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U.S. Military Commander Is Warning Of Civil War In Afghanistan After U.S. Troops Withdrawal; At Least 12 People Dead And 149 Remain Unaccounted For In Florida Building Collapse; Several Countries Put Restrictions In Place To Combat Delta Variant; Blistering Heat Wave Engulfing U.S. Coasts And Western Canada. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 30, 2021 - 11:00:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade filling in for my colleague Becky Anderson. Good to have you with us.

Well, one chapter is closing in Afghanistan's long and bloody history of conflict. But there are fears another grim chapter could start soon. Former

fighters are taking up arms against the Taliban who have captured dozens of districts in a lightning offensive.

Well, now the top U.S. military commander in the country is warning of a civil war. It's no coincidence that the Taliban are pushing forward as U.S.

troops who came to fight them in 2001 are now leaving.

The U.S. could finish its pullout within days. The White House says the president is not reconsidering the plan. So where does all this leave the

country that has seen so much violence? CNN's Anna Coren is live for us in Kabul with more on this.

Anna, good to have you here. We know when the U.S. president announced troops would be withdrawing, he said it would be by September 11, the

anniversary of the terror attacks. Now we're hearing it could be within days. What's the feeling there?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. Brought forward by two months, which is quite staggering to people here in Afghanistan. I was

speaking to a friend of mine who I've known here for almost 10 years, and he said he was completely shocked. He thought he had time.

That news meant that it was all over, no future for him and his family and that he will look for any window to get out of here. And that is what we

are hearing more and more, this real sense of fear and dread as to what the future now holds without a U.S. presence in the country.

We know that so many people are trying to get out, trying to apply for visas, move elsewhere because they do not want to live under the Taliban.

Sure, it's not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination, but for people who have lived through the Taliban reign, they don't want to do

it again. They do not want to return to the dark ages.

You mentioned General Austin Scott Miller. He did warn of an impending civil war once U.S. troops leave. And we are hearing those troops could

leave within the next few days. We know that 1,000 U.S. troops will be kept in-country, 600 of them to protect the U.S. embassy. The others will be

used to secure the international airport until the Turkish forces are in place.

But after that really you don't have any U.S. presence on the ground, certainly not fighting alongside the Afghan forces, not assisting them, not

training them, certainly not at least in-country. And we've seen the security situation rapidly deteriorating in recent weeks and months. The

Taliban making huge gains on the battlefield.

According to the data we've seen, they're now in control of at least 100 of the 370 districts across Afghanistan. The Taliban will tell you it's

higher. Afghan forces will tell you it is lower. But either way they are making gains, you know, nearly every single day.

And we've seen the propaganda video coming in from the Taliban of Afghan forces surrendering and not just, you know, laying down arms, but the

Taliban then taking this equipment, equipment funded by the U.S. government, weapons, ammunition, humvees, armored vehicles.

And this is particularly distressing, Lynda. Many people saying it is going to be civil war, what then? Will the Taliban return to power? And if so,

what has the last 20 years all been about?

KINKADE: Yes, exactly. And Anna, what does this mean for the Afghan government because clearly the U.S. is still going to provide financial

support in the form of billions of dollars. But without a U.S. military present there fighting alongside their troops, will they survive?

COREN: Well, the Afghan government is saying it's time for our forces to step up, to defend our people, defend our country and that they are ready

for the challenge. Certainly Ashraf Ghani, the president of Afghanistan, and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, they were in Washington, D.C. last week meeting

with President Biden.


As you say, you know, President Biden has committed $3.3 billion in security assistance, $266 million in aid. He's also committed 3 million

doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Of course, COVID has been a huge problem here in Afghanistan and only minute proportion of the population,

less than 1 percent, has actually been vaccinated.

But that U.S. intelligence report that was released last week, you know, it predicts that the Afghan government could fall within the next six months

after the U.S. troops withdraw.

Now, that is particularly frightening. We heard from Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who said that is certainly not going to be the case. We also heard from

General Miller yesterday saying that he has told his Afghan counterparts to move forces from the districts to secure the cities, the provincial

capitals, that that is where their focus needs to be.

And perhaps that is how this will play out, that the Afghan troops will protect the cities while the Taliban controls much of the countryside. We

also have to remember the militias, the war lords, you know, there are ethnic groups now picking up arms because they believe that is the only way

to protect themselves and their communities, Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. Anna Coren for us in Kabul. Good to have you there on the ground for us. We will speak to you again in the coming days. Thank

you. Anna Coren reporting there.

We are learning more about an attack on U.S. forces in Eastern Syria this week. It happened in the wake of those U.S. air strikes on the Syrian-Iraqi

border. The Pentagon says more than 30 rockets were fired at the base here Deir Ezzor on Monday.

It was one of the largest attacks on American service personnel in the region in recent months. No U.S. troops were injured. But officials say the

rockets were a more powerful longer range version of the smaller rocket that's commonly used by Iranian-backed militia.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: I think we're all working under the assumption that they were fired by Iran-backed militias or militia. We

don't have specific attribution. And as for damage, there was some structural damage to two buildings that I know of on that compound.


KINKADE: Well, the attack came about a day after the U.S. launched these air strikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria and Iraq.

Words of welcome and of warning over Ethiopia's cease fire declaration in the war-ravaged Tigray region. The U.S. State Department calls the truce,

quote, a promising development, but it's still not enough. Take a listen.


ROBERT GODEC, ACTING U.S. ASST. SECY. OF STATE FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS: The government's announcement was cessation of hostilities does not result in

improvements and the situation continues to worsen. Ethiopia and Eritrea should anticipate further actions.


KINKADE: Well, now Ethiopia's government is saying its forces could re- enter Tigray's regional capital, Mekelle, at any time one day after making the cease fire announcement. For the devastated Tigray region, the problems

just keep coming.

CNN now being told that Ethiopian-backed Eritrean forces have yet to withdraw. And most of the world is watching as this happens. People there

facing famine conditions after months of dealing with a brutal civil war. Well, I want to connect you now to (INAUDIBLE) CNN's Larry Madowo joins us

now live.

Larry, despite this unilateral cease fire announced by Ethiopia just a day ago, things seem to be falling apart very quickly now that we're hearing

Eritrean troops are still in the region and Ethiopian troops may be going back in.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that's what the government of Ethiopia is saying today that -- that Tigrayan fighters no longer represent an

existential threat to the nation. They're saying they went to that region to neutralize that threat and they seem to have done that.

And they withdraw out of Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital, for humanitarian reasons to address some the international community's concerns around

access to the region for humanitarian workers and also address the withdrawal of Eritrean troops that are still there.

And aid assistant telling us today that it's not so open for them. The workers can't access it. There are no open roads. Communication is down.

Connectivity to the internet is down. Banks services are not available. This area is still cut off. But both sides are essentially now, Lynda,

declaring victory.

The Tigrayan fighters say that they gained so much ground and covered all the towns around Mekelle, that the Ethiopian troops had no -- no other way

to retreat.


But what the Ethiopian government is saying is that Mekelle is no longer the center of gravity that it once was and so it no longer represents a

threat to the nation and that's why it is time for the Ethiopian military to withdraw and focus on an external threat because this operation -- they

call it a law enforcement operation, Tigray -- they seem to make it sound like it's over but it was a caveat.

If they violate the Tigrayan fighters violates the spirit of that unilateral cease fire, then they can be provoked to going back in there.

KINKADE: And of course, the Ethiopian elections are meant to come tomorrow. Although it's been a chaotic process and plenty of opposition parties

haven't even arrived (ph) because they call the election unfair. What are we expecting to happen when those results come in?

MADOWO: It's widely expected that the president -- that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's prosperity party will win this election. Ethiopia has a

parliamentary system. So whichever party has the absolute majority gets to form government and appoint a prime minister.

And because two major opposition parties boycotted, there's an opposition candidate that's in prison and so there wasn't really a solid opposition

for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's party and so he's likely to win that election whenever the results come out.

But this is a discredited election that the U.S. said it was gravely concerned about that environment. And lots of other international actors

raised concerns about how it is being carried out. And it's been a spectacular fall from grace for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who only two

years ago won the Nobel Peace Prize for his reformed credentials.

He ended a long running war with Eritrea and was seen as somebody who could really get Ethiopia back to a path to democracy. Now his government stands

accused of atrocities, some of them against international war that the U.S. is considering declaring as either crimes against humanity or even a

genocide in Tigray in the north of the country.

KINKADE: Larry Madowo, good to have you on the case for us there from Nairobi. Thank you.

Well, in Europe the fight against COVID-19 is pitting vaccines against variants. And while many countries are lifting social distancing rules,

others are tightening them in. In France where almost 50 percent of people have gotten at least one vaccine dose, capacity limits are being lifted on

venues like restaurants, stores and cinemas.

In Ireland, we're seeing a different situation. It's delayed lifting restrictions on indoor dinning from July 5th, now aiming for July 19th. The

government blaming a spread of that delta variant of the virus. It says it's working on implementing a vaccine certification system for indoor pubs

and restaurants.

The U.K., meanwhile, despite having one of the most impressive vaccination campaigns in the world is heading towards a potential third wave. Cyril

Vanier joins me now from London. And Cyril, let's start on that, the U.K. situation.

Because as we have seen, the U.K. has received a lot of praise for its fast, speedy rollout of vaccinations there. But there is a third wave. The

delta variant is spreading rapidly. But we are seeing two different responses, cases where in schools where they're sending home entire classes

of students into quarantine but then you've got major sporting events going on at the same time.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we're seeing Lynda, is that the country is starting to learn to live with the variant on a daily basis. And

that's what the prime minister said that the U.K. needed to do because the variant's not going anywhere.

So the schools will implement their own protocols, and yes they have been pretty strict with some classes shutting down when there is a single case

declared. And meanwhile, the rest of the country continues to open up. And the last phase is these large, live events.

There have been piloted events but now it's the real thing because there are euro 2020 games that are being played. Of course the Wimbledon tennis

matches are being played here as well. And we've seen thousands of people attend those.

In fact, we know that the U.K. will be hosting 60,000 fans for the euro semifinals and euro finals that are coming up in the next couple of weeks.

And there's already -- there's already reason to believe that infections can occur when these large crowds meet, even though, of course, there are

measures put in place.

I mean these fans don't just walk into the stadium. They have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. And still despite that, Scotland

has just reported that it's had 1,300 infections due to fans who travel to England recently to watch the euro event and specifically the Scotland-

England game.

So look, when you bring large crowds, if they are not all tested, if they are not all vaccinated, you are going to get infections, especially with

this delta variant that is more transmissible, Lynda.


Nonetheless, the country, as many countries in Europe has decided to live with this to some extent. And as you so eloquently put it in your

introduction, now it's variant versus vaccine. And that is why the last set of social distancing restrictions will only be lifted in July.

They were supposed to have already been lifted. By then the U.K. government hopes that two-thirds of the U.K.'s adult population will have been fully

vaccinated, Lynda.

KINKADE: Right. And if we can turn our attention, Cyril, to France because there is some good news there. Much of the country, especially the cities,

starting to open up.

VANIER: Absolutely. France is essentially where the U.K. was two months ago. All the lights are green. All the indicators are trending in the right

directions. Infections are down. So are hospitalizations, deaths. And France has decided to push ahead with the last phase of reopening, which

means full capacity indoors in restaurants as of today.

Same thing with cinemas. Night clubs will be reopening next week, Lynda, albeit at 75 capacity and large live events like concerts or festivals are

also once again allowed, although people will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

And there are reports that -- early reports -- that people are a little confuse bid that. It's causing long queues for those events that are going

ahead. France has decided to reopen fully because the numbers are good. But that doesn't mean that the numbers are going to stay good throughout the


In fact, French health authorities have said we risk a fourth wave by the end of the summer/early fall. And how well the country is able to cope with

that fourth wave will depend on what the vaccination rate is by, say, late august, early September, Lynda. Right now in France about a third of adults

have been fully vaccinated, which is nowhere near enough.

I'm no epidemiologist, but it's nowhere near enough if you just compare to what happened in the U.K. to prevent a surge in infections.

KINKADE: Yes. It certainly is far from what is desired for any sort of herd immunity. Sir Vanier, good to have you with us from London. Thank you.

Well, hope and desperation in Florida. Rescuers made discoveries overnight as stories of victims emerge. We're going to bring you more details on


Plus vaccines are needed more than ever to help curb the rapid spread of the so-called delta strain of COVID-19. I'm going to speak to an expert

who's outlining what could make vaccines less effective?

And England's hopes stay alive at the Euro. We're going to take a look at their win over the fierce rivals, Germany, with "World Sport" contributor

Darren Lewis.


Welcome back. The somber search for survivors is in its 7th day in Surfside, Florida. At least 12 people are dead and 149 others remain

unaccounted for.


It comes as hope for finding survivors diminishes. Overnight rescuers discovered a series of tunnels and unfortunately more bodies.


COL. GOLAN VACH, SENIOR OFFICER, IDF HOMEFRONT COMMAND: At the last few hours we found more people?

UNKNOWN: You found -- you found more bodies?

VACH: We found people. Unfortunately, they're not alive. We found some more tunnels. It was between the balconies. So the balconies, between them

remains a big space of air that we crawled. We crawled in those tunnels.


KINKADE: Well, meanwhile CNN has learned that back in 1980 the construction of Champlain Towers South had to be stopped because the penthouse was added

but was not approved. Eventually developers got clearance. No word if that played a role in this collapse.

Well, I want to go live to Surfside, Florida, where we are joined live by our Rosa Flores. Rosa, we just heard again from one of the Israeli rescue

crew members speaking about these tunnels that they are finding, which leads to perhaps a little bit more hope that there might be someone that

has survived this collapse if they are in one of those tunnels, those air pockets.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Lynda, that's the biggest development from overnight is what this Israeli commander is saying. And

I'll tell you why because I've been here from the start and I can tell you from speaking to the fire chief because of how this building collapsed,

local officials have been saying that they have found very few pockets.

I know we talked about this trench that was cut into the rubble, it and gave them a view that was about three stories high. And when I asked the

fire chief to describe what it looked like, he said it looked horrific. When I ask why, he said because there were no voids. There were no spaces.

And we know that they need those voids. They need to find those voice in order to find life. So when this commander from the Israeli team says that

overnight they found tunnels -- and we don't want to give people false hope, but those are the crevices, those are the spaces where there could be


And so I can tell you from talking to the fire chief and to the fire marshal here, they've been following the signs of live and they've been

following what they think are locations where people might have been at 1:30 in the morning, i.e., their bedroom.

They know that the bedrooms had carpeting. They know that, for example, the bathrooms, which might be next to the bedroom, had tile. So, they were

using these clues to go through the rubble.

Now according to this Israeli commander, these voids were found between balconies and they were able to crawl through. Now we're expecting a press

conference here shortly, so we're hoping to learn more about these tunnels and also if more people were found.

Now, Lynda, I want to share this because the 12th victim was just identified, a 92-year-old woman. Her name is Hilda Noriega. I spoke to her

priest just a little while ago, and he described her as being loving and fiercely independent.

And she -- he also says -- and I'm not sure if you've been able to either talk to some of her family. But the day that this collapse happened, when

debris was flying everywhere and there was a cloud of smoke, her family found two of her photos in the midst of the rubble, in the midst of the

debris, which was so special to them. And then I just learned from her priest that when they found her, she had her rosary -- now, she's catholic.

So imagine how special this is. And I asked the priest, you know, what does this tell him. And he says that her faith was with her until the last

moment. Lynda?

KINKADE: Wow. Incredible. It's giving me chills listening to you talk about this. Rosa Flores, it is good to have you there. Very -- a tragic

situation, but certainly it's still some hope as -- as this search progresses. Thanks very much.

We are learning more about those unaccounted for, including the owner of one of the penthouse units. What's left of her home is awe chilling,

chilling image of a bunk bed teetering on the edge of the building. CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with the woman's friend who is still clinging to hope.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the view that drew Linda March (ph) to Champlain Tower South in Surfside, Florida.


The 58-year-old lawyer left New York City in March and rented a penthouse here just three months before the condo tower collapsed.

CINDY HINTON, FRIEND OF CHAMPLAIN TOWERS RESIDENT: Linda saw the pictures. She absolutely fell in love with it. It was the penthouse level. It had

balconies. It had a view of the water. And it was, you know, a building that had everything she wanted. So she was really, really excited about

moving there.

KAYE: Penthouse number 4. This is what's left of it today. One of the most haunting images of the surfside building collapse. With the wall sheared

off and the building ripped wide open, those bunk beds in Linda's apartment are now teetering on the edge of the top floor.

The pink and white flowered sheet and pillow cases remarkably still intact on the bottom bunk. For days many have wondered if children lived in that

unit. But Linda's friend tells me she rented it furnished and lived there alone.

When Cindy saw the building collapse on the news, she quickly compared the address to the return address on a birthday card Linda had recently sent


HINTON: I matched it to the building, and my heart sunk. We just didn't know what to do. We like -- we felt so helpful.

KAYE: Cindy called her friend. No answer. Then she sent this text asking her friend to make contact. It's your address and I'm worried now.

HINTON: Every time I look at that picture, I -- we tried to look up diagrams and floor plans and what if she was in this room, what if she was

in another room. There's a possibility if she slept on the couch in the living room. We're just all praying that maybe, just by the luck of God

that she is in another room, that she somehow is somewhere else and not where those -- you know the shaved off part of the building is.

KAYE: Cindy Hinton has known Linda March for nearly 40 years and refuses to give up hope.

(on screen): Do you think she has the strength to survive something like this?

HINTON: You know, one thing we know about Linda is she's strong. And you know, even though she's 104 pounds and she's petite, she is one of the

strongest people I know. And I know she can feel the vibe that we're calling for her, come on, Linda; we know you can pull through this. We keep

the hope.

KAYE: Linda's friends describe her as intelligent, compassionate and the most generous person they know, always active and full of life, riding

around surfside on this bright pink bicycle.

HINTON: She got this new pink bike and we were laughing because it was totally Linda.

KAYE: So many questions amid the prayers they'll one day hear Linda March laugh again.

HINTON: She had a very infectious laugh. And when you heard Linda laugh, you couldn't help but laugh and laugh with her. And just there was so much

goodness in her heart.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Surfside, Florida.


KINKADE: Well, still to come, countries around the world are trying to stop the fast-spreading delta strain of COVID-19. Hear what one expert says

leaders need to do to prevent the strain from spreading beyond control. And Mexico is slowly but cautiously getting back to what life was like before

the pandemic. We'll show you how they're reopening in just a moment.



Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us. Well, getting billions of people vaccinated against COVID-19 has been a

monumental achievement.

But the more dangerous, the more transmissible delta variant of the virus, which is quickly spreading across the globe, is threatening that progress.

In the U.S. alone, the delta variant accounts for more than a quarter of infections. And that's raising concerns the end of the pandemic may be much

further away than we thought. With the possibility there could be a COVID- 19 fall later this year.

Australia is one of several countries put restrictions in place to combat that delta variant. Alice Springs, a town in the middle of the outback is

the latest to join several major cities with state at home orders as the country rushes to contain the virus. Our Angus Watson reports from Sydney.


ANGUS WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Over 10 million Australians now under restrictions to try to stop the spread of the delta variant as it moves

through communities and capital cities across the country.

Today the latest city to go under lockdown, Alice Springs in Central Australia, adjacent to a mine where there's been community transmission

between people flying in and out to work there from other capitals. That's just one hot spot where the delta variant is spreading, that variant of

concern that authorities here are warning is spreading quickly between people in households once any one person has come down with it.

The backdrop to that is Australia's low vaccination rate. Just over 7 percent of the population has had two shots and is fully vaccinated.

Efforts are ramping up as people become due for their second shots but not enough people vaccinated yet in Australia to avoid these lockdowns.

Angus Watson, CNN, Sydney, Australia.


KINKADE: Well, one expert is cautioning leaders to speed up the vaccinations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from outpacing those

efforts. I'd like to welcome Sterghios Moschos a professor of molecular -- sorry -- biology at Northumbria University. What a mouthful. He joins us

now live from New Castle in England. Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: So, Professor, plenty of people in plenty of countries are dealing with lockdowns and restrictions, life on hold. And obviously they're tired

of it. But you fear that some countries are just opening up too soon. Explain the risks.

MOSCHOS: Yes, absolutely. I mean, Australia is a case study actually of what can happen if you have the community that's not protected and you have

a virus, including the delta variant, that's transmitting very profusely run through the community.

In the absence of adequate vaccination coverage, what will happen is that the people are at risk and even those that are not necessarily at risk of

death but at risk of long COVID will cut the virus and they will end up being ill, and perhaps having long-term consequences in their healthcare

lifestyle or ending up in ICU and basically where they're (ph) dying.

So it's essentially really that we roll out the vaccination program as quickly and as effectively as possible worldwide and we prevent

transmission of the virus at the same time.

KINKADE: I want to ask you a little bit more about Australia being a case study because it has been hailed a success story in the way it's been able

to pretty much such itself off from the rest of the world and track and trace cases as they spread, lockdown where necessary and prevent rising


But we are now seeing a surge as a result of the delta variant, and we are seeing lockdowns right across the country.


And we've even heard from the deputy prime minister who was fined for not wearing a mask in public in the midst of this lockdown. Has the success at

containing the virus made the country complacent?

MOSCHOS: No, I don't think it's made the country complacent. I think the accusation of complacency perhaps can be leveled against the politicians in

other countries such as the U.K. where they haven't been fined for breaking the regulations. They've lost their jobs temporarily, but that's about it.

So really what we need to take into account here is that we have a country, Australia, that hasn't had that massive risk of transmission because of the

good decisions that were taken early on in the pandemic.

Now, this isolation that they were able to sustain reduced the amount of risk, but now that the delta variant, which is more transmissible than the

alpha variant or U.K. variant, which is more transmissible, it's arrived in Australia and it spreads like wild fire.

So Australians know what to about wild fires. They put them down, they contain them. So let's do what they know already works really, really well

which is lockdown to prevent transmission and at the same time, protect the Australian population through a vaccination program that rolls out as fast

as possible.

KINKADE: And I think the point about complacency is specifically with regards to the vaccination rollout. It certainly -- I think its 4 or 5

percent -- less than 5 percent of the country is fully vaccinated, and that's amongst the worst in the developed world.

MOSCHOS: Yes. I mean, that's not good news at all. And frankly I think it's -- Russia is the other country that doesn't have any decent vaccination

program. But unlike the Australians who comply with the program of transmission restrictions, transmission is rampant in Russia.

So, you know, those things to consider there. But when it comes to taking on the vaccinations, there's you know, economical/political decisions that

have to be taken into account about where we're going to get the vaccine from, et cetera, et cetera.

So either Australia implements vaccination, protects its population and reopens international travel with some control to ensure we don't get any

new variants coming out in autumn or some other time causing more damage, or they basically remain isolated.

I'm not sure how long that can be sustained for any country really. But these are the decisions for the politicians to take into account. As long

as the science is being reflected upon properly and it's accurately presented to the people and to the politicians, then the decisions can be

taken with a clear mind.

KINKADE: All right. Professor Sterghios Moschos, we'll leave it there for now. But good to get your perspective. Thanks so much.

MOSCHOS: You're very welcome.

KINKADE: Well, in Mexico, it is also a battle of vaccines versus variants. Coronavirus cases have been on the rise. And other countries racing to get

shots into arms while trying to get life back to some sort of normality. CNN's Rafael Romo has the details from Mexico City.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic -- these Mexicans are attending a concert.

UKNOWN: (Foreign Language).

ROMO: And even though some say it's very cool, the reality is that this is far from normal. For starters, it's a drive-in concert, and everybody must

stay in their designated area. And while not everyone is in compliance, masks are required.

This liberating. Safety measures are such that I feel comfortable and I'm very excited because if there's something I missed during the pandemic, it

was going to concerts, this woman says, adding that she's already vaccinated and so are all her friends. Drive-in concerts are part of

Mexico's new reality, an attempt to revive the economy.

ARMANDO CALVILLO, CONCERT PROMOTER: We will open more venues, more facilities because government is doing the right things now. The vaccines

are doing good. There's a good rhythm of vaccines every day.

ROMO: Mexico's health department announced last week so far the country has received more than 51 million vaccine doses to date. But so far only around

20 percent of people who are eligible have been fully vaccinated in the nation of 127 million.

The capital with the more capable health system than rural Mexico has been significantly better than the rest of the country at getting people



(on screen): Here in Mexico City, roughly one-third of the eligible population, meaning people 18 and older, is fully vaccinated according to

figures from the local department. After vaccinating healthcare and essential workers, authorities implemented a vaccination schedule by age,

starting with the elderly.

(voice over): The challenge is that new variants of the virus could pose a serious risk, especially for the unvaccinated.

Mexico's COVID czar reported a 9 percent weekly increase in cases but it's too early to tell if this is the beginning of a trend.

(on screen): When do you expect to reach herd immunity?

UNKNOWN (Translated): By the end of the year, more or less, we expect to be close to 70 percent of people vaccinated, which would give us some

guarantee of reaching herd immunity, this local health official says.

ROMO: As to how Mexico has done in terms of dealing with the pandemic, some people back at the concert give an unequivocal thumbs down. And yet, for

the first time in many months, they have the option of getting out. And that by itself is reason enough to dance with joy. Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico



KINKADE: Some good scenes there.

Well, still ahead a historic heat wave scorching both the U.S. coasts and Canada, breaking records and even buckling roads. We're going to have a

live report on that extreme weather coming up.


Welcome back. A blistering heat wave is engulfing both U.S. coasts and Western Canada. The extreme weather is causing some roads to crack and

buckle. Poland, Oregon set an all time record high temperature three days in a row, topping out at 46.6 degrees Celsius on Monday.

And Canada's punishing heat wave is shattering records, the temperature climbing to a shocking 121 degrees Fahrenheit that's 49.5 degrees Celsius

in British Columbia on Tuesday. CNN metro -- CNN weatherman -- I'm spitting it out -- Chad Myers joining us now, more on those extremely high

temperatures. And day after day we're seeing those records broken.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEROLOGIST: Truly. And the 49.5 is in a place where your normal temperature should be almost 25 degrees cooler than that. So most

people there don't have air conditioning because they just don't ever need it. This is Lytton, British Columbia.

We're going to get a report from Paula in just a bit. But temperatures here climbed for the third consecutive day, breaking the record temperature ever

on any hour on any day in any city in the country of Canada. So, Saskatchewan, Alberta, you know, they get hot too; they've never been this

hot ever since we've been keeping records. That's what we're seeing.


Back up in Oregon/Washington temperatures in the upper 40s again, breaking records by 10-12 degrees. Old records just shattered. This isn't even close

to like when you watch your local news and the high today should be 16, will get to 15. No, the high today should be 16. We've got the 30. We've

got the 35. That's how delta this is, the difference between where we should be and where we are.

Big ridge of high pressure in the west. It's stuck. Clearly -- people ask me all the time, Chad, was this hurricane caused by climate change? I say,

well, maybe it's stronger but it wasn't caused by it. Was this heat wave caused by it? Absolutely. We have no -- there's no -- it's unequivocal

evidence what happened here. The jet stream went up. It is hotter than it's ever been by 5, 10 degrees anywhere across this part of the world.

And that is cause. Now, would there still have been a heat wave? Sure. But without the climate element, it wouldn't have been this hot. 30 right now

in Spokane, 32 (INAUDIBLE) not going to get as hot today, and I say that tongue in cheek, up in Lytton because we are going to see somewhere around

42 today.

That won't feel like a break when you don't have air conditioning and it didn't cool down much in the overnight hours. Still Spokane, 41. It should

be 31. That's the difference here. Across the east, Atlantic Canada, on up toward Nova Scotia, the entire eastern part of the U.S. where 50 million

people live are under a different type of heat warning.

This is heat and humidity as out here as well. And so millions of people will be suffering. The good news, most people have a cooling shelter or

someplace they can go, a friend that does have air conditioning. So, even 36 in New York, that's just going to be a mid-July day.

Now we have to realize we're not even to July yet. We're just working on that. These are temperatures we should be seeing a month and a half from

now. Now, the heat does go away in the east. It does not go away in the west. We're only going to be 10 or 15 degrees above normal in the west

compared to cooling down here back to normal, even cooler than that, across parts of New York State and also into Boston. Still hot out here. It should

be 26 even with the cool down, Spokane will be 36. Lynda.

KINKADE: Crazy hot conditions. Chad Myers, thanks so much for walking us through those. And of course this record breaking heat wave has turned

deadly in Western Canada. Officials there are reporting a sudden spike in the number of deaths. And British Columbia, at least 233 people have died

since Friday.

That's far higher than normal. The province's chief coroner calling it an unprecedented time. Well, CNN's Paula Newton joins us now with the latest

on this. And certainly tough conditions at the best of times, but especially for those that don't have any sort of air conditioning. And now

sadly we're seeing dozens of deaths.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Lynda, you know there are parts of the country that do not have air conditioning, like other parts of the

country. And whether it's the western -- the Pacific Northwest or the United States and Canada that is true. But what happened really in what

they call the lower mainland in Southern British Columbia, is that elderly people, other people with vulnerable health conditions perhaps didn't

realize exactly how stifling and how dangerous the heat would be.

It was quite a scene. I have never seen officials, police officials, paramedics so stricken when they were speaking about it. And they were

telling people be patient. We know you're calling the 911. And what would happen is people were calling 911 because they were checking on the


Some of them were already in distress. Some of them unfortunately had already passed away. And you were talking about wait times on 911 for about

45 minutes. Can you imagine? And I have to say when you look at these records, environment Canada has made it very clear, this is about climate

change. And they're saying that these heat waves will be longer. They will be more frequent. And they will be much more extreme.

And we know that also beyond that -- and remember British Columbia is calling this a public health emergency. So when we all hear about these

heat waves from now on, wherever they are, we have to think about them in health terms because that's how severe they are getting.

B.C. is calling this a public health emergency. Another one straight on its heels, wild fires, right?

KINKADE: Yes, exactly, I mean for the blazes there, it's pretty tough conditions for firefighters.

NEWTON: Incredibly tough. The B.C. Wild Life Service just saying overnight that look, some of the helicopters stalled out, we had to stop fighting the

fires because the heat was so intense they could no longer run these engines because they were overheating.

Terrible conditions. There were two fires aren't so big yet, although dozens of people being evacuated but they are out of control, Lynda. And as

we heard weather (INAUDIBLE) or Canada, given the drought condition, given the extreme heat, you will continue to see another emergency, which will be

these fires unfortunately likely to continue to get under control.

KINKADE: All right. Paula Newton for us. Good to have you on this story. Certainly difficult conditions.


And we hope people can find some sort of relief there over the coming days. Paula Newton, thank you.

Well, still to come, the roar of the fans is almost a bigger deal than the match as the Three Lions rocked Wembley Stadium.

England's football is taking their pilgrimage to roam for the year 2020 quarterfinal. We'll have a live update next.


Football fans in London roaring with glee for the Three Lions. England booked a trip to the Euro 2020 Quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Germany.

They'll face Ukraine and Rome on Saturday.

Supporters were ecstatic as the home team notched its first knock out stage win over Germany since 1966.


UNKNOWN: It's absolutely wild. It's crazy. It's coming home! (INAUDIBLE).


KINKADE: Well, "World Sport's" Darren Lewis was at Wembley Stadium for the matches, joining us now live. Good to see you, Darren. I'm sorry (ph)

England knocking out Germany for the first time in 55 years, ending what some are calling a curse. What does this mean for England? What does this

victory over Germany mean?

DARREN LEWIS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: It's the last cycle, I like to call it hoodoo (ph), Lynda, that England have had in international football. Four

times they have met since 1966. On two of those occasions England were put out of major tournaments. One was the World Cup. The other was the European

Championship in 1966, both times on penalties.

And then the third time in the last -- what -- 30 years or so in the 2010 World Cup in the knockout stage. So there have been many, many occasions

where the supporters, as you have just seen there, have actually been in tears, heartbroken and their parents too. It's been going on that long.

That's why there are so many people across London, England, so ecstatic at the moment and why there is so much opportunism. The mood of the nation is

being lifted by that victory. And there are such high hopes for the remainder of the competition.

KINKADE: And we certainly are hearing the opposite from Germany, the mood very much a sense of disappointment. We heard from the manager of the

German team saying he was disappointed, the team was disappointed. It was the one word they kept using.

LEWIS: Yes, well, and rightly so because they are such a talented sight. They've got such a strong mentality. They've been used to winning things

for such a long time. They've actually won three European Championships, and the last of those was, as I said before, in 1996 when they put England

out at the semifinal stage on the way to victory.

They won the World Cup in 2014. They won the Confederation's Cup in 2017. So they'll be back. They've got too much quality. They've got too much

class. And as a country, they've got too many good players.


KINKADE: So, talk to us about the teams that are left going forward. We've got this Saturday's quarterfinals, obviously with England and Ukraine. And

obviously Belgium-Italy, Czech versus Denmark. Take us through what we can expect with the next few games.

LEWIS: Well, the first two words I've got to start my answer with, Lynda, is the unexpected. Because I don't know if you're a football fan, but I

think over the past of the -- over the course of the past couple of weeks what we have seen are some fantastic stories and some real sporting theater

with some of the smaller -- so-called smaller -- countries beating the bigger nations, none more so than Switzerland putting out the world

champions, France, on Monday night.

So, I'd be crazy really to sit here and suggest that any of the bigger nations are going to have it easy against the so-called smaller ones. I

think we're going to get more sporting drama. Just looking at the countries that are left in there, Belgium and Italy, two of the big power houses of

European football, particularly Italy.

They play each other on Friday night. And so, there is -- a lot of people would suggest that maybe one of the bigger nations is going to win. I'm not

so sure. I think there are a few twists and turns to come.

KINKADE: That always makes it exciting. And Darren Lewis, good to have you with us. Thank you.

LEWIS: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, before we go, a story that reminds us that persistence pays off. This week 70-year-old Gwen Goldman got to fulfill her childhood dream

to be a bat girl for the New York Yankees.

Sixty years ago when she was just 10 years old she was sent a letter to the team -- she sent a letter to the team but received this letter back, saying

that baseball is a game dominated by men and that young girls, such as herself, would, quote, feel out of place in a dugout.

Well, for decades she kept the rejection letter on her living room wall. But this year her daughter reached out to them again, and the current

general manager delivered a new letter via Zoom, saying here at the Yankees we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry.

It is the ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs anywhere a man does, including the dugout. Well, on Monday, Gwen Goldman

finally got to wear that Yankees uniform as an honorary bat girl.

What a special moment, a dream come true. Good on you, Gwen. Thanks so much to all of you for joining us. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks to our team working

behind the scenes. That was "Connect the World."

Stay with us. "ONE WORLD" with Richard Quest is next.