Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony in Virtually Empty Stadium; Food Workers in England Exempt from Self-Isolation; Australia Pushes Back on Great Barrier Reef as "In Danger"; U.S. Sanctions Parts of Cuban Regime; Uncertainty for Chinese IPOs on U.S. Markets; Wildfires across the U.S. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 23, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): The opening ceremony for Tokyo 2020 happening as we speak.

You've been pinged: a term everybody in England is familiar with.

But what does that have to do with empty shelves?

That is coming up.

And the Great Barrier Reef is not in danger. That's a win for the Australian government, a loss for environmentalists, battling for more

resources to save what's known as the Amazon of the ocean.


ANDERSON: Well, it's 3:00 pm in London. I'm Becky Anderson, hello and a warm welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

It's one of the most controversial and troubled Olympic Games in history. The opening ceremony for Tokyo 2020 is in the throes of wrapping up as we

speak, with the dark cloud of the COVID pandemic looming overhead.

The stadium that can hold 68,000 is practically empty. About 950 officials and dignitaries are there watching, including Japan's emperor, who met with

the U.S. first lady a few hours ago. Here she is, arriving at the imperial palace.

The pandemic may have dominated the run-up to the games but it hasn't stopped the march of athletic greatness. The first record has been set in

women's archery.

Outside the stadium, protesters reminding the public of the risk of the Olympics in spreading COVID-19 on the official start day. At least 110 new

cases in Japan have been linked to the games and Tokyo reported almost 2,000 new cases, the highest since mid January.

One expert told "CNN SPORT" that polls consistently show 60 to 70 percent of the Japanese public is opposed to the Olympics this year.

Over the course of the games we can expect more than 11,000 athletes to participate across 33 sports and 339 Olympic events held at 43 venues. At

the Paralympics a few weeks from now, there's expected to be more than 4,000 athletes participating in 22 sports.

The Olympics getting five new sports this year, the classic Japanese martial art karate one of them. Skateboarding will also make its debut, as

will surfing. Sport climbing will include bouldering and speed climbing categories.

And there will be baseball for male athletes and softball for female athletes. Those haven't been played since the 2008 Summer Games. Coy Wire

has more on the sports achievements or potential achievements at these games.

But first let's get to the COVID situation; the opening ceremony, of course, much scaled back.

Selina, you are there.

What is the mood like?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, from our vantage point outside of the national stadium, we saw moments of fireworks and a drone light display

of planet Earth. But that being overshadowed by protesters, chanting for hours during the Olympic opening ceremony, only now starting to clean up.

A major crowd with a large group of police surrounding them, calling for these games to be cancelled. This is as there's still major opposition to

the games in Japan as COVID-19 cases are surging. About 20 percent of the population is fully vaccinated here. A lot of frustration this celebration

is still going ahead.

I spoke to bystanders who had mixed emotions. Some said they're just trying to get as close to the action as possible. One woman told me she bought

dozens of tickets for the events and is sad she can't go to the competitions.

And others said it should be a somber time, not a time to have a global sporting event and that this should have been delayed yet again.

ANDERSON: It hasn't been. And the games go on, as it were.

Coy, just talk us through those that we should be watching out for.

Who are the big stars in Tokyo this year?

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a good question because there are a lot of big names missing: Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps not in for the first

time forever. But Caeleb Dressel, Team U.S. swimmer, could step in as a breakout star.


WIRE: If you could put the speed of Usain Bolt and the power of a bull into a shark it would come out looking like Caeleb Dressel. He's already

broken one of Phelps' world records.

How about Simone Biles? The women are holding it down. Won five medals in her debut in Rio, four of them gold, looking to become the first woman to

win back-to-back all around titles in 53 years.

Naomi Osaka, representing Japan, highest paid female athlete in the world, 23 years old, four time Grand Slam champ, hasn't played in a competitive

match since withdrawing from the French Open in May, citing mental health concerns.

And Novak Djokovic looking to be the first man to complete the golden slam, winning all four tennis majors and Olympic gold in the same year. He's

already won the first three majors but he'd have to beat two-time defending Olympic champ Andy Murray if he wants to complete that slam.

Who are you looking forward to watching?

ANDERSON: I'm looking forward to seeing Murray back. He had a good run at Wimbledon a couple of weeks ago and it's good to see him back from what was

some horrendous injuries.

So I'm just looking forward to the games beginning. I think -- you know, I think the first Olympics I watched was back in the early '70s. So I treat

this as a real opportunity every time they are on. And there are some new events. Just walk us through what we can expect.

WIRE: Yes, well, you know, you showed some of them there. And then karate, in the birthplace of karate, how perfect is that?

Surfing, you have Brazil's Gabriel Medina shredding. And as skateboarding, Sky Brown, born here in Japan, ranked third in the world. And sport

climbing, there will be 20 women and 20 men.

Watch out for Czech Republic's Adam Andre, five time world champ. All the athletes looking to climb to the pinnacle of their careers here at the

Olympic Games.

ANDERSON: Selina, the Japanese emperor met with the first lady, Jill Biden, and met with a group of delegates on Thursday.

What did he have to say?

We've been talking about how the Japanese public is surely watching his reaction to these games very closely, given the atmosphere in the lead-up.

What are the details?

WANG: Becky, all of the officials have been trying to spark (sic) a tone that balances both the nature of the pandemic and all the lives that have

been lost, trying to balance that with the fact that Japan has spent so long preparing for this, years.

More than $15 billion, it's supposed to be a source of national pride. And Japan is no stranger to hosting the Summer Games. They hosted the 1964

Olympics, which was seen as Japan's post World War II coming-out party, a way to show its economic revitalization, how innovative the economy was,

the country was. And that was what they intended 2020 to be.

ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you.

The games officially underway as the opening ceremony closes out, as the athletes take center stage then.

Japan itself is in the global spotlight. Dr. Sanjay Gupta now with a look at the challenges it faces hosting an Olympics like no other. Have a look

at this.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was never going to be easy. The Olympic Games in the middle of a pandemic, in a city now in a

state of emergency. The usual fanfare, muted, making way for concerns over COVID-19.

While it's true that no country in the world was really prepared for this pandemic, Japan fared better than most. They're an island nation. It wasn't

hard to get people to isolate. People wore masks without much difficulty.

And they also have hundreds of these, Hokinjos (ph). Think of them like hundreds of CDCs all over the country.

I spoke with the director of one of these Hokinjos, Dr. Itaru Nishizuka.

DR. ITARU NISHIZUKA, DIRECTOR, SUMIDA HEALTH CENTER (through translator): We have been preparing for seven years to prevent risks for the Tokyo


GUPTA: According to a poll, about 80 percent of residents here in Japan did not want the Olympics to happen here at this time. What about you?

What do you think?

NISHIZUKA: In 1964, the last Tokyo Olympics, because Japan lost the war, the games worked as an opportunity for us to come back. In this Olympics,

we have Fukushima.


GUPTA: He's talking about the nuclear disaster triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake that claimed nearly 20,000 lives.

But coronavirus has been a different type of disaster, putting constant pressure on Japan to battle rising infections and to get vaccines into arms

as fast as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The coronavirus cases may rise or fall. So we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.

GUPTA: Cancelling the Olympics at this point seems inconceivable. But there is one thing Dr. Nishizuka does worry about.

NISHIZUKA: I think Japan can be rated as "C" for its measure against COVID-19.

GUPTA: He says while there are 400 ICU beds in Tokyo, only half are available for COVID-19 patient. That, combined with the rising number of

cases and hospitalizations, doesn't leave a lot of room for a surge in a city of 14 million.

Is there any criteria by which you would start to become concern?

DR. BRIAN MCCLOSKEY, COVID-19 ADVISER TO THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: Sure. Mostly what we look at is changes in patterns. Say if we

started to see infection in people who weren't part of a close contact group, if we started to see a rising number of cases, if we started to see

the cases doubling more rapidly than we thought.

And particularly if we started to see cases appearing in the local population that seemed to be linked back into the village or vice versa.

GUPTA: So far, that hasn't happened.

But for the head of the World Health Organization, the Olympics is a balance -- the physical health of a nation versus the mental health of the


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: May the message of hope resound, resound from Tokyo, around the world, in every nation,

every village and every heart.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: And a lot more on the games up to the minute coverage on the website, The games have begun.

Here in England where I am for now, instead of our home base in Abu Dhabi, we're getting a grip on the Delta variant, which is causing all kinds of

complications, forcing hundreds of thousands of workers to stay at home, leaving many supermarket shelves looking empty.

The U.K. government is taking action to keep the supply chains moving. It's making at least 10,000 key workers exempt from self-isolation after a

record number of people were pinged by the NHS test and trace app.

It's been named the ping-demic. It comes when British prime minister Boris Johnson promises a return to some kind of normal life after the end of

months of lockdown. Freedom Day was Monday. Scott McLean is standing by for us here in London.

Freedom Day, it was called by many of its supporters, the day that most restrictions were lifted, only for something like 20 percent of the

workforce, certainly in London, to be pinged and told they had come into contact with somebody with COVID and they must self-isolate.

This was causing real problems. We have heard there are some exemptions to this.

How will these exemptions work and who are they for?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So I mean, with this volume of people being pinged by the app or contacted by the test and trace system, you are

bound to have problems.

Obviously people in the food processing sector, retail sector, they are more likely to come in contact with the virus as these case counts continue

to rise across the country for one simple reason.

That's because they can't work from home. So this is bound to cause issues in the industry and it is. The government itself estimates, talking 15-20

percent of the workforce in the food processing and retail sector is going to be affected.

One example: the meat processing industry says about 5 percent to 10 percent of its employees are affected by this as well. And if those numbers

get any higher, companies are going to have to start shutting down entire lines.

So clearly there was a need for the government to do something here, Becky, but obviously they needed to be careful or wanted to be careful to make

sure it wasn't a broad exemption because that would involve a lot of people and make the system pointless.

They said about 500 key sites get an exemption under certain circumstances impacting around 10,000 workers, give or take, to allow them to go to work.

And it's not every sector and not everyone is happy with it.

Think grocery stores, food processing plants, dairy, bread, things like that, those are the industries they want to make sure are exempt from this.

Not talking about grocery store retail employees; that's another day, if it comes at all.


MCLEAN: The government said people who keep the lights on, keep the trains running, work in the health care sector, if they can produce a negative

test, if they've been double vaccinated, they can also be exempt under certain circumstances. Again, it's not a free-for-all by any stretch.

ANDERSON: We spoke to the head of the Confederation of British Industry on this show yesterday, who was calling for exactly this action. He said that

the U.K. government needs to keep this economy moving.

So I'm sure he'll be delighted to see there have been these exemptions today. He made the point that, because the vaccine rollout had been so

efficient here in England, that there was potential for this economy to bounce back and bounce back quickly.

Let's just remind ourselves where we are at with regard to vaccinations and, indeed, the concerns that people here have about the data on the Delta


MCLEAN: So, Becky, look, the U.K. was once the envy of the world when it came to the vaccine rollout. It was lightning fast; the government had the

supply and made a key decision at the time, putting a 12-week gap between the first and second dose, which allowed more people to get some level of

protection, which was good against the original strain of the virus or the U.K. strain of the virus.

There is a big difference with the Delta variant and that's one dose of the vaccine is effective, it's quite effective at preventing hospitalizations

and deaths but not very effective in preventing actual transmission of the virus.

So what you have here is many of those rules about the 12-week gap are still very much in place, even if you have go to a walk-up vaccination site

in London, they're, in most cases, insisting you have eight weeks between.

So there's a lot of people who would like to get that second shot sooner but are not able to, which seems a little bit counterintuitive to a lot of

people, considering this virus is ripping through younger parts of the population.

Under 50s make up the majority of people now showing up at hospitals and 95 percent of them, according to the latest data, Becky, were not vaccinated

or were just partially vaccinated.

And as you saw in the chart as well, the rate of vaccination is starting to slow, the number they're giving every day, so they need to get more shots

in arms if they want to turn things around.

ANDERSON: That is a problem that confronts many governments, of course, around the world, not least the government in Italy, for example. That's

where we go next. Scott, thank you.

Italy has a plan to encourage more people to get vaccinated. It's requiring a green pass to go into venues like gyms, stadiums or restaurants. You can

only get a green pass with proof of vaccination or a recent negative test or if you've recently recovered from COVID.

The mandate goes into effect on August 6th. This is not the first time we have seen this initiative in Europe. We see a similar thing in France,

Barbie Nadeau has the details.

Just walk us through what this green pass entails and what sort of response it's getting from the public, if you will.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Italy has seen a five- fold increase in cases in the last couple weeks, tied that to the European soccer celebrations here, the opening of tourism.

People don't want to reclose the economy and go back to lockdown. So the green pass is seen for many as the only way to keep the virus at bay and

not punish the local economies and local businesses.

There has been some opposition to it. In fact, tomorrow, Saturday, they're expecting some demonstrations across the country against the green pass.

For the most part, people say, if you're vaccinated, have a negative test, you should be able to enjoy things. If not, stay home or get a vaccination.

One of the things that's interesting, though, after the government passed this last night the reservation system for vaccinations was completely

blocked because people were hurrying to get vaccinated. They don't want to have to spend money on a test to go to a restaurant and things like that.

In the end, you look at how far Italy has come. This was the first epicenter of the pandemic early on. They suffered so much. This would be

the fourth wave if it takes off at the pace it's going right now with the Delta variant.

The green pass really for so many entities is the only way forward. It's the only way to get back to normal and the only way to pressure people into

getting a vaccination. Vaccinations here still aren't at the level as other countries. Some is because there's mixed messaging on the AstraZeneca


It makes people nervous about getting the vaccine. But the green pass, the government says, is the way forward, the way to get out of this.

ANDERSON: Barbie Nadeau is in Italy for you. Thank you.

One of the world's most stunning marine ecosystems is at risk from climate change.


ANDERSON: So why is the Australian government fighting with the U.N. over protecting the Great Barrier Reef?

Coming up we learned a major decision that could impact the reef's health in the future.

And, yes, you are seeing firefighters battling fires from a moving train. From the western United States to Siberia, fires rage across hundreds of

thousands of hectares at incredible speed. More on that in our next hour.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, stay with us.




ANDERSON: Te future of Australia's Great Barrier Reef now in peril from climate change and other threats. We learned the UNESCO, the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, will not designate this stunning marine ecosystem as in danger.

Environment groups and celebrities had supported the recommendation. They say it's a way to bring more focus and resources to the reef. But

Australia's government pushed back hard on what it saw as a political hit to the reef's recognition as a World Heritage Site.

This ecosystem contributes more than $6 billion to Australia's economy a year, much of it, of course, in tourism. Anna Coren is joining us now with

the details and what it means for the future of this fragile ecosystem.

That's ultimately what we should be discussing here. But this has been the Australian government's cynical lobbying environmentalists say in their

objection to the designation of this in danger listing. Explain what's going on here.

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Look, UNESCO wanted this listing as in danger, basically to shine a spotlight on this fragile, delicate

ecosystem, like the Amazon of the ocean. It is just this incredible living infrastructure, the largest living infrastructure in the world, the largest

coral reef in the world.

This can be seen from space. So basically UNESCO said it's not improving; we know it's in decline. We know there's scientific evidence to suggest it

is under threat from climate change. We need to act now.

The Australian government pushed back. They launched this fierce lobbying campaign, sending the environment minister around the world on this eight-

day trip, spending taxpayer dollars, carbon emissions, to basically secure votes.

And that is what she did. When the World Heritage committee met today under the umbrella of UNESCO, they agreed not to list one of the seven natural

wonders in the world as in danger.


COREN: Why did Australia fight so hard and go to all this effort when, really, it seems like such a good idea to throw resources at something that

is suffering?

The reason being is that Australia is a huge producer of coal and of gas. It is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels. It is one of the largest

carbon emitters per capita in the world.

As far as climate change policies go, they are virtually nonexistent. This is something the Australian government has basically denied until the bush

fires last year, when they realized that climate change is actually a thing.

So here you have the Great Barrier Reef that runs 2,300 kilometers long. As you say, for the tourism industry, it provides $6 billion to the economy,

employs 64,000 people. But they're not so much focused on that as they are on the fossil fuel industry and on the mining industry and on saving their


So basically, Becky, it's a win for the Australian government, the fossil fuel government. It's a tragedy for the Great Barrier Reef. We know the

Australian government has to put together a report to UNESCO by February of next year to say what they are doing, what measures they put in place to

save the reef.

UNESCO has to go to the reef. The Australian government did say they never visited the reef before deciding it should be listed as in danger. But a

win for the Australian government, the fossil fuel industry, a disaster for the Great Barrier Reef.

ANDERSON: So are we saying here that while environmentalists are really extremely anguished by this, the Australian government, to a certain

extent, is on probation here with this opportunity for UNESCO monitoring going forward?

COREN: Yes, look, I think that's a fair call. I'm obviously very passionate about this, being Australian, wishing that my government would

take this much more seriously. But I think you're absolutely right.

The government is on probation. They have to prove what they are doing to preserve this natural wonder. I think it should be noted, though, Becky,

that UNESCO wanted to place the reef on the endangered list back in 2014. Australia fought it then.

Since then there have been three mass bleachings over the past five years. So now parts of the reef are dead. So this is what happens when you don't

give it the attention that it needs.

Yes, the Australian government said we spent billions in look looking after the reef but it needs more and perhaps if it were placed on the endangered

list it would have got that help.

ANDERSON: Anna, always a pleasure. Thank you.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, it is no surprise that a crackdown on Cuban protests irritates the U.S. They're angry about it on

behalf of the protesters. But now the Biden administration at least say they are doing something about it. Coming up, how effective or ineffective

these new measures might be.

And a new report says, as COVID declines, terrorism will rise around the globe. How the two are connected after this.





ANDERSON: After a year-long delay the Tokyo Olympic Games have officially begun. Fireworks over the stadium marked the beginning of the games that

were postponed for a year. Still dealing with that pandemic's effects. Many fans viewing these fireworks like you are, outside the stadium, since no

spectators are allowed in the venues.

Some athletes are not in the stadium, either, being diagnosed with COVID- 19. More on that story at

The U.S. imposes new sanctions on parts of the Cuban regime following massive protests in the island nation. U.S. President Joe Biden said the

sanctions are just the beginning and now Havana has responded. Patrick Oppmann with the details.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Biden administration slapped new sanction on Cuba and Cuban officials aren't wasting any time, firing back.

On Thursday, President Biden announced there will be sanctions on Cuba's defense minister and special brigade of Cuban troops.

These are special force troops. They dressed all black. They are known as the Avispas Negras or the Black Wasps. They're highly trained and highly


The Cuban government has sent them in the streets, something you usually don't see here, to deter protesters from again going out and calling for

liberty, calling for change, and calling for better conditions and less shortages.

The Cuban government doesn't seem like they are going to be deterred at any way by these new sanctions. Cuba's foreign minister tweeting out that the

U.S. should sanction itself for all the police violence that takes place in the United States, he said.

So, while the Biden administration is certainly hoping that sanctions and threats of more sanctions could force the Cuban government to allow these

protests to go forward, already the Cuban government is saying they won't have any impact -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


ANDERSON: Shares of the Chinese ride hailing company DiDi took a nosedive, losing over 11 percent as Bloomberg News reports that China is considering

penalties against the company. It's been in Beijing's crosshairs ever since it went up in New York last month.

Before that IPO, 2021 was shaping up to be a huge year for Chinese listings in the U.S. But as Clare Sebastian reports, those expectations are now



CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the spring of 2019, China's answer to

Starbucks opened trading in New York, Luckin Coffee promising to convert millions of Chinese tea lovers with low prices and high-tech convenience.

RYAN COHEN, U.S. INVESTOR: It was just so attractive because on per sor (ph) basis, its market capital was very low.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Then 23-year-old Ryan Cohen, a finance professional in Ohio, was sold.

COHEN: I saw it as the opportunity to get in early on a very fast growing company. And China, for me, has always been sort of a, like a, an untapped


SEBASTIAN: For years, American investors have flocked to Chinese companies listing in the U.S. as an easy way to own a piece of China's fast-growing

consumer market. And for years, China has resisted complying with the requirement of public companies here that the U.S. be allowed to inspect

the accounting firms that (INAUDIBLE) these companies.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Everybody has to comply with that rule. American companies, British companies, Malaysian companies, Turkmenistan companies -

- except one: Chinese companies. They just say no.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Compliance with that rule may not have prevented what happened next with Luckin Coffee.

SEBASTIAN: It turned out that the company had fabricated sales to the tune of about $310 million.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): An accounting scandal that eventually led to its delisting, a bankruptcy filing and big losses for U.S. investors, like Ryan


COHEN: Luckin really came to the market, got a bunch of capital from its IPO and then just sort of left.


COHEN: And it left a lot of American investors like holding the bag.

KENNEDY: Now I have a bill. It's very simple.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): It did though help spur action in Congress. Last December, then president Trump signed the Holding Foreign Companies

Accountable Act, forcing companies from countries which wouldn't allowed audit inspections for three consecutive years to be delisted.

Right now China is the only one. The SEC is still figuring out how to enforce the law.

DANIEL GOELZER, PUBLIC COMPANY ACCOUNTING OVERSIGHT BOARD: It has always been clear that the situation of unexpected auditors in one country just

couldn't go on.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And if the U.S. regulators don't deter Chinese listings, Chinese regulators might. Two days after Chinese's ride-hailing

giant DiDi went public, it was hit with a cybersecurity review in China. Then it was kicked off app stores.

PAUL TRIOLO, EURASIA GROUP: They're handling huge amounts of data that is increasingly being considered sensitive by the Chinese government.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): China has now proposed requiring all large tech companies that want to list overseas to undergo a cybersecurity review. And

all of this complicated by tensions between the U.S. and China.

TRIOLO: DiDi, the recent events here have sort of given ammunition to those really in Congress, for example, the China hawks in Congress, who

really want to accelerate this process and they're saying, this is not good for U.S. investors.

But if it looks like the relationship is sort of going further south, then I would say that the Chinese government may decide that, hey, why should we

agree to auditing of our companies?

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): It is clear after years of a fragile but mutually beneficial status quo, something has to give. And investors could be caught

in the middle -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


ANDERSON: In China, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated. Floodwaters like these have overwhelmed towns and villages. And rescue

crews are struggling to reach those still stranded.

And why the head of the World Food Programme said the money the billionaires are spending on the space race could be much better spent on

the ground. Stay with us.




ANDERSON: In many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, wildfires are scorching areas that rarely burned before. Tom Sater reports that the

impacts of the climate crisis and more intense weather systems are being felt and seen around the world.


TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): This is known as one of the world's coldest cities. Now wildfires near Russia's Siberia blanket the

area in smoky haze.

From above, Russian military drop water, hoping to douse the flames below, as they tear through some 800,000 hectares of forest.


SATER (voice-over): In the western U.S., firefighters also taking measures to battle ongoing wildfires, dousing tracks and surrounding the area with

water from a moving train in hopes of stopping the northern California Dixie fire from spreading.

For the north, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon is growing with incredible speed, becoming so intense it's creating its own weather formation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is very clear is that no corner of our state is immune to fire. On the West Coast and here in Oregon, the urgent and

dangerous climate crisis has exacerbated conditions on the ground.

SATER (voice-over): Canada, the western U.S. and Russia all fighting massive fires. All seeing firsthand what scientists have warned about for


According to Copernicus climate change service those regions all experienced a drier than average June, turning their forests to tinder

boxes. Now fires raging in those regions are releasing environment polluting aerosols into the air, one of the ways the blazes could be

accelerating global warming as once periodic wildfires become more frequent and extreme than ever before -- Tom Sater, CNN.


ANDERSON: Before I get you your sports news, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories on our radar right now.

Growing scrutiny over China's human rights record. Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Tibet as president. state media reporting the Chinese leader

made a stop this week at the traditional of Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual leader but the Dalai Lama remains in exile and Beijing's control over Tibet

has tightened in recent years.

Using heavy equipment and makeshift rafts, emergency workers are struggling to search cars and buildings for those stranded by deadly floods. More than

three quarters of a million people have now been affected as sea waters begin to recede. First responders are trying to deliver food to those still


And shares in Indian food delivery company Zomato are soaring as they make their debut on the Mumbai stock exchange opinion. It's India's first

billion dollar tech startup to go public. The stock has jumped up about 80 percent in its first day, generating around $13 billion.

As we've been reporting, the Tokyo Summer Olympics are finally officially underway. The pomp and circumstance all there for the opening ceremonies.

What wasn't there were the massive crowds that would otherwise be filling the venue.

A small crowd of less than 1,000 spectators were on hand to watch these Olympic athletes do their rounds.