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Tunisian President Sacks P.M. After Political Unrest; Lebanese Leaders Select A New Prime Minister Designate; U.N.: Number Of Afghans Killed Or Injured On The Rise. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired July 26, 2021 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tunisia's democracy in prices. The President sat the government have been a fumble COVID response and a
dire economic situation as we consider these protests videos we discuss what lies ahead.
Pakistan's Taliban leader weighs in on the massive gains made by the militant group in Afghanistan. This is a CNN exclusive. And a star is born
at the Tokyo 2020 games. She's just 13 and part of the Olympics' gold rush. We'll tell you who else has won big.
All right. Welcome. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. The birthplace of the Arab Spring today facing massive political upheaval
after Tunisia's President ousted the prime minister and suspended parliament. Guys I said he did it to save the country and many Tunisians at
least are applauding the move.
What you see here followed a day of protests against the government's response to surging COVID-19 cases and a severely strained economy. But
critics including the parliament speaker call it a coup. He tried to enter the Parliament building early today to find it sealed off by troops. Later
supporters of the President and of the speaker's political party clashed outside the building. Some throwing bottles and stones.
Well Ben Wedeman is tracking developments for us from Beirut. And I know that we've got news out of Beirut today. Before we get to that, Ben, let's
just talk about the scenes that we are seeing on the streets of Tunisia and what is going on behind the scenes. Explain if you will.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Earlier today, there were scuffles between supporters of the case side who's the president
and supporters of Kais Saied who's the president and supporters of the Nahda led by Rashid Gannoushi who of course is also the speaker of
Parliament. Essentially, yesterday, late last night, the president dismissed the Prime Minister, the defense minister, the acting justice
minister, froze Parliament for 30 days and lifted parliamentary immunity to members of Parliament.
And of course, most of the parties in Parliament have accused -- have objected to these moves. Gannoushi it an attempted coup d'etat. But it
comes against the background of 10 years of an experiment with democracy, which certainly provided Tunisia with freedom of the press,
political freedoms, but the economy has really been in the doldrums since the revolution of January 2011.
Last year, for instance, the economy shrunk by almost nine percent because of COVID. And the government, of course, Tunisia is going through what is
the worst case of COVID surge in all of Africa, per capita. And the government has really mishandled its response to COVID as well. So people
are angry. They're, you know, being free and having democracy is wonderful. But if you can't eat, then they'd rather see somebody, take over the
country, take matters into his own hands and try to fix things then live in a democracy where you just can't work. You can't feed your family. Becky?
That's the story in Tunisia and we will come back to this story throughout the next couple of hours. I do want to get to the breaking news out of
Lebanon today. Just explain exactly what we have at this point.
WEDEMAN: Well, this after -- throughout the day, Lebanese, Members of Parliament have been going to Baadba Palace which is the presidential
palace where they have been putting forth who they want to be the next prime minister designate.
WEDEMAN: In other words, the man given the task to form the next government. On the 15th of July. Saad el Hariri after nine months, was
unable to come up with a new government. Keeping in mind now this is complicated that on the 10th of August last year, six days after the Beirut
port blast, the government of the current caretaker Prime Minister has said Hassan Diab. So since August 10th of last year, Lebanon has had no proper
So today 72 members of parliament said they want Najib Mikati, who is a Sunni billionaire from the northern city of Tripoli. He is the richest man
in Lebanon, coming from the country's poorest city has been designated by his colleagues in Parliament, as prime minister, designate, Prime Minister
designate. Now he's on his way to Baadba Palace where he will meet with President Michel Aoun who will give him officially the task of forming a
How long that's going to take is anybody's guess. As I said before Saad al Hariri. It took him nine months not to form a government. The hope is that
he will form the Marotti will form a government quickly, and that Lebanon can have a proper government and perhaps take the steps to make the reforms
and the changes in fight corruption, the things that the international community is demanding of Lebanon, for Lebanon to receive the aid, the
assistance that it desperately needs, given the economic crisis here that's now almost into its third year.
ANDERSON: And this is a story that's just developing as we speak. Is it clear at this point, what the former Prime Minister's vision, program, plan
is to get Lebanon out of this economic mess?
WEDEMAN: Not altogether clear. But basically, his top priority will be to form a government A, that's acceptable to the squabbling massive Lebanese
politicians who clearly over the last year and a half have put their personal interests ahead of the interests of the people. So he's got to get
these people to agree to form a government. Once they form a government. They are expected by the international community, specifically the European
Union and the United States, which have said, made it clear, they do want to help Lebanon.
But Lebanon has to do something to combat corruption, not just with words, which they're very good at, but actual action. And it's going to be a
little difficult to do that, given that basically, the creators of Lebanon's corruption are its political elite. So it's going to be a bit of
a task. But if these leaders are at all serious about saving this country from falling totally into the abyss, they might just have to do that.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman on the story. And Ben, I'll let you go. It's a story that's developing. We'll get back to you in the second hour of this show
with more information about what is to come. Thank you, Ben.
Well, the prediction many people made about Afghanistan has unfortunately come true. A new United Nations report shows nearly 2400 Afghans were
either killed or injured in May and June. The U.N.'s assistance mission to the country says that's the highest number for those months since they
began keeping records in 2009. Of course, of course those numbers coincide with international military forces pulling out of Afghanistan.
And the Taliban push to regain power. Spokesmen for both the Afghan military and the Taliban reject the report.
Meantime, our top us general says Afghan forces will still get U.S. help from above. The head of the U.S. Central Command says the number of
airstrikes to support Afghan forces has increased over the last few days. General Kenneth McKenzie says that support won't change, but he predicts
tough days lie ahead for the Afghan government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. KENNETH MCKENZIE, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: So we will continue to support the Afghan forces even after that 31 August date. It will
generally be from over the horizon and that will be -- that will be a significant change. And then it will be time for the -- for Afghan forces
to fight and carry on the battle themselves. We spent a lot of time training them, now is their moment, now is the time for that very stern
test that I noted earlier they're going to face.
MCKENZIE: I think they have the resources and the capability of -- to actually conduct that fight and win it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, as the Taliban gain ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan's Taliban leader is speaking out. And he's given his first ever interview --
television interview to CNN to discuss the situation in neighboring Afghanistan. Nic Robertson joins us now with the details of what is, Nic,
an exclusive interview. The U.S. has had a complicated relationship with Pakistan because of its close ties to Taliban.
What have we heard from the Taliban leader in Pakistan? And what's been the response from the Pakistan government?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, no response yet from the Pakistan government. But, you know, the position that they've
always had is that they're fighting the Pakistani Taliban, and they've taken them on over many decades and years. And there's evidence absolutely
to support that. The real concern here is, as you see, and you hear the U.N. figures there about the deaths in Afghanistan and you hear the U.S.
general from CENTCOM saying tough days lie ahead in Afghanistan.
The concern is and the views expressed by the -- by the Pakistani Taliban leader is the more bigger those Afghan Taliban gains get across the border
in Afghanistan, they think that they can get some of that success. These are ideologically the same groups, and that they can put their imprint in
Pakistan and take control of parts of Pakistan. So, concerned there of an increase in violence concurrent with Afghanistan. This is what he told us.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): As Afghanistan's Taliban gaining ground, so Pakistan's Taliban, the TTP take heart. In his first ever T.V. interview,
their leader, Noor Wali Mehsud answers questions CNN sent him via intermediaries at an undisclosed location near the Afghan-Pakistan border.
They're going to decide a message of war.
NOOR WALI MEHSUD, LEADER, TEHRIK-I-TALIBAN (through translator): The Afghan-Taliban victory is the victory of entire Muslim people. Our
relations are based on brotherhood, sympathy and Islamic principles.
ROBERTSON: In total, we submitted more than a dozen questions. Mehsud answered them all at times appearing to read from a script. But by the very
nature of the interview, immediate follow up questions when possible. Mehsud's three predecessors were all killed by U.S. drone strikes for
fighting alongside Afghan-Taliban targeting U.S. forces. Their bloody record includes the 2009 attack that killed nine people including seven CIA
officers and contractors at a base close to the Pakistan border.
And the massacre of 145 people, mostly children in a Pakistan school in 2014. Mehsud became leader in 2018. And the U.N. later designated him a
global terrorist, and added him to the sanction list for his ties to al Qaeda. Today, he denies those al Qaeda links and that his group is still
fighting alongside the Afghan-Taliban.
MEHSUD (through translator): Our fight is only in Pakistan, and we are at war with the Pakistani security forces. We are firmly hoping to take
control of the Pakistani tribal border regions and make them independent.
ROBERTSON: But while Pakistan's army has fought a decades long counter insurgency against the TTP in Pakistan, Pakistan's Intelligence Service,
the ISI and the army have backed the Afghan- Taliban, although they deny it. Now as the Afghan Taliban when territory blowback for Pakistan looms.
MICHAEL SEMPLE, PROFESSOR, QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST: The risk for Pakistan is that a stronger Afghan-Taliban can actually reduce its
cooperation with the ISI in controlling the TTP. And it's that which empowers the TTP.
ROBERTSON: The TTP are already demanding Sharia law, curtailing girls' education.
AYESHA SIDDIQA, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, SOAS SOUTH ASIA INSTITUTE: They would like to implement Sharia in Pakistan and Pakistan's territories. Already,
there is a lot of fear.
ROBERTSON: For the past two decades, U.S.-Pakistan relations have been complicated by Pakistan's alleged dual track approach of support for the
U.S. Well, covertly backing the Afghan-Taliban. It's a delicate balance Afghan-Taliban gains threatened.
SEMPLE: The TTP are now banking on an Afghan-Taliban victory. And they are confident that today we'll be able to continue their fight against Pakistan
in the event of the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan,
SIDDIQA: It's Pakistan which will be in greater pain than in Afghanistan. It'll be threatened much more.
ROBERTSON: From his undisclosed location, Mehsud is coy, hinting at the gains that could be coming his way.
MEHSUD: According to the teaching of Islam victory of one Muslim is necessarily helpful for another Muslim. But how the victory of Afghan-
Taliban will prove helpful for the Pakistani Taliban? Time will tell.
ROBERTSON: In the meantime, despite his denials, expectation is Mehsud's fighters will keep backing the Afghan-Taliban.
ROBERTSON: Areas that he's talking about. He wants to take control of Pakistan or the border areas with Afghanistan, not an insignificant region
but not by any means an overarching effort to try to take control of the whole of Pakistan. However, at times, Pakistan has witnessed some really
ferocious across many cities in the country, ferocious jihadi attacks. And that's a concern of many people in Pakistan.
Particularly secular people who object to the very conservative values that the Taliban on both sides of the border have. And they really do fear in
some areas that control and in other areas and overspill of violence.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the story. Nick, thank you. Still come folks. The search for silence inside one man's mission to preserve some of the
last quiet places on earth.
ANDERSON: Let's get you back up to date on what is going on in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Russia scored a big win in men's gymnastics beating Japan
by one-tenth of a point for that first Olympic title since 1996. Adam Peaty, the fastest man ever in the breaststroke took gold in the men's 100
meters. Again, he's the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title. And check out the podium for the very first women's
The winner, this Japanese 13-year-old, another 13-year-old took the silver while the bronze went to a 16-year-old. And outside the stadiums it appears
Japan is embracing the games. Broadcast to say more than 56 percent of T.V. sets in Tokyo were tuned in to the opening ceremonies. The highest Olympic
ratings since the games were last held in Japan almost 60 years ago. Selina Wang is following that side of the story from Tokyo. Selina?
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there are certainly some frustration among people in Japan that they're being urged
to stay at home as the world's biggest sporting event is happening in their city. I've seen long lines of people lined up outside of the Olympics rings
near the National Stadium. They're just waiting to take a photo in front of the rings.
WANG: Also crowds of people gathering along the triathlon route ignoring calls to stay at home during Tokyo state of emergency. Of course, though,
when I talked to residents though, Becky, mixed feelings. There are some who are excited to watch these games on T.V., to see national heroes, to
see Japan taking home gold. The Abe siblings in judo as well as Japan winning the world's first gold in Olympic skateboarding.
But at the same time, there are still many people who are worried about rising COVID-19 cases now more than 150 cases in Japan linked to these
games. More and more athletes testing positive as well. And Becky when I went to some of these events over the weekend, it was just absolutely
surreal to watch these world class athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka performing in these virtually empty stadiums. So Becky, to say the
very least these games are far from what Japan had dreamed of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WANG (voice-over): A year and a half into the pandemic, it's clear these aren't the Olympics Japan was hoping for. The games were supposed to be the
nation's comeback after decades of economic stagnation and devastation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. But COVID-19 derailed those dreams.
After spending more than $15 billion for the Summer Games, Japan is projected to lose billions with no economic boost from foreign tourists.
Fans banned from almost every Olympic venue and a subdued opening ceremony at this national stadium that the country spent more than a billion dollars
rebuilding. And now the country along with the IOC plow ahead, ignoring cancellation calls from doctors, sponsors and business leaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call it this is like a suicide mission to be very honest.
WANG: With just barely over 20 percent of Japan's population fully vaccinated. The games have also highlighted Japan's current place in the
pandemic. A slow start to its vaccine rollout paired with surgeon cases in Tokyo. The host city remaining under a state of emergency during the
entirety of the Olympics.
It's the exact scenario Japan wanted to avoid, losing center stage to geopolitical rival China host of the Winter Olympics just six months after.
DAVID LEHENY PROFESSOR WASEDA UNIVERSITY: I absolutely think that the Tokyo Olympics could be a boon for China, especially if they get to contrast a
Winter Olympics in which you have a large number of spectators in the stand with a much more quiet, in some cases desultory Japanese Olympics in which
there's no one in the stands.
WANG: How much of a role does fear of losing face to China getting upstaged by China factor into these games going ahead?
LEHENY: If the next Olympics were to be hosted by a country with which Japan had a friendlier relationship, than perhaps Japan canceling the
Olympics wouldn't be considered quite as catastrophic.
WANG: Beijing could bring an entirely different experience than here in Japan, stands full of spectators without COVID-19 taking center stage.
China has claimed its draconian measures helped beat COVID-19 and has administered enough doses to fully vaccinate more than 40 percent of its
population of 1.3 billion people. But the stakes are equally high for Beijing. Its global reputation plunged for its initial handling of the
And a boost to Japan, some global leaders, including U.S. first lady Jill Biden have attended the Tokyo games, but things might be a bit different in
a few months with calls to boycott the Beijing Olympics and criticism if its authoritarian system only likely to grow.
WANG: Now, Becky, we know that Beijing's alleged mass detention of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities will cast a shadow over the winter games when
it comes to the legacy of 2020 for Tokyo, Tokyo 2020. It is still unclear if it's going to be remembered as Japan bringing hope to the world during
the pandemic or if Japan will be criticized for putting people's lives on the line. Becky?
ANDERSON: Well, the athletes hope of course is it'll be remembered for those who take center stage on the podiums, of course, and we have seen
some remarkable stories so far. Officials have also changed their mask rules for medal winners. Briefly just explain what's going on there.
WANG: Right, Becky. The IOC now says that during the medal ceremony on the podium, athletes can take their masks off but just for 30 seconds for a
photo op. And Becky, these games as we've been discussing are like no other. When it comes to the medal ceremony, these athletes are actually
handed their medals on a tray and they have to then take the medal and put it over their heads themselves. Becky?
ANDERSON: Selina Wang is in Tokyo for you. But as countries roll back their COVID lockdowns in some parts of the world, it does seem that things are
getting just a little louder. More cars on the road and people on the streets inevitably means more noise. Well now, one man is making it his
mission to preserve the peace and quiet of natural spaces.
ANDERSON: CNN join him as part of our Going Green Initiative as he set out to capture the sounds of silence in the Minnesota wilderness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT MIKKELSEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WILDERNESS QUIET PARKS AND TRAILS: We're losing the ability to listen to nature without noise pollution. For
humans, we know that exposure to excessive noise is linked to higher blood pressure, higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and the antidote to all
that bad stuff is quiet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In his search for quiet, Matt Mickkelsen has traveled to some of the most remote wilderness areas in the United States. A sound
recordist by trade. He's a volunteer for Quiet Parks International, a grassroots movement that sets out to reclaim calm and protect natural
environments from manly noise.
MIKKELSEN: Noise pollution is present even in some of our deepest wilderness areas and our national parks. We don't protect these areas from
noise pollution that we're no longer going to be able to listen to them as they were before humans got there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the help of high sensitivity microphones, Matt hopes to capture the soundscapes of northern Minnesota.
MIKKELSEN: We're in Superior National Forest. We're hearing the loons this morning. Loons are really common in this area. And they make this really
beautiful, kind of whaling sound that's iconic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Noise pollution can have a huge impact on wildlife's ability to survive. For the area to be awarded quiet park status, there
can't be more than one disturbance every 15 minutes.
MIKKSELSEN: You can see this kind of low frequency build up. It's a commercial jet flying really far away. And then down here these stumps are
the sound of a grouse drumming every time the grass drums that's its sound signature. When an airplane flies over and the grouse is trying to call,
they're competing for space on the frequency spectrum. So the grouse in the airplane interrupting each other.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will take months to establish where the areas like boundary waters can receive the quiet park stamp of approval. And right
now, Matt and his team are exploring over 260 possible sites worldwide.
MIKKELSEN: Whether you live in New York City or you live out in the middle of the woods, you should be able to find quiet if you want it. And we're
hoping to be able to bring that opportunity to everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Up next, could changes be on the way for the U.S. military in Iraq? We are going to take a look at what to expect from the Iraqi prime
minister's meeting at the White House later today.
Plus, it's all about stability. Which can be a tough ask in the Middle East. CNN sat down with the King of Jordan and started by asking about
those plots allegations from back in April. That is all just ahead.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. More on our developing news out of Lebanon this hour where politicians have selected a new prime minister designate. They
picked former Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who has twice held the post. There are no easy tasks ahead, the next leader must reform a corrupt state
with an economy in freefall. Along the lawmakers who backed him was Saad al-Hariri who last week abandoned his own effort to form a new government.
Tunisia in political upheaval today after the president there sacked the prime minister and suspended Parliament for 30 days. Many Tunisians support
the move. These are celebrations after the announcement by the Parliament speaker and his supporters call it a coup. People on both sides clashed
outside Parliament. Troops barricaded the building earlier preventing the speaker from entering.
Well, as Tunisia's political turmoil deepens, Iraq now raising concerns. It made the moving towards an authoritarian system. That's what the
independent High Commission for human rights of Iraq is telling CNN after the country's Parliament took control of the group. That is not expected to
be part of the conversation when the Iraqi Prime Minister sits down with the U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in the coming hours.
Topping their discussion, mission changes for U.S. troops who are in Iraq. The leaders are expected to announce a shift to a strictly advisory role.
Though U.S. forces there are already mainly advising and assisting the country's military. So, it is worth asking whether this is really a kind of
looks good on paper moment for the Iraqi leader meant to keep Baghdad's other major ally, Iran content. CNN's Arwa Damon reporting for us from
So this upcoming White House meeting, let's talk about whether it is about real changes for the U.S. military in Iraq going forward? And if so, or not
what the significance and in the consequences might be.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, Becky, you know, as you mentioned, there, the U.S. military has largely been in an advice and
assist position, especially since there were significant gains made against ISIS. That being said, of course, the terror organization does continue to
maintain certain capabilities. I mean, look, we all remember the horrific suicide bombing that happened in the Baghdad marketplace not too long ago,
just before the Muslim holy holiday of (INAUDIBLE)
But at the same time, what is perhaps more critical in all of this is not necessarily what the U.S. troops end up being called. Yes, if you call them
combat troops that really does sort of drive a wedge underneath Iran's skin especially underneath the skin of the Iranian-backed militias were arguably
more powerful than the Iraqi security forces itself. But one should perhaps look at the very fact that U.S. forces are remaining in some capacity.
Because if we look back at history at the end of 2011, when the Obama administration ended up withdrawing all U.S. forces from Iraq on --
extensively because they could not come to an agreement with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as to the immunity status of U.S.
forces. That was one of the key events that took place that eventually lay the groundwork for the reemergence of what was then the Islamic State of
Very quickly to become what was later on known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS. So, on the one hand, it is quite crucial in the ongoing
battle against ISIS to have the U.S. military there. Remember, it's not just advising and assisting when you have U.S. troops on the ground, you
also have all of their intelligence gathering capabilities which is something that Iraq most certainly does need.
But you also need this presence as a counterweight to Iran's growing influence. Whether it's within the political arena or the fact that these -
- again, Iranian-backed militias are a significant force within the Iraqi Armed Forces spectrum.
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon on the story of Iraq. Arwa, thank you for that. The Middle East is a complicated region. Jordan's King Abdullah speaking
publicly about His half-brother's role in an alleged plot back in April.
ANDERSON: Jordanian officials accused former Crown Prince Hamza of being part of the scheme to destabilize the kingdom. In videos obtained by the
BBC, Hamza criticized Jordan's leadership. Denied though the plot allegations. Well, CNN's Fareed Zakaria asking about Jordan's stability,
especially after what looked to the outside world like an attempted coup. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING ABDULLAH II, KING OF JORDAN: We've had to look at many characters that tend to use people's frustrations and legitimate concerns of challenges
that they have in making their lives better to really push on their own agendas and ambitions. So, what I think made this so sad that one of the
people was my brother who did it in such a -- an amateurish and really disappointing way.
From our point, the intelligence services as they always do, gather information and it got to a point where they had legitimate concerns that
certain individuals were trying to push my brother's ambitions for their own agendas. And decided quite rightly to nip it in the bud and quietly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That is Jordan's King Abdullah. Earlier this month, a top advisor to the King and member of the royal family was sentenced to 15 years in
prison for sedition.
Coming up. The devastation from monsoon season in India. More on the heavy rains and landslides that have claimed dozens of lives there. You're
watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Back after this.
ANDERSON: A massive cleanup now underway in western India. Heavier than usual monsoon rains have caused. Landslides and flooding. Homes were washed
away or buried in mud. Around 160 people reported killed most of them in the hardhead state of Maharashtra. Dozen still missing. Experts say climate
change is causing more severe weather across the country. Vedika Sud shows us the devastation in one hillside village.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (VOICE-OVER): Another body recovered adding to the grim death toll in western India. Rescues race against time. Combing
through debris to find survivors after a landslide hit this village. Some 180 kilometers southeast of the financial capital Mumbai.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There were five people inside. My mother my brother, his wife and two children. Out of the total family only
the boy's body has been recovered. The other family members have still not been traced.
SUD: In a nearby district, distraught survivors look on. Torrential monsoon rains have left behind a trail of destruction. Homes have been swept away,
farmlands and undated bridges cut off. Livelihoods destroyed. Many denied a proper cremation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We did not have material to cremate bodies. It was raining heavily. We dug a pit and buried everyone together.
SUD: Thousands have been evacuated from vulnerable areas. Some waited on rooftops to be rescued. Authorities are not only battling flooding, the
spread of the virus looms large. Maharashtra has the second highest number of active cases of COVID-19 in the country of Kerala. Plus, 35 percent more
rain than normal has fallen on the street since the beginning of monsoon season. Experts say the cause is clear.
CHANDRA BHUSHAN, ENVIRONMENTALIST: This is not possible without climate change. In fact, all the attribution studies are clear that the kind of
acceleration in hydrological system, extreme rainfall events that we are witnessing across the world would not have been possible without human
SUD: For a country that's experienced two cyclones and the deadly collapse of a Glazier in just the last 16 months. The intensity of this monsoon is
another sign that India is on the front line of the climate crisis. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
ANDERSON: All right. Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And China blames the U.S. for the frayed
relationship between the two superpowers. That's just about the only thing that came out of a meeting between top U.S. and Chinese diplomats on
Monday. The U.S. called the meeting frank and open.
Thousands of Americans are under some form of evacuation order or state of emergency as dozens of wildfires rip through several western states. More
than 10,000 buildings are under threat from the Dixie fires in Northern California.
Meanwhile, firefighters in Oregon battling the nation's largest plays which started on July the 6th.
Well, people entering bars, restaurants, sports arenas and other venues in France will soon be required to show that COVID health pass. These people
protested the legislation Saturday in the lead up to the National Assembly's final vote Monday. More protests are expected next Saturday.
All right. Let's get you back to the Olympics and some of the history being made. A 13-year-old won gold for Japan in the first ever women's Olympic
skateboarding event and young athletes are really making their mark on this Olympics, particularly in this new sport of skateboarding. Amanda Davies
here to tell us more about what is going on. Amanda?
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. This really is a case of do not adjust your sets. You're not watching pictures from the Youth
Olympics. This is the new generation and the IOC had said they wanted this new Olympic event of skateboarding to attract a new younger generation of
audiences. It's attracted a new younger generation of athletes as well.
The winner from Japan, Momiji Nishiya, 13 years of age. And a fellow 13- year-old Rayssa Leal from Brazil, alongside of the youngest ever individual podium in history. A combined age of 42, Becky.
ANDERSON: All three of them. More of the news coming out of the Olympics, of course with Amanda after the break, she's got World Sport. We'll be back
after this. Stay with us.