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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 17, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. i'm rosemary church. just ahead on "cnn newsroom," vaccinated americans may be rolling up their sleeves again. the white house is expected to call for americans to get a third shot. biden defiant in the face of afghan chaos, doubling down on his decision to pull out of afghanistan. and grace regains strength
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and threatens more devastation for quake-hit haiti. we begin with america's fight against the coronavirus pandemic. the biden administration is expected to advise covid booster shots for most americans. according to a source familiar with the discussions, they are planning to recommend a booster dose eight months after full vaccination. kaitlan collins has more details on the booster plan. >> reporter: we are learning now that as soon as this week, top health officials in the biden administration could announce that they are recommending boosters for most americans. and the way this would work and the ideas they are coalescing around right now is that americans should get a booster
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shot eight months after becoming fully vaccinated. and currently the guidance is revolving around those of us who got two dose vaccine shots. johnson & johnson is one dose. and they are still compiling data for the johnson & johnson vaccine whether those people need booster shots. but right now we are expecting that they could recommend most americans to get a booster shot eight months after becoming fully vaccinated. we should note that the plan right now would start mid to late september, but all of this is contingent upon authorization from the fda. of course they are the ones who make the actual changes to how these vaccines are authorized and then the cdc votes on recommending those authorizations. and that is when the ball gets rolling on this process. but it is significant given that so far the many, many times we've asked this question, they have said right now the general
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population does not need them, but it does appear that is about to change. one health expert told cnn a potential third booster shot for americans makes sense if you follow the data. >> this really follows a trend that we've been following out of israel and there was also a recent mayo clinic study that has been showing what looks like waning immunity after 6, 7, 8 months. for a while we didn't know if it was true waning immunity or specific around the delta variant. but it looks like there is indeed waning immunity especially in older populations and i think the game changer is not only is it waning immunity against infection, it had gone down to as low, a 40%, 50% against protection but still holding up against hospitalizations. now we're starting to see more breakthrough hospitalizations and i think that was the trigger to say now we have to boost
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americans. and in some ways it was actually both predicted and predictable because when these vaccines were released through emergency use, it was imperative to vaccinate as many americans as you could quickly and it was only a three week interval for the pfizer for example between the first and second dose and that is not usually longer enough to give lasting immunity. so by giving this third immunization, i think that it will give robust protection and that may be it for a while. we may not need annual boosters, this could be the third and done. >> the latest data from cdc shows 70% of americans eligible for a covid vaccine ages 12 and up have received at least one dose. the incredible speed of the taliban's takeover of afghanistan has shocked not just the world but clearly the biden administration as well. joe biden left his presidential retreat to return to washington
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on monday for his first address to the american people since kabul's collapse. chaotic scenes at the airport could not be ignored. during his speech president biden acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility but also pointed some fingers and insisted the u.s. pullout is the right decision. >> this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. so what has happened? afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. the afghan military collapsed. sometimes without trying to fight. americans cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. if afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the taliban now, there is no chance
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that one year, one more year, five more years or 20 more years u.s. military boots on the ground would have made any difference. i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years, i've learned the hard way, that there was never a good time to withdraw u.s. forces. i know my decision will be criticized. but i would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president of the united states, yet another one, a fifth one. >> as convincing as some may find president biden's arguments, some images simply speak louder than words and scenes of panic and desperation like those that unfolded at the kabul airport on monday have underscored just how chaotic the situation has become, nick paton walsh has more.
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>> reporter: this is the only way out for so many. the airport road jammed, chaos, over a trillion dollars spent and this is what the end looks like. walk where you can't drive. just ahead of us is the gates into the airport and this is the panicked scene of many people still moving despite how hard it has been. entry into the last bit america controls, there is panic. tanks, someone shouts. but who is doing crowd control outside america evacuation spot? the taliban. with vehicles that they have taken from the afghan army, paid for by america, now used to keep the desperate crowds back, people whose only hope is to get out. possibly with american help. crowding at gates, trying to climb walls originally built to keep an insurgency out, being sent running.
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nearly every gate with a crowd fueled with the idea this is their only way out. u.s. troops at the perimeter shot dead two afghans who they said were armed but later admitted were not taliban. but inside the airport, the great escape was not going according to script. and check-in security at collapsed. afghans convinced the promise of a flight out was their only life ahead clamoring over walkways the u.s. spent billions on. and then one of the u.s. largest cargo planes taxiing ladened with afghans who did not want to be left behind. later, a plane takes off and what you are about to see is disturbing as the plane descends, two objects, or people, appear to fall from the fuselage. but the shear scale of those who needed help meant it was even harder to come by.
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civilian flights canceled, everyeven the americans had to pause operations until they could gain control. these images from space showing just the volume of people thronging in and around the airport. symbol of the united states' billions spent in a 20 year project. the u.s. always wanted to win hearts and minds here, but their swift uncondition aal departure has instead caused panic. nick payt ton walsh, cnn, kabul. right now the situation is said to be stabilizing according to british foreign secretary. british troops have been sent to aid in evacuations. they have been joined by the french military to get their nationals out. the taliban have a brutal legacy and many afghans are terrified
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about what a return to their role will look like. but the militants are trying to project a new image for now. they are speaking to female journalists and one leader has told his fighters not to enter people's homes or seize property. anna coren has reported extensively from afghanistan. and she joins me now from hong kong with more. anna, what are you learning about what is happening at the airport in kabul and of course on the streets of the capital? >> reporter: on the streets of ka kabul, it seems relatively quiet. people are going about their business. shops are open, there is traffic, we're not seeing the intense crowds that we did yesterday. and i think the reason is that you do have taliban out there providing security to that perimeter. clearly there was none
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yesterday. hence you had that breach and thousands of people were on the tarmac. i was in touch with a number of afghans who made it on to the tarmac and were witnessing those scenes. these were afghan interpreters who thought that if they got to the airport that perhaps they could get on a plane out of there. only a handful of afghans, and we saw that image of more than 600 crammed on to that transport plane that flew them out of afghanistan, i mean that obviously is the hope of so many others. but you need that special immigrant visa or you need to be a member of staff, u.s. embassy staff. we know that at least 500 of the 4,000 staff have been flown out. i'm sure that it has increased since then. we know there were afghan interpreters, other afghans who worked with americans, with foreigners, that have also got
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the right documentation to fly out of there. but of course it is a matter of securing the perimeter, so we're not seeing chaotic scenes that we did yesterday. but that fear that we're hearing about yesterday, i mean that is still very real even though the taliban has announced general amnesty for government officials and asking people to return to work. and of course we saw the images of a female news anchor interviewing a taliban member and she is just wearing a hijab, asking him questions like what is the future of women in this country. his response interestingly enough was you can keep on doing what you're doing. we want women to be part of the workforce, we want girls to go to school. but at this stage this is what the taliban are saying. whether they deliver on that, we'll just have to wait and see.
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>> at the moment hearing mixed messages on that. anna coren live from hong kong, many thanks. so it is clear many affghan are not reassured that the taliban are telling them that they have nothing to fear now that the militants are back in power. i spoke to a former afghan lawmaker and member of the negotiating team with the taliban. >> i have been engaged now with the taliban for the past three years trying to achieve a peaceful political settlement in a way that we can preserve the gains and values that people of afghanistan have stood for in the past years. they have been saying the same things in the negotiation. we have had statements from them indicating that they want women to go to school and work within islamic principles.
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now, i understand -- i lived in afghanistan all my life including the taliban time. their interpretation of islamic values is very, very extreme. in fact some of their foot soldiers in the provinces on the ground right now, they are actually implementing extreme islamic principles. so i think that the political office in qatar and the rest of the team that i know them, they have to make sure that whatever they say in terms of their policy is enforced by their soldiers. my concern is that most of the soldiers are people who have only seen guns and weapons in their lifetime. they have only seen the military extremist. they have not seen school or education. and for most of them girls education does not mean anything and girls not respecting the
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values of their definition. so i think that they have to practice what is happening in the rest of the muslim world and take bold steps to assure people that we will not go back to scratch. and still to come, the death toll is climbing in haiti after saturday's powerful earthquake. and the government says it is trying to ramp up its aid and recovery efforts. but complicating those efforts, tropical storm grace is now bearing down on haiti. we are tracking the storm's path just ahead. tony here from creditrepair.com taking to the streets to talk about credit. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane?
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asleep and stay asleep? qunol sleep formula combines 5 key nutrients that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed. the brand i trust is qunol. new zealand's prime minister says her country will begin a three day lockdown after a new local case of covid-19 was detected in auckland. arden says that it will start just hours from now. under the level, people must stay home in their bubble other than for essential travel. in haiti, the death toll from that massive earthquake on saturday keeps climbing. haitian officials now report more than 1400 people have died, thousands more are injured and tens of thousands of homes are
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damaged or destroyed. all this comes as heavy rain from tropical storm grace threatens to unleash flash flooding and mudslides in the area where the quake hit on saturday. and as we wait to see the impact from the storm, matt rivers was in les cayes touring some of the damage near the epicenter of the quake. >> reporter: getting to the hardest hit area of the earthquake means a helicopter ride 100 miles away from port-au-prince. land and the reality of haiti's latest trauma greets us on the tarmac, awaiting truck filled with people injured over the weekend still waiting to be evacuated. first to come out, a young child held by a relative carried into awaiting plane. next up, appn elderly woman unae to walk, she is carried up step by cautious step on the way to
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the help that still eludes so many. things are out of control at the hospital, he says, not enough doctors, not enough medicine, serious injuries. we need urgent help before things get worse. at least 1400 have been killed and thousands more injured in the worst earthquake to strike here since 2010. not far from the airport, this is what remains of a multistory hotel, officials say there could still be bodies in the rubble, some here digging trying to help, others digging for scrap metal and air conditioners. what you don't seed here are haitian authorities. there are no firefighters or search and rescue, just people from the community and this loan excavator that is not currently in operation. it is indicative as we are seeing as we drive near the epicenter. aid simply not arriving quickly. part of the reason, blocked roads like this one impassable for some convoys. >> the response effort is taking
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time to actually get there. we should have been there already. we're getting started but we're not satisfied. >> reporter: back at the airport first responders desperately look for a way to get this young girl out. she is stoic, but her leg is gravely injured and clearly in pain. this plane is full, another helicopter takes off without her. and so after walking around the tarmac, she is placed in another truck, a painful wait for help goes on. and rainfall continues to come down from tropical storm grace. of course the more rain that falls the greatest the risks are for flash flooding, mudslides, and that will make the search and rescue that much harder. the more it rains, the slimmest the chances are of finding more people alive in the rubble. matt rivers, cnn, port-au-prince, haiti. and for more on the tropical storm grace, let's bring in
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pedram javaheri. what is ahead for haiti with this tropical storm as search and rescue operations continue in the wake of the quake? >> one more very soggy day here through tuesday. i do expect the rainfall to begin to taper off later on this afternoon and this evening and really the heaviest rains will begin to move out of here within the next say six or so hours. but it has been an incredible night of thunderstorms, gusty winds and as much as a 250 to 300 millimeters that have come down across western haiti and that is the concern when you look at this landscape, you know how mountainous this region is and the deforestation levels here among the highest in the world. of the 50 highest peaks, 42 are considered almost entirely stripped of their vegetation and about 1% of the primary forest remains in place. so speaks to the incredible amount of damage that has been done across the resources in this region. and we know vegetation can
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absorb and deflect as much as 70% of rainwater that comes down. it is absorbed, consumed and kept in place. once you remove that vegetation and again only 1% of the primary forest remains here, you are essentially leaving the way for mudslides and flash flooding to take place and all of that water will want to end up downstream across some of these communities and that is the last thing you want to see. fortunately the storm system will be gone later this afternoon or this evening, but our friends in cozumel, cancun and eventually south texas going to be on alert for grace to how up here on their doorsteps as early as thursday and then saturday for the second landfall. tropical storm fred is moving across the borders of georgia and alabama at this hour, expected to push through metro atlanta as a remnant low and then north georgia mountains and western carolinas there.
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these are areas that could see as much as 8 inches of rainfall the next couple of days thanks to this tropical feature that made landfall in the last few hours. >> many thanks, pedram javaheri. and president biden is defending his decision to get the u.s. out of afghanistan. >> how many more generations of america's daughters and sons, how many more american lives is it worth. >> we'll look at the chaotic situation this kabul and how the white house is responding. and the race is on to get western diplomats out of afghanistan amid the chaos european countries are making a promise to the afghans who have spent years helping them. it helps keep you effortlessly comfortable by sensing your movements and automatically reresponding to both of you. and, it's temperaturure balancing to help you stay comfortable all night. it even trtracks your circadin rhythm, so you know when you're at yourur best.
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president biden acknowledges the taliban takeover and the government's collapse happened quicker than his administration had anticipated. but in a speech to the nation, he insisted that ending america's longest war was the right decision. >> how many more generations of american's daughters and sons would you have me send to fight afghanistan's civil war. afghan troops will not. how many more lives, american lives, is it worth. how many endless rows of headstones at arlington national cemetery. i'm clear on my answer. i will not repeat the mistakes we've made in the past.
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i know my decision will be criticized. but i would rather take all that criticism and pass this decision on to another president of the united states, yet another one, a fifth one. because it is the right one, it is the right decision for our people. the right one for our brave service members who risked their lives serving our naftion. and it is the right one for america. >> his comments coming as taliban fighters flood the streets of kabul sparking fear and uncertainty among the afghan people. the airport, british foreign secretary says the situation is stainl stabilizing after chaos broke out on monday. cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein is joining me now. good to have you with us. >> hi, rosemary. >> so president biden has been criticized more for thechaotic
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execution than the actual decision to withdraw from afghanistan after 20 years. in 2022 and 2024, will this prove to be a political m miscalculation for biden that haunts the rest of his term and his legacy, or will american voters support him on this? >> it is going to be part of the story. you can see it from the speech today, i mean he was very forceful and persuasive i think on the underlying rationale for the core decision to leave afghanistan. he made a very strong case. he was much less persuasive and effective in defending the way that decision has been executed. because really what can you say after the scenes we have seen in the last few days other than this fell apart much faster than we were anticipating. i do think this will be part of the legacy of his presidency no matter what else happens, but i would caution against assuming that this is some kind of politically mortal blow. don't forget, we had the
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blackhawk down debacle early in bill clinton's presidency and ultimately he won re-election. so i don't think that there is a lasting political consequence. i think a lot depends on whether the remaining can evacuate safely. but no question that it was a stain and the debacle in the way that it was executed. >> and president biden of course is the commander in chief, so the buck stops with him and he admits that. but he also blamed donald trump for locking the u.s. into a may 1 troop withdrawal in an unconditional deal made with the taliban. so why didn't biden try to reverse that flawed trump deal? that was possible. he could have made a better deal. >> there are very few causes i think that job shows more personal commitment and engagement to than ending the american engagement in afghanistan. i mean, i was trying to think today, i mean there are a lot of items on the democratic wish
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list that he advances universal pre-k, universal community college, the child tax credit, but what does he really personally put his oar in the water about. you could say union organizing at home, but ending the american engagement in afghanistan is something that he has wanted to do for a very long time. and when he got to be president, it was very clear that he was going to do it. so the trump agreement was flawed. and it did embolden the taliban, but it pushed in the direction i think that biden wanted to go which is getting out and now he owns that. >> and of course some republicans say all the afghans who helped the u.s. in the country should be airlifted out, while other republicans suggest this is biden's way of flooding the u.s. with immigrants. what is the politics behind that very mixed gop message?
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>> and you see the kind of two instincts in the gop colliding, the desire to be hard line on foreign policy, particularly on islamic terrorism, and the nativism that has become a dominant impulse in the party over the last decade, 15 years really. and certainly in the trump era. look, i think that this will be conflicted ground. we remember the settlement of the vietnamese refugees, but even that was contested ground 45 years ago in the 1970s with some states welcoming them and obviously there being pressure on other fronts. i do think that this will be contested, although i think on balance americans do feel a burden of debt to those who worked with us for 20 years and now facing the return of a very savage and dark rule. >> and just very quickly, why do you think president biden was so definitive six weeks ago when he said it was highly unlikely the taliban would take over
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afghanistan. those words will come back to haunt him over and over again. >> i think they will. and i think, look, he is not the first president to have allowed himself to be todeluded about wt was happening in afghanistan. whatever we can say about the choices of biden and trump and even the previous presidents, the fact is that very, very few armed soldiers in the afghan army thought it was worth fighting to prevent the taliban from coming back into power. and i found myself thinking today how many men in afghanistan with guns were willing to fight to prevent the reimposition of the government that will deny the capacity of their daughters to go to school. i thought the president was on his strongest ground today when he said if they are not willing to do this, we cannot hold it off ourselves. and i think the people agree with that, but the problem was the execution which has turned into something very close to utter chaos.
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>> ron brownstein, many thanks. >> thank you. former president george w. bush and his wife laura are sending a message of support to american troops and veterans who fought in the war on terror. you will recall of course that the war began under his watch back in 2001. they also thanked those who returned to help evacuate thousands of americans still in afghanistan. in a statement they say many of you deal with wounds of war both visible and invisible. and some of your brothers and sisters in arms made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. each day we have been humbled by your commitment and your courage. you took out a brutal enemy and denied al qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies and providing medical care. you kept america safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and
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opportunity for millions, and made america proud. we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will always honor your contributions. in the coming hours, foreign ministers in the european union will hold an emergency session in the aftermath of the taliban takeover. and british prime minister boris johnson is planning to host a virtual meeting of g7 leaders in the next few days. angela merkel was blunt in her assessment of afghanistan's fall. >> translator: since the withdrawal of foreign troops from afghanistan, we must witness how the taliban are taking over province by province and city by city at breathtaking speed and how they brought the entire country under their control again. this is a very bitter development, bitter, dramatic and terrible especially for the people in afghanistan.elissa be
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with more reaction. so the eu will soon be holding an emergency meeting on the situation in afghanistan. what is expected to come out of that meeting and what has been the reaction there in france? >> reporter: first priority for eu foreign ministers will be looking at how they can get those nationals out of the country as safely and quickly as possible after this chaotic scene that we saw. we know one franch aench aircra managed to bring extra hands to try to stabilize the situation on the ground. and the british airplane also bringing out french nationals as well. they are sending in rotations in to try to get french nationals out as quickly as they can. and foreign ministers will be looking at the immediate crisis situation, how to get their people and those who helped them out of the country. but there is of course behind that already the concern of what this could mean for migration
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crisis that we saw back in 2015. so many european leaders warning that the last thing they want to see is a repeat of that. have a listen to what the french president had to say on french television last night. >> translator: afghanistan's destabilization risk cause a regular migration risks to europe. france have and will continue to do their duty. we will do our full part in an organized and fair international effort. but afghanistan also needs in times to come to mobilize their forces. europe cannot be the only ones to take on consequences of the current situation. >> reporter: at the heart of the meeting today is likely to be also this franco german initiative that we've been hearing about to help neighboring countries to take in the refugees that will be coming from afghanistan again to not
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repeat what we saw in 2015 which caused all kinds of damage and division between the european union. that will be on the minds of the foreign ministers as they meet this afternoon. >> melissa bell, many thanks. after two decades of battling the taliban, the u.s. now has to consider whether to recognize them as a governing body. the diplomatic dilemma, just ahead. the same gear, you feel a sense of connectedness and belonging right away. and our shirts from custom ink help bring us together. - [narrator] custom ink has hundreds of products to help you feel connected. upload your logo or start your design today at customink.com
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tony here from creditrepair.com taking to the streets to talk about credit. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane? what's a good credit score? go. 600. maybe if you're trying to pay thousands extra
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in an effort to restore stability in afghanistan, three top afghan officials say they have formed a special council to cont the taliban. the decision comes after former president ashraf ghani's swift departure left the possibilities of peace uncertain. monday the council held what they called fruitful conversations with the militant group. meanwhile a taliban spokesman in
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doha told christiane amanpour that some of the freedoms enjoyed under the former government will remain. >> there are many journalists right now based in kabul, they carry out their work filing reports from here. and also the schools will be open and the girls and women, they will be going to schools as teachers, as students. so you will see it here in a few days. >> and we're starting to hear more about how russia and china plan to deal with the new government. frederik pleitgen is in moscow, but first let's go to hong kong where kristie lu stout has reaction from china. china says it is ready for friendly relations with the new taliban government.
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what are china's interests in the region? >> reporter: it all comes down to one word, stability. monday china's foreign minister spoke with the u.s. secretary of state antony blinken and, yes, he slammed america's hasty exit from afghanistan but he also signaled that china was willing to work with the united states in order to create a soft landing for afghanistan, in order to promote stability for the country as the taliban retake the country. the goal here is to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, to avoid a civil war and to avoid a return to becoming a haven for terrorists. even before the taliban took over afghanistan yet again, relations were warming between taliban and beijing. we'll bring up the video of events that took place just last month in july where the chinese more than minister welcomed a delegation of high level taliban leaders to the chinese port city and he called -- again, this was a month ago -- an important
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political and military force in afghanistan. observers have been watching it and saying that this is a very reluctant embrace of the taliban by china and what is fueling this is deep concerns about instability in the region. number one, there is a lot of concern about the border between afghanistan and china. they share a very short border, but it touches the western region of china. and there is also a lot of concern among the chinese about the investments that china has been making in central asia especially the one belt one road significant infrastructure investments made in pakistan and china has signaled that it would also extend those invest tmentsn afghanistan as well. and lastly but not least the threat of terror and terrorist activities being launched from afghanistan. back to you. >> thanks for that. and fred, russia's ambassador to the u.n. says there is no point in panicking about afghanistan and that russia will interact
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with the taliban. what is that relationship likely to look like? >> reporter: russians have been taking a very strategic approach to dealing with afghanistan. certainly have been building up contacts with the taliban as with all of their player on the ground and i think that is where the russians feel that they are in a fairly comfortable position. the envoy saying theis is not time to panic and that they are in touch with all sides. obviously also taking a swipe at the united states that when the soviet union left afghanistan, the government that they left behind lasted three years. but the russians are taking a wait and see approach. they say that in kabul they will have meetings with the taliban over the course of the next couple days. but they also say their embassy is fully functional and working. they believe that the taliban are going to be able to provide for security there. one of the interesting things
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that we've also heard from that envoy of the russians to afghanistan, he said that he believes that speaking to the taliban or speaking to the new people, the new strong people in afghanistan he says, is a lot more productive he believes than what he calls the puppet government that was there before. so you can see the russians very critical of the ghani government, that of course until yesterday really was at least on paper still in power, and already looking forward to possibly a new chapter. and russians have a lot of allies in that region that do share borders with afghanistan. >> fred pleitgen and kristie lu stout, many thanks to you both. afghans who helped america now fear they will be targeted by the country's new rulers. we will look at why the u.s. is moving so slowly to get them to safety, back in a moment.
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for the best reverse mortgage solutions. call now so you can... retire better the afghans who helped american troops and diplomats number in the tens of thousands. they are now in mortal danger.
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many have applied for special u.s. immigrant visas hoping that they can escape to america with their lives. cnn national security correspondent coukylie atwood reports on the challenges. >> reporter: they chase down a plane, revealing the desperation to escape. tens of thousands of afghans who helped u.s. diplomats and troops have applied for special immigrant visas or sivs and they are currently trapped in the country terrified that they and their families will be targeted by the taliban if they don't get out. >> and the threat following me, i'm like a prisoner. >> reporter: today we spoke with one siv applicant whose full name we are concealing to keep him safe. he worked with the u.s. army corps of engineers at bagram air
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bass. he was denied a visa in the past and is trying to reapply. he said that he doesn't believe taliban's assurances that people like him will be safe. >> taliban are the people that they never keep their promise. they are promise breakers. >> reporter: while the u.s. has evacuated 2,000 afghans and their families in recent weeks to the u.s., it is only a small fraction of the 60,000 who would qualify for sivs or refugee status. and that number does not include their families. last week, the top u.s. diplomat in the country urged the department in a cable back to washington to include a wider swathe of afghans in its evacuation planning. and now as pandemonium overwhelms afghanistan, the biden administration is coming under fire for not getting these afghans out of the country more quickly. >> we are doubling down on efforts to get them out if they want to leave. >> reporter: biden administration officials have threatened severe consequences if the taliban interfere with
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afghans heading to the airport. but right now, they won't assist afghans who are trying to get there safely. >> the united states is not in a position now and will not be in a position going forward to provide security throughout the city of kabul and throughout the nation of afghanistan. we are focused on the airport. >> reporter: the u.s. has the capacity to move 5,000 people a day out of the country. but with the chaos at the airport, it is not clear when the u.s. will be able to start moving that many people out of the crumbling country. we've asked the state department what their goal is in terms of how many of these afghan interpreters they want to get out of the country before the u.s. no longer has a presence at the airport in kabul. they underscored they want to maintain a presence at that airport for as long as they can, but they wouldn't give us an exact figure for the number of afghan interpreters they want to get out because the situation is so fluid. the pentagon has said that they are preparing to house up to 22,000 of these interpreters,
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but time is really of the essence and the question is how quickly the united states can get those afghans out of the country. kylie atwood, cnn, the state department. and before we go, a look at how the opinion pages in the u.s. are covering the taliban takeover. and president biden's handling of the fallout. from axios, biden stain u.s. flees kabul. at the "washington post," afghan lives ruined or lost will be part of biden's legacy. and there is this criticism from a "usa today" piece, withdrawing from afghanistan makes sense but biden's execution is a disaster. thank you so much for your company. be sure to connect with me on twitter @rosemarycnn. "early start" is up next. you're watching cnn. have a wonderful day.
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that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. the buck stops with him. president biden admitting the collapse of afghanistan unfolded more quickly than the u.s. anticipated. what now for desperate afghans left behind. breaking overnight, booster shots this fall for most americans, the new time line from the white house. and from bad to worse in haiti, a tropical storm complicating search efforts from the deadly earthquake. it is tuesday, august 17, 5:00 a.m., thanks for getting an early start with us. >> w

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