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Hala Gorani Tonight

Ethiopia Government Calls Ceasefire In Tigray; England's Chief Medical Officer Harassed; England Beat Germany To Advance To Quarter Finals In Euro 2020; Russia Reports Record Number Of Daily Deaths; U.S. Olympian Criticized For National Anthem Protest; White House Says Biden Will Visit Florida On Thursday; Florida Building Rescue Stretches Into Sixth Day; Pacific Northwest, Canada Bake In "Unprecedented" Heat Wave. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 29, 2021 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, live from CNN London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Cheers in the streets as Ethiopian forces withdraw

from Tigray, but regional officials call the government's ceasefire claim a sick joke. Then the U.K.'s top doctor harassed on the street. What the

incident says about the challenges facing Chris Whitty and other making -- others making tough policy calls.

And England defeats its frequent football rival, beating Germany to advance in the Euros, we're live outside of London's Wembley Stadium for this

important moment for one of the two teams. But we begin with a dramatic turn of events in Ethiopia's northern war zone of Tigray. After months of

coming under attack by federal troops, Tigrayan forces are now rejecting the government's unilateral declaration of a ceasefire, vowing to press

ahead with their own offensive.

This was the scene in one town as residents celebrated the departure of Eritrean forces who have been battling alongside Ethiopian troops. Earlier,

Tigrayan fighters said they've also regained control of the regional capital of Mek'ele. They're now vowing to fight until, quote, "we have

cleared every inch of Tigray."

A CNN investigation in April in collaboration with Amnesty International exposed the massacre perpetrated by Ethiopian soldiers in the mountains of

the Tigray region, where government troops have been battling these regional forces.

Now, CNN has obtained and verified new images confirming the identity of the victims and the army unit of the perpetrators. We have to warn you, the

images you are about to see in Nima Elbagir's report are disturbing but important, painting a picture of impunity. Take a look.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One-by-one, they enter the church, carrying in sacks all that's left of loved ones executed by

Ethiopian soldiers. Villagers risking their lives to retrieve these remains. But this is not just about closure.

This is fresh evidence of a January massacre. Throughout the months-long conflict in its Tigray region, Ethiopia has promised to hold all who break

the law accountable, but they haven't. We must warn you what you are about to see and hear is horrifying.

This is how many saw their loved ones for the first time, some beheaded, others burned beyond recognition. For six months, families had been denied

access to the execution site by Ethiopian soldiers. The remains tell a grim story, corroborating CNN's original investigation in collaboration with

Amnesty International.


ELBAGIR: This is the old footage of the massacre first broadcast in April. We can't show you the moment of execution, but in the aftermath, this

soldier tosses a jacket, notice the black and grey color scheme and the blood stain. Same jacket, same blood stain.

The man who took this picture confirmed this jacket belonged to his brother, which he found at the massacre site. This video of bullet casings

was also filmed at the site last week by family members and sent to CNN. We asked forensic experts to analyze the casings. They confirmed they were in

line with bullets Ethiopian soldiers would use.

The video also reveals the location, the same location as the execution site. Notice the distinctive ridge in this new footage, and now in the

footage shot by soldiers during the execution. We also verified the digital footprint. It's a match. Crucially, locals say they have collected 36 ID

cards from the scene, but that 37 more people remain missing, indicating the massacre could have been much larger than previously suspected.


They believe the desecration of the bodies was a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence in the aftermath of our investigation. And more video has

emerged to shed light on the perpetrators. Given to CNN by a pro-Tigray organization based in the U.S., it reveals the nickname of the

whistleblower, but more importantly, the rank and division of the unit committing these crimes.


ELBAGIR: That's the voice of the Ethiopian soldier turned whistleblower.


ELBAGIR: He names himself in the video twice and names his unit and division. Enough evidence for the Ethiopian government to pursue an

investigation. But none has been confirmed. The whistleblower gives his phone to another soldier so he can also be filmed carrying out an

execution. With this level of detail now revealed, we asked the Ethiopian government whether they have investigated and punished the perpetrators.

We received no response. After the ceremony at the church, the families gathered to bury the dead in a mass grave. Their grief, they say inflamed

by their government's inaction.

The identities of the victims are known. The division of the perpetrators is known. Hard to imagine how that inaction can be justified.


GORANI: Well, Nima Elbagir joins me now with more on this incredibly disturbing story, and your investigation alongside the CNN team that put

this together. The latest, though, on Tigray now, rebels in charge, it seems, controlling the regional capital? What's the latest on the ground

that you're hearing from your sources?

ELBAGIR: This is the ousted regional leadership, Hala, and they are now back in control of the regional capital Mek'ele almost eight months after

they were pushed out by government forces. The issue is that we can't contact anyone on the ground because the government has imposed a

communications blackout, and there is a lot of concern about what could be happening inside Tigray, far from the eyes of the world.

Just before we came to air, I saw that the United Nations has begun ringing alarm bells, saying that the escalating conflict and fighting in the region

is hampering humanitarian deliveries. And that is the last thing this region needs with something like 350,000 people in famine conditions, Hala.

GORANI: All right. And you mentioned the United Nations and you mentioned this blackout. We're going to speak about the call for an emergency UN

Security Council meeting in just a moment with the Irish Foreign Minister. But a question on this blackout. Who's in charge? Who does it benefit for

people to be unable to contact sources or family members or relatives or relations on the ground in Tigray?

ELBAGIR: Well, what we've seen in the past is this, this is very much part of the methodology of the Ethiopian government when there is escalating

fighting on the ground, when there is something that they don't want the world to see, they knock out coms. With this, we do know that this has been

happening for days now slowly, and that was the Ethiopian government.

In fact, UNICEF came out publicly very strongly saying that before Ethiopian soldiers withdrew from Mek'ele, they destroyed the communications

-- sorry, the communications equipment inside UN offices. So, it does seem like there is a pattern here, although we haven't confirmed who is

responsible for the blackout in Mek'ele, it does fit with what we have seen of the Ethiopian government in the past, Hala.

GORANI: Nima Elbagir, thanks very much for that powerful reporting. Well, we mentioned the UN. The U.S., the U.K. and Ireland have called for a UN

Security Council meeting to be held on Friday on Tigray. Joining me now is Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, he's live in Dublin this evening.

Thanks for joining us, Minister. First of all --


GORANI: It's -- is it not quite a failure of the UN not to have managed to hold one public meeting over this Tigray situation with all these

allegations of massacres and everything CNN's reported on? It's taken a really long time, hasn't it? What do you expect with the UN Security

Council in the coming days?

COVENEY: Well, I mean, firstly, the Security Council has been talking about Tigray on numerous occasions. So, Ireland along with other countries have

insisted on the Security Council considering the Tigray issue, and that has been ongoing for months now.

But I think we have seen a steady increase in the level of violence there. We know that there are very strong reports of sexual violence being used as

a tool of war. We know that famine is effectively being used as a tool of war as well, and of course, we've seen a lot of change on the ground in the

last 24 hours.


And now a communications blackout in Mek'ele which has a very large population. So, it's very worrying. We know that there have been massacres.

You just had a very moving account of that on the footage that you've just shown. Although, from an Irish perspective, but working with others on the

Security Council as well, we are now calling for an emergency public meeting of the Security --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Council, so that we can get the most powerful body, if you like, on war and peace in terms of international politics making a very clear

statement, insisting --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: On a ceasefire, insisting on a political process which is what's needed. But for that to actually happen, we need Eritrean troops to leave

this region. We need a ceasefire agreed by all sides. We need uninhibited access --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Into the Tigray region to prevent famine. And we know that UNICEF, for example, have said that more than 30,000 children are in danger of

dying by starvation because --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Of the level of malnourishment in that region because we are not getting aids into parts of Tigray because of threats of violence. And of

course --


COVENEY: We know that NGO workers have been murdered in the last number of days as well, which is a reminder of just how unstable and violent this

region is.

GORANI: But you're facing -- you've faced resistance from Russia, from China, permanent members of the Security Council -- and when I said there

hadn't been a meeting, I meant no public meeting. If one indeed happens at the UN Security Council, it would be the first since the war started eight

months ago or so. And that was kind of the question that I think a lot of people have about the international community and its willingness to truly

come to some sort of solution. What options does the international community have in Tigray?

COVENEY: Well, I mean, just to say that's not quite the case. I mean, there has been a public statement from the Security Council on this issue.

Ireland is very involved --

GORANI: A public meeting, minister, not a statement.

COVENEY: But of course you're right. What's needed now is a public meeting where the world sees the Security Council prioritizing this issue, taking

action, applying appropriate pressure on the people and countries that need pressure applied to them by the international community. And in order for

that to happen, we have to ensure that powerful countries on the Security Council don't veto those efforts. And of course --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: There is a chance, if not a likelihood, that, that will happen. And so, we will be appealing to countries like Russia and China to allow

for a public debate on Tigray and on Ethiopia more generally so the Security Council can do its job, intervene to save lives, which is

ultimately what the Security Council raise on death should be.

GORANI: Minister, I'm going to ask you about COVID. Of course, this pandemic concerns the entire world. And Ireland has plans to allow

vaccinated people or people who have recovered from COVID to visit bars, restaurants, indoor hospitality venues. The Labor leader in Ireland is

saying this is bananas and discriminating, that it creates a two-tier system. How does this even work? How do you police this?

COVENEY: Well, there are about six countries across the European Union today that allow their restaurants to be open, but for people who are

either vaccinated or can show that they've recovered from COVID, or else they have proof of a negative test, using --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Antigen tests and PCR tests. So, what we've said is that over the next two to three weeks, we are going to develop a system in Ireland that

can allow us to reopen our bars and restaurants, which most countries of the world currently facilitate. But Ireland has taken a very cautious

approach towards unwinding restrictions to avoid another wave of COVID infection.

And the way to do that is to work with the industry to ensure that people who are dining inside -- we already allowed dining outside for everybody.

But for people who want to dine inside, for the next number of weeks while we continue to try to get a handle on ensuring that we don't have a fifth

wave of infection coming from a new variant, which is very prevalent in the U.K. and our next-door neighbor --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: And in EU countries. That actually we ensure that people who are eating inside either test negative or have been vaccinated. And this is

about protecting a wider population. And I think every country is looking at ways in which they can protect their vulnerable population from new

variants as they emerge, and Ireland is no different.

GORANI: Well, one of the big issues Ireland has is its fully vaccinated population is much smaller in terms of percentage than the fully vaccinated

population in the U.K., 31 percent, I believe, fully vaccinated. Why was the program -- why is the program behind a country like the U.K.?


COVENEY: Well, first of all, it's well over 40 percent of people who are vaccinated and continuing to accelerate. But also, we are fortunate, in

that we don't have as high a prevalence of the Delta variant as the U.K. have. So, in many ways the U.K. have higher protections in terms of a

higher percentage of their population vaccinated, but they also have a much bigger challenge in terms of the current state of prevalence of the Delta

variant. So, we have different challenges in the U.K. and in Ireland, and that's why we are applying slightly different strategies.

But we are -- we're doing a significant catch-up job, if you like, in terms of ensuring that certainly by the middle of September, I would say, the

Irish population will be fully vaccinated.

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: But in the meantime, we need to take measures to protect people, in particular vulnerable people because even if you're vaccinated, there is

still a small chance, but it is still a serious risk that the Delta variant could be a significant threat. And so, every country needs that and that's

what we're doing.

GORANI: I'm sure you've seen this horrific video of Chris Whitty, who is the chief medical adviser here in the U.K. getting harassed and followed on

the streets of London. We're not saying that the people who did this are necessarily anti-lockdown or anti-vaxxers, but we're seeing around the

world such mistrust and mistreatment and lack of respect for the establishment and the medical scientific community. How do you react to

seeing that and these types of images?

COVENEY: I mean, I think political leadership needs to be strong in the face of tension like this. I mean, look, I understand that after, you know,

16 months of severe restrictions for many people in terms of their businesses, their income, the impact that it's had on their mental health

and so on, that so many people want to see us moving away from restrictions now.

And we will be able to do that in time. But we have got to stick with the medical advice and the statistics and the data that actually allows us to

be able to make accurate decisions around the level of restriction that we need to maintain while we complete the job of vaccination.

And in many ways --

GORANI: Right --

COVENEY: This is now between a new variant spreading and our ability to be able to vaccinate the remainder of our populations both in the --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: U.K. and in Ireland. And politics must protect the people who understand this virus best, which is our scientific and our medical

community who advise government. They have no remit to be popular. Their remit is to be accurate or as accurate as they can be on the basis of

advising government in terms of how to protect people from a changing story in terms of COVID as we have to respond to new variants. And so, you know,

we must protect the people that advise --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Our decision makers and ensure that we don't allow them to be intimidated in any way.

GORANI: Well, we're seeing in the U.S. as well with Anthony Fauci as you know. If I may end on Northern Ireland Brexit, the Northern Ireland

protocol. Joe Biden, the U.S. president traveled to the G7 with a clear message for Boris Johnson; the U.K. Prime Minister, saying essentially, do

not jeopardize peace between Ireland and Northern Ireland for short-term political gains, you know, not allowing checks between Great Britain and

Northern Ireland and potentially reinstituting some sort of border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. What is your take on what

Boris Johnson is doing here with the Northern Ireland protocol, and how worried are you?

COVENEY: Well, first of all, I mean, I think President Biden has taken a very well-informed and responsible position here, which is that the Good

Friday Agreement, the peace process on the island of Ireland needs to be protected. And political instability that has resulted from the disruption

of Brexit that we are trying to manage through the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, but nevertheless, there is still disruption. That the

best way to manage that disruption is to follow through on what we have committed to do. So, don't forget --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: That the -- while the protocol is somewhat controversial, this is what was agreed by the British government, by the EU together. It was

designed and agreed and ratified, and there's an implementation plan force. We need to do that in a way that's flexible and pragmatic. So the response


GORANI: But are you saying Boris Johnson is breaking his promise? I mean, he signed an agreement, you said so yourself, if he doesn't follow through.

Are you saying the U.K.'s Prime Minister is breaking his promise?


COVENEY: Well, I'm saying that the protocol in Ireland and Northern Ireland is part of the withdrawal agreement which is an international --

GORANI: Yes --

COVENEY: Treaty. It's now international law. So, you know, if you don't comply with those commitments, then you're breaking international law.

Having said that, there are flexibilities built into the protocol that we can use. And if there is cooperation and partnership between the British

government and the EU, with the support of the Irish government and others, and with the input, of course, of political leaders in Northern Ireland

too, because it affects them more than most, we can get through this. We already have plan, for example, to resolve the consistency of supply of

medicines into Northern Ireland.

There are already plans to manage the issue of ensuring that pets can travel into Northern Ireland. There are -- there is a negotiation to be

concluded in relation to common standards around veterinarian agreements and sanitary -- in fact, sanitary agreements around food safety, which

would allow us to remove up to 80 percent of the current checks that are required in food products traveling from Great Britain into Northern



COVENEY: So, if there is partnership and trust between both sides, we can manage the protocol and we can implement it in a way that's flexible and

pragmatic. And that is what President Biden is asking for and encouraging. And I hope that Boris Johnson will take note.

GORANI: Simon Coveney; the Irish Foreign Minister, thank you so much for joining us on the program this evening.

COVENEY: Thank you very much. Any time.

GORANI: And still to come tonight, Russia says it will fall short of its COVID vaccination goal this Fall. So, what's behind the sluggish vaccine

rollout? We'll be live in Moscow with the details.


GORANI: This was some pretty shocking video of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling it despicable harassment of England's chief

medical officer. Take a look.





GORANI: Yes, in video posted on social media, you can see Chris Whitty struggling to free himself after apparently being accosted by two men in a

London park misbehaving and acting frankly like clowns. An investigation is now underway and the British Home Secretary says Whitty might get police

protection, and frankly, who could blame him after this despicable spectacle. It's not the first time something like this has happened.


CNN's Bianca Nobilo joins me now. And really this -- I mean, you know, we don't know who these kids are, but I mean, we've seen the anti-vaxxers,

we've seen the anti-lockdown protesters outside 10 Downing Street. They behave in some cases appallingly. And this must be quite frightening for


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Hala. Because he isn't even an elected official and it's completely unacceptable, despicable behavior

when it happens to anybody in life. But this is a public servant who certainly until the beginning of the pandemic would not have been used to

any of this level of attention, let alone harassment.

And as you say, that video is horrible to view. It's clear how uncomfortable Chris Whitty is and how much he wants to leave that

situation. It's almost inaudible at the end, but there's someone who says let's leave this gentleman alone, and supposedly the Metropolitan police

who were -- who were in the vicinity because of a protest, they then intervened to help.

But this isn't an isolated incident. In fact, even earlier this year, Chris Whitty was harassed again on camera in February, and that time, Hala, as

you're saying, it was somebody shouting at him in London fuge hall, saying that he was a liar, lying to the public about COVID deaths and COVID

information, and there is no evidence of that. He's also being caught again being harassed by people with similar taunts. And the context of all of

this is just an uptick in this level of volatility and anger on the streets.

Hala, I'm sure you've noticed it as well. But over the last few years, we've definitely detected this surge in the age of rage and people who are

very angry and who can treat public figures in this way. Even though we don't know what the reason behind these two men accosting Chris Whitty was,

it is obvious that there is a change of temperature in Westminster. We've seen journalists also being harassed on the streets for things that are

similar to what Chris Whitty has previously been harassed for, being called traitors, being --

GORANI: Yes --

NOBILO: Accused of lying about the coronavirus pandemic, and often, these people often anti-lockdown movements. But it is something which we see

across the political spectrum. But as you say, this has been condemned by the Prime Minister who said it's just simply unacceptable that a public

servant can be treated in this way.

Also the new Health Secretary, the Labor Party and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary all harshly condemning this, saying that they've given him the

support that he needs. But I'm sure after the last time Chris Whitty was publicly harassed and it was posted on social media and he blew it off in a

coronavirus press briefing and just tried to say something very professional and very self-effacing that he wouldn't want to draw attention

to this incident. Hala.

GORANI: Yes, absolutely. And we're seeing it not just in the U.K. as you mentioned, we're seeing it in other countries, these anti-science, anti-

vaccination, anti-lockdown movements radicalized often times online as well with fake news that they -- keeps getting shared tens of thousands of times

and sometimes more.

Thanks very much for that, Bianca Nobilo. Russia is expected to miss its goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the country by Fall. The Kremlin says

demand for the shots has been lower than expected, despite government efforts to get people inoculated.

Officials say the deadline for achieving their vaccination target will have to be pushed back. So, is it the fault of people not taking the vaccine, or

is it the fault of the government for not rolling out the vaccine program quickly enough? CNN's Matthew Chance is with us from Moscow with more. Hi,


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. Well, it's certainly not the latter. You know, the Russians were the first

people, the first country to approve a vaccine, as you well know for public use back in August last year, Sputnik V. It's just there's been an

extraordinarily low pickup of that vaccines. So there's very high rates of vaccine hesitancy in the country deliver 11 percent approximately that

amount, according to the latest figures of people in the country have had at least one dose of a vaccine, predominantly Sputnik V.

But of course, that's nowhere near enough to -- you know, give people the kind of herd immunity that's needed, especially with the new, you know,

virus strains that are surging through the Russian population, the Delta variant, of course, being the latest one to make a mark here.

And there's been the first admission today from the manufacturers of Sputnik V that the Russian vaccine may not be as effective against the

Delta variant as it is against other variants. So, it's not helping, you know, the fact that, that virus is spreading throughout the population as


It's all being reflected, of course, in the infection rates. We're seeing infection rates at the highest level they've been since the beginning of

the pandemic. Over the course of the past 24 hours, there's an illustration of this across Russia.

More than 650 people have died. That's more than any point in any single 24-hour period since the pandemic began. So, you know, even though we're

sort of -- you know, what is it? A year and a half now nearly into this pandemic in Russia, even though Russia was the first country in the world

to register an effective vaccine for public use and it provides it to its population for free, you're still getting these extraordinary high official



And the real figure could be much higher that that. Official figures when it comes to COVID deaths and COVID infections, Hala.

GORANI: All right, Matthew Chance, our senior international correspondent, live from Moscow.


GORANI (voice-over): We take a turn into the land of the universal football. It's a big day for England, big day, knocking Germany out of Euro

2020. It's a dream for them. And they're keeping their own hopes alive going forward in Euro 2020.

Also how much is a trillion?

Well, it's more than the GDP of the Netherlands or it's the market value of Facebook. More on that whopping figure next.




GORANI: Well, England is having a nice night, a really nice night at Euro 2020. One of the international football's storied rivalries resumed at

Wembley and today it was England's supporters going home happy. England defeated Germany 2-0 at Euro 2020 and they'll meet either Sweden or Ukraine

next. That match is going to start in a little bit.



GORANI: One new member of the U.S. Olympics team is defending a controversial stance she took on the podium. Hammer thrower Gwen Berry

turned away from the flag while "The Star-Spangled Banner" played during the medals ceremony, where she qualified for the Olympic team.

She also covered her head with a T-shirt that said, "Activist athlete."

Athletes are using their platform more and more, you may have noticed over the last several years to speak out about social issues. But Berry is

having to defend herself against critics, saying she never said she hated the U.S. She says, though, that, in this particular instance, she was set

up. Listen to her.


GWEN BERRY, OLYMPIC ATHLETE: No one made any mention or any motion that we would be on the podium or had to be on the podium during the singing of the

national anthem. I want to make that clear.

Coincidently, the national anthem was playing. And they asked us to stand on the podium. And then the anthem played. In that moment, I feel like it

was a setup because I was -- those were not the directions. That was not the intent.


GORANI: I mentioned Berry's critics; one of her critics in the U.S. House of Representatives is Dan Crenshaw. He said she should be removed from the

Olympics team. His argument is that the whole point of the Olympics is to represent your country with pride.


REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): We don't need any more activist athletes. She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to

represent the United States of America. It's the entire point, OK?

So you know, it's one thing when these NBA players do it. OK. Fine, we'll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team. And it's multiple cases of

this. They should be removed.


GORANI: The White House, on the other hand, is defending their right to protest.


GORANI: Press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden is proud to be an American and that includes recognizing moments where the country has not

lived up to its highest ideals.

Well, the Goliath and Goliath antitrust saga that's pitted the U.S. government against Facebook just helped boost Facebook's market value.

On Monday, a federal court dismissed the Federal Trade Commission's complaint against the social media giant, saying it failed to prove that

Facebook holds a monopoly in social networking.

After that ruling, Facebook's market value soared above -- it's very difficult to even picture that number -- soared above $1 trillion for the

first time. That's the GDP, as we mentioned, of the Netherlands. CNN tech reporter Brian Fung joins me now.

What kind of power does a company worth $1 trillion wield in the tech sector?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly a lot, although the judge that, you know, ruled in this early decision against the FTC, said this

company doesn't hold a monopoly share of the social media marketplace, which the Federal Trade Commission had argued as part of its effort to

break up Facebook by alleging that its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp were illegal and anticompetitive.

The judge said that, you know, he was persuaded by the FTC's claim that there is such a thing. It's a social media marketplace. But he was

unconvinced at the FTC's claim that Facebook holds more than 60 percent of that market.

And you know, even though the judge is throwing out the FTC's lawsuit, it's giving the agency another shot at the lawsuit by giving it a chance to

refile an amended complaint. So this is not yet over.

In fact, it's a very early stage of the litigation here that, while the judge did rule in Facebook's favor and give it a temporary respite, it does

seem as though the FTC may be prepared to refile its lawsuit and either adjust its claims to sort of better fit the facts or better narrowly tailor

its case according to the -- what the judge said would be a more effective suit.

But it does seem as though, you know, this is a temporary win for Facebook and potentially an argument for the fact that it does not hold a monopoly

in social media.

GORANI: All right. Well, investors seem to think it's a win for Facebook. They've sent the share price soaring, as we just mentioned. Thanks very

much, Brian, for that.

And still to come tonight, while the search continues, the U.S. president announces his first trip to Florida since last week's residential tower

collapse. Details on what he plans to do when he gets there. And the latest from the scene.





GORANI: The White House says President Joe Biden will visit Surfside, Florida, on Thursday, one week after the town's deadly tower collapse. The

county mayor says Mr. Biden will meet with families of the victims as well as first responders; at least 11 people have died in the tragedy, confirmed

dead, and 150 are still unaccounted for.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Surfside, Florida.

Nick, in two days, it will be a week since this tower collapsed and 15 people have been recovered and confirmed dead; 150 still missing.

Why is it taking so long to find or recover victims at this point?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's certainly a point of frustration for the family and friends of the unaccounted. When we asked that to the

first responders, they assure us this process has to be taken at this pace for safety reasons.

They say there are no less than 50 to 60 personnel working on top of that debris and to add any weight to the top of the pile would endanger not only

the search for bodies or survivors under there but would also put those who are part of the rescue mission in danger.

We saw over the weekend reports of one of those part of the mission fall 25 feet. The families onsite there to witness that, according to officials.

But that has been no good news for not only the first responders' part of this mission but for the family and friends, waiting on word of their loved


Hope is fading. Optimism is fading and anger is starting to boil over into downright outrage for those waiting for news -- Hala.

GORANI: So is there any hope?

I mean, you know, I've covered earthquakes and there's very sophisticated technology that will tell you if maybe there's an air pocket somewhere, if

maybe someone has been able to survive in one of those air pockets, with access to some fluids.

Is there any hope at all at this stage?

What are rescuers telling you that they might find someone alive in that debris?

VALENCIA: Publicly, we're hearing them tell a very delicate line of compassion without giving up too much information about really the reality

of what it is.

Here we are on day six and there's been no sign of life since this miracle of finding a teenage boy alive in the rubble. His mother, of course,

perished as a result of this disaster.

The fire and rescue here, what they say as to why they are not turning this into in a recovery mission, why they're operating as if those unaccounted

for are still alive under that rubble is because there's protocol.

And there's so many -- it's a joint command here. There's so many people in charge of this response that there's really a lot of red tape. When you

hear the briefings, though, these family members, they don't care about the red tape. They want to know one way or the other.

Some family members have now reasoned with themselves and come to grips with knowing that they will likely not see their family members alive


Sergio Lozano knows that he won't see his parents alive again. It was confirmed to him that they perished in the collapse. You could tell that

there was some closure, though. But the emotions, as you'll hear in this sound bite, are still very much raw.


SERGIO LOZANO, SON OF VICTIM COUPLE: After dinner -- I work early in the mornings. And I hugged my mom good night, kissed my dad. That was it. I

thought it was a tornado outside my apartment. I opened the door and I told my wife, "Oh, my God. It's not there."

She goes, "What do you mean? What?"

"The building."

"What do you mean?"

"My parents' apartment is not there."

I was just praying to God that they went quick and that they were together.


VALENCIA: Talking about hope, the Surfside mayor here continues to reference a BBC article, in which somebody was pulled from the rubble in a

building collapse in Bangladesh 17 days after that happened. I've asked the Miami-Dade fire and rescue about that.


VALENCIA: They don't believe that's a fair comparison not only because of the nature of the collapse but also the types of material used in the

building structure here. And here we are on day six.

Some family members have stopped watching these briefings altogether, sadly, they say, because they're not expecting any new information from

these officials. Hala?

GORANI: I imagine the agony is unbearable for these families waiting for word. Thank you, Nick Valencia.

The foreign minister of Israel is making history today in the Arab world. Yair Lapid is the first Israeli minister to officially visit the United

Arab Emirates since the countries normalized their relations last year.

The foreign minister inaugurated Israel's first embassy in the region in Abu Dhabi.


YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: Israel wants peace with its neighbors, with all its neighbors. We aren't going anywhere. The Middle

East is our home and we are here to stay.

So we call on all the countries of the region to recognize that and to come to talk to us. Difficulties will not be overcome by themselves. Hostility

won't disappear by itself. People create them. People can make them disappear.


GORANI: So this was in Abu Dhabi. So meanwhile, there were these scenes back in Jerusalem. A Palestinian-owned butcher shop demolished; Israeli

police stood by as a bulldozer razed it to the ground. Officials say it's one of nearly 2 dozen illegal buildings in the Silwan neighborhood slated

for destruction.

Palestinians accuse Israel of discriminatory enforcement of building permits and say they are very rarely granted building permits in the first

place. Protesters clashed with police, leading to three arrests.

Still to come, what do Iraq and Canada have in common?

Scorching temperatures, higher than 46 degrees Celsius. Find out why after the break. We'll be right back.




GORANI: A life-threatening heat wave is searing the U.S. Pacific Northwest and parts of Canada, with temperatures smashing all-time record highs. On

Monday, a village in British Columbia -- British Columbia -- saw temperatures above 47 degrees Celsius.



GORANI: And thanks to all of you for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next.