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Taliban Seize Strategic City of Ghazni, South of Kabul; Rainfall and Lower Temperatures Offer Little Help to Greek Firefighters; Blazes in Algeria Kill at Least 69 People, Including Soldiers; Heat Wave Scorches Europe; Single COVID-19 Case Prompts One-Week Lockdown in Canberra; Twitter Blocks India's Main Opposition Party Account after Top Leader Tweets Image of Rape Victim's Parents; More than Half of Stolen $600 Million Plus Returned in Huge Hack. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired August 12, 2021 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Afghan security forces lose another provincial capital to the Taliban, raising concerns that the capital,

Kabul, is now at risk.

How did it go so wrong so fast?

Algerians take matters into their own hands to put out deadly wildfires ripping through the country.

And a thief with a conscience?

Well, after the biggest cryptocurrency heist of all time, why the hacker returned more than half of the loot.


ANDERSON: It is 3:00 pm in London, it is 6:30 pm in Kabul. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

And we begin with the Taliban's relentless advance across Afghanistan and fears that the capital could be back in the hands of the militants, who

harbored Al Qaeda within months.

The group is now inching closer to Kabul, claiming the strategic city of Ghazni, which lies along a major highway to the capital. It's the 10th

provincial capital the Taliban has seized in less than a week. You can see they've made gains in all corners of the country.

And they have overrun key sites like police stations, prisons and border control points. As militant forces control more and more cities, officials

tell CNN the latest U.S. intelligence assessments now warn that the capital could be isolated in as little as 30 days and could fall by mid-November.

Meantime, the U.S. is continuing to wind down its presence in the country, which, of course, began after the 2001 terror attacks on New York and

Washington. CNN's Kylie Atwood is at the U.S. State Department with the latest from there.

And Nick Paton Walsh who has covered Afghanistan extensively, lived there for a period of time, is with us in London.

Let's start with you, Nick.

Ghazni, what is the importance of the city to the Taliban?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Essentially it's the second major city they've managed to take off the Afghan government in just

six days, bringing their total number of venture (ph) capitals to 10.

But Ghazni's significance, well, it's on essentially the key road from the capital to other cities under threat, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah in Helmand.

Troubling reports from Kandahar now, the Taliban claiming to have moved further into that city. But at the same time that's being denied by local

and senior officials in Kabul. So clearly a lot of pressure building on parts of for as much air collapses beneath me, a lot of pressure clearly

building on the capital.

There's cities around that seem to fall much faster than anybody had previously anticipated, leading to this broader debate as to when itself,

the capital, becomes vulnerable.

We've also heard that in Kandahar there is an issue now with a prison break yesterday, releasing 1,000 what local officials call criminals. That could

certainly be assisting the insurgency there, too. So a lot of talk about what exactly president Ashraf Ghani's strategy is, what it has to be to try

and protect the capital and the remaining places under its control.

Yet more bad news from the south in that there seems to be a substantial explosion of police headquarters in Lashkar Gah, Helmand, and that appears

clearly to have damaged security forces' efforts to keep control of that very symbolic city.

So relentless bad news, frankly. And I worry quite precisely how this week is going to end -- Becky?

ANDERSON: And what's the sense of the action on the ground from Afghan forces?

Are they able to or are they putting up much resistance?

WALSH: The Ghazni story is particularly telling because the governor of that particular province was arrested by Afghan security forces after he

had fled and essentially surrendered, letting the Taliban into the city. We are hearing mixed reports.

Clearly there are Afghan commandos on the battlefield, fighting intensely against the insurgency. But then there are other forces. We've long known

this, the Afghan army, Afghan police, often ramshackle, poorly supplied, poorly disciplined.

And they often crumble in the face of a much more dedicated insurgency at time. Certainly that is happening as well. Many of these 10 cities have

fallen with scenes of not quite entire surrender but certainly those cut off from the rest of their forces on the government side, not wanting to

fight to the bitter end.

And so we see that is on one side, continued suggestions from the U.S. embassy, who put out a tweet with not much evidence appended to it,

suggesting that there are continued executions of Afghan soldiers, who've surrendered to the Taliban.


WALSH: A bid presumably to try and slow down any notion that surrender is a viable option for Afghan security forces.

But I have to tell you, Becky, it's becoming often quite hard to keep track exactly where things are moving at this point and so much the narrative now

focusing on Kabul, because that's the one place clearly that the Taliban has its sights on. They're not there by any stretch of the imagination

yet. But I'm startled how on a week and the city is falling. And a lot of the narrative now is about the capital -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Kylie, you've been talking to your sources there, the U.S. is saying that Kabul could fall within months.

Does this imply that the Afghan government will effectively collapse as well?

Is that the sense from the U.S.?

Is that what you are hearing at this point?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, that appears to be the trajectory that the U.S. is tracking at this point. So we've got at least

one U.S. intelligence assessment, saying, as you have noted, within 30 to 60 days, Kabul could be isolated, which would then lend itself to the

likely possibility that the Taliban take over Kabul after isolating the capital there.

There's another assessment that I am told that says the Afghan government could fall within 90 days. So there are multiple assessments out there.

The bottom line, however, is that these assessments are all worse than the initial intelligence assessments were with regard to what could happen on

the ground in Afghanistan.

Just a few months ago, one intelligence assessment said that the Afghan capital, the Afghan government could fall as soon as six months after the

complete U.S. military withdrawal. That still hasn't even happened.

But this rapid Taliban military offense, their incredible gains are taking U.S. officials by surprise and, therefore, of course, changing what is the

calculation in terms of these intelligence assessments.

Now we should note that the Pentagon is not commenting on any intelligence assessments with regard to Afghanistan right now. And they continue to say

that the onus is essentially on the Afghans, to fight and defend their country.

And we are also hearing that same message from the president himself, President Biden not backing down from his decision to withdraw all U.S.

troops from the country just a few weeks from now and saying that he does not regret his decision to pull Americans home, also saying that Afghans

need to fight for their land on their own.

ANDERSON: The U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is in Doha. There had been talks, of course, with the Taliban there. He is back, trying to get some

sort of traction on those talks again.

Do we have any idea what the status of those talks are?

And is there in Washington any hope of a diplomatic solution at this point?

ATWOOD: Well, Washington continues to say that that's the only way out here, right. They have been saying that for months now, essentially that a

political solution is the only solution that could produce any sort of peaceful Afghanistan.

But the flip side to that is, even though they are heading into these talks, Zalmay Khalilzad is in Doha, talking with the Taliban right now. The

State Department says he is urging them to stop their military offenses in Afghanistan, to actually engage on negotiations for political settlement in


The flip side to that is that the Taliban feel emboldened by these military gains they are having on the ground and Khalilzad said that much last week

during testimony on Capitol Hill.

So he recognizes the fact that it is a deeper challenge to encourage the Taliban to make some sort of agreements at the table with the Afghan

government, because of what is happening on the ground.

So, frankly, there are questions about how much leverage the United States really has here, particularly because President Biden continues to say that

the U.S. military is going to withdraw.

ANDERSON: Yes, Nick and I have been talking about the leverage or lack thereof for days now. Nick, thank you. Kylie, thank you.

For more than a week now, exhausted firefighters in Greece have battled fire after fire after fire. Local officials say some overnight rain and

slightly lower temperatures have helped improve the situation a bit.

But more than 500 fires are still charring parts of Greece and new flareups continue. It is Greece's worst wildfire disaster in decades, blamed mostly

on climate change. Eleni Giokos has been following the devastation.

She writes on, "The smell and taste of smoke is ever present. Ash falls like the sky -- from the sky like sinister confetti."

She joins me now from Evia in Greece.

Reports overnight, Eleni, of rain and lower temperatures.

Are you experiencing that?


ANDERSON: And how does that affect things on the ground?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: You know, when I heard the sound of thunder last night, I was just absolutely relieved because it's been so

hard to breathe, just the smell of smoke is just everywhere. You can't escape it.

But it just drizzled and when we spoke to emergency services this morning, they said it was a bit of a relief but it didn't do enough. So you're

talking about rekindling of fires. We're seeing planes still monitoring the situation and dropping water off because the whole point is you don't want

to see the fires restarting.

I just want to show you, we are in an area where, just above the hill there, where the fire initially started, it ripped through many villages

and it then spread to the entire northern parts of Evia.

It's pretty heartbreaking to see the rain situation because, on one side, it's a relief, Becky. On the other side, we spoke to the Athens national

observatory and they say that's exactly the risk, too much rain. If you see the destruction of forest that acts like an antierosion wall, well, come

winter, the big risk is mudslides.

ANDERSON: In your piece you mentioned the anger that's simmering.

From whom and directed at whom at this point?

GIOKOS: You know, I've been here for five days and it's -- there is not one person I've spoken to that doesn't feel angry and disappointed and

filled with absolute despair. Most locals tell us the biggest issue is the fact that government didn't respond adequately.

Some of the locals here -- and these are the people that actually evacuated by sea -- they say they weren't allowed to stay and take care of their

properties. The people that did stay behind were able to protect their properties and most of those houses were safe.

So they say government hasn't done enough. We heard witnesses say that fire engines arrived. The big priority was try to evacuate people to save lives

and not save property. So there is a lot of resentment around that.

The prime minister says and has defended the moves. But remember, earlier this week he has also apologized for the weaknesses in the response and his

promise to put in new measures.

In the meantime, Becky, livelihoods have been lost and I cannot stress this enough. We are talking about a high unemployment rate that is predicted by

many people here. The mayor says that they are not really sure what the future holds.

There is so much uncertainty. We visited homes and businesses that have been decimated. People that had been building their lives for over 40 years

and they just don't know what the next few months are going to look like.

ANDERSON: That's the story on the ground. Thank you for that. That's the picture in Greece.

Algeria observing three days of national mourning for dozens of people there, killed in wildfires tearing through its northern region; 28 soldiers

are among those victims.


ANDERSON (voice-over): This video showing the desperate attempts to put out those blazes as people use tree branches to try and smother the flames.

People have been fleeing their homes as strong winds fan the flames during what is a heat wave.


ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh joining us live from Turkey, which itself has battled its own wildfires in the past few weeks.

These are some of the worst fires to hit Algeria in years, if not decades.

What's the latest on the ground now?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And some of the deadliest, Becky. So far the death toll is continuing to rise. At least 69 people, most of them

civilians, but also, as you mention, more than 20 soldiers have been killed in these wildfires.

Algeria, for a fourth consecutive day, is battling these wildfires, more than 100 since Monday. But joining the effort today, they've had the

arrival of two French firefighting planes. Those were operating in Greece but they have just been moved to Algeria in this effort to try and contain

the fires.

From what we have been seeing, what we have been hearing over the past few days, this sort of international assistance is just so desperately needed

right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

KARADSHEH (voice-over): As monstrous flames devour all that's in their path, villagers have been desperately trying to confront this fire,

grabbing whatever they can find. But their tree branches and water hoses clearly no match for this ruthless inferno.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We don't have tools. We're trying with what we have to put it out. It will be hard with the wind. We will try

with what we have. We can't do anything else, only try to protect the houses. May God be with us.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): On the ground and in the air, it's been a tough fight against some of the worst wildfires in Algeria's history. The

country's military was deployed to help evacuate residents and battle the blaze that's claimed dozens of lives and destroyed countless homes and



KARADSHEH (voice-over): The smoke that's engulfed many of these hard-to- reach areas has made this an even tougher fight. The near-record temperatures from the scorching heat wave are making it almost impossible

to try and contain the flames.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were watching the fire to prevent it from spreading further. But it seems to be impossible. And now

it has reached our zone. All our trees are burning. May God protect, because it is near the village.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): The government's blaming the fires on arson, deliberate and premeditated. But it is the scale and ferocity of these

fires that has left this nation in shock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We saw the fire in the morning from a distance. And in two minutes, it arrived here. It's unbelievable. We

can't understand it at all. Really, we do not understand how this happened, so much fire in one day. It's not normal.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): But experts have been warning, this is likely the new normal, the result of a climate crisis, severe weather conditions that

transform seasonal wildfires into these vicious flames.

From Turkey to Greece, Italy and now Algeria, scientists say the Mediterranean has become a wildfire hot spot, where no creature is spared

Mother Nature's wrath.


ANDERSON: That's just some remarkable footage there. Turkey, Jomana, now facing a new disaster, just as it gains control of hundreds of wildfires.

Rescue operations underway as flash flooding now slams the northern Black Sea region, with more than 900 people rescued and at least nine killed.

These devastating floods have destroyed homes, roads and bridges. And as I understand it, Jomana, the heavy rain is expected to taper off. But raging

floods after devastating wildfires, how much concern is there in Turkey about the impact of these extreme weather events?

And what are authorities doing to address these climate crisis concerns?

KARADSHEH: Utter devastation there, Becky. Look, these sort of torrential rains and flooding, this is not abnormal this time of the year in Turkey,

in the Black Sea region. What is terrifying people right now is, again, the scale of what they are seeing.

You know, you're looking at these pictures, where you see buildings destroyed, so many bridges collapsed; hundreds of people, nearly a thousand

people who have been evacuated -- we're talking about 300 villages that have been impacted, a search and rescue that is ongoing, a death toll that

has continued to rise over the past 24 hours.

People are watching this and they are terrified. It is the scale of this that is really, really worrying people. It is -- they have seen this in the

past. But now people are starting to see the impact of this climate crisis, what scientists have been warning of for so long.

Right now, this world is living in this climate crisis. And we are seeing the extremes. You've got the battling fires in the southern part of the

country and, at the same time, you've got them fighting and rescuing people in the northern part of the country.

I can tell you, people are extremely concerned about where this is all headed. Of course, scientists have been warning that the Mediterranean

region is extremely vulnerable to the climate change crisis -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh is in Turkey for you.

These floods and then wildfires we're seeing in Turkey and Greece and Algeria, those are being stoked by hot winds. Sicily battling wildfires

while roasting in a heat wave. One city just broke the all-time heat record for Europe. That's according to officials, who put the temperature at 48.8

degrees Celsius or 119.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is nearly one degree hotter than the previous record, set back in 1977. A high-pressure system called an anticyclone is to blame or, as the

local media call it, Lucifer.



ANDERSON: Iran's water crisis is becoming more and more critical, analysts show. We'll speak with Kaveh Madani (ph), a former top official with Iran's

department of environment, on why he blames the government for the nation's environmental disaster.

Plus, so many are dying every day from COVID-19 in Indonesia, the undertakers simply can't keep up.




ANDERSON: The World Health Organization is warning that global COVID-19 cases could surpass 300 million by early next year. Speaking during a news

briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, the director general pointed to that current trajectory, the 200 millionth case was reported last week, just six

months ago cases stood at 100 million.

Well, the area in and around Canberra, Australia, entering a one week strict lockdown. That is after the Australian capital territory recorded

its first COVID-19 case in a year. You see people here, stocking up on food and carrying their computer monitors home from work.


ANDERSON: Reports say three more cases have been found since. And Australia's neighbor, New Zealand, is outlining plans to reopen its borders

next year. It's working to get as many of its citizens vaccinated as possible.

Next year vaccinated travelers coming from high-risk countries will have to quarantine for two weeks. Those from low-risk countries won't have to


Well, this Delta variant is clearly putting extra strain on health care systems around the world and, in Indonesia, hospitals now reportedly are

completely overwhelmed. It's forcing families to make some unthinkable choices, as CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A deadly second wave of COVID-19 left 42-year-old Fakhri with an impossible choice: pick a family

member with the highest odds of survival.

FAKHRI YUSUF, SON-IN-LAW OF COVID-19 VICTIM (through translator): My father-in-law worked as a driver. When his boss tested positive, he did,


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Within that week, Fakhri's mother and two sisters- in-law also tested positive. Overwhelmed hospitals in Jakarta were already turning patients away. Fakhri's family secured a single hospital bed and a

heartbreaking decision.

YUSUF (through translator): All hospitals and isolation centers were full. We managed to find one bed so we decided to send my sister-in-law.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): His father-in-law died five days later at home, deprived of a hospital bed in sickness and of undertakers in death.

Desperate, Fakhri turned to volunteer undertakers.

YUSUF (through translator): In about an hour, the volunteer team arrived and worked efficiently to bury my father-in-law in a COVID cemetery.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Fakhri's father-in-law's story is all too common in Indonesia. The world's fourth most populous country has been ravaged by the

highly contagious Delta variant. Cases have jumped sevenfold since June and hospital beds are limited.

TAUFIQ HIDAYAT, THE NATIONAL BOARD OF ZAKAT (through translator): The worst is when the bodies are left at home for hours and hours after death,

with no one to perform the last rites because they are scared.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Taufiq Hidayat (ph) has seen the situation deteriorate rapidly at close quarters. He's on the front lines as a COVID

volunteer with the National Board of Zakat, a government-run organization funded by local charity funds that's been helping provide last rites.

HIDAYAT (through translator): We've collected and buried more than 60 victims of COVID-19 over the past month. This is just unprecedented.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Taufiq's (ph) phone has not stopped ringing in a month and every call poses a new challenge.

HIDAYAT (through translator): It's really tough on us. We have to wear full hazmat suits. It gets hot. Some bodies are located in very small

alleys or small houses. It's very difficult for us.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Faith keeps him going. His day starts with a prayer for their safety and ends with another, seeking peace for the deceased.

HIDAYAT (through translator): My family fear that I will get infected and bring home the virus. They pray for me. I always try and assure them of my


HANCOCKS (voice-over): Taufiq's account bears a grim reality, one that Fariz of LaporCOVID19 has been bearing witness to and documenting. His

online platform has a digital repository of sorts with crowdsourced information on all things COVID.

FARIZ IBAN, LAPORCOVID19 (through translator): We found that nearly 3,000 patients have died in isolation in their homes. Unfortunately, this is just

the tip of the iceberg and it's not represented in the overall death toll.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): It's not just dying alone; self-isolation also carries other risks.

IBAN (through translator): Self-isolation is dangerous. With the contagious Delta variant, they can easily infect others in their home.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): But with numbers still rising in Asia's outbreak epicenter, patients have little choice but to self-isolate and face the

threat of perishing at home, relying solely on the selfless services of undertakers like Taufiq to lay them to rest -- Paula Hancocks, CNN.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Still ahead, India's main opposition party defiant after Twitter blocks its

accounts for a tweet about an alleged rape victim. We'll get you to New Delhi for the details on that -- after this.





ANDERSON: All right, welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. This is in London today, half past 3:00 here.

Free speech versus government regulation, that issue thrown into the spotlight in India after a Twitter crackdown. Let me give you the details


The social media site locking the official account of the main opposition party in India after what the party says was a tweet about justice for a

rape victim. The National Congress Party posting that news on Facebook.

Now it follows the temporary locking of the account of a top party leader after he posted a photo of himself visiting the parents of that victim, a

9-year-old girl, allegedly raped and murdered in New Delhi, a story we reported on recently.

Now the party's leader's sister on Twitter accusing the social media site of colluding with the ruling BJP party and stifling democracy. Vedika Sud

is connecting us from New Delhi here.

And the opposition party, as I understand it, saying that 5,000 of its accounts have been blocked by Twitter, India, for posting that photo.

So what's been the response?

Do we have a response on this from Twitter itself?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do, Becky. Good to be with you. Let me start from where this actually took off, which was in February. Now

Twitter has been in an intense standoff with the government of India since February this year.

That's when the government of India introduced new and strict information technology guidelines, which is one thing in mind, they wanted to regulate

online content and they also wanted tech giants to employ and appoint officers, who could actually quickly respond to their demands for, you

know, content being removed and deleted.

Now tech giants and activists saw this as a huge power being given to the government of India and a lot of discretion being given to them. And this

could also lead to censorship, was their fear. It is not required.

Eventually Twitter first had to comply and appoint those compliance officers. Also as you mentioned, we also had a discussion around this,

there was an unfortunate incident in India's national capital, New Delhi, where a 9-year-old girl was gang raped and murdered.

The former Congress president, Congress party's one of the main opposition parties in India, met with the family of the victim. And what he did was

uploaded visuals of his interaction with them and images.

According to India's laws, you cannot publicize or identify a rape victim or the family. So what the National Commission for Child's Rights did was

they actually notified Twitter about this and they asked them to take action, which they did. They suspended temporarily the account.

Back to today, a lot of these accounts have now been temporarily suspended, all of them belong to senior congress leaders and members of the Congress

Party because they had retweeted those images and visuals.

Now the Congress Party is crying horse (ph), like you mentioned, saying that Twitter has basically come under the pressure of the Indian government

and they're colluding with the government and stifling democracy.


SUD: But Twitter came out and said what has happened was against Twitter's policies and they are trying to safeguard the interests of the individual

here and they claim that it is just hundreds of accounts that they have actually locked temporarily for now.

And if those, you know, accounts are to be unlocked, all these people have to do is delete those controversial posts. So this has led to huge debate

all over again on freedom of speech versus regulations by the Indian government here in India, Becky.

ANDERSON: Vedika Sud, always a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed.

SUD: Thank you.


ANDERSON: On some of the other stories on our radar right now, search and rescue teams are combing stretches of a highway in northern India after a

landslide killed at least 13 people. Dozens more are missing.

This landslide crushed some vehicles and flipped others. This is one of several fatal landslides in India, triggered by heavy rain in the past


Voters are going to the polls in Zambia in a tightly contested presidential election. Political observers say the race is even closer than in 2016,

when incumbent Edgar Lungu narrowly beat his main opposition rival in a high turnout. Ballots come at a tough time for Zambia's economy.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. A crypto crime with a twist. How a huge digital currency hack, one of the biggest ever, is

surprising investigators.

And you all know the man on the right, right?

Lionel Messi's arrival in Paris was huge news but the man on the left is the guy who brought him in. He is the president of PSG and he has quite a

lot to say about his new star.




ANDERSON: Well, whoever pulled off what is being described as the biggest crypto theft in history, we are talking major money here, some $600 million

in virtual currencies hacked from Poly Network, which is a decentralized finance platform. Basically it works to connect different blockchains, the

tech that underpins digital currencies so they can work together.

But when you clear away the cyber speak here, you might find this is the real eye opener. Poly Network says that more than half of the stolen money

has been returned. The hacker claims to have done it for, quote, "fun" and also to highlight vulnerabilities in the system. Well, CNN's Brian Fung is

tracking that remarkable development for us.

And, look, I mean, if his mission or her mission was to flush out the vulnerabilities, he or she certainly succeeded. Just explain what's going

on here.



FUNG: Well, as you said, this is one of the biggest if not the biggest crypto thefts in the industry's history, making this a very, very big deal.

Poly Network saying that over $600 million in virtual currency was stolen by this hacker, who now has decided to return some of that money.

Over half of it now has been returned to wallets that are controlled by Poly Network.

The big question here is who is behind this?

And I think it's going to be very difficult to determine the hacker's identity, given that the hacker took steps to protect their identity when

they were conducting this hack by using things like temporary email addresses and IP addresses.

And forensic experts say that it would be very unwise for this hacker to spend any of the money that they acquired, given the attention surrounding

this and given how closely the hacker's funds are being watched.


FUNG: So it appears as though the hacker was motivated by an attempt to try and draw attention to this vulnerability that Poly Network says it's

investigating. And we're just going to have to see whether or not all of the money ends up getting returned.

ANDERSON: Yes, certainly not at the moment being encouraged to take advantage of the 300 million or so he or she is sitting on. Investors are

pouring billions of dollars into digital currencies and there's a really important point here.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently addressed this, asking the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the SEC's ability to

oversee trading on crypto platforms, which is happily used.

Will this hack, do you think, lead to tougher scrutiny of crypto platforms and, indeed, is there a sense that Elizabeth Warren is right here and there

should be more regulation and scrutiny at this point?

FUNG: Well, Becky, the drumbeat for more regulation has been going on for some time now in Washington. But I think you're right, that this hack will

further draw attention to the potential risks for digital currency investors.

But also, at the same time, you know, you have others in the U.S. government, too, that are interested in cryptocurrency and its role in

promoting ransomware attacks.

So you have the Justice Department doing more to crack down on crypto currency transactions linked to ransomware. So I think in that respect

also, you're seeing a growing focus across the U.S. government about crypto currency and the risks that it could pose to American consumers and,

indeed, people around the world.

ANDERSON: Yes, thank you for that. Fascinating story.

We'll keep you up to date, viewers, what we know as we learn it.

Whether or not you are a football fan, it is a near certainty that you are aware that Lionel Messi has moved from Barcelona to his new club, Paris

Saint-Germain -- PSG even -- Paris Saint-Germain, who officially introduced him on Wednesday.

The man sitting next to him had an awful lot to say about that move. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is now talking to CNN.