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Russia Calls Black Sea Encounter a "Blatant Provocation"; Progress in Libyan Peace Talks; Taiwan PM: We Need to Prepare for Conflict with China; Sentencing Surge of Uyghurs in Xinjiang; More Cubans Making Risky Journey to U.S.; Partial Building Collapse Near Miami; COVID-19 Cases Surging in Countries using Chinese Vaccines. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired June 24, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Looking to the future: U.S. secretary of state says he is confident that Libya is on the right path to

achieve stability without any foreign interference.

A deliberate and planned provocation: strong language from the Kremlin, accusing a British warship of trespassing in Russian waters. We're live in

Moscow for reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They continue to say they want to pursue me for the rest of my life. I'm not really concerned about that. I think it's an honor

to be targeted by the Chinese government.

ANDERSON (voice-over): In an exclusive interview with CNN, Taiwan's foreign minister has some blunt words for China.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. It is 6:00 pm here in Abu Dhabi, broadcasting to you from our Middle Eastern programming hub.

Happening now, Antony Blinken's last hour in Berlin, where "progress" is the word being used to describe the Libyan peace talks in the German

capital. Just ask Libya's prime minister.

The U.S. secretary of state also offering an upbeat view, calling his earlier face to face meeting productive.

All these high level conversations yesterday and today could mean everything for Libya's future, to its planned elections in December, its

goal of pushing out foreign fighters and ultimately bringing a lasting peace to the war-ravaged North African nation.

The interim PM saying he's counting on U.S. help, building international relationships, especially with countries already involved in Libya; like

Turkey, for example. With us now is CNN's Arwa Damon.

We talked yesterday when these talks had just begun. Some pretty optimistic words coming out of Berlin, not least by the U.S. secretary of state. It

does seem the Americans have once again decided they have a stake in the game here when it comes to helping trying to provide some peace and

stability going forward.

What do you make of what you've heard?

DAMON: First of all, the U.S. does have its own interests in wanting to ensure that Libya does somehow maintain a semblance at least of stability,

given the prevalence for any number of terrorist groups to set up their bases there.

Of course, having a stable country, especially in that part of the world, is vital, not just to U.S. interests but to the interest of other


That being said, despite the level of optimism we are hearing, there are still many challenges that lie ahead, some of which were brushed upon

initially by secretary of state Blinken and by the Libyan interim prime minister prior to their meeting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have many difficulties and challenges ahead. We are counting a lot on the United States to collaborate

with us in many fields, especially international cooperation, building international relationships and especially concerning the countries that

are involved in Libya.


DAMON: Becky, it's not just about those international relations. As the country looks towards these elections in December, they also still need to

figure out the legal framework for that.

They need to figure out who is going to ultimately be in control of Libya's armed forces and, crucially, how to ensure all of the various different

foreign fighters, foreign entities that have entrenched themselves into the Libyan battlefields, are actually going to exit the country.

Here's another fairly crucial point at this stage. Libya is not just at risk of falling victim to its own internal dynamics. It is heavily impacted

by external ones as well. It is one of the many proxy battlefields that exists across this highly volatile region.


DAMON: And of the many reasons that have allowed for this interim government to even come to fruition, that have allowed for these

conversations to take place, is a certain level of rapprochement, a closeness, reestablishment of ties among some of the key countries that

have been involved in the fighting to Libya up until now.

So for example, the fact that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt have begun to repair their relationship with Qatar, that plays into this; relationships

with Turkey play into this as well as relationships with Europe.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon is on the story for you.

Those crucial talks, of course, taking place in Berlin. We stay in the German capital. In the past few hours, Germany's chancellor has said that

the E.U. must seek its own talks with Vladimir Putin, saying dialogue between Russia and the U.S. is not enough in terms of Western diplomacy.

This comes just a day after a confrontation between a British warship and Russian forces in the Black Sea. British officials are disputing Moscow's

claims that shots were fired at HMS Defender.

In turn, the Kremlin has said the British warship carried out a, quote, "deliberate, planned" provocation.

Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in London. Our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance has the view from Moscow.

Just explain what is going on and what the fallout might be.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I think we're already beginning to see a little bit of the fallout. Britain's military

attache was called into Moscow's defense ministry yesterday.

The British ambassador in Moscow called into the foreign ministry today. What we are seeing is sort of a diplomatic wrangling that -- British

government officials are saying what Russia is describing has happened, that Britain was shot at and even an aircraft dropped a bomb in its path of

the HMS Defender.

They're saying that's inaccurate. That's what Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary said, that "this is predictably inaccurate," is how he described

what Russia has said.

But we have now had quite a detailed explanation of the course of events from the British perspective, from the secretary of state for defense Ben

Wallace. He describes this HMS Defender, sailing through yesterday morning through what's seen as a corridor, a safe travel corridor, that's

internationally recognized, that's close to the border, the coast of Crimea, that's within Ukrainian territorial waters.

And it was the shortest route for this ship going from Odessa in Ukraine to Georgia. So the British described this as an innocent passage.

And 10 minutes into the sort of contested area, if you will, the Russian Coast Guard contacted it, said there were live fire exercises going on

nearby and the British ship decided it wasn't in danger and continued.

It was buzzed by Russian fighter jets, one going as low as 500 feet, we're told.

Where does this put both countries?

It definitely puts them at odds over this stretch of water. British prime minister Boris Johnson said today this was a point being made rather than

trying to drive up an escalation. This is how he framed it.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I think it was wholly appropriate to use international waters. By the way, the important point is that we don't

recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. This is part of sovereign Ukrainian territory.

It was entirely right that we should vindicate the law and pursue freedom of navigation in the way that we take the shortest route between two points

and that's what we did.


ANDERSON: Matthew Chance, a deliberate and planned provocation, as far as the Kremlin is concerned.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But I think we're in danger of slightly missing the nub of the disagreement here, which is

that Britain, along with other countries in NATO and much of the wider world, did not acknowledge Russian sovereignty over the waters around

Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

They say it's Ukrainian territorial waters. That's not what the Russians say. They have enveloped Crimea, absorbed it into the Russian state. As far

as the Russian state is concerned, those waters are not Ukrainian territorial waters.


CHANCE: They're Russian territorial waters. So this Royal Navy vessel was, in the eyes of Moscow, in violation of Russian territorial waters. And

they've been adamant about what action they will take.

They've already today summoned the British ambassador to the Russian foreign ministry. The Kremlin has said that nothing is off the table when

it comes to defending Russia's borders.

And the deputy foreign minister has gone even further, saying, on this occasion, they bombed in the path of the target; in the future, they could

bomb the target if Russian borders are violated.

So the Russians are sending a strong message that these are Russian territorial waters that must not be violated. Again, this was a calculated

illustration on the part of this British ship to demonstrate it does not acknowledge that and it still sees these waters as under Ukrainian


ANDERSON: Briefly, Nic, should we expect to see Vladimir Putin hosted by the E.U. anytime soon?

German chancellor Angela Merkel talking about the fact that the E.U. needs its own talks with Russia going forward.

Is this a reset at this point?

ROBERTSON: I think given the diversity of opinion within the European Union, some of the Baltic states will not be happy about what they've heard

from Angela Merkel or French President Emmanuel Macron, I think to see Putin hosted by the E.U. is perhaps a stretch at the moment.

Perhaps a visit by Angela Merkel to Moscow or St. Petersburg or somewhere else perhaps, to meet President Putin, may not be off the cards. He seems

to be in the mood for that sort of international engagement at the moment.

His meeting with President Biden didn't come off that badly, from his perspective. So I think it's reasonable at the moment to expect more travel

in this direction.

ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you.

Preparing for a possible conflict with China, that is the sobering warning from Taiwan's foreign minister. Speaking exclusively to CNN, he says that

China is using cyber attacks and a disinformation campaign against the island, with the ultimate goal of unification. Will Ripley is in Taipei,

where he sat down with the foreign minister.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a wide-ranging conversation. We had about 30 minutes budgeted. And yet he spent nearly an hour with us. We

covered all sorts of different topics.

But the number one topic is what is happening between Taiwan and Mainland China, with these recent military incursions, military intimidation and,

from the foreign minister's view, one of the most serious cyber attacks.

JOSEPH WU, TAIWANESE FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Taiwan has some very good capability in dealing with cyber attacks. That is because of

our long experience dealing with the cyber activities initiated by the Chinese side toward Taiwan. They use cyber warfare. They use cognitive

warfare, disinformation campaign and the military intimidation to create a lot of anxiety among the Taiwanese people.

RIPLEY: Why is Beijing doing this now?

Why are they stepping things up now?

WU (through translator): They might have a territorial ambition over Taiwan for sure because they have been talking about that. But I think they

are also trying to expand their sphere of influence over the East China Sea, the South China Sea or beyond the first island chain into the wide


So this is not just Taiwan's problem. We certainly hope that the international community will continue to look at the peace and stability in

this region with attention and continue to support Taiwan.

RIPLEY: How much do the actions of the United States and Western democracies lead to those measures, that intimidation by China?

WU (through translator): If you look at the Chinese long-planned military actions in Taiwan, it had started before the G7 meeting, it had started

before the senators arriving in Taiwan by C-17. But sometimes the Chinese will like to use excuses.

RIPLEY: Do you believe that China has the intent of unification by force or preventing separation by force?

WU (through translator): I think the Chinese are trying to unify Taiwan through peaceful means, if possible but they want to use force, if

necessary. So we need to prepare ourselves for a possible conflict.

RIPLEY: What is the likelihood in your view of an all-out military confrontation between Beijing and Taipei?

WU (through translator): We hope it doesn't happen. A war between Taiwan and China is in nobody's interest. The important thing is Taiwan is a



WU (through translator): And Taiwan is a high symbol of democracy at a time when China is trying to expand its authoritarian influence. Taiwan is

on the front line.

RIPLEY: You have also been a target of the mainland government. They have accused you of being a separatist and threaten to take whatever legal

actions they can if they get their hands on you.

What is that like, to be a target of the mainland government?

WU (through translator): I will continue to say what is right and I will continue to advocate what is good for the people here in Taiwan. What I say

is only the truth. They cannot tolerate truth.

If they continue to say that they want to pursue me for the rest of my life, I'm not really concerned about that. So for that I think it's an

honor to be targeted by the Chinese government.


ANDERSON: Pretty bold words there from the foreign minister.

What would the consequences of unification, an effort to unify that island by military force on the part of the Chinese, be?

RIPLEY: It's an interesting question, Becky, because China, meaning Beijing, the People's Republic of China, over on the mainland side, they do

not have a policy of unification by force.

They have a policy of peaceful unification and a policy of preventing separation by force. They look at actions by the United States -- now, you

heard the foreign minister say it's an excuse when the United States lands a C-17 massive transport jet here in Taipei.

But from the Beijing perspective, analysts have told me, it is seen as a humiliating defiance of their territorial claims over this island that go

back more than 70 years to the end of the Chinese civil war.

Although Beijing is well aware that any sort of military action would have grave consequence in terms of loss of human life, because there would be a

fight, also grave economic consequences as the Western world already trying to rally against China's authoritarian push beyond its borders, which is

why the foreign minister told me the big threat is from cyber, from disinformation campaigns, from trying to deliberately spread false

information on social media and even by word of mouth and also cyber attacks that could shut down critical infrastructure.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Will Ripley is in Taipei. Thank you, Will.

Minority Muslims in China say their relatives are being jailed for crimes they did not commit and it is ripping families apart.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just newly married, you're getting ready to start your life together and then it just gets completely thrown upside down and

next thing you know your husband is in a detention center.

ANDERSON (voice-over): The heartbreaking stories from some Uyghur families are just ahead on the show.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Plus, as the last of the U.S. forces get ready to leave Afghanistan and the Taliban gain further control, we discuss the

impact on the lives of Afghan women. Stay with us for that, next.





ANDERSON: In China, a frightening surge in the arrests and imprisonment of minority Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Now the Biden administration in the U.S. is

revealing steps to punish China economically by blocking the import of products made with what they call cruel and inhumane forced labor.

G7 leaders took notice of this human rights issue at their summit earlier this month.

Beijing has long claimed the sprawling camps are vocational training centers designed to combat extremism. The U.S. State Department says up to

2 million Uyghur and other minority Muslims have been torn from their families and sent to detention camps and prisons.

One young couple, married for just 8 months, fears this nightmare could last for decades. Ivan Watson has the story.



IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Newlyweds in love, scenes from the 2016 wedding of Mehray Mezensof and Mirzat Taher. She calls

him pumpkin. He calls her his monkey.

MEHRAY MEZENSOF, WIFE OF DETAINED UYGHUR: It's pretty much like love at first sight.

WATSON (voice-over): The couple met online. Mehray was born in Australia and Mirzat is an ethnic from China's Xinjiang region where he worked in his

father's restaurant.

After their wedding in Xinjiang, the newlyweds enjoyed eight blissful months together until Australia granted Mirzat a spouse visa. Mirzat plans

to immigrate with Mehray to Australia in April 2017.

But two days before their flight from Xinjiang, Chinese police showed up at their house.

MEZENSOF: He gave them their passport and they confiscated it right then and there.

WATSON (voice-over): That night the police detained Mirzat.

MEZENSOF: You know, you just merely married and getting ready to start your life together and then it just gets completely thrown upside down and

then the next thing you know, your husband is in a detention center and you can't see him. You can't even communicate with him.

WATSON: Mehray says that marked the start of a four-year ordeal. She says Mirzat was detained in interment camps for months at a time on three

separate occasions while never facing any formal charges. That is until April 1st, 2021 when Mirzat's parents were summoned to a detention center

and informed their son have been found guilty of the crime of separatism.

MEZENSOF: That was when I received the news that sentenced my husband to 25 years.

WATSON: Twenty-five years in prison.

MEZENSOF: I was like no, no, that's not happening. I was like that can't happen. They can't do that.

WATSON: Mehray believes her husband is imprisoned here in a fortified facility that has grown substantially over the last eight years. One of

dozens of high security camps that have been expanded in Xinjiang, according to analysis by the Australian think tank, ASPI.

Chinese government statistics first compiled by Human Rights Watch also show that the number of people sentenced to prison in Xinjiang spiked

dramatically, jumping approximately six times between 2014 and 2018.

WATSON: Some experts believe they are transitioning the mass detention of Muslim minorities from internment camps to formal prisons. A policy more

and more people claim is ripping their families apart.

Nyrola Elima, a Uyghur from Xinjiang now living in Sweden, has spent the last three years lobbying for the release of her cousin, Mayila Yakufu, a

Mandarin language teacher and mother of three first detained in 2018 accused of financing terrorism.

Then in February, Nyrola got this video call from her mother in Xinjiang with a devastating update on her cousin.

NYROLA ELIMA, COUSIN OF DETAINED UYGHUR: They sentenced her six years and six months.

WATSON: How is your family handling this conviction?

ELIMA: I think they're dead inside.

WATSON: The family shared this letter from Mayila, written in detention, in which she claims she was forced to sign a confession. I don't have the

strength to resist such power, she writes.

The Chinese government has gone from initially denying the mass detention policy to now defending the crackdown, arguing it's battling against

Islamist extremism.


WATSON (voice-over): This state TV documentary released in April claims there is a fifth column of government officials who secretly plotted to

turn Xinjiang into an independent homeland for Uyghurs. It accuses this man, Ablimit Ababakri and his brother of paying to send Uyghur teenagers

overseas or some allegedly then join the Islamic State.

How did you react when you saw your father?

DILSAR ABLIMIT, DAUGHTER OF DETAINED UYGHUR: I couldn't even recognize him. I was refused to believe that was my father.

WATSON: The accused man's daughter, Dilsar Ablimit, is a 21-year-old university student studying abroad in Turkey. She says her father went

missing four years ago in Xinjiang until he suddenly appeared in this Chinese documentary.

ABLIMIT: My father and uncle are neither a terrorist or a separatist.

WATSON: The documentary didn't say if the brothers had been charged with a crime.

CNN has asked the Chinese government about their status and that of the others in our report and pushed for answers on why so many Uyghurs are

being thrown in jail.

In Australia, Mehray Mezensof clings to a letter from her husband which was smuggled out of detention three years ago. She's also clinging to hope

after learning her husband will spend the next 25 years behind bars.

MEZENSOF: I have to fight for him. I have to be strong for him. I have to do something. I can't just keep sitting and, you know, being silent about


WATSON: Do you think you'll see your husband again?

MEZENSOF: I really hope so. I can't imagine not seeing him again.

WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: It's important for us to let you know that we did reach out to the Chinese government for comment on this story. They did not respond to

our request.

More Cubans risking it all for a chance at a better life. Coming up, how COVID is causing a surge in migrants making dangerous attempts to reach the

United States.

And COVID cases rising in some countries with high vaccination rates. The connection between that and the vaccines they are using is just ahead.





ANDERSON: As COVID-19 sweeps across Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba is racing to get more people vaccinated. The island is seeing a surge in

new cases. More than 2,000 new infections were reported on Wednesday alone, the most ever in a single day since the pandemic began.

So far only 8 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated. But Cuban health officials say one of their homegrown vaccines is more than 90

percent effective against the virus.

The virus is one factor in the uptick of migrants attempting to cross from Cuba to the U.S. It's a dangerous journey that has cost an unknown number

of lives. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has this exclusive report.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. Coast Guard cutter enters Cuban waters, carrying migrants, stopped at sea while trying

to reach the United States.

Under an agreement between the two countries, the Cubans are sent back to the island after being picked up by the U.S., leaving the island usually on

barely see where the rafts or smuggled out in speedboats by human traffickers.

While in recent years the number of Cubans making the illegal journey by boat had dwindled. Now as the Communist run island is hit by the twin

impacts of the pandemic and increased U.S. economic sanctions hundreds of Cubans are again attempting the treacherous sea crossing.

Cuban officials who gave CNN rare access to a migrant repatriation say they are concerned by the spike in activity. "They put people's lives at risk.

They have too many people on board," he says. "They knew people trafficking with speedboats and they also overload those boats to make more money."

It can take days to make the 90-mile journey across the Florida Straits. And only seconds for a trip to turn deadly. Neither the U.S. nor Cuba can

say how many people have died in 2021 attempting the crossing.

Juliette Cortes (ph) says her brother, Pedro Angel, was one of at least five people lost at sea after the brother capsized leaving the island in


"What we want is to know," she says, "to have some news, however tough it is. But at least know what happened to him."

Despite the risks, many Cubans are increasingly desperate to leave the island. Some sell all their possessions to pay for the trip. This woman who

has returned by the U.S. Coast Guard attempted a hazardous trip, carrying her 8-month-old baby.

After the U.S. embassy in Havana shut down visa services nearly four years ago following mysterious health incidents, more than 100,000 Cubans had

been unable to obtain visas granted to them to visit or emigrate to the U.S.


OPPMANN (on camera): Cubans have to travel to a third country to apply for a visa to enter the United States legally. It's a costly and lengthy

process but during the pandemic it's been next to impossible to do. Many people say they can no longer afford to wait even if it means breaking the

law or risking their lives at sea.

While the numbers of Cubans leaving by boat are far less than during the rafter's crisis of the 1990s and Mariel boatlift of the 1980s Cuban

officials said they want to engage with Washington before the flow of migrants increases.


CARLOS FERNANDEZ DE COSSIO, DIRECTOR, CUBAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The trend is there. Difficulties at Cuba has today have not faced for over

a decade. So the recipe and the conditions are there for an uncontrolled migration through the ocean. Something that we want to avoid.


OPPMANN: So far Biden advisers have said Cuba is not a priority for the administration. But as the pandemic and Trump era sanctions continue to

cause havoc here, an increasing number of Cubans with nothing left to lose could create a crisis that becomes impossible to ignore -- Patrick Oppmann,

CNN, Orozco, Cuba.


ANDERSON: Officials in a town just north of Miami Beach say a massive search and rescue operation is underway after the partial collapse of a

residential high-rise.

You see it here. At least one person was killed. Several others were injured. Crews have so far rescued 35 people who were trapped inside. There

are fears that more of that building could fall. Just have a listen to this resident.


BARRY COHEN, RESIDENT: I walked down the hallway and it's a very long hallway, probably 100 yards, 75 yards.


COHEN: And there was nothing there. It was just a pile of dust and rubble and paint falling from the ceilings.


ANDERSON: It is at yet unclear what caused the collapse or how many people remain missing. The mayor says visitors logs show the building was

substantially occupied.

Still ahead tonight, COVID cases are surging in some countries with high vaccination rates. The one thing they have in common is coming up.

Plus --


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "They arrived at 4:00 am. They were firing bullets everywhere. They were killing

people and I fled at once."

ANDERSON (voice-over): Next hour, violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A girl who witnessed unspeakable horror is separated from her

family. We will talk to UNICEF about what is happening on the ground and how the agency is stepping in to help.





ANDERSON: The Delta variant of the coronavirus is raising alarm bells around the world.


ANDERSON (voice-over): These are all the countries where it has been detected. The European CDC says the variant is spreading so fast that it is

on track to make up to 90 percent of new COVID cases in the European Union by the end of August.

India's health ministry says the Delta plus variant, first detected there, has spread outside of India and is reported in nine other countries.


ANDERSON: The spread of these Delta variants increasing urgency around the world to get people vaccinated. But COVID cases are surging in several

countries where vaccination rates are already high.

The one thing they have in common, well, they are mainly using vaccines produced in China. David Culver looks at how that could impact future

vaccine distribution globally.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China's portrayed it as an act of goodwill, shipping Chinese-made vaccines to other

countries even before guaranteeing enough for its own citizens. State media reporters 350 million doses have gone out to more than 80 countries.

Among the nations on the receiving end, neighboring Mongolia; and in South American, Chile. Both countries mobilized quickly to put those vaccines to

use. In Mongolia, more than 52 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated; Chile, just a bit less.

They are among the highest vaccination rates in the world alongside countries like the U.S. and Israel.

But why is that as cases are dropping in those countries, Mongolia and Chile are seeing surges of new COVID-19 infections?

Last week, Mongolia hit a record high in daily case counts.


CULVER (voice-over): Authorities in Chile announced a blanket lockdown across its capital Santiago two weeks ago.

BEN COWLING, DIVISION OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: So many places where there's relatively high vaccine coverage and

social distancing measures have been relaxed, it may be that those measures were relaxed a little bit too soon.

CULVER (voice-over): One of the most striking differences, the types of vaccines. While the U.S. and Israel turned to Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna,

Mongolia and Chile are relying heavily on two from China, Sinovac and Sinopharm. My team and I based here in China received our two doses of

Sinopharm in recent months.

The efficacy rates of the Chinese-made vaccines containing inactivated virus range from about 50 percent to 79 percent; whereas, U.S.-based Pfizer

and Moderna, using mRNA science, are more than 90 percent efficacious.

Though the environments in which they were all trialed varied with different variants of the virus circulating, the American-backed ones

appear to be much better at preventing transmission compared with China's vaccines.

COWLING: Right now, what we can see very clearly is the antibody level in people who received BioNTech is much higher -- much, much higher than the

antibody level in people who received Sinovac.

CULVER (voice-over): The WHO authorized both Sinovac and Sinopharm for emergency use despite the Chinese companies behind them providing limited

clinical trial data. But medical experts warn while less effective, this does not mean the Chinese vaccines are a failure.

COWLING: Somewhere like Chile, somewhere like Mongolia, vaccines have saved a lot of lives but maybe they haven't been able to stop the virus

from spreading and causing mild infections in vaccinated people.

And the, of course, the potential for more severe infections in people who haven't yet been vaccinated. And that's one of the limitations of less

effective vaccine.

CULVER (voice-over): While overall cases in Mongolia and Chile are on the rise, the vaccines may be helping lower the severity of those cases.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you look across the board in countries that have higher vaccination rates, those

hospitalization rates, those death rates -- while they may move around a little bit they are probably a lot better now than they would have been

without the vaccines. Because the vaccines, more than anything else -- regardless of which one it is -- help protect against severe illness and


CULVER (voice-over): To better stop the spread of the virus countries like Bahrain and the UAE, which have also relied heavily on China's Sinopharm,

are now offering their citizens a third dose as a booster. The choices, a third shot of Sinopharm or they can use the Pfizer vaccine as their


The development and distribution of vaccines has become highly politicized, especially between the U.S. and China.

And if both countries refuse to recognize each other's vaccines that could keep you limited to crossing borders based on the vaccine you've gotten,

essentially preventing international travel from returning to near normal for years to come.


ANDERSON: David Culver is behind that reporting.

Shocking testimony from Britney Spears, as the singer breaks her silence in the ongoing court battle to regain control of much of her life. The pop

star pleaded with a judge in Los Angeles Wednesday to end the 13-year legal agreement that put her father in charge of her personal and financial


That was imposed after the singer had a mental health breakdown. She has called the arrangement abusive.

Many celebrities are taking to social media to show their support of Britney Spears.

Mariah Carey tweeted, "We love you, Britney, stay strong."

Justin Timberlake tweeted, "We should all be supporting Britney at this time. Regardless of her past, what's happening to her is just not right. No

woman should be restricted from making decisions about her own body."

"WORLD SPORT" is up next with Amanda. I'll be back after that.