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Africa's COVID-19 Crisis; Cuba Touting Efficacy of Homegrown Vaccines; U.S. Republicans Call on U.S. President Joe Biden to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal; Hong Kong Chief Exec Says "Apple Daily" Raid Not about Journalism; North Korea Says U.S. Risks Disappointment if It Misinterprets Signals; Iran's President-Elect Gives First Address; UNESCO Says Great Barrier Reef Should Be Listed as "In Danger". Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 22, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Iran's president-elect is in the holy city of Mashhad this hour. We are waiting for Ebrahim Raisi to speak.
African vaccines for African nations: the World Health Organization announces a new regional production hub. We'll be live in Johannesburg.
And the Great Barrier Reef battle: why Australia's government is outraged over a new report suggesting the World Heritage Site is in danger.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. It is 6:00 pm here in Abu Dhabi. This is our Middle East broadcasting hub.
Well, a warning from the World Health Organization. At least half of 80 low-income countries getting COVID vaccines through its COVAX program are
running out of doses. Many of those nations are in Africa.
The president of South Africa says he now understands that doses would never come from elsewhere in time to save lives. So the country will soon
start making vaccines itself, working with the World Health Organization and COVAX.
The president says, quote, "This landmark initiative is a major advance in the international effort to build vaccine development and manufacturing,"
capacity that will put Africa on a path to self-determination, he said.
Well, the head of the World Trade Organization welcomes programs like these but says other issues like intellectual property -- or IP -- also need to
be addressed. I spoke with her. She had this message for the European Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: The message then is let's please work with the other members so that we can
come to agreement on how we are going to work with the issue of technology transfer and I.T.
We need all three aspects in order for us to boost supplies globally. And if we can get quickly to the negotiating table, not just the European Union
but also all the other members who have questions about how we should go about this issue of IP and technology transfer, I just urge everyone to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: There already couldn't be a more important issue. I want to bring in David McKenzie on what is the so-called technology transfer hub
being established in South Africa to boost vaccine supplies. He joins me from South Africa.
David, the message from the South African president is clear, no one is going to save us, so we will save ourselves. Just explain how this new
initiative will help boost supply in the region.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's an incredibly important initiative, Becky. As the head of the WTO was telling you, it's one of the
key parts of the puzzle. Now this technology transfer hub was announced by the WHO.
It is essentially knowledge and training and supplies and potentially intellectual property being transferred to a consortium of businesses and
academia here in South Africa for eventually producing vaccines here on the continent; possibly for COVID-19, maybe for future pandemics.
You know, one of the long-standing inequities of public health has been that countries in the global south haven't really had the capacity
necessary to manufacture their own vaccines.
And that has meant that we've seen this inequity for many years, really highlighted in the worst possible way by the COVID-19 pandemic. And here's
what the South African president had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: It's been shown now that we just cannot continue to rely on vaccines that are made outside of Africa because
they never come. They never arrive on time. And people continue to die. And we have, therefore, called on the waiver, as I spoke about, but also
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, that waiver could be many months away. And so with the timeline of possibly up to a year for the first vaccinations rolling out of
this technology hub, the need is now and the vaccines aren't here, though this is at least some good news for the future -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. And there is criticism; for example, from the senior adviser to the WHO director-general, saying offers like these might help in
the medium to long term. But as you rightly point out, in the short term, there is a critical need. He said the country should be sharing vaccines
more quickly to save lives.
So we've got vaccine with these patent waivers and technology transfer. Also we have this option of sharing vaccines. And even though G7 announced
there would be upwards of a billion donated, most organizations around the world who are embroiled in this say that is simply not enough.
What other options does South Africa and the rest of the continent have at this point?
MCKENZIE: Well, the options are pretty limited. I have to say, just sitting here in Johannesburg, Becky, I've witnessed in the last few days
the level of fear increasing again, as a third wave hammers, particularly the province I'm sitting in right now.
I've spoken to clinicians, who say the beds are full in the private sector. There is some room in the public sector. People are even resorting to
getting treatment at home. And it means, without broad-based rollout of vaccines, people will die.
And you mentioned the WHO senior leadership. I put that question to them when they announced this technology transfer hub. They say it is a moral
catastrophe that there isn't sharing of vaccines.
We have been speaking about this, Becky, for many, many months. The reality is, though, nations want to vaccinate their entire population before they
think about donating excess doses.
Now what the WHO says, the ideal scenario would be to send vaccine doses, once the most vulnerable in the individual countries' populations are
vaccinated, so that other countries can protect their most vulnerable.
But realistically, that's not going to happen. So in the short term, we're facing a very stark third wave on the continent in several countries that
will cause people to die. And that's ultimately not just because of vaccine inequity but maybe some missteps by individual countries.
But the talk of solidarity, ultimately, at this stage is talk, though there are some positive signs that that is changing in the next two months. But
as we have reported on before, vaccine distribution is about volume and timing. It has to be done quickly; otherwise, its limited impact will be
felt, like we are feeling right now in South Africa.
ANDERSON: Some, what, 18 months into this pandemic, it is absolutely clear that while vaccines are not the panacea, they are an incredibly important
tool in the tool kit. And this inequity is just not on.
Well, the president of the Philippines has a strong message for those who do not want to get a vaccine. Rodrigo Duterte said there is a choice: get
vaccinated or face jail. His country is dealing with more than 1 million cases; 23,000 deaths there. Just over 2 million people have been vaccinated
in the country of 110 million.
Well, Cuba touting the efficacy of its homegrown COVID vaccines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON (voice-over): Scientists celebrating after the island nation said that its three-dose abdala vaccine is more than 92 percent effective. And
another vaccine has an efficacy of 62 percent after two shots.
Cuba, now the first country in Latin America to produce two vaccines that have reached phase III trials. The country reports 169,000 COVID-19 cases
and more than 1,100 deaths.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann is connecting us to this story tonight.
It does seem quite remarkable.
How did Cuba manage to get not one but two vaccines to work?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, ironically, it's because Cuba is an isolated country that is under U.S. economic sanctions.
For 30 years now, Cuba has focused on making their own vaccines because they simply say they cannot depend on importing vaccines from abroad.
Sometimes they're too expensive; sometimes countries don't want to sell a country like Cuba, that is on all the wrong lists, medicine.
OPPMANN: So this didn't happen overnight. And Cuba already had the vaccine platform, which is so key here, Becky, to produce their own vaccines. So
they had been working on five vaccines -- three of them, frankly, have not panned out to date.
But two of them have, in the last few days, come back with the first real results that we've had, the final stage 3 results. And Soberana, which
means sovereignty in Spanish, that has a respectable 62 percent.
But this latest vaccine, Abdala, has an over 90 percent efficacy rate. That really is a first-world vaccine. So for a country as poor as Cuba is, it
has the hurdles that Cuba encounters, that has had the shortages we've seen over the last year during the pandemic, this is really an impressive
A lot more to go here. Cuba has committed to sharing data with the World Health Organization. But certainly Cuban scientists are taking a well-
deserved bow right now.
ANDERSON: How confident are authorities or the scientists in Cuba that they will get approval from the World Health Organization?
And can Cuba produce, manufacture enough to ensure that it's not just Cubans who benefit but countries outside?
And who are they targeting?
OPPMANN: Well -- and that's really their goal here, to first vaccinate the population of Cuba, 11 million people. They've already fully vaccinated
over 1 million people as part of the expanded trials.
As we've seen the number of COVID cases in the last few days really surge, so they have been sharing data with the WHO all along. They'll have to do
more of that to convince some naysayers.
And there's a lot of disparity here. While Cuba has created apparently a cutting edge vaccine, they don't have enough syringes. They've been asking
other countries to donate syringes so they can actually give people that vaccine.
They are scaling up production, they say, not just to give Cubans three doses of these vaccines -- it requires both of them, three doses -- but to
possibly offer them to tourists and to produce them abroad or to sell or donate them abroad.
Cuba is clearly thinking this could be a vaccine for many countries in Latin America that don't have access to vaccines right now.
ANDERSON: Patrick, I was just reporting the news that president Duterte in the Philippines has told his people that, you have a choice, you either get
vaccinated or you go to jail. So clearly not a free choice in the Philippines.
What's the story in Cuba?
I mean, vaccinating 70 percent of the population by September is a huge target, of course.
Is there a sense that this would be, you know, a vaccine rollout that would be freely accepted by the population?
What's the sense of vaccine hesitancy there?
OPPMANN: So it really is interesting because you have a socialized health care system here. It's the only health care that's permitted on the island.
And they are stressing how important it is to get vaccinated.
As you expected, they are not forcing people to get vaccinated but they are highly encouraging it. So what happens here is you get a phone call or the
doctor comes to your house -- because there are clinics on pretty much every block, every neighborhood in Cuba. And they come and say, here's your
appointment to get your vaccine.
Now you don't get arrested or get sent to jail if you don't show up to your appointment. And there are people who said they're not sure they're going
to get the vaccine. But then again, because Cuba has taken this controversial decision not to import any vaccines, if you want to get
vaccinated, it is going to have to be with a Cuban vaccine in Cuba.
Most people I talk to, though, their preoccupation is, when will they get vaccinated, not should they get vaccinated. People have seen the number of
cases here. Surge has overwhelmed this country's health care system.
And the sense I get from my neighbors, since I live here, is that people are in a hurry to get vaccinated. They're not particularly concerned about
negative side effects of these vaccines because they have been widely tested at this point.
And people do have many doctors in their family. They have heard from the government throughout this. And there is also a lot of history of
vaccination here. It's something the government highly encourages; some people would say requires. Certainly the government is going to make a very
strong case that people need to get this done.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Patrick Oppmann in Havana.
Still ahead, was North Korea's leader trying to send a signal to the United States?
Officials in Pyongyang warn, don't misinterpret some remarks, recent remarks, by Kim Jong-un.
And Hong Kong's authorities also sending a message, criticizing Beijing could get you shut down. The latest in the aftermaths of a raid on a pro-
ANDERSON: Plus we'll talk to U.S. Senate Republican Rick Scott in the next hour about the Iran policy he wants to see from the Biden White House.
ANDERSON: Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam says the police operation against "Apple Daily" had nothing to do with journalism but was instead
focused on a threat to national security.
Remember, last week, 500 police officers raided the tabloid's headquarters, taking journalists' devices and arresting five executives. Authorities
enforcing China's national security law that was imposed on Hong Kong last June. The sheltie (ph) anti-Beijing paper says it may be forced to shut
down by the end of the week.
For more let's bring in CNN's Dave Culver, who is in Shanghai for you tonight in China.
There's been a significant criticism of this raid at "Apple Daily." The chief executive, though, in Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, says these critics are
trying to beautify acts that endanger national security.
What does she mean by that?
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Interesting that she used those words, Becky. She points them right at the U.S. government, saying
the U.S. and other foreign governments are essentially inciting these folks, who are journalists, editors, to use that as a shield, to then
commit acts that they believe are endangering national security.
But if you look at how it is being received, here in mainland China, there is a lot of support for this. They see the "Apple Daily" as a tabloid that
is incredibly critical of Beijing.
But it goes beyond being critical, as they portray it, that it could lead to actions that are seen as sedition, subversion; those that have been set
up as being banned by this national security law.
And you mention that national security law, the NSL, was put in place, as you point out, a year ago. In that year, we have seen it move quickly in
putting folks, who are part of the pro democracy movement as well as now journalists, behind bars.
They are feeling the repercussions of this national security law. And that seems to be quite intentional, Becky.
ANDERSON: David, this national security law, this NSL, is being criticized as being vaguely defined; for example, when it comes to outlining what
exactly journalists can and can't do.
And there are those who are asking, you know, do we actually know how journalists in Hong Kong can avoid being arrested at this point?
CULVER: I think that's the most concerning part about this, is the vagueness we have seen. Certainly in the life we live here in Mainland
China, to go across the border to the territory and in Hong Kong, they're starting to experience that as well. There aren't specifics or details that
really lay out how this can be applied.
CULVER: And that's where many are concerned that Beijing will certainly utilize it or even weaponize it to attack journalism and those journalists
going forward with publications that they deem as being endangering national security.
Though folks will look at it and say, no; it's just being critical, even if in a balanced way. It's what's most frightening I think about all this --
and it's a great point. Going forward, it's not clear if Hong Kong will even be able to continue to operate in what it has experienced in recent
years; really even since it was under the British control.
And that is a free press. Certainly here, we have state media that dictates a lot of what the government wants to be put out there. And it's quick to
quiet down when the government doesn't want something expressed.
ANDERSON: Which begs the question, what exactly does China want of Hong Kong going forward?
CULVER: If it's to apply what's been happening here in Shanghai and really across Mainland China, then it would be control of the narrative. And it's
something that we have even experienced as we put out reports that they had deemed fake news, using that from the Trump administration, as they have
been labeling us.
And it's something that is a continuous fight. However, when it comes to a publication that is originated and based in China, there's different
expectations for those publications.
Now Beijing and a lot of the state media folks will counter that and say that they have the freedom to express any criticism that they want.
However, you rarely see it done.
I think one example in recent history that we've seen was around the outbreak in Wuhan, the original few weeks, that we started to see reporting
come out from local journalists, who were state media-backed and some have a bit more independence.
But they were publishing things that seemed to be very critical, certainly of the local government in Wuhan in Hubei province. And then there was a
turning moment, where the central government made it clear that no more negative reports were to come out and that put an end to it rather
And I recall that quite distinctly, to see that was a moment, where those journalists were leaning toward something that was pushing against the line
and then were reeled back in, it seemed.
ANDERSON: David Culver is in Shanghai for you tonight. David, thank you.
The influential sister of North Korea's leader said the U.S. should not misinterpret comments made by her brother. Last Friday, Kim Jong-un said
that his nation should be prepared for both dialogue and confrontation with the U.S.
His sister released a statement, saying the U.S. is in for a disappointment if it reads those comments positively. Paula Hancocks explains.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korea appears to be trying to crush any kind of optimism that the United States feels when it comes to
possible dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington in the near future.
Now this came from Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo Jong. She's often kept to one side until there are sharp words to be made against the United States
or South Korea. And once again, she is the one who is delivering these sharp words, saying that the U.S. will face great disappointment if they
interpret positively remarks made by her brother last week.
Now this is from the Workers' Party meeting. And Kim Jong-un had said that North Korea needs to be ready for both dialogue and confrontation.
We then heard from the national security adviser in the Biden administration, Jake Sullivan, talking to ABC News, saying that it was an
interesting signal. Also saying that the Biden administration is awaiting a clear signal from Pyongyang as to whether they are prepared to sit down at
Now this is a fairly clear signal from Pyongyang, saying that there will be great disappointment if they interpret this positively. But they are not
particularly stinging words from Pyongyang. We've certainly seen a lot harsher rhetoric coming from them in the past.
But the key at this point is most experts believe that Pyongyang has far bigger concerns than whether they're going to sit down and negotiate on
denuclearization with Washington.
The food insecurity in the country has been publicly acknowledged by Kim Jong-un himself. There is certainly a belief that is far more pressing a
concern than whether or not to have working-level talks with the U.S.
Now this also comes while Sung Kim, the new U.S. special envoy for North Korea, is here in Seoul. He's been meeting with Japanese and South Korean
officials, trying to look at how they can push the process forward. He has also said that he is willing to meet at any time, anywhere, with North
Korean officials and is hoping for a positive response soon.
HANCOCKS: Clearly the response that we heard this Tuesday through state- run media KCNA was anything but positive -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
ANDERSON: Well, any moment now, Iran's next president will give his first speech since winning the country's top political office. Turnout was the
lowest in 40 years and all his serious rivals were barred from running.
But circumstances aside, the result is that Ebrahim Raisi is the one delivering this address in the holy city of Mashhad. The hardline cleric
has already made his stance clear on the nuclear deal, demanding the U.S. return to the accord and lift the sanctions crippling Iran's economy.
We can expect more on those fronts today as well as a better idea of how Raisi intends to govern at a critical juncture for his country. Fred
Pleitgen is there, where he is speaking.
What should we expect to hear from the president elect today, Fred?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, yes, I'm right in the middle of a crowd at the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad. It is
really an amazing sight. There are tens of thousands of people here.
You could tell this is really something of a victory lap for Ebrahim Raisi. I can already see him on the stage here. There are some other clerics right
now, who have done a couple of prayers --
ANDERSON: Sadly, we have lost Fred. Fred is on the line -- quite difficult technically to get Fred up and we were hoping to see him live. He is in the
crowd. And I've seen the images. We'll bring those to you as the hours go by.
There are thousands and thousands of people gathered there in the holy city of Mashhad for a speech, which will be delivered by the president-elect.
There you see those crowds. The president-elect due to speak to those gathered in Mashhad momentarily.
He is actually on the stage; not speaking as of yet. He will be, though, and we will get Fred up, to get his sense of what we might expect from what
is expected to be a rather long speech.
Up next, overshadowed by a humanitarian crisis, the results of Monday's vote could prove pivotal for Ethiopia's prime minister. We'll be live in
Addis Ababa for you.
And a great big argument over the Great Barrier Reef.
Why is Australia at odds with UNESCO?
We'll reveal the ugly row over one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
Any moment now, Iran's next president will give his first speech since winning the country's top political office. Expect to see Ebrahim Raisi
address the crowd soon. Turnout in the election the lowest in 40 years and all Raisi's serious rivals were barred from running.
But circumstances aside, the result is that Ebrahim Raisi will be the one delivering this address in the holy city of Mashhad shortly. The hardline
cleric has already made his stance clear on the nuclear deal, demanding that the United States return to the accord and lift the sanctions
crippling Iran's economy.
We can expect more on those fronts today as well as a better idea of how Raisi intends to govern at what is a critical juncture for his country.
The world watching the ballot count in Ethiopia, which is now underway, overshadowed by war and emerging famine. Still, an election official says
it was a mostly peaceful day of voting on Monday, despite some complaints from opposition parties.
Preliminary results are expected in some regions this week. The first electoral test, for course, for prime minister Abiy Ahmed, whose party is
expected to win. The Nobel Peace Prize winner took office in 2018 on a pledge to end repression. But just hours ago, he shocked a lot of people.
He told a BBC journalist, quote, "There is no hunger in Tigray."
As you will know from watching this program, the U.N. says more than 350,000 people in the conflict-hit region are suffering from famine.
The president of Colombia is warning, COVID-19 will be around a lot longer than we would like to think. It comes with the country's death toll from
the virus on the rise. It's now surpassed a sobering milestone. CNN's Stefano Pozzebon has more for you now from Bogota.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The COVID-19 death toll in Colombia reached the somber mark on Monday of 100,000 victims, according to figures
released by the Colombian health ministry, as the country reports at 648 COVID-related new deaths in 24 hours.
And this comes as Colombia is struggling to contain a prolonged third wave of the pandemic, which has brought sustained increases in new deaths and
new cases across the last three months.
But speaking in Bogota, the Colombian president, Ivan Duque, warned that the end of the tunnel is nowhere near for the COVID-hit nation. Duque was
speaking -- attending a holy mass in the horror of the COVID victims. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN DUQUE MARQUEZ, COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The virus hasn't gone away and probably it will stay here for longer than we would
like to think. We must get used to the idea that COVID-19 will stay with us through 2021 and even 2022.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
POZZEBON: And one of the reasons for that is that, even with these dramatic numbers coming out of intensive care units and hospitals, the
country is pretty much still open, with only limited restrictions in place on trade and travel and no national lockdown imposed.
This leaves the virus to spread virtually unchecked. And with an economy in tatters, there really is no easy way out for Colombia and its people -- for
CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.
ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen is in Mashhad now where Ebrahim Raisi is expected to address the huge crowds you are amongst, Fred.
What can we expect to hear when the president-elect begins to talk at some point in the next hour or so?
PLEITGEN: Hi, there, Becky. First of all, this is a gigantic crowd in the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad. It is a very important day because it is the
birthday of Imam Reza. And there's a massive pilgrimage going on here.
That's why we had technical difficulty and are having trouble actually coming through on all the right spots. It's a gigantic crowd. It really is
somewhat of a victory lap for Ebrahim Raisi.
PLEITGEN: The crowd you see here, that you see on video, all of them are Raisi supporters. We talked to so many people in the crowd here. All of
them say they support him. They want the country to go in what they say is a more religious direction, a more conservative direction.
So those are most of the things we expect to hear from him today. He is going to thank his supporters. This is a major Raisi stronghold. This is
his hometown. This is where he has a lot of his power base as well.
He will thank them ahead and most probably will assure them that he is exactly going to move the country into that direction, as he puts it, a
more conservative direction, a more religious direction.
Some of the other things that he has been talking about, saying he wants to make the economy of Iran, which (INAUDIBLE) has been suffering, more
autonomous from the world's economy. The (INAUDIBLE) economy, as they call it.
And that of course is the difference between Raisi and Hassan Rouhani, the current president, who is only trying to attract foreign direct investment.
Of course, all of that destroyed by the sanctions of the Trump administration.
Also he's been teaching through here (ph), Becky, all of them not in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement. Of course, what Ebrahim Raisi has been
saying in the past, what he said to me yesterday, is that, on the one hand, they are hoping that the efforts to try and renegotiate or negotiate the
U.S. foreign backset (ph) agreement, that is something he condones.
However, any sort of expansion of that agreement, trying to (INAUDIBLE) program or other regional issues, as they put it, (INAUDIBLE), all that
very much off limits.
And, of course, Ebrahim Raisi also saying that he will not talk to President Biden. So you can see the event here shaping up, it's a gigantic
event. And it certainly is Ebrahim Raisi' (INAUDIBLE) right in the heart of his most staunch supporters.
Very religious people, of course, on a very important religious day here in Iran. And I think that's the kind of rhetoric that we're going to hear from
Ebrahim Raisi, who I can see from my vantage point right here, who is already here inside the shrine and has gotten a very, very warm welcome.
ANDERSON: Yes, and our viewers have just seen a shot of him, awaiting the time when he will take to the podium to address the thousands who are
gathered. Fred, thank you. Fred Pleitgen is in Iran.
Next up, it may be paradise but paradise can be lost. That's the warning from UNESCO over the Great Barrier Reef. And Australia is angry. Find out
why -- up next.
ANDERSON: One of the world's greatest natural wonders is becoming an unlikely battleground. I want to connect you to the Great Barrier Reef
now, which UNESCO is recommending be listed as in danger because of climate change.
ANDERSON: Well, Australia strongly disagrees, as Ivan Watson now reports.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Australian government is taking a very unusual step. It is publicly accusing UNESCO of
essentially betraying it after proposing to put the Great Barrier Reef on an endangered list of World Heritage Sites.
Now the Great Barrier Reef is this incredibly rich, diverse marine habitat that's just enormous. It's nearly 350,000 square kilometers in size. That's
thousands of reefs and atolls and islands bigger than Italy and home to thousands of different marine species.
But it has been dying off; rather, its coral reefs have been dying off as the world's oceans, their temperatures rise due to climate change. There
have been these terrible bleaching incidents in 2016, 2017 and 2020, which have been killing off the underwater forests of coral.
And now UNESCO has been saying that the health of the reef has declined, from poor to very poor. Australia's environment minister, she just seems to
not like this new potential classification.
And she called, with Australia's foreign minister, UNESCO's director general, to try to get that individual to reverse this designation, going
on to say, quote, "I made it clear that we will contest this flawed approach, one that has been taken without adequate consultation.
"I agree that global climate change is the single biggest threat to the world's reefs but it is wrong, in our view, to single out the best-managed
reef in the world for an endanger listing."
But you know who is welcoming this proposal?
Environmental groups like Greenpeace, which say Australia and its government haven't gone far enough to reduce carbon emissions; pointing
out, for example, that Australia is one of the world's biggest exporters of coal.
And those coal exports are projected to grow over the next five years. Coal, of course, contributes to greenhouse gases and contributes to global
warming. So, yes, Australia, on the one hand, has invested money in trying to protect and revitalize its Great Barrier Reef.
But on the other hand, it is contributing to rising temperatures, which, at the end of the day, are helping kill off the coral -- Ivan Watson, CNN,
ANDERSON: It's been an emotional journey for Denmark to reach the last 16 of the Euro 2020 championship after the world watched their teammate,
Christian Eriksen, go into cardiac arrest on the football pitch.
But look at them now, joy for the team and their stricken player after defeating Russia to advance to the knock-out stage. Eriksen, by the way, is
recovering and he is out of hospital.
ANDERSON: Good stuff. And rightly so. You've got "WORLD SPORT" after this and then we'll be back with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD following