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Top U.S. Diplomat On Middle East Mission; Israeli Forces Stage Rare Incursion In Ramallah; U.S. Cities Blanketed With Smoke. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 08, 2023 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI ANCHOR: I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi for you. The time is six o'clock in the evening. This is Connect the World.

Coming up this hour, America's top diplomat is in Saudi Arabia to strengthen ties amid rapidly shifting Middle Eastern politics.

Children are among six people injured in a knife attack in a small alpine town in southeast France. Scenes of widespread flooding along Ukraine's

Dnipro river after a dam collapse leads to vast devastation and smoke darkening the skies of northeastern America as wildfires engulfs the


Finding common ground. In the wake of longstanding policy differences, the top U.S. diplomat says his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forged a

path forward for the two nations in several important areas. He said including a call from both to repatriate 1000s of captured ISIS fighters

from camps in northern Syria.

Antony Blinken talked at a meeting of the International anti-ISIS coalition in Riyadh a day after sitting down with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Blinken's presence in the kingdom did not deter the crown prince from already a phone call today with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alex Marquardt is connecting us this hour from Washington. What do you make of what we have just heard, and I just want our viewers to know that Antony

Blinken is actually as we speak, holding a news conference. We're listening in, and we will report on that as we get more. Alex.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky that just got (inaudible) underway. Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State,

speaking alongside the Saudi foreign minister, his counterpart, at the culmination of three days of meetings in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The stated

goal was multi-pronged to essentially get the relationship with -- with Saudi back on more solid footing to meet with GCC foreign ministers and

then also have meetings on what is called the de-ISIS campaign are essentially the efforts to fight ISIS.

On that Antony Blinken said that the U.S. would be contributing around $150 million towards the de-ISIS campaign. And he did notably, as you just

mentioned, say that countries should focus on repatriating ISIS fighters. He put a number on it, he said there's some 2000 fighters who are being

held from countries that are not Iraq and Syria, who should be repatriated lest they, that they could again, take up arms and attempt to restore ISIS.

So, the State Department is going to say that progress has been made on all of these different fronts. But Becky, you did note that phone call between

the Crown Prince and Vladimir Putin and that really was quite remarkable, because it came just hours after MBS as he's known met with the Secretary

of State.

And it really did highlight the fact that this has been a rather frosty relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States, really, since the

beginning of the Biden administration. President Biden coming into office after having said that he would make Saudi Arabia the pariah that it is

when he was on the campaign trail.

And right away the intelligence community under President Biden, saying that MBS was responsible for the murder, the dismemberment of The

Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, so it was, the relationship was immediately off to a very rocky start. And then reality set in.

The JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal completely fell apart, and has remained so and so the U.S. needs Saudi as a bulwark against Iran. And then you had the

Russian invasion of Ukraine, which really upended the energy markets and of course, the U.S. is reliant on Saudi, stabilizing the energy markets.

And in that phone call between MBS and Vladimir Putin, the two of them praised the economic and trade ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and

praised the cooperation on OPEC, which has just announced that it will continue to cut oil production, which of course, will cause oil prices to

go up, which helps Russia and it will also cause gas prices to go up, which hurts the United States.

So, there may have been some progress in terms of the actual conversation happening between the United States and Saudi Arabia. But it is very clear

that the two countries are a very long way from fully mending those frosty ties, Becky?


ANDERSON: Yes and the kingdom, let's be clear, will explain that call with President Putin as, as normal business. MBS has made no bones about the

fact that the kingdom is maintaining relations with Russia, and indeed, with Ukraine at this point, and has played a role in mediating the release

of hostages, of course, on both sides of that conflict.

But it's interesting to note, as you say that this, this visit is likely to have gone some way but not all the way to fixing a relationship that let's

remember has -- has been fraught since what, 2018, before that.

And during the Trump administration, the relationship could not Alex have been better. It was transactional. That's how Donald Trump as president

then wanted it to be, and that suited the Saudis. How important is it for this Biden administration, given that it's got, what 16 months or so left

or 18 months or so left, that they really re-establish relations and ensure that they are on a good footing?

Because it certainly feels at this point, as if the kingdom has the upper hand.

MARQUARDT: Well, certainly, I think if you ask the Saudis in terms of that timeline you just mentioned, they would hope that there are only some 18

months or a year and a half left of this Biden administration. It is lost on no one, that the relationship between the crown prince who is of course,

the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, and President Biden is very sour.

We saw that on full display last year when President Biden wouldn't -- he wouldn't even give the Crown Prince a handshake, they had that infamous

fist bump. And that was a major effort by the Biden administration to get this relationship back on track because it is so important for the United


The security and stability of the Middle East really hinges in a large way on Saudi Arabia. The -- they're -- one of the main things that the U.S. and

specifically Secretary Blinken has been trying to push with regards to Saudi Arabia right now is the normal -- normalization of ties with Israel.

Of course, you have the Abraham Accords that were forged by the Trump administration, a victory for diplomacy that the Biden ministration

acknowledges and would like to extend to Saudi Arabia.

So there have been talks on that during this visit to Saudi Arabia by Blinken, but the U.S. is certainly realizing that they couldn't marginalize

Saudi Arabia in the way that they wanted to. It's certainly they need. They need that security cooperation, because they need Saudi to help with Iran.

They need Saudi to help with the war in Yemen, which, of course, you know, Saudi is waging themselves. There's also the fear of China moving into the

region. China, of course, just brokered that -- that deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish ties. So, the U.S. is now trying to reassert

itself and really get this relationship back on track because the intentions that they came into power with, into office with, frankly, did

not pan out, Becky.

ANDERSON: Alex, good to have you. And we will monitor what is going on in Riyadh. And as we get to that news conference between those two foreign

ministers, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan. Well, we will bring that to you of course.

Well, six people including four kids have been wounded in a knife attack on a playground in southeast France according to police. The male suspect

identified in this photo by authorities was taken into custody shortly after the incident earlier today.

They say he is a Syrian asylum seeker and his motive for attack is unclear at this point. This is the area in Antsy where the attack occurred and

French President Emmanuel Macron calling the suspects actions cowardice and says the nation is in shock.

CNN's Melissa Bell, joining us now from Paris, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: What we've been learning Becky over the course last hour through a press conference at which the French Prime

Minister spoke so too, did the local prosecutor, we learned more as you said about the man's identity, the Syrian asylum seeker who had gained

asylum in Sweden, asked for it in France, had it turned down because he already had it inside the European Union.

That is what we know about him. We've also been learning much more tragically Becky much more about the very young victims of this

particularly brutal and frenzied attack. They were 22 months, two two-year olds, one three-year-old amongst the victims, two adults as well. Some of

them are said to be between life and death.


And there is this footage taken by bystanders that is particularly chilling to watch where you see the man go on this rampage, and very deliberately

sort of push the adults out of the way to try and attack the children. It is very difficult to watch what precisely was behind his mind as he

undertook this is unfair. French authorities are suggesting in the French press that he had no psychiatric known conditions, there was no reason to

suspect he might go on the rampage.

He was not on anybody's radar. Neither French intelligence services, nor anyone else had no criminal records behind him. There was no reason to

imagine that he would act in the way that he did. And we're still trying to work out exactly what happened. Another word on the young victims, Becky,

they were not all French citizens.

There was a British and a Dutch child amongst them, but extremely shocking scenes. And all the harder I think, for France, that this kind of thing

just doesn't really happen in this country very often, the gun laws are such that there are tragedies that we tend not to have to deal with here in


What we have seen over the course last few years, of course, with these terror attacks, you have to go back to 2012 and Mohammed Merah's going on

the rampage, picking off that wave of terror attacks we had here in France, when he took on a Jewish school, three young children had been killed.

And since then, those terror attacks have really receded. There is no suggestion that this is one of those by the way. French anti-terror

investigators are keeping an eye but have not been seized in this case at all, Becky.

ANDERSON: Melissa, thank you. Well to Ukraine now, and officials reporting that at least eight people have been injured as Russian forces target

evacuations in Kherson. Both Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling as rescuers rushed out people escape the flooding from a dam collapse.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, visiting the region and meeting with aid workers earlier today.

Meantime, Kremlin officials say Russian forces have repelled for Ukrainian attacks in southern Zaporizhzhia. Region CNN cannot independently verify

those claims. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Zaporizhzhia and he joins us now. What do we know at this point?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky, but it is all still quite murky. But it certainly does seem as though the

Ukrainians have been launching more attacks, possibly probing attacks on Russian forces in the Zaporizhzhia region.

And you've already mentioned that the Russians are sort of making a big deal out of this saying that there were several these attacks from four

different directions as the Russian Defense Ministry put it, and they say that they managed to beat all of those attacks back saying we destroyed a

lot of Ukrainian armor, and that a lot of Ukrainians were killed in all of that as well.

Now from the Ukrainian side at this point in time, we don't have any information whatsoever. That's sort of in line with how the Ukrainians have

been conducting themselves over the past couple of days. Of course, you'll remember this past weekend, they actually put out a video even saying that

they were not going to announce when their big counter offensive will have started, saying their plans need to remain silent.

So that certainly seems to be something that the Ukrainians are adhering to. Nevertheless, even from our vantage point here that we have, we can

hear a lot of shellings that seems to be going on, a lot of outgoing fire, we're hearing some incoming fire as well. That's something that really went

on through the course of pretty much all of last night.

So, it certainly does seem as though there's a big uptick in action on the battlefields here in South Ukraine, and also towards Southeastern Ukraine

as well. Whether or not this is the big counter offensive or whether or not these are larger scale probing operations, as experts would call them,

whether the Ukrainians are trying to see whether they can find holes in Russia's defenses or weak spots in the Russian military's defenses and

trying to break through those that at this point is unclear.

The Russians, by the way, also saying that they have managed to take out a Western German provided radar for an air defense system as well, that

obviously would be a big coup for the Russians. That of course also has not been confirmed by the Ukrainians yet either.

Nevertheless, the bottom line seems to be that right now, here on this front, it certainly seems to be becoming one of those real epicenters of

the fighting here in Ukraine. But right now, the Ukrainians very much seem to be on the offensive while the Russians of course, we know Becky in this

area are very, very well dug in, they have some pretty strong defense positions.

So, it's going to be interesting to see what the next couple of days bring from the Ukrainians not hearing much but the Russians really are, are going

big on all of this. In fact, even the Defense Minister came out and talked about the fact that the Russians claim that they have repelled these large-

scale attacks that they've had over the past hours, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred Pleitgen on the ground for you as many other of our colleagues both in front of the camera and behind the scenes keeping you

constantly up to date with what is going on in Ukraine.


Well, Israeli forces staged a rare large-scale incursion in Ramallah earlier. That of course is the seat of the Palestinian Authority. The

official Palestinian news agency WAFA says that more than 100 Israeli military vehicles moved in overnight, they blew up the home of man accused

in a pair of bombings in Jerusalem.

The raid prompted clashes the Palestinian health ministry says at least six were wounded including a Palestinian journalist. CNN's Hadas Gold joins us

from Jerusalem with more and what makes this so significant is that it is so rare to hear us reporting on you know, an incursion into Ramallah of all

places just -- just describe to us how consequential this is all might be.

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, we often hear especially in the past, you know, year and a half or so the Israeli military rating

places like Jeanine, like Nablus, which are known to be militant strongholds, but for Israeli forces to enter Ramallah, which is the seed of

the Palestinian Authority.

This is where the President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has his residence and his offices, to have them entering Ramallah with more

than 100 vehicles, it is quite a significant event. But from the Israeli perspective, it goes to show you the significance of which they saw their

target. Now their target was to demolish the home of the man they say was behind those twin bombings in Jerusalem in November that killed two people

and injured dozens of others.

Those bombings that we have the likes of which Jerusalem and Israel especially had not seen in several years. And so overnight, we're hearing

that more than 100 Israeli military vehicles entering Ramallah in order to demolish this home. This was actually on the first floor of an apartment

building. So, they didn't demolish the entire building, they demolished from the inside this home and we do see some dramatic footage from the

Israeli military of them demolishing this home.

And this is something that is really military often does to the homes of suspects or of attackers. They see this as a deterrent. But of course, when

they entered Ramallah, they clashed with hundreds of locals who were there, who the IDF says threw things like Molotov cocktails and stones at them.

The IDF of saying that they responded with live fire and rubber bullets. We know of at least six people who were injured, some of them with live fire,

some of them with rubber bullets, including at least one journalist, a cameraman for the Al Araby television channel.

Now footage that we're seeing from him being loaded into stretchers and from people who were there say that he was wearing gear that identified him

as a member of the media. It's not clear if it was protective gear. It's not clear if he was wearing a helmet, but he was wearing something that

identified him as press.

Now, Palestinian health authorities say that he was shot in the head with a rubber bullet, he has a skull fracture, but he is in stable condition. Now

I will read you what the IDF said in response to this report. He says they did, the details of the incident are under review. They said the IDF makes

every effort to prevent any harm to non-combatants during operational activity and to allow freedom of movement and the press.

They also say that this happened in the area of violent and crowded riots. Obviously there's a lot of sensitivity around the Israeli military and the

press, of course, after what happened to the very famous Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Now in terms of the house and what happened to the house of the suspected bomber, Prime Minister, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohamed

Shtayyeh sounding very defiant saying every house demolished by the occupation he says will be rebuilt. Becky.

ANDERSON: Hadas Gold reporting for you. Thank you. Well, orange skies blanketing parts of Canada and the, excuse me, eastern U.S. Just as the air

quality warning millions face as hundreds of wildfires continue to burn. And Mike Pence sharpens his attacks on his old boss after announcing that

he is running for America's top political office. More on that is after this.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. 20 past six here in Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World broadcast from our programming hub here in the UAE.

Millions of people across Canada and the United States, the eastern seaboard of the United States are being warned about going outside. Now


Well, this comes is thick smoke from Canadian wildfires continue to blanket the region. It's from the more than 430 wildfires burning across Canada,

the fires and smoke, turn skies orange as you can see here in New York City and forecasts indicate that this may take days for the smoky air to clear.

CNN's Athena Jones is joining us in New York and just explain if you will, from your own standpoint, just how bad are things.

ATHENA JONES, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in New York, this smoke situation has abated somewhat, it's about -- the air quality index is about

where it was this time yesterday. But it's still -- it's still unhealthy. It's at an unhealthy level. That's especially bad for sensitive groups

folks who have respiratory issues the elderly, very young children.

And officials have warned that conditions could worsen again later today, just like they did yesterday. And we should note that the bulk of the smoke

that hit New York is now expected to shift South affecting Baltimore and Washington DC.


JONES: From New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very, very scary just walking down the street and feeling like we're going to have an asthma attack.

JONES: To Lansing, Michigan.

BRYAN SMYTH, LIVES IN LANSING, MICHIGAN: I've noticed a little bit of a difference, you know, with being able to breathe or a coughing more.

JONES: To Washington DC and even as far south as Raleigh, North Carolina, unhealthy air blanketing a large swath of the United States.


JONES: From over 400 active wildfires burning in Canada as of Wednesday afternoon, more than half of them determined to be out of control.

According to the Canadian Interagency forest Fires Center.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Last year and this year, the worst wildfire season we've ever had right across the country.

JONES: Canada's wildfire season got off to an intense start in May. And it's unusual to see so much destruction this early. It picked up

aggressively this month, largely and quit back. More than 9 million acres have burned in Canada so far this year. 15 times the normal amount.

Smoke from those fires traveling hundreds of miles affecting cities all across New York state.

KATHY HOCHUL, NEW YORK GOVERNOR: This is the worst air quality we've experienced in over 20 years. This is hard to breathe right now.

JONES: Governor Kathy Hochul said New York State is making 1 million N95 masks available to the public due to ongoing poor air quality that could be

harmful for everyone, or even hazardous for some.

ZACHARY ISCOL, NEW YORK CITY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMISSIONER: I know that times like this can be scary. It can be shocking for many New Yorkers when

you step outside, when you smell and breathe this air.

JONES: New Yorkers being urged to stay indoors as much as possible. Because particles and wildfire smoke can infiltrate the lungs and enter the

bloodstream. Too much smoke inhalation has been linked to conditions like asthma and heart disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best protection is to avoid being outside until the air clears.

JONES: Officials warning the smoke will continue to impact much of the East Coast until at least the weekend.

ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK MAYOR: I want to be clear while they may be potentially for significantly improved conditions by Friday morning, smoke

predictability that far out is low.


JONES: And so, it's difficult to know when all of this is going to end for good but as one of our CNN meteorologist put it, this is something we could

be dealing with off and on throughout the remainder of the summer. One reminder the fire season in Canada is really just getting underway, Becky.


ANDERSON: Thank you. Athena Jones on the story for you. Shifting to U.S. politics and a possible precursor to charges being filed against the former

President Donald Trump. Sources telling this network CNN, federal prosecutors have informed Mr. Trump's legal team that he is the target of a

federal investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.

Now this is a sign that the Special Counsel may be closer to recommending an indictment although it is still possible that Trump may not be charged.

But of course, he's now running for a second term against his own Vice President Mike Pence, who was asked whether Trump should face charges

during last night's CNN Town Hall.


MIKE PENCE, U.S. REPUBLICANS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're the emblem of democracy. We're the symbol of justice in the world and the -- the serious

matter which has already happened once in New York, of indicting a former president in the United States sends a terrible message to the world. I

hope the DOJ thinks better of it and resolves these issues without an indictment.


ANDERSON: Well, that townhall followed by Mike Pence's formal announcement earlier in the day, that he is in fact running for president. And CNN's

Kyung Lah reports, Pence is now forced to go after Donald Trump directly without going too far. Have a listen.



PENCE: I'm running for President of the United States of America.

LAH: The former Vice President taking Donald Trump head on.

PENCE: I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the constitution should never be President of the United States. And anyone who asked

someone else to put them over the constitution should never be President of the United States, again.

LAH: It's a message resonating with Iowa Republicans tired of the Trump drama.

JOSH STEUTERMAN, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: many that I've spoken to don't need the distractions that game with other candidates that they're looking

forward to finding solutions.

LAH: It's here in Iowa that the Pence campaign begins their persuasion campaign, selling a familiar brand at the Republican Party to an electorate

reshaped by the former president.

J.C. RUDDY, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: So not that that Mike Pence if you were to get elected could do a good job. I just don't think he can do as good a

job as Donald Trump.

LAH: In his kick-off speech, Pence touted the successes of the Trump administration. But suggested that the former president has moved away from

conservative principles. And when Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative. Together we did just that.

But today, he makes no such promise.

LAH: Pence called out the former president stances on entitlement programs. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and abortion policy.

PENCE: Sanctity of life has been our party's calling for a half a century, long before Donald Trump was a part of it. Now he treats it as an

inconvenience, even blaming our election losses in 2022 on overturning Roe v. Wade.

LAH: It will be a tightrope for Trump's former VP to walk, once a loyal lieutenant in his administration.

PENCE: I'm deeply humbled as your Vice President, a political tie broken on January 6, over election lies.

CROWDS: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.

PENCE: President Trump was wrong then. And he's wrong now.

LAH: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his presidential bid, Tuesday kicking off his campaign with sharp attacks against Trump too

telling CNN today.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. REPUBLICANS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He disappointed our party. He disappointed the country. And that's going to be the focus of

this campaign.

LAH: The Republican field continues to expand with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also entering the race today.

DOUG BURGUM, U.S. REPUBLICANS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: where we come from when something isn't working, you stop and you try something new. That's

common sense. Joe Biden has got to go.

ANDERSON: Kyung Lah reporting for you. With America's crypto crackdown continues, the CEO of Coinbase sits down with one of my colleagues to give

his side of his story. That is up next.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi and you are watching Connect the World. Here are your headlines this hour. A surge in

trade between China and Russia. Chinese customs data showing nearly $94 billion in bilateral trade between the two nations from January to May of

this year and that is a more than 40 percent increase over the same period in 2022. China's trade with most other nations has fallen over the past


The International Committee of the Red Cross evacuated 280 children from an orphanage in Khartoum in Sudan on Wednesday, The ICRC obtained security

guarantees from both warring parties to get through the safe passage to a city south of the capital. These kids will be placed in the care of the

Sudanese Ministry of Social Development.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to sit down in the next hour with the U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. It will be Mr.

Sunak's first official White House meeting since he became Prime Minister. He is looking to forge stronger economic ties with the U.S. but a bilateral

trade deal once discussed with the previous administration does remain on ice.

Coinbase, America's biggest crypto exchange is in hot water with regulators. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC for short, is

suing Coinbase for allegedly acting as an unregistered broker.

Now regulators say that the company has evaded the mandatory disclosures and consumer protections that come along with registering and the game is

now up. Well, Matt Egan spoke to the CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong after this suit was filed, and he -- he did actually have some quite surprising

things to tell you.

What did he have to say and how significant it is what has happened with Coinbase to the sort of wider crypto stories it were, Matt.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Becky, it is very significant to the wider crypto story. I mean, for really years crypto has operated in the United States in

kind of a regulatory no man's land, and Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase. He told me that for years, he and his company were basically

begging regulators for clarity, and he says they were met with silence.

So Coinbase's argument is effectively if there was no rulebook, how could we have broken the rules? Of course, the SEC says otherwise. They say that

Coinbase knew they were running afoul of federal securities laws. And they forged ahead anyway. Listen to what Brian Armstrong had to say about that.


BRIAN ARMSTRONG, CEO, COINBASE: We started to see conflicting statements from the CFTC chair and the SEC chair. We tried to engage with the SEC. We

tried to come in and register, we tried to actually, we acquired a broker dealer license, it's still dormant, we haven't been able to get it


We even formally petitioned the SEC for clarity around a bunch of rules and unfortunately we were just met with silence. We never got any feedback from

them. We never found a path to register and so when they came in and shared with us that they believe every asset in crypto is a security other than

Bitcoin, you know, it kind have made the decision easy. We have to go to court to go challenge us because that's not what the law says and also if

that were to be the case, it would mean sort of the end of the crypto industry in the U.S.


And so, we feel like this is an opportunity for us to avail ourselves of the court to get some case law created, that finally starts to bring

regulatory clarity, since the SEC is not providing it.

EGAN: So, you wanted to get sued?

ARMSTRONG: No, but our first choice would be just to have the regulator publish a clear rulebook, you know, that's, that's how it supposed to work.

They publish the rules, and we all follow them. But if they're not doing that, you know, then the court is the next best option to go, get some


And the other big option we have, by the way, is Congress. You know, Congress, I think generally is aligned now that there needs to be more

clear regulation in the U.S. around crypto to protect consumers, but also preserve the innovation potential. And there we've already seen, for

instance, Europe has passed comprehensive legislation, the UK is moving there.

You know, Singapore is moving there. Hong Kong. Basically, the U.S. is falling behind. And I think Congress recognizes this. We just saw, for

instance, a draft bill come out last week from McHenry and Thompson, that starts to clarify this role between the CFTC and the SEC.

So, I think we'll get clarity one way or another. It's going to be the courts. It could be the Congress passing the legislation, or it could be,

you know, 2024 elections, something changes there that we finally get to that in the U.S.


EGAN: Now Coinbase has signaled that one of its arguments in court is going to be calling out the fact that the SEC actually allowed the company to go

public just two years ago without flagging any concerns. That's something that Armstrong brought up to me during an interview, but some securities

experts, they are pushing back on that logic.

I talked to Adam Levitin, he's a Georgetown Law professor. And he called this a -- this argument a head fake. He said, just like how if you get a

title for your vehicle, it doesn't mean that your vehicle can also pass an emissions test. He says that the SEC greenlighting an IPO doesn't mean that

the company hasn't violated any securities laws.

So, we'll see where the courts come down on this but Becky clearly Coinbase and the broader crypto industry, they want clarity they want it from the

courts. They want it from politicians they want it from regulators.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you. You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Ahead in your sports news, a surprise moved by a

football legend, Lionel Messi is preparing to head to Major League Soccer, where he'll be playing and what it will mean for football in the United



ANDERSON: Well, in the world of movies, remaking any classic tale can be challenging. You want to stay true to the story that people know love while

of course freshening it up somewhat. Although the new remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid is doing well in some markets, it is tanking though in

parts of Asia where many people object to its Black star. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more for you now from Hong Kong.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Little Mermaid is dramatically underperforming in China and South Korea amid racist critiques like actress

Halle Berry has been praised for her star making turn as the main character Ariel, but apparently it's not enough to win over certain would-be viewers

in China and South Korea who can't get over the fact that Disney cast her in the role.

The film has found success in many countries around the world. According to comScore, the film has made $327 million globally but China, the world's

second largest box office has contributed a paltry amount. According to Ent data. This is the Chinese box office tracker.

In Mainland China, the film made only $2.7 million in its first five days and compare that to Spiderman across the Spider Verse, which brought in

nearly $20 million in the first five days of opening. Now some in Mainland China have shared their objections online.

One that is in on Maoyan, it's a Chinese Box Office platform, said that the fairy tale that I grew up with has changed beyond recognition unquote. And

Chinese state media has encouraged such reactions. In fact, an Op-Ed published right before the film's debut in China, in the Global Times said

this quote, the controversy surrounding Disney's forced inclusion of minorities and classic films is not about racism, but its lazy and

irresponsible storytelling strategy, unquote.

Disney declined to comment. Similar reactions have been found online in South Korea, with one user saying the movie had been quote ruined, along

with the hashtag not my Ariel. According to the Korean Film Council in South Korea, the Little Mermaid attracted some 472,000 viewers in its first

week and compare that to the nearly 643,000 fans that showed up for the latest Fast and Furious sequel over the same period. Kristie Lu Stout CNN,

Hong Kong

ANDERSON: Well, say it with me now, Messi to Miami, sort of rolls off the tongue, don't you think? The man widely regarded as the greatest football

player of all time, or the GOAT is set to head to South Florida and to the MLS or Major League Soccer, jacking up excitement along with ticket prices.

Joining me now is Patrick Snell. We had a discussion about this story. And it was quite a surprise announcement, someone thought that he would go back

to Barcelona, someone thought he would go to Saudi, he is going to MLS and some people on my team had suggested well, this is just another, you know,

has been footballer -- footballer at the end of their career, getting into MLS and this is actually not particularly good for the game of soccer in

the United States.

I disagree. What do you think?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I totally agree with you. I mean, yes, that's -- this is fantastic news, I believe, for Major League Soccer here

in the United States. Look, they've got the Men's World Cup coming over here in 2026, along with Canada and Mexico, these are boom times. He does

turn 36 years of age later on this month, Becky, but he's still a magnificent player. He transcends the sport. And there is so much to him. I

tell you what, one little nugget for you. The Instagram account of Inter Miami went from 1 million followers to 5 million followers in the space of

24 hours after the news broke.

That speaks volumes. More on World Sport in just a short while. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Can't wait, that is World Sport with Patrick Snell now for you today. Taking a very short break. I'll be back top of the hour for