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Connect the World
Power Vacuum, Unrest in Haiti After Assassination; Fans Seen Breaking Through Barricades at Wembley; Italy Win Championship After Beating England on Penalties; Jordan Family Member & Ex-Aide Sentenced to 15 Years; Big Leap For Space Tourism as Branson Rockets to Success; A New Era of Commercial Space Flight. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 12, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Atlanta. This is "Connect the World".
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Lynda Kinkade filling in for my colleague Becky Addison, good to have you with
We start with a potential major development in the investigation of Haiti's President. Police have announced that they've arrested a man who helped
organize the plot to break into Jovenel Moise's residents and kill him. They say the 63-year-old Haitian owned suspect recruited Colombian
mercenaries through a Venezuelan security firm based in Florida.
And that he entered the country by private jet in early June with "Political intentions". While he's now the 21st person arrested in the
assassination plot CNN's Matt Rivers has been following the developments from Port-au-Prince and joins me now. Firstly, Matt, what can you tell us
about the arrest and what was found when they raided his property?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what it seems like is that this person, Christian Emmanuel so known is a relatively central figure, if you
believe what the authorities were saying here that he recruited, not only recruited these 26 Colombian mercenaries as they're described by Haitian
authorities, but also the two Haitian Americans.
He not only recruited them, but helped organize them here in Haiti as a part in all of this. And then when the authorities raided his home, they
found multiple boxes of ammunition, they found pistol and rifle holsters, they also found shooting targets. So that's some of the evidence they're
using to back this up.
He doesn't appear to have legal representation. We don't know what exactly he is charged with. And so what's unclear, Lynda? Is he the mastermind of
all of this? What was the intention? Was he trying to seize power himself here? Or were there more people involved?
And in speaking to people in the Haitian government, including the Elections Minister, who I spoke to yesterday, there remains a lot of
speculation as to how many more Haitians might be involved? Is this an inside job?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATHIAS PIERRE, HAITIAN ELECTION MINISTER: I don't think mercenaries Colombians, former Colombians military would just get in the country. It's
obvious. I mean, just get in the country and kill the president.
Why did they get the cause that they were driving? How do they get in the country? There are a lot of things that doesn't make sense for foreigners
to just do by themselves. So I think and we believe there are masterminds behind that crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: So Lynda, is this a big development in this case? Yes. Are there still a million outstanding questions, absolutely?
KINKADE: Yes, I mean, as we continue to watch this story unfold, it's very clear that there are far more questions than answers at this point in time
of the investigation. We have heard obviously, a request for help from the United States, certainly doesn't seem forthcoming at this stage.
RIVERS: No, at this point, what we know is that there is a U.S. delegation here that it's as much as helping trying to help with the investigation. We
also know that the U.S. is also trying to navigate the Haitian political crisis that is unfolding in this power vacuum left by this assassination.
Couple of different competing factions met with the U.S. delegation yesterday, no consensus was formed in terms of how we are going to move
forward? And again, I'll play a sound bite for you with our interview with the Elections Minister who says he believes that elections need to happen
in order to solve this crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERRE: Access to power, you have to go through elections.
PIERRE: And you have to convince your people to vote for you not fighting for a transitional power where you know you don't have the capability to
convince people with what you're going to be doing for them and try to convince two of the elites, three of the elites, people to give you the
money to give you the power. No, we don't want that. What elections that has been free and fair for the people to decide the future of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Now, before this assassination elections were supposed to be held tentatively on September 26th. Officially, that's still the plan. Will that
actually happen, Lynda? I just have no idea. And I think anyone who tells you they know exactly what's going to happen, probably isn't telling you
KINKADE: Yes, exactly. Well, it's good to have you there on the ground to get those set of interviews to get some answers for us. Our Matt Rivers in
Haiti thank you. Well, Haiti's neighbor, Cuba is also seeing major political unrest. Take a look.
Protests broke out in cities across Cuba, a rare sight in this communist island nation, people are angry over the government's handling of COVID-19.
But they're also fed up with food and medicine shortages, as well as recent power outages.
Its president is once again, blaming the U.S. Our Patrick Oppmann joins us now from the Capitol. And Patrick, these are the biggest anti-government
protests there in decades. Just put it into perspective for us, because we don't normally see scenes like this coming from Cuba.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, it really is unprecedented, in many ways. Because yes, after the fall of the Soviet Union, we had
similar shortages, similar dark times, and people did protests and riots. But that was really located that was really limited to Havana as far as we
And so we've never seen these rolling protests that came across the entire island yesterday, city after city, small towns even. And that really, to me
feels unprecedented. And something I've never seen in nine years of living here.
And the Cuban President did make an unusual speech this morning, announced at the last minute and again he told people about how the U.S. economic
sanctions have an impact on this economy, which is very, very true. But he didn't offer any solutions.
He didn't offer any kind of glimpse of better times ahead. And it's unlikely that his words will do anything to ease the tension that we are
feeling right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPPMANN (voice over): Calling for liberty protesters take to the streets in Havana. In front of the police crowd yells fatherland in life, a new
opposition slogan that has gotten people who save in public arrested in Cuba. But Cuba on Sunday seemed a very different place, as thousands of
people in cities across the island, took to the streets and took the government by surprise.
These are the largest mass protests in years, perhaps decades. Usually any anti-government activity leads to immediate arrest. Protests criticizing
the state are simply not allowed here. But on Sunday, though thousands of people voiced their anger openly, and many people told us they simply had
lost their fear.
Police surrounded the protesters and arrested some of them, but for the most part, they did not or could not stop the demonstrations. The protests
are only the latest sign of the unprecedented crisis facing the communist Rhode Island. Even as Cuba produces its own homegrown vaccines, the number
of COVID cases has skyrocketed.
On Sunday, health officials announced the highest single day increase in new cases and deaths. For months, the Cuban economy has spiraled further
and further downwards. The island has been hard hit by increased U.S. sanctions under the Trump Administration, which have continued under
The pandemic has cut off tourism and the ability to receive help from relatives abroad for many Cubans. Lines for food now stretch around the
block and can last for hours. For many in Cuba, waiting for scarce food and medicines has become their life.
RACHEL BLANCO, WAITED HOURS TO BUY FOOD: Every day, there are people out here for whatever there is. Some days you don't even know what products
they're going to be selling Rachel says. I guess you have to be out here if you want to have food.
OPPMANN (voice over): The economic misery is already leading to desperation as Cubans are now taking to the sea unwraps the greatest numbers since 2017
when then President Obama and then the "Wet Food Dry Food" policy that allowed Cubans reaching U.S. to stay.
Cuba is confronting the worst crisis in decades without a Castro at the helm as Raul Castro stepped down from his last leadership role in April. On
Sunday, Cuba's new Leader Miguel Diaz Canel blamed the island's economic troubles on the U.S. and vowed to crack down on the protesters.
OPPMANN (voice over): The order to combat has been given he said revolutionaries need to be in the streets as Cuba edges closer to the end,
neither side appears they're backing down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OPPMANN: And no word of any protests yet today but of course with the internet down throughout much of Havana and probably see much of this
island, it's really just impossible to know what is going on that has been the game changer in the last few years as Cubans getting finally access to
the internet on their cell phones.
That's how yesterday they shared images. And really, as people saw protests in towns near them, they themselves went out in the street. That was really
the catalyst, one of the catalysts for this unprecedented show of defiance yesterday, and with the internet out now. We just don't know what is
happening across the city and much of the island.
KINKADE: All right. Well, it's good to have you there. We will check in with you again soon. Patrick Oppmann for us in Havana, Cuba thank you. When
we come back sports and shame, England loses the Euro final and some of their fans show an ugly sign we've got to tell you what they did that has
Prince William outraged in just a moment.
Plus - Jordan, a public falling out of the ruling family is turned into a long prison sentence for one of its members and a former royal aide. We're
going to have a live report. And there's not many on our planet who knows the challenges of spaceflight. A little later veteran astronaut an engineer
and entrepreneur is going to share his thoughts on what the Virgin Galactic flight means for the future of space travel?
KINKADE: Welcome back. Well, there is outrage in England today not over the fact that their team lost the Euro 2020 final and missed out on penalty
kicks but over the reprehensible conduct of some English fans. In the wake of the game thousands of racists and offensive social media messages have
been posted attacking three Black English players who missed the penalty kicks.
Well, England's Manager Gareth Southgate calling the abuse unforgiveable. We'll take a look at this as well; a mural honoring Marcus Rashford was
defaced in Manchester where he stars for Manchester United. That Mural by the way was commissioned to highlight his work against childhood poverty.
Well, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William have been among those who are loudly condemning the racist English fans. And even before the game
started, there were ugly scenes at Wembley Stadium as the English fans that didn't have tickets tried to break the gates to get in to the stadium.
We are covering both sides of this story today. Our Barbie Nadeau is following the victors in Rome our Salma Abdelaziz is in London conferring
what is a much darker, ugly side to the outcome of this game?
KINKADE: Salma, I want to start with you because in the lead up to the finals there was so much excitement for England finally making it to a
final. But the fallout since they lost has been, quite frankly, really, really ugly.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: It's truly a sad day here. It's almost like a double heartbreak, Lynda, to be honest, you had three players who missed
those final penalty kicks Rashford, Saka, and they all now are facing very vile, very disgusting comments on social media against them.
But I can tell you, this did not surprise me. I don't think it surprised most people. This is a team that has faced racist abuse before. What are
new here is this England team, what they stand for and what they represent? Because since day one, this team has said they're going to use their
platform, they're going to use the spotlight they have to pursue issues of social justice and racial equality.
The Manager Gareth Southgate, you mentioned him at the beginning of the tournament, he penned a letter to the nation dear England. And essentially
I'm summarizing here but essentially said I want this team to represent more than what is on the field. I want them to represent more than the
I want nationalism, to be inclusive, to be progressive to be diverse, and I want them to bring a new vision of England to the world. But in the face of
this, of course, we have seen a lot of backlash. We've seen a lot of anger. We've seen these comments on social media, Twitter, the company has told
CNN they've had to remove over 1000 tweets.
They've had to suspend several accounts, we've heard condemnation from several quarters, of course, among them, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, I'm
just going to read that out to you his tweet today, this England team deserved to be lauded as heroes not racially abused on social media. Those
responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
But here's the thing Lynda, critics will tell you that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government are a part of the problem. This is an
administration that refused to condemn fans when they were booing players for taking the knee for racial equality.
This is an administration that so far has refused to acknowledge the presence of systemic racism in this country. This is an administration that
as part of the Brexit plan used very, very populist rhetoric, rather dangerous rhetoric that has continued to contribute to this backlash
against the Black Lives Matter Movement.
So you really have two visions of England right now playing out post COVID, post Black Lives Matter, post Brexit, what does English nationalism look
like? Who does it include? This team was fighting for a vision of diversity of inclusion of racial equality of a fairer and better England? And the
question is, yes, they've lost the tournament. But can that vision win?
KINKADE: And Salma I want to ask you about any sort of repercussions that might come from all of this? What's being done right now to not only
condemn, the hate that we're seeing, but also to hold people accountable, both online? And of course, anyone that is doing things on the streets like
defacing the mural we saw in Manchester?
ABDELAZIZ: Well, that's a good question Lynda, because it is a very holistic approach you have to take care when you're tackling issues of
racism, not just online, but on the streets. And again, this is part of a broader issue in this country.
There is a very mainstream, very vocal corner of this country that is feeling a very defiant, very defensive backlash against the Black Lives
Matter Movement. What we know for right now is the Metropolitan Police, of course, says they are investigating this matter.
Twitter has begun to take down accounts that they say we're involved in this racist abuse, and then they removed at least 1000 tweets. That's what
they've told CNN, we understand, of course, that some of the football governing bodies are calling on these social media companies to do more
urging them to do more.
There's also demand for legislation to actually pass laws that can help protect players from this very terrible abuse online. But I'm going to be
honest with you, Lynda, this comes down to changing hearts and minds, you can't have a culture in this country where it's OK to boo people for taking
a knee. It's OK to abuse someone for taking a stance on racial justice. As long as that culture exists, it's going to be very difficult to tackle this
kind of behavior.
KINKADE: Yes, it certainly is a cultural issue that needs to be addressed. Salma Abdelaziz thanks to you. I want to go to Barbie Nadeau because
unfortunately, the victors of this championship have been somewhat overlooked by the story coming out of the racist fans responding to losing
the championship, but tell us about the victors. How is everyone celebrating in Italy?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the team arrived this morning back from England they've meeting with the prime minister with the president
they're being given the royal treatment here, as it is, you know, Italy's feeling very, very united.
Italy had its own issues with racism in football throughout the years but right now the focus is on just really how together they are? How united
they're? How optimistic Italy feels after 18 months of a really difficult time with a pandemic and it kind of lost hope?
NADEAU: The fact that this tournament kicked off in Italy, that was the first epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Team Italy was able to
bring that trophy home means a lot more than just the game here. I think people are really looking at it as a new start.
Hopefully, these celebrations don't cause a new surge in COVID-19 cases but Italy at the moment is just looking forward not looking back.
KINKADE: Yes, it's interesting you mentioned that because it just looking at all the pictures certainly no masks inside, lots of celebrations to come
no doubt. Our Barbie Nadeau for us in Rome and Salma Abdelaziz in London thank you so much.
Well, for England, the birthplace of football as we know it, this was more than just losing a match. It was a major defeat for their decades' long
hope of winning a championship title. Our Cyril Vanier has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's no such thing as an easy loss when your team makes it to the final of a major tournament like the European
Championship. But this one will have been particularly heartbreaking for England fans who really did believe for most of the game that they were
going to get it done this time that they were going to bring home the trophy of a major football tournament for the first time in more than half
But it was not to be the Italians equalized in the 67th minute took the game to a penalty shootout and then managed to edge out England. And you
know, being a fan of the England football team over the last half century has come with its fair share of disappointments and frustrations and
unfortunately, today will have to be added to that list.
There was such a compelling narrative around this team. Not only was it a supremely talented group, but they're also very likeable players. They have
a very likeable Manager, Gareth Southgate, who was on something of a redemption tour, because of course; he was part of the 1996 England team
that lost to Germany in the semifinals of the European Championship on penalty shootouts.
And there was a real desire by the fans we spoke to ahead of the game to believe in this compelling sports narrative that they were destined to win
this time that they had the momentum because they were playing at home.
But that did not happen then they are heartbroken if things had gone the other way. They were looking at a parade, a celebration of possible
knighthood for the England Manager Gareth Southgate, and a bank holiday, all of those things will not happen.
The positive spin that can be put on this evening is that the England men's football team remains a very talented young group full of talents, and they
will not have the hunger and the maturity going into next year's World Cup less than 18 months from now. Cyril Vanier, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Thanks to Cyril. Well, I want to get the Italian perspective, I want to bring in an Italian whose job it is to cover events in England and
Antonello Guerrera is the UK Correspondent for the Italian Newspaper "La Republica". Good to have you with us and congratulations.
ANTONELLO GUERRERA, UK CORRESPONDENT, LA REPUBLICA: Hello, thank you.
KINKADE: So Italy, last won European Championship in 1968. This was certainly a long time coming. But in the lead up to this final we did hear
from the English fans saying it's coming home. But the Italians have said actually, it's coming to Rome.
GUERRERA: Yes, absolutely also because here in London, but in the whole UK, there is a huge Italian community more than 500,000 people. So in a sense,
Italy played home, as well here in London. But of course now there was also this spun because of the chant of the English and also the one of the most
important players. He said tonight to the cameras. It's coming to Rome. And that happened.
KINKADE: And where were you watching this final and, and give us a sense of the feeling from both English and Italian fans? Is this nail biting game
GUERRERA: Yes, I was at Wembley because I was accredited as a journalist. I must say I mean, the atmosphere - yes on the beach and in the stance was
great was, was quite - was I mean - not so concerning. What was concerning was what happened outside the stadium.
And when people stormed the gate, there were tens or maybe, I mean, there were dozens or maybe hundreds. And we actually saw I mean from our stand
when we were in the media box people that had no ticket and there were people that instead had their tickets.
GUERRERA: But they couldn't - they had the seat formed by someone else. But I think they were very doing - what happened yesterday. And I was quite
baffled, startled by the by various means - the scars organization of the security is that it could be could have been very dangerous because people
entered without any ticket, any check.
And so anything could that really happen? Thank God I mean everything was in the end quiet. But I was quite surprised by the lack of the planning by
the English authorities to deal with this great event.
KINKADE: Yes, we certainly are those unexpected themes of fans trying to break into the stadium without tickets as you said. I also want to ask you
about the fall out in the UK. I mean, obviously, you're seeing the response to England losing. And I'm not talking about the disappointment. I'm
talking about the ugly or racist hate attacks that we're seeing targeted at three English players. What is the feeling there today?
GUERRERA: Yes, it is absolutely disgusting scenes which we saw - this also, as your colleague reported in the mural of Marcus Rashford has been defaced
in the Manchester. Unfortunately, it's something - it's not something new because something similar happened in 2012, when Ashley another English
player, he missed a penalty against Italy, if I remember well, and he was abused online the same way.
The problem is that also as your colleague said, I mean, there is this - there are these contradictions also in the government. Because when people
started to boo a few weeks - ago the English players taking the knee the government never clearly condemned that.
And unfortunately, when last night, three black players missed their penalties there were this absolutely horrific abuses online, the government
blames, often they blame the big medium - the big tech, the high tech companies, but at the same time, there should be more and more clarity here
also at all.
KINKADE: Yes, exactly. I mean, that certainly sounds to be what we're also hearing Antonello Guerrera good to get perspective from you on the Euro
2020 Championship thanks so much.
GUERRERA: Thank you very much.
KINKADE: Well, still to come here on "Connect the World" a trial that has sent shockwaves across Jordan. Now there's a verdict we're going to look at
what this means for the kingdom's ruling party? Plus a world class celebration for the planet's newest space travelers. We're going to look at
the decades of work that help this Virgin Galactic team make history. We'll be right back after a quick break.
KINKADE: Well, it has been called Jordan's trial of the century and a short time ago we heard the verdict and the sentences. A member of Jordan's royal
family and a former chief of the royal court have both received 15 years in prison.
They were found guilty of attempting to destabilize the monarchy. Military judge announced the verdict following a closed door trial that consisted of
just six hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. MUWAFAQ AL-MASAEED, MILITARY JUDGE: The court has unanimously decided the following. First in reference to the first criminal Bassem
Ibrahim Youssef Awadallah according to Article 149 of the penal code of the year 1960 is sentenced to 15 years in prison with labor. For the second
criminal Al Sharif Abdul Rahman Hassan Zaid Hussain Al Hashemi according to the Article 149 of penal code of the year 1960 was sentenced to 15 years in
prison with labor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Well, as we have reported here on "Connect the World" this is all linked to a public rift in the kingdom's ruling family. CNN's Jomana
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Behind the walls of Jordan state security court, a trial like no other this kingdom has ever
seen unfolded over the past three weeks, some dubbing it Jordan's trial of the century. The trial centers on the so called sedition case a royal and
political intrigue that sent shockwaves across the region and beyond.
HAMZAH BIN HUSSEIN, FORMER CROWN PRINCE OF JORDAN: Making this recording today.
KARADSHEH (voice over): It all started in April with this.
HUSSEIN: Try to explain what's happened.
KARADSHEH (voice over): Jordan's Former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein King Abdullah's half-brother released a dramatic video message telling the
world he was effectively under house arrest.
HUSSEIN: And now being cut off.
KARADSHEH (voice over): And lashed out at the country's leadership.
HUSSEIN: I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our
governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse by the year. Not responsible for the lack of faith that people have in
KARADSHEH (voice over): More than a dozen people including a former Royal Court Chief and Finance Minister Bassem Awadallah once a close confidant of
King Abdullah were rounded up.
In a letter to his nation king Abdullah described the crisis as the most painful he's ever faced, telling them "The sedition has been nipped in the
bud. Sedition came from within and from outside our home and nothing compares to my shock, pain and anger as a brother and as a head of the
The government accused Prince Hamzah of conspiring with foreign entities to destabilize the country acclaimed the prince denied. Jordanians have been
told very little about this alleged plot left to speculate amid rumors and leaks following royal family mediation Prince Hamzah pledged allegiance to
the King in April and was spared prosecution, and most of those detained were released by the king, leaving Awadallah and a junior royal to face
Like the case this closed trial has been shrouded in mystery. The men have pleaded not guilty to charges including incitement against the state and
plotting to destabilize Jordan. They're accused of conspiring with the former crown prince to exploit rising economic and social discontent in the
country to present Prince Hamzah as an alternative to the King.
Many have questioned the fairness of a speedy trial where the man at the heart of the case has been absent and the judge rejected the defense's
request for witnesses. As the trial draws too close, Jordan's leadership hopes the springs an end to an unprecedented chapter in Jordan's history,
one that shattered the image of a stable country and its united royal family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Jomana is with me now for more on all of this. And Jomana as you mentioned in your reporting only two of many were convicted over this
attempted coup, the Kings' half-brother, of course, Prince Hamzah though was spared a trial. Just tell us more about why on what grounds?
KARADSHEH: Well, you know Lynda; it's been more than three months since this alleged plot was disrupted since this crisis erupted. In Jordan in
three months on, people don't really know much about this alleged pump. They don't really know much about this case.
They know those accused, they know the accusations, but they have not been presented with the evidence what Jordanians have gotten instead is this
drip feed of leaks, then audio leaks and rumors. So there was a lot of speculation when it comes to this case.
So there's been a lot of accusations here of lack of transparency when it comes to the case itself and also the trial, that was you mentioned, Prince
Hamzah was not on trial. But he was also requested as a defense witness.
You know, he is the man at the heart of this case, but the judge decided to deny the defense. Their list of witnesses that they put forward, no defense
witnesses took the stand in this six session trial, when it comes to why Prince Hamzah was spared prosecution.
Well, if you recall back in April, when the Jordanian government came out and announced that they had disrupted this alleged plot to destabilize the
country. The security services according to the deputy prime minister had asked that Prince Hamzah be referred to the state security court along with
the other defendants.
But the King had decided that he wanted to deal with Prince Hamzah within the framework of the royal family. You know, you have to keep in mind,
Lynda, this was absolutely stunning. This is not something Jordanians have ever seen.
This is a royal family that in the past has always dealt with whatever issues differences rifts behind closed doors. So no one has ever seen this
before. It did seem like they wanted to contain it. It was dealt with, with royal family mediation, and so Prince Hamzah was not prosecuted. And he has
not been seen in public since April, Lynda.
KINKADE: Wow. Yes, certainly fascinating to watch this unfolds Jomana Karadsheh for us reporting on this from Istanbul. Thank you. Well,
elsewhere in the region, Oman Sultan is in Saudi Arabia for a two day visit, his first overseas trip since he came to power last year.
He was greeted Sunday is Sunday by the Saudi King Salman as well as the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The sultan is expected to focus on
diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen and economic development in Oman, which is facing high rates of unemployment and dead.
Saudi Arabia and Oman have launched a joint council to oversee several agreements, and they both finalized a delayed road linking the two
neighboring Gulf States. Up next Northern Ireland is hearing the drumbeat of new tensions. A Brexit trade barrier is stoking divisions in an already
volatile region. We've got an update from Belfast.
KINKADE: Well, thousands of people across Northern Ireland, they're taking part in annual orange order parades, commemorating what is known as the
"Twelfth". These braves go back centuries and have a long history of sparking sectarian violence.
But celebrations this year have come up largely without incident that's despite anger over post Brexit trade barriers. And the day is also marked
by bonfires CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson sent us this report from Belfast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): A narrow escape, a metaphor for a weekend of pro-British Northern Ireland tradition,
historically primes the potential violence, Irish protestant, celebrating a 331 year old victory over Irish Catholics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is just what we do like it's just the same every year. So--
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be a family event. I guess a lot of about press. But as you can see, it's not a family of kids here as part of our
culture, and we'll continue to celebrate every year.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Mostly families having fun, teenagers getting a little drunk, but underlying the festivities frustrations, they are losers
in Northern Ireland's piece compounded by Brexit and new customs regulations called protocols. They fear threaten their constitutional ties
to the UK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protocol has caused a lot of anger and argument today and it's all one side of the peace process is all one sided, and often does
ROBERTSON (on camera): Of the 250 bonfires over the weekend, police say only two or three are contentious. In recent years, tensions around this
annual event have been subsiding. But this year, frustrations underlying everything are high.
ROBERTSON (voice over): At peaceful parade through protestant neighborhoods all part of the same annual loyalists commemorations, families lined the
road bonding in their shared heritage haunted by a common perception. Pro- Irish Catholics are making games at their expense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is always as huge and I don't know if it's always want to be resolved, hopefully a car like my kids who grew up in an age
friendly country that want - but in the meantime, you wouldn't want them to get hurt each other.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Brexit and the protocols are straining Northern Ireland's peace that the parades and bonfires went off largely without
incident this weekend is significant, but it's not by chance.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Behind the scenes, organizers have been working hard to defuse tensions.
MERVYN GIBSON, GRAND SECRETARY OF THE ORANGE ORDER: And we decided to deal with the protocol after 12th of July. We want our members and supporters to
have a good day.
ROBERTSON (voice over): The concern now until the protocol issue is resolved. Another flashpoint is just around the corner.
WINSTON IRVINE, COMMUNITY WORKER: We saw very serious violence spell on the streets here and the - this year. Yes, there's every chance that that those
type of things could return again.
ROBERTSON (voice over): A bullet has quite literally been dodged this weekend. A source told CNN guns were being readied to stop police moving
this contentious bonfire. Local organizers deny the claim but they worried now the guns could come out again Nic Robertson CNN, Belfast, Northern
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Well the new chapter in commercial flight ends based tourism has taken off just ahead what the dream of Richard Branson means for the rest
of us. I'm going to speak to veteran astronauts about this weekend's successful launch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can hear the crowd cheering behind me. This is a historic moment that Richard Branson and his team at Virgin Galactic have
been waiting for nearly two decades, and we have released Brian's, we had released the rocket engines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Such an exciting moment. Billionaire Richard Branson knows how to put on a show the Founder of Virgin Galactic making history over the New
Mexico desert, ushering in space tourism, at least for a chosen few.
Well, for a flight that only lasted about an hour the entrepreneur and adventure have brought back some inspiration for those who want to explore
the universe. Richard Branson also made a play to protect the fragile planet we all inhibit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The rocket engine has ignited this is the moment that Branson and his team have been waiting for.
RICHARD BRANSON, VIRGIN GALACTIC FOUNDER: I was once a kid with a dream, looking up to the stars. And now I'm an adult in a spaceship looking back
to our beautiful earth. For the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.
As you go into space, it's just the views are breathtaking. I mean, there's no question. We are so lucky to have this planet that we all live on. We've
got to all be doing everything we can to help this incredible planet we live on. I will devote the rest of my life doing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You exude such confidence. Is there even just a small part of you feeling perhaps an intense relief that it all went to play?
BRANSON: The only thing I was worried about was some tiny little something that would get in the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you see from space?
BRANSON: What you see from space is this wonderful, dark sky and then this incredible blue. We've got these incredible windows. And Dave and - they
turn the spaceship up, side down. So when you were floating you're looking out of these - windows back at this beautiful, beautiful sky, beautiful
earth back down here.
And it is - it is indescribable. Well, we've been to space everybody. I'm definitely still out there. We're going to come down with a big thumb soon.
Anyway, it' so, so, so thrilling when I said lifetimes dream comes true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, this here is Sir Richard Branson, Astronaut.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you guys see any planets in space?
BRANSON: We saw a number of different aliens out there. So one of them hitch to lift on the top of the spaceship and I think you managed to throw,
throw them off, didn't you Dave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did--
BRANSON: So we left the alien up there. But maybe next time we'll open the door and we'll bring them back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Richard Branson certainly is sounding like he's still on top of the world. He and his team expect just one off tech flight before space
tourists can begin exploring the heavens. But before getting back to business, he shared his thoughts about his glorious day with our Rachel
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This fight was nearly two decades in the making and the company saying that
Richard Branson's maiden flight was flawless and nobody more excited about that than the company's Founder and new Astronaut Richard Branson himself.
I had the opportunity to speak with him following the flight about the excitement and the energy of it. Take a listen to what he had to say.
BRANSON: God dreamt of going to space since I was a kid. I've always pictured what it would be like. And it was just far more extraordinary than
I could have ever imagined from the - from going north to 3000 miles an hour and seven or eight seconds being pressed back into the seat.
The roar of the rocket to arriving in space and the silence and you know to looking out of the window to seeing our glorious, glorious, the colors of
the sky to unbuckling and floating, just literally lifting - lift just going off to the ceiling and floating, looking back down in these big
windows that now the spaceships upside down facing back down to the seeing these three float around underneath me like John Fish.
Get out of my way I want to see the earth. And then of course, you know when we came back into the earth's atmosphere the shuttering as the
spaceship comes back in - anyway, we just had a pretty extraordinary day.
CRANE (voice over): But luckily for him, this was not a dream. This was reality and space enthusiasts all around the globe are celebrating. That's
because Virgin Galactic and Branson hope that this fourth manned spaceflight will help usher in a new era of space travel the company saying
that they expect to start their commercial operations in early 2022.
That's when people like you and I could potentially one day hop a flight on their vehicle. But it's going to cost us right now. Those tickets selling
for around $200,000 a pop a cost that Virgin Galactic has said might go up before it comes down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Certainly might that was Rachel Crane there. Well the retired NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao is a veteran of three space shuttle flights. And as
an engineer and entrepreneur, he's still very much involved in space exploration. So where does this Virgin Galactic flight fit into our future?
Leroy, so good to have you with us.
LEROY CHIAO, RETIRED NASA ASTRONAUT: Oh, great to be with you. And yes, this is ushering in a new era of commercial space suborbital spaceflight,
which is much more affordable than be orbital space flights, which were tens of millions of dollars that believe the current pricing is somewhere
in the 50 to $70 million for about a week aboard ISS. So $250,000 still a lot of money, but a lot more people can reach that than the bigger figure.
KINKADE: Yes and certainly in the past, most space travel certainly has been backed by government on government space shuttles, spaceships. This
certainly is a new era for space travel. But at this point in time, it comes with a hefty price tag.
I mean, compared to what you're talking about when you went, it might seem a small amount, but for anyone actually dreaming of doing what Richard
Branson did is still a long way off right now.
CHIAO: Absolutely true. I mean, you know, if you're looking at the view, the average, "Average person" looking to either buy a house or buy a few
minute trips into space. Well, you know, practicalities hopefully have you buying a house instead.
But yes, nonetheless, the price has fallen quite a bit. But you know what; it's not going to go down much more, without a pretty major breakthrough
somehow in propulsion.
If we're able to somehow build rocket engines that are very reliable and very inexpensive, that's when you could see ticket prices fall quite a bit.
But until that happens, rocket engines are expensive. Even the smaller ones that get us to sub orbit not to orbital space, but suborbital space, a lot
easier thing to do, but they're still expensive.
KINKADE: Just explain that for our viewers, because there was a lot of conjecture as to whether Richard Branson was actually going into space.
Explain what part he reached?
CHIAO: Sure, so back in the 1950s, 1960s, this is the U.S. government, we were flying the x 15 rocket plane, and we define somewhat arbitrarily 50
miles above the earth as the boundary of space.
And some years later, an international group, you know, decided that, well, 100 kilometers might be a better round number to use, which works out to 62
miles, and they call that the so called "Von Karman Line".
And so that's kind of the international standard for the boundary of space. But on a practical level, whether you're 50 miles or 62 miles, you wouldn't
be able to tell the difference. The views can be spectacular from both altitudes. And the difference is negligible.
KINKADE: Yes, I mean, the shots we were getting from Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic team, very impressive, certainly a lot of cash for such a
short amount of time in that space.
I'm fascinated by these subtle orbital flights that the Virgin Galactic team hopes to do in the future which is potentially to get people from say
New York to Sydney in about two hours.
CHIAO: Well that's right. So there is the possibility of some kind of point to point travel that would be you know, maybe touching space or very high
up in the atmosphere.
CHIAO: You know, Elon Musk is talking about doing that with his coming starship, the new vehicle, he's going to make the starship with his falcon,
super heavy booster, are doing point to point transfers around the world. That system has been designed to be fully reusable.
And so he was saying that the economics are such that he believes he could do some kind of point to point travel with that ship, which eventually will
take around 100 people at a time.
KINKADE: Suddenly, a wonder with the success of this mission, whether we will see more investment that will potentially speed up more competition
for space travel, we, of course, have Jeff Bezos as a team at launching days from now.
I think it's a 20th or thereabouts of this month. What's the difference between Richard Branson's flight and Jeff Bezos's mission?
CHIAO: Sure, Jeff Bezos will launch it plans to launch on July 20. That's no, that's no arbitrary date, of course. That's the 52nd anniversary of the
Apollo 11 moon landing, which I think inspired both men to and I to want to go to space.
And so his vehicle is more of a capsule spacecraft, whereas the Virgin Galactic spacecraft is flying, you know a winged spacecraft. And so, Jeff
Bezos is spacecraft that new Sheppard will launch under a traditional rocket booster.
It'll go up touch space, separate from the booster and then come back down through the atmosphere, and then deploy a parachute and parachute back down
In the case of Virgin Galactic, as you saw, it flies up to around 60,000 feet slung under the wing of a carrier aircraft, which takes the place of
the first stage of a rocket. It then detaches, lightens rocket edge and flies to the edge of space and then comes back down and lands like an
airplane on a conventional runway.
KINKADE: Right. And what are the risks when you compare both types of operation?
CHIAO: Well, there's always risk even, you know, getting into anything that it's going to get you to space, there's going to be some risks because
you've got rocket engines, you've got fuel. Now getting to suborbital space, you only have to get up to around 3000 miles an hour somewhere
around mach three.
And so that's a far cry from getting up into orbital space where you're going around mach 25, you know, so about 17,500 miles an hour. And so, you
know, the risk is lower for suborbital space to some degree.
But you're still getting up pretty high and you still don't and your vehicle has to take the reentry heat and come down and make a soft landing.
KINKADE: Well, we will be watching this closely again July 20. Leroy Chiao, good to get perspective from you on this historic mission, thanks so much.
CHIAO: My pleasure.
KINKADE: Well, I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was "Connect the World" from the unexplored galaxies and beyond. Coming up is "One World" with Eleni Giokos.