Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

World Power Launch New Push For Peace In Libya; World Powers Meet to Restart Stalled Libyan Peace Process; U.N. Warns About "Worst-Case Scenario" in Afghanistan; Amnesty International: Tabloid's Closure a Dark Day For Press Freedom; Growing Number of Countries Worries as Delta Variant Spreads; Britney Spears to Appear At Hearing Over Conservatorship. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 23, 2021 - 11:00   ET




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

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour we have a lot to get through from Afghanistan to Ethiopia to Hong Kong. First though, I want to

start with a story that is developing as we speak and one that hasn't gotten enough attention and that is the future of Libya.

Right now the world has its - it because a lot has changed since the last time that we covered the North African nation which has been wracked by

years of conflict but there has been progress. Today officials from France, Italy, Egypt and from where I am the UAE are in Berlin to restart Libya's

peace process.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also there. And Libya is finally in the room where it happens. Since the last peace conference in early 2020

there has been a formal ceasefire, paving the way for Libya's interim Prime Minister to have a seat at today's table.

He's running the country into planned elections at the end of the year. And that vote is making America's top diplomat very hopeful have a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: --of elections go forward in December that the ceasefire continues to be fully implemented, and that all

foreign forces leave Libya. I think we have an opportunity that we've not had in recent years to really help Libya move forward as a safe, secure,

sovereign country. And we're determined together to seize that opportunity.


ANDERSON: Well, in a recent interview with "AXIOS" my next guest says there's an "Elephant in the room" when it comes to Libya referring to

Khalifa Haftar pictured here. He is the Rouge General leading the Libyan National Army who attempted to overthrow the Tripoli based U.N.-backed

government while he didn't achieve that.

Mohammed Ali Abdallah, he his Special Envoy to the U.S. for Libya's National Unity Government is not in Berlin. But he is advising the Prime

Minister from Istanbul and he is here with us now.

Firstly, let's start by getting you to explain what you meant by Khalifa Haftar being the "Elephant in the room" as it were?

MOHAMMED ALI ABDALLAH, SPECIAL ENVOY TO U.S. LIBYAN NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT: Yes, good evening, Becky. I mean, this is a topic that is

constantly being discussed on the margins of the topic of stability and Libya.

Yet rarely is there any actions or any plans with regards to how we're going to address the threat of the outlaws and militias and forces and

Haftar is a great example of that. Well, this includes also the mercenaries from Russia and other African Nations and many different countries, foreign

fighters that are spread across many locations.

So the "Elephant in the room" that I meant is of what Khalifa Haftar is carrying out but it's not just him as an individual. I think the first

pillar that the Prime Minister talked about in the four pillars in his plan or proposal that he addressed a few hours ago in Berlin, is the security

and stability.

This is a prerequisite for many different things but also to ensure the stability and the sustainability of the election results, meaning that

people will accept the results and that there will be a military and security apparatus under a civilian led government that is able to ensure

one all Libyans are able to participate and two that all Libyans also have a fair chance in order to participate as part of the democratic process

leading after the elections. The election in itself is not the only objective it's the launch of a stable unified reconciled Libya.


ANDERSON: Sir you are alluding to planned elections in December. Are you confident that those elections will go ahead?

ABDALLAH: I am confident that the Libyan people are going to march ahead towards that goal. However, we cannot ignore the fact that there is a lot

of, you know, deliverables, there's a lot of milestones still missing - you know, smaller than the constitutional basis, and the electoral or

legislative law that will dictate this election.

This is a deliverable that's the responsibility of the House of Representatives, the Supreme State Council and the LPDF, which is the

Libyan Political Dialogue Forum. These three entities have not shown in the last few weeks, a serious engagement or level of engagement.

I'm hoping that changes actually here in about five days. The LPDF team will meet in Geneva I think under the auspices of the U.N. mission on



ABDALLAH: However, this milestone was due several weeks ago, and we are nowhere near in agreement on that, though, however, I don't think this will

be an issue in the past elections, meaning that if they do not deliver this, I think we will have to look at alternatives, which was actually

discussed today.

So the objective of elections, Libyans have made their voices very clear, we will march towards that. And as a government, we have a responsibility

to ensure that Libyans take the ownership back of the decision making process in Libya, which is something that we don't have today.

ANDERSON: Libyan elections, a Libya and new Libya for Libyans. But as you have pointed out, and are widely understood, there have been many, many

foreign actors involved on the ground and around Libyan politics now, for over a decade.

You've said that out of all of this, one of the most promising things that you've seen is the dialogue between Egypt and, of course, who backs Khalifa

Haftar and Turkey, both of which will have big roles to play in stabilizing Libya. What do you see as those roles?

ABDALLAH: Well, I think I mean that the crisis in Libya is not just confined within the borders of Libya. This has regional ramifications. And

what I meant by that is having this dialogue between Egypt and Turkey, Libya is probably one of the biggest beneficiary out of this because one,

we need all of our bordering countries to be supportive of the government supportive of a civilian led government and stability.

And this is an opportunity for countries that maybe have - the plans or the intentions or the - what would have been the results of Khalifa Haftar's

plan. This is sort of an opportunity to hit the reset button for everyone who was legitimately and honestly committed to stability in Libya.

However, this sort of process is actually giving us a good filtration system, indicating who is actually committed this stability and who is

basically falling back into the same behavior that we saw before April 4th, 2019, which - Khalifa Haftar failed.

So this is a test that the litmus test for a lot of countries, and we're seeing very positive signs from countries such as Egypt, however, we're

still waiting for a lot more action, less words, and this is the challenge right now everybody has in front of them.

ANDERSON: Let's - yes, let's be quite clear. I mean, Egypt sees Libya as a national security threat given its geographic proximity to the country.

Other countries, of course, are not neighbors, to Libya, geographically. Militia present in Libya, and its alleged are committing acts that violate

the U.N. arms embargo.

You know, what's going on, on the ground? What is being done now to stop external actors from pushing their own aims in the country and what's being

done to ensure those foreign fighters are removed? We know that players like Turkey, Russia, the UAE, for example, have had external actors on the

ground or at least cooperating and they've offered assurances they will respect Libya's sovereignty and withdraw these fighters. Are you confident

that that will happen?

ABDALLAH: I mean, I think these assurances are very fragile. I don't have any confidence that most of these countries will respect their words,

because these are the same countries that reiterated their support for the previous government, the GNA, yet on the other side, we're providing

weapons and mercenaries for an outlaw for a military overthrow that was attempted.

So therefore, these words mean nothing to us. We are looking for action and what being done on our side as a government is trying to build up our

official military institution in order to be able to fill the vacuum in the void that has created this opportunity for Russia, for example, to march

into Libya and have a presence on a stone's throw away from NATO's borders.

And also, you know, establishing a supply chain of mercenaries and fighters all the way down to the Central African Republic.


ABDALLAH: So this is - this goes beyond Libya's borders when it comes to a regional stability of the issue and how unfortunately from the

international side; we still have not seen enough to be done. And then when we talk about militias and Libya, the militias are all over the place. It's


However, there are many locations where now militias' influence has been - has waned down, as you know, basically non-existent. There have been sort

of certain incidents where militias have started to sort of test the will of the government and thus far the government's will has held up and the

unification process of the military institution is moving in the right track.

This is where I think a country like the United States and the words of Secretary Blinken today were very welcomed, received very positively.

However, we're again looking for more action and engagement for examples, you know, more bilateral agreements on the security side to establish

security around our border.

We don't secure our borders as a first step, none of the other deliverables or milestones will be easily achieved.

ANDERSON: Europeans of course want to secure their own borders from what they see is the security threat from Libya, also the flow of refugees

coming out of the country and heading for Europe. So European certainly has a stake in the game - a significant stake in the game, not only on that

basis, but of course, on a resource basis, as well.

There are an awful lot of actors involved in what is the story of Libya today. The Head of the U.N. speaking at the conference today he is on a

trip in Europe. He's in Berlin and Antonio Guterres saying that U.N. monitors will be deployed to Tripoli soon. I just want our viewers to have

a listen.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: The United Nations is committed to supporting the Libyan ceasefire monitoring mechanism. The initial group

of U.N. ceasefire monitors will be deployed to Tripoli soon. We must put an end to all foreign interference, including the full withdrawal of all

foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.

Libyan and external parties to agree on a comprehensive plan with clear timelines to achieve this goal, which - stands ready to support.


ANDERSON: Just how important is it that Washington has refocused its attention as it were on Libya? I mean, it seemed to me and many others that

the Trump Administration quite frankly wasn't interested. You got Antony Blinken at this meeting today.

You got Antony Blinken saying that this is an opportunity, a moment to seize for Libya. But these December elections are crucial. I've heard what

you've said tonight, you don't seem 100 percent confident that those elections will go ahead. You've said they should. But you're not confident

that they will necessarily if they don't, what happens?

ABDALLAH: Well, I think that opens up a window for a lot of things, including, you know, going back to square one and more division from the

political side and possibly even armed conflict. So this is why I think, you know, even though I still - I stand very hesitant to say yes, I'm 100

percent confident it will happen on time.

I don't think it's a farfetched possibility with one condition. If I think the United States engagement moves to the next level, with tangible

deliverables and specifically around the security side, I think the United States is in a unique position, even more so than Europeans to help Libyan

government unify its military institutions.

And I think it starts out by calling out the "Elephant in the room" that I talked about, instead of appeasing. And having this watered down to as if

it's a reconciliation between all the Libyan people and Khalifa Haftar. No, this is reconciliation amongst Libyan people.

And this is not you know, sort of centered around any one particular individual, especially an individual who's basically been called out on

carrying out war crimes, who's been accused of, you know, amassing hundreds of people in mass graves in the cities - and Southern Tripoli, and

basically aiding and abetting a war criminal, a wanted ICC war criminal, and so on.

His rap sheet goes on and on. So therefore, this very frustrating approach of appeasing such people is really giving the Libyan people you know -

Libyan people are basically tired of waiting and giving the benefit of the doubt to those who are not necessarily behaving like well, you know, what

they're saying. And--

ANDERSON: I understand that this is your point of view. We have to be absolutely clear now, you know, whilst you are calling Khalifa Haftar the

"Elephant in the room" and you are talking about what needs to be done with regard that general.

Now we've got to remember that the GNA has a pretty bad rap as far as many experts are concerned when it comes to its behavior over the past period in



ANDERSON: But sir, listen, it's good to have you. Let's have you back. It's an important time. We will ensure that the story of Libya stays in the

headlines because it's an important story. It's important to Libyans, first and foremost, and they, we owe them that. But it's also important to so

many other people around the world. So thank you, sir.

Agreement after agreement, but there still hasn't been any long lasting peace in Afghanistan. I'm going to ask a member of Kabul's negotiating team

whether there is any hope for the peace process, that's next.

And a dark day for press freedom that's how Amnesty International has described the closure of Hong Kong's Apple Daily. How authorities use the

national security law to silence Beijing's critics.


ANDERSON: I want to get you two new fighting and new concerns now in Afghanistan. U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with the government's top

leadership this week. American forces of course are gradually withdrawing from the country this as peace talks stall and the Taliban make swift

advances across the nation.

A government negotiator tells CNN they've been caught off guard by just how quickly the Taliban is seizing control? Well, I want to hear from someone

directly involved in those stalled peace talks. Fawzia Koofi is a member of the Afghan government's team who is negotiating with the Taliban or

certainly was and she joins me now live from Doha.

The U.N. has warned that time is running out to prevent the worst case scenario as they describe it as the Taliban intensifies its military

campaign. Deborah Lyons, Head of the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan, had this stark warning about the Taliban's offensive, let's have a listen.


DEBORAH LYONS, HEAD OF U.N. ASSISTANCE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN: For the Taliban to continue this intensive military campaign would be a tragic

course of action. It would lead to increased and prolonged violence that would extend the suffering of the Afghan people and threatened to destroy

much of what has been built and hard won in the past 20 years.


ANDERSON: Is the Taliban on the brink of taking over Afghanistan?

FAWZIA KOOFI, MEMBER OF THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATING TEAM: Well, I think Becky, thanks for being much more different than probably better if

the U.S. withdrawal could happen after the political settlement was reached between the two sides.

Now that the U.S. has announced unconditional withdrawal of troops, I think that has put the other side in a more victorious mood. And they - their

preferred strategy is certainly military strategy.

Let's remember the Taliban are not the only military extremist groups in Afghanistan, there are many other military extremist groups that

Afghanistan have been used as a connectivity hub between South Asia and Central Asia for them.


KOOFI: And in addition to that, in the deteriorating security situation right now in Afghanistan, unfortunately, there are a lot of people that are

holding gun to protect their community from the takeover of Taliban that basically put everything in a more military strategy.

And my concern is, as the U.N. Special Envoy said, that the people - the silent majority of people of Afghanistan will be made the main victim of

this chaos situation.

ANDERSON: The Americans - Joe Biden has promised will be out by September the 11th, which is a very symbolic time it will be 20 years since the

downing of the twin towers that being the reason that the U.S. led this campaign to begin with against Al Qaeda, who were harbored by the Taliban

in Afghanistan.

Is this an irresponsible move by the U.S. government? This seems you are suggesting to have emboldened the Taliban.

KOOFI: By withdrawal or announcement of unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan, by U.S. and its allies, in fact, they have violated - the U.S.

has violated the same agreement that they have signed with Taliban without, of course, engagement of the Afghan State and Afghan government, in which

it is clearly mentioned that the withdrawal will be conditioned based and after a political agreement has reached between the two negotiating side.

I think, yes, it's true that the other side was not very sincere from the beginning of these talks. You know, we have proposed many times of

ceasefire, while we were talking because people have been losing lives, and not only in the battlefield, but also civilians, women's rights activist,

journalist, and we know that since the deal was signed in February 2020.

Until a few months ago, based on the U.N. report, 400 people or more than that were killed by targeted assassination. So a peak of increased violence

was something that we wanted to at least stop it and give people some hope and some level of, you know, trust over this process.

Therefore, we propose from day one, a ceasefire, which the other side did not accept. Of course, in such a conflict, which is very multi dimensional

Afghanistan, every party tried to demonstrate some muscles on the battlefield. But as again, I say this added to a more uncertainty after the

announcement of the U.S. withdrawal.

My proposal was and I think our proposal was from Afghanistan side that let's use all the leverages we have, especially the United States, their

diplomatic leverage their political leverage over region, to ensure that Taliban are engaged in a sincere and result based treatment. That's our



KOOFI: I mean, moving forward, there is no alternative, nobody is the winner in war, nobody - is the people are the main looser, of course,

because they're not only losing lives, you're losing everything else, the opportunity, the public infrastructures are being targeted, schools are

being burned and put on fire.

You think that we have put not only our treasure, but also - to make them. They have been the target over the last few months as the violence

increase. So the way forward is no war. War will only result more instability and a more deteriorating security situation.

ANDERSON: Fawzia, they have not, though, had they? The Americans ensure that they use their leverage to ensure that there is a peace process, at

least ongoing, if not a peace agreement with the Taliban. And you are involved in those talks or that process? I mean, where is it? What's its

status at this point?

KOOFI: We do have some level of meetings. It's not actual process. We do have some level of contacts and meetings, but not regular, not a meaningful

process, not to the demand of the people that are losing lives every day.

We do not have much time in terms of stopping this - the United States, other international organization like the United Nations, you know,

countries in the region, like Qatar, like our neighboring countries, to really put their time and energy to make this process really process.

Because I don't know why in the world does not get the fact that the war in Afghanistan is not just a civil war. There is a multi dimensional aspect of

it and one of the aspects that it can threaten the security of the world.


KOOFI: And not only long time ago 20 years ago, we will witness of that when Afghanistan was abandoned when - the world actually turned their face

from Afghanistan, we remember the 11th September attack happened. I'm not talking about everything that happened to us being in the front line of

this war on extremism, opportunities were taking away from us our lives.

You know, if there was no war, can you imagine the life of - if there was no Taliban government, for instance, or civil war, the life would have been

so different for many people in Afghanistan, including myself.


KOOFI: So we have not used opportunities. I'm not talking about that. But let's remember that the war in Afghanistan is not going to leave the rest

of the world in peace and stability.

ANDERSON: Well, you have called this U.S. withdrawal, a moral defeat. President Biden says the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is

justifiable, because he says forces have made sure Afghanistan cannot again become a base for foreign jihadists to plot against the West. So you

telling me that you do not agree with that assessment?

KOOFI: Well, based on - once again, I'm quoting the United Nations' report, recent report, which says that, you know, the military extremist groups in

Afghanistan have still ties with each other. In some places they work in collaboration, in some places they work together.

So in addition to the obvious groups that in this case are the Taliban are the - and the Al Qaeda, there are other military extremist groups that are,

you know, they have started from Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Islamic movement of Uzbekistan for instance, and other Islamic military

extremists that actually use the Afghanistan because of the long years of war.

Our systems have already broken and become weaker, they used that vulnerability to make Afghanistan as a hub, to cross - to go to their

destination. Now, can you imagine if there was a system, which was, you know, kind of government marginalize on this territory was in the control

of these military extremists?

Of course, once again, this could have been used to threaten the world security. What I'm trying to say is that, I don't know what the guarantee

is for the U.S.? What is it that gives the U.S. administration and politicians in the United States, that assurance that their own territory

will also be at risk?

I'm saying we are as a nation being in the frontline of these military extremists. We have been, you know, the target. We have lost our lives. We

have lost everything, basically, due to this war although this is such a beautiful country.

We are here now in Doha would like to at least after four decades of bloodshed and suffered bringing some level of stability to our country. I

think still the United States have a role in terms of using their political influence over the region, over the world powers and bring a regional


The U.N. can get more engaged to pursue a political negotiated settlement, which is agreeable by all sides, including women.

ANDERSON: As a woman, whose rights were front and center in the decision by the U.S. and its allies to enter Afghanistan? It was images of women being

beaten by the Taliban back in the day, alongside the effort to get rid of Al Qaeda, which was a reason we were told that this conflict began. As a

woman, how do you feel 20 years after the U.S. first entered the country on this occasion?

KOOFI: I think I can be very frank on this - betrayal because being an ally for 20 years, being in the forefront of, you know, promoting the common

principle values, of human rights, of democracy, of education, of the things that people of Afghanistan very well deserved, being as you know,

the portrait of an achievement for the international community in Afghanistan.

Now, when international community withdraws they do not even consult women of Afghanistan. We know that we have been the victim of political

assassination myself have been a victim last August a year ago almost.

Many people like me have lost lives. I'm thanking God I'm alive. But of course, I was the target. Many people have lost lives because of who they

were? Because of the values that they believe that, because of the solidarity and the common principles were the international community.

I think now that the decision of military withdrawal has been only decided that of course put us as women in much more difficult situation because you

know that, that any situation when there is not no rule and order, women are the main victim.


KOOFI: They burn the school girls; they burn the hospitals which women are the main victim? But I think it is time for the world to stand in

solidarity politically with women of Afghanistan and continue to make their funds and financial contribution to the government of Afghanistan and other

institutions as a benchmark for women progress.

They have to make sure that they are funding projects that benefit women. Women's education is important because I believe if a mother is educated,

she will certainly grow - children which will not--

ANDERSON: Fawzia it's always good to speak to you. I'm so sorry that it's on a day that is so frustrating for you. But Fawzia Koofi, your words have

been heard. Thank you. We're taking a break back after this.


ANDERSON: Death by suffocation that is what reporters without borders is calling the full shutdown of the anti-Beijing tabloid Apple Daily. Last

week 500 Hong Kong police officers raided the papers' headquarters arresting five of its executives and freezing the papers' financial assets.

They acted under Beijing's National Security law that was imposed on Hong Kong last year. Well, Ivan Watson connecting us tonight from Hong Kong and

just walk us through what happened here at Apple Daily? And what it means for press freedom in Hong Kong and indeed the future of Hong Kong's


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, why don't I walk you through where I am right now, which is the newsroom of Apple

Daily. It's a sprawling collection of offices that clearly employs hundreds of people and the staffs here are putting their final edition to bed.

The management says that their last printed edition is going to go out tonight. So the copy editors, you know were kind of - are hard at work

here. This is the stuff of their last paper. Again, this is one of Hong Kong's most popular newspapers.

And the reason it's shutting down management say is because less than a week ago, you had some 500 police coming through here, going through the

computers through the hard drives. And as you mentioned, arresting five of the top executives of the newspaper and charging them essentially with

treason accusing them of inciting foreign governments to put sanctions on Hong Kong and China's leadership through the articles that they had

published here.

I'm just kind of walking my way through this labyrinth of desks and everything. And the Hong Kong government they insist that this is not an

effort to suppress the freedom of journalism in this former British colony.


WATSON: They insist that there was a conspiracy here and a major crime and a threat to national security. Take a listen to what the Chief Executive

said earlier this week.


CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Don't try to accuse the Hong Kong authorities for using the national security law as a tool to suppress the

media or to stifle the freedom of expression.


WATSON: But that is exactly what Britain's Foreign Secretary what Amnesty International what reporters without borders are all accusing the Hong Kong

leadership of doing now. And the management of this company, they simply say that since their assets were seized, they cannot continue to function

and that's why the final edition, they're putting the final stamps on that.

And when you come to a newsroom like this, you get the sense with the hundreds of people working on different desks here of this publication. You

do get the sense of something that was an institution 26 years, Apple Daily has been publishing in Hong Kong now being shut down. And that's part of a

much larger crackdown on critics of the Hong Kong and Chinese Central Government, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ivan Watson in the Newsroom at Apple Daily, thank you. Well, after a year long delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics

are now just a month away. As we've been reporting many people in Japan want the games to be postponed or even canceled as the virus remains a big

worry and the number of people fully vaccinated there is still barely over 8 percent.

Protestors turned out again in Tokyo today but others in particular Olympic Superfan say the game should go ahead in July and a couple of them told

CNN's Blake Essig, why they feel that way?


BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the Olympic Games in Tokyo summer here to compete for glory, while others have a different mission.

KYOKO ISHIKAWA, SELF-PROCLAIMED OLYMPICS SUPERFAN: For the well being of the world and the success of Tokyo Olympic Games.

ESSIG (voice over): That's Kyoko Ishikawa, a self proclaimed Olympic Superfan and Unofficial International Olympic cheerleader who can't wait

for the summer games to begin. She's dressed in a traditional Japanese costume, equipped with a headband and fans to cheer on athletes and

celebrate the Olympic spirit.

ISHIKAWA: The purpose of like cheering activities at Olympic Games is basically they get to share the message of love, smile, friendship and

peace with the people around the world.

ESSIG (voice over): It's a message she says she's been sharing it every Olympic Games since 1992, making friends and gaining fans along the way.

Back then, she was a student traveling around Europe. And as luck would have it, she managed to get a ticket to the opening ceremonies for the

games in Barcelona, a moment in time that forever changed her life.

ISHIKAWA: When I saw that vision, the diversity I was amazed.

SHLOMI TSRAFRIR, OLYMPICS MEMORABILIA COLLECTOR: Unless you've seen it with your own eyes, you would never understand.

ESSIG (voice over): Originally from Israel, Shlomi Tsrafrir has lived in Japan for more than 30 years. He got hooked in 1998 at the Winter Olympics

in Nagano while operating a souvenir shop. Since then, what started as a hobby has turned into an all consuming obsession?

TSRAFRIR: It's almost everywhere pins and pins and pins.

ESSIG (voice over): Altogether Tsrafrir says he's collected roughly 100,000 pieces of Olympic memorabilia.

ESSIG (on camera): To the point where it is everywhere?

TSRAFRIR: Yes, literally every - almost every drawer every cardboard you open in this house, something Olympic will pop up.

ESSIG (on camera): Can we test that theory here?

TSRAFRIR: Sure. Go ahead.

ESSIG (on camera): How about this --?

TSRAFRIR: Yes, I'm sure something will be there. Oh, wow! There you go.

ESSIG (on camera): There it is. You weren't line?

TSRAFRIR: No, no, that's - that's a rare item actually. That's a tea cup from 1940 Tokyo Council Games.

ESSIG (voice over): Those games were canceled because of World War II. This time around it's a global pandemic. It's led medical professionals in a

majority of the Japanese public to call for the games to be canceled or postponed. Despite all that Olympic organizers are adamant that the Tokyo

Olympics can be held safely. And we'll go ahead this summer.

TSRAFRIR: This is 1958.

ESSIG (voice over): A prospect that Tsrafrir hopes will happen, not just so he can continue his role promoting Olympic history through memorabilia, but

also to bring pride to the country he calls home.

TSRAFRIR: For the whole country I really hope they're going to be very big games, very good games and very successful games. Games that Japanese

people afterwards can will be proud that they staged.

ESSIG (voice over): And even though foreign spectators have been banned and only a limited number of local fans will be able to attend the games.

Ishikawa says she's going to keep cheering for her fans around the world and the one that matters most right here at home.


ISHIKAWA: I think he's a Superfan of a Superfan, which is me.

ESSIG (on camera): That's perfect and we all have a role to play.

ESSIG (voice over): Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: Well, Germany is fighting back after UEFA refused to light up Munich's Allianz Arena in rainbow colors to support LGBTQ plus rights. The

request was made ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 match tonight against Hungary.

Well, Heiko Maas, Germany's Foreign Minister tweeted "The football pitch is not about politics. It's about people about fairness about tolerance.

That's why the UEFA is sending the wrong signal", he said.

But fortunately, you can still show your colors today in the stadium outside #loveislove and words are turning into actions. Munich City Hall

raising pride flags in protest and 20,000 rainbow colored flags will be distributed at the stadium.

Major German companies on Twitter have also changed their logos to rainbow colors following the decision. The requests to light the arena was made in

the wake of an anti LGBTQ law passed in Hungary's Parliament last week. European Football's Governing Body has come under heavy criticism for their

approach to challenging homophobia. But UEFA says the motion was made in a political context.

Well, Hungary's responded to the route Prime Minister Viktor Orban says German politician should accept UEFA's decision not to light up the Munich

Arena. The City Munich made its request after Hungary passed the law last week banning children's materials that are deemed to promote homosexuality

and gender change.

Well, the EU Commissioner President - sorry the EU Commission President weighing in Ursula Von Der Leyen says the law is a "Shame" that goes

against European Union values. And Hungary not the only European country embroiled in a dispute over LGBTQ plus legislation.

The Vatican made history by invoking its sovereign status to protest an anti homophobia bill in Italy. Vatican officials claimed the bill could

restrict religious freedom.

Well still ahead, dozens of countries are now in a race against a dangerous new variant of the Coronavirus which is sparking fears of another COVID

wave that is coming up. And a little later, just before we close out the show why a 3000-year-old Ancient Egyptian Mummy checked into a Milan

hospital. That is ahead.



ANDERSON: Two steps forward one step back. It does seem like we see that a lot with the Coronavirus pandemic doesn't it? And right now the highly

transmissible Delta variant, I'm afraid, causing worrying a growing number of countries including the United States, in Israel, in the UK and in

China, after sparking a catastrophic outbreak in India.

And now India itself is warning of a "Delta Plus" variant that is emerging in some regions there. Well CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth

Cohen joining me now. I just want our viewers to have a listen to what Dr. Anthony Fauci had to say about this variant a little while ago, standby.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: It spreads much more efficiently than the virus that we've been used to over the last

several months to a year and also data from the UK indicate that it also is more dangerous than that it makes you more seriously ill. So the

combination of a virus that spreads more rapidly and has the potential to make you more seriously ill is a threat we have to worry about.


ANDERSON: Just how worried should we be Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDIAL CORRESPONDENT: This Delta variant, this is the variant that was first spotted in India, Becky. It is indeed

worrisome, as we just heard Dr. Fauci say it is more transmissible. So let's take a look at some of the particulars about these Delta variants.

So it's about 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant. That's the one that was first spotted in the UK. And that one already, the Alpha

variant already was more transmissible than the variants that preceded it.

Also early findings show from Scotland and other places and increased hospitalization rate when people get this Delta variant. In other words, if

they get the Delta variant, they seem to be more likely to get sick enough that they end up in the hospital.

To see how quickly this spreads, let's take a look. This graph is really pretty stunning. This is in the United States. If you look at late April,

early May, about 1.2 percent of the virus that was circulating in the U.S. was the Delta variant. The rest was other variants, then move into mid May;

it went up to 2.7 percent.

So in just a matter of a few weeks, it went from 1.2 to 2.7. And then a huge job late May, early June 10 percent, 10 percent of the virus that's

circulating. And Fauci says now, it's more like 20 percent. Now here we are in mid to late June 20 percent. So it is growing by leaps and bounds.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and others have said, look, this is likely going to become the dominant variant in the

United States just as it has become in the UK and in other countries.

ANDERSON: So are vaccines effective against it?

COHEN: Yes, they are. So that's sort of the good news in all of this is that vaccines are effective, which is all the more reason why people need

to go out and get vaccinated if they can. Let's take a look at those numbers.

It's not quite as effective as it's been against other variants. So two weeks after your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, the Pfizer or Pfizer

rather, Pfizer is 88 percent effective against the Delta variant. It was more like 95 percent effective against previous variants or against

previous strains.

AstraZeneca 60 percent effective also not quite as effective against the India variant, that 60 percent number is lower than the effectiveness

against the other strains. However, what's important two important things to note, one a vaccine that's 88 percent or 60 percent effective is so

great, that is still a very, very good vaccine.

The other thing to note is that its effectiveness against hospitalization. In other words, the chances that the vaccine is going to keep you out of

the hospital are very high, that is well into the 90s. And that's in many ways, what we worry about is we want people to stay out of the hospital. So

that indeed, is great.

But still the vaccines take a bit of a hit but really they're doing quite well. The worry is that we couldn't get a variant where the vaccines don't

do so well.

ANDERSON: Yes, no, absolutely, very briefly, what's the risk to young adults and children of this Delta variant?

COHEN: You know the, the Delta variant doesn't appear to affect children any more so than any other variants. But here's the key, this Delta variant

spread so quickly, that sort of - that in various countries around the world, it's just becoming there's so many cases.

So if you think of it as a fraction, the denominator is very high. The total number of people who are sick are high, so we're seeing more sick

children. So we're not seeing more sick children because this variant is especially a threat. It's that when you see more cases in general, you're

also going to see more sick children.

ANDERSON: And oftentimes they are not vaccinated of course, as of yet Elizabeth, thank you Elizabeth Cohen in the house for you.


ANDERSON: The UN reports that Ethiopia's Tigray region is at a tipping point where their Emergency Relief Coordinator telling Security Council

members recently that there is now famine in Tigray. Last hour I spoke with David Beasley, the Head of the World Food Program about how military

violence is making the food crisis even worse?


DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: When you have political solutions, hunger rates go down. We see it all over the world.

You look in the last few years how the hunger rate has spiked and it's been manmade conflict.

And so if we can address the conflict and bring peace in the conflict, then we can absolutely end hunger in this region with the support of the

international community. I don't care who's controlling the access point which side of the military give us the access we need to reach innocent

victims of conflict.

Because if we can do that, Becky, we can turn this around and make certain that every child and every family gets the food they need in this very

difficult time.


ANDERSON: David Beasley. We are taking a very short break back after this.


ANDERSON: Just hours from now one of the world's biggest musical acts may finally shed light on what has been a year's long controversy over who

controls her money? That of course is Britney Spears performing live something her attorney says she won't do again until the legal issues over

her conservative ship as it's - resolved.

Spears is expected to appear virtually at a hearing about control of her $60 million estate. Well Chloe Melas has more on these highly anticipated

legal proceedings.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (voice over): Britney Spears isn't shy about sharing with her fans on Instagram. But for the first time the

world may hear from Britney regarding her court ordered conservatorship and a hearing on Wednesday.

Britney has yet to address the court since her court ordered attorney filed to suspend her father Jamie Spears as the conservator of her $60 million

estate last year. The singer spotter has been overseeing her finances since the conservatorship again in 2008, following a series of health issues that

played out publicly.

The highly anticipated hearing has fans and reporters clamoring for a seat in the courtroom. Although Spears is expected to appear virtually the Los

Angeles County Superior Court has already issued a press release stating that they are going to have an overflow courtroom.

Everyone is wondering what Britney might say? And conservatorship attorney Lisa MacCarley, who does not work on Britney's case has been vocal about

the court having had appointed Samuel Ingham as her Attorney.

LISA MACCARLEY, ATTORNEY: There is no legitimate reason why Britney Spears was deprived of an attorney of her own choice. What I'm hoping that she

will say is - and all she really needs to say is I want to hire an attorney of my own choice to talk about my options. That is something that they have

said - refused to allow her to do.

MELAS (voice over): Spears's attorney had no comment citing pending litigation.


MELAS (voice over): CNN has also reached out to two judges who have issued rulings on this case over the years. Both declined to comment to CNN.

Members of the "Free Britney Movement" plan to demonstrate outside of the courthouse, they want the "Gimme More" singer released from the

conservatorship, but they say this is bigger than Britney and one overhaul of a system that they believe has widespread potential for corruption.

LEANNE SIMMONS, #FREEBRITNEY MOVEMENT: We know that conservatorship abuse is much bigger than just Britney Spears. And that's what this has evolved

into. Of course, this movement started because we're Britney fans, a lot of us, it has evolved into a global movement now.

There are activists and advocates from across the globe, some of whom are not Britney fans who are family members or victims themselves of

conservatorship abuse. So this is much bigger than just Britney.

MELAS (voice over): As for an end in sight, this legal battle is far from over with another hearing scheduled for mid July.


MELAS: It feels like the entire world is watching to see what will Britney Spears say during the hearing? We have no idea if this hearing is going to

end up being closed because she might talk about some very sensitive subjects that require the judge to actually clear the courtroom.

Also, many people wondering will Britney ever take the stage again to perform? Well she just posted a video on Instagram the other day saying

that she doesn't know she's still taking time for herself. So in the meantime, all we can do is sit back wait and watch.

ANDERSON: Well before we go tonight, a little moment of joy from a Milan Hospital meet the Egyptian Priest Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu. Doctors slid the

decidedly dead patient into a machine for a CT scan to study the story of his life in depth.

He's been mummified for over 3000 years; scientists say his body holds secrets about ancient diseases that can be used for medical research.

Ancient Egypt was of course one of the earliest civilizations to champion science and innovation and those traditions are alive and well today.

And here's proof this Egyptian designed car that can actually drive on water look at that three friends from Alexandria designed it and use mostly

local materials to make it. 12 cars have been made in total and if you want one, pricing starts at 19,000 US dollars.

We'll leave you with. It's a very good evening from Abu Dhabi from the team here and is working with me around the world. Good night.