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Hala Gorani Tonight
Protests in France Against Restrictions on the Unvaccinated; Designated Prime Minister of Lebanon Steps Down; Floods Kill At Least 46 People in Germany and Belgium; Malta Introduces 14-Day Quarantine for Unvaccinated Arrivals; South African Military Sends More Troops to Tamp Down Unrest; Slain Haitian President's Head of Security Taken into Custody. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 15, 2021 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Coronavirus cases surge. The World Health Organization
issues a dire warning for parts of the Middle East and the Arab world while the U.K. deals with its own major spike. Plus, South Africa on edge. More
than 100 people are dead after days of violence. I'll ask a South African opposition leader what can be done.
And Summer travel versus the variants. How European countries are taking very different approaches to tourism. We're live in Spain and in Malta. A
warning from the World Health Organization about rising COVID-19 cases as it emphasizes the pandemic is nowhere near finished. The W.H.O. is also
sounding the alarm that a jump in cases in the Middle East and North Africa is pushing the region toward a critical point. Officials are watching for a
continued upsurge over the next few weeks following the Eid holiday for Muslims.
The United Kingdom is also seeing a surge in COVID cases amid its reopening. It recorded more than 40,000 daily cases for the first time
since January. You can see on the graph how clear the uptick is. As cases rise across Europe, protesters took to the streets in France. Why are they
protesting you ask? Well, they are opposed to new measures that would put restrictions on those who can't prove they are vaccinated or who cannot
provide a recent negative COVID test. And crowds in Greece's capital as well, more than 5,000 protesting against mandatory vaccines.
On Monday, the government announced that the shots would be compulsory for nursing home staff, and starting in September, all healthcare workers. Yet,
some people are opposed to that. Let's first start in the Middle East and the Arab world, North Africa. Let's get live to CNN's Ben Wedeman, he's in
Beirut. I'll ask you about the situation in Lebanon in just a moment. But first, the World Health Organization is saying that some of these Arab
countries are seeing very worrying upticks in the number of COVID cases that they've recorded -- recording. One of them in particular that they
highlighted, Tunisia. How bad is it?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, I'm in Lebanon, I'm not really paying attention to Tunisia. We have a government in crisis
and a country in crisis as well, so I'm just going to skip COVID and go right to that. But for instance, Lebanon has seen a 100 percent increase in
the number of cases in the last seven days, most of them, the Delta variety. And of course, to get to the real story, the situation here is
dire, because the government, the country is essentially bankrupt. What we had today was Saad Hariri; the prime minister designate withdrew from the
candidacy as prime minister after 266 days trying to form a government.
That didn't work. And what we're seeing in Beirut now are road blockages and clashes with the army around the city. This is -- we're in the Madina
Riyadiya, the sports city area where there were clashes with the soldiers. The protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at the soldiers
who were badly outnumbered. And of course, it's important to keep in mind that with the collapse of the Lebanese lira -- there's a car trying to get
through -- the soldiers are now making about a tenth of what they used to. And that really is indicative of the overall situation in this country,
which has not had a proper government since the 10th of August of last year, just after the last one resigned in the aftermath of the 4th August
Beirut port blast that left more than 200 dead.
So, if you look at the bigger picture, the economy here is in collapse. The GDP is down 40 percent between 2018 and 2020. It's expected to fall further
this year. Prices are up, the price of bread has been raised seven times in the last year. There are fuel shortages. Electricity cuts in Beirut in some
areas are 22 hours a day. People are desperately going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to get baby formula. And others are begging people from --
who are coming from abroad to bring in medicine, because most basic medicines simply aren't available.
So, you have a country in crisis, a government that barely exists at this point. And I'll tell you, even though you asked me about COVID, COVID is
really the last of the concerns of most people struggling simply to get by, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Ben Wedeman live in Beirut. And as advertised, let me update you a little bit on the situation that the World Health Organization
was warning about in the Arab world, when I went to Ben, who was not expecting that question, unfortunately, but the surge in coronavirus cases
across the Middle East and in the Arab world is catastrophic in some cases, we're being told by the World Health Organization. There had been a decline
in the number of cases over the last few weeks. But a dramatic uptick in Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Tunisia.
And I believe we do have a graphic for Tunisia. Sharp rises as well expected in Lebanon and Morocco, and this is all coming of course, at a
time where some of these countries are having other issues that they have to deal with on top of the pandemic. Hopefully, we'll revisit that story as
soon as we can. We will also hopefully get that update on Europe. But I want to bring you up to date on another story in Europe that truly is
causing mayhem and a lot of suffering. We're seeing absolutely catastrophic flooding across Europe right now.
At least, 46 people are dead in Germany and Belgium. Some parts of Germany got more rain in a single day than they normally would in an entire month.
We're seeing so much more of these extreme weather conditions across the continent and beyond. CNN's Nina dos Santos is tracking this story for us.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Torrential rains and severe flooding are causing havoc across Europe, leaving dozens dead and
extensive damage in their wake. Rivers overflowed their banks, houses collapsed, roads were washed away, and a muddy mess left behind. Parts of
Germany received over 200 millimeters of rain in just nine hours. Two firefighters are among the dead there. Others left with nothing.
EDGAR GILLESSEN, HOME WAS DAMAGED (through translator): All these people living here, I know them all. I feel so sorry for them. They've lost
everything. All they have is what they had on them. It's all gone. My friend had a workshop over there. Nothing standing. The bakery, the
butcher, it's all gone. It's scary. Unimaginable.
DOS SANTOS: This dramatic scene in western Germany, as some people left stranded on their rooftops were rescued by helicopters. Across the border
in Belgium, this man braved the water to check on his neighbors. Water nearly reaching his windows. The village of Pepinster devastated. Homes
have collapsed and cars were swallowed up by the rising water. One man says he's worried about his family.
CYRIL HENIN, FLOOD VICTIM (through translator): My mother was stuck in a house over there with my brothers and sisters. The walls of the house are
starting to crack, and the house is at risk of collapsing.
DOS SANTOS: In the Netherlands, a care home was evacuated during the storm. Dutch authorities helped to get elderly residents to safety fearing the
facility could lose electricity and other supplies. Visiting Washington on Thursday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she's thinking of those
in her homeland.
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): These are terrible days for the people in the flooded areas. My thoughts are with
you, and you can trust that all forces of our government, federal, regional, and community collectively will do everything under most
difficult conditions to save lives, alleviate dangers, to relieve distress.
DOS SANTOS: This as she ordered Germany's military to help in some of the hardest hit areas. A German meteorologist says that in some areas, they
haven't seen this much rainfall in 100 years. And the country is in for more bad news. Weather forecasters say additional rainfall is expected in
southwestern Germany in the days to come. Nina dos Santos, CNN.
GORANI: Well, let's get more on these very unusual scenes out of Europe. Well, are they unusual? It seems as though this extreme weather is becoming
more and more common. CNN meteorologist Tom Sater is here to help us understand what's going on and why it's happening. How abnormal is this
amount of rainfall and what's causing it?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, as she mentioned in her report, authorities in Germany saying they haven't seen this in a century. So, it's
a warning 100-year flood event. But with our changing climate, Hala, and the atmosphere getting warmer, able to hold more moisture, we're seeing
these one and 100-year events almost in every country around the world, is happening way too often.
But there's several other elements that we have to look at. So, let's break this down for you. First, on the synoptic weather map, notice in blue, the
jet-stream. How it takes a big dip and trough and toward the Mediterranean. Underneath where it says rain and storms as an area of low pressure, we
call that a cut-off low. It means it's cut off from the flow. We noticed this starting to form last Sunday and really picking up in some of the
models just 24 hours ago. So, it's not moving. It is sitting and spinning, a pesky area of low pressure.
When you look at this, this is water vapor imagery. In the colors of tan, that's drier air. So, you can see, even though that thick cloud cover, it's
been keeping temperatures cooler in central Europe, but because it's spinning, you're getting storms over the same location, it's just not
moving. Extreme heat is playing a role too. From Canada to Scandinavia, temperatures have been 10 degrees Celsius above the seasonal average.
You've got the heat from northern Africa coming up across the Mediterranean and eastern Europe. That's playing a role too.
Notice some of these numbers you're seeing here, Dusseldorf, Cologne picked up 156 millimeters, that's almost two months' worth of rainfall. So yes,
many picking up a month's worth, you know, in 24 hours. But some of these totals in just nine hours are staggering. When you head more to the east on
that eastern flank where you get closer to those higher Summer temperatures that have been extreme, well into the 30s, you've got the hail. And so, 4.5
to 5-centimeter-diameter of hail, those thunderstorms cloud tops are getting up to 55-60,000 feet.
So again, besides the over two dozen homes on the verge of collapse, which is concerning with more rainfall, you've got 200,000 that lost power. You
have the disruption of road travel and of course rail. But now authorities in Belgium are saying, please do not drink the water coming out of your tap
if it's cloudy. And that should go for everyone. This area of low pressure is broadening. But computer models are showing it diving to the south, and
not very quickly, Hala. So, we may have flash flooding in the Alpine region, areas of the Adriatic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but even up toward
polling again on that eastern flank, more hail and more thunderstorms for the next several days.
Just a tragic situation. Climate change, yes, it's got its fingerprint all over this, with the one and 100-year flood event, and more flooding is
possible in many of these communities.
GORANI: All right --
SATER: Unfortunately --
GORANI: Yes --
SATER: In the same locations. So, those with the homes damaged, really a big concern.
GORANI: Right, with more rain on the way, potentially, the last thing they need. Tom, thanks very much. Well, as that tragedy plays out in Europe,
Angela Merkel is due at the White House any minute now to meet with Joe Biden. She's led Germany now for almost 16 years. Well, this will likely be
her last visit to Washington as chancellor. She steps down in just three months. Officials say -- and there she is arriving at the White House. Are
these live? They are live indeed. So we're going -- we're expecting to see the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and there she is, walking into the
We've got a glimpse of the German chancellor. She's worked with four presidents. This is not her first presidential meeting though. Her welcome
today might be a little bit warmer than the ones she was -- she experienced with Donald Trump. Kaitlan Collins; our chief White House correspondent is
in Washington with more on what's expected. And there are some disagreements between the two leaders, Kaitlan, even though Joe Biden of
course wants to re-establish longstanding friendships between the United States and the country's European allies, Nord Stream 2 being one of them.
What are we expecting the two to discuss?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, re- establishing those relationships does not mean they do not have any disagreements. And the ones between the White House and German Chancellor
Angela Merkel are still significant differences between the two of them. And so, yes, a lot of this is also going to be about ceremony, given this
is likely to be her last visit to the White House as a foreign counterpart to the U.S. president.
They've got a dinner later on. But first, they're going to have a sit-down in the Oval Office, we'll see them side-by-side in those chairs in front of
the fireplace. And then they will also hold a working meeting with their staff before holding a joint press conference to take questions from
reporters. And so, that is going to be the opportunity where you can really see where the two of them do disagree. Because we know the Nord Stream 2
gas -- the Russian gas pipeline has been a big point of concern. The president has said it's a bad idea, his Secretary of State Tony Blinken has
echoed that, but they also did waive sanctions on the company behind it and the CEO as well earlier this year, saying essentially that they believe
it's so close to being completed that it is going to be finished ultimately.
And so, the question of what that looks like is still far from certain. But then there are other disagreements as well. On China, is a major issue
where they do not see eye to eye, where Merkel believes it's an opportunity to work with China, that is not of course what the U.S. president believes.
So there are significant areas of disagreement. How they actually frame those later on, given of course, she is expected to leave the leadership in
just a few months from now, really does remain to be seen, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Kaitlan Collins live at the White House, thanks very much. We'll follow that meeting between the two leaders and bring you the
Still to come tonight, CNN's Richard Quest takes us to the Costa del Sol to see how Spain is working to save its tourist season despite the pandemic.
And it's not all smooth sailing in Malta. I'll speak to the country's health minister about an aborted plan to ban unvaccinated visitors. Why the
ban and why the u-turn? We'll be right back.
GORANI: All right, to vaccine passports, red, amber and green-list countries and the general chaos that is international travel in the COVID
era. England has decided that Spain's Balearic Islands are higher risk destinations now. From July 19th, travelers returning to England from
Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera will have to isolate at home. But on that same day, July 19th, we expect England to ease restrictions across
the board at home, allowing double-vaccinated people to avoid quarantining after visiting all amber-list countries.
So, just as those holiday destinations join that list, many of us will be allowed to move more freely anyway. If you're having trouble keeping up,
it's because, you know, you have one set of rules here, another set of rules there, one country will tell you it's OK to go without quarantining
as long as you have a vaccine certificate. Other countries will not allow you in by following the same rules. You know who is a lot closer though to
the islands than I am? It's Richard Quest, CNN's editor-at-large is on Spain's Costa del Sol, finding out how Spain is trying to salvage its
crucial tourism season while still battling COVID.
And even though you're on the Costa del Sol, you're wearing a full suit and tie, which frankly I admire. I'm not surprised. Talk to us about Spain,
they're gambling here, right, aren't they, the Spanish? They desperately need the tourism revenue, but at the same time they're --
RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes --
GORANI: Taking risks with COVID and the new variant.
QUEST: In a funny sort of way, they're doing similarly to Boris Johnson. They have -- they've opened up and they have seen the numbers rise. Spain
has one of the highest percentage of rising COVID cases anywhere in Europe. But they're banking on the same idea, that the number of hospitalizations
and death and serious injury from COVID will not be that great because of vaccinations.
So they're pushing vaccinations as hard and as fast as possible. Now, the Brits will arrive here on the Costa del Sol in larger numbers over the next
few weeks because they don't have to quarantine on the way back. Other tourists from Germany, from France, from the northern Scandinavian
countries, this is a haven for them. When I spoke to Nadia Calvino, she's not only Spain's economy minister, she was promoted last week, she was
promoted to a first deputy prime minister. Under the prime minister, she's the number two, and she's very aware that this is Spain, lives versus
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADIA CALVINO, ECONOMY MINISTER, SPAIN: What is clear is that the vaccine is a game changer. It seems the month of March, we saw that the progress
with vaccination was also making us go into a different phase in terms of the economic recovery. The Spanish economy is recovering very strongly.
Everybody is foreseeing a very strong growth in 2021 and 2022.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Hala, along the coast, the magnificent Costa del Sol coast, the reality is the Spanish tourists are here in number. There are few from
Germany, almost none at the moment from the U.K. And if I look at the arrivals board from places like the U.K. and Germany, still that wave of
flights has yet to arrive. The economy can't stand another 2020.
GORANI: So, do they have a circuit breaker mechanism in case COVID cases, because of the variant primarily, become out of control? What will they do
QUEST: Well, the actual restrictions and lockdowns are done by regional governments, not central governments. And the constitutional court just
said that the national lockdown last year was unconstitutional, because the government did it, they didn't do it via parliament. So basically, I cannot
for the life of me see that there would be anything like a national lockdown again in Spain. What you will see, Valencia may close bars
earlier, and Duluth may do this, that or the other, different places will respond in different ways, and I think that is going to be the way that all
of Europe carries it. But Hala, any idea that this Summer was going to be the massive Summer of recovery is dwindling like the evening sun here in
GORANI: How much of -- how much of a hit have they taken? I mean, we know last year was basically a write-off. What's this year looking like for
Spain's tourism industry?
QUEST: Tourism is about 13 percent or 14 percent of the economy, depending on your measure. Last year was just virtually none. This year, they will be
lucky, lucky to get 50 percent of the tourists. We're already mid-to late July, if they don't start arriving now, they're trying to extend --
remember, this part of the world, the Costa del Sol will get 300 days of sunshine a year. They'll try to extend it, but school, holidays, work
restrictions, maybe working from home. Now, the reality is, Hala, they have to take that calculated risk by opening up with sufficient measures that
allows an element of security against COVID. It's vaccinations.
GORANI: All right. I hope you're enjoying the sunny, warm weather, and that you're dropping --
QUEST: Beautiful, it's beautiful --
GORANI: The jacket in your off hours.
QUEST: Just for you.
GORANI: OK, thanks very much, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you --
GORANI: Richard Quest with much sunnier and much more warmth than we are here in London. You'll be back with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" at the top of
the hour. Now, on to something less cheery than vacations for sure, is American and western troops pull out of Afghanistan. We're seeing the
chilling effects of the Taliban surge throughout the country. Female journalists are among those also being targeted and killed by the militant
group. CNN's Anna Coren reports from Kabul.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Among the wild flowers and fissile, a sacred place in the heart of Kabul. The distant sounds of the
city blocked out by the high-walled compound. Mohammed Kayeri(ph) and his son walk through the gates, waiting for them, three mounds of earth only a
month old. They pick up rocks and tap on the grave stones, telling the souls, "I am here and praying for you." Mohammed's world was shattered last
month when his wife and two daughters were killed in a car bomb attack.
As Hazaras, an ethnic minority persecuted by the Taliban and other insurgent groups, they have always been the target of terror. "When I heard
that, I didn't know the sky and I didn't know the land" he said, "everything went dark on me." However, his 23-year-old daughter, Mina, a
news anchor at a local TV station had been receiving death threats for months. Her blossoming career and appearance on radio and television, a
repudiation to the Taliban. "Since it happened, I really hate this country, but what can I do? I see the future of this country is finished. There is
Over the last 20 years, the one industry where Afghan women have thrived is the media. Female anchors present the news alongside their male colleagues,
an enormous step forward in these culturally conservative country. But it hasn't been without sacrifice. The committee to protect journalists says at
least 53 journalists have been murdered in Afghanistan since 1992. Local groups say the true number is more than double.
NAJIB SHARIFI, AFGHAN JOURNALISTS SAFETY COMMITTEE: We earned our press freedom at a very significant cost. I don't think any other country has
sacrificed as many journalists as Afghanistan has.
COREN: But the rise of an emboldened Taliban is now an existential threat to many Afghans, including local journalists who know if the militants come
to power, they will not be spared.
(on camera): While the targeted killings and death threats have become commonplace here in Afghanistan, it's the deteriorating security situation
that is unnerving many in the media industry. But despite these fears, there is a defiance, particularly among female journalists who say they
will not be silenced.
(voice-over): Among them is Mina's best friend and colleague, 23-year-old Zahara Zadiqui(ph). She too has received threats. And while she can't
remember life under Taliban rule, this young woman refuses to be terrorized into submission. "We're Afghans and we will continue to do our job", she
tells me. "The goals that Mina had in raising our people's voice, I want to continue that for Mina. A voice pleading to the world to never abandon the
freedoms this country has fought too hard to achieve." Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul.
GORANI: Such uncertain times there ahead, especially for the women in Afghanistan. Let's get back to COVID now. The -- Malta's Health Minister
and Deputy Prime Minister Christopher Fearne is joining me now. He is live from Valletta. Thanks for joining us. The EU says that limiting --
CHRISTOPHER FEARNE, HEALTH MINISTER & DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, MALTA: You're welcome --
GORANI: Entry to your country to fully vaccinated people is discriminatory. You've had to back away from that plan. What do you make? What's your
reaction to basically to the EU's position on this, and why did you back --
FEARNE: We --
GORANI: Down in the end?
FEARNE: Actually, we still prefer our visitors to be fully vaccinated when they come to the island. In fact --
GORANI: Yes --
FEARNE: The only way to avoid being -- spending two weeks in quarantine is if you're fully vaccinated. And the reason we want this is that Malta, as
you are aware, has the highest rate of vaccinated adults anywhere in the world, 81 percent of our adult population is fully vaccinated --
GORANI: Just jumping in, we have a graphic showing that -- yes, we have a graphic showing that for our viewers. So you have a very high rate of
vaccination. But I guess my question then is, because so many people in Malta are vaccinated, are you not more comfortable allowing visitors to
your island because the tourism revenue between 2019 and 2020 essentially collapsed, over 2 billion euros in '19 and less than 700,000 last year. So
do you not have some confidence?
FEARNE: So, what because -- absolutely, because we have such a high rate of vaccinated citizens here in Malta, we can offer ourselves as the safest
place to visit this Summer. So, if you've had your jab, if you value your health enough to actually have had your vaccine, then you want to have a
peace of mind that you're traveling to a safe country. And Malta is actually the safest place to come because so many people are vaccinated.
And having tourists around you who are also vaccinated, that's even better. Because Hala, as you know, tourists tend to go where tourists usually
congregate. So hotels, restaurants, bars, beaches, the airports. And knowing that you're surrounded not only by vaccinated locals, but also by
vaccinated tourists, makes us such an attractive place to come to. Malta is the safest place on earth from COVID to visit this Summer. And we welcome
GORANI: It's not just about valuing your health, I mean, it's also that, for instance, in some countries, vaccinations aren't offered to people
under the age of 18. And if fully vaccinated parents want to travel with a 13-year-old teenager to Malta, who has received no doses, they have to
Why are you setting the age so low for vaccine requirements?
CHRISTOPHER FEARNE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND HEALTH MINISTER, MALTA: At the moment, we are vaccinating our 12- to 15-year olds here. And we're more
or less halfway through vaccinating that cohort. And a lot of other countries are catching up as well.
So at the moment, we recognize about 30 -- vaccine certificates from over 30 countries, over 30 countries. That's including the U.K. And as we speak,
we're in the process of accepting more vaccination certificates from around the world, including, in the next couple of days, hopefully, from the USA.
So, yes, we are open for tourists. We would like our visitors to be vaccinated to protect themselves and to protect our community and Malta
remains the safest place to come to this summer.
GORANI: All right, Christopher Fearne, thanks very much, the Maltese deputy prime minister and health minister, thanks for joining us.
Still to come, after days of violence and looting, South Africa sends in more troops to stop the unrest.
But can the government do more?
We'll discuss it with a main opposition leader in South Africa, after the break.
GORANI: It's come to this. South Africa's military has now deployed thousands of additional troops to areas that have been devastated by days
of violence. Officials say 10,000 soldiers are in the streets helping police maintain order.
GORANI: At least 117 people have now died. During the demonstrations and during the looting, shops have been emptied and property has been
destroyed. But several places are starting to recover, thankfully. Locals are picking up debris and some are trying to prevent more unrest.
Let's get more from our David McKenzie, live in Durban, South Africa, with the very latest.
What's the situation where you are?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, the situation is still volatile. Earlier we were at a warehouse area, an industrial area; still shots
ringing out. Definitely had a very tense feel. Some of those warehouses still burning. Acrid smoke in the air.
What you see behind me is a group of civilians, people who live in this neighborhood, near downtown Durban, who have chopped down a tree in some
areas and laid it across the road.
Some have baseball bats, others bits of metal and they're trying to protect their businesses, their shopping areas, their neighborhoods, because, for
days, civilians have really been left to their own devices in this city.
More than 90 people killed in this province alone, more than 100 in the country, in the worst unrest this country has seen in many, many years,
GORANI: All right, David McKenzie, live on the scene in Durban. Let's discuss this further with the leader of South Africa's official opposition
party, John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance, joining me from Cape Town.
First off, what would your -- how would you handle this situation if your party was in power?
JOHN STEENHUISEN, PARTY LEADER, DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE: Good evening, Hala, and thanks for the opportunity. Certainly, we would have allowed the
domestic intelligence services to get on top of the situation before it was allowed to escalate.
There's been a massive failure in domestic intelligence here. We would have sent in the army far sooner in far larger numbers. The original deployment
by the president was only 2,500 troops for the entire country. That's been now boosted. We've got more boots on the ground.
And then I would have, as the president, reined in the members of my own party, who were inciting a lot of the violence and agitation that we've
seen and who continue on social media to fan the flames of violence taking place across the country.
GORANI: So you're blaming the government for fanning the flames, for encouraging looters to go out and steal and torch stores?
I mean, that's a pretty strong accusation.
STEENHUISEN: Well, it's borne out by the social media posts of key members in the governing party, who have rallied around Mr. Zuma and are using this
anarchy and violence as a way and try to send a message to the sitting president, Mr. Ramaphosa.
This is a factional battle within the governing party that has spilled over onto the streets of South Africa. And it's found a fertile flame with the
poverty, the inequality and the dispossession that still exists in South Africa, two decades after democracy.
GORANI: How much is COVID playing into this?
Because your country has a pretty dismal vaccination rate, right?
Last time I checked, you were at 2.5 percent of fully vaccinated people in the country, though the government is promising to vaccinate millions of
The president of South Africa, "Our national vaccination program is expanding at a rapid pace. To date over 4.2 million people in South Africa
have received a vaccine dose. And the pace of vaccination has more than doubled in the last month."
Do you give them some credit in that regard?
STEENHUISEN: No, I think the reason we're sitting as one of the least vaccinated nations in the world is that the government didn't get up and
order vaccines when they should have.
And now it uses the excuse of vaccine imperialism and all these sorts of epithets they throw around. The truth is, the government only woke up to
the vaccine program in January of this year, which was way too late.
And South Africa is left trying to get the scraps of vaccines around the world, which is why we've got such a pitifully low vaccination rate. We're
not getting jabs in arms nearly fast enough.
And the lockdowns as a result of it have exacerbated the poverty and the suffering and deprivation we still have in South Africa. Companies have
closed down, businesses have had to shut down because of the lockdown. And this has pushed more people into the unemployment queue.
GORANI: To be fair, that's happening in countries that have much higher vaccination rates. There's a nasty variant. We've seen that happen in other
countries so it's not entirely a leadership issue. There's also a public health crisis that the entire world is facing.
GORANI: So do you agree that placing all the blame on the government, maybe, obviously, you're in the opposition -- it would make sense.
GORANI: But just is a bit too easy?
STEENHUISEN: No, not at all. I think when you're faced with a health crisis in a pandemic like this, it's up to government to do the first thing and
that is to keep citizens safe.
And yes, there has been the impact of the pandemic in other parts of the world. But they're much more vaccinated and they were much better prepared
for it. Unfortunately, we've also seen our coronavirus response characterized by corruption in South Africa.
The president's own health ministers had to stand aside because of his involvement in COVID-19 corruption. But the truth of the matter, Hala, is
that we were in a lot of trouble before COVID hit the shores.
The 42 percent unemployment rate, one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, and 30 million people living below the international
poverty line. That's a recipe for this type of unrest. And COVID has exacerbated that.
We haven't vaccinated at the rate we should have. And the only instrument government has now is hard lockdowns, which are -- you're destroying and
inhibiting the economy from growing at the rate that it needs to, to absorb the unemployed into work in South Africa.
GORANI: So the ANC is the dominant party. You're a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance Party.
What's your strategy?
STEENHUISEN: Well, in this crisis here, we've been working and putting solutions on the table to government.
I think we've got a duty to bring the law and order back -- that's what we've been focusing on -- and also to ensure that we're able to then help
drive the economic reform agenda that's going to be required in South Africa to get the economy growing and to get things moving in South Africa
It's not sustainable to have almost half your population unemployed. It's not sustainable to have single digit growth of your GDP. So we've got to
force the economic reform agenda in South Africa. We've got to break the monopoly that the state has, on state-owned entities and industries like
energy and the like, and to start to stimulate the economy, to attract international investment and to be able to create jobs.
That's why the scenes that your viewers are seeing here are hardly helpful to our drive to attract investment. But that's what we have to do;
otherwise, we'll continue to have these types of unrest take place, as more people fall into more desperate circumstances.
GORANI: John Steenhuisen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance Party, thanks very much for joining us from Cape Town this evening.
STEENHUISEN: Thank you very much.
Still to come, new questions tonight about a possible U.S. connection in the assassination of Haiti's president and what the Pentagon is saying
about some Colombian suspects now in custody. You'll want to stick around for this story. The story is getting wilder. We'll bring you up to date.
GORANI: More than a week after the brazen assassination of Haiti's president Jovenel Moise, we still don't know exactly who was behind it or
why. But we may be getting new clues into how armed attackers were able to enter his heavily guarded home so easily last week.
The head of security at the Haitian presidential palace is in custody. He's facing questioning by investigators. Meanwhile, Colombian police say
commandos accused of carrying out the murder plot were hired to detain Moise and hand him over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
What, you may ask, are you saying?
Here to help us sort this all out is Stefano Pozzebon, live in Bogota but first to Matt Rivers, who joins us from Port-au-Prince.
Matt, break down for us in simple terms what the latest is in this investigation.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of the first questions that we've had since the beginning, Hala -- and this is something you and I
have talked about over the last week or eight days that we've been here -- is, what role did the security forces that are supposed to be protecting
the president play?
Or clearly what role did they not play?
This is something that prosecutors here are now starting to try and answer. So a few days ago, we got a request from the prosecutor's office that is
leading the investigation into this assassination.
They wanted to speak with and question the leaders of three different government agencies here in Haiti, that are charged with protecting the
president and/or the places in which he spends his time.
All three of those leaders declined this invitation from the prosecutor to submit themselves to questioning. That is within their legal rights here in
Haiti; at least for the first time the prosecutor asks, it's more of an invitation.
But they all chose to decline, including Dimitri Herard, the person who is in charge of security at the presidential residence, charged with guarding
that compound. He chose not to submit to questioning.
We were able to speak with a close associate of his, Hala, who says that he is innocent, that any suspicions around him are merely political in nature
and they believe that the actual culpability in all this lies higher up the food chain.
Exactly where prosecutors go from here, we're not exactly sure. Two more arrests today of two Haitian men accused of supplying arms to some
mercenaries allegedly involved in all this. But like we said yesterday, yes, we have incremental updates.
But are we at the point where we truly know what happened here?
GORANI: We're starting to get some sort of outline of a story.
Stefano Pozzebon is in Bogota, there police say Colombian commandos were trying to detain President Moise, to hand him over to U.S. drug enforcement
Who hired these Colombian commandos to do this?
Was there a warrant out for the president's arrest?
How does this story play out?
Talk us through it.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, correct, Hala. A major revelation out of Bogota this morning with the chief of the Colombian national police,
Jorge Vargas, who says these men, who have been implicated in the assassination of the Haitian president, were under the belief that they
were working on behalf of U.S. law enforcement.
Now that doesn't mean that the law enforcement, the U.S. law enforcement, was directly involved. CNN has reached out to the Department of Justice and
the DEA have repeatedly denied any involvement in the assassination of the Haitian president.
But the Colombian news out of their leg of the investigation is that these people were under the impression that they were working to detain the
president on behalf of the DEA.
And to make things even more complicated, Hala, just a few hours ago, the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, spoke to local press here in Bogota and
said, according to preliminary results from the Colombian investigation and the Colombian intelligence unit.
POZZEBON: This group of more than 2 dozen Colombians that have been involved into the whole bad story in Haiti were actually split in two
groups. The majority of them, said the president, did not know what they were actually doing there in Haiti.
They thought they were working to protect the president as support and bodyguards. And what Duque described to them was as false leads.
Separate from them, there was a smaller group, according to Duque and the preliminary result of the investigation by the Colombian intelligence unit,
this smaller group were the ones who were well aware of what the final goal of the operation was, which is the goal that Duque described as a criminal
Now Duque did not respond on whether these people wanted to detain the president, as the Colombian police chief said a few hours earlier, or if
they wanted to actually kill the president. What he said is that the action of these men led to the assassination of the president, Moise.
But still, Hala, both here and in Port-au-Prince, as Matt was saying, still many unanswered questions around this story out of the Caribbean.
GORANI: Sure. I'll need a flowchart for the next one.
Stefano Pozzebon in Bogota, Matt Rivers in Port-au-Prince, thanks to both of you for your reporting.
Still to come tonight, athletes will soon be going for the gold in Tokyo. But for some residents, the games represent loss, not victory, and not just
once; in some cases, twice. We'll bring you the story of one man evicted twice -- after the break.
GORANI: The long journey leading up to the Olympics has been riddled with problems, from a global pandemic, delays, protests against the games. But
for some, the problems with Tokyo 2020 are very personal. Here is CNN's Will Ripley.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japan's Olympic stadium, a symbol of the troubled Tokyo games. And for Koji Keno (ph), a reminder of
the home he lost. Keno (ph) got an eviction notice in 2013 when Japan won the 2020 bid, a year of national triumph and personal loss.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Around 200 families, mostly senior citizens, evicted; their housing complex demolished five years ago, replaced by Tokyo's
multibillion-dollar 68,000 seat showpiece, a bitter pill made worse because it happened before.
KOI KENO (PH), TOKYO RESIDENT: Oh, I was born about there.
KENO (PH): Yes.
RIPLEY (voice-over): He points to a stop sign, where his childhood home used to be. It was also torn down to build Tokyo's 1964 Olympic stadium,
rising from the ashes of World War II.
"The first Olympics was during the reconstruction period. We were happy to cooperate," he says. "But this time we were treated without compassion."
Keno (ph) thought it was too soon for Japan to host another Olympics. And that was before the pandemic.
RIPLEY: The stadium that cost him his home will sit virtually empty during the games, the first spectator ban in Olympic history. Tokyo is under a
fourth COVID-19 state of emergency.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Cases surging, vaccination rates low; a recent poll shows nearly eight in 10 Japanese don't want the games to go ahead.
Kosimoti Takashima (ph) calls it mass hysteria. A self-described super fan, he's been to every Olympics since Torino in 2006.
He says, "The decision to ban spectator suspect based on emotion, not science."
Takashima (ph) has 197 reasons to be angry. That's how many tickets he bought for Tokyo 2020, spending nearly $40,000. The spectator ban crushing
his dream of a world record for attendance.
"To be honest, all I have now is sadness," he says.
RIPLEY: Looks like a storm coming.
KOSIMOTI TAKASHIMA (PH), TOKYO RESIDENT: Yes, it looks very sad.
RIPLEY (voice-over): As Takashima (ph) talks about his heartbreak, the skies open up.
"It's raining right now," he said, "the God of the Olympics is angry. I think it's a sign. It's not too late to allow spectators."
An Olympic dream about as distant as a sunny day -- Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
GORANI: That's going to do it for me. Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. There's a lot more ahead on CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is live
from Spain's Costa del Sol, coming up next. Stay with us.