Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Belarusian Athlete Makes Plea For Asylum; Top Israeli Court Hearing Sheikh Jarrah Eviction Case; Turkey Wildfires Leaving "Disaster Zones" Behind; One Man's Mission To Save The World's Sharks. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired August 02, 2021 - 10:00:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: This star athlete was in Tokyo running for her country now. She's running away from it. Why this

Belarusians Olympian is pleading for asylum.

Tense times in Jerusalem. The top Israeli court will rule on a highly controversial Palestinian eviction case, more on that is up.

Some areas destroyed by deadly fires in Turkey are now declared disaster zones by the President. Further details, coming up.

I'm Becky Anderson. It is 3:00 p.m. where I am in London. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Poland has granted a humanitarian visa to a Belarusian athlete who refused to board a flight to her home country. The athletes, Kristina Timanovskaya,

is in the Polish embassy in Tokyo this hour. This all started when she criticized her coaches for entering her into the four by four 100-meter

relay without her consent. She reportedly asked for help at Tokyo's airport.

When team officials tried to send her home on Sunday, the athlete told a reporter she believes she'll be put in jail if she goes back to Belarus. We

are covering this story on two continents. Nick Paton Walsh is standing by in London.

First up, Selina Wang joining us from Tokyo. What do we know about the circumstances of this case at this point?

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I'm actually standing outside of the Polish embassy here in Tokyo where Kristina

Timanovskaya had earlier entered. And according to the foreign minister, she has received a humanitarian visa from Poland. The deputy foreign

minister said that they will do whatever they can so she can continue her sporting career.

We have learned that she will be traveling actually to Poland in the coming days. Now, Becky, she was set to compete in the 200-meter heats on Monday.

But on Sunday, Belarus national team representatives went to the Olympic Village, told her to pack up her belongings and go back to Belarus. When

she got to the airport in Japan, she approached Japanese police officers. She said she wanted to seek political asylum, she feared going back now.

Now, this fear comes after she spoke out against national sporting authority. She had complained on Instagram that she had been entered in

this four by four 100 relay, which she had not prepared for. It was without her consent.

And this is what she said to a Belarus sports news site, she said, quote, "I am afraid that I might be jailed in Belarus. I'm not afraid of being

fired or kicked out of the national team. I'm concerned about my safety. And I think that at the moment, it is not safe for me in Belarus. I didn't

do anything but they deprived me of the right to participate in the 200- meter race and wanted to send me home."

Now, Becky, Belarusian and athletes who have criticized the government following the mass protests have faced reprisal, they've been detained,

they've been excluded from national teams. President Alexander Lukashenko refused to step down last year and has initiated this violent, brutal

crackdown on journalists, on dissidents, on protesters. Some athletes also participated in those protests and several of them were jailed.

Also, important, Becky, to note that Alexander Lukashenko had been in charge of the National Olympic team -- Olympic Committee in Belarus for

decades before his son, Viktor, took over. Now the IOC does not recognize his son, Viktor, and both Lukashenko and his son are banned from attending

the Tokyo games. Becky?

ANDERSON: Selina Wang is in Tokyo.

Nick Paton Walsh connecting you to the details from London. Let's start with Poland. What is --what is Poland saying about what is going on?

NICK PATON, WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Well, essentially Poland, along with the other E.U. states on Belarus' border, is watching

this slow-motion car crash of authoritarianism across the border over the past year, year or so now.

Now, we've seen extraordinary brutality on the behalf of riot police often against entirely peaceful, very young Belarusians citizens. I've reported

on stories of alleged male raped by police officers using their batons. We've seen extraordinary videos of the violence that police are willing to

do. And also, rather eerie pictures to the government themselves released of an activist in jail who simply keeled over multiple times before dying

shortly in custody.


These are very dark times inside of Belarus. And there are tens of thousands of people who've already left that country, many of them into

Poland. Now, Poland's position on this, I think, is twofold. It sees as a member of the European Union, an obligation to give asylum to those seeking

political change inside of Belarus.

No love lost between them and the Lukashenko regime or government, but also to frankly, many of those leaving are the better educated internet savvy,

hardworking Belarusians who seek a more western style society inside of Belarus, and so probably make quite a substantial contribution to Poland's


But we're seeing this in all of the E.U. neighbors of Belarus, bright, young, Belarusians leaving, starting a life for themselves elsewhere and

trying to potentially keep what they can of the opposition protest movement inside.

But it has been so heavily hit now. So much of the protest of what you see is essentially flash mobs that briefly appear film themselves and then put

their protests online, real concerns about what's happening off camera for people, unlike Kristina Timanovskaya whose plight is not my -- sort of

reported on by much of the world and who simply have an exceptionally brutal time in custody, Becky.

ANDERSON: Have we had a response from the Belarus government? And how will this affect relations, Nick, between Poland and I guess the sort of wider

E.U. and the country?

WALSH: Yes. I mean, the statement, so far, as I'm aware is from the Belarusian Olympic Committee members who have been clear in saying that

they believe Ms. Timanovskaya had emotional or psychological issues. And that's why they took her off the team.

Now, that for those who've grown up in the former Soviet Union, the use of, sort of, a psychological reason to potentially for someone back to their

country is redolent of the repression of the Soviet Union. And this is a very dark time, I think. When you normally associate somebody, it seems

according to Ms. Timanovskaya's version of events being forcibly repatriated from the Olympics, some of you might expect from North Korea or

an exceptionally repressive regime.

But these sorts of tactics are being used by Belarus, as President called the last dictator in Europe, their relationship with Poland next door,

obviously, will deteriorate because of Poland's open embrace of the athlete Timanovskaya. They've essentially got a humanitarian visa then likely

asylum, but she can continue her sports from that country too, but it continues to tighten the noose around Belarus' government there.

They're under heavy sanctions after the forced downing of a Ryanair jet. It seemed just to get an opposition blogger off that plane. They get a lot of

backing from Moscow. And there are two minds as to how Moscow feels about this. Some analysts say Moscow are grateful of the distraction of ghastly

repression next door in Belarus because it makes them look like the responsible adult in the authoritarian room.

And others say frankly, Russia could simply do without this sort of attention. And this sort of chaos comes with being fermented by its unruly

Western neighbor.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Nick.

Selina, briefly, Kristina Timanovskaya, as I understand, it does not have a reputation as an activist, nor does she have a reputation for being

particularly critical of the government. This was a personal Instagram posting, clearly out of frustration and then fear.

WANG: Yes, Becky, according to what we know and what she has said, when she posted on Instagram, she was simply speaking out that this action was taken

out of her consent. She said this decision to put her in this race was made behind her back. She was complaining about negligence of the coaches. She

was not making some grand political statement, Becky. There are, of course, other scenarios where Olympics athletes in the past have tried to defect at

these global sporting events.

But as far as we know, she was speaking out about this particular negligence in regards to her being put in this relay race that she was not

prepared for that she did not give consent to. Becky.

ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you. An important story.

Well, big news from gymnastics at the Olympics. Simone Biles will compete one last time at the Tokyo games. USA Gymnastics confirmed that she will

take part in Tuesday's individual competition on the beam. Biles has pulled out of all her other individual events while dealing with problems doing

flips and spins in the air.

Meanwhile, everyone is still buzzing about the men's 100 meters that track and field. Italian, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, won the title of the fastest man

in the world, taking the crown from the retired great Usain Bolt. He is now the first European man to win the 100 meters since 1992.

And history being made by a New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, as well becoming the first transgender woman to compete at the games. Hubbard

shown here during practice on Sunday, failed in all three of her attempts today and is now out of the competition, but making history just by



CNN Sports Cory Wire in Tokyo, following all of the action.

Let's start with Simone Biles. She's so OK to compete in the beam after electing to pass on all of her other events. And good for her, obviously,

the spectators, those of us who are watching from afar, of course, because there aren't any in the actual event, because it's wonderful to see her

competing. What do we know of her -- of her mindset at this point?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Becky, what a roller coaster ride this has been, right? After pulling out midway through that team

competition way back last Tuesday. It's been a day to day evaluation process for Team USA, most importantly, for Simone Biles. Would she feel

well enough to compete in the five individual competitions for which she had qualified?

But the day before, each of those competitions, Becky, she would withdraw. But Biles was seen earlier today, as you can see here in Tokyo heading to

the gym to watch teammate Jade Carey competing the floor exercise. Carey did win gold, by the way. It was a waiting game here today. The day before

the final event, the beam that you mentioned there, the last chance we'd have to see the goat compete in these games. And she will indeed compete


Remember on Friday, Biles revealed in now deleted post that she couldn't tell up from down in a practice session here on Friday. And she said she

had no idea where she was in the air, no idea how she'd land or what she would land on. The 24-year-old said that when she's had the twisties, as

she's called them in the past, it took her two or more weeks to get over them.

But she's going, Becky. Simone Biles is the greatest of all time. This would have been like Tom Brady pulling himself out of the first quarter of

a Super Bowl because his mentals weren't right, as Simone Biles called it. But he says game on for the fourth quarter. Let's go and everyone is

waiting, wondering what is going to happen.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely.

Meantime, we know what's happened in the weightlifting. Laurel Hubbard didn't win, but she made Olympic history in just competing, didn't she?

WIRE: Indeed, Olympic history made. Earlier here this Monday when New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, became the first ever openly

transgender woman to compete in the games. Hubbard competed in the men's weightlifting before coming out as transgender woman in 2013. Since

returning to competition, Becky, she's won seven international gold medals. But she did fail, as you mentioned, on all three attempts in the 87-

kilogram division today.

The International Olympic Committee began allowing transgender athletes at the Olympics back in 2004. But, Becky, it is taken until this year, this

day for the first openly trans athletes to compete.

ANDERSON: Listen, I don't want to shortchange the new Italian champion so briefly, track and field has now began, and what a result in the 100 meters


WIRE: Incredible. Lamont Marcell Jacobs has been aging like a fine Italian wine over here. Getting better with time. In Tokyo, he ran a personal best

in the heats, top that with another personal best in the semis but he saved the best for last in that 100-meter final, Becky. Jacobs taking the Olympic

throne as the fastest man alive, running a 9.8 seconds, 26 years old, born in El Paso, Texas, to an Italian mom and American Dad. Military family.

Jacob's moved to Italy as a kid when the U.S. military transferred his dad to South Korea. It's the first ever medal for an Italian man in the 100.

Huge day for Italy at the track, Becky.

Italian men are the fastest runners, highest jumpers, Gianmarco Tamberi, took gold to the high jump as well. They're the best footballers in Europe.

What's next? If you're a talent, you're feeling really good about yourself this Monday, Becky.

ANDERSON: And why not? Why not? Good stuff. Thank you, Coy. Always a pleasure.

Well, the weight is still on in a court case that contributed to the unrest leading to the Israel Hamas conflict back in May. Israel Supreme Court is

weighing whether to hear an appeal on the forced eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. There was no

ruling today, so the case will continue into another day.

Now, let me just take you back for a moment to remind you this case caused unrest in East Jerusalem that boiled over earlier this year. Police clashed

with protesters leading to the conflict that killed some 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel.

Hadas Gold connecting to us today from the Bureau in Jerusalem. What do we know at this point? This is a highly emotive -- and let me use that term,

but I could come up with a number of other terms. A highly emotive case of course.

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, lots of people watching it, lots of tension around it. The hearing went on for hours today at the

Supreme Court in Jerusalem. It came to no conclusion, according to our producer who was in court There will be another session likely.


And one thing that did happen today was the judge tried to offer some, sort of, compromise between the two parties, essentially, that would grant these

Palestinian families protected tenancy status, but would, in essence, also recognize a Jewish settlers organization's rights to ownership of the land.

That was not necessarily accepted or an oral agreement was reached.

And in fact, the judge asked the Palestinian families to come up with a list of names that would be granted protected tenancy, but we'll have to

wait and see what happens in further hearings on this case, we reach absolutely no conclusion.

But I also wanted to walk our viewers back a little bit so they can understand what this case is about. Now, lower courts have ruled that prior

to 1948, this land was owned by Jews, but that they lost the access to land after the State of Israel was created in 1948. That War of Independence

when Jordan took control of East Jerusalem.

Now, these Palestinian families were resettled in this land when they lost their homes because of the creation of the State of Israel. But during the

1967 War, Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and soon after, passed a law saying that Israeli Jews could try to reclaim property that they say

they lost after 1948.

Now, Palestinians say that these restitution laws are inherently unfair to them, because they don't have the same, sort of, legal recourse to try to

reclaim land that they lost in what is the state of Israel. So, this case continues, tensions continue to be high around this.

And there's a lot of questions about what will happen because even if the court does not agree to hear this appeal on, the evictions can technically

move forward, the state of his will, the government may decide not to actually see these evictions through, citing a 1991 decision by the

Attorney General that essentially says if an eviction could lead to further dangerous, they may not see it through so clearly. This is continuing and

there's a lot of tension many people nervously watching what will happen with this case. Becky.

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem. Keeping us across that story. Thank you, Hadas.

Coming up on CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson, everything is going to burn. Those are the words of a desperate farmer, one of many, as deadly

wildfires sweep Turkey. I want to get you there live, next.

But dire warning about Africa's most populous city. Experts say the Nigerian coastal city of Lagos may soon be uninhabitable. A report on that

and they might seem scary.

But sharks are a vital part of our life on planet and they are under threat. Why one man hopes understanding these creatures can also help save



ANDERSON: Well, the public scenes in Turkey were raging wildfires have killed at least eight people, more than 1,100 had to be evacuated on Sunday

from the tourist destination of Bodrum. People were taken to safety by boat to keep roads open for emergency vehicles. Turkish officials say more than

100 fires have started across the country since Wednesday. And this is especially heartbreaking for the farmers who have to watch helplessly as

their land and livestock are destroyed.


CNN's Arwa Damon went to speak to some of those hardest hit, and she joins us now. And the situation on the ground and just what's going on? And what

sort of help is Turkey getting at this point?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTENTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, look, the Turkish government says that they have most of these fires under control.

The problem is that those that aren't under their control are raging, just gobbling up, land burning through precious forests and destroying nature,

but also sending people running for their lives. They're trying to fight these flames on their own.

Now, yes, there is some international assistance from countries like Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran. The E.U. is going to be sending in aircraft as

well. But there's a lot of anger being leveled at the Turkish government for a lack of adequate readiness for this kind of a situation, as well as a

lack of having the types of aircraft one would need to properly be able to combat these sorts of flames. And then, of course, you have the impact of

climate change on all of this. These incredibly hot temperatures, everything is just so dry and easily flammable.

And so, we went to one village where we witnessed people living there, residents who were just trying to fight the fire largely on their own.


DAMON (voice over): Gulay Kacar can barely breathe, barely shout the words. Her father's land is burning. Let it burn, we're going to burn to her

relative response. She's frantic. Where to go? What to do? What can they save?

For days, the flames have been leaping closer and closer to this tiny village on Turkey's Southern Mediterranean coast. It's as if they're

fighting a monster that keeps coming to life each time they dare to hope it's dead.

Everything is going to burn, Muzeyyan Kacar, tells us mournfully. Our land, our animals, our house. What else do we have anyway?

Despite this being close to popular seaside tourist destinations, these villagers don't have much and what they have, they cherish, they take pride


A small band of men from here and other areas trudges through the easily flammable fields. They take control of the firefighter's hose. It's so hot

out, it feels like the water evaporates almost as quickly as it is sprayed. Trees are felt to stop the flames from growing and sparks flying into other

areas. They are fighting a beast they may not be able to beat.

The last of the children are sent away.

How should I feel? We haven't slept for three days, this woman likes to tell us.

DAMON (on camera): So angry that they're actually finding our questions and how they're feeling what they're thinking to be able to look ridiculous.

And I get it.

DAMON (voice over): For what can we even think even say when they are watching everything they own in life about to go up in flames?


DAMON: Now, Becky, that village was luckily spared largely because the winds shifted. But that particular fire, it is not yet under control.

ANDERSON: Arwa Damon on the ground for you.

Let's get you to Chad Myers. We're going to want to talk about these wildfires and the impact of climate change.

Chad, we are not just seeing these fires in Turkey but in Greece and beyond. What have you got?

CHAD MYERS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: You know, we have a satellite up in the sky, Motus satellite. Usually, you think about a satellite and that

shows you the clouds or a thunderstorm or a hurricane or a typhoon, but it actually can find hotspots.

Look at the number of hotspots that the satellite has found across northern Europe, Southern Europe, parts of Greece, Turkey as well, all the way now.

This is only a 24-hour period of where there are flames on the ground. The satellite can actually pick up the heat signature.

And these are the ones that we were actually looking at here with the story there from Arwan on the southern coast, the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

Will there be any more rain for them? No, probably not. Not for a very long time because this isn't really rainy season.


Now, it is warm season, but it shouldn't be 40 degrees in Athens or tomorrow. It shouldn't be in the middle 40s in parts of Turkey. It should

be much, much cooler than that, especially along the coast. The real problem will be the wind as she was talking about. If the wind picks up,

those fires are going to pick up again.

Look at what's happened just over the past couple of months. All of these natural disasters from the green, from flooding in China, flooding in

India, flooding in Lagos, all the way back over to the United States, certainly flooding in Northern Europe. Also, the yellow and the orange,

either a forest fire or deadly heatwaves.

Now, we do know that climate change is responsible for some of this, obviously. When you add it all up, the evidence is overwhelming. Can I

blame one forest fire on climate change? No. But when you look at the big picture, we know that there's going to be droughts, there's going to be

heavy rain because there's a lot more water in the air. We know there's going to be coastal flooding. And we certainly know there's going to be

more heat waves. Becky.

ANDERSON: Chad Myers, thank you, sir.

Climate change having an effect on sea life, we do know that including sharks under threat from commercial fishing and warmer temperatures, their

numbers have been declining. As far as CNN's Going Green, we tag along with a marine scientist, who's made it his mission to understand these animals

before it's too late. Have a look at this.


RYAN DALY, MARINE SCIENTIST: I've always been drawn to the ocean. It's one of the last really wild places. There aren't any fences underwater, animals

can come and go as they please. And this is really what sparked my interest to try and understand where these animals are going and why.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ryan Daly is a South African marine biologist who has made it his life's mission to better understand the secret world of sharks.

Sharks have existed on earth for more than 400 million years, long before the dinosaurs and play a crucial role in maintaining their ocean's

ecosystem. But their numbers are in decline, as they face increasing pressure from overfishing, as well as a demand for their meat and fins.

DALY: An ocean without sharks would be a pretty sad place. If you think about it, it's the equivalent of taking lions out of the Serengeti, we

throw the ocean completely off balance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The more we know about sharks, the more can be done to protect them and the ocean. And that is where Daly's work comes in.

DALY: One of the best ways we have to conserve and protect sharks are marine protected areas.

So, one of the biggest questions when tagging them much I understand is, which areas do they use the most? Which areas are critical to their

survival? So, it's these areas we need to identify through tagging, so that we can conserve them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daly uses satellite as well as acoustic and on-camera tagging methods, technology that enables him to follow sharks for up to 10

years of their life. And that has led to some groundbreaking discoveries.

DALY: We have learned the most incredible things we've learned that some sharks undertake migrations of over 6,000 kilometers and return to the

exact same site at the exact same time of year, every year for multiple years.

We've learned that these sharks are capable of undertaking migrations of 50,000 kilometers and we're just starting to understand what's driving them

to do this. You know, diving with sharks, they have a presence in the water. You can't help but feel that presence. I have great respect for

these sharks.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.

Ahead, millions of people in South Africa desperate for COVID vaccines, as you know. We'll tell you why the U.S. has decided to step in and why now.

That's coming up.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in London, wherever you are watching, you are more than welcome. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The most

heavily populated city in Africa is dealing with crippling floods. Sea levels in Lagos in Nigeria are rising dramatically.

And experts say that is due to climate change. Cars and houses are submerged in water properties being destroyed. Lagos does flood every year.

But this year, it's been particularly devastating. My colleague, Larry Madowo reports.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, the eroding coastline in Legos is a major problem, though it's not getting the right attention. It should. The

danger here is that if it continues, then the city could be uninhabitable by the end of the century. This would be a major blow for a city of 24

million people, where would they go? This is also such a large city that its economy is bigger than some African countries.

But Lagos has just had some of the worst flooding in mid-July in recent years. And that is saying something because Lagos floods every year between

March and November, but Nigeria's hydrological agency is predicting even more catastrophic flooding in September, which will be the peak of the

rainy season. I have spent a lot of time reporting in Lagos. I've got many friends there. And none of them would deny that even in the best of times,

it is difficult to live in Lagos.

It is overcrowded, and difficult to navigate. And that's part of the problem. Sustained human activity over time is leading to this disappearing

coastline. But the bigger problem is rising sea levels as a result of climate change. According to one study led by the Institute of Development

Studies, the poor drainage systems that exist in Lagos and the unplanned urban growth have really contributed to this.

There is also for instance, the mining of sand on the shoreline for construction, because this is a city that's growing all the time. That's

all leading to this problem. It is so dire that, for instance, in the very affluent tutorial Island neighborhood, which is home to some of the worst,

most expensive real estate in Africa, that could all disappear. And yet there is still more construction happening there.

The National Environmental Management Authority of Nigeria is warning that that riverbank is disappearing in that specific zone. So that's the scale

that you see. Why is that happening only in Lagos is not anywhere else in New York City, or even here in Lamu in, in Kenya in the Indian Ocean coast

is just that the scale of human activity is so much greater than anywhere else, and there's just no way to mitigate it at this time.

The authorities in Nigeria appear to be aware of what this problem is. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said he's open to working with

international partners to deal with this crisis, including the Biden administration. Becky?

ANDERSON: Larry reporting for you out of Kenya today. Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are -- on our radar right now. And

the U.K. has summoned Iran's ambassador to its foreign office in the wake of last week's deadly attack on a commercial tanker. Britain and the U.S.

blame Iran for the drone attack in the Arabian Sea on Thursday. Two crew members died in that attack. Iran denies involvement.

Well, the U.S. is ramping up airstrikes in Afghanistan to turn back Taliban advances in a number of key provincial capitals.


ANDERSON: A senior Afghan security official says over the past 72 hours, the strikes targeted militant positions in Lashkar Gah, Herat and Kandahar.

YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia from uploading new videos or live streams for a week for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policies.

YouTube did not reveal specific. Sky News Australia denies it's done anything wrong. Its digital editor calls the suspension an attack on free


You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. A two-hour show of course. In the next hour, nearly one year after the port blast made Beirut look like a war

zone. The U.N. Special coordinator for Lebanon wants to see a fully empowered government back up on its feet as part of our coverage this week.

She will join me live.

Also coming up. As the U.S. ramps up airstrikes in Afghanistan, the Taliban are poised to take over a key provincial capital. We'll have a live report

on the volatile situation there next hour. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Allison. Back after this.


ANDERSON: South Africa is about to get more than 5-1/2 million COVID vaccine doses. A shipment on the way from the states. According to our

world in data only around five percent of South Africa has been fully vaccinated. A story of course, or an issue that we have continually

reported on here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

As you can see, the seven-day moving average of new cases hovering around 12,000 to drop at least from last month when that number was around 20,000

new cases being reported each day.

So let's get you David McKenzie who is in Johannesburg in South Africa. Let's start with this shipment, David. We know it's on its way. Why is

Washington decided that time is now?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the Biden administration has said this is a key platform of this to get vaccine

equity or the attempted vaccine equity. I'm here to warehouse outside Johannesburg. This is one of the main distribution points particularly for

the Pfizer vaccine. Just a short time ago a very senior State Department official handed officially over that 5.6 odd million vaccine doses that

will be coming in and have come in to be distributed in South Africa.

At a bilateral donation, the largest one today by the Biden administration. The situation is dire as we've been speaking for many weeks now across the

African continent.


MCKENZIE: Less than two percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Now, it must be said South Africa has accelerated its vaccine distribution, that

scientists say will hopefully have an impact in this country. But there's still a great deal of work to be done on vaccine equity. And many countries

have barely given any doses out at all. Becky?

ANDERSON: Where do we need to be most concerned about, David?

MCKENZIE: Well, I think the concern is, of course, as we've been reporting, that the room for these variants to develop is expanded when there is a

lack of vaccinations. So there are large parts of this continent, other parts of the world that are under vaccinated and it really has to do with

cash. The poorer countries are being punished in a way because of a lack of vaccine distribution.

There was much talk about vaccine equity at the start of this pandemic and systems were put in place like the Covax facility but they've been under

pressure both in terms of things they couldn't control, like the large outbreak in India that stopped exports from that country to Covax. And

things that possibly could control like some rich nations ordering far more vaccines than they actually need.

So, this would be a move by the U.S. government to show that it's important to give substantial amount of vaccine doses away is not enough, of course

for a very global problem but it does send a message.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. David, thank you, David McKenzie who has been tracking this story of course as we have on this show for what is it now,

the past, what? 16, 17 months and we are still seeing significant issues about who get to -- get a vaccine and, who don't get to get a vaccine

around the world. This vaccine inequality is a real issue still. Well, is any country having as good as sports summer as Italy?

First up, they won the Euro football tournament now, Lamont Marcell Jacobs has won the men's 100-meter sprint in Olympic track and field. Yes, you

heard me right. If you weren't watching over the weekend and what a weekend of sport it was. This is a remarkable result. He was greeted on the track

by his country made Gianmarco Tamberi who had found out only moments earlier that he would share the gold medal in the hijab.

Amanda Davies joining us from World Sport. Remarkable. What an achievement.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: And you haven't even mentioned the fact they won Eurovision as well, Becky.

ANDERSON: I haven't. I was going to talk about that later.

DAVIES: No, it was the most special 10 minutes or so, watching the athletics unfold. These two Italian teammates had been playing PlayStation

in the Olympic Village the night before, and joked wouldn't it be ridiculous if we could both claim gold, neither thinking it was actually

going to happen and lo and behold, we saw it play out in the most sensational fashion, didn't we? The celebrations are going to go down as

some of the moments of these games.

Just so special for so many reasons. Jacobs was competing in long jump three years ago. Tamberi was suffering from a career threatening injury.

And his story is even better because, you know, if you're going to win Olympic gold, what better than sharing it with one of your best friends as

he did with Mutaz Barshim as well from Qatar in the high jumper. Another Olympic first just so special.

ANDERSON: I'm sure there's a lot more on World Sport. I -- you can rely on that. Amanda Davies back after the break with that. And I will be back with

the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. Top of the hour.