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U.K. Couple Fall Critically Ill in Suspicious Circumstances; Thai Cave Rescue; World Cup 2018; Proud to Be an American? Aired 11-12p ET

Aired July 4, 2018 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hello and welcome. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi on CONNECT THE WORLD. Let's get you right to a

developing story out of Britain.

Counterterrorism officials are helping police investigate what's being called a major incident. Now they are trying to figure out why a man and a

woman in Amesbury fell critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance.

That town is just 13 kilometers from Salisbury, where a former Russian spy and his daughter were found poisoned exactly four months ago. Our Nick

Paton Walsh is live from Scotland Yard for you.

What do we know about this couple, Nick, and the circumstances surrounding this incident?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Limited information. They are still in a critical condition in hospital. It

appears to be Saturday in the late part of that, where they were found unconscious in a property in Amesbury. They were then taken to hospital.

Now we start getting into the more complicated part of the investigation. Obviously, the focus is so acute because of the geographical proximity to

what happened to the Sergei and Yulia Skripal back in March. They were poisoned by a very rare nerve agent, produced as claimed by U.K. officials

in Russia called Novichok.

In this case we are talking about a longer period of time now having elapsed between when the Skripals originally fell ill and the nerve agent

was publicly admitted to having been suspected by the police behind me at Scotland Yard.

It's now longer since that original poisoning of the two people in their 40s in Amesbury. And the statements we're now hearing from the British

police. Clearly despite the fact they're at a high state of alert, something in the nature of the unknown substance is leading them not to

make a public declaration about what it is just yet.

We may hear from them in the hour ahead. But the broader question is exactly where they may have been on Saturday. We understand the pharmacy

in Salisbury and a local Amesbury church were in fact -- sorry, a pharmacy in Amesbury and a local church facility in Amesbury, too, may have police

attention and be cordoned off at the moment.

But we're talking about a broader climate of deep concern because of what happened back in Salisbury in March because of the sanctions led to from

the U.K. against Russia because of the broad diplomatic condemnation and diplomatic expulsions across the E.U. that resulted after the Skripal


So certainly the antennae are being acutely managed at the moment to work out quite what this was. I have to sound a note of caution at this stage,

it's being called an instant of the utmost seriousness by Downing Street.

But as prime minister Theresa May's spokesperson says, they're clearly on the highest state of alert they can be for things like this. But we still

lack the basic facts of what this unknown substance was -- Becky.

ANDERSON: So to confirm, aside from the proximity to Salisbury, no obvious connections to the Skripal case yet. But as you rightly point out, this is

being declared a major incident. It happened Saturday, declared a major incident on Tuesday.

What does that mean exactly?

WALSH: It means clearly it was obvious that there were police there in protective clothing at the weekend. So clearly they were aware that some

sort of substance was involved and they were unable to identify what it was. Local media reports, local reports from the police talking about this

maybe being heroin or crack cocaine, perhaps a contaminated batch purchased at street level.

Sadly, a growing epidemic of drug use in parts of rural Britain. That may have been connected to that. Perhaps they found something in that

substance or in the bloodstream of the two people unconscious currently in hospital, which they did not recognize, which did not fit normal testing.

We simply don't know.

We do know that counterterrorism officials from Scotland Yard behind me and the phrase from the statement that they released, as you might expect,

given the climate of paranoia and fear around incidents like this, certainly in that geographical area, have been involved. Their expertise

are being used.

But still they are reluctant at this point to come forward and name the unknown substance. That may be because it's an exotic form of narcotic; we

simply don't know. Or it may be because a high level of expertise has been required.

But this is much more about the enduring legacy, frankly, of what happened with Sergei Skripal in the minds of British people and the suspicion

towards Russia. There's no suggestion at all that these people are linked to Russia at this particular point.

It is still just a legacy, as I say, of what happened back in Salisbury. Now when incidents like this occur, all the alarm bells ring immediately.

But we are still waiting to know --


WALSH: -- exactly what that substance was, an answer we may get in the hour ahead -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh at Scotland Yard in London for you, Nick, thank you.

Torrential rains are heading for Thailand within days. That is adding to the urgency of what is an around-the-clock effort to free 12 boys and their

football coach from a flooded cave. Crews clearing pathways inside that cave suggested that the rescue will take place sooner rather than later; 11

days into the ordeal, the boys got a new show of support.



ANDERSON (voice-over): These are classmates singing and praying for their friends. Crews have been working on a phone line so the boys can talk to

their parents.


ANDERSON: For those parents, the wait has been agonizing but now they can watch their sons on a screen and hope to hold them soon as well. Anna

Coren has more.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day after the boys were reached, a very different atmosphere underground. Warm in space blankets,

well fed with pork and sticky rice and cared for, watched and entertained by these crack military personnel, a doctor and a nurse.

The dolphin emblem of the Thai Navy SEAL scratched into stone. Another crest, England's three lions on a muddy football shirt. While other kids

have watched the World Cup, they have huddled in this dark cave for 11 days now. Their families watched the feed from a tent in the jungle outside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am dying to see him. I miss my son.

COREN (voice-over): The mood lighter after over a week of no sleep and mental health support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am so glad he is still alive and safe. I'm speechless. I want to thank everyone who helped. Thank you

very much.

COREN (voice-over): Police have waved away suggestions that the 25-year- old coach was negligent in leading the boys into a cave on a weekend day out. Exploring was something that all the boys loved doing. Their

families say they know that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want to tell him that you did your best taking care of the boys. Please don't be worried.

COREN (voice-over): While the sun shines here, pumps drain hundreds of thousands of liters per hour in the flooded cave tunnels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They don't have to all come out at the same time because all of them are in different situations.

COREN (voice-over): Officials say the children will come out one by one as each grows strong enough to escape. Outside the cave, soldiers link arms

to create a road through the jungle for ambulances to arrive, a practice drill, but perhaps an early glimpse of a coming miracle, the rescue that

seemed almost impossible just days ago -- Anna Coren, CNN, Chiang Rai, Thailand.


ANDERSON: Well, it's great to see those boys smiling and looking relaxed, isn't it?

Jonathan Miller has been on the scene following this search and rescue.

Jonathan, as the families are at least able to see these images of these boys, what's the situation right now with regard getting them out of that


JONATHAN MILLER, JOURNALIST: Well, the situation, Becky, hasn't really changed massively in 24 hours other than the fact that they've had this

reprieve from the weather, this unexpected no rain day again.

And, you know, they've got a very, very small window if they're going to try to extract them through those partially submerged passageways because,

once that torrential monsoon rain starts, it will flood that cabin completely and it will keep them in there for the next four months


The divers have been down there with them today, training them how to use the subaqua gear, the scuba gear. And these boys, many of them haven't

even learned to swim before.

So one of the things that the divers are saying is that, you know, coming out through these narrow passageways, particularly with oxygen masks and

tanks on like this, you can get stuck and it's very claustrophobic. And it could cause panic. I just would fear that doing it like that would be a

real problem.

ANDERSON: What is the atmosphere at the mouth of this cave?

MILLER: The atmosphere at the mouth of the cave, there's a huge media presence, that's one thing. Everyone very busy reporting and speculating

what's going on. But there is also a substantial number of parents here.

There are moms and dads who desperately want to have telephone contact with their kids --


MILLER: -- and be able to speak to them. They tried yesterday to put a line down into the cave so they cold do that. There was some problem, an

electronic problem, maybe water getting onto the cable, meant they haven't been able to speak to them yet.

The only information we have about the condition of the boys and how they're faring is from these videos that have been released. Very sweet,

as you said, to see them doing that Thai wide greeting, they're so courteous, thankful to the rescuers and in relatively good spirits and in

reasonable physical shape.

ANDERSON: Jonathan Miller, at the mouth of that cave, reporting on the ground. Jonathan, thank you.

As this ordeal moves into a 12th day, it looks like there are no really good options for rescuing these children. Andrew Watson is an experienced

rescuer with mines rescue service and an expert in dealing with the stress of confined spaces. He joins us from Scotland via Skype.

The images in Anna's report earlier, showing the boys smiling, Andrew, looking relatively relaxed, which really belies their circumstances,

doesn't it?

Just you are an expert in these situations. Just remind us what they will be going through. And then I want to talk our viewers through what we

think will happen next.

ANDREW WATSON, MINES RESCUE SERVICE: Well, I think what you're seeing is the impact of them having absolutely no information and nothing -- and

they're nine days in there with no information at all.

Then all of a sudden, the hope of rescue appears in the form of the divers, which obviously gets them on the upside. And I think what you're seeing

now is perhaps a reflection on the fact that we're dealing with children. And you don't have that sort of maturity of an understanding of the impact

of the situation.

And obviously they are still seeing divers coming in; therefore, they can get out. And their expectations will be up. And hopefully that has been

managed, that they have been honest with the children, that they've given them the detailed information on -- there are still issues to be solved

around getting them out of the cave.

ANDERSON: Well, let's talk about those issues then, Andrew. I want to give our viewers an idea of the logistics that we are talking about here.

Let's show you how far the boys are from the entrance. That is about four kilometers. And you can see the water that is blocking their way out.

So it seems that there are two options at present. Teach these kids to dive -- and as Jonathan Miller was pointing out, we've been pointing out

over the past 24 hours or so, these kids may not even be able to swim as we understand it.

Teaching them to dive in those sorts of confined environments, on that dry plateau within that very, very, very confined area is going to be tough.

The other is by drilling them out.

When you consider, from your experience, those two options, which plan looks like the better one at this point?

WATSON: I'll be honest with you, neither of them. I would be looking to try to keep them in there for as long as possible and get into position

where you can walk out without any assistance at all.

If you look at the two methods you've raised, I think people are referring to the drilling for what happened to the 33 Chilean miners. With all

respect, people thinking along those lines, they had the perfect conditions. They had flat terrain. They could get the machinery into

place and there was no interference within the main workings themselves.

Whereas, if you look at the terrain we're talking about in Thailand, it's very mountainous and very hilly. Getting the equipment up there would be

practically impossible. And also, as they drill down, they're going to come across other voids, other caves. And you could actually make the

situation worse unless there were complete and total understanding of the geology involved.

In other words, they could drill through and access further water, which, again, would finish up running into the cave where the kids are.

As regards the diving option, which may come out to be the only option, especially if the water level is going to be rising, that is a major

decision for anyone involved in the rescue.

I mean, we're talking about very, very experienced divers getting in to them to actually help them and assess them. But we're talking about

children now, not just wearing breathing apparatus but wearing breathing apparatus in the most extreme conditions you can imagine.

Normally if you're diving in scuba gear, it's to see the sights. This is completely different. This is actually to move through an (INAUDIBLE).


ANDERSON: Yes. We had a bit of a test yesterday. You make a really good point. Normally any divers who are watching this will be reminded that

they generally dive in --


ANDERSON: -- open water with good visibility, you know, for enjoyment more than anything else.

Cave divers do dive for enjoyment. I've always thought they were a bit mad. But clearly these are experts and this is a really tough environment.

I want to give our viewers, Andrew, a look at one small piece of what is this operation going on outside the cave. Volunteers here are packing food

for the SEAL team to deliver. You can see they're packing up pork with sticky rice, placed, of course, in waterproof bags.

We know the kids were absolutely delighted when they got that first meal sometime yesterday. They told those divers -- and we heard it on the video

when they first found those boys -- they said, "We are hungry. We are hungry."

This is just a tiny part of a massive operation.

Just how smooth is the coordination as far as you can judge?

WATSON: To be honest, it looks as if it is well coordinated. They're taking a very sensible approach to that because they keep saying they're

going to take as much time as it will possibly require to make sure that when they do attempt the rescue, that it's going to be done as safely as


And I just hope there is enough time for them to do that planning and to make sure that it's effective. But we've always got to consider that the

choice might be taken away from them. And it looks like the weather potentially will do that.

From a rescue management point of view, the options might be down to one option, in which case, no choice. They would have to do something to

ensure they save the kids' lives.

ANDERSON: We're all hoping for the best. Andrew, it's a pleasure. Thank you. Andrew Watson with some great insight there.

Well, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live from CNN's Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi. We'll take a very

quick break. Stay with us, there is a lot more in the world that we need to connect you to.








ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, they couldn't believe it and be they wouldn't have missed it for the world. Up and down the country, high and low,

England erupting like a massive volcano into euphoric pandemonium, melting into total and unbridled bliss, pretty much becoming one giant (INAUDIBLE)

along the way, people belting out tunes, splashing their drinks all over the place yet you had to be there but you could barely watch the moments

just before all of this.


ANDERSON: You almost had to do it through your fingers holding your breath.

In the end though England's 11 lads pulling it out with this corker, beating Colombia in a nail biter of a penalty show. Down, that's one for

the ages. That's right, England winning on penalties at football's greatest extravaganza, something they have never, ever done before. So

right now blazing into the quarterfinals.

Out and about, connecting you to this huge story, even bigger if you are from where Alex and I are from, Alex Thomas is in the epicenter of the

action. He is in Moscow's Red Square for you.

I'm going to get a little bit of help on this first question to you. I have a couple of friends by the name of Baddiel and Skinner to help me set

it up. Stand by.




ANDERSON: I know it was worth waiting for. From 1996, an oldie but a goodie, Alex. That tune practically replacing "God Save the Queen" as the

national anthem last night.

Is football finally coming home to England?

Dare we say it echoes of 1966?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're almost going to say doing, talking about England as serious contenders for this World Cup, Becky. I have to

confess, I hate the phrase "football is coming home." It's complete nonsense to me. That's my personal opinion. Lots of people disagree with


Yes, England invented the sport. Football now belongs to the world and there are many, many other countries that are a lot better than us; hence,

the country's complete rejoicing, because it happens so rarely that the England football team can get to the latter stages of major tournaments,

especially the World Cup.

Hasn't been to the quarterfinal stage since 2006; before that, you have to go back to Italia '90. And that's the song I prefer, Becky, "World in

Motion," New Order, the John Barnes rap.

Really showing my age now, aren't i?

No, it's great to see this England team at that stage because they are very different from some of the predecessors, the so-called golden generation 10

years ago, Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Owen, Rio Ferdinand and the rest. And actually may be coming into this World Cup with lower expectations. A

bit more humility has served them well.

ANDERSON: As you speak, we are showing Rio Ferdinand. He used to play for England, of course, playing Soltby with a World Cup. That was something he

tweeted out last night. He's also talking about football coming up.

But I get where you're at with that. There were 32; now there are 8. The quarterfinalists putting their feet up right now. No matches for two days.

Next one, of course, is on Friday, France taking on Uruguay.

Is there enough quality, Alex, left in this World Cup to really make the rest of it as exciting as it has been so far?

Because it has been a tremendous tournament.

THOMAS: Yes, it has been. And the funny thing was, England's beating Colombia on a penalty shootout, while sounding good on paper doesn't sound

as amazing as some of the other upsets and shocks that have entertained us at this World Cup.

I was at the Luzhniki stadium amongst the Mexicans celebrating their group win over Germany and when the whole of Russia celebrated, the host

knocking out Spain. I would say the atmosphere at the Spartak Stadium was every bit as good as those other two games, maybe helped by the Colombian

fans, outnumbering the England supporters 10:1.

England fans have not come here in numbers but maybe they will now. There is quality left in the tournament but it's very stacked in one-half of the

draw or bracket. You've got Uruguay and France, both former world champions, although you have to go back a long way when Uruguay were --


THOMAS: -- last winners of the World Cup. They still have stars like the likes of Luis Suarez in their team.

The French side is star-studded. Then Brazil-Belgium later on the Friday, which would be worthy of any final. Brazil the most successful team in

this tournament against the Belgian side that have never won the World Cup before but have the players to do it for the first time.

And the other half of the draw looking bereft of world champions bar England. I still think there's plenty of excitement to come though.

ANDERSON: Talking about Belgium, they, of course, knocked the Japanese out of this tournament. Japanese fans feeling sad but tidy, clearing up what

was a terrible mess you always find after a huge game. And their team leaving their locker room looking so clean that you could almost eat off

the floor, with a note in Russian to, Spasibo, that is, thank you from the team.

Overall and what a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing for the Japanese team and fans to have done. But overall, a very nice calm, clean

tournament off the field too, correct?

THOMAS: Yes. And I think the fans have played a big part. It seems to have been the European countries, Becky, that haven't really sent

supporters here. Maybe that's something to do with the Western European news media and the slightly fractious relationship diplomatically at a

political level between those nations and Russia right now; whereas, many Asian countries and South American countries as well seem to have had

absolutely no problems just sending hordes of fans here.

And it has been different here in Moscow, speaking to the locals, speaking to the people we've been working with. They say the sorts of celebrations

you get on the streets here and even the kind of chanting and banner waving in the buildup to games isn't normally allowed and isn't the Russian way.

But definitely, although the police presence is very noticeable and you're still not going to get a joke out of a Russian policeman, I can tell you

that, nonetheless -- or any policeman for that matter -- nonetheless, there has been a difference in attitude and it's definitely led to a greater,

warmer welcome than we were expecting.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fantastic. Listen, lots more to come. Enjoy it. I know, you're working really hard and doing a fantastic job. But do enjoy it.

I'm sure you are. Thank you, Alex, for the time being.

Just ahead, a U.S. Senate panel concludes that Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.

Will this affect Donald Trump's already controversial upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin?

Stay with us.





ANDERSON: Right. Police in England now holding a press conference on the major incident, in which a couple fell mysteriously ill. Let's listen in.


PAUL MILLS, WILTSHIRE DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE: ... declared a major incident after two people were hospitalized following their potential

exposure to an unknown substance in Amesbury. Paramedics from the Southwest Ambulance Service, supported by colleagues from Dorset and

Wiltshire Foreign Rescue Service, were called to an address in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, on the morning of Saturday, the 30th of June, after a woman

collapsed at the property.

They were called back later the same day following reports a man had also fallen unwell at the same location. The woman, aged 44, and the man, aged

45, who are both local to the Wiltshire area and are British nationals, are currently receiving treatment for a suspected exposure to an unknown

substance at Salisbury District Hospital.

They remain in a critical condition. It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after potentially using contaminated illegal drugs;

however, further testing is now ongoing to establish the substance which led to these patients becoming ill.

At this stage it is not yet clear if a crime has been committed. Our inquiries, supported by local partner agencies and the Counterterrorism

Policing Network, are ongoing and a full multi-agency response has been coordinated, which currently consists of 12 partner agencies.

We are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances regarding this incident and we'll continue to work closely with partners to progress our inquiries.

A number of scenes believed to be the areas that individuals frequented before they fell ill have been cordoned off in the Amesbury and Salisbury

areas as a precautionary measure.

These include: Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury; a property at John Baker (ph) house, Rolleston Street, Salisbury; a property on Muggleton

Road, Amesbury; Boots the Chemist, Stonehenge Walk, Amesbury; and the Amesbury Baptist Centre on

Butterfield Drive, Amesbury.

The public can expect to see an increased policing presence at these locations and in around the Amesbury and Salisbury areas. I would like to

take this opportunity to thank the public for respecting these cordons and for their ongoing patience and support

We continue to work closely with experts from Public Health England, who have emphasized that, based on the number of casualties affected, it is not

believed that there is a significant health risk to the wider public.

It is really important to, however, stress that this will be continually assessed as further information comes to light. At this time, no one else

is receiving treatment as a result of this incident.

Our priority at this time remains to understand the circumstances surrounding how these two individuals became unwell. Salisbury District

Hospital is open as usual and is advising people to still attend --


MILLS: -- routine appointments unless they are contacted to state otherwise.

We are very aware of the public interest in this investigation and the concern it is understandably causing within our communities. To that end,

we have now set up two dedicated phone numbers for anyone with concerns relating to this incident. The dedicated phone numbers are free phone 0-

800-092-0410 or if people do not have access to free phone facilities, 0- 207-158-0124.

Those numbers again are 0-800-092-0410 or 0-207-158-0124. These numbers are now up and running and will be available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.

I would like to appeal to anyone who might have information concerning the circumstances surrounding this incident to come forward and we remain

committed to updating the public as this incident unfolds and will do this when further information becomes available. Thank you.

ANDERSON: You've been listening to Paul Mills, who's the deputy chief constable in Wiltshire in the U.K., with an update on what is being

described as a major incident in Amesbury in Wiltshire, not far from Salisbury, the scene of the Skripal poisoning four months ago.

It's not clear that we have actually learned anything that we didn't already know earlier today. But let me give you the details.

A couple, a woman, aged 44, and a man, aged 45, both British nationals, are hospitalized with expected exposure to an unknown substance and that couple

remain in a critical condition.

Now the deputy chief constable said originally it was thought that they had become ill as a result of contaminated illegal drugs. It seems there's

more to it than that at this stage.

It isn't clear, he said, whether a crime has actually been committed. Inquiries are ongoing. He described this as a multi-agency response; 12

agencies involved in this. He said they are keeping an open mind on the circumstances. Nobody else is being treated. It is not believed that

there is a significant health risk to the wider public.

To Europe now, where tensions are rising between Brussels' and Poland's governments. Just look at these images. Protests in Warsaw, where

everyday people have taken to the streets, protesting against the government's decision to force supreme court judges into retirement, which

will basically increase its hold on power. The European Union pushing back.

Let's bring in Atika Shubert.

Atika, why do people there think this is so worrying?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the biggest concern is that it seems to undermine an independent judicial system.

That's according to human rights groups and government critics in Poland.

Basically what the government has done is that it's put in a few measures that on the surface of it may not seem like much. For example, they moved

up the early retirement age to 65.

The problem is, what that does is it forces 27 judges on the supreme court, nearly 40 percent of the supreme court, into retirement and perhaps,

unsurprisingly, it also seems to target those that are most critical of the government. And that includes the chief judge.

She was told she had to resign by midnight. She refused. She showed up at work today, supported by those thousands of protesters you saw on the

streets of Warsaw. That's just one of the measures.

The others are there's now an extraordinary appeals chamber, which allows the government through the justice minister to reopen any case from the

past and to basically challenge the supreme court rulings there.

So it could potentially, under the government's orders, overturn a court ruling. So what this is, according to human rights groups, is a

dismantling of what is that critical check and balance in a democracy, which is an independent justice system.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert, on the story out of Berlin this evening, where it is 5:39, 7:39 here in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky


Coming up, today is World Cup rest day. We all take a moment to catch our collective breaths if we are football fans and get caught up ourselves on

what has --


ANDERSON: -- been an incredible tournament. Take a look back and a look forward to what is in store up next.




ANDERSON: I'm afraid we're doing it again. I just can't get enough of it. It's football. It's the World Cup. You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT

THE WORLD with Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

It's been a World Cup of defining moments, last-minute goals and fiery passion on all sides.


ANDERSON (voice-over): While England fans crank the volume up on celebrations after yesterday's big win against Colombia, we'll break it all

down for you. This rest day we are putting on our recap hats and looking forward as well to what is in store.


ANDERSON: Joining us on the set today to help us do just that, deputy sports editor at "The National," Steve Luckings.

Welcome to the show. Good to have you in the house. What a match last night. You and I are allowed to be partisan for 30 seconds. Give me your

view, England-Colombia.

STEVE LUCKINGS, "THE NATIONAL": What a night. Thank God it is a rest day to take it all in. We're saying something I'm sure we never thought we

ever say, England win, penalty shootout at the World Cup. After the heartbreak of 1990, '98, 2006, not to mention the myriad years of shootouts

we've lost as well, to actually be on the winning end, now we know it seems like what Germany fans, they feel, it's unbelievable.

ANDERSON: We haven't won it. We might as well have done.

LUCKINGS: It's a moral victory.


ANDERSON (voice-over): It's a moral victory in the last day (INAUDIBLE). Let's take a look back. As I say, it's a rest couple of days. Let's take

a look back.

What are the highs and lows to date?

LUCKINGS (voice-over): Well, I mean, highs, it's always been the action on the pitch. I'm so ridiculously in love with Russia 2018. We've seen great

goals from players who you would never think, right backs like Nacho Fernandez, hitting a screaming goal against Portugal. (INAUDIBLE) France

against Argentina, Neymar when he's not rolling around the floor --


ANDERSON: High and a low, right?

LUCKINGS (voice-over): His Argentinian flicks and tricks and all of that. And he looks like he's hitting the scraps (ph) now. So I think we'll

continue to see the best of him.

But I love the fans as well. I think the Senegalese and Japanese fans are so refreshing. Another highlight for me has been Russia going deep into

the tournament. Because in a major tournament, you need to keep the hosts.

ANDERSON (voice-over): So this is fascinating, Steve. I was there for the first couple of days. We went out. There were more Arab nations in this

tournament at --


ANDERSON (voice-over): -- the beginning of the tournament than there ever have been and rightly so. We thought we would take the show out there and

kick the tournament off for CNN.

So we were there for Russia-Saudi Arabia, first game, opening match. The Russians won that 5-0. They were the lowest ranked team in this

tournament, seconded only by Saudi Arabia, of course, who were the second lowest ranked team. Now Saudis went out and the Russians have gone

through. So far as their football, their passion is unbelievable.


ANDERSON: What about their footballers, can they go all the way?

LUCKINGS: No. They're probably already playing for penalties against Croatia, even as we speak. They did a fantastic job against Spain.

Russian players are not as equipped to take on Spain, punch for punch, if you will. They sat back. They soaked it up. They were quite happy to

play for penalties.

And they got it. It is a lottery. But I thought they thoroughly deserved --


ANDERSON: And it's really made something of this tournament because, of course, when the host nation is still in, tournaments continue to thrive.

I can tell you again, we got there on the Wednesday. Opening night was Thursday night. You would not have known on Wednesday that there was a

World Cup going on certainly in Moscow.


ANDERSON: And we were in Red Square. There were, you know, 10 or 20 Iranians around, a few Colombians around, some Ecuadorians around, which

was great, absolutely fantastic.

But you wouldn't have known from the Russians that this was going on. On the Thursday night, when that game closed out and they had beat the Saudis

5-0, that place went mental. And it has continued to do so. So this is great news.

All right, let's track it forward.

What do you think is going to happen next?

LUCKINGS: OK, so I think we've seen the best of Croatia already. I think their mark exposed them as quite an average team. I think they'll have too

much firepower for Russia. So I can see them making the semi-finals.

And England are in the right half of the draw. We've got the hardest opponent we could have played, I think, in Colombia out of the way. I

think we've got a very real -- I think we've got a strong chance of making a run to the final. I think Sweden are a level below Colombia.


LUCKINGS: I think we will take care of them.

ANDERSON: Should England get to the final, who do you expect to see?

LUCKINGS: OK. So I had originally --


LUCKINGS: I had originally gone for Germany.




LUCKINGS (voice-over): But, no, I'll tell you who I think will go far now is Belgium. Now I know they beat Brazil in their court of honor (ph).

What a match that could be (INAUDIBLE). But in the comeback win against Japan, they showed me all the elements that you need to win a major



LUCKINGS: They have a prolific goal scorer in Romelu Lukaku and they have got world-class players all over the pitch. Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne,

Thibaut Courtois. But they've also got character and luck now.

Every successful team needs luck. If you look at Jan Vertonghen's goal, the first goal, the header, back across goal, couldn't do that again in a

million years if he tried. Went in the net. And then last attack of the game, they're going to score a winner. Nacer Chadli, who would have

guessed it?


ANDERSON: Where are you going to be for the finals?

LUCKINGS: Oh, the final, I'm going to be in Abu Dhabi, obviously keeping my fingers crossed that it will be my team playing in the final. But it's

been so great experiencing it.

ANDERSON: I'll tell you what, it's something -- it's something to be in Abu Dhabi watching a tournament like this because, as you said last night,

you went to a viewing party full of English but also full of Colombians. I was at a similar thing last night.

You will find there are so many nationalities in this place, it reminds you, during a tournament like this, where you are and just how multi-

cultural and multi-national it is here. Pleasure having you on.


ANDERSON: Come back, sir. Thank you.

Right. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. You don't have to watch the pitch to know what happened on it. These fan reactions tell it all.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Plus, a dangerous heat wave is threatening 4th of July celebrations in the U.S. A look at the scorching temperatures this

Independence Day. That's next.





ANDERSON: It's a sizzling 4th of July across much of the United States. Independence Day means fireworks, barbecues and, this year, searing



ANDERSON: As the U.S. celebrates Independence Day, a new poll suggests some people aren't in a celebratory mood. Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is once exploding American patriotism starting to fizzle?

MOOS: Would you call yourself extremely proud to be an American?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at the moment, I'm sorry.


MOOS (voice-over): Only 47 percent of Americans say they're extremely proud to be an American. That's the lowest level since Gallup first asked

the question 17 years ago.

MOOS: Extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud --



MOOS: -- only a little?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I could be prouder to be an American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 100 percent patriotic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say I'm embarrassed to be an American right now.

MOOS: And you're a proud citizen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A super proud citizen.


MOOS (voice-over): Immigrants gave especially heartfelt answers. For instance, this naturalized citizen from India...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to be very proud and I would say I'm just moderately proud now. It makes me heartbroken and hopeful that I shall be

extremely proud again.

MOOS (voice-over): Those who admit to a slide in their pride tend to blame a president who has wrapped himself in the flag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd be extremely if Trump wasn't president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a shame, it's disgusting.

MOOS: I'm going to put you in the not at all proud to be --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at all. If I had an opportunity I would get the hell out of this (INAUDIBLE) country. Excuse my French.

MOOS (voice-over): Thirty-two percent of Democrats told Gallup they were extremely proud, compared to 74 percent of Republicans.

The president's patriotism never flags.

TRUMP: So many stars. If she wasn't my flag --


TRUMP: -- I'd be dating her.

MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN...


MOOS (voice-over): -- New York.


ANDERSON: That could have been your parting shot but it's not. It's a hot blooded beautiful game, a buzz of action, alive with passion. Fans at last

night's England versus Colombia game. By the time this show is over, we'll have exhausted ourself (sic) on this story. Not yet.

Walking us through every heart-stopping moment, you don't need to be on the pitch to be able to guess what just happened?

England ousting Colombia. Scuffles on the field, penalty shots that had an entire stadium frozen in anticipation. Breaths held if only for a few

seconds. This scene without a single glance at the grassy carpet below.

Powerful images from the blindingly bright stadia to pitch black caves. Travel around the world on our Facebook page at for

all of your news. Your stories, they are for you and help us. Let us know what you think.

I'm Becky Anderson. At CONNECT THE WORLD. For those working with us here and those around the world, it is a very good evening. CNN continues after