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Connect the World

USA Gymnastics say it Wholeheartedly Supports her Decision; CDC Reverse Indoor Mask Policy for Fully Vaccinated People; Haiti Assassination Probe Marked by Threats and Missteps; Simone Biles Out of Olympic Gymnastic All-Around Final; One of the Few Afghan Women to Serve as Mayor Speaks to CNN; Climate Change Worsening Droughts and Fires. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 28, 2021 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: This hour how athletes are putting their mental health first, even if it means sacrificing the sport they love and the

ambitions that they have worked so hard to achieve. This is "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson.

Mental health concerns of athletes thrust into the spotlight at these Olympic Games. With American gymnasts Simone Biles withdrawing from

Thursday's all around final, saying she wants to focus on her mental health.

The four time Olympic gold medalist could still compete individual competitions that start on Sunday, but she pulled out the team competition

on Tuesday after starting with a shaky vault.

She says not continuing gave her teammates their best chance to get a medal, which they did. They won silver. Here's what she had to say after

the team event on Tuesday.


SIMONE BILES, U.S. OLYMPIC GYMNAST: I was just like shaking could barely nap. I've just never felt like this going into a competition before and I

tried to go out here and have fun and warm up in the back when a little bit better. But then once I came out here I was like, no mental is not there.

So I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.


ANDERSON: CNN's Sports Coy Wire is with us in Tokyo. What did you make of what she said there? And what has the mood been like since Simone Biles

talked about her mental health issues?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: I think I was just shocked Becky, as most everybody. Simone Biles is invincible, right? I mean, she's larger than life. So to

hear those words, saying that she was shaking that she was trying to nap but she couldn't. That's powerful.

You know, one of the most highly anticipated events of the Summer Games now is going to go on without the athlete that everyone wants to see. The

individual all-around is the event where Simone Biles could have become the first woman in 53 years to repeat as the Olympic champ.

Well, there are some positive signs here in Tokyo Becky that Biles is mentally moving in a good direction. She was at the men's all-around

individual final earlier cheering on Team USA. So that's a positive sign.

If she can get to a better place mentally, then there are still several opportunities for to compete if she chooses to do so. Becky she's 24 years

old. She's already the most decorated American gymnast ever.

If she decides to go having qualified for all four individual events, the world is waiting to see if that will happen if she can compete again in


ANDERSON: How other athletes responded Coy?

WIRE: We're seeing a wide range of support flooding in for Simone Biles. None of us can imagine what she's going through. This is a superstar almost

beyond measure. You know, when those lights come on, those stakes are high. She's feeling a lot of pressure.

She's telling the world about it. Michael Phelps maybe understands Biles situation more than just about anyone else, a 23 time Olympic gold

medalist. He's not competing in these Olympic Games for the first time in a quarter century.

He's been incredibly open about his struggles with mental health when he was the face of Team USA. I spoke with him this weekend here in Tokyo

Becky, before Biles made her first announcement. And I asked him, how are athletes going to handle this type of pressure, this type of environment?

Here's what he said.


MICHAEL PHELPS, 23-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: The mental preparation for these games I can't, I can't even imagine what it was, like going through

these heading into this that especially the last year because there's so much that's out of our control, right?

So I think at that point, the only thing you got to do is make sure you're doing what you need to. If you're sleepy, if you're tired, make sure you

sleep. Take care of yourself as much whenever you possibly can.


WIRE: Now that the pandemic aspect of this I think maybe has been a bit overlooked because Simone Biles did mention Becky, the extra year of

preparations. And when you have an Olympic Games, they're already four years in between the occurrence right.

So it's a long time to wait and when it happens, it is a big deal. It's like 10 Super Bowls all in one all on these athletes right here right now.

And so here they had to wait five years for this moment to come for Simone Biles to get out here and prove to the world yet again in her mind that

she's the goat.

She doesn't need to prove anything. She has a few days more to mentally prepare for the four individual events for which she's qualified. It starts

with the vault and the uneven bars on Sunday. The world is waiting, hoping to see if she can and will compete in Tokyo again.


ANDERSON: Coy, you use the Super Bowl as an analogy there. You are yourself of course a former athlete. You played NFL and you will understand more

than most just what sort of pressure these athletes are under and you talk to Phelps there.

I thought it was really interesting that you talked about this past year and you've said you think perhaps this whole sort of COVID era has been

overlooked somewhat, you know, in the media here, we talk about it every single day.

And you know, so the stories out there of course. But this amplification of people's mental health issues, the sense of anxiety that so many people

have had, be them athletes or not over this past year is really important to consider here, isn't it?

WIRE: I think, I think it is this past year, we can all relate to a much lesser degree what Simone Biles is talking about, and we've had a lot of

time to reflect to go inward. We've had a lot of stillness in our lives that typically, we're just so busy to ever stop and think about how we

really feel what is really important to me, who is really important to me and Simone Biles, although she seems larger than life is no different than

all of us.

She's had a lot of extra time during the pandemic to reflect on who she is on what she wants. You mentioned when we talked about an hour ago, you

know, she was asked about some of her happiest times during her career.

She said it was my off time. I think that's very telling about what she's learned about herself during the past year, how she's grown. She's talked

about how much she has grown. She's just 24 years old. There's a lot of wisdom in her I think and she's opening up and letting it shine for the

entire world to see.

ANDERSON: Yes, and she's been at this of course for so many years. And she is if not the greatest gymnasts of all time, right up there with the best

and as you rightly point out, she's only 24 years old what a wise head on her shoulders.

I mean, we wish her the best and if we do see our competing again at these games, that I'm sure her teammates America and the rest of the world will

be cheering her on Coy, it's always a pleasure having your mate. Thank you so much.

Well, the host nation continues to wrap up gold medals with a winning the men's all-around gymnastics final, Daiki Hashimoto taking the gold bringing

Japan's total to 13 most so far in the Tokyo games.

It's a third straight Olympics at Japanese gymnasts has won the all-round event, whereas the medal count goes up. Sadly, so too does the COVID-19

case count Tokyo just reporting another record nearly 3200 new cases on Wednesday alone.

The Japanese Prime Minister though insisting the rising infections in the city of what is 37 million are not a problem for the games. He says he

doesn't think there are any concerns that the games could or should be canceled.

Well, we've got some hopeful news to report England ready to say welcome back to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and from the European


So it is ending quarantine restrictions for travelers coming from those two destinations as it were from August, the second, that's going into the

British transport secretary.

The idea is to make it easier for people who are living abroad to come to England more freely to see loved ones and have a holiday. CNN's Scott

McLean is tracking developments for us at London's Heathrow Airport.

And it's so important that we explain the detail of this and make it absolutely clear to whom the UK authorities are speaking to when they

announced that travelers from the U.S. and the EU will not have to quarantine from August 2, what are the details here?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, yes. So this is all starting Monday, Becky. And first off, I should let you know if you were to come to the UK

right now from the most European countries from the United States, you would have to take a test before you got here, you'd have to take three

tests when you arrived here, assuming that you only wanted to quarantine for five days instead of 10.

And then of course, you'd have to take one test before you arrived in your home country. And you might have to take one more when you get there as

well, depending on where you're traveling from and depending on what the rules are.

So it makes it incredibly - it makes it a big headache and it makes it incredibly costly as well. I can tell you from personal experience, you'll

shell out just in the testing alone on - in the UK you'll shell out north of $200 easily and that's if you shop around so it's really affected travel


Americans could already go to European countries; Europeans could travel around the EU block without really much of any problems at all. And so the

UK despite its advantage in vaccinating so, so many people was missing out on valuable tourist dollars despite that advantage and so today's

announcement aims to rectify that.


MCLEAN: So they've announced that starting on Monday, travelers coming in from the United States and from Europe, assuming that they are fully

vaccinated can come in now without quarantining that I still have to take a test before they leave. And they'll still have to take a test before they


But that is a far cry from the restrictions that were in place before that really, really managed to impact the number of people passing through, of

course, we're still in the midst of a pandemic.

But even so, Heathrow Airport says that in the first six months of this year, fewer than 4 million people pass through this airport. And just for

comparison's sake, Becky, in a normal year, with normal travel going on, they would hit those numbers in less than three weeks.

So this is likely to change that, of course, Heathrow Airport and likely all of the airports were among the groups lobbying the government hard on


ANDERSON: And you're making some really good points. And we're still not there. We being in the UK, and I'm here in England at the moment in the

London Bureau for CNN still not fully open for business as of yet.

Let's just be quite clear. I mean, although, you know, all bets are off since Freedom Day as it were, so mostly open for business. Let's just be

quite clear about where things stand in England, at least when it comes to COVID cases, hospitalizations, and data with regard this Delta variant,

where do we stand at this point?

MCLEAN: Better than we were a week ago, Becky, surprisingly, actually, to the government, I'm sure, because they were predicting that, you know,

cases would really get out of control toward the end of summer and would continue to spike upwards and hospitalization at Zendesk, they were

predicting would follow suit.

But for the last seven days in a row, case counts have actually come down. They are now much less than half of what they were just 10 or 11, 12 days

ago. And so things are looking much better, for sure. And deaths and hospitalizations are still rising.

But of course, those are lagging indicators. And so the hope, though, is that this may not be just a temporary blip in the radar that this may be

part of a larger trend. There are some caveats, though. And that's of course, that kids are not in school anymore.

And so that may explain part of the decline, fewer unvaccinated young people mixing amongst themselves. But also kids were getting tested twice a

week at their schools.

And so it may also be Becky that perhaps there's just fewer tests of people who are likely to test positive, younger unvaccinated people than there

were. And so maybe these numbers are a little bit misleading. But obviously, the government's hoping they're not.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. All right, but that's a story at Heathrow Airport from Scott McLean, some new news out just in the past couple of

hours. If you are a traveler coming from the U.S. or Europe or the EU into the UK, you will not have to quarantine from August 2nd.

Look, it's been a scramble, hasn't it for governments trying to get a grip on this Delta variant, which is driving up cases in so many parts of the

world. In the Asia Pacific region, health officials are seeing an alarming outbreak in Thailand, in South Korea and even in China.

Here in Europe, we've been reporting on countries that are now debating or bringing in vaccine passports or health passports as they're called and in

the U.S. a big reversal now on face coverings. Even fully vaccinated Americans are once again being asked to mask up indoors.

Our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, standing by for us. And this is so important, Sanjay, because you and I have talked about this

issue now, for four months. Let's start with this news out of the U.S. Does this mean that we should all now be wearing masks again?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the recommendation now from the Centers for Disease Control here in the United States is that

if you live in an area where there's a lot of viral spread, high viral spread or substantial viral spread, that everyone should wear masks if

they're going into public indoor spaces.

The idea is that even someone who's vaccinated while the vaccine is very good, Becky at preventing them from getting very sick. The data, the new

data that has not yet been published, shows that they can still carry enough viruses in their nose in their mouth to potentially spread it to


They say that this is still rare that the vast majority of viral spread that continues is from unvaccinated to unvaccinated people.

But this was the new guidance based on the concern that vaccinated people who were told about two months ago, two and a half months ago that they no

longer needed to wear masks that they could potentially be a source of spread, a small sports spread, but potentially a source of spread.


ANDERSON: You've just talked about some of the evidence that clearly the CDC is looking at when they come out with this guidance, and it will feel

like a sudden change to some people. And it is confusing too many. I just wondered whether you can just explain a little further.

DR. GUPTA: Well, I agree with you on both those points. I feel like a sudden change even a step backwards and it is confusing. It's confusing, in

part, because what is the problem, right?

The problem is that there are too many people who are unvaccinated and those people are primarily continuing to spread the virus to other

unvaccinated people. That's the primary spread, you do get cases where unvaccinated people might spread it to a vaccinated person although the

vaccinated person is not likely to know it, because they may not develop symptoms.

And you do get situations where vaccinated people could potentially spread it although those are rare. The primary problem is unvaccinated to


What happened in the United States, Becky, is that when the mass guidance changed in the middle of May, everyone basically stopped wearing their


People who are unvaccinated were told to still wear their masks, but most places did not require proof of vaccination. So this is in a way, I think,

an effort to get people to start masking again, universally, you know, because unvaccinated people weren't wearing their masks enough to curb the


Add into that the Delta variant, which you've talked about, a lot of people talked about, back in May, it was about 1.4 percent of the new infections

in this country. And now it's over 80 percent. This is a more contagious variant. It's not clear that it makes people sicker, Becky, but it's more


So people who may have kind of gotten away with it in the past, you know, they were living their lives thinking, you know what, I'm being cautious,

but maybe I'm letting my guard down. They're not likely to get away with it with this variant anymore. So I think that's what's driving these

recommendations as well.

ANDERSON: That's very, very clear. And thank you for that. I mean, it will go some way to, you know, relieving people of these, this sense of

confusion that hey, look, Sanjay.


ANDERSON: I'm in the UK at the moment working at the London bureau normally basis, you know, in Abu Dhabi. Here in England cases have been dropping an

hour for seven consecutive days.

And this follows a full reopening and easing of restrictions the country now just announcing it will allow fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S.

and the EU to avoid quarantine. Should we feel optimistic about this? Or should we remain cautious?

DR. GUPTA: We - I think I don't want to, you know, sort of I want to answer the question directly. But I think it's cautiously optimistic, right?

I mean, the numbers have been dropping and I'm not entirely sure why I've been talking to colleagues over in the UK, looking at the numbers

carefully, it could be that the wave has sort of peaked.

And now it's coming down, which is good. You want the numbers, the case numbers going in the right direction, hospitalizations have still been

going up a bit. But that might be a lag effect overall from those new cases.

It's unclear exactly why that's happening if this is just a blip on the radar, and it's going to go back up. So I think that's the caution part of


But it is optimistic, because if the numbers continue to go down, it may give a sense even here in the United States and other places around the

world, sort of how these waves look with Delta. This is Delta wave that the UK just saw, as it's bad and it's frightening, but it does sort of become

these waves. I think that this virus keeps surprising us Becky.

And how it behaves and whether it's so much more contagious, I think people still have to be cautious, especially around vulnerable people who may not

be vaccinated, vulnerable people who may have weakened immune systems.

As we go into the cooler, drier weather people tend to huddle indoors more, you may see elderly relatives in an indoor setting. I think that those

situations still ask for caution.

ANDERSON: And let's be clear, there are many who say that we have just seen the schools breaking up, of course, for this sort of six week period in the

UK, most of these school kids are out and they had been being tested right, you know, during that last school period.

So you know, if we're seeing case numbers down that could also be effective that we should add in which suggests we should remain cautious as we are

cautiously optimistic because of course those kids will go back to school in September.

All right, it's always a pleasure. You know that Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the house with invaluable insight into exactly what is going on around the

world at this point. Well just head on "Connect the World" threats, delays and crime scenes are filmed. We'll have exclusive dramatic details about

the investigation into the assassination in Haiti.


ANDERSON: Is there a cover up and we take a closer look at the mental health challenges facing athletes after American superstar Simone Biles

withdrawals from team and all around competitions at the Olympics that coming up after this.


ANDERSON: In Haiti, another insider is accused in the plot to assassinate President Jovenel Moise. Prosecutors say the Head of Presidential Security

has now been arrested.

At least 24 Police officers and several people high up in Haitian security are under investigation. In the July 7 killing a Supreme Court Judge also

wanted. Meantime, CNN has exclusive new details about possible attempts to thwart the investigation.

Matt Rivers, my colleague at CNN has been working on this story since the beginning. And he joins us now from his base home base back in Mexico City.

What have you got, Matt?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we have is just an incredibly complicated, mysterious case here, where we have not been able to figure

out a motive, we have not been able to figure out who is the mastermind.

But we have been able to figure out that there appears to be a coordinated effort underway to prevent some of those people who are seeking the truth

in this case, from finding it.


RIVERS (voice over): The assassination of President Jovenel Moise's - Haiti and finding out who did it and why has become an all-consuming question on

the island. But for some of the people investigating who took the President's life, it is meant risking their own lives to do so.

CNN has obtained a copy of a previously unseen formal complaint filed with Haiti's National Police, in which several Haitian court clerks key figures

in criminal investigations detail the death threats they've received in the past few weeks. Hey Clerk, you can wait for a bullet in your head.

They gave you an order and you keep on doing read one text message. The threat comes from someone anonymous angry that the clerk has not followed

certain instructions about whom and what to investigate.

RIVERS (on camera): The threads appear to be just one startling example of what appeared to be consistent patterns of intimidation and a failure to

follow procedure throughout the investigation into the President's death.

CNN has spoken to multiple sources close to the investigation, who detailed what they believe are clear attempts to block investigators and therefore

the public from finding out more about who killed the president and why.

RIVERS (voice over): Starting just a few hours after the assassination around 7 a.m. outside the presidential residence, sources tell CNN multiple

court clerks were kept outside a Police perimeter for more than three hours after arriving even while other law enforcement was inside.

Normally experts on Haiti's legal system say clerks enter a crime scene right away to officially document any evidence and to take statements from

key witnesses per Haitian law.


RIVERS (on camera): It's unclear why in this case they were delayed, but when they eventually did make it into the presidential residence just down

the street behind me, sources tell us that not one of the roughly two dozen or so guards present at the time of the assassination were still there,

meaning no witness statements were immediately taken.

RIVERS (voice over): Later on that day, there was a fierce gunfight between Haitian security forces and some of the alleged assassins at this building.

Multiple suspects were killed, all of whom were Colombian.

Sources close to the investigation tell us court clerks were not immediately allowed into the shootout scene, which would have been filled

with evidence including we're told the bodies of the dead Colombians.

In an official document filed with Haiti's top prosecutor clerks describe examining the bodies not here at the shootout site, but here outside of an

office building just down the road that suggests the bodies had been removed from the crime scene before being processed. No official

explanation of why that happened was given.

CHRISTIAN EMMANUEL SANON: Ways the leadership of--

RIVERS (voice over): A few days later authority start to zero in on this man, Christian Emmanuel Sanon as someone who allegedly recruited and helped

organize some of these men seen here the large group of Colombians and several Americans, Haitian officials alleged carried out this crime.

We haven't heard from them publicly. A source close to the investigation previously told CNN Sanon told investigators he is innocent. It was around

this time that the anonymous phone calls started.

According to the official complaint filed with Police obtained by CNN clerks received multiple threatening phone calls, telling them to stop

investigating two suspects in the case and remove them from their reports.

According to the complaint, the calls were followed by this text message, "they told you to stop going around searching people's houses in the

president assassination case and you refused. You've been told to take out two names and you refused. We're watching you.

Sources close to the investigation tell us the clerks were also told to add unrelated names to their reports, people who had no clear connection to the

crime. It's unclear who made any of the calls or sent the text messages.

And then there's what happened with the FBI. Special agents from the bureau invited in by Haiti's government went to the presidential residence about

two weeks ago to collect evidence. Sources tell us the agents managed to find a lot including the megaphone used here.

This is from the night of the assassination where one of the suspects is keeping people away from the scene by claiming it was all a DEA operation,

something the agency and Haitian officials repeatedly denied that it was.

Sources tell CNN, FBI agents were a little surprised to find so much evidence still at the crime scene and left wondering why Haitian

authorities hadn't already collected it. Those sources added they do expect the FBI will have continued access to evidence that they requested.


RIVERS (on camera): Now, Becky, we have reached out to multiple government agencies within Haiti's government for comment. The only person that got

back to us was the top prosecutor in Haiti who said he's going to try and get some investigators some more protection, not exactly a reassuring

response from the Haitian government.

But you take all of these breaches in investigated protocol. You combine those with these explicit death threats.

And at the very least, it should cause all of us to question the veracity of the statements coming out of Haiti's government, when they are giving

even incremental updates about this investigation, Becky.

ANDERSON: Matt Rivers on the story for you, Matt, thank you. Well, this is "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson. We are today live from London for


Still ahead, two superstar athletes bringing mental health concerns to the forefront at the Tokyo Olympics, I want to talk next to a sports

psychologist about what we can learn from the struggles of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka.



ANDERSON: Well, a recap our top story for you today. The woman considered the world's top gymnasts will not compete in the all-around final on

Thursday at the Olympics and that of course is the premier event. Simone Biles withdrew from the event after leaving the team competition early on

Tuesday, citing a need to work on her mental health.

A Former U.S. Olympic Gymnasts Aly Raisman says Biles is under particularly intense pressure has a listen.


ALY RAISMAN, GYMNAST AND TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN: Having competed in two Olympics, it is so much pressure and I think coming from the U.S. where we

are lucky to have so many incredible successful athletes, there's this pressure that we have to win and that if we don't win, it's this fear of

what if we disappoint people?

What if people don't like us anymore? There's so much pressure and then you know, thinking about the pressure I had on myself. It's nothing compared to

what Simone Biles has on her leaving into the games. And right now I really am proud of Simone for sharing with everyone.

It's very hard to do that, especially when you're on such a big stage is the Olympics and I can't imagine how hard that was for her to pull out

today. But I'm proud of her and she knows her body better than anyone else. And she knows her mind better than anyone else.


ANDERSON: That's Aly Raisman speaking there. Leeja Carter joining me now she's a Sports Psychologist and a Professor at Temple University it's

terrific to have you on what is such an important issue here. What do you make of Simone's decision and the announcement about why she pulled out of


LEEJA CARTER, PROFESSOR OF FEMINIST SPORT & EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: Hi, and thank you for having me. I think that we all should be

taking a page out of Simone Biles, you know, playbook here and putting ourselves first. I mean, she's absolutely right in what she's done. You

know, she knows her body and her mind just like Aly Raisman said better than anybody else.

She's putting not only her body first in her mind first, but she's putting her safety first. She's saying to everyone, look, you know, I know what my

body and my mind feel like at 100 percent. And I'm not there right now. And I still have other events to come at the rest of the - other events that

come later this week.

I still have the individual and the all-around competition. I'm not feeling 100 percent. And so while I hate to do this, I'm going to have to sit this

one out for the team competition. So I can show up at my best later this week. And I don't know - if I don't think or know that that is a great

display of being a professional athlete. I don't know what is?

ANDERSON: Of course withdrawing from the Olympic event, as she did impacts the entire team that you're playing for, as it were. And Simone has gotten

some criticism for what people or some people described as letting her team down. What do you make of that?

CARTER: Yes, you know, I've heard this. But, you know, I think that Simone Biles not only is a great technician, but she's a great mathematician as

well. She took a step back and really thought, you know, what is better for me to go out and make some silly mistakes that I can't - I wouldn't be able

to take back that might have kept the U.S. team off the podium, right?


CARTER: Or sit this one out in order for them to still get a medal. So while critics might say OK they didn't get gold, they got silver. The math

is there, and she already did it.

ANDERSON: I want to present to you another counterpoint to this discussion is one that you will be I'm sure well aware of this tweet specifically

comes from Piers Morgan, who is a TV personality and journalist. But I've seen a similar point being made by others.

This is from Piers Morgan, "I take mental illness very seriously. What I don't like is people cynically using mental health as a protective shield

against any poor performance or justified criticism, it distracts attention from those with mental illness who need help care, treatment", your


CARTER: Yes, so you know, I said this earlier in another conversation, you know, athletic performance, professional performance, is a very intimate

delicate recipe. Think about baking a cake, you know, you need some flour, you need some eggs, you need some butter, and you need some vanilla,

whatever else you're putting into that cake.

You need the same when it comes to performance, right? You need that training; you need that strength and conditioning, right? You need rest.

And you need that mental, that mental edge, that mental performance.

If you take any of those ingredients out, if you leave them out and if you don't treat them and cultivate them the right way. You're not going to have

the performance that you hoping you envision. So for Simone Biles, she knows that she is a professional athlete, she knows about the ingredients.

She knows how her performance needs to be cultivated and rested in all the right ways. She's not using mental health as an excuse. She knows that it

is a delicate ingredient for the magic that we see and love in her.

ANDERSON: I just got to two questions for you briefly and just how tough has this past year been on athletes? You must speak to athletes all of the

time as a sports psychologist, and has what they have been through during COVID as many of us have, has that amplified do you think issues that as

Simone has suggested are mental health issues?

CARTER: You know, for Simone and for USA gymnast, I think it's - we would be remiss if we didn't look at the history of their experience. First,

let's remember 2018 and for Simone Biles when she broke her silence around her survivorship with the violence of Larry Nasser and then COVID in end of

2019 and 2020, and then the delayed Olympic Games, and now the Olympics.

So athletes, particularly U.S. gymnast have really experienced a number of challenges and violence that they are still going through processing and

healing from that cannot be forgotten and understated. And when Simone Biles says she's feeling the weight of the world, she definitely is.

And so she's absolutely right to take a step back and do two things that are going to work for her and her body in order for her to perform at her

best later this week.

ANDERSON: You make a very, very good point. Look, it isn't just Simone Biles with this candid admission. And you've talked about the way the team

there as well. Some imbalances of mission follows Naomi Osaka's decision this year to withdraw from tennis tournament to protect her mental health

and that shun, and continues to shine a global spotlight and what has for way too long been this taboo subjects of mental health, in sports and

beyond, you know, in our wider sort of society and community.

Do you feel that that tide is somewhat shifting now and I wonder what you think the consequences of any shift will be?

CARTER: You know, what I think is happening is that the stigma around mental health and talking about mental health and our human experiences are

beginning to lift. And with that stigma shifting - us the normalization, around talking about mental health is happening.

It's becoming much more common, and normalizes to talk about our experiences around mental health and mental illness. And then that is

beginning to come into the realm of athleticism and sport. I think the consequences are positive.


CARTER: I think that much more healthy dialogue and conversation around mental health and mental illness are beginning to happen. And all the

different layers and nuance that impact our everyday mental health and experiences around wellbeing are beginning to occur. And I think that's

good. I think conversations and dialogue around this topic are very good.

ANDERSON: With that, we'll leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

CARTER: Thank you for having me.

ANDERSON: Well, after the break, we'll meet a woman who was held a pretty dangerous position in Afghanistan. She's one of the few women to have

become Mayor of an Afghan City; her views on the future of her country are coming up.


ANDERSON: Well, China is calling for peace in Afghanistan. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Taliban leaders earlier on Wednesday. Mullah

Abdul Ghani Baradar one of the Taliban's Co-Founders Wang told the leaders failed U.S. policies to blame for the current situation he adds the

withdrawal of troops gives the Afghan people an opportunity to develop the country on their own.

Let's see Taliban, the group to be talking to about peace. Well my next guest has a unique view on that she was one of Afghanistan's first female

mayor and is trying to bring together the next generation of activists as an ambassador at the one Young World Summit Zarifa Ghafari joins us now

from Kabul. Thank you for joining us.

You've been through some horrific experiences you have survived multiple assassination attempts your father tragically was killed by the Taliban a

couple of months ago and I'm so sorry for your loss. You said that his killing was revengeful and not being able to get to you explain your story

if you will.

ZARIFA GHAFARI, FORMER MAYOR, MAIDAN SHAHR, AFGHANISTAN: Thank you so much. Exactly after three times - badly attack on my knee they killed my dad just

when these - last attack - than the last attack. They tried to kill me too - killing off my dad with the murder of my dad and Taliban themselves

accepted and they took their responsibility for the death of my dad.

Yes, it was always so hard. It's been always so hard but it always gives me all this power and strength to step further to struggle furthermore, and as

a young lady, fighting for all that I love, it's all about my country, a nation.


GHAFARI: So yes, the prices have been paid. It's so more and so big, but it never - it never makes me stop because I know they want to stop me that's

why they are trying to hurt me with the killing of my family member with the traits that they are trying to give me.

ANDERSON: How would you describe the state of Afghanistan today? We just heard the Chinese Foreign Minister blame the U.S. for a sense of

instability in Afghanistan as they pull out their troops that was in conversation with the Taliban. What is going on? How would you describe

what's going on at present?

GHAFARI: In present I have to say that international community I don't know why but - I feel they're they - know enough pie or in a war and in a

situation where we were at - we are fighting for the - of pupil a nation.

Right now in Afghanistan situation is not so good. We are losing money many civilians, we are losing many soldiers we are - the donors have been

stopped their donations, funding are all closed. International media is not able to cover whatever is going on.

But yes today in Afghanistan situation is not so good. Pakistan is directly supporting Taliban and handling them and Taliban are here killing Afghan

pupil so widely. They are harassing women. They're abusing women rights. We have been watching then - like so bad news is on social media.

And as well, our news is that they have been really making heartache issues in and with the pupil where they have control law. And security forces we

are losing money, many of them just because of attacks just because of ongoing war. And more important that the international community and

international donors have been, you know, so hard that they I don't know that why they're doing this.

They have closed all the doors, they stop all donations, donors are not funding, donations are - are those ambassadors are just about to run away.

I think people like things that once again, there will be a situation of 20 years back, but and then even--

ANDERSON: As you can tell viewers--

GHAFARI: --20 years before.

ANDERSON: Yes, yes, I'm sorry. We've been able to hear most of what you've been saying, which has been extremely important. Our connection, though, is

not great. So I'm going to leave it there. And we thank you very much indeed for joining us.

You rose to prominence in 2018 by becoming the youngest and first female mayor in Afghanistan in a conservative part of the country; it has to be

said fascinating insight. U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken says Taliban advances in Afghanistan are deeply troubling.

In his first official trip to India Blinken met with leaders in New Delhi emphasizing the shared interest for both countries to have peace in

Afghanistan, Blinken said negotiations will be key and pointed out other ways the U.S. will offer non-military support.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Even as we're withdrawing our forces, were remaining very much engaged in Afghanistan supporting the

government economic assistance development assistant, assistant for the security forces and diplomacy to try to bring the parties together for a

peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Many countries in immediately neighboring Afghanistan and in the broader region, including China have interests in Afghanistan. And as it happens,

those interests largely align. No one whether it's the United States, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Central Asian countries, no one has

an interest in Afghanistan falling into an enduring Civil War.


ANDERSON: Well, we are told a range of other issues, such as climate change and fighting COVID were also discussed Blinken heading to Kuwait next to

meet there with senior officials and staying in the Gulf Region, Saudi Arabia tightening its current Coronavirus travel rules.


ANDERSON: The government in Saudi is already banned travel to 16 countries with high COVID infection rates. The Interior Ministry now says any Saudi

citizen who visits one of those countries and comes back won't be allowed to go abroad again for three years. The ministry cites the spread of a

mutated strain but didn't specify which one?

Well, European firefighters are working against Mother Nature battling wildfires from Italy, to Spain and beyond. Next, we'll take you to some of

the places where people have to leave their homes that after this.


ANDERSON: Now, wildfires sadly raging across Southern Europe leaving destruction in several countries and with more hot weather and little rain

in the forecast these flames could keep burning for a while my colleague Scott McLean with this report.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Day turn tonight in Sardinia dark plumes of wildfire smoke blot out the sun, wildfires are raging across

the Mediterranean Island. It's dangerous to stay in one place too long.

A disaster without precedent is what the President of the Sardinia region calls it he declared a state of emergency on Sunday. Hundreds have been

evacuated and the Italian government had to call in help from France and Greece who sent firefighting planes.

Sardinia is hardly the only European region struggling with wildfires; Catalonia has managed to stabilize most of wildfire that burned nearly 2000

hectares of land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have felt very helpless not being able to do anything. We were here watching the flames we're getting closer and closer

and we cannot do anything.

MCLEAN (voice over): Just over the Pyrenees in Southern France it took 800 firefighters to bring a blaze under control. They say they're still worried

about the parched earth that could be jet fuel for a new fire. And in Greece too dozens of firefighters are battling an inferno just north of

Athens, warning residents to close their windows and doors.

It comes of course, just weeks after devastating flooding in Germany and Belgium killed more than 200 people with over 100 still missing. Droughts

are becoming more frequent and more severe in Southern Europe. European environmental authorities say that this region is at greatest risk on the

continent as the impacts from climate change increase.

FRANS TIMMERMANS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT: The fact that erratic weather patterns are going to be the new normal means that we

need to adapt to that and we need to prevent things getting worse.

And if we don't do something urgently and urgently, I mean now then, you know, climate crisis is going to get really strong and our citizens do

understand that we need to act now.

MCLEAN (voice over): And as extreme weather and fire becomes the new normal for more and more of us, and action cannot come soon enough. Scott McLean,

CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, I just got a couple of minutes left of this show and I want to get you back to our top story the Tokyo Olympics. For the most part,

stadiums of course are empty spectators banned, but still devoted fans are finding ways to show support.


ANDERSON: Have a look at this.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS (voice over): Japanese softball fans cheering on their team from a local theater as the Olympic hosts compete against Team USA for

the gold. Audiences are banned at most of the Olympic events due to Coronavirus restrictions. But that hasn't stopped the devotion of the fans

that've waited years for this moment.

Olympic fever was also in the air at the women's triathlon Tuesday although spectators weren't allowed along the route. People eager to watch braved

the rain and lined up to cheer the athletes on.

TONY LIM, OLYMPIC SPECTATOR: So people are keeping their distance wearing masks. So we feel like it's like most other places around the city anyway.

WIRE (voice over): Japanese weightlifting legend Yoshinobu Miyazaki wasn't going to miss the chance to see his nice compete. Two time weightlifting

gold medalist watch from a local training gym. Unfortunately, - Miyazaki will not take home a medal this year.

Outside of Tokyo, there's been just as much enthusiasm 17-year-old American Lydia Jacoby taking home gold in the women's 100 meter breaststroke,

beating reigning champ Lily King. Friends in Jacoby's hometown of Seward, Alaska went wild as she made history, becoming the first swimmer from the

state to win Olympic Gold.

Hundreds gathered at a shopping mall in Hong Kong to watch foil fencer Cheung Ka-Long also make Olympic history, winning Hong Kong's first Olympic

Gold Medal in this sport. Fans in Maidenhead England were ecstatic watching Britain's Tom Dean win the gold in the 200 meter freestyle. It was also one

for the record books, Britain's first 1, 2 finishes in 113 years.

COVID restrictions and spectator bands have made this year Summer Olympics a bit more challenging, but it definitely hasn't stopped the enthusiasm.

Where there's a will there's a way for these loyal fans to root for their home countries Coy Wire, CNN, Tokyo.


ANDERSON: --right he says you've got to be there in person to enthusiastically support your team. Wherever you're watching continue to

enjoy those athletes do stay safe stay well, "One World" tonight with Eleni Giokos live from Dubai up next.