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U.K. Political Turmoil; Ukraine Tells Donetsk Residents to Evacuate; U.S. July 4 Parade Shooting; North Korea's "Fever Cases". Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 06, 2022 - 10:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi.

There's a political crisis unfolding in the U.K. over the next two hours. We'll be bringing you coverage from our team on the ground.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I'm Bianca Nobilo in London, where we start with another day of drama in British

politics. There are fresh questions about the future of Boris Johnson. Over 2 dozen government officials have bailed under Mr. Johnson.

But a short time ago, during a dramatic grilling by U.K. lawmakers, behind me, the prime minister said he is staying in the job. Take a listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Frankly, Mr. Speaker, the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances, when you've been handed an auto

mandate (ph) is to keep going. And that's what I will do.


NOBILO: Mr. Johnson's leadership, once again, being called into question after two senior members of his cabinet announced on Tuesday that they

would quit the government. The now former U.K. health secretary Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that enough is enough.


SAJID JAVID, FORMER U.K. HEALTH SECRETARY: Treading the tightrope between loyalty and integrity has become impossible in recent months. And Mr.

Speaker, I will never risk losing my integrity.

I also believe a team is as good as its team captain and that a captain it as good as his or her team. So loyalty must go both ways. The events of

recent months have made it increasingly difficult to be in that team.


NOBILO: Still, more resignations are hitting Downing Street.

How did the prime minister get to this point?

The latest crisis involves sexual misconduct claims against former government minister Chris Pincher. Another Thames changing story about

those investigations. Boris Johnson also suffered a blow last month, when his Conservative Party lost two parliamentary by-elections in a single

night, one a crushing defeat.

CNN's Nic Robertson is in Downing Street, joining us live.

Nic, speak to us about the practicalities here. We have demonstrated in PMQs a prime minister who will not go unless he's pushed. We've recently

had a confidence vote, (INAUDIBLE) what are the options for the MPs who wants to get rid of Johnson right now?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the 1922 committee is the committee of backbenchers that would reach a number of

letters of lack of confidence in the prime minister that would normally trigger a vote among them to have a vote of no confidence against the prime


However, they did that a month ago. And by the letter (ph) of the 1922 committee, they can't do that for another year. But the options open to

them are to meet in short pace and that is anticipated.

Precisely what they do, are they able to change the rules of the committee?

Are they able within the committee today to decide, regardless of where their rules stand, that waiting a year to challenge the prime minister's

authority again, are they going to do that now?

So that's one option, the 1922 committee and there's certainly momentum there. There appears to be more momentum building since prime minister's

question time earlier today of more resignations, as you say, 27 now. It is the momentum and the possibility of other senior party members --


NOBILO: Nic, I'm sorry to interrupt you. But we are actually going to go to the liaison committee happening right now, because the prime minister is

facing scrutiny, let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- so every incentive for you to be as crisp as possible. And that goes for the questions as well, colleagues.

We will start on the topic of Ukraine with the chair of the foreign affairs committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The alliance that has been brought together to dissuade Russia from further actions and indeed to push Russia out of Donetsk and

Luhansk is clearly got a window of opportunity before the winter starts to bite and the coalition starts to fracture as energy prices in Europe rise

and homes across our country start to suffer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you able to concentrate on building that alliance at the moment?

JOHNSON: Yes and, thanks, Tom. If you look at what the U.K. has done over the last couple of weeks, I think that the efforts of U.K. diplomacy, U.K.

(INAUDIBLE) security, armed forces would be very considerable.

And the G7 outcomes were at the upper end of expectations, NATO certainly, again, have both conceded expectations in the level of unity and virtually

every country around the table at NATO determined to help President Zelenskyy in that window of opportunity he described.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're seeing, of course, food prices rise around the world. The ports of Odessa are closed, Mariupol and so on, occupied.

What are you doing to make sure that the food is getting out from the Black Sea and such wheat that is available is able to get out?

How are you supporting the United Nations and what are you doing to prepare those states, including the Middle East (INAUDIBLE), who are facing

enormous food inequality and the possibility of migration and the pressures that that would cause?

JOHNSON: So, first of all, on the grain is being held hostage in Odessa, where we're working with the U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres, who

is leading the negotiations.

The Turks are clearly crucial. They held all the waters. What the U.K. is offering is both demining capabilities, including remote demining

capabilities, or a good act (ph) and the insurance of the vessels that might be used to ferry the grain out from the -- out through the Bosphorus.

We're also, because we're looking at other routes in addition to convoys through the Bosphorus, we're also doing what we can to help smaller packets

of grain go through land routes or indeed up the river Danube (ph) and out that way. And we're spending some money upgrading the railways.

To that end and we're starting to see some growing quantities of grain coming out, not via the Black Sea but by -- over land and all the rest


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're seeing, as you know, we're seeing all this pressure on the weaponry that goes into Ukraine. We're seeing a lot of

promises. And sadly for many countries, fewer deliveries than are promised.

What are you doing to increase the production and the cooperation between all those companies around Europe and around the United States and Canada

to increase the supply?

JOHNSON: The U.K. led the way in inaugurating the ramstar (ph) in conferences which have brought countries together to supply weaponry to

Ukraine. And the Americans are very much in the lead on that and are certainly providing the bulk of what's going in and will be doing more in

August as the Copenhagen conference, as I told you, another military donor conference.

There is the supplies continue to go in. The Ukrainians are steadily getting the (INAUDIBLE) that they need if they're going to repel -- expel

the Russians from where they are. But it's also very important that they're trained to use the multilaunch rocket systems effectively so that

(INAUDIBLE) weaponry is put to good use.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now your own foreign secretary, forgive me, has explained that victory in Ukraine means taking back every single square

inch of Ukraine soil, including Crimea.

What's your view of it (INAUDIBLE)?

JOHNSON: We can't be more Ukrainian than the Ukrainians. That's for them to decide. President Zelenskyy has set out his ambitions and it will

ultimately be for him to decide what determines that he wants. But he's been very clear he would like to return the East to the status quo ante

February 24th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what would your view of what victory for Russia would look like?

JOHNSON: I think the -- that's -- victory for the Ukrainians would be a result that the Ukrainian people feel is the right one. And at the moment,

I think I'm right in saying that 90 percent or more of Ukrainians believe passionately that there should be no deal that involves land for peace.

They want the Russians expelled from every part of their territory that Putin has invaded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident that following the NATO agreement together in the world that the European and American agreements together in

making sure that Polish and sustains the Ukrainians even when the winter crisis start to bite?


JOHNSON: I think what was notable at Madrid was how anxieties about the friability of the coalition will prove to be unfounded. And that's because

the logic of the situation certainly demands international unity. There's no other solution. There's no deal on offer.

Even if the Ukrainians wanted to do a deal of land for peace, Putin isn't offering any such deal. He still remains utterly maximalist in his

objectives. And that's why we have to continue to support Zelenskyy in the way that we are. And that's accepted around the table.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And part of your commitment to sustaining Ukrainian operations in indeed a wider British military operations, you increased it

2.5 percent, given that the various international organizations and indeed our own statistical agencies did not foresee any growth in the U.K. for the

incoming years.

Who are you going to take money off in order to increase the defense budget?

JOHNSON: Well, I'm not certain I agree with your premise about the growth of the U.K. economy in the coming years (INAUDIBLE) but in both the

(INAUDIBLE) and the OECD (INAUDIBLE) going back to that on the top of the (INAUDIBLE)


JOHNSON: -- sure. But the 2.5 is a -- is just a prediction. It's based on the I think reasonable assumption that we are going to have to continue

with the investments that we're making in the future, talking about the aircraft system and the AUKUS agreements with the Australians and the


These are very big projects and they'll be expensive. And they're the right things for the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so the last question from me will be on Sweden and Finland. Clearly, they're (INAUDIBLE) NATO (INAUDIBLE) extremely important

and of the just for them for a robust (ph).

What are the implications for their regarding the highmore (ph) and particularly the integrity of the United Kingdom and Scotland as part of

that in the alliance?

And what are the commitments that the U.K. is willing to make to increase cooperation with Sweden and Finland, not just in military supplies but also


JOHNSON: Thank you. We already do a lot of cooperating with the Joint Expeditionary Force, the JEF, as you know, is up there in the high north.

The addition of Finland and Sweden is a great moment for the alliance. I think it will strengthen the alliance and it tells you what you need to

know about Putin and his aggression in the country as peaceable as Sweden and Finland have decided to join NATO.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you chair.

Prime minister, good to see you again. We're establishing that the world is getting more dangerous and the next decade is going to be very bumpy

indeed. I want to focus on the U.K. defense capabilities, despite the objection of 24 billion pounds, integrated (INAUDIBLE) tilt toward cyber

and space, which is welcome.

But it's come at the expense of cuts to all three conventional services. At your last appearance here, prior to the Russian invasion, you boldly stated

that tanks are not the answer to the defense of Ukraine. But the old context on steps of (ph) tank battles, on European land mass are over.

Prime Minister, do you now recognize the value of tanks as part of our land warfare mix and plans to reduce our tank numbers now need to be reviewed?

JOHNSON: Thank you very much, (INAUDIBLE). I think that when you -- certainly I think that it's important for the U.K. to have tanks. But I

think for the Ukrainian purposes, even more valuable were anti tank weapons.

And if you look at what's really changed the course of the first few weeks of the war, it was the Javelins or the MLOs (ph) in particular, the

Javelins that were used to destroy the tanks and really to make Russians --

NOBILO: And we've just been listening to Prime Minister Boris Johnson take questions from the liaison committee about all the biggest issues on the

agenda today. We will dip back into that when we hear the scandals that are currently being addressed.

I'm going back to Nic Robertson at Downing Street for us.

Nic, the prime minister acted quickly to fill the vacated roles of chancellor and health secretary yesterday. His performance in Prime

Minister's Questions was stunningly brazen and very much, "nothing to see here, business as usual" approach.

Can that possibly work?

Can he even fill the roles that are vacant now?

ROBERTSON: It's going to be very hard to be convincing that it is business as usual because of so many roles that have now been left open by all those

resignations we've been hearing about.

And the speed at which those resignations have come and the speed with which the party officials will have to work with the prime minister's to

find out who will actually take those jobs.


ROBERTSON: Potentially, it exposes the weaknesses of his position if he can't move ahead and fill those, perhaps less time pressure to fill some of

the jobs, permanent private secretary and such like, than it is for the top flight ministerial positions -- Chancellor of the Exchequer and health

secretary, which are very visible, very important jobs.

The economy central, the recovery of the health service, still COVID-19 going on, again health very central. So perhaps the prime minister has a

little more flexibility there.

But the image that Prime Minister's Questions time created today of prime minister and of government, absolutely beleaguered. And a House of Commons

not in our floor (ph) but in controlled frenzy, if you will, I think that spoke to the difficulty that the prime minister is in on this.

NOBILO: Nic Robertson for us at Downing Street, thank you.

My next guest says, and I quote, "There is absolutely no doubt that Boris Johnson had this curious built-in attachment to the public at large, has

lost that link and lost it very clearly indeed."

Lord Robert Hayward is a member of the House of Lords and a polling analyst and he joins me now.

Thank you so much for joining the program, sir. You've seen the end of many prime ministers.

How do you think the circumstances that we've seen today are unprecedented?

ROBERT HAYWARD, MEMBER, HOUSE OF LORDS: There is a lot of parallel between the events we've been seeing these last two days and that of Ms. Thatcher's

downfall. The one big difference is that we all knew that, when the message was delivered to Ms. Thatcher, she would resign.

That is not a parallel to Boris Johnson following the speed with which he's filled the two cabinet positions and his determination to carry on. That is

the one big contrast. Otherwise, I really feel, because I was in Parliament at the time of Ms. Thatcher's downfall, that I'm watching the same process

all over again.

NOBILO: It is a curious thing because watching PMQs today, sometimes you can detect a bit of complacency in his performances. It's like when he

knows that he's really under threat, that's when he puts in maximum effort. He really digs in.

So do you think that presenting so many resignations, and we're around 30 now, that he is not attuned to the humiliation that that appears to the


HAYWARD: His great strength is being able to appeal over being a politician to the public at large. That is his strength and also his

weakness because he cannot hear what other ordinary people would hear.

The resignation of two cabinet ministers in one minute effectively is almost unparalleled. But to have this string of middle ranking ministers

resigning and having five resign en bloc this afternoon is the sort of thing that no other politician, almost in my whole lifetime anywhere in the

world, would not register.

But Boris has this, "I'm in the trenches, I'm going to get out, I'm going to go on."

Every so often he looks slightly deflated. On the morning after the two by- elections you are referring to, on the day that the party chairman resigned, and his first press conference was incredibly flat. But within a

matter of hours, he was given press conferences and he was up there, vivacious and --

NOBILO: After the confidence vote he was extremely buoyant.

HAYWARD: Oh, yes. But he had, even though there were a larger number vote against him than was expected, that's in his nature. So Fighting on is in

his nature. But we're getting very close to the end game now.

I didn't think we would when I got up this morning. But the rate of ministerial resignations is quite stunning. And the significant thing is

the number of the people that are writing in, either resigning as minister, are people who have been outspoken supporters of him only a few weeks or

even a few days ago.

The attack that Gary Sambrook, MP from Birmingham, launched on the prime minister at Prime Minister's Questions time from somebody who was only a

few weeks ago saying, I'm with Boris.

NOBILO: They definitely all snapped and this is the watershed moment. You mentioned the end game could be near.

Given we had a confidence vote on the 6th of June and one can't be had within the year, what are the mechanisms available?

What could happen today to precipitate the end of his premiership?

HAYWARD: I think there are two most likely scenarios, one is somebody or a group of loyal cabinet members, somebody like Michael Gove, the chief whip

who is supposed to convey the message, those sorts of people go to him and say, the game is up. You no longer have the support.

There was this reference to the changing the rules, which you can't do for -- you can't have another vote for 12 months.


HAYWARD: What could happen is the 1922 executive committee, who are the body that represent the government back benchers, could go to him and say,

look, you have no support.

Particularly if it coincides with Boris and his closest aides having difficulties filling the posts where resignations are coming every about 15

or 20 minutes or every half hour at the moment. I think those are the most likely scenarios.

NOBILO: One of the reasons this is also captivating is the arc of Boris Johnson's political career, from a prime minister delivering a historic

election victory to what's seems like a series of unforced errors that have landed him here.

Where I thought today, in Prime Minister's Questions, I've never seen a prime minister look so alone. He wasn't just up against the opposite

benches; he was up against those behind him, too. We know Boris Johnson is a fan of Greek tragedy.

There seems to be something better in there about that.

But what do you think in terms of his traits are the main architects of that stunning demise?

HAYWARD: It is this -- I've never seen a politician, possibly with the American exception of Reagan and Trump, who have lived so heavily on

personality. This kind of charisma that gets the message across. Every politician that I've seen in the Western democracy lives or dies by policy.

Therefore, that's what Boris' different to, because he doesn't live on policy. He lives on personality. And once that's gone, he's in difficulty.

But you're absolutely right, the government benches, which are normally, they're loyal and particularly when a leader of the opposition starts

attacking him, they have a spontaneous reaction of defense.

But today, for the first time in eight months, Boris Johnson has been on the ropes for eight months in Prime Minister's Question time. Keir Starmer

has failed to produce some great line. Today, his accusation of the charge of the lightweight brigade and what is the Z listers was really hard

(INAUDIBLE) and the Tory benchers felt it.

NOBILO: We're seeing that. He's gaining that confidence that Keir Starmer has often lacked and really landing blows that resonate across the entire


Lord Harwood, thank you very much for joining us.

Taking a short break now but stay with us. Eleni Giokos will be back in Abu Dhabi with more stories right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.




GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. We've just been following all of the developments out of the U.K. from Bianca Nobilo will

be touching base with her in a little bit.

But I want to bring you the latest news out of Ukraine. "Get out now," that warning coming from Ukrainian officials to anyone remaining in the Donetsk

region of the Donbas.


GIOKOS: These pictures showing evacuations from today. One official says it remains difficult to convince people to leave. Ukraine still controls a

bit less than half of Donetsk. But Russian forces are moving closer to key cities there after capturing the Luhansk region.

Ukraine's military chief from Luhansk says Ukrainian fighters are putting up a fierce resistance against Russian advances. He's calling for

additional weapons from the West to balance out the fight.

Meanwhile a Ukrainian medic who was captured by Russian forces months ago is finally free. She's speaking up for the first time about her harrowing

experience as a prisoner of war. CNN's Alex Marquardt has this exclusive report.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In this Russian propaganda film, Yuliia Paevska is marched, hooded and

handcuffed into a dark interrogation room. The hood yanked off harsh light blinding her.

YULIIA PAEVSKA, "TAIRA," VOLUNTEER PARAMEDIC: (Speaking foreign language).

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Paevska, who is Ukrainian, goes by the nickname Taira and is a famous medic known across Ukraine. Until very recently, she

was a prisoner of war, held by Russian and pro-Russian forces made to appear in the propaganda film which accuses her of harvesting organs and

compares her to Hitler.

After three months in captivity, Taira, who we met today with her husband was freed in a prisoner exchange. But in her first sit down interview since

then, it's clear the wounds are still fresh.

PAEVSKA (from captions): There was physical abuse and psychological pressure. The extreme psychological pressure did not stop for a minute all

these three months. Constantly you are told that you are a fascist, a Nazi.

MARQUARDT: It sounds like torture.

PAEVSKA: It was, a physical also.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Taira says she was deprived of food for days, beaten and threatened with a death penalty.

PAEVSKA (from captions): They kept interrogating but at some point, they realized that they would not get anything out of me. They threw me into

solitary confinement into a dungeon without a mattress, on a metal bunk.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): When the war started in February, she headed to the brutal fight in Mariupol, capturing dramatic video on a body camera she

wore. In March, as the Russians closed in, the memory card was smuggled out by journalists in a tampon. Then at a checkpoint, Taira was recognized and

taken prisoner.

PAEVSKA (from captions): I asked to be allowed to make a call, call my husband. They said you watched too many American films. There will be no


MARQUARDT (voice-over): She says she was told lies about Russian battlefield successes and used against her will as a character for Russian

media to claim that their forces are fighting neo-Nazis.

PAEVSKA (from captions): They are absolute victims of propaganda, of a ruthless propaganda that completely destroys their ability to think

critically. If it were not for this, this conflict would not exist at all, I am absolutely sure of it.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): It may be some time before Taira returns to the front lines. She also wants to train for next year's Invictus Games for

wounded veterans as the reality sets in that this will be a long war.

PAEVSKA (from captions): This is an absolutely ruthless regime that wants to dominate the world. They told me that the whole world only had to submit

to Greater Russia and "this is your destiny. You have to accept, just stop resisting."

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Alex Marquardt, CNN, Kyiv.


GIOKOS: As this war drags on CNN viewers are helping Ukrainians in need. Find out how you can contribute on our website. You can go to for

information on donations. CNN viewers have already given more than $8 million for humanitarian relief work.

We're going to a very short break, stay with us.





GIOKOS: Amid the grief today in the American community of Highland Park, questions about U.S. gun policies. City officials are questioning how the

suspect was able to buy weapons, given his history.

Police say the 21-year old opened fire from a rooftop Monday just as Independence Day parades were getting underway. Seven people were killed,

dozens more were hurt. Joining me now live from Highland Park are Adrienne Broaddus.

Adrienne, this is first day. He's going to be making his first court appearance. Give me some insight into the charges he's facing.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you. He's facing seven counts of first degree murder. When we heard those charges announced

yesterday, the state attorney said more charges could follow.

The suspect, the 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo, is expected to appear before a judge at this hour. The state's attorney did say he will ask the judge to

withhold bail for this suspect. Listen in, you'll get an idea of more of those charges and what could come next.


BROADDUS (voice-over): Robert Crimo III charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the Highland Park parade mass shooting.

ERIC RINEHART, LAKE COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: We anticipate dozens of more charges centering around each of the victims: psychological victims,

physical victims; attempt murder charges, aggravated discharge charges, aggravated battery charges. There will be dozens of more charges against

Mr. Crimo.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Monday during a July 4th celebration, Crimo allegedly shot a high-powered rifle at people attending the parade, killing

seven people and injuring 38 others, according to officials.

The Lake County coroner's office named six people who died. Two of the victims, Irina and Kevin McCarthy, have been identified as the parents of a

toddler, who was found alive after the shooting, according to a family member.

This as law enforcement officials released a photo showing the suspect dressed in women's clothing on the day of the shooting.

According to authorities, the July 4th parade attack was planned several weeks in advance and the shooter worked alone.

New details are now emerging about the suspect and his previous interactions with law enforcement.

DEPUTY CHIEF CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: The first was in April of 2019. An individual contacted Highland Park Police

Department a week after learning of Mr. Crimo attempting suicide. The matter was being handled by mental health professionals at that time.

BROADDUS (voice-over): Later that same year, law enforcement told reporters a family member reported that Crimo said he was going to, quote,

"kill everyone" in their home. At the time police intervened, removing 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo's home.


BROADDUS (voice-over): But police say no one pressed charges, so no arrest was made.

In a news release, Illinois State Police said Crimo applied for a firearm owner's identification card in December of 2019 that was sponsored by his


At the time of that application review in January of 2020, state police said, quote, "There was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present

danger and deny the FOID application;" 2.5 years later, the FBI is now combing the parade route for evidence and police say they're now looking at

Crimo's online posts as another community is shaken by gun violence.


BROADDUS (voice-over): This mother perhaps summed up what many are feeling.

REBECCA WEININGER, WITNESS TO SHOOTING: I don't know how to stop crying. And I don't know how to stop crying for my children, who are different

today than they were yesterday.

And I don't know how to stop crying for the children who I don't get to hug today. And I don't know how to stop crying for the people who are in their

homes and don't feel safe to come out.


BROADDUS: And the last voice you heard was that of Rebecca Weininger. She told me she was at the parade on Monday with a friend, her husband and

their 2-year old. When the shooting started, she says her husband grabbed their child and took off running, telling her to come with.

But she said she couldn't leave because as she looked around, she saw so many people who were unable to run and escape toward safety. So she stuck

around to help those people, some of them in wheelchairs.

And again, at this hour, that 21-year-old suspect, Robert E. Crimo III, is expected to appear before a judge and the state's attorney saying he will

ask that that judge to withhold bail for the suspect, who's been charged with seven counts of first degree murder.

Each count carries, if convicted, a maximum penalty of life behind bars without parole -- Elena.

GIOKOS: Adrienne, thanks for your reporting, details as the investigation continues becoming so much more chilling. I appreciate your time.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is claiming a shining success in stopping a COVID outbreak in his country. Pyongyang surprised the world in May when it

admitted it was dealing with a COVID outbreak.

Prior to that, the country had not acknowledged any COVID cases. But since then, there have been nearly 5 million so-called "fever cases" reported. As

Paula Hancocks reports, we still don't really know how bad this situation is there.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two months into a COVID 19 outbreak, which Kim Jong-un called the greatest turmoil in his country's

history, North Korea claims the worst is over. A pandemic that ravaged the rest of the world has claimed just 73 lives so far, according to

Pyongyang's figures, a claim universally doubted.

KWON YOUNG-SE, SOUTH KOREA'S UNIFICATION MINISTER (through translator): The COVID-19 situation North Korean state media is reporting is quite

different to what other countries have experienced after an outbreak. So I have some questions.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The world feared an Omicron outbreak amidst an unvaccinated, malnourished population, with primitive healthcare, could be


The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in North Korea says he's still not able dispel that fear.

TOMAS OEA QUINTANA, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: We have some reports about vulnerable people like the elders, some children

with nutritional problems, dying due to COVID. But again, it's very difficult to -- to confront that information, at this point.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Choi Jung-hun fled North Korea 11 years ago. He says he worked as a doctor during a measles outbreak in 2006 to diagnose

and treat cases, he says he was given just the monitors.

CHOI JUNG-HUN, FORMER NORTH KOREAN DOCTOR (through translator): If we have patients with measles or influenza, all we can do is tell them which

medicine they need and how much to take. There's nothing else we can do, because we had no medicine at the hospital.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Kim Jong-un told pharmacies in Pyongyang in May ordering the military to stabilize medical supplies. But defectors say, in

reality, patients have to buy their own medicine in local markets, imported or smuggled in from China. Closed borders in recent lockdowns mean there is

likely little left.

CHOI (through translator): We were frustrated, because the government funded missile programs, not health care.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Doctor Kee Park is an American neurosurgeon who used to visit North Korea twice a year to work alongside doctors there

before the COVID pandemic.

DR. KEE B. PARK, DIRECTOR, KOREA HEALTH POLICY PROJECT, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: They struggled to supply the hospitals with some other things that

we take for granted. When they do have some of these supplies, they reuse things until they are unusable.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): He says scalpels were reused until they were blunt but points to recent Chinese customs data from January to April this year,

showing Pyongyang imported 1,000 ventilators, more than 10 million masks and more than 2,000 kilograms of vaccine.

Global Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, said last month they understood North Korea has accepted COVID vaccines from China and started to administer doses.

HANCOCKS: We spoke to one defector who didn't want to be on camera, as her whole family is still in the north. But she said she spoke to them by phone

a week after the announcement of the COVID outbreak and they weren't too concerned about the virus. She says what they were extremely concerned

about is the food situation, even going so far as to say it was worse than it had been during the late 1990s, when North Korea suffered a devastating

and deadly famine.

QUINTANA: Urging the government of North Korea but also parties involved in the Korean Peninsula, understand that there's a serious risk about

starvation of North Korea.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): COVID-19 not the only deadly threat to North Korea -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.



GIOKOS: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now.

Qatar's foreign minister visited Tehran today in hopes of breaking the deadlock over a new Iran nuclear deal. He met with his Iranian counterpart

who insists Iran is still seeking a lasting deal with world powers. Talks in Qatar ended last week with no progress.

A Chinese city of more than 30 million people is now in a partial COVID lockdown. Gyms, schools, dine in restaurants will be closed for a week as

mass COVID testing takes place. Health authorities there have detected more than 2 dozen cases of the new Omicron subvariant.

Norway's government has stepped in to end a strike by oil and gas workers there. The government is forcing both sides into wage talks, due to the

current energy crisis and the war in Ukraine.

Norway is Europe's second largest energy supplier and a strike threatens to hold 60 percent of exports. For more on this, we've got Clare Sebastian

giving us the details.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Intervening in labor disputes is not something the Norwegian government does often, it says, but this was an

emergency. The planned striking action by offshore workers in Europe's second biggest energy supplier could have shut down about 56 percent of

Norway's gas output by Saturday.

The Norwegian government stepped in and proposed compulsory wage arbitration. That would have been a significant blow to Europe already

facing potential shortages heading into winter.

Even the prospect of the strikes sent gas prices in Europe up sharply on Tuesday. They have since come down. The Norwegian government said, quote,

"Norway must do everything in its power to bolster European energy security and European solidarity against Russian aggression."

While a relief, this resolution does not solve Europe's problems. While it does work to wean itself off Russian energy, Russia is moving een faster to

use this leverage to cut off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands as well as reducing supplies to Italy and Germany.

The Nord Stream, which is a crucial pipeline to Germany, is pumping at about 40 percent capacity. Russia says it's because of a technical issue

and it's set to go offline next week for planned maintenance.

Clearly the situation in Norway reveals another risk: as inflation rises, the energy industry is not immune from the rising tide we're seeing with

worker unrest -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


GIOKOS: We're going to a short break and we'll be back with more of our coverage of the mass resignations in the British government. Bianca Nobilo

will join you in just a moment. Stay with us.





NOBILO: Welcome back, I'm Bianca Nobilo in London where a defiant Boris Johnson is defending his position as prime minister. Right now, as we've

seen, Mr. Johnson is being grilled by lawmakers for the second time today. Earlier, he refused to step down amid a cascade of resignations from his


We're around 30, 32 now I think. They began on Tuesday, officials leaving at the rate of about one an hour. This crisis, triggered by Mr. Johnson's

handling of the Chris Pincher scandal. He's the former deputy chief whip accused of sexual misconduct.

My next guest is a Tory MP who's been highly critical of the prime minister. He tweeted that Boris Johnson has damaged the party and brought

the entire political process into disrepute.

And goes on to say, "We can do better than this. We have to do better than this."

And he joins me now.

Is today the day, is it over?

ANDREW BRIDGEN, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: It's all over apart from the prime minister getting his head around the fact that it's over. If he

doesn't choose to tender his resignation, I am absolutely convinced the 1922 committee meeting are now.

I'm convinced that Sir Graham Brady will be heading to Number 10, to speak to the prime minister, the traditional men in gray suits. And they will

tell him that you've lost the confidence of the party. We've gotten enough letters for a second ballot.

We will change the rules and have a second ballot and we will do it immediately. And I would expect the prime minister will be resigning

tomorrow morning.

NOBILO: And do you have confidence, given what he's demonstrated is an ironclad will to stay in power and to keep it within his grip, that

confronted with that, he will step down?

BRIDGEN: He may force us to the ballot. That would be unfortunate because he would lose that ballot and there will be further humiliation. I would

hope that he will leave with a shred of dignity. And that would be on tomorrow morning.

But we are where we are. And we need to move on.

NOBILO: It's been clear from the cascade of resignations, starting with the health secretary, Sajid Javid, that the Chris Pincher scandal and the

handling of that seems to have made the party snap.

What was it about that, given that we have had scandal after scandal for the last 6-12 months?

BRIDGEN: It was the prime minister's denials that he knew about -- anything about Chris Pincher's history on this issue, pushing out junior

ministers, who were told a script, which turns out to be completely fault. They've lost their credibility.

For the prime minister -- and that's happened again and again and again. But this cuts to the very heart of government. Chris Pincher was given a

position where he was effectively the welfare whip, the man you would have to go to for concerns about sexual misconduct and bullying.

And, as we know, he's been accused many times now of doing the very same thing himself. It's like leaving a vampire in charge of the blood bank. And

that really hurts the party.

NOBILO: I think a lot of our international viewers sometimes are confused when they see the amount of scandal that the government has been dragged

down by and the damage done to the Conservative Party brand.

Why it would have taken this long for ministers, MPs, to make their positions known and to condemn the prime minister publicly, to add pressure

on him to go.

Can you give some insight into the difficulties of that and why it may've taken this long?

BRIDGEN: I think one of the problems is there is not seen a huge, credible, outstanding candidate to take over. So there is some uncertainty

about that. And ultimately, the prime minister has huge powers of patronage.

He can award peerages, knighthoods, positions in government with huge responsibility. For the last seven months, basically the policy of the

government has not been dealing with the issues facing the country. It's been totally focused on policies to keep Boris Johnson in position. And

that's not tenable, either, Bianca.

NOBILO: When you say that there isn't an obvious successor.


NOBILO: Indeed, that is the case and some potentially obvious replacements have then had their own scandals.

Why is that when it's been fairly obvious for some time that somebody with the ambitions to be prime minister, that would be the moment for them to be

building their campaign and making it known, I'm ready, I'm waiting in the wings if you need a replacement, I'm your guy or woman?

BRIDGEN: Because Number 10 have run an operation to deliberately keep the grass mown very short around the prime minister. And they stamp on dissent.

And they -- Chris Pincher himself was seen as a master of the dark arts of destabilizing opponents and critics of the government from within or


NOBILO: You are obviously very loyal to your party but also, your country.

Do you feel like Boris Johnson has done damage to the way that place behind us functions and to your party?

BRIDGEN: He has. And it has damaged us. But that's short term. Honestly, Bianca, once he's gone -- and it will be the next 24 hours I'm convinced --

one way or the other, once we move on, we've got a new leader selected. I am sure that many of us will have fond regard for what Boris Johnson has --

he delivered Brexit, he got us through COVID.

And history will probably be kind to him but, at the moment, he is damaging the government. He's damaging our brand and he's got to go. His time is


NOBILO: Mr. Bridgen, thank you so much joining us.

We're going to go back to the prime minister now, who is taking questions from the liaison committee on these recent big scandals. Let's take a




In the six minutes I have, Prime Minister, I want to talk to you about transport policy delivery. If you're focused (ph). I want to talk about

rail, air and also road.

Starting with rail, do you have all of the policy and legal interventions and levers that you need to end this rail strike?

JOHNSON: Thanks very much, Hugh (ph).

I think that -- I call on the union barons and the railway companies to sort this out.

NOBILO: And we're going to dip out of that again because it appears they're talking about transport. We are keeping a close eye to see whether

or not Boris Johnson is grilled on the current pressure that he's facing from his own MPs, with a spate of resignations that we've seen.

I spoke to an MP just moments ago who told me today is the day and our last guest also confirming that he believes that within the next 24 hours the

prime minister will no longer be in that post.

We'll stay on top of all of those developments for you and there's much more of CONNECT THE WORLD coming your way after this break.




NOBILO: An incredibly dramatic day here in London, with fast moving developments that could decide what happens next for Boris Johnson and the

British government.

We've seen around 31 resignations over the last 24 hours, starting with the health secretary Sajid Javid, followed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Boris

Johnson moved quickly to try to shore up his position by policing both of those vacancies.

But today, we've seen even more, 14 ministerial resignations adding to those two cabinet ministers.

So what's happening now?

The. Prime minister is facing yet another grilling after a bruising Prime Minister's Questions where he seemed more than ever completely alone.


NOBILO: So he's talking to liaison committee now where they'll ask him about some of these scandals but crucially what will be happening in the

next few hours is a very influential, behind the scenes committee, will be meeting to try to put pressure on the prime minister, to change the rules,

to indicate to him that if he doesn't decide to go of his own volition, they will try and force another confidence vote.

That's what we're hearing from MPs that we're speaking to around Westminster.

So for now, back to you, Eleni, and keep you posted on all the developments happening here throughout the rest of the day.

GIOKOS: A lot of dramatic developments, Bianca, and we'll catch up with you in the next hour, looking forward to your reporting.

Before we go, here's a look at tonight's parting shots.

Every major world event comes with its own set of memes these days. The recent turbulence in Boris Johnson's time as prime minister is no

exception. Here are a few memes about Boris Johnson that have gone viral in the past 24 hours.

This first meme takes a stab to Boris Johnson's attempts at diverting the people's attention from the U.K. to Ukraine. It depicts Zelenskyy rejecting

a request to visit Ukraine.

This one jokes about the recent spree of resignations in Johnson's party. It shows his next cabinet meeting as an empty board room.

And here we see a blackboard outside a shop that reads, "Carpenters urgently required. Cabinet falling apart. Apply to 10 Downing Street," and

in brackets, "no tools required. The building is full of them."

Even the Downing Street cat, Larry, was not safe from the memes. This tweet mimics a breaking news alert, announcing the feline's appointment as

minister of fisheries as Mr. Johnson runs out of humans to prop up his government.

CONNECT THE WORLD continues after the break. Stay with CNN.