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Connect the World
Japan's Emperor Naruhito Meets with U.S. First Lady; United Nation Warns of Growing Jihadist Threats; World Food Programme Calls on Space Billionaires for Help; COVID Cases on the Rise in Turkey; W.H.O.: Worried About COVID in Countries in Humanitarian Crisis; Funeral Held for Slain President as Tensions Flare. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 23, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome back. You are watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson; it is 4:00 pm in London. And the 2020
Olympic Games, as they are known are now officially underway.
Moments ago the final torch bearers pass the flame to tennis star, Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic Cauldron. The flame itself has been flickering
since the lighting ceremony in March of 2020. Just before the games of course were postponed.
The stadium which can hold 68,000 people was practically empty due to COVID regulations. About 950 officials and dignitaries were the only people there
in person watching that included Japan's emperor who met with the US First Lady a few hours ago.
Here she is arriving at the Imperial Palace. Well, the Pandemic may have dominated the run up to these games, but it hasn't stopped the march of
athletic greatness. And the first record for this year's games has been set by An San of South Korea in women's archery.
Well outside the stadium where that flame was lit and where we saw the opening ceremony protesters reminding the public of the risk of the
Olympics in spreading COVID-19 on the official start date. At least 110 new cases in Japan have been linked to the games.
And Tokyo itself reporting almost 2000 new cases is the highest since mid- January. One expert told CNN's Sport, the polls consistently shows 60 to 80 percent of the Japanese public is opposed to the Olympics this year.
Well, despite that they have started and over the course of the games, we can expect more than 11,000 athletes to participate across 33 sports and
there will be 339 Olympic events held at 43 venues the Paralympics will follow.
A few weeks from now there is expected to be more than 4000 athletes participating across 22 sports and the games getting five new sports this
year. The classic Japanese martial art karate is one skateboarding will also make its debut as well as surfing and sport climbing will include
bouldering and speed climbing categories.
And there will be baseball for male athletes and softball for female athletes which have not been played since 2008 summer games. Selina Wang is
in Tokyo. This has been a game that's been overshadowed by COVID. And you and I have talked long and hard about that and rightly so.
But let's just talk about the fact that this ceremony has ended the torch has been of the cauldron at least has been lit by Naomi Osaka and despite
protests outside of that, Stadium, athletes certainly that CNN are talking to are looking forward to getting on with these games, Selina.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very much mixed feelings mixed emotions for everybody involved in these games, Becky .We did see some beautiful moments
during that opening ceremony. And from outside we saw the stunning fireworks we saw about 1800 drones in the sky forming a globe there was
It was also incredible to see the parade of athletes during this Pandemic. Of course, only a fraction of the athletes for many countries could be
there. But it was a moment of unity. At least that's what officials hoped.
But Becky as we've been talking about still major public opposition to these games and that opening ceremony partially overshadowed by the loud
chanting of protesters who for hours were calling for these games to be canceled.
I was speaking to bystanders Becky and they had a sense that it's just not the right time for celebration for a festival with just about 20 percent of
the population in Japan fully vaccinated. COVID-19 cases surging in Tokyo and the people in the host city urge to stay at home and watch the Olympics
on TV, Becky.
ANDERSON: The First Lady is there. She will be wishing the best to the U.S. Olympic team, I'm sure all competitors who are there. She has spoken with
the Japanese Emperor. Do we have any further details of what was discussed?
WANG: Well, we know that Jill Biden is having this first solo trip abroad meeting with the Prime Minister, Prime Minister's wife, the Emperor it's a
five day trip. We know that the Emperor also at the opening ceremony he gave a quick speech to kick off the games but notably he dropped the word
WANG: But we have seen a great show of the strong ally ship between the U.S. and Japan over the past several months with Suga visiting Biden and
other U.S. delegations coming here to Japan. So this Jill Biden coming to the Olympics during such a challenge time another show of that ally ship,
ANDERSON: Selina Wang is in Tokyo for you. And we are looking at images there of that stadium as the fireworks was shown at that opening ceremony,
just before that Will Ripley, thank you Selina to the skies over Tokyo. To get this bird's eye view of the host city, have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taking off, it really hits you. Hosting the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games is a massive logistical challenge.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is one of the biggest cities in the world. Every single direction you look in, the skyline is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One building really stands out. Tokyo's $1.5 billion Olympic Stadium.
RIPLEY (voice over): Right now we're flying over the centerpiece of Tokyo 2020 almost 70,000 seats in that stadium, nearly all of them empty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Olympics first ever spectator band a dramatically scaled down opening ceremony. Organizers say only about 950 VIPs attending,
including U.S. First Lady Jill Biden. We get a closer look on the ground.
RIPLEY (voice over): This is as close as most Japanese are able to get to their Olympic Stadium. Police have shut down surrounding roads and even
fenced off the perimeter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For everyday folks, this is their only shot at seeing the Olympics up close.
RIPLEY (voice over): Public opinion poll show Japanese overwhelmingly don't want the games to go forward but wouldn't know it looking at these long
lines of people who are waiting to take selfies in front of the Olympic rings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm worried about the Olympic bubble. It's not perfect, but I want to cheer on the athletes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That bubble to protect athletes from COVID-19. A small but growing number of athletes are testing positive even inside the Olympic
POPPY STARR OLSEN, AUSTRALIAN SKATEBOARDER: So excited to go to Tokyo, but I'm also like terrified the fact that the fly all the way there and then
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Athletes are tested for COVID daily asked to ride five days before competing and leave two days after. From above you can see how
packed it is.
RIPLEY (voice over): Some 18000 athletes and officials will be staying in those buildings out there you can see a lot of their national flags on the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the Olympic venues are here in Tokyo, Japan invested billions only to have fake crowd noise echoing through all those
RIPLEY (voice over): This is going to be in Olympics like none other and the world is watching. They want to see if Japan can pull this off in the
middle of a Pandemic in the middle of a state of emergency without the Olympics turning into a super spreader event. Will Ripley's CNN flying
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You can climb up to the minute coverage of the games on our website at CNN.com/Olympics. Well the U.N. has a stark warning. Lebanon's
water supply is getting close to total collapse.
More than 4 million people are now at risk of losing access to save water the U.N. says and time is running out. UNICEF estimates most water pumping
across the country will gradually stop in the next four to six weeks. And if that happens, the cost for water could skyrocket 200 percent.
And this is just adding more pressure on what is Lebanon's already battered economy. Ben Wedeman is there in the capital of Beirut and he joins us
live. This warning from the U.N. may have shocked those who are watching. Ben, does it shock you?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't and really what we are seeing is what happens when a country which until a few years
ago was considered one of those with one of the higher standards of living in the Arab world is slowly falling apart. It's not because Lebanon lacks
for water resources.
It's actually well-endowed with water resources, but when you don't have the fuel to pump the water when you don't or you don't have the money to
buy the fuel to pump the water.
When you don't have the money to maintain the water system, apparently 40 percent of the water is being lost because the system, the water system
isn't well maintained.
When you don't have the money to buy chlorine to keep the water clean, this is what happens. This is just the latest Part of Lebanon's creaking
infrastructure that is slowly falling apart.
WEDEMAN: We have perennial fuel shortages. There are yet again, long lines outside Lebanon's petrol stations; we have power cuts running up to 20
hours, 22 hours a day. I hear in Beirut, the diesel, the Association of Diesel Owners, which provide sort of the difference between state power and
They say that they're going to shut off because they don't have the money to buy the fuel for the generator. So almost everywhere you look life as
people knew it two years ago here in Lebanon, is coming apart.
ANDERSON: We shouldn't stop being shocked. But the fact that this is now not surprising, and is remarkable, really, isn't it at this stage. Look,
what is going on in order to try and get a government together and to try and stabilize the situation at this point?
WEDEMAN: Well, you recall, Becky that last Thursday, Saad Hariri, who was the Prime Minister designate has stepped down. He is not he is no longer in
Now increasingly, there is talk that Lebanon's political class which is largely unaffected by the crises that are impacting ordinary Lebanese day
by day have understand that they really need to get their act together and form a government as quickly as possible because they are under threat from
EU European Union sanctions if they don't form a government soon.
So over the last 24 hours, there have been more and more reports in speculation that Najib Mikati who is Lebanon's richest man, a multi
billionaire from the northern city of Tripoli, may be tipped to form a government.
Prior to the fourth of August, which will be the first anniversary of the Beirut port blast that killed more than 200 people wounded more than 6000
and rendered the heart of the city basically in ruins.
And so there is pressure on the political elite within themselves among themselves to get a government together so they at least can avoid the
discomfort of coming under EU sanctions whether this will actually work we'll have to wait and see. But I think even the elite understand that they
cannot continue to fiddle as Beirut burns. Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman is in Beirut for you today. Ben, thank you when we come back. The Pandemic kept some terror groups in check but they are now
making a comeback. The details of a very scary UN report on Johannes in just a moment.
Banners Jeff Bezos blasted off to the edge of space earlier this week. Some saw him burning money that could be better used on the ground a
conversation about spending priorities after this.
ANDERSON: With the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaching. A new U.N. report says terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS
are again on the rise. Jihadist gaining more followers in Africa and are growing more powerful in Afghanistan, Nic Robertson has the details for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): COVID-19 travel and other restrictions have kept International Islamic terror threats at bay. A new
U.N. report reveals that it hasn't killed that threat.
EDMUND FITTON-BROWN, U.N. MONITORING TEAM COORDINATOR: One of the things that we highlight in the report that's just come out is the possibility
that the relaxation of lockdowns might mean that some pre planned attacks can then take place.
ROBERTSON (voice over): The report 20 years after al Qaeda's horrific 911 attacks reveals a world of growing jihadist threats and waning efforts to
counter them. From Somalia in East Africa, where U.S. force is backing the government left this year.
Al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab is spreading its brand of violence south into Kenya, other Al Qaeda affiliates making gains through the sahale region of
Africa too. Meanwhile in Central and West Africa, ISIS is strengthening crossing borders from Mali into Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, and Nisha
Senegal and from Nigeria into Cameroon.
In Nigeria, the death of an Al Qaeda affiliated leader as ISIS affiliated fighters surrounded him likely makes the ISIS affiliate the biggest outside
FITTON-BROWN: Part of their vision of these regional structures is that these will enable them to increase the interoperability of their global
network and ultimately, to mount a more effective threat in particularly in the West.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Another risk gaining momentum, the birthplace of the 911 attacks, Afghanistan. Although it is too soon for the report to
conclude the impact of the Taliban's recent gains and the U.S. drawdown, one member state estimates ISIS, who claimed a rocket attack narrowly
missing Afghan leaders.
Attending prayers in the Capitol Tuesday to have 500 to 1500 fighters and be focusing on the Capitol Kabul. And Al Qaeda, who U.S. forces chased from
the country after 911 now have a presence in at least 15 of the country's 34 provinces are fighting alongside the Taliban and appear to be counting
on a Military victory.
FITTON-BROWN: That gives them time in which to stabilize to continue to use Afghanistan as a platform. And then in the longer term to review whether
it's possible to use it as a platform also for international attacks.
ROBERTSON (voice over): 20 years on from the 911 attacks. Al Qaeda is then number two. Now its Chief Ayman al-Zawahiri is thought to be unwell is
expected replacement Saif Al-Adel the report says is in Iran, likely assessing if Afghanistan is safe for his return. Nic Robertson, CNN,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well many of the places where Jihadist groups are on the rise are also places where conflict is fueled famine and poverty. Major problems
there are some very real client's right here on Earth.
That's why some frankly find it disgusting over the past couple of weeks that billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, have taken expensive
trips to space.
Now to be fair, when Bezos returned from his 11 minute flight, he announced a pair of huge charitable gifts including $100 million donation to world
central kitchen. David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN's World Food Programme congratulated Jeff Bezos on his flight.
But also urged he to remain focused on earth bound issues writing and I "I can only imagine how incredible it was to see our planet from above. We're
all one human race. The sky is no longer the limit now. Let's go end hunger together. Earth needs you", he tweeted. Jeff Bezos and David Beasley joins
us now live.
ANDERSON: Before we get to your appeal to these space billionaires, our viewers have just seen a report suggesting that parts of Africa, David, are
fertile ground for Islamic terror networks. This is not unfamiliar to you.
You've one time and again at the risk of conflict causing famine and poverty and providing these fertile grounds for the very organization's
that Nic was reporting on what does a post COVID world look like in terms of hunger?
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Becky, it's hard to believe how bad it is. And we're talking about literally famines of
biblical proportions knocking on our door. I said that last year, but the world stepped up last year, international leaders in so many different
And so we averted massive famine last year. But we thought COVID would be in our rearview mirror and the economies would start roaring again.
Unfortunately COVID recycled and the economic deterioration and supply chain disruption, pop up manmade conflict, like what you were referring to
the extremist groups as we look at Yemen, et cetera, et cetera compounded by climate change.
We're now looking Becky from a year ago, right before COVID we had 135 million people marching to the brink of starvation. Today, because of
COVID, 270 million people and Becky out of that 41 million people are knocking on famous door as we speak. And we need money and we needed now.
ANDERSON: Let's just remind ourselves, you and I have talked at length about the situation in Yemen. We've talked at length about the situation in
the Tigray region of Ethiopia. One of the worst famine spots on Earth right now is Madagascar; you've spent a lot of time there.
We heard from a woman, who is struggling to feed her family, I want our viewers to have a listen. And then I want you to please tell me what can be
done to help folks like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMARIA, FANDIOVA RESIDENT: It's been eight months that my children and I have been eating this - every day. And exclusively, because we have nothing
else to eat, no rain to allow us to harvest what we have sown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That is the situation in Madagascar, David.
BEASLEY: Becky, you know, and I was just in Madagascar and you and I talked about this goal, we should go and we're reaching half of the people we need
to reach. And that means half the people are getting nothing that need to be reached.
And guess what the half that we are reaching, we're only giving them half rations. How would you like to tell your little child that, hey, you're
only going to eat, get half the food you need. I was just talking to my daughter who's expecting her first child, literally in a few weeks.
And she was like, Dad, what's going on with these children. You got to reach these children; the billionaire's and people must step up you it was
her maternal instinct that we got to take care of our children. In my own daughter said, Dad, we got to do more.
So Becky, what's happened in Madagascar is climate change and climate change alone. But as you were talking about earlier, particularly in areas
of conflict and extremist groups, you know, we need about 115 million people on any given day, week or month right now.
And when you feed that many people, you know what's going on in the neighborhood. And we've been we've been literally pounding the drums
jumping up and down for several years now that you can't neglect these areas.
And now COVID comes on top of that. And so we're reaching half the people we need to reach with half the rations we need. And the answer is, yes, we
need the end of wars. But until that happens, it's about money right now money and x is our primary need.
So the needs have doubled in the last year because of COVID. And the amount of monies available is down. And the billionaire's - look, I'm not opposed
to any billionaire making money. I'm not. But I am asking the billionaires, particularly and I know, you know, I saw Jeff Bezos, his comments the other
And I could tell he's listening, because he actually made some pretty interesting comments. And so for example, last year when Jeff's net worth
increase, increase was about 60 something billion, Becky I need $6 billion, the reach to 41 million, just 10 percent of the net worth increase.
And guess what? Last year alone, there was $130 trillion worth of the billionaires' net worth and their increase.
We're talking about a drop in the bucket to help humanity and the billionaires that made so much money last year. I'm saying, hey; help us in
this one time perfect storm to help save planet Earth. Whether you're looking at it from the space of whether you're starving to death around.
ANDERSON: And Jeff Bezos you heard him say it was only when he got to space that he was able to witness the fragility back on Earth. Let's give him
credit where credit's due.
ANDERSON: He's announced 100 million gift donations to the world's central kitchen, for example, which is, which is a terrific gift. I know you've
been tweeting at him, you have been tweeting at Richard Branson, and you've been tweeting at Elon Musk of course, he's also involved in this
billionaire Space Race. So this is your opportunity.
Firstly, have they been in touch? And secondly, if not, what is your specific message to them today here on CNN?
BEASLEY: You know Jose Andres, who is close to Bezos, has been talking to him. And really, I think we're, I'm hoping that we're going to see a sea
change with the billionaires. But Becky, I know not so much appreciate the 100 million that Bezos just gave to Jose Andres, the kitchen, the central
kitchen. That's very good.
But we're going to need a lot more; we're going to need $6 billion. And I'm asking these billionaires look, we're not asking you every year to do this.
We have a onetime perfect storm. And the world needs you governments to stretch the United States to step up in ways you've never had before.
Germany and the list go on. Qatar just gave us $100 million yesterday, but the Gulf States have got to do more of the billionaires. Becky, I think
I've read the number that last year alone during COVID. Just in the United States, the billionaires in the United States net worth increased.
Increased net was $1.3 trillion. I just need $6 billion. I'm asking I'm begging In fact, I had someone say quit begging, you know, I am begging
Becky, because - children will die. Nations will be destabilized famine will occur and there'll be mass migration.
It's a lot cheaper to come in and do it right and do it right now for the good of humanity and for the billionaires who've been so profitable and so
successful and I'm so grateful. It's time to give back in ways you've never done before and the world will be stabilized and the world will be a more
peaceful and better place.
ANDERSON: That is the head of the World Food Programme. Here on "Connect the World" David Beasley, thank you for the work that you do.
BEASLEY: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Coronavirus is back with a vengeance in Turkey. Coming up we'll look at efforts there and in the entire region to get a handle on this new
rise in cases.
ANDERSON: Delayed and downsized Tokyo Summer Olympics have once been a rocky road to them, hasn't it but they are now officially underway. And
much sub dude mood has to be said though there were still fireworks. But while opening ceremonies are usually packed with tens of thousands of the
host nation that shows off for the world.
Japan's COVID - to the Olympics and only about thousand VIPs in the stands only a fraction of the 11,000 athletes competing took part in the
ceremonies. But for these competitors who have trained for much of their lives, the next two plus weeks will allow their talents to shine.
As we mentioned earlier in the show, surfing will make its debut at this year's show and one American Teenager is hoping to win gold. CNN Sports Coy
Wire caught up with 19-year-old Caroline Marks as she prepares to make waves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLINE MARKS, U.S. OLYMPIC SURFER: I just got to an age where I was like; I just really wanted to impress my brothers. And I really wanted to think I
was cool. And I think they thought surfing was the coolest thing ever. So I was like, Well, I'm going to have to surf in order for them to think I'm
cool. And that's like, why I started surfing. And then I totally fell in love with it.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): You are one of six kids. So what has it been like for you to have your family right there with you
during this incredible journey.
MARKS: That's a huge reason why it's so special is because I get to share with people that I love the most. And it's like the coolest thing ever, you
know, serving something I love the most and my family, the people I love the most. So it's cool to you know, share both of that with them.
And yes, I'm super grateful for them, I definitely wouldn't be where I am without them. So it's pretty awesome. I'm extremely honored to represent my
country. And it's so exciting. And you know, it's the Olympics, it's a thing that brings the whole entire world together.
And I think that's so incredible. And it's something different than I've ever experienced something different than any surfers ever experienced. And
it's just such an honor to be on the USA team and to be one of the first surfers ever to, to be there. And it's, it's incredible.
WIRE (voice over): How special would it be for you to be up on that podium and have a medal put around your neck?
MARKS: That seriously a dream come true. That's like, you know, it gives me goose-bumps. And that's like, obviously, the gold of going in Tokyo is you
want a medal around your neck and you want to go for gold and give it your all. I'm excited to share, like, show how unique our sport is? You know, we
rely on Mother Nature. And we rely on the winds and the tides and the kind of like the moods of the day. And I think that's so unique from any other
The feeling I get when I stood up on that wave, like when I'm in the ocean, it's like so, so like joyful, and it's so therapeutic. It's such an open
Canvas, no one can really tell you what to do on the wave. And it's like kind of like painting a picture. Like everyone has a different style.
WIRE (voice over): You're 19 years old, how have you balanced school, training, competing but all of that while it was still just trying to be a
MARKS: I don't really like think of it like that. It's more of like, oh, I'm just like living my dream. Like this is everything I want to be doing.
I'm traveling the world, I'm surfing against my heroes, I'm serving the best players in the world. I'm living the best life ever.
So I don't really even think of it as like, Oh, I'm missing prom, or I'm missing homecoming like, I don't even care. Like I'm totally living my
dream and this is the best life ever. And yes, it's super fun.
WIRE (voice over): So how have you been able to get your education? I know it's not conventional way.
MARKS: So I've been homeschooled since I've been in fifth grade. And I did this just online school program and actually graduated high school last
year. So we actually do have a lot of time, like on the road. You know, obviously we're surfing and doing things like that.
But there are some, you know, downtime to do school and I think it was good for me. It's better than being on my phone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Good luck to her and you can get run up to date with all the news and action from Tokyo throughout the games online via our live blog. It's
up and running, do go and take a look at that. That is cnn.com.
Well, the Coronavirus pandemic of course has cast a shadow over the Olympics and indeed elsewhere. It is a real concern the numbers of cases in
Turkey for example, on the rise on Thursday there were more than 9500 new cases that's the highest number of new cases we've seen there since May.
52 people have lost their lives to the virus Thursday and that is why Turkey's Health Minister is pleading with people to get vaccinated and slow
the spread of the virus. The Ministry of Health says about 27 percent of the country is vaccinated.
Well, our Arwa Damon is covering the story for us from Istanbul and she joins us now live. Do we have any indication those numbers are creeping up
and what is the policy there?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well at this stage the government Becky is not making any plans to re impose lockdowns. In fact,
the vast majority of COVID restrictions have been lifted across the entire country.
DAMON: The Health Minister is though as you mentioned, they're urging people to go get vaccinated. Now, yes, it is around 27 percent of the
population that has been fully vaccinated, in other words received two doses. But it has only been about a month since the government opened up
vaccinations to everyone over the age of 18.
And from what we do understand, around 50 percent of the population in total has gotten at least their first job. So hopefully, the country's
vaccination rates will continue to trend upwards. But while we're speaking about the numbers, although yes, they are on the rise, and it is, as it is,
in many other countries, largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
The numbers in Turkey are nowhere near what they were the last time at around 60,000 earlier in the year that then forced the government to put
into effect some fairly harsh lockdown measures. So at this stage, it's something of an approach of caution of trying to remind the population to
remain vigilant, you know, keep wearing your masks, keep sanitizing. And if you are eligible for the vaccine, just go and get it.
ANDERSON: And now we see any indication of or any likelihood that we will see the sort of green pass health pass that we are seeing elsewhere in some
parts of the Gulf, for example, a pass that will allow you into certain venues, for example, allow you into certain crowded spaces, if indeed,
you're vaccinated, you've had COVID, or indeed, you've been tested of late is that something that's in evidence in Turkey?
DAMON: You know the government's being very cautious when it approaches those sorts of things. You know, as I was saying, the vast majority of
restrictions have been lifted. But of course, you know, the large packed nightclub scenes that especially the summer season, Turkey is quite
notorious for that's not exactly what we're seeing materialize here just yet.
But that being said, you know, that the country has been throughout this entire pandemic, really trying to position it as being safe to visit for
tourists and even when the rest of the population the Turks, you know, the rest of us were under these lockdowns, if you were a tourist coming to
visit the country, they did not necessarily apply to you.
Now, that is largely because Turkey did want to remain open to tourism, the economy here has been on a decline getting blow after blow after blow,
whether it's because of COVID, or various different policies and banking regulations that are frankly, proven to be quite ineffectual.
And so we've been seeing quite a bit of effort to at least preserve the tourism economy as much as possible, but it's really unclear what sort of
steps the government is going to be taking moving forward. But as I was saying, you know, at this stage, no indication that this increase in
numbers is going to lead to even further restrictions.
ANDERSON: Yes. OK. Thank you. That's Arwa Damon in Turkey, which is not the only country in the Mediterranean region and beyond facing rising COVID
cases. Of course, in Tunisia, the government has put the military in charge of the health crisis, their hospitals buckling under the stress of surge in
COVID cases fewer than a million are vaccinated in the country of nearly 12 million people.
And countries like Israel, Bahrain, UAE, led the world in vaccinations, only to see the virus refuse to go away. Now, the main culprit, as we are
well aware is his highly contagious Delta variant. So when is this cycle likely to end? And what is the impact on the region that I've just been
This show, of course, is based normally in Abu Dhabi. I'm just here in London for a couple of weeks. And while we talk a lot about Africa, a lot
about Europe, and we have been increasingly talking a lot about Asia. I do want to focus on the Middle East and the wider region of North Africa there
and the Mediterranean.
It's a question the World Health Organization gets a lot. The answer is we've all got the tools that we need, proven public health and social,
social distancing measures, rapid and accurate diagnostics, effective therapeutics, including oxygen and of course, powerful vaccines.
And yet as we speak, we are in the early stages of another wave of infections, and deaths. I'm joined by Richard Brennan now who is the
W.H.O.'s Regional Emergency Director in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Well, I know that you've got a sense of that that kind of wider region I've
just been describing, which is such a focus for us on this show. Do you agree with your boss's assessment?
RICHARD BRENNAN, W.H.O. REGIONAL EMERGENCY DIRECTOR: Yes, absolutely, Becky? So we cover 22 countries here in the Eastern Mediterranean region
from Morocco and Northwest Africa, across the Middle East as far as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Over the last week, we've seen a 15 percent increase in the number of cases across all of those countries. At least 11 countries have documented a
significant increase during that period.
BRENNAN: And as you say, it's being driven. This increase is being driven largely by the Delta variant. And also some, I should say COVID fatigue and
complacency with respect to the public health and social measures that you mentioned.
ANDERSON: Right. And in some parts, not all, but in some parts, a lack of access to a lot of adequate access to vaccinations, correct?
BRENNAN: Yes, absolutely. So we know globally there, there still aren't enough vaccines available. And the vaccines that are available have been
inequitably distributed. So and I think our part of the world really highlights this really puts a focus on the inequities.
So at one extreme, we have a couple of countries. You've mentioned them, Bahrain, Qatar, and others that are vaccinated, fully vaccinated over 50
percent of their populations. At the other extreme, we have at least seven countries that are vaccinated less than 1 percent of their populations, and
they're way off targets.
For you know, at a global level, we've set a target of vaccinating 10 percent of the population of every country by September and 40 percent by
the end of the year, in every country, only eight countries of the 22 in our region are on track to meet those targets.
ANDERSON: You are in Egypt where some restrictions have been lifted. And we are reporting on countries around the world where restrictions have been
lifted. We were just talking to Arwa in Turkey who was saying she doesn't expect to see any restrictions, re imposed at any time soon. But clearly
these governments are looking at what is going on now. What is your message at this point?
BRENNAN: Well, it's - it relates to some of those messages that you conveyed earlier. It's scaling up our vaccination being far more equitable
in the distribution of the vaccines that we have. To the government's be absolutely vigilant in applying the evidence based public health and social
BRENNAN: Members of the community are getting tired, you know, I mean,--
ANDERSON: Can I just stop you there. Because in some countries like Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, we just - I mean, I lump those altogether, because
they've all got, you know, issues with the number of cases at present. You know there were some places where the data is better.
There are some places where the data is - you know that the infrastructure is simply not equipped at this point, to be gathering the source of data
that you would normally rely on to be able to make these scientific decisions, correct? Where are you most worried about in the region?
BRENNAN: Well, I think we're increasingly worried about those countries that have the large scale humanitarian crises. And I - we have 10 of those
countries in our region, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, in the last three weeks I've been - I've spent a week in Sudan, and most recently
a week and a half in Yemen.
And they don't have the health systems to scale up the type of responses that we're seeing, again, in Qatar, and Bahrain. And so we've got to watch
these countries, even though today, they've had relatively fewer cases than some of the other countries.
Once the Delta variant gets a foothold there we're incredibly concerned. So we're really putting down the pedal and trying to help as much as we can.
But again, this is where - the equitable distribution of these rare vaccines, or not so rare vaccines, I should say, really comes into play.
We've got to get the wealthy countries to support these poorer nations, particularly those with the large scale humanitarian crises in the weak
health systems to scale up. And at the same time, the leadership of those countries must also continue to convey the right messages to their
communities about the steps they can take to protect themselves and their families.
ANDERSON: Let's be fair, I know the number of Gulf countries, other Arab countries, certainly helping Tunisia out of late.
ANDERSON: You want to see more of that correct?
BRENNAN: Yes, we do. And, you know, as I said, you know, we've got seven countries in the region that is fully vaccinated less than 1 percent of its
population. So, you know, pandemic is, is the kind of situation par excellence, where we have to think a big picture.
We have to think beyond ourselves and our own communities. We have to think globally, because, you know, as we've seen it with the delivery, the risk
is, unless we were more equitable, distributing the vaccines more variants would arise and it puts us all at risk, economies, lives, livelihoods. So
we're all in this together. This is the global issue par excellence.
ANDERSON: With that we're going to leave it there. So we thank you very much indeed for joining us important to ensure that we get a sense of what
is going on in every region around the world. You are watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Ahead Haiti's murdered president being laid
to rest as protests erupt, close by.
ANDERSON: Two weeks after his assassination, the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise is being laid to rest. Funeral services taking place in his
hometown. Moise was gunned down at his home in the Haitian Capital. And there are still many questions about the motive, and exactly who was
Well, his death sparked a new political crisis and violence in a country that was already crippled by chaos? That tension is spilling onto the
streets as his supporters protest. Stefano Pozzebon is following the situation and he joins me now live.
You are, of course in Bogota, in Colombia. That is a country where many of the suspects in this assassination came from. You're keeping one eye on
what is going on in Haiti as we speak? What do we know at this point? This funeral of course, is ongoing.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, correct. Becky, as President, the late President Jovenel Moise, he's been laid to rest just as you and I are
speaking. We can probably say that the first chapter of these stories he's concluded, but at the same time, many challenges that lay ahead there not
just for the current government of Haiti, which is led by the current Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, but also for the rest of the Haitian nation.
You mentioned, violence erupting. We know Haiti has a chronic problem of instability, gang violence, and according to the United Nations, at least
15,000 people have been displaced across the country just in the last two months due to gang violence.
And that's what happens in Haiti. We thought there was a lot of expectations surrounding the sitting Prime Minister Ariel Henry, as I said,
who is due to announce, when there will be a new election to elect who will succeed Moise in the Presidency?
The date of 26th of September has been mentioned, but we still don't have an official date. And that is a crucial as the Caribbean country is trying
slowly to go back to normal Becky.
ANDERSON: Stefano Pozzebon on the story for you. Thank you. Well, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right
now. And the growing scrutiny over China's human rights record Xi Jinping has made his first visit to Tibet as President.
ANDERSON: State media reporting that the Chinese leader made a stop this week at the traditional home of Tibetan Buddhism sub spiritual leader, but
the Dalai Lama remains in exile and Beijing's control of Tibet has tightened in recent years.
Using heavy equipment and makeshift rafts emergency workers in China 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 the waters begin to receive first responders are also trying
to deliver food to those still trapped.
Shares in Indian food Delivery Company Zomato has it made its debut on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Zomato is India's first billion dollar tech startup
to go public. The stock closed about 66 percent higher and its first day of trade, it's now valued at about $13 billion.
Well, it is not unusual for fire crews to battle wildfires from the air. Coming up what is unusual is where some of these fires are raging? How the
climate crisis is complicating the fight?
ANDERSON: Well, across the Northern Hemisphere, people are seeing and feeling and smelling widespread wildfires. Tom Sater reports that many of
these fires are scorching regions that rarely burned before. Have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice over): This is known as one of the world's coldest cities. Now, wildfires near Yakutsk in Russia Siberia
blanket the area in smoky haze. From above Russia military dropped water, hoping to douse the flames below as they tear through some 800,000 hectares
In the Western U.S. firefighters also taking measures to battle ongoing fires, dousing the tracks and surrounding area with water from a moving
train in hopes of stopping Northern California's Dixie fire from spreading.
Further north, the bootleg fire in Oregon is growing with incredible speed becoming so intense that it's creating its own weather formation.
KATE BROWN, OREGON GOVERNOR: 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
years. According to Copernicus Climate Change Service, those regions all experienced a drier than average June, turning their forest to tinder
Now fires raging in those regions are releasing environment polluting aerosols into the air. Just 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Right, we're just closing out our week. But before we do for the first time, astronomers have detected a ring around the planet outside of
our solar system and what's more, it seems to be able to coalesce into new moons get this "The Exoplanet" is orbiting a star nearly 400 million light
ANDERSON: It's a gas giant similar to Jupiter, but its ring is about 500 times larger than the rings of Saturn. And that is equivalent to the
distance between Earth and the Sun. And take a closer look here because you can see a moon starting to form as it pulls more and more matter from the
So take some time to gaze upwards this weekend. But remember, there's a lot going on right down here on Earth wherever you're watching, stay safe and
do stay well take care of each other. "One World" with Eleni Giokos is next from Dubai tonight.