Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Russia, Belarusian Leaders Meet After Forced Flight Diversion; Lithuania's President: "Belarus is Economically and Socially Weak & Fully Dependent on Russia" So We Must Add Pressure; Terror Group Thrives in Afghanistan Ahead of U.S. Pullout; Reuters: Central Bank Lacking Money for Medical Supplies; UN Council to Investigate Possible Human Rights Violations; Photographer Gray Malin Brings the Beaches to You. Aired 11a- 12p ET

Aired May 28, 2021 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And this hour it seems all roads lead to Russia, the Kremlin looming over our top story this hour. It's no secret the

Russian President likes to be in control, supporting for example, serious dictator and now backing the authoritarian leader of a bellicose Belarus.

Vladimir Putin in a critical display of solidarity meeting with the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Russia in the past hour

Lukashenko facing international condemnation and sanctions or diverting a Ryanair Flight that just happened to have Dissident Journalists, Roman

Protasevich on board who is now in state custody.

Well, the President of Lithuania, where Protasevich lived in exile before being detained strongly condemning what happened. Here's what he said when

the news broke.


GITANAS NAUSEDA, LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT: It's unprecedented and very adherent action like the state's terrorism action against the European community. I

would like to remind that about 120 people there on board, and those people will be from 18 nationalities. So I think that time of rhetoric's and vocal

expression past it's over. We need clear actions in order to change a pattern of behavior of this very dangerous regime.


ANDERSON: Well, that was Monday. This is Friday; the Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda is with me live from the Lithuanian Capital of Vilnius. And

I do just want to start by asking you Sir if you have heard any news about the whereabouts, and the well being of Roman Protasevich.

NAUSEDA: We can only prove that those initial informations about this incident in Belarus were true. We have some new details. But they don't

change the fact that it was a state sponsor act of terrorism in order to catch opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend to force

the lending of airplane to the Minsk and then you catch them.

So this is the reason why this event and this incident were planned from the very beginning. And it was successful unfortunately. Now we have to do

everything we are able to do in order not only to condemn this fact, but also to make the costs economic, social political costs of this behavior,

maximum, just to put them to the maximum in order to achieve some results. Yes.

ANDERSON: And I want to talk about what it is that you think might happen next? Before we do are you in touch with the Belarusian government to push

for Protasevich at this point? Have you spoken with them?

NAUSEDA: Unfortunately, we don't have any direct contacts with Belarusian authorities since August, August of last year. After the Russian

authorities, Mr. Lukashenko started this unprecedented, aggressive attack against the civil society against the three journalists, just it's not

possible to collaborate with him, because it's not legitimate leader of Belarus, because there were no free and transparent elections in this


So this is the reason why we don't have the direct contacts but of course indirectly, by making public our decisions by demanding requiring Mr.

Lukashenko to release the journalists and other political prisoners. I would like to remind you that there are 400 political prisoners right now

in this country; many of them are tortured, beaten.


NAUSEDA: And one of the opposition representatives was just killed in the jail recently. So we have 30 journalists according to my information -

about 30 journalists, of - media in the jail. So we really have to do this very dangerous regime cynical, dangerous regime, led by Alexander


ANDERSON: Do you have any more details to share about the diversion of this plane? Of course it left Vilnius. Sorry, left Athens on route for Vilnius.

We understand that the alleged email, the threat of a bomb on board was in fact, a fake. What do you know?

NAUSEDA: The initial signal came from Minsk Airport with the requirement to land in Minsk airport. And this signal came 30 minutes earlier than the

email, this famous email we are talking about. So this is the reason mismatch between the information presented officially and the true

information, this mismatch shows that it was it is misinformation and we cannot just keep it for true.

So then the airplane landed and our passengers spent several hours in the airport of men's children, adults and they didn't have the water, food. But

after the waiting of several hours, they're allowed to fly to continue the fly to Vilnius, as it happened on the evening or in Sunday, on Sunday.

So this is, as you - as I mentioned, very, very serious event. We should treat very seriously and decisive reaction, not only of European Union, but

also United States is highly needed. And I think it's important to know that Belarus is economically and socially weak country.

Big state, which is fully dependent on Russia, in many senses financially, energetically, energy market is fully dependent. And we should continue and

to maintain the pressure not only on Belarus, but also on Russia, because Russia in many cases, stays behind this regime.

ANDERSON: Before we talk about that, I know that you in the last few hours, your government have expelled two Belarusian diplomats why?

NAUSEDA: Yes, this is a sign of solidarity with our neighbor, Latvia. Because the Ambassador and Diplomats of Latvian Embassy in Belarus, they're

expelled this accusation of just presenting the Belarusian historical flag during the Championship - Ice Hockey Championship in Riga.

And we already on Monday, the European leaders, we expressed our solidarity with Latvian government and recent decision of Lithuanian government just

is this a sign of solidarity with our neighbor.

ANDERSON: OK. The Belarusian Opposition Leader has criticized the European Union's position on Belarus in an interview with CNN, and I just want you

to have a listen to part of that interview.


SVETLANA TIKHANOVSKAYA, BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Let's be frank, the previous EU strategy of a wait and see towards the Belarusian regime

doesn't work. The EU approach of gradually elevated pressure on Lukashenko regime hasn't managed to change its behavior and on the lead to a growing

sense of impunity and massive oppressions.


NAUSEDA: You are right.

ANDERSON: The European Union is looking at further sanctions. Hang on, sir. But critics have said that the EU has no real credible commitment to

imposing sanctions that would actually hurt the regime. Do you share those concerns?

NAUSEDA: I don't agree. Of course, we had different stages of our reaction. I would like to remind you that we started to react directly after the

events in August 2020. And you know that there are already three stages of sanctions imposed on Belarus regime before.


NAUSEDA: But what is true that in this time, the behavior of Russian regime is so aggressive and so adherent that we should do much more in order to

make as I mentioned, the costs of this behavior as high as possible. And this is the reason why this time, I think the content of those measures

applied to Belarusian regime is much stronger, much more decisive and I expect that it will bring some results.

Just in one case, if Lukashenko is ready to ignore everything, economic and social and political consequences of course, in this case, it is very

difficult to find the measures to convince him to return to the normal civilized step.

ANDERSON: We've been speaking to Belarusian at CNN. You've called for a ban on using Belarusian airspace and that did eventually happen. Many

Belarusians that we've spoken to have said that being cut off from the rest of the world makes them feel like hostages to Lukashenko's government and

they don't see this as a fair strategy, locking people into Belarus. Do you understand that?

NAUSEDA: I understand very well, those concerns. There's always - there are always some secondary aspects of each decision. And I understand very well

the concern of those people. But we had to do something in order to make our appeals, our declarations, just real.

And the banning Belarusian airlines from the European airspace, it's very painful decision. And the clearing of Belarusian airspace unsafe for

European Union airplanes and airlines is painful too because this kind of transport generates the hard currency for this regime.

This is financial and economic measure against the regime. And during our discussions the European Council about possible targeted economic

sanctions, we also kept in mind that those sanctions should be subtle.

Those measures should be directed against the Belarusian regime or the oligarchs staying behind but not catching or not having direct impact on

the ordinary people or even the members of opposition. This is not so easy to plan such measures.

ANDERSON: What would those sanctions look like exactly, what would those sanctions look like?

NAUSEDA: I don't want to rush and start to talk about possible measures. But of course, we have in mind first of all some Belarusian state companies

which are generating the hot currency for this regime and probably they will find such measures, selective measures and they will have a direct

impact on the behavior of Belarus regime.

ANDERSON: You've appealed to the U.S. to do more Europe, certainly moving to isolate and punish Alexander Lukashenko. Russia's President today and

we've got images on the screen opening, welcoming him with open arms effectively in Sochi. Russia's been Belarus's primary defender in all of


The German Foreign Minister said that without Russian support, Lukashenko has no future in Belarus. To which Lukashenko has claimed that western

intelligence is de stabilizing Belarus in what he describes, I've read this today as a rehearsal for hybrid warfare against Moscow. What is this

current spat, let's call it that?

And I understand it's clearly more than what we might normally call a spat. But what is this current situation going to do to EU/Russian relations to

relations, you know, between yourself and Russia? I mean, just how bad could things get at this point?

NAUSEDA: I think this is not the attempt to isolate Belarusian from the side of European Union. But this is a policy of self isolation of Belarus

and partly Russia, from the rest of world or at least western community.


NAUSEDA: We see in last year, those attempts started several years ago. And now we see a continuation of this policy. So this is absolutely true that

Belarus was exposed to Russia in many senses and they're more Belarus regime is illegitimate. They are more - they are dependent on Russia.

And in this case, I think we have to talk first of all with Russia to talk about the possible solutions, we can - you can find in Belarus by not

interfering into domestic issues of Belarus, but just trying to find the solution, because this regime is not - yes.

ANDERSON: Vladimir Putin will meet with Joe Biden a couple of weeks from now. What do you want the U.S. President to tell the Russian President?

NAUSEDA: I think that President Biden should talk with Mr. Putin about the perspective of Belarus regime and to maintain the pressure on Belarus and

on Russia in order to find the solutions for Belarus.

This policy cannot be continued because it poses huge risks for the safety of the region for the safety of the neighbors for the safety of European

Union. And I think we should find those peaceful solutions and to avoid various scenarios of escalation of this conflict.

ANDERSON: Sir we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

NAUSEDA: Thank you.

ANDERSON: We'll connect you to another Russian tentacle in a different part of the world. Just about a year ago, we learned that Russian intelligence

officers were providing cash rewards to the Taliban to kill U.S. and UK troops in Afghanistan.

Well, now in an exclusive CNN report, it is clear that the Taliban has not cut ties with Al Qaeda terrorists. An October raid targeting senior Al

Qaeda militant in the Afghan province of Ghazni shows the terror group continues to thrive in Afghanistan under Taliban protection.

CNN's International Security Editor Nick Paton Walsh now with this exclusive report on how Al Qaeda continues to thrive in Afghanistan and

this is only happening with aid from the Taliban.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): Al Qaeda, the reason the U.S. went to Afghanistan are greatly diminished. The Biden

Administration said--

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's time to end America's longest war.

PATON WALSH (voice over): But a CNN investigation has discovered Al Qaeda very much alive and thriving in Afghanistan, linked to global cells, the

U.S. is hunting.

Senior Afghan Intelligence Officials tells CNN Al Qaeda are communicating with their selves worldwide from Afghanistan, getting shelter and support

from the Taliban in exchange for expertise and could be able to attack the west from there by the end of next year.

U.S. treasury in January said Al Qaeda was "Growing in strength" here. But Afghan Intelligence Officials I spoke to go further saying it's more

substantial than that, that Al Qaeda provides expertise like bomb making, but also in finance in moving cash around.

Call Al Qaeda members number in their hundreds most assessments conclude, but it's not how many but who, which is most telling? Key is senior Al

Qaeda Husam Abd-Al-Ra'uf known as Abu Muhsin al-Masri here on an FBI wanted poster issued in 2019 an Al Qaeda veteran he was in on 9/11 before it

happens that Afghan official's.

A mystery crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan in 2014. And over six years, I was told moved around different provinces in Afghanistan,

something that senior Afghan Intelligence Officials say would only have been possible if he had the assistance of top Taliban officials.

But he was in October tracked down to here, a tiny Taliban controlled village in Ghazni that we can only see on satellite images. Afghan Special

Forces lost a soldier raiding this compound so fierce with the Taliban resistance and al-Masri died of injuries here.

PATON WALSH (on camera): When they went through al-Masri's possessions his computer, they found messages, communicating with other Al Qaeda cells

around the world talking about operational matters, not necessarily attacks, but also about how soon Afghanistan could be a much freer, easier

space for them to operate in?

PATON WALSH (voice over): Then something curious happened revealing a lot about Al Qaeda and Afghanistan's global connections, particularly in this

case to Syria.


PATON WALSH (voice over): There were two rare U.S. strikes in Al Qaeda cells in Syria immediately afterwards, this one on the 15th of October and

another a week later, both in Idlib. A spokeswoman for the U.S. military said they were "Not aware" of any connection to the Afghan raid.

But a senior Afghan official told me they were most likely connected, because the Americans asked the Afghans to delay announcing their raid for

over 10 days. And during that delay, before the Afghans broke the news, both serious strikes happened.

Strikes on Al Qaeda figures are often announced by Afghan Intelligence who presents the threat as why the U.S. must stay. A Taliban spokesman rang CNN

to say the claims were false and designed to keep American money coming to Afghanistan. He also said the Taliban had agreed to kick out terrorists as

part of their peace deal with the United States.

PATON WALSH (on camera): I was told there isn't evidence at this stage that Al Qaeda is plotting attacks on the west from Afghanistan. But still, as

they grow in freedom of movement, I was told it is considered simply a matter of time until that may happen.

Raising the question is the reason why the U.S. came to Afghanistan in the first place going to end up the reason they have to come back, Nick Paton

Walsh, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.


ANDERSON: Well, to a close ally of Russia now Syria in a surprise to absolutely no one. President Bashar al-Assad won more than 95 percent of

the vote. It will be his fourth seven year term as President, experts and activists say the poll was rigged in his favor, which Damascus denies.

The U.S. and other western nations say the contest should have been held under UN supervision. You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky

Anderson. Still ahead, few developments from Ethiopia's Tigray region we have an update on the hundreds of men snatched and tortured by soldiers, a

CNN exclusive is coming up.


ANDERSON: Well, to another CNN exclusive now, this on the unrest in Ethiopia. Aid workers say hundreds of men in the Tigray region have been

released. Witnesses tell CNN that Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in the region had rounded up the men beating and harassing them.

This is video of desperate families gathered around UN offices in the region waiting for news of their loved ones while they were being held. The

soldiers also broke into at least two shelters for people displaced by the conflict before shouting we'll see if America will save you now.

It's just one of the atrocities that CNN has documented in the region. Nima Elbagir and her team have done outstanding reporting travelling across

Ethiopia and she joins me now from London. What more can you tell us about what is happening on the ground right now Nima?


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been able to speak to some of the detainees themselves who had been released and what

they describe is pretty horrifying Becky.

Many of them say that they are unable to move without pain, that the beatings were almost constant. That it was torture, at some points that the

men were laid in and out one after the other to be beaten and interrogated, accused of being part of the Tigray and rebel forces.

So understandably they are incredibly scared and although they are out and back into what they have made their homes these makeshift shelters, they

are still very afraid because the soldiers of course the Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers remain in town.

Humanitarian workers say bravely they are continuing to push back against Ethiopian officers demanding the release of the remaining handful of men.

But also demanding answers as to why these arbitrary and as UN pointed out illegal under humanitarian law, arrests were undertaken Becky?

ANDERSON: We'll do more on this as you get it. Nima for now thank you very much indeed, Nima Elbagir on the story for you.

Well, losing its best and brightest as next we head to Lebanon and asked why some of the country's best doctors are on their way out?


ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson. And I want to get you to Lebanon now and a life or death situation facing the

country. Reuters is reporting that the Central Bank is now saying there isn't enough money for medical supplies. It says the current system of

importing subsidized medical goods can't be sustained without using mandatory reserves.

Now you will know that Lebanon is in the grip of an economic crisis that has seen tens if not hundreds of thousands of people turn out onto the

streets with Beirut, subsidizing basic goods like fuel wheat and medicine since last year. Well, our Salma Abdelaziz is in the Lebanese capital and

she joins us now. What have you found?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Becky, this is truly a country on the brink. The currency is in freefall here it's lost 90 percent of its value just in

the last couple of years. The government is in gridlock, unable to form a cabinet now for months. And all of this economic and political turmoil

means that this country's brightest, its doctors and nurses are fleeing in math.


ABDELAZIZ: It is a medical brain drain. Beirut used to be on the cutting edge of medical technology a city that everyone in the region flocked to

get care. But we visited one hospital Becky, where they told us they're struggling to care for the sick and vulnerable. Take a look.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): One of Beirut's premier hospitals is in crisis mode.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): How many of these are leaving?

DR. RAMI RAAD, UROLOGIST: I can tell you that at least - I would say at least not less than 25 percent of these doctors have gone.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Lebanon is losing one of its most precious resources its doctors and nurses.

DR. RAAD: We're highly disappointed. I mean, this disappointment is huge, disappointment in our country in our petition.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): For Dr. Rami Raad, this is the moment it all changed. On August 4th, 2020, a powerful explosion at Beirut's port ripped

through this building, and much of the capital. Medical teams scramble to treat the walking wounded at their gates.

The blast shattered what little hope was left in Lebanon. Dr. Raad has given up and booked a one way ticket to Canada.

DR. RAAD: Nothing is left for us here in this country after everything that happened between the economical crisis, the August 4th explosion, and the

security issues everything around us is a mess.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Chief Medical Officer Dr. George Ghanem says 20 percent of physicians resigned, leaving the stroke units cutting edge

machine to stand idle.

DR. GEORGE GHANEM, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, LAU-RIZK HOSPITAL: Now, unfortunately, our physician, the teams of physician who are doing this are

leaving the company.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): And that means more people will die of a stroke in Lebanon?

DR. GHANEM: More people who die and we'll have a huge problem.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Quality of care here could be reversed by a decade he says. Before the crisis, nurses told us they earned about $75 a day now

due to inflation that's worth just $5. But Chief Nurse, Lina Aoun soldiers on.

LINA AOUN, CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, LAU-RAZK HOSPITAL: I belong to this country and we need to motivate all people to stay

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Do you feel you have an obligation?

AOUN: It's not an obligation. It's a conviction that I have to stay. Maybe for the time being later on us never know.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): She says almost half her team 80 nurses quit in the last year.

AOUN: It is very bad because we are losing our assets. We are losing our competent nurses, they are not friends, they are not connected our family.

We are finally here. We are working here for many years. And I think they have a better future outside, we let our children go.


ABDELAZIZ: Now, it is important to note here Becky that those who are leaving are some of the most highly trained doctors and nurses the ones

with the most experience and they're taking that knowledge with them. That creates a huge gap when it comes to training a new generation of medical


And that's not the only challenge they were facing inside that hospital. They also showed us their storeroom where there were empty shelves where

medical supplies should be because there were shortages of key medical supplies. We went and spoke to the pharmacist who told us a lot of drugs

aren't available.

They have to prescribe to patients their third, fourth or even fifth choice when it comes to some of the drugs. And this isn't just about doctors and

nurses this crisis this political turmoil this economic crisis is forcing this country's professionals to leave its scientists, its engineers, and

it's brightest. That really puts a question mark over Lebanon's future Becky.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Salma Abdelaziz is in Beirut for you. Let's speak to someone on the front line of this crisis there. Richard Haykel is the

Chairman of the Haykel Hospital in Lebanon, plus a Board Member and a syndicate of hospitals there. And he joins us now from Beirut. And I just

want you to describe the state of your hospital right now.

RICHARD HAYKEL, CHAIRMAN, HAYKEL HOSPITAL: Hi Becky, thank you for having me. First and foremost, we're having lots of problems in finding medical

supplies and drugs. As was stated in your report, the biggest problem is to be able to find the fresh funds in order to get them and sadly, the

political establishment has not made any clear decisions.

So some of the money is being used from the people's deposit to the banks to supposedly subsidize the medical supplies and the medications and that's

creating a very big problem as far as the a billing to source what's needed or provide good medical service. And then the second thing is that we're

suffering from the brain drain as you clearly say.

ANDERSON: How have your doctors and nurses coped? I mean, there have been three big disasters in Lebanon in just the recent history and I call it

history, it's just a year or less.


ANDERSON: Port - Coronavirus pandemic and this spiral of the economy, this economic downfall, all of this is clearly playing into the destruction of

this health system. You say you are absolutely witnessing this brain drain. How are those who are staying coping?

HAYKEL: So most of the people that we're losing are the young generation, right? So the problem is going to be probably more on the medium and long

term to find replacements because other fresh graduates are going to grab the opportunity to go work elsewhere.

And the COVID pandemic is a worldwide pandemic that is made the Lebanese quality of medical care providers from nurses to doctors, highly in demand

and all the different countries in the Gulf and in Europe.

So sadly, the doctors that are young are trying to go and forge a future for them abroad. Because you know, once again, the political establishment

provides no ray of hope. There's no plan that has been put in place. There's no accountability that's been done to the explosion that happened.

Nobody's been held accountable for one of the biggest Ponzi schemes that have happened in recent history. Nobody has even gone forward on how to

restructure and rebuild and provide hope? You know, the Lebanese are an extremely resilient people that sometimes placed an advantage in sometimes

places and disadvantage.

The disadvantage today is that most of them are finding innovative ways of migrating and leaving the country. And that's creating a huge, huge brain

drain in the country. And sadness, again, the political establishment, there's you know, these warlords, they use, you know, clientless methods of

non transparency, no governance, provide no hope.

So people are looking for their futures elsewhere. However, we still do have the elder generation that's here and that's, you know, very well

established, very high quality, but still available. So we're turning, we're struggling to provide proper medical care. And basically--

ANDERSON: You used the word resilient, and the Lebanese are resilient people. I have to say, and this will ring true with you, I know that the

amount of people I've spoken to who are Lebanese who say I'm fed up of being called resilient just like we need things to change.

Lebanon was once dubbed the hospital of the Arab world. Now, as you rightly point out the best and brightest, the youngsters picking up and, and

leaving. And what's the impact of this brain drain going to be not just on the medical system, but on the entire country?

HAYKEL: Basically, all the qualified people are going to leave. And the reason why we haven't seen a mass exodus is because of the COVID pandemic

that's worldwide. So many people are not able to immigrate countries where they have relatives, such as Canada or Australia; even I mean Canadians and

Australians have trouble getting to Canada and Australia at the moment with the visa requirements and pandemic restrictions, the COVID restrictions due

to the pandemic.

So once that frees up once the world is vaccinated, I imagined the brain drain will be much more severe than what we see today. And sadly, that's

going to cause but that is I think that - the effect is severe, but it's not as bad as the financial and economic situation that's in the country as


And we have to remember that we're also carrying about a million and a half refugees from neighboring countries that are also dependent on the system

that's dysfunctional, that's falling apart. That's decrepit. That's corrupt. And it's a sad story. It's a sad chapter in our history that we're


However, because we are resilient and we're sick and tired of thinking of ourselves resilient, we live in an area that's, you know, very volatile. So

we've learned to be resilient in order to survive, you know, out of the ashes comes to Phoenix and then in Lebanon, we always considered Phoenix of

the Arab world.

So hopefully, some sort of leadership will come out of all this chaos and provide hope. And Lebanon, you know, it's very rich with its Diaspora. It's

very rich with it's, you know, brain with the brains that we have, and hopefully we can build a beautiful future. But we need to get through this

and provide fine, proper leadership, which we love.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Richard, if we had to end on a moment of hope. Let's hope that that is that that leadership eventually emerges out of the ashes

of what is Lebanon at present. As you rightly point out, this is a country that that has come back in the past, and I'm sure we'll come back, but it

needs an awful lot of help and that help needs to start inside the country. Thank you sir.

HAYKEL: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, the United Nations body will investigate the 11 day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. The UN Human

Rights Council adopting the probe in a resolution brought by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Palestinian delegation to the


Israel calls the decision shameful. The investigation will look for evidence of human rights violations by Israel after days of bombing killed

some 240 Palestinians those numbers according to the Hamas run Gaza Health Ministry.


ANDERSON: More than 60 of those dead were children. Many thousands more have been left homeless. The UN Human Rights Commissioner says Israel's

actions may constitute war crimes, while also citing Hamas, for launching attacks from densely populated areas in Gaza.


MICHELLE BACHELET, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: --is found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in the impact on civilians. As we

add objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes. On the other hand, it is also a violation of international humanitarian law to locate military

assets in densely populated civilian areas, or to launch attacks from.


ANDERSON: Israel's military reports 12 people died there, including two children as a result of militant attacks. Well, the faces of the children

killed in Gaza, appearing on the front page of the Israeli Newspaper Haaretz along with those photos are linked to "New York Times" article

about the plight of children in Gaza and in Israel.

The two Israeli children killed were not pictured prompting and apology from the Haaretz, publisher. Well, as the people of Gaza fight to keep life

as normal as possible and as safe as possible particularly for the kids. One group of women has taken matters into their own hands quite literally.

CNN's Don Riddell spoke with Reema Abracadabra (ph), a University Graduate who's been instrumental in forming Gaza's first all female boxing team.

Take a look as she explains why this club has become a lifeline?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Reema; I'm 22 years old from Gaza. If graduated English and French literature last year, but still no job. My generations

do not have a nice opportunity. But if we ran away who's going to solve these problems?

One day I was walking a man followed me. I was really scared that I had to call my father. When he saw me picking up the phone he ran away. I felt

bad. I don't want to call my father stand and tell them to go away. I don't want to be afraid.

I've always wanted to die in some kind of self defense sport. One day I was going through my Facebook account that I saw this man training girls in the

streets of Gaza. I was surprised and I called him. I told him I want to box he said OK, you can bring one or two girls and we'll start.

I found 10 girls who joined me at first then more people started coming when they saw us on social media. So we made the boxing team. I didn't

really was flexing before I started playing because I didn't know that women can box.

I didn't think about it before. God says ports suitable for a woman. I like the sound does love makes him the punching bag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel my brave. I feel powerful.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've always felt the need to protect myself. I thought this is because of the boy who followed me in the street and because of the

society of harassment because of being a woman all might have been a part of this feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was 10 years old when I realized me - tennis. My parents were terrified. There were many shoots in our house, in our

building. The glass was broken, my bed was damaged. If I was sleeping, I would have died that made me cry a lot. It was really hard. The idea that

my father can protect me from anything stated to end on day we're going to have to protect ourselves or we're going to die.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sport changes lives. If it changes lives, step by step it can make a huge change in the world. I've experienced kids come from

conservative families; they had a hard time convincing their parents that it's OK if they played.

When they came, they saw these other girls who do not twist like them do not think like them have different backgrounds or different families is

twisted. We all became friends, we grew up together, and we visit each other's homes. Their parents started liking us they started liking this


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish girls in my society would be able to make decisions for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is kind of our duty to spread this image about us there are strong women Gaza, women who dance who play music, who barks who

play football very successful and very powerful woman. We are not only victim of warzone; we do not only exist and live in this miserable life,

now we fight.



EITAN NAEH, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UAE: It gives you a real perspective and a real hard look into what is the UAE Holocaust Education, tolerance as the

local efforts and really gives me as a son of Holocaust survivor. Great hope about the future of peace and normal relationships between Israel and

certainly the UAE.


ANDERSON: Well, the Israeli Ambassador to the UAE speaking with me as the first Holocaust Memorial exhibition to exist in the Arab World opened in

Dubai. We remember pays special tribute to the one and a half million children killed in the atrocity and it comes just months after the UAE and

Israel normalize relations. Well CNN was given a firsthand look at the exhibition.


YAEL GRAFY, COO, CROSSROAD OF CIVILIZATIONS MUSEUM: We made this exhibition to show also our narrative to the Arab World. Most of the people know

something about the Holocaust, but not everyone knows all the details.


GRAFY: One of the iconic pictures of the Holocaust with a kid that fending and someone with a gun on him. 1.5 million Kids died in the Holocaust time.

So we're trying to show here that every kid has a story, and we try to put the photos of the kid here.

Here we have the story of Dr. Mohamed Helmy. Mohamed Helmy is the Egyptian doctor. That study in Berlin. He saved Anna Boris. She was a kid during the

World War II. And he actually adopted her. He is the only Arab that got righteous in more nations from - the sentence from the Quran, you can see

it here we have it also in Hebrew.

We have it also in Arab cultures, whoever saves one life, save the old entire world. So I wanted to show that every person is met or every person

that did something good can bring the light and the hope.


ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Stay with us we are going to take a very short break.


ANDERSON: I want to get you back to a story that we brought you a little earlier from the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are new images just

into CNN from Goma. And what you see is a giant plume of smoke going way above the clouds that is coming from that volcano that has sent 400,000

people in its path fleeing.

Official say the crater is continuing to expand and there are now fears of another eruption. Dozens of people died in last Saturday's eruption from

this volcano frightening images. Well, these next images are quite breathtaking a collection of the best photographs of our Galaxy.

Part of the Annual Milky Way Photographer of the year competition is selected by "Capture the Atlas" these are some of the pictures which were

taken around the world by 25 photographers of 14 different nationalities. They are published right at the peak of the Milky Way season. Late May to

early June is the best time I'm told to photograph the Galaxy from both hemispheres and boy, are these some remarkable images.

Well, make every day a getaway that is the motto of photographer Gray Malin his photographs of iconic beaches are doing just that bringing a little bit

of holiday to any day. Chloe Melas takes a look now at Malin's new book and the images that made a book a best seller.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Gray Malin has become internationally known for his signature aerial beach photographs. From

Italy to Australia Malin has lived up to his catchphrase make every day a getaway.

GRAY MALIN, PHOTOGRAPHER: I started traveling around the world every single iconic beach that I could go into door less helicopters and photographing

these beaches from above. None of it staged exactly as it is there not in that moment.


MELAS (voice over): Although a passion photography began as a hobby for Malin. It wasn't until he took a leap of faith, leaving his corporate job

to pursue it full time. Now he's a "New York Times" bestselling author, and he can count Megan, Duchess of Sussex and Reese Witherspoon among his fans.

MALIN: It is the ultimate cherry on top to get to see how your work affects people on a day to day basis. You can sell work and create work but the 360

moment of seeing it come to life in someone else's space or home or life that makes it so, so powerful.

MELAS (voice over): Since Malin first stepped onto the scene over a decade ago; he's traveled to every continent and over 25 countries, creating

surreal life moments like this one in Antarctica.

MALIN: I wanted to bring the beach to Antarctica, there's this one shot of a green inner tube against this beautiful large iceberg. And in the middle

of the photograph, a piece of ice fell off the iceberg that was honestly the size of a three storey house.

MELAS (voice over): And there's the time he photographed llamas covered in balloons in Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, which is now the cover of his latest

project, a monograph featuring over 300 of his most memorable photographs.

MALIN: Just one of those photographs that I feel like it's a once in a lifetime. It's got just the right amount of whimsical and also

unbelievable, where you're not sure if this is real or not. And I love that is real.

MELAS (voice over): Now with COVID-19 travel restrictions slowly easing Malin is back at it. And we may just need his work now more than ever.

Chloe Melas, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: Striking images right? It was enough to make you want to go on holiday. I'm sure many of you work all day, whether or not you see those

photos or not. But alas, if you do stay safe, it is a pandemic still after all. Thank you for joining us this week. It's been a pleasure from the team

that I worked with here in Abu Dhabi and those working with us around the world. It's a very good evening. And thank you for joining.