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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 21, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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everybody here is doing their best. but it's not clear if it's fast enough, if enough people can get out, and how much longer they have to finish this massive operation. as thousands of desperate people struggle to get out of afghanistan, cnn's clarissa ward shows what it's like inside the kabul airport. plus, afghan evacuees arrive in safe countries as joe biden makes a promise.
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>> any american, who wants to come home, we will get you home. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada, and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. this is "cnn newsroom." u.s. president joe biden is vowing to bring every american home from afghanistan if they want to leave. but nobody knows how many u.s. citizens are in the country. the state department says it's trying to track down as many as possible. meanwhile, the taliban are showing off the spoils of war. they published photos showing their fighters armed with u.s. weapons seized from the afghan national army. it's menacing images like these and the taliban's long history
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of brutality that makes many afghans scared to stay in the country. on friday, the pentagon confirmed it had flown 169 americans by helicopter from a hotel near the airport after large crowds blocked access to the gates. it's the first-known rescue of americans outside the airport perimeter. the first flights of evacuees have begun arriving in the united states. now, we don't know how many americans were among the passengers. but a source tells cnn that about 1,500 people who evacuated from kabul in recent days are expected to arrive in the washington area this weekend. and others are being flown to the u.s. military base in germany until permanent relocations can be arranged. so we are getting a picture of just how dangerous it can be outside kabul's airport. disturbing, new video has emerged and we want to warn you it is graphic. a local employee of a u.s.-based ngo captured images of two people wounded on the ground outside the airport thursday morning. it was filmed while several
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gunshots could be heard, and hundreds of people were seen crowding together, screaming in panic. well, after reporting from afghanistan since the start of the month, our clarissa ward and her team were among those who were able to fly out friday. before leaving, she filed this report on the conditions that thousands are facing as they try to flee taliban rule. >> reporter: after three weeks in afghanistan, we join the crowds at kabul airport. now, the only way out of the country. there's a huge block here. lots of cars. hundreds of people wait in the blistering heat, hoping for a flight out. so, we just managed to get into the airport compound. and um, have to say it was -- it was pretty intense. it was just, like, this crush of desperate people and screaming children and women and babies. and -- um -- yeah.
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it's not often you really see desperation like that. the few people that do make it are exhausted and scared. but they're the lucky ones. they've made it past the taliban checkpoints, afghan security guards, and finally, the airport gate. but they can't forget those who they left behind. >> we're getting out. we're happy for that but we're heartbroken for our country, especially for those who can't get out. those who are stuck here. we're really heartbroken. our heart bleeds for them. >> what do you feel for all -- all the mothers with young daughters who will now be growing up under taliban rule? >> pain. lots of pain. >> reporter: the back of a pretty long line now. transportations strained, they said. and obviously, priority is getting children and babies out as soon as possible. but i think we'll probably be here for a while. do you work for the u.s. military?
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or -- >> not military. but we are working with ministry of -- >> defense. >> -- defense. >> in afghanistan. >> reporter: and so, you have visa? >> yeah. yeah. >> reporter: as we interview this couple, suddenly, shouts behind us. a vehicle speeds through. that's a newborn baby that just flew past in that vehicle. that was a newborn. did you see the baby? there's this -- the baby, we find out, has heat stroke and needs treatment. a reminder for these families that they're close to safety, but not there, yet. we stand in the blazing-hot sun for hours. everyone seeking what shelter
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they can. patience wearing thin. it's an agonizingly slow process. but finally, we're allowed inside. out on the tarmac, now safe but the chaos continues. >> i have been waiting for two days. yesterday since 3:00 a.m. >> yesterday since 3:00 a.m.? >> yes. >> tell me what the situation was like trying to get into the airport. >> it was really busy, and a lot of people were just fighting. and trying to make way for themselves. but we pushed through. >> reporter: we are certainly some of the very lucky ones here. others, as you heard from that young man, have been waiting for two days. others we saw getting turned around, sent back, told you don't have the appropriate paperwork. and there's no question, everybody here is doing their best. but it's not clear if it's fast enough, if enough people can get out, and how much longer they
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have to finish this massive operation. clarissa ward, cnn, kabul. >> and clarissa has since tweeted that she has landed in doha, qatar, along with her team and nearly 300 afghan evacuees. she thanked those involved saying, we are the lucky ones. well, we're learning more about just how many afghans are at the kabul airport right now, hoping for a chance to leave. but they're not necessarily all eligible to be evacuated. cnn's nick paton walsh joins us from doha. nick, i understand the situation may be even more dire in terms of numbers than we might have previously thought. you have got some new reporting on this. what can you tell us? >> i have to say, the numbers have been hard to follow since the start of all of this. who's been taking off, who is ready to go, who is trying to get on. i have heard from a source familiar with the situation on the airport that there are currently 14,000 people on the airport trying to get out on the planes.
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that is utterly startling. and 4,000 higher than the number 10,000 clarissa heard yesterday from marines on the ground. how do they get to this situation? well, the source said essentially for a number of days, you might call it the filtration process. the -- the need for the u.s. marines, for the afghan security forces on the gates to show that people have proper paperwork before they permitted them onto the base that sort of collapsed in a bit of humanitarian emergency. and people just piled in. now, they are inside and the question, of course, is when does this end or slow? if you look at the numbers, potentially eligible for siv programs, that could head into the tens of thousands given the expanded definition we've had from the biden administration, joe biden's guaranteed to bring back american citizens but he doesn't know -- his administration don't know how many americans are in kabul. so these scenes, shocking as they are, causing loss of life as appear to see in the video you showed earlier on, at least 12 dead if not more with the
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capacity for yet more to be crushed as the pressure grows. well, how long could it go on for? the source i spoke to said that there's already discussion about maybe this not being able to go on for much more than under a week and that, in itself, is important to realize because if you have a deadline, you'll cause people to rush to try and beat that deadline. if you don't have a deadline, you have essentially an indefinite process in which anybody in afghanistan might feel they have a chance. i should point out, you know, that this is a country you could say possibly millions of people would deeply love a shot abroad somewhere starting a new life because of what life under the taliban will be, and because what life was like before the taliban. so it appears the situation on that base utterly dire. worsening. but now, i -- i get the feeling with the clock ticking because you cannot sustain that for indefinite period of time. kim. >> absolutely. among those who did make it out, now-former president ashraf
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ghani, you have done some great reporting on exactly what went on behind the scenes as he fled the country. take us through this story. >> reporter: it was a shock really because the whole american plan rested on ashraf ghani not running. and that's what he did. now, i spoke to a former-senior official -- um -- and i got a pretty detailed account of the final days' thinking. and it does essentially appear that the kind of final warning, the final demand for surrender to the ghani administration came to his national security adviser from a man who is essentially part of an al qaeda affiliate. think about that. al qaeda essentially telling the afghan government to get out of town. now, that's clearly resulted in them leaving. and i got an insight into the chain of events that led up to that. they were the final days of the afghan government. kandahar falling. kabul on the edge. and then, suddenly, the taliban
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in the presidential palace. now, a former-senior ghani administration official has given cnn, for the first time, their detailed account of what happened. before the president, the official said, fled to uzbekistan for one night. and then, on to dubai where he is now. there was no money with him, the official said. he literally just had the clothes he was wearing. but why did the collapse happen so fast? first, the official says they had underestimated the local and tribal political deals the taliban made to ease their advance. and hoped under american advice to fall back, consolidating cities. cities like the vital kandahar fell before they could. he said they underestimated, too, the effect the u.s. withdrawal would have on morale. as kabul began to look precarious, the u.s. helped focus on negotiated settlement that would lead to ghani stepping aside in transition.
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the president agreed to leave to ensure peace. the official said the concern was war inside a city of 6 million people. we knew that if ghani left, the guns would be silent. talks were meant for monday in qatar but on sunday the taliban hit kabul's outskirts. then, ghani's national security adviser got the final demand to surrender from a man the u.s. wanted as a terrorist from a network affiliated with al qaeda. haqqani, a long-term taliban negotiator, wanted a peaceful transfer of power and that the government should issue a statement of surrender. but ghani fled, and the official insists there was no single scapegoat here because the process was never fully controlled by afghans, in the first place. now, of course, important to remember this is a -- an administration that essentially fled the scene justifying their actions. but i was stunned to hear from
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that the u.s. persistence towards pushing them towards negotiation. and i think the sense, possibly, too, that they were never really able to keep pace with the speed of afghan advances. that, we knew. but what i didn't know and what i think will always stay with me is the idea for a member of the haqqani network, an affiliate, being the people of al qaeda, being the people who tell that afghan administration it's time to surrender. that's the reason the u.s. went into afghanistan, and they're the people it seemed who told the government the u.s. were backing to get out. >> yeah. unbelievable. really appreciate that. nick paton walsh, thanks so much. well, what's left of the afghan government must now work with the taliban, including on critical efforts to keep the country's already-fragile health system running. afghanistan's acting-public health minister, and he joins me now from kabul. thank you so much for being with us. many who worked for the government are in hiding right now. so -- so first of all, doctor,
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what's your situation with the government basically having collapsed here? are you still going to work? and how much contact do you have with the -- the taliban? >> thank you very much. i'm in the office. staff members, both the administrative side and the health side. the minister of public health is maybe the only one of the main government institutions which are up and run from the day after the political and military transition. i was able to convince the team, including staff members both at the hospitals and the administrative offices to join the work. hopefully, we do not witness a disruption in our administrative work as well as service delivery in health facilities. so, we're -- we're -- the ministry is in a good mood right now and it's running serving people in need. >> yeah, it -- it must be the only one.
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if you say in a good mood. i mean, what -- what happens next? are you -- are you working with the taliban now to -- to carry on the vital health infrastructure going forward? >> well, my first responsibility and commitment to the health of my people was to ensure that we don't witness a disruption of leadership. now, we have the leadership of the health commission of the islamic emirates of afghanistan. they have come to office. there was a good coordination, for the time being, for last day between the leadership of the ministry and the leadership of the health commission of the emirates. the islamic emirates of afghanistan. the next steps depends on the decision made by the leadership of the emirates on how they want a health sector to be led. but what i can tell you is that we were able to avoid any
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leadership disruption and the work during last few days. and that is what i was committed to and we -- i'm very happy that we could make it. what happens next is a decision with higher authorities, and in a larger scale to the government institution with the ministry of public health will be part of that. >> so you talk about these discussions with the islamic emirate of afghanistan. i mean, that is the -- the -- the taliban, essentially. what about the -- the -- all of the women in healthcare? will they be allowed to work going forward? >> the message we have received during last two days from the leadership of the commission of the islamic emirates of taliban is that they have allowed the female staff members to attend their jobs at the health facilities, as well as their offices in the ministry. there -- we haven't observed any
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limitation until now. hopefully, we have our female directors and staff members here in the office, as well as the health facilities which are in kabul and around the country. yeah. it takes time. it takes time to ensure them that they're safe. and to convince them to get back to offices, and to health facilities and i am working on that. >> i have to say you sound very optimistic when many are very pessimistic about -- about the future and about the future of women, whether they will be able to work and so on. what has given you any cause to perhaps be as optimistic as you sound right now? >> well, i think, at this point, i have no other options. but to convince the health personnel to join the health facilities. i -- during my tenure -- even though during the hard days of conflict, what i could do and what i tried for was to ensure neutrality and impartiality of the health sector. i have tried my best to keep the
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health sector away from all political aspects in the transition. today, this is my responsibility and commitment to -- to try my best to ensure that our patients are attended by healthcare personnel. with pessimism, only thing i can do is to further enhance the environment of limitation for my staff members. and provide patients in bed from healthcare personnel. let's see how the decisions evolve in the future. but currently, i am committed to try to convince all parties, including the commission, to have the [ inaudible ] for female workers to attend their health facilities and provide services needed by mothers and children in these centers. >> and there is such a need. so we wish you the best of luck
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in these extraordinary and -- and trying times. doctor, afghanistan's acting public health minister, really appreciate having you on. and again, best of luck. >> thank you very much. pleasure is mine. all right. coming up on "cnn newsroom," as desperation grows in afghanistan, the u.s. president is defending the evacuation process. >> the only country in the world capable of projecting this much power on the far side of the world with this degree of precision is the united states of america. plus, we'll find out which covid shot could get the fda's thumbs up for full approval in the coming days, and how it could help inkcrease the rate o vaccination. stay with us. air wick essential mist transforms fragrance infused with natural essential oils into a mist. with an extra boost of fragrance you can see... smell... and feel. it's air care redefined.
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tony here from 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 in interest rates. cut the confusion, get started with a free credit evaluation at there's some good news on the u.s. vaccine front. a senior-federal official tells cnn that full-fda approval of the pfizer-biontech vaccine is imminent. a biden administration official added that it could come as soon as monday. now, this could be a game-changer in how skeptical americans view the shot's safety. the vaccine currently is
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authorized for emergency use. but health experts hope full authorization will lead to more people getting vaccinated. two counties in florida refusing to back down from their mask requirements for schools. the florida board of education gave broward county 48 hours to allow parents to opt out of face coverings or the state would begin to withhold funding. n now, this has largely been at the direction of florida governor, ron desantis, who opposes mask mandates. but broward officials say their district is in compliance, since they provided exceptions to the mask mandate for students with a medical condition or other special circumstances. well, officials say they have no plans to change their current masking requirements. they say universal masking is absolutely critical to protect the health of students and staff, and limit the strain on the healthcare system. new restrictions to control the covid outbreak are meeting with sometimes-violent
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resistance in australia. six police were hospitalized after officials in melbourne clashed with demonstrators and used pepper spray as the state of victoria went into a full lockdown. more than 200 were arrested there, as well as dozens more in sydney. thousands of protestors marched in various cities, as australia recorded its worst daily case count of the pandemic, with 825 infections in new south wales alone. and new zealand is, also, seeing cases rise. 30, so far, in the latest outbreak. its prime minister says a new, extended lockdown would let contact tracers figure out how far the virus has actually spread. cnn's michael holmes looks at how both countries are trying to fight new infections. a national lockdown extended in new zealand over a small cluster of covid-19 cases. the first case identified in auckland, earlier-this week. and cases have been discovered in at least one other city, since. >> we just don't quite know the
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full scale of this delta outbreak. all in all, that tells us we need to continue to be cautious and that we need more time before we have the complete picture we need to change our settings. >> reporter: the country's lockdown, now continuing into the middle of next week to try to contain the first outbreak of locally-transmitted cases since february. some residents say they had hoped that it was gone for good at least in new zealand which has had much success containing the virus. >> just gutted, really. i think the most of the country is gutted. and we keep it up for so long and -- and now, it's back. so it is what it is, i suppose. >> reporter: australia, also, tightening some of its coronavirus restrictions. a lockdown in sydney has been extended until the end of september. and officials say people must wear masks as soon as they step outside their house, except when exercising. >> it is time for all of us to bunker down, take this as
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seriously as we can. although, so many of us have. the vast majority have. >> reporter: officials say the outbreak in sydney has not yet peaked. the worst is yet to come. the city's still logging record-breaking numbers of new covid-19 cases, even after nearly two months of lockdown. michael holmes, cnn. floods of people are seeking to flee afghanistan as the u.s. president makes new promises to get people to safety. we'll have the latest on chaotic evacuation efforts, next. plus, hurricane preparations are underway in the northeastern united states as henri approaches. we will have a live report from the cnn weather center, coming up. stay with us.
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welcome back to all of you watching us here in the united states, canada, and around the world. i'm kim brunhuber. this is "cnn newsroom." we are learning more about the situation unfolding at the kabul airport. a source tells cnn that 14,000 people are inside the perimeter hoping to flee afghanistan. now, it's not clear how many of them are foreign nationals or afghans or what permissions any of them may already have to leave. for a few days, anyone was apparently allowed to enter without filtration. now, that same source says that some defense officials think the evacuation operation at the airport might not be able to last longer than another week. well, despite those harrowing scenes at kabul's airport, the u.s. president is defending the evacuation process. joe biden says he's focused on bringing americans home, and helping afghan allies. but his critics aren't convinced
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it's working. kaitlan collins has more. >> reporter: president biden making a promise amid the chaos in kabul. >> we're going to do everything, everything that we can. >> reporter: as his defense secretary, vice president, secretary of state, and national security adviser stood behind him, the president vowed to bring all americans in afghanistan home. >> any american, who wants to come home, we will get you home. >> reporter: but biden conceding he doesn't know if everyone will, ultimately, be brought to safety. >> i cannot promise what the final outcome will be. or what it will be -- that it will be without risk of loss. but as commander in chief, i can assure you that i will mobilize every resource necessary. >> reporter: the president, also, acknowledging that the u.s. still doesn't know how many americans are left in afghanistan. >> we want to get a strong number as to exactly how many people are there. how many american citizens?
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and where they are. >> reporter: flights in kabul were paused for at least eight hours, as the u.s. scrambled to find refuge for afghans as other locations surged to capacity. >> we paused flights in kabul a few hours this morning to make sure we could process the arriving evacuees at the transit points. >> reporter: biden claimed no americans have had trouble reaching the gates of the crowded kabul airport. >> we know of no circumstance where american citizens are carrying american passport are trying to get through to the airport. >> reporter: that account contradicting reports on the ground from cnn's own team. >> anyone who says that any american can get in here is, you know, i mean, technically it's possible. but it's extremely difficult. and it is dangerous. >> reporter: biden's latest remarks follow days of defensiveness over the botched drawdown. >> there will be plenty of time to criticize and second guess when this operation is over. but now -- now, i'm focused on
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getting this job done. >> reporter: while making clear americans are his first priority, the president vowed to help afghans who are now targets of the taliban for working alongside u.s. troops. >> there's no one more important than bringing american citizens out. i acknowledge that. but they're equally important almost are all those, those sivs we call them who, in fact, helped us. >> reporter: and after president biden gave that speech, his defense secretary lloyd austin briefed lawmakers on the unfolding situation in afghanistan when he told them that, yes, americans have been beaten by the taliban in kabul. on their way to the airport. despite the president saying that they do not have reports of americans being unable to ultimately get to the airport. this does show and confirm clarissa ward' and others' reporting about how difficult it is to get to the airport. to actually try to get out of afghanistan. according to our reporting, austin said that this is unacceptable and they have made that clear to the taliban and he said generally, they do not believe americans are having --
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are being prevented by the taliban from accessing the airport. kaitlan collins, cnn, the white house. even before afghanistan's national government fell, tens of thousands of afghans were leaving the country every week according to the u.n. an afghan living in canada, his sister was one of three female journalists killed by gunmen back in march. that happened just a few months after another female journalist from the same tv station was killed. a total of four out of the ten women who worked there. their family is still in afghanistan, and he fears for their safety. but he said he wants to tell the world what life was like for regular afghans, and here is some of our conversation. do you think that your family might be in even more danger because their daughter was a journalist there in kabul? i mean, what's their situation right now? >> they -- as i said, we are hiding.
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we are hiding with limited sources of water and food. we're very scared. and not only one of my sister, she was a social activist. my older sister, she is also a social activist and she has not given up even though my sister was killed. so for us, the reason why terrified because the sources that my sister have worked for human rights are all posted online. they're all everywhere. it's -- it's on tv. it's -- and her interviews are everywhere. so the threats are really high and it is -- wouldn't be surprised if the taliban have a thing. you never know who is going to snitch. could be your neighbor. could be a local shopkeeper. it could be anyone. it's afghanistan. you shouldn't be surprised if anything happen. so that's why my family [ inaudible ] places that they are trying to move around in order to -- to be safe. so we terrified. the -- the saddest words i've
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ever heard from my mother was like, if we die, you take care of yourself. that was the hardest, toughest words i have heard while i'm abroad. >> that was an afghan now living in canada describing the conditions his family is now facing back home. well, the fall of afghanistan isn't easy to come to terms with, especially for some who worked there and fought there. next, military veterans and others tell us how they feel about the taliban being back in charge. plus, hurricane warnings are issued for long island and southern new england as henri approaches. we'll have a live report from the cnn weather center, next. stay with us. - [narrator] as you get ready for what's next, custom gear from custom ink can help make the most of these moments. we've developed new tools to make it easy for you. custom ink has hundreds of products to help you feel connected. upload your logo or start your design today at
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it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. hurricane warnings are posted for long island and southern new england, at this hour, as tropical storm henri gathers strength and approaches the coast. new york city is under a
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tropical storm warning. henri is expected to make landfall sunday as a category 1 hurricane so let's bring in cnn meteorologist tyler mauldin for the latest. tyler, hurricane hitting an area not -- not used to seeing them. >> yeah. i mean, they're really cold waters right offshore of new england and the northeast which typically allows these systems, once they approach, to simmer down and lose their hurricane status. but it does look like -- um -- henri could potentially hold that category 1 status as it comes ashore on sunday. and sunday, less than 36 hours away now. so we have hurricane warning in effect and that hurricane warning is out for the majority of long island, going on into connecticut. then, as you see the areas in blue here, those are tropical-storm warnings which do include -- which new york city is included in that. and then, nantucket, you're in a hurricane watch. at this time, henri is way down to the south. it is about 500 miles -- 590
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miles to the south of new york city. it's spinning its wheels right now as a tropical storm. winds of 70 miles per hour. gusts as high as 85. and it's moving to the north at 9 miles per hour. on that track, it is gonna hit the gulf stream and the gg gulf stream is a sliver of really hot water that pushes up the eastern seaboard. and when it hits that, it's gonna form into a category 1 hurricane and it actually becomes a fairly strong category 1 hurricane with 85-mile-per-hour sustained winds. then, it starts to weaken as it does encounter the cooler waters offshore of new england but we do think that it could hold onto that status. it will be close -- close to, if not exactly, a category 1 hurricane when it comes ashore in new york. excuse me, the -- the surrounding area of long island to -- to connecticut. early on sunday. and probably, around noon on sunday. that's when we're looking at a
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landfall. then, it lingers come sunday, on into monday and tuesday. and any time you have a system that's just meandering, you know you are going to pick up a lot of rain in short order and that's what we are going to see. now, models are in really good agreement on this system, henri, makin making landfall up here in new england. if you will remember, over the last several days, some models were wanting to take it into new england. some were keeping it right offshore. but now, models are in really good agreement with an impact in long island going into connecticut. it doesn't take much in the way of rainfall in this area to cause flooding. couple of inches. maybe, three inches, you will get some flooding. we have already picked up a lot in the way of rainfall over the last week because of tropical systems. and now, we're going to see up to 6 inches of rain on top of that other rain that we just picked up. that could lead to the potential for some flooding, as well as trees coming down when you add in these winds that could get up to more than 100 miles per hour. that's going to cause these winds -- those trees to come
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down. that also means that power outages could be widespread. then, on top of all of that, you also have this system approaching on a weekend with a full moon. right at high tide. and that could lead to -- yeah -- 5-foot storm surge in some parts of new england, kim. so we have got a lot to watch here and unpack over the next 36 hours with henri. >> sounds messy. we will keep tracking that through the weekend. thanks so much, tyler mauldin. appreciate it. well, we now want to show you the horrific, new reality for the survivors of last saturday ace's 7.2 magnitude earthquake in haiti. homes are toppled, hospitals overwhelmed and aid is scarce. the u.n. says even the hospital treating survivors in the city of les cayes. humanitarian aid is dripping in, including the first shipment from unicef on friday, many
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survivors say they haven't seen any of it, yet. we'll be right back.
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after days of chaotic scenes at the kabul airport, u.s. president joe biden says he'll, quote, mobilize every resource for the evacuation effort. he is promising to do everything he can to get americans and afghan allies safely out of the country. but getting through the crowds and past the taliban into kabul airport remains a daunting and dangerous task. the u.s. says about 13,000 people have been airlifted in the past week. germany is among the locations now being used as a stop along the way. evacuation flights to the airbase began arriving on friday. well, recent events in afghanistan feel like a punch in the gut to many people who spent time over there, in the past 20 years. they include military veterans, journalists, and others. as jake tapper reports, what they see happening now -- well, it's hard to take. >> reporter: with the taliban taking over afghanistan before the u.s. could even fully
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withdrawal, we see now disturbing images such as these. afghans desperate to leave. fearful of being hunted down and killed by the taliban. terrified the group will wipe away women's rights. returning to the days of executions and rapes and torture. so many journalists have been following this war from the beginning. both, here in washington, d.c. and on the ground where so many of us have gotten to know the men and women who fought and sacrificed so much. some of those veterans giving us their raw reactions to this week's awful scenes in afghanistan. a place they defended. a place where they lived. where they lost friends. a place now back in taliban control. all of them saying these are just their opinions, not representative of every veteran or the military or the u.s. government or the honors they received. >> my thoughts are with the people who are trapped, and trying to figure out how to get out. and don't have time to be angry
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or sad or mad because their life is on the line. >> reporter: ten years ago, matthew shockman, then with the u.s. army's 227 infantry, known as the wolf hounds, gave me a tour of ford operating base at the tip of the spear. >> there is a couple different points up on the ridge line up here where they shoot at us from. >> reporter: shockman was just 28 at the time. he had just had his second child who was not even a year old. a decade later, he is now a father of three girls and one boy. >> being able to see the changes in the way that women and girls are treated. you know, i have three daughters, myself. um, you know, it's certainly concerned for -- for the citizens there. and, you know, a -- a huge step backwards in the last week. >> reporter: and the retired captain is upset to see so many of america's afghan partners, such as the translators and mechanics who worked with u.s. forces, left behind. he reached out to his member of
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congress after he watched the evacuation unfold on tv. sending her part of the army rangers creed that reads, i will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy. >> we looked those people in the eye, and said america has your back. and there's just not an acceptable course of action where we go back on our word. >> reporter: on that same 2011 trip, i embedded with major graham bundy and the dust-off medevac company. he was the commander and he had just lost one of his staff sergeants. >> he was probably one of my most capable and qualified and -- and best talented flight medics that i had. >> reporter: bundy completed two tours in afghanistan before retiring in 2013. he tells me his final tour when i met him was particularly grueling. >> it really knocked me for a loop, i guess is the best way to say it. the ability to get to a better place, i think, has made what's happened this last week somewhat easier to handle. right? in the sense that i came to
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terms with that very difficult deployment. >> reporter: he has been talking to his fellow veterans about the withdrawal. he says many have told him they're angry. >> most of the folks that i talk to, it's the -- you know, we sacrificed for nothing. um frame of mind. and i think part of that is probably just because it's so raw right now. and maybe, the farther you get away from it, you can take a wider view. >> reporter: and then, there are the men from combat outpost keating, who fought in the battle in eastern afghanistan in 2009 such as retired lieutenant andrew bunderman. >> it's just superhard to come to grips with the fact that -- um -- it -- it's -- it's gonna -- it -- maybe, it isn't as bad as before. but it's certainly not going to be the nation maybe that we thought was -- was going to be there when the american forces left. >> reporter: bunderman ran the
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tactical operations center during the battle which i wrote in my book "the outpost" that was turned into a movie. >> it's going to be tough to watch how reality is. how hard the lives of the afghans are going to become in many areas. >> reporter: and while bunderman says he was not surprised to see the taliban's resurgence in afghanistan, he was disappointed by how the u.s. executed its withdrawal from the country. >> at least put together something that doesn't look this terrible. >> reporter: bundermann's fellow soldier, ty carter, agrees. >> the exit plan should have been a hell of a lot better than what we saw. people climbing onto airplanes, falling off airplanes, dying. >> reporter: carter sat with us for a documentary we did after he was awarded the medal of honor in 2013. carter risked his life several times during that battle. running to save the life of stefan mace. he and another soldier ran through enemy fire to bring him back to the medic station.
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>> on fire and i couldn't breathe. and tears were coming down my eyes because everything hurt so bad. >> reporter: carter believes that the u.s. should have pulled out sooner. he was not surprised that in the last few weeks, the afghan army did not put up much of a fight against the taliban. >> being a service member who fought in the battle at post keating, the way the afghan department of defense or their forces, the way they acted is no surprise to me. there were a select few that stood and fought, and more power to them. but most of them, they just gave up. >> reporter: carter also agrees with the other veterans who say the united states has an obligation to save those afghans who directly helped u.s. efforts on the ground. >> the linguists and interpreters, our first priority should treat them as they were americans because they helped us. >> reporter: despite how this war ended, all of these soldiers, all of these veterans
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look back at their work and accomplishments in afghanistan with pride. and hope that their fellow veterans feel the same way. >> we fought for each other. we died for each other. we are wounded for each other. >> we can look back and say, hey, we did good. >> i'm -- i'm proud of everything we accomplished. >> i'm superproud of every single soldier i had an opportunity to serve with. >> reporter: jake tapper, cnn, washington. and if you're a veteran who is struggling or you know someone who needs help, you can find resources at a special section of our website, well, that wraps this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm kim brunhuber and i will be back, in just a moment, with more news. please, do stay with us.
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at usaa, we've been called too exclusive. because we only serve those who honorably served. all ranks, all branches, and their families. are we still exclusive? absolutely. and that's exactly why you should join.
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♪ everybody here is doing their best. but it's not where -- if it's fast enough, if enough people can get out, and how much longer they have to finish this massive operation. as thousands of desperate people struggle to get out of afghanistan, cnn's clarissa ward shows what it's like inside the kabul airport. plus, afghan refugees arrive in safe countries as joe biden makes a promise. >> any american who wants to come home, we will get you


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