tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN September 11, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states. i'm michael holmes. and coming up here on "cnn newsroom," tributes continue in new york city this hour. beams of light where the twin towers once stood more than 20 years ago honoring those killed on 9/11. the spectacular battle between two unseated teenagers, an 18-year-old winning the highly coveted u.s. womens open. and the battle for hearts
and minds in the ozarks, we go to the heart of rural america to find out why so many are unwilling to get vaccinated against covid. 20 years has not erased the painful memories of 9/11 or the agony felt by the victims' families. on saturday the nation trying to provide some solace as it stopped to pay tribute to each one who died. one by one the names of the victims were read aloud, each one precious to those who knew them. the grief and sorrow so many captured by a young girl as she
spoke directly to the uncle she never met and imagined how he might be today. >> hi, uncle, and know you're every day watching over us. and even though i never met you in person i still miss you a lot. i'm sure if you were here yii'd probably be doing them with you. >> there's a look at new york city right now. two brilliant shafts of light where the twin towers once stood in lower manhattan. the president and first lady paying their respects to the victims at all three sites, new york, virginia and pennsylvania. we begin our coverage with cnn's paulo sandoval in new york. >> reporter: at dawn the unfurling of a flag over the pentagon hit by a jetliner 20 years ago signaled the day of
tributes. it's one of three sites where americans gathered in somber remembrance honoring each one of the 2,977 people killed in the terrorist attacks on september 11th. at the footprints where the twin towers proudly stood over lower manhattan president biden and the first lady were joined by president obama and -- >> as we recite the names of those we lost my memory goes back to that terrible day when it felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary. >> reporter: the tribute continued throughout the morning with a nation pausing five more times. the moment each twin tower fell,
when the pentagon was attacked and the moment flight 93 crashed into a field in pennsylvania. >> it is truly an honor to be with all of you at this field of honor. >> reporter: along with vice president kamala harris, president george w. bush who served as commander in chief in 2001 helped lead a memorial at that site. >> the 33 passengers and 7 crew of flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. in a sense they stood in for us all. the terrorists soon discovered that a random group of americans is an exceptional group of people. >> reporter: and at the pentagon general mark milly, chairman of the joint chiefs honored the victims of the attacks and the service members who died in the subsequent war in afghanistan. >> never forget those who were murdered by terrorists. never forget those who rushed to save their lives and gave theirs
in exchange. never forget the sons and the daughters, the brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers who gave their tomorrows for our todays. >> reporter: tonight the sky over lower manhattan lights up again with the annual tribute in light, a reminder of the nation's resilience and the iconic symbol remembering those killed and the nation pfls unbreakable spirit. >> the fbi has released a newly declassified document revealing details about its investigation into the september 11 terror attacks and whether the saudi government provided support for the hijackers. the 2016 document describes multiple contacts between the hijackers and several saudi associates in the u.s. the saudi government has long denied any involvement in the attack, and the saudi embassy previously said it welcomed the release of the records. more documents are expected in the days ahead. after president biden ordered the justice department to review previously withheld information
about the attacks. thousands of national guard members who responded to the attacks at the world trade center never qualified for veterans benefits under current new york state law. well, on saturday the governor used the 9/11 anniversary to say she wants to fix that. here's what she told a gathering of the guard members in manhattan. >> and in my opinion they never got the recognition they deserved. it's 20 years overdue, but i'm here to set that straight because i have seen what you've done. and i know what you continue to do. we sign these bills to try to alleviate some of the burdens that are in place that make it more difficult for people to get the benefits they deserve. they truly do deserve these. >> the governor's office says about 6,700 members of the national guard responded to the 9/11 attacks in manhattan but many were not eligible for veterans benefits because they
were not on federal active duty at the time. the war that began in the wake of those deadly attacks has of course only just ended. less than two weeks after the final u.s. military withdrawal afghanistan's economy is in shambles. prices are high, money is scarce. and many afghans face an anxious reality every day. the taliban are seeking international legitimacy and have formed an interim government, but it's hard line make-up will complicate any normalization. it's unclear how radical their interpretation of sharia law will be this time around, but one taliban police chief told cnn nothing has changed. >> there is no difference between the laws 20 years ago and now. only back then the u.s. was too powerful. they were doing a lot of propaganda. all other countries were under the united states. therefore they had made plans
for their invasion. there was no other problem. they still have the same law. there hasn't been any change to it. obviously people change but that hasn't change. it's the law of allah. there's not going to be any change in it. >> now a senior national correspondent arwa damon has reported from afghanistan. she joins me live from istanbul. what we just heard that police commander say doesn't bode well for the afghan people, doesn't suggest a more tolerant version of the taliban. and also what leverage would the international community have to influence how the taliban rules? >> reporter: no, michael, i can only imagine being in afghanistan having enjoyed the relative freedoms of the last 20 years and then all of a sudden hearing these kinds of proclamations coming from elements within the taliban leadership, also proclamations
that do seem to be in c contradiction to previous statements the taliban has made as well. also worth noting when the taliban refers to the word of allah or sharia law let's also remind everybody that sharia law is widely interpreted in many different incarnations. and we see how it manifested itself in a number of different countries, muslim countries across the globe. and the taliban's interpretation of sharia law is among the most extreme. that being said when it comes to the role of the international community, michael, the international community, global leaders do very much seem as if they have abdicated responsibility at this stage. when you look at the rhetoric that has been coming out from the united states and from other countries, it's very much about protecting themselves.
and so the sense is that as long as the taliban ensures that afghanistan does not once again become this ground al-qaeda can operate from, as long as al-qaeda does to a certain degree not carry out attacks from afghanistan itself, the taliban will be able to get away with whatever it is that it wants in terms of ruling because the united states and its other allies have made it very clear that their top priority is their own security, not necessarily the security of the afghan people. and at this stage most certainly not the relative freedoms and democracy that afghanistan had enjoyed for the last 20 years up until this point. >> great analysis there. arawa damon in istanbul, thanks so much. the taliban's new interim government is composed of men
alone, and afghan women are especially anxious to know more about the nature of the new regime. small demonstrations demanding equality and representation for women have taken place since the taliban takeover, but some have been met with force. when they were last in power, of course, the taliban's interpretation of sharia law led to the persecution and targeting of women. also lgbtq people and ethnic minorities. minext guest has been fighting for the rights of women in afghanistan for decades as a lawmaker, author and advocate. a former member of the afghan parliament who served in that capacity since 2005. she joins me now live from doha. and thanks for doing so. there has been as we said some incredible bravery by women protesting in the street, risking their very lives for protesting as the taliban beat them, threatened them. what goes through your mind as
an advocate when you've seen those scenes? >> many women and men that protest these days when i speak to their justification is either die -- so therefore what we've seen in the past day despite enormous security challenges that we all are aware, extremely bravery by a transformed nation. a nation that has, you know, experienced a different life and want to live in liberty, exercise their rights. this is something i think the world should realize because we always talk about the number of buildings that are built, schools that are built, health services and girls that are in
school. but hard to understand how the society has transformed. and this is an indication and in my negotiation with taliban i've been indicating to them it's a different country. you have to adapt. and i think looking at what the taliban are doing at this stage hard to judge they've actually changed or they can adapt easily. >> and to that point you did negotiate with the taliban. you made them aware of that. you've devoted so much of your life to womens rights in afghanistan. and yet wednesday a taliban spokesman, he said women cannot be ministers and said they should, quote, restrict themselves to giving birth. when you hear something like that after you've told them afghanistan is a different country, what hope is there for meaningful change? >> everyone in afghanistan is
actually disappointed and hopeless. i left only a few days ago and millions of people they not only face immediate risk of insecurity. what they face is enormous level of disappointment, uncertainty, fear of the future. and exactly what we hear today from some of these taliban prove to the peoples concern and worry about the fact only a small minority of people, most of them being on the wanted list and sanction list that want to rule the country. they do not represent afghanistan today. and if they continue what they do now will not represent afghanistan tomorrow and in the future as well. how can you claim that you work for the people and you rule a country without including the population not only women. we have seen there's no women in the government, which is
contrary to other muslim countries practice and to the nature of muslim society. and also we've not seen there's religious minorities. they're not only reality. there are ethnic religious women, other minorities that need to see themselves in any political settlement and only then everyone will feel ownership. because this is a caretaker ownership we still have leverage in the international community. in other states and countries around the world they have to use their leverage to ensure there's participation of everyone and our democratic institution is restored. even though you have these minorities or have women but there's no accountability. democratic institutions are not
restored. >> yeah, the thing is there's an entire generation of women who have enjoyed those rights over the last 20 years who did not experience the previous taliban rule. how do you, how do they fight those attitudes? what do you say to those women? >> my sense is that they will continue to fight, that they will continue to resist. i think they will build up on what they have done. i will hopefully join them soon. i think the world need to listen to the people. only if afghanistan experience women in the higher leadership position trust me afghanistan would have been so different country. if you look at all the polls in the past 20 years people seem to be happy with their female
parliamentarians and politicians as opposed to the other gender. not that i'm undermining anyone, but the fact that women were close, and there were less corruption charges against the female leaders and women ministers and et cetera is an indication afghanistan cannot fly with one wing. how do we ignore, you know, 55% of the society. it's not only a political and societal need but also an economic need. they're highly educated, educated abroad. i don't understand -- some of them i also follow their statements when they say why should women be in the cabinet? and if we use the same logic the question would be why should men actually be in the cabinet? those men who are accused of thousands of peoples murder, accused of wrongdoing and
misdeeds. why should they actually qualify themselves to be in the cabinet? that is the question the taliban should actually answer. >> there is a battle ahead and i know you'll be on the front line of fighting for women in afghanistan. i have to leave it there. thank you so much. appreciate your time. sweeping new covid vaccine mandates by the u.s. president are expected to affect as many as 100 million americans. coming up here on "cnn newsroom," i'll speak with an expert on how ethical he thinks the new mandates are. welcome to allstate. where you can pay a little less and enjoy the ride a little more. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ now, get new lower auto rates with allststate. because better protection costs a whole lot less.
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now despite some u.s. states showing a decline in recent covid infections others are struggling to stay on top of a surge that has taken a devastating toll and continues to do so. the u.s. averaged more than 1,100 covid deaths each day over the last week. that's according to the centers for disease control. the recent increase prompted u.s. president joe biden to lay out a plan on thursday for vaccine mandates. he's hoping to curb a spread that has largely been driven by
the delta variant and the unvaccinated. >> my message to unvaccinated americans is this. what more is there to wait for? what more do you need to see? we've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. and your refusal has cost all of us. >> arthur kaplan is a professor af of bioethics. in an ethical context not just can but should places like schools, workplaces, airlines and so on require vaccinations when it is for the common good of the broader community? what are the issues here? >> hi, michael. thanks for having me. and yes, absolutely. we are in a plague. it goes on. i think we're well past a year and a half of it.
worldwide it's killing millions. it's costing us a fortune around the world in hospitalization. schools have been closed, kids damaged psychologically and socially from having to quarantine and stay home. the economy stagnant in many parts of the world. on and on the misery goes. we've tried to persuade people to take vaccination. we've tried to incentivize them sometimes with free meals, free drinks, lotteries and so on. but there is a core particularly in the u.s. who won't do it. and it's time to say you must do it because you have to protect the weak and the vulnerable in your community, the people who can't vaccinate, young children, people with immune diseases. and you've got to be a responsible neighbor in terms of trying to cut down on the transmission. >> why do you think so many of the willfully unvaccinated because as you point out not everyone can get vaccinate, the
willfully unvaccinated feel they are being imposed upon when in pandemic terms their refusal to vaccinate is a massive imposition on everyone else? >> well, for too long we've allowed the rhetoric of my body, my choice. moy right to do decide what i want to do to dominate the pandemic response particularly in the u.s. and i think president biden has finally stood up and said enough. i've been arguing for months we've got to shift the ethical focus away from the rights of the unvaccinated, the willfully unvaccinated toward the people who are doing the right thing. the way to reward vaccination is to make sure you get your liberty, you can work, you can go to recreational activities, you can go to school. you can visit with friends and neighbors. if you don't vaccinate, i don't say we should, you know, force you to sit down and have the vaccine police administer a shot to you, but you lose your right
to go where you want. to put it quite simply critics of vaccination have it backwards. it's not their body their choice. it's their choice that leads to the loss of freedom for their body. >> i think one of the more extraordinary parts of this of course and it's been mentioned often is, you know, vaccines are already mandated for things like polio, smallpox, measles. the list goes on and on and on. why do you think there's debate at all on covid vaccines? >> you know, michael, it's even worse than that because many of the critics of vaccination particularly legislators in the southern states in the u.s. keep arguing that it's tyranny, that it's an imposition of the central government to require vaccination. the person who led the charge on vaccination just as recently as last year was donald trump. he was the person who said the way out of this plague is through vaccination. he ignored masking. he didn't push for testing.
he said we're putting all our chips down on mass vaccination. so to see these critics mainly conservatives take a stance that somehow there's something unusual about requiring covid vaccination is doubly unbelievable. you're right there are many vaccines that are required in many walks of life not the least of which children to go to school, but we have vaccines for them for measles and mumps and rubella and so on. many, many in the military are quite familiar in the u.s. with mandatory vaccination. many jobs in the u.s. have required mandatory vaccination or you can't hold them. and president trump said this is the way out. so why at the last minute i can only say core politics and a misunderstanding -- a fundamental misunderstanding of what the concept of liberty is all about. >> well-put, professor arthur kaplan. thanks so much.
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two young women not even in their 20s have won the hearts of the tennis world with their rise to the top competing in the first all-team championship match of the u.s. open since 1999 and their showdown saturday did not disappoint. in the end it was 18-year-old brit emma radukammu, both women disposing of far more experienced opponents as the
tournament progressed. she didn't drop a set in the entire tournament. britain's queen elizabeth ii calling her a remarkable achievement at such a young age. patrick snell joins me now to talk more about this. what a story she is. >> it's the miracle of new york city. absolutely incredible. i do want to pay tribute to both finalists, both wonderful story lines and terrific achievements in their own rights, no question. unshakable belief and cool personified are the words that come to mind. she didn't even drop a set along the way. that's what's incredible. as you say up against the 19-year-old leyla fernandes who had a superb tournament herself. look at the emotion there and the healthy respect between both
players and there getting a trophy. and really interesting story line in terms of family heritage she was born in canada to remain with chinese parents and moved to the u.k. when she was 18. it was a flawless and utterly amazing performance. let's hear from her. >> most of all i would say thank you to everyone here, new york. thank you all for making me feel so at home for my first qualifying match all the way to the final. i love playing in front of you and you've really spurred me onto very difficult moments and i hope me and leyla put on a good performance today. >> remarkable stuff, and she even had to play three qualifying matches, michael, to get into the main draw. first british woman to win a slam since 1977. the youngest major champ also
since maria sharapova in 2004. this is going to be hugely life changing for her, no question about that. she went into the tournament 150 in the world. she's going to be up to 23 in the world. her life was just changed forever. >> remarkable. i just love this story, both of these girls. there's another i want to ask you about. novack djokovic quest for what i think is a really holy grail, that is a calender grand slam. >> yes, if he can get the job done later on. it's not going to be easy, though. number 21, a record for the mens game. can he get 21st grand slam inhad to work hard for it to get into the final in the first place. today up against the russian who reached the final two years ago. people may recall losing a thriller to raffa nadal. and it means winning all four major tournaments in the very
same year. last man to do that in 1969. both of whom have 20, and this is something i've picked up on friday night djokovic saying he's treating today's final as the last match of his career. that's kind of ominous i think if you're medvedev. >> and you've left one thing out. australian. you said he's still watching in the front row, 80-something years old. >> yes, inspiring. >> wonderful. good to see you, patrick snell. all right, we're going to take a quick break. when we come back cnn revisits a town in missouri's ozarks where covid cases are spiking but many
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i'm rich barnes. it's hard for people to k how much their accident case is worth.h barnes. t ouour juryry aorneneys hehelpou here in the united states tens of millions of those eligible to be vaccinated remain unvaccinated as the covid-19 variant grips the country and overwhelms hospitals. health experts have repeatedly said that fully vaccinated people are far less likely to get infected with the variant. but as of friday only 62% of people age 12 or older in the u.s. are fully vaccinated. here's another startling look at how the virus is impacting the nation right now. there have been more than 650,000 covid deaths and over 40
million confirmed infections since the pandemic started. and according to the cdc the read of deaths since late august is the highest its been since back in early march. but in some of the hardest hit parts of the u.s. it's not just skepticism keeping people from getting the vaccine, it's also peer pressure. cnn recently visited a town in missouri where people say getting the shot can actually feel like treason. here's elli reave. >> it's shocking. >> everyone's coming down with it. it's almost like a plague. >> i have both shots of the vaccine and people just act like it doesn't help. it bothers me sometimes people just act like covid is the big joke. i just want to say why don't you come right up here to the cemetery and i'll show you my husband's grave and i can show you it's no joke.
>> reporter: it femt like covid was closing in around us. the positivity rate kept climbing and is now 37%. some people we wanted to interview told us they've just been exposed or were too sick to talk. we first came in to van buren in 2020 when covid was first starting to surge. when we learned the diners we'd ininterviewed people in had closed for covid we wanted to come back and see what had changed. by the end of this spring many thought covid was over but in the past few weeks it's raged through town. the vaccination rate is very low with only 27% fully vaccinated. >> the overwhelming majority of our patients that are admitted to the hospital with clinically severe covid are unvaccinated. i didn't realize how unvaccinated we were. i guess that's my fault. i didn't continue to push as hard as i should have to get people vaccinated because i thought everybody was because the virus and the disease was
abating. but i was wrong. it came back like a brush fire. >> reporter: are you vaccinated? >> no, but i will be. i was pretty skeptical of it until i kind of watched all this happen. >> jim's wife, ruth, fought cancer for 12 years but covid killed her in 8 days. he says the doctor told her not to take the vaccine because of the chemo. when did your wife die? >> she died the 20th. i talked to her up to sunday when she died, and she said this is bad. she said you all need the shot. and i think she's right. >> last time we came here the debate was over masks and it had gotten very political. >> we sat in the coffee shop and we look at a mask and we all look at each other and go democrat. >> later that fall there was a covid surge in the area but the health center says this wave is much worse. in van buren after just two days of school this august about 20
kids tested positive. five days later almost a quarter of students were under quarantine. the preschool had to close for two weeks. people in town were gossiping about who had it and where they got it, and they'd all seen our last story. >> the last story you did, well i kind of thought it was all bull shit myself. >> tell me more. tell me why. >> i think people here take care of each other. they need to walk through the covid ward. that'll change their mind. >> reporter: jim admits some people are set in their views. >> a friend of mine he hasn't had a shot but everywhere he goes he wears a mask and he's one of the best guys i know. but you're not going to change anything about him. maybe you ought to interview him. >> would he talk to us? >> yeah, but you probably wouldn't like what he tell you. >> that's okay. >> let me get my phone.
>> i need you to come down here. >> who you surrounded by? >> a bunch of women. >> i'll be right there. >> they're going to interview you. >> oh, no they ain't. >> yeah, they are. >> why do you not want the vaccine? >> i ain't thinking that yet. i don't like people trying to push a shot on me or something else because i'm about a -- >> last fall covid put him in the hospital for seven days. >> i was on everything they had, steroids, drip, plasma from people that had covid, a drug they give my president trump. >> what's the difference, though, between the vaccine and the drugs you did take like regeneron? >> well, yeah, i would have took anything. it wouldn't have mattered what it was? >> but why would you trust regeneron and not the vaccine?
>> i'm i going to have to tell her? >> i don't know. >> well, the one thing is they shafted my president. they would have had the vaccine, already had it but they wouldn't give it to him because they knew damn good and well he would be re-elected. so they had to swindle around and keep it from him until the election was over, and we got it. they shafted me out of my president. i ain't taking your medicine. i'll take what they give him but i'm not taking yours. >> he took the vaccine, though. >> i don't know that. >> i think they give him the regeneron. >> they did him that, but he did take the vaccine. >> i'm not saying he didn't. i don't know that, but that's what pissed me off and i'm not
taking it because i'm that bullheaded. >> there's no evidence for whalen's theory what he wasn't alone in his skepticism. have you thought about getting the vaccine? >> no way. >> really how come? >> because i don't want to get sick. >> and you think the vaccine would make you more sick? >> probably. it made my mom sick. >> you mean when she got the -- >> well, she got the vaccine in february. >> and she got sick on monday with covid. maybe covid. is she going to get tested? >> probably not. she's staying home. and i'm bringing her groceries and doing whatever i can away from her. one of her friends tested positive and she had been with him, so more than likely. >> i'm really dying right now because i was down for about a week and a half being sick, and i don't care. i got it. i told everybody, hey, i have covid. if you don't want to get it don't be around me.
i do have it. >> did you have the vaccine? >> no. >> why not? >> there's not enough research on it. if it's going to help me in the future and not hurt me, yeah i may take it. >> are you vaccinated? >> i am not. >> and why not? >> i just -- i haven't got vaccinated. >> okay. >> i had a lot of people around me had it. i just haven't. never got vaccinated. >> around here we're pretty country folk and it's kind of hard to get people to do something they don't understand completely or they don't -- don't feel the need to. >> but are you in that category? >> well, i guess. i'll really get deep with you. i believe the good lord wants me around right now, it doesn't matter if i take the vaccine or don't. i know a lot of people say well you also use common sense and you ought to go get the shot, but that's the way -- you know, the way i look at things.
>> i don't want to ever give anybody an excuse for doing something like not getting vaccinated, but the reasons do harken to someone who has, you know, been told that they're a dumb hillbilly all their life by the rest of the country, and that is not -- that's not an excuse but it's part of the reason. i don't know that we're oppressed or disenfranchised i don't know if we even deserve to feel that way here, but we are in a flyover state. in a social situation where peer pressure is so hard we've had a lot of trouble to try to get people vaccinate. to break out of that peer group is hard for people. >> has anyone wanted to get vaccinated in secret? >> well, yeah, absolutely. >> tell me what they say. >> when they're in my office and they say i don't want to get vaccinated and this is why and it's usually at the very best a specious reason or fallacious
reason, we have setup things where we can sneak one in your arm wherever you need to do it because that's our goal. >> it's hard but it's not impossible. the health center said more people in van buren got the vaccine after two local kids in their 20s were hospitalized with covid earlier this summer. last year we talked to brian who was pretty cavalier about covid. >> i guess if i get it and kills me it's slow walking and sad singing for the family. >> what would you put on your tombstone? >> didn't wear a mask. it's not my fault no one's wearing a mask. >> did you get the vaccine? >> doesn't matter whether i got the vaccine or not, whether i
did or didn't. corona doesn't care who you are, whether you think you're a big tough guy or a big tough guy. if you do get it, it can kill you. end of story. i don't want my wife to have to wonder when they put you in a medical induced coma and stick a tube down your throat, is he going to come back? that's why i got a vaccine. >> ellie reed, cnn, van buren, missouri. el with, it has been a day of remembrance as ceremonies remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. as we go to break, first responders from across the country honoring their fallen brothers and sisters. this group from the covington, georgia fire department met with three members of the fdny who survived the attacks. 343 firefighters, 23 police officers, and 34 port authority
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americans killed in the afghanistan war is back in massachusetts. u.s. marine corps sergeant johnny rosario picatto and 12 fellow service members died in the kabul airport suicide bombing during the evacuate. marines, law enforcement, firefighters, and members of the community were escorting her remains to her home in the town of lawrence, massachusetts. ♪ and the star spangled banner played during the changing of the guard at windsor castle on saturday. acting u.s. ambassador phillip reiger said the u.s. was incredibly grateful to the queen for the gesture, and said it represents the enduring friendship and solidarity between the two allies. thanks for spending part of your day with me. i'm michael holmes. our coverage continues with robyn curnow after a quick break, but first, some moments from the anniversary of 9/1120
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hi. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. i'm robyn curnow. coming up on the show, 20 years ago the world changed forever on this september 11th. somber reflections of course across america, honoring the nearly 3,000 lives lost and the promise to never forget. and they are just three countries in the world that have