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CNN Live Event/Special
Busy Agenda For Second Day Of Meeting In Cornwall, England; Biden Aims To Reassert U.S. Leadership Into The Global Forum; Danish Player Collapses During Match Against Finland; Euro 2020 Match To Resume After Playing Eriksen Collapsed; G7 Leaders Discuss Global Economy, COVID Crisis; Summer Travelers Navigate Europe's Patchwork Rules; Opposition Leaders Detained Months Ahead Of Election IN Nicaragua; Uyghurs Deported From The Middle East. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 12, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, I'm Hala Gorani, live from Cornwall, England. You're watching CNN special coverage of the G7 Summit.
Let's bring you up to date. Praise for U.S. President Joe Biden and disagreement over the best approach to take toward China and some biting back and forth over Brexit as well. All of that front and center at the G7 Summit in Cornwall.
Details now for you. The French and U.S. presidents held their first formal in-person meeting today. Emmanuel Macron was highly complimentary of Joe Biden calling him quote, part of the club. The leaders discussed China earlier and there were some pretty significant differences on the best approach. The U.S. Britain and Canada on the one hand, called for stronger action against Beijing, other countries emphasized cooperation.
And Brexit was also on the agenda. The British Prime Minister is warning the EU he will do whatever it takes to keep goods flowing to Northern Ireland. Boris Johnson says you will not hesitate to take unilateral action. This in contravention with an agreement that was signed establishing a protocol for Northern Ireland.
Our chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward joins me now live with more -- you conducted an interview with the British Prime Minister, you asked him a host of questions on various topics. Tell us more.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think he wanted very much to emphasize how excited he is by how things are going. And surprisingly, he views this as a real good news story. But there were plenty of things that he didn't want to talk about very much, one of them being the difference in ambience this year, with President Biden leading the U.S. delegation, as opposed to President Trump. Let's take a look.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's absolutely true that with President Biden with Joe Biden, you sort of feel that he wants to -- he still -- he's a great believer in the transatlantic alliance in this special relationship, whatever you want to call it with the United Kingdom. He shares our priorities on tackling climate change --
WARD (on-camera): And President Trump did not would you say?
JOHNSON: -- a huge amount on that tomorrow. He shares our objectives on improving female education around the world.
WARD (on-camera): He also famously referred to you as a physical and emotional clone of President Trump. I just wonder how you responded to that and whether the relationship is in a better place.
JOHNSON: Relationship is in extremely good order. And I think that the premise of the UK and that has a job to do to get on with whoever is the President of the United States. So that's what we, we do. But in this particular case, I want you to know that the ratio is extremely good, are getting better --
WARD (on-camera): And was it fair --
JOHNSON: -- all the time.
WARD (on-camera): -- was it fair to call your clone?
JOHNSON: Yes, look, I mean, I'm not going to I -- people say all sorts of things about me. I think if I spent my time, you know, disputing this all that. We would get locked up. We're getting a huge lot done --
WARD (on-camera): OK.
JOHNSON: -- here at the G7. It's going well, it's beautiful weather. It's fantastic to see President Biden. But maybe --
WARD (on-camera): So, can we just talk about next week quickly?
WARD (on-camera): President Putin.
WARD (on-camera): President Biden will be meeting with President Putin.
WARD (on-camera): President Biden famously said that he thought President Putin is a killer. Do you believe President Putin is a killer?
JOHNSON: I certainly think that President Putin has done things that are unconscionable in the fairly certain that he authorized the poisonings in Salisbury, that lead to the death of a innocent, wholly innocent member of the British public, the attempted poisoning of the (INAUDIBLE). You've seen what's happening to his leading opponent Alexei Navalny, who's in prison on trumped up charges, and facing is effectively being tortured.
And so, I think that what Joe Biden will be doing when you get to see Putin will be giving some pretty tough messages. And that's, that's something I'd hardly (ph) approve on. And I did the same last time I saw Mr. Putin myself, I said, look, you know, there isn't going to be a normalization of relations between your country and our -- between Russia and the UK, until Russia changes its behavior. That's just the sad fact of it.
WARD (on-camera): So, how would you judge success?
JOHNSON: And I think that President Biden will be saying the same.
WARD (on-camera): How would you judge it as a successful summit then, what's the metric for success with this summit?
JOHNSON: If I could just comment about this summit, which is the one we're actually at, I think this has already been a very important moment, but it is wealthy (ph) enough to come together, for the first time in every year to work on how to beat the pandemic.
WARD (on-camera): Do you accept that your government --
JOHNSON: (INAUDIBLE) treaty.
WARD (on-camera): -- mishandled the pandemic in the early days? Would you say that's a fair categorization or?
JOHNSON: I think, you know, it was a an unprecedented event in our lifetimes. And, of course, we'll look back on everything that happened, what went wrong, and learn from it. But at the moment, we're focusing on vaccine rollout, which is amongst the fastest in the world, and which is giving a great deal of immunity to our people. And it actually has enabled this summit to go ahead.
GORANI: Well, Clarissa, there was major, and there is still very much major disagreement between the UK and EU leaders, the EU G7 leaders over Northern Ireland. How much of an issue is this?
WARD: You know, it was really interesting, because he did talk about this, of course, a bit and in his typical way, he was keen to say that he was optimistic that he thought a solution could be reached before the end of June, but when also had the strong sense, not just talking to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but to other people behind the scenes that everyone has sort of been given their marching orders here in terms of the importance of showing a united front. Everyone also understands that there are differences between the different leaders, they have different approaches on many different issues. But there seems to be a sort of subliminal message that this is an existentially, hugely important moment for the G7, for liberal democracies. And they need to show that they are, you know, in lockstep and moving forward and coming up with solutions for a modern and challenging world.
GORANI: And that's because we're coming off of four years of Donald Trump who of course, disparaged and disrespected these multilateral institutions, and --
WARD: And we're coming out of, well, we're still in the midst of a time where authoritarianism is on the rise. Were liberal democracies are, at least according to the numbers on the decline. So, it feels like a pivotal moment, not just for this specific summit, but for liberal democracies at large.
GORANI: What's interesting is that we know that Joe Biden wants to send the message that America is back what for G7 leaders and allies. There's a lot of nervousness that the next U.S. election might just, you know, put the next Donald Trump in the White House and how quickly all of these institutions unravel. When you have a president like Donald Trump in charge.
WARD: And that anxiety is not going to go away. People have seen how capricious the U.S. political system can be. And they're not going to forget it in a hurry no matter what President Biden says or does.
GORANI: And regarding China, a quick note on that, because there is some disagreement between on the one hand, France, Canada and the U.S. and Germany in particular, because here whenever diplomacy is a question, underlying, underpinning, any diplomatic strategy is the economic relationship between the two countries. We see with the U.S. and some authoritarian regimes around the world where they're less likely to criticize them. And with Germany, there is a big business relationship with China.
WARD: There is and I think more broadly, you know, the Germans tend to take more of a view that cooperation is the best way to deal with issues of disagreement, to deal with issues of tensions. And of course, the U.S. is trying to strike a different tone.
It's trying to strike a much more, it's not aggressive, I would say, but, you know, robust and consolidated response. So unsurprising, I think that you would see some rumblings of disagreement between how the different countries would like to contend with China.
GORANI: All right, Clarissa thanks very much. We'll speak to Clarissa a little bit later this evening as we continue our coverage.
And it wasn't that long ago, that the G7 was actually -- the G7 plus one, the G8 before Russia got suspended in 2014. Now, President Biden will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin next week in Geneva. But Mr. Biden will hold a solo news conference after it, it will not be a joint press conference. Meanwhile, Mr. Putin says Mr. Biden is nothing like his predecessor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): I believe that former U.S. President, Mr. Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual, otherwise he would not have become a U.S. president. President Biden, of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a career man. He spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics.
Just think of the number of years he spent in the Senate, a different kind of person. And it was my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any whole space movements on behalf of the sitting U.S. president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, we'll have more on the G7 in just a moment, but I want to update you on our breaking news out of Copenhagen in Denmark first. A Euro 2020 match between the home team and Finland was suspended after Denmark's player Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field. CNN's Don Riddell is here with more.
What more can you tell us on the condition of Christian Eriksen, Don?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hey Hala. Well, the latest update we've had is that this match will actually resume in 20 minutes time, they're going to play the last three or four minutes of the first half. They're going to take a short five-minute interval and then play out the second half. And we understand certainly from the tweet put out by football's European governing body UEFA that was following consultation with the players of both teams, they want to complete this game tonight.
I guess they feel as though they can because the condition of Christian Eriksen is not as awful as many people I think feared it was. Both UEFA and the Danish Football Federation have posted on social media a much more positive update of this situation.
The Danish Football Federation a short time ago, tweeting that Christian Eriksen is awake, awaiting further examination at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. One would imagine a short distance from the stadium where this game has been played. UEFA also confirming that the player had been transferred to the hospital and has been stabilized.
The last hour and a half for these players, these teams, the fans in the stadium, and frankly football fans all over the world watching these dramatic events play out has been pretty traumatic. The situation really did look to be pretty desperate. And we glean that only from the expressions on the faces of the players who were closest to it and the fans in the stadium. They looked absolutely distraught. And it seems to be a more positive ending than many of us were expecting, given the way this situation looks 90 minutes ago.
GORANI: Absolutely Don, this is positive news, because they did work on him quite a while on the field. And it is positive to hear from UEFA that the player is now in hospital and in stable condition and the game will be resuming. Thanks very much, Don Riddell.
A big difference between U.S. President Joe Biden and his predecessor at the G7 meetings, of course is Washington though back to its traditional role in the group. We'll look into that after a quick break. Stay with us.
GORANI: The United States is back and President Joe Biden is in. Mr. Biden had a one-on-one with French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 Summit and Macron heaped praise on Biden calling him quote, part of the club.
In a session earlier world leaders differed though on their approach to China. The U.S. France, Britain and Canada are pushing for stronger action over Beijing's authoritarian practices. But other EU leaders want to focus on areas of cooperation instead.
Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is covering the U.S. president at the summit. And let's go to her live now.
So is this is China Joe Biden's biggest priority? And if so, why, Kaitlan?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think when it comes to the foreign policy front, yes, he has been pretty clear on that. It's not the Middle East. It's not some of these other aspects that you saw other presidents focus on, he believes China is one of the biggest issues that needs to be confronted.
And he's tying that a lot to his domestic policy and his infrastructure package that he is pushing now to get passed in the United States. But I think in the sense that the message that what he is bringing here to Cornwall is that he needs a united front against China. And it can't just be the United States against China, it needs to be a cohesive message from the U.S. allies.
And so, that's why this meeting today is so fascinating. The divisions that are pretty deep among the G7 allies of how to deal with China and how big of a threat China really is. We are told by White House officials that during one of the meetings today that the talk was so sensitive, they shut off internet to the room. But you saw the leaders of the United States and the UK and Canada, almost, you know, agreement against the leaders in Germany, in Italy, in the EU against what to do about China, and just how aggressive to be.
And we are told that President Biden pushed back on them saying that they need to call out China's forced labor, they need to call out China's anti-democratic moves that you've seen ramping up recently. And we are told that several world leaders agreed with him, including the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but there are several including the French president who don't see it that way.
And so, that's what's so fascinating about this conversation and where it's going to go from here and how they're going to mention this in that joint agreement that they're expected to sign tomorrow. And, of course, what that agreement does say about China, because so much of these factors into Biden's presidency going forward, and it factors into his relationships with these world leaders as well.
GORANI: Thank you very much. Kaitlan Collins, our Chief White House correspondent.
Well, let's get more analysis now. I'm joined by David Herszenhorn, he's the chief Brussels correspondent for Politico.
I want to ask you a little bit first about the rift between Boris Johnson and EU leaders over Northern Ireland, how severe is it? Can they patch things up?
DAVID HERSZENHORN, CHIEF BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, they probably can patch things up. But it will not be easy. I mean, they're really trying to square a circle here. This is one of the most intractable aspects of the Brexit debate, it's been going on for years already.
A lot of frustration on the EUs part because in fact, they had reached one deal on Northern Ireland with Theresa May, then Boris Johnson came in and wanted to scrap that and they replaced what had been called the backstop with the front stop, which is what Boris Johnson wanted. And now that in itself is not good enough and not working out.
So, there's a lot of interest in the EU on protecting the Good Friday Agreement, on making sure there's peace on the island of Ireland. But it's very difficult to do that. And do what Boris Johnson wants is essentially to pretend that he didn't ask to put a customs border in the middle of the Irish Sea. And that's what he did.
GORANI: Well, he's really breaking an agreement he signed himself isn't he?
HERSZENHORN: Well, that's what they're saying. And of course, the British side is sort of throwing back at the EU the fact that it has made peace in Ireland a big priority. And we've seen there has been renewal of unrest, really worrying that that can crop up so soon after Brexit, really. And so, this will continue to be a tense tug of war.
The EU officials were trying to say he wants us to solve his problem from they were annoyed that David Frost, who was the minister in charge of the EU relationship, showed up at his meeting with the EU president with UK flag on his socks, you know, as a message of course, they had the EU on their masks.
HERSZENHORN: So, it's one for one, but -- GORANI: It's the sock versus the mask.
HERSZENHORN: -- very tense, you get a sense. That's right. (INAUDIBLE) how tense this is.
GORANI: Of course. But Joe Biden has made no secret of the fact that he's not a fan of Brexit and that he wants to preserve the Good Friday Agreement and make sure that there is no flare up of violence. Will his pressure on Boris Johnson have any impact at all?
HERSZENHORN: It's already having an impact. There's no question that EU is taking great heart in the fact that the U.S. is with them on this nudging Boris Johnson in the direction they want to go. One of the signals they're sending is look if Brexit is intruding if the Northern Ireland protocol is intruding on Boris Johnson's G7, this was supposed to be the moment when global Britain came out on the world stage. And this is really a problem for him.
So they're hoping that with Biden on their side, it nudges The UK off this kind of difficult position, but Johnson is tough and he's threatened today to invoke Article 16. It's sort of an emergency provision that would let him break this deal that makes them very nervous. They don't like hearing that at all. And they regarded as very aggressive. So we'll see. And that's what Joe Biden here, you know, at the G7.
GORANI: So what is, I mean, if they don't come to some sort of agreement, what is the worst case scenario here?
HERSZENHORN: Well, they're, you know, worst case scenario is that you have real violence on the island of Ireland, that there's a real breakdown going on. The question is about the flow of goods really, in many cases, foodstuffs, pets, to some degree.
You heard, even some of your colleagues talking about the passion that UK feels for its sausages. On the EU side, we hear the Brits are based in Brussels, and why are they to rturing us about fresh fruit and vegetables and our pets, they know we love our pets, because they recognize that. But pets now need passports, post Brexit.
The EU message is, look, you quit the club. And once you quit the club, you can't have things the way they were. And so, this is the -- you know, Brexit just never end.
GORANI: But what I find interesting here is that, as you mentioned, you can't have it both ways. Without, you know, boring people with the granular detail of the Northern Ireland protocol. You either have Northern Ireland, as part of the UK, or you have no border, and then essentially, it's part of the island, the island of Ireland. You can't have it both ways.
HERSZENHORN: That's exactly it.
GORANI: You just can't.
HERSZENHORN: It's what I'm telling you. They're trying to square a circle, right? The Good Friday Agreement calls for a common travel area, it calls for a free flow of, of goods. And yet, getting out of the Customs Union and the single market of the EU, which is what Boris Johnson made a priority for his version of Brexit. Brexit could have been done, while staying within the Customs Union. Turkey is in the customs, and there are other countries in the Customs Union. It could have stayed in the single market found a deal.
Now for regular people, they probably don't care. They're not so interested, they trust that both the UK and the EU would do the proper checks that are needed to make sure food is safe, to make sure that the animals are healthy. So for real people, it's sort of irrelevant. And yet as you're saying exactly right, it is impossible to square that circle one way or another. Something has to give.
GORANI: You've been covering this summit and you obviously are based in Brussels and you cover the various meetings and discussions that happen between British officials and their EU counterparts. What is the on a personal level the relationship between Boris Johnson and say and Emmanuel Macron or an Ursula von der Leyen or Charles Michel, are they? Are they -- is it a friendly open relation?
HERSZENHORN: There's --
GORANI: Or there's tension?
HERSZENHORN: -- there's tension. There's no question. There's tension. Now Boris Johnson in these settings has an instinct to being the class clown.
HERSZENHORN: He likes to joke he likes to tease even within this meeting with David Frost sing to the EU, you know, he's not the tough one. I'm the tough one. You know, trying to make a little bit of light of this.
On a personal level, they sometimes get along some better than others joking around, but when it comes down to brass tacks, they have very, very strong positions and they can't get. I think between Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson, you know, it's probably a little bit denser than it is between Charles Michel who you know, tries to be a pal with him a little bit.
Macron of course, you know, mindful that maybe his more important relationship that he's working on here is with Joe Biden --
HERSZENHORN: -- the new president. Angela Merkel, of course, you know. This is the one thing about these summits that people don't realize is this is when leaders are at their most human with each other. They don't get a lot of opportunities to be together as they were with partners at dinner last night. Tonight, there's supposed to be a big barbecue with rum and pirates apparently, it really humanizes them --
GORANI: Pirates? Sorry, I didn't hear that part.
HERSZENHORN: -- (INAUDIBLE). But Angela Merkel now --
GORANI: Actual pirates?
HERSZENHORN: We'll find out.
HERSZENHORN: I'm interested too. You know, it's been this a long time this may be her last summit.
HERSZENHORN: So, it's a bit of a farewell there for her.
GORANI: Interesting though it is a beach, so it's different from the very lavish royal dinner that we covered yesterday. Today, it's kind of like well the shoes come off, well shorts be worn we don't know.
HERSZENHORN: Well, they definitely had some fun with the Queen. There's no question that even though the EU side were saying how the meeting with bars was long and it was tense, they really enjoyed their time with the Queen. I don't know if you saw was cutting a cake with a sword.
GORANI: With a sword, yes.
HERSZENHORN: You know, I mean, it really humanizes these leaders in all kinds of ways.
GORANI: And he was celebrating her birthday. All right, thanks very much, David Herszenhorn, the chief Brussels correspondent for Politico, joining us here in-person which is lovely to finally --
GORANI: -- be able to interview before in-person here in there. We're outside though, so we can.
GORANI: Thanks so much.
The U.S. president is being welcomed by global leaders at the G7, but he's still has a meeting with Vladimir Putin to prepare for. A preview of what that might look like is coming up next.
GORANI: Welcome back, I'm Hala Gorani. We're coming to you live from Cornwall, England with special coverage of the G7. More on our breaking news, though first out of Copenhagen. Officials now say the Euro 2020 game between Denmark and Finland will resume. The match was suspended after Danish player Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field. And officials now say Eriksen has been stabilized and is awake, which is great news.
Darren Lewis, our CNN worlds for contributor joins me now with more. So, it was very scary there for a moment. But thankfully, it seems as though according at least to the information we're getting that Eriksen is stabilized and responsive.
DARREN LEWIS, CNN WORLD SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, indeed Hala, let's stick with what we know the UEFA tournament organizers say that he has indeed been stabilized and that is OK. That information's been relayed to the fans who were so concerned inside the stadium.
He went down in the 42nd minute of the match three minutes before the scheduled interval, the halftime break. And there had been real anxiety both inside the stadium and around the football world. It given the gravity of the situation at the time.
The players formed a protective cordon around him. One of the players, the captain of Denmark Simon Kjaer, he put him in the recovery position, the anxiety is a call for the medical staff to come over and to do whatever they could to look after him. And the pictures were horrifying. I must say lots of people around the world are watching. I was watching with my two young children, one of them I had to send away because I was so concerned about the situation that had been unfolding in front of us.
But as you rightly say, Hala, you wait for tell us that Eriksen has been stabilized he is in hospital. We understand his family are going to see him and credit must go to the referee Anthony Taylor, who acted as quickly as he did, and to those medical staff, those medical professionals who do such a wonderful job and ended up giving us a more positive relative resolution to something that looked at that moment very terrifying indeed.
GORANI: All right. And we understand that the next match as well will go ahead this one will resume. So as far as the playing is concerned that's all back on schedule.
LEWIS: Well, I must just very quickly read to you Hala a message from the wife of President Aleksander Ceferin because it's very poignant indeed. He says that moments like this put into everything in life into perspective. He said, I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray that his family has strength and faith. He says, at these times the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and the prayers of everyone.
I must say, I don't think that there would have been any chance of the game going ahead, had there been any suggestion that Eriksen is in danger. But it does look as though your way for spoken to, they've said it in a statement. We've spoken to the players of both teams. They've indicated a willingness to play, and so they will play. The debate over that will rumble on I'm sure, but as things stand the only thing that's important, I'm sure you'd agree, Hala, is Christian Eriksen.
GORANI: Yes, absolutely. And we wish him a speedy recovery, Darren, thanks very much.
Back to Cornwall, It's been a busy weekend at Carbis Bay, where the last session of the day just wrapped for G7 leaders. Now, the leaders are discussing global recovery from the pandemic and how to prevent another economic crisis. But discussions on China dominated the second day of the G7.
And at one point talks became so sensitive that all intranet access to the meeting room was shut off. The summit is set to wrap tomorrow after two more sessions, ending with talks on climate change.
President Biden's summit with Vladimir Putin will come at the tail end of his week long trip, and after he attends the NATO Summit in Brussels. And the White House says, Mr. Biden will hold a solo press conference following the meeting. Either Russia nor the US is expecting any momentous developments from the summit. But the Russian leader says relations are the worst they've been in years, so a summit is probably not a bad idea. We have the latest from CNN's Matthew Chance
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Russians are going there, they say, to explain the situation not to negotiate it, not to discuss it. I put it to Dmitry Peskov who's Vladimir Putin's spokesman, that the fact that there wasn't going to be a joint news conference at the end of the summit, which would be usual and which is something the Russians say they wanted initially when they said, hey, it's on this journey towards developing this summit, was a major setback for Russia. Because one of the reasons the Russians wanted this summit is to show Vladimir Putin on the international stage sharing a platform with the US president.
But the Kremlin pushback on that saying that was not the reason, that they were having this summit at all. Take a listen to what Dmitry Peskov had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN: The main reason for him is a poor state of relationship between our two countries, and a critical level of his relationship with demands -- that demands a summit between our two countries, because this is the only way to arrange an evaluation of the situation in our relationship, to prevent further, further degradation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: There you are, Dmitry Peskov saying that basically the relationship is bad and a summit is the only way really to start the process of addressing that. There is a list as long as your arm when it comes to fraud issues between the United States and Russia, whether it's the military buildup in Ukraine, cyber attacks against the United States, whether it's to crack down on democracy here and crack down on dissidents here.
But none of those issues, the sense I got from Dmitry Peskov there, is Vladimir Putin going to the summit prepared to back down. In his words, don't expect any breakthroughs in this summit.
GORANI: All right, that was Matthew Chance reporting. Moscow's mayor has asked not all non-essential workers to stay home next week to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. He's calling it a nonworking week. Russia reported more than 13,000 new COVID infections on Saturday alone, and 7,000 of those were in Moscow.
It is the highest number of new cases in the city this year, so there are some concern understandably. Moscow's hospital beds are quickly filling up and the mayor is asking residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccination rate in Russia is extremely low.
More Americans are taking to the skies again. The TSA says 2.7 million people pass through their lines Friday. That's the highest numbers since March 2020. Friday's record shows air travel is inching back to pre-pandemic levels. And those numbers make it clear people are starting to get the summer travel bug. Europe's tourism businesses are trying to attract visitors during what's usually their busiest season.
But Europe's confusing and sometimes inconsistent COVID travel rules are making all of that difficult. The CEO of Ryanair says he's especially disappointed with the UK and Irish governments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL O'LEARY, CEO, RYANAIR: No, I have no confidence in Johnson, Boris Johnson's government is a shambles. The Irish government, despite the fact that we're an island of the edge of Europe, are literally making stuff up as they go along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, CNN's Anna Stewart has more on the ever-changing travel rules that are confusing tourists and air airlines alike.
ANNA STEWART, CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Parcels are poised in Portugal's Algarve. The canals and crews ready in Venice. The summer season looms, and the travel and tourism sectors are hoping for a break. The International Air Transport Association says Europe's aviation market will be the hardest hit this year due to its reliance on international travel, with losses of $22.2 billion expected and demand predicted to be down by about 66% compared to 2019. The EU has now launched a digital health pass for travel, it's already being used in some countries and will be available in all member states by July. EU citizens can travel within the block with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, recovery from previous infection or vaccination. For non-EU citizens, the picture is more complex.
Spain welcomes fully vaccinated travelers without any testing requirements from everywhere other than Brazil, India and South Africa. France requires arrivals from the UK, North America and most of Asia and Africa to provide a negative test regardless of their vaccination status. The continent is essentially a patchwork of different rules and restrictions.
JOHAN LUNDGREN, CEO, ESSYJET: I'm super excited. You know, it's a big day today because the travel ban has actually been lifted today.
STEWART: The UK removed its travel ban in May and lifted quarantine requirements for a handful of countries such as Portugal, only to reverse that decision less than three weeks later, on account of COVID cases rising and new variants emerging.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very confusing decision.
STEWART: The confusion of what rules are, where and therefore when they may change could make Europe summer season a wash out. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
GORANI: Still to come, as some at the G7 call for tougher action on China, we'll show you just how far Beijing will go to crack down on the Uyghur community. Stay with us.
GORANI: Well, democracy appears to be plunging into authoritarianism ahead of a crucial election this fall in Nicaragua. Police have detained at least seven high profile opposition leaders as Presidente Daniel Ortega moves to further consolidate his power. Matt Rivers has our report.
MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT: Growing concerns of Central American strong man is clinging to power by silencing his biggest critics. In Nicaragua, leader Daniel Ortega's forces have arrested more than a half dozen opposition leaders in just the last week, months ahead of November's elections. It started with the arrest of Cristiana Chamorro, a prominent opposition figure and the daughter of former president, Violeta Chamorro who ended Ortega's first stint as president in 1990.
The police took over the street outside Chamorro's house pushing journalist back as they went to arrest her for charges including "ideological falseness," in relation to a free press group she ran in the country after harassing her with allegations of money laundering. Chamorro had recently announced her presidential campaign and was widely seen as someone who could challenge Ortega at the polls.
This is the product of the fear and terror that Daniel Ortega has in the face of transparent competitive elections, said her cousin Juan Sebastian Chamorro, who was also running for president for a separate party. But just a few days after that interview, he was also arrested.
At least seven opposition leaders including four presidential candidates have been detained and charged with vague "national security violations." They'll all likely be disqualified from running for office, moves human rights groups. They clearly show that Ortega, who returned to power in 2007, is trying to wipe out competition and secure a fourth term.
JOSE MIGUEL VIVANCO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: What we have in Nicaragua at this stage is pretty much a facade of democracy.
RIVERS: Though, critics say Ortega has long been undermining Nicaraguan democracy, 2018 was undoubtedly a turning point. Massive anti-government protests led to a crackdown that left more than 300 people dead according to human rights groups. The majority killed by security forces. The protest became the government's justification to enact a slew of vague new laws that have banned protest and essentially criminalized anyone who speaks out against the government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS (through-translation): If the government knew you were speaking to foreign journalist, what would happen?
JUAN, OPPOSE DANIEL ORTEGA (through translation): They'd consider me a traitor to the country. They can make up some c rime and take me to jail for who knows how many years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: We're hiding the identity of a man we'll call Juan for his own safety. He opposes Ortega and took part in the protest, but says the government has terrified citizens like him into silence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN (through translation): Here the person that raises their voice basically gets marked or identified as a traitor to the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: And human rights groups say so called traitors often experience torture at the hands of the country's notoriously ruthless security services. A lawyer have one of the presidential candidates now in custody, Felix Maradiaga, said in a statement that Maradiaga was "very badly beaten" shortly after being detained. The Ortega administration did not respond to requests for comment but other governments are speaking out. A senior US State Department official tweeted that Ortega's recent actions "should resolve any remaining doubts about Ortega's credentials as a dictator." The international community has no choice but to treat him as such.
The United States has now levied sanctions against several top Nicaraguan government officials, including Daniel Ortega's daughter, but they are relatively targeted sanctions. If it wanted to, United States could certainly implement sanctions that could hurt the economy in a more broad way.
But by doing so, we run the risk of punishing ordinary Nicaraguans for the sins of their leader and also maybe even creating an economic situation that would force more migrants to leave that country head north to the United States. That is certainly something that the Biden administration would want to avoid. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
GORANI: In China's Xinjiang Region, up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained in vast government camps. And they continue to face what the US has called the genocide. Beijing denies the allegations, dismisses them as propaganda. And they say that the camps are merely vocational training centers for combating extremism.
Now, some Uyghurs have managed to leave China but say that even abroad they're not safe. And you Human Rights Watch report says China has tracked down hundreds of Uyghurs across the globe, forcing them to return and face persecution at home. A CNN investigation dives into Uighur deportations from the Middle East in particular, which is seen as a stinging betrayal by Muslim countries. Jomana Karadsheh reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This quiet Uyghur protest outside is Istanbul's infamous Saudi Consulate is a race against time. Nuriman's father's fate hangs in the balance.
If he's sent back to China he will be imprisoned and there's danger of death, she tells us.
Nuriman Veli says she and her sister lost contact with their mother in China's Xinjiang region four years ago.
If God forbid, we lose our father as well, it will destroy us, she says.
Her father, Hamdullah Veli, a Uyghur Muslim scholar, was nabbed by Saudi authorities in November while on a pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city. Nuriman pleads, sent him back to Turkey where he is a resident, not China.
For her father, there is still time. For others, there is little hope.
(on camera): Activists say at least five Uyghurs have already been deported from Saudi Arabia. We spoke to two of those families who confirmed these deportations. This is just one part of what appears to be a terrifying campaign by China.
Over the course of our investigation, we have also found cases of Uyghurs forcibly returned to China from the United Emirates and Egypt, a violation of international law and where they may face what the U.S. has labeled, a genocide.
(voice-over): Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt did not respond to our request for comment. China is a major trade partner to this Muslim majority countries, who've not only turned a blind eye to China's treatment of Uyghurs, their autocratic governments have also voiced support for what Chinese insists is a counter-terrorism campaign.
Maryam Muhammad has been keeping a dark secret from her boys, trying to shield them from the cruel reality of the world they were born into, a nightmare that followed them thousands of kilometers from their homeland in Xinjiang. She tells them, daddy is away working.
The last time she heard from her husband, Muhtar Rozi, he was being detained in Egypt on July 16th, 2017.
MARYAM MUHAMMAD, UYGHUR MUSLIM: I said, you are my precious. I love you so much and from that day I did not get any message about him.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Maryam was leading her dream. She studied and Muhtar studied at Cairo's Al Azhar University, got married and started a family. But when China's long armed reached Egypt, they scramble to get out.
Maryam said she flew Turkey with the boys, and with reports of arrests at the airport, Muhtar tried to get the ferry out to Jordan but was stopped.
There was little Maryam could do to try and find her husband. She wrote letters to U.N. agencies and governments, but she says, no one responded.
Muhtar's detention was never acknowledged. Like others, he just vanished without a trace.
Egyptian authorities believed to be acting at the behest of the Chinese government, rounded up dozens, possibly hundreds of Uyghurs, many of them male students at Al Azhar. More than 20 were forcibly returned to China, according to human rights groups.
The Chinese crackdown on Uyghurs had expanded far beyond its borders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not 21, but it's not the exact number, maybe it will be more.
KARADSHEH (on camera): Actually, Yob (ph) is a Uyghur activist. He says he's documented at least 28 deportations by these Middle Eastern countries. But no one really knows how many Uyghurs will be behind bars in the region, or how many have already been deported back to China.
Too often, family members fear that going public would only make things worse for their disappeared loved ones.
AMANNISA ABDULLAH, UYGHUR MUSLIM: He is my children's dad.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Amannisa Abdullah is tormented by devastating guilt. Did she push too much? Did she not do enough to try and save her husband?
She fears family in China will pay the price for her speaking out now, but she says silence is no longer an option.
ABDULLAH: In two years, it's kind of a guilty feeling. There's always inside of me and I'm not able to sleep. Not able to even like, if I feel happy, I have no right to feeling happy. I have no right to smile. I'm living like this.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Her husband, Ahmad Talip, lived and worked in the UAE for 10 years. In February 2018, he was detained while picking up paperwork from a Dubai police station. It was two weeks from hell far a 9-month pregnant Amannisa and her son chasing Ahmad as he was moved between police stations and jails.
ABDULLAH: I have fear if I don't be hurry up, my husband will be deported. I'm really worried about him at that time. I felt extremely helpless and there is no one can help me at that time.
KARADSHEH (on camera): So this is the document you got from court?
KARADSHEH (voice-over): She said no one would even tell or what Ahmad was accused, of only that he was wanted by China.
This document Amannisa obtained from Dubai's public prosecution confirms the Chinese extradition request. It also states the prosecution decided to close the case because Chinese authorities failed to provide the required documents. But Ahmad was transferred to Abu Dhabi and in a few days later, Amannisa was told he was sent back to China.
ABDULLAH: If my husband have any crime, he committed any crime, why they don't tell me? Why China don't tell me? One of the most difficult question in my life is where is my dad?
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Eight-year-old Musa (ph) is left with photos and patchy childhood members.
This was in Dubai?
MUSA (ph): Yes. We are making a castle, but I cannot make a castle without my daddy.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Musa says he's lucky. His little sister Amina (ph) never met her father.
Like tens of thousands of Uyghurs, the family found sanctuary in Turkey. But as the government forges further ties with China, Uyghurs feel their safe space is shrinking.
MUSA (ph): Sister finger, sister finger, where are you?
KARADSHEH (voice-over): With nowhere left to turn, Amannisa says she wants to ask for directions to the sea.
ABDULLAH: I say, I want to take my child. I want to sit there. Actually, what I want to do is I want to go inside because I don't know how to swim.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Amannisa asks, and is this world is not big enough for Uyghurs?
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
GORANI: Human Rights Watch says that in many cases, it is impossible to find out what happened to Uyghurs forcibly returned to China. The Chinese government did not respond to our requests for comment on this reporting. Beijing has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses targeting its Uyghur community and accusations of genocide.
China's Foreign Minister recently called these allegations preposterous. For more on this report, visit our website at CNN.com. We'll be right back with more G7 coverage in a moment.
GORANI: Welcome back. We're getting some images of the G7 leaders on the beach. We just missed that moment. They have basically -- but there they are. They've -- they're making their way to the beach to take the family photo, the traditional family photo at the end of the G7 summit. It's an expanded family photo, I understand.
They take one at the beginning of the summit with the G7 leaders. And then at the end they have invited leaders this year. The leaders of South Africa of South Korea as well have joined and so they gather and that's where they take the big family photo.
And these are live images coming to us from Carbis Bay. And as you can see, it is a beautiful day today. It wasn't the case for the first few days of the G7 summit. In fact, some of the planned events were canceled because of bad weather. There was a, for instance, a plan to trip to St. Michael's Mount that was canceled. But today, it is absolutely lovely, perhaps a little bit too breezy. But apart from that, we're not going to be too demanding, because at least it is a beautiful sun shining over the leaders of the G7.
We'll get you by the way that family photo as soon as it is released, that is an expanded family photo of the G7 leaders with the invited guests. Now, what were the big issues? There is China, there is of course Russia, there is the COVID pandemic, there's the global economic recovery, but of course there is the environment. Those are the key issues around the G7 table.
Near the summit site, two artists are using an unconventional method to send their environment message to G7 leaders. Let's take a look. Do we have time to take a look at this? Yes, we do. Here's Anna Stewart with what's been called Mount Recyclemore.
STEWART (voice-over): From old telephones and tablets to computer keyboards and circuit boards. This is Mount Recyclemore, a take on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Instead of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, this sculpture depicts the G7 leaders attending this year's Summit, erected near the site of the Summit in Cornwall, England for leaders to see.
Artists Joe rush and Alex Wreckage created the artwork from discarded electronics to send a clear message to world leaders about the environmental problems of electronic waste.
JOE RUSH, LEAD ARTIST ON MOUNT RECYCLEMORE: Basically, it's to make them, you know, to sort of say, you know, you've got to work together on this one. You've got to build it into the way we do things that we can recycle things, that we can repair things, and we don't just waste things.
STEWART (voice-over): More than 53 million tons of electronic wastes were produced globally in 2019. And that number is expected to more than double by the year 2050 according to the U.N., making it the fastest growing type of waste polluting our planet. When it's not recycled e-waste can lead to toxic chemicals seeping into the earth soil and water. These organizers say it's about time something is done about the problem on a global scale.
RUSH: Well, what I'd like him to do the leaders, the G7 conferences, I like them all to talk to each other and work out a plan that isn't just shifting the problem from one country to another, you know, but actually as a plan we will work on together which is how to deal with this waste.
STEWART (voice-over): It may be cool to look at but it's not just art or a tourist attraction, it's a pile of junk that's a threat to the environment.
ALEX WRECKAGE, ARTIST ON MOUNT RECYCLEMORE: This is just the perfect opportunity and it's the perfect place as well to just shove it in their face, you know, the world leaders, you know, need to get their act together, you know, we will do it.
Anna Stewart, CNN.
GORANI: All right, and before we go Christiane is back on Amanpour on Monday, that's remember at 1:00 p.m. in New York, 6:00 p.m. in London, so back at her regular time.
I'm Hala Gorani, I'll see you after a quick break, stay with CNN.