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Soon: Israel's President Addresses U.S. Congress; U.S. Soldier in North Korean Custody after Crossing Border; Trump says he's Target of Special Counsel Probe; MI6 Chief: Wagner Leader Alive and at Liberty; Putin not Attending BRICS Summit in South Africa; Kerry: More Faster on Climate Crisis. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 19, 2023 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNNI HOST: This hour, the Israeli President will soon address the U.S. Congress. But first, your headlines the -- Yevgeny Prigozhin the

Head of the Wagner mercenary group has apparently been videoed returning fighters arriving in Belarus.

That's after Britain's Intelligence Chief told CNN that Prigozhin is alive and at liberty. Three days of anti-government protests begin in Kenya

frustrations are growing after unpopular tax hikes. We'll have the latest from Nairobi. The U.S. soldier in North Korean custody faced disciplinary


Prior to his border crossing, Travis King faced assault charges and spent 50 days in a detention facility in South Korea. And Michigan's Attorney

General has charged 16 people with a range of felonies for their alleged role in trying to overturn the 2020 U.S. election.

Welcome to our second hour of "Connect the World", not any moment Israeli President Isaac Hassan will address a joint meeting of Congress in

Washington D.C. that's a day often meeting with President Biden at the White House.

Relations between Mr. Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been strained with Herzog's invitation to Washington seen as a slight

aimed at Mr. Netanyahu is still waiting to receive an official invitation to meet the President. Now the White House will only say the two leaders

will meet at some point even as Mr. Biden publicly warns against the judicial overhaul plan.

The Israeli Prime Minister wants to push through the Knesset. So tonight, we ask, can Biden and Netanyahu heal relations? Hadas Gold is back with us

this hour from Jerusalem. And we've also got Kevin Liptak in Washington for us. Great to have you both on, to give us a little bit of context.

I think Hadas, let's start off with you. Look, Isaac hats off early the second Israeli President to address Congress. The last time was actually

Isaac Herzog's father, and that was 1987. I want you to give me a sense of the importance of the speech and what we're about to hear?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're watching right now floor of Congress. You can see all the members there are seated, we can see

Vice President Harris there, House Speaker McCarthy just waiting for the Israeli President to be walking in at any moment to start this historic

speech to this joint meeting of Congress.

You're right that the last Israeli President to give such a speech was his own father. The Israeli President comes from a very illustrious political

family in Israel. But actually the last leader, Israeli leader to give such a speech was actually Benjamin Netanyahu himself in 2015, when he gave that

somewhat infamous speech, railing against then negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal that speech, of course, largely seen as a slap in the

face to the Obama administration.

So Benjamin Netanyahu has a bit of a history in terms of sometimes frosty relations with American administration. So this is not the first time that

this sort of tension has been there. But for President Joe Biden, we have heard his rhetoric about this Israeli government and about their actions

lately seemingly increase in intensity, especially over the past few months.

He gave an interview with CNN calling this Israeli government under Netanyahu the most extreme in Israeli history. And now we're hearing him in

this recent interview with The New York Times columnist Thomas Freeman, essentially, putting out even broader warning on this massive judicial


The Netanyahu government is trying to push through that would completely change the Israeli Supreme Court how it operates really encouraging Prime

Minister Netanyahu to pump the brakes on this calling for compromise. Thomas Freeman, in his own words in the column even going farther,

essentially is saying that his impression of what President Joe Biden is saying is that if you don't come to a broad consensus on this judicial


If you don't pump the brakes, then you risk the relations between Israel and the United States in the future. I think what we're going to hear from

President Herzog, I can see now that the members of Congress are standing up, I think we're going to hear from him is talking a lot about this, the

history between Israel, the United States.

And how he thinks that history will endure no matter what tensions or problems may be right now in those relations.

GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, as you say, we live visuals coming through from Capitol Hill. And we can see Israeli President Isaac Herzog soccer bar to

address Congress. We've got Kevin Liptak, with us as well, as we seeing these visuals play out Congress gathered. Some progressives like Alexandria

Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar boycotting this speech.


What is they starts not everyone in that room clearly?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right and I think this address to Congress is really meant to demonstrate bipartisan support for Israel. But

obviously, these tensions do exist with some of the more progressive members of the Democratic when you see him there shaking the hand of the

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Hadas noted when Netanyahu spoke in 2015. That was with controversy as well. 53 members of Congress boycotted that speech it won't be as high this

time. But certainly those tensions and those divisions within the Democratic Party are very much on display.

As members of Congress, the most progressive members of Congress take issue with some of the policies that the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has

put forward. And I think in inviting the President Hertzog, this has been an attempt to demonstrate American support for Israel if not necessarily

American support for the government of Netanyahu.

And so it will be interesting to see how in this speech, he sort of bridges that divide, but certainly speech not without controversy here in the

United States, as it sort of drives a wedge between members of the Democratic Party, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, exactly. We're waiting for the Israeli President to commence his speech. OK, keeping a very close watch. On what we're seeing right now,

Kevin, look, with Biden being, I guess, very vocal about the judicial reforms. How do you think this is going to be addressed? Going forward? I

mean, this is seen as a snub to Netanyahu not receiving an invitation as yet.

LIPTAK: Yes, and certainly the next step in this is going to be this meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu, we don't know

where it's going to take place. We don't know when it's going to take place only that it will take place in the fall in the United States.

But certainly President Biden has been pretty forthright in his conversations with Netanyahu, about his displeasure about this potential

judicial overhaul including in their phone call on Monday, President Biden has been explicit that this kind of democratic of backsliding, as he views

it could undermine U.S.-Israel relations.

The U.S., certainly the Biden administration doesn't think it can uphold the type of relationship with Israel that it has had in the past, if it

doesn't maintain these democratic institutions. And that, of course, it's an enormous worry for the United States because Israel, of course, aside

from a stalwart, a symbolic partner, it's an important intelligence partner, important military partner.

And we'll listen to I guess, Kevin McCarthy, gaveling in this joint session, it is a rare honor for Congress to extend this invitation to

foreign leaders. The last one was Prime Minister Modi, a few weeks ago. Members of Congress also boycotted that speech. So not necessarily unusual

that you see members of Congress are declining to attend these events.

But certainly when it comes to Israel, this issue is so politically fraught, that it becomes this enormous issue when you hear members of

Congress say that they don't want to attend.

ISAAC HERZOG, ISRAELI PRESIDENT: Madam Vice President, Mr. Speaker, on November 10, 1987, I was sitting at home with my wife Michal expecting our

first child. We were watching the first Israeli President invited to address a joint session of Congress in honor of Israel's 40th Independence

Day. That President was my father.

Standing here today, representing the Jewish democratic state of Israel in its 75th year, at the very podium, from which my late father President

Chaim Herzog spoke is in the honor of a lifetime and I thank you wholeheartedly for it. I was born and raised in Israel.

But my father's diplomatic post at the United Nations brought my family to New York in the 1970s. During high school, I volunteered with the Legal Aid

Society for the elderly in Brooklyn, New York. I volunteered with the impoverished and the underprivileged elderly, including war veterans and

Holocaust survivors who gave their best years to the country they loved.


My mentor at the organization was a subtle, reserved professional. She was strictly, business. The moment she broke character has remained with me for

almost 50 years. It was the day she told me the love of her life died fighting for Israel. Her fiance at all right American Jewish boy was

inspired by the Zionist dream and the Jewish people's desire for independence.

He voluntarily boarded a ship to Haifa, fought in the Israeli military, and fell in the battle for Israel's independence just weeks before their

wedding. Although decades have gone by, and she rebuilt her life, the cracks in her heart remained. That moment in which I learned of the life he

gave for the State of Israel spoke to the very core of the bond forged between the people of the United States and the people of Israel.

How the nations we built overcame loss, how deeply our stories complement each other's, how far we've all come together. Speaker McCarthy, I thank

you for hosting this festive joint session of Congress, celebrating the first 75 years of Israel's independence.

Just a few weeks ago, during your first trip abroad as Speaker, you honor the Israeli people by addressing the Knesset in Jerusalem, the capital of

the state of Israel and the Jewish people. Your sincere expression of friendship on behalf of the United States of America truly resonated with

the Israelis. Thank you.

Vice President Harris, it is such a great pleasure to see you again. I vividly recall hosting you had the Knesset a few years back. You're

stirring remarks at the Israeli embassies Independence Day reception a few weeks ago, reflect both yours and President Biden's decade's long, ironclad

friendship with Israel.

Special thanks go to Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who first invited me less than a year ago, together with Senator Chuck Schumer. And special thanks to

their friends, Senate Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, for this bipartisan bicameral

invitation and my thanks also to the distinguished members of the escort committee, for reading me so beautifully.

Mr. Speaker, dear friends, in Jewish weddings and glasses placed on the ground, intentionally stomped on. This ritual evokes the destruction of our

temple in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, only after the glass is broken, the cause of celebration can truly begin.

Amidst the most joyous occasions in the lives of two individuals who have come together to build something whole. We recall what was once broken in

our nation. Thus, the bitter blends with the sweet, today, the Hebrew calendar points to the first day of the month of Av.

In Jewish tradition, this is a somber period in which we mourn the loss of our sovereignty. Jewish communities all over the world, lament the

beginning of our national exile, where throughout two millennia, we continuously express the --

GIOKOS: Alright, you are seeing Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressing Congress. Right now we will keep track of the speech and all his messaging

and we are also learning new details about the American soldier now being held in North Korea. Still to come, the disciplinary action he has faced.

We'll explain in a live report. Plus, a first of its kind criminal case in the U.S. what we know about the charges and the so called fake electors

plot in Michigan, we'll be right back.



GIOKOS: Story we continue to follow the American soldier who crossed the DMZ line into North Korea yesterday. And army official now says private

Travis King had faced disciplinary action prior to the crossing that includes assault charges and spending 50 days in a detention facility in

South Korea.

King was supposed to be on his way back to the U.S. shortly before he crossed the border. Joining us now from the Pentagon is CNN's Natasha

Bertrand. Natasha, what more can you tells us about Travis King?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Eleni, so we're getting a little bit more detail about the timeline here. As you mentioned,

Travis King was detained in the South Korean detention facility for about 50 days after facing assault charges for allegedly assaulting members of

the South Korean public.

So he was in that detention facility. The timeline of that is exactly that is unclear, but we know that he was released on July 10 and in between July

10 and July 17, which is when he was actually supposed to fly back to the United States to be administratively separated from the U.S. military.

It's unclear what he was doing throughout those that week or so. And then on July 18, that is when he went to that tour of the DMZ and crossed that

demarcation line into North Korea. Importantly on July 17, when he was supposed to fly back to the U.S. to Fort Bliss in Texas, he was escorted to

the airport by U.S. military officials.

But they could not actually accompany him to the gates and so they did not see him board the plane and he ultimately did not actually board that

flight. A day later, that is when we saw him take that tour and that is what he ran across that line willfully according to the U.S. military.

He was not coerced and now he remains in North Korean custody. Now, we are learning that the U.S. has tried to reach out to North Korean officials

about this, but they have not responded. The North Koreans have notoriously been silent when it comes to diplomatic outreach by the Biden


And this case is no different. So they're still trying to get in touch with the North Koreans but have not had much luck at this point. And we should

note that we have heard from Travis King's mother, who told ABC that she does not believe that this is something Travis would do.

She was very surprised by it. She had spoken to him just a few days ago when he was saying that he was preparing to return to the United States to

Fort Bliss, and that she really just wants to see him come home now obviously, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Alright, Natasha Bertrand, thank you. The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is also known as No Man's Land, Truce Village

or simply the DMZ for a closer look. CNN's Richard Quest was there a few months ago and found this report.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The two countries are separated by the DMZ, the demilitarized zone, a no man's border, 2.5 miles

wide, stretching 160 miles. I'm heading to the very heart of the zone.


The Joint Security Area correctly called the Truce Village.

QUEST (on camera): Oh my god. Wow!

QUEST (voice over): Here the U.S. and South Koreans maintain a major base with the North Korean military just over there.

QUEST (on camera): Really surreal, those gray stones actually melt the border. These gentlemen are really here to make sure we stay on the path

that --

QUEST (voice over): The South and the North are technically still at war. So this is a real military border. And despite the seeming quietness, one

of the tensest places on Earth, even this neutral meeting place, straddling north and south is designed to make sure there are no misunderstandings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These microphones are on and they are broadcasting to both sides at all times. Please don't lean on any furniture or touching

anything, but you're welcome to take some pictures.

QUEST (voice over): When then President Trump walked across the line, he added his own bit of history to a border, rife with symbolism.

QUEST (on camera): So that is the line of demarcation between the North and the South. President Trump crossed when I can walk across in here because

it's international agreement. But if I was outside, I would not be allowed. There was just an absolute feeling of what if I suddenly made a rotten

fruit when they stopped me or whatever they came out and what if?

LIEUTENANT JOHN PAUL MULLIGAN, UNITED STATES NAVY: You are running across, that'd be an incident for sure. So they are well trained to stop that. And

most of the soldiers that are stationed up here and black belts in one or multiple martial arts because you can't be armed in the JSA but you know

hands only so I personally wouldn't risk it.

QUEST (on camera): -- yes.

MULLIGAN: For me working out here feels very surreal. But I know the consequences of what we do are very real.


GIOKOS: Fascinating stuff that was CNN's Richard Quest from his visit earlier this year to the DMZ. For the first time so called fake electors

are facing criminal charges for their alleged role, trying to overturn the 2020 U.S. election in favor of Former President Donald Trump.

Michigan's Attorney General has charged 16 people with a range of felonies, including forgery and conspiracy the charges come as Trump faces new legal

troubles of his own as CNN's Paula Reid reports. He says he's the targets of the Special Counsel's criminal probe into the election aftermath.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Former President Trump defiant and railing against Special Counsel Jack Smith

during a Fox News Town Hall in Iowa Tuesday.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I got the letter on Sunday night. Think of it. I don't think they've ever sent a letter on Sunday night. And

they're in a rush because they want to interference with the election. It's election interference never been done like this in the history of our

country and it's a disgrace.

REID (voice over): Trump fuming after announcing he had received a letter from the Special Counsel, informing him that he is a target in the criminal

investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump says he was given four days to report to the grand jury and indicated that he believes

that means an arrest and indictment is imminent.

His legal team has not formally responded and sources tell CNN that they were caught off guard because they were not anticipating charges against

the Former President.

TRUMP: These are evil, people deranged -- derange.

REID (voice over): CNN has learned in recent months, prosecutors have interviewed officials from all 7, 2020 battleground states targeted by the

Former President and his allies in their efforts to overturn the election, Trump's allies on Capitol Hill rushing to his defense.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): President Trump went up in the polls and was actually surpassing President Biden for re-election. So what do they do now

weaponize government.

REID (voice over): With the threat of yet another indictment looming, Trump's lawyers up here in a South Florida courtroom Tuesday to discuss his

indictment in the classified documents case where he is facing 37 felony counts. Trump appointed Judge Aileen Cannon signaling the Justice

Department's desire to hold a trial in mid-December of this year, maybe too soon, given the highly sensitive nature of the case and the evidence that

it's based on.

She did not appear though willing to delay the trial indefinitely, saying she plans to rule "promptly". A trial starting in 2024 could collide with a

Republican Presidential primary are Trump is the current front runner, his rivals in the race now facing yet another round of questions in what could

be yet another indictment?


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I think the DOJ continues to try to find a way to weaponize its powers against the Former President.


GIOKOS: CNN Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid, there reporting for us. Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on

our radar, right now. At least 34 people were killed in a fiery crash in Southern Algeria. The country's civil defenses a bus transporting travelers

collided with another vehicle causing both to catch fire, 12 others were also injured in the accident.

In Sudan, nearly 200,000 people were displaced by ongoing fighting over just the past week. This is according to the UN. It says more than 2.6

million people have been internally displaced since the conflict began in April and more than 700,000 have fled abroad. In Thailand lawmakers blocked

Pita Limjaroenrat's bid to be nominated for a second time as Prime Minister Pita's progressive move forward party won elections in May.

Earlier today he was denied the chance after a complaint filed by the election commission accused him of violating election laws for holding

shares in a media company prohibited by Thailand's constitution Pita denies breaking election laws, the most horrible nights since the start of the

Ukraine war.

That's from the Mayor of Odesa after another Russian barrage, Moscow hedge grain terminals days after leaving a vital export deal. And CNN gains rare

access to a top spy plus, one of Vladimir Putin's biggest problems may have been spotted in public. All will be explained just ahead from the city

famous for -- and espionage.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi and you're watching "Connect the World".


Your headlines this hour, strong gain for UK stocks after an encouraging inflation report. The footsie is outperforming the rest of Europe after UK

inflation slowed unexpectedly to 7.9 percent in June. Observers say that makes it more likely that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by

only a quarter of a percentage point next month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived here in Abu Dhabi earlier; the UAE is set to be his last stop on a tour of Gulf countries. He was with

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this week; the two oversaw a deal to sell Turkish drones to Saudi Arabia. It's said to be the largest

defense contracts in modern Turkey's history.

Israel's president has been addressing a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress; Isaac Herzog calls it the honor of a lifetime. Herzog's role as

president is largely ceremonial. His invitation to Washington is seen as a slight to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet received an

invitation to meet a U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House.

Right now we're checking on what could be a major sighting. The Head of the Wagner Mercenary Group appears to be showing up in a new video greeting his

forces as they arrive in Belarus. Now CNN is trying to verify the footage. But importantly, this comes shortly after the UK's top spy told CNN that

Yevgeny Prigozhin is alive and at Liberty.

Prigozhin staged a brief mutiny against the Kremlin last month. Today MI6 Boss Richard Moore has been talking to our Nick Paton Walsh about

Prigozhin, the Russian president as well as Ukraine. That is absolutely rare access.

Nick Paton Walsh joining us now live from Prague, rare access, rare speech, rare commentary, but incredible insight about Yevgeny Prigozhin and also

just the weaknesses around Vladimir Putin and frankly, the impact that Prigozhin had on Putin.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, it's interesting that that grainy video, which it is frankly hard to tell if it

is Yevgeny Prigozhin talking in it emerged hours after comments here from Sir Richard Moore, the head of MI6, essentially saying that their

assessment had been that Yevgeny Prigozhin was floating about is the phrase he used.

And he also provided an interesting insight into what Western intelligence agencies have concluded about that June 24 weekend in which the failed

armed Wagner rebellion, tries to march on Moscow. And then concluded a deal it's seen brokered by the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko that

turned that armored column around.

Now essentially Moore said that Putin in their assessment had, "Cut a deal to save his skin". And compound that I think the view of a weak Putin

through also describing exactly the flip flopping we'd seen in terms of the Putin-Prigogine relationship during those fateful days.

Here's what he said.


RICHARD MOORE, CHIEF, BRITISH SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (MI6): If you look at Putin's behaviors on that day, Prigozhin started off, I think, as a

traitor at breakfast, he had been pardoned by supper. And then a few days later, he was invited for tea. So there are some things and even the Chief

of MI6 finds it a little bit difficult to try and interpret in terms of who's in and who's out.


WALSH: And so interesting choice of words there just to describe how much vacillation we've seen in the Kremlin and how Putin was clearly forced into

that deal now. So, Richard Moore gave this speech or a rare moment of public commentary. And part of it I think it's fair to say, confirmed what

we had publicly been hearing from the Kremlin about that failed armed rebellion.

That isn't itself startling because so much of the Kremlin's behavior occurs behind closed doors, requires analysis, interpretation is

deliberately misleading. But essentially, he's saying Western intelligence has, has looked at all that and considered that to be able to be taken at

face value.

So that in itself interesting too, but more also using the historic part of Prague here, a place which Russian tanks rolled into the last European

capitol to experience that before the invasion of Ukraine to launch a rare abnormal, frankly, appeal to disaffected Russians. Russians, who he said

may have been appalled to have seen Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

And essentially say, look, if you are in a position to have secrets that are of use to British intelligence come and spy for us. And of course, we

know and it's something he says they've had success in over the past 18 months because of the level of discontent in Russia's elite and

intelligence services but it is rare to hear that sort of thing stated openly.

And perhaps another sign that maybe they feel the weakness around Putin makes that kind of recruitment, that kind of work, possibly easier.

Interesting too Eleni to hear him refer to China's support of Russia during this war as a sign of their absolute complicity as a "Bear with Russia".

But also to suggestions from him that at the top levels of Iran remember Iran has been supplying attack drones that have often been used to attack -

- civilian targets there.


And other things towards Russia that in fact that armed supply had caused divisions at the very top of Iran's government. So interesting insights

into how the war is moving on here into the whereabouts and continued it seems existence, frankly, of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

But also startlingly to just, I think it's fair to say in his facial expressions and the way he talks about that failed armed rebellion on that

weekend. Bewilderment still too, even in a place like MI6 is exactly how chaotic and unexpected that mutiny indeed was.

GIOKOS: Fascinating details and information from MI6, Nick Paton Walsh, great to have you on the ground there. Thank you so much. Ukrainian

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is accusing Russia of deliberately attacking sites used to export grain. These grain terminals were hit in a second

night of strikes on the southern city of Odessa.

You remember just two days ago, the Kremlin pulled out of a deal that led Ukraine ships, ship its grain from Odessa's port. Several people were

wounded in the strikes. CNN's Alex Marquardt has been looking in Odessa at the devastating impact of Russia's decision to leave the grain deal. He was

there as Russian drones and missiles began coming in and he shares with us these dramatic images, take a look.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An extraordinary display of firepower as Ukrainian air defenses furiously

tried to fend off a major Russian air assault. It was the second night in a row that Ukraine's biggest port city Odessa came under Russian drone and

cruise missile attack. Tracer rounds soaring into the sky, some appearing to make contact as the sky glowed.

The second night's barrage significantly larger than the first as multiple enormous blasts echoed across the city on Wednesday before dawn. So violent

they made car alarms go off. It was a city still rattled when top Biden Administration officials Samantha Power, the Head of U.S. Development

Agency, USAID arrived in the Odessa port on Tuesday. In an exclusive interview, she blasted Russia's decision to pull out of the Grain Deal.

SAMANTHA POWER, ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The idea that Putin would play roulette with the hungriest people in the

world at the time of the greatest food crisis in our lifetimes is just deeply disturbing.

MARQUARDT (on camera): So are you still optimistic that the Russians can be brought back in?

POWER: It is going to require pressure not only from the United States and the United Nations, but from those countries in Sub Saharan Africa who will

suffer most from the higher grain and oil prices.

MARQUARDT (on camera): The Russian complaint has been that this has been one sided. Ukraine has been the only ones who have benefited from this that

they haven't been able to export their foodstuffs, their fertilizer. What do you make of that argument?

POWER: Sanctions have not been imposed on Russian food and fertilizer. The idea that Russia should benefit from a deal designed to undo the effects of

Russia's cruel and inhuman blockade against a sovereign country is absurd.

MARQUARDT (voice over): Power announced the U.S. would be giving another $250 million to help Ukrainian agriculture and investment she argues will

help stabilize global food prices as the Russian onslaught continues. Overnight and Odessa resident was trapped under a collapsed house after it

was struck by a cruise missile.

He's alive, a man says, he's breathing, just one person was hurt in the more than two hour Russian attack on this city. Military practice firing

would be Russian target at sea preparing for all kinds of attacks that with or without a grain deal Power says will continue.

POWER: If you are a bully, and an aggressor, it is always easier to lob missiles and send drones at civilian infrastructure. So I think we

absolutely should expect the worst from the Russian Federation as it continues to struggle on the battlefield.

MARQUARDT (voice over): The Kremlin had said that Tuesday's attack on Odessa and elsewhere in the South was a retaliatory strike for Ukraine's

attack on the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to illegally annexed Crimea. According to Vladimir Putin spokesman, Moscow is still looking at

other ways to respond even further. Alex Marquardt, CNN Odessa.


GIOKOS: Still to come, why Russian President Vladimir Putin's potential visit to Johannesburg has been a tricky diplomatic issue for South Africa.

And despite repeated warnings from President Ruto and his government, Kenyans are taking to the streets as the first three days of planned

protests get underway, a live report from the capital just ahead.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. South Africa's leader says Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the BRICS summit in Johannesburg next month,

ending months of speculation both sides apparently agreed to the decision. Mr. Putin's potential visit has been a tricky diplomatic issue for South


The Russian president is the target of an international criminal court arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Pretoria has faced

criticism from Western diplomats for its perceived solidarity with Moscow. South African leaders would have faced heavy pressure to arrest Mr. Putin

he set foot in Johannesburg at the BRICS summit.

CNN's David McKenzie joins us now from Johannesburg with more. Look, there's been so much talk around this, frankly, whoever I spoke to always

wondering, you know whether Putin is actually going to arrive. He's now out of BRICS. So tell me how this transpired today, David?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly it has been you're right, very much a parlor game here in South Africa,

whether Vladimir Putin would come for this critical meeting in late August here in South Africa and what the implications of that could be, because

there was a lot at stake with this decision. It is not a straightforward decision.

For months now, there has been speculation whether he would come. And because of that arrest warrant that the ICC put on Putin and one of his

allies alleging that they spirited children out of Ukraine into Russia, which amounted to war crimes, and South Africa has been placed in a very

challenging position.

South Africa has maintained since the start of the war in Ukraine that is neutral. I want you to just listen to this somewhat matter of fact, way

they made the announcement.


VINCENT MAGWENYA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN: The summit will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, China, India, and South Africa. By

mutual agreement between all BRICS Member States, President Putin will not be attending the summit. However, Russia will be represented by its foreign

minister, Minister Lavrov.


MCKENZIE: Well, just a short time ago, state media said that Putin was going to in fact join virtually to the summit. I just want to track back on

why there was this intense pressure from Western powers on South Africa. If you look back at earlier this year, there were those naval games that South

Africa hosted with both China and Russia, which came under intense criticism from Western powers.

Then the revelations coming from the U.S. Ambassador very publicly criticizing the South African government saying alleging, that there were

arms and ammunition possibly put on a sanctioned Russian cargo vessel, which went to a naval base in Cape Town, that also caused a major stir.


Then, of course, you've had South Africa repeatedly, abstaining from votes condemning Russia, in the UN General Assembly. I think that South Africa's

voice still holds a significant weight when it comes to the overall African continent.

And so this move will be potentially placating the Western powers, but also saving Ramaphosa and the South African government, a very big headache that

would have been sued if Putin had showed up. And they were by law compelled to arrest him, Eleni?

GIOKOS: Yes, exactly. I mean, really interesting point. I have to tell you, it's such a different scenario to the BRICS summit I attended in Durban in

2013. You know, the other thing that transpired today, an affidavit written by Cyril Ramaphosa saying that if Putin were to be arrested in South Africa

that would mean a declaration of war with Russia. There's been a lot of internal and domestic discussion about the ramifications of Vladimir Putin

heading to South Africa.

MCKENZIE: There has and this affidavit is somewhat embarrassing to the president that was meant to be confidential. It was in response to an

opposition party, which basically sued the government saying it needed to arrest Putin, should he show up at BRICS or at any other point, that the

judge said that that affidavit from the president of South Africa should be made public.

In it, he said that Russia "Has made it clear that arresting President Putin would be a declaration of war". The Kremlin has since clarified that

saying basically, that they wouldn't have to warn anyone, because the ramifications of arresting him would be obvious.

I think the bigger discussion here is the stance of South Africa and what it means, because this doesn't resolve the question entirely because South

Africa has much bigger economic ties with the European Union and the U.S. Some critics of the government had said, what appears to be neutral stance

in words but not actions, threatens those trade relationships as this Ukraine will go, goes on.

This will also be a problem or at least it won't be well received by the Kremlin that Putin can't come here, because they've always wanted since

this war started to show that Putin wasn't isolated from the world community. But I should put a caveat on that because next week, many

African leaders will be heading to Russia to meet with Putin at an Africa summit in St. Petersburg, so that isolation undergoes so far, Eleni.

GIOKOS: David McKenzie, thank you very much for that analysis. Good to see you. Growing tensions on the streets of Kenya, Kenya security forces firing

tear gas as some protesters tossed rocks and set fires on the first day of three days of planned demonstrations.

The country's opposition leaders have called for Kenyans to make their voices heard. In the wake of tax hikes passed last month, that would add to

the already skyrocketing cost of living. The government has repeatedly warned against protests with President William Ruto saying last week, he

"Cannot accept anarchy". CNN's Larry Madowo is following the latest from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

This is the first day of three days. Look, the opposition parties have voiced their concerns in terms of what tax hikes could mean, this is the

result. But frankly, we have to say this, the issue of tax hikes have been brewing for a very long time. And Kenyans have made themselves heard; they

cannot afford another increase in terms of cost of living.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Eleni. But I just want to, you here back to here, police -- disperse people here to say is just after

sunset here, go home, it's over. So they're using stun grenades, they're using tear gas; they've been using water cannon. Those are the trucks you

see back here, just to make sure that people go back to their homes and this comes to an end.

This is supposed to be a busy time as people are heading home after a day at work or doing whatever business they're supposed to be doing. But look

at this street, it's empty. So there might have been no major street demonstrations today. We didn't see the opposition leaders come out and

join the supporters in these demonstrations.

But they still managed to cripple a large part of the Kenyan economy. The Kenyan private alliance have said that every time these demonstrations take

place, it cost the Kenyan economy about 3 billion shillings. That's over $21 billion daily, and that's how it reflects itself in this kind of


There are Kenyans who don't support these protests, who feel that they are disruptive to their lives. Many day laborers required the daily wage, and

then you have to go to work to get something going. And yet they all agree that it's a difficult time the cost of living has increased and the cost of

fuel for instance has led to an increase in the cost of lots of other basic commodities.


So that's the reality that even those who don't support these protests don't want to go on the streets. I still agree that in the 10 months, that

President William Ruto has been the leader of the country, the life has become more expensive. So that is a reality that they have to deal with

that messaging between trying to get people to go back home, and also acknowledging the difficulty of that.

And one more thing Eleni, we've heard from the foreign secretary here in Kenya, Alfred Mutua who criticized that statement Friday from the UN Human

Rights Office that said there was widespread violence and disproportionate use of force by the police. And the private sector here in Kenya is calling

that inaccurate and misleading.

And he's saying that these opposition leaders are calling for these protests day one or three. They are economic saboteurs disguised as


GIOKOS: Larry Madowo, thank you very much for that update more now on one of our top stories. Wagner Mercenary Boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin appearing to

have made his first public appearance since leading a brief mutiny against the Kremlin last month.

A video published to Wagner affiliated accounts reports to show him greeting his fighters in Belarus. The video is grainy, and filmed in low

light, so CNN cannot indefinitely say the speaker is Prigozhin or when it was phoned as you can see right. And this is just in to CNN.

The Russian defense ministry says that all ships sailing in the Black Sea to Ukrainian ports will be considered as potential carriers of military

cargo active from Thursday. According to the ministry, the country's whose national flags fly on the vessels will be considered involved in the

Ukrainian conflict on the side of the key regime.

More details on that as we get them. You have to remember the Grain Deal now means that it's non-existent. It basically allowed for security

guarantees vessels carrying grain to be transported across the Black Sea. Now, Russia saying that any vessels will be considered to be carrying

military cargo starting Thursday.

We'll bring you more on that story as we get more information. Now ahead on "Connect the World" the U.S. climate envoys call to action at high level

climate meetings in Beijing. What John Kerry says needs to be done soon to address the climate crisis? We'll be right back.


GIOKOS: The climate crisis fueling dangerous global heat waves. It's doing a real number on Iran. The country's Persian Gulf International Airport

recorded; listen to this, a staggering heat index recently of more than 66 degrees Celsius that is about 152 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heat index measures air temperature as well as humidity. Scientists say when the air feels that hot, you start to worry about human survival.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry is in China calling for fast action to confront the climate crisis.

Kerry made China's Vice President during the third day of talks in Beijing, urging China to take additional steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate

change. His trip comes as China's President sheds more light on his Climate Plan. Xi Jinping saying the dual carbon goal we have committed to is firm

and unbreakable.


But the method and the path, the pace and intensity of achieving this goal should be and must be determined by ourselves and never subject to the

influence of others. The dual carbon goal refers to China's plan to reach peak carbon emissions by the end of the decade and carbon neutrality in 40


All Right, thank you so very much for joining us for this edition of "Connect the World"! I will be back tomorrow. Up next Zain Asher with "One

World", have a great evening.