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Israeli Rivals Strike Deal which Could Oust Netanyahu; Tokyo Olympic Victory Podium Revealed amid Public Fears over COVID-19; England's Traffic Light System for Incoming Travelers; Russian Ransomware Attack. Aired 10- 11a ET

Aired June 03, 2021 - 10:00   ET





YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI CENTRIST OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): Mr. President, I'm calling you to say I've succeeded in forming a government.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Is this a new era for Israeli politics?

An extraordinary alliance looks to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu.


ANDERSON: Then, 10,000 Olympic volunteers bow out. The growing pressure to call it all off continuing to be met with a go-ahead for the games.

And NASA announces an ambitious new space mission, rediscovering Venus.


ANDERSON: Hello. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

The days ahead are likely to be a roller coaster ride in Israeli politics. Parties from across the political spectrum have signed on to a new

coalition which share a singular goal: ending the reign of Israel's longest serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The centrist Yair Lapid, on the right in this picture, was tasked with forming the new government but it wasn't until right-wing Yamina Party

leader Naftali Bennett signed on that they gained traction.

And just before the midnight deadline on Wednesday, they called the president.


LAPID (through translator): Mr. President, I am calling you to say that I have succeeded in forming a government with the factions of Yesh Atid,

Yamina, Kahol Lavan, Ra'am, New Hope, Meretz and the Labor Party. All of them together, they sign for me. They all signed for me. They all told that

I have succeeded as far as they're concerned.

So I'm calling to inform you that I've succeeded in forming government.

NAFTALI BENNETT, YAMINA PARTY LEADER (through translator): Mr. President, we will do together whatever it good for Israel and we will see you at the

swearing-in ceremony. Thank you very much.


ANDERSON: You are looking at another historic moment. The leader of the United Arab List party, Mansour Abbas, signing on to that new coalition. It

is the first time an Arab Israeli party has joined a coalition. Parliament still has to approve it.

And what of Mr. Netanyahu, possibly in his final days in office?

He tweeted one simple line, "All the members of the Knesset that were chosen by right-wing voters have to be against this dangerous left-wing


Let's bring in Hadas Gold, who has been following this story for us from Jerusalem.

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it was an historic night last night because, after four elections, 2.5 years of

political dysfunction, Yair Lapid did seem to pull it off 38 minutes before the deadline, calling the Israeli president, telling him he had managed to

form a coalition.

It's very unique what they are calling a unity government. As you noted, political parties from across the spectrum. You have got the left wing

Meretz, through the center to Naftali Bennett's right wing Yamina Party and then the historic moment, the United Arab List, an Arab Israeli party,

signing a coalition.

In the past Arab Israeli parties have given support to governments from the outside but never before have they actually signed on the dotted line and

signed for the coalition. Take a listen to what the leader of that party, Mansour Abbas, told reporters last night.


MANSOUR ABBAS, RA'AM PARTY LEADER (through translator): I just signed an agreement with Yair Lapid so they can form a government after we've reached

a critical mass of agreements on issues that will serve the interests of Arab society and provide solutions to urgent problems Arab society faces in

various fields.


GOLD: So even though this coalition has been reached and they've been signed, they've informed the president it's not over because now it has to

pass this confidence vote in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

That needs to happen on or before June 14th, which gives Benjamin Netanyahu several days to potentially try and twist the arm of some members of his

coalition to try to get them to vote against the coalition. He only needs a handful of them to cause this coalition to crumble.

As you noted from that tweet, he's already putting on the pressure publicly in this tweet, calling it a dangerous left wing government. A little bit

little ironic considering Naftali Bennett is further to the right than Netanyahu on certain issues and there are plenty of right-wing parties

within this coalition.

But he's calling it a dangerous left-wing government. He's claiming that it will be a danger to Israeli security. Now there's actually already an

effort underway by this new coalition to replace the speaker of the Israeli parliament, to try and push up this vote of confidence.


GOLD: Because every day that passes is another day for Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies to try to bring this coalition down. And this new government

wants this vote to happen as soon as possible so they can get sworn in and have a new prime minister and end Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year run as the

longest serving Israeli prime minister.

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for you.

And Hadas filed a report on Naftali Bennett earlier, giving our viewers a glimpse of the man who could be Israel's next prime minister. Have a look.


GOLD (voice-over): Once a close aide to the prime minister, this may be the man to break Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year run as Israel's leader:

Naftali Bennett, a right-wing, ambitious, self-made tech millionaire, eager to stake out a personal mark in Israel's future.

BENNETT (through translator): I'm announcing today that I intend to act with all my strength to form a national unity government, together with my

friend, Yair Lapid, so that God willing we will rescue the country from this tailspin and we will get Israel back on track.

GOLD: The 49-year-old was born in Haifa, to immigrants from San Francisco. A modern orthodox Jew, Bennett served in an elite unit of the Israel

Defense Forces for six years in the 1990s.

He then became an entrepreneur in the high tech sector, after studying law at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

Bennett launched a tech startup in 1999, which he later sold for a hundred and forty-five million dollars. Bennett burst onto the political scene in

2013, leading the orthodox Jewish Home Party to seats in the Israeli parliament.

BENNETT: We're more realistic. We think that, vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue, the full peace sort of or formula, Palestinian state within Israel,

is suicidal. And it turns out that most Israelis view that. But we've put forward a realistic, practical plan.

GOLD: At his ideological core is a strong opposition to a Palestinian sovereign state. And his party keen to annex parts of the West Bank.

Bennett's other positions are not without controversy, saying that Palestinian terrorists should be killed, rather than released.

In April 2019 election, his party did not get through the electoral threshold and were left in the political wilderness.

After a merger with another party, he rebranded the party Yamina in 2019 and holds seven seats in the Knesset. He eventually returned to the

corridors of power, becoming very close to the prime minister.

He served in various Netanyahu governments as defense, education and economic minister. But despite sharing in similar ideology, Bennett and

Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship.

After four failed elections in two years and the recent armed conflict with Hamas-led militants in Gaza, Bennett agreed to join forces with centrist

Yair Lapid to push out Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The question is, will Bennett and Yair Lapid have the parliamentary votes to unseat the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history? -- Hadas

Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


ANDERSON: Let's bring in close confidante of Mr. Netanyahu and fellow Likud Party member Tzachi Hanegbi. He has held a number of high-level

positions, currently Israel's minister of community affairs.

Sir, thank you for joining us. We're talking about the possible end of an era here.

What chance Benjamin Netanyahu can prevent this new government and the end of an era?

TZACHI HANEGBI, LIKUD MP, ISRAELI MINISTER OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: We have a week before the final vote. It's going to be probably next Wednesday.

Until then, we are trying to convince members of the Israeli parliament not to support this Left government headed by a right-wing candidate that

really, as far as we feel, deceived the constituency and is now moving the vote from the right wing to the left wing.

So we will see in a week what will be the result of our efforts to convince more and more members of the Israeli parliament to support Netanyahu to

stay as prime minister.

ANDERSON: How likely is it, do you believe -- you're inside Israeli politics. You're talking to people on a regular basis, of course. You're

part of the government.

How likely is it that you will see defectors at this point?

HANEGBI: Well, there is a contradiction between what we see in the polls and the popular vote and what's happening now in the parliament.

I'm sure you're aware of the fact that three right wing parties, that used to be a traditional part of the right wing in the parliament, are now

cooperating with the foreign members of the parliament, that are from the center left or left.


HANEGBI: And ultimately, they intend to bring down prime minister Netanyahu and to elect a new prime minister, Mr. Bennett.

So the voters, the constituency, as far as we see from the polls, are very much against it. The majority of the people that voted for those right-wing

parties are feeling betrayed in a way.

But the leaders of those parties are still committed to go forward with this new government. And we will have to see whether the pressure coming

from the constituency of those parties will have an impact.

If not, we will see probably a change in the political arena. It's not going to be very long. We see that this government is 61 -- has 61

supporters in the parliament out of 120. You know, it's a very problematic --


ANDERSON: But that is the --

HANEGBI: -- majority.

ANDERSON: Yes, that's the problem with Israeli politics, of course, isn't it, because the Likud Party and Benjamin Netanyahu have only been able to

scrape together those 61 in the past. And that's where the sort of -- that's where the instability has come for so long now.

You don't want a fifth election, sir, do you?

HANEGBI: Can you repeat, please?


ANDERSON: Do you really want to fight a fifth election in two years?

HANEGBI: No, no, definitely. No citizen in Israel -- sane (ph) citizen in Israel would like to see a new election because they are not going to

change the situation.

We believe that the current situation in the parliament allows prime minister Netanyahu to build very harmonious right-wing government. But

unfortunately, due to personal ambitions and personal interests that are part of -- unfortunate part of the human nature, we see that some members

of the right-wing school of thought move to the other side. And we will see what will happen next week.


ANDERSON: There will be people who have a wry smile on their face when they hear you say it is the result of people with personal ambition that

this has come about.

And of course you're talking about Naftali Bennett, when so many people would suggest that is the M.O., as it were, of Benjamin Netanyahu himself.

Of course, this all brings up some big questions for the Likud Party, of which you are a member. It has remained unflinchingly loyal to Benjamin

Netanyahu over the years. There have been reports the health minister plans to challenge Netanyahu for the leadership of Likud.

Should the party go in a different direction if it ends up being an opposition?

Do you believe it needs someone new to take the reins at this point?

HANEGBI: It's an unlikely scenario. We believe in the leadership of prime minister Netanyahu. And about the smile that you just mentioned, you know,

prime minister Netanyahu had a lot of ambitions.

But the majority of the right wing voters voted for him. He got 30 mandates while the opponents, that I just related to, got six mandates each. So the

majority of the people in the right-wing camp in Israel still support prime minister Netanyahu.

He will serve as the head of the opposition. He had done it twice in the past. He lost the elections in 1999 and then he lost again in 2006. And he

came back powerful and more strong than ever before.

So I believe that, even though there might be a Left government within a week, we will see prime minister leading the opposition. Israel, as you

know, is a vibrant democracy. We have a lot of room to work in the parliament to try to bring the Left government down and then we will go for

a new election and let the people make a decision again.

ANDERSON: He faces criminal action at present, though, doesn't he?

I mean, how confident are you that, should he lose the leadership, that this may be the end for Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli politics?

HANEGBI: Again, I see what's happening within my party. The overwhelming majority of the party just voted for Netanyahu like a year ago, when there

was a contender trying to compete with him.

And he got 26 percent of the vote and prime minister Netanyahu got more than 73 percent. Again, it's legitimate in our system to challenge the

prime minister.


HANEGBI: He's going to be the head of the party anyway. And we will see whether somebody will believe that he has this power. Netanyahu will go on

leading the party for many, many years to come. You know, many people would like to replace him, me included. We are wishing for this to happen

whenever it happens.

But we know that, at the moment, the leader, who is now one of the most senior leaders in the world, with the perspective and experience and

knowledge and really amazing achievement, you know what's happening now in Israel.

One of the few countries of the world that really won against the pandemic and many other achievements. So we believe in prime minister Netanyahu. And

even though he will have to step down for a while, we'll support him whenever it is possible to be back leading the country.

ANDERSON: Let me close by just asking about Naftali Bennett, who could be prime minister by late next week. He's been described as one of the most

far-right politicians in your country. And he openly opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state.

I wonder what direction, briefly, you believe he will take Israel in, if, indeed, he becomes leader?

And how will you position yourself and indeed how will your party be positioned against him in opposition?

HANEGBI: Well, the main ability of the new government to function is not to make decision that will rock the boat because you have people from the

far left there and people from the Right, even from the far right, like Mr. Bennett, and from the Russian -- from the Arabs and from the secular and

the, you know, various components, try to go together with one real, one common denominator, which is to bring Netanyahu down out of hatred,

jealousy, animosity, whatever.

So I don't think they will be able to establish any clear-cut agenda. So we won't see any major decisions. It's a problematic thing to do in Israel

because we have decisions to make almost every day vis-a-vis the Iranians, the Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, other enemies of Israel.

But they will try to be very, very cautious in making decisions. And I don't think they will be able to address in any harmonious way the

Palestinian issue. So probably we won't see any specific agenda that we'll be addressing the major challenges of Israel in the next year or 1.5 years.

ANDERSON: With that, we'll leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. This, of course, is not a done deal yet. But at least

certainly, as far as Yair Lapid is concerned, he's gone over the first hurdle. Thank you, sir.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator says the next round of talks in Vienna could be the final one. He says there has been great progress but wouldn't say

still, and I quote him here, "critical disagreements" to be solved.

Delegations are set to head back to the bargaining table next week. The U.S. is seeking to return to the deal, of course, which the Trump

administration abandoned but it wants Tehran to resume compliance with strict limits on uranium enrichment. Iran wants U.S. sanctions lifted.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you.

Still ahead, new details on how the White House is fighting back after the latest ransomware attack targeting American companies.

Plus, less than 50 days to go until the Olympics start in Tokyo. We'll tell you what the head of Japan's COVID-19 task force says about holding the

games during what is such a difficult time.





ANDERSON: Less than 50 days to go until the 2020 Summer Olympics kick off in Japan. And to mark that, organizers unveiled the podium, music and

costumes that will be used during victory ceremonies.

But the excitement has not allayed the public's fears that a throng of international visitors will bring in new COVID-19 infections. The head of

Japan's COVID-19 prevention task force told parliament that holding the games under this pandemic situation is, quote, "not normal;" 10,000 out of

80,000 volunteers who had signed up to help have reportedly pulled out.

As we speak, several prefectures are under a state of emergency until at least the 20th of June. But the Tokyo 2020 president told Japan's Nikkon

Sports (ph) that postponing the games again would be impossible.

CNN's Selina Wang got a look at final preparations that are now underway in the Japanese capital. Have a look.


SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pressure is building for the Olympics to be canceled but here on the ground in Tokyo, final preparations

appear to be underway.

With just less than two months to go until the Olympics, the organizers are pushing ahead in the face of public opposition, with the games very much in

operational mode.

So behind me here is the venue being built for BMX racing and skateboarding. This venue can hold potentially thousands of spectators. Now

we know already that foreign spectators are banned from attending the Olympics but organizers have yet to announce how many local spectators, if

any, can attend the games.

Over there are the spectator stands being built for marathon swimming and the triathlon. This is all temporary, just for the Olympic Games. I'm here

in Odaiba Marine Park, which is normally open to the public but now it's been largely boarded off in preparation for the games.

I spoke to one of the construction workers here, who told me he does not think the Olympic Games should move ahead.

WANG (voice-over): "Infections are rising during the pandemic," he tells me. "I wonder if what I'm doing is good for the people, preparing for the

Olympics," he says. "But it's my job to work under the assumption that the games are going ahead."

WANG: Tokyo is planning large Olympic viewing sites across the city, including one here at Yoyogi Park, as this sign indicates.

But amid public opposition, the government now says this will be used as a vaccination site. Japan has fully vaccinated less than 3 percent of its


ROCHELLE KOPP, MANAGING PRINCIPAL, JAPAN INTERCULTURAL CONSULTING: People here are not protected. I don't think we should have it. I think everyone I

know in Tokyo is scared to death of people from all over the world coming.

WANG: But others in Tokyo are more optimistic.

WANG (voice-over): "I'm really looking forward to the Olympics," she says. "People are down because of the pandemic. We need something fun."

WANG: This national stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held, was rebuilt at a cost of more than one billion dollars for these

Olympic Games. In fact, Japan has already spent more than $6 billion on Olympic infrastructures, like venues and temporary buildings.

The economic cost of canceling these games would be enormous but at stake here is not just money and Japan's national pride but people's lives --

Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: After three lockdowns, more disappointment for people in England, many of them desperate to pack their bags and passports to see

loved ones. But British media now reporting no additions to the latest green list of go-to countries.

Portugal are getting kicked off that list and moved to the higher-risk amber category. Part of this -- this is all part of the U.K.'s traffic

light system for traveling to England. Here's how it works.

Passengers arriving from countries on the green list won't need to self- isolate. Amber translates into 10 days of quarantine, with an optional test and release scheme.


ANDERSON: Only British and Irish citizens and those with U.K. residence will be allowed to enter England at all from countries on the red list.

Plus, you'll need to quarantine in a government-monitored hotel if, indeed, you do travel.

The Pan American Health Organization says Central America is reporting more COVID deaths than ever before and cases are accelerating in some parts of

the region. Stefano Pozzebon has the details from Bogota in Colombia.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over in the Western

Hemisphere, with particularly concerning situations in Brazil, which, on Wednesday, reported more than 95,000 new coronavirus cases in less than 24

hours. And that's the second highest single day increase in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

And in Central America, which is now reporting more coronavirus deaths at any point during the pandemic, according to the Pan American Health

Organization, with particularly concerning outbreaks in El Salvador, Panama and Haiti.

And Dr. Carissa Etienne, who is the director of the Pan American Health Organization, said that, while, for the last few weeks, cases have been

plateauing and even decreasing in some countries, cases have now risen across the hemisphere in the last week, with the only exception of the

United States, Mexico and Canada, where they are still reporting decreases in new cases and deaths.

In Colombia, for example, the number of new cases has almost tripled in some of the region, according to PAHO. And Etienne said what's particularly

worrying is the number of people that is moving around the continent and that the lockdown restrictions are being lifted prematurely, which is

creating a perfect environment for the virus and worrying new variants to spread without restriction.

Here in Bogota town, for example, intensive care units are yet again bordering capacity. But the local mayor have announced that a total

reopening of the city starting next week in order to try to boost an economy that is being deeply affected by the COVID lockdown -- for CNN,

this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


ANDERSON: Still ahead, strong words from the U.S. secretary of state after the latest cyberattack on an American company. Details on that are coming


And a little later, getting to know the neighbors. NASA unveils two bold new missions to Venus. They could unlock some secrets about how our two

planets turned out worlds apart.





ANDERSON: The White House is pushing for companies to treat ransomware attacks with more urgency after several high-profile cyberattacks. Now the

latest victim is the world's largest meat supplier, JBS Foods.

It now says all of its U.S. facilities will be back up and running today. There is no word on whether the company paid a ransom. The FBI says a gang

likely based in Russia is behind the attack.

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken called on Russian leaders to find these criminal enterprises and bring them to justice. The White House says

President Joe Biden will discuss the issue with the Russian president when they meet later this month.

My next guest is a cybersecurity expert and he is the CEO of Checkpoint, one of Israel's largest technology companies.

Gil Shwed spoke virtually at a global investment forum in Dubai on Wednesday and he said that a supercharged year, mixing cyberattacks and the

coronavirus, has changed all of the world's geopolitical rules for rivalries between countries.

Gil is regarded as one of the fathers of modern internet security and joins us from Tel Aviv.

When you hear about the latest of what has been a number of attacks using ransomware on U.S. companies -- and wider, you could say U.S.

infrastructure -- are you surprised?

GIL SHWED, CYBERSECURITY EXPERT: Well, at first, good to see everyone. I'm not surprised. This is the things that we're seeing that we were basically

expecting for several years.

The one thing we definitely see is the huge increase in the -- both sophistication and the number of attacks. And you know, we are envisioning

a situation like where, in the last two or three years, we call it fifth generation cyberattacks. And we're now here and in a very, very big way.

ANDERSON: This is real. We are seeing it, you said, at the conference, referencing a new wave of cyberattacks, shutting down entire sectors of

infrastructure. The U.S., on this occasion, has asked the Russian authorities not to harbor criminal enterprises that engage in these


What would you expect the response from the Russian authorities to be?

SHWED: First, I am trying to stay out of politics and we are protecting customers all over the world, in Russia, in the U.S. and we're defending

everyone. I would probably think that most of the organizations behind these attacks are hiding themselves very, very well.

And one of the challenges in cyberattacks is it's very hard to attribute them to a specific government or a specific state. Again, we can do that.

We say who is likely behind but those. But the real attribution is really hard to put for any -- every attack like that.

So governments don't take much responsibility for attacks from their country or sometimes sponsored by them.

ANDERSON: The ransomware attack on the meat processing giant, JBS, is a good example, isn't it, of how varied cyberattacks can be. They can impact

anything from food security to electricity, our financial systems and so the list goes on.

They can hit a country and its consumers where it hurts. You've said cybersecurity is reshaping the geopolitical chess board.

How will it change our world and our politics going forward, do you believe?

SHWED: I think, first, every country can become a superpower in cyber and even worse than that. The tools that are developed by superpowers, by

countries we know and countries that are usually, you know, we support, can, once these tools leak, every criminal, every kingdom, every hostile

country or terror organization can use the same tools.

So highly conventional warfare, when we know who is controlling the big powers and who doesn't have access to them, here, it's, unfortunately in

that regard, very democratic. And sooner or later, everyone who -- got access to the strategic weapons.

ANDERSON: Cybersecurity experts now predicting cybercrime damages the global economy to the tune of, I think I'm right in saying, $6 trillion



ANDERSON: Are governments getting better at mitigating the impact of these costly attacks, briefly?

SHWED: First, I think overall, I mean, we've looked at the last year. Everything moved to the virtual world. I mean we were -- I mean, our

dependence on online everything: online entertainment, online shopping and almost 100 percent online work became huge.

And I'm glad to say, being part of the internet industry, we survived. And being part of the cyber industry, we protected -- we are protecting against

millions of attacks every day.

If you look at our threat map at Checkpoint, you see that we block millions of attacks every day. No --


SHWED: -- attacks every single day. So we are dealing with it. Our government is doing better. I'm not so sure. I mean, I know many

government, many organizations, the governments around the world, they have very good people, very good intelligence.

But the concept of translating that intelligence into prevention, into stopping the attack, doesn't really work because the government doesn't

have a cyber defense. They have, you know, cyber intelligence. They have a lot of good people but we can't send the soldiers. We can't send the

policemen to stop these attacks.

And I think the world does need to build a better infrastructure for that. When we see an attack, we can block it in tens of thousands or hundreds of

thousands of sites in real time.

And remember, cyberattacks are very, very fast. Unlike conventional, again, warfare, when we have days, weeks and actually usually years to prepare,

here, in many cases, we have less than a second when we see an attack that's unknown, that we've never see before from the time that we need to

stop it on a large-scale basis.

ANDERSON: You spoke at the investment forum here in Dubai yesterday. Israelis and Emiratis discussing the potentially business opportunities are

fortified by the Abraham accords. You wouldn't have been in town or even speaking at that conference a year ago.

The business opportunities that we hear discussed a lot are, in principle, those of cybersecurity and intelligence sharing. Now you've had offices in

Dubai for well over a decade, as I understand it.

How do you believe normalization will deepen cooperation across this range of issues, a range of issues the UAE sees as essential to its regional


SHWED: First, I think the UAE and Israel are two countries that when very high investments in technology in general and in cyber specifically. So

that's a great opportunity for us.

But I mean, I must say that we are -- both countries are small corners of the world. I think Israel is a -- I think a cyber power in the -- in the

world. They were like one-third of the startup in cybersecurity are from Israel and we at Checkpoint are one of the -- we are the pioneers of

internet security. We are one of the largest companies in that space.

But still, let's remember, our region is a small thing. We do see -- I mean, at least in general, it's a very interesting warfare for cyber. But

again it has the higher statistics than other places in the world.

For example in the world, one out of 50 organizations is being subject to ransomware attack. In the Middle East, it's one out of 33, which is not

very encouraging.

But again, we are a small portion of -- we say global world -- and at Checkpoint at least, we're trying to defend. I mean, most of our customers

are in the U.S. and Europe, 80 percent, 90 percent of our customers are there.

ANDERSON: Gil, it's a pleasure having you on. Your world is one we need to understand more about, because it's a world that is impacting on us every

day. Thank you so much. We'll have you back, sir.

Some news just in to CNN. President Biden's list of visits is growing on his upcoming trip to Europe. Sources say he'll meet with the British prime

minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit in southwest England. That summit being hosted by Mr. Johnson next week.

Also, Buckingham Palace has announced that Queen Elizabeth II will meet with Joe Biden and the first lady, Jill, during that trip.

Let's taking up the speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. A massive fire, mostly distinguished (sic) a day after it

broke out at an Iranian oil refinery. That's according to state media. The head of Tehran's crisis management office says the cause was a leak at a

liquid gas pipeline.

Eighteen tankers at the facility caught fire. So far, there are no reports of casualties.

A container ship that burned for nearly two weeks has triggered this large- scale cleanup along Sri Lanka's western coast. More damage could be coming if there is an oil leak from the now sinking ship. It was transporting

industrial chemicals and plastic micropellets. Fishing in the area is suspended.

And an explosive story from "The Guardian" newspaper.


ANDERSON: The British paper reporting that Buckingham Palace banned foreigners from office roles until at least the late 1960s. The palace

dismissed the story as being based on a second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. We'll be right back after this.




ANDERSON: For the first time in more than 40 years, NASA is launching two new missions to study Venus, Earth's closest planetary neighbor. Da Vinci

may help determine how Venus formed and evolved. Its cameras are designed to plunge through the planet's thick atmosphere and capture high resolution


And the mission Veritas will map the planet's surface from orbit. That could shed light on why it became a mostly dead planet with a toxic

atmosphere, despite sharing many characteristics with Earth.

Some scientists believe Venus once had an ocean and a climate similar to Earth but now has temperatures hot enough to melt lead. Both missions

scheduled to launch some time between 2028 and 2030.

Never mind molten lead. England manager Gareth Southgate absolutely steaming after he heard this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before we start here, all the players will take the knee. It has been a mixed reaction at grounds around the country. But

England players --

ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, it was more than a mixed reaction. Some boos clearly heard there before Wednesday's friendly win against Austria as

England players took a knee to highlight the ongoing campaign to end racism.


ANDERSON: An angry Southgate quick to condemn it. CNN's Alex Thomas connecting us to the details.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We'll tell you what Southgate says in "WORLD SPORT" in a moment but it's peculiar how booing has become

commonplace. The England players have publicly said this is not a political movement. It's not connected to Black Lives Matter.

They're simply saying you should not be treated differently based on the color of your skin, something we should all get behind.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. We'll be back after that.