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Connect the World

Israel-Gaza Cease-Fire Threatened; Few Tangible Results from Biden- Putin Summit; Lebanon in Crisis; Iran Election; Olympics Opening Set for July 23, Japan to Lift State of Emergency; Denmark Hits the Pitch against Belgium. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 17, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST (voice-over): Tonight, cease-fire challenge: Israel launching airstrikes in Gaza after incendiary balloons are sent by



VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): It certainly doesn't imply that we looked into each other's eyes and found a soul or

swore eternal friendship.

ANDERSON (voice-over): So exactly what did the Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meeting agree on?

And just how did their meeting make us all safer?



ANDERSON (voice-over): China sends three astronauts to the brand-new space station that it's building as we speak.



ANDERSON: It is 10:00 am in Washington. It's 5:00 pm in Washington, 6:00 in the evening here in Abu Dhabi. Wherever you are watching, it's a very

warm welcome. I'm Becky Anderson and this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

There are explosions in Gaza again. Some 25 fires breaking out from incendiary balloons launched from Gaza on Tuesday and Wednesday. In Gaza,

Israeli airstrikes hitting Hamas sites in response to those balloons. Neither side reporting casualties.

But this is the biggest challenge so far to the recent Israel-Hamas cease- fire. Israel's military saying it is, quote, "ready for all scenarios," including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts

emanating from Gaza.

A Hamas spokesman saying Palestinians will continue to pursue their, quote, "brave resistance" and defend their rights and sacred sites in Jerusalem.

All this as we sit at day 28 of the cease-fire. More fragile than ever, brokered after the 11 days of fighting, remember, that killed over 200

people in Gaza and 12 in Israel.

The Hamas statement you just heard referencing this week's controversial march in East Jerusalem that included Jewish extremists. As Oren Liebermann

now tells us, these latest skirmishes pose an early challenge to the new Israeli government and to the new prime minister.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The next fight between Israel and Gaza is already building. Overnight Wednesday, the Israeli air

force carried out its first airstrikes in Gaza since last month's ceasefire, destroying what it said were Hamas military sites.

The strikes, a response to balloons carrying incendiary materials for Gaza that sparked 20 fires in southern Israel Tuesday, scorched earth in a

region already smoldering.

The renewed balloon launches coming the same day as the provocative flag march outside the entrance to the Muslim Quarter, the Old City of

Jerusalem. Some far-right Israeli extremists chanting, "Death to Arabs."

This is the first major test for Israel's new government, led by novice Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The right-wing leader pushed for a harsher

more hardline approach to Hamas during the last escalation.

NAFTALI BENNETT, MEMBER OF KNESSET (through translations): Under no circumstances will I allow myself to have my hands tied while defending my


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): In the past, Bennett criticized Netanyahu for being too soft on Hamas. Now, Bennett must carve out his own policy.

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER STATE DEPT. MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR: Each side tried to find a way to discharge their responsibilities and maintain a

certain amount of credibility and deterrence without taking the lid off the pot and making this into a full-blown escalation.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Eleven days of fighting last month left 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead, both sides claiming victory but neither

side achieving it. The Biden administration vowing to help rebuild Gaza in a way that doesn't strengthen Hamas, an easy promise to make a very hard

one to keep.

MILLER: The Biden administration will not want to push this government. I think you're in for a real honeymoon and that's going to involve not

pressing the Israelis on any aspect of the Palestinian issue.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): A day later, militants launched more burning balloons from Gaza into Israel, Hamas demanding an end to the blockade of

the coastal enclave as the risk of the next fight floats overhead.

LIEBERMANN: Over the past few years, there had been an informal but fairly well established relationship between former prime minister Netanyahu and

Hamas in Gaza.


LIEBERMANN: That relationship ran through intermediaries such as Egypt and the United Nations and it was used to calm tensions when there was an


Now the new government under prime minister Bennett needs to figure out that relationship without any miscalculations that can lead to another

escalation -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Washington.


ANDERSON: CNN's Hadas Gold has covered this for story us since the initial fighting broke out and connects us tonight from Jerusalem for you.

What's the appetite amongst those who are now in leadership in Israel for confrontation, Hadas?

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think one thing that's important to keep in mind here is that, for the Israelis, they

wanted the equation to change.

And that's one thing I heard especially from Israeli officials and sources in the Israeli military that, after last month's conflict, the Israelis no

longer wanted to tolerate these incendiary balloons because balloons being with explosive devices or fires attached to them being sent from Gaza into

Israel is nothing new.

That's been happening for years. And according to Israeli officials, thousands of acres have burned in Israel as a result of these balloons. But

in the past they weren't really -- Israel never responded with airstrikes.

But after the operation last month, I was getting briefings from sources, who said, when I asked them, OK, what happens next?

What happens if a balloon is sent over with an incendiary device?

They said that they wanted to respond harsher, to show these were no longer going to be tolerated. And we saw the results of that. The balloons started

being sent over on Tuesday. And Tuesday night, Israel responded with airstrikes.

However, since those Tuesday night airstrikes, more balloons have been sent over. At least four fires were started yesterday. Today, we're just being

told by the fire authorities that five more fires were started in Southern Israel as a result of these balloons being sent over.

But we have not seen any more Israeli airstrikes since Tuesday night. I think that right now that that shows that the tensions are simmering. They

can quickly escalate. But as of right now, they are not boiling over. I don't think that this new Israeli government wants to start a new operation

and that they want to keep things calm, have a calm transition of power in their first few weeks.

And I do think that a lot of the messaging between Hamas and Israel is part of this. If you look at this, Hamas is sending over balloons. They've not

launched any rockets right now. The airstrikes that Israel launched against Hamas targets, were -- they had no casualties. Nobody were there. They were

not necessarily very important strategic places for Hamas.

So I think -- I think you have to look at the messaging there and that goes to show you whether things will potentially boil over -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for us. Thank you.

The latest flare-up in the Middle East began as all eyes were on another big global rivalry, as it were. This one between the U.S. and Russia. The

U.S. President Joe Biden is now back in Washington after this big moment, his first face-to-face summit while in office with Russian president

Vladimir Putin.

Now by all accounts, it was a congenial meeting. Mr. Putin says there was no hostility and it was, quote, "very constructive."

So how constructive?

Well, according to the Russian leader, the two agreed to reinstate each other's ambassadors. They left their posts earlier this year as relations

deteriorated. However, big gulfs remain on the subjects of cyberattacks, human rights and of Ukraine.

Let's get the unique perspective now. CNN's senior international correspondent Matthew Chance covers Russia for us. In Geneva, he asked Mr.

Putin about some of the sticking points with the U.S. Matthew with this look at how that day Wednesday unfolded.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The historic summit started in chaos. Kremlin and White House press packs jostling for

position. U.S. and Russian presidents themselves faced off inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I hope that our meeting will be productive.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's always better to meet face-to-face.

CHANCE (voice-over): Always better to meet face to face, he said, the words drowned out by the scuffles. But the undiplomatic start to this

controversial meeting set the tone.

CHANCE: Could you characterize the dynamic between yourself and President Biden, was it hostile or was it friendly?

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I think there was no hostility, quite the contrary. We don't share the same decisions in

many areas but I think that both of these sides showed a willingness to understand one another and to find ways to bring our oppositions closer


CHANCE (voice-over): But there are some things the two presidents will never agree on, like the appalling treatments of Alexei Navalny, the

Russian opposition figure who was poisoned then jailed, his anti-corruption campaign shut down.


CHANCE (voice-over): Russian military threats against Ukraine as well cyberattacks emanating from Russia are also a major thorn in the

relationship's side, something President Biden wants stopped.

CHANCE: Secondly, throughout these conversations, did you commit to ceasing carrying out cyberattacks on the United States?

Did you commit to stopping threatening Ukraine security?

And did you commit to stop cracking down on the opposition in Russia?

PUTIN: As for cybersecurity, we reached an agreement chiefly that we will start negotiations on that. I think that's extremely important.

CHANCE (voice-over): It was only a partial answer and the press conference almost moved on. But to his credit, President Putin took my follow-up.

PUTIN: Is some of the question I answered?

CHANCE: That's correct and thank you very much for coming back to me, sir. So there were two other parts to the question.

The first one is, did you commit in these meetings to stop threatening the Ukraine?

Remember, the reason the summit was called in the first place, so the timing of it was when Russia was building up lots of forces across --


CHANCE: And the second part of the question -- the third part of the question was, did you commit to stopping your crackdown against the

opposition groups inside of Russia led by Alexei Navalny?

PUTIN (through translator): Well, I didn't hear that part of the question. Maybe it wasn't interpreted or maybe I just decided to ask (sic) a second


CHANCE (voice-over): On Ukraine, he restated the Kremlin's line about exercises on Russian soil being a threat to no one. And he again refused to

utter Alexei Navalny's name.

PUTIN (through translator): This person knew that he was breaching the laws effective in Russia. He should have noted that as a person who was

convicted two times. I would like to underscore that he deliberately ignored the premise of the laws.

CHANCE (voice-over): So far, there is no sign this summit has changed President Putin's uncompromising stance -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Geneva.


ANDERSON: One area where Russia and the U.S. perhaps need each other is on these Iranian talks that continue behind the scenes in Vienna at present.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Also this week, of course, the Iranian elections. Voters heading to the polls tomorrow to pick their next president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm not interested in voting. Maybe I would have voted if there were different candidates. But now all of

them are the same.

ANDERSON (voice-over): He is not alone. Many Iranians are staying home. Find out why, after this.



ANDERSON (voice-over): America's other great adversary is China. It sent three astronauts to its very own space station. Next hour, more on why

China decided to go it alone.



ANDERSON (voice-over): Plus, journalists or criminals?

Hong Kong uses its national security law to raid a pro-democracy newspaper. More on that crackdown is ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suddenly the whole country is, you know, destroyed within a couple of months. And it's just too much to bear.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Lebanon running out of gas, cash and patience. The country coping with a catalog of crises. We'll get you live to Beirut --

just ahead.







BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He comes through the rubbish for plastic and metal to sell -- and food. Today he

found a bag of bread for his wife and two daughters.

"Every year," Ali says, "is more difficult."


ANDERSON: More difficult, said with understated dignity there, as the people of Lebanon struggle with so much hardship. There's the pandemic,

last summer's deadly Beirut port explosion, the currency collapse and, on top of all of this, the World Bank calling Lebanon's financial crisis one

of the worst the world has seen since the Victorian era.

Even Lebanon's army now saying it can't even afford to pay its soldiers. So France hosted a U.N.-backed conference today to drum up humanitarian aid

for the military.

And just about everyone is waiting for hours at the pump because the country is running out of gas. Lebanon doesn't have the money to import

fuel. And there's not a lot of public transport around.

Let's connect you to Beirut and to CNN's Ben Wedeman.

Just describe or explain what is going on in what is this latest crisis, Ben.

WEDEMAN: Well, Becky, we're looking at the situation here. It's important to keep in mind that, back in October of 2019 -- and you were here -- the

Lebanese rose up because the government wanted to impose a $6 a month tax on WhatsApp calls.

Now if you look at the situation, for instance, people's earning power is perhaps a 10th of what it used to be. But somehow the streets are

relatively quiet. People simply have, over the last two years, gone through one disaster after another. And now they're exhausted, simply bracing for

the next one.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): As if Lebanon didn't have enough problems already, along comes another: petrol shortage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suddenly the whole country is, you know, destroyed within a couple of months and it's just too much to bear.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Lebanon's currency has lost 90 percent of its value in less than two years. Inflation is soaring.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): A massive blast at the Beirut port killed more than 200 people last year. Coronavirus killed thousands more. And the country

hasn't been able to form a proper government in almost a year. Taken altogether, it's grim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to help.

WEDEMAN: These long lines outside the gas stations are a manifestation of a much bigger problem of a government that's bankrupt, that's broke, that

doesn't have enough hard currency to import fuel to keep the lights on.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Also in short supply, fuel to run the country's decrepit power plants. The normal lengthy power outages are getting even

longer. The electric grid is antiquated. Those who can afford it depend on private generators to make up for the difference.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Lebanon's caretaker energy minister warns, as bad as things are now, worse may be yet to come.

GHAJAR: The blackout will be a true blackout, not a public electricity blackout. It will be a complete darkness. And I think this is, you know,

it's a calamity. It's not a scenario that's livable.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Iraq has reportedly promised to provide cut-rate fuel but it hasn't arrived yet. And, meanwhile, Lebanon's squabbling

politicians do nothing to fix the country's many problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are just buying time. We are kicking the can down the road without reforms, without a complete solution.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): And Lebanon is running out of time, fuel and, it seems, everything else.


WEDEMAN: And one of the proposals from the government is to lift subsidies on basic food items. And the fear is that, when that happens, perhaps the

legendary patience of the Lebanese will break.

But despite all of this, we have -- you know, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Here, we have a philharmonic of politicians, fiddling as this

country is literally falling apart -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And it was a regional journalist who tweeted the following and I thought this was just a sum of where we are at when it comes to these


Quote, "Lebanon is perhaps the first country in history to have both a caretaker prime minister, who is trying to resign, and a prime minister

designate, who is trying to resign, at the same time."

Just where are we at when it comes to the politics of Lebanon?

And what's the future, Ben, at this point?

WEDEMAN: Well, this journalist was referring to Saad Hariri, who has been now, for 10 months, the prime minister designate. But because of the

paralysis that is Lebanese politics, he's unable to form a government.

And the fact of the matter is, given the current situation, what with medicine in short supply, hospitals not being able to take any more

patients, prices skyrocketing, the Lebanese lira (ph) collapsing, the question is who would be stupid enough to try to be the captain of the ship

that is Lebanon while it sinks?

And, therefore, yes; there really doesn't seem to be any solution in sight. And there's no politician of stature who seems to be able to get it

together and try to stop this country from teetering into the abyss -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is back in Beirut for you.

Ben, thank you.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, to Iran now. It's, of course, a big player in Lebanon through Hezbollah. We'll see if a new president will further that

relationship. Iranians head to the polls on Friday.

And all indications point to a hardline cleric and chief justice Ebrahim Raisi as the far and away front-runner. Fred Pleitgen looks at what is a

rather small and getting smaller field of candidates.



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Only hours ahead of the elections, Iran's presidential candidates are

trying to get out the vote. The events are very small because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Frontrunner hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi displaying confidence in saying he would remain in the nuclear agreement.

EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I'd say this honestly, we view the Iran nuclear deal as an agreement with nine

articles that the supreme leader has approved.

We will stay committed to the accord as an agreement and commitment, just like any deal which administrations have to be committed to.

PLEITGEN: The future of the Iran nuclear agreement is only one topic on the minds of many Iranians. The country is suffering under crushing

sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and is still in the grasp of the coronavirus.

Iran's guardian council, the body that the candidates are vetted by, disqualified many of those looking to run in the election, giving Ebrahim

Raisi a major boost but possibly also leading to low voter turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in the best situation. We have to choose only the one that they had introduce to us. And we know him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm not interested in voting. Maybe I would have voted if they were different candidates. But now all of

them are the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the people around me, they won't be voting, too. And that's most people's opinion, I guess.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Even Iran's supreme leader has criticized the many disqualifications and is urging voters to come out and cast their ballots.

AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER (through translator): If we have low turnout, the pressure of the enemy will be high. If we want the

pressure and sanctions to diminish, there must be high turnout and popular support of the system.

PLEITGEN: After eight years of holding the presidency, moderate forces appear headed for major losses even as their main candidate hopes to pull

off a last-minute surprise.

ABDOLNASER HEMMATI, IRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I believe those who have said no to ballot boxes will reverse their decision

and they will change their idea in favor of voting for me. And the trend over the last few days shows that my popularity is growing.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): But after eight years of fairly moderate government under President Hassan Rouhani, Iran now seems set for a swing towards the

conservatives, with major implications for both Iran and its relations with the West -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


ANDERSON: And Fred will be in Iran tomorrow.

Next hour, we'll look at Iran's upcoming election from a European perspective with Eldar Mamedov, foreign policy adviser to the European

Parliament Socialists and Democrats.

There's a lot to connect this hour. Up next, it's crunch time in Japan. See what the country is doing to battle COVID just weeks ahead of the biggest

sporting event in the world. We're live in Tokyo after this break.

And a sight not for the faint-hearted. We'll tell you why spiders are swarming in this part of southeastern Australia.




ANDERSON: Setbacks and a lengthy delay due to COVID, we are now just under 36 days out from the Summer Olympics. That's little more than a month, of

course. And Japan, in the middle of a fourth wave of the pandemic.


ANDERSON: And with the Olympics coming, it's trying to ramp up its so far lackluster vaccination rate. So far, less than 6 percent of Japan's

population has been fully vaccinated. Its vaccine minister says 800,000 doses are being given daily and should reach a million doses by the end of

the month.

But even at that rate, less than 20 percent of Japan will be fully vaccinated by the time the games begin. Selina Wang is live in Tokyo, which

will end a state of emergency this Sunday.

How is this all coming together?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, that's exactly right. Even though the Olympics are about a month away, Japan is still one of the

slowest in its vaccine rollout among developed countries.

And to try and curb this most recent wave of COVID-19 cases, Tokyo and large parts of the country have been under a state of emergency. That

started April 25th. But now, as we've seen the cases come down to about 2,000 per day, the prime minister has just announced that that emergency

declaration will be lifted on June 20th.

Some health experts here say it's too soon and they're worried about the spread of more contagious COVID-19 variants. Against this backdrop, you

have a private company, one like Rakuten, which is known as the Amazon of Japan here, that is using its own technology and resources to try to speed

up the slow vaccine rate.

I spoke to the CEO of Rakuten last month. He told me that hosting the Olympics amounted to a, quote, "suicide mission." But now as it appears

these games are, in fact, moving ahead, he's got big ambitions to speed up and turbo-charge the rollout.


WANG (voice-over): Pro soccer players, online consultations, a speedy tech process.

The CEO of ecommerce giant Rakuten thinks he has got the solution to speed up Japan's sluggish vaccine rollout.

HIROSHI MIKITANI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RAKUTEN: I think we are probably three to five x more efficient than other vaccination centers.

Hopefully, you know that Kobe would become the role model of entire Japan.

WANG (voice-over): Rakuten, which owns the Vissel Kobe soccer team, is working with Kobe City to vaccinate up to 7,500 people a day at Noevir

Stadium Kobe.

Five weeks from the games, less than six percent of Japan is fully vaccinated.

MIKITANI: I'm not really very supportive of hosting the global Olympic event. But if they are going to do it, then we need to really super

accelerate the vaccination as fast as possible.

WANG (voice-over): In its first week, this center vaccinated more than 10,000 but Mikitani is attempting something much bigger.

MIKITANI: I'm hoping that we can open other more vaccine center all over Japan. Let us do like maybe 500,000 shots per day.

Wang: Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to accelerate Japan's rollout.

YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): From October to November of this year, I hope to finish vaccinating all the people who

need and want to be vaccinated. I want to realize this.

Vaccinations for the broader population start later this month at workplaces, including at big companies like Rakuten and SoftBank and at

universities. In this war room, Rakuten employees are brainstorming ideas to quicken the pace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at from the registration to actually getting vaccinated, we only take about four minutes. And we're trying to

think how can we reduce three seconds, five seconds, 10 seconds.

WANG (voice-over): A major bottleneck in Japan's vaccine rollout is a lack of medical staff to administer the doses. But here, staff from local

universities are helping and some pre-screenings are conducted online.

With Rakuten's help, Kobe aims to finish vaccinating those 65 and older by mid-July. That's ahead of the central government schedule and before the


I'm really relieved to be vaccinated here, she tells me. I want to have a normal life again and be with people.

Last month, COVID-19 cases in Kobe were surging and the city canceled its local marathon. Cases have been declining but the city remains under a

state of emergency.

KIZO HISAMOTO, MAYOR OF KOBE (through translator): We are seeing more of the new strains circulating in the city, so we cannot let our guard down

and we have to encourage the citizens to continue taking all precautions.

WANG (voice-over): Many medical experts continue to warn that the games pose a risk to the Japanese population. The majority will still be

unvaccinated when the games begin.

"I don't think the Olympics need to be held," he says. "There will be so many coming into Japan that will probably go out and could give us


In the meantime, Kobe City, along with Rakuten, is racing to protect its residents.


WANG: Now on June 20th, Kobe, Tokyo and other parts of Japan will shift from a state of emergency to a quasi-state of emergency. To be clear, none

of these declarations are a hard lockdown. Restaurants will still be asked to close early. But they can now serve alcohol.


WANG: And if, by the time the games begin, there are no emergency measures and it stays that way, then Japan's top COVID-19 adviser says that up to

10,000 people could be allowed at venues, including at the Olympics. To put it into perspective, that would mean still more than 80 percent of the

seats at the opening ceremony would be empty.

ANDERSON: We heard how a number of people feel about the hosting of the Olympics in Japan.

In your reporting, what's the wider mood in Japan?

WANG: Well, there is still major opposition here in Japan. You can really feel it when you talk to residents here and it's reflected in poll after

poll. I've spoken to many Olympic volunteers, who have dropped out because they've become disillusioned by the entire concept of the games.

They see their own government barreling ahead with the games amid a global pandemic and all this opposition.

While I've spoken to some who are excited to finally have something to look forward to and to celebrate for, many people here are just frustrated that

their lives have been disrupted, frustrated that their businesses have been hurting and struggling and, that in this pandemic, the government is

diverting so many resources to a global sporting event.

ANDERSON: Selina Wang is in Tokyo for you folks.

Coming up, a discovery that you'll wish that you had made. Find out what's so special about this diamond -- up next.




ANDERSON: I want to show you two very different things: one, beautiful beyond measure; the other, rather stomach-churning. I'll start with the

nice one to give you a chance to look away when I get to the other one.

Here's an absolutely jaw-dropping discovery in Botswana. Believe it or not, this is a diamond. And it is thought to be the world's third largest,

weighing a whopping 1,098 carats.

It was unearthed in a mine not far from the capital earlier this month. After being presented to the country's president, the government says,

quote, "Proceeds from the diamond will be used to advance national development in the country."

And to give you an idea of value, the world's second largest diamond at 1,109 carats was sold for $53 million in 2017.

Now for the other story I promised you: spiders. Thousands of them have been blanketing the grasslands of the Australian state of Victoria with

their webs after some heavy rain and flooding.

Local media reported that the creepy crawlies have been moving to higher ground to escape the damp. In this video, you can see there, giant cobwebs

covering the Gippsland region of the state.


ANDERSON (voice-over): You would not want to get involved in the middle of that, would you?


ANDERSON: Well, now Denmark hits the pitch today in what is sure to be an emotional football match. It is the first time since the Christian Eriksen

cardiac arrest incident during Saturday's match. The 29 year-old has since been fitted with an implanted defibrillator. He obviously won't be playing

but his hospital is near to the stadium.

"WORLD SPORT'"s Don Riddell joining us now.

It was an awful, awful incident, obviously, for Eriksen himself and for the players and coaches and his family and friends. Thankfully he has been on

social media. He has been thanking people. He has been suggesting that he's all right.

How are these players going to cope tonight?

DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be very difficult for the obvious reason. But they're also going to be back at the same stadium in

Copenhagen, where this happened. They haven't even trained there since. Normally they'd train at the stadium the day before the game but they chose

not to on this occasion.

Anybody who was watching that event, I think, was traumatized just by watching it. I can't imagine what it would have been like for those players

to be there and to be a part of it because they really thought they'd lost him. And in fact, for a moment, they had.

So I think this is very difficult for the players. This has been very much the focus of their entire week since the game. They've been trying to focus

on this next game against Belgium, which is a huge task because Belgium are a top ranked team in the world.

But Christian Eriksen won't be far away from any of their thoughts today. In fact, even Belgium are proposing to kick the ball out of play in the

10th minute so that there can a minute of pause for Denmark's number 10. So in so many different ways, a very emotional day, I'm sure, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ah, that's such a tribute. I hope we see that happen. It's always a pleasure, Don, back with "WORLD SPORT" after the break.

And we'll be back after that. Stay with us.