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Boris Johnson Calls for "Turbocharged" Brexit Plans; Boris Johnson Says U.K. Could Be Entering New Golden Age; Paris Hits Record-High Temperature; Another Record-Setting Heat Wave Scorches Europe; Puerto Rican Governor Resigning After Days of Protest; Mueller: Report Did Not Exonerate Donald Trump; Some Democrats Urge Pelosi to Begin Impeachment Hearings; U.S. Rapper ASAP Rocky Charged with Assault in Sweden; Israeli Football Team Fights Racism Among Fans. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 25, 2019 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD with me Christina Macfarlane, live from the British capital,


There's a political purge going on here in London as the country's new leader looks to turbocharge preparations for Brexit. In his first speech

to Parliament as Prime Minister, Mr. Johnson doubled down on leaving the EU. Saying he is committed to leaving the EU on October 31st, with or

without a deal.

While he can't get rid of old issues, he can get rid of old staff. Most of Theresa May's old team is out, as Boris Johnson steps up to the mantle of

Prime Minister and the overnight slash and burn saw 17 of 22 of May's cabinet replaced. Mr. Johnson's new government is filled with Brexiteers.

Well without further ado, let's go to our Nina dos Santos whose life for us outside Mr. Johnson's new home, Number 10 Downing Street. And, Nina, we

heard a lot of bluster and optimism from Boris Johnson in the first Parliamentary speech today. Even the heralding of a new golden age for

Britain. But in terms of the specifics and the detail of how he intends to go about the complexity of Brexit, did we really learn anything?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not really in terms of the details, at least not thus far. What we did learn is that he really has set himself on

a collision course with the European Union. Deliberately to try to get a completely different type of deal to his predecessor, Theresa May,

unpopular withdrawal agreement which he branded unacceptable, was sitting in her seat in the House of Commons for his first day as British Prime

Minister today.

We also learned that he was not planning on making any friends on the other side of the aisle, taking aim at Jeremy Corbyn, and refusing to put detail

that that Jeremy Corbyn had asked on various issues on the table. So as you'd imagine, typical Boris Johnson style, a good strong performance, but

in terms of the specifics and details, it was details light. Nevertheless, he says what was really needed was optimism.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There is every chance that in 2050, and I fully intend to be around, though not necessarily in this job, we

will be able to look back on this period, this extraordinary period as the beginning of a new golden age for our United Kingdom.


DOS SANTOS: Confidence there from a 58-year-old man who believes he will still be around in 2050, although potentially not necessarily still around

at Number 10 Downing Street, not sure I will be standing outside Downing Street in 2050 either, Christina. But you know, that's further down the

line. In the immediate future, there are less than 100 days to negotiate any kind of deal or do the preparations to arrest that control of the

country's monies, laws, its borders, and have that no deal Brexit without causing a really big impact to Britain's day to day lives and also to the


And he delivered the message to Parliament with one last day of Parliament to go, because MPs go on their summer holidays tomorrow. And also remember

that Brussels will be heading out on holidays, although I understand that it is likely that key members of the European Commission will happily

probably have negotiations throughout the course of the summer if they need to with Number 10 Downing Street, when Downing Street makes it clear

exactly what they want that the EU would go for --Christina.

MACFARLANE: Thanks, Nina. There's no doubt about it. Is there? Boris Johnson is a man in a hurry. Well in his speech, Boris Johnson also said

Brexit will make the U.K. the greatest place on earth and that the U.K. could be, quote, entering a new golden age. But what does that mean

exactly? Let's break it down with A.C. Grayling, who is a philosopher, author and master of New College of Humanities. Great to have you with us,

A.C. Given everything we've seen from the PM, or the new pm today, and this assembling of what is effectively a war cabinet overnight. What is

your take on the Britain that we are now left with today? Is it a new golden generation?

[11:05:00] A.C. GRAYLING, AUTHOR, "DEMOCRACY AND ITS CRISIS"; I think we have been plunged into a deep pool of imponderability here. I mean, Boris

Johnson who is very long on rhetoric and bluster and very short on detail also has a very poor track record in pretty well everything he has done so


I mean, look at his term as foreign secretary. We put ourselves into position where he has set the bar so high for himself. I mean, all of the

rhetoric in Parliament today and what he said in his acceptance speech when he won the leadership election, he's given himself a tremendous task to do.

Tremendous amount of work.

So what he's done is, he's packed his cabinet with true believers in Brexit. He's brought back into Downing Street his advisers -- the people

who helped to win the leave referendum back in 2016. And he has set out his stall, and it's a conflict stall. He is in conflict with the EU. He

is in conflict with his back benches who disagree with him, certainly with opposition parties, and he is in conflict with reality. Because how he's

going to manage to get any of these grandiose things, he said in the next 100 days is anybody's guess.

MACFARLANE: Well as you say, he set out his stall. How will the stall be going down now in Brussels? Which is the crucial question. Because, you

know, his bombastic approach as it has been to the idea of a fresh round of renegotiation, I mean, is that pure fantasy in many ways? How will

Brussels be seeing this?

GRAYLING: Well in the last 90 minutes, there's an email sent by Michel Barnier to all the heads of state in the EU itself is instantly reacting by

saying this looks very difficult. Last night we saw Leo Varadkar of Ireland saying that Boris Johnson is in fantasyland. And fantasyland is

just about to hit reality land.

MACFARLANE: Before we perhaps race to criticize and condemn, I mean, just to play on the contrary side. I mean, we have seen the pragmatic approach

to Brexit now for three years. I mean, to a degree, should we not stand back and let Boris Johnson and this new government see what this approach

could yield? I mean, isn't that fair?

GRAYLING: I don't think it's a question of stepping back. We have no choice. I mean, there he is, he's in Downing Street. He's got a cabinet

of as I say true believers. So he is going to try, whether or not we stand back or keep opposing. I think the important thing is keep opposing

though. Because if you look at his rhetoric, Boris Johnson is a show man. That's what he is. And he's put on a great show in Parliament today. And

it sounds and smells and looks and feels like a general election campaign performance. It sounds as though he set out a sort of manifesto speech


So we may very well find that he's heading for deliberate fall. That the EU won't agree, that Parliament itself won't go with him on this. And

therefore he will call a general election blaming everybody else and hoping, and perhaps doing a deal with the Brexit party and hoping that he

can get through that way.

MACFARLANE: Taking on other sectors as well, looking at another relationship between Britain and the U.S. There's been a lot of comparisons

made and drawn between Boris Johnson and President Trump for some obvious reasons. Both controversial figures, both polarizing, both inexplicable

hairstyles to a degree. But is that in some sense where the comparison ends? Do you think that these comparisons that are being made are actually


GRAYLING: Well there are a few similarities and some rather significant differences. I think one of the significant differences is on immigration

and foreigners. I mean, one surprising thing about Boris Johnson is that there is a little streak of social liberalism there on that question. I

mean, he talked today in Parliament about introducing a point system for immigrants. But he is not just reflexly hostile to immigration in a way

Donald Trump seems to be.

But in other respects, they're a little alike in a way that might be surprising to notice, which is that of course Trump speaks to the base.

All his rhetoric and the dreadful things that he says in tweets and so on, are directed at people who love to hear that. He is speaking to them.

He's not speaking to the whole country. And whoever it is who is actually running the government of the United States of America, it's very difficult

to believe that it's Mr. Trump himself. They're busy doing other things while all of these distractions are going on.

Now this is true of Boris Johnson in a way as well. You will notice that the failure of a reasonably sensible government to try to get some workable

deal with the EU about Brexit has resulted in the Brexiteers who know this is the very, very last opportunity. If they can't get the U.K. out of the

EU now, they've lost their chance. So they're going for broke and they've put somebody into Downing Street -- who with all of the bombast, and all

that showmanship and so on -- they hope they can blast his way through and somehow achieve the impossible.

[11:10:06] MACFARLANE: And we shall see if he can be successful in the way he seems to think he will. A.C. Grayling, great to speak to you, thank


All right, so things are heating up politically. A blistering heat wave is hovering over Europe now. And here in London, we set a record high

temperature for the month of July, nearly 37 degrees Celsius. In fact, it's so hot the U.K. rail service warns that train tracks could buckle

under the extreme heat.

And I think worse for the French capital. Paris is currently experiencing its hottest day ever. We are hearing the heat is so bad that Notre Dame

ceiling is at risk of collapsing. Well let's go straight out to -- CNN's Jim Bittermann is braving the heat for us in Paris. But first, let's go to

Salma Abdelaziz, who is live in London. And Salma, I'm so pleased to say I am the one in the cool studio today and you're out there. As we mentioned,

the heat so hot they're predicting the train tracks could melt in Britain. I mean, Britain isn't prepared for this kind of heat. Is it? How are

people dealing with it and what precautions are being applied.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Christina, first I'm going to say, don't get too comfortable in that studio. Because you're going to have to

make the commute home at some point. And it is hot, hot, hot, and it is only going to get hotter. As you said, we've already broken a record. The

hottest day ever recorded in July.

But we are supposed to break another record today potentially. Meteorologists saying the temperature will keep climbing. And we could see

the hottest day ever in the U.K.'s recorded history. And as you said, people are being told to stay home, try not to go to work because public

transport is overflowing, there's little ventilation. Tube, rail, the buses are all packed with people. Concerns about overcrowding and

dehydration. So if you don't have to go to work, try to stay home, try to go to the park, make sure your drinking water.

The concern is of course for those who are most vulnerable, the elderly, children. So we're seeing lots of families at parks right now just trying

to stay cool. And as you know, here in London, most of us don't have AC at home. This is unusual weather for us. It makes it that much more

difficult for the children and the elderly.

And some experts are saying what we should actually do is call these weather events, call these heat events as we do with hurricanes. Give them

a name so that people are alert and they are warned. But in the meanwhile, what we need to do is just stay cool.

MACFARLANE: Easier said than done, Salma. I think I'll be taking a long walk home today rather than the tube. Salma, thank you for now. Have a

nice cream, stay cool.

Let's head over to our Jim Bittermann who's in Paris. And, Jim, it's expected there to be -- well it is even hotter in Paris today. Just

explain why there' is so much concern about the roof of Notre Dame in these temperatures.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I can get around to Notre Dame in just a second. But, Christina, just to begin with,

we've been setting a new record every hour on the hour and we've just set a new record again. It's 42.6 degrees Celsius, over 108 Fahrenheit. And

just to show you how people are celebrating the tremendous victory of the new record, they're into the pool here at the Warsaw fountains directly

across the street -- across the river from the Eiffel Tower.

Now Notre Dame, the problem there is something that's being observed elsewhere in the country with buildings. And that is that as ground dries

up, foundations shift. At Notre Dame it is more subtle because of that fire three months ago. Water is contained in stones and in the wood that's

still left there. The supporting wood is drying out. And the architect, chief architect of Notre Dame worries that it's going to dry out too

quickly and cause a problem for the vaulted ceilings inside Notre Dame.

And also, on those ceilings are a lot of debris from the roof which collapsed. So that debris is sitting on top of the ceilings and the

ceilings could give way. So they are worried about what could happen at Notre Dame. They're worries all over the country about all sorts of

different things. For example, two nuclear reactors were shut down because they were concerned about the super-heated cooling water. The kind of

things that it could do to the floor and the flow line that comes out of the nuclear reactor, so they shut them down. There's an upsurge in the

amount of electricity people are using. The SMC train system are warning people not to take trips if they can avoid it. The only break in this is

that perhaps by tomorrow there will be kind of a cooling spell here -- Christina.

MACFARLANE: Jim, you lived in Paris a long time. Have you ever experienced temperatures like this before? How unusual is it?

BITTERMANN: Well, it's unusual, but it's not all that unusual. Today we set the record that existed since 1947. However, there was a period of 8

days in 2003 where the temperatures were over 40 degrees. And because it was an extended period, they attributed 14,000 deaths to that heat wave

that swept through back then.

[11:15:04] This is a fairly short period. There're cooling trades at night, so it may not be as bad. But back then, that eight-day sustained

period of heat was something that really had a devastating effect on people -- Christina.

MACFARLANE: Yes, it is important to remember as well how people are actually coping there in Paris. Jim Bittermann, thank you very much live

there from the capital.

Well it's not just London and Paris that people are struggling through this dangerous heat. Records are being set across Europe as well.

Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is following all this for us from CNN's weather center. Allison, we have been saying temperatures are soaring

across Europe today. What else are we seeing at peaking?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, in several other countries. Now again, the focus really has been Paris and London for good reason. They

have huge populations and, yes, they have been breaking records. But as you mention, they're not the only ones. Right now it is 40 degrees in

Frankfurt, 36 in Amsterdam and 38 in Brussels. Those three areas have also continued to see record breaking temperatures over the last few days.

Right now here's a look at the U.K. Cambridge picking up a temperature of 38.1 degrees. Again, we've already broken the July record. What we're

aiming for -- or at least some people probably are. A majority of people probably hope it doesn't get to that. Is that 38.5-degree mark. That's

the all-time record high temperature in United Kingdom. We are close, but we have not yet hit that mark.

Paris, another thing. Today's temperature already 42.6 degrees. That has broken the all-time record in Paris. The previous one being 40.4.

Yesterday, here's the thing though, 85 cities in France broke their all- time record highs, 145 of them breaking July records. But again, as we mention, it's not just France. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,

also breaking their all-time records.

There were the temperatures from yesterday. Notice now when we fast forward to today though, all of those numbers have jumped up. These are

preliminary temperatures. So keep that in mind. While they all do appear that they have broken yet again the hottest temperature for all time in

these countries, these are just preliminary numbers. It will likely take a couple more hours before the official marker comes in to give the

confirmation. But as we've mention, the one thing everyone is looking forward to is when the heat goes away.

The good news is as we head into the weekend, we are finally going to see some relief, especially for places like Germany, France, the U.K. One place

that's not though, the Iberian Peninsula. They are still expected to remain above average even through the rest of the weekend.

But a city like Paris, for example, you've got one more day that's above average, not quite as hot as today, but still highs in the low 30s. Then

once we get to the weekend, you finally start to see that dip begin.

Similarly for a city like Brussels, again, one more day. High tomorrow of around 37 degrees. But then you see those temperatures dropping back into

the 20s by the time we get to the weekend.

Again, this is the good news. Amsterdam also, Christina, one more day. We're looking at a high tomorrow of about 38 degrees before they finally

get some relief for the weekend and also some rain. Which would be some help for the few areas also dealing with some wildfires as well.

MACFARLANE: Yes, those record numbers across Europe, Allison, just astonishing when you put them all together like that. Allison, thank you

so much there for bringing us up to date. And you can always follow the latest on the extreme heat wave on

More than 100 intense wildfires have ravaged the Arctic over the past month. And it comes after the planet experienced the hottest June on

record and is on track to do the same for July. You can read about that, go to

All right. Still to come. After weeks of protests their message gets through to the Puerto Rico governor. We'll have the latest on Ricardo

Rossello's decision to step down.

Plus, American rapper ASAP Rocky is charged in Sweden. He says he acted in self-defense. We'll tell you what the prosecutor has to say.


MACFARLANE: Protesters took to the streets again in San Juan, Puerto Rico Wednesday night, chanting loudly as they waited to hear whether the

Governor Ricardo Rossello would step down. Then the Puerto Rican governor announced on Facebook he will resign effective one week from Friday. For

weeks, thousands have been demanding Governor Rossello step down after homophobic and sexist messages from a group chat with his inner circle were

made public. Well Rafael Romo has more now from San Juan.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: It took 15 days from the moment Governor Ricardo Rossello apologized to Puerto Ricans for

participating in a private chat that contained remarks that were considered racist, homophobic and deeply offensive to Puerto Rican people, to

resignation announcement before midnight.

And people here in Puerto Rico celebrated in a very loud way, banging on pots. They had drums. They were very, very happy. They had protested

every single day for 12 days, demanding that the governor resign immediately. Finally he listened to them.

Now the transition process begins, presumably the Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vazquez, is going to be sworn in as governor. But the resignation is

not immediate. It's going to take effect on August 2nd at 5:00 in the afternoon. The governor said he needed time to finish some issues on which

he was working on. So in the meantime, he remains governor.

And since the governor's Secretary of State resigned and some other members of his cabinet had already done so. It was very clear that the government

was very much being abandoned by members of his cabinet and some of his aides and was going to be no longer possible for him to govern effectively.

And so the decision finally came on Tuesday just before midnight.

Now people are going to march again. They say that instead of being a strike as they had originally called it, it's going to be a celebration

march in the streets of San Juan today.

Rafael Romo, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


MACFARLANE: Now, the dust is settling after Robert Mueller's long-awaited appearance on Capitol Hill. The question now is what happens next? U.S.

President Donald Trump is claiming victory after the former special counsel testified about his report on Russian election interference and possible

acts of obstruction of justice.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The performance was obviously not very good. He had a lot of problems. But what he showed

more than anything else is that this whole thing has been three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country. And you know what, the

Democrats thought they could win an election like this. I think they hurt themselves very badly for 2020.


MACFARLANE: The President casting Mueller's testimony in partisan terms, and yet one of the biggest take a ways was a dire warning to all Americans.

Mueller says Russian election interference didn't only happen only in 2016.


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL COUNSEL: No, it wasn't a single attempt, they're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during

the next campaign.


MACFARLANE: Well Mueller was hesitant at times, referring repeatedly to his report. But right off the bat he knocked down two of Mr. Trump's

central claims.


[11:25:00] REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The report did not include that he did not commit obstruction of justice. Is that correct?

MUELLER: That is correct.

NADLER: And what about total exoneration? Did you actually totally exonerate the President?



MACFARLANE: Well Mueller also confirmed that a sitting President cannot be indicted because of Justice Department guidelines. But said Mr. Trump

could be charged after he leaves office. Republican lawmakers attacked Mueller's investigation as being unfair to Mr. Trump, some attacked the

special counsel himself.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): The fact that you ran it up two years means you perpetuated injustice. I yield back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman's time has expired.


MACFARLANE: Well we did learn a few new things, including that Mr. Trump may have lied under oath when answering Mueller's written questions.


REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Director Mueller, isn't it fair to say that the President's written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because

he didn't answer many of your questions, but where he did, his answers showed that he wasn't always being truthful?

MUELLER: I would say generally.


MACFARLANE: Well one Democratic committee chairman wrapped up the day by summarizing Mueller's key findings. That the Trump campaign welcomed

Russian election help and then lied to cover it up. Adam Schiff, trying to make the case that President Trump is unfit for office.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): From your testimony today I gather that you believe that knowingly accepting foreign assistance during a presidential

campaign is an unethical thing to do.

MUELLER: And a crime.

SCHIFF: And a crime.

MUELLER: Circumstances, yes. And a crime given certain circumstances.

SCHIFF: And to the degree that it undermines our democracy and our institutions, we can agree it is also unpatriotic.


SCHIFF: And wrong.


SCHIFF: The standard of behavior for a presidential candidate or any candidate for that matter shouldn't be whether something is criminal, they

should be held to a higher standard, you would agree?

MUELLER: I will not get into that. Because it goes to the standards to be applied by other institutions besides ours.

SCHIFF: I'm just referring to ethical standards. We should hold our elected officials to a standard higher than mere avoidance of criminality,

shouldn't we?

MUELLER: Absolutely.


MACFARLANE: Well Democrats are plotting the next move. With some urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to begin impeachment hearings. She's still

reluctant at this time but isn't ruling it out.

Coming up, an American rapper is being held in a Swedish jail and he's facing some serious charges. Why even the U.S. President's intervention

may not be enough to help ASAP Rocky.


[11:30:00] MACFARLANE: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Christina Macfarlane. Welcome back.

Now, I want to bring you back to our top story. A new government in the U.K., and a speech from the new Prime Minister just hours ago, outlining

his goals for the job. Boris Johnson holding firm in his hardline stance on Brexit, declaring that the U.K. must turbocharge its preparations. The

speech followed Mr. Johnson's first meeting with his new cabinet, filled with Brexiteers. Seventeen members of his former Prime Minister Theresa

May's cabinet either resigned or were sacked.

Now to Sweden, where a jailed American rapper is facing an assault trial next week. ASAP Rocky has been in custody since last month's

confrontation. What makes this notable though, is that U.S. President Donald Trump has personally called the Swedish Prime Minister on the

musician's behalf to try and secure his release.

We have new video of that confrontation and we have to warn you it's pretty graphic. Prosecutors say ASAP Rocky and two other men kicked and beat a

man with a glass bottle. The rapper's lawyer said he was acting in self- defense.

Our CNN's Melissa Bell spoke with ASAP Rocky's attorney and she joins us live from Stockholm. And, Melissa, first of all, do we have any indication

as to when the trial will take place? And how are the defense preparing to fight this?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: We do, Christina. It's going to take place next Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. And ASAP Rocky's lawyer said

that whilst he is disappointed about the charges being brought today, he also believes that once the evidence is presented to the judge next week,

the lawyer is going to do everything he can to have his client acquitted.


BELL (voice-over): 30-year-old American rapper ASAP Rocky has been charged with assault in Sweden. The country's public prosecutor says these images

of a street fight on June 30th, first posted by TMZ and widely circulated on the internet, are part of the evidence against ASAP Rocky. As are these

pictures just released today in court documents.

According to the prosecutor, the stills taken from surveillance cameras show ASAP Rocky and two members of his entourage assaulting a man by

kicking him and beating him with a glass bottle.

The 30-year-old rapper -- whose real name is Rakim Mayers -- was deemed a flight risk and has been in custody since July 3rd. His lawyer has

maintained that his client was defending himself after being assaulted and that he is innocent and acted in self-defense.

Among the 552 pages of court documents released today, images of the victim, Mustafa Jafari's injuries. Jafari is an Afghan national who moved

to Sweden in 2016. The investigation into his role in the brawl was dropped on Monday, according to the Swedish prosecutor. Jafari's lawyer

says his client is pleased with the outcome but traumatized by the events.

MAGNUS STROMBERG, MASTAFA JAFARI'S LAWYER: This is very difficult for him. When it comes to medical condition. This has been immensely stressful. He

has problems to sleep. So it's very, very difficult for him.

BELL: Today, the prosecutor said he based findings on videos already widely circulated, others not yet seen, as well as surveillance, CCTV

footage, and witness statements. The prosecution says a bottle was used to beat the victim, although police didn't find any DNA evidence on it.

Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump got involved, tweeting that he called the Swedish Prime Minister and offering to vouch for ASAP's bail

on Twitter, although Sweden doesn't have a bail system. The Prime Minister told the American President that the government wouldn't interfere in the

independent judicial process. We asked ASAP's lawyer what the rapper had made of that.

SLOBODAN JOVICIC, ASAP ROCKY'S LAWYER: I would say that he's very thankful for everybody that reached out and he's in a place where his total isolated

and get the info that he has. And I think it is better for him to come out and explain about his feelings.

[11:35:00] But on the other hand, we have put in a lot of time explaining the situation and the Swedish laws for our clients. So he was not

surprised and in anyways disappointed. I mean, he was disappointed last Friday when the court in spite of all of the evidence and good

argumentation let him stay in his cell.

BELL: ASAP Rocky's lawyers said that his client is trying to keep busy in jail, answering the many letters he's received as he awaits a trial that

will begin Tuesday.


BELL: And it could be some more time, Christina, before ASAP Rocky gets out of that detention, since there is the time of trial until next Friday.

Then the judge will have to decide whether he should be kept in jail longer. But a verdict could take another week beyond that, taking us to

Friday the 9th of August. So a long wait no doubt ahead for ASAP Rocky. His lawyer says all he wants really is to be able to get home -- Christina.

MACFARLANE: All right, Melissa with the update there from Stockholm. Melissa Bell, thank him you very much.

All right, still ahead.


MOSHE HOGEG, OWNER, BEITAR JERUSALEM: This small group effected the name of the hundreds of thousands of amazing football fans that are not racist

at all.


MACFARLANE: This owner of an Israel football team is determined to wipe out racism among fans. Even threatening to sue those who crossed the line.

We have more from Jerusalem coming up.


MACFARLANE: Welcome back. The owner of an Israeli football team is calling out some of his own fans for racism. A group of hard-core prep

supporters of Beitar Jerusalem say they don't want any Arabs or Muslims on their squad. An attitude this owner is trying to wipe out. Our Michael

Holmes reports.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is a piano playing high tech millionaire who decided to take on racist soccer fans by buying the team.

Beitar Jerusalem is one of Israel's top clubs, the only one never to sign an Arab Muslim player, and one with a history of racism from a vocal

segment of its fan base.

MOSHE HOGEG, OWNER, BEITAR JERUSALEM: I'm here to build a strong club, a defense club, a competitive club that is winning titles with football. But

at the same time to take this bad thing and take racism and cut it out of Beitar Jerusalem.

HOLMES: Moshe Hogeg has his work cut out for him. Beitar Jerusalem has been infamous for a small group of hardcore supporters called "La Familia".

Best known for their chance of death to Arabs.

HOGEG: They're racists and that's a big problem. In this small group effected the name of hundreds of thousands of amazing fans Beitar fans that

are not racist at all.

HOLMES: The fan record has improved two racist chants recorded in 2018, down from 17 the season prior. That's according to the NGO, the New Israel

Fund. But it's a new season and with it a new challenge, deciding if a player named Ali Mohamed, soon La Familia's chance against their own player


Mohamed is dead is what they're saying, Ali is dead.

(on camera): Now here's the thing. Not that it should matter, of course. But Ali Mohamed is neither Arab nor is he Muslim. He's from Niger and he

says he's a devout Christian. But because his name sounds Muslim, that's enough for some fans to want to change his name so they don't have to say


[11:40:00] (voice-over): The racist element is a minority, and at the club's first preseason practice, the Mohamed is dead and Ali is dead chants

were drowned out by other fans. And Moshe Hogeg says he's suing fans who cross the line.

HOGEG: I don't go to the police. I file a lawsuit of anywhere between a million shekel -- it is the equivalent of let's say $300,000, and up to

half a million dollars, on damaging, trying or damaging the reputation of the club.

HOLMES: Hogeg says his lawyers have sent warning letters to three fans, demanding an apology. The Beitar owner says if they don't come, he will

file the lawsuits. Ali Mohamed won't talk about fan racism. He wants his football to do the talking. And this happened when we tried to get La

Familia members to talk on camera.

At this practice La Familia members were present but overwhelmed by other fans making it clear Ali Mohamed is welcome at Beitar Jerusalem.

(on camera): What do you think of fans?


You can see for yourself. It is amazing. I didn't expect this.

HOLMES (voice-over): Moshe Hogeg admits it has been a tough fight, and it's not yet won. He even contemplated selling the club, but he hasn't.

Instead, he waits for one moment that will make his fight worthwhile.

HOGEG: When Mohamed will score a goal, you will hear them all standing and cheering for him. I think it will be an historic moment for this club, an

important one.

HOLMES: Michael Holmes, CNN, Jerusalem.


MACFARLANE: And a final note for you. Tunisia is first democratically elected President has died. At 92 President Beji Caid Essebsi was the

oldest sitting president. He came to the presidency in 2014 in the country's first free presidential election. The election followed the

turmoil of Arab Spring which began in Tunisia. The Tunisia's Parliament Speaker is being sworn in as interim president. And officials say a

presidential election will be held before the scheduled November date.

Well that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much for watching. Up next, here CNN "WORLD SPORT" with my colleague Rhiannon Jones.

[11:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)