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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump, Putin to Meet in Finland; Clock Ticking for Children and Coach Trapped in Thai Cave; Europe's Migration Crisis; CNN Freedom Project; Prince William's Tour; 2018 World Cup. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired June 28, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone. I'm Robyn Curnow. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm in Atlanta, filling in for Becky Anderson.
You've got me for the next hour.
So this is our top story. Donald Trump is looking to reshape American policy on the home front and on the world stage, gearing up for a critical
decision on a Supreme Court nominee and a controversial summit with Vladimir Putin.
We just learned the details of those talks. The White House says Mr. Trump will meet Russia's president on July 16th in Helsinki, Finland. Some
critics say President Trump should not agree to the summit, given that his own intelligence agencies say Vladimir Putin was directly involved in
Russian interference in the U.S. elections.
But today Mr. Trump is casting doubt on that conclusion once again. He's also furiously tweeting about the investigation into his campaign's
possible collusion with Russia, calling it a rigged witch hunt.
Let's talk about all of this. We have our experts around the world to weigh in on all of it. Thanks, guys.
Matthew Chance in Moscow, Michelle Kosinski at the State Department and Christiane Amanpour joining us from New York.
Matthew, I want to go to you in Russia first. The location and the timing of this meeting, what does it tell us?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the timing is significant, I think, because it comes just before the World Cup
and that's going to be a major celebration, the World Cup final, that takes place a day afterwards, in fact, day before, rather.
So you have got this image, where Vladimir Putin will be sitting astride the international stage, as it were, both in the sporting arena and then
having this incredibly significant summit with the United States president.
Remember, just a few years ago, Vladimir Putin was isolated by much of the international community, including the United States, over his actions
annexing Crimea and the culpability of the Russian military in shooting down MH-17, the airliner at the Russia-Ukraine border, his backing for
Bashar al-Assad, other instances as well.
He is now going to be sitting face to face with the United States president and he has achieved it, getting back to the top table of international
diplomacy, without having amended or changed his behavior that resulted in that sanctioning in the first place.
So I think it will be seen as a major victory from a Kremlin point of view, whenever and wherever it is.
CURNOW: Michelle, to you at the State Department, all of this, the timing, the announcement of this meeting, playing into a pretty stunning tweet,
which seems to be echoing Russian talking points from the U.S. president.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. The timing of this, sure, raises eyebrows among U.S. allies.
Why are you running to meet Putin?
Why is this such a priority right after NATO, when you're supposed to be showing this great unity against Russian aggression?
But it's hard to make the argument that Trump should meet Putin at all. He's met with him two prior times, both after the meddling in the U.S.
So why should this necessarily be different?
Other European leaders have since met with Putin. It that is a tough argument to make. It is going to continue to draw scrutiny when Trump puts
out things like the tweet today.
Also you see the U.S. side seeming to lower expectations for this meeting. There are a lot of parallels between this and the Kim Jong-un meeting,
which also drew plenty of criticism. Yesterday we heard U.S. officials saying, well, there aren't any real goals, no big deliverables here. Just
having the meeting itself is a deliverable. It's a bad relationship. We can make it better.
The secretary of state saying that absolutely Trump is going to make it very clear to Putin that meddling in U.S. elections is absolutely
unacceptable. I think, after the tweet today, that remains to be seen. It is not as if Trump is instilling great confidence in those sentiments.
And we're now hearing from diplomatic sources that Trump does have a goal in mind. He wants to make a deal with Putin over Syria, that Trump is back
to his big idea of getting the U.S. out of Syria as fast as possible. That's something that this administration walked back a bit in the last
couple of months.
But now apparently, according to our sources, he's back on that concept. He wants to work with Putin over the southwestern zone where there had been
a semi-successful cease-fire that was brokered between the U.S. and Russia already.
So according to our sources, the U.S. wants to allow Russia to help Assad, President Assad of --
KOSINSKI: -- Syria, take back that area, not be allowed to attack U.S.- backed forces there, allow them to surrender and leave. And in return, Russia would keep Iran out of that area.
Major concerns among U.S. allies with this potential plan, though. First of all, you know, big doubts over whether Russia even has that kind of
sway, whether Russia could keep Iran out of any part of Syria.
Big problems with the potential for the refugee crisis, just making it worse.
And also what does this mean for Assad then staying in power indefinitely?
It seems like that is far less a priority than, again, getting the U.S. out as quickly as possible.
CURNOW: Christiane, there is so much to chew on here but essentially, based on the reporting of both Matthew and Michelle, what we're seeing now
is the U.S. president, the Russian president perhaps teaming up, cutting out Europe. They both seem to think of Europe as an irritant perhaps.
What does that tell us?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Well, look, I think beyond what Michelle has said, which is quite important to keep an eye on, if anything does come
out of this meeting between the two presidents on Syria, that would be very interesting to see exactly the parameters because there are a lot of issues
with how that may or may not work.
And what Matthew said, you know, President Putin, as many have said, is really adept of taking a weak hand and making it a very strong play. He
also wants this meeting. But certainly President Trump wanted the meeting. He believes in these visuals, in the power of his unique body chemistry,
his ability to bring into the tent people like Kim Jong-un and President Putin and likes to declare those kinds of set pieces as victories.
Now the problems are that the European allies are quite concerned that President Trump is, you know, not the most full-throated supporter of NATO.
And they're concerned because, of course, nor is Vladimir Putin.
They are probably pleased that this meeting with Putin will happen after the NATO summit and not before as was originally potentially mooted. That
will be important because Trump will have been at the NATO summit and will be much more sort of fortified by what the allies say to him than if he
goes with Putin's message to the NATO summit.
Just the other day, we have Axios reporters reporting today that, at the G7, President Trump told the assembled leaders that NATO was as bad as
NAFTA. You know that President Trump has all along believed that it should be a transactional relationship.
He's always talked about NATO in terms of cost/benefit analysis to the United States. However, I spoke yesterday; we had a rare opportunity for
an interview with a top Trump administration official. It was the deputy secretary of state, John Sullivan, in Europe to discuss some of these
Russia, Ukraine, Syria, NATO and trade and other issues. This is what he told me about Trump and Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SULLIVAN, U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: We're very open with our NATO allies, our EU colleagues on the preparations for the NATO summit.
it's, obviously, high on our agenda, a successful NATO summit where our allies will hear directly from the president his views on these important
issues, reaffirming our commitment to NATO, to our NATO allies, to our NATO treaty obligations which have been a bedrock principle of US foreign policy
in the post-war era.
So, we're looking forward to a successful NATO summit. I know the president is. And we'll discuss all of these issues openly with our NATO
allies and with other EU colleagues. And we're very much looking forward to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So that was a direct message of reassurance from the deputy secretary of state, who may be somewhat rattled by the public rhetoric of
President Trump. It was also a message to Russia that you will not be able to divide us.
Furthermore, he said very, very clearly -- and this is important -- he said we will talk to President Putin but we will not surrender our values.
And on the issue of Crimea, which as you know, is what Russia got kicked out of the G8 and now President Trump wants Russia back into the G8, he
said, look, independent, democratic Ukraine is our goal and Crimea is part of Ukraine; whereas, in the past, President Trump has hinted that maybe
Crimea should stay with Russia.
So again, these are very, very interesting signals. Some of them may be mixed signals but these are very interesting signals that are being
CURNOW: But also we know that sometimes Mr. Trump doesn't sing from the same hymn sheet as his State Department. So that's also important.
But Matt, just to you, any comment, any reaction to Michelle's reporting there that Mr. Trump would like some sort of deal with Russia on Syria?
CHANCE: Well, look, I think --
CHANCE: -- that the only deal that President Trump is going to get with Putin of Russia is a deal that the Russians want to make.
And I think that, while it is important that we talk about what Trump wants from this summit, it is equally important to look at what President Putin
may be eyeing in terms of what he can get from his meeting with the President of the United States.
Russia has, of course, been crippled by paralyzing sanctions that have been imposed upon it by the United States and others over its annexation of
Crimea, over its support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, over various other misdeeds that they have been accused of undertaking over the past several
And Putin desperately wants those sanctions lifted. It wants Crimea acknowledged to be part of Russia, the Russian Federation. He annexed it
in 2014. Virtually no country in the world acknowledges that. He would like that to change.
So yes, there are certainly things that Trump will be going to this meeting trying to extract from Putin. But he would have to give something in
return. I think that's going to be very painful for the NATO allies and countries in the Western world that had hoped they could isolate Putin, not
bring him back into the international fold without him changing his behavior.
CURNOW: You make some excellent points. Thanks so much.
Matt there in Moscow, Michelle in Washington, Christiane in London, Thanks to you all.
That's on the international stage. Now on the home front. Mr. Trump's pick of a new Supreme Court nominee could affect Americans' lives for
decades to come on everything from abortion rights, same sex marriage, affirmative action, labor issues and so much more.
That's why battle lines are now being drawn in Congress right now over the replacement of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Democrats are gearing up
for all-out war but the fact is they don't appear to have the numbers to stop Mr. Trump's pick from going through.
And rescue teams are desperately searching for another way to enter a flooded cave in Northern Thailand; 12 young football players and their
coach are believed to have gone missing there last weekend. Dive operations resumed earlier after an agonizing five-hour pause due to really
heavy rain, as you can see from these images.
The U.S. and the U.K. have sent teams in to help. CNN's camera man Mark Phillips is at the cave complex. And he filed this report for us. Take a
MARK PHILLIPS, CNN PHOTOGRAPHER: (INAUDIBLE) day six (INAUDIBLE) missing boys. Overnight there was heavy rains, causing the caves to flood once
again. Diving has been suspended because the divers basically couldn't see their hand in front of their face.
Though, in the past they have gotten three kilometers into the cave system but so far have found very little. The hope is that the boys have found it
into a chamber that's above the water line and are waiting this out until the water subsides.
Unfortunately, this is a setback, with the rain overnight filling the caves once again. Pumps have been brought up from the capital of Bangkok. And
the hope is that once they get going, they will be able to comb throughout so the military can wade into the caves and also so they can pump air in
there as well.
Overnight the U.S. military arrived to give support to the Thai Navy SEALs and went to work straightaway. Also, the British specialist cave divers
have arrived and were in the caves late this afternoon after the ban on diving was lifted.
Families still wait patiently six days on and many have not left this site. Some have actually collapsed from exhaustion and have been taken to
hospital. But each day they go up to the mouth of the cave, make an offering or say a prayer with the hope that, one day, their boys will come
At the moment the forecast here is for rain for the next coming week. So there is an urgency to finding these boys before it is too late.
CURNOW: Thanks to Mark Phillips for that report, CNN photographer.
Well, Josh Morris is the founder of Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures, a company that is helping out in this rescue effort. He joins us now via
Good to speak to you.
Why is this just so difficult?
Is it about the weather?
Or is it more?
JOSH MORRIS, CHIANG MAI ROCK CLIMBING ADVENTURES: Yes. Well, it is really difficult to begin with. Cave rescue is always very complex and
challenging because, basically, when you are in caves, you have to often come back out the same way. And if you end up with problems like big
floods like this then the way out, all of a sudden, is closed off.
CURNOW: So what to do about it, though?
We are talking about various experts on the ground.
What needs to be done?
Is there any hope left?
MORRIS: I'm sure there is hope left. The boys are still within the first week and the boys, who have been going into this cave, from what I have
understood, have been in the cave many times before. So it is highly likely that they kind of --
MORRIS: -- knew where they were going and were able to get themselves to a safe place. The problem is, because of the heavy rains that have been
hitting the northern Thailand hills for the last two weeks, there is just increasing levels of water continuing to grow. So that's really the
biggest challenge right now.
CURNOW: Yes. As we were hearing there from Mark, more rain is expected, unfortunately. So tell us what you know. I understand one of your
employees is working directly with the rescue teams.
What are they looking for in terms of the actual geography?
Are they looking for holes on the top of the cave so they can rappel down?
MORRIS: That's right. So limestone is responsible for 90 percent of the caves in the world and it's porous. And it's formed by water that seeps
into the cave, either through a big river or a lot of it is formed when it used to be undersea.
What ends up happening later is you actually have lots of different entrances that can be found. Now typically a caver would look for the big
booming river passage formed by the large openings. That's obviously how this cave typically goes.
But because the cave closes off at about two kilometers and has been flooded, they need to find another way to get in by bypassing that flood
section. The only way to do that would be to look for other entrances higher than the current -- where the cave actually sits.
So they will look at the mountainside and look at the topography. Using the existing cave survey done by the first people who explored that cave,
they will be able to make some guesses about where the boys may be.
Then they have to look and find an entrance that is big enough for somebody to go in and that actually might continue all the way in to the main cave
CURNOW: What do you know about the optimism, the mood, the spirit of people working there at the moment?
MORRIS: I think people are working really hard; rescue workers dedicate their life to this. This is what they're passionate about. And my team
members who were up there, that's kind of what they do.
So I know there is a team of Navy SEALs that are working with the British cave divers to try and push up into the flooded passage. There is an
enormous group of other cave rescue teams that are trying to access a bypass by finding that entrance that might get them in, to be able to find
the boys behind the water.
CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that update, Josh, appreciate it, holding --
CURNOW: -- for all those boys and their courage.
So coming up, Europe's leaders may all be in the same place but they're certainly not on the same page. We're live in the continent as the E.U.
tries to tackle one of its biggest, biggest issues. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.
(MUSIC PLAYING) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should be stopped and to stop the invasion means to have strong border control and we do have that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: So that's the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban there, branding the flow of migrants into Europe an invasion. Right now the
European Union is looking anything but united.
Some of the most powerful leaders in the world are gathering in Brussels to discuss the crisis dividing the continent right now. And migration really
could be a make or break issue for the Eurozone.
In fact, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that herself in an impassioned speech just hours ago ahead of that summit. It comes as the
Lifeline vessel carrying over 200 migrants docked in Malta on Wednesday after being turned away by other European ports.
Let's discuss this with our Nina dos Santos and Atika Shubert, both of them standing by.
Atika, to you first, Ms. Merkel is certainly making an impassioned speech but she is fully aware of the knot she's got herself tied in here.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, she's facing basically hardline critics at home, who blame her for
migration policy and say that it needs to be overhauled or she's threatened with the breakup of her coalition government. That's from her interior
minister, Horst Seehofer.
Now then she set herself a deadline. July 1st, she will go to the E.U. summit, she said, and come back with some sort of an agreement. So she had
this speech today, where she tried to lay the groundwork of what was going to happen.
She basically said we need a humane but a tough asylum policy in the E.U., one that takes care of countries like Germany, which, you know, feel that
basically that asylum seekers are getting to pick and choose which countries they want to come to and that also takes care of countries like
Italy and Greece which feel overwhelmed by asylum seekers arriving at their shores.
So she really appealed to German lawmakers, not to look inward and to throw up borders and to have a nationalist approach but to have an E.U.-wide
approach, to embrace E.U. solidarity and find a system that works for everyone in the E.U.
Now can she get an E.U.-wide agreement?
That's probably not going to happen. But she did say in her speech that she may get enough traction with bilateral agreements, with key partners to
find a way for this sort of solution on the asylum seeker issue.
So it will be interesting to see what happens. But clearly she's facing already some stiff opposition in Brussels.
CURNOW: She certainly is.
And Nina, to you there in Brussels, we're not being overdramatic here when we say this is also broadly about European cohesion.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: And principles (INAUDIBLE) agreement, all that is coming under attack since (INAUDIBLE) government is
(INAUDIBLE) migrants (INAUDIBLE) Italian shores. And that has the potential to create a humanitarian disaster over the course of the summer.
What (INAUDIBLE) prime ministers who are gathering at the summit to put the kind of seat (ph) (INAUDIBLE) --
CURNOW: Nina, I'm sorry; I'm going to have to leave you at that. It is a rather dodgy connection and it is just difficult to hear you.
Atika, you can certainly speak to this as well, the issue of solidarity, of cohesion and why this is very much at the heart of this, of this debate.
It is not just about immigration.
SHUBERT: Yes. I mean, Merkel, in her speech today, said it could be the make or break issue for the E.U. And the reason for that is, if countries
like Hungary or Austria start throwing up their borders and saying we are not allowing people in, well, it destroys one of the key principles of the
E.U., which is freedom of movement, the Schengen area, inside Europe.
This is why it has become such a pivotal point for her. You heard from Orban earlier, saying stop the invasion. The reality is, there is no
invasion happening. The number of irregular border crossings into Europe has dropped dramatically since 2015.
But the memory of tens of thousands of people crossing the Balkans to get to countries like Germany is still very vivid, not only in the minds of
European leaders but in the public. And that's why you are seeing what's really a political crisis.
Leaders from Hungary and Italy pressuring Merkel in particular to overhaul migration policy in some way. So it is really up to her --
SHUBERT: -- partnered with French president Macron, to find some sort of solution that works.
CURNOW: Thanks to you both, Atika Shubert there and Nina dos Santos.
Let's stay on this issue because I want to bring in the chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European
parliament, Claude Moraes. He joins me now from London.
Claude, good to speak to you. So you heard our correspondents there, speaking about some sort of solution needs to be had. Everybody agrees on
But coming up with a solution is very difficult under the current situation.
CLAUDE MORAES, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: There is a solution on this table, Robyn. Your correspondents really put their finger on it. This is a
political and existential crisis for the E.U. but it is not a crisis of numbers.
The numbers have dropped dramatically and I think it was well put by your correspondent. The memory has created this surge of, if you like, far
right populist politics in Germany with the Bavarians, in Italy.
And it is a big member state, Italy, so this is new. We've had it from the Visegrad countries as well.
So how do you deal with that political crisis when the numbers are actually falling?
The solution on the table, some of them, the so-called Dublin Four, which is a system of improving Dublin, strengthening Frontex, the external
border, all sorts of asylum laws which were on the table, we co-decide that with the council, the member states. That is there.
And if these are put into practice -- and I think they would be because nobody wants any more political disconnection in the European Union -- this
could ruin the European Union -- then that could happen.
The problem is that the member states are tinkering around with some quite extreme solutions as well that just wouldn't work, like this offshoring or
MORAES: -- in North Africa. I've just been to Libya. It's full of dictators. It is a lawless country. They have already said, what law
there is, what government there is, has already said we don't want these disembarkation centers.
And I understand it because how are you going to decide who is an economic migrant and who is an asylum seeker in Libya?
So we have to be really careful that there are some plans that can work. And they need to work and I agree that they need to work --
CURNOW: But we can talk about the plans because there have been a lot of plans on the table. The deal with Turkey, involving a lot of money,
billions of dollars worked. But the question is, how do you feel about this?
What is your suggestion?
There are a lot of options on the table.
What do you suggest needs to be done?
MORAES: well, again, you've put your finger on it. The deal with Turkey, even if you don't like it -- and there are many human rights aspects I
don't like -- has worked because the numbers have dropped, so it did work.
And the issue really is here that there is a political crisis going on. And even if you get a good solution -- and there are many solutions on the
table, Dublin and Frontex being strengthened and the external border being strengthened, more returns -- all of this stuff is on the table.
Even if that's implemented well, that's not going to stop Salvini in Italy or the Bavarians and Hungary and Orban seeing that that's not enough.
That's the problem we've got. So that is the big problem.
CURNOW: In many ways -- and I know that Donald Tusk warned about it earlier -- that in many ways this E.U. migration row will aid
authoritarians and this wave is certainly not over. So it is a political issue. But it is being felt and it's a genuine political issue that will
have implications for the cohesion of Europe.
MORAES: It is a catch-22. There is no way we can't do something about it. But the essence of it -- and I think CNN has always reported on it in
this way -- is that although the numbers have dropped, they are not going to stop because of climate change and poverty and war and all the rest of
So we're not educated our populations that that will not stop. But the numbers have dropped. And people see the optics of these ships in the
Mediterranean. But they say the numbers are the same.
So we need to get that sorted out. But also we do need to have a strengthened border and do all of these things because there is no way
we're going to solve the issue of populism and the disconnection in the European Union, which is dangerous, unless we do something.
So there are plans on the table. I support some of then. But some of the extreme ones won't work. They are against human rights and they will make
the E.U. look bad. And that is what I'm worried about, disembarkation centers, offshoring, for example.
CURNOW: Claude Moraes from London, thanks so much for speaking to us.
So still ahead here on CNN, the U.S. Government is getting ready to release its annual worldwide report on human trafficking. We're live at the State
Department with all the details. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Big strong voice for farm work, he says. The numbers roll in. These men are
sold for 1,200 Libyan pounds, $400 a piece.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Some powerful reporting there from CNN's Nima Elbagir, documenting a slavery auction in Libya last year. That report was part of CNN's
Freedom Project as we have made it a priority to fight against modern-day slavery.
In a few hours' time the U.S. State Department will release its annual trafficking in persons report. And the U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo
and the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, will also honor men and women around the world who have made a lasting impact in the fight
against modern-day slavery.
For more on this, let's bring in Clare Sebastian. She is joining me now from the U.S. State Department.
What do we expect to hear today?
I suppose the big question is, are things getting better or worse when it comes to the state of human trafficking?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And that is going to show up in the upgrades and downgrades to this global ranking. It ranks countries
from tiers 1 to 3, based on how well they are doing in combating human trafficking.
But one really interesting thing this year is that there isn't a person who is in charge of this at the State Department. There's no ambassador at
large for combating human trafficking at the State Department.
For more on that, I want to bring in Sarah Mendelson, who is the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.'s Economic and Social Council.
You have been following this report since it first started in 2001. It's now in its 18th year.
How much of an impact does it make not to have that person in charge here at the State Department?
SARAH MENDELSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: It is not only that person, it's the undersecretary. and a number of assistant --
MENDELSON: -- secretaries that are missing. It can leave the staff very vulnerable as they try and make an argument for where a country should sit.
It can lead to politicization, as it has on occasion in the past.
SEBASTIAN: So what are you expecting this year?
What kind of countries are upgraded and downgraded?
Is there anything you're watching in particular?
MENDELSON: There are a number of countries that, year after year, end up on tier 3. If there is movement on those, it would be interesting to see.
But I think it is really important to recognize the U.S. has really led the world effort on combating human trafficking and there is a downgrading of
partnership in this administration. And that's very nervous making.
SEBASTIAN: Does it work as a kind of a scorecard diplomacy, I think it's been called?
Does it actually make things better?
Has it led over the last 18 years to real change?
MENDELSON: It has worked for countries that care about their reputation. It's led to numerous laws being passed, law enforcement being trained. We
spend more as a country than any other country combating it. But for countries that don't care about their international reputation, it hasn't
really affected them and we need a new approach to addressing that.
SEBASTIAN: What do you think that new approach should be?
MENDELSON: Well, in 2015, we all agreed to the sustainable development goals. There is a commitment explicitly on ending human trafficking by
2030. Countries are leaning in, civil society is leaning in. Again, as this White House goes it alone, that's a problem.
SEBASTIAN: On that note, I think there will be those who say this year that perhaps the report could lack credibility, given what's going on at
the U.S.-Mexican border, given the U.S. pulling out of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Do you think that's fair criticism?
MENDELSON: I think there are dedicated professionals in that office and I think we need to see what the report says first.
SEBASTIAN: Any particular countries you will be watching out for today?
MENDELSON: Russia, China, Malaysia -- there's been a lot of activity -- Thailand, around those countries.
SEBASTIAN: Thank you so much, Sarah Mendelson.
So, Robyn, there is a lot to watch out for. Upgrades and downgrades are crucial. This is designed to be an incentive for countries to do better.
In the past we've seen countries that have been upgraded because they have enacted laws and of course there are sanctions for those who are downgraded
to tier 3. That can include restrictions on U.S. foreign aid. So there's a lot at stake here and that will happen in about two and a half hours from
CURNOW: OK, thanks. You really did ask a very pertinent question. So much has changed under the Trump administration and the question is how
many of these countries, even if they are in the bottom tier, will feel about being lectured to by this administration in particular.
SEBASTIAN: Well, that that is the question. I think that's something that a lot of people will be looking at. First, we have a new secretary of
state in place that's only been in the job for two months.
There are sanctions and they are potentially punitive for countries that do fall into tier 3; that includes restrictions on U.S. foreign aid. But also
this is a report that's supposed to name and shame but also name and praise, so kind of a carrot and stick.
So I think, as I was just talking to Sarah Mendelson about, there are countries that don't care and there are countries who probably would care
about being downgraded to tier 3. It just depends on who falls on that list today.
CURNOW: OK. We'll check in with you a little bit later. Clare Sebastian, thank you.
CURNOW: And certainly CNN has been at the forefront of fighting modern-day slavery with the CNN Freedom Project. Our mission, we just want to amplify
the voices of survivors and hold those accountable. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): One of the things that's horrible about the human trafficking situation in the 21st century is that you can sell a
person over and over and over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are we to ever find them?
How are we to ever know who they are?
RICHARD QUEST, CNNMONEY EDITOR AT LARGE: We are launching an ambitious undertaking, we're calling it the CNN Freedom Project.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This seven-foot by seven-foot windowless room with just a bed in it was where little girls were forced to have sex.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) open up.
ELBAGIR: These are the wrecks of the vessels that carry people and (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: These two, barely in their teens, working up to 10 hours a day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): His outrage over a CNN news story compelled him to take on a corporation.
WILL RIPLEY(?), CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scores of refugees have been released from Bedouin custody and have made it across the border to Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five hundred people rescued during a raid in the brick kilns in Southern India.
QUEST: These farmers have been growing beans for decades. They are about to get their first taste of chocolate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
CURNOW: And that's how to make a difference. So please do go to our website for more information on the CNN Freedom Project online. Head to
cnn.com/freedom, where we have lots and lots of content shedding light on modern day slavery and what you can do about it.
Now coming up, history in the making. Prince William wraps up his tour of the Middle East, visiting some of Jerusalem's most crucial sights. Stay
with us. We'll be right back.
CURNOW: Hi, everyone, welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.
Now we know that sometimes bar mitzvahs are accused of being a little bit extravagant. The gifts perhaps extravagant as well.
But how about this one?
The future king of England crashes your party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: This is a royal treat for this bar mitzvah boy. His family is celebrating there after Prince William walked by their celebrations. Now
Prince William spent quite some time at the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem for Jews.
He visited several other spiritual sites important to Muslims and Christians. Now that wrapped up his tour of the region. Oren Liebermann
has all the details on his day.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robyn, Prince William left the most sensitive part of his visit for the end, a visit to the holiest sites in
the Old City of Jerusalem.
He began the day visiting the grave of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, who's buried on the Mount of Olives at the Church of Mary Magdalene,
near the Old City, a very personal and private visit.
From there he went to the Temple Mount, where he visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. He strolled around the stunning complex and
learned about the significance of the sites before making his way to the Western Wall.
He spent about 10 minutes at the wall, as is standard. He placed a small piece of paper with a prayer on it in the cracks of the wall and he signed
the guestbook there.
The Duke of Cambridge didn't make any big public statements or proclamations, perhaps knowing how easy it is to misspeak about such
sensitive sites, holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews. One wrong word here could be a diplomatic disaster for the royal family.
But just his presence at these sites was enough of a statement about their sanctity and their holiness. After a short visit to the Western Wall,
Prince William walked to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the holiest sites in Christianity.
This visit to the Old City wrapped up Prince William's time here, during which he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, spent time with children
from both communities and strengthened the ties between England and the Israelis and Palestinians.
From that perspective, this trip was very much a success for Prince William -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Thanks so much for that update, Oren.
We know that royals try to stay clear of politics but --
CURNOW: -- that does come tricky when navigating the Middle East. The Duke of Cambridge certainly broke with convention this week by becoming the
first British royal to make an official visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territories. And CNN's Max Foster walked with him and filed
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prior to his arrival, Prince William was asked by the Israeli president, Reuben Rivlin, to pass
on a message of peace to his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, adding, "Tell him it's about time."
U.K. royals have a duty to stay above politics at all times, let alone on such a high-profile and historic visit.
Inside, abbes used the opportunity to make his own case.
MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT (through translator): We're serious about reaching peace with Israel while the two countries live side
by side, with security and stability on the borders of June 4th.
FOSTER (voice-over): William chose his words carefully.
WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: (INAUDIBLE).
FOSTER (voice-over): Abbas also brought up UNRA, the U.N. agency responsible for schools in Palestinian refugee camps. The organization is
facing a financial crisis after the Trump administration slashed funding.
According to one U.N. official, UNRA might not have enough money to reopen the schools in August after the summer break, meaning this one visited by
William might have to close.
Fifteen-year-old Rahaf (ph) was one of the school council members who met him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's to raise awareness about people living under occupation still and maybe apply a bit of pressure on
the Israelis to make our lives easier.
FOSTER (voice-over): William's decision to highlight the work of an UNRA was very much welcomed by the organization. His presence a clear show of
support for the work that's done here.
CURNOW: Thanks to Max Foster for that.
And here's something else, quite cool. CNN got rare access to the sacred site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble
Sanctuary. And you can actually check out one of the holy sites Prince William visited on his Middle East tour in virtual reality. Be sure to
check that out.
Now while Prince William flies home to the U.K., his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, is feeling unwell, a bit under the weather, we're told. The 92-
year old canceled her appearance at a special church service this morning. We are also told a doctor was not called this morning.
So coming up, when one team wins, another team also wins?
Why Mexican World Cup fans were showing a lot of love for South Koreans.
CURNOW: So take a look at this impromptu party in Mexico City. This was yesterday. Hundreds of jubilant Mexican football fans actually rushed the
South Korean embassy after their country's World Cup victory over Germany.
South Korea's win allowed Mexico to qualify for the next stage, despite losing to Sweden. And then across the world, the parties just kept on
going. I want to show you these South Korean fans. They were ecstatic when their team beat Germany 2-0 in yesterday's shocking upset.
It was a valiant last play for South Korea which actually saw its World Cup run end, despite the win.
And as you would expect, tears in Germany over the sudden elimination of the defending champions. It is the earliest Germany have been dumped from
the World Cup since 1938.
The loss drew talk of the rumored World Cup curse, the defending champs have been eliminated in the group phase in the past four cups.
So let's get straight to Amanda Davies who is live from Red Square with more on the final day of group stage matches.
Hey, good to see you, Amanda. Let's talk about the drama at the end of group G.
How did it all pan out and who is heading through to the round of 16?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have group G to come a little bit later on but it is group H, which is just into the closing moments,
Robyn, and this was a group that, when it was drawn, everybody knew it was absolutely wide open.
It was too close to call and, true to form, right into the literal dying moments of the final group matches. There is still a lot to play for.
Heading into this final round of games, both Japan and Senegal knew a draw would be enough for them to both go through.
But their respective opponents have had other ideas and Senegal up against Colombia, a side who felt maybe they haven't shown their best up to this
point in the tournament, despite a pretty comprehensive win over Poland in their last game and a 74th minute goal for Colombia has given them 1-0 lead
What that means in terms of the group is that, despite the fact Japan are losing, as things stand at the moment, very much into the closing seconds,
which is why I'm looking down at the monitor, it is Colombia and Japan going through from group H.
But Senegal fan will be absolutely devastated. It doesn't get much tighter. They are not going through because of a lack of points. They are
not going through because of a lack of goal difference. They are going through because all those things are tied.
Senegal are heading home because of the fair play rule and they, as a side, have received two more yellow cards than Japan.
So I think I have just seen the final whistle in the game between Senegal and Colombia. So despite the fact that Senegal was throwing absolutely
everything into it in the final stages, it is the African side heading home. It is Colombia heading through as group winners alongside Japan.
Japan really something of a shock, Robyn. I can tell you that, in a survey carried out in May in Japan, 90 percent of the population gave their team
no chance at all of making it through of the group stages. And they are absolutely heading through.
CURNOW: And I'm groaning because I am a bit sad about Senegal. All my fellow Africans are watching this game. It was going to be Africa's hope
to going to through. So that is a real pity for the whole continent.
Let's also talk about these rules in that England and Belgium later in the day. Looking at a similar situation about not really wanting to win
because it depends who wins and where you go.
DAVIES: Yes. This is all because, of course, when the World Cup was done back in December, the draw is done essentially -- the structure of the draw
is done from match one all the way through until the final match number 64.
And I have to tell you, the climax to group G is a topic of conversation that has got people --
DAVIES: -- people well and truly divided. Both England and Belgium know they are the two teams going through from that group. They face off
against each other in the group decider later on today.
But the argument is, is it better, given we know what is coming, to finish top or finish second?
You would normally say you want to finish top of your group because that means, in the round of 16, you play the team that finishes second in the
group paired alongside you. But what is interesting in this scenario is that the team that they would then go on to face in the quarterfinals we
know is either Brazil or Mexico.
So you have some of the best teams in the world saying, actually, should we lose, Belgium have suggested they might be putting out a weaker side.
England have said, no, we are absolutely going all out to win.
I had some lunch with a couple of former footballers earlier, who said absolutely we are going down with a side of England, professional
footballers in a major tournament. It is all about the winning momentum. You have to go out to win.
CURNOW: OK. Thanks for that. Amanda there in Moscow, thank you.
I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for tuning into CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, all aboard the "QUEST EXPRESS."