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Ukrainian Teams Dispose of Unexploded Mines; Swedish Kurds on Edge as NATO Bid Sparks Dispute with Turkey; UNHCR: 100+ Million People Have Fled Their Homes Globally; Gustavo Petro Elected to Lead Colombia; Deadly Monsoon Flooding Strikes Bangladesh and India; Biden Administration Says Recession Not Inevitable; Second Day of Mass Testing in Macao Amid COVID Case Surge. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 00:00   ET



ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. Live from Hong Kong, I'm Anna Coren, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


Coming up, the long and arduous process of making neighborhoods safe again in Ukraine. We'll look at the efforts to neutralize unexploded mines.

One hundred million people displaced around the globe, a staggering number we'll explore in depth on this World Refugee Day.

And deadly monsoon rains in Bangladesh and India impact millions.

We begin in Ukraine, a country torn apart by Russia's ongoing war, even as it pushes to secure a new post=war future. Ukraine's president is framing the coming week as one of the most critical in the country's history.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Tomorrow, a truly historic week begins, a week when we will hear the answer for the European Union on the candidate status for Ukraine. We already have a positive decision from the European Commission, and at the end of the new week, there will be a response from the European Council.


COREN: The support of E.U. leaders would be an early step in a membership process that often takes years. Mr. Zelenskyy warns the move could bring even more attacks from Moscow.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): We should expect greater hostile activity from Russia. Purposefully, demonstratively, this week exactly. And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.


COREN: Well, those warnings come as fierce fighting continues in Eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and the critical study of Severodonetsk. While fighting has raged there for weeks, as Russian forces settle into a grinding and brutal war of attrition.

We're also seeing more Russian strikes in Southern and Central Ukraine. This was the scene in a town near Dnipro. Ukrainian officials say at least one person was killed when a fuel tank exploded after a missile strike on an oil depot.

To the South, officials in Mykolaiv say two civilians were killed by Russian shelling there. Well, meanwhile, Russian state media reports that two Ukrainian commanders who defended the Azovstal Steel plant in Mariupol have now been taken to Russia for, quote, "investigative reasons."

State media previously reported that more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner in Mariupol had also been transferred to Russia.

Well, Russian forces may have retreated from Ukraine's capital weeks ago, shifting their focus to the East. But officials say they left thousands of unexploded munitions in their wake.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz spoke to some of the Ukrainian troops working to neutralize the threat.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a wooded area on the outskirts of the capital, Ukrainian soldiers have set up a bomb disposal site to gather and destroy unexploded ordinance. Leftovers of Russia's invasion dropped on neighborhoods and scattered across suburbs, that can kill and maim civilians long after retreat.

"We find explosive ruminants practically everywhere," he says. "Inside homes, in people's yards. We find a lot on the roads. Really everywhere."

More than 43,000 explosive devices have already been neutralized in the Kyiv region. But there is still hundreds of square miles that need to be surveyed, and cleared, local officials say. It is dangerous work.

"There is a saying: Only fools are not afraid," he says. "We must always be careful. We must realize that any step can be our last."

During the disposal process, we witnessed those risks.

ABDELAZIZ: So what's just happened is one of the unexploded ordinances started smoking, and we were all told to pull back to here. They're now going to check by a drone and make a decision as to what they do next.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Once it's safe, the soldiers get back to work, carefully placing the munitions in a dug-out.

They rig a detonation cord and then move back to a firing position.


ABDELAZIZ: This is just a fraction of what needs to be destroyed. Ukrainian officials tell us it could take 5 to 10 years before the country's clear.



ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Hazards of war that lie in wait, even after the guns fall silent.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, on the outskirts of Kyiv.


COREN: Well, new video has emerged showing the moment Russian forces seized control of an Eastern Ukrainian city last month, and the devastation caused by the war.

Well, this video from a Russian soldier's body cam appeared on social media Sunday. It shows troops entering Lyman in Ukraine's Donetsk region on May 25. They move past destroyed buildings and empty streets before entering the local government building.

The Russian soldiers make their way up to the roof, where they wave their victory flag.

Ukraine confirmed days later the city had been taken by Russian forces. Lyman is roughly 60 kilometers west of Severodonetsk, a strategically important Ukrainian city.

Well, meanwhile, Western leaders warn Russia's war on Ukraine could last years. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, made the statement separately, both adding that Western support for Ukraine should not waver.

Russia's war had prompted -- has prompted a historic shift in European security. NATO is set to host a meeting in the coming hours on its expansion.

Last month Sweden and Finland set aside decades of neutrality and formally applied to join NATO. But Turkey, already a member, has raised security concerns about the other two countries, accusing them of harboring Kurdish terrorist groups.

Delegations from Turkey, Finland, and Sweden are expected to meet on in Brussels in the coming hours to discuss the matter. Well, NATO officials say they are working to address Turkey's

concerns, but some Swedish Kurds are watching those talks unfold with rising concerns of their own.

CNN's Nina Dos Santos has this report.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): At this Kurdish community center in Gothenburg, locals are uneasy. They've been dragged into Sweden's NATO negotiations.

"Of course we're scared," says Nelsa Bahir (ph).

"We're caught in the middle," says Hira Kadoi (ph), "and we're not being given a say."

Weeks after its application, Sweden's plans to join NATO remain in limbo, thanks to Turkey, which claims that Kurdish separatists operate from these shores. That's something Sweden denies.

Yet, Ankara is still trying to extradite dozens of people, including members of Sweden's own Parliament, most of whom have no links to Turkey at all, like the men in this room, born in Iran and Iraq.

"Erdogan is saying, if you're a Kurd and you want freedom, you're a terrorist," says Karim Masoubi (ph). "That's not true."

"No matter where you come from, if you're a Kurd, you're going to have problems with Turkey," says Bahir (ph).

PAUL LEVIN, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR TURKISH STUDIES, STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY: From the Turkish perspective, they're saying, Look, Sweden, you want to join a military alliance where we are one of the members. We perceive of these groups as national security threats. They make the same demands on other NATO member states, but they don't have the same leverage as they do now that Sweden is waiting to come in.

DOS SANTOS: Sweden is home to an estimated 100,000 Kurds. That's almost 1 percent of this country's entire population. And there's widespread sympathy for their cause.

That means that as Turkey continues to stall Sweden's NATO bid, there's a growing sense of indignation.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over) Swedes were almost split on NATO accession before the country decided to sign up, and among Kurds, there are different views, too.

At this anti-NATO protest, Fauzi Babban (ph), an Iraqi Kurd, says that he is against NATO membership. "Look at what NATO members did in my country," he said. "They completely destroyed it. I'm strongly affected by this," he says, "since I've come here as a prisoner of war."

RAGIP ZARAKOLU, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE NOMINEE: Here is my working club (ph).

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Turks fighting for Kurdish rights in Sweden are also stoking Ankara's ire.

ZARAKOLU: This is my Kurdish award they gave me when I was in the prison.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Seventy-four-year-old Turkish born Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ragip Zarakolu is now a Swedish citizen. But he's fighting off extradition to Turkey for his writing in defense of minorities there.

ZARAKOLU: I feel at risk. I'm a Swedish citizen, and how can the Swedish government can make a bargain in (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I can't find the words to define this strangeness, this absurdity.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Sweden decided to join NATO to make its population safer after Russia invaded Ukraine. But for part of its people, the process of accession is making them feel anything but secure.


Nina Dos Santos, CNN, Gothenburg, Sweden.


COREN: In Southern Ukraine, Odessa's opera and ballet theater reopened to the public on Friday for the first time since Russia's invasion began.

The Odessa National Opera Orchestra and Choir were on the bill for the reopening. The concert opened with the performance of the national anthem.

All performances are being dedicated to the Ukrainian military. The opera house says it's thanks to the troops that the public can go to shows, and artists can share their creativity.

The war in Ukraine is just one of the reasons there are now a record number of displaced people around the world. Today, June 20th, is designated as World Refugee Day by the United Nations.

It's a day to honor those forced to flee their homes. The U.N. says more than 7 million people have fled Ukraine, and many more are internally displaced.

The focus for this year's World Refugee Day is the right to seek safety.

At this time, there are more than 100 million displaced people globally, according to the un. That's one in every 78 people on Earth.

According to UNICEF, that number also includes nearly 37 million children.

Conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have contributed to this record number.

We're now joined by Ky Luu. He's chief operating officer for the nonprofit International Medical Corps. He joins us live via Skype from New Orleans.

Ky, great to have you with us. We are acutely aware of how the war in Ukraine exacerbated this crisis, but the global refugee situation was already catastrophic, I mean, tell me, how did we get here?

KY LUU, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Well, thank you for that question. Let me start off by thanking CNN for continuing to focus on the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons globally.

And as you mentioned, the sheer number itself is devastating: 100 million people forcibly displaced from their homes. So the number itself there doesn't tell the entire story.

It's the individual stories that come out of Afghanistan and Syria, Venezuela, now Ukraine that is compounded year after year that really allows us a more thorough understanding of the breath and scope of the problem. And it's estimated that refugees, on average, are displaced anywhere from 10 to 26 years.

So, the refugee crisis today isn't just that there are more refugees and internally-displaced persons than at any given time in recorded history. It's the length of time that they're displaced.

So we need to have better solutions. We need to have a different approach to managing refugee crises, and we need to be able to focus on building the resilience of individuals and communities affected by crisis.

To answer your question in terms of what's behind the numbers in the escalating -- numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, the World Bank has noted that by the year 2030, two-thirds of the world's poorest will live in countries and regions characterized by conflict, fragility, and violence.

And it's this combination that's behind these escalating numbers.

COREN: Ky, not everyone can flee their -- their countries due to conflict or insecurity. Internally displaced people make up 60 percent of all people displaced. I mean, that's an extraordinary number.

Many of them don't get the assistance that they so desperately need, because organizations can't -- can't get to them and help them. Tell us the challenges that there are in helping IDP's, as they are known.

LUU: You're absolutely right, Anna. If we look at, for example, the crisis currently in Ukraine, that first wave of refugees, even the second wave that were able to make their way out through Poland and other parts of Europe, they had resources.

And as refugees, they're afforded rights and protection. Some of them are resettled in other countries. It's the internally displaced that are the most vulnerable. They're

the ones that are still caught behind conflict zones. We see this in Mariupol, as you just mentioned in your segment. We see this in the Donbas.

These are regions that are devastated by the conflict. Health facilities are targeted. They don't have access to clean water, food, shelter, and it is -- access is a major challenge for the international community to be able to provide them with the essential basic services that they need.

COREN: You talk about Ukraine. That's a war that's been going on since February. You look at Afghanistan, and that's been raging on for decades.

LUU: Absolutely. And as we speak, the -- the conflict in Tigray, the northern portion of Ethiopia regions.


So we have all of these armed conflicts where, at this point in time, there's more armed conflicts in the last 30 years. So it is a challenge for donors, for the international humanitarian community to be able to deal with finite resources. And that's both in terms of human capacity, as well as financial resources, to be able to support the large numbers of refugees and IDP's globally.

COREN: Ky, how many refugees do you believe would return to their homes if the insecurity and conflict start? Is there a number?

LUU: I think every refugee wants to return to their home. You know, we see this in Ukraine where, while I was out there for the last two weeks, you see the flows inward. You don't see large numbers of people queuing up to try to get out through Poland. They are returning home.

And that's what the International Medical Corps is doing in Ukraine, where on the one hand, we are dealing with the conflict itself in the East and the Donbas.

We are sending in our emergency response seems to be able to deal with displacement.

But we're also focusing on areas that have been newly liberated. Chernihiv, for example, or Irpin and Bucha outside of Kyiv, where we want to look at restoring the health system, rebuilding referral hospitals, supporting the primary health care centers, addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of the refugees that are returning home, or the internally displaced persons that are moving into safer areas.

So it is critical that we are looking at, on the one hand, both dealing with the current crises, but looking for opportunities within the longer term vision to be able to support returns and sustain those returns.

COREN: I wanted to ask you, what can we do? You know, what can -- can citizens of the world do to help these refugees? Because if we look at the world, Ky, we know that it's only heading in one direction. You know, this is a situation, a crisis that is only going to continue, the refugee crisis.

LUU: Absolutely. We need to stop just focusing on the triggering event. We need to understand the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons through their entire journey.

Which means that, yes, people who are caught up in conflict and crisis, they need access to basic services. They need clean water. They need access to health care. They need food.

However, they also need the tools in order to rebuild their lives. They need to be able to have a community where they can either return to, or resettle in that allows them to thrive.

And therefore, we've got to start changing the way that we approach humanitarian crises where, on the one hand, we have only short-term interventions, and then we say that we have development systems. We have to start on day one.

We have to deal with the acute needs, while we look at investing in the individual and the affected community. And that's the only way that we' re going to be able to stem the flow of refugees and internally displaced persons, and perhaps give the hundred million people that are displaced forcibly an opportunity to return home, or to resettle in a community that allows them to thrive and take care of themselves.

COREN: Ky, thank you so much for your work and the work of your organization in, you know, raising people's awareness and helping the refugees of this world. Ky Luu from the International Medical Corps, many thanks.

LUU: Thank you. Thank you very much.

COREN: Well, Colombians have spoken in a tight presidential election, and they want to see change. Just ahead, who will lead the country for the next four years, and what their plan is to combat poverty and income inequality.

Plus, deadly monsoon floods are sweeping through India and Bangladesh. Details after the break.



COREN: A former guerrilla is making history in Colombia as voters pick him to lead the country for the next four years. Gustavo Petro will become the first leftist president of the Latin-American nation after capturing a slim margin with more from 50 percent of the vote.

CNN's Stefano Pozzebon has more from Bogota.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: History was made here in Colombia this Sunday with election of Gustavo Petro as the first left-wing president in this country's history.

The people just behind my back and in this square are Petro supporters who are celebrating this historic achievement as if they've won, perhaps, the World Cup. It's the first time in the history of this country that Colombia voted so decisively to the left.

It's an election that opens a new chapter in the relationship between Colombia and Washington. Gustavo Petro told CNN that he intends to open a new political dialogue with Joe Biden, centered around the issues of protecting the Amazon, fighting fossil fuels, and ending the war on drugs.

He also told us, however, that he intends to renegotiate a free-trade agreement between Colombia and Washington, and that he wants Colombia out [SIC] of NATO.

It's a historic achievement not just for Colombia's left, but also for the Afro-Colombian population. Francia Marquez, Petro's vice president candidate, has become the first Afro-Colombian citizen, person of African descent, who holds executive power in the history of this country and a remarkable turnaround for millions.

From Bogota, this is Stefano Pozzebon, CNN.


COREN: Well, French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist coalition has lost its absolute majority in the national assembly. It will still be the majority party, but fell short of the 289 seats needed in the final round of elections on Sunday.

And Macron's loss is something to cheer for supporters of the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon. He's set to lead the main opposition block, the new Ecological and Social People's Union, which has 131 seats.

Melenchon took a victory lap as he addressed supporters in Paris on Sunday.


JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER: It is a totally unexpected situation, absolutely unheard of. The rout of the presidential party is total, and no majority is presented.

We have achieved the political goal we set ourselves, in less than a month, to bring down the one who, with such arrogance, had twisted the arm of the whole country to be elected without anyone knowing for what.


COREN: Well, meanwhile, Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally Party came in third, but with 89 seats, that's its best performance ever. More than half of French voters, 53 percent, did not vote in the election.

Well, millions of people across parts of India and Bangladesh are stranded due to extreme monsoon flooding. The rains and landslides have killed dozens of people.

CNN's Vedika Sud has the details.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trudging through flooded streets with whatever they can carry, authorities say millions of people in Bangladesh and Northeastern India have been affected by some of the worst flooding in the region in nearly two decades.


SUD (voice-over): This man says, "Our house got flooded with waste- level water. There is no way we can stay in the house. We're asking the government for relief and help."


An official in Bangladesh's Ministry of Disaster Management says homes in two of the worst affected areas, the districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj, are 80 to 90 percent underwater. Highways look more like rivers. The rushing water at times too fast and deep for people traveling in smaller vehicles.

There are so many people marooned by the floods. Both India and Bangladesh have activated their militaries to help rescue them. Soldiers are using speed boats and rafts to access submerged areas, and ferry the stranded to dry land.

Many areas that are cut off are without power, and there is desperate need for food and drinking water. Transportation using anything other than a boat is difficult.

Flights have been suspended for three days at Bangladesh's Osmani International Airport. Railways are deluged. And some hospitals are inundated with water like this one, its ambulances parked outside with water up to the tires.

Dozens of people have died. Some by lightning strikes and landslides in Bangladesh, others from perilous conditions brought on by the floodwaters. Officials say the situation could deteriorate even further, with more rain in the forecast.

Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


COREN: Well, India and Bangladesh aren't the only nations dealing with extreme weather.

Joining us now is CNN's meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Extreme weather events happening in many parts of the world right now.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, opposite ends of the spectrum, as well. So we're talking about extreme areas of rainfall here, historic amounts of rainfall in some cases.

And of course, work your way across Europe. And we'll touch on momentarily. It is the opposite when it comes to heat and fire weather conditions.

But look at the area here. We're talking about significant rains across portions of Bangladesh, where folks trying to do any which way possible to get through life here with the amount of rain they've observed over the past couple of days.

And take you to one of the wettest spots on our planet that holds multiple records: for the wettest single year on record, for the wettest single week on record. And guess what happened over the weekend? Almost 1,000 millimeters, or more than a year's worth of London rainfall, in a span of 24 hours, coming down in the town of Cherrapunji, India, locally known as Sohra. The most three-day rainfall totals, exceeding 2,400 millimeters. These are remarkable observations for anyone's standards, that have led to significant flooding exceeding across this landscape.

And of course, this is the seasonal rains, the monsoons that are in effect here. But as of June 20, the progression of the monsoons should be quite a bit farther toward the North. Notice, it is South of Mumbai at this hour. And areas to the East of it, it is impacting areas of Bangladesh and Calcutta. And that is precisely where the flooding has been really persistent in recent days.

And as the previous story noted, significant rainfall is expected to continue over the coming days.

Now take you over to portions of France, where again, the opposite end of the story here when it comes to drought and heat. How about 200- plus record temperatures that were observed over the weekend across a large area of France? The earliest 40-degree observation on record.

Mind you, summer starts in about four days. And they're peaking at 40 degrees across some of these areas, and then even exceeding that across areas just toward the West up to 42 degrees. All-time June record temperatures in place.

Some good news, though, for our friends across France. We do have a frontal boundary draped across this region, which means showers are forecast over the next couple of days. Notice the cloud cover has already brought your temperatures back down to reality.

Pair of two's in London, mostly sunny skies. Beautiful blue there. A little further towards your South there, 23 in Madrid, only at 28 degrees. But here come the rain showers, especially across berlin, only 17 degrees.

And the forecast does want to gradually warm it up here as we usher in the first few days of summer. We do expect showers once again to come in with the next front and cools back down. So highs there should be coming back down to the middle 20s.

Now there is a severe weather threat with these storms here, a level two on a scale of 1 to 3. Paris is included. Some severe wind gusts with these storms that could be going into early Monday morning, at least with these current next couple of hours. Heavy rainfall and some thunderstorms that could be severe are possible in this region -- Anna.

COREN: Pedram Javaheri, always good to see you. Thank you for the update.

Well, still to come, the White House says don't worry about the U.S. economy. After the break, Washington's latest attempt to soothe America's growing economic fears.

And schools, government agencies and businesses are closing as COVID cases tick up in Macau. The latest details on the situation in Asia's gambling hot spot, ahead.



COREN: World stock markets are coming off a volatile trading week and won't see any improvement until Tuesday. They closed Monday for the Juneteenth holiday.

Well, here's a look at how the new trading week is starting off here in Asia. As you can see, the Nikkei is down more than 1 percent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng is up a fraction, as is the Shanghai Composite.

Well, inflation fears have spread around the globe, thanks to a perfect storm of factors: from the pandemic, to food insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine.

A CNN economic commentator says it's no wonder many countries are bracing for a downturn.


CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS & POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The risks for recession have risen quite a bit recently, because inflation has remained elevated, as you just mentioned.

We've been hit by a series of very unfortunate shocks: things like disruption to energy and food markets around the world, due to the war in Ukraine and Avian Flu here in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Lockdowns in China disrupting supply chains, et cetera.

All of those things combined have pushed prices further up, further than central banks were expecting, which suggests that central banks need to raise rates even more aggressively than they had planned in order to get inflation down.

When they do that, when they raise interest rates, it's this very difficult dance, where they're trying to get demand to be a little bit slower, lower, cooler, whatever term you want to use, but not so much that we get a recession.

What we will hope would happen is that some of those supply chain issues unwind on their own.


COREN: Well, the White House is trying to put those fears to rest, since the rising cost of living is a problem not just for consumers but Washington, as well.

Arlette Saenz looks at how the administration is responding, with the midterms elections just months away.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House is trying to express optimism for the prospects of the economy while also acknowledging the economic pain that so many Americans are feeling as they continue to see rising prices.

SAENZ (voice-over): Top cabinet officials and economic officials on Sunday reiterated the president's point that he does not believe a recession is inevitable in this country, even as some economists predict one could be looming.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that the Biden administration is working to try to alleviate those high prices, but also acknowledged this could be a very tough summer for American drivers as gas prices continue to rise.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: The president is really focused on preventing these inflationary increases to the extent he can. Inflation obviously is happening globally. A recession is not inevitable. The president really wants to have a steady and stable recovery.

But of course, one of the biggest pieces of these inflationary increases that we're seeing is the price of fuel. We know this is going to be a tough summer, because the driving season just started. And we know that there will be a continued upward pull on demand.


SAENZ (voice-over): The White House says they are evaluating all options to try to lower prices when it comes to gas and also food. And one of those areas that is under discussion is the possibility of putting a pause on the gas tax.

SAENZ: Energy Secretary Granholm said that that is being considered at this moment, but it could be difficult to go down that route if that gas tax pays for so many road and infrastructure projects.

Additionally, the White House has talked about issuing gas rebate cards to Americans. But a White House official cautions that it's unlikely such a program would go into effect, because it would be difficult to administer and also difficult to keep tabs on whether consumers were actually using that money specifically for gas.

Now later this week, Energy Secretary Granholm will be holding a meeting, where she's invited the top executives from seven oil refining companies to try and discuss ways to lower gas prices, as the administration is trying to show that they are using every lever at their disposal to try to lower those prices for American consumers.

Arlette Saenz, CNN, traveling with the president in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


COREN: Well, there's been an uptick in COVID cases in two regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau. Earlier, the world's biggest gambling hub began its second day of mass testing, with banks, schools, government services, and other businesses shut down.

For more, I'm now joined by CNN's Kristie Lu Stout here in Hong Kong.

Kristie, Macau has basically been off the radar since the pandemic began. What's the situation there now?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Yes, well, on Sunday, Macau kicked off this massive citywide testing campaign for its population of around 600,000 people.

Later, on Sunday, it recorded 31 new cases of COVID-19. So this is a significant new flare-up for Macau.

A number of control measures have kicked in. Schools are now closed. Parks, museums as well.

And for people leaving Macau, they have to provide proof of a negative PCR test within the previous 24 hours before they're allowed to leave.

Look, Macau is a gambling mecca, not just of Asia but is one of the world's largest gambling meccas. Its government there highly reliant on the revenue that comes in from tourism, from its casinos. So it's taken a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. And also the pandemic response under the zero-COVID regime.

Not only that, this latest flare-up of infection, it comes right after the government of Macau relaxed restrictions just last Wednesday for new incoming arrivals to come in and to help recharge the economy.

Now, we're also closely following the situation here in Hong Kong. The government here on high alert as infections continue to climb here in this special administrative region. In fact, over the weekend, new daily cases now above 1,000.

But the government here not giving any indication that they're going to reintroduce any tough new restrictions, especially ahead of July 1, the swearing in of the incoming chief executive. The outgoing chief executive, Carrie Lam, gave some interesting

comments to local media. Let's bring this up to you. This is what she said.

She calls the current situation, in regards to the controls in place here in Hong Kong, untenable. She says this, quote: "There is less time to make the decision if the city is still sticking to the existing border control measures in the coming half year or by the end of this year, I will be a bit worried," unquote.

Lam added that members of the business community have been very frustrated and are losing patience with the territory's zero-COVID policy.

Back to you, Anna.

COREN: An interesting observation by the outgoing chief executive, considering these are her policies that she brought into place.

Kristie, very quickly, what is happening in mainland China, particularly Beijing and Shanghai?

STOUT: Yes. In Beijing and Shanghai, the official case counts that we're getting every day remain low. If you monitor state-run media, there are reports of life returning to normal.

In Beijing, there is a resumption of subway services and public transport like bus service, as well.

But this zero-COVID policy remains firmly in place, and that means mass testing campaigns, which are highly disruptive. It means targeted sporadic lockdowns. It means border restrictions, quarantines. The list goes on.

And I want to share with you, because we didn't have a chance to share in the recent days, a very interesting comment from the U.S. ambassador in China, Nicholas Burns, about the zero-COVID policy. He believes that, despite the disruptions to lives and livelihood, this policy will remain in place through early next year. Listen to this.


NICHOLAS BURNS, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA I think we're going to have to live with this for a long time. My own assumption is that we'll see the continuation of zero COVID probably into the beginning months of 2023. That's where the Chinese government is signaling.


STOUT: Now, Ambassador Burns there. And he added that businesses, American businesses are very reluctant to invest unless those instructions ease -- Anna.


COREN: Yes. Some would say he might be a little too optimistic. Kristie Lu Stout, joining us from Hong Kong. Great to see you. Thank you so much.

Well, stay with CNN, we have much more coming up after the break.



COREN: After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID pandemic, the pride events returned to the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil, on Sunday.

Thousands turned out for the city's 26th event. June is Pride Month, when LGBTQ communities come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves.

It pays homage to New York City's Stonewall uprising in June 1969, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement.

Well, celebrations took place across the U.S. this weekend to commemorate Juneteenth, the holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States.

CNN hosted a special live concert for Juneteenth, a global celebration for freedom, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Some of the biggest names in music and entertainment came together to celebrate freedom for African-Americans.

Juneteenth honors the day the last slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free after an order by newly-arrived U.S. soldiers. It was on June 19, 1865.

The U.S. Civil War had been over for months, and the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued more than two years earlier.

Well, last year, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill officially recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Well, thanks so much for your company. I'm Anna Coren in Hong Kong. WORLD SPORT is next. Stay with CNN.







COREN: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Anna Coren, live from Hong Kong.