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England Lockdown Delayed; New P.M. Takes Office After Diverse Coalition Ousts Netanyahu; Jailed Belarusian Journalist Appears At News Conference. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 14, 2021 - 10:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNNI INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A new beginning. Israel's coalition government gets down to business and the Prime Minister Naftali


China are on their minds. NATO leaders including Joe Biden smile, but they talk tough when it comes to security.

And bracing for bad use of Britain's Prime Minister and end to England's lockdown likely to be delayed.

Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Becky Anderson. Good to have you with us. Well, it's a very busy day on the

global political stage. The NATO summit underway in Brussels comes just after the G7 Summit wrapped up in England. It's all part of Joe Biden's

first overseas trip as U.S. President.

And Israel's first new prime minister in 12 years is at work facing big challenges in a starkly divided government and a vow from the man he ousted

to return to power soon. When Naftali Bennett and his cabinet are holding a ceremonial meeting today with Israel's president. Mr. Bennett was sworn in

Sunday after Israel's Parliament approved the new government by a single vote.

His right-wing party is only seven seats and then 120 member Knesset. But in diverse, a party coalition successfully unseated Benjamin Netanyahu

after four deadlocked elections in two years. Well, our correspondent Hadas Gold is connecting us to all the big developments today from Jerusalem and

joins us live. Good to see you, Hadas. So, the first day in 12 years, the man once dubbed the king of Israel is no longer running the country.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. For the first time since 2009 somebody other than Benjamin Netanyahu is Prime Minister of Israel. And

it's hard I think, for some people in Israel to imagine that this man who has had such a grip on power in Israel over the past 12 years is out of



GOLD (voice-over): The balloons were left hanging as Netanyahu waved goodbye from what might have been the final election night. Once again, his

Likud Party won the most number of seats but not enough to claim outright victory and break Israel's political dysfunction. Four elections in two

years and an inability to form a lasting government. As he left the stage the many political enemies he collected along the way, began gathering to

oust him.

Aiming to bring an end to one of the most influential figures in Israeli history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never intended to stay.

GOLD: Netanyahu launched his political career in the United States as Israel's ambassador to the U.N.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Larry King Live. Tonight of bloodbath, Rocks the Cradle of civilization. Is there one man who can stop it?

GOLD: Where he honed his skills with the media that barely knew how to pronounce his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our first guest tonight is Benjamin Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu is the recently resigned ambassador to the United Nations.

GOLD: A connection with the media and the U.S. that would define the rest of his political path.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we are asked to defend this tiny country.

GOLD: A representative of Israel during some of its tenses periods like the goal for.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I must say that this is the dandiest way to conduct an interview.

GOLD: Soon after Netanyahu pulled off his first stroke of political magic in 1996.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The exit polls and projections were giving the incumbent Shimon Peres a slight lead. Something in the range of about 1-1/2

percentage points over his challenger Benjamin Netanyahu.

GOLD: Squeezing by to in his first term as prime minister with a wafer thin majority.

During his first term, U.S. brokered peace initiatives gave the Prime Minister the world stage legitimacy he craved. But Israeli voters were not

convinced and he was ousted after one term. Netanyahu spent part of the next 10 years preparing himself for his next move, returning to power in



GOLD: His relationship with the new U.S. president strained from the start, as attempts to restart the Palestinian peace process sputter. Reaching a

near breaking point as Netanyahu positioned himself the chief antagonist of the Iran Nuclear Deal.

NETANYAHU: A red line should be drawn right here.

GOLD: Which Obama was negotiating.


GOLD: Even addressing the U.S. Congress infuriating the White House.

NETANYAHU: That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guaranteed that Iran gets those weapons. Lots of them.

GOLD: Obama giving a short rebuttal just hours later.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The alternative that the Prime Minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately

begin once again pursuing its nuclear program.

GOLD: The relationship between the two men remain tense, as Obama continually criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank, scene is

detrimental to any formal peace process. But U.S. relations turned with Donald Trump's 2016 election win. It was a bromance that Netanyahu craved,

an American president with whom he shared a common language,


GOLD: And alliances with the far right, the critics say normalized extremism. And almost identical Middle Eastern agenda, recognizing

Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

NETANYAHU: Our greatest ally, the United States of America. Today, its embassy opened here.

GOLD: Endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

NETANYAHU: And on this day, you too have charted a brilliant future, a brilliant future for Israelis, Palestinians and the region.

GOLD: And proposing a deal of the century with the Palestinians. So favoring the Israeli position, the Palestinians dismissed it as the slap of

the century. Then the Abraham accords, historic normalization agreements with Arab countries.

NETANYAHU: You have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today.

GOLD: For Netanyahu shifting the diplomatic paradigm in the region from land for peace, to peace for peace. But after 12 consecutive years in

power, Netanyahu making little progress on peace with Palestinians. Three bloody conflicts with Hamas-led militants in Gaza, more settlements in the

West Bank, all helping make Israel an increasingly partisan issue in U.S. politics.

Meanwhile, an ongoing legal battle on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, threatening jail time. Netanyahu denying all the charges, even

after a world leading coronavirus vaccination campaign. In the end, it was the personal equation that many enemies made along the way that led to his

downfall. Former allies and longtime foes reaching across the political spectrum with one common goal, bringing King Bibi's reign to an end, at

least for now.


GOLD: And Netanyahu may be out of office, but his political life is far from over. A friend or foe marvel at the 71-year-old seemingly boundless

energy and he is now leader of the opposition. He still leaves the biggest party in Israeli Parliament. And he has already been vowing that he and his

allies will do everything they can to topple this new government and topple it quickly. Lynda?

KINKADE: Yes. He's certainly attempting to make some sort of comeback by the sounds of it. He says it's going to be soon. We'll wait and see what

exactly that means. Given that Naftali won by such a razor thin majority, what sort of challenge is it going to be for him trying to hold on to


GOLD: Well, the first challenge for this new government is honestly just to survive. It is a rather fragile coalition. When you just look at all of the

different political parties that are sitting together. I think it's hard for a lot of Israelis to imagine and realize that it's the reality that a

far-left party is sitting with a far-right party is sitting with an Arab- Israeli party. The first time in Israeli history that an Arab-Israeli party is part of a governing coalition.

One of the first tasks facing these government is just to simply function. And then also to pass a state budget for the last several years, there has

not been a budget that is a huge detriment, of course, for a government to be able to function. Now this new government vows that they will do so

within the first 150 or so days. And many analysts here think that if they managed to pass that budget, then it gives a good indication that this

government will be able to survive past just a few months.

Of course, Netanyahu and his allies will be doing everything they can to try to prevent that from happening, to try to bring this government down,

potentially bring about new elections and give Netanyahu a chance for a comeback. A chance for a third term because although he is out of office,

he is still leader of the opposition. He still will have a huge voice not only in Israel, but also around the world.

KINKADE: Yes. He certainly does. And given -- we didn't sort of see any sort of riots as a result of this transfer of power but there was a lot of

heckling as Naftali spoke. And we have seen Netanyahu is going to break with tradition by not hosting and inauguration.


GOLD: There's the formal sort of public transfer of power that has not happened. Naftali Bennett and Netanyahu did meet today for about 30

minutes. But that's right. That's sort of the more traditional photo ops between the previous prime minister and the new prime minister have not

happened. I mean, Netanyahu has been very public about his dislike now of Naftali Bennett, calling him a fraud, calling him a fake right winger.

During the speeches yesterday in Parliament, Netanyahu was attacking Bennett for almost his entire speech, saying that he will do the opposite

of everything that Bennett promising that Israeli Prime Minister needs to be able to stand up, for example, to an American president, to American

ministration and say no to them sometimes saying that Naftali Bennett does not have it in him.

Now, Netanyahu and his allies will be working very hard to try to topple this already fragile coalition. And this coalition has been pretty open,

saying that they're not going to try to take on any of these really big hot button issues facing Israeli society. You should not expect any sort of

major peace process with the Palestinians to start anytime soon, just because if you just look at the diversity of the coalition, the differing

views sitting there, it'll be hard to come to a consensus on something like that.

Instead, they will be focusing much more on sort of the interior issues. Things like infrastructure, welfare reform, economic reform, especially

post coronavirus, that will be their main goals other than also just to stick together and to survive. They say that they can do this. They say

this is a new way of governing, a new unity government. They hope that they can show a new path forward for Israeli democracy.

But it will be a big question just whether they can even survive the next few months, get this budget passed and see this government through at least

the next two years before then there should be an alternating prime minister then Yair Lapid will take over as prime minister. Many who are

questioning whether this government will even survive until that point.

KINKADE: A lot for you to watch over the coming days, weeks and months. We will speak to you again soon, Hadas Gold. Thank you.

You can read much more on the upheaval and Israel's government on our Web site. Hadas Gold writing it. Despite the deepening divisions that led to

Benjamin Netanyahu's ouster, some analysts and two experts believe he made Israel much stronger during his second term as prime minister. That's on Also in the scene, an app on your smartphone.

With just days before the U.S. president sits down with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva, a jailed Belarusian journalist has appeared on

camera saying what the Kremlin may want to hear. Roman Protasevich has appeared at a Belarusian government news conference declaring that there

was no forced landing of a Ryanair jet that ended up in Minsk. That's where he and his girlfriend were taken off the plane and detained.

Well, I want to bring in out Frederik Pleitgen for more on all of this. And Fred, just take us through what he said. And is there any indication this

was said under duress?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's every indication, Lynda, that this was said under duress. And certainly you can

already see that the opposition -- Belarusian opposition is already crying foul. The senior aide Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the

Belarusian opposition said make no mistake this man as he put it is a hostage of the Belarusian regime and a trophy of the Belarusian regime as


So they are certainly crying foul about this and saying they believe that everything that Roman Protasevich said in that press conference, he

essentially said that his health was not failing that he was being used by the opposition. They said do not believe any of it. Of course, one of the

things that we've heard from the U.S. and its allies after that the Ryanair plane was made to land in Minsk and purchase Protasevich and his companion

were taken off that plane.

So they've taken strong actions. They say they don't believe a word of what the Belarusians are saying. And certainly that's what we're hearing from

the opposition right now as well. It's quite remarkable to actually see that picture because Roman Protasevich is they're sitting at that press

conference on the stage next to Belarusian security officials. You could see people there from the police and from the military as well.

So certainly something that does seem like a very tense and possibly quite scary situation for him. And we have to keep in mind also, Lynda, that this

is already the third time that Roman Protasevich has appeared in front of cameras and every single time the Europeans and the U.S. and of course also

the Belarusian opposition have said that they believe that he was there under duress.

One time, of course, was an interview that he gave to state TV in Belarus where you could still see the very deep marks on his wrist. It's very much

appear to be from having put on handcuffs very, very tightly for an extended period of time. So, once again, the Belarusian government trying

to use this to justify its actions, saying that there was no foul play when that plane landed in Minsk.

Obviously so far, we can see the Belarusian opposition, certainly not buying any of that. Still waiting to see what the European Union countries

and the U.S. say about this as well, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. Frederik Pleitgen, we will touch base with you again soon. Good to have you with us. Thanks, Fred.


KINKADE: Well, still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Flying the flag for NATO and his first NATO summit as U.S. President Joe, Biden reaffirming

America's commitment to the alliance. We'll take you live to NATO headquarters in Brussels just ahead.

Also, China's strikes back. Hear China's stinging response after G7 leaders scolded it over a number of controversial issues.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, right now we're watching a crucial next phase of U.S. president drew Biden's first overseas trip as commander-in-chief.

He's just taken part in a short series NATO meeting in Brussels reaffirming America's commitment to the alliance. That meeting ended a short time ago

with a 30-member nations looking to put the brakes on China's rising military.

The NATO Secretary General seen here with Mr. Biden, just before that meeting declaring that Beijing doesn't, "share our values." The Alliance

also has a message from Moscow. Well, CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us from NATO headquarters in Brussels. Good to see you, Melissa. I want to get

to the issues. But first, I just want to ask you about this reset on America's position on the world stage because under the previous U.S.

President Donald Trump, he threatened to withdraw from NATO.

But certainly what we're hearing from Joe Biden is a firm commitment to the defense of its allies.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Lynda. In the last few years have really seen us come to these summits expecting to see the

architecture of global democracy shaken by the American President tested to its limits, always in the most unpredictable way. This time, it was much

more about reconciliation. I think there has been a difference. So over the sequence that we've seen over the last few days.

If the G7 that we saw in the United Kingdom was really a celebration of their return of the United States to the multilateral fold. I think some of

the more substantive issues, the device who many of the allies here gathered behind me in the building at NATO, they've really been brought to

the fore. There are differences. And I think while a lot of discussion has been going on over the precise wording of the communique, the final

agreement that they're going to come to.

And what we understand from sort of diplomatic sources here at NATO, is that what it's likely to be in some sort of compromise. You have on one

side, the United States determined to take a very tough stance against China. Europeans who represent a fair proportion of the members of NATO

determined to take a much softer approach with Beijing, it partly because they're so dependent on it economically and hoping to take advantage of

greater economic ties rather than fewer.

And so what we understand is going to come through in the communique is something of a compromise, which considers that for NATO, Russia is clearly

an enemy. China presents challenges and I think that's a crucial difference and the fruit of the fact that once again allies are able to speak and find

compromises, Lynda.


KINKADE: Yes. China in particular is, as you say, a pretty tricky issue, not just dealing with the problems that NATO sees with China's rising

military powers but also, as you say, those economic links. So Germany in particular is one of -- has China's one of its biggest trading partners,


BELL: That's right. And one of the things that had really incensed the incoming Biden administration was the agreement reached between the Germans

and the Chinese on a strategic and economic partnership that was signed before the Biden administration could be inaugurated and had ruffled a few

feathers in Washington because he would have liked to have had a say in that.

So yes, there is a definite difference of position on questions like China, Biden, much keener to take a tough stance. And I think that's the kind of

division that we're going to continue to see over the next few days. But again, there has been room for compromise, there has been room for

discussion. That is something new and very refreshing. And in sense, all of these meetings have been about reaffirming that.

Another central point here, this NATO meeting, and there's been a series of meetings with -- between Emmanuel Macron for instance, in the Turkish

president, there has to be one shortly between Joe Biden, the Turkish president. Turkey has been presenting a particular set of challenges to

NATO over the course the last few days at odds with its allies over a number of issues these last few years.

This really is going to be all about redefining what alliances are for how trust can work. And that really is aimed also at the Americans and their

withdrawal from Afghanistan. NATO allies keen to remind each other that they need consultation, that they need to stick to their agreements. And I

think one other factor that is also new, not just the change of the American president here, the fact that the world has moved on so much in

the last four years.

And for Europeans, what they want to make clear at all these meetings is that Europe is more cohesive, more united and feeling stronger than it was

a few years ago, does not want necessarily to align itself on Washington's position. And so whilst the allies ironically are talking once again in a

more peaceful way. You're more likely to see division than you have in the past on the substantive issues, Lynda?

KINKADE: Well, there certainly are as many issues we will be discussing over the coming days. Melissa Bell, good to have you with us. Thank you.

Well, how to deal with China. It is a tight rope issue for NATO as well as the G7 Summit over the weekend. Just a day after its release, China is

blasting the G7 statement, it says deliberately slanders and targets its internal affairs. The Chinese government accuses the G7 countries of

distorting facts and arbitrarily interfering. Ivan Watson has more from Hong Kong.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Monday was a national holiday in China, but that didn't stop the Chinese Embassy in London from

taking shots at the G7 Summit that took place in the U.K. with a statement saying that, "The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group

of countries are long gone." And a subsequent statement accusing the G7 in its final communique of distorting facts about China, about slandering

China and accusing countries like the U.S. of having sinister intentions.

Now this is after President Biden arrived at that summit and pledging to take a tougher line on Beijing. Take a listen to what he had to say.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we're in a contest with China per se, but a context with autocrats. Autocratic governments around

the world as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly changing 21st century.


WATSON: Biden's criticism of China was a topic of major disagreement, particularly with European leaders at the negotiating table at the summit.

In fact, at one point on Saturday, a senior Biden official says the internet had to be cut off to the room because the leaders couldn't come to

an agreement. At the end of the day they did agree to criticize China calling on it to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in its

Xinjiang region.

And here in Hong Kong, calling on countries to come up with mechanisms to stop products produced with forced labor from ending up in the global

supply chain. That's another indicator that is pointing towards China, calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, which was

first detected in the Chinese City of Wuhan at the end of 2019. Now, these have all been areas of major disagreement between Beijing and Washington in

the past.

What's different here is that this American president has gotten a group of Democratic countries including France and Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K.

and Canada to agree to criticize China collectively and he's bringing that tougher line to the summit at the NATO headquarters. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong



KINKADE: Well, ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is now on trial for months after a military coup. She's facing a range of criminal charges and

hearings for the more serious charges start Tuesday. Christie Lu Stout has more on the proceedings.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Starting today, Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial in the first of several criminal

cases against her. Today she faces a number of charges including illegal possession of walkie talkies and breaking pandemic protocols as Suu Kyi

denies all allegations of wrongdoing. Her lawyer says a trial isn't finished by late July. Aung Su Kyi is also charged in his separate case

with violating the Official Secrets Act that's punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

And state media reported new charges of corruption on Thursday that carry a 15-year penalty if she's convicted. As for the legal proceeding starting

today, analyst call it a show trial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is exactly a show trial. This is a political spectacle in order to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and the Democratic

opposition. That says all it is. It shouldn't be taken seriously as a legal proceeding. It's not. It's a political process by the coup makers to

discredit the democratically reelected leader of Myanmar.

STOUT: So what will the likely outcome be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The likely outcome will probably be a drag on process, the way that they always do with dissidents. They try and make it the

spectacle of discrediting anyone who disagrees with the military. I think given the number of charges that she's actually facing, I think a guilty

verdict is almost fait accompli. And what that's designed to do is actually marginalize her and discredit her in the eyes of many people in Myanmar.

And it simply won't work. I think people really understand that the military is really trying to vanquish Aung San Suu Kyi and enter her

political career. And I don't think it would work.

STOUT: The military deposed Suu Kyi Suchi and seize power in a coup on February the 1st. It is claimed without evidence that an election won by

her party in November was fraudulent. Aung Suu Kyi is among more than 5900 people detained in Myanmar since the coup. That's according to the advocacy

group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners which also says more than 850 people have been killed. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

KINKADE: Still ahead. The Israel's odd couple as Naftali Bennett begins his term as new prime minister. He'll share the spotlight with centrist Yair

Lapid. And in depth look at Israeli politics when we return.

Plus, the spread of a more transmissible COVID variant worries public health officials in England. The government may be about to announce a

delay in lifting restrictions. We're going to take you live to London.



KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us. I want to return now to our top story.

Israel has a new prime minister ending Benjamin Netanyahu's record 12-year run. Naftali Bennett was sworn in after the Knesset approved a new

coalition government by a razor thin one vote margin. His cabinet held a ceremonial meeting with Israel's president today.

Then it leads a fragile alliance of eight parties spanning the political spectrum. Mr. Netanyahu fought the shift in power to the bitter end. Ahead

of Sunday's swearing in he lashed out at the new government and vowed a comeback.

Well, our next guest says that Sunday's peaceful shift in power proves that democracy is strong in Israel. Stronger than any one leader. In the

Jerusalem Post, Gil Hoffman writes the worst Netanyahu critics who predicted a bloody change of power were proven wrong. American reporters

who thought they could be covering a riot ended up covering a relatively tame speech by Netanyahu.

Well, Gil Hoffman is the chief political correspondent and analysts for the Jerusalem Post. He joins us now live from Jerusalem. Good to have you with



KINKADE: So Netanyahu's historic run comes to an end. As you pointed out, there were no riots, but there was plenty of heckling and screaming. Some

lawmakers had to be forcibly removed. And of course, there is no sort of formal handover. Netanyahu refusing any sort of inauguration.

HOFFMAN: That's right. They had a meeting today in the Prime Minister's Office. It lasted only about 25 minutes which is very short considering all

the challenges there are in the Middle East. Now, Netanyahu is now calling Naftali Bennett by the title Prime Minister. He convened his allies today

and said they would bring the new government down very quickly.

KINKADE: Naftali Bennett is of course, Netanyahu's former chief of staff. He is a tech millionaire. He's won the government by a razor thin margin,

just one vote. Talk to us about the sort of challenges he faces going forward with such a diverse coalition.

HOFFMAN: Well, Naftali Bennett's goal is to avoid any controversy. He's formed the government of center, right and left together along with an

Islamist Arab party for the first time ever. The Arab parties never were willing to join an Israeli government. And so, they're going to stay away

from the Arab Israeli conflict, or anything that they disagree on. Matters of religion in state, LGBT rights and focus more on the economy, on

recovering from the pandemic, fighting car accidents. There's plenty of things that everyone agrees that are bad things that they can unite


KINKADE: So, as you mentioned, this is the first time in Israeli history that an Arab-Israeli party has played a key role in government. What could

this mean for Arab citizens?

HOFFMAN: It could mean a lot better life for citizens. Their leadership was never willing to join Israeli government because they were waiting for the

Israeli Palestinian conflict to be solved. While the Trump administration, they brought about Israeli relations with both Iran and the United Arab

Emirates countries whose leadership said we're not going to wait for the Israeli Palestinian conflict to be solved when Mansour Abbas, the leader of

the Ra'am Party in Israel saw this, he said, well, why are we waiting?

And so he joined the government where the coalition divides up the spoils. Billions are going to go to infrastructure in the Israeli-Arab communities.

There's going to be new cities built for them for the first time in Israel's history. Their lives are going to improve tremendously because

they'll be part of the political process.

KINKADE: And Netanyahu, of course, still has this corruption trial hanging over his head. What could -- how could that play out given he is no longer

in the role as prime minister?

HOFFMAN: So, theoretically, the trial could proceed faster when he doesn't have this excuse of having a very, very busy job. But still legal process

in Israel works very slowly. If it would work faster and he would be convicted, that's what could bring this government down faster because the

Likud could present an alternative candidate who is not hated by so many of the members of Parliament. So, Netanyahu is the glue that brought this

government together.


HOFFMAN: He will remain that glue in his role as opposition leader and its candidate for prime minister in the next election. And ironically

conviction is what could bring this government down.

KINKADE: And he, of course, sounds desperate to come back into that role as prime minister. He's vowing to be back soon. Is it possible? If so, how

soon and what would it take?

HOFFMAN: There could be a fight among the razor thin coalition at any point, that could result in members of Parliament going over to Netanyahu

aside. He only needs one more than this government passed by a vote of 60 to 59 with one abstention last night. So we haven't seen the last of


He's 71 years old, still a young man. His father died at the age of 102. He's not going anywhere.

KINKADE: Yes. He certainly isn't. Gil Hoffman from The Jerusalem Post. Good to get your perspective. Thanks for your time.

Well, not so fast, there may be a change in plans in England. The government may put the brakes on easing the lockdown. We're going to tell

you why when we come back.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, we are expected to hear from the British Prime Minister in less than 2-1/2 half hours time. The government is likely to

announce that it will delay lifting England's COVID lockdown any further. There has been a rise in the number of cases of the so- called Delta virus

variant. That was the one that was first identified in England -- in India, sorry. Scott McLean is in London for more on all of this. And Scott, it has

to be disappointing for the people there.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. It is for a lot of people here, Lynda. In fact, there's a protest blocking off part of the street

just in front of the Parliament buildings just down the road from where we are. This Freedom Day as they're calling it here should have been a week

from today. Now it'll be pushed back where we expect it it'll be pushed back for another four weeks.

It would have allowed the final restrictions, COVID restrictions to be lifted. Talking about allowing sports venues to operate at full capacity

theaters to do the same. Even nightclubs to reopen. And of course, all of the limitations on social gatherings about who and who you cannot have in

your house right now would all go out the window. Right now though, there are still a lot of questions about this Delta variant, the one that was

first discovered in India.

You can see from -- if you have this graphic, you can see just how quickly it spread on that map. The darker the color there, the more prominent the

variant is in that part of England. We know that the government says that it spreads 64 percent faster than the previously dominant strain. The U.K.

or the Alpha strain of the virus. And right now it's accounting for about 90 percent of new cases.

Plus, a new study out just in the last hour or less than an hour actually, Lynda, says that it also doubles the risk of hospitalizations.


MCLEAN: This was a study that was done over the course of about a month or a little over a month in April to -- or sorry, to May to June that shows

that it almost doubles the risk or about doubles the risk of hospitalization as well.

KINKADE: Wow. That is really concerning. But I had to ask you about the vaccination campaign because Britain was praised for its fast rollout of

vaccines. I'm wondering how effective they are then against this Delta variant.

MCLEAN: Yes. The U.K. has gone incredibly fast with the vaccine rollout. In terms of the adult population, most adults now have both of their vaccine

doses, almost 80 percent of the adult population has at least one dose of the vaccine. So, a lot of people are probably sitting there wondering why

this delay at all? Well, this same study that I mentioned that of Scotland, showed that the vaccines when it comes to this Delta variant take a little

longer to kick it in.

About 28 days for them to be effective, really at all. And overall, we know from government scientists that the efficacy in general, under normal

circumstances with the Alpha variant, the previously dominant Alpha variant and you'd expect the just one dose of the vaccine to be about 50 percent

effective. With this Delta variant, it's down to 33 percent. Even with the second dose, it goes from 88 down to 81 percent effective.

So this four weeks, Lynda, buys the government a little bit more time to get a few more shots in arms before things open up for good. The government

has always said that when they open up they don't want to have to then close back down and go backwards.

KINKADE: Exactly. They want to get on top of it. No doubt. And it is crucial that people get that second dose. Good to have you with us, Scott

McLean from London. Thank you.

Well, I have to know that Djokovic has thrilling when in Sunday's French Open Final. One fan in particular got a treat from the world's top tennis

player. Look at his face. Beyond excited. Amanda Davies has more on this. Hey, Amanda.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hey, Lynda. I mean, you know, in these days where sports people and sport is criticized for being too much of a

business and, you know, why do people get so excited? Just look at this. This absolutely sums it up. We've had such a long time without fans being

able to be there in person. And this is what sports and the stars mean to people around the world.

Such a treat for this one young fan watching Novak Djokovic claim an incredible, you have to say incredible, 19 Grand Slam title. And

afterwards, Novak said that all the way through the match, even when he was two sets down against Stefanos Tsitsipas. This little boy was giving him

coaching tips, cheering him on. He said he could hear every single word and such a special moment.

KINKADE: It really is. I just love that video. It's -- his face is just incredibly beyond happy. It's wonderful to say. Amanda, we will tune in for

much more after this very short. Thanks. Stay with us.