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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tries to Move Past Confidence Vote; Kyiv's Morgues Try to Identify the Dead; Muslim Countries Slam India over Offensive Comments. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 07, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In favor of having confidence in Boris Johnson, 211 votes, against was 148 votes. Therefore I can announce that the parliament
party does have confidence.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Boris Johnson still leads the United Kingdom but for how long?
This hour, the latest on the drama at Westminster.
And inside Mariupol, there are fears of a cholera outbreak adding to the misery in southern Ukraine. Plus --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: It's easier not to listen to the truth, Ambassador.
ANDERSON (voice-over): An undiplomatic spat at the United Nations over the global food crisis. This hour, CNN reports on how Turkey plans to ease the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
He still calls 10 Downing Street home but Boris Johnson is a prime minister is in survival mode. He squeaked through Monday's confidence vote, 41
percent of U.K. lawmakers from his own party, the Conservatives, had tried to oust him.
It's an astonishing outcome for his detractors, especially when you consider that, just over two years, ago Johnson claimed a landslide general
Is this a leadership departure delayed or prevented?
This is a bigger Tory rebellion than the ones faced by his predecessors, Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Theresa May. A short time ago, he told
his cabinet to find ways to bring down the high costs of living just hours after he tried to put a brave face on Monday night's vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Of course, I understand that what we need to do now is come together as a government and that is exactly what we
can now do.
What this gives us is the opportunity to put behind us all the stuff that I know that the media have quite properly wanted to focus on for a long time,
to do our job, which is to focus on the stuff that I think the public actually want us to be talking about, which is what we are doing to help
the people in this country and all the things we're doing to take this country forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, we are live in Downing Street, Phil Black standing by for us.
What this gives us is the opportunity to put behind us what the media have wanted to focus on, he said, and instead, address the issues that the
British public want addressed. Not even his own party members believe that he is able to do that; 41 percent of them voting against him in a vote of
no confidence yesterday. And yet, he remains prime minister.
And so is this a leader who can get things done as he says he wants to do for the British public?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is his message today. That is what he told his cabinet when he met them here earlier today. The only message
coming from Johnson Downing Street supporters is that this has been dealt with.
A line has been drawn, that he now once again has a mandate to government to get on with things that British people care about, in his words.
That is no doubt what he, hopes he will be able to do, focus on policy, make real achievements and build up a reputation for effectiveness and take
that through to the next general election.
The reality is that he cannot feel confident about his ability to do that. It does not know how this is going to play out, that's because of the 41
percent figure. That number a significant number of people within the Conservative Party who have declared their very strong desire that he
should no longer be the leader of the party or the prime minister.
It's a bigger figure than many expected and a number backed up by significant feeling. Those people were also voting for significant
uncertainty, a long, messy leadership contest, not knowing what was coming at the end of that.
BLACK: But so strong the feeling and the desire to get rid of Boris Johnson that they were prepared to take that risk, either on the point of
principle or because they had lost hope and faith in Johnson's ability to ensure that they can hold on to their seats at the next election.
His supporters would also say that many of the people who voted against him are people who never liked him or people whose careers have suffered or not
progressed under his leadership with the party.
ANDERSON: And Phil Black is outside Number 10, where British prime minister Boris Johnson is still in residence for the time being.
The vote last night was a distinctly conservative affair but Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi is weighing in. Before the vote, he tweeted that,
"Conservatives need to develop some moral backbone, do the right thing, remove Boris Johnson and reintroduce standards and values back into the now
degraded office of the prime minister.
"Tory sleaze" he says, "has no place in our government or in our democracy."
The MP is joining me live.
Thanks for joining us. A party divided; a nationally unpopular leader, you'd expect this to be a victory for your party but no sign of that as of
yet. This is a man who is still standing.
What do you make of what happened on Monday?
TANMANJEET SINGH DHESI, LABOUR MP: I very much see this as a farcical and highly unacceptable situation. As you said, what I, wanted and I think the
country wanted is the Conservative MPs need to develop that moral backbone and overcome the alleged bullying and blackmailing and vote out this
incompetent, lying prime minister.
Instead, we have a situation, where, in essence, we have a death by 1,000 cuts, a dead man walking and a government of the walking wounded. They will
not be able to deal with the major issues of the time, whether it's tackling the climate crisis or the cost of living.
In fact, over the last five months, while they did not put in a windfall tax, there was per day a 50 million pound increase in terms of the bills of
British working people.
I think what needs to happen is that the government needs to be focused, rather than saving the prime minister, they need to be focused on the job
ANDERSON: He says he is. He says at his cabinet meeting today, we need to focus on addressing the issues of the day, that being the extremely high
cost of living. I want to take a listen to your party leader for a moment. This was his response to what happened last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEIR STARMER, U.K. LABOUR LEADER: The British public are fed up with a prime minister who promises big but never delivers, a prime minister who
has presided over a culture of lies and lawbreaking at the heart of government, fed up with a prime minister who is utterly unfit for the great
office that he holds.
Conservative MPs made their choice, tonight they have ignored the British public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: But the question is, what does your party do about this?
DHESI: What we have been calling for four months now is for the prime minister to go, because not only do we have the issue of misleading
Parliament, misleading the British public, running roughshod over the ministerial code, we also have had issues regarding corruption in the
handing out of crony contracts to Tory donors.
We had the whole Owen Parkinson (ph) saga and how the prime minister tried to save Owen Patterson and his cronies from that. That's what needed to
happen. Unfortunately, although the vast majority of the British public wanted him to resign, unfortunately only 41 percent of Conservative MPs
felt that way.
What that has meant is that the prime minister no longer holds the confidence of approximately three-quarters of his own backbenches. If you
take out the paid ministerial roles --
ANDERSON: I understand that. Can I pressure you on this next point, because we are going over what happened last night, which is
understandable. What I want to get from you, is whether or not Mr. Johnson steps down. At this, point he's going nowhere.
Britons are, it seems, not convinced that Labour, your party, are ready to lead. Has Mr. Starmer shown any proof to the country?
He has accused the prime minister of lying over the Partygate scandal yet he is now being questioned by police over possible COVID rule breaches,
ANDERSON: He promised he would stand down.
Would that be the right thing for the party at this point?
If, so who should take the party on?
The Labour Party needs to act at this point, doesn't it?
DHESI: Becky, I think that Keir Starmer has acted with a great deal of integrity and honesty. The incident which you are, referring that has
already been investigated once by the police. They've concluded categorically that there was no rule breaking.
But pending this investigation, I think Keir's done the right thing to say that, if anything is proved, that, unlike the prime minister, he will
actually resign on a point of principle because we need to run still on honesty, integrity and principles.
We cannot have this pathological line going on wherein we are the bane of a lot of the ills within our society. We cannot go on the world stage and
preach about values, the rule of law, if our own prime minister is not respecting that.
ANDERSON: -- the leader of the opposition.
DHESI: I think he has already been very good in terms of the way that he has conducted himself. What we need to know in terms of the Labour Party's
positioning, if opinion polls are to be believed, then we are ahead.
If there was an election, tomorrow then Labour would be victorious. But we cannot be complacent. We have to make sure we have a policy platform put
out to the British public, especially the hardworking Brits that they can realize that Labour is now ready for government.
ANDERSON: And Johnson does have a mandate from the British public, despite there being a significant number of detractors. They will say it's time to
get on with policymaking and wait until the next general election. And you are telling me the Labour Party will work very hard to that point.
Going to Ukraine, now an uncertain path forward in the battle for Sievierodonetsk. A Ukrainian military official says that the situation is
changing every hour with fierce battles and street fights. Ukraine's president says that more than 2,500 soldiers who left the Azovstal steel
plant in Mariupol may now be held in Russian occupied areas of the Donbas.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy voicing uncertainty about what will happen to them, saying Russia's plans are constantly changing.
Inside Mariupol, an adviser to the mayor said that Russia is quietly closing the city amid fears of cholera and he says corpses are piled
everywhere. Ben Wedeman is in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine.
The battle rages in Sievierodonetsk. We are seeing reports of street fighting and the reports out of Mariupol.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's first talk about Sievierodonetsk, where the head of the military administration there says
the situation is difficult.
Russian forces are throwing everything they have into the battle, where there are tense street fight on top, of that Making the situation ever more
complicated is that there are between 10,000 and 11,000 civilians stuck in the middle, hiding in basements and bomb shelters.
And given the intensity of the fighting, they have no way of getting out at the moment. As far as the situation in Mariupol, it's grave. The actual
fighting there ended a very long time ago but we see that the trauma from that two-month siege that ended with an agreement between the Russians and
Ukrainians, it still goes on, as you will see in this report.
We must warn viewers that some of the images they're about to see may be disturbing.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): And so begins, on a sunny summer morning, the grimmest of tasks.
Workers at Kyiv's central morgue examine the contents of 160 dirty, putrid body bags containing the badly decomposed remains of soldiers killed during
the two-month siege at the port city of Mariupol and in the city's sprawling Azovstal steel plant, where Ukrainian forces made their last
Ukraine and Russia have conducted an exchange of bodies as part of the agreement that ended the siege. Forensic examiner Liliya Pilipchuk has been
on the job for three years.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Since the war began, she's had little rest.
"We also examined the bodies from Bucha and Irpin," she says referring to Kyiv suburbs where retreating Russian forces are accused of committing
atrocities against civilians.
Olena Tolkatchava is also helping. She's affiliated with the Azov Brigade, which fought in Mariupol. The brigade is a nationalist militia that was
integrated into Ukraine's armed forces.
"The morgue is already full of bodies from Kyiv, from Bucha, from Irpin," she says, "so we have to put them in a refrigerator truck."
More workers search through ripped and ragged clothing for documents and tag and bag personal items. This is just the start of a long process.
WEDEMAN: Some of these bodies have no identification. So their DNA will have to be sampled. And it may take a month maybe more to find out who they
WEDEMAN (voice-over): And only then will their loved ones know their fate. Finality for the living and the dead of have to wait.
WEDEMAN: Indeed, that finality may not come for a while. We understand that out of the 160 body bags, only eight of those bodies have been
ANDERSON: Thank you, Ben.
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog has declined to comment on accusations from Ukraine that the head of the organization was "lying" about being invited
to visit an unoccupied nuclear plant.
On Monday. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi quoted, "We are working to send an expert mission to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power
plant. Ukraine requested us. We will go there."
But Ukraine's nuclear energy operated denies that there was any such invitation and has accused them of legitimizing Russia's occupation of the
plant, saying that a visit will only be possible once Ukraine regains control over it.
I will speak to the IAEA about that and about concerns over Iran's nuclear program.
Accusations grow louder against Russia's other weapon in Ukraine, which is food. We will take a look at efforts to unblock Ukrainian grain and get it
to developing countries who desperately need it.
And two brothers have been arrested in Dubai. More on the charges levied against them and the international calls for their arrest.
ANDERSON: Two brothers wanted by Interpol have been arrested in the UAE. Indian born business man Atul Gupta and his brother, Rajesh, are accused of
corruption in South Africa under former president Zuma.
Both the brothers and the former president deny any wrongdoing. Eleni Giokos has more details for us from Dubai.
Just remind us how these two men are, what kind of power they wielded in the years-long scandal that has led us to this point.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it has been an unbelievable journey I have to say. Look, we are talking about nine years
of alleged corruption, money laundering and fraud that was all under the oversight of former president Jacob Zuma.
Now the Gupta brothers had a vast network of influence within the government that went right to the top. There were very few departments
within the government that they did not touch.
They were getting tenders, whether it was in health care, state owned enterprises or the power utilities, locomotives. The influence was so
incredible that you actually saw it was brazen. The corruption that was happening was in plain sight.
The public protector at that time had put through an investigation that lasted over four years. Incredible witnesses came to the fore over that
time, they gave overwhelming evidence of their influence. The Gupta brothers at that time refused to appear in front of the commission of
Jacob Zuma at the time also refused to appear. But there were so many incidents; when the respected finance minister at the time was replaced by
an unknown person, the markets crashed. Then they had to backtrack on that decision.
The commission of inquiry revealed that the Gupta brothers had enormous influence, that they were able to make or break cabinet ministers' careers
or put people in position of power in order to get deals and contracts signed at that time.
ANDERSON: So the UAE has arrested these brothers. It is, as they say, in response to an international request.
How does the extradition process then work?
GIOKOS: It is a really good question. We just had news that they were arrested on the 2nd of June. We spoke with a legal consultant a short while
ago that, within 48 hours of arrest, they need to see a criminal prosecutor, that is their right.
They would then be requested, whether they wanted to be extradited -- they would probably say no to that --within 72 hours they would be able to apply
for bail. We have no news on that right now. Given that it has been almost five or six days since they've been arrested, one would assume we've had
movement on that.
Whether they would be extradited is a complex process. The national prosecuting authority in South Africa says they are working with the UAE
government to try to find a way forward.
Now we know that they have to put through the file, the actual charges. Then if the Gupta brothers refused to be extradited, they would appear in
court in front of three judges here in Dubai, who would make the decision on being extradited.
The legal consultant said it's pretty simple. The defense would be focusing on saying this is politically motivated. Something that the Gupta brothers,
Becky, have been talking about for many years now.
Also it is important to know that the South African population, South Africans generally are feeling that the Gupta brothers got away with so
much graft throughout these almost 10 years. Again the commission of inquiry had proved much of that.
They were able to leave South Africa shortly after Jacob Zuma resigned and came to live here in Dubai, basically untouched and without accountability.
So the national prosecuting authority has a really big task to try and ensure that there is some kind of recourse on what we saw playing out in
the country for over 10 years.
ANDERSON: Eleni is in Dubai, thank you Eleni.
Controversial comments made by two officials with India's ruling party are pushing the government into full damage control with Arab nations. The BJP
has suspended spokeswoman Nupur Sharma for comments about the Prophet Muhammad that were considered offensive and Islamophobic.
She has since withdrawn her statement but that didn't stop at least 14 countries from condemning her words. In retaliation, shops in Kuwait were
seen removing Indian products from the shelves. Vedika Sud is joining me live from New Delhi with more.
This has been a couple of days now. We are continuing to see what feels like an escalation here.
ANDERSON: Is there a risk of a full-blown boycott of India by Gulf nations, specifically?
What is going on here?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to be with you, Becky. I do not think the Indian government will let it get to that point. If what is happening
in Kuwait is anything to go by, this is where the Indian government will go into overdrive with damage control mode, trying to look at the emotions of
the Gulf nations.
This is the reason behind it. We know disciplinary action has been taken against the two officials from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's party.
A lot of people see this as a political move but I see it as an economic move. Here is why.
India highly depends on these Gulf nations for a lot of things, including energy imports. When it comes to India, India has been the highest importer
of oil. The bulk of the crude imports come from the Middle East.
That is why they cannot risk upsetting the Gulf nations, as well. Also what we have to understand here is millions of Indians live and work in the Gulf
nations. They send back billions of dollars. The UAE, as you know, and India have signed a free trade agreement.
At this point India cannot risk upsetting these countries. That is why they are in this overdrive to make sure they reach out to these countries. They
have been on this overdrive when it comes to the foreign ministry to even respond to statements issued by these countries.
They are very clear about keeping a huge distance from the party, from other members that have gone on record to say that, these statements that
have been issued, that have been uttered by these members of the BJP are fringe elements.
These are individuals that do not reflect the views of the Indian government. That is exactly what they need to drive home at this point, not
only within India but overseas as well. This is the only way we can actually bring back a balance when it comes to relations with the other
Gulf nations at this point.
That is a concern that they have, currently, Becky.
ANDERSON: Vedika Sud, thank you.
Do not enter. Moscow adds more names to an already long list of Americans banned from entering Russia. The names includes some top government and
business leaders you will recognize.
Dozens of countries rely on Ukrainian grain, of course. But exports have trickled to a snail's pace since the Russian invasion. We will take a look
at the efforts to get it to those who desperately need it.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in London.
Russia placing sanctions on 61 more Americans, banning them from entering the country. The Kremlin blame them for involvement in what he calls fake
reports about Russian cyberattacks.
Media execs, heads of shipbuilding and aircraft companies and a slew of U.S. State Department, military and other officials, including Treasury
Secretary Janet Yellen. She joins U.S. President Joe Biden and more than 900 individuals, who were placed on the list last month. Clare Sebastian
covering the story from London.
Is there any rhyme or reason to these latest names?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is largely symbolic. When it comes to travel bans, things didn't really work for Russia, nobody keeps their
assets inside of Russia. It doesn't have the same kind of leverage that the West has over Russian individuals.
Published the list back in May 1963, Americans on the stop list. Among those were people who are no longer alive, like John McCain. Nick Paton
Walsh is on the list; he's actually not American.
And here there is a very big variety of names with CEO of Delta Air Lines, CEO of Fitch Group, the CEO of Netflix as well as the CEO of the Nasdaq. It
is not exactly clear what they are going for.
ANDERSON: The overriding thing will be on the corporate side, those who have actually been relatively vocal about the sanctions on Russia and
pulling their business from Russia. You can see why perhaps that is.
The U.S. Action has also taken action itself. Two private planes, as I understand it, owned by Roman Abramovich.
SEBASTIAN: This is enforcement of existing sanctions. This is the U.S. trying to show that they're not just about putting in the sanctions but
they want to enforce them as well. What they have is a warrant to seize these two planes. They're worth more than $400 million. There's one
Gulfstream jet said to be inside Russia and one 787 Dreamliner said to be worth $350 million.
Now they have not seized these planes yet. Obviously, they can't seize the ones inside Russia. But obviously, they have to wait until one of these
planes moves into a jurisdiction that is friendly to the U.S.
But they've done this in a very transparent way. They published an affidavit that names shell companies that apparently Roman Abramovich used
to obfuscate his involvement with these planes. There is a diagram detailing the different shell companies and how they are linked to these
That is part of the strategy, to show the world the U.S. is enforcing this to try to bring in other jurisdictions to join them.
ANDERSON: And Clare is in the house for you.
The president of the European Council says that Russia is using more than just bombs and bullets to fight Ukraine; it is using food. His comments
came Monday during a meeting with the United Nations Security Council.
And this war has left food stuck at Ukrainian ports and kept farmers from harvesting what they were trying to grow. Charles Michel accused Russia of
feeling the food crisis and addressed his criticism to its U.N. ambassador directly, prompting him to storm out of the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let's be honest. The Kremlin is using food supplies as a
stealth missile against developing countries. The dramatic consequences (INAUDIBLE) are spilling over across the globe.
And this is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty and destabilizing entire regions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And some leaders are scrambling to try to end the food crisis. The U.N. secretary general is trying to broker a deal while the Russian
foreign minister is due in Turkey on Wednesday to work on what he says is getting Ukraine's grain exports flowing again. Jomana Karadsheh has more
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From his Istanbul terrace, Yuda Fishuk (ph) has watched part of Russia's invasion of Ukraine
play out in Turkey. First, it was the military buildup, now the ship watcher and founder of "The Bosphorus Observer" has been documenting
Russia's theft of Ukrainian grain.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): With the help of satellite images and Ukrainian activists he tracked and filmed this Russian ship transiting the Bosphorus.
It appeared in Maxar Technology's images obtained by CNN last month. It was smuggling stolen Ukrainian wheat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a bottleneck spot. There are so many spots like this. This is easy to monetary (sic). We almost miss nothing coming from
the Black Sea from here.
Only in last 2-3 weeks we witnessed at least 10 journeys of 10 different ships carrying wheat from occupied Ukrainian ports into northwest (ph) of
Syria because people are worried about the sanctions et cetera. They are usually carrying first to Syria (ph) and it's getting distributed to the
other Middle Eastern customers from Syria so far.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Turkey's straits are governed by the 1936 Montreal convention. It has already restricted access to Russian naval vessels under
that agreement. But when it comes to commercial traffic, it is limited in what it can do.
But Russia is not only accused of theft; Ukraine, the U.S. and the E.U. have all accused it of holding the world to ransom, blockading Ukrainian
ports and stopping the export of over 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain that dozens of countries rely on. Russia blames Ukraine for the blockade
and says it's Western sanctions causing the global food crisis.
KARADSHEH: Turkey's trying to use its strategic location and its close ties with both of its Black Sea neighbors, Russia and Ukraine, to try and
broker a deal but would establish a sea corridor for Ukrainian grain exports.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): That potential grain corridor through the Turkish straits will top the agenda when the Russian foreign minister meets his
Turkish counterpart on Wednesday. Turkish officials are hoping that will lay the groundwork for talks soon with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turkey could definitely provide services as an auditor to make sure that grain is being sent out from both Ukraine and Russia,
being one of the Black Sea powers. It has the capacity to provide security inside of the Black Sea as well.
So it can be a player that provides security, that provides observation and that provides auditing that could be acceptable and considered legitimate
by both Kyiv and Moscow.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): But the Russians will have their own demands that are unacceptable to Western powers. They're already indicated that they
want sanctions lifted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I expect the Russians to want a waiver on their grain sales as well. They feel they have the leverage, because Turkey will be
very important to negotiate between Russia in the West to be able to get a sanctions waiver for the Russians for their grain sales as well.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): But few will trust what Russia promises. There's no easy path out of this but Turkey is hoping it can at least begin the
complex process of trying to end the blockade and avert a crisis that the U.N. has warned will link to famine and instability around the world --
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories elsewhere in the Middle East. A new report from U.S. government watchdog on
Afghanistan says that when former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, it is not likely he took millions with him.
This contradicts allegations Ghani took cash reported missing from the presidential palace and other government vaults.
A 66-year-old British geologist is being sentenced to 15 years in an Iraqi prison after being convicted of stealing artifacts. His family says he was
touring an ancient city where he picked up 12 fragments. His lawyer said he didn't know what they were but they're later determined to be artifacts.
There is also concerned about this British citizen, a journalist as well as a Brazilian indigenous expert. Tom Phillips and Bruno Ferrara have gone
missing in the Brazilian Amazon. Authorities in indigenous rights groups said these two had gotten death threats.
The Amazon military command began a search for them.
Golf's newest series may be its most exciting but it's also the most controversial. New developments involving two top golfers coming up.