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Connect the World

China: Air and Sea Military Drills Underway Around Taiwan; Kansas Voters Reject Measure to Curb Abortion Rights; Reproductive Rights Activists Hail Kansas Vote; Biden Administration Approves Arms Deal with Saudi and UAE; Russian Air Strikes Rock Ukrainian City of Mykolaiv; Rare Type of Galaxy Dazzles in new NASA Image. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 03, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST: I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Becky Anderson. Welcome to "Connect the World". This hour tensions are soaring between

China and Taiwan in the wake of the strong U.S. show of support for Taiwanese democracy.

The Chinese Defense Ministry confirmed a short time ago military exercises are underway around the self-governing Island Taiwan says more than two

dozen Chinese warplanes have made incursions into its defense identification zone today. All of these coming hours after U.S. House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi completed a controversial unannounced visit to Taipei promising America's unwavering support.

Last hour, I spoke with our Selena Wang in Beijing and she told me it appears China is trying to strike a delicate balance responding with force

without taking it too far.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): On the one hand, they're saying there is a price to be paid for this kind of high level engagement for what

Beijing is calling this reckless act of provocation that is sparking this crisis. So that is why we are seeing this strong show of military force.

But on the other hand, they're also trying to keep stability; especially given all of the problems at home in China. This is not a time when Xi

Jinping wants a real conflict. So those are a very fine line, then that means that Xi Jinping is trying to walk however, we are seeing in terms of

the military response, this is an extreme provocation.

If you just pull up the map that Beijing has announced of the military exercises, it is literally surrounding Taiwan, Taiwan is calling it a

blockade. And it does appear to be a practice for a blockade and China is signaling that it could shut off the airspace and the sea lanes around

Taiwan anytime it wants.

It's a strong show of force. And in fact, if you look at that map, in some cases, it is actually encroaching into Taiwan's territorial airspace,

territorial sea. That is a very, very big deal. And we'll have to watch and see how that plays out in the coming days. But what that means is that this

drill is getting as close as 14 miles from Taiwan's shore.

But Eleni, it's not just the military response, we're also seeing economic blowback, Beijing has already banned some imports and exports as well. And

of course, there are knock on effects if this military drill escalates in the sense that this is a key shipping lane, this could have further snacks

for the global supply chain, but it is now going to be Pelosi is gone already.

But even though her trip has come in ended, the backlash on Taiwan is going to last for much longer. China is not punishing really the U.S. for it.

They're punishing Taiwan for this, and many experts I speak to say this is actually leading to a new era of even more pressure, even more coercion,

militarily, politically and economically on Taiwan.

So as we look at the legacy of this trip from Pelosi, that is something that's going to have to be weighed in with the counterbalance of what her

trip accomplished in terms of showing the support for Taiwan, Eleni.


GIOKOS: Right, Selina Wang there. Let's get now more from Washington, CNN White House Reporter Natasha Bertrand is standing by with that information.

I just want to bring up this map of where we're seeing the Chinese military drills. And we know that they've come very close to Taiwanese borders as

well. I think 14 miles or so.

Natasha, is it likely that the U.S. is going to respond, put out a statement, you know, say what they're worried about? We knew that Xi

Jinping would want to respond forcefully, I guess it's now being shown in terms of what we see on this map around Taiwan.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's the big question at this hour is whether the U.S. is actually going to respond with its own show of

force in response to these live fire exercises that China is engaging in off the coast of Taiwan.

Now, all indications at this point are that they are not going to. The National Security Council Spokesperson, John Kirby, he came out this

morning and he said that they expected this. They expected China to run with this playbook. It is not something that they're necessarily surprised

by and that they're essentially going to watch how this all plays out.

So in other words, it does not seem as though the U.S. is going to engage in a direct kind of confrontation with the Chinese or something that could

potentially spiral out of control. That is not something that the U.S. wants at this moment.

However, Kirby did say that the U.S. is going to continue to operate in the air and in the seas, as they have for many decades and that the U.S. is not

going to change its behavior as a result of the Chinese provocations here at the same time.

Kirby said that the U.S. is not going to engage in its own kind of saber rattling and is not I'm going to try and provoke the Chinese in any way

essentially the message here is that they're going to watch and see how this plays out?


BERTRAND: And of course, if China were to make any overly aggressive moves directly against Taiwan, for example, kind of crossing any lines that the

U.S. perhaps did not anticipate, then it reserves the right, of course, to defend Taiwan in any way that the U.S. deems necessary.

They have not, of course, taken off that off the table. And the President has actually said many times, that it is the United States responsibility

to defend Taiwan in the event of a kind of, you know, major aggression by China against the island.

So it remains to be seen how the U.S. is going to respond to this. They have been discussing internally what the potential options are here, if

China does kind of cross a line. But again, they are not viewing any of this as unexpected.

They have said repeatedly that they always anticipated that China would respond in some way, given all of the threats that Chinese President Xi

Jinping has put out there in recent weeks ahead of this trip by Pelosi. And right now, they're just seeing how it's going to play out.

GIOKOS: And a very strong language by the Chinese in the last few days. You know, one of the things that really struck me was, you know, the military

saying we will bury the enemy. And Selina just also reiterated the fact that this isn't actually retaliation, perhaps, against the United States,

per se, but rather, on Taiwan.

How concerned is the U.S. right now? That that could be a target down the line or do you think it's going to be contained, to showing sort of

strength around Taiwan and showing the world that, you know, this is their sovereignty, this is what they think of in terms of the One China Policy,

something that we've been hearing in terms of rhetoric from Xi Jinping for quite some time?

BERTRAND: I think that the main concern that the White House has right now is that something accidental happens more so than any kind of potential

direct kind of confrontation between, for example, U.S. forces who are operating in the western Pacific and Chinese forces who are conducting

these drills.

What they're concerned by is some kind of miscalculation that spirals out of control. That is something that John Kirby, again, the National Security

Council Spokesman has made very clear in recent days that because the Chinese in his estimation don't really seem to be thinking strategically

here and seem to be reacting kind of emotionally to this visit by Pelosi, then something could go terribly wrong, and China could miscalculate.

Now, the U.S. of course, they have said that they do anticipate that this could go on for quite a while it could go on over the horizon, as Kirby

said recently, and that they expect China to not drop this anytime soon, because they view this trip by Pelosi as a major provocation.

But at the same time, there's also an understanding here in the U.S. that China's President doesn't necessarily want a huge escalation in

confrontation with the United States right now. And that is something that again, if they crossed that line, they can very well get Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Natasha, Bertrand, good to see you. Thank you. And as we've seen the message of friendship and solidarity, Nancy Pelosi brought

to Taiwanese officials was well received and that feeling was mutual.

The island made a big effort to welcome the House Speaker very publicly, so a show of affection was spelled out literally in lights and she flew in

Taiwan's tallest building Taipei 101 lit up with the words thank you, Taiwan hearts, U.S. Speaker Pelosi welcome to Taiwan.

Taiwan's disputed status is a complex situation self-governed, but claimed by China. And sometimes, there are questions with no clear answers like

does Taiwan even have its own airspace? The rules can shift depending on who you ask. I read all about that, like now on or on the CNN app.

The ship carrying the first Ukrainian grain shipments since Russia's war began has passed a key security inspection in Turkey. Representatives from

the Joint Coordination Center inspected the ship and have cleared it to continue to its final destination in Lebanon. The ship left Ukraine's

Odessa Port Monday carrying 26,000 tons of corn. Our Nada Bashir reports from Istanbul


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice over): A moment weeks in the making, this is the first green shipment to have left Ukraine in months, charting a

carefully identified safe corridor through the Black Sea before reaching Turkish waters.

At the Port of Rumeli Feneri in Istanbul, a delegation from the newly established Joint Coordination Center carried out its first ever

inspection, setting sail to board the nearby rezone to inspect its cargo. The Sierra Leone Flagship is transporting around 27,000 metric tons of corn

to Tripoli in Lebanon. But that's only a fraction of the near 20 million metric tons of grain still stuck and Ukraine's Southern Black Sea Ports.

BASHIR (on camera): This first shipment is the culmination of weeks and weeks of negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United

Nations and this really is a critical test of how well this new Black Sea grain initiative can work in practice?


BASHIR (on camera): The hope now is that this will give commercial shipping companies the confidence to send more ships to Ukraine.

BASHIR (voice over): A welcome sign of progress for those countries most dependent on Ukraine's grain export. The UN has warned that an additional

47 million people have been pushed into a stage of acute hunger as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.

And despite positive signs, there is still a real sense of urgency around alleviating the pressures of the global food security crisis. But with at

least 17 ships now awaiting permission to depart from Ukraine, there is cautious optimism that this hard one deal will prove to be a success.


GIOKOS: All right indeed, cautious optimism Nada Bashir reporting for us from Istanbul. Up next a shocking votes in the U.S. one of the most

conservative states in the country comes down on the side of woman's right to choose and we'll tell you what is behind and unexpected votes on

abortion rights. And oil prices are fairly steady today after the world's biggest oil exporters meet. We'll be bringing you experts analysis from the

region, stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Welcome back! Now we're going to spend a few moments on the battle over abortion in the United States. Joe Biden is expected to sign an

executive order Wednesday that will provide support for abortion providers.

It should help doctors navigate their way through complicated and shifting abortion laws that have cropped up in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling

that put abortion back in the hands of individual states. Speaking of those state laws, voters in Kansas have provided a surprising victory to the pro-

choice camp by an overwhelming margin.

Voters refused to amend the state's constitution in a way that would have allowed lawmakers to enact new abortion bans. The result was a bit of a

shocker as Kansas is an overwhelmingly conservative Republican state. This was the first time voters got to weigh in on abortion since Roe versus Wade

was overturned by the Supreme Court. CNN's Nick Valencia has been following the surprising votes from Topeka, Kansas. Nick, always good to see you. I

want you to tell me about what's what this referendum entailed? What was the wording? What did people actually vote for?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they voted to whether or not they were going to give the power to the super majority Republican legislature

here and whether or not to decide what to do about abortion access next?


VALENCIA: And they've indicated if this amendment would have been passed, they would have moved very swiftly to ban abortion.

This wasn't a vote to ban abortion outright. But this was a huge win for abortion rights advocates here in a state that as you mentioned, Eleni is

deeply conservative Republican registered voters nearly twice as many Republican registered voters as there are Democrats although there are a

wide swath of unaffiliated voters, unaffiliated voters and Kansans for constitutional freedom.

The Maine coalition of abortion rights advocates that were out educating voters pushing them to get out to vote, this is a huge win a huge upset win

for them. Not only did they have to educate voters because this amendment was ambiguously written a yes vote would have stripped abortion rights and

no vote would have kept things as the status quo protecting abortion rights in the state constitution.

But this was also on a primary ballot where historically more Republicans vote. There's also a lower voter turnout. That didn't end up being the case

here though. Last night, there was a large voter turnout numbers that we would generally see in a general election and we spoke to voters as they

left the polls. And for some, it was clearly a very personal issue, how they cast their ballot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think health care is a fundamental right, not just for me, but for any person in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody who actually believes in the Bible knows that, you know, this is something that was against everything.


VALENCIA: This is far from over the value than both the coalition that drafted this amendment and their language to try to strip abortion rights

said they will be back but this is a message or clear message to the rest of the nation hear the first time a state has had the chance to vote on

abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Nick, I want you to give me a sense of what this means ahead of midterms. What is the message that it sends?

VALENCIA: Well, it's very symbolic and significant, not just for Kansans but really the region and the country as a whole. Kansas has four abortion

clinics. And since Roe v. Wade was overturned nearly 60 percent in one clinic, actually more than 60 percent.

In one clinic I spoke to they were seeing patients, more than 60 percent of them coming from out of state where abortion rights had already been

stripped places like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri.

So this is something that not just only impacts Kansans, but it impacts the region. And it sends a clear message ahead of the midterms that this group

of Americans here in this state and a deeply red part of the country is willing to come out to vote in large numbers to protect abortion rights,


GIOKOS: Yes, Nick, thank you so much for those insights and update. Well, joining me now is someone writing their PhD dissertation at the University

of Kansas on abortion stigma in state legislatures.

Elise Higgins has worked in the abortion rights movement in Kansas for 15 years and joins me now live. Elise, really good to see you! What is your

reaction? You know, and as our reporter was telling us that they're, you know, twice as many Republican voters in Kansas than what you see, in terms

of Democrats. Did you think that you see a post like this with such a huge margin?

ELISE HIGGINS, DIRECTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, STATE INNOVATION EXCHANGE: We really did not know I am thrilled today, particularly given that we have

overcome so many barriers to engagement since this issue was on the primary ballot and not during the general election.

And since the wording as has been said earlier was so ambiguous, not to mention that there were some new voter suppression laws passed during the

last session, specifically intended to make it more difficult for moderates progressives and liberals to vote in this election.

I think this really does send a clear message particularly to other so called red states in the region, that abortion rights remain popular in the

majority no matter where we live, not only on the coasts, but also in the heartland.

And I am really excited to see how this momentum translates to other states that have banned abortion, but where the majority of citizens want to see

abortion remain safe and legal.

GIOKOS: And many citizens many voters received a text which we have ascertained now that was ambiguous referendums tend to be that

unfortunately. You also receive this text, you know, what kind of organizing did you and people within your organization embark on to remove

that ambiguity with you know, things like text that could confuse the voters?

HIGGINS: Sure. Well as a part of State Innovation exchange, and as the director of reproductive rights there, I work primarily with state

legislators. That said, my friends and colleagues on the ground in Kansas who were working on text and phones and at the doors to defeat this

amendment have been launching an educational campaign for the better part of the year to explain that a no vote is a vote to protect abortion rights.

And a yes vote is a vote to take away abortion rights, which has been quite a hurdle and clearly, they were successful.

GIOKOS: I want to bring up this map that shows that states where abortion is now restricted. And you've got some of your neighbors Missouri Oklahoma

have severe restrictions.


GIOKOS: And you know, we've also heard from our reporting, that there's been a huge increase in, you know, people wanting to come to Kansas for

assistance, that demand is increased by 60 percent. Could you give me a sense of the realities on the ground and how important Kansas has become


HIGGINS: I would love to, even before Roe fell, Kansas clinics were seeing huge amounts of Texans and Oklahomans and Missourians. And that need is

only going to increase when we add other states in the region where abortion rights have fallen, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona.

And of course, we do have Colorado to our west to add access, but it's simply not enough. And so our next steps need to be reimagining how we can

ensure abortion access and really expanded for the region.

And also how we can translate the lessons learned here to other states in the Midwest and South so that they can reestablish constitutional

protections for abortion. We know now that it's possible. It's just a matter of bringing together a coalition and doing the education needed to

make it work.

GIOKOS: Just for our viewers, so we understand this referendum, is it enforceable? Does this mean that women's rights are protected that abortion

rights are protected? You know, are you going to see any backlash in terms of this politically? Are you worried about that?

HIGGINS: This the win last night means that the status quo remains in Kansas, which is that we have a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental

right to abortion. And unfortunately, we also have a great many medically unnecessary condescending restrictions, very similar to other states.

And my assumption is that the legislature is going to listen to the people of Kansas and think twice before they attempt to pass extreme abortion bans

that are clearly out of step with what the people of Kansas want.

That said they may try. But it's clear that the organizing and power infrastructure is in place to help to beat those bands back. And again, I

as someone who works in a variety of states, and support state legislators all over the country, my hope is that they would also look to Kansas, for

an indication that pro-choice power is real and growing in even so red states.

GIOKOS: Elise, you know, we're hearing from doctors about the ambiguity in terms of you know, the rules surrounding this, if there's an exception if,

you know, we saw the harrowing story of the 10 year old girl, for example.

Joe Biden is about to sign an executive order, which is going to help provide support and protect support for abortion providers. Do you feel

that, you know, politically enough has been done since Roe v. Wade has been overturned?

HIGGINS: I do not. I would like to see the Biden Administration issue a public health emergency. And really, for the Biden Administration as a

whole to echo the energy and commitment of Vice President Kamala Harris that she has brought to this fight.

I think it's important to listen to activists on the ground, including physicians, and people who have had abortions, and particularly people who

are most affected by these bands, which includes working class and black and brown folks who live in states in the Midwest and South.

We listen to their demands and implement those, even if it means taking risks, because we really are in a public health crisis in this moment. I am

looking forward, though, to seeing what the Biden Administration rolls out later this afternoon.

GIOKOS: You know, unfortunately, this and I can't believe I'm saying this, in my lifetime that abortion rights have become political in the United

States, you know, in terms of leaving it to the voters because there's going to be this was an interesting litmus test one would say in terms of

what we're seeing in Kansas, what does this mean for voters down the line having the voice and having the ultimate power to manage this decision and

their fate?

HIGGINS: The right has been able to use stigma against abortion for decades as a way to get people to not talk about the issue as a way to get

progressive to treat the issue as the third rail of politics.

And this vote and the massive amount of rage and energy that we're seeing across the country indicates that abortion stigma is receding. And the time

of being silent about this issue is over.

We are moving into a future where no one is defined by their biology or by gender roles and part of that means having the freedom to control our

bodies and our futures including having access to safe and legal abortion, when and where we need it.


HIGGINS: So I am looking forward to seeing more outspoken advocacy for abortion explicitly.

GIOKOS: Elise Higgins, thank you very much for your time. Good to have you on the show.

HIGGINS: Thank you very much.

GIOKOS: The U.S. Senate voted late Tuesday to extend special medical benefits to military veterans suffering from exposure to toxic burn pits.

What's really notable about the vote is that it represented a stark reversal from Republican senators who blocked the exact same bill just last

week; Republicans had wanted spending limits added to the measure.

But they faced angry protests from veteran's rights advocates, including comedian Jon Stewart, who personally conflicted many of the senators who

voted against the measure.


JOE STEWART, COMEDIAN AND ACTIVIST: You can attack me all you want. And you can troll me online. And you can tell me I don't know if Schumer would just

take out his 400 billion. It's not in there. But here's the beautiful thing, I don't give. I'm not scared of you. And I don't care because these

are the people that I owe a debt of gratitude to. And we all owe a debt of gratitude to and it's about time we start paying it off.


GIOKOS: Right, well, more on the story from CNN's Jessica Dean on Capitol Hill.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Long sought after legislation that's going to help millions of American veterans who are

exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service passed in a bipartisan vote in the United States Senate on Tuesday night.

Now this has been held up by some Republicans who chief among them is a Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey who wanted additional amendment votes to

this legislation.

Eventually Republicans and Democrats coming to an agreement on how to proceed forward they did offer some amendment votes to - amendment though

failing. And this legislation as a whole though passing it's been kind of ping pong back and forth around Capitol Hill having to fix some issues with

a previous version of the legislation.

But it now will head to President Joe Biden's desk for final signature and again helping millions of American veterans getting access to health care

that they previously have not had access to expanding different illnesses that will be covered by the VA.

And that will allow them to get the medical treatment that they need as they deal with a lot of life threatening issues and illnesses that were

developed and directly linked to their time in their military service. Jessica Dean, CNN Capitol Hill.

GIOKOS: Up next we'll have some expert's analysis on deals that the Biden Administration is pushing abroad his trip to the Middle East, bearing some

fruit in the shape of potential multibillion dollar weapons contracts plus- -


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We're walking through the trees because they're afraid we might be spotted from above by Russian



GIOKOS: CNN's Nic Robertson shows us how Ukrainian soldiers use drones to help spot Russian targets and just how easily things could go wrong. His

report is coming up.



GIOKOS: Prices at the gas pump in the U.S. continue to shrink for 50 days in a row. The national average has fallen now down to $4.16. And here in

the Middle East to OPEC plus nations agreeing to increase oil output by 100,000 barrels per day.

The oil expert is cartel holding its first meeting since U.S. President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia last month. While that increase is quite modest,

away from energy, we are starting to see some real results from that trip, 3.05 billion of them to be exact.

The Biden Administration approving a huge arms deal with Saudi Arabia for Patriot missiles and other equipment coming on the same day, the United

Nations announced a two month extension to a truce in Yemen. Mr. Biden, of course, met with other regional leaders on his trip to the Middle East, one

of those being President of the United Arab Emirates.

And the Gulf powerhouse has also struck a multibillion dollar weapons deal with more than $2.2 billion. Joining me now to break all of this down for

us is Chief OPEC Correspondent at Energy Intelligence, Amena Bakr and Faisal Abbas, Editor-in-Chief at Arab News.

Welcome to both of you, really good to have you on the show. Amena, I want to start with you because I want, let's talk about an oil first, and then

we'll pivot into the weapons deals that we've seen coming through, I want to bring up a tweet from Bloomberg.

We saw this earlier today. And this is from having a blast. At the current rate, I feel that President Joe Biden consumed more jet fuel traveling on

Air Force One to Jeddah than any extra oil barrels OPEC plus may agree to provide to the market in September.

And I start with this point, is that 100,000 barrels per day is significant enough and will appease the U.S.

AMENA BAKR, CHIEF OPEC CORRESPONDENT, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE: No, this is a very, very tiny increment that we saw today. But to be honest, it was also

expected. At Energy Intelligence, we before the meeting happened, we really said that it's either a no change, or a very, very modest change in output,

we're dealing with a situation where you have very, very tight spare capacity.

So there are limitations to how much the group could increase at this point. And they're trying to be very cautious with the spare capacity that

they have left. And given that 2023, we have the growth rates in terms of demand; they're lower compared to 2022.

So overall, the group needs to be very, very cautious. I can tell you that perhaps U.S. officials expected a larger increase. There's a lot of

spinning going on now. From some U.S. officials claiming that this is a big victory or a step in the right direction. But honestly, it's just very


GIOKOS: Faisal, we've seen a lot of zeros. But I guess, in a very different sector. I want you to tell me what you think of Biden's approval for the

weapons sale to Saudi as well as the UAE?

FAISAL ABBAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ARAB NEWS: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. Well, look, there's an interesting point too here Eleni. And I

think a lot of people because of the timing are being led to the conclusion that the two things are interrelated.

So the Patriot missile deal and the OPEC plus meeting today, and I'm here to tell you that they're absolutely not because as you know, OPEC meets on

a regular basis.

The focus was on the stability of the market and the production increases or decreases depending on market requirements. But as for the Patriot

missile deal, as you know very well these things don't just happen overnight, or over a fortnight even these things take months of

preparations and negotiations and discussions. So while you know the timing of this might have been a coincidence.


ABBAS: The other point here is it's absolutely not a coincidence for the United States, both serving its own interests and adhering to its values to

stress its commitment to the defense of civilians, and it's in countries that are either regional allies or regional strategic partners.

GIOKOS: Yes, it's interesting that the question on coincidence, because one of the questions now is the same day, the UN announcing of the extension of

the truce in Yemen, Biden welcoming that truce while providing weapons to Saudi Arabia? Is there any sense of irony here, Faisal, tell me what your

thoughts are?

ABBAS: Well, I mean, if you want my immediate thought, I think we're just entering August and everybody wants to go on holiday. So whether it's, you

know, officials in the Congress, but on a more serious note, a lot of people are discussing this issue in Yemen.

And, you know, paired with the Patriot missile deal, which, as you know, Eleni is a defensive weapon technology, not an offensive weapon technology.

So this is not a return to, to our involvement of the U.S. in the war.

What we've seen actually, is, as a result of U.S. engagement, we've seen the longest lasting truce, since this unfortunate conflict started, and

that has just been renewed.

So if anything, renewing U.S. engagement has now resulted in renewing the truth and safeguarding civilian areas. And I must say, since my dear

colleague, Amena here from Energy Intelligence is here, as you know, very well, the Houthis have made a deliberate point to target Saudi oil


And as you know, targeting Saudi oil facilities means that will affect supply and that will ultimately bring up the price. So the U.S. involvement

in both in the Yemen troops and the Patriot missiles serves not only U.S. interests, but lives up to its values in protecting civilians, its regional

partners and allies.

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, I want you to jump in here because you know, geopolitics and oil, of course, very strongly intertwined. I want you to

give me a sense of your thoughts on the arms sales and what this is going to mean for the oil price going forward.

BAKR: Sure I would agree with Faisal. It's about providing security for a region where you know that it's a region which provides oil globally. So

safeguarding these Gulf States is should be a priority for the East and the West to be honest here, so.

And again, there is no direct one to one relation, I mean, we've heard from officials that attended the meeting with Biden and Saudi officials say that

they didn't directly discuss an increase in production.

But there was an understanding, following the meeting that Saudi Arabia might do something just but there need to have a market reasons to do it.

It can't just be a political decision to increase production. And the step that we saw today does put into account this idea of tight spare capacity.

We understand that both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the ones that still hold spare capacity, have no intention to max out the spare capacity. And if you

look at the OPEC statement very clearly, they mentioned that more investment is needed and up to upstream.

More oil is needed globally. So this is something that the U.S. should take note of and start investing more in the upstream sector. Oil is here to


GIOKOS: Yes. OK. I just want to alert you to, you know, something that we had gotten from Amos Hochstein. One of our colleagues spoke to Amos

straight after this decision. I want you to listen to what he has to say.


AMOS HOCHSTEIN, SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL COORDINATOR FOR ENERGY SECURITY: Well, no, it doesn't. But it's a step in the right direction. Look, when the

press just before the President announces traveled to Saudi Arabia, to meet with Gulf leaders and Middle East leaders.

There was an announcement of any increase of more significant increase of oil production by OPEC for July and August. We saw reports yesterday that

for the month of July, Saudi Arabia increased their production quite significantly.

And now this was supposed to be a zero increases and we're seeing some increases, not a lot. But our main focus is not about the numbers of

barrels; our main focus is on bringing prices down. That's what the president keeps telling us bring those prices down. Do what you got to do

in there. I think that we're in we're in decent shape and we're going to continue to work to bring it down lower.


GIOKOS: Amena, I want you to tell me whether you think the U.S. is disappointed with this OPEC plus announcement because it sounds like you

know he's been defeated basically and it's not very inspiring.


BAKR: It's not very positive; of course, especially if you put it into the context that over compliance levels are over 300 percent for the entire

group. So adding 100,000 divided by all the members, that's really a drop in the ocean, that's not really adding actual supply.

But OPEC's hands are tied, I think the U.S. does have a sense of the understanding that they were also I think, told quite clearly not during

the Biden visit, but before when U.S. officials used to visit Saudi Arabia that Saudi and the UAE and other Gulf states are not going to be announcing

any kind of unilateral action.

It's very important for them to work within the OPEC context, and also keep Russia on board. So yes, perhaps there is some disappointment, but it was


GIOKOS: OK, Faisal, you know, is this what Biden would have wanted from this trip, and there's been so much effort, so much messaging, so many

phone calls, it's a trickle in the oil tap, as we've seen, from Amena playing, you know, that scenario out for us, but a reinforced message from

the United States that it's stalled yields a lot of influence in the region.

ABBAS: Oh, well, let me thank you for the question. And I beg to differ with my honorable colleague, Amena; obviously, she's much more of an oil

expert than me. But when we say there's a disappointment that we were automatically insinuating that there was an expectation.

The White House spokeswoman clearly said it's wrong to ask from energy to ask for more production, almost himself to another network also today said

that during the - visit, the energy markets weren't really discussed.

What was discussed, however, is a smooth transition, a commitment by both countries to a smooth transition and these are two very huge oil producers

smooth transition to renewables and clean energy.

Saudi Arabia has been working investing in refinery increasing refinery capacity. And the final point here Eleni is you know, this is not a one off

for us to make a rational judgment about this. We need to look at where oil prices were three months ago say in June and look where they are now. The

reality is they have been going down and that's what's important.

GIOKOS: Faisal Abbas, Amena Bakr, thank you so much. Good to have you on the show. I hope to see you in person soon as we discuss so many of these

topics, I'm sure they're going to be keeping us busy in the coming months and much appreciated. Coming up next on "Connect the World" see how one

Ukrainian drone team spies on Russian physicians to mock targets. CNN's Nic Robertson shows us more on that story.



GIOKOS: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar. Police in China's Jiangxi province are looking for the attacker who

stabbed several people at a kindergarten.

At least three people have died and six others are injured. China has grappled with mass stabbings as access to guns is strictly controlled.

Public health leaders in the United States when Biden to declare a public health emergency over rising monkey pox cases, the W.H.O, and several

states have already declared public health emergencies.

But doctors are struggling to access the limited supply of an experimental drug for their patients. And Lebanese military source tell CNN two more

weed silos at Beirut's port unlikely to collapse.

Security Forces have cordoned off the area. It comes just a day before Lebanon marks two years since a blast ignited at the port killing more than

200 people on Monday. Two silos collapsed after being on fire for weeks.

Turning out to the battlefield in Ukraine, the Ukrainian military says Russian troops are pushing towards the town of Bakhmut, but have failed to

make significant gains as Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attempts to move the frontline forward.

Mandatory evacuation of Donetsk has also begun, as the Ukrainian president describes the intensity of the fighting in the region.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We cannot overcome yet the advantage of the Russian army has in artillery and troop numbers and this

is very much felt in combat, especially in the Donbas. It is just held there, words cannot describe it.


GIOKOS: And similar scenes in Mykolaiv where the Mayor says Russian airstrikes rocked the city earlier as Ukraine southern front gets bombarded

by Russia. Nic Robertson shows us how Ukraine is fighting back with drones on the front lines.


ROBERTSON (voice over): Ukraine Southern Front, a reconnaissance team leads us towards Russian lines.

ROBERTSON (on camera): We're walking through the trees because they're afraid that we might be spotted from above by Russian drones. That's the

way they do their work out here, hidden by the trees.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Our destination, a drone team shrouded from the skies. Their mission fined Russian forces and call in artillery strikes, a

problem though, on their first flight of the day. Russian countermeasures mess with their drone; they need to switch out parts before the next


It's nearly impossible to fight off the Russian jamming signal. The commander says that we have special devices to combat it. But as the drone

launches, it lurches the wrong way hits the trees, not clear what causes the malfunction.

ROBERTSON (on camera): There's a war within the war here a high tech war a software dogfight in the skies above the battlefield. And a mistake by

these drone operators can cost them their lives.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Back at base on a big screen, they scoured the first flights video.

ROBERTSON (on camera): The details are incredible. I mean, you can see exactly where the vehicles are in the trees.

ROBERTSON (voice over): The operator, a 24 year old former news cameraman.

ROBERTSON (on camera): So you're looking at the Russians, but they can be looking at you when you're in the field.


ROBERTSON (on camera): How does that feel?


ROBERTSON (on camera): How scary?


ROBERTSON (on camera): Very scary, but you keep doing it.


ROBERTSON (on camera): Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we must do it.

ROBERTSON (voice over): Life or death decisions, which targets to hit to save his fellow countrymen.

ROBERTSON (on camera): He's driving along he has no idea your drone is following him.


ROBERTSON (on camera): No idea?


ROBERTSON (voice over): Previous days when they've avoided Russian countermeasures, they've had better luck. A Russian tank position hit in

the past week, when they called in an artillery strike as they watched, who wins these drone wars will help determine who dominates the battle space.

And that depends on who has the smartest technology and who has the best traditional frontline skills to hide from it. Nic Robertson, CNN at

Ukraine's Southern Front.


GIOKOS: The U.S. has slapped the reported girlfriend of Russian President Vladimir Putin with sanctions. Alina Kabaeva currently heads Russia's

national media group which the U.S. calls a "Pro Kremlin Empire of TV print and radio groups". The 39 year old was sanctioned for being or having been

a leader in the Russian Government. She's also been sanctioned by the UK and the European Union.


GIOKOS: And just ahead stargazers are doing cartwheels over NASA's new image from the James Webb Telescope, why the cartwheel galaxy is being

called mysterious, this excited story coming to you after the break.


GIOKOS: NASA is peering through the cosmic dust once again. And it's James Webb Space Telescope has captured an image of a mysterious cosmic stunner

called the Cart wheeled galaxy.

The NASA stargazers say it's located 500 million light years from earth. CNN Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher is considerably close

up, goodness. And there's a lot more to tell us. Kristin it's so cool.

I'm like; I'm trying to conceal my excitement here. But I've been stroking the telescope findings over the past few weeks, and they're just


KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, each image seems to be more extraordinary than the last. I'll tell you what's so neat

about this image. I mean, in addition to it being visually stunning, it also really showcases just how much better the Webb Space Telescope is than

its predecessor.

Hubble, what you're seeing at the beginning of the image that just appeared on your screen was what the Hubble image took of the Cartwright Galaxy back

in about 2018.

And you can see there it is right there, not very well defined a lot of gaps in terms of what scientists can see. But there, that's the web image.

And you can see it really fills in the details fills in the space with a lot of those red and blue lights.

And what you're seeing there. The reason this is possible Eleni is because Hubble was an optical telescope, meaning it could see what the human eye

can see. But the Webb telescope is an infrared telescope.


FISHER: And so we can see all those types of lights that you and I cannot see. And it provides an incredible amount of new information and new

details for scientists and astronomers as they tried to discover how the universe started and learn more about how those stars really formed.

GIOKOS: And during these incredible images with us, I mean, these are, as you say, infrared images, I'm showing just how colorful and exciting they

are. For a $10 billion price tag, it is incredible to see some of these outcomes and also depicting thousands of galaxies that exist that are

billions upon billions of years old. Could you take us through where we've come to thus far with the images that we've seen?

FISHER: Yes, well, if you if you take a look at that, that image of the cartwheel Galaxy one more time, you can see in the background, what appears

to be stars? But if you look closely, those are not stars in the background. Those are other galaxies.

So you have that big one on the right side of the screen, two other medium sized ones on the left hand side, but everything else behind it. Those are

galaxies, not stars.


FISHER: So it just really goes to show you how vast the universe is and just how much better a picture astronomers and scientists are getting to

look at the universe. Now, thanks to the Webb Telescope, which is so far away Eleni that astronauts could never go to fix it if something goes

wrong, like they did with the Hubble?

So that's the downside. The upside is it's far enough away that it can see all this stuff.

GIOKOS: I just want to share some of the older images that we found older; I mean just a few weeks old the deep filled images that the Webb Telescope

has taken.


GIOKOS: My team is about to put those on your screen right now. Look at that there's just absolutely these coins. You know, honestly, it's been so

breathtaking to see. And then you wonder what kind of data we'll be getting from all of these images.

What are we learning right now that we, you know, we're just, we're just a tiny little grain in a very vast universe.

FISHER: We are at tumbling, right. And you know it's fascinating to really see these comparisons between Hubble and Webb because the finer detail that

you get with the Webb Space Telescope is really the key to unlocking some of the universe's great secrets and mysteries.

It's that dust the cosmic dust that can contain the secrets and clues of the universe. And so that's what scientists are waiting for. They want to

find out what exactly that dust is made of.

GIOKOS: Kristin Fisher, thank you for that cosmic updates, much appreciate it. Thank you so much for joining us on "Connect the World". I'm Eleni

Giokos in Abu Dhabi. "One World" with Zain Asher is up next.