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CNN Live Event/Special

President Biden Meeting With King Salman And Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman; Biden Insists On Full And Transparent Probe Into Journalist's Death; Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Sworn In As Acting President; DNA Samples Being Used To Identify The Dead In Vinnytsia; Russia Turns Ukraine's Fertile Farmland Into A Battleground; Monkeypox Outbreak Expands Quickly Around the World; Dangerous Heat Wave Threatens Millions Across the Globe. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired July 15, 2022 - 12:00:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hello and a warm welcome to ONE WORLD. I'm Pauline, live in New York, following developments in Sri Lanka and Ukraine.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And I'm Becky Anderson live for you in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, following President Joe Biden's Middle East trip.

And at this hour, President Joe Biden is here in Jeddah meeting with the King, King Salman, greeted by the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Here you see the men exchange a fist bump as they greeted each other a short time ago. It's a tightrope walk for Mr. Biden, he's balancing the optics of a meeting with a leader accused of sanctioning murder with the U.S. need for increased Saudi oil output.

The White House didn't explicitly announce that the President would be meeting directly with MBS until Thursday night. In fact, last month Mr. Biden told reporters he was not going to meet with the Crown Prince. Rather attend a meeting that the Crown Prince was a part of.

And take a listen to what Mr. Biden has said about MBS and the Saudis in recent years.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: MBS and Saudi Arabia, who I know, my lord he's making excuses. By the way, you know that old expression, some people bring a gun to a knife fight? Well you don't bring bone saws to fights.

And after the cold blooded murder of a journalist giving the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt, look - look at the example this sets around the world. Forget what it does here.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON: Well, let's bring in CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Susan Glasser and Mohammed Alyahya, he's a Senior Fellow at Harvard University's Middle East Institute and formerly with Al Arabiya English. So thank you, to both of you.

Let me start with you, Susan, because I don't want to call it sweep up job but the President has decided that this indeed is an important trip. In fact you could argue that this is, of the two legs on his Middle East trip, this is by far the most important. So with that, what is it that the U.S. President, do you believe, wants to get out of this trip? And how is it going to go down at-home?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look that was a very costly, at least in a political sense, fist bump indeed that he just had with the Crown Prince known as MBS. And, you know, Joe Biden campaigned, he said he would actually make Saudi Arabia pariah state because of the murder ordered apparently by MBS of the journalist exiled to the United States, Jamal Khashoggi.

Instead we're in a situation where just the other day Biden was asked, he said, "He wouldn't even commit to bringing up that murder in the meeting that he is currently having with the Crown Prince. So, you know, it's a real political walk down for President Biden.

What's a little mystifying to me is, if he was here to cut a deal with the Saudis on gas and oil, people would understand that perhaps as one of the unfortunately consequences of Russia's war in Ukraine. And yet Biden's awkward dance around is he meeting with him or not? Is it about oil or not? In a way that sort of extenuated the political story instead of the perceived benefit of having this meeting in the first place.

ANDERSON: Yes. Well what the President has admitted, and he admitted this in-person just in Israel a couple of days ago, is that he is sorry that the U.S. has effectively made a mistake in downgrading the relationship with the Saudis and this region.

And in moving away from its commitment to this region and leaving a vacuum, he says, for the likes of - not just the likes of specifically, for China and Russia. I want to bring you in at this point.

Firstly, I just want to talk about what it is that you believe the Saudis want to get out of this. But let's just start with the fist bump, it was a bit chilly wasn't it?

MOHAMMED ALYAHYA, SENIOR FELLOW, HARVARD UNIVERSITY MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: I don't know. I mean it's a - it's a - I didn't find it chilly at all. I thought it was great.

ANDERSON: Interesting. All right, well we, you know, let's move on from the optics of this because it's happened, the Crown Prince did greet the U.S. President.


Perhaps (ph) less chilly, more relatively quick. I mean it was the quickest fist bump I think I've ever seen in my life.

ALYAHYA: It was a quick one.

ANDERSON: It was a quick one. Let's move on, what do the Saudis want out of this?

ALYAHYA: Well I think primarily the Saudis want clarity, you know, the Saudis understand that America is going through pain right now economically and in terms of oil prices. But also what they want is for the United States to understand that they're going through pain. Rockets are falling on Saudi oil infrastructure. Saudi Arabia has always been keen on playing the role market managers stabilizing oil production. Has done so in the aftermath of World War II.

It's done so during the Cold War and that cumulated into the collapse of the Soviet Union. It's happy to do that today. But doing that while rockets are falling on Saudi oil facilities poses a real physical threat to Saudi Arabia.

ANDERSON: Mohammed, it's security guarantees. We know that the Saudis want security guarantees from the U.S. as do the UAE. But writing in "Politico" in an op-ed today, the Saudi Ambassador to Washington put it very succinctly, I thought, when she said, you know, "We want the next 80-years of the U.S./Saudi relationship to be different from the last 80-years."

Which she described as the old and reductionist oil for security relationship. Your thoughts?

ALYAHYA: I think that makes sense. I think she was talking about the framework by which the relationship is described. The reality is over the past 80-years the relationship was much richer than just oil for security, right. The bilateral Saudi relationship is a phrase that is a bit problematic because the bilateral relationship was always the tip of the iceberg for a larger multilateral project.

You can see that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, with Saudi Arabia, you know, galvanizing support for the United States and it's camp. You can see that with Saudi Arabia galvanizing support with the United States to kick Saddam out of Kuwait.

So all of these things show that while bilateral relationship might be at the tip of the iceberg, the iceberg itself is rich multilateral cooperation whether it's the OIC, GGC, or else - or other things.

ANDERSON: That's fascinating. Susan, what is Biden, to your mind or according to your sources, what does Biden and his administration want to take away from this trip that would be a neat sell back home?

GLASSER: Well first of all getting over - getting it over with as quickly as possible, no politician likes to be reminded of his or her flip flops and this is one of the biggest ones that Joe Biden has made certainly international so moving past that as quickly as possible.

I think the real question thought that still has not been answered is what exactly was the price for that fist bump and how much is Saudi Arabia willing to and have the capacity, at this moment, to significantly ease pain of the United States and the rest of the world economy when it comes to oil supplies in the wake of Russia's invasion. That's not answered, number one.

Number two, talking about security and, you know, the insecurity that Saudi Arabia feels right now, I think there is also a sense in the United States and in Washington, the Biden administration, Saudi Arabia has not exactly been a responsible actor in recent years. You look at the considered (ph) war in Yemen which has been a huge problem that leaders at the Pentagon here in Washington have not quite figured out how to resolved supporting the Crown Prince in this effort. But at the same time, it's ground on in a way that has not necessarily made Saudi Arabia more secure.

So it's just not entirely clear what Biden is getting for that fist bump.

ANDERSON: We're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. I know both of you will be keeping a keen eye on these statements that come out of what are these closed door meetings. Oh, to be a fly on the wall, but we're not.

Thank you to both of you.

ALYAHYA: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: Earlier President Biden met with the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank. Mr. Biden shared with him his administration's plans to further peace in the region reiterating support for a two-state solution.

He also called for a thorough investigation into the death of the Palestinian American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot in May while covering an Israeli operation in the West Bank.


BIDEN: Her death is enormous loss to the essential work of sharing with the world the story of the Palestinian people. I hope that her legacy - her legacy will inspire more young people to carry on her work of reporting the truth and telling stories that are too often overlooked.

The United States will continue to insist on a full and transparent accounting of her death and will continue to stand up for media freedom everywhere in the world.



ANDERSON: Well an empty seat facing the two leaders held a large photo of the late journalist. It's where she would have been sitting were she alive. Other journalists wore t-shirts with her face on them.

Well we are in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and we'll have a lot more from here in about 20 minutes. So I want to throw it back to Paula Newton now for the time being in New York for more of the day's news. Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, thanks, Becky, looking forward to your analysis within the next hour. In meantime, law makers in Sri Lanka are set to begin the process of electing a new leader. That's just in the coming hours from now and it follows days of dramatic developments that ended with street celebrations. And the Parliamentary Speaker formally accepting the resignation President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Now Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the interim leader during a ceremony. You see it there in Colombo earlier. Now Rajapaksa resigned from exile, he was in exile already in Singapore after fleeing the country on Wednesday. Now for months protesters furious over crippling fuel shortages and skyrocketing inflation demanded his ouster.

Parliament is expected to elect a new President July 20th. The question now is will a new leader bring any kind of stability to a country in economic freefall.

CNN's Will Ripley is on the ground there for us in Sri Lanka and he joins us now live from Colombo. And Will it is really good to have you there on the ground. And is there a sense there crucially that things can be calmer and that protesters, that have been on the streets for days now, can be appeased? Because what has been the criticism is that the new acting President is part of the old regime here.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And not only that but now acting President Wickremesinghe is the ruling party's nominee next week when the Parliament votes in a new President.

So the people who have been out for months demanding that the entire operation connected to the Rajapaksa dynasty, which includes Mahinda, the brother who was the President and the Prime Minister, who is largely credited with a lot of the bad deals and bad policies that ran this country's economy into the ground for the better part of the last two decades.

He's, you know, still here along with his brother Basil even though Gotabaya is now in Singapore trying to find a place that he can - that he can go and be granted immunity from potential war crimes charges. You still have this acting Presidents who is really close with the family who could now potentially be the new President which means that the people who have been demanding a complete clean sweep an all-party government might still have somebody in-charge who's very closely connected to the old dynasty.

And that, we are told, could bring protestors back out onto these empty streets. You know that last time I was here was 2019 after the Easter bombings. In this very spot exactly and the streets were also empty. But on a normal Friday night, before the fuel shortages and before, you know, people's living costs tripled almost overnight making it barely impossible even to afford one meal a day never mind three. You know this would be - this would be a bustling street. People would be out. They'd be celebrating.

When we were driving here I saw so many people standing on street corners begging, not necessarily even for money, just asking if somebody had some extra food they could give them. It is a truly dire situation on the ground here in Colombo and across Sri Lanka because of the fact that this country is so bankrupt they cannot bring in even the basic essentials that people need and costs are so high but people's salaries have stayed the same.

And those problems don't go away overnight and certainly the perception from those who have been out for months who have reached the President's compound, a short distance from where I am standing here, who stood outside the Secretariat, which is pitch black, beyond those trees over there, because they literally don't have money to keep the lights on at night.

The fact that there might be somebody in-charge who was part of that whole political dynasty, the Rajapaksa dynasty, that is now, you know, no longer in power necessarily but they're going to have somebody who is right next to them now the acting President, potentially the new President depending on how Parliament votes next week.

It doesn't bode well, Paula, for the future of stability and certainly for people who felt like they have been fighting for something and they felt like it just within their grasp, that they just might have a victory only to see the old guard still in control just with a different last name.

So there's a lot that we need to watch very closely being on the ground here in Colombo.

NEWTON: Absolutely and I know you will be watching that closely. And I wanted to ask you about that economic crisis. I mean if this does leave to more political instability because seemingly the unwillingness of that ruling party to really have a clean slate here. What do you think - how do you think that will manifest given you've already described how desperate people are?

RIPLEY: Well, look, and not only manifest with the people on the ground but also with the IMF or other entities. You know a lot of this - these billions of dollars in bad debts are owed to China. They have been very hands-off in terms of dealing with the government as it is now. Talks with the IMF have essentially ground to halt.


So how are creditors going to feel confident that whomever is at the helm here is going to steer this country in a better direction when somebody from the old government could potentially still be in-charge for the next number of years. For the rest of Gotabaya's term. Because, you know, it still doesn't, you know, the new President will take over and essential fill out the rest of his term. It's not like they start over from scratch.

And so there are a lot of questions and a lot of fears that people have here that things could get a whole lot worse both in terms of their daily living scenarios (ph) but also in terms of anger out here on the streets. If people who have fought so hard once again fell that their pleas, as they were for so many months, were ignored. NEWTON: Yes and those dealing with the IMF right now, that we've spoken to in the last few days say that it is absolutely necessary to have some local stability on the ground there if they are to get that economic package.

Will Ripley, we'll leave it there for now. We will get back to you on the ground in Sri Lanka though in the coming hours and days.

Now meantime, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is urging the global community to official recognize Russia as a terrorist state. Saying no other country in the world destroys peaceful cities and human life daily with missile strikes and rocket attacks. This comes as rescue workers in Vinnytsia clear the - clear through the debris and charred wreckage of a deadly missile assault, still searching for those who are missing.

Now you can hear - see here the moment of impact. Look at that video. Kyiv says 23 people were killed on Thursday including three children. As you can see from that video, I mean people were just going about their daily lives. Dozens are wounded. The head of Ukraine's National Police meantime says, "DNA samples are now being used to help identify the dead.

CNN's Scott McLean reports now that what was once a quiet city, far from the frontlines, now has been shattered by violence.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I spoke with the family of a 28-year- old man who was inside the concert hall at the time of the missile strike. He was a technician working on the concert of a Ukrainian pop singer who was holding a concert to raise money for the Ukrainian military. His family, his mother and his cousin, said he has severe injuries to his spine and to his chest and that the next few days will be critical in determining whether he can actually make a recovery.

His cousin told me she's angry. She said, "I want all of Russia to die, no one spared." Those are her words.

I also met the Medical Director who said that, "All but two of the more than 100 people who showed up here in the hours at the explosion with shrapnel wounds and with burns were civilians." He says, "He treats soldiers all the time. He understands war. He understands military targets but he simply does not understand this."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't understand the goal to scare us, they won't scare us. But to kill civilians it's beyond a crime. Something inhuman, incomprehensible. Words fail me.


MCLEAN: The youngest victim that we know of so far is a 4-year-old girl name, Leesa (ph). Her mother had posted a video on Instagram just before the blast showing her pushing her own stroller down the sidewalk just an hour or two after that video was filmed she was lying dead beside that very same stroller. President Zelenskyy mentioned this girl in his nightly address. And now we know that the First Lady had also met this girl last year while shooting a Christmas video with children with disabilities. Her mother, whose name is Irina (ph), survived the attack. She is inside this hospital recovering.

And I spoke with the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President's office, who was meeting with some of the survivors and he said, "At least as of earlier, because of her medical state and because of her injuries, she had not yet been told that her daughter didn't survive."

Scott McLean, CNN Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

NEWTON: The rescue crews are also on the ground in Southern Ukraine. The Major of Mykolaiv says 10 powerful explosions hit the city overnight damaging two universities and he's accusing Moscow of intentionally striking at times that would inflict the maximum number of casualties.

As we've mentioned many times before, on this show, Russia's war goes far beyond missile strikes and artillery attacks. Moscow's grain blockage is exacerbating a global food shortage with Ukrainian farms now on the frontline.

Our Ivan Watson joined them.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A war against one of the biggest bread baskets in the world. Ukraine's fertile farmland now a battleground. Military drone footage exclusively obtained by CNN shows Russian artillery pounding wheat fields, burning the summer harvest charcoal black.

Farmer race to protect their crops. Until Russia's invasion Ukraine was the world's fifth largest exporter of wheat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

WATSON (on-camera): All right this looks like some kind of munitions over here.


(voice-over): Now Ukrainian farmers are harvesting a deadly crop.

(on-camera): Mikael (ph) says these are pieces of Russian rockets that they gathered out of the fields.

(voice-over): Mikael Lupchenka (ph) takes me on a tour of his farm.

(on-camera): He'll show us, that's another shell strike?

(voice-over): Acres of wheat waiting to be harvested within earshot of pounding Russian artillery. (on-camera): This is absolutely surreal. We're amid the wreckage of

previous battles, armored personnel carriers, military vehicles and then you've got farmers out here that are harvesting wheat right now. The vehicles that have been destroyed here this could have happened back in March, February, much earlier. But we're also seeing these impact craters from shell strikes that we're told probably took place within the last couple of weeks.

(voice-over): Despite the threats these brave farmers still bring in their harvest only to face another obstacle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

WATSON (on-camera): This is 3,000 tons of wheat from last year's harvest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

WATSON (on-camera): He can't sell this wheat because the Russian military has blockaded Ukraine's ports. So there's no way for this to be sold except at an enormous loss.

(voice-over): Ukrainian ports where ships once carried millions of tons of grain a month to global markets now blockaded by the Russian Navy. The log jam driving up global food prices triggering warnings of famine in some of the world's poorest countries.

Last month the Ukrainian military forced Russian troops to abandon Ukraine's Snake Island in the Black Sea. The Snake Island victory freed up channels to the Danube River. Ukraine reactivated Soviet era ports on this waterway as an alternative route for the export of grain.

But experts warn the river can only handle a fraction of Ukraine's prewar cargo. This week Ukrainian, Russian and U.N. delegations meeting in Istanbul say they reached a deal in principle to resume shipments of grain by sea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

WATSON (voice-over): But Ukrainian farmers continue to face deadly threats on land making it too risky for many to plant crops for next year.

(on-camera): This frontline farmer vows not to give up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

WATSON (on-camera): Our soldiers are fighting and dying to get rid of these occupiers, he says. We need to feed our country, the soldiers and help the whole world with our food. That's while we'll keep working. He calls his farm the second front in this deadly war.


NEWTON: And our thanks to Ivan Watson for that report from Southern Ukraine.

Now meantime a British aid worker held by self proclaimed separatist in Eastern Ukraine has reportedly died. And now the U.K. is summoning the Russian Ambassador to try and get some answers. A local official in the Donetsk People's Republic says the 45-year-old, Paul Urey, was charged with being a mercenary and she claims he died on July 10th while in detention.

Coming up for us, a global rise in monkeypox cases. We'll look at where the virus is spreading and what officials are doing to turn things around.



NEWTON: With lightning speed the monkeypox outbreak is expanding to more parts of the world fueling a spike in cases. Now Saudi Arabia has just reported it's first infection, that's according to state media. The virus was detected in the Capital Riyadh in a person returning from outside the kingdom.

Now meantime in places like the U.K. ongoing outbreaks are quickly getting out of hand. London's Mayor says, cases in his city have doubled in less than a week. And in the United States the CDC says numbers have risen from 1,000 to almost 1,500 in just the past day with New York seeing the largest wave by far. Now as the outbreak grows so too does demand for vaccines. The U.S. says an extra 700,000 doses will soon become available.

But as CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports, the supply is still far too low.


MATTHIAS FORD, MONKEYPOX VICTIM: It started off with just a few lesions, I got intense flu like symptoms. As the flu symptoms abated the lesions will A, more of them start to appear and B, they became at worst excruciatingly painful and at best mildly irritating.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Knowing exactly what it feels likes to have monkeypox, Matt Ford is taken to social media to now warn people about the virus.

FORD: This shit sucks and you don't want it. I've gotten these on my arms.

GUPTA (voice-over): But now his frustration is that even as awareness grows those who need it might have a hard time finding a vaccine.

FORD: The supply is so low that there's not that much to go around.

GUPTA (voice-over): Since May, the number of cases in the United States has continued to grow quickly. But the two dose JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine has been rolling out slowly. DAVID HOLLAND, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER FULTON COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH: We got an allotment of 200 vaccines and the appointments for that went in about an hour and an half.

GUPTA (voice-over): New York City Mayor Eric Adams has reached out to the White House to underscore his state's unmet demand. The two doses are usually given four-weeks apart. But Mayor Adams wants the White House to consider a longer interval in between the doses so more first doses could be administered immediately.

Right now the CDC recommends the vaccine for high-risk individuals. People who have been diagnosed with or exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox. That means not for the general population's prevention.

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: The problem is we simply don't have enough vaccine. So we are trying to play catch up. We need to get vaccination to people because we know that, you know, vaccinating people may not necessarily prevent the infection but it will certainly decrease the severity of disease.

GUPTA (voice-over): The CDC estimates this vaccine is at least 85 percent effective. Giving it within four days of exposure is best to prevent the onset of disease. And even if given within 14-days of exposure it may still reduce the symptoms.

GUPTA (on-camera): I'm looking at something that I've never seen before as a doctor. I want to introduce you to Coy (ph), she's 22- years-old and what she has is an active case of monkeypox.

GUPTA (voice-over): But this is not necessarily what monkeypox always looks like. For Matt Ford the lesions started smaller and not as obvious.

FORD: I maybe would have suspected that they were like the herpes simplex virus or some other skin condition.

GUPTA (voice-over): Right now public health officials are sounding the loudest alarms in the LGBTQ community. That's due to most cases being reported in men who have sex with men. But experts warn the outbreak could still expand.


DEL RIO: Its very reminiscent of the early days of HIV, right, in which is was impacting, you know, men who have sex with man, the gay community in the United States. And it's almost like the general public were not paying attention. And then HIV became a disease that affected other people. It affected everybody. And then all of a sudden people got interested.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PAULA NEWTON, CNN ONE WORLD HOST: Ahead for us after the break, we go back to Saudi Arabia and our Becky Anderson where U.S. President Joe Biden is set to meet with the Crown Prince. We'll look into what each side hopes to get at this week.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ONE WORLD HOST: All right. Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson live for you in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. At this hour U.S. President Joe Biden is meeting directly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a highly anticipated and deeply controversial talks. At least that was the itinerary. He was actually slightly late arriving here.

This is the Crown Prince fist bumping the U.S. President as Joe Biden made his way into talks with King Salman, the leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The president is, as we know, seeking to boost oil flow and reset the relationship with the kingdom just a couple of years after he vowed to make Saudi Arabia a pariah for its human rights abuses. The White House admits the optics of this meeting are not greater.

Well as for what the Saudis want, they hope to reset the relationship to shore up (ph) the security ties that have kept the two countries close for decades. Our International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson, has been covering Saudi-U.S. relations for decades joins us. By saying decades that makes you sound really old. I don't mean to suggest that you're --


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: No, I am quite old, Becky. We can say quite old.

ANDERSON: -- quite that old (ph). OK, all right. So he's quite old, and he's joining me now.


No. Listen. Security guarantees as far as the Saudis are concerned are clearly high on their agenda.


But there is more, isn't there, that the Saudis are wanting to achieve from this meeting. Starting off, though, just with the very fact that the U.S. President is actually here.

ROBERTSON: And is showing an interest, therefore, in the region and an interest to hear from them about what they want to do and how they want the relationship to be, and they've got a list, a very long list that I think we'll probably hear more about over the weekend, that will encompass from, you know, A.I. technology, working together on cybersecurity, you know, countering terrorism, a historic thing that's really worked well for the two countries, all the way through green energy transition, renewable energy sources. This is where the country wants to position itself in the future.

Oil's going to run out. They know that. No one's going to want oil. They know that. They know that will put them out of business, so a new business model, diversify, and turn to green energy.

ANDERSON: But it's not running out --


ANDERSON: -- any time soon, and quite frankly the rest of the world needs an awful lot of it at present because of the Russian supplies being sanctioned off the market as it were. The Saudi's have quite a lot of leverage, don't they, in this meeting.

ROBERTSON: At this moment, they do. I mean, Biden comes wanting several things. You know, he wants to improve relations between Israel and others in the region. The UAE did that under President Trump, the Abraham Accords. You know, he wants to bring in Saudi Arabia under that same umbrella. That is a big lift and a big ask, and he comes here wanting additional oil pumped because that he believes is going to draw down the price of oil eventually at pumps in the U.S. and around the world because he needs that public support to keep support for the war in Ukraine because that is seen as part of the crystallization of why energy prices are spiking.

ANDERSON: These are pictures of the president arriving a couple of hours ago. I think it's really important to point out that when Biden was last in this region, which is a decade ago, this Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other parts of this region looked very, very, different. There is a confidence here that sort of in some ways makes you feel like the White House is playing a little bit of catch up as to what is going on in this region, and I'm talking, perhaps, about more about the financial heavy weights, that being Saudi and the UAE and other Gulf countries including Qatar, but there's been a regional sort of coming together, hasn't there? De-escalation intentions you hear a lot about and a coming together of the region, building back better together.

ROBERTSON: Yes, and that's important they see that join future here in the Gulf together, they see their shared environmental situation, the share - the implications for pressure on food supplies throughout the region because Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the richer nations in the Gulf bring in a lot of workers from the region and a lot of money flows back. You know, there's talk about France perhaps giving a billion dollars to support Lebanon while Saudi officials here will tell you that $5 billion of money goes from Lebanese working in Saudi back to Lebanon every year. So they are a generator of cash across the region and they see this commonality.

And part of that - you know, part of that vision for the region is one that has them partnering, but they have joint security issues on top of that.

ANDERSON: We've spoken to enough people here who will - who have told us that it is very unlikely that Joe Biden is going to get a commitment from either Saudi, the UAE, or others who will be around the table tomorrow on pumping an awful lot more oil. I mean, the supply capacity here is quite limited, and anyway they say it's not about supply capacity. It's about refining capacity, and the underinvestment in that refining capacity by the United States, by the way, over the last 50 years but particularly in the run-up recently to the idea of, you know, energy diversification, so he's not going to go away with that.

He did, though, come away with a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis agreed to open their airspace, which is fundamentally important for the likes of El Al Airlines who will find it a lot cheaper to fly across this region. So that's a win I guess in this Israeli-Saudi sort of coming together, a baby step.


ROBERTSON: Well I'll agree (ph) it's a morsel. It's a morsel. Yes.

ANDERSON: A baby step. A baby step. Let's see what else the U.S. President gets on this trip. Nic, for the time being --

ROBERTSON: Thank you.

ANDERSON: -- thank you very much indeed. Coming up, unprecedented extreme heat alerts and raging wildfires from China to Europe to the U.S. Up next, Paula Newton will discuss the current global heat crisis with Michael Mann, author of "The New Climate War". That is after this.



NEWTON: And welcome back. I'm Paula Newton in New York. We want to get you caught up on the headlines. China has reported its slowest economic growth since the COVID pandemic began more than two years ago. In the second quarter its GDP rose by a slim 0.4 percent from the previous year, and, of course, this is partly due to those large lockdowns related to COVID that have restricted economic activity.

Meantime, Italy's government is in political limbo after the Prime Minister tried and failed to resign. Mario Draghi submitted his resignation Thursday after losing support of a coalition partner, but the president rejected it, telling the premier to return to parliament and evaluate the situation. The foreign minister says the country may need early elections if the government can't come together.

In Buffalo, New York, meantime, the grocery store that was the scene of a deadly racist mass shooting two months ago reopened this morning. Tops Friendly Markets has been - has been now completely renovated, and there's more security in the store. 10 people were killed in that attack. The alleged shooter has been indicted on multiple hate crimes and firearms charges.

Now for the first time ever the British government has issued a so- called red extreme heat warning. Forecasters say temperatures right across the U.K. will soar to all-time highs early next week, but dangerous stifling heat is bearing down on people all over this world at this hour. In Portugal, officials say a current heat wave is likely to blame for more than 200 recent deaths. Meantime, hundreds of firefighters there are battling active rural wildfires. The same is true in southwestern France. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, just today thanked Greece for helping his country fight raging wildfires. And across the Atlantic, the U.S. State of Texas is hyper focused right now on the state's power grid. Record-breaking heat has put massive strain on the network this season. If the grid starts to burnout, up to tens of millions of customers could be hurled into a heat-related crisis.

Watching all of this for us is CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers. Really good to see you and have you on the story. So give us some perspective here on exactly what's the cause of all of this.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well we have a dome of high pressure over the U.S. and another one that's going to build over Europe over the next couple days. Now, the fires that you were talking about in Spain and Portugal and France, these firefighters are battling these blazes with 40 degree high temperatures. 40 out there, and even across parts of southern Italy. The entire southern half of Europe is very, very hot.


That changes for the weekend. The hot doesn't go away. It just slightly moves to the north, and that's where that red alert you're talking about for London and most of the southern half of the U.K. really. I mean, we're going to see temperatures try to approach 40 degrees on Tuesday. Now this is good that it's only a couple of day event because by Wednesday it's gone. It moves off into the east and other people will get that. At least we can spread this heat around.

The temperatures will be approaching 40. The humidity is not going to be that high, so we're not going to really have heat indexes or heat indices that are going to be over 45 or 50. We're just not going to get there because the air is fairly dry over all of the U.K. at least for right now, but this is the very first time we've got to this red alert where places in London and around communities could be 40 or more by Tuesday afternoon.

Now the official high says 37, but that's in a little box where they take the temperature. If you're sitting downtown near an asphalt street and a concrete building with not much wind, it's going to be more than 40, and that's what the alert is going for.

Hot across parts of the U.S. as well, 30s and 40s. Heat advisories across parts of the central part of the country, and I'm going to show you what's going to happen to Phoenix. This hot weather is going to be staying in the same places for days and days and days. We're talking Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Nothing has really changed. Back in the central part of the country like you talked about Dallas up into the lower 40s.

But to get a little sublime on you here, take a look at Phoenix. That's not a heat index. That's the air temperature. 47. That's dangerous. Paula -

NEWTON: You make such a good point, and for people who do not have air conditioning throughout the world, it is not alarmist to get vulnerable people to cool areas. I have seen it myself. The heat can be dangerous. Chad, thanks so much. Really appreciate that.


NEWTON: Time now for the exchange and more expert insight on the global heat emergency. Joining me now is Michael Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State and author of "The New Climate War". And I want to get straight to some of the science here. You have been warning us about this literally for decades now, that these extreme weather events are turbocharged by that warming atmosphere that Chad just showed us. How does that work? And because it's not just about the heat, right? It's the heat now, but it can also be extreme precipitation and even extreme cold. How is all of this coming together?

MICHAEL MANN, DIRECTOR, EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE CENTER, PENN STATE: Yes. Thanks, Paula. It's good to be with you, and Chad did a really nice job sort of setting this up. It really is about all of these different forms of extreme weather. You get the heat, the extreme heat and dry conditions. Well that gives you wildfires like the wildfires we're seeing play out over large parts of Europe. But if that heat comes with humidity, then you've got those very high heat indices, those very dangerous heat indices that Chad was alluding to.

And Chad also sort of referred at least congenitally to something else that's really important here, which is the persistence of these extreme weather events. One of the things that we're seeing increasingly is not only that we get extreme heat and drought or extreme floods, but they stay in the same location for day-after-day, so you are subject to hat deadly heat for multiple days, and that's when you see the sort of tremendous loss of life is when that heat simply persists for days on end.

And when those persist for days on end like we saw, for example, earlier this summer in Yellowstone, well then you get these devastating consequences as well. And here's where we sort of get to where the science, you know, is right now, the forefront of the science.

It's easy to say that in a warmer world you're going to see more extreme heat, a more, you know, extreme heat waves, intense heat waves, and we're seeing that, of course. But what the models aren't fully capturing is one of the more subtle impacts that we now know that climate change is having here, which is how it's changing the jet stream in particular in the summer. It's sort of slowing down the jet stream and is causing these weather systems to become stagnant. Again, it gives us these very persistent extreme weather events that are so damaging and so deadly, and we've seen that play out increasingly summer after summer, and it's playing out right now across North America and Eurasia.

NEWTON: Exactly. You see the extreme flooding at this point in time or those very damaging storms. Now the point is, right, what do you do about it? The U.S. just for one example has run into another huge legislative obstacle. Joe Biden's climate plan seems to be jeopardy now with a Democratic senator, right, standing in the way. But the U.S. is just one country objectively.


I mean, how do we get to that point of climate action? We've been at this for decades. What is your worst fear now going forward when we see that the issue surrounding climate in action is right here in front of us? It's at our doorstep. We're living it everyday.

MANN: Yes. My concern isn't, you know, what it was with the last administration, the Trump administration that unilaterally backed out of our commitments to the rest of the world, the Paris Accord. You know, we are the world's greatest legacy carbon polluter. We, the United States, have put more carbon pollution into the atmosphere than any other country. Right now China's producing more carbon pollution than we are, but we have historically put far more amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, and that means that we have to take a leadership role. If we're going to expect China and India and other countries to come to the table, we have to take a leadership role.

Now the good news is that the Biden administration has done that. The United States under this administration has committed to lower our carbon emissions by 50 percent within the next decade, which is what we have to do worldwide to keep warming below a truly catastrophic additional 3 degree Fahrenheit or 1.5 degrees Celsius.

NEWTON: And so, Michael, unfortunately we don't have a lot of time left, but I want to ask you -

MANN: Yes.

NEWTON: -- for the here and now, what is --

MANN: Yes.

NEWTON: -- possible? What do you want done now?

MANN: Yes. So you know, we have to codify that, right? The Biden administration can't do that without legislation, and right now as you alluded to that legislation is stuck in the Senate with a Democrat, Joe Manchin, who is basically refusing to sign onto a Democratic reconciliation bill that would provide stimulus for renewable energy and would provide the climate provisions that we need to make good on our commitments to the rest of the world.

Now the good news is that we do have a midterm election coming up, and if people care about the defining challenge of our time, the climate crisis, and turn out and we can increase those majorities, then we can pass climate legislation in the new term.

NEWTON: Right, and it is critical, of course, here in the United States but also critical right around the world. Michael Mann, we will leave it there for now. We'll continue to touch base with you in the weeks and months ahead. Appreciate it.

Coming up for us, WNBA Star, Brittney Griner, needed medical cannabis for severe chronic pain, so say her lawyers. Will that sway the Russian judges soon deciding her fate? We discuss that when we come back.



NEWTON: I'm Paula Newton in New York, and you are seeing pictures there from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and this is a pivotal meeting here for the administration. The person speaking now is a person they call MBS, and he is the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia and the de facto leader. The White House, though, wishing to build this up as a multilateral meeting to discuss not just regional security issues with the Gulf States but also to discuss whether or not they can take some of the pressure of what have been absolutely chaotic and wrenching global energy markets.

Joe Biden we don't quite see him in the frame there yet. Perhaps we will. They have given us this photo opportunity. Again, so many issues at hand. I will let you know as well that, of course, Joe Biden just returned from his trip to Israel. And part of this also was very, very heavy steeped in the issues of regional security.

I believe perhaps Joe Biden is there on your left and looks like he's speaking now. This is a photo opportunity. They're not giving us any audio, but at this point in time, as I said, White House officials saying that this is a regional meeting and not wanting to play this up really as any kind of a state visit to Saudi Arabia. Why?

You'll remember that Joe Biden during the campaign - let's listen in for a minute.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys. Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Biden, is Saudi Arabia still a pariah? President Biden?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, thank you.


NEWTON: And you hear the media there trying to get in a question, which obviously they did not get in. I give them full marks for trying. As I was saying, Joe Biden had called the - certainly MBS himself, the person - think about this - that he's sitting across the table from at this hour. He said he would move to make Saudi Arabia and him specifically to have him, in fact, a - you know, a - to make Saudi Arabia a pariah state, and that was, of course, for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

CNN White House Reporter, Natasha Bertrand, joins us now. Natasha, what we're watching now is, of course, something that you've been following for years if not months, and that's the issue of what the White House wants to get out of this after it clearly being a climb down, right? He vehemently said that he would isolate Saudi Arabia during the campaign and here we are now with him making it clear that they are a strategic partner which must continue to play a role in U.S. foreign policy.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Absolutely, Paula, and this is a whole reset essentially with Saudi Arabia. That's what U.S. officials told me and my college, Alex Marquardt, was the goal here primarily, of course, because of those rising oil prices.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine everything changed. That is what U.S. officials told us. Of course, the rest of the world wanted to isolate Russia. They wanted to cut off Russian oil production and Russian oil sales. So where do you get the rest of that oil from? Of course, Saudi Arabia and OPEC. The Saudis were not willing to turn on that tap as long as the relationship between MBS and Biden was extremely sour. So this has really been an attempt to get that relationship back on track.

And I should note it's not only for oil reasons. That is, of course, a major reason, but ultimately this is about regional security, regional stability. The president is going to be meeting with other Gulf countries while he was in Jeddah, and the overarching goal here is to really plant the flag of the United States' presence in the region. That is how the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, put it earlier today to reporters. Really facilitating this cooperation essentially in opposition to Iran, which, of course, is the main threat to Saudi Arabia, to Israel, to the Gulf countries in the region.

So it is about oil production. It is about recalibrating the relationship with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf States, but ultimately the White House is very aware of the optics of this given the Crown Prince's approval of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. They're not bracing for any, you know, great coverage back in the United States and great public approval of this meeting, but they think that it is very necessary, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. They decided those headlines would be collateral damage, but I will point out, right, Natasha, we are not expecting any kind of huge release of oil at this point in time, that those commitments may come later this year, perhaps in the fall. But as you rightly point out, the issue here is also Iran. We will continue to follow perhaps President Vladimir Putin making really what would be a pivotal trip for him to actually travel outside of Russia to go to Iran apparently asking for military equipment, including drones.

Natasha Bertrand, I appreciate you jumping in here as we were just getting those live pictures. Appreciate your input there. In the meantime, though, here for us we're going to wrap it up for this hour. I want to thank you for watching ONE WORLD. I'm Paula Newton. Our news, though, continues right here at CNN where we continue to follow Joe Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia. Stay with us.