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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  August 30, 2021 2:59am-4:00am PDT

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♪ >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. very good morning to our viewers here in the united states and around the world i'm brianna keilar alongside john avlon. >> good morning. >> good morning to you. >> it's monday, august 30th. we're following a lot of breaking news this morning on two fronts. hurricane ida, a monstrous category 4 storm with 150
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mile-per-hour winds ripping a catastrophic gash across southern louisiana. at least one person is confirmed dead at this point in time. ida is now a tropical storm but there is still extreme danger with up to 8 inches of rain yet to fall in some cities. the mayor of one louisiana town calling this total devastation. the storm overtopping levies and trapping people on roofs, with no way to rescue them. more than 1 million people are currently without power. this includes the entire city of new orleans, exactly 16 years after hurricane katrina hit. and while ida has weakened some, there is still this big threat that we're tracking of flash flooding and dangerous storm surge and tornadoes. also breaking this morning, rocket fire overnight. targeting afghanistan's international airport. video obtained by cnn shows the burnt out car this was apparently used as an improvised launch pad to fire five rocket. five hours earlier the u.s.
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carried out a preemptive drone strike on a potential suicide car bomb in kabul, calling it an imminent threat from isis-k. airport evacuations continue with hundreds more citizens and allies trying to get out just 24 hours before the u.s. troop withdrawal deadline. cnn's clarissa ward will join us a in moment. >> first, let's get to tropical storm ida. >> reporter: good morning, brianna. it is a dark and spooky morning here. i'm standing on bourbon street, so if you've been to new orleans or seen the pictures of it or video, you know this street should be filled with neon lights and people dancing and singing. we should be hearing jazz music right now. but we're going to turn off our lights so you can see just how dark it is on bourbon street this morning, the day after hurricane ida made her way. we'll turn the lights back on now, but that's what we're dealing with. that's why so many people are outside walking around, have
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flashlights or head lamps like i do. i usually put this on when i'm camping back in utah but i needed it today just to see as i made my way around this area. so we're waiting for sunrise so we can get a better look at the damage done after hurricane ida. we do know here the city of new orleans, everyone is without power. eight transmission lines were damaged. it sounds so simple, right, just eight transmission lines. obviously much more complex than that. the entire city without power. this parish without power as well and still no time line on when the power might be turned back on. now, we know that one person died, as you mentioned, brianna because of a tree falling on the house. that's the concern. that's why so many people were told to evacuate. either voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders. we were also concerned about the flooding. where i am here in the french quarter, no real significant flooding but we have seen buildings with roofs and awnings torn off, different debris all around the area, trees being down in this part of louisiana.
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other parts, though, the flooding waters did make their way over the levy systems. this has been the biggest test of those new levy systems since hurricane katrina 16 years ago. ida category 4, katrina category 3. ida with the strong winds battering louisiana. we're waiting to learn more about the damage that was done as soon as mother nature decides to turn on the lights for us, we'll be able to go around and assess the damage earlier. we're dealing with power outages. people are in shelters right now with the middle of a pandemic. they're still dealing with covid-19 protocols on top of a category 4 that made its way through. brianna, john. >> i'm afraid of what daybreak may bring in new orleans. thank you so much for that report. cnn's derek van dam live in houma, louisiana. i know we're on an hour and a half before sunrise, what can
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you tell us about the damage there and the danger of storm surge that still might exist. >> reporter: it's too dangerous for us to drive from the shelter of our hotel at the moment because there is damage covering many of the roadways across houma, louisiana. but just to give you an indication of what we expected to see this morning, this is a tree that fell on the vehicles in the parking lot behind us. this is just a drop in the bucket per se of what we expect to see because of the fury that was unleashed on this particular region, the terrabonne parish. it was a relentless day comparison to a direct hit from a 50 mile wide ef-3 tornado lasting for hours. it was an incredible moment, extremely -- moments of anxiety for people and our crews who rode out this storm as well. what kind of storm reverses the flow of the mississippi river? only a category 4 monster can do that.
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hurricane ida did that. what we're seeing here is scared evacuees in the shelter here we talked to some of them. they know how to ride out category 1, 2, 3 hurricanes, but when you start talking about a category 4, that really changes the game here. they expected storm surge to be a concern, but when that storm, when the hurricane pivoted over this region, kept us in the outer eye-wall of hurricane ida, the relentless winds never stopped. we never got the break that we anticipate and that is why this will be a wind maker or a wind event and catastrophic wind event within the houma, louisiana location. we have sounds of generators in the background. people trying to take advantage of the little power they can muddle up. then also the sounds of helicopters flying overhead as they do nightly missions which is unusual. they usually wait for the sun to come up to see the extent of the damage, but it is going to be a grueling next few days here as the search and recovery operations begin. back to you, john.
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>> derek, thank you very much. reminder this storm reversed the direction of the mississippi river. just a monster. thank you. ida has weakened and still remains a real danger, though. let's check in with our meteorologist chad myers. okay, chad, give us a sense of where things are and also, look, i know it's a tropical storm, but the fact is this thing is hovering over places that don't need this rain. >> that's right. there will be much, much more rain. this switched from a damage surge maker, a wind damage maker, now to a rainmaker and a flood event. we have so many counties here that are under flash flood warnings and flash flood emergencies, all these red squares are octagons are all flash flood warnings and flash flood emergencies right now. here is how we got here. yesterday morning offshore, making landfall very close to port bouchon. the worst was over grand isle.
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it may have significant damage. we saw it here just south of houma. to the west of new orleans and now moving up into parts of mississippi. tornado watches still in effect. tornadoes are still possible today. there goes the storm off the east coast by thursday into friday. a lot of rainfall. maybe 4 to 6 inches of rain still coming down. but this is a graphic that is on my twitter feed. i hope you go there and read it if you really want to learn something about the wind damage. a category 1 we're going to call it one times plult plier, category 1 75 miles per hour wind. category 3, 30 times more powerful and potential for damage than a category 1. you get down to ida, ida was 256 times more potential damage than a category 1 75 miles per hour storm. that's what people are waking up to today. when we get pictures, we're not
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going to like them. >> yeah. look, it's not just a 4, it's a strong 4 that it made landfall at. i do wonder, i know you're waiting for the pictures, we really don't have a grasp on what this storm has brought at this point? >> we really don't. a lot of it was marsh and ditch land especially when it got over grand isle, that's why it didn't slow down when it got to derek's position there in houma, didn't slow much until it got to the west of new orleans where winds there were somewhere between 100 and 110. gust along new orleans proper 90. this was still a big storm running on shore because it was running over water, the swamps and the ditches as our general would like to say. there's no lands down there, that's swamps and ditches. it's warm. it's not any cooler than the ocean or the gulf of mexico. that's why the storm did not slow down like a typical land falling hurricane that does hit
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land. >> chad, we should be getting an idea here soon. thank you so much. >> you're welcome. coming up, we'll speak with the former mayor of new orleans who helped lead the state through hurricane katrina and we'll find out why he decided to ride this storm out. and breaking overnight, rockets fired kabul's airport as american troops enter the final stages of their withdrawal from afghanistan. a live report from cnn's clarissa ward next. we welcome change?t happn we can make emergency medicine possible at 40,000 feet. instead of burning our past for power, we can h harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinkiking how we communicate to be more inclulusive than eve. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions, vmware helps companies navigate change. faster. vmware. welcome change.
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trapped in their homes with flood waters rising. overnight, the louisiana cay john navy began water rescues for those trapped in the flood waters. joining us now is a member of that group with us. can you give us a sense of what you all have been dealing with, what the scene is like there as we're waiting here for daybreak really. >> i'm in baton rouge right now, and i mean, it's still black. my house has power. i'm not really sure how. but it's starting to subside a little bit, kind of enough for me to get my group on the road. and get to st. john parish and meet with the police there and start doing our rescues. >> okay. so you're expecting this obviously to -- you're getting under way with rescues. what are you hearing about the needs of people on the ground? >> seems like there's hundreds, possibly more people, you know,
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trapped in their houses with some extent of water from a foot deep to some people in attics. so it's going to be a pretty bad scene with a lot of work to do to move quickly and safely. so we can take care of everybody in the best way possible. >> can they even contact you at this point in time? >> some people have been able to. i'm not sure how they're getting through, but it's a lot of family members calling saying they're in contact with family who is stuck in the house or apartment building, whatever the case may be. but they are getting out some way. i think at&t was experiencing some problems with coverage. but some of the other phones are still working. >> so we know there have been difficulties for folks being able to get to 911.
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that's been a problem for some folks. so tell us about the process here of getting under way and trying to survey the damage and seeing who is going to need help. >> yes. 911 was having some issues as well with just deteriorating conditions. phone lines and such. so, they reached out to us via facebook and things like that. post seemed to go viral pretty fast on getting people help so we monitor that. we can compare our list and notes and addresses we compile with that of the police and paramedics, firefighters and everything going through the eoc that we'll be working with. and we're going to divide those up and make sure everything is still active and send our teams out and usually pairs or more to different areas and say subdivisions and such to get out
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and get to everyone timely. >> you mentioned st. johns. where is the hardest hit area? where are you concentrating? >> it may not be the hardest hit area but that's the most flooding relatively close to me in baton rouge. so it laplace just south of interstate 10 baton rouge and new orleans and lake pontchartrain. >> any sense of -- i think when people think of obviously new orleans, they think of what they saw during katrina. we're awaiting daybreak, they want to know if that's what you're dealing with. do you have any sense of what you're dealing with? >> it's going to be very close to the same amount of damage. a little bit different type of damage. a lot more wind and things of that nature, i think. the flooding is there, just not
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quite on the same large scale area flooding. but the same effect of flooding as far as devastating waters in the areas that did get the flooding. but it's hard to say right fou. i'm not seeing anything and not being daybreak and no one really getting to assess damage yet. but, definitely does not look good for katrina comparison. >> jordy, look, as you all head out and start to survey the scene, we're going to be in touch. we want to know what you're seeing and understand the damage and what is facing new orleans and louisiana. we appreciate you joining us this morning. thank you so much. >> no problem. >> that's right. breaking news, rocket fire at kabul's airport as american troops enter the final 24 hours of their withdrawal from afghanistan. we've got the latest from cnn's clarissa ward. that's next.
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♪ breaking overnight on the danger at the airport in kabul, u.s. defenses actually shot down a series of rockets that were fired at the airport. video shows the car that was believed to be behind the attack, which as you can see here is incinerate and the white house says president biden has been briefed on the situation, briefed overnight as these evacuations continued ahead of tomorrow's deadline to withdraw u.s. troops. this is all coming just hours after the president attended the dignified transfer of 13 service members who were killed in that terrorist bombing while they were there at the airport, screening people coming in. cnn's clarissa ward is live for us in neighboring pakistan with more on this. clarissa, just give us a sense here overnight what we know has happened, this attack on the airport in kabul that actually
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activated a defense system there called a c ram at the airport. >> reporter: that's right, brianna. thankfully it appears that nobody was hurt in that attack that c ram defense system was able to essentially mitigate the force of those five rockets. and you showed that video that cnn has been able to obtain. it appears that the militants were able to use a civilian car as a kind of makeshift rocket launcher. you can see that car has been completely incinerated and burnt out. but all of this giving you a sense of just how tense things are and how the very real threat still exists as we enter into what are essentially the final hours of the u.s.'s 20-year war in afghanistan. we have now heard from cencom as well about the u.s. drone strike on an isis-k vehicle, a vehicle believed to be carrying either
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suicide bombers or explosives intended for bombings. that vehicle, when it was blown up, set off a chain reaction of explosions and centcom is now confirming, brianna, there were civilian casualties. appears there were civilian casualties. cnn has found that nine members of one family died as a result of those secondary blasts after that drone strike. from what we understand, at least six children among the dead, the youngest just 2 years old. so, absolutely there is a sense on the ground in afghanistan frankly that this next few hours can't go soon enough because the tensions are so high, the dangers are so great. we are definitely seeing as well a slowing down in the number of evacuations. that of course is really to be expected as the u.s. kind of
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winds this whole operation down and begins to collapse the perimeter that it had started up. so we hear there were 2,900, i believe, evacuations from saturday to sunday. that's about a 50% decrease on the sort of levels that we saw from friday to saturday. that means a lot of people understandably are very concerned that they won't be among the lucky ones to get out. the taliban has said again and again that anyone with the appropriate documentation or nip anyone foreign national will be allowed to leave. that is not aleving any concerns of those who worked closely with the u.s. or with afghan forces. brianna, john? >> indeed. the white house saying over the weekend or 350 americans left, but as you point out, the white house and allies saying that they reached some ambiguous deal with the taliban where they would be able to get everyone
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out. even after this deadline passes. citing unspecified leverage. what do you understand that leverage to be, clarissa? and why is there any reason to take the taliban's word about this? >> reporter: well, first of all, john, you raise such an important point. i have americans reaching out to me all the time at the moment who are in afghanistan. in fact, i've been on the phone this morning with a family of four from houston, texas. i have seen pictures and videos of all of their american passports. i have spoken with the mother who said that they have gone to the gates every day for two weeks and they have a problem in that the taliban will not let them pass. they have tried to reach out to the u.s. military and the u.s. military has said they are doing everything they can to find a way for them, but so far they haven't been able to find that way and they're in a complete panic right now. this mother told me no one is helping us. what are we supposed to do?
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we just want to go home. these people live in the u.s. they had gone to afghanistan to visit her parents and just happened to get caught up in this whole situation. we're hearing stories like that all the time. now, in terms of the leverage that the u.s. might have, one of the main areas would probably be funding because, of course, the taliban desperately needs international aid. they need the pursestrings to be open in order for them to really try to set about governing the country. already we're seeing long lines outside of banks in kabul. people are panicked. prices are raising. you know, there's a concern about lack of hard currency. all the things that happen when you have these kind of seismic changes in a country in a vacuum when a major power like the u.s. is suddenly pulling out. that might be an area where the u.s. can say to the taliban, listen, if you want our help f you want the international
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funding, if you want the aid, then you have to make sure that the doors stay open. but obviously if you're a mother on the ground with your young children and your american passports, it's completely natural and normal right now that you don't know who to trust and that you're absolutely terrified. >> and you know, there was a promise initially here not just to get americans out, clarissa, but also to get green card holders out, these are legal, permanent residents of the united states. i was on the phone with one overnight who despite guidance from the u.s. was outside the airport desperately trying to leave. and this is someone with a green card. i don't think we really have a sense, do you, of how many of these folks -- this gentleman is a resident of philadelphia. how many of these folks at this point are stranded and from everything that i could tell talking to people trying to get them out, they're not really a
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priority. >> no, they're not. and we don't have any real sense of the numbers. i mean, you hear things like tens of thousands bandied around, but no one seems to have a concrete kgrasp on that, or a least not at this stage, green card holders as you pointed out, siv holders, special visa immigrant holders, people who have gone through the entire process and the reams of bureaucracy and have their visas in hand and are still not able to get out. i spoke to another american citizen, a woman who worked as a translator for the u.s. military for many years, and she has been going to the airport everyday with her children and also with two friends who are both siv holders. now, she was told you can enter but your friends can't. and out of solidarity she did not want to leave her friends and their children behind. but the question she kept posing is if they have their special immigrant visas, if their paperwork has been approved, why
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are they not eligible as well to get out? and the concern that these people have is that while the taliban says anyone with the appropriate documentation will be able to travel, people are very fearful of some kind of a purge or a blood letting after america leaves, especially with people who worked for the u.s. military. let me tell you why, even though the taliban has been saying all along there's a blanket amnesty and no issue here, i have spoken to some people who are idealogically aligned with the taliban and they have a very different approach. they say if you worked and collaborated with the occupiers and the invaders, you must face a punishment. and that is very simple in their eyes in their interpretation of islami islamic jury sis prudence. because you have that disparity what the taliban is saying on the surface and what people who think like the taliban are saying privately, that's why you have absolute panic, absolute
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fear from people who have all the documents whether it's a green card, whether it's a u.s. passport or whether it's that special immigrant visa and still cannot get into that airport to get on one of these last flights evacuating people. >> what you just described is not amnesty in any language. clarissa ward, thank you very much. tropical storm ida is a storm of historic proportions, flooding homes in louisiana, leaving new orleans entirely without power. how this storm is breaking records on the 16th anniversary of hurricane katrina. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ summer is a state of mind, you can visit anytime.
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♪ all right. hurricane ida is breaking records across louisiana. and not in a good way. we have cnn's tom foreman so break it all down for us. >> this is a monstrous storm.
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we all know that. the one good thing about it it's been moving relatively quickly. didn't just sit on the coast the way it had in houston a few years ago. the strongest hurricanes to hit landfall, in terms of speed of wind, ida 150 miles an hour, laura, 150 miles an hour. look at the years down here that matters because this is also a record in terms of what we have seen in louisiana. if we can advance here, you'll see this is back-to-back years, first time they've ever had storms this big back-to-back, storms this big in general hitting the state of louisiana. why does that matter? well, if you look beyond the wind, which is very, very powerful, they have some damage reported. we really as you've been reporting all morning, we don't know how much damage is out there. very typical. you start moving down from new orleans proper, hard to report on things, get down to golden meadow and grand isle and down into all the areas down there, very hard to know, let alone moving out west.
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we know this moves up exponentially. category 4, 250 times the damage of a category 1 storm. >> chad was explaining that. it's terrible. i know that corner very well, as you say it's worst. >> yeah, absolutely. and remember, always with hurricanes, no matter how high the wind is, the damage is in the water. you can have roofs torn off from wind, you can have damage with wind but really what you're looking at is water. 65 inches so far this year in new orleans. that's the second most in history. they're expecting 15 to 20 inches of rain with ida. again, this is a lot of rain but if that storm had stalled out there and just sat, boy, that's the real problem. the fact that it's moved in, become a tropical storm, that's a positive thing. and then new orleans averages 62 inches of rain annually. we're already way up there. a lot of improvements since katrina. >> that's really the question. the fact this is happening 16 years to the day after hurricane
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ka tree narks but all the investment made, how does this compare? >> well, the storm is similar. what they're hoping -- remember with katrina, don't forget this, when katrina first hit particularly for new orleans proper, tremendous damage up on the gulf coast and out further, but for new orleans proper, everyone thought it was okay to begin with. we thought, big storm, lots of damage but it's okay. and then the water started to show up because the industrial canal was breached, there were problems there. what everyone is looking at right now is how are the pumps doing, how are all these billions of dollars in improvements to the levies? if those are enough, then despite this storm being a great big powerful storm like that storm, some of the worst damage may be staved off. that probably won't be as true for the outlying areas. when you move further out into again the areas down in here, all of this, you're going to have a different ball game but for new orleans proper where the bulk of the people are, we just have to see if the pumps all held up, if the levies all held
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up. if they did, despite the fact this is a massive, massive storm, the damage will be somewhat contained, but we probably will not know that at least until we get further through today and get some reports because all the power out, lot of lack of communication. >> that's right. and we have sunrise in around an hour central time. so, a lot of attention and here is hoping some of that investment does hold. >> i have friends there and beyond right now who are trying to find if they have a home f their neighborhood survived. >> tom foreman, thank you very much. just in, a new report on north korea's nuclear program. one group is calling it deeply troubling and hundreds of college students in afghanistan trying to reach the airport but they were told to return home. we have the latest on the efforts to get them out safely. ♪ whoo! yeah!
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♪ u.s. forces are racing to complete their evacuation operation before tomorrow's deadline. and under the threat of a new terror attack on the airport in kabul. this as we saw five rockets fired overnight at the airport. they were, though, intercepted by a defensive system that the u.s. has there. let's talk about this now with sebastian younger a journalist a co-director of the oscar nominated documentary which chronicles the deployment of platoon of soldiers. sebastian, thank you so much for joining us again. i wonder how you are looking at these new developments, these rocket attacks on the airport. the u.s. also saying that they took out a car that had become essentially a makeshift rocket launcher and we're also learning about the u.s. saying that they foiled a suicide bombing attempt on the airport. how are you viewing these developments?
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>> well, i'm not surprised that isis, which seems to be behind these attacks is continuing to try to breach the security perimeter and kill people. and i'm also not surprised that the u.s. has developed ways of countering these threats. i'm not surprised that they worked. the military is very, very good at that kind of thing. what is interesting to me, though, is where the intelligence came from. i mean, it's possible that there's actually a sort of live relationship between taliban commanders, taliban intelligence on the ground and the u.s. military where the taliban are feeding information to the u.s. military and it's actionable and the u.s. military is carrying out strikes and that sort of thing on the basis of that. so, you know, that's an important relationship. and it could be the start of a diplomatic relationship that may see the taliban acting within sort of international standards
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for human rights and that kind of thing. so you know, i'm actually somewhat encouraged here. >> yeah, look, we know there's an open channel, so the question is that and very possibly it is the avenue by which this information is coming through to the u.s. as it does have these strikes. you know, i wonder, sebastian, this is a big airport. and you have the u.s. military securing the perimeter of for right now from the inside. the taliban is on the outside. but if you're looking towards this deadline tomorrow of u.s. troops leaving, of eventually the last plane taking off, how do they secure that perimeter for a safe, final step of leaving? >> i mean, i'm not in the military and i don't know what their protocols are for that kind of thing, but again, the taliban, they're under enormous pressure to act reasonably and to protect human life.
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they may not do that, but they're under huge international pressure. there are a lot of incentives. apparently a huge amount of money in new york city that belongs to the afghan government, whatever that. and they have to -- if they're going to step up and fill that role and access that money, they have to act like a governing power. and so, i'm -- i don't know on the ground exactly how they'll do that around kabul. they may get help from other nations, such as turkey. i heard turkey might step in. but i'm confident that the u.s. military has the technical expertise, the strategic thinking that can get everyone off the ground on one last flight. i'm just assuming they can do that. >> obviously the taliban is under pressure from the u.s. to try to clamp down on terrorism and make sure that afghanistan doesn't become a terrorist safe haven again, but at the same time, look, they're facing pressure as well from terrorist groups who would like to fill that vacuum. do you worry that this could become a place where terrorists
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find haven and can operate from? >> well, isis has established itself and is about enemy of the taliban and vice versa. that's not a haven. they're there and have to be dealt with. and i can see -- again, i'm not predicting the future, but i can imagine a situation where the u.s. military is conducting air support for taliban forces on the ground to tackle isis. i can picture that, right? it may not happen. but in terms of al qaeda, our presence in the u.s. allowed for the decimation of al qaeda in killing bin laden, they still exist in the world. but just think through the taliban's perspective and they're brilliant strategic thinkers or they wouldn't win a war against the u.s. and why would they want to cycle back another 20 years of conflict with the u.s. and that will happen if they allow terrorist groups to operate from afghanistan freely as they did before 9/11 and attack the u.s.
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we'll be right back there to take care of the problem. they don't want to cycle back through that either. why would they? so they want legitimacy as a state. they want an islamic government in afghanistan. and i think there's a lot of pressures on them for them to do that, they have to check certain boxes of behavior. i think harboring terrorists probably is off the list. >> so you saw the taliban takeover in 1996. we just heard you detail some of the ways in which maybe the taliban is now different or there's this question of the pressures that it's facing and it has this past history and understanding of what it can and cannot do to meet its ends. how is the taliban not just different but how is the taliban the same compared to the taliban in the '90s? >> well,s in '90ed, i was there in 1996 i got out of kabul right before they swept in and they weren't saying the right things. now at least they're saying the
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right things. we're not going to -- we're going to respect human rights and we're not going to have revenge campaigns against people that worked for the government. i mean, they're saying the things we warrant to hear. will they carry it out? we'll find out. they're not a unified structure. there's all kinds of factions within the taliban. it remains to be seen if they can sort of coordinate and discipline unruly components of their group. we'll see. it's a big, sprawling complicated country. it will be messy one way or another. their stated goals are very different from their stated goals in 1996. i would be frankly surprised if we saw some of the gasly spectacles of the late '90s, you know, stoning people in stadiums for adultery and that kind of thing. i would be surprised. it doesn't serve their purposes. and they're a very pragmatic,
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strategic group. i mean, it could happen. but it would surprise me. >> look, we're going to see, right? this is what will play in the months and years to come. sebastian younger, thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure. just in to cnn, north korea apparently restarting a nuclear reactor. according to a report from the international atomic energy agency, this is the first indication of activity at the reactor since december of 2018. and they call north korea's nuclear activities a cause for serious concern. report follows earlier activities of radio chemical lab in the same complex beginning in february until july. we have more on our breaking news, president biden declaring a major disaster in louisiana from hurricane ida. we'll be speaking with the head of fema as recovery efforts amid a life threatening storm surge and extreme winds continue. plus, oxygen is running out
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♪ millions more americans are about to lose pandemic unemployment benefits that are set to expire this coming weekend. and this is coming at a time when businesses are going out of their way, they're boosting wages, offering bonuses and providing other incentives to lure workers in. at least 7.5 million people in 26 states will be affected by this, but don't expect a flood of new hiring because experts say cutting off benefits has had little impact on pushing people back to work. there are other contributing factors, chief among them concerns about covid and in particular this delta variant. jam-packed hospitals in louisiana have more than just hurricane ida to be worried about this morning. with the still rising number of covid patients, hospitals in at least four states are experiencing oxygen shortages. some facilities in florida, south carolina, texas and louisiana are on the verge of moving to their reserve supply or even running out of oxygen all together. cnn's kristen holmes is here
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with the latest. what have you learned in your reporting? >> i spent the weekend talking to health officials, state and federal, hospital networks, as well as oxygen suppliers who say that this is a terrible situation and it could get worse before it gets better. one thing to keep in mind on is what we have seen in the evolution of care in covid-19 is this use of high flow oxygen over ventilators, something we're seeing multiple times in hospitals. now, with this spike in cases across the south, one source told me that some hospitals in florida are using two to three times the normal amount of oxygen that they have in storage, which is, of course, leading to shortages and obviously higher demand here. so, this is a huge problem. and i want to read to you what one doctor in florida said they're seeing. they said, this round we're seeing younger patients, 30, 40, 50 years and they're suffering. they're hungry for oxygen. and they're dying. unfortunately this round they're dying faster. and there is somewhat of a
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perfect storm here. it's not just the spike in cases. we have seen a decline in drivers that are actually qualified to transport this materials. on top of that, you've got to keep in mind, last time we saw this huge spike in cases n non-essential businesses were closed. so what we're hearing from hospitals is they want some sort of federal intervention. it is unclear what that would look like, but we did reach out to hhs. we have yet to hear back from them. that is what they're hoping for to try to get this fixed. some of these hospitals are drawing oxygen from other states. which leads to a larger concern that if there's a spike in these other states there's going to be more lack of oxygen which again is a crucial treatment for this virus. >> creates this cascading effect. other states are bailing out these more southern states. what happens if the oxygen runs out? what's the pressure on these hospitals? what happens to the


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