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Claudia Sheinbaum to become Country's First Female President; Netanyahu Faces Mounting Pressure to accept Ceasefire Plan; 33 Poll Workers Dead as Election Warps up in Heat Wave; Saudi Arabia Sells more Aramco Shares; Simone Biles Dominates U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Aired 9-9:45a ET

Aired June 03, 2024 - 09:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This is the shot outside the courtroom. A jury selection is underway in the latest historic U.S. trial

for the first time ever. The child of a sitting President Hunter Biden will stand trial. It's 9 am in Wilmington, Delaware. It is 5 pm here in Abu

Dhabi. I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Becky Anderson. This is "Connect the World".

Also happening over the next two hours, Mexico is celebrating a historic new chapter after lifting Claudia Sheinbaum as its first female presidents.

And in just one hour, possibly the most famous doctor in the United States, Anthony Fauci will testify about the COVID-19 origin and response.

Well, stock markets in New York, will open in around 30 minutes from now let's check in on those futures. And as you can see, DOW is slightly to the

negative, you've got NASDAQ and S&P pointing to positive starts. Of course, we are officially in the second half of 2024 bit of momentum being built

here as we await a lot more economic data that will drive the markets going forward.

All right, we'll check in on those numbers as we expect the opening bell in New York. But for now, we begin at the start of a historic New Era in

Mexico. The country has elected its first ever female president, Claudia Sheinbaum officially winning Sunday's election, according to the votes

counted so far by Mexico's National Electoral institutes.

Sheinbaum is the Former Mayor of Mexico City, as well as being a climate scientist. She says her leadership will be inclusive of all Mexicans.


CLAUDIA SHEINBAUM, MEXICAN PRESIDENT-ELECT: Our duty is and always will be to look after each Mexican without distinctions. Although many Mexican

women and Mexican men don't agree fully with our project, we will walk in peace and harmony to build a fairer and more prosperous Mexico.


GIOKOS: Right, we've got Gustavo Valdes in Mexico City. Gustavo great to see you, look, it's a historic day in Mexico with first woman president.

But also we're talking about a landslide victory. Take us through what we saw.

GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is very significant. According to the official numbers, she will get at least 58 percent of the vote. The

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says that this is perhaps the largest numbers, number of votes any President has gotten in the history of

Mexico, which is something that he celebrates, because he feels like it's a validation of his ideas.

Claudia Sheinbaum started her political career in the year 2000. She became the Ministry of the Environment here in Mexico City when he was the head of

the government. And as since they have developed a robust relationship to the point that now she's poised to succeed him as the head of the


But she is an accomplished woman on her own right. In fact, she was part of a group of about 600 scientists worldwide that presented a paper on climate

change, and won Nobel Peace -- Nobel Prize. They were not individually named, but the work was celebrated. So she has extensive academic

background, and then she has become a politician.

Now the question is going to be what kind of person is she going to be? Is she going to just continue what Lopez Obrador started six years ago? Or

will she be able to walk from under his shadow, become her own person and lead the country in a direction that she sees fit?

GIOKOS: Yeah, I mean, all very interesting things. I mean, she's also got a lot of challenges she needs to contend with. We know that focusing on the

cartels, one of the big things that was on the priority list, but also want to talk about the relationship and the foreign policy with the United

States. They share similar security issues. And of course, we also know that for the U.S. secure Mexico, means less people going to the border.

VALDES: And that is correct. And I think everything is under the same umbrella. The public safety in Mexico means that better safety in Mexico,

less Mexicans are going to try to go across the border, if they get to control the cartels that also control the migrant trafficking, their drug

traffic into Mexico.

That also is an important part of the relationship with the United States. And then there is trade, Mexico is the number one trade partner with the

United States. It's growing -- its importance growing because of the new trade deal that they had just a few years ago. So that commercial

relationship is growing.


And also it's yet to be determined how she's going to approach the Mexico- China relationship, which also could have an impact on the Mexico-U.S. relations.

GIOKOS: All right, Gustavo Valdes, great to see you. Thank you so much. Once we move on now on jury selection is underway this hour in Wilmington,

Delaware in the federal gun case against U.S. President Joe Biden son, Hunter. He faces three charges including making false statements on a form

to purchase a firearm then unlawfully possessing that gun.

This trial happening after a plea agreement reached last summer that collapsed. And just days after a jury in New York convicted Donald Trump

and a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election results. CNN's Senior Crime and Justice Reporter, Katelyn Polantz is with us to break this all


Look, its important day jury selection. But also remembering that Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting President to face trial. Tell us how

significant this moment is, Katelyn?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: It really is coming in the middle of his father Joe Biden running for reelection as President

of the United States. Hunter Biden is facing questions in this trial, facing accusations in this trial around his purchase of a gun in October

2018, when he was having a particularly low point in his life, was a drug addict at the time.

He has been a drug addict throughout his life. And so questions now that the jury will be getting as jury selection is beginning just started about

20 minutes ago, the jurors are going to be asked about gun control, they're going to be asked about their views on addiction. And obviously, as well,

this is happening in Hunter Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

A state that has a lot of connections to the Biden's personal connections even the First Lady, Jill Biden is there at court this morning, showing

support for Hunter Biden and giving him a hug in the courtroom. And so it's going to be quite a jury selection process to make sure that the jurors can

be fair and impartial here, and also make sure that they have no personal connections to people in the Biden family.

GIOKOS: Yeah, lots to think about. We also know that prosecutors have lined up various witnesses, including former partners for the trial, what kind of

evidence are we expecting?

POLANTZ: Well, Eleni, this is in some ways a paper case. It is a case about Hunter Biden buying a gun and signing the forms to purchase that gun and

checking no on a box on those forms. That certified he wasn't a drug addict at the time or he wasn't taking drugs.

Now his attorneys are going to argue that he was a person who may not have believed he was an addict at that moment in time he was trying to recover,

he was coming out of rehab. But the prosecutors have quite a bit of evidence, including text messages about him meeting with a dealer in that

same week, smoking crack where he admits to it in a text message.

And then also they are going to be calling people very close to Hunter Biden a trio of women, his ex-wife, and his brother's widow, who was in a

relationship with at that time. And then another woman that he eventually had a child with all of those women, the prosecutors say, will be able to

be on the stand and testify about them witnessing Hunter Biden's drug use around that time of October 2018.

So quite a bit about the personal trials and tribulations of Hunter Biden that's going to be put on display in this trial when we get to the evidence

portion of it.

GIOKOS: Indeed, Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much for that. Well, Former U.S. President and now convicted felon Donald Trump says he'd be OK with

serving prison time. It's just a few days since the jury found him guilty of all 34 charges in his hush money criminal trial. But as he awaits

sentencing on July 11, the Republican candidate for president said harsh punishment could push his supporters to a breaking point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The judge could decide to say house arrest or even jail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you face what that could look like?

TRUMP: I'm OK with it. I saw one of my lawyers the other day in television saying, oh no, you don't want to do that to the president. I said you don't

beg for anything. You just the way it is. I don't know that the public would stand it. You know, I don't -- I'm not sure the public would stand

for it with a --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- house arrest --

TRUMP: I think it'd be tough for the public to take, you know, at a certain point is a breaking point.


GIOKOS: Trump did not stop there when asked if he would seek revenge if he's reelected. And here's what he had to say.



TRUMP: It's a very interesting question by eventually success and I mean that. But it's awfully hard when you see what they've done. These people

are so evil.


GIOKOS: Well, the latest Quinnipiac poll taken before the hush money verdict shows President Biden and Donald Trump in a dead heat. They will

face off for the first time in a CNN debate on June 27. That's two weeks before Trump's sentencing and three weeks before the Republican National


Well, the United States is trying to rally support for a proposal laid out by President Biden to end the Israel-Hamas war. On Sunday, U.S. Secretary

of State Antony Blinken should Israeli Minister, Yoav Gallant as well as Benny Gantz the plan would quote, advance Israel's long term security

interests, his more from the U.S. national security spokesperson.



proposal has been given to Hamas. It was done on Thursday night our time. We're waiting for an official response from Hamas. We would note that

publicly, Hamas officials came out and welcomed this proposal. We have every expectation that if Hamas agrees to the proposal, as was transmitted

to them and Israeli proposal that Israel would say yes.


GIOKOS: Well, CNN's Paula Hancocks is here with me in Abu Dhabi to break this down, Paula, great to see you. I mean, interesting to see what this

will ultimately mean. But what is President Biden ceasefire proposal mean for Prime Minister Netanyahu? Is it all about Netanyahu's survival at this


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean it certainly puts him in a very difficult position. He is being stretched in many different directions. And

that is, if he personally believes that this deal should go ahead. On the one hand, you have the hostages' families, and you have a large proportion

of the public on the streets calling for this ceasefire and hostage deal to be done calling for Netanyahu to be out of power as well.

And on the other side, you have members of his own coalition some far right members who say that if he agrees to this deal, and the conditions are not

right, so Hamas has not been completely destroyed, then they'll walk they will walk away from the coalition and potentially collapse it.

Now, one interesting thing we have seen is that there are other members of this coalition that are in fact, not even those in the coalition. You've

got the Opposition Leader, Yair Lapid, for example, saying he is willing to be a safety net for Netanyahu, not because he likes Netanyahu, not because

he wants to see him in power, but because he wants to see this deal done.

He has said this deal is on the table. It has to be done. And so you do have some political entities who normally would not want to be in the same

room, as Benjamin Netanyahu saying we will support you to make sure that this can go through. So at this point, there is a possibility that it could

still go ahead, even if the coalition does in fact, blow up because there is enough will within other political entities that they want this to


GIOKOS: Yeah, I mean, it was interesting to see Netanyahu's office putting out a very carefully worded statement over the weekend, right. They're

saying that they are going to continue with a military campaign until Hamas is destroyed. It doesn't leave a lot of room for hope, in terms of Israel

actually agreeing to this proposal.

HANCOCKS: And Hamas isn't destroyed.


HANCOCKS: We've seen just a few days ago that they were still able to launch rockets against Israel. In fact, they were able to launch rockets

against Tel Aviv. So it was a desire and a claim at the beginning of this that many questioned the fact that they wanted Hamas to be completely

destroyed, because it was very unrealistic.

But what we're hearing now is that if this deal doesn't get done at this point, and of course, it does rely heavily on Hamas agreeing to this as

well, they have had some positive reaction, first of all. But if it doesn't happen, now, we're hearing from many analysts and we'll hear from one just

now, there is a concern that it may never be done.


BARAK RAVID, CNN POLITICAL & GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: If this proposal is not accepted, they will not be another, the Israeli negotiation team and

the Israeli war cabinet exhausted their maneuvering space, meaning they will not be a more forward leaning proposal than the one they got. And if

Hamas says no to this, I think the whole issue of a hostage deal and the ceasefire will be off the table for a very long time and this war will

likely escalate.


HANCOCKS: So also on the weekend, there was a joint statement from the U.S., Qatar and Egypt. So that you know, the key mediators over recent

months, calling on both sides, calling on Israel and Hamas to finalize the details of this proposal, as of now, we have not as we understand it, or

the U.S. has not heard an official response from Hamas.


GIOKOS: Yeah, but it seems like Prime Minister Netanyahu's definitely been cornered at this point in time. It's interesting to see how all the players

respond officially to this. Paula Hancocks, good to have you with us. Thank you so much. And still to come what's next for South Africa after the

African National Congress was dealt a huge blow at the polls straight ahead.

We go live to Johannesburg as Nelson Mandela's party is now in talks to form a coalition government. Also, dozens of Indians have died from

excessive heat over the past 10 days. That comes as India wraps up zazavoting in this general election. We'll be right back.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. Now, in South Africa, Nelson Mandela's ruling party is forced to form a coalition government

after what's described as a seismic drop at the polls. The African National Congress has lost its majority for the first time in 30 years that marks

the biggest political shift in that country since apartheid ended.

Results from last week's election from a show that the ANC received just over 40 percent of the votes, the Democratic Alliance got the second most

votes followed by the MK Party which came in third. I want you to go now to CNN's David McKenzie to help sort all of these arts.

He's live in Johannesburg, David, always good to see you. I'm looking at these numbers. And look, there's only one thing that the ANC can do this to

go into some kind of coalition. The question is who wants to work with the ANC? And which party would want to team up with the ANC? What options are

we looking at here?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think quite a few parties would want to do it. But it's really a question of what the

ANC can do that it can hold its own party together because no matter what they do, they're difficult choices for the party and for the country.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): Sometimes changes come slowly.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICA PRESIDENT: Our people have spoken. Whether we like it or not, they have spoken.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Sometimes it comes fast. In just one election cycle, the ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela with a staggering drops in support.

After three decades of dominance, the voters have spoken, the party that has defined South African politics losing its outright majority.

TK POOE, WITS SCHOOL OF GOVERNANCE: I think it means that society has passed the ANC by. We've always been waiting for the moment we just didn't

know the appropriate vehicle.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Many South Africans were fed up with rampant corruption, huge unemployment and deep inequality. But the ANC collapse

came in large part thanks to this man, disgraced Former ANC President Jacob Zuma.


In just a few months, his new -- Party or MK bled votes from the ANC. Tapping into Zuma's loyal support in KwaZulu-Natal province. Zuma and his

party have without evidence claimed there were irregularities at the polls threatening trouble if results were announced.

MELANIE VERWOERD, POLITICAL ANALYST AND FORMER ANC MP: Jacob Zuma is differentiated. It's always dangerous to let ethnic and tribal tensions

rise too much. I don't foresee it being an issue in the foreseeable future. But it is something that one always needs to watch.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): What to watch for next coalition politics. The ANC likely must choose to combine with pro-business Democratic Alliance or the

leftist radical economic freedom fighters perhaps even adding Zuma's MK. No one knows for sure.

FIKILE MBALULA, ANC SECRETARY-GENERAL: We call on all South Africans to resist the efforts of those forces, who want to weaken our democracy, who

want to undermine our electoral processes and who want to disregard the will of the people?

JOHN STEENHUISEN, DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE LEADER: Coalitions can work. They work all over the world, it requires maturity, and yes, there's going to be

choppy waters ahead for South Africa, but we will navigate them.

MCKENZIE: Do you want to be part of a governing coalition?

STEENHUISEN: Of course, I mean, the whole point of being in politics is to get into government.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The results are deeply embarrassing for President Cyril Ramaphosa. He staked his reputation on reviving the ANC.

MCKENZIE: Is Cyril Ramaphosa under pressure now?

POOE: He's beyond under pressure. I think he might need to start looking for a new job that he always thought of himself as the next incumbent to

prison Nelson Mandela. Last -- President Nelson Mandela never lost an election.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): But Ramaphosa is well known as a skilled negotiator, a skill that will now become very handy indeed.


MCKENZIE (on camera): Eleni, the ANC is holding a senior leadership meeting on Tuesday, that's bound to be a very robust conversation. It's unclear

which way they or the other parties are looking to go at this point. Anyone who says they know really, he's going to be lying to you because this as

the cliche goes, is very much uncharted territory for this country, Eleni.

GIOKOS: It is indeed, interesting times. David McKenzie, thank you so much. Good to see you live from Johannesburg. We've talked a lot about elections

today. And it seems the entire democratic world has gone to the polls this year. And in India, 642 million people have cast their votes.

According to the Chief Election Commissioner, an estimated 312 million were female voters, which is the highest in the country's history. India's Prime

Minister Narendra Modi took to X after the polls closed to say that he is confident of winning. On the final day of voting 33 poll workers died from

excessive heat in Northern India.

Election workers and voters have enjoyed unusually high temperatures across the country. Now authorities say at least 77 people have died over the past

10 days. Joining us now is CNN Meteorologist, Derek Van Dam.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, Eleni, you know, it was just last week Tuesday that New Delhi where millions of these voters reside had its

highest temperature ever recorded 49.9 degrees Celsius and that heat wave has continued for several days. So we've had 22 consecutive days with

temperatures above their average high of 40 degrees this time of year.

So, really no rest for the weary and it's been a difficult time because of the election that has been ongoing and heading to the polls. And that type

of heat, of course, has proven to be deadly and very dangerous. So these are the temperatures that we recorded on Monday, 45 degrees for a few

different locations, especially across the north and west, including Delhi 44 degrees for you on Monday.

It is hot and it will continue to be hot until the monsoon rains edge in from the south and east and that's the forecast. For New Delhi we stay

above average through the weekend and into early parts of next week as well. But speaking of this monsoon, the average monsoon location is really

right located across the southern portions of the Indian subcontinent.

That green is indicating where it is currently located. So we're right pretty much on track, but we are waiting for that to edge closer and closer

to give the relief with the rain and bring down those temperatures. The mercury in the thermometer will start to cool once that rain from the

monsoon moves it.

Now across the U.S. we're also dealing with a different type of heat. This is a very dry heat but nonetheless a dangerous heat across the southwestern

U.S. In fact, we have heat warnings in place for places like Las Vegas all the way to the Central Valley of California, Phoenix, Arizona.

These areas are going to see temperatures climb into the lower and middle 40s for many locations well above average. You can see the three day

forecast for some of these larger cities.


The heat doesn't just stop there. It extends all the way into Texas as well. So places like El Paso, well above average, over the next few days

120 record high and record high low temperatures will be set across the southwestern portions of the U.S. and unfortunately, with this heat brings

the potential for forest fires.

So this is also a concern. We have had one fire in San Joaquin County. This is across the Central Valley of California that has scorched several 1000

hectares of forest. And unfortunately, what has happened here is not only the heat that has just plagued this region, but also the dry brush land.

We've had an abundant amount of moisture this past winter. Now that's dried out. The taps have been turned off in the atmosphere. And unfortunately,

that's the ingredients for forest fires and that's what we've seen lately, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right. Derek Van Dam, thank you so much for breaking that down for us. Good to see you. I want to get you up to speed on some of the

stories that are on our radar right now. A rescue worker has died in Southern Germany while trying to save trapped residents from the flooded


The 42 year old died after a boat carrying firefighters capsized late Saturday. Thousands have been forced to leave their homes after heavy rain.

From Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has registered as a candidate for the upcoming presidential election. That's according to state media.

He had been banned by the supreme leader from running in 2017 and must wait for approval by Iran's Guardian Council. Elections were called for June 28

after President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash. Ukraine's President Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Manila continuing his Asia-

Pacific trip as he looks to bolster support for a peace conference in Switzerland this month.

Mr. Zelenskyy, thank the Philippines for agreeing to participate in the summit. OPEC+ has agreed to extend cuts in output to try and boost prices.

What that could mean for prices at the petrol pump that's coming up next. And Africa's richest man is looking to build up Nigeria's economy and shake

up global oil markets. That's coming up right after this.



GIOKOS: That is the site of trade in New York. Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, and you're watching "Connect the World". Let's check

in on those opening numbers over in the United States. Of course, it is officially the second half of the year and you've got the DOW Jones, up

slightly slight positive bias there.

NASDAQ and S&P performing much better as after a few rocky days last week. All eyes will be on what the inflation figure does. And of course with the

news that OPEC+ has now agreed to extend oil production cuts deep into 2025 as it looks to boost oil prices that could have an impact on prices at the


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies said on Sunday, they would extend a cut of 1.5 -- 1.65 million barrels per day

until the end of 2025. The production cut was due to expire at the end of this year. Let's take a look to see what Brent Crude prices are right now

as you can see down four tenths of a percent at $80 a barrel, WTI Crude sitting down six tenths of a percent.

We've got Matt Egan with us in New York tracking the latest developments for us, Matt, good to see you. I want to give -- I want you to give me a

sense of what these cuts will mean, for prices down the line? And of course OPEC will say that it looks at supply demand scenarios. And that is how

they decide on what they're going to do on supply cuts. Give me a sense of what we're hearing.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Eleni, it doesn't really seem like OPEC+ was in any sort of rush to do favors for American consumers or for this White

House. Remember, OPEC+ is extremely influential, right. It's led by Saudi Arabia and Russia. And it accounts for almost half the world's supply.

Now over the last two years, OPEC+ has been holding back supply, producing about 6 million barrels less, than they had been right, that's deep cuts 6

percent of world demand. And so if OPEC+ had done nothing at this past weekend's meeting, then some of those supply cuts would have on -- and that

could have driven prices down which they don't want.

So OPEC+ agreed to extend most of these supply cuts into the end of next year. They will be gradually adding some supply back but only at a very

slow rate and only starting in October, and only if the conditions really warranted. So if we look at how the oil market is reacting, it doesn't seem

like traders or analysts have really been shocked by this.

They know that OPEC+ does not want oil prices to go down. So we saw oil prices just slightly lower this morning. Now from a consumer perspective,

what's interesting is that we've actually seen gas prices go down and continue to move lower. The national average here in the United States is

353 a gallon.

That's not cheap. But it is a two month low, it's down 14 cents. Over the past month, some major U.S. States have seen even bigger price drops. We've

seen drops of 25 cents a gallon in Oregon and Arizona, Tennessee, within 30 cents in California and Nevada and Utah.

And so I talked to a veteran oil analyst -- and he told me that he thinks the national average will keep dropping by another 5 to 10 cents a gallon.

Of course, it would be going down even more if OPEC+ had been adding supply, but it's all of that U.S. supply that is really helping to cushion

the blow.

And Eleni, as you know, there's some big political implications here right of Americans do not like high gas prices. So whether or not we're looking

at a $3 national average or a $4 national average, you know, that could be enough to swing some voters in some key battleground states this November,


GIOKOS: Yeah. It's really important that you mentioned that, of course, gas prices do tend to affect an election year as well. I also want to talk

about Saudi oil company Aramco, which listed more shares $12 billion worth. In fact, the demand was so high that those, you know that were sort of put

into float evaporated in just a few hours.

EGAN: Yeah, absolutely incredible. I mean, Saudi Arabia is selling another piece of really what is its crown jewel, right. Aramco, the state oil

company, it's worth almost $2 trillion. And so they need to raise money right to fund these really ambitious and expensive diversification plans in

Saudi Arabia as they try to wean themselves of relying on oil.


And so they are selling another piece here, but it's really less than 1 percent of the whole company. And that has allowed them to raise another

$12 billion. Bloomberg reporting that this deal sold out in hours. They could raise another billion dollars if there's enough demand for it.

And you know, it is interesting though the timing right. I mean, this deal, this Aramco share sale comes at the same time that OPEC led by Saudi Arabia

has decided to keep the supply cuts alive. Another reason why Saudi Arabia and a lot of the other countries in OPEC, right, they don't want oil prices

to go down, right.

They have to balance their budgets. They have their own internal needs. And in Saudi Arabia's case, they're trying to fund these really ambitious

diversification plans.

GIOKOS: Yeah, that's true, high oil prices always good for oil producing countries. So thank you so much Matt Egan for joining us.

EGAN: Thanks, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Well, inflation has dealt a heavy blow to the Cuban peso. Some residents can't afford the cost of milk or eggs and others can't even get

their cash sitting in their own bank accounts. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more details on Cuba's deepening economic crisis.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a country of seemingly endless lines, these are perhaps the most frustrating. People waiting to

get money, their money, a government run banks, the lines are long, and there is no guarantee that by the time they get to the front, there will be

any cash left.

We've been here for an hour, she says and haven't been able to get inside yet. Sometimes you do the line and they don't have enough money. Despite

government attempts to move transactions online, cash is still king in Cuba, and there isn't enough of it.

OPPMANN: Many banks limit how much cash people can take out and the largest bill that the government prints is this one, 1000 pesos at the official

rate that's about $40. But in the black market, it's only worth about 3.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Runaway inflation has inflicted further pain on the already ailing Cuban economy. Lately, government run banks no longer allow

foreign companies to withdraw dollars or euros either, saying they simply don't have any on hand. The Cuban government blames the crisis on the U.S.

government's economic sanctions and murky plots.

They allege to make record inflation in shortages even worse, but Cuban journalists tracking inflation from abroad. So much of the country has lost

faith in their banking system and currency.


OPPMANN (voice-over): There is no production in Cuba, he says. Production in the country has collapsed, the country is bankrupt. And Cubans like

retiree Nancy [ph] complaining that even when the peso regains some value against the dollar, the prices stay the same or still go up.

I don't earn enough each month she says. I received 7000 pesos, but a packet of milk is almost 3000 pesos, a -- of eggs the same price. I'm not

getting buy at all. Some economists think Cuba needs to devalue its currency officially or adopt the U.S. dollar. But as the island confronts

the worst economic crisis in decades, both money and time may be running out. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


GIOKOS: And still to come, this dazzling routine from record winning gymnast Simone Biles has just occurred, her 9th all round national title at

the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Stay with CNN, we'll be right back.



GIOKOS: Welcome back, I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. You're watching "Connect the World". Well, it's another monumental win for American Gymnast

Simone Biles who dazzled judges with this stunning performance at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships this weekend in Texas.

Biles extended her record securing her 9th all around national titles, pretty phenomenal. Take a look at that. Amanda Davies joins me now. Isn't

she just incredibly talented? What she -- that performance, Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: -- yeah, absolutely, Eleni and that is never in doubt, really since she burst onto the scene. But this was a

particularly special moment. There are so many people celebrating.


DAVIES: Seeing Simone Biles looking so calm, composed, self-assured, and obviously enjoying her gymnastics. So yes, this is her 9th national title.

She's the oldest person to win the U.S. championships. But if you cast your mind back to Tokyo in 2021, where she was forced to withdraw from suffering

as she described it as the twisties, people feared we would never see her back at the top of her game again.

But she came top in all four disciplines over the two days of competition at this championships, she does still have to qualify, be selected for the

U.S. national team for the Paris 2024 Olympics. But from what we've seen, that really doesn't look like it's going to be in -- and she will get home

moment at a third Olympic Games in Paris, which kicks off in about seven weeks' time.

GIOKOS: Yeah, all right we look forward to that. And Amanda, you've got more for us after the break from the sporting world. And I'll be back at

the top of the hour, stay with CNN.