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Connect the World

Olympics Hit By Rising COVID Cases With Days To Go; Jordan's King Abdullah Meets With Biden; Spy Campaign Reportedly Targeted Journalists, Activists; Biden Addresses Americans About Economy; Jeff Bezos Preparing For Space Flight On His Own Rocket. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 19, 2021 - 11:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome back. You are watching "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson for you. And (INAUDIBLE)

to all of you celebrating around the world.

This year, of course just like last year, the pandemic is making this a muted celebration in much of the world. Indonesia battling a surge in

COVID-19 cases. Hospitals are overwhelmed as health officials report more daily infections in India and Brazil. Most countries in Southeast Asia are

expecting their worst outbreaks since the pandemic began.

And it is likely going to get even worse in Indonesia as Eid al-Adha celebrations start this week. Here's Kristie Lu Stout.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indonesia is battling a surge in COVID-19 cases and the peak is likely yet to come with Eid al-Adha

celebrations starting this week.

Now for weeks now, the fourth most populous country in the world has been reporting thousands of daily cases and hundreds of deaths as it struggles

with the highly contagious Delta variant. And is now reporting a record number of doctors are dying from the virus.

One hundred fourteen doctors died in the first half of July. That's according to officials from Indonesia's Doctors Association. This despite a

reported 95 percent vaccination rate among health workers.

Now this has prompted the government to use Moderna as booster shots to China's Sinovac. Indonesia's healthcare system is in crisis. Health experts

say it has overtaken India to become Asia's new epicenter of the virus and families are suffering.


DINO SATRIA, PROGRAM CHIEF, SAVE THE CHILDREN INDONESIA: We are getting overwhelmed; the health system is on the verge of collapse. And also the

government is putting more restrictions right now. But of course it helps with trying to control the infection but pushes more families and children

into poverty. I'm worrying that this is -- we are not seeing the peak yet. So it will take longer and it will -- of course it will take longer than

anyone can anticipated.


LU STOUT: For much of last year Indonesia has managed to keep COVID-19 largely under control but earlier this month, Indonesia's health minister

said there has been a quote, dramatic increase in confirmed cases after a recent holiday season. And now there are fears that this week's Eid al-Adha

celebrations could spark another explosion in infection. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

ANDERSON: Well, the center of the celebrations this week is of course harsh. The pandemic is changing that, too. Only 60,000 Saudi residents were

allowed to take part in this pilgrim pilgrimage. They were also -- they will be require to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is the second half

of the pandemic era. And just like last year, it will be different in the city of Mecca. Arwa Damon joining me live from Istanbul. What do we know at

this point?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the visuals most certainly are going to be starkly different. You're talking

60,000 people permitted to attend versus the norm, upwards of 2 million. Some of the Hajj rituals are so densely packed that as people are carrying

them out at some points, if you're of a smaller stature, your feet actually don't end up touching the ground.

That's how close people move through some of the rituals together. The Saudi government obviously greatly concerned about the highly contagious

COVID-19 Delta variant. But also about low vaccination rates in a lot of Muslim majority countries.

You just heard that report there out of Indonesia. Indonesia being the world's largest Muslim country. And then you have the concerns that the

World Health Organization was bringing up about the Middle East and North Africa saying some countries are reaching a critical point. Tunisia had to

implement additional restrictions. Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, is also now reporting numbers close to what they were at their

peak. And Iraq, Becky, has just reported its highest infection rate to date.


And that is a country, for example, that only has around a 1 percent vaccination rate. And that's not even a double dose. That's just a single

dose at this stage. So the Saudi authorities are very much taking all of these factors into consideration. But for so many Muslims around the world,

this has got to be incredibly devastating.

Many of them do end up saving up their entire lives to be able to carry out this particular pilgrimage. It is one of the tenants of Islam. It is an

obligation for every Muslim is financially and physically capable of carrying it out. It's meant to be a time not just the Hajj but the Eid al-

Adha of gathering of family closeness where extended family comes together for three days.

A time of joy, happiness, gifts for the children. The World Health Organization is discouraging all of this for public safety. Quite simply

saying, that the risk is too high given the contagious Delta variant and also the significant low vaccination rates in all too many of these

majority Muslim countries.

ANDERSON: Absolutely, Arwa Damon reporting for you. As Arwa suggested, only 60,000 Saudi residents were fortunate enough to take part in this year's

hajj. I spoke earlier to Hani Jokhdar, who is Saudi Arabia's public health deputy minister about how they selected those who are able to attend. Have

a listen.


HANI JOKHDAR, SAUDI ARABIA PUBLIC HEALTH DEPUTY MINISTER: We decided that the Hajj this year we need to look at all the -- the whole world portfolio.

It's not only our portfolio because we were -- as you say that we were concerned about the Delta variant. We were concerned about that variant and

how it overcomes -- if it -- because it's going to two dose of the vaccine or not.

Luckily, two doses of the vaccine works well with that -- with that variant but the single dose does not. And the transmission of the disease was

clearly higher than any other variant in many countries. And we saw many countries that they were able to control the spread of the disease with the

vaccine when the variant that came in the cases jumped up again.

But with minor disease. So our concern was that we don't want to have Saudi Arabia to be a focus of a shower or a spillover of variant D in countries

where their vaccination rate is not as good or the health care system is not as good in terms of capacity.

That's why we said let's have it this year again for in term (ph) pilgrims, 60,000 people will be -- will be allowed to move into the sacred places in

Mecca tomorrow. And it is only restricted for vaccinated people who have received two doses of the vaccine. Hoping to control the disease as much as

we can. .

ANDERSON: It's clear the kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to be -- wants to play this very safely to ensure the health and safety of those pilgrims. By

barring those from outside, of course, causes enormous angst to those who wanted to complete their hajj experience. What is your message, sir, at

this point, to those Muslims who aren't able to attend?

JOKHDAR: Well, the message was from the king at the (INAUDIBLE) mosque early in the pandemic. He said the health of people comes first. So it is

not anything else. So he prioritized that. And he even devoted all health care system in the country, whether it is minister of health, other

government sectors and private sector, they were all devoted to serve all people who live in the country, even those who illegally migrated to the

country or not having the proper documentation to stay in the country, they were given care.

So the priority that really demonstrates how our priority in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia looks at people health first and all the others comes behind.

So that's why we need to understand that many Muslims, they want to come and have Hajj. But I'm sure that the governments of different countries,

they understand our -- our -- our main goal, that to secure and safe health status of the people comes first. And then we will be allowing people to

come in for Hajj.



ANDERSON: That's the deputy health minister in Saudi Arabia. Well, let's take a look at what is happening on Wall Street because this is pertinent.

U.S. stocks sinking today. They have been as low as more than 800 points. So if I call this a stabilization, I wouldn't be wrong.

But we are still some 750 plus points lower. Investors worrying about the rise in COVID cases caused by this Delta variant. The increase in COVID

cases of course could threaten the economic recovery. And that is reflected on the stock markets today, with investors spooked by what they are seeing

around the world.

Well, this just in to CNN. Haiti's acting prime minister has announced he is going to step down. Matt Rivers is live from support Port-au-Prince, for

you. Matt, what do we know at this point?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this just came out recently within the last hour or so, Becky, with there appearing to be a new power sharing

agreement in terms of who is going to lead the government in the short- term.

What we know is that acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph; he will be stepping down in the next few days. He will return to his former role,

which he used to be foreign minister. He will become foreign minister. Ariel Henry will then become acting prime minister.

Remember that Henry had been appointed as prime minister by now slain President Jovenel Moise just a few days before his death. Before Henry

could actually be confirmed in that role, before he could be tasked and complete the task of forming a government, Moise died.

And that obviously threw a lot of this into turmoil. So Joseph was running the country, running the government in the meantime. But obviously there

was a lot of concern that he had been replace replaced by Henry before Moise died.

And so that was the big outstanding question, Becky. That does appear to have been resolved at this point. I want to read you just a little bit

about what Ariel Henry said in a statement. In brief, he said, today is our responsibility as leaders to work together to face our challenges. I know

people are scared and have questions about who is leading the country.

But he says that in a very short period of time he will unveil a new government of consensus. That government will lead the country for a short

period of time until new elections can be held. The big question, Becky, when will those elections be held, what kind of government will he be able

to form, who will his minister be and how much legitimacy will they have within the broader community here in Haiti, will the people accept this.

Those are questions that remain unanswered so far.

ANDERSON: Yes. The other clear and important question is, who assassinated the president and why? His wife has returned to the Caribbean nation after

being treated in Florida for wounds suffered in the attack. And as I understand it, investigators keen to interview her.

RIVERS: Yes, I mean, it's remarkable, Becky, that, you know, all this time, nearly two weeks now after the assassination of the president, we know a

lot more about the suspects, we know a lot more about who allegedly financed them, organized them, brought them to the island.

But in terms of the mastermind, what the motive behind the assassination, we still do not have that information. You said it about the first lady.

She is a key part in all of this, as she is a surviving witness to what happened in the presidential residents. Maybe she will have insight into

this. She did return to Port-au-Prince by airplane -- by private jet over the weekend.

She got off the plane wearing a black dress, a bulletproof vest, a brace on her left arm -- or excuse me -- her right arm, clearly still suffering from

the injuries that she -- that she incurred during that attack at the presidential residence. Investigators are going to want to hear from her as

will the general public here in Haiti, Becky. Unclear though when or if she plans on speaking publicly.

We do know she will attending funeral events that are scheduled starting this week both here and in Port-au-Prince and in the northern part of the

island where Moise was from.

ANDERSON: It is quarter past 11:00 in the morning give or take in Haiti. Matt, thank you for that. Well, before we brought you our breaking news, we

were talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, about the Delta variant, and the fact that Wall Street is down, over 700 points today as investors seem

spooked about what is going on around the world.

We've seen a much reduced -- much reduced attendance at the Hajj this year. It is Eid, of course. And I say for those who are celebrating Eid Mubarack

to you. We've also brought you the story of Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country in the world and exactly what is going on there as we see an

increase in cases.


Well, the British public split over the government's move here to lift nearly all coronavirus restrictions for England that the supporters of the

decision called today Freedom Day. Going off capacity limits on nightclubs, on restaurants and on other venues. Face masks no longer mandatory in the

vast majority of places.

Boris Johnson, some say, are making a call with a gamble with people's lives. The health secretary has tested positive for COVID-19 here. And the

prime minister, who has been in close contact with the health minister, has been forced to self-isolate.

Well, Phil Black is live for you now from Liverpool Street Station.

The prime minister isolating, the health secretary isolating, after testing positive himself for COVID. As we understand it, the prime minister has

tested negative today. But Boris Johnson is being criticized for trying to get around the self-isolation rule at first. Tell us about that. And then

of course I want to talk about what is going on here in England and how people feel about what is being called Freedom Day. Let's start with Boris


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, one of the few remaining rules from England today, is the need to isolate. If you're identified as a close

contact of someone who has testing positive for COVID-19, that's what happened to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the chancellor of the

Exchequer Rishi Sunak because they'd spent time with the U.K. health secretary, Sajid Javide, who confirmed a positive test over the weekend.

But initially they tried to wriggle out of isolation saying they would instead take part in a pilot program that replaces isolation with daily

COVID-19 testing. The political blowback was fierce and damning and very quick. Along the lines of one rule for you guys, another rule for everyone


And so they performed a very quick political back flip. They are now isolating on so-called Freedom Day. Now if you put all that political

theater to one side, it is still fair to say that Freedom Day it is not unfolding the way Boris Johnson had hoped that it would. It is not an

enthusiastic triumphant return to normal life here in England, that's because of the surging delta variant.

It is instead an experiment that no other country has attempted before, one that could have an impact on efforts to fight the pandemic all over the

world. And yet, there are still people making the most of it. Take a look.


BLACK: The freedom, the joy of dancing with friends in a packed nightclub for the first time in more than a year. No masks, no crowd limits, no

rules. It's what the U.K. prime minister has long promised and is now delivering regardless of the risks.

BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, U.K.: We're now traveling on a one-way road to freedom.

BLACK: Newspapers enthusiastically gave that journey's end an obvious name. Freedom Day. Now it's here. For most, it doesn't feel very free, especially

for Boris Johnson.

JOHNSON: Hi, folks.

BLACK: He's isolating because the U.K. health secretary has tested positive. .

JOHNSON: We've got to do it cautiously. We've got to remember that this virus is sadly still out there. Cases are rising. We can see the extreme

contagiousness of the -- of the Delta variant.

BLACK: The delta variant changed everything. After months of steeply declining cases, this highly transmissible mutation is now swamping the

U.K. with an accelerating wave of infections. The government is lifting restrictions anyway.

DR. CHRIS WHITTY, ENGLAND'S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: t here is quite a strong view that -- by many people, including myself, actually, that going

in the summer has some advantages.

BLACK: Advantages like reduced seasonal pressure on hospitals and with schools out, reduced spread among students. But the plan has many experts

critics who use words like reckless and unethical.

DR. DEEPTI GURDASANI, CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST, QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY LONDON: All the models show millions of cases over the summer and there

were be 1,000 to 2,000 daily hospitalizations over the summer.

BLACK: The government is also aware of another ominous warning from its own scientific advisors that points to dire consequences for the whole world.

The combination of high prevalence and high levels of vaccination creates the conditions in which an immune escape variant is most likely to emerge.

The likelihood of this happening is unknown. They're talking about a variant that's better at beating vaccines.

RAVI GUPTA, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: considering high levels of infection are only going to drive further mutation of the virus and

potential further problems down the line, in other words, less -- even less vaccine efficacy against mutated versions of the virus.


We know that there is a significant risk for what's happening the last six months.

BLACK: The government hopes most people will follow its new message. Yes, the rules are going away, but, please; don't change your own behavior. One

of its own advisors on behavior science says that's messy and inconsistent.

SUSAN MICHIE, DIR., CENTRE FOR BEHAVIOUR CHANGE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: This kind of mixed messaging is really damaging. And we had it previously

in the pandemic. And people want clear guidance. They want leadership. And they want clear, concise and coherency messages.

BLACK: This is an unprecedented experiment, a desperate bid for freedom. Its success or failure will be measured in lives and suffering.


BLACK: Becky, scientific modeling that has informed the government's decision making suggest it is still possible, despite the vaccine program,

that cases could surge to a point where you have more people in the hospitals in coming months than any point during the pandemic.

The scientific advisors themselves say they don't know precisely how this will turn out because it will come down to choices people make and how they

choose to behave. And that is why the prime minister is really pleading with people to continue acting cautiously, even though there are no longer

any rules enforcing that behavior. Becky.

ANDERSON: Phil Black on the story. Thank you, Phil.

Well, German chancellor Angela Merkel calls it terrifying and surreal. What she is saying about climate change after visiting one of her country's

worst hit flood zones.

Joe Biden gets a royal visit at the White House today. We'll get a preview of what to expect with when the president welcomes his first Arab leader to

the oval office, King Abdula in Washington today.

Plus, countdown to launch. Jeff Bezos is a day away from joining a very short list of space-bound billionaires. Ahead, the impact his flight could

have on commercial space travel. That, coming up after this.


ANDERSON: Germany's interior minister is defending his deposit saying flood warnings must be declared locally and not by Berlin. Well the enormous

devastation is fueling criticism that the German government failed to warn people early enough ahead of what were very destructive, deadly floods.

Nearly 200 people across parts of Germany and Belgium have lost their lives. Hundreds are still missing. Right now, massive search and rescue

operations are under way. We've got reporters in some of the most hard-hit areas. Atika Shubert is in West Germany and Chris Burns over in neighboring


Let's get to you, Atika, first. The region that you are in, as I understand it, has seen the most deaths. What's going on there? And just tell us what

people are telling you.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unfortunately, this is the highest death toll in the region. And unfortunately, there are still hundreds that

are unaccounted for. Now, hopefully that just means that they're out of communication and that they're fine.

But there is a concern that there are still a lot of bodies that may yet be recovered. And we keep hearing these helicopters going back and forth. A

lot of search and recovery operations are still underway.

And it's all being hampered by this, I'll show you. This is a bridge that's collapsed behind me. You can see the way that it's just sort of snapped by

the power of the water here. And this is a critical part of the problem. There a lot of communities that are completely cut off because the bridges

there aren't working.

In fact, on this river valley, only one bridge is passable. And that's leading to a lot of frustration by residents who feel they're not getting

enough help quickly enough. But I think what's really difficult to understand is the sheer scale of the devastation here.

It's not a regular flood. This was really more like a tsunami in the speed and power with which the water barreled down the river, washing out bridges

and destroying critical infrastructure. So it's going the take a long time to recover, Becky.

ANDERSON: Stand by. I want to get to Chris who is in Belgium where we are hearing similar criticism, Chris, about the fact that the country did not

warn people early enough about the potential for severe flooding. What -- what are you hearing about that?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. In fact, we just talked to the mayor here of Vervier (INAUDIBLE) and she told us that they should have

been warned. And it's true that European authorities had been warning since last Saturday about a potentially destructive rainfall.

And yet somehow that information did not get through. And there was the -- the warnings started here in Belgium by the meteorological service here on

Tuesday. And that's where the authorities who run the dam here behind Vervier say they didn't have time to release enough water in time so they

wouldn't have this destructive tsunami that did so much damage you can see over my shoulder.

So there is a lot of frustration about that. And the mayor would like to see a parliamentary inquiry to get to the bottom of how there was that

communication breakdown.

ANDERSON: Chris, apologies. I was assuming that we were going to hear from the mayor but apologies on that. To both of you, let me start briefly with

you, Atika. I mean the German chancellor has called this terrifying, she's called it surreal, and she's talked about the -- in foreboding terms about

the impact that climate crisis will have should not the rest of the world, Europe included, ensure that enough is done going forward. Are you hearing

people talk about climate crisis where you are?

SHUBERT: Yes, we are. And I think a lot of people here are shocked that it was at this scale. But there is little doubt for people here that this is

one of the effects of the climate crisis, that extreme weather caused this crisis to happen.

I mean, you know, consider we went to an area where the great flood of 1910 was the biggest flood anyone had ever seen. And that was maybe a meter high

off the river. The flood this time hit to the rooftops of three-storey building. So this was an unimaginable event.

And I talked one women young woman yesterday in the town of Schultz (ph) where Merkel was visiting, and she said she will never build a house on the

water again. Knowing that -- this is in her future. She said she simply won't live on the water again. She's too afraid to have another experience

like this, and specifically she said she's too afraid that more people will die.

ANDERSON: I'm going to take a short break at this point. But to both of you, thank you very much indeed for joining us. Up against the break.

You're watching "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson.

Up next, a COVID cloud over the Tokyo Olympics is growing (ph), only days to go until opening ceremonies. Of course, yet officials admit they cannot

guarantee the games will be risk free.

And Jordan's king becomes the first Arab leader to visit Joe Biden at the White House. We'll tell you what the two leaders are likely to talk about

after this short break.



ANDERSON: It is half past four in London, this is where we are broadcasting CONNECT THE WORLD for you today. Of course we normally are in Abu Dhabi.

The world is waiting see the summer's biggest global sporting event and it's not just for the competition of course, it's been one COVID blow after

another for these Tokyo Olympics. Now, with just days to go until Friday's opening ceremony. There's word of more athletes testing positive for the

virus, I'm afraid including an alternate on the U.S. women's gymnastics team, a member of the Czech beach volleyball team and two players and an

official from South Africa's football team, all tested positive after arriving in Japan.

Now there's word a second alternate American gymnasts is in quarantine. This has been a nightmare for the organizers who insists the Olympic

Village is quote a safe place to stay.

Let's get you to Tokyo and to CNN's Selina Wang. What are organizers saying about the rising number of infections that we are seeing at the village?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, Olympic officials are saying that they can't guarantee there won't be any positive COVID-19 cases but

it's all about how they contain them. In fact, the expert advisor to the IOC said they're seeing a lower number of cases than they expected. Now

we're up to 61 COVID-19 cases in Japan linked to these games with athletes, officials and contractors testing positive for COVID-19.

But the situation here on the ground is grim as you have Tokyo in a state of emergency reporting more than a thousand COVID-19 cases a day, just 20

percent of the population fully vaccinated. And even though these Olympic officials say they can keep this Olympic bubble separate from the

population here, experts say that just isn't possible with something at the scale of the Olympic Games.

You also have the first U.S. athlete testing positive for COVID-19 here in Japan, an alternate on the women's gymnastics team. A close contact,

another alternate on the team is now also under isolation. But the USA Gymnastics team has told me that the Olympic competitors are continuing

their training and that they have tested in the separate facilities.

But Becky, an incredibly challenging time for everybody involved in these games and these athletes as well.

ANDERSON: What's the atmosphere like?

WANG: Well, I was just here speaking to residents what before it got to be the middle of the night outside of this Olympic Stadium where I am right

now. And there is a mix of excitement and anxiety. A lot of residents telling me that they do want to watch these games on TV, but they're

worried about these rise in COVID-19 cases and increasing number of COVID- 19 cases linked to these games.

But clearly organizers are trying to excite generate this excitement. You see the Tokyo 2020 sides all over the city. Just a couple hours ago there

was actually a drone light display above the Olympic opening and national ceremony stadium. This is assuming, we're assuming that it is a practice

for what we're going to see during those opening or closing ceremonies, but a really stunning grow light display.


But we'll just have to see Becky how public sentiment may or may not turn once these games begin.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. All right. Well, we are keeping tabs on what's happening in the Olympic Village. Thank you Selina.

You can read more about that. Plus find out about the Japanese super fan who spent $40,000, yes $40,000 on Olympic tickets. That is at their website

Right, in just a few hours, King Abdullah of Jordan will be the first Arab leader to visit Joe Biden's White House. The two leaders are expected to

talk about Arab relations with Israel and the situation war torn Syria that is sent more than a million refugees into Jordan. One, it seems that the

list of discussion points actually will be longer than that.

Ben Wedeman joining us now from Beirut. What do we know about this meeting and its significance at this point?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well significant that King Abdullah is the first Arab leader to meet with Joe Biden in the White

House. Like we should remember that actually, in February 2017, King Abdullah was also the first Arab leader to meet with then President Trump.

So just because it gets off to this kind of start is not a guarantee of a good relationship. But we know that King Abdullah knows President Biden

going back many years because of President Biden's position in the U.S. Congress.

Now, as far as what is on the agenda. It's definitely going to reaffirm the key role of Jordan in the region, keeping in mind that during the Trump

years, Jordan, particularly King Abdullah was sort of shunted aside when Trump was engaged in a menage trois with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

of Israel and Crown Prince Abdullah -- Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. The Jordanians were very concerned for instance, last year, when the

Israelis played with the idea of annexing the West Bank.

They finally were persuaded to postpone that. But that still hangs over Jordan's head, as do Saudi ambitions for getting some sort of custodianship

over the Haram esh-Sharif the holy place, the Temple Mount as it's known to Jews in Jerusalem. And of course, at the moment, Jordan has that


So they do want to maintain their central position, Jordan central position in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and in the wider Middle East. Keeping

in mind, of course, the Jordan not only borders Israel, Palestine, but also Syria and Iraq, where the United States is involved in both those countries

are deeply involved. And therefore, Jordan wants to make sure that its position is very clear under this new administration, and it's already

starting to pay fruit last week. The United States deposited $600 million in the Jordanian Treasury as part of a total $1.26 billion aid package for

2021. Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman (INAUDIBLE) story for you out of Beirut today. Thank you, Ben.

Fierce clashes in the Amazon as indigenous tribes fight to keep illegal miners off their lands. Do stay with us. Ahead, how the Brazilian

government is responding.

Past investigators say they helped to former Nissan's executive skip bail, but they couldn't escape the Japanese courts themselves. That story is

coming up.



ANDERSON: Well secretive spyware that was designed to target terrorists and criminals, is instead being used by governments to hack into the cellphones

of journalists, back to this politicians and business leaders. That is what more than a dozen news organizations have discovered. The spyware called

Pegasus is designed by an Israeli firm and is capable of extracting messages, photos and e-mails as well as recording telephone calls.

Now CNN's Hadas Gold is tracking this story from Israel. What do we know at this point?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what this consortium of more than 17 organizations, including news organizations like The Washington Post, The

Guardian Haaretz here in Israel, as well as human rights groups, like Amnesty International say this started from a list of 50,000 phone numbers

that they say was leaked to them, as targets, potential targets for governments that were known to use this Pegasus software, which as you

noted is, is designed by an Israeli firm and is very, very powerful hacking terms.

And, you know, this consortium said that they went through all these numbers and they found that although the software is extensively supposed

to be targeting criminals, terrorists, things like that some numbers on this list belong to people like business executives, politicians, members

of an Arab royal family, human rights groups, as well as journalists, including some journalist for CNN.

Now, they were able to examine several phones they found on 37 phones forensic analysis, found that there was evidence that they had either been

breached by the software or had been targeted by this software. And I should note that CNN has not independently verified this report. But it's

bringing scrutiny back on to this NSO group, which has been in the headlines under the spotlight for similar reports in the past, but also on

the Israeli government, which licenses and allows the software to be exported and used by other governments.

There's questions about whether they should be doing because whether they should be selling this software to other governments, especially if these

governments may be using it for uses that are not for its intended use targeting terrorists and criminals and things like that.

Now, the NSO company is pushing back strongly against this report. A senior source telling CNN that it's a very flimsy report saying that's not even

possible that those 50,000 phone numbers were targets of the NSO software, because they say that their clients only target about 4,000 phone numbers a

year. They also say that they investigate any potential misuse of their software saying that they will investigate if they (INAUDIBLE) --

ANDERSON: All right, I'm going to stop you there. Because -- thank you. Joe Biden is just about to address reporters in Washington. And I just want you

to have a listen to what he says.

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- they're making some pretty bold predictions about how things would turn out. You might remember some

of the predictions that if I became president, we quote, see depression, the likes of which we've never seen end of quote. Well, it's true that the

economy was sputtering before I got here, adding only 60,000 jobs per month, were for three months before I was sworn in.

But now six months later, we've changed that. We've gone from 60,000 jobs per month to 60,000 jobs every three days. More than 600,000 jobs per month

since it took office. More than 3 million new jobs all told. As the fastest growth I'm told at this point, in any administration in history.

Another prediction. That is my favorite one I must add is that if I got elected, I'd bring the end to capitalism. I never understood that one, but

we've heard an awful lot. Well in six months into my administration, the U.S. economy has experienced the highest economic growth rate in nearly 40

years. And we know -- we've -- and now, we knew that we needed to launch a wartime effort to get the American vaccinated and pass a powerful American

rescue plan. We did both those things. And now the forecasters have doubled their projections for growth this year and the economy to 7% or higher.


In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country in the world where growth projections today are stronger they than they were before the pandemic hit.

At the same time, companies across the country give your workers a raise unusual thing. And the number of new unemployment claims has been cut by

more than half since I took office.

And by the way, two weeks ago, I issued a major executive order promoting fair and open competition, which is the cornerstone, the cornerstone of

American capitalism, banning non-compete clauses that suppress workers wages, lowering the price of things like hearing aids, prescription drugs,

internet service, along with dozens of other actions.

Folks, it turns out capitalism is alive and very well. We're making serious progress to ensure that it works the way it's supposed to work for the good

of the American people. So for all those predictions of doom and gloom, six months in, here's where we stand, record growth, record job creation,

workers getting hard earned breaks. Look, we brought this economy back from the brink. And we designed our strategy not only to provide for a temporary

boost, but to lay the foundation for a long term boom, that brings everyone along.

You know, that's why we designed the American Rescue Plan to help not just all those everyone at once, but over the course of a full year and beyond.

So we could help families and small businesses, whether the ups and downs or as economy recovers from a historic pandemic, and I'm -- there going to

be ups and downs.

We saw a great example that just last week, for the first time, monthly payments began going out to nearly every working family raising a child in

the United States of America. Thanks to the Expanded Child Tax Credit and the American Rescue Plan, $300 a month going out for each child under the

age of six, and $250 for every child, six through 17. Every month for the next six months, with more coming in the spring. That money is a game

changer. For some, it's a lifesaver.

Think of the single mom struggling to put food on the table each month. The parent has to tell their kid, I'm sorry, honey, but we can't afford those

dance classes, or the sports team you want to plan this fall. We can't do it. You know, I can't wait for the credit against their taxes to become in

next year as a tax credit. They need cash in their pockets today. For families at least, this money will do the most dramatically reducing child

poverty in America and for --

ANDERSON: Joe Biden addressing reporters with a message of hope for the American economy, record growth record, job creation he says during his

short tenure. It has to be noted on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down some 700 points today as investors seem to be spooked by

continued concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly that of the Delta variant which is causing some concern, as you well know, in countries

around the globe as we see a freedom day here and the lifting of all restrictions in England.

So we see COVID restrictions and regulations being put in place against -- again, in many places around the world as the Delta variant really causes

some concern and that effect, or the potential effect and impact on economies. One of the reasons that that market is lower today on Wall


Well, just days after Richard Branson's historic space flight, Jeff Bezos tries to stake his own claim in the billionaire's space raise. Ahead what

his upcoming flight could mean for space tourism.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I want to just get you a look at what is happening on Wall Street today. The Dow down over 700 points, this has been the State

of Play since the opening on the U.S. market today down some 2%, well this market has had a really good run let's remember that. Dow below 34,000 now

as investors worry about the rising COVID cases caused by the Delta variant and the impact that that Delta variant could have on economic recovery

going forward. So the market off 2%, will keep one eye on that for you.

And -- but as I say, you know we saw this knock at the beginning of play. There as much as 800 points at one point, but Dow stubbornly now below

34,000 today. Some real concerns out there as far as investors are concerned.

Well, about two dozen people at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna in Austria has come down with a mystery illness called the Havana syndrome, as it first

popped up at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. The U.S. State Department is investigating the cause the illness, we are told can cause nausea,

headaches and vertigo.

A Tokyo court had sentence two Americans for helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn skip bail and free Japan in 2014. U.S. Army veteran Michael

Taylor was given two years in prison, his son Peter received a year and eight months. The pair had pleaded guilty last month.

President -- the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has left the Sao Paulo hospital where he was being treated for an intestinal blockage. He had been

hospitalized since Wednesday after suffering abdominal pain and constant hiccups we are told. Officials say he will continue to receive outpatient


About 20 hours from now the world's richest man could become the latest billionaire to reach the edge of space. Jeff Bezos scheduled to launch from

Texas on Tuesday onboard his company's New Shepard spacecraft. Joining him in the 11-minute flight will be his brother and two other crew members.

Now this will be a crucial test for Bezos who's trying to stake his claim in the billionaires Space Race. Last week, Richard Branson completed a

spaceflight zone on his Virgin Galactic (INAUDIBLE).

Kristin Fisher following the story for us, she's live in Texas near the site of that launch.

These billionaires have been criticized somewhat for looking to get these flights done at a time when some say their money could be better spent.

Nevertheless, they are spending this money at present on these launches. And tomorrow's is Jeff Bezos system. How will that be different from

Branson's flight last week?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it'll be different for a few reasons. I mean, unlike a space plane, which is what

Richard Branson was flying, this is going to be a good old fashioned rocket ship that takes off with a booster and the astronauts are inside in a

capsule on the very top. It's also a much shorter flight, but they are going to be going further into space than Richard Branson and his crew did.

Another key distinction here is that Blue Origins New Shepard spacecraft has an abort system, an escape system for these astronauts in case

something goes wrong. And this is really one of the key differences between the two companies that the Blue Origin team has really been trying to

stress. They believe that this capsule and booster system is one of the safest human spaceflight systems if not the safest that's ever been built.

And you have to keep in mind this is coming from Blue Origin but they have proved that to some extent with a series of abort tests where they tested

this escape system on the pad during the most critical part of the flight where the rocket is put under the most stress, and then they tested it one

more time, actually up in orbit, so -- in sub orbit right at the Karman line.


So, Jeff Bezos saying this morning that he feels very confident. But, you know, Becky, as to that question that you had earlier about, you know, all

these billionaires getting into space and people being kind of frustrated that they're spending so much money, so much of their wealth on these types

of projects, instead of fixing all the problems here on Earth. Jeff Bezos addressed that this morning and he said, look, I get it. It's a fair

criticism, but he doesn't understand why he and other wealthy billionaires can't do both.

And big picture here, Becky, this is supposed to be this New Shepard spacecraft, the whole mission of Blue Origin is to start very small with

these suborbital spaceflights space tourism, as they like to call it, and then build to what Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos's big vision is, which is to

essentially protect Planet Earth and move all of the harmful industries mining, energy production in this space, and keep Planet Earth as kind of a

national park or a national planet, so to say.

So, he says he understands the concern and the criticism, but that he believes he's trying to help all of humanity with tomorrow's launch. Becky.

ANDERSON: Well, that's very altruistic position for him, it has to be said. Look, before I let you go, I'm sure there are those watching this, who are

wondering what the market for space tourism really is. And there have been people who have already at least gotten an opportunity to buy tickets. So

whether or not they actually have the time in their schedule to get on board at this point is another question. And what do we know about the

market though going forward? Is it clear at this point?

FISHER: It's the great wildcard here, both the market for Blue Origins, potential customers and Virgin Galactic potential customers. What we know

is that this auction that Blue Origin have where the winning bidder got a seat for $28 million, and then said he couldn't take it for scheduling

conflict. Apparently Blue Origin says that after that auction it generated a ton of interest and support in the program. And they are now planning for

two more crewed launches of the New Shepard spacecraft this year in 2021.

So this is really the advent of space tourism for Blue Origin. I mean, the fact that they are now planning this, two more crewed launches this year,

really says something and now you have the first paying customer and the first crew flight, all happening tomorrow at the very same time, Becky.

ANDERSON: Terrific. Thank you.

For those working with me here in London and our teams around the world and including Kristin is a very good evening, stay safe, stay well. See you

same time tomorrow.

"ONE WORLD" today with Eleni Giokos is next.