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Satellite Images Show Destroyed Planes At Crimea Air Base; U.K. Sending More Long-Range Rocket Systems To Ukraine; Afghan Citizens Feeling Some Sense of Normalcy; Lebanese Man Holds Hostages At Bank Over Frozen Funds; Iranian Charged In Alleged Plot To Kill John Bolton; North Korea's Leader Declares Victory Over COVID-19; Experts Debunk Russia's Claims About Prison Attack; Amber Heat Warning Issued For Parts Of Southern England. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired August 11, 2022 - 10:00:00   ET





NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: These troops are really hoping the Krab system can make a difference. So far, this war has been

fought mostly by artillery. The Russians massively outgunning the Ukrainians.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voiceover): Ukraine receives new weapons, but will they turn the tide of the war? Also...


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The change has also brought about a real decrease in the standard of living here. And a lot of

people are now fighting to put food on the table.


KINKADE (voiceover): Nearly a year after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, we are back on the streets of Kabul to assess how much has

changed. And the hot and dry summer showing no signs of letting up. How Europe is handling yet another heatwave?

(on camera) Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. Good to have you with us. Well, still no admission or denial from

Ukraine about those massive explosions this week that rocked a Russian airbase in Crimea. But startling new images show the extent of damage from

what could be the first major attack on Russian military site in Crimea since Russia annexed it back in 2014. These satellite pictures of the Saky

airbase before and after the blasts. They show at least seven destroyed Russian warplanes, two other warplanes appear to have sustained major

damage. Russia claims the explosions were caused by aviation ammunition, but isn't giving specifics and neither is Ukraine.

Today, its defense ministry posted a tweet taunting Russia, warning Russians, quote, not to visit Ukrainian Crimea because no amount of

sunscreen will protect them from the hazardous effects of smoking in an authorized areas. Western nations have been helping Ukraine boost its long-

range weapons capability. The U.K. today announcing that it will send more long-range rocket systems and missiles. Britain's defense secretary will

hold a news conference with his Ukrainian and Danish counterparts in Copenhagen later this hour, and we will be watching that for any new


We want to bring in our Nic Robertson in Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine. Nic, let's start on that attack on Crimea, if that's

what it was, Russia, of course, denies being attacked, claiming it was a munition accident. Ukraine haven't claimed credit. But the satellite images

certainly showed craters, potentially the aftermath of weaponry from the West. What's your take, Nic, on what went down, given that this is likely

Moscow's biggest loss of military aircraft in a single day since World War II?

ROBERTSON: Yes, very significant loss. And we -- Russia has a track record of dissembling and lying about what happens on the ground, where it's

attributed previous Ukrainian attacks, not that we know that this definitely is but previous Ukrainian attacks to ammunition or accidents on

base. But I think when you look at a video that emerged over the past couple of days, it really tells you that it's very unlikely that this was

accidental ammunition going off because there are at least in one part of video, there were two explosions that come a split second after one another

just slightly, slightly in separate locations. That has all the hallmarks of perhaps a missile but perhaps somebody's triggering, you know, two

different ammunition stores. It seems more likely given the craters, that this is some kind of missile strike.

And Ukraine has some ambiguity here. Look, the Russians thought they were safe in Crimea from Ukrainian attack. The Ukrainians are not saying how

this happened, which leaves the Russians guessing how did it happen? But the fact that the satellite images show fast fighter jets on the runway a

couple of days before and then scorch marks and damaged aircraft after these explosions, really tells you a story that it's hard to take at face

value, Russia's claim that it was just ammunition going up, because this has all the hallmarks of a carefully planned and executed strike.


KINKADE: Yes, certainly are fascinating satellite images there that are coming into us. And Nic, the U.K. is pledging more long-range weapons.

Denmark also offering over $100 million in financial aid. Ukraine already has some powerful weapons. Why -- in terms of why they wouldn't take credit

for Crimea, can you tell us about what sort of weaponry might inflict this sort of damage?

ROBERTSON: If this was weaponry fired from Ukraine, it would be a longer range weapon system than their -- than they've acknowledged they've got.

The British are supplying now, we heard from the defense secretary in the past 24 hours of that conference in Copenhagen, saying that they will be

supplying three more MRLS long range weapon systems. They have a range of up to about 80 kilometers. The HIMARS that the United States has supplied

doesn't have a range that could reach Crimea, there are variants that would give it a longer range, but they're not acknowledged as existing in


But every piece of weaponry that Ukraine can put close to the frontline that can reach over the frontline that can destroy Russia's rare assets

that it thought was safe fuel depots, ammo stores, aircraft systems, that is to their advantage. And a new piece of equipment they've had over the

past couple of months comes from Poland, mobile artillery. We went to see that in action, just behind the front lines here.


ROBERTSON (voiceover): Suddenly, action, camouflage off, Ukrainian troops rushing their new NATO compatible artillery out of cover. The Polish Krabs,

a 40-ton beast of battle. This day, targeting Russian positions almost 30 kilometers, 18 miles away. They shoot and scoot.

(on camera) That whole operation took about two to three minutes, they calculate they've got about eight minutes to get back under the tree line

here to be safe from any return fire.

(voiceover) There's a lot these troops like about their new kit, safety high on the list. It's so much better than we had before. Gun commander

Vasily (PH) says it's mobile, we're out of danger fast.

(on camera) So, this is your command vehicle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That's our -- my command vehicle.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Artem runs the whole battery.

(on camera) So you can see the whole battlefield here?


ROBERTSON (voiceover): It's all high tech.

(on camera) So, where there's a cross here, this is the target?

ARTEM: It's started already. We shoot the target. Yes.

ROBERTSON (on camera): You already shoot at the target.

(voiceover) A former math teacher. He had two weeks training on the Krabs.

ARTEM: To learn it and (INAUDIBLE) I would say it's --

ROBERTSON (on camera): User friendly?


ROBERTSON (voiceover): Poland gave Ukraine 18 of the Krab system, and they're buying another 56. Two months in service, their accuracy, making

them popular.

ARTEM: So, very big difference between is this new guns and Soviet old guns because its guns got the new GPS systems.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Each shot a better chance of hitting its target.

(on camera) These troops are really hoping the Krab system can make a difference. So far, this war has been fought mostly by artillery. The

Russians massively outgunning the Ukrainians.

(voiceover) But even with the new guns, there's a problem. Ammunition here is tight.

(on camera) And do you have enough shells?

(voiceover) His answer with a wry smile and chuckle, I'd like to have more rounds to send the occupiers back home.


ROBERTSON (on camera): But a few pieces of sort of high-tech military hardware like these Krabs or the HIMARS or the MLRS that the British are

going to send or the M777 howitzers that have come from the United States, it doesn't make an army. And one of the things when you're up close with

the troops there, you realize there's a long way to go before all those systems are integrated. Before the troops have strong communication

systems, before they have all the equipment they need, we saw troops lacking the sort of right footwear for that kind of activity. There's a lot

of connectivity that's going to have to happen before this is -- this is a much more effective force, remembering that the frontlines here are just

massive over hundreds and hundreds of miles.

KINKADE: And really, really good to get that perspective from you and your team on the ground. Nic Robertson in Kramatorsk, thanks very much. Well,

you can follow all the developments from Ukraine on our Web site, go to for the latest news and analysis, including why one military

analyst says Russian munitions are particularly vulnerable to chain reaction explosions. That's on your home computer or through the CNN app on

your smartphone.


We are approaching the anniversary of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, which ended the longest war in American history, and left

Afghanistan back in the hands of the Taliban. Well, one year since that takeover, Ashraf Ghani claims he is still president. He told the Afghan

broadcasting network that based on the Constitution, he's still president until the people choose his replacement. Ghani, of course, fled the country

just after the Taliban takeover, and the Afghan government collapsed. He also said that Afghanistan was deceived by the Americans in making an

agreement with the Taliban. Well, our Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward has returned to Kabul for this anniversary. She spoke earlier

with my colleagues, Brianna Keilar, and John Berman.


WARD: It's really good to be back here. I think you can probably see behind me, we're at a market, there is a sense of normalcy on the streets of the

city. There is not the same sort of or anything approaching the levels of chaos and violence that we saw playing out during those heart wrenching

scenes last year. But the change has also brought about a real decrease in the standard of living here. And a lot of people are now fighting to put

food on the table. The U.N. says that nearly half the country is in a state of acute hunger. The International Rescue Committee says by the second half

of this year, they believe -- well, we are now in that second half of this year, more than 90 percent of people will be living below the poverty line.

And that's for a whole plethora of reasons, partly because of sanctions and the freezing of Afghanistan's Federal Reserves after the Taliban took

power, partly because of the food prices, partly because of inflation.

But what you see when you go round, and I just want to show you a little bit, seeing as we're here in this market, you can see there is food, there

is food that you can buy, the market stalls are full. But the conversations that we've been having with vendors make it clear that for the vast

majority of people, it's become unaffordable, these food. So, flour, I was told by these vendors, has doubled in price. Cooking oil, which is

obviously one of the basic necessities has more than doubled in price. And that's not even -- before, Brianna, you start talking about the very real

changes and the impact that they've had as the Taliban has gradually become firmer in implementing its vision or version of Sharia law. Brianna.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Clarissa, I'm just struck by how different it looks from one year ago. How different, frankly, you look from one year

ago, dressed a little bit differently than the day after the Taliban regained power, the streets are bustling with men and women behind you. I

absolutely understand the economic challenges they're facing. Also, I don't see any huge armed presence around you like there almost certainly was one

year ago. Talk to us more about all of that.

WARD: Yes, so the Taliban is really trying to have a lighter footprint, at least visibly on the streets, you do still see them. They don't want to be

filmed anymore. It's not like the initial days where there was this sense of jubilation and victory. Now, you have to get a lot of permission. It's

an onerous task, to go through the process, to be able to record here. And there has been certainly a sort of strangling of the local media. You do

see women, as you can see, on the streets, you also see that I am dressed in a less conservative fashion than I was before.


KINKADE: We are -- our thanks to Clarissa Ward there. We are tracking developments from Beirut, Lebanon, where the country's economic crisis is

boiled over into a hostage situation. You're going to look at some pictures now of police and troops near a bank where an armed man is holding

employees and customers hostage, after reportedly trying unsuccessfully to withdraw money from his frozen account. Well, joining me now from London is

CNN Journalist Tamara Qiblawi, she spent several years in Beirut covering key events in Lebanon and the Middle East for CNN Digital, and joins us now

live. Good to have you with us, Tamara. Certainly, a tense situation right now and a sign of the desperation that a man is holding staff hostage in a

bank in Beirut simply demanding his own money back.

TAMARA QIBLAWI, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes, that's absolutely right. He's not staging or robbery per se. He has gone into the bank wielding what appears

to be an AK-47. He has held a unspecified number of employees and customers hostage, and he is demanding his own -- his own money back. This is a round

-- he says it's around $209,000. He says that he has a father in the hospital who he is unable to pay his medical fees for.


And it's really a story that highlights the depths of despair that the Lebanese people have gone -- have arrived at. This is a crisis that began

nearly three years ago. It has led to severe capital control, severe restrictions on people's access to their deposits. Most analysts will tell

you that these deposits have vaporized. Millions of Lebanese people have lost their life savings. And so, what this hostage taker has now done by

going into this -- going into this bank, and holding these people hostage, threatening to kill them has actually inspired sympathy across Beirut. And

it's led to hundreds of people come out in support of this man, demanding that the government and the banks give him back his money and demanding

that he be released.

KINKADE: Mm-hmm, desperate, desperate times. Tamara Qiblawi, thanks to you for that update. We will stay on that story as it unfolds. Appreciate your

time. Well, still to come, we've got details about an alleged plot to kill to top Trump administration officials. The latest as the Department of

Justice files a charge against an Iranian national. And should the world take a lesson from North Korea? The country's leader says it eradicated

COVID in just three months. We'll get the facts after the break.


KINKADE: Welcome back. We're learning some chilling new details about an alleged assassination plot targeting two senior members of Donald Trump's

administration. The U.S. Justice Department has announced charges against an Iranian national for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill former

Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton. CNN's Kylie Atwood reports.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): This is the man the FBI alleges tried to hire an assassin to kill former U.S. National

Security Adviser John Bolton. Shahram Poursafi, allegedly a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The FBI says that in 2021,

Poursafi tried to get an informant to hire someone for $200,000 in order to eliminate someone. That number eventually grew to $300,000. Poursafi even

sent screenshots of Bolton's home address and photographs of stacks of money to the informant. Poursafi allegedly said the killing should happen

in Bolton's office garage with the informant noting it was a high traffic area. The FBI also alleges that Poursafi had a second job for $1 million.


The target of that job? Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to a source familiar with the investigation and a source close to Pompeo. The

Department of Justice said this about the motivation behind the Bolton plot.

MATT OLSEN, U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION: This assassination plot was undertaken in apparent retaliation for the

January 2020 killing of Qasem Soleimani.

ATWOOD (voiceover): Pompeo was Secretary of State at the time of the assassination.

MIKE POMPEO, THEN-U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We saw that he was plotting further plans to take down Americans, and in some cases, many Americans, we

took the right action to defend and protect America.

ATWOOD (voiceover): And though Bolton was no longer in the administration when the airstrike was carried out against Soleimani, a top Iranian

general, the Trump administration said, was planning attacks on Americans. Bolton has long advocated for more hawkish U.S. policy towards Iran. After

the Soleimani assassination, Bolton tweeted, quote, "Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qasem Soleimani. Hope this is the first step to

regime change in Tehran." And after today's news, Bolton thanked the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Secret Service, and said that Iran's

rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States. The suspect has not been arrested but is wanted by the FBI after seeking to carry out

this plot.

OLSEN: This was not an idle threat. And this is not the first time we have uncovered brazen acts by Iran to exact revenge against individuals on U.S.


ATWOOD (voiceover): The plot against Bolton is just the latest allegation of Iran planning attacks on U.S. soil. In 2011, U.S. authorities said Iran

was planning to bomb a D.C. restaurant to kill then-Saudi ambassador to the United States and current Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel



ATWOOD (voiceover): And just last week, Iranian journalist and activist, Masih Alinejad, a U.S. citizen who lives in New York, blamed the Iranian

regime after a man carrying an assault rifle was arrested in her neighborhood, coming year after U.S. authorities say the regime was

plotting to kidnap her. Alinejad delivered this message to the regime on CNN.

ALINEJAD: Go to hell. I'm not scared of you.


ATWOOD (on camera): Now, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned this afternoon that there would be severe consequences for

actions taken against any U.S. citizen. We're also hearing from the Iranian side, with the Iranian foreign ministry warning against any actions against

Iranian citizens that are based on what they are calling baseless accusations. Kylie Atwood, CNN, Washington.

KINKADE: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. In the U.K., police have charged an alleged member of the

ISIS Beatles cell with various terrorism offenses. Aine Davis was arrested Wednesday at Luton Airport after arriving from Turkey. He's been remanded

into custody after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court. Monkeypox cases in the U.S. have doubled in less than two weeks, that's according to

CDC data, as we see people across the country lining up for vaccines. The U.S. has now reported 10,000 cases in 49 states as well as D.C. and Puerto

Rico. New York, California, and Florida have the most cases. At least 11 people have died in the severe flooding that's hit South Korea. Days of

torrential rain inundated homes, roads and subway stations, leaving people trapped inside. The government says eight people are still missing, and

hundreds have been forced from their homes.

Well, Taiwan has rejected a report from China that it may put the island under its One Country, Two Systems policy. China says this will be part of

a peaceful reunification with Taiwan even if it means using force. Taiwan calls that wishful thinking. Meanwhile, Taiwan wrapped up its artillery

drills today. And China says it's wrapped up its land and sea wargames Wednesday. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has declared victory for his

nation over COVID-19. While his sister is doing some saber rattling against their neighbor to the south. CNN cannot verify Kim's claim of a COVID-free

country, but it came amid reports that the leader himself deeply suffered from what he called a high fever during the outbreak. Well, now his sister

wants deadly retaliation against South Korea for allegedly spreading the virus to the north. Our Paula Hancocks explains.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): North Korea says it's achieved in 91 days, what the rest of the world has not managed

in two and a half years, eradicating COVID-19.

KIM JONG-UN, SUPREME LEADER OF NORTH KOREA (through translator): The difficult war against the disease is now over. And today, we are finally

declaring the victory.

HANCOCKS (voiceover): Maskless and shaking hands, Kim Jong-un congratulates the official, he says, beat the virus. Kim says they still need to keep a

steel, strong anti-epidemic barrier until the health crisis ends for the rest of the world.


His sister and high official, Kim Yo-jong, said Kim himself had a very high fever, a statement met with visible emotion from the audience, a consistent

message that the leader has been suffering alongside his people. Pyongyang officially reported 4.77 million so-called fever cases up until July 29th.

Actual COVID testing is scarce and just 74 deaths out of a population of 25 million, numbers widely questioned.

CHRISTOPHER GREEN, SENIOR CONSULTANT, KOREAN PENINSULA, ICG: I think we need to see North Korea's COVID outbreak as not only a public health matter

but also a political matter. The beginning of the outbreak did not signal North Korea's first COVID case, and the end of the outbreak being announced

does not mean that they've got rid of COVID either. It just means that this was a time when they needed to shift on something else, and to make use of

the outbreak for political purposes.

HANCOCKS (voiceover): Kim Yo-jong also called for deadly retaliation against South Korea, which she claims intentionally sent the virus across

the DMZ via anti-North Korea propaganda balloons, saying if it happens again, the North will wipe out the South Korean authorities.

KIM YO-JONG, KIM JONG-UN'S SISTER (through translator): This national crisis that we suffered was clearly brought about by the hysterical force

by the enemy using a global health pandemic to escalate the confrontation with our nation.

HANCOCKS (voiceover): South Korea's Unification Ministry calling the accusations groundless and the comments disrespectful and threatening.

(on camera) This declaration of victory is being seen by some North Korean watchers as a message of hope and unity for a struggling domestic audience.

It could also potentially be a message for neighboring China that North Korea is ready to lift restrictions to open borders and crucially to allow

desperately needed food into the country. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


KINKADE: Well, those protests in Sri Lanka continue over the past few days. Its former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has now arrived in Thailand. That's

according to a high-ranking police official. Rajapaksa flew from Singapore after fleeing Sri Lanka in July during those massive anti-government

protests. Ukrainian POWs killed at a Russian camp, and military experts saying that Moscow's version of what happened doesn't hold up under

scrutiny. We'll have the details when we come back.



KINKADE: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Lynda Kinkade, good to have you with us. We are still seeking clarity around those massive explosions

this week at a Russian airbase in Crimea. The Satellite images show the extent of the damage. At least seven Russian warplanes destroyed, two

others damaged. Russia is only saying the blasts were caused by aviation ammunition. Well, experts are debunking claims that a U.S. rocket killed

dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war last month. CNN's David McKenzie has our report. We must warn you that the images are graphic.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Svetlana (PH) hasn't heard from a son in more than two months.

SVETLANA, MOTHER OF POW (through translator): They were promised that they would be taken prisoner in order to save their lives.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): (INAUDIBLE) like sons and husbands of many at this demonstration in Kyiv, is a prisoner of war, held at a Russian camp in

Olenivka. It's a cry for help. But for many of the POWs, one that came too late.

At least 50 of them were killed in an attack on the building where they were held. Russia was swift to blame Ukraine, saying it had killed its own

to prevent them from confessing war crimes.

LT. GEN. IGOR KONASHENKOV, RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON (through translator): A deliberate missile attack on July the 29th from the

American HIMARS multiple rocket launch system on a pretrial detention center in the area of the settlement of Olenivka.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): Russian journalist at the scene displaying remnants of a HIMARS rocket serial number included, but a CNN investigation found

that it's extremely unlikely that a HIMARS struck the prison.

CHRIS COBB-SMITH, BRITISH ARMY VETERAN AND SECURITY ADVISER: We would see a crater in the ground, and we would see more blast damage.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): British Army veteran and weapons expert, Chris Cobb- Smith, has seen his fair share of missile strikes. He says this wasn't one of them.

COBB-SMITH: We would see certainly on this firewall here, we would see fragmentation pop marking from a -- from an explosion from the fragments of

the munition as it went off. And that's not happened. All we're really seeing here is evidence of a fire, an intensive fire. So, to me, this does

not indicate a large detonation.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): The available video and images show bodies badly burnt, some still in their bunks. Forensic pathologists tell CNN, the fire

preceded by a small explosion was likely responsible.

DR. BENJAMIN ONDRUSCHKA, PATHOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER HAMBURG- EPPENDORF: It seems to be that something needs to be exploded close by to the very burned value, resulting in a detonation resulting in a fire.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): Ukraine is using U.S.-donated 200-pound HIMARS rockets to hit Russian depots and other high valued targets. But the

visuals of the aftermath that have emerged are usually different from the scene at the prison. Before-and-after satellite imagery from a confirmed

time of strike in (INAUDIBLE) shows a Russian warehouse destroyed by the blast. At Olenivka, there are burn marks on the wall, but crucially, no

structural damage.

COBB-SMITH: Everything in this site is blackened. The bodies have been severely charred. Everything you can see has been -- is blackened with --

the HIMARS pieces we've seen presented as evidence, do not display any blackening at all. It does not look as though they've been in the scene of

an intensive fire.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): Cobb-Smith and other experts say it's unlikely that the incident was accidental. Olenivka is believed to house more than 1,000

prisoners. Here, you see the satellite images from the day before the incident showing POWs circulating in different areas of the camp. But

Ukrainian officials and relatives say around 200 prisoners were moved to this warehouse in a different zone just before they were killed. Ukrainian

officials also say the incident happened on the eve of a prisoner exchange. Kyiv has rejected Moscow's version, and accused Russia of using a powerful

incendiary weapon against the building and the prisoners.

MCKENZIE (on camera): CNN's investigation can almost certainly rule out Russia's version of events, but we may never know why those prisoners were

moved and exactly what happened. Russia has publicly invited the Red Cross and United Nations experts to visit, but both organizations say they have

yet to be given access to the prison.

(voiceover) The families that the prisoners are increasingly desperate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm asking all people who can, who care to help bring back our sons, our heroes.

MCKENZIE (voiceover): But they don't even know who was killed that night nor what killed them. David McKenzie, CNN, Kyiv.



KINKADE: Well, CNN reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment on the findings of our investigation, though, we yet to hear back. Still

ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, extreme heat and little rainfall translate into dangerous drought conditions. The hardships that's causing for people right

across Europe.


KINKADE: Welcome back. Europe's summer of extreme heat and little rainfall is showing no sign of letting up. U.K. media reporting that an official

drought could be declared Friday in parts of England. And if that happens, water companies will be expected to impose restrictions on domestic and

commercial water use. In France, the government is calling on companies to release their workers who were also volunteer firefighters. Officials

scrambling to get a grip on the spreading wildfires that are turning southwestern France into an inferno.

And Italy is also hurting, its farmers have lost 80 percent of their harvest this year in some parts of the country. And the bigger picture

looks just as scary with officials saying more than 60 percent of land in the E.U. and the U.K. are under drought conditions. That covers an area

around the size of India. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is live for us in London. Good to have you with us on what is yet another heatwave in the U.K., as

well as that ongoing drought. Talk to us about the water restrictions being considered.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. So, what's concerning here, yes, we have this amber warning that's been issued because temperatures are

expected to rise up to the mid-30s, about 35 degrees Celsius, that's about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, that doesn't sound particularly hot. But as you

mentioned, Lynda, it's that weeks on end where we virtually see no rain in London, that is the concern for authorities, because it creates this arid

landscape where fires can easily pick up, and that's exactly what we're seeing take place in France. Just take a look at what's happening across

the continent.


ABDELAZIZ (voiceover): And few signs of rain, millions across Europe are experiencing some of the hottest and driest climate conditions since record

keeping began, creating a tinderbox. More than 600,000 hectares across Europe have burned in wildfires already this summer. French authorities

report numerous outbreaks. Emergency services in southwest France have gone door to door, urging more than 6,000 residents to evacuate.

MARTIN GUESPERA, LOCAL SECURITY OFFICIAL (through translator): The fire is still progressing. It caught us by surprise with its direction. It created

its own wind, its own story, its own movement.


ABDELAZIZ (voiceover): France has experienced its driest July since 1959. And like much of Europe, is braced for another heatwave over the coming

days. Large parts of England are under amber warnings, where homes are typically ill-equipped to deal with extreme temperatures straining the

health service already feeling the heat. Wildfires continue to burn in Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Portugal, where for five days, a fire has ripped

through the heart of one of the country's national parks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It really breaks my heart, everything is burned, everything is ruined. There is nothing green left. It

will take many years to regenerate, and I won't be around to see it.

ABDELAZIZ (voiceover): These images in Central Spain highlight the severity of the drought. The reservoir stands nearly empty. Locals fear for the

future of their economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's been several years without rain, and we're hitting rock bottom. If it doesn't rain, unless they find

some alternative water supply, the future is very, very dark.

ABDELAZIZ (voiceover): According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, temperatures will rise in all European areas at a rate exceeding

the global average, and are projected to keep rising.


ABDELAZIZ (on camera): As you heard there, Lynda, it's water now that's becoming a really precious commodity after this week's long of very little

rainfall, very high heat. And that's why, as you mentioned, there are some companies across England that are taking steps to ban people from using

their hose pipes, essentially from watering their gardens. Just take a look at this park behind me here, you can see it's completely leak yellow. And

that simply what's happening as officials say people have to stop watering their garden, they have to conserve use of water, especially as this

heatwave continues. And then, of course, you have the larger issue here, the climate crisis. This is only going to get worse in future years, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes, certainly a sign of what's to come. Salma Abdelaziz for us in London, thanks very much. Well, the extreme heat gripping the continent

means European isn't waiting for winter to try to save energy. Here's what some countries are doing right now. France is telling air-conditioned shops

to keep their doors shut or risk a fine of nearly $800. Spain is putting limits on air conditioning in public and large commercial buildings. And in

Germany, cities are switching off spotlights on public monuments. They're also imposing cold water on public sports halls and swimming pools.

Well, it has been a momentous 24 hours for Serena Williams, just hours after announcing her plans for retirement in an essay in Vogue. She was

back on the court in Toronto receiving a hero's welcome. But victory was not on her side at the National Bank Open in Toronto, and Williams bowing

out after being defeated by the world number 12. Amanda Davies is -- has more on that emotional match. And Amanda, it certainly was emotional,

Serena Williams ending the match in tears.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: And she wasn't the only one, Lynda. I have to say I feel I'm going to have to steal myself for the next couple of

weeks because the scenes have been incredible. She said in that article in Vogue, she didn't want any ceremonial final farewell, she is the worst of

goodbyes. But you suspect she's going to get them whether she likes it or not. Every seats in the house last night was sold out. That's set to be the

pattern for all of her remaining matches, however many of those there may be. Of course, the fairy tale would be a long run at the U.S. Open in a

couple of weeks' time. And we've got more on Serena's final few matches coming up in just a couple of minutes in "WORLD SPORT."

KINKADE: Many more standing ovations to come, I dare say. Amanda Davies, good to have you with us, thank you so much. And stick around, "WORLD

SPORT" will be back after the break, and I'll be back at the top of the hour with much more news.