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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  September 19, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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hi. welcome to cnn wherever you are in the world. thanks for joining me. roby ro roby robyn know. i am live in atlanta. afghan women taking to the streets as the taliban chip away at their freedoms. and the fbi believes the remains of gaby petito have been found. anyway, the search for her fiance is taking on a new urgency. plus, under desperation under a bridge. of the u.s. launches a mass expulsion of migrants, reiterating that the border is closed.
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live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with robyn curnow. >> thanks for joining me this hour. so, we know that afghan women are defiant, despite growing signs that the taliban government is sidelining them. a group of activists protested outside what used to be the women's ministry on sunday of the the taliban closed that ministry, and replaced it with their ministry which is called the ministry for promotion of virtue and prevention of vice. the protests came after concerns were raised about girls being allowed to attend secondary school. >> translator: you cannot suppress the voice of afghan women by keeping girls at home and restricting them, as well as by not allowing them to go to school. you cannot suppress the voice of afghanistan's women. >> well, the taliban have
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claimed they will not rule as they did during the '90s but they have done little else to calm fears that women will be denied basic freedoms or be shut out of jobs and schools. on sunday, afghanistan's ministry of education ordered male employees to report on monday. but no mention of female workers. and kabul's mayor said women will only be allowed to work in city government jobs that cannot be done by men. >> translator: initially, we allowed all of them to be present at their duties on time. but then, the islamic emirate decided that it was necessary that for some time, their work must stop. then, we only allowed those females whom we needed. i mean, for jobs which males couldn't do or which is not a man's job. >> so the future is certainly uncertain for all afghans under taliban rule. in camps, the displaced -- in camps for displaced around kabul, conditions are crowded and unsanitary. and in the rest of the capital, the economic crisis is clear.
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nic robertson reports from kabul. >> reporter: on kabul's fringes, families displaced by fighting, abandoned by their new taliban islamic emirate government. literally, just getting out of the car coming into the camp. people are surround us. they want to know how we can help them and this is is how bad the camp it. human feces along the wall here. just awful conditions. the taliban have won the war. but their problems running the country are piling up. >> it's the smell that hits you, first. people literally forced to go to the toilet right next to their tents where they are cooking. how many people in this camp here? 500 families, he tells me. no sign here of any aid. no water, no food, no shelter, no toilets. >> and -- and -- and anyone coming from the islamic emirate offices to talk to them and ask what they need? his answer needs no translation.
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you're on your own. he shows me the long lists of the displaced. as he speaks, a man in a hi-vis vest with a stick in his hand interrupts. it's clear, we have to go. we were told that we didn't have permission to film there. that's why we are leaving. as we have been leaving, we have been handed all these numbers. people thrusting phone numbers in to us, they are literally banging on the car now, desperate for us to be able to help them in some way and they think giving us their phone numbers is going to help. across town, in the book market, there is calm. too much of it. books, book, books but no one to buy them. no one is spending money, he says. they don't know what's coming. the only books that are selling well are religious ones. of 300 stores here, only 20 remain open.
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another market, this secondhand goods trader says everyone is selling up to flee the country. so far, the tall iban is limiti cash withdrawals to $200 a week but that seems to be the only economic policy, so far. during friday prayers, the call from the mosques, america is being blamed for afghanistan's dire situation. the reality, the economy is hurting. the international monetary fund warns of a looming humanitarian crisis. the taliban won the war. but can they run the country? right now, they could use international help. >> the foreign reserves of afghanistan are almost exclusively in -- in banks here in the -- the united states, including the federal reserve, other banks about $9 billion. all of that has been frozen. >> reporter: early signs the pressure is taking its toll. the taliban, this week, struggling to quell reports of a
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rift in their ranks. triggered when the deputy-prime minister, the main negotiator with the u.s., unexpectedly missing for several days. this week, the taliban's most powerful military commander told the u.n. frozen money must be released. he has a $10 million fbi bounty on his head for ties to terrorism and al qaeda. the taliban have got what they want. control of afghanistan. but running the country and winning the peace, that's their biggest challenge, yet. nic robertson, cnn, kabul, afghanistan. >> thanks to nic for that piece. anna coren joins me now. anna, of course, there's also reported extensively from afghanistan. you are in hong kong now. nic's piece was excellent. he is there on the ground and -- and he certainly showed and spoke to some of these extraordinarily brave people on the ground. but also, women.
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mothers who are fighting back by their increasing pushback we have seen from the taliban in terms of women's rights. >> that's right, robyn. we saw that processed yesterday. look, it wasn't a large protest but, still, you have a dozen women out there if not more outside what was once the -- the ministry of women's affairs. that is now the ministry for the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice. and their task is to ensure the strict implementation of sharia law. and -- and, you know, what does this mean for women? um, and this is what these -- these women are protesting against. they want their girls to go to school. they -- they want to be able to return to their jobs, and be part of this workforce. which is what had been promised by the taliban when they came into power over a month ago. so, you know, these women taking to the streets. there are other mothers that -- that are taking to social media saying if our boys can go to
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school, why can't our girls go to school? and we know that -- that boys return to school in the weekend in -- to -- to secondary school. girls are not allowed, at this stage. the taliban says they -- they are working out transportation. making sure that that is secure. on the job front for -- for women, we know that there are about 3,000 government employees in the capital city in -- in kabul. we heard from the -- the -- the acting mayor. and he said that 27% of the workforce is -- is made up of women. but for now, only men are allowed to return unless they are jobs that men can't do, like cleaning the women's bathrooms. i mean, it is just beyond demeaning. and the taliban are saying this is about security, about wanting to get afghanistan to -- to a -- a -- a place of -- of -- of normality. um, things are up in the air at the moment but women are not buying this, robyn. i mean, i am in touch with -- with women every single day saying how scared they are.
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saying that they can't go back to university. saying that they want it to lea the country because there is no future for them. there has been a -- a generation of women educated over the last 20 years. and now, what is being proposed. you know, this strict interpretation of islam does not include women. um, one activist i spoke to. she said they don't want to hear us, they don't want to see us. they -- they hate us. there is no future for us in this country. and it -- it's just tragic, absolutely tragic, robyn. >> yeah, it is gut wrenching. anna coren, thanks so much also for reporting on all of this. appreciate it. now, to a story that is certainly making headlines here in the u.s. the family of gabby petito is asking for privacy as they grieve the loss of their daughter. on sunday, the fbi investigators said the human remains they found in wyoming are consistent with the description of a 22-year-old petito. she was reported missing more than a week ago. meanwhile, authorities spent another day searching the
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florida wilderness for her fiance, whose whereabouts are currently unknown. le leyla santiago is on the scene with more. >> reporter: north port police say that they will continue to work with the fbi in order to find more answers when it comes to the disappearance of gabby petito, as well as the disappearance of brian laundrie. now, they have been searching here in this wildlife preserve where we are right now. 25,000 acres, by the way. a very lush terrain all day long. after the -- the laundrie family reached out to police on friday saying the last time they had seen him was on tuesday. the search continues to finding brian laundrie. now, as far as gabby petito, fbi held a press conference with some very tragic news. take a listen. >> earlier today, human remains were discovered consistent with the description of gabrielle gabby petito.
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full-forensic identification has not been completed to -- to confirm 100% that we found gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery. the cause of death has not been determined at this time. >> reporter: still, lots of questions remain. and there are still a lot of investigators, as well as a community here, that is hoping that if investigators can find brian laundrie, that perhaps they can get more information to what led up to the disappearance and death of gabby petito. leyla santiago, cnn, north port, florida. >> thanks, leyla, for that. now, the laundrie family expressed their condolences on sunday saying through a family attorney, the news about gabby petito is heartbreaking. the laundrie family prays for gabby and her family. you are watching cnn. still to come, the desperate scene at the u.s.-mexico boarder, what the u.s. government is doing to resolve the crisis.
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so migrant crisis is unfolding at the u.s.-mexico border. i want to show you the scene at the migrant camp under the del rio international bridge. here it is here, where nearly 12,000 migrants are waiting to be processed by u.s. immigration authorities. the u.s. department of homeland security has already conducted three repatriation flights from del rio, texas, to port-au-prince. with more than 300 haitians onboard. but that is not deterring more migrants from arriving at the border. now, the head of u.s. homeland security plans to travel to the area to assess the situation. here's what he told jim acosta. >> we are increasing the frequency and size of the repatriation flights. we have sent a very clear message, early on. in light of the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, that the border is not open. and people should not take the
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perilous journey here. we are returning people to other countries. >> a senior-u.s. advocate for refugees international. she joins me now from washington. thank you you very much for being here on cnn. what we are seeing at the border now is one of america's fastest, largest-scale expulsion of migrants or refugees in decades, am i correct there? >> what we are seeing is about 12 to 14,000 migrants have shown -- have come to the border in -- near del rio, texas. and, um, what the biden administration is now doing is using a policy that's been in place for -- since march of 2020 from the trump administration. but using an expulsion policy to rapidly expel these migrants. the plan is to send several
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expulsion flights directly to haiti without screening these migrants. >> the biden administration is saying clearly what is happening there under that bridge is unacceptable. it is not a humanitarian situation. it can't go on. something needs to be done. and -- and under -- under covid laws, under rules within the u.s. right now, there is no legal protection for people coming in. and that, this is what unfortunately is the pathway for these people. it might be not great. it might not feel good. but at least for the americans, they are saying this is the situation. >> well, unfortunate -- well, that is what they are saying. the problem is is that -- so this title 42 covid policy has been in place as i said for many months. certainly, since the beginning of the biden administration. and for the past 11 months, about 30,000 haitians have tried to -- have been caught crossing the border without authorization.
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i should also mention that you cannot seek asylum at ports of entry because ports of entry are also closed to asylum seekers. >> exactly. >> so the only way you can get in is to -- is to cross between -- between ports of entry. but what the -- but most of those -- of those haitians who have come for the past 11 months have -- have not actually been expelled. um, 87% of them have been admitted. most families have been admitted. i visited del rio just earlier in august. less than a month ago. and many haitians, both adults and families were being released at that time in different ways. most families were being released, not expelled. they are given a notice to appear in immigration court. some single adults were being sent to detention centers. and so, the fact of the matter is, yes, this expulsion policy has been in effect this whole time. these covid rules, as you said, have been in effect the whole time but they have not actually been used in this way the whole
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time. >> but also, again, just to play devil's advocate here. i mean, for the biden administration, this is thousands and thousands of people who have turned up, illegally, in this situation. they are, already, overstretched with the afghan situation. processing people right now into the -- the system within the u.s. is stretched beyond capacity. there are only so many resources, particularly after the afghanistan situation. this -- the biden administration is arguing -- is the only way that they can cope is to send them back. >> right. well, the -- there are a couple of responses to that, as well. i mean, the -- the afghans who have been brought into this country are -- are on military bases right now all over the united states. um, have nothing to do with ports of entry. en they are coming into two airports. in fact, just one airport on the east -- >> it's about processing people. >> right. it's -- it's not -- it's not occupying the border patrol's time on the -- on the -- on the u.s. and mexico border.
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so that's not really an issue. then, the other thing has to do with haiti, in particular. so, haiti is in the midst of a political crisis. its president was assassinated. there was just an earthquake two weeks ago. haiti has temporary protective status. so if you showed up and you were haitian and you entered the united states before july 29th, you would definitely not be deportable because the biden administration has deemed haiti an unsafe country to send people. so i think the issue really seems like suddenly now, in order to send a signal, a deterrent signal -- >> well, i think that is the point here, in many ways. this is also about politics. this is about a president who is not just president to democrats but also president to the whole country. and there is not the political appetite, at least politically, ahead of the midterms. and after a pretty rough few weeks for the white house, for -- for these images of people massing under a bridge. you know, without there being a
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plan. so i mean, under your -- you know, i understand where you're -- where you're coming from but i think for the biden administration, they're like, you know what? this has to be a deterrent because if we let this group of people under the bridge, what about -- what message does that send to everybody else who is waiting in line? >> the deterrent message, i think, has not come out clearly from the biden administration. it seems like sometimes they choose it, and sometimes they don't. and it's not really clear that that deterrent message will actually deter anybody from coming. it hasn't worked, so far. as i said, this expulsion policy has been in place the entire time. and it's not quite clear to me that's actually getting through. and what is happening is what the public is seeing is that this is a disparate treatment of central americans, on the one hand, who have families have not been expelled. afghans who are being admitted en masse. you know, coming to the united states. and black people are being sent back to haiti. that is the optics of this right now, as well. and i think it's just something to keep in mind. >> yeah. thank you very much.
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senior u.s. advocate for refugees international. and this was the scene in melbourne, australia, on saturday. when hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors clashed with police there. ten officers were injured. more than 230 people arrested. frustrations are certainly rising after weeks of tough covid restrictions and lockdowns across the state of victoria and the capital, melbourne. victoria reported more than 560 new covid cases on monday, its largest daily rise this year. and the u.s. is now approaching nearly 2,000 covid deaths, per day. that's the highest level we've seen in more than six months. now, health experts say the best way to reverse that trend is to get more people vaccinated. but for those who already are, there's confusion over possible booster shots. the biden administration had wanted to make them available for all eligible americans as soon as monday. but last week, an fda advisory
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committee recommended a third pfizer dose only for older and high-risk patients. well, on sunday, dr. fauci fielded a question on whether the panel had made a mistake. >> i don't think they made a mistake but the one thing i think people need to realize. that data are coming in, literally, on a daily and weekly basis. they're going to continue to look at this, literally, in real-time. more data will be coming in on both safety for younger individuals, efficacy, both from israel, other countries, as well as our substantial cohorts that the cdc is following. so the story is not over yet. i think people need to understand that. >> we are getting a better idea of where most of the covid deaths are happening. florida has more deaths linked to the virus than any other state since july 1st when the delta variant began to take hold in the u.s. since then, around 20% of all covid deaths have been in florida.
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so coming up on cnn. testing the honor system. brazil's president is blatantly violating vaccine requirements as he heads to new york to speak at the opening session of the u.n. general assembly. and the latest in the ongoing fallout over the submarine deal between the u.s., uk, and australia that left out france. that's ahead. did we come up with the idea to combine our famous mac and cheese with our iconic grilled cheese? by saying yes. yes to new inventions! yes to clean and fresh ingredients! and yes to living life to the flavor-fullest. panera. live your yes. now $1 delivery. you booked a cozy vrbo mountain cabin. [laughs] with a kitchen where everyone can chef. [laughs] a family room where you can let your hair down. and a backyard that is a tree-lined living room. but the thing they'll remember forever? watching the game together once again. ♪ the time for getting back together is now. ♪
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it is 28 minutes past the hour. thanks for joining me. i'm robyn curnow here live in atlanta. so, the u.s. president joe biden on tuesday will deliver his first speech to the u.n. general assembly since taking office. it is a critical moment for mr.
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biden 'cause he plans to articulate his foreign policy vision. a senior official says he'll discuss the pandemic and argue for more aggressive measures to contain the spread of covid. but before he speaks, brazil's president is expected to open the assembly and that is causing concern because he refuses to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as raphael romo now reports. rafael. >> he once said that coronavirus was a little flu. last december, he suggested that a coronavirus vaccine can turn people into an alligator or a bearded woman. and now, brazilian president, jair bolsonaro, a controversial right-wing former military officer is attending the u.n. general assembly even though he hasn't been vaccinated. and rules require it. during an interview that was broadcast online last week, bolsonaro dismissed vaccines. why would i get vaccinated, he asked? adding that in his case, his antibody levels are so high, he doesn't need any vaccine.
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let's remember that the president tested positive for covid-19 in july, 2020. in a statement released last week, new york mayor bill de blasio thanked assembly president for requiring proof of vaccination to enter the u.n. general assembly hall. but in an interview with reuters, the same day, u.n. secretary general, antonio guterres, said it's a rule that he cannot enforce. >> of course, we -- we, as secretariat, cannot tell a head of state if he is not vaccinated if he cannot enter the united nations. >> bolsonaro was immediately targeted by the opposition after declaring he is not getting vaccinated before going to new york. a congresswoman from the leftist workers' party blasted the president on twitter. new york demands proof of vaccination from the u.n. assembly, she wrote. and can you imagine which political leader did not get vaccinated and will bring more international shame to the people of his country?
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with more than 21 million cases, brazil ranks third in the world for the largest number of confirmed covid-19 infections. more than 590,000 people have died of the disease there since the beginning of the pandemic. rafael romo, cnn atlanta. well, damage control will be on the agenda whether the u.s. president speaks with french president, emmanuel macron, this week. both sides say they are seeking a way forward, after that security deal between the u.s., the uk, and australia sparked a diplomatic crisis. the deal provides nuclear submarines for australia but it also means paris lost a multibillion-dollar contract for conventional subs. paris recalled its ambassadors to the u.s. and australia amid the rou. now, british prime minister boris johnson is urging macron not to quote worry about the deal. he also says anglo-french relations are, quote, iniradical. jeffrey lewis is director of the east asia nonproliferation
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program at the middlebury institute of international studies. he joins me now from monterey, california. jeffrey, hi. wonderful to have you on the show. i really want to get your take on the fallout from this deal between the u.s., australia, and the uk. it's certainly going to play out at the -- at the u.n. during this week. what do we know about the practicalities of it? we have heard the political argument. but what do we know about nuclear-propelled submarines in australia? and the practicalities of that? >> well, one of the things we know is that they haven't made any of the technical decisions, yet. um, this is a purely political announcement at this point in time. and they have given themselves 18 months to figure out the details. and to be honest, i'm quite skeptical that in 18 months they will be able to figure them out because there are so many questions they have to answer. >> like what? >> starting with what kind of submarines they are going to design. >> so they are starting from
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scratch? this is about creating a design for a submarine that i'm assuming is going to be based at darwin? has that even been confirmed? >> i don't think it's been confirmed but i think we all expected it would be based at darwin. you know, the -- the funny thing is there was even a report today that since the new submarines might not be ready for at least 20 years, that now they are also talking about maybe having australia lease some american submarines in the interim. so, they are really making it up as they go along. and i -- you know, they are promising they are going to get us answers but they just don't have them, yet. >> so, the hard details, the practicalities they need to have to sort out. this is not just about designing submarines. it is also about figuring out what to do with weapons-grade uranium to propel these submarines. where -- where does that fit into the sort of political conversations right now? because australia doesn't have enriched uranium. >> well, it's a major legal
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issue. you know, the reality is is that naval reactors run on, as you say, weapons-grade uranium. and that's not something that the united states can just ship to australia because it feels like it. um, so there is an enormous number of legal questions that need to be answered and i will give you an example. canada looked at doing this in the 1980s. they wanted the united states to provide nuclear fuel for them to be able to develop their own nuclear submarines and it was a legal and technical nightmare and it ended up never happening. so, you know, there is this really profound question of whether we can or should export weapons-grade uranium to another country for use in a submarine. >> would the australians enrich it, themselves? i mean, what does that mean? does this -- does this mean that australia becomes a nuclear nation? >> yeah, so that is the other possibility. one possibility is the u.s. exports it. the other possibility is the australians make it themselves. and of course, if australia goes down that route, it's been doing
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precisely what iran has been doing. now, australia of course isn't iran but you can see immediately, questions about what kind of precedent are we setting here? and how are we going to feel when the iranians or brazilians or someone else says we deserve nuclear submarines, too? >> and what does this mean for the geopolitics in the region? does this decision contain, deter, and expand an ambitious china? >> well, i mean i think that is clearly the message they are trying to send. my sense is this decision was rushed so they could get out ahead of the so-called quad meeting with australia, japan, and india. and so, they really wanted the statement out there and i know that is certainly going to be how the chinese are going to take it. i mean, one of the interesting questions, though, is, you know, do eight submarines over the next 20 years really contribute to that in a meaningful way? or, you know, is -- is this just a nice diplomatic statement for the moment?
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>> what do you -- what do you say to the argument that this decision, even though it is a clear geopolitical/strategic decision by the u.s. they need to contain china. but some people are saying, well, this will then amplify the arms race in asia, in particular. >> well, i think asia is experiencing an arms race at the moment. china has built an extraordinary number of missiles. china's also deploying its own nuclear-powered submarines with missiles and so this is something that's -- that's going on. but what i think is notable is that, you know, we are not looking at this burgeoning arms race and saying we should get a handle on it. we are sort of looking at it and saying, me too. so i think my fundamental concern is have we really thought through and gamed out all the possibilities? or are we just like a kid playing chess, making a move and then figuring out what comes next? >> jeffrey lewis, always great to get your perspective. thanks for joining us here on cnn. director of the east asia nonproliferation program at the
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middlebury institute of international studies. thank you. a meeting of top g7 lawmakers has wrapped up in the uk. the speakers conference largely focused on home -- homegrown terrorism after the january 6th u.s. capitol attack. u.s. house speaker nancy pelosi and british house commons speaker spoke about the threat with our bianca in this cnn exclusive. >> the goal of terrorists is not only to tear down a building, a system. it's to instill fear into others. we have a responsibility to protect and defend. safety, security is the basis for every other good thing that flows from a democracy. so when freedom of expression turns into violence or an attempt to undermine the constitution, the congress, or our democracy, then we have to
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have a lively debate about that. to seek the truth as to how this manifestation on january 6th and one taking place right now today in washington, d.c. how this came about? the underlying causes of it. whether it's white supremacy, anti-semitism, islamophobia, anti-lgbtq, anti-women. whatever that motivation happens to be for them. >> it's about home grown terrorism and that's what we face. it's about people who live here and then suddenly change. and don't want the values that we have shared and given to them. and it is a worry for us all. it is the lone wolf who maybe sat in a bedroom, reading whether it's extreme right wing or terrorism, whatever it is. it's not the international terrorists that's the worry for us. it is the homegrown terrorist with -- with extreme views who just want to do harm. who wants to stop us functioning. and of course, with social media, we saw the whipping up of the mob that took capitol hill
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via social media. social media is very important but it's very dangerous. and it's the dangers of that and, of course, we have the extreme right wing, that was banned in the united kingdom who the far right who got links to america. and the fact that they were happy to behead an mp on the streets of the constituency. it didn't happen but it could happen. so it's extremism that we have got to fight. >> now, when you think about the special relationship, often in the united kingdom as the junior partner in that relationship, we can be more emotional about it. and perhaps, overstate its importance. some analysts say that the u.s. views it in more transactional terms. what are both of your views on the special relationship? >> first of all, with all due respect, i don't accept any one person, party is a junior one in the relationship. this is about cooperation, collaboration, not anybody doing anybody a favor.
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it's about our common interest in democracy and security, climate crisis, covid, whatever the challenge is, and the overarching values that we share. the -- the u.s. considers that special relationship, indeed, just that. very special. and if you need to know more about it, you can just ask all the countries who ask how come we don't have the same relationship that you have with the uk? because it's special. >> and the fact that we're here together today just shows how special that relationship is. as we say, this isn't the end of our special relationship. this special relationship just grows from here today. >> and you're both speakers. but your roles are very different. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: um, mr. speaker, you're an impartial speaker. and we discussed the other day that in some instances, you might lack power as a result of that. madam speaker, you are a political speaker, and as a
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result, that's potentially divisive. do you think from learning from each other that either of your roles could do with a rebalancing? >> i have no interest in rebalancing the role of the speaker of the house. i knew they would want to rebalance it once a woman became speaker of the house. let's diminish the power of the speaker. no, we're not going there. but i do have responsibilities as speaker of the house to try -- strive for as much bipartisanship as possible. >> nobody forced me into putting my name forward to speak. so i accepted the rules of the house. i accepted there to become impartial. my politics are known. and of course, i now sit independently within that chair to ensure that the house is running the way that we've always known it to be run. we used to change the way we do business in the house and they want me to come political. of course, i would rise to that challenge. but in fairness, i follow in the
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footsteps, as the 158th speaker, showing my impartiality, ensuring that debate continues and making sure the house functions. >> russians went to the polls for parliamentary elections this weekend. the final results aren't in, yet. but as some say they already know what the outcome will be. we will explain, after the break. matthew chance is on the ground in moscow. 100% online car buying. car vending machines. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget, then customize your down payment and monthly payment. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds, and it won't affect your credit score. finally! a totally different way to finance your ride. only from carvana. the new way to buy a car. in 2016, i was working at the amazon warehouse when my brother passed away. and a couple of years later, my mother passed away.
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russia's ruling party is on track to keep its majority in the state duma with about a third of ballots now tallied, state media report united russia leads about 45% of the -- of the vote. but the party's success is no surprise since these elections come against the backdrop of an unprecedented assault on k democracy. here is matthew chance. >> reporter: russians have been casting their votes but for critics, this is democracy at its worst. accusing the kremlin of blatant election fraud, some actually
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caught on official cameras. watch the woman in black on the right. awkwardly trying to shield the ballot box as a hand appears from behind the russian flag. you can see it repeatedly stuffing papers inside. election officials say they've nulled these votes but critics say thousands of violations, including ballot-box stuffing and forced voting, are being ignored. in total, we have counted 12 cases of ballot stuffing in the whole country in just eight districts, the chief election commissioner brags on russian state media. this is not hype like from some information sources, she adds. from self-imposed covid-19 quarantine near moscow, the russian president is shown using a controversial online voting system. which critics say allows even more opportunity to manipulate results. the system needs a mobile phone for verification, and there are questions about how putin who
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insists he never uses one was able to cast his vote. kremlin says he used an assistant, denying this whole scene was staged. but critics accuse the kremlin of carefully ensuring a win despite flagging opinion polls. not just with the infamous poisoning of prominent critic, alexei navalny, last year which officials deny. but also, the moves since then. branding his supporters extremists. banning them and other opposition figures from standing for office. one rights group estimates hundreds of thousands of activists have been affected. to dent the ruling united russia party, navalny's team have promoted what they call smart voting using apps and videos like this one to show russians which candidates, mostly old communists, stand the best chance of unseating incumbents. controversially, google and
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apple have agreed to block the material in russia. caving in to russian legal g demands. but even kremlin critics who have been allowed to stand say they face extraordinary pressure. like this candidate in st. petersburg who found rivals on the local ballot paper had adopted his name and appearance to confuse voters. russia's own election officials have called this a disgrace. we met one veteran anti-kremlin activist. himself, poisoned twice and now barred from standing at a moscow polling station. he admits this election may be lost, but kremlin efforts to cling to power indefinitely, he says, will backfire. >> we have a situation in russia where there's now an entire generation of people that has no other political memories, except vladimir putin's regime. he has been in power now for 22 years. that is a mind-boggling fact. and if the regime is preventing people from changing the government at the ballot box,
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sooner or later, people will change the government. >> another -- another russian revolution? >> unfortunately. again, it gives me no pleasure to say this. >> reporter: but for now, revolution seems a long way off. even winning a single seat in this tightly-controlled russian election would be something of an opposition coup. matthew chance, cnn, moscow. in just a few hours, canadians will be lining up to cast their ballots in the nation's federal election. prime minister justin trudeau called the vote early, hoping his handling of the pandemic would win him a majority in parliament. but polls have shown mr. trudeau's once-healthy lead, quickly shrinking to conservative party leader, aaron o'toole. mr. trudeau has accused o'toole of weak leadership in the fight against covid and conservative have slammed the prime minister's call for the election as nothing but a power grab. and still to come here on cnn. a red-flag warning across northern california. what fire crews and residents can expect in the coming hours.
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extraordinary live images coming in to cnn this moment. take a look at this.
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plumes of smoke, streams of lava spewing from a volcano in la palma. one of spain's canary islands. this is happening right now. these are live images as this volcano erupts. the island was on alert for a possible eruption after earthquakes were felt over the weekend. we know that thousands of people living nearby were reportedly told to evacuate. no wonder, when you look at these images coming to us here at cnn. we'll continue to monitor these dramatic images, in the coming hours. now, in northern california, the threat of strong wind gusts has prompted a red flag warning, meaning conditions are favorable for the spread of wildfires. the warning affects about 6 million people, and includes the dixie fire which has already
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burned nearly a million acres. i want to go straight now to jean norman. jean joins me now live to talk through these devastating threats that we are seeing in -- in california. just what can people expect on the ground? can you give us a sense of what's coming up in the next few hours for them? >> well, exactly. well, robyn, what they can expect is windy conditions, dry conditions, and the continual spread of some of these fires that we have been watching for a while. i want to, first, start with the problems in the sequoia national forest. of course, those giant, towering trees. nearly, the size of the statue of liberty. there are two fires near the forest that are a big concern. the windy fire and the kmp complex. the kmp complex, not contained at all. windy fire just got new report that they are down to 4% containment. but these fires are getting close to those giant trees, and for that reason, officials took the dramatic step of wrapping the bases of the trees to try to protect them from possible impact from the fires that are
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getting closer and closer to this area. of course, that forest is home to over thousands of trees. and while the trees have been historically hearty, they have been able to withstand and adapt to change. they are probably no match for the high-intensity fires that are fueled by climate change. of course, in 2020, we had a fire cause problems there. meanwhile, over the weekend, we have had a cold front come through. that's caused the winds to pick up and that is the reason for the red flag and the critical-fire alert that is in effect for northern california. and we are looking at winds that could be anywhere from 20 to 30, in some cases 40 miles an hour in this area. and that's the same areas as the dixie and caldor fires, the reason why we are very concerned. >> okay. well, thanks for that update there. appreciate it. gene norman, thank you. and thank you for watching. that wraps this hour of cnn. i'm robyn curnow live in atlanta. i am going to hand you toover t my colleague, rosemary church. she picks up things after the break. with clean, fresh ingredients,
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♪ the barnes firm injury attorneys ♪ ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom" and i am rosemary church. just ahead, afghan women raise their voices on the streets of kabul while the taliban methodically attempt to silence them at schools and in the workplace. the fbi says it believes the remains of gabby petito have been found. now, the search for her fiance is taking on new urgency. and four major crises loom over president biden as he


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