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Connect the World

Russia's War On Ukraine; Interview With Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail; "New Chapter" For The Middle East; Global Inflation; Israel And UAE Sign Free Trade Deal; Canada's New Gun Control Bill; UAE-Israel Ties; Lavrov To Visit Saudi Arabia; U.S. Delegation Visits Taiwan; White House Welcomes New Zealand's Prime Minister; U.S. Gun Control Debate; Depression During Pregnancy; Airlines Struggles Post-COVID. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired May 31, 2022 - 11:00:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, London. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A historic agreement by the EU to ban the vast majority of Russian oil by years' end. This is the latest

effort to starve the Kremlin's war coffers. All the while, Russia continues to make gains in Eastern Ukraine. This hour, from London to Islamabad, a

look at how the ripple effects of this war are affecting you.

I'm Becky Anderson. Hello. And welcome back to "Connect the World".

Well, as Russia remains defiant in the face of sanctions from the West, the European Union is trying to deal a new blow to the Kremlin's war in

Ukraine. The compromise for a partial Russian oil ban took weeks to hammer out. Now, it blocks more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports

immediately, and 90 percent of Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

Now, the head of the European Commission says, and I quote here, "EU member states are coming together to strengthen their sustainable energy supply."

Have a listen.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The renewable energy has the big advantage that it is not only good for the climate, but it is

also good for our independence and good for our security of supply, and it creates jobs at home.


ANDERSON: Well, that maybe the aim and we can talk about, you know, when renewable energy will really be front and center in Europe momentarily. But

CNN's Anna Stewart covering all of this here in London. Let's just talk about this deal in and of itself. What do we know about it at this point?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: So, we know that it's taken weeks to get to this point, and that hasn't shown great unity for the EU. But they have

reached a deal on the oil embargo, and this was one element of the sixth round of sanctions. First five rounds went through no problems at all.

We're starting to see this unity, and it was largely over oil. And it was coming from the landlocked countries that will struggle to replace Russian


So, what we're seeing here is really an exemption for Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. They will still be able to get their oil from Russia

via a pipeline, there is an exception for one stretch of a pipeline. It's also, though, a timing issue. From experts, the time it has taken to reach

this deal, the time it will take for the full embargo to take effect, Russia's had some lots and lots of time to look for other customers. So,

that's also weakening it. And this was something that the chief diplomat for the EU spoke about today.


JOSEP BORRELL, EU POLICY CHIEF: Certainly, we cannot prevent Russia to sell their oil to someone else. We are not so powerful. But we are the most

important client for Russia. They will have to look for another one and certainly, they will have to decrease the price. The purpose is for the

Russians to get less resources, less financial resources to feed in the war machine. And this certainly will happen.


STEWART: Two really key points there. First of all, yes, the EU is a really important customer, the biggest customer for Russia. It will be harder to

ship elsewhere. And also, the price. And we're looking at incredibly high prices for oil across the board right now. Russian oil is already trading

at a big discount, it's about $34 a barrel cheaper. So, it will be harder to keep up the sort of revenue it's been getting from the EU up to this

point which has been $10 billion a month just for oil.

ANDERSON: Yes, and it will look elsewhere. And we know that there are countries willing to pay for cheap Russian oil at this point. The EU

imports, as I understand, about a third of its oil from Russia. It is going to have to make up that shortfall because let's be quite frank, it hasn't

waned itself off oil yet. Whatever von der Leyen says about renewables taking over going forward.

STEWART: Big investments, renewables but what about right now? So, currently, it gets$ 2.4 million barrels a day from Russia. It needs to

replace over $2 million barrels a day of that, given this embargo is 90 percent. Where is it going to get it from? Well, first of all, Russia's

oil, cheap oil should reach other customers, some oil will come into the market there. But you're going to need some spare capacity if you want that

oil price to come down. And therefore, everyone looks to OPEC where there is spare capacity at least from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They could

produce maybe $3 million barrels a day or more than they currently do.

Will they ramp up production? I don't think we're going to see any big changes in the meeting this week. I think they'll carry on the study,

approach of study, increasing its outputs each month. They like the price where it is. The U.S. could put more shell on to the market as well but I

think we are looking at really tight market and high prices for some time to come.

ANDERSON: And let's remind ourselves, that is an OPEC plus meeting this week which of course?

STEWART: Includes Russia.

ANDERSON: Correct. Thank you.


Middle East nations hold almost half of the world's proven oil reserves. For a deeper dive into what the region can do, as Europe tries to stymie

Moscow's war effort in Ukraine by waning itself off of Russia's oil, do head to And of course, don't forget the app.

While, why is this all-important? Well, as that EU tries to thwart the Kremlin's war machine, Russian forces are making steady progress in Eastern

Ukraine. Here they are pushing into the center of Severodonetsk, a key city in a region known as Luhansk. It's one of two regions that make up the

Donbas. Now, you can see almost the entire region is now under Russian control. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh traveled to another pocket of Ukrainian

resistance and he filed this report for you.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voiceover): This is the last road into Lysychansk. Putin's forces have moved with rare force

here. They may soon encircle the pockets of two cities on a river we're driving into. The Ukrainian forces we saw here, mobile, tensed, at times

edgy. And this is why.

Across the river here, the besieged city of Severodonetsk, increasingly more in Russian hands. Whoever you ask. We can hear the crackle of gunfire

down towards the river below.

WALSH (on camera): Well, we were told the Russians have tried already to get into town, and it looks like we might be witnessing another attempt

over there. That smoke near one of the remaining bridges into the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drone, drone, drone.

WALSH (voiceover): Our police escorts shout, drone. Often used to direct artillery attacks. We are on high ground, exposed, and scattered. It is a

tale of two desperations here. That which makes people stay and that which makes them finally flee.

LEONID, LYSYCHNASK, UKRAINE RESIDENT: We've not slept for three months.

WALSH (voiceover): Leonid (ph) is the latter.

LEONID: Shooting. Windows shaking. IT's a catastrophe. One man told me the Germans [in the war] were better.

WALSH (voiceover): Some who stay are increasingly angry about what's left of the Ukrainian state here. A young woman was killed here a day earlier by

a shell. And locals told us not to film, saying cameras attracted shelling. Russia's bloody persistence and unbridled firepower is bringing the kind of

victory in the ruins they seem to cherish. This cinema was a bomb shelter, local officials said. It's unclear if, when their huge airstrike hit, the

Russian military was aware it had been emptied days earlier.

WALSH (on camera): Just startling how whole chunks of this cinema have been thrown into the crater there. This is the ferocity of the airstrikes we're

seeing here designed simply to get people out of this town.

WALSH (voiceover): Those who stay among the shards of glass feel abandoned already.

ANYA, LYSYCHNASK, UKRAINE RESIDENT (through translator): Many, many people, but there is no gas, or water, or power, or anything. We asked the aid

workers today when it will all come back. And they said there are only prostitutes, junkies, and alcoholics left. That means that aid workers have

left here.

WALSH (voiceover): Lydia is carefully picking up the pieces of the airstrike, which she felt the full force of in her apartment eight floors


WALSH (on camera): There's an old lady on the first floor and me with my disabled son, she says. He doesn't really understand the war is happening.

WALSH (voiceover): Retreat lingers in the empty air. If Putin takes here, he may claim he's achieved some of his reduced goals in this invasion. It's

now the unenviable choice of Ukraine's leaders, if this is the hill its men and women will die on. Nick Paton Walsh, Lysychansk, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, Melissa Bell, my colleague, is connecting us today from Zaporizhia in Southeastern Ukraine. Nick's piece focusing there on just one

area. What's happening? What's the broader picture, at this point?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'd like to take you, Becky, further along, that front line. Because essentially, it goes from Severodonetsk,

where the worst of that fighting, you just show those images a moment ago has been going on. That is the city, we understand, that even now appears

to be fully remembered with some 15,000 civilians still trapped inside. That line now goes from Severodonetsk all the way down essentially to

Kherson ever since the fall of Mariupol.


And what that means is that you have a front line along the -- along the edge of which I'm standing here in Zaporizhzhia. This is the Dnieper River

just behind me, it is 30 miles to the South of here. Just along that river that you have the closest town under Russian control.

What we've been seeing over the course of the last few days is an intensification of fighting in places like this far to the South of

Severodonetsk as well. This city, Zaporizhzhia, the scene of cruise missile hit, three that struck one that was intercepted just these last five days.

But also, we keep hearing outgoing artillery fire towards those positions. And we keep hearing and seeing evidence of villages beyond Vasylivka, that

is 30 miles from here, that are subject to artillery fire from Russian forces. But also, those long-range rockets coming from further away, that

Ukrainians now say they desperately need precisely to be able to target those positions, Becky.

ANDERSON: And just -- for the benefit of our viewers who won't be as imbued in imaginations of all of this and want to really have a sense of why this

is all-important. Can you explain the significance of the area seeing this heavy fighting?

BELL: Well, that line that I mentioned, that divides essentially those parts of Ukraine that are now held by Russia. And those hearts -- parts of

Ukraine that are now on the edge of where I'm standing is much more than a military front line. What we're seeing, increasingly, is that line

hardened. So, I mentioned the village of Vasylivka, there have been civilians trying to come over to the Ukrainian side of the line for several

days, they've been held back by Russian forces.

Of course, so many Ukrainians have fled these last few weeks from Mariupol, from Kherson, and they've been coming to this sideline. What we're seeing

now, are some of them wanting to get back, to get back to their families on the other side, to get back to what's left of their homes. And that they're

finding it so difficult to cross those lines. That they find themselves living inside cars, in camp areas that are growing by the day.

The border, essentially, that line is being shut down. And it's happening also on a communication level. We've just been hearing from Ukrainian

officials, and we've been hearing from anyone everyone around us here, that communication to Russian-controlled Ukraine had essentially been cut off.

So, you can't use your mobile phone. You have no more internet access. You can't reach your relatives on that side of the line. And just in

Zaporizhzhia region, there are five districts, Becky, three of which, at this hour, are completely without communication.

ANDERSON: Melissa, thank you. Very well-delineated there. This is -- this is really tough. The Biden Administration is expected to announce soon that

it is granting Ukraine's request for advanced long-range rocket systems. And Melissa alluding to that request there in her reporting.

But the President clarified on Monday, that the U.S. won't send rockets, missiles that can reach Russia to be used on those defenses -- on those

rocket systems. CNN's Natasha Bertrand is following this from Washington. Let's be quite clear then about what it is that we understand the U.S. is

willing to send, and what it isn't, at this point, and why, Natasha?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Becky. So, what we hear from our sources is that the administration is planning on sending those

multiple launch rocket systems to the Ukrainians. But the nuance here, a key detail, that cannot be understated, is how far the munitions, the

rockets that go into those systems can actually go. Because that is the main concern of the Russians, is that if the Ukrainians get these systems,

then they could potentially launch them into Russian territory.

Now, the maximum range that the systems can shoot a rocket is about 186 miles, sometimes even more than that. But it depends, again, on the type of

munition that you place in that system. So, what the Biden Administration is now doing, is they're considering sending them shorter-range rockets to

actually put inside those systems so that they do not actually -- they're not actually able to launch those rockets into Russian territory.

The systems could perhaps go anywhere from roughly, you know, 70 kilometers to a hundred kilometers. Far less than the 300 kilometers that these

systems are actually capable of launching at their maximum. So, this is kind of the middle ground that the administration is trying to, you know,

get to here because of the Russian warnings that any Western, kind of, facilitation of Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil would be a step too far,

would cross a red line.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. That's Washington and what is going on there. Thank you.

A week and a half after Russian forces seized Mariupol, a cargo ship has left port carrying goods bound for Russia.


Russia's defense ministry released this video of the ship leaving the port today. It had arrived in Mariupol on Saturday after Russian officials said

that the port had been demined. That is self-proclaimed Donetsk people's republic says it's carrying 2,500 tons of sheet metal to Rostov in Western


Well, surging inflation is a global problem. One of the reasons for that is the war in Ukraine. One of the countries that finds itself in economic

spiral is Pakistan. We speak to the country's finance minister up next.

Plus, we will head to the Middle East where a landmark trade deal has just been signed. Some are calling it a new chapter. We'll explain why after



Welcome back. Now, we've been reporting on the severe impacts of Russia's war in Ukraine and how that is impacting Europe's energy market. It's not

just Ukraine's Western neighbors that are feeling the effects of this war.

Pakistan facing severe economic challenges. Some of which are a direct result of what is going on in Ukraine. The increase in prices for gas, for

oil, and for wheat has led to surging energy and food costs. Inflation, the highest it's been in two years. The price at the pump, creeping up. And

only enough foreign currency in the central bank to cover two months of imports. The government needs to come up with solutions and fast.

A pivot to Russia, the very country causing all of this chaos could be an option. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson last week saying that

Pakistan has, and I quote here, "Open policy driven by national interest" while confirming that its government is in talks with Russia on the subject

of oil and food imports.

Well, joining us now live is Pakistan's new Finance Minister, Miftah Ismail. Thank you for joining us. A lot to get through at this hour. Let's

start with that quote. Rising food prices, rising fuel prices. Pakistan needs help fast. The government then open to buying oil and wheat from

Russia, correct?

MIFTAH ISMAIL, PAKISTANI FINANCE MINISTER: We have talked about buying wheat from Russia. The previous government talked about buying oil from

Russia but I think Russia is under sanction and they have not responded to the -- that's written to them by the previous government. But we've

actually asked either Ukraine or Russia, whichever country can sell us wheat, we'd be happy to buy wheat from them.

ANDERSON: So, oil is out of the question? Is that what you're telling me? Russian oil, out of the question?

ISMAIL: The previous government wrote a letter to Russian Federation. That letter was never responded to.


The -- Russia has also not offered us any oil and it's now under sanctions. So, it's really, I mean, it's very difficult for me to imagine buying

Russian oil.

ANDERSON: There are other countries who are buying Russian oil. India, for example, your neighbor. So, would you be open to buying Russian oil --

cheap Russian oil at this point?

ISMAIL: If Russia were to offer us oil at a cheaper rate, and if there were no sanctions on Pakistan to buy Russian oil, then sure, we'd consider that.

But at this point, I think that it would be not possible for Pakistani banks to open and seize or to arrange for -- to buy Russian oil. And nor

has, for that matter, the Russian Federation offered any -- offered to sell us anyway.

ANDERSON: Would you buy it out in rubles, out of interest?

ISMAIL: We don't have any rubles. So, I don't, you know -- I mean, Pakistan doesn't have any rubles. I do not know where I'd get the rubles from. I

guess I, you know, perhaps we could exchange it for -- with some other currency. But like, I said, that's the second rating. First, the Russian

Federation has to agree to even sell the oil to us if they haven't.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about what's going on in the economy because, you know, your need for cheap wheat, if that is what it is, from Russia. Your

need for cheap oil, if that were to be what it was from Russia is clear, at this point. Your party orchestrated a vote of no confidence on the grounds

that the former prime minister was mishandling the economy. I just want you to take a listen to this short expert -- excerpt from our interview with

Imran Khan last week. Have a listen.


IMRAN AHMED KHAN NIAZI, FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: My responsibility is for the well-being. We have 50 million people living below the poverty

line. So, when Russia offers us 30 percent discount on oil and 30 percent discount on wheat import, India does the same. India imports -- India is

part of quart -- part of the strategic alliance with the U.S. India imports oil from the U.S. But for some reason, this was taken against me as if I

was being anti-U.S. or anti-American.


ANDERSON: Now, what you're suggesting that you will do, given an opportunity, is quite similar to Imran Khan's plan. So, that begs the

question. How can you be so critical of him?

ISMAIL: Well, first of all, Russia has neither offered a 30 percent discount on oil or on wheat, that's -- I mean, let's just be clear. I know

where Khan gets these numbers from but I noticed that he just makes up stuff as he goes along. He is the guy who's also saying that -- brought

into American conspiracy.

And now he has come up to this new thing. If Russia was offering such cheap oil to him or such wheat, oil -- cheap wheat to him, why didn't he buy it?

He did not. The fact of the matter is that -- I mean, our government has initiated at least or trying to initiate talks to buy wheat because food is

not under sanctions, oil is under sanctions. And Russia has not even responded to a letter that was written to them by the Imran Khan

government. So, I don't really get these 30 percent number from, but this is just really not true.

ANDERSON: How are you going to fix this economy, and what is the current state of negotiations with the IMF?

ISMAIL: Well, we've had just talks with the IMF in Doha recently. And we are talking to the IMF, and in particular, I think IMF is looking to the

budget that I am going to present in the early part of June to parliament. And after that, hope -- I'm hoping that we would leave a staff -- we would

reach an agreement with the fund.

What IMF is looking for us to do is to reverse the subsidies on oil that -- and petrol and diesel, in particular, that the previous government had

given. It's also looking for me to reverse some power sector subsidy -- the electric tariff subsidies that the previous government had done in

contravention with its own agreement with the fund. And then it's looking to the budget that I'll present.


ISMAIL: So, I am pretty confident --


ISMAIL: I'm pretty confident that we should be able to get an agreement with the fund. But that there would be some hostility in the budget, same

measures --


ISMAIL: -- to increase taxation in the next budget.

ANDERSON: Why was it such a difficult decision to raise fuel prices when you must have known that Pakistan could not afford those subsidies that

have been placed on fuel prices by the previous government? When do you plan to remove them? And will that be enough, do you believe, to get this

IMF a deal over the line?

ISMAIL: Well, I mean, like I said -- I mean, that's the first thing that we need to do is to reverse those fuel subsidies and power subsidies. And then

also, there are certain, you know, budget numbers that I think that IMF is probably hoping to see.


Why was it difficult? Because this was done precisely to -- as a trap for us. Imran Khan, in the reigning days of his government, did a few things to

violate all these agreements with the IMF, including giving these unsustainably high subsidies on fuel, on diesel, and petrol, and also on

power and electricity. And he knew that we couldn't, you know, sustain this. And when we came to power, he's now, you know, going from city to

city, you know, trying to rally the people and coming up with these theories about conspiracies and all that stuff and putting a lot of

political pressure on us.

And so, a new government coming into power was finding it difficult to raise the prices right away. But we have taken a very important step last



ISMAIL: And --

ANDERSON: Yes, he's a -- he is -- the conceit of his argument is that the economy was actually in relatively good shape. And he quoted a number of,

you know, gross statistics to me to substantiate that. I want to pull up some numbers. Your foreign exchange reserves dwindling down almost a third

from the start of the year. The rupee down 11 percent to the dollar in the same time. The question must be, what is your government doing and planning

to do to stop the rot? I mean, the current relationship with a new government and nations like China, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE wherein the

past would have stepped in to help, surely, is also important at this point. I wonder what those relationships are like.

ISMAIL: Well, I think we have very good relations with all the three countries that you named. And plus, a lot of other countries. And the prime

minister is flying to Turkey even as we speak. And Imran Khan had damaged our relations with China. He had rolled back this CPEC, China-Pakistan

Economic Corridor. I think he's also -- he'd also annoyed Saudi and the UAE governments. But we're trying to repair relationships with them, as well as

all the Western countries who are the biggest importers of Pakistani goods, U.S. and the UAE markets.

And this is the committee of nations that we want to be, you know, a full member of. And we don't wish to annoy countries for our political benefits.

So, we're trying to repair relationships but in order to bring Pakistani economy back on track, the number will run, you know, decisions have to be

made in Pakistan. And no country can really bail us out unless we decide to -- if he will bail us out ourselves. You know, unless we decide to have a

disciplined program and live within our means.

ANDERSON: Imran Khan says that your government is a puppet government of the United States. And he says that he has evidence to substantiate that.

Although, as yet, that evidence, you know, isn't in the -- isn't open. It isn't in, you know, open to the public. Do you believe that that evidence

exists? Are you a puppet government of the United States?

ISMAIL: I mean, if you knew the history of Imran Khan and all the things that he said in the past that he used to backtrack, and all the accusations

that he made in 2013. Every time he loses an election, he makes an, you know, accusation about stuff. This man, just like I said, makes up facts,

you know, as he goes along. And today, it's a conspiracy.

I mean -- and by the way, I mean, the no-confidence motion was filed on, I think, the 8th of February or something like this.


ISMAIL: The war took place in early April and he didn't think of the conspiracy until the 27th of March.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this question.

ISMAIL: I mean this is --

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this question. Would a certainty provided by elections sort all of this out and be ultimately better for the economy

going forward? I mean, this is a country, every country, many countries are struggling with inflation at the moment. The economies of many developing

nations are particularly badly hit. But, you know, as a result of the Ukraine war. But Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable of developing

countries to rising commodity prices. The certainty of a new election, sir, surely would be better for the economy at this point, wouldn't it?

ISMAIL: There is an argument about like that but that was made within our coalition, within our party from former two of our -- from both of our

former prime ministers, the leader of our party, Nawaz Sharif, who's also of the opinion that we should go into an election sooner rather than later

in a few weeks. But then when he came into power, the economy was such in a precarious position that it was important that we take these measures, we

couldn't even wait for a caretaker government. Because in Pakistan, we can't hold the elections. An elected government cannot hold the elections.

We have to go to an interim government for three months. And IMF will not make a deal with an interim government.

So, only we could make a deal for one year. I extended the program or requested the IMF to extend the program by one year. So, here -- I mean, if

the economy was not as bad a shape as it was in, it would not as precarious the position that we are in. If we have the current deficit had not

increased, foreign exchanges have not decreased so rapidly, we would have gone into an election.


But Imran Khan has left us such an economy and such a conundrum that we have no choice but to now stabilize the economy and go in an election in

good time.

ANDERSON: OK. And there is no clear timeline for that at present. Thank you, sir.

ISMAIL: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, it's being touted as a new chapter for the Middle East. Israel and the UAE have inked a free trade deal. We'll tell you why this is

so significant and what it could mean for the region.

And while gun reform is a thorny issue in the United States, it's a whole different approach in neighboring Canada. We will tell you what the

country's prime minister is doing there to curb gun violence. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson out of London for you just after half-past 4:00.

For the first time ever, Israel has a trade deal with an Arab state. Israeli officials have signed a free trade agreement, an FTA with the

United Arab Emirates where you usually find me hosting this show. Now, that deal removes most tariffs on food, medicine, cosmetics, and other goods to

countries. The two countries established ties in 2020 in what was then a groundbreaking move.

Well, both sides anticipating a big boost in trade. CNN's Hadas Gold is following this for us from Jerusalem. And, you know, this is being touted

as a really significant move. Let's just explain why that is.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's the first-ever free trade deal that Israel has ever signed with an Arab country. And Israeli officials,

otherwise, are also saying it's the fastest signed trade deal in Israeli history. What it will do is it will remove duties on 96 percent of traded

goods between the UAE and Israel, mostly food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, and medication.

And officials hope that the free trade deal will eventually push the value of non-oil bilateral trade to up to $10 billion per year within five years.

The Emiratis and the Israelis say that it will help -- they hope that it will help foster much more business between the two countries. Especially

for -- from the Israelis, using the UAE as a hub of sorts, as a hub to get into other places such as Asia and such as the rest of the Middle East.

Dorian Barak who's the co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council has said that already trade between the UAE and Israel has exceeded their

expectations. They said that they estimated trade this year between Israel and the UAE would be about $2 billion. But they have already exceeded $1

billion in the first quarter. And he is saying that the UAE is already becoming the place for Israeli businesses as their hub to get to places

like Asia.


Obviously, a big place of business for many Israeli companies. What's interesting though, Becky, is of course, what's happening in the political

arena at the same time as this deal was signed. Because it was just yesterday that the UAE foreign ministry put out a statement condemning what

they said were extremist settlers, who they said came into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, which was Jerusalem Day.

And, of course, there has been really high tensions in Jerusalem, in Israel, in the West Bank over the last few months. And this goes to show

you that while the UAE is still supporting the Palestinian State, and still putting out statements like we saw Monday condemning what they call

extremist settlers, that is not affecting the economic ties and the diplomatic ties between these two countries. Becky.

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for you. Hadas, thank you.

Well, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And Russia's foreign minister is heading to Saudi

Arabia on Wednesday to meet his Gulf counterpart. This is just ahead of an OPEC plus meeting. Russia part of that alliance of oil-producing nations,

of course. It's not clear why and what Sergey Lavrov will discuss in Riyadh. Gulf states have remained neutral during Russia's war on Ukraine.

China's embassy in Washington says it firmly opposes a U.S. delegation's visit to Taiwan. That group arrived in Taipei, Monday, for an unannounced

visit. You here -- see here. Tammy Duckworth -- Senator Tammy Duckworth meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and others. Kristie Lu Stout takes a

closer look at that visit.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A U.S. congressional delegation led by Senator Tammy Duckworth is in Taiwan for an unannounced three-day visit.

They stressed the importance of U.S. and Taiwan partnership on security, as well as economic collaboration. President Tsai Ing-wen, she thanked Senator

Tammy Duckworth for America's donation of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as U.S. support on the security front.


TSAI ING-WEN, TAIWAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We look forward to deeper and closer U.S.-Taiwan relations in matters of regional security. At

the same time, to address the challenges of the post-pandemic era. Taiwan and the U.S. have reviewed and assessed the many facets of our trade



STOUT: China slammed the visit with its embassy in Washington saying it firmly opposes it. And in a statement, a spokesperson of the Chinese

embassy in the U.S. says, "We urge the U.S. side to earnestly abide by the One-China principle and the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiques, handle

Taiwan-related issues is a cautious and proper way, stop all forms of interaction with Taiwan and avoid sending wrong signals to the Taiwan

independent separatist forces".

Now, the visit comes right after the U.S. President's visit to the region and his assertion that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China tries

to take Taiwan by force, a comment that he has made before and which was quickly downplayed again by the White House. But tension is rising in the


On Monday, Taiwan's ministry national of defense said 30 Chinese warplanes made incursions into its air defense identification zone, the highest daily

figure in more than four months. A Taiwan member of parliament Wang Ting-yu calls it, "A very worrying trend." Tweeting this, "The more China does

this, the sooner we become used to it, and it will become increasingly difficult to determine if China is just doing their routine exercises or

are they preparing to launch an attack on Taiwan. This is a very worrying trend."

Now, Taiwan's president has vowed to maintain peace, while adding that she will defend Taiwan if attacked. China claims Taiwan as its own territory

and hasn't ruled out taking it by force if necessary. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

ANDERSON: Well, in a show of cooperation between the U.S. and New Zealand. The U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes New Zealand's President -- oh, sorry,

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to the White House on Tuesday. The two leaders are expected to discuss Indo-Pacific trade policies and domestic

terrorism in both countries.

While in meeting, Ms. Ardern and Mr. Biden just spoke about last week's mass shooting at an elementary school. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's an expression by an Irish poet it's, too long a sacrifice, make a stone of the heart. Well,

there's an awful lot of suffering. We've been -- I've been to more mass shooting aftermaths than I think any president in American history,

unfortunately. And it's just -- so much of it is -- much of it is preventable and the devastation is amazing.

Yesterday -- not, the day before I was out down in Texas. And people sat in a room, about 250 of them, in a large room with me for almost four hours.

And not -- nobody left.


They wanted to -- until I spoke to every single person in that room. Every single person. They waited until the very end. And their pain is palpable.


ANDERSON: The bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is meeting remotely today to look for common ground for gun control. They're meeting from -- by that

massacre, an elementary school in Texas last week. Texas Republican John Cornyn says topics include background checks and limiting ownership of

certain guns for people with criminal records or mental illness. Most Senate Republicans oppose any form of gun control policy. And Senate rules

make it extremely difficult to pass legislation.

While some U.S. lawmakers are talking about gun reform, at least it's a different story in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced a

new bill that would place a national freeze on handgun ownership across the country. The legislation would cap sail, transfers, and imports of guns

amongst other measures.

Brynn Gringras joins us now. Just explain what it is that we have heard from Justin Trudeau, the prime minister in Canada, neighboring the U.S., of


BRYNN GRINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Becky, someone else high in parliament said this about this, gun ownership in Canada is a

privilege, not a right. So, that just gives you the two different mindsets you're dealing with here with Canada versus the United States.

As far as this bill is concerned, it's pretty extensive. It basically wants to just cap the numbers of firearms -- excuse me, handguns that are in that

country. Excuse me. So, this means that it'll be illegal to sell, transfer, import, buy any handguns in Canada.

Also, part of this would be finding gun smugglers and traffickers, assigning criminal penalties to these people who try to get guns illegally

into the country and actually giving law enforcement more leverage and more money to actually enforce these rules. Something else they're looking at is

revoking gun licenses for those involved in domestic violence, criminal harassment. Also, those Red Flag laws that you hear thrown about,

especially here in the United States. It would allow the courts to essentially take away the right of a gun owner if they prove to be harmful

to themselves or to someone else.

And then one other thing to mention, rifle magazines, they would not be allowed to hold more than five rounds of ammunition. And that would entail

gun manufacturers actually having to redo, repurpose how they make the guns so that it could abide by that law. So, very extensive wide-sweeping

proposal here by Trudeau. It's something that he's campaigned on. I want you to listen quickly to his thinking behind all of this.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: As a government, as a society, we have a responsibility to act to prevent more tragedies. Canadians certainly

don't need assault-style weapons that were designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Gun violence is a complex

problem but at the end of the day, the math is really quite simple. The fewer the guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be.


GRINGRAS: And, Becky, it looks like he -- Becky, it looks like he does have a lot of support from parliament. This could go in -- go through really by

the fall.

ANDERSON: Amazing. Thank you, Brynn.


ANDERSON: We're taking a very short break, back after this.



ANDERSON: This month, CNN's As Equals team is highlighting depression during pregnancy in early motherhood. This is one of the most common mental

health disorders amongst women, wherever they live in the world.

In India, the risk is heightened by the precious and hardships of marrying early and moving away from the family and the resulting isolation. Well,

today, we hear from a counselor in Eastern India about a mental health hotline established to help moms in need. And some of those mothers talk

about the hotline and the issues they face around maternal mental health. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Namaskar. Welcome to Samya Mobile Baani which runs 24/7 and is also free of cost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): In 2018, in Rural Behar, India, two nonprofit organizations created a counseling phoneline to help mothers with

their mental health. For seven months, it provided in-person one-to-one counseling and prerecorded messages offering advice and support.

Swetanjali was one of the counselors who receive a training to work on the project and help mothers within her community.

SWETANJALI JHA, COUNSELOR (through translator): At the beginning, I was completely unaware of what mental health illnesses were. We used to

associate the term crazy with mental health. Initially, we were anxious and hesitant. How do we go to any woman's house to talk about her mental


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): Innovators In-House, a technology development charity and Scarf India, a mental health organization, teamed

up to create an experimental solution to help women safely seek help in a region where stigma around mental health is so prevalent.

SUNITA DEVI (through translator): When the mobile was there, I used to press it against my ears while doing regular daily work. Or I used to talk

when I got ready for bed. I would call and keep listening to the recorded messages.

MAMTA KUMARI (through translator): I was overwhelmed during the pregnancy as it was my first baby. On the phoneline, they told me that the more you

stay happy, talk affectionally to the fetus, the more he will feel good and kick you and move around in the body.

Before these came into my life, there was no one I could talk to.


HOMAM A. KHAN, PROGRAM MANAGER, INNOVATORS IN HEALTH: We have women in our catchment as such who are in the 20, 25 age group, who sure that they got

married before they turned 18. As they get out of their own house, to a new village, to a new setting, they are bereft of all those social networks

which they had over there. It's a conservative, patriarchal set-up, endemic misogyny and the in-laws are not very supportive.

Endemic misogyny, and they're not really supported.

KUMARI (through translator): I had a total of three miscarriages. My mother-in-law and my husband used to badmouth me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): Such is the taboo around mental health, many would not declare their emotions openly and counselors have to learn

to decode what their patients were saying.

KHAN: A women suffering from postpartum depression would not be outright saying that, OK, I'm feeling something, like a bad day at work. What they

would reflect and refer to is that, I'm not feeling connected with the child. I'm having a severe headache. You would struggle to find a

consultant psychiatrist or a gynecologist who would discuss on these topics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): When a lack of funding forced the services to stop in 2019, Swetanjali continued to provide help in her community in

her own free time.

JHA (through translator): At present, we are burdened with other work. Many women call twice, thrice, four times, but we are unable to go instantly.

When a woman calls, we ask them, what's the problem, tell us? Then are like, no, when you come to my home. Meet me, only then I will tell you. But

now, I am unable to meet and counsel them as frequently as I used to before.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voiceover): The funding for Samya Mobile Baani hotline may have vanished, but, of course, the issues facing women have not.

KUMARI (through translator): The things that I dealt with during my pregnancy like domestic violence and quarrels in the house and all the

chaos. So many women face such similar ordeal now. Whatever I went through, no one should go through that. Whatever service I have received, all other

women should also get that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): If you are stressed about something or you need to talk about anything, press nine to speak to a




ANDERSON: You're watching the "Connect the World."

Ahead on the show, air travel -- let me do that again -- I want to start again, put my teeth in. Air travel meltdown, thousands of flights canceled

around the world. We take a look at what's happening in the U.K. and why airlines are struggling to keep up with the post-COVID travel surge. That,

coming up after this.


ANDERSON: Well, travel disruptions have led to headaches for travelers around the world over the past couple of days. If you are one of them, you

will know what I'm talking about.

In the U.S., bad weather and staffing issues led to some 2,500 flight cancellations during what was this four-day Memorial Day weekend across the

Atlantic. In Dublin, for example, videos like these have circulated, and they have circulated around the world, people waiting in security cues,

extending outside the airport for hours. Many of them, of course, we'll, yes, missing their flights.

Nada Bashir is joining me now.

You've got the latest out of the U.K., and I'm afraid the story here doesn't seem to be any better. It's half-term week. What's known as half

term week, of course, for the kids. They are out of -- mostly out of school. We have a bank holiday at the end of this for the Platinum Jubilee.

This was always going to be a busy week.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. Typically, it is a busy week. And this really couldn't have come at a worse time. Many would have been

hoping to make the most of those extra few days off, to get away for a quick break. But we are seeing significant delays, flight cancellations

across the board, across the country. Many of those flights, of course, would have been heading to Europe. So, this is a constant issue.

ANDERSON: Why? What are we seeing this?

BASHIR: Well, during the pandemic, obviously, the aviation sector was hit particularly hard. And we saw significant layoffs across airlines during

the pandemic. And now, these airlines are being expected to sort of get back on track, back to those pre-pentameter levels, at least in the U.K.,

we're talking about. And they are really struggling to do that. They've been hit really badly, financially. And so, they are struggling with these

staffing shortages, trying to get back, of course, to meet the demand that we're seeing now.

But we've also seen a surge in passengers using vouchers that they would have been issued when their flights were canceled during the pandemic. So,

now, they're using those during this what is typically already a very busy period.

ANDERSON: And the response from U.K. government is what?

BASHIR: Look, we've heard from one minister today speaking to Sky News, he said -- the minister said that he -- the airlines had enough time to prep

for this, they should have been ready for this.

ANDERSON: Is he right?

BASHIR: Well, look, they all support from the government, and that's what we've heard from the Labour Party, they said that the airlines have been

left without the support they needed for the government and that the government should be taking greater responsibility for the chaos that we're

seeing right now.


ANDERSON: This is happening, of course, as we've been suggesting here in the U.K., across the pond in the U.S. with the Memorial Day weekend and in

other places that we've been monitoring.

Thank you.

But if you are traveling, the very best of luck. Nobody wants to get held up when you're off to have a bit of a break.

From the long lines at Dublin Airport to the more most fascinating sands of Egypt's desert in tonight's parting shots, we look at archaeologist that

struck historical gold. Look at this. A landmark finding in Egypt's Saqqara necropolis was made public yesterday. Ancient statues and sarcophagi were

covered uncovered as part of a five-year archeological mission, 18 miles south of Cairo.

Among the dozens of relics found dating back as far as the 15th century B.C. Archaeologists dug up 150 statues of modeled after Pharaonic gods, and

250 wooden sarcophagi with -- wait for it -- well-preserved mummies. This isn't the first discovery made in the Saqqara necropolis, it's the first

and largest unearthing of bronze statues in the area. Truly remarkable. We leave you with that. Good night.