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Lebanese President and Prime Minister Designate Disagree on New Government, Saad Hariri Stepping Down; U.K. Records over 40,000 New Daily COVID-19 Cases; Olympic Chief to Visit Hiroshima on Friday; Brazilian President Hospitalized; Angela Merkel to Visit White House Likely for Last Time as Chancellor; Security Head at Moise's Home Taken into Custody. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 15, 2021 - 10:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST (voice-over): You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson and we being with breaking news out of Lebanon, where

the latest proposal to form a new government is not going forward.

The man who offered it, prime minister designate Saad Hariri, is stepping down. His failure to reach agreement yet another blow fora country wracked

by poverty and government corruption, still reeling from last year's devastating port explosion, all, of course, compounded by COVID-19.

The nearly year-long political stalemate severely impacting Lebanon's ability to get desperately needed international aid and fomenting anger on

the streets as that anniversary of the port explosion draws near. Our senior international correspondent based in Beirut is Ben Wedeman and he's

joining us now.

Just explain what exactly what is going on, Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was the last news Lebanon needed at this point. Today Saad Hariri, who was until very

recently the prime minister designate for exactly 266 days, went to Baabda palace, the presidential palace, where he met with the president of the

Lebanese republic Michel Aoun for what was supposed to be discussions on the formation of a new government.

They met yesterday and they agreed to meet again today. They met for 20 minutes. Afterwards, Saad Hariri came out and he explained that the

president wanted modifications to the list of 24 ministers he proposed.

And he said that some of those requests for modification went to the very nature of the government he was trying to form and, therefore, he could not

agree with the president's request and he announced that he was withdrawing as prime minister designate.

And his last words were, "May God help the country."

Now Lebanon's already chaotic political situation is thrown up in the air. It's not clear at all who, if anybody, can replace Saad Hariri as the

person to form a new government.

And already we are seeing, in the minutes since he announced he was pulling out as prime minister designate, that the Lebanese lira, that was already a

fraction of what it was 18 months ago in terms of value against the dollar, has lost even more ground, as confidence in the future of this country,

which was already shaky before this evening's -- this afternoon's meeting, seems to be evaporating.

ANDERSON: Explain to our viewers, who may not be as familiar with the machinations of Lebanon's inherently corrupt politics and dysfunctional

politics, exactly why it is that the president might not accept a government proposed by Saad Hariri. Just explain how these things work.

WEDEMAN: OK, here is how this works. The president is part of the Free Patriotic Movement, which is a -- the largest single political party in

Lebanon's parliament, allied with Hezbollah.

They have certain demands from Saad Hariri, who represents the Mustaqbal Party, the future party, when it comes to forming a government. Now Lebanon

was already under extreme pressure from not only the people of Lebanon but also from the international community to form this government.

But the president of the republic, Michel Aoun, was insisting that his bloc has at least a third of the seats in the cabinet, which would give them a

veto power over any decision by the cabinet and, therefore, essentially control over the cabinet, even though they don't have a majority inside.

Now it is also important to keep in mind that Lebanese politicians, unnamed at this point, are under threat of sanctions from the European Union, which

is working up a framework for sanctions against Lebanese politicians accused of corruption, accused of stifling these attempts to form a new


And these sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes.


WEDEMAN: So what we've seen is a lot of movement in the last few days, what with -- Saad Hariri went to Cairo yesterday, met with the Egyptian

president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who voiced his support for Hariri's attempts to form a government.

We had the French and American ambassadors to Lebanon going to Saudi Arabia, trying to recruit their assistance and support for the formation of

a government. But all of these efforts have failed.

And Lebanon is now in a state of total political paralysis. Now just to go back a little, in trying to explain Lebanon's particular political makeup,

going back to the time when the French left Lebanon back in the 1940s, an unofficial arrangement was worked out, where the president of the republic

is always a Maronite Christian.

The prime minister is always a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament is always a Shia Muslim. And, therefore, everyone has to work within this

framework of a sectarian division of power, which complicates an already complicated political scene even further.

And this is one explanation why we've reached this moment of total paralysis for this country, already suffering from a profound economic

crisis -- Becky.

ANDERSON: We should discuss the consequences at this stage. I mean, people that you speak to regularly on the street, activists who have been

protesting the dysfunction of this government for so long, want to see the back of most of these politicians. They want a clearout.

They want a different system. That's not necessarily possible at this stage. They also don't want to see the interference of the international

community, whether that be the Gulf or the Europeans or, rather, Arab allies -- Arab friends. That of course is something that the Lebanese are

appealing for as a political party, a set of people at the moment, because they need the support.

So look, what are the consequence here?

What does this -- what does today's news mean for Lebanon?

WEDEMAN: Well, first, let me tell you about how people are seeing this endless crisis. Increasingly, one hears from people here, not necessarily

the activists, the idealists but ordinary Lebanese are exhausted with the situation, utterly disgusted by the political class.

And they're saying, bring back the French. Bring the Americans. Bring somebody, anybody to solve this country's problem.

Keep in mind, for instance, that the price of bread has gone up seven times in the last year. The Lebanese lira, which was worth 1,500 to the dollar 18

months ago is now falling below 20,000. But wages haven't gone up to match it.

Inflation is running at around 400 percent for food. So for ordinary Lebanese, life is getting increasingly difficult. And there doesn't seem to

be any light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel. What comes next is anybody's guess.

Basically the political blocs have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a name for a candidate, for a designate prime minister to form a

new government. But as I said, Saad Hariri had 266 days to do this. He failed. There is no indication that others will succeed where Saad Hariri


At this point, I think the feeling, which was there was some slight hope that things might improve, I think now people really feel that we're

falling into the abyss and there's no bottom in sight -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Beirut and we will continue to keep you abreast of exactly what is going on there in a country in crisis.

Ben, thank you.

Well, staying in the Middle East, the World Health Organization says that the region is barreling toward a, quote, "critical point" in the COVID-19

pandemic. Several countries have seen a significant increase in cases after an eight-week decline.

Now with the spread of the Delta variant, the wider global picture is a similar one. The WHO reports COVID deaths worldwide have increased after

declining for nine consecutive weeks. Deaths in Africa up 50 percent from last week; Southeast Asia, up 26 percent.

The Americas reported an 11 percent decrease, though, in deaths from last week. Well, the U.K. also following a grim trajectory. It recorded more

than 40,000 new daily cases for the first time since January 10th. Phil Black is in Essex in England, which is about to lift most of its remaining

social distancing rules on Monday -- Phil.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's 42,000 cases in one day. It's obviously a grim statistic, Becky, not seen since the winter peak but it is

not unexpected. Ever since the arrival of the Delta variant, the start of the exponential spread, it has been well known here that cases, this wave

was going to build.

And indeed it is expected that it will build much further. The government has warned that we could be seeing daily infections of around 100,000-plus

within just a few weeks.

Now the key question is what does this mean in the context of the U.K. government's decision to proceed with lifting pretty much all remaining

legal restrictions on freedoms in England as of Monday?

And the truth is, no one can say with any certainty. Such is the great deal of uncertainty about what happens here. The hope, the theory is that this

country can continue to see high levels of infection, high levels of suffering -- (AUDIO GAP) -- and that has been the trend so far.

You have seen an uptick in hospital admissions and in deaths but nothing compared to the previous waves. And the scientists advising the government

say they can't be certain of what comes next. And, indeed, they say it is down to the people and how they behave. There is a reason why -- (AUDIO


ANDERSON: We are struggling with technology today on that live shot, I'm afraid. You get the sense of where the U.K. is at through that insight from

Phil Black.

The number of COVID cases in Tokyo spiking with just a week left until the start of the Olympics. Infections there topped 1,000 cases Wednesday for

the first time in six months.

Olympic athlete in quarantine is among them. This comes as the Olympic chief promises to minimize the risk of the virus spreading in Japan. Selina

Wang joining us live from Tokyo, where the tense countdown to the games takes center stage, of course.

And the numbers make for a pretty bad reading before the start of the Olympics.

What is it that the -- what is it that the IOC are saying?

And what do they propose to do to ensure this doesn't become a super spreading event?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, IOC officials continue to repeat that they believe these games will be held in a safe bubble, with

these Olympic participants separate from the Japanese public.

But we are seeing a growing number of COVID-19 cases among athletes and other people involved in the games just in the past few days.

Eight staff members of the hotel where the Brazilian Olympic team are staying have tested positive for COVID-19. Officials say those athletes

have not been in contact with their staff members.

But in addition to that you also have members of the South African Olympic team that are currently in isolation because there was a positive COVID-19

test on their flight in Japan.

And in addition to that, you also have the refugee Olympic team delaying their trip to Japan because a team official tested positive.

Now Becky, once when the Olympics actually start, this is all going to get much more complicated. And a big fear from these athletes is somebody

testing positive on their team right before they have to compete and then they lose their chance to play.

And medical experts are saying that this safe bubble just has too many holes, too many ways to puncture this. And, Becky, the Chinese Olympic

sailing team has complained they think the rules are too relaxed.

In their hotel accommodations, they have been able to mix with locals and tourists in the same place. And, of course, this is as Tokyo is in a state

of emergency, Becky. When I'm walking around the streets of the city, there is Olympic symbol all over the city.

But when I talk to residents here, they just aren't feeling that excitement. Instead, it's more anxiety.

ANDERSON: Is there a sense that once these games actually kick off -- I know that there won't be international fans in the stadiums.

But is there a sense, at least, that once this kicks off, that the athletes, at least, will be able to concentrate on the events themselves

and what is happening around them may be less of a news story, as it were?

WANG: Well, Becky, I think it all really hinges on how the COVID-19 situation develops. If we see a super spreader event, more cluster

outbreaks among the athletes that potentially spread into the local population, that is going to have a huge dampening effect.

If these games go off without a hitch and the Japanese public is watching, cheering them on from home, watching it on TV, there could still be a turn

in sentiment. But I want to mention IOC president Thomas Bach is going to Hiroshima tomorrow. This is supposed to be a message of peace.


WANG: But as to how stark this instance is, residents are saying his visit is insulting the survivors, the A-bomb survivors. I want to read the

statement from 11 pacifists and anti-Olympic groups who said the following.

They said, quote, "It is blasphemy for A-bomb survivors that President Bach is using the image of "a peaceful world without nuclear weapons" to

justifying holding the Olympics by force under the pandemic.

Becky, we also spoke to a 90-year-old survivor, who said the pandemic is like a war and is still ongoing with people suffering in Japan and around

the world. And right now is not the time for Thomas Bach to visit Hiroshima and it's not the time to hold the Olympics. Becky, we'll have to see if and

how this public sentiment turns.

ANDERSON: Great. Selina, thank you for that.

Still ahead, Angela Merkel makes what is expected to be a final visit to the White House as the German leader. We'll tell you what she is planning

to talk to Joe Biden about in just a moment.

And after days of looting and violence, the situation does seem to be calming somewhat in South Africa. More on why it is a little quieter on the

streets in our next hour.




ANDERSON: Let's connect you to Brazil now and the president there says he is suffering from the effects of a failed assassination attempt three years

ago. Jair Bolsonaro tweeted this picture from the hospital. He is being treated for an intestinal obstruction.

Mr. Bolsonaro says the problems stem from 2018, when he was stabbed during a campaign rally. Mr. Bolsonaro is being treated in a hospital in Sao Paulo

and that is where we find CNN's Shasta Darlington.

What more do we know at this point?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we know that Bolsonaro was transferred here yesterday night after doctors diagnosed

that intestinal obstruction. For now, the hospital says it won't be performing emergency surgery.

They say Bolsonaro is under they're calling a conservative clinical treatment. They didn't go into details to explain what that means. As you

mentioned, it was Bolsonaro himself who took to Twitter calling his current medical issues the consequence of a failed assassination attempt in 2018

when he was stabbed during a campaign rally.

Now the attack happened while he was being carried on the shoulders of a supporter. He suffered knife wounds to the abdomen and was rushed to the

hospital for emergency surgery. It really marked a turning point in his campaign as he posted these pictures of himself from the hospital bed. He

surged in the electoral polls.

Since then, he's had interventions to remove a colostomy bag, to unblock his intestines and for hernias. And for this latest health issue, Bolsonaro

was actually originally taken to a hospital in Brasilia to look into the cause of chronic hiccups that were causing pain in his abdomen.


DARLINGTON: Ahead of his transfer to Sao Paulo yesterday, he tweeted a new photo of himself in a hospital bed with the caption, "We'll be back soon,

God willing. Brazil is ours."

All this is happening at a time when Bolsonaro is arguably facing the biggest crisis of his presidency. His approval rating is at an all-time low

and there is an ongoing Senate inquiry into his government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. So a lot of pressure on him - Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and that ongoing investigation into his handling of the pandemic, how are we expecting that to go on?

DARLINGTON: Well, Becky, it's just been extended for another couple of months. While there aren't huge expectations that this could lead to some

kind of action against Bolsonaro, there has been growing support in polls for an impeachment trial.

Again, it's not expected that that could happen. But what it does do is it keeps him in the spotlight, in a negative spotlight, ahead of presidential

elections last year. So it's important that this affects his ratings, his approval ratings. It affects voters' intentions ahead of the elections.

And something that he clearly is not very pleased with even though the COVID numbers have actually been improving in recent weeks, fewer deaths

and fewer cases. Of course, vaccination rollout has also improved but still far behind many other nations.

Only 20 percent of the adult population here is fully vaccinated and now the Delta variant has been discovered in a number of different cities. So

while the outlook is a little rosier than it was a couple of weeks ago, he still could be coming under fire due to the handling of the pandemic here -

- Becky.

ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington, reporting in Sao Paulo in Brazil, thank you.

Two days of torrential rainfall have left more than 40 people dead in Germany and in Belgium. Germany's weather service said the country haven't

seen this much rain in over 100 years. In some cities entire buildings have collapsed and cars have been carried away as streets turned into rivers.

German troops being deployed to the hardest-hit areas to help in rescue operations. CNN's Nina dos Santos is following events and she joins us now

-- Nina.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Thanks very much, Becky. This is a dramatic situation unfolding in Germany. It is set to continue as the

rain is not likely to abate for a couple of days from here.

Obviously as you pointed out, the region that borders Western Germany with the Netherlands, Belgium and also Luxembourg to the south has had record

rainfall over the last few days.

That's caused a number of rivers to burst their banks with really dramatic consequences. The death toll has continued to rise throughout the course of

the day. We're talking about at least 40 people having lost their lives in Germany largely in the western and northwestern areas, like 20 people

losing their lives in North Rhine-Westphalia.

And we also know that 18 people in the western town of Ahrweiler, which is in the Rhineland part of Germany, lost their lives as well, according to

local authorities over there.

Two firefighters have also perished, trying to help people as these rivers have been bursting their banks. And 70 people still remain missing across

these parts of Germany. Germany has had the lion's share of the rain and obviously some of the -- a lot more destruction than other places, more

loss of life.

But also Belgium is supporting a death toll of at least six people as well. In the Netherlands, we've had flooding in the southern province of

Lindborg. Also in Belgium, they've had to evacuate an entire city where there are big industrial facilities and factories because the situation is

so perilous at the moment, Becky.

And for people who are still marooned in some of these flooded buildings, care homes, et cetera, some of them being evacuated as we speak. It is

important to point out the situation isn't particularly comfortable at the moment.

About 160,000, 165,000 people, I should say, are currently said to be without running water and electricity. So obviously, as you pointed out,

the German government is set to deploy troops to try and help a lot of people in these stricken parts of the country, to evacuate them and help

with some temporary accommodation at this time of need.

We're expecting Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on a farewell tour to the United States, to meet her fourth U.S. president during her tenure, to

speak about this throughout the course of this hour.

She is set to hold a press conference alongside U.S. President Joe Biden and we'll hear what she has to say. Obviously, she is over there in America

as this situation is unfolding back home in Germany -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is making this historic trip to the White House in the coming hours. It is expected to be her final visit to the U.S.

as chancellor before she steps down in September.

Now on her agenda for the meeting with the U.S. President, climate change, fighting COVID, dealing with Russia and ensuring the future of democracy



ANDERSON: After that summit, the two leaders plan to hold a joint news conference. Our White House correspondent, John Harwood, joining us with a


As one of our colleagues pointed out in CNN's "Meanwhile in America" newsletter today, this is the German chancellor handing back the moral

leadership of the West to an American president, who is actually -- believes in moral leadership and democracy. That just the point of view of

one of our colleagues.

What's likely to come out of this meeting, do you think, John?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't know anything substantive is likely to come out of the meeting. But that point is a very

valid one. This is a valedictory moment for Angela Merkel.

While Trump was president, she was in effect serving as the leader of the free world, as president Trump was taking a series of actions that had the

effect of dividing the Western alliance and weakening the Western alliance.

She has welcomed, as other NATO leaders, as other E.U. leaders have, the return of a president who values the transatlantic alliance, who values the

commitment to common defense of the free, liberal democracies in Europe and around the world.

And so this is a moment to celebrate as she prepares to leave office. They do have a lot of common purposes to discuss. You mentioned climate, you

mentioned COVID. They have some disagreements on how tough to be with respect to China.

The United States wants a more aggressive posture than Germany does, although Angela Merkel went along with the wording that was agreed to in

Europe some weeks ago about the need to stand up to China.

They have some disagreements about Russia, the Nord Stream pipeline, which appears likely to go ahead. But the United States is raising concerns about

it. And President Biden certainly will discuss that with Angela Merkel today, trying to make sure that that pipeline is not used ultimately to

blackmail and weaken Ukraine, which Russia is in active conflict with.

But this is a moment, really, of the two leaders to, I think, jointly express the value of leading free democracies around the world and, to some

degree, as you indicated, Becky, Angela Merkel will be handling -- handing that mantle back to the President of the United States, who has carried it

since World War II but, during a brief period of the Trump presidency, did not want to carry it.

ANDERSON: Some criticism aimed at Joe Biden of late with regard to the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. This is, of course, ongoing. And

just at the end of last month, Germany finished withdrawing its last contingent of around 570 soldiers from Afghanistan. The situation there


One might assume that that could be a topic of discussion when Angela Merkel meets Joe Biden in the coming hours.

What's the sense at the White House about how they will manage this Afghanistan portfolio, as it were -- or file -- going forward?

HARWOOD: I think they're realistic about it. President Biden has spoken to this himself, saying the United States had decided -- by the way, this is

an area of overlap and approach between former president Trump and President Biden.

Both have nodded to the war weariness of the United States after 20 years in Afghanistan and indicated they were going to pull out, despite concern

among some military officials and others that this would leave Afghanistan to civil war, to takeover by the Taliban.

Joe Biden is saying that that's going to be up to the Afghan people to settle that, although, yesterday, we did see the administration announce

the beginning of what they call Operation Allies Refuge to begin the evacuation of 18,000 Afghans who assisted the U.S. and NATO military

operations during that war because, whatever happens in Afghanistan, the most indefensible outcome for the United States and its NATO allies would

be -- would be the slaughter of people who had assisted their war effort.

So the administration is attempting the massive logistical challenge of trying to move those people through a special immigration pipeline to get

them to the United States. But in the meantime, as they draw down troops, get them out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible so they're not at the

mercy of the Taliban.


ANDERSON: John Harwood is at the White House.

John, thank you. Busy times.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson, live from London. Ahead, the head of security for Haiti's assassinated president is taken

into police custody.

And a major announcement from police in Colombia about the commandos who allegedly took part in the plot.

And in the next hour of CONNECT THE WORLD, rare access to Ethiopia's shattered Tigray region. We'll get extraordinary insights from the combat

photographer, who managed to get in.




ANDERSON: In Haiti, a new twist in the investigation into the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Police in Colombia today said the

commandos accused of participating in the plot were hired to detain the president and hand him over to U.S. law enforcement; specifically, the U.S.

DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The DEA has denied any involvement. They also linked the commandos allegedly leading the operation to Christian Emmanuel Sanon, the Haitian

born American citizen, who police arrested over the weekend.

That news coming after the head of security at the presidential residence was taken into police custody. Dimitri Herard made a stop in Colombia in

May during travels through Latin America. Let's connect you to all of these angles. Matt Rivers is reporting from Port-au-Prince and Stefano Pozzebon

is in Bogota.

Matt, let's start with you. The arrest of the head of security, one of the details we learned today, how unexpected was that?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've always had questions, Becky, in terms of why or who or what role the security forces

played here in terms of the people who were responsible for protecting the president.

The first question anyone would ask, right, where were the security teams that are charged with protecting the president?

Those have been questions we've been asking right from the very beginning. Those are questions that Haitian prosecutors have as well. So what ended up

happening, Becky, was that the prosecution team leading this investigation asked the leaders of three different government agencies here in Haiti, all

of which are tasked with protecting the president and/or places where he spends most of his time.

The prosecutors said, we want to talk to those three people that are the heads of those agencies. And what essentially is voluntarily questions;

under Haitian law, you don't have to appear at this first round. And none of those three leaders ultimately ended up going to those questioning,

including Dimitri Herard, the head of the security at the presidential residence.


RIVERS: And we were able to speak with a very close associate of Herard, who said that any suspicions around him are just politically motivated,

that he is completely innocent, that he wants to cooperate with this investigation. Here is a little bit of our conversation with this close



RIVERS: The president gets killed on Dimitri's watch.

Why shouldn't he be a suspect?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying that he shouldn't be a suspect. But the main thing is that he should be questioned and a potential suspect, yes,

but the chain of command does not stop at Dimitri.

The chain of command, it goes much higher than him. He has bosses and those bosses have bosses. I don't see any of them, you know, being fired or being

questioned or, for that matter, being detained. He's the only person, until right now, that's been detained.


RIVERS: And we know that he was held in police custody overnight. Even though it is voluntary to go to those questions, we're told that the order,

quote, "came down from above," according to that close associate. We've asked Haitian national police for comment on this alleged detention.

They haven't commented back to us on that yet. But clearly things aren't looking good for Herard. It is unclear where prosecutors go from here, in

terms of going higher up the food chain you just heard Herard's friend talk about.

ANDERSON: Absolutely.

Stefano, you're in Bogota.

What's the Colombian angle here?

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Colombian angle, Becky, has given us a major revelation. Earlier today, the chief of the Colombian national

police, the first man to directly implicate a U.S. law enforcement role into these bad story in Haiti here is what chief inspector general Jorge

Vargas said in a press conference here in Bogota.


JORGE VARGAS, CHIEF INSPECTOR GENERAL, COLOMBIAN POLICE (through translator): The idea was to plan the arrest of the president and hand it

over to the DEA. Or that's what they're claiming. We understand that this was what the Colombians were initially told their job was.


POZZEBON: And General Vargas was very careful, Becky, to say that these investigations being led by the Haitian police, that the Colombian police

could not independently verify those claims and that this is coming out of those more than 15 Colombian men, who have been detained in Haiti, linked

with the assassination of President Moise, which has reached now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

They have previously reiterated their denial in any involvement in the assassination of President Moise. That said, Becky, what Vargas has said

today is slightly different from what CNN has learned from the families of those people, who have been detained in Haiti, and from other private

contractors, that have been contacted to do the job here in Bogota but couldn't travel to Haiti.

What those people have been telling CNN is that the original Colombian commandos were contacted to work as a private security, as support

bodyguards for the president of Haiti.

But now this major revelation from the Colombian police seems to add a new layer, that perhaps some of them were working with the order to detain the

president and that the operation went tragically wrong, Becky.

ANDERSON: Stefano is in Bogota, in Colombia.

And, Matt, thank you, out of Haiti for us today.

Just ahead, countries dependent on tourism are desperate to get travelers back. Mauritius using something called resort bubbles. The island's tourism

minister will explain how they work.

And a new era for Formula 1. The big unveiling at Silverstone will help shape the future of the sport, we are told. All that coming up.





ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky


Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have taken control of a major border crossing with Pakistan. That is according to Pakistani officials and

eyewitnesses. You are looking at images of Taliban supporters on the Pakistani side of that crossing. The U.S. plans to have all its troops

withdrawn from Afghanistan by September.

Well, China's economy is still growing but the pace of its recovery slowed in the second quarter. Output from April to June grew at 7.9 percent

compared to a year ago. That is a bit weaker than expected. China has been dealing with supply chain disruptions amongst other things.

And Britney Spears wants her father to be investigated and charged with conservatorship abuse. In court on Wednesday, the pop star said she thought

people involved in her nearly 13-year conservatorship were trying to kill her. Spears' new attorney vowed to look into the cruel conditions the

singer said that she has faced.

In sport, they may be Lions but they are feeling rather bullish this hour. I'm talking about Rugby Union and the British and Irish Alliance, who are

in an optimistic mood, despite their first defeat of the year. Dress rehearsal against South Africa. Let's not forget South Africa are still the

world champions.