole seas of other issues.
So I think people will get that together quickly, and I hope they will.
GORANI: All right. Gordon Brown, thanks very much for joining us on the program this evening from Edinburgh.
BROWN: Thank you, Hala, thank you.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, Russia's ruling party claims victory in parliamentary elections but critics cry foul after allegations of voter
fraud and interference. We're in Moscow for the very latest.
GORANI: The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is expressing his condolences after a rare school shooting left six people dead and more than
two dozen people injured. It happened at a university in the city of Perm. Video shows medics rushing to the scene to treat an injured person. You see
that happening there, pixelated though. It's a graphic video. The attack was carried out by a man who entered the school with the hunting weapon.
Authorities say he was wounded after resisting arrest.
Also from Russia, the country's ruling party appears to have won parliamentary elections that were widely seen as fraudulent. Results show
United Russia taking half the votes and securing a majority in the lower house. But critics say such results are impossible and are alleging
widespread fraud. CNN's Matthew Chance reports.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Russians have been casting their votes. But the critics, this is Democracy at its worst.
Accusing the Kremlin of blatant election fraud, some actually caught on official cameras.
Watch the woman in black on the right awkwardly trying to shield the ballot box as a hand appears from behind the Russian flag. You can see it
repeatedly stuffing papers inside. Election officials say they've annulled these votes, but critics say thousands of violations, including ballot box
stuffing and forced voting, are being ignored.
"In total, we've counted 12 cases of ballot stuffing in the whole country in just eight districts," the Chief Election Commissioner brags on Russian
state media. "This is not hype like from some information sources," she adds. From self imposed COVID-19 quarantine near Moscow, the Russian
President is shown using a controversial online voting system, which critics say allows even more opportunity to manipulate results. The system
needs a mobile phone for verification. And there are questions about how Putin, who insists he never uses one, was able to cast his vote. The
Kremlin says he used an assistance denying this whole scene was staged.
But critics accuse the Kremlin of carefully ensuring a win despite flagging opinion polls, not just with the infamous poisoning of prominent critic
Alexei Navalny last year, which officials deny, but also the moves since then, branding his supporters extremists, banning them and other opposition
figures from standing for office. One rights group estimates hundreds of thousands of activists have been affected. To dense the ruling United
Russia party, Navalny's team have promoted what they call smart voting using apps and videos like this one to show Russians which candidates,
mostly old communists, stand the best chance of unseating incumbents.
Controversially, Google and Apple have agreed to block the material in Russia caving in to Russian legal demands. Even Kremlin critics who've been
allowed to stand say they face extraordinary pressure, like this candidate in Saint Petersburg who found rivals on the local ballot paper had adopted
his name and appearance to confuse voters. Russia's own election officials have called this a disgrace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA, RUSSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN: It's just across the street.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: We met one veteran anti Kremlin activist himself poisoned twice and now barred from standing at a Moscow polling station. He admits this
election may be lost. But Kremlin efforts to cling to power indefinitely, he says, will backfire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARA-MURZA: We have a situation in Russia, where there's now an entire generation of people that has no other political memories except Vladimir
Putin's regime. He has been in power now for 22 years. That is a mindboggling fact. And if the regime is preventing people from changing the
government at the ballot box, sooner or later, people will change the government and the state.
CHANCE: Another Russian Revolution?
KARA-MURZA: Unfortunately, again, it gives me no pleasure to say this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: But for now, revolution seems a long way off. Even winning a single seat in this tightly controlled Russian election would be something of an
opposition coup. Matthew Chance, CNN Moscow.
GORANI: There is growing alarm in Afghanistan over the Taliban's increasingly repressive rule especially when it comes to women's rights,
some women protesters over the weekend demanding that girls be allowed to attend secondary school. Meantime, the Taliban have ordered boys to report
to school but made no mention of girls at all. Women are also concerned by new restrictions announced by Kabul's acting mayor, females, city
government employees, have been told to stay home. Only women whose jobs cannot be done by men, like cleaning female bathrooms can come to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAMDULLAH NOMANI, ACTING MAYOR OF KABUL (through translator): However, if a work can be done by others, male employees, under the current condition
until the situation comes to a normal state, we have asked them to stay at home, their salaries will be paid as per usual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, more than a month after the Taliban seized control, Afghanistan's future seems more uncertain than ever. Many people are
growing more desperate by the day with poverty spiraling and the economy in dire straits. Our Nic Robertson is in Kabul.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: On Kabul's fringes, families displaced by fighting, abandoned by the new Taliban Islamic
Emirate government. Literally just getting out of the car and coming into the camp, people are surrounding us. They want to know how we can help
them. And this is how bad the camp is, human feces along the wall here. It's just awful conditions. The Taliban have won the war, but their
problems running the country piling up.
It's the smell that hits you first. People literally forced to go to the toilet right next to their tents where they're cooking. How many people in
this camp here? "Five hundred families," he tells me. No sign here of any aid. No water, no food, no shelter, no toilets. And anyone coming from the
Islamic Emirate offices to talk to them and ask them what they need? His answer needs no translation. You're on your own? He shows me the long lists
of the displaced. As he speaks, a man in a high vis vest with a stick in his hand interrupts. It's clear, we have to go.
We were told that we didn't have permission to film there, that's why we're leaving. And literally as we're leaving, we've been handed all these
numbers, people thrusting phone numbers into us. They're literally banging on the call now desperate for us, us to be able to help them in some way
and they think giving us their phone numbers is going to help.
Across town, in the book market, there is calm, too much of it. Books, books, books, but no one to buy them. "No one is spending money," he says.
"They don't know what's coming." The only books that are selling well are religious ones. Of 300 stores here, only 20 remain open. Another market,
this secondhand goods trader says everyone is selling up to flee the country. So far, the Taliban is limiting cash withdrawals to $200 a week.
But that seems to be the only economic policy so far.
During Friday prayers, the call from the mosques, America is being blamed for Afghanistan's dire situation. The reality, the economy is hurting, the
International Monetary Fund warns of a looming humanitarian crisis. The Taliban won the war. But can they run the country? Right now, they could
use international help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The foreign reserves of Afghanistan are almost exclusively in banks here in the United States,
including the Federal Reserve, other banks about $9 billion, all of that has been frozen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Early signs the pressure is taking its toll, the Taliban this week struggling to call reports of a rift in their ranks triggered when the
Deputy Prime Minister, the main negotiator with the U.S., unexpectedly missing for several days. This week, the Taliban's most powerful military
commander, Sirajuddin Haqqani, told the U.N. frozen money must be released. He has a $10 million FBI bounty on his head for ties to terrorism and al-
The Taliban have got what they want, control of Afghanistan, but running the country and winning the peace, that's their biggest challenge yet. Nic
Robertson, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, the Canadian Prime Minister is hoping for a majority in parliament after today's early election, one he called for, but
will his gamble pay off? We'll take a closer look.
GORANI: Checking in on Wall Street again for you, here's a look at the big board with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down almost 900 points now,
too, and about two thirds of a percent lower. That is on fears that the indebted Chinese property giant Evergrande is not going to be able to repay
some of its debt obligations due this week. And investors are concerned this could have some sort of spillover effect. So as a result, it is
impacting the entire market in New York. That's the reason we're seeing so -- such steep declines on Wall Street, much more at the top of the hour on
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Canadians are voting today in an early election. It was called by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He didn't have to do it. He called it two years
earlier than planned. He's trying to secure a parliamentary majority. But opinion polls show it is a tight race between the ruling liberals and the
conservatives led by Erin O'Toole. Paula Newton is standing by in Montreal. So is this a case of having sort of gambled a little bit and maybe taking
too big a risk? Because he didn't have to call this early election.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, he didn't just gamble a little bit, he gambled the House here. And the reason is that he was governing just fine.
The NDP party here, a left-leaning party, had even said, look, Justin Trudeau, you don't need to have this election. We'll keep you in power.
It's a pandemic, remember? And, you know, Hala, for our first few weeks in the campaign, the polls really collapsed for Justin Trudeau and that
allowed his main rival, Erin O'Toole from the Conservative Party, to kind of edge in there.
But then something else happened, right? This campaign has been extraordinarily short, you know, as short as a campaign can get in Canada,
about five weeks, it pivoted again to the pandemic. And when that happened, Justin Trudeau was able to say, look, I'm for vaccines. I'm for vaccine
mandates. I'm for mask mandates. I will do whatever it takes to get over this pandemic. His rival, Erin O'Toole, said, look, we support vaccines,
but they are a personal choice. And even that little bit seem to have nudged what I'll tell you, honestly, Hala, are cranky Canadian voters.
This is close to the last day of summer, Canadians wanted to be left alone after this pandemic, still dealing with a fourth wave to not have to deal
with politics. And here we are. I will tell you as well, Hala, that right now, at this hour, there are long lines in many cities to vote. These are
COVID regulations, social distancing, fewer workers, fewer polling stations. It's going to be an interesting night, especially when polls are
still so close.
GORANI: And it's gotten nasty at times. I mean, people think of Canadians as mild-mannered, but we've seen people throw rocks at the Prime Minister.
Anti-vaxxers hurl abuse at Justin Trudeau. What is going on? Why has it taken such a dark turn in some cases?
NEWTON: Yes, abuse and gravel was thrown at him rhetorically. He was hit with many, many insults. But the protesters themselves, Hala, you know, it
was actually breathtaking for me to actually see that. And I've covered a lot of elections of many stripes throughout this country, some of the much
more contentious this -- than this, but not as nasty. And it was the divisive nature of the pandemic. First off, people are just absolutely fed
up and can't take anymore.
And that segment of the population who say look, whatever I do in this pandemic, whether it's wear a mask, stay home, get vaccinated, it's my
choice. It's my personal choice. And I have to tell you, some disinformation certainly on social media came through and some of these
protesters, when you spoke to them, they were certainly parroting that and the party that they mainly represent, a new national party here, it's
called the People's Party of Canada went from like one or two percent nationally and is now polling at a tie and up to seven percent. What does
that tell you, Hala? This is a country divided.
And some of that polarization that we've seen in the United States and elsewhere has slipped in, and it's been a particularly vulnerable time. No
matter what happens to Justin Trudeau tonight, whether he keeps in Prime Minister or loses, this election has cost Canada something and we'll see if
his gamble works out, if he does regain that majority. Right now, the polls indicate that anything really could happen.
GORANI: Wow, it's -- sounds like a nail-biter. Thanks very much, Paula Newton. And we'll check in with you later, a little bit later when we have
a sense of the results.
The red carpet was back at Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards after last year's virtual ceremony. Television stars got to show off their fashion once
again. Let's be honest, it's just a lot more fun seeing them in person, isn't it? Fans were delighted, photographers were happier than having to
screen grab a Zoom call. One of the night's biggest winners was the Netflix series The Crown. It helped the streaming service make history, tying the
all-time record of wins. Let's hear from "The Crown's" Olivia Colman, who got the award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVIA COLMAN, ACTRESS: And then I want to say thank you very much for this. This is amazing and what a lovely end to the most extraordinary
journey with this lovely family. I loved every second of it, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the show "Ted Lasso" on Apple TV+ completed the streaming sweep taking home Outstanding Comedy Series and just a host of other nods.
And before we go, let's show you some incredible images, plumes of smoke and streams of lava, not lava, spewing from a volcano in La Palma, one of
Spain's Canary Islands. Government officials are warning, though, that the eruption could be this strong for the next few days. The island was on
alert after earthquakes were felt over the weekend, and 5,000 people have had to evacuate from their homes. So far, there are no reports thankfully
of many deaths or injuries.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has delayed his trip to the UNGA to be on La Palma. He was set to get a closer look at the volcano and its
destruction today. That's going to do it for me for this hour. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN after a quick break. "QUEST
MEANS BUSINESS" is coming your way.