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At Least 7 Reported Killed by Russian Strike in Kharkiv; Serbia, Kosovo Leaders hold Crisis talks with EU; Trump's Long, Strained Relationship with the FBI; Chinese National Flees Repression, Seeks Asylum in U.S.; New U.S. Monkeypox Strategy; NASA Stops Spacewalk after Issues with Cosmonaut's Suit. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 18, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, London. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, a major meeting in Ukraine as Russia continues its onslaught. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and
welcome back to "Connect the World".
Well, today a major show of support for Ukraine by the United Nations nearly six months into Russia's invasion Secretary General Antonio Guterres
in Lviv meeting face to face with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy among the most urgent topics the ongoing concerns around Europe's largest nuclear
plant that Russia currently controls.
Moscow and Kyiv blaming each other for shelling near the Zaporizhzhia Power Plant, Russia's Defense Ministry has threatened to shut down that facility.
Mr. Zelenskyy is accusing Russia of committing nuclear blackmail and risking global catastrophes urging the UN to help secure demilitarize and
liberate the site.
Meantime, Turkish President Erdogan also in Lviv to discuss details on the grain export deal that he helped broker. His government says 43 vessels
with more than 600,000 tons of grain have left Ukrainian ports this month since that safe corridor opened on the Black Sea. CNN's David McKenzie
covering all of this from Ukraine's Capital of Kyiv and let's start with Zaporizhzhia. This is Europe's largest nuclear plant and it is at risk at
present. Just explain how and how dire this situation is?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Becky, the real risk according to experts I've been speaking to over the last several
days, it's not necessarily a direct strike on those nuclear facilities, but a strike on the power supply.
And today there has been more information coming from the Russian side saying that that auxiliary system has been damaged. Now to put it very
technically, but it's an important detail at least every reactor has three diesel power generators as backup, which if those fail, then you could have
a system called - a situation called a total blackout, which could lead to those reactors heating up and a possible leak or meltdown of some kind.
Those are the steps to that very bad worst case scenario. But what has been happening for several - happening for several days has been shelling in and
around that site with both sides accusing the other of doing that. It is a very murky situation.
And it's impossible to know exactly who's responsible? Now the Russians are saying they have not had heavy weapons on that site. But there has been
video evidence at the very least of them putting armored personnel carriers and trucks and other military assets inside parts of that plant.
Those meetings today are important because the President Zelenskyy meeting in particularly with UN Secretary General will be discussing the issue of
this. The UN is trying to broker some kind of operation of Atomic Energy Agency to get inside there and to ensure it's safe.
But it is worth noting and it's obvious why not the Russian - no Russian officials were at that meeting, of course. But there is at this stage no
sign the Russian authorities will allow any kind of demilitarized zone to ensure the safety of that plant, Becky.
ANDERSON: This is really important stuff. And we need to keep across this of course. Meantime, the United Nations speaking to President Zelenskyy not
just about that, but discussing the issue of grain as well what do we know, at this point?
MCKENZIE: Well, of course, that grain deal was brokered by the Turkish President and Turkish authorities between the Russians and Ukrainians. I
think they'll be looking to expand the volume of grain coming out of those Black Sea ports.
There was just more than a month ago, 20 million tons of grain held hostage by the Russian invasion, and by the threat of Russian ships and other
assets to the grain supply. But you have seen a steady flow now of ships leaving to supply all parts of the world, Becky, and I'm sure the
discussion will be how to increase that and perhaps find other level or other places for cooperation between these warring parties.
ANDERSON: That's the story with the grain. Let's just before I let you go talk about what happened overnight in Kharkiv, David?
MCKENZIE: That's right. There was a strike that the Russian said they were hitting a place where there were many mercenaries staying. Ukrainians it's
not clear if they're talking about exactly the same incident but Ukrainians were talking about an incident where several civilians were killed in a
residential area all throughout the frontline.
MCKENZIE: For many weeks now, we've had relentless strikes by missiles and rockets and artillery, and it's having a heavy toll on the population, both
the soldiers and civilians.
MCKENZIE (voice over): A coffee and a cigarette that's all Andrey asked for. After field surgeons amputated both of his legs. OK, you're a fighter.
You'll be OK they told them. I tried to stay positive and that helps me to survive.
A veteran of Ukraine's war, just nine days into this conflict Andrey was clear in cluster munitions when they exploded. It left him bowed, but not
broken. It's hard. But this is my task to stay upright, he says, and I'm doing it. Maybe I'll even return to duty.
At a rehabilitation center in Vinnytsia the soldiers often choose "Camo Prosthetics" that artisans have been doing this for nine decades, putting
soldiers back together. And the prosthetics the physical rehabilitation isn't enough.
MCKENZIE (on camera): How is the attitude or the hope for a patient important in this process?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 50/50 50 percent depends on our doctors and 50 percent depends on the soldier and his mental health. If he doesn't want
it, doctors can help him.
MCKENZIE (on camera): How do you feel about this war now? It's been many months.
MCKENZIE (voice over): I'm very sorry for the younger men who are dying in this war say Andrey. For permanent soldiers who've been going to the front
since 2014 I understand. But for the younger guys I feel sorry for them.
Russia's invasion sent 23 year old - far from home to the north eastern front. He felt proud to defend his homeland. Our orders were to push the
enemy from the front line he says. We were too close to the enemy.
Russians attack their position with overwhelming force with tanks and mortars. Yes, I'm very angry says - but first of all, I'm angry because
they attacked Ukraine. And I'm angry about my leg. Of course, it's much better when you have your own legs says Andrey. But now I understand that
the wheelchair and the prosthetics are part of my body. It's physically very, very hard. It's very hard.
MCKENZIE: This is just a small look, of course at the cost of Russia's invasion on human lives. And what is quite extraordinary Becky, is that the
doctors and nurses there say that they sometimes put prosthetics on Veterans who then go back to the front to fight that's the kind of
dedication you seeing for those defending their homeland, Becky.
ANDERSON: David McKenzie on the ground. David, thank you! Well, this hour 700,000 pounds of Russian crude oil are heading to Cuba. We aren't sure if
Russia is donating that old Cuba but it is certainly very badly needed there. The country has had blackouts and energy shortages since last week's
massive fire at its main oil storage facility.
Russia is seeking new customers of course for its energy exports because of sanctions sparked by its invasion of Ukraine. Patrick Oppmann is tracking
the developments from Havana. And he joins us now live. And what do we know about the terms of this deal and why it is so badly needed at present,
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, not surprisingly, when you've got two, maybe three countries that are under U.S. sanctions. You
know, the terms are somewhat murky, but the Cuban government says that the shipment from Russia, literally from Russia with love is a sign that this
isolated nation is not alone.
Russia, of course has more oil these days because of U.S. and European sanctions that it knows what to do with. Cuba needs the oil desperately to
keep the lights on. And they do not have the money though to pay for this oil those $70 million.
So it appears oil as analysts say the problem is Venezuela is in the middle of this deal because Venezuela has an agreement to supply oil to Cuba but
there is a shortfall in Venezuelan production.
OPPMANN: So it's possible they have promised Russia to return the shipment of oil sending Venezuelan crude in return for this shipment of Russian
crude at a later date. But certainly, Cubans are happy to hear that such a large shipment that could keep the power back on here four weeks is off the
coast of Cuba.
But it shows how difficult it will be to get the oil here because of that massive fire at the oil depot this month. The largest oil depots are the
only facility that Cuba has that super tankers can be unloaded at. So right now what it appears according to ship tracking websites and keep an eye on
this kind of thing that can give you a live look at what's happening.
It looks like smaller ships are being sent out to unload the Russian oil at sea and bring it into Cuba at ports that can handle the smaller ships
coming in. But it's a logistical nightmare to do that. Cuba doesn't have many other options. And once again, Becky that is the Russian oil that is
keeping the lights on in Cuba.
ANDERSON: And in the past, of course it would have been Venezuelan oil and the Venezuelans have their own issues. But certainly reports that the
Venezuelans are helping out at present as well. We've seen those images of the fire at that port. That is of course the main oil refinery just what
sort of impact is that having on the people of Cuba at present?
OPPMANN: A massive, massive impact. We were already having blackouts on a regular basis when this all important facility apparently was hit by
lightning exploded. Cuban firefighters rushed to the scene, some of them recruits carrying out their military service not even professional
And we know at least 16 of them die their funerals will be held tomorrow. We're told Cuba isn't carrying out two days of mourning even though the
Cuban government has said that it was a victory that Cuban firefighters alongside the Mexican and Venezuelan firefighters were able to put out this
massive, massive fire.
Of course, the damage is done, Becky, and the impacts will be felt here for a long time to come. And people are very much on edge because they know
that the energy crisis already bad is probably going to get a lot worse.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. Patrick, thank you! Patrick is in Havana for you. Well, coming up the latest on the FBI's search of Donald Trump's home. Why
Trump is considering releasing surveillance footage that's coming up stay with us?
ANDERSON: Well, wartime rivals crisis talks and mediators stepping in. No you are not back in the Balkan Circle 1999. Today the EU is scrambling to
de-escalate tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.
ANDERSON: Well, wartime arrivals, crisis talks and mediators stepping in. Now you're not back in the Balkans in1999. Today the EU is scrambling to
de-escalate tensions between Serbia and Kosovo; crisis talks were held a short time ago in Brussels.
Its worth pointing out independent Kosovo is a former Serbian province but some ethnic Serbs don't recognize the change.
And they are refusing to use Kosovo's license plates which Pristina wants to make mandatory on September the first. So, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep
Borrell has just been speaking. CNN's Scott McLean has been following this story for us.
And keeping an eye on what he's been saying like to underscore the importance of what is going on NATO promising that it will up the number of
peacekeepers in Kosovo squad and should things escalate. This is really important stuff. What have we heard today?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so look, no one going into this meeting was expecting that this would lead to a full blown normalization or
any huge breakthroughs like that.
But this meeting was sort of seen as the last best hope to at least resolve this license plate issue, which is coming up fast and furious.
It set to be reintroduced September 1, this idea what that were this law, that would mean that even ethnic Serbs, a very small minority in Kosovo,
would have to use Kosovo issued license plates, of course, they don't even recognize Kosovo as an independent country that they are actually in.
But I have to tell you, that there wasn't a lot of optimism going into this meeting. You had even before it started, you have the Serbian President
Alexander Bucha tweeting that, look, he started this conversation with Josep Borrell, the EU's top diplomat.
And he said while I am hopeful for some kind of a solution, I remain skeptical. I also want to show you the pictures from the opening or the
pool spray, as we call it, prior to the meeting these handshakes where Borrell is shaking hands with the Kosovo prime minister and then the
Serbian president as well.
And then once they walk into the negotiating room, that's the coast of our prime minister, there on the left that is the Serbian president on the
right. And notice the body language; they don't even look at each other.
You have Joseph Burrell there sort of awkwardly making small talk there. But it looks like these men are sort of actively trying to not even make
eye contact. So this is what we're up against even going into this meeting.
Bucha pointed out yesterday that look; they agree on virtually nothing, these would be difficult discussions. That's probably an understatement. So
after hours of waiting, this was supposed to be a two hour or so long meeting, it may have taken five or six hours that they were in there
because this press conference was delayed by more than four hours.
Finally, Josep Borrell came out and had something to say and this was it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEP BORRELL, HIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EU FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: And unhappily, we did not get to an agreement today. No, sorry. But it is not
the end of the story. Both leaders agreed that the process needs to continue. And the discussion will resume in the coming days. There is still
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: He says there are still time. He also said the parties themselves, those two leaders will be responsible for any escalation on the ground. He
was also, he didn't take questions, but there were some shouted at him just afterwards.
And one of them is there been any sign of progress at all? And his answer was I couldn't say exactly progress. And he said no compromise. The answer
is no. If there's good news, it's that they're going to keep talking until September 1.
They're also agreeing to meet more regularly through this EU sponsor channel to try to hammer out their issues when it comes to normalizing
relations, something we've been working on for almost a decade.
ANDERSON: These are non EU members, of course, but so as you say, these are EU sponsored talks at this stage trying to may get some movement on what is
the periphery of the European Union?
MCLEAN: Yes, that's a good point. And Serbia, by the way, would very much like to become a member of the EUs; they have all the incentive in the
world to actually get something done. Kosovo would like to be a member of NATO.
And so they also have they met with the separately with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday. So both of these men, both of these
countries, they have plenty of incentive to actually hammer out the details actually get an agreement, but there's just so much deeply entrenched
history here and you know, so much tension between them that it's going to be one heck of a challenge.
ANDERSON: Good stuff, thank you. Well, just moments ago, the longtime CFO of Donald Trump's business empire pleaded guilty to 15 years of tax fraud.
Allen Weisselberg told the court, he had not paid taxes on numerous benefits that the Trump organization had provided to him including cars,
He also agreed to testify against the Trump organization in an upcoming trial. And we could soon learn a lot more about the FBI search of Donald
Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. A federal judge in Florida will hold a hearing a couple of hours from now.
ANDERSON: Media organizations want the FBI to release details about what investigators knew about those classified documents that they were looking
for before they got search warrants.
Well meanwhile, there are reports that Trump is considering releasing surveillance footage of the FBI agents conducting the search concerns that
releasing the footage might put the FBI agents in danger. There's an awful lot going on here.
Let's pick it apart. CNN Senior Crime and Justice Reporter Katelyn Polantz is following the story for us. She's outside the federal courthouse in
Florida. What have you got?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Becky, in just about two hours, we're going to be heading into a hearing that is
about the balance between transparency and secrecy and an ongoing federal criminal investigation, not just anyone, but regarding the handling of
highly classified potentially highly classified materials that were removed from former President Donald Trump's home Mar-a-Lago just across the bridge
So what we're going to be listening to today is what the Justice Department has to say, because they are arguing for secrecy in this case. They want to
keep private, a narrative that they had written to the judge to justify the need for this search, explaining where they stand in the investigation,
what they have learned so far. Some of the reasons that they have given is that this is an ongoing Grand Jury matter that there is - they are bound to
be confidential there.
They also have been using witnesses that they want to protect. They also may want to have witnesses in the future and potentially bring charges
related to this presidential records issue, this issue of possible highly classified material being held or mishandled after the Trump presidency.
On the other side media organizations have argued for transparency in the public interest that this is a historic situation that we have not seen
before an FBI search and seizure at a former president's home.
Media organizations, including CNN did write in court that not since the Nixon Administration has the federal government wielded its power to seize
records from a former president in such a public fashion. The judge is going to take that into consideration today.
We don't know if he will roll he could roll live in court today or take it for a little bit of time to think about it. The other thing, the last thing
we're watching for here is what the Trump team is going to do.
They have not tipped their hand about whether they come down on the side of transparency, or on the side of secrecy related to this specific document,
Becky? ANDERSON: Thank you, Katelyn. Well, that search, which has sparked all sorts of threats, is the latest in a series of showdowns between Trump
and the FBI. Now the organization representing thousands of retired special agents wants political attacks against the agency are dangerous and could
incite violence, but Trump has been trashing the FBI for years. CNN's Brian Todd explains.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Donald Trump's contentious relationship with the FBI dates back to before he became president.
DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Please FBI please go after Hillary.
TODD (voice over): Those provocative days of the 2016 campaign, when Trump was relentless in his badgering of the FBI to investigate his opponents
handling of her emails.
TRUMP: The FBI did not act I have such respect for the FBI. I am so disappointed. How did they let that happen? She was so guilty.
TODD (voice over): Then from almost the moment he stepped in the White House, analysts say Trump seemed to view the FBI as his own personal
instrument of power.
GARRETT GRAFF, FBI HISTORIAN: Donald Trump, you know, up ended and tried to usurp the FBI in that spring of 2017. And that relationship has never been
TRUMP: Oh, these become more famous than me.
TODD (voice over): Soon after taking office, Trump pressure then FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into former National Security
Adviser Michael Flynn. That's according to Comey himself who claimed that Trump put the squeeze on him personally.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I got the sense my job would be contingent upon how he felt that conducted myself and whether I
TODD (voice over): Trump denied asking for Comey's loyalty, but ended up firing Comey later saying he was frustrated over the ongoing Russia probe.
JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: He wanted that investigation shut down. He saw it as a political problem. And this was
what Comey was up.
ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER ACTING FBI DIRECTOR: The morale and the FBI definitely took a hit after the firing of Jim Comey. I think that was the
watershed moment that made everybody kind of focus on this issue of the possibility that the administration was really trying to have a direct
impact on how we did our work.
TODD (voice over): Throughout the Russia instigation and afterward Trump continued to berate the FBI for how that investigation played out.
TRUMP: These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI.
TODD (voice over): Trump complained that texts between two FBI employees investigating the Russia connection were biased against it.
TRUMP: Look at these horrible FBI people talking about we got to get him out insurance policies.
TODD (voice over): But one analyst says Donald Trump wasn't alone among presidents who believe the FBI should be beholden to them.
GRAFF: That is something that has long frustrated presidents going back to Nixon and Johnson and even John F. Kennedy, that the FBI was not
necessarily loyal to them personally.
TODD: After lambasted the FBI again following the Mar-a-Lago search there are hints in recent days that Donald Trump might have softened a bit toward
the bureau telling Fox "The temperature has to be brought down" and saying he'll do whatever he can to help the country.
But many analysts are concerned that the latest battle between Trump and the FBI could be irreversible, especially if it unleashes more violence
against agents. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
ANDERSON: Well, allowing new developments in the stabbing of celebrated author Salman Rushdie, the suspected attacker has been indicted by a grand
jury no word yet on the specific charges.
His attorney says his arraignment is scheduled for a few hours from now. Rushdie is in hospital recovering after police say he was stabbed multiple
times last Friday at a literary event in New York State.
I'm Becky Anderson, you're watching "Connect the World" after this break, China dims the lights. As an intense heat wave threatens the power grid
there see what other steps the country is taking to beat the extreme heat.
Plus the number of Chinese asylum seekers has surged under Xi Jinping's administration. CNN follows the journey of one man who explains why he fled
ANDERSON: Ukraine's President is asking the United Nations to ensure security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid new warnings of a
potential nuclear incident there. Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of nuclear blackmail at the meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres in western Ukraine earlier today.
Ukraine and Russia accused each other of attacks in and around that plant. This plant of course is the largest in Europe. The Head of the IAEA says
continued fighting could lead to very serious consequences.
President Zelenskyy also sat down with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan today and with Mr. Guterres to talk about the recently implemented
Grain Deal with Russia.
ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And mega retailers, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens in
the state say they will appeal after U.S. federal judge ordered them to pay more than $650 million in combined damages over the Opioid crisis.
All three companies were found liable for their role in the Opioid prescription drug epidemic. Well, at least 26 people have been killed in
wildfires that raced through mountainous parts of eastern Algeria.
The government had to deploy Air Force helicopters to help fight those blazes. 2600 hectares of brush and trees were destroyed in those fires. In
northwestern China, at least 16 people were killed after sudden heavy rainfall led to flash flooding and mudslides.
Chinese state media say heavy rains diverted rivers in three areas flooding several towns and villages. Rescue efforts are currently underway. Well
that is all happening as China deals with an historic nationwide heat wave.
Officials are taking drastic steps to sustain power grids in the southwestern city of Chongqing, factories were ordered to suspend
operations for a week, while in the city of Chengdu dimming lights at train stations going on to save power.
Chinese planes are also taken to the sky to generate rainfall in areas where there is a severe drought. Kristie Lu Stout has more.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials across China are scrambling to alleviate the effects of a prolonged and intense heat wave. The city of
Chongqing has suspended factories for a week in a bid to save electricity.
Chengdu has put its metro system on power saving mode, and Hubei province is seeding clouds to literally make rain. This involves shooting clouds
with silver iodide rods to induce rainfall.
This is a practice that's been in place in China since the early 1940s. It was used during the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. For more than two
months, parts of eastern, South Western and Northwestern China have been enduring extreme heat. China has issued a red alert heat warning to at
least 138 cities and counties.
This is the highest warning that can be issued and it indicates expected temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. And
China has also issued in orange drought alert to at least 75 cities and counties. Chinese authorities say it is the strongest heat wave recorded
In a statement, China's National Climate Center says this, "The heat wave this time is prolonged widened scope and strong and extremity taken all
signs together. The heat wave and China will continue and its intensity will increase".
Since June the extreme heat across China has threatened livestock, it has disrupted crop growth and forced factories to shut down. In fact Sichuan
province keep manufacturing hub that's home to 84 million people has ordered all factories to shut down for six days this week to ease a Power
Crunch of the high temperatures are expected to continue in the Citron basin and large parts of Central China for at least another week. Kristie
Lu Stout CNN, Hong Kong.
ANDERSON: Well Chinese President Xi Jinping is the country's most powerful and authoritarian leader in decades. According to data from the UN Refugee
Agency, since Xi came to power in 2012, the number of Chinese nationals seeking asylum abroad has increased by nearly eight times.
In 2012 more than 15,000 Chinese were seeking asylum by 2021. The most recent data the number has jumped to more than 118,000. Repression in China
has only grown during the pandemic on the Xi's zero COVID policy driving fear and frustration and more and more Chinese yearning for a freer life.
And some of them are risking everything to chase that dream. CNN's Selina Wang spoke to one man who fled his homeland.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This wall separates Wang Qun from his American Dream. He's prepared to risk everything to climb over
illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. But unlike most of the thousands of illegal crossings a day on the southern border, he's not
fleeing poverty or violence south of the wall.
His journey started on the other side of the world. We've been following him for months during his perilous escape out of China by plane, boat, bus,
motorcycle, and on foot.
WANG QUN, FLED FROM CHINA: It's worth it no matter how much I suffer.
WANG (voice over): He ran a bubble tea shop back in China when COVID hit business tanked from constant lock downs. He left his son and daughter
behind with his parents hoping to bring them to America one day.
QUN: I couldn't make ends meet, and I have two kids to rise. I have to get out.
WANG (voice over): China's unrelenting zero COVID policy throwing authoritarianism under Xi Jinping and stifling nationalistic education
taught and his children schools pushed Wang over the edge.
QUN: In the past seven or eight years everything is going backwards. And Xi Jinping is going to get his third term. I see no hope. He's just another
version of Mao Zedong. There's no difference.
WANG (voice over): At a key political meeting this fall, Xi Jinping is set to secure an unprecedented third term as the supreme leader of the
Communist Party. He's the strong man atop a surveillance state, one that during the pandemic can control and track the movements of virtually all
1.4 billion people.
Since the start of the pandemic, China has kept its border sealed a policy the government says is needed to fight COVID-19 and earlier this year for
baited citizens from going overseas for non-essential reasons.
With China turning increasingly inward, Wang became desperate to get out. And he was set on one destination, America.
QUN: My impression of America is that it's a free, democratic, open, and vibrant country. You can accumulate wealth through your hard work.
WANG (voice over): Through online chat groups he discovered a network of people in China planning to illegally immigrate to America through Quito,
Ecuador. He applied for a language school in Quito and made it out of China in April with the school's admission letter as proof.
He started documenting his whole journey from Ecuador. He rode buses over 1000 miles to Colombia that took a boat to Panama, sharing the ride with
other desperate but hopeful migrants.
On the other side, a five day hike through Panama's rainforest, an endless walk through mud, rivers and mountains, a journey that Wang said almost
broke him from exhaustion. A brief respite at a refugee camp, then seven days of buses from Panama to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, then
Guatemala, from there, a boat to Mexico's border where police detained him for five days.
When he was released, he paid an illegal smuggler thousands of dollars to get to Mexico City. Dozens of people squeezed into the back of a truck then
packed into a van more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit inside.
In Mexico City, Wang rode a motorcycle 1600 miles to the U.S. border where we met up with him determined to make it to the other side.
QUN: The rest of my life will mainly be in the U.S. So it's a home for me.
WANG (voice over): He's just one of droves of Chinese trying to flee the country. According to the UN Refugee Agency, the number of Chinese
nationals seeking asylum has been steadily increasing until it reached a record in 2021 and most of them 70 percent were trying to get to America.
On China's internet searches for emigration started skyrocketing in March, as many struggle to get basic necessities and food during lockdowns across
the country. Discussion forums with detailed tips on how to leave China have gone viral on social media.
Immigration lawyer say inquiries from Chinese wanting to leave have searched since the pandemic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The volume of inquiries is up, get many hundreds of times then over what it previously was.
WANG (voice over): But for others like Wang, he says their only path into America is the illegal way. He ultimately made it to the other side, walked
hours in the American desert over mountains. His sneakers fell apart.
More than a month later, we met Wang in Los Angeles. In this new world, he's found the familiar temporarily settling into a community of Chinese
immigrants. He's even made a friend who crossed into America the same way he did. While he waits for a hearing on his immigration case, he's getting
a driver's license training to be a misuse and studying English every day.
QUN: In America, I can see the sunshine, I can see the sea, I can work hard for any job I like.
WANG (voice over): But he's also anxious. In the best case, it will be years before he sees his family again.
QUN: My favorite food is my mom's cooking, and I may never taste her cooking again.
WANG (on camera): How do you feel when you think about your children?
QUN: My heart hurts.
WANG (voice over): He's applying for political asylum, but if his application is rejected, he says he might ask his kids when they're older
to take the same dangerous path to America that he did.
WANG (on camera): Have you told your family where you are?
QUN: My parents don't know yet, but my son knows. I told him that there's no way out for me in China. So I came to America to make a fortune for you,
and fight for a bright future for you.
WANG (voice over): That future is uncertain. But with China in his past, he has hope of living out his American dream.
WANG: We reached out to the Chinese government to comment on our story. In response, Beijing defended the country's COVID policies and called China a
land full of vitality and hope.
Stories like Wang's, they are a smear on Beijing's narrative that China is getting stronger and more prosperous, while America is in decline. Now
Wang's journey to America it may be rare and extreme.
But we have spoken to others that are taking a similar path, including one man who illegally escaped China by walking across the border into Vietnam.
From there he flew to Ecuador, and is now taking that same long path that Wang did to the U.S. Mexico border.
In China right now there are of course, still people who support the government zero COVID policy that has kept the reported death numbers low.
But more and more are also feeling hopeless about the future of their country, a place where they see freedoms and opportunities disappearing.
Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: And I just want to flag this to you, as Selina Wang's report was airing on CNN in China. This is what viewers saw, the material in her
report was either censored or the signal was blocked.
Now most households in China do not have access to CNN. But it is available in many hotels blocking the feed often happens when CNN shows reports that
Chinese officials consider sensitive.
Well, the relentless drought that is gripping the western U.S. is threatening to dry up some of America's most essential rivers and
reservoirs and there is no plan to stop it.
The country's largest reservoir, Lake Mead has been retreating from the shoreline for decades now, at this point, it is in danger of completely
disappearing. The federal government had given Western States until this past Monday to come up with a voluntary plan to conserve the water. But
that didn't happen.
After the deadline passed, many expected the government to step in with mandated cuts. But that didn't happen either. Now no one is sure what to
do. We will get more from CNN's Bill Weir.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Desert dwellers tend to normalize drought. So sometimes you lose track of just how far the water
has dropped. But there are reminders here on the Nevada side of Lake Mead everywhere. This is where the water line was in 2008.
A far away from where the drought started in the year 2000, that's when the water line was way up the hill. But now you can see it's receded so far
down below. This, the biggest reservoir in the country is only 27 percent full.
The bathtub ring now is higher than the Statue of Liberty, just flashing red lights of warning for the 40 million people who depend on this water
system to survive. After these new round of cuts were announced they were agreed upon among the states.
But the states were hoping that the federal government would come in and sort of be the bad cop in this situation and lay down some tough new
restrictions that everyone then would have to adjust to. That didn't happen.
The politics in the United States these days are very complicated. Nobody in an official wants to shut off somebody's water these days unless they
have to. So they've been kicking this can down the road now.
One election cycle after another and there is no end in sight to this drought. It would take 10 years of heavy snowpack to recharge this
reservoir. So the only thing to do in the near term is try to preach conservation.
Maybe use federal money to pay homeowners who rip up lawns or farmers not to grow, let their fields go fallow. And let this water as much of it stay
here as possible. But that could end up in court.
Whether that is ultimately decided there are big grand promises of desalination plants online coming in California maybe infrastructure to
catch storm water and pumping underground. But these take time and a lot of money.
And in the meantime, this is evaporating drop by precious drop. And there's nothing but thirsty your days in the near forecast Bill Weir, CNN, Boulder
ANDERSON: Well, ahead on "Connect the World" the new strategy to boost the response to the monkey pox virus in the United States as cases rise there
and around the world. And later why spacewalk and International Space Station turned into a hasty retreat, that coming up after this.
ANDERSON: U.S. health officials say they are ready to expand their response to the monkey pox outbreak. Now, more than 13,500 cases have been reported
in the United States, most of them connected to sexual contact among gay or bisexual men.
But health officials stress the disease can spread within other groups from college students to daycare centers. Globally, the World Health
Organization says that monkey pox cases increased by 20 percent last week compared to the week before to nearly 40,000.
Well, CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard joining me now from Atlanta. Let's start here. How is the Biden Administration planning to expand access
to vaccines? This has been an issue to date, hasn't it?
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Exactly. But Becky just moments ago, federal health officials here in the U.S. spoken a news briefing
explaining that their next step to really combat this outbreak is to make an additional 1.8 million doses of vaccine available.
So here's what the new federal strategy is here in the U.S., again, their efforts to administer 1.8 million additional vaccine doses making those
doses available here in the U.S.
And the plan is to target vaccines to large event locations where there's high risk of monkey pox spread. And the White House also said that it's
prepositioning 50,000 courses of T pox, which is a treatment for monkey pox cases.
So when we think about this strategy, Becky, here in the U.S. the approach is to vaccinate and have treatment available to treat cases. But again, as
you mentioned, we're seeing the number of cases rise.
And so hopefully with this strategy, federal health officials are hoping that this will help get the outbreak under control.
ANDERSON: Does the administration have enough doses of vaccine available and then they've clearly just announced this, this 1.8 million? What's the
capacity here? HOWARD: Right. So with the 1.8 million federal health officials say that these doses if they're administered intradermally, that
will help meet the current need or the current demand.
And so with the vaccine, what I mean by intradermally vaccines can be administered through intramuscular injections, which you see here on the
screen, where the vaccine is delivered into the muscle.
Or vaccines can be administered subcutaneously, which is in the middle of this chart. And that's when vaccine is administered to the fatty layer
beneath your skin and typically that's how the monkey pox vaccine called Jynneos is delivered.
But with this new strategy health officials are saying if we deliver the vaccine intradermally which you see at the end of this graphic and that's
when vaccines delivered directly into the skin. Intradermal injections will require a fifth of the dose that's usually used for subcutaneous
HOWARD: So health officials say if we do intradermal injections that can help stretch our vaccine supply. And that can help us have enough doses to
meet the demand. Becky?
ANDERSON: Just very briefly just how concerned are people in the states at this point? How concerned are the authorities?
HOWARD: Right. Authorities say that with vaccinations and again with treatment, they hope to get this under control. But of course, the rising
number of cases is concerning. And when we look at the number of cases on a global scale compared with nationally, globally, you see here we have more
than 39,000 cases around the world.
Here in the U.S. we have more than 13,000 in the U.S. that 13,000 makes up about 34 percent of global cases. But here in the U.S. we only make up 4
percent of the U.S., excuse me of the world population.
So the U.S. makes up 4 percent of the world but yet 34 percent of the world's cases of monkey pox. That's why there is a lot of concern here,
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Jacqueline, thank you. Still to come a tense moment 400 kilometers above the earth, a spacewalking cosmonaut told to
drop what he's doing and get back inside.
ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World" I'm Becky Anderson for you. A wardrobe, we'll start that again, a wardrobe malfunction cut short NASA's
most recent space endeavor.
The two Russian cosmonauts at the International Space Station were in the midst of a spacewalk when they were ordered to drop everything and get back
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two cosmonauts before the decision was made to terminate the spacewalk early had completed the installation of cameras.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Both cosmonauts are OK, but let's find out what happened here, CNN Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher joining us now. There
were clearly some tense moments during that space. What do we know about what happened up there?
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky spacewalks are very dangerous event. It's the most dangerous thing that an astronaut
or cosmonaut can do other than launch or landing, and yet they trained so well for these that typically they go off without a hitch.
That is not what happened yesterday to Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev. He was a little over an hour into a spacewalk to install some cameras on the
new European robotic arm outside the Russian module of the space station when all of a sudden there were problems with the battery pack that powers
And you know these spacesuits are really self-contained units. And NASA was describing that they were having his spacesuit was having some voltage
So you know, NASA says that Oleg was never in any immediate danger but this is something that you do not want to hear when you are outside in the
dangerous vacuum of space. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alex, you must return to the airlock as soon as possible. Because if you lose power, it is not only the pump and the fan,
you will lose calm. So you have to go back Alex, drop everything and go back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER: Drop everything and go back. I mean, that has to be something that nobody wants to hear in space even if you are a very experienced
spacewalker, like Oleg Artemyev. This was his seventh spacewalk. They will finish it at a later date but for now, that spacewalk was finished early
and installing those cameras are now on hold, Becky.
ANDERSON: Well understandably so. Frightening stuff and we're glad he's OK. Thank you for that. I'm Becky Anderson with a team here with me in London
and those working with us around the world; it's very good evening from "Connect the World". CNN continues after this short break, don't go away.