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Hala Gorani Tonight

U.S. Military Leaders Testify at Senate Hearing on Afghanistan; U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Says Fuel Supply Crisis is Starting to Stabilize; A Volcano Erupts on Spain's La Palma Island; Haitian Elections Postponed Again; Pfizer BioNTech Submit Data on Children; German Election; Daniel Craig Plays 007 Once More. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 28, 2021 - 14:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Contradicting the president about what advice they gave him on Afghanistan. We'll have key moments from the blockbuster

testimony. Now, the chair among the Joint Chiefs of Staff admits he was interviewed for three different books about Donald Trump's presidency, but

says he hasn't read any of them.

Now, a logistical success but a strategic failure, that's how the top U.S. General is describing America's tumultuous exit from Afghanistan. Senior

military leaders have been testifying today at a Senate hearing, and the Joint Chiefs chairman had this warning.


SEN. ROGER WICKER (R-MS): Our credibility has been gravely damaged, has it not, General Milley?

MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think that our credibility with allies and partners around the world and with adversaries is being

intensely reviewed by them to see which way this is going to go, and I think that damage is one word that could be used, yes.


FOSTER: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged the U.S. never fully understood the problems on the ground.


LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: There was a range of possibilities that we addressed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But never with an immediate collapse of the government?

AUSTIN: We certainly did not plan against the collapse of a government in 11 days.



FOSTER: Now, two of the generals testified that they recommended keeping some American troops in Afghanistan, but they wouldn't comment on specific

conversations with President Biden.


MILLEY: It would be an incredible act of political defiance for commissioned officer to just resign because my advice is not taken. This

country doesn't want generals figuring out what orders we are going to accept and do or not. That's not our job. The principles of being in

control in the military is absolute, it is critical to this republic. In addition to that, just from a personal standpoint, you know, my dad didn't

get a choice to resign at Iwo Jima and those kids at Abbey Gate, they don't get a choice to resign.


FOSTER: CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Dean joins me now live from capitol Hill. It was extraordinary testimony, wasn't it, under oath

from these very senior figures? And we learned a huge amount about Afghanistan.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we sure did. And that testimony and hearing is still ongoing, Max, right now, but we've already

learned so much, and these lawmakers on both sides of the aisle really had a lot of questions. And both sides of the aisle had been critical of this

pull-out in Afghanistan, so there was a lot to cover during what's already happened today and what comes later this afternoon as well.

You mentioned that it was revealed that two of these top military commanders did personally want to keep 2,500 troops on the ground, but

would not detail their conversations with President Biden. We know just momentarily -- just moments ago, the press secretary tweeting that as

President Biden told "ABC News", ending the war in Afghanistan was in our national interest, he said advice was split, but consensus of top military

advisers was 2,500 troops staying meant escalation due to the deal by the previous administration, that deal that former President Trump had struck.

She says that the Secretary of Defense, the chairman and General McKenzie all reiterated that. So, again, we're starting to see kind of the back and

forth over that key piece of information. We also learned more about where they see things going in Afghanistan now that America is out of that

nation, that they predict that the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan will become more complicated. But, again, Max, so much

information still coming out, and that's just on the withdrawal of Afghanistan. They were also covering some other topics as well in there.

FOSTER: Including these controversial calls to China under the Trump presidency. Take us through that.

DEAN: Well, that's exactly right. So, a new book recently published details two calls that were made by General Milley to his counterparts in

China. There was intelligence coming in to the U.S. that China thought the U.S. might attack them. Milley saying that he did this, that he reached out

to his counterparts in an effort to kind of calm them down. Take a listen, here is some of that from earlier today.


MILLEY: The specific purpose of the October and January calls were to generate -- were generated by concerning Intelligence which caused us to

believe the Chinese were worried about an attack on them by the United States. I am certain that President Trump did not intend to attack the

Chinese, and it is my directed responsibility and it was my directed responsibility by the secretary to convey that intent to the Chinese. My

task at that time was to de-escalate. My message, again, was consistent, stay calm, steady and de-escalate. We are not going to attack you.


DEAN: Some lawmakers specifically Republicans had jumped all over this new information, Max, and called on Milley even to resign.


But we've also heard from former and current defense spokes people and people who had worked in that world who had said nothing untoward happened

here, that he was simply trying to calm the waters and make sure that everything stayed calm during what were these chaotic, turbulent final

months of the Trump administration. Max.

FOSTER: Our Jessica in Washington. Thank you. We're going to dig in a little deeper now with Nic Robertson live in Abu Dhabi, and Daniel L.

Davis; senior fellow and military expert for defense priorities as well as the author of "The 11th Hour in 2020 America: How America's Foreign Policy

Got Jacked Up and How the Next Administration Can Fix It". I want to start with you, Nic, because a lot of analysis here on what actually went wrong

with Afghanistan. You spent a huge amount of time there reporting on all this. And I just want to play you this from Milley about the one thing that

he feels we should learn from this.


MILLEY: One error we may have made over time is we made them too dependent on technology, too dependent on our capabilities. We didn't take in the

cultural aspects perhaps as much as we should have, and we mirror-imaged, to put it simply. I think that's a big lesson we're going to have to take a

hard look at it, and the result is, when you pull contractors, you pull troops, that I think is one of many contributing factors to just the rapid



FOSTER: Not the clearest of sound bites, Nic, but it's not a clear issue, is it? What do you make of that and do you agree?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: He's essentially saying we created the Afghan army in our own image. It is on the surface an

easy mistake to make, that you come into an environment, you think you have a clean slate to rebuild, and you rebuild, not taking into account, as he

said, the cultural differences, the way that the command structures are not as tightened as well discipline in Afghanistan as they are in the U.S.

military. This high dependence on high-tech equipment to fight, you know, essentially an 18th or 19th century war using 21st century technology,

drones, the ability to see over the horizon, the ability to strike over the horizon.

Ground technology to know what the enemy is doing in a certain position, you know, laser technology to predict and be able to see in real-time what

the enemy is doing. All of that as the U.S. drew down created weakness within -- for the Afghan forces. They couldn't prop it up. I think, you

know, there's a -- I would say, there is a strong accuracy in what he says. The idea that, you know, you needed to be able to deploy the Afghan army to

many fronts around the country was a permanent and ongoing challenge. U.S. military tried to do it through constructing roads so that Afghan army

trucks could get from city A to city B and out into the provinces.

It relied on the U.S. military using their aircraft initially to ferry Afghan forces around, and then it became dependent on the Afghan military

to do that. The real game-changer in any conflict was the air power, the fighter jets, the fast jets, the drones that the U.S. brought in to bear in

support of the Afghan forces and U.S. forces when they were there on the ground. When you take those high-tech components out, you have an Afghan

force grown dependent on them and becomes demoralized because it doesn't have that support anymore, and it has a weakness in its command chain and

structure whereby the ground troops no longer have faith in their commanders.

These are all weaknesses that don't exist in the U.S. military. It strikes me as sound rationale, but the bottom line is, why did it take 20 years to

spot that? That's the Intelligence failure there, Max.

FOSTER: Well, absolutely, yes, Colonel Davis, I think he's hit the nail on the head there, hasn't he, Nic? Why was it such a shock when it eventually


DANIEL DAVIS, SENIOR FELLOW & MILITARY EXPERT FOR DEFENSE PRIORITIES: Well, I mean that's exactly what I was thinking as I was listening to that

clip. I was thinking, you're just now figuring that out? I mean it's incredible to even suggest that these guys at the highest levels didn't

know that before. I mean I wrote about this in 2012 after my last combat deployment there in 2011 that this was happening. I wrote in 2010 that we

would lose the war if we didn't make some changes, and that was nothing unique to me. There were many people who understood that, who had been on

the ground there. And so to claim now, ten years after that that they didn't see this coming is just -- I don't think credible.

FOSTER: I also want to play you this sound bite, colonel, because you know, Jessica was referring to earlier on how President Biden had

previously told "ABC" that he wasn't given the advice to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. And it's pretty clear that they were giving him that advice

based on some of the interactions today. Let's have a listen to one of them.


UNIDETIFIED MALE: On August 18th, in a media interview to the American people, the president said that none of his military advisors told him that

he should keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan.


General Milley, that was a false statement by the president of the United States, was it not?

MILLEY: I didn't even see the statement to tell you the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm reading you a truthful statement. That was a false statement?

MILLEY: Yes, I'm not -- look at --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I don't have a lot of time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that a false statement to the American people or not?

MILLEY: I'm not going to categorize the statement of a president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General McKenzie, was that a false statement? The president said none of his commanders said that he should keep troops in

Afghanistan. Was that a false statement by the president of the United States? Remember, you do not have a duty to cover for the president when

he's not telling the truth. Was that a false statement or not?

KENNETH MCKENZIE, COMMANDER, UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND: I have given you -- I have given you my opinion on the matter. I have given you my

judgment on it, and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we all know it was a false statement.


FOSTER: So, colonel, there's military language there. You know, the president is, you know, the senior figure here in the military, but those

generals clearly had something to say that they weren't saying. Read between the lines for us.

DAVIS: Well, I mean it's pretty self-evident what they weren't saying. But, you know, it's covering over I think an even bigger issue with that,

that General Milley and McKenzie both contradicted themselves during testimony today. Because on the one hand, there's -- they emphatically

several times said that, oh, yes, we recommended both to President Trump and to President Biden that we keep 2,500 to stabilize the situation, yet

then at the end, they said that they opted not to -- recommended not to stay beyond 31 August because to do so would have meant war, the Taliban

would fight us.

But that was true from the beginning. That was true when they gave that advice. So, for them to just now figure out that the Taliban were going to

fight us if we didn't leave on schedule is again, doesn't sound very credible to me.

FOSTER: OK, Peter Bergen is also with us now as security analyst, CNN. There's another sound bite which really stood out to me, Peter. This is

about the books and General Milley's admission under oath. He was speaking directly to very well-respected authors and books that made a big splash,

of course. Let's just hear that sound bite. I want to get your response to that as an author yourself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: General Milley, yes or no to this. Did you talk to Bob Woodward or Robert Costa for their book "Peril"?

MILLEY: Woodward, yes. Costa, no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you talk to Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker for their book, "I Alone Can Fix it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you talk to Michael Bender for his book "Is Frankly We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost", yes

or no?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And were you accurately represented in these books?

MILLEY: I haven't read any of the books.


FOSTER: Was the general undermining the president there, Peter?

PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: I don't -- I don't know about undermining, but, you know, it is sadly a very interesting admission

because, as you know, most of those -- all those interviews are typically conducted on background, deep background. Everybody kind of knows who spoke

because everybody who speaks is generally treated better in these accounts than those who choose not to speak. But I think for obviously General

Milley was under oath, he was asked a very direct question. He's quite -- he's a direct human being, but I've never heard in a hearing like this,

such a senior military officer admit that he was speaking directly to a range of journalists who wrote essentially tell-all books.

FOSTER: What was the other highlight for you from these hearings? What's the one takeaway that we can really learn from and make things better from

that you heard today?

BERGEN: Well, I mean, I -- you know, there's an old joke about Washington which is the definition of a gaffe is telling the truth in public. And I

think we heard a lot of truth in public from Generals Milley, McKenzie and Secretary Austin, not least that there were repeated recommendations to

President Biden to keep 2,500 or as many as 3,500 troops, and those were -- those were ignored. I thought it was extraordinary for General Milley to

concede that American credibility was damaged by this withdrawal. I thought it was extraordinary for him to refer to, you know, that the airlift was a

logistical success, but the whole policy was a strategic failure.

I mean, these are pretty strong words in a hearing from essentially the president's top military adviser. So, I thought the hearing was very useful

for the American public, for the world, because these officers and the secretary spoke very clearly. They talked also about how damaging the Doha

agreement had been that was negotiated by the Trump administration to the morale of the Afghan army. I think there were many headlines coming out of

this hearing.


FOSTER: Colonel, you know, that we heard about the previous administration, the tension between the -- you know, military figures and

the White House there, but we've also got tensions with the current White House, with these conversations about the number of troops that remain

there. Are you concerned that Washington isn't functioning properly at this very high level of security, in a way that it should be?

DAVIS: I am very concerned about that because, you know, we did, we saw it both in the Trump administration, we've seen it in the Biden

administration, and Milley is one of the senior figures on that. We know from a number of accounts that he was, you know, absolutely against the

withdrawal, took action to slow roll Trump's ability to get out through a number of reports. And he's clearly not enthusiastic about the withdrawal

now, but he's also not accepting any of the responsibility for it. He keeps talking about how he wanted to stay, but he's not talking about how that

would have caused more war or that if he had stayed when would we ever have gone out? If we were waiting for conditions, then we would be there another

20 years and that needs to be discussed as well.

FOSTER: Nic, how will all this be received in Afghanistan? I mean, does it make life any better for them? So many people left in this horrible mess.

ROBERTSON: No, it doesn't, because there's no repair, reconstruct and get better that the U.S. can manage. There's no lessons in this for the Taliban

other than they were able to call -- essentially call the United States' bluff and say, we'll attack your troops if you don't get out on time and

the U.S. bought it. I think the bigger thing here, Max, is -- and I think this would be watched, this process will be watched carefully in Moscow and

in Beijing, that the desperate division, the parties and divisions between Republicans and Democrats here.

You know, the Democrats trying to show in some ways that President Biden haven't gone too far wrong, and Republicans for their part trying to shift

the blame from President Trump's engagement with the Taliban to put it all on President Biden. The partisan nature of U.S. politics here was on

complete world view, and to United States' enemies, there are weaknesses there to exploit. And I think those are the lessons that will be taken from

this in foreign capitals. And that's -- you know, that's damaging for the United States. It's where the United States is politically, and it's a

democratic process to go through open hearings to try to learn -- to try to learn the lessons and put it on public view.

But it puts on public view so much more in the United States right now, and that is this partisan nature of politics. And that exhibits a weakness to

the United States' enemies right now.

FOSTER: And Peter, just one last sound bite, Milley talking about the conversation he had with Nancy Pelosi about President Trump's state of

mental health, much made of that coming out of the books, but this is what he had to say about that today.


MILLEY: She was concerned and made very -- or made various personal references characterizing the president. I explained to her that the

president is the sole nuclear launch authority and he doesn't launch them alone, and that I am not qualified to determine the mental health of the

president of the United States.


FOSTER: The president then still in control of the nuclear arsenal, Peter. What did we learn from that? Some concern that, that system isn't as clear

as it once was.

BERGEN: Well, I think also Milley, you know, really kind of responded very forcefully to all the sort of criticisms he's received. And you know, he

made it very clear that when he had these conversations, for instance, with the Chinese, that he informed acting Secretary of Defense Miller, Mike

Pompeo, the Secretary of State, you know, that he wasn't freelancing. That on one occasion, there were eight people in the room when he had these

conversations. On another occasion, there were 11 people in the room, and that was in his prepared statement which, you know, is easily available to

anybody who is watching this.

So, I think that he came knowing that these questions were going to be asked. He had some pretty good answers. He wasn't conducting some little

secret, covert effort to undermine President Trump, at least in his own accounting, and he did it with the understanding and the knowledge and the

briefing of people who were in the chain of command and also other, you know, cabinet officials.

FOSTER: OK, CNN security analyst Peter Bergen. Thank you very much, indeed and Nic Robertson, live in Abu Dhabi, and Daniel L. Davis; senior fellow

and military expert for defense priorities. Thank you all very much for joining us for that --

BERGEN: Thank you --

FOSTER: Breakdown of this extraordinary hearing. Still to come tonight, officials say fuel shortages are starting to ease in the U.K., but are

drivers really finding that the case?



FOSTER: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the fuel supply crisis in the U.K. is beginning to stabilize, but try telling that to these drivers.

Just look at these lines, queues stretching back as far as the eye can see, and people are getting anxious, tempers flaring. We can see here one man

reportedly pulling out a knife on a driver. Our reporter Anna Stewart at a petrol station in London. Hopefully, it is safe where you are, Anna.

Certainly, tensions have got frayed and it's really difficult for a lot of people who have to get to work, but are things getting better, do you


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, if I took this petrol station as an example, Max, yesterday the queue was very long. This morning, it was as

well, on my way to work, it actually was blocking up some of the old street roundabout you see behind me. Look at it now, it's got a few cars, but

they're moving pretty quickly. I would say things have eased, naturally, I know that 20,000 liters of fuel were delivered to this petrol station this

morning. So, in that sense, perhaps some things are improving, not for everyone though.

And of course, this has been of critical importance for so many people who work and need to drive, whether we're talking about delivery drivers, taxi

drivers or critically, first responders. And the issue hasn't been a lack of fuel in the U.K., there's plenty of fuel, there's just not enough truck

drivers to get it from the platforms and refineries here to the petrol station, which is one reason this morning, the U.K. government said they

have put the army on hard standby to step in and help.

They also have personnel ready to be able to drive and take fuel. Actually, an operation that's largely in time of strikes, they are ready to --

haven't activated. And as you said, the noises we're getting from the government, but also from within the industry is a sense that things might

be beginning to improve. Max.

FOSTER: Prime Minister seems to agree with that. We've just heard from him, better late than never, a lot of drivers are saying.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: We now are starting to see the situation improve. We're hearing from industry that supplies are

coming back on to the forecourts in the normal way. And I would just really urge everybody to just go about their business in the normal way and fill

up in the normal way when you -- when you really need it and, you know, things will start to improve. All we want to do is make sure that we have

all the preparations necessary to get through until Christmas and beyond, not just in the -- supplying the petrol stations, but all parts of our

supply chain.



FOSTER: Well, that's the truth, isn't it, Anna? Because this is not just a U.K. issue, increasingly across the western world, all sorts of products

just aren't getting out. And this is a much wider problem the governments need to address.

STEWART: There is a huge confluence of causes really for the shortage of drivers and more broadly for supply chains. Look at the semiconductor

crisis for the auto industry that spreads across the world. There are issues throughout. I would say the truck driver crisis here has been

ongoing for well over a year now, and it has been massively exacerbated by Brexit. And there's been so much frustration within the U.K. that nothing

really has been done up to this point. (INAUDIBLE) for instance have been patchy now for months and months, and has really hit a crisis point I think

with this petrol crisis.

Now, words from the government, words from industry bodies saying they think the crisis is easing may be particularly good for those people that

have been panic-buying. Plenty of people possibly didn't need to refill their tanks, but saw the headlines, knew they needed their car at some

stage in the coming days and therefore went to get fuel, and that has obviously exacerbated the situation. Speaking to drivers here today,

they're still worried.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't take long journeys because you don't know if you're going to get some fuel somewhere or not. It's really bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all need, you know, the fuel to work, and emergency services need it more, but we still need it as well to do our job. So, no,

it's really hard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I should have got some on Sunday, but I left it. But I think he says he's got the army on standby. Why don't he just deploy it and

just get the situation sorted out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we have the line just for the motorcycle, so it's better, but most places, we've got to stay behind lines like, you know, I

don't know how many -- you know, miles. It's just a pain in the -- in the butt.


STEWART: This petrol crisis may be easing, but really, Max, this could be the beginning of something of a Winter of discontent. There are so many

disruptions with the supply chain, and I don't think people in the industry believe that the government's solutions for a shortage of truck drivers is

enough to avoid further crises. Max.

FOSTER: OK, Anna, thank you. The queue is moving slowly as Anna says behind her. Now, in Spain, they've declared the Island of La Palma a

disaster zone as a volcano erupts for the tenth-straight day. We've just had these pictures in to us, molten lava still pouring out of the volcano

as you can see. Officials have announced an initial $12 million aid package to help people who have lost their homes. They're also asking people on the

island to stay indoors as ash falls from the sky, and that's increasingly happening.

Still to come tonight, from delayed elections to the return of Haitians deported from the U.S., Haiti tries to address multiple crises at once.

Ahead, an exclusive interview with the prime minister about the government response.




FOSTER: Haiti is once again postponing its long-delayed elections. At this critical moment for the country, CNN's Melissa Bell spoke exclusively with

the prime minister for us. She joins us live from Port-au-Prince -- Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, as though this country didn't have enough problems facing it, not just that migrant crisis we have been

talking about over the course of the last week but, of course, the rampant gang violence that has made daily life for ordinary Haitians such a

nightmare and, of course, the aftermath of the earthquake in August.

It is also a country in the grip of a political crisis ever since the assassination of Jovenel Moise, its president, on July 7th. The man who

took over, who has since been described by the departing U.S. envoy as the unelected de facto leader of Haiti, sat down with us for a chat.


BELL (voice-over): Since the migrant crisis and the deportation of thousands of Haitians, the man now in charge of Haiti gives an exclusive

interview to CNN.

ARIEL HENRY, HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We saw some of the mistreatment that these Haitians are suffering and it struck us a lot.

What we are saying is, that as long as there are countries that are better off than others, there will always be an appeal to those wealthier places.

BELL (voice-over): But despite the migrant crisis, the prime minister says Haitian cooperation with the United States is good and that he means it to

remain so. Henry took office two weeks after the assassination of the president Jovenel Moise. Elections had been due in September. They've now

been pushed back.

HENRY (through translator): The train has derailed for some time in Haiti. We have no more elected officials; only 10 senators, who cannot pass a law

because there aren't enough of them. We want to move as quickly as possible to the restoration of democracy through elections.

BELL (voice-over): But since taking over, Henry has been accused of hampering the investigation into the late president's murder by firing the

prosecutor and the justice minister.

BELL: How can people have faith in the investigation when the executive is meddling in the judiciary?

HENRY (through translator): The prosecutor was dismissed for breaking the law. The minister of justice was dismissed for breaking the law as well. It

is important for us that the president Jovenel Moise has justice. It is fundamental for us and we are going to do everything so that justice is


BELL (voice-over): The prosecutor had wanted to see charges brought against Henry over alleged phone calls that were made in the hours after

the assassination, with one of the main suspects who is still on the run.

BELL: The questions that the prosecutor had were about phone calls that you had received from one of the main suspects.

What is your relationship with him?

HENRY (through translator): I have no recollection of this telephone call or if it took place. I have no interest in being associated with these

people. And I have never been and never will be.

BELL (voice-over): Despite the controversy that has surrounded him so far, Henry says that he's determined to bring stability to Haiti by taking on

the gangs that control so much of the country.

HENRY (through translator): We have asked friendly countries for help in supporting our police to fight these bandits and get them out of public

life so that the economy can pick up, so that our children can go about their normal lives.

BELL (voice-over): Little comfort to the deportees, returning to a country more violent and politically unstable than the one they left.


BELL: Now that question of the gang violence is really one at the forefront of the minds of ordinary Haitians, as they may their way around,

Max, the streets of Port-au-Prince every day.

One of the remarkable things you hear is people walking with their children, even grown-up teenagers, holding by the hand or the arm, so

they're aware of them, of the spiral problem of kidnapping. We are seeing one to two a day in Port-au-Prince and it doesn't matter that the increased

police presence on the streets is there.


BELL: It doesn't really seem to be doing anything to prevent the gangs that now control, we're told by human rights activists, 60 percent of the

Haitian capital.

Rather chillingly, as we got up from the interview with the Haitian prime minister yesterday, it was quite late at night, it was after dark. No one

goes out in the city at that time of night. He told us to be careful because of the problems of kidnapping. He said, you may not be safe in

Port-au-Prince -- Max.

FOSTER: OK. Stay safe, Melissa. Thank you very much for bringing us that exclusive interview.

Now in Asia, South Korea says North Korea launched a short-range missile off its east coast on Tuesday. It happened just before the ambassador took

to the stage at the United Nations General Assembly half a world away. Paula Hancocks is live for us in Seoul.

It was only a few days ago that the North was talking about engaging again with the South.

So what do you think is happening here?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, we did hear from Kim Jong- un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, just a few days ago, saying they should reengage, they should mend some bridges and certainly it was welcomed here in Seoul.

But then what we have seen was 6:40 am local time we saw that short-range ballistic missile, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, being fired off

the east coast of North Korea. And then just within about 20, 25 minutes, then we saw the North Korean representative stand up in the U.N. General

Assembly and give his speech.

In that speech, Kim Song slammed the U.S.; interesting that North Korea did not slam South Korea, so they're keeping with that theme of potentially

mending bridges with the South. But they certainly weren't happy with the U.S. Let's listen to what he had to say.


KIM SONG, NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. (through translator): Given the U.S.-South Korean military alliances, increased military threats

against the DPRK, nobody can deny the righteous right to self-defense for North Korea to develop, test, manufacture and purchase the weapon systems

equivalent to the ones which are possessed or being developed by them.


HANCOCKS: That's worth pointing out that the technology used, this ballistic missile technology used in the missile launch, is banned by the

United Nations Security Council resolution. So it does violate those particular rules.

It also came on the same day that South Korea was launching its newest submarine. This is a submarine able to carry out and carry the submarine-

launched ballistic missile it tested just a few weeks ago. So an awful lot happening on one day.

And very rarely on the Korean Peninsula do things happen in a vacuum. There's very rarely coincidence when these things happen.

So once again, we are seeing the third missile launch this month for North Korea. They had been particularly quiet for many months, many believed,

because they were struggling with the economy. They believe they still are but also because of COVID-19, trying to keep the pandemic out of the


But now we are seeing Pyongyang really pushing toward their testing regime once again. The U.S. said that they didn't believe that it posed an

immediate danger to any U.S. personnel or those in the region. But they said it just is another example of how destabilizing an effect North Korea

can have on the region -- Max.

FOSTER: OK. Paula in Seoul, thank you.

Still to come tonight, Pfizer is taking a big step toward getting COVID vaccines into the arms of children as young as 5. We'll look at the hurdles

that could stand in the way next.

And China is grappling with an energy crisis. Why four key provinces are facing blackouts and why they could have a ripple effect worldwide.





FOSTER: Today, young children in the United States are one step closer to getting the coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer and BioNTech say they have

submitted initial trial data on children ages 5 to 11 to the Food and Drug Administration. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me


Elizabeth, Pfizer is submitting data but not a request for emergency use authorization, right?

What is the difference?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Max, this is the way this usually goes. Companies submit information; they don't necessarily do

it all at once. They submit it in sort of bits and pieces.

And they're talking all the time, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies talk all the time to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So there's a

constant sort of communication. So there's nothing unusual about this.

We are certainly looking forward to the time when they do apply, so that children can get vaccinated. Let's take a look at what the data says and

what data we still don't know.

So if we take a look at what we know about Pfizer's data for children ages 5 to 11, they looked at more than -- or they included more than 2,200

participants this age in a clinical trial.

They gave these children just one-third the dose that they give to adults. And Pfizer says that the vaccine is safe and generated a robust antibody

response. Now that's important but it is not the most important thing.

Really what the FDA wants to know is, how did these children do on the vaccine?

Were they less likely to get COVID or get very sick from COVID compared to children who received a placebo in the clinical trial?

In other words, just got a shot of saline that does nothing.

How did the children do on the vaccine?

We still don't know the answer to that. So we don't know when Pfizer is going to submit that data and officially apply for an EUA. But once they do

-- and we have been told to look for it in coming weeks -- once they do, let's look at the timetable that happened with adults at the end of last

year. That might give us some feeling for what will happen with children.

Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization for adults on November 20th of last year and they received their authorization December 11th. So just

three weeks passed. Once Pfizer does apply, there's a reasonable chance it won't take very, very long for the FDA to make a decision -- Max.

FOSTER: And another interesting sort of graph, I guess you can call it, the CDC has come out with the pace of new vaccinations is actually the

lowest level since they started tracking these numbers.

Is that something we need to worry about?

COHEN: For sure. I mean, in the United States, one out of four eligible people, in other words people who could get the vaccine, one out of four of

them have chosen not to. They haven't even gotten one shot.

In the United States, vaccine is everywhere, it is free, it is easy to get. There's no reason not to get it unless you don't want it. So apparently one

in four people in the United States does not want the vaccine.

And that's really a problem. So vaccinations were kind of picking up a bit, as we saw over the summer.

But now let's take a look at this most recent data. This came out just today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So what

they're saying is that now 230,000 people approximately are getting their first vaccines.

In other words, they're initiating the vaccination process per day, 230,000. That sounds like a big number. But remember, the United States is

a big place. That's the slowest pace since January. That's a 31 percent decline since last week. That's not good. They really need to get that last

25 percent vaccinated.


COHEN: And they need to figure out what is going to convince these people to finally roll up their sleeves.

FOSTER: And they're trying to press on, aren't they, with the boosters as well. So they need to get to that point as well and there's new data out on

them and the safety of boosters.

COHEN: That's right. To be clear, U.S. health authorities have said, unequivocally, getting a first and second dose is much more important than

getting a booster but they do want certain people, such as those over age 65, to get boosters.

Some people wondered, how safe is a booster. So let's look at the data from the CDC.

What they found is that reactions to the third dose were actually very similar to reactions from the second dose. Most of these side effects were

mild and moderate. The most common were muscle aches, fatigue and headache.

So the third dose looking very similar to the second dose. There were no red flags. There were no severe side effects, just very similar to how

people felt after they got their second shot -- Max.

FOSTER: OK. Elizabeth, thank you so much for your insight and detail on that.

COHEN: Thanks so much.

FOSTER: For the use of everyone watching.

Now the world's second largest economy is facing an energy crunch. China running short on electricity, plunging cities into darkness. Selina Wang

explains why.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The power supply crunch in China is getting worse, triggering blackouts for households and forcing factories to

cut production. According to state media, the power outage is hitting three northeastern provinces and cities in the southern province of Guangdong, a

major industrial and shipping hub.

The power shortage is making life difficult for residents. Reports of traffic lights that have stopped working, leading to severe traffic jams. A

video on social media showed a family, trapped in an elevator for 45 minutes.

But the factors leading to this power crunch have been brewing for some time. Consider surging demand for Chinese goods, as the global economy

recovers from the pandemic. That increases demand for China's electricity- hungry export factories, sending energy prices soaring.

At the same time China is trying to meet its very ambitious climate goals to be carbon net zero by 2060, hitting peak emissions by 2030. So local

officials are under pressure to limit energy, electricity demand and reduce the use of coal to generate power.

And economists are cutting China's growth expectations. Goldman Sachs cut its 2021 GDP forecast to 7.8 percent from 8.2 percent. This also places

even further strain on the global supply chain. The cutting of production at factories has raised concerns about a shortage of goods, especially

ahead of the Christmas season -- Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


FOSTER: Speaking of the world's big carbon emitters, it is time for tough talk from Greta Thunberg.


GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: There is no planet b. There is no planet blah. Blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah.


THUNBERG: This is not about some expensive, politically correct, dream act, bunny hugging or blah, blah, blah. Build back better, blah, blah,

blah. Green economy, blah, blah, blah.

Net zero by '25, 2050, blah, blah, blah. Net zero by 2050, blah, blah, blah. Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah.

This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words. Words that sound great but, so far, has led to no action.


FOSTER: The environmental activist there at a youth climate conference in Milan, as part of the run-up to the COP26 climate summit in Scotland in

November. Climate a central issue in Germany. The Green Party is now one of the kingmakers in the quest to form a new government there following last

weekend's election.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more for us from Berlin.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After the election here in Germany it is now down to business for the political

parties as they try to form governing coalitions to see who will become the next chance lore here in Germany.

At the moment, firmly in the driver's seat appears to be Olaf Scholz from the Social Democrats. They, of course, won the largest part of the vote in

Sunday's election. Scholz himself went on German public television and he said he believes he is in position to form a governing coalition.

He also says he wants to do that as fast as possible. Now the Social Democrats' parliamentary group in German parliament has said they want to

start negotiations, at least preliminary ones, as early as sometime this week.

Now the main parties that they want to form a coalition with are the Green Party and also the Liberal Democratic Party. Both of those parties did

manage to increase their share of the vote in the recent election.


PLEITGEN: In fact, the head of the Green Party's parliamentary group, he said he believes that the so-called Traffic Light Coalition, which is a

coalition of the Social Democrats, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, would be the most likely option for Germany going forward.

At the same time, of course, you still have the conservative bloc with Armin Laschet, who was their candidate, also saying they want to form a

coalition but it is looking increasingly less likely as Laschet is facing some public criticism after the very bad showing by the conservative bloc.

Of course, the party of Angela Merkel not doing well at all in Germany's recent election. One of the things that is definitely becoming clear, that

it is going to be the Green Party and the Liberal Party that are going to be the kingmakers in this election.

They, of course, both saw pretty good gains in the election and they especially managed to mobilize a lot of young voters as well -- Fred

Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


FOSTER: Still to come tonight, the long-awaited return of 007. The iconic spy is back on the big screen with a final performance from the actor that

redefined the films.




FOSTER: After delays for more than a year, the latest James Bond film is finally hitting the big screen. At this hour, London's Royal Albert Hall is

hosting the world premiere of "No Time to Die."

Look at that jacket. The movie heads to theaters across the U.K. this weekend. Already, tens of thousands of tickets have been sold, with some

screenings completely full. At this rate, it could have the biggest opening since the pandemic hit the movie industry.

Daniel Craig has been Bond for 15 years now and he is leaving behind an impressive legacy.


FOSTER (voice-over): It may be "No Time to Die," but, for actor Daniel Craig, it's a good time to move on from the blockbuster movie franchise

that made him an international star.

Craig's last bow as the smoothest operator in British intelligence is long overdue in theaters, pushed back several times from its initial release

date in April 2020 because of the pandemic.

And there were reports the star was reluctant to reprise the role after injuring himself on the movie "Spectre" six years ago. But in the spirit of

never saying never again, Craig is back as James Bond for a fifth and final time.

DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: I'm so happy that I got the chance to come and do this one and we've tied up lots of loose ends.


CRAIG: And we've tried to tell one story with all my Bond movies. It's sort of that they're all connected in some way and this one just sort of --

it has capped it off.

FOSTER (voice-over): Craig made a dramatic entrance as James Bond in 200, riding up the Thames in a speedboat, in a press stunt that ended

speculation over who would take over the role from Pierce Brosnan.

CRAIG: I would like to thank the Royal Marines for bringing me in like that and scaring the (INAUDIBLE) out of me. But apart from that, it was

something else. I can't tell you really. I'm a bit speechless.

FOSTER (voice-over): But Craig quickly found his voice as 007 and the movies were a huge success. "Skyfall," released in 2012, is the most

lucrative of all the Bond films, earning more than $1 billion at the global box office.

And the character under Craig became a more modern take on the poker playing, gadget loving spy of the past. This one was fitter, grittier and

could even fall in love.

CRAIG: It changed my life and my life will never be the same again. And it's just amazing -- a wonderful, wonderful thing.

FOSTER (voice-over): Many actors have been rumored to be in the running to take over from Craig with some fans saying, it's time for a Black actor or

a woman to step into the iconic role. But producers say they won't discuss a replacement until next year.


FOSTER: Now a new statue in Italy is sparking a sexism debate. It was unveiled over the weekend and depicts a character from a 19th century poem.

She is wearing a transparent, tight-fitting dress. The backlash was swift. The former Italian senate speaker tweeted, quote, "Male chauvinism is one

of the evils of Italy."

Another former senator said she is horrified.

The town's mayor is defending it, though. He says it was made with impeccable interpretation by artist Emmanuele Stifano.

Thank you for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I will be back after a short break with QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.