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Hala Gorani Tonight

Germany Looks to Future After Tight Election; Taliban Enforce Law with Public Punishment; Panic Buying Leads to Fuel Shortage in the U.K. U.S. Expels About 4,000 Migrants Under Public Health Rule; Haitian Migrants Are Met By Spiraling Violence At Home; U.S. Hospitals Forced To Divert Patients Away Amid Surge. Aired 2-3p EST

Aired September 27, 2021 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. A new future for Germany as Olaf Scholz's party wins a very

tight race. We're live in Berlin where coalition negotiations are just getting started. Then, the Taliban tighten their grip. I'll speak to Jan

Egeland; the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, he is in Kabul. He's spoken with the Taliban. We'll get his take on what's happening


And later, panic buying at the pump. The U.K. is facing some major fuel shortages, hours for some cars to get fuel at gas stations. Many are

blaming Brexit. We'll tell you why? Germany's political future now appears to hang on the two political parties which came in third and fourth in

Sunday's parliamentary election. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz's left- leaning social democrats edged Angela Merkel's conservative Christian democrats. They finished in first place. That makes it likely he will

become Germany's next chancellor.

Here are the preliminary results. You can see no party won a majority, so the social democrats or the Christian democrats will need the Green Party,

they came in third, and the FDP, the liberals, they came in fourth, to form a government. And the political jockeying has already began. CNN's Fred

Pleitgen is in Berlin for us. And Fred, you spoke to Olaf Scholz, that SPD win was certainly a cause for celebration for his party. What did he tell

you about what's going to happen next?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, absolutely, he believes that he is going to be the next chancellor. It was

at the SPD headquarters here in Berlin. And one of the first things he said is, he believes that there are three parties in this election who made

gains, one is obviously his social democrats, the Greens and the Liberal democrats. So, he believes that those three parties should form that

coalition to make a government, obviously with him as chancellor, called the traffic light coalition, now of course, Armin Laschet of the

conservative, he has different thoughts about that.

But with Olaf Scholz at that party headquarters, I asked him if he does manage to become the chancellor of Germany -- you know, Angela Merkel has

been in power for 16 years, she's been such a big figure on the international stage. How would he be able to measure up, and what weight

would Germany have internationally with him as chancellor? Let's listen in.


PLEITGEN: If you do manage to form a coalition and become the chancellor, how do you intend to fill those big shoes?

OLAF SCHOLZ, SPD CANDIDATE: I think the first topic for German politics will be to form a stronger and more sovereign European Union. And making

this happen will have an influence on the international strategy and the foreign policy of Germany.

PLEITGEN: What sort of a partner will Germany be for the United States in NATO and on the international stage, especially as the Biden administration

continues to challenge China?

SCHOLZ: It's a Trans-Atlantic partnership is of essence for us in Germany and for a government that will be led by me. And so, you can rely on the

continuity in this question. It is important that we understand ourselves as democracies, and that we see that in the world that becomes more

dangerous. It is important that we work together, even if we do have conflicts in one or the other question.


PLEITGEN: So, Olaf Scholz there saying that Germany will continue to be a strong partner and NATO strong partner to the United States internationally

if he is the chancellor, but of course, he is by no means there yet. As you mentioned, the jostling has already begun, and Armin Laschet of the

conservatives, he obviously has different thoughts, he came out today as well and he said he wanted to form a coalition under his leadership if Olaf

Scholz doesn't manage to forge one. And that he would also be vying obviously for the support of the Greens and the Liberal democrats as well,


GORANI: It's interesting that, first of all, noted that Olaf Scholz responded to your question in English, and this is something that Angela

Merkel didn't do. It's understandable, political leaders usually want to speak in their native tongue. They don't want to be misunderstood, in this

case, he spoke in English. He talked about a stronger EU and the importance of the Trans-Atlantic alliance, and during political campaigns, it's quite

common for foreign policy questions to take a back seat and for obviously domestic issues to be more important to voters. What does he mean by a

stronger EU? Do we know?

PLEITGEN: Well, I mean first of all, I think that he wants to deepen European ties. I mean, one of the things that we've seen in the European

Union is that obviously Angela Merkel was the undisputed leader, if you will, of the European Union, the de facto leader of the European Union.


One of the big questions that's out there is who is going to be next within the European Union? Is it going to be someone like Emmanuel Macron, is it

maybe going to be Mario Draghi of Italy? Who is going to become that strong figure in the European Union? I think one of the things that Olaf Scholz

was trying to say is that he believes he could be that strong figure, but I think that he also thinks that or that he also believes that he wants to

work very closely together with other European nations to strengthen the European Union.

Obviously, it's been under a lot of stress, been under a lot of stress also during the time of Angela Merkel. And as you know and as we know, Hala,

from reporting over the past couple of years, for instance, there are some southern European states that were not necessarily too happy with some of

the things that the Merkel government has done in the past.

Some of them felt that Germany was too strong a force, especially the austerity measures when it came to Greece for instance, and I think that's

something where Olaf Scholz is saying that he wants to give all countries maybe more of an equal voice in the European Union, more so maybe than they

felt that they did have when -- as long as Angela Merkel was in power and is still in power. So, that's one of the things I think he means by that

more stronger force within the European Union, Hala

GORANI: All right. That's very interesting because we'll see whether it's Olaf Scholz or Armin Laschet who becomes the next chancellor, how that

shapes up. Thanks very much, Fred Pleitgen is live in Berlin. So, as we were discussing with Fred, Angela Merkel has widely been viewed as the

European Union's de facto leader, but obviously, she will not be chancellor for much longer. Does that leave the possible opening for France? CNN's

Cyril Vanier is in Paris for us this hour with more reaction to this very narrow SPD win. Cyril.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Hala, the French-German partnership is so important here in Paris that they are taking no risks and

they have adopted an official no-comment policy. And they sent that out to journalists really early today, saying the presidency will not be

commenting until there is a chancellor sworn in, in Germany. Now, France just does not want to risk alienating the person who will be the next

chancellor of Germany, and who will be their working partner and who will be, you mentioned several times, potentially the de facto leader of Europe.

Now, looked at it from France.

There is an opportunity here for Emmanuel Macron. He, after Angela Merkel steps down, he would arguably be the strongest leader, strongest voice on

the European scene. But really, France can't achieve much of significance without a close partnership with Germany. And that is why they're not going

to comment, just don't want to make any blunders, don't want to alienate anybody. There's another aspect to this, Hala, is that from France's point

of view, really there's quite a lot of continuity whether it is Armin Laschet who is the next chancellor or whether it is Olaf Scholz.

Because Olaf Scholz, sure, he wasn't from the same party as Angela Merkel but he did actually campaign as continuity from the current chancellor. He

was also her finance minister and as for Armin Laschet, he was the same party and she favored him and she campaigned with him. As seen from Paris,

they're both vehemently pro-European and that is what matters here. Hala?

GORANI: Right, indeed. Cyril Vanier, thanks very much. Well, President Macron was the target of an egg attack today at a food fair in Lyon,

France. Pay attention to the president's back here. You see the egg hit him and then bounce off. An eye witness tells us security escorted a young man

away, no word on motive. Not sure there's usually any kind of motive for this type of idiocy. It happened in 2017 when Mr. Macron was running for

president, that time the egg cracked on his head, and you'll remember not too long ago, he was actually slapped by someone in a group of people that

the president was talking to while also traveling across the country.

The Taliban are imposing their strict version of Islamic law on Afghanistan. In Herat this weekend, they killed four men accused of

kidnapping and hanged their bodies in public. They're telling barbers in Helmand Province not to shave beards or play music in their shops. The

Taliban say anyone who breaks those rules will be dealt with according to Sharia principles. According to this particular extremist group's

interpretation of religious scripture. Nic Robertson has been reporting from Afghanistan from much of the last month. He is now in Abu Dhabi with

more. So, we thought -- well, not everybody, some people thought they'd get Taliban 2.0, but it's back to the future very much with the group these

last few weeks.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, the Taliban would argue that they are slightly different, that they're allowing some girls

education and that they're going to do things differently, the sort of public amputations of thieves' hands that were seen in the past, that won't

be happening. It's sort of the expectation among Afghans at the moment is that the Taliban probably will press ahead with that. We've heard from a

former minister of justice, a Taliban Ministry of Justice, saying he hopes that will happen.


The expectation would be that those sorts of things would happen in a medical setting inside a hospital. The ground reality in Afghanistan is for

the Taliban as well as the people, the Taliban don't have a police force. They don't have the capacity and capability to monitor and police a

population in the conventional sense. Their methodology is exactly as you say, it's back to the future. They will send their clear message of what

they will do through, you know, these sorts of killings and the public hanging of the bodies, and it's designed to say to people, if you go out

and kidnap for extortion, if you are a thief, then these are the punishments that are going to be meted out. Don't do it.

It's sort of object lesson justice for the Taliban, and this is the way they governed the country before and it seems very much they're set on

exactly the same path again, Hala.

GORANI: And this whole thing about allowing girls to go to school and women as we've seen and as you've reported just over the last few weeks in

Kabul, have been told to stay home from their jobs. Girls very much kept away from some classrooms, and you have these university-level classes

where many women are just too afraid to attend classes, and those who do show up are separated by a curtain, et cetera. So, all of these promises, I

mean, seems to be quite hollow at this stage.

ROBERTSON: They do. And I think you can say hollow or absolutely in the balance. You know, it isn't quite clear yet what type of version of the

Taliban we're going to get, not a 2.0 as might have been the impression created a few weeks ago. But what version is really going to be down to

their internal machination and whether the hard-liners like that former Justice Minister Turabi win out or whether there will be more enlightened

voices. And it's just that at this moment we can't call it, Hala. That it's --


ROBERTSON: It's absolutely clear that the role of women and their place in society is changed. It's not going to be the way that it was. It's going to

be much more constrained, but there's a potential backlash for the Taliban here, and that will be popular protest, an uprising, and the chances of

that popular uprising, civil disobedience, that sort of thing. And the chances of that increase, the harsher they are on the population,

particularly women, and the worse the economy is. All these things are in the balance for the Taliban, but again, you know, the back-to-the-future

element, ultimately push comes to shove.

And I spoke with Anas Haqqani from the most powerful -- essentially now form the most powerful family in Afghanistan, the Haqqani family, we would

call them the Haqqani Network of the Taliban. Their view is quite simply that, they are willing to forego international support for their beliefs,

and that goes for women as well. So, yet, it is for women a very different future. Precisely, we don't know the details.

GORANI: Nic Robertson, thanks very much reporting live from Abu Dhabi, just returned from Kabul. My next guest says Afghanistan is on a count-down

to economic collapse with civilians quickly running out of food, out of money and options. Jan Egeland is with the Norwegian Refugee Council, he's

urging the U.N. to help stabilize the situation. He is meeting with some of the displaced families in Kabul. Here are some footage of his visit in

Kabul today. He is speaking with Taliban leaders about humanitarian aid. The U.S. froze billions in funds when Afghanistan fell.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank followed suit. Civilians are feeling the most pain. Jan Egeland joins me now live from Kabul, thanks

for being with us. First off, you tweeted that you spoke with Taliban officials and you told them that you really can't have a future in your

country if girls can't go to school -- and our reporters have been for many weeks reporting on the fact that girls have been kept out of school, that

women are too intimidated to go to a university classes. What did they respond when you said that?

JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: Well, it was very clear that they received the message. We are working now in province

after province to get all of our female staff back to work in six or seven of the 14 provinces where we're working. This, we have succeeded in. Here

in Kabul, the women have -- our female staff have been going to the office for quite a few weeks already. All --

GORANI: Yes --

EGELAND: Of them -- well, NORC, we've been able to succeed that. We're also working other places. If we cannot have our fantastic female

colleagues join us, we will not succeed.


That was my blunt message to the Taliban leadership. If we are also not starting, restarting education, if we cannot also provide girls education,

but it is a mixed picture. Listen, we have been working in the Taliban areas for years. They controlled large parts of Afghanistan for years. In

several of those areas, we have had girls education. We have a school in Aria for 3,000 girls now for years. It's a mixed picture.

GORANI: So -- just so in your organization, female workers have been going back to work, is that in most of the provinces?

EGELAND: Yes, in about half of the provinces, we have reached those agreements and the practices that they are now joining male colleagues in

the office. We are going to work province by province to have that happen. We need to push. We cannot succeed without a female staff. At the same

time, the main story in my view now is, the main story is that millions would starve this Winter. Tens of thousands could freeze to death, girls,

women, boys, men, because there is a collapse in the economy, in part because all of the international aid money that you described have been

held back and hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, teachers, have been paid through money from the World Bank. I think these --

GORANI: How --

EGELAND: Need to again have a salary.

GORANI: Can you explain to viewers around the world who might be watching this and they'll say, well, look, the Taliban is in control, they're

hanging bodies, you know, of alleged kidnappers in town centers. Why would the World Bank, the IMF and international money flow to a country that is

led by such brutal people? Would you answer to those who are reluctant to send money because they think it will fall into the hands of the Taliban

and that the Taliban will then exclude girls from school and commit acts such as the ones we described in our show today?

EGELAND: And the question is a very natural one to ask, Hala, and the answer is very simple. Because no money goes to the Taliban. No money that

went to NRC went to the previous government either with all of its problems. We are there to reach people directly. It's the same 40 million

Afghan civilians as was there during the previous regime, during this new Taliban regime. We have an obligation to the girls and the mothers and the

-- and the civilians to help them. We can --

GORANI: Right --

EGELAND: Assure that we can work directly, we're doing that at the moment. We have never conditioned humanitarian aid on whether we like the

government in place or not. We look after needs --

GORANI: So, would --

EGELAND: And we look after our opportunities to meet those needs.

GORANI: Get that, I got that. So, what you're saying is you don't believe that international humanitarian aid to these NGOs and these organizations

helping on the ground should stop because the Taliban are now in control of the whole country, is your message?

EGELAND: It would be a tremendous mistake to now let girls starve this Winter, freeze to death this Winter because of the political, you know,

conflict we would have with the Taliban. We have an obligation to help the civilian population. It's the same 40 million. We can reach them. We reach

them now with female staff. We are pushing for girls' education. I wish there would be more diplomats and others coming back here and help us to

help the Afghan people. Those lives are at stake. And I hope also that the U.N. and the World Bank will set up trust funds that can directly pay the

teachers and the nurses and the water engineers and so on.

That doesn't happen, there will be a collapse like no -- none we've seen in this part of the world before and, of course, these countries who left, had

their fingerprints all over the present --

GORANI: Yes --

EGELAND: Situation in the sense that they were so long keeping these public sectors, you know, running and now cut them off completely.

GORANI: Briefly, when you -- ask, what level of government did you -- did you speak to when you say you spoke to Taliban officials? Can you share

with us at what level and --


GORANI: And when you brought up some of these concerns, what was their response?


EGELAND: I met with the Foreign Minister and I met with the Minister of Relief and Refugees, that is also the line minister we're meeting with.

Both these men are high up in the Taliban hierarchy. There was -- I was very blunt on our need to have females work equal to the men. I said we

respect the culture of Afghanistan.

They also need to respect our culture, our civilization, our principles. Girls education is a precondition for us to do education overall, and we

cannot work if we don't have full access to all corners of Afghanistan and all religious and all ethnic minorities. They say they will help in doing

that, but it's mixed. There are places where we have not succeeded in this --

GORANI: Yes --

EGELAND: And where we need to still push before we can really help the people as we should.

GORANI: Well, it's a wait-and-see situation and Jan Egeland, I hope we'll be able to speak again in the next few weeks or months, and so that we can

-- you have been able to assess at that point whether or not the promises made to you in Kabul today will have been kept. And good luck to your --

EGELAND: Right --

GORANI: Organization --

EGELAND: Thank you --

GORANI: And all of those on the ground, really appreciate it, live in Kabul, Jan Egeland joining us this evening. And still to come tonight,

panic at the pumps. The U.K. is running out of fuel, what is behind this and what the government is doing to solve it next. Plus, surging gang

violence, crushing poverty, a look at why so many Haitians are desperate to flee their homeland.


GORANI: Panic buying. We saw it last year when the pandemic started. You will remember. In the United Kingdom, we're seeing it again, this time over

fuel. Britain is facing a critical petrol shortage or that's what they call it, gas here, with some dealerships saying they are 90 percent dry. It's

due to a lack of truck drivers, something blamed on both Brexit and the pandemic. A trade union is now calling on the government to make sure fuel

can be safeguarded for essential workers because we've seen reports of ambulance drivers having to stand in line for hours to get gas.


And gas companies say they're working hard to restock stations, but, you know, it's a question of getting it to where it needs to go. Nina dos

Santos is on the story, I believe you are at a gas station, Nina, where people have been trying to be patient, waiting in line to get fuel.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and their tempers have been flailing throughout the course of the afternoon, Hala. If I just step back,

you can see the line here on Old Brompton Road in London. So, this is central west London and this is a relatively small gas station. They got a

delivery of about -- I think it was 40,000 liters which is a rather small- size tank of fuel earlier today, at about 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and people have been queuing, they've been in line ever since, and desperate to

try and fill up those cans. They've been -- even had to intervene on the forecourts when some people have tried to get out some kind of container

and fill up an extra canister, we've seen a little bit of that.

But across the country, the government and the fuel industry associations continue to tell everybody stop panic buying like this. There is no

national fuel shortage, there's just little supply bottlenecks. But I've been speaking to drivers in this line throughout the course of the day, and

they say that's little comfort to them if they need to get from A to B urgently tomorrow. Some of them also are delivery drivers and taxi drivers,

and they say they need that can of fuel, otherwise they don't get a fare. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, yes, very concerned, extremely. It's my livelihood, and yes, it's obviously a concern. The vast majority of

stations are out of fuel when I try. It's just lucky there's a tanker I see and I just pulled in here. But, no, it's a massive problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been to already -- about five petrol stations. None of them are open.


DOS SANTOS: I always spoke to other people who said, look, you know, people have been panic-buying and I am an elderly resident, I need to get

out of town and I need to use my car. Somebody else saying that, you know, they're a key worker and they also need to use their cars, right. As you

can see, some people don't mind wasting fuel at the same time, Hala. But aside from the rubber smoke here, this is a serious issue because the

government has been locked in cabinet meetings for days and days trying to alleviate people's concerns. They're now saying that they hope the

situation will be abated when people like this have full tanks by the end of the week.

But the reality is, there is a severe shortage of labor in this country. More than 1 million vacancies for various jobs including the hospitality

sector and also, as you said, the HGV truck drivers. The government is trying to --

GORANI: Yes --

DOS SANTOS: Release that a little bit by issuing up to 5,000 new visas to entice European workers back to become HGV drivers as soon as possible to

ease the backdrop. Hala?

GORANI: I do wonder how many EU truck drivers will jump on the opportunity to drive to the U.K. for three months and then be told on Christmas eve,

that's it, your visa expires, with all the extra paperwork that they have to fill in now that Brexit is a reality. And I wonder how much is Brexit

really -- how much is behind some of these shortages of drivers and of fuel?

DOS SANTOS: You're right to point that out. And as a distinct whiff of (INAUDIBLE) if I told you so in the air about all of this. Many people who

said that they didn't believe in Brexit said that this would always be the scenario, that there'd be supply shortages of both labor and goods and also

the inflation could be around the corner, because some of the reasons why people are standing at pumps like this is that they think that fuel is not

only going to be in shorter supply in a week or a month or maybe the weekend, it's starting to also get more and more expensive.

And the U.K. is already dealing with that type of energy crunch on both fronts. There's also concerns about a gas shortage later on in the year

with the price of natural heating gas rising in this country. That's put a few small businesses out of business and given the government headaches.

There's shortages of fresh produce on the supermarket shelves, so there are real concerns and as we head towards the end of the year that, that beast

of Brexit and all of the difficulties that, that will mean from a customer's point of view will continue to come back and, as you pointed

out, yes, these visas that they're issuing, 5,000 of them for truck drivers, 5,500 for the poultry industry before Christmas, because they want

to make sure that people are able to get their turkey at the end of the year.

They will expire within three to four months, and many people saying that might not be enticing for some of those workers for that short period, Hala

GORANI: All right, Nina dos Santos, thanks very much. China is dealing with an energy crisis of its own and it's causing disruptions across the

country. Businesses have been asked to limit their use of electricity as the country faces shortages. Some factories have reportedly had to cut

production as a result of these curbs. And in the northeast, residents say intermittent power cuts are affecting their daily lives. State media report

the energy crunch will continue for some time. And still to come this evening, desperation in Haiti, as gang violence escalates, a glimpse into

what is fueling the decision of many migrants to flee. Plus a -- an -- a report as a new investigation uncovered a plot targeting Julian Assange.

We'll tell you who was said to be behind it and what the plotters allegedly plan to do. We'll be right back.


GORANI: The U.S. has about 4,000 migrants detained around the makeshift Del Rio Texas camp have been expelled from the country under a public health

rule that dates back, by the way, to the Trump administration. Those thousands more migrants have been released into the U.S. are flown home in

recent days. The camp in Del Rio is now clear. The number of migrants there at times topped 14,000, you'll see a before and after, most of them

Haitians fleeing crushing poverty and soaring gang violence. CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Haiti's capital where she's seeing the effects of such

violence firsthand. Melissa, tell us what you saw on the ground.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, what we've heard then from the Department of Homeland Security is that there have been 31 so far of these

very controversial repatriation flights according to the IOM's figures, more than 3-1/2 thousand Haitians now forced to be returned to a country

without the possibility even of applying for asylum.

Now what we've been seeing, Hala, is that it isn't simply the very obvious grinding poverty that you feel that you see on the streets of Port-au-

Prince that has been causing them to go into which they now find themselves confronted reluctantly once again, it is also perhaps much more importantly

the insecurity which really has only grown since so many of them fled the country so many years ago. And we had a stark reminder Just how violent

Port-au-Prince can be only yesterday morning.


Here, even church is no sanctuary. The blood still marks the steps of this Baptist Church in the very heart of Port-au-Prince. As Sunday service

began, an armed gang attacked, wounding several the congregation and killing one man who tried but failed to stop his wife from being kidnapped.

"Who will pay the ransom now?" asks Maryolan Jill, a human rights advocate who explains that nothing in Haiti is now sacred, and no one's safe. "We

are in peace nowhere," she says. Not even in the president's house. "He was executed, the most protected man in the country," she says referring to the

assassination of the Haitian president, Jovenel Moise, in July.

Jill says this kidnapping is at least the 10th in the Haitian capital since Tuesday, the very week that has seen thousands of deportees returned to

Port-au-Prince, a city many had left in the years following the 2010 earthquake, fleeing both its poverty and insecurity. Now that is only

getting worse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each time there is an uptick in the number of kidnapping. The authorities react by having more patrol in the streets.


BELL: You can see on the streets of Port-au-Prince that increased police presence. And yet as visible it is intended to be, it doesn't seem to be

doing much to reassure Haitians that it's safe to go out onto the streets once again.

"It's like a boat on the ocean with no Captain," says Jill. "The country is left to its own devices. Gangs rule and keep gaining ground so we are

abandoned to our fate." Since much of it was leveled in 2010, Port-au- Prince sure, Prince is a city that has struggled to stand up. Now gang violence has forced entire neighborhoods to flee what little they had, like

the 219 families living inside this dilapidated school building, one of seven camps for internally displaced people or IDPs in the capital, camps

that are not designed to accommodate the returnees.



out of control. And so we find persons like the IDPs that are here. They had to leave their permanent village or campsite which they were residing

in since the earthquake in 2010. So imagine that.


BELL: In all, the United Nations says that 20,000 people in Port-au-Prince Prince have been displaced by gang violence in the last year, a homeland

even more dangerous to those being deported by the United States this week than the one they fled.

Now Hala, so many of the migrants that we've spoken to that have been coming back are staying with family, with friends. Remember, they left many

years ago, so those that have family and friends have been staying there. But what we've been hearing a great deal is that what they plan to do is

get back on the road as quickly as they can to flee, once again, a country that they believe it is simply not safe for them to stay in, Hala.

GORANI: And it's just become so dangerous to just live in Haiti, your great reporting there on gangs targeting people for kidnap and that blood's still

on the steps of that church, that whole thing was so chilling, what is it like on a day-to-day basis? You've been there now for a few days, just

getting around Port-au-Prince?

BELL: Oh, you know, I hadn't been here since 2010. And it is absolutely remarkable how many of the roads remain impossible, how difficult it is to

get around this town, how little areas in the way of prospects, how difficult life -- day-to-day life is, the poverty. And again, of course,

it's difficult to compare because the city had been through such trauma 11 years ago, but the insecurity on the streets, the fact that you are

constantly reminded that you can't really head out without security, because those kidnappings can happen at any time and because such a large

proportion of the city is out of the control of authorities and in the control of armed gangs.

And to take you back to that letter of the resigning U.S. envoy to Haiti just a few days ago, he -- as he said, it isn't simply that the gangs are

in charge of large swathes of Haiti and of the capital in particular, it is that they work in conjunction with elected officials, referring there to

the terrible corruption that is such a blight in a country already troubled by so much else, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Melissa Bell there live in Port-au- Prince.

An investigative report by Yahoo News has revealed an alleged CIA plot that targeted Julian Assange. It says that in 2017, the agency discussed plans

to kidnap the WikiLeaks founder, or worse, the article reads, "Some discussions even went beyond kidnapping."


"U.S. officials had also considered killing Assange," according to three former officials, one of those officials said he was briefed on a spring

2017 meeting in which the President asked whether the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide him options for how to do so. Earlier, CNN spoke with

one of the reporters who helped break this story. He explained that the plot unfolded even after former President Donald Trump declared he loved

WikiLeaks during his campaign.


MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO NEWS: Then candidate Donald Trump embraced WikiLeaks. But once it came into office,

the CIA was confronted with what it viewed as the largest data loss in its history. That was the hacking of the Vault 7 Hacking Tools that the CIA

uses to penetrate computer networks around the world. And this infuriated the new CIA Director, Mike Pompeo. He was deeply embarrassed by it. This

was on his watch. This was his own agency, and he was infuriated, he wanted revenge against Assange.


GORANI: All right. Well, we should note CNN has not independently verified this and there's no evidence that the plot was ever approved. There's a lot

more to come this evening. Deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians threatening to escalate amid concerns that Hamas is gaining a

foothold in the West Bank.


GORANI: In his first address to the U.N., Israel's new prime minister made no mention of what's going on in the West Bank, developments that have the

region on edge. Overnight in the West Bank, Israeli border police escorting hundreds of Jewish worshippers clashed with Palestinians near a religious

site in Nablus. It follows a series of raids targeting Hamas, and Israeli forces there killing five Palestinian Hamas militants.

The president of the Palestinian Authority is warning that a continuation of the raids will lead to a "explosion of the situation." CNN's Hadas Gold

joins me now live from Jerusalem. So talk to us more about these Israeli raids. What's the latest on that?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Hala, the Israeli Defense Forces say that this was part of a major operation, a days' long operation, but the

main raids took place on Saturday night in five different locations across the West Bank.


Now Israel says that they were targeting Hamas cell that they believed was about to undertake an imminent attack. And according to both Israeli and

Palestinian official, five Palestinians were killed in the shootouts. Several were arrested. The youngest of those killed was identified as a 16-

year-old from Jenin, two Israeli soldiers were also critically injured in the shootouts. Now Israel has long been concerned that Hamas, which of

course controls the Gaza Strip, is gaining a foothold in the West Bank, especially as the Palestinian Authority, which ostensibly controls the West

Bank or parts of West Bank, that they do control, is going deeper and deeper unpopular.

Actually a recent poll found that 78 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank wants the -- want the P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas to resign. For its

part, Hamas blame these operations. And actually security cooperation, they say, has been going on between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli

officials. The Hamas said in the same that they're calling on the masses of our Palestinian people in the valiant West Bank to escalate the resistance

against the occupier.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the raids, calling them crimes and field executions, warning that the continuation of this

policy will lead to an explosion of situation and to more tension and instability. And that's really the concern here, Hala, that these

incidences will somehow be the next spark of the next conflict. Everybody, of course, is still in this very fragile ceasefire that was struck after

that 11-day conflict in May between Hamas militants in Gaza and Israel, as there's a big concern here that as these violent confrontations continue,

they could spark the next major conflict, Hala.

GORANI: And the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the U.N., no mentions of Palestinians, but plenty of mentions of Iran in New York.

GOLD: Right, exactly. And there was -- he didn't even mention the Palestinians once in his first speech at the United Nations as a prime

minister, perhaps surprising to some, but his main focus was to try and rally support over greater action against Iran. Take a listen.


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran's pursuit of

nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they've just become tired of hearing about it. Israel doesn't have that privilege. We

cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.


GOLD: And Hala, I think back to potentially why the Palestinians were not even mentioned in the speech is the fact that this government is a diverse

coalition from the far left to the right. And they really don't think that now is the time for them to make any sort of major steps on any sort of

Palestinian peace process. Disappointing, of course, for some, but for Naftali Bennett, for this new government, their main focus at the U.N. was

trying to push these other countries to take action on Iran, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Hadas Gold. U.S. President Joe Biden has received his third dose, his booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine. He

took the shot in front of cameras today perhaps hoping to convince more Americans to get one. It comes as hospitals across the country are treating

an overwhelming number of unvaccinated patients. Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows us how the surge is impacting medical staff.


ROBERT JANSEN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, GRADY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: How unusual is what we're experiencing right now. So this is very unusual.


work, where I've been a neurosurgeon now for more than 20 years. It's a level one trauma center, and I can tell you, there's almost nothing a

hospital like this can't handle.

JANSEN: There was one Sunday evening, there were 27 gunshot victims brought to Grady within the span of a couple of hours.


JANSEN: Twenty-seven. We didn't go on diversion then. But take a pandemic and a bunch of unvaccinated people.

GUPTA: Right.

JANSEN: We can't do it.

GUPTA: Diversion is just what it sounds like. You have to divert patients away. It's something Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Jansen never wants to

happen. But the thing is, COVID-19 has changed everything here.

JANSEN: It's a 20-bed unit. This morning, we had 14 COVID patients just on this unit alone.

GUPTA: Up in the Intensive Care Unit, it's almost eerily quiet. There's no indication of the tremendous suffering that's happening behind closed

doors. These yellow bags are full of PPE and everyone knows those are the rooms with COVID patients. How much of what's yours thing is truly due to

the unvaccinated?


JANSEN: Ninety-five percent of our patients are vaccinated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's more challenging than the first COVID wave we had because it seemed like they're going more quick, is -- this variant is


JANSEN: This is the board we use in the GCC to help coordinate ambulances. We're now in the Georgia Coordinating Center.

GUPTA: This is where they work moment to moment trying to decide where ambulances can actually take patients.

JANSEN: Though if it's red, that means they're full, basically. And so there are occasions when they're made to wait, without taking the patient

inside. It's called on the wall where they're actually kept outside of the emergency room with the patient at the back of the ambulance waiting to be

able to go inside. We don't allow that here.

GUPTA: Even if you're vaccinated, you've done all the right things, because of this pandemic now and the unvaccinated, it affects you?

JANSEN: Well, it is. We talk delaying surgery because we don't have a place to put you after the operation. That is a consequence of this pandemic and

related directly to the lack of vaccination.

GUPTA: And it's when hospitals around diversion that the toughest decisions of all need to be made. Who gets treated? Who doesn't? What's the practical

impact on me as if I -- as I was driving here, I got in a car accident.

JANSEN: Yes. You know, we do still take care of anybody who comes. So what we've had to do is cancel patients who would require hospitalization

following surgery. And even now, we've canceled other patients who wouldn't require hospitalization, the downstream effect that that has on patients is

devastating at times.

Every morning, I come in and go through every COVID patient, determine who's on ventilators. I have to report the deaths.

GUPTA: Even as we're talking, we learned that someone passed away around the corner.

JANSEN: Yes. Yes. You know, unfortunately, it's a daily event.

GUPTA: How frustrating is all this for you?

JANSEN: Well, personally, it's frustrating, but what I worry about is our staff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the natural humanistic carded view that says how much more can you take? But when it's in your heart to care, you keep

coming. You keep coming.

GUPTA: Keep coming because that's exactly what the virus will do. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.


GORANI: Still to come tonight, that volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma has erupted now for nine straight days. These are live images coming

to us from there. The latest on its activity and how volcanic ash is now causing some huge problems after this.



GORANI: Welcome back. That volcano on Spain's La Palma Island has erupted now for nine straight days. Look at this image, this is live, it's coming

to us live. From that vantage point, if you were standing on that spot and -- on La Palma in the Canary Islands, this is exactly what you would see.

Now Al Goodman has the very latest on this developing story from La Palma. Al.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, the volcanic ash on the Palm Island causing major problems, especially at the airport, which had flights

canceled on Monday morning. There was a brief period in the early afternoon when some planes apparently got in and out. But by late afternoon, again,

canceled. The other major problem is the relentless flow of this lava from the volcano heading towards the eastern part of the island.

So in the early hours of Monday, officials ordered villages along the eastern shore to lock down to people to stay indoors close the windows

because scientists say that when that lava reaches the water, there will be plumes of toxic gas that will shoot up. There's an exclusionary zone at

sea, another one on land. Officials warning that there'll be a sort of disruptive explosive type forces that can blow out glass windows five

kilometers or three miles away.

All of this happening on the island the Spaniards called the La Isla Bonita or the beautiful island, which now in its ninth day of eruptions, this

volcano has already taken out hundreds of homes, banana plantations on this island, and officials say this could go on for several weeks, even a few

months, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Al. Thanks very much. Officials on the Greek island -- on the Greece island of Crete are assessing the damage following a 5.8

magnitude earthquake there early this morning. At least one person was killed and nine others were injured. Schools were shut for the day. The

earthquake's epicenter was in the south eastern part of Crete.

And this just in to CNN, a jury in New York has reached a verdict in the R. Kelly sex trafficking and racketeering trial. He's accused of multiple acts

of sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, and racketeering. The jury began deliberations on Friday after many weeks of testimony, and we will

bring you that verdict when we get it. Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.