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Hunting for Suspects After The Assassination of Haiti's President; South Africa's Hospitals Are Struggling to Keep Up with Fast-Growing Delta COVID Variant; Lebanon is Spiraling Deeper Into an Economic Crisis. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 09, 2021 - 10:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hunting for suspects after the assassination of Haiti's President, more than a dozen people have been arrested and a major

international manhunt is now underway.

Grim news, South Africa's hospitals are struggling to keep up with the fast-growing Delta COVID variant. We're going to have an exclusive report.

And yes, to Sinovac and Sputnik. No to AstraZeneca. The British vaccine finds now favor in North Korea, but why?

Well it is 10 a.m. here in Atlanta, 6 p.m. in Abu Dhabi. I'm Lynda Kinkade filling in for Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. We

start with the search for the masterminds and motive behind the brazen assassination of Haiti's President.

Haiti Police Chief says 28 suspects were part of an operation to storm the presidential residence and kill Jovenel Moise. He says 26 of them or

Colombian nationals. The other two are Haitian American. Police paraded 17 of the suspects in front of cameras alongside an array of military-style

weaponry. CNN has not been able to speak to any of the suspects or their lawyers. The police chief says several others remain at large, and police

say three suspects were killed in the shootout.

Our correspondent Matt Rivers is tracking developments for us from Port-au- Prince in Haiti.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Arrests on the street of Port-au-Prince Thursday after an army police operation against heavily-

armed mercenaries, mercenaries that, authorities say, are responsible for the brazen assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise early

Wednesday. Haitian police say they have detained at least 15 Colombians and two Haitian Americans suspected to have been involved in the attack.

Police say the men who posed at USDEA agents to gain entry to the private presidential residence included foreign nationals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DEA operation. Everybody stand down.

RIVERS: This audio circulating on social media purported to be of the item of the assassination with men shouting they are drug enforcement agents in

English, but the audio cannot be authenticated by CNN.

Police seeming to acknowledge the rising tide of anger in the wake of the attack are urging citizens not to take the law into their own hand.

LEON CHARLES, NATIONAL POLICE DIRECTOR (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We have the obligation to protect the people we have caught. We cannot practice self


RIVERS: Still many in the Haitian capital are asking just how such a bold attack could have been allowed to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where'd they come from? What country sent them? Who brought them over here? How did guns get transferred here? How they got all

these ammos?

RIVERS: In an interview with CNN, Haiti's acting Prime Minister did allude to the context surrounding the assassination but stopped short of outlining

a motive.

CLAUDE JOSEPH, ACTING HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER: We all know that President Moise was really committed to some - I will say some actions against the

oligarchs in Haiti, so we know that in the last days he spoke about the consequences that those actions can have on his own life.

RIVERS: Already a nation rife with political instability, gang violence, and a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, fears from

neighboring nations that the presidential assassination may push Haiti over the edge, but Haiti's interim prime minister insists that upcoming

elections will still take place despite the nation's upheaval.

JOSEPH: The constitution is clear. I have to organize elections and actually pass the power to someone else who is elected.

RIVERS: But with so much uncertainty in the wake of a coordinated hit on the president and so many questions left to be answered about just who is

responsible, whether or not Haitian officials can keep the nation on track for a peaceful transfer of power remains an open question.


KINKADE: That was our Matt Rivers reporting there from Haiti, and as you heard Haitian police saying most of the suspects are Colombian, and we are

learning more about some of them from Colombia's government. Our Stefano Pozzebon joins us now from Bogota.

So 26 of the 28 suspects that we know of are Colombian nationals. Apparently some from Colombia's military, retired members. What can you

tell us?


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes. Correct, Lynda. The Colombian military confirmed that late last night that at least six people believed to be

involved in the assassination of Jovenel Moise were retired members of the Colombian Army. Two of them, the ones who have been killed in an operation

by the Haitian police were - are thought to be retired officers of the army.

This is the headquarters of the Colombian Army here in Bogota, but at this moment, Lynda, even here in Bogota the questions far outnumber the answers.

We don't know what about the other 20 Colombian nationals that the Haitian police is thought to be involved. Sources within the Ministry of Defense

here in Bogota and the Colombian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Interpol had only shared information about those six that were mentioned last night,

two that have been killed in operation by the Colombian police - by the, sorry - by the Haitian Police, and four that are still detained by the

Haitian police.

But at the same time the Colombian government has pledged full cooperation into the investigation on how this could happen and what's the Colombian

link to that tragedy in Haiti. Lynda -

KINKADE: And it certainly seems like a significant link, right? So you're outside the Colombian Military Academy. You were just mentioning Interpol,

which is obviously now involved in this manhunt speaking to the Colombian government and the national police. Give us a sense of the next steps in

this international manhunt.

POZZEBON: What we are hearing from the authorities here in Colombia, Lynda, is that they're waiting for Interpol, the station of Interpol in

Port-au-Prince in Haiti to share information about the other 20 Colombian nationals that were thought - that are thought to be involved with the

assassination of Moise and at the same time profiling the identities of those who have already been identified, those six members to understand if

they were part of the any of the vast galaxy of criminal groups that operate not just in Colombia but throughout the Caribbean.

We know Colombia's a vast producer of cocaine. There is activity of criminal cartels apart of military organizations especially in the rural

areas of Colombia. Haiti is a transit point for many drugs routes, so there is a lot to be understood, a lot to be clear about the motives behind the


Once we will have the motives we'll probably also find the culprits in here (ph). Lynda -

KINKADE: All right. Stefano Pozzebon for is in Bogota. A very significant part of this story as it continues to unfold. Thanks so much.

We're turning now to the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The Taliban now claiming that it controls 85 percent of the country, and it comes as

U.S. President, Joe Biden, defends pulling the U.S. out of Afghanistan by the end of August, which is obviously ahead of his initial deadline.

He says it is now up to the afghan people to determine their future. Adding the U.S. did not go into Afghanistan to nation build. Well the U.S.

officials say the troop withdrawal is more than 90 percent complete at this point in time.

Well not everyone in Afghanistan is on board with the rapid U.S. withdrawal. Our Anna Coren has been in Afghanistan for over a week and is

getting a sense of the situation on the ground there. She joins us now live.

Anna, we have been hearing from Taliban officials in Moscow talking to us about that claim that they now control 85 percent of Afghanistan. They also

said they post no threat to the greater region. Certainly they didn't talk about the threat they pose to people in Afghanistan, especially women.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was interesting, wasn't it? This Taliban delegation meeting with the Russian government in Moscow today and

then giving this press conference almost presenting itself as this alternate government to what is actually here in Kabul.

And you're right. They said they now control 85 percent of the territory. This is obviously a number that the government denies, but we know that the

Taliban has claimed over 160 districts, that they're making sweeping gains across the country, and only today in the last 24 hours, Lynda, they have

claimed a major trading gateway between Afghanistan and Iran.

Islam colored (ph). It's a dry port where millions of dollars worth of fuel and supplies cross between Afghanistan and Iran.


I mean, this is a major development, but you know the fighting continuing as they're presenting this supposed unified front and as an alternate

government. During this press conference, Lynda, it also - they also said that they wanted NGOs and, you know, humanitarian organizations to continue

their operations, that schools and hospitals would remain open, and interestingly it said that it wanted girls to be educated.

Now I'm not sure anyone is actually really buying that, but at least that's what the delegation, the politicians, if you like, of the Taliban were

saying in Moscow today, but it doesn't really compute, Lynda, particularly when we're seeing these sweeping gains across Afghanistan particularly in

the north, which was never a bastion of the Taliban. You know, the heartland of the Taliban is in the south and yet they are making these

sweeping gains and really rattling this country and the government. Lynda -

KINKADE: And Anna, I want to ask you about U.S. President Biden's comments when speaking about the U.S. withdrawal. He spoke about support for Afghans

who helped the U.S., saying that they're not going to be left behind. From those you're speaking to on the ground who are fearful of repercussions,

what are they saying to you? How are they reacting to those comments?

COREN: Look, I think for those who can apply for a special immigrant visa, they're ecstatic. They say - they see this as their exit strategy out of

Afghanistan. We heard from President Biden, you know, whilst he was giving his very forceful speech about his decision (inaudible) give two and a half

thousands of these SIVs out, but only half have taken them up.

Certainly the Afghans that I've spoken to today are very much looking forward to being able to get out of this country. President Biden wanting

to fast track that process and saying that they will work with third countries yet to be named where these Afghan interpreters and translators

can go with their families to wait whilst these special immigrant visas are processed before moving to the United States.

But there are so many people, Lynda, who fall through the cracks, who don't meet the criteria, who have already had their SIVs rejected. We know that

18,000 people have applied. We hear that only 9,000 will actually be processed.

So there's a discrepancy there, and you know, we were speaking to a female government advisor yesterday upon knowing what President Biden was going to

say in his speech, and she said this is terrible. Everybody wants to leave this country. There's going to be a massive brain drain of Afghanistan's,

you know, best and brightest because they see no future because of the deteriorating security situation. Lynda -

KINKADE: Yes. Some major concerns in the weeks and months ahead. Anna Coren for us in Kabul. Thank you so much.

Well some healthcare workers call the U.K.'s plan to drop its pandemic measures an unethical experiment. Next hour we're going to speak to a

British journalist about that and Pfizer's plan for a COVID-19 vaccine booster.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CONNECT THE WORLD HOST: COVID is likely still to be a reality in November of 2022. Are you confident that this World Cup will go


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're looking at, you know, what the next few months and years will look like it's difficult to predict and be (ph) 100 percent



KINKADE: And not certain, but certainly feeling confident. The man in charge of delivering a 2022 World Cup in Qatar talks COVID, keeping plays

cool in the desert, and much more with our Becky Anderson. That's all in the next hour.



KINKADE: Welcome back. Grim projections from the World Health Organization. The Delta variant has now been detected in 100 countries, and it's becoming

the dominant strain in regions around the world including parts of Europe and the United States. And as variants spread, U.S.-based drug company,

Pfizer, is seeing what waning immunity from its COVID-19 vaccine.

It says it's going to publish some data soon on a potential third booster shot and submit it to American, European, and other regulators. It says it

will submit for emergency authorization use here in the United States in August, although the FDA and the Center for Disease Control says that

Americans don't need booster shots just yet.

Well Africa with low vaccination rates is seen as something of an open wound for this new Delta variant to fester and to spread. The WHO's

regional director for Africa warns the third wave is gaining speed across the continent and the worst is yet to come.

16 countries there are seeing a resurgence in infections, and the more contagious Delta variant has so far been detected in 10 African countries.

One of the hardest hit, South Africa. It accounts for 53 percent of the regions infections according to the WHO. A third wave is crippling the

country's healthcare system, worsened by the Delta variant, and of course low vaccination rates.

Our correspondent, David McKenzie, is in Johannesburg with some exclusive reporting for us today, and David, certainly this has been the worst week

in Africa, across the continent since the pandemic began, but where you are in South Africa, we're obviously like hearing reports and I'm sure you're

seeing it of people waiting some nine hours for hospital treatment.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that's right, and much of this is hidden. The government and others haven't really shown. They might have

said, but they haven't shown how bad it is in hospitals here, and you're right. This is the epicenter of the crisis or at least the emerging crisis

here on the African continent of COVID-19. More than 40 percent surge in infections just over the last week.

It's the worst week of this pandemic so many months in and largely because of the emergence of Delta, that dangerous variant, and a lack of vaccines.

Here in Johannesburg, they just announced that the city's mayor died from COVID complications. Everybody knows someone who's sick. Many people know

people who have died, and we show you just what it's like to fight this breaking point.


MCKENZIE: They hoped it would be better, hoped that COVID-19 had done its worst, but 16 months in and Mohammed Patel and his paramedic team are in a

new, more dangerous fight.

What has the Delta variant done to COVID-19?

MOHAMMED PATEL, PARAMEDIC: It has caused a whole lot of chaos. There is a whole lot of patients that are suffering. They optioned there was (ph) a

drop in drastically daily (ph).

MCKENZIE: South African scientists tracking Delta saw it dominate new infections in just weeks. Patel takes us into a home south of the city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. Good morning.

MCKENZIE: The Delta is tearing through families, ripping through the country's largely unvaccinated population. Less than 1 percent of South

Africans have been fully vaccinated. The 67-year-old patient has critically-low oxygen levels.

PATEL: We're going to get you to a hospital. There are patients that are suffering at home because they aren't able to get hospital beds. There is

no spaces in hospital. There's no ventilators available. It's complete chaos.

SENIOR DOCTOR, STATE HOSPITAL: The third wave has really been far more devastating and far more overwhelming.


MCKENZIE: For months now CNN has requested access to hospitals, but we were denied. So the true impact of this brutal Delta wave has been largely

hidden from view, but CNN obtained this disturbing video from the emergency room at a Johannesburg hospital.

SENIOR DOCTOR: Patients are waiting on stretchers. They're in cubicles. Doctors are overwhelmed. Nurses are overwhelmed.

MCKENZIE: Not enough beds, and what does that result in in these waiting areas of the hospital?

SENIOR DOCTOR: It's chaos.

MCKENZIE: The senior doctor wanted to speak out, reveal what they call war zone like conditions. We agreed to hide their identity because they were

afraid of reprisals from the government. In recent days, they said, the bodies couldn't be wrapped fast enough to make space for the sick.

SENIOR DOCTOR: There are patients who are dying while they are waiting to be seen, while they are waiting to go to the ward because the resources are

just being overwhelmed by the onslaught of patients.

MCKENZIE: How does that make you feel?

SENIOR DOCTOR: The sense of helplessness but then also almost a blunting, a desensitization that we're doing everything we can but it's still not


MCKENZIE: Patel's team is often diverted from hospitals with critically- ill patients. They search for hours to find a bed, so a charity called Gift of the Givers constructed this 20-bed field clinic staffed with volunteer

doctors and nurses in less than five days. Every single bed could give a sick patient a chance.


MCKENZIE: Well Lynda, doctors did say that sometimes patients arrive too sick to be helped even when there is space in the hospitals. We put the

questions of the - the question of the conditions of hospitals here in the city and in the province to the Department of Health. They responded by

sending us a presentation showing that they'd increased the levels of beds.

Now the only really thing that can help people say is vaccinations and also masking and social distancing, all the things we've been talking about for

many months. We're at a vaccination site today in Johannesburg. There is some light at potentially at the end of the tunnel.

This vaccination campaign by the government, which started slow, has certainly picked up in recent days, and they are increasing the bracket of

people from over - to over 35 who can get those vaccines starting next week. Lynda -

KINKADE: Yes. Let's hope they can really ramp that up now. Good to get perspective from you there in South Africa. David McKenzie, thanks so much.

Well Lebanon is spiraling deeper into an economic crisis. The World Bank calling it one of the deepest depressions in modern history. People there

are struggling just to survive. They've already faced long lines at the gas station and add to that a shortage of food and medicines and now power cuts

in the capital, Beirut, make it worse has two power plants shut down.

It's so bad that the caretaker prime minister recently warned that the country is days away from what he calls a social explosion. Our CNN

International Correspondent, Ben Wedeman, has been in the country reporting and watching this economic crisis as it has unfolded since the very

beginning. He joins us from Beirut.

Ben, every single time I speak to you it feels like the situation there just grows more dire. Just tell us what you're seeing today.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's dire, and it seems to be accelerating almost day-by-day. Now you mentioned these two power plants

that have shut down. It's important to stress that prior to their shut down today Beirut, for instance, if you don't have a generator there's only

about 22 - 20 - I mean, there's only two hours out of 24 of state point a day.

Now the reason why these two power plants that weren't even working at full capacity are shutting down is that the Banque Du Liban, the Central Bank of

Lebanon, failed to open lines of letters of credit to foreign banks to pay for two ships that have been hovering off the coast of Beirut now, one for

12 days, one for five days, so that they could actually unload their fuel, so that's that.

In addition to that, water pumping stations across the country are going to have to start rationing water because they don't have the fuel to fuel the

diesels that pump the water, so we're going to start having water shortages as well.

In addition to that, pharmacies today began an open ended strike because once again the Banque Du Liban, the Central Bank of Lebanon has not been

willing to open letters of credit to foreign banks to pay for medicine.


And already earlier this week the pharmacies declared that they are lacking hardens of basic medicines. So for instance it often is the case that

friends here will call up and say if you're coming from abroad bring me this medicine I desperately need for my mother, my father, my grandfather,

my children, myself, and it's just getting worse and worse day-by-day.

And today also the Lebanese lira, which two years ago was trading at $1,500 or rather lira to the dollar is now almost $20,000 lira to the dollar, so

the purchasing power of people has collapsed and is getting worse day-by- day. Lynda -

KINKADE: Yes. Such a desperate situation there unfolding as you've described it so well. I'm wondering what sort of pressure Lebanon is trying

to put on the international community to get more help, more aid, and what sort of response they're having?

WEDEMAN: Well the Lebanese authorities, the government to the extent that it exists, it's a caretaker government, has sort of stumbled badly on this.

We did hear Hassan Diab, the Caretaker Prime Minister, in a meeting with foreign ambassadors saying that Lebanon is days away from a social

explosion but he blamed some sort of blockade on Lebanon as a result, a blockade that's sponsored by foreign powers.

But the fact of the matter is that angered, for instance, the French ambassador who was at the meeting. Told the caretaker prime minister, no.

The fault is with the leaders of Lebanon because it's been more than 330 days since there's been a proper prime minister because the political elite

is busy squabbling among itself.

And so, at this point there is some aid getting through but none of it through the Lebanese government because of the fears of corruption. Qatar,

for instance, is the exception. It recently announced it's going to provide 70 tons of food a month to the Lebanese Army, but there is at this point

given these circumstances there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Lebanon with this current set of political elite who simply seem

unconcerned and unwilling to take the measures necessary to resume some sort of international assistance to Lebanon as it goes down the drain.

Lynda -

KINKADE: Yes. They really, really need to get their act together. Ben Wedeman for us in Beirut. Thank you for bringing us that update.

Well still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, the U.K. is desperate to get back to some kind of normal, but the Delta variant of COVID-19 is making

waves. We're going to go live to London for the latest. Plus North Korea says no to AstraZeneca vaccines, what the reclusive nation is doing to

fight the virus.



JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Nuts of all varieties are good sources of fat, fiber, and protein. Just make sure anyone handling or

eating them does not have a nut allergy. Peanuts, which are actually legumes, are a great source of biotin. In moderation they can help during

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And almonds are also high in magnesium, which helps regulate blood sugar. Not only do walnuts provide more antioxidants than any other nut, but

studies suggest walnuts may help decrease inflation, a factor in many chronic disease. Cashews provide the nutrients magnesium and manganese to

help keep bones healthy.


KINKADE: Well you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Is the Delta variant going to ruin the British summer? Despite the success of

its vaccine rollout, the U.K.'s COVID rate's soaring. The latest official estimates paint a worrying picture. They show that infections are up 56

percent in the first week of July. That's pushing confirmed case numbers to their highest level since late February.

Well Public Health England says it's all due to the highly infectious Delta variant, which is also expected to be dominant across Europe by the end of


You can bet the British government is watching those numbers. Keep in mind England is marching towards its big reopening in just 10 days. And the

planned rollback in COVID restrictions includes dropping the use of face masks. Well that, of course, is making quite a few people unhappy,

especially scientists and doctors who have been condemning it, calling it a dangerous and unethical experiment.

I'm going to connect you now to London with CNN's Salma Abdelaziz. Salma, certainly this weekend a lot of excitement in England in the lead up to the

Euro 2020 finals, but certainly major concerns about whether that event will be a super spreader given how quickly this variant - this Delta

variant is spreading.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Lynda. You almost have the tale of two cities here right now. On the one hand you have Prime Minister Boris

Johnson and his government touting freedom date, July 19, the day when life begins to return to normal.

On the other hand, you have doctors, scientists, nurses, government experts really warning and being worried about the rising Delta variant, Lynda. Now

99 percent of new cases are attributed to that new variant. It's highly transmissible, and it accounts right now by the en of the week of July 3

according to government data 1 in 160 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

Now the government will say that is worrying, of course, especially when we're seeing tens of thousands of cases a day, and by no means is the

pandemic over, but what the authorities are saying is that link between testing positive for COVID-19 and turning up in hospital, that link is

being severely weakened due to the country's vaccination program.

You now have about two-thirds of adults who've received both doses of the vaccine. Over 85 percent of people - of adults rather have received at

least one dose of the vaccine, and that's exactly what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pointing to.

He says we now have a highly vaccinated population that creates a layer of protection, a barrier. So even if case numbers are rising that does not

translate into the same numbers of severe illness, untimely hospitalization and overwhelming doctors and nurses.

But what the medical community is saying is that's not true. This is a dangerous and unethical experiment. That's what they said in a letter on

Wednesday that they submitted to the government. Over 4,000 doctors and nurses and experts signed that letter condemning this freedom day, July 19

reopening day, and the easing of restrictions and saying now is not the time for us to lose the gains we've made. Lynda -

KINKADE: All right, our Salma Abdelaziz. We will stay across how this progresses there in England, and we will speak to you soon. Thanks so much.

Well North Korea is rejecting shipments of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine fearing those possible rare side effects, and it's now seeking alternative

brands. That's according to a think tank under South Korea's spy agency.

More than a million doses were being offered thought COVAX vaccine sharing program. Still not much is known about how the coronavirus pandemic is

affecting North Korea because it hasn't reported any COVID-19 cases.

Well our correspondent, Paula Hancocks, is joining us from South Wales in the U.K. Paula, of course, you'll know she's normally based for us in

Seoul, South Korea and follows everything that's going on in North Korea. Paula, as far as I understand it, North Korea is yet to receive any COVID-

19 vaccines. The leader has warned reportedly of a - of a great crisis, yet this nation is turning down vaccines.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that's what we're hearing, Lynda, from the South Korean side. It's important to note the source. This is not

what we're hearing from Pyongyang.


We haven't heard from Pyongyang whether or not they have accepted any vaccines, but as far as the think tank is concerned in South Korea, part of

the intelligence agency, they say that they haven't receive a single dose up until now. Also saying that North Korea has, in fact, rejected that

AstraZeneca because they're worried about the side effects. This according to the INSS, and also saying that they have - they're hesitant to important

the Chinese vaccine at this point because they don't trust it. This, again, according to the intelligence agency think tank and the Russian vaccine

they would like that to be offered without any cost.

Now according to his report as well and the briefing, they're saying that they understand North Koreas who are based either in China or in Russia

have been accepting the vaccine within their host countries, but there have been no efforts at this point to import the vaccine itself.

So it's very difficult to know exactly what is happening within the country. We do know that they have taken this pandemic very seriously

having shut down the borders in January of 2020, one of the first in the world to do that really and of course one of the best equipped to be able

to shut down their borders in such a definitive way.

But as you say at the end of last month we did hear from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, speaking of a great crisis when it came to their anti-

pandemic efforts and a number of top officials being demoted because of that. But still they have not admitted to any cases within the country.

Still we do have some official figures from the North Korea side it has to be highlighted that are give to the World Health Organization where they

say they've tested tens of thousands of a people, a very low number, and have not had any positive cases.

And you would assume that certainly within Pyongyang there may be less cases when you look at some of the images from state-run media, some of the

meetings the leader himself is attending there are very few masks in place. We haven't seen Kim Jong-un himself wearing a mask, but when it comes to

the vaccines itself it does appear from the South Korean side that North Korea is looking for alternative to AstraZeneca.

Of course it has to be pointed out that South Korea would love to be involved in offering vaccines to North Korea. They would like that to be an

opening to try and get some kind of dialogue going. Lynda -

KINKADE: Vaccine diplomacy as it were. All right, Paula Hancocks for us. Good to have you with us. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you.

Well in the next hour of CONNECT THE WORLD as U.S. forces prepare to pull out of Afghanistan we're going to talk with the former U.S. Ambassador to

the region about what's at stake for the future of the nation.

Also ahead, name this country. 86 percent of its workers in the nation get to work shorter hours, some just four days a week. We're going to have the

answer with a live report when we come back.



Well welcome back. As companies weigh a post-pandemic future, there are growing conversations about what the workday would look like. Go back to

the office full time, work from home, or some sort of hybrid model. What about a shorter work week? Iceland has done some research on this, and

public sector employees took part in two large trials working 35 to 36 hours a week for the same pay. The result, worker (ph) will be increased

dramatically. Less burnout and stress, the same or more productivity, and best of all a happier workforce.

This as correspondent, Clare Sebastian, joins us from New York with more on this trial. Clare, who would not want this, the same pay and less hours and

productivity either the same or improved?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it seems like a no brainer, Lynda. You did point out this was just the public sector in

Iceland, but it was a very large study. Previously we've really only seen this concentrated within individuals companies.

This was, you know, two studies that took place between 2015 and 2019, run by the Reykjavik City Council, another one run by the Icelandic government.

A wide range of workplaces, not just offices, everything from sort of government departments, tax services, child protective services, a police

station, preschools, all different kinds of jobs. They all saw their hours cut back, and when they tallied the results and they collected a lot of

data on the way, they found increased benefits to things like people being able to spend more time with family, even increased equality in the home.

Men apparently contributing more to household tasks.

And in terms of the workplaces themselves it was either neutral or an improvement when it comes to productivity. And the one thing that's really

interesting about this study is what's happened since then. I spoke to Will Stronge. He's one of the Directors of Autonomy who co-authored this study,

and he told me what they've seen Iceland since these studies ended.


WILL STRONGE, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND POLICY, AUTONOMY: Trading in (ph) agreed new working contracts basically fro 86 percent of the country's

workforce, and those working contracts included reductions of hours. There could be one, two, three hours to reduce, so not a huge - not a huge

amount, but it's basically a roadmap towards a much shorter working week, or there's contracts that allow for new methods in sort of negotiating

towards working hours (ph).

So the whole working culture in Iceland really has seen a huge shift in the conversation around what is good work, what's best practice work.


SEBASTIAN: And I think this is a conversation, Lynda, that we're having sort of across the board. It started before the COVID-19 pandemic but it's

really been accelerated by this as we've seen people sort of able to adapt their lives, work remotely, perhaps even a hybrid approach as you


I think it's worth pointing out that Autonomy that ran this study, they are - they actually advocate for things like a shorter work week. So not 100

percent mutual in this case, but certainly it is something that we see workplaces considering and especially particularly in the U.S. where we see

such a tight sort of jobs market where employees are able to pick and choose. This is something they could be looking for.

KINKADE: Certainly incredible and no doubt a lot of interest in it. And not surprising that Iceland is always at the very top of those happiest

scales when you look at other countries around the world. Clare Sebastian in New York. Thank you.

Well football fans are waiting to see a major showdown between Argentina and Brazil in the Copa America final in the coming day. All eyes will be on

football superstar, Lionel Messi, in what could be his last chance to win an international title for Argentina.

Well our Alex Thomas is here to explain a bit about just how big a deal this is because it's a very big weekend of sport for you.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It is huge, and we've got all eyes on the Euro 2020 final here in London between England and Italy, but as an equally

big Copa America final a day earlier in the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janerio where Argentina and Lionel Messi lost out. I was there to see

them beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. Messi looking to go one better against Argentina's historic rival, Brazil. Much more on that coming


KINKADE: Excellent. We look forward to seeing you on the other side of the break. Alex Thomas there with WORLD SPORT. I'll be back at the top of the

hour with much more news. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.





KINKADE: I just love that. I love those scenes. So much emotion, and no doubt a lot of emotion. Perhaps a few tears from you, Alex, this weekend.

THOMAS: I don't get that emotional.

KINKADE: We'll speak to you again soon no doubt on the other side after these finals Saturday and Sunday. Alex Thomas, thanks so much, and we're

going to be back at the top of the hour with plenty of news. CONNECT THE WORLD is just ahead. Stay with us.