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W.H.O. Africa: Continent Suffers Worst Pandemic Week Ever; Cases Have Risen for Seven Weeks in a Row; EU Proposes Sweeping Plan to Fight Climate Change; British PM Urges Social Media Giants to Tackle Hate Speech; Boris Johnson Says He Will Impose Huge Fines if They Don't Comply. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 14, 2021 - 11:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Warm welcome back. This hour 10 new suspects identified in Haiti's mysterious presidential assassination. The question

that's yet unanswered, who did it? I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

For the first time, Haitian officials are implicating citizens of their own country in the assassination. Haiti's announcing they are looking for 10

Haitians, including a former senator, and this hour Haiti's chief prosecutor is set to question the security chief for the slain president,

although it is unclear if he will show up.

Police in Colombia say Dimitri Herard made several trips there in recent months. Most of the suspects now in custody are Colombian nationals, but

three of them are U.S. citizens, including a pastor, who police say recruited the Colombians implicated in the plot. Right now there are more

questions than answers about that suspect, Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

Matt Rivers has details of Sanon's previous criticism of the Haitian government and is insistence he is innocent.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This site has been sealed by the Port-au- Prince Magistrate reads the note on the door of the medical NGO, the compound where authorities say Christian Emmanuel Sanon, an American

citizen, helped orchestrate the assassination of Haiti's President, Jovenel Moise.

When police cars descended to arrest Sanon over the weekend they found him at the house just across the street from the NGO along with lots of

ammunition, holsters, and shooting targets. Authorities say he helped recruit and organize the 26 Colombians and two Americans they believe

carried out the killed.

We've spoke to several neighbors now who were too nervous to go on camera with us but tell us that the amount of activity at this compound over the

last month or two really started to increase. And interestingly they say they saw men going from that compound to this one, which is where Sanon was


They said all of the men were foreigners that were, quote, "muscular like body guards, sometimes with camouflage pants."

There's no way to know for sure if those same men are among these suspects, suspects that Sanon is claiming to have never met. In police interviews he

is arguing he is innocent according to a source directly involved in the investigation. CNN spoke to that source over the phone and agreed to

conceal his identity.

Sanon said he doesn't know anything about the assassination, said our source. He said he's a pastor. His wife and children live aboard, but he's

been in the country for about a month. He says he didn't know the ammunition was in the house. This is what he's said since the first day.

Sanon appears to split his time between South Florida and Haiti and has been involved for years in medical charity work. He's also been a long-time

critic of the Haitian government saying this in a YouTube video from 2011.

CHRISTIAN EMMANUEL SANON, PASTOR: Where is the leadership of Haiti? Nowhere to be found. You know why? Because they're corrupt.

RIVERS: Sanon not the only American allegedly playing a key role in the assassination. Two more Americans seen here, James Solage and Joseph

Vincent, have been detained in Haiti as suspects. CNN is also reporting that several other suspects in the assassination have direct ties to U.S.

law enforcement as informants. The DEA has confirmed at least one of them worked for them in the past as an informant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DEA operation. Everybody back up! Stand down!

RIVERS: The night of the assassination you can even hear a suspect shout he was working for the DEA, though U.S. officials have repeatedly said that

was a lie, and the U.S. doesn't just have connections to the crime but to its aftermath. Haitians have been showing up at the U.S. embassy in Port-

au-Prince asking for visas. Some are desperate to leave an island where poverty, violence, and corruption are chronic. The assassination, just the

final straw.


ANDERSON: Matt Rivers connect as once again today from Port-au-Prince. He's been on the story since the very start. In listening to your

comprehensive report there on what is still a very sort of - a story that's moving and still developing. How close, Matt, do you feel authorities are

to a conclusion on this?

RIVERS: Honestly, Becky, I don't think we're very close yet. I think that, yes, there have been these pretty substantive updates, but I think we're

very far away from actually getting an idea of who orchestrated all of this.

I mean, consider that Sanon, the guy that we talked about in that piece, the American citizen, you know, according to our government source is

vehemently saying that he is innocent, that he had nothing to do with this, that he doesn't know these Colombians, that he didn't know that there was

ammunition in the house, he was staying at the house of a friend.


He is very much claiming that he is innocent, and to this allegation by authorities consider that they're saying that he came here to want to

capture the presidency.

This is not an exiled former leader. This is not a former senator. This is not even a very prominent figure in the Haitian-American community in South

Florida. This is a relatively obscure person who is going to come here to Haiti with some idea that he's actually going to be able to become

president after the assassination?

It's just not very logical when you think about that. And when you consider there are so many questions about how these mercenaries were able to get in

the residence in the first place, that's what's happening this morning. The head of the presidential security detailing and a couple of other key

security members here in Haiti are going to be questioned by the prosecutor if they show up in question at this point.

Those are the questions that still have to be answered. So just to answer your question, no. I don't think we're very close yet. I think there's a

lot more that needs to be worked out.

ANDERSON: Matt, briefly, what's the atmosphere like in Port-au-Prince?

RIVERS: You know, you might think that there's a lot of political unrest and protest, but it's not there yet. And even though there is this

political power vacuum there's not a lot of activity on the streets. I would say it's tense but calm.

I think what we're going to have to look for, Becky, briefly is what happens if or when the presidential funeral takes place because there's

some thought that political leaders are kind of pulling back on calling for protests out of some respect, but once the funeral takes place - and we

don't know what that's going to be - it'll be interesting to see what happens after that.

ANDERSON: Matt Rivers is on the ground in Haiti for you folks. Thank you, Matt.

Well this just in to CNN. The Biden administration is launching Operations Allies Rescue as they are calling it, an effort to relocate thousands of

Afghans who helped the United States throughout its nearly two-decade military campaign in Afghanistan. Now this comes as the Taliban are now

denying they executed nearly two dozen unarmed afghan military commandos. A warning for what you are about to see you may find distributing.

Graphic video shows unarmed soldiers being shot even though they had surrendered. The Taliban response, they didn't do it despite video

evidence. Well meantime, an Afghan government delegation will meet with the Taliban in Doha for talks. The exact timing has not been given, although we

are told it will happen soon.

CNN's Anna Coren is in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul now, and she joins me live. And Anna, so much of the conversation surround the U.S. troop

withdrawal from Afghanistan has been dominated. What will - what will happen to or (ph) the fate of Afghans be should the Taliban gain more

ground? And in particular the fait of women for example? I just want you to have a listen to what former President George W. Bush, who of course is

heavily involved in the war on terror, had to say about that.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Sadly, I'm afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it a mistake, the withdrawal?

BUSH: You know, I think it is. Yes, I think - because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad, and I'm sad. I spend - Laura

and I spend a lot of time with Afghan women, and they're scared. And I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only U.S.

troops but NATO troops, and they're just - it seems like they're just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people. And it

breaks my heart.


ANDERSON: Anna, tell us what you have been finding on the ground.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, President Bush talks about the slaughter of Afghans. It's already happening, Becky. It's something

that the Taliban will deny, and we've been in contact with the Taliban, you know, inquiring about certain videos circling on social media, in

particularly the surrender of these commandos.

They have discredited our report. They say that it's false, that the images are misleading, that they're fake, that it's government propaganda, that

they have never executed commandos who surrendered.

Well our report certainly begs to differ. We spoke to five eye witnesses, Becky. Five people from this village who witnessed that execution. They saw

the commandos walk out. They saw them put their arms in the air. They saw the Taliban shoot them. These are people who risked their lives to speak to



The Ministry of Defense has described this as war crimes as has amnesty international. As you mentioned this all is all happening as the Taliban is

preparing for talks - high-level talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar in the coming days.

President Bush is, you know, absolutely right on the money when he talks about what is ahead for this country. People here are terrified of what

will happen if the Taliban comes into power.

And you mention women and girls. We've spoken to a group of young women journalists who have been targeted. Take a listen.


Among the wild flowers and thistles, a sacred place in the heart of Kabul. The distant sounds of the city blocked out by the high-walled compound.

Mohommad Kayeri (ph) and his son walk through the gates. Waiting for them, three mounds of earth only a month old. They pick up rocks and tap on the

gravestones telling the souls I am here and praying for you.

Mohammad's (ph) world was shattered last month when his wife and two daughters were killed in a car bomb attempt. (inaudible) an ethnic minority

persecuted by the Taliban and other insurgence groups, they've always been the target of terror.

When I heard that I didn't know the sky and I didn't know the land, he said. Everything went dark on me. However, his 23-yeard-old daughter, Mina

(ph), a news anchor at a local TV station, had been receiving death threats for months. Her blossoming career and appearance on radio and television, a

repudiation to the Taliban.

MOHAMMAD KAYERI (PH) (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Since it happened I really hate this country, but what can I do? I see the future of this country is

finished. There is no future.

COREN: Over the last 20 years the one industry where Afghan women have thrived is the media. Female anchors present the news alongside their male

colleagues, an enormous step forward in this culturally conservative country.

But it hasn't been without sacrifice. The Committee to Protect Journalists says at least 53 journalists have been murdered in Afghanistan since 1992.

Local groups say the true number is more than double.

NAJIB SHARIFI, AFGHAN JOURNALISTS SAFETY COMMITTEE: We earned our press freedom at a very, very significant cost. I don't think any other country

has sacrificed as many journalists as Afghanistan has.

COREN: But the rise of an emboldened Taliban is now an existential threat to many Afghans, including local journalists who know if the militants come

to power they will not be spared.

While the targeted killings and death threats have become commonplace here in Afghanistan, it's the deteriorating security situation that is unnerving

many in the media industry. But despite these fears there's a defiance particularly among female journalists who say they will not be silenced.

Among them is Mina's (ph) best friend and colleague, 23-year-old Zahara Sadiki (ph). She, too, has received threats. And while she can't remember

life under Taliban rule this young woman refuses to be terrorized into submission.

We're Afghans and we will continue to do our job she tells me. The goals that Mina (ph) had in raising our people's voice, I want to continue that

for Mina (ph). A voice pleading to the world to never abandon the freedoms this country has fought too hard to achieve.


Now Becky, I caught up with a group of local journalists at a workshop today that was being held here in Kabul. I was asked to come and speak to

these journalists who've come from all across the country.

And all of them said to me will the world still care once America leaves? Will the world continue to pay attention to this country? It really was

this desperate plea from these young, educated people who just want to live with security and stability, Becky.

ANDERSON: Shocking, isn't it? Anna, thank you, and thank you for your work. It's been terrific. Up next we'll take you live to Beirut where there

is a new attempt to form a government as the country reaches breaking point. Also ahead, Africa has just seen its worst week of the COVID

pandemic so far. Those of the words of the World Health Organization's Regional Director for Africa. We will speak with her live.

And the fight against racism in full (ph), well how technology is being used to hunt for hate speech. That is coming up when CONNECT THE WORLD

continues. Stay with us.




Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. As Lebanon sends out an SOS, its Prime Minister-designate is trying to end the

country's political stalemate, its crisis over failure to form a government. Saad Hariri has presented his cabinet to the president. There

could be a decision on Thursday.

Well Lebanon needs all the help it can get, of course, hit by COVID, fuel shortages, and a financial disaster. It cannot take much more. That's why

the Caretaker Prime Minister is appealing to regional and international leaders to help rescue the country saying, and I quote in here, "I am

calling on kings, princes, presidents, and leaders of our friendly countries, and I am calling on the United Nations and all international

organizations to help rescue Lebanon from its demise." You'll notice the Caretaker Prime Minister, of course, is not the same man as the Prime

Minister-designate. That obviously part of the problem here.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has been covering Lebanon for us for years, joining us now from Beirut. Let's start with Saad Hariri's idea for a new government.

Is this likely to be accepted, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, if we look at the last 11 months where he has been trying to form a government

that doesn't look like it's going to happen. He presented 24 names to Michel Auon, the President of the Republic, but what we've seen in the past

that these two man are at loggerheads, and they as well as sort of the Lebanese political class writ large seem just incapable of actually getting

their act together and forming a government because a government is drastically needed here because the country, the economy, almost every

aspect of daily life is falling apart. Becky -

ANDERSON: You've rightly noted that this isn't the first time that Saad Hariri has presented a government to the president who has rejected

previous selections over the past, what, 11 months or so. All of this is happening. I mean, protests, lines, queues. People have just had enough,

haven't they?

WEDEMAN: They've had enough. What we've seen in the last two years is the quality of life for almost al Lebanese except the very rich and powerful

has collapsed. Now right behind me is a small demonstration of relatives of victims from the port blast and their supporters who are angry over the

fact that the interior minister is not allowing certain key officials to be questioned in the investigation.

And this is really just the tip of the iceberg for the grievances of people here.


Anger is seeding in this country beset by multiple crises, a collapsing economy, mounting shortages of food and fuel as rage continues to boil over

last August's Beirut Port Blast.


Relatives of those killed in that blast carried pictures of the victims and mock coffins to the home of Lebanon's Caretaker Interior Minister. Protests

soon turned to pandemonium Tuesday evening. The protestors enraged that the Minister, Mohammed Fahmi, has ruled Lebanon's powerful intelligence chief

won't have to answer questions about the blast, the massive explosion that killed more than 200 people.

"It's almost a year since the blast," says protestor Melissa Favlola (ph). "Where is justice?"

The government promised swift justice at the time. That promise, like so many others, proved empty. Lebanon, once known as the Switzerland of the

Middle East, is falling apart. For almost two years the economy has been in freefall, made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

Marina (ph) picks up a bag of food, part of a local radio station's program to help the needy. Two years ago her monthly salary was worth more than

$800. Now it amounts to less than $80.

"Things were all right before," says Marina (ph). "We worked. We got by, but now you can't afford anything."

At a gas station just up the street people line up for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to hell (ph).

WEDEMAN: Beirut gets at best just a few hours of electricity a day. The United Nations reports that nearly 80 percent of families here don't have

enough food to eat. While the World Bank describes Lebanon's economic crisis as one of the worst the world has seen in the last 150 years. The

bottom still nowhere in site.

"You got to the pharmacy for baby formula for your kid, there's none," says Mustafa (ph). "Aspirin? None."

Days ago, the Caretaker Prime Minister here warned that Lebanon is days away from a social explosion. He may be right.


And of course that warning made by Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab was not really met very well by the diplomats he was speaking to. The French

Ambassador told him frankly live on Lebanese TV that the problem lies with the fact that Lebanon's political elite can't get their act together and

form a government. The country is falling to pieces, and the politicians continue just to argue among themselves as if there's no crisis as all - at

all even though this crisis is getting worse day-by-day. Becky -

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is on the ground in Beirut for you folks. Thank you, Ben. Well the struggles in Lebanon happening with increasing frequency. In

other places perhaps not as bad as that which we see in Lebanon, which is an absolute crisis.

The poverty, government corruption, and mismanagement compounded by COVID- 19 are fermenting frustration in many places and sparking waves of violence like what we've seen this week in Cuba, in South Africa, and indeed where

we started our show this hour, in Haiti. Growing outrage and uncertainty after the assassination of the president there, of course.

In South Africa more than 70 people have been killed in protests and looting. At least one person dead in Cuba in street protests not seen there

in years. In fact, they're illegal.

Well our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, has more on this growing unrest we are seeing globally and how already existing problems in

many places are now buckling under the weight of COVID-19.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: From Cuba to Haiti, South Africa to Lebanon, tinder-dry tensions are igniting crippled

economies burdened by COVID-19 are partly to blame.

In Cuba, angry citizens incent by lack of food, medicine, and freedom as well as spiraling coronavirus infections are getting beaten back by police

for demanding the oust of President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

In a national broadcast, he blamed Cuba's economic woes on U.S. sanctions imposed under former President Donald Trump.

MIGUEL DIAZ-CANEL, PRESIDENT OF CUBA (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We explained to the Cuban people very clearly that we were able to enter a very rough

period of time.

ROBERTSON: Reality is Cuba's weak economy and healthcare system is being brought to its knees by COVID-19. Infections soaring. Only a little more

than 16 percent of Cubans fully vaccinated. The United States is watching with concern.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: People deeply, deeply, deeply tired of the repression that has gone on for far too long, tired of the

mismanagement of the Cuban economy, tired of the lack of adequate food and, of course, inadequate response to the COVID pandemic.

ROBERTSON: Haiti also a concern for the U.S. The audacious assassination of President Jovenel Moise last week topped weeks of deadly street protests

and fighting fueled by poverty and factional infighting.

The impoverished Caribbean nation, which has been an economic basket case for decades, saw street violence ramp up in recent weeks concurrent with a

spike in COVID-19 cases in June.

In South Africa where COVID-19 infections have been spiking and vaccination rates are low, the economic inequalities are high. The army has been

brought in to quell deadly rioting triggered by the jailing of former President Jacob Suma on contempt of court charges.

And Lebanon, too, is hitting a crisis exacerbating preexisting tension of poor COVID readiness. Protest and anger ever present as rocketing

inflation, rolling power outages royal passions. The nation reeling from the economic impact of decades of Syrian civil war next door compounded by

years of political infighting. And to cap it all a port blast last summer shredding much of central Beirut.

And Iraq this week became the latest country where tinder-dry frustrations combusted as they touch the nation's war on COVID-weary population. Oxygen

tanks for treating COVID-19 patients at a hospital exploded, killing more than 90 people. Within hours, nearby residents took to the streets

demanding better from their government.

Living with COVID-19 has become not just a way of life but a salutatory warning for leaders everywhere. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well another of the world's most vulnerable regions, Africa seeing a massive spike in COVID infections. Ahead on the show we'll speak

with the World Health Organizations Regional Director for Africa, why she says the worst is yet to come.



ANDERSON: While many nations around the globe are loosening restrictions, the African continent has suffered the worst COVID-19 pandemic week ever.

That's according to the W.H.O's Regional Director for Africa. Cases have risen for seven weeks in a row, fueled in part by the Delta variant.

Well, as you can see here, vaccination rates in Africa are very low as well. Only about one and a half percent of the population has been fully

vaccinated. Well, joining me now is Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for the W.H.O's Regional Office for Africa.

Thank you for joining us, it's important to have you on. Let's start with the numbers. Cases have been on the rise across the continent for seven

consecutive weeks. And you say the worst is yet to come, explain why you say that?

DR. MATSHIDISO MOETI, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA: Yes, we have been seeing what we're calling a third wave of

countries in Africa in terms of weekly increases and we've reached now 6 million cases total. Of course, much of this is driven by South Africa

where the worst situation the largest number of cases is happening.

But we are seeing different countries become involved in this third wave at different times. So a few weeks ago, countries like Kenya, Uganda, Senegal

were very much on the rise. Now we're seeing countries like Tunisia, Algeria is on the rise.

And we believe that we have not yet reached the peak, we've seen, for example, the increase from 5 million to 6 million cases take about a month,

whereas in the second wave, it took about three months to go from three to 4 million cases. So it's moving quickly.

And it's moving variably geographically, you know, it's a continent with different issues happening in different countries.

ANDERSON: So how concerned are you? How many weeks are we talking about before you believe we could be hitting this very frightening peak?

MOETI: I think, well, you know, we're already very frightening phase of a rapid increase and is rather difficult to predict when the peak on a

continent will happen.

But we are continuing to see an increase because we have, if I think about the reasons why we have these variants, now increasingly predominant in

African countries, the Delta variant in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, in South Africa, it's replaced the Beta variant,

and it is present in over 20 countries.

So we're seeing that, and we're seeing a certain level of fatigue by the population in terms of the public health measures, wearing masks and

keeping that distance and being able to practice the hygiene that's required. And then thirdly, of course, as you've already said, the

vaccination rates are so low in Africa still.

ANDERSON: Yes, let's talk about those because variants are, of course, a big reason behind this rise and indeed this lack of vaccines. Last month,

COVAX vaccine shipments to the continent nearly ground to a halt. Where do we stand on the shipments at present?

MOETI: Yes, we did have virtually a pause unfortunately of COVAX deliveries. But we're seeing different sources of vaccines coming on board,

some of whom are some of which have been provided through the COVAX.

So for example, the U.S. government's donation of about 20 million vaccine doses of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer is going to be delivered through the

COVAX in partnership with the African Union. We're expecting COVAX supplies to start to pick up again late in July.

And we expect and hope that by the end of the year, we'll have delivered what we had initially envisaged delivering through COVAX.

ANDERSON: Which was, as I understand it about 520 million vaccine doses to the continent of Africa? - You're confident that that target will be met,

are you because if it isn't, what sort of trouble will Africa be in?

MOETI: I would say that Africa is already in some difficulty with low vaccine rates, as I've said, new variants and they need to really speed up.

But you know we are hopeful that with some of the new vaccines being licensed with new deals, the agreements being raised with vaccines like

Sinopharm and Sinovac.

So COVAX is always working to diversify broaden the portfolio of vaccines that we are procuring. And with the supplies becoming more and more

available at the global level through the donations of rich countries and hopefully they will also release some of their reserved vaccines for

purchase by COVAX.


ANDERSON: I've been speaking to you and your colleagues for 18 months now. And look, I'm well aware at the concern that you have had as an

organization for Africa during this COVID pandemic.

Even though to begin with, of course, we saw relatively low numbers on the African continent, but you've been raising the alarm now for a long time. I

have to ask though with respect, given the incredibly low vaccination rates and I hear what you're saying about the call for more at present, but given

these low vaccination rates.

Why do you think Africa is so behind? And has it not been a failure on the W.H.O's chose part to ensure that these vaccine rates weren't higher by

this point?

MOETI: Well, I think this reflects the international global situation. And the huge challenge presented by a global pandemic in which some of the

countries that would normally be providing support to Africa, including in solidarity through a platform, like COVAX, this did not happen to the

degree expected.

And this is in the background of weak healthcare systems that are underfunded in African countries. I'd like to say that as far as the role

of W.H.O is concerned, we are one partner in COVAX; we have other agencies very much played a leading role in the negotiations.

Our primary role in W.H.O has been in Africa at any rates to prepare the countries to deliver the vaccines that they receive and support them to put

in place the public health measures, which has worked relatively well in the early stages.

But is now becoming overwhelmed by the numbers, the variants and the healthcare systems are struggling to cope with the numbers of severe cases

and deaths that are occurring now.

ANDERSON: Just briefly, where are you most concerned about? I hear your concern across the board, and it's so important to have you on today. And I

thank you for your analysis. Where are you most concerned about at present?

MOETI: Well, I'm concerned about mostly access to vaccine supplies, one. I'm concerned about people being ready and willing to come and be

vaccinated once these become available, because we've had a certain level of vaccine hesitancy there's need to work on that.

And I'm also concerned that our systems need to be ready to deliver. So we need to make sure that the countries go and find the funding, mobilize the

capacity to put in place a good delivery system when the vaccines do actually arrive.

As I've said, South Africa is our worst affected country. It's doing a lot of work now. There's something happening today, which is of great concern

to worsen the situations. And we see the situation moving differently in different countries. But that's our outlier if you like geographic --.

ANDERSON: Yes, yes. OK. All right, well, thank you very much indeed for joining us and do come back. Obviously just into CNN, the UK proposing

ending all prosecutions related to what we're known as the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Now the troubles refer to the three decades of sectarian violence that cost some 3500 lives victims' families are outraged at the decision. Cameras

captured this family of the Ballymurphy massacre reacting to the announcement.

Last month, the government acknowledged that prosecutions are less and less likely to result in convictions. Secretary of State of Northern Ireland

Brandon Lewis says this is a painful recognition of the current reality but it's the best way to help the nation move further, he says along the road

to reconciliation.

Well, after a series of high profile attacks around the world and major Russia based ransomware group vanishes online. The Kremlin isn't taking

credit. So who's behind it, more on that of this?



ANDERSON: Well, climate change front and center in Brussels today as the European Union unveiled the details of its ambitious Green Deal proposal.

Main goals include weaning all 27 member nations of fossil fuels and heavily taxing nonrenewable energy were all leading to what the EU hope

will be a 55 percent reduction in emissions in 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Now EU officials acknowledge that the changes could put or are likely to put jobs at risk. Anna Stewart following developments for us from London.

The headline on this is a very encouraging one, but it is as ever important to take a look at the details here. Walk us through what we know at this


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, this is the most ambitious plan for climate change I think we've ever seen. This would essentially make Europe

the first continent to reach climate neutrality by 2050. This is what the EU hopes but in order to get there, they have to really ramp up the

transition away from nonrenewable energy.

And the way they're going to do that is really impacting all sorts of different industrial areas, pretty much every area of economic activity you

can think of.

So it includes increasing the cost of using nonrenewable energy, whether we're talking about taxation or the overhaul of the emissions trading

system or when we're looking more specifically in different industry areas transport which currently accounts for over a fifth of all of EU's

emissions that is very much in focus.

I think the real big headline for me on autos was for cars, well, like a diesel, the combustion engine is very much numbered. By 2013, new cars will

have to reduce emissions by 55 percent. But Becky by 2035, that's by 100 percent. So that is good by combustion engine.

And actually many hybrid models wouldn't make the car either. So this is a big push for battery and actually perhaps hydrogen technology as well. Also

a lot on aviation, they really want to see airlines using sustainable jet fuel.

This one is particularly interesting, because right now, EU airlines only use well 0.05 percent of their fuel is sustainable. They want to see that


They want from 2030 planes that EU airports you want to refill to only have the option of using sustainable blended fuel, and they want to oblige the

suppliers of that fuel to kind of increase the sustainable blend over the next few years. Becky?

ANDERSON: So as I said that the headline on this is, is impressive. It is an ambitious plan. It will also be politically difficult, won't it to get

through what is an exhaustive EU legislative process? So the question is really does beg the question, ambitious, but realistic, will this ever

become a reality?

STEWART: So ambitious, Becky, but you're right, the EU has perhaps I think the biggest red tape issue there is when we look at the bureaucracy of how

you get legislation through.

And this is ambitious. And this is a transition to climate neutrality, which will impact different countries differently. It'll be more costly for

some nations.

They're going to vote this through and if that's the issues the EU council and the EU parliament, it all has to approve this. Lots of climate

activists don't think it goes far enough. Some EU leaders will say it goes too far.

And so I suspect this will be held up by years of negotiating but the overall arching message here the ambition behind it has to be applauded.

This is a real roadmap with detail of how to reach climate neutrality.


ANDERSON: Yes. And a roadmap with detail is - and you rightly point out that is what is necessary at this point. We'll have a lot more about

people's targets and these ambitious plans as we move towards the COP meeting of course in Glasgow, but it's important we drill down on the

detail on these plans on these roadmaps to really try and ensure that there is some progress as we move forward. Thank you, Anna.

Well, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin knows nothing about the notorious revile hacking group going offline. With

all the cyber-criminal gang that attacked several U.S. companies has mysteriously vanished from the internet as of Tuesday.

Now this comes after U.S. President Joe Biden warned the Russian president that he must crack down on Russia based ransomware groups during a phone

call last week. Well, tech reporter at CNN Brian Fung joining us now from Washington, DC. What do we know at this point?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Well, thank you. Very little we've seen that the websites belonging to REvil. This ransomware group had been

down for some time cybersecurity experts who follow this group closely said on Tuesday, I'm sorry, said on Wednesday, they were unable to connect to

the websites that REvil uses to list the victims attacked and unable to connect to the websites that REvil uses to collect ransom payments.

All of this seemingly a very mysterious disappearance from the web, both Russia and the United States not really commenting on any of this not

claiming credit.

The FBI and the USCYBERCOM here in the U.S. not commenting on this Russia, as you said, saying that it has no knowledge of what happened to REvil. All

of this is coming as the White House is set to brief members of Congress on ransomware and cybersecurity this evening here in Washington.

You know, where this issue is sure to be asked about REvil of course, is one of the world's most notorious ransomware gangs, It was responsible for

attacking the Meatpacking company JBS Foods, and which acknowledged paying $11 million to the group to resolve that, that cyber-attack.

REvil was also reportedly behind the attack against a major IT vendor that supports hundreds if not thousands of small businesses around the world,

known as Cassia. And you know, for so for REvil to be going down and offline without a peep is a very, very big deal. Becky.

ANDERSON: And I mispronounced it, its R-E-V-I-L of course REvil rather than revile although one could argue the REvil is a decent name for this

organization as well, very briefly.

And there is every likelihood that an on cybersecurity experts looking at this, they they're just laying low, right? I mean, there, it feels like

there's a lot of pressure out there. At present, they may not have gone away entirely.

FUNG: That's absolutely right. One of the things that cybersecurity researchers have said consistently is when ransomware groups feel pressure,

they often, you know, disappear into the night and then only to regroup and rebrand and come back under a different name later. So that may be very

well what's going on here.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating, thank you Brian. Newly minted astronaut let me start that again, newly minted astronaut, Richard Branson speaking a short

time ago, with my colleague Poppy Harlow and we're going to bring that to you shortly.

Also this hour, Boris Johnson under fire for England's racism problems, he is firing back we'll tell you who is targeting after this.



ANDERSON: Right, Boris Johnson is facing stinging criticism for not speaking out forcefully enough about the racism directed English football

players after their loss in the Euro 2020 finals. Just hours ago, he found someone else to blame for the problem, social media companies and he's not

wrong to suggest that they are to blame.

But Johnson said he would push for stiff fines on social media giants if they don't take steps to remove hate speech from their platforms. He also

said he would take steps to permanently ban racist fans from attending football matches in England.

Well, joining me now is Jonathan Hirshler. He's the CEO of an organization called Signify, that's the company that's using AI technology to comb

social media networks and search for hate speech.

It's really good to have you on. You conducted a study as I understand it last year, alongside the Professional Footballers' Association and kick it

out there. Analyze the online abuse that players received. Tell me more about that and what you found.

JONATHAN HIRSHLER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SIGNIFY: Well, first of all, thank you for having me Becky. It's good to speak to you today. Yes, that's

right, we've worked with the Professional Footballers' Association, who have as a trade union for players in this country have got a deep duty of

care to their players.

So looking out for the levels of abuse that are being sent to them is obviously part of their remap. We worked for them across project restart,

which was six weeks of football being played predominantly behind closed doors.

We looked at 44 players and we picked up 825,000 tweets being sent to them mentioning them. Across that 43 percent of the players that we were

covering received some form of online discriminatory abuse 50 percent of that was sent to just three players, all black players.

And what was really interesting for us at the time was we identified in terms of tactics one-third of the abuse that was being sent was being sent

in Emoji form. So we realized that Emojis were being weaponized, you're talking about, you know, monkey Emojis or non Emojis being sent to black


ANDERSON: Were you able to track down specific individuals sending this abuse?

HIRSHLER: Yes, we can do that. So we've got an AI Machine Learning based system called Threat Matrix, that's exactly what it does. It's able to pick

up the levels, the tactics of abuse that are being sent. But it's also very professional identifying the accounts that sit behind those tweets and

those messages that are being sent at the same time.

ANDERSON: So tell us about who these people are they, for example, associated with football teams, I would call them. Certainly they are not

fans, not fans, as I understand the word, a fan of football, and I'm one of them, because any fan of football doesn't engage in this sort of

disgusting, disgusting behavior. But who are these people?

HIRSHLER: Well, you're absolutely right. And they are fans in some cases. There are, if you want to call them fans, there are a lot of real people

behind these accounts. There are a lot of stories going on at the moment I've seen about there being bots and coordinated networks of attacks coming

from other countries.

There's an element of that we found an element of that in our study, we've continued to work for the PFA over the last year, we've covered another 10

million tweets that we've looked at.

And within that wider set, we can see that a lot of that is actually coming from the UK, it's not just an international issue. And the interesting

thing within the UK set that we're able to identify is there is very often that club affiliation that you're talking about.

So when we can identify that they're supporters of a particular club that gives power to the clubs to take action, there are banning orders, there

are the ability to suspend the season ticket, which really does hurt some of these abusive account owners in the right way, so more action can be

taken if you follow that path.

ANDERSON: Right. So if your organization is able to do this, to find these individuals, we have to assume that the big social media companies whose

platforms are being used to publish this vile hate speech can also find them.

So are they doing enough at present and what more needs to be done? The Prime Minister says he's going to lean heavily on the social media

companies to ensure that they find and take down this racist abuse. And how much pressure do we need to see from the prime minister and indeed other

governments around the world?


HIRSHLER: Well, there is pressure. And we've seen that both and the prime minister is quite encouraging to see the football authorities uniting over


And they sent an open letter to, to the government a couple of months back calling for a number of things that they want to see fall into the online

safety bill that's passing through Parliament moment. But to answer your direct question, can the platforms do more? Yes, they can do more.

We've seen a number of things that they've been implementing over the past couple of months, but they've been primarily focused on hiding, moderating

filtering tweets. And the problem with that is, you're not getting to the source of the problem, you're not getting to the account owners who are

sending those.

And we need to be able to do that we need to be able to identify who these people are; we need to be able to call them out. And they need to see

justice. And they'll see that when there are real deterrents put in place. So it can be - the platforms can definitely do more.

And you know, we have shown that the service that we offer shows exactly how you can identify things and pick up the accounts that sit behind these


ANDERSON: Just out of interest, I'm fascinated to hear that you identified last summer. Such a scope of Emojis is used, for example, other social

media companies looking for Emojis and if so, are there certain Emojis that quite frankly, should be taken down?

HIRSHLER: Well, yes, they are. The platforms are doing a little bit more on that. And we've started to see some being filtered out. But again, the

problem is that they're being filtered out by the end user.

This is a victim led process at the moment. The victim is the one that has to switch things off and not see things the victim is also one has to

report the abuse. And they have to provide a victim impact statement to the police, to law enforcement in order for there to be real action taken.

We want to switch that on its head, a proactive solution looking for this stuff at scale, identifying it and providing that through to law

enforcement and to the club's will enable this whole process to change. And it's not down to the player to report it anymore. Where we're picking it up

right at the top, the platforms can definitely help with that.

ANDERSON: Yes, finally, I would just want to look, we've been looking specifically at the abuse suffered by some of the England football players

on Sunday after the Euro finals very briefly, does what we saw follow the same pattern that you've seen previously, very briefly?

HIRSHLER: I'm afraid to say, I'm afraid it does. Yes, it's continued. And we looked at the last weekend, we saw another 167 very high risk

discriminatory posts being targeted at those players and that miss penalties at the end of the game. So it was gutting.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. And with that, we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much for your analysis.

HIRSHLER: Good to speak with you, Becky.

ANDERSON: That's it from us. See you tomorrow.