Return to Transcripts main page


Hong Kong Protesters March Over Extradition Bill; NYT: U.S. Ramping Up Cyberattacks On Russia; Facing Blame For Tanker Attacks, Iran Pushes Back; India And Pakistan Clash In Cricket World Cup. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 16, 2019 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:00] RICK FOLBAUM, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Rick Folbaum in for Becky Anderson from CNN Center

in Atlanta. And we begin with extraordinary scenes of descent in Hong Kong. Massive crowds are packing the streets to protest a controversial

China extradition bill. This is the second Sunday in a row that they have done that.

We are waiting still for exact numbers on the number of people who showed up and organizers are saying that they believe it's more than last Sunday's

protest which they say drew over a million people.

Now, they are outraged over a bill that critics fear could result in people ship to mainland China for political purposes. The bill has been shelved

for now. Protesters want it withdrawn entirely and they also want the city's chief executive handpicked by Beijing to go. There is no indication

of that happening but she did offer an apology a short time ago for what she called government deficiencies.

Anna Coren is in Hong Kong. And Anna, if these pictures tell the story, these protesters don't plan to give up, right?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Absolutely not, Rick. And we've just heard from the protest organizers from the civil human rights front,

and they have declared that almost two million protesters took to the streets today.

Now, we are yet to hear from police. I'm sure their figure will be quite different. But from the protest organizers who said that they had people

in place counting the heads as they marched past that sea of black that made its way from Victoria Park to us here in Tamar outside the Legislative

Council. They say the number was almost two million people.

Now, if that is the case that is simply extraordinary. Last Sunday, a million people turned out. This Sunday, when Carrie Lam -- a day after

Carrie Lam had announced that she was going to postpone her very controversial extradition bill, she would have thought that her

announcement would have taken the steam out of this protest. It would seem that it has had the opposite effect.

Well, joining us now is our very own Ivan Watson. He has been covering these protests over the past week. Ivan, that number quite extraordinary.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. We should take it with a grain of salt.

COREN: Sure.

WATSON: There is a long history in Hong Kong of opposition protesters giving one figure for how many people they say have showed up in the

streets and usually the police giving a far smaller one. That said, the scenes that we've seen do appear unprecedented and they have forced yet

another concession from Beijing's hand appointed leader of this city Carrie Lam where she's now had to apologize in response to the protests out in the

street. This is yet another win for people power in Hong Kong.

COREN: Yes, she didn't make the apologize in that press conference yesterday but she came out in a press release saying that the government

had disappointed, that she was apologizing for the disappointment of the people.

WATSON: She has been talking about you know deficiencies, inadequacies which I thought was about as close as you were going to get. And then we

have like an incremental step towards a formal apology. And the end result is that you have not far from where we're standing you know, hundreds of

thousands of young people right in front of the Chief Executive's office chanting resign, resign.

This cannot be a pleasant scene for Hong Kong's rulers in Beijing who are dealing with a trade war with the U.S. and they just have this thorn in

their side, this city, this former British colony that keeps showing this defiant rejection of the authoritarian rule that extends over the rest of

China but not this semi-autonomous city.

COREN: Yes. It is absolute defiance that we saw today. There was this anger, this is frustration, this determination to try and preserve what

Hong Kong has enjoyed for the last 22 years since the handover.

We also heard from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a little bit earlier saying that Donald Trump would raise these protests when he meets

with Xi Jinping at the G-20 at the end of the month.

WATSON: And we've already heard you know, angry statements from the Chinese government from the foreign ministry accused the U.S. of meddling

in China's internal affairs when the State Department has highlighted the protests of the last week.

So I think we can expect more of the same but now President Trump has another thing to goad Xi Jinping with when they sit down face to face and

they discussed the myriad of other issues that their two governments don't see eye to eye on.

[11:05:18] COREN: We also got word that Joshua Wong who was instrumental in the Occupy Movement, the Umbrella Movement five years ago. He was

jailed earlier this year for three months for his involvement in that protest. He is going to be released tomorrow. But there are concerns for

those who have been arrested this week and what could happen to them.

WATSON: And that's one of the demands of some of the protesters is set those people free. And this is going to be important to watch. Five years

ago we had a sit-in in this very park. It went on for around 80 days and it was for a short period a time when the people in the streets were on

top. That faded.

And then in the years after that, the organizers were prosecuted and some of them jailed one by one. We don't know what measures the authorities may

take in response to the embarrassment that they have faced over the course of the last week here.

COREN: Do you think the protesters that you've spoken to and the seeds that you've witnessed over the past week that people are feeling

emboldened. Like initially it was about the extradition bill, now it seems like it's about so much more and that they are going to continue fighting,

that the momentum has started and they are not going to stop.

WATSON: It's hard to know because we saw five years ago momentum and a sit-in that ground the downtown of the city to a halt, but that tactic

failed in the end. People got annoyed by the encampment that lasted for more than two months. And when the protesters were finally pushed out,

very few people actually complained about it.

It's a very difficult thing trying to keep this energy going and the authorities do have a lot of levers of power that they can use against this

movement. What they got really frightened by clearly was the violence that they saw on Wednesday and it's that violence that seems to have pushed many

more people out in the streets from what we even saw just a week ago.

This has been such a dramatic week for this former British colony, for this island city. It has really been a moment of history and we just don't know

where it will go from here.

COREN: Certainly. The protest is always spoken to. They feel that this is only just beginning. Ivan Watson as always --

WATSON: And one last point.

COREN: Yes, please.

WATSON: A lot of these kids, and I call them kids because they're quite young, we're too young to protest five years ago. This is their first

experience with civil disobedience and boy they're pushing the envelope, some of them.

COREN: Ivan, if you can just stand by for us at the moment. Let's now cross to our Andrew Stevens who is out there with the protesters. Andrew,

are you getting a sense that people are losing their steam or are they still out there protesting?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of determination still on the streets of Hong Kong that we're picking up this

hour. It's 11:00 in the evening. It's several hours now since this this protests March got underway and everybody is still moving towards the area

where you are, just outside the Hong Kong Parliament.

So if you can see, I'm just be just in front of it here there's -- behind this big black building. That is the Legislative Council. And it is now

ringed by tens of thousands of protesters and most of them are young. The mood is very positive here. Unlike Wednesday when the police tried to move

out so many of these protesters, today it is very, very quiet, very, very peaceful. And interestingly, Anna, there is a very, very low-key police


I've been walking around these streets for the last two or three hours and everywhere you go all, the little side streets, there are people, young

people, black T-shirts, many of them white ribbons all walking towards where we are now, but you don't see the police. And the police that you do

see, there is no evidence of hardhats, there's no evidence of batons, so they're playing it very, very low-key.

And again, coming back to the point about the protesters being embolden, many of the people I've been speaking to now saying they don't think the

police are going to take any action tonight and they are now talking about state spending the night here or at least into the early hours to keep the

pressure on the government.

If you just look down this, for example, this way, this is -- this is facing away from the Legislative Council body, and you can see -- I don't

know how clearly you can see it, but you can still see waves of people walking towards us coming. They haven't -- most of these are coming from

the march. And you'd hear all the chants go up quite spontaneously and it's a step-down Carrie Lam, Carrie Lam the chief executive, of course,

Hong Kong add oil which has become sort of a catch cry if you like.

Add oil it makes the engine move more efficiently and faster. That's what they've been saying. And they've also been charting at the police, the

black police, you know, shame on you for what happened on Wednesday when 18 people were injured including I should say, 22 police as the police moved

the protesters out of this area which led to all those claims of by amnesty and people the police have used excessive force, Anna.

But at this stage, everyone I spoke to said that they want to stay here. They're not planning to move for the next several hours.

COREN: I mean, that's fascinating. Up until now, it has been a very peaceful protest but it's interesting what you are hearing from those

protestors on the streets that they're not planning on going anywhere. I mean tomorrow is Monday morning here in Hong Kong. This is a very busy

city and you'd have to assume that that life will need to go back to normal. And if these people don't move then police will have to move in.

STEVENS: And do we end up with the same sort of standoff that we saw last Wednesday with the police coming in with tear gas, with rubber bullets,

with pepper spray, with batons, we don't know that question -- the answer that question obviously, Anna.

But you remember that action by the police led finally the Hong Kong government to actually take that decision to withdraw this highly

controversial extradition bill. After the protests of last Sunday where organizers say a million people turned out Carrie Lam very quickly came on

-- out to tell the world's presence he wasn't going to change her mind, that the bill was going to hit -- going to go ahead.

After the Wednesday -- the Wednesday action by the police, after the scenes we saw which beamed around the world of protesters being showered by pepper

spray and tear gas and being hit by rubber bullets, the morning after that the government started to consider changing their minds. And we found out

on Saturday when the Carrie Lam came out to say we are going to show shelf the bill.

She hasn't said, and this is critical, she hasn't said she's going to scrap the bill and this is what these people want. They want that bill dead and

gone. They don't want it shelved so it can come back in a few months' time or a few weeks' time. They want it gone completely.

And that's -- this is the unity that I've been seen. This is unity we saw last Sunday as well. It's not we want to change the bill, we want to get

rid of the bill. But at this stage, the government is still saying we're listening to you, we will take your words on board humbly, and we will try

to act but they're not saying they're going to scrap it. They may tweak it and they change it but, they're not saying they're going to scrap it, Anna.

COREN: Andrew, just finally. You have lived in this city for many, many years much longer than me. Have you witnessed this sort of mood before?

Have you witnessed these sorts of scenes before in the -- in the numerous protests that you have covered here in Hong Kong?

STEVENS: I think this is unique in the unity of purpose. And I've been -- I was here in 2003 when half a million people marched against a security

bill which the people of Hong Kong thought was draconian and would allow police far too much power. That was a March which was again peaceful and

what happened was that the government did bow down, back off at that stage.

But there was also a lot of other issues at the time, I remember, and there are a lot of sort of splinter groups if you -- if you will also

demonstrating asking for different -- they had different issues to talk about. This time around, it is one single issue. And there is a

determination here.

And remember, the Hong Kong people have done a lot of protesting over the years. 2014, the umbrella movement. This area was basically central for

the umbrella movement. This street which you can see beyond these concrete barriers, this street really is the lifeline that carries traffic into

Central Hong Kong.

This was a sea of tents, this was a sea of students doing their homework in their tents in the morning. They had set up a little -- a huge community

here and they stayed until they're eventually pushed out by the police. For 79 days they stayed here. So there was that determination I saw then

and it's the sort of determination that you pick up again today that the students, the younger generation want these changes.

Because as they say, when Hong Kong is actually handed back to China in 2047, they're going to be the ones who are going to be around still. Their

parents will may have moved on by then, but they're going to be here. So they want to make sure that the Hong Kong in 2047 is the sort of Hong Kong

they want to have and they want to live in, Anna?

COREN: Yes, absolutely. Beautifully said. Andrew Stevens joining us through the streets of Hong Kong, many thanks to you. Well, a little bit

earlier I spoke to a man who has been at the forefront of the democracy movement here in Hong Kong for almost 40 years. His name is Martin Lee.

He is 81 years old, and he took part in today's protest.

I asked him about what he thought of Carrie Lam's future. Take a listen.


MARTIN LEE, FOUNDING CHAIRMAN, HONG KONG DEMOCRATIC PARTY: A lot of people would like her to step down. She is a puppet of Beijing, so is every

predecessor of her. In other words, every Chief Executive of Hong Kong has been hand-picked by Beijing. So if you want to get rid of her, Beijing

would pick another puppet. So there's no -- there's no end to our problem.

The Chief Executive in a difficult decision, he or she as Chief Executive owes allegiance to Beijing but also is answerable to the people of Hong

Kong. For so long as we are not given the vote. She will find it difficult if not impossible to serve two masters. I think the only way

forward is for Beijing to trust Hong Kong people and to give us the vote as they already promised.


COREN: That was the founder of the pro-democracy movement here in Hong Kong Martin Lee. Now, let's bring back our Ivan Watson to discuss Carrie

Lam's a future. We've heard from the protesters they want her to resign. You would have to assume that this embattled leader that her days are


WATSON: I don't know. She has in the past pledged that she would step down if she lost the confidence of the people of this city. I know that

after the previous chief executive Leung, and he faced down protests in 2014, he still stuck around for a while.

The selection process, the appointment of a new chief executive, ultimately that rests with the central government in Beijing. Would they want to deal

with a whole new leadership process, it's lengthy, it's difficult, it's complicated, perhaps not. Maybe they'll stand by her and we'll have to see

any signals coming from Beijing.

But it comes to that inherent tension. This is not a democratically elected leader. This is a leader appointed by the leadership of an

authoritarian one-party system directly to the north of here. They choose who they want and that's why you end up with moments like this where the

people are unhappy with their leader.

COREN: And obviously Beijing came out in support of Carrie Lam after she made that announcement yesterday saying that they supported her decision.

So at face value, at this stage, Beijing continues to back the city's chief executive. Ivan Watson as always, many thanks.

I spoke to some of Carrie Lam's supporters a little bit earlier, pro- Beijing lawmakers here at the Legislative Council, and they were defending the extradition bill believing that it must be passed. Take a listen.


PRISCILLA LEUNG, LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, HONG KONG: We don't raise any objection for the suspension but I also want a demonstrators today to learn

that as Hong Kong is very split. We also have nearly reaching high, about one million signatures of people who supported the bill based on such

circumstances. I hope both party -- both group could calm down not to instigate the youth and other people.

Because the bill has already been suspended, the government already made a big compromise. It may not be perfect to the demonstrators, but you know,

maybe near one million people are also very disappointed. So we just draw the line to keep peace of Hong Kong but not just continue to spread this



COREN: That was Priscilla Leung, a pro-Beijing lawmaker here in Hong Kong. So there is obviously divided opinion on this extradition bill, but today

the people have spoken. It has been an extraordinary display of people power.

And as we heard from protest organizers, they believe more than -- I should say, up to almost two million people turned out on the streets of Hong Kong

to protest that very controversial extradition bill wanting it to be withdrawn, wanting the freedoms that they enjoy in Hong Kong to stay in

place. Rick, back to you.

FOLBAUM: Thank you, Anna, Anna Coren. And we'll be checking back with Anna and her team throughout this hour. And still to come on CONNECT THE

WORLD, Iran fights back against claims that carried out last week's attack in the Gulf of Oman. One Iranian leader offers of controversial theory.

We'll tell you about it.

[11:20:10] Also, a new community in the Golan Heights is getting a new name. The Prime Minister has it named after none other than U.S. president

Donald Trump. And two countries divided in politics but United in their love of the game. We're live in Manchester as India take on Pakistan in

the Cricket World Cup.


FOLBAUM: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Rick Folbaum. Thanks for joining us this Sunday. And now to Washington and a report that

the U.S. is ramping up cyber-attacks on Russia's infrastructure. It has triggered outrage from President Trump today. The New York Times reports

the U.S. has targeted Russia's electric power grid with damaging malware.

It's a move designed to serve as a warning to the Kremlin. The paper also reports that Mr. Trump has been left out of the loop about this cyber-

attack. Defense and intelligence officials were said to be concerned that the president might pull the plug on the operation or even discuss details

with other world leaders.

Joining us now from Washington one of the reporters of that story, a story that President Trump has labeled treasonous. David Sanger is a CNN

Political and National Security Analyst and it's great to talk to you about this very important story. And I think we should start, David, by letting

viewers know that you went to the administration and that you were told they didn't have any national security concerns about you publishing this

report in The New York Times. So what do you make of the president's response today?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's hard to figure out. But as you say, Rick, we went to them and presented what

our reporting was, and the reporting essentially is this, that you know, for years as we've all discussed on CNN and elsewhere, the Russians have

had malware in American systems.

The U.S. response has largely been one of doing surveillance inside the Russian systems. That's been stepped up in the past year in part because

of new authorities that U.S. Cyber Command was given by Congress and in part because of some new authorities that the President gave us Cyber

Command which is the cyber element of the military and recently elevated in a secret order last summer on national security memorandum 13 which has

never been publicly released but has been described.

In just recent days, you've heard the National Security Advisor John Bolton talk publicly about how they were making the Russians begin to pay a price

for what they did. Now, he didn't say specifically in what areas.

We've been reporting for a number of months and have identified this in the grid the United States has not actually turned anything off, just as the

Russians haven't done much damage inside the U.S. grid, it's there as a deterrent.

[11:25:29] FOLBAUM: You described these attacks as "placing the equivalent of land mines in a foreign network." How does it work exactly?

SANGER: Well, the same way the Russians have done in ours. In other words, if you can put an implant into the system, you can use it for a

number of different purposes. One could be surveillance, the second could be sort of data manipulation, a third could be for sabotage. And that's

why people get so worried when they discover the Russians went into the power grid in say Ukraine where they turned the power off in two different

areas in recent years and why they get so concerned in the U.S.

The question is how do you deter that. And this idea is well, put malware in that the Russians would actually see that they would know the United

States could get into the system and anything they did to us, we would be able to go do to them, sort of classic deterrence by penalty theory.

Under that theory, of course, the Russians need to see the code which might explain why the administration -- well, I'm not confirming or denying, our

story said they didn't have any particular concerns about it. It was designed for the Russians to see.

FOLBAUM: They wanted them to see. So that kind of makes it even more eye- popping the part of your story that goes into detail about U.S. officials trying to keep this information from President Trump. Tell us more about


SANGER: Well, under the new authorities the Congress gave and even the new authorities the President devolved to the commander of Cyber Command, there

is no requirement that they go back and tell the president about what is categorized as traditional military activities.

A few years ago, people considered cyber to be extraordinary. Any cyber- attack would have to be previously approved by the president, now they do not. And so that then raises the question, well, they don't tell the

president about many other traditional military activities, patrolling the skies over Syria for example or normal activity that would be taken out in

the Gulf of Oman to protect shipping.

So they may not have felt the need to talk to them about this one although clearly there is a big debate generally within the military and the

Intelligence Community about how much to say to the president concerning operations in Russia. They have two big concerns.

One, he might countermand them, the way he said there wouldn't be spying against Kim Jong-un if it was his administration or he might reveal them

the way he did when the Russian Ambassador and the Russian foreign minister came to the oval office in 2017 and they talked to them about a secret

Israeli operation. So that's made them more leery about what they tell the president.

FOLBAUM: And this general who was in-charge of Cyber Warfare, he was unelected. I bet you, most American have never heard his name before.

That's an awful lot of power for someone to have, isn't it?

SANGER: Well, General Nakasone runs the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency. He's been confirmed by the -- by the Senate for that

purpose. He is powerful but no more powerful than say the general who runs Central Command or you know, the Admiral who might run the Pacific Fleet.

So yes, it's a very powerful job but it's a military command job.

FOLBAUM: David Sanger is a National Security Correspondent for the New York Times and a CNN Analyst. Great to talk to you, sir. Thanks very


SANGER: Great to be with you.

FOLBAUM: And coming up, we'll go back to Hong Hong. We'll have the very latest on those huge protest that are going on right now. Don't go away.


[11:32:36] FOLBAUM: "BREAKING NEWS" now. And we continue to keep a close watch on Hong Kong, where protests are continuing late into the night.

Organizers claim nearly 2 million people turned out to allow extraditions to Hong Kong to mainland China.

They have been calling on Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam to resign and withdraw the bill altogether. She responded only by issuing an apology

admitting to what she called, deficiencies in government. She wasn't more specific than that.

The demonstration has been largely peaceful with many families taking part. A lot of parents bringing their children to take part in and to witness

history. Anna Coren is in Hong Kong. She's been following this story and this massive demonstration. And thank goodness it has been peaceful

because, with so many people there, that would be a real, real problem.

COREN: Yes, absolutely, Rick. This has been a peaceful demonstration. A demonstration that started at 2:30 this afternoon. Well, it's just gone

11:30 p.m. There are still thousands of people here at Tamar Park and on the streets of Hong Kong.

We are getting the feeling that there are some folks who are going to camp out for the night. They're going to settle in certainly around the chief

executive's offices. There's seems to be many people.

So, who knows what's going to happen over the coming hours. But certainly, up until now, it is been extremely peaceful protest. And thank goodness

because there has been so many different people from all different walks of life, we're talking about families and kids.

Now, joining me is Bonnie Leung, she is from the Civil Human Rights Front, and one of the protest organizers who announced just a short time ago that

almost 2 million people took part in this incredible demonstration. I mean, what a historic day.

BONNIE LEUNG, SPOKESPERSON, CIVIL HUMAN RIGHTS FRONT: That's right. I'm so proud of Hong Kong people of making this history. And this just show

very clearly that as Hong Kong people can see through all the lives that Carrie Lam and the police had told us. And we do not accept a suspension

of the bill, but we demand a withdrawal of the bill.

Also, we demand an apology from Carrie Lam and also the police force of shooting their own people -- of using excessive force and lethal weapons

against these people. And we demand that Carrie Lam to step down. This is a very, very clear voice of the people.

[11:35:16] COREN: Bonnie, we heard from Carrie Lam earlier.


COREN: She issued a statement apologizing for the deficiencies of the government and for disappointing the people. What did you make of that


LEUNG: Well, that apology is simply show how arrogant she is. Because she didn't apologize for what the police had done or what she and her

government had failed to listen to people. But instead, she apologized for not communicating enough with the community, of not explaining enough of

what's the bill.

So, it's kind of imply that oh, you misunderstood what the bill really mean. That's a miscommunication. However, if you talk to the people if

you come here today and really see what the people were doing. They were all educating each other of what the bill is about.

We are not -- none of us is ill-informed. Instead, we're too ill-informed, we can see through all the lies. So, we demand a withdrawal of the bill

that is very, very clear.

COREN: Bonnie, finally, so much momentum today, so much momentum over the past week. Will it continue?

LEUNG: Well, I believe so. Although as this march is -- has ended today. However, I believe all these 2 million people who have ever participated in

this movement will continue but in different forms. For example, we will go to all the districts in Hong Kong to explain to the people who haven't

yet understand what is wrong with the extradition bill, or who had believed in lies that has told by Carrie Lam.

We believe these 2 million people can do a lot of things to work for our freedom and also for our Hong Kong.

COREN: People of Hong Kong and people took to the streets today feeling extremely emboldened.


COREN: Bonnie Leung, great to speak to you. Many thanks.

LEUNG: Thank you s much.

COREN: And Rick, we've also heard from protest organizers that there will be strikes here in Hong Kong. Initially, we have thought the strikes had

been called off. But it would seem that some unions will be taking part in that strike tomorrow. So, more rallies in store for Hong Kong, more people

taking to the streets.

They are really going to ride this momentum and make sure that the Hong Kong government listens to them. They want this extradition bill withdrawn

completely. Rick, back to you.

FOLBAUM: Well, the civil disobedience in full swing in Hong Kong. Anna, thank you. We'll continue to check back with you and your team.

And moving on now to some other headlines this Sunday. And you can add Saudi Arabia to the list of countries blaming Iran for Thursday's tanker

attacks in the Gulf of Oman. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman calling for a firm stand against Tehran. But he added that Saudi Arabia

does not want a war.

Iran denies having anything to do with the attacks. And now, the speaker of Iran's Parliament is going as far as suggesting that the United States

may have staged the incident as a false flag operation in order to discredit Iran. Crew members from one of the tankers have arrived in Dubai

where our Sam Kiley is standing by. We also have Fred Pleitgen who joins us from Tehran.

Sam, you first. What are those crewmen saying?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know but they are being debriefed by their own employers. And indeed by Emirati

officials of -- particularly, the Emirati officials will want to get some real detail from these sailors. Some of whom may will have been

eyewitnesses to what occurred on the hulls of that boat. And that's it critical because the ship that they were in is believed to have been

attacked with mines.

But the other ship, the owners say was attacked with some kind of flying projectile. That's inconsistent with the position taken by the United

States, which is accused Iran and they have the backing now of Saudi Arabia, and the U.K., and Israel of planting limpet mines on these two

vessels. So, that will be the detail that would be pursued from these sailors.

The Saudis interestingly have said that the international community needs to do something. They're looking for some harsh measures to be taken

against Iran. But nobody really seems to be able to feel their way towards actually imposing -- yet, more sanctions for example on Iran.

It's also interesting, Rick, that the countries affected principally Norway and Japan. They're to -- one ship owned by Norwegian businesses, the

others owned by -- the other owned by a Japanese. Neither the Norwegians nor the Japanese have pointed the finger of blame indeed have called for

wisdom to prevail and continued negotiations. Or this, of course, goes back as no doubt we're here from Fred to the very heavy sanctions imposed

by Iran's oil industry -- on Iran's oil industry.

And this part of the world is extremely anxious here in the Emirates that there could be disruption to shipping. I've spoken to one significant ship

agent here who says that insurance rates have skyrocketed to across the Strait of Hormuz. This even talks among some ship owners of not passing

through that area without some kind of military escort. That's not yet. At the formal level I'm told that's just being talked about, .that kind of

thing will drive up oil prices and create strategy effect for whoever planted these alleged weapons far beyond the investment on -- in the

weapons themselves, Rick.

[11:40:51] FOLBAUM: Fred, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling Fox News today that it's "unmistakable that these attacks were the work of

Iran. But, of course, we know that Iran continuous to deny any involvement.

Talk to us about that and also address what Sam is discussing, which is the sanctions that have really been so crippling for the Iranian economy.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they certainly have been crippling for the Iranian economy. And you know, those

sanctions, they take a toll not just on the oil and gas sector, but really on almost all sectors here in Iran, Rick.

It's really interesting because I was walking through the main grand bizarre here in Tehran today, and just speaking a folks. And pretty much

all of them said that their economic situation has gotten a lot worse.

There were a lot of people who had lost their jobs. Especially those who were working for international companies. The buying power here also

because of the currency and because the inflation has also decreased a great deal. So, people generally are suffering.

But Sam is absolutely right. As far as the hydrocarbon sector is concern, the oil and gas sector there has been a significant decrease in the amount

of oil that the Iranians are able to export because of this blanket sanctions that have been put in place by the United States.

Now, the Iranians are saying and especially, Iranian supreme leader saying, he hopes that Iran's economy can still grow. But certainly, it's going to

be very, very difficult. And one of the things that the Iranians have consistently been saying, Rick, is they have been saying that if they are

to return to the negotiating table -- we, of course, heard the supreme leader, rebuff President Trump's tends to try and get them there.

If they do that, the United States would have to lift some of those sanctions specifically on the oil and gas sector and allow them to export

some of their hydrocarbons. That's definitely very important to them.

And at the same time, with those remarks by Secretary Mike Pompeo, you have the Iranians continuing to deny any sort of involvement. The Parliament

Speaker Ali Larijani, coming out today and saying he believes the U.S. is behind the attacks in the tankers because America's maximum pressure

campaign as he put it isn't working.

And we have to point out that these remarks by Ali Larijani came before Secretary of State Pompeo, went on those morning shows in America today.

But there was something that he said that sort of can be seen almost not as a reaction, but almost preemptively. Already reacting to what the

Secretary of State Pompeo, said.

As he said, look, the Americans say that they tried everything diplomatically but the Iranians are saying this maximum pressure campaign

is economic warfare and this is exactly the opposite of diplomacy.

So, what the Iranians are saying is that if there is going to be a return to diplomacy, there's going to be talks between these two sides, they would

ideally like the United States to return to the nuclear agreement, but at the very least, they want to see some of these sanctions being lifted.

They want to see some movement on the American side before they would be willing to bunch themselves, Rick.

FOLBAUM: Fred Pleitgen and Sam Kiley. Gentleman, thank you both very much. Coming up, we will have the highlights. The noise and the passion

from what many are calling the best cricket world cup game so far.


[11:46:02] FOLBAUM: Well it's one of sport's most iconic matchups. And right now, India is taking on Pakistan in Cricket World Cup in Manchester,

England. India has beaten its rival in all previous World Cup matches. Nearly a billion people are expected to tune into the match on TV today.

The two countries tense often violent political differences are adding yet another layer to what is already a charged game. Let's get over to

Manchester right now. Our Alex Thomas is in the thick of the action. And Alex, explained to us the sheer magnitude of this match on and off the


ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, India Pakistan in geopolitical terms, Rick. A huge rival was only earlier this

year, many political commentators will tell you they almost went to war, not for the first time. And there was talk of India possibly pulling out

of this Cricket World Cup to avoid the embarrassment of meeting Pakistan on the field,

Tonight, should I say the tensions have eased to such an extent that so far here at the Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester in northwest England,

it's been nothing other than just simply a very noisy and very entertaining sporting account. Pakistani and Indian cricket fans mingling together.

There are more Indian fans than Pakistani fans but huge communities from both those countries here in Manchester and the surrounding parts of

northwest England getting on well just that love of cricket bringing them together.

Bands, all sorts of instruments playing in there, very, very noisy. Much more than you'd normally see for a sedate game of English cricket. That's

for sure this is an international match, there's no question about that. And while some could say that the estimates of a billion people watching

maybe have been slightly inflated. It won't be far off.

We know hundreds of millions watch their semi-final in the 2011 World Cup, which I saw from Mumbai, India were hosting the tournament that year, and

it was absolutely crazy similar atmosphere here today.

India done very well in their first innings. Pakistan now chasing trying to get a bigger total. We're hoping the rain doesn't come in here later

and ruin what's been a wonderful match so far, Rick.

FOLBAUM: Yes. So you mentioned, India have wrapped up their innings. I'm told 336 runs for the loss of five wickets. What are the chances that

Pakistan can pull this out?

TOMAS: Yes, well they've only lost one wickets. And there may be scoring their runs for the slightly slower rate than India did on paper. Let's

face it, this is a mismatch. Most of India's play is better than Pakistan on paper.

Of course, that forum book goes out the window citing. We're talking about two huge rivals. Pakistan proved all the doubters wrong when they won the

Cricket World Cup back in 1991. So, they can call themselves former world champions. In the same way that India can.

I think they're very aware of that rain coming in because cricket has this weird thing called the Duckworth-Lewis method that I'm not going to begin

to try and explain. Most people even within cricket don't understand it. But if they can avoid losing wickets, they've got a chance to win if it

means the rain stops play early.

We're hoping to see the full 50 overs of Pakistan, you know, it's like here until 9:30 at night local time. The atmosphere would have just get better

and better as the evening comes in. It's a great sporting occasion.

FOLBAUM: Alex Thomas, with the news for us from Manchester. Alex, enjoy the game. Thanks very much. Let's --

[11:49:23] All right, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar this Sunday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu is holding a ceremony in the long-disputed Golan Heights Sunday. He is formally establishing a new community there to be called Vermont

Trump or Trump Heights.

It comes after President Trump formally recognized the contested territory as part of Israel back in March.

Power is beginning to be restored to Argentina and Uruguay after a massive outage earlier. It also knocked out electricity to parts of Chile and

Brazil leaving millions of people in the dark. Officials blamed a failure in the system.

Facing international pressure, Saudi Arabia has apparently decided to spare a condemned teenager. A source telling CNN that instead of execution, the

boy has been sentenced to prison. He was 10-years-old when he was arrested for accompanying his brother who allegedly threw Molotov cocktails at a

police station.

Sudan's military rulers are distancing themselves from this month's deadly attack on pro-democracy demonstrators. A government report blames security

officials, saying they entered the protest area without instructions. The Sudanese military says it's willing to negotiate with protesters and

officials are promising that ousted President Omar al-Bashir will stand trial soon on corruption charges.

A British-Iranian woman being held in Iran has begun a new hunger strike. And her husband is now joining her. She has been held for three years on

spying charges which she denies. And now, her husband has pitched a tent outside the Iranian embassy in London. He started a hunger strike Saturday

to show his solidarity with his wife.

Hong Kong police as you've seen coming out with not -- their numbers of demonstrators today. They say 338,000 people were at today's protests.

That is quite fewer than the two million protester -- protest organizers say were there. We'll the very latest on the stunning turnout of pro-

democracy demonstrations taking place yet again in the streets of Hong Kong.


FOLBAUM: I want to bring you back to some extraordinary scenes playing out in Hong Kong, where a massive crowds are packing the streets for the second

Sunday in a row. They are protesting a very controversial China extradition bill. Organizers say the turnout could be as many as two

million. Police have a much smaller number. They estimate the crowds to be at about 338,000.

Andrew Stevens is back with us now. And that's quite a discrepancy, Andrew, in the crowd estimates for the organizers versus the police, right?

STEVENS: It is, and it's not unusual to see this sort of thing, Rick. Last Sunday, organizers said there are over a million protesters. The

police official number was 240,000. We see this consistently through the protests here.

I was at the protest last week, last Sunday, and it felt to me like it was several hundred thousand people. And I've been at the one today and it

seemed bigger than that, Rick. And it was more difficult to actually get a sense of how big it was because there are many more roads open, there are

many more alleyways being used by the protests to get down to where we are here at the moment.

And where we are is just outside the Legislative Council building. That's the Hong Kong Parliament if you like. And you'll see people walking

through that little gap in the concrete there.

And just in the last half an hour or so, if the crowd has started to thin somewhat, there are still I would say tens of thousands of people here.

And it rings the entire Legislative Council building which takes in the offices of the chief executive who is the focus of this protest at the


It's very good-natured and what's striking at the moment and what we've seen all day is the complete lack of a police presence here. Obviously,

there are police here, but you really have to go and search them out, Rick. You don't see them in anything like riot gear or any -- taking any

aggressive postures whatsoever.

And the many of the people I've been speaking to. And you see the faces here, they are young. Again, this is a movement being led by young

Hongkongers. So, even on the protest earlier this afternoon did see a much broader cross-section.

But they are all saying, Rick that if they don't get what they want, which is scrapping that bill, that extradition bill, they will keep coming back,

and they will keep coming back. So, this is by no means over yet.

[11:55:57] FOLBAUM: Andrew Stevens live from Hong Kong. Andrew, thanks so much.

I'm Rick Folbaum. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.