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Hala Gorani Tonight
COVID-19 in the U.K.; Interview with French Tourism Minister Jean- Baptiste Lemoyne on Reopening Plan; Israel Warns Vaccine May Be Less Effective against Mild COVID-19; Lebanon Caretaker PM Warns Nation Days Away from "Social Explosion"; Anti-Palestinian Authority Protests after Activist's Death; Interview with CSIS Glenn Senior Adviser Gerstell about Cyberattacks; Death of Jailed Indian Activist Sparks Protest; Grenfell Tower Fire Victims Want Accountability. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 06, 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 HOST (voice-over): Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, the race is on between COVID vaccines and variants. What new data out of Israel tells us about the effectiveness of the Pfizer shots.
Plus, can the summer holiday season be saved?
I'll speak to the tourism minister of France about the vaccine passport and much more.
And later, where anger once flared, despair has now set in. Lebanon is at breaking point. A special report from our Ben Wedeman.
GORANI: Two of the countries that led the way in terms of the COVID vaccination drive have given updates of global importance today. Israel
says the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has recently appeared less effective at preventing mild forms of infection, though it's highly effective when it
comes to severe illness.
This as a leading scientist in the U.K. says vaccines are weakening but not breaking the link between COVID and death. Even with the health secretary
warning, we could see 100,000 new cases a day. Sajid Javid says it's still time for the country and all of us to move forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: We can't live in a world where the only thing that we're thinking about is COVID and not about all the other
health problems, not about our economic problems, our educational challenges. And we have to make use of a vaccine that is, thankfully,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Basically you need to live with it. Just you need to live with the virus. In a moment, we'll speak to our senior medical correspondent
Elizabeth Cohen about the effectiveness of the vaccines themselves.
First, Nina dos Santos is here in London.
I just spoke to Darren Lewis outside Wembley Stadium, 60,000 spectators. If you start lifting restrictions on pubs and restaurants and allowing people
to use public transport without masks and potentially 100,000 cases a day, I mean, you're looking at a very different reality in a country like the
U.K., where so many people are already vaccinated.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: That's right. This is a reality that the health secretary you just heard from in that snippet said it was
essentially uncharted territory.
But the government recognizes it is taking a bit of a risk. But they believe this is an educated guess. They believe enough people have been
vaccinated to make sure that the health care system won't get overwhelmed.
Yes, people might get infected with COVID-19 but they won't get serious disease and illness from it as a result. And it's for that reason, with
about two-thirds of Londoners already almost, having been offered two doses worth of the COVID-19 vaccine, that people like Sadiq Khan, the mayor of
London, they're confident Wimbledon will go on at full capacity and so on and so forth.
A lot of people who will be spectators will be domestic spectators at this point. Many of them will be masked as well. But the real controversy comes
after July 19th, when all those restrictions ease, including removing masks on public transport.
This has been described as reckless by the leader of the opposition Labour Party and it's something that the mayor of London has made it clear he's
going to lobby against -- Hala.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: The science tells us wearing a face mask reduces the chances of you passing the virus on, particularly if you're not
showing symptoms. So me wearing a face mask keeps others safe. Others wearing a face mask keeps me safe.
So we need enough people wearing a face mask for it to make a difference so I'm hopeful the government will work with us to understand that actually
making a requirement to wear face masks on public transport not just makes people safer but it encourages public confidence, which supports the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: As you can hear, this is about balancing wealth versus health, if you like. It's something they've been trying to get right throughout the
course of the pandemic, with varying level of success, Hala.
The reality is, as of two weeks from now, the edict to work from home wherever possible will be lifted. The reality is people are going to have
to get to work. And whether or not they're going to be wearing masks across the British capital, the biggest city in the country, that is still up for
GORANI: Well, if it's up to them, it's up to them. They do what they want. And obviously, in cramped spaces, you have people like scientists, doctors,
scientific advisers, who say, keep wearing them. I know I'll keep wearing them in cramped places. Thanks very much, Nina dos Santos. Joining me live
France's tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.
Thank you very much for being with us, Minister.
What are the rules for international travelers coming to France right now this summer?
JEAN-BAPTISTE LEMOYNE, FRENCH TOURISM MINISTER: OK. Thank you for inviting me. Now in France, we have a map with three colors. Countries who are
green, very easy to come to France, for instance, from the U.S., if you have been vaccinated, you have nothing to produce.
If you are not vaccinated, we will ask you to have a negative test. So it's also very easy. And we have also two other kind of countries, orange
countries. So if you are vaccinated, you can come to France. That's the case for the U.K. for example.
But if you are not vaccinated, it's not possible to spend holidays in France. So we are quite cautious because we're seeing that it's important
that vacations this summer is also synonym of "be caution" (sic).
We are still fighting with this virus but we are opening the economy, thanks to the vaccination that is rising in many countries in the world.
And at least we have the right countries and from those countries it's not possible to come, from India or South Africa due to the evolution of the
But nowadays, tourism is back in France. Many Europeans are coming to France. And our professionals are now prepared. They have some protocols to
welcome you. And I think that you can choose France. France is a destination.
LEMOYNE: So it's more or less 50 shades of holidays.
GORANI: Right. You clearly want to send the message, Minister Lemoyne, that France is open to tourists; certainly to those who are doubly
vaccinated, even from orange countries.
But it's still a bit of a risk, right?
You have the Delta variant. The percentage of fully vaccinated people in France is not as high as countries like the United States or the U.K.
Is this a calculated risk you're taking?
LEMOYNE: You know, at the time out of the population as a single dose vaccination, so it's rising a lot. So I think it's quite cautious. And we
are also preparing the summer with many precautions.
I mean, every Wednesday, we are with the president Emmanuel Macron in order to adapt our strategy to the variant. And, for example, a part of France
where variant Delta was found, we put many vaccines, many testing, tracing and so on. And now it's decreasing.
So I think nowadays, you know, the situation is better than in the previous weeks or months. And it's safe to choose France.
GORANI: Right. So you obviously are aware that Germany, for instance, has lifted the quarantine requirements for British travelers going to Germany.
But the U.K. is not doing the same with E.U. travelers.
Are you getting any assurances from the British government that there will be reciprocity, that the British government will not ask, for instance,
French travelers or people coming from France to quarantine when they come to Britain?
Are there any discussions?
LEMOYNE: There is this kind of forum with the U.K. but also with the U.S. because we opened the borders to U.S. travelers, for example. But the
reciprocity is not good at the time.
So we maintain eye level discretions with all the preventments (ph) on nationals. And when Secretary Blinken was in Paris, a few days ago, we had
the opportunity to advocate and to pledge, because of the situation in France and to be also at the top of the agenda of the foreign minister to
the U.S. next week.
LEMOYNE: And concerning the U.K., we welcome only the vaccinated people. And due to the circulation of the variant, I think French people maybe will
choose other destination (ph). So I think --
GORANI: But there are no discussions for reciprocity here?
There are no discussions between the governments, where Britain might also respond to the decision of France, allowing double vaccinated Britains, by
allowing double vaccinated French people to travel?
LEMOYNE: We try to maintain dialogue with every single government (INAUDIBLE) to have reciprocity. But it's a sobering decisions for every
single government. So we're seeing that data now are quite clear, concerning the situation in France. You know the virus is very low. We are
in a situation like in last July. So rational facts are there.
And I hope that many governments will continue to lift the quarantine and so on. It was the case, from the Netherlands, for example, and nowadays we
have many people coming from Netherlands. Dutch are coming to France because they know that they won't have any quarantine coming back from
LEMOYNE: -- trust me; if not, I wouldn't be on your broadcast tonight.
GORANI: OK, yes, and then we're hearing what you're saying very clearly.
How much has COVID hurt the tourism sector in France?
What's the figure?
What's the euro figure?
LEMOYNE: Yes. Tourism sector is very important for us. It's more or less 10 percent of our GDP but 50 percent of happiness in our life, I think. And
tourism was -- suffered a lot from the pandemic due to the lack of tourism last year. So it's more or less 50 percent of international tourism revenue
that dropped last year.
So we put many, many support (sic). We put $30 billion in supporting companies in the tourism sector. But these expenses were needed. It was
kind of investments, because we need to support those jobs, those companies, in order to be back, like this year, like this summer.
And France is the country that hosted previously before the crisis 90 million tourists coming from all over the world. And we want to stay in
this podium (ph) as tourist destinations. That's why President Macron asked me to work on a new road map for tourism with many investments.
And you can see nowadays some new experiences, features that are yet on the market with this. I mean, we will continue to invest in order to provide
you with the best experience in the world. It's our duty.
GORANI: Thank you so much, France's tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, sending the message to the world, really, that countries that are
green; orange countries, if you're double vaccinated, you're welcome to go to France, spend your money in France.
I know your country suffered a lot from the lockdowns and the lack of travel in the last 1.5 years. Thank you for joining us on CNN.
And let's get more now on one of the top developments in the pandemic today, what the Israeli figures on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are
suggesting. Elizabeth Cohen is in Atlanta.
So this is really data showing that, potentially, there is a drop in vaccine protection against that variant first spotted in India.
What are we learning from it?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. When the Pfizer vaccine came out, it was shown to be about 95 percent effective. And
what we're seeing now is that those numbers have, indeed, gone down because of this Delta variant.
So Israel, that only uses Pfizer, has released this data. Let's take a look. They found, if you look at folks who are getting COVID now in Israel,
that the vaccine is only about 64 percent effective against infection. So it's 64 percent effective at protecting you from getting infected with
But let's think about this for a minute. Just because you're infected doesn't mean that you're really sick.
COHEN: You might be infected and not sick at all, not even know it. You might be infected and just mildly ill.
Let's take a look at that second number. That's actually the more important number. It is 93 percent effective at preventing serious illness and
hospitalization, 93 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalization.
So that means, if you're vaccinated, you are -- the chances are 93 percent that you will not become severely ill or hospitalized with COVID-19. And
that's the number that's the most important.
Vaccines don't always protect us against getting infected. That's true with this vaccine and many others. The point is, as one vaccine researcher put
it, the point is to keep you out of the hospital and out of the morgue. That's still happening. This vaccine is still doing those two things.
GORANI: So is the coronavirus learning how to outsmart the vaccine?
And there has to be concern that the next variant will maybe do a better job at getting through this vaccine wall that we're trying to build.
COHEN: That's right, Hala. We have the vaccines (sic) that came out of the U.K. and then the one that came out South Africa, then Brazil. This one is
out of the India.
Where is the next one going to come from.
Is there going to be one that is pretty good, much better, at outsmarting the vaccine?
And here's the real worry. The more the virus spreads, the more chance it has to create variants. Viruses are kind of like people. They are smart.
They learn how to survive. Think about when you're learning a sport. The more you play it, the better you get at winning your opponent.
The same thing is true for a virus. The more it plays its game, which is spreading from person to person, the smarter it gets at fighting your
immune system and working against your immune system and working against the vaccine.
So far, it has not been very successful against the vaccine. But, as you said, the worry is that the next one or maybe the next one or the next one
is going to manage to evade the vaccine. That will be a problem for people who are vaccinated.
And really it will be because we don't have enough vaccinated people in this world. In the United States, the people who are choosing not to get
vaccinated, they are helping to brew these variants.
GORANI: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, fire on the streets, anger in their hearts. Lebanon's economic crisis has the nation at a breaking point.
And it was the final straw for some Palestinians, already disillusioned with their leadership in the West Bank.
What is behind the new calls from Mahmoud Abbas to just go?
GORANI: Lebanon's caretaker prime minister is making an urgent appeal to the world: help save our economy. He is warning that the country is just
days away from what he calls a social explosion. Lebanon's currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value. Much of its population lives in
The plea for help is facing a chilly response from the European Union, which blames Lebanon's government for the crisis. Ben Wedeman is covering
this from Beirut and joins us now with more.
Is the caretaker prime minister right when he says the country is days away from a social explosion?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly seems so, Hala. And it's important to keep in mind, the donors, the E.U., are not
blaming the government; they are blaming the politicians.
Keep in mind that Hassan Diab, the caretaker prime minister, resigned from his position 330 days ago. He's just caretaking the government. He resigned
immediately after the August 4th Beirut port blast.
And the expectation was that, given the urgency of the situation, the devastation of that blast, that the political elite here would waste no
time, form a government and start getting some assistance to this country.
Instead, for 330 days, the political elite has been squabbling over the deck chairs on the Titanic, as more than 50 percent of the population of
Lebanon is sinking below the surface.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Protesters block a main road into Beirut, angry over Lebanon's deepening economic crisis, angry at a political elite, doing
nothing as the country falls apart.
"It's the breaking point," he says. "We'll go to their homes and palaces and throw them in the trash."
And with anger comes despair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Don Nassar hosts a radio call-in show, a chance for a proud people to pour out their sorrows.
"I can't get medicine. I can't get milk for my son. I can't get anything. We're completely ruined," says caller, Sara (ph), overcome by emotion.
"We're dying day by day."
Nassar initiated the show in early 2020.
DON NASSAR, SAWT EL-GHAD RADIO HOST: We start this because Lebanon is finished. Lebanon, like we said, bye-bye. No Beirut and no Lebanon. No
food, no diapers, no milk, no school and no gas, no petrol, nothing in Lebanon.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): For the past two years, the economy has shriveled. The lira, the local currency, has lost more than 90 percent of its value.
Inflation is rampant. According to the United Nations, 77 percent of households don't have enough food. Yet the politicians appear indifferent
to the crisis, paralyzed by infighting.
After the show, Dori (ph) and his staff handout bags of food, donated by listeners to those who called in.
Two years ago Marina Nakashian (ph) earned the equivalent of more than $800 a month. Now it's worth just over $70.
"If I could emigrate, I'd go," she says. "I told my children, if you can go, go."
In October 2019, hundreds of thousands of people joined an uprising against a ruling class, accused of corruption and incompetence. Yet today, apart
from scattered small protests, the streets are calm.
"Survival is now the top priority," says student leader and activist Karim Saheddine.
KARIM SAHEDDINE, STUDENT LEADER AND ACTIVIST: An economic crisis, the vast majority of the people who are on the streets, are now looking for
minimal jobs, a minimum wage, a minimal capacity to feed their children.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): In the southern city of Sidon, butcher Saad Hashoun (ph) says he sells in a week what he once sold in a day.
"They," the rulers, he means, "will rule this country for 100 years. We must be patient."
Patient while the politicians squabble and Lebanon dies little by little, day by day.
WEDEMAN: And I think what's most galling for many people here is that, as this crisis deepens, when you go around a city like Beirut, you still see
plenty of luxury cars -- Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes.
You still see multi-million dollar yachts in Zaitunay Bay, as people are suffering more and more and seeing their lives collapse around them. The
political elite, which is the superrich -- same thing here in Lebanon -- seem utterly indifferent to what's going on. No politician has apologized
to the Lebanese people for what they're going through. There's a blame game going on. Nobody is taking responsibility -- Hala.
GORANI: I can't imagine someone driving with one of those luxury cars through the streets of Beirut today and just doing that and being OK with
it, given all the suffering that we've seen in all your reporting. Thanks very much, Ben Wedeman.
Israel's new government has suffered its first major setback after failing to renew a controversial citizenship law, as it was called. It couldn't get
enough lawmakers to approve the measure, which effectively bars Palestinian who marry Israelis from becoming citizens.
Now the defeat wasn't about the law itself but it was because the opposition Likud Party voted against it in a move aimed at hurting the
coalition of Naftali Bennett. Palestinians first protested before the vote, calling the law discriminatory. Supporters say it helps support terrorism.
We've also been seeing Palestinian protests in the West Bank, against their own leadership this time. Some have been long fed up with Mahmoud Abbas
after 16 years. But the death of one of his biggest critics could be a tipping point.
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By their thousands, they chant, "Get out Abbas, what a shame."
Another chant, the Palestine people want their authority out. For more than week, demonstrations have rocked the West Bank from Hebron to Ramallah,
some met with violence from Palestine security forces.
The protesters calling for accountability after the death of activist Nizar Banat while in Palestinian authority custody. Banat, a well known outspoken
critic of top Palestinian officials often took to social media with accusations of alleged corruption and incompetence.
NAZIR BANAT, ACTIVIST (through translator): Rethink your beliefs because, otherwise, you will become slaves of attorney general Akram Khateeb and
prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, just as your parents became slaves of this stupid leadership.
GOLD (voice-over): The Palestinian authority and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh have vowed to investigate how Banat died, but for many
Palestinians, it's too late. The activist's death and recent arrest of others like him just the latest symptom of a long-running disease.
JIHAD AL KHATIB, PROTESTER (through translator): What investigation committee are they talking about?
Everything is clear. We don't have one occupation. We have two occupations, Israel and the PA.
GOLD (voice-over): Across the West Bank, younger voices working to upend the Palestinian political status quo, like Salem Barahmeh from the group
Generation for Democratic Renewal, admit they are afraid.
SALEM BARAHMEH, GENERATION FOR DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL: We live in a very scary time. I think speaking out, just demanding the basic things of
accountability or democracy or representation or the fact that we need to change, can have very severe consequences.
GOLD (voice-over): But Barahmeh says Banat's death has also emboldened people and may be a tipping point after the past few months. As the
postponement of Palestinian elections clashes with Israeli forces at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, the possible evictions of Palestinian families
in Sheikh Jarrah and the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have helped unify Palestinians, who are hungry for representation among
BARAHMEH: Something has changed. I think we realize within society that we need to speak out. We can't be silent anymore. I think people have been
frustrated for a very long time. But this has switched something in peoples' minds and hopefully we can see that change come soon.
GOLD (voice-over): Barahmeh's group believes that, in order to make any progress towards their ultimate goals of national self-determination, they
need internal reforms and to leave behind old agreements, like the Oslo Accords signed in the 1990s, that have failed to deliver on any progress
towards a two-state solution.
BARAHMEH: We live under a one-state reality. Israel controls every human being from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea
BARAHMEH: And that's the reality we need to confront, not the wishful thinking that we're 1991, not 2021.
GOLD: So what's your political vision and for moving forward for a Palestinian state?
BARAHMEH: Well, it must start with a democracy. It must start with a political system.
But we need to ask ourselves, what is a social contract that we can build, where every human being, regardless of who they are and what their
ethnonational identity is, that they are equal and they have freedom and justice?
That's the world I want to live in. That's the world I want to see my children live in.
GOLD (voice-over): But with no date set for Palestinian elections, there is no imminent prospect of an electoral test for the current Palestinian
leadership -- Hadas Gold, CNN, Jericho.
GORANI: Hackers demand $70 million to end the biggest ransomware attack on record. That story is next.
GORANI: The full scope of a ransomware attack that paralyzed businesses worldwide is still very much unfolding. A group believed to operate out of
Russia or Eastern Europe is demanding Kaseya pay $70 million in ransom to restore the data.
The software vendor says up to 1,500 businesses were affected and it is working around the clock to get customers up and running. The breach is
being called the single biggest global ransomware attack on record. I spoke with Glenn Gerstell, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic
I asked him if we should be concerned that these ransomware attacks are becoming larger and more sophisticated.
GLENN GERSTELL, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Instead of, so to speak, having the criminals just break into one bank vault at a time,
they instead are infecting the software that controls the timing on all the bank vault doors around the country -- or the world as the case may be --
and springing them open.
GERSTELL: So this is something that is far broader, far more sophisticated and is a sign that the problem is going to get much worse before it gets
GORANI: But these are small businesses, in some cases, that have been targeted. So if you are a small business, a dentist's office or, I don't
know, an interior design firm and you have been locked out of your computer and you get this creepy message, either pay me one bitcoin or you will be
locked out and lose all your customers and your data, what do you do?
Do you pay?
GERSTELL: Unfortunately, for the small companies, they don't have a very good set of options. They are probably going to have to make payment.
Now in this particular case, as a sign of how big this ransomware attack is, it actually spun out of control of the criminals' hands. They are not
able to negotiate with 1,500 victims, which seems to be the indicated number of victims, in different time zones, different languages. They can't
negotiate all those ransom payments.
So they have just thrown up their hands and said, pay us $50 million or $70 million , depending on some reports. But pay us this money and we'll
make it all go away. We'll give everybody a key.
Well of course, if that happens, then your dentist would be able to, if somebody did pay that, a bunch of insurance companies or other -- then your
dentist would be able to unlock his or her computer. But absent that, they are in for a very tough position.
GORANI: How -- can't you trace bitcoin transactions?
GERSTELL: We saw the FBI do a terrific job in the Colonial Pipeline situation and trace the payments. I suspect -- I don't know, I don't know
exactly how they're cap it (ph).
It's still classified by the U.S. government -- but I suspect that the criminals must have made some mistakes somewhere along the way that enabled
either the spy agencies or the FBI or some combination to learn a little more about the payment and actually grab it back before it was dispersed
among the criminals.
We're not always going to be that lucky in the future.
GORANI: All right. Glenn Gerstell there with more on that massive ransomware attack.
Police in Hong Kong have arrested nine people, including six secondary students, in what they're calling a suspected bomb plot. Authorities say
the suspects were part of the city's independence movement and were building explosives to attack public areas. Kristie Lu Stout reports.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Police in Hong Kong say they have thwarted a suspected terror plot after arresting nine people,
including high school students, on suspicion of terrorist offenses under the national security law.
Police say they rented a hostel in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong to make homemade bombs and allegedly planned to target public facilities, including
courts, public transit and cross-harbor tunnels in the city.
Police also say they found an operation manual, which had plans for an attack in early July. During the investigation, police said that they also
picked up weaponry, chemicals, communication devices and SIM cards.
No bombs were made, police confirmed. Among the nine arrested, five were male, four are female; six are high school students. Their ages range from
15 to 39. Police say they belonged to a Hong Kong independence group, called Returning Valiant. Here's Steve Li, senior superintendent of the
Hong Kong police force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE LI, SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT, HONG KONG POLICE FORCE (through translator): To established a homemade lab to manufacturer improvised
explosive devices in the middle of a busy city is very insane.
I think everyone would agree with that. It is very irresponsible. It is very painful to see young people getting involved. It is a heinous act to
lure young people into participating in this kind of activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: The arrests coincide with claims by officials that the threat of terrorism remains, despite the national security law. In fact, earlier
today, Hong Kong's top leader, Carrie Lam, warned of underground terrorist activity.
She blamed external and domestic influences -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: The death on Monday of a jailed 84-year-old activist in India has sparked protests around the country. Jesuit priest Stan Swamy was a long-
time critic of India's caste system. He was arrested last year and that arrest triggered outrage beyond India, even around the world. CNN's Vedika
Sud has more from New Delhi.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death of 84-year-old human rights activist Stan Swamy has many in the country and abroad criticizing India's
anti terror laws. He suffered cardiac arrest in a Mumbai hospital on Monday. (INAUDIBLE) on medical grounds which he had been denied earlier.
In October last year, Swamy was arrested and charged under the country's antiterrorism laws, which critics have described as draconian. Swamy,
(INAUDIBLE) and others were accused of authorities of being involved with a banned terrorist organization and being coconspirators in a violent
incident that happened in a village east of Mumbai in 2018.
SUD: Authorities also allege he had links to Maoist (ph) insurgents, considered to be one of the country's biggest internal security threats.
Swamy has denied all charges against him in the past.
India's counterterrorism agency contested Swamy's bail application, citing the severity of charges against him and claimed he was receiving proper
care in prison.
The activist was suffering from Parkinson's disease and had recently contracted COVID-19 in jail. During a bail hearing, the court noted that
Swamy was physically very weak. On court orders, he had been shifted to a hospital in Mumbai in the last week of May -- Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
GORANI: Still to come, deadly tropical storm Elsa is barreling toward South Florida.
Will it become a hurricane again?
Our meteorologist has the forecast just ahead.
GORANI: A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of the West Coast of Florida. It's a tropical storm right now. Elsa is churning through the Gulf
of Mexico, heading for the peninsula.
Its winds are now just six kilometers per hour short of hurricane strength. The storm is expected to bring a potentially life threatening storm surge
and damaging winds and heavy rain.
GORANI: Ahead of that storm's arrival, the search and rescue effort in Surfside, Florida, has intensified. It could take years, some people are
saying, to figure out what caused that condo building to partially collapse.
It's something survivors of the massive Grenfell Tower fire in the U.K. understand all too well. Four years after that disaster, they are still
waiting for accountability. CNN reporter Salma Abdelaziz is with us from London with that.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Hala. Yes, it has been four years and the victims, the bereaved family members, they will tell you
justice is not achieved yet. Accountability has not been achieved yet. There's public inquiry; that's still ongoing.
Until that's completed, there can be no criminal prosecutions that take place. So these victims watched what happens in Miami with a sense of
sickening familiarity. They saw, yet again, homes, a place you should feel safe and protected, were turned into death traps. Take a look at their
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The early hours of June 14th, 2017, a fire sparked by kitchen appliance engulfs Grenville Tower in a matter of minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God.
ABDELAZIZ: Families wake up to find themselves trapped inside an inferno.
From her apartment on the 22nd floor, a terrified Nadia Choucar calls her brother. He quickly rushes to the scene.
NABIL CHOUCAR, BEREAVED FAMILY MEMBER: You could see and feel it from that distance so far away, you know, you literally feel the heat.
ABDELAZIZ: For hours, the blaze burned on. Nadia was spotted desperately waving a makeshift flag from her window.
CHOUCAR: We still had hope that they'd made it out, you know but then when you get told one by one that, you know, they've been found and, you know,
It kind of cuts you up and then it cuts you up again and --
ABDELAZIZ: Nadia Choucar, her mother, her husband and their three daughters died in their home. They're among the 72 lost to the fire.
Nabil's life is now consumed by the fight for justice.
CHOUCAR: Every day, I'm thinking about Grenfell. Every day I'm doing things about Grenfell. Every day -- it's all Grenfell, Grenfell.
ABDELAZIZ: A public inquiry into what happened that night drags on. There's hearing scheduled into next year and until it reaches its
conclusion, the police say no criminal prosecutions can take place. That means it could take years before justice or accountability is reached.
A highly flammable cladding wrapped around the social housing block made the tower a tinderbox, expert said.
Tiago Alves told us his childhood home was a deathtrap. He and his family fled from the 13th floor.
TIAGO ALVES, GRENFELL FIRE SURVIVOR: I was trying to understand how this could happen. So a country which is one of the richest countries in the
world, allows for the building industry to place flammable material on the outside of a building, which is then allowed to go up in flames.
ABDELAZIZ: Numerous other problems with the building have come to light during the public inquiry. There was no centralized fire alarm, no
sprinkler system, limited exits. Firefighters also ordered people to stay in their apartments for almost two hours before calling for an evacuation.
Now Alves is one of many demanding wide-ranging reforms.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): From a ban on combustible cladding to tougher safety rules.
ALVES: There is probably some 20-year-old out there, just like I was when the fire happened and until I can make sure that someone like that doesn't
have to experience what I did that night, I don't think I could ever stop.
ABDELAZIZ: The shrouded remains of Grenfell still loom over London's skyline, a reminder of a tragedy that could have been avoided and must
never happen again.
ABDELAZIZ: You heard that litany of failures there. That's exactly what these victims are tackling about, changing everything from how firefighters
respond to fires to how a city council manages social housing.
All of these issues need to be addressed. Legislation -- legislative reforms, rather -- need to happen, these victims say, so they can ensure
that this never takes place.
But at the heart of this all is that shock, Hala, that this happened in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and it's happened yet again in
GORANI: Well, and the pain is still so raw four years on. Thank you, Salma.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: We're just moments away now from the kickoff of the Euro 2020 semifinal between Italy and Spain. And fans have been streaming into
London's Wembley stadium. Look at that, big, big crowds.
GORANI: Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next.