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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

U.N.: Millions Face Hunger Risk; Migrant Caravan Heads To U.S.; Biden Meets Bolsonaro. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired June 09, 2022 - 17:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Hello and a very warm welcome, everyone. I'm Isa Soares in London. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

We'll begin with a stark warning from the United Nations. The war in Ukraine could push 47 million more people into acute food insecurity.

Then, thousands of migrants are headed to the U.S.-Mexican border, after they say the caravan may be one of the largest in recent years.

And U.S. President Joe Biden will meet his Brazilian counterpart for the very first time. That's days after Jair Bolsonaro called Biden's election

victory, quote, suspicious.

We'll begin, though, with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying the fate of the entire Donbas could hinge on the battle for


And while Ukrainian forces are massively outgunned in that city, they say they can end the tide within days if the West sends badly needed long-range

artillery. A commander says Ukraine is drawing Russian forces into street battles in Severodonetsk to try to neutralize their artillery advantage.

President Zelenskyy is praising his troops for holding on.

Have a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We defend our positions, inflict significant losses on the enemy. This is a very fierce battle, very

difficult, probably one of the most difficult throughout this war. I'm grateful to everyone who defends this direction. In many ways, the fate of

our Donbas is decided there.


SOARES: Well, that's Severodonetsk, where Ukraine says the counteroffensive is getting around in Kherson. But Russia is already moving

to cement its hold on this southern region. A Russian appointed local official says, quote, integration with Russia is now underway.

Russia also tightening its control over occupied Mariupol, saying in the south. An advisor to the exiled Ukrainian mayor says local officials have

started paying pensioners in rubles.

Meanwhile, the UK is condemning death sentences for three foreign fighters in Ukraine, calling a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy. A court

in the pro-Russian self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic found two Britons and a Moroccan guilty of mercenary activities. Ukraine says it

considers foreign volunteers to be members of its armed forces, thereby entitled to combatant protections under, of course, the Geneva Conventions.

Let's get more on all of this, go live to Ukraine. Our Matthew Chance joins me now from Kryvyi Rih.

And, Matthew, it does sound, as we heard from Zelenskyy, that like Ukrainian forces could be on the ropes in the east, in Severodonetsk. Given

us a sense of what is happening now, whether civilians have been able to get out.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, Isa, there's been very fierce fighting for several weeks now centered

around Severodonetsk, which is the last town in the Luhansk region in Donbas, which is so nominally, at least, in Ukrainian government control.

That seems to be in question over the course of the past 24 hours of fighting, where we understand that Ukrainian forces have been on the back

foot, Russian forces have been pressing home their artillery advantage, and basically, for all intents and purposes, taking control of the city.

It would be an important victory for the Russians because, as I say, it is that last population said in the Luhansk region that they would bring under

their control. Luhansk is, of course, half of the Donbas area. Donbas is what Russia says is its military priority and what it calls its special

military operation.

And so, achieving that victory, say, would be a political win for the Russians. It's something the Ukrainians have been trying, you know, tooth

and nail to prevent the Russians from achieving. And that's why we've seen such drawn out battles in that region.

But the Ukrainians, acknowledging within the course of the past day, that they will have to consider a tactical retreat as they call it. Although in

principle, they are unlikely to announce that they are giving up any hope of winning back the city. But the facts are that they are heavily

outnumbered there and at the moment, send very little chance of turning the tide.

SOARES: Matthew Chance there for us -- thanks very much, Matthew.

Well, 47 million more people are projected to be pushed into acute food insecurity this year because of Russia's war in Ukraine. That is according

to a new U.N. report, which projected the global impact of Ukraine and Russia's disrupted agricultural production, and exports, as well as those

rising energy prices that we've been telling you about.


And, of course, it is always the most vulnerable who are pushed even further over the edge. With the report warning that the 20 countries most

severely impacted by food insecurity are set to deteriorate even further from now through to September this year.

While food insecurity over in recent years has been on a dangerous trajectory, many other -- such as extreme weather events and COVID, of

course, vanquishing the developing world's basic needs.

Simply put, the war in Ukraine right now is only accelerating an issue that has already desperately needed global action.

Let me give you Afghanistan as an example. Following the Taliban takeover last year, if you remember, it has today been updated the highest level

alert of food insecurity. With a number of people impacted projected to increase by 60 percent over the next three months, and comparison to the

same period last year. And as those living through this reality explain, the cost of basic food is already unattainable. Have a listen.


SHAFI, GRAIN FOOD STORE OWNER (through translator): The rice price was around 80 cents to $1.1 U.S. dollars per kilogram, and it is now surged to

around $1.7 to $2.2 per kilogram. The best quality rice is now sold at about $2, to $2.2 per kilogram.

ABDUL SHUKOOR, VEGETABLE VENDOR (through translator): I have two sons and six daughters. One of my sons died from illness. I can only make around $56

to $67 each month, which is far from being enough to support the livelihood and subsistence of my family, and to take good care of my kids.


SOARES: Well, Russia's war on Ukraine, as we've been explaining, is one of the many factors aggravating the dire situation there.

Afghanistan, like many other countries in the Middle East and Africa, remain heavily reliant on reporter food. It could also see humanitarian

aid, diverted and dried up, as the global community can continue to shift its focus, as well as funds, of course, to Ukraine.

And that is just one country, it's worth remember, one country. The story is sadly seeing many parts of the developing world. The U.N. secretary

general, Antonio Guterres, warned just yesterday that the current prices about lack of access to food, but next year -- this is very important --

next years could be about lack of food altogether.

So, how anything can the world changed the path ahead?

Well, Canada is one of the world's biggest wheat exporters, with farmers now being urged to grow more grain. However, that is, of course, easier

said than done.

To discuss a solution as well as limitations of the global food crisis, I'm joined now by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, Melanie Joly, who joins

me from Los Angeles.

Minister, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us of such an important issue, an issue that, of course, we have been covering for

sometime -- myself included when I was out in Ukraine.

But as we just outlined, Minister, once again, it is the world's poorest who risk becoming collateral damage, almost. Is enough being done at a

global level to try and avert an escalation to this food crisis?

MELANIE JOLY, CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, thank you for this very important question. Indeed, we need to make sure that we put maximum

pressure right now on Putin to make sure that he is able -- to make sure that he is able that Ukrainian imports are able to send Ukraine greens

across the board, which is the Middle East and Africa.

So, Isa, the issue we have right now is that Russia is at the table, but it's not negotiating in good faith. And so, that's why Canada and other

countries are really trying not only to help the Ukrainian Party at the table, but I've had conversations with Secretary General Guterres about

this issue, I had also conversations with the head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, regarding this very important issue because we

absolutely need to find a diplomatic solution.

And meanwhile, back home in Canada, we've increased our production. We hope that Mother Nature is on our side. Farmers are in their fields, working

extremely hard right now. But, of course, we know the magnitude of this crisis is -- needs more than just Canada participating, but also, making

sure that many nations are at the table.

SOARES: Let me break down some of what you just said there, minister. And focus really on your first point, which is the pressure on Russia. Because

as we have seen, Russia is not only just blocking these ports in the Black Sea, it is also stealing tons of grain, as much as 600,000 tons of grain

last time our reporter did several weeks ago.


What logistical support in particular can the international community offer Ukraine here? Are there any ways to get the green out? I mean, give me a

sense of what is being considered.

JOLY: Well, there are different routes that are being considered. The European Union is looking at different groups through train, through

trucks, through barges also that could lead up to Constanta, which is very important Romanian port to be a hub for the fact of shipping cereals and

grains around the world.

But fundamentally, a lot of the greens right now are in Odesa, are in the port of Mykolaiv, and they are already stored there. And since they are

stored, and since the logistics of the routes is far from being perfect on the infrastructure side, we need to do both things -- work with the EU,

work with Romania, sent ships. Canada is willing to send ships.

But at the same time, we need to make sure that the Russian, the Ukrainians, the Turks, and any other allies, are participating in this

dialogue and this negotiation that is undergoing with the U.N. It's extremely important.

And fundamentally, Russia needs to let go any form of targeting. Obviously, needs to leave Ukraine, but they need also to let go any form of targeting

of Odesa and Mykolaiv, they need to. This is a question of saving 49 million people from famine.

SOARES: Yeah, unfortunately the meeting that we saw between Lavrov, Sergey Lavrov, and Turkey, I believe it was yesterday in Turkey did not yield

much, in terms of results. So on the diplomatic front, you know, you need a fast decision, of course.

You talked about the logistical aspect of the production side, but let's talk about, you know, you mentioned Canada being the world's biggest wheat

exporter. Can -- what can it do, Minister, to kind of help with that shortage because that is another aspect of this?

JOLY: We are doing what we can with the circumstances. Obviously, we have increased our productions, like I mentioned. We will be willing to export.

But also, we need to work as a country with the World Food Programme. We are the fourth biggest donor of the World Food Programme.

We need to step up to the plate. I think we've done a lot. We need to do more. We will do more.

And this is certainly a focus of our conversations here right now, where I am in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas because what is happening

in Ukraine it's having an impact on food prices around the world. And it's having an impact on inflation, on gas prices.

And so from household in Chile to the household in Canada, to a family in Senegal, or in Lebanon, everybody is having -- is living through the

negative impacts of Putin's war of choice in Ukraine.

SOARES: And the ripple effect, like I said, have been peeing felt all over the world. I remember Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission chief,

said something like, this is a cold, callous, and calculated siege by Putin.

So, I mean, Minister, Putin does not seem to be deterred by sanctions. So, what else can you do on that front?

JOLY: Well, actually, we've announced, Isa, important sanctions yesterday. For the first time, Canada is going really after the fact that oil and gas

and chemical sector in Russia is really fueling his war machine. It's 50 percent of all his revenues.

So, now, our sanctions are targeting the professional service sector and therefore, Canadians working in the marketing, communications, accounting,

and many other professional services will not be able to service the oil, gas, and chemical industry of Russia.

We hope that we can work with other countries of the G7 to continue to isolate economically and put pressure on Russia. Meanwhile, we are

continuing to first help on the negotiation side, like you are saying, regarding the food crisis. I was on the phone with the minister of foreign

affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, who is a good friend of mine. Even yesterday, we talked about it.

And at the same time, we need to send more weapons. We are sending heavy artillery, and I had also a good conversation with Tony Blinken a bit

earlier yesterday about this very issue.

SOARES: A lot going on at the moment. Of course, not just like we said, not just happening in Ukraine, but the impacts, the ripple effect right

around the world.


Melanie Joly, Canada's minister of foreign affairs -- thank you very much, Minister. We appreciate you taking the time to speak to us on the show.

JOLY: Thank you. Thank you.

SOARES: And coming up -- and coming up next, as Biden gives -- to meet Jair Bolsonaro, a caravan of migrants makes its way to the U.S.-Mexico

border. Bring you that story, next.


SOARES: Now, you are looking at a video of an estimated 5,000 migrants who are currently heading to the U.S. border from Mexico. They land it at a

southern town in Mexico, according to CNN en Espanol who have been reporting on the scene -- at the scene, pardon me. The caravan made up of

Venezuelan, Cuban and Central Americans citizens began to trek on Monday morning, walking in intense heat as well as rain.

President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a new declaration of migration at the Summit of the Americas detailing the country's responsibility amid the

ongoing migrant crisis.

CNN correspondent Matt Rivers is on the border in Tijuana, Mexico, with more on the migrant caravan.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, this is the entrance to one of the busiest migrant shelters along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. This is

called the Agape Mision Mundial shelter. It's Tijuana, Mexico. And it is jam-packed with people.

More than 400 people are staying here at the moment. Certainly, it's not designed to house that many people. They are all over the place, migrants.


People are, you know, crowding this entire area. This building, to your left, has two floors. People are staying in both sides there. There are

kitchens set up in various parts. Everyone is trying to help each other out.

So, really, just survive here in Tijuana, Mexico. This kind of a scene, overcrowded migrant shelters, is something that we have been seeing a lot

over the blast few years, specifically in the last few months. The number of people arriving all across the U.S. Mexico border from other parts of

the world, those numbers have been staggering as of late.


I mean, we can show you down here, this is a permanent fixed facility, and yet these tents were put up just the last couple of months to accommodate

some of the overflow. People have come from all over the world, everywhere from Haiti to Venezuela and then to countries in Central America.

For example, people have come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, even other parts of Mexico. And I specifically mention those four countries

because the Biden administration had really hoped that the presidents of those four countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, would

all be attending the currently ongoing Summit of Americas in California right now.

And yet, the presidents of all four countries declined to attend. The Biden administration hoped that they would show up to tackle issues like

immigration, without those presidents there. It gives you a sense of how much more difficult it will be for the Biden administration to

comprehensively discuss issues surrounding immigration at the summit, a real challenge for the administration.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.


SOARES: Well, in just over an hour's time, U.S. President Joe Biden will meet his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, for the first time. It's

likely to be an awkward meeting, as the pair have not seen eye to eye. But both leaders have ulterior motives. Bolsonaro is trying to boost his image

ahead of a campaign. Biden is attempting to rescue a summit, as you heard from Matt Rivers there, really mired in controversy.

Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All of us here in Los Angeles are here for a simple reason. We believe in the incredible economic

potential of Americas. I know I do. We all do. I mean, it's -- I -- I just think the potential is unlimited.


SOARES: And just to bring you an update, really, President Joe Biden has told CNN in the last half hour or so that he was not concerned about

boycotts from leaders, including, of course, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and the other Central American leaders who did not --

who decided not to show up or were not invited at the Summit of the Americas.

One person is there, of course, Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil.

Shasta Darlington joins me now live from Sao Paulo.

So, Shasta, look, these two leaders could not be any more different. They don't really see eye to eye on many things, including policy. I think it's

fair to say.

So, what does Bolsonaro want to get out of this meeting beside, of course, an election boost?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, the two leaders are going to have their first face-to-face meeting, their sit-down talk just a short

while from now. Well you said, they do not have a lot in common, they both have something to gain from the encounter. For Bolsonaro, it's an attempt

to look statesman-like and distance himself from this reputation that he has built up as a pariah on the international stage.

This is important because there are presidential elections coming up here in October. His main rival, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from the left wing

Workers Party, has been flexing his muscles as a global player in recent months. He has been showing up at international events, weighing in on key

issues. He even appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine.

So, this is Bolsonaro's chance to show that he is up to the task of negotiating trade and talking big issues with heavyweights like Biden. Now,

as far as Biden is concerned, he has not had a whole lot of time with Bolsonaro up until now. But, now he is turned to the Brazilian president to

salvage the summit itself, as many regional leaders had pulled out of the event.

And so, while in the past, Biden has been critical of Bolsonaro's lack commitment to environmental goals, today, they are expected to talk about

the environment and alternative energy sources, in a more cordial setting. They will come up would more joint proposals.

A CNN affiliate spoke to Bolsonaro ahead of the meeting and he said he's optimistic the two -- the meeting will bring the two countries closer

together, Isa.

SOARES: Yeah, it might be somewhat awkward, of course, given what we heard from Bolsonaro in the last few weeks when he cast doubt, of course, from

President Biden's election win. But we shall keep an eye on it.

Shasta, always great to have you on the show. Thanks very much. Shasta Darlington there for us in Sao Paulo.

Well, people are protesting outside the Brazilian embassy in London, drawing attention to the disappearance of British journalist Don Phillips

and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, a story that we have been on top of all this week. They went missing after traveling a remote area of the

Amazon to report on indigenous communities, and their loved ones aren't satisfied with the Brazilian government's search efforts.

We spoke to Phillips's sister Sian yesterday. Today, she joined the protests, as you can see there, demanding the authorities to do more. You

can watch our full interview with Sian and her partner Paul Sherwood online at

We're going to take a quick look at other key stories making international headlines today.


Iran has begun removing security cameras from nuclear facilities that they had installed under the 2015 nuclear agreement. The International Atomic

Energy Agency chief said that if Iran continues, it could deal a fatal blow to the future of the pack, which was abandoned by the U.S. under the Trump

administration. The IAEA chief says negotiations to revive the deal are, quote, in a tense situation.

Hundreds of people are celebrating pride month in Kosovo's capital in the country's sixth gay pride parade. Activists say that they hope to see

greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in the deeply conservative society. In March, Kosovo lawmakers failed to pass an amendment that would have

permitted same-sex civil unions.

Thailand has become the first nation in Asia to allow the growing marijuana and consumption of in food and drinks. However, smoking marijuana is still

illegal. Thailand is limiting the number of THC in its cannabis, making it difficult to get a high of the drug.

And one of probably my son's favorite stories of the day, paleontologists on England's Isle of Wight have discovered the remains of a dinosaur larger

than any known in Europe. Based on the back, hip and tell bones of the dinosaur, it may have lived up to over 125 million years ago. It was more

than 33 feet long. The Isle of Wight has become really a hotbed for dinosaur remains. The researchers have made two similar discoveries on the

island last year.

In the coming hours right here on CNN, we will bring you live coverage of the January six committee hearing, covering the 2021 instruction that

disrupted Congress counting of electoral votes after 2020 presidential election. And that starts less than two hours from now, 7:00 p.m. if you're

watching in Washington, midnight here in London and 3:00 a.m. if you're up for us in Abu Dhabi.

And that does it for me here on the show. Thank you for your company. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, bye-bye.