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U.K. to Fly Asylum Seekers to Rwanda; Joe Biden to Visit Saudi Arabia; Ukrainians Return to Homes on Front Lines; Biden to Say Inflation His "Top Priority". Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 14, 2022 - 10:00   ET





FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: We believe that this is all wrong. This is all wrong, this deal.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Despite public outrage, the first deportation flights to Rwanda leave the U.K. just hours from now. Plus --



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the battle here in and around the city of Sievierodonetsk, where the Ukrainian

president says the fight of Donbas in Eastern Ukraine is being decided.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Why President Zelenskyy called the battle for Donbas, quote, "one of the most brutal battles in and for Europe." The

latest from Ukraine.

And despite concerns about aggressive rate rises from the U.S., Fed investors are back in a buying mood.


ANDERSON: It's 3 pm in London, hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

We begin with controversy and condemnation. Britain's foreign secretary Liz Truss says that the first deportation flight to Rwanda will leave the U.K.

in the coming hours. That plan is surrounded by a storm of outrage.

The Church of England leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, say the U.K. government policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, quote, "shames

Britain." Truss says that if critics don't like the controversial plan, they need to suggest an alternative. Her words earlier today.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees also weighing in. He has something to say about this. Take a listen.


GRANDI: We believe that this is all wrong. This is all wrong, this deal.


ANDERSON: CNN's Nada Bashir went to France to speak to some of the refugees, who could be impacted by this new controversial policy. She joins

us now from our Paris bureau.

What is happening at this hour?

Any word on how many people will be on the first flight scheduled for later today, U.K. time?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That has been a key focus. The last few days, now, despite the two major high court battles, trying to call for an

emergency injunction, it is going forward.

The prime minister himself addressing cabinet ministers saying that despite the criticism laid on the government, they do plan to push ahead with the


Since that first high court challenge on Friday, we see the number of people on that flight dwindling down. Previously, we had more than 100

people expected to be on that flight. And they had received a notice telling them that they would be deported to Rwanda.

And since, then we have seen individual cases and deportation notices being canceled over the weekend. And that came down to single figures, just seven

asylum seekers at this point.

Liz Truss was pressed this morning and would not describe an exact number but the flight will be going ahead. Take a listen.


LIZ TRUSS, U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY AND MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND EQUALITIES: There will be people on the flight and if not on this flight, they will be

on the next flight. We are determined to break the model of the appalling people traffickers and sort this issue out which has caused untold misery,

including people dying in the English Channel.


BASHIR: And there is a broader question in the legality of the entire policy. Those individual numbers being canceled at such significance, there

are rights group saying that there cannot be a blanket approach of deporting illegal migrants.

There needs to be a case by case assessment and that requires more time to assess the legality.

ANDERSON: This policy mired in controversy.


ANDERSON: Behind the policy are people. Let's focus on the situation facing those in the camps in Calais.

BASHIR: The government has said that they will prevent the deaths on the Channel and they won't see the significant numbers of people desperate and

trying to cross the English Channel.

We have seen lives lost. Many told us that they were undeterred. They had already been through so much and such long and difficult journeys. And the

fact that we are seeing these cancellations might soften these edges of the deportation threat.

You heard from the U.N. high commissioner, casting doubt on the government's justification. Rights group who work with the refugees here

but also worked with refugees in London and around the U.K., they told us the example of the government has set for the Ukrainian refugee crisis

sends a clear message that there is an option there to deal with them in a humane way.

There needs to be more options for vulnerable refugees fleeing persecution, violence, conflicts, to be able to apply for asylum legally. But they are

not open to everyone in the same way they're open for Ukrainian refugees.

ANDERSON: Let's explore this more. Detention Action is a human rights organization legally challenging this policy of deporting U.K. refugees to

Rwanda. And James Wilson joins us now.

There will be people on this flight and there will be others, says the foreign minister, despite the actions taken by so many to prevent this


What makes this policy so wrong to your mind?

JAMES WILSON, DETENTION ACTION: Good afternoon, Becky. We are extremely concerned about the people on the flight today. We hope the further ones

are canceled. We think it's fundamentally an unlawful, unsafe and inhumane policy.

We think anyone who's being punished for seeking asylum is (INAUDIBLE). We have an obligation by law to assess each claim on its own merits in the

U.K. by the U.K.

Secondly, we dispute the government's argument that Rwanda is a safe third country to which people can be removed. We have powerful evidence and rear

support from the UNHCR giving their support for our challenge to the situation we see on the ground.

They gave very powerful evidence that this is not fit for the purpose and brings with it a very real risk that the vulnerable could be removed back

to their country of origin.


ANDERSON: So the high court's decision today was to throw out last-ditch bids by rights groups like yours to stop the first flight.

And the government says if not this policy, then what is the alternative?

WILSON: That is a good question and there should be common ground for everybody. Nobody wants to see desperate, dangerous journeys across the

channel. And nobody wants to be benefiting from human misery and desperation.

But we think the answer is through the creation of safe routes. There are safe routes in place in terms of Ukraine. That's what we need.

If you have those routes in place, who would put themselves in such a desperate situation?

And with the absence of those routes, that have made those journeys inevitable, the U.K. is also criminalizing those for making those very

journeys while taking away the other options to make the journey safely. So that is the way the government should be approaching this.

ANDERSON: This is a short term policy as far as this government is concerned. Press policymakers in the U.K., they say, of course, they're

looking at ways to provide safe routes for genuine asylum seekers.

But they say this is a deterrent. At the heart of this is a challenge to human traffickers.


ANDERSON: A horrific business, a multimillion dollar business, which none of us wants to see.

That argument by the British government is difficult to argue with, isn't it?

WILSON: It's difficult to argue with wanting to put the traffickers out of business. But I don't think this policy will do it. We don't think it will

work as a deterrent. It's simply the wrong approach.

I would very much welcome to see evidence from the government to say something about the safe routes. We are just seeing the routes being shut

down, with the exception of Ukraine.

There was a resettlement scheme for Syria, 5,000 people a year. But I don't think it ever reached those numbers. And it quietly closed about 1.5 years

ago. There are Syrians now having to cross the Channel, at risk of being on this flight. And I think that indicates a lack of commitment from the


ANDERSON: What information do you have, if, any, on who these refugees are?

How many are scheduled to leave today?

And what sort of emotions did these people have about where they are going and how they feel about it?

WILSON: It's a very good question. In terms of the numbers, the last we knew is there were seven people still to be on the flight. I know there

have been some last-minute challenges happening. We hope those numbers will come down.

But one person on the flight is one too many. Our involvement stems from our severe concerns about the policy but because we working with 1,000

people a year in detention. And everyone so far has been threatened with removal.

And so we are talking with people every day who have been told that. The impact is hard to overstate on people's health and well-being. It's leading

to suicidal feelings, self harming, hunger strikes taking place in one of the centers. It's having a huge and devastating impact.

If you put yourself in the shoes of somebody who's already had a long and dangerous journey to get to the U.K. across the Channel, believing they

would be safe, now they are being removed to another country, it's a one- way ticket. There's no route back to the U.K. no matter what happens to their claim.

So all of our thoughts are with them at the moment. And we urge the government to think about the human beings.

ANDERSON: And that is certainly the noise we get from the U.K. government at present. Thank you, sir, for joining us.

U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia in July, marking a major reversal of what was his campaign pledge was to make the kingdom a global

pariah. Russia's invasion of Ukraine upended global energy markets, pushing gas prices in the United States over $5 a gallon this week.

Biden under intense pressure at home to provide some economic relief. A poll found that 64 percent of voters disapprove of his handling of the


He is expected to engage some with Mohammed bin Salman, who was found to be responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Have a listen to

what this official with the U.S. National Security Council had to say about the relationship.


ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: The president has put in place accountability measures with respect to the Khashoggi killing. But

Saudi Arabia is also a strategic partner. And in foreign policy, it's about balancing the values.

And we're standing up for values and we're not afraid to speak to our human rights concerns in any country around the world. But also pursuing national

security interests.


ANDERSON: And it is the interest, at least economically of the United States, that Joe Biden's administration does business with the Saudis. And

if that means doing business with the crown prince, who's not the leader but often is in a position to take decisions on behalf of his father, then

the Biden administration has decided they should do so.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's historic in a way. The relationship between the presidents of the United States and the

kings of Saudi Arabia goes back generations, almost 80 years.


ROBERTSON: It has been that initially the United States needing Saudi oil and the Saudis needing a big global ally and partner. And in a way, that is

still the relationship. Biden is coming because this is a time of desperate need and he has to compromise these values of democracy and democratic

principles that he said he was standing on.

That Saudi Arabia would be a pariah because of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. But he now needs that oil more than ever because the global

economy is hurting as a result of the war in Ukraine and Russia is not passing oil to the European Union.

The Saudis still want that big global ally and partner. MBS wants it more than ever. He has tarnished his reputation. And for the power and influence

he wants to have in the region, he needs not to be snubbed by the U.S. presidency.

ANDERSON: Because he does have an enormous amount of power.

And the question for the Biden administration, if not, now when?

The crown prince will be likely around for decades to come.

ROBERTSON: Decades to come. If the United States will deal with Saudi Arabia, he will be the go-to person. The Saudis have framed their press

statement in a way that will please the White House. It frames it that President Biden is coming at the invitation of King Salman.

He will meet with King Salman first. Then he goes on to have a meeting with MBS.

But all of the substantive issues over energy, security, trade, investment and food security, all of these global issues -- counterterrorism -- all of

that will be discussed and that is where the substance will be. That is how it will be going forward.

MBS came to power in a pretty roughshod way, many Saudis would say. The reality is that he has cemented that and he is going to be around. So

whether it's President Biden or two presidents later down the line in the United States, if they want to get on with Saudi Arabia, maybe aligning

themselves more closely with China, which is a big key issue with the United States, you have to get on with the guy who is in charge.

ANDERSON: This is a meeting of other GCC countries as well. And as I understand, it the Egyptians and the Jordanians would be here at the same

time. This is a meeting that will be held mid July. Many will say a lot of controversy about this when they look to the Biden administration. This is

realism at work.

And the increasingly dire situation for Ukrainian troops fighting to keep control of Sievierodonetsk. What Russia has done to bridges leading into

and out of that city.

And there is no place like home, why some people are returning home in the middle of a war zone. That is coming up.





ANDERSON: One of the most brutal battles in Europe and for Europe, Ukraine's president using those words to describe the ongoing fight for the

Donbas. Now focused on a place called Sievierodonetsk.

After weeks of brutal attacks, Russia appears to be gaining more ground. The three main bridges into that city are now impassible. The satellite

photos showing the destruction and the top military official in the Luhansk region says that Russia's sending even more troops to try to surround

Sievierodonetsk and its twin city of Lysychansk.

Winning both would give Russia full control of the eastern section of the Donbas, which is why this is significant. Salma Abdelaziz connecting us

from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

You and I have been discussing what has been going on in Sievierodonetsk for some weeks.

What is the situation and at what point are we at this point?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a matter of, when not if Sievierodonetsk falls. You're looking at 80 percent of the city under

Russian control, including the city center.

Russian forces are using superior artillery. They're using airpower to really grind down Ukrainian forces who are now pinned down. They're trying

to evacuate civilians. There are about 10,000 estimated civilians, still trapped inside basements, trying to shelter.

One of the key flashpoints, the Azov plant where a few hundred people are believed to be trapped inside. Ukrainian officials say that, yes, the three

bridges that connected Sievierodonetsk to the nearby, city those are all unusable now. They have been destroyed.

That means it is every more difficult to evacuate people. And evacuations are happening by the hour. President Zelenskyy in his nightly address

painted a very bleak picture. Take a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The price of this battle for us is very high. It is just scary and we draw the

attention of our partners on a daily basis to the fact that only a sufficient number of modern artillery for Ukraine will ensure our advantage

and, finally, the end of Russian torture of the Ukrainian Donbas.


ABDELAZIZ: You hear President Zelenskyy pleading for Western weapons. But I think it's impossible to imagine that those would arrive soon enough, if

they arrive, to turn the tide in Sievierodonetsk.

Russian forces are already calling on Ukrainian forces to either surrender or die and quit worrying. They're also following that same pattern of

warfare that we saw in Mariupol, saying that Russian forces will be the ones to pull civilians out. This is their language, take them into other

Russian occupied areas.

And we saw this in Mariupol, in other areas that were occupied by Russian forces. They put them through filtration camps, human rights groups say

essentially force them to go into Russian territory or Russian occupied territory.

And again, we are seeing that accusation happening. So concerns and fears for residents trapped inside.

President Zelenskyy's message here, you hear it over and over again when he speaks, it's quite simple, it's quite clear. You have a superior military

force. Russia's firepower is 10 times that of Ukraine.

President Putin has made it clear his imperial vision. He's likened himself to Peter the Great and disregarded Ukrainian sovereignty. He says these are

Russian lands and he will take them by brute force.

Zelenskyy's message is, does the international community, will they allow this to happen?

Will our Western allies below might to make right? -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz is on the ground in Kyiv, thank you.

For the people who remain in Eastern Ukraine, the front line of this war is never far from their door. And this means living in damp basements with no

modern conveniences. For some, there is no place like home and that is why they are now making the journey back. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports from

Eastern Ukraine.



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The city of Slovyansk may be half empty but the Church of the Holy Spirit is almost


The city is perilously close to the front lines but with faith and stubbornness, the few stay put, while others have come back.

Luba (ph) and her family left shortly after the outbreak of war, staying with relatives in Western Ukraine. She returned a month ago. For now, home,

sweet home is a dark, damp basement shared with other building residents. Having lived through the fighting here in 2014, she left because she did

not want to go through it all over again.

"I was scared for my son and by grandson," she says. Yet, hospitality had its limits and homesickness took a toll. "We felt our relatives were sick

of us," she says. They have their own lives. You can put up with your relatives for a while but we decided it was time to go back."

The basement is far from comfortable but it's better than upstairs when the bombs and missiles fall at night.

Her 14-year-old grandson, Bogdan, prefers it here.

"Even if you could go to a safer place elsewhere," he says, "it's better to be at home."

Even if you have to sleep in the basement.

WEDEMAN: The longer this war goes on, the cooler the welcome becomes for those who have fled to safer ground. And as dangerous as it may be here,

there's no place like home.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): With no cooking gas to be had, the kitchen has moved to the yard. The city water supply was knocked out, it now must be pumped

by hand. Gone are the comforts and conveniences of modern life. But at least it's home -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Slovyansk, Eastern Ukraine.


ANDERSON: And more from Ukraine later this hour.

Still ahead, investors are on edge ahead of a big decision on interest rates. No one, it seems, is convinced of betting either way on this one. We

will check in on Wall Street. That is up next.

And Brazil's indigenous people are furious over the government's handling of two missing men. They say this is part of the bigger problem. Live in

Brazil. With the details when we come back.





ANDERSON: Welcome back. It is half past three in London, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

In the United States, a historic set of hearings aims to tie the January 6th Capitol riot to former president Donald Trump's stolen election lies.

On Monday, the U.S. House committee revealed testimony from members of Trump's inner circle, including former aides who claimed Trump spent

Election Night listening to Rudy Giuliani's drunken rant that the election was stolen.

Former attorney general William Barr says Mr. Trump became "detached from reality" -- his words, not mine. Have a listen.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I went into this and would, you know, tell them how crazy some of these allegations were, there

was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.

My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud. And I have not seen anything since the election that changed my mind

on that.


ANDERSON: Well, the next live hearing is now set for Thursday. The U.S. House Democrat on the committee told CNN what we should expect.


REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): Having been told by his campaign staff as well as his lawyers that he had lost the race, he got increasingly

desperate and began to pressure people at a lot of different levels to see if he could get in on the con.

And so we will be laying out, much as we have in previous hearings, with first person testimonies or depositions or text messaging data that we have

collected of the narrative of what happened in all of those efforts to pressure people into doing something that was not right.


ANDERSON: It does not matter where you are watching in the world, globally there are real fears about a recession at this point. And there are big

worries that the U.S. economy could be specifically staring at this recessionary behavior, everything from fuel, food and housing costing more.

Now the Federal Reserve is poised to act, U.S. stock markets slipping into bear territory yesterday. They're holding steady so far today, just

slightly dipping there. They have been in positive territory. Look at stocks in Europe this hour, the E.U.'s biggest economy, Germany, today

announcing record inflation.

Those markets slipping lower but investors are doing their best to keep some of these stocks above water. Rahel Solomon of CNN Business is watching

all of this from New York.

We always said when the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. Things perhaps, slightly differently these days, it is all about if China's

sneezes, everyone else catches a cold. And that economy, not kicking into gear as quickly as many around the world might have wanted it to.

Now all eyes are on the U.S. Fed as we wait for tomorrow's announcement.

At this point, is it clear just how big of a hike we can see?

And why is this such a big deal, if you will?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, before, I would say, the last 48 hours, the expectation was 50 basis points or half a percent on Wednesday.

And then we started to get all of this flurry of reporting, which suggested that actually 75 basis points are on the table or three-quarters of a


And why this matters, Becky, is because the Federal Reserve tends to raise rates in a more gradual fashion, 25 basis points or a quarter of a percent.

So if in fact we do see three-quarters of a percent on Wednesday, that will be three times what is traditional. It will be the first time that we have

seen rate hikes of 75 basis points since 1994.

So what this means for American consumers is the cost of borrowing has gone up, everything from mortgages, car loans, credit cards. And also for

American businesses, it costs more for them to borrow. This, of course, eats into their profits.

But Becky, what's really interesting here is that it signals that the Federal Reserve might find inflation proving to be quite persistent, quite

stubborn. We have a key inflation report on Friday, which showed not only is inflation not moderating but it appears to be accelerating.

So this news about what we might see tomorrow, a sign that the Fed might realize that it needs to do more to try to get inflation in check.

ANDERSON: I think top policy makers in the U.S., you know, are pretty clear that they had not really expected this to go on as long as it has.

There was much talk, wasn't there, when we saw this as we came out of COVID, of course. It was just a temporary blip as people started spending


We are expecting to hear from President Biden in the next half hour. We are expecting to hear about the economy and Americans are going to want some



ANDERSON: And they will get it from the president?

SOLOMON: Well, I think that is hard to say, right?

We have heard quite a bit from the president in the last week or so. Not just him but also key officials in his administration. It has yet to do

anything to change sentiment in terms of polling or what Americans are saying.

We do hear that he might be speaking about what he thinks is going well in the economy. The U.S. labor market is still very strong, we still see

strong, robust growth. The unemployment rate here in the U.S. is quite low.

Becky, I want to draw your attention to something also very important. I think where he is giving this speech is also very important. He is giving

this speech in Philadelphia, a town I know very well, my hometown. But it is a working class city.

He might be drawing the distinction between the working class Americans and Wall Street and the stock market. This will be really interesting to hear.

ANDERSON: Good to hear from you, we will wait to hear from him later. This hour. Thanks. In an hour, we will say.

Well, workers at the Brazilian Agency for Indigenous People are on strike, over the government's handling over two missing men in the Amazon. British

journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have been missing for more than one week.


ANDERSON (voice-over): On Monday, indigenous groups marched to demand justice and better treatment of indigenous people. President Jair Bolsonaro

says the men are unlikely to be found. And the remains of the men's belongings were found and are being analyzed.

We are now joined by Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo.

So there are two stories over here. What has happened to these two men and what exactly the indigenous groups now want from the government. Let's

start with the investigation.

What do police know at this point?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that one person has been detained as a suspect, while search and rescue efforts

continue. Actually, he is also suspected of being involved in illegal fishing in the region.

This comes as the search and rescue efforts continue for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, who disappeared nine days ago in the far western part of the

Amazon, known as the Javari Valley.

They were working on a book about conservation efforts and challenges. We know that they had both received death threats recently. We also know that

the authorities found personal items belonging to the two men, as well as what they have called human biological traces in the river. Those are

currently being analyzed.

We expect to get some type of a result of this week. But in the meantime, both indigenous groups are going out on their search and rescue efforts as

well as authorities, who have really come under attack for sort of getting in the game slow.

They did not even have any search and rescue teams out until the day after the men disappeared. They did not get a helicopter in the air until a

couple of days after they disappeared. There has just been a lot of criticism that they could have acted more quickly in an area, which is

known to be dangerous, and more efficiently, Becky.

ANDERSON: We are just looking at images of the area at present. Tell us more about this area, the Javari Valley in the Amazonas state.

What exactly are the indigenous people calling on the government for at this point?

DARLINGTON: Yes, I mean, the indigenous groups are protesting, going on strike. All of this because they feel like precious time was lost. But

also, it is because they want to expose what they say are policies and actions which have been implemented under Brazilian president Jair

Bolsonaro, which have been extremely negative for the region. Deforestation has hit record highs during his administration. Programs to monitor and

protect indigenous territories have been restricted and defunded.

So a lot of these groups feel that these issues, this environment of impunity are all connected to the disappearance of the two men. In the

Javari Valley, this is a remote area, a far western part of the Amazon. It is near the borders of Peru and Colombia.

So there have been a ton of land invasions in recent years from illegal loggers, illegal poachers, drug traffickers, trying to take advantage of

the resources and of the land itself. This has led to violent clashes and even one of Pereira's colleagues was killed in 2019.

ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington on the story for you. Shasta, thank you.

Still ahead, from king of the green to target for the press. Find out now what Phil Mickelson had to say in our sports segment. That is coming up