Return to Transcripts main page


Motorists Engulfed in Flames Tryin to Flee Wildfire in Portugal; Theresa May Criticized for Grenfell Tower Tragedy; India, Pakistan Meet in Epic Cricket Final; Historically Low Turnout for Second Round of French Parliamentary Elections. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 18, 2017 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:09] ROBYN KRIEL, HOST: Fleeing the flames, a deadly wildfire races across central Portugal. Next, the latest on the fire fight.

And at the polls, French voters cast their ballots in parliamentary elections, but turn out is low.

Plus, remember the victims: mourning and anger in London over the Grenfell Tower fire. We'll take a look at how the tragedy is impacting the entire


Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel in Atlana. Surrounded by flames on all sides with no way out, that's the horrific

situation in Portugal where a huge wildfire has killed more than 60 people. The blaze is burning about 200 kilometers northwest of Lisbon. More than

50 people have been injured.

Some of the victims were burned in their cars as they tried to out race the flames.

Crews are frantically trying to reach those who are trapped and still in danger.

Well, this wildfire started as the region suffers under intense heat. Let's go now to our meteorologist Derek Van Dam who is live with more on


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is an immense tragedy what's happened and unfolding currently in central Portugal. As you mentioned, this is

about 200 kilometers to the north outside of the capital city Lisbon and what we're seeing are some of the images coming out of this region of just

utter, utter devastation and we have to really highlight all the individual parameters at play here, what caused this and what we can expect going

forward. So, we'll try and highlight that within this particular weather broadcast. But just seeing some of the images, particularly this image

you're about to see right now, we've been talking about how people actually perished in their vehicles actually attempting to flee the flames as they

approached the communities and homes that they lived in. And you can clearly see what unfolded here with this particular image.

Now, the story is that we have been under immense heat across the Iberian peninsula, anywhere from Spain into Portugal temperatures have soared,

skyrocketed really into the upper 30s and low 40s in terms of Celsius. And really we don't see any relief in the heat in the areas that have been hit

hardest by the flames.

This is the just outside of the where the flames continue to burn. And we expect a temperature today of about 36 degrees. It is winding down in

terms of daytime heating. But once again into the day tomorrow, another hot day anticipated with temperatures of about 38


No real rainfall in store. In fact, authorities believe that the cause of this wildfire is actually from a phenomenon known as dry lightning.

Thunderstorms can form, produce rain, but the air is simply too dry for that rain to actually fall to the ground. It's a term known as Verga.

So, that rain evaporates before reaching the ground and any lightning forms out of these thunderstorms can easily reaching the ground can spark

wildfires or embers. Now, the other issue here that's adding fuel to the flame is the strong winds. They are gusting at least 20 to 30 kilometers

per hour and that's expected to continue. So we really have all the ingredients necessary for the wildfire threat to continue.

Now, as we look a little bit closer into how wildfires spread, we take the large wildfire that caused the devastation and then we go forward with

strong winds. We have the potential for taking some of these embers, or the hot spots and pushing those, let's say, another 50 meters, 100 meters

down the way and that can start new fires and ultimately that causes pandemonium and chaos for anyone trying to battle the blazes and it seems

the strong winds will hinder efforts to put out the flames and try to contain this massive fire that is still going.

You can see the forecast here for Lisbon. Windy conditions through the course of the day today.

temperatures continue to stay warm and it will do so for at least the next 48 to 72 hours. We really only see relief, Robyn, as we head into first

half of next week. Back to you.

KRIEL: A long few days for residents there. Thank you so much, Derek Van Dam for that report.

Well, to France now where voting in the country's parliament educational elections are in its

final hours. Sunday marks the second round of voting. Getting voters out to the polls has been harder than the presidential vote. Officials put the

voter turnout at just under 18 percent nationwide.

Still, President Emmanuel Macron is set to win a huge majority. He'll need that to deliver the

political reforms that he has promised when running for France's top job.

Our Jim Bittermann is live for us in Paris. Jim, a pretty low voter turnout up until now. What are you seeing and hearing?

[11:05:16] JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, in fact, we just got the latest figures from top of the hour here from the

interior ministry and it's 35 percent voting at the top of the hour so far, 35 percent turn out.

But just to give you an idea how that compares, it was 40 percent last week in the first-round of the

legislative elections, and five years ago, at this time five years ago the second round of legislative elections it was 48 percent.

So we're on track to have one of the lowest voter turnouts in French history. It really is dramatic the way people are staying away from the

polls. Some of the analysts are describing perhaps voter fatigue, and describing the fact that the Macron side was given all the chances to win

this election, many people think that they already had it in the bag and they are going to go ahead and win it so why go out and vote. And also

it's a nice day here, Robin. So, in fact, people may have had other things to do rather than vote.

It certainly seems the case that they are not going to the polls, though.

KRIEL: It does look like a beautiful day there.

If Macron does sweep this election, Jim, like many believe that he will, is there a sense of hope among his supporters that he will make those reforms

promised, or are people worried it's going to be more of the same?

BITTERMANN: Well, I think that among his supporters definitely they are believing that he will pull off the things that he has promised, that is to

say some labor law reform, all kinds of different reform that he's talked about - economic reforms that will benefit the average person on the


But, in fact, the opponents to Macron don't see it that way at all. They are worried that he'll pull off some of these things because he has such a

majority and they have been complaining over this last week of campaigning that no president should have the kind of majority that

it looks like Macron is going to have in the national assembly, it's just too much power in one hand.

In fact, if the predictions are right about the way the vote will come out today, he will have the largest majority in the parliament since Charles de

Gaulle in 1968, so it will be a historic election from that standpoint.

KRIEL: Any changes in the Le Pen camp, do you believe, JIm?

BITTERMANN: Well, no, I don't think so. And Le Pen, according to the forecast, was not going to do so well in these elections. In fact, in the

first round of the elections didn't do very well. And it has really not just in Le Pen's camp, but across the traditional political parties here,

the Republican Party and Socialist Party, both been rather crushed by and put in some disarray by the results of the first round of the elections

where candidates just did not do very well at all - Robyn.

KRIEL: All right, thank you so much. Jim Bittermann live for us in Paris.

Now a likely emboldened President Macron will come face to face with a politically weakened British prime minister later this week when Brexit

negotiations begin on Monday.

Later in the show, we're going to speak to an analyst about just what to expect from those negotiations.

Let's go to London now where there is anger, agony and nowhere near enough answers after the Grenfell Tower fire. People have been trying, taken to

the streets asking just how this disaster was allowed to happen and calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to stand down. Even she admits that support

for the victims was not good enough after meeting some survivors on Saturday, this as a former fire chief tells a British newspaper that urgent

requests to tighten rules on safety were ignored by lawmakers.

Police say that 30 people were killed in the disaster and another 28 are missing and presumed dead.

Well, Frederik Pleitgen is live for us from London with the very latest. Fred, tragedy, indeed, but what are you hearing about the material wrapping

around the Grenfell Tower, it's called cladding, and the possibility that this had something to do with the spread of the fire.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there was quite a remarkable interview that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond

gave a little earlier today, Robyn, on the BBC where he said that it was his understanding that the cladding that was used on the building, of course, we keep talking

about that refurbishment work that was done here on that building from around 2013 to 2016, that it was banned in the United

Kingdom, and it's interesting because we went back and we looked at the law here in Britain and that says that any sort of combustible material that's

used on the outside of walls is not allowed to be used in buildings that are over 18 meters in height. And of course, we know that the Grenfell

Tower is well over 18 meters.

Now, Philip Hammond also said there is, of course, still going to be an investigation that will have to look at whether or not there was any

negligence and whether or not there was, in fact, criminal negligence in this. But it certainly is quite a remarkable statement that really is

making headlines here in the United Kingdom, Robyn, and it also diametrically opposes what the company that actually did that refurbishment

work was saying in the aftermath of the disaster as well.

They said that it was their belief that they adhered to all of the standards for fire regulations here in this country, clearly, though, the

Chancellor of the Exchequer is saying something very different.

And I want to show you the scene as we see it around here in the area. We're in front the Notting Hill Methodist Church right now. As you can

see, there are still a lot of people who are coming out and obviously paying their respects here. There was a church service a little earlier.

Obviously, this community is one that was deeply shaken by these events.

And I can you, I've been here since Wednesday, since the catastrophe took place. And it's not only the folks who were directly affected by the fire,

obviously, were deeply traumatized, but a lot of them have friends who were inside the building, who lived inside that building. And quite frankly,

Robyn, a lot of people also witnessed the fire as it was going on which, of course, was a deeply traumatizing event to so many people as well, Robyn.

KRIEL: It was a horrific video, Fred, of a rising death toll. What do we know about just some of those people who were victims of the fire and

friends of the people behind you, trying to remember them.

PLEITGEN: Yeah, you know, I mean, there's more and more people who are now being identified, more of the victims. And you've already mentioned that

there's 30 people who have been confirmed dead so far in this tragedy and there's 28 more who are presumed

missing, who are missing and who are presumed dead have been killed.

And if you look around here, I mean, it is quite tragic. A lot of the pictures of those who are missing are actually on the outside of those

church walls, and it is something that really a lot of people here in this community feel a lot of grief. But, of course, is slowly turning into

anger as well.

And you mentioned that Theresa May was coming out and saying that the response to this disaster in the early stages was inadequate. And I think

that many people would say that that's absolutely true. And they are still quite angry at the response and saying things aren't happening fast enough.

You know, a lot of the people who have had to be relocated from the Grenfell Towers say that that's not happening fast enough or in a way

that's adequate enough.

So, there's certainly a lot of anger that's sort of building up here as the authorities are trying to deal with this disaster as well.

And Jeremy Corbyn, of course, who is the political rival of Theresa May, he has come out and deeply criticized some of the authorities as well. So,

you have that grief that's still ever present, especially, of course, on the first Sunday after the disaster took place where a lot of people, of

course, go to church, have church services and have time to reflect on the horrible events that have taken place here since Wednesday of this past

week, Robyn.

KRIEL: Fred, thank you. Live in London where it's grief turning into anger after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. In Eastern Afghanistan, five Taliban fighters set off a carbomb

outside of a police station before storming their way inside. Officials say they killed at least five policemen and wounded 18 people. The

attackers were also killed in the gun battle.

Iraqi forces are rolling into the old city of western Mosul. It's the start of key phase in retaking Mosul from ISIS, around 100,000 civilians

are believed to be trapped inside the old city. Iraqi forces recaptured eastern Mosul earlier this year.

The U.S. congressman wounded in a shooting last week targeting a Republican baseball practice is showing signs of improvement. Doctors have upgraded

the condition of Steve Scalise from critical to serious following another surgery on Saturday.

Our Ryan Nobles has the latest.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very encouraging news for Congressman Steve Scalise, the house majority whip, the third most powerful republican in

congress, and his family as the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he is being treated, has announced that his condition has been upgraded

from critical to serious. They released this statement, quote, "Congressman Steve Scalise is in serious condition. He underwent another surgery today,

but continues to show improvement. He is more responsive and is speaking with his loved ones. The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring

of thoughts and prayers."

The hospital said it would be the final update for the weekend, but this is an important update for a number of reasons. Obviously, the first being the

upgrade in his condition, but another point that should be raised is the fact that he's been able to have conversations with his family. Doctors

described on Friday, that the congressman was in a constant state of sedation. They've been able to reduce the sedation a bit for him to have

some interaction with his family, but not much.

The fact that he's been able to have a conversation should be making this process just a little bit easier for family. Of course, the Congressman

shot on Wednesday at that congressional baseball practice. The man who was the shooter, James Hodgkinson, found with a list of names. After the

shooting, he was, of course, killed in the response. This -- an important development for the congressman as he continues the long and lengthy road

to recovery.

Ryan Nobles, CNN Washington.


[11:15:12] KRIEL: Well, still to come, we head back to France where parliamentary elections are almost over for a look at how a united France

will play in Brexit talks.

And the U.S. president's attorney is putting distance between his client and a tweet. We'll tell you what he says about a report that Donald Trump

is under investigation.


KRIEL: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World with me Robyn Kriel. Welcome back.

President Emmanuel Macron promised to overhaul French politics to get that done he will need the support of lawmakers in parliament. Enter his En

Marche Party. But many of its candidates running today are political newcomers.

Our Melissa Bell met with some of them.


MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cedric Villani was known as an award winning mathematician. Now, he's campaigning as part

of Emmanuel Macron's movement to become a member of parliament. Villani is one of 525 candidates standing for Macron's movement, about half are new to

politics, and like Villani, hope to bring to parliament more than just their ambitions.

CEDRIC VILLANI, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE!: I know about science, and science is more important than ever in the public debate, even very technical

(INAUDIBLE) questions are now everyday debatable, climate change or artificial intelligence, or you name it.

I've been a teacher and very much involved in the scientific culture. And this would be important because one of the crucial things needed in

politics now is people being able to explain to wide audience, not thinking that people are too dumb to understand the complexity, but explaining the

complexity in simple terms.

BELL (voice-over): Jean-Michel Fauvergue hopes to bring another set of skills to parliament. The former head of France's elite police force says

security is why he joined Macron's movement.

JEAN-MICHEL FAUVERGUE, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE! (through translator): He's a man who could bring people together, and more importantly, for the cop in

me, he's a real commander-in-chief.

BELL (voice-over): Another candidate is Marie Sara. The former bullfighter says she's simply taking to another arena, the determination she's shown in

the bull ring. Polls suggest she's on course to beat the far right incumbent.

MARIE SARA, CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE!: There's an extraordinary movement which is happening in France. With the real renewal of the political class, if I

can be a part of that, then I will be very proud. And I'm going to try and meet people to explain to them that they don't need to be scared.

BELL: The En Marche! candidates will find out on Sunday night whether their campaigning and the meetings they've held in town halls like this one in

(inaudible) have actually paid off. Emmanuel Macron will also find out whether he's won the second part of his gamble.

Last month, he became President without the benefit of an established party, something that's unprecedented. Now, he's hoping to secure a

parliamentary majority, the likes of which have never been seen in the history of the Fifth Republic.

Melissa Bell, CNN in (inaudible)


[11:20:19] KRIEL: Well, if Macron wins a majority in the French parliament, his position will be in stark contrast to what British Prime

Minister Theresa May is facing. But that doesn't necessarily put Britain in the strongest position going into Monday's Brexit talks.

Let's discuss that with Politico correspondent Silvia Borelli. She joins us via Skype from Lille, France. Silvia, thank you so much.

British Prime Minister Theresa May going into these negotiations extremely week. Macron and Chancellor Merkel presenting a strong united front. How

could this play out, do you think?


Well, this is quite paradoxical, if you think about it, because the European Union has been perceived as the slow and not very efficient

institution whereas Britain has always been an example of political stability, and one of the reasons for the British people deciding to leave

the European Union was precisely to take back control and to decide their own fate.

Now it seems there's a lot of confusion around their own fate and when Theresa May tomorrow

heads into those negotiations no one is quite sure what she's going to say and how strong she is going to be, because up until now she's been saying

no deal is better than a bad deal for Britain, but really at this point, including people in her own country, are saying don't go in

with that message, try to negotiate something that works for both sides and forget about all of this arrogant hard Brexit rhetoric that is not working

and has not paid off in the last elections in the UK.

So, all eyes on Theresa May tomorrow going in to those negotiations.

KRIEL: Definititely.

Macron said to be aggressively pushing for France to be the destination for London based financial firms to relocate post-Brexit. How else would he

turn Brexit into France's gains?

BORELLI: Well, Macron, when he met with Theresa May on Tuesday he said the doors of the EU are open for you guys if you want to come back or if you

want to stay in.

So, clearly Macron is sending a very clear message to the UK and also to rest of his European allies about France's role in these negotiations. He's

a Europhile himself. He, of course, as you said, wants to attract a lot of business away from London, but at the same time he wants France to be at

the core of the European politics alongside Germany. So, he is definitely going to put France in the center of these negotiations and also probably

try to influence the negotiations behind the curtains.

We know that Michel Bamier (ph), the chief negotiator for the EU is French, so France really is, especially after this election and Macron's

strengthened majority that is very likely going to come from today's elections really is going to be a key player in the negotiations.

KRIEL: Well, let's talk about that election going on today. Polls indicating that Macron's En Marche Party would sweep these elections with a

massive majority. But what would that mean on the ground, in your opinion?

BORELLI: Well, people are quite excited, although there is the part of the electorate that's quite skeptic, the people that voted for the center right

in the general election are skeptical that Macron will be able to push forward all the policies that he has promised he will and some people are

also concerned that he might bring the Socialists back into government somehow because, of course, macron was tied to the left and to former

President Francois Hollande when he was economic minister.

So people now are adopting wait and see approach, but what they really want to see, I've been

hearing, they have been telling me, is sweeping reforms on the labor market and a push on the country's economic agenda. So, of course, a lot of

support for Macron, but people who are still quite skeptical and we have to see what happens after today's election and going forward.

KRIEL: What do you suppose this historically low voter turn out means?

BORELLI: Well, I think, you know, you were saying earlier with Jim Bittermann that it's a good day here so people might not be at the polls

because they are out at the beach or at the park or somewhere else and also the way the electoral law is structured makes a lot

of people think they don't really need to head to the polls because basically the victory is already

handed to Macron.

Bu at the same time, there's also a lot of voter fatigue. It's been a long six months of campaigning, of political contrast, and people are quite

exhausted with politicians, with having to head to the polls over and over again in multiple rounds of local and national elections.

So it's both people being tired with politics and, you know, just saying it takes not even worse that we head to the polls and on the other side also

the context of this very warm and sunny day in June where people are doing something else basically.

KRIEL: We'll blame it on the weather. Thank you so much, Silvia.

Well, now to the U.S. after The Washington Post reported last week that President Trump was under investigation he appeared to confirm it. Donald

Trump tweeted on Friday, I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director.

But a lawyer for Mr. Trump now says that tweet was just a response to a news story. Our Jake Tapper spoke with that attorney, Jay Sekulow.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHORSo, should we take that tweet from the president as confirmation that the president is under investigation?

JAY SEKULOW, ATTORNEY: Let me clear. The president's not under investigation, as James Comey said in his testimony, that the president was

not the target of investigation on three different occasions.

The president is not a subject or target of an investigation. That tweet was in response to a "Washington Post" story that ran with five unnamed

sources, without identifying the agencies they represented, saying that the special counsel had broadened out his investigation to include the


They -- we've had no indication of that. The president was responding to that particular statement from "The Washington Post", again with five

anonymous sources.

TAPPER: Right.

SEKULOW: And again without even identifying the agencies. So no, the president's not under investigation, has not been.

TAPPER: So the president said "I am under investigation" even though he isn't under investigation?

SEKULOW: That response on social media was in response to "The Washington Post" piece. It's that simple. The president is not under investigation.

TAPPER: Well, I wish it were that simple, but, you know, with all due respect, the president said "I am being investigated" in a tweet and



TAPPER: ... take his word on that. And -- but you're his attorney. You're saying that the president, when he said that, was not accurate.

SEKULOW: No, the president was -- it was 141 characters. There's a limitation on Twitter, as we all know. And the president has a very

effective utilization of social media.

So here's what you have: the president issued that tweet, that social media statement, based on a fake report, a report with no documented sources,

from "The Washington Post".

And I want to focus on that for one moment. Isn't it ironic that a leak would take place by five anonymous sources saying that the special counsel

had increased the scope of their investigation, and they don't even identify the agencies upon which those individuals were speaking?

So the president responds -- I want to be crystal clear here. The president's response was as it related to "The Washington Post" report. He

cannot in a Twitter statement include all of that in there, but "The Washington Post" statement came out that morning.

TAPPER: So the president...

SEKULOW: So there can be no confusion. No confusion. The president is not under investigation.


KRIEL: There you have it.

The latest world news headlines just ahead, plus a fast approaching deadline at the British prime minister fights for her political survival.

How will her government handle Brexit talks with Europe due to begin in just one day.

Also ahead, a grim discovery in a flooded out area on a U.S. warship.



[11:32:09] KRIEL: A U.S. military official says that seven missing sailors have been found dead in a flooded section of the USS Fitzgerald. The

Fitzgerald was gashed below the water line when it collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan.

There are still big questions what led up to the Fitzgerald collision. Our Alexandra Field reports on what we know about the accident and its



ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A search for seven sailors by water and by air comes to an end after bodies of missing crew members

are found still on board a U.S. destroyer that's now back at port.

JOSEPH AUCOIN, VICE ADMIRAL, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. SEVENTH FLEET: We have found a number of the remains of a number of our missing shipmates and our

deepest sympathies to go out to the families of those shipmates.

FIELD (voice-over): At the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan, divers found the sailors in the flooded compartments of the USS Fitzgerald. The vessel

had been out on a routine operation when it collided with a Philippines containership and started taking on water.

(on camera): The destroyer holds a crew of about 300 people. The crash happened in the early morning hours when many of them would have been

asleep. Seven service members were still missing by the time the destroyer got back here to the port. Its starboard side smashed in, water still

flowing from it.

AUCOIN: The significant part of the crew was sleeping. Two compartments that housed 116 of the crew are in those compartments and it was a

significant impact to the side of the ship and you can't see most of the damage.

The damage is mostly underneath the water line and it's a large gash near the keel of the ship. And so that the water flow was tremendous and so

there wasn't a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea. The ship is still listing and so they had to fight the ship to keep it above

the surface.

FIELD (voice-over): The crew has credited with keeping the ship from sinking and getting it back to port. The navy has announced an

investigation into what went wrong, how one of its own destroyers could collide with a massive container ship in the heavily traffic highly

regulated waters of Japan's coast.

Is the commander stable enough to answer any questions at this point?

AUCOIN: He is -- he was at medevac. His cabin was destroyed. He is lucky to be alive and he's at the hospital right now. He's undergoing treatment, but

he's not available for questions.

FIELD (voice-over): The U.S. Coast Guard will lead a separate investigation into the casualties and the painful question of why some sailors never made

it out.

Alexandra Field, CNN, Yakoska (ph), Japan.


KRIEL: As the British Prime Minister faces rising anger over the Grenfell Tower fire she also needs to finalize a working government after this

month's disastrous election, and handle the Brexit talks that are now less than 24 hours away. Max Foster looks at what's at stake.


[11:35:15] MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I'm thinking more than 40 years' worth of treaties and agreements covering thousands of subjects

won't be easy and it won't be quick. Vast negotiating teams on both sides will need to work around the clock. The priority will be the breakup.

Key issues there include, what happens to brits living in the EU? What happens to Europeans in the U.K.? How are we going to lead the single

market and stop the free movement of labor? Where do we move the EU agencies overseeing banking and medicine, for example, currently based here

in the U.K.?

And perhaps the most difficult issue is the divorce bill. Some EU officials argue that the U.K. should contribute billions of dollars into ongoing

projects, at least for a while. And that is a suggestion the U.K. government thinks is absurd. Once they do reach a deal, at least 20 of the

EU's remaining 27 heads of state will need to approve the deal. This could include separate time-consuming votes in national and some regional

parliaments before the European parliament is then asked to sign off.

The U.K. parliament will also be expected to sign off on any deal, and there is the potential of no deal. The parliament won't agree. In that

case, the talks could be extended, but all sides will have to agree on that. Otherwise, the U.K. would have to leave the EU with no trade deal or

key policy arrangements. Meaning, the World Trade Organization rules would have to be something that the U.K. falls back on.

Alongside all of this, there will have to be a whole new set of agreements as well, which will underpin the new relationship, priorities there will

include immigration of border control, trade deals, and customs agreements, security and intelligence. I haven't mentioned the deals and agreements the

U.K. is going to have to reach with non-EU countries. The British government is going to have to work on lots of new trade deals and

immigration deals with countries around the world. The U.K. says it wants to avoid falling off a destructive cliff edge.

Well now, the clock is ticking.


KRIEL: That was Max Foster.

Well, Freddie Gray is deputy editor of the Spectator and joins us live from London. Freddy, thank you for your time. This past week we saw an

enormous amount of criticism for May for her handling of the Grenfell Tower fire, and its victims (inaudible) columnists calling it the tomb in the sky

that will be forever Theresa May's monument, marks the spot and her visit marks the moment the last vestiges of her career were finally rubbed out.

Is this fair?

FREDDIE GRAY, THE SPECTATOR: I think that's a little bit extreme in the language, but it's certainly fair that this fire could not have come at a

worse time for Theresa May. She called an election just over two months ago in order to secure her mandate, to give herself the strongest possible

position going into these Brexit talks.

Now after a disastrous election, she's really in almost the weakest possible position going into these talks and it just about Monday last week

it looked like she might be able to cobble together enough support to look a little bit stronger last week. She had a successful meeting with her

cabinet, successful meeting with the 1922 conservative committee. And then this fire happens. And her response to it seemed to be woefully inadequate

and what she's needed to show, which is human empathy, it's probably her weakest card as a politician. So, she's weaker than ever going into talks

where Britain really needs her to be stronger than ever.

KRIEL: Well, as you say, looking ahead to tomorrow, negotiations over Britain's exit from the EU or Brexit, what is the likelihood of, say, a

softer Brexit or a slower Brexit?

GRAY: Well, I think Theresa May's very own cabinet are trying to fudge, if you like, her Brexit

position a little bit. Chancellor Philip Hammond today was on the television suggesting that the walk

away from the deal which has always been part of May's position, she has to be able to walk away from the deal, is not acceptable. So, I think we're

already seeing Britain's position weaker than it was in the sense that there is be no walking away.

KRIEL: Is Britain with May under such strong enough leadership, Freddy, for such important intense negotiations, or what needs to happen to make

her position stronger?

GRAY: Well, here's the difficult irony of the situation. The general election was not a rejection of Brexit. 80 percent of voters voted for

parties that support Brexit. Therefore, there's a sort of increasingly clear public mandate for Brexit; however, politically within both political

parties, in fact, the main political parties, Labour and the Conservatives, there are huge divisions over it.

So, the politicians are paralyzed. But the public seem to be increasing pro-Brexit.

KRIEL: Let's talk about Theresa May's election gamble which ended up backfiring. In one of the Spectator's articles you said that May's single

greatest weakness is she struggles to run a larger team. Explain this. And tell us why you believe this to be the case?

GRAY: Well, she's not a very sociable or amiable person, even her friends I think struggle to identify what it is they got in the ways in which they

got on with her.

And she therefore circled herself with a very tight narrow team of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill who are now gone. But these people did not get on

with the cabinet, and it was a very fractious situation.

They were able to get away with it for a long time, because it looked as if Theresa May was unstoppably popular. This election has proved that that's

not true and so she's had to completely redraw her style of leadership.

KRIEL: What do you make of the Labour's recent attacks on the Tory's?

GRAY: I think May's great hope, or only hope really now, is that the Labour Party is dramatically overreaching itself. You had the shadow

Chancellor John McDonald calling for a revolution on the streets. He said we need a street protest of a million people to get her out of power.

And quite necessary reply to that is that you don't really understand how democracy works.

We've also seen in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly calling for the reacquisitioning of rich people's homes in

London. Now, this sounds good, it sounds sort of radical and exciting and what we need in desperate times. But it's also far, far to the left of the

political mainstream in Britain, so I think the danger for Labour is that they are overreaching dramatically at a

time when their actually - their position would be to be to stay quiet and let Theresa May destroy herself.

KRIEL: All right, thank you so much. Freddie Gray is deputy editor of The Spectator. Thank you so much.

Well, still ahead competition for the top spot at the U.S. Open is fierce, but the final round gets under way. We'll take you to Erin Hills for an


And India and Pakistan are squaring off in a cricket final for the first time in a decade. We'll tell you what's behind their fierce rivalry.


KRIEL: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel. Welcome back.

Two of sports' fiercest rivals with a deep and violent history at their backs are now squaring off on a London pitch. For the first time in a

decade India faces Pakistan in a cricket final. They're fighting for the champion's trophy and fans have been clamoring to see this battle. More

than 1 billion people tuned in for their opening match earlier in the tournament.

World Sports' Don Riddell joins me now. Don, why is this so significant for both nations?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, I mean you talk about the geopolitical history and the tensions between these two countries and, of

course, cricket is the one sport that they both care about so desperately much. And whenever their countries are playing, it feels as though

everything stops in those countries for their fans to tune in and enjoy it, but when they play each other it really is a big deal, and it is no

exaggeration to say it's one of the biggest rivalries in all of world sport.

Here they are. They just so happen to be playing in a final. You mentioned more than a billion people watching when they played earlier in

the tournament. That was actually won fairly handily by India, but it was a group stage match, so it didn't matter quite as much as it does now. And

I can tell you that the roles have been really reversed. Pakistan put on a really good score in their 50 over: 338 for four. India in reply are just

falling to pieces. This one is actually nearly over, and 156 for 8 for India at the moment. So, it doesn't look as though they're going to get

anywhere near batting through their 50 overs. And this is going to be a huge win for Pakistan if they can see this one through.

And if they do, I must draw your attention to a man who is probably going to be their hero. He's a bowler, a fast bowler, Muhammad Amir (ph). You

may recall the Pakistan spot fixing scandal, which really blew up when they were playing in England a few years ago. He was one of the young players

who was found guilty. He did three months in the young offender's institute. He was banned from the game for five years and he's come back

here today to the city of his disgrace and he's put on a phenomenal show taking three early India wickets and really giving Pakistan

a leg up in this match.

So, look out for him at the end of the game. I think it's going to be a really big deal for him.

But it does look as though Pakistan are closing in on what will be a very famous victory, Robyn.

KRIEL: And unbelievable, vindicated. Thank you so much, Don Riddell.

From the cricket pitch now to the golf course greens. The fourth and final round of the U.S. Open is now under way with a leaderboard largely devoid

of the sport's biggest names. American Brian Harman leads the pack, but eight others are within striking distance. The closest three players are

just one shot behind Harman, including American Justin Thomas who set a U.S. Open record with an impressive nine under par round.

World Sports Patrick Snell joins me live from Erin Hills Golf course in Erin, Wisconsin.

Patrick, how impressive were Harman and Thomas' performances?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Hi, Robyn, yes. Welcome to a windy Wisconsin

this Sunday. We're expecting gusts up to around 30 miles per hour possibly so spare a thought and

a prayer for the players out there right now.

Truly impressive is the simple answer. Before I get into all that let me reflect first of all and let me take you straight to the top of the

leaderboard, just to remind our viewers of the situation here. And it's Brian Harman who is leading the way at 12 under-par looking to become the

first left-handed golfer ever to win a U.S. Open.

But he has plenty of company right there. Three golfers at 11 under: Tommy Fleetwood of England, Bruce Koepka, another American player, and Justin

Thomas as well at 11 under.

Keep an eye on Ricky Fowler, too, at 10 under par.

Now, I meaned Justin Thomas, what a history-making round for him on Saturday. He shot a 63 during the third round of play here at Erin Hills.

Why is that historic? Because it was a nine under-par round and that in relation to par is the lowest ever round at a U.S. Open, incredible stuff.

This is a player who shot 59 earlier this year in Hawaii. But he's never been in this position before and that could be significant later.

Now, as for Brian Harman. As I said, his place in history will be assured if he can go on and win this. This is a guy whose flown under the radar

for much of his career. He's 30 years of age right now, but he had a big career win recently, his seconds PGA Tour title, that was the Wells Fargo

championship, when he saw off the challenge of, amongst others, Dustin Johnson, no less, currently the world's top ranked player.

But as I say, both these players have never been in this position before. So how will they handle the heat?


BRIAN HARMAN, AMERICAN GOLFER: I think everyone doubts, everyone has fears, and for me just trying to figure out what they are and kind of

rationalize them and deal with them.

JUSTIN THOMAS, SHOT 9-UNDER 63 SATURDAY: I know I'm going to be nervous. It's - but it's a good nervous. It's why I play to get myself in this

position. And I just, I'm excited for the opportunity to see what happens.


SNELL: And of course both players, along with many others, Robyn, looking to win their first-ever major title. We shall see. Back to you.

KRIEL: And Patrick, Justin Thomas' roommate this week also has a chance to win the U.S. Open. How does that work? And tell us about him.

SNELL: Yes, he does. Roommate - well, house mate, they are sharing a house and I understand that it's Ricky who has got the ground floor, if you

like, the basement level of that particular house, that's as far as the accommodations are working.

But these two Americans, they live very close to each other in the southern state of Florida. They know each other's games well, but they are both

desperate, both desperate, Robyn, for a first breakthrough major title.

Ricky Fowler, wow, we know him. He's on the international stage for so many reasons. Very social media friendly, renowned for his eyecatching

outfit, shall we say. And he really did light up this place here at Erin Hills with a dazzling 65 on round one on Thursday, his

lowest ever round at a major.

But what he would give for a first major title and he's really nicely placed. He's only two shots back. Don't discount him, Robyn.

Back to you.

[11:50:14] KRIEL: Presumably if they win then they will be able to upgrade to their own houses or perhaps a larger house. Thank you so much, Patrick


Still to come, we'll take a look at a Ramadan tradition that's literally keeping people up at night. That's next.


KRIEL: You're watching CNN and this is Connect the World. I'm Robyn Kriel, welcome back.

Now to a dying Ramadan tradition and the man struggling to keep it alive, or should I say awake: walking the streets of Jerusalem's old city at

night, he is the very definition of a human alarm clock. CNN's Ian Lee finds out what that man, the Moussa Harati (ph), as he is called, does when

he moonlights.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Get up, time to pray sings out Baha Najib (ph). Life will not last forever.

Most people wouldn't like a 3:00 a.m. wake up call, but during Ramadan the town cryer, or Moussa Harati (ph) performs an important task reminding

people to eat and pray.

"Having a Moussa Harati (ph) inside the old city is not only about religion," says Baha (ph), "but also saving the Palestinian heritage and

identity that we are slowly losing here in Jerusalem."

Festive lights lead the way snaking through Jerusalem's old city. Sleepy residents wake up to

reward this holy minstrel and his brother, Ihab, on the drum.

"It isn't Ramadan with him. We honor him with food and love to hear his voice, "says this man.

Each song Moussa Harati (ph) song is different, personalized by calling out the names of the residents, a sort of role call for the faithful.

At this house he serenades a young girl named Jenna (ph), her father joining her at the window.

The Moussa Harati (ph) sound has echoed off these old city walls for hundreds of years. You have to remember, back then they didn't have alarm

clocks or cell phones to wake him up, they just had his voice to get him out of bed.

But this tradition is under threat. Baha (ph) says he's been detained a number of times because Israeli settlers complain about the noise. Israeli

police they work under the law taking into consideration the sensitivity of the issue.

Baha (ph) vows not to shirk his duty.

"Being a Moussa Harati (ph) is an honor, but also a big responsibility," says Baha. "So many

people rely on me to wake them. Nothing can stop me."

A heritage he hopes to preserve in song and some day pass on to the next generation.

Ian Lee, CNN, in Jerusalem's old city.


[11:55:00] KRIEL: In today's Parting Shots, we present to you a riddle, how can recreating history make history in its own right? Well this is one

way to do it. This is the Ho Ku Lei A (ph), a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe to be the first of its kind to sail around the world. And

get this, the crew navigated their way not with GPS, but by using the stars, wind and oceans,.

They wanted to use the same techniques that brought first Polynesian settlers to Hawaii hundreds of years ago. And while they may be sailors,

it's fair to say, they succeeded with flying colors.

Well, for more on those stories and about world travels, walking alarm clocks, and of course all the latest news as it unfolds, and unfurls, you

can check out our Facebook page, or tweet me @robinkrielcnn.

I'm Robyn Kriel, that was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.