Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Ukraine Awaits EU Candidate Status, Zelenskyy Declares Historic Week; U.S. Is Worried About Russia Using New Efforts To Exploit Divisions In 2022 Midterms; Ex-Rebel Fighter Gustavo Petro Wins Colombia's Presidency; Millions Stranded As Floods Ravage Parts Of Bangladesh, India. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 01:00   ET



ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Anna Coren live from Hong Kong.

Ahead on CNN Newsroom, a warning from the Ukrainian president that Russia will intensify its attacks this week as Kyiv awaits the decision on its bid to eventually join the European Union.

Plus, voters in Colombia make their voices heard and choosing a new president has leftist Gustavo Petro claims a slim victory.

And monsoons wreaking havoc in Bangladesh and India, dozens are dead a million stranded by the storms.

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


VLODYMYR 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 EU leaders would be an early step in our membership process. And Mr. Zelenskyy warns that could bring 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COREN: Well those warnings commas fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region and the critical city of Severodonetsk. We're also seeing more Russian strikes in southern and central Ukraine. This was the scene in a town of 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. And 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.

For more let's bring in CNN's Salma Abdelaziz who's live in Kyiv. And Salma, fears fighting in the Donbas region means thousands of Ukrainian troops risked being cut off by Russian forces. What can you tell us?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. The fighting there is some of the fiercest that's been seen according to President Zelenskyy since the start of this conflict. Ukrainian forces are absolutely on the backfoot there. Most of the city is under Russian control. But President Zelenskyy says his troops are holding the line. They are outmanned. They are out gone. They're facing an artillery force that is 10 times more than that of Ukraine's and they're losing 100 to 200 soldiers a day all along those eastern front lines.

So absolutely, this is a fight for survival here in Severodonetsk for Ukrainian forces, and an all important one, Anna, because it's one of the last strongholds for Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk region, part of the larger wider Donbas region and one of President Putin's major goals is to take control of that territory. In many ways, that conflict began in 2014. And it's dragging on it now.

The three bridges that pulled out of that city of Severodonetsk the sister city, they have all been essentially destroyed. They're impassable. You have hundreds of civilians, if not thousands that are still pinned down, trapped in basements trying to shelter for their lives. It's a very bleak picture.

But it's an enormous amount of firepower that's being used on both sides to try to hold this one city, a city that's entirely, almost entirely decimated at this stage. President Zelenskyy remains hopeful. But if you're reading the battleground, it looks like all but inevitable that Severodonetsk would fall to Russian forces.

COREN: And you have spent some time with Ukrainian forces carrying out some very important work. Tell us about it.

ABDELAZIZ: Absolute. Because even after Russian troops pull out, which is what happened, of course in the areas in and around Kyiv a few weeks ago, they do leave dangerous behind namely unexploded ordinances, ordinances that were dropped by air or fired from tanks or whatever it may be. And those were spread out all over neighborhoods, and suburbs and Ukrainian troops, of course, have to try to pull those out make those places safe again for families to return home. Take a look.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): In a wooded area on the outskirts of the Capitol, 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 remnants 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 are lost.

During the disposal process, we witnessed those risks.

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

(voice-over): Once it's safe, the soldiers get back to work carefully placing the munitions in a dugout. They rake into a nation court and then move back to a firing position.

(on camera): This is just a fraction of what needs to be destroyed. Ukrainian officials tell us it could take five to 10 years for the country's clear.

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


ABDELAZIZ: Anna, officials tell us half of Ukraine, essentially half of the territory of Ukraine needs to be surveyed and cleared. And that of course doesn't include that long eastern front where active fighting means that of course you can't clear those areas. Yet, already officials say that there are several people who have been killed or wounded in and around Kyiv due to these unexploded munitions. So this is absolutely a work to save lives. Anna.

COREN: Salam, certainly appreciate you and your team's reporting. Many thanks. Well, Russia may be trying to undermine U.S. elections again. That's the warning from security officials and the conclusion of a newly declassified Homeland Security Report obtained by CNN.

Officials say that as with previous efforts, Russia wants to sow division and erode trust in the electoral system. The report says Russia will likely try to undermine the November midterm elections and suppress turnout.

Officials say such a scenario might involve staged hacks done with the goal of getting noticed.

A former guerrilla is making history in Colombia as voters pick him to leave 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 than 50 percent of the vote. CNN's Stefano Pozzebon has more from Bogota.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (on camera): History was made here in Colombia the Sunday with the election of Gustavo Petro is the first left wing president in this country's history. The people just behind my back and in the square, our patron supporters who are celebrating this historic achievement as if they've won perhaps the World Cup is the first time in the history of this country that Colombia voted so decisively to the left.

Ethan (ph) election that opens a new chapter in the relationship between Colombia and Washington. Gustavo Petro told CNN that intends to open a new political dialogue with Joe Biden centered around the issues of protecting the Amazon, phasing out 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 of NATO. It's a historic achievement not just for Colombia's left, but also for the afro Colombian population.

Francia Marquez of Petros' vice president candidate has become the first Afro-Colombian citizen, a person of African descent, who hold executive power in the history of this country and a remarkable turnaround for millions. From Bogota, this is Stefano Pozzebon, CNN.


COREN: French President Emmanuel Macron 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.

Macron's loss is something to cheer for supporters of the far left Jean-Luc Melenchon. He set to lead the main opposition bloc the new ecological and social people's union, which has 131 seats.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen 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.

Hearings from the January 6 committee continue New this Tuesday specifically focusing on Donald Trump's efforts to claim he won several states he actually lost in the 2020 presidential election.


We'll hear testimony from key figures the former U.S. president personally contacted in an effort to turn the tide in his favor. With CNN's Katelyn Polantz previews what to expect this week.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER (on camera): This week, we're going to see another aspect of Donald Trump trying to manipulate the laws to take the election.

This Tuesday, the public hearing before the House Select Committee is going to focus on the states, specifically battleground states like Arizona and Georgia, or Donald Trump and his lawyers were trying to get state legislators and party officials to change the outcome of the popular vote in those states. And I should remind everyone, those were states that Trump lost.

So, we know there are two aspects that Trump team focused on in 2020, 2021. And then we'll be hearing more about one was how there was this direct pressure campaign that Donald Trump was placing on state officials that would include people like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He will be testifying on Tuesday.

He's the one who received that phone call from the president in early January asking him to, quote, find votes in Georgia. There's also Rusty Bowers from Arizona, he's also set to testify. He received a similar call from Trump and others about his state using Republican electors who would back Trump as a way to supplant Biden's Electoral College votes there.

And this hearing won't just be about the maneuvering in the states that we know that the Trump campaign and many lawyers were taking part in. It will also focus on Donald Trump himself and his role. Here's what committee member Adam Schiff said about that Sunday on CNN.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We will show evidence of the President's involvement in the scheme. We'll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about the scheme, and we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislatures back into session, or decertify the results for Joe Biden.

The system held because a lot of state and local elections officials upheld their oath, their constitution, a lot of the Republicans as well as Democrats.

POLANTZ: Schiff mentioned there was both Republicans and Democrats taking part and that's an important point to remember going into this hearing. The officials who we know will be testifying from Georgia and Arizona about Donald Trump's pressure campaign and how they pushed back against him. Those men are all Republicans. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.


COREN: Well, deadly monsoon floods is sweeping through India and Bangladesh. We'll get the details on the millions impacted after the break.

Plus, severe droughts gripping the West and southwestern U.S. now threatening to deplete one of the most popular trout fishing streams in the world. That's ahead.



COREN: Millions of people across parts of India and Bangladesh are now stranded due to extreme monsoon flooding. The rains and landslides have killed dozens of people. In India, officials say these are the worst one soon floods in recent history.

And in Bangladesh, thousands of police and army personnel have been deployed to help with search and rescue efforts. Well, joining me now is CNN's Vedika Sud. Vedika what's the latest?

VEDIAK SUD, CNN REPORTER: Millions have been impacted like you mentioned Anna in the northeastern state of Assam in India, as well as northeastern parts of the country called Bangladesh neighboring India.

Now, what we do know as far as Bangladesh is concerned, CNN spoke with the minister there who said they've been two deaths of the weekend due to the torrential rains, and about 4 million people have been impacted. But according to Reuters, about 25 people have died over the weekend in Bangladesh and about 6 million people have been affected by the torrential rains.

Meanwhile, in northeastern parts of India, especially in the state of Assam, we're being told that about 62 people have lost their lives due to the flash floods, landslides and the heavy rainfall in the area. Here's a report.


SUD (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.

This man says our house got flooded with waist level water. There is no way we can stay in a house. We asking the government for relief and help.

And official in Bangladesh's Ministry of Disaster Management says homes into the worst affected areas. The districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj are 80 to 90 percent underwater. Highways look more like rivers, the rushing water 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 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 and Bangladesh's Osmani International Airport, railways are deloused. And some hospitals are inundated with water like this one. It's 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.


SUDE: The lack of telecommunication services in parts of Bangladesh, Anna, has made it very difficult to assess the full extent of damage in the area. It's going to take a while with the heavy rainfall forecast even for today.

Meanwhile, it's going to be a twin challenge, Anna, not only for Bangladesh, but parts of India as well, given that officials are trying to get as many people from low lying areas to safer ground and they're doing this in the midst of a pandemic, Anna.

COREN: The worst monsoon floods in recent history. Vedika Sud, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

For India and Bangladesh are the only nations dealing with extreme weather. Joining us now is CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, what can you tell us?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know the tremendous rainfall as you noted is certainly going to continue for another few days we think and you'll notice we are in the heart of the monsoon, Anna, so any amount of rainfall here is what you expect for this time of year but the amount of it has been what's impressive, and it just continues to come down over your vast area especially around portions of Cherrapunji, India off towards the northeast.

Now, this is one of the most notable areas in the world when it comes to historic rainfall. They hold the record for most rainfall in a given year 26,000 millimeters, most record anywhere rainfall for a given month in July. In the 1860s recorded over 9000 millimeters and certainly the annual average is pretty impressive as well over 11,000 falls in this region.

But over the past couple of days, the single wettest location on Earth kind of played out to its top billing, they're almost 1,000 millimeters or more than 130 percent of what London gets in an entire year came down in a matter of 24 hours. Notice three day total is also pretty impressive here as well. So we'll expect the thunderstorms to continue over the next couple of days. We are kind of on the foothills here of the Himalayan Mountains. So the air is forced to rise that orthographic uplift essentially takes the clouds and you kind of take the analogy of taking a sponge, pressing it against the wall and watching the water ride down the side of the wall.

That is what the clouds are doing as they run into the Himalayas here and squeeze out any additional rainfall in this historic amount.


But as the monsoonal moisture the current positioning by the white hash marks here shows that we're a couple of weeks behind where we should be for the current progression, but on the eastern periphery, Kolkata into Bangladesh certainly getting in on all the wet weather and notice it just lights up like a Christmas tree here upwards of 150 millimeters, 200 millimeters in a few spots over the next several days.

Now, friends across Europe, the opposite end of the story here record heat upwards of 200. Record temperatures observed over the past several days around portions of the southern half of France and notice even the earliest 40 degree observation ever recorded here in the month of June, mainland France getting it up to 40 degrees and couple of observations up to 42 degrees. All time warmest temps for the month of June as well for those locations.

But notice some changes on the horizon some wet weather in store across this region. Initially the cloud cover brings us back down into the 20s and then we do expect a few showers later in the week. But you'll notice temps warm up to 27 as we usher in the first couple of days of summer later this week.

Showers come in but it is hard to believe. Summer officiallym finally getting underway in a few days, Anna, and temperatures have been far warmer than a lot of people expect this early in the season.

COREN: Yes, absolutely. Pedram always a great explanation of what is going on. Pedram Javaheri, good to see you. Thank you.

In U.S., parts of Utah a drying up to due to climate driven changes. The Green River is one of the most sought after fishing destinations in the world. But now its waters are being depleted to satisfy communities downstream. CNN's Bill Weir has this report.


BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For those who love to chase trout, this stretch of the Green River provides some of the best fly fishing on the planet.

STEPHEN LYTLE, GREEN RIVER FISHING GUIDE: It's phenomenal. I mean, you get people from all over the world coming to fish this. There's guides from New Zealand, people come from South America, Eric Clapton's been up here.

WEIR: Is that right?

LYTLE" Tiger Woods, I mean, it's -- if you're a fly fisherman, this is one of the places to hit.

WEIR (on camera): Yes, that's pretty.

(voice-over): A big reason why is Utah's Flaming Gorge dam, because it's one of the few dams able to control the temperature of the gin clear water flowing downstream.

Wow, these guys are wankers (ph).

Not too hot, not too cold, creating a Goldilocks zone for bugs, trout, and people who also flocked to the reservoir behind the dam and keep the economy alive. So you'd understand if locals get upset at the sight of this.

The Federal Bureau of Reclamation released enough raging water this spring to drop Flaming Gorge reservoir by up to 12 feet. A desperate move to help things downstream on the Colorado, or Lake Powell is down 170 feet and could evaporate into a dead pool with not enough water for hydropower. Or the 40 million people who drink farm and ranch this system from Denver to LA.

LYTLE: There's a lot of people who just get angry, and it's their water. It's their kind of geographic possession. And so they don't like it going down to desert cities that also need it.

WEIR: Because the lower Flaming Gorge gets, the warmer it gets. And no more Goldilocks trout.

LYTLE: And then any effect on the fishery, especially up here. I mean, that's people's livelihoods.

WEIR (on camera): Yes. Yes.

LYTLE: And so people get pretty upset. I can imagine just heated.

WEIR: Whiskies for drinking water for fighting, right.

LYTLE: Yes, that's the phrase.

WEIR: The phrase.

(voice-over): Long considered rivals of the fishing guides are the rafting guides who love high flow for more exciting rides and more customers.

Sometimes you're on the sides of the fisherman, and sometimes we're not.

WEIR: But everyone agrees that for the West to survive, the most important two words today are water conservation. (on camera): I mean, I always try to remind myself that these water molecules are going to end up in a hot tub in Hollywood, or watering a putting green in Palm Springs, and we're all part of this system. How do you think people understand that these days?

BRUCE LAVOIE, OARS RAFTING: So yes, that's great. I don't think we do. I come from Connecticut. I grew up on the east coast where water, water law is totally different. Here it's first in line person right. It's treated like a mineral.

WEIR (voice-over): Some farmers in Arizona are some of the last in line forced to let fields go fallow as allocations are cut. And this week, the Bureau of Reclamation warned members of the Senate of the need to cut up to 4 million acre feet in 2023. That's more than 1.3 trillion gallons, or almost as much as California is allotted in a year.

LAVOIE: John Wesley Powell who ran this river in 1869, he stated it to the federal government.


There's not enough water to support the way we have developed.

WEIR: The first guy down in the Colorado tried to warn us.

LAVOIE: Absolutely.

WEIR: That's just what happened right now.

LAVOIE: And now it is like there's this assumption that it's always going to be there.

WEIR: yes.

LAVOIE: And I don't think people will change until it changes till it's not there.

WEIR (voice-over): But as long as there is fun to be had and water to drink, it's easy to ignore the villains warning and Mad Max Fury Road. Do not become addicted to water. It will take hold of you, and you will resent its absence. Bill Weir, CNN, Vernal, Utah.


COREN: I want to bring in a climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Katherine is the chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, and is the author of the book "Saving Us: The Climate Scientists Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World."

Katherine, great to have you with us. With these extreme weather events taking place around the globe, let me ask you what is going on? And should we be surprised?

KATHARINE HAYHOE, CHIEF SCIENTIST, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY: Well, the only thing we're surprised at is how quickly these changes are happening because we scientists have been predicting this for years and even decades. The biggest way that climate change is affecting us is through what I refer to as Global Weirding.

In other words, it is loading the weather dice against us making our heat waves more dangerous. Our heavy rainfall and our flood more frequent, our storm stronger, and are wildfires burning greater area. And that's exactly what we're seeing this summer so far.

COREN: Well, let's talk about some of the events that are going on. We've got extreme flooding in India and Bangladesh right now, of course, it is monsoon season. And we do see similar events, you know, obvious time every single year. But officials are saying that these are the worst monsoon floods in recent history.

So, I guess it speaks to your point that this is climate change. And we are witnessing it in real time.

HAYHOE: Well, that's exactly it. A monsoon is normal and natural. What's not normal and natural is to have 3,000 villages underwater or as has happened several times in the last few years, a third of the entire country of Bangladesh underwater.

Heat waves in the summer are normal and natural. So are wildfires, but not to the extent that we've seen so far this summer. And we scientists can even put numbers on them.

So the massive heatwave that India already experienced this year, earlier this spring was 30 times more likely because of climate change loading the weather dice against us. The crazy heatwave that engulfed Western Canada and the western U.S. a year ago last June 150 times more likely because of climate change. As the military puts it, climate change is a threat multiplier, it takes the issues that we already confront today and makes them worse.

COREN: And now we are saying this heatwave in in parts of Europe, these wildfires in Spain, are we going to be seeing more of these erratic weather events around the globe? And will it be happening more often?

HAYHOE: That's exactly what we're already seeing. So in the United States, back in the 1980s, there was on average $1 billion weather and climate disaster every four months. By the 2010s, there was one every three weeks.

And we are seeing this trend happen all around the world as climate change loads those weather dice against us. And that's why climate change matters because it's here and it's now and it affects every single person on the planet to the point where to care about climate impacts. And to have every reason you need to support climate action, you only have to be one thing. And that one thing is a human living on planet Earth.

COREN: These climate change conferences where we see world and business leaders come together making you know big pledges about what they are going to do for the Earth to, you know, try and halt climate change. But I guess as a climate scientists, you know, all these promises, they must leave you deeply disappointed by, I guess, the world's collective inaction.

HAYHOE: What people don't realize is what's at stake. It isn't actually about saving planet Earth. It will be orbiting the Sun long after we're gone. It's us, our civilization, our economy, our infrastructure, our food, our water. Everything that matters to us is what's at risk. And I don't think that has fully sunk in yet.

COREN: What frustrates you the most?

HAYHOE: I'm challenged by people on both sides of the spectrum. On one side, the people who continue to say, oh, it's not that bad. We don't have to do anything right now. But on the far other side, we have people who are so panicked, that they think that guilting and shaming and attacking anyone who doesn't say that we need immediate change right today and if we don't do that nothing counts.


And the reality is, and this is the science that says this, every action matters. Every year matters. Every bit of warming matters. Everything we can do matters. And as individuals, the most important thing that we can do is to advocate for that change wherever we are. Where we work, where we live, whatever organizations we are part of because how does a system change, it changes with individuals who raise their voice and call for that change.

COREN: Well, thank you to you for continuing to raise your voice. Katharine Hayhoe, great to get your perspective, many thanks.

HAYHOE: Thank you.

Well the White House is deflecting much of the blame for the highest inflation in decades, Why it says the cause of the problem lies beyond America's shores.

Plus, this year's World Refugee Day comes as a record number of people around the globe are displaced. We'll have details after the break.


COREN: Well, 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 is 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, that is according to the U.N. That is 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 are now joined by Ky Luu. He's chief operating officer for the nonprofit International Medical Core 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, COO, INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Well thank you for that question and let me start off by thanking CNN for continuing to focus on the plight of refugees and internally-displaced persons globally.


LUU: And as you mentioned, the sheer number itself is devastating. 100 million people forcibly displaced from their homes.

So the number itself though doesn't tell the entire story. It is the individual stories that come out of Afghanistan and Syria, Venezuela, and now Ukraine, that is how many year after year that really allows us a more thorough understanding of the breadth and scope of the problem.

And it is estimated that refugees on average are displaced for anywhere from 10 to 26 years. So the refugee crisis today is not just that there are more refugees and internally-displaced persons than any given time in recorded history, it is the length of time that they are 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 or communities affected by crisis.

To answer your question in terms of what is behind the numbers and 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 is behind these escalating numbers.

COREN: Ky, not everyone can flee their countries due to conflict or insecurity, internally-displaced people make up 60 percent of all people displaced. I mean that is an extraordinary number. Many of them don't get the assistance that they so desperately need because organizations can't get to them and help them.

Tell us the challenges that there are in helping IDPs as they are known.

LUU: You are 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 work their way out through Poland and other parts of Europe, they had resources. And as refugees, they are afforded rights and protection. Some of them are resettled in other countries. It is the internally-displaced that are the most vulnerable. They are the ones that are still caught behind conflict zones. We see this in Mariupol, as you had 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 do not 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: I mean you talk about Ukraine, that is a war that has been going on since February. You look at Afghanistan, and that has been raging on for decades.

LUU: Absolutely. And as we speak, the conflict in the Tigray, the northern portion of Ethiopia rages. So we have all of these armed conflicts, where at this point in time there is 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 IDPs globally.

COREN: Ky, how many refugees do you believe, would return to their homes if the insecurity and conflict stop? 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 flow inward, you don't see large numbers of people queuing up to try to get out through Poland. They are returning home.

And that is 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 standing in our emergency response teams to be able to deal with displacement.

But we are also focusing on areas that have been newly liberated -- Chernihiv, for example or Irpin, Bucha outside of Kyiv, where we want to look at restoring the health system, rebuilding referral hospitals, supporting the primary healthcare centers, addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of the refugees that are returning home where 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: Yes. I wanted to ask, you what can we do? You know what can citizens of the world do to help these refugees? Because if we look at the world, Ky, we know that it is 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 offend, we need to understand the plight of refugees and internally- displaced persons through their entire journey. Which means that, yes, people 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 have got to start changing the way that we approach humanitarian crises where on the one hand we have only a short term intervention, and then we say that we have development systems (ph). We have to start on day one. We have to deal with the acute need, while we look at investing in the individual in an effective community and that's the only way that we are 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 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: 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 a performance of the national anthem. All performances are being dedicated to the Ukrainian military. The Opera House says it's thanks to the troops the public can go to shows and artists can share their creativity.

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

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

Kristie, Macao has managed to escape relatively unscathed during the pandemic, but what is the situation there now?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CRPDE: Yes, we are now seeing a significant uptick in new cases. And on Sunday, Macao launched a new round of mass testing for COVID-19 for the city, a population of about 600,000 people. On Sunday, it reported about 31 new cases of COVID-19. Social distancing measures are now in place, schools are closed, parks and museums are closed, but the casinos, they remain open.

For people leaving Macao, they have to provide proof of a negative PCR nucleic acid test within the previous 24 hours. So Macao is the world's biggest gambling hub. The government there absolutely reliant on revenue generated by the casino industry. And it is believed that this uptick in cases, you look at the timing, it comes shortly after the relaxed quarantine rules for new arrivals last Wednesday.

Now, we continue to monitor the situation here in Hong Kong, the other special administrative region, cases here continue to rise, the government here, in a state of high alert over the weekend. New daily cases reached the 1000 mark.

But authorities here not giving any indication that they plan to restrict or bring back those tough restrictions that we have seen earlier here in the city, especially before the key date of July 1st, the 25th anniversary of the handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping may make a visit, that is yet to be confirmed.

It is also when the incoming leader John Lee will be sworn in. We are hearing some interesting comments from the outgoing leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.

In an interview with local media over the weekend, she called the zero COVID border restrictions in place here not tenable. And she also added this, let's bring it up for you, Carrie Lam saying, 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. By the end of this year, I will be a bit worried," unquote.

Now Lam added that members of the business community here are losing patience with zero COVID, something Anna, that you and I know all too well. Back to you.

COREN: We certainly do, Kristie. Extraordinary comments by Carrie Lam there, considering these are her policies that she brought into place. Kristie, I just want to ask you, obviously the mainland China is living by the zero COVID strategy. How are things in Beijing and Shanghai?


STOUT: Well, in Beijing and Shanghai they are reporting relatively low case numbers. State media reporting signs, you know, going back to normal Beijing with the resumption of the subway service or public transport service with the busing as well.

An interesting case, though in the northeast province city of Jilin, after one case of COVID-19 was detected, a city-wide mass testing campaign has been triggered. This is the reality of zero COVID all across China. Mass testing campaigns, quarantine, targeted lockdowns border restrictions and this according to the U.S. ambassador in China is something that will likely remain in place until early next year. Here's Ambassador Nicholas Burns.


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


STOUT: And Ambassador Burns adds that American businesses will be reluctant to make investment into China unless restrictions ease.

Back to you, Anna.

COREN: It really makes you think, you know, will China ever open up. Kristie Lu Stout, always a pleasure, great to see you. Thank you so much.

Well, celebrations across the U.S. marked Juneteenth. We will tell you the significance behind America's newest federal holiday. That's coming up.


COREN: 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, "JUNETEENTH, THE 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 19th, 1865.

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

Well, CNN's Nadia Romero takes a look at how the holiday was celebrated in Atlanta, Georgia.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, now the Juneteenth is a federal holiday and a state holiday here in Georgia. The festivities are bigger and better than ever.

I spoke with the Grand Marshal of the Juneteenth Atlanta parade and she says she saw more people out this year than in years past. And she's also seeing more diverse -- more people coming out and celebrating. So the parade began on Sunday afternoon, it winded through the city with marching bands, Double Dutch, and then landed here in Centennial Park. And you can see behind me, plenty of vendors.

Organizers say they expected seeing some 100,000 people come out to different Juneteenth events in Atlanta all throughout the weekend.


ROMERO: But it's not just about celebrating when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free in GALVESTON, TEXAS, two and a half years after the emancipation proclamation. It's also about what can be done now to help the black community move forward.

And I keep hearing two common themes at this Juneteenth celebration. It's about voting, it's about supporting black businesses. Take a listen.


CASSANDRA KIRK, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA JUDGE: I am a sitting judge, so what's important for me is that Everyone that's out here celebrating remember that they must vote. That is not enough just to come and do the party, do the dance, to buy the items. It is more important. It's equally important to make sure that we vote.

MESHA MANOR, GEORGIA STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIV: Last, year we did the Juneteenth festival like this, it was much smaller. I think now since it's a state holiday, there is more advocacy for black-owned businesses.

So this entire weekend there were people supporting black businesses that normally would not support black businesses. And I hope that that continues beyond just Juneteenth, because maybe those people that have never supported a black business will say oh my goodness, I actually like their service or I like their product.


ROMERO: So the message today is about celebration and enjoying, but also that there is still plenty of work to be done.

Nadia Romero, CNN -- Atlanta.


COREN: Well, just ahead it was a thrilling final round of championship golf at the U.S. Open which came down to the last hole.

We'll hear from the winner shortly.


COREN: England's Matt Kirkpatrick (SIC) just keeps winning at the country club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The 27 year old golfer won the amateur championship there in 2013, and 9 years later won his first major championship at the U.S. Open.

CNN's Don Riddell spoke with the new champion after his big win.


MATT FITZPATRICK, 2022 U.S. OPEN GOLF CHAMPION: Pretty incredible, you know, I thought about what it potentially could feel like, and it felt like that and more. You know, it's just like a big relief. You finished the tournament, and you've won, and you realize you've achieved on of your lifeline goals. And yes, just the emotion kind of floods in. And it's just such a special day for me.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: And you did it on Father's Day. I admit, I got a lump in my throat, just watching your family and your mom in particular and what it meant to her.

How special was it to have all of your family around?

FITZPATRICK: It doesn't get much better. Yes, I've been very lucky in my career that, this is my age when, I think my parents have been at about 6 of them. So I would say that's very rare for a lot of guys, and for me to have that is, you know, really, really special. And for them to share that with me this week is amazing.

RIDDELL: So you didn't just win the U.S. Open today, you also won the U.S. Amateur here. There's only one other golfer that's done very (INAUDIBLE) the same golf course. You know who that is?

FITZPATRICK: Jack Nicklaus. Yes.

RIDDELL: How cool is that.

FITZPATRICK: It's amazing. It's amazing, you know. The best golfer of all-time, to share any achievement that he's done is incredible. And for me to do that as well is -- yes, you know, I'm so proud of myself, to be able to achieve that and say that. So, when you're sharing records with Jack, it's pretty special.

RIDDELL: So clearly, guys like you don't get to where you are without hard work and discipline. I've heard about your disciplined which just sounds like it's off the chart. Recently you hosted a bachelor party.

FITZPATRICK: I did, yes.

RIDDELL: Or a stag party --

FITZPATRICK: Yes, exactly.


RIDDELL: -- with all your mates in the house, and you shut the door and wanted no part of it. How hard is it to make a sacrifice like that?

FITZPATRICK: Yes, you know, for me I just want to win, you know. And whatever it takes for me is what I got to do. And you know, I'm very lucky my closest friends understand that too. They're all -- some of them are athletes themselves as well.

They understand what it takes. And, you know, they were brilliant. They had no issues. They understood that I was playing the major next week. And I did what I had to do. And it worked out. It seems a lot for me that I feel like, you know, give me the idea of other people, it's having that dedication, going out when no one else is and working hard. That's what got me to this level. And hopefully I'll just keep doing it.

RIDDELL: You're kind of quirky. You do things your own way. You flag in when you're putting, you shift cross-handed, you make notes after every single shot. Is that the kind of rabbit hole you have to go down to give yourself an edge?

FITZPATRICK: I think so, yes. For me -- my game in particular, one thing that's holding me back was my length of the T. And I've, you know, improved that significantly over the last year or so.

And not only that, you know, I'm just trying to find every single way I can get better. Whatever it is, and I'll try and find it. I think because of that, you know, some days it pays off a little more than most.

RIDDELL: So you are known to make notes in your book after every single shot. Did you remember to mark one down after your final putt?

FITZPATRICK: I don't know. I'll have to check.

RIDDELL: I'd love to see what is there.

FITZPATRICK: Let me check.

Did I? Did I? No I didn't, I didn't even write down how close it was. But I can remember it. So I will do that later. Yes, I've done that before, a few times, maybe. Well, sometimes when I'm a bit more heated, I forget to do that.

But yesterday, I can let it slide.


COREN: He certainly can. Matt Fitzpatrick speaking to Don Riddell.

Well, Red Bull Driver Max Verstappen started his milestone 150th race on Sunday and he made it count, winning the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It's his 6th win of the F1 season, and the 26th career win for the 24-year-old Dutchman.

Carlos Sainz came in a close second, while Lewis Hamilton took 3rd. The grand prix victory is Verstappen's first in Canada.

Well, thanks so much for your company. I'm Anna Coren, live from Hong Kong.

Lynda Kinkade has more on CNN NEWSROOM after this short break. Stay with CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)