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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Wildfires Across Europe Force Tens Of Thousands From Homes; Heat Wave In Greenland Causes Unprecedented Melting; COVID Testing Staff, Patients In China At Risk Amid Heat Wave; Ukraine's First Lady Asks Congress For More Weapons; Sunak & Truss Become Final Two Candidates; British Govt. Unveils Women's Health Strategy For England. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired July 20, 2022 - 17:00   ET




BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London and this is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Ahead, Southern Europe is on fire as ice caps in Greenland melt at an unprecedented rate. The climate crisis on red alert. Then COVID health

workers are fainting in China's heat wave while trying to implement lockdown rules. Plus, I didn't learn that in medical school, we debrief on

the medical gender gap as the U.K. government launches its first ever Women's Health Strategy.

Unrelenting heat raging wildfires, melting icecaps. We begin with a world on red alert from Southern Europe to Greenland to Asia and the U.S.

Tonight's global climate briefing will look at a crisis that scientists are warning could only get worse. We start in Europe, where nearly 20 countries

are currently under a heat alert. In some places, conditions are so dangerous that they're considered life threatening.

Italy, Greece and Spain are fighting to contain blazing wildfires, while evacuating hundreds of their residents. And while the extreme heatwave

seems to be moving east away from the U.K., London fire brigade said it experienced its busiest day since World War II on Tuesday.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more for us.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: It was a long night for firefighters in Greece as they battled to save this neighborhood on the outskirts of

Athens, where hundreds were evacuated from their homes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Our first priority remains the protection of human life, but also the protection of critical

infrastructures of public property.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Europeans are grappling with a climate reality that brings new risks to this region. Spain's emergency unit worked through the

night to contain this active wildfire, while some two dozen other fires force people out of their homes. On a visit to the affected province,

Spain's Prime Minister urged extreme caution in the days ahead.

PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translation): During this heatwave, according to figures, data shows that more than 500 people have

died due to the high temperatures, in addition to what we are facing as a consequence of the wildfires.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): And after reaching record breaking temperatures, today Britain's woke up to cooler weather, but also the devastating

aftermath of wildfires in suburbs and villages around London. Tuesday, the London fire brigade was stretched to the limit facing with the mayor called

their busiest day since World War II.

A 75-year-old resident shared this video of his burnt out horse stables.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got really but more so got over the people whose last year's isn't all there. You know, I mean, they've lost their homes and

things like that there, which is, you know, terrible.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Local officials are scrambling to prepare for further extreme weather.

RAY MORGON, COUNCILOR FOR HAVERING: Because we do know extreme weather is going to be hit in the U.K. more and more as years go by, down in this part

of Havering, we've had quite a few occasions where flooding has been an issue when people have had their homes completely flooded. And we've had

that kind of devastation yesterday with unprecedented.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Wildfires that ravaged through forest in a region near Bordeaux and France burned land more than twice the size of Paris. But

today, one small sign of relief. Those fires have now stalled, official figures show. Visiting the devastated region of Gironde, French President

Emmanuel Macron thanked the firefighters for their bravery.

As record temperatures were set across the region this week, Germany is bracing for the possibility of even hotter weather. One thing is certain,

the heatwave is far from over.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Wennington.


NOBILO: As we see these extreme weather events, we're also seeing sea levels rise as ice caps melt at an unprecedented rate. And that is not

being alarmist, it is what's happening right in front of us. As CNN's Rene Marsh reports, the current heatwave in Europe is having ripple effects on

Greenland's ice and the future of our coasts.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (through translation): Off the coast of Northwest Greenland, the water is perfectly still, but paddling on icebergs

indicate a transformation is underway. That's the sound of rapid melting, triggered by a few days of unusually warm temperatures. During CNN's first

three days in northern Greenland, the temperature topped out nearly 10 degrees higher than normal.

(on-camera): It's days like today warm enough to wear short sleeves, near 60 degrees in Greenland. It's a high melt day when it's this unusually warm

and it's also deeply concerning for scientists.


KUTALMIS SAYLAM, RESEARCH SCIENTIST, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-AUSTIN: It definitely worries me. We are at 67 latitude here on top of the world in

North Pole. And we could just, yesterday especially not today, but yesterday we could wander around in our T-shirts. That was not really


ASLAK GRINSTED, CLIMATE SCIENTIST: It's basically at the melting point today. As you can see now we can make snowballs.

MARSH (voice-over): At a research site in northeast Greenland, near melt conditions at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet made what's usually a

frozen landing strip inoperable.

GRINSTED: They have a problem when it's this soft as the surface is now.

MARSH (voice-over): Climate scientist Aslak Grinsted tweeting, "Mini heatwave. Negative 1.6 degrees Celsius in the middle of the Greenland ice

sheet. Our planned planes are postponed because our skiway is not that good when it is this warm."

Unable to fly out, the scientist pass the time playing volleyball in shorts atop the ice sheet.


MARSH (voice-over): Pre-global warming, Grinsted says, temperatures near 32 degrees Fahrenheit at this altitude were unheard of. The National Snow and

Ice Data Center tells CNN from July 15th through 17th alone, a melt surge in northern Greenland caused ice sheet runoff of about 6 billion tons of

water per day. That's about the volume of 2.4 million Olympic sized pools. But another way, enough water to flood the entire state of West Virginia

with 1 foot of water in three days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The amount of melt from the iceberg was, to us, was very surprising because it was very warm back. You could even hear the iceberg

just melting in front of our eyes.

MARSH (voice-over): Research scientists tell CNN this extent of melt in North Greenland this past week is quite unusual and will contribute to

global sea level rise, which impacts coastal communities half a world away.


NOBILO: That was CNN's Rene Marsh reporting.

On the other side of the planet, dozens of cities across China are under heat warnings as temperatures soar. It's putting extreme pressure on people

that are required to wait in long lines for mandatory COVID tests. Especially healthcare staff, who have to spend hours in the sun, as you can

see right there.

Selina Wang has this story.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Scorching temperatures sweep over China turning mass COVID testing into a dangerous task. State media

shows COVID workers collapsing on the job due to what the video say are heatstroke.

In eastern China, a COVID worker vomits on the ground as colleagues rush to tear off her hazmat suit. Unable to stand, she's carried away. It's a scene

playing out across China -- fainting, falling, crumpling on the ground, lying motionless, struggling to breathe. The COVID workers long hours in

this suffocating heat made worse by their head to toe full body protective gear.

That is not water, according to state media, it's sweat gushing out of this workers hazmat suit. The sweat pools inside the protective gear, lining the

inside of the rubber gloves. The surging temperatures coinciding with surging COVID cases.

(on-camera): Cities across China, including here in Beijing require a recent COVID test in order to enter any public area. That means everyone,

young, old and sick, all have to wait in long lines like these in the brutal heat.

DAVID, BEIJING RESIDENT: It's really hot frustrated and, you know, exhausting and you feel like -- and a lot of times you'll feel anxious

because you have things to do.

WANG (voice-over): To survive, COVID workers are getting creative, hugging giant blocks of ice placing them on their backs, laps and feet. Colleagues

rub ice on each other and tape ice cold water bottles to themselves. Some authorities have now said COVID workers can wear PPE that does not cover

their entire bodies.

Dozens of cities have been experiencing record high temperatures. Last week, more than 80 cities issued red alert with some locking temperatures

of more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit. In central China, a museum closed after the roof melted. In Nanjing, the city opened underground air raid

shelters for people to escape the heat.

Meanwhile, crops are withering and dying under the high temperatures. The soil parched and cracked. The damage to China's crop production threatens

to push up inflation, putting more pressure on an economy already devastated by the pandemic. But in zero-COVID China, even health care

workers hospitalized from heat exhaustion get a positive spin from authorities.

This propaganda video shows government officials visiting COVID workers in the intensive care unit. While showing the motionless patients in bed, the

video rallies people to work together for victory against COVID.

Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.



NOBILO: The brutal temperatures across Europe and Asia also scorching parts of the United States. 100 million Americans in the South Midwest and

southwest are feeling the heat, with temperatures in the mid-40s in Phoenix and Las Vegas and even 30 in North Dakota. And in high humidity and heat

advisors are posted for New York and Washington, D.C. as well. It comes as U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a climate speech on Wednesday, at a

former coal fired power plant site that's converting to a wind energy factory.

Opposition from a key coal state Democrat and a recent Supreme Court ruling have kept his once ambitious climate agenda on ice. But Mr. Biden defiantly

said that he will use his executive authority to encourage clean energy development and help communities cope with climate changes impacts.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President, I, have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear

and present danger. And that's what climate change is about. It is literally not figuratively a clear and present danger.


NOBILO: The wife of Ukraine's president is putting a human face on Russia's brutal war against her people. Olena Zelenska addressed U.S. lawmakers on

Capitol Hill Wednesday, showing pictures of victims, young and old. She said that she came to Washington not as a First Lady, but as a daughter and

a mother, and said that all of Ukraine is completely broken by the loss of life and destruction.


OLENA ZELENSKA, UKRAINIAN FIRST LADY (through translation): And I appeal to all of you on behalf of those who were killed, on behalf of those people

who lost their arms and legs, on behalf of those who are still alive and well and those who wait for their families to come back from the front. I'm

asking for something now. I would never want to ask. I'm asking for weapons.


NOBILO: Her plea came hours after a Russian attack on the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine. A local military official says three people were

killed including a 13-year-old boy. Authority say that two other people were killed in another attack, this time in Nikopol, in the southern part

of the country.

And the White House is putting out a warning that Russia appears to be planning to annex more parts of Ukraine, following the playbook it used to

annex Crimea back in 2014.

CNN's Ivan Watson is at a steel plant in southern Ukraine where the country's industry is barely holding on.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the Arsenal metal mining and steel works. The heat being generated from this blast

furnace. We can feel it here, it's more than 2,100 degrees Celsius. This is an enormous industrial plant that employs more than 26,000 people. And

before the war, produced more than 6 million tons of steel a year. But the Ukrainian government accuses Russia of waging a hybrid, military and

economic war on this country and it's put this entire plant in jeopardy.

This cavernous facility is now largely inactive. In fact, since the Russian invasion, the company has turned off three of the factories' blast

furnaces. And turning these things off isn't like flipping a light switch. It is a long procedure. It takes about a week as one employee here puts it,

it's like trying to extinguish the hearts of an active volcano.

This steelworks is only operating at about 30 percent capacity right now. Some 2,000 of its employees are now serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces,

at least 14 of them are believed to have been killed in the fighting. The war has made a mess of the company's supply chain. And the front lines?

They're only about 50 kilometers, some 30 miles away from this facility. And despite all of these risks and threats, the management of this company

vows to try to remain operational.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.

NOBILO: Still ahead, a blow by blow account of leadership battles and changes around the world right now, from London to Colombo and there I am

boxing (ph).



NOBILO: Let's take a look at the other stories making international impact today by focusing on updates about leadership around the world beginning in

Sri Lanka, which has elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as its next president. He moves to the top job having been Prime Minister over six different terms.

Sri Lanka was thrust into political uncertainty last week after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to Singapore and resigned.

And in Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has just won a confidence motion in the Upper House Senate. The votes was split 95 to 38 in his favor, but

three of the main coalition parties refused to take part in the vote at all. Meaning, Mr. Draghi's administration could still face collapse.

And here in Britain, it's down to the final two in the race to become the country's next prime minister. The former chancellor Rishi Sunak will

square off with Ex-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. It's been a brawl ever since the candidates threw their hat into the room. So what better place

than London's oldest boxing gym to size up the competition?


NOBILO (voice-over): Knives out, bitter rivalries. The battle for Britain's Prime Minister is now in the knockout round. First up, the establishment

candidate Rishi Sunak, slick some say to slick former chancellor worked in investment banking, Oxford and Stanford educated, fiscal conservatives,

calling tax cut promises --


NOBILO (voice-over): In the other corner, hawkish Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who says that she'll call Putin out directly. Remainer turned

Brexiteer, libertarian, pro-tax cuts, sometimes gaffe-prone.

LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: In December, I'll be in Beijing, opening up new pork markets.

NOBILO (voice-over): Held several high profile government positions and claims --

TRUSS: I am ready to be Prime Minister from day one.

NOBILO (voice-over): It's been a dizzying fortnight in British politics. First, the resignation of Boris Johnson.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH PM: But them's the breaks.

NOBILO (voice-over): Triggering a leadership contest in which candidates pounded each other.

10 days of knockouts and dropouts, as conservative members of parliament voted in five rounds, shrinking a field of 11 potential Prime Ministers to

two, choosing not just a leader of their party, but a prime minister too. The public punch up within the Tory party has been nothing but damaging.


TRUSS: Rishi, you have raised taxes to the highest level in 70 years.

SUNAK: OK, this tax, that tax and another tax and it will all be OK. But you know what? It won't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's why we have done at the right (INAUDIBLE).

SUNAK: I've been on the front line in Afghanistan and Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not in government.

SUNAK: This not just wrong. It's dangerous.

FREDDY GRAY, DEPUTY EDITOR, THE SPECTATOR: It is a fight to the death. It's a political death match. And we're now into the final two. And given how

nasty it's been so far, I think we can only expect it to get nastier.

NOBILO (voice-over): Who wins the last round will be up to less than 200,000 Conservative Party members.

(on-camera): Rishi Sunak is the clear favorite. He's had MPs in his corner from the start, but having served as Boris Johnson's Chancellor for two

years, he is most closely associated with them.

Liz Truss This trust is often compared to Margaret Thatcher, the iron lady. She has been emphasizing traditional conservatism to mop up votes on right.

Sunak and Truss pull neck and neck with party membership, so this will be a close one.

(voice-over): The countdown is on until the 5th of September when the next prime minister will be announced. The head to head contest likely to become

an even bloodier brawl.


NOBILO: The British government has just unveiled a new health strategy for England and for the first time it focuses exclusively on women. It's an

attempt to close the long-standing healthcare gap. Now women make up 51 percent of England's population, but they are disadvantaged by a male

centric system. Women's health needs are often poorly understood by doctors, not well studied in clinical trials. The government's new plan

includes educating healthcare professionals on female specific health needs, and improving access to fertility and gynecological care.

In today's health debrief, we're looking at how the gender gap puts women's lives at risk. And to do that Dr. Hazel Wallace is an NHS medical doctor

and nutritionist and author of "The Female Factor," a book that examines the medical gender gap, is here with us. Hazel, thanks for joining us


DR. HAZEL WALLACE, NHS MEDICAL DOCTOR: Thank you for having me.

NOBILO: Now, women's health doesn't just refer to reproductive health, of course. And in your book, one of the examples that you gave was heart

disease. All of the research and diagnostic tests are male based, making it harder to diagnose women and you wrote that I wasn't aware in medical

school of that and you hope that the future medics will be. Can you walk us through your personal experience of witnessing this medical gender gap?

WALLACE: Yes, absolutely. Well, as a woman, myself, and a doctor to many women, I realized that there is this unmet need in medicine and healthcare.

Researchers historically based on male bodies, male cells, male mice, and excludes females with the assumption that women are just smaller men, which

is absolutely not true. And this means that women are being misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, understudied, and undertreated for not just conditions that

affect women like endometriosis and the menopause, but also things that affect both sexes, like heart disease that you mentioned.

So a woman is 1.5 times more likely to be misdiagnosed when having a heart attack than a man. And that's not just down to biology. It's also down to

the biases that we hold about what men experience or what women experience as well.

NOBILO: And now there's a huge gap, gender gap between men and women, but it's even worse statistically speaking for women of color, why is that?

WALLACE: I think again, it's mostly down to the biases that we have. It's down to disparities within healthcare. And it's a top down approach that we

need to look at. So having the strategy come out today, I think, is a really good stepping stone. It's really exciting to see that women's health

is on the agenda. But like you said, I think we need to see more done for women who are in situations where their health needs are not being met,

whether that's because they're living in socially deprived areas, or women of color.

NOBILO: And to make progress, whether it's structurally or in more of a micro sense, from your perspective, what needs to be done to close this

gender gap?

WALLACE: I think it needs to start from research. And it's been great to see in recent years that more women are being recruited to studies and

researchers now have to show that they are doing that and that they're making their studies fair and inclusive. But the timeline between

publishing research and actually doing research and that changing clinical practice takes years. So it's great to see in the strategy that they hope

to change medical school curriculum, so that our future doctors are more aware of these disparities between men and women.

And again, fully understand that there may be differences and how we treat men and women and that women may require different tests, different

diagnostic tests, different treatments and also again going back to the biases we hold about women, not dismissing them, not feeling -- not letting

women feel like they're not being heard or that the symptoms that they have are not important.


NOBILO: And how big is that problem? Do you notice that with your male or even female colleagues that they can be dismissive of issues that might be

specifically female and more underresearched?

WALLACE: I think it's a very sinister undercurrent that we're not completely aware of. I don't think that women are being intentionally

poorly treated within hospitals. But there's research to say that women are more likely to be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, when they're

actually experiencing a physical problem. So there's definitely something going on there, whether we're aware of it or not.

And in the Women's Health Strategy, which came out today, the survey that informed that strategy, 84 percent of women said that they weren't -- they

felt like they weren't heard by their doctor. And that just really highlights the problem that exists. Females don't feel like when they go to

their GPs that they are getting listened to. And again, it's not the fault of one doctor, one person, it's that this is ingrained for years, centuries

of research, centuries of medical guidelines that we have in place that are male centric, and do not support female health.

NOBILO: Well, it's great that we have people like you working on this and being an advocate for these issues. Dr. Hazel Wallace, thank you so much

for joining us.

WALLACE: Thank you.

NOBILO: And there really is always more time to learn. Age is just a number for Italy's oldest graduate. at the grand age of 98, Giuseppe Paterno has

received his master's degree from the University of Palermo, proving that you're never too old to go back to school, but he's not done yet. Next,

Paterno plans to write a novel using his beloved typewriter, the one he's been using since 1984.

Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF, and "WORLD SPORT" is up to you next.