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At Least 20 Killed in Strikes on Odessa Region; Trial Begins for U.S. Basketball Player Held in Russia; U.S. Stocks Suffer Worst First Half in More Than 50 Years; Chinese President Speaks as New Chief Executive Sworn in Hong Kong; U.S. Sees Signs of Growing Resistance in Southern Ukraine; Italy's Longest River at Risk of Drying Up. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 01, 2022 - 10:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A horrific attack on Odessa, Russian missiles hitting a residential building and recreation center as

Putin's war on Ukraine rages on. And after four months in a Russian jail, Brittney Griner finally gets her day in court. Plus, Xi Jinping wraps up a

highly secured visit to Hong Kong as he asserts China's rule over the city.

Well, it's 6:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi from our Middle East programming hub. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, a town on Ukraine's coastal Odessa region is reeling after deadly Russian missile strikes overnight. They hit recreation center and an

apartment building as people were sleeping. Ukrainian officials said these 20 were killed and dozens were wounded. The attack comes just a day after

Russian forces abandoned the strategic Snake Island from the Black Sea just a few dozen kilometers away.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is following this for us from Kyiv. What more do we know about this deadly strike on Odessa and why?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a horrifying overnight attack, three missiles landing, one on a residential building. A nine-story

apartment block. 16 people wounded there. Dozens more injured. Rescue operations are still ongoing, but officials doubt they will find anyone

alive under the rubble. The second strike hit a recreation center. There four people including a young child were killed and third missile landed in

an open area thankfully.

But over the last few days, we've seen dozens of these missiles rain down across Ukraine, different towns and cities, oftentimes they're being fired

or actually almost always they're being fired from outside of Ukrainian territories. These are anti-ship missiles. So the warheads on them are

huge, Becky, up to 1,000 kilogram warheads.

Now Russia claims that it is targeting military infrastructure, that it's trying to take out Western weapons. But we've been on the ground, and we've

witnessed this. They're hitting civilian infrastructure. They are hitting malls, like kindergartens, an apartment block.

And it really is a second war. You have of course the battle in the east still raging, the fight for the Donbas going on, but this seems to be a

second front, a psychological war if you will, Becky, meant to break the backs of Ukrainians with this almost random seemingly missile strikes on

these various residential areas. Ukraine sees it as an intentional strategy -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Salma, this comes of course just a day after Russian forces left Snake Island. The question is, will that change anything in the war, you

know, in the Black Sea area? What are the consequences at this point? Is it clear?

ABDELAZIZ: Well, first of all, there's that morale boost. When we're talking about a psychological war, dozens of missiles raining down on towns

and cities, hitting these residential areas at a time when Ukraine is losing territory in the east. This is a time when Ukraine desperately needs

a win. And Snake Island being the status of almost a legendary place, a symbol of resistance for Ukraine.

The fact that they can claim it back that's a huge morale boost. So that's number one. Number two, it is a Russian military, or was a Russian military

outpost. One that was used to carry out attacks like the one we saw in Odessa today. So that gives Russia one less spot, if you will, one less

outpost in which they can use to target more civilians.

And then there's that grain blockade issue as well. I'm just going to point that out very quickly. This is the Black Sea we're talking about. And it's

from the Black Sea that Russian warships have been able, according to Ukraine, to blockade the export of tons of grain that could trigger a

hunger crisis around the world. So very promising signs here.

Yes, it's a very tiny little rock in the Black Sea, but very strategic, very symbolically important and possibly could begin to open things up in

this blockade -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz is in Kyiv in Ukraine. Salma, thank you.

Well, the first trial hearing for an American pro-basketball player detained in Russia wrapped up just a short time ago. Brittney Griner is

accused of smuggling cannabis oil in her luggage.


She's being held in Russia since February. Griner appeared in court as the prosecutor announced the charges. Russian authorities have extended her

detention for six months while the trial proceeds.

My colleague CNN's Abby Philip, sat down with Griner's wife for an exclusive interview. Cherelle Griner said she doesn't think the U.S.

government is doing enough to get Brittney, who she calls BG, out of Russia. Have a listen.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you trust that the maximum amount of effort is being put forward to bring BG home?

CHERELLE GRINER, WIFE OF DETAINED WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER: No, I don't. And I hate to say that because I do trust that the persons working on this

are very genuine people. That I do believe. But I don't think that the maximum amount of effort is being done because again the rhetoric and the

actions don't match. You know, when you have a situation where BG can call our government, the embassy 11 times and that phone call don't get

answered, you don't have my trust at that point until I see actions that are in BG's best interest. It would have been in her best interest for her

phone call to have been answered. It would have been in her best interest for her to be back on U.S. soil. So until I see things like that no.

PHILLIP: I know that you've had some conversations with the secretary of state and with other officials, but you want to talk to President Biden,


GRINER: Absolutely. And the reason why is because I'm new to this. You know, so, I don't -- I'm no politician, I just graduated law school. So I

can only, you know, do those things that are being told are beneficial for my wife. And the most beneficial thing that I've been told is that, you

know, you meet with President Biden. You know, he has that power, he is a person, you know, that ultimately will make that decision for BG to come



ANDERSON: And CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow, and we do want to remind viewers that Russia has prohibited the broadcast of information that

it regards as false.

Fred, what can you tell us about the hearing and Griner's reaction?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky. Well, Brittney Griner was led into the courtroom here by a court official.

She was in handcuffs as that happened. And I would say that the first hearing took maybe about two and a half hours. And essentially what

happened there, we have this from people who were inside the courtroom, is that the charges were read out. She was then asked whether she understood

the charges. She said she did, she did not want to comment on the charges however. And then two witnesses were heard. It's unclear at this point in

time who these two witnesses are.

But, Becky, we also found out a little bit more about what all of this is about. The amount of alleged narcotics that were found inside Brittney

Griner's hand luggage and luggage us as she tried to enter Sheremetyevo airport which is in a district where this court is as well. And they said

there was essentially two cartridges, one of them containing about .25 of a gram of cannabis. The other one, a little less than 0.5.

So we're talking about around a little more than 0.7 of a gram of cannabis which the authorities here say were found with Brittney Griner. They say

they believe that these were for her personal consumption. Nevertheless, of course this is considered a crime in Russia and if indeed Brittney Griner

is convicted she could face up to 10 years in prison.

Now the U.S. embassy had a representative here on site, the charge d'affaires, and afterwards, the charge d'affaires said the U.S. continues

to believe that Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained. Here's what she said.


ELIZABETH ROOD, U.S. EMBASSY CHARGE D'AFFAIRES: The U.S. embassy, the American government, cares very deeply about this case and about Miss

Griner's welfare, as do millions of Americans, as well as we care about the welfare of all U.S. citizens in prisons overseas. I did have the

opportunity to speak with Miss Griner in the courtroom. She is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances. And she asked me

to convey that she is in good spirits and is keeping up the faith.


PLEITGEN: So there, Brittney Griner apparently still in good spirits, according to the charge d'affaires. The next hearing in this trial, Becky,

is scheduled for July 7th. However, we have been told not to expect a verdict in this trial anytime soon -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Fred, thank you for that.

Well, Brittney Griner is not the only U.S. citizen of course being held by other countries. At least four dual nationals are being held in Iran. Their

faith are linked to the outcome of stalled nuclear talks. Two of those detained are Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer. Siamak wrote this in a

recent "New York Times" op-ed. "We and our families were practically unhinged each time while diplomats mistakenly predicted that a deal was

about to be reached on the nuclear issue.


"There is no greater agony for a prisoner than being tantalized with the prospect of imminent freedom that never materializes. No greater pain that

surrendering to hope only to have it whisked out of reach."

Well, as regular viewers of this show know, we have covered this story closely. And recently I took a closer look at the United States's response,

and in some cases lack thereof, in trying to get some of the Iranian Americans back home. You can head to our blog at to get

more on that.

Well, Wall Street opened in the red again today, though it turned green in the first hour of trading. All of this after what has been a though half of

2022. U.S. stocks suffering their worst performance in more than half a century. Investors couldn't get to the exits fast enough pointing to an

unholy trinity of economic forces.

I don't have to remind you what those are but let's do it anyway. Russia's war in Ukraine, supply chain issues and of course inflation accelerating to

a new high last month. In the euros zone, and that is reflected in so many other parts of the world. And with recession worries looming, you might be

wondering if the central banks have lost control of the narrative.

Well, to spare you a potential case of numbers fatigue, and figure out what all of this means to the global economy, for that let's bring in CNN's

Rahel Solomon live from New York.

Look, you know, there is a number of things that are impacting investor confidence. And of course investor confidence can reflect what is going on

on the street as it were. But, you know, things are also slightly different. What's causing this period of high inflation? Let's just remind

ourselves, and how is that impacting these markets and the confidence of those who invest in stocks in the U.S.?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a great point, Becky. If we think about inflation as too many dollars chasing too few goods, we can start to

unpack well, what's causing all of this inflation around the world? And it's is slightly different for different countries right? So supply chain

issues, as you pointed, we're sort of universally experiencing that because of the pandemic.

Think factory shutdowns, think shipping routes being disrupted because of the pandemic and because of the war. Think labor issues because of the

pandemic. So that's affecting the supply side. The goods side of that equation then in certain countries like the U.K. and the U.S., Peterson

Institute saying that it's also demand driven that there's a lot of spending. So if we're thinking that we're already having issues on the

goods side, the supply side and then there's more demand, we start to understand that imbalance there.

Some would also say here in the U.S., all of the stimulus measures that were added really provoked spending. Really increased demand. So it's sort

of again that demand driven sort of side of the equation. And we're still dealing with supply issues because of the pandemic. So you understand sort

of we're getting hit with it from both sides and it's slightly different for different countries.

But, Becky, this is a different era that we are in. And investors are responding to that. When you look at without getting into the numbers of it

all, but when you look at the S&P 500 which is the broadest measure of U.S. stocks, you can really see what investors are thinking in terms of what

sectors, what groups of companies are doing the worst and the best. Best being relatively better because they're all sort of suffering this year.

But when we look at the companies that are doing the best, it's consumer staples, it's health care, it's utilities. These are companies that even in

a recession, you still have to spend money on. Consumer staples, health care, utilities. The companies that are doing the worst consumer

discretionary. When we have less discretionary income, well, we aren't spending as much. We're not going to restaurants, we're not going to

hotels, so investors are reacting to this new era that we're in.

Central bankers no longer trying to stimulate demand and keep the wheels of the economy growing. They are trying to lower inflation pretty much


ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Well-explained. It's not easy because it is an odd time. And let's be quite frank, the central bankers are having as tough

a time of it at present as pretty much the rest of us in trying to work out what should happen next.

Biden, Joe Biden spoke on gas prices. When I talk about gas prices, they're often called petrol prices in other parts of the world yesterday. Listen to

what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How long is it fair to expect American drivers and drivers around the world to pay that premium for this war?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As long as it takes so Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine.


ANDERSON: And he's regularly referred to Putin's tax on gas when he's talked about these higher gas prices which of course, you know, are so

swingeing for consumers in the State.


But it's not just Russia causing higher gas prices, is it?

SOLOMON: No, I mean, it's a great point. Look, prices -- crude prices were on their way up pretty steadily even before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

But that certainly made it worse, right. It would be like, Becky, if you already had a broken ankle and then you fell and broke your whole leg. I

mean, Russia certainly made it worse. But let's talk about sort of why prices were already on their way up.

Again, it's the pandemic. When the pandemic happened, oil producers really cut production because quite simply we didn't need the oil. We were all at

home, we weren't flying, we weren't traveling, we were pretty much stuck at home. So oil producers really sort of curved production. And then the

recovery was swift. People were not expecting demand to come back the way it did. Some would say fast, some would say furiously.

And that producers were not able to sort of ramp up production as quickly as we would like. And so it's again that supply and demand imbalance. One

expert telling me, look, we think it's like a FedEx overnight delivery truck. Sort of ramping up production. He said it's more like a stagecoach.

ANDERSON: Yes. I'll add another one of course. We keep talking about supply capacity. And if the sort of attention has been on OPEC Plus of course, but

what we should be talking about here is refinery capacity as well. And this goes back to the investment in the oil and gas industry of course which was

sort of not encouraged as we cracked on towards sort of the -- you know, the energy diversification and climate crisis policies that we've seen out

of the States and elsewhere.

And so you know, at a time when, you know, oil needs to be refined for the petrochemical industry as it were, you've also got an issue there, an issue

of investment which again, you know, as some in the Biden administration certainly stateside is going to have to deal with.

Thank you. I just want to bring up the Dow while I've got you because this is how volatile things are at present, folks. We started off looking at

these markets down, or anyone, you know, an hour or so into the trading day. We told you the market was higher as Rahel and I started speaking.

Well, now the market is down 0.4 of 1 percent. You know, there or thereabouts, it's about half of 1 percent. So this is -- these investors,

you know, there was no confidence in this market at the moment or no to low -- low to no confidence I guess we should say. And that's difficult.

SOLOMON: And Becky, and I would add to that, and lots of uncertainty. We know the one thing that investors probably dislike the most is uncertainty.

And so not only is there a lot of negative sentiment, but there is a whole lot of uncertainty right now about how the rest of this year plays out.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Good stuff. Thank you.

Ahead on the show, the Chinese president ushering in what Beijing declares as a new era in Hong Kong. We'll tell you what he said at the inauguration

of the city's new handpicked leader. That is after this.



ANDERSON: Hong Kong is marking 25 years since its handover from Britain to China. And on that anniversary ripe with failed promises from China to

preserve the city's freedoms, Chinese President Xi Jinping swore in Hong Kong's new chief executive handpicked by Beijing. A man by the name of John


Mr. Xi spoke at the inauguration, reiterating the importance of the one country, two systems policy, and declaring that Hong Kong cannot afford to

be destabilized. Well, after the ceremony state media reports Mr. Xi and his wife departed for mainland China.

Ivan Watson has more on the visit.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flag- waving children greet China's president on his first trip outside mainland China since the start of the pandemic. Xi Jinping arriving by train to

celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from British to Chinese rule.

XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): Over the past few years, Hong Kong has withstood one severe test after another and overcome

one risk and challenge after another. After weathering the storms, Hong Kong has emerged from the ashes with a vigorous mentality.

WATSON: Xi's stormy metaphor matched by the typhoon roiling Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor. The Chinese authorities are declaring a new era for this

former British colony and an end to what they described as the chaos of the past.

This city has certainly changed since the last time the Chinese leader visiting. Five years ago, tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators

marched peacefully through the streets.

(On-camera): You can't see anything like this in any other city in China. You have a diversity of opinion, for instance, people dressed up as zombies

here protesting about long working hours.

(Voice-over): But this year, there was no annual pro-democracy march. In fact, Hong Kong's once ubiquitous street demonstrations have been banned

for two years. Part of a crackdown on dissent that's left most of the city's political opposition leaders in jail or in exile, with independent

news outlets targeted by police and closed. Western governments accused Beijing of breaking its promise to ensure 50 years of freedoms in Hong


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: On the 25th anniversary of the handover, we simply cannot avoid the fact that for some time now, Beijing

has been failing to comply with its obligations. It's a state of affairs that threatens both the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers and the

continued progress and prosperity of their home.

WATSON: But in the Chinese president's view, order has been restored. She congratulated John Lee, the former police officer, who is now being

inaugurated as Beijing's handpicked leader here. But no handshakes between these socially distancing officials.

The Chinese president firmly committed to his zero COVID policy. Beijing may have crushed Hong Kong's independent spirit, but authorities are having

less luck stoppling a fresh COVID outbreak. Maybe that's why on his first visit in five years, the Chinese president didn't spend the night in Hong

Kong, and instead commuted back and forth from mainland China.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: Well, for more on President Xi's comments, CNN's Selina Wang joining me now live from Hong Kong.

This was Xi's first trip out of the mainland since the pandemic started. What does it symbolize about his power and authority, do you think?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it really symbolizes and reinforces the authority and grip he has over Hong Kong. It also represents

a political victory for Xi Jinping because the last time he was in Hong Kong to mark the handover on the 20th anniversary back in 2017, well, he

was met in the streets full of pro-democracy protesters. This time around, there was no such dissent, no such protesters.

In fact, this was a highly choreographed, highly secure visit inside a COVID bubble. Now to critics, they say that the past two years since the

national security law was implemented it has crippled civil society, it has crushed the opposition movement, it has silenced the outspoken media. But

to Xi Jinping and to the newly sworn-in leader, John Lee, this is about the rebirth of Hong Kong. It's the end of an era of chaos and the ushering in

of one of stability. Take a listen here to what's Xi Jinping said on his July 1st speech.



XI (through translator): After going through a period of turbulence, we all deeply feel that Hong Kong cannot afford to be destabilized. And Hong

Kong's development cannot be further delayed. We must eliminate all interference and focus on our development.


WANG: And as that changes happen in Hong Kong, here in the mainland there is also increasing state control and authoritarianism in society. And the

pandemic here in mainland China has greatly increased the power of the party in surveillance over people's daily lives. The timing here is also

symbolic. We are just months away from Xi Jinping finishing his first decade in power and at the party congress later this fall, he's widely

expected to seek that unprecedented third term.

Now to many, this experiment of one country, two systems, is dead many decades early. But, for Xi Jinping, this is about reshaping Hong Kong and

China's image and connecting Hong Kong closer with the mainland -- Becky.

ANDERSON: That's fascinating because he did say that the system is one country, two systems, and he applauded that. He went on, of course, to say

that this country cannot be destabilized. So I just wonder, given what we've heard from him and what you've just said, what John Lee, Hong Kong's

new leader, will consider his priorities and what's sort of Hong Kong should we expect under his leadership going forward?

WANG: Yes, Becky, to answer that question, it is critical to just look at the background of John Lee. He is known as a pro-Beijing loyalist, a

hardline enforcer, and he's also a former police officer. He actually led that 2019 crackdown on those anti-government protesters. He has become the

face of the national security law that ushered in this sweeping crackdown. So it is clear that based on that it just speaks volumes that he has

ascended as the new leader.

So, of course, stability and security are going to be his top priorities. So is integrating Hong Kong more deeply with the mainland from an economic,

from a social, from a cultural perspective. The economy is also going to be critical. Just like here on the mainland, the Hong Kong economy has been

battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the harsh COVID controls. So he's going to have to contend with, if he's going to continue that hardline

COVID policy, as it's been played out here in the mainland, or if he's going to have to loosen that and balance it with the economy.

Another critical issue is notoriously sky-high property market prices in Hong Kong that has left so many residents priced out of the market. So he's

got his work cut out for him. Not to mention that he's going to have to continue to navigate what the people are dealing with in that continued

dissent even though it is not allowed to come to the surface as easily -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Selina Wang is in Beijing, thank you.

Well, with China exerting its influence around the world, CNN has the latest news and analysis on how Beijing is shaping or certainly playing a

part in shaping the world order. Head to and sign up for it. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, in that newsletter, you'll get the special

update three times a week. Web addresses listed for you there on the screen.

Well, months after Russia invaded Ukraine, there are new signs of resistance in one occupied area. Could a counterinsurgency be brewing?

Well, that is after this short break. Stay with us.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. The time here is 6:30. And you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

The latest now from Ukraine, where officials say Russian missile struck a civilian area in the southern Odessa region. They hit an apartment building

and a recreation center before dawn killing at least 20 people. Searchers are still going through the debris but say there is little hope of finding

anyone alive.

In eastern Ukraine, local military official there says Russia is making small gains in the strategic city of Lysychansk over the last two weeks.

Ukrainians in the Russian occupied Kherson region have carried out three assassination attempts on pro-Russian officials there.

Well, the U.S. believes the growing resistance could challenge Russia's control over captured territory across Ukraine. CNN's Oren Liebermann

joining us now from the Pentagon with some new reporting.

Oren, what more do we know about how these pro-Russian officials were targeted? What is the story here?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Becky, U.S. officials are watching this very closely, and this is behind the frontlines in the

Kherson region which Russia occupies. The U.S. has seen these three assassination attempts happened in fairly rapid succession here. The

officials say that there is no evidence of a control and command or coordination behind this. There isn't an organization running this as far

as they see.

But they have been very close together in Kherson. The first was on June 16th, just about two weeks ago now, when Eugeniy Sobolev, a pro-Russian

official in charge of the prison service, was targeted in a bomb either on or right next to his car. He was hospitalized in the attempt. He was not

killed in this assassination attempt. But just under a week later there was another assassination attempt, and this one did succeed, against Dmitry

Savluchenko, a pro-Russian official who was in charge of the youth and sports department.

Then there was another assassination attempt just earlier this week. It is how fast these have happened that has to some extent caught the U.S.'s

attention so they're monitoring this and see this as evidence of a pro- Ukrainian anti-Russian resistance movement. The U.S. assessment is that Russia does not have enough forces in Kherson right now to govern and to

hold the territory. That's at least partly because they've had to pull some of their forces from there to feed the fight in the Donbas region. And

these assassination attempts have made it more difficult for them to govern.

Now it's difficult to say at this point, Becky, which way this goes. Does this become a full blown counter insurgency or does this fizzle before it

even gets a chance to get started? That's what U.S. officials right now are watching very closely. It's still obviously very early on. Even if we've

already seen four months of fighting there is still a long way to go is the assessment.

ANDERSON: What's also really interesting is just how U.S. officials are tracking this war. What does it say about that?

LIEBERMANN: Well, the assessment was even before the invasion that if Russia intended to occupy long term and to try to annex as it did with

Crimea, they would face a counter insurgency and they would face guerrilla warfare. Now that was when the U.S. and others believed that the major

fighting would be over fairly quickly and Russia would storm through. That obviously hasn't happened that the military, the Ukrainian military that

is, still stands and still fights.

But in areas that are occupied particularly in Kherson, you now see assassination attempts against pro-Russian officials, and the U.S. is

watching this again very closely to see how it develops. If organization and some sort of management or command and control develops behind it, in

addition to the major fighting and the weapons that are going in all something the U.S. is watching very closely.

ANDERSON: Just finally and briefly, are U.S. intelligence officials sufficiently satisfied with the sort of intel that they are getting from



I know that we're talking about something which it sounds as if it's outside of the sort of, you know, a formal Ukrainian military here. But how

is the relationship, the intel relationship between the two countries at this point?

LIEBERMANN: From everything we've heard from officials, it is fantastic. There's a constant exchange of information and intelligence between the

Ukrainian military and the American military. Now when you're talking about behind the frontlines in occupied territory, it could be a very different

story, it's a much more difficult story because Russia has tried to clamp down not only on the movement of information but on Ukrainian ethnicity

culture and nationality itself. And that makes it far more difficult behind the front lines in occupied territory.

I'll make one more quick point, Becky, here. And Russia saw this coming and should have seen this coming after dealing with brutal insurgencies in

Afghanistan and in Grozny. The filtration camps we have seen Russia create the attempts to put in pro-Russian officials and remove Ukrainian

officials, all of that was an attempt to snuff out a resistance movement before it ever got started.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating. It's always good to have, Oren. Thank you. Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that

Sweden has promised to expedite to Turkey 73 people linked to Kurdish terror groups. If the promise is not kept Mr. Erdogan says Turkey could

still veto Sweden and Finland's NATO membership bid.

Deadly protests in Sudan, doctors say the military shot and killed nine people on Thursday. Large crowds had gathered in Khartoum to demonstrate

against the military coup that dissolved Sudan's government. Police claimed protesters assaulted more than 200 officers and soldiers.

France, Germany, and the U.K. say that Iran is making, and I quote them here, unrealistic demands, and must reverse its nuclear escalation.

European Union team was mediating indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran to revive the nuclear deal in Doha this week. A U.S. official says the

talks ended in what was described as a stagnant spot.

Well, you're up to date on much that we have on our radar. After the break, a harsh drought in Italy is threatening to cut off the country's main

artery. How low water levels of the River Po threatening parmesan cheese production? And get on your, the Tour de France gives Denmark something to

cheer about. Details are in our sports update.



ANDERSON: You heard on CONNECT THE WORLD yesterday, if you were watching at this time, and I hope you were, U.S. Supreme Court ruling will hamper the

ability to regulate emissions from U.S. power plants as the world is already facing extreme weather. Barbie Nadeau reports on Italy's longest

river drying up in a severe drought.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The River Po, which runs from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea, usually floods the land, but this year

it's far below normal and dropping fast.

The river is the longest in the country, some 650 kilometers and whole regions rely on it for hydropower and transport. Thirty percent of Italy's

food is produced on agricultural land that lies on either side of this river. And the area is suffering the worst drought in more than 70 years.

The situation is the same across northern Italy, where some communities are already rationing water. Here on Simone Minelli's dairy farm, things are

dire. As he watches the water level of the Po River drop, he worries about the future of this family farm. He's fearful he will have to cut the size

of his herd.

SIMONE MINELLI, FARMER (through translator): We will see. We'll see. We are living day-by-day. It's logical when you don't have enough feed for the

animals you have. You have to reduce.

NADEAU: The cattle are even sprayed with water to keep them cool in the stifling heat. He tells us that water is fundamental to his operation,

especially for the production of milk. And the milk from these cattle needs to meet a very high standard to be awarded the seal of authentic Parmigiano

Reggiano parmesan cheese from this region.

All this sand used to be underwater. Now Minelli and his friends need to walk far to reach their boat. Further up the river, this pumphouse supplies

water to 150,000 people. Ada Giorgi has been the president of this local water consortium for the last 20 years. Her customers still have water, but

she has never seen the Po in such distress.

To keep the water pumping, they have to move the riverbed away from the intake. They have also had to add one meter of pipe to lower the pumps as

the river drops. She blames climate change.

ADA GIORGI, PRESIDENT, TERRE DEI GONZAGA (through translator): We are missing rain. There's no snow. There are high temperatures. This creates

the famous perfect storm, and we are in an extreme crisis.

NADEAU: And the forecast doesn't look good. For centuries, people who lived along this mighty river feared it would destroy their crops and homes. Now

they fear it will disappear entirely.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, on the River Po, Italy.


ANDERSON: Well, for some it's a sport, for others a way of life, and for some it's a combination of the two. We are talking about cycling. Today the

Danish capital Copenhagen plays host to the start of the world's greatest cycling race, the Tour de France. For three weeks the best riders will do

their utmost to win what is that famous yellow jersey.

"WORLD SPORT" anchor Alex Thomas is joining us.

I can never get over just how hard, how grueling this race is. Remind us how many stages they'll cover and who is the big favorite this year.

ALEX THOMAS, WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yes, it's tiring just watching let alone competing in it, isn't it, Becky? Yes, 21 stages over three in a bit weeks.

They're going to cover 3,300 kilometers in total. That's around 2,000 miles. And it's those half a dozen or so mountainous stages that are so

gripping, aren't they, for those upslopes that you and I might struggle to walk up. But it's the Slovenian wonder kid Tadej Pogacar who's the one to

watch. He's going for a third straight title.

ANDERSON: Amazing, amazing. It's just not might struggle to get up, you and I, or me anyway. I would struggle to get up (INAUDIBLE). All right, that's

coming up in "WORLD SPORT" after this short break. I'm back with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us.