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Spanish Prosecutor's Office Opens Rubiales Investigation; Spain's Football Holding "Urgent" Meeting; UAE Records Hottest Day of the year, 50.8C; Zelenskyy: Elections still Possible in Ukraine Next Year; Protest Erupt in Libya after Libyan Foreign Minister Met with Israeli Counterpart Last Week; Simone Biles Wins Record 8th U.S. All-Round Title. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 28, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation a Football Federation Chief Luis Rubiales that

could lead to sexual aggression charges for the kiss he gave to Player Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup. We'll be updating you on that in a few


Firstly other headlines this hour Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he is hoping elections can be held next year as scheduled although he

added a caveat that it will be difficult while the war is ongoing.

In Georgia in the U.S. Ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is attempting to move his state case to federal court. We will see the

strength of District Attorney Fani Willis' case against Former President Donald Trump.

At the same time in Washington the judge weighing the arguments over the start dates of Donald Trump's federal trial. And in Jacksonville, Florida

the manifesto of a 21-year-old shooter shows his killing of three black people was racially motivated. The attack is being investigated as a hate


Well, wherever you're watching in the world it is a very warm welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson for you. Luis Rubiales is in hot

water. The Spanish Football Federation Chief will now be investigated by the Spanish prosecutor's office for his unwarranted case of player Jennifer

Hermoso following her team's World Cup win.

Because of this more than a week after that historic triumph over England, it's not football we're speaking about. The victory overshadowed by an

unwanted and unwarranted kiss in the aftermath of the game. Players and fans across the world have shown their outrage on social media and on the

pitch. Hermoso's teammates are refusing to play again for Spain until Rubiales quits or is removed.

Well instead, the Spanish Football Federation has so far been standing by its man ignoring the requests of its World Cup heroes. So tonight we ask

when women will be heard by football's leadership. Well, news of the investigation against Rubiales coming as Spain's Football Federation holds

what it describes as an urgent meeting presumably to discuss Rubiales' future. Atika Shubert looks at how all of this reached this point and what

may happen next.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Euphoric celebrations for an historic Women's World Cup quickly turned into a moment of reckoning when

Luis Rubiales President of the Spanish Football Federation planted a forceful kiss on player Jennifer Hermoso doing the medal ceremony in


The kiss she later said she had not consented to. Facing domestic and international criticism Rubiales was pressured to resign but he defiantly

refused. He double down saying the kiss was consensual to the applause of men in the room.

LUIS RUBIALES, ROYAL SPANISH FOOTBALL FEDERATION PRESIDENT: Do you think I have to resign? Well, I'm going to tell you something. I will not resign.

SHUBERT (voice-over): Hermoso issued her own lengthy response which said the kiss was not consensual at all. I felt vulnerable and a victim of an

impulse driven sexist out of place act without any consent on my part she wrote.

Since then, FIFA the world's governing football body provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days and the Spanish government has submitted a

complaint to its sports tribunal, a step towards suspending him. What was first a national embarrassment now threatens international repercussions,

but could well become a turning point for women athletes in Spain.

TANIA VERGE MESTRE, MINISTER OF EQUALITY & FEMINISM, CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT: Clearly, his attitude has been a demonstration of what female

players have to endure in professional sports, but not only also in their daily lives. We have all been subjected to these different forms of

harassment in our workplace, this force kisses, the groping the touching, the demeaning so this is why women from all fields are sending their


SHUBERT (voice-over): Hermoso and her teammates said they will not play for the national team until Rubiales is removed in a statement signed by nearly

50 athletes. Spanish Football Clubs unfurled their support in games over the weekend we are with you banners red.


SHUBERT (voice-over): We're all Jennie. Spain's women players are proving that they are winning hearts and minds both on and off the pitch.


ANDERSON: Well, Atika Schubert reporting there. World Sports Amanda Davies is with us from London to discuss this. You've been speaking to your

sources and you've been reporting on this story. I wonder you must be considering as I am why there hasn't been a greater stand for Hermosa?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Yes listen, FIFA world football's governing body will say they are letting their actions do the talking. They

are the ones who took the decision to open disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales and provisionally suspend him for 90 days.

As Atika rightly pointed to there, we've had the players speaking out that is something we need to remember that they and many around Spanish Football

have done not for the first time this week. They were the 15 who wrote the letters months ago, raising concerns about the treatment.

The management structures the respect they were getting, and they were brushed under the carpet. It's something that the Spanish women's players

raised in 2015 after the World Cup, and then it was something that was waived back in 2011.

This has happened time and time and time again. We have now got to the point that the Spanish federal authorities, the prosecutors, as you

mentioned have now opened proceedings. They've said they want to speak to Jenni Hermoso and inform her of her rights as a victim of an alleged crime

of sexual aggression, as they put it.

But the Spanish Football Federation themselves up until this point have stood by their man. And perhaps more importantly, European Football's

governing body UEFA has said nothing. Luis Rubiales has been the head of Spanish Football since 2018 prior to that, he was Head of the Spanish

Players Association.

He is a fifth -- UEFA Vice President reelected only in April this year. There has been nothing from UEFA. And at that point, you have to say this

is football politics once again coming into play. We know he is one of the closest allies of the UEFA President Ceferin.

We have the UEFA Congress meeting being held in Madrid next year, the annual meeting is being held in February in Madrid. We know there is a lot

of pride about the fact that Spain is part of the bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup alongside Portugal and Morocco.

That is really high stakes for not only people in Spain, but also people at European football's governing body. So that is a lot of the background.

That is why a lot is perhaps being said behind closed doors, but not publicly. And that is why there is so much unrest.

People feel the stakes are too high to come out and perhaps say what they want but you know UEFA is an organization that only allowed women onto its

executive committee in April this year for the first time. That tells you just some indicator of how much progress still needs to be made.

ANDERSON: Well put Amanda, thank you. Well, my next guest is a Footballer Presenter for LALIGA TV in Spain Semra Hunter writes, and I quote here, it

should never have happened to begin with but now that it has in Spain at the very least it has opened up a healthy debate around sexism, and


And Semra Hunter joins me now via Skype from Barcelona. It's fantastic to have you with us. And I think if you can just give me a sense further of

what you mean by that. And what we are seeing I mean there is a groundswell obviously of support for Hermoso here. You live in Spain, you work in

Spain; just give me a sense of how culturally the country is dealing with this?

SEMRA HUNTER, FOOTBALL PRESENTER, LALIGA TV: Absolutely. So basically, the kiss is seen as the tip of the iceberg. It's seen as the straw that broke

the camel's back in reference to what Amanda was explaining that the players themselves for years have been speaking about a patriarchal system

whereby there has been systemic misogynistic sexual abuse towards them for the better part of a decade now.


And so that has spilled over into bigger society, greater society and people now are taking a look at this and saying we actually need to utilize

this moment to do a bit of self-reflection here. Because there is very much sexism, misogynistic and machismo behavior, which is prevalent here in

Spain, it's still a very deep issue.

And I think people started to wake up and realize that there has been this lack of awareness and consciousness around this for a very long time, it's

gone much unchecked. Of course, there have been men who have spoken out, but because it didn't have the structural, let's say, organizations in

place or structural options in place for them to really come forward and feel safe about all of this.

A lot of the times they were humiliated back into silence. But now because they have seen this moment, and people were so outraged, not just women,

but men as well, were so upset about what they saw. And they made it very adamantly clear that Rubiales does not reflect them.

And the way that people behave here by and large, but of course, it still does very much exist in society and culture. So people are referencing this

as the "Metoo" moment they want this to be a transformative moment going forward.

ANDERSON: And I just want to play a little bit of sound from the President Spain's Higher Sports Council to that effect, standby.


VICTOR FRANCOS, PRESDIENT, SPANISH HIGH SPORTS COUNCIL: I think we are in a position for this to be "Metoo" of Spanish Football, and for this to be a

change, and therefore the government wants to warn about it wants to be very forceful, when it comes to saying that there are things that cannot

happen again.


ANDERSON: So it's fascinating, isn't it because you've got the kind of political spectrum and comments from the highest Sports Council there? And

then, of course, you've got the Spanish Football Federation.

And during the meeting, of course, on Friday, when Rubiales did not resign, when many people thought he had he was actually applauded. And I have to

say, by both men and women, so you can really see the kind of disconnect here.

I want to read this quote, from Spanish Footballer Andres Iniesta on the incident. He said, and I quote him here. We have had to put up with a

President who has held on to his position, who has not admitted that his behavior has been unacceptable.

And that it is damaging the image of our country and our football around the world. He's getting pressure from female players, from male players

from fans, why has he not stepped down? Our big question tonight is simply when will women be heard by football's leadership?

HUNTER: It's a very good question. And there is a very big theory in Spain as to the real reason as to why he's not stepping down. And to be quite

honest with you, I'm not really sure if I'm allowed to say it on television. But there are definitely a lot of ideas and thoughts.

I'll just put it as delicately as I can. There are all kinds of allegations, very serious allegations, obviously innocent until proven

guilty. And he has denied these for a very long time and they are still under investigation.

But there are allegations of criminal activity of sexist behavior, misogynistic behavior as well, for years that have been reported to the

police have been reported to courts by men and women for a very long time. You read the statement of Andres Iniesta.

Well, you should read the statement of Javier Tebas, the President of LALIGA, because he's very forthright about his thoughts about the type of

man that Rubiales is and also explains fairly explicitly as to why he believes he's still in power.

Another way to put it is there's been plenty of controversies and scandals that he's been able to overcome and been able to come out on the other side

of. So there are a lot of ideas and theories as to why that may be. And again, I'm not so sure I can say this or not.

But I definitely recommend you look into it. Because it is very common knowledge here in Spain of public knowledge here about very specific

allegations as they relate to the government and his relationship with the government which is why it is very suspected that there are very severe

tensions between the governments and the Federation and Rubiales himself, which could lead to why this whole thing had been dragged out in the first

place and why he hasn't previously been removed when he absolutely should have been?

ANDERSON: This is fascinating. Amanda pointing out that the stakes really could not be higher for Spanish Football and those who govern it at

present, given that they are, you know, bidding for 2030 World Cup, various other sort of, you know, big sort of headlining events for Spanish

Football. You know, at the heart of Spanish football are the players.


And the players have come out in support not just of Hermosa in this instance, but have been complaining for years, at least in principle; do

you see this as an opportunity to move the needle?

HUNTER: Oh, absolutely. And I think it has to be the opportunity because we may never get an opportunity like this again. It was so public that

everyone had to react to it. Everyone had to respond to it even though people have been saying this for so many years in private, and it was

hidden in plain sight.

Sadly, no one really cared enough to do anything about it. Nobody really listened to them, any one paid attention to them. So if we don't do it now,

then when are we going to do it? So I think this has to be the moment that we really capitalize on this and galvanize a proper movement here to say,

right, we need to fight for women's equality, in terms of rights as it relates to men and greater society.

And of course, within football, which is why there's been such a big cry, to raise the Federation to the ground to get everybody out and to start

over to build a brand new structure and organization from within.

A space within which the women can feel safe a safe environment, because let's not forget this is a work environment after all, and they have to

deal with this on their daily lives. So yes, I think it really is a case of if not -- what -- if we don't do it now, then when?

ANDERSON: And it couldn't be a better moment, to provide momentum for a movement than the winning of the World Cup. And let's remember that, what a

team? What a performance against the odds is the world now knows, given the context, given the history that these women have been through.

What a moment and let's not forget to applaud them, you must have, I'm sure. You had a thrill watching these women perform the way they did during

the World Cup, and I will not and we should not let this overshadow that.

But this must be a time for change. It's been an absolute pleasure having you on as ever. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. And you can get

a lot more at CNN Digital, of course on this story and more news and analysis.

On this story Al Goodman, who is based in Madrid, says that the kiss that happened on the podium in Sydney is a stark reminder of Spain's machismo

lifestyle for some there despite advances towards women's rights and equality on your computer or through the CNN app on your

Smartphone, folks.

We are defending democracy those words from Ukraine's President. Just ahead what he had to say about the possibility of elections next year? Plus,

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, taking the stand at one of what are two key hearings today in Donald Trump's election

interference cases. Remember, there are a number we're monitoring the latest developments for you just ahead.



ANDERSON: Two people killed in a Russian strike on central Ukraine overnight. Ukrainian authorities say an oil facility was set, five others

were wounded. Meantime, Ukraine's president says he is not ruling out the possibility that elections will go ahead as scheduled next year. Despite

the war however, Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the West would have to help pay for them.

Let's get you back to CNN's Melissa Bell; she is in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia. And I do just want to concentrate on what we heard from

President Zelenskyy. What struck you from the interview that he conducted with as I understand that Ukrainian reporter?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the fact of course that he suggests that the elections could go ahead of planned as planned is important,

because thus far, the fact of martial law in this country had meant that the parliamentary elections do for this -- and the presidential elections

that are due to be held next year, could not be held.

The fact that he should say they should be held is significant, because it suggests that he wants to go in the way of democracy. And this is

important. But he points out; it has to be done with money from allies, since the money that's being used here for the war effort can't be diverted

for that.

So it's an important concession that he's making to some of his critics who suggested that he might try and hold on to power as a result of what was

going on in the country. I think the most important thing that he said to the journalist today speaking to Ukrainian media, though, Becky was more

about what he's preparing to ask the United States for now.

He'd already been saying these last few days, that he intends for September to be an extremely productive month. He will be asking once again, of

course for the weapons that Ukrainian so badly need to help them wage this counter offensive. But he's also saying that he's going to be looking at

more security guarantees.

And what we learned today from his interview was a little bit more detail about what he intends to ask for. Beyond the questions of NATO accession

that we've been talking about so much these last few weeks, what he's going to ask Washington for Becky is an Israel style deal, something that will

allow Ukraine to keep up a bilateral agreement with the United States specifically.

So you're talking about long term security, guarantees, weaponry, things that will confirm that relationship and give him the kind of guarantees

that he believes he needs to stabilize the country and look ahead to its future. Different enemy is set to Israel, same idea. So we'll have to see

what the response is to that.

I think that was probably the most important thing that came out of the interview today. What we're seeing now is the counter offensive continuing

just south of here in Zaporizhzhia. We've just been hearing these last few minutes Becky that across the river in Enerhodar, which is where the

Zaporizhzhia power plant is.

That is where a drone has just hit a police station the efforts of the Ukrainian resistance. An important reminder that even as Becky, the forces,

the regular Ukrainian forces trying to push ahead with that Ukrainian counter offensive making those important dents as they have around places

like -- . There are still Ukrainians inside the occupied territories day-in day-out carrying out what actions they can to try and disrupt life there.

For that attack no casualties, but a police station evacuated. And again, a reminder that even on the other side of the line, that resistance continues


ANDERSON: Melissa Bell, good to have you on the ground in Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine. Get you up to speed on some of the other stories on our radar

folks. In Italy more than 4200 migrants have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend. The Red Cross says there were also 55

landings and a boat landings, thingies however, these migrants are getting across to Lampedusa.

That was from Saturday into Sunday, the Italian military has now started to transfer them to the mainland. UK aviation authorities say they have

identified and remedied a technical issue with the air traffic control system. They are now working to get operations back to normal.

They had restricted flights for several hours with islands saying it caused many flights in Europe to be delayed. Well, a rising heat here in the UAE

is setting new records; the temperature reached 50.8 degrees Celsius and is tied in the Al-Dhafra region on Saturday. That's the hottest temperature in

the UAE so far this year, according to the National Center of Meteorology.

Mark Meadows describes his stint as Trump's White House Chief of Staff as "Challenging times". Well, he is testifying today at his hearing in

Georgia. He is bidding to move his state charges to federal court.


It's just one of two key hearings in Donald Trump's election subversion cases happening simultaneously. Today at the other in Washington DC a judge

there weighing the timing of Trump's federal trial just rejected both Trump's and the DOJ's proposed dates. Well, CNN National Security Reporter,

Zachary Cohen is covering it all for us from Washington.

And sitting where you are in DC, just explain to our viewers what it is specifically that you are listening out for on what is likely to be

significant today?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Becky, we now have some breaking news. Actually, the judge in this case has set a trial date

for former President Donald Trump in this federal case related to every -- election. This trial is going to start on March 4, 2024. That is just in a

matter of months. And it is well before the Trump team had been arguing the trial should start, they wanted this to start all the way in 2026.

The judge making clear today though, that they're not going to, the Trump team was not going to have two years to prepare for this trial, even though

they were arguing that there was so much evidence that they needed that much time to be ready. They've basically been saying that this timeline is


The judge clearly is disagreeing with him here though and saying March 4, 2024 this trial is going to start again, that is very close to when

prosecutors from the Justice Department when they are proposing that this trial start just in January. So coming up here in a few months, this

federal case into former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election will begin.

ANDERSON: This is fascinating. Also, we've got Mark Meadows with a hearing today. What is likely to be significant in that case?

COHEN: So Mark Meadows is actually testifying in a different case, but it's also related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

That's the state level investigation there. Mark Meadows on the stand testifying under oath about his role as Chief of Staff.

He's basically trying to argue that everything he did in service of trying to overturn the election was done in the capacity of his U.S. government

role as White House Chief of Staff. That is the key for him to get this case moved to federal court, which he's arguing a federal judge should

throw it out.

So it remains to be seen if the judge will ultimately believe Mark Meadows inside with his argument. But Mark Meadows is on the stand in Georgia

arguing that the case should be thrown out and moved to federal court.

ANDERSON: Good to have you sir. Thank you. Well, the Sheriff of Jacksonville Florida is calling the manifesto of a 21-year-old shooter the

diary of a madman. The gunman is the white gunman who police say killed three black people at Jacksonville store over the weekend. You can see the

swastika is drawn on the AR-15 assault rifle that was used.

Authorities believe the shooting was racially motivated and the FBI is investigating it as a hate crime. Isabel Rosales has got the very latest

view from Jacksonville, Isabel.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this community is enraged it is disturbed but resilient. Yesterday during a vigil hundreds of people turned

out to remember the victims and also to get together in this difficult moment and figure out what the next steps are here toward healing. They're

trying to raise money to help with burial plans for these victim's families.

I do want to get into some new reporting now from T.K. Waters. He's the Sheriff of Jacksonville who tells CNN for some reason this shooter was

focused on this Dollar General right behind me. He donned the tactical vests, a mask he showed up here shot one woman inside of her vehicle,

Angela Carr.

Then he went on inside and carried out an 11 minute racist rampage shooting two more individuals inside. And at one point chasing after a would-be

survivor shooting attempting to shoot at her but missing. All of the victims, the three victims here were black. I did speak with Sabrina

Rozier, a family member of one of the victims Jerald Gallion just 29-years- old, and I spoke with a local leader as well who spoke to the impact this is having on their community. Listen.


SABRINA ROZIER, FAMILY MEMBER OF JACKSONVILLE SHOOTING VICTIM JERALD GALLION: And that's what they're calling this act of racism and I just feel

like you was a coward. You went in and shot these innocent people for nothing that you didn't even know. And then you took your own life. That's

just the cowardly way to go.

TRACLE DAVIS, FLORIDA STATE SENATE: We are in 2023 and as a black person we are still hunted, because that's what that was.



ROSALES: And incredibly as these details were trickling in, we also found out that the shooter was not here first, but actually down a couple of

blocks that have historically black university Edward Waters University, the first HBCU in the state of Florida, and a security guard managed to

turn him around and then just minutes later this happened here.

Now that I spoke with the president they are of the university, he says he absolutely believes that they were targeted. The sheriff of Jacksonville

says that they don't have any indication that that shooter plan to carry out an attack there at that school.

And this morning we also learned from Governor Ron DeSantis that he will award a million dollars to that university to help bolster security, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, thank you. Coming up on "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Why summer crying foul in Zimbabwe's presidential

election, more on that after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Wherever you are watching, you are, of course more than welcome.

Your headlines this hour, the Spanish prosecutor's office says it is opened an investigation into Spain's Football Federation president.

Now Luis Rubiales is refusing to step down for kissing footballer, Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the women's world cup. She says the

kiss was forced, Rubiales claims it was consensual. This comes as Spain's Football Federation holds what's being called an urgent meeting on their

president's future.

Well, Ukraine could still hold elections next year according to its president. He says Parliament would have to lift martial law and he wants

to make sure all the military serving in the war against Russia will be able to vote. Mr. Zelenskyy also said elections would take money and he

hopes the U.S. and Europe would help with that.

And this just into CNN, a U.S. Federal Judge has set former President Donald Trump's election interference trial in Washington DC for March 2024.


That marks a rejection of both the Trump teams and the prosecutors proposed dates, more on that, of course on CNN. Well, rare anti-government protests

in government controlled parts of Syria now, in their second week. In the southwestern city of Sweida those demonstrations have seen public transport

on strike, and some businesses shut and reportedly shut down the ruling bath party headquarters on Sunday.

These protesters are these demonstrations erupted over the high cost of living and rising fuel prices. And the economic situation in Syria,

frankly, couldn't be direr. GDP shrank by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2020 that cumulative GDP loss is estimated to be around $226 billion.

And while minimum state salaries have actually risen to around $13 a month, a monthly food basket in June cost around $81 according to the World Food

Program. Zimbabwe's opposition is rejecting the results of last week's presidential election amid accusations of election intimidation and


The Electoral Commission says the incumbent; one with more than 52 percent is calling for peace and unity. But the opposition and civil society groups

say the vote was marred by delayed ballots and voter intimidation. Let's get you to CNN's David McKenzie in Johannesburg, for more. What do we make

of what is being alleged at this point? What are the details here?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky what you need to see, of course, when these allegations come forward is proof.

And I've been speaking to opposition figures who believe they'll be releasing some data that they show that there are significant discrepancies

between the official results from the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission and their tabulations, particularly at both the polling station level and wider

constituency level.

This comes as you had significant queries placed on this election from observers, particularly in the run up and then the delays on Election Day

by both the European Union and the Southern African regional bloc. And here is the opposition -- saying they're going to move forward with disputing

this poll.


NELSON CHAMISA, CITIZENS COALITION FOR CHANGE LEADER: It is clear that we are rejecting the election as a sham, the result. The process itself was

disregarded and is in line with what the Sadek observers have said. We reject this sham result and flawed process based on the disputed figures.


MCKENZIE: So they will need to show those disputed figures, the president elect at this stage Emmerson Mnangagwa said that these elections were

peaceful, transparent and held in broad daylight. I'm paraphrasing there, Becky, but he of course, is saying that they have been criticisms, but they

aren't warranted.

He also interestingly reached out with an olive branch to the opposition, I don't think there'll be any sign of easing of sanctions or other assistance

from the international community, at the very least unless the ruling party does collaborate with opposition in some ways, but we're still a bit of a

distance before we get to that point.

It's likely that the main opposition party will go to the courts. But again, they have said several times they don't believe the court system are

an arbiter. That is anything other than holding what the government wants in that country. Now, that has been again, disputed by both the government

and the legal system over the year.

So we'll have to see if the opposition party and Nelson Chamisa can bring proof. But they are frankly dealing with the cards stacked up against them

because the power in subway is held by ZANU-PF. And it's in some ways many believe a continuation of the power that Robert Mugabe held there for


ANDERSON: Meantime, just describe if you will, life for ordinary Zimbabweans at the moment.

MCKENZIE: It's very difficult. And frankly speaking honestly, I wish I was there to document that, but I haven't been able to get accreditation nor

have many of our colleagues been able to go there and shine an independent light on what's going. Full transparency, other CNN staff members did get

their accreditation, but life is very, very difficult. There's been again rampant inflation; the country itself is struggling with its debt, with

foreign nations including China.


And because of the ongoing freeze out of Zimbabwe on the world stage, it does have an economic impact. But it's not the case that the troubles of

this country are all because of sanctions ZANU-PF and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President have complained about for many years.

It really is fundamentally that these, they cannot get the economy moving again, in part because of these ongoing election disputes that have

happened in Zimbabwe for many years now, Becky.

ANDERSON: Always good to have you, David, thank you very much indeed. David McKenzie is on the story for you. Well, it is astounding to think that a

foreign ministers meeting sparked this. We'll explain why a meeting between the high level ministers of Libya and Israel has caused this angry



ANDERSON: Brand new fallout after last week's meeting between the Libyan and Israeli Foreign Ministers in Rome. Libya has dismissed its minister and

rejected reports that the meeting was officially sanctioned. Israel announced Sunday that the meeting had taken place sparking outrage and

protests in Libya. The two countries of course, do not have diplomatic relations. Well CNN's Hadas Gold following the story for us from Jerusalem,


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, it's a bit of a diplomatic dramatic crisis a bit of a vase said than they said. Here's what

happened though. Yesterday evening, around 6 p.m. the Israeli foreign ministry sent out a message to reporters hailing what they called a

historic first ever meeting between these two foreign ministers.

Of course, as you noted, Israel and Libya have no diplomatic relations. And this would be an important step to have these two foreign ministers meeting

publicly. They didn't release any photos or any other indication that this meeting took place, only saying that it was arranged or hosted by the

foreign minister of Italy and that it took place in Rome last week talking about how they examined possibilities for cooperation and relations and

everything including agriculture and water technology.

Now, after this was released, protests erupted in Libya. We have seen social media videos, short social media video showing protesters are

burning Israeli flags, burning tires, waving Palestinian flags, of course, support for the Palestinian cause is very broad in Libya.

And then we got the reaction from the internationally recognized Libyan government who called it an informal unprepared meeting saying it did not

include negotiations or consultations. Then they suspended the foreign minister and referred her to an investigation. And the New York Times is

also now reporting that she has fled Libya for safety in Turkey.

Now, according to an Israeli source familiar with the situation that CNN has spoken to, they are pushing back on this. They say that the meeting was

planned; they say that news on the meeting was actually supposed to be made public at some point. The army radio has also reported saying that the

foreign minister was made, foreign ministry was made aware that reporters were going to publicize the meeting.


And that's why they decided to get ahead of it and release that press release yesterday evening. Now, the Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has been now

criticized, including by the former prime minister, former Foreign Minister himself, Yair Lapid Dr. for publicizing this meeting, saying that it's

risking a potential and important new relationship calling it amateurish, irresponsible, and a grave failure of judgment, Becky.

ANDERSON: Hadas, good to have you. Thank you. Context there for you, still to come. Shares in a troubled Chinese property developer take a huge dive

after returning from what was a trading suspension. Why and how this could impact China's economy is up next.


ANDERSON: On Hong Kong stock exchange, shares of a troubled Chinese property developer plunged more than 70 percent on Monday after returning

from a 17 month trading suspension. Now investors closely watching Evergrande because the key role it played in China's real estate crisis.

For years the company was one of China's largest property developers, but it defaulted on its debt in 2021 after borrowing too heavily to fund its

multibillion dollar expansion. Let's bring in William Lee whose Chief Economist with the Milken Institute, joining me from Los Angeles. Just

explain to our audience, if you will, China's property market, its overall health, and how big an impact it has on Chinese growth.

WILLIAM LEE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MILKEN INSTITUTE: The property market in China has been a ticking time bomb for quite a while now. China's having

all sorts of troubles coming out of the post COVID lockdown, and this economy is really not doing well. And now this explosion in the property

market where essentially this turmoil of these many developers going bust including Evergrande and Country Garden is important because 80 percent of

Chinese households have their wealth in their property, in their houses, and in their apartments.

And so, when you have this kind of turmoil, people become incredibly nervous about what's happening with their wealth. And then on top of that,

when you have 20 percent unemployment rate for youth unemployment, their family income is down. So here's China trying to boost this economy get

growth back online again, and no one wants to spend because of all this uncertainty.

ANDERSON: Yes, this property market playing an outsized role in China's economic health. China was, of course, the big economic miracle over the

last 30 years, particularly after its entry into the WTO at the beginning of the 2000s. What does the global economy look like with what frankly at

present looks like a sort of stagnant China?

LEE: Well, China became the source of everything that you needed for, for consumer durables, for electronics, even a low cost T-shirts at Wal-Mart.

And so, as China has become concentrated as the global supplier, if the Chinese economy is not able to revive by exporting more, because the rest

of the world has changed its pattern of consumption. People are now consuming fewer goods and more services; they're going on vacations more.


And China's own economy is indulgence because people within China are not willing to spend because of all this uncertainty with their wealth in their

income. The world is going to change because China is no longer an engine of growth in the world. And that is what the global economy is trying to

get used to.

And the fact that globalization has shifted supply chains out of China into the rest of Asia has made China into a question mark, in terms of

investors. Everyone is asking, is China still investable? Should we be putting our money there? And more and more often you find the answer is,

maybe not.

ANDERSON: Yes, interesting. Very briefly, Xi's protectionist policies are being blamed at least in part, for the faltering economy. Are his critics

correct to blame him for that?

LEE: His policies, in some ways are just the tip of the iceberg because Xi Jinping's strategy is to convert China into a 21st century giant in terms

of high value added production. He's willing to give up on a lot of the low value stuff leaving China if he can preserve quantum computing and then

semiconductors. Trouble is a lot of the trade restrictions are hurting that strategy. And China is not able to pull off the kind of revival that's

hoping to.

ANDERSON: Yes, it's fascinating. Good to have you, sir. We'll have you back. Thank you.

LEE: Thanks for having me.

ANDERSON: We started the show, talking about the scandal surrounding Spain's Football Federation and the controversial kiss, that's been in the

headlines lately. Well, that case happened more than a week ago, after Spain's historic win over England in the Women's World Cup final.

The excitement for that win has been overshadowed by the actions of one man and the federation behind him. But the focus shouldn't be on those men. It

should be on the players' especially star player midfielder Jennifer Hermoso, the reluctant receiver of the kit. She was crowned a world

champion after helping her team to clinch its first World Cup title. Just take a listen to how excited she was after that win.


JENNIFER HERMOSO, SPANISH FOOTBALLER: It's so crazy, yes, world champion. It all comes together, as my brother says, and so many things happen to

make this dream possible. And right now I don't have the words to explain it because I think it is the best feeling I've ever felt up until now. And

it's heavy, heavy, really heavy.


ANDERSON: Well, this is a special moment for Hermoso, a crowning achievement of her career, and that's all she should be thinking about.

Instead, she and her teammates are refusing to play again until the federation president quits or is removed. As unfortunate as it is, this

episode is not unique. For many Spaniards it was a stark reminder that the country for all of its progress on gender equality and women's rights still

has that macho mentality entrenched in many men's behaviors.

Whether it appears in cases of domestic violence that have left nearly 40 women dead in Spain this year, or in everyday life where men still dominate

in positions of power. And that is precisely why sport is so important in advancing gender equality. But don't take it from me. Hear it from the

world's greatest female player.


ALEXIAS PUTELLAS, SPANISH FOOTBALLER: I believe that football is one way of managing to end many historical inequalities of women, or how we see women.

And really, football can be a reflection of society. So I believe it's perfect to help us get many things like that women are free to decide if

they want to be a professional in any sport, not only football.


ANDERSON: Well, that was Alexias Putellas two times Ballon d'Or Feminin winner speaking to me over a year ago at the Dubai globe soccer awards. But

this sentiment of inequality in sport doesn't exist only in Spain. Whether its misogyny or mental health women athletes face challenges all over the


Take star gymnast Simone Biles, for example, who won her record eighth U.S. all-rounder title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships is in California on

Sunday. The four time Olympic gold medalist returned to action earlier this month after a two year hiatus, citing a need to prioritize her mental


Let's not forget, the USA Gymnastics Federation has been heavily condemned for its abusive training and harrowing cases of sexual harassment and

violence. But for now, in all her glory, Simone Biles seems healthy and happy about her success.



SIMONE BILES, GYMNAST: I've been doing it for so long, I feel like I don't think about numbers, I think about my performance. And I think overall,

eight for eight, it's eight, I guess it's a lucky number this year.


ANDERSON: So as we close out this show, I want to take a moment to congratulate these women on their achievements on and off the pitch on and

off the match. They work so hard to prepare for these exhausting tournaments. They should not have to prepare for unwanted sexual advances

or abuse behavior on top of that.

I'm Becky Anderson. You're watching "Connect the World". That's it from us for tonight, same place and same time tomorrow. CNN continues after this

short break, stay with us.