Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

NATO Formally Invites Sweden, Finland to Join; Former Staffer: Trump & Aides knew of Potential for Violence; Europe Scrambles to Secure Fuel Security; Ukraine's First Lady: Can't see the end of our Suffering; 2015 Paris Terror Attacks Verdict Expected Next Hour; Hong Kong Prepares to Mark 25 Years Since its Transfer to China. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 29, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour what may be the most damning testimony yet in the United States hearings on the January the 6th

Capitol riot?


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The President said something to the effect of, I'm the effing president take me

up to the Capitol now.


ANDERSON: What these new revelations could mean for the Former U.S. President in just a few moments. First up, though, this hour while it bombs

and battles Ukraine, Russia today is getting a lesson in the law of unintended consequences. Russian President Vladimir Putin probably did not

think this would lead to this.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Today, NATO leaders took the historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO.

The agreement concluded last night by Turkey, Finland and Sweden paved the way for this decision.


ANDERSON: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg there, he indicated NATO would fast track Sweden and Finland's membership bids after Turkey dropped

its objections, and this means NATO will get even bigger right across the border from Russia.

Putin, of course used NATO expansion to justify the invasion of Ukraine, Russia today, calling the news destabilizing. NATO is also bolstering its

defenses here in Eastern Europe and President Joe Biden says the U.S. will step up. This includes establishing a permanent army headquarters in

Poland, adding troops in Romania and sending more fighter jet squadrons to the United Kingdom.

Stoltenberg says Ukraine's allies are prepared "For the long haul". Here's what Kyiv is up against. This is the moment a Russian missile slammed into

a crowded shopping pool on Monday. 18 people were killed, more remains have been found so that number could go higher. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is at the

scene and she spoke to our Max Foster earlier about the search.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voice over): These firefighters are working around the clock to try to find the bodies of the missing. There are over

20 people unaccounted for. They've been working around the clock here, again, hundreds of people it's a massive operation police, military

firefighters cleanup crews to try to find those who are unaccounted for if we can only assume and officials tell us of course, it is assumed they are


They're just trying to find the bodies for their loved ones. Now Russia claims that they were hitting a weapons depot, but you can see right in

front of you here, Max. This is a shopping mall. It's hard to even imagine that it once was so devastated. It is but it is clearly a shopping mall.

And President Zelenskyy has been clear he doesn't think this was an accident by Russia. He says that Russia intentionally targeted this

civilian area that Russia intentionally is hitting civilians killing innocents he called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting the other


He wants Russia to be seen as a state sponsor of terrorism. He calls what you see behind me here an act of terror, but it's a continuation of

something we've seen over the last few days Max and that is, as President Biden has met with world leaders as these two major summits have taken

place as these powerful nations have discussed what to do about Russia?

What to do about the war in Ukraine? President Putin has been sending this message he can hit this country anywhere, anytime.


ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz on the ground from devastation, then to diplomacy in the reshaping of Europe. CNN's Clarissa Ward has been observing all of

this. She is currently in Madrid for that NATO meeting, and what do you make of what we have learned over the past what 24 hours Clarissa?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the expectation was that we were going to see a dramatic bolstering of forces

and military installations and support for the NATO alliance. But it is pretty extraordinary Becky to think back to 2019 when President Macron said

that he believed you know NATO was experiencing a kind of brain death, if you will, and look at it now.

You know, there have been times where NATO has really struggled to find its relevance in the moment. This is not one of them. With this new strategic

concept, they have made it very clear that Russia is seen as the greatest threat to the alliance while also underscoring that NATO doesn't seek any

confrontation or hostilities or pose any threat to Russia.

And I think you hit on a really important point before Becky when you talked about what a miscalculation this has been for Russia President

Vladimir Putin who as Biden said wanted the Finland - of Europe and has ended up with the NATO isolation of Europe.


WARD: So really a massive display of support for Ukraine here in Madrid leaders coming together. But interestingly, in an impassioned speech from

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, it's clear that while Ukraine is tremendously grateful for the support, they still would very much like to

be seen, as you know, having a possibility of entering into the alliance take a look at what he had to say.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: NATO's open door policy should remind us of the mechanism of the old key metric barriers, they are openly

as soon as you approach them, and they are shocking until you pay because Ukraine not paid enough. This is our contribution to the defense of Europe

and the entire civilization are not enough?


WARD: Now despite that impassioned plea there, Becky, it's unlikely that Ukraine will be joining NATO anytime soon. And I do think it's important to

underscore for our viewers, that for President Vladimir Putin despite being unsettled by today's developments, even though they had been expected,

particularly with Finland and Sweden, joining NATO, I think Russia is ready and willing and able, most importantly, to play the long game here.

And they are counting on the fact that President Biden and President Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who are all facing challenges

politically at home, will not be able to withstand this amount of pressure, even as Russia continues to weaponize food and energy resulting in soaring

inflation, that they will be forced at a certain point to capitulate on some level in terms of sustaining this level of support.

That, of course, is a gamble because we've heard it affirmed many times today from various leaders, including the Head, the Secretary General of

NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, who said, you know, we are in this for the long haul.

But Russia believes that liberal democracies precisely because they answer to voters, and not just to the sort of stances and positions of their

various leaders that Russia has an advantage in that sense because Putin can keep this grinding on for as long as he sees fit.

ANDERSON: Clarissa Ward is here in Madrid I appreciate it Clarissa thank you! Well, Turkey's stance on Finland and Sweden caused headaches for NATO

but Russia's war in Ukraine show it's a headache the alliance will have to tolerate.

Our lead story in today's edition of the "Meanwhile in the Middle East" newsletter explores Turkey's role in NATO, you can sign up to have that

story delivered to your inbox the newsletter a terrific read do sign up.

Well, the question as to whether Donald Trump knew the mob assembled in his name on January the 6th might turn violent; was answered in stunning

clarity on Tuesday. A former aide in the Trump White House testified to Congress that Trump and his inner circle knew the crowd was armed and ready

for action. Cassidy Hutchinson, the scene here revealed stunning details of the events leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol. CNN's Pamela

Brown has more from Washington.


HUTCHINSON: As an American, I was disgusted.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Bombshell testimony from surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House Chief

of Staff Mark Meadows.

HUTCHINSON: That evening was the first moment that I remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on January 6th?

BROWN (voice over): Hutchinson telling the Committee White House officials knew something big was brewing for January 6th testifying those four days

prior Trump's Former Attorney Rudy Giuliani told her Trump himself planned to go to the Capitol on the sixth.

HUTCHINSON: We're going to the Capitol; it's going to be great. The President is going to be there. He's going to look powerful.

BROWN (voice over): And when she approached Meadows for more details, she says Meadows gave an ominous response.

HUTCHINSON: He didn't look up from his phone and said something to the effect of there's a lot going on Cass but I don't know. Things might get

real, real bad on January 6th.

BROWN (voice over): After things did get real bad at the Capitol according to Hutchinson, Lead White House Counsel Pat Cipollone pleaded with Meadows

to get Trump to do something to stop it, saying--

HUTCHINSON: Mark something needs to be done or people are going to die in the blood is going to be on your effing hands. This is getting out of


BROWN (voice over): And even when the rioters began to chant that it was told Cipollone Trump believed Pence deserves it.

HUTCHINSON: Mark had responded something to the effect of you heard it Pat he thinks Mike deserves it he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.


BROWN (voice over): Hutchinson said on January 7th Meadows encouraged Trump to condemn the rioters to salvage his legacy.

HUTCHINSON: He talks about invoking the 25th Amendment you need this as covered.

BROWN (voice over): And Hutchinson described seeing Trump Express rage various times over stories regarding his 2020 election loss one such time

after his Former Attorney General told "The Associated Press" he had not seen widespread fraud that would change the election.

HUTCHINSON: There is a catch up dripping down the wall, and there's a shattered porcelain plate on the floor. The valet had articulated that the

President was extremely angry at the Attorney General's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall.

BROWN (voice over): A Former Trump loyalist Hutchinson testified that watching the violence and destruction unfold on January 6th, was


HUTCHINSON: It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We are watching the Capitol Building get defaced over a lie. It's something that it's still I

still struggle to work through the emotions of that.

BROWN (on camera): Another revelation coming out from Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is that, Mark Meadows her former boss and Trump's Former Attorney

Rudy Giuliani sought presidential pardons relating to January 6th.

Now we do want to note the Secret Service released a statement in the wake of the allegations that the Former President lunged at the wheel in the

presidential motorcade because he wanted to go to the Capitol. Now, in response to that the Secret Service says that it has been cooperating with

the Select Committee since its inception in spring 2021 and will continue to do so including by responding on the record to the Committee regarding

the new allegations surfaced in today's testimony. Pamela Brown, CNN, Capitol Hill.


ANDERSON: And its worth noting that a U.S. Secret Service official has told CNN the agent named in that testimony disputes some aspects of Cassidy

Hutchinson's story. And the Secret Service informed the Committee agents are willing to testify on the record, that Donald Trump did not try to grab

the wheel of his limousine and drive to the Capitol to join the protesters.

But Hutchinson's testimony is still rippling through the halls of power in Washington. CNN heard from some Republican lawmakers who were privately

stunned at some of her accounts, other said, it doesn't really matter all that much. Because most people have already made up their minds to either

love or hate Donald Trump and no amount of congressional testimony will change anything.

Let's talk more about all this with CNN's Legal Analyst Carrie Cordero. It's good to have you. We spoke at the beginning of these hearings, what

are the criminal charges that could conceivably come off the back of this? Let's talk about why these hearings are happening at all, and what the

motivation is at this point?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sure. So Becky, as I think we discussed before, last time I was with you, the Congressional Committee has the goal

of establishing a historical record. And so determining what the facts were leading up to January 6th, 2021 and what transpired on that day?

And then they also are supposed to be considering potential legislative changes to be able to better secure the Capitol, make sure nothing like

this ever happens, again in America. But there is this secondary part that is a common theme running throughout the hearings, which is the potential

for criminal liability of the people who are being exposed throughout the hearings.

And so the Committee has the ability to at the end of this process refer to the Justice Department, potential criminal conduct that it believes it

obtained through its investigation, and then it would be up to the U.S. Justice Department, whether or not to bring those charges?

At the same time the Justice Department is conducting its own investigation into January 6th, which includes low level people who actually just engaged

in the violence and the attack on the Capitol. It includes far right violent extremist groups who are believed to have coordinated and led the

attack on the Capitol.

And then we also are starting to get some indications publicly including through the execution of search warrants, that there are potentially a

Former High Ranking Justice Department official who is under investigation, and in some way the president's Former President's Lawyer John Eastman may

also be involved in that criminal investigation.

So the question is whether or not the planning and plotting of overturning a U.S. election and the violence that accompanied it will reach the highest

levels of the Former White House?


ANDERSON: Fascinating. At the end of Tuesday's hearing, the committee revealed that it knows about efforts by some folks in the Trump World to

influence or prevent witnesses from testifying.

And it's often said that the cover up, of course, is worse than the crime. Do you think that there could be legal trouble here?

CORDERO: Well, there could be. So witness tampering and obstruction of Congress are both violations of federal law. And this would fall into the

category of very discreet specific people that the committee could refer to the Justice Department for criminal charges.

So the committee has already done this. It has referred for content, certain individuals who refuse to cooperate with the committee's request

for information, and two of those prosecutions are moving forward.

So if the committee thinks that they have the appropriate evidence of witness tampering, and the committee released yesterday, in its hearing,

with Cassidy, Hutchinson, a couple examples of messages that were sent to at least one witness that appear to be intimidating in nature.

And the question remains whether there are more of those types of messages and presumably whether or not the committee knows who they came from.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you. This continues. We were of course, and just to remind our viewers expecting these congressional hearings to go

slightly dark for the sort of holiday periods.

So this was quite a surprise when we got this testimony yesterday and shocking, as it was much watched and being much reacted to on both sides of

the divide. This isn't over.

We're not sure when the next hearing will be. Carrie, we'll have you back. Thank you very much indeed, just ahead. Winter in Europe is still months

away. But Brussels is putting a fire under its efforts to make sure that there will be enough fuel.

The EU's energy Commissioner up next to explain and later, my colleague Christiane Amanpour talks about her exclusive interview with Ukraine's

First Lady and how she is coping with five months of war.


ANDERSON: Well, more on our top story what's being done at the NATO summit in Madrid to bolster Ukraine's fight in the face of what is now a five

month onslaught from Russia and how the defense bloc is expanding in the face of that Russian threat coming up.

First up though, let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And Philippine Journalist Nobel Peace

Prize winner Maria Ressa is vowing to keep her online news site Rappler open.

She said it will appeal what's effectively a shutdown ordered by the government. Rappler has been critical of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte

and his anti-drug campaign.


ANDERSON: Glenn Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. She was convicted last year for helping Jeffrey Epstein groom and sexually

abused underage girls.

On Tuesday she spoke in court telling victims she was sorry for the pain she caused them and hope that her conviction brings them closure. We're

returning to that NATO summit now.

And we've been showing you many of the world's most powerful people huddled in conversation important talks, to be sure. But as NATO bolsters its

defense, the European bloc is struggling with an issue that's looming over Russia's war in Ukraine and European democracy, energy security.

As NATO and the EU tighten the screws on Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader continues to squeeze energy supplies too much of the continent even cutting

off Poland and Bulgaria. Brussels is ambitious.

It wants to replace two thirds of Russian natural gas imports by the end of the year. And after Moscow slashed gas supplies for the key Nord Stream

pipeline, EU countries announced action this week on natural gas storage tweeting EU energy ministers adopted new rules which will improve the EU's

security of supply in the context of the war in Ukraine.

EU member states will ensure that gas storage facilities are filled before winter shared storage facilities in the spirit of solidarity. Kadri Simson

is the EU Energy Commissioner and she joins us now live from Brussels.

You've said that it is time to step it up in regard to preparing for what you've said will be a serious disruption of gas supply in the EU this

winter. What exactly does that look like?

KADRI SIMSON, EU ENERGY COMMISSIONER: Well, we have to be prepared for any scenario. And right now we know that Russia is not reliable energy

supplier, it has cut off countries like Poland, Bulgaria, but also Finland entirely.

And last week, Gazprom reduced gas supply to companies invite more member states. So right now, overall 12 member states are directly affected, and

some Member States no longer receive Russian gas at all.

So there is, I will tell you that there is no immediate risk to security of supply. But this is mostly thanks to the record LNG deliveries to Europe.

So also in May, we received another record of volumes; it was 12.8 billion cubic meters.

And a significant share of it came from United States and indeed, well, our preparation forces that we have to fill our underground gas storage. So

right now it is close to 60 percent.

ANDERSON: The EU reported 155 billion cubic meters of Russian gas last year, as I understand it that amounts to about 40 percent of the blocks

total consumption.

The blocks proposed replacements by the end of this year, which include LNG diversification and renewables, amongst other things amounted to around 102

billion cubic meters. That is, according to data from the EU Commission, that is a big deficit to fill.

Do you expect to see rationing by countries as they hit the winter months, and they don't have enough energy for consumers? Is that realistic at this


SIMSON: Well, we have been preparing for this winter and heating season. And a possible serious disruption since the beginning of this year already,

but well, seeing the recent developments, so it must have been up and there are several things we must do.

So first, we must stay use less energy. Yes, it is impossible to fully replace the 155 billion cubic meters of gas that we received from Russia

each year. And we must continue to fill our gas storage, this gives us buffer.

But second, we must replace gases and other sources of energy, if it's possible. So we are accelerating renewables deployment. And third, of

course, there are other gas producers. So we have set up the EU energy platform to pool our demand.

We are negotiating with our partners, and we are ready to launch joint purchases.

ANDERSON: Right. And that is something that a number of European countries whose leaders I've spoken to suggest is the only way forward that there is

this sort of Energy Union that the bloc can take advantage of because otherwise, quite frankly, people will suffer.

Let's just be quite clear here. I asked you a specific question. Should consumers in Europe expect energy to be rationed? You say we have to use

less as we approach these winter months, we are already hearing that countries may have to ask consumers to button down. Otherwise there'll be

rationing, do you expect to see rationing?


SIMSON: Well, we are working very hard to ensure that we would not need containment and this means that reducing demand proactively doing as much

fuel switching as possible and ensuring maximum renewable production capacity.

And in any case, even of the worst case scenario, even if there will be full disruption of Russian gas flows, we have rules in place to protect our

households, and for the member states to help each other.

So solidarity rules, say, for example, that if one country is having difficulties with providing cost to households, the neighboring countries

will step in this solidarity is a key to overcome this difficult winter.

ANDERSON: At the G7, summit leaders at the G7 summit sorry, earlier the week, leaders agreed to explore a price cap on Russian oil and gas. Is

there unity for this across the block?

And what are the hurdles that it would present because quite frankly, this is can be seen as a tacit acknowledgment of the fact that at present, the

sanctions on Russia aren't working.

SIMSON: Well, there are already six sets of sanctions from EU side and they demanded unanimity. But together with our international partners, we are

exploring options or price gaps both for oil and gas.

And indeed G7 leaders discussed this and agreed yesterday that these options need to be looked into urgently. And as they stressed our aim is to

reduce the Russian revenues from oil and gas and to make sure that Kremlin isn't not profiting from the war of aggression. So we are working on this.

ANDERSON: Shouldn't agreement be reached on this? For it to be effective, of course, in slashing Russia's revenues, China and India are going to need

to play ball.

They are buying heavily discounted oil and gas from Russia at present keeping Russia's revenues higher, allowing them the ability to continue

their war in Ukraine.

Do you have any indication that China and India will be willing to do so to play ball where these price caps to come into existence.

SIMSON: Well, if they are buying the significant discounts, then revenues are not as high as it would have been if Russia has free access to world

markets. But of course, those gaps they require close global coordination.

And these measures are not easy to design a way that there will be no side effects. But we do have different for us where we can also speak this India

and China and we will do so.

ANDERSON: The EU Chief on climate policy, tweeting today that shift away from fossil fuels is even more urgent after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

But we know frankly, this energy shortage is now forcing.

We've been discussing this, the EU to dig back into fossil fuels gas being of course one of those it's a bridging fuel between sort of oil and gas

dependence and diversified renewable fuels. But it's just a bridge.

How far what is is going on at present to your mind setting back the green energy aspirations and policies of the EU and the climate agenda as a


SIMSON: Well, indeed, we made our decision very quickly already in the beginning of March that we will end our dependence on Russian and agenda.

We were the biggest importers of not only natural gas, but also oil.

And as you know, we already have sanctioned their coal from Russia covering 100 percent of coal imports and 90 percent of oil imports. And when it

comes to gas, well, this is not happening overnight, because oil and coal markets, they are global podcasts, that is infrastructure constraints, but

we have to replace it with green alternatives.

Both well, bio methane we will accelerate our hydrogen projects, but also where we can and in power generation, we can, we will replace it with

renewables. But well, this winter might also need extraordinary measures.


SIMSON: And so some of our member states have indicated that they will keep coal fired power plants running. But that doesn't mean that they, they are

not respecting our commitment to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by the end of this decade.

ANDERSON: It's good to have you, we'll have you back. You have an extremely important file on energy in the EU. It'll be good to, for our viewers to

get a perspective for you as we move towards those winter months. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

Five months of suffering with no end in sight Ukraine's First Lady Talks about the steep price a nation and her family are paying for Vladimir

Putin's war that is up next.


OLENA ZELENSKA, UKRAINIAN FIRST LADY: We need to hold on as you said it's very difficult to hold on for five months.

ANDERSON: Well, that was Ukraine's First Lady Speaking to CNN as Russia's war on her country grinds on. The United Nations now says Vladimir Putin's

invasion has left more than 10,000 civilian casualties nearly half of them fatalities.

Well, Putin's Haines in Ukraine took a hit today's NATO formally invited Sweden and Finland to join and expand the Alliance. Ukraine's president

wants his country invited next.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressing NATO leaders at today's summit in Madrid rhetorically asking if his country hasn't already paid enough to join.

Well, CNN's Christiane Amanpour spoke with Ukraine's First Lady about that price for her country, and her family. Christiane joins us now with more on

what was Christiane an international TV exclusive Olena Zelenska telling you, people now realizes this suffering could last a very long time. What

more did she tell you?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, that's right, Becky. And I thought she put it really well. Because when I pointed out how

the world had really galvanized and mobilized towards Ukraine and seeing its initial, you know, heroic resistance, she said, look, we now understand

that this, what we thought might be just a sprint is in fact becoming a marathon.

So yes, they had hoped that this would be over by now. But I think they are seeing the reality seeing what Russia is doing in the east and talking now

about the long haul.

That in addition to what she said was a very difficult time, not just for herself and her husband and her children, obviously, but for the whole

country and all the people. And this is what she talked about relationships and just mental health and all the daily travails that the people have to

go through.



ZELENSKA: Fortunately, those two months when I didn't see my husband at all that's in the past, I can see him sometimes in for a short time. And not

very often, but I can physically feel him next to me. This isn't normal.

It's not a normal relationship when children cannot see their father and have to talk to him on the phone. So our relationship is on pause, just as

it is for many, well, all Ukrainians.


AMANPOUR: And she talked about, again, the continuing resistance what Ukraine is motivated to do to save its own country. And she called what

Russia did barely 24 hours before our interview is striking that mall is Central Ukraine.

She said what her husband did that this was an act of terrorism and active state terrorism. Now, interestingly, you've seen that a video has been

released, which slows down the moment of impact from an object onto that mall.

It is a missile that was according to those who are around absolutely no military infrastructure around it. We know that nearly 20 people were

killed dozens more were injured.

And this is how this war has been going mostly fought against civilians. That is an absolute fact.

ANDERSON: Well, Ukraine front and center, of course, that NATO Summit that is underway now, Christiane in Madrid and a momentous day for the NATO


This has been called the most consequential moment in this defense bloc's history in decades. You've been speaking to the Spanish Prime Minister, the

host of this, this meeting, what's he been telling you?

AMANPOUR: Well, precisely because of what you just heard from Olena Zelenska, what I just said about civilians and Russia's aims, he said that

this was so consequential, not just because it's a whole new strategic direction and a strategic concept for NATO that they have now labeled

Russia, the most significant threat the most dangerous threat to Europe. But he said this was really about all of our values and the kind of world

we want to live in.


PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER: At the end of the day, what we are doing in Europe is to defend our values, our democracies. You know, the

entrance of Finland and Sweden in NATO is not because they want to expand their territories, but to defend their values, their democracies.

And of course, an internal international order based on rules, clear rules that provide certainty and security to our societies.


AMANPOUR: And of course, Finland and Sweden as you mentioned, having had decades of historic neutrality and now back on the fast track to NATO after

Turkey lifted its veto overnight, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Christiane on show a couple of hours from now stay with CNN for that. Christiane, always a pleasure, thank you very much

indeed. We are taking a very short break, back after this.



ANDERSON: Well, this is "Call to Earth" week on "Connect the World" in our series looking after about looking after the planet. Today's report is

looking at how to protect nature's highways bring us a range of stories on amazing feats of animal migration is our guest editor, the CEO of Birdlife

International, Patricia Zurita.

Here is how she is protecting the world's flyways. But for those of us who enjoy eating strawberries, this might make you think, twice, have a look.

PATRICIA ZURITA, CEO, BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL: Birds connect us to life the mere fact that they can fly and the fact that there's 11,000 species in all

types of shapes and sizes, what's not to love about them. I'm Patricia Zurita. I'm the Chief Executive of Birdlife International.

We are in a magical place. It's called Donana National Park. We are in the southern part of Spain. It's one of the most important wetlands in the

whole of Europe. And it's truly a safe haven for birds.

You have they say 2 billion birds using the Africa Eurasia flyway that is the flyway that goes from Southern Africa, all the way up to Europe and

Asia. This is the - pit stop. Donana is the place where you fuel up.

And then there's a highway that have been used by these birds, every single autumn and every single spring because they need to find safer places to

nest and warmer places to winter.

When we catch them on the net, we are able to bring them we can monitor how many birds are coming, what type of species are coming and then make

inferences about populations.

This helps us understand how many birds are using Donana when they are migrating. So this is a guided warbler that came from Sub Saharan Africa.

Go to Europe.

Yes, Donana is in huge Jeopardy. First you have climate change. This last drought has lasted 25 years and the wetland is not replenishing, but also

industrial agriculture that is sucking up too much water from the aquifer creating an absolute crisis in this incredibly important space for nature.

When this type of extensive and intensive agriculture is completely counter to what a natural system, you have rows and rows and rows of strawberries,

yes, all of them look incredibly delicious, but it's like a moonscape. This is not nature.

We are seeing populations of birds not being able to breathe anymore. Zero breeding for the last few years for whisker turns, for example, they used

to have thousands, thousands of babies here five years ago. That's not happening anymore. What we need to do is just step back and rethink the

system so we can put it back in balance. And this is exactly the type of agriculture that we need to maintain the health of these wetlands like


So we're maintaining the connectivity of the flyway, through maintaining this traditional way of producing vineyards. There's no irrigation line

here. They don't need harmful pesticides.

And they are producing this amazing product that is actually economically viable for the local producers and is the home of these amazing migrant

birds that are coming from Africa. These amazing places can recover.

But the minute that you give nature a chance to bounce us back, that we just have to give it a chance, and then we'll make it happen. I just hope

that is not going to be too late.

ANDERSON: Well, Patricia Zurita has selected a series of conservation corridors under threat for CNN from whale sharks traveling around the

Belize Barrier Reef to grizzly bears moving from Yellowstone to the Yukon, we'll be learning about that later in the week. Let us know what you are

doing to answer the call with the #calltoearth, we'll be right back.



ANDERSON: Well next hour, a verdict is expected in the trial of 20 suspects in the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris. Here you see the convoy

believed to be transporting the main suspects arriving at the court earlier he faces possible life imprisonment without parole.

Apologies I think we may be having technical issues with the video here. Here we are. Islamist attackers killed 130 people at multiple sites

including the - Music Hall, the state of France sports stadium and several restaurants and cafes.

Well, any minute now, U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with his Turkish counterpart in Madrid. Turkey earlier green lighting Finland and Sweden's

NATO membership bids anchor plans to ask again those countries to extradite more than 30 members of groups it deems terrorist organizations. Well, the

focus on Turkey is also putting new focus on its drone program. CNN's Nina dos Santos explains.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Bayraktar TB2 Turkey's most effective drone and one of its President's most assertive foreign

policy tools. With NATO members meeting in Spain, Turkey's leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is lobbying hard to lift embargoes on Ankara's weaponry.

Just as he held out against Sweden and Finland joining the bloc until obtaining security guarantees at the 11th hour. Finland had previously

hinted that it would potentially buy Turkish drones if admitted to the alliance while the UK may be the next to acquire them according to Turkey's

Industry Minister.

It moves like these that have revamped the image of Turkish drones once subject to embargoes due to their use, and contentious conflicts, including

in Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The image of drones in general has changed over time; there really have been these waves of moment work moments where drones were

seen as the negative and evil. And now indeed in Ukraine, they're seen as a really important system to be used by Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

SANTOS (voice over): Turkey's drones have become such a cold military item that they've inspired this pop song filmed on the battlefield in Ukraine.

The Turkish economy may be stuck in the doldrums. Its sales of drones have sold since the war in Ukraine started, meaning a boom for the drones maker

Bayraktar co owned by Erdogan's son in law, which last year posted record profits. But will turkeys drone diplomacy as it's been called work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the reasons why Turkey started its drone program was indeed that it couldn't buy armed drones and other drones from

especially the United States because the United States didn't want to export them.

And then on the back of it, it realized well I can also export these systems to countries that may also not get American or Israeli or indeed

now Chinese systems.


SANTOS (voice over): With the second largest army in NATO, Turkey is an unlikely country to be focusing so heavily on unmanned combat. But with

drones like these for sale, one of Turkey's priorities at NATO is putting more of them on the market, Nina dos Santos, CNN.


ANDERSON: And we are awaiting the appearance of Joe Biden, the U.S. President with the Turkish President, who will be meeting on the sidelines

of that very consequential NATO meeting in Madrid.

So I just mentioned the next hour a verdict is expected in the trial of 20 suspects in the November 2015 terror attack in Paris. Our Melissa Bell is

in Paris, and she joins me now live. What does this trial mean for this country going forward in terms of security, and in terms of healing?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you did only look at the size, the scale, the length of this trial, the number of people involved, not

just those who are actually on trial, the 14th, who appeared in court over the course of the last 10 months, Becky, the sixth tried in absentia, to

get an idea of the logistics that went into it.

And of course, there has been so much emotion around it, if you cast your mind back to that night of November 13, 2015, the shock that it represented

not just for Paris, but for anyone who would have been watching the news that night.

Just after 9 p.m. a commando of 10 Islamist militants had come into Paris attacking as you mentioned, that start to-- but also a series of cafes,

restaurants, bars, it was the nature of the targets.

This was Paris on a Friday night; people are out and about, young people in bars and cafes celebrating life, the western lifestyle that was under

attack. It really shook France to its core.

And this trial has been the attack at the heart of so much attention here in France by the French press. We spoke to some of the victims before the

trial. They said look, we can't wait for to start but also we can't wait for it to end. And that is exactly what's going to happen in just an hour -


ANDERSON: Seven long years for so many of those who lost loved ones. Thank you. Well, security being ramped up in Hong Kong ahead of visit from the

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday to mark 25 years since the city's handover to China.

But years after Beijing promised Hong Kong would retain its freedoms many China critics now wonder just how much --is really left. CNN's Kristie Lu

Stout with this report.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After Margaret Thatcher reached a deal with the Chinese on the return of Hong Kong, a local

reporter took the Iron Lady to task.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We signed an agreement with China promising to deliver over 5 million people into the hands of a communist dictatorship.

STOUT (voice over): Thatcher claimed mostly everyone in Hong Kong was happy with the deal and told Emily Lau.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You may be a solitary exception.

STOUT (on camera): So what do you make of that answer today in 2022?

EMILY LAU, FORMER JOURNALIST: Many of the journalists who subsequently stood up, they asked similar questions. So even in that room, I was in a

solitary exception.

STOUT (on camera): July 1, 2022 marks exactly halfway through 50 years of the One Country Two Systems autonomy, Beijing promised to Hong Kong at the

1997 handover.

It aims to preserve the city's freedoms of expression and assembly, as well as its institutions including an independent judiciary.

STOUT (voice over): But in the wake of the 2019 protests, pressure on the city's freedoms intensified, thanks to a new national security law.

Supporters say the law ended the chaos of 2019 and restored order.

But it did more than that. Scenes of mass protests like this are no more at least 186 people have been arrested under the law, including a 90 year old

Catholic Cardinal.

The opposition is virtually wiped out with many of the city's pro-democracy figures in jail or exile. Politically charged artworks like the "Pillar of

Shame Tiananmen Memorial have been removed.

Dozens of civil society groups including the city's largest independent trade union have disbanded. And national security investigations have led

to the shuttering of news outlets like the Apple Daily.

When asked about charges of diminished freedoms, a Hong Kong government spokesman told CNN many freedoms and rights are not absolute and can be

restricted for reasons including protection of national security and public safety.

So as former Security Chief John Lee prepares to leave the city from July one, what is left of Hong Kong's promised autonomy.

JOHN BURNS, EMERITUS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: We have autonomy, in religion, in education, in media, including social media, in the

Internet, and how we manage our civil service; the second system is still here. And it is functioning it's under stress.


STOUT (voice over): Lau has always been a skeptic of One Country Two Systems as a reporter, a lawmaker and former Chair of the Democratic Party.

LAU: I will not say that One Country Two System is completely finished. The fact that I can stand here in the Democratic Party Office to talk to you

shows there's some freedom and there are some differences but they are getting less and less.

STOUT (voice over): Lau says she is staying in the city to support her friends and colleagues in prison abiding by her mantra.

LAU: Be bold, be wise, and be careful.

STOUT (voice over): Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: Well, you've been watching "Connect the World" from the team working with me here in Abu Dhabi and those around the world. It is a very

good evening. That's it from us. "One World" with Zain Asher is up next.